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Sample records for neurons enhances approach

  1. Neuronal networks: enhanced feedback feeds forward.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calabrese, Ronald L

    2012-09-25

    Modulatory projection neurons gate neuronal networks, such as those comprising motor central pattern generators; in turn, they receive feedback from the networks they gate. A recent study has shown that, in the crab stomatogastric ganglion, this feedback is also subject to modulation: the enhanced feedback feeds forward through the projection neurons to modify circuit output.

  2. Stiff substrates enhance cultured neuronal network activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Quan-You; Zhang, Yan-Yan; Xie, Jing; Li, Chen-Xu; Chen, Wei-Yi; Liu, Bai-Lin; Wu, Xiao-an; Li, Shu-Na; Huo, Bo; Jiang, Lin-Hua; Zhao, Hu-Cheng

    2014-08-28

    The mechanical property of extracellular matrix and cell-supporting substrates is known to modulate neuronal growth, differentiation, extension and branching. Here we show that substrate stiffness is an important microenvironmental cue, to which mouse hippocampal neurons respond and integrate into synapse formation and transmission in cultured neuronal network. Hippocampal neurons were cultured on polydimethylsiloxane substrates fabricated to have similar surface properties but a 10-fold difference in Young's modulus. Voltage-gated Ca(2+) channel currents determined by patch-clamp recording were greater in neurons on stiff substrates than on soft substrates. Ca(2+) oscillations in cultured neuronal network monitored using time-lapse single cell imaging increased in both amplitude and frequency among neurons on stiff substrates. Consistently, synaptic connectivity recorded by paired recording was enhanced between neurons on stiff substrates. Furthermore, spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic activity became greater and more frequent in neurons on stiff substrates. Evoked excitatory transmitter release and excitatory postsynaptic currents also were heightened at synapses between neurons on stiff substrates. Taken together, our results provide compelling evidence to show that substrate stiffness is an important biophysical factor modulating synapse connectivity and transmission in cultured hippocampal neuronal network. Such information is useful in designing instructive scaffolds or supporting substrates for neural tissue engineering.

  3. Neuronal oscillations enhance stimulus discrimination by ensuring action potential precision

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schaefer, Andreas T; Angelo, Kamilla; Spors, Hartwig

    2006-01-01

    Although oscillations in membrane potential are a prominent feature of sensory, motor, and cognitive function, their precise role in signal processing remains elusive. Here we show, using a combination of in vivo, in vitro, and theoretical approaches, that both synaptically and intrinsically......, membrane potential oscillations dramatically enhance the discriminatory capabilities of individual neurons and networks of cells and provide one attractive explanation for their abundance in neurophysiological systems....

  4. Active dendrites enhance neuronal dynamic range.

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    Leonardo L Gollo

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Since the first experimental evidences of active conductances in dendrites, most neurons have been shown to exhibit dendritic excitability through the expression of a variety of voltage-gated ion channels. However, despite experimental and theoretical efforts undertaken in the past decades, the role of this excitability for some kind of dendritic computation has remained elusive. Here we show that, owing to very general properties of excitable media, the average output of a model of an active dendritic tree is a highly non-linear function of its afferent rate, attaining extremely large dynamic ranges (above 50 dB. Moreover, the model yields double-sigmoid response functions as experimentally observed in retinal ganglion cells. We claim that enhancement of dynamic range is the primary functional role of active dendritic conductances. We predict that neurons with larger dendritic trees should have larger dynamic range and that blocking of active conductances should lead to a decrease in dynamic range.

  5. Neuronal activity enhances tau propagation and tau pathology in vivo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Jessica W; Hussaini, S Abid; Bastille, Isle M; Rodriguez, Gustavo A; Mrejeru, Ana; Rilett, Kelly; Sanders, David W; Cook, Casey; Fu, Hongjun; Boonen, Rick A C M; Herman, Mathieu; Nahmani, Eden; Emrani, Sheina; Figueroa, Y Helen; Diamond, Marc I; Clelland, Catherine L; Wray, Selina; Duff, Karen E

    2016-08-01

    Tau protein can transfer between neurons transneuronally and trans-synaptically, which is thought to explain the progressive spread of tauopathy observed in the brain of patients with Alzheimer's disease. Here we show that physiological tau released from donor cells can transfer to recipient cells via the medium, suggesting that at least one mechanism by which tau can transfer is via the extracellular space. Neuronal activity has been shown to regulate tau secretion, but its effect on tau pathology is unknown. Using optogenetic and chemogenetic approaches, we found that increased neuronal activity stimulates the release of tau in vitro and enhances tau pathology in vivo. These data have implications for disease pathogenesis and therapeutic strategies for Alzheimer's disease and other tauopathies.

  6. Enhancing depression mechanisms in midbrain dopamine neurons achieves homeostatic resilience.

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    Friedman, Allyson K; Walsh, Jessica J; Juarez, Barbara; Ku, Stacy M; Chaudhury, Dipesh; Wang, Jing; Li, Xianting; Dietz, David M; Pan, Nina; Vialou, Vincent F; Neve, Rachael L; Yue, Zhenyu; Han, Ming-Hu

    2014-04-18

    Typical therapies try to reverse pathogenic mechanisms. Here, we describe treatment effects achieved by enhancing depression-causing mechanisms in ventral tegmental area (VTA) dopamine (DA) neurons. In a social defeat stress model of depression, depressed (susceptible) mice display hyperactivity of VTA DA neurons, caused by an up-regulated hyperpolarization-activated current (I(h)). Mice resilient to social defeat stress, however, exhibit stable normal firing of these neurons. Unexpectedly, resilient mice had an even larger I(h), which was observed in parallel with increased potassium (K(+)) channel currents. Experimentally further enhancing Ih or optogenetically increasing the hyperactivity of VTA DA neurons in susceptible mice completely reversed depression-related behaviors, an antidepressant effect achieved through resilience-like, projection-specific homeostatic plasticity. These results indicate a potential therapeutic path of promoting natural resilience for depression treatment.

  7. Volitional enhancement of firing synchrony and oscillation by neuronal operant conditioning: interaction with neurorehabilitation and brain-machine interface

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    Yoshio eSakurai

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available In this review, we focus on neuronal operant conditioning in which increments in neuronal activities are directly rewarded without behaviors. We discuss the potential of this approach to elucidate neuronal plasticity for enhancing specific brain functions and its interaction with the progress in neurorehabilitation and brain–machine interfaces. The key to-be-conditioned activities that this paper emphasizes are synchronous and oscillatory firings of multiple neurons that reflect activities of cell assemblies. First, we introduce certain well-known studies on neuronal operant conditioning in which conditioned enhancements of neuronal firing were reported in animals and humans. These studies demonstrated the feasibility of volitional control over neuronal activity. Second, we refer to the recent studies on operant conditioning of synchrony and oscillation of neuronal activities. In particular, we introduce a recent study showing volitional enhancement of oscillatory activity in monkey motor cortex and our study showing selective enhancement of firing synchrony of neighboring neurons in rat hippocampus. Third, we discuss the reasons for emphasizing firing synchrony and oscillation in neuronal operant conditioning, the main reason being that they reflect the activities of cell assemblies, which have been suggested to be basic neuronal codes representing information in the brain. Finally, we discuss the interaction of neuronal operant conditioning with neurorehabilitation and brain–machine interface (BMI. We argue that synchrony and oscillation of neuronal firing are the key activities required for developing both reliable neurorehabilitation and high-performance BMI. Further, we conclude that research of neuronal operant conditioning, neurorehabilitation, BMI, and system neuroscience will produce findings applicable to these interrelated fields, and neuronal synchrony and oscillation can be a common important bridge among all of them.

  8. Coherent stochastic oscillations enhance signal detection in spiking neurons.

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    Engel, Tatiana A; Helbig, Brian; Russell, David F; Schimansky-Geier, Lutz; Neiman, Alexander B

    2009-08-01

    We study the effect of noisy oscillatory input on the signal discrimination by spontaneously firing neurons. Using analytically tractable model, we contrast signal detection in two situations: (i) when the neuron is driven by coherent oscillations and (ii) when the coherence of oscillations is destroyed. Analytical calculations revealed a region in the parameter space of the model where oscillations act to reduce the variability of neuronal firing and to enhance the discriminability of weak signals. These analytical results are employed to unveil a possible role of coherent oscillations in peripheral electrosensory system of paddlefish in improvement of detection of weak stimuli. The proposed mechanism may be relevant to a wide range of phenomena involving coherently driven oscillators.

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

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    Stephane ePages

    2011-10-01

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

  10. Silicon-Neuron Design: A Dynamical Systems Approach.

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    Arthur, John V; Boahen, Kwabena

    2011-01-01

    We present an approach to design spiking silicon neurons based on dynamical systems theory. Dynamical systems theory aids in choosing the appropriate level of abstraction, prescribing a neuron model with the desired dynamics while maintaining simplicity. Further, we provide a procedure to transform the prescribed equations into subthreshold current-mode circuits. We present a circuit design example, a positive-feedback integrate-and-fire neuron, fabricated in 0.25 μm CMOS. We analyze and characterize the circuit, and demonstrate that it can be configured to exhibit desired behaviors, including spike-frequency adaptation and two forms of bursting.

  11. Grin1 receptor deletion within CRF neurons enhances fear memory.

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    Georgette Gafford

    Full Text Available Corticotropin releasing factor (CRF dysregulation is implicated in mood and anxiety disorders such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD. CRF is expressed in areas engaged in fear and anxiety processing including the central amygdala (CeA. Complicating our ability to study the contribution of CRF-containing neurons to fear and anxiety behavior is the wide variety of cell types in which CRF is expressed. To manipulate specific subpopulations of CRF containing neurons, our lab has developed a mouse with a Cre recombinase gene driven by a CRF promoter (CRFp3.0Cre (Martin et al., 2010. In these studies, mice that have the gene that encodes NR1 (Grin1 flanked by loxP sites (floxed were crossed with our previously developed CRFp3.0Cre mouse to selectively disrupt Grin1 within CRF containing neurons (Cre+/fGrin1+. We find that disruption of Grin1 in CRF neurons did not affect baseline levels of anxiety, locomotion, pain sensitivity or exploration of a novel object. However, baseline expression of Grin1 was decreased in Cre+/fGrin1+ mice as measured by RTPCR. Cre+/fGrin1+ mice showed enhanced auditory fear acquisition and retention without showing any significant effect on fear extinction. We measured Gria1, the gene that encodes AMPAR1 and the CREB activator Creb1 in the amygdala of Cre+/fGrin1+ mice after fear conditioning. Both Gria1 and Creb1 were enhanced in the amygdala after training. To determine if the Grin1-expressing CRF neurons within the CeA are responsible for the enhancement of fear memory in adults, we infused a lentivirus with Cre driven by a CRF promoter (LV pCRF-Cre/fGrin1+ into the CeA of floxed Grin1 mice. Cre driven deletion of Grin1 specifically within CRF expressing cells in the CeA also resulted in enhanced fear memory acquisition and retention. Altogether, these findings suggest that selective disruption of Grin1 within CeA CRF neurons strongly enhances fear memory.

  12. Hypergravity Stimulation Enhances PC12 Neuron-Like Cell Differentiation

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    Giada Graziana Genchi

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Altered gravity is a strong physical cue able to elicit different cellular responses, representing a largely uninvestigated opportunity for tissue engineering/regenerative medicine applications. Our recent studies have shown that both proliferation and differentiation of C2C12 skeletal muscle cells can be enhanced by hypergravity treatment; given these results, PC12 neuron-like cells were chosen to test the hypothesis that hypergravity stimulation might also affect the behavior of neuronal cells, in particular promoting an enhanced differentiated phenotype. PC12 cells were thus cultured under differentiating conditions for either 12 h or 72 h before being stimulated with different values of hypergravity (50 g and 150 g. Effects of hypergravity were evaluated at transcriptional level 1 h and 48 h after the stimulation, and at protein level 48 h from hypergravity exposure, to assess its influence on neurite development over increasing differentiation times. PC12 differentiation resulted strongly affected by the hypergravity treatments; in particular, neurite length was significantly enhanced after exposure to high acceleration values. The achieved results suggest that hypergravity might induce a faster and higher neuronal differentiation and encourage further investigations on the potential of hypergravity in the preparation of cellular constructs for regenerative medicine and tissue engineering purposes.

  13. An ontological approach to describing neurons and their relationships

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamilton, David J.; Shepherd, Gordon M.; Martone, Maryann E.; Ascoli, Giorgio A.

    2012-01-01

    The advancement of neuroscience, perhaps one of the most information rich disciplines of all the life sciences, requires basic frameworks for organizing the vast amounts of data generated by the research community to promote novel insights and integrated understanding. Since Cajal, the neuron remains a fundamental unit of the nervous system, yet even with the explosion of information technology, we still have few comprehensive or systematic strategies for aggregating cell-level knowledge. Progress toward this goal is hampered by the multiplicity of names for cells and by lack of a consensus on the criteria for defining neuron types. However, through umbrella projects like the Neuroscience Information Framework (NIF) and the International Neuroinformatics Coordinating Facility (INCF), we have the opportunity to propose and implement an informatics infrastructure for establishing common tools and approaches to describe neurons through a standard terminology for nerve cells and a database (a Neuron Registry) where these descriptions can be deposited and compared. This article provides an overview of the problem and outlines a solution approach utilizing ontological characterizations. Based on illustrative implementation examples, we also discuss the need for consensus criteria to be adopted by the research community, and considerations on future developments. A scalable repository of neuron types will provide researchers with a resource that materially contributes to the advancement of neuroscience. PMID:22557965

  14. Estradiol selectively enhances auditory function in avian forebrain neurons.

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    Caras, Melissa L; O'Brien, Matthew; Brenowitz, Eliot A; Rubel, Edwin W

    2012-12-01

    Sex steroids modulate vertebrate sensory processing, but the impact of circulating hormone levels on forebrain function remains unclear. We tested the hypothesis that circulating sex steroids modulate single-unit responses in the avian telencephalic auditory nucleus, field L. We mimicked breeding or nonbreeding conditions by manipulating plasma 17β-estradiol levels in wild-caught female Gambel's white-crowned sparrows (Zonotrichia leucophrys gambelii). Extracellular responses of single neurons to tones and conspecific songs presented over a range of intensities revealed that estradiol selectively enhanced auditory function in cells that exhibited monotonic rate level functions to pure tones. In these cells, estradiol treatment increased spontaneous and maximum evoked firing rates, increased pure tone response strengths and sensitivity, and expanded the range of intensities over which conspecific song stimuli elicited significant responses. Estradiol did not significantly alter the sensitivity or dynamic ranges of cells that exhibited non-monotonic rate level functions. Notably, there was a robust correlation between plasma estradiol concentrations in individual birds and physiological response properties in monotonic, but not non-monotonic neurons. These findings demonstrate that functionally distinct classes of anatomically overlapping forebrain neurons are differentially regulated by sex steroid hormones in a dose-dependent manner.

  15. Accurate reconstruction of temporal correlation for neuronal sources using the enhanced dual-core MEG beamformer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diwakar, Mithun; Tal, Omer; Liu, Thomas T; Harrington, Deborah L; Srinivasan, Ramesh; Muzzatti, Laura; Song, Tao; Theilmann, Rebecca J; Lee, Roland R; Huang, Ming-Xiong

    2011-06-15

    Beamformer spatial filters are commonly used to explore the active neuronal sources underlying magnetoencephalography (MEG) recordings at low signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). Conventional beamformer techniques are successful in localizing uncorrelated neuronal sources under poor SNR conditions. However, the spatial and temporal features from conventional beamformer reconstructions suffer when sources are correlated, which is a common and important property of real neuronal networks. Dual-beamformer techniques, originally developed by Brookes et al. to deal with this limitation, successfully localize highly-correlated sources and determine their orientations and weightings, but their performance degrades at low correlations. They also lack the capability to produce individual time courses and therefore cannot quantify source correlation. In this paper, we present an enhanced formulation of our earlier dual-core beamformer (DCBF) approach that reconstructs individual source time courses and their correlations. Through computer simulations, we show that the enhanced DCBF (eDCBF) consistently and accurately models dual-source activity regardless of the correlation strength. Simulations also show that a multi-core extension of eDCBF effectively handles the presence of additional correlated sources. In a human auditory task, we further demonstrate that eDCBF accurately reconstructs left and right auditory temporal responses and their correlations. Spatial resolution and source localization strategies corresponding to different measures within the eDCBF framework are also discussed. In summary, eDCBF accurately reconstructs source spatio-temporal behavior, providing a means for characterizing complex neuronal networks and their communication.

  16. An ontological approach to describing neurons and their relationships

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David J. Hamilton

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available The advancement of neuroscience, perhaps the most information rich discipline of all the life sciences, requires basic frameworks for organizing the vast amounts of data generated by the research community to promote novel insights and integrated understanding. Since Cajal, the neuron remains a fundamental unit of the nervous system, yet even with the explosion of information technology, we still have few comprehensive or systematic strategies for aggregating cell-level knowledge. Progress toward this goal is hampered by the multiplicity of names for cells and by lack of a consensus on the criteria for defining neuron types. However, through umbrella projects like the Neuroscience Information Framework and the International Neuroinformatics Coordinating Facility, we have the opportunity to propose and implement an informatics infrastructure for establishing common tools and approaches to describe neurons through a standard terminology for nerve cells and a database (a Neuron Registry where these descriptions can be deposited and compared. This article provides an overview of the problem and outlines a solution approach utilizing ontological characterizations.

  17. [Emotion regulation and pain : Behavioral and neuronal correlates: a transdiagnostic approach].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Konietzny, K; Suchan, B; Kreddig, N; Hasenbring, M I; Chehadi, O

    2016-10-01

    Emotions and emotion regulation are of special importance in the perception and modulation of pain but the mechanisms underlying this reciprocal relationship remain unclear. The transdiagnostic model provides an approach to explain the link between pain and emotion regarding cognitive and neuronal mechanisms and aims to identify mutual processes, which are relevant for both. Structural and functional imaging studies of pain indicate the involvement of specific cortical and subcortical structures, which also play an important role in emotion regulation. While numerous studies have investigated emotion regulation and their correlates in the central nervous system in pathological states, the research on emotion regulation in pain is still young. The purpose of this review is to provide an overview of experimental and clinical studies of neuronal and behavioral correlates of pain-related emotion regulation. The current transdiagnostic approach may be able to enhance pain relief in the future.

  18. A developmental approach to predicting neuronal connectivity from small biological datasets: a gradient-based neuron growth model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borisyuk, Roman; Al Azad, Abul Kalam; Conte, Deborah; Roberts, Alan; Soffe, Stephen R

    2014-01-01

    Relating structure and function of neuronal circuits is a challenging problem. It requires demonstrating how dynamical patterns of spiking activity lead to functions like cognitive behaviour and identifying the neurons and connections that lead to appropriate activity of a circuit. We apply a "developmental approach" to define the connectome of a simple nervous system, where connections between neurons are not prescribed but appear as a result of neuron growth. A gradient based mathematical model of two-dimensional axon growth from rows of undifferentiated neurons is derived for the different types of neurons in the brainstem and spinal cord of young tadpoles of the frog Xenopus. Model parameters define a two-dimensional CNS growth environment with three gradient cues and the specific responsiveness of the axons of each neuron type to these cues. The model is described by a nonlinear system of three difference equations; it includes a random variable, and takes specific neuron characteristics into account. Anatomical measurements are first used to position cell bodies in rows and define axon origins. Then a generalization procedure allows information on the axons of individual neurons from small anatomical datasets to be used to generate larger artificial datasets. To specify parameters in the axon growth model we use a stochastic optimization procedure, derive a cost function and find the optimal parameters for each type of neuron. Our biologically realistic model of axon growth starts from axon outgrowth from the cell body and generates multiple axons for each different neuron type with statistical properties matching those of real axons. We illustrate how the axon growth model works for neurons with axons which grow to the same and the opposite side of the CNS. We then show how, by adding a simple specification for dendrite morphology, our model "developmental approach" allows us to generate biologically-realistic connectomes.

  19. A developmental approach to predicting neuronal connectivity from small biological datasets: a gradient-based neuron growth model.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roman Borisyuk

    Full Text Available Relating structure and function of neuronal circuits is a challenging problem. It requires demonstrating how dynamical patterns of spiking activity lead to functions like cognitive behaviour and identifying the neurons and connections that lead to appropriate activity of a circuit. We apply a "developmental approach" to define the connectome of a simple nervous system, where connections between neurons are not prescribed but appear as a result of neuron growth. A gradient based mathematical model of two-dimensional axon growth from rows of undifferentiated neurons is derived for the different types of neurons in the brainstem and spinal cord of young tadpoles of the frog Xenopus. Model parameters define a two-dimensional CNS growth environment with three gradient cues and the specific responsiveness of the axons of each neuron type to these cues. The model is described by a nonlinear system of three difference equations; it includes a random variable, and takes specific neuron characteristics into account. Anatomical measurements are first used to position cell bodies in rows and define axon origins. Then a generalization procedure allows information on the axons of individual neurons from small anatomical datasets to be used to generate larger artificial datasets. To specify parameters in the axon growth model we use a stochastic optimization procedure, derive a cost function and find the optimal parameters for each type of neuron. Our biologically realistic model of axon growth starts from axon outgrowth from the cell body and generates multiple axons for each different neuron type with statistical properties matching those of real axons. We illustrate how the axon growth model works for neurons with axons which grow to the same and the opposite side of the CNS. We then show how, by adding a simple specification for dendrite morphology, our model "developmental approach" allows us to generate biologically-realistic connectomes.

  20. Sulforaphane epigenetically enhances neuronal BDNF expression and TrkB signaling pathways.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Jisung; Lee, Siyoung; Choi, Bo-Ryoung; Yang, Hee; Hwang, Youjin; Park, Jung Han Yoon; LaFerla, Frank M; Han, Jung-Soo; Lee, Ki Won; Kim, Jiyoung

    2017-02-01

    Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is a neurotrophin that supports the survival of existing neurons and encourages the growth and differentiation of new neurons and synapses. We investigated the effect of sulforaphane, a hydrolysis product of glucoraphanin present in Brassica vegetables, on neuronal BDNF expression and its synaptic signaling pathways. Mouse primary cortical neurons and a triple-transgenic mouse model of Alzheimer's disease (3 × Tg-AD) were used to study the effect of sulforaphane. Sulforaphane enhanced neuronal BDNF expression and increased levels of neuronal and synaptic molecules such as MAP2, synaptophysin, and PSD-95 in primary cortical neurons and 3 × Tg-AD mice. Sulforaphane elevated levels of synaptic TrkB signaling pathway components, including CREB, CaMKII, ERK, and Akt in both primary cortical neurons and 3 × Tg-AD mice. Sulforaphane increased global acetylation of histone 3 (H3) and H4, inhibited HDAC activity, and decreased the level of HDAC2 in primary cortical neurons. Chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis revealed that sulforaphane increased acetylated H3 and H4 at BDNF promoters, suggesting that sulforaphane regulates BDNF expression via HDAC inhibition. These findings suggest that sulforaphane has the potential to prevent neuronal disorders such as Alzheimer's disease by epigenetically enhancing neuronal BDNF expression and its TrkB signaling pathways. © 2016 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  1. Nanofibrous scaffold-mediated REST knockdown to enhance neuronal differentiation of stem cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Low, Wei Ching; Rujitanaroj, Pim-On; Lee, Dong-Keun; Messersmith, Phillip B; Stanton, Lawrence W; Goh, Eyleen; Chew, Sing Yian

    2013-05-01

    At present, the recovery prospect for patients with chronic neurodegenerative diseases or acute trauma in the central nervous system is sub-optimal. The controlled differentiation of neural stem/progenitor cells (NPCs) to functional neurons is a possible treatment strategy. In contrast to the classical approach of biochemicals supplementation for guided stem cell commitment, this study explores the feasibility of directing neuronal differentiation through synergistic integration of three-dimensional nanofibrous topographical cues and scaffold-mediated knockdown of RE-1 silencing transcription factor (REST) in mouse NPCs. Taking advantage of the strong adhesive property and latent reactivity of mussel-inspired polydopamine (PD) coating, electrospun polycaprolactone (PCL) nanofibers were successfully functionalized with REST siRNAs (denoted as siREST PD-fiber). Sustained REST knockdown in NPCs was achieved for up to five days in vitro and the silencing efficiency was significantly higher than that mediated through siRNA adsorption onto non-PD coated sample controls. The silencing of REST, together with nanofiber topographical effect, significantly enhanced NPC neuronal commitment (57.5% Map2(+) cells in siREST PD-fiber vs. 43.5% in siREST PD-film vs. 50% in PD-fiber controls, p < 0.05) while reducing astrocytic and oligodendrocytic differentiation (10.7% O4(+) cells vs. ∼30% in siREST PD-film, p < 0.01). Taken together, the synergistic effects of scaffold-mediated REST knockdown and topographical cues from PD-modified nanofibers may be a useful strategy for generating functional neurons for therapeutic purposes. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. An information theoretic approach to the functional classification of neurons

    CERN Document Server

    Schneidman, E; Berry, M J; Schneidman, Elad; Bialek, William; Berry, Michael J.

    2002-01-01

    A population of neurons typically exhibits a broad diversity of responses to sensory inputs. The intuitive notion of functional classification is that cells can be clustered so that most of the diversity is captured in the identity of the clusters rather than by individuals within clusters. We show how this intuition can be made precise using information theory, without any need to introduce a metric on the space of stimuli or responses. Applied to the retinal ganglion cells of the salamander, this approach recovers classical results, but also provides clear evidence for subclasses beyond those identified previously. Further, we find that each of the ganglion cells is functionally unique, and that even within the same subclass only a few spikes are needed to reliably distinguish between cells.

  3. Corticotropin-releasing factor enhances locomotion and medullary neuronal firing in an amphibian.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lowry, C A; Rose, J D; Moore, F L

    1996-03-01

    Corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) administration has been shown to act centrally to enhance locomotion in rats and amphibians. In the present study we used an amphibian, the roughskin newt (Taricha granulosa), to characterize changes in medullary neuronal activity associated with CRF-induced walking and swimming in animals chronically implanted with fine-wire microelectrodes. Neuronal activity was recorded from the raphe and adjacent reticular region of the rostral medulla. Under baseline conditions most of the recorded neurons showed low to moderate amounts of neuronal activity during periods of immobility and pronounced increases in firing that were time-locked with episodes of walking. These neurons sometimes showed further increases in discharge during swimming. Injections of CRF but not saline into the lateral ventricle produced a rapidly appearing increase in walking and pronounced changes (mostly increases) in firing rates of the medullary neurons. CRF produced diverse changes in patterns of firing in different neurons, but for these neurons as a group, the effects of CRF showed a close temporal association with the onset and expression of the peptide's effect on locomotion. In neurons that were active exclusively during movement prior to CRF treatment, the post-CRF increase in firing was evident during episodes of walking; in other neurons that also were spontaneously active during immobility prior to CRF infusion, post-CRF activity changes were evident during immobility as well as during episodes of locomotion. Thus, a principal effect of CRF was to potentiate the level of neuronal firing in a population of medullary neurons with locomotor-related properties. Due to the route of administration CRF may have acted on multiple central nervous system sites to enhance locomotion, but the results are consistent with neurophysiological effects involving medullary locomotion-regulating neurons.

  4. Disruption of cardiac cholinergic neurons enhances susceptibility to ventricular arrhythmias

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jungen, Christiane; Scherschel, Katharina; Eickholt, Christian; Kuklik, Pawel; Klatt, Niklas; Bork, Nadja; Salzbrunn, Tim; Alken, Fares; Angendohr, Stephan; Klene, Christiane; Mester, Janos; Klöcker, Nikolaj; Veldkamp, Marieke W.; Schumacher, Udo; Willems, Stephan; Nikolaev, Viacheslav O.; Meyer, Christian

    2017-01-01

    The parasympathetic nervous system plays an important role in the pathophysiology of atrial fibrillation. Catheter ablation, a minimally invasive procedure deactivating abnormal firing cardiac tissue, is increasingly becoming the therapy of choice for atrial fibrillation. This is inevitably associated with the obliteration of cardiac cholinergic neurons. However, the impact on ventricular electrophysiology is unclear. Here we show that cardiac cholinergic neurons modulate ventricular electrophysiology. Mechanical disruption or pharmacological blockade of parasympathetic innervation shortens ventricular refractory periods, increases the incidence of ventricular arrhythmia and decreases ventricular cAMP levels in murine hearts. Immunohistochemistry confirmed ventricular cholinergic innervation, revealing parasympathetic fibres running from the atria to the ventricles parallel to sympathetic fibres. In humans, catheter ablation of atrial fibrillation, which is accompanied by accidental parasympathetic and concomitant sympathetic denervation, raises the burden of premature ventricular complexes. In summary, our results demonstrate an influence of cardiac cholinergic neurons on the regulation of ventricular function and arrhythmogenesis. PMID:28128201

  5. Barbed channels enhance unidirectional connectivity between neuronal networks cultured on multi electrode arrays.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    le Feber, Jakob; Postma, W.; de Weerd, Eemke Luurt; Weusthof, Marcel H.H.; Rutten, Wim

    2015-01-01

    Cultured neurons on multi electrode arrays (MEAs) have been widely used to study various as-pects of neuronal (network) functioning. A possible drawback of this approach is the lack of struc-ture in these networks. At the single cell level, several solutions have been proposed to enable di-rected co

  6. Muscle-Derived GDNF: A Gene Therapeutic Approach for Preserving Motor Neuron Function in ALS

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-08-01

    AWARD NUMBER: W81XWH-14-1-0189 TITLE: Muscle -Derived GDNF: A Gene Therapeutic Approach for Preserving Motor Neuron Function in ALS PRINCIPAL...NUMBER W81XWH-14-1-0189 Muscle -Derived GDNF: A Gene Therapeutic Approach for Preserving Motor Neuron Function in ALS 5b. GRANT NUMBER 5c. PROGRAM...ALS) is characterized by the progressive degeneration of motor neurons leading to skeletal muscle atrophy, paralysis, and the death of patients

  7. Genetic and Molecular Approaches to Study Neuronal Migration in the Developing Cerebral Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dudok, Jacobus J; Leonards, Pim E G; Wijnholds, Jan

    2017-05-05

    The migration of neuronal cells in the developing cerebral cortex is essential for proper development of the brain and brain networks. Disturbances in this process, due to genetic abnormalities or exogenous factors, leads to aberrant brain formation, brain network formation, and brain function. In the last decade, there has been extensive research in the field of neuronal migration. In this review, we describe different methods and approaches to assess and study neuronal migration in the developing cerebral cortex. First, we discuss several genetic methods, techniques and genetic models that have been used to study neuronal migration in the developing cortex. Second, we describe several molecular approaches to study aberrant neuronal migration in the cortex which can be used to elucidate the underlying mechanisms of neuronal migration. Finally, we describe model systems to investigate and assess the potential toxicity effect of prenatal exposure to environmental chemicals on proper brain formation and neuronal migration.

  8. Functional Diversification of Motor Neuron-specific Isl1 Enhancers during Evolution.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Namhee Kim

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Functional diversification of motor neurons has occurred in order to selectively control the movements of different body parts including head, trunk and limbs. Here we report that transcription of Isl1, a major gene necessary for motor neuron identity, is controlled by two enhancers, CREST1 (E1 and CREST2 (E2 that allow selective gene expression of Isl1 in motor neurons. Introduction of GFP reporters into the chick neural tube revealed that E1 is active in hindbrain motor neurons and spinal cord motor neurons, whereas E2 is active in the lateral motor column (LMC of the spinal cord, which controls the limb muscles. Genome-wide ChIP-Seq analysis combined with reporter assays showed that Phox2 and the Isl1-Lhx3 complex bind to E1 and drive hindbrain and spinal cord-specific expression of Isl1, respectively. Interestingly, Lhx3 alone was sufficient to activate E1, and this may contribute to the initiation of Isl1 expression when progenitors have just developed into motor neurons. E2 was induced by onecut 1 (OC-1 factor that permits Isl1 expression in LMCm neurons. Interestingly, the core region of E1 has been conserved in evolution, even in the lamprey, a jawless vertebrate with primitive motor neurons. All E1 sequences from lamprey to mouse responded equally well to Phox2a and the Isl1-Lhx3 complex. Conversely, E2, the enhancer for limb-innervating motor neurons, was only found in tetrapod animals. This suggests that evolutionarily-conserved enhancers permit the diversification of motor neurons.

  9. CAMKII activation is not required for maintenance of learning-induced enhancement of neuronal excitability.

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    Ori Liraz

    Full Text Available Pyramidal neurons in the piriform cortex from olfactory-discrimination trained rats show enhanced intrinsic neuronal excitability that lasts for several days after learning. Such enhanced intrinsic excitability is mediated by long-term reduction in the post-burst after-hyperpolarization (AHP which is generated by repetitive spike firing. AHP reduction is due to decreased conductance of a calcium-dependent potassium current, the sI(AHP. We have previously shown that learning-induced AHP reduction is maintained by persistent protein kinase C (PKC and extracellular regulated kinase (ERK activation. However, the molecular machinery underlying this long-lasting modulation of intrinsic excitability is yet to be fully described. Here we examine whether the CaMKII, which is known to be crucial in learning, memory and synaptic plasticity processes, is instrumental for the maintenance of learning-induced AHP reduction. KN93, that selectively blocks CaMKII autophosphorylation at Thr286, reduced the AHP in neurons from trained and control rat to the same extent. Consequently, the differences in AHP amplitude and neuronal adaptation between neurons from trained rats and controls remained. Accordingly, the level of activated CaMKII was similar in pirifrom cortex samples taken form trained and control rats. Our data show that although CaMKII modulates the amplitude of AHP of pyramidal neurons in the piriform cortex, its activation is not required for maintaining learning-induced enhancement of neuronal excitability.

  10. CAMKII activation is not required for maintenance of learning-induced enhancement of neuronal excitability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liraz, Ori; Rosenblum, Kobi; Barkai, Edi

    2009-01-01

    Pyramidal neurons in the piriform cortex from olfactory-discrimination trained rats show enhanced intrinsic neuronal excitability that lasts for several days after learning. Such enhanced intrinsic excitability is mediated by long-term reduction in the post-burst after-hyperpolarization (AHP) which is generated by repetitive spike firing. AHP reduction is due to decreased conductance of a calcium-dependent potassium current, the sI(AHP). We have previously shown that learning-induced AHP reduction is maintained by persistent protein kinase C (PKC) and extracellular regulated kinase (ERK) activation. However, the molecular machinery underlying this long-lasting modulation of intrinsic excitability is yet to be fully described. Here we examine whether the CaMKII, which is known to be crucial in learning, memory and synaptic plasticity processes, is instrumental for the maintenance of learning-induced AHP reduction. KN93, that selectively blocks CaMKII autophosphorylation at Thr286, reduced the AHP in neurons from trained and control rat to the same extent. Consequently, the differences in AHP amplitude and neuronal adaptation between neurons from trained rats and controls remained. Accordingly, the level of activated CaMKII was similar in pirifrom cortex samples taken form trained and control rats. Our data show that although CaMKII modulates the amplitude of AHP of pyramidal neurons in the piriform cortex, its activation is not required for maintaining learning-induced enhancement of neuronal excitability.

  11. Enhancement of morphological plasticity in hippocampal neurons by a physically modified saline via phosphatidylinositol-3 kinase.

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    Avik Roy

    Full Text Available Increase of the density of dendritic spines and enhancement of synaptic transmission through ionotropic glutamate receptors are important events, leading to synaptic plasticity and eventually hippocampus-dependent spatial learning and memory formation. Here we have undertaken an innovative approach to upregulate hippocampal plasticity. RNS60 is a 0.9% saline solution containing charge-stabilized nanobubbles that are generated by subjecting normal saline to Taylor-Couette-Poiseuille (TCP flow under elevated oxygen pressure. RNS60, but not NS (normal saline, PNS60 (saline containing a comparable level of oxygen without the TCP modification, or RNS10.3 (TCP-modified normal saline without excess oxygen, stimulated morphological plasticity and synaptic transmission via NMDA- and AMPA-sensitive calcium influx in cultured mouse hippocampal neurons. Using mRNA-based targeted gene array, real-time PCR, immunoblot, and immunofluorescence analyses, we further demonstrate that RNS60 stimulated the expression of many plasticity-associated genes in cultured hippocampal neurons. Activation of type IA, but not type IB, phosphatidylinositol-3 (PI-3 kinase by RNS60 together with abrogation of RNS60-mediated upregulation of plasticity-related proteins (NR2A and GluR1 and increase in spine density, neuronal size, and calcium influx by LY294002, a specific inhibitor of PI-3 kinase, suggest that RNS60 upregulates hippocampal plasticity via activation of PI-3 kinase. Finally, in the 5XFAD transgenic model of Alzheimer's disease (AD, RNS60 treatment upregulated expression of plasticity-related proteins PSD95 and NR2A and increased AMPA- and NMDA-dependent hippocampal calcium influx. These results describe a novel property of RNS60 in stimulating hippocampal plasticity, which may help AD and other dementias.

  12. Enhancement of morphological plasticity in hippocampal neurons by a physically modified saline via phosphatidylinositol-3 kinase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roy, Avik; Modi, Khushbu K; Khasnavis, Saurabh; Ghosh, Supurna; Watson, Richard; Pahan, Kalipada

    2014-01-01

    Increase of the density of dendritic spines and enhancement of synaptic transmission through ionotropic glutamate receptors are important events, leading to synaptic plasticity and eventually hippocampus-dependent spatial learning and memory formation. Here we have undertaken an innovative approach to upregulate hippocampal plasticity. RNS60 is a 0.9% saline solution containing charge-stabilized nanobubbles that are generated by subjecting normal saline to Taylor-Couette-Poiseuille (TCP) flow under elevated oxygen pressure. RNS60, but not NS (normal saline), PNS60 (saline containing a comparable level of oxygen without the TCP modification), or RNS10.3 (TCP-modified normal saline without excess oxygen), stimulated morphological plasticity and synaptic transmission via NMDA- and AMPA-sensitive calcium influx in cultured mouse hippocampal neurons. Using mRNA-based targeted gene array, real-time PCR, immunoblot, and immunofluorescence analyses, we further demonstrate that RNS60 stimulated the expression of many plasticity-associated genes in cultured hippocampal neurons. Activation of type IA, but not type IB, phosphatidylinositol-3 (PI-3) kinase by RNS60 together with abrogation of RNS60-mediated upregulation of plasticity-related proteins (NR2A and GluR1) and increase in spine density, neuronal size, and calcium influx by LY294002, a specific inhibitor of PI-3 kinase, suggest that RNS60 upregulates hippocampal plasticity via activation of PI-3 kinase. Finally, in the 5XFAD transgenic model of Alzheimer's disease (AD), RNS60 treatment upregulated expression of plasticity-related proteins PSD95 and NR2A and increased AMPA- and NMDA-dependent hippocampal calcium influx. These results describe a novel property of RNS60 in stimulating hippocampal plasticity, which may help AD and other dementias.

  13. Nitric oxide enhances inhibitory synaptic transmission and neuronal excitability in guinea-pig submucous plexus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joel C Bornstein

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Varicosities immunoreactive for nitric oxide synthase (NOS make synaptic connections with submucosal neurons in the guinea-pig small intestine, but the effects of nitric oxide (NO on these neurons are unknown. We used intracellular recording to characterise effects of sodium nitroprusside (SNP, NO donor and nitro-L-arginine (NOLA, NOS inhibitor, on inhibitory synaptic potentials (IPSPs, slow excitatory synaptic potentials (EPSPs and action potential firing in submucosal neurons of guinea-pig ileum in vitro. Recordings were made from neurons with the characteristic IPSPs of non-cholinergic secretomotor neurons. SNP (100 μM markedly enhanced IPSPs evoked by single stimuli applied to intermodal strands and IPSPs evoked by trains of 2 – 10 pulses (30 Hz. Both noradrenergic (idazoxan-sensitive and non-adrenergic (idazoxan-insensitive IPSPs were affected. SNP enhanced hyperpolarizations evoked by locally applied noradrenaline or somatostatin. SNP did not affect slow EPSPs evoked by single stimuli, but depressed slow EPSPs evoked by stimulus trains. NOLA (100 μM depressed IPSPs evoked by 1-3 stimulus pulses and enhanced slow EPSPs evoked by trains of 2 – 3 stimuli (30 Hz. SNP also increased the number of action potentials and the duration of firing evoked by prolonged (500 or 1000 ms depolarizing current pulses, but NOLA had no consistent effect on action potential firing. We conclude that neurally released NO acts post-synaptically to enhance IPSPs and depress slow EPSPs, but may enhance the intrinsic excitability of these neurons. Thus, NOS neurons may locally regulate several secretomotor pathways ending on common neurons.

  14. Nanoparticle-mediated transcriptional modification enhances neuronal differentiation of human neural stem cells following transplantation in rat brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xiaowei; Tzeng, Stephany Y; Liu, Xiaoyan; Tammia, Markus; Cheng, Yu-Hao; Rolfe, Andrew; Sun, Dong; Zhang, Ning; Green, Jordan J; Wen, Xuejun; Mao, Hai-Quan

    2016-04-01

    Strategies to enhance survival and direct the differentiation of stem cells in vivo following transplantation in tissue repair site are critical to realizing the potential of stem cell-based therapies. Here we demonstrated an effective approach to promote neuronal differentiation and maturation of human fetal tissue-derived neural stem cells (hNSCs) in a brain lesion site of a rat traumatic brain injury model using biodegradable nanoparticle-mediated transfection method to deliver key transcriptional factor neurogenin-2 to hNSCs when transplanted with a tailored hyaluronic acid (HA) hydrogel, generating larger number of more mature neurons engrafted to the host brain tissue than non-transfected cells. The nanoparticle-mediated transcription activation method together with an HA hydrogel delivery matrix provides a translatable approach for stem cell-based regenerative therapy.

  15. Ensemble Fractional Sensitivity: A Quantitative Approach to Neuron Selection for Decoding Motor Tasks

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    Girish Singhal

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available A robust method to help identify the population of neurons used for decoding motor tasks is developed. We use sensitivity analysis to develop a new metric for quantifying the relative contribution of a neuron towards the decoded output, called “fractional sensitivity.” Previous model-based approaches for neuron ranking have been shown to largely depend on the collection of training data. We suggest the use of an ensemble of models that are trained on random subsets of trials to rank neurons. For this work, we tested a decoding algorithm on neuronal data recorded from two male rhesus monkeys while they performed a reach to grasp a bar at three orientations (45∘, 90∘, or 135∘. An ensemble approach led to a statistically significant increase of 5% in decoding accuracy and 25% increase in identification accuracy of simulated noisy neurons, when compared to a single model. Furthermore, ranking neurons based on the ensemble fractional sensitivities resulted in decoding accuracies 10%–20% greater than when randomly selecting neurons or ranking based on firing rates alone. By systematically reducing the size of the input space, we determine the optimal number of neurons needed for decoding the motor output. This selection approach has practical benefits for other BMI applications where limited number of electrodes and training datasets are available, but high decoding accuracies are desirable.

  16. Ablation of NMDA receptors enhances the excitability of hippocampal CA3 neurons.

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    Fumiaki Fukushima

    Full Text Available Synchronized discharges in the hippocampal CA3 recurrent network are supposed to underlie network oscillations, memory formation and seizure generation. In the hippocampal CA3 network, NMDA receptors are abundant at the recurrent synapses but scarce at the mossy fiber synapses. We generated mutant mice in which NMDA receptors were abolished in hippocampal CA3 pyramidal neurons by postnatal day 14. The histological and cytological organizations of the hippocampal CA3 region were indistinguishable between control and mutant mice. We found that mutant mice lacking NMDA receptors selectively in CA3 pyramidal neurons became more susceptible to kainate-induced seizures. Consistently, mutant mice showed characteristic large EEG spikes associated with multiple unit activities (MUA, suggesting enhanced synchronous firing of CA3 neurons. The electrophysiological balance between fast excitatory and inhibitory synaptic transmission was comparable between control and mutant pyramidal neurons in the hippocampal CA3 region, while the NMDA receptor-slow AHP coupling was diminished in the mutant neurons. In the adult brain, inducible ablation of NMDA receptors in the hippocampal CA3 region by the viral expression vector for Cre recombinase also induced similar large EEG spikes. Furthermore, pharmacological blockade of CA3 NMDA receptors enhanced the susceptibility to kainate-induced seizures. These results raise an intriguing possibility that hippocampal CA3 NMDA receptors may suppress the excitability of the recurrent network as a whole in vivo by restricting synchronous firing of CA3 neurons.

  17. ATF3 increases the intrinsic growth state of DRG neurons to enhance peripheral nerve regeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seijffers, Rhona; Mills, Charles D; Woolf, Clifford J

    2007-07-25

    Peripheral axons of dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons, but not their central axons in the dorsal columns, regenerate after injury. However, if the neurons are conditioned by a peripheral nerve injury into an actively growing state, the rate of peripheral axonal growth is accelerated and the injured central axons begin to regenerate. The growth-promoting effects of conditioning injuries have two components, increased axonal growth and a reduced response to inhibitory myelin cues. We have examined which transcription factors activated by peripheral axonal injury may mediate the conditioning effect by regulating expression of effectors that increase the intrinsic growth state of the neurons. Activating transcription factor 3 (ATF3) is a prime candidate because it is induced in all injured DRG neurons after peripheral, but not central, axonal damage. To investigate if ATF3 promotes regeneration, we generated transgenic mice that constitutively express this transcription factor in non-injured adult DRG neurons. The rate of peripheral nerve regeneration was enhanced in the transgenic mice to an extent comparable to that produced by a preconditioning nerve injury. The expression of some growth-associated genes, such as SPRR1A, but not others like GAP-43, was increased in the non-injured neurons. ATF3 increased DRG neurite elongation when cultured on permissive substrates but did not overcome the inhibitory effects of myelin or promote central axonal regeneration in the spinal cord in vivo. We conclude that ATF3 contributes to nerve regeneration by increasing the intrinsic growth state of injured neurons.

  18. Self-organization of a neural network with heterogeneous neurons enhances coherence and stochastic resonance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xiumin; Zhang, Jie; Small, Michael

    2009-03-01

    Most network models for neural behavior assume a predefined network topology and consist of almost identical elements exhibiting little heterogeneity. In this paper, we propose a self-organized network consisting of heterogeneous neurons with different behaviors or degrees of excitability. The synaptic connections evolve according to the spike-timing dependent plasticity mechanism and finally a sparse and active-neuron-dominant structure is observed. That is, strong connections are mainly distributed to the synapses from active neurons to inactive ones. We argue that this self-emergent topology essentially reflects the competition of different neurons and encodes the heterogeneity. This structure is shown to significantly enhance the coherence resonance and stochastic resonance of the entire network, indicating its high efficiency in information processing.

  19. Structured PDMS Chambers for Enhanced Human Neuronal Cell Activity on MEA Platforms

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Joose Kreutzer; Laura Yl(a)-Outinen; Paula K(a)irn(a); Tiina Kaarela; Jarno Mikkonen; Heli Skottman; Susanna Narkilahti; Pasi Kallio

    2012-01-01

    Structured poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) chambers were designed and fabricated to enhance the signaling of human Embryonic Stem Cell (hESC) - derived neuronal networks on Microelectrode Array (MEA) platforms.The structured PDMS chambers enable cell seeding on restricted areas and thus,reduce the amount of needed coating materials and cells.In addition,the neuronal cells formed spontaneously active networks faster in the structured PDMS chambers than that in control chainbers.In the PDMS chambers,the neuronal networks were more active and able to develop their signaling into organized signal trains faster than control cultures.The PDMS chamber design enables much more repeatable analysis and rapid growth of functional neuronal network in vitro.Moreover,due to its easy and cheap fabrication process,new configurations can be easily fabricated based on investigator requirements.

  20. Delay-enhanced coherence of spiral waves in noisy Hodgkin-Huxley neuronal networks

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wang Qingyun [State Key Laboratory for Turbulence and Complex Systems, Department of Mechanics and Aerospace Engineering, College of Engineering, Peking University, Beijing 100871 (China) and School of Statistics and Mathematics, Inner Mongolia Finance and Economics College, Huhhot 010051 (China)], E-mail: nmqingyun@163.com; Perc, Matjaz [Department of Physics, Faculty of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, University of Maribor, Koroska cesta 160, SI-2000 Maribor (Slovenia); Duan Zhisheng [State Key Laboratory for Turbulence and Complex Systems, Department of Mechanics and Aerospace Engineering, College of Engineering, Peking University, Beijing 100871 (China); Chen Guanrong [State Key Laboratory for Turbulence and Complex Systems, Department of Mechanics and Aerospace Engineering, College of Engineering, Peking University, Beijing 100871 (China); Department of Electronic Engineering, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong (China)

    2008-08-25

    We study the spatial dynamics of spiral waves in noisy Hodgkin-Huxley neuronal ensembles evoked by different information transmission delays and network topologies. In classical settings of coherence resonance the intensity of noise is fine-tuned so as to optimize the system's response. Here, we keep the noise intensity constant, and instead, vary the length of information transmission delay amongst coupled neurons. We show that there exists an intermediate transmission delay by which the spiral waves are optimally ordered, hence indicating the existence of delay-enhanced coherence of spatial dynamics in the examined system. Additionally, we examine the robustness of this phenomenon as the diffusive interaction topology changes towards the small-world type, and discover that shortcut links amongst distant neurons hinder the emergence of coherent spiral waves irrespective of transmission delay length. Presented results thus provide insights that could facilitate the understanding of information transmission delay on realistic neuronal networks.

  1. [New strategy to promote adult spinal cord regeneration: enhance adult neurons' intrinsic growth capability].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Ping

    2009-01-01

    Injured adult spinal cord neurons are usually unable to regenerate their axons due to the inhibitory environment and low intrinsic regenerative capability. One of the main strategies to promote spinal cord regeneration is blocking and/or neutralizing the inhibitory factors or their common inhibitory signal pathway. However, overcoming inhibition alone is insufficient to cause extensive regeneration when neurons' intrinsic growth state has not been activated. Therefore, it becomes one of the most interested targets for promoting spinal cord regeneration that how to enhance adult neurons' intrinsic growth capability, such as elevating adult neuron cAMP/PKA level, blocking Rho/ROCK pathway, modulating transcriptional factors etc., such that they no longer response to inhibitory environment. In this paper we will review the current research findings and recent progresses in this field.

  2. PDF and cAMP enhance PER stability in Drosophila clock neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yue; Guo, Fang; Shen, James; Rosbash, Michael

    2014-04-01

    The neuropeptide PDF is important for Drosophila circadian rhythms: pdf(01) (pdf-null) animals are mostly arrhythmic or short period in constant darkness and have an advanced activity peak in light-dark conditions. PDF contributes to the amplitude, synchrony, as well as the pace of circadian rhythms within clock neurons. PDF is known to increase cAMP levels in PDR receptor (PDFR)-containing neurons. However, there is no known connection of PDF or of cAMP with the Drosophila molecular clockworks. We discovered that the mutant period gene per(S) ameliorates the phenotypes of pdf-null flies. The period protein (PER) is a well-studied repressor of clock gene transcription, and the per(S) protein (PERS) has a markedly short half-life. The result therefore suggests that the PDF-mediated increase in cAMP might lengthen circadian period by directly enhancing PER stability. Indeed, increasing cAMP levels and cAMP-mediated protein kinase A (PKA) activity stabilizes PER, in S2 tissue culture cells and in fly circadian neurons. Adding PDF to fly brains in vitro has a similar effect. Consistent with these relationships, a light pulse causes more prominent PER degradation in pdf(01) circadian neurons than in wild-type neurons. The results indicate that PDF contributes to clock neuron synchrony by increasing cAMP and PKA, which enhance PER stability and decrease clock speed in intrinsically fast-paced PDFR-containing clock neurons. We further suggest that the more rapid degradation of PERS bypasses PKA regulation and makes the pace of clock neurons more uniform, allowing them to avoid much of the asynchrony caused by the absence of PDF.

  3. Sociodrama approach for enhancing nuclear safety

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Choi, K. S.; Kim, C. B.; Ha, Y. H. [Korea Institute of Nuclear Safety, Taejon (Korea, Republic of)

    2004-07-01

    A role playing or sociodrama has been experimentally conducted among residents from 4 NPP sites in Korea and KINS employees as a psychological approach for enhancing nuclear safety and improving public communication and public confidence in regulator in Dec. 2004. In this paper, the results were analyzed and presented and future plan and area of further study were suggested. This socio-psychological approach can be used as a new communication method for improving mutual understanding between residents and NPP operators at sites. It can be also used to solve conflicts among stakeholders and interest groups in nuclear industry.

  4. Enhancing Adhesion: Relative Merits of Different Approaches

    Science.gov (United States)

    Penn, L. S.; Pater, R.

    1996-01-01

    Adhesive performance is improved mainly by manipulation of the bimaterials interface zone, which is only a few molecules thick. There are three approaches to enhancement of interfacial adhesion at the molecular level. They are 1) changing the nonchemically bonded interactions across the interface from weak ones to strong ones, 2) making the true interfacial area much larger than the simple geometric area, and 3) inducing chemical bonding between the two materials forming the interface. Our goal this summer was to question some of the built-in assumptions contained within these approaches and to determine the most promising approach, both theoretically and practically, for enhancing adhesion in NASA structures. Our computations revealed that all three of these approaches have, in theory, the potential to enhance molecular adhesion approximately ten-fold. Experiments, however, revealed that this excellent level of enhancement is not likely to be reached in practice. Each approach was found to be severely limited by practical problems. In addition, some of the built-in assumptions associated with these approaches were found to be insufficient or inadequate. The first approach, changing the nonchemically bonded interactions from weak to strong, Is an example of one containing inadequate assumptions. The extensive literature on intermolecular interactions, based on solution studies, shows that certain functional group pairs interact much more strongly than others. It has always been assumed that these data can be reliably extended to systems where only one member of the pair is in solution and the other Is contained in a solid surface. Our experiments this summer demonstrated that solution data do not adequately predict the strength of functional group interaction at the solid-liquid interface. Furthermore, the strong solvents needed to dissolve the monomers or polymers to which the functional groups of interest are attached compete successfully with the solid surface

  5. FGF and Notch signaling in sensory neuron formation: a multifactorial approach to understanding signaling pathway hierarchy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Voelkel, Jacob E; Harvey, Jamison A; Adams, Jason S; Lassiter, Rhonda N; Stark, Michael R

    2014-11-01

    The ophthalmic trigeminal (opV) placode exclusively gives rise to sensory neurons, making it a good model to study the molecular regulation of sensory neurogenesis. A number of signaling pathways including Wnt, PDGF, FGF, and Notch have been shown to be involved in the process of opV placode cell development. However, the regulatory relationships between these signaling pathways in placode cells are still unknown and have been difficult to study experimentally. Using a novel multifactorial approach in chick embryos that allows for inhibition of FGF throughout the tissue or in individual cells, with simultaneous inactivation of Notch signaling, we investigated the potential interaction between the FGF and Notch signaling pathways in trigeminal sensory neurogenesis. This study builds on prior research describing the individual role of FGF signaling or Notch signaling in opV placode development, where blocking FGF signaling resulted in neurogenesis failure, while blocking Notch signaling resulted in enhanced neurogenesis. Reported here, blocking both pathways simultaneously resulted in a reduction in the number of cells delaminating from the opV placode and undergoing sensory neuron differentiation. Further, Notch inhibition alone did not lead to an increase in the number of cells expressing FGFR4 or in the FGFR4 expression domain, but did result in a highly fragmented basal lamina, which was reversed when blocking FGF signaling. Cumulatively, the results presented here do not support a model of Notch/FGF interdependence, rather that FGF and Notch act in parallel to promote sensory neurogenesis.

  6. Neuronal population dynamic model:An analytic approach

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Wentao Huang; Licheng Jiao; Yuelei Xu; Shiping Ma; Jianhua Jia

    2009-01-01

    rom this,the stationary solution and the firing rate of the stationary states are given.Last,by the Fourier transform,the time dependent solution is also obtained.This method can be used to analyze the various dynamic behaviors of neuronal populations.

  7. Expression of Terminal Effector Genes in Mammalian Neurons Is Maintained by a Dynamic Relay of Transient Enhancers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rhee, Ho Sung; Closser, Michael; Guo, Yuchun; Bashkirova, Elizaveta V; Tan, G Christopher; Gifford, David K; Wichterle, Hynek

    2016-12-21

    Generic spinal motor neuron identity is established by cooperative binding of programming transcription factors (TFs), Isl1 and Lhx3, to motor-neuron-specific enhancers. How expression of effector genes is maintained following downregulation of programming TFs in maturing neurons remains unknown. High-resolution exonuclease (ChIP-exo) mapping revealed that the majority of enhancers established by programming TFs are rapidly deactivated following Lhx3 downregulation in stem-cell-derived hypaxial motor neurons. Isl1 is released from nascent motor neuron enhancers and recruited to new enhancers bound by clusters of Onecut1 in maturing neurons. Synthetic enhancer reporter assays revealed that Isl1 operates as an integrator factor, translating the density of Lhx3 or Onecut1 binding sites into transient enhancer activity. Importantly, independent Isl1/Lhx3- and Isl1/Onecut1-bound enhancers contribute to sustained expression of motor neuron effector genes, demonstrating that outwardly stable expression of terminal effector genes in postmitotic neurons is controlled by a dynamic relay of stage-specific enhancers. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Zinc enhances the inhibitory effects of strychnine-sensitive glycine receptors in mouse hippocampal neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Hai Xia; Thio, Liu Lin

    2007-12-01

    Although extracellular Zn(2+) is an endogenous biphasic modulator of strychnine-sensitive glycine receptors (GlyRs), the physiological significance of this modulation remains poorly understood. Zn(2+) modulation of GlyR may be especially important in the hippocampus where presynaptic Zn(2+) is abundant. Using cultured embryonic mouse hippocampal neurons, we examined whether 1 microM Zn(2+), a potentiating concentration, enhances the inhibitory effects of GlyRs activated by sustained glycine applications. Sustained 20 microM glycine (EC(25)) applications alone did not decrease the number of action potentials evoked by depolarizing steps, but they did in 1 microM Zn(2+). At least part of this effect resulted from Zn(2+) enhancing the GlyR-induced decrease in input resistance. Sustained 20 microM glycine applications alone did not alter neuronal bursting, a form of hyperexcitability induced by omitting extracellular Mg(2+). However, sustained 20 microM glycine applications depressed neuronal bursting in 1 microM Zn(2+). Zn(2+) did not enhance the inhibitory effects of sustained 60 microM glycine (EC(70)) applications in these paradigms. These results suggest that tonic GlyR activation could decrease neuronal excitability. To test this possibility, we examined the effect of the GlyR antagonist strychnine and the Zn(2+) chelator tricine on action potential firing by CA1 pyramidal neurons in mouse hippocampal slices. Co-applying strychnine and tricine slightly but significantly increased the number of action potentials fired during a depolarizing current step and decreased the rheobase for action potential firing. Thus Zn(2+) may modulate neuronal excitability normally and in pathological conditions such as seizures by potentiating GlyRs tonically activated by low agonist concentrations.

  9. Image evolution approach for contrast enhancement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sapiro, Guillermo; Casalles, Vicent

    1995-09-01

    An algorithm for histogram modification via image evolution equations is first presented in this paper. We show that the image histogram can be modified to achieve any given distribution as the steady state solution of this partial differential equation. We then prove that this equation corresponds to a gradient descent flow of a variational problem. That is, the proposed PDE is solving an energy minimization problem. This gives a new interpretation to histogram modification and contrast enhancement in general. This interpretation is completely formulated in the image domain, in contrast with classical techniques for histogram modification which are formulated in a probabilistic domain. From this, new algorithms for contrast enhancement, which include for example, image modeling, can be derived. Based on the energy formulation and its corresponding PDE, we show that the proposed histogram modification algorithm can be combined with denoising schemes. This allows to perform simultaneous contrast enhancement and denoising, avoiding common noise sharpening effects in classical algorithms. The approach is extended to local contrast enhancement as well. Theoretical results regarding the existence of solutions of the proposed equations are presented.

  10. nAChR agonist-induced cognition enhancement: integration of cognitive and neuronal mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarter, Martin; Parikh, Vinay; Howe, William M

    2009-10-01

    The identification and characterization of drugs for the treatment of cognitive disorders has been hampered by the absence of comprehensive hypotheses. Such hypotheses consist of (a) a precisely defined cognitive operation that fundamentally underlies a range of cognitive abilities and capacities and, if impaired, contributes to the manifestation of diverse cognitive symptoms; (b) defined neuronal mechanisms proposed to mediate the cognitive operation of interest; (c) evidence indicating that the putative cognition enhancer facilitates these neuronal mechanisms; (d) and evidence indicating that the cognition enhancer facilitates cognitive performance by modulating these underlying neuronal mechanisms. The evidence on the neuronal and attentional effects of nAChR agonists, specifically agonists selective for alpha4beta2* nAChRs, has begun to support such a hypothesis. nAChR agonists facilitate the detection of signals by augmenting the transient increases in prefrontal cholinergic activity that are necessary for a signal to gain control over behavior in attentional contexts. The prefrontal microcircuitry mediating these effects include alpha4beta2* nAChRs situated on the terminals of thalamic inputs and the glutamatergic stimulation of cholinergic terminals via ionotropic glutamate receptors. Collectively, this evidence forms the basis for hypothesis-guided development and characterization of cognition enhancers.

  11. Enhancement of spike coherence by the departure from Gaussian noise in a Hodgkin-Huxley neuron

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2009-01-01

    Experimental study has shown that non-Gaussian noise exists in sensory systems like neurons.The departure from Gaussian behavior is a characteristic parameter of non-Gaussian noise.In this paper,we have numerically studied the effect of a particular kind of non-Gaussian colored noise(NGN),especially its departure q from Gaussian noise(q = 1),on the spiking activity in a deterministic Hodgkin-Huxley(HH) neuron driven by sub-threshold periodic stimulus.Simulation results show that the departure q can affect the spiking activity induced by noise intensity D.For smaller q values,the minimum in the variation coefficient(CV) as a function of noise intensity(D) becomes smaller,showing that D-induced stochastic resonance(SR) becomes strengthened.Meanwhile,depending on the value of D,q can either enhance or reduce the spiking regularity.Interestingly,CV changes non-monotonously with varying q and passes through a minimum at an intermediate q,representing the presence of "departure-induced SR".This result shows that appropriate departures of the NGN can enhance the spike coherence in the HH neuron.Since the departure of the NGN determines the probability distribution and hence may denote the type of the noise,"departure-induced SR" shows that different types of noise can enhance the spike coherence,and hence may improve the timing precision of sub-threshold signal encoding in the HH neuron.

  12. Neuronal glucoprivation enhances hypothalamic histamine turnover in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oohara, A; Yoshimatsu, H; Kurokawa, M; Oishi, R; Saeki, K; Sakata, T

    1994-08-01

    Histamine (HA) turnover in the rat hypothalamus following insufficient energy supply due to glucoprivation was examined after administration of insulin or 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2-DG). HA turnover was assessed by accumulation of tele-methylhistamine (t-MH), a major metabolite of brain HA, following administration of pargyline. Intraperitoneal injection of 1, 2, and 4 U/kg of insulin, which had no influence on steady-state levels of HA and t-MH, increased pargyline-induced accumulation of t-MH. Accumulation of t-MH due to pargyline was inversely related to the concomitant plasma glucose concentration after different doses of insulin. The level of t-MH accumulated by pargyline did not change compared with that of controls, when a euglycemic condition was maintained or insulin at a dose of 6 mU per rat was infused into the third cerebroventricle. Intracerebroventricular infusion of 24 mumol per rat of 2-DG, which had no influence on steady-state levels of HA and t-MH, increased the level of t-MH enhanced by pargyline. The results indicate that an increase in hypothalamic HA turnover in response to glucoprivation may be involved in homeostatic regulation of energy metabolism in the brain.

  13. The unusual response of serotonergic neurons after CNS Injury: lack of axonal dieback and enhanced sprouting within the inhibitory environment of the glial scar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hawthorne, Alicia L; Hu, Hongmei; Kundu, Bornali; Steinmetz, Michael P; Wylie, Christi J; Deneris, Evan S; Silver, Jerry

    2011-04-13

    Serotonergic neurons possess an enhanced ability to regenerate or sprout after many types of injury. To understand the mechanisms that underlie their unusual properties, we used a combinatorial approach comparing the behavior of serotonergic and cortical axon tips over time in the same injury environment in vivo and to growth-promoting or growth-inhibitory substrates in vitro. After a thermocoagulatory lesion in the rat frontoparietal cortex, callosal axons become dystrophic and die back. Serotonergic axons, however, persist within the lesion edge. At the third week post-injury, 5-HT+ axons sprout robustly. The lesion environment contains both growth-inhibitory chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans (CSPGs) and growth-promoting laminin. Transgenic mouse serotonergic neurons specifically labeled by enhanced yellow fluorescent protein under control of the Pet-1 promoter/enhancer or cortical neurons were cultured on low amounts of laminin with or without relatively high concentrations of the CSPG aggrecan. Serotonergic neurons extended considerably longer neurites than did cortical neurons on low laminin and exhibited a remarkably more active growth cone on low laminin plus aggrecan during time-lapse imaging than did cortical neurons. Chondroitinase ABC treatment of laminin/CSPG substrates resulted in significantly longer serotonergic but not cortical neurite lengths. This increased ability of serotonergic neurons to robustly grow on high amounts of CSPG may be partially due to significantly higher amounts of growth-associated protein-43 and/or β1 integrin than cortical neurons. Blocking β1 integrin decreased serotonergic and cortical outgrowth on laminin. Determining the mechanism by which serotonergic fibers persist and sprout after lesion could lead to therapeutic strategies for both stroke and spinal cord injury.

  14. Embryonic stem cells and prospects for their use in regenerative medicine approaches to motor neurone disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christou, Y A; Moore, H D; Shaw, P J; Monk, P N

    2007-10-01

    Human embryonic stem cells are pluripotent cells with the potential to differentiate into any cell type in the presence of appropriate stimulatory factors and environmental cues. Their broad developmental potential has led to valuable insights into the principles of developmental and cell biology and to the proposed use of human embryonic stem cells or their differentiated progeny in regenerative medicine. This review focuses on the prospects for the use of embryonic stem cells in cell-based therapy for motor neurone disease or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a progressive neurodegenerative disease that specifically affects upper and lower motor neurones and leads ultimately to death from respiratory failure. Stem cell-derived motor neurones could conceivably be used to replace the degenerated cells, to provide authentic substrates for drug development and screening and for furthering our understanding of disease mechanisms. However, to reliably and accurately culture motor neurones, the complex pathways by which differentiation occurs in vivo must be understood and reiterated in vitro by embryonic stem cells. Here we discuss the need for new therapeutic strategies in the treatment of motor neurone disease, the developmental processes that result in motor neurone formation in vivo, a number of experimental approaches to motor neurone production in vitro and recent progress in the application of stem cells to the treatment and understanding of motor neurone disease.

  15. The smell of blue light: a new approach towards understanding an olfactory neuronal network

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Klemens F Störtkuhl

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Olfaction is one of the most important senses throughout the animal kingdom. It enables animals to discriminate between a wide variety of attractive and repulsive odorants and often plays a decisive role in species specific communication. In recent years the analysis of olfactory systems both in vertebrates and invertebrates has attracted much scientific interest. In this context a pivotal question is how the properties and connectivities of individual neurons contribute to a functioning neuronal network that mediates odor-guided behavior. As a novel approach to analyze the role of individual neurons within a circuitry, techniques have been established that make use of light-sensitive proteins. In this review we introduce a non-invasive, optogenetic technique which was used to manipulate the activity of individual neurons in the olfactory system of Drosophila melanogaster larvae. Both channelrhodopsin-2 and the photosensitive adenylyl cyclase PAC α in individual olfactory receptor neurons of the olfactory system of Drosophila larvae allows stimulating individual receptor neurons by light. Depending on which particular olfactory receptor neuron is optogenetically activated, repulsion or attraction behavior can be induced, indicating which sensory neurons underlie which type of behavior.

  16. Genetic approaches to the molecular/neuronal mechanisms underlying learning and memory in the mouse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakajima, Akira; Tang, Ya-Ping

    2005-09-01

    Learning and memory is an essential component of human intelligence. To understand its underlying molecular and neuronal mechanisms is currently an extensive focus in the field of cognitive neuroscience. We have employed advanced mouse genetic approaches to analyze the molecular and neuronal bases for learning and memory, and our results showed that brain region-specific genetic manipulations (including transgenic and knockout), inducible/reversible knockout, genetic/chemical kinase inactivation, and neuronal-based genetic approach are very powerful tools for studying the involvements of various molecules or neuronal substrates in the processes of learning and memory. Studies using these techniques may eventually lead to the understanding of how new information is acquired and how learned information is memorized in the brain.

  17. Redistribution of Kv1 and Kv7 enhances neuronal excitability during structural axon initial segment plasticity.

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    Kuba, Hiroshi; Yamada, Rei; Ishiguro, Go; Adachi, Ryota

    2015-11-19

    Structural plasticity of the axon initial segment (AIS), the trigger zone of neurons, is a powerful means for regulating neuronal activity. Here, we show that AIS plasticity is not limited to structural changes; it also occurs as changes in ion-channel expression, which substantially augments the efficacy of regulation. In the avian cochlear nucleus, depriving afferent inputs by removing cochlea elongated the AIS, and simultaneously switched the dominant Kv channels at the AIS from Kv1.1 to Kv7.2. Due to the slow activation kinetics of Kv7.2, the redistribution of the Kv channels reduced the shunting conductance at the elongated AIS during the initiation of action potentials and effectively enhanced the excitability of the deprived neurons. The results indicate that the functional plasticity of the AIS works cooperatively with the structural plasticity and compensates for the loss of afferent inputs to maintain the homeostasis of auditory circuits after hearing loss by cochlea removal.

  18. STAT3 modulation to enhance motor neuron differentiation in human neural stem cells.

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    Rajalaxmi Natarajan

    Full Text Available Spinal cord injury or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis damages spinal motor neurons and forms a glial scar, which prevents neural regeneration. Signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3 plays a critical role in astrogliogenesis and scar formation, and thus a fine modulation of STAT3 signaling may help to control the excessive gliogenic environment and enhance neural repair. The objective of this study was to determine the effect of STAT3 inhibition on human neural stem cells (hNSCs. In vitro hNSCs primed with fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF2 exhibited a lower level of phosphorylated STAT3 than cells primed by epidermal growth factor (EGF, which correlated with a higher number of motor neurons differentiated from FGF2-primed hNSCs. Treatment with STAT3 inhibitors, Stattic and Niclosamide, enhanced motor neuron differentiation only in FGF2-primed hNSCs, as shown by increased homeobox gene Hb9 mRNA levels as well as HB9+ and microtubule-associated protein 2 (MAP2+ co-labeled cells. The increased motor neuron differentiation was accompanied by a decrease in the number of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP-positive astrocytes. Interestingly, Stattic and Niclosamide did not affect the level of STAT3 phosphorylation; rather, they perturbed the nuclear translocation of phosphorylated STAT3. In summary, we demonstrate that FGF2 is required for motor neuron differentiation from hNSCs and that inhibition of STAT3 further increases motor neuron differentiation at the expense of astrogliogenesis. Our study thus suggests a potential benefit of targeting the STAT3 pathway for neurotrauma or neurodegenerative diseases.

  19. Enhanced endocannabinoid signaling elevates neuronal excitability in fragile X syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Longhua; Alger, Bradley E

    2010-04-21

    Fragile X syndrome (FXS) results from deficiency of fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP). FXS is the most common heritable form of mental retardation, and is associated with the occurrence of seizures. Factors responsible for initiating FXS-related hyperexcitability are poorly understood. Many protein-synthesis-dependent functions of group I metabotropic glutamate receptors (Gp1 mGluRs) are exaggerated in FXS. Gp1 mGluR activation can mobilize endocannabinoids (eCBs) in the hippocampus and thereby increase excitability, but whether FMRP affects eCBs is unknown. We studied Fmr1 knock-out (KO) mice lacking FMRP to test the hypothesis that eCB function is altered in FXS. Whole-cell evoked IPSCs (eIPSCs) and field potentials were recorded in the CA1 region of acute hippocampal slices. Three eCB-mediated responses were examined: depolarization-induced suppression of inhibition (DSI), mGluR-initiated eCB-dependent inhibitory short-term depression (eCB-iSTD), and eCB-dependent inhibitory long-term depression (eCB-iLTD). Low concentrations of a Gp1 mGluR agonist produced larger eCB-mediated responses in Fmr1 KO mice than in wild-type (WT) mice, without affecting DSI. Western blots revealed that levels of mGluR1, mGluR5, or cannabinoid receptor (CB1R) were unchanged in Fmr1 KO animals, suggesting that the coupling between mGluR activation and eCB mobilization was enhanced by FMRP deletion. The increased susceptibility of Fmr1 KO slices to eCB-iLTD was physiologically relevant, since long-term potentiation of EPSP-spike (E-S) coupling induced by the mGluR agonist was markedly larger in Fmr1 KO mice than in WT animals. Alterations in eCB signaling could contribute to the cognitive dysfunction associated with FXS.

  20. Cocaine Exposure Enhances the Activity of Ventral Tegmental Area Dopamine Neurons via Calcium-Impermeable NMDARs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Creed, Meaghan; Kaufling, Jennifer; Fois, Giulia R; Jalabert, Marion; Yuan, Tifei; Lüscher, Christian; Georges, Francois; Bellone, Camilla

    2016-10-19

    Potentiation of excitatory inputs onto dopamine neurons of the ventral tegmental area (VTA) induced by cocaine exposure allows remodeling of the mesocorticolimbic circuitry, which ultimately drives drug-adaptive behavior. This potentiation is mediated by changes in NMDAR and AMPAR subunit composition. It remains unknown how this synaptic plasticity affects the activity of dopamine neurons. Here, using rodents, we demonstrate that a single cocaine injection increases the firing rate and bursting activity of VTA dopamine neurons, and that these increases persist for 7 d. This enhanced activity depends on the insertion of low-conductance, Ca(2+)-impermeable NMDARs that contain GluN3A. Since such receptors are not capable of activating small-conductance potassium channels, the intrinsic excitability of VTA dopamine neurons increases. Activation of group I mGluRs rescues synaptic plasticity and restores small-conductance calcium-dependent potassium channel function, normalizing the firing activity of dopamine neurons. Our study characterizes a mechanism linking drug-evoked synaptic plasticity to neural activity, revealing novel targets for therapeutic interventions. We show that cocaine-evoked synaptic changes onto ventral tegmental area (VTA) dopamine (DA) neurons leads to long-lasting increases in their burst firing. This increase is due to impaired function of Ca(2+)-activated small-conductance calcium-dependent potassium (SK) channels; SK channels regulate firing of VTA DA neurons, but this regulation was absent after cocaine. Cocaine exposure drives the insertion of GluN3A-containing NMDARs onto VTA DA neurons. These receptors are Ca(2+)-impermeable, and thus SK channels are not efficiently activated by synaptic activity. In GluN3A knock-out mice, cocaine did not alter SK channel function or VTA DA neuron firing. This study directly links synaptic changes to increased intrinsic excitability of VTA DA neurons after cocaine, and explains how acute cocaine induces

  1. Enhanced apoptosis during early neuronal differentiation in mouse ES cells with autosomal imbalance

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Yoshiteru Kai; Teruhiko Wakayama; Mitsuo Oshimura; Chi Chiu Wang; Satoshi Kishigami; Yasuhiro Kazuki; Satoshi Abe; Masato Takiguchi; Yasuaki Shirayoshi; Toshiaki Inoue; Hisao Ito

    2009-01-01

    Although particular chromosomal syndromes are phenotypically and clinically distinct, the majority of individuals with autosomai imbalance, such as aneuploidy, manifest mental retardation. A common abnormal phenotype of Down syndrome (DS), the most prevalent autosomal aneuploidy, shows a reduction in both the number and the density of neurons in the brain. As a DS model, we have recently created chimeric mice from ES cells containing a single human chromosome 21. The mice mimicked the characteristic phenotypic features of DS, and ES cells showed a higher incidence of apoptosis during early neuronal differentiation in vitro. In this study, we examined the induction of anomalous early neural development by aneuploidy in mouse ES cells by transferring various human chromosomes or additional mouse chromosomes. Results showed an elevated incidence of apoptosis in all autosome-aneuploid clones examined during early neuronal differentiation in vitro. Further, cDNA microarray analysis revealed a common cluster of down-regulated genes, of which eight known genes are related to cell proliferation, neurite outgrowth and differentiation. Importantly, targeting of these genes by siRNA knockdown in normal mouse ES cells led to enhanced apoptosis during early neuronal differentiation. These findings strongly suggest that autosomal imbalance is associated with general neuronal loss through a common molecular mechanism for apoptosis.

  2. HIV-1gp120 induces neuronal apoptosis through enhancement of 4-aminopyridine-senstive outward K+ currents.

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    Lina Chen

    Full Text Available Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1-associated dementia (HAD usually occurs late in the course of HIV-1 infection and the mechanisms underlying HAD pathogenesis are not well understood. Accumulating evidence indicates that neuronal voltage-gated potassium (Kv channels play an important role in memory processes and acquired neuronal channelopathies in HAD. To examine whether Kv channels are involved in HIV-1-associated neuronal injury, we studied the effects of HIV-1 glycoprotein 120 (gp120 on outward K+ currents in rat cortical neuronal cultures using whole-cell patch techniques. Exposure of cortical neurons to gp120 produced a dose-dependent enhancement of A-type transient outward K+ currents (IA. The gp120-induced increase of IA was attenuated by T140, a specific antagonist for chemokine receptor CXCR4, suggesting gp120 enhancement of neuronal IA via CXCR4. Pretreatment of neuronal cultures with a protein kinase C (PKC inhibitor, GF109203X, inhibited the gp120-induced increase of IA. Biological significance of gp120 enhancement of IA was demonstrated by experimental results showing that gp120-induced neuronal apoptosis, as detected by terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL assay and caspase-3 staining, was attenuated by either an IA blocker 4-aminopyridine or a specific CXCR4 antagonist T140. Taken together, these results suggest that gp120 may induce caspase-3 dependent neuronal apoptosis by enhancing IA via CXCR4-PKC signaling.

  3. Leptin-inhibited PBN neurons enhance responses to hypoglycemia in negative energy balance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flak, Jonathan N; Patterson, Christa M; Garfield, Alastair S; D'Agostino, Giuseppe; Goforth, Paulette B; Sutton, Amy K; Malec, Paige A; Wong, Jenny-Marie T; Germani, Mark; Jones, Justin C; Rajala, Michael; Satin, Leslie; Rhodes, Christopher J; Olson, David P; Kennedy, Robert T; Heisler, Lora K; Myers, Martin G

    2014-12-01

    Hypoglycemia initiates the counter-regulatory response (CRR), in which the sympathetic nervous system, glucagon and glucocorticoids restore glucose to appropriate concentrations. During starvation, low leptin levels restrain energy utilization, enhancing long-term survival. To ensure short-term survival during hypoglycemia in fasted animals, the CRR must overcome this energy-sparing program and nutrient depletion. Here we identify in mice a previously unrecognized role for leptin and a population of leptin-regulated neurons that modulate the CRR to meet these challenges. Hypoglycemia activates neurons of the parabrachial nucleus (PBN) that coexpress leptin receptor (LepRb) and cholecystokinin (CCK) (PBN LepRb(CCK) neurons), which project to the ventromedial hypothalamic nucleus. Leptin inhibits these cells, and Cck(cre)-mediated ablation of LepRb enhances the CRR. Inhibition of PBN LepRb cells blunts the CRR, whereas their activation mimics the CRR in a CCK-dependent manner. PBN LepRb(CCK) neurons are a crucial component of the CRR system and may be a therapeutic target in hypoglycemia.

  4. Probing the dynamics of identified neurons with a data-driven modeling approach.

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    Thomas Nowotny

    Full Text Available In controlling animal behavior the nervous system has to perform within the operational limits set by the requirements of each specific behavior. The implications for the corresponding range of suitable network, single neuron, and ion channel properties have remained elusive. In this article we approach the question of how well-constrained properties of neuronal systems may be on the neuronal level. We used large data sets of the activity of isolated invertebrate identified cells and built an accurate conductance-based model for this cell type using customized automated parameter estimation techniques. By direct inspection of the data we found that the variability of the neurons is larger when they are isolated from the circuit than when in the intact system. Furthermore, the responses of the neurons to perturbations appear to be more consistent than their autonomous behavior under stationary conditions. In the developed model, the constraints on different parameters that enforce appropriate model dynamics vary widely from some very tightly controlled parameters to others that are almost arbitrary. The model also allows predictions for the effect of blocking selected ionic currents and to prove that the origin of irregular dynamics in the neuron model is proper chaoticity and that this chaoticity is typical in an appropriate sense. Our results indicate that data driven models are useful tools for the in-depth analysis of neuronal dynamics. The better consistency of responses to perturbations, in the real neurons as well as in the model, suggests a paradigm shift away from measuring autonomous dynamics alone towards protocols of controlled perturbations. Our predictions for the impact of channel blockers on the neuronal dynamics and the proof of chaoticity underscore the wide scope of our approach.

  5. Enhancement of neurite outgrowth in neuron cancer stem cells by growth on 3-D collagen scaffolds

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chen, Chih-Hao [Department of Electrical Engineering, I-Shou University, Taiwan, ROC (China); Neurosurgery, Department of Surgery, Kaohsiung Veterans General Hospital, Taiwan, ROC (China); Department of Biomedical Engineering, I-Shou University, Taiwan, ROC (China); Kuo, Shyh Ming [Department of Biomedical Engineering, I-Shou University, Taiwan, ROC (China); Liu, Guei-Sheung [Centre for Eye Research Australia, University of Melbourne (Australia); Chen, Wan-Nan U. [Department of Biological Science and Technology, I-Shou University, Taiwan, ROC (China); Chuang, Chin-Wen [Department of Electrical Engineering, I-Shou University, Taiwan, ROC (China); Liu, Li-Feng, E-mail: liulf@isu.edu.tw [Department of Biological Science and Technology, I-Shou University, Taiwan, ROC (China)

    2012-11-09

    Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Neuron cancer stem cells (NCSCs) behave high multiply of growth on collagen scaffold. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Enhancement of NCSCs neurite outgrowth on porous collagen scaffold. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer 3-D collagen culture of NCSCs shows an advance differentiation than 2-D culture. -- Abstract: Collagen is one component of the extracellular matrix that has been widely used for constructive remodeling to facilitate cell growth and differentiation. The 3-D distribution and growth of cells within the porous scaffold suggest a clinical significance for nerve tissue engineering. In the current study, we investigated proliferation and differentiation of neuron cancer stem cells (NCSCs) on a 3-D porous collagen scaffold that mimics the natural extracellular matrix. We first generated green fluorescence protein (GFP) expressing NCSCs using a lentiviral system to instantly monitor the transitions of morphological changes during growth on the 3-D scaffold. We found that proliferation of GFP-NCSCs increased, and a single cell mass rapidly grew with unrestricted expansion between days 3 and 9 in culture. Moreover, immunostaining with neuronal nuclei (NeuN) revealed that NCSCs grown on the 3-D collagen scaffold significantly enhanced neurite outgrowth. Our findings confirmed that the 80 {mu}m porous collagen scaffold could enhance attachment, viability and differentiation of the cancer neural stem cells. This result could provide a new application for nerve tissue engineering and nerve regeneration.

  6. Optogenetic activation of dorsal raphe serotonin neurons enhances patience for future rewards.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miyazaki, Kayoko W; Miyazaki, Katsuhiko; Tanaka, Kenji F; Yamanaka, Akihiro; Takahashi, Aki; Tabuchi, Sawako; Doya, Kenji

    2014-09-08

    Serotonin is a neuromodulator that is involved extensively in behavioral, affective, and cognitive functions in the brain. Previous recording studies of the midbrain dorsal raphe nucleus (DRN) revealed that the activation of putative serotonin neurons correlates with the levels of behavioral arousal [1], rhythmic motor outputs [2], salient sensory stimuli [3-6], reward, and conditioned cues [5-8]. The classic theory on serotonin states that it opposes dopamine and inhibits behaviors when aversive events are predicted [9-14]. However, the therapeutic effects of serotonin signal-enhancing medications have been difficult to reconcile with this theory [15, 16]. In contrast, a more recent theory states that serotonin facilitates long-term optimal behaviors and suppresses impulsive behaviors [17-21]. To test these theories, we developed optogenetic mice that selectively express channelrhodopsin in serotonin neurons and tested how the activation of serotonergic neurons in the DRN affects animal behavior during a delayed reward task. The activation of serotonin neurons reduced the premature cessation of waiting for conditioned cues and food rewards. In reward omission trials, serotonin neuron stimulation prolonged the time animals spent waiting. This effect was observed specifically when the animal was engaged in deciding whether to keep waiting and was not due to motor inhibition. Control experiments showed that the prolonged waiting times observed with optogenetic stimulation were not due to behavioral inhibition or the reinforcing effects of serotonergic activation. These results show, for the first time, that the timed activation of serotonin neurons during waiting promotes animals' patience to wait for a delayed reward.

  7. Neuron-astrocyte interaction enhance GABAergic synaptic transmission in a manner dependent on key metabolic enzymes.

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    Przemysław eKaczor

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available GABA is the major inhibitory neurotransmitter in the adult brain and mechanisms of GABAergic inhibition have been intensely investigated in the past decades. Recent studies provided evidence for an important role of astrocytes in shaping GABAergic currents. One of the most obvious, but yet poorly understood, mechanisms of the cross-talk between GABAergic currents and astrocytes is metabolism including neurotransmitter homeostasis. In particular, how modulation of GABAergic currents by astrocytes depends on key enzymes involved in cellular metabolism remains largely unknown. To address this issue, we have considered two simple models of neuronal cultures: nominally astrocyte-free neuronal culture (NC and neuronal-astrocytic co-cultures (ANCC and miniature Inhibitory Postsynaptic Currents (mIPSCs were recorded in control conditions and in the presence of respective enzyme blockers. We report that enrichment of neuronal culture with astrocytes results in a marked increase in mIPSC frequency. This enhancement of GABAergic activity was accompanied by increased number of GAD65 and vGAT puncta, indicating that at least a part of the frequency enhancement was due to increased number of synaptic contacts. Inhibition of glutamine synthetase (with MSO strongly reduced mIPSC frequency in ANCC but had no effect in NC. Moreover, treatment of ANCC with inhibitor of glycogen phosphorylase (BAYU6751 or with selective inhibitor of astrocytic Krebs cycle,fluoroacetate, resulted in a marked reduction of mIPSC frequency in ANCC having no effect in NC. We conclude that GABAergic synaptic transmission strongly depends on neuron-astrocyte interaction in a manner dependent on key metabolic enzymes as well as on the Krebs cycle.

  8. Cyclic AMP enhances calcium-dependent potassium current in Aplysia neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ewald, D; Eckert, R

    1983-12-01

    The effect on the Ca-dependent potassium current, IK(Ca), of procedures that increase intracellular cAMP levels was studied in Aplysia neurons using three different pharmacological approaches. Exposure to cAMP analogues which were either resistant to or protected from phosphodiesterase hydrolysis caused an increase in IK(Ca) from 30 to 50% in 10 min. The degree of reversibility of this effect varied from complete with db cAMP to very little with pcpt cAMP. Exposure to cholera toxin, which stimulates the synthesis of endogenous cAMP, increased IK(Ca) 25% in 10 min and the effect was not reversible. Both approaches were effective in all seven neuron types studied. Application of serotonin plus phosphodiesterase inhibitor caused an increase in IK(Ca) in neuron R15 but not in the other neuron types. Application of pentylene tetrazole (PTZ) led to a decrease in IK(Ca). It is proposed that elevation of cyclic AMP mediates an increased sensitivity of the IK(Ca) channel to Ca ions.

  9. Morphine- and CaMKII-dependent enhancement of GIRK channel signaling in hippocampal neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nassirpour, Rounak; Bahima, Laia; Lalive, Arnaud L; Lüscher, Christian; Luján, Rafael; Slesinger, Paul A

    2010-10-06

    G-protein-gated inwardly rectifying potassium (GIRK) channels, which help control neuronal excitability, are important for the response to drugs of abuse. Here, we describe a novel pathway for morphine-dependent enhancement of GIRK channel signaling in hippocampal neurons. Morphine treatment for ∼20 h increased the colocalization of GIRK2 with PSD95, a dendritic spine marker. Western blot analysis and quantitative immunoelectron microscopy revealed an increase in GIRK2 protein and targeting to dendritic spines. In vivo administration of morphine also produced an upregulation of GIRK2 protein in the hippocampus. The mechanism engaged by morphine required elevated intracellular Ca(2+) and was insensitive to pertussis toxin, implicating opioid receptors that may couple to Gq G-proteins. Met-enkephalin, but not the μ-selective (DAMGO) and δ-selective (DPDPE) opioid receptor agonists, mimicked the effect of morphine, suggesting involvement of a heterodimeric opioid receptor complex. Peptide (KN-93) inhibition of CaMKII prevented the morphine-dependent change in GIRK localization, whereas expression of a constitutively activated form of CaMKII mimicked the effects of morphine. Coincident with an increase in GIRK2 surface expression, functional analyses revealed that morphine treatment increased the size of serotonin-activated GIRK currents and Ba(2+)-sensitive basal K(+) currents in neurons. These results demonstrate plasticity in neuronal GIRK signaling that may contribute to the abusive effects of morphine.

  10. Fear conditioning enhances γ oscillations and their entrainment of neurons representing the conditioned stimulus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Headley, Drew B; Weinberger, Norman M

    2013-03-27

    Learning alters the responses of neurons in the neocortex, typically strengthening their encoding of behaviorally relevant stimuli. These enhancements are studied extensively in the auditory cortex by characterizing changes in firing rates and evoked potentials. However, synchronous activity is also important for the processing of stimuli, especially the relationship between gamma oscillations in the local field potential and spiking. We investigated whether tone/shock fear conditioning in rats, a task known to alter responses in auditory cortex, also modified the relationship between gamma and unit activity. A boost in gamma oscillations developed, especially at sites tuned near the tone, and strengthened across multiple conditioning sessions. Unit activity became increasingly phase-locked to gamma, with sites tuned near the tone developing enhanced phase-locking during the tone, whereas those tuned away maintained a tendency to decrease their phase-locking. Enhancements in the coordination of spiking between sites tuned near the tone developed within the first conditioning session and remained throughout the rest of training. Enhanced cross-covariances in unit activity were strongest for subjects that exhibited robust conditioned fear. These results illustrate that changes in sensory cortex during associative learning extend to the coordination of neurons encoding the relevant stimulus, with implications for how it is processed downstream.

  11. Enhancement of basolateral amygdaloid neuronal dendritic arborization following Bacopa monniera extract treatment in adult rats

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    Venkata Ramana Vollala

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available OBJECTIVE: In the ancient Indian system of medicine, Ayurveda, Bacopa monniera is classified as Medhya rasayana, which includes medicinal plants that rejuvenate intellect and memory. Here, we investigated the effect of a standardized extract of Bacopa monniera on the dendritic morphology of neurons in the basolateral amygdala, a region that is concerned with learning and memory. METHODS: The present study was conducted on 2¹/2-month-old Wistar rats. The rats were divided into 2-, 4- and 6-week treatment groups. Rats in each of these groups were further divided into 20 mg/kg, 40 mg/kg and 80 mg/kg dose groups (n = 8 for each dose. After the treatment period, treated rats and age-matched control rats were subjected to spatial learning (T-maze and passive avoidance tests. Subsequently, these rats were killed by decapitation, the brains were removed, and the amygdaloid neurons were impregnated with silver nitrate (Golgi staining. Basolateral amygdaloid neurons were traced using camera lucida, and dendritic branching points (a measure of dendritic arborization and dendritic intersections (a measure of dendritic length were quantified. These data were compared with the data from the age-matched control rats. RESULTS: The results showed an improvement in spatial learning performance and enhanced memory retention in rats treated with Bacopa monniera extract. Furthermore, a significant increase in dendritic length and the number of dendritic branching points was observed along the length of the dendrites of the basolateral amygdaloid neurons of rats treated with 40 mg/kg and 80 mg/kg of Bacopa monniera (BM for longer periods of time (i.e., 4 and 6 weeks. CONCLUSION: We conclude that constituents present in Bacopa monniera extract have neuronal dendritic growth-stimulating properties.

  12. Mesenchymal stem cells enhance GABAergic transmission in co-cultured hippocampal neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mauri, Mario; Lentini, Daniela; Gravati, Marta; Foudah, Dana; Biella, Gerardo; Costa, Barbara; Toselli, Mauro; Parenti, Marco; Coco, Silvia

    2012-04-01

    Bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are multipotent stem cells endowed with neurotrophic potential combined with immunological properties, making them a promising therapeutic tool for neurodegenerative disorders. However, the mechanisms through which MSCs promote the neurological recovery following injury or inflammation are still largely unknown, although cell replacement and paracrine mechanisms have been hypothesized. In order to find out what are the mechanisms of the trophic action of MSCs, as compared to glial cells, on CNS neurons, we set up a co-culture system where rat MSCs (or cortical astrocytes) were used as a feeding layer for hippocampal neurons without any direct contact between the two cell types. The analysis of hippocampal synaptogenesis, synaptic vesicle recycling and electrical activity show that MSCs were capable to support morphological and functional neuronal differentiation. The proliferation of hippocampal glial cells induced by the release of bioactive substance(s) from MSCs was necessary for neuronal survival. Furthermore, MSCs selectively increased hippocampal GABAergic pre-synapses. This effect was paralleled with a higher expression of the potassium/chloride KCC2 co-transporter and increased frequency and amplitude of mIPSCs and sIPSCs. The enhancement of GABA synapses was impaired by the treatment with K252a, a Trk/neurotrophin receptor blocker, and by TrkB receptor bodies hence suggesting the involvement of BDNF as a mediator of such effects. The results obtained here indicate that MSC-secreted factors induce glial-dependent neuronal survival and trigger an augmented GABAergic transmission in hippocampal cultures, highlighting a new effect by which MSCs could promote CNS repair. Our results suggest that MSCs may be useful in those neurological disorders characterized by an impairment of excitation versus inhibition balance.

  13. Tetrodotoxin-resistant sodium channels in sensory neurons generate slow resurgent currents that are enhanced by inflammatory mediators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Zhi-Yong; Piekarz, Andrew D; Priest, Birgit T; Knopp, Kelly L; Krajewski, Jeffrey L; McDermott, Jeff S; Nisenbaum, Eric S; Cummins, Theodore R

    2014-05-21

    Resurgent sodium currents contribute to the regeneration of action potentials and enhanced neuronal excitability. Tetrodotoxin-sensitive (TTX-S) resurgent currents have been described in many different neuron populations, including cerebellar and dorsal root ganglia (DRG) neurons. In most cases, sodium channel Nav1.6 is the major contributor to these TTX-S resurgent currents. Here we report a novel TTX-resistant (TTX-R) resurgent current recorded from rat DRG neurons. The TTX-R resurgent currents are similar to classic TTX-S resurgent currents in many respects, but not all. As with TTX-S resurgent currents, they are activated by membrane repolarization, inhibited by lidocaine, and enhanced by a peptide-mimetic of the β4 sodium channel subunit intracellular domain. However, the TTX-R resurgent currents exhibit much slower kinetics, occur at more depolarized voltages, and are sensitive to the Nav1.8 blocker A803467. Moreover, coimmunoprecipitation experiments from rat DRG lysates indicate the endogenous sodium channel β4 subunits associate with Nav1.8 in DRG neurons. These results suggest that slow TTX-R resurgent currents in DRG neurons are mediated by Nav1.8 and are generated by the same mechanism underlying TTX-S resurgent currents. We also show that both TTX-S and TTX-R resurgent currents in DRG neurons are enhanced by inflammatory mediators. Furthermore, the β4 peptide increased excitability of small DRG neurons in the presence of TTX. We propose that these slow TTX-R resurgent currents contribute to the membrane excitability of nociceptive DRG neurons under normal conditions and that enhancement of both types of resurgent currents by inflammatory mediators could contribute to sensory neuronal hyperexcitability associated with inflammatory pain.

  14. Neuregulin 1/ErbB4 enhances synchronized oscillations of prefrontal cortex neurons via inhibitory synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hou, X-J; Ni, K-M; Yang, J-M; Li, X-M

    2014-03-07

    Both neuregulin 1 (NRG1) and its receptor ErbB4 are susceptibility genes for schizophrenia. Reduced synchronization of evoked oscillations in several cortical regions, especially in the prefrontal cortex, is associated with the core symptoms of schizophrenia. Recent studies have reported that NRG1 may affect the hippocampal oscillations. However, the role of NRG1/ErbB4 signaling in the synchronization of neurons in the prefrontal cortex is unclear. Here, we found that NRG1 enhanced the synchrony of pyramidal neurons via presynaptic interneurons. Meanwhile, NRG1 also increased the synchrony between pairs of fast-spiking interneurons and pairs of fast-spiking and non-fast-spiking interneurons in the prefrontal cortex, and this effect was mediated by ErbB4 receptors. Moreover, the NRG1-enhanced synchrony of interneurons was through their mutually-inhibitory synapses but not electrical coupling. Furthermore, kainate-induced gamma oscillations in vivo were enhanced by NRG1 and did not change in Dlx5/6-ErbB4(-/-) mice in which the ErbB4 receptors were specifically knocked out in interneurons of the frontal brain. Overall, our findings suggested that NRG1/ErbB4 signaling plays an important role in the synchronized oscillations of the whole network in the prefrontal cortex that are impaired in schizophrenia.

  15. Postsynaptic Depolarization Enhances GABA Drive to Dorsomedial Hypothalamic Neurons through Somatodendritic Cholecystokinin Release.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crosby, Karen M; Baimoukhametova, Dinara V; Bains, Jaideep S; Pittman, Quentin J

    2015-09-23

    Somatodendritically released peptides alter synaptic function through a variety of mechanisms, including autocrine actions that liberate retrograde transmitters. Cholecystokinin (CCK) is a neuropeptide expressed in neurons in the dorsomedial hypothalamic nucleus (DMH), a region implicated in satiety and stress. There are clear demonstrations that exogenous CCK modulates food intake and neuropeptide expression in the DMH, but there is no information on how endogenous CCK alters synaptic properties. Here, we provide the first report of somatodendritic release of CCK in the brain in male Sprague Dawley rats. CCK is released from DMH neurons in response to repeated postsynaptic depolarizations, and acts in an autocrine fashion on CCK2 receptors to enhance postsynaptic NMDA receptor function and liberate the retrograde transmitter, nitric oxide (NO). NO subsequently acts presynaptically to enhance GABA release through a soluble guanylate cyclase-mediated pathway. These data provide the first demonstration of synaptic actions of somatodendritically released CCK in the hypothalamus and reveal a new form of retrograde plasticity, depolarization-induced potentiation of inhibition. Significance statement: Somatodendritic signaling using endocannabinoids or nitric oxide to alter the efficacy of afferent transmission is well established. Despite early convincing evidence for somatodendritic release of neurohypophysial peptides in the hypothalamus, there is only limited evidence for this mode of release for other peptides. Here, we provide the first evidence for somatodendritic release of the satiety peptide cholecystokinin (CCK) in the brain. We also reveal a new form of synaptic plasticity in which postsynaptic depolarization results in enhancement of inhibition through the somatodendritic release of CCK.

  16. Estimation of the neuronal activation using fMRI data: An observer-based approach

    KAUST Repository

    Laleg-Kirati, Taous-Meriem

    2013-06-01

    This paper deals with the estimation of the neuronal activation and some unmeasured physiological information using the Blood Oxygenation Level Dependent (BOLD) signal measured using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI). We propose to use an observer-based approach applied to the balloon hemodynamic model. The latter describes the relation between the neural activity and the BOLD signal. The balloon model can be expressed in a nonlinear state-space representation where the states, the parameters and the input (neuronal activation), are unknown. This study focuses only on the estimation of the hidden states and the neuronal activation. The model is first linearized around the equilibrium and an observer is applied to this linearized version. Numerical results performed on synthetic data are presented.

  17. Basic properties of electrical field coupling between neurons: an analytical approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costalat, Robert; Chauvet, Gilbert

    2008-06-01

    The basic properties of the electrical field coupling between two parallel neurons, with linear electrical properties of the membranes, are investigated using a mathematical model-based on Laplace transform and matrix algebra, assuming that the system is unidimensional. This approach is extended to a ramified dendritic tree, and to a set of parallel neurons a subset of which is synaptically activated. We show that the electrical field effect is governed by certain geometrical and electrophysiological parameters, the most important being a coupling coefficient k, which depends on the extra- and intracellular resistivity, as well as the extracellular volume fraction. These results support the hypothesis that electrical field effects play an important role in the regions of the brain where neurons are densely packed, even in the absence of, or before, cell firing.

  18. Response enhancement of olfactory sensory neurons-based biosensors for odorant detection

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Chun-sheng WU; Pei-hua CHEN; Qing YUAN; Ping WANG

    2009-01-01

    This paper presents a novel strategy for the response enhancement of olfactory sensory neurons (OSNs)-based bio-sensors by monitoring the enhancive responses of OSNs to odorants. An OSNs-based biosensor was developed on the basis of the light addressable potentiometric sensor (LAPS), in which rat OSNs were cultured on the surface of LAPS chip and served as sensing elements. LY294002, the specific inhibitor ofphosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K), was used to enhance the responses of OSNs to odorants. The responses of OSNs to odorants with and without the treatment of LY294002 were recorded by LAPS. The results show that the enhancive effect of LY294002 was recorded efficiently by LAPS and the responses of this OSNs-LAPS hybrid biosensor were enhanced by LY294002 by about 1.5-fold. We conclude that this method can enhance the responses of OSNs-LAPS hybrid biosensors, which may provide a novel strategy for the bioelectrical signal monitor of OSNs in biosensors. It is also suggested that this strategy may be applicable to other kinds of OSNs-based biosensors for cellular activity detection, such as microelectrode array (MEA) and field effect transistor (FET).

  19. Enhanced expression of ADCY1 underlies aberrant neuronal signalling and behaviour in a syndromic autism model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sethna, Ferzin; Feng, Wei; Ding, Qi; Robison, Alfred J.; Feng, Yue; Wang, Hongbing

    2017-01-01

    Fragile X syndrome (FXS), caused by the loss of functional FMRP, is a leading cause of autism. Neurons lacking FMRP show aberrant mRNA translation and intracellular signalling. Here, we identify that, in Fmr1 knockout neurons, type 1 adenylyl cyclase (Adcy1) mRNA translation is enhanced, leading to excessive production of ADCY1 protein and insensitivity to neuronal stimulation. Genetic reduction of Adcy1 normalizes the aberrant ERK1/2- and PI3K-mediated signalling, attenuates excessive protein synthesis and corrects dendritic spine abnormality in Fmr1 knockout mice. Genetic reduction of Adcy1 also ameliorates autism-related symptoms including repetitive behaviour, defective social interaction and audiogenic seizures. Moreover, peripheral administration of NB001, an experimental compound that preferentially suppresses ADCY1 activity over other ADCY subtypes, attenuates the behavioural abnormalities in Fmr1 knockout mice. These results demonstrate a connection between the elevated Adcy1 translation and abnormal ERK1/2 signalling and behavioural symptoms in FXS. PMID:28218269

  20. Unique membrane properties and enhanced signal processing in human neocortical neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eyal, Guy; Verhoog, Matthijs B; Testa-Silva, Guilherme; Deitcher, Yair; Lodder, Johannes C; Benavides-Piccione, Ruth; Morales, Juan; DeFelipe, Javier; de Kock, Christiaan PJ; Mansvelder, Huibert D; Segev, Idan

    2016-01-01

    The advanced cognitive capabilities of the human brain are often attributed to our recently evolved neocortex. However, it is not known whether the basic building blocks of the human neocortex, the pyramidal neurons, possess unique biophysical properties that might impact on cortical computations. Here we show that layer 2/3 pyramidal neurons from human temporal cortex (HL2/3 PCs) have a specific membrane capacitance (Cm) of ~0.5 µF/cm2, half of the commonly accepted 'universal' value (~1 µF/cm2) for biological membranes. This finding was predicted by fitting in vitro voltage transients to theoretical transients then validated by direct measurement of Cm in nucleated patch experiments. Models of 3D reconstructed HL2/3 PCs demonstrated that such low Cm value significantly enhances both synaptic charge-transfer from dendrites to soma and spike propagation along the axon. This is the first demonstration that human cortical neurons have distinctive membrane properties, suggesting important implications for signal processing in human neocortex. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.16553.001 PMID:27710767

  1. Chronic stress enhances microglia activation and exacerbates death of nigral dopaminergic neurons under conditions of inflammation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Pablos, Rocío M; Herrera, Antonio J; Espinosa-Oliva, Ana M; Sarmiento, Manuel; Muñoz, Mario F; Machado, Alberto; Venero, José L

    2014-02-24

    Parkinson's disease is an irreversible neurodegenerative disease linked to progressive movement disorders and is accompanied by an inflammatory reaction that is believed to contribute to its pathogenesis. Since sensitivity to inflammation is not the same in all brain structures, the aim of this work was to test whether physiological conditions as stress could enhance susceptibility to inflammation in the substantia nigra, where death of dopaminergic neurons takes place in Parkinson's disease. To achieve our aim, we induced an inflammatory process in nonstressed and stressed rats (subject to a chronic variate stress) by a single intranigral injection of lipopolysaccharide, a potent proinflammogen. The effect of this treatment was evaluated on inflammatory markers as well as on neuronal and glial populations. Data showed a synergistic effect between inflammation and stress, thus resulting in higher microglial activation and expression of proinflammatory markers. More important, the higher inflammatory response seen in stressed animals was associated with a higher rate of death of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra, the most characteristic feature seen in Parkinson's disease. This effect was dependent on glucocorticoids. Our data demonstrate that stress sensitises midbrain microglia to further inflammatory stimulus. This suggests that stress may be an important risk factor in the degenerative processes and symptoms of Parkinson's disease.

  2. Asteropsin A: an unusual cystine-crosslinked peptide from porifera enhances neuronal Ca2+ influx.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Huayue; Bowling, John J; Fronczek, Frank R; Hong, Jongki; Jabba, Sairam V; Murray, Thomas F; Ha, Nam-Chul; Hamann, Mark T; Jung, Jee H

    2013-03-01

    Herein we report the discovery of a cystine-crosslinked peptide from Porifera along with high-quality spatial details accompanied by the description of its unique effect on neuronal calcium influx. Asteropsin A (ASPA) was isolated from the marine sponge Asteropus sp., and its structure was independently determined using X-ray crystallography (0.87 angstroms) and solution NMR spectroscopy. An N-terminal pyroglutamate modification, uncommon cis proline conformations, and absence of basic residues helped distinguish ASPA from other cystine-crosslinked knot peptides. ASPA enhanced Ca2+ influx in murine cerebrocortical neuron cells following the addition of the Na+ channel activator veratridine but did not modify the oscillation frequency or amplitude of neuronal Ca2+ currents alone. Allosterism at neurotoxin site 2 was not observed, suggesting an alternative to the known Na+ channel interaction. Together with a distinct biological activity, the origin of ASPA suggests a new subclass of cystine-rich knot peptides associated with Porifera. The discovery of ASPA represents a distinctive addition to an emerging subclass of cystine-crosslinked knot peptides from Porifera.

  3. The appeasement of Doug: a synthetic approach to enhancer biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vincent, Ben J; Estrada, Javier; DePace, Angela H

    2016-04-18

    Genetic approaches have been instrumental in dissecting developmental enhancers by characterizing their transcription factor binding sites. Though some enhancers have been well-studied in this regard, we cannot currently build developmental enhancers from scratch. Reconstitution experiments can provide important complementary tests of our understanding of enhancer function, but these experiments are exceedingly rare in the literature, possibly due to the difficulty of publishing negative results. In this perspective, we argue that the time is right for a synthetic approach to enhancer biology. Focusing primarily on Drosophila enhancers as examples, we review classic and modern methods for dissecting enhancer function as well as computational tools for enhancer design. We include our own negative results from attempts to reconstitute the stripe 2 enhancer from the even-skipped locus and discuss possible ways forward. We believe that with a communal effort in open data sharing, we can make substantial progress toward a complete understanding of enhancer function.

  4. A luminescence enhancement approach through Si/O nanostructure

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2009-01-01

    An Si/O patterned shell array was fabricated by a technique utilizing nanosphere self assembly and reactive pressure pulsed laser deposition.The nanostructure produced by this technique enhanced the luminescence intensity by a factor of three compared with that of a flat film.The amount of enhance-ment observed coincided well with the expected enhancement by simulation.The technique in this paper provided a flexible,designable and compatible approach to luminescence enhancement.

  5. Noise Enhances Action Potential Generation in Mouse Sensory Neurons via Stochastic Resonance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Onorato, Irene; D'Alessandro, Giuseppina; Di Castro, Maria Amalia; Renzi, Massimiliano; Dobrowolny, Gabriella; Musarò, Antonio; Salvetti, Marco; Limatola, Cristina; Crisanti, Andrea; Grassi, Francesca

    2016-01-01

    Noise can enhance perception of tactile and proprioceptive stimuli by stochastic resonance processes. However, the mechanisms underlying this general phenomenon remain to be characterized. Here we studied how externally applied noise influences action potential firing in mouse primary sensory neurons of dorsal root ganglia, modelling a basic process in sensory perception. Since noisy mechanical stimuli may cause stochastic fluctuations in receptor potential, we examined the effects of sub-threshold depolarizing current steps with superimposed random fluctuations. We performed whole cell patch clamp recordings in cultured neurons of mouse dorsal root ganglia. Noise was added either before and during the step, or during the depolarizing step only, to focus onto the specific effects of external noise on action potential generation. In both cases, step + noise stimuli triggered significantly more action potentials than steps alone. The normalized power norm had a clear peak at intermediate noise levels, demonstrating that the phenomenon is driven by stochastic resonance. Spikes evoked in step + noise trials occur earlier and show faster rise time as compared to the occasional ones elicited by steps alone. These data suggest that external noise enhances, via stochastic resonance, the recruitment of transient voltage-gated Na channels, responsible for action potential firing in response to rapid step-wise depolarizing currents. PMID:27525414

  6. Prolonged enhancement and depression of synaptic transmission in CA1 pyramidal neurons induced by transient forebrain ischemia in vivo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, T M; Pulsinelli, W A; Xu, Z C

    1998-11-01

    Evoked postsynaptic potentials of CA1 pyramidal neurons in rat hippocampus were studied during 48 h after severe ischemic insult using in vivo intracellular recording and staining techniques. Postischemic CA1 neurons displayed one of three distinct response patterns following contralateral commissural stimulation. At early recirculation times (0-12 h) approximately 50% of neurons exhibited, in addition to the initial excitatory postsynaptic potential, a late depolarizing postsynaptic potential lasting for more than 100 ms. Application of dizocilpine maleate reduced the amplitude of late depolarizing postsynaptic potential by 60%. Other CA1 neurons recorded in this interval failed to develop late depolarizing postsynaptic potentials but showed a modest blunting of initial excitatory postsynaptic potentials (non-late depolarizing postsynaptic potential neuron). The proportion of recorded neurons with late depolarizing postsynaptic potential characteristics increased to more than 70% during 13-24 h after reperfusion. Beyond 24 h reperfusion, approximately 20% of CA neurons exhibited very small excitatory postsynaptic potentials even with maximal stimulus intensity. The slope of the initial excitatory postsynaptic potentials in late depolarizing postsynaptic potential neurons increased to approximately 150% of control values up to 12 h after reperfusion indicating a prolonged enhancement of synaptic transmission. In contrast, the slope of the initial excitatory postsynaptic potentials in non-late depolarizing postsynaptic potential neurons decreased to less than 50% of preischemic values up to 24 h after reperfusion indicating a prolonged depression of synaptic transmission. More late depolarizing postsynaptic potential neurons were located in the medial portion of CA1 zone where neurons are more vulnerable to ischemia whereas more non-late depolarizing postsynaptic potential neurons were located in the lateral portion of CA1 zone where neurons are more resistant to

  7. Morphine enhances HIV-1SF162-mediated neuron death and delays recovery of injured neurites.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ruturaj R Masvekar

    Full Text Available HIV-1 enters the CNS soon after initial systemic infection; within the CNS parenchyma infected and/or activated perivascular macrophages, microglia and astrocytes release viral and cellular toxins that drive secondary toxicity in neurons and other cell types. Our previous work has largely modeled HIV-neuropathology using the individual viral proteins Tat or gp120, with murine striatal neurons as targets. To model disease processes more closely, the current study uses supernatant from HIV-1-infected cells. Supernatant from HIV-1SF162-infected differentiated-U937 cells (HIV+sup was collected and p24 level was measured by ELISA to assess the infection. Injection drug abuse is a significant risk factor for HIV-infection, and opiate drug abusers show increased HIV-neuropathology, even with anti-retroviral treatments. We therefore assessed HIV+sup effects on neuronal survival and neurite growth/pruning with or without concurrent exposure to morphine, an opiate that preferentially acts through µ-opioid receptors. Effects of HIV+sup ± morphine were assessed on neuronal populations, and also by time-lapse imaging of individual cells. HIV+sup caused dose-dependent toxicity over a range of p24 levels (10-500 pg/ml. Significant interactions occurred with morphine at lower p24 levels (10 and 25 pg/ml, and GSK3β was implicated as a point of convergence. In the presence of glia, selective neurotoxic measures were significantly enhanced and interactions with morphine were also augmented, perhaps related to a decreased level of BDNF. Importantly, the arrest of neurite growth that occurred with exposure to HIV+sup was reversible unless neurons were continuously exposed to morphine. Thus, while reducing HIV-infection levels may be protective, ongoing exposure to opiates may limit recovery. Opiate interactions observed in this HIV-infective environment were similar, though not entirely concordant, with Tat/gp120 interactions reported previously, suggesting

  8. Cognitive phase transitions in the cerebral cortex enhancing the neuron doctrine by modeling neural fields

    CERN Document Server

    Kozma, Robert

    2016-01-01

    This intriguing book was born out of the many discussions the authors had in the past 10 years about the role of scale-free structure and dynamics in producing intelligent behavior in brains. The microscopic dynamics of neural networks is well described by the prevailing paradigm based in a narrow interpretation of the neuron doctrine. This book broadens the doctrine by incorporating the dynamics of neural fields, as first revealed by modeling with differential equations (K-sets).  The book broadens that approach by application of random graph theory (neuropercolation). The book concludes with diverse commentaries that exemplify the wide range of mathematical/conceptual approaches to neural fields. This book is intended for researchers, postdocs, and graduate students, who see the limitations of network theory and seek a beachhead from which to embark on mesoscopic and macroscopic neurodynamics.

  9. Eugenol and carvacrol excite first- and second-order trigeminal neurons and enhance their heat-evoked responses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klein, A H; Joe, C L; Davoodi, A; Takechi, K; Carstens, M I; Carstens, E

    2014-06-20

    Eugenol and carvacrol from clove and oregano, respectively, are agonists of the warmth-sensitive transient receptor potential channel TRPV3 and the irritant-sensitive transient receptor potential ankyrin (TRPA)-1. Eugenol and carvacrol induce oral irritation that rapidly desensitizes, accompanied by brief enhancement of innocuous warmth and heat pain in humans. We presently investigated if eugenol and carvacrol activate nociceptive primary afferent and higher order trigeminal neurons and enhance their heat-evoked responses, using calcium imaging of cultured trigeminal ganglion (TG) and dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons, and in vivo single-unit recordings in trigeminal subnucleus caudalis (Vc) of rats. Eugenol and carvacrol activated 20-30% of TG and 7-20% of DRG cells, the majority of which additionally responded to menthol, mustard oil and/or capsaicin. TG cell responses to innocuous (39°) and noxious (42 °C) heating were enhanced by eugenol and carvacrol. We identified dorsomedial Vc neurons responsive to noxious heating of the tongue in pentobarbital-anesthetized rats. Eugenol and carvacrol dose-dependently elicited desensitizing responses in 55% and 73% of heat-sensitive units, respectively. Responses to noxious heat were briefly enhanced by eugenol and carvacrol. Many eugenol- and carvacrol-responsive units also responded to menthol, cinnamaldehyde and capsaicin. These data support a peripheral site for eugenol and carvacrol to enhance warmth- and noxious heat-evoked responses of trigeminal neurons, and are consistent with the observation that these agonists briefly enhance warmth and heat pain on the human tongue.

  10. 3D Clustering of GABAergic Neurons Enhances Inhibitory Actions on Excitatory Neurons in the Mouse Visual Cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Teppei Ebina

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Neocortical neurons with similar functional properties assemble into spatially coherent circuits, but it remains unclear how inhibitory interneurons are organized. We applied in vivo two-photon functional Ca2+ imaging and whole-cell recording of synaptic currents to record visual responses of cortical neurons and analyzed their spatial arrangements. GABAergic interneurons were clustered in the 3D space of the mouse visual cortex, and excitatory neurons located within the clusters (insiders had a lower amplitude and sharper orientation tuning of visual responses than outsiders. Inhibitory synaptic currents recorded from the insiders were larger than those of the outsiders. Single, isolated interneurons did not show such a location-tuning/amplitude relationship. The two principal subtypes of interneurons, parvalbumin- and somatostatin-expressing neurons, also formed clusters with only slightly overlapping each other and exhibited a different location-tuning relationship. These findings suggest that GABAergic interneurons and their subgroups form clusters to make their inhibitory function more effective than isolated interneurons.

  11. Channel based generating function approach to the stochastic Hodgkin-Huxley neuronal system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ling, Anqi; Huang, Yandong; Shuai, Jianwei; Lan, Yueheng

    2016-03-01

    Internal and external fluctuations, such as channel noise and synaptic noise, contribute to the generation of spontaneous action potentials in neurons. Many different Langevin approaches have been proposed to speed up the computation but with waning accuracy especially at small channel numbers. We apply a generating function approach to the master equation for the ion channel dynamics and further propose two accelerating algorithms, with an accuracy close to the Gillespie algorithm but with much higher efficiency, opening the door for expedited simulation of noisy action potential propagating along axons or other types of noisy signal transduction.

  12. Identification of changes in neuronal function as a consequence of aging and tauopathic neurodegeneration using a novel and sensitive magnetic resonance imaging approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fontaine, Sarah N; Ingram, Alexandria; Cloyd, Ryan A; Meier, Shelby E; Miller, Emily; Lyons, Danielle; Nation, Grant K; Mechas, Elizabeth; Weiss, Blaine; Lanzillotta, Chiara; Di Domenico, Fabio; Schmitt, Frederick; Powell, David K; Vandsburger, Moriel; Abisambra, Jose F

    2017-08-01

    Tauopathies, the most common of which is Alzheimer's disease (AD), constitute the most crippling neurodegenerative threat to our aging population. Tauopathic patients have significant cognitive decline accompanied by irreversible and severe brain atrophy, and it is thought that neuronal dysfunction begins years before diagnosis. Our current understanding of tauopathies has yielded promising therapeutic interventions but have all failed in clinical trials. This is partly due to the inability to identify and intervene in an effective therapeutic window early in the disease process. A major challenge that contributes to the definition of an early therapeutic window is limited technologies. To address these challenges, we modified and adapted a manganese-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (MEMRI) approach to provide sensitive and quantitative power to detect changes in broad neuronal function in aging mice. Considering that tau tangle burden correlates well with cognitive impairment in Alzheimer's patients, we performed our MEMRI approach in a time course of aging mice and an accelerated mouse model of tauopathy. We measured significant changes in broad neuronal function as a consequence of age, and in transgenic mice, before the deposition of bona fide tangles. This MEMRI approach represents the first diagnostic measure of neuronal dysfunction in mice. Successful translation of this technology in the clinic could serve as a sensitive diagnostic tool for the definition of effective therapeutic windows. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Archaerhodopsin variants with enhanced voltage-sensitive fluorescence in mammalian and Caenorhabditis elegans neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flytzanis, Nicholas C; Bedbrook, Claire N; Chiu, Hui; Engqvist, Martin K M; Xiao, Cheng; Chan, Ken Y; Sternberg, Paul W; Arnold, Frances H; Gradinaru, Viviana

    2014-09-15

    Probing the neural circuit dynamics underlying behaviour would benefit greatly from improved genetically encoded voltage indicators. The proton pump Archaerhodopsin-3 (Arch), an optogenetic tool commonly used for neuronal inhibition, has been shown to emit voltage-sensitive fluorescence. Here we report two Arch variants with enhanced radiance (Archers) that in response to 655 nm light have 3-5 times increased fluorescence and 55-99 times reduced photocurrents compared with Arch WT. The most fluorescent variant, Archer1, has 25-40% fluorescence change in response to action potentials while using 9 times lower light intensity compared with other Arch-based voltage sensors. Archer1 is capable of wavelength-specific functionality as a voltage sensor under red light and as an inhibitory actuator under green light. As a proof-of-concept for the application of Arch-based sensors in vivo, we show fluorescence voltage sensing in behaving Caenorhabditis elegans. Archer1's characteristics contribute to the goal of all-optical detection and modulation of activity in neuronal networks in vivo.

  14. Saikosaponin a Enhances Transient Inactivating Potassium Current in Rat Hippocampal CA1 Neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wei Xie

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Saikosaponin a (SSa, a main constituent of the Chinese herb Bupleurum chinense DC., has been demonstrated to have antiepileptic activity. Recent studies have shown that SSa could inhibit NMDA receptor current and persistent sodium current. However, the effects of SSa on potassium (K+ currents remain unclear. In this study, we tested the effect of SSa on 4AP-induced epileptiform discharges and K+ currents in CA1 neurons of rat hippocampal slices. We found that SSa significantly inhibited epileptiform discharges frequency and duration in hippocampal CA1 neurons in the 4AP seizure model in a dose-dependent manner with an IC50 of 0.7 μM. SSa effectively increased the amplitude of ITotal and IA, significantly negative-shifted the activation curve, and positive-shifted steady-state curve of IA. However, SSa induced no significant changes in the amplitude and activation curve of IK. In addition, SSa significantly increased the amplitude of 4AP-sensitive K+ current, while there was no significant change in the amplitude of TEA-sensitive K+ current. Together, our data indicate that SSa inhibits epileptiform discharges induced by 4AP in a dose-dependent manner and that SSa exerts selectively enhancing effects on IA. These increases in IA may contribute to the anticonvulsant mechanisms of SSa.

  15. Synchronization and array-enhanced resonances in delayed coupled neuronal network with channel noise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Jianchun; Ding, Shaojie; Li, Hui; He, Guolong; Zhang, Xuejuan

    2014-09-01

    This paper studies the combined effect of transmission delay and channel fluctuations on population behaviors of an excitatory Erdös-Rényi neuronal network. First, it is found that the network reaches a perfect spatial temporal coherence at a suitable membrane size. Such a coherence resonance is stimulus-free and is array-enhanced. Second, the presence of transmission delay can induce intermittent changes of the population dynamics. Besides, two resonant peaks of the population firing rate are observed as delay changes: one is at τd≈7ms for all membrane areas, which reflects the resonance between the delayed interaction and the intrinsic period of channel kinetics; the other occurs when the transmission delay equals to the mean inter-spike intervals of the population firings in the absence of delay, which reflects the resonance between the delayed interaction and the firing period of the non-delayed system. Third, concerning the impact of network topology and population size, it is found that decreasing the connection probability does not change the range of transmission delay but broadens the range of synaptic coupling that supports population neurons to generate action potentials synchronously and temporally coherently. Furthermore, there exists a critical connection probability that distinguishes the population dynamics into an asynchronous and synchronous state. All the results we obtained are based on networks of size N = 500, which are shown to be robust to further increasing the population size.

  16. Toc Approach for Supply Chain Performance Enhancement

    OpenAIRE

    Brijesh Ainapur; Ritesh Singh; P.R.Vittal

    2011-01-01

    Many foundries are operating at lower levels than the installed capacities. Study of 56 foundries acrossIndia has shown that only 68% of installed capacities are being utilized. This is mainly because of lack ofco-ordination among the supply chain partners. This study is an effort in identifying these gaps using TOCapproach which will help in supply chain performance enhancement.Field of Supply Chain Management witnessed rapid growth in recent past and proved to be a successfultool for organi...

  17. Toc Approach for Supply Chain Performance Enhancement

    OpenAIRE

    Brijesh Ainapur; Ritesh Singh; P.R.Vittal

    2011-01-01

    Many foundries are operating at lower levels than the installed capacities. Study of 56 foundries acrossIndia has shown that only 68% of installed capacities are being utilized. This is mainly because of lack ofco-ordination among the supply chain partners. This study is an effort in identifying these gaps using TOCapproach which will help in supply chain performance enhancement.Field of Supply Chain Management witnessed rapid growth in recent past and proved to be a successfultool for organi...

  18. Progress and challenges in bioinformatics approaches for enhancer identification

    KAUST Repository

    Kleftogiannis, Dimitrios A.

    2017-02-03

    Enhancers are cis-acting DNA elements that play critical roles in distal regulation of gene expression. Identifying enhancers is an important step for understanding distinct gene expression programs that may reflect normal and pathogenic cellular conditions. Experimental identification of enhancers is constrained by the set of conditions used in the experiment. This requires multiple experiments to identify enhancers, as they can be active under specific cellular conditions but not in different cell types/tissues or cellular states. This has opened prospects for computational prediction methods that can be used for high-throughput identification of putative enhancers to complement experimental approaches. Potential functions and properties of predicted enhancers have been catalogued and summarized in several enhancer-oriented databases. Because the current methods for the computational prediction of enhancers produce significantly different enhancer predictions, it will be beneficial for the research community to have an overview of the strategies and solutions developed in this field. In this review, we focus on the identification and analysis of enhancers by bioinformatics approaches. First, we describe a general framework for computational identification of enhancers, present relevant data types and discuss possible computational solutions. Next, we cover over 30 existing computational enhancer identification methods that were developed since 2000. Our review highlights advantages, limitations and potentials, while suggesting pragmatic guidelines for development of more efficient computational enhancer prediction methods. Finally, we discuss challenges and open problems of this topic, which require further consideration.

  19. Enhancement of delayed-rectifier potassium conductance by low concentrations of local anaesthetics in spinal sensory neurones

    OpenAIRE

    Olschewski, Andrea; Wolff, Matthias; Bräu, Michael E; Hempelmann, Gunter; Vogel, Werner; Safronov, Boris V.

    2002-01-01

    Combining the patch-clamp recordings in slice preparation with the ‘entire soma isolation' method we studied action of several local anaesthetics on delayed-rectifier K+ currents in spinal dorsal horn neurones.Bupivacaine, lidocaine and mepivacaine at low concentrations (1–100 μM) enhanced delayed-rectifier K+ current in intact neurones within the spinal cord slice, while exhibiting a partial blocking effect at higher concentrations (>100 μM). In isolated somata 0.1–10 μM bupivacaine enhanced...

  20. Orthopteran DCMD neuron: a reevaluation of responses to moving objects. I. Selective responses to approaching objects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rind, F C; Simmons, P J

    1992-11-01

    1. The "descending contralateral movement detector" (DCMD) neuron in the locust has been challenged with a variety of moving stimuli, including scenes from a film (Star Wars), moving disks, and images generated by computer. The neuron responds well to any rapid movement. For a dark object moving along a straight path at a uniform velocity, the DCMD gives the strongest response when the object travels directly toward the eye, and the weakest when the object travels away from the eye. Instead of expressing selectivity for movements of small rather than large objects, the DCMD responds preferentially to approaching objects. 2. The neuron shows a clear selectivity for approach over recession for a variety of sizes and velocities of movement both of real objects and in simulated movements. When a disk that subtends > or = 5 degrees at the eye approaches the eye, there are two peaks in spike rate: one immediately after the start of movement; and a second that builds up during the approach. When a disk recedes from the eye, there is a single peak in response as the movement starts. There is a good correlation between spike rate and angular acceleration of the edges of the image over the eye. 3. When an object approaches from a distance sufficient for it to subtend less than one interommatidial angle at the start of its approach, there is a single peak in response. The DCMD tracks the approach, and, if the object moves at 1 m/s or faster, the spike rate increases throughout the duration of object movement. The size of the response depends on the speed of approach. 4. It is unlikely that the DCMD encodes the time to collision accurately, because the response depends on the size as well as the velocity of an approaching object. 5. Wide-field movements suppress the response to an approaching object. The suppression varies with the temporal frequency of the background pattern. 6. Over a wide range of contrasts of object against background, the DCMD gives a stronger response to

  1. Clavulanic acid increases dopamine release in neuronal cells through a mechanism involving enhanced vesicle trafficking

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kost, Gina Chun; Selvaraj, Senthil; Lee, Young Bok; Kim, Deog Joong; Ahn, Chang-Ho; Singh, Brij B

    2011-01-01

    Clavulanic acid is a CNS-modulating compound with exceptional blood-brain barrier permeability and safety profile. Clavulanic acid has been proposed to have anti-depressant activity and is currently entering Phase IIb clinical trials for the treatment of Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). Studies have also shown that clavulanic acid suppresses anxiety and enhances sexual functions in rodent and primate models by a mechanism involving central nervous system (CNS) modulation, although its detailed mechanism of action has yet to be elucidated. To further examine its potential as a CNS modulating agent as well as its mechanism of action, we investigated the effects of clavulanic acid in neuronal cells. Our results indicate that clavulanic acid enhances dopamine release in PC12 and SH-SY5Y cells without affecting dopamine synthesis. Furthermore, using affinity chromatography we were able to identify two proteins, Munc18-1 and Rab4 that potentially bind to clavulanic acid and play a critical role in neurosecretion and the vesicle trafficking process. Consistent with this result, an increase in the translocation of Munc18-1 and Rab4 from the cytoplasm to the plasma membrane was observed in clavulanic acid treated cells. Overall, these data suggest that clavulanic acid enhances dopamine release in a mechanism involving Munc18-1 and Rab4 modulation and warrants further investigation of its therapeutic use in CNS disorders, such as depression. PMID:21964384

  2. Clavulanic acid increases dopamine release in neuronal cells through a mechanism involving enhanced vesicle trafficking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kost, Gina Chun; Selvaraj, Senthil; Lee, Young Bok; Kim, Deog Joong; Ahn, Chang-Ho; Singh, Brij B

    2011-10-24

    Clavulanic acid is a CNS-modulating compound with exceptional blood-brain barrier permeability and safety profile. Clavulanic acid has been proposed to have anti-depressant activity and is currently entering Phase IIb clinical trials for the treatment of Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). Studies have also shown that clavulanic acid suppresses anxiety and enhances sexual functions in rodent and primate models by a mechanism involving central nervous system (CNS) modulation, although its detailed mechanism of action has yet to be elucidated. To further examine its potential as a CNS modulating agent as well as its mechanism of action, we investigated the effects of clavulanic acid in neuronal cells. Our results indicate that clavulanic acid enhances dopamine release in PC12 and SH-SY5Y cells without affecting dopamine synthesis. Furthermore, using affinity chromatography we were able to identify two proteins, Munc18-1 and Rab4 that potentially bind to clavulanic acid and play a critical role in neurosecretion and the vesicle trafficking process. Consistent with this result, an increase in the translocation of Munc18-1 and Rab4 from the cytoplasm to the plasma membrane was observed in clavulanic acid treated cells. Overall, these data suggest that clavulanic acid enhances dopamine release in a mechanism involving Munc18-1 and Rab4 modulation and warrants further investigation of its therapeutic use in CNS disorders, such as depression.

  3. Langevin approach with rescaled noise for stochastic channel dynamics in Hodgkin-Huxley neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Yan-Dong; Xiang, Li; Shuai, Jian-Wei

    2015-12-01

    The Langevin approach has been applied to model the random open and closing dynamics of ion channels. It has long been known that the gate-based Langevin approach is not sufficiently accurate to reproduce the statistics of stochastic channel dynamics in Hodgkin-Huxley neurons. Here, we introduce a modified gate-based Langevin approach with rescaled noise strength to simulate stochastic channel dynamics. The rescaled independent gate and identical gate Langevin approaches improve the statistical results for the mean membrane voltage, inter-spike interval, and spike amplitude. Project supported by the National Natural Science Foundation for Distinguished Young Scholars of China (Grant No. 11125419), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 10925525), and the Funds for the Leading Talents of Fujian Province, China.

  4. Understanding mirror neurons: evidence for enhanced corticospinal excitability during the observation of transitive but not intransitive hand gestures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Enticott, Peter G; Kennedy, Hayley A; Bradshaw, John L; Rinehart, Nicole J; Fitzgerald, Paul B

    2010-07-01

    Putative measures of mirror neuron activity suggest that mirror neurons respond preferentially to biological motion, but it remains unclear whether enhanced cortical activity occurs during the observation of any behaviour, or whether that behaviour needs to be associated with a particular object or goal. Forty-three healthy adults completed a transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) experiment that assessed corticospinal excitability while viewing intransitive and transitive hand gestures (compared with the presentation of a static hand). Visual presentations were designed to control for motoric and stimulus properties. A significant increase in corticospinal excitability (putatively reflecting mirror neuron activation) was seen only during the observation of transitive behaviour. These findings are consistent with the notion that human hand-related mirror neurons are sensitive to object- and goal-directed behaviour, rather than biological motion per se. Copyright (c) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Sonochemical approaches to enhanced oil recovery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abramov, Vladimir O; Abramova, Anna V; Bayazitov, Vadim M; Altunina, Lyubov K; Gerasin, Artyom S; Pashin, Dmitriy M; Mason, Timothy J

    2015-07-01

    Oil production from wells reduces with time and the well becomes uneconomic unless enhanced oil recovery (EOR) methods are applied. There are a number of methods currently available and each has specific advantages and disadvantages depending on conditions. Currently there is a big demand for new or improved technologies in this field, the hope is that these might also be applicable to wells which have already been the subject of EOR. The sonochemical method of EOR is one of the most promising methods and is important in that it can also be applied for the treatment of horizontal wells. The present article reports the theoretical background of the developed sonochemical technology for EOR in horizontal wells; describes the requirements to the equipment needed to embody the technology. The results of the first field tests of the technology are reported. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Protein hairy enhancer of split-1 expression during differentiation of muscle-derived stem cells into neuron-like cells

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Mina Huang; Zhanpeng Guo; Kun Liu; Xifan Mei; Shiqiang Fang; Jinhao Zeng; Yansong Wang; Yajiang Yuan

    2012-01-01

    Muscle-derived stem cells were isolated from the skeletal muscle of Sprague-Dawley neonatal rats aged 3 days old.Cells at passage 5 were incubated in Dulbecco's modified Eagle's medium supplemented with 10% (v/v) fetal bovine serum,20 μg/L nerve growth factor,20 μg/L basic fibroblast growth factor and 1% (v/v) penicillin for 6 days.Cells presented with long processes, similar to nerve cells.Connections were formed between cell processes.Immunocytochemical staining with neuron specific enolase verified that cells differentiated into neuron-like cells. Immunofluorescence cytochemistry and western blot results revealed that the expression of protein hairy enhancer of split-1 was significantly reduced.These results indicate that low expression of protein hairy enhancer of split-1 participates in the differentiation of muscle-derived stem cells into neuron-like cells.

  7. Computational Classification Approach to Profile Neuron Subtypes from Brain Activity Mapping Data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Meng; Zhao, Fang; Lee, Jason; Wang, Dong; Kuang, Hui; Tsien, Joe Z

    2015-07-27

    The analysis of cell type-specific activity patterns during behaviors is important for better understanding of how neural circuits generate cognition, but has not been well explored from in vivo neurophysiological datasets. Here, we describe a computational approach to uncover distinct cell subpopulations from in vivo neural spike datasets. This method, termed "inter-spike-interval classification-analysis" (ISICA), is comprised of four major steps: spike pattern feature-extraction, pre-clustering analysis, clustering classification, and unbiased classification-dimensionality selection. By using two key features of spike dynamic - namely, gamma distribution shape factors and a coefficient of variation of inter-spike interval - we show that this ISICA method provides invariant classification for dopaminergic neurons or CA1 pyramidal cell subtypes regardless of the brain states from which spike data were collected. Moreover, we show that these ISICA-classified neuron subtypes underlie distinct physiological functions. We demonstrate that the uncovered dopaminergic neuron subtypes encoded distinct aspects of fearful experiences such as valence or value, whereas distinct hippocampal CA1 pyramidal cells responded differentially to ketamine-induced anesthesia. This ISICA method should be useful to better data mining of large-scale in vivo neural datasets, leading to novel insights into circuit dynamics associated with cognitions.

  8. Optofluidic Approaches for Enhanced Microsensor Performances

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Genni Testa

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Optofluidics is a relatively young research field able to create a tight synergy between optics and micro/nano-fluidics. The high level of integration between fluidic and optical elements achievable by means of optofluidic approaches makes it possible to realize an innovative class of sensors, which have been demonstrated to have an improved sensitivity, adaptability and compactness. Many developments in this field have been made in the last years thanks to the availability of a new class of low cost materials and new technologies. This review describes the Italian state of art on optofluidic devices for sensing applications and offers a perspective for further future advances. We introduce the optofluidic concept and describe the advantages of merging photonic and fluidic elements, focusing on sensor developments for both environmental and biomedical monitoring.

  9. E2 regulates epigenetic signature on Neuroglobin enhancer-promoter in neuronal cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michela eGuglielmotto

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Estrogens are neuroprotective factors in several neurological diseases. Neuroglobin (NGB is one of the estrogen target gene involved in neuroprotection, but little is known about its transcriptional regulation. Estrogen genomic pathway in gene expression regulation is mediated by estrogen receptors (ERα and ERβ that bind to specific regulatory genomic regions. We focused our attention on E2-induced NGB expression in human differentiated neuronal cell lines (SK-N-BE and NT-2. Previously, using bioinformatics analysis we identified a putative enhancer in the first intron of NGB locus. Therefore, we observed that E2 increased the enrichment of the H3K4me3 epigenetic marks at the promoter and of the H3K4me1 and H3K27Ac at the intron enhancer. In these NGB regulatory regions, we found estrogen receptor alpha (ER binding suggesting that ER may mediate chromatin remodeling to induce NGB expression upon E2 treatment. Altogether our data show that NGB expression is regulated by ERa binding on genomic regulatory regions supporting hormone therapy applications for the neuroprotection against neurodegenerative disease.

  10. Nicotine uses neuron-glia communication to enhance hippocampal synaptic transmission and long-term memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    López-Hidalgo, Mónica; Salgado-Puga, Karla; Alvarado-Martínez, Reynaldo; Medina, Andrea Cristina; Prado-Alcalá, Roberto A; García-Colunga, Jesús

    2012-01-01

    Nicotine enhances synaptic transmission and facilitates long-term memory. Now it is known that bi-directional glia-neuron interactions play important roles in the physiology of the brain. However, the involvement of glial cells in the effects of nicotine has not been considered until now. In particular, the gliotransmitter D-serine, an endogenous co-agonist of NMDA receptors, enables different types of synaptic plasticity and memory in the hippocampus. Here, we report that hippocampal long-term synaptic plasticity induced by nicotine was annulled by an enzyme that degrades endogenous D-serine, or by an NMDA receptor antagonist that acts at the D-serine binding site. Accordingly, both effects of nicotine: the enhancement of synaptic transmission and facilitation of long-term memory were eliminated by impairing glial cells with fluoroacetate, and were restored with exogenous D-serine. Together, these results show that glial D-serine is essential for the long-term effects of nicotine on synaptic plasticity and memory, and they highlight the roles of glial cells as key participants in brain functions.

  11. Imipramine enhances neuroprotective effect of PEP-1-Catalase against ischemic neuronal damage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Dae Won; Kim, Duk-Soo; Kim, Mi Jin; Kwon, Soon Won; Ahn, Eun Hee; Jeong, Hoon Jae; Sohn, Eun Jeong; Dutta, Suman; Lim, Soon Sung; Cho, Sung-Woo; Lee, Kil Soo; Park, Jinseu; Eum, Won Sik; Hwang, Hyun Sook; Choi, Soo Young

    2011-10-01

    The protein transduction domains have been reported to have potential to deliver the exogenous molecules, including proteins, to living cells. However, poor transduction of proteins limits therapeutic application. In this study, we examined whether imipramine could stimulate the transduction efficiency of PEP-1 fused proteins into astrocytes. PEP-1-catalase (PEP-1- CAT) was transduced into astrocytes in a time- and dose-dependent manner, reducing cellular toxicity induced by H(2)O(2). Additionally, the group of PEP-1-CAT (+) imipramine showed enhancement of transduction efficiency and therefore increased cellular viability than that of PEP-1-CAT alone. In the gerbil ischemia models, PEP-1-CAT displayed significant neuroprotection in the CA1 region of the hippocampus. Interestingly, PEP-1-CAT (+) imipramine prevented neuronal cell death and lipid peroxidation more markedly than PEP-1-CAT alone. Therefore, our results suggest that imipramine can be used as a drug to enhance the transduction of PEP-1 fusion proteins to cells or animals and their efficacies against various disorders.

  12. Nicotine uses neuron-glia communication to enhance hippocampal synaptic transmission and long-term memory.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mónica López-Hidalgo

    Full Text Available Nicotine enhances synaptic transmission and facilitates long-term memory. Now it is known that bi-directional glia-neuron interactions play important roles in the physiology of the brain. However, the involvement of glial cells in the effects of nicotine has not been considered until now. In particular, the gliotransmitter D-serine, an endogenous co-agonist of NMDA receptors, enables different types of synaptic plasticity and memory in the hippocampus. Here, we report that hippocampal long-term synaptic plasticity induced by nicotine was annulled by an enzyme that degrades endogenous D-serine, or by an NMDA receptor antagonist that acts at the D-serine binding site. Accordingly, both effects of nicotine: the enhancement of synaptic transmission and facilitation of long-term memory were eliminated by impairing glial cells with fluoroacetate, and were restored with exogenous D-serine. Together, these results show that glial D-serine is essential for the long-term effects of nicotine on synaptic plasticity and memory, and they highlight the roles of glial cells as key participants in brain functions.

  13. Enhanced Early Neuronal Processing of Food Pictures in Anorexia Nervosa: A Magnetoencephalography Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lauren R. Godier

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Neuroimaging studies in Anorexia Nervosa (AN have shown increased activation in reward and cognitive control regions in response to food, and a behavioral attentional bias (AB towards food stimuli is reported. This study aimed to further investigate the neural processing of food using magnetoencephalography (MEG. Participants were 13 females with restricting-type AN, 14 females recovered from restricting-type AN, and 15 female healthy controls. MEG data was acquired whilst participants viewed high- and low-calorie food pictures. Attention was assessed with a reaction time task and eye tracking. Time-series analysis suggested increased neural activity in response to both calorie conditions in the AN groups, consistent with an early AB. Increased activity was observed at 150 ms in the current AN group. Neuronal activity at this latency was at normal level in the recovered group; however, this group exhibited enhanced activity at 320 ms after stimulus. Consistent with previous studies, analysis in source space and behavioral data suggested enhanced attention and cognitive control processes in response to food stimuli in AN. This may enable avoidance of salient food stimuli and maintenance of dietary restraint in AN. A later latency of increased activity in the recovered group may reflect a reversal of this avoidance, with source space and behavioral data indicating increased visual and cognitive processing of food stimuli.

  14. Pentobarbital enhances GABAergic neurotransmission to cardiac parasympathetic neurons, which is prevented by expression of GABA(A) epsilon subunit.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Irnaten, Mustapha; Walwyn, Wendy M; Wang, Jijiang; Venkatesan, Priya; Evans, Cory; Chang, Kyoung S K; Andresen, Michael C; Hales, Tim G; Mendelowitz, David

    2002-09-01

    Pentobarbital decreases the gain of the baroreceptor reflex on the order of 50%, and this blunting is caused nearly entirely by decreasing cardioinhibitory parasympathetic activity. The most likely site of action of pentobarbital is the gamma-aminobutyric acid type A (GABA(A)) receptor. The authors tested whether pentobarbital augments the inhibitory GABAergic neurotransmission to cardiac parasympathetic neurons, and whether expression of the GABA(A) epsilon subunit prevents this facilitation. The authors used a novel approach to study the effect of pentobarbital on identified cardiac parasympathetic preganglionic neurons in rat brainstem slices. The cardiac parasympathetic neurons in the nucleus ambiguus were retrogradely prelabeled with a fluorescent tracer and were visually identified for patch clamp recording. The effects of pentobarbital on spontaneous GABAergic synaptic events were tested. An adenovirus was used to express the epsilon subunit of the GABA(A) receptor in cardiac parasympathetic neurons to examine whether this transfection alters pentobarbital-mediated changes in GABAergic neurotransmission. Pentobarbital increased the duration but not the frequency or amplitude of spontaneous GABAergic currents in cardiac parasympathetic neurons. Transfection of cardiac parasympathetic neurons with the epsilon subunit of the GABA(A) receptor prevented the pentobarbital-evoked facilitation of GABAergic currents. Pentobarbital, at clinically relevant concentrations, prolongs the duration of spontaneous inhibitory postsynaptic currents that impinge on cardiac parasympathetic neurons. This action would augment the inhibition of cardiac parasympathetic neurons, reduce parasympathetic cardioinhibitory activity, and increase heart rate. Expression of the GABA(A) receptor epsilon subunit in cardiac parasympathetic neurons renders the GABA receptors insensitive to pentobarbital.

  15. Acute stress enhances the glutamatergic transmission onto basoamygdala neurons embedded in distinct microcircuits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Chen; Zhang, Wen-Hua; Wang, Xue-Hui; Zhang, Jun-Yu; Tian, Xiao-Li; Yin, Xiao-Ping; Pan, Bing-Xing

    2017-01-09

    Amygdala activation is known to be critical for the processing of stressful events in brain. Recent studies have shown that the projection neurons (PNs) in amygdala, although architecturally intermingled, are integrated into distinct microcircuits and thus play divergent roles in amygdala-related behaviors. It remains unknown how stress regulates the individual amygdala PNs embedded in distinct microcircuits. Here, by using retrograde tracing and electrophysiological recording in in vitro slices, we explored the modulation of acute immobilization stress (AIS) on the basoamygdala (BA) PNs projecting either to medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) or elsewhere, which we designated as BA-mPFC and non-BA-mPFC PNs respectively. The results showed that in the control mice, both the excitatory and inhibitory postsynaptic currents (sEPSCs/sIPSCs) were comparable between these two subsets of BA PNs. The influences of AIS on sEPSCs and sIPSCs were overall similar between the two neuronal populations. It markedly increased the sEPSCs amplitude but left unaltered their frequency as well as the sIPSCs amplitude and frequency. Despite this, several differences emerged between the effects of AIS on the distribution of sEPSCs/sIPSCs frequency in these two groups of BA PNs. Similar changes were also observed in the sEPSCs/sIPSCs of the two PN populations from mice experiencing forced swimming stress. Their intrinsic excitability, on the other hand, was nearly unaltered following AIS. Our results thus suggest that acute stress recruit both BA-mPFC and non-BA-mPFC PNs mainly through enhancing the glutamatergic transmission they receive.

  16. The Scottish approach to enhancing antimicrobial stewardship.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nathwani, Dilip; Christie, Peter

    2007-08-01

    In 2002, the Scottish Executive produced the Antimicrobial Resistance Strategy and Scottish Action Plan, which highlighted antimicrobial stewardship as a key objective in combating resistance. An important response, as a part of the Ministerial Healthcare Associated Infection Task Force work programme was the publication of 'Antimicrobial Prescribing Policy and Practice in Scotland: recommendations for good antimicrobial practice in acute hospitals' in 2005. This article briefly reviews the core components of the Scottish approach, reviews progress with some key goals and explores how many of these goals are being taken forward through a cohesive Scottish national multifaceted strategy, which incorporates primary and secondary care. Much of this will spring from the current review of the Scottish Action Plan. While recognizing the significant progress achieved by the Appropriate Antimicrobial Prescribing for Tomorrow's Doctors Project Group in the education of undergraduate medical students, the article also reviews the NHS Education Scotland-supported Scottish National Antimicrobial Prescribing Project, aimed at foundation training doctors in Scotland. We hope that this experience can be shared and further developed with colleagues within the United Kingdom and European Union.

  17. MEF2C enhances dopaminergic neuron differentiation of human embryonic stem cells in a parkinsonian rat model.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eun-Gyung Cho

    Full Text Available Human embryonic stem cells (hESCs can potentially differentiate into any cell type, including dopaminergic neurons to treat Parkinson's disease (PD, but hyperproliferation and tumor formation must be avoided. Accordingly, we use myocyte enhancer factor 2C (MEF2C as a neurogenic and anti-apoptotic transcription factor to generate neurons from hESC-derived neural stem/progenitor cells (NPCs, thus avoiding hyperproliferation. Here, we report that forced expression of constitutively active MEF2C (MEF2CA generates significantly greater numbers of neurons with dopaminergic properties in vitro. Conversely, RNAi knockdown of MEF2C in NPCs decreases neuronal differentiation and dendritic length. When we inject MEF2CA-programmed NPCs into 6-hydroxydopamine-lesioned parkinsonian rats in vivo, the transplanted cells survive well, differentiate into tyrosine hydroxylase-positive neurons, and improve behavioral deficits to a significantly greater degree than non-programmed cells. The enriched generation of dopaminergic neuronal lineages from hESCs by forced expression of MEF2CA in the proper context may prove valuable in cell-based therapy for CNS disorders such as PD.

  18. Reduced Hyperpolarization-Activated Current Contributes to Enhanced Intrinsic Excitability in Cultured Hippocampal Neurons from PrP(-/-) Mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fan, Jing; Stemkowski, Patrick L; Gandini, Maria A; Black, Stefanie A; Zhang, Zizhen; Souza, Ivana A; Chen, Lina; Zamponi, Gerald W

    2016-01-01

    Genetic ablation of cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) has been linked to increased neuronal excitability and synaptic activity in the hippocampus. We have previously shown that synaptic activity in hippocampi of PrP-null mice is increased due to enhanced N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) function. Here, we focused on the effect of PRNP gene knock-out (KO) on intrinsic neuronal excitability, and in particular, the underlying ionic mechanism in hippocampal neurons cultured from P0 mouse pups. We found that the absence of PrP(C) profoundly affected the firing properties of cultured hippocampal neurons in the presence of synaptic blockers. The membrane impedance was greater in PrP-null neurons, and this difference was abolished by the hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated (HCN) channel blocker ZD7288 (100 μM). HCN channel activity appeared to be functionally regulated by PrP(C). The amplitude of voltage sag, a characteristic of activating HCN channel current (I h), was decreased in null mice. Moreover, I h peak current was reduced, along with a hyperpolarizing shift in activation gating and slower kinetics. However, neither HCN1 nor HCN2 formed a biochemical complex with PrP(C). These results suggest that the absence of PrP downregulates the activity of HCN channels through activation of a cell signaling pathway rather than through direct interactions. This in turn contributes to an increase in membrane impedance to potentiate neuronal excitability.

  19. Noise-enhanced nonlinear response and the role of modular structure for signal detection in neuronal networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lopes, M A; Lee, K-E; Goltsev, A V; Mendes, J F F

    2014-11-01

    We show that sensory noise can enhance the nonlinear response of neuronal networks, and when delivered together with a weak signal, it improves the signal detection by the network. We reveal this phenomenon in neuronal networks that are in a dynamical state preceding a saddle-node bifurcation corresponding to the appearance of sustained network oscillations. In this state, even a weak subthreshold pulse can evoke a large-amplitude oscillation of neuronal activity. The signal-to-noise ratio reaches a maximum at an optimum level of sensory noise, manifesting stochastic resonance (SR) at the population level. We demonstrate SR by use of simulations and numerical integration of rate equations in a cortical model. Using this model, we mimic the experiments of Gluckman et al. [Phys. Rev. Lett. 77, 4098 (1996)PRLTAO0031-900710.1103/PhysRevLett.77.4098] that have given evidence of SR in mammalian brain. We also study neuronal networks in which neurons are grouped in modules and every module works in the regime of SR. We find that even a few modules can strongly enhance the reliability of signal detection in comparison with the case when a modular organization is absent.

  20. CNTF-Treated Astrocyte Conditioned Medium Enhances Large-Conductance Calcium-Activated Potassium Channel Activity in Rat Cortical Neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Meiqun; Liu, Hongli; Xu, Huanbai; Wang, Hongtao; Wang, Xiaojing

    2016-08-01

    Seizure activity is linked to astrocyte activation as well as dysfunctional cortical neuron excitability produced from changes in calcium-activated potassium (KCa) channel function. Ciliary neurotrophic factor-treated astrocyte conditioned medium (CNTF-ACM) can be used to investigate the peripheral effects of activated astrocytes upon cortical neurons. However, CNTF-ACM's effect upon KCa channel activity in cultured cortical neurons has not yet been investigated. Whole-cell patch clamp recordings were performed in rat cortical neurons to evaluate CNTF-ACM's effects upon charybdotoxin-sensitive large-conductance KCa (BK) channel currents and apamin-sensitive small-conductance KCa (SK) channel current. Biotinylation and RT-PCR were applied to assess CNTF-ACM's effects upon the protein and mRNA expression, respectively, of the SK channel subunits SK2 and SK3 and the BK channel subunits BKα1 and BKβ3. An anti-fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF-2) monoclonal neutralizing antibody was used to assess the effects of the FGF-2 component of CNTF-ACM. CNTF-ACM significantly increased KCa channel current density, which was predominantly attributable to gains in BK channel activity (p ACM produced a significant increase in BKα1 and BKβ3 expression (p  0.05). Blocking FGF-2 produced significant reductions in KCa channel current density (p > 0.05) as well as BKα1 and BKβ3 expression in CNTF-ACM-treated neurons (p > 0.05). CNTF-ACM significantly enhances BK channel activity in rat cortical neurons and that FGF-2 is partially responsible for these effects. CNTF-induced astrocyte activation results in secretion of neuroactive factors which may affect neuronal excitability and resultant seizure activity in mammalian cortical neurons.

  1. PKA-Dependent Regulation of Synaptic Enhancement between a Buccal Motor Neuron and Its Regulatory Interneuron in Lymnaea stagnalis

    OpenAIRE

    Nakamura, Hiroshi; Kobayashi, Suguru; Kojima, Satoshi; Urano, Akihisa; Ito, Etsuro

    1999-01-01

    The cerebral giant cell (CGC) is known to play a crucial role in the regulation of feeding response in the pond snail, Lymnaea stagnalis. However, the mechanisms of signal transduction from the CGC to the following buccal motor neurons are not clear. In the present study, we examined whether cyclic AMP (cAMP)-dependent protein kinase (PKA) contributes to enhancement of a monosynaptic connection between the presynaptic CGC and the postsynaptic buccal motor neuron 1 (B1 cell). Injection of cAMP...

  2. LTP is accompanied by an enhanced local excitability of pyramidal neuron dendrites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frick, Andreas; Magee, Jeffrey; Johnston, Daniel

    2004-02-01

    The propagation and integration of signals in the dendrites of pyramidal neurons is regulated, in part, by the distribution and biophysical properties of voltage-gated ion channels. It is thus possible that any modification of these channels in a specific part of the dendritic tree might locally alter these signaling processes. Using dendritic and somatic whole-cell recordings, combined with calcium imaging in rat hippocampal slices, we found that the induction of long-term potentiation (LTP) was accompanied by a local increase in dendritic excitability that was dependent on the activation of NMDA receptors. These changes favored the back-propagation of action potentials into this dendritic region with a subsequent boost in the Ca(2+) influx. Dendritic cell-attached patch recordings revealed a hyperpolarized shift in the inactivation curve of transient, A-type K(+) currents that can account for the enhanced excitability. These results suggest an important mechanism associated with LTP for shaping signal processing and controlling dendritic function.

  3. Low Somatic Sodium Conductance Enhances Action Potential Precision in Time-Coding Auditory Neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Yang; Ramamurthy, Bina; Neef, Andreas; Xu-Friedman, Matthew A

    2016-11-23

    Auditory nerve fibers encode sounds in the precise timing of action potentials (APs), which is used for such computations as sound localization. Timing information is relayed through several cell types in the auditory brainstem that share an unusual property: their APs are not overshooting, suggesting that the cells have very low somatic sodium conductance (gNa). However, it is not clear how gNa influences temporal precision. We addressed this by comparing bushy cells (BCs) in the mouse cochlear nucleus with T-stellate cells (SCs), which do have normal overshooting APs. BCs play a central role in both relaying and refining precise timing information from the auditory nerve, whereas SCs discard precise timing information and encode the envelope of sound amplitude. Nucleated-patch recording at near-physiological temperature indicated that the Na current density was 62% lower in BCs, and the voltage dependence of gNa inactivation was 13 mV hyperpolarized compared with SCs. We endowed BCs with SC-like gNa using two-electrode dynamic clamp and found that synaptic activity at physiologically relevant rates elicited APs with significantly lower probability, through increased activation of delayed rectifier channels. In addition, for two near-simultaneous synaptic inputs, the window of coincidence detection widened significantly with increasing gNa, indicating that refinement of temporal information by BCs is degraded by gNa Thus, reduced somatic gNa appears to be an adaption for enhancing fidelity and precision in time-coding neurons.

  4. Novel educational approaches to enhance learning and interest in nephrology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jhaveri, Kenar D; Sparks, Matthew A; Shah, Hitesh H

    2013-07-01

    The number of U.S. medical graduates pursuing careers in nephrology has declined over the last several years. Some of the proposed reasons for this declining interest include difficult-to-understand or unstimulating kidney pathophysiology courses in medical school; disheartening inpatient elective experiences; and few opportunities to experience the other aspects of nephrology careers such as outpatient nephrology clinics, outpatient dialysis, and kidney transplantation. Novel and alternative educational approaches should be considered by the nephrology training community to enhance the understanding of nephrology from medical school to fellowship training. Newer teaching methods and styles should also be incorporated to adapt to today's learner. These innovative educational approaches may not only increase interest in nephrology careers, but they may also enhance and maintain interest during nephrology fellowship. In this article, we will review several educational approaches that may enhance teaching and learning in nephrology.

  5. Enhancement of Amygdaloid Neuronal Dendritic Arborization by Fresh Leaf Juice of Centella asiatica (Linn during Growth Spurt Period in Rats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. G. Mohandas Rao

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Centella asiatica (CeA is a creeping herb, growing in moist places in India and other Asian Countries. Ayurvedic system of medicine, an alternate system of medicine in India, uses leaves of CeA for memory enhancement. Here, we have investigated the role of CeA fresh leaf juice treatment during growth spurt period of rats on dendritic morphology of amygdaloid neurons, one of the regions concerned with learning and memory. The present study was conducted on neonatal rat pups. The rat pups (7-days-old were fed with 2, 4 and 6 ml/kg body of fresh leaf juice of CeA for 2, 4 and 6 weeks. After the treatment period, the rats were killed, brains removed and amygdaloid neurons impregnated with Silver nitrate (Golgi staining. Amygdaloid neurons were traced using camera lucida and dendritic branching points (a measure of dendritic arborization and intersections (a measure dendritic length quantified. These data were compared with those of age-matched control rats. The results showed a significant increase in dendritic length (intersections and dendritic branching points along the length of dendrites of the amygdaloid neurons of rats treated with 4 and 6 ml/kg body weight/day of CeA for longer periods of time (i.e. 4 and 6 weeks. We conclude that constituents/active principles present in CeA fresh leaf juice has neuronal dendritic growth stimulating property; hence it can be used for enhancing neuronal dendrites in stress and other neurodegenerative and memory disorders.

  6. Calcium transient evoked by TRPV1 activators is enhanced by tumor necrosis factor-{alpha} in rat pulmonary sensory neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Youmin; Gu, Qihai; Lin, Ruei-Lung; Kryscio, Richard; Lee, Lu-Yuan

    2010-10-01

    TNFα, a proinflammatory cytokine known to be involved in the pathogenesis of allergic asthma, has been shown to induce hyperalgesia in somatic tissue via a sensitizing effect on dorsal root ganglion neurons expressing transient receptor potential vanilloid type 1 receptor (TRPV1). Because TRPV1-expressing pulmonary sensory neurons play an important role in regulating airway function, this study was carried out to determine whether TNFα alters the sensitivity of these neurons to chemical activators. Responses of isolated nodose and jugular ganglion neurons innervating the rat lungs were determined by measuring the transient increase in intracellular Ca(2+) concentration ([Ca(2+)](i)). Our results showed the following. 1) A pretreatment with TNFα (50 ng/ml) for ∼24 h increased significantly the peak Δ[Ca(2+)](i) evoked by capsaicin (Cap) in these neurons. A pretreatment with the same concentration of TNFα for a longer duration (∼48 h) did not further increase the response, but pretreatment for a shorter duration (1 h) or with a lower concentration (25 ng/ml, 24 h) failed to enhance the Cap sensitivity. 2) The same TNFα pretreatment also induced similar but less pronounced and less uniform increases in the responses to acid (pH 6.5-5.5), 2-aminoethoxydiphenyl borate (2-APB), a common activator of TRPV1, V2, and V3 channels, and allyl isothiocyanate (AITC), a selective activator of TRPA1 channel. 3) In sharp contrast, the responses to ATP, ACh, and KCl were not affected by TNFα. 4) The TNFα-induced hypersensitivity to Cap was not prevented by pretreatment with indomethacin (30 μM). 5) The immunoreactivity to both TNF receptor types 1 and 2 were detected in rat vagal pulmonary sensory neurons. In conclusion, prolonged treatment with TNFα induces a pronounced potentiating effect on the responses of isolated pulmonary sensory neurons to TRPV1 activators. This action of TNFα may contribute in part to the airway hyperresponsiveness induced by this cytokine.

  7. Conditional overexpression of insulin-like growth factor-1 enhances hippocampal neurogenesis and restores immature neuron dendritic processes after traumatic brain injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlson, Shaun W; Madathil, Sindhu K; Sama, Diana M; Gao, Xiang; Chen, Jinhui; Saatman, Kathryn E

    2014-08-01

    Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is associated with neuronal damage or neuronal death in the hippocampus, a region critical for cognitive function. Immature neurons within the hippocampal neurogenic niche are particularly susceptible to TBI. Therapeutic strategies that protect immature hippocampal neurons or enhance posttraumatic neurogenesis may be advantageous for promoting functional recovery after TBI. Insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) promotes neurogenesis in the adult brain, but its effects on neurogenesis after TBI are unknown. We used an astrocyte-specific conditional IGF-1-overexpressing mouse model to supplement IGF-1 in regions of neuronal damage and reactive astrocytosis after controlled cortical impact injury. Although early loss of immature neurons was not significantly attenuated, overexpression of IGF-1 resulted in a marked increase in immature neuron density in the subgranular zone at 10 days after injury. This delayed increase seemed to be driven by enhanced neuron differentiation rather than by increased cellular proliferation. In wild-type mice, dendrites of immature neurons exhibited significant decreases in total length and number of bifurcations at 10 days after injury versus neurons in sham-injured mice. In contrast, the morphology of immature neuron dendrites in brain-injured IGF-1-overexpressing mice was equivalent to that in sham controls. These data provide compelling evidence that IGF-1 promotes neurogenesis after TBI.

  8. Kv3.4 subunits enhance the repolarizing efficiency of Kv3.1 channels in fast-spiking neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baranauskas, Gytis; Tkatch, Tatiana; Nagata, Keiichi; Yeh, Jay Z; Surmeier, D James

    2003-03-01

    Neurons with the capacity to discharge at high rates--'fast-spiking' (FS) neurons--are critical participants in central motor and sensory circuits. It is widely accepted that K+ channels with Kv3.1 or Kv3.2 subunits underlie fast, delayed-rectifier (DR) currents that endow neurons with this FS ability. Expression of these subunits in heterologous systems, however, yields channels that open at more depolarized potentials than do native Kv3 family channels, suggesting that they differ. One possibility is that native channels incorporate a subunit that modifies gating. Molecular, electrophysiological and pharmacological studies reported here suggest that a splice variant of the Kv3.4 subunit coassembles with Kv3.1 subunits in rat brain FS neurons. Coassembly enhances the spike repolarizing efficiency of the channels, thereby reducing spike duration and enabling higher repetitive spike rates. These results suggest that manipulation of K3.4 subunit expression could be a useful means of controlling the dynamic range of FS neurons.

  9. Dexamethasone enhances glutamine synthetase activity and reduces N-methyl-D-aspartate neurotoxicity in mixed cultures of neurons and astrocytes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edith Debroas

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Astrocytes are claimed to protect neurons against excitotoxicity by clearing glutamate from the extracellular space and rapidly converting it into glutamine. Glutamine, is then released into the extracellular medium, taken up by neurons and transformed back into glutamate which is then stored into synaptic vesicles. Glutamine synthetase (GS, the key enzyme that governs this glutamate/glutamine cycle, is known to be upregulated by glucocorticoids. In the present work we have thus studied in parallel the effects of dexamethasone on glutamine synthetase activity and NMDA-induced neuronal death in cultures derived from the brain cortex of murine embryos. We showed that dexamethasone was able to markedly enhance GS activity in cultures of astrocytes but not in near pure neuronal cultures. The pharmacological characteristics of the dexamethasone action strongly suggest that it corresponds to a typical receptor-mediated effect. We also observed that long lasting incubation (72 h of mixed astrocyte-neuron cultures in the presence of 100 nM dexamethasone significantly reduced the toxicity of NMDA treatment. Furthermore we demonstrated that methionine sulfoximine, a selective inhibitor of GS, abolished the dexamethasone-induced increase in GS activity and also markedly potentiated NMDA toxicity. Altogether these results suggest that dexamethasone may promote neuroprotection through a stimulation of astrocyte glutamine synthetase.

  10. Enhanced adenoviral gene delivery to motor and dorsal root ganglion neurons following injection into demyelinated peripheral nerves.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yongjie; Zheng, Yiyan; Zhang, Yi Ping; Shields, Lisa B E; Hu, Xiaoling; Yu, Panpan; Burke, Darlene A; Wang, Heming; Jun, Cai; Byers, Jonathan; Whittemore, Scott R; Shields, Christopher B

    2010-08-15

    Injection of viral vectors into peripheral nerves may transfer specific genes into their dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons and motoneurons. However, myelin sheaths of peripheral axons block the entry of viral particles into nerves. We studied whether mild, transient peripheral nerve demyelination prior to intraneural viral vector injection would enhance gene transfer to target DRG neurons and motoneurons. The right sciatic nerve of C57BL/6 mice was focally demyelinated with 1% lysolecithin, and the left sciatic nerve was similarly injected with saline (control). Five days after demyelination, 0.5 microl of Ad5-GFP was injected into both sciatic nerves at the site of previous injection. The effectiveness of gene transfer was evaluated by counting GFP(+) neurons in the DRGs and ventral horns. After peripheral nerve demyelination, there was a fivefold increase in the number of infected DRG neurons and almost a 15-fold increase in the number of infected motoneurons compared with the control, nondemyelinated side. Focal demyelination reduced the myelin sheath barrier, allowing greater virus-axon contact. Increased CXADR expression on the demyelinated axons facilitated axoplasmic viral entry. No animals sustained any prolonged neurological deficits. Increased gene delivery into DRG neurons and motoneurons may provide effective treatment for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, pain, and spinal cord injury.

  11. Inhibitors of protein kinase C prevent enhancement of calcium current and action potentials in peptidergic neurons of Aplysia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conn, P J; Strong, J A; Kaczmarek, L K

    1989-02-01

    Following brief stimulation of an afferent pathway, the bag cell neurons of Aplysia undergo a dramatic change in excitability, resulting in a prolonged discharge of spontaneous action potentials. During the discharge, the action potentials of the bag cell neurons become enhanced in height and width. The afterdischarge triggers release of neuroactive peptides that initiate egg-laying behavior in this animal. Evidence suggests that changes in excitability of the bag cell neurons may be mediated by activation of protein kinase C (PKC) and cAMP-dependent protein kinase (cAMP-PK). PKC activators, such as the phorbol ester TPA (12-O-tetradecanoyl-13-phorbol acetate), enhance the amplitude of action potentials in isolated bag cell neurons in cell culture. These agents act by unmasking a previously covert species of voltage-dependent calcium channel resulting in an increase in calcium current. In the accompanying paper (Conn et al., 1989), we showed that H-7, a protein kinase inhibitor, inhibits the effect of TPA, and is a selective inhibitor of PKC relative to cAMP-PK in these cells. We now report that another PKC inhibitor, sphinganine, also inhibits the effect of TPA on action potential height and calcium current in cultured bag cell neurons, and that N-acetylsphinganine, an inactive sphinganine analog, fails to inhibit the effects of PKC activators. Although both H-7 and sphinganine prevent the effects of TPA when added prior to TPA addition, neither compound reverses the effects of TPA when added after the action potentials have already become enhanced by TPA.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

  12. Neuronal monoamine reuptake inhibitors enhance in vitro susceptibility to chloroquine in resistant Plasmodium falciparum.

    OpenAIRE

    Coutaux, A F; Mooney, J. J.; Wirth, D. F.

    1994-01-01

    Chloroquine resistance in Plasmodium falciparum was reversed in vitro by the neuronal monoamine reuptake inhibitors and antidepressants desipramine, sertraline, fluoxetine, and norfluoxetine but not by carbamazepine, an antiseizure and mood-stabilizing tricyclic drug resembling desipramine which only weakly inhibits neuronal monoamine reuptake. These findings have important clinical implications for drug combination therapy.

  13. Absence of NMDA receptors in dopamine neurons attenuates dopamine release but not conditioned approach during Pavlovian conditioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parker, Jones G; Zweifel, Larry S; Clark, Jeremy J; Evans, Scott B; Phillips, Paul E M; Palmiter, Richard D

    2010-07-27

    During Pavlovian conditioning, phasic dopamine (DA) responses emerge to reward-predictive stimuli as the subject learns to anticipate reward delivery. This observation has led to the hypothesis that phasic dopamine signaling is important for learning. To assess the ability of mice to develop anticipatory behavior and to characterize the contribution of dopamine, we used a food-reinforced Pavlovian conditioning paradigm. As mice learned the cue-reward association, they increased their head entries to the food receptacle in a pattern that was consistent with conditioned anticipatory behavior. D1-receptor knockout (D1R-KO) mice had impaired acquisition, and systemic administration of a D1R antagonist blocked both the acquisition and expression of conditioned approach in wild-type mice. To assess the specific contribution of phasic dopamine transmission, we tested mice lacking NMDA-type glutamate receptors (NMDARs) exclusively in dopamine neurons (NR1-KO mice). Surprisingly, NR1-KO mice learned at the same rate as their littermate controls. To evaluate the contribution of NMDARs to phasic dopamine release in this paradigm, we performed fast-scan cyclic voltammetry in the nucleus accumbens of awake mice. Despite having significantly attenuated phasic dopamine release following reward delivery, KO mice developed cue-evoked dopamine release at the same rate as controls. We conclude that NMDARs in dopamine neurons enhance but are not critical for phasic dopamine release to behaviorally relevant stimuli; furthermore, their contribution to phasic dopamine signaling is not necessary for the development of cue-evoked dopamine or anticipatory activity in a D1R-dependent Pavlovian conditioning paradigm.

  14. Spike-timing-dependent plasticity enhanced synchronization transitions induced by autapses in adaptive Newman-Watts neuronal networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gong, Yubing; Wang, Baoying; Xie, Huijuan

    2016-12-01

    In this paper, we numerically study the effect of spike-timing-dependent plasticity (STDP) on synchronization transitions induced by autaptic activity in adaptive Newman-Watts Hodgkin-Huxley neuron networks. It is found that synchronization transitions induced by autaptic delay vary with the adjusting rate Ap of STDP and become strongest at a certain Ap value, and the Ap value increases when network randomness or network size increases. It is also found that the synchronization transitions induced by autaptic delay become strongest at a certain network randomness and network size, and the values increase and related synchronization transitions are enhanced when Ap increases. These results show that there is optimal STDP that can enhance the synchronization transitions induced by autaptic delay in the adaptive neuronal networks. These findings provide a new insight into the roles of STDP and autapses for the information transmission in neural systems. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Neuronal identity genes regulated by super-enhancers are preferentially down-regulated in the striatum of Huntington's disease mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Achour, Mayada; Le Gras, Stéphanie; Keime, Céline; Parmentier, Frédéric; Lejeune, François-Xavier; Boutillier, Anne-Laurence; Néri, Christian; Davidson, Irwin; Merienne, Karine

    2015-06-15

    Huntington's disease (HD) is a neurodegenerative disease associated with extensive down-regulation of genes controlling neuronal function, particularly in the striatum. Whether altered epigenetic regulation underlies transcriptional defects in HD is unclear. Integrating RNA-sequencing (RNA-seq) and chromatin-immunoprecipitation followed by massively parallel sequencing (ChIP-seq), we show that down-regulated genes in HD mouse striatum associate with selective decrease in H3K27ac, a mark of active enhancers, and RNA Polymerase II (RNAPII). In addition, we reveal that decreased genes in HD mouse striatum display a specific epigenetic signature, characterized by high levels and broad patterns of H3K27ac and RNAPII. Our results indicate that this signature is that of super-enhancers, a category of broad enhancers regulating genes defining tissue identity and function. Specifically, we reveal that striatal super-enhancers display extensive H3K27 acetylation within gene bodies, drive transcription characterized by low levels of paused RNAPII, regulate neuronal function genes and are enriched in binding motifs for Gata transcription factors, such as Gata2 regulating striatal identity genes. Together, our results provide evidence for preferential down-regulation of genes controlled by super-enhancers in HD striatum and indicate that enhancer topography is a major parameter determining the propensity of a gene to be deregulated in a neurodegenerative disease.

  16. Enhancing Anticipatory Postural Adjustments: A Novel Approach to Balance Rehabilitation

    OpenAIRE

    2016-01-01

    Balance impairment is common in individuals with neurological disorders and older adults and is a major cause of falls in these populations. Evidence on the effectiveness of conventional interventions for balance restoration is limited. We describe a novel approach to balance rehabilitation that is based on enhancing anticipatory postural adjustments.

  17. Binaural speech enhancement using a codebook based approach

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kavalekalam, Mathew Shaji; Christensen, Mads Græsbøll; Boldt, Jesper B.

    2016-01-01

    term predictor (STP) parameters using a codebook based approach, when we have access to binaural noisy signals. The estimated STP parameters are subsequently used for enhancement in a dual channel scenario. Objective measures indicate, that the proposed method is able to improve the speech...

  18. Persistent attenuation and enhancement of the earthworm main muscle contraction generator response induced by repeated stimulation of a peripheral neuron

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Y.C. Chang

    1998-10-01

    Full Text Available Responses evoked in the earthworm, Amynthas hawayanus, main muscle contraction generator M-2 (postsynaptic mechanical-stimulus-sensitive neuron by threshold mechanical stimuli in 2-s intertrial intervals (ITI were used as the control or unconditioned responses (UR. Their attenuation induced by decreasing these intervals in non-associative conditioning and their enhancement induced by associating the unconditioned stimuli (US to a train of short (0.1 s hyperpolarizing electrical substitutive conditioning stimuli (SCS in the Peri-Kästchen (PK neuron were measured in four parameters, i.e., peak numbers (N and amplitude (averaged from 120 responses, sum of these amplitudes (SAMP and the highest peak amplitude (V over a period of 4 min. Persistent attenuation similar to habituation was induced by decreasing the control ITI to 0.5 s and 2.0 s in non-associative conditioning within less than 4 min. Dishabituation was induced by randomly pairing one of these habituated US to an electrical stimulus in the PK neuron. All four parameters of the UR were enhanced by forward (SCS-US, but not backward (US-SCS, association of the US with 25, 100 and 250-Hz trains of SCS with 40-ms interstimulus intervals (ISI for 4 min and persisted for another 4 min after turning off the SCS. The enhancement of these parameters was proportional to the SCS frequencies in the train. No UR was evoked by the SCS when the US was turned off after 4 min of classical conditioning.

  19. Enhancement of Hyperspectral Real World Images Using Hybrid Domain Approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shyam Lal

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents enhancement of hyperspectral real world images using hybrid domain approach. The proposed method consists of three phases: In first phase the discrete wavelet transform is applied and approximation coefficient is selected. In second phase approximation coefficient of discrete wavelet transform of image is process by automatic contrast adjustment technique and in third phase it takes logarithmic of output of second phase and after that adaptive filtering is applied for image enhancement in frequency domain. To judge the superiority of proposed method the image quality parameters such as measure of enhancement (EME and measure of enhancement factor (EMF is evaluated. Therefore, a better value of EME and EMF implies that the visual quality of the enhanced image is good. Simulation results indicates that proposed method provides better results as compared to other state-of-art contrast enhancement algorithms for hyperspectral real world images. The proposed method is efficient and very effective method for contrast enhancement of hyperspectral real world images. This method can also be used in different applications where images are suffering from different contrast problems.

  20. Stem cells go soft: pliant substrate surfaces enhance motor neuron differentiation

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Wang, Ning

    2014-01-01

    .... Recently in Nature Materials, Sun et al. (2014) report that differentiating human pluripotent stem cells on soft substrates increases the efficiency of mature motor neuron differentiation by altering cytoskeletal mechanotransduction through...

  1. Ascending projections of nociceptive neurons from trigeminal subnucleus caudalis: A population approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saito, Hiroto; Katagiri, Ayano; Okada, Shinji; Mikuzuki, Lou; Kubo, Asako; Suzuki, Tatsuro; Ohara, Kinuyo; Lee, Jun; Gionhaku, Nobuhito; Iinuma, Toshimitsu; Bereiter, David A; Iwata, Koichi

    2017-07-01

    Second-order neurons in trigeminal subnucleus caudalis (Vc) and upper cervical spinal cord (C1) are critical for craniofacial pain processing and project rostrally to terminate in: ventral posteromedial thalamic nucleus (VPM), medial thalamic nuclei (MTN) and parabrachial nuclei (PBN). The contribution of each region to trigeminal nociception was assessed by the number of phosphorylated extracellular signal-regulated kinase-immunoreactive (pERK-IR) neurons co-labeled with fluorogold (FG). The phenotype of pERK-IR neurons was further defined by the expression of neurokinin 1 receptor (NK1). The retrograde tracer FG was injected into VPM, MTN or PBN of the right hemisphere and after seven days, capsaicin was injected into the left upper lip in male rats. Nearly all pERK-IR neurons were found in superficial laminae of Vc-C1 ipsilateral to the capsaicin injection. Nearly all VPM and MTN FG-labeled neurons in Vc-C1 were found contralateral to the injection site, whereas FG-labeled neurons were found bilaterally after PBN injection. The percentage of FG-pERK-NK1-IR neurons was significantly greater (>10%) for PBN projection neurons than for VPM and MTN projection neurons (NK1-IR VPM projection neurons were found mainly in the middle-Vc, while pERK-NK1-immunoreactive MTN or PBN projection neurons were found in the middle-Vc and caudal Vc-C1. These results suggest that a significant percentage of capsaicin-responsive neurons in superficial laminae of Vc-C1 project directly to PBN, while neurons that project to VPM and MTN are subject to greater modulation by pERK-IR local interneurons. Furthermore, the rostrocaudal distribution differences of FG-pERK-NK1-IR neurons in Vc-C1 may reflect functional differences between these projection areas regarding craniofacial pain. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids Enhance Neuronal Differentiation in Cultured Rat Neural Stem Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masanori Katakura

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs can induce neurogenesis and recovery from brain diseases. However, the exact mechanisms of the beneficial effects of PUFAs have not been conclusively described. We recently reported that docosahexaenoic acid (DHA induced neuronal differentiation by decreasing Hes1 expression and increasing p27kip1 expression, which causes cell cycle arrest in neural stem cells (NSCs. In the present study, we examined the effect of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA and arachidonic acid (AA on differentiation, expression of basic helix-loop-helix transcription factors (Hes1, Hes6, and NeuroD, and the cell cycle of cultured NSCs. EPA also increased mRNA levels of Hes1, an inhibitor of neuronal differentiation, Hes6, an inhibitor of Hes1, NeuroD, and Map2 mRNA and Tuj-1-positive cells (a neuronal marker, indicating that EPA induced neuronal differentiation. EPA increased the mRNA levels of p21cip1 and p27kip1, a cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor, which indicated that EPA induced cell cycle arrest. Treatment with AA decreased Hes1 mRNA but did not affect NeuroD and Map2 mRNA levels. Furthermore, AA did not affect the number of Tuj-1-positive cells or cell cycle progression. These results indicated that EPA could be involved in neuronal differentiation by mechanisms alternative to those of DHA, whereas AA did not affect neuronal differentiation in NSCs.

  3. Enhanced auditory neuron survival following cell-based BDNF treatment in the deaf guinea pig.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lisa N Pettingill

    Full Text Available Exogenous neurotrophin delivery to the deaf cochlea can prevent deafness-induced auditory neuron degeneration, however, we have previously reported that these survival effects are rapidly lost if the treatment stops. In addition, there are concerns that current experimental techniques are not safe enough to be used clinically. Therefore, for such treatments to be clinically transferable, methods of neurotrophin treatment that are safe, biocompatible and can support long-term auditory neuron survival are necessary. Cell transplantation and gene transfer, combined with encapsulation technologies, have the potential to address these issues. This study investigated the survival-promoting effects of encapsulated BDNF over-expressing Schwann cells on auditory neurons in the deaf guinea pig. In comparison to control (empty capsules, there was significantly greater auditory neuron survival following the cell-based BDNF treatment. Concurrent use of a cochlear implant is expected to result in even greater auditory neuron survival, and provide a clinically relevant method to support auditory neuron survival that may lead to improved speech perception and language outcomes for cochlear implant patients.

  4. The aspirin metabolite salicylate enhances neuronal excitation in rat hippocampal CA1 area through reducing GABAergic inhibition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gong, Neng; Zhang, Min; Zhang, Xiao-Bing; Chen, Lin; Sun, Guang-Chun; Xu, Tian-Le

    2008-02-01

    Salicylate is the major metabolite and active component of aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid), which is widely used in clinical medicine for treating inflammation, pain syndromes and cardiovascular disorders. The well-known mechanism underlying salicylate's action mainly involves the inhibition of cyclooxygenase and subsequent decrease in prostaglandin production. Recent evidence suggests that salicylate also affects neuronal function through interaction with specific membrane channels/receptors. However, the effect of salicylate on synaptic and neural network function remains largely unknown. In this study, we investigated the effect of sodium salicylate on the synaptic transmission and neuronal excitation in the hippocampal CA1 area of rats, a key structure for many complex brain functions. With electrophysiological recordings in hippocampal slices, we found that sodium salicylate significantly enhanced neuronal excitation through reducing inhibitory GABAergic transmission without affecting the basal excitatory synaptic transmission. Salicylate significantly inhibited the amplitudes of both evoked and miniature inhibitory postsynaptic currents, and directly reduced gamma-aminobutyric acid type A (GABA(A)) receptor-mediated responses in cultured rat hippocampal neurons. Together, our results suggest that the widely used aspirin might impair hippocampal synaptic and neural network functions through its actions on GABAergic neurotransmission. Given the capability of aspirin to penetrate the blood-brain barrier, the present data imply that aspirin intake may cause network hyperactivity and be potentially harmful in susceptible subpopulations.

  5. Female Mice Lacking Estrogen Receptor-α in Hypothalamic Proopiomelanocortin (POMC) Neurons Display Enhanced Estrogenic Response on Cortical Bone Mass.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farman, H H; Windahl, S H; Westberg, L; Isaksson, H; Egecioglu, E; Schele, E; Ryberg, H; Jansson, J O; Tuukkanen, J; Koskela, A; Xie, S K; Hahner, L; Zehr, J; Clegg, D J; Lagerquist, M K; Ohlsson, C

    2016-08-01

    Estrogens are important regulators of bone mass and their effects are mainly mediated via estrogen receptor (ER)α. Central ERα exerts an inhibitory role on bone mass. ERα is highly expressed in the arcuate (ARC) and the ventromedial (VMN) nuclei in the hypothalamus. To test whether ERα in proopiomelanocortin (POMC) neurons, located in ARC, is involved in the regulation of bone mass, we used mice lacking ERα expression specifically in POMC neurons (POMC-ERα(-/-)). Female POMC-ERα(-/-) and control mice were ovariectomized (OVX) and treated with vehicle or estradiol (0.5 μg/d) for 6 weeks. As expected, estradiol treatment increased the cortical bone thickness in femur, the cortical bone mechanical strength in tibia and the trabecular bone volume fraction in both femur and vertebrae in OVX control mice. Importantly, the estrogenic responses were substantially increased in OVX POMC-ERα(-/-) mice compared with the estrogenic responses in OVX control mice for cortical bone thickness (+126 ± 34%, P mass, ERα was silenced using an adeno-associated viral vector. Silencing of ERα in hypothalamic VMN resulted in unchanged bone mass. In conclusion, mice lacking ERα in POMC neurons display enhanced estrogenic response on cortical bone mass and mechanical strength. We propose that the balance between inhibitory effects of central ERα activity in hypothalamic POMC neurons in ARC and stimulatory peripheral ERα-mediated effects in bone determines cortical bone mass in female mice.

  6. GABAergic neuron-specific loss of Ube3a causes Angelman syndrome-like EEG abnormalities and enhances seizure susceptibility

    Science.gov (United States)

    Judson, Matthew C.; Wallace, Michael L.; Sidorov, Michael S.; Burette, Alain C.; Gu, Bin; van Woerden, Geeske M.; King, Ian F.; Han, Ji Eun; Zylka, Mark J.; Elgersma, Ype; Weinberg, Richard J.; Philpot, Benjamin D.

    2016-01-01

    SUMMARY Loss of maternal UBE3A causes Angelman syndrome (AS), a neurodevelopmental disorder associated with severe epilepsy. We previously implicated GABAergic deficits onto layer (L) 2/3 pyramidal neurons in the pathogenesis of neocortical hyperexcitability, and perhaps epilepsy, in AS model mice. Here we investigate consequences of selective Ube3a loss from either GABAergic or glutamatergic neurons, focusing on the development of hyperexcitability within L2/3 neocortex and in broader circuit and behavioral contexts. We find that GABAergic Ube3a loss causes AS-like increases in neocortical EEG delta power, enhances seizure susceptibility, and leads to presynaptic accumulation of clathrin-coated vesicles (CCVs) – all without decreasing GABAergic inhibition onto L2/3 pyramidal neurons. Conversely, glutamatergic Ube3a loss fails to yield EEG abnormalities, seizures, or associated CCV phenotypes, despite impairing tonic inhibition onto L2/3 pyramidal neurons. These results substantiate GABAergic Ube3a loss as the principal cause of circuit hyperexcitability in AS mice, lending insight into ictogenic mechanisms in AS. PMID:27021170

  7. Morphine treatment enhances glutamatergic input onto neurons of the nucleus accumbens via both disinhibitory and stimulating effect.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuan, Kejing; Sheng, Huan; Song, Jiaojiao; Yang, Li; Cui, Dongyang; Ma, Qianqian; Zhang, Wen; Lai, Bin; Chen, Ming; Zheng, Ping

    2016-08-22

    Drug addiction is a chronic brain disorder characterized by the compulsive repeated use of drugs. The reinforcing effect of repeated use of drugs on reward plays an important role in morphine-induced addictive behaviors. The nucleus accumbens (NAc) is an important site where morphine treatment produces its reinforcing effect on reward. However, how morphine treatment produces its reinforcing effect on reward in the NAc remains to be clarified. In the present study, we studied the influence of morphine treatment on the effects of DA and observed whether morphine treatment could directly change glutamatergic synaptic transmission in the NAc. We also explored the functional significance of morphine-induced potentiation of glutamatergic synaptic transmission in the NAc at behavioral level. Our results show that (1) morphine treatment removes the inhibitory effect of DA on glutamatergic input onto NAc neurons; (2) morphine treatment potentiates glutamatergic input onto NAc neurons, especially the one from the basolateral amygdala (BLA) to the NAc; (3) blockade of glutamatergic synaptic transmission in the NAc or ablation of projection neurons from BLA to NAc significantly decreases morphine treatment-induced increase in locomotor activity. These results suggest that morphine treatment enhances glutamatergic input onto neurons of the NAc via both disinhibitory and stimulating effect and therefore increases locomotor activity.

  8. GABAergic Neuron-Specific Loss of Ube3a Causes Angelman Syndrome-Like EEG Abnormalities and Enhances Seizure Susceptibility.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Judson, Matthew C; Wallace, Michael L; Sidorov, Michael S; Burette, Alain C; Gu, Bin; van Woerden, Geeske M; King, Ian F; Han, Ji Eun; Zylka, Mark J; Elgersma, Ype; Weinberg, Richard J; Philpot, Benjamin D

    2016-04-01

    Loss of maternal UBE3A causes Angelman syndrome (AS), a neurodevelopmental disorder associated with severe epilepsy. We previously implicated GABAergic deficits onto layer (L) 2/3 pyramidal neurons in the pathogenesis of neocortical hyperexcitability, and perhaps epilepsy, in AS model mice. Here we investigate consequences of selective Ube3a loss from either GABAergic or glutamatergic neurons, focusing on the development of hyperexcitability within L2/3 neocortex and in broader circuit and behavioral contexts. We find that GABAergic Ube3a loss causes AS-like increases in neocortical EEG delta power, enhances seizure susceptibility, and leads to presynaptic accumulation of clathrin-coated vesicles (CCVs)-all without decreasing GABAergic inhibition onto L2/3 pyramidal neurons. Conversely, glutamatergic Ube3a loss fails to yield EEG abnormalities, seizures, or associated CCV phenotypes, despite impairing tonic inhibition onto L2/3 pyramidal neurons. These results substantiate GABAergic Ube3a loss as the principal cause of circuit hyperexcitability in AS mice, lending insight into ictogenic mechanisms in AS.

  9. Motor control may support mirror neuron research with new hypotheses and methods. Reply to comments on "Grasping synergies: A motor-control approach to the mirror neuron mechanism"

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Ausilio, Alessandro; Bartoli, Eleonora; Maffongelli, Laura

    2015-03-01

    We are grateful to all commentators for their insightful commentaries and observations that enrich our proposal. One of our aims was indeed to bridge the gap between fields of research that, progressing independently, are facing similar issues regarding the neural representation of motor knowledge. In this respect, we were pleased to receive feedback from eminent researchers on both the mirror neuron as well as the motor control fields. Their expertise covers animal and human neurophysiology, as well as the computational modeling of neural and behavioral processes. Given their heterogeneous cultural perspectives and research approaches, a number of important open questions were raised. For simplicity we separated these issues into four sections. In the first section we present methodological aspects regarding how synergies can be measured in paradigms investigating the human mirror system. The second section regards the fundamental definition of what exactly synergies might be. The third concerns how synergies can generate testable predictions in mirror neuron research. Finally, the fourth section deals with the ultimate question regarding the function of the mirror neuron system.

  10. Approaches to studies on neuronal/glial relationships by 13C-MRS analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, A; McLean, M; Morris, P; Bachelard, H

    1996-01-01

    The use of different 13C-labelled precursors alone or in combination ([1-13C]glucose, [2-13C]glucose, [1-13C]acetate, [2-13C]acetate and [1,2-13C2]acetate) to study neuronal/glial metabolic relationships by MRS is discussed. Glutamine and citrate resonances represent glial metabolism if a combination of [1-13C]glucose + [2-13C]acetate is used, but only for short time periods. A combination of [2-13C]glucose + [2-13C]acetate will label -COO- groups from glucose and -CH2 groups from acetate, respectively, which distinguish well in theory. However, this approach is severely limited by the long T1S of -COO- groups and low S/N. Contributions of the anaplerotic pathway can be assessed using [2-13C]glucose, but again can be limited by the long T1S of -COO- groups. Labelling of glycerol-3-phosphate (believed to be produced in glia) from [1-13C]glucose is difficult to see under normal conditions but has proved useful in, e.g., hypoxia. We believe the most promising approach is the use of [1-13C] glucose with [1,2-13C2]acetate, by analysis of the multiplets ('isotopomers') of the amino acid resonances.

  11. Triptolide Promotes the Clearance of α-Synuclein by Enhancing Autophagy in Neuronal Cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Guanzheng; Gong, Xiaoli; Wang, Le; Liu, Mengru; Liu, Yang; Fu, Xia; Wang, Wei; Zhang, Ting; Wang, Xiaomin

    2016-03-09

    Parkinson's disease (PD) is an aging-associated neurodegenerative disease with a characteristic feature of α-synuclein accumulation. Point mutations (A53T, A30P) that increase the aggregation propensity of α-synuclein result in familial early onset PD. The abnormal metabolism of α-synuclein results in aberrant level changes of α-synuclein in PD. In pathological conditions, α-synuclein is degraded mainly by the autophagy-lysosome pathway. Triptolide (T10) is a monomeric compound isolated from a traditional Chinese herb. Our group demonstrated for the first time that T10 possesses potent neuroprotective properties both in vitro and in vivo PD models. In the present study, we reported T10 as a potent autophagy inducer in neuronal cells, which helped to promote the clearance of various forms of α-synuclein in neuronal cells. We transfected neuronal cells with A53T mutant (A53T) or wild-type (WT) α-synuclein plasmids and found T10 attenuated the cytotoxicity induced by pathogenic A53T α-synuclein overexpression. We observed that T10 significantly reduced both A53T and WT α-synuclein level in neuronal cell line, as well as in primary cultured cortical neurons. Excluding the changes of syntheses, secretion, and aggregation of α-synuclein, we further added autophagy inhibitor or proteasome inhibitor with T10, and we noticed that T10 promoted the clearance of α-synuclein mainly by the autophagic pathway. Lastly, we observed increased autophagy marker LC3-II expression and autophagosomes by GFP-LC3-II accumulation and ultrastructural characterization. However, the lysosome activity and cell viability were not modulated by T10. Our study revealed that T10 could induce autophagy and promote the clearance of both WT and A53T α-synuclein in neurons. These results provide evidence of T10 as a promising mean to treat PD and other neurodegenerative diseases by reducing pathogenic proteins in neurons.

  12. An Enhanced Approach to Detect Copy Move Forgery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ruchita Singh

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Due to the enhancement in the availability and quality of image manipulation tools, it is easy for a forger to forge any image without living any traces of modification. Digital Image tampering is now-a-days very common. Most obvious practice for doing forgery is Copy Move Forgery. In this research, a novel approach to detect Copy Move forgery is proposed. In this approach block based method and feature based method is employed to extract features from the image and extracted features are than matched to detect forgery and also perform the localization of the Forged Regions in the Digital Image

  13. A New Approach To Enhance Security In Mpls Network

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S.Veni

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available As Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS is becoming a more widespread technology For providing virtual private network (VPN services, MPLS architecture security is of increasing concern to service providers (SPs and VPN customers. MPLS suffers from a number of security issues as soon as an attacker successfully penetrates the core. This paper provides an approach to enhance security in MPLS network by integrating a new (k,n Threshold Secret Sharing scheme with MPLS in which shares obtained are send over multiple disjoint paths. Our approach is implemented to measure time overhead on secrets packet transmission.

  14. Optimization of nonlinear controller with an enhanced biogeography approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammed Salem

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available This paper is dedicated to the optimization of nonlinear controllers basing of an enhanced Biogeography Based Optimization (BBO approach. Indeed, The BBO is combined to a predator and prey model where several predators are used with introduction of a modified migration operator to increase the diversification along the optimization process so as to avoid local optima and reach the optimal solution quickly. The proposed approach is used in tuning the gains of PID controller for nonlinear systems. Simulations are carried out over a Mass spring damper and an inverted pendulum and has given remarkable results when compared to genetic algorithm and BBO.

  15. Colorimetry-based edge preservation approach for color image enhancement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suresh, Merugu; Jain, Kamal

    2016-07-01

    "Subpixel-based downsampling" is an approach that can implicitly enhance perceptible image resolution of a downsampled image by managing subpixel-level representation preferably with individual pixel. A subpixel-level representation for color image sample at edge region and color image representation is focused with the problem of directional filtration based on horizontal and vertical orientations using colorimetric color space with the help of saturation and desaturation pixels. A diagonal tracing algorithm and an edge preserving approach with colorimetric color space were used for color image enhancement. Since, there exist high variations at the edge regions, it could not be considered as constant or zero, and when these variations are random the need to compensate these to minimum value and then process for image representation. Finally, the results of the proposed method show much better image information as compared with traditional direct pixel-based methods with increased luminance and chrominance resolutions.

  16. Ancient exaptation of a CORE-SINE retroposon into a highly conserved mammalian neuronal enhancer of the proopiomelanocortin gene.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea M Santangelo

    2007-10-01

    Full Text Available The proopiomelanocortin gene (POMC is expressed in the pituitary gland and the ventral hypothalamus of all jawed vertebrates, producing several bioactive peptides that function as peripheral hormones or central neuropeptides, respectively. We have recently determined that mouse and human POMC expression in the hypothalamus is conferred by the action of two 5' distal and unrelated enhancers, nPE1 and nPE2. To investigate the evolutionary origin of the neuronal enhancer nPE2, we searched available vertebrate genome databases and determined that nPE2 is a highly conserved element in placentals, marsupials, and monotremes, whereas it is absent in nonmammalian vertebrates. Following an in silico paleogenomic strategy based on genome-wide searches for paralog sequences, we discovered that opossum and wallaby nPE2 sequences are highly similar to members of the superfamily of CORE-short interspersed nucleotide element (SINE retroposons, in particular to MAR1 retroposons that are widely present in marsupial genomes. Thus, the neuronal enhancer nPE2 originated from the exaptation of a CORE-SINE retroposon in the lineage leading to mammals and remained under purifying selection in all mammalian orders for the last 170 million years. Expression studies performed in transgenic mice showed that two nonadjacent nPE2 subregions are essential to drive reporter gene expression into POMC hypothalamic neurons, providing the first functional example of an exapted enhancer derived from an ancient CORE-SINE retroposon. In addition, we found that this CORE-SINE family of retroposons is likely to still be active in American and Australian marsupial genomes and that several highly conserved exonic, intronic and intergenic sequences in the human genome originated from the exaptation of CORE-SINE retroposons. Together, our results provide clear evidence of the functional novelties that transposed elements contributed to their host genomes throughout evolution.

  17. AN APPROACH TO SUPPRESS SPECKLE NOISE AND ENHANCE EDGE

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2006-01-01

    Anisotropic diffusion has good effect on reducing noise and preserving edge, but it may lose some details due to the blocky effect and can not suppress speckle effectively. The Laplacian factor is used to process the observed image which is considered as a piecewise planar image, so the Fourth Order Anisotropic Diffusion (FOAD) can avoid the blocky effect. The edge is preserved and enhanced by the Line Edge Detector (LED) based on stick technique and hypothesis test optimizing method. An approach called the Fourth Order Anisotropic Diffusion and Edge Enhancing (FOADEE), where the LED is combined with the FOAD, is presented. For quantitative evaluation and comparison with the LED, the FOAD and the FOADEE, two parameters as measure of the noise suppression and edge preservation are introduced. It is proved that the novel method can not only suppress speckle prominently but also preserve even enhance edge and useful details effectively by applying it to the phantoms and tissue images.

  18. Cutaneous delivery of natural antioxidants: the enhancement approaches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aljuffali, Ibrahim A; Hsu, Ching-Yun; Lin, Yin-Ku; Fang, Jia-You

    2015-01-01

    Topically applied natural antioxidants can be an effective treatment for inhibiting oxidative damage and photoaging of the skin. Due to the barrier function of the stratum corneum (SC), it is necessary to use an enhancement approach to promote the cutaneous absorption of natural antioxidants. Some factors that should be considered when developing delivery systems for natural antioxidants include increased solubility, enhanced storage stability, improved permeability and bioavailability, skin targeting, and minimal side effects. This review describes the skin delivery systems for natural antioxidant permeation that have been developed during the last decade. The antioxidants introduced include vitamins, polyphenols, and carotenoids. Various types of formulations are employed to improve the skin penetration of the antioxidants, such as hydrogels, cyclodextrin, microemulsions, nanoparticles, liposomes and niosomes. This review focuses on the introduction of natural antioxidants used in skin protection, the mechanisms of antioxidant activity on the skin, and formulation designs for enhancing absorption and efficacy.

  19. Optogenetic stimulation of glutamatergic neuronal activity in the striatum enhances neurogenesis in the subventricular zone of normal and stroke mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Mingke; Yu, Shan Ping; Mohamad, Osama; Cao, Wenyuan; Wei, Zheng Zachory; Gu, Xiaohuan; Jiang, Michael Qize; Wei, Ling

    2017-02-01

    Neurogenesis in the subventricular zone (SVZ) of the adult brain may contribute to tissue repair after brain injuries. Whether SVZ neurogenesis can be upregulated by specific neuronal activity in vivo and promote functional recovery after stroke is largely unknown. Using the spatial and cell type specific optogenetic technique combined with multiple approaches of in vitro, ex vivo and in vivo examinations, we tested the hypothesis that glutamatergic activation in the striatum could upregulate SVZ neurogenesis in the normal and ischemic brain. In transgenic mice expressing the light-gated channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2) channel in glutamatergic neurons, optogenetic stimulation of the glutamatergic activity in the striatum triggered glutamate release into SVZ region, evoked membrane currents, Ca(2+) influx and increased proliferation of SVZ neuroblasts, mediated by AMPA receptor activation. In ChR2 transgenic mice subjected to focal ischemic stroke, optogenetic stimuli to the striatum started 5days after stroke for 8days not only promoted cell proliferation but also the migration of SVZ neuroblasts into the peri-infarct cortex with increased neuronal differentiation and improved long-term functional recovery. These data provide the first morphological and functional evidence showing a unique striatum-SVZ neuronal regulation via a semi-phasic synaptic mechanism that can boost neurogenic cascades and stroke recovery. The benefits from stimulating endogenous glutamatergic activity suggest a novel regenerative strategy after ischemic stroke and other brain injuries.

  20. A modeling approach on why simple central pattern generators are built of irregular neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reyes, Marcelo Bussotti; Carelli, Pedro Valadão; Sartorelli, José Carlos; Pinto, Reynaldo Daniel

    2015-01-01

    The crustacean pyloric Central Pattern Generator (CPG) is a nervous circuit that endogenously provides periodic motor patterns. Even after about 40 years of intensive studies, the rhythm genesis is still not rigorously understood in this CPG, mainly because it is made of neurons with irregular intrinsic activity. Using mathematical models we addressed the question of using a network of irregularly behaving elements to generate periodic oscillations, and we show some advantages of using non-periodic neurons with intrinsic behavior in the transition from bursting to tonic spiking (as found in biological pyloric CPGs) as building components. We studied two- and three-neuron model CPGs built either with Hindmarsh-Rose or with conductance-based Hodgkin-Huxley-like model neurons. By changing a model's parameter we could span the neuron's intrinsic dynamical behavior from slow periodic bursting to fast tonic spiking, passing through a transition where irregular bursting was observed. Two-neuron CPG, half center oscillator (HCO), was obtained for each intrinsic behavior of the neurons by coupling them with mutual symmetric synaptic inhibition. Most of these HCOs presented regular antiphasic bursting activity and the changes of the bursting frequencies was studied as a function of the inhibitory synaptic strength. Among all HCOs, those made of intrinsic irregular neurons presented a wider burst frequency range while keeping a reliable regular oscillatory (bursting) behavior. HCOs of periodic neurons tended to be either hard to change their behavior with synaptic strength variations (slow periodic burster neurons) or unable to perform a physiologically meaningful rhythm (fast tonic spiking neurons). Moreover, 3-neuron CPGs with connectivity and output similar to those of the pyloric CPG presented the same results.

  1. A modeling approach on why simple central pattern generators are built of irregular neurons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcelo Bussotti Reyes

    Full Text Available The crustacean pyloric Central Pattern Generator (CPG is a nervous circuit that endogenously provides periodic motor patterns. Even after about 40 years of intensive studies, the rhythm genesis is still not rigorously understood in this CPG, mainly because it is made of neurons with irregular intrinsic activity. Using mathematical models we addressed the question of using a network of irregularly behaving elements to generate periodic oscillations, and we show some advantages of using non-periodic neurons with intrinsic behavior in the transition from bursting to tonic spiking (as found in biological pyloric CPGs as building components. We studied two- and three-neuron model CPGs built either with Hindmarsh-Rose or with conductance-based Hodgkin-Huxley-like model neurons. By changing a model's parameter we could span the neuron's intrinsic dynamical behavior from slow periodic bursting to fast tonic spiking, passing through a transition where irregular bursting was observed. Two-neuron CPG, half center oscillator (HCO, was obtained for each intrinsic behavior of the neurons by coupling them with mutual symmetric synaptic inhibition. Most of these HCOs presented regular antiphasic bursting activity and the changes of the bursting frequencies was studied as a function of the inhibitory synaptic strength. Among all HCOs, those made of intrinsic irregular neurons presented a wider burst frequency range while keeping a reliable regular oscillatory (bursting behavior. HCOs of periodic neurons tended to be either hard to change their behavior with synaptic strength variations (slow periodic burster neurons or unable to perform a physiologically meaningful rhythm (fast tonic spiking neurons. Moreover, 3-neuron CPGs with connectivity and output similar to those of the pyloric CPG presented the same results.

  2. Portfolio optimization in enhanced index tracking with goal programming approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siew, Lam Weng; Jaaman, Saiful Hafizah Hj.; Ismail, Hamizun bin

    2014-09-01

    Enhanced index tracking is a popular form of passive fund management in stock market. Enhanced index tracking aims to generate excess return over the return achieved by the market index without purchasing all of the stocks that make up the index. This can be done by establishing an optimal portfolio to maximize the mean return and minimize the risk. The objective of this paper is to determine the portfolio composition and performance using goal programming approach in enhanced index tracking and comparing it to the market index. Goal programming is a branch of multi-objective optimization which can handle decision problems that involve two different goals in enhanced index tracking, a trade-off between maximizing the mean return and minimizing the risk. The results of this study show that the optimal portfolio with goal programming approach is able to outperform the Malaysia market index which is FTSE Bursa Malaysia Kuala Lumpur Composite Index because of higher mean return and lower risk without purchasing all the stocks in the market index.

  3. Docosahexaenoic acid prevents paraquat-induced reactive oxygen species production in dopaminergic neurons via enhancement of glutathione homeostasis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lee, Hyoung Jun; Han, Jeongsu; Jang, Yunseon; Kim, Soo Jeong; Park, Ji Hoon; Seo, Kang Sik [Department of Biochemistry, College of Medicine, Chungnam National University, Daejeon (Korea, Republic of); Jeong, Soyeon; Shin, Soyeon; Lim, Kyu [Department of Biochemistry, College of Medicine, Chungnam National University, Daejeon (Korea, Republic of); Infection Signaling Network Research Center, Chungnam National University, Daejeon (Korea, Republic of); Heo, Jun Young, E-mail: junyoung3@gmail.com [Brainscience Institute, Chungnam National University, Daejeon (Korea, Republic of); Kweon, Gi Ryang, E-mail: mitochondria@cnu.ac.kr [Department of Biochemistry, College of Medicine, Chungnam National University, Daejeon (Korea, Republic of); Infection Signaling Network Research Center, Chungnam National University, Daejeon (Korea, Republic of)

    2015-01-30

    Highlights: • DHA prevents PQ-induced dopaminergic neuronal loss via decreasing of excessive ROS. • DHA increases GR and GCLm derivate GSH pool by enhancement of Nrf2 expression. • Protective mechanism is removal of PQ-induced ROS via DHA-dependent GSH pool. • DHA may be a good preventive strategy for Parkinson’s disease (PD) therapy. - Abstract: Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid levels are reduced in the substantia nigra area in Parkinson’s disease patients and animal models, implicating docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) as a potential treatment for preventing Parkinson’s disease and suggesting the need for investigations into how DHA might protect against neurotoxin-induced dopaminergic neuron loss. The herbicide paraquat (PQ) induces dopaminergic neuron loss through the excessive production of reactive oxygen species (ROS). We found that treatment of dopaminergic SN4741 cells with PQ reduced cell viability in a dose-dependent manner, but pretreatment with DHA ameliorated the toxic effect of PQ. To determine the toxic mechanism of PQ, we measured intracellular ROS content in different organelles with specific dyes. As expected, all types of ROS were increased by PQ treatment, but DHA pretreatment selectively decreased cytosolic hydrogen peroxide content. Furthermore, DHA treatment-induced increases in glutathione reductase and glutamate cysteine ligase modifier subunit (GCLm) mRNA expression were positively correlated with glutathione (GSH) content. Consistent with this increase in GCLm mRNA levels, Western blot analysis revealed that DHA pretreatment increased nuclear factor-erythroid 2 related factor 2 (Nrf2) protein levels. These findings indicate that DHA prevents PQ-induced neuronal cell loss by enhancing Nrf2-regulated GSH homeostasis.

  4. Firing statistics and correlations in spiking neurons: a level-crossing approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Badel, Laurent

    2011-10-01

    We present a time-dependent level-crossing theory for linear dynamical systems perturbed by colored Gaussian noise. We apply these results to approximate the firing statistics of conductance-based integrate-and-fire neurons receiving excitatory and inhibitory Poissonian inputs. Analytical expressions are obtained for three key quantities characterizing the neuronal response to time-varying inputs: the mean firing rate, the linear response to sinusoidally modulated inputs, and the pairwise spike correlation for neurons receiving correlated inputs. The theory yields tractable results that are shown to accurately match numerical simulations and provides useful tools for the analysis of interconnected neuronal populations.

  5. P2X7 receptors enhance glutamate release in hippocampal hilar neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cho, Jin-Hwa; Choi, In-Sun; Jang, Il-Sung

    2010-09-15

    We examined the effect of 2'-3'-O-(4-benzoylbenzoyl)-adenosine-5'-triphosphate (Bz-ATP), a P2X7 receptor agonist, on action potential-independent glutamate release from nerve terminals attached to mechanically isolated immature hilar neurons. Bz-ATP increased spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic current (sEPSC) frequency, and this effect was blocked by Brilliant blue G, a P2X7 receptor antagonist, suggesting that P2X7 receptors mediate the facilitatory action of Bz-ATP on sEPSCs. In most of hilar neurons tested, the Bz-ATP-induced increase in sEPSC frequency was blocked by tetrodotoxin or Cd, suggesting that the activation of P2X7 receptors leads to a presynaptic depolarization. The P2X7 receptor-mediated facilitation of glutamate release would modulate the excitability of hilar neurons, and eventually have a broad impact on the pathophysiological functions mediated by the hippocampus.

  6. α-MSH exerts direct postsynaptic excitatory effects on NTS neurons and enhances GABAergic signaling in the NTS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mimee, A; Kuksis, M; Ferguson, A V

    2014-03-14

    The central melanocortin system plays an essential role in the regulation of energy balance. While anorexigenic effects of α-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (α-MSH) acting in the nucleus of the solitary tract (NTS), a critical medullary autonomic control center, have been established, the cellular events underlying these effects are less well characterized. In this study, we used whole-cell patch-clamp electrophysiology to examine firstly whether α-MSH exerts direct postsynaptic effects on the membrane potential of rat NTS neurons in slice preparation, and secondly whether α-MSH influences GABAergic signaling in the NTS. In normal artificial cerebrospinal fluid, perfusion of α-MSH (500 nM) resulted in a depolarization in 39% of cells (n=16, mean 6.14±0.54 mV), and a hyperpolarization in 22% of cells (n=9, -6.79±1.02 mV). Studies using tetrodotoxin to block neuronal communication revealed α-MSH exerts direct depolarizing effects on some NTS neurons, and indirect inhibitory effects on others. A third subset of neurons is simultaneously directly depolarized and indirectly hyperpolarized by α-MSH, resulting in a net lack of effect on membrane potential. The inhibitory inputs influenced by α-MSH were identified as GABAergic, as α-MSH increased the frequency, but not amplitude, of inhibitory postsynaptic currents (IPSCs) in 50% of NTS neurons. α-MSH had no effect on the frequency or amplitude of miniature IPSCs. Furthermore, pharmacological blockade of GABAA and GABAB receptors, and physical removal of all synaptic inputs via cellular dissociation, abolished hyperpolarizations induced by α-MSH. We conclude α-MSH exerts direct, postsynaptic excitatory effects on a subset of NTS neurons. By exciting GABAergic NTS neurons and presynaptically enhancing GABAergic signaling, α-MSH also indirectly inhibits other NTS cells. These findings provide critical insight into the cellular events underlying medullary melanocortin anorexigenic effects, and expand the

  7. Phasic excitation of ventral tegmental dopamine neurons potentiates the initiation of conditioned approach behavior: Parametric and reinforcement-schedule analyses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anton eIlango

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Midbrain dopamine neurons are implicated in motivation and learning. However, it is unclear how phasic excitation of dopamine neurons, which is implicated in learning, is involved in motivation. Here we used a self-stimulation procedure to examine how mice seek for optogenetically-induced phasic excitation of dopamine neurons, with an emphasis on the temporal dimension. TH-Cre transgenic mice received adeno-associated viral vectors encoding channelrhodopsin-2 into the ventral tegmental area, resulting in selective expression of the opsin in dopamine neurons. These mice were trained to press on a lever for photo-pulse trains that phasically excited dopamine neurons. They learned to self-stimulate in a fast, constant manner, and rapidly reduced pressing during extinction. We first determined effective parameters of photo-pulse trains in self-stimulation. Lever-press rates changed as a function of the manipulation of pulse number, duration, intensity and frequency. We then examined effects of interval and ratio schedules of reinforcement on photo-pulse train reinforcement, which was contrasted with food reinforcement. Reinforcement with food inhibited lever pressing for a few seconds, after which pressing was robustly regulated in a goal-directed manner. In contrast, phasic excitation of dopamine neurons robustly potentiated the initiation of lever pressing; however, this effect did not last more than 1 s and quickly diminished. Indeed, response rates markedly decreased when lever pressing was reinforced with inter-reinforcement interval schedules of 3 or 10 s or ratio schedules requiring multiple responses per reinforcement. Thus, phasic excitation of dopamine neurons briefly potentiates the initiation of approach behavior with apparent lack of long-term motivational regulation.

  8. Phasic excitation of ventral tegmental dopamine neurons potentiates the initiation of conditioned approach behavior: parametric and reinforcement-schedule analyses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ilango, Anton; Kesner, Andrew J; Broker, Carl J; Wang, Dong V; Ikemoto, Satoshi

    2014-01-01

    Midbrain dopamine neurons are implicated in motivation and learning. However, it is unclear how phasic excitation of dopamine neurons, which is implicated in learning, is involved in motivation. Here we used a self-stimulation procedure to examine how mice seek for optogenetically-induced phasic excitation of dopamine neurons, with an emphasis on the temporal dimension. TH-Cre transgenic mice received adeno-associated viral vectors encoding channelrhodopsin-2 into the ventral tegmental area, resulting in selective expression of the opsin in dopamine neurons. These mice were trained to press on a lever for photo-pulse trains that phasically excited dopamine neurons. They learned to self-stimulate in a fast, constant manner, and rapidly reduced pressing during extinction. We first determined effective parameters of photo-pulse trains in self-stimulation. Lever-press rates changed as a function of the manipulation of pulse number, duration, intensity, and frequency. We then examined effects of interval and ratio schedules of reinforcement on photo-pulse train reinforcement, which was contrasted with food reinforcement. Reinforcement with food inhibited lever pressing for a few seconds, after which pressing was robustly regulated in a goal-directed manner. In contrast, phasic excitation of dopamine neurons robustly potentiated the initiation of lever pressing; however, this effect did not last more than 1 s and quickly diminished. Indeed, response rates markedly decreased when lever pressing was reinforced with inter-reinforcement interval schedules of 3 or 10 s or ratio schedules requiring multiple responses per reinforcement. Thus, phasic excitation of dopamine neurons briefly potentiates the initiation of approach behavior with apparent lack of long-term motivational regulation.

  9. The enhancement of neuronal cells wound healing with non-contact electric field stimulation by graphene electrodes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Sohee; Heo, Chaejeong; Lee, Si Young; Lee, Young Hee; Suh, Minah

    2013-05-01

    Electrical stimulation affects cellular behaviors including division, migration and wound healing [1-3]. Cellular injury often occurs due to the imbalance of the endogenous electric field [3]. In order to recover from the injury, wound healing process requires various cellular changes such as regeneration, migration, and the enhancement of cytoskeletal proteins and growth factors. In previous reports, a weak non-contact electric field stimulation (nEFS) accelerates the cell migration as well as cell-to-cell coupling between neuronal cell junction which are accompanied by increasing of cytoskeletal proteins [4, 5]. In this paper, we further investigated the wound healing effect of the nEFS in the neuronal cells (SHSY5Y cells) with live cell optical imaging. Cells were cultured over the optically transparent graphenen EF stimulator. Cellular behavioral changes upon nEFS were recorded with live optical imaging during stimulation of 120 minutes. The ability of wound healing was significantly enhanced with the nEFS. In particular, nEFS significantly shorten the duration of wound healing process. Moreover, after treating cells with cytochalasin D, a block polymerization of the actin filaments, the nEFS significantly enhanced wound healing process of cytochalasin D treated neural cells as compared to the control neural cells. This study suggests that nEFS may provide an effective way to control neural cells repairing process from cellular injury. Further mechanism study about the effect of nEFS on the wound healing may shed new light on cellular behavior.

  10. Learning Enhances Intrinsic Excitability in a Subset of Lateral Amygdala Neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sehgal, Megha; Ehlers, Vanessa L.; Moyer, James R., Jr.

    2014-01-01

    Learning-induced modulation of neuronal intrinsic excitability is a metaplasticity mechanism that can impact the acquisition of new memories. Although the amygdala is important for emotional learning and other behaviors, including fear and anxiety, whether learning alters intrinsic excitability within the amygdala has received very little…

  11. Learning Enhances Intrinsic Excitability in a Subset of Lateral Amygdala Neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sehgal, Megha; Ehlers, Vanessa L.; Moyer, James R., Jr.

    2014-01-01

    Learning-induced modulation of neuronal intrinsic excitability is a metaplasticity mechanism that can impact the acquisition of new memories. Although the amygdala is important for emotional learning and other behaviors, including fear and anxiety, whether learning alters intrinsic excitability within the amygdala has received very little…

  12. Central neuronal motor behaviour in skilled and less skilled novices - Approaching sports-specific movement techniques.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vogt, Tobias; Kato, Kouki; Schneider, Stefan; Türk, Stefan; Kanosue, Kazuyuki

    2017-02-14

    Research on motor behavioural processes preceding voluntary movements often refers to analysing the readiness potential (RP). For this, decades of studies used laboratory setups with controlled sports-related actions. Further, recent applied approaches focus on athlete-non-athlete comparisons, omitting possible effects of training history on RP. However, RP preceding real sport-specific movements in accordance to skill acquisition remains to be elucidated. Therefore, after familiarization 16 right-handed males with no experience in archery volunteered to perform repeated sports-specific movements, i.e. 40 arrow-releasing shots at 60s rest on a 15m distant standard target. Continuous, synchronised EEG and right limb EMG recordings during arrow-releasing served to detect movement onsets for RP analyses over distinct cortical motor areas. Based on attained scores on target, archery novices were, a posteriori, subdivided into a skilled and less skilled group. EMG results for mean values revealed no significant changes (all p>0.05), whereas RP amplitudes and onsets differed between groups but not between motor areas. Arrow-releasing preceded larger RP amplitudes (p<0.05) and later RP onsets (p<0.05) in skilled compared to less skilled novices. We suggest this to reflect attentional orienting and greater effort that accompanies central neuronal preparatory states of a sports-specific movement.

  13. Dexamethasone enhances necrosis-like neuronal death in ischemic rat hippocampus involving μ-calpain activation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Müller, Georg Johannes; Hasseldam, Henrik; Rasmussen, Rune Skovgaard; Johansen, Flemming Fryd

    2014-11-01

    Transient forebrain ischemia (TFI) leads to hippocampal CA1 pyramidal cell death which is aggravated by glucocorticoids (GC). It is unknown how GC affect apoptosis and necrosis in cerebral ischemia. We therefore investigated the co-localization of activated caspase-3 (casp-3) with apoptosis- and necrosis-like cell death morphologies in CA1 of rats treated with dexamethasone prior to TFI (DPTI). In addition, apoptosis- (casp-9, casp-3, casp-3-cleaved PARP and cleaved α-spectrin 145/150 and 120kDa) and necrosis-related (calpain-specific casp-9 cleavage, μ-calpain upregulation and cleaved α-spectrin 145/150kDa) cell death mechanisms were investigated by Western blot analysis. DPTI expedited CA1 neuronal death from day 4 to day 1 and increased the magnitude of CA1 neuronal death from 66.2% to 91.3% at day 7. Furthermore, DPTI decreased the overall (days 1-7) percentage of dying neurons displaying apoptosis-like morphology from 4.7% to 0.3% and, conversely, increased the percentage of neurons with necrosis-like morphology from 95.3% to 99.7%. In animals subjected to TFI without dexamethasone (ischemia-only), 7.4% of all dying CA1 neurons were casp-3-immunoreactive (IR), of which 3.1% co-localized with apoptosis-like and 4.3% with necrosis-like changes. By contrast, DPTI decreased the percentage of dying neurons with casp-3 IR to 1.4%, of which 0.3% co-localized with apoptosis-like changes and 1.1% with necrosis-like changes. Western blot analysis from DPTI animals showed a significant elevation of μ-calpain, a calpain-produced necrosis-related casp-9 fragment (25kDa) and cleavage of α-spectrin into 145/150kDa fragments at day 4, whereas in ischemia-only animals a significant increase of casp-3-cleaved PARP, cleavage of α-spectrin into 145/150 and 120kDa fragments was detected at day 7. We conclude that DPTI, in addition to augmenting and expediting CA1 neuronal death, causes a shift from apoptosis-like cell death to necrosis involving μ-calpain activation.

  14. Docosahexaenoic acid prevents paraquat-induced reactive oxygen species production in dopaminergic neurons via enhancement of glutathione homeostasis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Hyoung Jun; Han, Jeongsu; Jang, Yunseon; Kim, Soo Jeong; Park, Ji Hoon; Seo, Kang Sik; Jeong, Soyeon; Shin, Soyeon; Lim, Kyu; Heo, Jun Young; Kweon, Gi Ryang

    2015-01-30

    Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid levels are reduced in the substantia nigra area in Parkinson's disease patients and animal models, implicating docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) as a potential treatment for preventing Parkinson's disease and suggesting the need for investigations into how DHA might protect against neurotoxin-induced dopaminergic neuron loss. The herbicide paraquat (PQ) induces dopaminergic neuron loss through the excessive production of reactive oxygen species (ROS). We found that treatment of dopaminergic SN4741 cells with PQ reduced cell viability in a dose-dependent manner, but pretreatment with DHA ameliorated the toxic effect of PQ. To determine the toxic mechanism of PQ, we measured intracellular ROS content in different organelles with specific dyes. As expected, all types of ROS were increased by PQ treatment, but DHA pretreatment selectively decreased cytosolic hydrogen peroxide content. Furthermore, DHA treatment-induced increases in glutathione reductase and glutamate cysteine ligase modifier subunit (GCLm) mRNA expression were positively correlated with glutathione (GSH) content. Consistent with this increase in GCLm mRNA levels, Western blot analysis revealed that DHA pretreatment increased nuclear factor-erythroid 2 related factor 2 (Nrf2) protein levels. These findings indicate that DHA prevents PQ-induced neuronal cell loss by enhancing Nrf2-regulated GSH homeostasis.

  15. Top-down inputs enhance orientation selectivity in neurons of the primary visual cortex during perceptual learning.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samat Moldakarimov

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Perceptual learning has been used to probe the mechanisms of cortical plasticity in the adult brain. Feedback projections are ubiquitous in the cortex, but little is known about their role in cortical plasticity. Here we explore the hypothesis that learning visual orientation discrimination involves learning-dependent plasticity of top-down feedback inputs from higher cortical areas, serving a different function from plasticity due to changes in recurrent connections within a cortical area. In a Hodgkin-Huxley-based spiking neural network model of visual cortex, we show that modulation of feedback inputs to V1 from higher cortical areas results in shunting inhibition in V1 neurons, which changes the response properties of V1 neurons. The orientation selectivity of V1 neurons is enhanced without changing orientation preference, preserving the topographic organizations in V1. These results provide new insights to the mechanisms of plasticity in the adult brain, reconciling apparently inconsistent experiments and providing a new hypothesis for a functional role of the feedback connections.

  16. Deletion of glycine transporter 1 (GlyT1) in forebrain neurons facilitates reversal learning: enhanced cognitive adaptability?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singer, Philipp; Boison, Detlev; Möhler, Hanns; Feldon, Joram; Yee, Benjamin K

    2009-10-01

    Local availability of glycine near N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors (NMDARs) is partly regulated by neuronal glycine transporter 1 (GlyT1), which can therefore modulate NMDAR function because binding to the glycine site of the NMDAR is necessary for channel activation. Disrupting GlyT1 in forebrain neurons has been shown to enhance Pavlovian conditioning and object recognition memory. Here, the authors report that the same genetic manipulation facilitated reversal learning in the water maze test of reference memory, but did not lead to any clear improvement in a working memory version of the water maze test. Facilitation in a nonspatial discrimination reversal task conducted on a T maze was also observed, supporting the conclusion that forebrain neuronal GlyT1 may modulate the flexibility in (new) learning and relevant mnemonic functions. One possibility is that these phenotypes may reflect reduced susceptibility to certain forms of proactive interference. This may be relevant for the suggested clinical application of GlyT1 inhibitors in the treatment of cognitive deficits, including schizophrenia, which is characterized by cognitive inflexibility in addition to the positive symptoms of the disease.

  17. Adjustable typography: an approach to enhancing low vision text accessibility.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arditi, Aries

    2004-04-15

    Millions of people have low vision, a disability condition caused by uncorrectable or partially correctable disorders of the eye. The primary goal of low vision rehabilitation is increasing access to printed material. This paper describes how adjustable typography, a computer graphic approach to enhancing text accessibility, can play a role in this process, by allowing visually-impaired users to customize fonts to maximize legibility according to their own visual needs. Prototype software and initial testing of the concept is described. The results show that visually-impaired users tend to produce a variety of very distinct fonts, and that the adjustment process results in greatly enhanced legibility. But this initial testing has not yet demonstrated increases in legibility over and above the legibility of highly legible standard fonts such as Times New Roman.

  18. Postnatal interleukin-1β enhances adulthood seizure susceptibility and neuronal cell death after prolonged experimental febrile seizures in infantile rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fukuda, Mitsumasa; Hino, Hitomi; Suzuki, Yuka; Takahashi, Hisaaki; Morimoto, Takehiko; Ishii, Eiichi

    2014-09-01

    Febrile seizures (FS) are recognized as an antecedent to the development of temporal lobe epilepsy with hippocampal sclerosis (TLE-HS), but it is unclear whether prolonged FS are a direct cause of TLE-HS. Here, we used a rat model of infantile FS to study the effects of inflammatory cytokines on seizure susceptibility and neuronal death in adults. Prolonged hyperthermia-induced seizures (pHS) were induced in male Lewis rats at post natal day (P) 10. Cytokines were administered twice intranasally, once immediately after pHS and once the following day. The effects of intranasal interleukin (IL)-1β or tumor necrosis factor (TNF) α were tested in rats undergoing a single episode of pHS (P10) and in rats undergoing repeated pHS (P10 and P12). Seizure susceptibility was tested at P70-73 by quantifying the seizure onset time (SOT) after kainic acid administration, and neuronal cell injury and gliosis in adulthood. SOT significantly reduced in rats receiving IL-1β together with repeated pHS, whereas no significant effects were seen in rats receiving IL-1β after a single pHS episode, or in rats receiving TNFα. Hippocampal neuronal cell loss was observed in the CA3 region of rats receiving IL-1β together with repeated pHS; however, there was no significant change in gliosis among each group. Our results are consistent with the hypothesis that excessive production of IL-1β after repeated prolonged FS can enhance adult seizure susceptibility and neuronal cell death, and might contribute to the development of TLE-HS.

  19. Electroacupuncture attenuates visceral hyperalgesia and inhibits the enhanced excitability of colon specific sensory neurons in a rat model of irritable bowel syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, G-Y; Winston, J H; Chen, J D Z

    2009-12-01

    The causes of irritable bowel syndrome remain elusive and there are few effective treatments for pain in this syndrome. Electroacupunture (EA) is used extensively for treatment of various painful conditions including chronic visceral hyperalgesia (CVH). However, mechanism of its analgesic effect remains unknown. This study was designed to investigate effect of EA on colon specific dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons in rats with CVH. CVH was induced by intracolonic injection of acetic acid (AA) in 10-day-old rats. Electromyography and patch clamp recordings were performed at age of 8-10 weeks. Colon DRG neurons were labelled by injection of DiI into the colon wall. EA was given at ST36 in both hindlimbs. As adults, neonatal AA-injected rats displayed an increased sensitivity to colorectal distension (CRD) and an enhanced excitability of colon DRG neurons. EA treatment for 40 min significantly attenuated the nociceptive responses to CRD in these rats; this attenuation was reversed by pretreatment with naloxone. EA treatment for 40 min per day for 5 days produced a prolonged analgesic effect and normalized the enhanced excitability of colon DRG neurons. Furthermore, in vitro application of [D-Ala(2), N-MePhe(4), Gly(5)-Ol] enkephalin (DAMGO) suppressed the enhanced excitability of colon neurons from rats with CVH. These findings suggest that EA produced-visceral analgesia, which might be mediated in a large part by endogenous opioids pathways, is associated with reversal of the enhanced excitability of colon DRG neurons in rats with CVH.

  20. Channel noise enhances signal detectability in a model of acoustic neuron through the stochastic resonance paradigm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liberti, M; Paffi, A; Maggio, F; De Angelis, A; Apollonio, F; d'Inzeo, G

    2009-01-01

    A number of experimental investigations have evidenced the extraordinary sensitivity of neuronal cells to weak input stimulations, including electromagnetic (EM) fields. Moreover, it has been shown that biological noise, due to random channels gating, acts as a tuning factor in neuronal processing, according to the stochastic resonant (SR) paradigm. In this work the attention is focused on noise arising from the stochastic gating of ionic channels in a model of Ranvier node of acoustic fibers. The small number of channels gives rise to a high noise level, which is able to cause a spike train generation even in the absence of stimulations. A SR behavior has been observed in the model for the detection of sinusoidal signals at frequencies typical of the speech.

  1. Predominant enhancement of glucose uptake in astrocytes versus neurons during activation of the somatosensory cortex

    OpenAIRE

    Chuquet, Julien; Quilichini, Pascale; Nimchinsky, Esther A.; Buzsáki, György

    2010-01-01

    Glucose is the primary energetic substrate of the brain and measurements of its metabolism are the basis of major functional cerebral imaging methods. Contrary to the general view that neurons are fueled solely by glucose in proportion to their energetic needs, recent in vitro and ex vivo analyses suggest that glucose preferentially feeds astrocytes. However, the cellular fate of glucose in the intact brain has not yet been directly observed. We have used a real-time method for measuring gluc...

  2. Neuronal (bipolarity as a self-organized process enhanced by growing membrane.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Silvia A Menchón

    Full Text Available Early in vitro and recent in vivo studies demonstrated that neuronal polarization occurs by the sequential formation of two oppositely located neurites. This early bipolar phenotype is of crucial relevance in brain organization, determining neuronal migration and brain layering. It is currently considered that the place of formation of the first neurite is dictated by extrinsic cues, through the induction of localized changes in membrane and cytoskeleton dynamics leading to deformation of the cells' curvature followed by the growth of a cylindrical extension (neurite. It is unknown if the appearance of the second neurite at the opposite pole, thus the formation of a bipolar cell axis and capacity to undergo migration, is defined by the growth at the first place, therefore intrinsic, or requires external determinants. We addressed this question by using a mathematical model based on the induction of dynamic changes in one pole of a round cell. The model anticipates that a second area of growth can spontaneously form at the opposite pole. Hence, through mathematical modeling we prove that neuronal bipolar axis of growth can be due to an intrinsic mechanism.

  3. p38 Activation Is Required Upstream of Potassium Current Enhancement and Caspase Cleavage in Thiol Oxidant-Induced Neuronal Apoptosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    McLaughlin, BethAnn; Pal, Sumon; Tran, Minhnga P.; Parsons, Andrew A.; Barone, Frank C.; Erhardt, Joseph A.; Aizenman, Elias

    2013-01-01

    Oxidant-induced neuronal apoptosis has been shown to involve potassium and zinc dysregulation, energetic dysfunction, activation of stress-related kinases, and caspase cleavage. The temporal ordering and interdependence of these events was investigated in primary neuronal cultures exposed to the sulfhydryl oxidizing agent 2,2′-dithiodipyridine (DTDP), a compound that induces the intracellular release of zinc. We previously observed that tetraethylammonium (TEA), high extracellular potassium, or cysteine protease inhibitors block apoptosis induced by DTDP. We now report that both p38 and extracellular signal-regulated kinase phosphorylation are evident in neuronal cultures within 2 hr of a brief exposure to 100 μm DTDP. However, only p38 inhibition is capable of blocking oxidant-induced toxicity. Cyclohexamide or actinomycin D does not attenuate DTDP-induced cell death, suggesting that posttranslational modification of existing targets, rather than transcriptional activation, is responsible for the deleterious effects of p38. Indeed, an early robust increase in TEA-sensitive potassium channel currents induced by DTDP is attenuated by p38 inhibition but not by caspase inhibition. Moreover, we found that activation of p38 is required for caspase 3 and 9 cleavage, suggesting that potassium currents enhancement is required for caspase activation. Finally, we observed that DTDP toxicity could be blocked with niacinamide or benzamide, inhibitors of poly (ADP-ribose) synthetase. Based on these findings, we conclude that oxidation of sulfhydryl groups on intracellular targets results in intracellular zinc release, p38 phosphorylation, enhancement of potassium currents, caspase cleavage, energetic dysfunction, and translationally independent apoptotic cell death. PMID:11331359

  4. Cell-Cell Connection Enhances Proliferation and Neuronal Differentiation of Rat Embryonic Neural Stem/Progenitor Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qian Jiao

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Cell-cell interaction as one of the niche signals plays an important role in the balance of stem cell quiescence and proliferation or differentiation. In order to address the effect and the possible mechanisms of cell-cell connection on neural stem/progenitor cells (NSCs/NPCs proliferation and differentiation, upon passaging, NSCs/NPCs were either dissociated into single cell as usual (named Group I or mechanically triturated into a mixture of single cell and small cell clusters containing direct cell-cell connections (named Group II. Then the biological behaviors including proliferation and differentiation of NSCs/NPCs were observed. Moreover, the expression of gap junction channel, neurotrophic factors and the phosphorylation status of MAPK signals were compared to investigate the possible mechanisms. Our results showed that, in comparison to the counterparts in Group I, NSCs/NPCs in Group II survived well with preferable neuronal differentiation. In coincidence with this, the expression of connexin 45 (Cx45, as well as brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF and neurotrophin 3 (NT-3 in Group II were significantly higher than those in Group I. Phosphorylation of ERK1/2 and JNK2 were significantly upregulated in Group II too, while no change was found about p38. Furthermore, the differences of NSCs/NPCs biological behaviors between Group I and II completely disappeared when ERK and JNK phosphorylation were inhibited. These results indicated that cell-cell connection in Group II enhanced NSCs/NPCs survival, proliferation and neuronal differentiation through upregulating the expression of gap junction and neurotrophic factors. MAPK signals- ERK and JNK might contribute to the enhancement. Efforts for maintaining the direct cell-cell connection are worth making to provide more favorable niches for NSCs/NPCs survival, proliferation and neuronal differentiation.

  5. Forskolin suppresses delayed-rectifier K+ currents and enhances spike frequency-dependent adaptation of sympathetic neurons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luis I Angel-Chavez

    Full Text Available In signal transduction research natural or synthetic molecules are commonly used to target a great variety of signaling proteins. For instance, forskolin, a diterpene activator of adenylate cyclase, has been widely used in cellular preparations to increase the intracellular cAMP level. However, it has been shown that forskolin directly inhibits some cloned K+ channels, which in excitable cells set up the resting membrane potential, the shape of action potential and regulate repetitive firing. Despite the growing evidence indicating that K+ channels are blocked by forskolin, there are no studies yet assessing the impact of this mechanism of action on neuron excitability and firing patterns. In sympathetic neurons, we find that forskolin and its derivative 1,9-Dideoxyforskolin, reversibly suppress the delayed rectifier K+ current (IKV. Besides, forskolin reduced the spike afterhyperpolarization and enhanced the spike frequency-dependent adaptation. Given that IKV is mostly generated by Kv2.1 channels, HEK-293 cells were transfected with cDNA encoding for the Kv2.1 α subunit, to characterize the mechanism of forskolin action. Both drugs reversible suppressed the Kv2.1-mediated K+ currents. Forskolin inhibited Kv2.1 currents and IKV with an IC50 of ~32 μM and ~24 µM, respectively. Besides, the drug induced an apparent current inactivation and slowed-down current deactivation. We suggest that forskolin reduces the excitability of sympathetic neurons by enhancing the spike frequency-dependent adaptation, partially through a direct block of their native Kv2.1 channels.

  6. Mesenchymal Stem Cells Increase Hippocampal Neurogenesis and Neuronal Differentiation by Enhancing the Wnt Signaling Pathway in an Alzheimer's Disease Model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oh, Se Hee; Kim, Ha Na; Park, Hyun-Jung; Shin, Jin Young; Lee, Phil Hyu

    2015-01-01

    Neurogenesis in the subgranular zone of the hippocampal dentate gyrus may act as an endogenous repair mechanism in Alzheimer's disease (AD), and the Wnt signaling pathway has been suggested to closely modulate neurogenesis in amyloid-β (Aβ)-related AD models. The present study investigated whether mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) would modulate hippocampal neurogenesis via modulation of the Wnt signaling pathway in a model of AD. In Aβ-treated neuronal progenitor cells (NPCs), the coculture with MSCs increased significantly the expression of Ki-67, GFAP, SOX2, nestin, and HuD compared to Aβ treatment alone. In addition, MSC treatment in Aβ-treated NPCs enhanced the expression of β-catenin and Ngn1 compared to Aβ treatment alone. MSC treatment in Aβ-treated animals significantly increased the number of BrdU-ir cells in the hippocampus at 2 and 4 weeks compared to Aβ treatment alone. In addition, quantitative analysis showed that the number of BrdU and HuD double-positive cells in the dentate gyrus was significantly higher in the MSC-treated group than in controls or after Aβ treatment alone. These results demonstrate that MSC administration significantly augments hippocampal neurogenesis and enhances the differentiation of NPCs into mature neurons in AD models by augmenting the Wnt signaling pathway. The use of MSCs to modulate endogenous adult neurogenesis may have a significant impact on future strategies for AD treatment.

  7. Inferring Neuronal Network Connectivity from Spike Data: A Temporal Datamining Approach

    CERN Document Server

    Patnaik, Debprakash; Unnikrishnan, K P

    2008-01-01

    Understanding the functioning of a neural system in terms of its underlying circuitry is an important problem in neuroscience. Recent developments in electrophysiology and imaging allow one to simultaneously record activities of hundreds of neurons. Inferring the underlying neuronal connectivity patterns from such multi-neuronal spike train data streams is a challenging statistical and computational problem. This task involves finding significant temporal patterns from vast amounts of symbolic time series data. In this paper we show that the frequent episode mining methods from the field of temporal data mining can be very useful in this context. In the frequent episode discovery framework, the data is viewed as a sequence of events, each of which is characterized by an event type and its time of occurrence and episodes are certain types of temporal patterns in such data. Here we show that, using the set of discovered frequent episodes from multi-neuronal data, one can infer different types of connectivity pa...

  8. A mammalian conserved element derived from SINE displays enhancer properties recapitulating Satb2 expression in early-born callosal projection neurons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kensuke Tashiro

    Full Text Available Short interspersed repetitive elements (SINEs are highly repeated sequences that account for a significant proportion of many eukaryotic genomes and are usually considered "junk DNA". However, we previously discovered that many AmnSINE1 loci are evolutionarily conserved across mammalian genomes, suggesting that they may have acquired significant functions involved in controlling mammalian-specific traits. Notably, we identified the AS021 SINE locus, located 390 kbp upstream of Satb2. Using transgenic mice, we showed that this SINE displays specific enhancer activity in the developing cerebral cortex. The transcription factor Satb2 is expressed by cortical neurons extending axons through the corpus callosum and is a determinant of callosal versus subcortical projection. Mouse mutants reveal a crucial function for Sabt2 in corpus callosum formation. In this study, we compared the enhancer activity of the AS021 locus with Satb2 expression during telencephalic development in the mouse. First, we showed that the AS021 enhancer is specifically activated in early-born Satb2(+ neurons. Second, we demonstrated that the activity of the AS021 enhancer recapitulates the expression of Satb2 at later embryonic and postnatal stages in deep-layer but not superficial-layer neurons, suggesting the possibility that the expression of Satb2 in these two subpopulations of cortical neurons is under genetically distinct transcriptional control. Third, we showed that the AS021 enhancer is activated in neurons projecting through the corpus callosum, as described for Satb2(+ neurons. Notably, AS021 drives specific expression in axons crossing through the ventral (TAG1(-/NPY(+ portion of the corpus callosum, confirming that it is active in a subpopulation of callosal neurons. These data suggest that exaptation of the AS021 SINE locus might be involved in enhancement of Satb2 expression, leading to the establishment of interhemispheric communication via the corpus callosum

  9. Irradiation of Neurons with High-Energy Charged Particles: An In Silico Modeling Approach.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Murat Alp

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available In this work, a stochastic computational model of microscopic energy deposition events is used to study for the first time damage to irradiated neuronal cells of the mouse hippocampus. An extensive library of radiation tracks for different particle types is created to score energy deposition in small voxels and volume segments describing a neuron's morphology that later are sampled for given particle fluence or dose. Methods included the construction of in silico mouse hippocampal granule cells from neuromorpho.org with spine and filopodia segments stochastically distributed along the dendritic branches. The model is tested with high-energy (56Fe, (12C, and (1H particles and electrons. Results indicate that the tree-like structure of the neuronal morphology and the microscopic dose deposition of distinct particles may lead to different outcomes when cellular injury is assessed, leading to differences in structural damage for the same absorbed dose. The significance of the microscopic dose in neuron components is to introduce specific local and global modes of cellular injury that likely contribute to spine, filopodia, and dendrite pruning, impacting cognition and possibly the collapse of the neuron. Results show that the heterogeneity of heavy particle tracks at low doses, compared to the more uniform dose distribution of electrons, juxtaposed with neuron morphology make it necessary to model the spatial dose painting for specific neuronal components. Going forward, this work can directly support the development of biophysical models of the modifications of spine and dendritic morphology observed after low dose charged particle irradiation by providing accurate descriptions of the underlying physical insults to complex neuron structures at the nano-meter scale.

  10. Neural networks with multiple general neuron models: a hybrid computational intelligence approach using Genetic Programming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barton, Alan J; Valdés, Julio J; Orchard, Robert

    2009-01-01

    Classical neural networks are composed of neurons whose nature is determined by a certain function (the neuron model), usually pre-specified. In this paper, a type of neural network (NN-GP) is presented in which: (i) each neuron may have its own neuron model in the form of a general function, (ii) any layout (i.e network interconnection) is possible, and (iii) no bias nodes or weights are associated to the connections, neurons or layers. The general functions associated to a neuron are learned by searching a function space. They are not provided a priori, but are rather built as part of an Evolutionary Computation process based on Genetic Programming. The resulting network solutions are evaluated based on a fitness measure, which may, for example, be based on classification or regression errors. Two real-world examples are presented to illustrate the promising behaviour on classification problems via construction of a low-dimensional representation of a high-dimensional parameter space associated to the set of all network solutions.

  11. A mechanistic based approach for enhancing buccal mucoadhesion of chitosan

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Meng-Lund, Emil; Muff-Westergaard, Christian; Sander, Camilla

    2014-01-01

    Mucoadhesive buccal drug delivery systems can enhance rapid drug absorption by providing an increased retention time at the site of absorption and a steep concentration gradient. An understanding of the mechanisms behind mucoadhesion of polymers, e.g. chitosan, is necessary for improving the muco......Mucoadhesive buccal drug delivery systems can enhance rapid drug absorption by providing an increased retention time at the site of absorption and a steep concentration gradient. An understanding of the mechanisms behind mucoadhesion of polymers, e.g. chitosan, is necessary for improving...... the mucoadhesiveness of buccal formulations. The interaction between chitosan of different chain lengths and porcine gastric mucin (PGM) was studied using a complex coacervation model (CCM), isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC) and a tensile detachment model (TDM). The effect of pH was assessed in all three models...... and the approach to add a buffer to chitosan based drug delivery systems is a means to optimize and enhance buccal drug absorption. The CCM demonstrated optimal interactions between chitosan and PGM at pH 5.2. The ITC experiments showed a significantly increase in affinity between chitosan and PGM at pH 5...

  12. Enhancement by citral of glutamatergic spontaneous excitatory transmission in adult rat substantia gelatinosa neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Lan; Fujita, Tsugumi; Jiang, Chang-Yu; Kumamoto, Eiichi

    2016-02-10

    Although citral, which is abundantly present in lemongrass, has various actions including antinociception, how citral affects synaptic transmission has not been examined as yet. Citral activates in heterologous cells transient receptor potential vanilloid-1, ankyrin-1, and melastatin-8 (TRPV1, TRPA1, and TRPM8, respectively) channels, the activation of which in the spinal lamina II [substantia gelatinosa (SG)] increases the spontaneous release of L-glutamate from nerve terminals. It remains to be examined what types of transient receptor potential channel in native neurons are activated by citral. With a focus on transient receptor potential activation, we examined the effect of citral on glutamatergic spontaneous excitatory transmission using the whole-cell patch-clamp technique to SG neurons in adult rat spinal cord slices. Bath-applied citral for 3 min increased the frequency of spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic current in a concentration-dependent manner (half-maximal effective concentration=0.58 mM), with a small increase in its amplitude. The spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic current frequency increase produced by citral was repeated at a time interval of 30 min, albeit this action recovered with a slow time course after washout. The presynaptic effect of citral was inhibited by TRPA1 antagonist HC-030031, but not by voltage-gated Na-channel blocker tetrodotoxin, TRPV1 antagonist capsazepine, and TRPM8 antagonist BCTC. It is concluded that citral increases spontaneous L-glutamate release in SG neurons by activating TRPA1 channels. Considering that the SG plays a pivotal role in modulating nociceptive transmission from the periphery, the citral activity could contribute toward at least a part of the modulation.

  13. Mechanism Based Approaches for Rescuing and Enhancing Cognition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gary eLynch

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available Progress towards pharmacological means for enhancing memory and cognition has been retarded by the widely discussed failure of behavioral studies in animals to predict human outcomes. As a result, a number of groups have targeted cognition-related neurobiological mechanisms in animal models, with the assumption that these basic processes are highly conserved across mammals. Here we survey one such approach that begins with a form of synaptic plasticity intimately related to memory encoding in animals and likely operative in humans. An initial section will describe a detailed hypothesis concerning the signaling and structural events (a ‘substrate map’ that convert learning associated patterns of afferent activity into extremely stable increases in fast, excitatory transmission. We next describe results suggesting that all instances of intellectual impairment so far tested in rodent models involve a common endpoint failure in the substrate map. This will be followed by a clinically plausible proposal for obviating the ultimate defect in these models. We then take up the question of whether it is reasonable to expect, from either general principles or a very limited set of experimental results, that enhancing memory will expand the cognitive capabilities of high functioning brains. The final section makes several suggestions about how to improve translation of behavioral results from animals to humans. Collectively, the material covered here points to the following: 1 enhancement, in the sense of rescue, is not an unrealistic possibility for a broad array of neuropsychiatric disorders; 2 serendipity aside, developing means for improving memory in normals will likely require integration of information about mechanisms with new behavioral testing strategies; 3 a shift in emphasis from synapses to networks is a next, logical step in the evolution of the cognition enhancement field.

  14. Glutamate transporter activity promotes enhanced Na+/K+-ATPase-mediated extracellular K+ management during neuronal activity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, Brian Roland; Holm, Rikke; Vilsen, Bente;

    2016-01-01

    , in addition, Na+/K+-ATPase-mediated K+ clearance could be governed by astrocytic [Na+]i. During most neuronal activity, glutamate is released in the synaptic cleft and is re-absorbed by astrocytic Na+-coupled glutamate transporters, thereby elevating [Na+]i. It thus remains unresolved whether the different Na...... constellations in Xenopus oocytes and determined their apparent Na+ affinity in intact oocytes and isolated membranes. The Na+/K+-ATPase was not fully saturated at basal astrocytic [Na+]i, irrespective of isoform constellation, although the β1 subunit conferred lower apparent Na+ affinity to the α1 and α2...

  15. Coding and decoding with adapting neurons: a population approach to the peri-stimulus time histogram.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naud, Richard; Gerstner, Wulfram

    2012-01-01

    The response of a neuron to a time-dependent stimulus, as measured in a Peri-Stimulus-Time-Histogram (PSTH), exhibits an intricate temporal structure that reflects potential temporal coding principles. Here we analyze the encoding and decoding of PSTHs for spiking neurons with arbitrary refractoriness and adaptation. As a modeling framework, we use the spike response model, also known as the generalized linear neuron model. Because of refractoriness, the effect of the most recent spike on the spiking probability a few milliseconds later is very strong. The influence of the last spike needs therefore to be described with high precision, while the rest of the neuronal spiking history merely introduces an average self-inhibition or adaptation that depends on the expected number of past spikes but not on the exact spike timings. Based on these insights, we derive a 'quasi-renewal equation' which is shown to yield an excellent description of the firing rate of adapting neurons. We explore the domain of validity of the quasi-renewal equation and compare it with other rate equations for populations of spiking neurons. The problem of decoding the stimulus from the population response (or PSTH) is addressed analogously. We find that for small levels of activity and weak adaptation, a simple accumulator of the past activity is sufficient to decode the original input, but when refractory effects become large decoding becomes a non-linear function of the past activity. The results presented here can be applied to the mean-field analysis of coupled neuron networks, but also to arbitrary point processes with negative self-interaction.

  16. PACAP enhances axon outgrowth in cultured hippocampal neurons to a comparable extent as BDNF.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katsuya Ogata

    Full Text Available Pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP exerts neurotrophic activities including modulation of synaptic plasticity and memory, hippocampal neurogenesis, and neuroprotection, most of which are shared with brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF. Therefore, the aim of this study was to compare morphological effects of PACAP and BDNF on primary cultured hippocampal neurons. At days in vitro (DIV 3, PACAP increased neurite length and number to similar levels by BDNF, but vasoactive intestinal polypeptide showed much lower effects. In addition, PACAP increased axon, but not dendrite, length, and soma size at DIV 3 similarly to BDNF. The PACAP antagonist PACAP6-38 completely blocked the PACAP-induced increase in axon, but not dendrite, length. Interestingly, the BDNF-induced increase in axon length was also inhibited by PACAP6-38, suggesting a mechanism involving PACAP signaling. K252a, a TrkB receptor inhibitor, inhibited axon outgrowth induced by PACAP and BDNF without affecting dendrite length. These results indicate that in primary cultured hippocampal neurons, PACAP shows morphological actions via its cognate receptor PAC1, stimulating neurite length and number, and soma size to a comparable extent as BDNF, and that the increase in total neurite length is ascribed to axon outgrowth.

  17. Archaerhodopsin Variants with Enhanced Voltage Sensitive Fluorescence in Mammalian and Caenorhabditis elegans Neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flytzanis, Nicholas C.; Bedbrook, Claire N.; Chiu, Hui; Engqvist, Martin K. M.; Xiao, Cheng; Chan, Ken Y.; Sternberg, Paul W.; Arnold, Frances H.; Gradinaru, Viviana

    2014-01-01

    Probing the neural circuit dynamics underlying behavior would benefit greatly from improved genetically encoded voltage indicators. The proton pump Archaerhodopsin-3 (Arch), an optogenetic tool commonly used for neuronal inhibition, has been shown to emit voltage sensitive fluorescence. Here we report two Arch variants that in response to 655 nm light have 3–5 times increased fluorescence and 55–99 times reduced photocurrents compared to Arch WT. The most fluorescent variant, Archer1, has 25–40% fluorescence change in response to action potentials while using 9 times lower light intensity compared to other Arch-based voltage sensors. Archer1 is capable of wavelength specific functionality as a voltage sensor under red-light and as an inhibitory actuator under green-light. As a proof-of-concept for the application of Arch-based sensors in vivo, we show fluorescence voltage sensing in behaving C. elegans. Archer1’s characteristics contribute to the goal of all-optical detection and modulation of activity in neuronal networks in vivo. PMID:25222271

  18. Supraphysiological Doses of Performance Enhancing Anabolic-Androgenic Steroids Exert Direct Toxic Effects on Neuron-like Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John Robert Basile

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS are lipophilic hormones often taken in excessive quantities by athletes and bodybuilders to enhance performance and increase muscle mass. AAS exert well known toxic effects on specific cell and tissue types and organ systems. The attention that androgen abuse has received lately should be used as an opportunity to educate both athletes and the general population regarding their adverse effects. Among numerous commercially available steroid hormones, very few have been specifically tested for direct neurotoxicity. We evaluated the effects of supraphysiological doses of methandienone and 17-α-methyltestosterone on sympathetic-like neuron cells. Vitality and apoptotic effects were analyzed, and immunofluorescence staining and western blot performed. In this study, we demonstrate that exposure of supraphysiological doses of methandienone and 17-α-methyltestosterone are toxic to the neuron-like differentiated pheochromocytoma cell line PC12, as confirmed by toxicity on neurite networks responding to nerve growth factor and the modulation of the survival and apoptosis-related proteins ERK, caspase-3, poly (ADP-ribose polymerase and heat-shock protein 90. We observe, in contrast to some previous reports but in accordance with others, expression of the androgen receptor (AR in neuron-like cells, which when inhibited mitigated the toxic effects of AAS tested, suggesting that the AR could be binding these steroid hormones to induce genomic effects. We also note elevated transcription of neuritin in treated cells, a neurotropic factor likely expressed in an attempt to resist neurotoxicity. Taken together, these results demonstrate that supraphysiological exposure to the AAS methandienone and 17-α-methyltestosterone exert neurotoxic effects by an increase in the activity of the intrinsic apoptotic pathway and alterations in neurite networks.

  19. Transdisciplinary approaches enhance the production of translational knowledge.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ciesielski, Timothy H; Aldrich, Melinda C; Marsit, Carmen J; Hiatt, Robert A; Williams, Scott M

    2017-04-01

    The primary goal of translational research is to generate and apply knowledge that can improve human health. Although research conducted within the confines of a single discipline has helped us to achieve this goal in many settings, this unidisciplinary approach may not be optimal when disease causation is complex and health decisions are pressing. To address these issues, we suggest that transdisciplinary approaches can facilitate the progress of translational research, and we review publications that demonstrate what these approaches can look like. These examples serve to (1) demonstrate why transdisciplinary research is useful, and (2) stimulate a conversation about how it can be further promoted. While we note that open-minded communication is a prerequisite for germinating any transdisciplinary work and that epidemiologists can play a key role in promoting it, we do not propose a rigid protocol for conducting transdisciplinary research, as one really does not exist. These achievements were developed in settings where typical disciplinary and institutional barriers were surmountable, but they were not accomplished with a single predetermined plan. The benefits of cross-disciplinary communication are hard to predict a priori and a detailed research protocol or process may impede the realization of novel and important insights. Overall, these examples demonstrate that enhanced cross-disciplinary information exchange can serve as a starting point that helps researchers frame better questions, integrate more relevant evidence, and advance translational knowledge more effectively. Specifically, we discuss examples where transdisciplinary approaches are helping us to better explore, assess, and intervene to improve human health. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Partial synchronous output of a neuronal population under weak common noise: Analytical approaches to the correlation statistics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kruscha, Alexandra; Lindner, Benjamin

    2016-08-01

    We consider a homogeneous population of stochastic neurons that are driven by weak common noise (stimulus). To capture and analyze the joint firing events within the population, we introduce the partial synchronous output of the population. This is a time series defined by the events that at least a fixed fraction γ ∈[0 ,1 ] of the population fires simultaneously within a small time interval. For this partial synchronous output we develop two analytical approaches to the correlation statistics. In the Gaussian approach we represent the synchronous output as a nonlinear transformation of the summed population activity and approximate the latter by a Gaussian process. In the combinatorial approach the synchronous output is represented by products of box-filtered spike trains of the single neurons. In both approaches we use linear-response theory to derive approximations for statistical measures that hold true for weak common noise. In particular, we calculate the mean value and power spectrum of the synchronous output and the cross-spectrum between synchronous output and common noise. We apply our results to the leaky integrate-and-fire neuron model and compare them to numerical simulations. The combinatorial approach is shown to provide a more accurate description of the statistics for small populations, whereas the Gaussian approximation yields compact formulas that work well for a sufficiently large population size. In particular, in the Gaussian approximation all statistical measures reveal a symmetry in the synchrony threshold γ around the mean value of the population activity. Our results may contribute to a better understanding of the role of coincidence detection in neural signal processing.

  1. A Variational Approach to Enhanced Sampling and Free Energy Calculations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parrinello, Michele

    2015-03-01

    The presence of kinetic bottlenecks severely hampers the ability of widely used sampling methods like molecular dynamics or Monte Carlo to explore complex free energy landscapes. One of the most popular methods for addressing this problem is umbrella sampling which is based on the addition of an external bias which helps overcoming the kinetic barriers. The bias potential is usually taken to be a function of a restricted number of collective variables. However constructing the bias is not simple, especially when the number of collective variables increases. Here we introduce a functional of the bias which, when minimized, allows us to recover the free energy. We demonstrate the usefulness and the flexibility of this approach on a number of examples which include the determination of a six dimensional free energy surface. Besides the practical advantages, the existence of such a variational principle allows us to look at the enhanced sampling problem from a rather convenient vantage point.

  2. An ecological approach to cognitive enhancement: complex motor training.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreau, David; Morrison, Alexandra B; Conway, Andrew R A

    2015-05-01

    Cognitive training has received a lot of attention recently, yielding findings that can be conflicting and controversial. In this paper, we present a novel approach to cognitive training based on complex motor activities. In a randomized controlled design, participants were assigned to one of three conditions: aerobic exercise, working memory training or designed sport--an intervention specifically tailored to include both physical and cognitive demands. After training for eight weeks, the designed sport group showed the largest gains in all cognitive measures, illustrating the efficacy of complex motor activities to enhance cognition. Designed sport training also revealed impressive health benefits, namely decreased heart rate and blood pressure. In this period of skepticism over the efficacy of computerized cognitive training, we discuss the potential of ecological interventions targeting both cognition and physical fitness, and propose some possible applications.

  3. Dynamic random links enhance diversity-induced coherence in strongly coupled neuronal systems

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Neeraj Kumar Kamal; Sudeshna Sinha

    2015-02-01

    We investigate the influence of diversity on the temporal regularity of spiking in a ring of coupled model neurons. We find diversity-induced coherence in the spike events, with an optimal amount of parametric heterogeneity at the nodal level yielding the greatest regularity in the spike train. Further, we investigate the system under random spatial connections, where the links are both dynamic and quenched, and in all the cases we observe marked diversity-induced coherence. We quantitatively find the effect of coupling strength and random rewiring probability, on the optimal coherence that can be achieved under diversity. Our results indicate that the largest coherence in the spike events emerge when the coupling strength is high, and when the underlying connections are mostly random and dynamically changing.

  4. IP3-mediated octopamine-induced synaptic enhancement of crayfish LG neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Araki, Makoto; Nagayama, Toshiki

    2012-08-01

    The biogenic amines, octopamine and serotonin, modulate the synaptic activity of the lateral giant interneuron (LG) circuitry of the crayfish escape behavior. Bath application of both octopamine and serotonin enhances the synaptic responses of LG to sensory stimulation. We have shown previously (Araki et al. J Neurophysiol 94:2644-2652, 2005) that a serotonin-induced enhancement of the LG response was mediated by an increase in cAMP levels following activation of adenylate cyclase; however, octopamine acts independently. Here, we clarify how octopamine enhances the LG response during sensory stimulation using physiological and pharmacological analyses. When phospholipase C inhibitor U-73122 was directly injected into the LG before biogenic amine application, it abolished the enhancing effect of octopamine on direct sensory input to the LG, but did not block indirect input via sensory interneurons or the effect of serotonin. Direct injection of IP(3), and its analogue adenophostin A, into the LG increased the synaptic response of the LG to sensory stimulation. Thus, IP(3) mediates octopamine-induced synaptic enhancement of the LG, but serotonin acts independently. These results indicate that both octopamine and serotonin enhance the synaptic responses of the LG to sensory stimulation, but that they activate two different signaling cascades in the LG.

  5. Loss of RAD-23 Protects Against Models of Motor Neuron Disease by Enhancing Mutant Protein Clearance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jablonski, Angela M; Lamitina, Todd; Liachko, Nicole F; Sabatella, Mariangela; Lu, Jiayin; Zhang, Lei; Ostrow, Lyle W; Gupta, Preetika; Wu, Chia-Yen; Doshi, Shachee; Mojsilovic-Petrovic, Jelena; Lans, Hannes; Wang, Jiou; Kraemer, Brian; Kalb, Robert G

    2015-10-21

    Misfolded proteins accumulate and aggregate in neurodegenerative disease. The existence of these deposits reflects a derangement in the protein homeostasis machinery. Using a candidate gene screen, we report that loss of RAD-23 protects against the toxicity of proteins known to aggregate in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Loss of RAD-23 suppresses the locomotor deficit of Caenorhabditis elegans engineered to express mutTDP-43 or mutSOD1 and also protects against aging and proteotoxic insults. Knockdown of RAD-23 is further neuroprotective against the toxicity of SOD1 and TDP-43 expression in mammalian neurons. Biochemical investigation indicates that RAD-23 modifies mutTDP-43 and mutSOD1 abundance, solubility, and turnover in association with altering the ubiquitination status of these substrates. In human amyotrophic lateral sclerosis spinal cord, we find that RAD-23 abundance is increased and RAD-23 is mislocalized within motor neurons. We propose a novel pathophysiological function for RAD-23 in the stabilization of mutated proteins that cause neurodegeneration. In this work, we identify RAD-23, a component of the protein homeostasis network and nucleotide excision repair pathway, as a modifier of the toxicity of two disease-causing, misfolding-prone proteins, SOD1 and TDP-43. Reducing the abundance of RAD-23 accelerates the degradation of mutant SOD1 and TDP-43 and reduces the cellular content of the toxic species. The existence of endogenous proteins that act as "anti-chaperones" uncovers new and general targets for therapeutic intervention. Copyright © 2015 the authors 0270-6474/15/3514286-21$15.00/0.

  6. Fate-mapping the mammalian hindbrain: segmental origins of vestibular projection neurons assessed using rhombomere-specific Hoxa2 enhancer elements in the mouse embryo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pasqualetti, Massimo; Díaz, Carmen; Renaud, Jean-Sébastien; Rijli, Filippo M; Glover, Joel C

    2007-09-05

    As a step toward generating a fate map of identified neuron populations in the mammalian hindbrain, we assessed the contributions of individual rhombomeres to the vestibular nuclear complex, a major sensorimotor area that spans the entire rhombencephalon. Transgenic mice harboring either the lacZ or the enhanced green fluorescent protein reporter genes under the transcriptional control of rhombomere-specific Hoxa2 enhancer elements were used to visualize rhombomere-derived domains. We labeled functionally identifiable vestibular projection neuron groups retrogradely with conjugated dextran-amines at successive embryonic stages and obtained developmental fate maps through direct comparison with the rhombomere-derived domains in the same embryos. The fate maps show that each vestibular neuron group derives from a unique rostrocaudal domain that is relatively stable developmentally, suggesting that anteroposterior migration is not a major contributor to the rostrocaudal patterning of the vestibular system. Most of the groups are multisegmental in origin, and each rhombomere is fated to give rise to two or more vestibular projection neuron types, in a complex pattern that is not segmentally iterated. Comparison with studies in the chicken embryo shows that the rostrocaudal patterning of identified vestibular projection neuron groups is generally well conserved between avians and mammalians but that significant species-specific differences exist in the rostrocaudal limits of particular groups. This mammalian hindbrain fate map can be used as the basis for targeting genetic manipulation to specific subpopulations of vestibular projection neurons.

  7. Bcl-2 enhances the formation of newborn striatal long-projection neurons in adult rat brain after a transient ischemic stroke

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Jian-Jun Guo; Fang Liu; Xiao Sun; Jun-Jie Huang; Ming Xu; Feng-Yan Sun

    2012-01-01

    Objective It has been reported that B-cell lymphoma 2 (Bcl-2) enhances neurogenesis as well as supporting axonal growth after injury.In the present study,we investigated whether Bcl-2 overexpression plays a role in the formation of newborn striatonigral projection neurons in the adult rat brain after transient middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO).Methods We infused human Bcl-2-expressing plasmid (pBcl-2) into the lateral ventricle immediately after 30 min of MCAO,injected 5'-bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) intraperitoneally to label proliferative cells,and microinjected fluorogold (FG) into the substantia nigra at 11 weeks of reperfusion followed by multiple immunostaining of striatonigral projection neurons at 12 weeks.Results We found that pBcl-2 treatment significantly increased the number of newborn neurons (BrdU+-NeuN+) in the striatum ipsilateral to the MCAO.We further detected newborn striatonigral projection neurons (BrdU+-FG+-NeuN+) in the ipsilateral striatum at 12 weeks.More interestingly,the number of newborn striatonigral projection neurons (BrdU+-FG+) was significantly increased by pBcl-2 treatment compared to that by pEGFP,a control plasmid.Conclusion Taken together,we found that Bcl-2 overexpression in the brain enhanced the generation of newborn striatonigral projection neurons.This provides a potential strategy for promoting the reestablishment of neural networks and brain repair after ischemic injury.

  8. Muscarinic Long-Term Enhancement of Tonic and Phasic GABAA Inhibition in Rat CA1 Pyramidal Neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Domínguez, Soledad; Fernández de Sevilla, David; Buño, Washington

    2016-01-01

    Acetylcholine (ACh) regulates network operation in the hippocampus by controlling excitation and inhibition in rat CA1 pyramidal neurons (PCs), the latter through gamma-aminobutyric acid type-A receptors (GABAARs). Although, the enhancing effects of ACh on GABAARs have been reported (Dominguez et al., 2014, 2015), its role in regulating tonic GABAA inhibition has not been explored in depth. Therefore, we aimed at determining the effects of the activation of ACh receptors on responses mediated by synaptic and extrasynaptic GABAARs. Here, we show that under blockade of ionotropic glutamate receptors ACh, acting through muscarinic type 1 receptors, paired with post-synaptic depolarization induced a long-term enhancement of tonic GABAA currents (tGABAA) and puff-evoked GABAA currents (pGABAA). ACh combined with depolarization also potentiated IPSCs (i.e., phasic inhibition) in the same PCs, without signs of interactions of synaptic responses with pGABAA and tGABAA, suggesting the contribution of two different GABAA receptor pools. The long-term enhancement of GABAA currents and IPSCs reduced the excitability of PCs, possibly regulating plasticity and learning in behaving animals. PMID:27833531

  9. Chaotic dynamics and its analysis of Hindmarsh-Rose neurons by Shil’nikov approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Wei; Zuo, Min

    2015-08-01

    In this paper, the relationship between external current stimulus and chaotic behaviors of a Hindmarsh-Rose (HR) neuron is considered. In order to find out the range of external current stimulus which will produce chaotic behaviors of an HR neuron, the Shil’nikov technique is employed. The Cardano formula is taken to obtain the threshold of the chaotic motion, and series solution to a differential equation is utilized to obtain the homoclinic orbit of HR neurons. This analysis establishes mathematically the value of external current input in generating chaotic motion of HR neurons by the Shil’nikov method. The numerical simulations are performed to support the theoretical results. Project supported by the Beijing Natural Science Foundation, China (Grant No. 4132005), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 61403006), the Importation and Development of High-Caliber Talents Project of Beijing Municipal Institutions, China (Grant No. YETP1449), and the Project of Scientific and Technological Innovation Platform, China (Grant No. PXM2015_014213_000063).

  10. Wnts enhance neurotrophin-induced neuronal differentiation in adult bone-marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells via canonical and noncanonical signaling pathways.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hung-Li Tsai

    Full Text Available Wnts were previously shown to regulate the neurogenesis of neural stem or progenitor cells. Here, we explored the underlying molecular mechanisms through which Wnt signaling regulates neurotrophins (NTs in the NT-induced neuronal differentiation of human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs. NTs can increase the expression of Wnt1 and Wnt7a in hMSCs. However, only Wnt7a enables the expression of synapsin-1, a synaptic marker in mature neurons, to be induced and triggers the formation of cholinergic and dopaminergic neurons. Human recombinant (hrWnt7a and general neuron makers were positively correlated in a dose- and time-dependent manner. In addition, the expression of synaptic markers and neurites was induced by Wnt7a and lithium, a glycogen synthase kinase-3β inhibitor, in the NT-induced hMSCs via the canonical/β-catenin pathway, but was inhibited by Wnt inhibitors and frizzled-5 (Frz5 blocking antibodies. In addition, hrWnt7a triggered the formation of cholinergic and dopaminergic neurons via the non-canonical/c-jun N-terminal kinase (JNK pathway, and the formation of these neurons was inhibited by a JNK inhibitor and Frz9 blocking antibodies. In conclusion, hrWnt7a enhances the synthesis of synapse and facilitates neuronal differentiation in hMSCS through various Frz receptors. These mechanisms may be employed widely in the transdifferentiation of other adult stem cells.

  11. In search of neural mechanisms of mirror neuron dysfunction in schizophrenia: resting state functional connectivity approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zaytseva, Yuliya; Bendova, Marie; Garakh, Zhanna; Tintera, Jaroslav; Rydlo, Jan; Spaniel, Filip; Horacek, Jiri

    2015-09-01

    It has been repeatedly shown that schizophrenia patients have immense alterations in goal-directed behaviour, social cognition, and social interactions, cognitive abilities that are presumably driven by the mirror neurons system (MNS). However, the neural bases of these deficits still remain unclear. Along with the task-related fMRI and EEG research tapping into the mirror neuron system, the characteristics of the resting state activity in the particular areas that encompass mirror neurons might be of interest as they obviously determine the baseline of the neuronal activity. Using resting state fMRI, we investigated resting state functional connectivity (FC) in four predefined brain structures, ROIs (inferior frontal gyrus, superior parietal lobule, premotor cortex and superior temporal gyrus), known for their mirror neurons activity, in 12 patients with first psychotic episode and 12 matched healthy individuals. As a specific hypothesis, based on the knowledge of the anatomical inputs of thalamus to all preselected ROIs, we have investigated the FC between thalamus and the ROIs. Of all ROIs included, seed-to-voxel connectivity analysis revealed significantly decreased FC only in left posterior superior temporal gyrus (STG) and the areas in visual cortex and cerebellum in patients as compared to controls. Using ROI-to-ROI analysis (thalamus and selected ROIs), we have found an increased FC of STG and bilateral thalamus whereas the FC of these areas was decreased in controls. Our results suggest that: (1) schizophrenia patients exhibit FC of STG which corresponds to the previously reported changes of superior temporal gyrus in schizophrenia and might contribute to the disturbances of specific functions, such as emotional processing or spatial awareness; (2) as the thalamus plays a pivotal role in the sensory gating, providing the filtering of the redundant stimulation, the observed hyperconnectivity between the thalami and the STGs in patients with schizophrenia

  12. Characterization of energy and neurotransmitter metabolism in cortical glutamatergic neurons derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells: A novel approach to study metabolism in human neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aldana, Blanca I; Zhang, Yu; Lihme, Maria Fog; Bak, Lasse K; Nielsen, Jørgen E; Holst, Bjørn; Hyttel, Poul; Freude, Kristine K; Waagepetersen, Helle S

    2017-02-24

    Alterations in the cellular metabolic machinery of the brain are associated with neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease. Novel human cellular disease models are essential in order to study underlying disease mechanisms. In the present study, we characterized major metabolic pathways in neurons derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSC). With this aim, cultures of hiPSC-derived neurons were incubated with [U-(13)C]glucose, [U-(13)C]glutamate or [U-(13)C]glutamine. Isotopic labeling in metabolites was determined using gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry, and cellular amino acid content was quantified by high-performance liquid chromatography. Additionally, we evaluated mitochondrial function using real-time assessment of oxygen consumption via the Seahorse XF(e)96 Analyzer. Moreover, in order to validate the hiPSC-derived neurons as a model system, a metabolic profiling was performed in parallel in primary neuronal cultures of mouse cerebral cortex and cerebellum. These serve as well-established models of GABAergic and glutamatergic neurons, respectively. The hiPSC-derived neurons were previously characterized as being forebrain-specific cortical glutamatergic neurons. However, a comparable preparation of predominantly mouse cortical glutamatergic neurons is not available. We found a higher glycolytic capacity in hiPSC-derived neurons compared to mouse neurons and a substantial oxidative metabolism through the mitochondrial tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle. This finding is supported by the extracellular acidification and oxygen consumption rates measured in the cultured human neurons. [U-(13)C]Glutamate and [U-(13)C]glutamine were found to be efficient energy substrates for the neuronal cultures originating from both mice and humans. Interestingly, isotopic labeling in metabolites from [U-(13)C]glutamate was higher than that from [U-(13)C]glutamine. Although the metabolic profile of hiPSC-derived neurons in vitro was

  13. Coconut oil protects cortical neurons from amyloid beta toxicity by enhancing signaling of cell survival pathways.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nafar, F; Clarke, J P; Mearow, K M

    2017-01-23

    Alzheimer's disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that has links with other conditions that can often be modified by dietary and life-style interventions. In particular, coconut oil has received attention as having potentially having benefits in lessening the cognitive deficits associated with Alzheimer's disease. In a recent report, we showed that neuron survival in cultures co-treated with coconut oil and Aβ was rescued compared to cultures exposed only to Aβ. Here we investigated treatment with Aβ for 1, 6 or 24 h followed by addition of coconut oil for a further 24 h, or treatment with coconut oil for 24 h followed by Aβ exposure for various periods. Neuronal survival and several cellular parameters (cleaved caspase 3, synaptophysin labeling and ROS) were assessed. In addition, the influence of these treatments on relevant signaling pathways was investigated with Western blotting. In terms of the treatment timing, our data indicated that coconut oil rescues cells pre-exposed to Aβ for 1 or 6 h, but is less effective when the pre-exposure has been 24 h. However, pretreatment with coconut oil prior to Aβ exposure showed the best outcomes. Treatment with octanoic or lauric acid also provided protection against Aβ, but was not as effective as the complete oil. The coconut oil treatment reduced the number of cells with cleaved caspase and ROS labeling, as well as rescuing the loss of synaptophysin labeling observed with Aβ treatment. Treatment with coconut oil, as well as octanoic, decanoic and lauric acids, resulted in a modest increase in ketone bodies compared to controls. The biochemical data suggest that Akt and ERK activation may contribute to the survival promoting influence of coconut oil. This was supported by observations that a PI3-Kinase inhibitor blocked the rescue effect of CoOil on Aβ amyloid toxicity. Further studies into the mechanisms of action of coconut oil and its constituent medium chain fatty acids are warranted.

  14. Triptan-induced enhancement of neuronal nitric oxide synthase in trigeminal ganglion dural afferents underlies increased responsiveness to potential migraine triggers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Felice, Milena; Ossipov, Michael H; Wang, Ruizhong; Dussor, Gregory; Lai, Josephine; Meng, Ian D; Chichorro, Juliana; Andrews, John S; Rakhit, Suman; Maddaford, Shawn; Dodick, David; Porreca, Frank

    2010-08-01

    Migraine is a common neurological disorder often treated with triptans. Triptan overuse can lead to increased frequency of headache in some patients, a phenomenon termed medication overuse headache. Previous preclinical studies have demonstrated that repeated or sustained triptan administration for several days can elicit persistent neural adaptations in trigeminal ganglion cells innervating the dura, prominently characterized by increased labelling of neuronal profiles for calcitonin gene related peptide. Additionally, triptan administration elicited a behavioural syndrome of enhanced sensitivity to surrogate triggers of migraine that was maintained for weeks following discontinuation of drug, a phenomenon termed 'triptan-induced latent sensitization'. Here, we demonstrate that triptan administration elicits a long-lasting increase in identified rat trigeminal dural afferents labelled for neuronal nitric oxide synthase in the trigeminal ganglion. Cutaneous allodynia observed during the period of triptan administration was reversed by NXN-323, a selective inhibitor of neuronal nitric oxide synthase. Additionally, neuronal nitric oxide synthase inhibition prevented environmental stress-induced hypersensitivity in the post-triptan administration period. Co-administration of NXN-323 with sumatriptan over several days prevented the expression of allodynia and enhanced sensitivity to stress observed following latent sensitization, but not the triptan-induced increased labelling of neuronal nitric oxide synthase in dural afferents. Triptan administration thus promotes increased expression of neuronal nitric oxide synthase in dural afferents, which is critical for enhanced sensitivity to environmental stress. These data provide a biological basis for increased frequency of headache following triptans and highlight the potential clinical utility of neuronal nitric oxide synthase inhibition in preventing or treating medication overuse headache.

  15. A novel conditional genetic system reveals that increasing neuronal cAMP enhances memory and retrieval

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Isiegas, Carolina; McDonough, Conor; Huang, Ted; Havekes, Robbert; Fabian, Sara; Wu, Long-Jun; Xu, Hui; Zhao, Ming-Gao; Kim, Jae-Ick; Lee, Yong-Seok; Lee, Hye-Ryeon; Ko, Hyoung-Gon; Lee, Nuribalhae; Choi, Sun-Lim; Lee, Jeong-Sik; Son, Hyeon; Zhuo, Min; Kaang, Bong-Kiun; Abel, Ted

    2008-01-01

    Consistent evidence from pharmacological and genetic studies shows that cAMP is a critical modulator of synaptic plasticity and memory formation. However, the potential of the cAMP signaling pathway as a target for memory enhancement remains unclear because of contradictory findings from pharmacolog

  16. Sugammadex-Enhanced Neuronal Apoptosis following Neonatal Sevoflurane Exposure in Mice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Zhongliang; Adachi, Yushi U.; Makita, Koshi

    2016-01-01

    In rodents, neonatal sevoflurane exposure induces neonatal apoptosis in the brain and results in learning deficits. Sugammadex is a new selective neuromuscular blockade (NMB) binding agent that anesthesiologists can use to achieve immediate reversal of an NMB with few side effects. Given its molecular weight of 2178, sugammadex is thought to be unable to pass through the blood brain barrier (BBB). Volatile anesthetics can influence BBB opening and integrity. Therefore, we investigated whether the intraperitoneal administration of sugammadex could exacerbate neuronal damage following neonatal 2% sevoflurane exposure via changes in BBB integrity. Cleaved caspase-3 immunoblotting was used to detect apoptosis, and the ultrastructure of the BBB was examined by transmission electron microscopy. Exposure to 2% sevoflurane for 6 h resulted in BBB ultrastructural abnormalities in the hippocampus of neonatal mice. Sugammadex alone without sevoflurane did not induce apoptosis. The coadministration of sugammadex with sevoflurane to neonatal mice caused a significant increase (150%) in neuroapoptosis in the brain compared with 2% sevoflurane. In neonatal anesthesia, sugammadex could influence neurotoxicity together with sevoflurane. Exposure to 2% sevoflurane for 6 h resulted in BBB ultrastructural abnormalities in the hippocampus of neonatal mice. PMID:27895665

  17. Sugammadex-Enhanced Neuronal Apoptosis following Neonatal Sevoflurane Exposure in Mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maiko Satomoto

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available In rodents, neonatal sevoflurane exposure induces neonatal apoptosis in the brain and results in learning deficits. Sugammadex is a new selective neuromuscular blockade (NMB binding agent that anesthesiologists can use to achieve immediate reversal of an NMB with few side effects. Given its molecular weight of 2178, sugammadex is thought to be unable to pass through the blood brain barrier (BBB. Volatile anesthetics can influence BBB opening and integrity. Therefore, we investigated whether the intraperitoneal administration of sugammadex could exacerbate neuronal damage following neonatal 2% sevoflurane exposure via changes in BBB integrity. Cleaved caspase-3 immunoblotting was used to detect apoptosis, and the ultrastructure of the BBB was examined by transmission electron microscopy. Exposure to 2% sevoflurane for 6 h resulted in BBB ultrastructural abnormalities in the hippocampus of neonatal mice. Sugammadex alone without sevoflurane did not induce apoptosis. The coadministration of sugammadex with sevoflurane to neonatal mice caused a significant increase (150% in neuroapoptosis in the brain compared with 2% sevoflurane. In neonatal anesthesia, sugammadex could influence neurotoxicity together with sevoflurane. Exposure to 2% sevoflurane for 6 h resulted in BBB ultrastructural abnormalities in the hippocampus of neonatal mice.

  18. Enhancing neuronal growth from human endometrial stem cells derived neuron-like cells in three-dimensional fibrin gel for nerve tissue engineering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Navaei-Nigjeh, Mona; Amoabedini, Ghasem; Noroozi, Abbas; Azami, Mahmoud; Asmani, Mohammad N; Ebrahimi-Barough, Somayeh; Saberi, Hooshang; Ai, Armin; Ai, Jafar

    2014-08-01

    Nerve tissue engineering (NTE) is one of the most promising methods to restore central nerve systems in human health care. Three-dimensional (3D) distribution and growth of cells within the porous scaffold composed of nanofibers are of clinical significance for NTE. In this study, an attempt was made to develop and characterize the use of fibrin gel and human endometrial stem cells (hEnSCs)-derived neuron-like cells simultaneously to support cell behavior especially neuron outgrowth. The structural and mechanical characteristics of fibrin gel scaffold were examined with SEM and rheometer. Also, hEnSCs-derived neuron-like cells were cultured in fibrin gel and were subsequently analyzed with immunofluorescent staining against neuronal markers. In parallel, the survival and growth rates of the cells were determined by MTT assay and neurite extension. At the end, cell-matrix interactions were investigated with SEM and TEM micrographs. Mechanical properties of fabricated scaffold were studied and results indicated appropriate choice of material, SEM and TEM showed excellent integration of cells with nanofibers regarding the relation between cells and fibrin gel. Immunofluorescent staining of fibrin gel after 6 days of cell seeding and culture demonstrated well expanded and incorporated network of neurons. In addition, viability, proliferation, and neuronal growth of seeded cells were analyzed at days 1, 3, and 6. Comparing those results with 2D culture of seeded cells showed positive effect of 3D culture. Taken together, the results suggest that fibrin can provide a suitable, three-dimensional scaffold for neuronal survival and outgrowth for regeneration of the central nervous system. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  19. Professional and personal enhancement: a pragmatic approach in dental education

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kandaswamy Deivanayagam

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Purpose: Students of health education are often offended by the transitions and challenges they face while encountering diverse people, ideas and academic workloads. They may be offended because of reasons not only related to their societal background but also to their basic competence in managing transitions. In the Asian scenario, students enter the first year of professional education in their late teen age along with the definition of self which was created by their parents. There are different issues that arise in this age group that may positively shape or negatively affect the personalities of students. They need to achieve a sense of balance between personal and professional traits on their own. Several students are often unable to cultivate the expected required qualities, which leads to an abject state of mind and hinder their progress. We identified the most common personal and professional hurdles in the lives of dental students and we provided experiential solutions to overcome the hurdles by using a sociable approach through an integrated, continuing education program. Methods: Designing and implementing a cohesive, amalgamated and inspiring personal and professional enhancement action program for dental students. Results: Feedback from students reflected that the needs and expectations of students vary with academic phase. In addition students expressed that this program series inculcated some positive skills, and overall, they are satisfied with the utility of the program. Conclusion: Personal and professional enhancement of students in accordance with individual needs as well as with expected requirements needs a committed administrative action plan. Our results in this context are encouraging and can be considered for application in dental institutions.

  20. Professional and personal enhancement: a pragmatic approach in dental education.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deivanayagam, Kandaswamy; K, Anbarasi

    2016-06-01

    Students of health education are often offended by the transitions and challenges they face while encountering diverse people, ideas and academic workloads. They may be offended because of reasons not only related to their societal background but also to their basic competence in managing transitions. In the Asian scenario, students enter the first year of professional education in their late teen age along with the definition of self which was created by their parents. There are different issues that arise in this age group that may positively shape or negatively affect the personalities of students. They need to achieve a sense of balance between personal and professional traits on their own. Several students are often unable to cultivate the expected required qualities, which leads to an abject state of mind and hinder their progress. We identified the most common personal and professional hurdles in the lives of dental students and we provided experiential solutions to overcome the hurdles by using a sociable approach through an integrated, continuing education program. Designing and implementing a cohesive, amalgamated and inspiring personal and professional enhancement action program for dental students. Feedback from students reflected that the needs and expectations of students vary with academic phase. In addition students expressed that this program series inculcated some positive skills, and overall, they are satisfied with the utility of the program. Personal and professional enhancement of students in accordance with individual needs as well as with expected requirements needs a committed administrative action plan. Our results in this context are encouraging and can be considered for application in dental institutions.

  1. α4α6β2* nicotinic acetylcholine receptor activation on ventral tegmental area dopamine neurons is sufficient to stimulate a depolarizing conductance and enhance surface AMPA receptor function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Engle, Staci E; Shih, Pei-Yu; McIntosh, J Michael; Drenan, Ryan M

    2013-09-01

    Tobacco addiction is a serious threat to public health in the United States and abroad, and development of new therapeutic approaches is a major priority. Nicotine activates and/or desensitizes nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) throughout the brain. nAChRs in ventral tegmental area (VTA) dopamine (DA) neurons are crucial for the rewarding and reinforcing properties of nicotine in rodents, suggesting that they may be key mediators of nicotine's action in humans. However, it is unknown which nAChR subtypes are sufficient to activate these neurons. To test the hypothesis that nAChRs containing α6 subunits are sufficient to activate VTA DA neurons, we studied mice expressing hypersensitive, gain-of-function α6 nAChRs (α6L9'S mice). In voltage-clamp recordings in brain slices from adult mice, 100 nM nicotine was sufficient to elicit inward currents in VTA DA neurons via α6β2* nAChRs. In addition, we found that low concentrations of nicotine could act selectively through α6β2* nAChRs to enhance the function of 2-amino-3-(3-hydroxy-5-methyl-isoxazol-4-yl)propanoic acid (AMPA) receptors on the surface of these cells. In contrast, α6β2* activation did not enhance N-methyl-D-aspartic acid receptor function. Finally, AMPA receptor (AMPAR) function was not similarly enhanced in brain slices from α6L9'S mice lacking α4 nAChR subunits, suggesting that α4α6β2* nAChRs are important for enhancing AMPAR function in VTA DA neurons. Together, these data suggest that activation of α4α6β2* nAChRs in VTA DA neurons is sufficient to support the initiation of cellular changes that play a role in addiction to nicotine. α4α6β2* nAChRs may be a promising target for future smoking cessation pharmacotherapy.

  2. Enhanced humoral immunity in mice lacking CB1 and CB2 receptors (Cnr1-/-/Cnr2-/- mice) is not due to increased splenic noradrenergic neuronal activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simkins, Tyrell; Crawford, Robert B; Goudreau, John L; Lookingland, Keith J; Kaplan, Barbara L F

    2014-09-01

    Peripheral sympathetic noradrenergic neurons originating in the celiac mesenteric plexus have axons that terminate in close proximity to antibody-producing B cells in the spleen. Norepinephrine (NE) released from these neurons is reported to augment antibody production in response to an immune challenge via an action at the β2-adrenergic receptor (β2AR). Cannabinoids are immunosuppressive, and mice lacking CB1 and CB2 receptors (Cnr1(-/-)/Cnr2(-/-) mice) have augmented cell-mediated immune responses. The purpose of this study was to determine if Cnr1(-/-)/Cnr2(-/-) mice also exhibit enhanced humoral immunity and if that is associated with corresponding changes in noradrenergic neurons terminating in the spleen. The results reveal that IgM and IgG are enhanced in Cnr1(-/-)/Cnr2(-/-) mice as compared to WT both in immunologically naïve and lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-treated mice. While the elevated antibody production was correlated with increased expression of β2AR on splenic B cells and increased splenic capsule NE concentrations, the activity of noradrenergic neurons was suppressed in spleens from Cnr1(-/-)/Cnr2(-/-) mice as compared with WT controls. Together, these results suggest that Cnr1(-/-)/Cnr2(-/-) mice exhibit enhanced NE vesicular storage in axon terminals in these neurons, which might limit the NE available to bind β2AR on target cells, such as B cells. The results also demonstrate that enhanced antibody responses in the absence of CB1 and CB2 receptors are not due to increased sympathetic noradrenergic neuronal activity in the spleen.

  3. Dynamical System Approach for Edge Detection Using Coupled FitzHugh-Nagumo Neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Shaobai; Dasmahapatra, Srinandan; Maharatna, Koushik

    2015-12-01

    The prospect of emulating the impressive computational capabilities of biological systems has led to considerable interest in the design of analog circuits that are potentially implementable in very large scale integration CMOS technology and are guided by biologically motivated models. For example, simple image processing tasks, such as the detection of edges in binary and grayscale images, have been performed by networks of FitzHugh-Nagumo-type neurons using the reaction-diffusion models. However, in these studies, the one-to-one mapping of image pixels to component neurons makes the size of the network a critical factor in any such implementation. In this paper, we develop a simplified version of the employed reaction-diffusion model in three steps. In the first step, we perform a detailed study to locate this threshold using continuous Lyapunov exponents from dynamical system theory. Furthermore, we render the diffusion in the system to be anisotropic, with the degree of anisotropy being set by the gradients of grayscale values in each image. The final step involves a simplification of the model that is achieved by eliminating the terms that couple the membrane potentials of adjacent neurons. We apply our technique to detect edges in data sets of artificially generated and real images, and we demonstrate that the performance is as good if not better than that of the previous methods without increasing the size of the network.

  4. MCH and apomorphine in combination enhance action potential firing of nucleus accumbens shell neurons in vitro

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F Woodward Hopf

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available The MCH and dopamine receptor systems have been shown to modulate a number of behaviors related to reward processing, addiction, and neuropsychiatric conditions such as schizophrenia and depression. In addition, MCH and dopamine receptors can interact in a positive manner, for example in the expression of cocaine self-administration. A recent report (Chung et al., 2011a showed that the DA1/DA2 dopamine receptor activator apomorphine suppresses pre-pulse inhibition, a preclinical model for some aspects of schizophrenia. Importantly, MCH can enhance the effects of lower doses of apomorphine, suggesting that co-modulation of dopamine and MCH receptors might alleviate some symptoms of schizophrenia with a lower dose of dopamine receptor modulator and thus fewer potential side effects. Here, we investigated whether MCH and apomorphine could enhance action potential firing in vitro in the nucleus accumbens shell (NAshell, a region which has previously been shown to mediate some behavioral effects of MCH. Using whole-cell patch-clamp electrophysiology, we found that MCH, which has no effect on firing on its own, was able to increase NAshell firing when combined with a subthreshold dose of apomorphine. Further, this MCH/apomorphine increase in firing was prevented by an antagonist of either a DA1 or a DA2 receptor, suggesting that apomorphine acts through both receptor types to enhance NAshell firing. The MCH/apomorphine-mediated firing increase was also prevented by an MCH receptor antagonist or a PKA inhibitor. Taken together, our results suggest that MCH can interact with lower doses of apomorphine to enhance NAshell firing, and thus that MCH and apomorphine might interact in vivo within the NAshell to suppress pre-pulse inhibition.

  5. Acute stress enhances adult rat hippocampal neurogenesis and activation of newborn neurons via secreted astrocytic FGF2.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirby, Elizabeth D; Muroy, Sandra E; Sun, Wayne G; Covarrubias, David; Leong, Megan J; Barchas, Laurel A; Kaufer, Daniela

    2013-04-16

    Stress is a potent modulator of the mammalian brain. The highly conserved stress hormone response influences many brain regions, particularly the hippocampus, a region important for memory function. The effect of acute stress on the unique population of adult neural stem/progenitor cells (NPCs) that resides in the adult hippocampus is unclear. We found that acute stress increased hippocampal cell proliferation and astrocytic fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF2) expression. The effect of acute stress occurred independent of basolateral amygdala neural input and was mimicked by treating isolated NPCs with conditioned media from corticosterone-treated primary astrocytes. Neutralization of FGF2 revealed that astrocyte-secreted FGF2 mediated stress-hormone-induced NPC proliferation. 2 weeks, but not 2 days, after acute stress, rats also showed enhanced fear extinction memory coincident with enhanced activation of newborn neurons. Our findings suggest a beneficial role for brief stress on the hippocampus and improve understanding of the adaptive capacity of the brain. DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.00362.001.

  6. GDNF-Enhanced Axonal Regeneration and Myelination Following Spinal Cord Injury is Mediated by Primary Effects on Neurons

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LIQUN ZHANG; ZHENGWEN MA; GEORGE M.SMITH; XUEJUN WEN; YELENA PRESSMAN; PATRICK M.WOOD; XIAO-MING XU

    2009-01-01

    我们先前研究表明胶质细胞源性神经营养因子(GDNF)联合施万细胞移植能促进脊髓损伤后轴突再生和髓鞘形成.然而,GDNF介导这一过程的细胞靶点尚不清楚.在此,我们报道了GDNF可增加在体再生轴突的数目和直径,并促进体外背根神经节神经元的轴突向外生长,提示GDNF对神经元有直接作用.在施万细胞-背根神经节神经元共培养下,GDNF显著增加施万细胞生成的髓鞘数目;GDNF处理对孤立培养的施万细胞增殖无作用,但可促进已与神经轴突有突触联系的施万细胞增殖;GDNF可增加孤立施万细胞中分子量为140 kDa的神经细胞黏附分子(NCAM)的表达,但对黏附分子L1表达或神经营养因子NGF、NT3及BDNF分泌没有影响.总之,这些结果支持假设:GDNF提高轴突再生和施万细胞髓鞘形成主要是通过GDNF对神经元的直接作用介导的,并且提示GDNF联合施万细胞移植可能是促进脊髓损伤后轴突再生和髓鞘形成的有效策略之一.%We previously demonstrated that coadministration of glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor(GDNF) with grafts of Schwann cells(SCs) enhanced axonal regeneration and remyelination following spinal cord injury(SCI).However,the cellular target through which GDNF mediates such actions was unclear.Here,we report that GDNF enhanced both the number and caliber of regenerated axons in vivo and increased neurite outgrowth of dorsal root ganglion neurons(DRGN) in vitro,suggesting that GDNF has a direct effect on neurons.In SC-DRGN coculture,GDNF significantly increased the number of myelin sheaths produced by SCs.GDNF treatment had no effect on the proliferation of isolated SCs but enhanced the proliferation of SCs already in contact with axons.GDNF increased the expression of the 140 kDa neural cell adhesion molecule(NCAM) in isolated SCs but not their expression of the adhesion molecule L1 or the secretion of the neurotrophins NGF,NT3,or BDNF

  7. Enhanced crystallizability by protein engineering approaches: a general overview.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruggiero, Alessia; Smaldone, Giovanni; Squeglia, Flavia; Berisio, Rita

    2012-07-01

    The limiting step in macromolecular crystallography is the preparation protein crystals suitable for X-ray diffraction studies. A strong prerequisite for the success of crystallization experiments is the ability to produce monodisperse and properly folded protein samples. Since the production of most protein is usually achieved using recombinant methods, it has become possible to engineer target proteins with increased propensities to form well diffracting crystals. Recent advances in bioinformatics, which takes advantage from an enhanced information in the protein databases, are of enormous help for the design of modified proteins. Based on bioinformatics analyses, the reduction of the structural complexity of proteins or their site-specific mutagenesis has proven to have a dramatic impact on both the yield of heterologous protein expression and its crystallizability. Therefore, protein engineering represents a valid tool which supports the classical crystallization screenings with a more rational approach. This review describes key methods of protein-engineering and provides a number of examples of their successful use in crystallization. Scope of proposed topic: This Topic is focused on state-of-art protein engineering techniques to increase the propensity of proteins to form crystals with suitable X-ray diffraction properties. Protein engineering methods have proven to be of great help for the crystallization of difficult targets. We herein review molecular biology and chemical methods to help protein crystallization.

  8. IL-6 promotes regeneration and functional recovery after cortical spinal tract injury by reactivating intrinsic growth program of neurons and enhancing synapse formation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Ping; Wen, Huizhong; Ou, Shan; Cui, Jian; Fan, Dehua

    2012-07-01

    Most neurons in adult mammalian central nervous system (CNS) fail to regenerate their axons after injury. Peripherally conditioned primary sensory neurons have an increased capacity to regenerate their central processes. Recent studies demonstrate that a conditioning lesion increased intrinsic growth capability is associated with the up-regulation of a group of growth-associated genes, one of the most established is interleukin-6 (IL-6). However, the cellular and molecular mechanisms by which IL-6 exerts its beneficial effect on axonal regeneration and functional recovery remain to be elucidated. The purpose of this study is to further investigate the molecular mechanisms of IL-6 in promoting regeneration and functional recovery after spinal cord injury (SCI). Here, we demonstrate that in vitro administration of IL-6 enhances neurite outgrowth of neurons on an inhibitory substrate myelin proteins, accompanied by increased expression of growth-associated genes GAP-43, SPRR1A and Arginase I. In vivo, intrathecal delivery of IL-6 for 7 days after cortical spinal tract injury induces synaptic rearrangements of sprouting axons and increases the expression of mTOR in neurons surrounding the lesion site, accompanied by improved functional recovery. In conclusion, our results show that IL-6 increases the expression of growth-associated genes and induces the expression of mTOR in lesion adjacent neurons, resulting in reactivating the intrinsic growth program of neurons to promote axonal regrowth and functional recovery after SCI. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Intrinsic plasticity induced by group II metabotropic glutamate receptors via enhancement of high-threshold KV currents in sound localizing neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamlet, W R; Lu, Y

    2016-06-01

    Intrinsic plasticity has emerged as an important mechanism regulating neuronal excitability and output under physiological and pathological conditions. Here, we report a novel form of intrinsic plasticity. Using perforated patch clamp recordings, we examined the modulatory effects of group II metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluR II) on voltage-gated potassium (KV) currents and the firing properties of neurons in the chicken nucleus laminaris (NL), the first central auditory station where interaural time cues are analyzed for sound localization. We found that activation of mGluR II by synthetic agonists resulted in a selective increase of the high-threshold KV currents. More importantly, synaptically released glutamate (with reuptake blocked) also enhanced the high-threshold KV currents. The enhancement was frequency-coding region dependent, being more pronounced in low-frequency neurons compared to middle- and high-frequency neurons. The intracellular mechanism involved the Gβγ signaling pathway associated with phospholipase C and protein kinase C. The modulation strengthened membrane outward rectification, sharpened action potentials, and improved the ability of NL neurons to follow high-frequency inputs. These data suggest that mGluR II provides a feedforward modulatory mechanism that may regulate temporal processing under the condition of heightened synaptic inputs.

  10. Sildenafil Enhances Quantity of Immature Neurons and Promotes Functional Recovery in the Developing Ischemic Mouse Brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Engels, Jonas; Elting, Natalie; Braun, Lisa; Bendix, Ivo; Herz, Josephine; Felderhoff-Müser, Ursula; Dzietko, Mark

    2017-01-01

    Hypoxic-ischemic (HI) injury to the developing brain occurs in 1 out of 1,000 live births and remains a major cause of significant morbidity and mortality. A large number of survivors suffer from long-term sequelae including seizures and neurological deficits. However, the pathophysiological mechanisms of recovery after HI insult are not clearly understood, and preventive measures or clinical treatments are nonexistent or not sufficiently effective in the clinical setting. Sildenafil as a specific phosphodiesterase 5 inhibitor leads to increased levels of the second messenger cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) and promotes functional recovery and neurogenesis after ischemic injury to the adult brain. Here, we investigated the effect of sildenafil treatment on activation of intracellular signaling pathways, histological and neurogenic response including functional recovery after an ischemic insult to the developing brain. Nine-day-old C57BL/6 mice were subjected either to sham operation or underwent ligation of the right common carotid artery followed by hypoxia (8%) for 60 min. Animals were either administered sildenafil (10 mg/kg, i.p.) or vehicle 2 h after hypoxia. A subgroup of animals received multiple injections of 10 mg/kg daily on 5 consecutive days. Pups were either perfusion fixed at postnatal days 14 or 47 for immunohistochemical analysis, or brains were dissected 2, 6, 12, and 24 h after the end of hypoxia and analyzed for cGMP, pAkt, pGSK-3β, and β-catenin by means of ELISA or immunoblotting. In addition, behavioral studies using the wire hang test and elevated plus maze were conducted 21 and 38 days after HI injury. Based on cresyl violet staining, single or multiple sildenafil injections did not reveal any differences in injury scoring compared to sham animals. However, cerebral levels of cGMP were altered after sildenafil therapy. Treatment significantly increased numbers of immature neurons, as indicated by doublecortin immunoreactivity in the

  11. Spike-timing precision and neuronal synchrony are enhanced by an interaction between synaptic inhibition and membrane oscillations in the amygdala.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steven J Ryan

    Full Text Available The basolateral complex of the amygdala (BLA is a critical component of the neural circuit regulating fear learning. During fear learning and recall, the amygdala and other brain regions, including the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex, exhibit phase-locked oscillations in the high delta/low theta frequency band (∼2-6 Hz that have been shown to contribute to the learning process. Network oscillations are commonly generated by inhibitory synaptic input that coordinates action potentials in groups of neurons. In the rat BLA, principal neurons spontaneously receive synchronized, inhibitory input in the form of compound, rhythmic, inhibitory postsynaptic potentials (IPSPs, likely originating from burst-firing parvalbumin interneurons. Here we investigated the role of compound IPSPs in the rat and rhesus macaque BLA in regulating action potential synchrony and spike-timing precision. Furthermore, because principal neurons exhibit intrinsic oscillatory properties and resonance between 4 and 5 Hz, in the same frequency band observed during fear, we investigated whether compound IPSPs and intrinsic oscillations interact to promote rhythmic activity in the BLA at this frequency. Using whole-cell patch clamp in brain slices, we demonstrate that compound IPSPs, which occur spontaneously and are synchronized across principal neurons in both the rat and primate BLA, significantly improve spike-timing precision in BLA principal neurons for a window of ∼300 ms following each IPSP. We also show that compound IPSPs coordinate the firing of pairs of BLA principal neurons, and significantly improve spike synchrony for a window of ∼130 ms. Compound IPSPs enhance a 5 Hz calcium-dependent membrane potential oscillation (MPO in these neurons, likely contributing to the improvement in spike-timing precision and synchronization of spiking. Activation of the cAMP-PKA signaling cascade enhanced the MPO, and inhibition of this cascade blocked the MPO. We discuss

  12. Inhibition of the leucine-rich repeat protein LINGO-1 enhances survival, structure, and function of dopaminergic neurons in Parkinson's disease models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Inoue, Haruhisa; Lin, Ling; Lee, Xinhua; Shao, Zhaohui; Mendes, Shannon; Snodgrass-Belt, Pamela; Sweigard, Harry; Engber, Tom; Pepinsky, Blake; Yang, Lichuan; Beal, M Flint; Mi, Sha; Isacson, Ole

    2007-09-04

    The nervous system-specific leucine-rich repeat Ig-containing protein LINGO-1 is associated with the Nogo-66 receptor complex and is endowed with a canonical EGF receptor (EGFR)-like tyrosine phosphorylation site. Our studies indicate that LINGO-1 expression is elevated in the substantia nigra of Parkinson's disease (PD) patients compared with age-matched controls and in animal models of PD after neurotoxic lesions. LINGO-1 expression is present in midbrain dopaminergic (DA) neurons in the human and rodent brain. Therefore, the role of LINGO-1 in cell damage responses of DA neurons was examined in vitro and in experimental models of PD induced by either oxidative (6-hydroxydopamine) or mitochondrial (N-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine) toxicity. In LINGO-1 knockout mice, DA neuron survival was increased and behavioral abnormalities were reduced compared with WT. This neuroprotection was accompanied by increased Akt phosphorylation (p-Akt). Similar neuroprotective in vivo effects on midbrain DA neurons were obtained in WT mice by blocking LINGO-1 activity using LINGO-1-Fc protein. Neuroprotection and enhanced neurite growth were also demonstrated for midbrain DA neurons in vitro. LINGO-1 antagonists (LINGO-1-Fc, dominant negative LINGO-1, and anti-LINGO-1 antibody) improved DA neuron survival in response to MPP+ in part by mechanisms that involve activation of the EGFR/Akt signaling pathway through a direct inhibition of LINGO-1's binding to EGFR. These results show that inhibitory agents of LINGO-1 activity can protect DA neurons against degeneration and indicate a role for the leucine-rich repeat protein LINGO-1 and related classes of proteins in the pathophysiological responses of midbrain DA neurons in PD.

  13. Polymicrobial Multi-functional Approach for Enhancement of Crop Productivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reddy, Chilekampalli A; Saravanan, Ramu S

    2013-01-01

    There is an increasing global need for enhancing the food production to meet the needs of the fast-growing human population. Traditional approach to increasing agricultural productivity through high inputs of chemical nitrogen and phosphate fertilizers and pesticides is not sustainable because of high costs and concerns about global warming, environmental pollution, and safety concerns. Therefore, the use of naturally occurring soil microbes for increasing productivity of food crops is an attractive eco-friendly, cost-effective, and sustainable alternative to the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. There is a vast body of published literature on microbial symbiotic and nonsymbiotic nitrogen fixation, multiple beneficial mechanisms used by plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR), the nature and significance of mycorrhiza-plant symbiosis, and the growing technology on production of efficacious microbial inoculants. These areas are briefly reviewed here. The construction of an inoculant with a consortium of microbes with multiple beneficial functions such as N(2) fixation, biocontrol, phosphate solubilization, and other plant growth-promoting properties is a positive new development in this area in that a single inoculant can be used effectively for increasing the productivity of a broad spectrum of crops including legumes, cereals, vegetables, and grasses. Such a polymicrobial inoculant containing several microorganisms for each major function involved in promoting the plant growth and productivity gives it greater stability and wider applications for a range of major crops. Intensifying research in this area leading to further advances in our understanding of biochemical/molecular mechanisms involved in plant-microbe-soil interactions coupled with rapid advances in the genomics-proteomics of beneficial microbes should lead to the design and development of inoculants with greater efficacy for increasing the productivity of a wide range of crops.

  14. An Enhancing Approach to Speech Degradation by Wideband Noise

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LOUHongwei; HUGuangrui

    2003-01-01

    A novel speech enhancement algorithm based on the simplified Karhunen-Loeve transform is proposed to suppress the wideband noise. There are no requirements of the matrix inversion, noise whitening and SNR pre-calculating. Experiments and comparison between different speech enhancement systems by means of the distortion measure show that the proposed method performs better shaping and suppressing of the wideband noise for speech enhancement. Spectral distortions fall widely to the lower level of 5dB in different SNRs. The noisy speech is enhanced with no musical residual noise.

  15. An Enhanced Concept Map Approach to Improving Children's Storytelling Ability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Chen-Chung; Chen, Holly S. L.; Shih, Ju-Ling; Huang, Guo-Ting; Liu, Baw-Jhiune

    2011-01-01

    Storytelling is an imperative and innovative pathway to enhance learning due to the fact that such activity prompts learners to reflect to construct meaning based on their observations and knowledge. Therefore, to develop and enhance students' storytelling ability has become an important issue for both educators and researchers. Since storytelling…

  16. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor but not neurotrophin-3 enhances differentiation of somatostatin neurons in hypothalamic cultures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loudes, C; Petit, F; Kordon, C; Faivre-Bauman, A

    2000-09-01

    The present work investigated whether neurotrophins could differentially affect in vitro growth and maturation of two related subsets of hypothalamic neurons, hypophysiotropic somatostatin (SRIH) neurons projecting from the periventricular area and arcuate SRIH interneurons. For this purpose, the hypothalamus of 17-day-old rat fetuses was sampled and separated into a ventral and a dorsal fragment containing respectively periventricular and arcuate regions. Each fragment was dissociated and seeded separately in defined medium. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) or neurotrophin-3 (NT-3), two important members of the neurotrophin family involved in neuronal differentiation and plasticity, were added to the cultures at seeding time. After 6 or 11 days in vitro, neurons were labeled with an anti-SRIH antiserum and submitted to morphometric analysis. In parallel, SRIH mRNA was estimated by semiquantitative reverse-transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction, and neuronal SRIH content, basal and depolarisation-stimulated releases measured by radioimmunoassay. The response of control, non-labeled neurons was estimated by neuronal counts and by assaying glutamic acid decarboxylase, a marker of a large majority of hypothalamic neurons. BDNF markedly increased the size and the branching number of SRIH periventricular cell bodies. Expression of SRIH mRNA, as well as SRIH content and release into the culture medium, were also stimulated by the neurotrophin. Non-SRIH neurons were not affected by the treatment. Under the same conditions, arcuate neurons exhibited a weak, mostly transient response to BDNF. NT-3 was ineffective on either neuronal subset. Immunoneutralization of Trk receptors provided further evidence for BDNF effect specificity. The results indicate that BDNF is a selective activator of the differentiation of hypophysiotropic SRIH neurons in the periventricular area of the hypothalamus.

  17. Mutation of the Dyslexia-Associated Gene Dcdc2 Enhances Glutamatergic Synaptic Transmission Between Layer 4 Neurons in Mouse Neocortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Che, Alicia; Truong, Dongnhu T; Fitch, R Holly; LoTurco, Joseph J

    2016-09-01

    Variants in DCDC2 have been associated with reading disability in humans, and targeted mutation of Dcdc2 in mice causes impairments in both learning and sensory processing. In this study, we sought to determine whether Dcdc2 mutation affects functional synaptic circuitry in neocortex. We found mutation in Dcdc2 resulted in elevated spontaneous and evoked glutamate release from neurons in somatosensory cortex. The probability of release was decreased to wild-type level by acute application of N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) antagonists when postsynaptic NMDARs were blocked by intracellular MK-801, and could not be explained by elevated ambient glutamate, suggesting altered, nonpostsynaptic NMDAR activation in the mutants. In addition, we determined that the increased excitatory transmission was present at layer 4-layer 4 but not thalamocortical connections in Dcdc2 mutants, and larger evoked synaptic release appeared to enhance the NMDAR-mediated effect. These results demonstrate an NMDAR activation-gated, increased functional excitatory connectivity between layer 4 lateral connections in somatosensory neocortex of the mutants, providing support for potential changes in cortical connectivity and activation resulting from mutation of dyslexia candidate gene Dcdc2.

  18. N-type calcium current, Cav2.2, is enhanced in small-diameter sensory neurons isolated from Nf1+/- mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duan, J-H; Hodgdon, K E; Hingtgen, C M; Nicol, G D

    2014-06-13

    Major aspects of neuronal function are regulated by Ca(2+) including neurotransmitter release, excitability, developmental plasticity, and gene expression. We reported previously that sensory neurons isolated from a mouse model with a heterozygous mutation of the Nf1 gene (Nf1+/-) exhibited both greater excitability and evoked release of neuropeptides compared to wildtype mice. Furthermore, augmented voltage-dependent sodium currents but not potassium currents contribute to the enhanced excitability. To determine the mechanisms giving rise to the enhanced release of substance P and calcitonin gene-related peptide in the Nf1+/- sensory neurons, the potential differences in the total voltage-dependent calcium current (ICa) as well as the contributions of individual Ca(2+) channel subtypes were assessed. Whole-cell patch-clamp recordings from small-diameter capsaicin-sensitive sensory neurons demonstrated that the average peak ICa densities were not different between the two genotypes. However, by using selective blockers of channel subtypes, the current density of N-type (Cav2.2) ICa was significantly larger in Nf1+/- neurons compared to wildtype neurons. In contrast, there were no significant differences in L-, P/Q- and R-type currents between the two genotypes. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction measurements made from the isolated but intact dorsal root ganglia indicated that N-type (Cav2.2) and P/Q-type (Cav2.1) Ca(2+) channels exhibited the highest mRNA expression levels although there were no significant differences in the levels of mRNA expression between the genotypes. These results suggest that the augmented N-type (Cav2.2) ICa observed in the Nf1+/- sensory neurons does not result from genomic differences but may reflect post-translational or some other non-genomic modifications. Thus, our results demonstrate that sensory neurons from Nf1+/- mice, exhibit increased N-type ICa and likely account for the increased release of substance P and

  19. Three colossal neurons: a new approach to an old classroom demonstration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holloway, Steven R

    2013-01-01

    Research suggests that the key to optimal student learning, regardless of class size, is engaging students in active learning. It is my contention that to truly understand neural processing, one must not only understand the activities of the neuron as a living cell, but also how that cell works within the context of a neural network. The demonstration exercise described herein combines techniques expressed in three previously published articles, with certain modifications, allowing as few as 15 and as many as about 200 students to actively participate in the endeavor. Moreover, test scores from 158 students were examined, showing that students who participated in the demonstration performed significantly better on exam questions than students who did not take part.

  20. Spinal neuronal correlates of tapentadol analgesia in cancer pain: A back-translational approach

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Falk, Sarah; Patel, Ryan; Heegaard, Anne-Marie

    2015-01-01

    α-2 adrenoceptor. It has been demonstrated to treat effectively both acute and chronic pain. We here demonstrate the efficacy in a model of cancer-induced bone pain. Methods MRMT-1 mammary carcinoma cells were inoculated into the tibia of 6-week-old rats and 2 weeks after, the neuronal responses......Background Pain is a common and highly debilitating complication for cancer patients significantly compromising their quality of life. Cancer-induced bone pain involves a complex interplay of multiple mechanisms including both inflammatory and neuropathic processes and also some unique changes...... to the mechanistic understanding of cancer-induced bone pain and support the sparse clinical data indicating a possible use of the drug as a therapeutic alternative for cancer patients with metastatic pain complication....

  1. Enhancing Critical Thinking by Teaching Two Distinct Approaches to Management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dyck, Bruno; Walker, Kent; Starke, Frederick A.; Uggerslev, Krista

    2012-01-01

    The authors explore the effect on students' critical thinking of teaching only one approach to management versus teaching two approaches to management. Results from a quasiexperiment--which included a survey, interviews, and case analysis--suggest that compared with students who are taught only a conventional approach to management (which…

  2. Expressing Constitutively Active Rheb in Adult Neurons after a Complete Spinal Cord Injury Enhances Axonal Regeneration beyond a Chondroitinase-Treated Glial Scar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Di; Klaw, Michelle C; Connors, Theresa; Kholodilov, Nikolai; Burke, Robert E; Tom, Veronica J

    2015-08-05

    After a spinal cord injury (SCI), CNS axons fail to regenerate, resulting in permanent deficits. This is due to: (1) the presence of inhibitory molecules, e.g., chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans (CSPG), in the glial scar at the lesion; and (2) the diminished growth capacity of adult neurons. We sought to determine whether expressing a constitutively active form of the GTPase Rheb (caRheb) in adult neurons after a complete SCI in rats improves intrinsic growth potential to result in axon regeneration out of a growth-supportive peripheral nerve grafted (PNG) into the SCI cavity. We also hypothesized that treating the glial scar with chondroitinase ABC (ChABC), which digests CSPG, would further allow caRheb-transduced neurons to extend axons across the distal graft interface. We found that targeting this pathway at a clinically relevant post-SCI time point improves both sprouting and regeneration of axons. CaRheb increased the number of axons, but not the number of neurons, that projected into the PNG, indicative of augmented sprouting. We also saw that caRheb enhanced sprouting far rostral to the injury. CaRheb not only increased growth rostral and into the graft, it also resulted in significantly more regrowth of axons across a ChABC-treated scar into caudal spinal cord. CaRheb(+) neurons had higher levels of growth-associated-43, suggestive of a newly identified mechanism for mTOR-mediated enhancement of regeneration. Thus, we demonstrate for the first time that simultaneously addressing intrinsic and scar-associated, extrinsic impediments to regeneration results in significant regrowth beyond an extremely challenging, complete SCI site. After spinal cord injury (SCI), CNS axons fail to regenerate, resulting in permanent deficits. This is due to the diminished growth capacity of adult neurons and the presence of inhibitory molecules in the scar at the lesion. We sought to simultaneously counter both of these obstacles to achieve more robust regeneration after

  3. Ciliary neurotrophic factor activates NF-κB to enhance mitochondrial bioenergetics and prevent neuropathy in sensory neurons of streptozotocin-induced diabetic rodents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saleh, Ali; Roy Chowdhury, Subir K; Smith, Darrell R; Balakrishnan, Savitha; Tessler, Lori; Martens, Corina; Morrow, Dwane; Schartner, Emily; Frizzi, Katie E; Calcutt, Nigel A; Fernyhough, Paul

    2013-02-01

    Diabetes causes mitochondrial dysfunction in sensory neurons that may contribute to peripheral neuropathy. Ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF) promotes sensory neuron survival and axon regeneration and prevents axonal dwindling, nerve conduction deficits and thermal hypoalgesia in diabetic rats. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that CNTF protects sensory neuron function during diabetes through normalization of impaired mitochondrial bioenergetics. In addition, we investigated whether the NF-κB signal transduction pathway was mobilized by CNTF. Neurite outgrowth of sensory neurons derived from streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic rats was reduced compared to neurons from control rats and exposure to CNTF for 24 h enhanced neurite outgrowth. CNTF also activated NF-κB, as assessed by Western blotting for the NF-κB p50 subunit and reporter assays for NF-κB promoter activity. Conversely, blockade of NF-κB signaling using SN50 peptide inhibited CNTF-mediated neurite outgrowth. Studies in mice with STZ-induced diabetes demonstrated that systemic therapy with CNTF prevented functional indices of peripheral neuropathy along with deficiencies in dorsal root ganglion (DRG) NF-κB p50 expression and DNA binding activity. DRG neurons derived from STZ-diabetic mice also exhibited deficiencies in maximal oxygen consumption rate and associated spare respiratory capacity that were corrected by exposure to CNTF for 24 h in an NF-κB-dependent manner. We propose that the ability of CNTF to enhance axon regeneration and protect peripheral nerve from structural and functional indices of diabetic peripheral neuropathy is associated with targeting of mitochondrial function, in part via NF-κB activation, and improvement of cellular bioenergetics.

  4. Enhanced salt sensitivity following shRNA silencing of neuronal TRPV1 in rat spinal cord

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Shuang-quan YU; Donna H WANG

    2011-01-01

    Aim: To investigate the effects of selective knockdown of TRPV1 channels in the lower thoracic and upper lumbar segments of spinal cord, dorsal root ganglia (DRG) and me senteric arteries on rat blood pressure responses to high salt intake.Methods: TRPV1 short-hairpin RNA (shRNA) was delivered using intrathecal injection (6 μg.kg1-d-1, for 3 d). Levels of TRPV1 and tyrosine hydroxylase expression were determined by Western blot analysis. Systolic blood pressure and mean arterial pressure (MAP) were examined using tail-cuff and direct arterial measurement, respectively.Results: In rats injected with control shRNA, high-salt diet (HS) caused higher systolic blood pressure compared with normal-salt diet(NS) (HS:149±4 mmHg; NS:126±2 mmHg, P<0.05). Intrathecal injection of TRPV1 shRNA significantly increased the systolic blood pressure in both HS rats and NS rats (HS:169±3 mmHg; NS:139±2 mmHg). The increases was greater in HS rats than in NS rats (HS:13.9%±1.8%; NS: 9.8±0.7, P<0.05). After TRPV1 shRNA treatment, TRPV1 expression in the dorsal horn and DRG of T8-L3 segments and in mesenteric arteries was knocked down to a greater extent in HS rats compared with NS rats. Blockade of α1-adrenoceptors abolished the TRPV1 shRNA-induced pressor effects. In rats injected with TRPV1 shRNA, level of tyrosine hydroxylase in mesenteric arteries was increased to a greater extent in HS rats compared with NS rats.Conclusion: Selective knockdown of TRPV1 expression in the lower thoracic and upper lumbar segments of spinal cord, DRG, and mesenteric arteries enhanced the prohypertensive effects of high salt intake, suggesting that TRPV1 channels in these sites protect against increased salt sensitivity, possibly via suppression of sympatho-excitatory responses.

  5. TNF-α enhances the currents of voltage gated sodium channels in uninjured dorsal root ganglion neurons following motor nerve injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Xi; Pang, Rui-Ping; Shen, Kai-Feng; Zimmermann, Manfred; Xin, Wen-Jun; Li, Yong-Yong; Liu, Xian-Guo

    2011-02-01

    The ectopic discharges observed in uninjured dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons following various lesions of spinal nerves have been attributed to functional alterations of voltage-gated sodium channels (VGSCs). Such mechanisms may be important for the development of neuropathic pain. However, the pathophysiology underlying the functional modulation of VGSCs following nerve injury is largely unknown. Here, we studied this issue with use of a selective lumbar 5 ventral root transection (L5-VRT) model, in which dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons remain intact. We found that the L5-VRT increased the current densities of TTX-sensitive Na channels as well as currents in Nav1.8, but not Nav1.9 channels in uninjured DRG neurons. The thresholds of action potentials decreased and firing rates increased in DRG neurons following L5-VRT. As we found that levels of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) increased in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and in DRG tissue after L5-VRT, we tested whether the increased TNF-α might result in the changes in sodium channels. Indeed, recombinant rat TNF (rrTNF) enhanced the current densities of TTX-S and Nav1.8 in cultured DRG neurons dose-dependently. Furthermore, genetic deletion of TNF receptor 1 (TNFR-1) in mice attenuated the mechanical allodynia and prevented the increase in sodium currents in DRG neurons induced by L5-VRT. These data suggest that the increase in sodium currents in uninjured DRG neurons following nerve injury might be mediated by over-production of TNF-α.

  6. Silencing neuroglobin enhances neuronal vulnerability to oxidative injury by down-regulating 14-3-3Y

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Shi-qiao YE; Xin-yu ZHOU; Xiao-jing LAI; Li ZHENG; Xiao-qian CHEN

    2009-01-01

    Aim:To explore the protective role and mechanism of endogenous neuroglobin (Ngb) in neuronal cells under oxidative stress.Methods:A stable N2a neuroblastoma cell line expressing the Ngb-siRNA plasmid (N2a/Ngb-siRNA) was established by neomycin screening.Reverse transcription (RT)-PCR and Western blot analysis were used to detect Ngb gene and protein levels.Hydrogen peroxide was used to induce oxidative stress in N2a cells.Cytotoxicity and cell viability were measured by lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) and WST-8 assays.Apoptotic cells were detected by Hoechst staining.Results:Cotransfection of Ngb-siRNA with Ngb-GFP plasmids suppressed the expression of Ngb-GFP in N2a cells.RT-PCR and Western blot analysis showed that the expression of endogenous Ngb was successfully knocked down to about 20% in N2a/Ngb-siRNA cells compared with control cells.A WST-8 assay demonstrated that viability was significantly decreased in N2a/Ngb-siRNA cells and N2a cells transiently transfected with Ngb-siRNA plasmids compared with controls following hydrogen peroxide treatment.An LDH assay demonstrated a time-dependent increase in the death of Ngb-siRNA-transfected N2a cells following hydrogen peroxide treatment.Hoechst staining demonstrated that the quantity of apoptotic cells among N2a/Ngb-siRNA cells following hydrogen peroxide treatment significantly increased compared with controls.In N2a/Ngb-siRNA cells,the expression level of activated caspase-3 significantly increased,whereas the expression of 14-3-3Y decreased compared with that of N2a/vec cells.Transfection of 14-3-3Y plasmids significantly enhanced the viability of N2a/Ngb-siRNA cells following hydrogen peroxide treatment compared with vector controls.Conclusion:Ngb contributes to neuronal defensive machinery against oxidative injuries by regulating 14-3-3Y expression.

  7. Activation of pyramidal neurons in mouse medial prefrontal cortex enhances food seeking behavior while reducing impulsivity in the absence of an effect on food intake

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel McAllister Warthen

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available The medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC is involved in a wide range of executive cognitive functions, including reward evaluation, decision-making, memory extinction, mood, and task switching. Manipulation of the mPFC has been shown to alter food intake and food reward valuation, but whether exclusive stimulation of mPFC pyramidal neurons, which form the principle output of the mPFC, is sufficient to mediate food rewarded instrumental behavior is unknown. We sought to determine the behavioral consequences of manipulating mPFC output by exciting pyramidal neurons in mouse mPFC during performance of a panel of behavioral assays, focusing on food reward. We found that increasing mPFC pyramidal cell output using Designer Receptors Exclusively Activated by Designer Drugs (DREADD enhanced performance in instrumental food reward assays that assess food seeking behavior, while sparing effects in affect and food intake. Specifically, activation of mPFC pyramidal neurons enhanced operant responding for food reward, reinstatement of palatable food seeking, and suppression of impulsive responding for food reward. Conversely, activation of mPFC pyramidal neurons had no effect on unconditioned food intake, social interaction, or behavior in an open field. Furthermore, we found that behavioral outcome is influenced by the degree of mPFC activation, with a low drive sufficient to enhance operant responding and a higher drive required to alter impulsivity. Additionally, we provide data demonstrating that DREADD stimulation involves a nitric oxide synthase dependent pathway, similar to endogenous muscarinic M3 receptor stimulation, a finding that provides novel mechanistic insight into an increasingly widespread method of remote neuronal control.

  8. Enhanced intrinsic excitability and EPSP-spike coupling accompany enriched environment-induced facilitation of LTP in hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malik, Ruchi; Chattarji, Sumantra

    2012-03-01

    Environmental enrichment (EE) is a well-established paradigm for studying naturally occurring changes in synaptic efficacy in the hippocampus that underlie experience-induced modulation of learning and memory in rodents. Earlier research on the effects of EE on hippocampal plasticity focused on long-term potentiation (LTP). Whereas many of these studies investigated changes in synaptic weight, little is known about potential contributions of neuronal excitability to EE-induced plasticity. Here, using whole-cell recordings in hippocampal slices, we address this gap by analyzing the impact of EE on both synaptic plasticity and intrinsic excitability of hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons. Consistent with earlier reports, EE increased contextual fear memory and dendritic spine density on CA1 cells. Furthermore, EE facilitated LTP at Schaffer collateral inputs to CA1 pyramidal neurons. Analysis of the underlying causes for enhanced LTP shows EE to increase the frequency but not amplitude of miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents. However, presynaptic release probability, assayed using paired-pulse ratios and use-dependent block of N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor currents, was not affected. Furthermore, CA1 neurons fired more action potentials (APs) in response to somatic depolarization, as well as during the induction of LTP. EE also reduced spiking threshold and after-hyperpolarization amplitude. Strikingly, this EE-induced increase in excitability caused the same-sized excitatory postsynaptic potential to fire more APs. Together, these findings suggest that EE may enhance the capacity for plasticity in CA1 neurons, not only by strengthening synapses but also by enhancing their efficacy to fire spikes-and the two combine to act as an effective substrate for amplifying LTP.

  9. Enhancing Students' Approaches to Learning: The Added Value of Gradually Implementing Case-Based Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baeten, Marlies; Dochy, Filip; Struyven, Katrien

    2013-01-01

    Previous research has shown the difficulty of enhancing students' approaches to learning, in particular the deep approach, through student-centred teaching methods such as problem- and case-based learning. This study investigates whether mixed instructional methods combining case-based learning and lectures have the power to enhance students'…

  10. Does the Altered Expression of Ion Channels Give Rise to the Enhanced Excitability of Neurons Isolated from Nf1 +/- Mice?

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-09-01

    functional profiles of voltage- gated Na(+) channels in injured and non-injured DRG neurons in the SNI model of neuropathic pain. Mol Cell Neurosci 37:196...channels in injured and non-injured DRG neurons in the SNI model of neuropathic pain. Mol Cell Neurosci 37:196–208. evan S, Chiu SY, Gray PT, Ritchie

  11. Computational Approaches for Mining GRO-Seq Data to Identify and Characterize Active Enhancers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagari, Anusha; Murakami, Shino; Malladi, Venkat S; Kraus, W Lee

    2017-01-01

    Transcriptional enhancers are DNA regulatory elements that are bound by transcription factors and act to positively regulate the expression of nearby or distally located target genes. Enhancers have many features that have been discovered using genomic analyses. Recent studies have shown that active enhancers recruit RNA polymerase II (Pol II) and are transcribed, producing enhancer RNAs (eRNAs). GRO-seq, a method for identifying the location and orientation of all actively transcribing RNA polymerases across the genome, is a powerful approach for monitoring nascent enhancer transcription. Furthermore, the unique pattern of enhancer transcription can be used to identify enhancers in the absence of any information about the underlying transcription factors. Here, we describe the computational approaches required to identify and analyze active enhancers using GRO-seq data, including data pre-processing, alignment, and transcript calling. In addition, we describe protocols and computational pipelines for mining GRO-seq data to identify active enhancers, as well as known transcription factor binding sites that are transcribed. Furthermore, we discuss approaches for integrating GRO-seq-based enhancer data with other genomic data, including target gene expression and function. Finally, we describe molecular biology assays that can be used to confirm and explore further the function of enhancers that have been identified using genomic assays. Together, these approaches should allow the user to identify and explore the features and biological functions of new cell type-specific enhancers.

  12. A NEW APPROACH TO QUALITY ENHANCEMENT: A CASE STUDY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Slavko Arsovski

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available There are a number of approaches for quality improvement that start from previously defined goal and definition of activities which lead to achievement of that goal. In this deterministic approach, risk in quality improvement has constantly been reduced by improvement activities, with relatively little increase in goal function. The basic approach is presented in the paper as well as measures and activities for decease of risk and vulnerability of quality improvement. This approach is tested in large company and part of results of model testing is presented in this paper.

  13. Propofol enhances both tonic and phasic inhibitory currents in second-order neurons of the solitary tract nucleus (NTS).

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDougall, Stuart J; Bailey, Timothy W; Mendelowitz, David; Andresen, Michael C

    2008-03-01

    The anesthetic propofol is thought to induce rapid hypnotic sedation by facilitating a GABAergic tonic current in forebrain neurons. The depression of cardiovascular and respiratory regulation often observed during propofol suggests potential additional actions within the brainstem. Here we determined the impacts of propofol on both GABAergic and glutamatergic synaptic mechanisms in a class of solitary tract nucleus (NTS) neurons common to brainstem reflex pathways. In horizontal brainstem slices, we recorded from NTS neurons directly activated by solitary tract (ST) axons. We identified these second-order NTS neurons by time-invariant ("jitter"NTS at lower concentrations than tonic current induction, opposite to the relative sensitivity observed in forebrain regions. These data suggest that therapeutic levels of propofol facilitate phasic (synaptic) inhibitory transmission in second-order NTS neurons which likely inhibits autonomic reflex pathways during anesthesia.

  14. Grasping synergies: A motor-control approach to the mirror neuron mechanism

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Ausilio, Alessandro; Bartoli, Eleonora; Maffongelli, Laura

    2015-03-01

    The discovery of mirror neurons revived interest in motor theories of perception, fostering a number of new studies as well as controversies. In particular, the degree of motor specificity with which others' actions are simulated is highly debated. Human corticospinal excitability studies support the conjecture that a mirror mechanism encodes object-directed goals or low-level kinematic features of others' reaching and grasping actions. These interpretations lead to different experimental predictions and implications for the functional role of the simulation of others' actions. We propose that the representational granularity of the mirror mechanism cannot be any different from that of the motor system during action execution. Hence, drawing from motor control models, we propose that the building blocks of the mirror mechanism are the relatively few motor synergies explaining the variety of hand functions. The recognition of these synergies, from action observation, can be potentially very robust to visual noise and thus demonstrate a clear advantage of using motor knowledge for classifying others' action.

  15. Grasping synergies: a motor-control approach to the mirror neuron mechanism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Ausilio, Alessandro; Bartoli, Eleonora; Maffongelli, Laura

    2015-03-01

    The discovery of mirror neurons revived interest in motor theories of perception, fostering a number of new studies as well as controversies. In particular, the degree of motor specificity with which others' actions are simulated is highly debated. Human corticospinal excitability studies support the conjecture that a mirror mechanism encodes object-directed goals or low-level kinematic features of others' reaching and grasping actions. These interpretations lead to different experimental predictions and implications for the functional role of the simulation of others' actions. We propose that the representational granularity of the mirror mechanism cannot be any different from that of the motor system during action execution. Hence, drawing from motor control models, we propose that the building blocks of the mirror mechanism are the relatively few motor synergies explaining the variety of hand functions. The recognition of these synergies, from action observation, can be potentially very robust to visual noise and thus demonstrate a clear advantage of using motor knowledge for classifying others' action.

  16. Energy approach to rivalry dynamics, soliton stability, and pattern formation in neuronal networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loxley, P. N.; Robinson, P. A.

    2007-10-01

    Hopfield’s Lyapunov function is used to view the stability and topology of equilibria in neuronal networks for visual rivalry and pattern formation. For two neural populations with reciprocal inhibition and slow adaptation, the dynamics of neural activity is found to include a pair of limit cycles: one for oscillations between states where one population has high activity and the other has low activity, as in rivalry, and one for oscillations between states where both populations have the same activity. Hopfield’s Lyapunov function is used to find the dynamical mechanism for oscillations and the basin of attraction of each limit cycle. For a spatially continuous population with lateral inhibition, stable equilibria are found for local regions of high activity (solitons) and for bound states of two or more solitons. Bound states become stable when moving two solitons together minimizes the Lyapunov function, a result of decreasing activity in regions between peaks of high activity when the firing rate is described by a sigmoid function. Lowering the barrier to soliton formation leads to a pattern-forming instability, and a nonlinear solution to the dynamical equations is found to be given by a soliton lattice, which is completely characterized by the soliton width and the spacing between neighboring solitons. Fluctuations due to noise create lattice vacancies analogous to point defects in crystals, leading to activity which is spatially inhomogeneous.

  17. Motor neuron-expressed microRNAs 218 and their enhancers are nested within introns of Slit2/3 genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Punnamoottil, Beena; Rinkwitz, Silke; Giacomotto, Jean; Svahn, Adam J; Becker, Thomas S

    2015-05-01

    miR218-1 and miR218-2 are embedded in introns of SLIT2 and SLIT3, respectively, an arrangement conserved throughout vertebrate genomes. Both miR218 genes are predicted to be transcribed in the same orientation as their host genes and were assumed to be spliced from Slit2/3 primary transcripts. In zebrafish miR218 is active in cranial nerve motor nuclei and spinal cord motor neurons, while slit2 and slit3 are expressed predominantly in the midline. This differential expression pattern suggested independent regulation of miR218 genes by distinct enhancers. We tested conserved noncoding elements for regulatory activity by reporter gene transgenesis in zebrafish. Two human enhancers, 76 kb and 130 kb distant from miR218-2, were identified that drove GFP expression in zebrafish in an almost complete miR218 expression pattern. In the zebrafish slit3 locus, two enhancers with identical activity were discovered. In human SLIT2 one enhancer 52 kb upstream of miR218-1 drove an expression pattern very similar to the enhancers of miR218-2. This establishes that miR218-1/-2 regulatory units are nested within SLIT2/3 and that they are duplicates of an ancestral single locus. Due to the strong activity of the enhancers, unique transgenic lines were created that facilitate morphological and gene functional genetic experiments in motor neurons.

  18. Enhancing the Teaching-Learning Process: A Knowledge Management Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhusry, Mamta; Ranjan, Jayanthi

    2012-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to emphasize the need for knowledge management (KM) in the teaching-learning process in technical educational institutions (TEIs) in India, and to assert the impact of information technology (IT) based KM intervention in the teaching-learning process. Design/methodology/approach: The approach of the paper is…

  19. Enhancing the Teaching-Learning Process: A Knowledge Management Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhusry, Mamta; Ranjan, Jayanthi

    2012-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to emphasize the need for knowledge management (KM) in the teaching-learning process in technical educational institutions (TEIs) in India, and to assert the impact of information technology (IT) based KM intervention in the teaching-learning process. Design/methodology/approach: The approach of the paper is…

  20. A Novel Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone 1 (Gnrh1 Enhancer-Derived Noncoding RNA Regulates Gnrh1 Gene Expression in GnRH Neuronal Cell Models.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Polly P Huang

    Full Text Available Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH, a neuropeptide released from a small population of neurons in the hypothalamus, is the central mediator of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis, and is required for normal reproductive development and function. Evolutionarily conserved regulatory elements in the mouse, rat, and human Gnrh1 gene include three enhancers and the proximal promoter, which confer Gnrh1 gene expression specifically in GnRH neurons. In immortalized mouse hypothalamic GnRH (GT1-7 neurons, which show pulsatile GnRH release in culture, RNA sequencing and RT-qPCR revealed that expression of a novel long noncoding RNA at Gnrh1 enhancer 1 correlates with high levels of GnRH mRNA expression. In GT1-7 neurons, which contain a transgene carrying 3 kb of the rat Gnrh1 regulatory region, both the mouse and rat Gnrh1 enhancer-derived noncoding RNAs (GnRH-E1 RNAs are expressed. We investigated the characteristics and function of the endogenous mouse GnRH-E1 RNA. Strand-specific RT-PCR analysis of GnRH-E1 RNA in GT1-7 cells revealed GnRH-E1 RNAs that are transcribed in the sense and antisense directions from distinct 5' start sites, are 3' polyadenylated, and are over 2 kb in length. These RNAs are localized in the nucleus and have a half-life of over 8 hours. In GT1-7 neurons, siRNA knockdown of mouse GnRH-E1 RNA resulted in a significant decrease in the expression of the Gnrh1 primary transcript and Gnrh1 mRNA. Over-expression of either the sense or antisense mouse GnRH-E1 RNA in immature, migratory GnRH (GN11 neurons, which do not express either GnRH-E1 RNA or GnRH mRNA, induced the transcriptional activity of co-transfected rat Gnrh1 gene regulatory elements, where the induction requires the presence of the rat Gnrh1 promoter. Together, these data indicate that GnRH-E1 RNA is an inducer of Gnrh1 gene expression. GnRH-E1 RNA may play an important role in the development and maturation of GnRH neurons.

  1. Enhanced recovery after bariatric surgery – a modern approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bekkhan Bayalovich Khatsiev

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Guidelines for enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS are widely used and their efficiency was clearly demonstrated by numerous studies. Number of publications on this topic in bariatric surgery is significantly lower compared with other fields of surgery. However, the data accumulated allow to compose recommendations based on studies with high level of evidence. Authors review existing methods of enhanced recovery in their implementation into bariatric surgery. Enhanced recovery methods can be used to optimize all stages of perioperative care and include data on preoperative preparation, maintenance of electrolyte balance, prevention of postoperative nausea and vomiting, sufficient analgesia and safe discharge form hospital. Suggested guidelines for bariatric surgery are implied to be used by a multidisciplinary team.

  2. Human Dignity and Human Enhancement: A Multidimensional Approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirchhoffer, David G

    2017-06-01

    In the debates concerning the ethics of human enhancement through biological or technological modifications, there have been several appeals to the concept of human dignity, both by those favouring such enhancement and by those opposing it. The result is the phenomenon of 'dignity talk', where opposing sides both appeal to the concept of human dignity to ground their arguments resulting in a moral impasse. This article examines the use of the concept of human dignity in the enhancement debates and reveals that the problem of dignity talk arises because proponents of various positions tend to ground human dignity in different features of the human individual. These features include species-membership, possession of a particular capacity, a sense of self-worth, and moral behaviour. The article proposes a solution to this problem by appealing to another feature of human beings, namely their being-in-relationship-over-time. Doing so enables us to understand dignity as a concept that affirms the worth of human individuals as complex, multidimensional wholes, rather than as isolated features. Consequently, the concept of human dignity can serve both a descriptive and a normative function in the enhancement debates. At a descriptive level, asking what advocates of a position mean when they refer to human dignity will reveal what aspects of being human they deem to be most valuable. The debate can then focus on these values. The normative function, although it cannot proscribe or prescribe all enhancement, approves only those enhancements that contribute to the flourishing of human individuals as multidimensional wholes. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  3. Antidepressant Potential of Chlorogenic Acid-Enriched Extract from Eucommia ulmoides Oliver Bark with Neuron Protection and Promotion of Serotonin Release through Enhancing Synapsin I Expression

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jianming Wu

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Eucommia ulmoides Oliver (E. ulmoides is a traditional Chinese medicine with many beneficial effects, used as a tonic medicine in China and other countries. Chlorogenic acid (CGA is an important compound in E. ulmoides with neuroprotective, cognition improvement and other pharmacological effects. However, it is unknown whether chlorogenic acid-enriched Eucommia ulmoides Oliver bark has antidepressant potential through neuron protection, serotonin release promotion and penetration of blood-cerebrospinal fluid barrier. In the present study, we demonstrated that CGA could stimulate axon and dendrite growth and promote serotonin release through enhancing synapsin I expression in the cells of fetal rat raphe neurons in vitro. More importantly, CGA-enriched extract of E. ulmoides (EUWE at 200 and 400 mg/kg/day orally administered for 7 days showed antidepressant-like effects in the tail suspension test of KM mice. Furthermore, we also found CGA could be detected in the the cerebrospinal fluid of the rats orally treated with EUWE and reach the level of pharmacological effect for neuroprotection by UHPLC-ESI-MS/MS. The findings indicate CGA is able to cross the blood-cerebrospinal fluid barrier to exhibit its neuron protection and promotion of serotonin release through enhancing synapsin I expression. This is the first report of the effect of CGA on promoting 5-HT release through enhancing synapsin I expression and CGA-enriched EUWE has antidepressant-like effect in vivo. EUWE may be developed as the natural drugs for the treatment of depression.

  4. Antidepressant Potential of Chlorogenic Acid-Enriched Extract from Eucommia ulmoides Oliver Bark with Neuron Protection and Promotion of Serotonin Release through Enhancing Synapsin I Expression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Jianming; Chen, Haixia; Li, Hua; Tang, Yong; Yang, Le; Cao, Shousong; Qin, Dalian

    2016-02-25

    Eucommia ulmoides Oliver (E. ulmoides) is a traditional Chinese medicine with many beneficial effects, used as a tonic medicine in China and other countries. Chlorogenic acid (CGA) is an important compound in E. ulmoides with neuroprotective, cognition improvement and other pharmacological effects. However, it is unknown whether chlorogenic acid-enriched Eucommia ulmoides Oliver bark has antidepressant potential through neuron protection, serotonin release promotion and penetration of blood-cerebrospinal fluid barrier. In the present study, we demonstrated that CGA could stimulate axon and dendrite growth and promote serotonin release through enhancing synapsin I expression in the cells of fetal rat raphe neurons in vitro. More importantly, CGA-enriched extract of E. ulmoides (EUWE) at 200 and 400 mg/kg/day orally administered for 7 days showed antidepressant-like effects in the tail suspension test of KM mice. Furthermore, we also found CGA could be detected in the the cerebrospinal fluid of the rats orally treated with EUWE and reach the level of pharmacological effect for neuroprotection by UHPLC-ESI-MS/MS. The findings indicate CGA is able to cross the blood-cerebrospinal fluid barrier to exhibit its neuron protection and promotion of serotonin release through enhancing synapsin I expression. This is the first report of the effect of CGA on promoting 5-HT release through enhancing synapsin I expression and CGA-enriched EUWE has antidepressant-like effect in vivo. EUWE may be developed as the natural drugs for the treatment of depression.

  5. Enhanced Firing in NTS Induced by Short-Term Sustained Hypoxia Is Modulated by Glia-Neuron Interaction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Accorsi-Mendonça, Daniela; Almado, Carlos E L; Bonagamba, Leni G H; Castania, Jaci A; Moraes, Davi J A; Machado, Benedito H

    2015-04-29

    Humans ascending to high altitudes are submitted to sustained hypoxia (SH), activating peripheral chemoreflex with several autonomic and respiratory responses. Here we analyzed the effect of short-term SH (24 h, FIO210%) on the processing of cardiovascular and respiratory reflexes using an in situ preparation of rats. SH increased both the sympatho-inhibitory and bradycardiac components of baroreflex and the sympathetic and respiratory responses of peripheral chemoreflex. Electrophysiological properties and synaptic transmission in the nucleus tractus solitarius (NTS) neurons, the first synaptic station of afferents of baroreflexes and chemoreflexes, were evaluated using brainstem slices and whole-cell patch-clamp. The second-order NTS neurons were identified by previous application of fluorescent tracer onto carotid body for chemoreceptor afferents or onto aortic depressor nerve for baroreceptor afferents. SH increased the intrinsic excitability of NTS neurons. Delayed excitation, caused by A-type potassium current (IKA), was observed in most of NTS neurons from control rats. The IKA amplitude was higher in identified second-order NTS neurons from control than in SH rats. SH also blunted the astrocytic inhibition of IKA in NTS neurons and increased the synaptic transmission in response to afferent fibers stimulation. The frequency of spontaneous excitatory currents was also increased in neurons from SH rats, indicating that SH increased the neurotransmission by presynaptic mechanisms. Therefore, short-term SH changed the glia-neuron interaction, increasing the excitability and excitatory transmission of NTS neurons, which may contribute to the observed increase in the reflex sensitivity of baroreflex and chemoreflex in in situ preparation.

  6. Enhancing Literacy and Curriculum Using Digitalized Collections and Approaches

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lukenbill, Bill

    2010-01-01

    Digitized collections offer a wealth of resources for improving a wide variety of literacies that promote critical thinking skills, instruction and curriculum enhancements. Digitized collections and processes are increasing rapidly in their development and availability and as such introduce issues such as public access, copyright laws, limitations…

  7. Critical Approaches to Accessibility for Technology-Enhanced Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewthwaite, Sarah

    2011-01-01

    The term "accessibility" is broadly used to describe the degree to which a service or product gives learners the "ability to access" functionality, services or materials. In recent years there has been a push towards accessibility in technology-enhanced learning (TEL) across all levels of education. However, accessibility represents a shifting…

  8. Chemically induced neuronal damage and gliosis: enhanced expression of the proinflammatory chemokine, monocyte chemoattractant protein (MCP)-1, without a corresponding increase in proinflammatory cytokines(1).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Little, A R; Benkovic, S A; Miller, D B; O'Callaghan, J P

    2002-01-01

    Enhanced expression of proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines has long been linked to neuronal and glial responses to brain injury. Indeed, inflammation in the brain has been associated with damage that stems from conditions as diverse as infection, multiple sclerosis, trauma, and excitotoxicity. In many of these brain injuries, disruption of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) may allow entry of blood-borne factors that contribute to, or serve as the basis of, brain inflammatory responses. Administration of trimethyltin (TMT) to the rat results in loss of hippocampal neurons and an ensuing gliosis without BBB compromise. We used the TMT damage model to discover the proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines that are expressed in response to neuronal injury. TMT caused pyramidal cell damage within 3 days and a substantial loss of these neurons by 21 days post dosing. Marked microglial activation and astrogliosis were evident over the same time period. The BBB remained intact despite the presence of multiple indicators of TMT-induced neuropathology. TMT caused large increases in whole hippocampal-derived monocyte chemoattractant protein (MCP)-1 mRNA (1,000%) by day 3 and in MCP-1 (300%) by day 7. The mRNA levels for tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha, interleukin (IL)-1beta and IL-6, cytokines normally expressed during the earliest stage of inflammation, were not increased up to 21 days post dosing. Lipopolysaccharide, used as a positive control, caused large inductions of cytokine mRNA in liver, as well as an increase in IL-1beta in hippocampus, but it did not result in the induction of astrogliosis. The data suggest that enhanced expression of the proinflammatory cytokines, TNF-alpha, IL-1beta and IL-6, is not required for neuronal and glial responses to injury and that MCP-1 may serve a signaling function in the damaged CNS that is distinct from its role in proinflammatory events.

  9. Neuron-glia interaction as a possible glue to translate the mind-brain gap: A novel multi-dimensional approach toward psychology and psychiatry

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Takahiro A. Kato

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Neurons and synapses have long been the dominant focus of neuroscience, thus the pathophysiology of psychiatric disorders has come to be understood within the neuronal doctrine. However, the majority of cells in the brain are not neurons but glial cells including astrocytes, oligodendrocytes and microglia. Traditionally, neuroscientists regarded glial functions as simply providing physical support and maintenance for neurons. Thus, in this limited role glia had been long ignored. Recently, glial functions have been gradually investigated, and increasing evidence has suggested that glial cells perform important roles in various brain functions. Digging up the glial functions and further understanding of these crucial cells, and the interaction between neurons and glia may shed new light on clarifying many unknown aspects including the mind-brain gap, and conscious-unconscious relationships. We briefly review the current situation of glial research in the field, and propose a novel translational research with a multi-dimensional model, combining various experimental approaches such as animal studies, in vitro & in vivo neuron-glia studies, a variety of human brain imaging investigations, and psychometric assessments.

  10. Estradiol attenuates ischemia-induced death of hippocampal neurons and enhances synaptic transmission in aged, long-term hormone-deprived female rats.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tomoko Inagaki

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Transient global forebrain ischemia causes selective, delayed death of hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons, and the ovarian hormone 17β-estradiol (E2 reduces neuronal loss in young and middle-aged females. The neuroprotective efficacy of E2 after a prolonged period of hormone deprivation is controversial, and few studies examine this issue in aged animals given E2 treatment after induction of ischemia. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: The present study investigated the neuroprotective effects of E2 administered immediately after global ischemia in aged female rats (15-18 months after 6 months of hormone deprivation. We also used electrophysiological methods to assess whether CA1 synapses in the aging hippocampus remain responsive to E2 after prolonged hormone withdrawal. Animals were ovariohysterectomized and underwent 10 min global ischemia 6 months later. A single dose of E2 (2.25 µg infused intraventricularly after reperfusion significantly increased cell survival, with 45% of CA1 neurons surviving vs 15% in controls. Ischemia also induced moderate loss of CA3/CA4 pyramidal cells. Bath application of 1 nM E2 onto brain slices derived from non-ischemic aged females after 6 months of hormone withdrawal significantly enhanced excitatory transmission at CA1 synapses evoked by Schaffer collateral stimulation, and normal long-term potentiation (LTP was induced. The magnitude of LTP and of E2 enhancement of field excitatory postsynaptic potentials was indistinguishable from that recorded in slices from young rats. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The data demonstrate that 1 acute post-ischemic infusion of E2 into the brain ventricles is neuroprotective in aged rats after 6 months of hormone deprivation; and 2 E2 enhances synaptic transmission in CA1 pyramidal neurons of aged long-term hormone deprived females. These findings provide evidence that the aging hippocampus remains responsive to E2 administered either in vivo or in vitro even after

  11. The effect of Bobath approach on the excitability of the spinal alpha motor neurones in stroke patients with muscle spasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ansari, N N; Naghdi, S

    2007-01-01

    A clinical study was performed to evaluate the efficacy of the Bobath approach on the excitability of the spinal alpha motor neurones in patients with poststroke spasticity. Ten subjects ranging in age from 37 through 76 years (average 60 years) with ankle plantarflexor spasticity secondary to a stroke were recruited and completed the trial. They had physiotherapy according to Bobath concept for ten treatment sessions, three days per week. Two repeated measures, one before and another after treatment, were taken to quantify clinical efficacy. The effect of this type of therapy on the excitability of alpha motor neurones (aMN) was assessed by measuring the latency of the Hoffmann reflex (H-reflex) and the Hmax/Mmax ratio. The original Ashworth scale and ankle range of motion were also measured. The mean HmaxlMmax ratio on the affected side at baseline was high in the study patients. However, there were no statistically significant differences in the HmaxlMmax ratio or in the H-reflex latency between the baseline values and those recorded after therapy intervention. Before treatment, the HmaxlMmax ratio was significantly higher in the affected side than in the unaffected side. However, it was similar at both sides after treatment. Following treatment, the significant reduction in spasticity was clinically detected as measured with the original Ashworth scale. The ankle joint active and passive range of motion was significantly increased. In conclusion, Bobath therapy had a statistically significant effect on the excitability of the aMN in the affected side compared to the unaffected side in stroke patients with muscle spasticity.

  12. Computational Classification Approach to Profile Neuron Subtypes from Brain Activity Mapping Data

    OpenAIRE

    Meng Li; Fang Zhao; Jason Lee; Dong Wang; Hui Kuang; Joe Z Tsien

    2015-01-01

    The analysis of cell type-specific activity patterns during behaviors is important for better understanding of how neural circuits generate cognition, but has not been well explored from in vivo neurophysiological datasets. Here, we describe a computational approach to uncover distinct cell subpopulations from in vivo neural spike datasets. This method, termed “inter-spike-interval classification-analysis” (ISICA), is comprised of four major steps: spike pattern feature-extraction, pre-cluste...

  13. Combining computational prediction of cis-regulatory elements with a new enhancer assay to efficiently label neuronal structures in the medaka fish.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emmanuel Mongin

    Full Text Available The developing vertebrate nervous system contains a remarkable array of neural cells organized into complex, evolutionarily conserved structures. The labeling of living cells in these structures is key for the understanding of brain development and function, yet the generation of stable lines expressing reporter genes in specific spatio-temporal patterns remains a limiting step. In this study we present a fast and reliable pipeline to efficiently generate a set of stable lines expressing a reporter gene in multiple neuronal structures in the developing nervous system in medaka. The pipeline combines both the accurate computational genome-wide prediction of neuronal specific cis-regulatory modules (CRMs and a newly developed experimental setup to rapidly obtain transgenic lines in a cost-effective and highly reproducible manner. 95% of the CRMs tested in our experimental setup show enhancer activity in various and numerous neuronal structures belonging to all major brain subdivisions. This pipeline represents a significant step towards the dissection of embryonic neuronal development in vertebrates.

  14. Enhancement of spontaneous and heat-evoked activity in spinal nociceptive neurons by the endovanilloid/endocannabinoid N-arachidonoyldopamine (NADA).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Susan M; Walker, J Michael

    2006-02-01

    N-arachidonoyldopamine (NADA) is an endogenous molecule found in the nervous system that is capable of acting as a vanilloid agonist via the TRPV1 receptor and as a cannabinoid agonist via the CB1 receptor. Using anesthetized rats, we investigated the neural correlates of behavioral thermal hyperalgesia produced by NADA. Extracellular single cell electrophysiology was conducted to assess the effects of peripheral administration of NADA (i.pl.) on nociceptive neurons in the dorsal horn of the spinal cord. Injection of NADA in the hindpaw caused increased spontaneous discharge of spinal nociceptive neurons compared with injection of vehicle. The neurons also displayed magnified responses to application of thermal stimuli ranging from 34 to 52 degrees C. NADA-induced neural hypersensitivity was dose dependent (EC50 = 1.55 microg) and TRPV1 dependent, as the effect was abolished by co-administration of the TRPV1 antagonist 5'-iodoresiniferatoxin (I-RTX). In contrast, co-administration of the CB1 antagonist SR 141716A did not attenuate this effect. These results suggest that the enhanced responses of spinal nociceptive neurons likely underlie the behavioral thermal hyperalgesia and implicate a possible pain-sensitizing role of endogenous NADA mediated by TRPV1 in the periphery.

  15. Enhanced nigrostriatal neuron-specific, long-term expression by using neural-specific promoters in combination with targeted gene transfer by modified helper virus-free HSV-1 vector particles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kong Lingxin

    2008-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Direct gene transfer into neurons has potential for developing gene therapy treatments for specific neurological conditions, and for elucidating neuronal physiology. Due to the complex cellular composition of specific brain areas, neuronal type-specific recombinant gene expression is required for many potential applications of neuronal gene transfer. One approach is to target gene transfer to a specific type of neuron. We developed modified Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV-1 particles that contain chimeric glycoprotein C (gC – glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF or brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF proteins. HSV-1 vector particles containing either gC – GDNF or gC – BDNF target gene transfer to nigrostriatal neurons, which contain specific receptors for GDNF or BDNF. A second approach to achieve neuronal type-specific expression is to use a cell type-specific promoter, and we have used the tyrosine hydroxylase (TH promoter to restrict expression to catecholaminergic neurons or a modified neurofilament heavy gene promoter to restrict expression to neurons, and both of these promoters support long-term expression from HSV-1 vectors. To both improve nigrostriatal-neuron specific expression, and to establish that targeted gene transfer can be followed by long-term expression, we performed targeted gene transfer with vectors that support long-term, neuronal-specific expression. Results Helper virus-free HSV-1 vector packaging was performed using either gC – GDNF or gC – BDNF and vectors that contain either the TH promoter or the modified neurofilament heavy gene promoter. Vector stocks were injected into the midbrain proximal to the substantia nigra, and the rats were sacrificed at either 4 days or 1 month after gene transfer. Immunofluorescent costaining was performed to detect both recombinant gene products and nigrostriatal neurons. The combination of targeted gene transfer with neuronal

  16. Mediating the potent ROS toxicity of acrolein in neurons with silica nanoparticles and a natural product approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    White-Schenk, Désirée.; Shi, Riyi; Leary, James F.

    2014-03-01

    Acrolein, a very reactive aldehyde, is a culprit in the biochemical cascade after primary, mechanical spinal cord injury (SCI), which leads to the destruction of tissue initially unharmed, referred to as "secondary injury". Additionally, in models of multiple sclerosis (MS) and some clinical research, acrolein levels are significantly increased. Due to its ability to make more copies of itself in the presence of tissue via lipid peroxidation, researchers believe that acrolein plays a role in the increased destruction of the central nervous system in both SCI and MS. Hydralazine, an FDAapproved hypotensive drug, has been shown to scavenge acrolein, but its side effects and short half life at the appropriate dose for acrolein scavenging must be improved for beneficial clinical translation. Therefore, a nanomedical approach has been designed using silica nanoparticles as a porous delivery vehicle hydralazine. The silica particles are formed in a one-step method that incorporates poly(ethylene) glycol (PEG), a stealth molecule, directly onto the nanoparticles. As an additional avenue for study, a natural product in green tea, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), has been explored for its ability to react with acrolein, disabling its reactive capabilities. Upon demonstration of attenuating acrolein, EGCG's delivery may also be improved using the nanomedical approach. The current work exposes the potential of using silica nanoparticles as a delivery vehicle and EGCG's antioxidant capabilities in B35 neuroblastoma cells exposed to acrolein. We also measure nanotoxicity to individual rat neurons using high-throughput image scanning cytometry.

  17. Distinct effects of miR-210 reduction on neurogenesis: increased neuronal survival of inflammation but reduced proliferation associated with mitochondrial enhancement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Voloboueva, Ludmila A; Sun, Xiaoyun; Xu, Lijun; Ouyang, Yi-Bing; Giffard, Rona G

    2017-02-10

    Neurogenesis is essential to brain development, and plays a central role in the response to brain injury. Stroke and head trauma stimulate proliferation of endogenous neural stem cells (NSC). However, the survival of young neurons is sharply reduced by post-injury inflammation. Cellular mitochondria are critical to successful neurogenesis and are a major target of inflammatory injury. Mitochondrial protection was shown to improve survival of young neurons. This study tested whether reducing cellular microRNA-210 (miR-210) would enhance mitochondrial function and improve survival of young murine neurons under inflammatory conditions. Several studies have demonstrated the potential of miR-210 inhibition to enhance and protect mitochondrial function through upregulation of mitochondrial proteins. Here miR-210 inhibition significantly increased neuronal survival and protected the activity of mitochondrial enzymes cytochrome c oxidase and aconitase in differentiating NSC cultures exposed to inflammatory mediators. Unexpectedly, we found that reducing miR-210 significantly attenuated NSC proliferation upon induction of differentiation. Further investigation revealed that increased mitochondrial function suppresses the shift to primarily glycolytic metabolism and reduced mitochondrial length characteristic of dividing cells. Activation of AMPK-retinoblastoma signaling is important in NSC proliferation, and the reduction of this activation observed by miR-210 inhibition is one mechanism contributing to the reduced proliferation. Post-injury neurogenesis occurs as a burst of proliferation that peaks in days followed by migration and differentiation over weeks. Our studies suggest that mitochondrial protective miR-210 inhibition should be delayed until after the initial burst of proliferation, but could be beneficial during the prolonged differentiation stage.Significance Statement:Increasing the success of endogenous neurogenesis after brain injury holds therapeutic promise

  18. Joining forces: Motor control meets mirror neurons. Comment on "Grasping synergies: A motor-control approach to the mirror neuron mechanism" by D'Ausilio, Bartoli, and Maffongelli

    Science.gov (United States)

    Casile, Antonino

    2015-03-01

    Several consistent and compelling experimental findings suggest that in primates the observation of actions or movements activates the observer's motor cortex (for a recent and very thorough review see [1]). One important piece of evidence was the discovery of mirror neurons, that are neurons in the macaque ventral pre-motor (area F5), motor and parietal cortices (area PFG) that respond both when the monkey executes a goal-directed motor act (e.g. breaking a peanut) or when it sees a similar action executed by others [2-5]. A similar system has been later reported also in humans ([6-8] but see also [9,10] for negative results).

  19. Using Sustainability Themes and Multidisciplinary Approaches to Enhance STEM Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rogers, Michael; Pfaff, Thomas; Hamilton, Jason; Erkan, Ali

    2015-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to report on the Multidisciplinary Sustainability Education Project (MSEP) as a framework using sustainability-themed education modules to introduce students to the need for multidisciplinary approaches to solving twenty-first-century problems while retaining traditional course strengths and content.…

  20. SCM-198 Ameliorates Cognitive Deficits, Promotes Neuronal Survival and Enhances CREB/BDNF/TrkB Signaling without Affecting Aβ Burden in AβPP/PS1 Mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hong, Zhen-Yi; Yu, Shuang-Shuang; Wang, Zhi-Jun; Zhu, Yi-Zhun

    2015-08-07

    SCM-198 is an alkaloid found only in Herba leonuri and it has been reported to possess considerable neuroprotective effects in animal models of ischemic stroke, Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease (AD). In this study, we demonstrated for the first time that 3-month oral SCM-198 treatment could significantly improve both recognition and spatial memory, inhibit microgliosis and promote neuronal survival in amyloid-β protein precursor and presenilin-1(AβPP/PS1) double-transgenic mice without affecting amyloid-β (Aβ) burden. In addition, decreases in cAMP-response element-binding protein (CREB) phosphorylation, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and tropomyosin-related kinase B (TrkB) phosphorylation were attenuated by SCM-198 both in vivo and in primary cortical neurons, which could be blocked by protein kinase A (PKA) inhibitors, suggesting the involvement of upstream PKA in enhancing the BDNF/TrkB/CREB signaling by SCM-198. Our results indicate that SCM-198, a drug that could promote neuronal survival and enhance BDNF/TrkB/CREB signaling, has beneficial effects on behavioral and biochemical alterations without affecting Aβ burden in AβPP/PS1 mice and might become a potential drug candidate for AD treatment in the future.

  1. SCM-198 Ameliorates Cognitive Deficits, Promotes Neuronal Survival and Enhances CREB/BDNF/TrkB Signaling without Affecting Aβ Burden in AβPP/PS1 Mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhen-Yi Hong

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available SCM-198 is an alkaloid found only in Herba leonuri and it has been reported to possess considerable neuroprotective effects in animal models of ischemic stroke, Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease (AD. In this study, we demonstrated for the first time that 3-month oral SCM-198 treatment could significantly improve both recognition and spatial memory, inhibit microgliosis and promote neuronal survival in amyloid-β protein precursor and presenilin-1(AβPP/PS1 double-transgenic mice without affecting amyloid-β (Aβ burden. In addition, decreases in cAMP-response element-binding protein (CREB phosphorylation, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF and tropomyosin-related kinase B (TrkB phosphorylation were attenuated by SCM-198 both in vivo and in primary cortical neurons, which could be blocked by protein kinase A (PKA inhibitors, suggesting the involvement of upstream PKA in enhancing the BDNF/TrkB/CREB signaling by SCM-198. Our results indicate that SCM-198, a drug that could promote neuronal survival and enhance BDNF/TrkB/CREB signaling, has beneficial effects on behavioral and biochemical alterations without affecting Aβ burden in AβPP/PS1 mice and might become a potential drug candidate for AD treatment in the future.

  2. Stem cells modified by brain-derived neurotrophic fac-tor to promote stem cells differentiation into neurons and enhance neuromotor function after brain injury

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHANG Sai; LIU Xiao-zhi; LIU Zhen-lin; WANG Yan-min; HU Qun-liang; MA Tie-zhu; SUN Shi-zhong

    2009-01-01

    Objective: To promote stem cells differentiation into neurons and enhance neuromotor function after brain in-jury through brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) induction.Methods: Recombinant adenovirus vector was ap-plied to the transfection of BDNF into human-derived um-bilical cord mesenchymal stem cells (UCMSCs). Enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was used to deter-mine the secretion phase of BDNF. The brain injury model of athymic mice induced by hydraulic pressure percussion was established for transplantation of stem cells into the edge of injury site. Nerve function scores were obtained, and the expression level of transfected and non-transfected BDNF, proportion of neuron specific enolase (NSE) andglial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), and the number of apoptosis cells were compared respectively. Results: The BDNF expression achieved its stabiliza-tion at a high level 72 hours after gene transfection. The mouse obtained a better score of nerve function, and the proportion of the NSE-positive cells increased significantly (P<0.05), but GFAP-positive cells decreased in BDNF-UCMSCs group compared with the other two groups (P<0.05). At the site of high expression of BDNF, the number of apoptosis cells decreased markedly.Conclusion: BDNF gene can promote the differentia-tion of the stem cells into neurons rather than gliai cells, and enhance neuromotor function after brain injury.

  3. Hybrid Enhanced Epidermal SpaceSuit Design Approaches

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jessup, Joseph M.

    A Space suit that does not rely on gas pressurization is a multi-faceted problem that requires major stability controls to be incorporated during design and construction. The concept of Hybrid Epidermal Enhancement space suit integrates evolved human anthropomorphic and physiological adaptations into its functionality, using commercially available bio-medical technologies to address shortcomings of conventional gas pressure suits, and the impracticalities of MCP suits. The prototype HEE Space Suit explored integumentary homeostasis, thermal control and mobility using advanced bio-medical materials technology and construction concepts. The goal was a space suit that functions as an enhanced, multi-functional bio-mimic of the human epidermal layer that works in attunement with the wearer rather than as a separate system. In addressing human physiological requirements for design and construction of the HEE suit, testing regimes were devised and integrated into the prototype which was then subject to a series of detailed tests using both anatomical reproduction methods and human subject.

  4. Novel approach to fault-tolerant logic and yield enhancement

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Takefuji, Y.; Adachi, Y.; Aiso, H.

    1982-01-01

    A design technique for improving reliability in function of a gate is proposed, in which a plurality of conventional logic circuits (gates) are used so as to give redundancy to a logic circuit itself. The gate with redundancy designed on the basis of the proposed technique is called the fault-tolerant gate (FTG) in this paper. The FTG has a recovery function with respect to a wider variety of faults. It is much more powerful than that offered by the TMR (triple modular redundancy) circuits. Therefore, the highly reliable logic circuits can be realized, and when the concept of FTGs is applied to vlsi chips the production yield must be enhanced. This paper is divided into three parts. In the first part, concrete methods to realize FTGs are described. The second part proves that the reliability of the gates can be improved by employing the concept of FTGs. In the last part, it is shown that the FTG contributes to the yield enhancement of vlsi chips. 13 references.

  5. Feature Fusion Approach on Keystroke Dynamics Efficiency Enhancement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pin Shen Teh

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available In this paper we study the performance and effect of diverse keystroke feature combinations on keystroke dynamics authentication system by using fusion approach. First of all, four types of keystroke features are acquired from our collected dataset, later then transformed into similarity scores by using Gaussian Probability Density Function (GPD and Direction Similarity Measure (DSM. Next, three fusion approaches are introduced to merge the scores pairing with different combinations of fusion rules. Result shows that the finest performance is obtained by the combination of both dwell time and flight time collectively. Finally, this experiment also investigates the effect of using larger dataset on recognition performance, which turns out to be rather consistent.

  6. Bidirectional coupling between astrocytes and neurons mediates learning and dynamic coordination in the brain: a multiple modeling approach.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John J Wade

    Full Text Available In recent years research suggests that astrocyte networks, in addition to nutrient and waste processing functions, regulate both structural and synaptic plasticity. To understand the biological mechanisms that underpin such plasticity requires the development of cell level models that capture the mutual interaction between astrocytes and neurons. This paper presents a detailed model of bidirectional signaling between astrocytes and neurons (the astrocyte-neuron model or AN model which yields new insights into the computational role of astrocyte-neuronal coupling. From a set of modeling studies we demonstrate two significant findings. Firstly, that spatial signaling via astrocytes can relay a "learning signal" to remote synaptic sites. Results show that slow inward currents cause synchronized postsynaptic activity in remote neurons and subsequently allow Spike-Timing-Dependent Plasticity based learning to occur at the associated synapses. Secondly, that bidirectional communication between neurons and astrocytes underpins dynamic coordination between neuron clusters. Although our composite AN model is presently applied to simplified neural structures and limited to coordination between localized neurons, the principle (which embodies structural, functional and dynamic complexity, and the modeling strategy may be extended to coordination among remote neuron clusters.

  7. An enhanced stream mining approach for network anomaly detection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bellaachia, Abdelghani; Bhatt, Rajat

    2005-03-01

    Network anomaly detection is one of the hot topics in the market today. Currently, researchers are trying to find a way in which machines could automatically learn both normal and anomalous behavior and thus detect anomalies if and when they occur. Most important applications which could spring out of these systems is intrusion detection and spam mail detection. In this paper, the primary focus on the problem and solution of "real time" network intrusion detection although the underlying theory discussed may be used for other applications of anomaly detection (like spam detection or spy-ware detection) too. Since a machine needs a learning process on its own, data mining has been chosen as a preferred technique. The object of this paper is to present a real time clustering system; we call Enhanced Stream Mining (ESM) which could analyze packet information (headers, and data) to determine intrusions.

  8. Human neural stem cell transplantation rescues cognitive defects in APP/PS1 model of Alzheimer's disease by enhancing neuronal connectivity and metabolic activity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xueyuan Li

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Alzheimer’s disease (AD, the most frequent type of dementia, is featured by Aβ pathology, neural degeneration and cognitive decline. To date, there is no cure for this disease. Neural stem cell (NSC transplantation provides new promise for treating AD. Many studies report that intra-hippocampal transplantation of murine NSCs improved cognition in rodents with AD by alleviating neurodegeneration via neuronal complement or replacement. However, few reports examined the potential of human NSC transplantation for AD. In this study, we implanted human brain-derived NSCs (hNSCs into bilateral hippocampus of an APP/PS1 transgenic mouse model of AD to test the effects of hNSC transplantation on Alzheimer’s behavior and neuropathology. Six weeks later, transplanted hNSCs engrafted into the brains of AD mice, migrated dispersedly in broad brain regions, and some of them differentiated into neural cell types of central nervous system. The hNSC transplantation restored the recognition, learning and memory deficits but not anxiety tasks in AD mice. Although Aβ plaques were not significantly reduced, the neuronal, synaptic and nerve fiber density was significantly increased in the frontal cortex and hippocampus of hNSC-treated AD mice, suggesting of improved neuronal connectivity in AD brains after hNSC transplantation. Ultrastructural analysis confirmed that synapses and nerve fibers maintained relatively well-structured shapes in these mice. Furthermore, in-vivo magnetic resonance spectroscopy showed that hNSC-treated mice had notably increased levels of NAA and Glu in the frontal cortex and hippocampus, suggesting that neuronal metabolic activity was improved in AD brains after hNSC transplantation. These results suggest that transplanted hNSCs rescued Alzheimer’s cognition by enhancing neuronal connectivity and metabolic activity through a compensation mechanism in APP/PS1 mice. This study provides preclinical evidence that hNSC transplantation

  9. EFFICIENT RETRIEVAL TECHNIQUES FOR IMAGES USING ENHANCED UNIVARIATE TRANSFORMATION APPROACH

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raghbendra Singh

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available In this paper author presented a simple design approach for the design of RF section which consist a slow wave structure (SWS and input/output couplers for a Ka-band (20.6-21.2GHz 40W helix Traveling Wave Tube. For simulation of SWS three software CST MWS, ANSOFT HFSS and in house developed SUNRAY-1D have been used for meeting the desired power (>40W, gain (>45dB and electronic efficiency (>17%. for Simulation of coupler with SWS ANSOFT HFSS and CST MS Software used. In the analysis of coupler section the VSWR <1.2 has been achieved.

  10. Neurons and tumor suppressors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zochodne, Douglas W

    2014-08-20

    Neurons choose growth pathways with half hearted reluctance, behavior that may be appropriate to maintain fixed long lasting connections but not to regenerate them. We now recognize that intrinsic brakes on regrowth are widely expressed in these hesitant neurons and include classical tumor suppressor molecules. Here, we review how two brakes, PTEN (phosphatase and tensin homolog deleted on chromosome 10) and retinoblastoma emerge as new and exciting knockdown targets to enhance neuron plasticity and improve outcome from damage or disease.

  11. Enhanced aggregation of androgen receptor in induced pluripotent stem cell-derived neurons from spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nihei, Yoshihiro; Ito, Daisuke; Okada, Yohei; Akamatsu, Wado; Yagi, Takuya; Yoshizaki, Takahito; Okano, Hideyuki; Suzuki, Norihiro

    2013-03-22

    Spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA) is an X-linked motor neuron disease caused by a CAG repeat expansion in the androgen receptor (AR) gene. Ligand-dependent nuclear accumulation of mutant AR protein is a critical characteristic of the pathogenesis of SBMA. SBMA has been modeled in AR-overexpressing animals, but precisely how the polyglutamine (polyQ) expansion leads to neurodegeneration is unclear. Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) are a new technology that can be used to model human diseases, study pathogenic mechanisms, and develop novel drugs. We established SBMA patient-derived iPSCs, investigated their cellular biochemical characteristics, and found that SBMA-iPSCs can differentiate into motor neurons. The CAG repeat numbers in the AR gene of SBMA-iPSCs and also in the atrophin-1 gene of iPSCs derived from another polyQ disease, dentato-rubro-pallido-luysian atrophy (DRPLA), remain unchanged during reprogramming, long term passage, and differentiation, indicating that polyQ disease-associated CAG repeats are stable during maintenance of iPSCs. The level of AR expression is up-regulated by neuronal differentiation and treatment with the AR ligand dihydrotestosterone. Filter retardation assays indicated that aggregation of ARs following dihydrotestosterone treatment in neurons derived from SBMA-iPSCs increases significantly compared with neurological control iPSCs, easily recapitulating the pathological feature of mutant ARs in SBMA-iPSCs. This phenomenon was not observed in iPSCs and fibroblasts, thereby showing the neuron-dominant phenotype of this disease. Furthermore, the HSP90 inhibitor 17-allylaminogeldanamycin sharply decreased the level of aggregated AR in neurons derived from SBMA-iPSCs, indicating a potential for discovery and validation of candidate drugs. We found that SBMA-iPSCs possess disease-specific biochemical features and could thus open new avenues of research into not only SBMA, but also other polyglutamine diseases.

  12. Organic solar cells: Degradation processes and approaches to enhance performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fungura, Fadzai

    Organic solar cells (OSCs) have attracted a lot of attention due to their potential as flexible, lightweight, and low-cost renewable energy sources. Significant improvements have been made in increasing the devices' power conversion efficiency (PCE) and extensive efforts to understand degradation mechanisms and increase OSCs' lifetimes are ongoing. OSCs with higher than 10% efficiency have been reported. Enhanced stability and efficiency of inverted poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) solar cells with Cesium (Cs) halides were achieved by spin-coating Bphen (4,7-di(phenyl)-1,10-phenanthroline) on the halide layer and adding an 100nm polystyrene beads layer on the blank side of the OSC. To investigate photodegradation in a low-bandgap polymer, PBDTTT-EFT (benzo[1,2-b:4,5-b']dithiophene (BDT) and thieno[3,4-b]-thiophene), PBDTTT-EFT:PCBM bulk heterojunction (BHJ) solar cells were irradiated under 1X sun intensity and their electronic measurements were monitored over time. The electronic measurements revealed an increase in deep defect density in the polymer and at the donor-acceptor (D/A) interface of BHJ SCs and an increase in charge recombination as well as a decrease in external quantum efficiency, charge collection, short circuit current, open circuit voltage and hole mobility. Filtering blue and UV light resulted in drastically reduced photodegradation. Electron paramagnetic resonance measurements were performed on the photodegraded polymer and BHJ films, and revealed for the first time experimental evidence for metastable carbon dangling bonds (g=2.0029+/-0.0004) formed by blue/UV irradiation of the films. Dark EPR showed an increase in densities of other spin-active sites in the polymer, fullerene and polymer:fullerene blends in agreement with electronic measurements. The EPR results revealed that the carbon dangling bonds were at the D/A interface. These studies helped to better understand degradation mechanisms in a low-bandgap polymer, PBDTTT-EFT, ways to enhance

  13. Large-scale circulation patterns and related rainfall in the Amazon Basin: a neuronal networks approach

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Espinoza, Jhan Carlo [LOCEAN - IPSL (IRD, CNRS, MNHN, UPMC), Paris Cedex 05 (France); Universidad Agraria La Molina UNALM, Lima (Peru); Lengaigne, Matthieu; Janicot, Serge [LOCEAN - IPSL (IRD, CNRS, MNHN, UPMC), Paris Cedex 05 (France); Ronchail, Josyane [LOCEAN - IPSL (IRD, CNRS, MNHN, UPMC), Paris Cedex 05 (France); Universite Paris 7, Paris (France)

    2012-01-15

    This study describes the main circulation patterns (CP) in the Amazonian Basin over the 1975-2002 period and their relationship with rainfall variability. CPs in the Amazonian Basin have been computed for each season from the ERA-40 daily 850 hPa winds using an approach combining artificial neural network (Self Organizing Maps) and Hierarchical Ascendant Classification. A 6 to 8 cluster solutions (depending on the season considered) is shown to yield an integrated view of the complex regional circulation variability. For austral fall, winter and spring the temporal evolution between the different CPs shows a clear tendency to describe a cycle, with southern wind anomalies and their convergence with the trade winds progressing northward from the La Plata Basin to the Amazon Basin. This sequence is strongly related to eastward moving extra tropical perturbations and their incursion toward low latitude that modulate the geopotential and winds over South America and its adjoining oceans. During Austral summer, CPs are less spatially and temporally organized compared to other seasons, principally due to weaker extra tropical perturbations and more frequent shallow low situations. Each of these CPs is shown to be associated with coherent northward moving regional rainfall patterns (both in in situ data and ERA-40 reanalysis) and convective activity. However, our results reveals that precipitation variability is better reproduced by ERA-40 in the southern part of the Amazonian Basin than in the northern part, where rainfall variability is likely to be more constrained by local and subdaily processes (e.g. squall lines) that could be misrepresented in the reanalysis dataset. This analysis clearly illustrates the existing connections between the southern and northern part of the Amazonian Basin in terms of regional circulation/rainfall patterns. The identification of these CPs provide useful information to understand local rainfall variability and could hence be used to

  14. Direct current stimulation : new approach to enhancing heavy oil production

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Whittle, J.K. [Electro-Petroleum Inc., Wayne, PA (United States); Hill, D.G. [Southern California Univ., Los Angeles, CA (United States)

    2006-07-01

    The limited recovery of heavy crude oil can be attributed to the high viscosity of the liquids in the oil reservoirs. A viable technology has been lacking for the economic recovery of heavy oil. This paper discussed the advantages of direct current electrical stimulation or electro-enhanced oil recovery (EEOR). The paper outlined the advantages, including data produced from field demonstrations as well as the results of recent laboratory studies. The paper provided a historical and electro-chemical background of EEOR. Field operations that were discussed included electric field maps and a comparison of direct current versus alternating current electrical power. A series of EEOR field demonstrations were presented for the Santa Maria basin in California and the eastern Alberta plains. The paper also discussed produced fluid chemical changes and electro-osmosis and effective permeability. Last, the paper provided a comparison of EEOR to other existing and emerging technologies including steam flood; surfactant flood; co-solvent flood; carbon dioxide flood; and fire flood. It was concluded that the biggest EEOR limitation is its limited field application portfolio. EEOR has produced encouraging field demonstrations to date and has facilitated beneficial chemical changes in the produced fluids. 26 refs., 5 tabs., 10 figs.

  15. Electroporation: A New Approach Enhancing Antitumor Effects of Cytoxan

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Yang Kong(杨孔); Yue Bisong; Wang Zishu; Zou Fangdong; Zhao Ermi; Wang Baoyi; Zhang Hong

    2003-01-01

    Electrochemotherapy (ECT) is a novel cancer treatment in which electric pulses (Eps) inducing cell membrane pored (electroporation) are used as a means of delivering antitumor drugs to the cytoplasm of cancer cells. In vitro, with scan electromicroscope (SEM) and Trypan blue staining examination, the best parameter of Eps of electroporation is studied by the S-180 cells exposed to EP with various voltages, pulses , capacitance. The best parameter of EP of electroporation is 600V/cm, 6 pulses, 10 μF. In the in vivo study, ECT is studied with the Cytoxan (CTX) injected directly into the tumor followed immediately by a local EP at the tumor site. Four parameters, which include the tumor inhibitory ratio, the curing ratio and the vas capillare of tumor, the tumor's histopathological characteristics are determined and compared among the ECT group, the control group, the EP-only group and the drug-only group. The results indicate that the antitumor effect of CTX is significantly enhanced by electroporation.

  16. Variational Approach to Enhanced Sampling and Free Energy Calculations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valsson, Omar; Parrinello, Michele

    2014-08-01

    The ability of widely used sampling methods, such as molecular dynamics or Monte Carlo simulations, to explore complex free energy landscapes is severely hampered by the presence of kinetic bottlenecks. A large number of solutions have been proposed to alleviate this problem. Many are based on the introduction of a bias potential which is a function of a small number of collective variables. However constructing such a bias is not simple. Here we introduce a functional of the bias potential and an associated variational principle. The bias that minimizes the functional relates in a simple way to the free energy surface. This variational principle can be turned into a practical, efficient, and flexible sampling method. A number of numerical examples are presented which include the determination of a three-dimensional free energy surface. We argue that, beside being numerically advantageous, our variational approach provides a convenient and novel standpoint for looking at the sampling problem.

  17. Quantifiable and objective approach to organizational performance enhancement.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Scholand, Andrew Joseph; Tausczik, Yla R. (University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX)

    2009-10-01

    This report describes a new methodology, social language network analysis (SLNA), that combines tools from social language processing and network analysis to identify socially situated relationships between individuals which, though subtle, are highly influential. Specifically, SLNA aims to identify and characterize the nature of working relationships by processing artifacts generated with computer-mediated communication systems, such as instant message texts or emails. Because social language processing is able to identify psychological, social, and emotional processes that individuals are not able to fully mask, social language network analysis can clarify and highlight complex interdependencies between group members, even when these relationships are latent or unrecognized. This report outlines the philosophical antecedents of SLNA, the mechanics of preprocessing, processing, and post-processing stages, and some example results obtained by applying this approach to a 15-month corporate discussion archive.

  18. Heritable and inducible gene knockdown in astrocytes or neurons in vivo by a combined lentiviral and RNAi approach.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fabrice eHeitz

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Gene knockout by homologous recombination is a popular method to study gene functions in the mouse in vivo. However, its lack of temporal control has limited the interpretation of knockout studies because the complete elimination of a gene product often alters developmental processes, and can induce severe malformations or lethality. Conditional gene knockdown has emerged as a compelling alternative to gene knockout, an approach well established in vitro but that remains challenging in vivo, especially in the adult brain. Here, we report a method for conditional and cell-specific gene knockdown in the mouse brain in vivo that combines Cre-mediated RNA interference (RNAi with classical and lentivirus-mediated transgenesis. The method is based on the inducible expression of a silencing short hairpin RNA (shRNA introduced in mice by lentivirus-mediated transgenesis, and on its activation by excision of a floxed stop EGFP reporter with an inducible Cre recombinase expressed in astrocytes or in neurons. This dual system should be of broad utility for comparative studies of gene functions in these two cell types in vivo.

  19. Another Approach to Enhance Airline Safety: Using Management Safety Tools

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Chien-tsug; Wetmore, Michael; Przetak, Robert

    2006-01-01

    The ultimate goal of conducting an accident investigation is to prevent similar accidents from happening again and to make operations safer system-wide. Based on the findings extracted from the investigation, the "lesson learned" becomes a genuine part of the safety database making risk management available to safety analysts. The airline industry is no exception. In the US, the FAA has advocated the usage of the System Safety concept in enhancing safety since 2000. Yet, in today s usage of System Safety, the airline industry mainly focuses on risk management, which is a reactive process of the System Safety discipline. In order to extend the merit of System Safety and to prevent accidents beforehand, a specific System Safety tool needs to be applied; so a model of hazard prediction can be formed. To do so, the authors initiated this study by reviewing 189 final accident reports from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) covering FAR Part 121 scheduled operations. The discovered accident causes (direct hazards) were categorized into 10 groups Flight Operations, Ground Crew, Turbulence, Maintenance, Foreign Object Damage (FOD), Flight Attendant, Air Traffic Control, Manufacturer, Passenger, and Federal Aviation Administration. These direct hazards were associated with 36 root factors prepared for an error-elimination model using Fault Tree Analysis (FTA), a leading tool for System Safety experts. An FTA block-diagram model was created, followed by a probability simulation of accidents. Five case studies and reports were provided in order to fully demonstrate the usefulness of System Safety tools in promoting airline safety.

  20. Tracing neuronal tracts in the olfactory pathway of rat and detecting ischemic core in a rat model of focal ischemia using manganese enhanced magnetic resonance imaging

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    FANG Ke; LI Yingxia; LIU Hua; LIAO Weijing; LEI Hao

    2004-01-01

    Manganese enhanced magnetic resonance im aging (MRI) is a novel neuroimaging technique that can be used in vivo to trace neuronal tract and to study brain functions dynamically. In this study, manganese enhanced MRI was used to trace the neuronal tracts between the laminar structures of the olfactory bulb (OB) in rat and to study the so-called "calcium overload" phenomenon in a rat model of cerebral ischemia. High spatial resolution images of the OB were obtained and used to measure the transportation rate of Mn2+ among the laminar structures of the OB, which was shown to be approximately 0.2 mm/h under resting condition. In the rat focal ischemia study, it was found that the total area of brain regions with Mnz+ accumulation (representing brain regions with calcium overload) was only 55%±15% of the area of the ischemic brain regions shown by diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI). Manganese enhanced MRI might be more accurate than DWI in detecting the ischemic core at the early stage of experimental cerebral ischemia.

  1. The Emotional Intelligence Approach for Enhancing Skills in Leadership

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Radu Herman

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available An appreciated manager coordinates efficiently the team and both his abilities to be a leader and assume his decisions is crucial for the success of the project. In the empirical study “O nouă abordare asupra învățării practice” several conclusions show that some leadership problems were related to the prioritization of the objectives, an efficient coordination of the members by the leaders, fear in assuming the leadership, not defending the leadership position and tension within the group when facing competition. As a leader, a certain state of mind is required to solve a long-term goal, to have a consistent behavior and adapt a certain leadership style to motivate in a specific situation the members of a team. In an emotional intelligence approach, controlling the afflictions of the mind means reducing the barriers towards being “able to”manifest a leadership style. The aim of this article is to argue that the quest of developing leadership skills can become useless when the leader fells into an inappropriate state of mind.

  2. Reaching the Students: A New Approach to Enhancing Science Literacy

    Science.gov (United States)

    McNamara, B. J.; Burnham, C. C.

    2002-05-01

    Most NSF supported programs directed at improving science literacy among university students who are not majoring in SMET normally target instruction in introductory science or math classes. Unfortunately these efforts seldom reach the vast majority of students at a university because students can fulfil their science requirement by taking several other classes or class sections that are not impacted by the NSF program. Ideally it would be desirable to address the issues of science literacy and science anxiety among non-science majors in a single class that is required of essentially all undergraduates. We describe such a program which is being tested at NMSU. The targeted class is the university's freshman level English class. The idea behind this effort is to provide students with the skills they will need to be successful in their science classes in a less threatening humanities environment. We describe the problems that this approach raises, suggest solutions to these problems, and then discuss the overall status of this effort.

  3. Early-Age Running Enhances Activity of Adult-Born Dentate Granule Neurons Following Learning in Rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shevtsova, Olga; Tan, Yao-Fang; Merkley, Christina M; Winocur, Gordon; Wojtowicz, J Martin

    2017-01-01

    Cognitive reserve, the brain's capacity to draw on enriching experiences during youth, is believed to protect against memory loss associated with a decline in hippocampal function, as seen in normal aging and neurodegenerative disease. Adult neurogenesis has been suggested as a specific mechanism involved in cognitive (or neurogenic) reserve. The first objective of this study was to compare learning-related neuronal activity in adult-born versus developmentally born hippocampal neurons in juvenile male rats that had engaged in extensive running activity during early development or reared in a standard laboratory environment. The second objective was to investigate the long-term effect of exercise in rats on learning and memory of a contextual fear (CF) response later in adulthood. These aims address the important question as to whether exercise in early life is sufficient to build a reserve that protects against the process of cognitive aging. The results reveal a long-term effect of early running on adult-born dentate granule neurons and a special role for adult-born neurons in contextual memory, in a manner that is consistent with the neurogenic reserve hypothesis.

  4. Enhancement of dendritic branching in cultured hippocampal neurons by 17beta-estradiol is mediated by nitric oxide.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Audesirk, T; Cabell, L; Kern, M; Audesirk, G

    2003-06-01

    Both 17beta-estradiol (E2) and nitric oxide (NO) are important in neuronal development, learning and memory, and age-related memory changes. There is growing evidence that a number of estrogen receptor-mediated effects of estradiol utilize nitric oxide as an intermediary. The role of estradiol in hippocampal neuronal differentiation and function has particular implications for learning and memory. Low levels of estradiol (10nM) significantly increase dendritic branching in cultured embryonic rat hippocampal neurons (158% of control). This study investigates the hypothesis that the estrogen-stimulated increase in dendritic branching is mediated by nitric oxide. We found that nitric oxide donors also produce significantly increased dendritic branching S-nitroso-N-acetylpenicillamine (SNAP: 119%; 2,2'-(hydroxynitrosohydrazino)bis-ethanamine (NOC-18): 128% of control). We then determined that the increases in dendritic branching stimulated by estradiol or by a nitric oxide donor were both blocked by an inhibitor of guanylyl cyclase. Dendritic branching was also stimulated by a cell permeable analog of cyclic guanosine monophosphate (dibutyryl-cGMP: 173% of control). Estradiol-stimulated dendritic branching was reversed by the nitric oxide scavenger 2-(4-carboxyphenyl)-4,4,5,5-tetramethyl imidazoline-1-oxyl 3-oxide (carboxy-PTIO). This study provides evidence that estradiol influences the development of embryonic hippocampal neurons in culture by increasing the production of nitric oxide or by increasing the sensitivity of the neurons to nitric oxide. Nitric oxide in turn stimulates dendritic branching via activation of guanylyl cyclase.

  5. Closing the Phenotypic Gap between Transformed Neuronal Cell Lines in Culture and Untransformed Neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Myers, Tereance A.; Nickerson, Cheryl A.; Kaushal, Deepak; Ott, C. Mark; HonerzuBentrup, Kerstin; Ramamurthy, Rajee; Nelman-Gonzales, Mayra; Pierson, Duane L.; Philipp, Mario T.

    2008-01-01

    Studies of neuronal dysfunction in the central nervous system (CNS) are frequently limited by the failure of primary neurons to propagate in vitro. Neuronal cell lines can be substituted for primary cells but they often misrepresent normal conditions. We hypothesized that a dimensional (3-D) cell culture system would drive the phenotype of transformed neurons closer to that of untransformed cells. In our studies comparing 3-D versus 2-dimensional (2-D) culture, neuronal SH-SY5Y (SY) cells underwent distinct morphological changes combined with a significant drop in their rate of cell division. Expression of the proto-oncogene N-myc and the RNA binding protein HuD was decreased in 3-D culture as compared to standard 2-D conditions. We observed a decline in the anti-apoptotic protein Bcl-2 in 3-D culture, coupled with increased expression of the pro-apoptotic proteins Bax and Bak. Moreover, thapsigargin (TG)-induced apoptosis was enhanced in the 3-D cells. Microarray analysis demonstrated significantly differing mRNA levels for over 700 genes in the cells of each culture type. These results indicate that a 3-D culture approach narrows the phenotypic gap between neuronal cell lines and primary neurons. The resulting cells may readily be used for in vitro research of neuronal pathogenesis.

  6. Cannabidiol attenuates OGD/R-induced damage by enhancing mitochondrial bioenergetics and modulating glucose metabolism via pentose-phosphate pathway in hippocampal neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shanshan Sun

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Deficient bioenergetics and diminished redox conservation have been implicated in the development of cerebral ischemia/reperfusion injury. In this study, the mechanisms underlying the neuroprotective effects of cannabidiol (CBD, a nonpsychotropic compound derived from Cannabis sativa with FDA-approved antiepilepsy properties, were studied in vitro using an oxygen–glucose-deprivation/reperfusion (OGD/R model in a mouse hippocampal neuronal cell line. CBD supplementation during reperfusion rescued OGD/R-induced cell death, attenuated intracellular ROS generation and lipid peroxidation, and simultaneously reversed the abnormal changes in antioxidant biomarkers. Using the Seahorse XFe24 Extracellular Flux Analyzer, we found that CBD significantly improved basal respiration, ATP-linked oxygen consumption rate, and the spare respiratory capacity, and augmented glucose consumption in OGD/R-injured neurons. The activation of glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase and the preservation of the NADPH/NADP+ ratio implies that the pentose-phosphate pathway is stimulated by CBD, thus protecting hippocampal neurons from OGD/R injury. This study is the first to document the neuroprotective effects of CBD against OGD/R insult, which depend in part on attenuating oxidative stress, enhancing mitochondrial bioenergetics, and modulating glucose metabolism via the pentose-phosphate pathway, thus preserving both energy and the redox balance.

  7. On involvement of transcription factors nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells, activator protein-1 and signal transducer and activator of transcription-3 in photodynamic therapy-induced death of crayfish neurons and satellite glial cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berezhnaya, Elena; Neginskaya, Marya; Kovaleva, Vera; Sharifulina, Svetlana; Ischenko, Irina; Komandirov, Maxim; Rudkovskii, Mikhail; Uzdensky, Anatoly B.

    2015-07-01

    Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is currently used in the treatment of brain tumors. However, not only malignant cells but also neighboring normal neurons and glial cells are damaged during PDT. In order to study the potential role of transcription factors-nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells (NF-κB), activator protein (AP-1), and signal transducer and activator of transcription-3 (STAT-3)-in photodynamic injury of normal neurons and glia, we photosensitized the isolated crayfish mechanoreceptor consisting of a single sensory neuron enveloped by glial cells. Application of different inhibitors and activators showed that transcription factors NF-κB (inhibitors caffeic acid phenethyl ester and parthenolide, activator betulinic acid), AP-1 (inhibitor SR11302), and STAT-3 (inhibitors stattic and cucurbitacine) influenced PDT-induced death and survival of neurons and glial cells in different ways. These experiments indicated involvement of NF-κB in PDT-induced necrosis of neurons and apoptosis of glial cells. However, in glial cells, it played the antinecrotic role. AP-1 was not involved in PDT-induced necrosis of neurons and glia, but mediated glial apoptosis. STAT-3 was involved in PDT-induced apoptosis of glial cells and necrosis of neurons and glia. Therefore, signaling pathways that regulate cell death and survival in neurons and glial cells are different. Using various inhibitors or activators of transcription factors, one can differently influence the sensitivity and resistance of neurons and glial cells to PDT.

  8. Granularity of the mirror neuron system: A complex endeavor. Comment on "Grasping synergies: A motor-control approach to the mirror neuron mechanism" by A. D'Ausilio et al.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swinnen, S. P.; Alaerts, K.

    2015-03-01

    The review paper by D'Ausilio and coauthors [3] is very timely and addresses one of the long-standing issues with respect to the coding features of mirror neurons. Through the history of mirror neuron research, there has been some controversy with respect to the level of granularity of the mirror neuron system, as studied in animal and human systems. While some researchers have suggested that abstract (high level) features of movement are coded, others have claimed evidence for more muscle specific (low level) coding properties (for an example, see [1,2]). D'Ausilio et al. [3] take a strong position in their review, suggesting a convergence between basic mechanisms of movement control and the mirror neuron system. Their suggestion is inspired by Bernstein's influential work on the so-called degrees of freedom problem. Even though a goal can in principle be reached in an infinite number of ways, consistent and stereotypical patterns of kinematics and muscle activation are often observed [4]. This has led to the notion of movement synergies as the basic building blocks for movement control. Even though it is essentially possible to contract isolated muscles or even motor units, Bernstein suggested that control of complex movement relies on movement synergies or coordinative structures, referring to a group of muscles that behave as a functional unit. This reduces the computational demands of the central nervous system considerably by assigning more responsibility to the lower levels of the movement control system. Bernstein's approach has inspired the dynamical systems perspective that has focused on a better understanding of complex biological systems such as interlimb coordination in humans [8]. For example, the upper limbs behave as a coordinative structure whereby simultaneous activation of the homologous muscle groups constitutes the default or preferred coordination mode that has to be defied when alternative patterns of coordination need to be performed or

  9. Chronic oestradiol reduces the dendritic spine density of KNDy (kisspeptin/neurokinin B/dynorphin) neurones in the arcuate nucleus of ovariectomised Tac2-enhanced green fluorescent protein transgenic mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cholanian, M; Krajewski-Hall, S J; McMullen, N T; Rance, N E

    2015-04-01

    Neurones in the arcuate nucleus that express neurokinin B (NKB), kisspeptin and dynorphin (KNDy) play an important role in the reproductive axis. Oestradiol modulates the gene expression and somatic size of these neurones, although there is limited information available about whether their dendritic structure, a correlate of cellular plasticity, is altered by oestrogens. In the present study, we investigated the morphology of KNDy neurones by filling fluorescent neurones in the arcuate nucleus of Tac2-enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) transgenic mice with biocytin. Filled neurones from ovariectomised (OVX) or OVX plus 17β-oestradiol (E2)-treated mice were visualised with anti-biotin immunohistochemistry and reconstructed in three dimensions with computer-assisted microscopy. KNDy neurones exhibited two primary dendrites, each with a few branches confined to the arcuate nucleus. Quantitative analysis revealed that E2 treatment of OVX mice decreased the cell size and dendritic spine density of KNDy neurones. The axons of KNDy neurones originated from the cell body or proximal dendrite and gave rise to local branches that appeared to terminate within the arcuate nucleus. Numerous terminal boutons were also visualised within the ependymal layer of the third ventricle adjacent to the arcuate nucleus. Axonal branches also projected to the adjacent median eminence and exited the arcuate nucleus. Confocal microscopy revealed close apposition of EGFP and gonadotrophin-releasing hormone-immunoreactive fibres within the median eminence and confirmed the presence of KNDy axon terminals in the ependymal layer of the third ventricle. The axonal branching pattern of KNDy neurones suggests that a single KNDy neurone could influence multiple arcuate neurones, tanycytes in the wall of the third ventricle, axon terminals in the median eminence and numerous areas outside of the arcuate nucleus. In parallel with its inhibitory effects on electrical excitability, E2 treatment

  10. Safety Culture Enhancement Project. Final Report. A Field Study on Approaches to Enhancement of Safety Culture

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lowe, Andrew; Hayward, Brent (Dedale Asia Pacific, Albert Park VIC 3206 (Australia))

    2006-08-15

    This report documents a study with the objective of enhancing safety culture in the Swedish nuclear power industry. A primary objective of this study was to ensure that the latest thinking on human factors principles was being recognised and applied by nuclear power operators as a means of ensuring optimal safety performance. The initial phase of the project was conducted as a pilot study, involving the senior management group at one Swedish nuclear power-producing site. The pilot study enabled the project methodology to be validated after which it was repeated at other Swedish nuclear power industry sites, providing a broad-ranging analysis of opportunities across the industry to enhance safety culture. The introduction to this report contains an overview of safety culture, explains the background to the project and sets out the project rationale and objectives. The methodology used for understanding and analysing the important safety culture issues at each nuclear power site is then described. This section begins with a summary of the processes used in the information gathering and data analysis stage. The six components of the Management Workshops conducted at each site are then described. These workshops used a series of presentations, interactive events and group exercises to: (a) provide feedback to site managers on the safety culture and safety leadership issues identified at their site, and (b) stimulate further safety thinking and provide 'take-away' information and leadership strategies that could be applied to promote safety culture improvements. Section 3, project Findings, contains the main observations and output from the project. These include: - a brief overview of aspects of the local industry operating context that impinge on safety culture; - a summary of strengths or positive attributes observed within the safety culture of the Swedish nuclear industry; - a set of identified opportunities for further improvement; - the aggregated

  11. Safety Culture Enhancement Project. Final Report. A Field Study on Approaches to Enhancement of Safety Culture

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lowe, Andrew; Hayward, Brent (Dedale Asia Pacific, Albert Park VIC 3206 (Australia))

    2006-08-15

    This report documents a study with the objective of enhancing safety culture in the Swedish nuclear power industry. A primary objective of this study was to ensure that the latest thinking on human factors principles was being recognised and applied by nuclear power operators as a means of ensuring optimal safety performance. The initial phase of the project was conducted as a pilot study, involving the senior management group at one Swedish nuclear power-producing site. The pilot study enabled the project methodology to be validated after which it was repeated at other Swedish nuclear power industry sites, providing a broad-ranging analysis of opportunities across the industry to enhance safety culture. The introduction to this report contains an overview of safety culture, explains the background to the project and sets out the project rationale and objectives. The methodology used for understanding and analysing the important safety culture issues at each nuclear power site is then described. This section begins with a summary of the processes used in the information gathering and data analysis stage. The six components of the Management Workshops conducted at each site are then described. These workshops used a series of presentations, interactive events and group exercises to: (a) provide feedback to site managers on the safety culture and safety leadership issues identified at their site, and (b) stimulate further safety thinking and provide 'take-away' information and leadership strategies that could be applied to promote safety culture improvements. Section 3, project Findings, contains the main observations and output from the project. These include: - a brief overview of aspects of the local industry operating context that impinge on safety culture; - a summary of strengths or positive attributes observed within the safety culture of the Swedish nuclear industry; - a set of identified opportunities for further improvement; - the aggregated

  12. Neurotrophin-3 Enhances the Synaptic Organizing Function of TrkC–Protein Tyrosine Phosphatase σ in Rat Hippocampal Neurons

    OpenAIRE

    2015-01-01

    Neurotrophin-3 (NT-3) and its high-affinity receptor TrkC play crucial trophic roles in neuronal differentiation, axon outgrowth, and synapse development and plasticity in the nervous system. We demonstrated previously that postsynaptic TrkC functions as a glutamatergic synapse-inducing (synaptogenic) cell adhesion molecule trans-interacting with presynaptic protein tyrosine phosphatase σ (PTPσ). Given that NT-3 and PTPσ bind distinct domains of the TrkC extracellular region, here we tested t...

  13. Environmental enrichment enhances episodic-like memory in association with a modified neuronal activation profile in adult mice.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marianne Leger

    Full Text Available Although environmental enrichment is well known to improve learning and memory in rodents, the underlying neuronal networks' plasticity remains poorly described. Modifications of the brain activation pattern by enriched condition (EC, especially in the frontal cortex and the baso-lateral amygdala, have been reported during an aversive memory task in rodents. The aims of our study were to examine 1 whether EC modulates episodic-like memory in an object recognition task and 2 whether EC modulates the task-induced neuronal networks. To this end, adult male mice were housed either in standard condition (SC or in EC for three weeks before behavioral experiments (n = 12/group. Memory performances were examined in an object recognition task performed in a Y-maze with a 2-hour or 24-hour delay between presentation and test (inter-session intervals, ISI. To characterize the mechanisms underlying the promnesiant effect of EC, the brain activation profile was assessed after either the presentation or the test sessions using immunohistochemical techniques with c-Fos as a neuronal activation marker. EC did not modulate memory performances after a 2 h-ISI, but extended object recognition memory to a 24 h-ISI. In contrast, SC mice did not discriminate the novel object at this ISI. Compared to SC mice, no activation related to the presentation session was found in selected brain regions of EC mice (in particular, no effect was found in the hippocampus and the perirhinal cortex and a reduced activation was found in the baso-lateral amygdala. On the other hand, an activation of the hippocampus and the infralimbic cortex was observed after the test session for EC, but not SC mice. These results suggest that the persistence of object recognition memory in EC could be related to a reorganization of neuronal networks occurring as early as the memory encoding.

  14. Enhanced astrocytic nitric oxide production and neuronal modifications in the neocortex of a NOS2 mutant mouse.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yossi Buskila

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: It has been well accepted that glial cells in the central nervous system (CNS produce nitric oxide (NO through the induction of a nitric oxide synthase isoform (NOS2 only in response to various insults. Recently we described rapid astroglial, NOS2-dependent, NO production in the neocortex of healthy mice on a time scale relevant to neuronal activity. To explore a possible role for astroglial NOS2 in normal brain function we investigated a NOS2 knockout mouse (B6;129P2-Nos2(tm1Lau/J, Jackson Laboratory. Previous studies of this mouse strain revealed mainly altered immune responses, but no compensatory pathways and no CNS abnormalities have been reported. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: To our surprise, using NO imaging in brain slices in combination with biochemical methods we uncovered robust NO production by neocortical astrocytes of the NOS2 mutant. These findings indicate the existence of an alternative pathway that increases basal NOS activity. In addition, the astroglial mutation instigated modifications of neuronal attributes, shown by changes in the membrane properties of pyramidal neurons, and revealed in distinct behavioral abnormalities characterized by an increase in stress-related parameters. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The results strongly indicate the involvement of astrocytic-derived NO in modifying the activity of neuronal networks. In addition, the findings corroborate data linking NO signaling with stress-related behavior, and highlight the potential use of this genetic model for studies of stress-susceptibility. Lastly, our results beg re-examination of previous studies that used this mouse strain to examine the pathophysiology of brain insults, assuming lack of astrocytic nitrosative reaction.

  15. Amplitude-dependent spike-broadening and enhanced Ca(2+) signaling in GnRH-secreting neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Goor, F; LeBeau, A P; Krsmanovic, L Z; Sherman, A; Catt, K J; Stojilkovic, S S

    2000-09-01

    In GnRH-secreting (GT1) neurons, activation of Ca(2+)-mobilizing receptors induces a sustained membrane depolarization that shifts the profile of the action potential (AP) waveform from sharp, high-amplitude to broad, low-amplitude spikes. Here we characterize this shift in the firing pattern and its impact on Ca(2+) influx experimentally by using prerecorded sharp and broad APs as the voltage-clamp command pulse. As a quantitative test of the experimental data, a mathematical model based on the membrane and ionic current properties of GT1 neurons was also used. Both experimental and modeling results indicated that inactivation of the tetrodotoxin-sensitive Na(+) channels by sustained depolarization accounted for a reduction in the amplitude of the spike upstroke. The ensuing decrease in tetraethylammonium-sensitive K(+) current activation slowed membrane repolarization, leading to AP broadening. This change in firing pattern increased the total L-type Ca(2+) current and facilitated AP-driven Ca(2+) entry. The leftward shift in the current-voltage relation of the L-type Ca(2+) channels expressed in GT1 cells allowed the depolarization-induced AP broadening to facilitate Ca(2+) entry despite a decrease in spike amplitude. Thus the gating properties of the L-type Ca(2+) channels expressed in GT1 neurons are suitable for promoting AP-driven Ca(2+) influx in receptor- and non-receptor-depolarized cells.

  16. Conditional self-discrimination enhances dendritic spine number and dendritic length at prefrontal cortex and hippocampal neurons of rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Penagos-Corzo, Julio C; Bonilla, Andrea; Rodríguez-Moreno, Antonio; Flores, Gonzalo; Negrete-Díaz, José V

    2015-11-01

    We studied conditional self-discrimination (CSD) in rats and compared the neuronal cytoarchitecture of untrained animals and rats that were trained in self-discrimination. For this purpose, we used thirty 10-week-old male rats were randomized into three groups: one control group and two conditioning groups: a comparison group (associative learning) and an experimental group (self-discrimination). At the end of the conditioning process, the experimental group managed to discriminate their own state of thirst. After the conditioning process, dendritic morphological changes in the pyramidal neurons of the prefrontal cortex and CA1 region of the dorsal hippocampus were evaluated using Golgi-Cox stain method and then analyzed by the Sholl method. Differences were found in total dendritic length and spine density. Animals trained in self-discrimination showed an increase in the dendritic length and the number of dendritic spines of neurons of the prefrontal cortex and CA1 region of the dorsal hippocampus. Our data suggest that conditional self-discrimination improves the connectivity of the prefrontal cortex and dorsal CA1, which has implications for memory and learning processes.

  17. Vector-free and transgene-free human iPS cells differentiate into functional neurons and enhance functional recovery after ischemic stroke in mice.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Osama Mohamad

    Full Text Available Stroke is a leading cause of human death and disability in the adult population in the United States and around the world. While stroke treatment is limited, stem cell transplantation has emerged as a promising regenerative therapy to replace or repair damaged tissues and enhance functional recovery after stroke. Recently, the creation of induced pluripotent stem (iPS cells through reprogramming of somatic cells has revolutionized cell therapy by providing an unlimited source of autologous cells for transplantation. In addition, the creation of vector-free and transgene-free human iPS (hiPS cells provides a new generation of stem cells with a reduced risk of tumor formation that was associated with the random integration of viral vectors seen with previous techniques. However, the potential use of these cells in the treatment of ischemic stroke has not been explored. In the present investigation, we examined the neuronal differentiation of vector-free and transgene-free hiPS cells and the transplantation of hiPS cell-derived neural progenitor cells (hiPS-NPCs in an ischemic stroke model in mice. Vector-free hiPS cells were maintained in feeder-free and serum-free conditions and differentiated into functional neurons in vitro using a newly developed differentiation protocol. Twenty eight days after transplantation in stroke mice, hiPS-NPCs showed mature neuronal markers in vivo. No tumor formation was seen up to 12 months after transplantation. Transplantation of hiPS-NPCs restored neurovascular coupling, increased trophic support and promoted behavioral recovery after stroke. These data suggest that using vector-free and transgene-free hiPS cells in stem cell therapy are safe and efficacious in enhancing recovery after focal ischemic stroke in mice.

  18. The phosphodiesterase type 2 inhibitor BAY 60-7550 reverses functional impairments induced by brain ischemia by decreasing hippocampal neurodegeneration and enhancing hippocampal neuronal plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soares, Ligia Mendes; Meyer, Erika; Milani, Humberto; Steinbusch, Harry W M; Prickaerts, Jos; de Oliveira, Rúbia M Weffort

    2017-02-01

    Cognitive and affective impairments are the most characterized consequences following cerebral ischemia. BAY 60-7550, a selective phosphodiesterase type 2 inhibitor (PDE2-I), presents memory-enhancing and anxiolytic-like properties. The behavioral effects of BAY 60-7550 have been associated with its ability to prevent hydrolysis of both cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) and cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) thereby interfering with neuronal plasticity. Here, we hypothesize that PDE2-I treatment could promote functional recovery after brain ischemia. Mice C57Bl/6 were submitted to bilateral common carotid artery occlusion (BCCAO), an experimental model of transient brain ischemia, for 20 min. During 21 days after reperfusion, the animals were tested in a battery of behavioral tests including the elevated zero maze (EZM), object location task (OLT) and forced swim test (FST). The effects of BAY 60-7550 were evaluated on neuronal nuclei (NeuN), caspase-9, cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB), phosphorylated CREB (pCREB) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) expression in the hippocampus. BCCAO increased anxiety levels, impaired hippocampus-dependent cognitive function and induced despair-like behavior in mice. Hippocampal neurodegeneration was evidenced by a decrease in NeuN and increase incaspase-9 protein levels in BCCAO mice. Ischemic mice also showed low BDNF protein levels in the hippocampus. Repeated treatment with BAY 60-7550 attenuated the behavioral impairments induced by BCCAO in mice. Concomitantly, BAY 60-7550 enhanced expression of pCREB and BDNF protein levels in the hippocampus of ischemic mice. The present findings suggest that chronic inhibition of PDE2 provides functional recovery in BCCAO mice possibly by augmenting hippocampal neuronal plasticity.

  19. Noise and Neuronal Heterogeneity

    CERN Document Server

    Barber, Michael J

    2010-01-01

    We consider signal transaction in a simple neuronal model featuring intrinsic noise. The presence of noise limits the precision of neural responses and impacts the quality of neural signal transduction. We assess the signal transduction quality in relation to the level of noise, and show it to be maximized by a non-zero level of noise, analogous to the stochastic resonance effect. The quality enhancement occurs for a finite range of stimuli to a single neuron; we show how to construct networks of neurons that extend the range. The range increases more rapidly with network size when we make use of heterogeneous populations of neurons with a variety of thresholds, rather than homogeneous populations of neurons all with the same threshold. The limited precision of neural responses thus can have a direct effect on the optimal network structure, with diverse functional properties of the constituent neurons supporting an economical information processing strategy that reduces the metabolic costs of handling a broad...

  20. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor enhances the basal rate of protein synthesis by increasing active eukaryotic elongation factor 2 levels and promoting translation elongation in cortical neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takei, Nobuyuki; Kawamura, Mihoko; Ishizuka, Yuta; Kakiya, Naomasa; Inamura, Naoko; Namba, Hisaaki; Nawa, Hiroyuki

    2009-09-25

    The constitutive and activity-dependent components of protein synthesis are both critical for neural function. Although the mechanisms controlling extracellularly induced protein synthesis are becoming clear, less is understood about the molecular networks that regulate the basal translation rate. Here we describe the effects of chronic treatment with various neurotrophic factors and cytokines on the basal rate of protein synthesis in primary cortical neurons. Among the examined factors, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) showed the strongest effect. The rate of protein synthesis increased in the cortical tissues of BDNF transgenic mice, whereas it decreased in BDNF knock-out mice. BDNF specifically increased the level of the active, unphosphorylated form of eukaryotic elongation factor 2 (eEF2). The levels of active eEF2 increased and decreased in BDNF transgenic and BDNF knock-out mice, respectively. BDNF decreased kinase activity and increased phosphatase activity against eEF2 in vitro. Additionally, BDNF shortened the ribosomal transit time, an index of translation elongation. In agreement with these results, overexpression of eEF2 enhanced protein synthesis. Taken together, our results demonstrate that the increased level of active eEF2 induced by chronic BDNF stimulation enhances translational elongation processes and increases the total rate of protein synthesis in neurons.

  1. Comparison between goal programming and cointegration approaches in enhanced index tracking

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lam, Weng Siew; Jamaan, Saiful Hafizah Hj.

    2013-04-01

    Index tracking is a popular form of passive fund management in stock market. Passive management is a buy-and-hold strategy that aims to achieve rate of return similar to the market return. Index tracking problem is a problem of reproducing the performance of a stock market index, without purchasing all of the stocks that make up the index. This can be done by establishing an optimal portfolio that minimizes risk or tracking error. An improved index tracking (enhanced index tracking) is a dual-objective optimization problem, a trade-off between maximizing the mean return and minimizing the tracking error. Enhanced index tracking aims to generate excess return over the return achieved by the index. The objective of this study is to compare the portfolio compositions and performances by using two different approaches in enhanced index tracking problem, which are goal programming and cointegration. The result of this study shows that the optimal portfolios for both approaches are able to outperform the Malaysia market index which is Kuala Lumpur Composite Index. Both approaches give different optimal portfolio compositions. Besides, the cointegration approach outperforms the goal programming approach because the cointegration approach gives higher mean return and lower risk or tracking error. Therefore, the cointegration approach is more appropriate for the investors in Malaysia.

  2. A NOVEL SPEECH ENHANCEMENT APPROACH BASED ON MODIFIED DCT AND IMPROVED PITCH SYNCHRONOUS ANALYSIS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. R. Balaji

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Speech enhancement has become an essential issue within the field of speech and signal processing, because of the necessity to enhance the performance of voice communication systems in noisy environment. There has been a number of research works being carried out in speech processing but still there is always room for improvement. The main aim is to enhance the apparent quality of the speech and to improve the intelligibility. Signal representation and enhancement in cosine transformation is observed to provide significant results. Discrete Cosine Transformation has been widely used for speech enhancement. In this research work, instead of DCT, Advanced DCT (ADCT which simultaneous offers energy compaction along with critical sampling and flexible window switching. In order to deal with the issue of frame to frame deviations of the Cosine Transformations, ADCT is integrated with Pitch Synchronous Analysis (PSA. Moreover, in order to improve the noise minimization performance of the system, Improved Iterative Wiener Filtering approach called Constrained Iterative Wiener Filtering (CIWF is used in this approach. Thus, a novel ADCT based speech enhancement using improved iterative filtering algorithm integrated with PSA is used in this approach.

  3. Intensity Weighted Subtraction Microscopy Approach for Image Contrast and Resolution Enhancement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Korobchevskaya, Kseniya; Peres, Chiara; Li, Zhibin; Antipov, Alexei; Sheppard, Colin J. R.; Diaspro, Alberto; Bianchini, Paolo

    2016-05-01

    We propose and demonstrate a novel subtraction microscopy algorithm, exploiting fluorescence emission difference or switching laser mode and their derivatives for image enhancement. The key novelty of the proposed approach lies in the weighted subtraction coefficient, adjusted pixel-by-pixel with respect to the intensity distributions of initial images. This method produces significant resolution enhancement and minimizes image distortions. Our theoretical and experimental studies demonstrate that this approach can be applied to any optical microscopy techniques, including label free and non-linear methods, where common super-resolution techniques cannot be used.

  4. Activation of D2 dopamine receptor-expressing neurons in the nucleus accumbens increases motivation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soares-Cunha, Carina; Coimbra, Barbara; David-Pereira, Ana; Borges, Sonia; Pinto, Luisa; Costa, Patricio; Sousa, Nuno; Rodrigues, Ana J

    2016-06-23

    Striatal dopamine receptor D1-expressing neurons have been classically associated with positive reinforcement and reward, whereas D2 neurons are associated with negative reinforcement and aversion. Here we demonstrate that the pattern of activation of D1 and D2 neurons in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) predicts motivational drive, and that optogenetic activation of either neuronal population enhances motivation in mice. Using a different approach in rats, we further show that activating NAc D2 neurons increases cue-induced motivational drive in control animals and in a model that presents anhedonia and motivational deficits; conversely, optogenetic inhibition of D2 neurons decreases motivation. Our results suggest that the classic view of D1-D2 functional antagonism does not hold true for all dimensions of reward-related behaviours, and that D2 neurons may play a more prominent pro-motivation role than originally anticipated.

  5. Structure of the adult central complex in Drosophila: organization of distinct neuronal subsets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, J M; Armstrong, J D

    2010-05-01

    The central complex (CX) is a defined set of neuropils located on the midline of the protocerebrum in several arthropods and has been implicated in a number of behaviors. To investigate the function of the CX further it is imperative to know the neuroarchitecture of this structure and to ensure all known neuron types conform to a common nomenclature system. Several types of CX neuron have been identified but it is not known if these exist singly or as components of isomorphic sets. We used an enhancer trap approach to study the adult structure, connectivity, and polarity of CX neurons in Drosophila. We observed several isomorphic sets of small-field neurons including pontine and fb-eb neurons, and also isomorphic sets of large-field neurons including R neurons and F neurons. We found that several types of large-field F neurons existed in isomorphic sets of approximately eight (four per hemisphere) and found evidence for small-field neuron types existing as isomorphic sets of 16. Small-field neurons were observed in clearly organized layers. This study provides a novel insight into CX structure and connectivity and provides a set of characterized enhancer trap lines that will be valuable for future study. (c) 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  6. An Islanding Microgrid Power Sharing Approach Using Enhanced Virtual Impedance Control Scheme

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    He, Jinwei; Li, Yun Wei; Guerrero, Josep M.

    2013-01-01

    In order to address the load sharing problem in islanding microgrids, this paper proposes an enhanced distributed generation (DG) unit virtual impedance control approach. The proposed method can realize accurate regulation of DG unit equivalent impedance at both fundamental and selected harmonic...... and PCC harmonic voltage compensation are achieved without using any fundamental and harmonic components extractions. Experimental results from a scaled single-phase microgrid prototype are provided to validate the feasibility of the proposed virtual impedance control approach....

  7. Activation of Pyramidal Neurons in Mouse Medial Prefrontal Cortex Enhances Food-Seeking Behavior While Reducing Impulsivity in the Absence of an Effect on Food Intake.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warthen, Daniel M; Lambeth, Philip S; Ottolini, Matteo; Shi, Yingtang; Barker, Bryan Scot; Gaykema, Ronald P; Newmyer, Brandon A; Joy-Gaba, Jonathan; Ohmura, Yu; Perez-Reyes, Edward; Güler, Ali D; Patel, Manoj K; Scott, Michael M

    2016-01-01

    The medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) is involved in a wide range of executive cognitive functions, including reward evaluation, decision-making, memory extinction, mood, and task switching. Manipulation of the mPFC has been shown to alter food intake and food reward valuation, but whether exclusive stimulation of mPFC pyramidal neurons (PN), which form the principle output of the mPFC, is sufficient to mediate food rewarded instrumental behavior is unknown. We sought to determine the behavioral consequences of manipulating mPFC output by exciting PN in mouse mPFC during performance of a panel of behavioral assays, focusing on food reward. We found that increasing mPFC pyramidal cell output using designer receptors exclusively activated by designer drugs (DREADD) enhanced performance in instrumental food reward assays that assess food seeking behavior, while sparing effects on affect and food intake. Specifically, activation of mPFC PN enhanced operant responding for food reward, reinstatement of palatable food seeking, and suppression of impulsive responding for food reward. Conversely, activation of mPFC PN had no effect on unconditioned food intake, social interaction, or behavior in an open field. Furthermore, we found that behavioral outcome is influenced by the degree of mPFC activation, with a low drive sufficient to enhance operant responding and a higher drive required to alter impulsivity. Additionally, we provide data demonstrating that DREADD stimulation involves a nitric oxide (NO) synthase dependent pathway, similar to endogenous muscarinic M3 receptor stimulation, a finding that provides novel mechanistic insight into an increasingly widespread method of remote neuronal control.

  8. Neuron differentiation and neuritogenesis stimulated by N-acetylcysteine(NAC)

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Hao-ran QIAN; Yi YANG

    2009-01-01

    Aim:To investigate the effect of N-acetylcysteine (NAC),a potent antioxidant,on neuron differentiation of cultured mouse embryonic stem cells (ESCs) induced by retinoic acid (RA) in vitro.Superior cervical ganglion (SCG) neurons were used to study the effect of NAC on neuritogenesis.Methods:Immunoblotting was performed to detect the expression of microtubule-associated protein 2 (MAP2).MTT assays were used to determine cell viability.Cell death was estimated with trypan blue exclusion and Hoechst 33342 staining.Immunocytochemical analysis was carried out to identify neurons.Results:We obtained a high percentage of MAP2-positive neurons derived from embryoid bodies (EBs) induced by RA by administering 1 mmol/L NAC at differentiation day O.On differentiation day 8,the expression of MAP2 protein was strongly upregulated in the presence of NAC.NAC promoted neuron differentiation of ES cells in a dose- and time-dependent manner.Notably,NAC suppressed cell death caused/Jy RA during neuron differentiation.In addition,neurite extension of SCG neurons was greatly stimulated in the presence of NAC.Conclusion:These results show that NAC enhanced both neuron differentiation and neuritogenesis,suggesting that it may be used in the development of novel therapeutic approaches targeting neuron loss and neurite dystrophy in neurodegenerative diseases.

  9. Enhanced ergonomics approaches for product design: a user experience ecosystem perspective and case studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Wei

    2014-01-01

    This paper first discusses the major inefficiencies faced in current human factors and ergonomics (HFE) approaches: (1) delivering an optimal end-to-end user experience (UX) to users of a solution across its solution lifecycle stages; (2) strategically influencing the product business and technology capability roadmaps from a UX perspective and (3) proactively identifying new market opportunities and influencing the platform architecture capabilities on which the UX of end products relies. In response to these challenges, three case studies are presented to demonstrate how enhanced ergonomics design approaches have effectively addressed the challenges faced in current HFE approaches. Then, the enhanced ergonomics design approaches are conceptualised by a user-experience ecosystem (UXE) framework, from a UX ecosystem perspective. Finally, evidence supporting the UXE, the advantage and the formalised process for executing UXE and methodological considerations are discussed. Practitioner Summary: This paper presents enhanced ergonomics approaches to product design via three case studies to effectively address current HFE challenges by leveraging a systematic end-to-end UX approach, UX roadmaps and emerging UX associated with prioritised user needs and usages. Thus, HFE professionals can be more strategic, creative and influential.

  10. The enhancement of students' mathematical problem solving ability through teaching with metacognitive scaffolding approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prabawanto, Sufyani

    2017-05-01

    This research aims to investigate the enhancement of students' mathematical problem solving through teaching with metacognitive scaffolding approach. This research used a quasi-experimental design with pretest-posttest control. The subjects were pre-service elementary school teachers in a state university in Bandung. In this study, there were two groups: experimental and control groups. The experimental group consists of 60 studentswho acquire teaching mathematicsunder metacognitive scaffolding approach, while the control group consists of 58 studentswho acquire teaching mathematicsunder direct approach. Students were classified into three categories based on the mathematical prior ability, namely high, middle, and low. Data collection instruments consist of mathematical problem solving test instruments. By usingmean difference test, two conclusions of the research:(1) there is a significant difference in the enhancement of mathematical problem solving between the students who attended the course under metacognitive scaffolding approach and students who attended the course under direct approach, and(2) thereis no significant interaction effect of teaching approaches and ability level based on the mathematical prior ability toward enhancement of students' mathematical problem solving.

  11. Protein kinase A-dependent Neuronal Nitric Oxide Synthase Activation Mediates the Enhancement of Baroreflex Response by Adrenomedullin in the Nucleus Tractus Solitarii of Rats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ho I-Chun

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Adrenomedullin (ADM exerts its biological functions through the receptor-mediated enzymatic mechanisms that involve protein kinase A (PKA, or neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS. We previously demonstrated that the receptor-mediated cAMP/PKA pathway involves in ADM-enhanced baroreceptor reflex (BRR response. It remains unclear whether ADM may enhance BRR response via activation of nNOS-dependent mechanism in the nucleus tractus solitarii (NTS. Methods Intravenous injection of phenylephrine was administered to evoke the BRR before and at 10, 30, and 60 min after microinjection of the test agents into NTS of Sprague-Dawley rats. Western blotting analysis was used to measure the level and phosphorylation of proteins that involved in BRR-enhancing effects of ADM (0.2 pmol in NTS. The colocalization of PKA and nNOS was examined by immunohistochemical staining and observed with a laser confocal microscope. Results We found that ADM-induced enhancement of BRR response was blunted by microinjection of NPLA or Rp-8-Br-cGMP, a selective inhibitor of nNOS or protein kinase G (PKG respectively, into NTS. Western blot analysis further revealed that ADM induced an increase in the protein level of PKG-I which could be attenuated by co-microinjection with the ADM receptor antagonist ADM22-52 or NPLA. Moreover, we observed an increase in phosphorylation at Ser1416 of nNOS at 10, 30, and 60 min after intra-NTS administration of ADM. As such, nNOS/PKG signaling may also account for the enhancing effect of ADM on BRR response. Interestingly, biochemical evidence further showed that ADM-induced increase of nNOS phosphorylation was prevented by co-microinjection with Rp-8-Br-cAMP, a PKA inhibitor. The possibility of PKA-dependent nNOS activation was substantiated by immunohistochemical demonstration of co-localization of PKA and nNOS in putative NTS neurons. Conclusions The novel finding of this study is that the signal transduction cascade that

  12. Dopamine Induces Rhythmic Activity and Enhances Postinhibitory Rebound in a Leech Motor Neuron Involved in Swimming and Crawling Behaviors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James D. Angstadt

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available Amine neurotransmitters play an important role in controlling motor behavior in many animals, including the medicinal leech (Hirudo medicinalis. Previous studies have established serotonin as an important modulator of swimming behavior. Serotonin levels are elevated in the blood of frequently swimming leeches and bath application of serotonin to isolated nerve cord preparations evokes fictive swimming. Serotonin alters the intrinsic electrical properties of interneurons and motor neurons involved in generating swimming behavior. In particular, serotonin increases the amplitude, but shortens the duration, of postinhibitory rebound (PIR responses in cell DE-3, a motor neuron that innervates the dorsal longitudinal muscle cells of the body wall. More recent studies have implicated dopamine in the suppression of swimming behavior and the initiation of crawling. Here we show that bath application of dopamine to isolated leech ganglia induces rhythmic oscillatory activity in cell DE-3. The long cycle period of these oscillations is consistent with crawling, but not swimming behavior. Dopamine increases the amplitude of PIR responses in cell DE-3, but unlike serotonin does not decrease its duration. These effects provide further support for the hypothesis that dopamine promotes crawling behavior in the leech.

  13. TRPV2 enhances axon outgrowth through its activation by membrane stretch in developing sensory and motor neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shibasaki, Koji; Murayama, Namie; Ono, Katsuhiko; Ishizaki, Yasuki; Tominaga, Makoto

    2010-03-31

    Thermosensitive TRP (thermo TRP) channels are well recognized for their contributions to sensory transduction, responding to a wide variety of stimuli including temperature, nociceptive stimuli, touch, and osmolarity. However, the precise roles for the thermo TRP channels during development have not been determined. To explore the functional importance of thermo TRP channels during neural development, the temporal expression was determined in embryonic mice. Interestingly, TRPV2 expression was detected in spinal motor neurons in addition to the dorsal root ganglia from embryonic day 10.5 and was localized in axon shafts and growth cones, suggesting that the channel is important for axon outgrowth regulation. We revealed that endogenous TRPV2 was activated in a membrane stretch-dependent manner in developing neurons by knocking down the TRPV2 function with dominant-negative TRPV2 and TRPV2-specific shRNA and significantly promoted axon outgrowth. Thus, for the first time we revealed that TRPV2 is an important regulator for axon outgrowth through its activation by membrane stretch during development.

  14. Geochemical Enhancement Of Enhanced Geothermal System Reservoirs: An Integrated Field And Geochemical Approach

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Joseph N. Moore

    2007-12-31

    . In contrast, fluid inclusions trapped prior to injection are relatively gas rich. These results suggest that the rocks undergo extensive microfracturing during injection and that the composition of the fluid inclusions will be biased toward the youngest event. Interactions between the reservoir rocks and injectate were modeled using the non-isothermal reactive geochemical transport code TOUGHREACT. Changes in fluid pH, fracture porosity, fracture permeability, fluid temperature, and mineral abundances were monitored. The simulations predict that amorphous silica will precipitate primarily within a few meters of the injection well and that mineral deposition will lead to rapid declines in fracture porosity and permeability, consistent with field observations. In support of Enhanced Geothermal System development, petrologic studies of Coso well 46A-19RD were conducted to determine the regions that are most likely to fail when stimulated. These studies indicate that the most intensely brecciated and altered rocks in the zone targeted for stimulation (below 10,000 ft (3048 m)) occur between 11,200 and 11,350 ft (3414 and 3459 m). This zone is interpreted as a shear zone that initially juxtaposed quartz diorite against granodiorite. Strong pervasive alteration and veining within the brecciated quartz diorite and granodiorite suggest this shear zone was permeable in the past. This zone of weakness was subsequently exploited by a granophyre dike whose top occurs at 11,350 ft (3459 m). The dike is unaltered. We anticipate, based on analysis of the well samples that failure during stimulation will most likely occur on this shear zone.

  15. A developmental approach of imitation to study the emergence of mirror neurons in a sensory-motor controller

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gaussier Philippe

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Mirror neurons have often been considered as the explanation of how primates can imitate. In this paper, we show that a simple neural network architecture that learns visuo-motor associations can be enough to let low level imitation emerge without a priori mirror neurons. Adding sequence learning mechanisms and action inhibition allows to perform deferred imitation of gestures demonstrated visually or by body manipulation. With the building of a cognitive map giving the capability of learning plans, we can study in our model the emergence of both low level and high level resonances highlighted by Rizzolatti et al.

  16. Approaches to ICT-Enhanced Teaching in Technical and Vocational Education: A Phenomenographic Perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khan, Md. Shahadat Hossain; Markauskaite, Lina

    2017-01-01

    This paper presents the results of a study undertaken from a phenomenographic perspective, which examines teachers' approaches to information communication technology (ICT)-enhanced teaching in vocational tertiary education. Twenty-three teachers from three Australian Technical and Further Education (TAFE) institutions participated in…

  17. A promising approach to enhanced thermoelectric properties using carbon nanotube networks

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Meng, Chuizhou; Liu, Changhong; Fan, Shoushan [Tsinghua-Foxconn Nanotechnology Research Center, Department of Physics Tsinghua University Beijing (China)

    2010-01-26

    Enhanced Seebeck coefficients and power factors - important for the conversion of heat to electrical energy - are obtained in polyaniline/carbon nanotube (PANI/CNT) composites in which PANI coats CNT networks. The values are several times larger than those of either of the individual components. This new approach has potential for synthesizing high-performance thermoelectric materials. (Abstract Copyright [2010], Wiley Periodicals, Inc.)

  18. A Mindfulness-Acceptance-Commitment-Based Approach to Athletic Performance Enhancement: Theoretical Considerations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gardner, Frank L.; Moore, Zella E.

    2004-01-01

    While traditional cognitive-behavioral skills-training-based approaches to athletic performance enhancement posit that negative thoughts and emotions must be controlled, eliminated, or replaced for athlete-clients to perform optimally, recent evidence suggests that efforts to control, eliminate, or suppress these internal states may actually have…

  19. Mine detection using SF-GPR: A signal processing approach for resolution enhancement and clutter reduction

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Karlsen, Brian; Jakobsen, Kaj Bjarne; Larsen, Jan;

    2001-01-01

    Proper clutter reduction is essential for Ground Penetrating Radar data since low signal-to-clutter ratio prevent correct detection of mine objects. A signal processing approach for resolution enhancement and clutter reduction used on Stepped-Frequency Ground Penetrating Radar (SF-GPR) data is pr...

  20. Msh2 acts in medium-spiny striatal neurons as an enhancer of CAG instability and mutant huntingtin phenotypes in Huntington's disease knock-in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kovalenko, Marina; Dragileva, Ella; St Claire, Jason; Gillis, Tammy; Guide, Jolene R; New, Jaclyn; Dong, Hualing; Kucherlapati, Raju; Kucherlapati, Melanie H; Ehrlich, Michelle E; Lee, Jong-Min; Wheeler, Vanessa C

    2012-01-01

    The CAG trinucleotide repeat mutation in the Huntington's disease gene (HTT) exhibits age-dependent tissue-specific expansion that correlates with disease onset in patients, implicating somatic expansion as a disease modifier and potential therapeutic target. Somatic HTT CAG expansion is critically dependent on proteins in the mismatch repair (MMR) pathway. To gain further insight into mechanisms of somatic expansion and the relationship of somatic expansion to the disease process in selectively vulnerable MSNs we have crossed HTT CAG knock-in mice (HdhQ111) with mice carrying a conditional (floxed) Msh2 allele and D9-Cre transgenic mice, in which Cre recombinase is expressed specifically in MSNs within the striatum. Deletion of Msh2 in MSNs eliminated Msh2 protein in those neurons. We demonstrate that MSN-specific deletion of Msh2 was sufficient to eliminate the vast majority of striatal HTT CAG expansions in HdhQ111 mice. Furthermore, MSN-specific deletion of Msh2 modified two mutant huntingtin phenotypes: the early nuclear localization of diffusely immunostaining mutant huntingtin was slowed; and the later development of intranuclear huntingtin inclusions was dramatically inhibited. Therefore, Msh2 acts within MSNs as a genetic enhancer both of somatic HTT CAG expansions and of HTT CAG-dependent phenotypes in mice. These data suggest that the selective vulnerability of MSNs may be at least in part contributed by the propensity for somatic expansion in these neurons, and imply that intervening in the expansion process is likely to have therapeutic benefit.

  1. Interactions between mitochondria and the transcription factor myocyte enhancer factor 2 (MEF2) regulate neuronal structural and functional plasticity and metaplasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brusco, Janaina; Haas, Kurt

    2015-08-15

    The classical view of mitochondria as housekeeping organelles acting in the background to simply maintain cellular energy demands has been challenged by mounting evidence of their direct and active participation in synaptic plasticity in neurons. Time-lapse imaging has revealed that mitochondria are motile in dendrites, with their localization and fusion and fission events regulated by synaptic activity. The positioning of mitochondria directly influences function of nearby synapses through multiple pathways including control over local concentrations of ATP, Ca(2+) and reactive oxygen species. Recent studies have also shown that mitochondrial protein cascades, classically associated with apoptosis, are involved in neural plasticity in healthy cells. These findings link mitochondria to the plasticity- and metaplasticity-associated activity-dependent transcription factor myocyte enhancer factor 2 (MEF2), further repositioning mitochondria as potential command centres for regulation of synaptic plasticity. Intriguingly, MEF2 and mitochondrial functions appear to be intricately intertwined, as MEF2 is a target of mitochondrial apoptotic caspases and, in turn, MEF2 regulates mitochondrial genome transcription essential for production of superoxidase and hydrogen peroxidase. Here, we review evidence supporting mitochondria as central organelles controlling the spatiotemporal expression of neuronal plasticity, and attempt to disentangle the MEF2-mitochondria relationship mediating these functions. © 2014 The Authors. The Journal of Physiology © 2014 The Physiological Society.

  2. Regeneration of Aplysia Bag Cell Neurons is Synergistically Enhanced by Substrate-Bound Hemolymph Proteins and Laminin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hyland, Callen; Dufrense, Eric R.; Forscher, Paul

    2014-04-01

    We have investigated Aplysia hemolymph as a source of endogenous factors to promote regeneration of bag cell neurons. We describe a novel synergistic effect between substrate-bound hemolymph proteins and laminin. This combination increased outgrowth and branching relative to either laminin or hemolymph alone. Notably, the addition of hemolymph to laminin substrates accelerated growth cone migration rate over ten-fold. Our results indicate that the active factor is either a high molecular weight protein or protein complex and is not the respiratory protein hemocyanin. Substrate-bound factor(s) from central nervous system-conditioned media also had a synergistic effect with laminin, suggesting a possible cooperation between humoral proteins and nervous system extracellular matrix. Further molecular characterization of active factors and their cellular targets is warranted on account of the magnitude of the effects reported here and their potential relevance for nervous system repair.

  3. APPLYING SCIENTIFIC APPROACH TO ENHANCE INDONESIAN EFL LEARNERS’ DESCRIPTIVE WRITING PERFORMANCE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fahrus Zaman Fadhly

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available This study investigated the use of scientific approach to enhance students’ descriptive writing skill of seventh grade students in one of junior high schools in Kuningan, Indonesia. The use of scientific approach was examined based on Cuff and Payne (1979, Educational staff development center of ministry of education and culture (2013, and Syahmadi (2014 while students’ attitude was examined using a theory of Wenden (1991, and Gardner (1985. The writer used mix method study. Two instruments were used to get the data needed: test of descriptive text and questionnaire. The result showed that the Ha was accepted and the Ho was rejected as the t observed was higher than t table. Students’ descriptive writing skill in the experimental class enhanced since they were treated throughout scientific approach. It could be seen from the result of post-test (7.89 which increased significantly from pre-test result (3.697. This study also revealed that students’ attitude toward the approach was positive during the treatment. Moreover, this study proved that scientific approach enhanced students’ descriptive writing skill in one of junior high schools in Kuningan, Indonesia and gave positive impact to the students.

  4. Enhanced Multi-Layer Fatigue-Analysis Approach for Unbonded Flexible Risers

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    杨和振; 姜豪; 杨启

    2014-01-01

    This paper proposes an enhanced approach for evaluating the fatigue life of each metallic layer of unbonded flexible risers. Owing to the complex structure of unbonded flexible risers and the nonlinearity of the system, particularly in the critical touchdown zone, the traditional method is insufficient for accurately evaluating the fatigue life of these risers. The main challenge lies in the transposition from global to local analyses, which is a key stage for the fatigue analysis of flexible pipes owing to their complex structure. The new enhanced approach derives a multi-layer stress-decomposition method to meet this challenge. In this study, a numerical model validated experimentally is used to demonstrate the accuracy of the stress-decomposition method. And a numerical case is studied to validate the proposed approach. The results demonstrate that the multi-layer stress-decomposition method is accurate, and the fatigue lives of the metallic layers predicted by the enhanced multi-layer analysis approach are rational. The proposed fatigue-analysis approach provides a practical and reasonable method for predicting fatigue life in the design of unbonded flexible risers.

  5. Inhibition of Mitochondrial Clearance and Cu/Zn-SOD Activity Enhance 6-Hydroxydopamine-Induced Neuronal Apoptosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    In, Sua; Hong, Chang-Won; Choi, Boyoung; Jang, Bong-Geum; Kim, Min-Ju

    2016-01-01

    Parkinson's disease (PD) is a common movement disorder among neurodegenerative diseases, involving neuronal cell death in the substantia nigra of the midbrain. Although mechanisms of cell death in PD have been studied, the exact molecular pathogenesis is still unclear. Here, we explore the relationship between two types of cell death, autophagy and apoptosis, which have been studied separately in parkinsonian mimetic model of 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA). 6-OHDA induced autophagy firstly and then later inhibition of autophagy flux occurred with apoptosis. The apoptosis was prevented by treatment of pan-caspase inhibitor, zVAD-fmk (benzyloxycarbonyl-VAD-fluoromethylketone (zVAD)), or early phase inhibitor of autophagy, 3-methyladenine (3-MA), indicating that autophagic induction was followed by the apoptosis. Interestingly, late step inhibitor of autophagy, bafilomycin A1 (BafA), aggravated 6-OHDA-induced apoptosis. This was associated with mitochondrial abnormality such as the inhibition of damaged mitochondrial clearance and aberrant increase of extracellular oxygen consumption. Furthermore, treatment of BafA did not inhibit 6-OHDA-mediated superoxide formation but strongly reduced the hydrogen peroxide production to below basal levels, indicating failure from superoxide to hydrogen peroxide. These results were accompanied by a lowered expression and activity of copper/zinc superoxide dismutase (Cu/Zn-SOD) but not of manganese SOD (MnSOD) and catalase. Thus, the present study suggests that crosstalk among apoptosis, autophagy, and oxidative stress is a causative factor of 6-OHDA-induced neuronal death and provides a mechanistic understanding of PD pathogenesis.

  6. Using neurotechnologies to develop virtues: a Buddhist approach to cognitive enhancement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hughes, James

    2013-01-01

    Recently, Fenton (2009) has argued that Buddhist ethics can accommodate the use of attention-enhancing drugs, and Walker (2006 , 2009) has argued that future neurotechnologies may be used to enhance happiness and virtue. This paper uses a Western Buddhist perspective, drawing on many Buddhist traditions, to explore how emerging neurotechnologies may be used to suppress vices and enhance happiness and virtue. A Buddhist approach to the authenticity of technologically-mediated spiritual progress is discussed. The potential utility and dangers of mood manipulation for a Buddhist understanding of liberation are outlined. Then the ten paramitas of Theravadan Buddhism are explored to frame an exploration of the potential genes, neurochemicals and brain structures that could be targeted as part of a program of neurotechnological moral enhancement.

  7. A general approach toward enhancement of pseudocapacitive performance of conducting polymers by redox-active electrolytes

    KAUST Repository

    Chen, Wei

    2014-12-01

    A general approach is demonstrated where the pseudocapacitive performance of different conducting polymers is enhanced in redox-active electrolytes. The concept is demonstrated using several electroactive conducting polymers, including polyaniline, polypyrrole, and poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene). As compared to conventional electrolytes, the redox-active electrolytes, prepared by simply adding a redox mediator to the conventional electrolyte, can significantly improve the energy storage capacity of pseudocapacitors with different conducting polymers. The results show that the specific capacitance of conducting polymer based pseudocapacitors can be increased by a factor of two by utilization of the redox-active electrolytes. In fact, this approach gives some of the highest reported specific capacitance values for electroactive conducting polymers. Moreover, our findings present a general and effective approach for the enhancement of energy storage performance of pseudocapacitors using a variety of polymeric electrode materials. © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. Free Energy Calculations using a Swarm-Enhanced Sampling Molecular Dynamics Approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burusco, Kepa K; Bruce, Neil J; Alibay, Irfan; Bryce, Richard A

    2015-10-26

    Free energy simulations are an established computational tool in modelling chemical change in the condensed phase. However, sampling of kinetically distinct substates remains a challenge to these approaches. As a route to addressing this, we link the methods of thermodynamic integration (TI) and swarm-enhanced sampling molecular dynamics (sesMD), where simulation replicas interact cooperatively to aid transitions over energy barriers. We illustrate the approach by using alchemical alkane transformations in solution, comparing them with the multiple independent trajectory TI (IT-TI) method. Free energy changes for transitions computed by using IT-TI grew increasingly inaccurate as the intramolecular barrier was heightened. By contrast, swarm-enhanced sampling TI (sesTI) calculations showed clear improvements in sampling efficiency, leading to more accurate computed free energy differences, even in the case of the highest barrier height. The sesTI approach, therefore, has potential in addressing chemical change in systems where conformations exist in slow exchange.

  9. Designer Self-Assemble Peptides Maximize the Therapeutic Benefits of Neural Stem Cell Transplantation for Alzheimer's Disease via Enhancing Neuron Differentiation and Paracrine Action.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cui, Guo-hong; Shao, Shui-jin; Yang, Jia-jun; Liu, Jian-ren; Guo, Hai-dong

    2016-03-01

    The neuropathological hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease (AD) include the presence of extracellular amyloid-β peptide (Aβ) in the form of amyloid plaques and neuronal loss. Neural stem cell (NSC) is being scrutinized as a promising cell replacement therapy for various neurodegenerative diseases. However, the unfavorable niche at the site of degenerative disease is hostile to the survival and differentiation of transplanted cells. Here, we undertook in vitro and in vivo works to examine whether a designer self-assemble peptide (DSP), which contains one functional domain Tyr-Ile-Gly-Ser-Arg (YIGSR) derived from laminin, promotes the survival and neuronal differentiation of NSC and behavioral improvement. We found that DSP could undergo spontaneous assembly into well-ordered nanofibers, and it not only facilitated the cell viability in normal culture condition, but also decreased the number of apoptotic cells induced by Aβ in vitro. NSC seeded in DSP showed much more neuronal differentiation than that seeded in self-assemble peptide (SP) or alone. In the AD model, NSC transplantation in DSP-treated AD rats demonstrated much more obvious cognitive rescue with restoration of learning/memory function compared with NSC transplantation in SP, NSC alone, or DSP alone treated ones. Interestingly, DSP enhanced the survival and neuronal differentiation of transplanted NSC. Apoptosis levels in the CA1 region and Aβ level in the hippocampus were significantly decreased in the group of NSC transplantation in DSP. Moreover, synaptic function, indicated by the expression of pre-synaptic protein synapsin-1, was restored and the secretion of anti-inflammatory and neurotrophic factors were increased, such as IL-10, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF), and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), while the expression of pro-inflammatory factors were decreased, such as TNF-α and IL-1β. These data firstly unveiled that the biomaterial DSP can

  10. Transcription factor myocyte enhancer factor 2D regulates interleukin-10 production in microglia to protect neuronal cells from inflammation-induced death.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Shaosong; Gao, Li; Lu, Fangfang; Wang, Bao; Gao, Fei; Zhu, Gang; Cai, Zhibiao; Lai, Juan; Yang, Qian

    2015-02-20

    Neuroinflammatory responses have been recognized as an important aspect in the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease (PD). Transcriptional regulation plays a critical role in the process of inflammation. Transcription factor myocyte enhancer factor 2D (MEF2D) is identified as a central factor in transmission of extracellular signals and activation of the genetic programs in response to a wide range of stimuli in several cell types, including neurons. But its presence and function in microglia have not been reported. We therefore investigated the effect of MEF2D in activated microglia on the progress of neuroinflammation and the survival of neurons. BV2 cells and primary cultured glial cells were stimulated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Samples from cells were examined for MEF2D expression, interleukin-10 (IL-10), and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) by immunoblotting, quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) or enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The activity of MEF2D was examined by electrophoretic mobility shift assay (EMSA) and chromatin immunoprecipitation assay (ChIP). Recombinant lentivirus expressing shRNA specific to MEF2D was used to silence MEF2D expression in BV2 cells. The role of IL-10 transcriptionally induced by MEF2D on neuronal survival was assessed by anti-IL-10 neutralizing antibody. The survival of neurons was determined by 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) and terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL) staining. Male C57bl/6 mice were used to establish an acute PD model. Brain sections and cell slides were tested by immunofluorescence. We demonstrated that MEF2D was present in microglia. Activation of microglia was associated with an increase in MEF2D level and activity in response to different stimuli in vivo and in vitro. MEF2D bound to a MEF2 consensus site in the promoter region of IL-10 gene and stimulated IL-10 transcription. Silencing MEF2D decreased the level of IL

  11. Is dignity therapy feasible to enhance the end of life experience for people with motor neurone disease and their family carers?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bentley Brenda

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Development of interventions that address psychosocial and existential distress in people with motor neurone disease (MND or that alleviate caregiver burden in MND family carers have often been suggested in the research literature. Dignity therapy, which was developed to reduce psychosocial and existential distress at the end of life, has been shown to benefit people dying of cancer and their families. These results may not be transferable to people with MND. The objectives of this study are to assess the feasibility, acceptability and potential effectiveness of dignity therapy to enhance the end of life experience for people with motor neurone disease and their family carers. Methods/design This is a cross-sectional study utilizing a single treatment group and a pre/post test design. The study population will comprise fifty people diagnosed with MND and their nominated family carers. Primarily quantitative outcomes will be gathered through measures assessed at baseline and at approximately one week after the intervention. Outcomes for participants include hopefulness, spirituality and dignity. Outcomes for family carers include perceived caregiver burden, hopefulness and anxiety/depression. Feedback and satisfaction with the intervention will be gathered through a questionnaire. Discussion This detailed research will explore if dignity therapy has the potential to enhance the end of life experience for people with MND and their family carers, and fill a gap for professionals who are called on to address the spiritual, existential and psychosocial needs of their MND patients and families. Trial registration ACTRN Trial Number: ACTRN12611000410954

  12. Cholesterol enhances neuron susceptibility to apoptotic stimuli via cAMP/PKA/CREB-dependent up-regulation of Kv2.1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Meng-Hua; Yang, Guang; Jiao, Song; Hu, Chang-Long; Mei, Yan-Ai

    2012-02-01

    Cholesterol is a major component of membrane lipid rafts. It is more abundant in the brain than in other tissues and plays a critical role in maintaining brain function. We report here that a significant enhancement in apoptosis in rat cerebellar granule neurons (CGNs) was observed upon incubation with 5mM K(+) /serum free (LK-S) medium. Cholesterol enrichment further potentiated CGN apoptosis incubated under LK-S medium. On the contrary, cholesterol depletion using methyl-beta-cyclodextrin protected the CGNs from apoptosis induced by LK-S treatment. Cholesterol enrichment, however, did not induce apoptosis in CGNs that have been incubated with 25mM K(+) /serum medium. Mechanistically, increased I(K) currents and DNA fragmentation were found in CGNs incubated in LK-S, which was further potentiated in the presence of cholesterol. Cholesterol-treated CGNs also exhibited increased cAMP levels and up-regulation of Kv2.1 expression. Increased levels of activated form of PKA and phospho-CREB further supported activation of the cAMP/PKA pathway upon treatment of CGNs with cholesterol-containing LK-S medium. Conversely, inhibition of PKA or small G protein Gs abolished the increase in I(K) current and the potentiation of Kv2.1 expression, leading to reduced susceptibility of CGNs to LK-S and cholesterol-induced apoptosis. Our results demonstrate that the elevation of membrane cholesterol enhances CGN susceptibility to apoptotic stimuli via cAMP/PKA/CREB-dependent up-regulation of Kv2.1. Our data provide new evidence for the role of cholesterol in eliciting neuronal cell death. © 2011 The Authors. Journal of Neurochemistry © 2011 International Society for Neurochemistry.

  13. Enhancement of lipid production using biochemical, genetic and transcription factor engineering approaches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Courchesne, Noémie Manuelle Dorval; Parisien, Albert; Wang, Bei; Lan, Christopher Q

    2009-04-20

    This paper compares three possible strategies for enhanced lipid overproduction in microalgae: the biochemical engineering (BE) approaches, the genetic engineering (GE) approaches, and the transcription factor engineering (TFE) approaches. The BE strategy relies on creating a physiological stress such as nutrient-starvation or high salinity to channel metabolic fluxes to lipid accumulation. The GE strategy exploits our understanding to the lipid metabolic pathway, especially the rate-limiting enzymes, to create a channelling of metabolites to lipid biosynthesis by overexpressing one or more key enzymes in recombinant microalgal strains. The TFE strategy is an emerging technology aiming at enhancing the production of a particular metabolite by means of overexpressing TFs regulating the metabolic pathways involved in the accumulation of target metabolites. Currently, BE approaches are the most established in microalgal lipid production. The TFE is a very promising strategy because it may avoid the inhibitive effects of the BE approaches and the limitation of "secondary bottlenecks" as commonly observed in the GE approaches. However, it is still a novel concept to be investigated systematically.

  14. Caprylic triglyceride as a novel therapeutic approach to effectively improve the performance and attenuate the symptoms due to the motor neuron loss in ALS disease.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wei Zhao

    Full Text Available Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS is a neurodegenerative disorder of motor neurons causing progressive muscle weakness, paralysis, and finally death. ALS patients suffer from asthenia and their progressive weakness negatively impacts quality of life, limiting their daily activities. They have impaired energy balance linked to lower activity of mitochondrial electron transport chain enzymes in ALS spinal cord, suggesting that improving mitochondrial function may present a therapeutic approach for ALS. When fed a ketogenic diet, the G93A ALS mouse shows a significant increase in serum ketones as well as a significantly slower progression of weakness and lower mortality rate. In this study, we treated SOD1-G93A mice with caprylic triglyceride, a medium chain triglyceride that is metabolized into ketone bodies and can serve as an alternate energy substrate for neuronal metabolism. Treatment with caprylic triglyceride attenuated progression of weakness and protected spinal cord motor neuron loss in SOD1-G93A transgenic animals, significantly improving their performance even though there was no significant benefit regarding the survival of the ALS transgenic animals. We found that caprylic triglyceride significantly promoted the mitochondrial oxygen consumption rate in vivo. Our results demonstrated that caprylic triglyceride alleviates ALS-type motor impairment through restoration of energy metabolism in SOD1-G93A ALS mice, especially during the overt stage of the disease. These data indicate the feasibility of using caprylic acid as an easily administered treatment with a high impact on the quality of life of ALS patients.

  15. Caprylic Triglyceride as a Novel Therapeutic Approach to Effectively Improve the Performance and Attenuate the Symptoms Due to the Motor Neuron Loss in ALS Disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Wei; Varghese, Merina; Vempati, Prashant; Dzhun, Anastasiya; Cheng, Alice; Wang, Jun; Lange, Dale; Bilski, Amanda; Faravelli, Irene; Pasinetti, Giulio Maria

    2012-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative disorder of motor neurons causing progressive muscle weakness, paralysis, and finally death. ALS patients suffer from asthenia and their progressive weakness negatively impacts quality of life, limiting their daily activities. They have impaired energy balance linked to lower activity of mitochondrial electron transport chain enzymes in ALS spinal cord, suggesting that improving mitochondrial function may present a therapeutic approach for ALS. When fed a ketogenic diet, the G93A ALS mouse shows a significant increase in serum ketones as well as a significantly slower progression of weakness and lower mortality rate. In this study, we treated SOD1-G93A mice with caprylic triglyceride, a medium chain triglyceride that is metabolized into ketone bodies and can serve as an alternate energy substrate for neuronal metabolism. Treatment with caprylic triglyceride attenuated progression of weakness and protected spinal cord motor neuron loss in SOD1-G93A transgenic animals, significantly improving their performance even though there was no significant benefit regarding the survival of the ALS transgenic animals. We found that caprylic triglyceride significantly promoted the mitochondrial oxygen consumption rate in vivo. Our results demonstrated that caprylic triglyceride alleviates ALS-type motor impairment through restoration of energy metabolism in SOD1-G93A ALS mice, especially during the overt stage of the disease. These data indicate the feasibility of using caprylic acid as an easily administered treatment with a high impact on the quality of life of ALS patients. PMID:23145119

  16. The tyrosine kinase receptor Tyro3 enhances lifespan and neuropeptide Y (Npy) neuron survival in the mouse anorexia (anx) mutation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Dennis Y; Yu, Joanna; Mui, Ryan K; Niibori, Rieko; Taufique, Hamza Bin; Aslam, Rukhsana; Semple, John W; Cordes, Sabine P

    2017-05-01

    Severe appetite and weight loss define the eating disorder anorexia nervosa, and can also accompany the progression of some neurodegenerative disorders such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Although acute loss of hypothalamic neurons that produce appetite-stimulating neuropeptide Y (Npy) and agouti-related peptide (Agrp) in adult mice or in mice homozygous for the anorexia (anx) mutation causes aphagia, our understanding of the factors that help maintain appetite regulatory circuitry is limited. Here we identify a mutation (C19T) that converts an arginine to a tryptophan (R7W) in the TYRO3 protein tyrosine kinase 3 (Tyro3) gene, which resides within the anx critical interval, as contributing to the severity of anx phenotypes. Our observation that, like Tyro3(-/-) mice, anx/anx mice exhibit abnormal secondary platelet aggregation suggested that the C19T Tyro3 variant might have functional consequences. Tyro3 is expressed in the hypothalamus and other brain regions affected by the anx mutation, and its mRNA localization appeared abnormal in anx/anx brains by postnatal day 19 (P19). The presence of wild-type Tyro3 transgenes, but not an R7W-Tyro3 transgene, doubled the weight and lifespans of anx/anx mice and near-normal numbers of hypothalamic Npy-expressing neurons were present in Tyro3-transgenic anx/anx mice at P19. Although no differences in R7W-Tyro3 signal sequence function or protein localization were discernible in vitro, distribution of R7W-Tyro3 protein differed from that of Tyro3 protein in the cerebellum of transgenic wild-type mice. Thus, R7W-Tyro3 protein localization deficits are only detectable in vivo Further analyses revealed that the C19T Tyro3 mutation is present in a few other mouse strains, and hence is not the causative anx mutation, but rather an anx modifier. Our work shows that Tyro3 has prosurvival roles in the appetite regulatory circuitry and could also provide useful insights towards the development of interventions targeting

  17. The tyrosine kinase receptor Tyro3 enhances lifespan and neuropeptide Y (Npy neuron survival in the mouse anorexia (anx mutation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dennis Y. Kim

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Severe appetite and weight loss define the eating disorder anorexia nervosa, and can also accompany the progression of some neurodegenerative disorders such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS. Although acute loss of hypothalamic neurons that produce appetite-stimulating neuropeptide Y (Npy and agouti-related peptide (Agrp in adult mice or in mice homozygous for the anorexia (anx mutation causes aphagia, our understanding of the factors that help maintain appetite regulatory circuitry is limited. Here we identify a mutation (C19T that converts an arginine to a tryptophan (R7W in the TYRO3 protein tyrosine kinase 3 (Tyro3 gene, which resides within the anx critical interval, as contributing to the severity of anx phenotypes. Our observation that, like Tyro3−/− mice, anx/anx mice exhibit abnormal secondary platelet aggregation suggested that the C19T Tyro3 variant might have functional consequences. Tyro3 is expressed in the hypothalamus and other brain regions affected by the anx mutation, and its mRNA localization appeared abnormal in anx/anx brains by postnatal day 19 (P19. The presence of wild-type Tyro3 transgenes, but not an R7W-Tyro3 transgene, doubled the weight and lifespans of anx/anx mice and near-normal numbers of hypothalamic Npy-expressing neurons were present in Tyro3-transgenic anx/anx mice at P19. Although no differences in R7W-Tyro3 signal sequence function or protein localization were discernible in vitro, distribution of R7W-Tyro3 protein differed from that of Tyro3 protein in the cerebellum of transgenic wild-type mice. Thus, R7W-Tyro3 protein localization deficits are only detectable in vivo. Further analyses revealed that the C19T Tyro3 mutation is present in a few other mouse strains, and hence is not the causative anx mutation, but rather an anx modifier. Our work shows that Tyro3 has prosurvival roles in the appetite regulatory circuitry and could also provide useful insights towards the development of interventions

  18. A Team Approach to Enhance Scholarship Among Honors Students in Nursing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jukkala, Angela M; Miltner, Rebecca S; Morrison, Shannon L; Gisiger-Camata, Sylvia; Todd, Allison; Moneyham, Linda D; Meneses, Karen M

    2016-01-01

    Honors programs within schools of nursing have the potential to enhance young nurses' interest in developing programs of research early in their careers and can thus contribute to the successful development of nursing knowledge. Such programs also provide opportunities to enhance knowledge and skill in leadership and teamwork at a critical time during the development of their professional nurse identity. This article presents the successful approach one organization took when revising its honors program to meet the current needs of students, society, and the profession.

  19. The classification of motor neuron defects in the zebrafish embryo toxicity test (ZFET) as an animal alternative approach to assess developmental neurotoxicity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muth-Köhne, Elke; Wichmann, Arne; Delov, Vera; Fenske, Martina

    2012-07-01

    Rodents are widely used to test the developmental neurotoxicity potential of chemical substances. The regulatory test procedures are elaborate and the requirement of numerous animals is ethically disputable. Therefore, non-animal alternatives are highly desirable, but appropriate test systems that meet regulatory demands are not yet available. Hence, we have developed a new developmental neurotoxicity assay based on specific whole-mount immunostainings of primary and secondary motor neurons (using the monoclonal antibodies znp1 and zn8) in zebrafish embryos. By classifying the motor neuron defects, we evaluated the severity of the neurotoxic damage to individual primary and secondary motor neurons caused by chemical exposure and determined the corresponding effect concentration values (EC₅₀). In a proof-of-principle study, we investigated the effects of three model compounds thiocyclam, cartap and disulfiram, which show some neurotoxicity-indicating effects in vertebrates, and the positive controls ethanol and nicotine and the negative controls 3,4-dichloroaniline (3,4-DCA) and triclosan. As a quantitative measure of the neurotoxic potential of the test compounds, we calculated the ratios of the EC₅₀ values for motor neuron defects and the cumulative malformations, as determined in a zebrafish embryo toxicity test (zFET). Based on this index, disulfiram was classified as the most potent and thiocyclam as the least potent developmental neurotoxin. The index also confirmed the control compounds as positive and negative neurotoxicants. Our findings demonstrate that this index can be used to reliably distinguish between neurotoxic and non-neurotoxic chemicals and provide a sound estimate for the neurodevelopmental hazard potential of a chemical. The demonstrated method can be a feasible approach to reduce the number of animals used in developmental neurotoxicity evaluation procedures.

  20. Statistical physics approaches to neuronal network dynamics%神经元网络动力学的统计物理方法

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    蔡申瓯; 陶乐天

    2011-01-01

    We review a statistical physics approach for reduced descriptions of neuronal network dynamics.From a network of all-toall coupled,excitatory integrate-and-fire neurons,we derive a (2+1)-D advection-diffusion equation for a probability distribution function,which describes neuronal population dynamics.We further show how to derive a (1 + 1)-D kinetic equation,using a moment closure scheme,without introducing any new parameters to the system.We demonstrate the numerical accuracy of our kinetic theory by comparing its results to Monte Carlo simulations of the full integrate-and-fire neuronal network.%本文回顾了利用统计物理的方法研究神经元网络动力学的数学降维描述.以一个全兴奋性的“整合-发放”神经元网络为出发点,导出了描写神经元群体活动的概率分布函数的(2+1)-维对流-扩散方程.在没有引入任何新参数的情况下,讨论了如何利用moment closure scheme得到(1+1)-维的动力学方程.我们将此方程的预测与原神经元网络动力学的蒙特卡洛模拟结果进行比较,从而展示了新方程的数值精确性.

  1. Tart cherry extracts reduce inflammatory stress signaling and enhance calcium buffering in microglial and neuronal cell lines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dark-colored fruits, like tart cherries, contain an array of polyphenols that can decrease both inflammation (INF) and oxidative stress (OS). Previous research has shown that supplementation with berry fruits can enhance cognitive and motor function in aged animals. It has been postulated that at le...

  2. Simulation-based comparison of two approaches frequently used for dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zwick, Stefan [Siemens AG, Healthcare Sector, Erlangen (Germany); German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Department of Medical Physics in Radiology, Heidelberg (Germany); University Hospital Freiburg, Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Medical Physics, Freiburg (Germany); Brix, Gunnar [Federal Office for Radiation Protection, Department of Medical and Occupational Radiation Protection, Munich (Germany); Tofts, Paul S. [Brighton and Sussex Medical School, Imaging Physics, Falmer, Sussex (United Kingdom); Strecker, Ralph [Siemens AG, Healthcare Sector, Erlangen (Germany); Kopp-Schneider, Annette [German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Biostatistics, Heidelberg (Germany); Laue, Hendrik [Fraunhofer MEVIS, Bremen (Germany); Semmler, Wolfhard [German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Department of Medical Physics in Radiology, Heidelberg (Germany); Kiessling, Fabian [RWTH-Aachen University, Experimental Molecular Imaging, Medical Faculty, Aachen (Germany)

    2010-02-15

    The purpose was to compare two approaches for the acquisition and analysis of dynamic-contrast-enhanced MRI data with respect to differences in the modelling of the arterial input-function (AIF), the dependency of the model parameters on physiological parameters and their numerical stability. Eight hundred tissue concentration curves were simulated for different combinations of perfusion, permeability, interstitial volume and plasma volume based on two measured AIFs and analysed according to the two commonly used approaches. The transfer constants (Approach 1) K {sup trans} and (Approach 2) k{sub ep} were correlated with all tissue parameters. K {sup trans} showed a stronger dependency on perfusion, and k{sub ep} on permeability. The volume parameters (Approach 1) v{sub e} and (Approach 2) A were mainly influenced by the interstitial and plasma volume. Both approaches allow only rough characterisation of tissue microcirculation and microvasculature. Approach 2 seems to be somewhat more robust than 1, mainly due to the different methods of CA administration. (orig.)

  3. Novel infrared image enhancement technology based on the frequency compensation approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qi, Yuhua; He, Rulong; Lin, Haitao

    2016-05-01

    A novel infrared image enhancement method has been proposed in this paper. Our aim is to develop a detail enhancement method which is focused on the frequency feature of the image. The proposed method is following the most popular strategy of enhancing the infrared images nowadays, but concentrating on the frequency domain. Firstly, the original image is separated by a guided image filter into detail layer and the base layer. Quite unlike the traditional methods, we use the guided image filter to eliminate most of the noise and weak signal of the scenario. Then, by a designed iteration process, the higher frequency of the scenario will be calculated back and add to the detail layer. The noise will not be enhanced because the iteration is only focused on the leftover scenario frequency. We run many tests on the raw data captured by the 320 × 256 HgCdTe cooled thermal imager, and make a comparison between our approach with the previous method of bilateral filtering digital detail enhancement and guided image filtering digital detail enhancement. Figures and analytical data show that our method is better than the previous proposed researches. Our method could effectively process the infrared image with less noise and artifacts, which has potential applications in testing, manufacturing, chemical imaging, night vision, and surveillance security.

  4. A Hybrid Reduction Approach for Enhancing Cancer Classification of Microarray Data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abeer M. Mahmoud

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents a novel hybrid machine learning (MLreduction approach to enhance cancer classification accuracy of microarray data based on two ML gene ranking techniques (T-test and Class Separability (CS. The proposed approach is integrated with two ML classifiers; K-nearest neighbor (KNN and support vector machine (SVM; for mining microarray gene expression profiles. Four public cancer microarray databases are used for evaluating the proposed approach and successfully accomplish the mining process. These are Lymphoma, Leukemia SRBCT, and Lung Cancer. The strategy to select genes only from the training samples and totally excluding the testing samples from the classifier building process is utilized for more accurate and validated results. Also, the computational experiments are illustrated in details and comprehensively presented with literature related results. The results showed that the proposed reduction approach reached promising results of the number of genes supplemented to the classifiers as well as the classification accuracy.

  5. The contribution of 'omic'-based approaches to the study of enhanced biological phosphorus removal microbiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forbes, Christina M; O'Leary, Niall D; Dobson, Alan D; Marchesi, Julian R

    2009-07-01

    The role that microorganisms play in the biological removal of phosphate from wastewater streams has received sustained interest since its initial observation over 30 years ago. Recent advances in 'omic'-based approaches have greatly advanced our knowledge in this field and facilitated a refinement of existing enhanced biological phosphate removal (EBPR) models, which were primarily based on culture-dependent approaches that had predominantly been used to investigate the process. This minireview will focus on the recent advances made in our overall understanding of the EBPR process resulting from the use of 'omic'-based methodologies.

  6. Enhanced approach to PD control design for linear time-invariant descriptor systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Filasová, Anna; Krokavec, Dušan

    2017-01-01

    Enhanced approaches to PD controller design, adjusted for linear time-invariant descriptor systems, are proposed in the paper. Presented in the sense of the second Lyapunov method, an associated structure of linear matrix inequalities is outlined to possess the regular closed-loop system dynamic properties. A simulation example, subject to the state and output PD control, demonstrates the effiectiveness of the proposed form of the design technique.

  7. Sea-anemone toxin ATX-II elicits A-fiber-dependent pain and enhances resurgent and persistent sodium currents in large sensory neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Klinger Alexandra B

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Gain-of-function mutations of the nociceptive voltage-gated sodium channel Nav1.7 lead to inherited pain syndromes, such as paroxysmal extreme pain disorder (PEPD. One characteristic of these mutations is slowed fast-inactivation kinetics, which may give rise to resurgent sodium currents. It is long known that toxins from Anemonia sulcata, such as ATX-II, slow fast inactivation and skin contact for example during diving leads to various symptoms such as pain and itch. Here, we investigated if ATX-II induces resurgent currents in sensory neurons of the dorsal root ganglion (DRGs and how this may translate into human sensations. Results In large A-fiber related DRGs ATX-II (5 nM enhances persistent and resurgent sodium currents, but failed to do so in small C-fiber linked DRGs when investigated using the whole-cell patch-clamp technique. Resurgent currents are thought to depend on the presence of the sodium channel β4-subunit. Using RT-qPCR experiments, we show that small DRGs express significantly less β4 mRNA than large sensory neurons. With the β4-C-terminus peptide in the pipette solution, it was possible to evoke resurgent currents in small DRGs and in Nav1.7 or Nav1.6 expressing HEK293/N1E115 cells, which were enhanced by the presence of extracellular ATX-II. When injected into the skin of healthy volunteers, ATX-II induces painful and itch-like sensations which were abolished by mechanical nerve block. Increase in superficial blood flow of the skin, measured by Laser doppler imaging is limited to the injection site, so no axon reflex erythema as a correlate for C-fiber activation was detected. Conclusion ATX-II enhances persistent and resurgent sodium currents in large diameter DRGs, whereas small DRGs depend on the addition of β4-peptide to the pipette recording solution for ATX-II to affect resurgent currents. Mechanical A-fiber blockade abolishes all ATX-II effects in human skin (e.g. painful and itch

  8. Hypoxia pretreatment and EPO-modification enhance the protective effects of MSC on neuron-like PC12 cells in a similar way.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feng, Jinli; Wang, Wei

    2017-01-08

    Mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) based cell transplantation therapy is proved to be an attractive strategy with great potential for improvement of hypoxia induced neural damage. In the present study, MSCs were co-culture with PC12 to investigate its protective effects against hypoxia pretreatment, and the Lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) release assay, MTT and Anexin V staining were performed to analysis the cellular damage or apoptotic. RT-PCR and Western blotting were further used to investigate the underlying mechanism. The results indicate that hypoxia treatment results in the decrease of PC12 cell viability, yet co-culture with MSC could protect the PC12 from hypoxia induced damage. Hypoxia pre-activated or EPO transduced MSC with up-regulated erythropoietin (EPO) expression could further enhance MSC's protective effect against hypoxia induced cell damage, which was associated with high level of anti-apoptotic p-Akt and ration Bcl-2/Bax, and decreased Caspase 3 in PC12. Taken together, these data suggests high levels of MSC-mediated cyto-protection is closely tied to high gene expression levels of EPO. The up-regulation of EPO for enhanced MSC-mediated cyto-protection may has great potential for the MSC cellular therapy of neural or neuronal injuries induced by hypoxia.

  9. A self-organizing state-space-model approach for parameter estimation in hodgkin-huxley-type models of single neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vavoulis, Dimitrios V; Straub, Volko A; Aston, John A D; Feng, Jianfeng

    2012-01-01

    Traditional approaches to the problem of parameter estimation in biophysical models of neurons and neural networks usually adopt a global search algorithm (for example, an evolutionary algorithm), often in combination with a local search method (such as gradient descent) in order to minimize the value of a cost function, which measures the discrepancy between various features of the available experimental data and model output. In this study, we approach the problem of parameter estimation in conductance-based models of single neurons from a different perspective. By adopting a hidden-dynamical-systems formalism, we expressed parameter estimation as an inference problem in these systems, which can then be tackled using a range of well-established statistical inference methods. The particular method we used was Kitagawa's self-organizing state-space model, which was applied on a number of Hodgkin-Huxley-type models using simulated or actual electrophysiological data. We showed that the algorithm can be used to estimate a large number of parameters, including maximal conductances, reversal potentials, kinetics of ionic currents, measurement and intrinsic noise, based on low-dimensional experimental data and sufficiently informative priors in the form of pre-defined constraints imposed on model parameters. The algorithm remained operational even when very noisy experimental data were used. Importantly, by combining the self-organizing state-space model with an adaptive sampling algorithm akin to the Covariance Matrix Adaptation Evolution Strategy, we achieved a significant reduction in the variance of parameter estimates. The algorithm did not require the explicit formulation of a cost function and it was straightforward to apply on compartmental models and multiple data sets. Overall, the proposed methodology is particularly suitable for resolving high-dimensional inference problems based on noisy electrophysiological data and, therefore, a potentially useful tool in

  10. Electrophysiological effects of kainic acid on vasopressin-enhanced green fluorescent protein and oxytocin-monomeric red fluorescent protein 1 neurones isolated from the supraoptic nucleus in transgenic rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ohkubo, J; Ohbuchi, T; Yoshimura, M; Maruyama, T; Ishikura, T; Matsuura, T; Suzuki, H; Ueta, Y

    2014-01-01

    The supraoptic nucleus (SON) contains two types of magnocellular neurosecretory cells: arginine vasopressin (AVP)-producing and oxytocin (OXT)-producing cells. We recently generated and characterised two transgenic rat lines: one expressing an AVP-enhanced green fluorescent protein (eGFP) and the other expressing an OXT-monomeric red fluorescent protein 1 (mRFP1). These transgenic rats enable the visualisation of AVP or OXT neurones in the SON. In the present study, we compared the electrophysiological responses of AVP-eGFP and OXT-mRFP1 neurones to glutamic acid in SON primary cultures. Glutamate mediates fast synaptic transmission through three classes of ionotrophic receptors: the NMDA, AMPA and kainate receptors. We investigated the contributions of the three classes of ionotrophic receptors in glutamate-induced currents. Three different antagonists were used, each predominantly selective for one of the classes of ionotrophic receptor. Next, we focused on the kainate receptors (KARs). We examined the electrophysiological effects of kainic acid (KA) on AVP-eGFP and OXT-mRFP1 neurones. In current clamp mode, KA induced depolarisation and increased firing rates. These KA-induced responses were inhibited by the non-NMDA ionotrophic receptor antagonist 6-cyano-7-nitroquinoxaline-2,3(1H4H)-dione in both AVP-eGFP and OXT-mRFP1 neurones. In voltage clamp mode, the application of KA evoked inward currents in a dose-dependent manner. The KA-induced currents were significantly larger in OXT-mRFP1 neurones than in AVP-eGFP neurones. This significant difference in KA-induced currents was abolished by the GluK1-containing KAR antagonist UBP302. At high concentrations (250-500 μm), the specific GluK1-containing KAR agonist (RS)-2-amino-3-(3-hydroxy-5-tert-butylisoxazol-4-yl) propanoic acid (ATPA) induced significantly larger currents in OXT-mRFP1 neurones than in AVP-eGFP neurones. Furthermore, the difference between the AVP-eGFP and OXT-mRFP1 neurones in the ATPA currents

  11. Expressing Constitutively Active Rheb in Adult Dorsal Root Ganglion Neurons Enhances the Integration of Sensory Axons that Regenerate Across a Chondroitinase-Treated Dorsal Root Entry Zone Following Dorsal Root Crush.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Di; Klaw, Michelle C; Kholodilov, Nikolai; Burke, Robert E; Detloff, Megan R; Côté, Marie-Pascale; Tom, Veronica J

    2016-01-01

    While the peripheral branch of dorsal root ganglion neurons (DRG) can successfully regenerate after injury, lesioned central branch axons fail to regrow across the dorsal root entry zone (DREZ), the interface between the dorsal root and the spinal cord. This lack of regeneration is due to the limited regenerative capacity of adult sensory axons and the growth-inhibitory environment at the DREZ, which is similar to that found in the glial scar after a central nervous system (CNS) injury. We hypothesized that transduction of adult DRG neurons using adeno-associated virus (AAV) to express a constitutively-active form of the GTPase Rheb (caRheb) will increase their intrinsic growth potential after a dorsal root crush. Additionally, we posited that if we combined that approach with digestion of upregulated chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans (CSPG) at the DREZ with chondroitinase ABC (ChABC), we would promote regeneration of sensory axons across the DREZ into the spinal cord. We first assessed if this strategy promotes neuritic growth in an in vitro model of the glial scar containing CSPG. ChABC allowed for some regeneration across the once potently inhibitory substrate. Combining ChABC treatment with expression of caRheb in DRG significantly improved this growth. We then determined if this combination strategy also enhanced regeneration through the DREZ after dorsal root crush in adult rats in vivo. After unilaterally crushing C4-T1 dorsal roots, we injected AAV5-caRheb or AAV5-GFP into the ipsilateral C5-C8 DRGs. ChABC or PBS was injected into the ipsilateral dorsal horn at C5-C8 to digest CSPG, for a total of four animal groups (caRheb + ChABC, caRheb + PBS, GFP + ChABC, GFP + PBS). Regeneration was rarely observed in PBS-treated animals, whereas short-distance regrowth across the DREZ was observed in ChABC-treated animals. No difference in axon number or length between the ChABC groups was observed, which may be related to intraganglionic inflammation induced by the

  12. Inhibitory neurons promote robust critical firing dynamics in networks of integrate-and-fire neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Zhixin; Squires, Shane; Ott, Edward; Girvan, Michelle

    2016-12-01

    We study the firing dynamics of a discrete-state and discrete-time version of an integrate-and-fire neuronal network model with both excitatory and inhibitory neurons. When the integer-valued state of a neuron exceeds a threshold value, the neuron fires, sends out state-changing signals to its connected neurons, and returns to the resting state. In this model, a continuous phase transition from non-ceaseless firing to ceaseless firing is observed. At criticality, power-law distributions of avalanche size and duration with the previously derived exponents, -3 /2 and -2 , respectively, are observed. Using a mean-field approach, we show analytically how the critical point depends on model parameters. Our main result is that the combined presence of both inhibitory neurons and integrate-and-fire dynamics greatly enhances the robustness of critical power-law behavior (i.e., there is an increased range of parameters, including both sub- and supercritical values, for which several decades of power-law behavior occurs).

  13. Pharmacologically active microcarriers delivering BDNF within a hydrogel: Novel strategy for human bone marrow-derived stem cells neural/neuronal differentiation guidance and therapeutic secretome enhancement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kandalam, Saikrishna; Sindji, Laurence; Delcroix, Gaëtan J-R; Violet, Fabien; Garric, Xavier; André, Emilie M; Schiller, Paul C; Venier-Julienne, Marie-Claire; des Rieux, Anne; Guicheux, Jérôme; Montero-Menei, Claudia N

    2017-02-01

    Stem cells combined with biodegradable injectable scaffolds releasing growth factors hold great promises in regenerative medicine, particularly in the treatment of neurological disorders. We here integrated human marrow-isolated adult multilineage-inducible (MIAMI) stem cells and pharmacologically active microcarriers (PAMs) into an injectable non-toxic silanized-hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (Si-HPMC) hydrogel. The goal is to obtain an injectable non-toxic cell and growth factor delivery device. It should direct the survival and/or neuronal differentiation of the grafted cells, to safely transplant them in the central nervous system, and enhance their tissue repair properties. A model protein was used to optimize the nanoprecipitation conditions of the neuroprotective brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). BDNF nanoprecipitate was encapsulated in fibronectin-coated (FN) PAMs and the in vitro release profile evaluated. It showed a prolonged, bi-phasic, release of bioactive BDNF, without burst effect. We demonstrated that PAMs and the Si-HPMC hydrogel increased the expression of neural/neuronal differentiation markers of MIAMI cells after 1week. Moreover, the 3D environment (PAMs or hydrogel) increased MIAMI cells secretion of growth factors (b-NGF, SCF, HGF, LIF, PlGF-1, SDF-1α, VEGF-A & D) and chemokines (MIP-1α & β, RANTES, IL-8). These results show that PAMs delivering BDNF combined with Si-HPMC hydrogel represent a useful novel local delivery tool in the context of neurological disorders. It not only provides neuroprotective BDNF but also bone marrow-derived stem cells that benefit from that environment by displaying neural commitment and an improved neuroprotective/reparative secretome. It provides preliminary evidence of a promising pro-angiogenic, neuroprotective and axonal growth-promoting device for the nervous system.

  14. PKCε promotes HuD-mediated neprilysin mRNA stability and enhances neprilysin-induced Aβ degradation in brain neurons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chol Seung Lim

    Full Text Available Amyloid-beta (Aβ peptide accumulation in the brain is a pathological hallmark of all forms of Alzheimer's disease. An imbalance between Aβ production and clearance from the brain may contribute to accumulation of neurotoxic Aβ and subsequent synaptic loss, which is the strongest correlate of the extent of memory loss in AD. The activity of neprilysin (NEP, a potent Aβ-degrading enzyme, is decreased in the AD brain. Expression of HuD, an mRNA-binding protein important for synaptogenesis and neuronal plasticity, is also decreased in the AD brain. HuD is regulated by protein kinase Cε (PKCε, and we previously demonstrated that PKCε activation decreases Aβ levels. We hypothesized that PKCε acts through HuD to stabilize NEP mRNA, modulate its localization, and support NEP activity. Conversely, loss of PKCε-activated HuD in AD leads to decreased NEP activity and accumulation of Aβ. Here we show that HuD is associated with NEP mRNA in cultures of human SK-N-SH cells. Treatment with bryostatin, a PKCε-selective activator, enhanced NEP association with HuD and increased NEP mRNA stability. Activation of PKCε also increased NEP protein levels, increased NEP phosphorylation, and induced cell surface expression. In addition, specific PKCε activation directly stimulated NEP activity, leading to degradation of a monomeric form of Aβ peptide and decreased Aβ neuronal toxicity, as measured by cell viability. Bryostatin treatment also rescued Aβ-mediated inhibition of HuD-NEP mRNA binding, NEP protein expression, and NEP cell membrane translocation. These results suggest that PKCε activation reduces Aβ by up-regulating, via the mRNA-binding protein HuD, Aβ-degrading enzymes such as NEP. Thus, PKCε activation may have therapeutic efficacy for AD by reducing neurotoxic Aβ accumulation as well as having direct anti-apoptotic and synaptogenic effects.

  15. Msh2 acts in medium-spiny striatal neurons as an enhancer of CAG instability and mutant huntingtin phenotypes in Huntington's disease knock-in mice.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marina Kovalenko

    Full Text Available The CAG trinucleotide repeat mutation in the Huntington's disease gene (HTT exhibits age-dependent tissue-specific expansion that correlates with disease onset in patients, implicating somatic expansion as a disease modifier and potential therapeutic target. Somatic HTT CAG expansion is critically dependent on proteins in the mismatch repair (MMR pathway. To gain further insight into mechanisms of somatic expansion and the relationship of somatic expansion to the disease process in selectively vulnerable MSNs we have crossed HTT CAG knock-in mice (HdhQ111 with mice carrying a conditional (floxed Msh2 allele and D9-Cre transgenic mice, in which Cre recombinase is expressed specifically in MSNs within the striatum. Deletion of Msh2 in MSNs eliminated Msh2 protein in those neurons. We demonstrate that MSN-specific deletion of Msh2 was sufficient to eliminate the vast majority of striatal HTT CAG expansions in HdhQ111 mice. Furthermore, MSN-specific deletion of Msh2 modified two mutant huntingtin phenotypes: the early nuclear localization of diffusely immunostaining mutant huntingtin was slowed; and the later development of intranuclear huntingtin inclusions was dramatically inhibited. Therefore, Msh2 acts within MSNs as a genetic enhancer both of somatic HTT CAG expansions and of HTT CAG-dependent phenotypes in mice. These data suggest that the selective vulnerability of MSNs may be at least in part contributed by the propensity for somatic expansion in these neurons, and imply that intervening in the expansion process is likely to have therapeutic benefit.

  16. Enhanced sensitivity to ethanol-induced inhibition of LTP in CA1 pyramidal neurons of socially isolated C57BL/6J mice: role of neurosteroids

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giuseppe eTalani

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Ethanol (EtOH–induced impairment of long-term potentiation (LTP in the rat hippocampus is prevented by the 5α-reductase inhibitor finasteride, suggesting that this effect of EtOH is dependent on the increased local release of neurosteroids such as 3α,5α-THP that promote GABA–mediated transmission. Given that social isolation (SI in rodents is associated with altered plasma and brain levels of such neurosteroids as well as with an enhanced neurosteroidogenic action of EtOH, we examined whether the inhibitory effect of EtOH on LTP at CA3-CA1 hippocampal excitatory synapses is altered in C57BL/6J mice subjected to SI for 6 weeks in comparison with group-housed (GH animals. Extracellular recording of fEPSPs as well as patch-clamp analysis were performed in hippocampal slices prepared from both SI and GH mice. Consistent with previous observations, recording of fEPSPs revealed that the extent of LTP induced in the CA1 region of SI mice was significantly reduced compared with that in GH animals. EtOH (40 mM inhibited LTP in slices from SI mice but not in those from GH mice, and this effect of EtOH was abolished by co-application of 1 µM finasteride. Current-clamp analysis of CA1 pyramidal neurons revealed a decrease in action potential frequency and an increase in the intensity of injected current required to evoke the first action potential in SI mice compared with GH mice, indicative of a decrease in neuronal excitability associated with SI. Together, our data suggest that SI results in reduced levels of neuronal excitability and synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus. Furthermore, the increased sensitivity to the neurosteroidogenic effect of EtOH associated with SI likely accounts for the greater inhibitory effect of EtOH on LTP in SI mice. The increase in EtOH sensitivity induced by SI may be important for the changes in the effects of EtOH on anxiety and on learning and memory associated with the prolonged stress attributable to social

  17. Examining reports and policies on cognitive enhancement: approaches, rationale, and recommendations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Outram, Simon M; Racine, Eric

    2011-01-01

    The phenomenon of cognitive enhancement is attracting attention in bioethics literature and beyond, in public policy. In response, three bodies--the British Medical Association (BMA); the Commission de l'éthique de la Science et de la technologie (CEST) du Québec; the American Academy of Neurology (AAN)--have produced reports and guidance on this topic. To gain insights into different public policy approaches, rationales, and recommendations on the topic, we analyzed these reports in depth. We found convergence on the definition (with the exception of the CEST) of cognitive enhancement. However, we noted a lack of critical reflection with respect to the underlying rationale for developing these reports, i.e., that cognitive enhancement practices are rampant and represent major social changes. As it currently stands, cognitive enhancement is constituted in a way that challenges the creation of coherent and effective policy recommendations. However, policy makers should not simply wait for definitional consensus and hope that on balance the benefits turn out to be greater than the risks. Some components of cognitive enhancement could be reduced down to clearly identified policy targets to be further examined. Then, if appropriate, policy should be created that is, amongst other criteria, beneficial to the majority of the population.

  18. A Novel Uncertainty Parameter SR ( Signal to Residual Spectrum Ratio Evaluation Approach for Speech Enhancement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Ravichandra Kumar

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Usually, hearing impaired people use hearing aids which are implemented with speech enhancement algorithms. Estimation of speech and estimation of nose are the components in single channel speech enhancement system. The main objective of any speech enhancement algorithm is estimation of noise power spectrum for non stationary environment. VAD (Voice Activity Detector is used to identify speech pauses and during these pauses only estimation of noise. MMSE (Minimum Mean Square Error speech enhancement algorithm did not enhance the intelligibility, quality and listener fatigues are the perceptual aspects of speech. Novel evaluation approach SR (Signal to Residual spectrum ratio based on uncertainty parameter introduced for the benefits of hearing impaired people in non stationary environments to control distortions. By estimation and updating of noise based on division of original pure signal into three parts such as pure speech, quasi speech and non speech frames based on multiple threshold conditions. Different values of SR and LLR demonstrate the amount of attenuation and amplification distortions. The proposed method will compared with any one method WAT(Weighted Average Technique Hence by using parameters SR (signal to residual spectrum ratio and LLR (log like hood ratio, MMSE (Minim Mean Square Error in terms of segmented SNR and LLR.

  19. Conditional Viral Tract Tracing Delineates the Projections of the Distinct Kisspeptin Neuron Populations to Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone (GnRH) Neurons in the Mouse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yip, Siew Hoong; Boehm, Ulrich; Herbison, Allan E; Campbell, Rebecca E

    2015-07-01

    Kisspeptin neurons play an essential role in the regulation of fertility through direct regulation of the GnRH neurons. However, the relative contributions of the two functionally distinct kisspeptin neuron subpopulations to this critical regulation are not fully understood. Here we analyzed the specific projection patterns of kisspeptin neurons originating from either the rostral periventricular nucleus of the third ventricle (RP3V) or the arcuate nucleus (ARN) using a cell-specific, viral-mediated tract-tracing approach. We stereotaxically injected a Cre-dependent recombinant adenovirus encoding farnesylated enhanced green fluorescent protein into the ARN or RP3V of adult male and female mice expressing Cre recombinase in kisspeptin neurons. Fibers from ARN kisspeptin neurons projected widely; however, we did not find any evidence for direct contact with GnRH neuron somata or proximal dendrites in either sex. In contrast, we identified RP3V kisspeptin fibers in close contact with GnRH neuron somata and dendrites in both sexes. Fibers originating from both the RP3V and ARN were observed in close contact with distal GnRH neuron processes in the ARN and in the lateral and internal aspects of the median eminence. Furthermore, GnRH nerve terminals were found in close contact with the proximal dendrites of ARN kisspeptin neurons in the ARN, and ARN kisspeptin fibers were found contacting RP3V kisspeptin neurons in both sexes. Together these data delineate selective zones of kisspeptin neuron inputs to GnRH neurons and demonstrate complex interconnections between the distinct kisspeptin populations and GnRH neurons.

  20. Familial hemiplegic migraine CaV2.1 channel mutation R192Q enhances ATP-gated P2X3 receptor activity of mouse sensory ganglion neurons mediating trigeminal pain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nair Asha

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The R192Q mutation of the CACNA1A gene, encoding for the α1 subunit of voltage-gated P/Q Ca2+ channels (Cav2.1, is associated with familial hemiplegic migraine-1. We investigated whether this gain-of-function mutation changed the structure and function of trigeminal neuron P2X3 receptors that are thought to be important contributors to migraine pain. Results Using in vitro trigeminal sensory neurons of a mouse genetic model knockin for the CACNA1A R192Q mutation, we performed patch clamp recording and intracellular Ca2+ imaging that showed how these knockin ganglion neurons generated P2X3 receptor-mediated responses significantly larger than wt neurons. These enhanced effects were reversed by the Cav2.1 blocker ω-agatoxin. We, thus, explored intracellular signalling dependent on kinases and phosphatases to understand the molecular regulation of P2X3 receptors of knockin neurons. In such cells we observed strong activation of CaMKII reversed by ω-agatoxin treatment. The CaMKII inhibitor KN-93 blocked CaMKII phosphorylation and the hyperesponsive P2X3 phenotype. Although no significant difference in membrane expression of knockin receptors was found, serine phosphorylation of knockin P2X3 receptors was constitutively decreased and restored by KN-93. No change in threonine or tyrosine phosphorylation was detected. Finally, pharmacological inhibitors of the phosphatase calcineurin normalized the enhanced P2X3 receptor responses of knockin neurons and increased their serine phosphorylation. Conclusions The present results suggest that the CACNA1A mutation conferred a novel molecular phenotype to P2X3 receptors of trigeminal ganglion neurons via CaMKII-dependent activation of calcineurin that selectively impaired the serine phosphorylation state of such receptors, thus potentiating their effects in transducing trigeminal nociception.

  1. Single neuron computation

    CERN Document Server

    McKenna, Thomas M; Zornetzer, Steven F

    1992-01-01

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

  2. An integrative approach for analyzing hundreds of neurons in task performing mice using wide-field calcium imaging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohammed, Ali I; Gritton, Howard J; Tseng, Hua-an; Bucklin, Mark E; Yao, Zhaojie; Han, Xue

    2016-02-08

    Advances in neurotechnology have been integral to the investigation of neural circuit function in systems neuroscience. Recent improvements in high performance fluorescent sensors and scientific CMOS cameras enables optical imaging of neural networks at a much larger scale. While exciting technical advances demonstrate the potential of this technique, further improvement in data acquisition and analysis, especially those that allow effective processing of increasingly larger datasets, would greatly promote the application of optical imaging in systems neuroscience. Here we demonstrate the ability of wide-field imaging to capture the concurrent dynamic activity from hundreds to thousands of neurons over millimeters of brain tissue in behaving mice. This system allows the visualization of morphological details at a higher spatial resolution than has been previously achieved using similar functional imaging modalities. To analyze the expansive data sets, we developed software to facilitate rapid downstream data processing. Using this system, we show that a large fraction of anatomically distinct hippocampal neurons respond to discrete environmental stimuli associated with classical conditioning, and that the observed temporal dynamics of transient calcium signals are sufficient for exploring certain spatiotemporal features of large neural networks.

  3. An Enhanced Collaborative Optimization Approach with Design Structure Matrix Algorithms to Group and Decouple Multidisciplines

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xifan Yao

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available To improve the solution efficiency and reliability of multidisciplinary design optimization (MDO, an enhanced MDO approach, called sequenced collaborative optimization (SCO, is proposed. The proposed approach introduces the design structure matrix (DSM to describe the coupling effects among disciplines and aggregates those mutually coupling disciplines into the strong tie groups among similar ones and the weak tie among heterogeneous ones through clustering algorithms. Further, those in the same group are sequenced by the DSM division algorithm. Moreover, by adding constraints, the groups are made independent, resulting in a tree structure without loops, thus decoupling the original multidisciplinary problem into several independent collaborative optimization modules. In the end, an example is employed to verify the efficiency and reliability of the approach.

  4. Two approaches for enhancing the hydrogenation properties of palladium: Metal nanoparticle and thin film over layers

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Manika Khanuja; B R Mehta; S M Shivaprasad

    2008-11-01

    In the present study, two approaches have been used for enhancing the hydrogenation properties of Pd. In the first approach, metal thin film (Cu, Ag) has been deposited over Pd and hydrogenation properties of bimetal layer Cu (thin film)/Pd(thin film) and Ag(thin film)/Pd(thin film) have been studied. In the second approach, Ag metal nanoparticles have been deposited over Pd and hydrogenation properties of Ag (nanoparticle)/Pd (thin film) have been studied and compared with Ag(thin film)/Pd(thin film) bimetal layer system. The observed hydrogen sensing response is stable and reversible over a number of hydrogen loading and deloading cycles in both bimetallic systems. Alloying between Ag and Pd is suppressed in case of Ag(nanoparticle)/Pd(thin film) bimetallic layer on annealing as compared to Ag (thin film)/Pd(thin film).

  5. Novel interfaces for light directed neuronal stimulation: advances and challenges

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bareket-Keren L

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Lilach Bareket-Keren,1,2 Yael Hanein1,21School of Electrical Engineering, Tel-Aviv University, 2Tel-Aviv University Center for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, Tel-Aviv University, Tel-Aviv, IsraelAbstract: Light activation of neurons is a growing field with applications ranging from basic investigation of neuronal systems to the development of new therapeutic methods such as artificial retina. Many recent studies currently explore novel methods for optical stimulation with temporal and spatial precision. Novel materials in particular provide an opportunity to enhance contemporary approaches. Here we review recent advances towards light directed interfaces for neuronal stimulation, focusing on state-of-the-art nanoengineered devices. In particular, we highlight challenges and prospects towards improved retinal prostheses.Keywords: neuronal stimulation, light, retinal implant, prosthesis, quantum dots, conducting polymers, photoconductive

  6. Enhanced Radar Imaging in Uncertain Environment: A Descriptive Experiment Design Regularization Approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuriy Shkvarko

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available A new robust technique for high-resolution reconstructive imaging is developed as required for enhanced remote sensing (RS with imaging array radar or/and synthetic aperture radar (SAR operating in an uncertain RS environment. The operational scenario uncertainties are associated with the unknown statistics of perturbations of the signal formation operator (SFO in turbulent medium, imperfect array calibration, finite dimensionality of measurements, uncontrolled antenna vibrations, and random carrier trajectory deviations in the case of SAR. We propose new descriptive experiment design regularization (DEDR approach to treat the uncertain radar image enhancement/reconstruction problems. The proposed DEDR incorporates into the minimum risk (MR nonparametric estimation strategy the experiment design-motivated operational constraints algorithmically coupled with the worst-case statistical performance (WCSP optimization-based regularization. The MR objective functional is constrained by the WCSP information, and the robust DEDR image reconstruction operator applicable to the scenarios with the low-rank uncertain estimated data correlation matrices is found. We report and discuss some simulation results related to enhancement of the uncertain SAR imagery indicative of the significantly increased performance efficiency gained with the developed approach.

  7. Spatiotemporal PET Imaging of Dynamic Metabolic Changes After Therapeutic Approaches of Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells, Neuronal Stem Cells, and a Chinese Patent Medicine in Stroke.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Hong; Song, Fahuan; Xu, Caiyun; Liu, Hao; Wang, Zefeng; Li, Jinhui; Wu, Shuang; YehuaShen; Chen, Yao; Zhu, Yunqi; Du, Ruili; Tian, Mei

    2015-11-01

    This study aimed to use spatiotemporal PET imaging to investigate the dynamic metabolic changes after a combined therapeutic approach of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), neuronal stem cells (NSCs), and Chinese patent medicine in a rat model of cerebral ischemia-reperfusion injury. Cerebral ischemia was established by the middle cerebral artery occlusion approach. Thirty-six male rats were randomly assigned to 1 of the 6 groups: control phosphate-buffered saline (PBS), Chinese patent medicine (Qing-kai-ling [QKL]), induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), combination of iPSCs and QKL, neuronal stem cells (NSCs), and combination of NSCs and QKL. Serial (18)F-FDG small-animal PET imaging and neurofunctional tests were performed weekly. Autoradiographic imaging and immunohistochemical and immunofluorescent analyses were performed at 4 wk after stem cell transplantation. Compared with the PBS control group, significantly higher (18)F-FDG accumulations in the ipsilateral cerebral infarction were observed in 5 treatment groups from weeks 1-4. Interestingly, the most intensive (18)F-FDG accumulation was found in the NSCs + QKL group at week 1 but in the iPSCs + QKL group at week 4. The neurofunctional scores in the 5 treatment groups were significantly higher than that of the PBS group from week 3 to 4. In addition, there was a significant correlation between the PET imaging findings and neurofunctional recovery (P cells of interest. Spatiotemporal PET imaging with (18)F-FDG demonstrated dynamic metabolic and functional recovery after iPSCs or NSCs combined with QKL in a rat model of cerebral ischemia-reperfusion injury. iPSCs or NSCs combined with Chinese medicine QKL seemed to be a better therapeutic approach than these stem cells used individually. © 2015 by the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging, Inc.

  8. A fuzzy genetic approach for network reconfiguration to enhance voltage stability in radial distribution systems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sahoo, N.C. [Faculty of Engineering and Technology, Multimedia University, Jalan Ayer Keroh Lama, Bukit Beruang, 75450 Melaka (Malaysia); Prasad, K. [Faculty of Information Science and Technology, Multimedia University, Jalan Ayer Keroh Lama, Bukit Beruang, 75450 Melaka (Malaysia)

    2006-11-15

    This paper presents a fuzzy genetic approach for reconfiguration of radial distribution systems (RDS) so as to maximize the voltage stability of the network for a specific set of loads. The network reconfiguration involves a mechanism for selection of the best set of branches to be opened, one from each loop, such that the reconfigured RDS possesses desired performance characteristics. This discrete solution space is better handled by the proposed scheme, which maximizes a suitable optimizing function (computed using two different approaches). In the first approach, this function is chosen as the average of a voltage stability index of all the buses in the RDS, while in the second approach, the complete RDS is reduced to a two bus equivalent system and the optimizing function is the voltage stability index of this reduced two bus system. The fuzzy genetic algorithm uses a suitable coding and decoding scheme for maintaining the radial nature of the network at every stage of genetic evolution, and it also uses a fuzzy rule based mutation controller for efficient search of the solution space. This method, tested on 69 bus and 33 bus RDSs, shows promising results for the both approaches. It is also observed that the network losses are reduced when the voltage stability is enhanced by the network reconfiguration. (author)

  9. Approach Based on Polyelectrolyte-Induced Nanoassemblies for Enhancing Sensitivity of Pyrenyl Probes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yao, Zhiyi; Qiao, Yadong; Liang, Haiqin; Ge, Wenqi; Zhang, Li; Cao, Zhong; Wu, Hai-Chen

    2016-11-01

    We have developed a unique approach for enhancing the sensitivity of pyrenyl probes based on polyelectrolyte-induced nanoassemblies and explored its sensing application toward 2,4,6-trinitrophenol (TNP). The key issue of the method is the formation of the nanoassemblies which possess high-density charges, specific surface area, and inner hydrophobic regions. These properties would help increase the loading of analytes and promote probe-analyte interactions, thereby leading to the prominent enhancement of the sensitivity. In the course of TNP detection, pyrene nanoassemblies can bind TNP efficiently through cooperative noncovalent interactions including electrostatic, π-π stacking, and charge-transfer interactions, resulting in the distinct fluorescent responses of pyrene moieties. This system has excellent selectivity and sensitivity for TNP detection. The detection limit is as low as 5 nM. It may be used for monitoring the TNP concentrations in real-world samples.

  10. Enhanced index tracking modeling in portfolio optimization with mixed-integer programming z approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siew, Lam Weng; Jaaman, Saiful Hafizah Hj.; Ismail, Hamizun bin

    2014-09-01

    Enhanced index tracking is a popular form of portfolio management in stock market investment. Enhanced index tracking aims to construct an optimal portfolio to generate excess return over the return achieved by the stock market index without purchasing all of the stocks that make up the index. The objective of this paper is to construct an optimal portfolio using mixed-integer programming model which adopts regression approach in order to generate higher portfolio mean return than stock market index return. In this study, the data consists of 24 component stocks in Malaysia market index which is FTSE Bursa Malaysia Kuala Lumpur Composite Index from January 2010 until December 2012. The results of this study show that the optimal portfolio of mixed-integer programming model is able to generate higher mean return than FTSE Bursa Malaysia Kuala Lumpur Composite Index return with only selecting 30% out of the total stock market index components.

  11. A hybrid atomistic electrodynamics-quantum mechanical approach for simulating surface-enhanced Raman scattering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Payton, John L; Morton, Seth M; Moore, Justin E; Jensen, Lasse

    2014-01-21

    Surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) is a technique that has broad implications for biological and chemical sensing applications by providing the ability to simultaneously detect and identify a single molecule. The Raman scattering of molecules adsorbed on metal nanoparticles can be enhanced by many orders of magnitude. These enhancements stem from a twofold mechanism: an electromagnetic mechanism (EM), which is due to the enhanced local field near the metal surface, and a chemical mechanism (CM), which is due to the adsorbate specific interactions between the metal surface and the molecules. The local field near the metal surface can be significantly enhanced due to the plasmon excitation, and therefore chemists generally accept that the EM provides the majority of the enhancements. While classical electrodynamics simulations can accurately simulate the local electric field around metal nanoparticles, they offer few insights into the spectral changes that occur in SERS. First-principles simulations can directly predict the Raman spectrum but are limited to small metal clusters and therefore are often used for understanding the CM. Thus, there is a need for developing new methods that bridge the electrodynamics simulations of the metal nanoparticle and the first-principles simulations of the molecule to facilitate direct simulations of SERS spectra. In this Account, we discuss our recent work on developing a hybrid atomistic electrodynamics-quantum mechanical approach to simulate SERS. This hybrid method is called the discrete interaction model/quantum mechanics (DIM/QM) method and consists of an atomistic electrodynamics model of the metal nanoparticle and a time-dependent density functional theory (TDDFT) description of the molecule. In contrast to most previous work, the DIM/QM method enables us to retain a detailed atomistic structure of the nanoparticle and provides a natural bridge between the electronic structure methods and the macroscopic

  12. Nrp1, a Neuronal Regulator, Enhances DDR2-ERK-Runx2 Cascade in Osteoblast Differentiation via Suppression of DDR2 Degradation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yan Zhang

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Background: Osteoblastogenesis is under delicate control by multiple factors and hormones. Recent reports indicated the involvement of immunological and neuronal regulators. However, the role of neuropilin 1 (Nrp1 in osteoblastogenesis remains obscure. Methods: Real-time PCR was carried out to detect the mRNA of osteoblastic markers, Nrp1, and discoidin domain receptor 2 (DDR2. Immunoblot was performed to test the protein of Nrp1 and DDR2. Osteogenic differentiation was evaluated by mRNA analysis of osteogenic markers, and determination of ALP activity and OCN secretion. The intercellular signaling effectors were examined by immunoblot. Immunofluorescent assays were performed to detect the localization of Nrp1 and DDR2. Half-life determination assay was executed to test the DDR2 stability. Results: The expression of Nrp1 paralleled with that of DDR2 during osteoblastogensis. Nrp1 overexpression enhanced DDR2-induced stimulation of osteoblastogensis, whereas Nrp1 silencing caused attenuation. Nrp1 overexpression increased the phosphorylation of DDR2, ERK1/2 and Runx2. Nrp1 co-localized with DDR2 in the cellular membrane of differentiated MC3T3-E1. Enhanced or attenuated Nrp1 expression did not alter the mRNA transcript of DDR2. Nrp1 overexpression prolonged the half-life of DDR2 protein. Conclusion: Our results originally demonstrated the stimulatory role of Nrp1 in DDR2-induced osteoblast differentiation, providing molecular evidence for exploiting Nrp1 and DDR2 as targets to treat bone-related disease.

  13. An interdisciplinary approach to identify adaptation strategies that enhance flood resilience and urban liveability

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rogers, B. C.; Bertram, N.; Gunn, Alex

    This paper provides guidance on how to identify and design the most suitable climate adaptation strategies for enhancing the liveability and flood resilience of urban catchments. It presents findings from a case study of Elwood, a coastal Melbourne suburb regularly affected by flooding...... that ensuring a city’s flood resilience involves a range of measures to retreat from, adapt to and defend against flooding; this necessarily requires an integrated approach and interdisciplinary expertise to develop adaptation pathways that are grounded in community aspirations and priorities, inspired by novel...

  14. Coherence resonance in globally coupled neuronal networks with different neuron numbers

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Ning Wei-Lian; Zhang Zheng-Zhen; Zeng Shang-You; Luo Xiao-Shu; Hu Jin-Lin; Zeng Shao-Wen; Qiu Yi; Wu Hui-Si

    2012-01-01

    Because a brain consists of tremendous neuronal networks with different neuron numbers ranging from tens to tens of thousands,we study the coherence resonance due to ion channel noises in globally coupled neuronal networks with different neuron numbers.We confirm that for all neuronal networks with different neuron numbers there exist the array enhanced coherence resonance and the optimal synaptic conductance to cause the maximal spiking coherence.Furthermoremore,the enhancement effects of coupling on spiking coherence and on optimal synaptic conductance are almost the same,regardless of the neuron numbers in the neuronal networks.Therefore for all the neuronal networks with different neuron numbers in the brain,relative weak synaptic conductance (0.1 mS/cm2) is sufficient to induce the maximal spiking coherence and the best sub-threshold signal encoding.

  15. A new approach for modelling chromospheric evaporation in response to enhanced coronal heating: 1 the method

    CERN Document Server

    Johnston, C D; Cargill, P J; De Moortel, I

    2016-01-01

    We present a new computational approach that addresses the difficulty of obtaining the correct interaction between the solar corona and the transition region in response to rapid heating events. In the coupled corona, transition region and chromosphere system, an enhanced downward conductive flux results in an upflow (chromospheric evaporation). However, obtaining the correct upflow generally requires high spatial resolution in order to resolve the transition region. With an unresolved transition region, artificially low coronal densities are obtained because the downward heat flux jumps across the unresolved region to the chromosphere, underestimating the upflows. Here, we treat the lower transition region as a discontinuity that responds to changing coronal conditions through the imposition of a jump condition that is derived from an integrated form of energy conservation. To illustrate and benchmark this approach against a fully resolved one-dimensional model, we present field-aligned simulations of corona...

  16. Acceleration of conventional data acquisition in dynamic contrast enhancement: comparing keyhole approaches with compressive sensing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geethanath, Sairam; Gulaka, Praveen K; Kodibagkar, Vikram D

    2014-01-01

    Dynamic contrast-enhanced (DCE) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has become a valuable clinical tool for cancer diagnosis and prognosis. DCE MRI provides pharmacokinetic parameters dependent on the extravasation of small molecular contrast agents, and thus high temporal resolution and/or spatial resolution is required for accurate estimation of parameters. In this article we investigate the efficacy of 2 undersampling approaches to speed up DCE MRI: a conventional keyhole approach and compressed sensing-based imaging. Data reconstructed from variants of these methods has been compared with the full k-space reconstruction with respect to data quality and pharmacokinetic parameters Ktrans and ve. Overall, compressive sensing provides better data quality and reproducible parametric maps than key-hole methods with higher acceleration factors. In particular, an undersampling mask based on a priori precontrast data showed high fidelity of reconstructed data and parametric maps up to 5× acceleration.

  17. Mult-Pollutant Control Through Novel Approaches to Oxygen Enhanced Combustion

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Richard Axelbaum; Pratim Biswas

    2009-02-28

    Growing concerns about global climate change have focused effortss on identifying approaches to stabilizing carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere. One approach utilizes oxy-fuel combustion to produce a concentrated flue gas that will enable economical CO{sub 2} capture by direct methods. Oxy-fuel combustion rewuires an Air Separation Unit (ASU) to provide a high-purity stream of oxygen as well as a Compression and Purification Unit (CPU) to clean and compress the CO{sub 2} for long term storage. Overall plant efficiency will suffer from the parasitic load of both the ASU and CPU and researchers are investigating techniques to enhance other aspects of the combustion and gas cleanup proceses to improve the benefit-to-cost ratio. This work examines the influence of oxy-fuel combustion and non-carbon based sorbents on the formation and fate of multiple combustion pollutants both numerically and experimentally.

  18. Loss of inhibition by brain natriuretic peptide over P2X3 receptors contributes to enhanced spike firing of trigeminal ganglion neurons in a mouse model of familial hemiplegic migraine type-1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marchenkova, Anna; van den Maagdenberg, Arn M J M; Nistri, Andrea

    2016-09-07

    Purinergic P2X3 receptors (P2X3Rs) play an important role in pain pathologies, including migraine. In trigeminal neurons, P2X3Rs are constitutively downregulated by endogenous brain natriuretic peptide (BNP). In a mouse knock-in (KI) model of familial hemiplegic migraine type-1 with upregulated calcium CaV2.1 channel function, trigeminal neurons exhibit hyperexcitability with gain-of-function of P2X3Rs and their deficient BNP-mediated inhibition. We studied whether the absent BNP-induced control over P2X3Rs activity in KI cultures may be functionally expressed in altered firing activity of KI trigeminal neurons. Patch-clamp experiments investigated the excitability of wild-type and KI trigeminal neurons induced by either current or agonists for P2X3Rs or transient receptor potential vanilloid-1 (TRPV1) receptors. Consistent with the constitutive inhibition of P2X3Rs by BNP, sustained pharmacological block of BNP receptors selectively enhanced P2X3R-mediated excitability of wild-type neurons without affecting firing evoked by the other protocols. This effect included increased number of action potentials, lower spike threshold and shift of the firing pattern distribution toward higher spiking activity. Thus, inactivation of BNP signaling transformed the wild-type excitability phenotype into the one typical for KI. BNP receptor block did not influence excitability of KI neurons in accordance with the lack of BNP-induced P2X3R modulation. Our study suggests that, in wild-type trigeminal neurons, negative control over P2X3Rs by the BNP pathway is translated into tonic suppression of P2X3Rs-mediated excitability. Lack of this inhibition in KI cultures results in a hyperexcitability phenotype and might contribute to facilitated trigeminal pain transduction relevant for migraine. Copyright © 2016 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. An active film-coating approach to enhance chemical stability of a potent drug molecule.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Desai, Divyakant; Rao, Venkatramana; Guo, Hang; Li, Danping; Stein, Daniel; Hu, Frank Y; Kiesnowski, Chris

    2012-01-01

    Peliglitazar, a PPAR α/γ agonist, was found to undergo acid as well as base catalyzed degradation. The acid catalyzed degradation led to the formation of benzylic alcohol and glycine carbamate and the base catalyzed degradation led to formation of p-hydroxyanisole and an amine degradant. In capsule formulations, the capsules with the lowest drug-loading exhibited maximum instability even at 25 °C/60% RH storage condition. Incorporation of pH-modifiers to maintain 'micro-environmental pH' acidic did not prevent the formation of the base-catalyzed degradants. Traditional dry granulated tablet formulation which is qualitatively similar to the capsule formulations showed the presence of acid-catalyzed degradants even without the presence of an acidifying agent. On the other hand, traditional wet granulated tablet formulation showed mainly base-catalyzed degradants. Stability problems of the tablet formulation were aggravated because the potent molecule required low tablet strengths which resulted in low drug to excipient ratio. To stabilize the molecule, an active film-coating approach was explored. In this approach, the drug was sprayed with the coating material onto non-active containing tablet cores. This approach of trapping the drug particles into the coating material provided tablets with satisfactory chemical stability. The stability enhancement observed in the active coating approach is attributed to the higher drug to excipient ratio in the film coat of non-reactive coating material compared to that in the traditional dry or wet granulated formulations.

  20. Blocking GSK3β-mediated dynamin1 phosphorylation enhances BDNF-dependent TrkB endocytosis and the protective effects of BDNF in neuronal and mouse models of Alzheimer's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Xiang-Hua; Geng, Zhao; Yan, Jing; Li, Ting; Chen, Qun; Zhang, Qun-Ye; Chen, Zhe-Yu

    2015-02-01

    Endocytosis of tropomyosin related kinase B (TrkB) receptors has critical roles in brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) mediated signal transduction and biological function, however the mechanism that is governing TrkB endocytosis is still not completely understood. In this study, we showed that GSK3β, a key kinase in neuronal development and survival, could regulate TrkB endocytosis through phosphorylating dynamin1 (Dyn1) but not dynamin2 (Dyn2). Moreover, we found that beta-amyloid (Aβ) oligomer exposure could impair BDNF-dependent TrkB endocytosis and Akt activation through enhancing GSK3β activity in cultured hippocampal neurons, which suggested that BDNF-induced TrkB endocytosis and the subsequent signaling were impaired in neuronal model of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Notably, we found that inhibiting GSK3β phosphorylating Dyn1 by using TAT-Dyn1SpS could rescue the impaired TrkB endocytosis and Akt activation upon BDNF stimuli under Aβ exposure. Finally, TAT-Dyn1SpS could facilitate BDNF-mediated neuronal survival and cognitive enhancement in mouse models of AD. These results clarified a role of GSK3β in BDNF-dependent TrkB endocytosis and the subsequent signaling, and provided a potential new strategy by inhibiting GSK3β-induced Dyn1 phosphorylation for AD treatment.

  1. Use of "MGE enhancers" for labeling and selection of embryonic stem cell-derived medial ganglionic eminence (MGE progenitors and neurons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ying-Jiun J Chen

    Full Text Available The medial ganglionic eminence (MGE is an embryonic forebrain structure that generates the majority of cortical interneurons. MGE transplantation into specific regions of the postnatal central nervous system modifies circuit function and improves deficits in mouse models of epilepsy, Parkinson's disease, pain, and phencyclidine-induced cognitive deficits. Herein, we describe approaches to generate MGE-like progenitor cells from mouse embryonic stem (ES cells. Using a modified embryoid body method, we provided gene expression evidence that mouse ES-derived Lhx6(+ cells closely resemble immature interneurons generated from authentic MGE-derived Lhx6(+ cells. We hypothesized that enhancers that are active in the mouse MGE would be useful tools in detecting when ES cells differentiate into MGE cells. Here we demonstrate the utility of enhancer elements [422 (DlxI12b, Lhx6, 692, 1056, and 1538] as tools to mark MGE-like cells in ES cell differentiation experiments. We found that enhancers DlxI12b, 692, and 1538 are active in Lhx6-GFP(+ cells, while enhancer 1056 is active in Olig2(+ cells. These data demonstrate unique techniques to follow and purify MGE-like derivatives from ES cells, including GABAergic cortical interneurons and oligodendrocytes, for use in stem cell-based therapeutic assays and treatments.

  2. Interleukin-1β enhances neuronal vulnerability to proNGF-mediated apoptosis by increasing surface expression of p75(NTR) and sortillin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choi, S; Friedman, W J

    2014-01-17

    Many types of injury such as seizure, ischemia, and oxidative stress cause upregulation of the p75 neurotrophin receptor (p75(NTR)) in brain neurons, where it promotes apoptosis, however the mechanism by which p75(NTR) is regulated under these conditions is not well understood. Proinflammatory cytokines such as interleukin-1β (IL-1β) are highly produced under these injury conditions and, in particular, are expressed rapidly in the rat hippocampus after seizure. IL-1β is known to increase neuronal vulnerability under many conditions, although it does not directly induce neuronal death. Recently, we have shown that these cytokines regulate p75(NTR) induction both in neurons and astrocytes in vitro. Here, we show that IL-1β infusion into the brain induces p75(NTR) in neurons of the CA1 area of the hippocampus. While IL-1β induction of p75(NTR) is not sufficient to induce cell death, we demonstrate that IL-1β primes the neurons by recruiting p75(NTR) and its coreceptor sortilin to the cell surface, making the neurons more vulnerable to subsequent challenge by proNGF. These results suggest a mechanism by which IL-1β exacerbates neuronal death following injury.

  3. A new enhanced index tracking model in portfolio optimization with sum weighted approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siew, Lam Weng; Jaaman, Saiful Hafizah; Hoe, Lam Weng

    2017-04-01

    Index tracking is a portfolio management which aims to construct the optimal portfolio to achieve similar return with the benchmark index return at minimum tracking error without purchasing all the stocks that make up the index. Enhanced index tracking is an improved portfolio management which aims to generate higher portfolio return than the benchmark index return besides minimizing the tracking error. The objective of this paper is to propose a new enhanced index tracking model with sum weighted approach to improve the existing index tracking model for tracking the benchmark Technology Index in Malaysia. The optimal portfolio composition and performance of both models are determined and compared in terms of portfolio mean return, tracking error and information ratio. The results of this study show that the optimal portfolio of the proposed model is able to generate higher mean return than the benchmark index at minimum tracking error. Besides that, the proposed model is able to outperform the existing model in tracking the benchmark index. The significance of this study is to propose a new enhanced index tracking model with sum weighted apporach which contributes 67% improvement on the portfolio mean return as compared to the existing model.

  4. Real-time underwater image enhancement: An improved approach for imaging with AUV-150

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Jeet Banerjee; Ranjit Ray; Siva Ram Krishna Vadali; Sankar Nath Shome; Sambhunath Nandy

    2016-02-01

    An RGB YCbCr Processing method (RYPro) is proposed for underwater images commonly suffering from low contrast and poor color quality. The degradation in image quality may be attributed to absorption and backscattering of light by suspended underwater particles. Moreover, as the depth increases, different colors are absorbed by the surrounding medium depending on the wavelengths. In particular, blue/green color is dominant in the underwater ambience which is known as color cast. For further processing of the image, enhancement remains an essential preprocessing operation. Color equalization is a widely adopted approach for underwater image enhancement. Traditional methods normally involve blind color equalization for enhancing the image under test. In the present work, processing sequence of the proposed method includes noise removal using linear and non-linear filters followed by adaptive contrast correction in the RGB and YCbCr color planes. Performance of the proposed method is evaluated and compared with three golden methods, namely, Gray World (GW), White Patch (WP), Adobe Photoshop Equalization (APE) and a recently developed method entitled “Unsupervised Color Correction Method (UCM)”. In view of its simplicity and computational ease, the proposed method is recommended for real-time applications. Suitability of the proposed method is validated by real-time implementation during the testing of the Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV-150) developed indigenously by CSIR-CMERI.

  5. Automated mass detection in contrast-enhanced CT colonography: an approach based on contrast and volume

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Luboldt, W. [University Hospital Essen, Clinic and Policlinic of Angiology, Essen (Germany); Multiorgan Screening Foundation (Germany); Tryon, C. [Philips Medical Systems, Best (Netherlands); Kroll, M.; Vogl, T.J. [University Hospital Frankfurt, Department of Radiology, Frankfurt (Germany); Toussaint, T.L. [Multiorgan Screening Foundation (Germany); Holzer, K. [University Hospital Frankfurt, Department of Visceral and Vascular Surgery, Frankfurt (Germany); Hoepffner, N. [University Hospital Frankfurt, Department of Gastroenterology, Frankfurt (Germany)

    2005-02-01

    The purpose of this feasibility study was to design and test an algorithm for automating mass detection in contrast-enhanced CT colonography (CTC). Five patients with known colorectal masses underwent a pre-surgical contrast-enhanced (120 ml volume 1.6 g iodine/s injection rate, 60 s scan delay) CTC in high spatial resolution (16-slice CT: collimation: 16 x 0.75 mm, tablefeed: 24 mm/0.5 s, reconstruction increment: 0.5 mm). A CT-density- and volume-based algorithm searched for masses in the colonic wall, which was extracted before by segmenting and dilating the colonic air lumen and subtracting the inner air. A radiologist analyzed the detections and causes of false positives. All masses were detected, and false positives were easy to identify. Combining CT density with volume as a cut-off is a promising approach for automating mass detection that should be further refined and also tested in contrast-enhanced MR colonography. (orig.)

  6. Chitosan and chitosan chlorhydrate based various approaches for enhancement of dissolution rate of carvedilol

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shete Amol S

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background and the purpose of the study Carvedilol nonselective β-adrenoreceptor blocker, chemically (±-1-(Carbazol-4-yloxy-3-[[2-(o-methoxypHenoxy ethyl] amino]-2-propanol, slightly soluble in ethyl ether; and practically insoluble in water, gastric fluid (simulated, TS, pH 1.1, and intestinal fluid (simulated, TS without pancreatin, pH 7.5 Compounds with aqueous solubility less than 1% W/V often represents dissolution rate limited absorption. There is need to enhance the dissolution rate of carvedilol. The objective of our present investigation was to compare chitosan and chitosan chlorhydrate based various approaches for enhancement of dissolution rate of carvedilol. Methods The different formulations were prepared by different methods like solvent change approach to prepare hydrosols, solvent evaporation technique to form solid dispersions and cogrind mixtures. The prepared formulations were characterized in terms of saturation solubility, drug content, infrared spectroscopy (FTIR, differential scanning calorimetry (DSC, powder X-ray diffraction (PXRD, electron microscopy, in vitro dissolution studies and stability studies. Results The practical yield in case of hydrosols was ranged from 59.76 to 92.32%. The drug content was found to uniform among the different batches of hydrosols, cogrind mixture and solid dispersions ranged from 98.24 to 99.89%. There was significant improvement in dissolution rate of carvedilol with chitosan chlorhdyrate as compare to chitosan and explanation to this behavior was found in the differences in the wetting, solubilities and swelling capacity of the chitosan and chitosan salts, chitosan chlorhydrate rapidly wet and dissolve upon its incorporation into the dissolution medium, whereas the chitosan base, less water soluble, would take more time to dissolve. Conclusion This technique is scalable and valuable in manufacturing process in future for enhancement of dissolution of poorly water soluble

  7. Adaptive Interval Configuration to Enhance Dynamic Approach for Mining Association Rules

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    1999-01-01

    Most proposed algorithms for mining association rules follow the conventional le vel-wise approach. The dynamic candidate generation idea introduced in the dyna mic itemset counting (DIC) a lgorithm broke away from the level-wise limitation which could find the large i t emsets using fewer passes over the database than level-wise algorithms. However , the dynamic approach is very sensitive to the data distribution of the database and it requires a proper interval size. In this paper an optimization technique named adaptive interval configuration (AIC) has been developed to enhance the d y namic approach. The AIC optimization has the following two functions. The first is that a homogeneous distribution of large itemsets over intervals can be achie ved so that less unnecessary candidates could be generated and less database sca nning passes are guaranteed. The second is that the near optimal interval size c ould be determined adaptively to produce the best response time. We also develop ed a candidate pruning technique named virtual partition pruning to reduce the s ize-2 candidate set and incorporated it into the AIC optimization. Based on the optimization technique, we proposed the efficient AIC algorithm for mining asso c iation rules. The algorithms of AIC, DIC and the classic Apriori were implemente d on a Sun Ultra Enterprise 4000 for performance comparison. The results show th at the AIC performed much better than both DIC and Apriori, and showed a strong robustness.

  8. Ensemble of Chaotic and Naive Approaches for Performance Enhancement in Video Encryption.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chandrasekaran, Jeyamala; Thiruvengadam, S J

    2015-01-01

    Owing to the growth of high performance network technologies, multimedia applications over the Internet are increasing exponentially. Applications like video conferencing, video-on-demand, and pay-per-view depend upon encryption algorithms for providing confidentiality. Video communication is characterized by distinct features such as large volume, high redundancy between adjacent frames, video codec compliance, syntax compliance, and application specific requirements. Naive approaches for video encryption encrypt the entire video stream with conventional text based cryptographic algorithms. Although naive approaches are the most secure for video encryption, the computational cost associated with them is very high. This research work aims at enhancing the speed of naive approaches through chaos based S-box design. Chaotic equations are popularly known for randomness, extreme sensitivity to initial conditions, and ergodicity. The proposed methodology employs two-dimensional discrete Henon map for (i) generation of dynamic and key-dependent S-box that could be integrated with symmetric algorithms like Blowfish and Data Encryption Standard (DES) and (ii) generation of one-time keys for simple substitution ciphers. The proposed design is tested for randomness, nonlinearity, avalanche effect, bit independence criterion, and key sensitivity. Experimental results confirm that chaos based S-box design and key generation significantly reduce the computational cost of video encryption with no compromise in security.

  9. An enhanced adaptive management approach for remediation of legacy mercury in the South River.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christy M Foran

    Full Text Available Uncertainties about future conditions and the effects of chosen actions, as well as increasing resource scarcity, have been driving forces in the utilization of adaptive management strategies. However, many applications of adaptive management have been criticized for a number of shortcomings, including a limited ability to learn from actions and a lack of consideration of stakeholder objectives. To address these criticisms, we supplement existing adaptive management approaches with a decision-analytical approach that first informs the initial selection of management alternatives and then allows for periodic re-evaluation or phased implementation of management alternatives based on monitoring information and incorporation of stakeholder values. We describe the application of this enhanced adaptive management (EAM framework to compare remedial alternatives for mercury in the South River, based on an understanding of the loading and behavior of mercury in the South River near Waynesboro, VA. The outcomes show that the ranking of remedial alternatives is influenced by uncertainty in the mercury loading model, by the relative importance placed on different criteria, and by cost estimates. The process itself demonstrates that a decision model can link project performance criteria, decision-maker preferences, environmental models, and short- and long-term monitoring information with management choices to help shape a remediation approach that provides useful information for adaptive, incremental implementation.

  10. Ensemble of Chaotic and Naive Approaches for Performance Enhancement in Video Encryption

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeyamala Chandrasekaran

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Owing to the growth of high performance network technologies, multimedia applications over the Internet are increasing exponentially. Applications like video conferencing, video-on-demand, and pay-per-view depend upon encryption algorithms for providing confidentiality. Video communication is characterized by distinct features such as large volume, high redundancy between adjacent frames, video codec compliance, syntax compliance, and application specific requirements. Naive approaches for video encryption encrypt the entire video stream with conventional text based cryptographic algorithms. Although naive approaches are the most secure for video encryption, the computational cost associated with them is very high. This research work aims at enhancing the speed of naive approaches through chaos based S-box design. Chaotic equations are popularly known for randomness, extreme sensitivity to initial conditions, and ergodicity. The proposed methodology employs two-dimensional discrete Henon map for (i generation of dynamic and key-dependent S-box that could be integrated with symmetric algorithms like Blowfish and Data Encryption Standard (DES and (ii generation of one-time keys for simple substitution ciphers. The proposed design is tested for randomness, nonlinearity, avalanche effect, bit independence criterion, and key sensitivity. Experimental results confirm that chaos based S-box design and key generation significantly reduce the computational cost of video encryption with no compromise in security.

  11. An enhanced adaptive management approach for remediation of legacy mercury in the South River.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foran, Christy M; Baker, Kelsie M; Grosso, Nancy R; Linkov, Igor

    2015-01-01

    Uncertainties about future conditions and the effects of chosen actions, as well as increasing resource scarcity, have been driving forces in the utilization of adaptive management strategies. However, many applications of adaptive management have been criticized for a number of shortcomings, including a limited ability to learn from actions and a lack of consideration of stakeholder objectives. To address these criticisms, we supplement existing adaptive management approaches with a decision-analytical approach that first informs the initial selection of management alternatives and then allows for periodic re-evaluation or phased implementation of management alternatives based on monitoring information and incorporation of stakeholder values. We describe the application of this enhanced adaptive management (EAM) framework to compare remedial alternatives for mercury in the South River, based on an understanding of the loading and behavior of mercury in the South River near Waynesboro, VA. The outcomes show that the ranking of remedial alternatives is influenced by uncertainty in the mercury loading model, by the relative importance placed on different criteria, and by cost estimates. The process itself demonstrates that a decision model can link project performance criteria, decision-maker preferences, environmental models, and short- and long-term monitoring information with management choices to help shape a remediation approach that provides useful information for adaptive, incremental implementation.

  12. Dieldrin induces ubiquitin-proteasome dysfunction in alpha-synuclein overexpressing dopaminergic neuronal cells and enhances susceptibility to apoptotic cell death.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Faneng; Anantharam, Vellareddy; Latchoumycandane, Calivarathan; Kanthasamy, Arthi; Kanthasamy, Anumantha G

    2005-10-01

    Exposure to pesticides is implicated in the etiopathogenesis of Parkinson's disease (PD). The organochlorine pesticide dieldrin is one of the environmental chemicals potentially linked to PD. Because recent evidence indicates that abnormal accumulation and aggregation of alpha-synuclein and ubiquitin-proteasome system dysfunction can contribute to the degenerative processes of PD, in the present study we examined whether the environmental pesticide dieldrin impairs proteasomal function and subsequently promotes apoptotic cell death in rat mesencephalic dopaminergic neuronal cells overexpressing human alpha-synuclein. Overexpression of wild-type alpha-synuclein significantly reduced the proteasomal activity. Dieldrin exposure dose-dependently (0-70 microM) decreased proteasomal activity, and 30 microM dieldrin inhibited activity by more than 60% in alpha-synuclein cells. Confocal microscopic analysis of dieldrin-treated alpha-synuclein cells revealed that alpha-synuclein-positive protein aggregates colocalized with ubiquitin protein. Further characterization of the aggregates with the autophagosomal marker mondansyl cadaverine and the lysosomal marker and dot-blot analysis revealed that these protein oligomeric aggregates were distinct from autophagosomes and lysosomes. The dieldrin-induced proteasomal dysfunction in alpha-synuclein cells was also confirmed by significant accumulation of ubiquitin protein conjugates in the detergent-insoluble fraction. We found that proteasomal inhibition preceded cell death after dieldrin treatment and that alpha-synuclein cells were more sensitive than vector cells to the toxicity. Furthermore, measurement of caspase-3 and DNA fragmentation confirmed the enhanced sensitivity of alpha-synuclein cells to dieldrin-induced apoptosis. Together, our results suggest that increased expression of alpha-synuclein predisposes dopaminergic cells to proteasomal dysfunction, which can be further exacerbated by environmental exposure to certain

  13. Neuropathic pain-induced enhancement of spontaneous and pain-evoked neuronal activity in the periaqueductal gray that is attenuated by gabapentin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samineni, Vijay K; Premkumar, Louis S; Faingold, Carl L

    2017-07-01

    Neuropathic pain is a debilitating pathological condition that is poorly understood. Recent evidence suggests that abnormal central processing occurs during the development of neuropathic pain induced by the cancer chemotherapeutic agent, paclitaxel. Yet, it is unclear what role neurons in supraspinal pain network sites, such as the periaqueductal gray, play in altered behavioral sensitivity seen during chronic pain conditions. To elucidate these mechanisms, we studied the spontaneous and thermally evoked firing patterns of ventrolateral periaqueductal gray (vlPAG) neurons in awake-behaving rats treated with paclitaxel to induce neuropathic pain. In the present study, vlPAG neurons in naive rats exhibited either excitatory, inhibitory, or neutral responses to noxious thermal stimuli, as previously observed. However, after development of behavioral hypersensitivity induced by the chemotherapeutic agent, paclitaxel, vlPAG neurons displayed increased neuronal activity and changes in thermal pain-evoked neuronal activity. This involved elevated levels of spontaneous firing and heightened responsiveness to nonnoxious stimuli (allodynia) as well as noxious thermal stimuli (hyperalgesia) as compared with controls. Furthermore, after paclitaxel treatment, only excitatory neuronal responses were observed for both nonnoxious and noxious thermal stimuli. Systemic administration of gabapentin, a nonopioid analgesic, induced significant dose-dependent decreases in the elevated spontaneous and thermally evoked vlPAG neuronal firing to both nonnoxious and noxious thermal stimuli in rats exhibiting neuropathic pain, but not in naive rats. Thus, these results show a strong correlation between behavioral hypersensitivity to thermal stimuli and increased firing of vlPAG neurons in allodynia and hyperalgesia that occur in this neuropathic pain model.

  14. Enhanced Flight Vision Systems and Synthetic Vision Systems for NextGen Approach and Landing Operations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kramer, Lynda J.; Bailey, Randall E.; Ellis, Kyle K. E.; Williams, Steven P.; Arthur, Jarvis J., III; Prinzel, Lawrence J., III; Shelton, Kevin J.

    2013-01-01

    Synthetic Vision Systems and Enhanced Flight Vision System (SVS/EFVS) technologies have the potential to provide additional margins of safety for aircrew performance and enable operational improvements for low visibility operations in the terminal area environment with equivalent efficiency as visual operations. To meet this potential, research is needed for effective technology development and implementation of regulatory standards and design guidance to support introduction and use of SVS/EFVS advanced cockpit vision technologies in Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) operations. A fixed-base pilot-in-the-loop simulation test was conducted at NASA Langley Research Center that evaluated the use of SVS/EFVS in NextGen low visibility approach and landing operations. Twelve crews flew approach and landing operations in a simulated NextGen Chicago O'Hare environment. Various scenarios tested the potential for using EFVS to conduct approach, landing, and roll-out operations in visibility as low as 1000 feet runway visual range (RVR). Also, SVS was tested to evaluate the potential for lowering decision heights (DH) on certain instrument approach procedures below what can be flown today. Expanding the portion of the visual segment in which EFVS can be used in lieu of natural vision from 100 feet above the touchdown zone elevation to touchdown and rollout in visibilities as low as 1000 feet RVR appears to be viable as touchdown performance was acceptable without any apparent workload penalties. A lower DH of 150 feet and/or possibly reduced visibility minima using SVS appears to be viable when implemented on a Head-Up Display, but the landing data suggests further study for head-down implementations.

  15. A Visual Arts Education pedagogical approach for enhancing quality of life for persons with dementia (innovative practice).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tietyen, Ann C; Richards, Allan G

    2017-01-01

    A new and innovative pedagogical approach that administers hands-on visual arts activities to persons with dementia based on the field of Visual Arts Education is reported in this paper. The aims of this approach are to enhance cognition and improve quality of life. These aims were explored in a small qualitative study with eight individuals with moderate dementia, and the results are published as a thesis. In this paper, we summarize and report the results of this small qualitative study and expand upon the rationale for the Visual Arts Education pedagogical approach that has shown promise for enhancing cognitive processes and improving quality of life for persons with dementia.

  16. The Impacts of 'Problem-Based Learning’ Approach in Enhancing Critical Thinking Skills to Teaching Literature

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mairas Abd Rahman

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Teaching can be challenging task especially when the students are categorized as reluctant readers, low self-motivated and lack of critical thinking skills. Therefore, this study focuses on a successful problem-based learning approach on university course called ‘Literature for Language Purposes' taken by Bachelor of English with Communication students at a local Malaysian university. The aim of this study is to investigate the impacts of carrying out problem-based learning in teaching literature. The project involved 55 undergraduates and part of their major course assignments was to organize and participate in an annual English language drama competition. The data was collected through students’ reflective journals, researchers’ reflective journals, response from end of semester questionnaire given and, lecturers’ evaluation on FILA tables. The findings show that problem-based learning is suitable and beneficial in teaching and enhancing critical thinking skills.

  17. Taijiao:a traditional Chinese approach to enhancing fetal growth through maternal physical and mental health

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Fung-Kei Cheng

    2016-01-01

    abstract Despite the fact that Taijiao (traditional Chinese eugenics) has been part of the Chinese obstetrical culture over the years, there is insufficient scientific evidence for its effectiveness. This literature review analyzes the discourse on Taijiao associated with physical and psychological maternalefetal symbiosis, together with relevant peripheral research outcomes. Taijiao combines maternal health and external environment for benefits in fetal growth through preventive, indirect, and direct measures. Discussing practical im-plications and future research directions, this review reveals a modernized Taijiao to be a holistic, non-invasive pregnancy management system using a multi-disciplinary approach that enhances infantile life quality, reduces negative consequences of pregnancy deficits and child development, and saves public health expenditure.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  19. A Computational Auditory Scene Analysis-Enhanced Beamforming Approach for Sound Source Separation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. A. Drake

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Hearing aid users have difficulty hearing target signals, such as speech, in the presence of competing signals or noise. Most solutions proposed to date enhance or extract target signals from background noise and interference based on either location attributes or source attributes. Location attributes typically involve arrival angles at a microphone array. Source attributes include characteristics that are specific to a signal, such as fundamental frequency, or statistical properties that differentiate signals. This paper describes a novel approach to sound source separation, called computational auditory scene analysis-enhanced beamforming (CASA-EB, that achieves increased separation performance by combining the complementary techniques of CASA (a source attribute technique with beamforming (a location attribute technique, complementary in the sense that they use independent attributes for signal separation. CASA-EB performs sound source separation by temporally and spatially filtering a multichannel input signal, and then grouping the resulting signal components into separated signals, based on source and location attributes. Experimental results show increased signal-to-interference ratio with CASA-EB over beamforming or CASA alone.

  20. Nanostructured Tip-Shaped Biosensors: Application of Six Sigma Approach for Enhanced Manufacturing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kahng, Seong-Joong; Kim, Jong-Hoon; Chung, Jae-Hyun

    2016-12-23

    Nanostructured tip-shaped biosensors have drawn attention for biomolecule detection as they are promising for highly sensitive and specific detection of a target analyte. Using a nanostructured tip, the sensitivity is increased to identify individual molecules because of the high aspect ratio structure. Various detection methods, such as electrochemistry, fluorescence microcopy, and Raman spectroscopy, have been attempted to enhance the sensitivity and the specificity. Due to the confined path of electrons, electrochemical measurement using a nanotip enables the detection of single molecules. When an electric field is combined with capillary action and fluid flow, target molecules can be effectively concentrated onto a nanotip surface for detection. To enhance the concentration efficacy, a dendritic nanotip rather than a single tip could be used to detect target analytes, such as nanoparticles, cells, and DNA. However, reproducible fabrication with relation to specific detection remains a challenge due to the instability of a manufacturing method, resulting in inconsistent shape. In this paper, nanostructured biosensors are reviewed with our experimental results using dendritic nanotips for sequence specific detection of DNA. By the aid of the Six Sigma approach, the fabrication yield of dendritic nanotips increases from 20.0% to 86.6%. Using the nanotips, DNA is concentrated and detected in a sequence specific way with the detection limit equivalent to 1000 CFU/mL. The pros and cons of a nanotip biosensor are evaluated in conjunction with future prospects.

  1. Development and evaluation of PEGylated Enoxaparin: a novel approach for enhanced anti-Xa activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choubey, Anupam Kumar; Dora, Chander Parkash; Bhatt, Tara Dutt; Gill, Manjinder Singh; Suresh, Sarasija

    2014-06-01

    Enoxaparin (ENX) is one of the most widely prescribed low molecular weight heparin inprophylaxis and treatment of venous thromboembolism. In this study, Enoxaparin-PEG conjugate (P-ENX) was synthesized from Enoxaparin and polyethylene glycol (PEG) and evaluated for its potential for extended duration of action. The esterification of the carboxyl groups of the drug moiety with the hydroxyl groups of mPEG-2000 was done by employing carbodiimide coupling chemistry. P-ENX conjugate was purified by dialysis and characterized by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), Proton-Nuclear magnetic resonance ((1)H NMR) and matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) mass analysis techniques. FTIR analysis revealed frequency of the carbonyl group in accord with ester linkage formation between the drug and the PEG moiety. (1)H NMR of the conjugate showed significant change in the chemical shift further indicative of ENX and PEG chemical interaction. In MALDI spectra, small peaks at 12,907 and 16,137 m/z confirmed the probability of conjugation of ENX and PEG. P-ENX exhibited considerable enhancement in anti-Xa activity (by three-folds) in comparison to free ENX. Further, an increase in AUC (over four-folds) was observed in P-ENX. Thus, PEGylation of ENX is a novel approach for extended and enhanced activity of ENX with a potential for decreased dosing frequency.

  2. Ten approaches for enhancing empathy in health and human services cultures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hojat, Mohammadreza

    2009-01-01

    Empathy is defined as a predominantly cognitive attribute that involves an understanding of experiences, concerns and perspectives of another person, combined with a capacity to communicate this understanding. Empathy in the context of clinical care can lead to positive patient outcomes including greater patient satisfaction and compliance, lower rates of malpractice litigation, lower cost of medical care, and lower rate of medical errors. Also, health professionals' wellbeing is associated with higher empathy. Enhancing empathic engagement in patient care is one of the important tasks of medical education. In this article, I briefly describe 10 approaches for enhancing empathy in the health care environment: improving interpersonal skills, audio- or video-taping of encounters with patients, exposure to role models, role playing (aging game), shadowing a patient (patient navigator), hospitalization experiences, studying literature and the arts, improving narrative skills, theatrical performances, and the Balint method. I conclude that empathic engagement in the health care and human services is beneficial not only to the patients, but also to physicians, other health care providers, administrators, managers, health care institutions, and the public at large.

  3. Cyclic Dipeptide Shuttles as a Novel Skin Penetration Enhancement Approach: Preliminary Evaluation with Diclofenac

    Science.gov (United States)

    Namjoshi, Sarika; Giralt, Ernest; Benson, Heather

    2016-01-01

    This study demonstrates the effectiveness of a peptide shuttle in delivering diclofenac into and through human epidermis. Diclofenac was conjugated to a novel phenylalanyl-N-methyl-naphthalenylalanine-derived diketopiperazine (DKP) shuttle and to TAT (a classical cell penetrating peptide), and topically applied to human epidermis in vitro. DKP and TAT effectively permeated into and through human epidermis. When conjugated to diclofenac, both DKP and TAT enhanced delivery into and through human epidermis, though DKP was significantly more effective. Penetration of diclofenac through human epidermis (to receptor) was increased by conjugation to the peptide shuttle and cell penetrating peptide with enhancement of 6x by DKP-diclofenac and 3x by TAT-diclofenac. In addition, the amount of diclofenac retained within the epidermis was significantly increased by peptide conjugation. COX-2 inhibition activity of diclofenac was retained when conjugated to DKP. Our study suggests that the peptide shuttle approach may offer a new strategy for targeted delivery of small therapeutic and diagnostic molecules to the skin. PMID:27548780

  4. Mirror neurons

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Rubia Vila, Francisco José

    2011-01-01

    Mirror neurons were recently discovered in frontal brain areas of the monkey. They are activated when the animal makes a specific movement, but also when the animal observes the same movement in another animal...

  5. Interleukin-1β enhances neuronal vulnerability to proNGF-mediated apoptosis by increasing surface expression of p75NTR and sortillin

    OpenAIRE

    Choi, Soyoung; Friedman, Wilma J.

    2013-01-01

    Many types of injury such as seizure, ischemia, and oxidative stress cause upregulation of the p75 neurotrophin receptor (p75NTR) in brain neurons, where it promotes apoptosis, however the mechanism by which p75NTR is regulated under these conditions is not well understood. Proinflammatory cytokines such as interleukin-1β (IL-1β) are highly produced under these injury conditions and, in particular, are expressed rapidly in the rat hippocampus after seizure. IL-1β is known to increase neuronal...

  6. Capture of microtubule plus-ends at the actin cortex promotes axophilic neuronal migration by enhancing microtubule tension in the leading process.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hutchins, B Ian; Wray, Susan

    2014-01-01

    Microtubules are a critical part of neuronal polarity and leading process extension, thus microtubule movement plays an important role in neuronal migration. However, the dynamics of microtubules during the forward movement of the nucleus into the leading process (nucleokinesis) is unclear and may be dependent on the cell type and mode of migration used. In particular, little is known about cytoskeletal changes during axophilic migration, commonly used in anteroposterior neuronal migration. We recently showed that leading process actin flow in migrating GnRH neurons is controlled by a signaling cascade involving IP3 receptors, CaMKK, AMPK, and RhoA. In the present study, microtubule dynamics were examined in GnRH neurons. Failure of the migration of these cells leads to the neuroendocrine disorder Kallmann Syndrome. Microtubules translocated forward along the leading process shaft during migration, but reversed direction and moved toward the nucleus when migration stalled. Blocking calcium release through IP3 receptors halted migration and induced the same reversal of microtubule translocation, while blocking cortical actin flow prevented microtubules from translocating toward the distal leading process. Super-resolution imaging revealed that microtubule plus-end tips are captured at the actin cortex through calcium-dependent mechanisms. This work shows that cortical actin flow draws the microtubule network forward through calcium-dependent capture in order to promote nucleokinesis, revealing a novel mechanism engaged by migrating neurons to facilitate movement.

  7. Brains are not just neurons. Comment on “Toward a computational framework for cognitive biology: Unifying approaches from cognitive neuroscience and comparative cognition” by Fitch

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huber, Ludwig

    2014-09-01

    This comment addresses the first component of Fitch's framework: the computational power of single neurons [3]. Although I agree that traditional models of neural computation have vastly underestimated the computational power of single neurons, I am hesitant to follow him completely. The exclusive focus on neurons is likely to underestimate the importance of other cells in the brain. In the last years, two such cell types have received appropriate attention by neuroscientists: interneurons and glia. Interneurons are small, tightly packed cells involved in the control of information processing in learning and memory. Rather than transmitting externally (like motor or sensory neurons), these neurons process information within internal circuits of the brain (therefore also called 'relay neurons'). Some specialized interneuron subtypes temporally regulate the flow of information in a given cortical circuit during relevant behavioral events [4]. In the human brain approx. 100 billion interneurons control information processing and are implicated in disorders such as epilepsy and Parkinson's.

  8. An Enhanced MEMS Error Modeling Approach Based on Nu-Support Vector Regression

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Deepak Bhatt

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Micro Electro Mechanical System (MEMS-based inertial sensors have made possible the development of a civilian land vehicle navigation system by offering a low-cost solution. However, the accurate modeling of the MEMS sensor errors is one of the most challenging tasks in the design of low-cost navigation systems. These sensors exhibit significant errors like biases, drift, noises; which are negligible for higher grade units. Different conventional techniques utilizing the Gauss Markov model and neural network method have been previously utilized to model the errors. However, Gauss Markov model works unsatisfactorily in the case of MEMS units due to the presence of high inherent sensor errors. On the other hand, modeling the random drift utilizing Neural Network (NN is time consuming, thereby affecting its real-time implementation. We overcome these existing drawbacks by developing an enhanced Support Vector Machine (SVM based error model. Unlike NN, SVMs do not suffer from local minimisation or over-fitting problems and delivers a reliable global solution. Experimental results proved that the proposed SVM approach reduced the noise standard deviation by 10–35% for gyroscopes and 61–76% for accelerometers. Further, positional error drifts under static conditions improved by 41% and 80% in comparison to NN and GM approaches.

  9. Contrast-Enhanced Ultrasound Guided Biopsy of Undetermined Abdominal Lesions: A Multidisciplinary Decision-Making Approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Feng Mao

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Aim. To investigate the value of contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS guided biopsy of undetermined abdominal lesions in multidisciplinary treatment (MDT decision-making approach. Methods. Between Jan 2012 and Dec 2015, 60 consecutive patients (male, 37; female, 23; mean age, 51.3 years ± 14.6 who presented with undetermined abdominal lesions were included. CEUS and core needle percutaneous biopsy was performed under real-time CEUS guidance in all lesions. Data were recorded and compared with conventional ultrasound (US guidance group (n=75. All CEUS findings and clinical data were evaluated in MDT. Results. CEUS enabled the delimitation of more (88.3% versus 41.3% and larger (14.1 ± 10.7 mm versus 32.3 ± 18.5 mm nonenhanced necrotic areas. More inner (20.0% versus 6.7% and surrounding (18.3% versus 2.7% major vessels were visualized and avoided during biopsies. CEUS-guided biopsy increased the diagnostic accuracy from 93.3% to 98.3%, with correct diagnosis in 57 of 60 lesions (95.0%. The therapeutic plan was influenced by CEUS guided biopsies findings in the majority of patients (98.3%. Conclusion. The combination of CEUS guided biopsy and MDT decision-making approach is useful in the diagnostic work-up and therapeutic management.

  10. Enhancing Conceptual Change in Preschool Children's Representations of Light: A Sociocognitive Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ravanis, Konstantinos; Christidou, Vasilia; Hatzinikita, Vassilia

    2013-12-01

    The aim of this study is to investigate the effect of a sociocognitive teaching strategy on young children's understanding of light. It explores their understanding of the concept of light as an entity that is transmitted independently of the light source and the final receiver. The study was conducted in three phases: pretest, teaching intervention, and post-tests. The sample consisted of 170 preschool children who were assigned to two groups. The children in the first group participated in activities which adopted a sociocognitive approach. In the context of this approach, a familiar metaphor was introduced in order to facilitate children to construct a "precursor model" about light. The children in the second group participated in activities with the same teaching objectives, but adopting an empiricist perspective. Statistical analysis using the Mann-Whitney U test indicated that the cognitive progress of the sociocognitive group was more significant than the progress of the empiricist group. This provides evidence for the effect of the sociocognitive strategy on enhancing children in constructing a "precursor model" for the concept of light.

  11. On-capillary derivatisation as an approach to enhancing sensitivity in capillary electrophoresis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glatz, Zdeněk

    2015-03-01

    Separation technologies play an important role in revealing biological processes at various omic levels, in pharmacological and clinical research. In this context, CE is a strong candidate for analyses of samples with rapidly increasing complexity. Even though CE is well known for its many advantages in this regard, the sensitivity of CE analyses is insufficient for many applications. Accordingly, there are generally three main options for enhancing the sensitivity of CE analyses - using special detection techniques, using sample pre-concentration and derivatisation. Derivatisation is often the method of choice for many laboratories, since it is simple and provides several advantages such as small sample volume demand and the possibility of automation. Although it can be performed in different ways depending on where the reaction takes place, this article reviews one of the simplest and at the same time most useful approaches on-capillary derivatisation. Even if in many cases the use of on-capillary derivatisation alone is enough to improve the detection sensitivity, on other occasions it needs to be employed in combination with the other above-mentioned strategies. After a simple discussion of derivatisation in general, special attention is focused on the on-capillary approach and methodologies available for on-capillary reactant mixing. Its applications in various fields are also described.

  12. Developing a Dual-Level Capabilities Approach: Using Constructivist Grounded Theory and Feminist Ethnography to Enhance the Capabilities Approaches

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, Kia M. Q.

    2014-01-01

    In this study, a dual-level capabilities approach to development is introduced. This approach intends to improve upon individual-focused capabilities approaches developed by Amartya Sen and Martha Nussbaum. Based upon seven months of ethnographic research in the Afro-descendant, autochthonous Garifuna community of Honduras, constructivist grounded…

  13. Developing a Dual-Level Capabilities Approach: Using Constructivist Grounded Theory and Feminist Ethnography to Enhance the Capabilities Approaches

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, Kia M. Q.

    2014-01-01

    In this study, a dual-level capabilities approach to development is introduced. This approach intends to improve upon individual-focused capabilities approaches developed by Amartya Sen and Martha Nussbaum. Based upon seven months of ethnographic research in the Afro-descendant, autochthonous Garifuna community of Honduras, constructivist grounded…

  14. Contributions of dopamine-related genes and environmental factors to highly sensitive personality: a multi-step neuronal system-level approach.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chunhui Chen

    Full Text Available Traditional behavioral genetic studies (e.g., twin, adoption studies have shown that human personality has moderate to high heritability, but recent molecular behavioral genetic studies have failed to identify quantitative trait loci (QTL with consistent effects. The current study adopted a multi-step approach (ANOVA followed by multiple regression and permutation to assess the cumulative effects of multiple QTLs. Using a system-level (dopamine system genetic approach, we investigated a personality trait deeply rooted in the nervous system (the Highly Sensitive Personality, HSP. 480 healthy Chinese college students were given the HSP scale and genotyped for 98 representative polymorphisms in all major dopamine neurotransmitter genes. In addition, two environment factors (stressful life events and parental warmth that have been implicated for their contributions to personality development were included to investigate their relative contributions as compared to genetic factors. In Step 1, using ANOVA, we identified 10 polymorphisms that made statistically significant contributions to HSP. In Step 2, these polymorphism's main effects and interactions were assessed using multiple regression. This model accounted for 15% of the variance of HSP (p<0.001. Recent stressful life events accounted for an additional 2% of the variance. Finally, permutation analyses ascertained the probability of obtaining these findings by chance to be very low, p ranging from 0.001 to 0.006. Dividing these loci by the subsystems of dopamine synthesis, degradation/transport, receptor and modulation, we found that the modulation and receptor subsystems made the most significant contribution to HSP. The results of this study demonstrate the utility of a multi-step neuronal system-level approach in assessing genetic contributions to individual differences in human behavior. It can potentially bridge the gap between the high heritability estimates based on traditional

  15. Contributions of dopamine-related genes and environmental factors to highly sensitive personality: a multi-step neuronal system-level approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Chunhui; Chen, Chuansheng; Moyzis, Robert; Stern, Hal; He, Qinghua; Li, He; Li, Jin; Zhu, Bi; Dong, Qi

    2011-01-01

    Traditional behavioral genetic studies (e.g., twin, adoption studies) have shown that human personality has moderate to high heritability, but recent molecular behavioral genetic studies have failed to identify quantitative trait loci (QTL) with consistent effects. The current study adopted a multi-step approach (ANOVA followed by multiple regression and permutation) to assess the cumulative effects of multiple QTLs. Using a system-level (dopamine system) genetic approach, we investigated a personality trait deeply rooted in the nervous system (the Highly Sensitive Personality, HSP). 480 healthy Chinese college students were given the HSP scale and genotyped for 98 representative polymorphisms in all major dopamine neurotransmitter genes. In addition, two environment factors (stressful life events and parental warmth) that have been implicated for their contributions to personality development were included to investigate their relative contributions as compared to genetic factors. In Step 1, using ANOVA, we identified 10 polymorphisms that made statistically significant contributions to HSP. In Step 2, these polymorphism's main effects and interactions were assessed using multiple regression. This model accounted for 15% of the variance of HSP (p<0.001). Recent stressful life events accounted for an additional 2% of the variance. Finally, permutation analyses ascertained the probability of obtaining these findings by chance to be very low, p ranging from 0.001 to 0.006. Dividing these loci by the subsystems of dopamine synthesis, degradation/transport, receptor and modulation, we found that the modulation and receptor subsystems made the most significant contribution to HSP. The results of this study demonstrate the utility of a multi-step neuronal system-level approach in assessing genetic contributions to individual differences in human behavior. It can potentially bridge the gap between the high heritability estimates based on traditional behavioral genetics

  16. Improvement of neuromuscular synaptic phenotypes without enhanced survival and motor function in severe spinal muscular atrophy mice selectively rescued in motor neurons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ximena Paez-Colasante

    Full Text Available In the inherited childhood neuromuscular disease spinal muscular atrophy (SMA, lower motor neuron death and severe muscle weakness result from the reduction of the ubiquitously expressed protein survival of motor neuron (SMN. Although SMA mice recapitulate many features of the human disease, it has remained unclear if their short lifespan and motor weakness are primarily due to cell-autonomous defects in motor neurons. Using Hb9(Cre as a driver, we selectively raised SMN expression in motor neurons in conditional SMAΔ7 mice. Unlike a previous study that used choline acetyltransferase (ChAT(Cre+ as a driver on the same mice, and another report that used Hb9(Cre as a driver on a different line of conditional SMA mice, we found no improvement in survival, weight, motor behavior and presynaptic neurofilament accumulation. However, like in ChAT(Cre+ mice, we detected rescue of endplate size and mitigation of neuromuscular junction (NMJ denervation status. The rescue of endplate size occurred in the absence of an increase in myofiber size, suggesting endplate size is determined by the motor neuron in these animals. Real time-PCR showed that the expression of spinal cord SMN transcript was sharply reduced in Hb9(Cre+ SMA mice relative to ChAT(Cre+ SMA mice. This suggests that our lack of overall phenotypic improvement is most likely due to an unexpectedly poor recombination efficiency driven by Hb9(Cre . Nonetheless, the low levels of SMN were sufficient to rescue two NMJ structural parameters indicating that these motor neuron cell autonomous phenotypes are very sensitive to changes in motoneuronal SMN levels. Our results directly suggest that even those therapeutic interventions with very modest effects in raising SMN in motor neurons may provide mitigation of neuromuscular phenotypes in SMA patients.

  17. The mirror neuron analogy: Implications for rehabilitation neuroscience. Comment on "Grasping synergies: A motor-control approach to the mirror neuron mechanism" by A. D'Ausilio et al.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frey, Scott H.; Chen, Pin-Wei

    2015-03-01

    The discovery of individual neurons that respond selectively to both the perception and execution of actions in macaques has had a profound impact on cognitive neuroscience [1]. By demonstrating a neurophysiological mechanism linking perception and motor performance, these mirror neurons have inspired a broad range of research in humans using non-invasive neuroimaging [2,3], and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) [4]. In the present review, D'Ausilio and colleagues point out inconsistencies among TMS evidence concerning whether the so-called mirror neuron system (MNS) represents actions as low-level kinematic features, or more abstract goals [5]. They propose instead that actions are represented in the MNS as a modest number of motor synergies, a position arrived at through following propositional reasoning:

  18. Human motor neuron progenitor transplantation leads to endogenous neuronal sparing in 3 models of motor neuron loss.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wyatt, Tanya J; Rossi, Sharyn L; Siegenthaler, Monica M; Frame, Jennifer; Robles, Rockelle; Nistor, Gabriel; Keirstead, Hans S

    2011-01-01

    Motor neuron loss is characteristic of many neurodegenerative disorders and results in rapid loss of muscle control, paralysis, and eventual death in severe cases. In order to investigate the neurotrophic effects of a motor neuron lineage graft, we transplanted human embryonic stem cell-derived motor neuron progenitors (hMNPs) and examined their histopathological effect in three animal models of motor neuron loss. Specifically, we transplanted hMNPs into rodent models of SMA (Δ7SMN), ALS (SOD1 G93A), and spinal cord injury (SCI). The transplanted cells survived and differentiated in all models. In addition, we have also found that hMNPs secrete physiologically active growth factors in vivo, including NGF and NT-3, which significantly enhanced the number of spared endogenous neurons in all three animal models. The ability to maintain dying motor neurons by delivering motor neuron-specific neurotrophic support represents a powerful treatment strategy for diseases characterized by motor neuron loss.

  19. An Approach to Optimize the Fusion Coefficients for Land Cover Information Enhancement with Multisensor Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garg, Akanksha; Brodu, Nicolas; Yahia, Hussein; Singh, Dharmendra

    2016-04-01

    This paper explores a novel data fusion method with the application of Machine Learning approach for optimal weighted fusion of multisensor data. It will help to get the maximum information of any land cover. Considerable amount of research work has been carried out on multisensor data fusion but getting an optimal fusion for enhancement of land cover information using random weights is still ambiguous. Therefore, there is a need of such land cover monitoring system which can provide the maximum information of the land cover, generally which is not possible with the help of single sensor data. There is a necessity to develop such techniques by which information of multisensor data can be utilized optimally. Machine learning is one of the best way to optimize this type of information. So, in this paper, the weights of each sensor data have been critically analyzed which is required for the fusion, and observed that weights are quite sensitive in fusion. Therefore, different combinations of weights have been tested exhaustively in the direction to develop a relationship between weights and classification accuracy of the fused data. This relationship can be optimized through machine learning techniques like SVM (Support Vector Machine). In the present study, this experiment has been carried out for PALSAR (Phased Array L-Band Synthetic Aperture RADAR) and MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) data. PALSAR is a fully polarimetric data with HH, HV and VV polarizations at good spatial resolution (25m), and NDVI (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index) is a good indicator of vegetation, utilizing different bands (Red and NIR) of freely available MODIS data at 250m resolution. First of all, resolution of NDVI has been enhanced from 250m to 25m (10 times) using modified DWT (Modified Discrete Wavelet Transform) to bring it on the same scale as that of PALSAR. Now, different polarized PALSAR data (HH, HV, VV) have been fused with resolution enhanced NDVI

  20. The neurogenic basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor NeuroD6 enhances mitochondrial biogenesis and bioenergetics to confer tolerance of neuronal PC12-NeuroD6 cells to the mitochondrial stressor rotenone

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Baxter, Kristin Kathleen; Uittenbogaard, Martine [Department of Anatomy and Regenerative Biology, George Washington University Medical Center, Washington, DC (United States); Chiaramello, Anne, E-mail: achiaram@gwu.edu [Department of Anatomy and Regenerative Biology, George Washington University Medical Center, Washington, DC (United States)

    2012-10-15

    The fundamental question of how and which neuronal specific transcription factors tailor mitochondrial biogenesis and bioenergetics to the need of developing neuronal cells has remained largely unexplored. In this study, we report that the neurogenic basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor NeuroD6 possesses mitochondrial biogenic properties by amplifying the mitochondrial DNA content and TFAM expression levels, a key regulator for mitochondrial biogenesis. NeuroD6-mediated increase in mitochondrial biogenesis in the neuronal progenitor-like PC12-NEUROD6 cells is concomitant with enhanced mitochondrial bioenergetic functions, including increased expression levels of specific subunits of respiratory complexes of the electron transport chain, elevated mitochondrial membrane potential and ATP levels produced by oxidative phosphorylation. Thus, NeuroD6 augments the bioenergetic capacity of PC12-NEUROD6 cells to generate an energetic reserve, which confers tolerance to the mitochondrial stressor, rotenone. We found that NeuroD6 induces an adaptive bioenergetic response throughout rotenone treatment involving maintenance of the mitochondrial membrane potential and ATP levels in conjunction with preservation of the actin network. In conclusion, our results support the concept that NeuroD6 plays an integrative role in regulating and coordinating the onset of neuronal differentiation with acquisition of adequate mitochondrial mass and energetic capacity to ensure energy demanding events, such as cytoskeletal remodeling, plasmalemmal expansion, and growth cone formation. -- Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer NeuroD6 induces mitochondrial biogenesis in neuroprogenitor-like cells. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer NeuroD6 augments the bioenergetic reserve of the neuronal PC12-NeuroD6 cells. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer NeuroD6 increases the mitochondrial membrane potential and ATP levels. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer NeuroD6 confers tolerance to rotenone via an adaptive

  1. Apoptosis and impairment of neurite network by short exposure of immature rat cortical neurons to unconjugated bilirubin increase with cell differentiation and are additionally enhanced by an inflammatory stimulus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Falcão, Ana S; Silva, Rui F M; Pancadas, Sérgio; Fernandes, Adelaide; Brito, Maria A; Brites, Dora

    2007-05-01

    Nerve cell injury induced by unconjugated bilirubin (UCB) has been implicated in brain damage during severe neonatal hyperbilirubinemia, although the molecular mechanisms underlying UCB neurotoxicity are still not clarified. It has been suggested recently that there is an association between hyperbilirubinemia and long-term neurologic dysfunctions. We incubated immature neurons with UCB to evaluate the short- and long-term effects of UCB on apoptotic death and on neuritic outgrowth and ramification. We also evaluated whether mature neurons, exposed previously to UCB in an early stage of differentiation, are more sensitive to apoptosis or to neuritic breakdown when treated with inflammatory agents, such as lipopolysaccharide and tumor necrosis factor-alpha. Results show that exposure of immature neurons to UCB increased apoptosis and provoked a reduction of both neurite extension and number of nodes. These injurious effects observed in immature cells treated with UCB were increasingly perpetuated along cell differentiation, as compared to neurons incubated in the absence of UCB. In addition, neurons that were exposed to UCB when immature showed an increased susceptibility to death by apoptosis, as well as an additional decrease in neurite outgrowth when incubated with an inflammatory agent afterward. This work shows, for the first time, that UCB induces neurite changes consistent with neurodevelopment abnormalities. Furthermore, pre-exposure to UCB followed by an inflammatory stimulus leads to an enhanced susceptibility to long-term apoptosis, as well as a greater neuritic breakdown. These data support the association between neonatal hyperbilirubinemia and the later development of mental illness, such as schizophrenia.

  2. Enhancing sewage sludge dewaterability by bioleaching approach with comparison to other physical and chemical conditioning methods

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Fenwu Liu; Jun Zhou; Dianzhan Wang; Lixiang Zhou

    2012-01-01

    The sewage sludge conditioning process is critical to improve the sludge dewaterability prior to mechanical dewatering.Traditionally,sludge is conditioned by physical or chemical approaches,mostly with the addition of inorganic or organic chemicals.Here we report that bioleaching,an efficient and economical microbial method for the removal of sludge-borne heavy metals,also plays a significant role in enhancing sludge dewaterability.The effects of bioleaching and physical or chemical approaches on sludge dewaterability were compared.The conditioning result of bioleaching by Acidithiobacillus thiooxidans and Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans on sludge dewatering was investigated and compared with the effects of hydrothermal(121 ℃ for 2 hr),microwave(1050 W for 50 sec),ultrasonic (250 W for 2 min),and chemical conditioning(24% ferric chloride and 68% calcium oxide; dry basis).The results show that the specific resistance to filtration(SRF)or capillary suction time(CST)of sludge is decreased by 93.1% or 74.1%,respectively,after fresh sludge is conditioned by bioleaching,which is similar to chemical conditioning treatment with ferric chloride and calcium oxide but much more effective than other conditioning approaches including hydrothermal,microwave,and ultrasonic conditioning.Furthermore,after sludge dewatering,bioleached sludge filtrate contains the lowest concentrations of chroma(18 times),COD(542 mg/L),total N(TN,300 mg/L),NH4+-N(208 mg/L),and total P(TP,2 mg/L)while the hydrothermal process resulted in the highest concentration of chroma(660 times),COD(18,155 mg/L),TN(472 mg/L),NH4+-N(381 mg/L),and TP(191 mg/L)among these selected conditioning methods.Moreover,unlike chemical conditioning,sludge bioleaching does not result in a significant reduction of organic matter,TN,and TP in the resulting dewatered sludge cake.Therefore,considering sludge dewaterability and the chemical properties of sludge filtrate and resulting dewatered sludge cakes,bioleaching has

  3. Enhancing sewage sludge dewaterability by bioleaching approach with comparison to other physical and chemical conditioning methods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Fenwu; Zhou, Jun; Wang, Dianzhan; Zhou, Lixiang

    2012-01-01

    The sewage sludge conditioning process is critical to improve the sludge dewaterability prior to mechanical dewatering. Traditionally, sludge is conditioned by physical or chemical approaches, mostly with the addition of inorganic or organic chemicals. Here we report that bioleaching, an efficient and economical microbial method for the removal of sludge-borne heavy metals, also plays a significant role in enhancing sludge dewaterability. The effects of bioleaching and physical or chemical approaches on sludge dewaterability were compared. The conditioning result of bioleaching by Acidithiobacillus thiooxidans and Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans on sludge dewatering was investigated and compared with the effects of hydrothermal (121 degrees C for 2 hr), microwave (1050 W for 50 sec), ultrasonic (250 W for 2 min), and chemical conditioning (24% ferric chloride and 68% calcium oxide; dry basis). The results show that the specific resistance to filtration (SRF) or capillary suction time (CST) of sludge is decreased by 93.1% or 74.1%, respectively, after fresh sludge is conditioned by bioleaching, which is similar to chemical conditioning treatment with ferric chloride and calcium oxide but much more effective than other conditioning approaches including hydrothermal, microwave, and ultrasonic conditioning. Furthermore, after sludge dewatering, bioleached sludge filtrate contains the lowest concentrations of chroma (18 times), COD (542 mg/L), total N (TN, 300 mg/L), NH4(+)-N (208 mg/L), and total P (TP, 2 mg/L) while the hydrothermal process resulted in the highest concentration of chroma (660 times), COD (18,155 mg/L), TN (472 mg/L), NH4(+)-N (381 mg/L), and TP (191 mg/L) among these selected conditioning methods. Moreover, unlike chemical conditioning, sludge bioleaching does not result in a significant reduction of organic matter, TN, and TP in the resulting dewatered sludge cake. Therefore, considering sludge dewaterability and the chemical properties of sludge

  4. Perception of community pharmacists towards the barriers to enhanced pharmacy services in the healthcare system of Dubai: a quantitative approach

    OpenAIRE

    Rayes IK; Hassali MA; AR, Abduelkarem

    2015-01-01

    Background: In many developing countries, pharmacists are facing many challenges while they try to enhance the quality of services provided to patients approaching community pharmacies. Objective: To explore perception of community pharmacists in Dubai regarding the obstacles to enhanced pharmacy services using a part of the results from a nation-wide quantitative survey. Methods: A questionnaire was distributed to 281 full-time licensed community pharmacists in Dubai. The questionnaire...

  5. Transformation optics approach for Goos-Hänchen shift enhancement at metamaterial interfaces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lambrechts, Lieve; Ginis, Vincent; Danckaert, Jan; Tassin, Philippe

    2016-04-01

    Since its first observation in 1947, the Goos-Hänchen effect—an electromagnetic wave phenomenon where a totally reflected beam with finite cross section undergoes a lateral displacement from its position predicted by geometric optics—has been extensively investigated for various types of optical media such as dielectrics, metals and photonic crystals. Given their huge potential for guiding and sensing applications, the search for giant and tunable Goos-Hänchen shifts is still an open question in the field of optics and photonics. Metamaterials allow for unprecedented control over electromagnetic properties and thus provide an interesting platform in this quest for Goos-Hänchen shift enhancement. Over the last few years, the Goos-Hänchen effect has been investigated for specific metamaterial interfaces including graphene-on-dielectric surfaces, negative index materials and epsilon- near-zero materials. In this contribution, we generalize the approach for the investigation of the Goos-Hänchen effect based on the geometric formalism of transformation optics. Although this metamaterial design methodology is generally applied to manipulate the propagation of light through continuous media, we show how it can also be used to describe the reflections arising at the interface between a vacuum region and a transformed region with a metamaterial implementation. Furthermore, we establish an analytical model that relates the magnitude of the Goos-Hänchen shift to the underlying geometry of the transformed medium. This model shows how the dependence of the Goos-Hänchen shift on geometric parameters can be used to dramatically enhance the size of the shift by an appropriate choice of permittivity and permeability tensors. Numerical simulations of a beam with spatial Gaussian profile incident upon metamaterial interfaces verify the model and firmly establish a novel route towards Goos-Hänchen shift engineering using transformation optics.

  6. Simulating pancreatic neuroplasticity: in vitro dual-neuron plasticity assay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Demir, Ihsan Ekin; Tieftrunk, Elke; Schäfer, Karl-Herbert; Friess, Helmut; Ceyhan, Güralp O

    2014-04-14

    Neuroplasticity is an inherent feature of the enteric nervous system and gastrointestinal (GI) innervation under pathological conditions. However, the pathophysiological role of neuroplasticity in GI disorders remains unknown. Novel experimental models which allow simulation and modulation of GI neuroplasticity may enable enhanced appreciation of the contribution of neuroplasticity in particular GI diseases such as pancreatic cancer (PCa) and chronic pancreatitis (CP). Here, we present a protocol for simulation of pancreatic neuroplasticity under in vitro conditions using newborn rat dorsal root ganglia (DRG) and myenteric plexus (MP) neurons. This dual-neuron approach not only permits monitoring of both organ-intrinsic and -extrinsic neuroplasticity, but also represents a valuable tool to assess neuronal and glial morphology and electrophysiology. Moreover, it allows functional modulation of supplied microenvironmental contents for studying their impact on neuroplasticity. Once established, the present neuroplasticity assay bears the potential of being applicable to the study of neuroplasticity in any GI organ.

  7. A semantically rich and standardised approach enhancing discovery of sensor data and metadata

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kokkinaki, Alexandra; Buck, Justin; Darroch, Louise

    2016-04-01

    The marine environment plays an essential role in the earth's climate. To enhance the ability to monitor the health of this important system, innovative sensors are being produced and combined with state of the art sensor technology. As the number of sensors deployed is continually increasing,, it is a challenge for data users to find the data that meet their specific needs. Furthermore, users need to integrate diverse ocean datasets originating from the same or even different systems. Standards provide a solution to the above mentioned challenges. The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) has created Sensor Web Enablement (SWE) standards that enable different sensor networks to establish syntactic interoperability. When combined with widely accepted controlled vocabularies, they become semantically rich and semantic interoperability is achievable. In addition, Linked Data is the recommended best practice for exposing, sharing and connecting information on the Semantic Web using Uniform Resource Identifiers (URIs), Resource Description Framework (RDF) and RDF Query Language (SPARQL). As part of the EU-funded SenseOCEAN project, the British Oceanographic Data Centre (BODC) is working on the standardisation of sensor metadata enabling 'plug and play' sensor integration. Our approach combines standards, controlled vocabularies and persistent URIs to publish sensor descriptions, their data and associated metadata as 5 star Linked Data and OGC SWE (SensorML, Observations & Measurements) standard. Thus sensors become readily discoverable, accessible and useable via the web. Content and context based searching is also enabled since sensors descriptions are understood by machines. Additionally, sensor data can be combined with other sensor or Linked Data datasets to form knowledge. This presentation will describe the work done in BODC to achieve syntactic and semantic interoperability in the sensor domain. It will illustrate the reuse and extension of the Semantic Sensor

  8. A Novel Approach To Mineral Carbonation: Enhancing Carbonation While Avoiding Mineral Pretreatment Process Cost

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Michael J. McKelvy; Andrew V. G. Chizmeshya; Kyle Squires; Ray W. Carpenter; Hamdallah Bearat

    2006-06-21

    Known fossil fuel reserves, especially coal, can support global energy demands for centuries to come, if the environmental problems associated with CO{sub 2} emissions can be overcome. Unlike other CO{sub 2} sequestration candidate technologies that propose long-term storage, mineral sequestration provides permanent disposal by forming geologically stable mineral carbonates. Carbonation of the widely occurring mineral olivine (e.g., forsterite, Mg{sub 2}SiO{sub 4}) is a large-scale sequestration process candidate for regional implementation, which converts CO{sub 2} into the environmentally benign mineral magnesite (MgCO{sub 3}). The primary goal is cost-competitive process development. As the process is exothermic, it inherently offers low-cost potential. Enhancing carbonation reactivity is key to economic viability. Recent studies at the U.S. DOE Albany Research Center have established that aqueous-solution carbonation using supercritical CO{sub 2} is a promising process; even without olivine activation, 30-50% carbonation has been achieved in an hour. Mechanical activation (e.g., attrition) has accelerated the carbonation process to an industrial timescale (i.e., near completion in less than an hour), at reduced pressure and temperature. However, the activation cost is too high to be economical and lower cost pretreatment options are needed. Herein, we report our second year progress in exploring a novel approach that offers the potential to substantially enhance carbonation reactivity while bypassing pretreatment activation. As our second year progress is intimately related to our earlier work, the report is presented in that context to provide better overall understanding of the progress made. We have discovered that robust silica-rich passivating layers form on the olivine surface during carbonation. As carbonation proceeds, these passivating layers thicken, fracture and eventually exfoliate, exposing fresh olivine surfaces during rapidly

  9. A Novel Approach To Mineral Carbonation: Enhancing Carbonation While Avoiding Mineral Pretreatment Process Cost

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Michael J. McKelvy; Andrew V. G. Chizmeshya; Kyle Squires; Ray W. Carpenter; Hamdallah Bearat

    2006-06-21

    Known fossil fuel reserves, especially coal, can support global energy demands for centuries to come, if the environmental problems associated with CO{sub 2} emissions can be overcome. Unlike other CO{sub 2} sequestration candidate technologies that propose long-term storage, mineral sequestration provides permanent disposal by forming geologically stable mineral carbonates. Carbonation of the widely occurring mineral olivine (e.g., forsterite, Mg{sub 2}SiO{sub 4}) is a large-scale sequestration process candidate for regional implementation, which converts CO{sub 2} into the environmentally benign mineral magnesite (MgCO{sub 3}). The primary goal is cost-competitive process development. As the process is exothermic, it inherently offers low-cost potential. Enhancing carbonation reactivity is key to economic viability. Recent studies at the U.S. DOE Albany Research Center have established that aqueous-solution carbonation using supercritical CO{sub 2} is a promising process; even without olivine activation, 30-50% carbonation has been achieved in an hour. Mechanical activation (e.g., attrition) has accelerated the carbonation process to an industrial timescale (i.e., near completion in less than an hour), at reduced pressure and temperature. However, the activation cost is too high to be economical and lower cost pretreatment options are needed. Herein, we report our second year progress in exploring a novel approach that offers the potential to substantially enhance carbonation reactivity while bypassing pretreatment activation. As our second year progress is intimately related to our earlier work, the report is presented in that context to provide better overall understanding of the progress made. We have discovered that robust silica-rich passivating layers form on the olivine surface during carbonation. As carbonation proceeds, these passivating layers thicken, fracture and eventually exfoliate, exposing fresh olivine surfaces during rapidly

  10. Scorpion venom heat-resistant peptide (SVHRP) enhances neurogenesis and neurite outgrowth of immature neurons in adult mice by up-regulating brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Tao; Wang, Shi-Wei; Zhang, Yue; Wu, Xue-Fei; Peng, Yan; Cao, Zhen; Ge, Bi-Ying; Wang, Xi; Wu, Qiong; Lin, Jin-Tao; Zhang, Wan-Qin; Li, Shao; Zhao, Jie

    2014-01-01

    Scorpion venom heat-resistant peptide (SVHRP) is a component purified from Buthus martensii Karsch scorpion venom. Although scorpions and their venom have been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) to treat chronic neurological disorders, the underlying mechanisms of these treatments remain unknown. We applied SVHRP in vitro and in vivo to understand its effects on the neurogenesis and maturation of adult immature neurons and explore associated molecular mechanisms. SVHRP administration increased the number of 5-bromo-2'-dexoxyuridine (BrdU)-positive cells, BrdU-positive/neuron-specific nuclear protein (NeuN)-positive neurons, and polysialylated-neural cell adhesion molecule (PSA-NCAM)-positive immature neurons in the subventricular zone (SVZ) and subgranular zone (SGZ) of hippocampus. Furthermore immature neurons incubated with SVHRP-pretreated astrocyte-conditioned medium exhibited significantly increased neurite length compared with those incubated with normal astrocyte-conditioned medium. This neurotrophic effect was further confirmed in vivo by detecting an increased average single area and whole area of immature neurons in the SGZ, SVZ and olfactory bulb (OB) in the adult mouse brain. In contrast to normal astrocyte-conditioned medium, higher concentrations of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) but not nerve growth factor (NGF) or glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) was detected in the conditioned medium of SVHRP-pretreated astrocytes, and blocking BDNF using anti-BDNF antibodies eliminated these SVHRP-dependent neurotrophic effects. In SVHRP treated mouse brain, more glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP)-positive cells were detected. Furthermore, immunohistochemistry revealed increased numbers of GFAP/BDNF double-positive cells, which agrees with the observed changes in the culture system. This paper describes novel effects of scorpion venom-originated peptide on the stem cells and suggests the potential therapeutic values of SVHRP.

  11. Scorpion venom heat-resistant peptide (SVHRP enhances neurogenesis and neurite outgrowth of immature neurons in adult mice by up-regulating brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tao Wang

    Full Text Available Scorpion venom heat-resistant peptide (SVHRP is a component purified from Buthus martensii Karsch scorpion venom. Although scorpions and their venom have been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM to treat chronic neurological disorders, the underlying mechanisms of these treatments remain unknown. We applied SVHRP in vitro and in vivo to understand its effects on the neurogenesis and maturation of adult immature neurons and explore associated molecular mechanisms. SVHRP administration increased the number of 5-bromo-2'-dexoxyuridine (BrdU-positive cells, BrdU-positive/neuron-specific nuclear protein (NeuN-positive neurons, and polysialylated-neural cell adhesion molecule (PSA-NCAM-positive immature neurons in the subventricular zone (SVZ and subgranular zone (SGZ of hippocampus. Furthermore immature neurons incubated with SVHRP-pretreated astrocyte-conditioned medium exhibited significantly increased neurite length compared with those incubated with normal astrocyte-conditioned medium. This neurotrophic effect was further confirmed in vivo by detecting an increased average single area and whole area of immature neurons in the SGZ, SVZ and olfactory bulb (OB in the adult mouse brain. In contrast to normal astrocyte-conditioned medium, higher concentrations of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF but not nerve growth factor (NGF or glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF was detected in the conditioned medium of SVHRP-pretreated astrocytes, and blocking BDNF using anti-BDNF antibodies eliminated these SVHRP-dependent neurotrophic effects. In SVHRP treated mouse brain, more glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP-positive cells were detected. Furthermore, immunohistochemistry revealed increased numbers of GFAP/BDNF double-positive cells, which agrees with the observed changes in the culture system. This paper describes novel effects of scorpion venom-originated peptide on the stem cells and suggests the potential therapeutic values

  12. Enhanced understanding of the terrestrial carbon cycle through multiple constraints in model-data-integration approaches

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carvalhais, N.; Forkel, M.; Oijen, M. V.; Keenan, T. F.; MacBean, N.; Rolinski, S.; Peylin, P. P.; Schuermann, G. J.; Zaehle, S.; Reichstein, M.

    2015-12-01

    The representation of exchanges of carbon, water and energy between the land surface and the atmosphere still reveals significant model limitations in explaining temporal and spatial variability. Despite agreement between models for contemporaneous periods, prognostic simulations reveal a strong between-model divergence regarding the role of the land surface in the global carbon cycle. The integration of multiple data-streams in inverse modelling approaches for parameterization and model evaluation, ultimately leads to model improvement. Here we explore multiple-constraint approaches ranging from in situ to regional and global spatial scales. Constraints include stocks and fluxes of water and carbon. We show that integrating multiple datasets contributes to a better representation of ecosystem dynamics in different models, from forest and dynamic vegetation models to land surface schemes. At site scale, model-data comparisons reveal substantial differences in the modelled temporal dynamics of carbon stocks and turnover times and their relationships with climate, especially at annual scales. Inter-annual variability remains a problem for all models, even after parameter optimization. At regional and global scales, the integration of multiple data-streams to constrain albedo, phenology and primary productivity patterns yields a significant improvement in regional simulations of vegetation dynamics, from seasons to longer-term trends. The role of environmental controls and vegetation dynamics in explaining recent trends in the amplitude of the seasonal cycle of atmospheric CO2 is evaluated using an improved dynamic vegetation model. We conclude by identifying major challenges in model-data-integration: to explore the information content in longer time series; avoid confounding effects of missing processes on parameter estimation; set up cost functions for multivariate-data integration; quantification of uncertainties arising from data bias, model structure, and

  13. Generalized approach to design multi-layer stacks for enhanced optical detectability of ultrathin layers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hutzler, A.; Matthus, C. D.; Rommel, M.; Frey, L.

    2017-01-01

    The optical detectability of ultrathin conductive films (down to one atomic layer) can be enhanced by choosing distinct layer-stacks. A simple analytical approach using the transfer matrix method is applied for calculating the reflectance of arbitrary multi-layer stack systems with and without the ultrathin layer of interest on top in a wide wavelength range, including both the visible spectrum and the ultraviolet spectrum. Then, the detectability defined by the Michelson contrast was calculated. Performing these calculations for thickness variations of the individual layers in the stack allows determining optimum layer thicknesses, e.g., maximum overall contrast or maximum contrast for a given wavelength. To demonstrate the validity of the methodology, two thin film stacks were investigated, which use p-type silicon as a substrate material and partially covered by a single-layer graphene as a top layer. For each stack, two samples with different layer thicknesses were fabricated and their experimentally determined reflectance was compared to the calculated values. The first system consists of a single SiO2 layer with a thickness of 147 nm and 304 nm, respectively, and the second is a double layer stack consisting of a Si3N4 layer with a thickness of 54 nm and 195 nm, respectively, on top of an 11 nm SiO2 film. The Michelson contrast of single-layer graphene flakes on the latter layer stacks becomes very high (absolute value of more than 0.3) in the visible wavelength range. Additionally, in the UV-B range a large difference in the reflection of selected SiO2 layer thicknesses on silicon substrates with and without single-layer graphene on top is found with a decrease in the measured reflectance of up to 33%. The measured and calculated values showed a high conformity suggesting this approach usable for the calculation of reflectance and transmittance properties of arbitrary layer stack systems including thin conductive layers.

  14. Cell-type specific deletion of GABA(A)α1 in corticotropin-releasing factor-containing neurons enhances anxiety and disrupts fear extinction

    OpenAIRE

    Gafford, Georgette M.; Guo, Ji-Dong; Flandreau, Elizabeth I.; Hazra, Rimi; Rainnie, Donald G.; Ressler, Kerry J.

    2012-01-01

    Corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) is critical for the endocrine, autonomic, and behavioral responses to stressors, and it has been shown to modulate fear and anxiety. The CRF receptor is widely expressed across a variety of cell types, impeding progress toward understanding the contribution of specific CRF-containing neurons to fear dysregulation. We used a unique CRF-Cre driver transgenic mouse line to remove floxed GABA(A)α1 subunits specifically from CRF neurons [CRF-GABA(A)α1 KO]. This...