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  1. The Structure of Neurexin 1[alpha] Reveals Features Promoting a Role as Synaptic Organizer

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    Chen, Fang; Venugopal, Vandavasi; Murray, Beverly; Rudenko, Gabby (Michigan)

    2014-10-02

    {alpha}-Neurexins are essential synaptic adhesion molecules implicated in autism spectrum disorder and schizophrenia. The {alpha}-neurexin extracellular domain consists of six LNS domains interspersed by three EGF-like repeats and interacts with many different proteins in the synaptic cleft. To understand how {alpha}-neurexins might function as synaptic organizers, we solved the structure of the neurexin 1{alpha} extracellular domain (n1{alpha}) to 2.65 {angstrom}. The L-shaped molecule can be divided into a flexible repeat I (LNS1-EGF-A-LNS2), a rigid horseshoe-shaped repeat II (LNS3-EGF-B-LNS4) with structural similarity to so-called reelin repeats, and an extended repeat III (LNS5-EGF-B-LNS6) with controlled flexibility. A 2.95 {angstrom} structure of n1{alpha} carrying splice insert SS3 in LNS4 reveals that SS3 protrudes as a loop and does not alter the rigid arrangement of repeat II. The global architecture imposed by conserved structural features enables {alpha}-neurexins to recruit and organize proteins in distinct and variable ways, influenced by splicing, thereby promoting synaptic function.

  2. Network-based characterization of the synaptic proteome reveals that removal of epigenetic regulator Prmt8 restricts proteins associated with synaptic maturation.

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    Lee, Patrick Kia Ming; Goh, Wilson Wen Bin; Sng, Judy Chia Ghee

    2017-02-01

    The brain adapts to dynamic environmental conditions by altering its epigenetic state, thereby influencing neuronal transcriptional programs. An example of an epigenetic modification is protein methylation, catalyzed by protein arginine methyltransferases (PRMT). One member, Prmt8, is selectively expressed in the central nervous system during a crucial phase of early development, but little else is known regarding its function. We hypothesize Prmt8 plays a role in synaptic maturation during development. To evaluate this, we used a proteome-wide approach to characterize the synaptic proteome of Prmt8 knockout versus wild-type mice. Through comparative network-based analyses, proteins and functional clusters related to neurite development were identified to be differentially regulated between the two genotypes. One interesting protein that was differentially regulated was tenascin-R (TNR). Chromatin immunoprecipitation demonstrated binding of PRMT8 to the tenascin-r (Tnr) promoter. TNR, a component of perineuronal nets, preserves structural integrity of synaptic connections within neuronal networks during the development of visual-somatosensory cortices. On closer inspection, Prmt8 removal increased net formation and decreased inhibitory parvalbumin-positive (PV+) puncta on pyramidal neurons, thereby hindering the maturation of circuits. Consequently, visual acuity of the knockout mice was reduced. Our results demonstrated Prmt8's involvement in synaptic maturation and its prospect as an epigenetic modulator of developmental neuroplasticity by regulating structural elements such as the perineuronal nets. © 2016 International Society for Neurochemistry.

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

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

    2017-01-01

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

  4. Ultrafast Synaptic Events in a Chalcogenide Memristor

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

    2013-04-01

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

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

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    Judit Remenyi

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

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

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

    2014-05-01

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

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

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    Kyung-Seok Han

    2017-01-01

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

  8. Synaptic Cell Adhesion

    OpenAIRE

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

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    Yiu Chung Tse

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

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

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    Veronica Bianchi

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

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

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

    2009-01-01

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

  12. EDITORIAL: Synaptic electronics Synaptic electronics

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

    2013-09-01

    Conventional computers excel in logic and accurate scientific calculations but make hard work of open ended problems that human brains handle easily. Even von Neumann—the mathematician and polymath who first developed the programming architecture that forms the basis of today's computers—was already looking to the brain for future developments before his death in 1957 [1]. Neuromorphic computing uses approaches that better mimic the working of the human brain. Recent developments in nanotechnology are now providing structures with very accommodating properties for neuromorphic approaches. This special issue, with guest editors James K Gimzewski and Dominique Vuillaume, is devoted to research at the serendipitous interface between the two disciplines. 'Synaptic electronics', looks at artificial devices with connections that demonstrate behaviour similar to synapses in the nervous system allowing a new and more powerful approach to computing. Synapses and connecting neurons respond differently to incident signals depending on the history of signals previously experienced, ultimately leading to short term and long term memory behaviour. The basic characteristics of a synapse can be replicated with around ten simple transistors. However with the human brain having around 1011 neurons and 1015 synapses, artificial neurons and synapses from basic transistors are unlikely to accommodate the scalability required. The discovery of nanoscale elements that function as 'memristors' has provided a key tool for the implementation of synaptic connections [2]. Leon Chua first developed the concept of the 'The memristor—the missing circuit element' in 1971 [3]. In this special issue he presents a tutorial describing how memristor research has fed into our understanding of synaptic behaviour and how they can be applied in information processing [4]. He also describes, 'The new principle of local activity, which uncovers a minuscule life-enabling "Goldilocks zone", dubbed the

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

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    Harsing, Laszlo G; Matyus, Peter

    2013-04-01

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

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

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

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

    2014-02-01

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

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

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    Hunter, J D; Milton, J G

    2001-08-01

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

  19. Revealing the programming process

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bennedsen, Jens; Caspersen, Michael Edelgaard

    2005-01-01

    One of the most important goals of an introductory programming course is that the students learn a systematic approach to the development of computer programs. Revealing the programming process is an important part of this; however, textbooks do not address the issue -- probably because...... the textbook medium is static and therefore ill-suited to expose the process of programming. We have found that process recordings in the form of captured narrated programming sessions are a simple, cheap, and efficient way of providing the revelation.We identify seven different elements of the programming...

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

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    Yoav Ben-Simon

    2015-07-01

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

  1. Synaptic genes are extensively downregulated across multiple brain regions in normal human aging and Alzheimer’s disease

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    Berchtold, Nicole C.; Coleman, Paul D.; Cribbs, David H.; Rogers, Joseph; Gillen, Daniel L.; Cotman, Carl W.

    2014-01-01

    Synapses are essential for transmitting, processing, and storing information, all of which decline in aging and Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Because synapse loss only partially accounts for the cognitive declines seen in aging and AD, we hypothesized that existing synapses might undergo molecular changes that reduce their functional capacity. Microarrays were used to evaluate expression profiles of 340 synaptic genes in aging (20–99 years) and AD across 4 brain regions from 81 cases. The analysis revealed an unexpectedly large number of significant expression changes in synapse-related genes in aging, with many undergoing progressive downregulation across aging and AD. Functional classification of the genes showing altered expression revealed that multiple aspects of synaptic function are affected, notably synaptic vesicle trafficking and release, neurotransmitter receptors and receptor trafficking, postsynaptic density scaffolding, cell adhesion regulating synaptic stability, and neuromodulatory systems. The widespread declines in synaptic gene expression in normal aging suggests that function of existing synapses might be impaired, and that a common set of synaptic genes are vulnerable to change in aging and AD. PMID:23273601

  2. Fragile X mental retardation protein regulates trans-synaptic signaling in Drosophila

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    Samuel H. Friedman

    2013-11-01

    Fragile X syndrome (FXS, the most common inherited determinant of intellectual disability and autism spectrum disorders, is caused by loss of the fragile X mental retardation 1 (FMR1 gene product (FMRP, an mRNA-binding translational repressor. A number of conserved FMRP targets have been identified in the well-characterized Drosophila FXS disease model, but FMRP is highly pleiotropic in function and the full spectrum of FMRP targets has yet to be revealed. In this study, screens for upregulated neural proteins in Drosophila fmr1 (dfmr1 null mutants reveal strong elevation of two synaptic heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs: GPI-anchored glypican Dally-like protein (Dlp and transmembrane Syndecan (Sdc. Our recent work has shown that Dlp and Sdc act as co-receptors regulating extracellular ligands upstream of intracellular signal transduction in multiple trans-synaptic pathways that drive synaptogenesis. Consistently, dfmr1 null synapses exhibit altered WNT signaling, with changes in both Wingless (Wg ligand abundance and downstream Frizzled-2 (Fz2 receptor C-terminal nuclear import. Similarly, a parallel anterograde signaling ligand, Jelly belly (Jeb, and downstream ERK phosphorylation (dpERK are depressed at dfmr1 null synapses. In contrast, the retrograde BMP ligand Glass bottom boat (Gbb and downstream signaling via phosphorylation of the transcription factor MAD (pMAD seem not to be affected. To determine whether HSPG upregulation is causative for synaptogenic defects, HSPGs were genetically reduced to control levels in the dfmr1 null background. HSPG correction restored both (1 Wg and Jeb trans-synaptic signaling, and (2 synaptic architecture and transmission strength back to wild-type levels. Taken together, these data suggest that FMRP negatively regulates HSPG co-receptors controlling trans-synaptic signaling during synaptogenesis, and that loss of this regulation causes synaptic structure and function defects characterizing the FXS disease state.

  3. Abnormal Mitochondrial Dynamics and Synaptic Degeneration as Early Events in Alzheimer’s Disease: Implications to Mitochondria-Targeted Antioxidant Therapeutics

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    Reddy, P. Hemachandra; Tripathy, Raghav; Troung, Quang; Thirumala, Karuna; Reddy, Tejaswini P.; Anekonda, Vishwanath; Shirendeb, Ulziibat P.; Calkins, Marcus J.; Reddy, Arubala P.; Mao, Peizhong; Manczak, Maria

    2011-01-01

    Synaptic pathology and mitochondrial oxidative damage are early events in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) progression. Loss of synapses and synaptic damage are the best correlate of cognitive deficits found in AD patients. Recent research on amyloid bet (Aβ) and mitochondria in AD revealed that Aβ accumulates in synapses and synaptic mitochondria, leading to abnormal mitochondrial dynamics and synaptic degeneration in AD neurons. Further, recent studies using live-cell imaging and primary neurons from amyloid beta precursor protein (AβPP) transgenic mice revealed that reduced mitochondrial mass, defective axonal transport of mitochondria and synaptic degeneration, indicating that Aβ is responsible for mitochondrial and synaptic deficiencies. Tremendous progress has been made in studying antioxidant approaches in mouse models of AD and clinical trials of AD patients. This article highlights the recent developments made in Aβ-induced abnormal mitochondrial dynamics, defective mitochondrial biogenesis, impaired axonal transport and synaptic deficiencies in AD. This article also focuses on mitochondrial approaches in treating AD, and also discusses latest research on mitochondria-targeted antioxidants in AD. PMID:22037588

  4. Synaptic electronics: materials, devices and applications.

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

    2013-09-27

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

  5. Synaptic electronics: materials, devices and applications

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  6. Banach Synaptic Algebras

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    Foulis, David J.; Pulmannov, Sylvia

    2018-04-01

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

  7. Ensemble stacking mitigates biases in inference of synaptic connectivity

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    Brendan Chambers

    2018-03-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rudenko, Gabby (Texas-MED)

    2017-01-01

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

  10. Synaptic Interactome Mining Reveals p140Cap as a New Hub for PSD Proteins Involved in Psychiatric and Neurological Disorders

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    Annalisa Alfieri

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Altered synaptic function has been associated with neurological and psychiatric conditions including intellectual disability, schizophrenia and autism spectrum disorder (ASD. Amongst the recently discovered synaptic proteins is p140Cap, an adaptor that localizes at dendritic spines and regulates their maturation and physiology. We recently showed that p140Cap knockout mice have cognitive deficits, impaired long-term potentiation (LTP and long-term depression (LTD, and immature, filopodia-like dendritic spines. Only a few p140Cap interacting proteins have been identified in the brain and the molecular complexes and pathways underlying p140Cap synaptic function are largely unknown. Here, we isolated and characterized the p140Cap synaptic interactome by co-immunoprecipitation from crude mouse synaptosomes, followed by mass spectrometry-based proteomics. We identified 351 p140Cap interactors and found that they cluster to sub complexes mostly located in the postsynaptic density (PSD. p140Cap interactors converge on key synaptic processes, including transmission across chemical synapses, actin cytoskeleton remodeling and cell-cell junction organization. Gene co-expression data further support convergent functions: the p140Cap interactors are tightly co-expressed with each other and with p140Cap. Importantly, the p140Cap interactome and its co-expression network show strong enrichment in genes associated with schizophrenia, autism, bipolar disorder, intellectual disability and epilepsy, supporting synaptic dysfunction as a shared biological feature in brain diseases. Overall, our data provide novel insights into the molecular organization of the synapse and indicate that p140Cap acts as a hub for postsynaptic complexes relevant to psychiatric and neurological disorders.

  11. Elevated interleukin-8 enhances prefrontal synaptic transmission in mice with persistent inflammatory pain

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    Cui Guang-bin

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Interleukin-8 (IL-8 is known for its roles in inflammation and plays critical roles in the development of pain. Its expression increases in the brain after peripheral inflammation. Prefrontal cortex, including the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC, is a forebrain structure known for its roles in pain transmission and modulation. Painful stimuli potentiate the prefrontal synaptic transmission, however, little is known about the expression of IL-8 and its role in the enhanced ACC synaptic transmission in animals with persistent inflammatory pain. Findings In the present study, we examined IL-8 expression in the ACC, somatosensory cortex (SSC, and the dorsal horn of lumbar spinal cord following hind-paw administration of complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA in mice and its effects on the ACC synaptic transmission. Quantification of IL-8 at protein level (by ELISA revealed enhanced expression in the ACC and spinal cord during the chronic phases of CFA-induced peripheral inflammation. In vitro whole-cell patch-clamp recordings revealed that IL-8 significantly enhanced synaptic transmission through increased probability of neurotransmitter release in the ACC slice. ACC local infusion of repertaxin, a non-competitive allosteric blocker of IL-8 receptors, notably prolonged the paw withdrawal latency to thermal radian heat stimuli bilaterally in mice. Conclusions Our findings suggest that up-regulation of IL-8 in the ACC partly attributable to the enhanced prefrontal synaptic transmission in the mice with persistent inflammatory pain.

  12. A targeted glycan-related gene screen reveals heparan sulfate proteoglycan sulfation regulates WNT and BMP trans-synaptic signaling.

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    Neil Dani

    Full Text Available A Drosophila transgenic RNAi screen targeting the glycan genome, including all N/O/GAG-glycan biosynthesis/modification enzymes and glycan-binding lectins, was conducted to discover novel glycan functions in synaptogenesis. As proof-of-product, we characterized functionally paired heparan sulfate (HS 6-O-sulfotransferase (hs6st and sulfatase (sulf1, which bidirectionally control HS proteoglycan (HSPG sulfation. RNAi knockdown of hs6st and sulf1 causes opposite effects on functional synapse development, with decreased (hs6st and increased (sulf1 neurotransmission strength confirmed in null mutants. HSPG co-receptors for WNT and BMP intercellular signaling, Dally-like Protein and Syndecan, are differentially misregulated in the synaptomatrix of these mutants. Consistently, hs6st and sulf1 nulls differentially elevate both WNT (Wingless; Wg and BMP (Glass Bottom Boat; Gbb ligand abundance in the synaptomatrix. Anterograde Wg signaling via Wg receptor dFrizzled2 C-terminus nuclear import and retrograde Gbb signaling via synaptic MAD phosphorylation and nuclear import are differentially activated in hs6st and sulf1 mutants. Consequently, transcriptional control of presynaptic glutamate release machinery and postsynaptic glutamate receptors is bidirectionally altered in hs6st and sulf1 mutants, explaining the bidirectional change in synaptic functional strength. Genetic correction of the altered WNT/BMP signaling restores normal synaptic development in both mutant conditions, proving that altered trans-synaptic signaling causes functional differentiation defects.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-09-01

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

  15. Synaptic Plasticity and Nociception

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ChenJianguo

    2004-01-01

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

  16. Activity-dependent modulation of neural circuit synaptic connectivity

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    Charles R Tessier

    2009-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meredith, Rhiannon M.; van Ooyen, Arjen

    2012-01-01

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

  18. Altered gene regulation and synaptic morphology in Drosophila learning and memory mutants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guan, Zhuo; Buhl, Lauren K.; Quinn, William G.; Littleton, J. Troy

    2011-01-01

    Genetic studies in Drosophila have revealed two separable long-term memory pathways defined as anesthesia-resistant memory (ARM) and long-lasting long-term memory (LLTM). ARM is disrupted in radish (rsh) mutants, whereas LLTM requires CREB-dependent protein synthesis. Although the downstream effectors of ARM and LLTM are distinct, pathways leading to these forms of memory may share the cAMP cascade critical for associative learning. Dunce, which encodes a cAMP-specific phosphodiesterase, and rutabaga, which encodes an adenylyl cyclase, both disrupt short-term memory. Amnesiac encodes a pituitary adenylyl cyclase-activating peptide homolog and is required for middle-term memory. Here, we demonstrate that the Radish protein localizes to the cytoplasm and nucleus and is a PKA phosphorylation target in vitro. To characterize how these plasticity pathways may manifest at the synaptic level, we assayed synaptic connectivity and performed an expression analysis to detect altered transcriptional networks in rutabaga, dunce, amnesiac, and radish mutants. All four mutants disrupt specific aspects of synaptic connectivity at larval neuromuscular junctions (NMJs). Genome-wide DNA microarray analysis revealed ∼375 transcripts that are altered in these mutants, suggesting defects in multiple neuronal signaling pathways. In particular, the transcriptional target Lapsyn, which encodes a leucine-rich repeat cell adhesion protein, localizes to synapses and regulates synaptic growth. This analysis provides insights into the Radish-dependent ARM pathway and novel transcriptional targets that may contribute to memory processing in Drosophila. PMID:21422168

  19. Synaptic consolidation across multiple timescales

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    Lorric Ziegler

    2014-03-01

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

  20. Computational identification of potential multitarget treatments for ameliorating the adverse effects of amyloid-β on synaptic plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anastasio, Thomas J

    2014-01-01

    The leading hypothesis on Alzheimer Disease (AD) is that it is caused by buildup of the peptide amyloid-β (Aβ), which initially causes dysregulation of synaptic plasticity and eventually causes destruction of synapses and neurons. Pharmacological efforts to limit Aβ buildup have proven ineffective, and this raises the twin challenges of understanding the adverse effects of Aβ on synapses and of suggesting pharmacological means to prevent them. The purpose of this paper is to initiate a computational approach to understanding the dysregulation by Aβ of synaptic plasticity and to offer suggestions whereby combinations of various chemical compounds could be arrayed against it. This data-driven approach confronts the complexity of synaptic plasticity by representing findings from the literature in a course-grained manner, and focuses on understanding the aggregate behavior of many molecular interactions. The same set of interactions is modeled by two different computer programs, each written using a different programming modality: one imperative, the other declarative. Both programs compute the same results over an extensive test battery, providing an essential crosscheck. Then the imperative program is used for the computationally intensive purpose of determining the effects on the model of every combination of ten different compounds, while the declarative program is used to analyze model behavior using temporal logic. Together these two model implementations offer new insights into the mechanisms by which Aβ dysregulates synaptic plasticity and suggest many drug combinations that potentially may reduce or prevent it.

  1. Computational identification of potential multitarget treatments for ameliorating the adverse effects of amyloid-beta on synaptic plasticity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas J. Anastasio

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available The leading hypothesis on Alzheimer Disease (AD is that it is caused by buildup of the peptide amyloid-beta (Abeta, which initially causes dysregulation of synaptic plasticity and eventually causes destruction of synapses and neurons. Pharmacological efforts to limit Abeta buildup have proven ineffective, and this raises the twin challenges of understanding the adverse effects of Abeta on synapses and of suggesting pharmacological means to prevent it. The purpose of this paper is to initiate a computational approach to understanding the dysregulation by Abeta of synaptic plasticity and to offer suggestions whereby combinations of various chemical compounds could be arrayed against it. This data-driven approach confronts the complexity of synaptic plasticity by representing findings from the literature in a course-grained manner, and focuses on understanding the aggregate behavior of many molecular interactions. The same set of interactions is modeled by two different computer programs, each written using a different programming modality: one imperative, the other declarative. Both programs compute the same results over an extensive test battery, providing an essential crosscheck. Then the imperative program is used for the computationally intensive purpose of determining the effects on the model of every combination of ten different compounds, while the declarative program is used to analyze model behavior using temporal logic. Together these two model implementations offer new insights into the mechanisms by which Abeta dysregulates synaptic plasticity and suggest many drug combinations that potentially may reduce or prevent it.

  2. Distinct neuronal coding schemes in memory revealed by selective erasure of fast synchronous synaptic transmission.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Wei; Morishita, Wade; Buckmaster, Paul S; Pang, Zhiping P; Malenka, Robert C; Südhof, Thomas C

    2012-03-08

    Neurons encode information by firing spikes in isolation or bursts and propagate information by spike-triggered neurotransmitter release that initiates synaptic transmission. Isolated spikes trigger neurotransmitter release unreliably but with high temporal precision. In contrast, bursts of spikes trigger neurotransmission reliably (i.e., boost transmission fidelity), but the resulting synaptic responses are temporally imprecise. However, the relative physiological importance of different spike-firing modes remains unclear. Here, we show that knockdown of synaptotagmin-1, the major Ca(2+) sensor for neurotransmitter release, abrogated neurotransmission evoked by isolated spikes but only delayed, without abolishing, neurotransmission evoked by bursts of spikes. Nevertheless, knockdown of synaptotagmin-1 in the hippocampal CA1 region did not impede acquisition of recent contextual fear memories, although it did impair the precision of such memories. In contrast, knockdown of synaptotagmin-1 in the prefrontal cortex impaired all remote fear memories. These results indicate that different brain circuits and types of memory employ distinct spike-coding schemes to encode and transmit information. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

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    Jianmin Yang

    2014-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bailey, Craig H; Kandel, Eric R

    2008-01-01

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

  5. Diacylglycerol kinases in the coordination of synaptic plasticity

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    Dongwon Lee

    2016-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-14

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

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

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    Sarah Perry

    2017-02-01

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

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

    KAUST Repository

    Orlando, Marta

    2017-10-17

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

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

    KAUST Repository

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-23

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joshua G.A Pinto

    2015-02-01

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

  12. Synaptic Correlates of Low-Level Perception in V1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerard-Mercier, Florian; Carelli, Pedro V; Pananceau, Marc; Troncoso, Xoana G; Frégnac, Yves

    2016-04-06

    The computational role of primary visual cortex (V1) in low-level perception remains largely debated. A dominant view assumes the prevalence of higher cortical areas and top-down processes in binding information across the visual field. Here, we investigated the role of long-distance intracortical connections in form and motion processing by measuring, with intracellular recordings, their synaptic impact on neurons in area 17 (V1) of the anesthetized cat. By systematically mapping synaptic responses to stimuli presented in the nonspiking surround of V1 receptive fields, we provide the first quantitative characterization of the lateral functional connectivity kernel of V1 neurons. Our results revealed at the population level two structural-functional biases in the synaptic integration and dynamic association properties of V1 neurons. First, subthreshold responses to oriented stimuli flashed in isolation in the nonspiking surround exhibited a geometric organization around the preferred orientation axis mirroring the psychophysical "association field" for collinear contour perception. Second, apparent motion stimuli, for which horizontal and feedforward synaptic inputs summed in-phase, evoked dominantly facilitatory nonlinear interactions, specifically during centripetal collinear activation along the preferred orientation axis, at saccadic-like speeds. This spatiotemporal integration property, which could constitute the neural correlate of a human perceptual bias in speed detection, suggests that local (orientation) and global (motion) information is already linked within V1. We propose the existence of a "dynamic association field" in V1 neurons, whose spatial extent and anisotropy are transiently updated and reshaped as a function of changes in the retinal flow statistics imposed during natural oculomotor exploration. The computational role of primary visual cortex in low-level perception remains debated. The expression of this "pop-out" perception is often assumed

  13. A versatile optical tool for studying synaptic GABAA receptor trafficking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lorenz-Guertin, Joshua M; Wilcox, Madeleine R; Zhang, Ming; Larsen, Mads B; Pilli, Jyotsna; Schmidt, Brigitte F; Bruchez, Marcel P; Johnson, Jon W; Waggoner, Alan S; Watkins, Simon C; Jacob, Tija C

    2017-11-15

    Live-cell imaging methods can provide critical real-time receptor trafficking measurements. Here, we describe an optical tool to study synaptic γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) type A receptor (GABA A R) dynamics through adaptable fluorescent-tracking capabilities. A fluorogen-activating peptide (FAP) was genetically inserted into a GABA A R γ2 subunit tagged with pH-sensitive green fluorescent protein (γ2 pH FAP). The FAP selectively binds and activates Malachite Green (MG) dyes that are otherwise non-fluorescent in solution. γ2 pH FAP GABA A Rs are expressed at the cell surface in transfected cortical neurons, form synaptic clusters and do not perturb neuronal development. Electrophysiological studies show γ2 pH FAP GABA A Rs respond to GABA and exhibit positive modulation upon stimulation with the benzodiazepine diazepam. Imaging studies using γ2 pH FAP-transfected neurons and MG dyes show time-dependent receptor accumulation into intracellular vesicles, revealing constitutive endosomal and lysosomal trafficking. Simultaneous analysis of synaptic, surface and lysosomal receptors using the γ2 pH FAP-MG dye approach reveals enhanced GABA A R turnover following a bicucculine-induced seizure paradigm, a finding not detected by standard surface receptor measurements. To our knowledge, this is the first application of the FAP-MG dye system in neurons, demonstrating the versatility to study nearly all phases of GABA A R trafficking. © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

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

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    Yanrui Yang

    2018-05-01

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

  15. Synaptic plasticity in drug reward circuitry.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2002-11-01

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

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

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    Owen Rackham

    2010-07-01

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

  17. Characterization of beta-adrenergic receptors in synaptic membranes from rat cerebral cortex and cerebellum

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lautens, L.

    1986-01-01

    Beta-adrenergic receptor ligand binding sites have been characterized in synaptic membranes from rat cerebral cortex and cerebellum using radioligand binding techniques. The equilibrium and kinetic properties of binding were assessed. The binding sites were non-interacting and exhibited two states of agonist binding which were sensitive to guanyl nucleotide. Synaptic membranes from cerebral cortex contained an equal number of beta 1 - and beta 2 -receptors; membranes from cerebellum possessed more beta 2 -than beta 1 -receptors. Photoaffinity labeling experiments revealed two different beta-adrenergic receptor polypeptides, R 1 and R 2 (and possibly a third, R 3 ) in synaptic membranes. The ratios of incorporation of photoaffinity label into R 1 : 2 were approximately 1:1 (cerebral cortex) and 5:1 (cerebellum). Photoaffinity labeling of R 1 and R 2 was inhibited equally well by both agonist and antagonist in synaptic membranes from cerebellum; whereas agonist was a less potent inhibitor in membranes from cerebral cortex. Both subtypes of beta-adrenergic receptors exhibited the same apparent molecular weight in synaptic membranes from cerebral cortex. The beta-adrenergic receptors in synaptic membranes from cerebral cortex and cerebellum were glycoproteins which exhibited the same apparent molecular weight after exposure to endoglycosidase F. The partial proteolytic digest maps of photoaffinity labeled beta-adrenergic receptors from rat cerebral cortex, cerebellum, lung and heart were compared

  18. Synaptic Effects of Electric Fields

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rahman, Asif

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-24

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

  20. Influence of Synaptic Depression on Memory Storage Capacity

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-08-01

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

  1. Secreted factors as synaptic organizers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson-Venkatesh, Erin M; Umemori, Hisashi

    2010-07-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  3. Spontaneous Vesicle Recycling in the Synaptic Bouton

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    Sven eTruckenbrodt

    2014-12-01

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

  4. Active hippocampal networks undergo spontaneous synaptic modification.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masako Tsukamoto-Yasui

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

    Selective pressure may drive neural systems to process as much information as possible with the lowest energy cost. Recent experiment evidence revealed that the ratio between synaptic excitation and inhibition (E/I) in local cortex is generally maintained at a certain value which may influence the efficiency of energy consumption and information transmission of neural networks. To understand this issue deeply, we constructed a typical recurrent Hodgkin-Huxley network model and studied the general principles that governs the relationship among the E/I synaptic current ratio, the energy cost and total amount of information transmission. We observed in such a network that there exists an optimal E/I synaptic current ratio in the network by which the information transmission achieves the maximum with relatively low energy cost. The coding energy efficiency which is defined as the mutual information divided by the energy cost, achieved the maximum with the balanced synaptic current. Although background noise degrades information transmission and imposes an additional energy cost, we find an optimal noise intensity that yields the largest information transmission and energy efficiency at this optimal E/I synaptic transmission ratio. The maximization of energy efficiency also requires a certain part of energy cost associated with spontaneous spiking and synaptic activities. We further proved this finding with analytical solution based on the response function of bistable neurons, and demonstrated that optimal net synaptic currents are capable of maximizing both the mutual information and energy efficiency. These results revealed that the development of E/I synaptic current balance could lead a cortical network to operate at a highly efficient information transmission rate at a relatively low energy cost. The generality of neuronal models and the recurrent network configuration used here suggest that the existence of an optimal E/I cell ratio for highly efficient energy

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

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    Yazmín Ramiro-Cortés

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

  8. Stochastic lattice model of synaptic membrane protein domains.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-05-01

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

  9. Self-organised criticality via retro-synaptic signals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernandez-Urbina, Victor; Herrmann, J. Michael

    2016-12-01

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

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

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    Dmitry V. Amakhin

    2016-10-01

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

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

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    Harish Babu

    2009-09-01

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

  12. Lateral regulation of synaptic transmission by astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Covelo, A; Araque, A

    2016-05-26

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  14. Attractor neural networks with resource-efficient synaptic connectivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pehlevan, Cengiz; Sengupta, Anirvan

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

  15. Targeting synaptic dysfunction in Alzheimer's disease by administering a specific nutrient combination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Wijk, Nick; Broersen, Laus M; de Wilde, Martijn C; Hageman, Robert J J; Groenendijk, Martine; Sijben, John W C; Kamphuis, Patrick J G H

    2014-01-01

    Synapse loss and synaptic dysfunction are pathological processes already involved in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Synapses consist principally of neuronal membranes, and the neuronal and synaptic losses observed in AD have been linked to the degeneration and altered composition and structure of these membranes. Consequently, synapse loss and membrane-related pathology provide viable targets for intervention in AD. The specific nutrient combination Fortasyn Connect (FC) is designed to ameliorate synapse loss and synaptic dysfunction in AD by addressing distinct nutritional needs believed to be present in these patients. This nutrient combination comprises uridine, docosahexaenoic acid, eicosapentaenoic acid, choline, phospholipids, folic acid, vitamins B12, B6, C, and E, and selenium, and is present in Souvenaid, a medical food intended for use in early AD. It has been hypothesized that FC counteracts synaptic loss and reduces membrane-related pathology in AD by providing nutritional precursors and cofactors that act together to support neuronal membrane formation and function. Preclinical studies formed the basis of this hypothesis which is being validated in a broad clinical study program investigating the potential of this nutrient combination in AD. Memory dysfunction is one key early manifestation in AD and is associated with synapse loss. The clinical studies to date show that the FC-containing medical food improves memory function and preserves functional brain network organization in mild AD compared with controls, supporting the hypothesis that this intervention counteracts synaptic dysfunction. This review provides a comprehensive overview of basic scientific studies that led to the creation of FC and of its effects in various preclinical models.

  16. Lack of paternal care affects synaptic development in the anterior cingulate cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ovtscharoff, Wladimir; Helmeke, Carina; Braun, Katharina

    2006-10-20

    Exposure to enriched or impoverished environmental conditions, experience and learning are factors which influence brain development, and it has been shown that neonatal emotional experience significantly interferes with the synaptic development of higher associative forebrain areas. Here, we analyzed the impact of paternal care, i.e. the father's emotional contribution towards his offspring, on the synaptic development of the anterior cingulate cortex. Our light and electron microscopic comparison of biparentally raised control animals and animals which were raised in single-mother families revealed no significant differences in spine densities on the apical dendrites of layer II/III pyramidal neurons and of asymmetric and symmetric spine synapses. However, significantly reduced densities (-33%) of symmetric shaft synapses were found in layer II of the fatherless animals compared to controls. This finding indicates an imbalance between excitatory and inhibitory synapses in the anterior cingulate cortex of father-deprived animals. Our results query the general assumption that a father has less impact on the synaptic maturation of his offspring's brain than the mother.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ines eHristovska

    2016-01-01

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

  18. Synapse geometry and receptor dynamics modulate synaptic strength.

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    Dominik Freche

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  20. Synaptic vesicle distribution by conveyor belt.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moughamian, Armen J; Holzbaur, Erika L F

    2012-03-02

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

  1. Presynaptic dystroglycan-pikachurin complex regulates the proper synaptic connection between retinal photoreceptor and bipolar cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Omori, Yoshihiro; Araki, Fumiyuki; Chaya, Taro; Kajimura, Naoko; Irie, Shoichi; Terada, Koji; Muranishi, Yuki; Tsujii, Toshinori; Ueno, Shinji; Koyasu, Toshiyuki; Tamaki, Yasuhiro; Kondo, Mineo; Amano, Shiro; Furukawa, Takahisa

    2012-05-02

    Dystroglycan (DG) is a key component of the dystrophin-glycoprotein complex (DGC) at the neuromuscular junction postsynapse. In the mouse retina, the DGC is localized at the presynapse of photoreceptor cells, however, the function of presynaptic DGC is poorly understood. Here, we developed and analyzed retinal photoreceptor-specific DG conditional knock-out (DG CKO) mice. We found that the DG CKO retina showed a reduced amplitude and a prolonged implicit time of the ERG b-wave. Electron microscopic analysis revealed that bipolar dendrite invagination into the photoreceptor terminus is perturbed in the DG CKO retina. In the DG CKO retina, pikachurin, a DG ligand in the retina, is markedly decreased at photoreceptor synapses. Interestingly, in the Pikachurin(-/-) retina, the DG signal at the ribbon synaptic terminus was severely reduced, suggesting that pikachurin is required for the presynaptic accumulation of DG at the photoreceptor synaptic terminus, and conversely DG is required for pikachurin accumulation. Furthermore, we found that overexpression of pikachurin induces formation and clustering of a DG-pikachurin complex on the cell surface. The Laminin G repeats of pikachurin, which are critical for its oligomerization and interaction with DG, were essential for the clustering of the DG-pikachurin complex as well. These results suggest that oligomerization of pikachurin and its interaction with DG causes DG assembly on the synapse surface of the photoreceptor synaptic terminals. Our results reveal that the presynaptic interaction of pikachurin with DG at photoreceptor terminals is essential for both the formation of proper photoreceptor ribbon synaptic structures and normal retinal electrophysiology.

  2. Synaptic dysbindin-1 reductions in schizophrenia occur in an isoform-specific manner indicating their subsynaptic location.

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    Konrad Talbot

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: An increasing number of studies report associations between variation in DTNBP1, a top candidate gene in schizophrenia, and both the clinical symptoms of the disorder and its cognitive deficits. DTNBP1 encodes dysbindin-1, reduced levels of which have been found in synaptic fields of schizophrenia cases. This study determined whether such synaptic reductions are isoform-specific. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Using Western blotting of tissue fractions, we first determined the synaptic localization of the three major dysbindin-1 isoforms (A, B, and C. All three were concentrated in synaptosomes of multiple brain areas, including auditory association cortices in the posterior half of the superior temporal gyrus (pSTG and the hippocampal formation (HF. Tests on the subsynaptic tissue fractions revealed that each isoform is predominantly, if not exclusively, associated with synaptic vesicles (dysbindin-1B or with postsynaptic densities (dysbindin-1A and -1C. Using Western blotting on pSTG (n = 15 and HF (n = 15 synaptosomal fractions from schizophrenia cases and their matched controls, we discovered that synaptic dysbindin-1 is reduced in an isoform-specific manner in schizophrenia without changes in levels of synaptophysin or PSD-95. In pSTG, about 92% of the schizophrenia cases displayed synaptic dysbindin-1A reductions averaging 48% (p = 0.0007 without alterations in other dysbindin-1 isoforms. In the HF, by contrast, schizophrenia cases displayed normal levels of synaptic dysbindin-1A, but 67% showed synaptic reductions in dysbindin-1B averaging 33% (p = 0.0256, while 80% showed synaptic reductions in dysbindin-1C averaging 35% (p = 0.0171. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Given the distinctive subsynaptic localization of dysbindin-1A, -1B, and -1C across brain regions, the observed pSTG reductions in dysbindin-1A are postsynaptic and may promote dendritic spine loss with consequent disruption of auditory information

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Venkataramani, Sowmya; Taylor, W Rowland

    2016-03-16

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

  5. Experimental Implementation of a Biometric Laser Synaptic Sensor

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexander N. Pisarchik

    2013-12-01

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

  6. Single cell electroporation for longitudinal imaging of synaptic structure and function in the adult mouse neocortex in vivo

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephane ePages

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Longitudinal imaging studies of neuronal structures in vivo have revealed rich dynamics in dendritic spines and axonal boutons. Spines and boutons are considered to be proxies for synapses. This implies that synapses display similar dynamics. However, spines and boutons do not always bear synapses, some may contain more than one, and dendritic shaft synapses have no clear structural proxies. In addition, synaptic strength is not always accurately revealed by just the size of these structures. Structural and functional dynamics of synapses could be studied more reliably using fluorescent synaptic proteins as markers for size and function. These proteins are often large and possibly interfere with circuit development, which renders them less suitable for conventional transfection or transgenesis methods such as viral vectors, in utero electroporation and germline transgenesis. Single cell electroporation has been shown to be a potential alternative for transfection of recombinant fluorescent proteins in adult cortical neurons. Here we provide proof of principle for the use of single cell electroporation to express and subsequently image fluorescently tagged synaptic proteins over days to weeks in vivo.

  7. Glutamatergic synaptic plasticity in the mesocorticolimbic system in addiction

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    Aile evan Huijstee

    2015-01-01

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

  8. Glutamatergic synaptic plasticity in the mesocorticolimbic system in addiction

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Melanie A Samuel

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayer, Stefanie N; Bading, Hilmar

    2015-02-27

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayer, Stefanie N.; Bading, Hilmar

    2015-01-01

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

  12. Molecular mechanisms of synaptic remodeling in alcoholism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kyzar, Evan J; Pandey, Subhash C

    2015-08-05

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

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

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    Sara Calafate

    2015-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-05-26

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-03-01

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

  16. Identification of a mouse synaptic glycoprotein gene in cultured neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Albert Cheung-Hoi; Sun, Chun Xiao; Li, Qiang; Liu, Hua Dong; Wang, Chen Ran; Zhao, Guo Ping; Jin, Meilei; Lau, Lok Ting; Fung, Yin-Wan Wendy; Liu, Shuang

    2005-10-01

    Neuronal differentiation and aging are known to involve many genes, which may also be differentially expressed during these developmental processes. From primary cultured cerebral cortical neurons, we have previously identified various differentially expressed gene transcripts from cultured cortical neurons using the technique of arbitrarily primed PCR (RAP-PCR). Among these transcripts, clone 0-2 was found to have high homology to rat and human synaptic glycoprotein. By in silico analysis using an EST database and the FACTURA software, the full-length sequence of 0-2 was assembled and the clone was named as mouse synaptic glycoprotein homolog 2 (mSC2). DNA sequencing revealed transcript size of mSC2 being smaller than the human and rat homologs. RT-PCR indicated that mSC2 was expressed differentially at various culture days. The mSC2 gene was located in various tissues with higher expression in brain, lung, and liver. Functions of mSC2 in neurons and other tissues remain elusive and will require more investigation.

  17. Nicotinic mechanisms influencing synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Andon Nicholas PLACZEK; Tao A ZHANG; John Anthony DANI

    2009-01-01

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

  18. Defective Glycinergic Synaptic Transmission in Zebrafish Motility Mutants

    OpenAIRE

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

    2010-01-01

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

  19. Neuro-inspired computing using resistive synaptic devices

    CERN Document Server

    2017-01-01

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

  20. Synaptic Correlates of Working Memory Capacity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mi, Yuanyuan; Katkov, Mikhail; Tsodyks, Misha

    2017-01-18

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matamales, Miriam

    2012-12-19

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

  2. Depression as a Glial-Based Synaptic Dysfunction

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    Daniel eRial

    2016-01-01

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

  3. Synaptic Vesicle Endocytosis in Different Model Systems

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    Quan Gan

    2018-06-01

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

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

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    Chang-Gyu Hahn

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

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

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

    2000-01-01

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

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

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    Gilles Erwann Martin

    2015-07-01

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

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

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

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

    2014-06-13

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

  9. Synaptic Plasticity, Dementia and Alzheimer Disease.

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

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    Clarrisa A Bradley

    2012-02-01

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

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

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    Mengjiao Chen

    2016-10-01

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

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

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

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    Kristina eSchulz

    2010-12-01

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

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

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

    2003-11-01

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

  15. Association of intracellular and synaptic organization in cochlear inner hair cells revealed by 3D electron microscopy

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    Bullen, Anwen; West, Timothy; Moores, Carolyn; Ashmore, Jonathan; Fleck, Roland A.; MacLellan-Gibson, Kirsty; Forge, Andrew

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT The ways in which cell architecture is modelled to meet cell function is a poorly understood facet of cell biology. To address this question, we have studied the cytoarchitecture of a cell with highly specialised organisation, the cochlear inner hair cell (IHC), using multiple hierarchies of three-dimensional (3D) electron microscopy analyses. We show that synaptic terminal distribution on the IHC surface correlates with cell shape, and the distribution of a highly organised network ...

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

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

    2014-10-01

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

  17. Imbalanced pattern completion vs. separation in cognitive disease: network simulations of synaptic pathologies predict a personalized therapeutics strategy

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    Hanson Jesse E

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Diverse Mouse genetic models of neurodevelopmental, neuropsychiatric, and neurodegenerative causes of impaired cognition exhibit at least four convergent points of synaptic malfunction: 1 Strength of long-term potentiation (LTP, 2 Strength of long-term depression (LTD, 3 Relative inhibition levels (Inhibition, and 4 Excitatory connectivity levels (Connectivity. Results To test the hypothesis that pathological increases or decreases in these synaptic properties could underlie imbalances at the level of basic neural network function, we explored each type of malfunction in a simulation of autoassociative memory. These network simulations revealed that one impact of impairments or excesses in each of these synaptic properties is to shift the trade-off between pattern separation and pattern completion performance during memory storage and recall. Each type of synaptic pathology either pushed the network balance towards intolerable error in pattern separation or intolerable error in pattern completion. Imbalances caused by pathological impairments or excesses in LTP, LTD, inhibition, or connectivity, could all be exacerbated, or rescued, by the simultaneous modulation of any of the other three synaptic properties. Conclusions Because appropriate modulation of any of the synaptic properties could help re-balance network function, regardless of the origins of the imbalance, we propose a new strategy of personalized cognitive therapeutics guided by assay of pattern completion vs. pattern separation function. Simulated examples and testable predictions of this theorized approach to cognitive therapeutics are presented.

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

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    Yuzaki, Michisuke

    2018-02-10

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

  19. Electric Dipole Theory of Chemical Synaptic Transmission

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    Wei, Ling Y.

    1968-01-01

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

  20. Astroglial Metabolic Networks Sustain Hippocampal Synaptic Transmission

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

    2008-12-01

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

  1. Astroglial metabolic networks sustain hippocampal synaptic transmission.

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

    2008-12-05

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

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

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    Denise eManahan-Vaughan

    2011-03-01

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

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

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    Zedong eBi

    2016-02-01

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

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

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

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

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

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

    2016-02-01

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

  6. Deconvolution of Voltage Sensor Time Series and Electro-diffusion Modeling Reveal the Role of Spine Geometry in Controlling Synaptic Strength.

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    Cartailler, Jerome; Kwon, Taekyung; Yuste, Rafael; Holcman, David

    2018-03-07

    Most synaptic excitatory connections are made on dendritic spines. But how the voltage in spines is modulated by its geometry remains unclear. To investigate the electrical properties of spines, we combine voltage imaging data with electro-diffusion modeling. We first present a temporal deconvolution procedure for the genetically encoded voltage sensor expressed in hippocampal cultured neurons and then use electro-diffusion theory to compute the electric field and the current-voltage conversion. We extract a range for the neck resistances of 〈R〉=100±35MΩ. When a significant current is injected in a spine, the neck resistance can be inversely proportional to its radius, but not to the radius square, as predicted by Ohm's law. We conclude that the postsynaptic voltage cannot only be modulated by changing the number of receptors, but also by the spine geometry. Thus, spine morphology could be a key component in determining synaptic transduction and plasticity. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-02-13

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

  8. Conditional Loss of Hoxa5 Function Early after Birth Impacts on Expression of Genes with Synaptic Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lizen, Benoit; Moens, Charlotte; Mouheiche, Jinane; Sacré, Thomas; Ahn, Marie-Thérèse; Jeannotte, Lucie; Salti, Ahmad; Gofflot, Françoise

    2017-01-01

    Hoxa5 is a member of the Hox gene family that plays critical roles in successive steps of the central nervous system formation during embryonic and fetal development. In the mouse, Hoxa5 was recently shown to be expressed in the medulla oblongata and the pons from fetal stages to adulthood. In these territories, Hoxa5 transcripts are enriched in many precerebellar neurons and several nuclei involved in autonomic functions, while the HOXA5 protein is detected mainly in glutamatergic and GABAergic neurons. However, whether HOXA5 is functionally required in these neurons after birth remains unknown. As a first approach to tackle this question, we aimed at determining the molecular programs downstream of the HOXA5 transcription factor in the context of the postnatal brainstem. A comparative transcriptomic analysis was performed in combination with gene expression localization, using a conditional postnatal Hoxa5 loss-of-function mouse model. After inactivation of Hoxa5 at postnatal days (P)1–P4, we established the transcriptome of the brainstem from P21 Hoxa5 conditional mutants using RNA-Seq analysis. One major finding was the downregulation of several genes associated with synaptic function in Hoxa5 mutant specimens including different actors involved in glutamatergic synapse, calcium signaling pathway, and GABAergic synapse. Data were confirmed and extended by reverse transcription quantitative polymerase chain reaction analysis, and the expression of several HOXA5 candidate targets was shown to co-localize with Hoxa5 transcripts in precerebellar nuclei. Together, these new results revealed that HOXA5, through the regulation of key actors of the glutamatergic/GABAergic synapses and calcium signaling, might be involved in synaptogenesis, synaptic transmission, and synaptic plasticity of the cortico-ponto-cerebellar circuitry in the postnatal brainstem. PMID:29187810

  9. Conditional Loss of Hoxa5 Function Early after Birth Impacts on Expression of Genes with Synaptic Function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benoit Lizen

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Hoxa5 is a member of the Hox gene family that plays critical roles in successive steps of the central nervous system formation during embryonic and fetal development. In the mouse, Hoxa5 was recently shown to be expressed in the medulla oblongata and the pons from fetal stages to adulthood. In these territories, Hoxa5 transcripts are enriched in many precerebellar neurons and several nuclei involved in autonomic functions, while the HOXA5 protein is detected mainly in glutamatergic and GABAergic neurons. However, whether HOXA5 is functionally required in these neurons after birth remains unknown. As a first approach to tackle this question, we aimed at determining the molecular programs downstream of the HOXA5 transcription factor in the context of the postnatal brainstem. A comparative transcriptomic analysis was performed in combination with gene expression localization, using a conditional postnatal Hoxa5 loss-of-function mouse model. After inactivation of Hoxa5 at postnatal days (P1–P4, we established the transcriptome of the brainstem from P21 Hoxa5 conditional mutants using RNA-Seq analysis. One major finding was the downregulation of several genes associated with synaptic function in Hoxa5 mutant specimens including different actors involved in glutamatergic synapse, calcium signaling pathway, and GABAergic synapse. Data were confirmed and extended by reverse transcription quantitative polymerase chain reaction analysis, and the expression of several HOXA5 candidate targets was shown to co-localize with Hoxa5 transcripts in precerebellar nuclei. Together, these new results revealed that HOXA5, through the regulation of key actors of the glutamatergic/GABAergic synapses and calcium signaling, might be involved in synaptogenesis, synaptic transmission, and synaptic plasticity of the cortico-ponto-cerebellar circuitry in the postnatal brainstem.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sears, James C.; Broadie, Kendal

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-04-25

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

  12. Selective synaptic targeting of the excitatory and inhibitory presynaptic organizers FGF22 and FGF7.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Terauchi, Akiko; Timmons, Kendall M; Kikuma, Koto; Pechmann, Yvonne; Kneussel, Matthias; Umemori, Hisashi

    2015-01-15

    Specific formation of excitatory and inhibitory synapses is crucial for proper functioning of the brain. Fibroblast growth factor 22 (FGF22) and FGF7 are postsynaptic-cell-derived presynaptic organizers necessary for excitatory and inhibitory presynaptic differentiation, respectively, in the hippocampus. For the establishment of specific synaptic networks, these FGFs must localize to appropriate synaptic locations - FGF22 to excitatory and FGF7 to inhibitory postsynaptic sites. Here, we show that distinct motor and adaptor proteins contribute to intracellular microtubule transport of FGF22 and FGF7. Excitatory synaptic targeting of FGF22 requires the motor proteins KIF3A and KIF17 and the adaptor protein SAP102 (also known as DLG3). By contrast, inhibitory synaptic targeting of FGF7 requires the motor KIF5 and the adaptor gephyrin. Time-lapse imaging shows that FGF22 moves with SAP102, whereas FGF7 moves with gephyrin. These results reveal the basis of selective targeting of the excitatory and inhibitory presynaptic organizers that supports their different synaptogenic functions. Finally, we found that knockdown of SAP102 or PSD95 (also known as DLG4), which impairs the differentiation of excitatory synapses, alters FGF7 localization, suggesting that signals from excitatory synapses might regulate inhibitory synapse formation by controlling the distribution of the inhibitory presynaptic organizer. © 2015. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  14. γ1-Containing GABA-A Receptors Cluster at Synapses Where they Mediate Slower Synaptic Currents than γ2-Containing GABA-A Receptors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christine L. Dixon

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available GABA-A receptors (GABAARs are pentameric ligand-gated ion channels that are assembled mainly from α (α1–6, β (β1–3 and γ (γ1–3 subunits. Although GABAARs containing γ2L subunits mediate most of the inhibitory neurotransmission in the brain, significant expression of γ1 subunits is seen in the amygdala, pallidum and substantia nigra. However, the location and function of γ1-containing GABAARs in these regions remains unclear. In “artificial” synapses, where the subunit composition of postsynaptic receptors is specifically controlled, γ1 incorporation slows the synaptic current decay rate without affecting channel deactivation, suggesting that γ1-containing receptors are not clustered and therefore activated by diffuse neurotransmitter. However, we show that γ1-containing receptors are localized at neuronal synapses and form clusters in both synaptic and extrasynaptic regions. In addition, they exhibit rapid membrane diffusion and a higher frequency of exchange between synaptic and perisynaptic populations compared to γ2L-containing GABAARs. A point mutation in the large intracellular domain and a pharmacological analysis reveal that when a single non-conserved γ2L residue is mutated to its γ1 counterpart (T349L, the synaptic current decay is slowed from γ2L- to γ1-like without changing the clustering or diffusion properties of the receptors. In addition, previous fast perfusion and single channel kinetic experiments revealed no difference in the intrinsic closing rates of γ2L- and γ1-containing receptors when expressed in HEK293 cells. These observations together with Monte Carlo simulations of synaptic function confirm that decreased clustering does not control γ1-containing GABAAR kinetics. Rather, they suggest that γ1- and γ2L-containing receptors exhibit differential synaptic current decay rates due to differential gating dynamics when localized at the synapse.

  15. Enhanced Synaptic Transmission at the Squid Giant Synapse by Artificial Seawater Based on Physically Modified Saline

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Soonwook eChoi

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Superfusion of the squid giant synapse with artificial seawater (ASW based on isotonic saline containing oxygen nanobubbles (RNS60 ASW generates an enhancement of synaptic transmission. This was determined by examining the postsynaptic response to single and repetitive presynaptic spike activation, spontaneous transmitter release, and presynaptic voltage clamp studies. In the presence of RNS60 ASW single presynaptic stimulation elicited larger postsynaptic potentials (PSP and more robust recovery from high frequency stimulation than in control ASW. Analysis of postsynaptic noise revealed an increase in spontaneous transmitter release with modified noise kinetics in RNS60 ASW. Presynaptic voltage clamp demonstrated an increased EPSP, without an increase in presynaptic ICa⁺⁺ amplitude during RNS60 ASW superfusion. Synaptic release enhancement reached stable maxima within 5 to 10 minutes of RNS60 ASW superfusion and was maintained for the entire recording time, up to one hour. Electronmicroscopic morphometry indicated a decrease in synaptic vesicle density and the number at active zones with an increase in the number of clathrin-coated vesicles and large endosome-like vesicles near junctional sites. Block of mitochondrial ATP synthesis by presynaptic injection of oligomycin reduced spontaneous release and prevented the synaptic noise increase seen in RNS60 ASW. After ATP block the number of vesicles at the active zone and clathrin-coated vesicles was reduced, with an increase in large vesicles. The possibility that RNS60 ASW acts by increasing mitochondrial ATP synthesis was tested by direct determination of ATP levels in both presynaptic and postsynaptic structures. This was implemented using luciferin/luciferase photon emission, which demonstrated a marked increase in ATP synthesis following RNS60 administration. It is concluded that RNS60 positively modulates synaptic transmission by up-regulating ATP synthesis, thus leading to synaptic

  16. Enhanced synaptic transmission at the squid giant synapse by artificial seawater based on physically modified saline

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choi, Soonwook; Yu, Eunah; Rabello, Guilherme; Merlo, Suelen; Zemmar, Ajmal; Walton, Kerry D.; Moreno, Herman; Moreira, Jorge E.; Sugimori, Mutsuyuki; Llinás, Rodolfo R.

    2014-01-01

    Superfusion of the squid giant synapse with artificial seawater (ASW) based on isotonic saline containing oxygen nanobubbles (RNS60 ASW) generates an enhancement of synaptic transmission. This was determined by examining the postsynaptic response to single and repetitive presynaptic spike activation, spontaneous transmitter release, and presynaptic voltage clamp studies. In the presence of RNS60 ASW single presynaptic stimulation elicited larger postsynaptic potentials (PSP) and more robust recovery from high frequency stimulation than in control ASW. Analysis of postsynaptic noise revealed an increase in spontaneous transmitter release with modified noise kinetics in RNS60 ASW. Presynaptic voltage clamp demonstrated an increased EPSP, without an increase in presynaptic ICa++ amplitude during RNS60 ASW superfusion. Synaptic release enhancement reached stable maxima within 5–10 min of RNS60 ASW superfusion and was maintained for the entire recording time, up to 1 h. Electronmicroscopic morphometry indicated a decrease in synaptic vesicle density and the number at active zones with an increase in the number of clathrin-coated vesicles (CCV) and large endosome-like vesicles near junctional sites. Block of mitochondrial ATP synthesis by presynaptic injection of oligomycin reduced spontaneous release and prevented the synaptic noise increase seen in RNS60 ASW. After ATP block the number of vesicles at the active zone and CCV was reduced, with an increase in large vesicles. The possibility that RNS60 ASW acts by increasing mitochondrial ATP synthesis was tested by direct determination of ATP levels in both presynaptic and postsynaptic structures. This was implemented using luciferin/luciferase photon emission, which demonstrated a marked increase in ATP synthesis following RNS60 administration. It is concluded that RNS60 positively modulates synaptic transmission by up-regulating ATP synthesis, thus leading to synaptic transmission enhancement. PMID:24575037

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zonta, Barbara; Minichiello, Liliana

    2013-10-18

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barbara eZonta

    2013-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  1. Defective glycinergic synaptic transmission in zebrafish motility mutants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hiromi Hirata

    2010-01-01

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

  2. Defective Glycinergic Synaptic Transmission in Zebrafish Motility Mutants

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-09

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shlaer, Benjamin; Miller, Paul

    2015-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Xin; Gao, Jian-Feng

    2017-06-25

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

  6. Neuronal cytoskeleton in synaptic plasticity and regeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gordon-Weeks, Phillip R; Fournier, Alyson E

    2014-04-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christoph Straub

    2016-07-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Guzulaitis, Robertas; Hounsgaard, Jorn

    2017-01-01

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

  9. Orientation selectivity of synaptic input to neurons in mouse and cat primary visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Andrew Y Y; Brown, Brandon D; Scholl, Benjamin; Mohanty, Deepankar; Priebe, Nicholas J

    2011-08-24

    Primary visual cortex (V1) is the site at which orientation selectivity emerges in mammals: visual thalamus afferents to V1 respond equally to all stimulus orientations, whereas their target V1 neurons respond selectively to stimulus orientation. The emergence of orientation selectivity in V1 has long served as a model for investigating cortical computation. Recent evidence for orientation selectivity in mouse V1 opens cortical computation to dissection by genetic and imaging tools, but also raises two essential questions: (1) How does orientation selectivity in mouse V1 neurons compare with that in previously described species? (2) What is the synaptic basis for orientation selectivity in mouse V1? A comparison of orientation selectivity in mouse and in cat, where such measures have traditionally been made, reveals that orientation selectivity in mouse V1 is weaker than in cat V1, but that spike threshold plays a similar role in narrowing selectivity between membrane potential and spike rate. To uncover the synaptic basis for orientation selectivity, we made whole-cell recordings in vivo from mouse V1 neurons, comparing neuronal input selectivity-based on membrane potential, synaptic excitation, and synaptic inhibition-to output selectivity based on spiking. We found that a neuron's excitatory and inhibitory inputs are selective for the same stimulus orientations as is its membrane potential response, and that inhibitory selectivity is not broader than excitatory selectivity. Inhibition has different dynamics than excitation, adapting more rapidly. In neurons with temporally modulated responses, the timing of excitation and inhibition was different in mice and cats.

  10. Synaptic theory of Replicator-like melioration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yonatan Loewenstein

    2010-06-01

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

  11. Ensemble stacking mitigates biases in inference of synaptic connectivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chambers, Brendan; Levy, Maayan; Dechery, Joseph B; MacLean, Jason N

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jason Tait Sanchez Quinones

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-05-19

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schroeder, Anna; de Wit, Joris

    2018-04-09

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maya Kaufman

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-11-01

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

  2. Statistical theory of synaptic connectivity in the neocortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Escobar, Gina

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

  3. The Corticohippocampal Circuit, Synaptic Plasticity, and Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Basu, Jayeeta; Siegelbaum, Steven A.

    2015-01-01

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

  4. Optogenetic Examination of Prefrontal-Amygdala Synaptic Development.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-03-15

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

  5. Synaptic control of motoneuronal excitability

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2000-01-01

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

  6. Glial processes at the Drosophila larval neuromuscular junction match synaptic growth.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Deidre L Brink

    Full Text Available Glia are integral participants in synaptic physiology, remodeling and maturation from blowflies to humans, yet how glial structure is coordinated with synaptic growth is unknown. To investigate the dynamics of glial development at the Drosophila larval neuromuscular junction (NMJ, we developed a live imaging system to establish the relationship between glia, neuronal boutons, and the muscle subsynaptic reticulum. Using this system we observed processes from two classes of peripheral glia present at the NMJ. Processes from the subperineurial glia formed a blood-nerve barrier around the axon proximal to the first bouton. Processes from the perineurial glial extended beyond the end of the blood-nerve barrier into the NMJ where they contacted synapses and extended across non-synaptic muscle. Growth of the glial processes was coordinated with NMJ growth and synaptic activity. Increasing synaptic size through elevated temperature or the highwire mutation increased the extent of glial processes at the NMJ and conversely blocking synaptic activity and size decreased the presence and size of glial processes. We found that elevated temperature was required during embryogenesis in order to increase glial expansion at the nmj. Therefore, in our live imaging system, glial processes at the NMJ are likely indirectly regulated by synaptic changes to ensure the coordinated growth of all components of the tripartite larval NMJ.

  7. Impairment of Release Site Clearance within the Active Zone by Reduced SCAMP5 Expression Causes Short-Term Depression of Synaptic Release

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daehun Park

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Summary: Despite being a highly enriched synaptic vesicle (SV protein and a candidate gene for autism, the physiological function of SCAMP5 remains mostly enigmatic. Here, using optical imaging and electrophysiological experiments, we demonstrate that SCAMP5 plays a critical role in release site clearance at the active zone. Truncation analysis revealed that the 2/3 loop domain of SCAMP5 directly interacts with adaptor protein 2, and this interaction is critical for its role in release site clearance. Knockdown (KD of SCAMP5 exhibited pronounced synaptic depression accompanied by a slower recovery of the SV pool. Moreover, it induced a strong frequency-dependent short-term depression of synaptic release, even under the condition of sufficient release-ready SVs. Super-resolution microscopy further proved the defects in SV protein clearance induced by KD. Thus, reduced expression of SCAMP5 may impair the efficiency of SV clearance at the active zone, and this might relate to the synaptic dysfunction observed in autism. : Park et al. show that SCAMP5 plays an important role in release site clearance during intense neuronal activity. Loss of SCAMP5 results in a traffic jam at release sites, causing aberrant short-term synaptic depression that might be associated with the synaptic dysfunction observed in autism. Keywords: secretory carrier membrane protein, SCAMP5, autism spectrum disorder, adaptor protein 2, release site clearance, presynaptic active zone, short-term depression, endocytosis, super-resolution microscopy

  8. A light-stimulated synaptic transistor with synaptic plasticity and memory functions based on InGaZnO_x–Al_2O_3 thin film structure

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Li, H. K.; Chen, T. P.; Liu, P.; Zhang, Q.; Hu, S. G.; Liu, Y.; Lee, P. S.

    2016-01-01

    In this work, a synaptic transistor based on the indium gallium zinc oxide (IGZO)–aluminum oxide (Al_2O_3) thin film structure, which uses ultraviolet (UV) light pulses as the pre-synaptic stimulus, has been demonstrated. The synaptic transistor exhibits the behavior of synaptic plasticity like the paired-pulse facilitation. In addition, it also shows the brain's memory behaviors including the transition from short-term memory to long-term memory and the Ebbinghaus forgetting curve. The synapse-like behavior and memory behaviors of the transistor are due to the trapping and detrapping processes of the holes, which are generated by the UV pulses, at the IGZO/Al_2O_3 interface and/or in the Al_2O_3 layer.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Akira Takashima

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rune W Berg

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

  11. Irregular persistent activity induced by synaptic excitatory feedback

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francesca Barbieri

    2007-11-01

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

  12. Mice lacking the transcriptional regulator Bhlhe40 have enhanced neuronal excitability and impaired synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kelly A Hamilton

    Full Text Available Bhlhe40 is a transcription factor that is highly expressed in the hippocampus; however, its role in neuronal function is not well understood. Here, we used Bhlhe40 null mice on a congenic C57Bl6/J background (Bhlhe40 KO to investigate the impact of Bhlhe40 on neuronal excitability and synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus. Bhlhe40 KO CA1 neurons had increased miniature excitatory post-synaptic current amplitude and decreased inhibitory post-synaptic current amplitude, indicating CA1 neuronal hyperexcitability. Increased CA1 neuronal excitability was not associated with increased seizure severity as Bhlhe40 KO relative to +/+ (WT control mice injected with the convulsant kainic acid. However, significant reductions in long term potentiation and long term depression at CA1 synapses were observed in Bhlhe40 KO mice, indicating impaired hippocampal synaptic plasticity. Behavioral testing for spatial learning and memory on the Morris Water Maze (MWM revealed that while Bhlhe40 KO mice performed similarly to WT controls initially, when the hidden platform was moved to the opposite quadrant Bhlhe40 KO mice showed impairments in relearning, consistent with decreased hippocampal synaptic plasticity. To investigate possible mechanisms for increased neuronal excitability and decreased synaptic plasticity, a whole genome mRNA expression profile of Bhlhe40 KO hippocampus was performed followed by a chromatin immunoprecipitation sequencing (ChIP-Seq screen of the validated candidate genes for Bhlhe40 protein-DNA interactions consistent with transcriptional regulation. Of the validated genes identified from mRNA expression analysis, insulin degrading enzyme (Ide had the most significantly altered expression in hippocampus and was significantly downregulated on the RNA and protein levels; although Bhlhe40 did not occupy the Ide gene by ChIP-Seq. Together, these findings support a role for Bhlhe40 in regulating neuronal excitability and synaptic plasticity in

  13. Robust short-term memory without synaptic learning.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samuel Johnson

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

  14. Robust short-term memory without synaptic learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  15. Robust Short-Term Memory without Synaptic Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  16. Precise synaptic efficacy alignment suggests potentiation dominated learning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christoph eHartmann

    2016-01-01

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

  17. Fully parallel write/read in resistive synaptic array for accelerating on-chip learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Ligang; Wang, I.-Ting; Chen, Pai-Yu; Vrudhula, Sarma; Seo, Jae-sun; Cao, Yu; Hou, Tuo-Hung; Yu, Shimeng

    2015-11-01

    A neuro-inspired computing paradigm beyond the von Neumann architecture is emerging and it generally takes advantage of massive parallelism and is aimed at complex tasks that involve intelligence and learning. The cross-point array architecture with synaptic devices has been proposed for on-chip implementation of the weighted sum and weight update in the learning algorithms. In this work, forming-free, silicon-process-compatible Ta/TaO x /TiO2/Ti synaptic devices are fabricated, in which >200 levels of conductance states could be continuously tuned by identical programming pulses. In order to demonstrate the advantages of parallelism of the cross-point array architecture, a novel fully parallel write scheme is designed and experimentally demonstrated in a small-scale crossbar array to accelerate the weight update in the training process, at a speed that is independent of the array size. Compared to the conventional row-by-row write scheme, it achieves >30× speed-up and >30× improvement in energy efficiency as projected in a large-scale array. If realistic synaptic device characteristics such as device variations are taken into an array-level simulation, the proposed array architecture is able to achieve ∼95% recognition accuracy of MNIST handwritten digits, which is close to the accuracy achieved by software using the ideal sparse coding algorithm.

  18. Fully parallel write/read in resistive synaptic array for accelerating on-chip learning

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gao, Ligang; Chen, Pai-Yu; Seo, Jae-sun; Cao, Yu; Yu, Shimeng; Wang, I-Ting; Hou, Tuo-Hung; Vrudhula, Sarma

    2015-01-01

    A neuro-inspired computing paradigm beyond the von Neumann architecture is emerging and it generally takes advantage of massive parallelism and is aimed at complex tasks that involve intelligence and learning. The cross-point array architecture with synaptic devices has been proposed for on-chip implementation of the weighted sum and weight update in the learning algorithms. In this work, forming-free, silicon-process-compatible Ta/TaO_x/TiO_2/Ti synaptic devices are fabricated, in which >200 levels of conductance states could be continuously tuned by identical programming pulses. In order to demonstrate the advantages of parallelism of the cross-point array architecture, a novel fully parallel write scheme is designed and experimentally demonstrated in a small-scale crossbar array to accelerate the weight update in the training process, at a speed that is independent of the array size. Compared to the conventional row-by-row write scheme, it achieves >30× speed-up and >30× improvement in energy efficiency as projected in a large-scale array. If realistic synaptic device characteristics such as device variations are taken into an array-level simulation, the proposed array architecture is able to achieve ∼95% recognition accuracy of MNIST handwritten digits, which is close to the accuracy achieved by software using the ideal sparse coding algorithm. (paper)

  19. Preparation of synaptic plasma membrane and postsynaptic density proteins using a discontinuous sucrose gradient.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bermejo, Marie Kristel; Milenkovic, Marija; Salahpour, Ali; Ramsey, Amy J

    2014-09-03

    Neuronal subcellular fractionation techniques allow the quantification of proteins that are trafficked to and from the synapse. As originally described in the late 1960's, proteins associated with the synaptic plasma membrane can be isolated by ultracentrifugation on a sucrose density gradient. Once synaptic membranes are isolated, the macromolecular complex known as the post-synaptic density can be subsequently isolated due to its detergent insolubility. The techniques used to isolate synaptic plasma membranes and post-synaptic density proteins remain essentially the same after 40 years, and are widely used in current neuroscience research. This article details the fractionation of proteins associated with the synaptic plasma membrane and post-synaptic density using a discontinuous sucrose gradient. Resulting protein preparations are suitable for western blotting or 2D DIGE analysis.

  20. Spike Train Auto-Structure Impacts Post-Synaptic Firing and Timing-Based Plasticity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scheller, Bertram; Castellano, Marta; Vicente, Raul; Pipa, Gordon

    2011-01-01

    Cortical neurons are typically driven by several thousand synapses. The precise spatiotemporal pattern formed by these inputs can modulate the response of a post-synaptic cell. In this work, we explore how the temporal structure of pre-synaptic inhibitory and excitatory inputs impact the post-synaptic firing of a conductance-based integrate and fire neuron. Both the excitatory and inhibitory input was modeled by renewal gamma processes with varying shape factors for modeling regular and temporally random Poisson activity. We demonstrate that the temporal structure of mutually independent inputs affects the post-synaptic firing, while the strength of the effect depends on the firing rates of both the excitatory and inhibitory inputs. In a second step, we explore the effect of temporal structure of mutually independent inputs on a simple version of Hebbian learning, i.e., hard bound spike-timing-dependent plasticity. We explore both the equilibrium weight distribution and the speed of the transient weight dynamics for different mutually independent gamma processes. We find that both the equilibrium distribution of the synaptic weights and the speed of synaptic changes are modulated by the temporal structure of the input. Finally, we highlight that the sensitivity of both the post-synaptic firing as well as the spike-timing-dependent plasticity on the auto-structure of the input of a neuron could be used to modulate the learning rate of synaptic modification. PMID:22203800

  1. Overelaborated synaptic architecture and reduced synaptomatrix glycosylation in a Drosophila classic galactosemia disease model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patricia Jumbo-Lucioni

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Classic galactosemia (CG is an autosomal recessive disorder resulting from loss of galactose-1-phosphate uridyltransferase (GALT, which catalyzes conversion of galactose-1-phosphate and uridine diphosphate (UDP-glucose to glucose-1-phosphate and UDP-galactose, immediately upstream of UDP–N-acetylgalactosamine and UDP–N-acetylglucosamine synthesis. These four UDP-sugars are essential donors for driving the synthesis of glycoproteins and glycolipids, which heavily decorate cell surfaces and extracellular spaces. In addition to acute, potentially lethal neonatal symptoms, maturing individuals with CG develop striking neurodevelopmental, motor and cognitive impairments. Previous studies suggest that neurological symptoms are associated with glycosylation defects, with CG recently being described as a congenital disorder of glycosylation (CDG, showing defects in both N- and O-linked glycans. Here, we characterize behavioral traits, synaptic development and glycosylated synaptomatrix formation in a GALT-deficient Drosophila disease model. Loss of Drosophila GALT (dGALT greatly impairs coordinated movement and results in structural overelaboration and architectural abnormalities at the neuromuscular junction (NMJ. Dietary galactose and mutation of galactokinase (dGALK or UDP-glucose dehydrogenase (sugarless genes are identified, respectively, as critical environmental and genetic modifiers of behavioral and cellular defects. Assaying the NMJ extracellular synaptomatrix with a broad panel of lectin probes reveals profound alterations in dGALT mutants, including depletion of galactosyl, N-acetylgalactosamine and fucosylated horseradish peroxidase (HRP moieties, which are differentially corrected by dGALK co-removal and sugarless overexpression. Synaptogenesis relies on trans-synaptic signals modulated by this synaptomatrix carbohydrate environment, and dGALT-null NMJs display striking changes in heparan sulfate proteoglycan (HSPG co-receptor and Wnt

  2. Regulation of synaptic structure by ubiquitin C-terminal hydrolase L1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cartier, Anna E; Djakovic, Stevan N; Salehi, Afshin; Wilson, Scott M; Masliah, Eliezer; Patrick, Gentry N

    2009-06-17

    Ubiquitin C-terminal hydrolase L1 (UCH-L1) is a deubiquitinating enzyme that is selectively and abundantly expressed in the brain, and its activity is required for normal synaptic function. Here, we show that UCH-L1 functions in maintaining normal synaptic structure in hippocampal neurons. We found that UCH-L1 activity is rapidly upregulated by NMDA receptor activation, which leads to an increase in the levels of free monomeric ubiquitin. Conversely, pharmacological inhibition of UCH-L1 significantly reduces monomeric ubiquitin levels and causes dramatic alterations in synaptic protein distribution and spine morphology. Inhibition of UCH-L1 activity increases spine size while decreasing spine density. Furthermore, there is a concomitant increase in the size of presynaptic and postsynaptic protein clusters. Interestingly, however, ectopic expression of ubiquitin restores normal synaptic structure in UCH-L1-inhibited neurons. These findings point to a significant role of UCH-L1 in synaptic remodeling, most likely by modulating free monomeric ubiquitin levels in an activity-dependent manner.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howard, MacKenzie A; Baraban, Scott C

    2016-08-01

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

  4. Two-Dimensional Bumps in Piecewise Smooth Neural Fields with Synaptic Depression

    KAUST Repository

    Bressloff, Paul C.

    2011-01-01

    We analyze radially symmetric bumps in a two-dimensional piecewise-smooth neural field model with synaptic depression. The continuum dynamics is described in terms of a nonlocal integrodifferential equation, in which the integral kernel represents the spatial distribution of synaptic weights between populations of neurons whose mean firing rate is taken to be a Heaviside function of local activity. Synaptic depression dynamically reduces the strength of synaptic weights in response to increases in activity. We show that in the case of a Mexican hat weight distribution, sufficiently strong synaptic depression can destabilize a stationary bump solution that would be stable in the absence of depression. Numerically it is found that the resulting instability leads to the formation of a traveling spot. The local stability of a bump is determined by solutions to a system of pseudolinear equations that take into account the sign of perturbations around the circular bump boundary. © 2011 Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-01

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

  6. Limited distal organelles and synaptic function in extensive monoaminergic innervation.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-01

    Organelles such as neuropeptide-containing dense-core vesicles (DCVs) and mitochondria travel down axons to supply synaptic boutons. DCV distribution among en passant boutons in small axonal arbors is mediated by circulation with bidirectional capture. However, it is not known how organelles are distributed in extensive arbors associated with mammalian dopamine neuron vulnerability, and with volume transmission and neuromodulation by monoamines and neuropeptides. Therefore, we studied presynaptic organelle distribution in Drosophila octopamine neurons that innervate ∼20 muscles with ∼1500 boutons. Unlike in smaller arbors, distal boutons in these arbors contain fewer DCVs and mitochondria, although active zones are present. Absence of vesicle circulation is evident by proximal nascent DCV delivery, limited impact of retrograde transport and older distal DCVs. Traffic studies show that DCV axonal transport and synaptic capture are not scaled for extensive innervation, thus limiting distal delivery. Activity-induced synaptic endocytosis and synaptic neuropeptide release are also reduced distally. We propose that limits in organelle transport and synaptic capture compromise distal synapse maintenance and function in extensive axonal arbors, thereby affecting development, plasticity and vulnerability to neurodegenerative disease. © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  7. Role of DHA in aging-related changes in mouse brain synaptic plasma membrane proteome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sidhu, Vishaldeep K; Huang, Bill X; Desai, Abhishek; Kevala, Karl; Kim, Hee-Yong

    2016-05-01

    Aging has been related to diminished cognitive function, which could be a result of ineffective synaptic function. We have previously shown that synaptic plasma membrane proteins supporting synaptic integrity and neurotransmission were downregulated in docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)-deprived brains, suggesting an important role of DHA in synaptic function. In this study, we demonstrate aging-induced synaptic proteome changes and DHA-dependent mitigation of such changes using mass spectrometry-based protein quantitation combined with western blot or messenger RNA analysis. We found significant reduction of 15 synaptic plasma membrane proteins in aging brains including fodrin-α, synaptopodin, postsynaptic density protein 95, synaptic vesicle glycoprotein 2B, synaptosomal-associated protein 25, synaptosomal-associated protein-α, N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor subunit epsilon-2 precursor, AMPA2, AP2, VGluT1, munc18-1, dynamin-1, vesicle-associated membrane protein 2, rab3A, and EAAT1, most of which are involved in synaptic transmission. Notably, the first 9 proteins were further reduced when brain DHA was depleted by diet, indicating that DHA plays an important role in sustaining these synaptic proteins downregulated during aging. Reduction of 2 of these proteins was reversed by raising the brain DHA level by supplementing aged animals with an omega-3 fatty acid sufficient diet for 2 months. The recognition memory compromised in DHA-depleted animals was also improved. Our results suggest a potential role of DHA in alleviating aging-associated cognitive decline by offsetting the loss of neurotransmission-regulating synaptic proteins involved in synaptic function. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  8. Ankyrins: Roles in synaptic biology and pathology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Katharine R; Penzes, Peter

    2018-05-03

    Ankyrins are broadly expressed adaptors that organize diverse membrane proteins into specialized domains and link them to the sub-membranous cytoskeleton. In neurons, ankyrins are known to have essential roles in organizing the axon initial segment and nodes of Ranvier. However, recent studies have revealed novel functions for ankyrins at synapses, where they organize and stabilize neurotransmitter receptors, modulate dendritic spine morphology and control adhesion to the presynaptic site. Ankyrin genes have also been highly associated with a range of neurodevelopmental and psychiatric diseases, including bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and autism, which all demonstrate overlap in their genetics, mechanisms and phenotypes. This review discusses the novel synaptic functions of ankyrin proteins in neurons, and places these exciting findings in the context of ANK genes as key neuropsychiatric disorder risk-factors. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-11-01

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

  10. Emerging Links between Homeostatic Synaptic Plasticity and Neurological Disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dion eDickman

    2013-11-01

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

  11. Absence of synaptic regulation by phosducin in retinal slices.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James H Long

    Full Text Available Phosducin is an abundant photoreceptor protein that binds G-protein βγ subunits and plays a role in modulating synaptic transmission at photoreceptor synapses under both dark-adapted and light-adapted conditions in vivo. To examine the role of phosducin at the rod-to-rod bipolar cell (RBC synapse, we used whole-cell voltage clamp recordings to measure the light-evoked currents from both wild-type (WT and phosducin knockout (Pd(-/- RBCs, in dark- and light-adapted retinal slices. Pd(-/- RBCs showed smaller dim flash responses and steeper intensity-response relationships than WT RBCs, consistent with the smaller rod responses being selectively filtered out by the non-linear threshold at the rod-to-rod bipolar synapse. In addition, Pd(-/- RBCs showed a marked delay in the onset of the light-evoked currents, similar to that of a WT response to an effectively dimmer flash. Comparison of the changes in flash sensitivity in the presence of steady adapting light revealed that Pd(-/- RBCs desensitized less than WT RBCs to the same intensity. These results are quantitatively consistent with the smaller single photon responses of Pd(-/- rods, owing to the known reduction in rod G-protein expression levels in this line. The absence of an additional synaptic phenotype in these experiments suggests that the function of phosducin at the photoreceptor synapse is abolished by the conditions of retinal slice recordings.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  13. Presynaptic protein synthesis required for NT-3-induced long-term synaptic modulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Je H

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Neurotrophins elicit both acute and long-term modulation of synaptic transmission and plasticity. Previously, we demonstrated that the long-term synaptic modulation requires the endocytosis of neurotrophin-receptor complex, the activation of PI3K and Akt, and mTOR mediated protein synthesis. However, it is unclear whether the long-term synaptic modulation by neurotrophins depends on protein synthesis in pre- or post-synaptic cells. Results Here we have developed an inducible protein translation blocker, in which the kinase domain of protein kinase R (PKR is fused with bacterial gyrase B domain (GyrB-PKR, which could be dimerized upon treatment with a cell permeable drug, coumermycin. By genetically targeting GyrB-PKR to specific cell types, we show that NT-3 induced long-term synaptic modulation requires presynaptic, but not postsynaptic protein synthesis. Conclusions Our results provide mechanistic insights into the cell-specific requirement for protein synthesis in the long-term synaptic modulation by neurotrophins. The GyrB-PKR system may be useful tool to study protein synthesis in a cell-specific manner.

  14. Pre-synaptic control of remote fear extinction in the neocortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gisella eVetere

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Consolidation of remote memory enhances immediate early genes induction (IEGs, augments the expression of the presynaptic growth associated protein 43 (GAP-43, and increases the density and size of dendritic spines in anterior cingulate (aCC and infra-limbic (ILC cortices. Remote memory extinction, however, does not uniformly alter consolidation-induced structural changes. In the aCC, the density, but not the size, of spines is reset to pseudo-conditioning levels while novel thin spines are formed in the ILC. Whether IEGs and GAP-43 also undergo region-specific changes upon remote memory extinction is undetermined. Here we confirm in the same batch of mice that c-Fos induction and GAP-43 expression are increased in both the aCC and the ILC 36 days after contextual fear conditioning. We then show that, in both regions, remote memory extinction is associated with decrease of c-Fos induction but no change in GAP-43 expression thus revealing similar, although protein-specific, pre-synaptic adaptations in aCC and ILC neurons. These observations, in addition to our previous report of region-specific post-synaptic structural changes, disclose a complex pattern of extinction-driven neocortical alterations suitable to support erasure or reinstatement of fear according to the environment demand.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-01

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

  16. Estrogen's Place in the Family of Synaptic Modulators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kramár, Enikö A; Chen, Lulu Y; Rex, Christopher S; Gall, Christine M; Lynch, Gary

    2009-01-01

    Estrogen, in addition to its genomic effects, triggers rapid synaptic changes in hippocampus and cortex. Here we summarize evidence that the acute actions of the steroid arise from actin signaling cascades centrally involved in long-term potentiation (LTP). A 10-min infusion of E2 reversibly increased fast EPSPs and promoted theta burst-induced LTP within adult hippocampal slices. The latter effect reflected a lowered threshold and an elevated ceiling for the potentiation effect. E2's actions on transmission and plasticity were completely blocked by latrunculin, a toxin that prevents actin polymerization. E2 also caused a reversible increase in spine concentrations of filamentous (F-) actin and markedly enhanced polymerization caused by theta burst stimulation (TBS). Estrogen activated the small GTPase RhoA, but not the related GTPase Rac, and phosphorylated (inactivated) synaptic cofilin, an actin severing protein targeted by RhoA. An inhibitor of RhoA kinase (ROCK) thoroughly suppressed the synaptic effects of E2. Collectively, these results indicate that E2 engages a RhoA >ROCK> cofilin> actin pathway also used by brain-derived neurotrophic factor and adenosine, and therefore belongs to a family of 'synaptic modulators' that regulate plasticity. Finally, we describe evidence that the acute signaling cascade is critical to the depression of LTP produced by ovariectomy.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-03

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1998-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  20. Actin- and dynamin-dependent maturation of bulk endocytosis restores neurotransmission following synaptic depletion.

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    Tam H Nguyen

    Full Text Available Bulk endocytosis contributes to the maintenance of neurotransmission at the amphibian neuromuscular junction by regenerating synaptic vesicles. How nerve terminals internalize adequate portions of the presynaptic membrane when bulk endocytosis is initiated before the end of a sustained stimulation is unknown. A maturation process, occurring at the end of the stimulation, is hypothesised to precisely restore the pools of synaptic vesicles. Using confocal time-lapse microscopy of FM1-43-labeled nerve terminals at the amphibian neuromuscular junction, we confirm that bulk endocytosis is initiated during a sustained tetanic stimulation and reveal that shortly after the end of the stimulation, nerve terminals undergo a maturation process. This includes a transient bulging of the plasma membrane, followed by the development of large intraterminal FM1-43-positive donut-like structures comprising large bulk membrane cisternae surrounded by recycling vesicles. The degree of bulging increased with stimulation frequency and the plasmalemma surface retrieved following the transient bulging correlated with the surface membrane internalized in bulk cisternae and recycling vesicles. Dyngo-4a, a potent dynamin inhibitor, did not block the initiation, but prevented the maturation of bulk endocytosis. In contrast, cytochalasin D, an inhibitor of actin polymerization, hindered both the initiation and maturation processes. Both inhibitors hampered the functional recovery of neurotransmission after synaptic depletion. Our data confirm that initiation of bulk endocytosis occurs during stimulation and demonstrates that a delayed maturation process controlled by actin and dynamin underpins the coupling between exocytosis and bulk endocytosis.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  2. Levetiracetam reverses synaptic deficits produced by overexpression of SV2A.

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    Amy Nowack

    Full Text Available Levetiracetam is an FDA-approved drug used to treat epilepsy and other disorders of the nervous system. Although it is known that levetiracetam binds the synaptic vesicle protein SV2A, how drug binding affects synaptic functioning remains unknown. Here we report that levetiracetam reverses the effects of excess SV2A in autaptic hippocampal neurons. Expression of an SV2A-EGFP fusion protein produced a ∼1.5-fold increase in synaptic levels of SV2, and resulted in reduced synaptic release probability. The overexpression phenotype parallels that seen in neurons from SV2 knockout mice, which experience severe seizures. Overexpression of SV2A also increased synaptic levels of the calcium-sensor protein synaptotagmin, an SV2-binding protein whose stability and trafficking are regulated by SV2. Treatment with levetiracetam rescued normal neurotransmission and restored normal levels of SV2 and synaptotagmin at the synapse. These results indicate that changes in SV2 expression in either direction impact neurotransmission, and suggest that levetiracetam may modulate SV2 protein interactions.

  3. Synaptic dysfunction in amygdala in intellectual disorder models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aincy, Marianne; Meziane, Hamid; Herault, Yann; Humeau, Yann

    2018-06-08

    The amygdala is a part of the limbic circuit that has been extensively studied in terms of synaptic connectivity, plasticity and cellular organization since decades (Ehrlich et al., 2009; Ledoux, 2000; Maren, 2001). Amygdala sub-nuclei, including lateral, basolateral and central amygdala appear now as "hubs" providing in parallel and in series neuronal processing enabling the animal to elicit freezing or escaping behavior in response to external threats. In rodents, these behaviors are easily observed and quantified following associative fear conditioning. Thus, studies on amygdala circuit in association with threat/fear behavior became very popular in laboratories and are often used among other behavioral tests to evaluate learning abilities of mouse models for various neuropsychiatric conditions including genetically encoded intellectual disabilities (ID). Yet, more than 100 human X-linked genes - and several hundreds of autosomal genes - have been associated with ID in humans. These mutations introduced in mice can generate social deficits, anxiety dysregulations and fear learning impairments (McNaughton et al., 2008; Houbaert et al., 2013; Jayachandran et al., 2014; Zhang et al., 2015). Noteworthy, a significant proportion of the coded ID gene products are synaptic proteins. It is postulated that the loss of function of these proteins could destabilize neuronal circuits by global changes of the balance between inhibitory and excitatory drives onto neurons. However, whereas amygdala related behavioral deficits are commonly observed in ID models, the role of most of these ID-genes in synaptic function and plasticity in the amygdala are only sparsely studied. We will here discuss some of the concepts that emerged from amygdala-targeted studies examining the role of syndromic and non-syndromic ID genes in fear-related behaviors and/or synaptic function. Along describing these cases, we will discuss how synaptic deficits observed in amygdala circuits could impact

  4. Calcium current homeostasis and synaptic deficits in hippocampal neurons from Kelch-like 1 knockout mice

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    Paula Patricia Perissinotti

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Kelch-like 1 (KLHL1 is a neuronal actin-binding protein that modulates voltage-gated CaV2.1 (P/Q-type and CaV3.2 (α1H T-type calcium channels; KLHL1 knockdown experiments (KD cause down-regulation of both channel types and altered synaptic properties in cultured rat hippocampal neurons (Perissinotti et al., 2014. Here, we studied the effect of ablation of KLHL1 on calcium channel function and synaptic properties in cultured hippocampal neurons from KLHL1 knockout (KO mice. Western blot data showed the P/Q-type channel α1A subunit was less abundant in KO hippocampus compared to wildtype (WT; and PQ-type calcium currents were smaller in KO neurons than WT during early days in vitro, although this decrease was compensated for at late stages by increases in L-type calcium current. In contrast, T-type currents did not change in culture. However, biophysical properties and western blot analysis revealed a differential contribution of T-type channel isoforms in the KO, with CaV3.2 α1H subunit being down-regulated and CaV3.1 α1G up-regulated. Synapsin I levels were reduced in the KO hippocampus; cultured neurons displayed a concomitant reduction in synapsin I puncta and decreased miniature excitatory postsynaptic current (mEPSC frequency. In summary, genetic ablation of the calcium channel modulator resulted in compensatory mechanisms to maintain calcium current homeostasis in hippocampal KO neurons; however, synaptic alterations resulted in a reduction of excitatory synapse number, causing an imbalance of the excitatory-inhibitory synaptic input ratio favoring inhibition.

  5. Statistical Modelling of Synaptic Vesicles Distribution and Analysing their Physical Characteristics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Khanmohammadi, Mahdieh

    transmission electron microscopy is used to acquire images from two experimental groups of rats: 1) rats subjected to a behavioral model of stress and 2) rats subjected to sham stress as the control group. The synaptic vesicle distribution and interactions are modeled by employing a point process approach......This Ph.D. thesis deals with mathematical and statistical modeling of synaptic vesicle distribution, shape, orientation and interactions. The first major part of this thesis treats the problem of determining the effect of stress on synaptic vesicle distribution and interactions. Serial section...... on differences of statistical measures in section and the same measures in between sections. Three-dimensional (3D) datasets are reconstructed by using image registration techniques and estimated thicknesses. We distinguish the effect of stress by estimating the synaptic vesicle densities and modeling...

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

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    Taylor Michael R

    2008-12-01

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

  7. A Voltage Mode Memristor Bridge Synaptic Circuit with Memristor Emulators

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    Leon Chua

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available A memristor bridge neural circuit which is able to perform signed synaptic weighting was proposed in our previous study, where the synaptic operation was verified via software simulation of the mathematical model of the HP memristor. This study is an extension of the previous work advancing toward the circuit implementation where the architecture of the memristor bridge synapse is built with memristor emulator circuits. In addition, a simple neural network which performs both synaptic weighting and summation is built by combining memristor emulators-based synapses and differential amplifier circuits. The feasibility of the memristor bridge neural circuit is verified via SPICE simulations.

  8. Vesicular GABA Uptake Can Be Rate Limiting for Recovery of IPSCs from Synaptic Depression

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    Manami Yamashita

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Summary: Synaptic efficacy plays crucial roles in neuronal circuit operation and synaptic plasticity. Presynaptic determinants of synaptic efficacy are neurotransmitter content in synaptic vesicles and the number of vesicles undergoing exocytosis at a time. Bursts of presynaptic firings depress synaptic efficacy, mainly due to depletion of releasable vesicles, whereas recovery from strong depression is initiated by endocytic vesicle retrieval followed by refilling of vesicles with neurotransmitter. We washed out presynaptic cytosolic GABA to induce a rundown of IPSCs at cerebellar inhibitory cell pairs in slices from rats and then allowed fast recovery by elevating GABA concentration using photo-uncaging. The time course of this recovery coincided with that of IPSCs from activity-dependent depression induced by a train of high-frequency stimulation. We conclude that vesicular GABA uptake can be a limiting step for the recovery of inhibitory neurotransmission from synaptic depression. : Recovery of inhibitory synaptic transmission from activity-dependent depression requires refilling of vesicles with GABA. Yamashita et al. find that vesicular uptake rate of GABA is a slow process, limiting the recovery rate of IPSCs from depression.

  9. Synaptic Tagging, Evaluation of Memories, and the Distal Reward Problem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Papper, Marc; Kempter, Richard; Leibold, Christian

    2011-01-01

    Long-term synaptic plasticity exhibits distinct phases. The synaptic tagging hypothesis suggests an early phase in which synapses are prepared, or "tagged," for protein capture, and a late phase in which those proteins are integrated into the synapses to achieve memory consolidation. The synapse specificity of the tags is consistent with…

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

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    Denise eManahan-Vaughan

    2012-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    El Laithy, Karim; Bogdan, Martin

    2014-04-01

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

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

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    Runchun Mark Wang

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available We present a neuromorphic implementation of multiple synaptic plasticity learning rules, which include both Spike Timing Dependent Plasticity (STDP and Spike Timing Dependent Delay Plasticity (STDDP. We present a fully digital implementation as well as a mixed-signal implementation, both of which use a novel dynamic-assignment time-multiplexing approach and support up to 2^26 (64M synaptic plasticity elements. Rather than implementing dedicated synapses for particular types of synaptic plasticity, we implemented a more generic synaptic plasticity adaptor array that is separate from the neurons in the neural network. Each adaptor performs synaptic plasticity according to the arrival times of the pre- and post-synaptic spikes assigned to it, and sends out a weighted and/or delayed pre-synaptic spike to the target synapse in the neural network. This strategy provides great flexibility for building complex large-scale neural networks, as a neural network can be configured for multiple synaptic plasticity rules without changing its structure. We validate the proposed neuromorphic implementations with measurement results and illustrate that the circuits are capable of performing both STDP and STDDP. We argue that it is practical to scale the work presented here up to 2^36 (64G synaptic adaptors on a current high-end FPGA platform.

  13. Synaptic proteome changes in the superior frontal gyrus and occipital cortex of the alcoholic brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Etheridge, Naomi; Lewohl, Joanne M; Mayfield, R Dayne; Harris, R Adron; Dodd, Peter R

    2009-06-24

    Cognitive deficits and behavioral changes that result from chronic alcohol abuse are a consequence of neuropathological changes which alter signal transmission through the neural network. To focus on the changes that occur at the point of connection between the neural network cells, synaptosomal preparations from post-mortem human brain of six chronic alcoholics and six non-alcoholic controls were compared using 2D-DIGE. Functionally affected and spared regions (superior frontal gyrus, SFG, and occipital cortex, OC, respectively) were analyzed from both groups to further investigate the specific pathological response that alcoholism has on the brain. Forty-nine proteins were differentially regulated between the SFG of alcoholics and the SFG of controls and 94 proteins were regulated in the OC with an overlap of 23 proteins. Additionally, the SFG was compared to the OC within each group (alcoholics or controls) to identify region specific differences. A selection were identified by MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry revealing proteins involved in vesicle transport, metabolism, folding and trafficking, and signal transduction, all of which have the potential to influence synaptic activity. A number of proteins identified in this study have been previously related to alcoholism; however, the focus on synaptic proteins has also uncovered novel alcoholism-affected proteins. Further exploration of these proteins will illuminate the mechanisms altering synaptic plasticity, and thus neuronal signaling and response, in the alcoholic brain.

  14. An unbiased expression screen for synaptogenic proteins identifies the LRRTM protein family as synaptic organizers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linhoff, Michael W; Laurén, Juha; Cassidy, Robert M; Dobie, Frederick A; Takahashi, Hideto; Nygaard, Haakon B; Airaksinen, Matti S; Strittmatter, Stephen M; Craig, Ann Marie

    2009-03-12

    Delineating the molecular basis of synapse development is crucial for understanding brain function. Cocultures of neurons with transfected fibroblasts have demonstrated the synapse-promoting activity of candidate molecules. Here, we performed an unbiased expression screen for synaptogenic proteins in the coculture assay using custom-made cDNA libraries. Reisolation of NGL-3/LRRC4B and neuroligin-2 accounts for a minority of positive clones, indicating that current understanding of mammalian synaptogenic proteins is incomplete. We identify LRRTM1 as a transmembrane protein that induces presynaptic differentiation in contacting axons. All four LRRTM family members exhibit synaptogenic activity, LRRTMs localize to excitatory synapses, and artificially induced clustering of LRRTMs mediates postsynaptic differentiation. We generate LRRTM1(-/-) mice and reveal altered distribution of the vesicular glutamate transporter VGLUT1, confirming an in vivo synaptic function. These results suggest a prevalence of LRR domain proteins in trans-synaptic signaling and provide a cellular basis for the reported linkage of LRRTM1 to handedness and schizophrenia.

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

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    Sadra Sadeh

    2015-06-01

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

  16. Long-lasting hippocampal synaptic protein loss in a mouse model of posttraumatic stress disorder.

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    Leonie Herrmann

    Full Text Available Despite intensive research efforts, the molecular pathogenesis of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD and especially of the hippocampal volume loss found in the majority of patients suffering from this anxiety disease still remains elusive. We demonstrated before that trauma-induced hippocampal shrinkage can also be observed in mice exhibiting a PTSD-like syndrome. Aiming to decipher the molecular correlates of these trans-species posttraumatic hippocampal alterations, we compared the expression levels of a set of neurostructural marker proteins between traumatized and control mice at different time points after their subjection to either an electric footshock or mock treatment which was followed by stressful re-exposure in several experimental groups. To our knowledge, this is the first systematic in vivo study analyzing the long-term neuromolecular sequelae of acute traumatic stress combined with re-exposure. We show here that a PTSD-like syndrome in mice is accompanied by a long-lasting reduction of hippocampal synaptic proteins which interestingly correlates with the strength of the generalized and conditioned fear response but not with the intensity of hyperarousal symptoms. Furthermore, we demonstrate that treatment with the serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI fluoxetine is able to counteract both the PTSD-like syndrome and the posttraumatic synaptic protein loss. Taken together, this study demonstrates for the first time that a loss of hippocampal synaptic proteins is associated with a PTSD-like syndrome in mice. Further studies will have to reveal whether these findings are transferable to PTSD patients.

  17. Synaptic activity regulates AMPA receptor trafficking through different recycling pathways

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Ning; Jeyifous, Okunola; Munro, Charlotte; Montgomery, Johanna M; Green, William N

    2015-01-01

    Changes in glutamatergic synaptic strength in brain are dependent on AMPA-type glutamate receptor (AMPAR) recycling, which is assumed to occur through a single local pathway. In this study, we present evidence that AMPAR recycling occurs through different pathways regulated by synaptic activity. Without synaptic stimulation, most AMPARs recycled in dynamin-independent endosomes containing the GTPase, Arf6. Few AMPARs recycled in dynamin-dependent endosomes labeled by transferrin receptors (TfRs). AMPAR recycling was blocked by alterations in the GTPase, TC10, which co-localized with Arf6 endosomes. TC10 mutants that reduced AMPAR recycling had no effect on increased AMPAR levels with long-term potentiation (LTP) and little effect on decreased AMPAR levels with long-term depression. However, internalized AMPAR levels in TfR-containing recycling endosomes increased after LTP, indicating increased AMPAR recycling through the dynamin-dependent pathway with synaptic plasticity. LTP-induced AMPAR endocytosis is inconsistent with local recycling as a source of increased surface receptors, suggesting AMPARs are trafficked from other sites. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.06878.001 PMID:25970033

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-05-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erica L. Gorenberg

    2017-05-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian Tetzlaff

    2013-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-10-01

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

  2. Synaptic proteins and receptors defects in autism spectrum disorders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jianling eChen

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Recent studies have found that hundreds of genetic variants, including common and rare variants, rare and de novo mutations, and common polymorphisms have contributed to the occurrence of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs. The mutations in a number of genes such as neurexin, neuroligin, postsynaptic density protein 95 (PSD-95, SH3 and multiple ankyrin repeat domains 3 (SHANK3, synapsin, gephyrin, cadherin (CDH and protocadherin (PCDH, thousand-and-one-amino acid 2 kinase (TAOK2, and contactin (CNTN, have been shown to play important roles in the development and function of synapses. In addition, synaptic receptors, such as gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA receptors and glutamate receptors, have also been associated with ASDs. This review will primarily focus on the defects of synaptic proteins and receptors associated with ASDs and their roles in the pathogenesis of ASDs via synaptic pathways.

  3. Synaptic model for spontaneous activity in developing networks

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lerchner, Alexander; Rinzel, J.

    2005-01-01

    Spontaneous rhythmic activity occurs in many developing neural networks. The activity in these hyperexcitable networks is comprised of recurring "episodes" consisting of "cycles" of high activity that alternate with "silent phases" with little or no activity. We introduce a new model of synaptic...... dynamics that takes into account that only a fraction of the vesicles stored in a synaptic terminal is readily available for release. We show that our model can reproduce spontaneous rhythmic activity with the same general features as observed in experiments, including a positive correlation between...

  4. Learning Structure of Sensory Inputs with Synaptic Plasticity Leads to Interference

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joseph eChrol-Cannon

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Synaptic plasticity is often explored as a form of unsupervised adaptationin cortical microcircuits to learn the structure of complex sensoryinputs and thereby improve performance of classification and prediction. The question of whether the specific structure of the input patterns is encoded in the structure of neural networks has been largely neglected. Existing studies that have analyzed input-specific structural adaptation have used simplified, synthetic inputs in contrast to complex and noisy patterns found in real-world sensory data.In this work, input-specific structural changes are analyzed forthree empirically derived models of plasticity applied to three temporal sensory classification tasks that include complex, real-world visual and auditory data. Two forms of spike-timing dependent plasticity (STDP and the Bienenstock-Cooper-Munro (BCM plasticity rule are used to adapt the recurrent network structure during the training process before performance is tested on the pattern recognition tasks.It is shown that synaptic adaptation is highly sensitive to specific classes of input pattern. However, plasticity does not improve the performance on sensory pattern recognition tasks, partly due to synaptic interference between consecutively presented input samples. The changes in synaptic strength produced by one stimulus are reversed by thepresentation of another, thus largely preventing input-specific synaptic changes from being retained in the structure of the network.To solve the problem of interference, we suggest that models of plasticitybe extended to restrict neural activity and synaptic modification to a subset of the neural circuit, which is increasingly found to be the casein experimental neuroscience.

  5. Common mechanisms of synaptic plasticity in vertebrates and invertebrates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glanzman, David L.

    2016-01-01

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

  6. Organic/inorganic hybrid synaptic transistors gated by proton conducting methylcellulose films

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wan, Chang Jin; Wan, Qing; Zhu, Li Qiang; Wan, Xiang; Shi, Yi

    2016-01-01

    The idea of building a brain-inspired cognitive system has been around for several decades. Recently, electric-double-layer transistors gated by ion conducting electrolytes were reported as the promising candidates for synaptic electronics and neuromorphic system. In this letter, indium-zinc-oxide transistors gated by proton conducting methylcellulose electrolyte films were experimentally demonstrated with synaptic plasticity including paired-pulse facilitation and spatiotemporal-correlated dynamic logic. More importantly, a model based on proton-related electric-double-layer modulation and stretched-exponential decay function was proposed, and the theoretical results are in good agreement with the experimentally measured synaptic behaviors

  7. Organic/inorganic hybrid synaptic transistors gated by proton conducting methylcellulose films

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wan, Chang Jin; Wan, Qing, E-mail: wanqing@nju.edu.cn, E-mail: yshi@nju.edu.cn [School of Electronic Science & Engineering, and Collaborative Innovation Center of Advanced Microstructures, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093 (China); Ningbo Institute of Material Technology and Engineering, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Ningbo 315201 (China); Zhu, Li Qiang [Ningbo Institute of Material Technology and Engineering, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Ningbo 315201 (China); Wan, Xiang; Shi, Yi, E-mail: wanqing@nju.edu.cn, E-mail: yshi@nju.edu.cn [School of Electronic Science & Engineering, and Collaborative Innovation Center of Advanced Microstructures, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093 (China)

    2016-01-25

    The idea of building a brain-inspired cognitive system has been around for several decades. Recently, electric-double-layer transistors gated by ion conducting electrolytes were reported as the promising candidates for synaptic electronics and neuromorphic system. In this letter, indium-zinc-oxide transistors gated by proton conducting methylcellulose electrolyte films were experimentally demonstrated with synaptic plasticity including paired-pulse facilitation and spatiotemporal-correlated dynamic logic. More importantly, a model based on proton-related electric-double-layer modulation and stretched-exponential decay function was proposed, and the theoretical results are in good agreement with the experimentally measured synaptic behaviors.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-01

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

  9. Mapping synaptic pathology within cerebral cortical circuits in subjects with schizophrenia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert Sweet

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Converging lines of evidence indicate that schizophrenia is characterized by impairments of synaptic machinery within cerebral cortical circuits. Efforts to localize these alterations in brain tissue from subjects with schizophrenia have frequently been limited to the quantification of structures that are non-selectively identified (e.g. dendritic spines labeled in Golgi preparations, axon boutons labeled with synaptophysin, or to quantification of proteins using methods unable to resolve relevant cellular compartments. Multiple label fluorescence confocal microscopy represents a means to circumvent many of these limitations, by concurrently extracting information regarding the number, morphology, and relative protein content of synaptic structures. An important adaptation required for studies of human disease is coupling this approach to stereologic methods for systematic random sampling of relevant brain regions. In this review article we consider the application of multiple label fluorescence confocal microscopy to the mapping of synaptic alterations in subjects with schizophrenia and describe the application of a novel, readily automated, iterative intensity/morphological segmentation algorithm for the extraction of information regarding synaptic structure number, size, and relative protein level from tissue sections obtained using unbiased stereological principles of sampling. In this context, we provide examples of the examination of pre- and post-synaptic structures within excitatory and inhibitory circuits of the cerebral cortex.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-11-16

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

  11. Gain-of-function mutations in protein kinase Cα (PKCα) may promote synaptic defects in Alzheimer’s disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alfonso, Stephanie I.; Callender, Julia A.; Hooli, Basavaraj; Antal, Corina E.; Mullin, Kristina; Sherman, Mathew A.; Lesné, Sylvain E.; Leitges, Michael; Newton, Alexandra C.; Tanzi, Rudolph E.; Malinow, Roberto

    2016-01-01

    Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a progressive dementia disorder characterized by synaptic degeneration and amyloid-β (Aβ) accumulation in the brain. Through whole-genome sequencing of 1345 individuals from 410 families with late-onset AD (LOAD), we identified three highly penetrant variants in PRKCA, the gene that encodes protein kinase Cα (PKCα), in five of the families. All three variants linked with LOAD displayed increased catalytic activity relative to wild-type PKCα as assessed in live-cell imaging experiments using a genetically encoded PKC activity reporter. Deleting PRKCA in mice or adding PKC antagonists to mouse hippocampal slices infected with a virus expressing the Aβ precursor CT100 revealed that PKCα was required for the reduced synaptic activity caused by Aβ. In PRKCA−/− neurons expressing CT100, introduction of PKCα, but not PKCα lacking a PDZ interaction moiety, rescued synaptic depression, suggesting that a scaffolding interaction bringing PKCα to the synapse is required for its mediation of the effects of Aβ. Thus, enhanced PKCα activity may contribute to AD, possibly by mediating the actions of Aβ on synapses. In contrast, reduced PKCα activity is implicated in cancer. Hence, these findings reinforce the importance of maintaining a careful balance in the activity of this enzyme. PMID:27165780

  12. Optimal autaptic and synaptic delays enhanced synchronization transitions induced by each other in Newman–Watts neuronal networks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang, Baoying; Gong, Yubing; Xie, Huijuan; Wang, Qi

    2016-01-01

    Highlights: • Optimal autaptic delay enhanced synchronization transitions induced by synaptic delay in neuronal networks. • Optimal synaptic delay enhanced synchronization transitions induced by autaptic delay. • Optimal coupling strength enhanced synchronization transitions induced by autaptic or synaptic delay. - Abstract: In this paper, we numerically study the effect of electrical autaptic and synaptic delays on synchronization transitions induced by each other in Newman–Watts Hodgkin–Huxley neuronal networks. It is found that the synchronization transitions induced by synaptic delay vary with varying autaptic delay and become strongest when autaptic delay is optimal. Similarly, the synchronization transitions induced by autaptic delay vary with varying synaptic delay and become strongest at optimal synaptic delay. Also, there is optimal coupling strength by which the synchronization transitions induced by either synaptic or autaptic delay become strongest. These results show that electrical autaptic and synaptic delays can enhance synchronization transitions induced by each other in the neuronal networks. This implies that electrical autaptic and synaptic delays can cooperate with each other and more efficiently regulate the synchrony state of the neuronal networks. These findings could find potential implications for the information transmission in neural systems.

  13. IGF1-Dependent Synaptic Plasticity of Mitral Cells in Olfactory Memory during Social Learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Zhihui; Chen, Zijun; Shang, Congping; Yan, Fei; Shi, Yingchao; Zhang, Jiajing; Qu, Baole; Han, Hailin; Wang, Yanying; Li, Dapeng; Südhof, Thomas C; Cao, Peng

    2017-07-05

    During social transmission of food preference (STFP), mice form long-term memory of food odors presented by a social partner. How does the brain associate a social context with odor signals to promote memory encoding? Here we show that odor exposure during STFP, but not unconditioned odor exposure, induces glomerulus-specific long-term potentiation (LTP) of synaptic strength selectively at the GABAergic component of dendrodendritic synapses of granule and mitral cells in the olfactory bulb. Conditional deletion of synaptotagmin-10, the Ca 2+ sensor for IGF1 secretion from mitral cells, or deletion of IGF1 receptor in the olfactory bulb prevented the socially relevant GABAergic LTP and impaired memory formation after STFP. Conversely, the addition of IGF1 to acute olfactory bulb slices elicited the GABAergic LTP in mitral cells by enhancing postsynaptic GABA receptor responses. Thus, our data reveal a synaptic substrate for a socially conditioned long-term memory that operates at the level of the initial processing of sensory information. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Structural Components of Synaptic Plasticity and Memory Consolidation

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  15. Synaptogenic proteins and synaptic organizers: "many hands make light work".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brose, Nils

    2009-03-12

    Synaptogenesis is thought to be mediated by cell adhesion proteins, which induce the initial contact between an axon and its target cell and subsequently recruit and organize the presynaptic and postsynaptic protein machinery required for synaptic transmission. A new study by Linhoff and colleagues in this issue of Neuron identifies adhesion proteins of the LRRTM family as novel synaptic organizers.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zedong Bi

    2016-08-01

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

  17. Mutations in Membrin/GOSR2 Reveal Stringent Secretory Pathway Demands of Dendritic Growth and Synaptic Integrity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roman Praschberger

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Mutations in the Golgi SNARE (SNAP [soluble NSF attachment protein] receptor protein Membrin (encoded by the GOSR2 gene cause progressive myoclonus epilepsy (PME. Membrin is a ubiquitous and essential protein mediating ER-to-Golgi membrane fusion. Thus, it is unclear how mutations in Membrin result in a disorder restricted to the nervous system. Here, we use a multi-layered strategy to elucidate the consequences of Membrin mutations from protein to neuron. We show that the pathogenic mutations cause partial reductions in SNARE-mediated membrane fusion. Importantly, these alterations were sufficient to profoundly impair dendritic growth in Drosophila models of GOSR2-PME. Furthermore, we show that Membrin mutations cause fragmentation of the presynaptic cytoskeleton coupled with transsynaptic instability and hyperactive neurotransmission. Our study highlights how dendritic growth is vulnerable even to subtle secretory pathway deficits, uncovers a role for Membrin in synaptic function, and provides a comprehensive explanatory basis for genotype-phenotype relationships in GOSR2-PME.

  18. A light-stimulated synaptic transistor with synaptic plasticity and memory functions based on InGaZnO{sub x}–Al{sub 2}O{sub 3} thin film structure

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Li, H. K.; Chen, T. P., E-mail: echentp@ntu.edu.sg; Liu, P.; Zhang, Q. [School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore 639798 (Singapore); Hu, S. G. [School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore 639798 (Singapore); State Key Laboratory of Electronic Thin Films and Integrated Devices, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, Chengdu, Sichuan 610054 (China); Liu, Y. [State Key Laboratory of Electronic Thin Films and Integrated Devices, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, Chengdu, Sichuan 610054 (China); Lee, P. S. [School of Materials Science and Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore 639798 (Singapore)

    2016-06-28

    In this work, a synaptic transistor based on the indium gallium zinc oxide (IGZO)–aluminum oxide (Al{sub 2}O{sub 3}) thin film structure, which uses ultraviolet (UV) light pulses as the pre-synaptic stimulus, has been demonstrated. The synaptic transistor exhibits the behavior of synaptic plasticity like the paired-pulse facilitation. In addition, it also shows the brain's memory behaviors including the transition from short-term memory to long-term memory and the Ebbinghaus forgetting curve. The synapse-like behavior and memory behaviors of the transistor are due to the trapping and detrapping processes of the holes, which are generated by the UV pulses, at the IGZO/Al{sub 2}O{sub 3} interface and/or in the Al{sub 2}O{sub 3} layer.

  19. Regulation of Synaptic Structure by the Ubiquitin C-terminal Hydrolase UCH-L1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cartier, Anna E.; Djakovic, Stevan N.; Salehi, Afshin; Wilson, Scott M.; Masliah, Eliezer; Patrick, Gentry N.

    2009-01-01

    UCH-L1 is a de-ubiquitinating enzyme that is selectively and abundantly expressed in the brain, and its activity is required for normal synaptic function. Here, we show that UCH-L1 functions in maintaining normal synaptic structure in hippocampal neurons. We have found that UCH-L1 activity is rapidly up-regulated by NMDA receptor activation which leads to an increase in the levels of free monomeric ubiquitin. Conversely, pharmacological inhibition of UCH-L1 significantly reduces monomeric ubiquitin levels and causes dramatic alterations in synaptic protein distribution and spine morphology. Inhibition of UCH-L1 activity increases spine size while decreasing spine density. Furthermore, there is a concomitant increase in the size of pre and postsynaptic protein clusters. Interestingly, however, ectopic expression of ubiquitin restores normal synaptic structure in UCH-L1 inhibited neurons. These findings point to a significant role of UCH-L1 in synaptic remodeling most likely by modulating free monomeric ubiquitin levels in an activity-dependent manner. PMID:19535597

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marco Emanuele

    2016-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-11-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert Nisticò

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

  3. Inflammation Subverts Hippocampal Synaptic Plasticity in Experimental Multiple Sclerosis

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fassio, Anna; Fadda, Manuela; Benfenati, Fabio

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna eFassio

    2016-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  8. Propagation of Homeostatic Sleep Signals by Segregated Synaptic Microcircuits of the Drosophila Mushroom Body.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sitaraman, Divya; Aso, Yoshinori; Jin, Xin; Chen, Nan; Felix, Mario; Rubin, Gerald M; Nitabach, Michael N

    2015-11-16

    The Drosophila mushroom body (MB) is a key associative memory center that has also been implicated in the control of sleep. However, the identity of MB neurons underlying homeostatic sleep regulation, as well as the types of sleep signals generated by specific classes of MB neurons, has remained poorly understood. We recently identified two MB output neuron (MBON) classes whose axons convey sleep control signals from the MB to converge in the same downstream target region: a cholinergic sleep-promoting MBON class and a glutamatergic wake-promoting MBON class. Here, we deploy a combination of neurogenetic, behavioral, and physiological approaches to identify and mechanistically dissect sleep-controlling circuits of the MB. Our studies reveal the existence of two segregated excitatory synaptic microcircuits that propagate homeostatic sleep information from different populations of intrinsic MB "Kenyon cells" (KCs) to specific sleep-regulating MBONs: sleep-promoting KCs increase sleep by preferentially activating the cholinergic MBONs, while wake-promoting KCs decrease sleep by preferentially activating the glutamatergic MBONs. Importantly, activity of the sleep-promoting MB microcircuit is increased by sleep deprivation and is necessary for homeostatic rebound sleep (i.e., the increased sleep that occurs after, and in compensation for, sleep lost during deprivation). These studies reveal for the first time specific functional connections between subsets of KCs and particular MBONs and establish the identity of synaptic microcircuits underlying transmission of homeostatic sleep signals in the MB. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crabtree, Gregg W.; Gogos, Joseph A.

    2014-01-01

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

  12. Interregional synaptic maps among engram cells underlie memory formation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choi, Jun-Hyeok; Sim, Su-Eon; Kim, Ji-Il; Choi, Dong Il; Oh, Jihae; Ye, Sanghyun; Lee, Jaehyun; Kim, TaeHyun; Ko, Hyoung-Gon; Lim, Chae-Seok; Kaang, Bong-Kiun

    2018-04-27

    Memory resides in engram cells distributed across the brain. However, the site-specific substrate within these engram cells remains theoretical, even though it is generally accepted that synaptic plasticity encodes memories. We developed the dual-eGRASP (green fluorescent protein reconstitution across synaptic partners) technique to examine synapses between engram cells to identify the specific neuronal site for memory storage. We found an increased number and size of spines on CA1 engram cells receiving input from CA3 engram cells. In contextual fear conditioning, this enhanced connectivity between engram cells encoded memory strength. CA3 engram to CA1 engram projections strongly occluded long-term potentiation. These results indicate that enhanced structural and functional connectivity between engram cells across two directly connected brain regions forms the synaptic correlate for memory formation. Copyright © 2018 The Authors, some rights reserved; exclusive licensee American Association for the Advancement of Science. No claim to original U.S. Government Works.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rusu, Patricia; Jansen, Anna; Soba, Peter

    2007-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-11-24

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ayla eAksoy Aksel

    2013-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nie, Jingjing; Yang, Xiaosu

    2017-01-01

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

  17. Imaging an optogenetic pH sensor reveals that protons mediate lateral inhibition in the retina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Tzu-Ming; Holzhausen, Lars C; Kramer, Richard H

    2014-02-01

    The reciprocal synapse between photoreceptors and horizontal cells underlies lateral inhibition and establishes the antagonistic center-surround receptive fields of retinal neurons to enhance visual contrast. Despite decades of study, the signal mediating the negative feedback from horizontal cells to cones has remained under debate because the small, invaginated synaptic cleft has precluded measurement. Using zebrafish retinas, we show that light elicits a change in synaptic proton concentration with the correct magnitude, kinetics and spatial dependence to account for lateral inhibition. Light, which hyperpolarizes horizontal cells, causes synaptic alkalinization, whereas activating an exogenously expressed ligand-gated Na(+) channel, which depolarizes horizontal cells, causes synaptic acidification. Whereas acidification was prevented by blocking a proton pump, re-alkalinization was prevented by blocking proton-permeant ion channels, suggesting that distinct mechanisms underlie proton efflux and influx. These findings reveal that protons mediate lateral inhibition in the retina, raising the possibility that protons are unrecognized retrograde messengers elsewhere in the nervous system.

  18. Translational control by eIF2α phosphorylation regulates vulnerability to the synaptic and behavioral effects of cocaine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Wei; Placzek, Andon N; Viana Di Prisco, Gonzalo; Khatiwada, Sanjeev; Sidrauski, Carmela; Krnjević, Krešimir; Walter, Peter; Dani, John A; Costa-Mattioli, Mauro

    2016-01-01

    Adolescents are especially prone to drug addiction, but the underlying biological basis of their increased vulnerability remains unknown. We reveal that translational control by phosphorylation of the translation initiation factor eIF2α (p-eIF2α) accounts for adolescent hypersensitivity to cocaine. In adolescent (but not adult) mice, a low dose of cocaine reduced p-eIF2α in the ventral tegmental area (VTA), potentiated synaptic inputs to VTA dopaminergic neurons, and induced drug-reinforced behavior. Like adolescents, adult mice with reduced p-eIF2α-mediated translational control were more susceptible to cocaine-induced synaptic potentiation and behavior. Conversely, like adults, adolescent mice with increased p-eIF2α became more resistant to cocaine's effects. Accordingly, metabotropic glutamate receptor-mediated long-term depression (mGluR-LTD)—whose disruption is postulated to increase vulnerability to drug addiction—was impaired in both adolescent mice and adult mice with reduced p-eIF2α mediated translation. Thus, during addiction, cocaine hijacks translational control by p-eIF2α, initiating synaptic potentiation and addiction-related behaviors. These insights may hold promise for new treatments for addiction. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.12052.001 PMID:26928234

  19. The C1q complement family of synaptic organizers: not just complementary.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuzaki, Michisuke

    2017-08-01

    Molecules that regulate formation, differentiation, and maintenance of synapses are called synaptic organizers. Recently, various 'C1q family' proteins have been shown to be released from neurons, and serve as a new class of synaptic organizers. Cbln1 and C1ql1 proteins regulate the formation and maintenance of parallel fiber-Purkinje cell and climbing fiber-Purkinje cell synapses, respectively, in the cerebellum. Cbln1 also modulates the function of postsynaptic delta2 glutamate receptors to regulate synaptic plasticity. C1ql2 and C1ql3, released from mossy fibers, determine the synaptic localization of postsynaptic kainate receptors in the hippocampus. C1ql3 also regulates the formation of synapses between the basolateral amygdala and the prefrontal cortex. These findings indicate the diverse functions of C1q family proteins in various brain regions. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. A scalable neural chip with synaptic electronics using CMOS integrated memristors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cruz-Albrecht, Jose M; Derosier, Timothy; Srinivasa, Narayan

    2013-01-01

    The design and simulation of a scalable neural chip with synaptic electronics using nanoscale memristors fully integrated with complementary metal–oxide–semiconductor (CMOS) is presented. The circuit consists of integrate-and-fire neurons and synapses with spike-timing dependent plasticity (STDP). The synaptic conductance values can be stored in memristors with eight levels, and the topology of connections between neurons is reconfigurable. The circuit has been designed using a 90 nm CMOS process with via connections to on-chip post-processed memristor arrays. The design has about 16 million CMOS transistors and 73 728 integrated memristors. We provide circuit level simulations of the entire chip performing neuronal and synaptic computations that result in biologically realistic functional behavior. (paper)

  1. Synaptic inhibition and excitation estimated via the time constant of membrane potential fluctuations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Berg, Rune W.; Ditlevsen, Susanne

    2013-01-01

    When recording the membrane potential, V, of a neuron it is desirable to be able to extract the synaptic input. Critically, the synaptic input is stochastic and non-reproducible so one is therefore often restricted to single trial data. Here, we introduce means of estimating the inhibition and ex...... close to soma (recording site). Though our data is in current-clamp, the method also works in V-clamp recordings, with some minor adaptations. All custom made procedures are provided in Matlab....... and excitation and their confidence limits from single sweep trials. The estimates are based on the mean membrane potential, (V) , and the membrane time constant,τ. The time constant provides the total conductance (G = capacitance/τ) and is extracted from the autocorrelation of V. The synaptic conductances can....... The method gives best results if the synaptic input is large compared to other conductances, the intrinsic conductances have little or no time dependence or are comparably small, the ligand gated kinetics is faster than the membrane time constant, and the majority of synaptic contacts are electrotonically...

  2. Synaptically released zinc triggers metabotropic signaling via a zinc-sensing receptor in the hippocampus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Besser, Limor; Chorin, Ehud; Sekler, Israel; Silverman, William F; Atkin, Stan; Russell, James T; Hershfinkel, Michal

    2009-03-04

    Zn(2+) is coreleased with glutamate from mossy fiber terminals and can influence synaptic function. Here, we demonstrate that synaptically released Zn(2+) activates a selective postsynaptic Zn(2+)-sensing receptor (ZnR) in the CA3 region of the hippocampus. ZnR activation induced intracellular release of Ca(2+), as well as phosphorylation of extracellular-regulated kinase and Ca(2+)/calmodulin kinase II. Blockade of synaptic transmission by tetrodotoxin or CdCl inhibited the ZnR-mediated Ca(2+) rises. The responses mediated by ZnR were largely attenuated by the extracellular Zn(2+) chelator, CaEDTA, and in slices from mice lacking vesicular Zn(2+), suggesting that synaptically released Zn(2+) triggers the metabotropic activity. Knockdown of the expression of the orphan G-protein-coupled receptor 39 (GPR39) attenuated ZnR activity in a neuronal cell line. Importantly, we observed widespread GPR39 labeling in CA3 neurons, suggesting a role for this receptor in mediating ZnR signaling in the hippocampus. Our results describe a unique role for synaptic Zn(2+) acting as the physiological ligand of a metabotropic receptor and provide a novel pathway by which synaptic Zn(2+) can regulate neuronal function.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  4. Prevention of Synaptic Alterations and Neurotoxic Effects of PAMAM Dendrimers by Surface Functionalization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Felipe Vidal

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available One of the most studied nanocarriers for drug delivery are polyamidoamine (PAMAM dendrimers. However, the alterations produced by PAMAM dendrimers in neuronal function have not been thoroughly investigated, and important aspects such as effects on synaptic transmission remain unexplored. We focused on the neuronal activity disruption induced by dendrimers and the possibility to prevent these effects by surface chemical modifications. Therefore, we studied the effects of fourth generation PAMAM with unmodified positively charged surface (G4 in hippocampal neurons, and compared the results with dendrimers functionalized in 25% of their surface groups with folate (PFO25 and polyethylene glycol (PPEG25. G4 dendrimers significantly reduced cell viability at 1 µM, which was attenuated by both chemical modifications, PPEG25 being the less cytotoxic. Patch clamp recordings demonstrated that G4 induced a 7.5-fold increment in capacitive currents as a measure of membrane permeability. Moreover, treatment with this dendrimer increased intracellular Ca2+ by 8-fold with a complete disruption of transients pattern, having as consequence that G4 treatment increased the synaptic vesicle release and frequency of synaptic events by 2.4- and 3-fold, respectively. PFO25 and PPEG25 treatments did not alter membrane permeability, total Ca2+ intake, synaptic vesicle release or synaptic activity frequency. These results demonstrate that cationic G4 dendrimers have neurotoxic effects and induce alterations in normal synaptic activity, which are generated by the augmentation of membrane permeability and a subsequent intracellular Ca2+ increase. Interestingly, these toxic effects and synaptic alterations are prevented by the modification of 25% of PAMAM surface with either folate or polyethylene glycol.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miyamoto, Daisuke; Hirai, Daichi; Murayama, Masanori

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daisuke Miyamoto

    2017-11-01

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

  8. Cyclic-AMP metabolism in synaptic growth, strength and precision: Neural and behavioral phenotype-specific counterbalancing effects between dnc PDE and rut AC mutations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ueda, Atsushi; Wu, Chun-Fang

    2012-01-01

    Two classic learning mutants in Drosophila, rutabaga (rut) and dunce (dnc), are defective in cAMP synthesis and degradation, respectively, exhibiting a variety of neuronal and behavioral defects. We ask how the opposing effects of these mutations on cAMP levels modify subsets of phenotypes, and whether any specific phenotypes could be ameliorated by biochemical counter balancing effects in dnc rut double mutants. Our study at larval neuromuscular junctions (NMJs) demonstrate that dnc mutations caused severe defects in nerve terminal morphology, characterized by unusually large synaptic boutons and aberrant innervation patterns. Interestingly, a counterbalancing effect led to rescue of the aberrant innervation patterns but the enlarged boutons in dnc rut double mutant remained as extreme as those in dnc. In contrast to dnc, rut mutations strongly affect synaptic transmission. Focal loose-patch recording data accumulated over 4 years suggest that synaptic currents in rut boutons were characterized by unusually large temporal dispersion and a seasonal variation in the amount of transmitter release, with diminished synaptic currents in summer months. Experiments with different rearing temperatures revealed that high temperature (29–30 °C) decreased synaptic transmission in rut, but did not alter dnc and WT. Importantly, the large temporal dispersion and abnormal temperature dependence of synaptic transmission, characteristic of rut, still persisted in dnc rut double mutants. To interpret these results in a proper perspective, we reviewed previously documented differential effects of dnc and rut mutations and their genetic interactions in double mutants on a variety of physiological and behavioral phenotypes. The cases of rescue in double mutants are associated with gradual developmental and maintenance processes whereas many behavioral and physiological manifestations on faster time scales could not be rescued. We discuss factors that could contribute to the

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-03-07

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

  10. Synaptic activity and bioenergy homeostasis: implications in brain trauma and neurodegenerative diseases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Natasha eKhatri

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Powered by glucose metabolism, the brain is the most energy-demanding organ in our body, accounting for a quarter of total oxygen consumption. Adequate ATP production and regulation of the metabolic processes are essential for the maintenance of synaptic transmission and neuronal function. Glutamatergic synaptic activity utilizes the largest portion of bioenergy for synaptic events including neurotransmitter synthesis, vesicle recycling, and most importantly the postsynaptic activities leading to channel activation and rebalancing of ionic gradients. Bioenergy homeostasis is coupled with synaptic function via activities of the sodium pumps, glutamate transporters, glucose transport and mitochondria translocation. Energy insufficiency will be sensed by the AMP-activated dependent protein kinase (AMPK, a master metabolic regulator that stimulates the catalytic process to enhance energy production. A decline in energy supply and a disruption in bioenergy homeostasis play a critical role in multiple neuropathological conditions including ischemia, stroke and neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s disease and traumatic brain injuries.

  11. Methamphetamine reduces LTP and increases baseline synaptic transmission in the CA1 region of mouse hippocampus.

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    Jarod Swant

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Methamphetamine (METH is an addictive psychostimulant whose societal impact is on the rise. Emerging evidence suggests that psychostimulants alter synaptic plasticity in the brain--which may partly account for their adverse effects. While it is known that METH increases the extracellular concentration of monoamines dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine, it is not clear how METH alters glutamatergic transmission. Within this context, the aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of acute and systemic METH on basal synaptic transmission and long-term potentiation (LTP; an activity-induced increase in synaptic efficacy in CA1 sub-field in the hippocampus. Both the acute ex vivo application of METH to hippocampal slices and systemic administration of METH decreased LTP. Interestingly, the acute ex vivo application of METH at a concentration of 30 or 60 microM increased baseline synaptic transmission as well as decreased LTP. Pretreatment with eticlopride (D2-like receptor antagonist did not alter the effects of METH on synaptic transmission or LTP. In contrast, pretreatment with D1/D5 dopamine receptor antagonist SCH23390 or 5-HT1A receptor antagonist NAN-190 abrogated the effect of METH on synaptic transmission. Furthermore, METH did not increase baseline synaptic transmission in D1 dopamine receptor haploinsufficient mice. Our findings suggest that METH affects excitatory synaptic transmission via activation of dopamine and serotonin receptor systems in the hippocampus. This modulation may contribute to synaptic maladaption induced by METH addiction and/or METH-mediated cognitive dysfunction.

  12. Thalamic synaptic transmission of sensory information modulated by synergistic interaction of adenosine and serotonin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Ya-Chin; Hu, Chun-Chang; Huang, Chen-Syuan; Chou, Pei-Yu

    2014-03-01

    The thalamic synapses relay peripheral sensory information to the cortex, and constitute an important part of the thalamocortical network that generates oscillatory activities responsible for different vigilance (sleep and wakefulness) states. However, the modulation of thalamic synaptic transmission by potential sleep regulators, especially by combination of regulators in physiological scenarios, is not fully characterized. We found that somnogen adenosine itself acts similar to wake-promoting serotonin, both decreasing synaptic strength as well as short-term depression, at the retinothalamic synapse. We then combined the two modulators considering the coexistence of them in the hypnagogic (sleep-onset) state. Adenosine plus serotonin results in robust synergistic inhibition of synaptic strength and dramatic transformation of short-term synaptic depression to facilitation. These synaptic effects are not achievable with a single modulator, and are consistent with a high signal-to-noise ratio but a low level of signal transmission through the thalamus appropriate for slow-wave sleep. This study for the first time demonstrates that the sleep-regulatory modulators may work differently when present in combination than present singly in terms of shaping information flow in the thalamocortical network. The major synaptic characters such as the strength and short-term plasticity can be profoundly altered by combination of modulators based on physiological considerations. © 2013 International Society for Neurochemistry.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2017-01-01

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

  14. Integrated neuron circuit for implementing neuromorphic system with synaptic device

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Jeong-Jun; Park, Jungjin; Kwon, Min-Woo; Hwang, Sungmin; Kim, Hyungjin; Park, Byung-Gook

    2018-02-01

    In this paper, we propose and fabricate Integrate & Fire neuron circuit for implementing neuromorphic system. Overall operation of the circuit is verified by measuring discrete devices and the output characteristics of the circuit. Since the neuron circuit shows asymmetric output characteristic that can drive synaptic device with Spike-Timing-Dependent-Plasticity (STDP) characteristic, the autonomous weight update process is also verified by connecting the synaptic device and the neuron circuit. The timing difference of the pre-neuron and the post-neuron induce autonomous weight change of the synaptic device. Unlike 2-terminal devices, which is frequently used to implement neuromorphic system, proposed scheme of the system enables autonomous weight update and simple configuration by using 4-terminal synapse device and appropriate neuron circuit. Weight update process in the multi-layer neuron-synapse connection ensures implementation of the hardware-based artificial intelligence, based on Spiking-Neural- Network (SNN).

  15. Epigenetic Basis of Neuronal and Synaptic Plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chih-Chieh Wang

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tali eRosenberg

    2014-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keck, Christian; Savin, Cristina; Lücke, Jörg

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian Keck

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rui-Rui Wang

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sushmita Lakshmi Allam

    2012-10-01

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

  3. Emulating short-term synaptic dynamics with memristive devices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berdan, Radu; Vasilaki, Eleni; Khiat, Ali; Indiveri, Giacomo; Serb, Alexandru; Prodromakis, Themistoklis

    2016-01-01

    Neuromorphic architectures offer great promise for achieving computation capacities beyond conventional Von Neumann machines. The essential elements for achieving this vision are highly scalable synaptic mimics that do not undermine biological fidelity. Here we demonstrate that single solid-state TiO2 memristors can exhibit non-associative plasticity phenomena observed in biological synapses, supported by their metastable memory state transition properties. We show that, contrary to conventional uses of solid-state memory, the existence of rate-limiting volatility is a key feature for capturing short-term synaptic dynamics. We also show how the temporal dynamics of our prototypes can be exploited to implement spatio-temporal computation, demonstrating the memristors full potential for building biophysically realistic neural processing systems.

  4. Does autophagy work in synaptic plasticity and memory?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shehata, Mohammad; Inokuchi, Kaoru

    2014-01-01

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

  5. Odor-Specific Habituation Arises from Interaction of Afferent Synaptic Adaptation and Intrinsic Synaptic Potentiation in Olfactory Cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linster, Christiane; Menon, Alka V.; Singh, Christopher Y.; Wilson, Donald A.

    2009-01-01

    Segmentation of target odorants from background odorants is a fundamental computational requirement for the olfactory system and is thought to be behaviorally mediated by olfactory habituation memory. Data from our laboratory have shown that odor-specific adaptation in piriform neurons, mediated at least partially by synaptic adaptation between…

  6. Operant conditioning of synaptic and spiking activity patterns in single hippocampal neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ishikawa, Daisuke; Matsumoto, Nobuyoshi; Sakaguchi, Tetsuya; Matsuki, Norio; Ikegaya, Yuji

    2014-04-02

    Learning is a process of plastic adaptation through which a neural circuit generates a more preferable outcome; however, at a microscopic level, little is known about how synaptic activity is patterned into a desired configuration. Here, we report that animals can generate a specific form of synaptic activity in a given neuron in the hippocampus. In awake, head-restricted mice, we applied electrical stimulation to the lateral hypothalamus, a reward-associated brain region, when whole-cell patch-clamped CA1 neurons exhibited spontaneous synaptic activity that met preset criteria. Within 15 min, the mice learned to generate frequently the excitatory synaptic input pattern that satisfied the criteria. This reinforcement learning of synaptic activity was not observed for inhibitory input patterns. When a burst unit activity pattern was conditioned in paired and nonpaired paradigms, the frequency of burst-spiking events increased and decreased, respectively. The burst reinforcement occurred in the conditioned neuron but not in other adjacent neurons; however, ripple field oscillations were concomitantly reinforced. Neural conditioning depended on activation of NMDA receptors and dopamine D1 receptors. Acutely stressed mice and depression model mice that were subjected to forced swimming failed to exhibit the neural conditioning. This learning deficit was rescued by repetitive treatment with fluoxetine, an antidepressant. Therefore, internally motivated animals are capable of routing an ongoing action potential series into a specific neural pathway of the hippocampal network.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wang XX

    2016-09-01

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

  8. Synaptic control of local translation: the plot thickens with new characters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, María Gabriela; Pascual, Malena Lucía; Maschi, Darío; Luchelli, Luciana; Boccaccio, Graciela Lidia

    2014-06-01

    The production of proteins from mRNAs localized at the synapse ultimately controls the strength of synaptic transmission, thereby affecting behavior and cognitive functions. The regulated transcription, processing, and transport of mRNAs provide dynamic control of the dendritic transcriptome, which includes thousands of messengers encoding multiple cellular functions. Translation is locally modulated by synaptic activity through a complex network of RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) and various types of non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) including BC-RNAs, microRNAs, piwi-interacting RNAs, and small interference RNAs. The RBPs FMRP and CPEB play a well-established role in synaptic translation, and additional regulatory factors are emerging. The mRNA repressors Smaug, Nanos, and Pumilio define a novel pathway for local translational control that affects dendritic branching and spines in both flies and mammals. Recent findings support a role for processing bodies and related synaptic mRNA-silencing foci (SyAS-foci) in the modulation of synaptic plasticity and memory formation. The SyAS-foci respond to different stimuli with changes in their integrity thus enabling regulated mRNA release followed by translation. CPEB, Pumilio, TDP-43, and FUS/TLS form multimers through low-complexity regions related to prion domains or polyQ expansions. The oligomerization of these repressor RBPs is mechanistically linked to the aggregation of abnormal proteins commonly associated with neurodegeneration. Here, we summarize the current knowledge on how specificity in mRNA translation is achieved through the concerted action of multiple pathways that involve regulatory ncRNAs and RBPs, the modification of translation factors, and mRNA-silencing foci dynamics.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Schrader Angela

    2010-11-01

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

  10. P2X Receptors and Synaptic Plasticity

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-20

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

  12. Bcl-xL-mediated remodeling of rod and cone synaptic mitochondria after postnatal lead exposure: electron microscopy, tomography and oxygen consumption.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perkins, Guy A; Scott, Ray; Perez, Alex; Ellisman, Mark H; Johnson, Jerry E; Fox, Donald A

    2012-01-01

    and dark-adapted photoreceptor synaptic terminal QO(2). Bcl-xL partially blocked many of the lead-induced alterations relative to controls. However, spherules still had partially decreased abundance, whereas pedicles still had increased branching, increased crista segments per volume, and increased crista junction diameter. Moreover, photoreceptor and synaptic QO(2) were only partially recovered. These findings reveal cellular and compartmental specific differences in the structure and vulnerability of rod and cone inner segment and synaptic mitochondria to postnatal lead exposure. Spherule and pedicle mitochondria in lead-exposed mice displayed complex and distinguishing patterns of cristae and matrix damage and remodeling consistent with studies showing that synaptic mitochondria are more sensitive to Ca(2+) overload, oxidative stress, and ATP loss than non-synaptic mitochondria. The lead-induced decreases in QO(2) likely resulted from the decreased spherule cristae abundance and smaller cristae, perhaps due to Bax-mediated effects as they occurred in apoptotic rod inner segments. The increase in pedicle cristae abundance and CJ diameter could have resulted from increased Drp1-mediated fission, as small mitochondrial fragments were observed. The mechanisms of Bcl-xL-mediated remodeling might occur via interaction with formation of CJ protein 1 (Fcj1), whereas the partial protection of synaptic QO(2) might result from the enhanced efficiency of energy metabolism via Bcl-xL's direct interaction with the F1F0 ATP synthase and/or regulation of cellular redox status. These lead-induced alterations in photoreceptor synaptic terminal mitochondria likely underlie the persistent scotopic and mesopic deficits in lead-exposed children, workers, and experimental animals. Our findings stress the clinical and scientific importance of examining synaptic dysfunction following injury or disease during development, and developing therapeutic treatments that prevent synaptic

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tanjala T. Gipson

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brian J Wiltgen

    2010-09-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    DiAntonio Aaron

    2007-08-01

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

  17. Biphasic synaptic Ca influx arising from compartmentalized electrical signals in dendritic spines.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brenda L Bloodgood

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Excitatory synapses on mammalian principal neurons are typically formed onto dendritic spines, which consist of a bulbous head separated from the parent dendrite by a thin neck. Although activation of voltage-gated channels in the spine and stimulus-evoked constriction of the spine neck can influence synaptic signals, the contribution of electrical filtering by the spine neck to basal synaptic transmission is largely unknown. Here we use spine and dendrite calcium (Ca imaging combined with 2-photon laser photolysis of caged glutamate to assess the impact of electrical filtering imposed by the spine morphology on synaptic Ca transients. We find that in apical spines of CA1 hippocampal neurons, the spine neck creates a barrier to the propagation of current, which causes a voltage drop and results in spatially inhomogeneous activation of voltage-gated Ca channels (VGCCs on a micron length scale. Furthermore, AMPA and NMDA-type glutamate receptors (AMPARs and NMDARs, respectively that are colocalized on individual spine heads interact to produce two kinetically and mechanistically distinct phases of synaptically evoked Ca influx. Rapid depolarization of the spine triggers a brief and large Ca current whose amplitude is regulated in a graded manner by the number of open AMPARs and whose duration is terminated by the opening of small conductance Ca-activated potassium (SK channels. A slower phase of Ca influx is independent of AMPAR opening and is determined by the number of open NMDARs and the post-stimulus potential in the spine. Biphasic synaptic Ca influx only occurs when AMPARs and NMDARs are coactive within an individual spine. These results demonstrate that the morphology of dendritic spines endows associated synapses with specialized modes of signaling and permits the graded and independent control of multiple phases of synaptic Ca influx.

  18. Neuromodulation of activity-dependent synaptic enhancement at crayfish neuromuscular junction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qian, S M; Delaney, K R

    1997-10-17

    Action potential-evoked transmitter release is enhanced for many seconds after moderate-frequency stimulation (e.g. 15 Hz for 30 s) at the excitor motorneuron synapse of the crayfish dactyl opener muscle. Beginning about 1.5 s after a train, activity-dependent synaptic enhancement (ADSE) is dominated by a process termed augmentation (G.D. Bittner, D.A. Baxter, Synaptic plasticity at crayfish neuromuscular junctions: facilitation and augmentation, Synapse 7 (1991) 235-243'[4]; K.L. Magleby, Short-term changes in synaptic efficacy, in: G.M. Edelman, L.E. Gall, C.W. Maxwell (Eds.), Synaptic Function, John Wiley and Sons, New York, 1987, pp. 21-56; K.L. Magleby; J.E. Zengel, Augmentation: a process that acts to increase transmitter release at the frog neuromuscular junction, J. Physiol. (Lond.) 257 (1976) 449-470) which decays approximately exponentially with a time constant of about 10 s at 16 degrees C, reflecting the removal of Ca2+ which accumulates during the train in presynaptic terminals (K.R. Delaney, D.W. Tank, R.S. Zucker, Serotonin-mediated enhancement of transmission at crayfish neuromuscular junction is independent of changes in calcium, J. Neurosci. 11 (1991) 2631-2643). Serotonin (5-HT, 1 microM) increases evoked and spontaneous transmitter release several-fold (D. Dixon, H.L. Atwood, Crayfish motor nerve terminal's response to serotonin examined by intracellular microelectrode, J. Neurobiol. 16 (1985) 409-424; J. Dudel, Modulation of quantal synaptic release by serotonin and forskolin in crayfish motor nerve terminals, in: Modulation of Synaptic Transmission and Plasticity in Nervous Systems, G. Hertting, H.-C. Spatz (Eds.), Springer-Verlag, Berlin, 1988; S. Glusman, E.A. Kravitz. The action of serotonin on excitatory nerve terminals in lobster nerve-muscle preparations, J. Physiol. (Lond.) 325 (1982) 223-241). We found that ADSE persists about 2-3 times longer after moderate-frequency presynaptic stimulation in the presence of 5-HT. This slowing of the

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amit Agarwal

    2014-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-08-21

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valentina eWiescholleck

    2013-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-12-20

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhiqiang Liu

    2010-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  5. Impaired recycling of synaptic vesicles after acute perturbation of the presynaptic actin cytoskeleton

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Shupliakov, Oleg; Bloom, Ona; Gustafsson, Jenny S

    2002-01-01

    Actin is an abundant component of nerve terminals that has been implicated at multiple steps of the synaptic vesicle cycle, including reversible anchoring, exocytosis, and recycling of synaptic vesicles. In the present study we used the lamprey reticulospinal synapse to examine the role of actin ...

  6. ZCCHC17 is a master regulator of synaptic gene expression in Alzheimer's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomljanovic, Zeljko; Patel, Mitesh; Shin, William; Califano, Andrea; Teich, Andrew F

    2018-02-01

    In an effort to better understand the molecular drivers of synaptic and neurophysiologic dysfunction in Alzheimer's disease (AD), we analyzed neuronal gene expression data from human AD brain tissue to identify master regulators of synaptic gene expression. Master regulator analysis identifies ZCCHC17 as normally supporting the expression of a network of synaptic genes, and predicts that ZCCHC17 dysfunction in AD leads to lower expression of these genes. We demonstrate that ZCCHC17 is normally expressed in neurons and is reduced early in the course of AD pathology. We show that ZCCHC17 loss in rat neurons leads to lower expression of the majority of the predicted synaptic targets and that ZCCHC17 drives the expression of a similar gene network in humans and rats. These findings support a conserved function for ZCCHC17 between species and identify ZCCHC17 loss as an important early driver of lower synaptic gene expression in AD. Matlab and R scripts used in this paper are available at https://github.com/afteich/AD_ZCC. aft25@cumc.columbia.edu. Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online. © The Author (2017). Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com

  7. Synaptic plasticity and the warburg effect

    KAUST Repository

    Magistretti, Pierre J.

    2014-01-01

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

  8. Synaptic communication between neurons and NG2+ cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paukert, Martin; Bergles, Dwight E

    2006-10-01

    Chemical synaptic transmission provides the basis for much of the rapid signaling that occurs within neuronal networks. However, recent studies have provided compelling evidence that synapses are not used exclusively for communication between neurons. Physiological and anatomical studies indicate that a distinct class of glia known as NG2(+) cells also forms direct synaptic junctions with both glutamatergic and GABAergic neurons. Glutamatergic signaling can influence intracellular Ca(2+) levels in NG2(+) cells by activating Ca(2+) permeable AMPA receptors, and these inputs can be potentiated through high frequency stimulation. Although the significance of this highly differentiated form of communication remains to be established, these neuro-glia synapses might enable neurons to influence rapidly the behavior of this ubiquitous class of glial progenitors.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-11-17

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Y W; Bayliss, D A

    1998-06-01

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

  11. MAGUKs: multifaceted synaptic organizers.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

  12. Effects of salicylate on the inflammatory genes expression and synaptic ultrastructure in the cochlear nucleus of rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Shou-Sen; Mei, Ling; Chen, Jian-Yong; Huang, Zhi-Wu; Wu, Hao

    2014-04-01

    Aspirin (salicylate), as a common drug that is frequently used for long-term treatment in a clinical setting, has the potential to cause reversible tinnitus. However, few reports have examined the inflammatory cytokines expression and alteration of synaptic ultrastructure in the cochlear nucleus (CN) in a rat model of tinnitus. The tinnitus-like behavior of rats were detected by the gap prepulse inhibition of acoustic startle (GPIAS) paradigm. We investigated the expression levels of the tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), interleukin-6 (IL-6), N-methyl D-aspartate receptor subunit 2A (NR2A) mRNA and protein in the CN and compared synapses ultrastructure in the CN of tinnitus rats with normal ones. GPIAS showed that rats with long-term administration of salicylate were experiencing tinnitus, and the mRNA and protein expression levels of TNF-α and NR2A were up-regulated in chronic treatment groups, and they returned to baseline 14 days after cessation of treatment. Furthermore, compared to normal rats, repetitive salicylate-treated rats showed a greater number of presynaptic vesicles, thicker and longer postsynaptic densities, increased synaptic interface curvature. These data revealed that chronic salicylate administration markedly, but reversibly, induces tinnitus possibly via augmentation of the expression of TNF-α and NR2A and cause changes in synaptic ultrastructure in the CN. Long-term administration of salicylate causes neural plasticity changes at the CN level.

  13. Synaptically evoked glutamate transporter currents in Spinal Dorsal Horn Astrocytes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dougherty Patrick M

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Removing and sequestering synaptically released glutamate from the extracellular space is carried out by specific plasma membrane transporters that are primarily located in astrocytes. Glial glutamate transporter function can be monitored by recording the currents that are produced by co-transportation of Na+ ions with the uptake of glutamate. The goal of this study was to characterize glutamate transporter function in astrocytes of the spinal cord dorsal horn in real time by recording synaptically evoked glutamate transporter currents. Results Whole-cell patch clamp recordings were obtained from astrocytes in the spinal substantia gelatinosa (SG area in spinal slices of young adult rats. Glutamate transporter currents were evoked in these cells by electrical stimulation at the spinal dorsal root entry zone in the presence of bicuculline, strychnine, DNQX and D-AP5. Transporter currents were abolished when synaptic transmission was blocked by TTX or Cd2+. Pharmacological studies identified two subtypes of glutamate transporters in spinal astrocytes, GLAST and GLT-1. Glutamate transporter currents were graded with stimulus intensity, reaching peak responses at 4 to 5 times activation threshold, but were reduced following low-frequency (0.1 – 1 Hz repetitive stimulation. Conclusion These results suggest that glutamate transporters of spinal astrocytes could be activated by synaptic activation, and recording glutamate transporter currents may provide a means of examining the real time physiological responses of glial cells in spinal sensory processing, sensitization, hyperalgesia and chronic pain.

  14. Sex differences in the effects of pre- and postnatal caffeine exposure on behavior and synaptic proteins in pubescent rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sallaberry, Cássia; Ardais, Ana Paula; Rocha, Andréia; Borges, Maurício Felisberto; Fioreze, Gabriela T; Mioranzza, Sabrina; Nunes, Fernanda; Pagnussat, Natália; Botton, Paulo Henrique S; Porciúncula, Lisiane O

    2018-02-02

    Few studies have addressed the effects of caffeine in the puberty and/or adolescence in a sex dependent manner. Considering that caffeine intake has increased in this population, we investigated the behavioral and synaptic proteins changes in pubescent male and female rats after maternal consumption of caffeine. Adult female Wistar rats started to receive water or caffeine (0.1 and 0.3g/L in drinking water; low and moderate dose, respectively) during the active cycle at weekdays, two weeks before mating. The treatment lasted up to weaning and the offspring received caffeine until the onset of puberty (30-34days old). Behavioral tasks were performed to evaluate locomotor activity (open field task), anxious-like behavior (elevated plus maze task) and recognition memory (object recognition task) and synaptic proteins levels (proBDNF, BDNF, GFAP and SNAP-25) were verified in the hippocampus and cerebral cortex. While hyperlocomotion was observed in both sexes after caffeine treatment, anxiety-related behavior was attenuated by caffeine (0.3g/L) only in females. While moderate caffeine worsened recognition memory in females, an improvement in the long-term memory was observed in male rats for both doses. Coincident with memory improvement in males, caffeine increased pro- and BDNF in the hippocampus and cortex. Females presented increased proBDNF levels in both brain regions, with no effects of caffeine. While GFAP was not altered, moderate caffeine intake increased SNAP-25 in the cortex of female rats. Our findings revealed that caffeine promoted cognitive benefits in males associated with increased BDNF levels, while females showed less anxiety. Our findings revealed that caffeine promotes distinct behavioral outcomes and alterations in synaptic proteins during brain development in a sex dependent manner. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Pinpointing Synaptic Loss Caused by Alzheimer?s Disease with fMRI

    OpenAIRE

    Brickman, Adam M.; Small, Scott A.; Fleisher, Adam

    2009-01-01

    During its earliest stage, before cell loss and independent of amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles, Alzheimer's disease (AD) causes synaptic loss affecting the basal functional properties of neurons. In principle, synaptic loss can be detected by measuring AD-induced changes in basal function, or by measuring stimulus-evoked responses on top of basal changes. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) is sensitive to both basal changes and evoked-responses, and there are therefore t...

  16. Cyclic adenosine monophosphate metabolism in synaptic growth, strength, and precision: neural and behavioral phenotype-specific counterbalancing effects between dnc phosphodiesterase and rut adenylyl cyclase mutations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ueda, Atsushi; Wu, Chun-Fang

    2012-03-01

    Two classic learning mutants in Drosophila, rutabaga (rut) and dunce (dnc), are defective in cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) synthesis and degradation, respectively, exhibiting a variety of neuronal and behavioral defects. We ask how the opposing effects of these mutations on cAMP levels modify subsets of phenotypes, and whether any specific phenotypes could be ameliorated by biochemical counter balancing effects in dnc rut double mutants. Our study at larval neuromuscular junctions (NMJs) demonstrates that dnc mutations caused severe defects in nerve terminal morphology, characterized by unusually large synaptic boutons and aberrant innervation patterns. Interestingly, a counterbalancing effect led to rescue of the aberrant innervation patterns but the enlarged boutons in dnc rut double mutant remained as extreme as those in dnc. In contrast to dnc, rut mutations strongly affect synaptic transmission. Focal loose-patch recording data accumulated over 4 years suggest that synaptic currents in rut boutons were characterized by unusually large temporal dispersion and a seasonal variation in the amount of transmitter release, with diminished synaptic currents in summer months. Experiments with different rearing temperatures revealed that high temperature (29-30°C) decreased synaptic transmission in rut, but did not alter dnc and wild-type (WT). Importantly, the large temporal dispersion and abnormal temperature dependence of synaptic transmission, characteristic of rut, still persisted in dnc rut double mutants. To interpret these results in a proper perspective, we reviewed previously documented differential effects of dnc and rut mutations and their genetic interactions in double mutants on a variety of physiological and behavioral phenotypes. The cases of rescue in double mutants are associated with gradual developmental and maintenance processes whereas many behavioral and physiological manifestations on faster time scales could not be rescued. We discuss

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-11-09

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

  20. Regulation of synaptic inhibition by phospho-dependent binding of the AP2 complex to a YECL motif in the GABAA receptor γ2 subunit

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kittler, Josef T.; Chen, Guojun; Kukhtina, Viktoria; Vahedi-Faridi, Ardeschir; Gu, Zhenglin; Tretter, Verena; Smith, Katharine R.; McAinsh, Kristina; Arancibia-Carcamo, I. Lorena; Saenger, Wolfram; Haucke, Volker; Yan, Zhen; Moss, Stephen J.

    2008-01-01

    The regulation of the number of γ2-subunit-containing GABAA receptors (GABAARs) present at synapses is critical for correct synaptic inhibition and animal behavior. This regulation occurs, in part, by the controlled removal of receptors from the membrane in clathrin-coated vesicles, but it remains unclear how clathrin recruitment to surface γ2-subunit-containing GABAARs is regulated. Here, we identify a γ2-subunit-specific Yxxφ-type-binding motif for the clathrin adaptor protein, AP2, which is located within a site for γ2-subunit tyrosine phosphorylation. Blocking GABAAR-AP2 interactions via this motif increases synaptic responses within minutes. Crystallographic and biochemical studies reveal that phosphorylation of the Yxxφ motif inhibits AP2 binding, leading to increased surface receptor number. In addition, the crystal structure provides an explanation for the high affinity of this motif for AP2 and suggests that γ2-subunit-containing heteromeric GABAARs may be internalized as dimers or multimers. These data define a mechanism for tyrosine kinase regulation of GABAAR surface levels and synaptic inhibition. PMID:18305175

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miriam Matamales

    2012-12-01

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

  2. Raindrops of synaptic noise on dual excitability landscape: an approach to astrocyte network modelling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verisokin, Andrey Yu.; Postnov, Dmitry E.; Verveyko, Darya V.; Brazhe, Alexey R.

    2018-04-01

    The most abundant non-neuronal cells in the brain, astrocytes, populate all parts of the central nervous system (CNS). Astrocytic calcium activity ranging from subcellular sparkles to intercellular waves is believed to be the key to a plethora of regulatory pathways in the central nervous system from synaptic plasticity to blood flow regulation. Modeling of the calcium wave initiation and transmission and their spatiotemporal dynamics is therefore an important step stone in understanding the crucial cogs of cognition. Astrocytes are active sensors of ongoing neuronal and synaptic activity, and neurotransmitters diffusing from the synaptic cleft make a strong impact on the astrocytic activity. Here we propose a model describing the patterns of calcium wave formation at a single cell level and discuss the interplay between astrocyte shape the calcium waves dynamics driven by local stochastic surges of glutamate simulating synaptic activity.

  3. Soluble ectodomain of neuroligin 1 decreases synaptic activity by activating metabotropic glutamate receptor 2

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gjørlund, Michelle D.; Carlsen, Eva Maria Meier; Kønig, Andreas Bay

    2017-01-01

    Synaptic cell adhesion molecules represent important targets for neuronal activity-dependent proteolysis. Postsynaptic neuroligins (NLs) form trans-synaptic complexes with presynaptic neurexins (NXs). Both NXs and NLs are cleaved from the cell surface by metalloproteases in an activity-dependent ...

  4. Memristor-based neural networks: Synaptic versus neuronal stochasticity

    KAUST Repository

    Naous, Rawan; Alshedivat, Maruan; Neftci, Emre; Cauwenberghs, Gert; Salama, Khaled N.

    2016-01-01

    In neuromorphic circuits, stochasticity in the cortex can be mapped into the synaptic or neuronal components. The hardware emulation of these stochastic neural networks are currently being extensively studied using resistive memories or memristors

  5. Multistate Resistive Switching Memory for Synaptic Memory Applications

    KAUST Repository

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-19

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lücke, Jörg

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-10-03

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emily Petrus

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jun Hu

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  13. Association of intracellular and synaptic organization in cochlear inner hair cells revealed by 3D electron microscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bullen, Anwen; West, Timothy; Moores, Carolyn; Ashmore, Jonathan; Fleck, Roland A; MacLellan-Gibson, Kirsty; Forge, Andrew

    2015-07-15

    The ways in which cell architecture is modelled to meet cell function is a poorly understood facet of cell biology. To address this question, we have studied the cytoarchitecture of a cell with highly specialised organisation, the cochlear inner hair cell (IHC), using multiple hierarchies of three-dimensional (3D) electron microscopy analyses. We show that synaptic terminal distribution on the IHC surface correlates with cell shape, and the distribution of a highly organised network of membranes and mitochondria encompassing the infranuclear region of the cell. This network is juxtaposed to a population of small vesicles, which represents a potential new source of neurotransmitter vesicles for replenishment of the synapses. Structural linkages between organelles that underlie this organisation were identified by high-resolution imaging. Taken together, these results describe a cell-encompassing network of membranes and mitochondria present in IHCs that support efficient coding and transmission of auditory signals. Such techniques also have the potential for clarifying functionally specialised cytoarchitecture of other cell types. © 2015. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-06-01

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

  15. Opposing Effects of Intrinsic Conductance and Correlated Synaptic Input on V-Fluctuations during Network Activity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kolind, Jens; Hounsgaard, Jørn Dybkjær; Berg, Rune W

    2012-01-01

    Neurons often receive massive concurrent bombardment of synaptic inhibition and excitation during functional network activity. This increases membrane conductance and causes fluctuations in membrane potential (V(m)) and spike timing. The conductance increase is commonly attributed to synaptic....... If the spikes arrive at random times the changes in synaptic conductance are therefore stochastic and rapid during intense network activity. In comparison, sub-threshold intrinsic conductances vary smoothly in time. In the present study this discrepancy is investigated using two conductance-based models: a (1...... conductance, but also includes the intrinsic conductances recruited during network activity. These two sources of conductance have contrasting dynamic properties at sub-threshold membrane potentials. Synaptic transmitter gated conductance changes abruptly and briefly with each presynaptic action potential...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  17. Synaptic transistor with a reversible and analog conductance modulation using a Pt/HfOx/n-IGZO memcapacitor

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Paul; Kim, Hyung Jun; Zheng, Hong; Beom, Geon Won; Park, Jong-Sung; Kang, Chi Jung; Yoon, Tae-Sik

    2017-06-01

    A synaptic transistor emulating the biological synaptic motion is demonstrated using the memcapacitance characteristics in a Pt/HfOx/n-indium-gallium-zinc-oxide (IGZO) memcapacitor. First, the metal-oxide-semiconductor (MOS) capacitor with Pt/HfOx/n-IGZO structure exhibits analog, polarity-dependent, and reversible memcapacitance in capacitance-voltage (C-V), capacitance-time (C-t), and voltage-pulse measurements. When a positive voltage is applied repeatedly to the Pt electrode, the accumulation capacitance increases gradually and sequentially. The depletion capacitance also increases consequently. The capacitances are restored by repeatedly applying a negative voltage, confirming the reversible memcapacitance. The analog and reversible memcapacitance emulates the potentiation and depression synaptic motions. The synaptic thin-film transistor (TFT) with this memcapacitor also shows the synaptic motion with gradually increasing drain current by repeatedly applying the positive gate and drain voltages and reversibly decreasing one by applying the negative voltages, representing synaptic weight modulation. The reversible and analog conductance change in the transistor at both the voltage sweep and pulse operations is obtained through the memcapacitance and threshold voltage shift at the same time. These results demonstrate the synaptic transistor operations with a MOS memcapacitor gate stack consisting of Pt/HfOx/n-IGZO.

  18. Use-Dependent Inhibition of Synaptic Transmission by the Secretion of Intravesicularly Accumulated Antipsychotic Drugs

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tischbirek, Carsten H.; Wenzel, Eva M.; Zheng, Fang

    2012-01-01

    Tischbirek et al. find that weak-base antipsychotic drugs are accumulated in synaptic vesicles and are secreted upon exocytosis, leading to increased extracellular drug concentrations following neuronal activity. The secretion of the drugs in turn inhibits synaptic transmission in a use-dependent...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  20. Enrichment of conserved synaptic activity-responsive element in neuronal genes predicts a coordinated response of MEF2, CREB and SRF.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fernanda M Rodríguez-Tornos

    Full Text Available A unique synaptic activity-responsive element (SARE sequence, composed of the consensus binding sites for SRF, MEF2 and CREB, is necessary for control of transcriptional upregulation of the Arc gene in response to synaptic activity. We hypothesize that this sequence is a broad mechanism that regulates gene expression in response to synaptic activation and during plasticity; and that analysis of SARE-containing genes could identify molecular mechanisms involved in brain disorders. To search for conserved SARE sequences in the mammalian genome, we used the SynoR in silico tool, and found the SARE cluster predominantly in the regulatory regions of genes expressed specifically in the nervous system; most were related to neural development and homeostatic maintenance. Two of these SARE sequences were tested in luciferase assays and proved to promote transcription in response to neuronal activation. Supporting the predictive capacity of our candidate list, up-regulation of several SARE containing genes in response to neuronal activity was validated using external data and also experimentally using primary cortical neurons and quantitative real time RT-PCR. The list of SARE-containing genes includes several linked to mental retardation and cognitive disorders, and is significantly enriched in genes that encode mRNA targeted by FMRP (fragile X mental retardation protein. Our study thus supports the idea that SARE sequences are relevant transcriptional regulatory elements that participate in plasticity. In addition, it offers a comprehensive view of how activity-responsive transcription factors coordinate their actions and increase the selectivity of their targets. Our data suggest that analysis of SARE-containing genes will reveal yet-undescribed pathways of synaptic plasticity and additional candidate genes disrupted in mental disease.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-11-04

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valerie Cathérine Brandt

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

  4. The human motor neuron pools receive a dominant slow‐varying common synaptic input

    Science.gov (United States)

    Negro, Francesco; Yavuz, Utku Şükrü

    2016-01-01

    Key points Motor neurons in a pool receive both common and independent synaptic inputs, although the proportion and role of their common synaptic input is debated.Classic correlation techniques between motor unit spike trains do not measure the absolute proportion of common input and have limitations as a result of the non‐linearity of motor neurons.We propose a method that for the first time allows an accurate quantification of the absolute proportion of low frequency common synaptic input (60%) of common input, irrespective of their different functional and control properties.These results increase our knowledge about the role of common and independent input to motor neurons in force control. Abstract Motor neurons receive both common and independent synaptic inputs. This observation is classically based on the presence of a significant correlation between pairs of motor unit spike trains. The functional significance of different relative proportions of common input across muscles, individuals and conditions is still debated. One of the limitations in our understanding of correlated input to motor neurons is that it has not been possible so far to quantify the absolute proportion of common input with respect to the total synaptic input received by the motor neurons. Indeed, correlation measures of pairs of output spike trains only allow for relative comparisons. In the present study, we report for the first time an approach for measuring the proportion of common input in the low frequency bandwidth (60%) proportion of common low frequency oscillations with respect to their total synaptic input. These results suggest that the central nervous system provides a large amount of common input to motor neuron pools, in a similar way to that for muscles with different functional and control properties. PMID:27151459

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-05-05

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

  6. Synaptic Basis for Differential Orientation Selectivity between Complex and Simple Cells in Mouse Visual Cortex.

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    Li, Ya-tang; Liu, Bao-hua; Chou, Xiao-lin; Zhang, Li I; Tao, Huizhong W

    2015-08-05

    In the primary visual cortex (V1), orientation-selective neurons can be categorized into simple and complex cells primarily based on their receptive field (RF) structures. In mouse V1, although previous studies have examined the excitatory/inhibitory interplay underlying orientation selectivity (OS) of simple cells, the synaptic bases for that of complex cells have remained obscure. Here, by combining in vivo loose-patch and whole-cell recordings, we found that complex cells, identified by their overlapping on/off subfields, had significantly weaker OS than simple cells at both spiking and subthreshold membrane potential response levels. Voltage-clamp recordings further revealed that although excitatory inputs to complex and simple cells exhibited a similar degree of OS, inhibition in complex cells was more narrowly tuned than excitation, whereas in simple cells inhibition was more broadly tuned than excitation. The differential inhibitory tuning can primarily account for the difference in OS between complex and simple cells. Interestingly, the differential synaptic tuning correlated well with the spatial organization of synaptic input: the inhibitory visual RF in complex cells was more elongated in shape than its excitatory counterpart and also was more elongated than that in simple cells. Together, our results demonstrate that OS of complex and simple cells is differentially shaped by cortical inhibition based on its orientation tuning profile relative to excitation, which is contributed at least partially by the spatial organization of RFs of presynaptic inhibitory neurons. Simple and complex cells, two classes of principal neurons in the primary visual cortex (V1), are generally thought to be equally selective for orientation. In mouse V1, we report that complex cells, identified by their overlapping on/off subfields, has significantly weaker orientation selectivity (OS) than simple cells. This can be primarily attributed to the differential tuning selectivity

  7. Microglomerular Synaptic Complexes in the Sky-Compass Network of the Honeybee Connect Parallel Pathways from the Anterior Optic Tubercle to the Central Complex.

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    Held, Martina; Berz, Annuska; Hensgen, Ronja; Muenz, Thomas S; Scholl, Christina; Rössler, Wolfgang; Homberg, Uwe; Pfeiffer, Keram

    2016-01-01

    While the ability of honeybees to navigate relying on sky-compass information has been investigated in a large number of behavioral studies, the underlying neuronal system has so far received less attention. The sky-compass pathway has recently been described from its input region, the dorsal rim area (DRA) of the compound eye, to the anterior optic tubercle (AOTU). The aim of this study is to reveal the connection from the AOTU to the central complex (CX). For this purpose, we investigated the anatomy of large microglomerular synaptic complexes in the medial and lateral bulbs (MBUs/LBUs) of the lateral complex (LX). The synaptic complexes are formed by tubercle-lateral accessory lobe neuron 1 (TuLAL1) neurons of the AOTU and GABAergic tangential neurons of the central body's (CB) lower division (TL neurons). Both TuLAL1 and TL neurons strongly resemble neurons forming these complexes in other insect species. We further investigated the ultrastructure of these synaptic complexes using transmission electron microscopy. We found that single large presynaptic terminals of TuLAL1 neurons enclose many small profiles (SPs) of TL neurons. The synaptic connections between these neurons are established by two types of synapses: divergent dyads and divergent tetrads. Our data support the assumption that these complexes are a highly conserved feature in the insect brain and play an important role in reliable signal transmission within the sky-compass pathway.

  8. SAD-B kinase regulates pre-synaptic vesicular dynamics at hippocampal Schaffer collateral synapses and affects contextual fear memory.

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    Watabe, Ayako M; Nagase, Masashi; Hagiwara, Akari; Hida, Yamato; Tsuji, Megumi; Ochiai, Toshitaka; Kato, Fusao; Ohtsuka, Toshihisa

    2016-01-01

    Synapses of amphids defective (SAD)-A/B kinases control various steps in neuronal development and differentiation, such as axon specifications and maturation in central and peripheral nervous systems. At mature pre-synaptic terminals, SAD-B is associated with synaptic vesicles and the active zone cytomatrix; however, how SAD-B regulates neurotransmission and synaptic plasticity in vivo remains unclear. Thus, we used SAD-B knockout (KO) mice to study the function of this pre-synaptic kinase in the brain. We found that the paired-pulse ratio was significantly enhanced at Shaffer collateral synapses in the hippocampal CA1 region in SAD-B KO mice compared with wild-type littermates. We also found that the frequency of the miniature excitatory post-synaptic current was decreased in SAD-B KO mice. Moreover, synaptic depression following prolonged low-frequency synaptic stimulation was significantly enhanced in SAD-B KO mice. These results suggest that SAD-B kinase regulates vesicular release probability at pre-synaptic terminals and is involved in vesicular trafficking and/or regulation of the readily releasable pool size. Finally, we found that hippocampus-dependent contextual fear learning was significantly impaired in SAD-B KO mice. These observations suggest that SAD-B kinase plays pivotal roles in controlling vesicular release properties and regulating hippocampal function in the mature brain. Synapses of amphids defective (SAD)-A/B kinases control various steps in neuronal development and differentiation, but their roles in mature brains were only partially known. Here, we demonstrated, at mature pre-synaptic terminals, that SAD-B regulates vesicular release probability and synaptic plasticity. Moreover, hippocampus-dependent contextual fear learning was significantly impaired in SAD-B KO mice, suggesting that SAD-B kinase plays pivotal roles in controlling vesicular release properties and regulating hippocampal function in the mature brain. © 2015 International

  9. Synaptic characteristics with strong analog potentiation, depression, and short-term to long-term memory transition in a Pt/CeO2/Pt crossbar array structure

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    Kim, Hyung Jun; Park, Daehoon; Yang, Paul; Beom, Keonwon; Kim, Min Ju; Shin, Chansun; Kang, Chi Jung; Yoon, Tae-Sik

    2018-06-01

    A crossbar array of Pt/CeO2/Pt memristors exhibited the synaptic characteristics such as analog, reversible, and strong resistance change with a ratio of ∼103, corresponding to wide dynamic range of synaptic weight modulation as potentiation and depression with respect to the voltage polarity. In addition, it presented timing-dependent responses such as paired-pulse facilitation and the short-term to long-term memory transition by increasing amplitude, width, and repetition number of voltage pulse and reducing the interval time between pulses. The memory loss with a time was fitted with a stretched exponential relaxation model, revealing the relation of memory stability with the input stimuli strength. The resistance change was further enhanced but its stability got worse as increasing measurement temperature, indicating that the resistance was changed as a result of voltage- and temperature-dependent electrical charging and discharging to alter the energy barrier for charge transport. These detailed synaptic characteristics demonstrated the potential of crossbar array of Pt/CeO2/Pt memristors as artificial synapses in highly connected neuron-synapse network.

  10. MOBIUS-STRIP-LIKE COLUMNAR FUNCTIONAL CONNECTIONS ARE REVEALED IN SOMATO-SENSORY RECEPTIVE FIELD CENTROIDS.

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    James Joseph Wright

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Receptive fields of neurons in the forelimb region of areas 3b and 1 of primary somatosensory cortex, in cats and monkeys, were mapped using extracellular recordings obtained sequentially from nearly radial penetrations. Locations of the field centroids indicated the presence of a functional system, in which cortical homotypic representations of the limb surfaces are entwined in three-dimensional Mobius-strip-like patterns of synaptic connections. Boundaries of somatosensory receptive field in nested groups irregularly overlie the centroid order, and are interpreted as arising from the superposition of learned connections upon the embryonic order. Since the theory of embryonic synaptic self-organisation used to model these results was devised and earlier used to explain findings in primary visual cortex, the present findings suggest the theory may be of general application throughout cortex, and may reveal a modular functional synaptic system, which, only in some parts of the cortex, and in some species, is manifest as anatomical ordering into columns.

  11. Local establishment of repetitive long-term potentiation-induced synaptic enhancement in cultured hippocampal slices with divided input pathways.

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    Oe, Yuki; Tominaga-Yoshino, Keiko; Ogura, Akihiko

    2011-09-01

    Long-term potentiation (LTP) in the rodent hippocampus is a popular model for synaptic plasticity, which is considered the cellular basis for brain memory. Because most LTP analysis involves acutely prepared brain slices, however, the longevity of single LTP has not been well documented. Using stable hippocampal slice cultures for long-term examination, we previously found that single LTP disappeared within 1 day. In contrast, repeated induction of LTP led to the development of a distinct type of plasticity that lasted for more than 3 weeks and was accompanied by the formation of new synapses. Naming this novel plastic phenomenon repetitive LTP-induced synaptic enhancement (RISE), we proposed it as a model for the cellular processes involved in long-term memory formation. However, because in those experiments LTP was induced pharmacologically in the whole slice, it is not known whether RISE has input-pathway specificity, an essential property for memory. In this study, we divided the input pathway of CA1 pyramidal neurons by a knife cut and induced LTP three times, the third by tetanic stimulation in one of the divided pathways to express RISE specifically. Voltage-sensitive dye imaging and Golgi-staining performed 2 weeks after the three LTP inductions revealed both enhanced synaptic strength and increased dendritic spine density confined to the tetanized region. These results demonstrate that RISE is a feasible cellular model for long-term memory. Copyright © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  12. Evolution of the aging brain transcriptome and synaptic regulation.

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    Patrick M Loerch

    Full Text Available Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative disorders of aging are characterized by clinical and pathological features that are relatively specific to humans. To obtain greater insight into how brain aging has evolved, we compared age-related gene expression changes in the cortex of humans, rhesus macaques, and mice on a genome-wide scale. A small subset of gene expression changes are conserved in all three species, including robust age-dependent upregulation of the neuroprotective gene apolipoprotein D (APOD and downregulation of the synaptic cAMP signaling gene calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase IV (CAMK4. However, analysis of gene ontology and cell type localization shows that humans and rhesus macaques have diverged from mice due to a dramatic increase in age-dependent repression of neuronal genes. Many of these age-regulated neuronal genes are associated with synaptic function. Notably, genes associated with GABA-ergic inhibitory function are robustly age-downregulated in humans but not in mice at the level of both mRNA and protein. Gene downregulation was not associated with overall neuronal or synaptic loss. Thus, repression of neuronal gene expression is a prominent and recently evolved feature of brain aging in humans and rhesus macaques that may alter neural networks and contribute to age-related cognitive changes.

  13. Synaptic Loss and the Pathophysiology of PTSD: Implications for Ketamine as a Prototype Novel Therapeutic

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    Krystal, John H.; Abdallah, Chadi G.; Averill, Lynette A.; Kelmendi, Benjamin; Harpaz-Rotem, Ilan; Sanacora, Gerard; Southwick, Steven M.; Duman, Ronald S.

    2018-01-01

    Purpose of Review Studies of the neurobiology and treatment of PTSD have highlighted many aspects of the pathophysiology of this disorder that might be relevant to treatment. The purpose of this review is to highlight the potential clinical importance of an often-neglected consequence of stress models in animals that may be relevant to PTSD: the stress-related loss of synaptic connectivity. Recent Findings Here, we will briefly review evidence that PTSD might be a “synaptic disconnection syndrome” and highlight the importance of this perspective for the emerging therapeutic application of ketamine as a potential rapid-acting treatment for this disorder that may work, in part, by restoring synaptic connectivity. Summary Synaptic disconnection may contribute to the profile of PTSD symptoms that may be targeted by novel pharmacotherapeutics. PMID:28844076

  14. Age dependence of the rapid antidepressant and synaptic effects of acute NMDA receptor blockade

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    Elena eNosyreva

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Ketamine is a NMDA receptor antagonist that produces rapid antidepressant responses in individuals with major depressive disorder. The antidepressant action of ketamine has been linked to blocking NMDA receptor activation at rest, which inhibits eukaryotic elongation factor2 kinase leading to desuppression of protein synthesis and synaptic potentiation in the CA1 region of the hippocampus. Here, we investigated ketamine mediated antidepressant response and the resulting synaptic potentiation in juvenile animals. We found that ketamine did not produce an antidepressant response in juvenile animals in the novelty suppressed feeding or the forced swim test. In addition ketamine application failed to trigger synaptic potentiation in hippocampal slices obtained from juvenile animals, unlike its action in slices from older animals (6-9 weeks old. The inability of ketamine to trigger an antidepressant response or subsequent synaptic plasticity processes suggests a developmental component to ketamine mediated antidepressant efficacy. We also show that the NMDAR antagonist AP5 triggers synaptic potentiation in mature hippocampus similar to the action of ketamine, demonstrating that global competitive blockade of NMDA receptors is sufficient to trigger this effect. These findings suggest that global blockade of NMDA receptors in developmentally mature hippocampal synapses are required for the antidepressant efficacy of ketamine.

  15. Recombination and synaptic adjustment in oocytes of mice heterozygous for a large paracentric inversion.

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    Torgasheva, Anna A; Rubtsov, Nikolai B; Borodin, Pavel M

    2013-03-01

    Homologous chromosome synapsis in inversion heterozygotes results in the formation of inversion loops. These loops might be transformed into straight, non-homologously paired bivalents via synaptic adjustment. Synaptic adjustment was discovered 30 years ago; however, its relationship with recombination has remained unclear. We analysed this relationship in female mouse embryos heterozygous for large paracentric inversion In(1)1Rk using immunolocalisation of the synaptonemal complex (SYCP3) and mature recombination nodules (MLH1) proteins. The frequency of cells containing bivalents with inversion loops decreased from 69 % to 28 % during pachytene. If an MLH1 focus was present in the non-homologously paired inverted region of the straight bivalent, it was always located in the middle of the inversion. Most of the small, incompletely adjusted loops contained MLH1 foci near the points at which pairing partners were switched. This observation indicates that the degree of synaptic adjustment depended on the crossover position. Complete synaptic adjustment was only possible if a crossover (CO) was located exactly in the middle of the inversion. If a CO was located at any other site, this interrupted synaptic adjustment and resulted in inversion loops of different sizes with an MLH1 focus at or near the edge of the remaining loop.

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

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    Thomas I Talpalar

    2016-09-01

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

  17. The computational power of astrocyte mediated synaptic plasticity

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    Rogier eMin

    2012-11-01

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

  18. Intracellular accumulation of amyloid-beta - a predictor for synaptic dysfunction and neuron loss in Alzheimer's disease

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    Thomas A Bayer

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Despite of long-standing evidence that beta-amyloid (Aβ peptides have detrimental effects on synaptic function, the relationship between Aβ, synaptic and neuron loss is largely unclear. During the last years there is growing evidence that early intraneuronal accumulation of Aβ peptides is one of the key events leading to synaptic and neuronal dysfunction. Many studies have been carried out using transgenic mouse models of Alzheimer’s disease (AD which have been proven to be valuable model system in modern AD research. The present review discusses the impact of intraneuronal Aβ accumulation on synaptic impairment and neuron loss and provides an overview of currently available AD mouse models showing these pathological alterations.

  19. Long-term culture of astrocytes attenuates the readily releasable pool of synaptic vesicles.

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    Hiroyuki Kawano

    Full Text Available The astrocyte is a major glial cell type of the brain, and plays key roles in the formation, maturation, stabilization and elimination of synapses. Thus, changes in astrocyte condition and age can influence information processing at synapses. However, whether and how aging astrocytes affect synaptic function and maturation have not yet been thoroughly investigated. Here, we show the effects of prolonged culture on the ability of astrocytes to induce synapse formation and to modify synaptic transmission, using cultured autaptic neurons. By 9 weeks in culture, astrocytes derived from the mouse cerebral cortex demonstrated increases in β-galactosidase activity and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP expression, both of which are characteristic of aging and glial activation in vitro. Autaptic hippocampal neurons plated on these aging astrocytes showed a smaller amount of evoked release of the excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate, and a lower frequency of miniature release of glutamate, both of which were attributable to a reduction in the pool of readily releasable synaptic vesicles. Other features of synaptogenesis and synaptic transmission were retained, for example the ability to induce structural synapses, the presynaptic release probability, the fraction of functional presynaptic nerve terminals, and the ability to recruit functional AMPA and NMDA glutamate receptors to synapses. Thus the presence of aging astrocytes affects the efficiency of synaptic transmission. Given that the pool of readily releasable vesicles is also small at immature synapses, our results are consistent with astrocytic aging leading to retarded synapse maturation.

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

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    Ioannis Sotiropoulos

    2014-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  2. Spiking Neural Networks with Unsupervised Learning Based on STDP Using Resistive Synaptic Devices and Analog CMOS Neuron Circuit.

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    Kwon, Min-Woo; Baek, Myung-Hyun; Hwang, Sungmin; Kim, Sungjun; Park, Byung-Gook

    2018-09-01

    We designed the CMOS analog integrate and fire (I&F) neuron circuit can drive resistive synaptic device. The neuron circuit consists of a current mirror for spatial integration, a capacitor for temporal integration, asymmetric negative and positive pulse generation part, a refractory part, and finally a back-propagation pulse generation part for learning of the synaptic devices. The resistive synaptic devices were fabricated using HfOx switching layer by atomic layer deposition (ALD). The resistive synaptic device had gradual set and reset characteristics and the conductance was adjusted by spike-timing-dependent-plasticity (STDP) learning rule. We carried out circuit simulation of synaptic device and CMOS neuron circuit. And we have developed an unsupervised spiking neural networks (SNNs) for 5 × 5 pattern recognition and classification using the neuron circuit and synaptic devices. The hardware-based SNNs can autonomously and efficiently control the weight updates of the synapses between neurons, without the aid of software calculations.

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

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    Alexi Nott

    2015-01-01

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

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

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

    2015-01-01

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

  5. MAPK3 at the Autism-Linked Human 16p11.2 Locus Influences Precise Synaptic Target Selection at Drosophila Larval Neuromuscular Junctions.

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    Park, Sang Mee; Park, Hae Ryoun; Lee, Ji Hye

    2017-02-01

    Proper synaptic function in neural circuits requires precise pairings between correct pre- and post-synaptic partners. Errors in this process may underlie development of neuropsychiatric disorders, such as autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Development of ASD can be influenced by genetic factors, including copy number variations (CNVs). In this study, we focused on a CNV occurring at the 16p11.2 locus in the human genome and investigated potential defects in synaptic connectivity caused by reduced activities of genes located in this region at Drosophila larval neuromuscular junctions, a well-established model synapse with stereotypic synaptic structures. A mutation of rolled , a Drosophila homolog of human mitogen-activated protein kinase 3 ( MAPK3 ) at the 16p11.2 locus, caused ectopic innervation of axonal branches and their abnormal defasciculation. The specificity of these phenotypes was confirmed by expression of wild-type rolled in the mutant background. Albeit to a lesser extent, we also observed ectopic innervation patterns in mutants defective in Cdk2, Gα q , and Gp93, all of which were expected to interact with Rolled MAPK3. A further genetic analysis in double heterozygous combinations revealed a synergistic interaction between rolled and Gp93 . In addition, results from RT-qPCR analyses indicated consistently reduced rolled mRNA levels in Cdk2 , Gα q , and Gp93 mutants. Taken together, these data suggest a central role of MAPK3 in regulating the precise targeting of presynaptic axons to proper postsynaptic targets, a critical step that may be altered significantly in ASD.

  6. KV7 Channels Regulate Firing during Synaptic Integration in GABAergic Striatal Neurons

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    M. Belén Pérez-Ramírez

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Striatal projection neurons (SPNs process motor and cognitive information. Their activity is affected by Parkinson’s disease, in which dopamine concentration is decreased and acetylcholine concentration is increased. Acetylcholine activates muscarinic receptors in SPNs. Its main source is the cholinergic interneuron that responds with a briefer latency than SPNs during a cortical command. Therefore, an important question is whether muscarinic G-protein coupled receptors and their signaling cascades are fast enough to intervene during synaptic responses to regulate synaptic integration and firing. One of the most known voltage dependent channels regulated by muscarinic receptors is the KV7/KCNQ channel. It is not known whether these channels regulate the integration of suprathreshold corticostriatal responses. Here, we study the impact of cholinergic muscarinic modulation on the synaptic response of SPNs by regulating KV7 channels. We found that KV7 channels regulate corticostriatal synaptic integration and that this modulation occurs in the dendritic/spines compartment. In contrast, it is negligible in the somatic compartment. This modulation occurs on sub- and suprathreshold responses and lasts during the whole duration of the responses, hundreds of milliseconds, greatly altering SPNs firing properties. This modulation affected the behavior of the striatal microcircuit.

  7. Xyloside primed glycosaminoglycans alter hair bundle micromechanical coupling and synaptic transmission: Pharmacokinetics

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    Holman, Holly A.; Nguyen, Lynn Y. [Bioengineering, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah (United States); Tran, Vy M.; Arungundram, Sailaja; Kalita, Mausam [Medicinal Chemistry, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah (United States); Kuberan, Balagurunathan [Medicinal Chemistry, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah (United States); Neuroscience Program, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah (United States); Rabbitt, Richard D. [Bioengineering, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah (United States); Neuroscience Program, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah (United States); Otolaryngology, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah (United States); Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, Massachusetts (United States)

    2015-12-31

    Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) are ubiquitous in the inner ear, and disorders altering their structure or production often result in debilitating hearing and balance deficits. The specific mechanisms responsible for loss of hair-cell function are not well understood. We recently reported that introduction of a novel BODIPY conjugated xyloside (BX) into the endolymph primes fluorescent GAGs in vivo [6, 15]. Confocal and two-photon fluorescence imaging revealed rapid turnover and assembly of a glycocalyx enveloping the kinocilia and extending into the cupula, a structure that presumably serves as a mechanical link between the hair bundle and the cupula. Extracellular fluorescence was also observed around the basolateral surface of hair cells and surrounding afferent nerve projections into the crista. Single unit afferent recordings during mechanical hair bundle stimulation revealed temporary interruption of synaptic transmission following BX administration followed by recovery, demonstrating an essential role for GAGs in function of the hair cell synapse. In the present work we present a pharmacokinetic model to quantify the time course of BX primed GAG production and turnover in the ear.

  8. Xyloside primed glycosaminoglycans alter hair bundle micromechanical coupling and synaptic transmission: Pharmacokinetics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Holman, Holly A.; Nguyen, Lynn Y.; Tran, Vy M.; Arungundram, Sailaja; Kalita, Mausam; Kuberan, Balagurunathan; Rabbitt, Richard D.

    2015-01-01

    Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) are ubiquitous in the inner ear, and disorders altering their structure or production often result in debilitating hearing and balance deficits. The specific mechanisms responsible for loss of hair-cell function are not well understood. We recently reported that introduction of a novel BODIPY conjugated xyloside (BX) into the endolymph primes fluorescent GAGs in vivo [6, 15]. Confocal and two-photon fluorescence imaging revealed rapid turnover and assembly of a glycocalyx enveloping the kinocilia and extending into the cupula, a structure that presumably serves as a mechanical link between the hair bundle and the cupula. Extracellular fluorescence was also observed around the basolateral surface of hair cells and surrounding afferent nerve projections into the crista. Single unit afferent recordings during mechanical hair bundle stimulation revealed temporary interruption of synaptic transmission following BX administration followed by recovery, demonstrating an essential role for GAGs in function of the hair cell synapse. In the present work we present a pharmacokinetic model to quantify the time course of BX primed GAG production and turnover in the ear

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fenglian Xu

    2010-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-02-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Atsushi eUeda

    2015-02-01

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

  13. Paired-pulse facilitation achieved in protonic/electronic hybrid indium gallium zinc oxide synaptic transistors

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Guo, Li Qiang, E-mail: guoliqiang@ujs.edu.cn; Ding, Jian Ning; Huang, Yu Kai [Micro/Nano Science & Technology Center, Jiangsu University, Zhenjiang, 212013 (China); Zhu, Li Qiang, E-mail: lqzhu@nimte.ac.cn [Ningbo Institute of Materials Technology and Engineering, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Ningbo 315201 (China)

    2015-08-15

    Neuromorphic devices with paired pulse facilitation emulating that of biological synapses are the key to develop artificial neural networks. Here, phosphorus-doped nanogranular SiO{sub 2} electrolyte is used as gate dielectric for protonic/electronic hybrid indium gallium zinc oxide (IGZO) synaptic transistor. In such synaptic transistors, protons within the SiO{sub 2} electrolyte are deemed as neurotransmitters of biological synapses. Paired-pulse facilitation (PPF) behaviors for the analogous information were mimicked. The temperature dependent PPF behaviors were also investigated systematically. The results indicate that the protonic/electronic hybrid IGZO synaptic transistors would be promising candidates for inorganic synapses in artificial neural network applications.

  14. Paired-pulse facilitation achieved in protonic/electronic hybrid indium gallium zinc oxide synaptic transistors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Li Qiang Guo

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Neuromorphic devices with paired pulse facilitation emulating that of biological synapses are the key to develop artificial neural networks. Here, phosphorus-doped nanogranular SiO2 electrolyte is used as gate dielectric for protonic/electronic hybrid indium gallium zinc oxide (IGZO synaptic transistor. In such synaptic transistors, protons within the SiO2 electrolyte are deemed as neurotransmitters of biological synapses. Paired-pulse facilitation (PPF behaviors for the analogous information were mimicked. The temperature dependent PPF behaviors were also investigated systematically. The results indicate that the protonic/electronic hybrid IGZO synaptic transistors would be promising candidates for inorganic synapses in artificial neural network applications.

  15. Disruption of an Evolutionarily Novel Synaptic Expression Pattern in Autism.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiling Liu

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Cognitive defects in autism spectrum disorder (ASD include socialization and communication: key behavioral capacities that separate humans from other species. Here, we analyze gene expression in the prefrontal cortex of 63 autism patients and control individuals, as well as 62 chimpanzees and macaques, from natal to adult age. We show that among all aberrant expression changes seen in ASD brains, a single aberrant expression pattern overrepresented in genes involved synaptic-related pathways is enriched in nucleotide variants linked to autism. Furthermore, only this pattern contains an excess of developmental expression features unique to humans, thus resulting in the disruption of human-specific developmental programs in autism. Several members of the early growth response (EGR transcription factor family can be implicated in regulation of this aberrant developmental change. Our study draws a connection between the genetic risk architecture of autism and molecular features of cortical development unique to humans.

  16. Disruption of an Evolutionarily Novel Synaptic Expression Pattern in Autism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Xi; Hu, Haiyang; Guijarro, Patricia; Mitchell, Amanda; Ely, John J.; Sherwood, Chet C.; Hof, Patrick R.; Qiu, Zilong; Pääbo, Svante; Akbarian, Schahram; Khaitovich, Philipp

    2016-01-01

    Cognitive defects in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) include socialization and communication: key behavioral capacities that separate humans from other species. Here, we analyze gene expression in the prefrontal cortex of 63 autism patients and control individuals, as well as 62 chimpanzees and macaques, from natal to adult age. We show that among all aberrant expression changes seen in ASD brains, a single aberrant expression pattern overrepresented in genes involved synaptic-related pathways is enriched in nucleotide variants linked to autism. Furthermore, only this pattern contains an excess of developmental expression features unique to humans, thus resulting in the disruption of human-specific developmental programs in autism. Several members of the early growth response (EGR) transcription factor family can be implicated in regulation of this aberrant developmental change. Our study draws a connection between the genetic risk architecture of autism and molecular features of cortical development unique to humans. PMID:27685936

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  18. Regulation of synaptic inhibition by phospho-dependent binding of the AP2 complex to a YECL motif in the GABAA receptor gamma2 subunit.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kittler, Josef T; Chen, Guojun; Kukhtina, Viktoria; Vahedi-Faridi, Ardeschir; Gu, Zhenglin; Tretter, Verena; Smith, Katharine R; McAinsh, Kristina; Arancibia-Carcamo, I Lorena; Saenger, Wolfram; Haucke, Volker; Yan, Zhen; Moss, Stephen J

    2008-03-04

    The regulation of the number of gamma2-subunit-containing GABA(A) receptors (GABA(A)Rs) present at synapses is critical for correct synaptic inhibition and animal behavior. This regulation occurs, in part, by the controlled removal of receptors from the membrane in clathrin-coated vesicles, but it remains unclear how clathrin recruitment to surface gamma2-subunit-containing GABA(A)Rs is regulated. Here, we identify a gamma2-subunit-specific Yxxvarphi-type-binding motif for the clathrin adaptor protein, AP2, which is located within a site for gamma2-subunit tyrosine phosphorylation. Blocking GABA(A)R-AP2 interactions via this motif increases synaptic responses within minutes. Crystallographic and biochemical studies reveal that phosphorylation of the Yxxvarphi motif inhibits AP2 binding, leading to increased surface receptor number. In addition, the crystal structure provides an explanation for the high affinity of this motif for AP2 and suggests that gamma2-subunit-containing heteromeric GABA(A)Rs may be internalized as dimers or multimers. These data define a mechanism for tyrosine kinase regulation of GABA(A)R surface levels and synaptic inhibition.

  19. A chemical-genetic strategy reveals distinct temporal requirements for SAD-1 kinase in neuronal polarization and synapse formation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shokat Kevan M

    2008-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Neurons assemble into a functional network through a sequence of developmental processes including neuronal polarization and synapse formation. In Caenorhabditis elegans, the serine/threonine SAD-1 kinase is essential for proper neuronal polarity and synaptic organization. To determine if SAD-1 activity regulates the establishment or maintenance of these neuronal structures, we examined its temporal requirements using a chemical-genetic method that allows for selective and reversible inactivation of its kinase activity in vivo. Results We generated a PP1 analog-sensitive variant of SAD-1. Through temporal inhibition of SAD-1 kinase activity we show that its activity is required for the establishment of both neuronal polarity and synaptic organization. However, while SAD-1 activity is needed strictly when neurons are polarizing, the temporal requirement for SAD-1 is less stringent in synaptic organization, which can also be re-established during maintenance. Conclusion This study reports the first temporal analysis of a neural kinase activity using the chemical-genetic system. It reveals that neuronal polarity and synaptic organization have distinct temporal requirements for SAD-1.

  20. Synaptic potentiation facilitates memory-like attractor dynamics in cultured in vitro hippocampal networks.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark Niedringhaus

    Full Text Available Collective rhythmic dynamics from neurons is vital for cognitive functions such as memory formation but how neurons self-organize to produce such activity is not well understood. Attractor-based computational models have been successfully implemented as a theoretical framework for memory storage in networks of neurons. Additionally, activity-dependent modification of synaptic transmission is thought to be the physiological basis of learning and memory. The goal of this study is to demonstrate that using a pharmacological treatment that has been shown to increase synaptic strength within in vitro networks of hippocampal neurons follows the dynamical postulates theorized by attractor models. We use a grid of extracellular electrodes to study changes in network activity after this perturbation and show that there is a persistent increase in overall spiking and bursting activity after treatment. This increase in activity appears to recruit more "errant" spikes into bursts. Phase plots indicate a conserved activity pattern suggesting that a synaptic potentiation perturbation to the attractor leaves it unchanged. Lastly, we construct a computational model to demonstrate that these synaptic perturbations can account for the dynamical changes seen within the network.

  1. Synaptic Democracy and Vesicular Transport in Axons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bressloff, Paul C.; Levien, Ethan

    2015-04-01

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

  2. Simulation of synaptic coupling of neuron-like generators via a memristive device

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerasimova, S. A.; Mikhaylov, A. N.; Belov, A. I.; Korolev, D. S.; Gorshkov, O. N.; Kazantsev, V. B.

    2017-08-01

    A physical model of synaptically coupled neuron-like generators interacting via a memristive device has been presented. The model simulates the synaptic transmission of pulsed signals between brain neurons. The action on the receiving generator has been performed via a memristive device that demonstrates adaptive behavior. It has been established that the proposed coupling channel provides the forced synchronization with the parameters depending on the memristive device sensitivity. Synchronization modes 1: 1 and 2: 1 have been experimentally observed.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bardia F Behabadi

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

  4. Climbing fiber-Purkinje cell synaptic pathology in tremor and cerebellar degenerative diseases

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Chi-Ying; Wang, Jie; Sims, Peter A.; Pan, Ming-Kai; Liou, Jyun-you; Lee, Danielle; Tate, William J.; Kelly, Geoffrey C.; Louis, Elan D.; Faust, Phyllis L.

    2017-01-01

    Changes in climbing fiber-Purkinje cell (CF-PC) synaptic connections have been found in the essential tremor (ET) cerebellum, and these changes are correlated with tremor severity. Whether these postmortem changes are specific to ET remains to be investigated. We assessed CF-PC synaptic pathology in the postmortem cerebellum across a range of degenerative movement disorders [10 Parkinson’s disease (PD) cases, 10 multiple system atrophy (MSA) cases, 10 spinocerebellar ataxia type 1 (SCA1) cases, and 20 ET cases] and 25 controls. We observed differences in terms of CF pathological features across these disorders. Specifically, PD cases and ET cases both had more CFs extending into the parallel fiber (PF) territory, but ET cases had more complex branching and increased length of CFs in the PF territory along with decreased CF synaptic density compared to PD cases. MSA cases and SCA1 cases had the most severely reduced CF synaptic density and a marked paucity of CFs extending into the PF territory. Furthermore, CFs in a subset of MSA cases formed collateral branches parallel to the PC layer, a feature not seen in other diagnostic groups. Using unsupervised cluster analysis, the cases and controls could all be categorized into four clusters based on the CF pathology and features of PC pathology, including counts of PCs and their axonal torpedoes. ET cases and PD cases co-segregated into two clusters, whereas SCA1 cases and MSA cases formed another cluster, separate from the control cluster. Interestingly, the presence of resting tremor seemed to be the clinical feature that separated the cases into the two ET-PD clusters. In conclusion, our study demonstrates that these degenerative movement disorders seem to differ with respect to the pattern of CF synaptic pathology they exhibit. It remains to be determined how these differences contribute to the clinical presentations of these diseases. PMID:27704282

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  7. Frequency dependent changes in NMDAR-dependent synaptic plasticity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arvind eKumar

    2011-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-01

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

  9. Mitochondrial Dysfunction and α-Synuclein Synaptic Pathology in Parkinson’s Disease: Who’s on First?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michela Zaltieri

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Parkinson’s disease (PD is the most common neurodegenerative movement disorder. Its characteristic neuropathological features encompass the loss of dopaminergic neurons of the nigrostriatal system and the presence of Lewy bodies and Lewy neurites. These are intraneuronal and intraneuritic proteinaceous insoluble aggregates whose main constituent is the synaptic protein α-synuclein. Compelling lines of evidence indicate that mitochondrial dysfunction and α-synuclein synaptic deposition may play a primary role in the onset of this disorder. However, it is not yet clear which of these events may come first in the sequel of processes leading to neurodegeneration. Here, we reviewed data supporting either that α-synuclein synaptic deposition precedes and indirectly triggers mitochondrial damage or that mitochondrial deficits lead to neuronal dysfunction and α-synuclein synaptic accumulation. The present overview shows that it is still difficult to establish the exact temporal sequence and contribution of these events to PD.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-10

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2015-01-01

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

  15. Artificial Synaptic Devices Based on Natural Chicken Albumen Coupled Electric-Double-Layer Transistors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Guodong; Feng, Ping; Wan, Xiang; Zhu, Liqiang; Shi, Yi; Wan, Qing

    2016-03-24

    Recent progress in using biomaterials to fabricate functional electronics has got growing attention for the new generation of environmentally friendly and biocompatible electronic devices. As a kind of biological material with rich source, proteins are essential natural component of all organisms. At the same time, artificial synaptic devices are of great significance for neuromorphic systems because they can emulate the signal process and memory behaviors of biological synapses. In this report, natural chicken albumen with high proton conductivity was used as the coupling electrolyte film for organic/inorganic hybrid synaptic devices fabrication. Some important synaptic functions including paired-pulse facilitation, dynamic filtering, short-term to long-term memory transition and spatial summation and shunting inhibition were successfully mimicked. Our results are very interesting for biological friendly artificial neuron networks and neuromorphic systems.

  16. Artificial Synaptic Devices Based on Natural Chicken Albumen Coupled Electric-Double-Layer Transistors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Guodong; Feng, Ping; Wan, Xiang; Zhu, Liqiang; Shi, Yi; Wan, Qing

    2016-03-01

    Recent progress in using biomaterials to fabricate functional electronics has got growing attention for the new generation of environmentally friendly and biocompatible electronic devices. As a kind of biological material with rich source, proteins are essential natural component of all organisms. At the same time, artificial synaptic devices are of great significance for neuromorphic systems because they can emulate the signal process and memory behaviors of biological synapses. In this report, natural chicken albumen with high proton conductivity was used as the coupling electrolyte film for organic/inorganic hybrid synaptic devices fabrication. Some important synaptic functions including paired-pulse facilitation, dynamic filtering, short-term to long-term memory transition and spatial summation and shunting inhibition were successfully mimicked. Our results are very interesting for biological friendly artificial neuron networks and neuromorphic systems.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marisa Zallocchi

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

  19. Brain-like associative learning using a nanoscale non-volatile phase change synaptic device array

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sukru Burc Eryilmaz

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Recent advances in neuroscience together with nanoscale electronic device technology have resulted in huge interests in realizing brain-like computing hardwares using emerging nanoscale memory devices as synaptic elements. Although there has been experimental work that demonstrated the operation of nanoscale synaptic element at the single device level, network level studies have been limited to simulations. In this work, we demonstrate, using experiments, array level associative learning using phase change synaptic devices connected in a grid like configuration similar to the organization of the biological brain. Implementing Hebbian learning with phase change memory cells, the synaptic grid was able to store presented patterns and recall missing patterns in an associative brain-like fashion. We found that the system is robust to device variations, and large variations in cell resistance states can be accommodated by increasing the number of training epochs. We illustrated the tradeoff between variation tolerance of the network and the overall energy consumption, and found that energy consumption is decreased significantly for lower variation tolerance.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark S. Cooper

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian Bonansco

    2016-01-01

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

  2. Bridging the synaptic gap: neuroligins and neurexin I in Apis mellifera.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sunita Biswas

    Full Text Available Vertebrate studies show neuroligins and neurexins are binding partners in a trans-synaptic cell adhesion complex, implicated in human autism and mental retardation disorders. Here we report a genetic analysis of homologous proteins in the honey bee. As in humans, the honeybee has five large (31-246 kb, up to 12 exons each neuroligin genes, three of which are tightly clustered. RNA analysis of the neuroligin-3 gene reveals five alternatively spliced transcripts, generated through alternative use of exons encoding the cholinesterase-like domain. Whereas vertebrates have three neurexins the bee has just one gene named neurexin I (400 kb, 28 exons. However alternative isoforms of bee neurexin I are generated by differential use of 12 splice sites, mostly located in regions encoding LNS subdomains. Some of the splice variants of bee neurexin I resemble the vertebrate alpha- and beta-neurexins, albeit in vertebrates these forms are generated by alternative promoters. Novel splicing variations in the 3' region generate transcripts encoding alternative trans-membrane and PDZ domains. Another 3' splicing variation predicts soluble neurexin I isoforms. Neurexin I and neuroligin expression was found in brain tissue, with expression present throughout development, and in most cases significantly up-regulated in adults. Transcripts of neurexin I and one neuroligin tested were abundant in mushroom bodies, a higher order processing centre in the bee brain. We show neuroligins and neurexins comprise a highly conserved molecular system with likely similar functional roles in insects as vertebrates, and with scope in the honeybee to generate substantial functional diversity through alternative splicing. Our study provides important prerequisite data for using the bee as a model for vertebrate synaptic development.

  3. Analysing the distribution of synaptic vesicles using a spatial point process model

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Khanmohammadi, Mahdieh; Waagepetersen, Rasmus; Nava, Nicoletta

    2014-01-01

    functionality by statistically modelling the distribution of the synaptic vesicles in two groups of rats: a control group subjected to sham stress and a stressed group subjected to a single acute foot-shock (FS)-stress episode. We hypothesize that the synaptic vesicles have different spatial distributions...... in the two groups. The spatial distributions are modelled using spatial point process models with an inhomogeneous conditional intensity and repulsive pairwise interactions. Our results verify the hypothesis that the two groups have different spatial distributions....

  4. The Predominance of Electric Transport in Synaptic Transmission

    OpenAIRE

    Hamid Reza Noori

    2008-01-01

    The quantitative description of the motion of neurotransmitters in the synaptic cleft appears to be one of the most difficult problems in the modeling of synapses. Here we show in contradiction to the common view, that this process is merely governed by electric transport than diffusion forces.

  5. Demonstration of Synaptic Behaviors and Resistive Switching Characterizations by Proton Exchange Reactions in Silicon Oxide

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Yao-Feng; Fowler, Burt; Chen, Ying-Chen; Zhou, Fei; Pan, Chih-Hung; Chang, Ting-Chang; Lee, Jack C.

    2016-02-01

    We realize a device with biological synaptic behaviors by integrating silicon oxide (SiOx) resistive switching memory with Si diodes. Minimal synaptic power consumption due to sneak-path current is achieved and the capability for spike-induced synaptic behaviors is demonstrated, representing critical milestones for the use of SiO2-based materials in future neuromorphic computing applications. Biological synaptic behaviors such as long-term potentiation (LTP), long-term depression (LTD) and spike-timing dependent plasticity (STDP) are demonstrated systematically using a comprehensive analysis of spike-induced waveforms, and represent interesting potential applications for SiOx-based resistive switching materials. The resistive switching SET transition is modeled as hydrogen (proton) release from (SiH)2 to generate the hydrogen bridge defect, and the RESET transition is modeled as an electrochemical reaction (proton capture) that re-forms (SiH)2. The experimental results suggest a simple, robust approach to realize programmable neuromorphic chips compatible with large-scale CMOS manufacturing technology.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John I. Broussard

    2016-03-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1979-01-01

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

  8. Birth order dependent growth cone segregation determines synaptic layer identity in the Drosophila visual system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kulkarni, Abhishek; Ertekin, Deniz; Lee, Chi-Hon; Hummel, Thomas

    2016-03-17

    The precise recognition of appropriate synaptic partner neurons is a critical step during neural circuit assembly. However, little is known about the developmental context in which recognition specificity is important to establish synaptic contacts. We show that in the Drosophila visual system, sequential segregation of photoreceptor afferents, reflecting their birth order, lead to differential positioning of their growth cones in the early target region. By combining loss- and gain-of-function analyses we demonstrate that relative differences in the expression of the transcription factor Sequoia regulate R cell growth cone segregation. This initial growth cone positioning is consolidated via cell-adhesion molecule Capricious in R8 axons. Further, we show that the initial growth cone positioning determines synaptic layer selection through proximity-based axon-target interactions. Taken together, we demonstrate that birth order dependent pre-patterning of afferent growth cones is an essential pre-requisite for the identification of synaptic partner neurons during visual map formation in Drosophila.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2013-11-15

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

  10. Biophysical synaptic dynamics in an analog VLSI network of Hodgkin-Huxley neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Theodore; Cauwenberghs, Gert

    2009-01-01

    We study synaptic dynamics in a biophysical network of four coupled spiking neurons implemented in an analog VLSI silicon microchip. The four neurons implement a generalized Hodgkin-Huxley model with individually configurable rate-based kinetics of opening and closing of Na+ and K+ ion channels. The twelve synapses implement a rate-based first-order kinetic model of neurotransmitter and receptor dynamics, accounting for NMDA and non-NMDA type chemical synapses. The implemented models on the chip are fully configurable by 384 parameters accounting for conductances, reversal potentials, and pre/post-synaptic voltage-dependence of the channel kinetics. We describe the models and present experimental results from the chip characterizing single neuron dynamics, single synapse dynamics, and multi-neuron network dynamics showing phase-locking behavior as a function of synaptic coupling strength. The 3mm x 3mm microchip consumes 1.29 mW power making it promising for applications including neuromorphic modeling and neural prostheses.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  13. Inferior Olive HCN1 Channels Coordinate Synaptic Integration and Complex Spike Timing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Derek L.F. Garden

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Cerebellar climbing-fiber-mediated complex spikes originate from neurons in the inferior olive (IO, are critical for motor coordination, and are central to theories of cerebellar learning. Hyperpolarization-activated cyclic-nucleotide-gated (HCN channels expressed by IO neurons have been considered as pacemaker currents important for oscillatory and resonant dynamics. Here, we demonstrate that in vitro, network actions of HCN1 channels enable bidirectional glutamatergic synaptic responses, while local actions of HCN1 channels determine the timing and waveform of synaptically driven action potentials. These roles are distinct from, and may complement, proposed pacemaker functions of HCN channels. We find that in behaving animals HCN1 channels reduce variability in the timing of cerebellar complex spikes, which serve as a readout of IO spiking. Our results suggest that spatially distributed actions of HCN1 channels enable the IO to implement network-wide rules for synaptic integration that modulate the timing of cerebellar climbing fiber signals.

  14. Inferring Trial-to-Trial Excitatory and Inhibitory Synaptic Inputs from Membrane Potential using Gaussian Mixture Kalman Filtering

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Milad eLankarany

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Time-varying excitatory and inhibitory synaptic inputs govern activity of neurons and process information in the brain. The importance of trial-to-trial fluctuations of synaptic inputs has recently been investigated in neuroscience. Such fluctuations are ignored in the most conventional techniques because they are removed when trials are averaged during linear regression techniques. Here, we propose a novel recursive algorithm based on Gaussian mixture Kalman filtering for estimating time-varying excitatory and inhibitory synaptic inputs from single trials of noisy membrane potential in current clamp recordings. The Kalman filtering is followed by an expectation maximization algorithm to infer the statistical parameters (time-varying mean and variance of the synaptic inputs in a non-parametric manner. As our proposed algorithm is repeated recursively, the inferred parameters of the mixtures are used to initiate the next iteration. Unlike other recent algorithms, our algorithm does not assume an a priori distribution from which the synaptic inputs are generated. Instead, the algorithm recursively estimates such a distribution by fitting a Gaussian mixture model. The performance of the proposed algorithms is compared to a previously proposed PF-based algorithm (Paninski et al., 2012 with several illustrative examples, assuming that the distribution of synaptic input is unknown. If noise is small, the performance of our algorithms is similar to that of the previous one. However, if noise is large, they can significantly outperform the previous proposal. These promising results suggest that our algorithm is a robust and efficient technique for estimating time varying excitatory and inhibitory synaptic conductances from single trials of membrane potential recordings.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-06-20

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

  16. The LRRK2 G2385R variant is a partial loss-of-function mutation that affects synaptic vesicle trafficking through altered protein interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carrion, Maria Dolores Perez; Marsicano, Silvia; Daniele, Federica; Marte, Antonella; Pischedda, Francesca; Di Cairano, Eliana; Piovesana, Ester; von Zweydorf, Felix; Kremmer, Elisabeth; Gloeckner, Christian Johannes; Onofri, Franco; Perego, Carla; Piccoli, Giovanni

    2017-07-14

    Mutations in the Leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 gene (LRRK2) are associated with familial Parkinson's disease (PD). LRRK2 protein contains several functional domains, including protein-protein interaction domains at its N- and C-termini. In this study, we analyzed the functional features attributed to LRRK2 by its N- and C-terminal domains. We combined TIRF microscopy and synaptopHluorin assay to visualize synaptic vesicle trafficking. We found that N- and C-terminal domains have opposite impact on synaptic vesicle dynamics. Biochemical analysis demonstrated that different proteins are bound at the two extremities, namely β3-Cav2.1 at N-terminus part and β-Actin and Synapsin I at C-terminus domain. A sequence variant (G2385R) harboured within the C-terminal WD40 domain increases the risk for PD. Complementary biochemical and imaging approaches revealed that the G2385R variant alters strength and quality of LRRK2 interactions and increases fusion of synaptic vesicles. Our data suggest that the G2385R variant behaves like a loss-of-function mutation that mimics activity-driven events. Impaired scaffolding capabilities of mutant LRRK2 resulting in perturbed vesicular trafficking may arise as a common pathophysiological denominator through which different LRRK2 pathological mutations cause disease.

  17. Animal model of dementia induced by entorhinal synaptic damage and partial restoration of cognitive deficits by BDNF and carnitine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ando, Susumu; Kobayashi, Satoru; Waki, Hatsue; Kon, Kazuo; Fukui, Fumiko; Tadenuma, Tomoko; Iwamoto, Machiko; Takeda, Yasuo; Izumiyama, Naotaka; Watanabe, Kazutada; Nakamura, Hiroaki

    2002-11-01

    A rat dementia model with cognitive deficits was generated by synapse-specific lesions using botulinum neurotoxin (BoNTx) type B in the entorhinal cortex. To detect cognitive deficits, different tasks were needed depending upon the age of the model animals. Impaired learning and memory with lesions were observed in adult rats using the Hebb-Williams maze, AKON-1 maze and a continuous alternation task in T-maze. Cognitive deficits in lesioned aged rats were detected by a continuous alternation and delayed non-matching-to-sample tasks in T-maze. Adenovirus-mediated BDNF gene expression enhanced neuronal plasticity, as revealed by behavioral tests and LTP formation. Chronic administration of carnitine over time pre- and post-lesions seemed to partially ameliorate the cognitive deficits caused by the synaptic lesion. The carnitine-accelerated recovery from synaptic damage was observed by electron microscopy. These results demonstrate that the BoNTx-lesioned rat can be used as a model for dementia and that cognitive deficits can be alleviated in part by BDNF gene transfer or carnitine administration. Copyright 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  18. Synaptic reorganization in the adult rat's ventral cochlear nucleus following its total sensory deafferentation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heika Hildebrandt

    Full Text Available Ablation of a cochlea causes total sensory deafferentation of the cochlear nucleus in the brainstem, providing a model to investigate nervous degeneration and formation of new synaptic contacts in the adult brain. In a quantitative electron microscopical study on the plasticity of the central auditory system of the Wistar rat, we first determined what fraction of the total number of synaptic contact zones (SCZs in the anteroventral cochlear nucleus (AVCN is attributable to primary sensory innervation and how many synapses remain after total unilateral cochlear ablation. Second, we attempted to identify the potential for a deafferentation-dependent synaptogenesis. SCZs were ultrastructurally identified before and after deafferentation in tissue treated for ethanolic phosphotungstic acid (EPTA staining. This was combined with pre-embedding immunocytochemistry for gephyrin identifying inhibitory SCZs, the growth-associated protein GAP-43, glutamate, and choline acetyltransferase. A stereological analysis of EPTA stained sections revealed 1.11±0.09 (S.E.M.×10(9 SCZs per mm(3 of AVCN tissue. Within 7 days of deafferentation, this number was down by 46%. Excitatory and inhibitory synapses were differentially affected on the side of deafferentation. Excitatory synapses were quickly reduced and then began to increase in number again, necessarily being complemented from sources other than cochlear neurons, while inhibitory synapses were reduced more slowly and continuously. The result was a transient rise of the relative fraction of inhibitory synapses with a decline below original levels thereafter. Synaptogenesis was inferred by the emergence of morphologically immature SCZs that were consistently associated with GAP-43 immunoreactivity. SCZs of this type were estimated to make up a fraction of close to 30% of the total synaptic population present by ten weeks after sensory deafferentation. In conclusion, there appears to be a substantial potential

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arshavsky, Yuri I

    2006-10-01

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

  1. Synaptic ribbon. Conveyor belt or safety belt?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parsons, T D; Sterling, P

    2003-02-06

    The synaptic ribbon in neurons that release transmitter via graded potentials has been considered as a conveyor belt that actively moves vesicles toward their release sites. But evidence has accumulated to the contrary, and it now seems plausible that the ribbon serves instead as a safety belt to tether vesicles stably in mutual contact and thus facilitate multivesicular release by compound exocytosis.

  2. Stability Analysis on Sparsely Encoded Associative Memory with Short-Term Synaptic Dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Muyuan; Katori, Yuichi; Aihara, Kazuyuki

    This study investigates the stability of sparsely encoded associative memory in a network composed of stochastic neurons. The incorporation of short-term synaptic dynamics significantly changes the stability with respect to synaptic properties. Various states including static and oscillatory states are found in the network dynamics. Specifically, the sparseness of memory patterns raises the problem of spurious states. A mean field model is used to analyze the detailed structure in the stability and show that the performance of memory retrieval is recovered by appropriate feedback.

  3. Control of synaptic plasticity in deep cortical networks

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Roelfsema, Pieter R.; Holtmaat, Anthony

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marta Navarrete

    2012-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-05-01

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

  7. Free amino acids in synaptic vesicles isolated from the cerebellum and cerebral hemispheres of control and neonatally X-irradiated rats

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Valcana, T.; Hudson, D.B.; Timiras, P.S.

    1984-01-01

    X-irradiation of the rat brain (1000R, at two days of age), suppresses the normal age-related increase in the weight of the cerebellum and cerebral hemispheres and influences amino acid levels. The decrease in glutamic acid concentration, particularly in the cerebellum, supports the previously advanced proposition that this amino acid may be associated with or may be the transmitter of, the rat cerebellar granule cells. Subfractionation of the cerebellar tissue reveals that the decrease in the glutamic acid level consequent to the loss of granule cells, is reflected in the cytoplasmic fraction but not in the synaptic vesicle subfraction, where glutamic acid was increased. The reduced weight gain in the cerebral hemispheres after irradiation, is accompanied by a significant decrease of aspartate in the cytoplasmic fraction, changes which suggest that a specific cell type, with aspartic acid as its neurotransmitter (possibly in the hippocampus), may also be radiosensitive in the early postnatal period. In contrast, in the synaptic vesicle fraction from cerebral hemispheres, all free amino acids, with the exception of glutamine, increased significantly. Overall, the changes in free amino acid concentration induced by X-irradiation in the cytoplasmic fraction in both brain regions studied are opposite to those found in the synaptic vesicle fraction and although they may indicate changes in specific cell populations, as proposed above, they could also reflect changes in cellular compartmentalization and metabolism or changes in the relative axonal arborization of the affected regions

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gang-Bin Tang

    2017-08-01

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

  9. A computational study of astrocytic glutamate influence on post-synaptic neuronal excitability.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bronac Flanagan

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available The ability of astrocytes to rapidly clear synaptic glutamate and purposefully release the excitatory transmitter is critical in the functioning of synapses and neuronal circuits. Dysfunctions of these homeostatic functions have been implicated in the pathology of brain disorders such as mesial temporal lobe epilepsy. However, the reasons for these dysfunctions are not clear from experimental data and computational models have been developed to provide further understanding of the implications of glutamate clearance from the extracellular space, as a result of EAAT2 downregulation: although they only partially account for the glutamate clearance process. In this work, we develop an explicit model of the astrocytic glutamate transporters, providing a more complete description of the glutamate chemical potential across the astrocytic membrane and its contribution to glutamate transporter driving force based on thermodynamic principles and experimental data. Analysis of our model demonstrates that increased astrocytic glutamate content due to glutamine synthetase downregulation also results in increased postsynaptic quantal size due to gliotransmission. Moreover, the proposed model demonstrates that increased astrocytic glutamate could prolong the time course of glutamate in the synaptic cleft and enhances astrocyte-induced slow inward currents, causing a disruption to the clarity of synaptic signalling and the occurrence of intervals of higher frequency postsynaptic firing. Overall, our work distilled the necessity of a low astrocytic glutamate concentration for reliable synaptic transmission of information and the possible implications of enhanced glutamate levels as in epilepsy.

  10. Dysregulation of autism-associated synaptic proteins by psychoactive pharmaceuticals at environmental concentrations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaushik, Gaurav; Xia, Yu; Pfau, Jean C; Thomas, Michael A

    2017-11-20

    Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are complex neurological disorders for which the prevalence in the U.S. is currently estimated to be 1 in 50 children. A majority of cases of idiopathic autism in children likely result from unknown environmental triggers in genetically susceptible individuals. These triggers may include maternal exposure of a developing embryo to environmentally relevant minute concentrations of psychoactive pharmaceuticals through ineffectively purified drinking water. Previous studies in our lab examined the extent to which gene sets associated with neuronal development were up- and down-regulated (enriched) in the brains of fathead minnows treated with psychoactive pharmaceuticals at environmental concentrations. The aim of this study was to determine whether similar treatments would alter in vitro expression of ASD-associated synaptic proteins on differentiated human neuronal cells. Human SK-N-SH neuroblastoma cells were differentiated for two weeks with 10μM retinoic acid (RA) and treated with environmentally relevant concentrations of fluoxetine, carbamazepine or venlafaxine, and flow cytometry technique was used to analyze expression of ASD-associated synaptic proteins. Data showed that carbamazepine individually, venlafaxine individually and mixture treatment at environmental concentrations significantly altered the expression of key synaptic proteins (NMDAR1, PSD95, SV2A, HTR1B, HTR2C and OXTR). Data indicated that psychoactive pharmaceuticals at extremely low concentrations altered the in vitro expression of key synaptic proteins that may potentially contribute to neurological disorders like ASD by disrupting neuronal development. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-10-29

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

  12. Synaptic behaviors of thin-film transistor with a Pt/HfO x /n-type indium–gallium–zinc oxide gate stack

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Paul; Park, Daehoon; Beom, Keonwon; Kim, Hyung Jun; Kang, Chi Jung; Yoon, Tae-Sik

    2018-07-01

    We report a variety of synaptic behaviors in a thin-film transistor (TFT) with a metal-oxide-semiconductor gate stack that has a Pt/HfO x /n-type indium–gallium–zinc oxide (n-IGZO) structure. The three-terminal synaptic TFT exhibits a tunable synaptic weight with a drain current modulation upon repeated application of gate and drain voltages. The synaptic weight modulation is analog, voltage-polarity dependent reversible, and strong with a dynamic range of multiple orders of magnitude (>104). This modulation process emulates biological synaptic potentiation, depression, excitatory-postsynaptic current, paired-pulse facilitation, and short-term to long-term memory transition behaviors as a result of repeated pulsing with respect to the pulse amplitude, width, repetition number, and the interval between pulses. These synaptic behaviors are interpreted based on the changes in the capacitance of the Pt/HfO x /n-IGZO gate stack, the channel mobility, and the threshold voltage that result from the redistribution of oxygen ions by the applied gate voltage. These results demonstrate the potential of this structure for three-terminal synaptic transistor using the gate stack composed of the HfO x gate insulator and the IGZO channel layer.

  13. Synaptic behaviors of thin-film transistor with a Pt/HfO x /n-type indium-gallium-zinc oxide gate stack.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Paul; Park, Daehoon; Beom, Keonwon; Kim, Hyung Jun; Kang, Chi Jung; Yoon, Tae-Sik

    2018-07-20

    We report a variety of synaptic behaviors in a thin-film transistor (TFT) with a metal-oxide-semiconductor gate stack that has a Pt/HfO x /n-type indium-gallium-zinc oxide (n-IGZO) structure. The three-terminal synaptic TFT exhibits a tunable synaptic weight with a drain current modulation upon repeated application of gate and drain voltages. The synaptic weight modulation is analog, voltage-polarity dependent reversible, and strong with a dynamic range of multiple orders of magnitude (>10 4 ). This modulation process emulates biological synaptic potentiation, depression, excitatory-postsynaptic current, paired-pulse facilitation, and short-term to long-term memory transition behaviors as a result of repeated pulsing with respect to the pulse amplitude, width, repetition number, and the interval between pulses. These synaptic behaviors are interpreted based on the changes in the capacitance of the Pt/HfO x /n-IGZO gate stack, the channel mobility, and the threshold voltage that result from the redistribution of oxygen ions by the applied gate voltage. These results demonstrate the potential of this structure for three-terminal synaptic transistor using the gate stack composed of the HfO x gate insulator and the IGZO channel layer.

  14. Dendritic calcium channels and their activation by synaptic signals in auditory coincidence detector neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blackmer, Trillium; Kuo, Sidney P; Bender, Kevin J; Apostolides, Pierre F; Trussell, Laurence O

    2009-08-01

    The avian nucleus laminaris (NL) encodes the azimuthal location of low-frequency sound sources by detecting the coincidence of binaural signals. Accurate coincidence detection requires precise developmental regulation of the lengths of the fine, bitufted dendrites that characterize neurons in NL. Such regulation has been suggested to be driven by local, synaptically mediated, dendritic signals such as Ca(2+). We examined Ca(2+) signaling through patch clamp and ion imaging experiments in slices containing nucleus laminaris from embryonic chicks. Voltage-clamp recordings of neurons located in the NL showed the presence of large Ca(2+) currents of two types, a low voltage-activated, fast inactivating Ni(2+) sensitive channel resembling mammalian T-type channels, and a high voltage-activated, slowly inactivating Cd(2+) sensitive channel. Two-photon Ca(2+) imaging showed that both channel types were concentrated on dendrites, even at their distal tips. Single action potentials triggered synaptically or by somatic current injection immediately elevated Ca(2+) throughout the entire cell. Ca(2+) signals triggered by subthreshold synaptic activity were highly localized. Thus when electrical activity is suprathreshold, Ca(2+) channels ensure that Ca(2+) rises in all dendrites, even those that are synaptically inactive.

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

    KAUST Repository

    Burlakov, V. M.

    2012-01-10

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-04-10

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francesco Pezzini

    2017-08-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2013-04-15

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-04-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  3. Toward heterogeneity in feedforward network with synaptic delays based on FitzHugh-Nagumo model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qin, Ying-Mei; Men, Cong; Zhao, Jia; Han, Chun-Xiao; Che, Yan-Qiu

    2018-01-01

    We focus on the role of heterogeneity on the propagation of firing patterns in feedforward network (FFN). Effects of heterogeneities both in parameters of neuronal excitability and synaptic delays are investigated systematically. Neuronal heterogeneity is found to modulate firing rates and spiking regularity by changing the excitability of the network. Synaptic delays are strongly related with desynchronized and synchronized firing patterns of the FFN, which indicate that synaptic delays may play a significant role in bridging rate coding and temporal coding. Furthermore, quasi-coherence resonance (quasi-CR) phenomenon is observed in the parameter domain of connection probability and delay-heterogeneity. All these phenomena above enable a detailed characterization of neuronal heterogeneity in FFN, which may play an indispensable role in reproducing the important properties of in vivo experiments.

  4. Disruption of Fgf13 causes synaptic excitatory-inhibitory imbalance and genetic epilepsy and febrile seizures plus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Puranam, Ram S; He, Xiao Ping; Yao, Lijun; Le, Tri; Jang, Wonjo; Rehder, Catherine W; Lewis, Darrell V; McNamara, James O

    2015-06-10

    We identified a family in which a translocation between chromosomes X and 14 was associated with cognitive impairment and a complex genetic disorder termed "Genetic Epilepsy and Febrile Seizures Plus" (GEFS(+)). We demonstrate that the breakpoint on the X chromosome disrupted a gene that encodes an auxiliary protein of voltage-gated Na(+) channels, fibroblast growth factor 13 (Fgf13). Female mice in which one Fgf13 allele was deleted exhibited hyperthermia-induced seizures and epilepsy. Anatomic studies revealed expression of Fgf13 mRNA in both excitatory and inhibitory neurons of hippocampus. Electrophysiological recordings revealed decreased inhibitory and increased excitatory synaptic inputs in hippocampal neurons of Fgf13 mutants. We speculate that reduced expression of Fgf13 impairs excitability of inhibitory interneurons, resulting in enhanced excitability within local circuits of hippocampus and the clinical phenotype of epilepsy. These findings reveal a novel cause of this syndrome and underscore the powerful role of FGF13 in control of neuronal excitability. Copyright © 2015 the authors 0270-6474/15/358866-16$15.00/0.

  5. TrkB and PKMζ regulate synaptic localization of PSD-95 in developing cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoshii, Akira; Murata, Yasunobu; Kim, Jihye; Zhang, Chao; Shokat, Kevan M.; Constantine-Paton, Martha

    2011-01-01

    Post-synaptic density 95 (PSD-95), the major scaffold at excitatory synapses, is critical for synapse maturation and learning. In rodents, eye opening, the onset of pattern vision, triggers a rapid movement of PSD-95 from visual neuron somata to synapses. We previously showed that the PI3 kinase-Akt pathway downstream of BDNF/TrkB signaling stimulates synaptic delivery of PSD-95 via vesicular transport. However, vesicular transport requires PSD-95 palmitoylation to attach it to a lipid membrane. Also PSD-95 insertion at synapses is known to require this lipid modification. Here, we show that BDNF/TrkB signaling is also necessary for PSD-95 palmitoylation and its transport to synapses in mouse visual cortical layer 2/3 neurons. However, palmitoylation of PSD-95 requires the activation of another pathway downstream of BDNF/TrkB, namely signaling through PLCγ and the brain-specific PKC variant PKMζ. We find that PKMζ selectively regulates phosphorylation of the palmitoylation enzyme ZDHHC8. Inhibition of PKMζ results in a reduction of synaptic PSD-95 accumulation in vivo, which can be rescued by over-expression ZDHHC8. Therefore, TrkB and PKMζ, two critical regulators of synaptic plasticity, facilitate PSD-95 targeting to synapses. These results also indicate that palmitoylation can be regulated by a trophic factor. Our findings have implications for neurodevelopmental disorders as well as ageing brains. PMID:21849550

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  7. Loss of synaptic zinc transport in progranulin deficient mice may contribute to progranulin-associated psychopathology and chronic pain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hardt, Stefanie; Heidler, Juliana; Albuquerque, Boris; Valek, Lucie; Altmann, Christine; Wilken-Schmitz, Annett; Schäfer, Michael K E; Wittig, Ilka; Tegeder, Irmgard

    2017-11-01

    Affective and cognitive processing of nociception contributes to the development of chronic pain and vice versa, pain may precipitate psychopathologic symptoms. We hypothesized a higher risk for the latter with immanent neurologic diseases and studied this potential interrelationship in progranulin-deficient mice, which are a model for frontotemporal dementia, a disease dominated by behavioral abnormalities in humans. Young naïve progranulin deficient mice behaved normal in tests of short-term memory, anxiety, depression and nociception, but after peripheral nerve injury, they showed attention-deficit and depression-like behavior, over-activity, loss of shelter-seeking, reduced impulse control and compulsive feeding behavior, which did not occur in equally injured controls. Hence, only the interaction of 'pain x progranulin deficiency' resulted in the complex phenotype at young age, but neither pain nor progranulin deficiency alone. A deep proteome analysis of the prefrontal cortex and olfactory bulb revealed progranulin-dependent alterations of proteins involved in synaptic transport, including neurotransmitter transporters of the solute carrier superfamily. In particular, progranulin deficiency was associated with a deficiency of nuclear and synaptic zinc transporters (ZnT9/Slc30a9; ZnT3/Slc30a3) with low plasma zinc. Dietary zinc supplementation partly normalized the attention deficit of progranulin-deficient mice, which was in part reminiscent of autism-like and compulsive behavior of synaptic zinc transporter Znt3-knockout mice. Hence, the molecular studies point to defective zinc transport possibly contributing to progranulin-deficiency-associated psychopathology. Translated to humans, our data suggest that neuropathic pain may precipitate cognitive and psychopathological symptoms of an inherent, still silent neurodegenerative disease. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  9. Binocular Rivalry in a Competitive Neural Network with Synaptic Depression

    KAUST Repository

    Kilpatrick, Zachary P.

    2010-01-01

    We study binocular rivalry in a competitive neural network with synaptic depression. In particular, we consider two coupled hypercolums within primary visual cortex (V1), representing orientation selective cells responding to either left or right eye inputs. Coupling between hypercolumns is dominated by inhibition, especially for neurons with dissimilar orientation preferences. Within hypercolumns, recurrent connectivity is excitatory for similar orientations and inhibitory for different orientations. All synaptic connections are modifiable by local synaptic depression. When the hypercolumns are driven by orthogonal oriented stimuli, it is possible to induce oscillations that are representative of binocular rivalry. We first analyze the occurrence of oscillations in a space-clamped version of the model using a fast-slow analys is, taking advantage of the fact that depression evolves much slower than population activity. We th en analyze the onset of oscillations in the full spatially extended system by carrying out a piecewise smooth stability analysis of single (winner-take-all) and double (fusion) bumps within the network. Although our stability analysis takes into account only instabilities associated with real eigenvalues, it identifies points of instability that are consistent with what is found numerically. In particular, we show that, in regions of parameter space where double bumps are unstable and no single bumps exist, binocular rivalry can arise as a slow alternation between either population supporting a bump. © 2010 Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics.

  10. Upregulation of transmitter release probability improves a conversion of synaptic analogue signals into neuronal digital spikes

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-01

    Action potentials at the neurons and graded signals at the synapses are primary codes in the brain. In terms of their functional interaction, the studies were focused on the influence of presynaptic spike patterns on synaptic activities. How the synapse dynamics quantitatively regulates the encoding of postsynaptic digital spikes remains unclear. We investigated this question at unitary glutamatergic synapses on cortical GABAergic neurons, especially the quantitative influences of release probability on synapse dynamics and neuronal encoding. Glutamate release probability and synaptic strength are proportionally upregulated by presynaptic sequential spikes. The upregulation of release probability and the efficiency of probability-driven synaptic facilitation are strengthened by elevating presynaptic spike frequency and Ca2+. The upregulation of release probability improves spike capacity and timing precision at postsynaptic neuron. These results suggest that the upregulation of presynaptic glutamate release facilitates a conversion of synaptic analogue signals into digital spikes in postsynaptic neurons, i.e., a functional compatibility between presynaptic and postsynaptic partners. PMID:22852823

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-01

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

  12. Readily releasable pool of synaptic vesicles measured at single synaptic contacts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trigo, Federico F; Sakaba, Takeshi; Ogden, David; Marty, Alain

    2012-10-30

    To distinguish between different models of vesicular release in brain synapses, it is necessary to know the number of vesicles of transmitter that can be released immediately at individual synapses by a high-calcium stimulus, the readily releasable pool (RRP). We used direct stimulation by calcium uncaging at identified, single-site inhibitory synapses to investigate the statistics of vesicular release and the size of the RRP. Vesicular release, detected as quantal responses in the postsynaptic neuron, showed an unexpected stochastic variation in the number of quanta from stimulus to stimulus at high intracellular calcium, with a mean of 1.9 per stimulus and a maximum of three or four. The results provide direct measurement of the RRP at single synaptic sites. They are consistent with models in which release proceeds from a small number of vesicle docking sites with an average occupancy around 0.7.

  13. Neuroprotective Effect of Fisetin Against Amyloid-Beta-Induced Cognitive/Synaptic Dysfunction, Neuroinflammation, and Neurodegeneration in Adult Mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahmad, Ashfaq; Ali, Tahir; Park, Hyun Young; Badshah, Haroon; Rehman, Shafiq Ur; Kim, Myeong Ok

    2017-04-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a devastating and progressive neurodegenerative disease and is characterized pathologically by the accumulation of amyloid beta (Aβ) and the hyperphosphorylation of tau proteins in the brain. The deposition of Aβ aggregates triggers synaptic dysfunction, hyperphosphorylation of tau, and neurodegeneration, which lead to cognitive disorders. Here, we investigated the neuroprotective effect of fisetin in the Aβ 1-42 mouse model of AD. Single intracerebroventricular injections of Aβ 1-42 (3 μl/5 min/mouse) markedly induced memory/synaptic deficits, neuroinflammation, and neurodegeneration. Intraperitoneal injections of fisetin at a dose of 20 mg/kg/day for 2 weeks starting 24 h after Aβ 1-42 injection significantly decreased the Aβ 1-42 -induced accumulation of Aβ, BACE-1 expression, and hyperphosphorylation of tau protein at serine 413. Fisetin treatment also markedly reversed Aβ 1-42 -induced synaptic dysfunction by increasing the levels of both presynaptic (SYN and SNAP-25) and postsynaptic proteins (PSD-95, SNAP-23, p-GluR1 (Ser 845), p-CREB (Ser 133) and p-CAMKII (Thr 286) and ultimately improved mouse memory, as observed in the Morris water maze test. Fisetin significantly activated p-PI3K, p-Akt (Ser 473), and p-GSK3β (Ser 9) expression in Aβ 1-42 -treated mice. Moreover, fisetin prevented neuroinflammation by suppressing various activated neuroinflammatory mediators and gliosis; it also suppressed the apoptotic neurodegeneration triggered by Aβ 1-42 injections in the mouse hippocampus. Fluorojade-B and immunohistochemical staining for caspase-3 revealed that fisetin prevented neurodegeneration in Aβ 1-42 -treated mice. Our results suggest that fisetin has a potent neuroprotective effect against Aβ 1-42 -induced neurotoxicity. These results demonstrate that polyphenolic flavonoids such as fisetin could be a beneficial, effective and safe neuroprotective agent for preventing neurological disorders such as AD.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-23

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lombroso, Paul; Ogren, Marilee

    2009-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-11-01

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

  17. Single-vesicle imaging reveals different transport mechanisms between glutamatergic and GABAergic vesicles

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Farsi, Z.; Preobraschenski, J.; Bogaart, G. van den; Riedel, D.; Jahn, R.; Woehler, A.

    2016-01-01

    Synaptic transmission is mediated by the release of neurotransmitters, which involves exo-endocytotic cycling of synaptic vesicles. To maintain synaptic function, synaptic vesicles are refilled with thousands of neurotransmitter molecules within seconds after endocytosis, using the energy provided

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wei Ling Lim

    2016-08-01

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

  19. Postnatal Ablation of Synaptic Retinoic Acid Signaling Impairs Cortical Information Processing and Sensory Discrimination in Mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Esther; Tjia, Michelle; Zuo, Yi; Chen, Lu

    2018-06-06

    Retinoic acid (RA) and its receptors (RARs) are well established essential transcriptional regulators during embryonic development. Recent findings in cultured neurons identified an independent and critical post-transcriptional role of RA and RARα in the homeostatic regulation of excitatory and inhibitory synaptic transmission in mature neurons. However, the functional relevance of synaptic RA signaling in vivo has not been established. Here, using somatosensory cortex as a model system and the RARα conditional knock-out mouse as a tool, we applied multiple genetic manipulations to delete RARα postnatally in specific populations of cortical neurons, and asked whether synaptic RA signaling observed in cultured neurons is involved in cortical information processing in vivo Indeed, conditional ablation of RARα in mice via a CaMKIIα-Cre or a layer 5-Cre driver line or via somatosensory cortex-specific viral expression of Cre-recombinase impaired whisker-dependent texture discrimination, suggesting a critical requirement of RARα expression in L5 pyramidal neurons of somatosensory cortex for normal tactile sensory processing. Transcranial two-photon imaging revealed a significant increase in dendritic spine elimination on apical dendrites of somatosensory cortical layer 5 pyramidal neurons in these mice. Interestingly, the enhancement of spine elimination is whisker experience-dependent as whisker trimming rescued the spine elimination phenotype. Additionally, experiencing an enriched environment improved texture discrimination in RARα-deficient mice and reduced excessive spine pruning. Thus, RA signaling is essential for normal experience-dependent cortical circuit remodeling and sensory processing. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT The importance of synaptic RA signaling has been demonstrated in in vitro studies. However, whether RA signaling mediated by RARα contributes to neural circuit functions in vivo remains largely unknown. In this study, using a RARα conditional

  20. High-resolution immunogold localization of AMPA type glutamate receptor subunits at synaptic and non-synaptic sites in rat hippocampus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baude, A; Nusser, Z; Molnár, E; McIlhinney, R A; Somogyi, P

    1995-12-01

    particles for the GluRA, GluRB/C and GluRD subunits were present at type 1 synaptic membrane specializations on dendritic spines of pyramidal cells throughout all layers of the CA1 and CA3 areas. The most densely labelled synapses tended to be on the largest spines and many smaller spines remained unlabelled. Immunoparticle density at type 1 synapses on dendritic shafts of some non-principal cells was consistently higher than at labelled synapses of dendritic spines of pyramidal cells. Synapses established between dendritic spines and mossy fibre terminals, were immunoreactive for all studied subunits in stratum lucidum of the CA3 area. The postembedding immunogold method revealed that the AMPA type receptors are concentrated within the main body of the anatomically defined type 1 (asymmetrical) synaptic junction. Often only a part of the membrane specialization showed clustered immunoparticles. There was a sharp decrease in immunoreactive receptor density at the edge of the synaptic specialization. Immunolabelling was consistently demonstrated at extrasynaptic sites on dendrites, dendritic spines and somata. The results demonstrate that the GluRA, B/C and D subunits of the AMPA type glutamate receptor are present in many of the glutamatergic synapses formed by the entorhinal, CA3 pyramidal and mossy fibre terminals. Some interneurons have a higher density of AMPA type receptors in their asymmetrical afferent synapses than pyramidal cells. This may contribute to a lower activation threshold of interneurons as compared to principal cells by the same afferents in the hippocampal formation.

  1. Phase-locking and bistability in neuronal networks with synaptic depression

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akcay, Zeynep; Huang, Xinxian; Nadim, Farzan; Bose, Amitabha

    2018-02-01

    We consider a recurrent network of two oscillatory neurons that are coupled with inhibitory synapses. We use the phase response curves of the neurons and the properties of short-term synaptic depression to define Poincaré maps for the activity of the network. The fixed points of these maps correspond to phase-locked modes of the network. Using these maps, we analyze the conditions that allow short-term synaptic depression to lead to the existence of bistable phase-locked, periodic solutions. We show that bistability arises when either the phase response curve of the neuron or the short-term depression profile changes steeply enough. The results apply to any Type I oscillator and we illustrate our findings using the Quadratic Integrate-and-Fire and Morris-Lecar neuron models.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-11-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wu Long-Jun

    2010-01-01

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

  4. Neurotrophin receptor p75NTR mediates Huntington’s disease–associated synaptic and memory dysfunction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brito, Verónica; Giralt, Albert; Enriquez-Barreto, Lilian; Puigdellívol, Mar; Suelves, Nuria; Zamora-Moratalla, Alfonsa; Ballesteros, Jesús J.; Martín, Eduardo D.; Dominguez-Iturza, Nuria; Morales, Miguel; Alberch, Jordi; Ginés, Sílvia

    2014-01-01

    Learning and memory deficits are early clinical manifestations of Huntington’s disease (HD). These cognitive impairments have been mainly associated with frontostriatal HD pathology; however, compelling evidence provided by several HD murine models suggests that the hippocampus may contribute to synaptic deficits and memory dysfunction in HD. The neurotrophin receptor p75NTR negatively regulates spine density, which is associated with learning and memory; therefore, we explored whether disturbed p75NTR function in the hippocampus could contribute to synaptic dysfunction and memory deficits in HD. Here, we determined that levels of p75NTR are markedly increased in the hippocampus of 2 distinct mouse models of HD and in HD patients. Normalization of p75NTR levels in HD mutant mice heterozygous for p75NTR prevented memory and synaptic plasticity deficits and ameliorated dendritic spine abnormalities, likely through normalization of the activity of the GTPase RhoA. Moreover, viral-medi