Sample records for neuronal cytoskeleton axonal

  1. Axon Initial Segment Cytoskeleton: Architecture, Development, and Role in Neuron Polarity. (United States)

    Jones, Steven L; Svitkina, Tatyana M


    The axon initial segment (AIS) is a specialized structure in neurons that resides in between axonal and somatodendritic domains. The localization of the AIS in neurons is ideal for its two major functions: it serves as the site of action potential firing and helps to maintain neuron polarity. It has become increasingly clear that the AIS cytoskeleton is fundamental to AIS functions. In this review, we discuss current understanding of the AIS cytoskeleton with particular interest in its unique architecture and role in maintenance of neuron polarity. The AIS cytoskeleton is divided into two parts, submembrane and cytoplasmic, based on localization, function, and molecular composition. Recent studies using electron and subdiffraction fluorescence microscopy indicate that submembrane cytoskeletal components (ankyrin G, βIV-spectrin, and actin filaments) form a sophisticated network in the AIS that is conceptually similar to the polygonal/triangular network of erythrocytes, with some important differences. Components of the AIS cytoplasmic cytoskeleton (microtubules, actin filaments, and neurofilaments) reside deeper within the AIS shaft and display structural features distinct from other neuronal domains. We discuss how the AIS submembrane and cytoplasmic cytoskeletons contribute to different aspects of AIS polarity function and highlight recent advances in understanding their AIS cytoskeletal assembly and stability.

  2. The axonal cytoskeleton : from organization to function

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kevenaar, Josta T|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/338771042; Hoogenraad, Casper C|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/227263502

    The axon is the single long fiber that extends from the neuron and transmits electrical signals away from the cell body. The neuronal cytoskeleton, composed of microtubules (MTs), actin filaments and neurofilaments, is not only required for axon formation and axonal transport but also provides the

  3. The nano-architecture of the axonal cytoskeleton. (United States)

    Leterrier, Christophe; Dubey, Pankaj; Roy, Subhojit


    The corporeal beauty of the neuronal cytoskeleton has captured the imagination of generations of scientists. One of the easiest cellular structures to visualize by light microscopy, its existence has been known for well over 100 years, yet we have only recently begun to fully appreciate its intricacy and diversity. Recent studies combining new probes with super-resolution microscopy and live imaging have revealed surprising details about the axonal cytoskeleton and, in particular, have discovered previously unknown actin-based structures. Along with traditional electron microscopy, these newer techniques offer a nanoscale view of the axonal cytoskeleton, which is important for our understanding of neuronal form and function, and lay the foundation for future studies. In this Review, we summarize existing concepts in the field and highlight contemporary discoveries that have fundamentally altered our perception of the axonal cytoskeleton.

  4. An αII Spectrin-Based Cytoskeleton Protects Large-Diameter Myelinated Axons from Degeneration. (United States)

    Huang, Claire Yu-Mei; Zhang, Chuansheng; Zollinger, Daniel R; Leterrier, Christophe; Rasband, Matthew N


    Axons must withstand mechanical forces, including tension, torsion, and compression. Spectrins and actin form a periodic cytoskeleton proposed to protect axons against these forces. However, because spectrins also participate in assembly of axon initial segments (AISs) and nodes of Ranvier, it is difficult to uncouple their roles in maintaining axon integrity from their functions at AIS and nodes. To overcome this problem and to determine the importance of spectrin cytoskeletons for axon integrity, we generated mice with αII spectrin-deficient peripheral sensory neurons. The axons of these neurons are very long and exposed to the mechanical forces associated with limb movement; most lack an AIS, and some are unmyelinated and have no nodes. We analyzed αII spectrin-deficient mice of both sexes and found that, in myelinated axons, αII spectrin forms a periodic cytoskeleton with βIV and βII spectrin at nodes of Ranvier and paranodes, respectively, but that loss of αII spectrin disrupts this organization. Avil-cre;Sptan1 f/f mice have reduced numbers of nodes, disrupted paranodal junctions, and mislocalized Kv1 K + channels. We show that the density of nodal βIV spectrin is constant among axons, but the density of nodal αII spectrin increases with axon diameter. Remarkably, Avil-cre;Sptan1 f/f mice have intact nociception and small-diameter axons, but severe ataxia due to preferential degeneration of large-diameter myelinated axons. Our results suggest that nodal αII spectrin helps resist the mechanical forces experienced by large-diameter axons, and that αII spectrin-dependent cytoskeletons are also required for assembly of nodes of Ranvier. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT A periodic axonal cytoskeleton consisting of actin and spectrin has been proposed to help axons resist the mechanical forces to which they are exposed (e.g., compression, torsion, and stretch). However, until now, no vertebrate animal model has tested the requirement of the spectrin cytoskeleton in

  5. Retinal ganglion cells: Energetics, compartmentation, axonal transport, cytoskeletons and vulnerability. (United States)

    Yu, Dao-Yi; Cringle, Stephen J; Balaratnasingam, Chandrakumar; Morgan, William H; Yu, Paula K; Su, Er-Ning


    Retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) are specialized projection neurons that relay an immense amount of visual information from the retina to the brain. RGC signal inputs are collected by dendrites and output is distributed from the cell body via very thin (0.5-1 μm) and long (∼50 mm) axons. The RGC cell body is larger than other retinal neurons, but is still only a very small fraction (one ten thousandths) of the length and total surface area of the axon. The total distance traversed by RGCs extends from the retina, starting from synapses with bipolar and amacrine cells, to the brain, to synapses with neurons in the lateral geniculate nucleus. This review will focus on the energy demands of RGCs and the relevant tissues that surround them. RGC survival and function unexceptionally depends upon free energy, predominantly adenosine triphosphate (ATP). RGC energy metabolism is vastly different when compared to that of the photoreceptors. Each subcellular component of the RGC is remarkably different in terms of structure, function and extracellular environment. The energy demands and distribution of each component are also distinct as evidenced by the uneven distribution of mitochondria and ATP within the RGC - signifying the presence of intracellular energy gradients. In this review we will describe RGCs as having four subcellular components, (1) Dendrites, (2) Cell body, (3) Non-myelinated axon, including intraocular and optic nerve head portions, and (4) Myelinated axon, including the intra-orbital and intracranial portions. We will also describe how RGCs integrate information from each subcellular component in order achieve intracellular homeostatic stability as well as respond to perturbations in the extracellular environment. The possible cellular mechanisms such as axonal transport and axonal cytoskeleton proteins that are involved in maintaining RGC energy homeostasis during normal and disease conditions will also be discussed in depth. The emphasis of this

  6. Neuronal cytoskeleton in synaptic plasticity and regeneration. (United States)

    Gordon-Weeks, Phillip R; Fournier, Alyson E


    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.

  7. Formation of compact myelin is required for maturation of the axonal cytoskeleton (United States)

    Brady, S. T.; Witt, A. S.; Kirkpatrick, L. L.; de Waegh, S. M.; Readhead, C.; Tu, P. H.; Lee, V. M.


    Although traditional roles ascribed to myelinating glial cells are structural and supportive, the importance of compact myelin for proper functioning of the nervous system can be inferred from mutations in myelin proteins and neuropathologies associated with loss of myelin. Myelinating Schwann cells are known to affect local properties of peripheral axons (de Waegh et al., 1992), but little is known about effects of oligodendrocytes on CNS axons. The shiverer mutant mouse has a deletion in the myelin basic protein gene that eliminates compact myelin in the CNS. In shiverer mice, both local axonal features like phosphorylation of cytoskeletal proteins and neuronal perikaryon functions like cytoskeletal gene expression are altered. This leads to changes in the organization and composition of the axonal cytoskeleton in shiverer unmyelinated axons relative to age-matched wild-type myelinated fibers, although connectivity and patterns of neuronal activity are comparable. Remarkably, transgenic shiverer mice with thin myelin sheaths display an intermediate phenotype indicating that CNS neurons are sensitive to myelin sheath thickness. These results indicate that formation of a normal compact myelin sheath is required for normal maturation of the neuronal cytoskeleton in large CNS neurons.

  8. αII Spectrin Forms a Periodic Cytoskeleton at the Axon Initial Segment and Is Required for Nervous System Function. (United States)

    Huang, Claire Yu-Mei; Zhang, Chuansheng; Ho, Tammy Szu-Yu; Oses-Prieto, Juan; Burlingame, Alma L; Lalonde, Joshua; Noebels, Jeffrey L; Leterrier, Christophe; Rasband, Matthew N


    Spectrins form a submembranous cytoskeleton proposed to confer strength and flexibility to neurons and to participate in ion channel clustering at axon initial segments (AIS) and nodes of Ranvier. Neuronal spectrin cytoskeletons consist of diverse β subunits and αII spectrin. Although αII spectrin is found in neurons in both axonal and somatodendritic domains, using proteomics, biochemistry, and superresolution microscopy, we show that αII and βIV spectrin interact and form a periodic AIS cytoskeleton. To determine the role of spectrins in the nervous system, we generated Sptan1 f/f mice for deletion of CNS αII spectrin. We analyzed αII spectrin-deficient mice of both sexes and found that loss of αII spectrin causes profound reductions in all β spectrins. αII spectrin-deficient mice die before 1 month of age and have disrupted AIS and many other neurological impairments including seizures, disrupted cortical lamination, and widespread neurodegeneration. These results demonstrate the importance of the spectrin cytoskeleton both at the AIS and throughout the nervous system. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Spectrin cytoskeletons play diverse roles in neurons, including assembly of excitable domains such as the axon initial segment (AIS) and nodes of Ranvier. However, the molecular composition and structure of these cytoskeletons remain poorly understood. Here, we show that αII spectrin partners with βIV spectrin to form a periodic cytoskeleton at the AIS. Using a new αII spectrin conditional knock-out mouse, we show that αII spectrin is required for AIS assembly, neuronal excitability, cortical lamination, and to protect against neurodegeneration. These results demonstrate the broad importance of spectrin cytoskeletons for nervous system function and development and have important implications for nervous system injuries and diseases because disruption of the spectrin cytoskeleton is a common molecular pathology. Copyright © 2017 the authors 0270-6474/17/3711311-12$15.00/0.

  9. Infection and Transport of Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 in Neurons: Role of the Cytoskeleton

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    Monica Miranda-Saksena


    Full Text Available Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1 is a neuroinvasive human pathogen that has the ability to infect and replicate within epithelial cells and neurons and establish a life-long latent infection in sensory neurons. HSV-1 depends on the host cellular cytoskeleton for entry, replication, and exit. Therefore, HSV-1 has adapted mechanisms to promote its survival by exploiting the microtubule and actin cytoskeletons to direct its active transport, infection, and spread between neurons and epithelial cells during primary and recurrent infections. This review will focus on the currently known mechanisms utilized by HSV-1 to harness the neuronal cytoskeleton, molecular motors, and the secretory and exocytic pathways for efficient virus entry, axonal transport, replication, assembly, and exit from the distinct functional compartments (cell body and axon of the highly polarized sensory neurons.

  10. Infection and Transport of Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 in Neurons: Role of the Cytoskeleton (United States)


    Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) is a neuroinvasive human pathogen that has the ability to infect and replicate within epithelial cells and neurons and establish a life-long latent infection in sensory neurons. HSV-1 depends on the host cellular cytoskeleton for entry, replication, and exit. Therefore, HSV-1 has adapted mechanisms to promote its survival by exploiting the microtubule and actin cytoskeletons to direct its active transport, infection, and spread between neurons and epithelial cells during primary and recurrent infections. This review will focus on the currently known mechanisms utilized by HSV-1 to harness the neuronal cytoskeleton, molecular motors, and the secretory and exocytic pathways for efficient virus entry, axonal transport, replication, assembly, and exit from the distinct functional compartments (cell body and axon) of the highly polarized sensory neurons. PMID:29473915

  11. Cytoskeleton Molecular Motors: Structures and Their Functions in Neuron. (United States)

    Xiao, Qingpin; Hu, Xiaohui; Wei, Zhiyi; Tam, Kin Yip


    Cells make use of molecular motors to transport small molecules, macromolecules and cellular organelles to target region to execute biological functions, which is utmost important for polarized cells, such as neurons. In particular, cytoskeleton motors play fundamental roles in neuron polarization, extension, shape and neurotransmission. Cytoskeleton motors comprise of myosin, kinesin and cytoplasmic dynein. F-actin filaments act as myosin track, while kinesin and cytoplasmic dynein move on microtubules. Cytoskeleton motors work together to build a highly polarized and regulated system in neuronal cells via different molecular mechanisms and functional regulations. This review discusses the structures and working mechanisms of the cytoskeleton motors in neurons.

  12. Acetylated tau destabilizes the cytoskeleton in the axon initial segment and is mislocalized to the somatodendritic compartment. (United States)

    Sohn, Peter Dongmin; Tracy, Tara E; Son, Hye-In; Zhou, Yungui; Leite, Renata E P; Miller, Bruce L; Seeley, William W; Grinberg, Lea T; Gan, Li


    Neurons are highly polarized cells in which asymmetric axonal-dendritic distribution of proteins is crucial for neuronal function. Loss of polarized distribution of the axonal protein tau is an early sign of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and other neurodegenerative disorders. The cytoskeletal network in the axon initial segment (AIS) forms a barrier between the axon and the somatodentritic compartment, contributing to axonal retention of tau. Although perturbation of the AIS cytoskeleton has been implicated in neurological disorders, the molecular triggers and functional consequence of AIS perturbation are incompletely understood. Here we report that tau acetylation and consequent destabilization of the AIS cytoskeleton promote the somatodendritic mislocalization of tau. AIS cytoskeletal proteins, including ankyrin G and βIV-spectrin, were downregulated in AD brains and negatively correlated with an increase in tau acetylated at K274 and K281. AIS proteins were also diminished in transgenic mice expressing tauK274/281Q, a tau mutant that mimics K274 and K281 acetylation. In primary neuronal cultures, the tauK274/281Q mutant caused hyperdynamic microtubules (MTs) in the AIS, shown by live-imaging of MT mobility and fluorescence recovery after photobleaching. Using photoconvertible tau constructs, we found that axonal tauK274/281Q was missorted into the somatodendritic compartment. Stabilizing MTs with epothilone D to restore the cytoskeletal barrier in the AIS prevented tau mislocalization in primary neuronal cultures. Together, these findings demonstrate that tau acetylation contributes to the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative disease by compromising the cytoskeletal sorting machinery in the AIS.

  13. The cytoskeleton-associated protein SCHIP1 is involved in axon guidance, and is required for piriform cortex and anterior commissure development. (United States)

    Klingler, Esther; Martin, Pierre-Marie; Garcia, Marta; Moreau-Fauvarque, Caroline; Falk, Julien; Chareyre, Fabrice; Giovannini, Marco; Chédotal, Alain; Girault, Jean-Antoine; Goutebroze, Laurence


    SCHIP1 is a cytoplasmic partner of cortical cytoskeleton ankyrins. The IQCJ-SCHIP1 isoform is a component of axon initial segments and nodes of Ranvier of mature axons in peripheral and central nervous systems, where it associates with membrane complexes comprising cell adhesion molecules. SCHIP1 is also expressed in the mouse developing central nervous system during embryonic stages of active axonogenesis. Here, we identify a new and early role for SCHIP1 during axon development and establishment of the anterior commissure (AC). The AC is composed of axons from the piriform cortex, the anterior olfactory nucleus and the amygdala. Schip1 mutant mice displayed early defects in AC development that might result from impaired axon growth and guidance. In addition, mutant mice presented a reduced thickness of the piriform cortex, which affected projection neurons in layers 2/3 and was likely to result from cell death rather than from impairment of neuron generation or migration. Piriform cortex neurons from E14.5 mutant embryos displayed axon initiation/outgrowth delay and guidance defects in vitro. The sensitivity of growth cones to semaphorin 3F and Eph receptor B2, two repulsive guidance cues crucial for AC development, was increased, providing a possible basis for certain fiber tract alterations. Thus, our results reveal new evidence for the involvement of cortical cytoskeleton-associated proteins in the regulation of axon development and their importance for the formation of neuronal circuits. © 2015. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  14. Neuron Morphology Influences Axon Initial Segment Plasticity. (United States)

    Gulledge, Allan T; Bravo, Jaime J


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

  15. Reversible Axonal Dystrophy by Calcium Modulation in Frataxin-Deficient Sensory Neurons of YG8R Mice

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    Belén Mollá


    Full Text Available Friedreich’s ataxia (FRDA is a peripheral neuropathy involving a loss of proprioceptive sensory neurons. Studies of biopsies from patients suggest that axonal dysfunction precedes the death of proprioceptive neurons in a dying-back process. We observed that the deficiency of frataxin in sensory neurons of dorsal root ganglia (DRG of the YG8R mouse model causes the formation of axonal spheroids which retain dysfunctional mitochondria, shows alterations in the cytoskeleton and it produces impairment of axonal transport and autophagic flux. The homogenous distribution of axonal spheroids along the neurites supports the existence of continues focal damages. This lead us to propose for FRDA a model of distal axonopathy based on axonal focal damages. In addition, we observed the involvement of oxidative stress and dyshomeostasis of calcium in axonal spheroid formation generating axonal injury as a primary cause of pathophysiology. Axonal spheroids may be a consequence of calcium imbalance, thus we propose the quenching or removal extracellular Ca2+ to prevent spheroids formation. In our neuronal model, treatments with BAPTA and o-phenanthroline reverted the axonal dystrophy and the mitochondrial dysmorphic parameters. These results support the hypothesis that axonal pathology is reversible in FRDA by pharmacological manipulation of intracellular Ca2+ with Ca2+ chelators or metalloprotease inhibitors, preventing Ca2+-mediated axonal injury. Thus, the modulation of Ca2+ levels may be a relevant therapeutic target to develop early axonal protection and prevent dying-back neurodegeneration.

  16. Developmental time windows for axon growth influence neuronal network topology. (United States)

    Lim, Sol; Kaiser, Marcus


    Early brain connectivity development consists of multiple stages: birth of neurons, their migration and the subsequent growth of axons and dendrites. Each stage occurs within a certain period of time depending on types of neurons and cortical layers. Forming synapses between neurons either by growing axons starting at similar times for all neurons (much-overlapped time windows) or at different time points (less-overlapped) may affect the topological and spatial properties of neuronal networks. Here, we explore the extreme cases of axon formation during early development, either starting at the same time for all neurons (parallel, i.e., maximally overlapped time windows) or occurring for each neuron separately one neuron after another (serial, i.e., no overlaps in time windows). For both cases, the number of potential and established synapses remained comparable. Topological and spatial properties, however, differed: Neurons that started axon growth early on in serial growth achieved higher out-degrees, higher local efficiency and longer axon lengths while neurons demonstrated more homogeneous connectivity patterns for parallel growth. Second, connection probability decreased more rapidly with distance between neurons for parallel growth than for serial growth. Third, bidirectional connections were more numerous for parallel growth. Finally, we tested our predictions with C. elegans data. Together, this indicates that time windows for axon growth influence the topological and spatial properties of neuronal networks opening up the possibility to a posteriori estimate developmental mechanisms based on network properties of a developed network.

  17. Axonal branching patterns of nucleus accumbens neurons in the rat. (United States)

    Tripathi, Anushree; Prensa, Lucía; Cebrián, Carolina; Mengual, Elisa


    The patterns of axonal collateralization of nucleus accumbens (Acb) projection neurons were investigated in the rat by means of single-axon tracing techniques using the anterograde tracer biotinylated dextran amine. Seventy-three axons were fully traced, originating from either the core (AcbC) or shell (AcbSh) compartment, as assessed by differential calbindin D28k-immunoreactivity. Axons from AcbC and AcbSh showed a substantial segregation in their targets; target areas were either exclusively or preferentially innervated from AcbC or AcbSh. Axon collaterals in the subthalamic nucleus were found at higher than expected frequencies; moreover, these originated exclusively in the dorsal AcbC. Intercompartmental collaterals were observed from ventral AcbC axons into AcbSh, and likewise, interconnections at pallidal and mesencephalic levels were also observed, although mostly from AcbC axons toward AcbSh targets, possibly supporting crosstalk between the two subcircuits at several levels. Cell somata giving rise to short-range accumbal axons, projecting to the ventral pallidum (VP), were spatially intermingled with others, giving rise to long-range axons that innervated VP and more caudal targets. This anatomical organization parallels that of the dorsal striatum and provides the basis for possible dual direct and indirect actions from a single axon on either individual or small sets of neurons. Copyright © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  18. Subtypes of GABAergic neurons project axons in the neocortex

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    Shigeyoshi Higo


    Full Text Available γ-aminobutyric acid (GABAergic neurons in the neocortex have been regarded as interneurons and speculated to modulate the activity of neurons locally. Recently, however, several experiments revealed that neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS-positive GABAergic neurons project cortico-cortically with long axons. In this study, we illustrate Golgi-like images of the nNOS-positive GABAergic neurons using a nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate diaphorase (NADPH-d reaction and follow the emanating axon branches in cat brain sections. These axon branches projected cortico-cortically with other non-labeled arcuate fibers, contra-laterally via the corpus callosum and anterior commissure. The labeled fibers were not limited to the neocortex but found also in the fimbria of the hippocampus. In order to have additional information on these GABAergic neuron projections, we investigated green fluorescent protein (GFP-labeled GABAergic neurons in GAD67-Cre knock-in / GFP Cre-reporter mice. GFP-labeled axons emanate densely, especially in the fimbria, a small number in the anterior commissure, and very sparsely in the corpus callosum. These two different approaches confirm that not only nNOS-positive GABAergic neurons but also other subtypes of GABAergic neurons project long axons in the cerebral cortex and are in a position to be involved in information processing.

  19. Axonal dynamics of excitatory and inhibitory neurons in somatosensory cortex.

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    Sally A Marik


    Full Text Available Cortical topography can be remapped as a consequence of sensory deprivation, suggesting that cortical circuits are continually modified by experience. To see the effect of altered sensory experience on specific components of cortical circuits, we imaged neurons, labeled with a genetically modified adeno-associated virus, in the intact mouse somatosensory cortex before and after whisker plucking. Following whisker plucking we observed massive and rapid reorganization of the axons of both excitatory and inhibitory neurons, accompanied by a transient increase in bouton density. For horizontally projecting axons of excitatory neurons there was a net increase in axonal projections from the non-deprived whisker barrel columns into the deprived barrel columns. The axon collaterals of inhibitory neurons located in the deprived whisker barrel columns retracted in the vicinity of their somata and sprouted long-range projections beyond their normal reach towards the non-deprived whisker barrel columns. These results suggest that alterations in the balance of excitation and inhibition in deprived and non-deprived barrel columns underlie the topographic remapping associated with sensory deprivation.

  20. Neuron Morphology Influences Axon Initial Segment Plasticity123 (United States)


    In most vertebrate neurons, action potentials are initiated in the axon initial segment (AIS), a specialized region of the axon containing a high density of voltage-gated sodium and potassium channels. It has recently been proposed that neurons use plasticity of AIS length and/or location to regulate their intrinsic excitability. Here we quantify the impact of neuron morphology on AIS plasticity using computational models of simplified and realistic somatodendritic morphologies. In small neurons (e.g., dentate granule neurons), excitability was highest when the AIS was of intermediate length and located adjacent to the soma. Conversely, neurons having larger dendritic trees (e.g., pyramidal neurons) were most excitable when the AIS was longer and/or located away from the soma. For any given somatodendritic morphology, increasing dendritic membrane capacitance and/or conductance favored a longer and more distally located AIS. Overall, changes to AIS length, with corresponding changes in total sodium conductance, were far more effective in regulating neuron excitability than were changes in AIS location, while dendritic capacitance had a larger impact on AIS performance than did dendritic conductance. The somatodendritic influence on AIS performance reflects modest soma-to-AIS voltage attenuation combined with neuron size-dependent changes in AIS input resistance, effective membrane time constant, and isolation from somatodendritic capacitance. We conclude that the impact of AIS plasticity on neuron excitability will depend largely on somatodendritic morphology, and that, in some neurons, a shorter or more distally located AIS may promote, rather than limit, action potential generation. PMID:27022619

  1. Investigating the Slow Axonal Transport of Neurofilaments: A Precursor for Optimal Neuronal Signaling (United States)

    Johnson, Christopher M.

    Neurofilaments are the intermediate filaments of neurons and are the most abundant structure of the neuronal cytoskeleton. Once synthesized within the cell body they are then transported throughout the axon along microtubule tracks, driven by the molecular motors kinesin and dynein. This movement is characterized by long pauses with no movement interrupted by infrequent bouts of rapid movement, resulting in an aggregate dense cytoskeletal structure, which serves to regulate an axon's shape and size. Curiously, the modulated kinetics of these polymers produces a very regular, yet non-uniform, morphology in myelinated axons which are composed of discretely spaced myelin-ensheathed segments that are separated by short constricted regions called "nodes of Ranvier". This unique design optimizes the conduction velocity of myelinated axons at minimal fiber size. Hence, neurofilaments regulate the axon caliber to optimize neuron function. The goal of this dissertation is to investigate the motile mechanism of neurofilament transport as well as the resulting electrophysiological effects that follow. We start by examining highly time-resolved kymograph images generated from recorded neurofilament movement via epifluorescence microscopy. Using kymograph analysis, edge detection algorithms, and pixel smoothing tactics, neurofilament trajectories are extracted and used to obtain statistical distributions for the characteristics of how these filaments move within cells. The results suggest that the observed intermittent and bidirectional motions of these filaments might be explained by a model in which dynein and kinesin motors attach to a single neurofilament cargo and interact through mechanical forces only (i.e. a "tug-of-war" model). We test this hypothesis by developing two discrete-state stochastic models for the kinetic cycles of kinesin and dynein, which are then incorporated into a separate stochastic model that represents the posed tug-of-war scenario. We then

  2. Pharmacogenetic stimulation of neuronal activity increases myelination in an axon-specific manner. (United States)

    Mitew, Stanislaw; Gobius, Ilan; Fenlon, Laura R; McDougall, Stuart J; Hawkes, David; Xing, Yao Lulu; Bujalka, Helena; Gundlach, Andrew L; Richards, Linda J; Kilpatrick, Trevor J; Merson, Tobias D; Emery, Ben


    Mounting evidence suggests that neuronal activity influences myelination, potentially allowing for experience-driven modulation of neural circuitry. The degree to which neuronal activity is capable of regulating myelination at the individual axon level is unclear. Here we demonstrate that stimulation of somatosensory axons in the mouse brain increases proliferation and differentiation of oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPCs) within the underlying white matter. Stimulated axons display an increased probability of being myelinated compared to neighboring non-stimulated axons, in addition to being ensheathed with thicker myelin. Conversely, attenuating neuronal firing reduces axonal myelination in a selective activity-dependent manner. Our findings reveal that the process of selecting axons for myelination is strongly influenced by the relative activity of individual axons within a population. These observed cellular changes are consistent with the emerging concept that adaptive myelination is a key mechanism for the fine-tuning of neuronal circuitry in the mammalian CNS.

  3. Efficient retrograde transport of pseudorabies virus within neurons requires local protein synthesis in axons. (United States)

    Koyuncu, Orkide O; Perlman, David H; Enquist, Lynn W


    After replicating in epithelial cells, alphaherpesviruses such as pseudorabies virus (PRV) invade axons of peripheral nervous system neurons and undergo retrograde transport toward the distant cell bodies. Although several viral proteins engage molecular motors to facilitate transport, the initial steps and neuronal responses to infection are poorly understood. Using compartmented neuron cultures to physically separate axon infection from cell bodies, we found that PRV infection induces local protein synthesis in axons, including proteins involved in cytoskeletal remodeling, intracellular trafficking, signaling, and metabolism. This rapid translation of axonal mRNAs is required for efficient PRV retrograde transport and infection of cell bodies. Furthermore, induction of axonal damage, which also induces local protein synthesis, prior to infection reduces virion trafficking, suggesting that host damage signals and virus particles compete for retrograde transport. Thus, similar to axonal damage, virus infection induces local protein translation in axons, and viruses likely exploit this response for invasion. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Temperature response of the neuronal cytoskeleton mapped via atomic force and fluorescence microscopy

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    Spedden, Elise; Staii, Cristian; Kaplan, David L


    Neuronal cells change their growth properties in response to external physical stimuli such as variations in external temperature, stiffness of the growth substrate, or topographical guidance cues. Detailed knowledge of the mechanisms that control these biomechanical responses is necessary for understanding the basic principles that underlie neuronal growth and regeneration. Here, we present elasticity maps of living cortical neurons (embryonic rat) as a function of temperature, and correlate these maps to the locations of internal structural components of the cytoskeleton. Neurons display a significant increase in the average elastic modulus upon a decrease in ambient temperature from 37 to 25 °C. We demonstrate that the dominant mechanism by which the elasticity of the neurons changes in response to temperature is the stiffening of the actin components of the cytoskeleton induced by myosin II. We also report a reversible shift in the location and composition of the high-stiffness areas of the neuron cytoskeleton with temperature. At 37 °C the areas of the cell displaying high elastic modulus overlap with the tubulin-dense regions, while at 25 °C these high-stiffness areas correspond to the actin-dense regions of the cytoskeleton. These results demonstrate the importance of considering temperature effects when investigating cytoskeletal dynamics in cells. (paper)

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

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    Thomas R Cheever


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

  6. Optogenetically enhanced axon regeneration: motor versus sensory neuron-specific stimulation. (United States)

    Ward, Patricia J; Clanton, Scott L; English, Arthur W


    Brief neuronal activation in injured peripheral nerves is both necessary and sufficient to enhance motor axon regeneration, and this effect is specific to the activated motoneurons. It is less clear whether sensory neurons respond in a similar manner to neuronal activation following peripheral axotomy. Further, it is unknown to what extent enhancement of axon regeneration with increased neuronal activity relies on a reflexive interaction within the spinal circuitry. We used mouse genetics and optical tools to evaluate the precision and selectivity of system-specific neuronal activation to enhance axon regeneration in a mixed nerve. We evaluated sensory and motor axon regeneration in two different mouse models expressing the light-sensitive cation channel, channelrhodopsin (ChR2). We selectively activated either sensory or motor axons using light stimulation combined with transection and repair of the sciatic nerve. Regardless of genotype, the number of ChR2-positive neurons whose axons had regenerated successfully was greater following system-specific optical treatment, with no effect on the number of ChR2-negative neurons (whether motor or sensory neurons). We conclude that acute system-specific neuronal activation is sufficient to enhance both motor and sensory axon regeneration. This regeneration-enhancing effect is likely cell autonomous. © 2018 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  7. Muscle and motor neuron ciliary neurotrophic factor receptor α together maintain adult motor neuron axons in vivo. (United States)

    Lee, Nancy; Serbinski, Carolyn R; Braunlin, Makayla R; Rasch, Matthew S; Rydyznski, Carolyn E; MacLennan, A John


    The molecular mechanisms maintaining adult motor innervation are comparatively unexplored relative to those involved during development. In addition to the fundamental neuroscience question, this area has important clinical ramifications given that loss of neuromuscular contact is thought to underlie several adult onset human neuromuscular diseases including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Indirect evidence suggests that ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF) receptors may contribute to adult motor neuron axon maintenance. To directly address this in vivo, we used adult onset mouse genetic disruption techniques to deplete motor neuron and muscle CNTF receptor α (CNTFRα), the essential ligand binding subunit of the receptor, and incorporated reporters labelling affected motor neuron axons and terminals. The combined depletion of motor neuron and muscle CNTFRα produced a large loss of motor neuron terminals and retrograde labelling of motor neurons with FluoroGold indicated axon die-back well beyond muscle, together revealing an essential role for CNTFRα in adult motor axon maintenance. In contrast, selective depletion of motor neuron CNTFRα did not affect motor innervation. These data, along with our previous work indicating no effect of muscle specific CNTFRα depletion on motor innervation, suggest that motor neuron and muscle CNTFRα function in concert to maintain motor neuron axons. The data also raise the possibility of motor neuron and/or muscle CNTFRα as therapeutic targets for adult neuromuscular denervating diseases. © 2016 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  8. A high mitochondrial transport rate characterizes CNS neurons with high axonal regeneration capacity.

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    Romain Cartoni

    Full Text Available Improving axonal transport in the injured and diseased central nervous system has been proposed as a promising strategy to improve neuronal repair. However, the contribution of each cargo to the repair mechanism is unknown. DRG neurons globally increase axonal transport during regeneration. Because the transport of specific cargos after axonal insult has not been examined systematically in a model of enhanced regenerative capacity, it is unknown whether the transport of all cargos would be modulated equally in injured central nervous system neurons. Here, using a microfluidic culture system we compared neurons co-deleted for PTEN and SOCS3, an established model of high axonal regeneration capacity, to control neurons. We measured the axonal transport of three cargos (mitochondria, synaptic vesicles and late endosomes in regenerating axons and found that the transport of mitochondria, but not the other cargos, was increased in PTEN/SOCS3 co-deleted axons relative to controls. The results reported here suggest a pivotal role for this organelle during axonal regeneration.

  9. Rho-independent stimulation of axon outgrowth and activation of the ERK and Akt signaling pathways by C3 transferase in sensory neurons

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    Maria eAuer


    Full Text Available Peripheral nerve injury triggers the activation of RhoA in spinal motor and peripheral sensory neurons. RhoA activates a number of effector proteins including the Rho-associated kinase, ROCK, which targets the cytoskeleton and leads to inhibition of neurite outgrowth. Blockade of the Rho/ROCK pathway by pharmacological means improves axon regeneration after experimental injury. C3bot transferase, an exoenzyme produced by Clostridium botulinum, inactivates RhoA by ADP-ribosylation. Up to now it was not investigated thoroughly whether C3bot exerts positive effects on peripheral axon regeneration as well. In the present study, recombinant membrane permeable C3bot produced a small, but significant, axon outgrowth effect on peripheral sensory neurons dissociated from adult dorsal root ganglia of the rat. Neuronal overexpression of C3, however, did not enhance axonal growth. Moreover, transfection of plasmids encoding dominant negative RhoA or RhoA specific shRNAs failed to increase axonal growth. Furthermore, we show that the C3bot mutant, C3E174Q, which lacks RhoA inhibitory activity, still stimulates axonal growth. When analyzing possible signaling mechanisms we found that ERK (extracellular signal-regulated kinase and Akt are activated by C3bot and ERK is induced by the C3E174Q mutant. Upregulation of kinase activities by C3bot occurs significantly faster than inactivation of RhoA indicating a RhoA-independent pathway of action by C3bot. The induction of ERK signaling by C3bot was detected in embryonic hippocampal neurons, too. Taken together, although RhoA plays a central role for inhibition of axon outgrowth by myelin-derived inhibitors, it does not interfere with axonal growth of sensory neurons on a permissive substrate in vitro. C3bot blocks neuronal RhoA activity, but its positive effects on axon elongation and branching appear to be mediated by Rho independent mechanisms involving activation of axon growth promoting ERK and Akt kinases.

  10. Local gene expression in axons and nerve endings: the glia-neuron unit. (United States)

    Giuditta, Antonio; Chun, Jong Tai; Eyman, Maria; Cefaliello, Carolina; Bruno, Anna Paola; Crispino, Marianna


    Neurons have complex and often extensively elongated processes. This unique cell morphology raises the problem of how remote neuronal territories are replenished with proteins. For a long time, axonal and presynaptic proteins were thought to be exclusively synthesized in the cell body, which delivered them to peripheral sites by axoplasmic transport. Despite this early belief, protein has been shown to be synthesized in axons and nerve terminals, substantially alleviating the trophic burden of the perikaryon. This observation raised the question of the cellular origin of the peripheral RNAs involved in protein synthesis. The synthesis of these RNAs was initially attributed to the neuron soma almost by default. However, experimental data and theoretical considerations support the alternative view that axonal and presynaptic RNAs are also transcribed in the flanking glial cells and transferred to the axon domain of mature neurons. Altogether, these data suggest that axons and nerve terminals are served by a distinct gene expression system largely independent of the neuron cell body. Such a local system would allow the neuron periphery to respond promptly to environmental stimuli. This view has the theoretical merit of extending to axons and nerve terminals the marginalized concept of a glial supply of RNA (and protein) to the neuron cell body. Most long-term plastic changes requiring de novo gene expression occur in these domains, notably in presynaptic endings, despite their intrinsic lack of transcriptional capacity. This review enlightens novel perspectives on the biology and pathobiology of the neuron by critically reviewing these issues.

  11. CSPGs inhibit axon branching by impairing mitochondria-dependent regulation of actin dynamics and axonal translation. (United States)

    Sainath, Rajiv; Ketschek, Andrea; Grandi, Leah; Gallo, Gianluca


    Chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans (CSPGs) inhibit the formation of axon collateral branches. The regulation of the axonal cytoskeleton and mitochondria are important components of the mechanism of branching. Actin-dependent axonal plasticity, reflected in the dynamics of axonal actin patches and filopodia, is greatest along segments of the axon populated by mitochondria. It is reported that CSPGs partially depolarize the membrane potential of axonal mitochondria, which impairs the dynamics of the axonal actin cytoskeleton and decreases the formation and duration of axonal filopodia, the first steps in the mechanism of branching. The effects of CSPGs on actin cytoskeletal dynamics are specific to axon segments populated by mitochondria. In contrast, CSPGs do not affect the microtubule content of axons, or the localization of microtubules into axonal filopodia, a required step in the mechanism of branch formation. It is also reported that CSPGs decrease the mitochondria-dependent axonal translation of cortactin, an actin associated protein involved in branching. Finally, the inhibitory effects of CSPGs on axon branching, actin cytoskeletal dynamics and the axonal translation of cortactin are reversed by culturing neurons with acetyl-l-carnitine, which promotes mitochondrial respiration. Collectively these data indicate that CSPGs impair mitochondrial function in axons, an effect which contributes to the inhibition of axon branching. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Develop Neurobiol 77: 419-437, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  12. A comparative study of the effect of oxidative stress on the cytoskeleton in human cortical neurons

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    Allani, Pramod K.; Sum, Tak; Bhansali, Suraj G.; Mukherjee, Suman K.; Sonee, Manisha


    Cytoskeleton disruption is a process by which oxidative stress disrupts cellular function. This study compares and contrasts the effect of oxidative stress on the three major cytoskeleton filaments, microfilaments (MFs), microtubule (MT), and vimentin in human cortical neuronal cell line (HCN2). HCN2 cells were treated with 100 μM tertiary butylhydroperoxide (t-BuOOH), a free radical generating neurotoxin for 1, 3, or 6 h. Cell viability studies demonstrated significant cell death although the morphology studies showed that there was a substantial loss in neurites of neurons treated with t-BuOOH for 6 h. Because the cytoskeleton plays a role in neurite outgrowth, the effect of oxidative stress on the cytoskeletal was studied. In neurons subjected to oxidative stress for 30 min or 1 h, there were no major changes in microfilament distribution though there was altered distribution of microtubule and vimentin filaments as compared to controls. However, loss and disruption of all the three cytoskeletal filaments was observed at later times (3 and 6 h), which was confirmed by Western Blot analysis. Further studies were done to measure the gene expression levels of actin, tubulin, and vimentin. Results indicated that the overall loss of the cytoskeletal proteins in neurons treated with free radical generating toxin might not be a direct result of the downregulation of the cytoskeletal genes. This study shows that free radical generation in human neurons leads to the disruption of the cytoskeleton, though there may be a difference in the susceptibility to oxidative stress among the individual components of the cytoskeletal filaments

  13. Axonal branching patterns of ventral pallidal neurons in the rat. (United States)

    Tripathi, Anushree; Prensa, Lucía; Mengual, Elisa


    The ventral pallidum (VP) is a key component of the cortico-basal ganglia circuits that process motivational and emotional information, and also a crucial site for reward. Although the main targets of the two VP compartments, medial (VPm) and lateral (VPl) have already been established, the collateralization patterns of individual axons have not previously been investigated. Here we have fully traced eighty-four axons from VPm, VPl and the rostral extension of VP into the olfactory tubercle (VPr), using the anterograde tracer biotinylated dextran amine in the rat. Thirty to fifty percent of axons originating from VPm and VPr collateralized in the mediodorsal thalamic nucleus and lateral habenula, indicating a close association between the ventral basal ganglia-thalamo-cortical loop and the reward network at the single axon level. Additional collateralization of these axons in diverse components of the extended amygdala and corticopetal system supports a multisystem integration that may take place at the basal forebrain. Remarkably, we did not find evidence for a sharp segregation in the targets of axons arising from the two VP compartments, as VPl axons frequently collateralized in the caudal lateral hypothalamus and ventral tegmental area, the well-known targets of VPm, while VPm axons, in turn, also collateralized in typical VPl targets such as the subthalamic nucleus, substantia nigra pars compacta and reticulata, and retrorubral field. Nevertheless, VPl and VPm displayed collateralization patterns that paralleled those of dorsal pallidal components, confirming at the single axon level the parallel organization of functionally different basal ganglia loops.

  14. Neurobiology of axonal transport defects in motor neuron diseases: Opportunities for translational research? (United States)

    De Vos, Kurt J; Hafezparast, Majid


    Intracellular trafficking of cargoes is an essential process to maintain the structure and function of all mammalian cell types, but especially of neurons because of their extreme axon/dendrite polarisation. Axonal transport mediates the movement of cargoes such as proteins, mRNA, lipids, membrane-bound vesicles and organelles that are mostly synthesised in the cell body and in doing so is responsible for their correct spatiotemporal distribution in the axon, for example at specialised sites such as nodes of Ranvier and synaptic terminals. In addition, axonal transport maintains the essential long-distance communication between the cell body and synaptic terminals that allows neurons to react to their surroundings via trafficking of for example signalling endosomes. Axonal transport defects are a common observation in a variety of neurodegenerative diseases, and mutations in components of the axonal transport machinery have unequivocally shown that impaired axonal transport can cause neurodegeneration (reviewed in El-Kadi et al., 2007, De Vos et al., 2008; Millecamps and Julien, 2013). Here we review our current understanding of axonal transport defects and the role they play in motor neuron diseases (MNDs) with a specific focus on the most common form of MND, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. C. elegans ZAG-1, a Zn-finger-homeodomain protein, regulates axonal development and neuronal differentiation. (United States)

    Clark, Scott G; Chiu, Catherine


    Neurons acquire distinct cell identities and implement differential gene programs to generate their appropriate neuronal attributes. On the basis of position, axonal structure and synaptic connectivity, the 302 neurons of the nematode Ceanorhabditis elegans are divided into 118 classes. The development and differentiation of many neurons require the gene zag-1, which encodes a deltaEF1/ZFH-1 Zn-finger-homeodomain protein. zag-1 mutations cause misexpression of neuron-specific genes, block formation of stereotypic axon branches, perturb neuronal migrations, and induce various axon-guidance, fasciculation and branching errors. A zag-1-GFP translational reporter is expressed transiently in most or all neurons during embryogenesis and in select neurons during the first larval stage. Analysis of the zag-1 promoter reveals that zag-1 is expressed in neurons and specific muscles, and that ZAG-1 directly represses its own expression. zag-1 activity also downregulates expression of genes involved in either the synthesis or reuptake of serotonin, dopamine and GABA. We propose that ZAG-1 acts as a transcriptional repressor to regulate multiple, discrete, neuron-specific aspects of terminal differentiation, including cell migration, axonal development and gene expression.

  16. Axonal sodium channel distribution shapes the depolarized action potential threshold of dentate granule neurons. (United States)

    Kress, Geraldine J; Dowling, Margaret J; Eisenman, Lawrence N; Mennerick, Steven


    Intrinsic excitability is a key feature dictating neuronal response to synaptic input. Here we investigate the recent observation that dentate granule neurons exhibit a more depolarized voltage threshold for action potential initiation than CA3 pyramidal neurons. We find no evidence that tonic GABA currents, leak or voltage-gated potassium conductances, or the expression of sodium channel isoform differences can explain this depolarized threshold. Axonal initial segment voltage-gated sodium channels, which are dominated by the Na(V)1.6 isoform in both cell types, distribute more proximally and exhibit lower overall density in granule neurons than in CA3 neurons. To test possible contributions of sodium channel distributions to voltage threshold and to test whether morphological differences participate, we performed simulations of dentate granule neurons and of CA3 pyramidal neurons. These simulations revealed that cell morphology and sodium channel distribution combine to yield the characteristic granule neuron action potential upswing and voltage threshold. Proximal axon sodium channel distribution strongly contributes to the higher voltage threshold of dentate granule neurons for two reasons. First, action potential initiation closer to the somatodendritic current sink causes the threshold of the initiating axon compartment to rise. Second, the proximity of the action potential initiation site to the recording site causes somatic recordings to more faithfully reflect the depolarized threshold of the axon than in cells like CA3 neurons, with distally initiating action potentials. Our results suggest that the proximal location of axon sodium channels in dentate granule neurons contributes to the intrinsic excitability differences between DG and CA3 neurons and may participate in the low-pass filtering function of dentate granule neurons. (c) 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  17. Astrocyte-neuron interaction in diphenyl ditelluride toxicity directed to the cytoskeleton. (United States)

    Heimfarth, Luana; da Silva Ferreira, Fernanda; Pierozan, Paula; Mingori, Moara Rodrigues; Moreira, José Cláudio Fonseca; da Rocha, João Batista Teixeira; Pessoa-Pureur, Regina


    Diphenylditelluride (PhTe) 2 is a neurotoxin that disrupts cytoskeletal homeostasis. We are showing that different concentrations of (PhTe) 2 caused hypophosphorylation of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), vimentin and neurofilament subunits (NFL, NFM and NFH) and altered actin organization in co-cultured astrocytes and neurons from cerebral cortex of rats. These mechanisms were mediated by N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptors without participation of either L-type voltage-dependent calcium channels (L-VDCC) or metabotropic glutamate receptors. Upregulated Ca 2+ influx downstream of NMDA receptors activated Ca 2+ -dependent protein phosphatase 2B (PP2B) causing hypophosphorylation of astrocyte and neuron IFs. Immunocytochemistry showed that hypophosphorylated intermediate filaments (IF) failed to disrupt their organization into the cytoskeleton. However, phalloidin-actin-FITC stained cytoskeleton evidenced misregulation of actin distribution, cell spreading and increased stress fibers in astrocytes. βIII tubulin staining showed that neurite meshworks are not altered by (PhTe) 2 , suggesting greater susceptibility of astrocytes than neurons to (PheTe) 2 toxicity. These findings indicate that signals leading to IF hypophosphorylation fail to disrupt the cytoskeletal IF meshwork of interacting astrocytes and neurons in vitro however astrocyte actin network seems more susceptible. Our findings support that intracellular Ca 2+ is one of the crucial signals that modulate the action of (PhTe) 2 in co-cultured astrocytes and neurons and highlights the cytoskeleton as an end-point of the neurotoxicity of this compound. Cytoskeletal misregulation is associated with cell dysfunction, therefore, the understanding of the molecular mechanisms mediating the neurotoxicity of this compound is a matter of increasing interest since tellurium compounds are increasingly released in the environment. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. En masse in vitro functional profiling of the axonal mechanosensitivity of sensory neurons. (United States)

    Usoskin, Dmitry; Zilberter, Misha; Linnarsson, Sten; Hjerling-Leffler, Jens; Uhlén, Per; Harkany, Tibor; Ernfors, Patrik


    Perception of the environment relies on somatosensory neurons. Mechanosensory, proprioceptor and many nociceptor subtypes of these neurons have specific mechanosensitivity profiles to adequately differentiate stimulus patterns. Nevertheless, the cellular basis of differential mechanosensation remains largely elusive. Successful transduction of sensory information relies on the recruitment of sensory neurons and mechanosensation occurring at their peripheral axonal endings in vivo. Conspicuously, existing in vitro models aimed to decipher molecular mechanisms of mechanosensation test single sensory neuron somata at any one time. Here, we introduce a compartmental in vitro chamber design to deliver precisely controlled mechanical stimulation of sensory axons with synchronous real-time imaging of Ca(2+) transients in neuronal somata that reliably reflect action potential firing patterns. We report of three previously not characterized types of mechanosensitive neuron subpopulations with distinct intrinsic axonal properties tuned specifically to static indentation or vibration stimuli, showing that different classes of sensory neurons are tuned to specific types of mechanical stimuli. Primary receptor currents of vibration neurons display rapidly adapting conductance reliably detected for every single stimulus during vibration and are consistently converted into action potentials. This result allows for the characterization of two critical steps of mechanosensation in vivo: primary signal detection and signal conversion into specific action potential firing patterns in axons.

  19. Primary neuron culture for nerve growth and axon guidance studies in zebrafish (Danio rerio.

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    Zheyan Chen

    Full Text Available Zebrafish (Danio rerio is a widely used model organism in genetics and developmental biology research. Genetic screens have proven useful for studying embryonic development of the nervous system in vivo, but in vitro studies utilizing zebrafish have been limited. Here, we introduce a robust zebrafish primary neuron culture system for functional nerve growth and guidance assays. Distinct classes of central nervous system neurons from the spinal cord, hindbrain, forebrain, and retina from wild type zebrafish, and fluorescent motor neurons from transgenic reporter zebrafish lines, were dissociated and plated onto various biological and synthetic substrates to optimize conditions for axon outgrowth. Time-lapse microscopy revealed dynamically moving growth cones at the tips of extending axons. The mean rate of axon extension in vitro was 21.4±1.2 µm hr(-1 s.e.m. for spinal cord neurons, which corresponds to the typical ∼0.5 mm day(-1 growth rate of nerves in vivo. Fluorescence labeling and confocal microscopy demonstrated that bundled microtubules project along axons to the growth cone central domain, with filamentous actin enriched in the growth cone peripheral domain. Importantly, the growth cone surface membrane expresses receptors for chemotropic factors, as detected by immunofluorescence microscopy. Live-cell functional assays of axon extension and directional guidance demonstrated mammalian brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF-dependent stimulation of outgrowth and growth cone chemoattraction, whereas mammalian myelin-associated glycoprotein inhibited outgrowth. High-resolution live-cell Ca(2+-imaging revealed local elevation of cytoplasmic Ca(2+ concentration in the growth cone induced by BDNF application. Moreover, BDNF-induced axon outgrowth, but not basal outgrowth, was blocked by treatments to suppress cytoplasmic Ca(2+ signals. Thus, this primary neuron culture model system may be useful for studies of neuronal development

  20. Patterns of axonal branching of neurons of the substantia nigra pars reticulata and pars lateralis in the rat. (United States)

    Cebrián, Carolina; Parent, André; Prensa, Lucía


    Axons from neurons of the rat substantia nigra pars reticulata (SNr) and pars lateralis (SNl) were traced after injecting their cell body with biotinylated dextran amine. Thirty-two single axons were reconstructed from serial sagittal sections with a camera lucida, whereas four other SNr axons were reconstructed in the coronal plane to determine whether they innervate the contralateral hemisphere. Four distinct types of SNr projection neurons were identified based on their main axonal targets: type I neurons that project to the thalamus; type II neurons that target the thalamus, the superior colliculus (SC), and the pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus (PPTg); type III neurons that project to the periaqueductal gray matter and the thalamus; and type IV neurons that target the deep mesencephalic nucleus (DpMe) and the SC. The axons of the SNl showed the same branching patterns as SNr axons of types I, II, and IV. The coronal reconstructions demonstrated that SNr neurons innervate the thalamus, the SC, and the DpMe bilaterally. At the thalamic level, SNr and SNl axons targeted preferentially the ventral medial, ventral lateral, paracentral, parafascicular, and mediodorsal nuclei. Axons reaching the SC arborized selectively within the deep layers of this structure. Our results reveal that the SNr and SNl harbor several subtypes of projection neurons endowed with a highly patterned set of axon collaterals. This organization allows single neurons of these output structures of the basal ganglia to exert a multifaceted influence on a wide variety of diencephalic and midbrain structures. (c) 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  1. Axonal and presynaptic protein synthesis: new insights into the biology of the neuron. (United States)

    Giuditta, Antonio; Kaplan, Barry B; van Minnen, Jan; Alvarez, Jaime; Koenig, Edward


    The presence of a local mRNA translation system in axons and terminals was proposed almost 40 years ago. Over the ensuing period, an impressive body of evidence has grown to support this proposal -- yet the nerve cell body is still considered to be the only source of axonal and presynaptic proteins. To dispel this lingering neglect, we now present the wealth of recent observations bearing on this central idea, and consider their impact on our understanding of the biology of the neuron. We demonstrate that extrasomatic translation sites, which are now well recognized in dendrites, are also present in axonal and presynaptic compartments.

  2. Selective axonal growth of embryonic hippocampal neurons according to topographic features of various sizes and shapes

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    Christine E Schmidt


    Full Text Available David Y Fozdar1*, Jae Y Lee2*, Christine E Schmidt2–6, Shaochen Chen1,3–5,7,1Departments of Mechanical Engineering, 2Chemical Engineering, 3Biomedical Engineering; 4Center for Nano Molecular Science and Technology; 5Texas Materials Institute; 6Institute of Neuroscience; 7Microelectronics Research Center, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX, USA *Contributed equally to this workPurpose: Understanding how surface features influence the establishment and outgrowth of the axon of developing neurons at the single cell level may aid in designing implantable scaffolds for the regeneration of damaged nerves. Past studies have shown that micropatterned ridge-groove structures not only instigate axon polarization, alignment, and extension, but are also preferred over smooth surfaces and even neurotrophic ligands.Methods: Here, we performed axonal-outgrowth competition assays using a proprietary four-quadrant topography grid to determine the capacity of various micropatterned topographies to act as stimuli sequestering axon extension. Each topography in the grid consisted of an array of microscale (approximately 2 µm or submicroscale (approximately 300 nm holes or lines with variable dimensions. Individual rat embryonic hippocampal cells were positioned either between two juxtaposing topographies or at the borders of individual topographies juxtaposing unpatterned smooth surface, cultured for 24 hours, and analyzed with respect to axonal selection using conventional imaging techniques.Results: Topography was found to influence axon formation and extension relative to smooth surface, and the distance of neurons relative to topography was found to impact whether the topography could serve as an effective cue. Neurons were also found to prefer submicroscale over microscale features and holes over lines for a given feature size.Conclusion: The results suggest that implementing physical cues of various shapes and sizes on nerve guidance conduits

  3. Neuronal PTEN deletion in adult cortical neurons triggers progressive growth of cell bodies, dendrites, and axons. (United States)

    Gallent, Erin A; Steward, Oswald


    Deletion of the phosphatase and tensin (PTEN) gene in neonatal mice leads to enlargement of the cell bodies of cortical motoneurons (CMNs) in adulthood (Gutilla et al., 2016). Here, we assessed whether PTEN deletion in adult mice would trigger growth of mature neurons. PTEN was deleted by injecting AAV-Cre into the sensorimotor cortex of adult transgenic mice with a lox-P flanked exon 5 of the PTEN gene and Cre-dependent reporter gene tdTomato. PTEN-deleted CMN's identified by tdT expression and retrograde labeling with fluorogold (FG) were significantly enlarged four months following PTEN deletion, and continued to increase in size through the latest time intervals examined (12-15 months post-deletion). Sholl analyses of tdT-positive pyramidal neurons revealed increases in dendritic branches at 6 months following adult PTEN deletion, and greater increases at 12 months. 12 months after adult PTEN deletion, axons in the medullary pyramids were significantly larger and G-ratios were higher. Mice with PTEN deletion exhibited no overt neurological symptoms and no seizures. Assessment of motor function on the rotarod and cylinder test revealed slight impairment of coordination with unilateral deletion; however, mice with bilateral PTEN deletion in the motor cortex performed better than controls on the rotarod at 8 and 10 months post-deletion. Our findings demonstrate that robust neuronal growth can be induced in fully mature cortical neurons long after the developmental period has ended and that this continuous growth occurs without obvious functional impairments. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Cryo Electron Tomography of Herpes Simplex Virus during Axonal Transport and Secondary Envelopment in Primary Neurons (United States)

    Ibiricu, Iosune; Huiskonen, Juha T.; Döhner, Katinka; Bradke, Frank; Sodeik, Beate; Grünewald, Kay


    During herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV1) egress in neurons, viral particles travel from the neuronal cell body along the axon towards the synapse. Whether HSV1 particles are transported as enveloped virions as proposed by the ‘married’ model or as non-enveloped capsids suggested by the ‘separate’ model is controversial. Specific viral proteins may form a recruitment platform for microtubule motors that catalyze such transport. However, their subviral location has remained elusive. Here we established a system to analyze herpesvirus egress by cryo electron tomography. At 16 h post infection, we observed intra-axonal transport of progeny HSV1 viral particles in dissociated hippocampal neurons by live-cell fluorescence microscopy. Cryo electron tomography of frozen-hydrated neurons revealed that most egressing capsids were transported independently of the viral envelope. Unexpectedly, we found not only DNA-containing capsids (cytosolic C-capsids), but also capsids lacking DNA (cytosolic A-/B-capsids) in mid-axon regions. Subvolume averaging revealed lower amounts of tegument on cytosolic A-/B-capsids than on C-capsids. Nevertheless, all capsid types underwent active axonal transport. Therefore, even few tegument proteins on the capsid vertices seemed to suffice for transport. Secondary envelopment of capsids was observed at axon terminals. On their luminal face, the enveloping vesicles were studded with typical glycoprotein-like spikes. Furthermore, we noted an accretion of tegument density at the concave cytosolic face of the vesicle membrane in close proximity to the capsids. Three-dimensional analysis revealed that these assembly sites lacked cytoskeletal elements, but that filamentous actin surrounded them and formed an assembly compartment. Our data support the ‘separate model’ for HSV1 egress, i.e. progeny herpes viruses being transported along axons as subassemblies and not as complete virions within transport vesicles. PMID:22194682

  5. Optically-Induced Neuronal Activity Is Sufficient to Promote Functional Motor Axon Regeneration In Vivo.

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    Patricia J Ward

    Full Text Available Peripheral nerve injuries are common, and functional recovery is very poor. Beyond surgical repair of the nerve, there are currently no treatment options for these patients. In experimental models of nerve injury, interventions (such as exercise and electrical stimulation that increase neuronal activity of the injured neurons effectively enhance axon regeneration. Here, we utilized optogenetics to determine whether increased activity alone is sufficient to promote motor axon regeneration. In thy-1-ChR2/YFP transgenic mice in which a subset of motoneurons express the light-sensitive cation channel, channelrhodopsin (ChR2, we activated axons in the sciatic nerve using blue light immediately prior to transection and surgical repair of the sciatic nerve. At four weeks post-injury, direct muscle EMG responses evoked with both optical and electrical stimuli as well as the ratio of these optical/electrical evoked EMG responses were significantly greater in mice that received optical treatment. Thus, significantly more ChR2+ axons successfully re-innervated the gastrocnemius muscle in mice that received optical treatment. Sections of the gastrocnemius muscles were reacted with antibodies to Synaptic Vesicle Protein 2 (SV2 to quantify the number of re-occupied motor endplates. The number of SV2+ endplates was greater in mice that received optical treatment. The number of retrogradely-labeled motoneurons following intramuscular injection of cholera toxin subunit B (conjugated to Alexa Fluor 555 was greater in mice that received optical treatment. Thus, the acute (1 hour, one-time optical treatment resulted in robust, long-lasting effects compared to untreated animals as well as untreated axons (ChR2-. We conclude that neuronal activation is sufficient to promote motor axon regeneration, and this regenerative effect is specific to the activated neurons.

  6. Schwann Cell Exosomes Mediate Neuron-Glia Communication and Enhance Axonal Regeneration. (United States)

    Lopez-Leal, Rodrigo; Court, Felipe A


    The functional and structural integrity of the nervous system depends on the coordinated action of neurons and glial cells. Phenomena like synaptic activity, conduction of action potentials, and neuronal growth and regeneration, to name a few, are fine tuned by glial cells. Furthermore, the active role of glial cells in the regulation of neuronal functions is underscored by several conditions in which specific mutation affecting the glia results in axonal dysfunction. We have shown that Schwann cells (SCs), the peripheral nervous system glia, supply axons with ribosomes, and since proteins underlie cellular programs or functions, this dependence of axons from glial cells provides a new and unexplored dimension to our understanding of the nervous system. Recent evidence has now established a new modality of intercellular communication through extracellular vesicles. We have already shown that SC-derived extracellular vesicles known as exosomes enhance axonal regeneration, and increase neuronal survival after pro-degenerative stimuli. Therefore, the biology nervous system will have to be reformulated to include that the phenotype of a nerve cell results from the contribution of two nuclei, with enormous significance for the understanding of the nervous system in health and disease.

  7. The atypical homeoprotein Pbx1a participates in the axonal pathfinding of mesencephalic dopaminergic neurons

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    Sgadò Paola


    Full Text Available Abstract Background The pre B-cell leukemia transcription factor 1 (Pbx1 genes belong to the three amino acid loop extension family of homeodomain proteins that form hetero-oligomeric complexes with other homeodomain transcription factors, thereby modulating target specificity, DNA binding affinity and transcriptional activity of their molecular associates. Results Here, we provide evidence that Pbx1 is expressed in mesencephalic dopaminergic neurons from embryonic day 11 into adulthood and determines some of the cellular properties of this neuronal population. In Pbx1-deficient mice, the mesencephalic dopaminergic axons stall during mid-gestation at the border between di- and telencephalon before entering the ganglionic eminence, leading to a loose organization of the axonal bundle and partial misrouting. In Pbx1-deficient dopaminergic neurons, the high affinity netrin-1 receptor, deleted in colon cancer (DCC, is down-regulated. Interestingly, we found several conserved Pbx1 binding sites in the first intron of DCC, suggesting a direct regulation of DCC transcription by Pbx1. Conclusions The expression of Pbx1 in dopaminergic neurons and its regulation of DCC expression make it an important player in defining the axonal guidance of the midbrain dopaminergic neurons, with possible implications for the normal physiology of the nigro-striatal system as well as processes related to the degeneration of neurons during the course of Parkinson’s disease.

  8. The effects of fluoride on neuronal function occurs via cytoskeleton damage and decreased signal transmission. (United States)

    Chen, Lingli; Ning, Hongmei; Yin, Zhihong; Song, Xiaochao; Feng, Yongchao; Qin, Hao; Li, Yi; Wang, Jundong; Ge, Yaming; Wang, Wenkui


    It has been reported that fluoride exposure may cause serious public health problems, particularly neurotoxicity. However, the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. This study used Neuro-2A cells to investigate the effects of fluoride on the cytoskeleton. The Neuro-2A cells were exposed to 0, 1, 2, 4 and 6 mM sodium fluoride (NaF) for 24 h. Cell viability and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) release were examined. It was observed that exposure to NaF reduced cell viability, disrupted cellular membrane integrity, and high levels of LDH were released. The observed changes occurred in a dose response manner. Morphologic observations showed that cell became rounded and were loosely adherent following exposure to NaF. Axon spines and normal features disappeared with high dose NaF treatment. The expression of MAP2 and synaptophysin decreased, particularly at 4 mM and 6 mM (P fluoride-induced neurotoxicity. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Distinct kinetics of inhibitory currents in thalamocortical neurons that arise from dendritic or axonal origin.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sunggu Yang

    Full Text Available Thalamocortical neurons in the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus (dLGN transfer visual information from retina to primary visual cortex. This information is modulated by inhibitory input arising from local interneurons and thalamic reticular nucleus (TRN neurons, leading to alterations of receptive field properties of thalamocortical neurons. Local GABAergic interneurons provide two distinct synaptic outputs: axonal (F1 terminals and dendritic (F2 terminals onto dLGN thalamocortical neurons. By contrast, TRN neurons provide only axonal output (F1 terminals onto dLGN thalamocortical neurons. It is unclear if GABAA receptor-mediated currents originating from F1 and F2 terminals have different characteristics. In the present study, we examined multiple characteristics (rise time, slope, halfwidth and decay τ of GABAA receptor-mediated miniature inhibitory postsynaptic synaptic currents (mIPSCs originating from F1 and F2 terminals. The mIPSCs arising from F2 terminals showed slower kinetics relative to those from F1 terminals. Such differential kinetics of GABAAR-mediated responses could be an important role in temporal coding of visual signals.

  10. Chlorpyrifos exerts opposing effects on axonal and dendritic growth in primary neuronal cultures

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Howard, Angela S.; Bucelli, Robert; Jett, David A.; Bruun, Donald; Yang, Dongren; Lein, Pamela J.


    Evidence that children are widely exposed to organophosphorus pesticides (OPs) and that OPs cause developmental neurotoxicity in animal models raises significant concerns about the risks these compounds pose to the developing human nervous system. Critical to assessing this risk is identifying specific neurodevelopmental events targeted by OPs. Observations that OPs alter brain morphometry in developing rodents and inhibit neurite outgrowth in neural cell lines suggest that OPs perturb neuronal morphogenesis. However, an important question yet to be answered is whether the dysmorphogenic effect of OPs reflects perturbation of axonal or dendritic growth. We addressed this question by quantifying axonal and dendritic growth in primary cultures of embryonic rat sympathetic neurons derived from superior cervical ganglia (SCG) following in vitro exposure to chlorpyrifos (CPF) or its metabolites CPF-oxon (CPFO) and trichloropyridinol (TCP). Axon outgrowth was significantly inhibited by CPF or CPFO, but not TCP, at concentrations ≥0.001 μM or 0.001 nM, respectively. In contrast, all three compounds enhanced BMP-induced dendritic growth. Acetylcholinesterase was inhibited only by the highest concentrations of CPF (≥1 μM) and CPFO (≥1 nM); TCP had no effect on this parameter. In summary, these compounds perturb neuronal morphogenesis via opposing effects on axonal and dendritic growth, and both effects are independent of acetylcholinesterase inhibition. These findings have important implications for current risk assessment practices of using acetylcholinesterase inhibition as a biomarker of OP neurotoxicity and suggest that OPs may disrupt normal patterns of neuronal connectivity in the developing nervous system

  11. Cortical Divergent Projections in Mice Originate from Two Sequentially Generated, Distinct Populations of Excitatory Cortical Neurons with Different Initial Axonal Outgrowth Characteristics. (United States)

    Hatanaka, Yumiko; Namikawa, Tomohiro; Yamauchi, Kenta; Kawaguchi, Yasuo


    Excitatory cortical neurons project to various subcortical and intracortical regions, and exhibit diversity in their axonal connections. Although this diversity may develop from primary axons, how many types of axons initially occur remains unknown. Using a sparse-labeling in utero electroporation method, we investigated the axonal outgrowth of these neurons in mice and correlated the data with axonal projections in adults. Examination of lateral cortex neurons labeled during the main period of cortical neurogenesis (E11.5-E15.5) indicated that axonal outgrowth commonly occurs in the intermediate zone. Conversely, the axonal direction varied; neurons labeled before E12.5 and the earliest cortical plate neurons labeled at E12.5 projected laterally, whereas neurons labeled thereafter projected medially. The expression of Ctip2 and Satb2 and the layer destinations of these neurons support the view that lateral and medial projection neurons are groups of prospective subcortical and callosal projection neurons, respectively. Consistently, birthdating experiments demonstrated that presumptive lateral projection neurons were generated earlier than medial projection neurons, even within the same layer. These results suggest that the divergent axonal connections of excitatory cortical neurons begin from two types of primary axons, which originate from two sequentially generated distinct subpopulations: early-born lateral (subcortical) and later-born medial (callosal) projection neuron groups. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail:

  12. Subcellular electrical stimulation of neurons enhances the myelination of axons by oligodendrocytes (United States)

    Lee, Hae Ung; Blasiak, Agata; Agrawal, Devansh R.; Loong, Daniel Teh Boon; Thakor, Nitish V.; All, Angelo H.; Ho, John S.


    Myelin formation has been identified as a modulator of neural plasticity. New tools are required to investigate the mechanisms by which environmental inputs and neural activity regulate myelination patterns. In this study, we demonstrate a microfluidic compartmentalized culture system with integrated electrical stimulation capabilities that can induce neural activity by whole cell and focal stimulation. A set of electric field simulations was performed to confirm spatial restriction of the electrical input in the compartmentalized culture system. We further demonstrate that electrode localization is a key consideration for generating uniform the stimulation of neuron and oligodendrocytes within the compartments. Using three configurations of the electrodes we tested the effects of subcellular activation of neural activity on distal axon myelination with oligodendrocytes. We further investigated if oligodendrocytes have to be exposed to the electrical field to induce axon myelination. An isolated stimulation of cell bodies and proximal axons had the same effect as an isolated stimulation of distal axons co-cultured with oligodendrocytes, and the two modes had a non-different result than whole cell stimulation. Our platform enabled the demonstration that electrical stimulation enhances oligodendrocyte maturation and myelin formation independent of the input localization and oligodendrocyte exposure to the electrical field. PMID:28671962

  13. Quantitative analysis of axon bouton distribution of subthalamic nucleus neurons in the rat by single neuron visualization with a viral vector. (United States)

    Koshimizu, Yoshinori; Fujiyama, Fumino; Nakamura, Kouichi C; Furuta, Takahiro; Kaneko, Takeshi


    The subthalamic nucleus (STN) of the basal ganglia plays a key role in motor control, and STN efferents are known to mainly target the external segment of the globus pallidus (GPe), entopeduncular nucleus (Ep), and substantia nigra (SN) with some axon collaterals to the other regions. However, it remains to be clarified how each STN neuron projects axon fibers and collaterals to those target nuclei of the STN. Here we visualized the whole axonal arborization of single STN neurons in the rat brain by using a viral vector expressing membrane-targeted green fluorescent protein, and examined the distribution of axon boutons in those target nuclei. The vast majority (8-9) of 10 reconstructed STN neurons projected to the GPe, SN, caudate-putamen (CPu), and Ep, which received, on average ± SD, 457 ± 425, 400 ± 347, 126 ± 143, and 106 ± 100 axon boutons per STN neuron, respectively. Furthermore, the density of axon boutons in the GPe was highest among these nuclei. Although these target nuclei were divided into calbindin-rich and -poor portions, STN projection showed no exclusive preference for those portions. Since STN neurons mainly projected not only to the GPe, SN, and Ep but also to the CPu, the subthalamostriatal projection might serve as a positive feedback path for the striato-GPe-subthalamic disinhibitory pathway, or work as another route of cortical inputs to the striatum through the corticosubthalamostriatal disynaptic excitatory pathway. Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  14. Axonal Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease patient-derived motor neurons demonstrate disease-specific phenotypes including abnormal electrophysiological properties. (United States)

    Saporta, Mario A; Dang, Vu; Volfson, Dmitri; Zou, Bende; Xie, Xinmin Simon; Adebola, Adijat; Liem, Ronald K; Shy, Michael; Dimos, John T


    Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease is a group of inherited peripheral neuropathies associated with mutations or copy number variations in over 70 genes encoding proteins with fundamental roles in the development and function of Schwann cells and peripheral axons. Here, we used iPSC-derived cells to identify common pathophysiological mechanisms in axonal CMT. iPSC lines from patients with two distinct forms of axonal CMT (CMT2A and CMT2E) were differentiated into spinal cord motor neurons and used to study axonal structure and function and electrophysiological properties in vitro. iPSC-derived motor neurons exhibited gene and protein expression, ultrastructural and electrophysiological features of mature primary spinal cord motor neurons. Cytoskeletal abnormalities were found in neurons from a CMT2E (NEFL) patient and corroborated by a mouse model of the same NEFL point mutation. Abnormalities in mitochondrial trafficking were found in neurons derived from this patient, but were only mildly present in neurons from a CMT2A (MFN2) patient. Novel electrophysiological abnormalities, including reduced action potential threshold and abnormal channel current properties were observed in motor neurons derived from both of these patients. Human iPSC-derived motor neurons from axonal CMT patients replicated key pathophysiological features observed in other models of MFN2 and NEFL mutations, including abnormal cytoskeletal and mitochondrial dynamics. Electrophysiological abnormalities found in axonal CMT iPSC-derived human motor neurons suggest that these cells are hyperexcitable and have altered sodium and calcium channel kinetics. These findings may provide a new therapeutic target for this group of heterogeneous inherited neuropathies. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Inner tegument proteins of Herpes Simplex Virus are sufficient for intracellular capsid motility in neurons but not for axonal targeting (United States)

    Müller, Oliver; Ivanova, Lyudmila; Bialy, Dagmara; Pohlmann, Anja; Binz, Anne; Hegemann, Maike; Viejo-Borbolla, Abel; Rosenhahn, Bodo; Bauerfeind, Rudolf; Sodeik, Beate


    Upon reactivation from latency and during lytic infections in neurons, alphaherpesviruses assemble cytosolic capsids, capsids associated with enveloping membranes, and transport vesicles harboring fully enveloped capsids. It is debated whether capsid envelopment of herpes simplex virus (HSV) is completed in the soma prior to axonal targeting or later, and whether the mechanisms are the same in neurons derived from embryos or from adult hosts. We used HSV mutants impaired in capsid envelopment to test whether the inner tegument proteins pUL36 or pUL37 necessary for microtubule-mediated capsid transport were sufficient for axonal capsid targeting in neurons derived from the dorsal root ganglia of adult mice. Such neurons were infected with HSV1-ΔUL20 whose capsids recruited pUL36 and pUL37, with HSV1-ΔUL37 whose capsids associate only with pUL36, or with HSV1-ΔUL36 that assembles capsids lacking both proteins. While capsids of HSV1-ΔUL20 were actively transported along microtubules in epithelial cells and in the somata of neurons, those of HSV1-ΔUL36 and -ΔUL37 could only diffuse in the cytoplasm. Employing a novel image analysis algorithm to quantify capsid targeting to axons, we show that only a few capsids of HSV1-ΔUL20 entered axons, while vesicles transporting gD utilized axonal transport efficiently and independently of pUL36, pUL37, or pUL20. Our data indicate that capsid motility in the somata of neurons mediated by pUL36 and pUL37 does not suffice for targeting capsids to axons, and suggest that capsid envelopment needs to be completed in the soma prior to targeting of herpes simplex virus to the axons, and to spreading from neurons to neighboring cells. PMID:29284065

  16. Diffuse Axonal Injury and Oxidative Stress: A Comprehensive Review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alessandro Frati


    Full Text Available Traumatic brain injury (TBI is one of the world’s leading causes of morbidity and mortality among young individuals. TBI applies powerful rotational and translational forces to the brain parenchyma, which results in a traumatic diffuse axonal injury (DAI responsible for brain swelling and neuronal death. Following TBI, axonal degeneration has been identified as a progressive process that starts with disrupted axonal transport causing axonal swelling, followed by secondary axonal disconnection and Wallerian degeneration. These modifications in the axonal cytoskeleton interrupt the axoplasmic transport mechanisms, causing the gradual gathering of transport products so as to generate axonal swellings and modifications in neuronal homeostasis. Oxidative stress with consequent impairment of endogenous antioxidant defense mechanisms plays a significant role in the secondary events leading to neuronal death. Studies support the role of an altered axonal calcium homeostasis as a mechanism in the secondary damage of axon, and suggest that calcium channel blocker can alleviate the secondary damage, as well as other mechanisms implied in the secondary injury, and could be targeted as a candidate for therapeutic approaches. Reactive oxygen species (ROS-mediated axonal degeneration is mainly caused by extracellular Ca2+. Increases in the defense mechanisms through the use of exogenous antioxidants may be neuroprotective, particularly if they are given within the neuroprotective time window. A promising potential therapeutic target for DAI is to directly address mitochondria-related injury or to modulate energetic axonal energy failure.

  17. Diffuse Axonal Injury and Oxidative Stress: A Comprehensive Review. (United States)

    Frati, Alessandro; Cerretani, Daniela; Fiaschi, Anna Ida; Frati, Paola; Gatto, Vittorio; La Russa, Raffaele; Pesce, Alessandro; Pinchi, Enrica; Santurro, Alessandro; Fraschetti, Flavia; Fineschi, Vittorio


    Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is one of the world's leading causes of morbidity and mortality among young individuals. TBI applies powerful rotational and translational forces to the brain parenchyma, which results in a traumatic diffuse axonal injury (DAI) responsible for brain swelling and neuronal death. Following TBI, axonal degeneration has been identified as a progressive process that starts with disrupted axonal transport causing axonal swelling, followed by secondary axonal disconnection and Wallerian degeneration. These modifications in the axonal cytoskeleton interrupt the axoplasmic transport mechanisms, causing the gradual gathering of transport products so as to generate axonal swellings and modifications in neuronal homeostasis. Oxidative stress with consequent impairment of endogenous antioxidant defense mechanisms plays a significant role in the secondary events leading to neuronal death. Studies support the role of an altered axonal calcium homeostasis as a mechanism in the secondary damage of axon, and suggest that calcium channel blocker can alleviate the secondary damage, as well as other mechanisms implied in the secondary injury, and could be targeted as a candidate for therapeutic approaches. Reactive oxygen species (ROS)-mediated axonal degeneration is mainly caused by extracellular Ca 2+ . Increases in the defense mechanisms through the use of exogenous antioxidants may be neuroprotective, particularly if they are given within the neuroprotective time window. A promising potential therapeutic target for DAI is to directly address mitochondria-related injury or to modulate energetic axonal energy failure.

  18. Utilizing Combined Methodologies to Define the Role of Plasma Membrane Delivery During Axon Branching and Neuronal Morphogenesis. (United States)

    Winkle, Cortney C; Hanlin, Christopher C; Gupton, Stephanie L


    During neural development, growing axons extend to multiple synaptic partners by elaborating axonal branches. Axon branching is promoted by extracellular guidance cues like netrin-1 and results in dramatic increases to the surface area of the axonal plasma membrane. Netrin-1-dependent axon branching likely involves temporal and spatial control of plasma membrane expansion, the components of which are supplied through exocytic vesicle fusion. These fusion events are preceded by formation of SNARE complexes, comprising a v-SNARE, such as VAMP2 (vesicle-associated membrane protein 2), and plasma membrane t-SNAREs, syntaxin-1 and SNAP25 (synaptosomal-associated protein 25). Detailed herein isa multi-pronged approach used to examine the role of SNARE mediated exocytosis in axon branching. The strength of the combined approach is data acquisition at a range of spatial and temporal resolutions, spanning from the dynamics of single vesicle fusion events in individual neurons to SNARE complex formation and axon branching in populations of cultured neurons. This protocol takes advantage of established biochemical approaches to assay levels of endogenous SNARE complexes and Total Internal Reflection Fluorescence (TIRF) microscopy of cortical neurons expressing VAMP2 tagged with a pH-sensitive GFP (VAMP2-pHlourin) to identify netrin-1 dependent changes in exocytic activity in individual neurons. To elucidate the timing of netrin-1-dependent branching, time-lapse differential interference contrast (DIC) microscopy of single neurons over the order of hours is utilized. Fixed cell immunofluorescence paired with botulinum neurotoxins that cleave SNARE machinery and block exocytosis demonstrates that netrin-1 dependent axon branching requires SNARE-mediated exocytic activity.

  19. Variation in Activity State, Axonal Projection, and Position Define the Transcriptional Identity of Individual Neocortical Projection Neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maxime Chevée


    Full Text Available Summary: Single-cell RNA sequencing has generated catalogs of transcriptionally defined neuronal subtypes of the brain. However, the cellular processes that contribute to neuronal subtype specification and transcriptional heterogeneity remain unclear. By comparing the gene expression profiles of single layer 6 corticothalamic neurons in somatosensory cortex, we show that transcriptional subtypes primarily reflect axonal projection pattern, laminar position within the cortex, and neuronal activity state. Pseudotemporal ordering of 1,023 cellular responses to sensory manipulation demonstrates that changes in expression of activity-induced genes both reinforced cell-type identity and contributed to increased transcriptional heterogeneity within each cell type. This is due to cell-type biased choices of transcriptional states following manipulation of neuronal activity. These results reveal that axonal projection pattern, laminar position, and activity state define significant axes of variation that contribute both to the transcriptional identity of individual neurons and to the transcriptional heterogeneity within each neuronal subtype. : Chevée et al. find that sources of transcriptional heterogeneity defining cortical projection neurons include axonal projection pattern, laminar position, and activity state. Altering activity state through sensory manipulation increased cell-to-cell variation within cell types and enhanced distinctions between cell types. Keywords: transcriptional variation, activity-dependent plasticity, single-cell RNA sequencing, neocortex, corticothalamic neurons, neuronal identity, somatosensory cortex, barrel cortex

  20. Knockout of Amyloid β Protein Precursor (APP) Expression Alters Synaptogenesis, Neurite Branching and Axonal Morphology of Hippocampal Neurons. (United States)

    Southam, Katherine A; Stennard, Fiona; Pavez, Cassandra; Small, David H


    The function of the β-A4 amyloid protein precursor (APP) of Alzheimer's disease (AD) remains unclear. APP has a number of putative roles in neuronal differentiation, survival, synaptogenesis and cell adhesion. In this study, we examined the development of axons, dendrites and synapses in cultures of hippocampus neutrons derived from APP knockout (KO) mice. We report that loss of APP function reduces the branching of cultured hippocampal neurons, resulting in reduced synapse formation. Using a compartmentalised culture approach, we found reduced axonal outgrowth in cultured hippocampal neurons and we also identified abnormal growth characteristics of isolated hippocampal neuron axons. Although APP has previously been suggested to play an important role in promoting cell adhesion, we surprisingly found that APPKO hippocampal neurons adhered more strongly to a poly-L-lysine substrate and their neurites displayed an increased density of focal adhesion puncta. The findings suggest that the function of APP has an important role in both dendritic and axonal growth and that endogenous APP may regulate substrate adhesion of hippocampal neurons. The results may explain neuronal and synaptic morphological abnormalities in APPKO mice and the presence of abnormal APP expression in dystrophic neurites around amyloid deposits in AD.

  1. Nociceptive afferents to the premotor neurons that send axons simultaneously to the facial and hypoglossal motoneurons by means of axon collaterals.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yulin Dong

    Full Text Available It is well known that the brainstem premotor neurons of the facial nucleus and hypoglossal nucleus coordinate orofacial nociceptive reflex (ONR responses. However, whether the brainstem PNs receive the nociceptive projection directly from the caudal spinal trigeminal nucleus is still kept unclear. Our present study focuses on the distribution of premotor neurons in the ONR pathways of rats and the collateral projection of the premotor neurons which are involved in the brainstem local pathways of the orofacial nociceptive reflexes of rat. Retrograde tracer Fluoro-gold (FG or FG/tetramethylrhodamine-dextran amine (TMR-DA were injected into the VII or/and XII, and anterograde tracer biotinylated dextran amine (BDA was injected into the caudal spinal trigeminal nucleus (Vc. The tracing studies indicated that FG-labeled neurons receiving BDA-labeled fibers from the Vc were mainly distributed bilaterally in the parvicellular reticular formation (PCRt, dorsal and ventral medullary reticular formation (MdD, MdV, supratrigeminal nucleus (Vsup and parabrachial nucleus (PBN with an ipsilateral dominance. Some FG/TMR-DA double-labeled premotor neurons, which were observed bilaterally in the PCRt, MdD, dorsal part of the MdV, peri-motor nucleus regions, contacted with BDA-labeled axonal terminals and expressed c-fos protein-like immunoreactivity which induced by subcutaneous injection of formalin into the lip. After retrograde tracer wheat germ agglutinated horseradish peroxidase (WGA-HRP was injected into VII or XII and BDA into Vc, electron microscopic study revealed that some BDA-labeled axonal terminals made mainly asymmetric synapses on the dendritic and somatic profiles of WGA-HRP-labeled premotor neurons. These data indicate that some premotor neurons could integrate the orofacial nociceptive input from the Vc and transfer these signals simultaneously to different brainstem motonuclei by axonal collaterals.

  2. Axon guidance of sympathetic neurons to cardiomyocytes by glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Keiko Miwa

    Full Text Available Molecular signaling of cardiac autonomic innervation is an unresolved issue. Here, we show that glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF promotes cardiac sympathetic innervation in vitro and in vivo. In vitro, ventricular myocytes (VMs and sympathetic neurons (SNs isolated from neonatal rat ventricles and superior cervical ganglia were cultured at a close distance. Then, morphological and functional coupling between SNs and VMs was assessed in response to GDNF (10 ng/ml or nerve growth factor (50 ng/ml. As a result, fractions of neurofilament-M-positive axons and synapsin-I-positive area over the surface of VMs were markedly increased with GDNF by 9-fold and 25-fold, respectively, compared to control without neurotrophic factors. Pre- and post-synaptic stimulation of β1-adrenergic receptors (BAR with nicotine and noradrenaline, respectively, resulted in an increase of the spontaneous beating rate of VMs co-cultured with SNs in the presence of GDNF. GDNF overexpressing VMs by adenovirus vector (AdGDNF-VMs attracted more axons from SNs compared with mock-transfected VMs. In vivo, axon outgrowth toward the denervated myocardium in adult rat hearts after cryoinjury was also enhanced significantly by adenovirus-mediated GDNF overexpression. GDNF acts as a potent chemoattractant for sympathetic innervation of ventricular myocytes, and is a promising molecular target for regulation of cardiac function in diseased hearts.

  3. Developmental Axon Stretch Stimulates Neuron Growth While Maintaining Normal Electrical Activity, Intracellular Calcium Flux, and Somatic Morphology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joseph R Loverde


    Full Text Available Elongation of nerve fibers intuitively occurs throughout mammalian development, and is synchronized with expansion of the growing body. While most tissue systems enlarge through mitosis and differentiation, elongation of nerve fibers is remarkably unique. The emerging paradigm suggests that axons undergo stretch as contiguous tissues enlarge between the proximal and distal segments of spanning nerve fibers. While stretch is distinct from growth, tension is a known stimulus which regulates the growth of axons. Here, we hypothesized that the axon stretch-growth process may be a natural form of injury, whereby regenerative processes fortify elongating axons in order to prevent disconnection. Harnessing the live imaging capability of our axon stretch-growth bioreactors, we assessed neurons both during and following stretch for biomarkers associated with injury. Utilizing whole-cell patch clamp recording, we found no evidence of changes in spontaneous action potential activity or degradation of elicited action potentials during real-time axon stretch at strains of up to 18 % applied over 5 minutes. Unlike traumatic axonal injury, functional calcium imaging of the soma revealed no shifts in free intracellular calcium during axon stretch. Finally, the cross-sectional areas of nuclei and cytoplasms were normal, with no evidence of chromatolysis following week-long stretch-growth limited to the lower of 25 % strain or 3 mm total daily stretch. The neuronal growth cascade coupled to stretch was concluded to be independent of the changes in membrane potential, action potential generation, or calcium flux associated with traumatic injury. While axon stretch-growth is likely to share overlap with regenerative processes, we conclude that developmental stretch is a distinct stimulus from traumatic axon injury.

  4. Developmental axon stretch stimulates neuron growth while maintaining normal electrical activity, intracellular calcium flux, and somatic morphology. (United States)

    Loverde, Joseph R; Pfister, Bryan J


    Elongation of nerve fibers intuitively occurs throughout mammalian development, and is synchronized with expansion of the growing body. While most tissue systems enlarge through mitosis and differentiation, elongation of nerve fibers is remarkably unique. The emerging paradigm suggests that axons undergo stretch as contiguous tissues enlarge between the proximal and distal segments of spanning nerve fibers. While stretch is distinct from growth, tension is a known stimulus which regulates the growth of axons. Here, we hypothesized that the axon stretch-growth process may be a natural form of injury, whereby regenerative processes fortify elongating axons in order to prevent disconnection. Harnessing the live imaging capability of our axon stretch-growth bioreactors, we assessed neurons both during and following stretch for biomarkers associated with injury. Utilizing whole-cell patch clamp recording, we found no evidence of changes in spontaneous action potential activity or degradation of elicited action potentials during real-time axon stretch at strains of up to 18% applied over 5 min. Unlike traumatic axonal injury, functional calcium imaging of the soma revealed no shifts in free intracellular calcium during axon stretch. Finally, the cross-sectional areas of nuclei and cytoplasms were normal, with no evidence of chromatolysis following week-long stretch-growth limited to the lower of 25% strain or 3 mm total daily stretch. The neuronal growth cascade coupled to stretch was concluded to be independent of the changes in membrane potential, action potential generation, or calcium flux associated with traumatic injury. While axon stretch-growth is likely to share overlap with regenerative processes, we conclude that developmental stretch is a distinct stimulus from traumatic axon injury.

  5. Long-range projection neurons of the mouse ventral tegmental area: a single-cell axon tracing analysis. (United States)

    Aransay, Ana; Rodríguez-López, Claudia; García-Amado, María; Clascá, Francisco; Prensa, Lucía


    Pathways arising from the ventral tegmental area (VTA) release dopamine and other neurotransmitters during the expectation and achievement of reward, and are regarded as central links of the brain networks that create drive, pleasure, and addiction. While the global pattern of VTA projections is well-known, the actual axonal wiring of individual VTA neurons had never been investigated. Here, we labeled and analyzed the axons of 30 VTA single neurons by means of single-cell transfection with the Sindbis-pal-eGFP vector in mice. These observations were complemented with those obtained by labeling the axons of small populations of VTA cells with iontophoretic microdeposits of biotinylated dextran amine. In the single-cell labeling experiments, each entire axonal tree was reconstructed from serial sections, the length of terminal axonal arbors was estimated by stereology, and the dopaminergic phenotype was tested by double-labeling for tyrosine hydroxylase immunofluorescence. We observed two main, markedly different VTA cell morphologies: neurons with a single main axon targeting only forebrain structures (FPN cells), and neurons with multibranched axons targeting both the forebrain and the brainstem (F + BSPN cells). Dopaminergic phenotype was observed in FPN cells. Moreover, four "subtypes" could be distinguished among the FPN cells based on their projection targets: (1) "Mesocorticolimbic" FPN projecting to both neocortex and basal forebrain; (2) "Mesocortical" FPN innervating the neocortex almost exclusively; (3) "Mesolimbic" FPN projecting to the basal forebrain, accumbens and caudateputamen; and (4) "Mesostriatal" FPN targeting only the caudateputamen. While the F + BSPN cells were scattered within VTA, the mesolimbic neurons were abundant in the paranigral nucleus. The observed diversity in wiring architectures is consistent with the notion that different VTA cell subpopulations modulate the activity of specific sets of prosencephalic and brainstem structures.

  6. Hierarchical axon targeting of Drosophila olfactory receptor neurons specified by the proneural transcription factors Atonal and Amos. (United States)

    Okumura, Misako; Kato, Tomoko; Miura, Masayuki; Chihara, Takahiro


    Sensory information is spatially represented in the brain to form a neural map. It has been suggested that axon-axon interactions are important for neural map formation; however, the underlying mechanisms are not fully understood. We used the Drosophila antennal lobe, the first olfactory center in the brain, as a model for studying neural map formation. Olfactory receptor neurons (ORNs) expressing the same odorant receptor target their axons to a single glomerulus out of approximately 50 glomeruli in the antennal lobe. Previous studies have showed that the axons of Atonal ORNs, specified by Atonal, a basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) transcription factor, pioneer antennal lobe formation; however, the details remain to be elucidated. Here, we show that genetic ablation of Atonal ORNs affects antennal lobe structure and axon targeting of Amos ORNs, another type of ORN specified by the bHLH transcription factor Amos. During development, Atonal ORNs reach the antennal lobe and form the axon commissure before Amos ORNs. We also found that N-cadherin knockdown specifically in Atonal ORNs disrupts the glomerular boundary in the whole antennal lobe. Our results suggest that Atonal ORNs function as pioneer axons. Thus, correct axon targeting of Atonal ORNs is essential for formation of the whole antennal lobe. © 2015 The Molecular Biology Society of Japan and Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd.

  7. Cdc42 regulates cofilin during the establishment of neuronal polarity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Garvalov, Boyan K; Flynn, Kevin C; Neukirchen, Dorothee


    suppressed ability to form axons both in vivo and in culture. This was accompanied by disrupted cytoskeletal organization, enlargement of the growth cones, and inhibition of filopodial dynamics. Axon formation in the knock-out neurons was rescued by manipulation of the actin cytoskeleton, indicating...

  8. Herpes simplex virus gE/gI extracellular domains promote axonal transport and spread from neurons to epithelial cells. (United States)

    Howard, Paul W; Wright, Catherine C; Howard, Tiffani; Johnson, David C


    Following reactivation from latency, there are two distinct steps in the spread of herpes simplex virus (HSV) from infected neurons to epithelial cells: (i) anterograde axonal transport of virus particles from neuron bodies to axon tips and (ii) exocytosis and spread of extracellular virions across cell junctions into adjacent epithelial cells. The HSV heterodimeric glycoprotein gE/gI is important for anterograde axonal transport, and gE/gI cytoplasmic domains play important roles in sorting of virus particles into axons. However, the roles of the large (∼400-residue) gE/gI extracellular (ET) domains in both axonal transport and neuron-to-epithelial cell spread have not been characterized. Two gE mutants, gE-277 and gE-348, contain small insertions in the gE ET domain, fold normally, form gE/gI heterodimers, and are incorporated into virions. Both gE-277 and gE-348 did not function in anterograde axonal transport; there were markedly reduced numbers of viral capsids and glycoproteins compared with wild-type HSV. The defects in axonal transport were manifest in neuronal cell bodies, involving missorting of HSV capsids before entry into proximal axons. Although there were diminished numbers of mutant gE-348 capsids and glycoproteins in distal axons, there was efficient spread to adjacent epithelial cells, similar to wild-type HSV. In contrast, virus particles produced by HSV gE-277 spread poorly to epithelial cells, despite numbers of virus particles similar to those for HSV gE-348. These results genetically separate the two steps in HSV spread from neurons to epithelial cells and demonstrate that the gE/gI ET domains function in both processes. An essential phase of the life cycle of herpes simplex virus (HSV) and other alphaherpesviruses is the capacity to reactivate from latency and then spread from infected neurons to epithelial tissues. This spread involves at least two steps: (i) anterograde transport to axon tips followed by (ii) exocytosis and extracellular

  9. Dynamics of survival of motor neuron (SMN) protein interaction with the mRNA-binding protein IMP1 facilitates its trafficking into motor neuron axons. (United States)

    Fallini, Claudia; Rouanet, Jeremy P; Donlin-Asp, Paul G; Guo, Peng; Zhang, Honglai; Singer, Robert H; Rossoll, Wilfried; Bassell, Gary J


    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a lethal neurodegenerative disease specifically affecting spinal motor neurons. SMA is caused by the homozygous deletion or mutation of the survival of motor neuron 1 (SMN1) gene. The SMN protein plays an essential role in the assembly of spliceosomal ribonucleoproteins. However, it is still unclear how low levels of the ubiquitously expressed SMN protein lead to the selective degeneration of motor neurons. An additional role for SMN in the regulation of the axonal transport of mRNA-binding proteins (mRBPs) and their target mRNAs has been proposed. Indeed, several mRBPs have been shown to interact with SMN, and the axonal levels of few mRNAs, such as the β-actin mRNA, are reduced in SMA motor neurons. In this study we have identified the β-actin mRNA-binding protein IMP1/ZBP1 as a novel SMN-interacting protein. Using a combination of biochemical assays and quantitative imaging techniques in primary motor neurons, we show that IMP1 associates with SMN in individual granules that are actively transported in motor neuron axons. Furthermore, we demonstrate that IMP1 axonal localization depends on SMN levels, and that SMN deficiency in SMA motor neurons leads to a dramatic reduction of IMP1 protein levels. In contrast, no difference in IMP1 protein levels was detected in whole brain lysates from SMA mice, further suggesting neuron specific roles of SMN in IMP1 expression and localization. Taken together, our data support a role for SMN in the regulation of mRNA localization and axonal transport through its interaction with mRBPs such as IMP1. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  10. Mitosis in neurons: Roughex and APC/C maintain cell cycle exit to prevent cytokinetic and axonal defects in Drosophila photoreceptor neurons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert Ruggiero

    Full Text Available The mechanisms of cell cycle exit by neurons remain poorly understood. Through genetic and developmental analysis of Drosophila eye development, we found that the cyclin-dependent kinase-inhibitor Roughex maintains G1 cell cycle exit during differentiation of the R8 class of photoreceptor neurons. The roughex mutant neurons re-enter the mitotic cell cycle and progress without executing cytokinesis, unlike non-neuronal cells in the roughex mutant that perform complete cell divisions. After mitosis, the binucleated R8 neurons usually transport one daughter nucleus away from the cell body into the developing axon towards the brain in a kinesin-dependent manner resembling anterograde axonal trafficking. Similar cell cycle and photoreceptor neuron defects occurred in mutants for components of the Anaphase Promoting Complex/Cyclosome. These findings indicate a neuron-specific defect in cytokinesis and demonstrate a critical role for mitotic cyclin downregulation both to maintain cell cycle exit during neuronal differentiation and to prevent axonal defects following failed cytokinesis.

  11. Seamless reconstruction of intact adult-born neurons by serial end-block imaging reveals complex axonal guidance and development in the adult hippocampus. (United States)

    Sun, Gerald J; Sailor, Kurt A; Mahmood, Qasim A; Chavali, Nikhil; Christian, Kimberly M; Song, Hongjun; Ming, Guo-li


    In the adult mammalian hippocampus, newborn dentate granule cells are continuously integrated into the existing circuitry and contribute to specific brain functions. Little is known about the axonal development of these newborn neurons in the adult brain due to technological challenges that have prohibited large-scale reconstruction of long, thin, and complex axonal processes within the mature nervous system. Here, using a new serial end-block imaging (SEBI) technique, we seamlessly reconstructed axonal and dendritic processes of intact individual retrovirus-labeled newborn granule cells at different developmental stages in the young adult mouse hippocampus. We found that adult-born dentate granule cells exhibit tortuous, yet highly stereotyped, axonal projections to CA3 hippocampal subregions. Primary axonal projections of cohorts of new neurons born around the same time organize into laminar patterns with staggered terminations that stack along the septo-temporal hippocampal axis. Analysis of individual newborn neuron development further defined an initial phase of rapid axonal and dendritic growth within 21 d after newborn neuron birth, followed by minimal growth of primary axonal and whole dendritic processes through the last time point examined at 77 d. Our results suggest that axonal development and targeting is a highly orchestrated, precise process in the adult brain. These findings demonstrate a striking regenerative capacity of the mature CNS to support long-distance growth and guidance of neuronal axons. Our SEBI approach can be broadly applied for analysis of intact, complex neuronal projections in limitless tissue volume.

  12. Morphological Characterization of the Action Potential Initiation Segment in GnRH Neuron Dendrites and Axons of Male Mice. (United States)

    Herde, Michel K; Herbison, Allan E


    GnRH neurons are the final output neurons of the hypothalamic network controlling fertility in mammals. In the present study, we used ankyrin G immunohistochemistry and neurobiotin filling of live GnRH neurons in brain slices from GnRH-green fluorescent protein transgenic male mice to examine in detail the location of action potential initiation in GnRH neurons with somata residing at different locations in the basal forebrain. We found that the vast majority of GnRH neurons are bipolar in morphology, elaborating a thick (primary) and thinner (secondary) dendrite from opposite poles of the soma. In addition, an axon-like process arising predominantly from a proximal dendrite was observed in a subpopulation of GnRH neurons. Ankyrin G immunohistochemistry revealed the presence of a single action potential initiation zone ∼27 μm in length primarily in the secondary dendrite of GnRH neurons and located 30 to 140 μm distant from the cell soma, depending on the type of process and location of the cell body. In addition to dendrites, the GnRH neurons with cell bodies located close to hypothalamic circumventricular organs often elaborated ankyrin G-positive axon-like structures. Almost all GnRH neurons (>90%) had their action potential initiation site in a process that initially, or ultimately after a hairpin loop, was coursing in the direction of the median eminence. These studies indicate that action potentials are initiated in different dendritic and axonal compartments of the GnRH neuron in a manner that is dependent partly on the neuroanatomical location of the cell body.

  13. In search of a periodic table of the neurons: Axonal-dendritic circuitry as the organizing principle: Patterns of axons and dendrites within distinct anatomical parcels provide the blueprint for circuit-based neuronal classification. (United States)

    Ascoli, Giorgio A; Wheeler, Diek W


    No one knows yet how to organize, in a simple yet predictive form, the knowledge concerning the anatomical, biophysical, and molecular properties of neurons that are accumulating in thousands of publications every year. The situation is not dissimilar to the state of Chemistry prior to Mendeleev's tabulation of the elements. We propose that the patterns of presence or absence of axons and dendrites within known anatomical parcels may serve as the key principle to define neuron types. Just as the positions of the elements in the periodic table indicate their potential to combine into molecules, axonal and dendritic distributions provide the blueprint for network connectivity. Furthermore, among the features commonly employed to describe neurons, morphology is considerably robust to experimental conditions. At the same time, this core classification scheme is suitable for aggregating biochemical, physiological, and synaptic information. © 2016 WILEY Periodicals, Inc.

  14. The nigrostriatal pathway in the rat: A single-axon study of the relationship between dorsal and ventral tier nigral neurons and the striosome/matrix striatal compartments. (United States)

    Prensa, L; Parent, A


    Axons from dorsal/ventral tiers of substantia nigra pars compacta (SNc), ventral tegmental area (VTA), and retrorubral field (RRF) were traced after injecting their cell body with biotinylated dextran amine. Fifty-three single axons were reconstructed from serial sagittal sections with a camera lucida, and mu-opiate receptor immunostaining served to differentiate the striosome/matrix striatal compartments. Most dorsal tier SNc axons terminate within the matrix of the dorsal striatum, but their patterns of arborization vary markedly; some axons innervate one specific matriceal area, whereas others arborize in multiple discontinuous loci. Some dorsal tier SNc axons also project to both striosomes and matrix. Other dorsal tier SNc axons, as well as VTA axons, innervate the ventral striatum and send collaterals to striosomes lying ventrally in the dorsal striatum or to the ventral sector of the subcallosal streak (SS). Ventral tier SNc axons arborize principally in striosomes, but some ramify in both compartments or in striosomes and the SS. Ventral tier neurons that form deep clusters in substantia nigra pars reticulata innervate principally the matrix and the SS. The amygdala and ventral pallidum receive secondary collaterals from striatal axons of dorsal/ventral tier neurons or RRF neurons. The subthalamic nucleus receives collaterals from striatal axons of SNc clustered neurons, whereas the globus pallidus gets collaterals from striatal axons of dorsal/ventral tier SNc neurons. These findings reveal that the nigrostriatal pathway is composed of several neuronal subsystems, each endowed with a widely distributed axonal arborization that allows them to exert a multifaceted influence on striatal and/or extrastriatal structures.

  15. Specific effects of c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase-interacting protein 1 in neuronal axons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shu Tang


    Full Text Available c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase (JNK-interacting protein 3 plays an important role in brain-derived neurotrophic factor/tropomyosin-related kinase B (TrkB anterograde axonal transport. It remains unclear whether JNK-interacting protein 1 mediates similar effects, or whether JNK-interacting protein 1 affects the regulation of TrkB anterograde axonal transport. In this study, we isolated rat embryonic hippocampus and cultured hippocampal neurons in vitro. Coimmunoprecipitation results demonstrated that JNK-interacting protein 1 formed TrkB complexes in vitro and in vivo. Immunocytochemistry results showed that when JNK-interacting protein 1 was highly expressed, the distribution of TrkB gradually increased in axon terminals. However, the distribution of TrkB reduced in axon terminals after knocking out JNK-interacting protein 1. In addition, there were differences in distribution of TrkB after JNK-interacting protein 1 was knocked out compared with not. However, knockout of JNK-interacting protein 1 did not affect the distribution of TrkB in dendrites. These findings confirm that JNK-interacting protein 1 can interact with TrkB in neuronal cells, and can regulate the transport of TrkB in axons, but not in dendrites.

  16. Sigma-1 receptor agonist increases axon outgrowth of hippocampal neurons via voltage-gated calcium ions channels. (United States)

    Li, Dong; Zhang, Shu-Zhuo; Yao, Yu-Hong; Xiang, Yun; Ma, Xiao-Yun; Wei, Xiao-Li; Yan, Hai-Tao; Liu, Xiao-Yan


    Sigma-1 receptors (Sig-1Rs) are unique endoplasmic reticulum proteins that have been implicated in both neurodegenerative and ischemic diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease and stroke. Accumulating evidence has suggested that Sig-1R plays a role in neuroprotection and axon outgrowth. The underlying mechanisms of Sig-1R-mediated neuroprotection have been well elucidated. However, the mechanisms underlying the effects of Sig-1R on axon outgrowth are not fully understood. To clarify this issue, we utilized immunofluorescence to compare the axon lengths of cultured naïve hippocampal neurons before and after the application of the Sig-1R agonist, SA4503. Then, electrophysiology and immunofluorescence were used to examine voltage-gated calcium ion channel (VGCCs) currents in the cell membranes and growth cones. We found that Sig-1R activation dramatically enhanced the axonal length of the naïve hippocampal neurons. Application of the Sig-1R antagonist NE100 and gene knockdown techniques both demonstrated the effects of Sig-1R. The growth-promoting effect of SA4503 was accompanied by the inhibition of voltage-gated Ca 2+ influx and was recapitulated by incubating the neurons with the L-type, N-type, and P/Q-type VGCC blockers, nimodipine, MVIIA and ω-agatoxin IVA, respectively. This effect was unrelated to glial cells. The application of SA4503 transformed the growth cone morphologies from complicated to simple, which favored axon outgrowth. Sig-1R activation can enhance axon outgrowth and may have a substantial influence on neurogenesis and neurodegenerative diseases. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  17. In search of a periodic table of the neurons: Axonal-dendritic circuitry as the organizing principle (United States)

    Ascoli, Giorgio A.; Wheeler, Diek W.


    Summary No one knows yet how to organize, in a simple yet predictive form, the knowledge concerning the anatomical, biophysical, and molecular properties of neurons that are accumulating in thousands of publications every year. The situation is not dissimilar to the state of Chemistry prior to Mendeleev’s tabulation of the elements. We propose that the patterns of presence or absence of axons and dendrites within known anatomical parcels may serve as the key principle to define neuron types. Just as the positions of the elements in the Periodic Table indicate their potential to combine into molecules, axonal and dendritic distributions provide the blueprint for network connectivity. Furthermore, among the features commonly employed to describe neurons, morphology is considerably robust to experimental conditions. At the same time, this core classification scheme is suitable for aggregating biochemical, physiological, and synaptic information. PMID:27516119

  18. The age factor in axonal repair after spinal cord injury: A focus on neuron-intrinsic mechanisms. (United States)

    Geoffroy, Cédric G; Meves, Jessica M; Zheng, Binhai


    Age is an important consideration for recovery and repair after spinal cord injury. Spinal cord injury is increasingly affecting the middle-aged and aging populations. Despite rapid progress in research to promote axonal regeneration and repair, our understanding of how age can modulate this repair is rather limited. In this review, we discuss the literature supporting the notion of an age-dependent decline in axonal growth after central nervous system (CNS) injury. While both neuron-intrinsic and extrinsic factors are involved in the control of axon growth after injury, here we focus on possible intrinsic mechanisms for this age-dependent decline. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Effect of brain-derived neurotrophic factor on activity-regulated cytoskeleton-associated protein gene expression in primary frontal cortical neurons. Comparison with NMDA and AMPA

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    El-Sayed, Mona; Hofman-Bang, Jacob; Mikkelsen, Jens D


    The effect of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) on activity-regulated cytoskeleton-associated protein (Arc) mRNA levels in primary neuronal cultures of rat frontal cortex was characterized pharmacologically and compared to the effect on expression of c-fos, bdnf, neuritin, cox-2 as examples...

  20. MAP2 Defines a Pre-axonal Filtering Zone to Regulate KIF1- versus KIF5-Dependent Cargo Transport in Sensory Neurons

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gumy, Laura F|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/337608334; Katrukha, Eugene A; Grigoriev, Ilya; Jaarsma, Dick; Kapitein, Lukas C|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/298806630; Akhmanova, Anna|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/156410591; Hoogenraad, Casper C|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/227263502


    Polarized cargo transport is essential for neuronal function. However, the minimal basic components required for selective cargo sorting and distribution in neurons remain elusive. We found that in sensory neurons the axon initial segment is largely absent and that microtubule-associated protein 2

  1. Regeneration of Drosophila sensory neuron axons and dendrites is regulated by the Akt pathway involving Pten and microRNA bantam (United States)

    Song, Yuanquan; Ori-McKenney, Kassandra M.; Zheng, Yi; Han, Chun; Jan, Lily Yeh; Jan, Yuh Nung


    Both cell-intrinsic and extrinsic pathways govern axon regeneration, but only a limited number of factors have been identified and it is not clear to what extent axon regeneration is evolutionarily conserved. Whether dendrites also regenerate is unknown. Here we report that, like the axons of mammalian sensory neurons, the axons of certain Drosophila dendritic arborization (da) neurons are capable of substantial regeneration in the periphery but not in the CNS, and activating the Akt pathway enhances axon regeneration in the CNS. Moreover, those da neurons capable of axon regeneration also display dendrite regeneration, which is cell type-specific, developmentally regulated, and associated with microtubule polarity reversal. Dendrite regeneration is restrained via inhibition of the Akt pathway in da neurons by the epithelial cell-derived microRNA bantam but is facilitated by cell-autonomous activation of the Akt pathway. Our study begins to reveal mechanisms for dendrite regeneration, which depends on both extrinsic and intrinsic factors, including the PTEN–Akt pathway that is also important for axon regeneration. We thus established an important new model system—the fly da neuron regeneration model that resembles the mammalian injury model—with which to study and gain novel insights into the regeneration machinery. PMID:22759636

  2. In vivo modeling of neuronal function, axonal impairment and connectivity in neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric disorders using induced pluripotent stem cells. (United States)

    Korecka, J A; Levy, S; Isacson, O


    Modeling neurological diseases using human embryonic or patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) improves the understanding of molecular and cellular changes underlying these diseases and can lead to new, potentially personalized therapies. Changes in expression of axon guidance cues and altered cytoskeletal maintenance have been implicated in neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric disorders. To date, most of the iPSC patient-derived cellular dysfunction and phenotypic studies have been performed in vitro. To study the intrinsic axonal impairments and neuronal connectivity deficits in human disease iPSC-derived neurons we propose to graft these cells into the physiological three-dimensional multi-structural environment of the central nervous system of rodent models to obtain relevant in vivo data. Such human iPSC in vivo chimeric models can allow for neuronal maturation, capture neuropathological phenotypes of axonal and connectivity impairments, and serve as target engagement and drug validation studies using human cells, thus highly relevant for advancement of the drug development process in the late pre-clinical stages. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Alterations in the Local Axonal Environment Influence Target Reinnervation and Neuronal Survival after Postnatal Axotomy

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Dainer, Hugh M


    Following peripheral nerve injury in adult animals, Schwann cells (SC) proliferate and provide guidance in the local axonal environment by generating the infrastructure along which regenerating nerves grow...

  4. A novel and efficient gene transfer strategy reduces glial reactivity and improves neuronal survival and axonal growth in vitro.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mathieu Desclaux

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The lack of axonal regeneration in the central nervous system is attributed among other factors to the formation of a glial scar. This cellular structure is mainly composed of reactive astrocytes that overexpress two intermediate filament proteins, the glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP and vimentin. Indeed, in vitro, astrocytes lacking GFAP or both GFAP and vimentin were shown to be the substrate for increased neuronal plasticity. Moreover, double knockout mice lacking both GFAP and vimentin presented lower levels of glial reactivity in vivo, significant axonal regrowth and improved functional recovery in comparison with wild-type mice after spinal cord hemisection. From these results, our objective was to develop a novel therapeutic strategy for axonal regeneration, based on the targeted suppression of astroglial reactivity and scarring by lentiviral-mediated RNA-interference (RNAi. METHODS AND FINDINGS: In this study, we constructed two lentiviral vectors, Lv-shGFAP and Lv-shVIM, which allow efficient and stable RNAi-mediated silencing of endogenous GFAP or vimentin in vitro. In cultured cortical and spinal reactive astrocytes, the use of these vectors resulted in a specific, stable and highly significant decrease in the corresponding protein levels. In a second model -- scratched primary cultured astrocytes -- Lv-shGFAP, alone or associated with Lv-shVIM, decreased astrocytic reactivity and glial scarring. Finally, in a heterotopic coculture model, cortical neurons displayed higher survival rates and increased neurite growth when cultured with astrocytes in which GFAP and vimentin had been invalidated by lentiviral-mediated RNAi. CONCLUSIONS: Lentiviral-mediated knockdown of GFAP and vimentin in astrocytes show that GFAP is a key target for modulating reactive gliosis and monitoring neuron/glia interactions. Thus, manipulation of reactive astrocytes with the Lv-shGFAP vector constitutes a promising therapeutic strategy for

  5. Axonal and presynaptic protein synthesis: new insights into the biology of the neuron

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Giuditta, A.; Kaplan, B.B.; van Minnen, J.; Alvarez, J.; Koenig, E.


    The presence of a local mRNA translation system in axons and terminals was proposed almost 40 years ago. Over the ensuing period, an impressive body of evidence has grown to support this proposal - yet the nerve cell body is still considered to be the only source of axonal and presynaptic proteins.

  6. The Alzheimer's β-secretase enzyme BACE1 is required for accurate axon guidance of olfactory sensory neurons and normal glomerulus formation in the olfactory bulb

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rajapaksha Tharinda W


    Full Text Available Abstract Background The β-secretase, β-site amyloid precursor protein cleaving enzyme 1 (BACE1, is a prime therapeutic target for lowering cerebral β-amyloid (Aβ levels in Alzheimer's disease (AD. Clinical development of BACE1 inhibitors is being intensely pursued. However, little is known about the physiological functions of BACE1, and the possibility exists that BACE1 inhibition may cause mechanism-based side effects. Indeed, BACE1-/- mice exhibit a complex neurological phenotype. Interestingly, BACE1 co-localizes with presynaptic neuronal markers, indicating a role in axons and/or terminals. Moreover, recent studies suggest axon guidance molecules are potential BACE1 substrates. Here, we used a genetic approach to investigate the function of BACE1 in axon guidance of olfactory sensory neurons (OSNs, a well-studied model of axon targeting in vivo. Results We bred BACE1-/- mice with gene-targeted mice in which GFP is expressed from the loci of two odorant-receptors (ORs, MOR23 and M72, and olfactory marker protein (OMP to produce offspring that were heterozygous for MOR23-GFP, M72-GFP, or OMP-GFP and were either BACE1+/+ or BACE1-/-. BACE1-/- mice had olfactory bulbs (OBs that were smaller and weighed less than OBs of BACE1+/+ mice. In wild-type mice, BACE1 was present in OSN axon terminals in OB glomeruli. In whole-mount preparations and tissue sections, many OB glomeruli from OMP-GFP; BACE1-/- mice were malformed compared to wild-type glomeruli. MOR23-GFP; BACE1-/- mice had an irregular MOR23 glomerulus that was innervated by randomly oriented, poorly fasciculated OSN axons compared to BACE1+/+ mice. Most importantly, M72-GFP; BACE1-/- mice exhibited M72 OSN axons that were mis-targeted to ectopic glomeruli, indicating impaired axon guidance in BACE1-/- mice. Conclusions Our results demonstrate that BACE1 is required for the accurate targeting of OSN axons and the proper formation of glomeruli in the OB, suggesting a role for BACE1 in

  7. BIG1 is required for the survival of deep layer neurons, neuronal polarity, and the formation of axonal tracts between the thalamus and neocortex in developing brain.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jia-Jie Teoh

    Full Text Available BIG1, an activator protein of the small GTPase, Arf, and encoded by the Arfgef1 gene, is one of candidate genes for epileptic encephalopathy. To know the involvement of BIG1 in epileptic encephalopathy, we analyzed BIG1-deficient mice and found that BIG1 regulates neurite outgrowth and brain development in vitro and in vivo. The loss of BIG1 decreased the size of the neocortex and hippocampus. In BIG1-deficient mice, the neuronal progenitor cells (NPCs and the interneurons were unaffected. However, Tbr1+ and Ctip2+ deep layer (DL neurons showed spatial-temporal dependent apoptosis. This apoptosis gradually progressed from the piriform cortex (PIR, peaked in the neocortex, and then progressed into the hippocampus from embryonic day 13.5 (E13.5 to E17.5. The upper layer (UL and DL order in the neocortex was maintained in BIG1-deficient mice, but the excitatory neurons tended to accumulate before their destination layers. Further pulse-chase migration assay showed that the migration defect was non-cell autonomous and secondary to the progression of apoptosis into the BIG1-deficient neocortex after E15.5. In BIG1-deficient mice, we observed an ectopic projection of corticothalamic axons from the primary somatosensory cortex (S1 into the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus (dLGN. The thalamocortical axons were unable to cross the diencephalon-telencephalon boundary (DTB. In vitro, BIG1-deficient neurons showed a delay in neuronal polarization. BIG1-deficient neurons were also hypersensitive to low dose glutamate (5 μM, and died via apoptosis. This study showed the role of BIG1 in the survival of DL neurons in developing embryonic brain and in the generation of neuronal polarity.

  8. From the axons of the SNc dopamine neurons to their dendritic processes: further clues to susceptibility in Parkinson’s disease (PD?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eleftheria Kyriaki Pissadaki


    Full Text Available Dopamine neurons of the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNc are uniquely sensitive to degeneration in Parkinson’s disease (PD and its models. Although a variety of molecular characteristics have been proposed to underlie this sensitivity, one possible contributory factor is their massive, unmyelinated, axonal arbor that is orders of magnitude larger than other neuronal types. In our previously published work, we examined the energetic impact imposed on SNc dopamine neurons by their extensive, unmyelinated axonal arbor and attempted to calculate the energy cost of action potential (AP propagation throughout the axonal arbors. Among our main findings were that a the energy demand associated with AP conduction is related in a supra-linear manner to the axonal size and complexity and, b that synaptic stimulation is necessary to ensure reliable propagation throughout the axonal arbors of neurons with higher levels of branching. Indeed, predictions of our biophysical model of SNc dopamine neurons suggest that tonic activity for the reliable propagation of APs throughout the axonal arbour of neurons with small-to-moderate size arbours, whereas synaptic stimulation is required for for reliable propagation in neurons with larger and more complex arbors (Pissadaki and Bolam 2013. SNc dopamine neurons may thus be classified into functionally distinct groups according to the size of their axonal arborisation. Furthermore, SNc dopamine neurons are divided into ventral tier neurons, which are more susceptible in PD and extend their dendrites in both SN pars reticulata (SNr and SNc, and dorsal tier neurons that restrict their dendrites within SNc. As SNr dendrites receive proportionally greater inhibitory input than SNc dendrites (Henny et al 2012, we examined the relationship between the dendritic compartmentalisation, synaptic input, burst generation and the extent of axonal arborisation. Because spatiotemporal interplay of synaptic stimulation has been

  9. Axonal Membranes and Their Domains: Assembly and Function of the Axon Initial Segment and Node of Ranvier

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew D. Nelson


    Full Text Available Neurons are highly specialized cells of the nervous system that receive, process and transmit electrical signals critical for normal brain function. Here, we review the intricate organization of axonal membrane domains that facilitate rapid action potential conduction underlying communication between complex neuronal circuits. Two critical excitable domains of vertebrate axons are the axon initial segment (AIS and the nodes of Ranvier, which are characterized by the high concentrations of voltage-gated ion channels, cell adhesion molecules and specialized cytoskeletal networks. The AIS is located at the proximal region of the axon and serves as the site of action potential initiation, while nodes of Ranvier, gaps between adjacent myelin sheaths, allow rapid propagation of the action potential through saltatory conduction. The AIS and nodes of Ranvier are assembled by ankyrins, spectrins and their associated binding partners through the clustering of membrane proteins and connection to the underlying cytoskeleton network. Although the AIS and nodes of Ranvier share similar protein composition, their mechanisms of assembly are strikingly different. Here we will cover the mechanisms of formation and maintenance of these axonal excitable membrane domains, specifically highlighting the similarities and differences between them. We will also discuss recent advances in super resolution fluorescence imaging which have elucidated the arrangement of the submembranous axonal cytoskeleton revealing a surprising structural organization necessary to maintain axonal organization and function. Finally, human mutations in axonal domain components have been associated with a growing number of neurological disorders including severe cognitive dysfunction, epilepsy, autism, neurodegenerative diseases and psychiatric disorders. Overall, this review highlights the assembly, maintenance and function of axonal excitable domains, particularly the AIS and nodes of

  10. Adult rat motor neurons do not re-establish electrical coupling during axonal regeneration and muscle reinnervation.

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    Morgana Favero

    Full Text Available Gap junctions (GJs between neurons are present in both the newborn and the adult nervous system, and although important roles have been suggested or demonstrated in a number of instances, in many other cases a full understanding of their physiological role is still missing. GJs are expressed in the rodent lumbar cord at birth and mediate both dye and electrical coupling between motor neurons. This expression has been proposed to mediate: (i fast synchronization of motoneuronal spike activity, in turn linked to the process of refinement of neuromuscular connections, and (ii slow synchronization of locomotor-like oscillatory activity. Soon after birth this coupling disappears. Since in the adult rat regeneration of motor fibers after peripheral nerve injury leads to a recapitulation of synaptic refinement at the target muscles, we tested whether GJs between motor neurons are transiently re-expressed. We found that in conditions of maximal responsiveness of lumbar motor neurons (such as no depression by anesthetics, decerebrate release of activity of subsets of motor neurons, use of temporal and spatial summation by antidromic and orthodromic stimulations, testing of large ensembles of motor neurons no firing is observed in ventral root axons in response to antidromic spike invasion of nearby counterparts. We conclude that junctional coupling between motor neurons is not required for the refinement of neuromuscular innervation in the adult.

  11. A cAMP/PKA/Kinesin-1 Axis Promotes the Axonal Transport of Mitochondria in Aging Drosophila Neurons. (United States)

    Vagnoni, Alessio; Bullock, Simon L


    Mitochondria play fundamental roles within cells, including energy provision, calcium homeostasis, and the regulation of apoptosis. The transport of mitochondria by microtubule-based motors is critical for neuronal structure and function. This process allows local requirements for mitochondrial functions to be met and also facilitates recycling of these organelles [1, 2]. An age-related reduction in mitochondrial transport has been observed in neurons of mammalian and non-mammalian organisms [3-6], and has been proposed to contribute to the broader decline in neuronal function that occurs during aging [3, 5-7]. However, the factors that influence mitochondrial transport in aging neurons are poorly understood. Here we provide evidence using the tractable Drosophila wing nerve system that the cyclic AMP/protein kinase A (cAMP/PKA) pathway promotes the axonal transport of mitochondria in adult neurons. The level of the catalytic subunit of PKA decreases during aging, and acute activation of the cAMP/PKA pathway in aged flies strongly stimulates mitochondrial motility. Thus, the age-related impairment of transport is reversible. The expression of many genes is increased by PKA activation in aged flies. However, our results indicate that elevated mitochondrial transport is due in part to upregulation of the heavy chain of the kinesin-1 motor, the level of which declines during aging. Our study identifies evolutionarily conserved factors that can strongly influence mitochondrial motility in aging neurons. Copyright © 2018 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  12. The Drosophila HEM-2/NAP1 homolog KETTE controls axonal pathfinding and cytoskeletal organization. (United States)

    Hummel, T; Leifker, K; Klämbt, C


    In Drosophila, the correct formation of the segmental commissures depends on neuron-glial interactions at the midline. The VUM midline neurons extend axons along which glial cells migrate in between anterior and posterior commissures. Here, we show that the gene kette is required for the normal projection of the VUM axons and subsequently disrupts glial migration. Axonal projection defects are also found for many other moto- and interneurons. In addition, kette affects the cell morphology of mesodermal and epidermal derivatives, which show an abnormal actin cytoskeleton. The KETTE protein is homologous to the transmembrane protein HEM-2/NAP1 evolutionary conserved from worms to vertebrates. In vitro analysis has shown a specific interaction of the vertebrate HEM-2/NAP1 with the SH2-SH3 adapter protein NCK and the small GTPase RAC1, which both have been implicated in regulating cytoskeleton organization and axonal growth. Hypomorphic kette mutations lead to axonal defects similar to mutations in the Drosophila NCK homolog dreadlocks. Furthermore, we show that kette and dock mutants genetically interact. NCK is thought to interact with the small G proteins RAC1 and CDC42, which play a role in axonal growth. In line with these observations, a kette phenocopy can be obtained following directed expression of mutant DCDC42 or DRAC1 in the CNS midline. In addition, the kette mutant phenotype can be partially rescued by expression of an activated DRAC1 transgene. Our data suggest an important role of the HEM-2 protein in cytoskeletal organization during axonal pathfinding.

  13. Axonal collateral-collateral transport of tract tracers in brain neurons: false anterograde labelling and useful tool. (United States)

    Chen, S; Aston-Jones, G


    It is well established that some neuroanatomical tracers may be taken up by local axonal terminals and transported to distant axonal collaterals (e.g., transganglionic transport in dorsal root ganglion cells). However, such collateral-collateral transport of tracers has not been systematically examined in the central nervous system. We addressed this issue with four neuronal tracers--biocytin, biotinylated dextran amine, cholera toxin B subunit, and Phaseolus vulgaris-leucoagglutinin--in the cerebellar cortex. Labelling of distant axonal collaterals in the cerebellar cortex (indication of collateral-collateral transport) was seen after focal iontophoretic microinjections of each of the four tracers. However, collateral-collateral transport properties differed among these tracers. Injection of biocytin or Phaseolus vulgaris-leucoagglutinin in the cerebellar cortex yielded distant collateral labelling only in parallel fibres. In contrast, injection of biotinylated dextran amine or cholera toxin B subunit produced distant collateral labelling of climbing fibres and mossy fibres, as well as parallel fibres. The present study is the first systematic examination of collateral-collateral transport following injection of anterograde tracers in brain. Such collateral-collateral transport may produce false-positive conclusions regarding neural connections when using these tracers for anterograde transport. However, this property may also be used as a tool to determine areas that are innervated by common distant afferents. In addition, these results may indicate a novel mode of chemical communication in the nervous system.

  14. Cytoskeleton of hippocampal neurons as a target for valproic acid in an experimental model of depression. (United States)

    Ferrero, Alejandro J; Cereseto, Marina; Sifonios, Laura L; Reinés, Analía; Peixoto, Estanislao; Rubio, Modesto C; Wikinski, Silvia


    Atrophy of pyramidal hippocampal neurons and of the entire hippocampus has been reported in experimental models of depression and in depressive patients respectively. We investigated the efficacy of valproic acid (VPA) for reversing a depressive-like behaviour and a cytoskeletal alteration in the hippocampus, the loss of the light neurofilament subunit (NF-L). Depressive-like behaviour was induced by inescapable stress. Animals were divided into four groups: two to assess the response to 21 days of treatment with 200 mg/kg (I.P.) of valproic acid, and two in which the treatment was interrupted and the effects of VPA were evaluated 90 days later. Depressive-like behaviour was evaluated by the quantification of escape movements in a swimming test. NF-L was quantified by immunohistochemistry in dentate gyrus and CA3 of hippocampus. VPA corrected the depressive-like behaviour and reversed the diminution of NF-L in the hippocampus. Ninety days after the end of the treatment, and in contrast to the results previously obtained with fluoxetine, no recurrence of the depressive-like behaviour was observed. Despite interruption of the treatment, a long-lasting effect of VPA was observed. A possible relationship between the effect on NF-L and the prevention of depressive-like behaviour recurrence could be suggested.

  15. DiI-labeling of DRG neurons to study axonal branching in a whole mount preparation of mouse embryonic spinal cord. (United States)

    Schmidt, Hannes; Rathjen, Fritz G


    Here we present a technique to label the trajectories of small groups of DRG neurons into the embryonic spinal cord by diffusive staining using the lipophilic tracer 1,1'-dioctadecyl-3,3,3',3'-tetramethylindocarbocyanine perchlorate (DiI). The comparison of axonal pathways of wild-type with those of mouse lines in which genes are mutated allows testing for a functional role of candidate proteins in the control of axonal branching which is an essential mechanism in the wiring of the nervous system. Axonal branching enables an individual neuron to connect with multiple targets, thereby providing the physical basis for the parallel processing of information. Ramifications at intermediate target regions of axonal growth may be distinguished from terminal arborization. Furthermore, different modes of axonal branch formation may be classified depending on whether branching results from the activities of the growth cone (splitting or delayed branching) or from the budding of collaterals from the axon shaft in a process called interstitial branching (Fig. 1). The central projections of neurons from the DRG offer a useful experimental system to study both types of axonal branching: when their afferent axons reach the dorsal root entry zone (DREZ) of the spinal cord between embryonic days 10 to 13 (E10-E13) they display a stereotyped pattern of T- or Y-shaped bifurcation. The two resulting daughter axons then proceed in rostral or caudal directions, respectively, at the dorsolateral margin of the cord and only after a waiting period collaterals sprout from these stem axons to penetrate the gray matter (interstitial branching) and project to relay neurons in specific laminae of the spinal cord where they further arborize (terminal branching). DiI tracings have revealed growth cones at the dorsal root entry zone of the spinal cord that appeared to be in the process of splitting suggesting that bifurcation is caused by splitting of the growth cone itself (Fig. 2), however

  16. The Kinesin Adaptor Calsyntenin-1 Organizes Microtubule Polarity and Regulates Dynamics during Sensory Axon Arbor Development

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    Mary C. Halloran


    Full Text Available Axon growth and branching, and development of neuronal polarity are critically dependent on proper organization and dynamics of the microtubule (MT cytoskeleton. MTs must organize with correct polarity for delivery of diverse cargos to appropriate subcellular locations, yet the molecular mechanisms regulating MT polarity remain poorly understood. Moreover, how an actively branching axon reorganizes MTs to direct their plus ends distally at branch points is unknown. We used high-speed, in vivo imaging of polymerizing MT plus ends to characterize MT dynamics in developing sensory axon arbors in zebrafish embryos. We find that axonal MTs are highly dynamic throughout development, and that the peripheral and central axons of sensory neurons show differences in MT behaviors. Furthermore, we show that Calsyntenin-1 (Clstn-1, a kinesin adaptor required for sensory axon branching, also regulates MT polarity in developing axon arbors. In wild type neurons the vast majority of MTs are directed in the correct plus-end-distal orientation from early stages of development. Loss of Clstn-1 causes an increase in MTs polymerizing in the retrograde direction. These misoriented MTs most often are found near growth cones and branch points, suggesting Clstn-1 is particularly important for organizing MT polarity at these locations. Together, our results suggest that Clstn-1, in addition to regulating kinesin-mediated cargo transport, also organizes the underlying MT highway during axon arbor development.

  17. Brimonidine prevents axonal and somatic degeneration of retinal ganglion cell neurons

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    Crish Samuel D


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Brimonidine is a common drug for lowering ocular pressure and may directly protect retinal ganglion cells in glaucoma. The disease involves early loss of retinal ganglion cell transport to brain targets followed by axonal and somatic degeneration. We examined whether brimonidine preserves ganglion cell axonal transport and abates degeneration in rats with elevated ocular pressure induced by laser cauterization of the episcleral veins. Results Ocular pressure was elevated unilaterally by 90% for a period of 8 weeks post- cauterization. During this time, brimonidine (1mg/kg/day or vehicle (phosphate-buffered saline was delivered systemically and continuously via subcutaneous pump. Animals received bilateral intravitreal injections of fluorescent cholera toxin subunit β (CTB two days before sacrifice to assess anterograde transport. In retinas from the vehicle group, elevated pressure induced a 44% decrease in the fraction of ganglion cells with intact uptake of CTB and a 14-42% reduction in the number of immuno-labelled ganglion cell bodies, with the worst loss occurring nasally. Elevated pressure also caused a 33% loss of ganglion cell axons in vehicle optic nerves and a 70% decrease in CTB transport to the superior colliculus. Each of these components of ganglion cell degeneration was either prevented or significantly reduced in the brimonidine treatment group. Conclusions Continuous and systemic treatment with brimonidine by subcutaneous injection significantly improved retinal ganglion cell survival with exposure to elevated ocular pressure. This effect was most striking in the nasal region of the retina. Brimonidine treatment also preserved ganglion cell axon morphology, sampling density and total number in the optic nerve with elevated pressure. Consistent with improved outcome in the optic projection, brimonidine also significantly reduced the deficits in axonal transport to the superior colliculus associated with

  18. Difference in trafficking of brain-derived neurotrophic factor between axons and dendrites of cortical neurons, revealed by live-cell imaging

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    Kohara Keigo


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF, which is sorted into a regulated secretory pathway of neurons, is supposed to act retrogradely through dendrites on presynaptic neurons or anterogradely through axons on postsynaptic neurons. Depending on which is the case, the pattern and direction of trafficking of BDNF in dendrites and axons are expected to be different. To address this issue, we analyzed movements of green fluorescent protein (GFP-tagged BDNF in axons and dendrites of living cortical neurons by time-lapse imaging. In part of the experiments, the expression of BDNF tagged with cyan fluorescent protein (CFP was compared with that of nerve growth factor (NGF tagged with yellow fluorescent protein (YFP, to see whether fluorescent protein-tagged BDNF is expressed in a manner specific to this neurotrophin. Results We found that BDNF tagged with GFP or CFP was expressed in a punctated manner in dendrites and axons in about two-thirds of neurons into which plasmid cDNAs had been injected, while NGF tagged with GFP or YFP was diffusely expressed even in dendrites in about 70% of the plasmid-injected neurons. In neurons in which BDNF-GFP was expressed as vesicular puncta in axons, 59 and 23% of the puncta were moving rapidly in the anterograde and retrograde directions, respectively. On the other hand, 64% of BDNF-GFP puncta in dendrites did not move at all or fluttered back and forth within a short distance. The rest of the puncta in dendrites were moving relatively smoothly in either direction, but their mean velocity of transport, 0.47 ± 0.23 (SD μm/s, was slower than that of the moving puncta in axons (0.73 ± 0.26 μm/s. Conclusion The present results show that the pattern and velocity of the trafficking of fluorescence protein-tagged BDNF are different between axons and dendrites, and suggest that the anterograde transport in axons may be the dominant stream of BDNF to release sites.

  19. Microtubule-associated protein 6 mediates neuronal connectivity through Semaphorin 3E-dependent signalling for axonal growth (United States)

    Deloulme, Jean-Christophe; Gory-Fauré, Sylvie; Mauconduit, Franck; Chauvet, Sophie; Jonckheere, Julie; Boulan, Benoit; Mire, Erik; Xue, Jing; Jany, Marion; Maucler, Caroline; Deparis, Agathe A.; Montigon, Olivier; Daoust, Alexia; Barbier, Emmanuel L.; Bosc, Christophe; Deglon, Nicole; Brocard, Jacques; Denarier, Eric; Le Brun, Isabelle; Pernet-Gallay, Karin; Vilgrain, Isabelle; Robinson, Phillip J.; Lahrech, Hana; Mann, Fanny; Andrieux, Annie


    Structural microtubule associated proteins (MAPs) stabilize microtubules, a property that was thought to be essential for development, maintenance and function of neuronal circuits. However, deletion of the structural MAPs in mice does not lead to major neurodevelopment defects. Here we demonstrate a role for MAP6 in brain wiring that is independent of microtubule binding. We find that MAP6 deletion disrupts brain connectivity and is associated with a lack of post-commissural fornix fibres. MAP6 contributes to fornix development by regulating axonal elongation induced by Semaphorin 3E. We show that MAP6 acts downstream of receptor activation through a mechanism that requires a proline-rich domain distinct from its microtubule-stabilizing domains. We also show that MAP6 directly binds to SH3 domain proteins known to be involved in neurite extension and semaphorin function. We conclude that MAP6 is critical to interface guidance molecules with intracellular signalling effectors during the development of cerebral axon tracts. PMID:26037503

  20. Completely assembled virus particles detected by transmission electron microscopy in proximal and mid-axons of neurons infected with herpes simplex virus type 1, herpes simplex virus type 2 and pseudorabies virus. (United States)

    Huang, Jialing; Lazear, Helen M; Friedman, Harvey M


    The morphology of alphaherpesviruses during anterograde axonal transport from the neuron cell body towards the axon terminus is controversial. Reports suggest that transport of herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) nucleocapsids and envelope proteins occurs in separate compartments and that complete virions form at varicosities or axon termini (subassembly transport model), while transport of a related alphaherpesvirus, pseudorabies virus (PRV) occurs as enveloped capsids in vesicles (assembled transport model). Transmission electron microscopy of proximal and mid-axons of primary superior cervical ganglion (SCG) neurons was used to compare anterograde axonal transport of HSV-1, HSV-2 and PRV. SCG cell bodies were infected with HSV-1 NS and 17, HSV-2 2.12 and PRV Becker. Fully assembled virus particles were detected intracellularly within vesicles in proximal and mid-axons adjacent to microtubules after infection with each virus, indicating that assembled virions are transported anterograde within axons for all three alphaherpesviruses. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Completely assembled virus particles detected by transmission electron microscopy in proximal and mid-axons of neurons infected with herpes simplex virus type 1, herpes simplex virus type 2 and pseudorabies virus

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Huang Jialing; Lazear, Helen M.; Friedman, Harvey M.


    The morphology of alphaherpesviruses during anterograde axonal transport from the neuron cell body towards the axon terminus is controversial. Reports suggest that transport of herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) nucleocapsids and envelope proteins occurs in separate compartments and that complete virions form at varicosities or axon termini (subassembly transport model), while transport of a related alphaherpesvirus, pseudorabies virus (PRV) occurs as enveloped capsids in vesicles (assembled transport model). Transmission electron microscopy of proximal and mid-axons of primary superior cervical ganglion (SCG) neurons was used to compare anterograde axonal transport of HSV-1, HSV-2 and PRV. SCG cell bodies were infected with HSV-1 NS and 17, HSV-2 2.12 and PRV Becker. Fully assembled virus particles were detected intracellularly within vesicles in proximal and mid-axons adjacent to microtubules after infection with each virus, indicating that assembled virions are transported anterograde within axons for all three alphaherpesviruses.

  2. Herpes simplex virus type 2 glycoprotein E is required for efficient virus spread from epithelial cells to neurons and for targeting viral proteins from the neuron cell body into axons. (United States)

    Wang, Fushan; Zumbrun, Elizabeth E; Huang, Jialing; Si, Huaxin; Makaroun, Lena; Friedman, Harvey M


    The HSV-2 lifecycle involves virus spread in a circuit from the inoculation site to dorsal root ganglia and return. We evaluated the role of gE-2 in the virus lifecycle by deleting amino acids 124-495 (gE2-del virus). In the mouse retina infection model, gE2-del virus does not spread to nuclei in the brain, indicating a defect in anterograde (pre-synaptic to post-synaptic neurons) and retrograde (post-synaptic to pre-synaptic neurons) spread. Infection of neuronal cells in vitro demonstrates that gE-2 is required for targeting viral proteins from neuron cell bodies into axons, and for efficient virus spread from epithelial cells to axons. The mouse flank model confirms that gE2-del virus is defective in spread from epithelial cells to neurons. Therefore, we defined two steps in the virus lifecycle that involve gE-2, including efficient spread from epithelial cells to axons and targeting viral components from neuron cell bodies into axons. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. The Actin Cytoskeleton Is Involved in Glial Cell Line-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (GDNF)-Induced Ret Translocation into Lipid Rafts in Dopaminergic Neuronal Cells. (United States)

    Li, Li; Song, Haijing; Mu, Peipei; Xu, Ming; Liu, Chaoxia; Wang, Ying; Qin, Yingsong; Sun, Shen; Gao, Jin; Wang, Ting; Gao, Dianshuai


    Glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF), a potential therapeutic factor for Parkinson's disease (PD), exerts its biological effects through the Ret receptor tyrosine kinase. The redistribution of Ret into lipid rafts substantially influences Ret signaling, but the mechanisms underlying Ret translocation remain unclear. The purpose of our study was to further explore the signaling mechanisms of GDNF and to determine whether the actin cytoskeleton is involved in the GDNF-induced Ret translocation into lipid rafts. In MN9D dopaminergic neuronal cells, we used density gradient centrifugation and immunofluorescence confocal microscopy to separate and visualize lipid rafts, co-immunoprecipitation to analyze protein-protein interactions, and latrunculin B (Lat B) and jasplakinolide (Jas) to disrupt and enhance the polymerization of the actin cytoskeleton, respectively. The results showed that Ret translocated into lipid rafts and coimmunoprecipitated with actin in response to GDNF treatment. After Lat B or Jas treatment, the Ret-F-actin association induced by GDNF was impaired or enhanced respectively and then the levels of Ret translocated into lipid rafts were correspondingly inhibited or promoted. These data indicate that actin polymerization and cytoskeletal remodeling are integral to GDNF-induced cell signaling in dopaminergic cells and define a new role of the actin cytoskeleton in promoting Ret redistribution into lipid rafts.

  4. The Actin Cytoskeleton Is Involved in Glial Cell Line-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (GDNF-Induced Ret Translocation into Lipid Rafts in Dopaminergic Neuronal Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Li Li


    Full Text Available Glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF, a potential therapeutic factor for Parkinson’s disease (PD, exerts its biological effects through the Ret receptor tyrosine kinase. The redistribution of Ret into lipid rafts substantially influences Ret signaling, but the mechanisms underlying Ret translocation remain unclear. The purpose of our study was to further explore the signaling mechanisms of GDNF and to determine whether the actin cytoskeleton is involved in the GDNF-induced Ret translocation into lipid rafts. In MN9D dopaminergic neuronal cells, we used density gradient centrifugation and immunofluorescence confocal microscopy to separate and visualize lipid rafts, co-immunoprecipitation to analyze protein-protein interactions, and latrunculin B (Lat B and jasplakinolide (Jas to disrupt and enhance the polymerization of the actin cytoskeleton, respectively. The results showed that Ret translocated into lipid rafts and coimmunoprecipitated with actin in response to GDNF treatment. After Lat B or Jas treatment, the Ret–F-actin association induced by GDNF was impaired or enhanced respectively and then the levels of Ret translocated into lipid rafts were correspondingly inhibited or promoted. These data indicate that actin polymerization and cytoskeletal remodeling are integral to GDNF-induced cell signaling in dopaminergic cells and define a new role of the actin cytoskeleton in promoting Ret redistribution into lipid rafts.

  5. Neuronal Subset-Specific Migration and Axonal Wiring Mechanisms in the Developing Midbrain Dopamine System

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    Sara Brignani


    Full Text Available The midbrain dopamine (mDA system is involved in the control of cognitive and motor behaviors, and is associated with several psychiatric and neurodegenerative diseases. mDA neurons receive diverse afferent inputs and establish efferent connections with many brain areas. Recent studies have unveiled a high level of molecular and cellular heterogeneity within the mDA system with specific subsets of mDA neurons displaying select molecular profiles and connectivity patterns. During mDA neuron development, molecular differences between mDA neuron subsets allow the establishment of subset-specific afferent and efferent connections and functional roles. In this review, we summarize and discuss recent work defining novel mDA neuron subsets based on specific molecular signatures. Then, molecular cues are highlighted that control mDA neuron migration during embryonic development and that facilitate the formation of selective patterns of efferent connections. The review focuses largely on studies that show differences in these mechanisms between different subsets of mDA neurons and for which in vivo data is available, and is concluded by a section that discusses open questions and provides directions for further research.

  6. HDAC6 Inhibitors Rescued the Defective Axonal Mitochondrial Movement in Motor Neurons Derived from the Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells of Peripheral Neuropathy Patients with HSPB1 Mutation

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    Ji-Yon Kim


    Full Text Available The Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease 2F (CMT2F and distal hereditary motor neuropathy 2B (dHMN2B are caused by autosomal dominantly inherited mutations of the heat shock 27 kDa protein 1 (HSPB1 gene and there are no specific therapies available yet. Here, we assessed the potential therapeutic effect of HDAC6 inhibitors on peripheral neuropathy with HSPB1 mutation using in vitro model of motor neurons derived from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs of CMT2F and dHMN2B patients. The absolute velocity of mitochondrial movements and the percentage of moving mitochondria in axons were lower both in CMT2F-motor neurons and in dHMN2B-motor neurons than those in controls, and the severity of the defective mitochondrial movement was different between the two disease models. CMT2F-motor neurons and dHMN2B-motor neurons also showed reduced α-tubulin acetylation compared with controls. The newly developed HDAC6 inhibitors, CHEMICAL X4 and CHEMICAL X9, increased acetylation of α-tubulin and reversed axonal movement defects of mitochondria in CMT2F-motor neurons and dHMN2B-motor neurons. Our results suggest that the neurons derived from patient-specific iPSCs can be used in drug screening including HDAC6 inhibitors targeting peripheral neuropathy.

  7. Light and electron microscopy of contacts between primary afferent fibres and neurones with axons ascending the dorsal columns of the feline spinal cord. (United States)

    Maxwell, D J; Koerber, H R; Bannatyne, B A


    In addition to primary afferent fibres, the dorsal columns of the cat spinal cord contain ascending second-order axons which project to the dorsal column nuclei. The aim of the present study was to obtain morphological evidence that certain primary afferent axons form monosynaptic contacts with cells of origin of this postsynaptic dorsal column pathway. In ten adult cats, neurones with axons ascending the dorsal columns were retrogradely labelled with horseradish peroxidase using a pellet implantation method in the thoracic dorsal columns. In the lumbosacral regions of the same animals, primary afferent fibres were labelled intra-axonally with ionophoretic application of horseradish peroxidase. Tissue containing labelled axons was prepared for light and combined light and electron microscopy. Ultrastructural examination demonstrated that slowly adapting (Type I), hair follicle, Pacinian corpuscle and group Ia muscle spindle afferents formed monosynaptic contacts with labelled cells and light microscopical analysis suggested that they also received monosynaptic input from rapidly adapting (Krause) afferents. This evidence suggests that sensory information from large-diameter cutaneous and muscle spindle afferent fibres is conveyed disynaptically via the postsynaptic dorsal column pathway to the dorsal column nuclei. Some of the input to this pathway is probably modified in the spinal cord as the majority of primary afferent boutons forming monosynaptic contacts were postsynaptic to other axon terminals. The postsynaptic dorsal column system appears to constitute a major somatosensory pathway in the cat.

  8. The Actin-Binding Protein α-Adducin Is Required for Maintaining Axon Diameter. (United States)

    Leite, Sérgio Carvalho; Sampaio, Paula; Sousa, Vera Filipe; Nogueira-Rodrigues, Joana; Pinto-Costa, Rita; Peters, Luanne Laurel; Brites, Pedro; Sousa, Mónica Mendes


    The actin-binding protein adducin was recently identified as a component of the neuronal subcortical cytoskeleton. Here, we analyzed mice lacking adducin to uncover the function of this protein in actin rings. α-adducin knockout mice presented progressive axon enlargement in the spinal cord and optic and sciatic nerves, followed by axon degeneration and loss. Using stimulated emission depletion super-resolution microscopy, we show that a periodic subcortical actin cytoskeleton is assembled in every neuron type inspected including retinal ganglion cells and dorsal root ganglia neurons. In neurons devoid of adducin, the actin ring diameter increased, although the inter-ring periodicity was maintained. In vitro, the actin ring diameter adjusted as axons grew, suggesting the lattice is dynamic. Our data support a model in which adducin activity is not essential for actin ring assembly and periodicity but is necessary to control the diameter of both actin rings and axons and actin filament growth within rings. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. The Actin-Binding Protein α-Adducin Is Required for Maintaining Axon Diameter

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    Sérgio Carvalho Leite


    Full Text Available The actin-binding protein adducin was recently identified as a component of the neuronal subcortical cytoskeleton. Here, we analyzed mice lacking adducin to uncover the function of this protein in actin rings. α-adducin knockout mice presented progressive axon enlargement in the spinal cord and optic and sciatic nerves, followed by axon degeneration and loss. Using stimulated emission depletion super-resolution microscopy, we show that a periodic subcortical actin cytoskeleton is assembled in every neuron type inspected including retinal ganglion cells and dorsal root ganglia neurons. In neurons devoid of adducin, the actin ring diameter increased, although the inter-ring periodicity was maintained. In vitro, the actin ring diameter adjusted as axons grew, suggesting the lattice is dynamic. Our data support a model in which adducin activity is not essential for actin ring assembly and periodicity but is necessary to control the diameter of both actin rings and axons and actin filament growth within rings.

  10. Dync1h1 Mutation Causes Proprioceptive Sensory Neuron Loss and Impaired Retrograde Axonal Transport of Dorsal Root Ganglion Neurons. (United States)

    Zhao, Jing; Wang, Yi; Xu, Huan; Fu, Yuan; Qian, Ting; Bo, Deng; Lu, Yan-Xin; Xiong, Yi; Wan, Jun; Zhang, Xiang; Dong, Qiang; Chen, Xiang-Jun


    Sprawling (Swl) is a radiation-induced mutation which has been identified to have a nine base pair deletion in dynein heavy chain 1 (DYNC1H1: encoded by a single gene Dync1h1). This study is to investigate the phenotype and the underlying mechanism of the Dync1h1 mutant. To display the phenotype of Swl mutant mice, we examined the embryos of homozygous (Swl/Swl) and heterozygous (Swl/+) mice and their postnatal dorsal root ganglion (DRG) of surviving Swl/+ mice. The Swl/+ mice could survive for a normal life span, while Swl/Swl could only survive till embryonic (E) 8.5 days. Excessive apoptosis of Swl/+ DRG neurons was revealed during E11.5-E15.5 days, and the peak rate was at E13.5 days. In vitro study of mutated DRG neurons showed impaired retrograde transport of dynein-driven nerve growth factor (NGF). Mitochondria, another dynein-driven cargo, demonstrated much slower retrograde transport velocity in Swl/+ neurons than in wild-type (WT) neurons. Nevertheless, the Swl, Loa, and Cra mutations did not affect homodimerization of DYNC1H1. The Swl/Swl mutation of Dync1h1 gene led to embryonic mal-development and lethality, whereas the Swl/+ DRG neurons demonstrated deficient retrograde transport in dynein-driven cargos and excessive apoptosis during mid- to late-developmental stages. The underlying mechanism of the mutation may not be due to impaired homodimerization of DYNC1H1. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  11. Axon Guidance of Sympathetic Neurons to Cardiomyocytes by Glial Cell Line-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (GDNF)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Miwa, Keiko; Lee, Jong-Kook; Takagishi, Yoshiko; Opthof, Tobias; Fu, Xianming; Hirabayashi, Masumi; Watabe, Kazuhiko; Jimbo, Yasuhiko; Kodama, Itsuo; Komuro, Issei


    Molecular signaling of cardiac autonomic innervation is an unresolved issue. Here, we show that glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) promotes cardiac sympathetic innervation in vitro and in vivo. In vitro, ventricular myocytes (VMs) and sympathetic neurons (SNs) isolated from neonatal

  12. NGF-dependent axon growth and regeneration are altered in sympathetic neurons of dystrophic mdx mice

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lombardi, Loredana; Persiconi, Irene; Gallo, Alessandra; Hoogenraad, Casper C; De Stefano, Maria Egle

    Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a lethal disease, determined by lack of dystrophin (Dp427), a muscular cytoskeletal protein also expressed by selected neuronal populations. Consequently, besides muscular wasting, both human patients and DMD animal models suffer several neural disorders. In

  13. Neuron-specific knockdown of the Drosophila fat induces reduction of life span, deficient locomotive ability, shortening of motoneuron terminal branches and defects in axonal targeting. (United States)

    Nakamura, Aya; Tanaka, Ryo; Morishita, Kazushige; Yoshida, Hideki; Higuchi, Yujiro; Takashima, Hiroshi; Yamaguchi, Masamitsu


    Mutations in FAT4 gene, one of the human FAT family genes, have been identified in Van Maldergem syndrome (VMS) and Hennekam lymphangiectasia-lymphedema syndrome (HS). The FAT4 gene encodes a large protein with extracellular cadherin repeats, EGF-like domains and Laminin G-like domains. FAT4 plays a role in tumor suppression and planar cell polarity. Drosophila contains a human FAT4 homologue, fat. Drosophila fat has been mainly studied with Drosophila eye and wing systems. Here, we specially knocked down Drosophila fat in nerve system. Neuron-specific knockdown of fat shortened the life span and induced the defect in locomotive abilities of adult flies. In consistent with these phenotypes, defects in synapse structure at neuromuscular junction were observed in neuron-specific fat-knockdown flies. In addition, aberrations in axonal targeting of photoreceptor neuron in third-instar larvae were also observed, suggesting that fat involves in axonal targeting. Taken together, the results indicate that Drosophila fat plays an essential role in formation and/or maintenance of neuron. Both VMS and HS show mental retardation and neuronal defects. We therefore consider that these two rare human diseases could possibly be caused by the defect in FAT4 function in neuronal cells. © 2017 Molecular Biology Society of Japan and John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd.

  14. Growth cone travel in space and time: the cellular ensemble of cytoskeleton, adhesion, and membrane. (United States)

    Vitriol, Eric A; Zheng, James Q


    Growth cones, found at the tip of axonal projections, are the sensory and motile organelles of developing neurons that enable axon pathfinding and target recognition for precise wiring of the neural circuitry. To date, many families of conserved guidance molecules and their corresponding receptors have been identified that work in space and time to ensure billions of axons to reach their targets. Research in the past two decades has also gained significant insight into the ways in which growth cones translate extracellular signals into directional migration. This review aims to examine new progress toward understanding the cellular mechanisms underlying directional motility of the growth cone and to discuss questions that remain to be addressed. Specifically, we will focus on the cellular ensemble of cytoskeleton, adhesion, and membrane and examine how the intricate interplay between these processes orchestrates the directed movement of growth cones. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Herpes Simplex Virus Membrane Proteins gE/gI and US9 Act Cooperatively To Promote Transport of Capsids and Glycoproteins from Neuron Cell Bodies into Initial Axon Segments (United States)

    Howard, Paul W.; Howard, Tiffani L.


    Herpes simplex virus (HSV) and other alphaherpesviruses must move from sites of latency in ganglia to peripheral epithelial cells. How HSV navigates in neuronal axons is not well understood. Two HSV membrane proteins, gE/gI and US9, are key to understanding the processes by which viral glycoproteins, unenveloped capsids, and enveloped virions are transported toward axon tips. Whether gE/gI and US9 function to promote the loading of viral proteins onto microtubule motors in neuron cell bodies or to tether viral proteins onto microtubule motors within axons is not clear. One impediment to understanding how HSV gE/gI and US9 function in axonal transport relates to observations that gE−, gI−, or US9− mutants are not absolutely blocked in axonal transport. Mutants are significantly reduced in numbers of capsids and glycoproteins in distal axons, but there are less extensive effects in proximal axons. We constructed HSV recombinants lacking both gE and US9 that transported no detectable capsids and glycoproteins to distal axons and failed to spread from axon tips to adjacent cells. Live-cell imaging of a gE−/US9− double mutant that expressed fluorescent capsids and gB demonstrated >90% diminished capsids and gB in medial axons and no evidence for decreased rates of transport, stalling, or increased retrograde transport. Instead, capsids, gB, and enveloped virions failed to enter proximal axons. We concluded that gE/gI and US9 function in neuron cell bodies, in a cooperative fashion, to promote the loading of HSV capsids and vesicles containing glycoproteins and enveloped virions onto microtubule motors or their transport into proximal axons. PMID:23077321

  16. A novel mouse model of Warburg Micro syndrome reveals roles for RAB18 in eye development and organisation of the neuronal cytoskeleton

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    Sarah M. Carpanini


    Full Text Available Mutations in RAB18 have been shown to cause the heterogeneous autosomal recessive disorder Warburg Micro syndrome (WARBM. Individuals with WARBM present with a range of clinical symptoms, including ocular and neurological abnormalities. However, the underlying cellular and molecular pathogenesis of the disorder remains unclear, largely owing to the lack of any robust animal models that phenocopy both the ocular and neurological features of the disease. We report here the generation and characterisation of a novel Rab18-mutant mouse model of WARBM. Rab18-mutant mice are viable and fertile. They present with congenital nuclear cataracts and atonic pupils, recapitulating the characteristic ocular features that are associated with WARBM. Additionally, Rab18-mutant cells exhibit an increase in lipid droplet size following treatment with oleic acid. Lipid droplet abnormalities are a characteristic feature of cells taken from WARBM individuals, as well as cells taken from individuals with other neurodegenerative conditions. Neurological dysfunction is also apparent in Rab18-mutant mice, including progressive weakness of the hind limbs. We show that the neurological defects are, most likely, not caused by gross perturbations in synaptic vesicle recycling in the central or peripheral nervous system. Rather, loss of Rab18 is associated with widespread disruption of the neuronal cytoskeleton, including abnormal accumulations of neurofilament and microtubule proteins in synaptic terminals, and gross disorganisation of the cytoskeleton in peripheral nerves. Global proteomic profiling of peripheral nerves in Rab18-mutant mice reveals significant alterations in several core molecular pathways that regulate cytoskeletal dynamics in neurons. The apparent similarities between the WARBM phenotype and the phenotype that we describe here indicate that the Rab18-mutant mouse provides an important platform for investigation of the disease pathogenesis and therapeutic

  17. Ephexin1 Is Required for Eph-Mediated Limb Trajectory of Spinal Motor Axons. (United States)

    Chang, Chih-Ju; Chang, Ming-Yuan; Chou, Szu-Yi; Huang, Chi-Chen; Chuang, Jian-Ying; Hsu, Tsung-I; Chang, Hsing-Fang; Wu, Yi-Hsin; Wu, Chung-Che; Morales, Daniel; Kania, Artur; Kao, Tzu-Jen


    The precise assembly of a functional nervous system relies on the guided migration of axonal growth cones, which is made possible by signals transmitted to the cytoskeleton by cell surface-expressed guidance receptors. We investigated the function of ephexin1, a Rho guanine nucleotide exchange factor, as an essential growth-cone guidance intermediary in the context of spinal lateral motor column (LMC) motor axon trajectory selection in the limb mesenchyme. Using in situ mRNA detection, we first show that ephexin1 is expressed in LMC neurons of chick and mouse embryos at the time of spinal motor axon extension into the limb. Ephexin1 loss of function and gain of function using in ovo electroporation in chick LMC neurons, of either sex, perturbed LMC axon trajectory selection, demonstrating an essential role of ephexin1 in motor axon guidance. In addition, ephexin1 loss in mice of either sex led to LMC axon trajectory selection errors. We also show that ephexin1 knockdown attenuates the growth preference of LMC neurites against ephrins in vitro and Eph receptor-mediated retargeting of LMC axons in vivo , suggesting that ephexin1 is required in Eph-mediated LMC motor axon guidance. Finally, both ephexin1 knockdown and ectopic expression of nonphosphorylatable ephexin1 mutant attenuated the retargeting of LMC axons caused by Src overexpression, implicating ephexin1 as an Src target in Eph signal relay in this context. In summary, our findings demonstrate that ephexin1 is essential for motor axon guidance and suggest an important role in relaying ephrin:Eph signals that mediate motor axon trajectory selection. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT The proper development of functioning neural circuits requires precise nerve connections among neurons or between neurons and their muscle targets. The Eph tyrosine kinase receptors expressed in neurons are important in many contexts during neural-circuit formation, such as axon outgrowth, axon guidance, and synaptic formation, and have been

  18. Herpes Simplex Virus gE/gI and US9 Promote both Envelopment and Sorting of Virus Particles in the Cytoplasm of Neurons, Two Processes That Precede Anterograde Transport in Axons. (United States)

    DuRaine, Grayson; Wisner, Todd W; Howard, Paul; Williams, Melissa; Johnson, David C


    Herpes simplex virus (HSV) anterograde transport in neuronal axons is vital, allowing spread from latently infected ganglia to epithelial tissues, where viral progeny are produced in numbers allowing spread to other hosts. The HSV membrane proteins gE/gI and US9 initiate the process of anterograde axonal transport, ensuring that virus particles are transported from the cytoplasm into the most proximal segments of axons. These proteins do not appear to be important once HSV is inside axons. We previously described HSV double mutants lacking both gE and US9 that failed to transport virus particles into axons. Here we show that gE - US9 - double mutants accumulate large quantities of unenveloped and partially enveloped capsids in neuronal cytoplasm. These defects in envelopment can explain the defects in axonal transport of enveloped virions. In addition, the unenveloped capsids that accumulated were frequently bound to cytoplasmic membranes, apparently immobilized in intermediate stages of envelopment. A gE-null mutant produced enveloped virions, but these accumulated in large numbers in the neuronal cytoplasm rather than reaching cell surfaces as wild-type HSV virions do. Thus, in addition to the defects in envelopment, there was missorting of capsids and enveloped particles in the neuronal cytoplasm, which can explain the reduced anterograde transport of unenveloped capsids and enveloped virions. These mechanisms differ substantially from existing models suggesting that gE/gI and US9 function by tethering HSV particles to kinesin microtubule motors. The defects in assembly of gE - US9 - mutant virus particles were novel because they were neuron specific, in keeping with observations that US9 is neuron specific. IMPORTANCE Herpes simplex virus (HSV) and other alphaherpesviruses, such as varicella-zoster virus, depend upon the capacity to navigate in neuronal axons. To do this, virus particles tether themselves to dyneins and kinesins that motor along microtubules

  19. The Kv2.1 K+ channel targets to the axon initial segment of hippocampal and cortical neurons in culture and in situ

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    Tamkun Michael M


    Full Text Available Abstract Background The Kv2.1 delayed-rectifier K+ channel regulates membrane excitability in hippocampal neurons where it targets to dynamic cell surface clusters on the soma and proximal dendrites. In the past, Kv2.1 has been assumed to be absent from the axon initial segment. Results Transfected and endogenous Kv2.1 is now demonstrated to preferentially accumulate within the axon initial segment (AIS over other neurite processes; 87% of 14 DIV hippocampal neurons show endogenous channel concentrated at the AIS relative to the soma and proximal dendrites. In contrast to the localization observed in pyramidal cells, GAD positive inhibitory neurons within the hippocampal cultures did not show AIS targeting. Photoactivable-GFP-Kv2.1-containing clusters at the AIS were stable, moving μm/hr with no channel turnover. Photobleach studies indicated individual channels within the cluster perimeter were highly mobile (FRAP τ = 10.4 ± 4.8 sec, supporting our model that Kv2.1 clusters are formed by the retention of mobile channels behind a diffusion-limiting perimeter. Demonstrating that the AIS targeting is not a tissue culture artifact, Kv2.1 was found in axon initial segments within both the adult rat hippocampal CA1, CA2, and CA3 layers and cortex. Conclusion In summary, Kv2.1 is associated with the axon initial segment both in vitro and in vivo where it may modulate action potential frequency and back propagation. Since transfected Kv2.1 initially localizes to the AIS before appearing on the soma, it is likely multiple mechanisms regulate Kv2.1 trafficking to the cell surface.

  20. The somatostatin 2A receptor is enriched in migrating neurons during rat and human brain development and stimulates migration and axonal outgrowth.

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    Virginia Le Verche

    Full Text Available The neuropeptide somatostatin has been suggested to play an important role during neuronal development in addition to its established modulatory impact on neuroendocrine, motor and cognitive functions in adults. Although six somatostatin G protein-coupled receptors have been discovered, little is known about their distribution and function in the developing mammalian brain. In this study, we have first characterized the developmental expression of the somatostatin receptor sst2A, the subtype found most prominently in the adult rat and human nervous system. In the rat, the sst2A receptor expression appears as early as E12 and is restricted to post-mitotic neuronal populations leaving the ventricular zone. From E12 on, migrating neuronal populations immunopositive for the receptor were observed in numerous developing regions including the cerebral cortex, hippocampus and ganglionic eminences. Intense but transient immunoreactive signals were detected in the deep part of the external granular layer of the cerebellum, the rostral migratory stream and in tyrosine hydroxylase- and serotonin- positive neurons and axons. Activation of the sst2A receptor in vitro in rat cerebellar microexplants and primary hippocampal neurons revealed stimulatory effects on neuronal migration and axonal growth, respectively. In the human cortex, receptor immunoreactivity was located in the preplate at early development stages (8 gestational weeks and was enriched to the outer part of the germinal zone at later stages. In the cerebellum, the deep part of the external granular layer was strongly immunoreactive at 19 gestational weeks, similar to the finding in rodents. In addition, migrating granule cells in the internal granular layer were also receptor-positive. Together, theses results strongly suggest that the somatostatin sst2A receptor participates in the development and maturation of specific neuronal populations during rat and human brain ontogenesis.

  1. Targeted disruption of the Mast syndrome gene SPG21 in mice impairs hind limb function and alters axon branching in cultured cortical neurons (United States)

    Soderblom, Cynthia; Stadler, Julia; Jupille, Henri; Blackstone, Craig; Shupliakov, Oleg


    Mast syndrome (SPG21) is a childhood-onset, autosomal recessive, complicated form of hereditary spastic paraplegia (HSP) characterized by dementia, thin corpus callosum, white matter abnormalities, and cerebellar and extrapyramidal signs in addition to spastic paraparesis. A nucleotide insertion resulting in premature truncation of the SPG21 gene product maspardin underlies this disorder, likely leading to loss of protein function. In this study, we generated SPG21−/− knockout mice by homologous recombination as a possible animal model for SPG21. Though SPG21−/− mice appeared normal at birth, within several months they developed gradually progressive hind limb dysfunction. Cerebral cortical neurons cultured from SPG21−/− mice exhibited significantly more axonal branching than neurons from wild-type animals, while comprehensive neuropathological analysis of SPG21−/− mice did not reveal definitive abnormalities. Since alterations in axon branching have been seen in neurons derived from animal models of other forms of HSP as well as motor neuron diseases, this may represent a common cellular pathogenic theme. PMID:20661613

  2. Neural differentiation of human embryonic stem cells as an in vitro tool for the study of the expression patterns of the neuronal cytoskeleton during neurogenesis. (United States)

    Liu, Chao; Zhong, Yongwang; Apostolou, Andria; Fang, Shengyun


    The neural differentiation of human embryonic stem cells (ESCs) is a potential tool for elucidating the key mechanisms involved in human neurogenesis. Nestin and β-III-tubulin, which are cytoskeleton proteins, are marker proteins of neural stem cells (NSCs) and neurons, respectively. However, the expression patterns of nestin and β-III-tubulin in neural derivatives from human ESCs remain unclear. In this study, we found that neural progenitor cells (NPCs) derived from H9 cells express high levels of nestin and musashi-1. In contrast, β-III-tubulin was weakly expressed in a few NPCs. Moreover, in these cells, nestin formed filament networks, whereas β-III-tubulin was distributed randomly as small particles. As the differentiation proceeded, the nestin filament networks and the β-III-tubulin particles were found in both the cell soma and the cellular processes. Moreover, the colocalization of nestin and β-III-tubulin was found mainly in the cell processes and neurite-like structures and not in the cell soma. These results may aid our understanding of the expression patterns of nestin and β-III-tubulin during the neural differentiation of H9 cells. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Rescuing axons from degeneration does not affect retinal ganglion cell death

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    S. de Lima


    Full Text Available After a traumatic injury to the central nervous system, the distal stumps of axons undergo Wallerian degeneration (WD, an event that comprises cytoskeleton and myelin breakdown, astrocytic gliosis, and overexpression of proteins that inhibit axonal regrowth. By contrast, injured neuronal cell bodies show features characteristic of attempts to initiate the regenerative process of elongating their axons. The main molecular event that leads to WD is an increase in the intracellular calcium concentration, which activates calpains, calcium-dependent proteases that degrade cytoskeleton proteins. The aim of our study was to investigate whether preventing axonal degeneration would impact the survival of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs after crushing the optic nerve. We observed that male Wistar rats (weighing 200-400 g; n=18 treated with an exogenous calpain inhibitor (20 mM administered via direct application of the inhibitor embedded within the copolymer resin Evlax immediately following optic nerve crush showed a delay in the onset of WD. This delayed onset was characterized by a decrease in the number of degenerated fibers (P<0.05 and an increase in the number of preserved fibers (P<0.05 4 days after injury. Additionally, most preserved fibers showed a normal G-ratio. These results indicated that calpain inhibition prevented the degeneration of optic nerve fibers, rescuing axons from the process of axonal degeneration. However, analysis of retinal ganglion cell survival demonstrated no difference between the calpain inhibitor- and vehicle-treated groups, suggesting that although the calpain inhibitor prevented axonal degeneration, it had no effect on RGC survival after optic nerve damage.

  4. Signal propagation along the axon. (United States)

    Rama, Sylvain; Zbili, Mickaël; Debanne, Dominique


    Axons link distant brain regions and are usually considered as simple transmission cables in which reliable propagation occurs once an action potential has been generated. Safe propagation of action potentials relies on specific ion channel expression at strategic points of the axon such as nodes of Ranvier or axonal branch points. However, while action potentials are generally considered as the quantum of neuronal information, their signaling is not entirely digital. In fact, both their shape and their conduction speed have been shown to be modulated by activity, leading to regulations of synaptic latency and synaptic strength. We report here newly identified mechanisms of (1) safe spike propagation along the axon, (2) compartmentalization of action potential shape in the axon, (3) analog modulation of spike-evoked synaptic transmission and (4) alteration in conduction time after persistent regulation of axon morphology in central neurons. We discuss the contribution of these regulations in information processing. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Axonal Actin Transport Driven By Metastable Actin Filaments (United States)

    Chakrabarty, Nilaj; Ganguly, Archan; Roy, Subhojit; Jung, Peter

    Actin is one of the key constituents of the neuronal cytoskeleton and is responsible for driving important cellular processes like axon elongation. Axonal actin is synthesized in the cell body and transported at rates of 0.25 - 3 mm/day, as shown by in-vivo pulse-chase radiolabelling studies. However, the underlying transport mechanisms are unknown. Recent experiments in cultured neurons have revealed a dynamic network of metastable actin filaments (actin trails). Actin trails seem to originate from focal actin hotspots which colocalize with stationary endosomes. Interestingly, the number of actin trails extending anterogradely is higher than the ones extending retrogradely. We hypothesize that the bulk axonal transport of actin originates from this directional asymmetry of the number of actin trails. To test this, we constructed a computational model of actin trail growth and simulated the pulse-chase experiment. In our model, local, metastable trails, which grow with their barbed ends anchored to the hotspots, drive the bulk anterograde transport. Our results indicate that the observed bias of the nucleation probabilities and the elongation rate of actin trails are sufficient to drive the bulk transport of actin at rates that agree with in-vivo pulse chase experiments.

  6. Vesicular Axonal Transport is Modified In Vivo by Tau Deletion or Overexpression in Drosophila

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    Yasmina Talmat-Amar


    Full Text Available Structural microtubule associated protein Tau is found in high amount in axons and is involved in several neurodegenerative diseases. Although many studies have highlighted the toxicity of an excess of Tau in neurons, the in vivo understanding of the endogenous role of Tau in axon morphology and physiology is poor. Indeed, knock-out mice display no strong cytoskeleton or axonal transport phenotype, probably because of some important functional redundancy with other microtubule-associated proteins (MAPs. Here, we took advantage of the model organism Drosophila, which genome contains only one homologue of the Tau/MAP2/MAP4 family to decipher (endogenous Tau functions. We found that Tau depletion leads to a decrease in microtubule number and microtubule density within axons, while Tau excess leads to the opposite phenotypes. Analysis of vesicular transport in tau mutants showed altered mobility of vesicles, but no change in the total amount of putatively mobile vesicles, whereas both aspects were affected when Tau was overexpressed. In conclusion, we show that loss of Tau in tau mutants not only leads to a decrease in axonal microtubule density, but also impairs axonal vesicular transport, albeit to a lesser extent compared to the effects of an excess of Tau.

  7. Axonal plasticity and functional recovery after spinal cord injury in mice deficient in both glial fibrillary acidic protein and vimentin genes (United States)

    Menet, V.; Prieto, M.; Privat, A.; Ribotta, M. Giménez y


    The lack of axonal regeneration in the injured adult mammalian spinal cord leads to permanent functional disabilities. The inability of neurons to regenerate their axon is appreciably due to an inhospitable environment made of an astrocytic scar. We generated mice knock-out for glial fibrillary acidic protein and vimentin, the major proteins of the astrocyte cytoskeleton, which are upregulated in reactive astrocytes. These animals, after a hemisection of the spinal cord, presented reduced astroglial reactivity associated with increased plastic sprouting of supraspinal axons, including the reconstruction of circuits leading to functional restoration. Therefore, improved anatomical and functional recovery in the absence of both proteins highlights the pivotal role of reactive astrocytes in axonal regenerative failure in adult CNS and could lead to new therapies of spinal cord lesions. PMID:12861073

  8. Cooperative Interactions between 480 kDa Ankyrin-G and EB Proteins Assemble the Axon Initial Segment. (United States)

    Fréal, Amélie; Fassier, Coralie; Le Bras, Barbara; Bullier, Erika; De Gois, Stéphanie; Hazan, Jamilé; Hoogenraad, Casper C; Couraud, François


    The axon initial segment (AIS) is required for generating action potentials and maintaining neuronal polarity. Significant progress has been made in deciphering the basic building blocks composing the AIS, but the underlying mechanisms required for AIS formation remains unclear. The scaffolding protein ankyrin-G is the master-organizer of the AIS. Microtubules and their interactors, particularly end-binding proteins (EBs), have emerged as potential key players in AIS formation. Here, we show that the longest isoform of ankyrin-G (480AnkG) selectively associates with EBs via its specific tail domain and that this interaction is crucial for AIS formation and neuronal polarity in cultured rodent hippocampal neurons. EBs are essential for 480AnkG localization and stabilization at the AIS, whereas 480AnkG is required for the specific accumulation of EBs in the proximal axon. Our findings thus provide a conceptual framework for understanding how the cooperative relationship between 480AnkG and EBs induces the assembly of microtubule-AIS structures in the proximal axon. Neuronal polarity is crucial for the proper function of neurons. The assembly of the axon initial segment (AIS), which is the hallmark of early neuronal polarization, relies on the longest 480 kDa ankyrin-G isoform. The microtubule cytoskeleton and its interacting proteins were suggested to be early key players in the process of AIS formation. In this study, we show that the crosstalk between 480 kDa ankyrin-G and the microtubule plus-end tracking proteins, EBs, at the proximal axon is decisive for AIS assembly and neuronal polarity. Our work thus provides insight into the functional mechanisms used by 480 kDa ankyrin-G to drive the AIS formation and thereby to establish neuronal polarity. Copyright © 2016 the authors 0270-6474/16/364421-13$15.00/0.

  9. The Networks of Genes Encoding Palmitoylated Proteins in Axonal and Synaptic Compartments Are Affected in PPT1 Overexpressing Neuronal-Like Cells

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    Francesco Pezzini


    Full Text Available CLN1 disease (OMIM #256730 is an early childhood ceroid-lipofuscinosis associated with mutated CLN1, whose product Palmitoyl-Protein Thioesterase 1 (PPT1 is a lysosomal enzyme involved in the removal of palmitate residues from S-acylated proteins. In neurons, PPT1 expression is also linked to synaptic compartments. The aim of this study was to unravel molecular signatures connected to CLN1. We utilized SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells overexpressing wild type CLN1 (SH-p.wtCLN1 and five selected CLN1 patients’ mutations. The cellular distribution of wtPPT1 was consistent with regular processing of endogenous protein, partially detected inside Lysosomal Associated Membrane Protein 2 (LAMP2 positive vesicles, while the mutants displayed more diffuse cytoplasmic pattern. Transcriptomic profiling revealed 802 differentially expressed genes (DEGs in SH-p.wtCLN1 (as compared to empty-vector transfected cells, whereas the number of DEGs detected in the two mutants (p.L222P and p.M57Nfs*45 was significantly lower. Bioinformatic scrutiny linked DEGs with neurite formation and neuronal transmission. Specifically, neuritogenesis and proliferation of neuronal processes were predicted to be hampered in the wtCLN1 overexpressing cell line, and these findings were corroborated by morphological investigations. Palmitoylation survey identified 113 palmitoylated protein-encoding genes in SH-p.wtCLN1, including 25 ones simultaneously assigned to axonal growth and synaptic compartments. A remarkable decrease in the expression of palmitoylated proteins, functionally related to axonal elongation (GAP43, CRMP1 and NEFM and of the synaptic marker SNAP25, specifically in SH-p.wtCLN1 cells was confirmed by immunoblotting. Subsequent, bioinformatic network survey of DEGs assigned to the synaptic annotations linked 81 DEGs, including 23 ones encoding for palmitoylated proteins. Results obtained in this experimental setting outlined two affected functional modules (connected to

  10. Spastic paraplegia mutation N256S in the neuronal microtubule motor KIF5A disrupts axonal transport in a Drosophila HSP model.

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    Petra Füger

    Full Text Available Hereditary spastic paraplegias (HSPs comprise a group of genetically heterogeneous neurodegenerative disorders characterized by spastic weakness of the lower extremities. We have generated a Drosophila model for HSP type 10 (SPG10, caused by mutations in KIF5A. KIF5A encodes the heavy chain of kinesin-1, a neuronal microtubule motor. Our results imply that SPG10 is not caused by haploinsufficiency but by the loss of endogenous kinesin-1 function due to a selective dominant-negative action of mutant KIF5A on kinesin-1 complexes. We have not found any evidence for an additional, more generalized toxicity of mutant Kinesin heavy chain (Khc or the affected kinesin-1 complexes. Ectopic expression of Drosophila Khc carrying a human SPG10-associated mutation (N256S is sufficient to disturb axonal transport and to induce motoneuron disease in Drosophila. Neurofilaments, which have been recently implicated in SPG10 disease manifestation, are absent in arthropods. Impairments in the transport of kinesin-1 cargos different from neurofilaments are thus sufficient to cause HSP-like pathological changes such as axonal swellings, altered structure and function of synapses, behavioral deficits, and increased mortality.

  11. Functional characterisation of filamentous actin probe expression in neuronal cells.

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    Shrujna Patel

    Full Text Available Genetically encoded filamentous actin probes, Lifeact, Utrophin and F-tractin, are used as tools to label the actin cytoskeleton. Recent evidence in several different cell types indicates that these probes can cause changes in filamentous actin dynamics, altering cell morphology and function. Although these probes are commonly used to visualise actin dynamics in neurons, their effects on axonal and dendritic morphology has not been systematically characterised. In this study, we quantitatively analysed the effect of Lifeact, Utrophin and F-tractin on neuronal morphogenesis in primary hippocampal neurons. Our data show that the expression of actin-tracking probes significantly impacts on axonal and dendrite growth these neurons. Lifeact-GFP expression, under the control of a pBABE promoter, caused a significant decrease in total axon length, while another Lifeact-GFP expression, under the control of a CAG promoter, decreased the length and complexity of dendritic trees. Utr261-EGFP resulted in increased dendritic branching but Utr230-EGFP only accumulated in cell soma, without labelling any neurites. Lifeact-7-mEGFP and F-tractin-EGFP in a pEGFP-C1 vector, under the control of a CMV promoter, caused only minor changes in neuronal morphology as detected by Sholl analysis. The results of this study demonstrate the effects that filamentous actin tracking probes can have on the axonal and dendritic compartments of neuronal cells and emphasise the care that must be taken when interpreting data from experiments using these probes.

  12. Slowing of axonal regeneration is correlated with increased axonal viscosity during aging

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    Heidemann Steven R


    Full Text Available Abstract Background As we age, the speed of axonal regeneration declines. At the biophysical level, why this occurs is not well understood. Results To investigate we first measured the rate of axonal elongation of sensory neurons cultured from neonatal and adult rats. We found that neonatal axons grew 40% faster than adult axons (11.5 µm/hour vs. 8.2 µm/hour. To determine how the mechanical properties of axons change during maturation, we used force calibrated towing needles to measure the viscosity (stiffness and strength of substrate adhesion of neonatal and adult sensory axons. We found no significant difference in the strength of adhesions, but did find that adult axons were 3 times intrinsically stiffer than neonatal axons. Conclusions Taken together, our results suggest decreasing axonal stiffness may be part of an effective strategy to accelerate the regeneration of axons in the adult peripheral nervous system.

  13. Regulation and dysregulation of axon infrastructure by myelinating glia. (United States)

    Pan, Simon; Chan, Jonah R


    Axon loss and neurodegeneration constitute clinically debilitating sequelae in demyelinating diseases such as multiple sclerosis, but the underlying mechanisms of secondary degeneration are not well understood. Myelinating glia play a fundamental role in promoting the maturation of the axon cytoskeleton, regulating axon trafficking parameters, and imposing architectural rearrangements such as the nodes of Ranvier and their associated molecular domains. In the setting of demyelination, these changes may be reversed or persist as maladaptive features, leading to axon degeneration. In this review, we consider recent insights into axon-glial interactions during development and disease to propose that disruption of the cytoskeleton, nodal architecture, and other components of axon infrastructure is a potential mediator of pathophysiological damage after demyelination. © 2017 Pan and Chan.

  14. Axonal recordings from medial superior olive neurons obtained from the lateral lemniscus of the chinchilla (Chinchilla laniger). (United States)

    Bremen, Peter; Joris, Philip X


    Interaural time differences (ITDs) are a major cue for localizing low-frequency (binaural beats and dichotic noise bursts to characterize the best delay versus characteristic frequency distribution, and compared the data to recordings we obtained in the inferior colliculus (IC). In contrast to most reports in other rodents, many best delays were close to zero ITD, both in MSO and IC, with a majority of the neurons recorded in the LL firing maximally within the presumed ethological ITD range.

  15. Diversity in the Neural Circuitry of Cold Sensing Revealed by Genetic Axonal Labeling of Transient Receptor Potential Melastatin 8 Neurons


    Takashima, Yoshio; Daniels, Richard L.; Knowlton, Wendy; Teng, James; Liman, Emily R.; McKemy, David D.


    Sensory nerves detect an extensive array of somatosensory stimuli, including environmental temperatures. Despite activating only a small cohort of sensory neurons, cold temperatures generate a variety of distinct sensations that range from pleasantly cool to painfully aching, prickling, and burning. Psychophysical and functional data show that cold responses are mediated by both C- and Aδ-fibers with separate peripheral receptive zones, each of which likely provides one or more of these disti...

  16. Sorting of Dendritic and Axonal Vesicles at the Pre-axonal Exclusion Zone

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    Ginny G. Farías


    Full Text Available Polarized sorting of newly synthesized proteins to the somatodendritic and axonal domains of neurons occurs by selective incorporation into distinct populations of vesicular transport carriers. An unresolved issue is how the vesicles themselves are sorted to their corresponding neuronal domains. Previous studies concluded that the axon initial segment (AIS is an actin-based filter that selectively prevents passage of somatodendritic vesicles into the axon. We find, however, that most somatodendritic vesicles fail to enter the axon at a more proximal region in the axon hillock, herein referred to as the pre-axonal exclusion zone (PAEZ. Forced coupling of a somatodendritic cargo protein to an axonally directed kinesin is sufficient to drive transport of whole somatodendritic vesicles through the PAEZ toward the distal axon. Based on these findings, we propose that polarized sorting of transport vesicles occurs at the PAEZ and depends on the ability of the vesicles to acquire an appropriately directed microtubule motor.

  17. Developmental downregulation of LIS1 expression limits axonal extension and allows axon pruning

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    Kanako Kumamoto


    Full Text Available The robust axonal growth and regenerative capacities of young neurons decrease substantially with age. This developmental downregulation of axonal growth may facilitate axonal pruning and neural circuit formation but limits functional recovery following nerve damage. While external factors influencing axonal growth have been extensively investigated, relatively little is known about the intrinsic molecular changes underlying the age-dependent reduction in regeneration capacity. We report that developmental downregulation of LIS1 is responsible for the decreased axonal extension capacity of mature dorsal root ganglion (DRG neurons. In contrast, exogenous LIS1 expression or endogenous LIS1 augmentation by calpain inhibition restored axonal extension capacity in mature DRG neurons and facilitated regeneration of the damaged sciatic nerve. The insulator protein CTCF suppressed LIS1 expression in mature DRG neurons, and this reduction resulted in excessive accumulation of phosphoactivated GSK-3β at the axon tip, causing failure of the axonal extension. Conversely, sustained LIS1 expression inhibited developmental axon pruning in the mammillary body. Thus, LIS1 regulation may coordinate the balance between axonal growth and pruning during maturation of neuronal circuits.

  18. Cell intrinsic control of axon regeneration (United States)

    Mar, Fernando M; Bonni, Azad; Sousa, Mónica M


    Although neurons execute a cell intrinsic program of axonal growth during development, following the establishment of connections, the developmental growth capacity declines. Besides environmental challenges, this switch largely accounts for the failure of adult central nervous system (CNS) axons to regenerate. Here, we discuss the cell intrinsic control of axon regeneration, including not only the regulation of transcriptional and epigenetic mechanisms, but also the modulation of local protein translation, retrograde and anterograde axonal transport, and microtubule dynamics. We further explore the causes underlying the failure of CNS neurons to mount a vigorous regenerative response, and the paradigms demonstrating the activation of cell intrinsic axon growth programs. Finally, we present potential mechanisms to support axon regeneration, as these may represent future therapeutic approaches to promote recovery following CNS injury and disease. PMID:24531721

  19. Dynamics of mitochondrial transport in axons

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    Robert Francis Niescier


    Full Text Available The polarized structure and long neurites of neurons pose a unique challenge for proper mitochondrial distribution. It is widely accepted that mitochondria move from the cell body to axon ends and vice versa; however, we have found that mitochondria originating from the axon ends moving in the retrograde direction never reach to the cell body, and only a limited number of mitochondria moving in the anterograde direction from the cell body arrive at the axon ends of mouse hippocampal neurons. Furthermore, we have derived a mathematical formula using the Fokker-Planck equation to characterize features of mitochondrial transport, and the equation could determine altered mitochondrial transport in axons overexpressing parkin. Our analysis will provide new insights into the dynamics of mitochondrial transport in axons of normal and unhealthy neurons.

  20. The Genetics of Axon Guidance and Axon Regeneration in Caenorhabditis elegans (United States)

    Chisholm, Andrew D.; Hutter, Harald; Jin, Yishi; Wadsworth, William G.


    The correct wiring of neuronal circuits depends on outgrowth and guidance of neuronal processes during development. In the past two decades, great progress has been made in understanding the molecular basis of axon outgrowth and guidance. Genetic analysis in Caenorhabditis elegans has played a key role in elucidating conserved pathways regulating axon guidance, including Netrin signaling, the slit Slit/Robo pathway, Wnt signaling, and others. Axon guidance factors were first identified by screens for mutations affecting animal behavior, and by direct visual screens for axon guidance defects. Genetic analysis of these pathways has revealed the complex and combinatorial nature of guidance cues, and has delineated how cues guide growth cones via receptor activity and cytoskeletal rearrangement. Several axon guidance pathways also affect directed migrations of non-neuronal cells in C. elegans, with implications for normal and pathological cell migrations in situations such as tumor metastasis. The small number of neurons and highly stereotyped axonal architecture of the C. elegans nervous system allow analysis of axon guidance at the level of single identified axons, and permit in vivo tests of prevailing models of axon guidance. C. elegans axons also have a robust capacity to undergo regenerative regrowth after precise laser injury (axotomy). Although such axon regrowth shares some similarities with developmental axon outgrowth, screens for regrowth mutants have revealed regeneration-specific pathways and factors that were not identified in developmental screens. Several areas remain poorly understood, including how major axon tracts are formed in the embryo, and the function of axon regeneration in the natural environment. PMID:28114100

  1. Action Potential Dynamics in Fine Axons Probed with an Axonally Targeted Optical Voltage Sensor. (United States)

    Ma, Yihe; Bayguinov, Peter O; Jackson, Meyer B


    The complex and malleable conduction properties of axons determine how action potentials propagate through extensive axonal arbors to reach synaptic terminals. The excitability of axonal membranes plays a major role in neural circuit function, but because most axons are too thin for conventional electrical recording, their properties remain largely unexplored. To overcome this obstacle, we used a genetically encoded hybrid voltage sensor (hVOS) harboring an axonal targeting motif. Expressing this probe in transgenic mice enabled us to monitor voltage changes optically in two populations of axons in hippocampal slices, the large axons of dentate granule cells (mossy fibers) in the stratum lucidum of the CA3 region and the much finer axons of hilar mossy cells in the inner molecular layer of the dentate gyrus. Action potentials propagated with distinct velocities in each type of axon. Repetitive firing broadened action potentials in both populations, but at an intermediate frequency the degree of broadening differed. Repetitive firing also attenuated action potential amplitudes in both mossy cell and granule cell axons. These results indicate that the features of use-dependent action potential broadening, and possible failure, observed previously in large nerve terminals also appear in much finer unmyelinated axons. Subtle differences in the frequency dependences could influence the propagation of activity through different pathways to excite different populations of neurons. The axonally targeted hVOS probe used here opens up the diverse repertoire of neuronal processes to detailed biophysical study.

  2. Torsional Behavior of Axonal Microtubule Bundles (United States)

    Lazarus, Carole; Soheilypour, Mohammad; Mofrad, Mohammad R.K.


    Axonal microtubule (MT) bundles crosslinked by microtubule-associated protein (MAP) tau are responsible for vital biological functions such as maintaining mechanical integrity and shape of the axon as well as facilitating axonal transport. Breaking and twisting of MTs have been previously observed in damaged undulated axons. Such breaking and twisting of MTs is suggested to cause axonal swellings that lead to axonal degeneration, which is known as “diffuse axonal injury”. In particular, overstretching and torsion of axons can potentially damage the axonal cytoskeleton. Following our previous studies on mechanical response of axonal MT bundles under uniaxial tension and compression, this work seeks to characterize the mechanical behavior of MT bundles under pure torsion as well as a combination of torsional and tensile loads using a coarse-grained computational model. In the case of pure torsion, a competition between MAP tau tensile and MT bending energies is observed. After three turns, a transition occurs in the mechanical behavior of the bundle that is characterized by its diameter shrinkage. Furthermore, crosslink spacing is shown to considerably influence the mechanical response, with larger MAP tau spacing resulting in a higher rate of turns. Therefore, MAP tau crosslinking of MT filaments protects the bundle from excessive deformation. Simultaneous application of torsion and tension on MT bundles is shown to accelerate bundle failure, compared to pure tension experiments. MAP tau proteins fail in clusters of 10–100 elements located at the discontinuities or the ends of MT filaments. This failure occurs in a stepwise fashion, implying gradual accumulation of elastic tensile energy in crosslinks followed by rupture. Failure of large groups of interconnecting MAP tau proteins leads to detachment of MT filaments from the bundle near discontinuities. This study highlights the importance of torsional loading in axonal damage after traumatic brain injury

  3. Real time large scale in vivo observations reveal intrinsic synchrony, plasticity and growth cone dynamics of midline crossing axons during neuronal wiring of the zebrafish spinal cord. (United States)

    Andersen, Søren S L


    How axons are wired in the vertebrate spinal cord has been studied mostly using fixed samples or looking at individually growing axons. Using light-sheet microscopy, early neural development is here followed in vivo in real time at high resolution along several hundred micrometers of the zebrafish spinal cord. The dynamics and time course of cellular development and axonal wiring of interneurons expressing GFP under control of the dmrt3 promotor are analyzed. Following neurulation, commissural axons are observed crossing the ventral floor plate midline perpendicularly at about 20 microns/h and in a manner dependent on the Robo3 but not the EphA4 receptors. Ipsilateral axons extend concurrently, at three to six times higher growth rates and independently of said receptors. At guidance points, commissural axons are seen to decrease their growth rate and cones increase in size. Commissural filopodia appear on the floor plate to interact with the nascent neural network, and thereby trigger immediate plastic and reversible sinusoidal-shaped bending movements of the neighboring commissural shafts. A 3D reconstruction of the 4 dpf spinal cord demonstrates variable dmrt3 cell body position and dimensions, confirmed by single cell FlowSight analysis, and also a minor second population of commissurals crossing later and more dorsally. The recordings show the strikingly stereotyped spatio-temporal control that governs axonal wiring of the zebrafish spinal cord. The live observations give renewed perspective on the mechanisms of axonal guidance in the spinal cord that provide for a discussion of the current distinction between diffusible long-range versus substrate-bound short-range guidance cues. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  4. Anatomical evidence for direct fiber projections from the cerebellar nucleus interpositus to rubrospinal neurons. A quantitative EM study in the rat combining anterograde and retrograde intra-axonal tracing methods

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dekker, J.J.


    A quantitative electron microscopic (EM) study combining the anterograde intra-axonal transport of radioactive amino acids and the retrograde intra-axonal transport of the enzyme horseradish peroxidase (HRP) was performed in the magnocellular red nucleus of the rat to obtain anatomical evidence as to whether there is a direct projection from the cerebellar nucleus interpositus to the cells in the red nucleus that give rise to the rubrospinal tract. Large asymmetrical synaptic terminals were radioactively labeled in the magnocellular red nucleus following injections of [ 3 H]leucine into the cerebellar nucleus interpositus. In these same animals, the postsynaptic target neurons were labeled with HRP granules after injection of this substance in the rubrospinal tract. A quantitative analysis showed that more than 85% of the large and giant neurons in the magnocellular red nucleus were labeled with HRP granules and also received synaptic contacts from radioactively-labeled terminals. Thus, it can be concluded that in the rat, afferents from the cerebellar nucleus interpositus establish asymmetrical synaptic contacts with large and giant rubrospinal neurons, thus confirming and extending the previous physiological evidence of such direct monosynaptic connections. (Auth.)

  5. Mitochondria Localize to Injured Axons to Support Regeneration. (United States)

    Han, Sung Min; Baig, Huma S; Hammarlund, Marc


    Axon regeneration is essential to restore the nervous system after axon injury. However, the neuronal cell biology that underlies axon regeneration is incompletely understood. Here we use in vivo, single-neuron analysis to investigate the relationship between nerve injury, mitochondrial localization, and axon regeneration. Mitochondria translocate into injured axons so that average mitochondria density increases after injury. Moreover, single-neuron analysis reveals that axons that fail to increase mitochondria have poor regeneration. Experimental alterations to axonal mitochondrial distribution or mitochondrial respiratory chain function result in corresponding changes to regeneration outcomes. Axonal mitochondria are specifically required for growth-cone migration, identifying a key energy challenge for injured neurons. Finally, mitochondrial localization to the axon after injury is regulated in part by dual-leucine zipper kinase 1 (DLK-1), a conserved regulator of axon regeneration. These data identify regulation of axonal mitochondria as a new cell-biological mechanism that helps determine the regenerative response of injured neurons. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Deficiency of the Survival of Motor Neuron Protein Impairs mRNA Localization and Local Translation in the Growth Cone of Motor Neurons. (United States)

    Fallini, Claudia; Donlin-Asp, Paul G; Rouanet, Jeremy P; Bassell, Gary J; Rossoll, Wilfried


    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a neurodegenerative disease primarily affecting spinal motor neurons. It is caused by reduced levels of the survival of motor neuron (SMN) protein, which plays an essential role in the biogenesis of spliceosomal small nuclear ribonucleoproteins in all tissues. The etiology of the specific defects in the motor circuitry in SMA is still unclear, but SMN has also been implicated in mediating the axonal localization of mRNA-protein complexes, which may contribute to the axonal degeneration observed in SMA. Here, we report that SMN deficiency severely disrupts local protein synthesis within neuronal growth cones. We also identify the cytoskeleton-associated growth-associated protein 43 (GAP43) mRNA as a new target of SMN and show that motor neurons from SMA mouse models have reduced levels ofGAP43mRNA and protein in axons and growth cones. Importantly, overexpression of two mRNA-binding proteins, HuD and IMP1, restoresGAP43mRNA and protein levels in growth cones and rescues axon outgrowth defects in SMA neurons. These findings demonstrate that SMN plays an important role in the localization and local translation of mRNAs with important axonal functions and suggest that disruption of this function may contribute to the axonal defects observed in SMA. The motor neuron disease spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is caused by reduced levels of the survival of motor neuron (SMN) protein, which plays a key role in assembling RNA/protein complexes that are essential for mRNA splicing. It remains unclear whether defects in this well characterized housekeeping function cause the specific degeneration of spinal motor neurons observed in SMA. Here, we describe an additional role of SMN in regulating the axonal localization and local translation of the mRNA encoding growth-associated protein 43 (GAP43). This study supports a model whereby SMN deficiency impedes transport and local translation of mRNAs important for neurite outgrowth and stabilization

  7. Regulatory roles of microtubule-associated proteins in neuronal morphogenesis. Involvement of the extracellular matrix

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ramírez G.


    Full Text Available As a result of recent investigations, the cytoskeleton can be viewed as a cytoplasmic system of interconnected filaments with three major integrative levels: self-assembling macromolecules, filamentous polymers, e.g., microtubules, intermediate filaments and actin filaments, and supramolecular structures formed by bundles of these filaments or networks resulting from cross-bridges between these major cytoskeletal polymers. The organization of this biological structure appears to be sensitive to fine spatially and temporally dependent regulatory signals. In differentiating neurons, regulation of cytoskeleton organization is particularly relevant, and the microtubule-associated protein (MAP tau appears to play roles in the extension of large neuritic processes and axons as well as in the stabilization of microtubular polymers along these processes. Within this context, tau is directly involved in defining neuronal polarity as well as in the generation of neuronal growth cones. There is increasing evidence that elements of the extracellular matrix contribute to the control of cytoskeleton organization in differentiating neurons, and that these regulations could be mediated by changes in MAP activity. In this brief review, we discuss the possible roles of tau in mediating the effects of extracellular matrix components on the internal cytoskeletal arrays and its organization in growing neurons.

  8. EFA6 regulates selective polarised transport and axon regeneration from the axon initial segment

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Eva, R.; Koseki, H.; Kanamarlapudi, V.; Fawcett, James


    Roč. 130, č. 21 (2017), s. 3663-3675 ISSN 0021-9533 Institutional support: RVO:68378041 Keywords : axon regeneration * axon transport * neuronal polarisation Subject RIV: FH - Neurology OBOR OECD: Neurosciences (including psychophysiology Impact factor: 4.431, year: 2016

  9. Axon initial segment Kv1 channels control axonal action potential waveform and synaptic efficacy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kole, Maarten H. P.; Letzkus, Johannes J.; Stuart, Greg J.


    Action potentials are binary signals that transmit information via their rate and temporal pattern. In this context, the axon is thought of as a transmission line, devoid of a role in neuronal computation. Here, we show a highly localized role of axonal Kv1 potassium channels in shaping the action

  10. Is action potential threshold lowest in the axon?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kole, Maarten H. P.; Stuart, Greg J.


    Action potential threshold is thought to be lowest in the axon, but when measured using conventional techniques, we found that action potential voltage threshold of rat cortical pyramidal neurons was higher in the axon than at other neuronal locations. In contrast, both current threshold and voltage

  11. Función de netirna-1 y semaforinas secretables en la guía neuronal y axonal en el hipocampo y el cerebelo


    Guijarro Larraz, Patricia


    Los factores guía son proteínas esenciales en el proceso de guía de neuronas y axones que ocurre durante el desarrollo del sistema nervioso. Netrinas y Semaforinas componen dos de las cinco familias de factores guía existentes. En este trabajo, nosotros hemos estudiado el efecto quimiotáctico de Netrina1 y Semaforinas secretables Sema3A y Sema3F en la guía de interneuronas y sus axones durante el desarrollo del cerebelo y el hipocampo, así como la participación de Sema3A en el proceso de rege...

  12. Regulating Axonal Responses to Injury: The Intersection between Signaling Pathways Involved in Axon Myelination and The Inhibition of Axon Regeneration (United States)

    Rao, Sudheendra N. R.; Pearse, Damien D.


    Following spinal cord injury (SCI), a multitude of intrinsic and extrinsic factors adversely affect the gene programs that govern the expression of regeneration-associated genes (RAGs) and the production of a diversity of extracellular matrix molecules (ECM). Insufficient RAG expression in the injured neuron and the presence of inhibitory ECM at the lesion, leads to structural alterations in the axon that perturb the growth machinery, or form an extraneous barrier to axonal regeneration, respectively. Here, the role of myelin, both intact and debris, in antagonizing axon regeneration has been the focus of numerous investigations. These studies have employed antagonizing antibodies and knockout animals to examine how the growth cone of the re-growing axon responds to the presence of myelin and myelin-associated inhibitors (MAIs) within the lesion environment and caudal spinal cord. However, less attention has been placed on how the myelination of the axon after SCI, whether by endogenous glia or exogenously implanted glia, may alter axon regeneration. Here, we examine the intersection between intracellular signaling pathways in neurons and glia that are involved in axon myelination and axon growth, to provide greater insight into how interrogating this complex network of molecular interactions may lead to new therapeutics targeting SCI. PMID:27375427

  13. Axonal interferon responses and alphaherpesvirus neuroinvasion (United States)

    Song, Ren

    Infection by alphaherpesviruses, including herpes simplex virus (HSV) and pseudorabies virus (PRV), typically begins at a peripheral epithelial surface and continues into the peripheral nervous system (PNS) that innervates this tissue. Inflammatory responses are induced at the infected peripheral site prior to viral invasion of the PNS. PNS neurons are highly polarized cells with long axonal processes that connect to distant targets. When the peripheral tissue is first infected, only the innervating axons are exposed to this inflammatory milieu, which include type I interferon (e.g. IFNbeta) and type II interferon (i.e. IFNgamma). IFNbeta can be produced by all types of cells, while IFNgamma is secreted by some specific types of immune cells. And both types of IFN induce antiviral responses in surrounding cells that express the IFN receptors. The fundamental question is how do PNS neurons respond to the inflammatory milieu experienced only by their axons. Axons must act as potential front-line barriers to prevent PNS infection and damage. Using compartmented cultures that physically separate neuron axons from cell bodies, I found that pretreating isolated axons with IFNbeta or IFNgamma significantly diminished the number of HSV-1 and PRV particles moving from axons to the cell bodies in an IFN receptor-dependent manner. Furthermore, I found the responses in axons are activated differentially by the two types of IFNs. The response to IFNbeta is a rapid, axon-only response, while the response to IFNgamma involves long distance signaling to the PNS cell body. For example, exposing axons to IFNbeta induced STAT1 phosphorylation (p-STAT1) only in axons, while exposure of axons to IFNgamma induced p-STAT1 accumulation in distant cell body nuclei. Blocking transcription in cell bodies eliminated IFNgamma-, but not IFNbeta-mediated antiviral effects. Proteomic analysis of IFNbeta- or IFNgamma-treated axons identified several differentially regulated proteins. Therefore

  14. Ascending Midbrain Dopaminergic Axons Require Descending GAD65 Axon Fascicles for Normal Pathfinding

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claudia Marcela Garcia-Peña


    Full Text Available The Nigrostriatal pathway (NSP is formed by dopaminergic axons that project from the ventral midbrain to the dorsolateral striatum as part of the medial forebrain bundle. Previous studies have implicated chemotropic proteins in the formation of the NSP during development but little is known of the role of substrate-anchored signals in this process. We observed in mouse and rat embryos that midbrain dopaminergic axons ascend in close apposition to descending GAD65-positive axon bundles throughout their trajectory to the striatum. To test whether such interaction is important for dopaminergic axon pathfinding, we analyzed transgenic mouse embryos in which the GAD65 axon bundle was reduced by the conditional expression of the diphtheria toxin. In these embryos we observed dopaminergic misprojection into the hypothalamic region and abnormal projection in the striatum. In addition, analysis of Robo1/2 and Slit1/2 knockout embryos revealed that the previously described dopaminergic misprojection in these embryos is accompanied by severe alterations in the GAD65 axon scaffold. Additional studies with cultured dopaminergic neurons and whole embryos suggest that NCAM and Robo proteins are involved in the interaction of GAD65 and dopaminergic axons. These results indicate that the fasciculation between descending GAD65 axon bundles and ascending dopaminergic axons is required for the stereotypical NSP formation during brain development and that known guidance cues may determine this projection indirectly by instructing the pathfinding of the axons that are part of the GAD65 axon scaffold.

  15. Squid Giant Axons Synthesize NF Proteins. (United States)

    Crispino, Marianna; Chun, Jong Tai; Giuditta, Antonio


    Squid giant axon has been an excellent model system for studying fundamental topics in neurobiology such as neuronal signaling. It has been also useful in addressing the questions of local protein synthesis in the axons. Incubation of isolated squid giant axons with [ 35 S]methionine followed by immunoprecipitation with a rabbit antibody against all squid neurofilament (NF) proteins demonstrates the local synthesis of a major 180 kDa NF protein and of several NF proteins of lower molecular weights. Their identification as NF proteins is based on their absence in the preimmune precipitates. Immunoprecipitates washed with more stringent buffers confirmed these results. Our data are at variance with a recent study based on the same experimental procedure that failed to visualize the local synthesis of NF proteins by the giant axon and thereby suggested their exclusive derivation from nerve cell bodies (as reported by Gainer et al. in Cell Mol Neurobiol 37:475-486, 2017). By reviewing the pertinent literature, we confute the claims that mRNA translation is absent in mature axons because of a putative translation block and that most proteins of mature axons are synthesized in the surrounding glial cells. Given the intrinsic axonal capacity to synthesize proteins, we stress the glial derivation of axonal and presynaptic RNAs and the related proposal that these neuronal domains are endowed with largely independent gene expression systems (as reported by Giuditta et al. in Physiol Rev 88:515-555, 2008).

  16. Meninges-derived cues control axon guidance. (United States)

    Suter, Tracey A C S; DeLoughery, Zachary J; Jaworski, Alexander


    The axons of developing neurons travel long distances along stereotyped pathways under the direction of extracellular cues sensed by the axonal growth cone. Guidance cues are either secreted proteins that diffuse freely or bind the extracellular matrix, or membrane-anchored proteins. Different populations of axons express distinct sets of receptors for guidance cues, which results in differential responses to specific ligands. The full repertoire of axon guidance cues and receptors and the identity of the tissues producing these cues remain to be elucidated. The meninges are connective tissue layers enveloping the vertebrate brain and spinal cord that serve to protect the central nervous system (CNS). The meninges also instruct nervous system development by regulating the generation and migration of neural progenitors, but it has not been determined whether they help guide axons to their targets. Here, we investigate a possible role for the meninges in neuronal wiring. Using mouse neural tissue explants, we show that developing spinal cord meninges produce secreted attractive and repulsive cues that can guide multiple types of axons in vitro. We find that motor and sensory neurons, which project axons across the CNS-peripheral nervous system (PNS) boundary, are attracted by meninges. Conversely, axons of both ipsi- and contralaterally projecting dorsal spinal cord interneurons are repelled by meninges. The responses of these axonal populations to the meninges are consistent with their trajectories relative to meninges in vivo, suggesting that meningeal guidance factors contribute to nervous system wiring and control which axons are able to traverse the CNS-PNS boundary. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Septin 7: Actin cross-organization is required for axonal association of Schwann cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alejandro D Roth


    Full Text Available Myelin sheaths present two distinct domains: compacted myelin spirals and flanking non-compacted cytoplasmic channels, where lipid and protein segregation is established by unknown mechanisms. Septins, a conserved family of membrane and cytoskeletal interacting GTPases, form intracellular diffusion barriers during cell division and neurite extension and are expressed in myelinating cells. Septins, particularly septin 7 (Sept7, the central constituent of septin polymers, are associated with the cytoplasmic channels of myelinating cells. Here we show that Schwann cells deprived of Sept7 fail to wrap around axons from dorsal root ganglion neurons and exhibit disorganization of the actin cytoskeleton. Likewise, Sept7 distribution is dependent on microfilament but not microtubule organization.

  18. B-RAF kinase drives developmental axon growth and promotes axon regeneration in the injured mature CNS (United States)

    O’Donovan, Kevin J.; Ma, Kaijie; Guo, Hengchang; Wang, Chen; Sun, Fang; Han, Seung Baek; Kim, Hyukmin; Wong, Jamie K.; Charron, Jean; Zou, Hongyan; Son, Young-Jin; He, Zhigang


    Activation of intrinsic growth programs that promote developmental axon growth may also facilitate axon regeneration in injured adult neurons. Here, we demonstrate that conditional activation of B-RAF kinase alone in mouse embryonic neurons is sufficient to drive the growth of long-range peripheral sensory axon projections in vivo in the absence of upstream neurotrophin signaling. We further show that activated B-RAF signaling enables robust regenerative growth of sensory axons into the spinal cord after a dorsal root crush as well as substantial axon regrowth in the crush-lesioned optic nerve. Finally, the combination of B-RAF gain-of-function and PTEN loss-of-function promotes optic nerve axon extension beyond what would be predicted for a simple additive effect. We conclude that cell-intrinsic RAF signaling is a crucial pathway promoting developmental and regenerative axon growth in the peripheral and central nervous systems. PMID:24733831

  19. SnoN facilitates axonal regeneration after spinal cord injury.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jiun L Do

    Full Text Available Adult CNS neurons exhibit a reduced capacity for growth compared to developing neurons, due in part to downregulation of growth-associated genes as development is completed. We tested the hypothesis that SnoN, an embryonically regulated transcription factor that specifies growth of the axonal compartment, can enhance growth in injured adult neurons. In vitro, SnoN overexpression in dissociated adult DRG neuronal cultures significantly enhanced neurite outgrowth. Moreover, TGF-β1, a negative regulator of SnoN, inhibited neurite outgrowth, and SnoN over-expression overcame this inhibition. We then examined whether SnoN influenced axonal regeneration in vivo: indeed, expression of a mutant form of SnoN resistant to degradation significantly enhanced axonal regeneration following cervical spinal cord injury, despite peri-lesional upregulation of TGF-β1. Thus, a developmental mechanism that specifies extension of the axonal compartment also promotes axonal regeneration after adult CNS injury.

  20. Growing central axons deprived of normal target neurones by neonatal X-ray irradiation still terminate in a precisely laminated fashion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Laurberg, S.; Hjorth-Simonsen, A.


    Some studies are described on rat pups. The object was to study the fate of axons that normally terminate in a highly selective laminar fashion in the molecular layer of the medial limb of the dentate gyrus of the mammalian cerebral cortex when this is removed by neonatal X-ray irradiation. The rats were shielded with Pb, except for a field above the hippocampus and the dentate gyrus, and exposed to X-rays from a 250 kV source at a distance of 34 cm. (U.K.)

  1. Urinary bladder extracellular matrix hydrogels and matrix-bound vesicles differentially regulate central nervous system neuron viability and axon growth and branching. (United States)

    Faust, Anne; Kandakatla, Apoorva; van der Merwe, Yolandi; Ren, Tanchen; Huleihel, Luai; Hussey, George; Naranjo, Juan Diego; Johnson, Scott; Badylak, Stephen; Steketee, Michael


    Central nervous system neurons often degenerate after trauma due to the inflammatory innate immune response to injury, which can lead to neuronal cell death, scarring, and permanently lost neurologic function. Extracellular matrix bioscaffolds, derived by decellularizing healthy tissues, have been widely used in both preclinical and clinical studies to promote positive tissue remodeling, including neurogenesis, in numerous tissues, with extracellular matrix from homologous tissues often inducing more positive responses. Extracellular matrix hydrogels are liquid at room temperature and enable minimally invasive extracellular matrix injections into central nervous system tissues, before gelation at 37℃. However, few studies have analyzed how extracellular matrix hydrogels influence primary central nervous system neuron survival and growth, and whether central nervous system and non-central nervous system extracellular matrix specificity is critical to neuronal responses. Urinary bladder extracellular matrix hydrogels increase both primary hippocampal neuron survival and neurite growth to similar or even greater extents, suggesting extracellular matrix from non-homologous tissue sources, such as urinary bladder matrix-extracellular matrix, may be a more economical and safer alternative to developing central nervous system extracellular matrices for central nervous system applications. Additionally, we show matrix-bound vesicles derived from urinary bladder extracellular matrix are endocytosed by hippocampal neurons and positively regulate primary hippocampal neuron neurite growth. Matrix-bound vesicles carry protein and RNA cargos, including noncoding RNAs and miRNAs that map to the human genome and are known to regulate cellular processes. Thus, urinary bladder matrix-bound vesicles provide natural and transfectable cargoes which offer new experimental tools and therapeutic applications to study and treat central nervous system neuron injury.

  2. Can injured adult CNS axons regenerate by recapitulating development? (United States)

    Hilton, Brett J; Bradke, Frank


    In the adult mammalian central nervous system (CNS), neurons typically fail to regenerate their axons after injury. During development, by contrast, neurons extend axons effectively. A variety of intracellular mechanisms mediate this difference, including changes in gene expression, the ability to form a growth cone, differences in mitochondrial function/axonal transport and the efficacy of synaptic transmission. In turn, these intracellular processes are linked to extracellular differences between the developing and adult CNS. During development, the extracellular environment directs axon growth and circuit formation. In adulthood, by contrast, extracellular factors, such as myelin and the extracellular matrix, restrict axon growth. Here, we discuss whether the reactivation of developmental processes can elicit axon regeneration in the injured CNS. © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  3. Axon-glia interaction and membrane traffic in myelin formation


    White, Robin; Krämer-Albers, Eva-Maria


    In vertebrate nervous systems myelination of neuronal axons has evolved to increase conduction velocity of electrical impulses with minimal space and energy requirements. Myelin is formed by specialized glial cells which ensheath axons with a lipid-rich insulating membrane. Myelination is a multi-step process initiated by axon-glia recognition triggering glial polarization followed by targeted myelin membrane expansion and compaction. Thereby, a myelin sheath of complex subdomain structure is...

  4. Myelinated sensory and alpha motor axon regeneration in peripheral nerve neuromas (United States)

    Macias, M. Y.; Lehman, C. T.; Sanger, J. R.; Riley, D. A.


    Histochemical staining for carbonic anhydrase and cholinesterase (CE) activities was used to analyze sensory and motor axon regeneration, respectively, during neuroma formation in transected and tube-encapsulated peripheral nerves. Median-ulnar and sciatic nerves in the rodent model permitted testing whether a 4 cm greater distance of the motor neuron soma from axotomy site or intrinsic differences between motor and sensory neurons influenced regeneration and neuroma formation 10, 30, and 90 days later. Ventral root radiculotomy confirmed that CE-stained axons were 97% alpha motor axons. Distance significantly delayed axon regeneration. When distance was negligible, sensory axons grew out sooner than motor axons, but motor axons regenerated to a greater quantity. These results indicate regeneration differences between axon subtypes and suggest more extensive branching of motor axons within the neuroma. Thus, both distance from injury site to soma and inherent motor and sensory differences should be considered in peripheral nerve repair strategies.

  5. Wnts guide longitudinal axon tracts in the brain

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Prasad, A.A.


    The human brain contains more than 10 billion neurons that form over 10 trillion connections. The establishment of these connections during development requires axons to extend through the extracellular environment to their synaptic targets. This process of axon guidance is mediated by molecular

  6. Sensory axon-derived neuregulin-1 is required for axoglial signaling and normal sensory function but not for long-term axon maintenance

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fricker, F.R.; Zhu, N.; Tsantoulas, C.


    to represent large-diameter axons that have failed to myelinate. Conditional neuregulin-1 ablation resulted in a reduced sensitivity to noxious mechanical stimuli. These findings emphasize the importance of neuregulin-1 in mediating the signaling between axons and both myelinating and nonmyelinating Schwann...... cells required for normal sensory function. Sensory neuronal survival and axonal maintenance, however, are not dependent on axon-derived neuregulin-1 signaling in adulthood Udgivelsesdato: 2009/6/17...

  7. Water and the cytoskeleton. (United States)

    Leterrier, J F


    The diffusion of intracellular fluid and solutes is mainly limited by the density and the geometry of crossbridges between cytoskeletal polymers mediating the formation of an integrated cytoplasmic scaffold. Evidence for specific relationships between water and cytoskeletal polymers arises from the effect of heavy water on their polymerization process in vitro and on the cytoskeleton of living cells. The hydration of cytoskeletal subunits is modified through polymerization, a mechanism which may be involved in the direct contribution of the cytoskeleton to the osmotic properties of cells together with changes of hydration of polymers within networks. The dynamic properties of the hydration layer of cytoskeletal polymers may reflect the repetitive distribution of the surface charges of subunits within the polymer lattice, thus inducing a local and long range ordering of the diffusion flows of water and solutes inside polymer networks. The interactions between subunits in protofilaments and between protofilaments determine the specific viscoelastic properties of each type of polymer, regulated by associated proteins, and the mechanical properties of the cell through the formation of bundles and gels. Individual polymers are interconnected into dynamic networks through crossbridging by structural associated proteins and molecular motors, the activity of which involves cooperative interactions with the polymer lattice and likely the occurence of coordinated modifications of the hydration layer of the polymer surface. The cytoskeletal polymers are polyelectrolytes which constitute a large intracellular surface of condensed anionic charges and form a buffering structure for the sequestration of cations involved in the regulation of intracellular events. This property allows also the association of cytoplasmic enzymes and multimolecular complexes with the cytoskeleton, facilitating metabolic channelling and the localization of these complexes in specific subdomains of the

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


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


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

  9. Macrophages Promote Axon Regeneration with Concurrent Neurotoxicity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gensel, J.C.; Nakamura, S.; Guan, Z.; Rooijen, van N.; Ankeny, D.P.; Popovich, P.G.


    Activated macrophages can promote regeneration of CNS axons. However, macrophages also release factors that kill neurons. These opposing functions are likely induced simultaneously but are rarely considered together in the same experimental preparation. A goal of this study was to unequivocally

  10. Cargo distributions differentiate pathological axonal transport impairments. (United States)

    Mitchell, Cassie S; Lee, Robert H


    Axonal transport is an essential process in neurons, analogous to shipping goods, by which energetic and cellular building supplies are carried downstream (anterogradely) and wastes are carried upstream (retrogradely) by molecular motors, which act as cargo porters. Impairments in axonal transport have been linked to devastating and often lethal neurodegenerative diseases, such as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Huntington's, and Alzheimer's. Axonal transport impairment types include a decrease in available motors for cargo transport (motor depletion), the presence of defective or non-functional motors (motor dilution), and the presence of increased or larger cargos (protein aggregation). An impediment to potential treatment identification has been the inability to determine what type(s) of axonal transport impairment candidates that could be present in a given disease. In this study, we utilize a computational model and common axonal transport experimental metrics to reveal the axonal transport impairment general characteristics or "signatures" that result from three general defect types of motor depletion, motor dilution, and protein aggregation. Our results not only provide a means to discern these general impairments types, they also reveal key dynamic and emergent features of axonal transport, which potentially underlie multiple impairment types. The identified characteristics, as well as the analytical method, can be used to help elucidate the axonal transport impairments observed in experimental and clinical data. For example, using the model-predicted defect signatures, we identify the defect candidates, which are most likely to be responsible for the axonal transport impairments in the G93A SOD1 mouse model of ALS. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Cellular prion protein is required for neuritogenesis: fine-tuning of multiple signaling pathways involved in focal adhesions and actin cytoskeleton dynamics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alleaume-Butaux A


    Full Text Available Aurélie Alleaume-Butaux,1,2 Caroline Dakowski,1,2 Mathéa Pietri,1,2 Sophie Mouillet-Richard,1,2 Jean-Marie Launay,3,4 Odile Kellermann,1,2 Benoit Schneider1,2 1INSERM, UMR-S 747, 2Paris Descartes University, Sorbonne Paris Cité, UMR-S 747, 3Public Hospital of Paris, Department of Biochemistry, INSERM UMR-S 942, Lariboisière Hospital, Paris, France; 4Pharma Research Department, Hoffmann La Roche Ltd, Basel, Switzerland Abstract: Neuritogenesis is a dynamic phenomenon associated with neuronal differentiation that allows a rather spherical neuronal stem cell to develop dendrites and axon, a prerequisite for the integration and transmission of signals. The acquisition of neuronal polarity occurs in three steps: (1 neurite sprouting, which consists of the formation of buds emerging from the postmitotic neuronal soma; (2 neurite outgrowth, which represents the conversion of buds into neurites, their elongation and evolution into axon or dendrites; and (3 the stability and plasticity of neuronal polarity. In neuronal stem cells, remodeling and activation of focal adhesions (FAs associated with deep modifications of the actin cytoskeleton is a prerequisite for neurite sprouting and subsequent neurite outgrowth. A multiple set of growth factors and interactors located in the extracellular matrix and the plasma membrane orchestrate neuritogenesis by acting on intracellular signaling effectors, notably small G proteins such as RhoA, Rac, and Cdc42, which are involved in actin turnover and the dynamics of FAs. The cellular prion protein (PrPC, a glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI-anchored membrane protein mainly known for its role in a group of fatal neurodegenerative diseases, has emerged as a central player in neuritogenesis. Here, we review the contribution of PrPC to neuronal polarization and detail the current knowledge on the signaling pathways fine-tuned by PrPC to promote neurite sprouting, outgrowth, and maintenance. We emphasize that Pr

  12. Selective rab11 transport and the intrinsic regenerative ability of CNS axons. (United States)

    Koseki, Hiroaki; Donegá, Matteo; Lam, Brian Yh; Petrova, Veselina; van Erp, Susan; Yeo, Giles Sh; Kwok, Jessica Cf; Ffrench-Constant, Charles; Eva, Richard; Fawcett, James W


    Neurons lose intrinsic axon regenerative ability with maturation, but the mechanism remains unclear. Using an in-vitro laser axotomy model, we show a progressive decline in the ability of cut CNS axons to form a new growth cone and then elongate. Failure of regeneration was associated with increased retraction after axotomy. Transportation into axons becomes selective with maturation; we hypothesized that selective exclusion of molecules needed for growth may contribute to regeneration decline. With neuronal maturity rab11 vesicles (which carry many molecules involved in axon growth) became selectively targeted to the somatodendritic compartment and excluded from axons by predominant retrograde transport However, on overexpression rab11 was mistrafficked into proximal axons, and these axons showed less retraction and enhanced regeneration after axotomy. These results suggest that the decline of intrinsic axon regenerative ability is associated with selective exclusion of key molecules, and that manipulation of transport can enhance regeneration.

  13. Concepts for regulation of axon integrity by enwrapping glia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bogdan eBeirowski


    Full Text Available Long axons and their enwrapping glia (Schwann cells and oligodendrocytes form a unique compound structure that serves as conduit for transport of electric and chemical information in the nervous system. The peculiar cytoarchitecture over an enormous length as well as its substantial energetic requirements make this conduit particularly susceptible to detrimental alterations. Degeneration of long axons independent of neuronal cell bodies is observed comparatively early in a range of neurodegenerative conditions as a consequence of abnormalities in Schwann cells and oligodendrocytes. This leads to the most relevant disease symptoms and highlights the critical role that these glia have for axon integrity, but the underlying mechanisms remain elusive. The quest to understand why and how axons degenerate is now a crucial frontier in disease-oriented research. This challenge is most likely to lead to significant progress if the inextricable link between axons and their flanking glia in pathological situations is recognized. In this review I compile recent advances in our understanding of the molecular programs governing axon degeneration, and mechanisms of enwrapping glia’s non-cell autonomous impact on axon-integrity. A particular focus is placed on emerging evidence suggesting that enwrapping glia nurture long axons by virtue of their intimate association, release of trophic substances, and neurometabolic coupling. The correction of defects in these functions has the potential to stabilize axons in a variety of neuronal diseases in the peripheral and central nervous system.

  14. Motor Axonal Regeneration After Partial and Complete Spinal Cord Transection (United States)

    Lu, Paul; Blesch, Armin; Graham, Lori; Wang, Yaozhi; Samara, Ramsey; Banos, Karla; Haringer, Verena; Havton, Leif; Weishaupt, Nina; Bennett, David; Fouad, Karim; Tuszynski, Mark H.


    We subjected rats to either partial mid-cervical or complete upper thoracic spinal cord transections and examined whether combinatorial treatments support motor axonal regeneration into and beyond the lesion. Subjects received cAMP injections into brainstem reticular motor neurons to stimulate their endogenous growth state, bone marrow stromal cell grafts in lesion sites to provide permissive matrices for axonal growth, and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) gradients beyond the lesion to stimulate distal growth of motor axons. Findings were compared to several control groups. Combinatorial treatment generated motor axon regeneration beyond both C5 hemisection and complete transection sites. Yet despite formation of synapses with neurons below the lesion, motor outcomes worsened after partial cervical lesions and spasticity worsened after complete transection. These findings highlight the complexity of spinal cord repair, and the need for additional control and shaping of axonal regeneration. PMID:22699902

  15. Active polysomes in the axoplasm of the squid giant axon. (United States)

    Giuditta, A; Menichini, E; Perrone Capano, C; Langella, M; Martin, R; Castigli, E; Kaplan, B B


    Axons and axon terminals are widely believed to lack the capacity to synthesize proteins, relying instead on the delivery of proteins made in the perikaryon. In agreement with this view, axoplasmic proteins synthesized by the isolated giant axon of the squid are believed to derive entirely from periaxonal glial cells. However, squid axoplasm is known to contain the requisite components of an extra-mitochondrial protein synthetic system, including protein factors, tRNAs, rRNAs, and a heterogeneous family of mRNAs. Hence, the giant axon could, in principle, maintain an endogenous protein synthetic capacity. Here, we report that the squid giant axon also contains active polysomes and mRNA, which hybridizes to a riboprobe encoding murine neurofilament protein. Taken together, these findings provide direct evidence that proteins (including the putative neuron-specific neurofilament protein) are also synthesized de novo in the axonal compartment.

  16. Lowbush cranberry acts through DAF-16/FOXO signaling to promote increased lifespan and axon branching in aging posterior touch receptor neurons. (United States)

    Scerbak, Courtney; Vayndorf, Elena; Hernandez, Alicia; McGill, Colin; Taylor, Barbara


    Medicinal berries are appreciated for their health benefits, in traditional ecological knowledge and nutrition science. Determining the cellular mechanisms underlying the effects of berry supplementation may contribute to our understanding of aging. Here, we report that lowbush cranberry (Vaccinium vitis-idaea) treatment causes marked nuclear localization of the central aging-related transcription factor DAF-16/FOXO in aged Caenorhabditis elegans. Further, functional DAF-16 is required for the lifespan extension, improved mechanosensation, and posterior touch receptor neuron morphological changes induced by lowbush cranberry treatments. DAF-16 is not observed in nuceli nor required for lifespan extension in lifespan-extending Alaskan blueberry treatments and, while DAF-16 is not visibly induced into the nucleus in lifespan-extending Alaskan chaga treatments, it is required for chaga-induced lifespan extension. These findings underscore the importance of DAF-16 in the aging of whole organisms and touch receptor neurons and also, importantly, indicate that this critical pathway is not always activated upon consumption of functional foods that impact aging.

  17. Role of calpains in the injury-induced dysfunction and degeneration of the mammalian axon. (United States)

    Ma, Marek


    Axonal injury and degeneration, whether primary or secondary, contribute to the morbidity and mortality seen in many acquired and inherited central nervous system (CNS) and peripheral nervous system (PNS) disorders, such as traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, cerebral ischemia, neurodegenerative diseases, and peripheral neuropathies. The calpain family of proteases has been mechanistically linked to the dysfunction and degeneration of axons. While the direct mechanisms by which transection, mechanical strain, ischemia, or complement activation trigger intra-axonal calpain activity are likely different, the downstream effects of unregulated calpain activity may be similar in seemingly disparate diseases. In this review, a brief examination of axonal structure is followed by a focused overview of the calpain family. Finally, the mechanisms by which calpains may disrupt the axonal cytoskeleton, transport, and specialized domains (axon initial segment, nodes, and terminals) are discussed. © 2013.

  18. The roles of the actin cytoskeleton in fear memory formation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raphael eLamprecht


    Full Text Available The formation and storage of fear memory is needed to adapt behavior and avoid danger during subsequent fearful events. However, fear memory may also play a significant role in stress and anxiety disorders. When fear becomes disproportionate to that necessary to cope with a given stimulus, or begins to occur in inappropriate situations, a fear or anxiety disorder exists. Thus, the study of cellular and molecular mechanisms underpinning fear memory may shed light on the formation of memory and on anxiety and stress related disorders. Evidence indicates that fear learning leads to changes in neuronal synaptic transmission and morphology in brain areas underlying fear memory formation including the amygdala and hippocampus. The actin cytoskeleton has been shown to participate in these key neuronal processes. Recent findings show that the actin cytoskeleton is needed for fear memory formation and extinction. Moreover, the actin cytoskeleton is involved in synaptic plasticity and in neuronal morphogenesis in brain areas that mediate fear memory. The actin cytoskeleton may therefore mediate between synaptic transmission during fear learning and long-term cellular alterations mandatory for fear memory formation.

  19. Plasticity of the Axon Initial Segment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Petersen, Anders Victor; Cotel, Florence; Perrier, Jean François


    undergo important modifications during development. The development of the AIS is governed by intrinsic mechanisms. In addition, surrounding neuronal networks modify its maturation. As a result, neurons get tuned to particular physiological functions. Neuronal activity also influences the morphology......The axon initial segment (AIS) is a key neuronal compartment because it is responsible for action potential initiation. The local density of Na+ channels, the biophysical properties of K+ channels, as well as the length and diameter of the AIS determine the spiking of neurons. These parameters...... of the mature AIS. When excitatory neurons are hyperactive, their AIS undergo structural changes that decrease their excitability and thereby maintain the activity within a given range. These slow homeostatic regulatory mechanisms occur on a time scale of hours or days. In contrast, the activation...

  20. Differential Axonal Projection of Mitral and Tufted Cells in the Mouse Main Olfactory System

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    Shin Nagayama


    Full Text Available In the past decade, much has been elucidated regarding the functional organization of the axonal connection of olfactory sensory neurons to olfactory bulb (OB glomeruli. However, the manner in which projection neurons of the OB process odorant input and send this information to higher brain centers remains unclear. Here, we report long-range, large-scale tracing of the axonal projection patterns of OB neurons using two-photon microscopy. Tracer injection into a single glomerulus demonstrated widely distributed mitral/tufted cell axonal projections on the lateroventral surface of the mouse brain, including the anterior/posterior piriform cortex (PC and olfactory tubercle (OT. We noted two distinct groups of labeled axons: PC-orienting axons and OT-orienting axons. Each group occupied distinct parts of the lateral olfactory tract. PC-orienting axons projected axon collaterals to a wide area of the PC but only a few collaterals to the OT. OT-orienting axons densely projected axon collaterals primarily to the anterolateral OT (alOT. Different colored dye injections into the superficial and deep portions of the OB external plexiform layer revealed that the PC-orienting axon populations originated in presumed mitral cells and the OT-orienting axons in presumed tufted cells. These data suggest that although mitral and tufted cells receive similar odor signals from a shared glomerulus, they process the odor information in different ways and send their output to different higher brain centers via the PC and alOT.

  1. Inter-axonal interaction defines tiled presynaptic innervation in C. elegans


    Mizumoto, Kota; Shen, Kang


    Cellular interactions between neighboring axons are essential for global topographic map formation. Here we show that axonal interactions also precisely instruct the location of synapses. Motoneurons form en passant synapses in Caenorhabditis elegans. While axons from the same neuron class significantly overlap, each neuron innervates a unique and tiled segment of the muscle field by restricting its synapses to a distinct subaxonal domain—a phenomenon we term “synaptic tiling”. Using DA8 and ...

  2. Frizzled3 controls axonal polarity and intermediate target entry during striatal pathway development

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Morello, Francesca; Prasad, Asheeta A.; Rehberg, Kati; Baptista Vieira de Sá, Renata; Antón-Bolaños, Noelia; Leyva-Diaz, Eduardo; Adolfs, Youri; Tissir, Fadel; López-Bendito, Guillermina; Pasterkamp, R. Jeroen


    The striatum is a large brain nucleus with an important role in the control of movement and emotions.Mediumspiny neurons (MSNs) are striatal output neurons forming prominent descending axon tracts that target different brain nuclei. However, how MSN axon tracts in the forebrain develop remains

  3. The cytoskeleton as a novel therapeutic target for old neurodegenerative disorders. (United States)

    Eira, Jessica; Silva, Catarina Santos; Sousa, Mónica Mendes; Liz, Márcia Almeida


    Cytoskeleton defects, including alterations in microtubule stability, in axonal transport as well as in actin dynamics, have been characterized in several unrelated neurodegenerative conditions. These observations suggest that defects of cytoskeleton organization may be a common feature contributing to neurodegeneration. In line with this hypothesis, drugs targeting the cytoskeleton are currently being tested in animal models and in human clinical trials, showing promising effects. Drugs that modulate microtubule stability, inhibitors of posttranslational modifications of cytoskeletal components, specifically compounds affecting the levels of tubulin acetylation, and compounds targeting signaling molecules which regulate cytoskeleton dynamics, constitute the mostly addressed therapeutic interventions aiming at preventing cytoskeleton damage in neurodegenerative disorders. In this review, we will discuss in a critical perspective the current knowledge on cytoskeleton damage pathways as well as therapeutic strategies designed to revert cytoskeleton-related defects mainly focusing on the following neurodegenerative disorders: Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson's Disease, Huntington's Disease, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Axonal Regulation of Central Nervous System Myelination: Structure and Function. (United States)

    Klingseisen, Anna; Lyons, David A


    Approximately half of the human brain consists of myelinated axons. Central nervous system (CNS) myelin is made by oligodendrocytes and is essential for nervous system formation, health, and function. Once thought simply as a static insulator that facilitated rapid impulse conduction, myelin is now known to be made and remodeled in to adult life. Oligodendrocytes have a remarkable capacity to differentiate by default, but many aspects of their development can be influenced by axons. However, how axons and oligodendrocytes interact and cooperate to regulate myelination in the CNS remains unclear. Here, we review recent advances in our understanding of how such interactions generate the complexity of myelination known to exist in vivo. We highlight intriguing results that indicate that the cross-sectional size of an axon alone may regulate myelination to a surprising degree. We also review new studies, which have highlighted diversity in the myelination of axons of different neuronal subtypes and circuits, and structure-function relationships, which suggest that myelinated axons can be exquisitely fine-tuned to mediate precise conduction needs. We also discuss recent advances in our understanding of how neuronal activity regulates CNS myelination, and aim to provide an integrated overview of how axon-oligodendrocyte interactions sculpt neuronal circuit structure and function.

  5. Axonal and presynaptic RNAs are locally transcribed in glial cells. (United States)

    Giuditta, Antonio; Chun, Jong Tai; Eyman, Maria; Cefaliello, Carolina; Bruno, Anna Paola; Crispino, Marianna


    In the last few years, the long-standing opinion that axonal and presynaptic proteins are exclusively derived from the neuron cell body has been substantially modified by the demonstration that active systems of protein synthesis are present in axons and nerve terminals. These observations have raised the issue of the cellular origin of the involved RNAs, which has been generally attributed to the neuron soma. However, data gathered in a number of model systems indicated that axonal RNAs are synthesized in the surrounding glial cells. More recent experiments on the perfused squid giant axon have definitively proved that axoplasmic RNAs are transcribed in periaxonal glia. Their delivery to the axon occurs by a modulatory mechanism based on the release of neurotransmitters from the stimulated axon and on their binding to glial receptors. In additional experiments on squid optic lobe synaptosomes, presynaptic RNA has been also shown to be synthesized locally, presumably in nearby glia. Together with a wealth of literature data, these observations indicate that axons and nerve terminals are endowed with a local system of gene expression that supports the maintenance and plasticity of these neuronal domains.

  6. Mitotic motors coregulate microtubule patterns in axons and dendrites. (United States)

    Lin, Shen; Liu, Mei; Mozgova, Olga I; Yu, Wenqian; Baas, Peter W


    Microtubules are nearly uniformly oriented in the axons of vertebrate neurons but are non-uniformly oriented in their dendrites. Studies to date suggest a scenario for establishing these microtubule patterns whereby microtubules are transported into the axon and nascent dendrites with plus-ends-leading, and then additional microtubules of the opposite orientation are transported into the developing dendrites. Here, we used contemporary tools to confirm that depletion of kinesin-6 (also called CHO1/MKLP1 or kif23) from rat sympathetic neurons causes a reduction in the appearance of minus-end-distal microtubules in developing dendrites, which in turn causes them to assume an axon-like morphology. Interestingly, we observed a similar phenomenon when we depleted kinesin-12 (also called kif15 or HKLP2). Both motors are best known for their participation in mitosis in other cell types, and both are enriched in the cell body and dendrites of neurons. Unlike kinesin-12, which is present throughout the neuron, kinesin-6 is barely detectable in the axon. Accordingly, depletion of kinesin-6, unlike depletion of kinesin-12, has no effect on axonal branching or navigation. Interestingly, depletion of either motor results in faster growing axons with greater numbers of mobile microtubules. Based on these observations, we posit a model whereby these two motors generate forces that attenuate the transport of microtubules with plus-ends-leading from the cell body into the axon. Some of these microtubules are not only prevented from moving into the axon but are driven with minus-ends-leading into developing dendrites. In this manner, these so-called "mitotic" motors coregulate the microtubule patterns of axons and dendrites.

  7. Death Receptor 6 Promotes Wallerian Degeneration in Peripheral Axons. (United States)

    Gamage, Kanchana K; Cheng, Irene; Park, Rachel E; Karim, Mardeen S; Edamura, Kazusa; Hughes, Christopher; Spano, Anthony J; Erisir, Alev; Deppmann, Christopher D


    Axon degeneration during development is required to sculpt a functional nervous system and is also a hallmark of pathological insult, such as injury [1, 2]. Despite similar morphological characteristics, very little overlap in molecular mechanisms has been reported between pathological and developmental degeneration [3-5]. In the peripheral nervous system (PNS), developmental axon pruning relies on receptor-mediated extrinsic degeneration mechanisms to determine which axons are maintained or degenerated [5-7]. Receptors have not been implicated in Wallerian axon degeneration; instead, axon autonomous, intrinsic mechanisms are thought to be the primary driver for this type of axon disintegration [8-10]. Here we survey the role of neuronally expressed, paralogous tumor necrosis factor receptor super family (TNFRSF) members in Wallerian degeneration. We find that an orphan receptor, death receptor 6 (DR6), is required to drive axon degeneration after axotomy in sympathetic and sensory neurons cultured in microfluidic devices. We sought to validate these in vitro findings in vivo using a transected sciatic nerve model. Consistent with the in vitro findings, DR6 -/- animals displayed preserved axons up to 4 weeks after injury. In contrast to phenotypes observed in Wld s and Sarm1 -/- mice, preserved axons in DR6 -/- animals display profound myelin remodeling. This indicates that deterioration of axons and myelin after axotomy are mechanistically distinct processes. Finally, we find that JNK signaling after injury requires DR6, suggesting a link between this novel extrinsic pathway and the axon autonomous, intrinsic pathways that have become established for Wallerian degeneration. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Repeatability and Reproducibility of Retinal Neuronal and Axonal Measures on Spectral-Domain Optical Coherence Tomography in Patients with Cognitive Impairment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edwin Hong-Teck Loh


    Full Text Available BackgroundWith increasing interest in determining if measurement of retinal neuronal structure with spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT is useful in accessing neurodegenerative process in cognitive decline and development of dementia, it is important to evaluate whether the SD-OCT measurements are repeatable and reproducible in these patients.MethodsThis is a retrospective cohort study. Patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD or mild cognitive impairment (MCI with no change in global clinical dementia rating (CDR score at 1-year follow-up were eligible to be included. Ganglion cell-inner plexiform layer (GC-IPL and retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL parameters were measured with SD-OCT at baseline, 6-month, and 1-year follow-up visits. At baseline, SD-OCT scans were repeated to access intra-visit repeatability of the SD-OCT measurement. SD-OCT measurement over three visits was used to access inter-visit reproducibility. We calculated intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC and coefficients of variation (CoVs.ResultsWe included 32 patients with stable AD and 29 patients with stable MCI in the final analysis. For GC-IPL measures, the average intra-visit ICC was 0.969 (range: 0.948–0.985, and CoV was 1.81% (range: 1.14–2.40; while the average inter-visit ICC was 0.968 (0.941–0.985, and CoV was 1.91% (range: 1.24–2.32. The average ICC and CoV of intra-visit RNFL measured were 0.965 (range: 0.937–0.986 and 2.32% (range: 1.34–2.90%, respectively. The average ICC and CoV of inter-visit RNFL measures were 0.927 (range: 0.845–0.961 and 3.83% (range: 2.71–5.25%, respectively.ConclusionBoth GC-IPL and RNFL measurements had good intra-visit repeatability and inter-visit reproducibility over 1 year in elderly patients with no decline in cognitive function, suggesting that SD-OCT is a reliable tool to assess neurodegenerative process over time.

  9. Differences in excitability properties of FDI and ADM motor axons. (United States)

    Bae, Jong Seok; Sawai, Setsu; Misawa, Sonoko; Kanai, Kazuaki; Isose, Sagiri; Kuwabara, Satoshi


    The first dorsal interosseous (FDI) and abductor digiti minimi (ADM) muscles are innervated by the same ulnar nerve, but studies have shown that the former is much more severely affected in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. In this study, threshold tracking was used to investigate whether membrane properties differ between FDI and ADM motor axons. In 12 normal subjects, compound muscle action potentials were recorded from FDI and ADM after ulnar nerve stimulation at the wrist. The strength-duration time constant was significantly longer in the FDI axons than in the ADM axons, and latent addition studies showed greater threshold changes at the conditioning-test stimulus of 0.2 ms in FDI than in ADM axons. These findings suggest that nodal persistent sodium conductances are more prominent in FDI axons than in ADM axons, and therefore excitability is physiologically higher in FDI axons. Even in the same nerve at the same sites, membrane properties of FDI and ADM motor axons differ significantly, and thus their axonal/neuronal responses to disease may also differ.

  10. A standardized randomized 6-month aerobic exercise-training down-regulated pro-inflammatory genes, but up-regulated anti-inflammatory, neuron survival and axon growth-related genes. (United States)

    Iyalomhe, Osigbemhe; Chen, Yuanxiu; Allard, Joanne; Ntekim, Oyonumo; Johnson, Sheree; Bond, Vernon; Goerlitz, David; Li, James; Obisesan, Thomas O


    There is considerable support for the view that aerobic exercise may confer cognitive benefits to mild cognitively impaired elderly persons. However, the biological mechanisms mediating these effects are not entirely clear. As a preliminary step towards informing this gap in knowledge, we enrolled older adults confirmed to have mild cognitive impairment (MCI) in a 6-month exercise program. Male and female subjects were randomized into a 6-month program of either aerobic or stretch (control) exercise. Data collected from the first 10 completers, aerobic exercise (n=5) or stretch (control) exercise (n=5), were used to determine intervention-induced changes in the global gene expression profiles of the aerobic and stretch groups. Using microarray, we identified genes with altered expression (relative to baseline values) in response to the 6-month exercise intervention. Genes whose expression were altered by at least two-fold, and met the p-value cutoff of 0.01 were inputted into the Ingenuity Pathway Knowledge Base Library to generate gene-interaction networks. After a 6-month aerobic exercise-training, genes promoting inflammation became down-regulated, whereas genes having anti-inflammatory properties and those modulating immune function or promoting neuron survival and axon growth, became up-regulated (all fold change≥±2.0, paerobic program as opposed to the stretch group. We conclude that three distinct cellular pathways may collectively influence the training effects of aerobic exercise in MCI subjects. We plan to confirm these effects using rt-PCR and correlate such changes with the cognitive phenotype. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  11. Palytoxins and cytoskeleton: An overview. (United States)

    Louzao, M Carmen; Ares, Isabel R; Cagide, Eva; Espiña, Begoña; Vilariño, Natalia; Alfonso, Amparo; Vieytes, Mercedes R; Botana, Luis M


    Cytoskeleton is a dynamic structure essential for a wide variety of normal cellular processes, including the maintenance of cell shape and morphology, volume regulation, membrane dynamics and signal transduction. Cytoskeleton is organized into microtubules, actin meshwork and intermediate filaments. Actin has been identified as a major target for destruction during apoptosis and is also important under pathological conditions such as cancers. Several natural compounds actively modulate actin organization by specific signaling cascades being useful tools to study cytoskeleton dynamics. Palytoxin is a large bioactive compound, first isolated from zoanthids, with a complex structure and different analogs such as ostreocin-D or ovatoxin-a. This toxin has been identified as a potent tumor promoter and cytotoxic molecule, which leads to actin filament distortion and triggers cell death or apoptosis. In this review we report the findings on the involvement of palytoxin and analogues modulating the actin cytoskeleton within different cellular models. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Mechanotransduction through Cytoskeleton (United States)

    Ingber, Donald


    The goal of this project was to characterize the molecular mechanism by which cells recognize and respond to physical forces in their local environment. The project was based on the working hypothesis that cells sense mechanical stresses, such as those due to gravity, through their cell surface adhesion receptors (e.g., integrins) and that they respond as a result of structural arrangements with their internal cytoskeleton (CSK) which are orchestrated through use of tensegrity architecture. In this project, we carried out studies to define the architectural and molecular basis of cellular mechanotransduction. Our major goal was to define the molecular pathway that mediates mechanical force transfer between integrins and the CSK and to determine how mechanical deformation of integrin-CSK linkages is transduced into a biochemical response. Elucidation of the mechanism by which cells sense mechanical stresses through integrins and translate them into a biochemical response should help us to understand the molecular basis of the cellular response to gravity as well as many other forms of mechanosensation and tissue regulation. The specific aims of this proposal were: 1. To define the molecular basis of mechanical coupling between integrins, vinculin, and the actin CSK; 2. To develop a computer simulation of how mechanical stresses alter CSK structure and test this model in living cells; 3. To determine how mechanical deformation of integrin-CSK linkages is transduced into a biochemical response.

  13. Guidance of retinal axons in mammals. (United States)

    Herrera, Eloísa; Erskine, Lynda; Morenilla-Palao, Cruz


    In order to navigate through the surrounding environment many mammals, including humans, primarily rely on vision. The eye, composed of the choroid, sclera, retinal pigmented epithelium, cornea, lens, iris and retina, is the structure that receives the light and converts it into electrical impulses. The retina contains six major types of neurons involving in receiving and modifying visual information and passing it onto higher visual processing centres in the brain. Visual information is relayed to the brain via the axons of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs), a projection known as the optic pathway. The proper formation of this pathway during development is essential for normal vision in the adult individual. Along this pathway there are several points where visual axons face 'choices' in their direction of growth. Understanding how these choices are made has advanced significantly our knowledge of axon guidance mechanisms. Thus, the development of the visual pathway has served as an extremely useful model to reveal general principles of axon pathfinding throughout the nervous system. However, due to its particularities, some cellular and molecular mechanisms are specific for the visual circuit. Here we review both general and specific mechanisms involved in the guidance of mammalian RGC axons when they are traveling from the retina to the brain to establish precise and stereotyped connections that will sustain vision. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. The nigrostriatal pathway: axonal collateralization and compartmental specificity. (United States)

    Prensa, L; Giménez-Amaya, J M; Parent, A; Bernácer, J; Cebrián, C


    This paper reviews two of the major features of the nigrostriatal pathway, its axonal collateralization, and compartmental specificity, as revealed by single-axon labeling experiments in rodents and immunocytological analysis of human postmortem tissue. The dorsal and ventral tiers of the substantia nigra pars compacta harbor various types of neurons the axons of which branch not only within the striatum but also in other major components of the basal ganglia. Furthermore, some nigrostriatal axons send collaterals both to thalamus and to brainstem pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus. In humans, the compartmental specificity of the nigrostriatal pathway is revealed by the fact that the matrix compartment is densely innervated by dopaminergic fibers, whereas the striosomes display different densities of dopaminergic terminals depending on their location within the striatum. The nigral neurons most severely affected in Parkinson's disease are the ventral tier cells that project to the matrix and form deep clusters in the substantia nigra pars reticulata.

  15. Dcc regulates asymmetric outgrowth of forebrain neurons in zebrafish.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jingxia Gao

    Full Text Available The guidance receptor DCC (deleted in colorectal cancer ortholog UNC-40 regulates neuronal asymmetry development in Caenorhabditis elegans, but it is not known whether DCC plays a role in the specification of neuronal polarity in vertebrates. To examine the roles of DCC in neuronal asymmetry regulation in vertebrates, we studied zebrafish anterior dorsal telencephalon (ADt neuronal axons. We generated transgenic zebrafish animals expressing the photo-convertible fluorescent protein Kaede in ADt neurons and then photo-converted Kaede to label specifically the ADt neuron axons. We found that ADt axons normally project ventrally. Knock down of Dcc function by injecting antisense morpholino oligonucleotides caused the ADt neurons to project axons dorsally. To examine the axon projection pattern of individual ADt neurons, we labeled single ADt neurons using a forebrain-specific promoter to drive fluorescent protein expression. We found that individual ADt neurons projected axons dorsally or formed multiple processes after morpholino knock down of Dcc function. We further found that knock down of the Dcc ligand, Netrin1, also caused ADt neurons to project axons dorsally. Knockdown of Neogenin1, a guidance receptor closely related to Dcc, enhanced the formation of aberrant dorsal axons in embryos injected with Dcc morpholino. These experiments provide the first evidence that Dcc regulates polarized axon initiation and asymmetric outgrowth of forebrain neurons in vertebrates.

  16. Galectin-4, a novel neuronal regulator of myelination

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stancic, Mirjana; Slijepcevic, Davor; Nomden, Anita; Vos, Michel J.; De Jonge, Jenny C.; Sikkema, Arend H.; Gabius, Hans-J.; Hoekstra, Dick; Baron, Wia

    Myelination of axons by oligodendrocytes (OLGs) is essential for proper saltatory nerve conduction, i.e., rapid transmission of nerve impulses. Among others, extracellular matrix (ECM) molecules, neuronal signaling, and axonal adhesion regulate the biogenesis and maintenance of myelin membranes,

  17. Acute nutritional axonal neuropathy. (United States)

    Hamel, Johanna; Logigian, Eric L


    This study describes clinical, laboratory, and electrodiagnostic features of a severe acute axonal polyneuropathy common to patients with acute nutritional deficiency in the setting of alcoholism, bariatric surgery (BS), or anorexia. Retrospective analysis of clinical, electrodiagnostic, and laboratory data of patients with acute axonal neuropathy. Thirteen patients were identified with a severe, painful, sensory or sensorimotor axonal polyneuropathy that developed over 2-12 weeks with sensory ataxia, areflexia, variable muscle weakness, poor nutritional status, and weight loss, often with prolonged vomiting and normal cerebrospinal fluid protein. Vitamin B6 was low in half and thiamine was low in all patients when obtained before supplementation. Patients improved with weight gain and vitamin supplementation, with motor greater than sensory recovery. We suggest that acute or subacute axonal neuropathy in patients with weight loss or vomiting associated with alcohol abuse, BS, or dietary deficiency is one syndrome, caused by micronutrient deficiencies. Muscle Nerve 57: 33-39, 2018. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  18. Synaptic Democracy and Vesicular Transport in Axons (United States)

    Bressloff, Paul C.; Levien, Ethan


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

  19. A growing field: The regulation of axonal regeneration by Wnt signaling. (United States)

    Garcia, Armando L; Udeh, Adanna; Kalahasty, Karthik; Hackam, Abigail S


    The canonical Wnt/β-catenin pathway is a highly conserved signaling cascade that plays critical roles during embryogenesis. Wnt ligands regulate axonal extension, growth cone guidance and synaptogenesis throughout the developing central nervous system (CNS). Recently, studies in mammalian and fish model systems have demonstrated that Wnt/β-catenin signaling also promotes axonal regeneration in the adult optic nerve and spinal cord after injury, raising the possibility that Wnt could be developed as a therapeutic strategy. In this review, we summarize experimental evidence that reveals novel roles for Wnt signaling in the injured CNS, and discuss possible mechanisms by which Wnt ligands could overcome molecular barriers inhibiting axonal growth to promote regeneration. A central challenge in the neuroscience field is developing therapeutic strategies that induce robust axonal regeneration. Although adult axons have the capacity to respond to axonal guidance molecules after injury, there are several major obstacles for axonal growth, including extensive neuronal death, glial scars at the injury site, and lack of axonal guidance signals. Research in rodents demonstrated that activation of Wnt/β-catenin signaling in retinal neurons and radial glia induced neuronal survival and axonal growth, but that activation within reactive glia at the injury site promoted proliferation and glial scar formation. Studies in zebrafish spinal cord injury models confirm an axonal regenerative role for Wnt/β-catenin signaling and identified the cell types responsible. Additionally, in vitro and in vivo studies demonstrated that Wnt induces axonal and neurite growth through transcription-dependent effects of its central mediator β-catenin, potentially by inducing regeneration-promoting genes. Canonical Wnt signaling may also function through transcription-independent interactions of β-catenin with cytoskeletal elements, which could stabilize growing axons and control growth cone

  20. Protein-synthesizing machinery in the axon compartment. (United States)

    Koenig, E; Giuditta, A


    Contrary to the prevailing view that the axon lacks the capacity to synthesize proteins, a substantial body of evidence points to the existence of a metabolically active endogenous translational machinery. The machinery appears to be largely localized in the cortical zone of the axon, where, in vertebrate axons, it is distributed longitudinally as intermittent, discrete domains, called periaxoplasmic plaques. Studies, based on translation assays and probes of RNA transcripts in axon models such as the squid giant axon and selected vertebrate axons, provide evidence of locally synthesized proteins, most of which appear to be constituents of the slow axoplasmic transport rate groups. Metabolic and molecular biological findings are consistent with the view that the synthesis of proteins undergoing local turnover in the axonal compartment of macroneurons depends on the activity of an endogenous translational machinery. The documented presence of a metabolically active machinery in presynaptic terminals of squid photoreceptor neurons is also described. Finally, potential sources of axoplasmic RNAs comprising the machinery, which may include the ensheathing cell of the axon, as well as the cognate cell body, are also discussed.

  1. Structure and Function of an Actin-Based Filter in the Proximal Axon

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    Varuzhan Balasanyan


    Full Text Available Summary: The essential organization of microtubules within neurons has been described; however, less is known about how neuronal actin is arranged and the functional implications of its arrangement. Here, we describe, in live cells, an actin-based structure in the proximal axon that selectively prevents some proteins from entering the axon while allowing the passage of others. Concentrated patches of actin in proximal axons are present shortly after axonal specification in rat and zebrafish neurons imaged live, and they mark positions where anterogradely traveling vesicles carrying dendritic proteins halt and reverse. Patches colocalize with the ARP2/3 complex, and when ARP2/3-mediated nucleation is blocked, a dendritic protein mislocalizes to the axon. Patches are highly dynamic, with few persisting longer than 30 min. In neurons in culture and in vivo, actin appears to form a contiguous, semipermeable barrier, despite its apparently sparse distribution, preventing axonal localization of constitutively active myosin Va but not myosin VI. : Balasanyan et al. find dynamic patches of actin in proximal axons of live neurons, mature and newly differentiated, in culture and in vivo. Patches contribute to a filter that sequesters some proteins within the somatodendritic domain while allowing others to pass into the axon, leading to polarized localization of proteins.

  2. Islet Coordinately Regulates Motor Axon Guidance and Dendrite Targeting through the Frazzled/DCC Receptor

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    Celine Santiago


    Full Text Available Motor neuron axon targeting in the periphery is correlated with the positions of motor neuron inputs in the CNS, but how these processes are coordinated to form a myotopic map remains poorly understood. We show that the LIM homeodomain factor Islet (Isl controls targeting of both axons and dendrites in Drosophila motor neurons through regulation of the Frazzled (Fra/DCC receptor. Isl is required for fra expression in ventrally projecting motor neurons, and isl and fra mutants have similar axon guidance defects. Single-cell labeling indicates that isl and fra are also required for dendrite targeting in a subset of motor neurons. Finally, overexpression of Fra rescues axon and dendrite targeting defects in isl mutants. These results indicate that Fra acts downstream of Isl in both the periphery and the CNS, demonstrating how a single regulatory relationship is used in multiple cellular compartments to coordinate neural circuit wiring.

  3. The evolution of the cytoskeleton (United States)

    Gull, Keith


    The cytoskeleton is a system of intracellular filaments crucial for cell shape, division, and function in all three domains of life. The simple cytoskeletons of prokaryotes show surprising plasticity in composition, with none of the core filament-forming proteins conserved in all lineages. In contrast, eukaryotic cytoskeletal function has been hugely elaborated by the addition of accessory proteins and extensive gene duplication and specialization. Much of this complexity evolved before the last common ancestor of eukaryotes. The distribution of cytoskeletal filaments puts constraints on the likely prokaryotic line that made this leap of eukaryogenesis. PMID:21859859

  4. New Dystrophin/Dystroglycan interactors control neuron behavior in Drosophila eye

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    Rishko Valentyna M


    Full Text Available Abstract Background The Dystrophin Glycoprotein Complex (DGC is a large multi-component complex that is well known for its function in muscle tissue. When the main components of the DGC, Dystrophin (Dys and Dystroglycan (Dg are affected cognitive impairment and mental retardation in addition to muscle degeneration can occur. Previously we performed an array of genetic screens using a Drosophila model for muscular dystrophy in order to find novel DGC interactors aiming to elucidate the signaling role(s in which the complex is involved. Since the function of the DGC in the brain and nervous system has not been fully defined, we have here continued to analyze the DGC modifiers' function in the developing Drosophila brain and eye. Results Given that disruption of Dys and Dg leads to improper photoreceptor axon projections into the lamina and eye neuron elongation defects during development, we have determined the function of previously screened components and their genetic interaction with the DGC in this tissue. Our study first found that mutations in chif, CG34400, Nrk, Lis1, capt and Cam cause improper axon path-finding and loss of SP2353, Grh, Nrk, capt, CG34400, vimar, Lis1 and Cam cause shortened rhabdomere lengths. We determined that Nrk, mbl, capt and Cam genetically interact with Dys and/or Dg in these processes. It is notable that most of the neuronal DGC interacting components encountered are involved in regulation of actin dynamics. Conclusions Our data indicate possible DGC involvement in the process of cytoskeletal remodeling in neurons. The identification of new components that interact with the DGC not only helps to dissect the mechanism of axon guidance and eye neuron differentiation but also provides a great opportunity for understanding the signaling mechanisms by which the cell surface receptor Dg communicates via Dys with the actin cytoskeleton.

  5. Dendritic and Axonal Wiring Optimization of Cortical GABAergic Interneurons. (United States)

    Anton-Sanchez, Laura; Bielza, Concha; Benavides-Piccione, Ruth; DeFelipe, Javier; Larrañaga, Pedro


    The way in which a neuronal tree expands plays an important role in its functional and computational characteristics. We aimed to study the existence of an optimal neuronal design for different types of cortical GABAergic neurons. To do this, we hypothesized that both the axonal and dendritic trees of individual neurons optimize brain connectivity in terms of wiring length. We took the branching points of real three-dimensional neuronal reconstructions of the axonal and dendritic trees of different types of cortical interneurons and searched for the minimal wiring arborization structure that respects the branching points. We compared the minimal wiring arborization with real axonal and dendritic trees. We tested this optimization problem using a new approach based on graph theory and evolutionary computation techniques. We concluded that neuronal wiring is near-optimal in most of the tested neurons, although the wiring length of dendritic trees is generally nearer to the optimum. Therefore, wiring economy is related to the way in which neuronal arborizations grow irrespective of the marked differences in the morphology of the examined interneurons.

  6. Multiple roles for the actin cytoskeleton during regulated exocytosis (United States)

    Porat-Shliom, Natalie; Milberg, Oleg; Masedunskas, Andrius; Weigert, Roberto


    Regulated exocytosis is the main mechanism utilized by specialized secretory cells to deliver molecules to the cell surface by virtue of membranous containers (i.e. secretory vesicles). The process involves a series of highly coordinated and sequential steps, which include the biogenesis of the vesicles, their delivery to the cell periphery, their fusion with the plasma membrane and the release of their content into the extracellular space. Each of these steps is regulated by the actin cytoskeleton. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge regarding the involvement of actin and its associated molecules during each of the exocytic steps in vertebrates, and suggest that the overall role of the actin cytoskeleton during regulated exocytosis is linked to the architecture and the physiology of the secretory cells under examination. Specifically, in neurons, neuroendocrine, endocrine, and hematopoietic cells, which contain small secretory vesicles that undergo rapid exocytosis (on the order of milliseconds), the actin cytoskeleton plays a role in pre-fusion events, where it acts primarily as a functional barrier and facilitates docking. In exocrine and other secretory cells, which contain large secretory vesicles that undergo slow exocytosis (seconds to minutes), the actin cytoskeleton plays a role in post-fusion events, where it regulates the dynamics of the fusion pore, facilitates the integration of the vesicles into the plasma membrane, provides structural support, and promotes the expulsion of large cargo molecules. PMID:22986507

  7. c-Abl, Lamellipodin, and Ena/VASP proteins cooperate in dorsal ruffling of fibroblasts and axonal morphogenesis. (United States)

    Michael, Magdalene; Vehlow, Anne; Navarro, Christel; Krause, Matthias


    Tight regulation of cell motility is essential for many physiological processes, such as formation of a functional nervous system and wound healing. Drosophila Abl negatively regulates the actin cytoskeleton effector protein Ena during neuronal development in flies, and it has been postulated that this may occur through an unknown intermediary. Lamellipodin (Lpd) regulates cell motility and recruits Ena/VASP proteins (Ena, Mena, VASP, EVL) to the leading edge of cells. However, the regulation of this recruitment has remained unsolved. Here we show that Lpd is a substrate of Abl kinases and binds to the Abl SH2 domain. Phosphorylation of Lpd positively regulates the interaction between Lpd and Ena/VASP proteins. Consistently, efficient recruitment of Mena and EVL to Lpd at the leading edge requires Abl kinases. Furthermore, transient Lpd phosphorylation by Abl kinases upon netrin-1 stimulation of primary cortical neurons positively correlates with an increase in Lpd-Mena coprecipitation. Lpd is also transiently phosphorylated by Abl kinases upon platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) stimulation, regulates PDGF-induced dorsal ruffling of fibroblasts and axonal morphogenesis, and cooperates with c-Abl in an Ena/VASP-dependent manner. Our findings suggest that Abl kinases positively regulate Lpd-Ena/VASP interaction, Ena/VASP recruitment to Lpd at the leading edge, and Lpd-Ena/VASP function in axonal morphogenesis and in PDGF-induced dorsal ruffling. Our data do not support the suggested negative regulatory role of Abl for Ena. Instead, we propose that Lpd is the hitherto unknown intermediary between Abl and Ena/VASP proteins. (c) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. PACSIN1, a Tau-interacting protein, regulates axonal elongation and branching by facilitating microtubule instability. (United States)

    Liu, Yingying; Lv, Kaosheng; Li, Zenglong; Yu, Albert C H; Chen, Jianguo; Teng, Junlin


    Tau is a major member of the neuronal microtubule-associated proteins. It promotes tubulin assembly and stabilizes axonal microtubules. Previous studies have demonstrated that Tau forms cross-bridges between microtubules, with some particles located on cross-bridges, suggesting that some proteins interact with Tau and might be involved in regulating Tau-related microtubule dynamics. This study reports that PACSIN1 interacts with Tau in axon. PACSIN1 blockade results in impaired axonal elongation and a higher number of primary axonal branches in mouse dorsal root ganglia neurons, which is induced by increasing the binding ability of Tau to microtubules. In PACSIN1-blocked dorsal root ganglia neurons, a greater amount of Tau is inclined to accumulate in the central domain of growth cones, and it promotes the stability of the microtubule network. Taken together, these results suggest that PACSIN1 is an important Tau binding partner in regulating microtubule dynamics and forming axonal plasticity.

  9. Axon-glia interaction and membrane traffic in myelin formation

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    Robin eWhite


    Full Text Available In vertebrate nervous systems myelination of neuronal axons has evolved to increase conduction velocity of electrical impulses with minimal space and energy requirements. Myelin is formed by specialised glial cells which ensheath axons with a lipid-rich insulating membrane. Myelination is a multi-step process initiated by axon-glia recognition triggering glial polarisation followed by targeted myelin membrane expansion and compaction. Thereby, a myelin sheath of complex subdomain structure is established. Continuous communication between neurons and glial cells is essential for myelin maintenance and axonal integrity. A diverse group of diseases, from multiple sclerosis to schizophrenia, have been linked to malfunction of myelinating cells reflecting the physiological importance of the axon-glial unit. This review describes the mechanisms of axonal signal integration by oligodendrocytes emphasising the central role of the Src-family kinase Fyn during CNS myelination. Furthermore, we discuss myelin membrane trafficking with particular focus on endocytic recycling and the control of PLP (proteolipid protein transport by SNARE proteins. Finally, PLP mistrafficking is considered in the context of myelin diseases.

  10. Forced notch signaling inhibits commissural axon outgrowth in the developing chick central nerve system.

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    Ming Shi

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: A collection of in vitro evidence has demonstrated that Notch signaling plays a key role in the growth of neurites in differentiated neurons. However, the effects of Notch signaling on axon outgrowth in an in vivo condition remain largely unknown. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In this study, the neural tubes of HH10-11 chick embryos were in ovo electroporated with various Notch transgenes of activating or inhibiting Notch signaling, and then their effects on commissural axon outgrowth across the floor plate midline in the chick developing central nerve system were investigated. Our results showed that forced expression of Notch intracellular domain, constitutively active form of RBPJ, or full-length Hes1 in the rostral hindbrain, diencephalon and spinal cord at stage HH10-11 significantly inhibited commissural axon outgrowth. On the other hand, inhibition of Notch signaling by ectopically expressing a dominant-negative form of RBPJ promoted commissural axonal growth along the circumferential axis. Further results revealed that these Notch signaling-mediated axon outgrowth defects may be not due to the alteration of axon guidance since commissural axon marker TAG1 was present in the axons in floor plate midline, and also not result from the changes in cell fate determination of commissural neurons since the expression of postmitotic neuron marker Tuj1 and specific commissural markers TAG1 and Pax7 was unchanged. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: We first used an in vivo system to provide evidence that forced Notch signaling negatively regulates commissural axon outgrowth.

  11. The time course of ongoing activity during neuritis and following axonal transport disruption. (United States)

    Satkeviciute, Ieva; Goodwin, George; Bove, Geoffrey M; Dilley, Andrew


    Local nerve inflammation (neuritis) leads to ongoing activity and axonal mechanical sensitivity (AMS) along intact nociceptor axons, and disrupts axonal transport. This phenomenon forms the most feasible cause of radiating pain, such as sciatica. We have previously shown that axonal transport disruption without inflammation or degeneration also leads to AMS, but does not cause ongoing activity at the time point when AMS occurs, despite causing cutaneous hypersensitivity. However, there have been no systematic studies of ongoing activity during neuritis or non-inflammatory axonal transport disruption. In this study, we present the time course of ongoing activity from primary sensory neurons following neuritis and vinblastine-induced axonal transport disruption. Whereas 24% of C/slow Aδ-fiber neurons had ongoing activity during neuritis, few (disruption of axonal transport without inflammation does not lead to ongoing activity in sensory neurons, including nociceptors, but does cause a rapid and transient development of AMS. Since it is proposed that AMS underlies mechanically-induced radiating pain, and a transient disruption of axonal transport (as previously reported) leads to transient AMS, it follows that processes that disrupt axonal transport, such as neuritis, must persist to maintain AMS and the associated symptoms.

  12. Neocortical axon arbors trade-off material and conduction delay conservation.

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    Julian M L Budd


    Full Text Available The brain contains a complex network of axons rapidly communicating information between billions of synaptically connected neurons. The morphology of individual axons, therefore, defines the course of information flow within the brain. More than a century ago, Ramón y Cajal proposed that conservation laws to save material (wire length and limit conduction delay regulate the design of individual axon arbors in cerebral cortex. Yet the spatial and temporal communication costs of single neocortical axons remain undefined. Here, using reconstructions of in vivo labelled excitatory spiny cell and inhibitory basket cell intracortical axons combined with a variety of graph optimization algorithms, we empirically investigated Cajal's conservation laws in cerebral cortex for whole three-dimensional (3D axon arbors, to our knowledge the first study of its kind. We found intracortical axons were significantly longer than optimal. The temporal cost of cortical axons was also suboptimal though far superior to wire-minimized arbors. We discovered that cortical axon branching appears to promote a low temporal dispersion of axonal latencies and a tight relationship between cortical distance and axonal latency. In addition, inhibitory basket cell axonal latencies may occur within a much narrower temporal window than excitatory spiny cell axons, which may help boost signal detection. Thus, to optimize neuronal network communication we find that a modest excess of axonal wire is traded-off to enhance arbor temporal economy and precision. Our results offer insight into the principles of brain organization and communication in and development of grey matter, where temporal precision is a crucial prerequisite for coincidence detection, synchronization and rapid network oscillations.

  13. Infant avoidance training alters cellular activation patterns in prefronto-limbic circuits during adult avoidance learning: II. Cellular imaging of neurons expressing the activity-regulated cytoskeleton-associated protein (Arc/Arg3.1). (United States)

    Gröger, Nicole; Mannewitz, Anja; Bock, Jörg; Becker, Susann; Guttmann, Katja; Poeggel, Gerd; Braun, Katharina


    Positive and negative feedback learning is essential to optimize behavioral performance. We used the two-way active avoidance (TWA) task as an experimental paradigm for negative feedback learning with the aim to test the hypothesis that neuronal ensembles activate the activity-regulated cytoskeletal (Arc/Arg3.1) protein during different phases of avoidance learning and during retrieval. A variety of studies in humans and other animals revealed that the ability of aversive feedback learning emerges postnatally. Our previous findings demonstrated that rats, which as infants are not capable to learn an active avoidance strategy, show improved avoidance learning as adults. Based on these findings, we further tested the hypothesis that specific neuronal ensembles are "tagged" during infant TWA training and then reactivated during adult re-exposure to the same learning task. Using cellular imaging by immunocytochemical detection of Arc/Arg3.1, we observed that, compared to the untrained control group, (1) only in the dentate gyrus the density of Arc/Arg3.1-expressing neurons was elevated during the acquisition phase of TWA learning, and (2) this increase in Arc/Arg3.1-expressing neurons was not specific for the TWA learning task. With respect to the effects of infant TWA training we found that compared to the naïve non-pretrained group (a) the infant pretraining group displayed a higher density of Arc/Arg3.1-expressing neurons in the anterior cingulate cortex during acquisition on training day 1, and (b) the infant pretraining group displayed elevated density of Arc/Arg3.1-expressing neurons in the dentate gyrus during retrieval on test day 5. Correlation analysis for the acquisition phase revealed for the ACd that the animals which showed the highest number of avoidances and the fastest escape latencies displayed the highest density of Arc/Arg3.1-expressing neurons. Taken together, we are the first to use the synaptic plasticity protein Arc/Arg3.1 to label neuronal

  14. Intra-axonal protein synthesis - a new target for neural repair?

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    Jeffery L Twiss


    Full Text Available Although initially argued to be a feature of immature neurons with incomplete polarization, there is clear evidence that neurons in the peripheral nervous system retain the capacity for intra-axonal protein synthesis well into adulthood. This localized protein synthesis has been shown to contribute to injury signaling and axon regeneration in peripheral nerves. Recent works point to potential for protein synthesis in axons of the vertebrate central nervous system. mRNAs and protein synthesis machinery have now been documented in lamprey, mouse, and rat spinal cord axons. Intra-axonal protein synthesis appears to be activated in adult vertebrate spinal cord axons when they are regeneration-competent. Rat spinal cord axons regenerating into a peripheral nerve graft contain mRNAs and markers of activated translational machinery. Indeed, levels of some growth-associated mRNAs in these spinal cord axons are comparable to the regenerating sciatic nerve. Markers of active translation tend to decrease when these axons stop growing, but can be reactivated by a second axotomy. These emerging observations raise the possibility that mRNA transport into and translation within axons could be targeted to facilitate regeneration in both the peripheral and central nervous systems.

  15. Axonal remodeling in the corticospinal tract after stroke: how does rehabilitative training modulate it?

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    Naohiko Okabe


    Full Text Available Stroke causes long-term disability, and rehabilitative training is commonly used to improve the consecutive functional recovery. Following brain damage, surviving neurons undergo morphological alterations to reconstruct the remaining neural network. In the motor system, such neural network remodeling is observed as a motor map reorganization. Because of its significant correlation with functional recovery, motor map reorganization has been regarded as a key phenomenon for functional recovery after stroke. Although the mechanism underlying motor map reorganization remains unclear, increasing evidence has shown a critical role for axonal remodeling in the corticospinal tract. In this study, we review previous studies investigating axonal remodeling in the corticospinal tract after stroke and discuss which mechanisms may underlie the stimulatory effect of rehabilitative training. Axonal remodeling in the corticospinal tract can be classified into three types based on the location and the original targets of corticospinal neurons, and it seems that all the surviving corticospinal neurons in both ipsilesional and contralesional hemisphere can participate in axonal remodeling and motor map reorganization. Through axonal remodeling, corticospinal neurons alter their output selectivity from a single to multiple areas to compensate for the lost function. The remodeling of the corticospinal axon is influenced by the extent of tissue destruction and promoted by various therapeutic interventions, including rehabilitative training. Although the precise molecular mechanism underlying rehabilitation-promoted axonal remodeling remains elusive, previous data suggest that rehabilitative training promotes axonal remodeling by upregulating growth-promoting and downregulating growth-inhibiting signals.

  16. CLASP2 Links Reelin to the Cytoskeleton during Neocortical Development. (United States)

    Dillon, Gregory M; Tyler, William A; Omuro, Kerilyn C; Kambouris, John; Tyminski, Camila; Henry, Shawna; Haydar, Tarik F; Beffert, Uwe; Ho, Angela


    The Reelin signaling pathway plays a crucial role in regulating neocortical development. However, little is known about how Reelin controls the cytoskeleton during neuronal migration. Here, we identify CLASP2 as a key cytoskeletal effector in the Reelin signaling pathway. We demonstrate that CLASP2 has distinct roles during neocortical development regulating neuron production and controlling neuron migration, polarity, and morphogenesis. We found downregulation of CLASP2 in migrating neurons leads to mislocalized cells in deeper cortical layers, abnormal positioning of the centrosome-Golgi complex, and aberrant length/orientation of the leading process. We discovered that Reelin regulates several phosphorylation sites within the positively charged serine/arginine-rich region that constitute consensus GSK3β phosphorylation motifs of CLASP2. Furthermore, phosphorylation of CLASP2 regulates its interaction with the Reelin adaptor Dab1 and this association is required for CLASP2 effects on neurite extension and motility. Together, our data reveal that CLASP2 is an essential Reelin effector orchestrating cytoskeleton dynamics during brain development. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Propagation of action potentials in inhomogeneous axon regions. (United States)

    Ramón, F; Joyner, R W; Moore, J W


    Described are studies of propagation of action potentials through inhomogenous axon regions through experiments performed on squid giant axons and by computer simulations. The initial speed of propagation of the action potential is dependent upon the stimulus waveform. For a rectangular pulse of current, the action potential travel initally at a high speed that declines over the distance, reaching a constant speed of propagation at about 1-5 resting length constants; this distance depends on the stimulus strength. additional experiments studied the effects of changing the axon diameter and of introducing a temperature step. It was found that the propagated action potential suffers profound modification in shape and velocity as it reaches the region of transition. In both cases, it was possible to obtain reflected action potentials. A region of increased effective diameter was produced experimentally in the squid giant axon by insertion of an axial wire as usually employed in voltage clamps. It was found that the action potential, at the axial wire tip region, undergoes shape changes similar to those obtained tn simulations of a region of increased diameter as in a junction with the axon and soma in motor neurons. It is conducluded that the gaint axon can be used to reproduce simple electrical behaviors in other structures.-Ramón, F., R. W. Joyner and J.W. Moore. Propagation of action potentials in inhomogeneous axon regions.

  18. Syndecan Promotes Axon Regeneration by Stabilizing Growth Cone Migration

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    Tyson J. Edwards


    Full Text Available Growth cones facilitate the repair of nervous system damage by providing the driving force for axon regeneration. Using single-neuron laser axotomy and in vivo time-lapse imaging, we show that syndecan, a heparan sulfate (HS proteoglycan, is required for growth cone function during axon regeneration in C. elegans. In the absence of syndecan, regenerating growth cones form but are unstable and collapse, decreasing the effective growth rate and impeding regrowth to target cells. We provide evidence that syndecan has two distinct functions during axon regeneration: (1 a canonical function in axon guidance that requires expression outside the nervous system and depends on HS chains and (2 an intrinsic function in growth cone stabilization that is mediated by the syndecan core protein, independently of HS. Thus, syndecan is a regulator of a critical choke point in nervous system repair.

  19. Cortical Interneuron Subtypes Vary in Their Axonal Action Potential Properties. (United States)

    Casale, Amanda E; Foust, Amanda J; Bal, Thierry; McCormick, David A


    The role of interneurons in cortical microcircuits is strongly influenced by their passive and active electrical properties. Although different types of interneurons exhibit unique electrophysiological properties recorded at the soma, it is not yet clear whether these differences are also manifested in other neuronal compartments. To address this question, we have used voltage-sensitive dye to image the propagation of action potentials into the fine collaterals of axons and dendrites in two of the largest cortical interneuron subtypes in the mouse: fast-spiking interneurons, which are typically basket or chandelier neurons; and somatostatin containing interneurons, which are typically regular spiking Martinotti cells. We found that fast-spiking and somatostatin-expressing interneurons differed in their electrophysiological characteristics along their entire dendrosomatoaxonal extent. The action potentials generated in the somata and axons, including axon collaterals, of somatostatin-expressing interneurons are significantly broader than those generated in the same compartments of fast-spiking inhibitory interneurons. In addition, action potentials back-propagated into the dendrites of somatostatin-expressing interneurons much more readily than fast-spiking interneurons. Pharmacological investigations suggested that axonal action potential repolarization in both cell types depends critically upon Kv1 channels, whereas the axonal and somatic action potentials of somatostatin-expressing interneurons also depend on BK Ca(2+)-activated K(+) channels. These results indicate that the two broad classes of interneurons studied here have expressly different subcellular physiological properties, allowing them to perform unique computational roles in cortical circuit operations. Neurons in the cerebral cortex are of two major types: excitatory and inhibitory. The proper balance of excitation and inhibition in the brain is critical for its operation. Neurons contain three main

  20. Progress of Research on Diffuse Axonal Injury after Traumatic Brain Injury

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    Junwei Ma


    Full Text Available The current work reviews the concept, pathological mechanism, and process of diagnosing of DAI. The pathological mechanism underlying DAI is complicated, including axonal breakage caused by axonal retraction balls, discontinued protein transport along the axonal axis, calcium influx, and calpain-mediated hydrolysis of structural protein, degradation of axonal cytoskeleton network, the changes of transport proteins such as amyloid precursor protein, and changes of glia cells. Based on the above pathological mechanism, the diagnosis of DAI is usually made using methods such as CT, traditional and new MRI, biochemical markers, and neuropsychological assessment. This review provides a basis in literature for further investigation and discusses the pathological mechanism. It may also facilitate improvement of the accuracy of diagnosis for DAI, which may come to play a critical role in breaking through the bottleneck of the clinical treatment of DAI and improving the survival and quality of life of patients through clear understanding of pathological mechanisms and accurate diagnosis.

  1. Phosphatidylserine improves axonal transport by inhibition of HDAC and has potential in treatment of neurodegenerative diseases

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    Shiran Naftelberg


    Full Text Available Familial dysautonomia (FD is a rare children neurodegenerative disease caused due to a point mutation in the IKBKAP gene that results in decreased IKK complex-associated protein (IKAP protein production. The disease affects mostly the dorsal root ganglion (DRG and the sympathetic ganglion. Recently, we found that the molecular mechanisms underlying neurodegeneration in FD patients are defects in axonal transport of nerve growth factors and microtubule stability in the DRG. Neurons are highly polarized cells with very long axons. In order to survive and maintain proper function, neurons depend on transport of proteins and other cellular components from the neuronal body along the axons. We further demonstrated that IKAP is necessary for axon maintenance and showed that phosphatidylserine acts as an HDAC6 inhibitor to rescue neuronal function in FD cells. In this review, we will highlight our latest research findings.

  2. Glia initiate brain assembly through non-canonical Chimaerin/Furin axon guidance in C. elegans (United States)

    Rapti, Georgia; Li, Chang; Shan, Alan; Lu, Yun; Shaham, Shai


    Brain assembly is hypothesized to begin when pioneer axons extend over non-neuronal cells, forming tracts guiding follower axons. Yet pioneer-neuron identities, their guidance substrates, and their interactions, are not well understood. Here, using time-lapse embryonic imaging, genetics, protein-interaction, and functional studies, we uncover the early events of C. elegans brain assembly. We demonstrate that C. elegans glia are key for assembly initiation, guiding pioneer and follower axons using distinct signals. Pioneer sublateral neurons, with unique growth properties, anatomy, and innervation, cooperate with glia to mediate follower-axon guidance. We further identify a CHIN-1/Chimaerin-KPC-1/Furin double mutant that severely disrupts assembly. CHIN-1/Chimaerin and KPC-1/Furin function non-canonically in glia and pioneer neurons for guidance-cue trafficking. We exploit this bottleneck to define roles for glial Netrin and Semaphorin in pioneer- and follower-axon guidance, respectively, and for glial and pioneer-neuron Flamingo/CELSR in follower-axon navigation. Altogether, our studies reveal previously-unknown glial roles in pioneer-axon guidance, suggesting conserved brain-assembly principles. PMID:28846083

  3. Modality-Specific Axonal Regeneration: Towards selective regenerative neural interfaces

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Parisa eLotfi


    Full Text Available Regenerative peripheral nerve interfaces have been proposed as viable alternatives for the natural control of robotic prosthetic devices. However, sensory and motor axons at the neural interface are of mixed submodality types, which difficult the specific recording from motor axons and the eliciting of precise sensory modalities through selective stimulation. Here we evaluated the possibility of using type-specific neurotrophins to preferentially entice the regeneration of defined axonal populations from transected peripheral nerves into separate compartments. Segregation of mixed sensory fibers from dorsal root ganglion neurons was evaluated in vitro by compartmentalized diffusion delivery of nerve growth factor (NGF and neurotrophin-3 (NT-3, to preferentially entice the growth of TrkA+ nociceptive and TrkC+ proprioceptive subsets of sensory neurons, respectively. The average axon length in the NGF channel increased 2.5 fold compared to that in saline or NT-3, whereas the number of branches increased 3 fold in the NT-3 channels. These results were confirmed using a 3-D Y-shaped in vitro assay showing that the arm containing NGF was able to entice a 5-fold increase in axonal length of unbranched fibers. To address if such segregation can be enticed in vivo, a Y-shaped tubing was used to allow regeneration of the transected adult rat sciatic nerve into separate compartments filled with either NFG or NT-3. A significant increase in the number of CGRP+ pain fibers were attracted towards the sural nerve, while N-52+ large diameter axons were observed in the tibial and NT-3 compartments. This study demonstrates the guided enrichment of sensory axons in specific regenerative chambers, and supports the notion that neurotrophic factors can be used to segregate sensory and perhaps motor axons in separate peripheral interfaces.

  4. Modality-specific axonal regeneration: toward selective regenerative neural interfaces. (United States)

    Lotfi, Parisa; Garde, Kshitija; Chouhan, Amit K; Bengali, Ebrahim; Romero-Ortega, Mario I


    Regenerative peripheral nerve interfaces have been proposed as viable alternatives for the natural control of robotic prosthetic devices. However, sensory and motor axons at the neural interface are of mixed sub-modality types, which difficult the specific recording from motor axons and the eliciting of precise sensory modalities through selective stimulation. Here we evaluated the possibility of using type specific neurotrophins to preferentially entice the regeneration of defined axonal populations from transected peripheral nerves into separate compartments. Segregation of mixed sensory fibers from dorsal root ganglion neurons was evaluated in vitro by compartmentalized diffusion delivery of nerve growth factor (NGF) and neurotrophin-3 (NT-3), to preferentially entice the growth of TrkA+ nociceptive and TrkC+ proprioceptive subsets of sensory neurons, respectively. The average axon length in the NGF channel increased 2.5-fold compared to that in saline or NT-3, whereas the number of branches increased threefold in the NT-3 channels. These results were confirmed using a 3D "Y"-shaped in vitro assay showing that the arm containing NGF was able to entice a fivefold increase in axonal length of unbranched fibers. To address if such segregation can be enticed in vivo, a "Y"-shaped tubing was used to allow regeneration of the transected adult rat sciatic nerve into separate compartments filled with either NFG or NT-3. A significant increase in the number of CGRP+ pain fibers were attracted toward the sural nerve, while N-52+ large-diameter axons were observed in the tibial and NT-3 compartments. This study demonstrates the guided enrichment of sensory axons in specific regenerative chambers, and supports the notion that neurotrophic factors can be used to segregate sensory and perhaps motor axons in separate peripheral interfaces.

  5. Fast and reliable identification of axons, axon initial segments and dendrites with local field potential recording

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Petersen, Anders V.; Johansen, Emil O.; Perrier, Jean-Francois


    The axon initial segment (AIS) is an essential neuronal compartment. It is usually where action potentials are initiated. Recent studies demonstrated that the AIS is a plastic structure that can be regulated by neuronal activity and by the activation of metabotropic receptors. Studying the AIS...... in live tissue can be difficult because its identification is not always reliable. Here we provide a new technique allowing a fast and reliable identification of the AIS in live brain slice preparations. By simultaneous recording of extracellular local field potentials and whole-cell patch-clamp recording...... of neurons, we can detect sinks caused by inward currents flowing across the membrane. We determine the location of the AIS by comparing the timing of these events with the action potential. We demonstrate that this method allows the unequivocal identification of the AIS of different types of neurons from...

  6. Fast and reliable identification of axons, axon initial segments and dendrites with local field potential recording

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anders Victor ePetersen


    Full Text Available The axon initial segment (AIS is an essential neuronal compartment. It is usually where action potentials are initiated. Recent studies demonstrated that the AIS is a plastic structure that can be regulated by neuronal activity and by the activation of metabotropic receptors. Studying the AIS in live tissue can be difficult because its identification is not always reliable. Here we provide a new technique allowing a fast and reliable identification of the AIS in live brain slice preparations. By simultaneous recoding of extracellular local field potentials and whole-cell patch-clamp recording of neurons, we can detect sinks caused by inward currents flowing across the membrane. We determine the location of the AIS by comparing the timing of these events with the action potential. We demonstrate that this method allows the unequivocal identification of the AIS of different types of neurons from the brain.

  7. Activity-dependent myelination of parvalbumin interneurons mediated by axonal morphological plasticity. (United States)

    Stedehouder, J; Brizee, D; Shpak, G; Kushner, S A


    Axonal myelination of neocortical pyramidal neurons is dynamically modulated by neuronal activity. Recent studies have shown that a substantial proportion of neocortical myelin content is contributed by fast-spiking, parvalbumin (PV)-positive interneurons. However, it remains unknown whether the myelination of PV + interneurons is also modulated by intrinsic activity. Here, we utilized cell-type specific Designer Receptors Exclusively Activated by Designer Drugs (DREADDs) in adult male and female mice to activate a sparse population of medial prefrontal cortex PV + interneurons. Using single-cell axonal reconstructions, we find that DREADD-stimulated PV + interneurons exhibit a nearly two-fold increase in total length of myelination, predominantly mediated by a parallel increase of axonal arborization and number of internodes. In contrast, the distribution of axonal inter-branch segment distance and myelin internode length were not significantly altered. Topographical analysis revealed that myelination of DREADD-stimulated cells extended to higher axonal branch orders, while retaining a similar inter-branch distance threshold for myelination. Together, our results demonstrate that chemogenetically-induced neuronal activity increases the myelination of neocortical PV + interneurons mediated at least in part by an elaboration of their axonal morphology. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Myelination is the wrapping of an axon in order to optimize conduction velocity in an energy-efficient manner. Previous studies have shown that myelination of neocortical pyramidal neurons is experience and activity-dependent. We now show that activity-dependent myelin plasticity in the adult neocortex extends to parvalbumin-expressing fast-spiking interneurons. Specifically, chemogenetic stimulation of parvalbumin interneurons in the medial prefrontal cortex significantly enhanced axonal myelination, which was paralleled by an increase in axonal arborization. This suggests that activity

  8. Cytoskeleton in mast cell signaling

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Dráber, Pavel; Sulimenko, Vadym; Dráberová, Eduarda


    Roč. 3, May (2012), s. 130 ISSN 1664-3224 R&D Projects: GA ČR GAP302/10/1701; GA ČR GPP302/11/P709; GA ČR GAP302/12/1673 Grant - others:ECST(XE) Action BM1007 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50520514 Keywords : cytoskeleton * mast cell activation * signal transduction Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology

  9. Regulation of Axonal Midline Guidance by Prolyl 4-Hydroxylation in Caenorhabditis elegans

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Torpe, Nanna; Pocock, Roger David John


    , little is known of its importance in the control of axon guidance. In a screen of prolyl 4-hydroxylase (P4H) mutants, we found that genetic removal of a specific P4H subunit, DPY-18, causes dramatic defects in C. elegans neuroanatomy. In dpy-18 mutant animals, the axons of specific ventral nerve cord......Neuronal wiring during development requires that the growth cones of axons and dendrites are correctly guided to their appropriate targets. As in other animals, axon growth cones in Caenorhabditis elegans integrate information in their extracellular environment via interactions among transiently...

  10. Genetic Deletion of the Transcriptional Repressor NFIL3 Enhances Axon Growth In Vitro but Not Axonal Repair In Vivo

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Kallen, Loek R; Eggers, Ruben; Ehlert, Erich M; Verhaagen, J.; Smit, August B; van Kesteren, Ronald E


    Axonal regeneration after injury requires the coordinated expression of genes in injured neurons. We previously showed that either reducing expression or blocking function of the transcriptional repressor NFIL3 activates transcription of regeneration-associated genes Arg1 and Gap43 and strongly

  11. Axonal regeneration and development of de novo axons from distal dendrites of adult feline commissural interneurons after a proximal axotomy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fenrich, Keith K; Skelton, Nicole; MacDermid, Victoria E


    Following proximal axotomy, several types of neurons sprout de novo axons from distal dendrites. These processes may represent a means of forming new circuits following spinal cord injury. However, it is not know whether mammalian spinal interneurons, axotomized as a result of a spinal cord injur...

  12. Axon and dendrite geography predict the specificity of synaptic connections in a functioning spinal cord network

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Borisyuk Roman


    Full Text Available Abstract Background How specific are the synaptic connections formed as neuronal networks develop and can simple rules account for the formation of functioning circuits? These questions are assessed in the spinal circuits controlling swimming in hatchling frog tadpoles. This is possible because detailed information is now available on the identity and synaptic connections of the main types of neuron. Results The probabilities of synapses between 7 types of identified spinal neuron were measured directly by making electrical recordings from 500 pairs of neurons. For the same neuron types, the dorso-ventral distributions of axons and dendrites were measured and then used to calculate the probabilities that axons would encounter particular dendrites and so potentially form synaptic connections. Surprisingly, synapses were found between all types of neuron but contact probabilities could be predicted simply by the anatomical overlap of their axons and dendrites. These results suggested that synapse formation may not require axons to recognise specific, correct dendrites. To test the plausibility of simpler hypotheses, we first made computational models that were able to generate longitudinal axon growth paths and reproduce the axon distribution patterns and synaptic contact probabilities found in the spinal cord. To test if probabilistic rules could produce functioning spinal networks, we then made realistic computational models of spinal cord neurons, giving them established cell-specific properties and connecting them into networks using the contact probabilities we had determined. A majority of these networks produced robust swimming activity. Conclusion Simple factors such as morphogen gradients controlling dorso-ventral soma, dendrite and axon positions may sufficiently constrain the synaptic connections made between different types of neuron as the spinal cord first develops and allow functional networks to form. Our analysis implies that

  13. Squid Giant Axon Contains Neurofilament Protein mRNA but does not Synthesize Neurofilament Proteins. (United States)

    Gainer, Harold; House, Shirley; Kim, Dong Sun; Chin, Hemin; Pant, Harish C


    When isolated squid giant axons are incubated in radioactive amino acids, abundant newly synthesized proteins are found in the axoplasm. These proteins are translated in the adaxonal Schwann cells and subsequently transferred into the giant axon. The question as to whether any de novo protein synthesis occurs in the giant axon itself is difficult to resolve because the small contribution of the proteins possibly synthesized intra-axonally is not easily distinguished from the large amounts of the proteins being supplied from the Schwann cells. In this paper, we reexamine this issue by studying the synthesis of endogenous neurofilament (NF) proteins in the axon. Our laboratory previously showed that NF mRNA and protein are present in the squid giant axon, but not in the surrounding adaxonal glia. Therefore, if the isolated squid axon could be shown to contain newly synthesized NF protein de novo, it could not arise from the adaxonal glia. The results of experiments in this paper show that abundant 3H-labeled NF protein is synthesized in the squid giant fiber lobe containing the giant axon's neuronal cell bodies, but despite the presence of NF mRNA in the giant axon no labeled NF protein is detected in the giant axon. This lends support to the glia-axon protein transfer hypothesis which posits that the squid giant axon obtains newly synthesized protein by Schwann cell transfer and not through intra-axonal protein synthesis, and further suggests that the NF mRNA in the axon is in a translationally repressed state.

  14. beta-Actin and beta-Tubulin are components of a heterogeneous mRNA population present in the squid giant axon. (United States)

    Kaplan, B B; Gioio, A E; Capano, C P; Crispino, M; Giuditta, A


    Previously, we have reported that the squid giant axon contains a heterogeneous population of polyadenylated mRNAs, as well as biologically active polyribosomes. To define the composition of this unique mRNA population, cDNA libraries were constructed to RNA obtained from the axoplasm of the squid giant axon and the parental cell bodies located in the giant fiber lobe. Here, we report that the giant axon contains mRNAs encoding beta-actin and beta-tubulin. The axonal location of these mRNA species was confirmed by in situ hybridization histochemistry, and their presence in the axoplasmic polyribosome fraction was demonstrated by polymerase chain reaction methodology. Taken together, these findings establish the identity of two relatively abundant members of the axonal mRNA population and suggest that key elements of the cytoskeleton are synthesized de novo in the squid giant axon.

  15. Vertebrate Fidgetin Restrains Axonal Growth by Severing Labile Domains of Microtubules

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lanfranco Leo


    Full Text Available Individual microtubules (MTs in the axon consist of a stable domain that is highly acetylated and a labile domain that is not. Traditional MT-severing proteins preferentially cut the MT in the stable domain. In Drosophila, fidgetin behaves in this fashion, with targeted knockdown resulting in neurons with a higher fraction of acetylated (stable MT mass in their axons. Conversely, in a fidgetin knockout mouse, the fraction of MT mass that is acetylated is lower than in the control animal. When fidgetin is depleted from cultured rodent neurons, there is a 62% increase in axonal MT mass, all of which is labile. Concomitantly, there are more minor processes and a longer axon. Together with experimental data showing that vertebrate fidgetin targets unacetylated tubulin, these results indicate that vertebrate fidgetin (unlike its fly ortholog regulates neuronal development by tamping back the expansion of the labile domains of MTs.

  16. Quantifying mechanical force in axonal growth and guidance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ahmad Ibrahim Mahmoud Athamneh


    Full Text Available Mechanical force plays a fundamental role in neuronal development, physiology, and regeneration. In particular, research has shown that force is involved in growth cone-mediated axonal growth and guidance as well as stretch-induced elongation when an organism increases in size after forming initial synaptic connections. However, much of the details about the exact role of force in these fundamental processes remain unknown. In this review, we highlight (1 standing questions concerning the role of mechanical force in axonal growth and guidance and (2 different experimental techniques used to quantify forces in axons and growth cones. We believe that satisfying answers to these questions will require quantitative information about the relationship between elongation, forces, cytoskeletal dynamics, axonal transport, signaling, substrate adhesion, and stiffness contributing to directional growth advance. Furthermore, we address why a wide range of force values have been reported in the literature, and what these values mean in the context of neuronal mechanics. We hope that this review will provide a guide for those interested in studying the role of force in development and regeneration of neuronal networks.

  17. Multifunctional Silk Nerve Guides for Axon Outgrowth (United States)

    Tupaj, Marie C.

    Peripheral nerve regeneration is a critical issue as 2.8% of trauma patients present with this type of injury, estimating a total of 200,000 nerve repair procedures yearly in the United States. While the peripheral nervous system exhibits slow regeneration, at a rate of 0.5 mm -- 9 mm/day following trauma, this regenerative ability is only possible under certain conditions. Clinical repairs have changed slightly in the last 30 years and standard methods of treatment include suturing damaged nerve ends, allografting, and autografting, with the autograft the gold standard of these approaches. Unfortunately, the use of autografts requires a second surgery and there is a shortage of nerves available for grafting. Allografts are a second option however allografts have lower success rates and are accompanied by the need of immunosuppressant drugs. Recently there has been a focus on developing nerve guides as an "off the shelf" approach. Although some natural and synthetic guidance channels have been approved by the FDA, these nerve guides are unfunctionalized and repair only short gaps, less than 3 cm in length. The goal of this project was to identify strategies for functionalizing peripheral nerve conduits for the outgrowth of neuron axons in vitro . To accomplish this, two strategies (bioelectrical and biophysical) were indentified for increasing axon outgrowth and promoting axon guidance. Bioelectrical strategies exploited electrical stimulation for increasing neurite outgrowth. Biophysical strategies tested a range of surface topographies for axon guidance. Novel methods were developed for integrating electrical and biophysical strategies into silk films in 2D. Finally, a functionalized nerve conduit system was developed that integrated all strategies for the purpose of attaching, elongating, and guiding nervous tissue in vitro. Future directions of this work include silk conduit translation into a rat sciatic nerve model in vivo for the purpose of repairing long

  18. Motor Neurons

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hounsgaard, Jorn


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

  19. IFNgamma enhances microglial reactions to hippocampal axonal degeneration

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, M B; Hegelund, I V; Lomholt, N D


    Glial reactivity is implicated in CNS repair and regenerative responses. Microglia, the cells responding earliest to axonal injury, produce tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNFalpha), a cytokine with both cytopathic and neuroprotective effects. We have studied activation of hippocampal microglia...... periods. Message for the immune cytokine interferon-gamma (IFNgamma) was undetectable, and glial reactivity to axonal lesions occurred as normal in IFNgamma-deficient mice. Microglial responses to lesion-induced neuronal injury were markedly enhanced in myelin basic protein promoter-driven transgenic mice...

  20. Fcγ receptor-mediated inflammation inhibits axon regeneration.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gang Zhang

    Full Text Available Anti-glycan/ganglioside antibodies are the most common immune effectors found in patients with Guillain-Barré Syndrome, which is a peripheral autoimmune neuropathy. We previously reported that disease-relevant anti-glycan autoantibodies inhibited axon regeneration, which echo the clinical association of these antibodies and poor recovery in Guillain-Barré Syndrome. However, the specific molecular and cellular elements involved in this antibody-mediated inhibition of axon regeneration are not previously defined. This study examined the role of Fcγ receptors and macrophages in the antibody-mediated inhibition of axon regeneration. A well characterized antibody passive transfer sciatic nerve crush and transplant models were used to study the anti-ganglioside antibody-mediated inhibition of axon regeneration in wild type and various mutant and transgenic mice with altered expression of specific Fcγ receptors and macrophage/microglia populations. Outcome measures included behavior, electrophysiology, morphometry, immunocytochemistry, quantitative real-time PCR, and western blotting. We demonstrate that the presence of autoantibodies, directed against neuronal/axonal cell surface gangliosides, in the injured mammalian peripheral nerves switch the proregenerative inflammatory environment to growth inhibitory milieu by engaging specific activating Fcγ receptors on recruited monocyte-derived macrophages to cause severe inhibition of axon regeneration. Our data demonstrate that the antibody orchestrated Fcγ receptor-mediated switch in inflammation is one mechanism underlying inhibition of axon regeneration. These findings have clinical implications for nerve repair and recovery in antibody-mediated immune neuropathies. Our results add to the complexity of axon regeneration in injured peripheral and central nervous systems as adverse effects of B cells and autoantibodies on neural injury and repair are increasingly recognized.

  1. Cytoskeleton in Mast Cell Signaling (United States)

    Dráber, Pavel; Sulimenko, Vadym; Dráberová, Eduarda


    Mast cell activation mediated by the high affinity receptor for IgE (FcεRI) is a key event in allergic response and inflammation. Other receptors on mast cells, as c-Kit for stem cell factor and G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) synergistically enhance the FcεRI-mediated release of inflammatory mediators. Activation of various signaling pathways in mast cells results in changes in cell morphology, adhesion to substrate, exocytosis, and migration. Reorganization of cytoskeleton is pivotal in all these processes. Cytoskeletal proteins also play an important role in initial stages of FcεRI and other surface receptors induced triggering. Highly dynamic microtubules formed by αβ-tubulin dimers as well as microfilaments build up from polymerized actin are affected in activated cells by kinases/phosphatases, Rho GTPases and changes in concentration of cytosolic Ca2+. Also important are nucleation proteins; the γ-tubulin complexes in case of microtubules or Arp 2/3 complex with its nucleation promoting factors and formins in case of microfilaments. The dynamic nature of microtubules and microfilaments in activated cells depends on many associated/regulatory proteins. Changes in rigidity of activated mast cells reflect changes in intermediate filaments build up from vimentin. This review offers a critical appraisal of current knowledge on the role of cytoskeleton in mast cells signaling. PMID:22654883

  2. The spectrum of lower motor neuron syndromes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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


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

  3. Mutations in USP9X Are Associated with X-Linked Intellectual Disability and Disrupt Neuronal Cell Migration and Growth (United States)

    Homan, Claire C.; Kumar, Raman; Nguyen, Lam Son; Haan, Eric; Raymond, F. Lucy; Abidi, Fatima; Raynaud, Martine; Schwartz, Charles E.; Wood, Stephen A.; Gecz, Jozef; Jolly, Lachlan A.


    With a wealth of disease-associated DNA variants being recently reported, the challenges of providing their functional characterization are mounting. Previously, as part of a large systematic resequencing of the X chromosome in 208 unrelated families with nonsyndromic X-linked intellectual disability, we identified three unique variants (two missense and one protein truncating) in USP9X. To assess the functional significance of these variants, we took advantage of the Usp9x knockout mouse we generated. Loss of Usp9x causes reduction in both axonal growth and neuronal cell migration. Although overexpression of wild-type human USP9X rescued these defects, all three USP9X variants failed to rescue axonal growth, caused reduced USP9X protein localization in axonal growth cones, and (in 2/3 variants) failed to rescue neuronal cell migration. Interestingly, in one of these families, the proband was subsequently identified to have a microdeletion encompassing ARID1B, a known ID gene. Given our findings it is plausible that loss of function of both genes contributes to the individual's phenotype. This case highlights the complexity of the interpretations of genetic findings from genome-wide investigations. We also performed proteomics analysis of neurons from both the wild-type and Usp9x knockout embryos and identified disruption of the cytoskeleton as the main underlying consequence of the loss of Usp9x. Detailed clinical assessment of all three families with USP9X variants identified hypotonia and behavioral and morphological defects as common features in addition to ID. Together our data support involvement of all three USP9X variants in ID in these families and provide likely cellular and molecular mechanisms involved. PMID:24607389

  4. Cytoskeleton and Morphogenesis in Brown Algae




    • Background Morphogenesis on a cellular level includes processes in which cytoskeleton and cell wall expansion are strongly involved. In brown algal zygotes, microtubules (MTs) and actin filaments (AFs) participate in polarity axis fixation, cell division and tip growth. Brown algal vegetative cells lack a cortical MT cytoskeleton, and are characterized by centriole-bearing centrosomes, which function as microtubule organizing centres.

  5. The prehistory of the cytoskeleton concept. (United States)

    Zampieri, Fabio; Coen, Matteo; Gabbiani, Giulio


    Here we discuss how the concept and the name of cytoskeleton were generated and started to evolve over the last two centuries into what is presently a basic topic of modern biology. We also attempt to describe some facets of the emergence of cytoskeleton component characterization in which our laboratory was in part involved. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  6. Imaging Cytoskeleton Components by Electron Microscopy. (United States)

    Svitkina, Tatyana


    The cytoskeleton is a complex of detergent-insoluble components of the cytoplasm playing critical roles in cell motility, shape generation, and mechanical properties of a cell. Fibrillar polymers-actin filaments, microtubules, and intermediate filaments-are major constituents of the cytoskeleton, which constantly change their organization during cellular activities. The actin cytoskeleton is especially polymorphic, as actin filaments can form multiple higher order assemblies performing different functions. Structural information about cytoskeleton organization is critical for understanding its functions and mechanisms underlying various forms of cellular activity. Because of the nanometer-scale thickness of cytoskeletal fibers, electron microscopy (EM) is a key tool to determine the structure of the cytoskeleton. This article describes application of rotary shadowing (or metal replica) EM for visualization of the cytoskeleton. The procedure is applicable to thin cultured cells growing on glass coverslips and consists of detergent extraction of cells to expose their cytoskeleton, chemical fixation to provide stability, ethanol dehydration and critical point drying to preserve three-dimensionality, rotary shadowing with platinum to create contrast, and carbon coating to stabilize replicas. This technique provides easily interpretable three-dimensional images, in which individual cytoskeletal fibers are clearly resolved, and individual proteins can be identified by immunogold labeling. More importantly, replica EM is easily compatible with live cell imaging, so that one can correlate the dynamics of a cell or its components, e.g., expressed fluorescent proteins, with high resolution structural organization of the cytoskeleton in the same cell.

  7. Sodium Channel β2 Subunits Prevent Action Potential Propagation Failures at Axonal Branch Points. (United States)

    Cho, In Ha; Panzera, Lauren C; Chin, Morven; Hoppa, Michael B


    Neurotransmitter release depends on voltage-gated Na + channels (Na v s) to propagate an action potential (AP) successfully from the axon hillock to a synaptic terminal. Unmyelinated sections of axon are very diverse structures encompassing branch points and numerous presynaptic terminals with undefined molecular partners of Na + channels. Using optical recordings of Ca 2+ and membrane voltage, we demonstrate here that Na + channel β2 subunits (Na v β2s) are required to prevent AP propagation failures across the axonal arborization of cultured rat hippocampal neurons (mixed male and female). When Na v β2 expression was reduced, we identified two specific phenotypes: (1) membrane excitability and AP-evoked Ca 2+ entry were impaired at synapses and (2) AP propagation was severely compromised with >40% of axonal branches no longer responding to AP-stimulation. We went on to show that a great deal of electrical signaling heterogeneity exists in AP waveforms across the axonal arborization independent of axon morphology. Therefore, Na v β2 is a critical regulator of axonal excitability and synaptic function in unmyelinated axons. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Voltage-gated Ca 2+ channels are fulcrums of neurotransmission that convert electrical inputs into chemical outputs in the form of vesicle fusion at synaptic terminals. However, the role of the electrical signal, the presynaptic action potential (AP), in modulating synaptic transmission is less clear. What is the fidelity of a propagating AP waveform in the axon and what molecules shape it throughout the axonal arborization? Our work identifies several new features of AP propagation in unmyelinated axons: (1) branches of a single axonal arborization have variable AP waveforms independent of morphology, (2) Na + channel β2 subunits modulate AP-evoked Ca 2+ -influx, and (3) β2 subunits maintain successful AP propagation across the axonal arbor. These findings are relevant to understanding the flow of excitation in the

  8. Guidance of Drosophila Mushroom Body Axons Depends upon DRL-Wnt Receptor Cleavage in the Brain Dorsomedial Lineage Precursors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elodie Reynaud


    Full Text Available In vivo axon pathfinding mechanisms in the neuron-dense brain remain relatively poorly characterized. We study the Drosophila mushroom body (MB axons, whose α and β branches connect to different brain areas. We show that the Ryk family WNT5 receptor, DRL (derailed, which is expressed in the dorsomedial lineages, brain structure precursors adjacent to the MBs, is required for MB α branch axon guidance. DRL acts to capture and present WNT5 to MB axons rather than transduce a WNT5 signal. DRL’s ectodomain must be cleaved and shed to guide α axons. DRL-2, another Ryk, is expressed within MB axons and functions as a repulsive WNT5 signaling receptor. Finally, our biochemical data support the existence of a ternary complex composed of the cleaved DRL ectodomain, WNT5, and DRL-2. Thus, the interaction of MB-extrinsic and -intrinsic Ryks via their common ligand acts to guide MB α axons.

  9. Sorting of cargos between axons and dendrites: modelling of differences in cargo transport in these two types of neurites. (United States)

    Kuznetsov, A V


    Explaining how intracellular cargos are sorted between axons and dendrites is important for a mechanistic understanding of what happens in many neurodegenerative disorders. A simple model of cargo sorting relies on differences in microtubule (MT) orientation between axons and dendrites: in mammalian neurons all MTs in axons have their plus ends directed outward while in proximal regions of dendrites the MT polarity is mixed. It can therefore be assumed that cargos that need to be driven into axons associate with kinesin motors while cargos that need to be driven into dendrites associate with dynein motors. This paper develops equations of cargo transport in axons and dendrites based on the above assumptions. Propagation of a pulse of radiolabelled cargos entering an axon and dendrite is simulated. The model equations are solved utilising the Laplace transform method. Differences in cargo transport between axons and dendrites are discussed.

  10. The L1-type cell adhesion molecule Neuroglian is necessary for maintenance of sensory axon advance in the Drosophila embryo

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin Veronica


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Cell adhesion molecules have long been implicated in the regulation of axon growth, but the precise cellular roles played by individual cell adhesion molecules and the molecular basis for their action are still not well understood. We have used the sensory system of the Drosophila embryo to shed light on the mechanism by which the L1-type cell adhesion molecule Neuroglian regulates axon growth. Results We have found a highly penetrant sensory axon stalling phenotype in neuroglian mutant embryos. Axons stalled at a variety of positions along their normal trajectory, but most commonly in the periphery some distance along the peripheral nerve. All lateral and dorsal cluster sensory neurons examined, except for the dorsal cluster neuron dbd, showed stalling. Sensory axons were never seen to project along inappropriate pathways in neuroglian mutants and stalled axons showed normal patterns of fasciculation within nerves. The growth cones of stalled axons possessed a simple morphology, similar to their appearance in wild-type embryos when advancing along nerves. Driving expression of the wild-type form of Neuroglian in sensory neurons alone rescued the neuroglian mutant phenotype of both pioneering and follower neurons. A partial rescue was achieved by expressing the Neuroglian extracellular domain. Over/mis-expression of Neuroglian in all neurons, oenocytes or trachea had no apparent effect on sensory axon growth. Conclusion We conclude that Neuroglian is necessary to maintain axon advance along axonal substrates, but is not required for initiation of axon outgrowth, axon fasciculation or recognition of correct growth substrates. Expression of Neuroglian in sensory neurons alone is sufficient to promote axon advance and the intracellular region of the molecule is largely dispensable for this function. It is unlikely, therefore, that Nrg acts as a molecular 'clutch' to couple adhesion of F-actin within the growth cone to the

  11. N-docosahexaenoylethanolamine regulates Hedgehog signaling and promotes growth of cortical axons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giorgi Kharebava


    Full Text Available Axonogenesis, a process for the establishment of neuron connectivity, is central to brain function. The role of metabolites derived from docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, 22:6n-3 that is specifically enriched in the brain, has not been addressed in axon development. In this study, we tested if synaptamide (N-docosahexaenoylethanolamine, an endogenous metabolite of DHA, affects axon growth in cultured cortical neurons. We found that synaptamide increased the average axon length, inhibited GLI family zinc finger 1 (GLI1 transcription and sonic hedgehog (Shh target gene expression while inducing cAMP elevation. Similar effects were produced by cyclopamine, a regulator of the Shh pathway. Conversely, Shh antagonized elevation of cAMP and blocked synaptamide-mediated increase in axon length. Activation of Shh pathway by a smoothened (SMO agonist (SAG or overexpression of SMO did not inhibit axon growth mediated by synaptamide or cyclopamine. Instead, adenylate cyclase inhibitor SQ22536 abolished synaptamide-mediated axon growth indicating requirement of cAMP elevation for this process. Our findings establish that synaptamide promotes axon growth while Shh antagonizes synaptamide-mediated cAMP elevation and axon growth by a SMO-independent, non-canonical pathway.

  12. GDF10 Is a Signal for Axonal Sprouting and Functional Recovery after Stroke (United States)

    Li, S; Nie, EH; Yin, Y; Benowitz, LI; Tung, S; Vinters, HV; Bahjat, FR; Stenzel-Poore, MP; Kawaguchi, R; Coppola, G; Carmichael, ST


    Stroke produces a limited process of neural repair. Axonal sprouting in cortex adjacent to the infarct is part of this recovery process, but the signal that initiates axonal sprouting is not known. Growth and Differentiation Factor 10 (GDF10) is induced in peri-infarct neurons in mouse, non-human primate and human. GDF10 promotes axonal outgrowth in vitro in mouse, rat and human neurons through TGFβRI/II signaling. Using pharmacogenetic gain and loss of function studies, GDF10 produces axonal sprouting and enhanced functional recovery after stroke; knocking down GDF10 blocks axonal sprouting and reduces recovery. RNA-seq from peri-infarct cortical neurons indicates that GDF10 downregulates PTEN and upregulates PI3 kinase signaling and induces specific axonal guidance molecules. Unsupervised genome-wide association analysis of the GDF10 transcriptome shows that it is not related to neurodevelopment but may partially overlap with other CNS injury patterns. GDF10 is a stroke-induced signal for axonal sprouting and functional recovery. PMID:26502261

  13. The light chain 1 subunit of the microtubule-associated protein 1B (MAP1B is responsible for Tiam1 binding and Rac1 activation in neuronal cells.

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    Daniel R Henríquez

    Full Text Available Microtubule-associated protein 1B (MAP1B is a neuronal protein involved in the stabilization of microtubules both in the axon and somatodendritic compartments. Acute, genetic inactivation of MAP1B leads to delayed axonal outgrowth, most likely due to changes in the post-translational modification of tubulin subunits, which enhances microtubule polymerization. Furthermore, MAP1B deficiency is accompanied by abnormal actin microfilament polymerization and dramatic changes in the activity of small GTPases controlling the actin cytoskeleton. In this work, we showed that MAP1B interacts with a guanine exchange factor, termed Tiam1, which specifically activates Rac1. These proteins co-segregated in neurons, and interact in both heterologous expression systems and primary neurons. We dissected the molecular domains involved in the MAP1B-Tiam1 interaction, and demonstrated that pleckstrin homology (PH domains in Tiam1 are responsible for MAP1B binding. Interestingly, only the light chain 1 (LC1 of MAP1B was able to interact with Tiam1. Moreover, it was able to increase the activity of the small GTPase, Rac1. These results suggest that the interaction between Tiam1 and MAP1B, is produced by the binding of LC1 with PH domains in Tiam1. The formation of such a complex impacts on the activation levels of Rac1 confirming a novel function of MAP1B related with the control of small GTPases. These results also support the idea of cross-talk between cytoskeleton compartments inside neuronal cells.

  14. Molecular Analysis of Sensory Axon Branching Unraveled a cGMP-Dependent Signaling Cascade

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    Alexandre Dumoulin


    Full Text Available Axonal branching is a key process in the establishment of circuit connectivity within the nervous system. Molecular-genetic studies have shown that a specific form of axonal branching—the bifurcation of sensory neurons at the transition zone between the peripheral and the central nervous system—is regulated by a cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP-dependent signaling cascade which is composed of C-type natriuretic peptide (CNP, the receptor guanylyl cyclase Npr2, and cGMP-dependent protein kinase Iα (cGKIα. In the absence of any one of these components, neurons in dorsal root ganglia (DRG and cranial sensory ganglia no longer bifurcate, and instead turn in either an ascending or a descending direction. In contrast, collateral axonal branch formation which represents a second type of axonal branch formation is not affected by inactivation of CNP, Npr2, or cGKI. Whereas axon bifurcation was lost in mouse mutants deficient for components of CNP-induced cGMP formation; the absence of the cGMP-degrading enzyme phosphodiesterase 2A had no effect on axon bifurcation. Adult mice that lack sensory axon bifurcation due to the conditional inactivation of Npr2-mediated cGMP signaling in DRG neurons demonstrated an altered shape of sensory axon terminal fields in the spinal cord, indicating that elaborate compensatory mechanisms reorganize neuronal circuits in the absence of bifurcation. On a functional level, these mice showed impaired heat sensation and nociception induced by chemical irritants, whereas responses to cold sensation, mechanical stimulation, and motor coordination are normal. These data point to a critical role of axon bifurcation for the processing of acute pain perception.

  15. The actin-binding protein capulet genetically interacts with the microtubule motor kinesin to maintain neuronal dendrite homeostasis.

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    Paul M B Medina

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Neurons require precise cytoskeletal regulation within neurites, containing microtubule tracks for cargo transport in axons and dendrites or within synapses containing organized actin. Due to the unique architecture and specialized function of neurons, neurons are particularly susceptible to perturbation of the cytoskeleton. Numerous actin-binding proteins help maintain proper cytoskeletal regulation. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: From a Drosophila forward genetic screen, we identified a mutation in capulet--encoding a conserved actin-binding protein--that causes abnormal aggregates of actin within dendrites. Through interaction studies, we demonstrate that simultaneous genetic inactivation of capulet and kinesin heavy chain, a microtubule motor protein, produces elongate cofilin-actin rods within dendrites but not axons. These rods resemble actin-rich structures induced in both mammalian neurodegenerative and Drosophila Alzheimer's models, but have not previously been identified by loss of function mutations in vivo. We further demonstrate that mitochondria, which are transported by Kinesin, have impaired distribution along dendrites in a capulet mutant. While Capulet and Cofilin may biochemically cooperate in certain circumstances, in neuronal dendrites they genetically antagonize each other. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The present study is the first molecularly defined loss of function demonstration of actin-cofilin rods in vivo. This study suggests that simultaneous, seemingly minor perturbations in neuronal dendrites can synergize producing severe abnormalities affecting actin, microtubules and mitochondria/energy availability in dendrites. Additionally, as >90% of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's cases are sporadic this study suggests mechanisms by which multiple mutations together may contribute to neurodegeneration instead of reliance on single mutations to produce disease.

  16. Statistical Mechanics of the Cytoskeleton (United States)

    Wang, Shenshen

    The mechanical integrity of eukaryotic cells along with their capability of dynamic remodeling depends on their cytoskeleton, a structural scaffold made up of a complex and dense network of filamentous proteins spanning the cytoplasm. Active force generation within the cytoskeletal networks by molecular motors is ultimately powered by the consumption of chemical energy and conversion of that energy into mechanical work. The resulting functional movements range from the collective cell migration in epithelial tissues responsible for wound healing to the changes of cell shape that occur during muscle contraction, as well as all the internal structural rearrangements essential for cell division. The role of the cytoskeleton as a dynamic versatile mesoscale "muscle", whose passive and active performance is both highly heterogeneous in space and time and intimately linked to diverse biological functions, allows it to serve as a sensitive indicator for the health and developmental state of the cell. By approaching this natural nonequilibrium many-body system from a variety of perspectives, researchers have made major progress toward understanding the cytoskeleton's unusual mechanical, dynamical and structural properties. Yet a unifying framework capable of capturing both the dynamics of active pattern formation and the emergence of spontaneous collective motion, that allows one to predict the dependence of the model's control parameters on motor properties, is still needed. In the following we construct a microscopic model and provide a theoretical framework to investigate the intricate interplay between local force generation, network architecture and collective motor action. This framework is able to accommodate both regular and heterogeneous pattern formation, as well as arrested coarsening and macroscopic contraction in a unified manner, through the notion of motor-driven effective interactions. Moreover a systematic expansion scheme combined with a variational

  17. Sensory axon-derived neuregulin-1 is required for axoglial signaling and normal sensory function but not for long-term axon maintenance

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fricker, F.R.; Zhu, N.; Tsantoulas, C.


    Neuregulin-1 has a key role in mediating signaling between axons and Schwann cells during development. A limitation to studying its role in adulthood is the embryonic lethality of global Nrg1 gene deletion. We used the Cre-loxP system to generate transgenic mice in which neuregulin-1 is condition......Neuregulin-1 has a key role in mediating signaling between axons and Schwann cells during development. A limitation to studying its role in adulthood is the embryonic lethality of global Nrg1 gene deletion. We used the Cre-loxP system to generate transgenic mice in which neuregulin-1...... is conditionally ablated in the majority of small-diameter and a proportion of large-diameter sensory neurons that have axons conducting in the C- and Adelta-fiber range, respectively. Sensory neuron-specific neuregulin-1 ablation resulted in abnormally large Remak bundles with axons clustered in "polyaxonal...... cells required for normal sensory function. Sensory neuronal survival and axonal maintenance, however, are not dependent on axon-derived neuregulin-1 signaling in adulthood Udgivelsesdato: 2009/6/17...

  18. N-cadherin regulates primary motor axon growth and branching during zebrafish embryonic development. (United States)

    Brusés, Juan L


    N-cadherin is a classical type I cadherin that contributes to the formation of neural circuits by regulating growth cone migration and the formation of synaptic contacts. This study analyzed the role of N-cadherin in primary motor axons growth during development of the zebrafish (Danio rerio) embryo. After exiting the spinal cord, primary motor axons migrate ventrally through a common pathway and form the first neuromuscular junction with the muscle pioneer cells located at the horizontal myoseptum, which serves as a choice point for cell-type-specific pathway selection. Analysis of N-cadherin mutants (cdh2(hi3644Tg) ) and embryos injected with N-cadherin antisense morpholinos showed primary motor axons extending aberrant axonal branches at the choice point in ∼40% of the somitic hemisegments and an ∼150% increase in the number of branches per axon length within the ventral myotome. Analysis of individual axons trajectories showed that the caudal (CaP) and rostral (RoP) motor neurons axons formed aberrant branches at the choice point that abnormally extended in the rostrocaudal axis and ventrally to the horizontal myoseptum. Expression of a dominant-interfering N-cadherin cytoplasmic domain in primary motor neurons caused some axons to stall abnormally at the horizontal myoseptum and to impair their migration into the ventral myotome. However, in N-cadherin-depleted embryos, the majority of primary motor axons innervated their appropriate myotomal territories, indicating that N-cadherin regulates motor axon growth and branching without severely affecting the mechanisms that control axonal target selection. Copyright © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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

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    Paula G Slater

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

  20. Reduced axonal transport in Parkinson's disease cybrid neurites is restored by light therapy

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    De Taboada Luis


    Full Text Available Abstract Background It has been hypothesized that reduced axonal transport contributes to the degeneration of neuronal processes in Parkinson's disease (PD. Mitochondria supply the adenosine triphosphate (ATP needed to support axonal transport and contribute to many other cellular functions essential for the survival of neuronal cells. Furthermore, mitochondria in PD tissues are metabolically and functionally compromised. To address this hypothesis, we measured the velocity of mitochondrial movement in human transmitochondrial cybrid "cytoplasmic hybrid" neuronal cells bearing mitochondrial DNA from patients with sporadic PD and disease-free age-matched volunteer controls (CNT. The absorption of low level, near-infrared laser light by components of the mitochondrial electron transport chain (mtETC enhances mitochondrial metabolism, stimulates oxidative phosphorylation and improves redox capacity. PD and CNT cybrid neuronal cells were exposed to near-infrared laser light to determine if the velocity of mitochondrial movement can be restored by low level light therapy (LLLT. Axonal transport of labeled mitochondria was documented by time lapse microscopy in dopaminergic PD and CNT cybrid neuronal cells before and after illumination with an 810 nm diode laser (50 mW/cm2 for 40 seconds. Oxygen utilization and assembly of mtETC complexes were also determined. Results The velocity of mitochondrial movement in PD cybrid neuronal cells (0.175 +/- 0.005 SEM was significantly reduced (p Conclusion The results from this study support our proposal that axonal transport is reduced in sporadic PD and that a single, brief treatment with near-infrared light can restore axonal transport to control levels. These results are the first demonstration that LLLT can increase axonal transport in model human dopaminergic neuronal cells and they suggest that LLLT could be developed as a novel treatment to improve neuronal function in patients with PD.

  1. Molecular Disorganization of Axons Adjacent to Human Cortical Microinfarcts

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    Hamza Coban


    Full Text Available Cortical microinfarcts (CMIs are microscopically identified wedge-shaped ischemic lesions that occur at or near the cortical surface and result from occlusion of penetrating arterioles. These microscopic lesions can be observed with high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging in aging brains and in patients with cerebrovascular disease. Recent studies have suggested that strategically located microinfarcts strongly correlate with cognitive deficits, which can contribute to Alzheimer’s disease as well as other forms of dementia. We have recently shown that the molecular organization of axons into functional microdomains is altered in areas adjacent to white matter lacunar and microinfarcts, creating a peri-infarct penumbral injury in surviving axons. Whether similar changes in nodal, adjacent paranodal, and proximal axon initial segment molecular organization occur in the cortex adjacent to human CMIs is not known. Paraffin-embedded sections of autopsy brain tissue from five patients with CMIs were immunofluorescently labeled for nodal and paranodal markers including beta-IV spectrin, ankyrin-G, and contactin-associated protein. High magnification images from the peri-infarct cortical tissue were generated using confocal microscopy. In surviving cortical tissue adjacent to microinfarcts, we observed a dramatic loss of axon initial segments, suggesting that neuronal firing capacity in adjacent cortical tissue is likely compromised. The number of identifiable nodal/paranodal complexes in surviving cortical tissue is reduced adjacent to microinfarcts, while the average paranodal length is increased indicating a breakdown of axoglial contact. This axonal microdomain disorganization occurs in the relative absence of changes in the structural integrity of myelinated axons as measured by myelin basic protein and neurofilament staining. These findings indicate that the molecular organization of surviving axons adjacent to human CMIs is abnormal

  2. Mechanistic logic underlying the axonal transport of cytosolic proteins (United States)

    Scott, David A.; Das, Utpal; Tang, Yong; Roy, Subhojit


    Proteins vital to presynaptic function are synthesized in the neuronal perikarya and delivered into synapses via two modes of axonal transport. While membrane-anchoring proteins are conveyed in fast axonal transport via motor-driven vesicles, cytosolic proteins travel in slow axonal transport; via mechanisms that are poorly understood. We found that in cultured axons, populations of cytosolic proteins tagged to photoactivable-GFP (PA-GFP) move with a slow motor-dependent anterograde bias; distinct from vesicular-trafficking or diffusion of untagged PA-GFP. The overall bias is likely generated by an intricate particle-kinetics involving transient assembly and short-range vectorial spurts. In-vivo biochemical studies reveal that cytosolic proteins are organized into higher-order structures within axon-enriched fractions that are largely segregated from vesicles. Data-driven biophysical modeling best predicts a scenario where soluble molecules dynamically assemble into mobile supra-molecular structures. We propose a model where cytosolic proteins are transported by dynamically assembling into multi-protein complexes that are directly/indirectly conveyed by motors. PMID:21555071

  3. Functional complexity of the axonal growth cone: a proteomic analysis.

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    Adriana Estrada-Bernal

    Full Text Available The growth cone, the tip of the emerging neurite, plays a crucial role in establishing the wiring of the developing nervous system. We performed an extensive proteomic analysis of axonal growth cones isolated from the brains of fetal Sprague-Dawley rats. Approximately 2000 proteins were identified at ≥ 99% confidence level. Using informatics, including functional annotation cluster and KEGG pathway analysis, we found great diversity of proteins involved in axonal pathfinding, cytoskeletal remodeling, vesicular traffic and carbohydrate metabolism, as expected. We also found a large and complex array of proteins involved in translation, protein folding, posttranslational processing, and proteasome/ubiquitination-dependent degradation. Immunofluorescence studies performed on hippocampal neurons in culture confirmed the presence in the axonal growth cone of proteins representative of these processes. These analyses also provide evidence for rough endoplasmic reticulum and reveal a reticular structure equipped with Golgi-like functions in the axonal growth cone. Furthermore, Western blot revealed the growth cone enrichment, relative to fetal brain homogenate, of some of the proteins involved in protein synthesis, folding and catabolism. Our study provides a resource for further research and amplifies the relatively recently developed concept that the axonal growth cone is equipped with proteins capable of performing a highly diverse range of functions.

  4. Neurotoxicity of the Cyanotoxin BMAA Through Axonal Degeneration and Intercellular Spreading. (United States)

    Tan, Vanessa X; Lassus, Benjamin; Lim, Chai K; Tixador, Philippe; Courte, Josquin; Bessede, Alban; Guillemin, Gilles J; Peyrin, Jean-Michel


    β-Methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA) is implicated in neurodegeneration and neurotoxicity, particularly in ALS-Parkinson Dementia Complex. Neurotoxic properties of BMAA have been partly elucidated, while its transcellular spreading capacity has not been examined. Using reconstructed neuronal networks in microfluidic chips, separating neuronal cells into two subcompartments-(1) the proximal, containing first-order neuronal soma and dendrites, and (2) a distal compartment, containing either only axons originating from first-order neurons or second-order striatal neurons-creates a cortico-striatal network. Using this system, we investigated the toxicity and spreading of BMAA in murine primary neurons. We used a newly developed antibody to detect BMAA in cells. After treatment with 10 μM BMAA, the cyanotoxin was incorporated in first-degree neurons. We also observed a rapid trans-neuronal spread of BMAA to unexposed second-degree neurons in 48 h, followed by axonal degeneration, with limited somatic death. This in vitro study demonstrates BMAA axonal toxicity at sublethal concentrations and, for the first time, the transcellular spreading abilities of BMAA. This neuronal dying forward spread that could possibly be associated with progression of some neurodegenerative diseases especially amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

  5. The Evolving Complexity of the Podocyte Cytoskeleton. (United States)

    Schell, Christoph; Huber, Tobias B


    Podocytes exhibit a unique cytoskeletal architecture that is fundamentally linked to their function in maintaining the kidney filtration barrier. The cytoskeleton regulates podocyte shape, structure, stability, slit diaphragm insertion, adhesion, plasticity, and dynamic response to environmental stimuli. Genetic mutations demonstrate that even slight impairment of the podocyte cytoskeletal apparatus results in proteinuria and glomerular disease. Moreover, mechanisms underpinning all acquired glomerular pathologies converge on disruption of the cytoskeleton, suggesting that this subcellular structure could be targeted for therapeutic purposes. This review summarizes our current understanding of the function of the cytoskeleton in podocytes and the associated implications for pathophysiology. Copyright © 2017 by the American Society of Nephrology.

  6. An Atypical SCF-like Ubiquitin Ligase Complex Promotes Wallerian Degeneration through Regulation of Axonal Nmnat2

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    Yuya Yamagishi


    Full Text Available Axon degeneration is a tightly regulated, self-destructive program that is a critical feature of many neurodegenerative diseases, but the molecular mechanisms regulating this program remain poorly understood. Here, we identify S-phase kinase-associated protein 1A (Skp1a, a core component of a Skp/Cullin/F-box (SCF-type E3 ubiquitin ligase complex, as a critical regulator of axon degeneration after injury in mammalian neurons. Depletion of Skp1a prolongs survival of injured axons in vitro and in the optic nerve in vivo. We demonstrate that Skp1a regulates the protein level of the nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+ synthesizing enzyme nicotinamide mononucleotide adenylyltransferase 2 (Nmnat2 in axons. Loss of axonal Nmnat2 contributes to a local ATP deficit that triggers axon degeneration. Knockdown of Skp1a elevates basal levels of axonal Nmnat2, thereby delaying axon degeneration through prolonged maintenance of axonal ATP. Consistent with Skp1a functioning through regulation of Nmnat2, Skp1a knockdown fails to protect axons from Nmnat2 knockdown. These results illuminate the molecular mechanism underlying Skp1a-dependent axonal destruction.

  7. JMJD-1.2/PHF8 controls axon guidance by regulating Hedgehog-like signaling

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Riveiro, Alba; Mariani, Luca; Malmberg, Kim Emily


    Components of the KDM7 family of histone demethylases are implicated in neuronal development and one member, PHF8, is often found to be mutated in cases of X-linked mental retardation. However, how PHF8 regulates neurodevelopmental processes and contributes to the disease is still largely unknown...... the axonal defects. Deficiency of either wrt-8 or grl-16, or reduced expression of homologs of genes promoting Hedgehog signaling, restores correct axon guidance in jmjd-1.2 mutants. Genetic and overexpression data indicate that Hedgehog-related genes act on axon guidance through actin remodelers. Thus, our...... study highlights a novel function of jmjd-1.2 in axon guidance that might be relevant for the onset of X-linked mental retardation and provides compelling evidence of a conserved function of the Hedgehog pathway in C. elegans axon migration....

  8. Regulation of axon guidance by compartmentalized nonsense-mediated mRNA decay

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Colak, Dilek; Ji, Sheng-Jian; Porse, Bo T


    Growth cones enable axons to navigate toward their targets by responding to extracellular signaling molecules. Growth-cone responses are mediated in part by the local translation of axonal messenger RNAs (mRNAs). However, the mechanisms that regulate local translation are poorly understood. Here we...... show that Robo3.2, a receptor for the Slit family of guidance cues, is synthesized locally within axons of commissural neurons. Robo3.2 translation is induced by floor-plate-derived signals as axons cross the spinal cord midline. Robo3.2 is also a predicted target of the nonsense-mediated mRNA decay.......2 expression. These data show that local translation is regulated by mRNA stability and that NMD acts locally to influence axonal pathfinding....

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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


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

  10. Dysfunction of axonal membrane conductances in adolescents and young adults with spinal muscular atrophy


    Farrar, Michelle A.; Vucic, Steve; Lin, Cindy S.-Y.; Park, Susanna B.; Johnston, Heather M.; du Sart, Desir?e; Bostock, Hugh; Kiernan, Matthew C.


    Spinal muscular atrophy is distinct among neurodegenerative conditions of the motor neuron, with onset in developing and maturing patients. Furthermore, the rate of degeneration appears to slow over time, at least in the milder forms. To investigate disease pathophysiology and potential adaptations, the present study utilized axonal excitability studies to provide insights into axonal biophysical properties and explored correlation with clinical severity. Multiple excitability indices (stimul...

  11. Age-related changes in axonal transport. (United States)

    Frolkis, V V; Tanin, S A; Gorban, Y N


    In rats the rate of axonal transport (AT) or radiolabeled material decreased in the ventral roots of the spinal cord and the vagal and hypoglossal nerves with aging. A maximum AT deceleration in old age was observed in the vagus. The uncoupling of oxidative phosphorylation, inhibition of glycolysis and hypoxia induced a greater AT deceleration in old rats as compared to adults. Small doses of sodium fluoride accelerated AT, and this correlated with a rise in cAMP levels in ventral roots. High doses of sodium fluoride decelerated AT more markedly in old rats. It was shown that anabolic hormones (sex steroids and thyroxine) accelerated AT in both adult and old rats, whereas insulin induced a rise in AT rate in only adults. The catabolic steroid, hydrocortisone decelerated AT. In old rats castration diminished AT, while thyroidectomy had no effect. It was also shown that hydrocortisone and testosterone were transported along axons, reached fibers of the skeletal muscles, and hyperpolarized the plasma membrane. In old age the latent period was extended. Following 73 to 74 days of irradiation, AT slowed down in all the nerves studied in both adult and old rats. Following irradiation hormonal effects on AT changed, for example, the stimulatory effect of estradiol became weak, especially in old rats. Changes in AT could be an important mechanism of disordering the growth of neurons and innervated cells in old age.

  12. Internalization and Axonal Transport of the HIV Glycoprotein gp120 (United States)

    Berth, Sarah; Caicedo, Hector Hugo; Sarma, Tulika; Morfini, Gerardo


    The HIV glycoprotein gp120, a neurotoxic HIV glycoprotein that is overproduced and shed by HIV-infected macrophages, is associated with neurological complications of HIV such as distal sensory polyneuropathy, but interactions of gp120 in the peripheral nervous system remain to be characterized. Here, we demonstrate internalization of extracellular gp120 in a manner partially independent of binding to its coreceptor CXCR4 by F11 neuroblastoma cells and cultured dorsal root ganglion neurons. Immunocytochemical and pharmacological experiments indicate that gp120 does not undergo trafficking through the endolysosomal pathway. Instead, gp120 is mainly internalized through lipid rafts in a cholesterol-dependent manner, with a minor fraction being internalized by fluid phase pinocytosis. Experiments using compartmentalized microfluidic chambers further indicate that, after internalization, endocytosed gp120 selectively undergoes retrograde but not anterograde axonal transport from axons to neuronal cell bodies. Collectively, these studies illuminate mechanisms of gp120 internalization and axonal transport in peripheral nervous system neurons, providing a novel framework for mechanisms for gp120 neurotoxicity. PMID:25636314

  13. Chaperonin filaments: The archael cytoskeleton

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Trent, J.D.; Kagawa, H.K.; Yaoi, Takuro; Olle, E.; Zaluzec, N.J.


    Chaperonins are multi-subunit double-ring complexed composed of 60-kDa proteins that are believed to mediate protein folding in vivo. The chaperonins in the hyperthermophilic archaeon Sulfolobus shibatae are composed of the organism`s two most abundant proteins, which represent 4% of its total protein and have an intracellular concentration of {ge} 3.0 mg/ml. At concentrations of 1.0 mg/ml, purified chaperonin proteins aggregate to form ordered filaments. Filament formation, which requires Mg{sup ++} and nucleotide binding (not hydrolysis), occurs at physiological temperatures under conditions suggesting filaments may exist in vivo. If the estimated 4,600 chaperonins per cell, formed filaments in vivo, they could create a matrix of filaments that would span the diameter of an average S. shibatae cell 100 times. Direct observations of unfixed, minimally treated cells by intermediate voltage electron microscopy (300 kV) revealed an intracellular network of filaments that resembles chaperonin filaments produced in vitro. The hypothesis that the intracellular network contains chaperonins is supported by immunogold analyses. The authors propose that chaperonin activity may be regulated in vivo by filament formation and that chaperonin filaments may serve a cytoskeleton-like function in archaea and perhaps in other prokaryotes.

  14. The cytoskeleton in neurodegenerative diseases (United States)

    Cairns, Nigel J; Lee, Virginia M-Y; Trojanowski, John Q


    Abundant abnormal aggregates of cytoskeletal proteins are neuropathological signatures of many neurodegenerative diseases that are broadly classified by filamentous aggregates of neuronal intermediate filament (IF) proteins, or by inclusions containing the microtubule-associated protein (MAP) tau. The discovery of mutations in neuronal IF and tau genes firmly establishes the importance of neuronal IF proteins and tau in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases. Multiple IF gene mutations are pathogenic for Charcot–Marie–Tooth (CMT) disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) — in addition to those in the copper/zinc superoxide dismutase-1 (SOD1) gene. Tau gene mutations are pathogenic for frontotemporal dementia with parkinsonism linked to chromosome 17 (FTDP-17), and tau polymorphisms are genetic risk factors for sporadic progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) and corticobasal degeneration (CBD). Thus, IF and tau abnormalities are linked directly to the aetiology and pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases. In vitro and transgenic animal models are being used to demonstrate that different mutations impair protein function, promote tau fibrilization, or perturb tau gene splicing, leading to aberrant and distinct tau aggregates. For recognition of these disorders at neuropathological examination, immunohistochemistry is needed, and this may be combined with biochemistry and molecular genetics to properly determine the nosology of a particular case. As reviewed here, the identification of molecular genetic defects and biochemical alterations in cytoskeletal proteins of human neurodegenerative diseases has facilitated experimental studies and will promote the development of assays of molecules which inhibit abnormal neuronal IF and tau protein inclusions. PMID:15495240

  15. Methodological advances in imaging intravital axonal transport [version 1; referees: 3 approved

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James N. Sleigh


    Full Text Available Axonal transport is the active process whereby neurons transport cargoes such as organelles and proteins anterogradely from the cell body to the axon terminal and retrogradely in the opposite direction. Bi-directional transport in axons is absolutely essential for the functioning and survival of neurons and appears to be negatively impacted by both aging and diseases of the nervous system, such as Alzheimer’s disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. The movement of individual cargoes along axons has been studied in vitro in live neurons and tissue explants for a number of years; however, it is currently unclear as to whether these systems faithfully and consistently replicate the in vivo situation. A number of intravital techniques originally developed for studying diverse biological events have recently been adapted to monitor axonal transport in real-time in a range of live organisms and are providing novel insight into this dynamic process. Here, we highlight these methodological advances in intravital imaging of axonal transport, outlining key strengths and limitations while discussing findings, possible improvements, and outstanding questions.

  16. Plum, an immunoglobulin superfamily protein, regulates axon pruning by facilitating TGF-β signaling. (United States)

    Yu, Xiaomeng M; Gutman, Itai; Mosca, Timothy J; Iram, Tal; Ozkan, Engin; Garcia, K Christopher; Luo, Liqun; Schuldiner, Oren


    Axon pruning during development is essential for proper wiring of the mature nervous system, but its regulation remains poorly understood. We have identified an immunoglobulin superfamily (IgSF) transmembrane protein, Plum, that is cell autonomously required for axon pruning of mushroom body (MB) γ neurons and for ectopic synapse refinement at the developing neuromuscular junction in Drosophila. Plum promotes MB γ neuron axon pruning by regulating the expression of Ecdysone Receptor-B1, a key initiator of axon pruning. Genetic analyses indicate that Plum acts to facilitate signaling of Myoglianin, a glial-derived TGF-β, on MB γ neurons upstream of the type-I TGF-β receptor Baboon. Myoglianin, Baboon, and Ecdysone Receptor-B1 are also required for neuromuscular junction ectopic synapse refinement. Our study highlights both IgSF proteins and TGF-β facilitation as key promoters of developmental axon elimination and demonstrates a mechanistic conservation between MB axon pruning during metamorphosis and the refinement of ectopic larval neuromuscular connections. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Chlorpyrifos and chlorpyrifos-oxon inhibit axonal growth by interfering with the morphogenic activity of acetylcholinesterase

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yang Dongren; Howard, Angela; Bruun, Donald; Ajua-Alemanj, Mispa; Pickart, Cecile; Lein, Pamela J.


    A primary role of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) is regulation of cholinergic neurotransmission by hydrolysis of synaptic acetylcholine. In the developing nervous system, however, AChE also functions as a morphogenic factor to promote axonal growth. This raises the question of whether organophosphorus pesticides (OPs) that are known to selectively bind to and inactivate the enzymatic function of AChE also interfere with its morphogenic function to perturb axonogenesis. To test this hypothesis, we exposed primary cultures of sensory neurons derived from embryonic rat dorsal root ganglia (DRG) to chlorpyrifos (CPF) or its oxon metabolite (CPFO). Both OPs significantly decreased axonal length at concentrations that had no effect on cell viability, protein synthesis or the enzymatic activity of AChE. Comparative analyses of the effects of CPF and CPFO on axonal growth in DRG neurons cultured from AChE nullizygous (AChE -/- ) versus wild type (AChE +/+ ) mice indicated that while these OPs inhibited axonal growth in AChE +/+ DRG neurons, they had no effect on axonal growth in AChE -/- DRG neurons. However, transfection of AChE -/- DRG neurons with cDNA encoding full-length AChE restored the wild type response to the axon inhibitory effects of OPs. These data indicate that inhibition of axonal growth by OPs requires AChE, but the mechanism involves inhibition of the morphogenic rather than enzymatic activity of AChE. These findings suggest a novel mechanism for explaining not only the functional deficits observed in children and animals following developmental exposure to OPs, but also the increased vulnerability of the developing nervous system to OPs

  18. Cytoskeleton Associated Proteins in Neurons: The Eml family and Synaptopodin

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    S.H. Houtman (Simone Hendrika)


    textabstractHumans (and animals) are able to learn (remembering events or skills) and to forget. This ability of the brain has been a subject of interest for neuroscientists, psychologists and philosophers for many decades. Already 387 B.C. Plato describes that the brain is the seat of the mental

  19. Necl-4/SynCAM-4 is expressed in myelinating oligodendrocytes but not required for axonal myelination.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ying Zhu

    Full Text Available The timing and progression of axonal myelination are precisely controlled by intercellular interactions between neurons and glia in development. Previous in vitro studies demonstrated that Nectin like 4 (Necl-4, also known as cell adhesion molecule Cadm-4 or SynCAM-4 plays an essential role in axonal myelination by Schwann cells in the peripheral nervous system (PNS. However, the role of Necl-4 protein in axonal myelination in the developing central nervous system (CNS has remained unknown. In this study, we discovered upregulation of Necl-4 expression in mature oligodendrocytes at perinatal stages when axons undergo active myelination. We generated Necl4 gene knockout mice, but found that disruption of Necl-4 gene did not affect oligodendrocyte differentiation and myelin formation in the CNS. Surprisingly, disruption of Necl-4 had no significant effect on axonal myelination in the PNS either. Therefore, our results demonstrated that Necl-4 is dispensable for axonal myelination in the developing nervous system.

  20. Blast overpressure induced axonal injury changes in rat brainstem and spinal cord

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    Srinivasu Kallakuri


    Full Text Available Introduction: Blast induced neurotrauma has been the signature wound in returning soldiers from the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Of importance is understanding the pathomechansim(s of blast overpressure (OP induced axonal injury. Although several recent animal models of blast injury indicate the neuronal and axonal injury in various brain regions, animal studies related to axonal injury in the white matter (WM tracts of cervical spinal cord are limited. Objective: The purpose of this study was to assess the extent of axonal injury in WM tracts of cervical spinal cord in male Sprague Dawley rats subjected to a single insult of blast OP. Materials and Methods: Sagittal brainstem sections and horizontal cervical spinal cord sections from blast and sham animals were stained by neurofilament light (NF-L chain and beta amyloid precursor protein immunocytochemistry and observed for axonal injury changes. Results: Observations from this preliminary study demonstrate axonal injury changes in the form of prominent swellings, retraction bulbs, and putative signs of membrane disruptions in the brainstem and cervical spinal cord WM tracts of rats subjected to blast OP. Conclusions: Prominent axonal injury changes following the blast OP exposure in brainstem and cervical spinal WM tracts underscores the need for careful evaluation of blast induced injury changes and associated symptoms. NF-L immunocytochemistry can be considered as an additional tool to assess the blast OP induced axonal injury.

  1. Axon-somatic back-propagation in detailed models of spinal alpha motoneurons

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    Pietro eBalbi


    Full Text Available Antidromic action potentials following distal stimulation of motor axons occasionally fail to invade the soma of alpha motoneurons in spinal cord, due to their passing through regions of high non-uniformity.Morphologically detailed conductance-based models of cat spinal alpha motoneurons have been developed, with the aim to reproduce and clarify some aspects of the electrophysiological behavior of the antidromic axon-somatic spike propagation. Fourteen 3D morphologically detailed somata and dendrites of cat spinal alpha motoneurons have been imported from an open-access web-based database of neuronal morphologies,, and instantiated in neurocomputational models. An axon hillock, an axonal initial segment and a myelinated axon are added to each model.By sweeping the diameter of the axonal initial segment (AIS and the axon hillock, as well as the maximal conductances of sodium channels at the AIS and at the soma, the developed models are able to show the relationships between different geometric and electrophysiological configurations and the voltage attenuation of the antidromically travelling wave.In particular, a greater than usually admitted sodium conductance at AIS is necessary and sufficient to overcome the dramatic voltage attenuation occurring during antidromic spike propagation both at the myelinated axon-AIS and at the AIS-soma transitions.

  2. Pannexin 1 Modulates Axonal Growth in Mouse Peripheral Nerves

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    Steven M. Horton


    Full Text Available The pannexin family of channels consists of three members—pannexin-1 (Panx1, pannexin-2 (Panx2, and pannexin-3 (Panx3 that enable the exchange of metabolites and signaling molecules between intracellular and extracellular compartments. Pannexin-mediated release of intracellular ATP into the extracellular space has been tied to a number of cellular activities, primarily through the activity of type P2 purinergic receptors. Previous work indicates that the opening of Panx1 channels and activation of purinergic receptors by extracellular ATP may cause inflammation and apoptosis. In the CNS (central nervous system and PNS (peripheral nervous system, coupled pannexin, and P2 functions have been linked to peripheral sensitization (pain pathways. Purinergic pathways are also essential for other critical processes in the PNS, including myelination and neurite outgrowth. However, whether such pathways are pannexin-dependent remains to be determined. In this study, we use a Panx1 knockout mouse model and pharmacological inhibitors of the Panx1 and the ATP-mediated signaling pathway to fill gaps in our understanding of Panx1 localization in peripheral nerves, roles for Panx1 in axonal outgrowth and myelination, and neurite extension. Our data show that Panx1 is localized to axonal, myelin, and vascular compartments of the peripheral nerves. Knockout of Panx1 gene significantly increased axonal caliber in vivo and axonal growth rate in cultured dorsal root ganglia (DRG neurons. Furthermore, genetic knockout of Panx1 or inhibition of components of purinergic signaling, by treatment with probenecid and apyrase, resulted in denser axonal outgrowth from cultured DRG explants compared to untreated wild-types. Our findings suggest that Panx1 regulates axonal growth in the peripheral nervous system.

  3. Subcellular Optogenetic Stimulation for Activity-Dependent Myelination of Axons in a Novel Microfluidic Compartmentalized Platform. (United States)

    Lee, Hae Ung; Nag, Sudip; Blasiak, Agata; Jin, Yan; Thakor, Nitish; Yang, In Hong


    Myelination is governed by neuron-glia communication, which in turn is modulated by neural activity. The exact mechanisms remain elusive. We developed a novel in vitro optogenetic stimulation platform that facilitates subcellular activity induction in hundreds of neurons simultaneously. The light isolation was achieved by creating a biocompatible, light-absorbent, black microfluidic device integrated with a programmable, high-power LED array. The system was applied to a compartmentalized culture of primary neurons whose distal axons were interacting with oligodendrocyte precursor cells. Neural activity was induced along whole neurons or was constrained to cell bodies with proximal axons or distal axons only. All three modes of stimulation promoted oligodendrocyte differentiation and the myelination of axons as evidenced by a decrease in the number of oligodendrocyte precursor cells followed by increases in the number of mature oligodendrocytes and myelin sheath fragments. These results demonstrated the potential of our novel optogenetic stimulation system for the global and focal induction of neural activity in vitro for studying axon myelination.

  4. Local synthesis of axonal and presynaptic RNA in squid model systems. (United States)

    Eyman, Maria; Cefaliello, Carolina; Ferrara, Eugenia; De Stefano, Rosanna; Lavina, Zeno Scotto; Crispino, Marianna; Squillace, Angela; van Minnen, Jan; Kaplan, Barry B; Giuditta, Antonio


    The presence of active systems of protein synthesis in axons and nerve endings raises the question of the cellular origin of the corresponding RNAs. Our present experiments demonstrate that, besides a possible derivation from neuronal cell bodies, axoplasmic RNAs originate in periaxonal glial cells and presynaptic RNAs derive from nearby cells, presumably glial cells. Indeed, in perfused squid giant axons, delivery of newly synthesized RNA to the axon perfusate is strongly stimulated by axonal depolarization or agonists of glial glutamate and acetylcholine receptors. Likewise, incubation of squid optic lobe slices with [3H]uridine leads to a marked accumulation of [3H]RNA in the large synaptosomes derived from the nerve terminals of retinal photoreceptor neurons. As the cell bodies of these neurons lie outside the optic lobe, the data demonstrate that presynaptic RNA is locally synthesized, presumably by perisynaptic glial cells. Overall, our results support the view that axons and presynaptic regions are endowed with local systems of gene expression which may prove essential for the maintenance and plasticity of these extrasomatic neuronal domains.

  5. Imaging of mitochondrial dynamics in motor and sensory axons of living mice. (United States)

    Bolea, Irene; Gan, Wen-Biao; Manfedi, Giovanni; Magrané, Jordi


    Appropriate distribution and supply of mitochondria to critical neuronal sites are thought to be necessary for the normal maintenance of neuronal architecture and activity, including synaptic plasticity and function. Imaging of neurons in vitro has provided understanding of the basic mechanisms of mitochondrial transport and the regulation of mitochondrial dynamics. However, in vivo imaging studies of neurons are preferable to in vitro approaches because of the advantage of being performed in their natural environment. Here, we present useful protocols to image and study axonal transport of mitochondria in vivo, in the peripheral nerves of mice. Imaging in motor and sensory axons of living mice allows researchers to analyze mitochondrial dynamics in two distinct neuronal populations that are often affected in peripheral neuropathies.

  6. The influence of electrospun fibre size on Schwann cell behaviour and axonal outgrowth

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gnavi, S., E-mail: [Department of Clinical and Biological Sciences, University of Torino, Orbassano 10043 (Italy); Neuroscience Institute of the Cavalieri-Ottolenghi Foundation, University of Torino, Orbassano 10043 (Italy); Fornasari, B.E., E-mail: [Department of Clinical and Biological Sciences, University of Torino, Orbassano 10043 (Italy); Neuroscience Institute of the Cavalieri-Ottolenghi Foundation, University of Torino, Orbassano 10043 (Italy); Tonda-Turo, C., E-mail: [Politecnico di Torino, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Politecnico of Torino, Torino 10100 (Italy); Ciardelli, G., E-mail: [Politecnico di Torino, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Politecnico of Torino, Torino 10100 (Italy); CNR-IPCF UOS, Pisa 56124 (Italy); Zanetti, M., E-mail: [Nanostructured Interfaces and Surfaces, Department of Chemistry, University of Torino, Torino 10100 (Italy); Geuna, S., E-mail: [Department of Clinical and Biological Sciences, University of Torino, Orbassano 10043 (Italy); Neuroscience Institute of the Cavalieri-Ottolenghi Foundation, University of Torino, Orbassano 10043 (Italy); Perroteau, I., E-mail: [Department of Clinical and Biological Sciences, University of Torino, Orbassano 10043 (Italy)


    Fibrous substrates functioning as temporary extracellular matrices can be prepared easily by electrospinning, yielding fibrous matrices suitable as internal fillers for nerve guidance channels. In this study, gelatin micro- or nano-fibres were prepared by electrospinning by tuning the gelatin concentration and solution flow rate. The effect of gelatin fibre diameter on cell adhesion and proliferation was tested in vitro using explant cultures of Schwann cells (SC) and dorsal root ganglia (DRG). Cell adhesion was assessed by quantifying the cell spreading area, actin cytoskeleton organization and focal adhesion complex formation. Nano-fibres promoted cell spreading and actin cytoskeleton organization, increasing cellular adhesion and the proliferation rate. However, both migration rate and motility, quantified by transwell and time lapse assays respectively, were greater in cells cultured on micro-fibres. Finally, there was more DRG axon outgrowth on micro-fibres. These data suggest that the topography of electrospun gelatin fibres can be adjusted to modulate SC and axon organization and that both nano- and micro-fibres are promising fillers for the design of devices for peripheral nerve repair. - Highlights: • Electrospinning used to produce gelatin nano- and micro-fibre matrices. • Nano-fibre matrices promote Schwann cell organization and increase proliferation rate. • Micro-fibre matrices promote Schwann cell migration. • Micro-fibre matrices promote axonal outgrowth.

  7. Axon ensheathment and metabolic supply by glial cells in Drosophila. (United States)

    Schirmeier, Stefanie; Matzat, Till; Klämbt, Christian


    Neuronal function requires constant working conditions and a well-balanced supply of ions and metabolites. The metabolic homeostasis in the nervous system crucially depends on the presence of glial cells, which nurture and isolate neuronal cells. Here we review recent findings on how these tasks are performed by glial cells in the genetically amenable model organism Drosophila melanogaster. Despite the small size of its nervous system, which would allow diffusion of metabolites, a surprising division of labor between glial cells and neurons is evident. Glial cells are glycolytically active and transfer lactate and alanine to neurons. Neurons in turn do not require glycolysis but can use the glially provided compounds for their energy homeostasis. Besides feeding neurons, glial cells also insulate neuronal axons in a way similar to Remak fibers in the mammalian nervous system. The molecular mechanisms orchestrating this insulation require neuregulin signaling and resemble the mechanisms controlling glial differentiation in mammals surprisingly well. We hypothesize that metabolic cross talk and insulation of neurons by glial cells emerged early during evolution as two closely interlinked features in the nervous system. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled SI: Myelin Evolution. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. The Microtubule Regulatory Protein Stathmin Is Required to Maintain the Integrity of Axonal Microtubules in Drosophila.

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    Jason E Duncan

    Full Text Available Axonal transport, a form of long-distance, bi-directional intracellular transport that occurs between the cell body and synaptic terminal, is critical in maintaining the function and viability of neurons. We have identified a requirement for the stathmin (stai gene in the maintenance of axonal microtubules and regulation of axonal transport in Drosophila. The stai gene encodes a cytosolic phosphoprotein that regulates microtubule dynamics by partitioning tubulin dimers between pools of soluble tubulin and polymerized microtubules, and by directly binding to microtubules and promoting depolymerization. Analysis of stai function in Drosophila, which has a single stai gene, circumvents potential complications with studies performed in vertebrate systems in which mutant phenotypes may be compensated by genetic redundancy of other members of the stai gene family. This has allowed us to identify an essential function for stai in the maintenance of the integrity of axonal microtubules. In addition to the severe disruption in the abundance and architecture of microtubules in the axons of stai mutant Drosophila, we also observe additional neurological phenotypes associated with loss of stai function including a posterior paralysis and tail-flip phenotype in third instar larvae, aberrant accumulation of transported membranous organelles in stai deficient axons, a progressive bang-sensitive response to mechanical stimulation reminiscent of the class of Drosophila mutants used to model human epileptic seizures, and a reduced adult lifespan. Reductions in the levels of Kinesin-1, the primary anterograde motor in axonal transport, enhance these phenotypes. Collectively, our results indicate that stai has an important role in neuronal function, likely through the maintenance of microtubule integrity in the axons of nerves of the peripheral nervous system necessary to support and sustain long-distance axonal transport.

  9. The Microtubule Regulatory Protein Stathmin Is Required to Maintain the Integrity of Axonal Microtubules in Drosophila (United States)

    Duncan, Jason E.; Lytle, Nikki K.; Zuniga, Alfredo; Goldstein, Lawrence S. B.


    Axonal transport, a form of long-distance, bi-directional intracellular transport that occurs between the cell body and synaptic terminal, is critical in maintaining the function and viability of neurons. We have identified a requirement for the stathmin (stai) gene in the maintenance of axonal microtubules and regulation of axonal transport in Drosophila . The stai gene encodes a cytosolic phosphoprotein that regulates microtubule dynamics by partitioning tubulin dimers between pools of soluble tubulin and polymerized microtubules, and by directly binding to microtubules and promoting depolymerization. Analysis of stai function in Drosophila , which has a single stai gene, circumvents potential complications with studies performed in vertebrate systems in which mutant phenotypes may be compensated by genetic redundancy of other members of the stai gene family. This has allowed us to identify an essential function for stai in the maintenance of the integrity of axonal microtubules. In addition to the severe disruption in the abundance and architecture of microtubules in the axons of stai mutant Drosophila , we also observe additional neurological phenotypes associated with loss of stai function including a posterior paralysis and tail-flip phenotype in third instar larvae, aberrant accumulation of transported membranous organelles in stai deficient axons, a progressive bang-sensitive response to mechanical stimulation reminiscent of the class of Drosophila mutants used to model human epileptic seizures, and a reduced adult lifespan. Reductions in the levels of Kinesin-1, the primary anterograde motor in axonal transport, enhance these phenotypes. Collectively, our results indicate that stai has an important role in neuronal function, likely through the maintenance of microtubule integrity in the axons of nerves of the peripheral nervous system necessary to support and sustain long-distance axonal transport. PMID:23840848

  10. The C-terminal domains of NF-H and NF-M subunits maintain axonal neurofilament content by blocking turnover of the stationary neurofilament network.

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    Mala V Rao

    Full Text Available Newly synthesized neurofilaments or protofilaments are incorporated into a highly stable stationary cytoskeleton network as they are transported along axons. Although the heavily phosphorylated carboxyl-terminal tail domains of the heavy and medium neurofilament (NF subunits have been proposed to contribute to this process and particularly to stability of this structure, their function is still obscure. Here we show in NF-H/M tail deletion [NF-(H/M(tailΔ] mice that the deletion of both of these domains selectively lowers NF levels 3-6 fold along optic axons without altering either rates of subunit synthesis or the rate of slow axonal transport of NF. Pulse labeling studies carried out over 90 days revealed a significantly faster rate of disappearance of NF from the stationary NF network of optic axons in NF-(H/M(tailΔ mice. Faster NF disappearance was accompanied by elevated levels of NF-L proteolytic fragments in NF-(H/M(tailΔ axons. We conclude that NF-H and NF-M C-terminal domains do not normally regulate NF transport rates as previously proposed, but instead increase the proteolytic resistance of NF, thereby stabilizing the stationary neurofilament cytoskeleton along axons.

  11. GPCRs and actin-cytoskeleton dynamics. (United States)

    Vázquez-Victorio, Genaro; González-Espinosa, Claudia; Espinosa-Riquer, Zyanya P; Macías-Silva, Marina


    A multitude of physiological processes regulated by G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) signaling are accomplished by the participation of active rearrangements of the cytoskeleton. In general, it is common that a cross talk occurs among networks of microfilaments, microtubules, and intermediate filaments in order to reach specific cell responses. In particular, actin-cytoskeleton dynamics regulate processes such as cell shape, cell division, cell motility, and cell polarization, among others. This chapter describes the current knowledge about the regulation of actin-cytoskeleton dynamic by diverse GPCR signaling pathways, and also includes some protocols combining immunofluorescence and confocal microscopy for the visualization of the different rearrangements of the actin-cytoskeleton. We report how both the S1P-GPCR/G12/13/Rho/ROCK and glucagon-GPCR/Gs/cAMP axes induce differential actin-cytoskeleton rearrangements in epithelial cells. We also show that specific actin-binding molecules, like phalloidin and LifeAct, are very useful to analyze F-actin reorganization by confocal microscopy, and also that both molecules show similar results in fixed cells, whereas the anti-actin antibody is useful to detect both the G- and F-actin, as well as their compartmentalization. Thus, it is highly recommended to utilize different approaches to investigate the regulation of actin dynamics by GPCR signaling, with the aim to get a better picture of the phenomenon under study. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Prokaryotic cytoskeletons: protein filaments organizing small cells. (United States)

    Wagstaff, James; Löwe, Jan


    Most, if not all, bacterial and archaeal cells contain at least one protein filament system. Although these filament systems in some cases form structures that are very similar to eukaryotic cytoskeletons, the term 'prokaryotic cytoskeletons' is used to refer to many different kinds of protein filaments. Cytoskeletons achieve their functions through polymerization of protein monomers and the resulting ability to access length scales larger than the size of the monomer. Prokaryotic cytoskeletons are involved in many fundamental aspects of prokaryotic cell biology and have important roles in cell shape determination, cell division and nonchromosomal DNA segregation. Some of the filament-forming proteins have been classified into a small number of conserved protein families, for example, the almost ubiquitous tubulin and actin superfamilies. To understand what makes filaments special and how the cytoskeletons they form enable cells to perform essential functions, the structure and function of cytoskeletal molecules and their filaments have been investigated in diverse bacteria and archaea. In this Review, we bring these data together to highlight the diverse ways that linear protein polymers can be used to organize other molecules and structures in bacteria and archaea.

  13. The plant cytoskeleton controls regulatory volume increase. (United States)

    Liu, Qiong; Qiao, Fei; Ismail, Ahmed; Chang, Xiaoli; Nick, Peter


    The ability to adjust cell volume is required for the adaptation to osmotic stress. Plant protoplasts can swell within seconds in response to hypoosmotic shock suggesting that membrane material is released from internal stores. Since the stability of plant membranes depends on submembraneous actin, we asked, whether this regulatory volume control depends on the cytoskeleton. As system we used two cell lines from grapevine which differ in their osmotic tolerance and observed that the cytoskeleton responded differently in these two cell lines. To quantify the ability for regulatory volume control, we used hydraulic conductivity (Lp) as readout and demonstrated a role of the cytoskeleton in protoplast swelling. Chelation of calcium, inhibition of calcium channels, or manipulation of membrane fluidity, did not significantly alter Lp, whereas direct manipulation of the cytoskeleton via specific chemical reagents, or indirectly, through the bacterial elicitor Harpin or activation of phospholipase D, was effective. By optochemical engineering of actin using a caged form of the phytohormone auxin we can break the symmetry of actin organisation resulting in a localised deformation of cell shape indicative of a locally increased Lp. We interpret our findings in terms of a model, where the submembraneous cytoskeleton controls the release of intracellular membrane stores during regulatory volume change. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Differential distribution of voltage-gated ion channels in cortical neurons: implications for epilepsy. (United States)

    Child, Nicholas D; Benarroch, Eduardo E


    Neurons contain different functional somatodendritic and axonal domains, each with a characteristic distribution of voltage-gated ion channels, synaptic inputs, and function. The dendritic tree of a cortical pyramidal neuron has 2 distinct domains, the basal and the apical dendrites, both containing dendritic spines; the different domains of the axon are the axonal initial segment (AIS), axon proper (which in myelinated axons includes the node of Ranvier, paranodes, juxtaparanodes, and internodes), and the axon terminals. In the cerebral cortex, the dendritic spines of the pyramidal neurons receive most of the excitatory synapses; distinct populations of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA)ergic interneurons target specific cellular domains and thus exert different influences on pyramidal neurons. The multiple synaptic inputs reaching the somatodendritic region and generating excitatory postsynaptic potentials (EPSPs) and inhibitory postsynaptic potentials (IPSPs) sum and elicit changes in membrane potential at the AIS, the site of initiation of the action potential.

  15. Intraneural Injection of ATP Stimulates Regeneration of Primary Sensory Axons in the Spinal Cord. (United States)

    Wu, Dongsheng; Lee, Sena; Luo, Juan; Xia, Haijian; Gushchina, Svetlana; Richardson, Peter M; Yeh, John; Krügel, Ute; Franke, Heike; Zhang, Yi; Bo, Xuenong


    Injury to the peripheral axons of sensory neurons strongly enhances the regeneration of their central axons in the spinal cord. It remains unclear on what molecules that initiate such conditioning effect. Because ATP is released extracellularly by nerve and other tissue injury, we hypothesize that injection of ATP into a peripheral nerve might mimic the stimulatory effect of nerve injury on the regenerative state of the primary sensory neurons. We found that a single injection of 6 μl of 150 μm ATP into female rat sciatic nerve quadrupled the number of axons growing into a lesion epicenter in spinal cord after a concomitant dorsal column transection. A second boost ATP injection 1 week after the first one markedly reinforced the stimulatory effect of a single injection. Single ATP injection increased expression of phospho-STAT3 and GAP43, two markers of regenerative activity, in sensory neurons. Double ATP injections sustained the activation of phospho-STAT3 and GAP43, which may account for the marked axonal growth across the lesion epicenter. Similar studies performed on P2X7 or P2Y2 receptor knock-out mice indicate P2Y2 receptors are involved in the activation of STAT3 after ATP injection or conditioning lesion, whereas P2X7 receptors are not. Injection of ATP at 150 μm caused little Wallerian degeneration and behavioral tests showed no significant long-term adverse effects on sciatic nerve functions. The results in this study reveal possible mechanisms underlying the stimulation of regenerative programs and suggest a practical strategy for stimulating axonal regeneration following spinal cord injury. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Injury of peripheral axons of sensory neurons has been known to strongly enhance the regeneration of their central axons in the spinal cord. In this study, we found that injection of ATP into a peripheral nerve can mimic the effect of peripheral nerve injury and significantly increase the number of sensory axons growing across lesion

  16. Loss of Local Astrocyte Support Disrupts Action Potential Propagation and Glutamate Release Synchrony from Unmyelinated Hippocampal Axon Terminals In Vitro. (United States)

    Sobieski, Courtney; Jiang, Xiaoping; Crawford, Devon C; Mennerick, Steven


    Neuron-astrocyte interactions are critical for proper CNS development and function. Astrocytes secrete factors that are pivotal for synaptic development and function, neuronal metabolism, and neuronal survival. Our understanding of this relationship, however, remains incomplete due to technical hurdles that have prevented the removal of astrocytes from neuronal circuits without changing other important conditions. Here we overcame this obstacle by growing solitary rat hippocampal neurons on microcultures that were comprised of either an astrocyte bed (+astrocyte) or a collagen bed (-astrocyte) within the same culture dish. -Astrocyte autaptic evoked EPSCs, but not IPSCs, displayed an altered temporal profile, which included increased synaptic delay, increased time to peak, and severe glutamate release asynchrony, distinct from previously described quantal asynchrony. Although we observed minimal alteration of the somatically recorded action potential waveform, action potential propagation was altered. We observed a longer latency between somatic initiation and arrival at distal locations, which likely explains asynchronous EPSC peaks, and we observed broadening of the axonal spike, which likely underlies changes to evoked EPSC onset. No apparent changes in axon structure were observed, suggesting altered axonal excitability. In conclusion, we propose that local astrocyte support has an unappreciated role in maintaining glutamate release synchrony by disturbing axonal signal propagation. Certain glial cell types (oligodendrocytes, Schwann cells) facilitate the propagation of neuronal electrical signals, but a role for astrocytes has not been identified despite many other functions of astrocytes in supporting and modulating neuronal signaling. Under identical global conditions, we cultured neurons with or without local astrocyte support. Without local astrocytes, glutamate transmission was desynchronized by an alteration of the waveform and arrival time of axonal

  17. Polygalae Radix Extract Prevents Axonal Degeneration and Memory Deficits in a Transgenic Mouse Model of Alzheimer's Disease. (United States)

    Kuboyama, Tomoharu; Hirotsu, Keisuke; Arai, Tetsuya; Yamasaki, Hiroo; Tohda, Chihiro


    Memory impairments in Alzheimer's disease (AD) occur due to degenerated axons and disrupted neural networks. Since only limited recovery is possible after the destruction of neural networks, preventing axonal degeneration during the early stages of disease progression is necessary to prevent AD. Polygalae Radix (roots of Polygala tenuifolia ; PR) is a traditional herbal medicine used for sedation and amnesia. In this study, we aimed to clarify and analyze the preventive effects of PR against memory deficits in a transgenic AD mouse model, 5XFAD. 5XFAD mice demonstrated memory deficits at the age of 5 months. Thus, the water extract of Polygalae Radix (PR extract) was orally administered to 4-month-old 5XFAD mice that did not show signs of memory impairment. After consecutive administrations for 56 days, the PR extract prevented cognitive deficit and axon degeneration associated with the accumulation of amyloid β (Aβ) plaques in the perirhinal cortex of the 5XFAD mice. PR extract did not influence the formation of Aβ plaques in the brain of the 5XFAD mice. In cultured neurons, the PR extract prevented axonal growth cone collapse and axonal atrophy induced by Aβ. Additionally, it prevented Aβ-induced endocytosis at the growth cone of cultured neurons. Our previous study reported that endocytosis inhibition was enough to prevent Aβ-induced growth cone collapse, axonal degeneration, and memory impairments. Therefore, the PR extract possibly prevented axonal degeneration and memory impairment by inhibiting endocytosis. PR is the first preventive drug candidate for AD that inhibits endocytosis in neurons.

  18. Nuclear pore complex tethers to the cytoskeleton. (United States)

    Goldberg, Martin W


    The nuclear envelope is tethered to the cytoskeleton. The best known attachments of all elements of the cytoskeleton are via the so-called LINC complex. However, the nuclear pore complexes, which mediate the transport of soluble and membrane bound molecules, are also linked to the microtubule network, primarily via motor proteins (dynein and kinesins) which are linked, most importantly, to the cytoplasmic filament protein of the nuclear pore complex, Nup358, by the adaptor BicD2. The evidence for such linkages and possible roles in nuclear migration, cell cycle control, nuclear transport and cell architecture are discussed. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  19. Axonal wiring in neural development: Target-independent mechanisms help to establish precision and complexity. (United States)

    Petrovic, Milan; Schmucker, Dietmar


    The connectivity patterns of many neural circuits are highly ordered and often impressively complex. The intricate order and complexity of neuronal wiring remain not only a challenge for questions related to circuit functions but also for our understanding of how they develop with such an apparent precision. The chemotropic guidance of the growing axon by target-derived cues represents a central paradigm for how neurons get connected with the correct target cells. However, many studies reveal a remarkable variety of important target-independent wiring mechanisms. These mechanisms include axonal sorting, axonal tiling, growth cone polarization, as well as cell-intrinsic mechanisms underlying growth cone sprouting, and neurite branching. Our review focuses on target independent wiring mechanisms and in particular on recent progress emerging from studies on three different sensory systems: olfactory, visual, and somatosensory. We discuss molecular mechanisms that operate during axon-axon interactions or constitute axon-intrinsic functions and outline how they complement the well-known target-dependent wiring mechanisms. © 2015 WILEY Periodicals, Inc.

  20. mRNP assembly, axonal transport, and local translation in neurodegenerative diseases. (United States)

    Khalil, Bilal; Morderer, Dmytro; Price, Phillip L; Liu, Feilin; Rossoll, Wilfried


    The development, maturation, and maintenance of the mammalian nervous system rely on complex spatiotemporal patterns of gene expression. In neurons, this is achieved by the expression of differentially localized isoforms and specific sets of mRNA-binding proteins (mRBPs) that regulate RNA processing, mRNA trafficking, and local protein synthesis at remote sites within dendrites and axons. There is growing evidence that axons contain a specialized transcriptome and are endowed with the machinery that allows them to rapidly alter their local proteome via local translation and protein degradation. This enables axons to quickly respond to changes in their environment during development, and to facilitate axon regeneration and maintenance in adult organisms. Aside from providing autonomy to neuronal processes, local translation allows axons to send retrograde injury signals to the cell soma. In this review, we discuss evidence that disturbances in mRNP transport, granule assembly, axonal localization, and local translation contribute to pathology in various neurodegenerative diseases, including spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), frontotemporal dementia (FTD), and Alzheimer's disease (AD). Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  1. Cytoskeleton and Cytoskeleton-Bound RNA Visualization in Frog and Insect Oocytes. (United States)

    Kloc, Malgorzata; Bilinski, Szczepan; Kubiak, Jacek Z


    The majority of oocyte functions involves and depends on the cytoskeletal elements, which include microtubules and actin and cytokeratin filaments. Various structures and molecules are temporarily or permanently bound to the cytoskeletal elements and their functions rely on cytoskeleton integrity and its timely assembly. Thus the accurate visualization of cytoskeleton is often crucial for studies and analyses of oocyte structure and functions. Here we describe several reliable methods for microtubule and/or microfilaments preservation and visualization in Xenopus oocyte extracts, and in situ in live and fixed insect and frog (Xenopus) oocytes. In addition, we describe visualization of cytoskeleton-bound RNAs using molecular beacons in live Xenopus oocytes.

  2. Stimulus-dependent translocation of egg-laying hormone encoding mRNA into the axonal compartment of the neuroendocrine caudodorsal cells

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Minnen, J.; Bergman, J. J.


    To get insight into the stimulus-dependent translocation of mRNA encoding neuropeptides to the axonal compartment of neurons, we investigated this process in the egg-laying hormone producing caudodorsal cells of the mollusk Lymnaea stagnalis. The axonal compartment including the nerve terminals of

  3. Stimulus-independent translocation of egg-laying hormone encoding mRNA into the axonal compartment of the neuroendocrine caudodorsal cells

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Minnen, J.; Bergman, J.J.


    To get insight into the stimulus-dependent translocation of mRNA encoding neuropeptides to the axonal compartment of neurons, we investigated this process in the egg-laying hormone producing caudodorsal cells of the mollusk Lymnaea stagnalis. The axonal compartment including the nerve terminals of

  4. Stimulation of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide biosynthetic pathways delays axonal degeneration after axotomy. (United States)

    Sasaki, Yo; Araki, Toshiyuki; Milbrandt, Jeffrey


    Axonal degeneration occurs in many neurodegenerative diseases and after traumatic injury and is a self-destructive program independent from programmed cell death. Previous studies demonstrated that overexpression of nicotinamide mononucleotide adenylyltransferase 1 (Nmnat1) or exogenous application of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) can protect axons of cultured dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons from degeneration caused by mechanical or neurotoxic injury. In mammalian cells, NAD can be synthesized from multiple precursors, including tryptophan, nicotinic acid, nicotinamide, and nicotinamide riboside (NmR), via multiple enzymatic steps. To determine whether other components of these NAD biosynthetic pathways are capable of delaying axonal degeneration, we overexpressed each of the enzymes involved in each pathway and/or exogenously administered their respective substrates in DRG cultures and assessed their capacity to protect axons after axotomy. Among the enzymes tested, Nmnat1 had the strongest protective effects, whereas nicotinamide phosphoribosyl transferase and nicotinic acid phosphoribosyl transferase showed moderate protective activity in the presence of their substrates. Strong axonal protection was also provided by Nmnat3, which is predominantly located in mitochondria, and an Nmnat1 mutant localized to the cytoplasm, indicating that the subcellular location of NAD production is not crucial for protective activity. In addition, we showed that exogenous application of the NAD precursors that are the substrates of these enzymes, including nicotinic acid mononucleotide, nicotinamide mononucleotide, and NmR, can also delay axonal degeneration. These results indicate that stimulation of NAD biosynthetic pathways via a variety of interventions may be useful in preventing or delaying axonal degeneration.

  5. Expression of plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 by olfactory ensheathing glia promotes axonal regeneration. (United States)

    Simón, Diana; Martín-Bermejo, Maria Jesús; Gallego-Hernández, Maria Teresa; Pastrana, Erika; García-Escudero, Vega; García-Gómez, Ana; Lim, Filip; Díaz-Nido, Javier; Avila, Jesús; Moreno-Flores, Maria Teresa


    Olfactory ensheathing glia (OEG) cells are known to facilitate repair following axotomy of adult neurons, although the molecular mechanisms involved are not fully understood. We previously identified plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1), proteinase-activated receptor-1 (PAR-1), and thrombomodulin (TM) as candidates to regulate rat OEG-dependent axonal regeneration. In this study, we have validated the involvement of these proteins in promoting axonal regeneration by immortalized human OEGs. We studied the effect of silencing these proteins in OEGs on their capacity to promote the regeneration of severed adult retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) axons. Our results support the role of glial PAI-1 as a downstream effector of PAR-1 in promoting axon regeneration. In contrast, we found that TM inhibits OEG induced-axonal regeneration. We also assessed the signaling pathways downstream of PAR-1 that might modulate PAI-1 expression, observing that specifically inhibiting Gα(i), Rho kinase, or PLC and PKC downregulated the expression of PAI-1 in OEGs, with a concomitant reduction in OEG-dependent axon regeneration in adult RGCs. Our findings support an important role for the thrombin system in regulating adult axonal regeneration by OEGs. Copyright © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  6. Impaired JIP3-dependent axonal lysosome transport promotes amyloid plaque pathology. (United States)

    Gowrishankar, Swetha; Wu, Yumei; Ferguson, Shawn M


    Lysosomes robustly accumulate within axonal swellings at Alzheimer's disease (AD) amyloid plaques. However, the underlying mechanisms and disease relevance of such lysosome accumulations are not well understood. Motivated by these problems, we identified JNK-interacting protein 3 (JIP3) as an important regulator of axonal lysosome transport and maturation. JIP3 knockout mouse neuron primary cultures accumulate lysosomes within focal axonal swellings that resemble the dystrophic axons at amyloid plaques. These swellings contain high levels of amyloid precursor protein processing enzymes (BACE1 and presenilin 2) and are accompanied by elevated Aβ peptide levels. The in vivo importance of the JIP3-dependent regulation of axonal lysosomes was revealed by the worsening of the amyloid plaque pathology arising from JIP3 haploinsufficiency in a mouse model of AD. These results establish the critical role of JIP3-dependent axonal lysosome transport in regulating amyloidogenic amyloid precursor protein processing and support a model wherein Aβ production is amplified by plaque-induced axonal lysosome transport defects. © 2017 Gowrishankar et al.

  7. Myosin-V Induces Cargo Immobilization and Clustering at the Axon Initial Segment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anne F. J. Janssen


    Full Text Available The selective transport of different cargoes into axons and dendrites underlies the polarized organization of the neuron. Although it has become clear that the combined activity of different motors determines the destination and selectivity of transport, little is known about the mechanistic details of motor cooperation. For example, the exact role of myosin-V in opposing microtubule-based axon entries has remained unclear. Here we use two orthogonal chemically-induced heterodimerization systems to independently recruit different motors to cargoes. We find that recruiting myosin-V to kinesin-propelled cargoes at approximately equal numbers is sufficient to stall motility. Kinesin-driven cargoes entering the axon were arrested in the axon initial segment (AIS upon myosin-V recruitment and accumulated in distinct actin-rich hotspots. Importantly, unlike proposed previously, myosin-V did not return these cargoes to the cell body, suggesting that additional mechanism are required to establish cargo retrieval from the AIS.


    Horiunova, L; Krasylenko, Yu A; Yemets, A I; Blume, Ya B


    This review summarizes published date and the results of the author's own researches cantering the participation of plant cells cytoskeleton. It is considered cytotoxic impact of metals on the cytoskeleton's components, including microtubules and actin filaments. Particular attention is paid to the cellular and molecular mechanisms of influence of metals on cytoskeleton. We discussed the most probable binding sites of heavy metals and alternative mechanisms of their impact on the cytoskeleton.

  9. Bergmann glia and the recognition molecule CHL1 organize GABAergic axons and direct innervation of Purkinje cell dendrites.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fabrice Ango


    Full Text Available The geometric and subcellular organization of axon arbors distributes and regulates electrical signaling in neurons and networks, but the underlying mechanisms have remained elusive. In rodent cerebellar cortex, stellate interneurons elaborate characteristic axon arbors that selectively innervate Purkinje cell dendrites and likely regulate dendritic integration. We used GFP BAC transgenic reporter mice to examine the cellular processes and molecular mechanisms underlying the development of stellate cell axons and their innervation pattern. We show that stellate axons are organized and guided towards Purkinje cell dendrites by an intermediate scaffold of Bergmann glial (BG fibers. The L1 family immunoglobulin protein Close Homologue of L1 (CHL1 is localized to apical BG fibers and stellate cells during the development of stellate axon arbors. In the absence of CHL1, stellate axons deviate from BG fibers and show aberrant branching and orientation. Furthermore, synapse formation between aberrant stellate axons and Purkinje dendrites is reduced and cannot be maintained, leading to progressive atrophy of axon terminals. These results establish BG fibers as a guiding scaffold and CHL1 a molecular signal in the organization of stellate axon arbors and in directing their dendritic innervation.

  10. Molecular mechanisms of retinal ganglion cell degeneration in glaucoma and future prospects for cell body and axonal protection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yasunari eMunemasa


    Full Text Available Glaucoma, which affects more than 70 million people worldwide, is a heterogeneous group of disorders with a resultant common denominator; optic neuropathy, eventually leading to irreversible blindness. The clinical manifestations of primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG, the most common subtype of glaucoma, include excavation of the optic disc and progressive loss of visual field. Axonal degeneration of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs and apoptotic death of their cell bodies are observed in glaucoma, in which the reduction of intraocular pressure is known to slow progression of the disease. A pattern of localized retinal nerve fiber layer defects in glaucoma patients indicates that axonal degeneration may precede RGC body death in this condition. The mechanisms of degeneration of neuronal cell bodies and their axons may differ. In this review, we addressed the molecular mechanisms of cell body death and axonal degeneration in glaucoma and proposed axonal protection in addition to cell body protection. The concept of axonal protection may become a new therapeutic strategy to prevent further axonal degeneration or revive dying axons in patients with preperimetric glaucoma. Further study will be needed to clarify whether the combination therapy of axonal protection and cell body protection will have greater protective effects in early or progressive glaucomatous optic neuropathy.

  11. The Cytoskeleton: Mechanical, Physical, and Biological Interactions (United States)


    This workshop, entitled "The Cytoskeleton: Mechanical, Physical, and Biological Interactions," was sponsored by the Center for Advanced Studies in the Space Life Sciences at the Marine Biological Laboratory. This Center was established through a cooperative agreement between the MBL and the Life Sciences Division of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. To achieve these goals, the Center sponsors a series of workshops on various topics in the life sciences. Elements of the cytoskeleton have been implicated in the effects of gravity on the growth of plants fungi. An intriguing finding in this regard is the report indicating that an integrin-like protein may be the gravireceptor in the internodal cells of Chara. Involvement of the cytoskeleton in cellular graviperception of the basidiomycete Flammulina velutipes has also been reported. Although the responses of mammalian cells to gravity are not well documented, it has been proposed that integrins can act as mechanochemical transducers in mammalian cells. Little is known about the integrated mechanical and physical properties of cytoplasm, this workshop would be the best place to begin developing interdisciplinary approaches to the effects of mechanical stresses on cells and their most likely responsive cytoplasmic elements- the fibrous proteins comprising the cytoskeleton.

  12. Rac1 regulates neuronal polarization through the WAVE complex

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tahirovic, Sabina; Hellal, Farida; Neukirchen, Dorothee


    the physiological function of Rac1 in neuronal development, we have generated a conditional knock-out mouse, in which Rac1 is ablated in the whole brain. Rac1-deficient cerebellar granule neurons, which do not express other Rac isoforms, showed impaired neuronal migration and axon formation both in vivo...... and in vitro. In addition, Rac1 ablation disrupts lamellipodia formation in growth cones. The analysis of Rac1 effectors revealed the absence of the Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein (WASP) family verprolin-homologous protein (WAVE) complex from the plasma membrane of knock-out growth cones. Loss of WAVE...... function inhibited axon growth, whereas overexpression of a membrane-tethered WAVE mutant partially rescued axon growth in Rac1-knock-out neurons. In addition, pharmacological inhibition of the WAVE complex effector Arp2/3 also reduced axon growth. We propose that Rac1 recruits the WAVE complex...

  13. Hydrogels as scaffolds and delivery systems to enhance axonal regeneration after injuries

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    Oscar A. Carballo-Molina


    Full Text Available Damage caused to neural tissue by disease or injury frequently produces a discontinuity in the nervous system. Such damage generates diverse alterations that are commonly permanent, due to the limited regeneration capacity of the adult nervous system, particularly the Central Nervous System (CNS. The cellular reaction to noxious stimulus leads to several events such as the formation of glial and fibrous scars, which inhibit axonal regeneration in both the CNS and the Peripheral Nervous System (PNS. Although in the PNS there is some degree of nerve regeneration, it is common that the growing axons reinnervate incorrect areas, causing mismatches. Providing a permissive substrate for axonal regeneration in combination with delivery systems for the release of molecules, which enhances axonal growth, could increase regeneration and the recovery of functions in the CNS or the PNS. Currently, there are no effective vehicles to supply growth factors or cells to the damaged/diseased nervous system. Hydrogels are polymers that are biodegradable, biocompatible and have the capacity to deliver a large range of molecules in situ. The inclusion of cultured neural cells into hydrogels forming three-dimensional structures allows the formation of synapses and neuronal survival. There is also evidence showing that hydrogels constitute an amenable substrate for axonal growth of endogenous or grafted cells, overcoming the presence of axonal regeneration inhibitory molecules, in both the central and peripheral nervous systems. Recent experiments suggest that hydrogels can carry and deliver several proteins relevant for improving neuronal survival and axonal growth. Although the use of hydrogels is appealing, its effectiveness is still a matter of discussion, and more results are needed to achieve consistent recovery using different parameters. This review also discusses areas of opportunity where hydrogels can be applied, in order to promote axonal regeneration of

  14. A multi-component model of the developing retinocollicular pathway incorporating axonal and synaptic growth.

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    Keith B Godfrey


    Full Text Available During development, neurons extend axons to different brain areas and produce stereotypical patterns of connections. The mechanisms underlying this process have been intensively studied in the visual system, where retinal neurons form retinotopic maps in the thalamus and superior colliculus. The mechanisms active in map formation include molecular guidance cues, trophic factor release, spontaneous neural activity, spike-timing dependent plasticity (STDP, synapse creation and retraction, and axon growth, branching and retraction. To investigate how these mechanisms interact, a multi-component model of the developing retinocollicular pathway was produced based on phenomenological approximations of each of these mechanisms. Core assumptions of the model were that the probabilities of axonal branching and synaptic growth are highest where the combined influences of chemoaffinity and trophic factor cues are highest, and that activity-dependent release of trophic factors acts to stabilize synapses. Based on these behaviors, model axons produced morphologically realistic growth patterns and projected to retinotopically correct locations in the colliculus. Findings of the model include that STDP, gradient detection by axonal growth cones and lateral connectivity among collicular neurons were not necessary for refinement, and that the instructive cues for axonal growth appear to be mediated first by molecular guidance and then by neural activity. Although complex, the model appears to be insensitive to variations in how the component developmental mechanisms are implemented. Activity, molecular guidance and the growth and retraction of axons and synapses are common features of neural development, and the findings of this study may have relevance beyond organization in the retinocollicular pathway.

  15. Neurofilament subunit (NFL) head domain phosphorylation regulates axonal transport of neurofilaments.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Yates, Darran M


    Neurofilaments are the intermediate filaments of neurons and are synthesised in neuronal cell bodies and then transported through axons. Neurofilament light chain (NFL) is a principal component of neurofilaments, and phosphorylation of NFL head domain is believed to regulate the assembly of neurofilaments. However, the role that NFL phosphorylation has on transport of neurofilaments is poorly understood. To address this issue, we monitored axonal transport of phosphorylation mutants of NFL. We mutated four known phosphorylation sites in NFL head domain to either preclude phosphorylation, or mimic permanent phosphorylation. Mutation to preclude phosphorylation had no effect on transport but mutation of three sites to mimic permanent phosphorylation inhibited transport. Mutation of all four sites together to mimic permanent phosphorylation proved especially potent at inhibiting transport and also disrupted neurofilament assembly. Our results suggest that NFL head domain phosphorylation is a regulator of neurofilament axonal transport.

  16. A single-neuron tracing study of arkypallidal and prototypic neurons in healthy rats. (United States)

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


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

  17. Dynamics of degeneration and regeneration in developing zebrafish peripheral axons reveals a requirement for extrinsic cell types

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    Villegas Rosario


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Understanding the cellular mechanisms regulating axon degeneration and regeneration is crucial for developing treatments for nerve injury and neurodegenerative disease. In neurons, axon degeneration is distinct from cell body death and often precedes or is associated with the onset of disease symptoms. In the peripheral nervous system of both vertebrates and invertebrates, after degeneration of detached fragments, axons can often regenerate to restore function. Many studies of axonal degeneration and regeneration have used in vitro approaches, but the influence of extrinsic cell types on these processes can only be fully addressed in live animals. Because of its simplicity and superficial location, the larval zebrafish posterior lateral line (pLL nerve is an ideal model system for live studies of axon degeneration and regeneration. Results We used laser axotomy and time-lapse imaging of pLL axons to characterize the roles of leukocytes, Schwann cells and target sensory hair cells in axon degeneration and regeneration in vivo. Immune cells were essential for efficient removal of axonal debris after axotomy. Schwann cells were required for proper fasciculation and pathfinding of regenerating axons to their target cells. Intact target hair cells were not themselves required for regeneration, but chemical ablation of neuromasts caused axons to transiently deviate from their normal paths. Conclusions Macrophages, Schwann cells, and target sensory organs are required for distinct aspects of pLL axon degeneration or regeneration in the zebrafish larva. Our work introduces a powerful vertebrate model for analyzing axonal degeneration and regeneration in the living animal and elucidating the role of extrinsic cell types in these processes.

  18. Sensor potency of the moonlighting enzyme-decorated cytoskeleton: the cytoskeleton as a metabolic sensor (United States)


    Background There is extensive evidence for the interaction of metabolic enzymes with the eukaryotic cytoskeleton. The significance of these interactions is far from clear. Presentation of the hypothesis In the cytoskeletal integrative sensor hypothesis presented here, the cytoskeleton senses and integrates the general metabolic activity of the cell. This activity depends on the binding to the cytoskeleton of enzymes and, depending on the nature of the enzyme, this binding may occur if the enzyme is either active or inactive but not both. This enzyme-binding is further proposed to stabilize microtubules and microfilaments and to alter rates of GTP and ATP hydrolysis and their levels. Testing the hypothesis Evidence consistent with the cytoskeletal integrative sensor hypothesis is presented in the case of glycolysis. Several testable predictions are made. There should be a relationship between post-translational modifications of tubulin and of actin and their interaction with metabolic enzymes. Different conditions of cytoskeletal dynamics and enzyme-cytoskeleton binding should reveal significant differences in local and perhaps global levels and ratios of ATP and GTP. The different functions of moonlighting enzymes should depend on cytoskeletal binding. Implications of the hypothesis The physical and chemical effects arising from metabolic sensing by the cytoskeleton would have major consequences on cell shape, dynamics and cell cycle progression. The hypothesis provides a framework that helps the significance of the enzyme-decorated cytoskeleton be determined. PMID:23398642

  19. Promotion of axonal maturation and prevention of memory loss in mice by extracts of Astragalus mongholicus. (United States)

    Tohda, C; Tamura, T; Matsuyama, S; Komatsu, K


    Neurons with atrophic neurites may remain alive and therefore may have the potential to regenerate even when neuronal death has occurred in some parts of the brain. This study aimed to explore effects of drugs that can facilitate the regeneration of neurites and the reconstruction of synapses even in severely damaged neurons. We investigated the effects of extracts of Astragalus mongholicus on the cognitive defect in mice caused by injection with the amyloid peptide Abeta(25-35). We also examined the effect of the extract on the regeneration of neurites and the reconstruction of synapses in cultured neurons damaged by Abeta(25-35). A. mongholicus extract (1 g kg(-1) day(-1) for 15 days, p.o.) reversed Abeta(25-35)-induced memory loss and prevented the loss of axons and synapses in the cerebral cortex and hippocampus in mice. Treatment with Abeta(25-35) (10 microM) induced axonal atrophy and synaptic loss in cultured rat cortical neurons. Subsequent treatment with A. mongholicus extract (100 microg/ml) resulted in significant axonal regeneration, reconstruction of neuronal synapses, and prevention of Abeta(25-35)-induced neuronal death. Similar extracts of A. membranaceus had no effect on axonal atrophy, synaptic loss, or neuronal death. The major known components of the extracts (astragalosides I, II, and IV) reduced neurodegeneration, but the activity of the extracts did not correlate with their content of these three astragalosides. A. mongholicus is an important candidate for the treatment of memory disorders and the main active constituents may not be the known astragalosides.

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

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    Ana edel Puerto


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

  1. miR-155 Deletion in Mice Overcomes Neuron-Intrinsic and Neuron-Extrinsic Barriers to Spinal Cord Repair (United States)

    Mandrekar-Colucci, Shweta; Hall, Jodie C.E.; Sweet, David R.; Schmitt, Philipp J.; Xu, Xinyang; Guan, Zhen; Mo, Xiaokui; Guerau-de-Arellano, Mireia


    Axon regeneration after spinal cord injury (SCI) fails due to neuron-intrinsic mechanisms and extracellular barriers including inflammation. microRNA (miR)-155–5p is a small, noncoding RNA that negatively regulates mRNA translation. In macrophages, miR-155-5p is induced by inflammatory stimuli and elicits a response that could be toxic after SCI. miR-155 may also independently alter expression of genes that regulate axon growth in neurons. Here, we hypothesized that miR-155 deletion would simultaneously improve axon growth and reduce neuroinflammation after SCI by acting on both neurons and macrophages. New data show that miR-155 deletion attenuates inflammatory signaling in macrophages, reduces macrophage-mediated neuron toxicity, and increases macrophage-elicited axon growth by ∼40% relative to control conditions. In addition, miR-155 deletion increases spontaneous axon growth from neurons; adult miR-155 KO dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons extend 44% longer neurites than WT neurons. In vivo, miR-155 deletion augments conditioning lesion-induced intraneuronal expression of SPRR1A, a regeneration-associated gene; ∼50% more injured KO DRG neurons expressed SPRR1A versus WT neurons. After dorsal column SCI, miR-155 KO mouse spinal cord has reduced neuroinflammation and increased peripheral conditioning-lesion-enhanced axon regeneration beyond the epicenter. Finally, in a model of spinal contusion injury, miR-155 deletion improves locomotor function at postinjury times corresponding with the arrival and maximal appearance of activated intraspinal macrophages. In miR-155 KO mice, improved locomotor function is associated with smaller contusion lesions and decreased accumulation of inflammatory macrophages. Collectively, these data indicate that miR-155 is a novel therapeutic target capable of simultaneously overcoming neuron-intrinsic and neuron-extrinsic barriers to repair after SCI. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Axon regeneration after spinal cord injury (SCI) fails

  2. Ion channel density regulates switches between regular and fast spiking in soma but not in axons.

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    Hugo Zeberg


    Full Text Available The threshold firing frequency of a neuron is a characterizing feature of its dynamical behaviour, in turn determining its role in the oscillatory activity of the brain. Two main types of dynamics have been identified in brain neurons. Type 1 dynamics (regular spiking shows a continuous relationship between frequency and stimulation current (f-I(stim and, thus, an arbitrarily low frequency at threshold current; Type 2 (fast spiking shows a discontinuous f-I(stim relationship and a minimum threshold frequency. In a previous study of a hippocampal neuron model, we demonstrated that its dynamics could be of both Type 1 and Type 2, depending on ion channel density. In the present study we analyse the effect of varying channel density on threshold firing frequency on two well-studied axon membranes, namely the frog myelinated axon and the squid giant axon. Moreover, we analyse the hippocampal neuron model in more detail. The models are all based on voltage-clamp studies, thus comprising experimentally measurable parameters. The choice of analysing effects of channel density modifications is due to their physiological and pharmacological relevance. We show, using bifurcation analysis, that both axon models display exclusively Type 2 dynamics, independently of ion channel density. Nevertheless, both models have a region in the channel-density plane characterized by an N-shaped steady-state current-voltage relationship (a prerequisite for Type 1 dynamics and associated with this type of dynamics in the hippocampal model. In summary, our results suggest that the hippocampal soma and the two axon membranes represent two distinct kinds of membranes; membranes with a channel-density dependent switching between Type 1 and 2 dynamics, and membranes with a channel-density independent dynamics. The difference between the two membrane types suggests functional differences, compatible with a more flexible role of the soma membrane than that of the axon membrane.

  3. Local synthesis of axonal and presynaptic RNA in squid model systems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Eyman, M.; Cefaliello, C.; Ferrara, E.; De Stefano, R.; Lavina, Z.S.; Crispino, M.; Squillace, A.; van Minnen, J.; Kaplan, B.B.; Giuditta, A.


    The presence of active systems of protein synthesis in axons and nerve endings raises the question of the cellular origin of the corresponding RNAs. Our present experiments demonstrate that, besides a possible derivation from neuronal cell bodies, axoplasmic RNAs originate in periaxonal glial cells

  4. Rapid signaling in distinct dopaminergic axons during locomotion and reward (United States)

    Howe, MW; Dombeck, DA


    Summary Dopaminergic projections from the midbrain to striatum are critical for motor control, as their degeneration in Parkinson’s disease results in profound movement deficits. Paradoxically, most recording methods report rapid phasic dopamine signaling (~100ms bursts) to unpredicted rewards, with little evidence for movement-related signaling. The leading model posits that phasic signaling in striatum targeting dopamine neurons drive reward-based learning, while slow variations in firing (tens of seconds to minutes) in these same neurons bias animals towards or away from movement. However, despite widespread acceptance of this model, current methods have provided little evidence to support or refute it. Here, using new optical recording methods, we report the discovery of rapid phasic signaling in striatum-targeting dopaminergic axons that was associated with, and capable of triggering, locomotion in mice. Axons expressing these signals were largely distinct from those signaling during unexpected rewards. These results suggest that dopaminergic neuromodulation can differentially impact motor control and reward learning with sub-second precision and suggest that both precise signal timing and neuronal subtype are important parameters to consider in the treatment of dopamine-related disorders. PMID:27398617

  5. A new role for TIMP-1 in modulating neurite outgrowth and morphology of cortical neurons.

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    Adlane Ould-yahoui


    Full Text Available Tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases-1 (TIMP-1 displays pleiotropic activities, both dependent and independent of its inhibitory activity on matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs. In the central nervous system (CNS, TIMP-1 is strongly upregulated in reactive astrocytes and cortical neurons following excitotoxic/inflammatory stimuli, but no information exists on its effects on growth and morphology of cortical neurons.We found that 24 h incubation with recombinant TIMP-1 induced a 35% reduction in neurite length and significantly increased growth cones size and the number of F-actin rich microprocesses. TIMP-1 mediated reduction in neurite length affected both dendrites and axons after 48 h treatment. The effects on neurite length and morphology were not elicited by a mutated form of TIMP-1 inactive against MMP-1, -2 and -3, and still inhibitory for MMP-9, but were mimicked by a broad spectrum MMP inhibitor. MMP-9 was poorly expressed in developing cortical neurons, unlike MMP-2 which was present in growth cones and whose selective inhibition caused neurite length reductions similar to those induced by TIMP-1. Moreover, TIMP-1 mediated changes in cytoskeleton reorganisation were not accompanied by modifications in the expression levels of actin, betaIII-tubulin, or microtubule assembly regulatory protein MAP2c. Transfection-mediated overexpression of TIMP-1 dramatically reduced neuritic arbour extension in the absence of detectable levels of released extracellular TIMP-1.Altogether, TIMP-1 emerges as a modulator of neuronal outgrowth and morphology in a paracrine and autrocrine manner through the inhibition, at least in part, of MMP-2 and not MMP-9. These findings may help us understand the role of the MMP/TIMP system in post-lesion pre-scarring conditions.

  6. Origin, course, and laterality of spinocerebellar axons in the North American opossum, Didelphis virginiana. (United States)

    Terman, J R; Wang, X M; Martin, G F


    Spinocerebellar axons have been studied extensively in placental mammals, but there have been no full reports on their origin, laterality, or spinal course in any marsupial. We have used the North American opossum (Didelphis virginiana) to obtain such information and to ask whether any spinocerebellar neurons innervate both the anterior and posterior lobes of the cerebellum through axonal collaterals. To identify spinal neurons that project to the cerebellum, we employed the retrograde transport of Fluoro-Gold (FG) from the anterior lobe, the main target of spinocerebellar axons. In some cases, cerebellar injections of FG were combined with hemisections of the rostral cervical or midthoracic spinal cord, so that laterality of spinocerebellar connections could be established. To determine whether single neurons project to both the anterior lobe and the posterior lobe, injections of Fast Blue (FB) into the anterior lobe were combined with injections of Diamidino yellow (DY) or rhodamine B dextran (RBD) into the posterior lobe, or vice versa. Following injections of FG into the anterior lobe, neurons were labeled throughout the length of the spinal cord, which differed in laminar distribution and laterality of their projections. Among other areas, neurons were labeled in the central cervical nucleus, the nucleus centrobasalis, Clarke's nucleus, the dorsal horn dorsal spinocerebellar tract area, the spinal border region, and Stilling's nucleus. When anterior lobe injections of FB were combined with injections of RBD or DY into the posterior lobe, or vice versa, some double-labeled neurons were present in all major spinocerebellar groups. Cerebellar injections of FG also retrogradely labeled spinocerebellar axons, allowing us to document their locations in the gray matter as well as within the periphery of the lateral and ventral funiculi at all spinal levels. A few spinocerebellar axons also were found in the dorsal funiculus (a dorsal column-spinocerebellar tract

  7. A Select Subset of Electron Transport Chain Genes Associated with Optic Atrophy Link Mitochondria to Axon Regeneration in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wendy M. Knowlton


    Full Text Available The role of mitochondria within injured neurons is an area of active interest since these organelles are vital for the production of cellular energy in the form of ATP. Using mechanosensory neurons of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans to test regeneration after neuronal injury in vivo, we surveyed genes related to mitochondrial function for effects on axon regrowth after laser axotomy. Genes involved in mitochondrial transport, calcium uptake, mitophagy, or fission and fusion were largely dispensable for axon regrowth, with the exception of eat-3/Opa1. Surprisingly, many genes encoding components of the electron transport chain were dispensable for regrowth, except for the iron-sulfur proteins gas-1, nduf-2.2, nduf-7, and isp-1, and the putative oxidoreductase rad-8. In these mutants, axonal development was essentially normal and axons responded normally to injury by forming regenerative growth cones, but were impaired in subsequent axon extension. Overexpression of nduf-2.2 or isp-1 was sufficient to enhance regrowth, suggesting that mitochondrial function is rate-limiting in axon regeneration. Moreover, loss of function in isp-1 reduced the enhanced regeneration caused by either a gain-of-function mutation in the calcium channel EGL-19 or overexpression of the MAP kinase DLK-1. While the cellular function of RAD-8 remains unclear, our genetic analyses place rad-8 in the same pathway as other electron transport genes in axon regeneration. Unexpectedly, rad-8 regrowth defects were suppressed by altered function in the ubiquinone biosynthesis gene clk-1. Furthermore, we found that inhibition of the mitochondrial unfolded protein response via deletion of atfs-1 suppressed the defective regrowth in nduf-2.2 mutants. Together, our data indicate that while axon regeneration is not significantly affected by general dysfunction of cellular respiration, it is sensitive to the proper functioning of a select subset of electron transport chain genes, or

  8. Efferent neurons to the labyrinth of Salamandra salamandra as revealed by retrograde transport of horseradish peroxidase. (United States)

    Fritzsch, B


    Application of horseradish peroxidase to the severed VIIIth nerve of Salamandra salamandra resulted in heavy bilateral labeling of neurons of the medullary reticular formation. These neurons closely resemble the Mauthner neuron in their widespread dendritic ramification. In most preparations axon collaterals are seen to leave the medulla via the contralateral VIIIth nerve. It is suggested that these neurons are labyrinthine efferents.

  9. Regeneration of supraspinal axons after transection of the thoracic spinal cord in the developing opossum, Didelphis virginiana. (United States)

    Wang, X M; Terman, J R; Martin, G F


    When the thoracic spinal cord of the North American opossum is transected early in development, supraspinal axons grow through the lesion. In the experiments reported here, we asked whether regeneration of cut axons contributes to such growth. Fast Blue (FB) was injected into the lumbar cord on postnatal day (PD)5, 8, 15, or 20. Five days later, FB was removed by gentle suction, and the spinal cord was transected at thoracic levels. Fourteen days later, rhodamine B dextran was injected between the site of the FB injection and the lesion. The pups were maintained for an additional 7-10 days before killing and perfusion. We assumed that supraspinal neurons that contained FB survived axotomy and those that contained both FB and rhodamine B dextran supported regenerating axons. In the PD5 group (lesioned at PD10), regenerative growth was documented for axons originating in all of the supraspinal nuclei that innervate the lumbar cord by PD10. When the injections were made at the later ages, however, neurons that supported regenerative growth were fewer in number and regionally restricted. In some cases, they were limited primarily to the red nucleus, the medullary raphe, and the adjacent reticular formation. Our results show that regeneration of cut axons contributes to growth of supraspinal axons through the lesion after transection of the thoracic cord in developing opossums and that the critical period for regenerative growth is not the same for all axons.

  10. Multichannel activity propagation across an engineered axon network (United States)

    Chen, H. Isaac; Wolf, John A.; Smith, Douglas H.


    Objective. Although substantial progress has been made in mapping the connections of the brain, less is known about how this organization translates into brain function. In particular, the massive interconnectivity of the brain has made it difficult to specifically examine data transmission between two nodes of the connectome, a central component of the ‘neural code.’ Here, we investigated the propagation of multiple streams of asynchronous neuronal activity across an isolated in vitro ‘connectome unit.’ Approach. We used the novel technique of axon stretch growth to create a model of a long-range cortico-cortical network, a modular system consisting of paired nodes of cortical neurons connected by axon tracts. Using optical stimulation and multi-electrode array recording techniques, we explored how input patterns are represented by cortical networks, how these representations shift as they are transmitted between cortical nodes and perturbed by external conditions, and how well the downstream node distinguishes different patterns. Main results. Stimulus representations included direct, synaptic, and multiplexed responses that grew in complexity as the distance between the stimulation source and recorded neuron increased. These representations collapsed into patterns with lower information content at higher stimulation frequencies. With internodal activity propagation, a hierarchy of network pathways, including latent circuits, was revealed using glutamatergic blockade. As stimulus channels were added, divergent, non-linear effects were observed in local versus distant network layers. Pairwise difference analysis of neuronal responses suggested that neuronal ensembles generally outperformed individual cells in discriminating input patterns. Significance. Our data illuminate the complexity of spiking activity propagation in cortical networks in vitro, which is characterized by the transformation of an input into myriad outputs over several network layers

  11. Generation of a Motor Nerve Organoid with Human Stem Cell-Derived Neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jiro Kawada


    Full Text Available During development, axons spontaneously assemble into a fascicle to form nerves and tracts in the nervous system as they extend within a spatially constrained path. However, understanding of the axonal fascicle has been hampered by lack of an in vitro model system. Here, we report generation of a nerve organoid composed of a robust fascicle of axons extended from a spheroid of human stem cell-derived motor neurons within our custom-designed microdevice. The device is equipped with a narrow channel providing a microenvironment that facilitates the growing axons to spontaneously assemble into a unidirectional fascicle. The fascicle was specifically made with axons. We found that it was electrically active and elastic and could serve as a model to evaluate degeneration of axons in vitro. This nerve organoid model should facilitate future studies on the development of the axonal fascicle and drug screening for diseases affecting axon fascicles.

  12. Action potential propagation recorded from single axonal arbors using multi-electrode arrays. (United States)

    Tovar, Kenneth R; Bridges, Daniel C; Wu, Bian; Randall, Connor; Audouard, Morgane; Jang, Jiwon; Hansma, Paul K; Kosik, Kenneth S


    We report the presence of co-occurring extracellular action potentials (eAPs) from cultured mouse hippocampal neurons among groups of planar electrodes on multi-electrode arrays (MEAs). The invariant sequences of eAPs among co-active electrode groups, repeated co-occurrences and short inter-electrode latencies are consistent with action potential propagation in unmyelinated axons. Repeated eAP co-detection by multiple electrodes was widespread in all our data records. Co-detection of eAPs confirms they result from the same neuron and allows these eAPs to be isolated from all other spikes independently of spike sorting algorithms. We averaged co-occurring events and revealed additional electrodes with eAPs that would otherwise be below detection threshold. We used these eAP cohorts to explore the temperature sensitivity of action potential propagation and the relationship between voltage-gated sodium channel density and propagation velocity. The sequence of eAPs among co-active electrodes 'fingerprints' neurons giving rise to these events and identifies them within neuronal ensembles. We used this property and the non-invasive nature of extracellular recording to monitor changes in excitability at multiple points in single axonal arbors simultaneously over several hours, demonstrating independence of axonal segments. Over several weeks, we recorded changes in inter-electrode propagation latencies and ongoing changes in excitability in different regions of single axonal arbors. Our work illustrates how repeated eAP co-occurrences can be used to extract physiological data from single axons with low electrode density MEAs. However, repeated eAP co-occurrences leads to over-sampling spikes from single neurons and thus can confound traditional spike-train analysis.

  13. A Novel Growth-Promoting Pathway Formed by GDNF-Overexpressing Schwann Cells Promotes Propriospinal Axonal Regeneration, Synapse formation, and Partial Recovery of Function after Spinal Cord Injury (United States)

    Deng, Lingxiao; Deng, Ping; Ruan, Yiwen; Xu, Zao Cheng; Liu, Naikui; Wen, Xuejun; Smith, George M.; Xu, Xiao-Ming


    Descending propriospinal neurons (DPSN) are known to establish functional relays for supraspinal signals, and they display a greater growth response after injury than do the long projecting axons. However, their regenerative response is still deficient due to their failure to depart from growth supportive cellular transplants back into the host spinal cord, which contains numerous impediments to axon growth. Here we report the construction of a continuous growth-promoting pathway in adult rats, formed by grafted Schwann cells (SCs) overexpressing glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF). We demonstrate that such a growth-promoting pathway, extending from the axonal cut ends to the site of innervation in the distal spinal cord, promoted regeneration of DPSN axons through and beyond the lesion gap of a spinal cord hemisection. Within the distal host spinal cord, regenerated DPSN axons formed synapses with host neurons leading to the restoration of action potentials and partial recovery of function. PMID:23536080

  14. Coupling of cytoskeleton functions for fibroblast locomotion

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Couchman, J R; Lenn, M; Rees, D A


    the cells to lose control of shape and organelle distribution even though forward protrusion continued unaffected. Cytoplasmic displacements shown by marker mitochondria correlated with adjacent fluctuations at the leading edge, and drug treatments which increased the amplitude of mitochondrial movements...... caused visible protrusions in projected positions at the leading edge. We conclude that fibroblast locomotion may be driven coordinately by a common set of motility mechanisms and that this coordination may be lost as a result of physical or pharmacological disturbance. Taking our evidence with results...... from other Laboratories, we propose the following cytoskeleton functions. (i) Protrusive activity, probably based on solation--gelation cycles of the actin based cytoskeleton and membrane recycling which provides cellular and membrane components for streaming through the cell body to the leading edge...

  15. Computational Predictions of Volatile Anesthetic Interactions with the Microtubule Cytoskeleton: Implications for Side Effects of General Anesthesia (United States)

    Craddock, Travis J. A.; St. George, Marc; Freedman, Holly; Barakat, Khaled H.; Damaraju, Sambasivarao; Hameroff, Stuart; Tuszynski, Jack A.


    The cytoskeleton is essential to cell morphology, cargo trafficking, and cell division. As the neuronal cytoskeleton is extremely complex, it is no wonder that a startling number of neurodegenerative disorders (including but not limited to Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and Huntington’s disease) share the common feature of a dysfunctional neuronal cytoskeleton. Recently, concern has been raised about a possible link between anesthesia, post-operative cognitive dysfunction, and the exacerbation of neurodegenerative disorders. Experimental investigations suggest that anesthetics bind to and affect cytoskeletal microtubules, and that anesthesia-related cognitive dysfunction involves microtubule instability, hyper-phosphorylation of the microtubule-associated protein tau, and tau separation from microtubules. However, exact mechanisms are yet to be identified. In this paper the interaction of anesthetics with the microtubule subunit protein tubulin is investigated using computer-modeling methods. Homology modeling, molecular dynamics simulations and surface geometry techniques were used to determine putative binding sites for volatile anesthetics on tubulin. This was followed by free energy based docking calculations for halothane (2-bromo-2-chloro-1,1,1-trifluoroethane) on the tubulin body, and C-terminal regions for specific tubulin isotypes. Locations of the putative binding sites, halothane binding energies and the relation to cytoskeleton function are reported in this paper. PMID:22761654

  16. Computational predictions of volatile anesthetic interactions with the microtubule cytoskeleton: implications for side effects of general anesthesia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Travis J A Craddock

    Full Text Available The cytoskeleton is essential to cell morphology, cargo trafficking, and cell division. As the neuronal cytoskeleton is extremely complex, it is no wonder that a startling number of neurodegenerative disorders (including but not limited to Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and Huntington's disease share the common feature of a dysfunctional neuronal cytoskeleton. Recently, concern has been raised about a possible link between anesthesia, post-operative cognitive dysfunction, and the exacerbation of neurodegenerative disorders. Experimental investigations suggest that anesthetics bind to and affect cytoskeletal microtubules, and that anesthesia-related cognitive dysfunction involves microtubule instability, hyper-phosphorylation of the microtubule-associated protein tau, and tau separation from microtubules. However, exact mechanisms are yet to be identified. In this paper the interaction of anesthetics with the microtubule subunit protein tubulin is investigated using computer-modeling methods. Homology modeling, molecular dynamics simulations and surface geometry techniques were used to determine putative binding sites for volatile anesthetics on tubulin. This was followed by free energy based docking calculations for halothane (2-bromo-2-chloro-1,1,1-trifluoroethane on the tubulin body, and C-terminal regions for specific tubulin isotypes. Locations of the putative binding sites, halothane binding energies and the relation to cytoskeleton function are reported in this paper.

  17. The cytoskeleton and gravitropism in higher plants (United States)

    Blancaflor, Elison B.


    The cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying the gravitropic response of plants have continued to elude plant biologists despite more than a century of research. Lately there has been increased attention on the role of the cytoskeleton in plant gravitropism, but several controversies and major gaps in our understanding of cytoskeletal involvement in gravitropism remain. A major question in the study of plant gravitropism is how the cytoskeleton mediates early sensing and signal transduction events in plants. Much has been made of the actin cytoskeleton as the cellular structure that sedimenting amyloplasts impinge upon to trigger the downstream signaling events leading to the bending response. There is also strong molecular and biochemical evidence that the transport of auxin, an important player in gravitropism, is regulated by actin. Organizational changes in microtubules during the growth response phase of gravitropism have also been well documented, but the significance of such reorientations in controlling differential cellular growth is unclear. Studies employing pharmacological approaches to dissect cytoskeletal involvement in gravitropism have led to conflicting results and therefore need to be interpreted with caution. Despite the current controversies, the revolutionary advances in molecular, biochemical, and cell biological techniques have opened up several possibilities for further research into this difficult area. The myriad proteins associated with the plant cytoskeleton that are being rapidly characterized provide a rich assortment of candidate regulators that could be targets of the gravity signal transduction chain. Cytoskeletal and ion imaging in real time combined with mutant analysis promises to provide a fresh start into this controversial area of research.

  18. Combining Constitutively Active Rheb Expression and Chondroitinase Promotes Functional Axonal Regeneration after Cervical Spinal Cord Injury. (United States)

    Wu, Di; Klaw, Michelle C; Connors, Theresa; Kholodilov, Nikolai; Burke, Robert E; Côté, Marie-Pascale; Tom, Veronica J


    After spinal cord injury (SCI), severed axons in the adult mammalian CNS are unable to mount a robust regenerative response. In addition, the glial scar at the lesion site further restricts the regenerative potential of axons. We hypothesized that a combinatorial approach coincidentally targeting these obstacles would promote axonal regeneration. We combined (1) transplantation of a growth-permissive peripheral nerve graft (PNG) into an incomplete, cervical lesion cavity; (2) transduction of neurons rostral to the SCI site to express constitutively active Rheb (caRheb; a Ras homolog enriched in brain), a GTPase that directly activates the growth-promoting pathway mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) via AAV-caRheb injection; and (3) digestion of growth-inhibitory chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans within the glial scar at the distal PNG interface using the bacterial enzyme chondroitinase ABC (ChABC). We found that expressing caRheb in neurons post-SCI results in modestly yet significantly more axons regenerating across a ChABC-treated distal graft interface into caudal spinal cord than either treatment alone. Excitingly, we found that caRheb+ChABC treatment significantly potentiates the formation of synapses in the host spinal cord and improves the animals' ability to use the affected forelimb. Thus, this combination strategy enhances functional axonal regeneration following a cervical SCI. Copyright © 2017 The American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Kinematics of turnaround and retrograde axonal transport

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Snyder, R.E.


    Rapid axonal transport of a pulse of 35 S-methionine-labelled material was studied in vitro in the sensory neurons of amphibian sciatic nerve using a position-sensitive detector. For 10 nerves studied at 23.0 +/- 0.2 degrees C it was found that a pulse moved in the anterograde direction characterized by front edge, peak, and trailing edge transport rates of (mm/d) 180.8 +/- 2.2 (+/- SEM), 176.6 +/- 2.3, and 153.7 +/- 3.0, respectively. Following its arrival at a distal ligature, a smaller pulse was observed to move in the retrograde direction characterized by front edge and peak transport rates of 158.0 +/- 7.3 and 110.3 +/- 3.5, respectively, indicating that retrograde transport proceeds at a rate of 0.88 +/- 0.04 that of anterograde. The retrograde pulse was observed to disperse at a rate greater than the anterograde. Reversal of radiolabel at the distal ligature began 1.49 +/- 0.15 h following arrival of the first radiolabel. Considerable variation was seen between preparations in the way radiolabel accumulated in the end (ligature) regions of the nerve. Although a retrograde pulse was seen in all preparations, in 7 of 10 preparations there was no evidence of this pulse accumulating within less than 2-3 mm of a proximal ligature; however, accumulation was observed within less than 5 mm in all preparations

  20. Inner membrane fusion mediates spatial distribution of axonal mitochondria (United States)

    Yu, Yiyi; Lee, Hao-Chih; Chen, Kuan-Chieh; Suhan, Joseph; Qiu, Minhua; Ba, Qinle; Yang, Ge


    In eukaryotic cells, mitochondria form a dynamic interconnected network to respond to changing needs at different subcellular locations. A fundamental yet unanswered question regarding this network is whether, and if so how, local fusion and fission of individual mitochondria affect their global distribution. To address this question, we developed high-resolution computational image analysis techniques to examine the relations between mitochondrial fusion/fission and spatial distribution within the axon of Drosophila larval neurons. We found that stationary and moving mitochondria underwent fusion and fission regularly but followed different spatial distribution patterns and exhibited different morphology. Disruption of inner membrane fusion by knockdown of dOpa1, Drosophila Optic Atrophy 1, not only increased the spatial density of stationary and moving mitochondria but also changed their spatial distributions and morphology differentially. Knockdown of dOpa1 also impaired axonal transport of mitochondria. But the changed spatial distributions of mitochondria resulted primarily from disruption of inner membrane fusion because knockdown of Milton, a mitochondrial kinesin-1 adapter, caused similar transport velocity impairment but different spatial distributions. Together, our data reveals that stationary mitochondria within the axon interconnect with moving mitochondria through fusion and fission and that local inner membrane fusion between individual mitochondria mediates their global distribution. PMID:26742817

  1. Effects of medium flow on axon growth with or without nerve growth factor. (United States)

    Kumamoto, Junichi; Kitahata, Hiroyuki; Goto, Makiko; Nagayama, Masaharu; Denda, Mitsuhiro


    Axon growth is a crucial process in regeneration of damaged nerves. On the other hand, elongation of nerve fibers in the epidermis has been observed in skin of atopic dermatitis patients. Thus, regulation of nerve fiber extension might be an effective strategy to accelerate nerve regeneration and/or to reduce itching in pruritus dermatosis. We previously demonstrated that neurons and epidermal keratinocytes similarly contain multiple receptors that are activated by various environmental factors, and in particular, keratinocytes are influenced by shear stress. Thus, in the present study, we evaluated the effects of micro-flow of the medium on axon growth in the presence or absence of nerve growth factor (NGF), using cultured dorsal-root-ganglion (DRG) cells. The apparatus, AXIS™, consists of two chambers connected by a set of microgrooves, through which signaling molecules and axons, but not living cells, can pass. When DRG cells were present in chamber 1, NGF was present in chamber 2, and micro-flow was directed from chamber 1 to chamber 2, axon growth was significantly increased compared with other conditions. Acceleration of axon growth in the direction of the micro-flow was also observed in the absence of NGF. These results suggest that local micro-flow might significantly influence axon growth. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Kinesin mRNA is present in the squid giant axon. (United States)

    Gioio, A E; Chun, J T; Crispino, M; Capano, C P; Giuditta, A; Kaplan, B B


    Recently, we reported the construction of a cDNA library encoding a heterogeneous population of polyadenylated mRNAs present in the squid giant axon. The nucleic acid sequencing of several randomly selected clones led to the identification of cDNAs encoding beta-actin and beta-tubulin, two relatively abundant axonal mRNA species. To continue characterization of this unique mRNA population, the axonal cDNA library was screened with a cDNA probe encoding the carboxy terminus of the squid kinesin heavy chain. The sequencing of several positive clones unambiguously identified axonal kinesin cDNA clones. The axonal localization of kinesin mRNA was subsequently verified by in situ hybridization histochemistry. In addition, the presence of kinesin RNA sequences in the axoplasmic polyribosome fraction was demonstrated using PCR methodology. In contrast to these findings, mRNA encoding the squid sodium channel was not detected in axoplasmic RNA, although these sequences were relatively abundant in the giant fiber lobe. Taken together, these findings demonstrate that kinesin mRNA is a component of a select group of mRNAs present in the squid giant axon, and suggest that kinesin may be synthesized locally in this model invertebrate motor neuron.

  3. Effect of axonal micro-tubules on the morphology of retinal nerve fibers studied by second-harmonic generation (United States)

    Lim, Hyungsik; Danias, John


    Many studies suggest that the degradation of microtubules in the retinal ganglion cells may be an early event in the progression of glaucoma. Because reflectance and birefringence of the retinal nerve fibers arise primarily from microtubules, the optical properties have been intensively studied for early detection of the disease. We previously reported a novel nonlinear optical signal from axonal microtubules for visualizing the retinal nerve fibers, namely second-harmonic generation (SHG). We demonstrate the use of axonal SHG to investigate the effect of microtubules on the morphology of the retinal nerve fiber bundles. Time-lapse SHG imaging of ex vivo rat retinal flat mounts was performed during pharmacological treatment of nocodazole, and the intensity of axonal SHG and the changes in nerve fiber bundle morphology were monitored. We found that the microtubule disruption does not lead to immediate modification in the morphology of the nerve fibers. Our results indicate that microtubular SHG may provide a useful means for sensitive detection of axonal injuries. Since the intrinsic radiation depends on the regular architecture of the cytoskeleton element as maintained by active cellular regulations, the intensity of signal reflects the health of the retinal ganglion cell axons.

  4. In vivo impact of presynaptic calcium channel dysfunction on motor axons in episodic ataxia type 2. (United States)

    Tomlinson, Susan E; Tan, S Veronica; Burke, David; Labrum, Robyn W; Haworth, Andrea; Gibbons, Vaneesha S; Sweeney, Mary G; Griggs, Robert C; Kullmann, Dimitri M; Bostock, Hugh; Hanna, Michael G


    Ion channel dysfunction causes a range of neurological disorders by altering transmembrane ion fluxes, neuronal or muscle excitability, and neurotransmitter release. Genetic neuronal channelopathies affecting peripheral axons provide a unique opportunity to examine the impact of dysfunction of a single channel subtype in detail in vivo. Episodic ataxia type 2 is caused by mutations in CACNA1A, which encodes the pore-forming subunit of the neuronal voltage-gated calcium channel Cav2.1. In peripheral motor axons, this channel is highly expressed at the presynaptic neuromuscular junction where it contributes to action potential-evoked neurotransmitter release, but it is not expressed mid-axon or thought to contribute to action potential generation. Eight patients from five families with genetically confirmed episodic ataxia type 2 underwent neurophysiological assessment to determine whether axonal excitability was normal and, if not, whether changes could be explained by Cav2.1 dysfunction. New mutations in the CACNA1A gene were identified in two families. Nerve conduction studies were normal, but increased jitter in single-fibre EMG studies indicated unstable neuromuscular transmission in two patients. Excitability properties of median motor axons were compared with those in 30 age-matched healthy control subjects. All patients had similar excitability abnormalities, including a high electrical threshold and increased responses to hyperpolarizing (P ataxia type 2 thus has unexpected effects on axon excitability, which may reflect an indirect effect of abnormal calcium current fluxes during development. © The Author (2016). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Guarantors of Brain. All rights reserved.

  5. Tri-partite complex for axonal transport drug delivery achieves pharmacological effect

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frederickson Martyn


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Targeted delivery of pharmaceutical agents into selected populations of CNS (Central Nervous System neurons is an extremely compelling goal. Currently, systemic methods are generally used for delivery of pain medications, anti-virals for treatment of dermatomal infections, anti-spasmodics, and neuroprotectants. Systemic side effects or undesirable effects on parts of the CNS that are not involved in the pathology limit efficacy and limit clinical utility for many classes of pharmaceuticals. Axonal transport from the periphery offers a possible selective route, but there has been little progress towards design of agents that can accomplish targeted delivery via this intraneural route. To achieve this goal, we developed a tripartite molecular construction concept involving an axonal transport facilitator molecule, a polymer linker, and a large number of drug molecules conjugated to the linker, then sought to evaluate its neurobiology and pharmacological behavior. Results We developed chemical synthesis methodologies for assembling these tripartite complexes using a variety of axonal transport facilitators including nerve growth factor, wheat germ agglutinin, and synthetic facilitators derived from phage display work. Loading of up to 100 drug molecules per complex was achieved. Conjugation methods were used that allowed the drugs to be released in active form inside the cell body after transport. Intramuscular and intradermal injection proved effective for introducing pharmacologically effective doses into selected populations of CNS neurons. Pharmacological efficacy with gabapentin in a paw withdrawal latency model revealed a ten fold increase in half life and a 300 fold decrease in necessary dose relative to systemic administration for gabapentin when the drug was delivered by axonal transport using the tripartite vehicle. Conclusion Specific targeting of selected subpopulations of CNS neurons for drug delivery by axonal

  6. Redundant dopaminergic activity may enable compensatory axonal sprouting in Parkinson disease. (United States)

    Arkadir, David; Bergman, Hagai; Fahn, Stanley


    Neurodegenerative diseases become clinically apparent only after a substantial population of neurons is lost. This raises the possibility of compensatory mechanisms in the early phase of these diseases. The importance of understanding these mechanisms cannot be underestimated because it may guide future disease-modifying strategies. Because the anatomy and physiology of the nigrostriatal dopaminergic pathways have been well described, the study of Parkinson disease can offer insight into these early compensatory mechanisms. Collateral axonal sprouting of dopaminergic terminals into the denervated striatum is the most studied compensatory mechanism in animal (almost exclusively rodent) models of Parkinson disease and is correlated with behavioral recovery after partial lesions. This sprouting, however, does not respect the normal anatomy of the original nigrostriatal pathways and leads to aberrant neuronal networks. We suggest here that the unique physiologic property of the dopaminergic innervation of the striatum, namely redundancy of information encoding, is crucial to the efficacy of compensatory axonal sprouting in the presence of aberrant anatomical connections. Redundant information encoding results from the similarity of representation of salient and rewarding events by many dopaminergic neurons, from the wide axonal field of a single dopaminergic neuron in the striatum, and from the nonspecific spatial effect of dopamine on striatal neurons (volume conductance). Finally, we discuss the relevance of these findings in animal models to human patients with Parkinson disease.

  7. Extracellular Tau Oligomers Induce Invasion of Endogenous Tau into the Somatodendritic Compartment and Axonal Transport Dysfunction (United States)

    Swanson, Eric; Breckenridge, Leigham; McMahon, Lloyd; Som, Sreemoyee; McConnell, Ian; Bloom, George S.


    Aggregates composed of the microtubule associated protein, tau, are a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease and non-Alzheimer’s tauopathies. Extracellular tau can induce the accumulation and aggregation of intracellular tau, and tau pathology can be transmitted along neural networks over time. There are six splice variants of central nervous system tau, and various oligomeric and fibrillar forms are associated with neurodegeneration in vivo. The particular extracellular forms of tau capable of transferring tau pathology from neuron to neuron remain ill defined, however, as do the consequences of intracellular tau aggregation on neuronal physiology. The present study was undertaken to compare the effects of extracellular tau monomers, oligomers, and filaments comprising various tau isoforms on the behavior of cultured neurons. We found that 2N4R or 2N3R tau oligomers provoked aggregation of endogenous intracellular tau much more effectively than monomers or fibrils, or of oligomers made from other tau isoforms, and that a mixture of all six isoforms most potently provoked intracellular tau accumulation. These effects were associated with invasion of tau into the somatodendritic compartment. Finally, we observed that 2N4R oligomers perturbed fast axonal transport of membranous organelles along microtubules. Intracellular tau accumulation was often accompanied by increases in the run length, run time and instantaneous velocity of membranous cargo. This work indicates that extracellular tau oligomers can disrupt normal neuronal homeostasis by triggering axonal tau accumulation and loss of the polarized distribution of tau, and by impairing fast axonal transport. PMID:28482642

  8. Information Transmission in Cercal Giant Interneurons Is Unaffected by Axonal Conduction Noise (United States)

    Miller, John P.


    What are the fundamental constraints on the precision and accuracy with which nervous systems can process information? One constraint must reflect the intrinsic “noisiness” of the mechanisms that transmit information between nerve cells. Most neurons transmit information through the probabilistic generation and propagation of spikes along axons, and recent modeling studies suggest that noise from spike propagation might pose a significant constraint on the rate at which information could be transmitted between neurons. However, the magnitude and functional significance of this noise source in actual cells remains poorly understood. We measured variability in conduction time along the axons of identified neurons in the cercal sensory system of the cricket Acheta domesticus, and used information theory to calculate the effects of this variability on sensory coding. We found that the variability in spike propagation speed is not large enough to constrain the accuracy of neural encoding in this system. PMID:22253900

  9. Information transmission in cercal giant interneurons is unaffected by axonal conduction noise.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zane N Aldworth

    Full Text Available What are the fundamental constraints on the precision and accuracy with which nervous systems can process information? One constraint must reflect the intrinsic "noisiness" of the mechanisms that transmit information between nerve cells. Most neurons transmit information through the probabilistic generation and propagation of spikes along axons, and recent modeling studies suggest that noise from spike propagation might pose a significant constraint on the rate at which information could be transmitted between neurons. However, the magnitude and functional significance of this noise source in actual cells remains poorly understood. We measured variability in conduction time along the axons of identified neurons in the cercal sensory system of the cricket Acheta domesticus, and used information theory to calculate the effects of this variability on sensory coding. We found that the variability in spike propagation speed is not large enough to constrain the accuracy of neural encoding in this system.

  10. Primary Motor Neuron Culture to Promote Cellular Viability and Myelination. (United States)

    Suh, Jun-Kyo Francis; Hyung, Sujin


    A culture system that can recapitulate myelination in vitro will not only help us to better understand the mechanism of myelination and demyelination but also identify possible therapeutic interventions for treating demyelinating diseases. Here, we introduce a simple and reproducible myelination culture system using mouse motor neurons (MNs) and Schwann cells (SCs). Dissociated motor neurons are plated on a feeder layer of SCs, which interact with and wrap around the axons of MNs as they differentiate in culture. In our MN-SC co-culture system, MNs survive over 3 weeks and extend long axons. Both viability and axon growth of MNs in the co-culture are markedly enhanced as compared to those of MN monocultures. Co-labeling of myelin basic proteins and neuronal cell microtubules reveals that SCs form myelin sheaths by wrapping around the axons of MNs.

  11. Glial progenitor cell migration promotes CNS axon growth on functionalized electroconducting microfibers. (United States)

    Collazos-Castro, Jorge E; García-Rama, Concepción; Alves-Sampaio, Alexandra


    Electroactive systems that promote directional axonal growth and migration of glial progenitor cells (GPC) are needed for the treatment of neurological injuries. We report the functionalization of electroconducting microfibers with multiple biomolecules that synergistically stimulate the proliferation and migration of GPC, which in turn induce axonal elongation from embryonic cerebral cortex neurons. PEDOT doped with poly[(4-styrenesulfonic acid)-co-(maleic acid)] was synthesized on carbon microfibers and used for covalent attachment of molecules to the electroactive surface. The molecular complexes that promoted GPC proliferation and migration, followed by axonal extension, were composed of polylysine, heparin, basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF), and matricellular proteins; the combination of bFGF with vitronectin or fibronectin being indispensable for sustained glial and axonal growth. The rate of glial-induced axonal elongation was about threefold that of axons growing directly on microfibers functionalized with polylysine alone. Electrical stimuli applied through the microfibers released bFGF and fibronectin from the polymer surface, consequently reducing GPC proliferation and promoting their differentiation into astrocytes, without causing cell detachment or toxicity. These results suggest that functionalized electroactive microfibers may provide a multifunctional tool for controlling neuron-glia interactions and enhancing neural repair. We report a multiple surface functionalization strategy for electroconducting microfibers (MFs), in order to promote proliferation and guided migration of glial precursor cells (GPC) and consequently create a permissive substrate for elongation of central nervous system (CNS) axons. GPC divided and migrated extensively on the functionalized MFs, leading to fast elongation of embryonic cerebral cortex axons. The application of electric pulses thorough the MFs controlled glial cell division and differentiation. The

  12. Nicotinamide riboside, a form of vitamin B3, protects against excitotoxicity-induced axonal degeneration. (United States)

    Vaur, Pauline; Brugg, Bernard; Mericskay, Mathias; Li, Zhenlin; Schmidt, Mark S; Vivien, Denis; Orset, Cyrille; Jacotot, Etienne; Brenner, Charles; Duplus, Eric


    NAD + depletion is a common phenomenon in neurodegenerative pathologies. Excitotoxicity occurs in multiple neurologic disorders and NAD + was shown to prevent neuronal degeneration in this process through mechanisms that remained to be determined. The activity of nicotinamide riboside (NR) in neuroprotective models and the recent description of extracellular conversion of NAD + to NR prompted us to probe the effects of NAD + and NR in protection against excitotoxicity. Here, we show that intracortical administration of NR but not NAD + reduces brain damage induced by NMDA injection. Using cortical neurons, we found that provision of extracellular NR delays NMDA-induced axonal degeneration (AxD) much more strongly than extracellular NAD + Moreover, the stronger effect of NR compared to NAD + depends of axonal stress since in AxD induced by pharmacological inhibition of nicotinamide salvage, both NAD + and NR prevent neuronal death and AxD in a manner that depends on internalization of NR. Taken together, our findings demonstrate that NR is a better neuroprotective agent than NAD + in excitotoxicity-induced AxD and that axonal protection involves defending intracellular NAD + homeostasis.-Vaur, P., Brugg, B., Mericskay, M., Li, Z., Schmidt, M. S., Vivien, D., Orset, C., Jacotot, E., Brenner, C., Duplus, E. Nicotinamide riboside, a form of vitamin B 3 , protects against excitotoxicity-induced axonal degeneration. © FASEB.

  13. UV Irradiation Accelerates Amyloid Precursor Protein (APP) Processing and Disrupts APP Axonal Transport (United States)

    Almenar-Queralt, Angels; Falzone, Tomas L.; Shen, Zhouxin; Lillo, Concepcion; Killian, Rhiannon L.; Arreola, Angela S.; Niederst, Emily D.; Ng, Kheng S.; Kim, Sonia N.; Briggs, Steven P.; Williams, David S.


    Overexpression and/or abnormal cleavage of amyloid precursor protein (APP) are linked to Alzheimer's disease (AD) development and progression. However, the molecular mechanisms regulating cellular levels of APP or its processing, and the physiological and pathological consequences of altered processing are not well understood. Here, using mouse and human cells, we found that neuronal damage induced by UV irradiation leads to specific APP, APLP1, and APLP2 decline by accelerating their secretase-dependent processing. Pharmacological inhibition of endosomal/lysosomal activity partially protects UV-induced APP processing implying contribution of the endosomal and/or lysosomal compartments in this process. We found that a biological consequence of UV-induced γ-secretase processing of APP is impairment of APP axonal transport. To probe the functional consequences of impaired APP axonal transport, we isolated and analyzed presumptive APP-containing axonal transport vesicles from mouse cortical synaptosomes using electron microscopy, biochemical, and mass spectrometry analyses. We identified a population of morphologically heterogeneous organelles that contains APP, the secretase machinery, molecular motors, and previously proposed and new residents of APP vesicles. These possible cargoes are enriched in proteins whose dysfunction could contribute to neuronal malfunction and diseases of the nervous system including AD. Together, these results suggest that damage-induced APP processing might impair APP axonal transport, which could result in failure of synaptic maintenance and neuronal dysfunction. PMID:24573290

  14. Retinal ganglion cell survival and axon regeneration after optic nerve injury in naked mole-rats. (United States)

    Park, Kevin K; Luo, Xueting; Mooney, Skyler J; Yungher, Benjamin J; Belin, Stephane; Wang, Chen; Holmes, Melissa M; He, Zhigang


    In the adult mammalian central nervous system (CNS), axonal damage often triggers neuronal cell death and glial activation, with very limited spontaneous axon regeneration. In this study, we performed optic nerve injury in adult naked mole-rats, the longest living rodent, with a maximum life span exceeding 30 years, and found that injury responses in this species are quite distinct from those in other mammalian species. In contrast to what is seen in other mammals, the majority of injured retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) survive with relatively high spontaneous axon regeneration. Furthermore, injured RGCs display activated signal transducer and activator of transcription-3 (STAT3), whereas astrocytes in the optic nerve robustly occupy and fill the lesion area days after injury. These neuron-intrinsic and -extrinsic injury responses are reminiscent of those in "cold-blooded" animals, such as fish and amphibians, suggesting that the naked mole-rat is a powerful model for exploring the mechanisms of neuronal injury responses and axon regeneration in mammals. J. Comp. Neurol. 525:380-388, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  15. Dendritic Branch Intersections Are Structurally Regulated Targets for Efficient Axonal Wiring and Synaptic Clustering (United States)

    Pinchas, Monika; Baranes, Danny


    Synaptic clustering on dendritic branches enhances plasticity, input integration and neuronal firing. However, the mechanisms guiding axons to cluster synapses at appropriate sites along dendritic branches are poorly understood. We searched for such a mechanism by investigating the structural overlap between dendritic branches and axons in a simplified model of neuronal networks - the hippocampal cell culture. Using newly developed software, we converted images of meshes of overlapping axonal and dendrites into topological maps of intersections, enabling quantitative study of overlapping neuritic geometry at the resolution of single dendritic branch-to-branch and axon-to-branch crossings. Among dendro-dendritic crossing configurations, it was revealed that the orientations through which dendritic branches cross is a regulated attribute. While crossing angle distribution among branches thinner than 1 µm appeared to be random, dendritic branches 1 µm or wider showed a preference for crossing each other at angle ranges of either 50°–70° or 80°–90°. It was then found that the dendro-dendritic crossings themselves, as well as their selective angles, both affected the path of axonal growth. Axons displayed 4 fold stronger tendency to traverse within 2 µm of dendro-dendritic intersections than at farther distances, probably to minimize wiring length. Moreover, almost 70% of the 50°–70° dendro-denritic crossings were traversed by axons from the obtuse angle’s zone, whereas only 15% traversed through the acute angle’s zone. By contrast, axons showed no orientation restriction when traversing 80°–90° crossings. When such traverse behavior was repeated by many axons, they converged in the vicinity of dendro-dendritic intersections, thereby clustering their synaptic connections. Thus, the vicinity of dendritic branch-to-branch crossings appears to be a regulated structure used by axons as a target for efficient wiring and as a preferred site for synaptic

  16. Transient developmental Purkinje cell axonal torpedoes in healthy and ataxic mouse cerebellum

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lovisa Ljungberg


    Full Text Available Information is carried out of the cerebellar cortical microcircuit via action potentials propagated along Purkinje cell axons. In several human neurodegenerative diseases, focal axonal swellings on Purkinje cells – known as torpedoes – have been associated with Purkinje cell loss. Interestingly, torpedoes are also reported to appear transiently during development in rat cerebellum. The function of Purkinje cell axonal torpedoes in health as well as in disease is poorly understood. We investigated the properties of developmental torpedoes in the postnatal mouse cerebellum of wildtype and transgenic mice. We found that Purkinje cell axonal torpedoes transiently appeared on axons of Purkinje neurons, with the largest number of torpedoes observed at postnatal day 11 (P11. This was after peak developmental apoptosis had occurred, when Purkinje cell counts in a lobule were static, suggesting that most developmental torpedoes appear on axons of neurons that persist into adulthood. We found that developmental torpedoes were not associated with a presynaptic GABAergic marker, indicating that they are not synapses. They were seldom found at axonal collateral branch points, and lacked microglia enrichment, suggesting that they are unlikely to be involved in axonal refinement. Interestingly, we found several differences between developmental torpedoes and disease-related torpedoes: developmental torpedoes occured largely on myelinated axons, and were not associated with changes in basket cell innervation on their parent soma. Disease-related torpedoes are typically reported to contain neurofilament; while the majority of developmental torpedoes did as well, a fraction of smaller developmental torpedoes did not. These differences indicate that developmental torpedoes may not be functionally identical to disease-related torpedoes. To study this further, we used a mouse model of spinocerebellar ataxia type 6 (SCA6, and found elevated disease

  17. Axonal voltage-gated ion channels as pharmacological targets for pain

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Moldovan, Mihai; Alvarez, Susana; Romer Rosberg, Mette


    . The rationale for considering axonal voltage-gated ion channels as targets for pain treatment comes from the accumulating evidence that chronic pain states are associated with a dysregulation of these channels that could alter their specificity and make them more susceptible to pharmacological modulation...... ultimately depends on the function of voltage-gated ion channels. This review focuses on the pharmacological modulators of voltage-gated ion channels known to be present on axonal membrane which represents by far the largest surface of DRG neurons. Blockers of voltage-gated Na(+) channels, openers of voltage...

  18. The Impact of Motor Axon Misdirection and Attrition on Behavioral Deficit Following Experimental Nerve Injuries (United States)

    Alant, Jacob Daniel de Villiers; Senjaya, Ferry; Ivanovic, Aleksandra; Forden, Joanne; Shakhbazau, Antos; Midha, Rajiv


    Peripheral nerve transection and neuroma-in-continuity injuries are associated with permanent functional deficits, often despite successful end-organ reinnervation. Axonal misdirection with non-specific reinnervation, frustrated regeneration and axonal attrition are believed to be among the anatomical substrates that underlie the poor functional recovery associated with these devastating injuries. Yet, functional deficits associated with axonal misdirection in experimental neuroma-in-continuity injuries have not yet been studied. We hypothesized that experimental neuroma-in-continuity injuries would result in motor axon misdirection and attrition with proportional persistent functional deficits. The femoral nerve misdirection model was exploited to assess major motor pathway misdirection and axonal attrition over a spectrum of experimental nerve injuries, with neuroma-in-continuity injuries simulated by the combination of compression and traction forces in 42 male rats. Sciatic nerve injuries were employed in an additional 42 rats, to evaluate the contribution of axonal misdirection to locomotor deficits by a ladder rung task up to 12 weeks. Retrograde motor neuron labeling techniques were utilized to determine the degree of axonal misdirection and attrition. Characteristic histological neuroma-in-continuity features were demonstrated in the neuroma-in-continuity groups and poor functional recovery was seen despite successful nerve regeneration and muscle reinnervation. Good positive and negative correlations were observed respectively between axonal misdirection (pinjuries of mixed motor nerves that contribute to the long-term functional deficits. Although widely accepted in theory, to our knowledge, this is the first experimental evidence to convincingly demonstrate these correlations with data inclusive of the neuroma-in-continuity spectrum. This work emphasizes the need to focus on strategies that promote both robust and accurate nerve regeneration to optimize

  19. Radial glia phagocytose axonal debris from degenerating overextending axons in the developing olfactory bulb. (United States)

    Amaya, Daniel A; Wegner, Michael; Stolt, C Claus; Chehrehasa, Fatemeh; Ekberg, Jenny A K; St John, James A


    Axon targeting during the development of the olfactory system is not always accurate, and numerous axons overextend past the target layer into the deeper layers of the olfactory bulb. To date, the fate of the mis-targeted axons has not been determined. We hypothesized that following overextension, the axons degenerate, and cells within the deeper layers of the olfactory bulb phagocytose the axonal debris. We utilized a line of transgenic mice that expresses ZsGreen fluorescent protein in primary olfactory axons. We found that overextending axons closely followed the filaments of radial glia present in the olfactory bulb during embryonic development. Following overextension into deeper layers of the olfactory bulb, axons degenerated and radial glia responded by phagocytosing the resulting debris. We used in vitro analysis to confirm that the radial glia had phagocytosed debris from olfactory axons. We also investigated whether the fate of overextending axons was altered when the development of the olfactory bulb was perturbed. In mice that lacked Sox10, a transcription factor essential for normal olfactory bulb development, we observed a disruption to the morphology and positioning of radial glia and an accumulation of olfactory axon debris within the bulb. Our results demonstrate that during early development of the olfactory system, radial glia play an important role in removing overextended axons from the deeper layers of the olfactory bulb. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  20. AxonSeg: Open Source Software for Axon and Myelin Segmentation and Morphometric Analysis. (United States)

    Zaimi, Aldo; Duval, Tanguy; Gasecka, Alicja; Côté, Daniel; Stikov, Nikola; Cohen-Adad, Julien


    Segmenting axon and myelin from microscopic images is relevant for studying the peripheral and central nervous system and for validating new MRI techniques that aim at quantifying tissue microstructure. While several software packages have been proposed, their interface is sometimes limited and/or they are designed to work with a specific modality (e.g., scanning electron microscopy (SEM) only). Here we introduce AxonSeg, which allows to perform automatic axon and myelin segmentation on histology images, and to extract relevant morphometric information, such as axon diameter distribution, axon density and the myelin g-ratio. AxonSeg includes a simple and intuitive MATLAB-based graphical user interface (GUI) and can easily be adapted to a variety of imaging modalities. The main steps of AxonSeg consist of: (i) image pre-processing; (ii) pre-segmentation of axons over a cropped image and discriminant analysis (DA) to select the best parameters based on axon shape and intensity information; (iii) automatic axon and myelin segmentation over the full image; and (iv) atlas-based statistics to extract morphometric information. Segmentation results from standard optical microscopy (OM), SEM and coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering (CARS) microscopy are presented, along with validation against manual segmentations. Being fully-automatic after a quick manual intervention on a cropped image, we believe AxonSeg will be useful to researchers interested in large throughput histology. AxonSeg is open source and freely available at:

  1. A spatiotemporal characterization method for the dynamic cytoskeleton (United States)

    Alhussein, Ghada; Shanti, Aya; Farhat, Ilyas A. H.; Timraz, Sara B. H.; Alwahab, Noaf S. A.; Pearson, Yanthe E.; Martin, Matthew N.; Christoforou, Nicolas


    The significant gap between quantitative and qualitative understanding of cytoskeletal function is a pressing problem; microscopy and labeling techniques have improved qualitative investigations of localized cytoskeleton behavior, whereas quantitative analyses of whole cell cytoskeleton networks remain challenging. Here we present a method that accurately quantifies cytoskeleton dynamics. Our approach digitally subdivides cytoskeleton images using interrogation windows, within which box‐counting is used to infer a fractal dimension (D f) to characterize spatial arrangement, and gray value intensity (GVI) to determine actin density. A partitioning algorithm further obtains cytoskeleton characteristics from the perinuclear, cytosolic, and periphery cellular regions. We validated our measurement approach on Cytochalasin‐treated cells using transgenically modified dermal fibroblast cells expressing fluorescent actin cytoskeletons. This method differentiates between normal and chemically disrupted actin networks, and quantifies rates of cytoskeletal degradation. Furthermore, GVI distributions were found to be inversely proportional to D f, having several biophysical implications for cytoskeleton formation/degradation. We additionally demonstrated detection sensitivity of differences in D f and GVI for cells seeded on substrates with varying degrees of stiffness, and coated with different attachment proteins. This general approach can be further implemented to gain insights on dynamic growth, disruption, and structure of the cytoskeleton (and other complex biological morphology) due to biological, chemical, or physical stimuli. © 2016 The Authors. Cytoskeleton Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:27015595

  2. Hippocampal neurons respond uniquely to topographies of various sizes and shapes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fozdar, David Y; Chen Shaochen; Lee, Jae Young; Schmidt, Christine E


    A number of studies have investigated the behavior of neurons on microfabricated topography for the purpose of developing interfaces for use in neural engineering applications. However, there have been few studies simultaneously exploring the effects of topographies having various feature sizes and shapes on axon growth and polarization in the first 24 h. Accordingly, here we investigated the effects of arrays of lines (ridge grooves) and holes of microscale (∼2 μm) and nanoscale (∼300 nm) dimensions, patterned in quartz (SiO 2 ), on the (1) adhesion, (2) axon establishment (polarization), (3) axon length, (4) axon alignment and (5) cell morphology of rat embryonic hippocampal neurons, to study the response of the neurons to feature dimension and geometry. Neurons were analyzed using optical and scanning electron microscopy. The topographies were found to have a negligible effect on cell attachment but to cause a marked increase in axon polarization, occurring more frequently on sub-microscale features than on microscale features. Neurons were observed to form longer axons on lines than on holes and smooth surfaces; axons were either aligned parallel or perpendicular to the line features. An analysis of cell morphology indicated that the surface features impacted the morphologies of the soma, axon and growth cone. The results suggest that incorporating microscale and sub-microscale topographies on biomaterial surfaces may enhance the biomaterials' ability to modulate nerve development and regeneration.

  3. The effects of diazinon and cypermethrin on the differentiation of neuronal and glial cell lines

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Flaskos, J.; Harris, W.; Sachana, M.; Munoz, D.; Tack, J.; Hargreaves, A.J.


    Diazinon and cypermethrin are pesticides extensively used in sheep dipping. Diazinon is a known anti-cholinesterase, but there is limited information regarding its molecular mechanism of action. This paper describes the effects of diazinon and cypermethrin at a morphological and molecular level on differentiating mouse N2a neuroblastoma and rat C6 glioma cell lines. Concentrations up to 10 μM of both compounds and their mixture had no effect on the viability of either cell line, as determined by methyl blue tetrazolium reduction and total protein assays. Microscopic analysis revealed that 1 μM and 10 μM diazinon but not cypermethrin inhibited the outgrowth of axon-like processes in N2a cells after a 24-h exposure but neither compound affected process outgrowth by differentiating C6 cells at these concentrations. Under these conditions, 10 μM diazinon inhibited AChE slightly compared to the control after a 4-h exposure but not after 24 h. Western blotting analysis showed that morphological changes were associated with reduced cross-reactivity with antibodies that recognize the neurofilament heavy chain (NFH), microtubule associated protein MAP 1B and HSP-70 compared to control cell extracts, whereas reactivity with anti-α-tubulin antibodies was unchanged. Aggregation of NFH was observed in cell bodies of diazinon-treated N2a cells, as determined by indirect immunofluorescence staining. These data demonstrate that diazinon specifically targets neurite outgrowth in neuronal cells and that this effect is associated with disruption of axonal cytoskeleton proteins, whereas cypermethrin has no effect on the same parameters

  4. Development of neural circuitry for precise temporal sequences through spontaneous activity, axon remodeling, and synaptic plasticity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joseph K Jun


    Full Text Available Temporally precise sequences of neuronal spikes that span hundreds of milliseconds are observed in many brain areas, including songbird premotor nucleus, cat visual cortex, and primary motor cortex. Synfire chains-networks in which groups of neurons are connected via excitatory synapses into a unidirectional chain-are thought to underlie the generation of such sequences. It is unknown, however, how synfire chains can form in local neural circuits, especially for long chains. Here, we show through computer simulation that long synfire chains can develop through spike-time dependent synaptic plasticity and axon remodeling-the pruning of prolific weak connections that follows the emergence of a finite number of strong connections. The formation process begins with a random network. A subset of neurons, called training neurons, intermittently receive superthreshold external input. Gradually, a synfire chain emerges through a recruiting process, in which neurons within the network connect to the tail of the chain started by the training neurons. The model is robust to varying parameters, as well as natural events like neuronal turnover and massive lesions. Our model suggests that long synfire chain can form during the development through self-organization, and axon remodeling, ubiquitous in developing neural circuits, is essential in the process.

  5. IMP2 axonal localization, RNA interactome, and function in the development of axon trajectories

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Preitner, Nicolas; Quan, Jie; Li, Xinmin


    RNA-based regulatory mechanisms play important roles in the development and plasticity of neural circuits and neurological disease. Developing axons provide a model well suited to the study of RNA-based regulation, and contain specific subsets of mRNAsthat are locally translated and have roles...... to strong defects in commissural axon trajectories at the midline intermediate target. These results reveal a highly distinctive axonal enrichment of IMP2, show that it interacts with a network of axon guidance-related mRNAs, and reveal that it is required for normal axon pathfinding during vertebrate...

  6. Peripheral Neuron Survival and Outgrowth on Graphene

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Domenica Convertino


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

  7. A novel ALS-associated variant in UBQLN4 regulates motor axon morphogenesis (United States)

    Edens, Brittany M; Yan, Jianhua; Miller, Nimrod; Deng, Han-Xiang; Siddique, Teepu; Ma, Yongchao C


    The etiological underpinnings of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) are complex and incompletely understood, although contributions to pathogenesis by regulators of proteolytic pathways have become increasingly apparent. Here, we present a novel variant in UBQLN4 that is associated with ALS and show that its expression compromises motor axon morphogenesis in mouse motor neurons and in zebrafish. We further demonstrate that the ALS-associated UBQLN4 variant impairs proteasomal function, and identify the Wnt signaling pathway effector beta-catenin as a UBQLN4 substrate. Inhibition of beta-catenin function rescues the UBQLN4 variant-induced motor axon phenotypes. These findings provide a strong link between the regulation of axonal morphogenesis and a new ALS-associated gene variant mediated by protein degradation pathways. DOI: PMID:28463112

  8. Effect of the degree of polar mismatching on traffic jam formation in fast axonal transport. (United States)

    Kuznetsov, A V


    This paper simulates an axon with a region of reversed microtubule (MT) polarity, and investigates how the degree of polar mismatching in this region affects the formation of organelle traps in the axon. The model is based on modified Smith-Simmons equations governing molecular-motor-assisted transport in neurons. It is established that the structure that develops as a result of a region with disoriented MTs consists of two organelle traps, the trap to the left of this region accumulates plus-end-oriented organelles and the trap to the right of this region accumulates minus-end-oriented organelles. The presence of such a structure is shown to inhibit the transport of organelles down the axon. The degree by which the transport of organelles is inhibited depends on the degree of polar mismatching of MTs in the region between MT traps. Four cases with a different degree of polar mismatching are investigated.

  9. Analytical investigation of various regimes of retrograde trafficking of neurotropic viruses in axons (United States)

    Kuznetsov, Andrey V.


    A model of retrograde axonal transport of neurotropic viruses is developed. The model accounts for active viral transport by dynein motors as well as for passive transport by diffusion; the destruction of the virus as it propagates toward the neuron soma is modeled utilizing a first-order decay rate process. The effect of a limited time during which the axonal synapse is exposed to the virus is incorporated. An analytical solution is obtained. The obtained solution makes it possible to identify four different regimes of viral transport in the axon that correspond to the following situations: (1) Small viral diffusivity and small rate of viral destruction; (2) Large viral diffusivity and small rate of viral destruction; (3) Small viral diffusivity and large rate of viral destruction; (4) Large viral diffusivity and large rate of viral destruction. Characteristic features of these regimes are discussed.

  10. Effects of laminin blended with chitosan on axon guidance on patterned substrates

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhu, N; Guan, Y J; Chen, X B [Division of Biomedical Engineering, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon S7N 5A9 (Canada); Li, M G [Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon S7N 5A9 (Canada); Schreyer, D J, E-mail: niz504@mail.usask.c [Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Cameco MS Neuroscience Research Center, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, S7K 0M7 (Canada)


    Axon guidance is a crucial consideration in the design of tissue scaffolds used to promote nerve regeneration. Here we investigate the combined use of laminin (a putative axon adhesion and guidance molecule) and chitosan (a leading candidate base material for the construction of scaffolds) for promoting axon guidance in cultured adult dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons. Using a dispensing-based rapid prototyping (DBRP) technique, two-dimensional grid patterns were created by dispensing chitosan or laminin-blended chitosan substrate strands oriented in orthogonal directions. In vitro experiments illustrated DRG neurites on these patterns preferentially grew upon and followed the laminin-blended chitosan pathways. These results suggest that an orientation of neurite growth can be achieved in an artificially patterned substrate by creating selectively biofunctional pathways. The DBRP technique may provide improved strategies for the use of biofunctional pathways in the design of three-dimensional scaffolds for guidance of nerve repair.

  11. High postnatal susceptibility of hippocampal cytoskeleton in response to ethanol exposure during pregnancy and lactation. (United States)

    Reis, Karina Pires; Heimfarth, Luana; Pierozan, Paula; Ferreira, Fernanda; Loureiro, Samanta Oliveira; Fernandes, Carolina Gonçalves; Carvalho, Rônan Vivian; Pessoa-Pureur, Regina


    Ethanol exposure to offspring during pregnancy and lactation leads to developmental disorders, including central nervous system dysfunction. In the present work, we have studied the effect of chronic ethanol exposure during pregnancy and lactation on the phosphorylating system associated with the astrocytic and neuronal intermediate filament (IF) proteins: glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), and neurofilament (NF) subunits of low, medium, and high molecular weight (NFL, NFM, and NFH, respectively) in 9- and 21-day-old pups. Female rats were fed with 20% ethanol in their drinking water during pregnancy and lactation. The homeostasis of the IF phosphorylation was not altered in the cerebral cortex, cerebellum, or hippocampus of 9-day-old pups. However, GFAP, NFL, and NFM were hyperphosphorylated in the hippocampus of 21-day-old pups. PKA had been activated in the hippocampus, and Ser55 in the N-terminal region of NFL was hyperphosphorylated. In addition, JNK/MAPK was activated and KSP repeats in the C-terminal region of NFM were hyperphosphorylated in the hippocampus of 21-day-old pups. Decreased NFH immunocontent but an unaltered total NFH/phosphoNFH ratio suggested altered stoichiometry of NFs in the hippocampus of ethanol-exposed 21-day-old pups. In contrast to the high susceptibility of hippocampal cytoskeleton in developing rats, the homeostasis of the cytoskeleton of ethanol-fed adult females was not altered. Disruption of the cytoskeletal homeostasis in neural cells supports the view that regions of the brain are differentially vulnerable to alcohol insult during pregnancy and lactation, suggesting that modulation of JNK/MAPK and PKA signaling cascades target the hippocampal cytoskeleton in a window of vulnerability in 21-day-old pups. Our findings are relevant, since disruption of the cytoskeleton in immature hippocampus could contribute to later hippocampal damage associated with ethanol toxicity. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Polarization-dependent responses of fluorescent indicators partitioned into myelinated axons (United States)

    Micu, Ileana; Brideau, Craig; Stys, Peter K.


    Myelination, i.e. the wrapping of axons in multiple layers of lipid-rich membrane, is a unique phenomenon in the nervous systems of both vertebrates and invertebrates, that greatly increases the speed and efficiency of signal transmission. In turn, disruption of axo-myelinic integrity underlies disability in numerous clinical disorders. The dependence of myelin physiology on nanometric organization of its lamellae makes it difficult to accurately study this structure in the living state. We expected that fluorescent probes might become highly oriented when partitioned into the myelin sheath, and in turn, this anisotropy could be interrogated by controlling the polarization state of the exciting laser field used for 2-photon excited fluorescence (TPEF). Live ex vivo myelinated rodent axons were labeled with a series of lipohilic and hydrophilic fluorescenct probes, and TPEF images acquired while laser polarization was varied at the sample over a broad range of ellipticities and orientations of the major angle [see Brideau, Micu & Stys, abstract this meeting]. We found that most probes exhibited strong dependence on both the major angle of polarization, and perhaps more surprisingly, on ellipticity as well. Lipophilic vs. hydrophilic probes exhibited distinctly different behavior. We propose that polarization-dependent TPEF microscopy represents a powerful tool for probing the nanostructural architecture of both myelin and axonal cytoskeleton in a domain far below the resolution limit of visible light microscopy. By selecting probes with different sizes and physicochemical properties, distinct aspects of cellular nanoarchitecture can be accurately interrogated in real-time in living tissue.

  13. Neurofilament distribution and organization in the myelinated axons of the peripheral nervous system. (United States)

    Hsieh, S T; Crawford, T O; Griffin, J W


    The nature of neurofilament organization within the axonal cytoskeleton has been the subject of controversy for many years. Previous reports have suggested that neurofilaments are randomly distributed in the radial dimension of the myelinated axon. Randomness of distribution implies that there is no interaction between neurofilaments, while order in distribution suggest the presence of forces between neurofilaments. To address the issue of randomness vs. order, we evaluated neurofilament distribution by two different statistical approaches--nearest-neighbor distance and the Poisson tile-counting method. Neurofilament nearest-neighbor distances in a myelinated axon differ from nearest-neighbor distances of a set of random points with similar density (40.6 +/- 7.0 nm vs. 30.7 +/- 12.9 nm, P masking of other organelles. To further characterize the distribution of neurofilaments, we compared the relationship between nearest-neighbor distance and density for three sets of data: evenly spaced points, randomly distributed points and measured neurofilament coordinates. Neurofilaments do not conform to either evenly spaced or random distribution models. Instead, neurofilament distribution falls into an intermediate position between evenly spaced and random distributions. This study also demonstrates that the nearest-neighbor distance method of assessing neurofilament distribution offers several technical and theoretical advantages to the Poisson tile-counting method.

  14. Proteomic characterization of the subpellicular cytoskeleton of Toxoplasma gondii tachyzoites. (United States)

    Gómez de León, Carmen T; Díaz Martín, Rubén Darío; Mendoza Hernández, Guillermo; González Pozos, Sirenia; Ambrosio, Javier R; Mondragón Flores, Ricardo


    Toxoplasma, the causative agent of toxoplasmosis in animals and humans, has a subpellicular cytoskeleton that is involved in motility, cell shape and invasion. Knowledge of components of the cytoskeleton is necessary to understand the invasion mechanisms as well as for the identification of possible therapeutic targets. To date, most cytoskeletal components of Toxoplasma remain unidentified due mainly to the lack of reproducible methods for their isolation. Based on the successful isolation of the cytoskeleton, it was possible to report for the first time, the proteomic characterization of the subpellicular cytoskeleton of Toxoplasma formed by 95 cytoskeletal proteins through proteomic analysis by tandem mass spectrometry of one dimension SDS PAGE. By bioinformatic analysis of the data, proteins were classified as: 18 conventional cytoskeletal proteins; 10 inner membrane complex proteins, including 7 with alveolin repeats; 5 new proteins with alveolin like repeats; 37 proteins associated with other organelles and 25 novel proteins of unknown function. One of the alveolin like proteins not previously described in Toxoplasma named TgArticulin was partially characterized with a specific monoclonal antibody. Presence of TgArticulin was exclusively associated with the cytoskeleton fraction with a cortical distribution. Functions for the several molecules identified are proposed. This manuscript describes, for the first time, the proteome of the subpellicular cytoskeleton of Toxoplasma gondii. The importance of this study is related to the role of the cytoskeleton in the highly invasive capability of a parasite that causes abortion, blindness, and death by encephalitis in immunocompromised patients. Proteomic characterization of the cytoskeleton of T. gondii tachyzoites was possible by the development of a successful procedure for the isolation of the subpellicular cytoskeleton. Knowledge of the composition of the cytoskeleton of Toxoplasma is fundamental for the

  15. Mammalian motor neurons corelease glutamate and acetylcholine at central synapses

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nishimaru, Hiroshi; Restrepo, Carlos Ernesto; Ryge, Jesper


    Motor neurons (MNs) are the principal neurons in the mammalian spinal cord whose activities cause muscles to contract. In addition to their peripheral axons, MNs have central collaterals that contact inhibitory Renshaw cells and other MNs. Since its original discovery > 60 years ago, it has been...

  16. Effects of kainic acid lesions in lateral geniculate nucleus: activity dependence of retrograde axonal transport of fluorescent dyes. (United States)

    Woodward, W R; Coull, B M


    Kainic acid lesions in the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus of rats block the retrograde axonal transport of fluorescent dyes in corticogeniculate neurons without affecting the retrograde transport of D-aspartate or the orthograde transport of radiolabelled proteins in these neurons. This blocking of dye transport does not appear to be a consequence of kainic acid-induced damage to axon terminals in the geniculate since retinal ganglion cells are still able to transport dyes retrograde. A more likely explanation for these results is that fluorescent dye transport requires electrical activity in neurons, and elimination of the geniculate afferents to visual cortex reduces impulse traffic in cortical output fibers to a level below that required to support detectable dye transport. This interpretation is supported by the observation that kainic acid lesions also reduce retrograde transport of dyes in cortical neurons which project to the superior colliculus. Electrical stimulation in the subcortical white matter restores the transport of dye compounds in corticogeniculate neurons: evidence consistent with an activity-dependent mechanism of retrograde transport for these substances. These results provide evidence that axon terminals of retinal ganglion cells and corticogeniculate neurons survive in kainate-lesioned geniculates and are capable of normal neuronal function.

  17. Sleep disordered breathing in motor neurone disease


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


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

  18. Attractant and repellent cues cooperate in guiding a subset of olfactory sensory axons to a well-defined protoglomerular target. (United States)

    Taku, Alemji A; Marcaccio, Christina L; Ye, Wenda; Krause, Gregory J; Raper, Jonathan A


    Olfactory sensory axons target well-defined intermediate targets in the zebrafish olfactory bulb called protoglomeruli well before they form odorant receptor-specific glomeruli. A subset of olfactory sensory neurons are labeled by expression of the or111-7:IRES:GAL4 transgene whose axons terminate in the central zone (CZ) protoglomerulus. Previous work has shown that some of these axons misproject to the more dorsal and anterior dorsal zone (DZ) protoglomerulus in the absence of Netrin 1/Dcc signaling. In search of additional cues that guide these axons to the CZ, we found that Semaphorin 3D (Sema3D) is expressed in the anterior bulb and acts as a repellent that pushes them towards the CZ. Further analysis indicates that Sema3D signaling is mediated through Nrp1a, while Nrp2b also promotes CZ targeting but in a Sema3D-independent manner. nrp1a, nrp2b and dcc transcripts are detected in or111-7 transgene-expressing neurons early in development and both Nrp1a and Dcc act cell-autonomously in sensory neurons to promote accurate targeting to the CZ. dcc and nrp1a double mutants have significantly more DZ misprojections than either single mutant, suggesting that the two signaling systems act independently and in parallel to direct a specific subset of sensory axons to their initial protoglomerular target. © 2016. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  19. Force Transmission in the Actin Cytoskeleton (United States)

    Gardel, Margaret


    The ability of cells to sense and generate mechanical forces is essential to numerous aspects of their physiology, including adhesion, migration, division and differentiation. To a large degree, cellular tension is regulated by the transmission of myosin II-generated forces through the filamentous actin (F-actin) cytoskeleton. While transmission of myosin-generated stresses from the molecular to cellular length scale is well understood in the context of highly organized sarcomeres found in striated muscle, non-muscle and smooth muscle cells contain a wide variety of bundles and networks lacking sarcomeric organization. I will describe the in vitro and in vivo approaches we use to study force transmission in such disordered actomyosin assemblies. Our in vivo results are showing that highly organized stress fibers contribute surprisingly little to the overall extent of cellular tension as compared to disordered actomyosin meshworks. Our in vitro results are demonstrating the mechanisms of symmetry breaking in disordered actomyosin bundles that facilitate the formation of contractile bundles with well-defined ``contractile elements.'' These results provide insight into the self-organization of actomyosin cytoskeleton in non-muscle cells that regulate and maintain cellular tension.

  20. Regulation of axon arborization pattern in the developing chick ciliary ganglion: Possible involvement of caspase 3. (United States)

    Katow, Hidetaka; Kanaya, Teppei; Ogawa, Tomohisa; Egawa, Ryo; Yawo, Hiromu


    During a certain critical period in the development of the central and peripheral nervous systems, axonal branches and synapses are massively reorganized to form mature connections. In this process, neurons search their appropriate targets, expanding and/or retracting their axons. Recent work suggested that the caspase superfamily regulates the axon morphology. Here, we tested the hypothesis that caspase 3, which is one of the major executioners in apoptotic cell death, is involved in regulating the axon arborization. The embryonic chicken ciliary ganglion was used as a model system of synapse reorganization. A dominant negative mutant of caspase-3 precursor (C3DN) was made and overexpressed in presynaptic neurons in the midbrain to interfere with the intrinsic caspase-3 activity using an in ovo electroporation method. The axon arborization pattern was 3-dimensionally and quantitatively analyzed in the ciliary ganglion. The overexpression of C3DN significantly reduced the number of branching points, the branch order and the complexity index, whereas it significantly elongated the terminal branches at E6. It also increased the internodal distance significantly at E8. But, these effects were negligible at E10 or later. During E6-8, there appeared to be a dynamic balance in the axon arborization pattern between the "targeting" mode, which is accompanied by elongation of terminal branches and the pruning of collateral branches, and the "pathfinding" mode, which is accompanied by the retraction of terminal branches and the sprouting of new collateral branches. The local and transient activation of caspase 3 could direct the balance towards the pathfinding mode. © 2017 Japanese Society of Developmental Biologists.

  1. A Local Inflammatory Renin-Angiotensin System Drives Sensory Axon Sprouting in Provoked Vestibulodynia. (United States)

    Liao, Zhaohui; Chakrabarty, Anuradha; Mu, Ying; Bhattacherjee, Aritra; Goestch, Martha; Leclair, Catherine M; Smith, Peter G


    Vestibulodynia is a form of provoked vulvodynia characterized by profound tenderness, hyperinnervation, and frequently inflammation within well-defined areas of the human vestibule. Previous experiments in animal models show that inflammatory hypersensitivity and hyperinnervation occur in concert with establishment of a local renin-angiotensin system (RAS). Moreover, mechanical hypersensitivity and sensory axon sprouting are prevented by blocking effects of angiotensin II on angiotensin II receptor type 2 (AT2) receptors. This case-control study assessed whether a RAS contributes to hyperinnervation observed in human vestibulodynia. Vestibular biopsies from asymptomatic controls or patients' nontender areas showed moderate innervation and small numbers of inflammatory cells. In women with vestibulodynia, tender areas contained increased numbers of mechanoreceptive nociceptor axons, T-cells, macrophages, and B-cells, whereas mast cells were unchanged. RAS proteins were increased because of greater numbers of T cells and B cells expressing angiotensinogen, and increased renin-expressing T cells and macrophages. Chymase, which converts angiotensin I to angiotensin II, was present in constant numbers of mast cells. To determine if tender vestibular tissue generates angiotensin II that promotes axon sprouting, we conditioned culture medium with vestibular tissue. Rat sensory neurons cultured in control-conditioned medium showed normal axon outgrowth, whereas those in tender tissue-conditioned medium showed enhanced sprouting that was prevented by adding an AT2 antagonist or angiotensin II neutralizing antibody. Hypersensitivity in provoked vestibulodynia is therefore characterized by abnormal mechanonociceptor axon proliferation, which is attributable to inflammatory cell-derived angiotensin II (or a closely related peptide) acting on neuronal AT2 receptors. Accordingly, reducing inflammation or blocking AT2 represent rational strategies to mitigate this common pain

  2. Hyaluronic acid hydrogels with IKVAV peptides for tissue repair and axonal regeneration in an injured rat brain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wei, Y T [Biomaterials Laboratory, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing, 100084 (China); Tian, W M [Biomaterials Laboratory, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing, 100084 (China); Yu, X [Biomaterials Laboratory, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing, 100084 (China); Cui, F Z [Biomaterials Laboratory, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing, 100084 (China); Hou, S P [Beijing Institute of Neuroscience, Capital University of Medical Sciences, Beijing, 100054 (China); Xu, Q Y [Beijing Institute of Neuroscience, Capital University of Medical Sciences, Beijing, 100054 (China); Lee, In-Seop [Institute of Physics and Applied Physics, and Atomic-scale Surface Science Research Center, Yonsei University, Seoul 120-749 (Korea, Republic of)


    A biocompatible hydrogel of hyaluronic acid with the neurite-promoting peptide sequence of IKVAV was synthesized. The characterization of the hydrogel shows an open porous structure and a large surface area available for cell interaction. Its ability to promote tissue repair and axonal regeneration in the lesioned rat cerebrum is also evaluated. After implantation, the polymer hydrogel repaired the tissue defect and formed a permissive interface with the host tissue. Axonal growth occurred within the microstructure of the network. Within 6 weeks the polymer implant was invaded by host-derived tissue, glial cells, blood vessels and axons. Such a hydrogel matrix showed the properties of neuron conduction. It has the potential to repair tissue defects in the central nervous system by promoting the formation of a tissue matrix and axonal growth by replacing the lost tissue.

  3. Dishevelled proteins are associated with olfactory sensory neuron presynaptic terminals.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diego J Rodriguez-Gil

    Full Text Available Olfactory sensory neurons (OSNs project their axons from the olfactory epithelium toward the olfactory bulb (OB in a heterogeneous and unsorted arrangement. However, as the axons approach the glomerular layer of the OB, axons from OSNs expressing the same odorant receptor (OR sort and converge to form molecularly homogeneous glomeruli. Axon guidance cues, cell adhesion molecules, and OR induced activity have been implicated in the final targeting of OSN axons to specific glomeruli. Less understood, and often controversial, are the mechanisms used by OSN axons to initially navigate from the OE toward the OB. We previously demonstrated a role for Wnt and Frizzled (Fz molecules in OSN axon extension and organization within the olfactory nerve. Building on that we now turned our attention to the downstream signaling cascades from Wnt-Fz interactions. Dishevelled (Dvl is a key molecule downstream of Fz receptors. Three isoforms of Dvl with specific as well as overlapping functions are found in mammals. Here, we show that Dvl-1 expression is restricted to OSNs in the dorsal recess of the nasal cavity, and labels a unique subpopulation of glomeruli. Dvl-2 and Dvl-3 have a widespread distribution in both the OE and OB. Both Dvl-1 and Dvl-2 are associated with intra-glomerular pre-synaptic OSN terminals, suggesting a role in synapse formation/stabilization. Moreover, because Dvl proteins were observed in all OSN axons, we hypothesize that they are important determinants of OSN cell differentiation and axon extension.

  4. Spatial organisation of cell expansion by the cytoskeleton

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ketelaar, T.


    The shape of plants is determined by the sum of cell division and cell growth. The cytoskeleton plays an important role in both processes. This thesis presents research that pinpoints how the cytoskeleton controls plant cell growth. Root hairs of the model plant Arabidopsis have been used as a model

  5. Computer simulation of cytoskeleton-induced blebbing in lipid membranes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Spangler, E. J.; Harvey, C. W.; Revalee, J. D.


    for large values of the ratio between the areas of the bilayer and the cytoskeleton. We also found that blebbing can be induced when the cytoskeleton is subject to a localized ablation or a uniform compression. The results obtained are qualitatively in agreement with the experimental evidence and the model...

  6. A spatiotemporal characterization method for the dynamic cytoskeleton. (United States)

    Alhussein, Ghada; Shanti, Aya; Farhat, Ilyas A H; Timraz, Sara B H; Alwahab, Noaf S A; Pearson, Yanthe E; Martin, Matthew N; Christoforou, Nicolas; Teo, Jeremy C M


    The significant gap between quantitative and qualitative understanding of cytoskeletal function is a pressing problem; microscopy and labeling techniques have improved qualitative investigations of localized cytoskeleton behavior, whereas quantitative analyses of whole cell cytoskeleton networks remain challenging. Here we present a method that accurately quantifies cytoskeleton dynamics. Our approach digitally subdivides cytoskeleton images using interrogation windows, within which box-counting is used to infer a fractal dimension (Df ) to characterize spatial arrangement, and gray value intensity (GVI) to determine actin density. A partitioning algorithm further obtains cytoskeleton characteristics from the perinuclear, cytosolic, and periphery cellular regions. We validated our measurement approach on Cytochalasin-treated cells using transgenically modified dermal fibroblast cells expressing fluorescent actin cytoskeletons. This method differentiates between normal and chemically disrupted actin networks, and quantifies rates of cytoskeletal degradation. Furthermore, GVI distributions were found to be inversely proportional to Df , having several biophysical implications for cytoskeleton formation/degradation. We additionally demonstrated detection sensitivity of differences in Df and GVI for cells seeded on substrates with varying degrees of stiffness, and coated with different attachment proteins. This general approach can be further implemented to gain insights on dynamic growth, disruption, and structure of the cytoskeleton (and other complex biological morphology) due to biological, chemical, or physical stimuli. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  7. Neuronal factors determining high intelligence. (United States)

    Dicke, Ursula; Roth, Gerhard


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

  8. Cortical compression rapidly trimmed transcallosal projections and altered axonal anterograde transport machinery. (United States)

    Chen, Li-Jin; Wang, Yueh-Jan; Tseng, Guo-Fang


    Trauma and tumor compressing the brain distort underlying cortical neurons. Compressed cortical neurons remodel their dendrites instantly. The effects on axons however remain unclear. Using a rat epidural bead implantation model, we studied the effects of unilateral somatosensory cortical compression on its transcallosal projection and the reversibility of the changes following decompression. Compression reduced the density, branching profuseness and boutons of the projection axons in the contralateral homotopic cortex 1week and 1month post-compression. Projection fiber density was higher 1-month than 1-week post-compression, suggesting adaptive temporal changes. Compression reduced contralateral cortical synaptophysin, vesicular glutamate transporter 1 (VGLUT1) and postsynaptic density protein-95 (PSD95) expressions in a week and the first two marker proteins further by 1month. βIII-tubulin and kinesin light chain (KLC) expressions in the corpus callosum (CC) where transcallosal axons traveled were also decreased. Kinesin heavy chain (KHC) level in CC was temporarily increased 1week after compression. Decompression increased transcallosal axon density and branching profuseness to higher than sham while bouton density returned to sham levels. This was accompanied by restoration of synaptophysin, VGLUT1 and PSD95 expressions in the contralateral cortex of the 1-week, but not the 1-month, compression rats. Decompression restored βIII-tubulin, but not KLC and KHC expressions in CC. However, KLC and KHC expressions in the cell bodies of the layer II/III pyramidal neurons partially recovered. Our results show cerebral compression compromised cortical axonal outputs and reduced transcallosal projection. Some of these changes did not recover in long-term decompression. Copyright © 2017 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Quantification of dendritic and axonal growth after injury to the auditory system of the adult cricket Gryllus bimaculatus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandra ePfister


    Full Text Available Dendrite and axon growth and branching during development are regulated by a complex set of intracellular and external signals. However, the cues that maintain or influence adult neuronal morphology are less well understood. Injury and deafferentation tend to have negative effects on adult nervous systems. An interesting example of injury-induced compensatory growth is seen in the cricket, Gryllus bimaculatus. After unilateral loss of an ear in the adult cricket, auditory neurons within the central nervous system sprout to compensate for the injury. Specifically, after being deafferented, ascending neurons (AN-1 and AN-2 send dendrites across the midline of the prothoracic ganglion where they receive input from auditory afferents that project through the contralateral auditory nerve (N5. Deafferentation also triggers contralateral N5 axonal growth. In this study, we quantified AN dendritic and N5 axonal growth at 30 hours, as well as at 3, 5, 7, 14 and 20 days after deafferentation in adult crickets. Significant differences in the rates of dendritic growth between males and females were noted. In females, dendritic growth rates were non-linear; a rapid burst of dendritic extension in the first few days was followed by a plateau reached at 3 days after deafferentation. In males, however, dendritic growth rates were linear, with dendrites growing steadily over time and reaching lengths, on average, twice as long as in females. On the other hand, rates of N5 axonal growth showed no significant sexual dimorphism and were linear. Within each animal, the growth rates of dendrites and axons were not correlated, indicating that independent factors likely influence dendritic and axonal growth in response to injury in this system. Our findings provide a basis for future study of the cellular features that allow differing dendrite and axon growth patterns as well as sexually dimorphic dendritic growth in response to deafferentation.

  10. Polygalae Radix Extract Prevents Axonal Degeneration and Memory Deficits in a Transgenic Mouse Model of Alzheimer’s Disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tomoharu Kuboyama


    Full Text Available Memory impairments in Alzheimer’s disease (AD occur due to degenerated axons and disrupted neural networks. Since only limited recovery is possible after the destruction of neural networks, preventing axonal degeneration during the early stages of disease progression is necessary to prevent AD. Polygalae Radix (roots of Polygala tenuifolia; PR is a traditional herbal medicine used for sedation and amnesia. In this study, we aimed to clarify and analyze the preventive effects of PR against memory deficits in a transgenic AD mouse model, 5XFAD. 5XFAD mice demonstrated memory deficits at the age of 5 months. Thus, the water extract of Polygalae Radix (PR extract was orally administered to 4-month-old 5XFAD mice that did not show signs of memory impairment. After consecutive administrations for 56 days, the PR extract prevented cognitive deficit and axon degeneration associated with the accumulation of amyloid β (Aβ plaques in the perirhinal cortex of the 5XFAD mice. PR extract did not influence the formation of Aβ plaques in the brain of the 5XFAD mice. In cultured neurons, the PR extract prevented axonal growth cone collapse and axonal atrophy induced by Aβ. Additionally, it prevented Aβ-induced endocytosis at the growth cone of cultured neurons. Our previous study reported that endocytosis inhibition was enough to prevent Aβ-induced growth cone collapse, axonal degeneration, and memory impairments. Therefore, the PR extract possibly prevented axonal degeneration and memory impairment by inhibiting endocytosis. PR is the first preventive drug candidate for AD that inhibits endocytosis in neurons.

  11. A New Population of Parvocellular Oxytocin Neurons Controlling Magnocellular Neuron Activity and Inflammatory Pain Processing. (United States)

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


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

  12. Nitric oxide prevents axonal degeneration by inducing HIF-1-dependent expression of erythropoietin. (United States)

    Keswani, Sanjay C; Bosch-Marcé, Marta; Reed, Nicole; Fischer, Angela; Semenza, Gregg L; Höke, Ahmet


    Nitric oxide (NO) is a signaling molecule that can trigger adaptive (physiological) or maladaptive (pathological) responses to stress stimuli in a context-dependent manner. We have previously reported that NO may signal axonal injury to neighboring glial cells. In this study, we show that mice deficient in neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS-/-) are more vulnerable than WT mice to toxin-induced peripheral neuropathy. The administration of NO donors to primary dorsal root ganglion cultures prevents axonal degeneration induced by acrylamide in a dose-dependent manner. We demonstrate that NO-induced axonal protection is dependent on hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-1-mediated transcription of erythropoietin (EPO) within glial (Schwann) cells present in the cultures. Transduction of Schwann cells with adenovirus AdCA5 encoding a constitutively active form of HIF-1α results in amelioration of acrylamide-induced axonal degeneration in an EPO-dependent manner. Mice that are partially deficient in HIF-1α (HIF-1α+/-) are also more susceptible than WT littermates to toxic neuropathy. Our results indicate that NO→HIF-1→EPO signaling represents an adaptive mechanism that protects against axonal degeneration.

  13. Phosphatidylserine Ameliorates Neurodegenerative Symptoms and Enhances Axonal Transport in a Mouse Model of Familial Dysautonomia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shiran Naftelberg


    Full Text Available Familial Dysautonomia (FD is a neurodegenerative disease in which aberrant tissue-specific splicing of IKBKAP exon 20 leads to reduction of IKAP protein levels in neuronal tissues. Here we generated a conditional knockout (CKO mouse in which exon 20 of IKBKAP is deleted in the nervous system. The CKO FD mice exhibit developmental delays, sensory abnormalities, and less organized dorsal root ganglia (DRGs with attenuated axons compared to wild-type mice. Furthermore, the CKO FD DRGs show elevated HDAC6 levels, reduced acetylated α-tubulin, unstable microtubules, and impairment of axonal retrograde transport of nerve growth factor (NGF. These abnormalities in DRG properties underlie neuronal degeneration and FD symptoms. Phosphatidylserine treatment decreased HDAC6 levels and thus increased acetylation of α-tubulin. Further PS treatment resulted in recovery of axonal outgrowth and enhanced retrograde axonal transport by decreasing histone deacetylase 6 (HDAC6 levels and thus increasing acetylation of α-tubulin levels. Thus, we have identified the molecular pathway that leads to neurodegeneration in FD and have demonstrated that phosphatidylserine treatment has the potential to slow progression of neurodegeneration.

  14. Dynamics of target recognition by interstitial axon branching along developing cortical axons. (United States)

    Bastmeyer, M; O'Leary, D D


    Corticospinal axons innervate their midbrain, hindbrain, and spinal targets by extending collateral branches interstitially along their length. To establish that the axon shaft rather than the axonal growth cone is responsible for target recognition in this system, and to characterize the dynamics of interstitial branch formation, we have studied this process in an in vivo-like setting using slice cultures from neonatal mice containing the entire pathway of corticospinal axons. Corticospinal axons labeled with the dye 1,1'-dioctodecyl-3,3,3',3'-tetramethylindocarbocyanine perchlorate (or Dil) were imaged using time-lapse video microscopy of their pathway overlying the basilar pons, their major hindbrain target. The axon shaft millimeters behind the growth cone exhibits several dynamic behaviors, including the de novo formation of varicosities and filopodia-like extensions, and a behavior that we term "pulsation," which is characterized by a variable thickening and thining of short segments of the axon. An individual axon can have multiple sites of branching activity, with many of the branches being transient. These dynamic behaviors occur along the portion of the axon shaft overlying the basilar pons, but not just caudal to it. Once the collaterals extend into the pontine neuropil, they branch further in the neuropil, while the parent axon becomes quiescent. Thus, the branching activity is spatially restricted to specific portions of the axon, as well as temporally restricted to a relatively brief time window. These findings provide definitive evidence that collateral branches form de novo along corticospinal axons and establish that the process of target recognition in this system is a property of the axon shaft rather than the leading growth cone.

  15. Comment on "Penetration of Action Potentials During Collision in the Median and Lateral Giant Axons of Invertebrates"

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Berg, Rune W.; Stauning, Marius Tving; Sorensen, Jakob Balslev


    The action potential (AP) is an electrical impulse elicited by depolarization of the neuronal membrane from the resting membrane potential (around − 70 mV). It propagates along the axon, allowing for rapid and distant communication. Recently, it was claimed that two APs traveling in opposite...

  16. The N-glycanase png-1 acts to limit axon branching during organ formation in Caenorhabditis elegans. (United States)

    Habibi-Babadi, Nasrin; Su, Anna; de Carvalho, Carlos E; Colavita, Antonio


    Peptide:N-glycanases (PNGases) are cytoplasmic de-N-glycosylation enzymes that have been shown in cultured cells to facilitate the degradation of misfolded glycoproteins during endoplasmic reticulum-associated degradation and in the processing of major histocompatibility complex class I antigens for proper cell-surface presentation. The gene encoding PNGase activity was initially described in budding yeast (Png1p) and shown to be highly conserved from yeast to humans, but physiological roles in higher organisms have not been elucidated. Here we describe peripheral nervous system defects associated with the first loss-of-function mutations in an animal PNGase. Mutations in png-1, the Caenorhabditis elegans PNGase ortholog, result in an increase in axon branching during morphogenesis of the vulval egg-laying organ and egg-laying behavior changes. Neuronal defects include an increase in the branched morphology of the VC4 and VC5 egg-laying neurons as well as inappropriate branches from axons that run adjacent to the vulva but would normally remain unbranched. We show that png-1 is widely expressed and can act from both neurons and epithelial cells to restrict axon branching. A deletion allele of the DNA repair gene rad-23, orthologs of which are known to physically interact with PNGases in yeast and mammals, displays similar axon branching defects and genetic interactions with png-1. In summary, our analysis reveals a novel developmental role for a PNGase and Rad-23 in the regulation of neuronal branching during organ innervation.

  17. Targeting of pseudorabies virus structural proteins to axons requires association of the viral Us9 protein with lipid rafts.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mathew G Lyman


    Full Text Available The pseudorabies virus (PRV Us9 protein plays a central role in targeting viral capsids and glycoproteins to axons of dissociated sympathetic neurons. As a result, Us9 null mutants are defective in anterograde transmission of infection in vivo. However, it is unclear how Us9 promotes axonal sorting of so many viral proteins. It is known that the glycoproteins gB, gC, gD and gE are associated with lipid raft microdomains on the surface of infected swine kidney cells and monocytes, and are directed into the axon in a Us9-dependent manner. In this report, we determined that Us9 is associated with lipid rafts, and that this association is critical to Us9-mediated sorting of viral structural proteins. We used infected non-polarized and polarized PC12 cells, a rat pheochromocytoma cell line that acquires many of the characteristics of sympathetic neurons in the presence of nerve growth factor (NGF. In these cells, Us9 is highly enriched in detergent-resistant membranes (DRMs. Moreover, reducing the affinity of Us9 for lipid rafts inhibited anterograde transmission of infection from sympathetic neurons to epithelial cells in vitro. We conclude that association of Us9 with lipid rafts is key for efficient targeting of structural proteins to axons and, as a consequence, for directional spread of PRV from pre-synaptic to post-synaptic neurons and cells of the mammalian nervous system.

  18. Cytoskeleton dynamics: Fluctuations within the network

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bursac, Predrag; Fabry, Ben; Trepat, Xavier; Lenormand, Guillaume; Butler, James P.; Wang, Ning; Fredberg, Jeffrey J.; An, Steven S.


    Out-of-equilibrium systems, such as the dynamics of a living cytoskeleton (CSK), are inherently noisy with fluctuations arising from the stochastic nature of the underlying biochemical and molecular events. Recently, such fluctuations within the cell were characterized by observing spontaneous nano-scale motions of an RGD-coated microbead bound to the cell surface [Bursac et al., Nat. Mater. 4 (2005) 557-561]. While these reported anomalous bead motions represent a molecular level reorganization (remodeling) of microstructures in contact with the bead, a precise nature of these cytoskeletal constituents and forces that drive their remodeling dynamics are largely unclear. Here, we focused upon spontaneous motions of an RGD-coated bead and, in particular, assessed to what extent these motions are attributable to (i) bulk cell movement (cell crawling), (ii) dynamics of focal adhesions, (iii) dynamics of lipid membrane, and/or (iv) dynamics of the underlying actin CSK driven by myosin motors

  19. Cytoskeleton-amyloplast interactions in sweet clover (United States)

    Guikema, J. A.; Hilaire, E.; Odom, W. R.; Spooner, B. S. (Principal Investigator)


    The distribution of organelles within columella cells of sweet clover was examined by transmission electron microscopy following growth under static or clinorotating conditions. A developmentally conditioned polarity was observed, with a proximal location of the nucleus and a distal accumulation of the endoplasmic reticulum. This polarity was insensitive to clinorotation. In contrast, clinorotation altered the location of amyloplasts. Application of cytoskeletal poisons (colchicine, cytochalasin D, taxol, and phalloidin), especially during clinorotation, had interesting effects on the maintenance of columella cell polarity, with a profound effect on the extent, location, and structure of the endoplasmic reticulum. The site of cytoskeletal interactions with sedimenting amyloplasts is thought to be the amyloplast envelope. An envelope fraction, having over 17 polypeptides, was isolated using immobilized antibody technology, and will provide a means of assessing the role of specific peptides in cytoskeleton/amyloplast interactions.

  20. Individual Neuronal Subtypes Exhibit Diversity in CNS Myelination Mediated by Synaptic Vesicle Release. (United States)

    Koudelka, Sigrid; Voas, Matthew G; Almeida, Rafael G; Baraban, Marion; Soetaert, Jan; Meyer, Martin P; Talbot, William S; Lyons, David A


    Regulation of myelination by oligodendrocytes in the CNS has important consequences for higher-order nervous system function (e.g., [1-4]), and there is growing consensus that neuronal activity regulates CNS myelination (e.g., [5-9]) through local axon-oligodendrocyte synaptic-vesicle-release-mediated signaling [10-12]. Recent analyses have indicated that myelination along axons of distinct neuronal subtypes can differ [13, 14], but it is not known whether regulation of myelination by activity is common to all neuronal subtypes or only some. This limits insight into how specific neurons regulate their own conduction. Here, we use a novel fluorescent fusion protein reporter to study myelination along the axons of distinct neuronal subtypes over time in zebrafish. We find that the axons of reticulospinal and commissural primary ascending (CoPA) neurons are among the first myelinated in the zebrafish CNS. To investigate how activity regulates myelination by different neuronal subtypes, we express tetanus toxin (TeNT) in individual reticulospinal or CoPA neurons to prevent synaptic vesicle release. We find that the axons of individual tetanus toxin expressing reticulospinal neurons have fewer myelin sheaths than controls and that their myelin sheaths are 50% shorter than controls. In stark contrast, myelination along tetanus-toxin-expressing CoPA neuron axons is entirely normal. These results indicate that while some neuronal subtypes modulate myelination by synaptic vesicle release to a striking degree in vivo, others do not. These data have implications for our understanding of how different neurons regulate myelination and thus their own function within specific neuronal circuits. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  1. Biomarker evidence of axonal injury in neuroasymptomatic HIV-1 patients.

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    Jan Jessen Krut

    Full Text Available Prevalence of neurocognitive impairment in HIV-1 infected patients is reported to be high. Whether this is a result of active HIV-related neurodegeneration is unclear. We examined axonal injury in HIV-1 patients by measuring the light subunit of neurofilament protein (NFL in CSF with a novel, sensitive method.With a cross-sectional design, CSF concentrations of neurofilament protein light (NFL (marker of neuronal injury, neopterin (intrathecal immunoactivation and CSF/Plasma albumin ratio (blood-brain barrier integrity were analyzed on CSF from 252 HIV-infected patients, subdivided into untreated neuroasymptomatics (n = 200, HIV-associated dementia (HAD (n = 14 and on combinations antiretroviral treatment (cART (n = 85, and healthy controls (n = 204. 46 HIV-infected patients were included in both treated and untreated groups, but sampled at different timepoints. Furthermore, 78 neuroasymptomatic patients were analyzed before and after treatment initiation.While HAD patients had the highest NFL concentrations, elevated CSF NFL was also found in 33% of untreated neuroasymptomatic patients, mainly in those with blood CD4+ cell counts below 250 cells/μL. CSF NFL concentrations in the untreated neuroasymptomatics and treated groups were equivalent to controls 18.5 and 3.9 years older, respectively. Neopterin correlated with NFL levels in untreated groups while the albumin ratio correlated with NFL in both untreated and treated groups.Increased CSF NFL indicates ongoing axonal injury in many neuroasymptomatic patients. Treatment decreases NFL, but treated patients retain higher levels than controls, indicating either continued virus-related injury or an aging-like effect of HIV infection. NFL correlates with neopterin and albumin ratio, suggesting an association between axonal injury, neuroinflammation and blood-brain barrier permeability. NFL appears to be a sensitive biomarker of subclinical and clinical brain injury in HIV and warrants further

  2. Miro's N-Terminal GTPase Domain Is Required for Transport of Mitochondria into Axons and Dendrites (United States)

    Babic, Milos; Russo, Gary J.; Wellington, Andrea J.; Sangston, Ryan M.; Gonzalez, Migdalia


    Mitochondria are dynamically transported in and out of neuronal processes to maintain neuronal excitability and synaptic function. In higher eukaryotes, the mitochondrial GTPase Miro binds Milton/TRAK adaptor proteins linking microtubule motors to mitochondria. Here we show that Drosophila Miro (dMiro), which has previously been shown to be required for kinesin-driven axonal transport, is also critically required for the dynein-driven distribution of mitochondria into dendrites. In addition, we used the loss-of-function mutations dMiroT25N and dMiroT460N to determine the significance of dMiro's N-terminal and C-terminal GTPase domains, respectively. Expression of dMiroT25N in the absence of endogenous dMiro caused premature lethality and arrested development at a pupal stage. dMiroT25N accumulated mitochondria in the soma of larval motor and sensory neurons, and prevented their kinesin-dependent and dynein-dependent distribution into axons and dendrites, respectively. dMiroT25N mutant mitochondria also were severely fragmented and exhibited reduced kinesin and dynein motility in axons. In contrast, dMiroT460N did not impair viability, mitochondrial size, or the distribution of mitochondria. However, dMiroT460N reduced dynein motility during retrograde mitochondrial transport in axons. Finally, we show that substitutions analogous to the constitutively active Ras-G12V mutation in dMiro's N-terminal and C-terminal GTPase domains cause neomorphic phenotypic effects that are likely unrelated to the normal function of each GTPase domain. Overall, our analysis indicates that dMiro's N-terminal GTPase domain is critically required for viability, mitochondrial size, and the distribution of mitochondria out of the neuronal soma regardless of the employed motor, likely by promoting the transition from a stationary to a motile state. PMID:25855186

  3. Functional Impact of Corticotropin-Releasing Factor Exposure on Tau Phosphorylation and Axon Transport.

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    Michelle H Le

    Full Text Available Stress exposure or increased levels of corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF induce hippocampal tau phosphorylation (tau-P in rodent models, a process that is dependent on the type-1 CRF receptor (CRFR1. Although these preclinical studies on stress-induced tau-P provide mechanistic insight for epidemiological work that identifies stress as a risk factor for Alzheimer's disease (AD, the actual impact of stress-induced tau-P on neuronal function remains unclear. To determine the functional consequences of stress-induced tau-P, we developed a novel mouse neuronal cell culture system to explore the impact of acute (0.5hr and chronic (2hr CRF treatment on tau-P and integral cell processes such as axon transport. Consistent with in vivo reports, we found that chronic CRF treatment increased tau-P levels and caused globular accumulations of phosphorylated tau in dendritic and axonal processes. Furthermore, while both acute and chronic CRF treatment led to significant reduction in CREB activation and axon transport of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF, this was not the case with mitochondrial transport. Acute CRF treatment caused increased mitochondrial velocity and distance traveled in neurons, while chronic CRF treatment modestly decreased mitochondrial velocity and greatly increased distance traveled. These results suggest that transport of cellular energetics may take priority over growth factors during stress. Tau-P was required for these changes, as co-treatment of CRF with a GSK kinase inhibitor prevented CRF-induced tau-P and all axon transport changes. Collectively, our results provide mechanistic insight into the consequences of stress peptide-induced tau-P and provide an explanation for how chronic stress via CRF may lead to neuronal vulnerability in AD.

  4. Neural ECM molecules in axonal and synaptic homeostatic plasticity. (United States)

    Frischknecht, Renato; Chang, Kae-Jiun; Rasband, Matthew N; Seidenbecher, Constanze I


    Neural circuits can express different forms of plasticity. So far, Hebbian synaptic plasticity was considered the most important plastic phenomenon, but over the last decade, homeostatic mechanisms gained more interest because they can explain how a neuronal network maintains stable baseline function despite multiple plastic challenges, like developmental plasticity, learning, or lesion. Such destabilizing influences can be counterbalanced by the mechanisms of homeostatic plasticity, which restore the stability of neuronal circuits. Synaptic scaling is a mechanism in which neurons can detect changes in their own firing rates through a set of molecular sensors that then regulate receptor trafficking to scale the accumulation of glutamate receptors at synaptic sites. Additional homeostatic mechanisms allow local changes in synaptic activation to generate local synaptic adaptations and network-wide changes in activity, which lead to adjustments in the balance between excitation and inhibition. The molecular pathways underlying these forms of homeostatic plasticity are currently under intense investigation, and it becomes clear that the extracellular matrix (ECM) of the brain, which surrounds individual neurons and integrates them into the tissue, is an important element in these processes. As a highly dynamic structure, which can be remodeled and degraded in an activity-dependent manner and in concerted action of neurons and glial cells, it can on one hand promote structural and functional plasticity and on the other hand stabilize neural microcircuits. This chapter highlights the composition of brain ECM with particular emphasis on perisynaptic and axonal matrix formations and its involvement in plastic and adaptive processes of the central nervous system.

  5. Channelrhodopsin-2 localised to the axon initial segment.

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    Matthew S Grubb


    Full Text Available The light-gated cation channel Channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2 is a powerful and versatile tool for controlling neuronal activity. Currently available versions of ChR2 either distribute uniformly throughout the plasma membrane or are localised specifically to somatodendritic or synaptic domains. Localising ChR2 instead to the axon initial segment (AIS could prove an extremely useful addition to the optogenetic repertoire, targeting the channel directly to the site of action potential initiation, and limiting depolarisation and associated calcium entry elsewhere in the neuron. Here, we describe a ChR2 construct that we localised specifically to the AIS by adding the ankyrinG-binding loop of voltage-gated sodium channels (Na(vII-III to its intracellular terminus. Expression of ChR2-YFP-Na(vII-III did not significantly affect the passive or active electrical properties of cultured rat hippocampal neurons. However, the tiny ChR2 currents and small membrane depolarisations resulting from AIS targeting meant that optogenetic control of action potential firing with ChR2-YFP-Na(vII-III was unsuccessful in baseline conditions. We did succeed in stimulating action potentials with light in some ChR2-YFP-Na(vII-III-expressing neurons, but only when blocking KCNQ voltage-gated potassium channels. We discuss possible alternative approaches to obtaining precise control of neuronal spiking with AIS-targeted optogenetic constructs and propose potential uses for our ChR2-YFP-Na(vII-III probe where subthreshold modulation of action potential initiation is desirable.

  6. Genetics Home Reference: giant axonal neuropathy (United States)

    ... connect the brain and spinal cord (central nervous system) to muscles and to sensory cells that detect sensations such as touch, pain, heat, and sound. However, axons in the central nervous system are affected as well. The signs and symptoms ...

  7. Drug therapy for chronic idiopathic axonal polyneuropathy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vrancken, A. F. J. E.; van Schaik, I. N.; Hughes, R. A. C.; Notermans, N. C.


    BACKGROUND: Chronic idiopathic axonal polyneuropathy is an insidiously progressive sensory or sensorimotor polyneuropathy that affects elderly people. Although severe disability or handicap does not occur, it reduces quality of life. OBJECTIVES: To assess whether drug therapy for chronic idiopathic

  8. P7C3 Neuroprotective Chemicals Block Axonal Degeneration and Preserve Function after Traumatic Brain Injury (United States)

    Yin, Terry C.; Britt, Jeremiah K.; De Jesús-Cortés, Héctor; Lu, Yuan; Genova, Rachel M.; Khan, Michael Z.; Voorhees, Jaymie R.; Shao, Jianqiang; Katzman, Aaron C.; Huntington, Paula J.; Wassink, Cassie; McDaniel, Latisha; Newell, Elizabeth A.; Dutca, Laura M.; Naidoo, Jacinth; Cui, Huxing; Bassuk, Alexander G.; Harper, Matthew M.; McKnight, Steven L.; Ready, Joseph M.; Pieper, Andrew A.


    SUMMARY The P7C3 class of neuroprotective aminopropyl carbazoles has been shown to block neuronal cell death in models of neurodegeneration. We now show that P7C3 molecules additionally preserve axonal integrity after injury, before neuronal cell death occurs, in a rodent model of blast-mediated traumatic brain injury (TBI). This protective quality may be linked to the ability of P7C3 molecules to activate nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase, the rate-limiting enzyme in nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide salvage. Initiation of daily treatment with our recently reported lead agent, P7C3-S243, one day after blast-mediated TBI blocks axonal degeneration and preserves normal synaptic activity, learning and memory, and motor coordination in mice. We additionally report persistent neurologic deficits and acquisition of an anxiety-like phenotype in untreated animals eight months after blast exposure. Optimized variants of P7C3 thus offer hope for identifying neuroprotective agents for conditions involving axonal damage, neuronal cell death, or both, such as occurs in TBI. PMID:25220467

  9. The changing roles of neurons in the cortical subplate

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    Michael J Friedlander


    Full Text Available Neurons may serve different functions over the course of an organism’s life. Recent evidence suggests that cortical subplate neurons including those that reside in the white matter may perform longitudinal multi-tasking at different stages of development. These cells play a key role in early cortical development in coordinating thalamocortical reciprocal innervation. At later stages of development, they become integrated within the cortical microcircuitry. This type of longitudinal multi-tasking can enhance the capacity for information processing by populations of cells serving different functions over the lifespan. Subplate cells are initially derived when cells from the ventricular zone underlying the cortex migrate to the cortical preplate that is subsequently split by the differentiating neurons of the cortical plate with some neurons locating in the marginal zone and others settling below in the subplate (SP. While the cortical plate neurons form most of the cortical layers (layers 2-6, the marginal zone neurons form layer 1 and the SP neurons become interstitial cells of the white matter as well as forming a compact sublayer along the bottom of layer 6. After serving as transient innervation targets for thalamocortical axons, most of these cells die and layer 4 neurons become innervated by thalamic axons. However, 10-20% survives, remaining into adulthood along the bottom of layer 6 and as a scattered population of interstitial neurons in the white matter. Surviving subplate cells’ axons project throughout the overlying laminae, reaching layer 1 and issuing axon collaterals within white matter and in lower layer 6. This suggests that they participate in local synaptic networks, as well. Moreover, they receive excitatory and inhibitory synaptic inputs, potentially monitoring outputs from axon collaterals of cortical efferents, from cortical afferents and/or from each other. We explore our understanding of the functional connectivity of

  10. Regulation of Cdh1-APC Function in Axon Growth by Cdh1 Phosphorylation


    Huynh, Mai Anh; Stegmüller, Judith; Litterman, Nadia; Bonni, Azad


    The ubiquitin ligase Cdh1-anaphase promoting complex (Cdh1-APC) plays a key role in the control of axonal morphogenesis in the mammalian brain, but the mechanisms that regulate neuronal Cdh1-APC function remain incompletely understood. Here, we have characterized the effect of phosphorylation of Cdh1 at cyclin-dependent kinase (Cdk) sites on Cdh1-APC function in neurons. We replaced nine conserved sites of Cdk-induced Cdh1 phosphorylation with alanine (9A) or aspartate (9D) to mimic hypo- or ...

  11. Axon Development in Health and Disease

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Battum, E.Y. van


    During embryonic development neurons migrate and grow their protrusions (neurites) over long distances in a strictly orchestrated manner to form complex neuronal networks. Subtle changes in neuronal network formation may lead to various neurological disorders ranging from congenital mirror

  12. RNA-binding proteins of the NXF (nuclear export factor) family and their connection with the cytoskeleton. (United States)

    Mamon, L A; Ginanova, V R; Kliver, S F; Yakimova, A O; Atsapkina, A A; Golubkova, E V


    The mutual relationship between mRNA and the cytoskeleton can be seen from two points of view. On the one hand, the cytoskeleton is necessary for mRNA trafficking and anchoring to subcellular domains. On the other hand, cytoskeletal growth and rearrangement require the translation of mRNAs that are connected to the cytoskeleton. β-actin mRNA localization may influence dynamic changes in the actin cytoskeleton. In the cytoplasm, long-lived mRNAs exist in the form of RNP (ribonucleoprotein) complexes, where they interact with RNA-binding proteins, including NXF (Nuclear eXport Factor). Dm NXF1 is an evolutionarily conserved protein in Drosophila melanogaster that has orthologs in different animals. The universal function of nxf1 genes is the nuclear export of different mRNAs in various organisms. In this mini-review, we briefly discuss the evidence demonstrating that Dm NXF1 fulfils not only universal but also specialized cytoplasmic functions. This protein is detected not only in the nucleus but also in the cytoplasm. It is a component of neuronal granules. Dm NXF1 marks nuclear division spindles during early embryogenesis and the dense body on one side of the elongated spermatid nuclei. The characteristic features of sbr mutants (sbr 10 and sbr 5 ) are impairment of chromosome segregation and spindle formation anomalies during female meiosis. sbr 12 mutant sterile males with immobile spermatozoa exhibit disturbances in the axoneme, mitochondrial derivatives and cytokinesis. These data allow us to propose that the Dm NXF1 proteins transport certain mRNAs in neurites and interact with localized mRNAs that are necessary for dynamic changes of the cytoskeleton. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  13. Neurogenetics of slow axonal transport: from cells to animals. (United States)

    Sadananda, Aparna; Ray, Krishanu


    Slow axonal transport is a multivariate phenomenon implicated in several neurodegenerative disorders. Recent reports have unraveled the molecular basis of the transport of certain slow component proteins, such as the neurofilament subunits, tubulin, and certain soluble enzymes such as Ca(2+)/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase IIa (CaM kinase IIa), etc., in tissue cultured neurons. In addition, genetic analyses also implicate microtubule-dependent motors and other housekeeping proteins in this process. However, the biological relevance of this phenomenon is not so well understood. Here, the authors have discussed the possibility of adopting neurogenetic analyses in multiple model organisms to correlate molecular level measurements of the slow transport phenomenon to animal behavior, thus facilitating the investigation of its biological efficacy.

  14. The axonal guidance receptor neogenin promotes acute inflammation.

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    Klemens König

    Full Text Available Neuronal guidance proteins (NGP were originally described in the context of axonal growth and migration. Yet recent work has demonstrated that NGPs also serve as guidance cues for immune competent cells. A crucial target receptor for NGPs during embryonic development is the neogenin receptor, however its role during acute inflammation is unknown. We report here that neogenin is abundantly expressed outside the nervous system and that animals with endogenous repression of neogenin (Neo1(-/- demonstrate attenuated changes of acute inflammation. Studies using functional inhibition of neogenin resulted in a significant attenuation of inflammatory peritonitis. In studies employing bone marrow chimeric animals we found the hematopoietic presence of Neo1(-/- to be responsible for the attenuated inflammatory response. Taken together our studies suggest that the guidance receptor neogenin holds crucial importance for the propagation of an acute inflammatory response and further define mechanisms shared between the nervous and the immune system.

  15. Differential Release of β-Amyloid from Dendrite- Versus Axon-Targeted APP (United States)

    DeBoer, Scott R.; Dolios, Georgia; Wang, Rong


    The β-amyloid precursor protein (APP) plays a central role in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease. APP is processed in neurons, but little is known about the relative contributions of presynaptic or postsynaptic compartments to the release of Aβ peptides. To address this issue, we transduced primary neurons from Sprague-Dawley rats or APP−/− mice (B6.129S7-Apptm1Dbo/J) with lentiviral constructs expressing APP chimeras harboring targeting motifs from low-density lipoprotein receptor or neuron-glia cell-adhesion molecule to polarize expression to either dendritic or axonal membranes, respectively. Using imaging and quantitative biochemical approaches, we now report that APP selectively targeted to either axons or dendrites leads to the secretion of full-length Aβ peptides with significantly elevated release from dendritic compartments. These findings reveal that the enzymatic machinery required for production of Aβ peptides are operative both in presynaptic and postsynaptic compartments of primary neurons, leading to the suggestion that Aβ-mediated impairments in glutamatergic neurotransmission is the result of Aβ release from both local and distal neuronal compartments. PMID:25209273

  16. Daam1a mediates asymmetric habenular morphogenesis by regulating dendritic and axonal outgrowth (United States)

    Colombo, Alicia; Palma, Karina; Armijo, Lorena; Mione, Marina; Signore, Iskra A.; Morales, Camila; Guerrero, Néstor; Meynard, Margarita M.; Pérez, Ramón; Suazo, José; Marcelain, Katherine; Briones, Luis; Härtel, Steffen; Wilson, Stephen W.; Concha, Miguel L.


    Although progress has been made in resolving the genetic pathways that specify neuronal asymmetries in the brain, little is known about genes that mediate the development of structural asymmetries between neurons on left and right. In this study, we identify daam1a as an asymmetric component of the signalling pathways leading to asymmetric morphogenesis of the habenulae in zebrafish. Daam1a is a member of the Formin family of actin-binding proteins and the extent of Daam1a expression in habenular neuron dendrites mirrors the asymmetric growth of habenular neuropil between left and right. Local loss and gain of Daam1a function affects neither cell number nor subtype organisation but leads to a decrease or increase of neuropil, respectively. Daam1a therefore plays a key role in the asymmetric growth of habenular neuropil downstream of the pathways that specify asymmetric cellular domains in the habenulae. In addition, Daam1a mediates the development of habenular efferent connectivity as local loss and gain of Daam1a function impairs or enhances, respectively, the growth of habenular neuron terminals in the interpeduncular nucleus. Abrogation of Daam1a disrupts the growth of both dendritic and axonal processes and results in disorganised filamentous actin and α-tubulin. Our results indicate that Daam1a plays a key role in asymmetric habenular morphogenesis mediating the growth of dendritic and axonal processes in dorsal habenular neurons. PMID:24046318

  17. Spastin-interacting protein NA14/SSNA1 functions in cytokinesis and axon development.

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    Uma Goyal

    Full Text Available Hereditary spastic paraplegias (HSPs are a genetically diverse group of inherited neurological disorders (SPG1-72 with the cardinal feature of prominent lower-extremity spasticity due to a length-dependent axonopathy of corticospinal motor neurons. The most frequent form of autosomal dominant HSP results from mutations of the SPG4 gene product spastin. This is an ATPase associated with diverse cellular activities (AAA protein that binds to and severs microtubules. While spastin participates in crucial cellular processes such as cytokinesis, endosomal tubulation, and axon development, its role in HSP pathogenesis remains unclear. Spastin interacts in cells with the NA14 protein, a major target for auto-antibodies in Sjögren's syndrome (nuclear autoantigen 1; SSNA1. Our analysis of endogenous spastin and NA14 proteins in HeLa cells and rat cortical neurons in primary culture revealed a clear distribution of both proteins to centrosomes, with NA14 localizing specifically to centrioles. Stable NA14 knockdown in cell lines dramatically affected cell division, in particular cytokinesis. Furthermore, overexpression of NA14 in neurons significantly increased axon outgrowth and branching, while also enhancing neuronal differentiation. We postulate that NA14 may act as an adaptor protein regulating spastin localization to centrosomes, temporally and spatially regulating the microtubule-severing activity of spastin that is particularly critical during the cell cycle and neuronal development.

  18. The Site of Spontaneous Ectopic Spike Initiation Facilitates Signal Integration in a Sensory Neuron. (United States)

    Städele, Carola; Stein, Wolfgang


    Essential to understanding the process of neuronal signal integration is the knowledge of where within a neuron action potentials (APs) are generated. Recent studies support the idea that the precise location where APs are initiated and the properties of spike initiation zones define the cell's information processing capabilities. Notably, the location of spike initiation can be modified homeostatically within neurons to adjust neuronal activity. Here we show that this potential mechanism for neuronal plasticity can also be exploited in a rapid and dynamic fashion. We tested whether dislocation of the spike initiation zone affects signal integration by studying ectopic spike initiation in the anterior gastric receptor neuron (AGR) of the stomatogastric nervous system of Cancer borealis Like many other vertebrate and invertebrate neurons, AGR can generate ectopic APs in regions distinct from the axon initial segment. Using voltage-sensitive dyes and electrophysiology, we determined that AGR's ectopic spike activity was consistently initiated in the neuropil region of the stomatogastric ganglion motor circuits. At least one neurite branched off the AGR axon in this area; and indeed, we found that AGR's ectopic spike activity was influenced by local motor neurons. This sensorimotor interaction was state-dependent in that focal axon modulation with the biogenic amine octopamine, abolished signal integration at the primary spike initiation zone by dislocating spike initiation to a distant region of the axon. We demonstrate that the site of ectopic spike initiation is important for signal integration and that axonal neuromodulation allows for a dynamic adjustment of signal integration. Although it is known that action potentials are initiated at specific sites in the axon, it remains to be determined how the precise location of action potential initiation affects neuronal activity and signal integration. We addressed this issue by studying ectopic spiking in the axon of

  19. Sugar Antennae for Guidance Signals: Syndecans and Glypicans Integrate Directional Cues for Navigating Neurons

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    Christa Rhiner


    Full Text Available Attractive and repulsive signals guide migrating nerve cells in all directions when the nervous system starts to form. The neurons extend thin processes, axons, that connect over wide distances with other brain cells to form a complicated neuronal network. One of the most fascinating questions in neuroscience is how the correct wiring of billions of nerve cells in our brain is controlled. Several protein families are known to serve as guidance cues for navigating neurons and axons. Nevertheless, the combinatorial potential of these proteins seems to be insufficient to sculpt the entire neuronal network and the appropriate formation of connections. Recently, heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs, which are present on the cell surface of neurons and in the extracellular matrix through which neurons and axons migrate, have been found to play a role in regulating cell migration and axon guidance. Intriguingly, the large number of distinct modifications that can be put onto the sugar side chains of these PGs would in principle allow for an enormous diversity of HSPGs, which could help in regulating the vast number of guidance choices taken by individual neurons. In this review, we will focus on the role of the cell surface HSPGs syndecan and glypican and specific HS modifications in promoting neuronal migration, axon guidance, and synapse formation.

  20. Morphology and intrinsic excitability of regenerating sensory and motor neurons grown on a line micropattern.

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    Ouafa Benzina

    Full Text Available Axonal regeneration is one of the greatest challenges in severe injuries of peripheral nerve. To provide the bridge needed for regeneration, biological or synthetic tubular nerve constructs with aligned architecture have been developed. A key point for improving axonal regeneration is assessing the effects of substrate geometry on neuronal behavior. In the present study, we used an extracellular matrix-micropatterned substrate comprising 3 µm wide lines aimed to physically mimic the in vivo longitudinal axonal growth of mice peripheral sensory and motor neurons. Adult sensory neurons or embryonic motoneurons were seeded and processed for morphological and electrical activity analyses after two days in vitro. We show that micropattern-guided sensory neurons grow one or two axons without secondary branching. Motoneurons polarity was kept on micropattern with a long axon and small dendrites. The micro-patterned substrate maintains the growth promoting effects of conditioning injury and demonstrates, for the first time, that neurite initiation and extension could be differentially regulated by conditioning injury among DRG sensory neuron subpopulations. The micro-patterned substrate impacts the excitability of sensory neurons and promotes the apparition of firing action potentials characteristic for a subclass of mechanosensitive neurons. The line pattern is quite relevant for assessing the regenerative and developmental growth of sensory and motoneurons and offers a unique model for the analysis of the impact of geometry on the expression and the activity of mechanosensitive channels in DRG sensory neurons.

  1. Morphology and intrinsic excitability of regenerating sensory and motor neurons grown on a line micropattern. (United States)

    Benzina, Ouafa; Cloitre, Thierry; Martin, Marta; Raoul, Cédric; Gergely, Csilla; Scamps, Frédérique


    Axonal regeneration is one of the greatest challenges in severe injuries of peripheral nerve. To provide the bridge needed for regeneration, biological or synthetic tubular nerve constructs with aligned architecture have been developed. A key point for improving axonal regeneration is assessing the effects of substrate geometry on neuronal behavior. In the present study, we used an extracellular matrix-micropatterned substrate comprising 3 µm wide lines aimed to physically mimic the in vivo longitudinal axonal growth of mice peripheral sensory and motor neurons. Adult sensory neurons or embryonic motoneurons were seeded and processed for morphological and electrical activity analyses after two days in vitro. We show that micropattern-guided sensory neurons grow one or two axons without secondary branching. Motoneurons polarity was kept on micropattern with a long axon and small dendrites. The micro-patterned substrate maintains the growth promoting effects of conditioning injury and demonstrates, for the first time, that neurite initiation and extension could be differentially regulated by conditioning injury among DRG sensory neuron subpopulations. The micro-patterned substrate impacts the excitability of sensory neurons and promotes the apparition of firing action potentials characteristic for a subclass of mechanosensitive neurons. The line pattern is quite relevant for assessing the regenerative and developmental growth of sensory and motoneurons and offers a unique model for the analysis of the impact of geometry on the expression and the activity of mechanosensitive channels in DRG sensory neurons.

  2. GRS defective axonal distribution as a potential contributor to distal spinal muscular atrophy type V pathogenesis in a new model of GRS-associated neuropathy. (United States)

    Seo, Ah Jung; Park, Byung Sun; Jung, Junyang


    Distal spinal muscular atrophy type V (dSMA-V), a hereditary axonal neuropathy, is a glycyl-tRNA synthetase (GRS)-associated neuropathy caused by a mutation in GRS. In this study, using an adenovirus vector system equipped with a neuron-specific promoter, we constructed a new GRS-associated neuropathy mouse model. We found that wild-type GRS (WT) is distributed in peripheral axons, dorsal root ganglion (DRG) cell bodies, central axon terminals and motor neuron cell bodies in the mouse model. In contrast, the L129P mutant GRS was localized in DRG and motor neuron cell bodies. Thus, we propose that the disease-causing L129P mutant is linked to a distribution defect in peripheral nerves in vivo. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. NAP (davunetide) modifies disease progression in a mouse model of severe neurodegeneration: protection against impairments in axonal transport. (United States)

    Jouroukhin, Yan; Ostritsky, Regina; Assaf, Yaniv; Pelled, Galit; Giladi, Eliezer; Gozes, Illana


    NAP (davunetide) is a novel neuroprotective compound with mechanism of action that appears to involve microtubule (MT) stabilization and repair. To evaluate, for the first time, the impact of NAP on axonal transport in vivo and to translate it to neuroprotection in a severe neurodegeneration, the SOD1-G93A mouse model for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) was used. Manganese-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), estimating axonal transport rates, revealed a significant reduction of the anterograde axonal transport in the ALS mice compared to healthy control mice. Acute NAP treatment normalized axonal transport rates in these ALS mice. Tau hyperphosphorylation, associated with MT dysfunction and defective axonal transport, was discovered in the brains of the ALS mice and was significantly reduced by chronic NAP treatment. Furthermore, in healthy wild type (WT) mice, NAP reversed axonal transport disruption by colchicine, suggesting drug-dependent protection against axonal transport impairment through stabilization of the neuronal MT network. Histochemical analysis showed that chronic NAP treatment significantly protected spinal cord motor neurons against ALS-like pathology. Sequential MRI measurements, correlating brain structure with ALS disease progression, revealed a significant damage to the ventral tegmental area (VTA), indicative of impairments to the dopaminergic pathways relative to healthy controls. Chronic daily NAP treatment of the SOD1-G93A mice, initiated close to disease onset, delayed degeneration of the trigeminal, facial and hypoglossal motor nuclei as was significantly apparent at days 90-100 and further protected the VTA throughout life. Importantly, protection of the VTA was significantly correlated with longevity and overall, NAP treatment significantly prolonged life span in the ALS mice. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Quantitative immunohistochemical co-localization of TRPV1 and CGRP in varicose axons of the murine oesophagus, stomach and colorectum. (United States)

    Sharrad, D F; Hibberd, T J; Kyloh, M A; Brookes, S J H; Spencer, N J


    In the gastrointestinal (GI) tract of mammals, endings of spinal afferent neurons with cell bodies in dorsal root ganglia (DRG) detect many stimuli, including those that give rise to pain. Many of these sensory neurons express calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) and TRPV1 in their cell bodies and axons. Indeed, CGRP and TRPV1 have been widely used as immunohistochemical markers of nociceptive spinal afferent axons. Although CGRP and TRPV1 often coexist in the same axons in the GI tract, their degree of coexistence along its length has yet to be quantified. In this study, we used double-labeling immunohistochemistry to quantify the coexistence of CGRP and TRPV1 in varicose axons of the murine oesophagus, stomach and colorectum. The great majority of CGRP-immunoreactive (IR) varicosities in myenteric ganglia of the lower esophagus (97±1%) and stomach (95±1%) were also TRPV1-immunoreactive. Similarly, the majority of TRPV1-IR varicosities in myenteric ganglia of the lower esophagus (95±1%) and stomach (91±1%) were also CGRP-IR. In the colorectum similar observations were made for an intensely immunoreactive population of CGRP-IR axons, of which most (91±1%) were also TRPV1-IR. Of the TRPV1-IR axons in the colorectum, most (96±1%) contained intense CGRP-IR. Another population of axons in myenteric ganglia of the colorectum had low intensity CGRP immunoreactivity; these showed negligible co-existence with TRPV1. Our observations reveal that in the myenteric plexus of murine oesophagus, stomach and colorectum, CGRP and TRPV1 are largely expressed together. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

  5. Sparing of descending axons rescues interneuron plasticity in the lumbar cord to allow adaptive learning after thoracic spinal cord injury

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    Christopher Nelson Hansen


    Full Text Available This study evaluated the role of spared axons on structural and behavioral neuroplasticity in the lumbar enlargement after a thoracic spinal cord injury (SCI. Previous work has demonstrated that recovery in the presence of spared axons after an incomplete lesion increases behavioral output after a subsequent complete spinal cord transection (TX. This suggests that spared axons direct adaptive changes in below-level neuronal networks of the lumbar cord. In response to spared fibers, we postulate that lumbar neuron networks support behavioral gains by preventing aberrant plasticity. As such, the present study measured histological and functional changes in the isolated lumbar cord after complete TX or incomplete contusion (SCI. To measure functional plasticity in the lumbar cord, we used an established instrumental learning paradigm. In this paradigm, neural circuits within isolated lumbar segments demonstrate learning by an increase in flexion duration that reduces exposure to a noxious leg shock. We employed this model using a proof-of-principle design to evaluate the role of sparing on lumbar learning and plasticity early (7 days or late (42 days after midthoracic SCI in a rodent model. Early after SCI or TX at 7d, spinal learning was unattainable regardless of whether the animal recovered with or without axonal substrate. Failed learning occurred alongside measures of cell soma atrophy and aberrant dendritic spine expression within interneuron populations responsible for sensorimotor integration and learning. Alternatively, exposure of the lumbar cord to a small amount of spared axons for 6 weeks produced near-normal learning late after SCI. This coincided with greater cell soma volume and fewer aberrant dendritic spines on interneurons. Thus, an opportunity to influence activity-based learning in locomotor networks depends on spared axons limiting maladaptive plasticity. Together, this work identifies a time dependent interaction between

  6. Assessment of neuroglial relationships under photodynamic treatment using fluorescent visualization of giant axons in crayfish ventral nerve cord (United States)

    Duz, Eugeny; Kolosov, Mikhail S.


    There are lots of publications last time about important role of neuroglial interactions in normal physiology of nervous system. Some of them infer that neuroglial interactions may support survival of neuronal and glial cells. Study the mechanisms of neuroglial interactions needs convenient models which are simple nervous system. They could be easily isolated and studied while retain natural neuroglial relations. The purpose of present work was to estimate glia protective properties of giant axons in simple model - crayfish ventral nerve cord, upon photooxidative stress. To better visualize the axons shape and reveal the periaxonal glial cells, we were filling of the axons with fluorescent label by means of specially devised microinjector. It enabled us to reveal the glial cells which are in close proximity to the axons. Such glial cells was found to have increased survival in compare to more distant ones from the axons under oxidative stress. The obtained data indicate that the crayfish giant axons have glia protective properties, which molecular mechanisms have to be studied.

  7. Constitutively expressed Protocadherin-α regulates the coalescence and elimination of homotypic olfactory axons through its cytoplasmic region

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    Sonoko eHasegawa


    Full Text Available Olfactory sensory neuron (OSN axons coalesce into specific glomeruli in the olfactory bulb (OB according to their odorant receptor (OR expression. Several guidance molecules enhance the coalescence of homotypic OSN projections, in an OR-specific- and neural-activity-dependent manner. However, the mechanism by which homotypic OSN axons are organized into glomeruli is unsolved. We previously reported that the clustered protocadherin-α (Pcdh-α family of diverse cadherin-related molecules plays roles in the coalescence and elimination of homotypic OSN axons throughout development. Here we showed that the elimination of small ectopic homotypic glomeruli required the constitutive expression of a Pcdh-α isoform and Pcdh-α’s cytoplasmic region, but not OR specificity or neural activity. These results suggest that Pcdh-α proteins provide a cytoplasmic signal to regulate repulsive activity for homotypic OSN axons independently of OR expression and neural activity. The counterbalancing effect of Pcdh-α proteins for the axonal coalescence mechanisms mediated by other olfactory guidance molecules indicate a possible mechanism for the organization of homotypic OSN axons into glomeruli during development.

  8. Retrograde tracing of zinc-enriched (ZEN) neuronal somata in rat spinal cord

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wang, Zhanyou; Danscher, G; Mook Jo, S


    The zinc selenide autometallographic (ZnSeAMG) technique for tracing the retrograde axonal transport of zinc ions in zinc-enriched (ZEN) neurons was used to map the distribution of ZEN neuronal somata in rat spinal cord. After a local injection of sodium selenide into the dorsal or ventral horn, Zn...... neurons have relatively short axons or boutons en passage close to the neuronal origin. Ultrastructurally, the retrogradely transported zinc selenide clusters were found in the lysosomes of ZEN somata and proximal dendrites. Electron microscopic studies also revealed two different kinds of ZEN terminals...

  9. Dysfunction of axonal membrane conductances in adolescents and young adults with spinal muscular atrophy. (United States)

    Farrar, Michelle A; Vucic, Steve; Lin, Cindy S-Y; Park, Susanna B; Johnston, Heather M; du Sart, Desirée; Bostock, Hugh; Kiernan, Matthew C


    Spinal muscular atrophy is distinct among neurodegenerative conditions of the motor neuron, with onset in developing and maturing patients. Furthermore, the rate of degeneration appears to slow over time, at least in the milder forms. To investigate disease pathophysiology and potential adaptations, the present study utilized axonal excitability studies to provide insights into axonal biophysical properties and explored correlation with clinical severity. Multiple excitability indices (stimulus-response curve, strength-duration time constant, threshold electrotonus, current-threshold relationship and recovery cycle) were investigated in 25 genetically characterized adolescent and adult patients with spinal muscular atrophy, stimulating the median motor nerve at the wrist. Results were compared with 50 age-matched controls. The Medical Research Council sum score and Spinal Muscular Atrophy Functional Rating Scale were used to define the strength and motor functional status of patients with spinal muscular atrophy. In patients with spinal muscular atrophy, there were reductions in compound muscle action potential amplitude (P muscular atrophy, there was reduction of peak amplitude without alteration in axonal excitability; in contrast, in the non-ambulatory or severe spinal muscular atrophy cohort prominent changes in axonal function were apparent. Specifically, there were steep changes in the early phase of hyperpolarization in threshold electrotonus (P muscular atrophy supported a mixed pathology comprising features of axonal degeneration and regeneration. The present study has provided novel insight into the pathophysiology of spinal muscular atrophy, with identification of functional abnormalities involving axonal K(+) and Na(+) conductances and alterations in passive membrane properties, the latter linked to the process of neurodegeneration.

  10. p53 regulates cytoskeleton remodeling to suppress tumor progression. (United States)

    Araki, Keigo; Ebata, Takahiro; Guo, Alvin Kunyao; Tobiume, Kei; Wolf, Steven John; Kawauchi, Keiko


    Cancer cells possess unique characteristics such as invasiveness, the ability to undergo epithelial-mesenchymal transition, and an inherent stemness. Cell morphology is altered during these processes and this is highly dependent on actin cytoskeleton remodeling. Regulation of the actin cytoskeleton is, therefore, important for determination of cell fate. Mutations within the TP53 (tumor suppressor p53) gene leading to loss or gain of function (GOF) of the protein are often observed in aggressive cancer cells. Here, we highlight the roles of p53 and its GOF mutants in cancer cell invasion from the perspective of the actin cytoskeleton; in particular its reorganization and regulation by cell adhesion molecules such as integrins and cadherins. We emphasize the multiple functions of p53 in the regulation of actin cytoskeleton remodeling in response to the extracellular microenvironment, and oncogene activation. Such an approach provides a new perspective in the consideration of novel targets for anti-cancer therapy.

  11. Axonal cleaved caspase-3 regulates axon targeting and morphogenesis in the developing auditory brainstem

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    Sarah E Rotschafer


    Full Text Available Caspase-3 is a cysteine protease that is most commonly associated with cell death. Recent studies have shown additional roles in mediating cell differentiation, cell proliferation, and development of cell morphology. We investigated the role of caspase-3 in the development of chick auditory brainstem nuclei during embryogenesis. Immunofluorescence from embryonic days E6-13 revealed that the temporal expression of cleaved caspase-3 follows the ascending anatomical pathway. Expression is first seen in the auditory portion of VIIIth nerve including central axonal regions projecting to nucleus magnocellularis (NM, then later in NM axons projecting to nucleus laminaris (NL, and subsequently in NL dendrites. To examine the function of cleaved caspase-3 in chick auditory brainstem development, we blocked caspase-3 cleavage in developing chick embryos with the caspase-3 inhibitor Z-DEVD-FMK from E6 to E9, then examined NM and NL morphology and NM axonal targeting on E10. NL lamination in treated embryos was disorganized and the neuropil around NL contained a significant number of glial cells normally excluded from this region. Additionally, NM axons projected into inappropriate portions of NL in Z-DEVD-FMK treated embyros. We found that the presence of misrouted axons was associated with more severe NL disorganization. The effects of axonal caspase-3 inhibition on both NL morphogenesis and NM axon targeting suggest that these developmental processes are coordinated, likely through communication between axons and their targets.

  12. Importance of non-selective cation channel TRPV4 interaction with cytoskeleton and their reciprocal regulations in cultured cells.

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    Chandan Goswami

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: TRPV4 and the cellular cytoskeleton have each been reported to influence cellular mechanosensitive processes as well as the development of mechanical hyperalgesia. If and how TRPV4 interacts with the microtubule and actin cytoskeleton at a molecular and functional level is not known. METHODOLOGY AND PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We investigated the interaction of TRPV4 with cytoskeletal components biochemically, cell biologically by observing morphological changes of DRG-neurons and DRG-neuron-derived F-11 cells, as well as functionally with calcium imaging. We find that TRPV4 physically interacts with tubulin, actin and neurofilament proteins as well as the nociceptive molecules PKCepsilon and CamKII. The C-terminus of TRPV4 is sufficient for the direct interaction with tubulin and actin, both with their soluble and their polymeric forms. Actin and tubulin compete for binding. The interaction with TRPV4 stabilizes microtubules even under depolymerizing conditions in vitro. Accordingly, in cellular systems TRPV4 colocalizes with actin and microtubules enriched structures at submembranous regions. Both expression and activation of TRPV4 induces striking morphological changes affecting lamellipodial, filopodial, growth cone, and neurite structures in non-neuronal cells, in DRG-neuron derived F11 cells, and also in IB4-positive DRG neurons. The functional interaction of TRPV4 and the cytoskeleton is mutual as Taxol, a microtubule stabilizer, reduces the Ca2+-influx via TRPV4. CONCLUSIONS AND SIGNIFICANCE: TRPV4 acts as a regulator for both, the microtubule and the actin. In turn, we describe that microtubule dynamics are an important regulator of TRPV4 activity. TRPV4 forms a supra-molecular complex containing cytoskeletal proteins and regulatory kinases. Thereby it can integrate signaling of various intracellular second messengers and signaling cascades, as well as cytoskeletal dynamics. This study points out the existence of cross-talks between

  13. A signaling network for patterning of neuronal connectivity in the Drosophila brain.

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    Mohammed Srahna


    Full Text Available The precise number and pattern of axonal connections generated during brain development regulates animal behavior. Therefore, understanding how developmental signals interact to regulate axonal extension and retraction to achieve precise neuronal connectivity is a fundamental goal of neurobiology. We investigated this question in the developing adult brain of Drosophila and find that it is regulated by crosstalk between Wnt, fibroblast growth factor (FGF receptor, and Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK signaling, but independent of neuronal activity. The Rac1 GTPase integrates a Wnt-Frizzled-Disheveled axon-stabilizing signal and a Branchless (FGF-Breathless (FGF receptor axon-retracting signal to modulate JNK activity. JNK activity is necessary and sufficient for axon extension, whereas the antagonistic Wnt and FGF signals act to balance the extension and retraction required for the generation of the precise wiring pattern.

  14. Enhanced Transcriptional Activity and Mitochondrial Localization of STAT3 Co-induce Axon Regrowth in the Adult Central Nervous System

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    Xueting Luo


    Full Text Available Signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3 is a transcription factor central to axon regrowth with an enigmatic ability to act in different subcellular regions independently of its transcriptional roles. However, its roles in mature CNS neurons remain unclear. Here, we show that along with nuclear translocation, STAT3 translocates to mitochondria in mature CNS neurons upon cytokine stimulation. Loss- and gain-of-function studies using knockout mice and viral expression of various STAT3 mutants demonstrate that STAT3′s transcriptional function is indispensable for CNS axon regrowth, whereas mitochondrial STAT3 enhances bioenergetics and further potentiates regrowth. STAT3′s localization, functions, and growth-promoting effects are regulated by mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase (MEK, an effect further enhanced by Pten deletion, leading to extensive axon regrowth in the mouse optic pathway and spinal cord. These results highlight CNS neuronal dependence on STAT3 transcriptional activity, with mitochondrial STAT3 providing ancillary roles, and illustrate a critical contribution for MEK in enhancing diverse STAT3 functions and axon regrowth.

  15. Cytoskeleton, cytoskeletal interactions, and vascular endothelial function

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    Wang J


    Full Text Available Jingli Wang,1 Michael E Widlansky1,21Department of Medicine, Cardiovascular Medicine Division, 2Department of Pharmacology, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USAAbstract: Far from being inert, the vascular endothelium is a critical regulator of vascular function. While the endothelium participates in autocrine, paracrine, and endocrine signaling, it also transduces mechanical signals from the cell surface involving key cell structural elements. In this review, we discuss the structure of the vascular endothelium and its relationship to traditional cardiovascular risk factors and clinical cardiovascular events. Further, we review the emerging evidence that cell structural elements, including the glycocalyx, intercellular junctions, and cytoskeleton elements, help the endothelium to communicate with its environment to regulate vascular function, including vessel permeability and signal transduction via nitric oxide bioavailability. Further work is necessary to better delineate the regulatory relationships between known key regulators of vascular function and endothelial cell structural elements.Keywords: endothelium, shear stress, eNOS, cardiovascular risk factors, glycocalyx

  16. Eukaryotic and Prokaryotic Cytoskeletons: Structure and Mechanics (United States)

    Gopinathan, Ajay


    The eukaryotic cytoskeleton is an assembly of filamentous proteins and a host of associated proteins that collectively serve functional needs ranging from spatial organization and transport to the production and transmission of forces. These systems can exhibit a wide variety of non-equilibrium, self-assembled phases depending on context and function. While much recent progress has been made in understanding the self-organization, rheology and nonlinear mechanical properties of such active systems, in this talk, we will concentrate on some emerging aspects of cytoskeletal physics that are promising. One such aspect is the influence of cytoskeletal network topology and its dynamics on both active and passive intracellular transport. Another aspect we will highlight is the interplay between chirality of filaments, their elasticity and their interactions with the membrane that can lead to novel conformational states with functional implications. Finally we will consider homologs of cytoskeletal proteins in bacteria, which are involved in templating cell growth, segregating genetic material and force production, which we will discuss with particular reference to contractile forces during cell division. These prokaryotic structures function in remarkably similar yet fascinatingly different ways from their eukaryotic counterparts and can enrich our understanding of cytoskeletal functioning as a whole.

  17. Mechanotransduction through the plasma membrane & cytoskeleton (United States)

    Haase, Kristina; Pelling, Andrew


    Mechanical forces initiate immediate and long-term changes in cells; however the exact mechanisms remain unclear, albeit crucial for understanding the pathology of disease. We used combined confocal and atomic force microscopy (AFM) to investigate changes in cell morphology and elasticity in response to a mechanical stimulus. The AFM was used as a nano-indentor to gauge the response of the membrane and cytoskeleton (CSK) of HeLa cells. We observed their viscoelastic nature by probing cells transfected with a green fluorescent protein localized at the plasma membrane. Inhibition of acto-myosin contractility (AMc) resulted in a significant decrease of cellular elasticity, and a corresponding increase in mean deformation. We also investigated the rate at which the membrane and CSK deform and relax in response to a local force. The response to a local perturbation is nearly instantaneous for control cells and shows no statistical difference when compared to cells treated with CSK-inhibiting drugs. Inhibition of AMc affects the rate of recovery, in comparison to control cells which recover quite quickly (30-60s). Overall, we demonstrated short and long-term deformation and subsequent recovery of both the cell membrane and actin network in response to a local force.

  18. Phagocytosis: receptors, signal integration, and the cytoskeleton. (United States)

    Freeman, Spencer A; Grinstein, Sergio


    Phagocytosis is a remarkably complex and versatile process: it contributes to innate immunity through the ingestion and elimination of pathogens, while also being central to tissue homeostasis and remodeling by clearing effete cells. The ability of phagocytes to perform such diverse functions rests, in large part, on their vast repertoire of receptors. In this review, we address the various receptor types, their mobility in the plane of the membrane, and two modes of receptor crosstalk: priming and synergy. A major section is devoted to the actin cytoskeleton, which not only governs receptor mobility and clustering but also is instrumental in particle engulfment. Four stages of the actin remodeling process are identified and discussed: (i) the 'resting' stage that precedes receptor engagement, (ii) the disruption of the cortical actin prior to formation of the phagocytic cup, (iii) the actin polymerization that propels pseudopod extension, and (iv) the termination of polymerization and removal of preassembled actin that are required for focal delivery of endomembranes and phagosomal sealing. These topics are viewed in the larger context of the differentiation and polarization of the phagocytic cells. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  19. Tensegrity and mechanoregulation: from skeleton to cytoskeleton (United States)

    Chen, C. S.; Ingber, D. E.


    OBJECTIVE: To elucidate how mechanical stresses that are applied to the whole organism are transmitted to individual cells and transduced into a biochemical response. DESIGN: In this article, we describe fundamental design principles that are used to stabilize the musculoskeletal system at many different size scales and show that these design features are embodied in one particular form of architecture that is known as tensegrity. RESULTS: Tensegrity structures are characterized by use of continuous tension and local compression; architecture, prestress (internal stress prior to application of external force), and triangulation play the most critical roles in terms of determining their mechanical stability. In living organisms, use of a hierarchy of tensegrity networks both optimizes structural efficiency and provides a mechanism to mechanically couple the parts with the whole: mechanical stresses applied at the macroscale result in structural rearrangements at the cell and molecular level. CONCLUSION: Due to use of tensegrity architecture, mechanical stress is concentrated and focused on signal transducing molecules that physically associate with cell surface molecules that anchor cells to extracellular matrix, such as integrins, and with load-bearing elements within the internal cytoskeleton and nucleus. Mechanochemical transduction may then proceed through local stress-dependent changes in molecular mechanics, thermodynamics, and kinetics within the cell. In this manner, the entire cellular response to stress may be orchestrated and tuned by altering the prestress in the cell, just as changing muscular tone can alter mechanical stability and structural coordination throughout the whole musculoskeletal system.

  20. Integrated microfluidic platforms for investigating neuronal networks (United States)

    Kim, Hyung Joon

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

  1. Calsyntenin-1 shelters APP from proteolytic processing during anterograde axonal transport

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    Martin Steuble


    Endocytosis of amyloid-β precursor protein (APP is thought to represent the major source of substrate for the production of the amyloidogenic Aβ peptide by the β-secretase BACE1. The irreversible nature of proteolytic cleavage implies the existence of an efficient replenishment route for APP from its sites of synthesis to the cell surface. We recently found that APP exits the trans-Golgi network in intimate association with calsyntenin-1, a transmembrane cargo-docking protein for Kinesin-1-mediated vesicular transport. Here we characterized the function of calsyntenin-1 in neuronal APP transport using selective immunoisolation of intracellular trafficking organelles, immunocytochemistry, live-imaging, and RNAi. We found that APP is co-transported with calsyntenin-1 along axons to early endosomes in the central region of growth cones in carriers that exclude the α-secretase ADAM10. Intriguingly, calsyntenin-1/APP organelles contained BACE1, suggesting premature cleavage of APP along its anterograde path. However, we found that APP contained in calsyntenin-1/APP organelles was stable. We further analyzed vesicular trafficking of APP in cultured hippocampal neurons, in which calsyntenin-1 was reduced by RNAi. We found a markedly increased co-localization of APP and ADAM10 in axons and growth cones, along with increased proteolytic processing of APP and Aβ secretion in these neurons. This suggested that the reduced capacity for calsyntenin-1-dependent APP transport resulted in mis-sorting of APP into additional axonal carriers and, therefore, the premature encounter of unprotected APP with its ectodomain proteases. In combination, our results characterize calsyntenin-1/APP organelles as carriers for sheltered anterograde axonal transport of APP.

  2. Movers and shakers: cell cytoskeleton in cancer metastasis (United States)

    Fife, C M; McCarroll, J A; Kavallaris, M


    Metastasis is responsible for the greatest number of cancer deaths. Metastatic disease, or the movement of cancer cells from one site to another, is a complex process requiring dramatic remodelling of the cell cytoskeleton. The various components of the cytoskeleton, actin (microfilaments), microtubules (MTs) and intermediate filaments, are highly integrated and their functions are well orchestrated in normal cells. In contrast, mutations and abnormal expression of cytoskeletal and cytoskeletal-associated proteins play an important role in the ability of cancer cells to resist chemotherapy and metastasize. Studies on the role of actin and its interacting partners have highlighted key signalling pathways, such as the Rho GTPases, and downstream effector proteins that, through the cytoskeleton, mediate tumour cell migration, invasion and metastasis. An emerging role for MTs in tumour cell metastasis is being unravelled and there is increasing interest in the crosstalk between key MT interacting proteins and the actin cytoskeleton, which may provide novel treatment avenues for metastatic disease. Improved understanding of how the cytoskeleton and its interacting partners influence tumour cell migration and metastasis has led to the development of novel therapeutics against aggressive and metastatic disease. Linked Articles This article is part of a themed section on Cytoskeleton, Extracellular Matrix, Cell Migration, Wound Healing and Related Topics. To view the other articles in this section visit PMID:24665826

  3. Movers and shakers: cell cytoskeleton in cancer metastasis. (United States)

    Fife, C M; McCarroll, J A; Kavallaris, M


    Metastasis is responsible for the greatest number of cancer deaths. Metastatic disease, or the movement of cancer cells from one site to another, is a complex process requiring dramatic remodelling of the cell cytoskeleton. The various components of the cytoskeleton, actin (microfilaments), microtubules (MTs) and intermediate filaments, are highly integrated and their functions are well orchestrated in normal cells. In contrast, mutations and abnormal expression of cytoskeletal and cytoskeletal-associated proteins play an important role in the ability of cancer cells to resist chemotherapy and metastasize. Studies on the role of actin and its interacting partners have highlighted key signalling pathways, such as the Rho GTPases, and downstream effector proteins that, through the cytoskeleton, mediate tumour cell migration, invasion and metastasis. An emerging role for MTs in tumour cell metastasis is being unravelled and there is increasing interest in the crosstalk between key MT interacting proteins and the actin cytoskeleton, which may provide novel treatment avenues for metastatic disease. Improved understanding of how the cytoskeleton and its interacting partners influence tumour cell migration and metastasis has led to the development of novel therapeutics against aggressive and metastatic disease. This article is part of a themed section on Cytoskeleton, Extracellular Matrix, Cell Migration, Wound Healing and Related Topics. To view the other articles in this section visit © 2014 The British Pharmacological Society.