WorldWideScience

Sample records for selective neuronal vulnerability

  1. Selective neuronal vulnerability to oxidative stress in the brain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xinkun Wang

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Oxidative stress (OS, caused by the imbalance between the generation and detoxification of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species (ROS/RNS, plays an important role in brain aging, neurodegenerative diseases, and other related adverse conditions, such as ischemia. While ROS/RNS serve as signaling molecules at physiological levels, an excessive amount of these molecules leads to oxidative modification and, therefore, dysfunction of proteins, nucleic acids, and lipids. The response of neurons to this pervasive stress, however, is not uniform in the brain. While many brain neurons can cope with a rise in OS, there are select populations of neurons in the brain that are vulnerable. Because of their selective vulnerability, these neurons are usually the first to exhibit functional decline and cell death during normal aging, or in age-associated neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease. Understanding the molecular and cellular mechanisms of selective neuronal vulnerability (SNV to OS is important in the development of future intervention approaches to protect such vulnerable neurons from the stresses of the aging process and the pathological states that lead to neurodegeneration. In this review, the currently known molecular and cellular factors that contribute to SNV to OS are summarized. Included among the major underlying factors are high intrinsic OS, high demand for ROS/RNS-based signaling, low ATP production, mitochondrial dysfunction, and high inflammatory response in vulnerable neurons. The contribution to the selective vulnerability of neurons to OS by other intrinsic or extrinsic factors, such as deficient DNA damage repair, low calcium-buffering capacity, and glutamate excitotoxicity, are also discussed.

  2. Choline metabolism as a basis for the selective vulnerability of cholinergic neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wurtman, R. J.

    1992-01-01

    The unique propensity of cholinergic neurons to use choline for two purposes--ACh and membrane phosphatidylcholine synthesis--may contribute to their selective vulnerability in Alzheimer's disease and other cholinergic neurodegenerative disorders. When physiologically active, the neurons use free choline taken from the 'reservoir' in membrane phosphatidylcholine to synthesize ACh; this can lead to an actual decrease in the quantity of membrane per cell. Alzheimer's disease (but not Down's syndrome, or other neurodegenerative disorders) is associated with characteristic neurochemical lesions involving choline and ethanolamine: brain levels of these compounds are diminished, while those of glycerophosphocholine and glycerophosphoethanolamine (breakdown products of their respective membrane phosphatides) are increased, both in cholinergic and noncholinergic brain regions. Perhaps this metabolic disturbance and the tendency of cholinergic neurons to 'export' choline--in the form of ACh--underlie the selective vulnerability of the neurons. Resulting changes in membrane composition could abnormally expose intramembraneous proteins such as amyloid precursor protein to proteases.

  3. Cell-type Dependent Alzheimer's Disease Phenotypes: Probing the Biology of Selective Neuronal Vulnerability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christina R. Muratore

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Summary: Alzheimer's disease (AD induces memory and cognitive impairment in the absence of motor and sensory deficits during its early and middle course. A major unresolved question is the basis for this selective neuronal vulnerability. Aβ, which plays a central role in AD pathogenesis, is generated throughout the brain, yet some regions outside of the limbic and cerebral cortices are relatively spared from Aβ plaque deposition and synapse loss. Here, we examine neurons derived from iPSCs of patients harboring an amyloid precursor protein mutation to quantify AD-relevant phenotypes following directed differentiation to rostral fates of the brain (vulnerable and caudal fates (relatively spared in AD. We find that both the generation of Aβ and the responsiveness of TAU to Aβ are affected by neuronal cell type, with rostral neurons being more sensitive than caudal neurons. Thus, cell-autonomous factors may in part dictate the pattern of selective regional vulnerability in human neurons in AD. : In this article, Muratore et al. examine differential vulnerability of neuronal subtypes in AD by directing iPSC lines from control and familial AD subjects to different regional neuronal fates. APP processing and TAU proteostasis are differentially affected between regional fates, such that neuronal cell type dictates generation of and responsiveness to Aβ. Keywords: Alzheimer's disease, disease modeling, iPSCs, neural stem cells, Abeta, Tau, selective vulnerability, amyloid, familial AD, differential susceptibility

  4. METHAMPHETAMINE-INDUCED CELL DEATH: SELECTIVE VULNERABILITY IN NEURONAL SUBPOPULATIONS OF THE STRIATUM IN MICE

    Science.gov (United States)

    ZHU, J. P. Q.; XU, W.; ANGULO, J. A.

    2010-01-01

    Methamphetamine (METH) is an illicit and potent psychostimulant, which acts as an indirect dopamine agonist. In the striatum, METH has been shown to cause long lasting neurotoxic damage to dopaminergic nerve terminals and recently, the degeneration and death of striatal cells. The present study was undertaken to identify the type of striatal neurons that undergo apoptosis after METH. Male mice received a single high dose of METH (30 mg/kg, i.p.) and were killed 24 h later. To demonstrate that METH induces apoptosis in neurons, we combined terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL) staining with immunohistofluorescence for the neuronal marker neuron-specific nuclear protein (NeuN). Staining for TUNEL and NeuN was colocalized throughout the striatum. METH induces apoptosis in approximately 25% of striatal neurons. Cell counts of TUNEL-positive neurons in the dorsomedial, ventromedial, dorsolateral and ventrolateral quadrants of the striatum did not reveal anatomical preference. The type of striatal neuron undergoing cell death was determined by combining TUNEL with immunohistofluorescence for selective markers of striatal neurons: dopamine- and cAMP-regulated phosphoprotein, of apparent Mr 32,000, parvalbumin, choline acetyltransferase and somatostatin (SST). METH induces apoptosis in approximately 21% of dopamine- and cAMP-regulated phosphoprotein, of apparent Mr 32,000-positive neurons (projection neurons), 45% of GABA-parvalbumin-positive neurons in the dorsal striatum, and 29% of cholinergic neurons in the dorsal–medial striatum. In contrast, the SST-positive interneurons were refractory to METH-induced apoptosis. Finally, the amount of cell loss determined with Nissl staining correlated with the amount of TUNEL staining in the striatum of METH-treated animals. In conclusion, some of the striatal projection neurons and the GABA-parvalbumin and cholinergic interneurons were removed by apoptosis in the aftermath of METH. This

  5. Brain region specific mitophagy capacity could contribute to selective neuronal vulnerability in Parkinson's disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zabel Claus

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Parkinson's disease (PD is histologically well defined by its characteristic degeneration of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta. Remarkably, divergent PD-related mutations can generate comparable brain region specific pathologies. This indicates that some intrinsic region-specificity respecting differential neuron vulnerability exists, which codetermines the disease progression. To gain insight into the pathomechanism of PD, we investigated protein expression and protein oxidation patterns of three different brain regions in a PD mouse model, the PINK1 knockout mice (PINK1-KO, in comparison to wild type control mice. The dysfunction of PINK1 presumably affects mitochondrial turnover by disturbing mitochondrial autophagic pathways. The three brain regions investigated are the midbrain, which is the location of substantia nigra; striatum, the major efferent region of substantia nigra; and cerebral cortex, which is more distal to PD pathology. In all three regions, mitochondrial proteins responsible for energy metabolism and membrane potential were significantly altered in the PINK1-KO mice, but with very different region specific accents in terms of up/down-regulations. This suggests that disturbed mitophagy presumably induced by PINK1 knockout has heterogeneous impacts on different brain regions. Specifically, the midbrain tissue seems to be most severely hit by defective mitochondrial turnover, whereas cortex and striatum could compensate for mitophagy nonfunction by feedback stimulation of other catabolic programs. In addition, cerebral cortex tissues showed the mildest level of protein oxidation in both PINK1-KO and wild type mice, indicating either a better oxidative protection or less reactive oxygen species (ROS pressure in this brain region. Ultra-structural histological examination in normal mouse brain revealed higher incidences of mitophagy vacuoles in cerebral cortex than in striatum and substantia

  6. Selective vulnerability in brain hypoxia

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cervos-Navarro, J.; Diemer, Nils Henrik

    1991-01-01

    Neuropathology, selective vulnerability, brain hypoxia, vascular factors, excitotoxicity, ion homeostasis......Neuropathology, selective vulnerability, brain hypoxia, vascular factors, excitotoxicity, ion homeostasis...

  7. Neuronal matrix metalloproteinase-9 is a determinant of selective neurodegeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaplan, Artem; Spiller, Krista J; Towne, Christopher; Kanning, Kevin C; Choe, Ginn T; Geber, Adam; Akay, Turgay; Aebischer, Patrick; Henderson, Christopher E

    2014-01-22

    Selective neuronal loss is the hallmark of neurodegenerative diseases. In patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), most motor neurons die but those innervating extraocular, pelvic sphincter, and slow limb muscles exhibit selective resistance. We identified 18 genes that show >10-fold differential expression between resistant and vulnerable motor neurons. One of these, matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9), is expressed only by fast motor neurons, which are selectively vulnerable. In ALS model mice expressing mutant superoxide dismutase (SOD1), reduction of MMP-9 function using gene ablation, viral gene therapy, or pharmacological inhibition significantly delayed muscle denervation. In the presence of mutant SOD1, MMP-9 expressed by fast motor neurons themselves enhances activation of ER stress and is sufficient to trigger axonal die-back. These findings define MMP-9 as a candidate therapeutic target for ALS. The molecular basis of neuronal diversity thus provides significant insights into mechanisms of selective vulnerability to neurodegeneration. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Comparison of independent screens on differentially vulnerable motor neurons reveals alpha-synuclein as a common modifier in motor neuron diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kline, Rachel A; Kaifer, Kevin A; Osman, Erkan Y; Carella, Francesco; Tiberi, Ariana; Ross, Jolill; Pennetta, Giuseppa; Lorson, Christian L; Murray, Lyndsay M

    2017-03-01

    The term "motor neuron disease" encompasses a spectrum of disorders in which motor neurons are the primary pathological target. However, in both patients and animal models of these diseases, not all motor neurons are equally vulnerable, in that while some motor neurons are lost very early in disease, others remain comparatively intact, even at late stages. This creates a valuable system to investigate the factors that regulate motor neuron vulnerability. In this study, we aim to use this experimental paradigm to identify potential transcriptional modifiers. We have compared the transcriptome of motor neurons from healthy wild-type mice, which are differentially vulnerable in the childhood motor neuron disease Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), and have identified 910 transcriptional changes. We have compared this data set with published microarray data sets on other differentially vulnerable motor neurons. These neurons were differentially vulnerable in the adult onset motor neuron disease Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), but the screen was performed on the equivalent population of neurons from neurologically normal human, rat and mouse. This cross species comparison has generated a refined list of differentially expressed genes, including CELF5, Col5a2, PGEMN1, SNCA, Stmn1 and HOXa5, alongside a further enrichment for synaptic and axonal transcripts. As an in vivo validation, we demonstrate that the manipulation of a significant number of these transcripts can modify the neurodegenerative phenotype observed in a Drosophila line carrying an ALS causing mutation. Finally, we demonstrate that vector-mediated expression of alpha-synuclein (SNCA), a transcript decreased in selectively vulnerable motor neurons in all four screens, can extend life span, increase weight and decrease neuromuscular junction pathology in a mouse model of SMA. In summary, we have combined multiple data sets to identify transcripts, which are strong candidates for being phenotypic modifiers

  9. The Impact of Exercise on the Vulnerability of Dopamine Neurons to Cell Death in Animal Models of Parkinson's Disease

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Zigmond, Michael J; Smith, Amanda; Liou, Anthony

    2006-01-01

    Parkinson's disease results in part from the loss of dopamine neurons. We hypothesize that exercise reduces the vulnerability of dopamine neurons to neurotoxin exposure, whereas stress increases vulnerability...

  10. The mechanisms of neurotoxicity and the selective vulnerability of nervous system sites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maurer, Laura L; Philbert, Martin A

    2015-01-01

    The spatial heterogeneity of the structure, function, and cellular composition of the nervous system confers extraordinary complexity and a multiplicity of mechanisms of chemical neurotoxicity. Because of its relatively high metabolic demands and functional dependence on postmitotic neurons, the nervous system is vulnerable to a variety of xenobiotics that affect essential homeostatic mechanisms that support function. Despite protection from the neuroglia and blood-brain barrier, the central nervous system is prone to attack from lipophilic toxicants and those that hijack endogenous transport, receptor, metabolic, and other biochemical systems. The inherent predilection of chemicals for highly conserved biochemical systems confers selective vulnerability of the nervous system to neurotoxicants. This chapter discusses selective vulnerability of the nervous system in the context of neuron-specific decrements (axonopathy, myelinopathy, disruption of neurotransmission), and the degree to which neuronal damage is facilitated or ameliorated by surrounding nonneural cells in both the central and peripheral nervous systems. © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. The Impact of Exercise on the Vulnerability of Dopamine Neurons to Cell Death in Animal Models of Parkinson's Disease

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Zigmond, Michael J; Smith, Amanda

    2005-01-01

    Parkinson's disease (PD) results in part from the loss of dopamine (DA) neurons. We hypothesize that exercise reduces the vulnerability of DA neurons to neurotoxin exposure, whereas stress increases vulnerability...

  12. Selective serotonergic excitation of callosal projection neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel eAvesar

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Serotonin (5-HT acting as a neurotransmitter in the cerebral cortex is critical for cognitive function, yet how 5-HT regulates information processing in cortical circuits is not well understood. We tested the serotonergic responsiveness of layer 5 pyramidal neurons (L5PNs of the mouse medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC, and found 3 distinct response types: long-lasting 5-HT1A (1A receptor-dependent inhibitory responses (84% of L5PNs, 5-HT2A (2A receptor-dependent excitatory responses (9%, and biphasic responses in which 2A-dependent excitation followed brief inhibition (5%. Relative to 5-HT-inhibited neurons, those excited by 5-HT had physiological properties characteristic of callosal/commissural (COM neurons that project to the contralateral cortex. We tested whether serotonergic responses in cortical pyramidal neurons are correlated with their axonal projection pattern using retrograde fluorescent labeling of COM and corticopontine-projecting (CPn neurons. 5-HT generated excitatory or biphasic responses in all 5-HT-responsive layer 5 COM neurons. Conversely, CPn neurons were universally inhibited by 5-HT. Serotonergic excitation of COM neurons was blocked by the 2A antagonist MDL 11939, while serotonergic inhibition of CPn neurons was blocked by the 1A antagonist WAY 100635, confirming a role for these two receptor subtypes in regulating pyramidal neuron activity. Selective serotonergic excitation of COM neurons was not layer-specific, as COM neurons in layer 2/3 were also selectively excited by 5-HT relative to their non-labeled pyramidal neuron neighbors. Because neocortical 2A receptors are implicated in the etiology and pathophysiology of schizophrenia, we propose that COM neurons may represent a novel cellular target for intervention in psychiatric disease.

  13. Vulnerability to glutamate toxicity of dopaminergic neurons is dependent on endogenous dopamine and MAPK activation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Izumi, Yasuhiko; Yamamoto, Noriyuki; Matsuo, Takaaki; Wakita, Seiko; Takeuchi, Hiroki; Kume, Toshiaki; Katsuki, Hiroshi; Sawada, Hideyuki; Akaike, Akinori

    2009-07-01

    Dopaminergic neurons are more vulnerable than other types of neurons in cases of Parkinson disease and ischemic brain disease. An increasing amount of evidence suggests that endogenous dopamine plays a role in the vulnerability of dopaminergic neurons. Although glutamate toxicity contributes to the pathogenesis of these disorders, the sensitivity of dopaminergic neurons to glutamate toxicity has not been clarified. In this study, we demonstrated that dopaminergic neurons were preferentially affected by glutamate toxicity in rat mesencephalic cultures. Glutamate toxicity in dopaminergic neurons was blocked by inhibiting extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK), c-jun N-terminal kinase, and p38 MAPK. Furthermore, depletion of dopamine by alpha-methyl-dl-p-tyrosine methyl ester (alpha-MT), an inhibitor of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), protected dopaminergic neurons from the neurotoxicity. Exposure to glutamate facilitated phosphoryration of TH at Ser31 by ERK, which contributes to the increased TH activity. Inhibition of ERK had no additive effect on the protection offered by alpha-MT, whereas alpha-MT and c-jun N-terminal kinase or p38 MAPK inhibitors had additive effects and yielded full protection. These data suggest that endogenous dopamine is responsible for the vulnerability to glutamate toxicity of dopaminergic neurons and one of the mechanisms may be an enhancement of dopamine synthesis mediated by ERK.

  14. CALBINDIN CONTENT AND DIFFERENTIAL VULNERABILITY OF MIDBRAIN EFFERENT DOPAMINERGIC NEURONS IN MACAQUES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Iria G Dopeso-Reyes

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Calbindin (CB is a calcium binding protein reported to protect dopaminergic neurons from degeneration. Although a direct link between CB content and differential vulnerability of dopaminergic neurons has long been accepted, factors other than CB have also been suggested, particularly those related to the dopamine transporter. Indeed, several studies have reported that CB levels are not causally related to the differential vulnerability of dopaminergic neurons against neurotoxins. Here we have used dual stains for tyrosine hydroxylase (TH and CB in 3 control and 3 MPTP-treated monkeys to visualize dopaminergic neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA and in the dorsal and ventral tiers of the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNcd and SNcv co-expressing TH and CB. In control animals, the highest percentages of co-localization were found in VTA (58.2%, followed by neurons located in the SNcd (34.7%. As expected, SNcv neurons lacked CB expression. In MPTP-treated animals, the percentage of CB-ir/TH-ir neurons in the VTA was similar to control monkeys (62.1%, whereas most of the few surviving neurons in the SNcd were CB-ir/TH-ir (88.6%. Next, we have elucidated the presence of CB within identified nigrostriatal and nigroextrastriatal midbrain dopaminergic projection neurons. For this purpose, two control monkeys received one injection of Fluoro-Gold into the caudate nucleus and one injection of cholera toxin (CTB into the postcommissural putamen, whereas two more monkeys were injected with CTB into the internal division of the globus pallidus. As expected, all the nigrocaudate- and nigroputamen-projecting neurons were TH-ir, although surprisingly, all of these nigrostriatal-projecting neurons were negative for CB. Furthermore, all the nigropallidal-projecting neurons co-expressed both TH and CB. In summary, although CB-ir dopaminergic neurons seem to be less prone to MPTP-induced degeneration, our data clearly demonstrated that these neurons are not

  15. Absence of alsin function leads to corticospinal motor neuron vulnerability via novel disease mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gautam, Mukesh; Jara, Javier H; Sekerkova, Gabriella; Yasvoina, Marina V; Martina, Marco; Özdinler, P Hande

    2016-03-15

    Mutations in the ALS2 gene result in early-onset amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, infantile-onset ascending hereditary spastic paraplegia and juvenile primary lateral sclerosis, suggesting prominent upper motor neuron involvement. However, the importance of alsin function for corticospinal motor neuron (CSMN) health and stability remains unknown. To date, four separate alsin knockout (Alsin(KO)) mouse models have been generated, and despite hopes of mimicking human pathology, none displayed profound motor function defects. This, however, does not rule out the possibility of neuronal defects within CSMN, which is not easy to detect in these mice. Detailed cellular analysis of CSMN has been hampered due to their limited numbers and the complex and heterogeneous structure of the cerebral cortex. In an effort to visualize CSMN in vivo and to investigate precise aspects of neuronal abnormalities in the absence of alsin function, we generated Alsin(KO)-UeGFP mice, by crossing Alsin(KO) and UCHL1-eGFP mice, a CSMN reporter line. We find that CSMN display vacuolated apical dendrites with increased autophagy, shrinkage of soma size and axonal pathology even in the pons region. Immunocytochemistry coupled with electron microscopy reveal that alsin is important for maintaining cellular cytoarchitecture and integrity of cellular organelles. In its absence, CSMN displays selective defects both in mitochondria and Golgi apparatus. UCHL1-eGFP mice help understand the underlying cellular factors that lead to CSMN vulnerability in diseases, and our findings reveal unique importance of alsin function for CSMN health and stability. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press.

  16. The Impact of Exercise on the Vulnerability of Dopamine Neurons to Cell Death in Animal Models of Parkinson's Disease

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Zpgmond, Michael J; Smith, Amanda; Liou, Anthony

    2007-01-01

    Parkinson's disease results in part from the loss of dopamine neurons. We hypothesize that exercise reduces the vulnerability of dopamine neurons to neurotoxin exposure, which is modulated by stress...

  17. The Transcription Factor Orthodenticle Homeobox 2 Influences Axonal Projections and Vulnerability of Midbrain Dopaminergic Neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chung, Chee Yeun; Licznerski, Pawel; Alavian, Kambiz N.; Simeone, Antonio; Lin, Zhicheng; Martin, Eden; Vance, Jeffery; Isacson, Ole

    2010-01-01

    Two adjacent groups of midbrain dopaminergic neurons, A9 (substantia nigra pars compacta) and A10 (ventral tegmental area), have distinct projections and exhibit differential vulnerability in Parkinson's disease. Little is known about transcription factors that influence midbrain dopaminergic subgroup phenotypes or their potential role in disease.…

  18. Vulnerability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taback, I.

    1979-01-01

    The discussion of vulnerability begins with a description of some of the electrical characteristics of fibers before definiting how vulnerability calculations are done. The vulnerability results secured to date are presented. The discussion touches on post exposure vulnerability. After a description of some shock hazard work now underway, the discussion leads into a description of the planned effort and some preliminary conclusions are presented.

  19. Cell type-specific gene expression of midbrain dopaminergic neurons reveals molecules involved in their vulnerability and protection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chung, Chee Yeun; Seo, Hyemyung; Sonntag, Kai Christian; Brooks, Andrew; Lin, Ling; Isacson, Ole

    2005-07-01

    Molecular differences between dopamine (DA) neurons may explain why the mesostriatal DA neurons in the A9 region preferentially degenerate in Parkinson's disease (PD) and toxic models, whereas the adjacent A10 region mesolimbic and mesocortical DA neurons are relatively spared. To characterize innate physiological differences between A9 and A10 DA neurons, we determined gene expression profiles in these neurons in the adult mouse by laser capture microdissection, microarray analysis and real-time PCR. We found 42 genes relatively elevated in A9 DA neurons, whereas 61 genes were elevated in A10 DA neurons [> 2-fold; false discovery rate (FDR) neurotoxic or protective biochemical pathways. Three A9-elevated molecules [G-protein coupled inwardly rectifying K channel 2 (GIRK2), adenine nucleotide translocator 2 (ANT-2) and the growth factor IGF-1] and three A10-elevated peptides (GRP, CGRP and PACAP) were further examined in both alpha-synuclein overexpressing PC12 (PC12-alphaSyn) cells and rat primary ventral mesencephalic (VM) cultures exposed to MPP+ neurotoxicity. GIRK2-positive DA neurons were more vulnerable to MPP+ toxicity and overexpression of GIRK2 increased the vulnerability of PC12-alphaSyn cells to the toxin. Blocking of ANT decreased vulnerability to MPP+ in both cell culture systems. Exposing cells to IGF-1, GRP and PACAP decreased vulnerability of both cell types to MPP+, whereas CGRP protected PC12-alphaSyn cells but not primary VM DA neurons. These results indicate that certain differentially expressed molecules in A9 and A10 DA neurons may play key roles in their relative vulnerability to toxins and PD.

  20. Sustained and selective attention deficits as vulnerability markers to psychosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mulet, B; Valero, J; Gutiérrez-Zotes, A; Montserrat, C; Cortés, M J; Jariod, M; Martorell, L; Vilella, E; Labad, A

    2007-04-01

    The first descriptions of schizophrenia emphasized attention problems patients with schizophrenia have but recent results evidence that other psychotic disorders share them. We compared the performance in sustained and selective attention between psychotic patients (P), their healthy first degree relatives (R) and healthy volunteers (C) to prove whether these alterations could be an endophenotype of vulnerability to psychosis. We also compared the performance of schizophrenic patients (SZP) and that of patients with other functional psychoses (OP) in order to prove whether these alterations are specific of any psychotic disorder. Seventy-six P, 70 R and 39 C were included in the study. A selective attention index, comprising TMT A and B and Stroop Test, and a sustained attention index comprising the Continuous Performance Test were calculated. We conducted an univariant general linear model to compare three group performances in these indexes, with age, sex and years of education as a covariables. We found significant differences between the indexes when we compared P, R and C. No differences in performance were found between SZP and OP. Our data showed that sustained and selective attention alterations could be a vulnerability factor to psychotic disorders in general, but they were not specific of schizophrenia.

  1. Dendrites Enable a Robust Mechanism for Neuronal Stimulus Selectivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cazé, Romain D; Jarvis, Sarah; Foust, Amanda J; Schultz, Simon R

    2017-09-01

    Hearing, vision, touch: underlying all of these senses is stimulus selectivity, a robust information processing operation in which cortical neurons respond more to some stimuli than to others. Previous models assume that these neurons receive the highest weighted input from an ensemble encoding the preferred stimulus, but dendrites enable other possibilities. Nonlinear dendritic processing can produce stimulus selectivity based on the spatial distribution of synapses, even if the total preferred stimulus weight does not exceed that of nonpreferred stimuli. Using a multi-subunit nonlinear model, we demonstrate that stimulus selectivity can arise from the spatial distribution of synapses. We propose this as a general mechanism for information processing by neurons possessing dendritic trees. Moreover, we show that this implementation of stimulus selectivity increases the neuron's robustness to synaptic and dendritic failure. Importantly, our model can maintain stimulus selectivity for a larger range of loss of synapses or dendrites than an equivalent linear model. We then use a layer 2/3 biophysical neuron model to show that our implementation is consistent with two recent experimental observations: (1) one can observe a mixture of selectivities in dendrites that can differ from the somatic selectivity, and (2) hyperpolarization can broaden somatic tuning without affecting dendritic tuning. Our model predicts that an initially nonselective neuron can become selective when depolarized. In addition to motivating new experiments, the model's increased robustness to synapses and dendrites loss provides a starting point for fault-resistant neuromorphic chip development.

  2. Chronic exposure to neonicotinoids increases neuronal vulnerability to mitochondrial dysfunction in the bumblebee (Bombus terrestris)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moffat, Christopher; Pacheco, Joao Goncalves; Sharp, Sheila; Samson, Andrew J.; Bollan, Karen A.; Huang, Jeffrey; Buckland, Stephen T.; Connolly, Christopher N.

    2015-01-01

    The global decline in the abundance and diversity of insect pollinators could result from habitat loss, disease, and pesticide exposure. The contribution of the neonicotinoid insecticides (e.g., clothianidin and imidacloprid) to this decline is controversial, and key to understanding their risk is whether the astonishingly low levels found in the nectar and pollen of plants is sufficient to deliver neuroactive levels to their site of action: the bee brain. Here we show that bumblebees (Bombus terrestris audax) fed field levels [10 nM, 2.1 ppb (w/w)] of neonicotinoid accumulate between 4 and 10 nM in their brains within 3 days. Acute (minutes) exposure of cultured neurons to 10 nM clothianidin, but not imidacloprid, causes a nicotinic acetylcholine receptor-dependent rapid mitochondrial depolarization. However, a chronic (2 days) exposure to 1 nM imidacloprid leads to a receptor-dependent increased sensitivity to a normally innocuous level of acetylcholine, which now also causes rapid mitochondrial depolarization in neurons. Finally, colonies exposed to this level of imidacloprid show deficits in colony growth and nest condition compared with untreated colonies. These findings provide a mechanistic explanation for the poor navigation and foraging observed in neonicotinoid treated bumblebee colonies.—Moffat, C., Pacheco, J. G., Sharp, S., Samson, A. J., Bollan, K. A., Huang, J., Buckland, S. T., Connolly, C. N. Chronic exposure to neonicotinoids increases neuronal vulnerability to mitochondrial dysfunction in the bumblebee (Bombus terrestris). PMID:25634958

  3. Vulnerability

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Issa, Sahar; van der Molen, Irna; Stel, Nora

    2015-01-01

    This chapter reviews the literature on vulnerability. Together with Chapter 3, that offers a literature review specifically focused on resilience, it lays the conceptual foundations for the empirical chapters in this edited volume. Vulnerability symbolizes the susceptibility of a certain system to

  4. Temporally selective processing of communication signals by auditory midbrain neurons

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Elliott, Taffeta M; Christensen-Dalsgaard, Jakob; Kelley, Darcy B

    2011-01-01

    click rates ranged from 4 to 50 Hz, the rate at which the clicks begin to overlap. Frequency selectivity and temporal processing were characterized using response-intensity curves, temporal-discharge patterns, and autocorrelations of reduplicated responses to click trains. Characteristic frequencies...... of the rate of clicks in calls. The majority of neurons (85%) were selective for click rates, and this selectivity remained unchanged over sound levels 10 to 20 dB above threshold. Selective neurons give phasic, tonic, or adapting responses to tone bursts and click trains. Some algorithms that could compute...

  5. Vulnerabilities in GSM technology and feasibility of selected attacks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Voznak, M.; Prokes, M.; Sevcik, L.; Frnda, J.; Toral-Cruz, Homer; Jakovlev, Sergej; Fazio, Peppino; Mehic, M.; Mikulec, M.

    2015-05-01

    Global System for Mobile communication (GSM) is the most widespread technology for mobile communications in the world and serving over 7 billion users. Since first publication of system documentation there has been notified a potential safety problem's occurrence. Selected types of attacks, based on the analysis of the technical feasibility and the degree of risk of these weaknesses, were implemented and demonstrated in laboratory of the VSB-Technical University of Ostrava, Czech Republic. These vulnerabilities were analyzed and afterwards possible attacks were described. These attacks were implemented using open-source tools, software programmable radio USRP (Universal Software RadioPeripheral) and DVB-T (Digital Video Broadcasting - Terrestrial) receiver. GSM security architecture is being scrutinized since first public releases of its specification mainly pointing out weaknesses in authentication and ciphering mechanisms. This contribution also summarizes practically proofed and used scenarios that are performed using opensource software tools and variety of scripts mostly written in Python. Main goal of this paper is in analyzing security issues in GSM network and practical demonstration of selected attacks.

  6. Selective neuronal degeneration in the retrosplenial cortex impairs the recall of contextual fear memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sigwald, Eric L; Genoud, Manuel E; Giachero, Marcelo; de Olmos, Soledad; Molina, Víctor A; Lorenzo, Alfredo

    2016-05-01

    The retrosplenial cortex (RSC) is one of the largest cortical areas in rodents, and is subdivided in two main regions, A29 and A30, according to their cytoarchitectural organization and connectivities. However, very little is known about the functional activity of each RSC subdivision during the execution of complex cognitive tasks. Here, we used a well-established fear learning protocol that induced long-lasting contextual fear memory and showed that during evocation of the fear memory, the expression of early growth response gene 1 was up-regulated in A30, and in other brain areas implicated in fear and spatial memory, however, was down-regulated in A29, including layers IV and V. To search for the participation of A29 on fear memory, we triggered selective degeneration of neurons within cortical layers IV and V of A29 by using a non-invasive protocol that takes advantage of the vulnerability that these neurons have MK801-toxicity and the modulation of this neurodegeneration by testosterone. Application of 5 mg/kg MK801 in intact males induced negligible neuronal degeneration of A29 neurons and had no impact on fear memory retrieval. However, in orchiectomized rats, 5 mg/kg MK801 induced overt degeneration of layers IV-V neurons of A29, significantly impairing fear memory recall. Degeneration of A29 neurons did not affect exploratory or anxiety-related behavior nor altered unconditioned freezing. Importantly, protecting A29 neurons from MK801-toxicity by testosterone preserved fear memory recall in orchiectomized rats. Thus, neurons within cortical layers IV-V of A29 are critically required for efficient retrieval of contextual fear memory.

  7. Human iPSC-Derived Neuronal Model of Tau-A152T Frontotemporal Dementia Reveals Tau-Mediated Mechanisms of Neuronal Vulnerability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Catarina Silva

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Frontotemporal dementia (FTD and other tauopathies characterized by focal brain neurodegeneration and pathological accumulation of proteins are commonly associated with tau mutations. However, the mechanism of neuronal loss is not fully understood. To identify molecular events associated with tauopathy, we studied induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC-derived neurons from individuals carrying the tau-A152T variant. We highlight the potential of in-depth phenotyping of human neuronal cell models for pre-clinical studies and identification of modulators of endogenous tau toxicity. Through a panel of biochemical and cellular assays, A152T neurons showed accumulation, redistribution, and decreased solubility of tau. Upregulation of tau was coupled to enhanced stress-inducible markers and cell vulnerability to proteotoxic, excitotoxic, and mitochondrial stressors, which was rescued upon CRISPR/Cas9-mediated targeting of tau or by pharmacological activation of autophagy. Our findings unmask tau-mediated perturbations of specific pathways associated with neuronal vulnerability, revealing potential early disease biomarkers and therapeutic targets for FTD and other tauopathies.

  8. Neuronal effects of nicotine during auditory selective attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smucny, Jason; Olincy, Ann; Eichman, Lindsay S; Tregellas, Jason R

    2015-06-01

    Although the attention-enhancing effects of nicotine have been behaviorally and neurophysiologically well-documented, its localized functional effects during selective attention are poorly understood. In this study, we examined the neuronal effects of nicotine during auditory selective attention in healthy human nonsmokers. We hypothesized to observe significant effects of nicotine in attention-associated brain areas, driven by nicotine-induced increases in activity as a function of increasing task demands. A single-blind, prospective, randomized crossover design was used to examine neuronal response associated with a go/no-go task after 7 mg nicotine or placebo patch administration in 20 individuals who underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging at 3T. The task design included two levels of difficulty (ordered vs. random stimuli) and two levels of auditory distraction (silence vs. noise). Significant treatment × difficulty × distraction interaction effects on neuronal response were observed in the hippocampus, ventral parietal cortex, and anterior cingulate. In contrast to our hypothesis, U and inverted U-shaped dependencies were observed between the effects of nicotine on response and task demands, depending on the brain area. These results suggest that nicotine may differentially affect neuronal response depending on task conditions. These results have important theoretical implications for understanding how cholinergic tone may influence the neurobiology of selective attention.

  9. Synchronization stability and pattern selection in a memristive neuronal network.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Chunni; Lv, Mi; Alsaedi, Ahmed; Ma, Jun

    2017-11-01

    Spatial pattern formation and selection depend on the intrinsic self-organization and cooperation between nodes in spatiotemporal systems. Based on a memory neuron model, a regular network with electromagnetic induction is proposed to investigate the synchronization and pattern selection. In our model, the memristor is used to bridge the coupling between the magnetic flux and the membrane potential, and the induction current results from the time-varying electromagnetic field contributed by the exchange of ion currents and the distribution of charged ions. The statistical factor of synchronization predicts the transition of synchronization and pattern stability. The bifurcation analysis of the sampled time series for the membrane potential reveals the mode transition in electrical activity and pattern selection. A formation mechanism is outlined to account for the emergence of target waves. Although an external stimulus is imposed on each neuron uniformly, the diversity in the magnetic flux and the induction current leads to emergence of target waves in the studied network.

  10. Synchronization stability and pattern selection in a memristive neuronal network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Chunni; Lv, Mi; Alsaedi, Ahmed; Ma, Jun

    2017-11-01

    Spatial pattern formation and selection depend on the intrinsic self-organization and cooperation between nodes in spatiotemporal systems. Based on a memory neuron model, a regular network with electromagnetic induction is proposed to investigate the synchronization and pattern selection. In our model, the memristor is used to bridge the coupling between the magnetic flux and the membrane potential, and the induction current results from the time-varying electromagnetic field contributed by the exchange of ion currents and the distribution of charged ions. The statistical factor of synchronization predicts the transition of synchronization and pattern stability. The bifurcation analysis of the sampled time series for the membrane potential reveals the mode transition in electrical activity and pattern selection. A formation mechanism is outlined to account for the emergence of target waves. Although an external stimulus is imposed on each neuron uniformly, the diversity in the magnetic flux and the induction current leads to emergence of target waves in the studied network.

  11. Selective increase of in vivo firing frequencies in DA SN neurons after proteasome inhibition in the ventral midbrain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Subramaniam, Mahalakshmi; Kern, Beatrice; Vogel, Simone; Klose, Verena; Schneider, Gaby; Roeper, Jochen

    2014-09-01

    The impairment of protein degradation via the ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS) is present in sporadic Parkinson's disease (PD), and might play a key role in selective degeneration of vulnerable dopamine (DA) neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta (SN). Further evidence for a causal role of dysfunctional UPS in familial PD comes from mutations in parkin, which results in a loss of function of an E3-ubiquitin-ligase. In a mouse model, genetic inactivation of an essential component of the 26S proteasome lead to widespread neuronal degeneration including DA midbrain neurons and the formation of alpha-synuclein-positive inclusion bodies, another hallmark of PD. Studies using pharmacological UPS inhibition in vivo had more mixed results, varying from extensive degeneration to no loss of DA SN neurons. However, it is currently unknown whether UPS impairment will affect the neurophysiological functions of DA midbrain neurons. To answer this question, we infused a selective proteasome inhibitor into the ventral midbrain in vivo and recorded single DA midbrain neurons 2 weeks after the proteasome challenge. We found a selective increase in the mean in vivo firing frequencies of identified DA SN neurons in anesthetized mice, while those in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) were unaffected. Our results demonstrate that a single-hit UPS inhibition is sufficient to induce a stable and selective hyperexcitability phenotype in surviving DA SN neurons in vivo. This might imply that UPS dysfunction sensitizes DA SN neurons by enhancing 'stressful pacemaking'. © 2014 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  12. Region-specific vulnerability to lipid peroxidation and evidence of neuronal mechanisms for polyunsaturated fatty acid biosynthesis in the healthy adult human central nervous system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naudí, Alba; Cabré, Rosanna; Dominguez-Gonzalez, Mayelin; Ayala, Victoria; Jové, Mariona; Mota-Martorell, Natalia; Piñol-Ripoll, Gerard; Gil-Villar, Maria Pilar; Rué, Montserrat; Portero-Otín, Manuel; Ferrer, Isidre; Pamplona, Reinald

    2017-05-01

    Lipids played a determinant role in the evolution of the brain. It is postulated that the morphological and functional diversity among neural cells of the human central nervous system (CNS) is projected and achieved through the expression of particular lipid profiles. The present study was designed to evaluate the differential vulnerability to oxidative stress mediated by lipids through a cross-regional comparative approach. To this end, we compared 12 different regions of CNS of healthy adult subjects, and the fatty acid profile and vulnerability to lipid peroxidation, were determined by gas chromatography (GC) and gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS), respectively. In addition, different components involved in PUFA biosynthesis, as well as adaptive defense mechanisms against lipid peroxidation, were also measured by western blot and immunohistochemistry, respectively. We found that: i) four fatty acids (18.1n-9, 22:6n-3, 20:1n-9, and 18:0) are significant discriminators among CNS regions; ii) these differential fatty acid profiles generate a differential selective neural vulnerability (expressed by the peroxidizability index); iii) the cross-regional differences for the fatty acid profiles follow a caudal-cranial gradient which is directly related to changes in the biosynthesis pathways which can be ascribed to neuronal cells; and iv) the higher the peroxidizability index for a given human brain region, the lower concentration of the protein damage markers, likely supported by the presence of adaptive antioxidant mechanisms. In conclusion, our results suggest that there is a region-specific vulnerability to lipid peroxidation and offer evidence of neuronal mechanisms for polyunsaturated fatty acid biosynthesis in the human central nervous system. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Exclusion as a Criterion for Selecting Socially Vulnerable Population Groups

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aleksandra Anatol’evna Shabunova

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available The article considers theoretical aspects of a scientific research “The Mechanisms for Overcoming Mental Barriers of Inclusion of Socially Vulnerable Categories of the Population for the Purpose of Intensifying Modernization in the Regional Community” (RSF grant No. 16-18-00078. The authors analyze the essence of the category of “socially vulnerable groups” from the legal, economic and sociological perspectives. The paper shows that the economic approach that uses the criterion “the level of income and accumulated assets” when defining vulnerable population groups prevails in public administration practice. The legal field of the category based on the economic approach is defined by the concept of “the poor and socially unprotected categories of citizens”. With the help of the analysis of theoretical and methodological aspects of this issue, the authors show that these criteria are a necessary but not sufficient condition for classifying the population as being socially vulnerable. Foreign literature associates the phenomenon of vulnerability with the concept of risks, with the possibility of households responding to them and with the likelihood of losing the well-being (poverty theory; research areas related to the means of subsistence, etc.. The asset-based approaches relate vulnerability to the poverty that arises due to lack of access to tangible and intangible assets. Sociological theories presented by the concept of social exclusion pay much attention to the breakdown of social ties as a source of vulnerability. The essence of social exclusion consists in the inability of people to participate in important aspects of social life (in politics, labor markets, education and healthcare, cultural life, etc. though they have all the rights to do so. The difference between the concepts of exclusion and poverty is manifested in the displacement of emphasis from income inequality to limited access to rights. Social exclusion is

  14. A Neuronal Network Model for Pitch Selectivity and Representation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Chengcheng; Rinzel, John

    2016-01-01

    Pitch is a perceptual correlate of periodicity. Sounds with distinct spectra can elicit the same pitch. Despite the importance of pitch perception, understanding the cellular mechanism of pitch perception is still a major challenge and a mechanistic model of pitch is lacking. A multi-stage neuronal network model is developed for pitch frequency estimation using biophysically-based, high-resolution coincidence detector neurons. The neuronal units respond only to highly coincident input among convergent auditory nerve fibers across frequency channels. Their selectivity for only very fast rising slopes of convergent input enables these slope-detectors to distinguish the most prominent coincidences in multi-peaked input time courses. Pitch can then be estimated from the first-order interspike intervals of the slope-detectors. The regular firing pattern of the slope-detector neurons are similar for sounds sharing the same pitch despite the distinct timbres. The decoded pitch strengths also correlate well with the salience of pitch perception as reported by human listeners. Therefore, our model can serve as a neural representation for pitch. Our model performs successfully in estimating the pitch of missing fundamental complexes and reproducing the pitch variation with respect to the frequency shift of inharmonic complexes. It also accounts for the phase sensitivity of pitch perception in the cases of Schroeder phase, alternating phase and random phase relationships. Moreover, our model can also be applied to stochastic sound stimuli, iterated-ripple-noise, and account for their multiple pitch perceptions.

  15. Selective neuronal lapses precede human cognitive lapses following sleep deprivation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nir, Yuval; Andrillon, Thomas; Marmelshtein, Amit; Suthana, Nanthia; Cirelli, Chiara; Tononi, Giulio; Fried, Itzhak

    2017-12-01

    Sleep deprivation is a major source of morbidity with widespread health effects, including increased risk of hypertension, diabetes, obesity, heart attack, and stroke. Moreover, sleep deprivation brings about vehicle accidents and medical errors and is therefore an urgent topic of investigation. During sleep deprivation, homeostatic and circadian processes interact to build up sleep pressure, which results in slow behavioral performance (cognitive lapses) typically attributed to attentional thalamic and frontoparietal circuits, but the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. Recently, through study of electroencephalograms (EEGs) in humans and local field potentials (LFPs) in nonhuman primates and rodents it was found that, during sleep deprivation, regional 'sleep-like' slow and theta (slow/theta) waves co-occur with impaired behavioral performance during wakefulness. Here we used intracranial electrodes to record single-neuron activities and LFPs in human neurosurgical patients performing a face/nonface categorization psychomotor vigilance task (PVT) over multiple experimental sessions, including a session after full-night sleep deprivation. We find that, just before cognitive lapses, the selective spiking responses of individual neurons in the medial temporal lobe (MTL) are attenuated, delayed, and lengthened. These 'neuronal lapses' are evident on a trial-by-trial basis when comparing the slowest behavioral PVT reaction times to the fastest. Furthermore, during cognitive lapses, LFPs exhibit a relative local increase in slow/theta activity that is correlated with degraded single-neuron responses and with baseline theta activity. Our results show that cognitive lapses involve local state-dependent changes in neuronal activity already present in the MTL.

  16. Neuronal basis for evaluating selected action in the primate striatum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamada, Hiroshi; Inokawa, Hitoshi; Matsumoto, Naoyuki; Ueda, Yasumasa; Kimura, Minoru

    2011-08-01

    Humans and animals optimize their behavior by evaluating outcomes of individual actions and predicting how much reward the actions will yield. While the estimated values of actions guide choice behavior, the choices are also governed by other behavioral norms, such as rules and strategies. Values, rules and strategies are represented in neuronal activity, and the striatum is one of the best qualified brain loci where these signals meet. To understand the role of the striatum in value- and strategy-based decision-making, we recorded striatal neurons in macaque monkeys performing a behavioral task in which they searched for a reward target by trial-and-error among three alternatives, earned a reward for a target choice, and then earned additional rewards for choosing the same target. This task allowed us to examine whether and how values of targets and strategy, which were defined as negative-then-search and positive-then-repeat (or win-stay-lose-switch), are represented in the striatum. Large subsets of striatal neurons encoded positive and negative outcome feedbacks of individual decisions and actions. Once monkeys made a choice, signals related to chosen actions, their values and search- or repeat-type actions increased and persisted until the outcome feedback appeared. Subsets of neurons exhibited a tonic increase in activity after the search- and repeat-choices following negative and positive feedback in the last trials as the task strategy monkeys adapted. These activity profiles as a heterogeneous representation of decision variables may underlie a part of the process for reinforcement- and strategy-based evaluation of selected actions in the striatum. © 2011 The Authors. European Journal of Neuroscience © 2011 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  17. Fossil-fuel dependence and vulnerability of electricity generation: Case of selected European countries

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bhattacharyya, Subhes C.

    2009-01-01

    This paper analyses the diversity of fuel mix for electricity generation in selected European countries and investigates how the fuel bill has changed as a share of GDP between 1995 and 2005. The drivers of fuel-dependence-related vulnerability are determined using Laspeyres index decomposition. A 'what-if' analysis is carried out to analyse the changes in the vulnerability index due to changes in the drivers and a scenario analysis is finally used to investigate the future vulnerability in the medium term. The paper finds that the British and the Dutch electricity systems are less diversified compared to three other countries analysed. The gas dependence of the Dutch and Italian systems made them vulnerable but the vulnerability increased in all countries in recent years. Gas price and the level of dependence on gas for power generation mainly influenced the gas vulnerability. The United Kingdom saw a substantial decline in its coal vulnerability due to a fall in coal price and coal dependence in electricity generation. The scenario analysis indicates that UK is likely to face greater gas vulnerability in the future due to increased gas dependence in electricity generation and higher import dependence.

  18. Development of a simple measurement method for GluR2 protein expression as an index of neuronal vulnerability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chihiro Sugiyama

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available In vitro estimating strategies for potential neurotoxicity are required to screen multiple substances. In a previous study, we showed that exposure to low-concentrations of some chemicals, such as organotin, decreased the expression of GluR2 protein, which is a subunit of alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole propionic acid (AMPA-type glutamate receptors, and led to neuronal vulnerability. This result suggested that GluR2 decreases as an index of neuronal cell sensitivity and vulnerability to various toxic insults. Accordingly, we developed a versatile method that is a large scale determination of GluR2 protein expression in the presence of environmental chemicals by means of AlphaLISA technology. Various analytical conditions were optimized, and then GluR2 protein amount was measured by the method using AlphaLISA. The GluR2 amounts were strongly correlated with that of measured by western blotting, which is currently used to determine GluR2 expression. An ideal standard curve could be written with the authentic GluR2 protein from 0 ng to 100 ng. Subsequently, twenty environmental chemicals were screened and nitenpyram was identified as a chemical which lead to decrease in GluR2 protein expression. This assay may provide a tool for detecting neurotoxic chemicals according to decreases in GluR2 protein expression.

  19. Gender-specific role of mitochondria in the vulnerability of 6-hydroxydopamine-treated mesencephalic neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Misiak, Magdalena; Beyer, Cordian; Arnold, Susanne

    2010-01-01

    Many neurodegenerative diseases, such as Morbus Parkinson, exhibit a gender-dependency showing a higher incidence in men than women. Most of the neurodegenerative disorders involve either causally or consequently a dysfunction of mitochondria. Therefore, neuronal mitochondria may demonstrate a gender-specificity with respect to structural and functional characteristics of these organelles during toxic and degenerative processes. The application of 6-OHDA (6-hydroxydopamine) in vitro and in vivo represents a well-accepted experimental model of Parkinson's disease causing Parkinsonian symptoms. Besides the known effects of 6-OHDA on mitochondria and neuronal survivability, we aimed to demonstrate that the mitochondrial neurotoxin affects the morphology and survival of primary dopaminergic and non-dopaminergic neurons in the mesencephalon in a gender-specific manner by influencing the transcription of mitochondrial genes, ATP and reactive oxygen species production. Our data suggest that cell death in response to 6-OHDA is primarily caused due to increased oxidative stress which is more pronounced in male than in female mesencephalic neurons. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Orientation selectivity in inhibition-dominated networks of spiking neurons: effect of single neuron properties and network dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sadeh, Sadra; Rotter, Stefan

    2015-01-01

    The neuronal mechanisms underlying the emergence of orientation selectivity in the primary visual cortex of mammals are still elusive. In rodents, visual neurons show highly selective responses to oriented stimuli, but neighboring neurons do not necessarily have similar preferences. Instead of a smooth map, one observes a salt-and-pepper organization of orientation selectivity. Modeling studies have recently confirmed that balanced random networks are indeed capable of amplifying weakly tuned inputs and generating highly selective output responses, even in absence of feature-selective recurrent connectivity. Here we seek to elucidate the neuronal mechanisms underlying this phenomenon by resorting to networks of integrate-and-fire neurons, which are amenable to analytic treatment. Specifically, in networks of perfect integrate-and-fire neurons, we observe that highly selective and contrast invariant output responses emerge, very similar to networks of leaky integrate-and-fire neurons. We then demonstrate that a theory based on mean firing rates and the detailed network topology predicts the output responses, and explains the mechanisms underlying the suppression of the common-mode, amplification of modulation, and contrast invariance. Increasing inhibition dominance in our networks makes the rectifying nonlinearity more prominent, which in turn adds some distortions to the otherwise essentially linear prediction. An extension of the linear theory can account for all the distortions, enabling us to compute the exact shape of every individual tuning curve in our networks. We show that this simple form of nonlinearity adds two important properties to orientation selectivity in the network, namely sharpening of tuning curves and extra suppression of the modulation. The theory can be further extended to account for the nonlinearity of the leaky model by replacing the rectifier by the appropriate smooth input-output transfer function. These results are robust and do not

  1. Orientation selectivity in inhibition-dominated networks of spiking neurons: effect of single neuron properties and network dynamics.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sadra Sadeh

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The neuronal mechanisms underlying the emergence of orientation selectivity in the primary visual cortex of mammals are still elusive. In rodents, visual neurons show highly selective responses to oriented stimuli, but neighboring neurons do not necessarily have similar preferences. Instead of a smooth map, one observes a salt-and-pepper organization of orientation selectivity. Modeling studies have recently confirmed that balanced random networks are indeed capable of amplifying weakly tuned inputs and generating highly selective output responses, even in absence of feature-selective recurrent connectivity. Here we seek to elucidate the neuronal mechanisms underlying this phenomenon by resorting to networks of integrate-and-fire neurons, which are amenable to analytic treatment. Specifically, in networks of perfect integrate-and-fire neurons, we observe that highly selective and contrast invariant output responses emerge, very similar to networks of leaky integrate-and-fire neurons. We then demonstrate that a theory based on mean firing rates and the detailed network topology predicts the output responses, and explains the mechanisms underlying the suppression of the common-mode, amplification of modulation, and contrast invariance. Increasing inhibition dominance in our networks makes the rectifying nonlinearity more prominent, which in turn adds some distortions to the otherwise essentially linear prediction. An extension of the linear theory can account for all the distortions, enabling us to compute the exact shape of every individual tuning curve in our networks. We show that this simple form of nonlinearity adds two important properties to orientation selectivity in the network, namely sharpening of tuning curves and extra suppression of the modulation. The theory can be further extended to account for the nonlinearity of the leaky model by replacing the rectifier by the appropriate smooth input-output transfer function. These results are

  2. Sleep Dependent Synaptic Down-Selection (II: Single Neuron Level Benefits for Matching, Selectivity, and Specificity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Atif eHashmi

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available In a companion paper (Nere et al., this volume, we used computer simulations to show that a strategy of activity-dependent, on-line net synaptic potentiation during wake, followed by off-line synaptic depression during sleep, can provide a parsimonious account for several memory benefits of sleep at the systems level, including the consolidation of procedural and declarative memories, gist extraction, and integration of new with old memories. In this paper, we consider the theoretical benefits of this two-step process at the single neuron level and employ the theoretical notion of Matching between brain and environment to measure how this process increases the ability of the neuron to capture regularities in the environment and model them internally. We show that down-selection during sleep is beneficial for increasing or restoring Matching after learning, after integrating new with old memories, and after forgetting irrelevant material. By contrast, alternative schemes, such as additional potentiation in wake, potentiation in sleep, or synaptic renormalization in wake, decrease Matching. We also argue that, by selecting appropriate loops through the brain that tie feedforward synapses with feedback ones in the same dendritic domain, different subsets of neurons can learn to specialize for different contingencies and form sequences of nested perception-action loops. By potentiating such loops when interacting with the environment in wake, and depressing them when disconnected from the environment in sleep, neurons can learn to match the long-term statistical structure of the environment while avoiding spurious modes of functioning and catastrophic interference. Finally, such a two-step process has the additional benefit of desaturating the neuron's ability to learn and of maintaining cellular homeostasis. Thus, sleep-dependent synaptic renormalization offers a parsimonious account for both cellular and systems-level effects of sleep on learning

  3. Selective vulnerabilities and biomarkers in neurocognitive aging [version 1; referees: 4 approved

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zachariah Reagh

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available As the world’s population continues to age, an understanding of the aging brain becomes increasingly crucial. This review focuses on several recent ideas and findings in the study of neurocognitive aging, specifically focusing on episodic memory, and discusses how they can be considered and used to guide us moving forward. Topics include dysfunction in neural circuits, the roles of neurogenesis and inhibitory signaling, vulnerability in the entorhinal cortex, individual differences, and comorbidities. These avenues of study provide a brief overview of promising themes in the field and together provide a snapshot of what we believe will be important emerging topics in selective vulnerabilities in the aging brain.

  4. Mutant HFE H63D Protein Is Associated with Prolonged Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress and Increased Neuronal Vulnerability*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yiting; Lee, Sang Y.; Neely, Elizabeth; Nandar, Wint; Moyo, Mthabisi; Simmons, Zachary; Connor, James R.

    2011-01-01

    A specific polymorphism in the hemochromatosis (HFE) gene, H63D, is over-represented in neurodegenerative disorders such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and Alzheimer disease. Mutations of HFE are best known as being associated with cellular iron overload, but the mechanism by which HFE H63D might increase the risk of neuron degeneration is unclear. Here, using an inducible expression cell model developed from a human neuronal cell line SH-SY5Y, we reported that the presence of the HFE H63D protein activated the unfolded protein response (UPR). This response was followed by a persistent endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, as the signals of UPR sensors attenuated and followed by up-regulation of caspase-3 cleavage and activity. Our in vitro findings were recapitulated in a transgenic mouse model carrying Hfe H67D, the mouse equivalent of the human H63D mutation. In this model, UPR activation was detected in the lumbar spinal cord at 6 months then declined at 12 months in association with increased caspase-3 cleavage. Moreover, upon the prolonged ER stress, the number of cells expressing HFE H63D in early apoptosis was increased moderately. Cell proliferation was decreased without increased cell death. Additionally, despite increased iron level in cells carrying HFE H63D, it appeared that ER stress was not responsive to the change of cellular iron status. Overall, our studies indicate that the HFE H63D mutant protein is associated with prolonged ER stress and chronically increased neuronal vulnerability. PMID:21349849

  5. A Neuronal Network Model for Pitch Selectivity and Representation

    OpenAIRE

    Huang, Chengcheng; Rinzel, John

    2016-01-01

    Pitch is a perceptual correlate of periodicity. Sounds with distinct spectra can elicit the same pitch. Despite the importance of pitch perception, understanding the cellular mechanism of pitch perception is still a major challenge and a mechanistic model of pitch is lacking. A multi-stage neuronal network model is developed for pitch frequency estimation using biophysically-based, high-resolution coincidence detector neurons. The neuronal units respond only to highly coincident input among c...

  6. Cross‐disease comparison of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and spinal muscular atrophy reveals conservation of selective vulnerability but differential neuromuscular junction pathology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nijssen, Jik; Frost‐Nylen, Johanna

    2015-01-01

    Neuromuscular junctions are primary pathological targets in the lethal motor neuron diseases spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Synaptic pathology and denervation of target muscle fibers has been reported prior to the appearance of clinical symptoms in mouse models of both diseases, suggesting that neuromuscular junctions are highly vulnerable from the very early stages, and are a key target for therapeutic intervention. Here we examined neuromuscular pathology longitudinally in three clinically relevant muscle groups in mouse models of ALS and SMA in order to assess their relative vulnerabilities. We show for the first time that neuromuscular junctions of the extraocular muscles (responsible for the control of eye movement) were resistant to degeneration in endstage SMA mice, as well as in late symptomatic ALS mice. Tongue muscle neuromuscular junctions were also spared in both animal models. Conversely, neuromuscular junctions of the lumbrical muscles of the hind‐paw were vulnerable in both SMA and ALS, with a loss of neuronal innervation and shrinkage of motor endplates in both diseases. Thus, the pattern of selective vulnerability was conserved across these two models of motor neuron disease. However, the first evidence of neuromuscular pathology occurred at different timepoints of disease progression, with much earlier evidence of presynaptic involvement in ALS, progressing to changes on the postsynaptic side. Conversely, in SMA changes appeared concomitantly at the neuromuscular junction, suggesting that mechanisms of neuromuscular disruption are distinct in these diseases. J. Comp. Neurol. 524:1424–1442, 2016. © 2015 The Authors The Journal of Comparative Neurology Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:26502195

  7. Modulation of orientation-selective neurons by motion: when additive, when multiplicative?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Torsten eLüdge

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available The recurrent interaction among orientation-selective neurons in the primary visual cortex (V1 is suited to enhance contours in a noisy visual scene. Motion is known to have a strong pop-up effect in perceiving contours, but how motion-sensitive neurons in V1 support contour detection remains vastly elusive. Here we suggest how the various types of motion-sensitive neurons observed in V1 should be wired together in a micro-circuitry to optimally extract contours in the visual scene. Motion-sensitive neurons can be selective about the direction of motion occurring at some spot or respond equally to all directions (pandirectional. We show that, in the light of figure-ground segregation, direction-selective motion neurons should additively modulate the corresponding orientation-selective neurons with preferred orientation orthogonal to the motion direction. In turn, to maximally enhance contours, pandirectional motion neurons should multiplicatively modulate all orientation-selective neurons with co-localized receptive fields. This multiplicative modulation amplifies the local V1-circuitry among co-aligned orientation-selective neurons for detecting elongated contours. We suggest that the additive modulation by direction- specific motion neurons is achieved through synaptic projections to the somatic region, and the multiplicative modulation by pandirectional motion neurons through projections to the apical region of orientation-specific pyramidal neurons. For the purpose of contour detection, the V1- intrinsic integration of motion information is advantageous over a downstream integration as it exploits the recurrent V1-circuitry designed for that task.

  8. Complex Behavior in a Selective Aging Neuron Model Based on Small World Networks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhang Guiqing; Chen Tianlun

    2008-01-01

    Complex behavior in a selective aging simple neuron model based on small world networks is investigated. The basic elements of the model are endowed with the main features of a neuron function. The structure of the selective aging neuron model is discussed. We also give some properties of the new network and find that the neuron model displays a power-law behavior. If the brain network is small world-like network, the mean avalanche size is almost the same unless the aging parameter is big enough.

  9. Neurons in the human amygdala selective for perceived emotion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Shuo; Tudusciuc, Oana; Mamelak, Adam N.; Ross, Ian B.; Adolphs, Ralph; Rutishauser, Ueli

    2014-01-01

    The human amygdala plays a key role in recognizing facial emotions and neurons in the monkey and human amygdala respond to the emotional expression of faces. However, it remains unknown whether these responses are driven primarily by properties of the stimulus or by the perceptual judgments of the perceiver. We investigated these questions by recording from over 200 single neurons in the amygdalae of 7 neurosurgical patients with implanted depth electrodes. We presented degraded fear and happy faces and asked subjects to discriminate their emotion by button press. During trials where subjects responded correctly, we found neurons that distinguished fear vs. happy emotions as expressed by the displayed faces. During incorrect trials, these neurons indicated the patients’ subjective judgment. Additional analysis revealed that, on average, all neuronal responses were modulated most by increases or decreases in response to happy faces, and driven predominantly by judgments about the eye region of the face stimuli. Following the same analyses, we showed that hippocampal neurons, unlike amygdala neurons, only encoded emotions but not subjective judgment. Our results suggest that the amygdala specifically encodes the subjective judgment of emotional faces, but that it plays less of a role in simply encoding aspects of the image array. The conscious percept of the emotion shown in a face may thus arise from interactions between the amygdala and its connections within a distributed cortical network, a scheme also consistent with the long response latencies observed in human amygdala recordings. PMID:24982200

  10. Network and neuronal membrane properties in hybrid networks reciprocally regulate selectivity to rapid thalamocortical inputs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pesavento, Michael J; Pinto, David J

    2012-11-01

    Rapidly changing environments require rapid processing from sensory inputs. Varying deflection velocities of a rodent's primary facial vibrissa cause varying temporal neuronal activity profiles within the ventral posteromedial thalamic nucleus. Local neuron populations in a single somatosensory layer 4 barrel transform sparsely coded input into a spike count based on the input's temporal profile. We investigate this transformation by creating a barrel-like hybrid network with whole cell recordings of in vitro neurons from a cortical slice preparation, embedding the biological neuron in the simulated network by presenting virtual synaptic conductances via a conductance clamp. Utilizing the hybrid network, we examine the reciprocal network properties (local excitatory and inhibitory synaptic convergence) and neuronal membrane properties (input resistance) by altering the barrel population response to diverse thalamic input. In the presence of local network input, neurons are more selective to thalamic input timing; this arises from strong feedforward inhibition. Strongly inhibitory (damping) network regimes are more selective to timing and less selective to the magnitude of input but require stronger initial input. Input selectivity relies heavily on the different membrane properties of excitatory and inhibitory neurons. When inhibitory and excitatory neurons had identical membrane properties, the sensitivity of in vitro neurons to temporal vs. magnitude features of input was substantially reduced. Increasing the mean leak conductance of the inhibitory cells decreased the network's temporal sensitivity, whereas increasing excitatory leak conductance enhanced magnitude sensitivity. Local network synapses are essential in shaping thalamic input, and differing membrane properties of functional classes reciprocally modulate this effect.

  11. Spinal muscular atrophy: Selective motor neuron loss and global defect in the assembly of ribonucleoproteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beattie, Christine E; Kolb, Stephen J

    2018-08-15

    Spinal muscular atrophy is caused by deletions or mutations in the SMN1 gene that result in reduced expression of the SMN protein. The SMN protein is an essential molecular chaperone that is required for the biogenesis of multiple ribonucleoprotein (RNP) complexes including spliceosomal small nuclear RNPs (snRNPs). Reductions in SMN expression result in a reduced abundance of snRNPs and to downstream RNA splicing alterations. SMN is also present in axons and dendrites and appears to have important roles in the formation of neuronal mRNA-protein complexes during development or neuronal repair. Thus, SMA is an exemplar, selective motor neuron disorder that is caused by defects in fundamental RNA processing events. A detailed molecular understanding of how motor neurons fail, and why other neurons do not, in SMA will yield important principals about motor neuron maintenance and neuronal specificity in neurodegenerative diseases. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Selective disruption of acetylcholine synthesis in subsets of motor neurons: a new model of late-onset motor neuron disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lecomte, Marie-José; Bertolus, Chloé; Santamaria, Julie; Bauchet, Anne-Laure; Herbin, Marc; Saurini, Françoise; Misawa, Hidemi; Maisonobe, Thierry; Pradat, Pierre-François; Nosten-Bertrand, Marika; Mallet, Jacques; Berrard, Sylvie

    2014-05-01

    Motor neuron diseases are characterized by the selective chronic dysfunction of a subset of motor neurons and the subsequent impairment of neuromuscular function. To reproduce in the mouse these hallmarks of diseases affecting motor neurons, we generated a mouse line in which ~40% of motor neurons in the spinal cord and the brainstem become unable to sustain neuromuscular transmission. These mice were obtained by conditional knockout of the gene encoding choline acetyltransferase (ChAT), the biosynthetic enzyme for acetylcholine. The mutant mice are viable and spontaneously display abnormal phenotypes that worsen with age including hunched back, reduced lifespan, weight loss, as well as striking deficits in muscle strength and motor function. This slowly progressive neuromuscular dysfunction is accompanied by muscle fiber histopathological features characteristic of neurogenic diseases. Unexpectedly, most changes appeared with a 6-month delay relative to the onset of reduction in ChAT levels, suggesting that compensatory mechanisms preserve muscular function for several months and then are overwhelmed. Deterioration of mouse phenotype after ChAT gene disruption is a specific aging process reminiscent of human pathological situations, particularly among survivors of paralytic poliomyelitis. These mutant mice may represent an invaluable tool to determine the sequence of events that follow the loss of function of a motor neuron subset as the disease progresses, and to evaluate therapeutic strategies. They also offer the opportunity to explore fundamental issues of motor neuron biology. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Beyond Neuronal Activity Markers: Select Immediate Early Genes in Striatal Neuron Subtypes Functionally Mediate Psychostimulant Addiction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ramesh Chandra

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Immediate early genes (IEGs were traditionally used as markers of neuronal activity in striatum in response to stimuli including drugs of abuse such as psychostimulants. Early studies using these neuronal activity markers led to important insights in striatal neuron subtype responsiveness to psychostimulants. Such studies have helped identify striatum as a critical brain center for motivational, reinforcement and habitual behaviors in psychostimulant addiction. While the use of IEGs as neuronal activity markers in response to psychostimulants and other stimuli persists today, the functional role and implications of these IEGs has often been neglected. Nonetheless, there is a subset of research that investigates the functional role of IEGs in molecular, cellular and behavioral alterations by psychostimulants through striatal medium spiny neuron (MSN subtypes, the two projection neuron subtypes in striatum. This review article will address and highlight the studies that provide a functional mechanism by which IEGs mediate psychostimulant molecular, cellular and behavioral plasticity through MSN subtypes. Insight into the functional role of IEGs in striatal MSN subtypes could provide improved understanding into addiction and neuropsychiatric diseases affecting striatum, such as affective disorders and compulsive disorders characterized by dysfunctional motivation and habitual behavior.

  14. An FPGA-based silicon neuronal network with selectable excitability silicon neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jing eLi

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents a digital silicon neuronal network which simulates the nerve system in creatures and has the ability to execute intelligent tasks, such as associative memory. Two essential elements, the mathematical-structure-based digital spiking silicon neuron (DSSN and the transmitter release based silicon synapse, allow the network to show rich dynamic behaviors and are computationally efficient for hardware implementation. We adopt mixed pipeline and parallel structure and shift operations to design a sufficient large and complex network without excessive hardware resource cost. The network with $256$ full-connected neurons is built on a Digilent Atlys board equipped with a Xilinx Spartan-6 LX45 FPGA. Besides, a memory control block and USB control block are designed to accomplish the task of data communication between the network and the host PC. This paper also describes the mechanism of associative memory performed in the silicon neuronal network. The network is capable of retrieving stored patterns if the inputs contain enough information of them. The retrieving probability increases with the similarity between the input and the stored pattern increasing. Synchronization of neurons is observed when the successful stored pattern retrieval occurs.

  15. Respiratory function after selective respiratory motor neuron death from intrapleural CTB-saporin injections.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nichols, Nicole L; Vinit, Stéphane; Bauernschmidt, Lorene; Mitchell, Gordon S

    2015-05-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) causes progressive motor neuron degeneration, paralysis and death by ventilatory failure. In rodent ALS models: 1) breathing capacity is preserved until late in disease progression despite major respiratory motor neuron death, suggesting unknown forms of compensatory respiratory plasticity; and 2) spinal microglia become activated in association with motor neuron cell death. Here, we report a novel experimental model to study the impact of respiratory motor neuron death on compensatory responses without many complications attendant to spontaneous motor neuron disease. In specific, we used intrapleural injections of cholera toxin B fragment conjugated to saporin (CTB-SAP) to selectively kill motor neurons with access to the pleural space. Motor neuron survival, CD11b labeling (microglia), ventilatory capacity and phrenic motor output were assessed in rats 3-28days after intrapleural injections of: 1) CTB-SAP (25 and 50μg), or 2) unconjugated CTB and SAP (i.e. control; (CTB+SAP). CTB-SAP elicited dose-dependent phrenic and intercostal motor neuron death; 7days post-25μg CTB-SAP, motor neuron survival approximated that in end-stage ALS rats (phrenic: 36±7%; intercostal: 56±10% of controls; n=9; pneuron death and provides an opportunity to study compensation for respiratory motor neuron loss. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. 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.

  17. Properties of Neurons in External Globus Pallidus Can Support Optimal Action Selection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bogacz, Rafal; Martin Moraud, Eduardo; Abdi, Azzedine; Magill, Peter J.; Baufreton, Jérôme

    2016-01-01

    The external globus pallidus (GPe) is a key nucleus within basal ganglia circuits that are thought to be involved in action selection. A class of computational models assumes that, during action selection, the basal ganglia compute for all actions available in a given context the probabilities that they should be selected. These models suggest that a network of GPe and subthalamic nucleus (STN) neurons computes the normalization term in Bayes’ equation. In order to perform such computation, the GPe needs to send feedback to the STN equal to a particular function of the activity of STN neurons. However, the complex form of this function makes it unlikely that individual GPe neurons, or even a single GPe cell type, could compute it. Here, we demonstrate how this function could be computed within a network containing two types of GABAergic GPe projection neuron, so-called ‘prototypic’ and ‘arkypallidal’ neurons, that have different response properties in vivo and distinct connections. We compare our model predictions with the experimentally-reported connectivity and input-output functions (f-I curves) of the two populations of GPe neurons. We show that, together, these dichotomous cell types fulfil the requirements necessary to compute the function needed for optimal action selection. We conclude that, by virtue of their distinct response properties and connectivities, a network of arkypallidal and prototypic GPe neurons comprises a neural substrate capable of supporting the computation of the posterior probabilities of actions. PMID:27389780

  18. Local-learning-based neuron selection for grasping gesture prediction in motor brain machine interfaces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Kai; Wang, Yiwen; Wang, Yueming; Wang, Fang; Hao, Yaoyao; Zhang, Shaomin; Zhang, Qiaosheng; Chen, Weidong; Zheng, Xiaoxiang

    2013-04-01

    Objective. The high-dimensional neural recordings bring computational challenges to movement decoding in motor brain machine interfaces (mBMI), especially for portable applications. However, not all recorded neural activities relate to the execution of a certain movement task. This paper proposes to use a local-learning-based method to perform neuron selection for the gesture prediction in a reaching and grasping task. Approach. Nonlinear neural activities are decomposed into a set of linear ones in a weighted feature space. A margin is defined to measure the distance between inter-class and intra-class neural patterns. The weights, reflecting the importance of neurons, are obtained by minimizing a margin-based exponential error function. To find the most dominant neurons in the task, 1-norm regularization is introduced to the objective function for sparse weights, where near-zero weights indicate irrelevant neurons. Main results. The signals of only 10 neurons out of 70 selected by the proposed method could achieve over 95% of the full recording's decoding accuracy of gesture predictions, no matter which different decoding methods are used (support vector machine and K-nearest neighbor). The temporal activities of the selected neurons show visually distinguishable patterns associated with various hand states. Compared with other algorithms, the proposed method can better eliminate the irrelevant neurons with near-zero weights and provides the important neuron subset with the best decoding performance in statistics. The weights of important neurons converge usually within 10-20 iterations. In addition, we study the temporal and spatial variation of neuron importance along a period of one and a half months in the same task. A high decoding performance can be maintained by updating the neuron subset. Significance. The proposed algorithm effectively ascertains the neuronal importance without assuming any coding model and provides a high performance with different

  19. Effect of feature-selective attention on neuronal responses in macaque area MT

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, X.; Hoffmann, K.-P.; Albright, T. D.

    2012-01-01

    Attention influences visual processing in striate and extrastriate cortex, which has been extensively studied for spatial-, object-, and feature-based attention. Most studies exploring neural signatures of feature-based attention have trained animals to attend to an object identified by a certain feature and ignore objects/displays identified by a different feature. Little is known about the effects of feature-selective attention, where subjects attend to one stimulus feature domain (e.g., color) of an object while features from different domains (e.g., direction of motion) of the same object are ignored. To study this type of feature-selective attention in area MT in the middle temporal sulcus, we trained macaque monkeys to either attend to and report the direction of motion of a moving sine wave grating (a feature for which MT neurons display strong selectivity) or attend to and report its color (a feature for which MT neurons have very limited selectivity). We hypothesized that neurons would upregulate their firing rate during attend-direction conditions compared with attend-color conditions. We found that feature-selective attention significantly affected 22% of MT neurons. Contrary to our hypothesis, these neurons did not necessarily increase firing rate when animals attended to direction of motion but fell into one of two classes. In one class, attention to color increased the gain of stimulus-induced responses compared with attend-direction conditions. The other class displayed the opposite effects. Feature-selective activity modulations occurred earlier in neurons modulated by attention to color compared with neurons modulated by attention to motion direction. Thus feature-selective attention influences neuronal processing in macaque area MT but often exhibited a mismatch between the preferred stimulus dimension (direction of motion) and the preferred attention dimension (attention to color). PMID:22170961

  20. Synthesis of Novel Synthetic Vitamin K Analogues Prepared by Introduction of a Heteroatom and a Phenyl Group That Induce Highly Selective Neuronal Differentiation of Neuronal Progenitor Cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kimura, Kimito; Hirota, Yoshihisa; Kuwahara, Shigefumi; Takeuchi, Atsuko; Tode, Chisato; Wada, Akimori; Osakabe, Naomi; Suhara, Yoshitomo

    2017-03-23

    We synthesized novel vitamin K 2 analogues that incorporated a heteroatom and an aromatic ring in the side chain and evaluated their effect on the selective differentiation of neuronal progenitor cells into neurons in vitro. The results showed that a menaquinone-2 analogue bearing a p-fluoroaniline had the most potent activity, which was more than twice as great as the control. In addition, the neuronal selectivity was more than 3 times greater than the control.

  1. Neuroprotection by selective neuronal deletion of Atg7 in neonatal brain injury

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xie, Cuicui; Ginet, Vanessa; Sun, Yanyan; Koike, Masato; Zhou, Kai; Li, Tao; Li, Hongfu; Li, Qian; Wang, Xiaoyang; Uchiyama, Yasuo; Truttmann, Anita C.; Kroemer, Guido; Puyal, Julien; Blomgren, Klas; Zhu, Changlian

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Perinatal asphyxia induces neuronal cell death and brain injury, and is often associated with irreversible neurological deficits in children. There is an urgent need to elucidate the neuronal death mechanisms occurring after neonatal hypoxia-ischemia (HI). We here investigated the selective neuronal deletion of the Atg7 (autophagy related 7) gene on neuronal cell death and brain injury in a mouse model of severe neonatal hypoxia-ischemia. Neuronal deletion of Atg7 prevented HI-induced autophagy, resulted in 42% decrease of tissue loss compared to wild-type mice after the insult, and reduced cell death in multiple brain regions, including apoptosis, as shown by decreased caspase-dependent and -independent cell death. Moreover, we investigated the lentiform nucleus of human newborns who died after severe perinatal asphyxia and found increased neuronal autophagy after severe hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy compared to control uninjured brains, as indicated by the numbers of MAP1LC3B/LC3B (microtubule-associated protein 1 light chain 3)-, LAMP1 (lysosomal-associated membrane protein 1)-, and CTSD (cathepsin D)-positive cells. These findings reveal that selective neuronal deletion of Atg7 is strongly protective against neuronal death and overall brain injury occurring after HI and suggest that inhibition of HI-enhanced autophagy should be considered as a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of human newborns developing severe hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy. PMID:26727396

  2. A framework for the selection and ensemble development of flood vulnerability models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Figueiredo, Rui; Schröter, Kai; Kreibich, Heidi; Martina, Mario

    2017-04-01

    Effective understanding and management of flood risk requires comprehensive risk assessment studies that consider not only the hazard component, but also the impacts that the phenomena may have on the built environment, economy and society. This integrated approach has gained importance over recent decades, and with it so has the scientific attention given to flood vulnerability models describing the relationships between flood intensity metrics and damage to physical assets, also known as flood loss models. Despite considerable progress in this field, many challenges persist. Flood damage mechanisms are complex and depend on multiple variables, which can have different degrees of importance depending on the application setting. In addition, data required for the development and validation of such models tend to be scarce, particularly in data poor regions. These issues are reflected in the large amount of flood vulnerability models that are available in the literature today, as well as in their high heterogeneity: they are built with different modelling approaches, in different geographic contexts, utilizing different explanatory variables, and with varying levels of complexity. Notwithstanding recent developments in this area, uncertainty remains high, and large disparities exist among models. For these reasons, identifying which model or models, given their properties, are appropriate for a given context is not straightforward. In the present study, we propose a framework that guides the structured selection of flood vulnerability models and enables ranking them according to their suitability for a certain application, based on expert judgement. The approach takes advantage of current state of the art and most up-to-date knowledge on flood vulnerability processes. Given the heterogeneity and uncertainty currently present in flood vulnerability models, we propose the use of a model ensemble. With this in mind, the proposed approach is based on a weighting scheme

  3. Marinesco-Sjögren syndrome protein SIL1 regulates motor neuron subtype-selective ER stress in ALS

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Filézac de L'Etang, Audrey; Maharjan, Niran; Cordeiro Braña, Marisa; Ruegsegger, Céline; Rehmann, Ruth; Goswami, Anand; Roos, Andreas; Troost, Dirk; Schneider, Bernard L.; Weis, Joachim; Saxena, Smita

    2015-01-01

    Mechanisms underlying motor neuron subtype-selective endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and associated axonal pathology in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) remain unclear. Here we show that the molecular environment of the ER between motor neuron subtypes is distinct, with characteristic

  4. Respiratory function after selective respiratory motor neuron death from intrapleural CTB–saporin injections

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nichols, Nicole L.; Vinit, Stéphane; Bauernschmidt, Lorene; Mitchell, Gordon S.

    2015-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) causes progressive motor neuron degeneration, paralysis and death by ventilatory failure. In rodent ALS models: 1) breathing capacity is preserved until late in disease progression despite major respiratory motor neuron death, suggesting unknown forms of compensatory respiratory plasticity; and 2) spinal microglia become activated in association with motor neuron cell death. Here, we report a novel experimental model to study the impact of respiratory motor neuron death on compensatory responses without many complications attendant to spontaneous motor neuron disease. In specific, we used intrapleural injections of cholera toxin B fragment conjugated to saporin (CTB–SAP) to selectively kill motor neurons with access to the pleural space. Motor neuron survival, CD11b labeling (microglia), ventilatory capacity and phrenic motor output were assessed in rats 3–28 days after intrapleural injections of: 1) CTB–SAP (25 and 50 μg), or 2) unconjugated CTB and SAP (i.e. control; (CTB + SAP). CTB–SAP elicited dose-dependent phrenic and intercostal motor neuron death; 7 days post-25 μg CTB–SAP, motor neuron survival approximated that in end-stage ALS rats (phrenic: 36 ± 7%; intercostal: 56 ± 10% of controls; n = 9; p phrenic motor nucleus, indicating microglial activation; 2) decreased breathing during maximal chemoreceptor stimulation; and 3) diminished phrenic motor output in anesthetized rats (7 days post-25 μg, CTB–SAP: 0.3 ± 0.07 V; CTB + SAP: 1.5 ± 0.3; n = 9; p < 0.05). Intrapleural CTB–SAP represents a novel, inducible model of respiratory motor neuron death and provides an opportunity to study compensation for respiratory motor neuron loss. PMID:25476493

  5. Cre recombinase expression or topical tamoxifen treatment do not affect retinal structure and function, neuronal vulnerability or glial reactivity in the mouse eye.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boneva, S K; Groß, T R; Schlecht, A; Schmitt, S I; Sippl, C; Jägle, H; Volz, C; Neueder, A; Tamm, E R; Braunger, B M

    2016-06-14

    Mice with a constitutive or tamoxifen-induced Cre recombinase (Cre) expression are frequently used research tools to allow the conditional deletion of target genes via the Cre-loxP system. Here we analyzed for the first time in a comprehensive and comparative way, whether retinal Cre expression or topical tamoxifen treatment itself would cause structural or functional changes, including changes in the expression profiles of molecular markers, glial reactivity and photoreceptor vulnerability. To this end, we characterized the transgenic α-Cre, Lmop-Cre and the tamoxifen-inducible CAGG-CreER™ mouse lines, all having robust Cre expression in the neuronal retina. In addition, we characterized the effects of topical tamoxifen treatment itself in wildtype mice. We performed morphometric analyses, immunohistochemical staining, in vivo ERG and angiography analyses and realtime RT-PCR analyses. Furthermore, the influence of Cre recombinase or topical tamoxifen exposure on neuronal vulnerability was studied by using light damage as a model for photoreceptor degeneration. Taken together, neither the expression of Cre, nor topical tamoxifen treatment caused detectable changes in retinal structure and function, the expression profiles of investigated molecular markers, glial reactivity and photoreceptor vulnerability. We conclude that the Cre-loxP system and its induction through tamoxifen is a safe and reliable method to delete desired target genes in the neural retina. Copyright © 2016 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Béhuret, Sébastien; Deleuze, Charlotte; Bal, Thierry

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Béhuret, Sébastien; Deleuze, Charlotte; Bal, Thierry

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sébastien eBéhuret

    2015-12-01

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

  10. Aβ42 oligomers selectively disrupt neuronal calcium release.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lazzari, Cristian; Kipanyula, Maulilio J; Agostini, Mario; Pozzan, Tullio; Fasolato, Cristina

    2015-02-01

    Accumulation of amyloid-β (Aβ) peptides correlates with aging and progression of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Aβ peptides, which cause early synaptic dysfunctions, spine loss, and memory deficits, also disturb intracellular Ca(2+) homeostasis. By cytosolic and endoplasmic reticulum Ca(2+) measurements, we here define the short-term effects of synthetic Aβ42 on neuronal Ca(2+) dynamics. When applied acutely at submicromolar concentration, as either oligomers or monomers, Aβ42 did not cause Ca(2+) release or Ca(2+) influx. Similarly, 1-hour treatment with Aβ42 modified neither the resting cytosolic Ca(2+) level nor the long-lasting Ca(2+) influx caused by KCl-induced depolarization. In contrast, Aβ42 oligomers, but not monomers, significantly altered Ca(2+) release from stores with opposite effects on inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (IP3)- and caffeine-induced Ca(2+) mobilization without alteration of the total store Ca(2+) content. Ca(2+) dysregulation by Aβ42 oligomers involves metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 and requires network activity and the intact exo-endocytotic machinery, being prevented by tetrodotoxin and tetanus toxin. These findings support the idea that Ca(2+) store dysfunction is directly involved in Aβ42 neurotoxicity and represents a potential therapeutic target in AD-like dementia. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Selective elimination of intracortically projecting neurons of the rat neocortex by prenatal x-irradiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jensen, K.F.

    1981-01-01

    The development of new racing methods has suggested that there are species differences in the extent of the contribution of the different layers of the neocortex to the callosal projection. The present investigation has utilized prenatal x-irradiation to selectively eliminate the late forming neurons of the supragranular layers of the rat neocortex. The reduction in the neuronal population of the supragranular layers closely parallels the reduction in the corpus callosum. These results indicate that the primary source of neurons of the callosal projection, are the late forming neurons of the supragranular layers. Thus, the current results suggest that low dose prenatal x-irradiation may be used to evaluate important developmental events in the formation of neocortical circuitry

  12. Influence of Selective Edge Removal and Refractory Period in a Self-Organized Critical Neuron Model

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lin Min; Gang, Zhao; Chen Tianlun

    2009-01-01

    A simple model for a set of integrate-and-fire neurons based on the weighted network is introduced. By considering the neurobiological phenomenon in brain development and the difference of the synaptic strength, we construct weighted networks develop with link additions and followed by selective edge removal. The network exhibits the small-world and scale-free properties with high network efficiency. The model displays an avalanche activity on a power-law distribution. We investigate the effect of selective edge removal and the neuron refractory period on the self-organized criticality of the system. (condensed matter: structural, mechanical, and thermal properties)

  13. Biologically Predisposed Learning and Selective Associations in Amygdalar Neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chung, Ain; Barot, Sabiha K.; Kim, Jeansok J.; Bernstein, Ilene L.

    2011-01-01

    Modern views on learning and memory accept the notion of biological constraints--that the formation of association is not uniform across all stimuli. Yet cellular evidence of the encoding of selective associations is lacking. Here, conditioned stimuli (CSs) and unconditioned stimuli (USs) commonly employed in two basic associative learning…

  14. Selective vulnerability related to aging in large-scale resting brain networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Hong-Ying; Chen, Wen-Xin; Jiao, Yun; Xu, Yao; Zhang, Xiang-Rong; Wu, Jing-Tao

    2014-01-01

    Normal aging is associated with cognitive decline. Evidence indicates that large-scale brain networks are affected by aging; however, it has not been established whether aging has equivalent effects on specific large-scale networks. In the present study, 40 healthy subjects including 22 older (aged 60-80 years) and 18 younger (aged 22-33 years) adults underwent resting-state functional MRI scanning. Four canonical resting-state networks, including the default mode network (DMN), executive control network (ECN), dorsal attention network (DAN) and salience network, were extracted, and the functional connectivities in these canonical networks were compared between the younger and older groups. We found distinct, disruptive alterations present in the large-scale aging-related resting brain networks: the ECN was affected the most, followed by the DAN. However, the DMN and salience networks showed limited functional connectivity disruption. The visual network served as a control and was similarly preserved in both groups. Our findings suggest that the aged brain is characterized by selective vulnerability in large-scale brain networks. These results could help improve our understanding of the mechanism of degeneration in the aging brain. Additional work is warranted to determine whether selective alterations in the intrinsic networks are related to impairments in behavioral performance.

  15. Neuron selection based on deflection coefficient maximization for the neural decoding of dexterous finger movements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Yong-Hee; Thakor, Nitish V; Schieber, Marc H; Kim, Hyoung-Nam

    2015-05-01

    Future generations of brain-machine interface (BMI) will require more dexterous motion control such as hand and finger movements. Since a population of neurons in the primary motor cortex (M1) area is correlated with finger movements, neural activities recorded in M1 area are used to reconstruct an intended finger movement. In a BMI system, decoding discrete finger movements from a large number of input neurons does not guarantee a higher decoding accuracy in spite of the increase in computational burden. Hence, we hypothesize that selecting neurons important for coding dexterous flexion/extension of finger movements would improve the BMI performance. In this paper, two metrics are presented to quantitatively measure the importance of each neuron based on Bayes risk minimization and deflection coefficient maximization in a statistical decision problem. Since motor cortical neurons are active with movements of several different fingers, the proposed method is more suitable for a discrete decoding of flexion-extension finger movements than the previous methods for decoding reaching movements. In particular, the proposed metrics yielded high decoding accuracies across all subjects and also in the case of including six combined two-finger movements. While our data acquisition and analysis was done off-line and post processing, our results point to the significance of highly coding neurons in improving BMI performance.

  16. Visual coding with a population of direction-selective neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fiscella, Michele; Franke, Felix; Farrow, Karl; Müller, Jan; Roska, Botond; da Silveira, Rava Azeredo; Hierlemann, Andreas

    2015-10-01

    The brain decodes the visual scene from the action potentials of ∼20 retinal ganglion cell types. Among the retinal ganglion cells, direction-selective ganglion cells (DSGCs) encode motion direction. Several studies have focused on the encoding or decoding of motion direction by recording multiunit activity, mainly in the visual cortex. In this study, we simultaneously recorded from all four types of ON-OFF DSGCs of the rabbit retina using a microelectronics-based high-density microelectrode array (HDMEA) and decoded their concerted activity using probabilistic and linear decoders. Furthermore, we investigated how the modification of stimulus parameters (velocity, size, angle of moving object) and the use of different tuning curve fits influenced decoding precision. Finally, we simulated ON-OFF DSGC activity, based on real data, in order to understand how tuning curve widths and the angular distribution of the cells' preferred directions influence decoding performance. We found that probabilistic decoding strategies outperformed, on average, linear methods and that decoding precision was robust to changes in stimulus parameters such as velocity. The removal of noise correlations among cells, by random shuffling trials, caused a drop in decoding precision. Moreover, we found that tuning curves are broad in order to minimize large errors at the expense of a higher average error, and that the retinal direction-selective system would not substantially benefit, on average, from having more than four types of ON-OFF DSGCs or from a perfect alignment of the cells' preferred directions. Copyright © 2015 the American Physiological Society.

  17. Mechanisms of Winner-Take-All and Group Selection in Neuronal Spiking Networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Yanqing

    2017-01-01

    A major function of central nervous systems is to discriminate different categories or types of sensory input. Neuronal networks accomplish such tasks by learning different sensory maps at several stages of neural hierarchy, such that different neurons fire selectively to reflect different internal or external patterns and states. The exact mechanisms of such map formation processes in the brain are not completely understood. Here we study the mechanism by which a simple recurrent/reentrant neuronal network accomplish group selection and discrimination to different inputs in order to generate sensory maps. We describe the conditions and mechanism of transition from a rhythmic epileptic state (in which all neurons fire synchronized and indiscriminately to any input) to a winner-take-all state in which only a subset of neurons fire for a specific input. We prove an analytic condition under which a stable bump solution and a winner-take-all state can emerge from the local recurrent excitation-inhibition interactions in a three-layer spiking network with distinct excitatory and inhibitory populations, and demonstrate the importance of surround inhibitory connection topology on the stability of dynamic patterns in spiking neural network.

  18. Large-scale Reconstructions and Independent, Unbiased Clustering Based on Morphological Metrics to Classify Neurons in Selective Populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bragg, Elise M; Briggs, Farran

    2017-02-15

    This protocol outlines large-scale reconstructions of neurons combined with the use of independent and unbiased clustering analyses to create a comprehensive survey of the morphological characteristics observed among a selective neuronal population. Combination of these techniques constitutes a novel approach for the collection and analysis of neuroanatomical data. Together, these techniques enable large-scale, and therefore more comprehensive, sampling of selective neuronal populations and establish unbiased quantitative methods for describing morphologically unique neuronal classes within a population. The protocol outlines the use of modified rabies virus to selectively label neurons. G-deleted rabies virus acts like a retrograde tracer following stereotaxic injection into a target brain structure of interest and serves as a vehicle for the delivery and expression of EGFP in neurons. Large numbers of neurons are infected using this technique and express GFP throughout their dendrites, producing "Golgi-like" complete fills of individual neurons. Accordingly, the virus-mediated retrograde tracing method improves upon traditional dye-based retrograde tracing techniques by producing complete intracellular fills. Individual well-isolated neurons spanning all regions of the brain area under study are selected for reconstruction in order to obtain a representative sample of neurons. The protocol outlines procedures to reconstruct cell bodies and complete dendritic arborization patterns of labeled neurons spanning multiple tissue sections. Morphological data, including positions of each neuron within the brain structure, are extracted for further analysis. Standard programming functions were utilized to perform independent cluster analyses and cluster evaluations based on morphological metrics. To verify the utility of these analyses, statistical evaluation of a cluster analysis performed on 160 neurons reconstructed in the thalamic reticular nucleus of the thalamus

  19. Izbrani kazalci obremenjenosti okolja pri študijah ranljivosti okolja = Selected environmental pollution indicators in environmental vulnerability studies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dejan Cigale

    2002-01-01

    Full Text Available One of the components of the environmentalvulnerability studies is also the evaluation of the pollution of theenvironment. In the article, the analysis of the selected indicators of theachieved degree of the total and integral pollution is presented. In theframework of the environmental vulnerability studies on the spatial levelof landscape-ecological types for this purpose the following indicatorswere selected: population density, density of working places, trafficintensity and percentage of forests.

  20. Cerebral Cortex Regions Selectively Vulnerable to Radiation Dose-Dependent Atrophy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Seibert, Tyler M.; Karunamuni, Roshan; Kaifi, Samar; Burkeen, Jeffrey; Connor, Michael; Krishnan, Anitha Priya; White, Nathan S.; Farid, Nikdokht; Bartsch, Hauke; Murzin, Vyacheslav; Nguyen, Tanya T.; Moiseenko, Vitali; Brewer, James B.; McDonald, Carrie R.; Dale, Anders M.; Hattangadi-Gluth, Jona A.

    2017-01-01

    Purpose and Objectives: Neurologic deficits after brain radiation therapy (RT) typically involve decline in higher-order cognitive functions such as attention and memory rather than sensory defects or paralysis. We sought to determine whether areas of the cortex critical to cognition are selectively vulnerable to radiation dose-dependent atrophy. Methods and Materials: We measured change in cortical thickness in 54 primary brain tumor patients who underwent fractionated, partial brain RT. The study patients underwent high-resolution, volumetric magnetic resonance imaging (T1-weighted; T2 fluid-attenuated inversion recovery, FLAIR) before RT and 1 year afterward. Semiautomated software was used to segment anatomic regions of the cerebral cortex for each patient. Cortical thickness was measured for each region before RT and 1 year afterward. Two higher-order cortical regions of interest (ROIs) were tested for association between radiation dose and cortical thinning: entorhinal (memory) and inferior parietal (attention/memory). For comparison, 2 primary cortex ROIs were also tested: pericalcarine (vision) and paracentral lobule (somatosensory/motor). Linear mixed-effects analyses were used to test all other cortical regions for significant radiation dose-dependent thickness change. Statistical significance was set at α = 0.05 using 2-tailed tests. Results: Cortical atrophy was significantly associated with radiation dose in the entorhinal (P=.01) and inferior parietal ROIs (P=.02). By contrast, no significant radiation dose-dependent effect was found in the primary cortex ROIs (pericalcarine and paracentral lobule). In the whole-cortex analysis, 9 regions showed significant radiation dose-dependent atrophy, including areas responsible for memory, attention, and executive function (P≤.002). Conclusions: Areas of cerebral cortex important for higher-order cognition may be most vulnerable to radiation-related atrophy. This is consistent with clinical observations

  1. Cerebral Cortex Regions Selectively Vulnerable to Radiation Dose-Dependent Atrophy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Seibert, Tyler M.; Karunamuni, Roshan; Kaifi, Samar; Burkeen, Jeffrey; Connor, Michael [Department of Radiation Medicine and Applied Sciences, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California (United States); Krishnan, Anitha Priya; White, Nathan S.; Farid, Nikdokht; Bartsch, Hauke [Department of Radiology, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California (United States); Murzin, Vyacheslav [Department of Radiation Medicine and Applied Sciences, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California (United States); Nguyen, Tanya T. [Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California (United States); Moiseenko, Vitali [Department of Radiation Medicine and Applied Sciences, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California (United States); Brewer, James B. [Department of Radiology, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California (United States); Department of Neurosciences, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California (United States); McDonald, Carrie R. [Department of Radiation Medicine and Applied Sciences, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California (United States); Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California (United States); Dale, Anders M. [Department of Radiology, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California (United States); Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California (United States); Department of Neurosciences, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California (United States); Hattangadi-Gluth, Jona A., E-mail: jhattangadi@ucsd.edu [Department of Radiation Medicine and Applied Sciences, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California (United States)

    2017-04-01

    Purpose and Objectives: Neurologic deficits after brain radiation therapy (RT) typically involve decline in higher-order cognitive functions such as attention and memory rather than sensory defects or paralysis. We sought to determine whether areas of the cortex critical to cognition are selectively vulnerable to radiation dose-dependent atrophy. Methods and Materials: We measured change in cortical thickness in 54 primary brain tumor patients who underwent fractionated, partial brain RT. The study patients underwent high-resolution, volumetric magnetic resonance imaging (T1-weighted; T2 fluid-attenuated inversion recovery, FLAIR) before RT and 1 year afterward. Semiautomated software was used to segment anatomic regions of the cerebral cortex for each patient. Cortical thickness was measured for each region before RT and 1 year afterward. Two higher-order cortical regions of interest (ROIs) were tested for association between radiation dose and cortical thinning: entorhinal (memory) and inferior parietal (attention/memory). For comparison, 2 primary cortex ROIs were also tested: pericalcarine (vision) and paracentral lobule (somatosensory/motor). Linear mixed-effects analyses were used to test all other cortical regions for significant radiation dose-dependent thickness change. Statistical significance was set at α = 0.05 using 2-tailed tests. Results: Cortical atrophy was significantly associated with radiation dose in the entorhinal (P=.01) and inferior parietal ROIs (P=.02). By contrast, no significant radiation dose-dependent effect was found in the primary cortex ROIs (pericalcarine and paracentral lobule). In the whole-cortex analysis, 9 regions showed significant radiation dose-dependent atrophy, including areas responsible for memory, attention, and executive function (P≤.002). Conclusions: Areas of cerebral cortex important for higher-order cognition may be most vulnerable to radiation-related atrophy. This is consistent with clinical observations

  2. Selective neuronal differentiation of neural stem cells induced by nanosecond microplasma agitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiong, Z; Zhao, S; Mao, X; Lu, X; He, G; Yang, G; Chen, M; Ishaq, M; Ostrikov, K

    2014-03-01

    An essential step for therapeutic and research applications of stem cells is their ability to differentiate into specific cell types. Neuronal cells are of great interest for medical treatment of neurodegenerative diseases and traumatic injuries of central nervous system (CNS), but efforts to produce these cells have been met with only modest success. In an attempt of finding new approaches, atmospheric-pressure room-temperature microplasma jets (MPJs) are shown to effectively direct in vitro differentiation of neural stem cells (NSCs) predominantly into neuronal lineage. Murine neural stem cells (C17.2-NSCs) treated with MPJs exhibit rapid proliferation and differentiation with longer neurites and cell bodies eventually forming neuronal networks. MPJs regulate ~75% of NSCs to differentiate into neurons, which is a higher efficiency compared to common protein- and growth factors-based differentiation. NSCs exposure to quantized and transient (~150 ns) micro-plasma bullets up-regulates expression of different cell lineage markers as β-Tubulin III (for neurons) and O4 (for oligodendrocytes), while the expression of GFAP (for astrocytes) remains unchanged, as evidenced by quantitative PCR, immunofluorescence microscopy and Western Blot assay. It is shown that the plasma-increased nitric oxide (NO) production is a factor in the fate choice and differentiation of NSCs followed by axonal growth. The differentiated NSC cells matured and produced mostly cholinergic and motor neuronal progeny. It is also demonstrated that exposure of primary rat NSCs to the microplasma leads to quite similar differentiation effects. This suggests that the observed effect may potentially be generic and applicable to other types of neural progenitor cells. The application of this new in vitro strategy to selectively differentiate NSCs into neurons represents a step towards reproducible and efficient production of the desired NSC derivatives. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  3. Selective neuronal differentiation of neural stem cells induced by nanosecond microplasma agitation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Z. Xiong

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available An essential step for therapeutic and research applications of stem cells is their ability to differentiate into specific cell types. Neuronal cells are of great interest for medical treatment of neurodegenerative diseases and traumatic injuries of central nervous system (CNS, but efforts to produce these cells have been met with only modest success. In an attempt of finding new approaches, atmospheric-pressure room-temperature microplasma jets (MPJs are shown to effectively direct in vitro differentiation of neural stem cells (NSCs predominantly into neuronal lineage. Murine neural stem cells (C17.2-NSCs treated with MPJs exhibit rapid proliferation and differentiation with longer neurites and cell bodies eventually forming neuronal networks. MPJs regulate ~75% of NSCs to differentiate into neurons, which is a higher efficiency compared to common protein- and growth factors-based differentiation. NSCs exposure to quantized and transient (~150 ns micro-plasma bullets up-regulates expression of different cell lineage markers as β-Tubulin III (for neurons and O4 (for oligodendrocytes, while the expression of GFAP (for astrocytes remains unchanged, as evidenced by quantitative PCR, immunofluorescence microscopy and Western Blot assay. It is shown that the plasma-increased nitric oxide (NO production is a factor in the fate choice and differentiation of NSCs followed by axonal growth. The differentiated NSC cells matured and produced mostly cholinergic and motor neuronal progeny. It is also demonstrated that exposure of primary rat NSCs to the microplasma leads to quite similar differentiation effects. This suggests that the observed effect may potentially be generic and applicable to other types of neural progenitor cells. The application of this new in vitro strategy to selectively differentiate NSCs into neurons represents a step towards reproducible and efficient production of the desired NSC derivatives.

  4. Cerebellins are differentially expressed in selective subsets of neurons throughout the brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seigneur, Erica; Südhof, Thomas C

    2017-10-15

    Cerebellins are secreted hexameric proteins that form tripartite complexes with the presynaptic cell-adhesion molecules neurexins or 'deleted-in-colorectal-cancer', and the postsynaptic glutamate-receptor-related proteins GluD1 and GluD2. These tripartite complexes are thought to regulate synapses. However, cerebellins are expressed in multiple isoforms whose relative distributions and overall functions are not understood. Three of the four cerebellins, Cbln1, Cbln2, and Cbln4, autonomously assemble into homohexamers, whereas the Cbln3 requires Cbln1 for assembly and secretion. Here, we show that Cbln1, Cbln2, and Cbln4 are abundantly expressed in nearly all brain regions, but exhibit strikingly different expression patterns and developmental dynamics. Using newly generated knockin reporter mice for Cbln2 and Cbln4, we find that Cbln2 and Cbln4 are not universally expressed in all neurons, but only in specific subsets of neurons. For example, Cbln2 and Cbln4 are broadly expressed in largely non-overlapping subpopulations of excitatory cortical neurons, but only sparse expression was observed in excitatory hippocampal neurons of the CA1- or CA3-region. Similarly, Cbln2 and Cbln4 are selectively expressed, respectively, in inhibitory interneurons and excitatory mitral projection neurons of the main olfactory bulb; here, these two classes of neurons form dendrodendritic reciprocal synapses with each other. A few brain regions, such as the nucleus of the lateral olfactory tract, exhibit astoundingly high Cbln2 expression levels. Viewed together, our data show that cerebellins are abundantly expressed in relatively small subsets of neurons, suggesting specific roles restricted to subsets of synapses. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  5. Selective inhibition of miR-92 in hippocampal neurons alters contextual fear memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vetere, Gisella; Barbato, Christian; Pezzola, Silvia; Frisone, Paola; Aceti, Massimiliano; Ciotti, MariaTeresa; Cogoni, Carlo; Ammassari-Teule, Martine; Ruberti, Francesca

    2014-12-01

    Post-transcriptional gene regulation mediated by microRNAs (miRNAs) is implicated in memory formation; however, the function of miR-92 in this regulation is uncharacterized. The present study shows that training mice in contextual fear conditioning produces a transient increase in miR-92 levels in the hippocampus and decreases several miR-92 gene targets, including: (i) the neuronal Cl(-) extruding K(+) Cl(-) co-transporter 2 (KCC2) protein; (ii) the cytoplasmic polyadenylation protein (CPEB3), an RNA-binding protein regulator of protein synthesis in neurons; and (iii) the transcription factor myocyte enhancer factor 2D (MEF2D), one of the MEF2 genes which negatively regulates memory-induced structural plasticity. Selective inhibition of endogenous miR-92 in CA1 hippocampal neurons, by a sponge lentiviral vector expressing multiple sequences imperfectly complementary to mature miR-92 under the control of the neuronal specific synapsin promoter, leads to up-regulation of KCC2, CPEB3 and MEF2D, impairs contextual fear conditioning, and prevents a memory-induced increase in the spine density. Taken together, the results indicate that neuronal-expressed miR-92 is an endogenous fine regulator of contextual fear memory in mice. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  6. Mean-field analysis of orientation selectivity in inhibition-dominated networks of spiking neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sadeh, Sadra; Cardanobile, Stefano; Rotter, Stefan

    2014-01-01

    Mechanisms underlying the emergence of orientation selectivity in the primary visual cortex are highly debated. Here we study the contribution of inhibition-dominated random recurrent networks to orientation selectivity, and more generally to sensory processing. By simulating and analyzing large-scale networks of spiking neurons, we investigate tuning amplification and contrast invariance of orientation selectivity in these networks. In particular, we show how selective attenuation of the common mode and amplification of the modulation component take place in these networks. Selective attenuation of the baseline, which is governed by the exceptional eigenvalue of the connectivity matrix, removes the unspecific, redundant signal component and ensures the invariance of selectivity across different contrasts. Selective amplification of modulation, which is governed by the operating regime of the network and depends on the strength of coupling, amplifies the informative signal component and thus increases the signal-to-noise ratio. Here, we perform a mean-field analysis which accounts for this process.

  7. Selectivity of neuronal [3H]GABA accumulation in the visual cortex as revealed by Golgi staining of the labeled neurons

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Somogyi, P.; Freund, T.F.; Kisvarday, Z.F.; Halasz, N.

    1981-01-01

    [ 3 H]GABA was injected into the visual cortex of rats in vivo. The labeled amino acid was demonstrated by autoradiography using semithin sections of Golgi material. Selective accumulation was seen in the perikarya of Golgi-stained, gold-toned, aspinous stellate neurons. Spine-laden pyramidal-like cells did not show labeling. This method gives direct information about the dendritic arborization of a neuron, and its putative transmitter, and allows the identification of its synaptic connections. (Auth.)

  8. Selective Vulnerability of the Cochlear Basal Turn to Acrylonitrile and Noise

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pouyatos, B.; Gearhart, C.A.; Miller, A.N.; Fulton, S.; Fechter, L.D.; Pouyatos, B.

    2009-01-01

    Exposure to acrylonitrile, a high-production industrial chemical, can promote noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) in the rat even though this agent does not itself produce permanent hearing loss. The mechanism by which acrylonitrile promotes NIHL includes oxidative stress as antioxidant drugs can partially protect the cochlea from acrylonitrile + noise. Acrylonitrile depletes glutathione levels while noise can increase the formation of reactive oxygen species. It was previously noted that the high-frequency or basal turn of the cochlea was particularly vulnerable to the combined effects of acrylonitrile and noise when the octave band noise (OBN) was centered at 8 k Hz. Normally, such a noise would be expected to yield damage at a more apical region of the cochlea. The present study was designed to determine whether the basal cochlea is selectively sensitive to acrylonitrile or whether, by adjusting the frequency of the noise band, it would be possible to control the region of the auditory impairment. Rats were exposed to one of three different OBNs centered at different frequencies (4 k Hz, 110 dB and 8 or 16 k Hz at 97 dB) for 5 days, with and without administration of acrylonitrile (50 mg/kg/day). The noise was set to cause limited NIHL by itself. Auditory function was monitored by recording distortion products, by compound action potentials, and by performing cochlear histology. While the ACN-only and noise-only exposures induced no or little permanent auditory loss, the three exposures to acrylonitrile + noise produced similar auditory and cochlear impairments above 16 k Hz, despite the fact that the noise exposures covered 2 octaves. These observations show that the basal cochlea is much more sensitive to acrylonitrile + noise than the apical partition. They provide an initial basis for distinguishing the pattern of cochlear injury that results from noise exposure from that which occurs due to the combined effects of noise and a chemical contaminant.

  9. Tissue-Specific Gain of RTK Signalling Uncovers Selective Cell Vulnerability during Embryogenesis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yannan Fan

    Full Text Available The successive events that cells experience throughout development shape their intrinsic capacity to respond and integrate RTK inputs. Cellular responses to RTKs rely on different mechanisms of regulation that establish proper levels of RTK activation, define duration of RTK action, and exert quantitative/qualitative signalling outcomes. The extent to which cells are competent to deal with fluctuations in RTK signalling is incompletely understood. Here, we employ a genetic system to enhance RTK signalling in a tissue-specific manner. The chosen RTK is the hepatocyte growth factor (HGF receptor Met, an appropriate model due to its pleiotropic requirement in distinct developmental events. Ubiquitously enhanced Met in Cre/loxP-based Rosa26(stopMet knock-in context (Del-R26(Met reveals that most tissues are capable of buffering enhanced Met-RTK signalling thus avoiding perturbation of developmental programs. Nevertheless, this ubiquitous increase of Met does compromise selected programs such as myoblast migration. Using cell-type specific Cre drivers, we genetically showed that altered myoblast migration results from ectopic Met expression in limb mesenchyme rather than in migrating myoblasts themselves. qRT-PCR analyses show that ectopic Met in limbs causes molecular changes such as downregulation in the expression levels of Notum and Syndecan4, two known regulators of morphogen gradients. Molecular and functional studies revealed that ectopic Met expression in limb mesenchyme does not alter HGF expression patterns and levels, but impairs HGF bioavailability. Together, our findings show that myoblasts, in which Met is endogenously expressed, are capable of buffering increased RTK levels, and identify mesenchymal cells as a cell type vulnerable to ectopic Met-RTK signalling. These results illustrate that embryonic cells are sensitive to alterations in the spatial distribution of RTK action, yet resilient to fluctuations in signalling levels of an

  10. Drug-driven AMPA receptor redistribution mimicked by selective dopamine neuron stimulation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew T C Brown

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Addictive drugs have in common that they cause surges in dopamine (DA concentration in the mesolimbic reward system and elicit synaptic plasticity in DA neurons of the ventral tegmental area (VTA. Cocaine for example drives insertion of GluA2-lacking AMPA receptors (AMPARs at glutamatergic synapes in DA neurons. However it remains elusive which molecular target of cocaine drives such AMPAR redistribution and whether other addictive drugs (morphine and nicotine cause similar changes through their effects on the mesolimbic DA system.We used in vitro electrophysiological techniques in wild-type and transgenic mice to observe the modulation of excitatory inputs onto DA neurons by addictive drugs. To observe AMPAR redistribution, post-embedding immunohistochemistry for GluA2 AMPAR subunit was combined with electron microscopy. We also used a double-floxed AAV virus expressing channelrhodopsin together with a DAT Cre mouse line to selectively express ChR2 in VTA DA neurons. We find that in mice where the effect of cocaine on the dopamine transporter (DAT is specifically blocked, AMPAR redistribution was absent following administration of the drug. Furthermore, addictive drugs known to increase dopamine levels cause a similar AMPAR redistribution. Finally, activating DA VTA neurons optogenetically is sufficient to drive insertion of GluA2-lacking AMPARs, mimicking the changes observed after a single injection of morphine, nicotine or cocaine.We propose the mesolimbic dopamine system as a point of convergence at which addictive drugs can alter neural circuits. We also show that direct activation of DA neurons is sufficient to drive AMPAR redistribution, which may be a mechanism associated with early steps of non-substance related addictions.

  11. Transcranial magnetic stimulation changes response selectivity of neurons in the visual cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Taekjun; Allen, Elena A.; Pasley, Brian N.; Freeman, Ralph D.

    2015-01-01

    Background Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is used to selectively alter neuronal activity of specific regions in the cerebral cortex. TMS is reported to induce either transient disruption or enhancement of different neural functions. However, its effects on tuning properties of sensory neurons have not been studied quantitatively. Objective/Hypothesis Here, we use specific TMS application parameters to determine how they may alter tuning characteristics (orientation, spatial frequency, and contrast sensitivity) of single neurons in the cat’s visual cortex. Methods Single unit spikes were recorded with tungsten microelectrodes from the visual cortex of anesthetized and paralyzed cats (12 males). Repetitive TMS (4Hz, 4sec) was delivered with a 70mm figure-8 coil. We quantified basic tuning parameters of individual neurons for each pre- and post-TMS condition. The statistical significance of changes for each tuning parameter between the two conditions was evaluated with a Wilcoxon signed-rank test. Results We generally find long-lasting suppression which persists well beyond the stimulation period. Pre- and post-TMS orientation tuning curves show constant peak values. However, strong suppression at non-preferred orientations tends to narrow the widths of tuning curves. Spatial frequency tuning exhibits an asymmetric change in overall shape, which results in an emphasis on higher frequencies. Contrast tuning curves show nonlinear changes consistent with a gain control mechanism. Conclusions These findings suggest that TMS causes extended interruption of the balance between sub-cortical and intra-cortical inputs. PMID:25862599

  12. Bone conducted vibration selectively activates irregular primary otolithic vestibular neurons in the guinea pig.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Curthoys, Ian S; Kim, Juno; McPhedran, Samara K; Camp, Aaron J

    2006-11-01

    6-8 g and was usually around 60-70 dB above the animal's own ABR threshold for BCV clicks). Regular otolithic afferents likewise had a poor response; only 14 of 99 tested (14.1%) showed any increase in firing rate up to the maximum BCV stimulus level. However, most irregular otolithic afferents (82.8%) showed a clear increase in firing rate in response to BCV stimuli: of the 58 irregular otolith neurons tested, 48 were activated, with some being activated at very low intensities (only about 10 dB above the animal's ABR threshold to BCV clicks). Most of the activated otolith afferents were in the superior division of the vestibular nerve and were probably utricular afferents. That was confirmed by evidence using juxtacellular injection of neurobiotin near BCV activated neurons to trace their site of origin to the utricular macula. We conclude there is a very clear preference for irregular otolith afferents to be activated selectively by BCV stimuli at low stimulus levels and that BCV stimuli activate some utricular irregular afferent neurons. The BCV generates compressional and shear waves, which travel through the skull and constitute head accelerations, which are sufficient to stimulate the most sensitive otolithic receptor cells.

  13. Nanometer size diesel exhaust particles are selectively toxic to dopaminergic neurons: the role of microglia, phagocytosis, and NADPH oxidase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Block, M L; Wu, X; Pei, Z; Li, G; Wang, T; Qin, L; Wilson, B; Yang, J; Hong, J S; Veronesi, B

    2004-10-01

    The contributing role of environmental factors to the development of Parkinson's disease has become increasingly evident. We report that mesencephalic neuron-glia cultures treated with diesel exhaust particles (DEP; 0.22 microM) (5-50 microg/ml) resulted in a dose-dependent decrease in dopaminergic (DA) neurons, as determined by DA-uptake assay and tyrosine-hydroxylase immunocytochemistry (ICC). The selective toxicity of DEP for DA neurons was demonstrated by the lack of DEP effect on both GABA uptake and Neu-N immunoreactive cell number. The critical role of microglia was demonstrated by the failure of neuron-enriched cultures to exhibit DEP-induced DA neurotoxicity, where DEP-induced DA neuron death was reinstated with the addition of microglia to neuron-enriched cultures. OX-42 ICC staining of DEP treated neuron-glia cultures revealed changes in microglia morphology indicative of activation. Intracellular reactive oxygen species and superoxide were produced from enriched-microglia cultures in response to DEP. Neuron-glia cultures from NADPH oxidase deficient (PHOX-/-) mice were insensitive to DEP neurotoxicity when compared with control mice (PHOX+/+). Cytochalasin D inhibited DEP-induced superoxide production in enriched-microglia cultures, implying that DEP must be phagocytized by microglia to produce superoxide. Together, these in vitro data indicate that DEP selectively damages DA neurons through the phagocytic activation of microglial NADPH oxidase and consequent oxidative insult.

  14. Distribution of orientation selectivity in recurrent networks of spiking neurons with different random topologies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sadeh, Sadra; Rotter, Stefan

    2014-01-01

    Neurons in the primary visual cortex are more or less selective for the orientation of a light bar used for stimulation. A broad distribution of individual grades of orientation selectivity has in fact been reported in all species. A possible reason for emergence of broad distributions is the recurrent network within which the stimulus is being processed. Here we compute the distribution of orientation selectivity in randomly connected model networks that are equipped with different spatial patterns of connectivity. We show that, for a wide variety of connectivity patterns, a linear theory based on firing rates accurately approximates the outcome of direct numerical simulations of networks of spiking neurons. Distance dependent connectivity in networks with a more biologically realistic structure does not compromise our linear analysis, as long as the linearized dynamics, and hence the uniform asynchronous irregular activity state, remain stable. We conclude that linear mechanisms of stimulus processing are indeed responsible for the emergence of orientation selectivity and its distribution in recurrent networks with functionally heterogeneous synaptic connectivity.

  15. Trait-based diet selection: prey behaviour and morphology predict vulnerability to predation in reef fish communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, Stephanie J; Côté, Isabelle M

    2014-11-01

    Understanding how predators select their prey can provide important insights into community structure and dynamics. However, the suite of prey species available to a predator is often spatially and temporally variable. As a result, species-specific selectivity data are of limited use for predicting novel predator-prey interactions because they are assemblage specific. We present a method for predicting diet selection that is applicable across prey assemblages, based on identifying general morphological and behavioural traits of prey that confer vulnerability to predation independent of species identity. We apply this trait-based approach to examining prey selection by Indo-Pacific lionfish (Pterois volitans and Pterois miles), invasive predators that prey upon species-rich reef fish communities and are rapidly spreading across the western Atlantic. We first generate hypotheses about morphological and behavioural traits recurring across fish species that could facilitate or deter predation by lionfish. Constructing generalized linear mixed-effects models that account for relatedness among prey taxa, we test whether these traits predict patterns of diet selection by lionfish within two independent data sets collected at different spatial scales: (i) in situ visual observations of prey consumption and availability for individual lionfish and (ii) comparisons of prey abundance in lionfish stomach contents to availability on invaded reefs at large. Both analyses reveal that a number of traits predicted to affect vulnerability to predation, including body size, body shape, position in the water column and aggregation behaviour, are important determinants of diet selection by lionfish. Small, shallow-bodied, solitary fishes found resting on or just above reefs are the most vulnerable. Fishes that exhibit parasite cleaning behaviour experience a significantly lower risk of predation than non-cleaning fishes, and fishes that are nocturnally active are at significantly

  16. Divisive normalization and neuronal oscillations in a single hierarchical framework of selective visual attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montijn, Jorrit Steven; Klink, P Christaan; van Wezel, Richard J A

    2012-01-01

    Divisive normalization models of covert attention commonly use spike rate modulations as indicators of the effect of top-down attention. In addition, an increasing number of studies have shown that top-down attention increases the synchronization of neuronal oscillations as well, particularly in gamma-band frequencies (25-100 Hz). Although modulations of spike rate and synchronous oscillations are not mutually exclusive as mechanisms of attention, there has thus far been little effort to integrate these concepts into a single framework of attention. Here, we aim to provide such a unified framework by expanding the normalization model of attention with a multi-level hierarchical structure and a time dimension; allowing the simulation of a recently reported backward progression of attentional effects along the visual cortical hierarchy. A simple cascade of normalization models simulating different cortical areas is shown to cause signal degradation and a loss of stimulus discriminability over time. To negate this degradation and ensure stable neuronal stimulus representations, we incorporate a kind of oscillatory phase entrainment into our model that has previously been proposed as the "communication-through-coherence" (CTC) hypothesis. Our analysis shows that divisive normalization and oscillation models can complement each other in a unified account of the neural mechanisms of selective visual attention. The resulting hierarchical normalization and oscillation (HNO) model reproduces several additional spatial and temporal aspects of attentional modulation and predicts a latency effect on neuronal responses as a result of cued attention.

  17. Hand placement near the visual stimulus improves orientation selectivity in V2 neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sergio, Lauren E.; Crawford, J. Douglas; Fallah, Mazyar

    2015-01-01

    Often, the brain receives more sensory input than it can process simultaneously. Spatial attention helps overcome this limitation by preferentially processing input from a behaviorally-relevant location. Recent neuropsychological and psychophysical studies suggest that attention is deployed to near-hand space much like how the oculomotor system can deploy attention to an upcoming gaze position. Here we provide the first neuronal evidence that the presence of a nearby hand enhances orientation selectivity in early visual processing area V2. When the hand was placed outside the receptive field, responses to the preferred orientation were significantly enhanced without a corresponding significant increase at the orthogonal orientation. Consequently, there was also a significant sharpening of orientation tuning. In addition, the presence of the hand reduced neuronal response variability. These results indicate that attention is automatically deployed to the space around a hand, improving orientation selectivity. Importantly, this appears to be optimal for motor control of the hand, as opposed to oculomotor mechanisms which enhance responses without sharpening orientation selectivity. Effector-based mechanisms for visual enhancement thus support not only the spatiotemporal dissociation of gaze and reach, but also the optimization of vision for their separate requirements for guiding movements. PMID:25717165

  18. Selective decline of neurotrophin and neurotrophin receptor genes within CA1 pyramidal neurons and hippocampus proper: Correlation with cognitive performance and neuropathology in mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ginsberg, Stephen D; Malek-Ahmadi, Michael H; Alldred, Melissa J; Che, Shaoli; Elarova, Irina; Chen, Yinghua; Jeanneteau, Freddy; Kranz, Thorsten M; Chao, Moses V; Counts, Scott E; Mufson, Elliott J

    2017-09-09

    Hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons, a major component of the medial temporal lobe memory circuit, are selectively vulnerable during the progression of Alzheimer's disease (AD). The cellular mechanism(s) underlying degeneration of these neurons and the relationship to cognitive performance remains largely undefined. Here, we profiled neurotrophin and neurotrophin receptor gene expression within microdissected CA1 neurons along with regional hippocampal dissections from subjects who died with a clinical diagnosis of no cognitive impairment (NCI), mild cognitive impairment (MCI), or AD using laser capture microdissection (LCM), custom-designed microarray analysis, and qPCR of CA1 subregional dissections. Gene expression levels were correlated with cognitive test scores and AD neuropathology criteria. We found a significant downregulation of several neurotrophin genes (e.g., Gdnf, Ngfb, and Ntf4) in CA1 pyramidal neurons in MCI compared to NCI and AD subjects. In addition, the neurotrophin receptor transcripts TrkB and TrkC were decreased in MCI and AD compared to NCI. Regional hippocampal dissections also revealed select neurotrophic gene dysfunction providing evidence for vulnerability within the hippocampus proper during the progression of dementia. Downregulation of several neurotrophins of the NGF family and cognate neurotrophin receptor (TrkA, TrkB, and TrkC) genes correlated with antemortem cognitive measures including the Mini-Mental State Exam (MMSE), a composite global cognitive score (GCS), and Episodic, Semantic, and Working Memory, Perceptual Speed, and Visuospatial domains. Significant correlations were found between select neurotrophic expression downregulation and neuritic plaques (NPs) and neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs), but not diffuse plaques (DPs). These data suggest that dysfunction of neurotrophin signaling complexes have profound negative sequelae within vulnerable hippocampal cell types, which play a role in mnemonic and executive dysfunction

  19. Estrogen receptor beta-selective agonists stimulate calcium oscillations in human and mouse embryonic stem cell-derived neurons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lili Zhang

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available Estrogens are used extensively to treat hot flashes in menopausal women. Some of the beneficial effects of estrogens in hormone therapy on the brain might be due to nongenomic effects in neurons such as the rapid stimulation of calcium oscillations. Most studies have examined the nongenomic effects of estrogen receptors (ER in primary neurons or brain slices from the rodent brain. However, these cells can not be maintained continuously in culture because neurons are post-mitotic. Neurons derived from embryonic stem cells could be a potential continuous, cell-based model to study nongenomic actions of estrogens in neurons if they are responsive to estrogens after differentiation. In this study ER-subtype specific estrogens were used to examine the role of ERalpha and ERbeta on calcium oscillations in neurons derived from human (hES and mouse embryonic stem cells. Unlike the undifferentiated hES cells the differentiated cells expressed neuronal markers, ERbeta, but not ERalpha. The non-selective ER agonist 17beta-estradiol (E(2 rapidly increased [Ca2+]i oscillations and synchronizations within a few minutes. No change in calcium oscillations was observed with the selective ERalpha agonist 4,4',4''-(4-Propyl-[1H]-pyrazole-1,3,5-triyltrisphenol (PPT. In contrast, the selective ERbeta agonists, 2,3-bis(4-Hydroxyphenyl-propionitrile (DPN, MF101, and 2-(3-fluoro-4-hydroxyphenyl-7-vinyl-1,3 benzoxazol-5-ol (ERB-041; WAY-202041 stimulated calcium oscillations similar to E(2. The ERbeta agonists also increased calcium oscillations and phosphorylated PKC, AKT and ERK1/2 in neurons derived from mouse ES cells, which was inhibited by nifedipine demonstrating that ERbeta activates L-type voltage gated calcium channels to regulate neuronal activity. Our results demonstrate that ERbeta signaling regulates nongenomic pathways in neurons derived from ES cells, and suggest that these cells might be useful to study the nongenomic mechanisms of estrogenic compounds.

  20. Relationships between selective neuronal loss and microglial activation after ischaemic stroke in man.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morris, Rhiannon S; Simon Jones, P; Alawneh, Josef A; Hong, Young T; Fryer, Tim D; Aigbirhio, Franklin I; Warburton, Elizabeth A; Baron, Jean-Claude

    2018-05-09

    Modern ischaemic stroke management involves intravenous thrombolysis followed by mechanical thrombectomy, which allows markedly higher rates of recanalization and penumbral salvage than thrombolysis alone. However, <50% of treated patients eventually enjoy independent life. It is therefore important to identify complementary therapeutic targets. In rodent models, the salvaged penumbra is consistently affected by selective neuronal loss, which may hinder recovery by interfering with plastic processes, as well as by microglial activation, which may exacerbate neuronal death. However, whether the salvaged penumbra in man is similarly affected is still unclear. Here we determined whether these two processes affect the non-infarcted penumbra in man and, if so, whether they are inter-related. We prospectively recruited patients with (i) acute middle-cerebral artery stroke; (ii) penumbra present on CT perfusion obtained <4.5 h of stroke onset; and (iii) early neurological recovery as a marker of penumbral salvage. PET with 11C-flumazenil and 11C-PK11195, as well as MRI to map the final infarct, were obtained at predefined follow-up times. The presence of selective neuronal loss and microglial activation was determined voxel-wise within the MRI normal-appearing ipsilateral non-infarcted zone and surviving penumbra masks, and their inter-relationship was assessed both across and within patients. Dilated infarct contours were consistently excluded to control for partial volume effects. Across the 16 recruited patients, there was reduced 11C-flumazenil and increased 11C-PK11195 binding in the whole ipsilateral non-infarcted zone (P = 0.04 and 0.02, respectively). Within the non-infarcted penumbra, 11C-flumazenil was also reduced (P = 0.001), but without clear increase in 11C-PK11195 (P = 0.18). There was no significant correlation between 11C-flumazenil and 11C-PK11195 in either compartment. This mechanistic study provides direct evidence for the presence of both neuronal

  1. Code-specific learning rules improve action selection by populations of spiking neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friedrich, Johannes; Urbanczik, Robert; Senn, Walter

    2014-08-01

    Population coding is widely regarded as a key mechanism for achieving reliable behavioral decisions. We previously introduced reinforcement learning for population-based decision making by spiking neurons. Here we generalize population reinforcement learning to spike-based plasticity rules that take account of the postsynaptic neural code. We consider spike/no-spike, spike count and spike latency codes. The multi-valued and continuous-valued features in the postsynaptic code allow for a generalization of binary decision making to multi-valued decision making and continuous-valued action selection. We show that code-specific learning rules speed up learning both for the discrete classification and the continuous regression tasks. The suggested learning rules also speed up with increasing population size as opposed to standard reinforcement learning rules. Continuous action selection is further shown to explain realistic learning speeds in the Morris water maze. Finally, we introduce the concept of action perturbation as opposed to the classical weight- or node-perturbation as an exploration mechanism underlying reinforcement learning. Exploration in the action space greatly increases the speed of learning as compared to exploration in the neuron or weight space.

  2. Mushroom body output neurons encode valence and guide memory-based action selection in Drosophila.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aso, Yoshinori; Sitaraman, Divya; Ichinose, Toshiharu; Kaun, Karla R; Vogt, Katrin; Belliart-Guérin, Ghislain; Plaçais, Pierre-Yves; Robie, Alice A; Yamagata, Nobuhiro; Schnaitmann, Christopher; Rowell, William J; Johnston, Rebecca M; Ngo, Teri-T B; Chen, Nan; Korff, Wyatt; Nitabach, Michael N; Heberlein, Ulrike; Preat, Thomas; Branson, Kristin M; Tanimoto, Hiromu; Rubin, Gerald M

    2014-12-23

    Animals discriminate stimuli, learn their predictive value and use this knowledge to modify their behavior. In Drosophila, the mushroom body (MB) plays a key role in these processes. Sensory stimuli are sparsely represented by ∼2000 Kenyon cells, which converge onto 34 output neurons (MBONs) of 21 types. We studied the role of MBONs in several associative learning tasks and in sleep regulation, revealing the extent to which information flow is segregated into distinct channels and suggesting possible roles for the multi-layered MBON network. We also show that optogenetic activation of MBONs can, depending on cell type, induce repulsion or attraction in flies. The behavioral effects of MBON perturbation are combinatorial, suggesting that the MBON ensemble collectively represents valence. We propose that local, stimulus-specific dopaminergic modulation selectively alters the balance within the MBON network for those stimuli. Our results suggest that valence encoded by the MBON ensemble biases memory-based action selection.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christine E Schmidt

    2010-12-01

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

  4. MRI and neuropathological validations of the involvement of air pollutants in cortical selective neuronal loss.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ejaz, Sohail; Anwar, Khaleeq; Ashraf, Muhammad

    2014-03-01

    Vehicles are a major source of air pollution, especially particulate matter (PM) pollution, throughout the world and auto-rickshaws are considered main contributors to this air pollution. PM, in addition to causing respiratory and cardiovascular disorders, has potential to gain access to the brain and could induce neuroinflammation leading to different neurological disorders. Therefore, in the current project, MRI and immunohistochemistry techniques were adopted to ascertain the neurotoxic potential of the chronic exposure to different PM generated by two-stroke auto-rickshaws (TSA), four-stroke auto-rickshaws (FSA), and aluminum sulfate (AS) solution in rats. The results highlighted that all treated groups followed a pattern of dose-dependent increase in pure cortical neuronal loss, selective neuronal loss (SNL), nuclear pyknosis, karyolysis, and karyorrhexis. Mild to moderate areas of penumbra were also observed with increase in the population of activated microglia and astrocytes, while no alteration in the intensities of T2W MRI signals was perceived in any group. When comparing the findings, TSA possess more neurotoxic potential than FSA and AS, which could be associated with increased concentration of certain elements in TSA emissions. The study concludes that chronic exposure to PM from TSA, FSA, and AS solutions produces diverse neuropathies in the brain, which may lead to different life-threatening neurological disorders like stroke, Alzheimer's, and Parkinson's disorders. Government and environmental agencies should take serious notice of this alarming situation, and immediate steps should be implemented to improve the standards of PM emissions from auto-rickshaws.

  5. Divisive normalization and neuronal oscillations in a single hierarchical framework of selective visual attention

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jorrit Steven Montijn

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available In divisive normalization models of covert attention, spike rate modulations are commonly used as indicators of the effect of top-down attention. In addition, an increasing number of studies have shown that top-down attention increases the synchronization of neuronal oscillations as well, particularly those in gamma-band frequencies (25 to 100 Hz. Although modulations of spike rate and synchronous oscillations are not mutually exclusive as mechanisms of attention, there has thus far been little effort to integrate these concepts into a single framework of attention. Here, we aim to provide such a unified framework by expanding the normalization model of attention with a time dimension; allowing the simulation of a recently reported backward progression of attentional effects along the visual cortical hierarchy. A simple hierarchical cascade of normalization models simulating different cortical areas however leads to signal degradation and a loss of discriminability over time. To negate this degradation and ensure stable neuronal stimulus representations, we incorporate oscillatory phase entrainment into our model, a mechanism previously proposed as the communication-through-coherence (CTC hypothesis. Our analysis shows that divisive normalization and oscillation models can complement each other in a unified account of the neural mechanisms of selective visual attention. The resulting hierarchical normalization and oscillation (HNO model reproduces several additional spatial and temporal aspects of attentional modulation.

  6. Subset of Cortical Layer 6b Neurons Selectively Innervates Higher Order Thalamic Nuclei in Mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoerder-Suabedissen, Anna; Hayashi, Shuichi; Upton, Louise; Nolan, Zachary; Casas-Torremocha, Diana; Grant, Eleanor; Viswanathan, Sarada; Kanold, Patrick O; Clasca, Francisco; Kim, Yongsoo; Molnár, Zoltán

    2018-05-01

    The thalamus receives input from 3 distinct cortical layers, but input from only 2 of these has been well characterized. We therefore investigated whether the third input, derived from layer 6b, is more similar to the projections from layer 6a or layer 5. We studied the projections of a restricted population of deep layer 6 cells ("layer 6b cells") taking advantage of the transgenic mouse Tg(Drd1a-cre)FK164Gsat/Mmucd (Drd1a-Cre), that selectively expresses Cre-recombinase in a subpopulation of layer 6b neurons across the entire cortical mantle. At P8, 18% of layer 6b neurons are labeled with Drd1a-Cre::tdTomato in somatosensory cortex (SS), and some co-express known layer 6b markers. Using Cre-dependent viral tracing, we identified topographical projections to higher order thalamic nuclei. VGluT1+ synapses formed by labeled layer 6b projections were found in posterior thalamic nucleus (Po) but not in the (pre)thalamic reticular nucleus (TRN). The lack of TRN collaterals was confirmed with single-cell tracing from SS. Transmission electron microscopy comparison of terminal varicosities from layer 5 and layer 6b axons in Po showed that L6b varicosities are markedly smaller and simpler than the majority from L5. Our results suggest that L6b projections to the thalamus are distinct from both L5 and L6a projections.

  7. Vulnerability Of Mankind: An Existentialist (Philosophical) Interpretation of Charles Mungoshi?s Selected Literary Works

    OpenAIRE

    Felix Petros Mapako; Rugare Mareva

    2013-01-01

    The study sought to make an existentialist literary interpretation of Charles Mungoshi?s selected works. Stories were selected on the basis of their concerns and subjected to content analysis. The analysis established that characters in the works exude general and all-pervasive pessimistic feelings which leave them anxious and despairing, in conformity with existentialism, where human beings are said to be free to make choices in an indifferent world and the decisions they make are not withou...

  8. Specializing on vulnerable habitat: Acropora selectivity among damselfish recruits and the risk of bleaching-induced habitat loss

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonin, M. C.

    2012-03-01

    Coral reef habitats are increasingly being degraded and destroyed by a range of disturbances, most notably climate-induced coral bleaching. Habitat specialists, particularly those associated with susceptible coral species, are clearly among the most vulnerable to population decline or extinction. However, the degree of specialization on coral microhabitats is still unclear for one of the most ubiquitous, abundant and well studied of coral reef fish families—the damselfishes (Pomacentridae). Using high taxonomic resolution surveys of microhabitat use and availability, this study provides the first species-level description of patterns of Acropora selectivity among recruits of 10 damselfish species in order to determine their vulnerability to habitat degradation. In addition, surveys of the bleaching susceptibility of 16 branching coral species revealed which preferred recruitment microhabitats are at highest risk of decline as a result of chronic coral bleaching. Four species (i.e., Chrysiptera parasema, Pomacentrus moluccensis, Dascyllus melanurus and Chromis retrofasciata) were identified as highly vulnerable because they used only branching hard corals as recruitment habitat and primarily associated with only 2-4 coral species. The bleaching surveys revealed that five species of Acropora were highly susceptible to bleaching, with more than 50% of colonies either severely bleached or already dead. These highly susceptible corals included two of the preferred microhabitats of the specialist C. parasema and represented a significant proportion of its total recruitment microhabitat. In contrast, highly susceptible corals were rarely used by another specialist, P. moluccensis, suggesting that this species faces a lower risk of bleaching-induced habitat loss compared to C. parasema. As degradation to coral reef habitats continues, specialists will increasingly be forced to use alternative recruitment microhabitats, and this is likely to reduce population

  9. Pulvinar neurons reveal neurobiological evidence of past selection for rapid detection of snakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Le, Quan; Isbell, Lynne A; Matsumoto, Jumpei; Nguyen, Minh; Hori, Etsuro; Maior, Rafael S; Tomaz, Carlos; Tran, Anh Hai; Ono, Taketoshi; Nishijo, Hisao

    2013-11-19

    Snakes and their relationships with humans and other primates have attracted broad attention from multiple fields of study, but not, surprisingly, from neuroscience, despite the involvement of the visual system and strong behavioral and physiological evidence that humans and other primates can detect snakes faster than innocuous objects. Here, we report the existence of neurons in the primate medial and dorsolateral pulvinar that respond selectively to visual images of snakes. Compared with three other categories of stimuli (monkey faces, monkey hands, and geometrical shapes), snakes elicited the strongest, fastest responses, and the responses were not reduced by low spatial filtering. These findings integrate neuroscience with evolutionary biology, anthropology, psychology, herpetology, and primatology by identifying a neurobiological basis for primates' heightened visual sensitivity to snakes, and adding a crucial component to the growing evolutionary perspective that snakes have long shaped our primate lineage.

  10. Dream interpretation, affect, and the theory of neuronal group selection: Freud, Winnicott, Bion, and Modell.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shields, Walker

    2006-12-01

    The author uses a dream specimen as interpreted during psychoanalysis to illustrate Modell's hypothesis that Edelman's theory of neuronal group selection (TNGS) may provide a valuable neurobiological model for Freud's dynamic unconscious, imaginative processes in the mind, the retranscription of memory in psychoanalysis, and intersubjective processes in the analytic relationship. He draws parallels between the interpretation of the dream material with keen attention to affect-laden meanings in the evolving analytic relationship in the domain of psychoanalysis and the principles of Edelman's TNGS in the domain of neurobiology. The author notes how this correlation may underscore the importance of dream interpretation in psychoanalysis. He also suggests areas for further investigation in both realms based on study of their interplay.

  11. Probabilistic measures of climate change vulnerability, adaptation action benefits, and related uncertainty from maximum temperature metric selection

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeWeber, Jefferson T.; Wagner, Tyler

    2018-01-01

    Predictions of the projected changes in species distributions and potential adaptation action benefits can help guide conservation actions. There is substantial uncertainty in projecting species distributions into an unknown future, however, which can undermine confidence in predictions or misdirect conservation actions if not properly considered. Recent studies have shown that the selection of alternative climate metrics describing very different climatic aspects (e.g., mean air temperature vs. mean precipitation) can be a substantial source of projection uncertainty. It is unclear, however, how much projection uncertainty might stem from selecting among highly correlated, ecologically similar climate metrics (e.g., maximum temperature in July, maximum 30‐day temperature) describing the same climatic aspect (e.g., maximum temperatures) known to limit a species’ distribution. It is also unclear how projection uncertainty might propagate into predictions of the potential benefits of adaptation actions that might lessen climate change effects. We provide probabilistic measures of climate change vulnerability, adaptation action benefits, and related uncertainty stemming from the selection of four maximum temperature metrics for brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis), a cold‐water salmonid of conservation concern in the eastern United States. Projected losses in suitable stream length varied by as much as 20% among alternative maximum temperature metrics for mid‐century climate projections, which was similar to variation among three climate models. Similarly, the regional average predicted increase in brook trout occurrence probability under an adaptation action scenario of full riparian forest restoration varied by as much as .2 among metrics. Our use of Bayesian inference provides probabilistic measures of vulnerability and adaptation action benefits for individual stream reaches that properly address statistical uncertainty and can help guide conservation

  12. Probabilistic measures of climate change vulnerability, adaptation action benefits, and related uncertainty from maximum temperature metric selection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeWeber, Jefferson T; Wagner, Tyler

    2018-06-01

    Predictions of the projected changes in species distributions and potential adaptation action benefits can help guide conservation actions. There is substantial uncertainty in projecting species distributions into an unknown future, however, which can undermine confidence in predictions or misdirect conservation actions if not properly considered. Recent studies have shown that the selection of alternative climate metrics describing very different climatic aspects (e.g., mean air temperature vs. mean precipitation) can be a substantial source of projection uncertainty. It is unclear, however, how much projection uncertainty might stem from selecting among highly correlated, ecologically similar climate metrics (e.g., maximum temperature in July, maximum 30-day temperature) describing the same climatic aspect (e.g., maximum temperatures) known to limit a species' distribution. It is also unclear how projection uncertainty might propagate into predictions of the potential benefits of adaptation actions that might lessen climate change effects. We provide probabilistic measures of climate change vulnerability, adaptation action benefits, and related uncertainty stemming from the selection of four maximum temperature metrics for brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis), a cold-water salmonid of conservation concern in the eastern United States. Projected losses in suitable stream length varied by as much as 20% among alternative maximum temperature metrics for mid-century climate projections, which was similar to variation among three climate models. Similarly, the regional average predicted increase in brook trout occurrence probability under an adaptation action scenario of full riparian forest restoration varied by as much as .2 among metrics. Our use of Bayesian inference provides probabilistic measures of vulnerability and adaptation action benefits for individual stream reaches that properly address statistical uncertainty and can help guide conservation actions. Our

  13. Model-Based Design of Stimulus Trains for Selective Microstimulation of Targeted Neuronal Populations

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    McIntyre, Cameron

    2001-01-01

    ... that accurately reproduced the dynamic firing properties of mammalian neurons, The neuron models were coupled to a three-dimensional finite element model of the spinal cord that solved for the potentials...

  14. Vulnerable Genders, Vulnerable Loves

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schleicher, Marianne

    2015-01-01

    This chapter analyses religious reflections on vulnerable genders and vulnerable loves from the Hebrew Bible to early Rabbinic literature. It is based on theories by inter alia Donna Haraway on complex identities, Turner and Maryanski on love as a prerequisite for survival, Michel Foucault...... on gathering knowledge and its often unpremeditated effect of recognition and inclusion, and Judith Butler on cultural intelligibility and subversion from within. With these theories as a departing point for the analysis, the chapter links the vulnerability of complex identities with the vulnerability...... of cultures which leads to the overall understanding that culture can accommodate complex identities associated with individual and cultural vulnerability as long as the overall survival of the culture is not threatened. This understanding questions the feasibility of the ethical position of thinkers...

  15. A Population of Indirect Pathway Striatal Projection Neurons Is Selectively Entrained to Parkinsonian Beta Oscillations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharott, Andrew; Vinciati, Federica; Nakamura, Kouichi C; Magill, Peter J

    2017-10-11

    Classical schemes of basal ganglia organization posit that parkinsonian movement difficulties presenting after striatal dopamine depletion stem from the disproportionate firing rates of spiny projection neurons (SPNs) therein. There remains, however, a pressing need to elucidate striatal SPN firing in the context of the synchronized network oscillations that are abnormally exaggerated in cortical-basal ganglia circuits in parkinsonism. To address this, we recorded unit activities in the dorsal striatum of dopamine-intact and dopamine-depleted rats during two brain states, respectively defined by cortical slow-wave activity (SWA) and activation. Dopamine depletion escalated striatal net output but had contrasting effects on "direct pathway" SPNs (dSPNs) and "indirect pathway" SPNs (iSPNs); their firing rates became imbalanced, and they disparately engaged in network oscillations. Disturbed striatal activity dynamics relating to the slow (∼1 Hz) oscillations prevalent during SWA partly generalized to the exaggerated beta-frequency (15-30 Hz) oscillations arising during cortical activation. In both cases, SPNs exhibited higher incidences of phase-locked firing to ongoing cortical oscillations, and SPN ensembles showed higher levels of rhythmic correlated firing, after dopamine depletion. Importantly, in dopamine-depleted striatum, a widespread population of iSPNs, which often displayed excessive firing rates and aberrant phase-locked firing to cortical beta oscillations, preferentially and excessively synchronized their firing at beta frequencies. Conversely, dSPNs were neither hyperactive nor synchronized to a large extent during cortical activation. These data collectively demonstrate a cell type-selective entrainment of SPN firing to parkinsonian beta oscillations. We conclude that a population of overactive, excessively synchronized iSPNs could orchestrate these pathological rhythms in basal ganglia circuits. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Chronic depletion of dopamine

  16. Adaptation and selective information transmission in the cricket auditory neuron AN2.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Klaus Wimmer

    Full Text Available Sensory systems adapt their neural code to changes in the sensory environment, often on multiple time scales. Here, we report a new form of adaptation in a first-order auditory interneuron (AN2 of crickets. We characterize the response of the AN2 neuron to amplitude-modulated sound stimuli and find that adaptation shifts the stimulus-response curves toward higher stimulus intensities, with a time constant of 1.5 s for adaptation and recovery. The spike responses were thus reduced for low-intensity sounds. We then address the question whether adaptation leads to an improvement of the signal's representation and compare the experimental results with the predictions of two competing hypotheses: infomax, which predicts that information conveyed about the entire signal range should be maximized, and selective coding, which predicts that "foreground" signals should be enhanced while "background" signals should be selectively suppressed. We test how adaptation changes the input-response curve when presenting signals with two or three peaks in their amplitude distributions, for which selective coding and infomax predict conflicting changes. By means of Bayesian data analysis, we quantify the shifts of the measured response curves and also find a slight reduction of their slopes. These decreases in slopes are smaller, and the absolute response thresholds are higher than those predicted by infomax. Most remarkably, and in contrast to the infomax principle, adaptation actually reduces the amount of encoded information when considering the whole range of input signals. The response curve changes are also not consistent with the selective coding hypothesis, because the amount of information conveyed about the loudest part of the signal does not increase as predicted but remains nearly constant. Less information is transmitted about signals with lower intensity.

  17. Mushroom body output neurons encode valence and guide memory-based action selection in Drosophila

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aso, Yoshinori; Sitaraman, Divya; Ichinose, Toshiharu; Kaun, Karla R; Vogt, Katrin; Belliart-Guérin, Ghislain; Plaçais, Pierre-Yves; Robie, Alice A; Yamagata, Nobuhiro; Schnaitmann, Christopher; Rowell, William J; Johnston, Rebecca M; Ngo, Teri-T B; Chen, Nan; Korff, Wyatt; Nitabach, Michael N; Heberlein, Ulrike; Preat, Thomas; Branson, Kristin M; Tanimoto, Hiromu; Rubin, Gerald M

    2014-01-01

    Animals discriminate stimuli, learn their predictive value and use this knowledge to modify their behavior. In Drosophila, the mushroom body (MB) plays a key role in these processes. Sensory stimuli are sparsely represented by ∼2000 Kenyon cells, which converge onto 34 output neurons (MBONs) of 21 types. We studied the role of MBONs in several associative learning tasks and in sleep regulation, revealing the extent to which information flow is segregated into distinct channels and suggesting possible roles for the multi-layered MBON network. We also show that optogenetic activation of MBONs can, depending on cell type, induce repulsion or attraction in flies. The behavioral effects of MBON perturbation are combinatorial, suggesting that the MBON ensemble collectively represents valence. We propose that local, stimulus-specific dopaminergic modulation selectively alters the balance within the MBON network for those stimuli. Our results suggest that valence encoded by the MBON ensemble biases memory-based action selection. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.04580.001 PMID:25535794

  18. Delay selection by spike-timing-dependent plasticity in recurrent networks of spiking neurons receiving oscillatory inputs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert R Kerr

    Full Text Available Learning rules, such as spike-timing-dependent plasticity (STDP, change the structure of networks of neurons based on the firing activity. A network level understanding of these mechanisms can help infer how the brain learns patterns and processes information. Previous studies have shown that STDP selectively potentiates feed-forward connections that have specific axonal delays, and that this underlies behavioral functions such as sound localization in the auditory brainstem of the barn owl. In this study, we investigate how STDP leads to the selective potentiation of recurrent connections with different axonal and dendritic delays during oscillatory activity. We develop analytical models of learning with additive STDP in recurrent networks driven by oscillatory inputs, and support the results using simulations with leaky integrate-and-fire neurons. Our results show selective potentiation of connections with specific axonal delays, which depended on the input frequency. In addition, we demonstrate how this can lead to a network becoming selective in the amplitude of its oscillatory response to this frequency. We extend this model of axonal delay selection within a single recurrent network in two ways. First, we show the selective potentiation of connections with a range of both axonal and dendritic delays. Second, we show axonal delay selection between multiple groups receiving out-of-phase, oscillatory inputs. We discuss the application of these models to the formation and activation of neuronal ensembles or cell assemblies in the cortex, and also to missing fundamental pitch perception in the auditory brainstem.

  19. Representation of spontaneous movement by dopaminergic neurons is cell-type selective and disrupted in parkinsonism

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dodson, Paul D.; Dreyer, Jakob K.; Jennings, Katie Ann

    2016-01-01

    receptor expressed by striatal neurons. Importantly, in aged mice harboring a genetic burden relevant for human Parkinson's disease, the precise movement-related firing of SNc dopaminergic neurons and the resultant striatal dopamine signaling were lost. These data show that distinct dopaminergic cell types......Midbrain dopaminergic neurons are essential for appropriate voluntary movement, as epitomized by the cardinal motor impairments arising in Parkinson's disease. Understanding the basis of such motor control requires understanding how the firing of different types of dopaminergic neuron relates...... of these dopaminergic neurons can manifest as rapid and robust fluctuations in striatal dopamine concentration and receptor activity. The exact nature of the movement-related signaling in the striatum depended on the type of dopaminergic neuron providing inputs, the striatal region innervated, and the type of dopamine...

  20. Diversification of C. elegans Motor Neuron Identity via Selective Effector Gene Repression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kerk, Sze Yen; Kratsios, Paschalis; Hart, Michael; Mourao, Romulo; Hobert, Oliver

    2017-01-04

    A common organizational feature of nervous systems is the existence of groups of neurons that share common traits but can be divided into individual subtypes based on anatomical or molecular features. We elucidate the mechanistic basis of neuronal diversification processes in the context of C.elegans ventral cord motor neurons that share common traits that are directly activated by the terminal selector UNC-3. Diversification of motor neurons into different classes, each characterized by unique patterns of effector gene expression, is controlled by distinct combinations of phylogenetically conserved, class-specific transcriptional repressors. These repressors are continuously required in postmitotic neurons to prevent UNC-3, which is active in all neuron classes, from activating class-specific effector genes in specific motor neuron subsets via discrete cis-regulatory elements. The strategy of antagonizing the activity of broadly acting terminal selectors of neuron identity in a subtype-specific fashion may constitute a general principle of neuron subtype diversification. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Does selection for short sleep duration explain human vulnerability to Alzheimer's disease?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nesse, Randolph M; Finch, Caleb E; Nunn, Charles L

    2017-01-16

    Compared with other primates, humans sleep less and have a much higher prevalence of Alzheimer 's disease (AD) pathology. This article reviews evidence relevant to the hypothesis that natural selection for shorter sleep time in humans has compromised the efficacy of physiological mechanisms that protect against AD during sleep. In particular, the glymphatic system drains interstitial fluid from the brain, removing extra-cellular amyloid beta (eAβ) twice as fast during sleep. In addition, melatonin - a peptide hormone that increases markedly during sleep - is an effective antioxidant that inhibits the polymerization of soluble eAβ into insoluble amyloid fibrils that are associated with AD. Sleep deprivation increases plaque formation and AD, which itself disrupts sleep, potentially creating a positive feedback cycle. These and other physiological benefits of sleep may be compromised by short sleep durations. Our hypothesis highlights possible long-term side effects of medications that reduce sleep, and may lead to potential new strategies for preventing and treating AD. © The Author(s) 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Foundation for Evolution, Medicine, and Public Health.

  2. Does selection for short sleep duration explain human vulnerability to Alzheimer’s disease?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nesse, Randolph M; Finch, Caleb E; Nunn, Charles L

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Compared with other primates, humans sleep less and have a much higher prevalence of Alzheimer ’s disease (AD) pathology. This article reviews evidence relevant to the hypothesis that natural selection for shorter sleep time in humans has compromised the efficacy of physiological mechanisms that protect against AD during sleep. In particular, the glymphatic system drains interstitial fluid from the brain, removing extra-cellular amyloid beta (eAβ) twice as fast during sleep. In addition, melatonin—a peptide hormone that increases markedly during sleep—is an effective antioxidant that inhibits the polymerization of soluble eAβ into insoluble amyloid fibrils that are associated with AD. Sleep deprivation increases plaque formation and AD, which itself disrupts sleep, potentially creating a positive feedback cycle. These and other physiological benefits of sleep may be compromised by short sleep durations. Our hypothesis highlights possible long-term side effects of medications that reduce sleep, and may lead to potential new strategies for preventing and treating AD. PMID:28096295

  3. Song tutoring in presinging zebra finch juveniles biases a small population of higher-order song-selective neurons toward the tutor song.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adret, Patrice; Meliza, C Daniel; Margoliash, Daniel

    2012-10-01

    We explored physiological changes correlated with song tutoring by recording the responses of caudal nidopallium neurons of zebra finches aged P21-P24 (days post hatching) to a broad spectrum of natural and synthetic stimuli. Those birds raised with their fathers tended to show behavioral evidence of song memorization but not of singing; thus auditory responses were not confounded by the birds' own vocalizations. In study 1, 37 of 158 neurons (23%) in 17 of 22 tutored and untutored birds were selective for only 1 of 10 stimuli comprising broadband signals, early juvenile songs and calls, female calls, and adult songs. Approximately 30% of the selective neurons (12/37 neurons in 9 birds) were selective for adult conspecific songs. All these were found in the song system nuclei HVC and paraHVC. Of 122 neurons (17 birds) in tutored birds, all of the conspecific song-selective neurons (8 neurons in 6 birds) were selective for the adult tutor song; none was selective for unfamiliar song. In study 2 with a different sampling strategy, we found that 11 of 12 song-selective neurons in 6 of 7 birds preferred the tutor song; none preferred unfamiliar or familiar conspecific songs. Most of these neurons were found in caudal lateral nidopallium (NCL) below HVC. Thus by the time a bird begins to sing, there are small numbers of tutor song-selective neurons distributed in several forebrain regions. We hypothesize that a small population of higher-order auditory neurons is innately selective for complex features of behaviorally relevant stimuli and these responses are modified by specific perceptual/social experience during development.

  4. Towards a mechanistic understanding of vulnerability to hook-and-line fishing: Boldness as the basic target of angling-induced selection

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Klefoth, Thomas; Skov, Christian; Kuparinen, Anna

    2017-01-01

    by juvenile growth rate, while morphological traits were only weakly related to angling vulnerability. In addition, we found juvenile growth rate to be moderately correlated with boldness. Hence, direct selection on boldness will also induce indirect selection on juvenile growth and vice versa, but given......In passively operated fishing gear, boldness-related behaviors should fundamentally affect the vulnerability of individual fish and thus be under fisheries selection. To test this hypothesis, we used juvenile common-garden reared carp (Cyprinus carpio) within a narrow size range to investigate...... the mechanistic basis of behavioral selection caused by angling. We focused on one key personality trait (i.e., boldness), measured in groups within ponds, two morphological traits (body shape and head shape), and one life-history trait (juvenile growth capacity) and studied mean standardized selection gradients...

  5. Neurons in the thalamic reticular nucleus are selective for diverse and complex visual features

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vishal eVaingankar

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available All visual signals the cortex receives are influenced by the perigeniculate sector of the thalamic reticular nucleus, which receives input from relay cells in the lateral geniculate and provides feedback inhibition in return. Relay cells have been studied in quantitative depth; they behave in a roughly linear fashion and have receptive fields with a stereotyped centre-surround structure. We know far less about reticular neurons. Qualitative studies indicate they simply pool ascending input to generate nonselective gain control. Yet the perigeniculate is complicated; local cells are densely interconnected and fire lengthy bursts. Thus, we employed quantitative methods to explore the perigeniculate, using relay cells as controls. By adapting methods of spike-triggered averaging and covariance analysis for bursts, we identified both first and second order features that build reticular receptive fields. The shapes of these spatiotemporal subunits varied widely; no stereotyped pattern emerged. Companion experiments showed that the shape of the first but not second order features could be explained by the overlap of On and Off inputs to a given cell. Moreover, we assessed the predictive power of the receptive field and how much information each component subunit conveyed. Linear-nonlinear models including multiple subunits performed better than those made with just one; further each subunit encoded different visual information. Model performance for reticular cells was always lesser than for relay cells, however, indicating that reticular cells process inputs nonlinearly. All told, our results suggest that the perigeniculate encodes diverse visual features to selectively modulate activity transmitted downstream

  6. Development of an iron-selective antioxidant probe with protective effects on neuronal function.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olimpo García-Beltrán

    Full Text Available Iron accumulation, oxidative stress and calcium signaling dysregulation are common pathognomonic signs of several neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson´s and Alzheimer's diseases, Friedreich ataxia and Huntington's disease. Given their therapeutic potential, the identification of multifunctional compounds that suppress these damaging features is highly desirable. Here, we report the synthesis and characterization of N-(1,3-dihydroxy-2-(hydroxymethylpropan-2-yl-2-(7-hydroxy-2-oxo-2H-chromen-4-ylacetamide, named CT51, which exhibited potent free radical neutralizing activity both in vitro and in cells. CT51 bound Fe2+ with high selectivity and Fe3+ with somewhat lower affinity. Cyclic voltammetric analysis revealed irreversible binding of Fe3+ to CT51, an important finding since stopping Fe2+/Fe3+ cycling in cells should prevent hydroxyl radical production resulting from the Fenton-Haber-Weiss cycle. When added to human neuroblastoma cells, CT51 freely permeated the cell membrane and distributed to both mitochondria and cytoplasm. Intracellularly, CT51 bound iron reversibly and protected against lipid peroxidation. Treatment of primary hippocampal neurons with CT51 reduced the sustained calcium release induced by an agonist of ryanodine receptor-calcium channels. These protective properties of CT51 on cellular function highlight its possible therapeutic use in diseases with significant oxidative, iron and calcium dysregulation.

  7. Neurons in the thalamic reticular nucleus are selective for diverse and complex visual features

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vaingankar, Vishal; Soto-Sanchez, Cristina; Wang, Xin; Sommer, Friedrich T.; Hirsch, Judith A.

    2012-01-01

    All visual signals the cortex receives are influenced by the perigeniculate sector (PGN) of the thalamic reticular nucleus, which receives input from relay cells in the lateral geniculate and provides feedback inhibition in return. Relay cells have been studied in quantitative depth; they behave in a roughly linear fashion and have receptive fields with a stereotyped center-surround structure. We know far less about reticular neurons. Qualitative studies indicate they simply pool ascending input to generate non-selective gain control. Yet the perigeniculate is complicated; local cells are densely interconnected and fire lengthy bursts. Thus, we employed quantitative methods to explore the perigeniculate using relay cells as controls. By adapting methods of spike-triggered averaging and covariance analysis for bursts, we identified both first and second order features that build reticular receptive fields. The shapes of these spatiotemporal subunits varied widely; no stereotyped pattern emerged. Companion experiments showed that the shape of the first but not second order features could be explained by the overlap of On and Off inputs to a given cell. Moreover, we assessed the predictive power of the receptive field and how much information each component subunit conveyed. Linear-non-linear (LN) models including multiple subunits performed better than those made with just one; further each subunit encoded different visual information. Model performance for reticular cells was always lesser than for relay cells, however, indicating that reticular cells process inputs non-linearly. All told, our results suggest that the perigeniculate encodes diverse visual features to selectively modulate activity transmitted downstream. PMID:23269915

  8. Aberrant association of misfolded SOD1 with Na(+)/K(+)ATPase-α3 impairs its activity and contributes to motor neuron vulnerability in ALS

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ruegsegger, Céline; Maharjan, Niran; Goswami, Anand; Filézac de L'Etang, Audrey; Weis, Joachim; Troost, Dirk; Heller, Manfred; Gut, Heinz; Saxena, Smita

    2016-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is an adult onset progressive motor neuron disease with no cure. Transgenic mice overexpressing familial ALS associated human mutant SOD1 are a commonly used model for examining disease mechanisms. Presently, it is well accepted that alterations in motor neuron

  9. Selective expression of KCNS3 potassium channel α-subunit in parvalbumin-containing GABA neurons in the human prefrontal cortex.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Danko Georgiev

    Full Text Available The cognitive deficits of schizophrenia appear to be associated with altered cortical GABA neurotransmission in the subsets of inhibitory neurons that express either parvalbumin (PV or somatostatin (SST. Identification of molecular mechanisms that operate selectively in these neurons is essential for developing targeted therapeutic strategies that do not influence other cell types. Consequently, we sought to identify, in the human cortex, gene products that are expressed selectively by PV and/or SST neurons, and that might contribute to their distinctive functional properties. Based on previously reported expression patterns in the cortex of mice and humans, we selected four genes: KCNS3, LHX6, KCNAB1, and PPP1R2, encoding K(+ channel Kv9.3 modulatory α-subunit, LIM homeobox protein 6, K(+ channel Kvβ1 subunit, and protein phosphatase 1 regulatory subunit 2, respectively, and examined their colocalization with PV or SST mRNAs in the human prefrontal cortex using dual-label in situ hybridization with (35S- and digoxigenin-labeled antisense riboprobes. KCNS3 mRNA was detected in almost all PV neurons, but not in SST neurons, and PV mRNA was detected in >90% of KCNS3 mRNA-expressing neurons. LHX6 mRNA was detected in almost all PV and >90% of SST neurons, while among all LHX6 mRNA-expressing neurons 50% expressed PV mRNA and >44% expressed SST mRNA. KCNAB1 and PPP1R2 mRNAs were detected in much larger populations of cortical neurons than PV or SST neurons. These findings indicate that KCNS3 is a selective marker of PV neurons, whereas LHX6 is expressed by both PV and SST neurons. KCNS3 and LHX6 might be useful for characterizing cell-type specific molecular alterations of cortical GABA neurotransmission and for the development of novel treatments targeting PV and/or SST neurons in schizophrenia.

  10. Behavior-Dependent Activity and Synaptic Organization of Septo-hippocampal GABAergic Neurons Selectively Targeting the Hippocampal CA3 Area.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joshi, Abhilasha; Salib, Minas; Viney, Tim James; Dupret, David; Somogyi, Peter

    2017-12-20

    Rhythmic medial septal (MS) GABAergic input coordinates cortical theta oscillations. However, the rules of innervation of cortical cells and regions by diverse septal neurons are unknown. We report a specialized population of septal GABAergic neurons, the Teevra cells, selectively innervating the hippocampal CA3 area bypassing CA1, CA2, and the dentate gyrus. Parvalbumin-immunopositive Teevra cells show the highest rhythmicity among MS neurons and fire with short burst duration (median, 38 ms) preferentially at the trough of both CA1 theta and slow irregular oscillations, coincident with highest hippocampal excitability. Teevra cells synaptically target GABAergic axo-axonic and some CCK interneurons in restricted septo-temporal CA3 segments. The rhythmicity of their firing decreases from septal to temporal termination of individual axons. We hypothesize that Teevra neurons coordinate oscillatory activity across the septo-temporal axis, phasing the firing of specific CA3 interneurons, thereby contributing to the selection of pyramidal cell assemblies at the theta trough via disinhibition. VIDEO ABSTRACT. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Neurons in the Amygdala with Response-Selectivity for Anxiety in Two Ethologically Based Tests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Dong V.; Wang, Fang; Liu, Jun; Zhang, Lu; Wang, Zhiru; Lin, Longnian

    2011-01-01

    The amygdala is a key area in the brain for detecting potential threats or dangers, and further mediating anxiety. However, the neuronal mechanisms of anxiety in the amygdala have not been well characterized. Here we report that in freely-behaving mice, a group of neurons in the basolateral amygdala (BLA) fires tonically under anxiety conditions in both open-field and elevated plus-maze tests. The firing patterns of these neurons displayed a characteristic slow onset and progressively increased firing rates. Specifically, these firing patterns were correlated to a gradual development of anxiety-like behaviors in the open-field test. Moreover, these neurons could be activated by any impoverished environment similar to an open-field; and introduction of both comfortable and uncomfortable stimuli temporarily suppressed the activity of these BLA neurons. Importantly, the excitability of these BLA neurons correlated well with levels of anxiety. These results demonstrate that this type of BLA neuron is likely to represent anxiety and/or emotional values of anxiety elicited by anxiogenic environmental stressors. PMID:21494567

  12. Neurons in the amygdala with response-selectivity for anxiety in two ethologically based tests.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dong V Wang

    Full Text Available The amygdala is a key area in the brain for detecting potential threats or dangers, and further mediating anxiety. However, the neuronal mechanisms of anxiety in the amygdala have not been well characterized. Here we report that in freely-behaving mice, a group of neurons in the basolateral amygdala (BLA fires tonically under anxiety conditions in both open-field and elevated plus-maze tests. The firing patterns of these neurons displayed a characteristic slow onset and progressively increased firing rates. Specifically, these firing patterns were correlated to a gradual development of anxiety-like behaviors in the open-field test. Moreover, these neurons could be activated by any impoverished environment similar to an open-field; and introduction of both comfortable and uncomfortable stimuli temporarily suppressed the activity of these BLA neurons. Importantly, the excitability of these BLA neurons correlated well with levels of anxiety. These results demonstrate that this type of BLA neuron is likely to represent anxiety and/or emotional values of anxiety elicited by anxiogenic environmental stressors.

  13. Neuronal hyperexcitability in the ventral posterior thalamus of neuropathic rats: modality selective effects of pregabalin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patel, Ryan; Dickenson, Anthony H

    2016-07-01

    Neuropathic pain represents a substantial clinical challenge; understanding the underlying neural mechanisms and back-translation of therapeutics could aid targeting of treatments more effectively. The ventral posterior thalamus (VP) is the major termination site for the spinothalamic tract and relays nociceptive activity to the somatosensory cortex; however, under neuropathic conditions, it is unclear how hyperexcitability of spinal neurons converges onto thalamic relays. This study aimed to identify neural substrates of hypersensitivity and the influence of pregabalin on central processing. In vivo electrophysiology was performed to record from VP wide dynamic range (WDR) and nociceptive-specific (NS) neurons in anesthetized spinal nerve-ligated (SNL), sham-operated, and naive rats. In neuropathic rats, WDR neurons had elevated evoked responses to low- and high-intensity punctate mechanical stimuli, dynamic brushing, and innocuous and noxious cooling, but less so to heat stimulation, of the receptive field. NS neurons in SNL rats also displayed increased responses to noxious punctate mechanical stimulation, dynamic brushing, noxious cooling, and noxious heat. Additionally, WDR, but not NS, neurons in SNL rats exhibited substantially higher rates of spontaneous firing, which may correlate with ongoing pain. The ratio of WDR-to-NS neurons was comparable between SNL and naive/sham groups, suggesting relatively few NS neurons gain sensitivity to low-intensity stimuli leading to a "WDR phenotype." After neuropathy was induced, the proportion of cold-sensitive WDR and NS neurons increased, supporting the suggestion that changes in frequency-dependent firing and population coding underlie cold hypersensitivity. In SNL rats, pregabalin inhibited mechanical and heat responses but not cold-evoked or elevated spontaneous activity. Copyright © 2016 the American Physiological Society.

  14. Vagal stimulation targets select populations of intrinsic cardiac neurons to control neurally induced atrial fibrillation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salavatian, Siamak; Beaumont, Eric; Longpré, Jean-Philippe; Armour, J Andrew; Vinet, Alain; Jacquemet, Vincent; Shivkumar, Kalyanam; Ardell, Jeffrey L

    2016-11-01

    Mediastinal nerve stimulation (MNS) reproducibly evokes atrial fibrillation (AF) by excessive and heterogeneous activation of intrinsic cardiac (IC) neurons. This study evaluated whether preemptive vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) impacts MNS-induced evoked changes in IC neural network activity to thereby alter susceptibility to AF. IC neuronal activity in the right atrial ganglionated plexus was directly recorded in anesthetized canines (n = 8) using a linear microelectrode array concomitant with right atrial electrical activity in response to: 1) epicardial touch or great vessel occlusion vs. 2) stellate or vagal stimulation. From these stressors, post hoc analysis (based on the Skellam distribution) defined IC neurons so recorded as afferent, efferent, or convergent (afferent and efferent inputs) local circuit neurons (LCN). The capacity of right-sided MNS to modify IC activity in the induction of AF was determined before and after preemptive right (RCV)- vs. left (LCV)-sided VNS (15 Hz, 500 μs; 1.2× bradycardia threshold). Neuronal (n = 89) activity at baseline (0.11 ± 0.29 Hz) increased during MNS-induced AF (0.51 ± 1.30 Hz; P neuronal synchrony increased during neurally induced AF, a local neural network response mitigated by preemptive VNS. These antiarrhythmic effects persisted post-VNS for, on average, 26 min. In conclusion, VNS preferentially targets convergent LCNs and their interactive coherence to mitigate the potential for neurally induced AF. The antiarrhythmic properties imposed by VNS exhibit memory. Copyright © 2016 the American Physiological Society.

  15. Caspase inhibition in select olfactory neurons restores innate attraction behavior in aged Drosophila.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Takahiro Chihara

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Sensory and cognitive performance decline with age. Neural dysfunction caused by nerve death in senile dementia and neurodegenerative disease has been intensively studied; however, functional changes in neural circuits during the normal aging process are not well understood. Caspases are key regulators of cell death, a hallmark of age-related neurodegeneration. Using a genetic probe for caspase-3-like activity (DEVDase activity, we have mapped age-dependent neuronal changes in the adult brain throughout the lifespan of Drosophila. Spatio-temporally restricted caspase activation was observed in the antennal lobe and ellipsoid body, brain structures required for olfaction and visual place memory, respectively. We also found that caspase was activated in an age-dependent manner in specific subsets of Drosophila olfactory receptor neurons (ORNs, Or42b and Or92a neurons. These neurons are essential for mediating innate attraction to food-related odors. Furthermore, age-induced impairments of neural transmission and attraction behavior could be reversed by specific inhibition of caspase in these ORNs, indicating that caspase activation in Or42b and Or92a neurons is responsible for altering animal behavior during normal aging.

  16. Caspase inhibition in select olfactory neurons restores innate attraction behavior in aged Drosophila.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chihara, Takahiro; Kitabayashi, Aki; Morimoto, Michie; Takeuchi, Ken-ichi; Masuyama, Kaoru; Tonoki, Ayako; Davis, Ronald L; Wang, Jing W; Miura, Masayuki

    2014-06-01

    Sensory and cognitive performance decline with age. Neural dysfunction caused by nerve death in senile dementia and neurodegenerative disease has been intensively studied; however, functional changes in neural circuits during the normal aging process are not well understood. Caspases are key regulators of cell death, a hallmark of age-related neurodegeneration. Using a genetic probe for caspase-3-like activity (DEVDase activity), we have mapped age-dependent neuronal changes in the adult brain throughout the lifespan of Drosophila. Spatio-temporally restricted caspase activation was observed in the antennal lobe and ellipsoid body, brain structures required for olfaction and visual place memory, respectively. We also found that caspase was activated in an age-dependent manner in specific subsets of Drosophila olfactory receptor neurons (ORNs), Or42b and Or92a neurons. These neurons are essential for mediating innate attraction to food-related odors. Furthermore, age-induced impairments of neural transmission and attraction behavior could be reversed by specific inhibition of caspase in these ORNs, indicating that caspase activation in Or42b and Or92a neurons is responsible for altering animal behavior during normal aging.

  17. Variant BDNF-Val66Met Polymorphism is Associated with Layer-Specific Alterations in GABAergic Innervation of Pyramidal Neurons, Elevated Anxiety and Reduced Vulnerability of Adolescent Male Mice to Activity-Based Anorexia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Yi-Wen; Surgent, Olivia; Rana, Barkha S; Lee, Francis; Aoki, Chiye

    2017-08-01

    Previously, we determined that rodents' vulnerability to food restriction (FR)-evoked wheel running during adolescence (activity-based anorexia, ABA) is associated with failures to increase GABAergic innervation of hippocampal and medial prefrontal pyramidal neurons. Since brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) promotes GABAergic synaptogenesis, we hypothesized that individual differences in this vulnerability may arise from differences in the link between BDNF bioavailability and FR-evoked wheel running. We tested this hypothesis in male BDNF-Val66Met knock-in mice (BDNFMet/Met), known for reduction in the activity-dependent BDNF secretion and elevated anxiety-like behaviors. We found that 1) in the absence of FR or a wheel (i.e., control), BDNFMet/Met mice are more anxious than wild-type (WT) littermates, 2) electron microscopically verified GABAergic innervations of pyramidal neurons of BDNFMet/Met mice are reduced at distal dendrites in hippocampal CA1 and medial prefrontal cortex, 3) following ABA, WT mice exhibit anxiety equal to those of the BDNFMet/Met mice and have lost GABAergic innervation along distal dendrites, 4) BDNFMet/Met mice show blunted ABA vulnerability, and 5) unexpectedly, GABAergic innervation is higher at somata of BDNFMet/Met mice than of WT. We conclude that lamina-specific GABAergic inhibition is important for regulating anxiety, whether arising from environmental stress, such as food deprivation, or genetically, such as BDNFMet/Met single nucleotide polymorphism. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  18. ALS-associated mutant FUS induces selective motor neuron degeneration through toxic gain of function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharma, Aarti; Lyashchenko, Alexander K; Lu, Lei; Nasrabady, Sara Ebrahimi; Elmaleh, Margot; Mendelsohn, Monica; Nemes, Adriana; Tapia, Juan Carlos; Mentis, George Z; Shneider, Neil A

    2016-02-04

    Mutations in FUS cause amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), including some of the most aggressive, juvenile-onset forms of the disease. FUS loss-of-function and toxic gain-of-function mechanisms have been proposed to explain how mutant FUS leads to motor neuron degeneration, but neither has been firmly established in the pathogenesis of ALS. Here we characterize a series of transgenic FUS mouse lines that manifest progressive, mutant-dependent motor neuron degeneration preceded by early, structural and functional abnormalities at the neuromuscular junction. A novel, conditional FUS knockout mutant reveals that postnatal elimination of FUS has no effect on motor neuron survival or function. Moreover, endogenous FUS does not contribute to the onset of the ALS phenotype induced by mutant FUS. These findings demonstrate that FUS-dependent motor degeneration is not due to loss of FUS function, but to the gain of toxic properties conferred by ALS mutations.

  19. Vagal stimulation targets select populations of intrinsic cardiac neurons to control neurally induced atrial fibrillation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salavatian, Siamak; Beaumont, Eric; Longpré, Jean-Philippe; Armour, J. Andrew; Vinet, Alain; Jacquemet, Vincent; Shivkumar, Kalyanam

    2016-01-01

    Mediastinal nerve stimulation (MNS) reproducibly evokes atrial fibrillation (AF) by excessive and heterogeneous activation of intrinsic cardiac (IC) neurons. This study evaluated whether preemptive vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) impacts MNS-induced evoked changes in IC neural network activity to thereby alter susceptibility to AF. IC neuronal activity in the right atrial ganglionated plexus was directly recorded in anesthetized canines (n = 8) using a linear microelectrode array concomitant with right atrial electrical activity in response to: 1) epicardial touch or great vessel occlusion vs. 2) stellate or vagal stimulation. From these stressors, post hoc analysis (based on the Skellam distribution) defined IC neurons so recorded as afferent, efferent, or convergent (afferent and efferent inputs) local circuit neurons (LCN). The capacity of right-sided MNS to modify IC activity in the induction of AF was determined before and after preemptive right (RCV)- vs. left (LCV)-sided VNS (15 Hz, 500 μs; 1.2× bradycardia threshold). Neuronal (n = 89) activity at baseline (0.11 ± 0.29 Hz) increased during MNS-induced AF (0.51 ± 1.30 Hz; P < 0.001). Convergent LCNs were preferentially activated by MNS. Preemptive RCV reduced MNS-induced changes in LCN activity (by 70%) while mitigating MNS-induced AF (by 75%). Preemptive LCV reduced LCN activity by 60% while mitigating AF potential by 40%. IC neuronal synchrony increased during neurally induced AF, a local neural network response mitigated by preemptive VNS. These antiarrhythmic effects persisted post-VNS for, on average, 26 min. In conclusion, VNS preferentially targets convergent LCNs and their interactive coherence to mitigate the potential for neurally induced AF. The antiarrhythmic properties imposed by VNS exhibit memory. PMID:27591222

  20. Long-term exposure to endogenous levels of tributyltin decreases GluR2 expression and increases neuronal vulnerability to glutamate

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nakatsu, Yusuke; Kotake, Yaichiro; Takishita, Tomoko; Ohta, Shigeru

    2009-01-01

    Tributyltin (TBT), an endocrine-disrupting chemical, has been used commercially as a heat stabilizer, agricultural pesticide and component of antifouling paints. In this study, we investigated the effect of long-term exposure to endogenous levels of TBT on neuronal glutamate receptors. Cultured rat cortical neurons were exposed to 1-50 nM TBT for 9 days (from day 2 to day 10 in vitro). The number of neurons was reduced by long-term exposure to 50 nM TBT, but not to 1-20 nM TBT. Long-term exposure to 20 nM TBT decreased the mRNA expression of glutamate receptors NR1, NR2A, GluR1 and GluR2, and increased that of NR2B, GluR3 and GluR4. GluR2 protein was also reduced by long-term exposure to TBT. Because AMPA receptor lacking GluR2 exhibits Ca 2+ permeability, we investigated whether Ca 2+ influx or glutamate toxicity was affected. Indeed, glutamate-induced Ca 2+ influx was increased in TBT-treated neurons. Consistent with this, neurons became more susceptible to glutamate toxicity as a result of long-term exposure to TBT and this susceptibility was abolished by an antagonist of GluR2-lacking AMPA receptor. Thus, it is suggested that long-term exposure to endogenous levels of TBT induces a decrease of GluR2 protein, causing neurons become more susceptible to glutamate toxicity.

  1. Long-term exposure to endogenous levels of tributyltin decreases GluR2 expression and increases neuronal vulnerability to glutamate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakatsu, Yusuke; Kotake, Yaichiro; Takishita, Tomoko; Ohta, Shigeru

    2009-10-15

    Tributyltin (TBT), an endocrine-disrupting chemical, has been used commercially as a heat stabilizer, agricultural pesticide and component of antifouling paints. In this study, we investigated the effect of long-term exposure to endogenous levels of TBT on neuronal glutamate receptors. Cultured rat cortical neurons were exposed to 1-50 nM TBT for 9 days (from day 2 to day 10 in vitro). The number of neurons was reduced by long-term exposure to 50 nM TBT, but not to 1-20 nM TBT. Long-term exposure to 20 nM TBT decreased the mRNA expression of glutamate receptors NR1, NR2A, GluR1 and GluR2, and increased that of NR2B, GluR3 and GluR4. GluR2 protein was also reduced by long-term exposure to TBT. Because AMPA receptor lacking GluR2 exhibits Ca2+ permeability, we investigated whether Ca2+ influx or glutamate toxicity was affected. Indeed, glutamate-induced Ca2+ influx was increased in TBT-treated neurons. Consistent with this, neurons became more susceptible to glutamate toxicity as a result of long-term exposure to TBT and this susceptibility was abolished by an antagonist of GluR2-lacking AMPA receptor. Thus, it is suggested that long-term exposure to endogenous levels of TBT induces a decrease of GluR2 protein, causing neurons become more susceptible to glutamate toxicity.

  2. The GULLS project: a comparison of vulnerabilities across selected ocean hotspots and implications for adaptation to global change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cochrane, K.; Hobday, A. J.; Aswani, S.; Byfield, V.; Dutra, L.; Gasalla, M.; Haward, M.; Paytan, A.; Pecl, G.; Plaganyi-Lloyd, E.; Popova, K.; Salim, S. S.; Savage, C.; Sauer, W.; van Putten, I. E.; Visser, N.; Team, T G

    2016-12-01

    The GULLS project, `Global learning for local solutions: Reducing vulnerability of marine-dependent coastal communities' has been underway since October 2014. The project has been investigating six regional `hotspots': marine areas experiencing rapid warming. These are south-east Australia, Brazil, India, Solomon Islands, South Africa, and the Mozambique Channel and Madagascar. Rapid warming could be expected to have social, cultural and economic impacts that could affect these countries in different ways and may already be doing so. GULLS has focused on contributing to assessing and reducing the vulnerability of coastal communities and other stakeholders dependent on marine resources and to facilitate adaptation to climate change and variability through an integrated and trans-disciplinary approach. It includes participants from Australia, Brazil, India, Madagascar, New Zealand, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States of America. The research programme has been divided into six inter-linked components: ocean models, biological and ecological sensitivity analyses, system models, social vulnerability, policy mapping, and communication and education. This presentation will provide a brief overview of each of these components and describe the benefits that have resulted from the collaborative and transdisciplinary approach of GULLS. Following the standard vulnerability elements of exposure, sensitivity and adaptive capacity, the vulnerabilities of coastal communities and other stakeholders dependent on marine resources in the five hotspots will be compared using a set of indicators derived and populated from results of the research programme. The implications of similarities and differences between the hotspots for adaptation planning and options will be described.

  3. [Relation between frequency modulation direction selectivity and forward masking of inferior collicular neurons: a study on in vivo intracellular recording in mice].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fu, Zi-Ying; Zeng, Hong; Tang, Jia; Li, Jie; Li, Juan; Chen, Qi-Cai

    2013-06-25

    It has been reported that the frequency modulation (FM) or FM direction sensitivity and forward masking of central auditory neurons are related with the neural inhibition, but there are some arguments, because no direct evidence of inhibitory synaptic input was obtained in previous studies using extracellular recording. In the present study, we studied the relation between FM direction sensitivity and forward masking of the inferior collicular (IC) neurons using in vivo intracellular recordings in 20 Mus musculus Km mice. Thirty seven with complete data among 93 neurons were analyzed and discussed. There was an inhibitory area which consisted of inhibitory postsynaptic potentials (IPSP) at high frequency side of frequency tuning of up-sweep FM (FMU) sensitive neurons (n = 12) and at low frequency side of frequency tuning of down-sweep FM (FMD) selective neurons (n = 8), while there was no any inhibitory area at both sides of frequency tuning of non-FM sweep direction (FMN) sensitive neurons (n = 17). Therefore, these results show that the inhibitory area at low or high frequency side of frequency tuning is one of the mechanisms for forming FM sweep direction sensitivity of IC neurons. By comparison of forward masking produced by FMU and FMD sound stimuli in FMU, FMD and FMN neurons, the selective FM sounds could produce stronger forward masking than the non-selective in FMU and FMD neurons, while there was no forward masking difference between FMU and FMD stimuli in the FMN neurons. We suggest that the post-action potential IPSP is a potential mechanism for producing stronger forward masking in FMU and FMD neurons.

  4. Selective retrograde transport of D-aspartate in spinal interneurons anc cortical neurons of rats

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rustioni, A.; Cuenod, M.

    1982-01-01

    Retrograde labeling of neuronal elements in the brain and spinal cord has been investigated by autoradiographic techniques following injections of D-[ 3 H]aspartate (asp), [ 3 H]γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) or horseradish peroxidase (HRP) in the medulla and spinal cord of rats. Twenty-four hours after D-[ 3 H]asp injections focused upon the cuneate nucleus, autoradiographic labeling is present over fibers in the pyramidal tract, internal capsule and over layer V pyramids in the forelimb representation of the sensorimotor cortex. After [ 3 H]GABA injections in the same nucleus no labeling attributable to retrograde translocation can be detected in spinal segments, brain stem or cortex. Conversely, injections of 30% HRP in the cuneate nucleus label neurons in several brain stem nuclei, in spinal gray and in layer V of the sensorimotor cortex. D-[ 3 H]Asp injections focused on the dorsal horn at cervical segments label a fraction of perikarya of the substantia gelatinosa and a sparser population of larger neurons in laminae IV to VI for a distance of 3-5 segments above and below the injection point. No brain stem neuronal perikarya appear labeled following spinal injections of D-[ 3 H]asp although autoradiographic grains overlie pyramidal tract fibers on the side contralateral to the injection. (Auth.)

  5. Selective neuronal PTEN deletion: can we take the brakes off of growth without losing control?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erin A Gutilla

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The limited ability for injured adult axons to regenerate is a major cause for limited functional recovery after injury to the nervous system, motivating numerous efforts to uncover mechanisms capable of enhancing regeneration potential. One promising strategy involves deletion or knockdown of the phosphatase and tensin (PTEN gene. Conditional genetic deletion of PTEN before, immediately following, or several months after spinal cord injury enables neurons of the corticospinal tract (CST to regenerate their axons across the lesion, which is accompanied by enhanced recovery of skilled voluntary motor functions mediated by the CST. Although conditional genetic deletion or knockdown ofPTEN in neurons enables axon regeneration, PTEN is a well-known tumor suppressor and mutations of the PTEN gene disrupt brain development leading to neurological abnormalities including macrocephaly, seizures, and early mortality. The long-term consequences of manipulating PTEN in the adult nervous system, as would be done for therapeutic intervention after injury, are only now being explored. Here, we summarize evidence indicating that long-term deletion of PTEN in mature neurons does not cause evident pathology; indeed, cortical neurons that have lived without PTEN for over 1 year appear robust and healthy. Studies to date provide only a first look at potential negative consequences of PTEN deletion or knockdown, but the absence of any detectable neuropathology supports guarded optimism that interventions to enable axon regeneration after injury are achievable.

  6. Divisive normalization and neuronal oscillations in a single hierarchical framework of selective visual attention

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Montijn, J.S.; Klink, P.C.; van Wezel, R.J.A.

    2012-01-01

    Divisive normalization models of covert attention commonly use spike rate modulations as indicators of the effect of top-down attention. In addition, an increasing number of studies have shown that top-down attention increases the synchronization of neuronal oscillations as well, particularly in

  7. Downregulation of selective microRNAs in trigeminal ganglion neurons following inflammatory muscle pain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wei Dong

    2007-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Active regulation of gene expression in the nervous system plays an important role in the development and/or maintenance of inflammatory pain. MicroRNA (miRNA negatively regulates gene expression via posttranscriptional or transcriptional inhibition of specific genes. To explore the possible involvement of miRNA in gene regulation during inflammatory pain, we injected complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA unilaterally into the rat masseter muscle and quantified changes in neuron-specific mature miRNAs in the trigeminal ganglion (TG. Real-time reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction revealed significant, but differential, downregulation of mature miR-10a, -29a, -98, -99a, -124a, -134, and -183 in the ipsilateral mandibular division (V3 of the TG within 4 hr after CFA. In contrast, levels of tested miRNAs did not change significantly in the contralateral V3 or the ipsilateral ophthalmic and maxillary divisions of the TG from inflamed rats, nor in the ipsilateral V3 of saline-injected animals. The downregulated miRNAs recovered differentially to a level equal to or higher than that in naive animals. Full recovery time varied with miRNA species but was at least 4 days. Expression and downregulation of some miRNAs were further confirmed by in situ hybridization of TG neurons that innervate the inflamed muscle. Although neurons of all sizes expressed these miRNAs, their signals varied between neurons. Our results indicate that miRNA species specific to neurons are quickly regulated following inflammatory muscle pain.

  8. Selective retrograde labeling of cholinergic neurons with [3H]choline

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bagnoli, P.; Beaudet, A.; Stella, M.; Cuenod, M.

    1981-01-01

    Evidence is presented which is consistent with a specific retrograde labeling of cholinergic neurons following [ 3 H]choline application in their zone of termination. [ 3 H]Choline injection in the rat hippocampus leads to perikaryal retrograde labeling in the ipsilateral medial septal nuclease and nucleus of the diagonal band, thus delineating an established cholinergic pathway, while only diffuse presumably anterograde labeling was observed in the lateral septum, the entorhinal cortex, and the opposite hippocampus. After [ 3 H]choline injection in the pigeon visual Wulst, only the ipsilateral thalamic relay, of all inputs, showed similar perikaryal retrograde labeling, an observation supporting the suggestion that at least some thalamo-Wulst neurons are cholinergic

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samat Moldakarimov

    2014-08-01

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

  10. Divisive Normalization and Neuronal Oscillations in a Single Hierarchical Framework of Selective Visual Attention

    OpenAIRE

    Montijn, Jorrit Steven; Klink, P. Christaan; van Wezel, Richard J. A.

    2012-01-01

    Divisive normalization models of covert attention commonly use spike rate modulations as indicators of the effect of top-down attention. In addition, an increasing number of studies have shown that top-down attention increases the synchronization of neuronal oscillations as well, particularly in gamma-band frequencies (25–100 Hz). Although modulations of spike rate and synchronous oscillations are not mutually exclusive as mechanisms of attention, there has thus far been little effort to inte...

  11. Selective alterations of neurons and circuits related to early memory loss in Alzheimer's disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    María eLlorens-Martín

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available A progressive loss of episodic memory is a well-known clinical symptom that characterizes Alzheimer’s disease (AD. The beginning of this loss of memory has been associated with the very early, pathological accumulation of tau and neuronal degeneration observed in the entorhinal cortex (EC. Tau-related pathology is thought to then spread progressively to the hippocampal formation and other brain areas as the disease progresses. The major cortical afferent source of the hippocampus and dentate gyrus is the EC through the perforant pathway. At least two main circuits participate in the connection between EC and the hippocampus; one originating in layer II and the other in layer III of the EC giving rise to the classical trisynaptic (ECII→dentate gyrus→CA3→CA1 and monosynaptic (ECIII→CA1 circuits. Thus, the study of the early pathological changes in these circuits is of great interest. In this review, we will discuss mainly the alterations of the granule cell neurons of the dentate gyrus and the atrophy of CA1 pyramidal neurons that occur in AD in relation to the possible differential alterations of these two main circuits.

  12. Selective depletion of microglial progranulin in mice is not sufficient to cause neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis or neuroinflammation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petkau, Terri L; Kosior, Natalia; de Asis, Kathleen; Connolly, Colúm; Leavitt, Blair R

    2017-11-17

    Progranulin deficiency due to heterozygous null mutations in the GRN gene are a common cause of familial frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD), while homozygous loss-of-function GRN mutations are thought to be a rare cause of neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (NCL). Aged progranulin-knockout (Grn-null) mice display highly exaggerated lipofuscinosis, microgliosis, and astrogliosis, as well as mild cell loss in specific brain regions. In the brain, progranulin is predominantly expressed in neurons and microglia, and previously, we demonstrated that neuronal-specific depletion of progranulin does not recapitulate the neuropathological phenotype of Grn-null mice. In this study, we evaluated whether selective depletion of progranulin expression in myeloid-lineage cells, including microglia, causes NCL-like neuropathology or neuroinflammation in mice. We generated mice with progranulin depleted in myeloid-lineage cells by crossing mice homozygous for a floxed progranulin allele to mice expressing Cre recombinase under control of the LyzM promotor (Lyz-cKO). Progranulin expression was reduced by approximately 50-70% in isolated microglia compared to WT levels. Lyz-cKO mice aged to 12 months did not display any increase in lipofuscin deposition, microgliosis, or astrogliosis in the four brain regions examined, though increases were observed for many of these measures in Grn-null animals. To evaluate the functional effect of reduced progranulin expression in isolated microglia, primary cultures were stimulated with controlled standard endotoxin and cytokine release was measured. While Grn-null microglia display a hyper-inflammatory phenotype, Lyz-cKO and WT microglia secreted similar levels of inflammatory cytokines. We conclude that progranulin expression from either microglia or neurons is sufficient to prevent the development of NCL-like neuropathology in mice. Furthermore, microglia that are deficient for progranulin expression but isolated from a progranulin

  13. Why is intelligence correlated with semen quality?: Biochemical pathways common to sperm and neuron function and their vulnerability to pleiotropic mutations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pierce, Arand; Miller, Geoffrey; Arden, Rosalind; Gottfredson, Linda S

    2009-09-01

    We recently found positive correlations between human general intelligence and three key indices of semen quality, and hypothesized that these correlations arise through a phenotype-wide 'general fitness factor' reflecting overall mutation load. In this addendum we consider some of the biochemical pathways that may act as targets for pleiotropic mutations that disrupt both neuron function and sperm function in parallel. We focus especially on the inter-related roles of polyunsaturated fatty acids, exocytosis and receptor signaling.

  14. Why is intelligence correlated with semen quality?: Biochemical pathways common to sperm and neuron function and their vulnerability to pleiotropic mutations

    OpenAIRE

    Pierce, Arand; Miller, Geoffrey; Arden, Rosalind; Gottfredson, Linda S

    2009-01-01

    We recently found positive correlations between human general intelligence and three key indices of semen quality, and hypothesized that these correlations arise through a phenotype-wide ‘general fitness factor’ reflecting overall mutation load. In this addendum we consider some of the biochemical pathways that may act as targets for pleiotropic mutations that disrupt both neuron function and sperm function in parallel. We focus especially on the inter-related roles of polyunsaturated fatty a...

  15. Newborn neurons in the olfactory bulb selected for long-term survival through olfactory learning are prematurely suppressed when the olfactory memory is erased.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sultan, Sébastien; Rey, Nolwen; Sacquet, Joelle; Mandairon, Nathalie; Didier, Anne

    2011-10-19

    A role for newborn neurons in olfactory memory has been proposed based on learning-dependent modulation of olfactory bulb neurogenesis in adults. We hypothesized that if newborn neurons support memory, then they should be suppressed by memory erasure. Using an ecological approach in mice, we showed that behaviorally breaking a previously learned odor-reward association prematurely suppressed newborn neurons selected to survive during initial learning. Furthermore, intrabulbar infusions of the caspase pan-inhibitor ZVAD (benzyloxycarbonyl-Val-Ala-Asp) during the behavioral odor-reward extinction prevented newborn neurons death and erasure of the odor-reward association. Newborn neurons thus contribute to the bulbar network plasticity underlying long-term memory.

  16. Neuronal Activation in the Medulla Oblongata during Selective Elicitation of the Laryngeal Adductor Response

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ambalavanar, Ranjinidevi; Tanaka, Yasumasa; Selbie, W. Scott; Ludlow, Christy L.

    2008-01-01

    Swallow and cough are complex motor patterns elicited by rapid and intense electrical stimulation of the internal branch of the superior laryngeal nerve (ISLN). The laryngeal adductor response (LAR) includes only a laryngeal response, is elicited by single stimuli to the ISLN, and is thought to represent the brain stem pathway involved in laryngospasm. To identify which regions in the medulla are activated during elicitation of the LAR alone, single electrical stimuli were presented once every 2 s to the ISLN. Two groups of 5 cats each were studied; an experimental group with unilateral ISLN stimulation at 0.5 Hz and a surgical control group. Three additional cats were studied to evaluate whether other oral, pharyngeal or respiratory muscles were activated during ISLN stimulation eliciting LAR. We quantified up to 22 sections for each of 14 structures in the medulla to determine if regions had increased Fos-like immunoreactive neurons in the experimental group. Significant increases (p medulla. PMID:15212423

  17. A contribution to the selection of tsunami human vulnerability indicators: conclusions from tsunami impacts in Sri Lanka and Thailand (2004), Samoa (2009), Chile (2010) and Japan (2011)

    Science.gov (United States)

    González-Riancho, P.; Aliaga, B.; Hettiarachchi, S.; González, M.; Medina, R.

    2015-07-01

    After several tsunami events with disastrous consequences around the world, coastal countries have realized the need to be prepared to minimize human mortality and damage to coastal infrastructures, livelihoods and resources. The international scientific community is striving to develop and validate methodologies for tsunami hazard and vulnerability and risk assessments. The vulnerability of coastal communities is usually assessed through the definition of sets of indicators based on previous literature and/or post-tsunami reports, as well as on the available data for the study site. The aim of this work is to validate, in light of past tsunami events, the indicators currently proposed by the scientific community to measure human vulnerability, to improve their definition and selection as well as to analyse their validity for different country development profiles. The events analysed are the 2011 Great Tohoku tsunami, the 2010 Chilean tsunami, the 2009 Samoan tsunami and the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. The results obtained highlight the need for considering both permanent and temporal human exposure, the former requiring some hazard numerical modelling, while the latter is related to site-specific livelihoods, cultural traditions and gender roles. The most vulnerable age groups are the elderly and children, the former having much higher mortality rates. Female mortality is not always higher than male mortality and not always related to dependency issues. Higher numbers of disabled people do not always translate into higher numbers of victims. Besides, it is clear that mortality is not only related to the characteristics of the population but also of the buildings. A high correlation has been found between the affected buildings and the number of victims, being very high for completely damaged buildings. Distance to the sea, building materials and expected water depths are important determining factors regarding the type of damage to buildings.

  18. Neurons other than motor neurons in motor neuron disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruffoli, Riccardo; Biagioni, Francesca; Busceti, Carla L; Gaglione, Anderson; Ryskalin, Larisa; Gambardella, Stefano; Frati, Alessandro; Fornai, Francesco

    2017-11-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is typically defined by a loss of motor neurons in the central nervous system. Accordingly, morphological analysis for decades considered motor neurons (in the cortex, brainstem and spinal cord) as the neuronal population selectively involved in ALS. Similarly, this was considered the pathological marker to score disease severity ex vivo both in patients and experimental models. However, the concept of non-autonomous motor neuron death was used recently to indicate the need for additional cell types to produce motor neuron death in ALS. This means that motor neuron loss occurs only when they are connected with other cell types. This concept originally emphasized the need for resident glia as well as non-resident inflammatory cells. Nowadays, the additional role of neurons other than motor neurons emerged in the scenario to induce non-autonomous motor neuron death. In fact, in ALS neurons diverse from motor neurons are involved. These cells play multiple roles in ALS: (i) they participate in the chain of events to produce motor neuron loss; (ii) they may even degenerate more than and before motor neurons. In the present manuscript evidence about multi-neuronal involvement in ALS patients and experimental models is discussed. Specific sub-classes of neurons in the whole spinal cord are reported either to degenerate or to trigger neuronal degeneration, thus portraying ALS as a whole spinal cord disorder rather than a disease affecting motor neurons solely. This is associated with a novel concept in motor neuron disease which recruits abnormal mechanisms of cell to cell communication.

  19. Selecting process quality indicators for the integrated care of vulnerable older adults affected by cognitive impairment or dementia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lebel Paule

    2007-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background This study aimed at evaluating face and content validity, feasibility and reliability of process quality indicators developed previously in the United States or other countries. The indicators can be used to evaluate care and services for vulnerable older adults affected by cognitive impairment or dementia within an integrated service system in Quebec, Canada. Methods A total of 33 clinical experts from three major urban centres in Quebec formed a panel representing two medical specialties (family medicine, geriatrics and seven health or social services specialties (nursing, occupational therapy, psychology, neuropsychology, pharmacy, nutrition, social work, from primary or secondary levels of care, including long-term care. A modified version of the RAND®/University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA appropriateness method, a two-round Delphi panel, was used to assess face and content validity of process quality indicators. The appropriateness of indicators was evaluated according to a agreement of the panel with three criteria, defined as a median rating of 7–9 on a nine-point rating scale, and b agreement among panellists, judged by the statistical measure of the interpercentile range adjusted for symmetry. Feasibility of quality assessment and reliability of appropriate indicators were then evaluated within a pilot study on 29 patients affected by cognitive impairment or dementia. For measurable indicators the inter-observer reliability was calculated with the Kappa statistic. Results Initially, 82 indicators for care of vulnerable older adults with cognitive impairment or dementia were submitted to the panellists. Of those, 72 (88% were accepted after two rounds. Among 29 patients for whom medical files of the preceding two years were evaluated, 63 (88% of these indicators were considered applicable at least once, for at least one patient. Only 22 indicators were considered applicable at least once for ten or more out

  20. Selection of Hidden Layer Neurons and Best Training Method for FFNN in Application of Long Term Load Forecasting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Navneet K.; Singh, Asheesh K.; Tripathy, Manoj

    2012-05-01

    For power industries electricity load forecast plays an important role for real-time control, security, optimal unit commitment, economic scheduling, maintenance, energy management, and plant structure planning etc. A new technique for long term load forecasting (LTLF) using optimized feed forward artificial neural network (FFNN) architecture is presented in this paper, which selects optimal number of neurons in the hidden layer as well as the best training method for the case study. The prediction performance of proposed technique is evaluated using mean absolute percentage error (MAPE) of Thailand private electricity consumption and forecasted data. The results obtained are compared with the results of classical auto-regressive (AR) and moving average (MA) methods. It is, in general, observed that the proposed method is prediction wise more accurate.

  1. Conditional reduction of adult born doublecortin-positive neurons reversibly impairs selective behaviours

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lillian eGarrett

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Adult neurogenesis occurs in the adult mammalian subventricular zone (SVZ along the walls of the lateral ventricles and the subgranular zone (SGZ of the hippocampal dentate gyrus. While a burgeoning body of research implicates adult neurogenesis in olfactory bulb (OB - and hippocampal-related behaviors, the precise function continues to elude. To further assess the behavioral importance of adult neurogenesis, we herein generated a novel inducible transgenic mouse model of adult neurogenesis reduction where mice with CreERT2 under doublecortin (DCX promoter control were crossed with mice where diphtheria toxin A (DTA was driven by the Rosa26 promoter. Activation of DTA, through the administration of tamoxifen (TAM, results in a specific reduction of DCX+ immature neurons in both the hippocampal dentate gyrus and OB. We show that the decrease of DCX+ cells causes impaired social discrimination ability in both young adult (from 3 months and middle (from 10 months aged mice. Furthermore, these animals showed an age-independent altered coping behavior in the Forced Swim Test without clear changes in anxiety-related behavior. Notably, these behavior changes were reversible on repopulating the neurogenic zones with DCX+ cells on cessation of the tamoxifen treatment, demonstrating the specificity of this effect. Overall, these results support the notion that adult neurogenesis plays a role in social memory and in stress coping but not necessarily in anxiety-related behavior.

  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. Tying up Nicotine: New Selective Competitive Antagonist of the Neuronal Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Petersen, Ida Nymann; Crestey, François; Jensen, Anders A

    2015-01-01

    Conformational restriction of the pyrrolidine nitrogen in nicotine by the introduction of an ethylene bridge provided a potent and selective antagonist of the α4β2-subtype of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. Resolution by chiral SFC, pharmacological characterization of the two enantiomers...

  4. Processing and Integration of Contextual Information in Monkey Ventrolateral Prefrontal Neurons during Selection and Execution of Goal-Directed Manipulative Actions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruni, Stefania; Giorgetti, Valentina; Bonini, Luca; Fogassi, Leonardo

    2015-08-26

    The prefrontal cortex (PFC) is deemed to underlie the complexity, flexibility, and goal-directedness of primates' behavior. Most neurophysiological studies performed so far investigated PFC functions with arm-reaching or oculomotor tasks, thus leaving unclear whether, and to which extent, PFC neurons also play a role in goal-directed manipulative actions, such as those commonly used by primates during most of their daily activities. Here we trained two macaques to perform or withhold grasp-to-eat and grasp-to-place actions, depending on the combination of two subsequently presented cues: an auditory go/no-go cue (high/low tone) and a visually presented target (food/object). By varying the order of presentation of the two cues, we could segment and independently evaluate the processing and integration of contextual information allowing the monkey to make a decision on whether or not to act, and what action to perform. We recorded 403 task-related neurons from the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC): unimodal sensory-driven (37%), motor-related (21%), unimodal sensory-and-motor (23%), and multisensory (19%) neurons. Target and go/no-go selectivity characterized most of the recorded neurons, particularly those endowed with motor-related discharge. Interestingly, multisensory neurons appeared to encode a behavioral decision independently from the sensory modality of the stimulus allowing the monkey to make it: some of them reflected the decision to act or refraining from acting (56%), whereas others (44%) encoded the decision to perform (or withhold) a specific action (e.g., grasp-to-eat). Our findings indicate that VLPFC neurons play a role in the processing of contextual information underlying motor decision during goal-directed manipulative actions. We demonstrated that macaque ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC) neurons show remarkable selectivity for different aspects of the contextual information allowing the monkey to select and execute goal

  5. Adenoviral vectors for highly selective gene expression in central serotonergic neurons reveal quantal characteristics of serotonin release in the rat brain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Teschemacher Anja G

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background 5-hydroxytryptamine (5 HT, serotonin is one of the key neuromodulators in mammalian brain, but many fundamental properties of serotonergic neurones and 5 HT release remain unknown. The objective of this study was to generate an adenoviral vector system for selective targeting of serotonergic neurones and apply it to study quantal characteristics of 5 HT release in the rat brain. Results We have generated adenoviral vectors which incorporate a 3.6 kb fragment of the rat tryptophan hydroxylase-2 (TPH-2 gene which selectively (97% co-localisation with TPH-2 target raphe serotonergic neurones. In order to enhance the level of expression a two-step transcriptional amplification strategy was employed. This allowed direct visualization of serotonergic neurones by EGFP fluorescence. Using these vectors we have performed initial characterization of EGFP-expressing serotonergic neurones in rat organotypic brain slice cultures. Fluorescent serotonergic neurones were identified and studied using patch clamp and confocal Ca2+ imaging and had features consistent with those previously reported using post-hoc identification approaches. Fine processes of serotonergic neurones could also be visualized in un-fixed tissue and morphometric analysis suggested two putative types of axonal varicosities. We used micro-amperometry to analyse the quantal characteristics of 5 HT release and found that central 5 HT exocytosis occurs predominantly in quanta of ~28000 molecules from varicosities and ~34000 molecules from cell bodies. In addition, in somata, we observed a minority of large release events discharging on average ~800000 molecules. Conclusion For the first time quantal release of 5 HT from somato-dendritic compartments and axonal varicosities in mammalian brain has been demonstrated directly and characterised. Release from somato-dendritic and axonal compartments might have different physiological functions. Novel vectors generated in this

  6. Computational Selection of Inhibitors of A-beta Aggregation and Neuronal Toxicity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Deliang; Martin, Zane S.; Soto, Claudio; Schein, Catherine H.

    2009-01-01

    Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) is characterized by the cerebral accumulation of misfolded and aggregated amyloid-β protein (Aβ). Disease symptoms can be alleviated, in vitro and in vivo, by “β-sheet breaker” pentapeptides that reduce plaque volume. However the peptide nature of these compounds, made them biologically unstable and unable to penetrate membranes with high efficiency. The main goal of this study was to use computational methods to identify small molecule mimetics with better drug-like properties. For this purpose, the docked conformations of the active peptides were used to identify compounds with similar activities. A series of related β-sheet breaker peptides were docked to solid state NMR structures of a fibrillar form of Aβ. The lowest energy conformations of the active peptides were used to design three dimensional (3D)-pharmacophores, suitable for screening the NCI database with Unity. Small molecular weight compounds with physicochemical features in a conformation similar to the active peptides were selected, ranked by docking solubility parameters. Of 16 diverse compounds selected for experimental screening, 2 prevented and reversed Aβ aggregation at 2–3 μM concentration, as measured by Thioflavin T (ThT) fluorescence and ELISA assays. They also prevented the toxic effects of aggregated Aβ on neuroblastoma cells. Their low molecular weight and aqueous solubility makes them promising lead compounds for treating AD. PMID:19540126

  7. Studying cerebellar circuits by remote control of selected neuronal types with GABA-A receptors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William Wisden

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Although GABA-A receptor-mediated inhibition of cerebellar Purkinje cells by molecular layer interneurons (MLIs has been studied intensely on the cellular level, it has remained unclear how this inhibition regulates cerebellum-dependent behaviour. We have implemented two complementary approaches to investigate the function of the MLI-Purkinje cell synapse on the behavioral level. In the first approach we permanently disrupted inhibitory fast synaptic transmission at the synapse by genetically removing the postsynaptic GABA-A receptors from Purkinje cells (PC-Δγ2 mice. We found that chronic disruption of the MLI-Purkinje cell synapse strongly impaired cerebellar learning of the vestibular occular reflex (VOR, presumably by disrupting the temporal patterns of Purkinje cell activity. However, in PC-Δγ2 mice the baseline VOR reflex was only mildly affected; indeed PC-Δγ2 mice showed no ataxia or gait abnormalities suggesting that MLI control of Purkinje cell activity is either not involved in ongoing motor tasks or that the system has found a way to compensate for its loss. To investigate the latter possibility we have developed an alternative genetic technique; we made the MLI-Purkinje cell synapse selectively sensitive to rapid manipulation with the GABAA receptor modulator zolpidem (PC-γ2-swap mice. Minutes after intraperitoneal zolpidem injection, these PC-γ2-swap mice developed severe motor abnormalities, revealing a substantial contribution of the MLI-Purkinje cell synapse to real time motor control. The cell-type selective permanent knockout of synaptic GABAergic input, and the fast reversible modulation of GABAergic input at the same synapse illustrate how pursuing both strategies gives a fuller view.

  8. Norepinephrine ignites local hotspots of neuronal excitation: How arousal amplifies selectivity in perception and memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mather, Mara; Clewett, David; Sakaki, Michiko; Harley, Carolyn W

    2016-01-01

    Emotional arousal enhances perception and memory of high-priority information but impairs processing of other information. Here, we propose that, under arousal, local glutamate levels signal the current strength of a representation and interact with norepinephrine (NE) to enhance high priority representations and out-compete or suppress lower priority representations. In our "glutamate amplifies noradrenergic effects" (GANE) model, high glutamate at the site of prioritized representations increases local NE release from the locus coeruleus (LC) to generate "NE hotspots." At these NE hotspots, local glutamate and NE release are mutually enhancing and amplify activation of prioritized representations. In contrast, arousal-induced LC activity inhibits less active representations via two mechanisms: 1) Where there are hotspots, lateral inhibition is amplified; 2) Where no hotspots emerge, NE levels are only high enough to activate low-threshold inhibitory adrenoreceptors. Thus, LC activation promotes a few hotspots of excitation in the context of widespread suppression, enhancing high priority representations while suppressing the rest. Hotspots also help synchronize oscillations across neural ensembles transmitting high-priority information. Furthermore, brain structures that detect stimulus priority interact with phasic NE release to preferentially route such information through large-scale functional brain networks. A surge of NE before, during, or after encoding enhances synaptic plasticity at NE hotspots, triggering local protein synthesis processes that enhance selective memory consolidation. Together, these noradrenergic mechanisms promote selective attention and memory under arousal. GANE not only reconciles apparently contradictory findings in the emotion-cognition literature but also extends previous influential theories of LC neuromodulation by proposing specific mechanisms for how LC-NE activity increases neural gain.

  9. P1-5: Effect of Luminance Contrast on the Color Selective Responses in the Inferior Temporal Cortex Neurons of the Macaque Monkey

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tomoyuki Namima

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Although the relationship between color signal and luminance signal is an important problem in visual perception, relatively little is known about how the luminance contrast affects the responses of color selective neurons in the visual cortex. In this study, we examined this problem in the inferior temporal (IT of the awake monkey performing a visual fixation task. Single neuron activities were recorded from the anterior and posterior color selective regions in IT cortex (AITC and PITC identified in previous studies where color selective neurons are accumulated. Color stimuli consisted of 28 stimuli that evenly distribute across the gamut of the CRT display defined on the CIE- xychromaticity diagram at two different luminance levels (5 cd/m 2or 20 cd/m 2 and 2 stimuli at white points. The background was maintained at 10 cd/m 2gray. We found that the effect of luminance contrast on the color selectivity was markedly different between AITC and PITC. When we examined the correlation between the responses to the bright stimuli and those to the dark stimuli with the same chromaticity coordinates, most AITC neurons exhibited high correlation whereas many PITC neurons showed no correlation or only weak correlation. In PITC, the effect was specifically large for neutral colors (white, gray, black and for colors with low saturation. These results indicate that the effect of luminance contrast on the color selective responses differs across different areas and suggest that the separation between color signal and luminance signal involves a higher stage of the cortical color processing.

  10. Redistributing vulnerabilities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Seeberg, Jens; Padmawati, Retna Siwi

    2015-01-01

    It is widely accepted that the social distribution of vulnerability in a given society may turn hazardous events into disasters. This distributional approach draws attention to continuities that explain catastrophes by virtue of the workings of society prior to the event. In this paper, we draw...... attention to the social processes whereby vulnerability is modified and renegotiated during the post-disaster period where resources for disaster alleviation and reconstruction enter local communities. Specifically, we explore the social dynamics of house damage classification in the wake of the 2006...... Central Java earthquake, and we explore relations between citizens and the state during post-disaster house reconstruction. We argue that disastrous outcomes of catastrophic events do not follow pre-existing fault lines of vulnerability in a simple or predictable manner, and that the social process...

  11. New insights on the rarity of the vulnerable Cinereous Warbling-finch (Aves, Emberizidae based on density, home range, and habitat selection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F Marques-Santos

    Full Text Available The Cinereous Warbling-finch Poospiza cinerea (Emberizidae is a Neotropical grassland bird considered rare, with population declining due to habitat loss and classified as vulnerable. However, the species conspicuously remains in several degraded areas, suggesting that it may be favored by these environments. Studies which focus on this species were inexistent until 2012, making questionable any statement about its threaten status. Here we analyzed population density, home range, and habitat selection of two groups of P. cinerea at independent sites that differ in human impact levels. Density was estimated by counting and mapping birds. Kernel density and minimum convex polygon were used to estimate home ranges. Habitat selection was inferred from use and availability of every habitat identified within the home range boundaries. One group positively selected urban tree vegetation, despite the availability of natural habitats in its home range. Based on a review on the literature and our findings, we assume that it is unlikely that P. cinerea is rare owing to habitat degradation, as previously thought. Nevertheless, this species was always recorded around native Cerrado vegetation and thus habitat modification may still threaten this species at some level. It is suggested that this species might be a woodland edge species, but future studies are necessary to confirm this assumption.

  12. Immunomodulation-accelerated neuronal regeneration following selective rod photoreceptor cell ablation in the zebrafish retina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, David T; Sengupta, Sumitra; Saxena, Meera T; Xu, Qingguo; Hanes, Justin; Ding, Ding; Ji, Hongkai; Mumm, Jeff S

    2017-05-02

    Müller glia (MG) function as inducible retinal stem cells in zebrafish, completely repairing the eye after damage. The innate immune system has recently been shown to promote tissue regeneration in which classic wound-healing responses predominate. However, regulatory roles for leukocytes during cellular regeneration-i.e., selective cell-loss paradigms akin to degenerative disease-are less well defined. To investigate possible roles innate immune cells play during retinal cell regeneration, we used intravital microscopy to visualize neutrophil, macrophage, and retinal microglia responses to induced rod photoreceptor apoptosis. Neutrophils displayed no reactivity to rod cell loss. Peripheral macrophage cells responded to rod cell loss, as evidenced by morphological transitions and increased migration, but did not enter the retina. Retinal microglia displayed multiple hallmarks of immune cell activation: increased migration, translocation to the photoreceptor cell layer, proliferation, and phagocytosis of dying cells. To test function during rod cell regeneration, we coablated microglia and rod cells or applied immune suppression and quantified the kinetics of ( i ) rod cell clearance, ( ii ) MG/progenitor cell proliferation, and ( iii ) rod cell replacement. Coablation and immune suppressants applied before cell loss caused delays in MG/progenitor proliferation rates and slowed the rate of rod cell replacement. Conversely, immune suppressants applied after cell loss had been initiated led to accelerated photoreceptor regeneration kinetics, possibly by promoting rapid resolution of an acute immune response. Our findings suggest that microglia control MG responsiveness to photoreceptor loss and support the development of immune-targeted therapeutic strategies for reversing cell loss associated with degenerative retinal conditions.

  13. Converging Mechanisms of p53 Activation Drive Motor Neuron Degeneration in Spinal Muscular Atrophy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian M. Simon

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available The hallmark of spinal muscular atrophy (SMA, an inherited disease caused by ubiquitous deficiency in the SMN protein, is the selective degeneration of subsets of spinal motor neurons. Here, we show that cell-autonomous activation of p53 occurs in vulnerable but not resistant motor neurons of SMA mice at pre-symptomatic stages. Moreover, pharmacological or genetic inhibition of p53 prevents motor neuron death, demonstrating that induction of p53 signaling drives neurodegeneration. At late disease stages, however, nuclear accumulation of p53 extends to resistant motor neurons and spinal interneurons but is not associated with cell death. Importantly, we identify phosphorylation of serine 18 as a specific post-translational modification of p53 that exclusively marks vulnerable SMA motor neurons and provide evidence that amino-terminal phosphorylation of p53 is required for the neurodegenerative process. Our findings indicate that distinct events induced by SMN deficiency converge on p53 to trigger selective death of vulnerable SMA motor neurons.

  14. Decreased chronic-stage cortical C-11-flumazenil binding after focal ischemia-reperfusion in baboons - A marker of selective neuronal loss?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Giffard, C.; Landeau, B.; Kerrouche, N.; Young, A.R.; Giffard, C.; Landeau, B.; Kerrouche, N.; Young, A.R.; Giffard, C.; Landeau, B.; Baron, J.C.

    2008-01-01

    Background and Purpose - Although the penumbra can be saved by early reperfusion, in the rat it is consistently affected by selective neuronal loss. Mapping selective neuronal loss in the living primate would be desirable. Methods - Five young adult baboons underwent 15 O positron emission tomography for cerebral blood flow, cerebral oxygen consumption, and oxygen extraction fraction mapping at baseline and serially during and after 20-hours temporary middle cerebral artery occlusion. At approximately day 30, 11 C-flumazenil (FMZ), a potential positron emission tomography marker of selective neuronal loss, and structural magnetic resonance-based infarct mapping were obtained, and the brain was perfused-fixed. Reduced FMZ binding in non-infarcted cortical middle cerebral artery areas was searched voxel-wise, and specific binding was assessed using compartmental modeling of FMZ time-activity curves. Results - Visual inspection revealed reduced late FMZ uptake in the affected cortical territory, extending well beyond the infarct. Accordingly, the incidence of selected voxels was greater than chance, documenting mildly but significantly reduced FMZ uptake and specific binding. Serial 15 O positron emission tomography revealed moderately severe acute ischemia followed by reperfusion. Histopathology documented only mild neuronal changes in or near the affected areas. Conclusions - We document moderate but definite late FMZ binding decrements in non-infarcted cortical areas in the baboon, consistent with previous rat and human studies. These were acutely characterized by moderate ischemia followed by reperfusion, consistent with neuronal damage from ischemic or reperfusion injury in the salvaged at-risk tissue. Only mild histopathological changes subtended these FMZ alterations suggesting subtle processes such as isolated dendrite or synapse loss. Whether these changes impact on clinical outcome deserves studying because they may be targeted by specific neuro

  15. Improvement of neuromuscular synaptic phenotypes without enhanced survival and motor function in severe spinal muscular atrophy mice selectively rescued in motor neurons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ximena Paez-Colasante

    Full Text Available In the inherited childhood neuromuscular disease spinal muscular atrophy (SMA, lower motor neuron death and severe muscle weakness result from the reduction of the ubiquitously expressed protein survival of motor neuron (SMN. Although SMA mice recapitulate many features of the human disease, it has remained unclear if their short lifespan and motor weakness are primarily due to cell-autonomous defects in motor neurons. Using Hb9(Cre as a driver, we selectively raised SMN expression in motor neurons in conditional SMAΔ7 mice. Unlike a previous study that used choline acetyltransferase (ChAT(Cre+ as a driver on the same mice, and another report that used Hb9(Cre as a driver on a different line of conditional SMA mice, we found no improvement in survival, weight, motor behavior and presynaptic neurofilament accumulation. However, like in ChAT(Cre+ mice, we detected rescue of endplate size and mitigation of neuromuscular junction (NMJ denervation status. The rescue of endplate size occurred in the absence of an increase in myofiber size, suggesting endplate size is determined by the motor neuron in these animals. Real time-PCR showed that the expression of spinal cord SMN transcript was sharply reduced in Hb9(Cre+ SMA mice relative to ChAT(Cre+ SMA mice. This suggests that our lack of overall phenotypic improvement is most likely due to an unexpectedly poor recombination efficiency driven by Hb9(Cre . Nonetheless, the low levels of SMN were sufficient to rescue two NMJ structural parameters indicating that these motor neuron cell autonomous phenotypes are very sensitive to changes in motoneuronal SMN levels. Our results directly suggest that even those therapeutic interventions with very modest effects in raising SMN in motor neurons may provide mitigation of neuromuscular phenotypes in SMA patients.

  16. A deleterious Nav1.1 mutation selectively impairs telencephalic inhibitory neurons derived from Dravet Syndrome patients

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Yishan; Paşca, Sergiu P; Portmann, Thomas; Goold, Carleton; Worringer, Kathleen A; Guan, Wendy; Chan, Karen C; Gai, Hui; Vogt, Daniel; Chen, Ying-Jiun J; Mao, Rong; Chan, Karrie; Rubenstein, John LR; Madison, Daniel V; Hallmayer, Joachim; Froehlich-Santino, Wendy M; Bernstein, Jonathan A; Dolmetsch, Ricardo E

    2016-01-01

    Dravet Syndrome is an intractable form of childhood epilepsy associated with deleterious mutations in SCN1A, the gene encoding neuronal sodium channel Nav1.1. Earlier studies using human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) have produced mixed results regarding the importance of Nav1.1 in human inhibitory versus excitatory neurons. We studied a Nav1.1 mutation (p.S1328P) identified in a pair of twins with Dravet Syndrome and generated iPSC-derived neurons from these patients. Characterization of the mutant channel revealed a decrease in current amplitude and hypersensitivity to steady-state inactivation. We then differentiated Dravet-Syndrome and control iPSCs into telencephalic excitatory neurons or medial ganglionic eminence (MGE)-like inhibitory neurons. Dravet inhibitory neurons showed deficits in sodium currents and action potential firing, which were rescued by a Nav1.1 transgene, whereas Dravet excitatory neurons were normal. Our study identifies biophysical impairments underlying a deleterious Nav1.1 mutation and supports the hypothesis that Dravet Syndrome arises from defective inhibitory neurons. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.13073.001 PMID:27458797

  17. 2-Amino-1-methyl-6-phenylimidazo[4,5-b]pyridine (PhIP) Is Selectively Toxic to Primary Dopaminergic Neurons In Vitro

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griggs, Amy M.; Agim, Zeynep S.; Mishra, Vartika R.; Tambe, Mitali A.; Director-Myska, Alison E.; Turteltaub, Kenneth W.; McCabe, George P.; Rochet, Jean-Christophe; Cannon, Jason R.

    2014-01-01

    Parkinson's disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disease. Much data has linked the etiology of PD to a variety of environmental factors. The majority of cases are thought to arise from a combination of genetic susceptibility and environmental factors. Chronic exposures to dietary factors, including meat, have been identified as potential risk factors. Although heterocyclic amines that are produced during high-temperature meat cooking are known to be carcinogenic, their effect on the nervous system has yet to be studied in depth. In this study, we investigated neurotoxic effects of 2-amino-1-methyl-6-phenylimidazo[4,5-b]pyridine (PhIP), a highly abundant heterocyclic amine in cooked meat, in vitro. We tested toxicity of PhIP and the two major phase I metabolites, N-OH-PhIP and 4′-OH-PhIP, using primary mesencephalic cultures from rat embryos. This culture system contains both dopaminergic and nondopaminergic neurons, which allows specificity of neurotoxicity to be readily examined. We find that exposure to PhIP or N-OH-PhIP is selectively toxic to dopaminergic neurons in primary cultures, resulting in a decreased percentage of dopaminergic neurons. Neurite length is decreased in surviving dopaminergic neurons. Exposure to 4′-OH-PhIP did not produce significant neurotoxicity. PhIP treatment also increased formation of oxidative damage markers, 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal (HNE) and 3-nitrotyrosine in dopaminergic neurons. Pretreatment with N-acetylcysteine was protective. Finally, treatment with blueberry extract, a dietary factor with known antioxidant and other protective mechanisms, prevented PhIP-induced toxicity. Collectively, our study suggests, for the first time, that PhIP is selectively toxic to dopaminergic neurons likely through inducing oxidative stress. PMID:24718704

  18. Assessing vulnerability

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hellmuth, M.; Kabat, P.

    2003-01-01

    It is in the shantytowns and rural villages of the Third World that floods and droughts strike hardest and deepest. Vulnerability to the vagaries of climate depends not only on location, but, crucially, on the capacity of the victims to cope with the impacts of extreme weather. So, where are the

  19. Direct conversion of human pluripotent stem cells into cranial motor neurons using a piggyBac vector

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Riccardo De Santis

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Human pluripotent stem cells (PSCs are widely used for in vitro disease modeling. One of the challenges in the field is represented by the ability of converting human PSCs into specific disease-relevant cell types. The nervous system is composed of a wide variety of neuronal types with selective vulnerability in neurodegenerative diseases. This is particularly relevant for motor neuron diseases, in which different motor neurons populations show a different susceptibility to degeneration. Here we developed a fast and efficient method to convert human induced Pluripotent Stem Cells into cranial motor neurons of the branchiomotor and visceral motor subtype. These populations represent the motor neuron subgroup that is primarily affected by a severe form of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis with bulbar onset and worst prognosis. This goal was achieved by stable integration of an inducible vector, based on the piggyBac transposon, allowing controlled activation of Ngn2, Isl1 and Phox2a (NIP. The NIP module effectively produced electrophysiologically active cranial motor neurons. Our method can be easily extended to PSCs carrying disease-associated mutations, thus providing a useful tool to shed light on the cellular and molecular bases of selective motor neuron vulnerability in pathological conditions. Keywords: Spinal motor neuron, Cranial motor neuron, Induced pluripotent stem cells, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Phox2a, piggyBac

  20. Changes in the Excitability of Neocortical Neurons in a Mouse Model of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Are Not Specific to Corticospinal Neurons and Are Modulated by Advancing Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Juhyun; Hughes, Ethan G; Shetty, Ashwin S; Arlotta, Paola; Goff, Loyal A; Bergles, Dwight E; Brown, Solange P

    2017-09-13

    Cell type-specific changes in neuronal excitability have been proposed to contribute to the selective degeneration of corticospinal neurons in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and to neocortical hyperexcitability, a prominent feature of both inherited and sporadic variants of the disease, but the mechanisms underlying selective loss of specific cell types in ALS are not known. We analyzed the physiological properties of distinct classes of cortical neurons in the motor cortex of hSOD1 G93A mice of both sexes and found that they all exhibit increases in intrinsic excitability that depend on disease stage. Targeted recordings and in vivo calcium imaging further revealed that neurons adapt their functional properties to normalize cortical excitability as the disease progresses. Although different neuron classes all exhibited increases in intrinsic excitability, transcriptional profiling indicated that the molecular mechanisms underlying these changes are cell type specific. The increases in excitability in both excitatory and inhibitory cortical neurons show that selective dysfunction of neuronal cell types cannot account for the specific vulnerability of corticospinal motor neurons in ALS. Furthermore, the stage-dependent alterations in neuronal function highlight the ability of cortical circuits to adapt as disease progresses. These findings show that both disease stage and cell type must be considered when developing therapeutic strategies for treating ALS. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT It is not known why certain classes of neurons preferentially die in different neurodegenerative diseases. It has been proposed that the enhanced excitability of affected neurons is a major contributor to their selective loss. We show using a mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a disease in which corticospinal neurons exhibit selective vulnerability, that changes in excitability are not restricted to this neuronal class and that excitability does not increase

  1. Vulnerable Hunter

    OpenAIRE

    Md.Asha Begum; Y.VishnuPriya; V.ManoranjanBabu; ,O.Srinivasu

    2016-01-01

    This project "VULNERABLE HUNTER" application main aim is to detect risk in our mobile applications. This application contains modules like Fetch Application, Generate Score, Uninstall and Display Graph. Through this application it detects risk so that this application is very useful to smart phone users Now-a-days so many people are using smart phones and people are crazy about new apps. But by installing all the applications into our mobile may reduce its performance. Some apps c...

  2. Neuronal Intra-Individual Variability Masks Response Selection Differences between ADHD Subtypes—A Need to Change Perspectives

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Annet Bluschke

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Due to the high intra-individual variability in attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD, there may be considerable bias in knowledge about altered neurophysiological processes underlying executive dysfunctions in patients with different ADHD subtypes. When aiming to establish dimensional cognitive-neurophysiological constructs representing symptoms of ADHD as suggested by the initiative for Research Domain Criteria, it is crucial to consider such processes independent of variability. We examined patients with the predominantly inattentive subtype (attention deficit disorder, ADD and the combined subtype of ADHD (ADHD-C in a flanker task measuring conflict control. Groups were matched for task performance. Besides using classic event-related potential (ERP techniques and source localization, neurophysiological data was also analyzed using residue iteration decomposition (RIDE to statistically account for intra-individual variability and S-LORETA to estimate the sources of the activations. The analysis of classic ERPs related to conflict monitoring revealed no differences between patients with ADD and ADHD-C. When individual variability was accounted for, clear differences became apparent in the RIDE C-cluster (analog to the P3 ERP-component. While patients with ADD distinguished between compatible and incompatible flanker trials early on, patients with ADHD-C seemed to employ more cognitive resources overall. These differences are reflected in inferior parietal areas. The study demonstrates differences in neuronal mechanisms related to response selection processes between ADD and ADHD-C which, according to source localization, arise from the inferior parietal cortex. Importantly, these differences could only be detected when accounting for intra-individual variability. The results imply that it is very likely that differences in neurophysiological processes between ADHD subtypes are underestimated and have not been recognized because intra

  3. Parasympathetic neurons in the cranial medial ventricular fat pad on the dog heart selectively decrease ventricular contractility.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dickerson, L W; Rodak, D J; Fleming, T J; Gatti, P J; Massari, V J; McKenzie, J C; Gillis, R A

    1998-05-28

    We hypothesized that selective control of ventricular contractility might be mediated by postganglionic parasympathetic neurons in the cranial medial ventricular (CMV) ganglion plexus located in a fat pad at the base of the aorta. Sinus rate, atrioventricular (AV) conduction (ventricular rate during atrial pacing), and left ventricular contractile force (LV dP/dt during right ventricular pacing) were measured in eight chloralose-anesthetized dogs both before and during bilateral cervical vagus stimulation (20-30 V, 0.5 ms pulses, 15-20 Hz). Seven of these dogs were tested under beta-adrenergic blockade (propranolol, 0.8 mg kg(-1) i.v.). Control responses included sinus node bradycardia or arrest during spontaneous rhythm, high grade AV block or complete heart block, and a 30% decrease in contractility from 2118 +/- 186 to 1526 +/- 187 mm Hg s(-1) (P 0.05) decrease in contractility but still elicited the same degree of sinus bradycardia and AV block (N = 8, P < 0.05). Five dogs were re-tested 3 h after trimethaphan fat pad injection, at which time blockade of vagally-induced negative inotropy was partially reversed, as vagal stimulation decreased LV dP/dt by 19%. The same dose of trimethaphan given either locally into other fat pads (PVFP or IVC-ILA) or systemically (i.v.) had no effect on vagally-induced negative inotropy. Thus, parasympathetic ganglia located in the CMV fat pad mediated a decrease in ventricular contractility during vagal stimulation. Blockade of the CMV fat pad had no effect on vagally-mediated slowing of sinus rate or AV conduction.

  4. Prenatal exposure to vinclozolin disrupts selective aspects of the gonadotropin-releasing hormone neuronal system of the rabbit

    OpenAIRE

    Wadas, B.C.; Hartshorn, C.A.; Aurand, E.R.; Palmer, J.S.; Roselli, C.E.; Noel, M.L.; Gore, A.C.; Veeramachaneni, D.N.R.; Tobet, S.A.

    2010-01-01

    Developmental exposure to the agricultural fungicide vinclozolin can impair reproductive function in male rabbits and was previously found to decrease the number of immunoreactive-gonadotropin-releasing hormone (ir-GnRH) neurons in the region of the organum vasculosum of the lamina terminalis (OVLT) and rostral preoptic area (rPOA) by postnatal week (PNW) 6. To further examine the disruption of GnRH neurons by fetal vinclozolin exposure, in the current study, pregnant rabbits were dosed orall...

  5. Selective retrograde labeling of lateral olivocochlear neurons in the brainstem based on preferential uptake of 3H-D-aspartic acid in the cochlea

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ryan, A.F.; Schwartz, I.R.; Helfert, R.H.; Keithley, E.; Wang, Z.X.

    1987-01-01

    We have previously shown that perfusion of the gerbil cochlea with probe concentrations of 3 H-D-aspartic acid (D-ASP) results in immediate, selective labeling of 50-60% of the efferent terminals under the inner hair cells, presumably by high-affinity uptake. The present study was undertaken to determine the origin of these endings. Twenty-four hours after cochlear perfusion with D-ASP, labeled neurons were observed in the ipsilateral, and to a much lesser extent in the contralateral, lateral superior olivary nucleus (LSO). The cells were small, primarily fusiform, and showed fewer synaptic contacts than other LSO cells. Combined transport of D-ASP and horseradish peroxidase indicated that all olivocochlear neurons within the LSO that projected to the injected cochlea were labeled by D-ASP. Labeled fibers coursed dorsally from the LSO, joined contralateral fibers that had passed under the floor of the fourth ventricle, and entered the VIIIth nerve root at its ventromedial edge. Adjacent to the ventral cochlear nucleus (VCN), densely labeled collateral fibers crossed the nerve root to enter the VCN. Labeled fibers and terminals were prominent in the central VCN. Neither retrograde transport of D-ASP by medial olivocochlear and vestibular efferents nor anterograde transport by VIIIth nerve afferents was observed. The D-ASP-labeled cells and fibers are clearly lateral olivocochlear efferents. Retrograde transport of D-ASP thus allows the cells, axons, and collaterals of the lateral olivocochlear system to be studied, morphologically, in isolation from other cells that project to the cochlea. Since the olivocochlear neurons are almost certainly cholinergic, retrograde amino acid transport does not necessarily identify the primary neurotransmitter of a neuron. Rather, it indicates the presence of selective uptake by the processes of that neuron at the site of amino acid injection

  6. Selective deletion of cochlear hair cells causes rapid age-dependent changes in spiral ganglion and cochlear nucleus neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tong, Ling; Strong, Melissa K; Kaur, Tejbeer; Juiz, Jose M; Oesterle, Elizabeth C; Hume, Clifford; Warchol, Mark E; Palmiter, Richard D; Rubel, Edwin W

    2015-05-20

    During nervous system development, critical periods are usually defined as early periods during which manipulations dramatically change neuronal structure or function, whereas the same manipulations in mature animals have little or no effect on the same property. Neurons in the ventral cochlear nucleus (CN) are dependent on excitatory afferent input for survival during a critical period of development. Cochlear removal in young mammals and birds results in rapid death of target neurons in the CN. Cochlear removal in older animals results in little or no neuron death. However, the extent to which hair-cell-specific afferent activity prevents neuronal death in the neonatal brain is unknown. We further explore this phenomenon using a new mouse model that allows temporal control of cochlear hair cell deletion. Hair cells express the human diphtheria toxin (DT) receptor behind the Pou4f3 promoter. Injections of DT resulted in nearly complete loss of organ of Corti hair cells within 1 week of injection regardless of the age of injection. Injection of DT did not influence surrounding supporting cells directly in the sensory epithelium or spiral ganglion neurons (SGNs). Loss of hair cells in neonates resulted in rapid and profound neuronal loss in the ventral CN, but not when hair cells were eliminated at a more mature age. In addition, normal survival of SGNs was dependent on hair cell integrity early in development and less so in mature animals. This defines a previously undocumented critical period for SGN survival. Copyright © 2015 the authors 0270-6474/15/357878-14$15.00/0.

  7. The energy cost of action potential propagation in dopamine neurons: clues to susceptibility in Parkinson's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pissadaki, Eleftheria K; Bolam, J Paul

    2013-01-01

    Dopamine neurons of the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNc) are uniquely sensitive to degeneration in Parkinson's disease (PD) and its models. Although a variety of molecular characteristics have been proposed to underlie this sensitivity, one possible contributory factor is their massive, unmyelinated axonal arbor that is orders of magnitude larger than other neuronal types. We suggest that this puts them under such a high energy demand that any stressor that perturbs energy production leads to energy demand exceeding supply and subsequent cell death. One prediction of this hypothesis is that those dopamine neurons that are selectively vulnerable in PD will have a higher energy cost than those that are less vulnerable. We show here, through the use of a biology-based computational model of the axons of individual dopamine neurons, that the energy cost of axon potential propagation and recovery of the membrane potential increases with the size and complexity of the axonal arbor according to a power law. Thus SNc dopamine neurons, particularly in humans, whose axons we estimate to give rise to more than 1 million synapses and have a total length exceeding 4 m, are at a distinct disadvantage with respect to energy balance which may be a factor in their selective vulnerability in PD.

  8. Monoclonal antibody identification of subpopulations of cerebral cortical neurons affected in Alzheimer's disease

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Miller, C.A.; Rudnicka, M.; Hinton, D.R.; Blanks, J.C.; Kozlowski, M.

    1987-01-01

    Neuronal degeneration is one of the hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Given the paucity of molecular markers available for the identification of neuronal subtypes, the specificity of neuronal loss within the cerebral cortex has been difficult to evaluate. With a panel of four monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) applied to central nervous system tissues from AD patients, the authors have immunocytochemically identified a population of vulnerable cortical neurons; a subpopulation of pyramidal neurons is recognized by mAbs 3F12 and 44.1 in the hippocampus and neocortex, and clusters of multipolar neurons in the entorhinal cortex reactive with mAb 44.1 show selective degeneration. Closely adjacent stellate-like neurons in these regions, identified by mAb 6A2, show striking preservation in AD. The neurons recognized by mAbs 3F12 and 44.1 do not comprise a single known neurotransmitter system. mAb 3A4 identifies a phosphorylated antigen that is undetectable in normal brain but accumulates early in the course of AD in somas of vulnerable neurons. Antigen 3A4 is distinct from material reactive with thioflavin S or antibody generated against paired helical filaments. Initially, antigen 3A4 is localized to neurons in the entorhinal cortex and subiculum, later in the association neocortex, and, ultimately in cases of long duration, in primary sensory cortical regions. mAb 3F12 recognizes multiple bands of immunoblots of homogenates of normal and AD cortical tissues, whereas mAb 3A4 does not bind to immunoblots containing neurofilament proteins or brain homogenates from AD patients. Ultrastructurally, antigen 3A4 is localized to paired-helical filaments. Using these mAbs, further molecular characterization of the affected cortical neurons is now possible

  9. Transforming vulnerability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Patricia S; Zhang, Xinwei Esther; Meleis, Afaf I

    2003-11-01

    Asian American immigrant women engaged in filial caregiving are at special risk for health problems due to complex contextual factors related to immigration, cultural traditions, and role transition. This study examines the experience of two groups of immigrant Asian American women who are caring for older parents. A total of 41 women (22 Chinese American and 19 Filipino American) were interviewed in a study based on Strauss and Corbin's grounded theory methodology. The women were determined to be loyal to their traditional culture, which included strong filial values, while adapting to a new culture. Through the struggle of meeting role expectations and coping with paradox, the women mobilized personal and family resources to transform vulnerability into strength and well-being.

  10. Selective Enhancement of Synaptic Inhibition by Hypocretin (Orexin) in Rat Vagal Motor Neurons: Implications for Autonomic Regulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Scott F.; Williams, Kevin W.; Xu, Weiye; Glatzer, Nicholas R.; Smith, Bret N.

    2012-01-01

    The hypocretins (orexins) are hypothalamic neuropeptides implicated in feeding, arousal, and autonomic regulation. These studies were designed to determine the actions of hypocretin peptides on synaptic transmission in the dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus nerve (DMV). Whole-cell patch-clamp recordings were made from DMV neurons in transverse slices of rat brainstem. Some of the neurons were identified as gastric-related by retrograde labeling after inoculation of the stomach wall with pseudorabies virus 152, a viral label that reports enhanced green fluorescent protein. Consistent with previous findings, hypocretins caused an inward current (6–68 pA) in most neurons at holding potentials near rest. In addition, the frequency of spontaneous IPSCs was increased in a concentration-related manner (up to 477%), with little change in EPSCs. This effect was preserved in the presence of tetrodotoxin, suggesting a presynaptic site of action. Hypocretins increased the amplitude of IPSCs evoked by electrical stimulation of the nucleus tractus solitarius (NTS) but not evoked EPSCs. Hypocretin-induced increases in the frequency of IPSCs evoked by photoactivation of caged glutamate within the NTS were also observed. Identical effects of the peptides were observed in identified gastric-related and unlabeled DMV neurons. In contrast to some previous studies, which have reported primarily excitatory actions of the hypocretins in many regions of the CNS, these data support a role for hypocretin in preferentially enhancing synaptic inhibition, including inhibitory inputs arising from neurons in the NTS. These findings indicate that the hypocretins can modulate and coordinate visceral autonomic output by acting directly on central vagal circuits. PMID:12736355

  11. Prenatal exposure to vinclozolin disrupts selective aspects of the gonadotropin-releasing hormone neuronal system of the rabbit

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wadas, B.C.; Hartshorn, C.A.; Aurand, E.R.; Palmer, J.S.; Roselli, C.E.; Noel, M.L.; Gore, A.C.; Veeramachaneni, D.N.R.; Tobet, S.A.

    2010-01-01

    Developmental exposure to the agricultural fungicide vinclozolin can impair reproductive function in male rabbits and was previously found to decrease the number of immunoreactive-gonadotropin-releasing hormone (ir-GnRH) neurons in the region of the organum vasculosum of the lamina terminalis (OVLT) and rostral preoptic area (rPOA) by postnatal week (PNW) 6. To further examine the disruption of GnRH neurons by fetal vinclozolin exposure, in the current study, pregnant rabbits were dosed orally with vinclozolin, flutamide, or carrot paste vehicle for the last two weeks of gestation. Offspring were euthanized at birth (males and females), PNW6 (females), PNW26 (adult males), or PNW30 (adult females) of age. At birth and in adults, brains were sectioned and processed for immunoreactive GnRH. The numbers of immunoreactive GnRH neuronal perikarya were significantly decreased in vinclozolin-treated rabbits at birth and in adult littermates. By contrast, there was an increase in GnRH immunoreactivity in the terminals in the region of the median eminence. Analysis of PNW6 female brains by radioimmunoassay (RIA) revealed a two-fold increase in GnRH peptide content in the mediobasal hypothalamus in vinclozolin-treated rabbits. This finding was complemented by immunofluorescence analyses that showed a 2.8-fold increase in GnRH immunoreactivity in the median eminence of vinclozolin compared to vehicle-treated females at PNW30. However, there was no difference between treatment groups in the measures of reproduction that were evaluated: ejaculation latency, conception rates or litter size. These results indicate that subacute, prenatal vinclozolin treatment is sufficient to create perdurable alterations in the GnRH neuronal network that forms an important input into the reproductive axis. Finally, the effect of vinclozolin on the GnRH neuronal network was not comparable to that of flutamide, suggesting that vinclozolin was not acting through anti-androgenic mechanisms. PMID

  12. Prenatal exposure to vinclozolin disrupts selective aspects of the gonadotrophin-releasing hormone neuronal system of the rabbit.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wadas, B C; Hartshorn, C A; Aurand, E R; Palmer, J S; Roselli, C E; Noel, M L; Gore, A C; Veeramachaneni, D N R; Tobet, S A

    2010-06-01

    Developmental exposure to the agricultural fungicide vinclozolin can impair reproductive function in male rabbits and was previously found to decrease the number of immunoreactive-gonadotrophin-releasing hormone (GnRH) neurones in the region of the organum vasculosum of the lamina terminalis and rostral preoptic area by postnatal week (PNW) 6. In the present study, in an aim to further examine the disruption of GnRH neurones by foetal vinclozolin exposure, pregnant rabbits were dosed orally with vinclozolin, flutamide or carrot paste vehicle for the last 2 weeks of gestation. Offspring were euthanised at birth (males and females), PNW 6 (females), PNW 26 (adult males) or PNW 30 (adult females) of age. At birth and in adults, brains were sectioned and processed for immunoreactive GnRH. The numbers of immunoreactive GnRH neuronal perikarya were significantly decreased in vinclozolin-treated rabbits at birth and in adult littermates. By contrast, there was an increase in GnRH immunoreactivity in the terminals in the region of the median eminence. Analysis of PNW 6 female brains by radioimmunoassay revealed a two-fold increase in GnRH peptide content in the mediobasal hypothalamus in vinclozolin-treated rabbits. This finding was complemented by immunofluorescence analyses, which revealed a 2.8-fold increase in GnRH immunoreactivity in the median eminence of vinclozolin compared to vehicle-treated females at PNW 30. However, there was no difference between treatment groups in the measures of reproduction that were evaluated: ejaculation latency, conception rates or litter size. These results indicate that sub-acute, prenatal vinclozolin treatment is sufficient to create perdurable alterations in the GnRH neuronal network that forms an important input into the reproductive axis. Finally, the effect of vinclozolin on the GnRH neuronal network was not comparable to that of flutamide, suggesting that vinclozolin was not acting through anti-androgenic mechanisms.

  13. PET imaging with [18F]fluoroethoxybenzovesamicol ([18F]FEOBV) following selective lesion of cholinergic pedunculopontine tegmental neurons in rat

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cyr, Marilyn; Parent, Maxime J.; Mechawar, Naguib; Rosa-Neto, Pedro; Soucy, Jean-Paul; Aliaga, Antonio; Kostikov, Alexey; Maclaren, Duncan A.A.; Clark, Stewart D.; Bedard, Marc-Andre

    2014-01-01

    Introduction: [ 18 F]fluoroethoxybenzovesamicol ([ 18 F]FEOBV) is a PET radiotracer with high selectivity and specificity to the vesicular acetylcholine transporter (VAChT). It has been shown to be a sensitive in vivo measurement of changes of cholinergic innervation densities following lesion of the nucleus basalis of Meynert (NBM) in rat. The current study used [ 18 F]FEOBV with PET imaging to detect the effect of a highly selective lesion of the pedunculopontine (PPTg) nucleus in rat. Methods: After bilateral and selective lesions of the PPTg cholinergic neurons, rats were scanned using [ 18 F]FEOBV, then sacrificed, and their brain tissues collected for immunostaining and quantification of the VAChT. Results: Comparisons with control rats revealed that cholinergic losses can be detected in the brainstem, lateral thalamus, and pallidum by using both in vivo imaging methods with [ 18 F]FEOBV, and ex vivo measurements. In the brainstem PPTg area, significant correlations were observed between in vivo and ex vivo measurements, while this was not the case in the thalamic and pallidal projection sites. Conclusions: These findings support PET imaging with [ 18 F]FEOBV as a reliable in vivo method for the detection of neuronal terminal losses resulting from lesion of the PPTg. Useful applications can be found in the study of neurodegenerative diseases in human, such as Parkinson’s disease, multiple system atrophy, progressive supranuclear palsy, or dementia with Lewy bodies

  14. 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.

  15. Single-Cell RNA-Seq of Mouse Dopaminergic Neurons Informs Candidate Gene Selection for Sporadic Parkinson Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hook, Paul W; McClymont, Sarah A; Cannon, Gabrielle H; Law, William D; Morton, A Jennifer; Goff, Loyal A; McCallion, Andrew S

    2018-03-01

    Genetic variation modulating risk of sporadic Parkinson disease (PD) has been primarily explored through genome-wide association studies (GWASs). However, like many other common genetic diseases, the impacted genes remain largely unknown. Here, we used single-cell RNA-seq to characterize dopaminergic (DA) neuron populations in the mouse brain at embryonic and early postnatal time points. These data facilitated unbiased identification of DA neuron subpopulations through their unique transcriptional profiles, including a postnatal neuroblast population and substantia nigra (SN) DA neurons. We use these population-specific data to develop a scoring system to prioritize candidate genes in all 49 GWAS intervals implicated in PD risk, including genes with known PD associations and many with extensive supporting literature. As proof of principle, we confirm that the nigrostriatal pathway is compromised in Cplx1-null mice. Ultimately, this systematic approach establishes biologically pertinent candidates and testable hypotheses for sporadic PD, informing a new era of PD genetic research. Copyright © 2018 American Society of Human Genetics. All rights reserved.

  16. Applicability of vulnerability maps

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Andersen, L.J.; Gosk, E.

    1989-01-01

    A number of aspects to vulnerability maps are discussed: the vulnerability concept, mapping purposes, possible users, and applicability of vulnerability maps. Problems associated with general-type vulnerability mapping, including large-scale maps, universal pollutant, and universal pollution scenario are also discussed. An alternative approach to vulnerability assessment - specific vulnerability mapping for limited areas, specific pollutant, and predefined pollution scenario - is suggested. A simplification of the vulnerability concept is proposed in order to make vulnerability mapping more objective and by this means more comparable. An extension of the vulnerability concept to the rest of the hydrogeological cycle (lakes, rivers, and the sea) is proposed. Some recommendations regarding future activities are given

  17. Fractalkine Signaling Regulates Macrophage Recruitment into the Cochlea and Promotes the Survival of Spiral Ganglion Neurons after Selective Hair Cell Lesion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaur, Tejbeer; Zamani, Darius; Tong, Ling; Rubel, Edwin W; Ohlemiller, Kevin K; Hirose, Keiko; Warchol, Mark E

    2015-11-11

    Macrophages are recruited into the cochlea in response to injury caused by acoustic trauma or ototoxicity, but the nature of the interaction between macrophages and the sensory structures of the inner ear remains unclear. The present study examined the role of fractalkine signaling in regulating the injury-evoked behavior of macrophages following the selective ablation of cochlear hair cells. We used a novel transgenic mouse model in which the human diphtheria toxin receptor (huDTR) is selectively expressed under the control of Pou4f3, a hair cell-specific transcription factor. Administration of diphtheria toxin (DT) to these mice resulted in nearly complete ablation of cochlear hair cells, with no evident pathology among supporting cells, spiral ganglion neurons, or cells of the cochlear lateral wall. Hair cell death led to an increase in macrophages associated with the sensory epithelium of the cochlea. Their numbers peaked at 14 days after DT and then declined at later survival times. Increased macrophages were also observed within the spiral ganglion, but their numbers remained elevated for (at least) 56 d after DT. To investigate the role of fractalkine signaling in macrophage recruitment, we crossed huDTR mice to a mouse line that lacks expression of the fractalkine receptor (CX3CR1). Disruption of fractalkine signaling reduced macrophage recruitment into both the sensory epithelium and spiral ganglion and also resulted in diminished survival of spiral ganglion neurons after hair cell death. Our results suggest a fractalkine-mediated interaction between macrophages and the neurons of the cochlea. It is known that damage to the inner ear leads to recruitment of inflammatory cells (macrophages), but the chemical signals that initiate this recruitment and the functions of macrophages in the damaged ear are unclear. Here we show that fractalkine signaling regulates macrophage recruitment into the cochlea and also promotes the survival of cochlear afferents after

  18. Revealing the cerebral regions and networks mediating vulnerability to depression: oxidative metabolism mapping of rat brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harro, Jaanus; Kanarik, Margus; Kaart, Tanel; Matrov, Denis; Kõiv, Kadri; Mällo, Tanel; Del Río, Joaquin; Tordera, Rosa M; Ramirez, Maria J

    2014-07-01

    The large variety of available animal models has revealed much on the neurobiology of depression, but each model appears as specific to a significant extent, and distinction between stress response, pathogenesis of depression and underlying vulnerability is difficult to make. Evidence from epidemiological studies suggests that depression occurs in biologically predisposed subjects under impact of adverse life events. We applied the diathesis-stress concept to reveal brain regions and functional networks that mediate vulnerability to depression and response to chronic stress by collapsing data on cerebral long term neuronal activity as measured by cytochrome c oxidase histochemistry in distinct animal models. Rats were rendered vulnerable to depression either by partial serotonergic lesion or by maternal deprivation, or selected for a vulnerable phenotype (low positive affect, low novelty-related activity or high hedonic response). Environmental adversity was brought about by applying chronic variable stress or chronic social defeat. Several brain regions, most significantly median raphe, habenula, retrosplenial cortex and reticular thalamus, were universally implicated in long-term metabolic stress response, vulnerability to depression, or both. Vulnerability was associated with higher oxidative metabolism levels as compared to resilience to chronic stress. Chronic stress, in contrast, had three distinct patterns of effect on oxidative metabolism in vulnerable vs. resilient animals. In general, associations between regional activities in several brain circuits were strongest in vulnerable animals, and chronic stress disrupted this interrelatedness. These findings highlight networks that underlie resilience to stress, and the distinct response to stress that occurs in vulnerable subjects. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Gamma motor neurons survive and exacerbate alpha motor neuron degeneration in ALS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lalancette-Hebert, Melanie; Sharma, Aarti; Lyashchenko, Alexander K; Shneider, Neil A

    2016-12-20

    The molecular and cellular basis of selective motor neuron (MN) vulnerability in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is not known. In genetically distinct mouse models of familial ALS expressing mutant superoxide dismutase-1 (SOD1), TAR DNA-binding protein 43 (TDP-43), and fused in sarcoma (FUS), we demonstrate selective degeneration of alpha MNs (α-MNs) and complete sparing of gamma MNs (γ-MNs), which selectively innervate muscle spindles. Resistant γ-MNs are distinct from vulnerable α-MNs in that they lack synaptic contacts from primary afferent (I A ) fibers. Elimination of these synapses protects α-MNs in the SOD1 mutant, implicating this excitatory input in MN degeneration. Moreover, reduced I A activation by targeted reduction of γ-MNs in SOD1 G93A mutants delays symptom onset and prolongs lifespan, demonstrating a pathogenic role of surviving γ-MNs in ALS. This study establishes the resistance of γ-MNs as a general feature of ALS mouse models and demonstrates that synaptic excitation of MNs within a complex circuit is an important determinant of relative vulnerability in ALS.

  20. Hilar Interneuron Vulnerability Distinguishes Aged Rats With Memory Impairment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spiegel, Amy M.; Koh, Ming Teng; Vogt, Nicholas M.; Rapp, Peter R.; Gallagher, Michela

    2016-01-01

    Hippocampal interneuron populations are reportedly vulnerable to normal aging. The relationship between interneuron network integrity and age-related memory impairment, however, has not been tested directly. That question was addressed in the present study using a well-characterized model in which outbred, aged, male Long-Evans rats exhibit a spectrum of individual differences in hippocampal-dependent memory. Selected interneuron populations in the hippocampus were visualized for stereological quantification with a panel of immunocytochemical markers, including glutamic acid decarboxylase-67 (GAD67), somatostatin, and neuropeptide Y. The overall pattern of results was that, although the numbers of GAD67- and somatostatin-positive interneurons declined with age across multiple fields of the hippocampus, alterations specifically related to the cognitive outcome of aging were observed exclusively in the hilus of the dentate gyrus. Because the total number of NeuN-immunoreactive hilar neurons was unaffected, the decline observed with other markers likely reflects a loss of target protein rather than neuron death. In support of that interpretation, treatment with the atypical antiepileptic levetiracetam at a low dose shown previously to improve behavioral performance fully restored hilar SOM expression in aged, memory-impaired rats. Age-related decreases in GAD67- and somatostatin-immunoreactive neuron number beyond the hilus were regionally selective and spared the CA1 field of the hippocampus entirely. Together these findings confirm the vulnerability of hippocampal interneurons to normal aging and highlight that the integrity of a specific subpopulation in the hilus is coupled with age-related memory impairment. PMID:23749483

  1. Nitrile in the Hole: Discovery of a Small Auxiliary Pocket in Neuronal Nitric Oxide Synthase Leading to the Development of Potent and Selective 2-Aminoquinoline Inhibitors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cinelli, Maris A; Li, Huiying; Chreifi, Georges; Poulos, Thomas L; Silverman, Richard B

    2017-05-11

    Neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) inhibition is a promising strategy to treat neurodegenerative disorders, but the development of nNOS inhibitors is often hindered by poor pharmacokinetics. We previously developed a class of membrane-permeable 2-aminoquinoline inhibitors and later rearranged the scaffold to decrease off-target binding. However, the resulting compounds had decreased permeability, low human nNOS activity, and low selectivity versus human eNOS. In this study, 5-substituted phenyl ether-linked aminoquinolines and derivatives were synthesized and assayed against purified NOS isoforms. 5-Cyano compounds are especially potent and selective rat and human nNOS inhibitors. Activity and selectivity are mediated by the binding of the cyano group to a new auxiliary pocket in nNOS. Potency was enhanced by methylation of the quinoline and by introduction of simple chiral moieties, resulting in a combination of hydrophobic and auxiliary pocket effects that yielded high (∼500-fold) n/e selectivity. Importantly, the Caco-2 assay also revealed improved membrane permeability over previous compounds.

  2. Mesencephalic dopaminergic neurons express a repertoire of olfactory receptors and respond to odorant-like molecules.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grison, Alice; Zucchelli, Silvia; Urzì, Alice; Zamparo, Ilaria; Lazarevic, Dejan; Pascarella, Giovanni; Roncaglia, Paola; Giorgetti, Alejandro; Garcia-Esparcia, Paula; Vlachouli, Christina; Simone, Roberto; Persichetti, Francesca; Forrest, Alistair R R; Hayashizaki, Yoshihide; Carloni, Paolo; Ferrer, Isidro; Lodovichi, Claudia; Plessy, Charles; Carninci, Piero; Gustincich, Stefano

    2014-08-27

    The mesencephalic dopaminergic (mDA) cell system is composed of two major groups of projecting cells in the Substantia Nigra (SN) (A9 neurons) and the Ventral Tegmental Area (VTA) (A10 cells). Selective degeneration of A9 neurons occurs in Parkinson's disease (PD) while abnormal function of A10 cells has been linked to schizophrenia, attention deficit and addiction. The molecular basis that underlies selective vulnerability of A9 and A10 neurons is presently unknown. By taking advantage of transgenic labeling, laser capture microdissection coupled to nano Cap-Analysis of Gene Expression (nanoCAGE) technology on isolated A9 and A10 cells, we found that a subset of Olfactory Receptors (OR)s is expressed in mDA neurons. Gene expression analysis was integrated with the FANTOM5 Helicos CAGE sequencing datasets, showing the presence of these ORs in selected tissues and brain areas outside of the olfactory epithelium. OR expression in the mesencephalon was validated by RT-PCR and in situ hybridization. By screening 16 potential ligands on 5 mDA ORs recombinantly expressed in an heterologous in vitro system, we identified carvone enantiomers as agonists at Olfr287 and able to evoke an intracellular Ca2+ increase in solitary mDA neurons. ORs were found expressed in human SN and down-regulated in PD post mortem brains. Our study indicates that mDA neurons express ORs and respond to odor-like molecules providing new opportunities for pharmacological intervention in disease.

  3. Serotonin 2A receptor regulation of striatal neuropeptide gene expression is selective for tachykinin, but not enkephalin neurons following dopamine depletion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Basura, G J; Walker, P D

    2001-08-15

    Serotonin (5-HT) 2A receptor-mediated regulation of striatal preprotachykinin (PPT) and preproenkephalin (PPE) mRNAs was studied in adult rodents that had been subjected to near-total dopamine (DA) depletion as neonates. Two months following bilateral 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) lesion, PPT mRNA levels decreased 59-73% across dorsal subregions of the rostral and caudal striatum while PPE transcripts increased 61-94%. Four hours after a single injection of the serotonin 2A/2C receptor agonist, (+/-)-1-(2,5-Dimethoxy-4-iodophenyl)-2-aminopropane (DOI; 1 mg/kg), PPT mRNA expression was significantly increased in DA-depleted rats across all dorsal subregions of the rostral and caudal striatum as compared to 6-OHDA-treated animals alone. In the intact rat, DOI did not influence PPT mRNA levels in the rostral striatum, but did raise expression in the caudal striatum where 5-HT2A receptors are prominent. DOI did not regulate PPE mRNA levels in any striatal sub-region of the intact or DA-depleted rat. Prior administration of the 5-HT2A/2C receptor antagonist, ritanserin (1 mg/kg) or the 5-HT2A receptor antagonist, ketanserin (1 mg/kg) completely blocked the DOI-induced increases in striatal PPT mRNA in both lesioned and intact animals. The ability of ketanserin to produce identical results as ritanserin suggests that 5-HT2A receptor-mediated regulation is selectively strengthened within tachykinin neurons of the rostral striatum which are suppressed by DA depletion. The selectivity suggests that 5-HT2A receptor upregulation following DA depletion is capable of regulating tachykinin biosynthesis without influencing enkephalin expression in striatal output neurons.

  4. Flavonoid content in ethanolic extracts of selected raw and traditionally processed indigenous foods consumed by vulnerable groups of Kenya: antioxidant and type II diabetes-related functional properties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kunyanga, Catherine N; Imungi, Jasper K; Okoth, Michael W; Biesalski, Hans K; Vadivel, Vellingiri

    2011-08-01

    The present study evaluated the flavonoid content, antioxidant as well as type II diabetes-related enzyme inhibition activities of ethanolic extract of certain raw and traditionally processed indigenous food ingredients including cereals, legumes, oil seeds, tubers, vegetables and leafy vegetables, which are commonly consumed by vulnerable groups in Kenya. The vegetables exhibited higher flavonoid content (50-703 mg/100 g) when compared with the grains (47-343 mg/100 g). The ethanolic extract of presently studied food ingredients revealed 33-93% DPPH radical scavenging capacity, 486-6,389 mmol Fe(II)/g reducing power, 19-43% α-amylase inhibition activity and 14-68% α-glucosidase inhibition activity. Among the different food-stuffs, the drumstick and amaranth leaves exhibited significantly higher flavonoid content with excellent functional properties. Roasting of grains and cooking of vegetables were found to be suitable processing methods in preserving the functional properties. Hence, such viable processing techniques for respective food samples will be considered in the formulation of functional supplementary foods for vulnerable groups in Kenya.

  5. Assessing the Security Vulnerabilities of Correctional Facilities

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Morrison, G.S.; Spencer, D.S.

    1998-10-27

    The National Institute of Justice has tasked their Satellite Facility at Sandia National Laboratories and their Southeast Regional Technology Center in Charleston, South Carolina to devise new procedures and tools for helping correctional facilities to assess their security vulnerabilities. Thus, a team is visiting selected correctional facilities and performing vulnerability assessments. A vulnerability assessment helps to identi~ the easiest paths for inmate escape, for introduction of contraband such as drugs or weapons, for unexpected intrusion fi-om outside of the facility, and for the perpetration of violent acts on other inmates and correctional employees, In addition, the vulnerability assessment helps to quantify the security risks for the facility. From these initial assessments will come better procedures for performing vulnerability assessments in general at other correctional facilities, as well as the development of tools to assist with the performance of such vulnerability assessments.

  6. spatially identifying vulnerable areas

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The model structure is aimed at understanding the critical vulnerable factors that ... This paper incorporates multiple criteria and rank risk factors. ..... In terms of quantifying vulnerable areas within the country, the analysis is done based on 9 ...

  7. Fuzzing and Vulnerabilities Search

    OpenAIRE

    Stanislav Evgenyevich Kirillov; Nikolai Petrovich Lavrentiev

    2013-01-01

    Fuzzing for vulnerabilities can be very effective if we know the input data format. This work contains description of network message format recovery algorithm and the usage of restored data model in fuzzing and vulnerabilities search.

  8. Fuzzing and Vulnerabilities Search

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stanislav Evgenyevich Kirillov

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Fuzzing for vulnerabilities can be very effective if we know the input data format. This work contains description of network message format recovery algorithm and the usage of restored data model in fuzzing and vulnerabilities search.

  9. What Does Vulnerability Mean?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parley, Fiona F

    2011-01-01

    Protection of those deemed vulnerable has received increasing attention since 2000. This article reports on care staff views of vulnerability using original data from a research study (Parley. "Vulnerability and abuse: an exploration of views of care staff working with people who have learning disabilities," PhD Thesis, 2007) in which care staff…

  10. In vitro pharmacological characterization of a novel selective alpha7 neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor agonist ABT-107.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malysz, John; Anderson, David J; Grønlien, Jens H; Ji, Jianguo; Bunnelle, William H; Håkerud, Monika; Thorin-Hagene, Kirten; Ween, Hilde; Helfrich, Rosalind; Hu, Min; Gubbins, Earl; Gopalakrishnan, Sujatha; Puttfarcken, Pamela S; Briggs, Clark A; Li, Jinhe; Meyer, Michael D; Dyhring, Tino; Ahring, Philip K; Nielsen, Elsebet Ø; Peters, Dan; Timmermann, Daniel B; Gopalakrishnan, Murali

    2010-09-01

    Enhancement of alpha7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) activity is considered a therapeutic approach for ameliorating cognitive deficits present in Alzheimer's disease and schizophrenia. In this study, we describe the in vitro profile of a novel selective alpha7 nAChR agonist, 5-(6-[(3R)-1-azabicyclo[2,2,2]oct-3-yloxy]pyridazin-3-yl)-1H-indole (ABT-107). ABT-107 displayed high affinity binding to alpha7 nAChRs [rat or human cortex, [(3)H](1S,4S)-2,2-dimethyl-5-(6-phenylpyridazin-3-yl)-5-aza-2-azoniabicyclo[2.2.1]heptane (A-585539), K(i) = 0.2-0.6 nM or [(3)H]methyllycaconitine (MLA), 7 nM] that was at least 100-fold selective versus non-alpha7 nAChRs and other receptors. Functionally, ABT-107 did not evoke detectible currents in Xenopus oocytes expressing human or nonhuman alpha3beta4, chimeric (alpha6/alpha3)beta4, or 5-HT(3A) receptors, and weak or negligible Ca(2+) responses in human neuroblastoma IMR-32 cells (alpha3* function) and human alpha4beta2 and alpha4beta4 nAChRs expressed in human embryonic kidney 293 cells. ABT-107 potently evoked human and rat alpha7 nAChR current responses in oocytes (EC(50), 50-90 nM total charge, approximately 80% normalized to acetylcholine) that were enhanced by the positive allosteric modulator (PAM) 4-[5-(4-chloro-phenyl)-2-methyl-3-propionyl-pyrrol-1-yl]-benzenesulfonamide (A-867744). In rat hippocampus, ABT-107 alone evoked alpha7-like currents, which were inhibited by the alpha7 antagonist MLA. In dentate gyrus granule cells, ABT-107 enhanced spontaneous inhibitory postsynaptic current activity when coapplied with A-867744. In the presence of an alpha7 PAM [A-867744 or N-[(3R)-1-azabicyclo[2.2.2]oct-3-yl]-4-chlorobenzamide hydrochloride (PNU-120596)], the addition of ABT-107 elicited MLA-sensitive alpha7 nAChR-mediated Ca(2+) signals in IMR-32 cells and rat cortical cultures and enhanced extracellular signal-regulated kinase phosphorylation in differentiated PC-12 cells. ABT-107 was also effective in protecting rat

  11. Multi-dimensional flood vulnerability assessment using data envelopment analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zahid, Zalina; Saharizan, Nurul Syuhada; Hamzah, Paezah; Hussin, Siti Aida Sheikh; Khairi, Siti Shaliza Mohd

    2017-11-01

    Malaysia has been greatly impacted by flood during monsoon seasons. Even though flood prone areas are well identified, assessment on the vulnerability of the disaster is lacking. Assessment of flood vulnerability, defined as the potential for loss when a disaster occurs, is addressed in this paper. The focus is on the development of flood vulnerability measurement in 11 states in Peninsular Malaysia using a non-parametric approach of Data Envelopment Analysis. Scores for three dimensions of flood vulnerability (Population Vulnerability, Social Vulnerability and Biophysical) were calculated using secondary data of selected input and output variables across an 11-year period from 2004 to 2014. The results showed that Johor and Pahang were the most vulnerable to flood in terms of Population Vulnerability, followed by Kelantan, the most vulnerable to flood in terms of Social Vulnerability and Kedah, Pahang and Terengganu were the most vulnerable to flood in terms of Biophysical Vulnerability among the eleven states. The results also showed that the state of Johor, Pahang and Kelantan to be most vulnerable across the three dimensions. Flood vulnerability assessment is important as it provides invaluable information that will allow the authority to identify and develop plans for flood mitigation and to reduce the vulnerability of flood at the affected regions.

  12. Selective impairment of verb processing associated with pathological changes in Brodmann areas 44 and 45 in the motor neurone disease-dementia-aphasia syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bak, T H; O'Donovan, D G; Xuereb, J H; Boniface, S; Hodges, J R

    2001-01-01

    We report six patients with clinically diagnosed and electrophysiologically confirmed motor neurone disease (MND), in whom communication problems were an early and dominant feature. All patients developed a progressive non-fluent aphasia culminating in some cases in complete mutism. In five cases, formal testing revealed deficits in syntactic comprehension. Comprehension and production of verbs were consistently more affected those that of nouns and this effect remained stable upon subsequent testing, despite overall deterioration. The classical signs of MND, including wasting, fasciculations and severe bulbar symptoms, occurred over the following 6-12 months. The behavioural symptoms ranged from mild anosognosia to personality change implicating frontal-lobe dementia. In three cases, post-mortem examination has confirmed the clinical diagnosis of MND-dementia. In addition to the typical involvement of motor and premotor cortex, particularly pronounced pathological changes were observed in the Brodmann areas 44 (Broca's area) and 45. The finding of a selective impairment of verb/action processing in association with the dementia/aphasia syndrome of MND suggests that the neural substrate underlying verb representation is strongly connected to anterior cortical motor systems.

  13. VULNERABILITY OF COMPANIES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ARMEAN ANDREEA

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available In present, the study of vulnerability of companies is increasing in every field due to the unstable economic environment influences. The object of this research is to define and identify vulnerabilities of companies and the establishment of evaluation methods at their level. This article emphasizes the importance and usefulness of one of the best known model in this way, from our point of view, namely Băileşteanu, Negrila Pattern. This pattern covers both external factors and internal ones, that increase vulnerabilities of companies, and fit the companies in which the state of vulnerability are (vitality, viability, vulnerability, high vulnerability, difficulty and high difficulty, with a matrix. The result of the research is that any company belonging to any field, can be analyzed using this model, and assigned to one of the conditions defined within.

  14. Automated Software Vulnerability Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sezer, Emre C.; Kil, Chongkyung; Ning, Peng

    Despite decades of research, software continues to have vulnerabilities. Successful exploitations of these vulnerabilities by attackers cost millions of dollars to businesses and individuals. Unfortunately, most effective defensive measures, such as patching and intrusion prevention systems, require an intimate knowledge of the vulnerabilities. Many systems for detecting attacks have been proposed. However, the analysis of the exploited vulnerabilities is left to security experts and programmers. Both the human effortinvolved and the slow analysis process are unfavorable for timely defensive measure to be deployed. The problem is exacerbated by zero-day attacks.

  15. Metabolic reprogramming during neuronal differentiation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agostini, M; Romeo, F; Inoue, S; Niklison-Chirou, M V; Elia, A J; Dinsdale, D; Morone, N; Knight, R A; Mak, T W; Melino, G

    2016-09-01

    Newly generated neurons pass through a series of well-defined developmental stages, which allow them to integrate into existing neuronal circuits. After exit from the cell cycle, postmitotic neurons undergo neuronal migration, axonal elongation, axon pruning, dendrite morphogenesis and synaptic maturation and plasticity. Lack of a global metabolic analysis during early cortical neuronal development led us to explore the role of cellular metabolism and mitochondrial biology during ex vivo differentiation of primary cortical neurons. Unexpectedly, we observed a huge increase in mitochondrial biogenesis. Changes in mitochondrial mass, morphology and function were correlated with the upregulation of the master regulators of mitochondrial biogenesis, TFAM and PGC-1α. Concomitant with mitochondrial biogenesis, we observed an increase in glucose metabolism during neuronal differentiation, which was linked to an increase in glucose uptake and enhanced GLUT3 mRNA expression and platelet isoform of phosphofructokinase 1 (PFKp) protein expression. In addition, glutamate-glutamine metabolism was also increased during the differentiation of cortical neurons. We identified PI3K-Akt-mTOR signalling as a critical regulator role of energy metabolism in neurons. Selective pharmacological inhibition of these metabolic pathways indicate existence of metabolic checkpoint that need to be satisfied in order to allow neuronal differentiation.

  16. Laser capture microdissection of enriched populations of neurons or single neurons for gene expression analysis after traumatic brain injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boone, Deborah R; Sell, Stacy L; Hellmich, Helen Lee

    2013-04-10

    Long-term cognitive disability after TBI is associated with injury-induced neurodegeneration in the hippocampus-a region in the medial temporal lobe that is critical for learning, memory and executive function. Hence our studies focus on gene expression analysis of specific neuronal populations in distinct subregions of the hippocampus. The technique of laser capture microdissection (LCM), introduced in 1996 by Emmert-Buck, et al., has allowed for significant advances in gene expression analysis of single cells and enriched populations of cells from heterogeneous tissues such as the mammalian brain that contains thousands of functional cell types. We use LCM and a well established rat model of traumatic brain injury (TBI) to investigate the molecular mechanisms that underlie the pathogenesis of TBI. Following fluid-percussion TBI, brains are removed at pre-determined times post-injury, immediately frozen on dry ice, and prepared for sectioning in a cryostat. The rat brains can be embedded in OCT and sectioned immediately, or stored several months at -80 °C before sectioning for laser capture microdissection. Additionally, we use LCM to study the effects of TBI on circadian rhythms. For this, we capture neurons from the suprachiasmatic nuclei that contain the master clock of the mammalian brain. Here, we demonstrate the use of LCM to obtain single identified neurons (injured and degenerating, Fluoro-Jade-positive, or uninjured, Fluoro-Jade-negative) and enriched populations of hippocampal neurons for subsequent gene expression analysis by real time PCR and/or whole-genome microarrays. These LCM-enabled studies have revealed that the selective vulnerability of anatomically distinct regions of the rat hippocampus are reflected in the different gene expression profiles of different populations of neurons obtained by LCM from these distinct regions. The results from our single-cell studies, where we compare the transcriptional profiles of dying and adjacent surviving

  17. Understanding Neuronal Mechanisms of Epilepsy ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Admin

    α subunit of Rat Brain type IIA Voltage Gated Sodium Channel and geneticin selection ..... scaling the mother wavelet. Scale = 1/ .... through dynamic clamp. Dynamic Clamp ... It has been shown that like in vivo neurons, cortical networks in.

  18. Motor Neurons

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hounsgaard, Jorn

    2017-01-01

    Motor neurons translate synaptic input from widely distributed premotor networks into patterns of action potentials that orchestrate motor unit force and motor behavior. Intercalated between the CNS and muscles, motor neurons add to and adjust the final motor command. The identity and functional...... in in vitro preparations is far from complete. Nevertheless, a foundation has been provided for pursuing functional significance of intrinsic response properties in motoneurons in vivo during motor behavior at levels from molecules to systems....

  19. Vulnerability of complex networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mishkovski, Igor; Biey, Mario; Kocarev, Ljupco

    2011-01-01

    We consider normalized average edge betweenness of a network as a metric of network vulnerability. We suggest that normalized average edge betweenness together with is relative difference when certain number of nodes and/or edges are removed from the network is a measure of network vulnerability, called vulnerability index. Vulnerability index is calculated for four synthetic networks: Erdős-Rényi (ER) random networks, Barabási-Albert (BA) model of scale-free networks, Watts-Strogatz (WS) model of small-world networks, and geometric random networks. Real-world networks for which vulnerability index is calculated include: two human brain networks, three urban networks, one collaboration network, and two power grid networks. We find that WS model of small-world networks and biological networks (human brain networks) are the most robust networks among all networks studied in the paper.

  20. Activity in a premotor cortical nucleus of zebra finches is locally organized and exhibits auditory selectivity in neurons but not in glia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael H Graber

    Full Text Available Motor functions are often guided by sensory experience, most convincingly illustrated by complex learned behaviors. Key to sensory guidance in motor areas may be the structural and functional organization of sensory inputs and their evoked responses. We study sensory responses in large populations of neurons and neuron-assistive cells in the songbird motor area HVC, an auditory-vocal brain area involved in sensory learning and in adult song production. HVC spike responses to auditory stimulation display remarkable preference for the bird's own song (BOS compared to other stimuli. Using two-photon calcium imaging in anesthetized zebra finches we measure the spatio-temporal structure of baseline activity and of auditory evoked responses in identified populations of HVC cells. We find strong correlations between calcium signal fluctuations in nearby cells of a given type, both in identified neurons and in astroglia. In identified HVC neurons only, auditory stimulation decorrelates ongoing calcium signals, less for BOS than for other sound stimuli. Overall, calcium transients show strong preference for BOS in identified HVC neurons but not in astroglia, showing diversity in local functional organization among identified neuron and astroglia populations.

  1. Mitochondrial fragmentation in neuronal degeneration: Toward an understanding of HD striatal susceptibility

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cherubini, Marta; Ginés, Silvia

    2017-01-01

    Huntington's disease (HD) is an autosomal-dominant progressive neurodegenerative disorder that primarily affects medium spiny neurons within the striatum. HD is caused by inheritance of an expanded CAG repeat in the HTT gene, resulting in a mutant huntingtin (mHtt) protein containing extra glutamine residues. Despite the advances in understanding the molecular mechanisms involved in HD the preferential vulnerability of the striatum remains an intriguing question. This review discusses current knowledge that links altered mitochondrial dynamics with striatal susceptibility in HD. We also highlight how the modulation of mitochondrial function may constitute an attractive therapeutic approach to reduce mHtt-induced toxicity and therefore prevent the selective striatal neurodegeneration. - Highlights: • Mitochondrial dynamics is unbalanced towards fission in HD. • Excessive mitochondrial fragmentation plays a critical role in the selective vulnerability of the striatum in HD. • Therapeutic approaches aimed to inhibit mitochondrial fission could contribute to prevent striatal neurodegeneration in HD.

  2. [Mirror neurons].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rubia Vila, Francisco José

    2011-01-01

    Mirror neurons were recently discovered in frontal brain areas of the monkey. They are activated when the animal makes a specific movement, but also when the animal observes the same movement in another animal. Some of them also respond to the emotional expression of other animals of the same species. These mirror neurons have also been found in humans. They respond to or "reflect" actions of other individuals in the brain and are thought to represent the basis for imitation and empathy and hence the neurobiological substrate for "theory of mind", the potential origin of language and the so-called moral instinct.

  3. County Population Vulnerability

    Data.gov (United States)

    City and County of Durham, North Carolina — This layer summarizes the social vulnerability index for populations within each county in the United States at scales 1:3m and below. It answers the question...

  4. A COMPUTATIONAL MODEL OF MOTOR NEURON DEGENERATION

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le Masson, Gwendal; Przedborski, Serge; Abbott, L.F.

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY To explore the link between bioenergetics and motor neuron degeneration, we used a computational model in which detailed morphology and ion conductance are paired with intracellular ATP production and consumption. We found that reduced ATP availability increases the metabolic cost of a single action potential and disrupts K+/Na+ homeostasis, resulting in a chronic depolarization. The magnitude of the ATP shortage at which this ionic instability occurs depends on the morphology and intrinsic conductance characteristic of the neuron. If ATP shortage is confined to the distal part of the axon, the ensuing local ionic instability eventually spreads to the whole neuron and involves fasciculation-like spiking events. A shortage of ATP also causes a rise in intracellular calcium. Our modeling work supports the notion that mitochondrial dysfunction can account for salient features of the paralytic disorder amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, including motor neuron hyperexcitability, fasciculation, and differential vulnerability of motor neuron subpopulations. PMID:25088365

  5. A computational model of motor neuron degeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le Masson, Gwendal; Przedborski, Serge; Abbott, L F

    2014-08-20

    To explore the link between bioenergetics and motor neuron degeneration, we used a computational model in which detailed morphology and ion conductance are paired with intracellular ATP production and consumption. We found that reduced ATP availability increases the metabolic cost of a single action potential and disrupts K+/Na+ homeostasis, resulting in a chronic depolarization. The magnitude of the ATP shortage at which this ionic instability occurs depends on the morphology and intrinsic conductance characteristic of the neuron. If ATP shortage is confined to the distal part of the axon, the ensuing local ionic instability eventually spreads to the whole neuron and involves fasciculation-like spiking events. A shortage of ATP also causes a rise in intracellular calcium. Our modeling work supports the notion that mitochondrial dysfunction can account for salient features of the paralytic disorder amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, including motor neuron hyperexcitability, fasciculation, and differential vulnerability of motor neuron subpopulations. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Web Application Vulnerabilities

    OpenAIRE

    Yadav, Bhanu

    2014-01-01

    Web application security has been a major issue in information technology since the evolvement of dynamic web application. The main objective of this project was to carry out a detailed study on the top three web application vulnerabilities such as injection, cross site scripting, broken authentication and session management, present the situation where an application can be vulnerable to these web threats and finally provide preventative measures against them. ...

  7. Virtuous aging and existential vulnerability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laceulle, Hanne

    2017-12-01

    In its efforts to overcome problematic views that associate aging with inevitable decline, contemporary gerontology shows a tendency to focus predominantly on age-related vulnerabilities that science may try to remedy and control. However, gerontology should also offer languages to address vulnerabilities that cannot be remedied because they intrinsically belong to the human condition. After all, these are increasingly radically encountered in later life and should therefore be reflected upon in the study of aging. Humanistic gerontology seems to be the most promising field to look for languages capable of contemplating such existential vulnerabilities. The potential contribution of philosophy in this field remains underdeveloped so far, however. This article therefore aims to introduce insights from the philosophical tradition to (humanistic) gerontology. More specifically, it focuses on the tradition of virtue ethics, arguing that virtue is a particularly relevant notion to explore in dealing with existential vulnerability in later life. The notion of virtue is clarified by discussing a selection of philosophical perspectives on this topic, by Aristotle, MacIntyre and Swanton. Next a brief overview will be given of some of the ways the notion of virtue has found its way into gerontological discourse so far. The article ends with an analysis of the merits of virtue-ethical discourse for the study of aging and later life, and pleads for more inclusion of philosophical ideas such as virtue in gerontology, as these can enrich our conceptual frameworks and help us relate to deep existential questions regarding the experience of aging. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Attenuated Response to Methamphetamine Sensitization and Deficits in Motor Learning and Memory after Selective Deletion of [beta]-Catenin in Dopamine Neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diaz-Ruiz, Oscar; Zhang, YaJun; Shan, Lufei; Malik, Nasir; Hoffman, Alexander F.; Ladenheim, Bruce; Cadet, Jean Lud; Lupica, Carl R.; Tagliaferro, Adriana; Brusco, Alicia; Backman, Cristina M.

    2012-01-01

    In the present study, we analyzed mice with a targeted deletion of [beta]-catenin in DA neurons (DA-[beta]cat KO mice) to address the functional significance of this molecule in the shaping of synaptic responses associated with motor learning and following exposure to drugs of abuse. Relative to controls, DA-[beta]cat KO mice showed significant…

  9. Heat Shock Protein Beta-1 Modifies Anterior to Posterior Purkinje Cell Vulnerability in a Mouse Model of Niemann-Pick Type C Disease.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chan Chung

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Selective neuronal vulnerability is characteristic of most degenerative disorders of the CNS, yet mechanisms underlying this phenomenon remain poorly characterized. Many forms of cerebellar degeneration exhibit an anterior-to-posterior gradient of Purkinje cell loss including Niemann-Pick type C1 (NPC disease, a lysosomal storage disorder characterized by progressive neurological deficits that often begin in childhood. Here, we sought to identify candidate genes underlying vulnerability of Purkinje cells in anterior cerebellar lobules using data freely available in the Allen Brain Atlas. This approach led to the identification of 16 candidate neuroprotective or susceptibility genes. We demonstrate that one candidate gene, heat shock protein beta-1 (HSPB1, promoted neuronal survival in cellular models of NPC disease through a mechanism that involved inhibition of apoptosis. Additionally, we show that over-expression of wild type HSPB1 or a phosphomimetic mutant in NPC mice slowed the progression of motor impairment and diminished cerebellar Purkinje cell loss. We confirmed the modulatory effect of Hspb1 on Purkinje cell degeneration in vivo, as knockdown by Hspb1 shRNA significantly enhanced neuron loss. These results suggest that strategies to promote HSPB1 activity may slow the rate of cerebellar degeneration in NPC disease and highlight the use of bioinformatics tools to uncover pathways leading to neuronal protection in neurodegenerative disorders.

  10. Cav1.3 channels control D2-autoreceptor responses via NCS-1 in substantia nigra dopamine neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dragicevic, Elena; Poetschke, Christina; Duda, Johanna; Schlaudraff, Falk; Lammel, Stephan; Schiemann, Julia; Fauler, Michael; Hetzel, Andrea; Watanabe, Masahiko; Lujan, Rafael; Malenka, Robert C.; Striessnig, Joerg

    2014-01-01

    Dopamine midbrain neurons within the substantia nigra are particularly prone to degeneration in Parkinson’s disease. Their selective loss causes the major motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, but the causes for the high vulnerability of SN DA neurons, compared to neighbouring, more resistant ventral tegmental area dopamine neurons, are still unclear. Consequently, there is still no cure available for Parkinson’s disease. Current therapies compensate the progressive loss of dopamine by administering its precursor l-DOPA and/or dopamine D2-receptor agonists. D2-autoreceptors and Cav1.3-containing L-type Ca2+ channels both contribute to Parkinson’s disease pathology. L-type Ca2+ channel blockers protect SN DA neurons from degeneration in Parkinson’s disease and its mouse models, and they are in clinical trials for neuroprotective Parkinson’s disease therapy. However, their physiological functions in SN DA neurons remain unclear. D2-autoreceptors tune firing rates and dopamine release of SN DA neurons in a negative feedback loop through activation of G-protein coupled potassium channels (GIRK2, or KCNJ6). Mature SN DA neurons display prominent, non-desensitizing somatodendritic D2-autoreceptor responses that show pronounced desensitization in PARK-gene Parkinson’s disease mouse models. We analysed surviving human SN DA neurons from patients with Parkinson’s disease and from controls, and detected elevated messenger RNA levels of D2-autoreceptors and GIRK2 in Parkinson’s disease. By electrophysiological analysis of postnatal juvenile and adult mouse SN DA neurons in in vitro brain-slices, we observed that D2-autoreceptor desensitization is reduced with postnatal maturation. Furthermore, a transient high-dopamine state in vivo, caused by one injection of either l-DOPA or cocaine, induced adult-like, non-desensitizing D2-autoreceptor responses, selectively in juvenile SN DA neurons, but not ventral tegmental area dopamine neurons. With pharmacological

  11. Targeted Ablation and Reorganization of the Principal Preplate Neurons and Their Neuroblasts Identified by Golli Promoter Transgene Expression in the Neocortex of Mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuan-Yun Xie

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available The present study delineates the cellular responses of dorsal pallium to targeted genetic ablation of the principal preplate neurons of the neocortex. Ganciclovir treatment during prenatal development (E11-E13; where E is embryonic day of mice selectively killed cells with shared S-phase vulnerability and targeted expression of a GPT [golli promoter transgene, linked to HSV-TK (herpes simplex virus-thymidine kinase, τ-eGFP (τ-enhanced green fluorescent protein and lacZ (lacZ galactosidase reporters] localized in preplate neurons. Morphogenetic fates of attacked neurons and neuroblasts, and their successors, were assessed by multiple labelling in time-series comparisons between ablated (HSV-TK+/0 and control (HSV-TK0/0 littermates. During ablation generation, neocortical growth was suppressed, and compensatory reorganization of non-GPT ventricular zone progenitors of dorsal pallium produced replacements for killed GPT neuroblasts. Replacement and surviving GPT neuroblasts then produced replacements for killed GPT neurons. Near-normal restoration of their complement delayed the settlement of GPT neurons into the reconstituted preplate, which curtailed the outgrowth of pioneer corticofugal axons. Based on this evidence, we conclude that specific cell killing in ablated mice can eliminate a major fraction of GPT neurons, with insignificant bystander killing. Also, replacement GPT neurons in ablated mice originate exclusively by proliferation from intermediate progenitor GPT neuroblasts, whose complement is maintained by non-GPT progenitors for inductive regulation of the total complement of GPT neurons. Finally, GPT neurons in both normal and ablated mice meet all morphogenetic criteria, including the ‘outside-in’ vertical gradient of settlement, presently used to identify principal preplate neurons. In ablated mice, delayed organization of these neurons desynchronizes and isolates developing neocortex from the rest of the brain, and

  12. Parkin Mutations Reduce the Complexity of Neuronal Processes in iPSC-derived Human Neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ren, Yong; Jiang, Houbo; Hu, Zhixing; Fan, Kevin; Wang, Jun; Janoschka, Stephen; Wang, Xiaomin; Ge, Shaoyu; Feng, Jian

    2015-01-01

    Parkinson’s disease (PD) is characterized by the degeneration of nigral dopaminergic (DA) neurons and non-DA neurons in many parts of the brain. Mutations of parkin, an E3 ubiquitin ligase that strongly binds to microtubules, are the most frequent cause of recessively inherited Parkinson’s disease. The lack of robust PD phenotype in parkin knockout mice suggests a unique vulnerability of human neurons to parkin mutations. Here, we show that the complexity of neuronal processes as measured by total neurite length, number of terminals, number of branch points and Sholl analysis, was greatly reduced in induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived TH+ or TH− neurons from PD patients with parkin mutations. Consistent with these, microtubule stability was significantly decreased by parkin mutations in iPSC-derived neurons. Overexpression of parkin, but not its PD-linked mutant nor GFP, restored the complexity of neuronal processes and the stability of microtubules. Consistent with these, the microtubule-depolymerizing agent colchicine mimicked the effect of parkin mutations by decreasing neurite length and complexity in control neurons while the microtubule-stabilizing drug taxol mimicked the effect of parkin overexpression by enhancing the morphology of parkin-deficient neurons. The results suggest that parkin maintains the morphological complexity of human neurons by stabilizing microtubules. PMID:25332110

  13. Ultrastructural Alterations of Von Economo Neurons in the Anterior Cingulate Cortex in Schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krause, Martin; Theiss, Carsten; Brüne, Martin

    2017-11-01

    Von Economo neurons (VENs) are large bipolar projection neurons mainly located in layer Vb of anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and anterior insula. Both regions are involved in cognitive and emotional procedures and are functionally and anatomically altered in schizophrenia. Although the detailed function of VEN remains unclear, it has been suggested that these neurons are involved in the pathomechanism of schizophrenia. Here, we were interested in the question whether or not the VEN of schizophrenia patients would show abnormalities at the ultrastructural level. Accordingly, we examined the amount of lysosomal aggregations of the VEN in post-mortem tissue of patients with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and psychologically unaffected individuals, and compared the findings with aggregations in adjacent pyramidal cells in layer Vb of the ACC. VEN of patients with schizophrenia, and to a lesser degree individuals with bipolar disorder contained significantly more lysosomal aggregations compared with tissue from unaffected controls. Specifically, the larger amount of lysosomal aggregations in schizophrenia seemed to be selective for VEN, with no differences occurring in pyramidal cells. These findings may indicate that the VEN of schizophrenia patients are selectively vulnerable to neuronal damage. Anat Rec, 2017. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Anat Rec, 300:2017-2024, 2017. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  14. Synthesis of acetylcholine from choline derived from phosphatidylcholine in a human neuronal cell line

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Blusztajn, J.K.; Liscovitch, M.; Richardson, U.I.

    1987-01-01

    Cholinergic neurons are unique among cells since they alone utilize choline not only as a component of major membrane phospholipids, such as phosphatidylcholine (Ptd-Cho), but also as a precursor of their neurotransmitter acetylcholine (AcCho). It has been hypothesized that choline-phospholipids might serve as a storage pool of choline for AcCho synthesis. The selective vulnerability of cholinergic neurons in certain neurodegenerative diseases (e.g., Alzheimer disease, motor neuron disorders) might result from the abnormally accelerated liberation of choline (to be used a precursor of AcCho) from membrane phospholipids, resulting in altered membrane composition and function and compromised neuronal viability. However, the proposed metabolic link between membrane turnover and AcCho synthesis has been difficult to demonstrate because of the heterogeneity of the preparations used. Here the authors used a population of purely cholinergic cells (human neuroblastomas, LA-N-2), incubated in the presence of [methyl- 3 H]methionine to selectively label PtdCho synthesized by methylation of phosphatidylethanolamine, the only pathway of de novo choline synthesis. Three peaks of radioactive material that cochromatographed with authentic AcCho, choline, and phosphocholine were observed when the water-soluble metabolites of the [ 3 H]PtdCho were purified by high-performance liquid chromatography. The results demonstrate that AcCho can be synthesized from choline derived from the degradation of endogenous PtdCho formed de novo by methylation of phosphatidylethanolamine

  15. Energy vulnerability relationships

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shaw, B.R.; Boesen, J.L.

    1998-02-01

    The US consumption of crude oil resources has been a steadily growing indicator of the vitality and strength of the US economy. At the same time import diversity has also been a rapidly developing dimension of the import picture. In the early 1970`s, embargoes of crude oil from Organization of Producing and Exporting Countries (OPEC) created economic and political havoc due to a significant lack of diversity and a unique set of economic, political and domestic regulatory circumstances. The continued rise of imports has again led to concerns over the security of our crude oil resource but threats to this system must be considered in light of the diversity and current setting of imported oil. This report develops several important issues concerning vulnerability to the disruption of oil imports: (1) The Middle East is not the major supplier of oil to the United States, (2) The US is not vulnerable to having its entire import stream disrupted, (3) Even in stable countries, there exist vulnerabilities to disruption of the export stream of oil, (4) Vulnerability reduction requires a focus on international solutions, and (5) DOE program and policy development must reflect the requirements of the diverse supply. Does this increasing proportion of imported oil create a {open_quotes}dependence{close_quotes}? Does this increasing proportion of imported oil present a vulnerability to {open_quotes}price shocks{close_quotes} and the tremendous dislocations experienced during the 1970`s? Finally, what is the vulnerability of supply disruptions from the current sources of imported oil? If oil is considered to be a finite, rapidly depleting resource, then the answers to these questions must be {open_quotes}yes.{close_quotes} However, if the supply of oil is expanding, and not limited, then dependence is relative to regional supply sources.

  16. Plutonium Vulnerability Management Plan

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1995-03-01

    This Plutonium Vulnerability Management Plan describes the Department of Energy's response to the vulnerabilities identified in the Plutonium Working Group Report which are a result of the cessation of nuclear weapons production. The responses contained in this document are only part of an overall, coordinated approach designed to enable the Department to accelerate conversion of all nuclear materials, including plutonium, to forms suitable for safe, interim storage. The overall actions being taken are discussed in detail in the Department's Implementation Plan in response to the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board (DNFSB) Recommendation 94-1. This is included as Attachment B

  17. Detecting C Program Vulnerabilities

    OpenAIRE

    Anton, Ermakov; Natalia, Kushik

    2011-01-01

    C/C++ language is widely used for developing tools in various applications, in particular, software tools for critical systems are often written in C language. Therefore, the security of such software should be thoroughly tested, i.e., the absence of vulnerabilities has to be confirmed. When detecting C program vulnerabilities static source code analysis can be used. In this paper, we present a short survey of existing software tools for such analysis and show that for some kinds of C code vu...

  18. The effect of a selective neuronal nitric oxide synthase inhibitor 3-bromo 7-nitroindazole on spatial learning and memory in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gocmez, Semil Selcen; Yazir, Yusufhan; Sahin, Deniz; Karadenizli, Sabriye; Utkan, Tijen

    2015-04-01

    Since the discovery of nitric oxide (NO) as a neuronal messenger, its way to modulate learning and memory functions is subject of intense research. NO is an intercellular messenger in the central nervous system and is formed on demand through the conversion of L-arginine to L-citrulline via the enzyme nitric oxide synthase (NOS). Neuronal form of nitric oxide synthase may play an important role in a wide range of physiological and pathological conditions. Therefore the aim of this study was to investigate the effects of chronic 3-bromo 7-nitroindazole (3-Br 7-NI), specific neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) inhibitor, administration on spatial learning and memory performance in rats using the Morris water maze (MWM) paradigm. Male rats received either 3-Br 7-NI (20mg/kg/day) or saline via intraperitoneal injection for 5days. Daily administration of the specific neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) inhibitor, 3-Br 7-NI impaired the acquisition of the MWM task. 3-Br 7-NI also impaired the probe trial. The MWM training was associated with a significant increase in the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) mRNA expression in the hippocampus. BDNF mRNA expression in the hippocampus did not change after 3-Br 7-NI treatment. L-arginine significantly reversed behavioural parameters, and the effect of 3-Br 7-NI was found to be NO-dependent. There were no differences in locomotor activity and blood pressure in 3-Br 7-NI treated rats. Our results may suggest that nNOS plays a key role in spatial memory formation in rats. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Absence of Nrf2 or its selective overexpression in neurons and muscle does not affect survival in ALS-linked mutant hSOD1 mouse models.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcelo R Vargas

    Full Text Available The nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2 governs the expression of antioxidant and phase II detoxifying enzymes. Nrf2 activation can prevent or reduce cellular damage associated with several types of injury in many different tissues and organs. Dominant mutations in Cu/Zn-superoxide dismutase (SOD1 cause familial forms of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, a fatal disorder characterized by the progressive loss of motor neurons and subsequent muscular atrophy. We have previously shown that Nrf2 activation in astrocytes delays neurodegeneration in ALS mouse models. To further investigate the role of Nrf2 in ALS we determined the effect of absence of Nrf2 or its restricted overexpression in neurons or type II skeletal muscle fibers on symptoms onset and survival in mutant hSOD1 expressing mice. We did not observe any detrimental effect associated with the lack of Nrf2 in two different mutant hSOD1 animal models of ALS. However, restricted Nrf2 overexpression in neurons or type II skeletal muscle fibers delayed disease onset but failed to extend survival in hSOD1(G93A mice. These results highlight the concept that not only the pharmacological target but also the cell type targeted may be relevant when considering a Nrf2-mediated therapeutic approach for ALS.

  20. AGRICULTURAL VULNERABILITY TO CLIMATE CHANGE IN ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    victoria

    climate change in eight selected rural settlements in Sokoto State, Nigeria adopting the ... on the environmental and socio-economic determinants of agricultural vulnerability to .... global warming show increasing trends in Sokoto. .... One of the consequences of desertification is southward migration of nomads to the more.

  1. Maintaining dignity in vulnerability

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Høy, Bente

    2016-01-01

    to understand the meaning of the narrated text. Results. The meaning of maintaining dignity was constituted in a sense of vulnerability to the self, and elucidated in three major interrelated themes: Being involved as a human being, being involved as the person one is and strives to become, and being involved...

  2. Anaphylaxis vulnerable groups

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Ehab

    Age groups vulnerable to serious attacks of anaphylaxis include infants, teenagers, pregnant women, and the elderly. Concomitant diseases, such as severe or uncontrolled asthma, cardiovascular disease, mastocytosis or clonal mast cell disorders and the concurrent use of some medications such as beta adrenergic ...

  3. Pathogenesis of motor neuron disease

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Xuefei Wang

    2006-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: To summarize and analyze the factors and theories related to the attack of motor neuron disease, and comprehensively investigate the pathogenesis of motor neuron disease.DATA SOURCES: A search of Pubmed database was undertaken to identify articles about motor neuron disease published in English from January 1994 to June 2006 by using the keywords of "neurodegenerative diseases". Other literatures were collected by retrieving specific journals and articles.STUDY SELECTION: The data were checked primarily, articles related to the pathogenesis of motor neuron disease were involved, and those obviously irrelated to the articles were excluded.DATA EXTRACTION: Totally 54 articles were collected, 30 of them were involved, and the other 24 were excluded.DATA SYNTHESIS: The pathogenesis of motor neuron disease has multiple factors, and the present related theories included free radical oxidation, excitotoxicity, genetic and immune factors, lack of neurotrophic factor,injury of neurofilament, etc. The studies mainly come from transgenic animal models, cell culture in vitro and patients with familial motor neuron disease, but there are still many restrictions and disadvantages.CONCLUSION: It is necessary to try to find whether there is internal association among different mechanisms,comprehensively investigate the pathogenesis of motor neuron diseases, in order to provide reliable evidence for the clinical treatment.

  4. Mangrove vulnerability index using GIS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yunus, Mohd Zulkifli Mohd; Ahmad, Fatimah Shafinaz; Ibrahim, Nuremira

    2018-02-01

    Climate change, particularly its associated sea level rise, is major threat to mangrove coastal areas, and it is essential to develop ways to reduce vulnerability through strategic management planning. Environmental vulnerability can be understood as a function of exposure to impacts and the sensitivity and adaptive capacity of ecological systems towards environmental tensors. Mangrove vulnerability ranking using up to 14 parameters found in study area, which is in Pulau Kukup and Sg Pulai, where 1 is low vulnerability and 5 is very high vulnerability. Mangrove Vulnerability Index (MVI) is divided into 3 main categories Physical Mangrove Index (PMI), Biological Mangrove Index (BMI) and Hazard Mangrove Index (HMI).

  5. Áreas vulnerables en el centro de Madrid

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Agustín Hernández Aja

    2007-07-01

    This document shows an vulnerability analysis of the central area of Madrid taken it as the field of APE-00.01. Its objective is to delimit “vulnerable areas” so there can be evaluated the opportunities for interve trough them and then define the best tools in detriment of their vulnerability reasons. To determinate those areas we have developed a sociodemographic analysis where we have found those units of population with vulnerable values. Once determinated, we have synthetize them to define them as easy drafts that makes understandable the work area for later on establish a vulnerable areas catalogue with spatial homogeneity and significant size. The basic nucleus of the análisis has been the sociodemographic fact, based on homogeneus data sources for all the area so they could be referenced to specific spacial areas. In each case has been advised other possible indicators of vulnerability including a signifier selection of thrm on the fifth chapter.

  6. Assessing species vulnerability to climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pacifici, Michela; Foden, Wendy B.; Visconti, Piero; Watson, James E. M.; Butchart, Stuart H. M.; Kovacs, Kit M.; Scheffers, Brett R.; Hole, David G.; Martin, Tara G.; Akçakaya, H. Resit; Corlett, Richard T.; Huntley, Brian; Bickford, David; Carr, Jamie A.; Hoffmann, Ary A.; Midgley, Guy F.; Pearce-Kelly, Paul; Pearson, Richard G.; Williams, Stephen E.; Willis, Stephen G.; Young, Bruce; Rondinini, Carlo

    2015-03-01

    The effects of climate change on biodiversity are increasingly well documented, and many methods have been developed to assess species' vulnerability to climatic changes, both ongoing and projected in the coming decades. To minimize global biodiversity losses, conservationists need to identify those species that are likely to be most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. In this Review, we summarize different currencies used for assessing species' climate change vulnerability. We describe three main approaches used to derive these currencies (correlative, mechanistic and trait-based), and their associated data requirements, spatial and temporal scales of application and modelling methods. We identify strengths and weaknesses of the approaches and highlight the sources of uncertainty inherent in each method that limit projection reliability. Finally, we provide guidance for conservation practitioners in selecting the most appropriate approach(es) for their planning needs and highlight priority areas for further assessments.

  7. The space of vulnerability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claudio Sgarbi

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Archi-tecture has lost the reference to its prop “Archi” to develop mostly its “Tecture”: a deceitful form of nihilism, which has given full credit to a hurricane of instruments for which we know no purpose. Any distinction between city and architecture is purely contingent. Contingency is relevant but only in so far as it makes one lose any sense of scale. Many of our cities do not work because our style of life eradicates the sense of hospitality. The city becomes the place where we un-learn how to live together. Hospitality is vulnerability – the construction of vulnerability is the true beauty, the only deterrent against stupidity. Learn to live with the others, to approximate the alterity and its unpredictability. The basic tools of conviviality are the common goods of inter-disciplinarity. Learn to cultivate and educate yourself to phenomenal incompleteness.

  8. Fuzzy vulnerability matrix

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Baron, Jorge H.; Rivera, S.S.

    2000-01-01

    The so-called vulnerability matrix is used in the evaluation part of the probabilistic safety assessment for a nuclear power plant, during the containment event trees calculations. This matrix is established from what is knows as Numerical Categories for Engineering Judgement. This matrix is usually established with numerical values obtained with traditional arithmetic using the set theory. The representation of this matrix with fuzzy numbers is much more adequate, due to the fact that the Numerical Categories for Engineering Judgement are better represented with linguistic variables, such as 'highly probable', 'probable', 'impossible', etc. In the present paper a methodology to obtain a Fuzzy Vulnerability Matrix is presented, starting from the recommendations on the Numerical Categories for Engineering Judgement. (author)

  9. VT - Vermont Social Vulnerability Index

    Data.gov (United States)

    Vermont Center for Geographic Information — Social vulnerability refers to the resilience of communities when responding to or recovering from threats to public health. The Vermont Social Vulnerability Index...

  10. Hindbrain Catecholamine Neurons Activate Orexin Neurons During Systemic Glucoprivation in Male Rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Ai-Jun; Wang, Qing; Elsarelli, Megan M; Brown, R Lane; Ritter, Sue

    2015-08-01

    Hindbrain catecholamine neurons are required for elicitation of feeding responses to glucose deficit, but the forebrain circuitry required for these responses is incompletely understood. Here we examined interactions of catecholamine and orexin neurons in eliciting glucoprivic feeding. Orexin neurons, located in the perifornical lateral hypothalamus (PeFLH), are heavily innervated by hindbrain catecholamine neurons, stimulate food intake, and increase arousal and behavioral activation. Orexin neurons may therefore contribute importantly to appetitive responses, such as food seeking, during glucoprivation. Retrograde tracing results showed that nearly all innervation of the PeFLH from the hindbrain originated from catecholamine neurons and some raphe nuclei. Results also suggested that many catecholamine neurons project collaterally to the PeFLH and paraventricular hypothalamic nucleus. Systemic administration of the antiglycolytic agent, 2-deoxy-D-glucose, increased food intake and c-Fos expression in orexin neurons. Both responses were eliminated by a lesion of catecholamine neurons innervating orexin neurons using the retrogradely transported immunotoxin, anti-dopamine-β-hydroxylase saporin, which is specifically internalized by dopamine-β-hydroxylase-expressing catecholamine neurons. Using designer receptors exclusively activated by designer drugs in transgenic rats expressing Cre recombinase under the control of tyrosine hydroxylase promoter, catecholamine neurons in cell groups A1 and C1 of the ventrolateral medulla were activated selectively by peripheral injection of clozapine-N-oxide. Clozapine-N-oxide injection increased food intake and c-Fos expression in PeFLH orexin neurons as well as in paraventricular hypothalamic nucleus neurons. In summary, catecholamine neurons are required for the activation of orexin neurons during glucoprivation. Activation of orexin neurons may contribute to appetitive responses required for glucoprivic feeding.

  11. HEPA Filter Vulnerability Assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    GUSTAVSON, R.D.

    2000-01-01

    This assessment of High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter vulnerability was requested by the USDOE Office of River Protection (ORP) to satisfy a DOE-HQ directive to evaluate the effect of filter degradation on the facility authorization basis assumptions. Within the scope of this assessment are ventilation system HEPA filters that are classified as Safety-Class (SC) or Safety-Significant (SS) components that perform an accident mitigation function. The objective of the assessment is to verify whether HEPA filters that perform a safety function during an accident are likely to perform as intended to limit release of hazardous or radioactive materials, considering factors that could degrade the filters. Filter degradation factors considered include aging, wetting of filters, exposure to high temperature, exposure to corrosive or reactive chemicals, and exposure to radiation. Screening and evaluation criteria were developed by a site-wide group of HVAC engineers and HEPA filter experts from published empirical data. For River Protection Project (RPP) filters, the only degradation factor that exceeded the screening threshold was for filter aging. Subsequent evaluation of the effect of filter aging on the filter strength was conducted, and the results were compared with required performance to meet the conditions assumed in the RPP Authorization Basis (AB). It was found that the reduction in filter strength due to aging does not affect the filter performance requirements as specified in the AB. A portion of the HEPA filter vulnerability assessment is being conducted by the ORP and is not part of the scope of this study. The ORP is conducting an assessment of the existing policies and programs relating to maintenance, testing, and change-out of HEPA filters used for SC/SS service. This document presents the results of a HEPA filter vulnerability assessment conducted for the River protection project as requested by the DOE Office of River Protection

  12. Npas4: Linking Neuronal Activity to Memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Xiaochen; Lin, Yingxi

    2016-04-01

    Immediate-early genes (IEGs) are rapidly activated after sensory and behavioral experience and are believed to be crucial for converting experience into long-term memory. Neuronal PAS domain protein 4 (Npas4), a recently discovered IEG, has several characteristics that make it likely to be a particularly important molecular link between neuronal activity and memory: it is among the most rapidly induced IEGs, is expressed only in neurons, and is selectively induced by neuronal activity. By orchestrating distinct activity-dependent gene programs in different neuronal populations, Npas4 affects synaptic connections in excitatory and inhibitory neurons, neural circuit plasticity, and memory formation. It may also be involved in circuit homeostasis through negative feedback and psychiatric disorders. We summarize these findings and discuss their implications. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. [Adolescent vulnerabilities and radicalisation].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lenjalley, Adrien; Radjack, Rahmeth; Ludot, Maude; Touhami, Fatima; Moro, Marie Rose

    2017-10-01

    Radicalisation resonates with the psychological vulnerabilities of adolescents. The ups and downs encountered as they attempt to construct their identity and their need to dominate favour the destructive nature of young people lacking a sense of filiation and belonging. An adolescent's engagement corresponds to a search for limits, with an adherence to religious values and to a group to establish self-esteem. Subjectification, authorising the adolescent to separate themselves from their parents and their values through a period of crisis must be supported. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Masson SAS.

  14. Classification of vulnerability information

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gibson, W.G.

    1984-01-01

    The current upgrading of security measures at sensitive Department of Energy (DOE) facilities reflects the continuing concern over possible terrorist and other criminal acts against these facilities. Security reviews are periodically conducted at DOE facilities, deficiencies are identified, and corrective actions are recommended. While security upgrades are initiated as soon as possible, the process of securing funding and the construction or other activities necessary to complete upgrades can cause delays in correcting security vulnerabilities. Details of security weaknesses at important DOE facilities are classified in order to deny valuable information to terrorists and other malefactors

  15. Cardiac neuronal imaging with 123I-meta-iodobenzylguanidine in heart failure: implications of endpoint selection and quantitative analysis on clinical decisions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Petretta, Mario; Pellegrino, Teresa; Cuocolo, Alberto

    2014-01-01

    There are a number of radiopharmaceuticals that can be used to investigate autonomic neuronal functions. Among these, the norepinephrine analogue meta-iodobenzylguanidine (MIBG) labelled with 123 I has been widely used and validated as a marker of adrenergic neuron function. The first study addressing the prognostic value of 123 I-MIBG imaging in heart failure (HF) was that of Merlet et al. in 90 patients suffering from either ischaemic or idiopathic cardiomyopathy. After publication of this study, more recent studies have indicated that patients with HF and decreased late heart-to-mediastinum (H/M) ratio or increased myocardial MIBG washout have a worse prognosis than those with normal quantitative myocardial MIBG parameters. However, MIBG scintigraphy has still to reach widespread clinical application mainly because of the value of other cheaper variables such as left ventricular (LV) ejection fraction and brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) plasma levels. The possibility that the detection of mechanical dyssynchrony by innervation imaging might identify patients who would benefit from resynchronization pacing is another area of research interest. In 2010, the landmark AdreView Myocardial Imaging for Risk Evaluation in Heart Failure (ADMIRE-HF) study was published. This trial consisted of two identical open-label phase III studies enrolling patients in 96 sites in North America and Europe to provide prospective validation of the prognostic role of quantitation of sympathetic cardiac innervation using MIBG. The primary endpoint was the relationship between late HIM ratio and time-to-occurrence of the first event among a combination of HF progression, potentially life-threatening arrhythmic event, and cardiac death. The authors found that a HIM ratio <1.6 provided prognostic information beyond LV ejection fraction, BNP, and New York Heart Association (NYHA) functional class at the time of enrolment. In a recent article in this journal, Parker et al. present the results

  16. Cardiac neuronal imaging with {sup 123}I-meta-iodobenzylguanidine in heart failure: implications of endpoint selection and quantitative analysis on clinical decisions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Petretta, Mario [University Federico II, Department of Translational Medicine, Naples (Italy); Pellegrino, Teresa [National Council of Research, Institute of Biostructure and Bioimaging, Naples (Italy); Cuocolo, Alberto [University Federico II, Department of Advanced Biomedical Sciences, Naples (Italy)

    2014-09-15

    There are a number of radiopharmaceuticals that can be used to investigate autonomic neuronal functions. Among these, the norepinephrine analogue meta-iodobenzylguanidine (MIBG) labelled with {sup 123}I has been widely used and validated as a marker of adrenergic neuron function. The first study addressing the prognostic value of {sup 123}I-MIBG imaging in heart failure (HF) was that of Merlet et al. in 90 patients suffering from either ischaemic or idiopathic cardiomyopathy. After publication of this study, more recent studies have indicated that patients with HF and decreased late heart-to-mediastinum (H/M) ratio or increased myocardial MIBG washout have a worse prognosis than those with normal quantitative myocardial MIBG parameters. However, MIBG scintigraphy has still to reach widespread clinical application mainly because of the value of other cheaper variables such as left ventricular (LV) ejection fraction and brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) plasma levels. The possibility that the detection of mechanical dyssynchrony by innervation imaging might identify patients who would benefit from resynchronization pacing is another area of research interest. In 2010, the landmark AdreView Myocardial Imaging for Risk Evaluation in Heart Failure (ADMIRE-HF) study was published. This trial consisted of two identical open-label phase III studies enrolling patients in 96 sites in North America and Europe to provide prospective validation of the prognostic role of quantitation of sympathetic cardiac innervation using MIBG. The primary endpoint was the relationship between late HIM ratio and time-to-occurrence of the first event among a combination of HF progression, potentially life-threatening arrhythmic event, and cardiac death. The authors found that a HIM ratio <1.6 provided prognostic information beyond LV ejection fraction, BNP, and New York Heart Association (NYHA) functional class at the time of enrolment. In a recent article in this journal, Parker et al. present

  17. Physiological characterisation of human iPS-derived dopaminergic neurons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elizabeth M Hartfield

    Full Text Available Human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs offer the potential to study otherwise inaccessible cell types. Critical to this is the directed differentiation of hiPSCs into functional cell lineages. This is of particular relevance to research into neurological disease, such as Parkinson's disease (PD, in which midbrain dopaminergic neurons degenerate during disease progression but are unobtainable until post-mortem. Here we report a detailed study into the physiological maturation over time of human dopaminergic neurons in vitro. We first generated and differentiated hiPSC lines into midbrain dopaminergic neurons and performed a comprehensive characterisation to confirm dopaminergic functionality by demonstrating dopamine synthesis, release, and re-uptake. The neuronal cultures include cells positive for both tyrosine hydroxylase (TH and G protein-activated inward rectifier potassium channel 2 (Kir3.2, henceforth referred to as GIRK2, representative of the A9 population of substantia nigra pars compacta (SNc neurons vulnerable in PD. We observed for the first time the maturation of the slow autonomous pace-making (<10 Hz and spontaneous synaptic activity typical of mature SNc dopaminergic neurons using a combination of calcium imaging and electrophysiology. hiPSC-derived neurons exhibited inositol tri-phosphate (IP3 receptor-dependent release of intracellular calcium from the endoplasmic reticulum in neuronal processes as calcium waves propagating from apical and distal dendrites, and in the soma. Finally, neurons were susceptible to the dopamine neuron-specific toxin 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium (MPP+ which reduced mitochondrial membrane potential and altered mitochondrial morphology. Mature hiPSC-derived dopaminergic neurons provide a neurophysiologically-defined model of previously inaccessible vulnerable SNc dopaminergic neurons to bridge the gap between clinical PD and animal models.

  18. Strengthening US DoD Cyber Security with the Vulnerability Market

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-06-01

    Executable Source Lines of Code for Selected Weapon Systems [9] ..............10 Figure 2.2 Valley of Vulnerabilities...the remaining vulnerabilities is a function of time, funds, expertise, and system exposure. 11 Figure 2.2 Valley of Vulnerabilities...4.1 Quantitative Measurements: System_A Asset Valuation Components Value Justification Direct Costs Inventory $100,000 Financial Databases

  19. Descending Command Neurons in the Brainstem that Halt Locomotion

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bouvier, Julien; Caggiano, Vittorio; Leiras, Roberto

    2015-01-01

    identifiable brainstem populations to a potential locomotor stop signal, we used developmental genetics and considered a discrete neuronal population in the reticular formation: the V2a neurons. We find that those neurons constitute a major excitatory pathway to locomotor areas of the ventral spinal cord....... Selective activation of V2a neurons of the rostral medulla stops ongoing locomotor activity, owing to an inhibition of premotor locomotor networks in the spinal cord. Moreover, inactivation of such neurons decreases spontaneous stopping in vivo. Therefore, the V2a "stop neurons" represent a glutamatergic...

  20. Assessing flash flood vulnerability using a multi-vulnerability approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karagiorgos Konstantinos

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available In the framework of flood risk assessment, while the understanding of hazard and exposure has significantly improved over the last years, knowledge on vulnerability remains one of the challenges. Current approaches in vulnerability research are characterised by a division between social scientists and natural scientists. In order to close this gap, we present an approach that combines information on physical and social vulnerability in order to merge information on the susceptibility of elements at risk and society. With respect to physical vulnerability, the study is based on local-scale vulnerability models using nonlinear regression approaches. Modified Weibull distributions were fit to the data in order to represent the relationship between process magnitude and degree of loss. With respect to social vulnerability we conducted a door-to-door survey which resulted in particular insights on flood risk awareness and resilience strategies of exposed communities. In general, both physical and social vulnerability were low in comparison with other European studies, which may result from (a specific building regulations in the four Mediterranean test sites as well as general design principles leading to low structural susceptibility of elements at risk, and (b relatively low social vulnerability of citizens exposed. As a result it is shown that a combination of different perspectives of vulnerability will lead to a better understanding of exposure and capacities in flood risk management.

  1. Selective cerebral perfusion prevents abnormalities in glutamate cycling and neuronal apoptosis in a model of infant deep hypothermic circulatory arrest and reperfusion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kajimoto, Masaki; Ledee, Dolena R; Olson, Aaron K; Isern, Nancy G; Robillard-Frayne, Isabelle; Des Rosiers, Christine; Portman, Michael A

    2016-11-01

    Deep hypothermic circulatory arrest is often required for the repair of complex congenital cardiac defects in infants. However, deep hypothermic circulatory arrest induces neuroapoptosis associated with later development of neurocognitive abnormalities. Selective cerebral perfusion theoretically provides superior neural protection possibly through modifications in cerebral substrate oxidation and closely integrated glutamate cycling. We tested the hypothesis that selective cerebral perfusion modulates glucose utilization, and ameliorates abnormalities in glutamate flux, which occur in association with neuroapoptosis during deep hypothermic circulatory arrest. Eighteen infant male Yorkshire piglets were assigned randomly to two groups of seven (deep hypothermic circulatory arrest or deep hypothermic circulatory arrest with selective cerebral perfusion for 60 minutes at 18℃) and four control pigs without cardiopulmonary bypass support. Carbon-13-labeled glucose as a metabolic tracer was infused, and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and nuclear magnetic resonance were used for metabolic analysis in the frontal cortex. Following 2.5 h of cerebral reperfusion, we observed similar cerebral adenosine triphosphate levels, absolute levels of lactate and citric acid cycle intermediates, and carbon-13 enrichment among three groups. However, deep hypothermic circulatory arrest induced significant abnormalities in glutamate cycling resulting in reduced glutamate/glutamine and elevated γ-aminobutyric acid/glutamate along with neuroapoptosis, which were all prevented by selective cerebral perfusion. The data suggest that selective cerebral perfusion prevents these modifications in glutamate/glutamine/γ-aminobutyric acid cycling and protects the cerebral cortex from apoptosis. © The Author(s) 2016.

  2. Heavy metals in locus ceruleus and motor neurons in motor neuron disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pamphlett, Roger; Kum Jew, Stephen

    2013-12-12

    The causes of sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (SALS) and other types of motor neuron disease (MND) remain largely unknown. Heavy metals have long been implicated in MND, and it has recently been shown that inorganic mercury selectively enters human locus ceruleus (LC) and motor neurons. We therefore used silver nitrate autometallography (AMG) to look for AMG-stainable heavy metals (inorganic mercury and bismuth) in LC and motor neurons of 24 patients with MND (18 with SALS and 6 with familial MND) and in the LC of 24 controls. Heavy metals in neurons were found in significantly more MND patients than in controls when comparing: (1) the presence of any versus no heavy metal-containing LC neurons (MND 88%, controls 42%), (2) the median percentage of heavy metal-containing LC neurons (MND 9.5%, control 0.0%), and (3) numbers of individuals with heavy metal-containing LC neurons in the upper half of the percentage range (MND 75%, controls 25%). In MND patients, 67% of remaining spinal motor neurons contained heavy metals; smaller percentages were found in hypoglossal, nucleus ambiguus and oculomotor neurons, but none in cortical motor neurons. The majority of MND patients had heavy metals in both LC and spinal motor neurons. No glia or other neurons, including neuromelanin-containing neurons of the substantia nigra, contained stainable heavy metals. Uptake of heavy metals by LC and lower motor neurons appears to be fairly common in humans, though heavy metal staining in the LC, most likely due to inorganic mercury, was seen significantly more often in MND patients than in controls. The LC innervates many cell types that are affected in MND, and it is possible that MND is triggered by toxicant-induced interactions between LC and motor neurons.

  3. Heavy metals in locus ceruleus and motor neurons in motor neuron disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    Background The causes of sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (SALS) and other types of motor neuron disease (MND) remain largely unknown. Heavy metals have long been implicated in MND, and it has recently been shown that inorganic mercury selectively enters human locus ceruleus (LC) and motor neurons. We therefore used silver nitrate autometallography (AMG) to look for AMG-stainable heavy metals (inorganic mercury and bismuth) in LC and motor neurons of 24 patients with MND (18 with SALS and 6 with familial MND) and in the LC of 24 controls. Results Heavy metals in neurons were found in significantly more MND patients than in controls when comparing: (1) the presence of any versus no heavy metal-containing LC neurons (MND 88%, controls 42%), (2) the median percentage of heavy metal-containing LC neurons (MND 9.5%, control 0.0%), and (3) numbers of individuals with heavy metal-containing LC neurons in the upper half of the percentage range (MND 75%, controls 25%). In MND patients, 67% of remaining spinal motor neurons contained heavy metals; smaller percentages were found in hypoglossal, nucleus ambiguus and oculomotor neurons, but none in cortical motor neurons. The majority of MND patients had heavy metals in both LC and spinal motor neurons. No glia or other neurons, including neuromelanin-containing neurons of the substantia nigra, contained stainable heavy metals. Conclusions Uptake of heavy metals by LC and lower motor neurons appears to be fairly common in humans, though heavy metal staining in the LC, most likely due to inorganic mercury, was seen significantly more often in MND patients than in controls. The LC innervates many cell types that are affected in MND, and it is possible that MND is triggered by toxicant-induced interactions between LC and motor neurons. PMID:24330485

  4. The alpha7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor-selective antagonist, methyllycaconitine, partially protects against beta-amyloid1-42 toxicity in primary neuron-enriched cultures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Shelley E; de Fiebre, Nancy Ellen C; de Fiebre, Christopher M

    2004-10-01

    Studies have suggested that the neuroprotective actions of alpha7 nicotinic agonists arise from activation of receptors and not from the extensive desensitization which rapidly follows activation. Here, we report that the alpha7-selective nicotinic antagonist, methyllycaconitine (MLA), protects against beta-amyloid-induced neurotoxicity; whereas the alpha4beta2-selective antagonist, dihydro-beta-erythroidine, does not. These findings suggest that neuroprotective actions of alpha7-acting agents arise from receptor inhibition/desensitization and that alpha7 antagonists may be useful neuroprotective agents.

  5. Mental Vulnerability as a Predictor of Early Mortality

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Eplov, Lene F.; Jørgensen, Torben; Segel, S.

    2005-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Studies have demonstrated that mental vulnerability (ie, a tendency to experience psychosomatic symptoms or inadequate interpersonal interactions) is associated with various diseases. The objective of our study is to evaluate whether mental vulnerability is a risk factor for early...... mortality. METHODS: We conducted a prospective cohort study of 3 random samples of the population in Copenhagen County, Denmark selected in 1976, 1982-1984, and 1991 (n = 6435). Baseline data collection included measures of mental vulnerability, social factors, comorbidity, biologic risk markers (eg, blood...... of mortality as the result of natural causes. The association between mental vulnerability and survival was examined using Kaplan-Meir plots and Cox proportional-hazard models adjusting for possible confounding factors. RESULTS: With respect to mental vulnerability, 79% of the sample was classified...

  6. Monitoring the Vulnerability of Energy Supply System

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gnansonounou, E.

    2006-01-01

    Due to the increasing complexity of the world evolution, the public decision makers, the energy supply industry and the consumers in industrialised countries are more and more sensitive to the vulnerability of energy supply. The emergence of new big consumer countries and the perspective of oil and gas depletion at the end of the current century raise the concerns about how to share fairly the remaining resources for the common and sustainable development of the mankind. Erratic energy prices discourage investment and delay the energy transition. Voluntary measures are needed mainly in industrialised countries in order to develop alternative and sustainable energy sources and to avoid world struggle for energy procurement. In this contribution a synthetic energy vulnerability index is defined for monitoring energy supply vulnerability. The proposed index is based on energy intensity, oil and gas import dependency, CO 2 content of primary energy supply, electricity supply vulnerability and non-diversity in transport fuels. The preliminary assessment of this synthetic index for selected industrialised countries provides promising results that need however further refinement.(author)

  7. Open Source Vulnerability Database Project

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jake Kouns

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available This article introduces the Open Source Vulnerability Database (OSVDB project which manages a global collection of computer security vulnerabilities, available for free use by the information security community. This collection contains information on known security weaknesses in operating systems, software products, protocols, hardware devices, and other infrastructure elements of information technology. The OSVDB project is intended to be the centralized global open source vulnerability collection on the Internet.

  8. Motherhood, Marketization, and Consumer Vulnerability

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Davies, Andrea; Prothero, Andrea; Sørensen, Elin

    2010-01-01

    This article explores consumer vulnerability and the role of public policy by focusing on new mothers. Developing the consumer vulnerability model of Baker, Gentry, and Rittenburg, the authors consider how medical contexts, political and legal factors, economic resources, societal prescriptions...... a time of physical and psychological changes in mothers-to-be. This article illustrates that the extended market logic dominating contemporary mothering environments both contributes to and has the potential to exacerbate new mothers’ vulnerability, raising important challenges for public policy, both...

  9. High vulnerability of the developing fetal brain to ionizing radiation and hyperthermia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kameyama, Yoshiro

    1989-01-01

    The developing brain is one of the fetal structures most susceptible to environmental teratogenic insults, because of its long-lasting sensitive period extending from the beginning of embryonic organogenesis to the postnatal infantile period, the great vulnerability of undifferentiated neural cells to a wide range of environmental agents, and the lack of further reproductive capacity of neurons. Among the environmental agents which affect the developing brain, ionizing radiation and hyperthermia are regarded as the most important physical agents. The most prevalent disorders of the brain produced are histogenetic ones such as a deficit of cortical neurons, disorganized cortical architecture, and poor dendritic arborization of the cortical neurons. In this review, emphasis is given to a review of studies on the critical development stage for the induction of histogenetic disorders of the cerebral cortex and on the high vulnerability of developing neuronal cells to the two physical environmental agents mentioned. (author) 59 refs

  10. Alpha-conotoxin analogs with additional positive charge show increased selectivity towards Torpedo californica and some neuronal subtypes of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kasheverov, I.E.; Zhmak, M.N.; Vulfius, C.A.; Corbacheva, E.V.; Mordvintsev, D.Y.; Utkin, Y.N.; van Elk, R.; Smit, A.B.; Tsetlin, V.I.

    2006-01-01

    α-Conotoxins from Conus snails are indispensable tools for distinguishing various subtypes of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs), and synthesis of α-conotoxin analogs may yield novel antagonists of higher potency and selectivity. We incorporated additional positive charges into α-conotoxins

  11. Network Vulnerability and Risk Assessment

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Alward, Randy G; Carley, Kathleen M; Madsen, Fredrik; Taylor, Vincent K; Vandenberghe, Grant

    2006-01-01

    .... The break out group discussed vulnerability presentation needs common across various application domains, particularly in support of network discovery and network analysis tasks in those domains...

  12. Selective alterations of NMDAR function and plasticity in D1 and D2 medium spiny neurons in the nucleus accumbens shell following chronic intermittent ethanol exposure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Renteria, Rafael; Maier, Esther Y; Buske, Tavanna R; Morrisett, Richard A

    2017-01-01

    A major mouse model widely adopted in recent years to induce pronounced ethanol intake is the ethanol vapor model known as "CIE" or "Chronic Intermittent Ethanol." One critical question concerning this model is whether the rapid induction of high blood ethanol levels for such short time periods is sufficient to induce alterations in N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) function which may contribute to excessive ethanol intake. In this study, we determined whether such short term intermittent ethanol exposure modulates NMDAR function as well as other prominent electrophysiological properties and the expression of plasticity in both D1 (D1+) and D2 (D1-) dopamine receptor expressing medium spiny neurons (MSNs) in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) shell. To distinguish between the two subtypes of MSNs in the NAc we treated Drd1a-TdTomato transgenic mice with CIE vapor and electrophysiological recordings were conducted 24 h after the last vapor exposure. To investigate CIE induced alterations in plasticity, long-term depression (LTD) was induced by pairing low frequency stimulation (LFS) with post synaptic depolarization. In ethanol naïve mice, LFS induced synaptic depression (LTD) was apparent exclusively in D1+ MSNs. Whereas in slices prepared from CIE treated mice, LFS induced synaptic potentiation (LTP) in D1+ MSNs. Furthermore, following CIE exposure, LFS now produced LTD in D1- MSNs. We found that CIE exposure induced an increase in excitability in D1+ MSNs with no change in D1- MSNs. After CIE, we found a significant increase in spontaneous EPSCs (sEPSCs) frequency in D1+ but not D1- MSNs suggesting alterations in baseline α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid receptor (AMPAR) mediated signaling. CIE induced changes in NMDAR function were measured using the NMDA/AMPA ratio and input-output curves of isolated NMDAR currents. We observed a significant increase in NMDAR function in D1+ MSNs and a decrease in D1- MSNs after ethanol vapor exposure. The

  13. Autapse-induced synchronization in a coupled neuronal network

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ma, Jun; Song, Xinlin; Jin, Wuyin; Wang, Chuni

    2015-01-01

    Highlights: • The functional effect of autapse on neuronal activity is detected. • Autapse driving plays active role in regulating electrical activities as pacemaker. • It confirms biological experimental results for rhythm synchronization between heterogeneous cells. - Abstract: The effect of autapse on coupled neuronal network is detected. In our studies, three identical neurons are connected with ring type and autapse connected to one neuron of the network. The autapse connected to neuron can impose time-delayed feedback in close loop on the neuron thus the dynamics of membrane potentials can be changed. Firstly, the effect of autapse driving on single neuron is confirmed that negative feedback can calm down the neuronal activity while positive feedback can excite the neuronal activity. Secondly, the collective electrical behaviors of neurons are regulated by a pacemaker, which associated with the autapse forcing. By using appropriate gain and time delay in the autapse, the neurons can reach synchronization and the membrane potentials of all neurons can oscillate with the same rhythm under mutual coupling. It indicates that autapse forcing plays an important role in changing the collective electric activities of neuronal network, and appropriate electric modes can be selected due to the switch of feedback type(positive or negative) in autapse. And the autapse-induced synchronization in network is also consistent with some biological experiments about synchronization between nonidentical neurons.

  14. Select estrogens within the complex formulation of conjugated equine estrogens (Premarin® are protective against neurodegenerative insults: implications for a composition of estrogen therapy to promote neuronal function and prevent Alzheimer's disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brinton Roberta

    2006-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Results of the Women's Health Initiative Memory Study (WHIMS raised concerns regarding the timing and formulation of hormone interventions. Conjugated equine estrogens (CEE, used as the estrogen therapy in the WHIMS trial, is a complex formulation containing multiple estrogens, including several not secreted by human ovaries, as well as other biologically active steroids. Although the full spectrum of estrogenic components present in CEE has not yet been resolved, 10 estrogens have been identified. In the present study, we sought to determine which estrogenic components, at concentrations commensurate with their plasma levels achieved following a single oral dose of 0.625 mg CEE (the dose used in the WHIMS trial in women, are neuroprotective and whether combinations of those neuroprotective estrogens provide added benefit. Further, we sought, through computer-aided modeling analyses, to investigate the potential correlation of the molecular mechanisms that conferred estrogen neuroprotection with estrogen interactions with the estrogen receptor (ER. Results Cultured basal forebrain neurons were exposed to either β-amyloid25–35 or excitotoxic glutamate with or without pretreatment with estrogens followed by neuroprotection analyses. Three indicators of neuroprotection that rely on different aspects of neuronal damage and viability, LDH release, intracellular ATP level and MTT formazan formation, were used to assess neuroprotective efficacy. Results of these analyses indicate that the estrogens, 17α-estradiol, 17β-estradiol, equilin, 17α-dihydroequilin, equilinen, 17α-dihydroequilenin, 17β-dihydroequilenin, and Δ8,9-dehydroestrone were each significantly neuroprotective in reducing neuronal plasma membrane damage induced by glutamate excitotoxicity. Of these estrogens, 17β-estradiol and Δ8,9-dehydroestrone were effective in protecting neurons against β-amyloid25–35-induced intracellular ATP decline

  15. ACUTE HYPOGLYCEMIA RESULTS IN REDUCED CORTICAL NEURONAL INJURY IN THE DEVELOPING IUGR RAT

    OpenAIRE

    Maliszewski-Hall, Anne M.; Stein, Ariel B.; Alexander, Michelle; Ennis, Kathleen; Rao, Raghavendra

    2015-01-01

    Background Hypoglycemia (HG) is common in IUGR neonates. In normally grown (NG) neonatal rats, acute HG causes neuronal injury in the brain, cerebral cortex more vulnerable than the hippocampus (HPC). We hypothesized that the IUGR brain is less vulnerable to hypoglycemia-induced injury while preserving the regional variation in vulnerability. Methods We induced IUGR via bilateral uterine artery ligation on gestational day 19 (term 22d) rats. On postnatal day 14, insulin-induced HG of equivale...

  16. GDE2 regulates subtype-specific motor neuron generation through inhibition of Notch signaling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sabharwal, Priyanka; Lee, Changhee; Park, Sungjin; Rao, Meenakshi; Sockanathan, Shanthini

    2011-09-22

    The specification of spinal interneuron and motor neuron identities initiates within progenitor cells, while motor neuron subtype diversification is regulated by hierarchical transcriptional programs implemented postmitotically. Here we find that mice lacking GDE2, a six-transmembrane protein that triggers motor neuron generation, exhibit selective losses of distinct motor neuron subtypes, specifically in defined subsets of limb-innervating motor pools that correlate with the loss of force-generating alpha motor neurons. Mechanistically, GDE2 is expressed by postmitotic motor neurons but utilizes extracellular glycerophosphodiester phosphodiesterase activity to induce motor neuron generation by inhibiting Notch signaling in neighboring motor neuron progenitors. Thus, neuronal GDE2 controls motor neuron subtype diversity through a non-cell-autonomous feedback mechanism that directly regulates progenitor cell differentiation, implying that subtype specification initiates within motor neuron progenitor populations prior to their differentiation into postmitotic motor neurons. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Attractor dynamics in local neuronal networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jean-Philippe eThivierge

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Patterns of synaptic connectivity in various regions of the brain are characterized by the presence of synaptic motifs, defined as unidirectional and bidirectional synaptic contacts that follow a particular configuration and link together small groups of neurons. Recent computational work proposes that a relay network (two populations communicating via a third, relay population of neurons can generate precise patterns of neural synchronization. Here, we employ two distinct models of neuronal dynamics and show that simulated neural circuits designed in this way are caught in a global attractor of activity that prevents neurons from modulating their response on the basis of incoming stimuli. To circumvent the emergence of a fixed global attractor, we propose a mechanism of selective gain inhibition that promotes flexible responses to external stimuli. We suggest that local neuronal circuits may employ this mechanism to generate precise patterns of neural synchronization whose transient nature delimits the occurrence of a brief stimulus.

  18. Pathophysiological role of prostaglandin E2-induced up-regulation of the EP2 receptor in motor neuron-like NSC-34 cells and lumbar motor neurons in ALS model mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kosuge, Yasuhiro; Miyagishi, Hiroko; Yoneoka, Yuki; Yoneda, Keiko; Nango, Hiroshi; Ishige, Kumiko; Ito, Yoshihisa

    2017-07-04

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease characterized by selective degeneration of motor neurons. The primary triggers for motor neuronal death are still unknown, but inflammation is considered to be an important factor contributing to the pathophysiology of ALS both clinically and in ALS models. Prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) and its corresponding four E-prostanoid receptors play a pivotal role in the degeneration of motor neurons in human and transgenic models of ALS. It has also been shown that PGE2-EP2 signaling in glial cells (astrocytes or microglia) promotes motor neuronal death in G93A mice. The present study was designed to investigate the levels of expression of EP receptors in the spinal motor neurons of ALS model mice and to examine whether PGE2 alters the expression of EP receptors in differentiated NSC-34 cells, a motor neuron-like cell line. Immunohistochemical staining demonstrated that EP2 and EP3 immunoreactivity was localized in NeuN-positive large cells showing the typical morphology of motor neurons in mice. Semi-quantitative analysis showed that the immunoreactivity of EP2 in motor neurons was significantly increased in the early symptomatic stage in ALS model mice. In contrast, the level of EP3 expression remained constant, irrespective of age. In differentiated NSC-34 cells, bath application of PGE2 resulted in a concentration-dependent decrease of MTT reduction. Although PGE2 had no effect on cell survival at concentrations of less than 10 μM, pretreatment with 10 μM PGE2 significantly up-regulated EP2 and concomitantly potentiated cell death induced by 30 μM PGE2. These results suggest that PGE2 is an important effector for induction of the EP2 subtype in differentiated NSC-34 cells, and that not only EP2 up-regulation in glial cells but also EP2 up-regulation in motor neurons plays a pivotal role in the vulnerability of motor neurons in ALS model mice. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights

  19. Neuronal Migration Disorders

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Understanding Sleep The Life and Death of a Neuron Genes At Work In The Brain Order Publications ... birth defects caused by the abnormal migration of neurons in the developing brain and nervous system. In ...

  20. Motor Neuron Diseases

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... and other neurodegenerative diseases to better understand the function of neurons and other support cells and identify candidate therapeutic ... and other neurodegenerative diseases to better understand the function of neurons and other support cells and identify candidate therapeutic ...

  1. (Z)-dimethylamino-1-(4-bromophenyl)-1-(3-pyridyl) propene (H 102/09), a new selective inhibitor of the neuronal 5-hydroxytryptamine uptake

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ross, S.B.; Oegren, S.-O.; Renyi, A.L.

    1976-01-01

    The inhibition of the uptake of 3 H-(-)-noradrenaline (NA), 3 H-dopamine and 14 C-5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) in mouse brain slices by (Z)-3-dimethylamino-1-(4-bromophenyl)-1-(3-pyridyl)propene(H 102/09), desipramine and chlorimipramine and their releasing effect on the 3 H-amines previously accumulated in the slices were examined. The interactions with reserpine produced hypothermia and sedation and the 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) syndrome in mice were also studied. Due to the poor inhibitory activity on the NA uptake H 102/09 was a more selective inhii.or of the 5-HT uptake than was chlorimipramine, particularly after administration in vivo, where it was as potent as chlorimipramine (ED50=19μmol/kg intraperitoneally). In vitro chlorimipramine was 6 to 12 times more active than H 102/09. Desipramine was a very selective inhibitor of the NA uptake in vitro and in vivo. The compounds were generally more potent in inhibiting the uptake than in releasing the amines. However, in striatal slices the inhibition of DA uptake could be due to the releasing effect since the difference in potencies were small. The effect of desipramine on 5-HT uptake and that of H102/09 on NA uptake could also involve a release component. The 5-HTP syndrome was potentiated by H 102/09 and chlorimipramine but not by desipramine. The reserpine hypothermia but not the sedation was potently antagonized and reversed by desipramine and by chlorimipramine at high doses but not by H 102/09, suggested that NA but not 5-HT is involved in the hypothermic action of reserpine. (author)

  2. Safeguard Vulnerability Analysis Program (SVAP)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gilman, F.M.; Dittmore, M.H.; Orvis, W.J.; Wahler, P.S.

    1980-01-01

    This report gives an overview of the Safeguard Vulnerability Analysis Program (SVAP) developed at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. SVAP was designed as an automated method of analyzing the safeguard systems at nuclear facilities for vulnerabilities relating to the theft or diversion of nuclear materials. SVAP addresses one class of safeguard threat: theft or diversion of nuclear materials by nonviolent insiders, acting individually or in collusion. SVAP is a user-oriented tool which uses an interactive input medium for preprocessing the large amounts of safeguards data. Its output includes concise summary data as well as detailed vulnerability information

  3. A Comprehensive Assessment and Spatial Analysis of Vulnerability of China’s Provincial Economies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chongqiang Ren

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Vulnerability theory is a fundamental scientific knowledge system in sustainable development, and vulnerability assessment is important in vulnerability studies. Economic vulnerability affects economic growth sustainability. Comprehensive assessment of economic vulnerability in the process of economic growth under the theoretical framework of vulnerability will provide a new perspective for vulnerability studies. Based on a vulnerability scoping diagram assessment model, this study selected 22 economic sensitivity indexes and 25 economic adaptability indexes from the economic, social, and nature–resource–environmental subsystems to comprehensively assess and spatially analyse the vulnerability of China’s provincial economies since the year 2000, while applying the entropy method, multilevel extension assessment, spatial measurement method, and geographic information system technology. The results showed the following: (1 There are great differences in the vulnerability of China’s provincial economies. Western China’s vulnerability is higher and the fluctuation range of economic vulnerability is larger. The vulnerability increased significantly based on spatial differential features; (2 Regional differences in economic vulnerability, mainly caused by differences within a region, increased gradually. Eastern and Western China showed the spatial pattern characteristics of prominent and reinforcing regional imbalance, while Central and Northeast China showed declining regional imbalance. The spatial structure evolution of economic vulnerability is characterized by a volatility curve, and regional separation and divergence are strengthened; (3 Growth of China’s provincial economies and economic vulnerability are related negatively. In Eastern, Central, and Northeast China, vulnerability of the provincial economies has a negative spillover effect on neighbouring provinces’ economic growth, while in Western China it has a slight positive

  4. Selective cerebral perfusion prevents abnormalities in glutamate cycling and neuronal apoptosis in a model of infant deep hypothermic circulatory arrest and reperfusion

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kajimoto, Masaki; Ledee, Dolena R.; Olson, Aaron K.; Isern, Nancy G.; Robillard-Frayne, Isabelle; Des Rosiers, Christine; Portman, Michael A.

    2016-10-01

    Rationale: Deep hypothermic circulatory arrest (DHCA) is often required for the repair of complex congenital cardiac defects in infants. However, DHCA induces neuroapoptosis associated with later development of neurocognitive abnormalities. Selective cerebral perfusion (SCP) theoretically provides superior neural protection possibly through modifications in cerebral substrate oxidation and closely integrated glutamate cycling. Objectives: We tested the hypothesis that SCP modulates glucose entry into the citric acid cycle, and ameliorates abnormalities in glutamate flux which occur in association neuroapoptosis during DHCA. Methods and Results: Eighteen male Yorkshire piglets (age 34-44 days) were assigned randomly to 2 groups of 7 (DHCA or DHCA with SCP for 60 minutes at 18 °C) and 4 control pigs without cardiopulmonary bypass support. After the completion of rewarming from DHCA, 13-Carbon-labeled (13C) glucose as a metabolic tracer was infused. We used gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GCMS) and nuclear magnetic resonance for metabolic analysis in the frontal cortex. Following 2.5 hours of cerebral reperfusion, we observed similar cerebral ATP levels, absolute levels of lactate and citric acid cycle intermediates, and 13C-enrichment. However, DHCA induced significant abnormalities in glutamate cycling resulting in reduced glutamate/glutamine and elevated γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA)/glutamate along with neuroapoptosis (TUNEL), which were all prevented by SCP. Conclusions: DHCA alone induces abnormalities in cycling of the major neurotransmitters in association with neuroapoptosis, but does not alter cerebral glucose utilization during reperfusion. The data suggest that SCP prevents these modifications in glutamate/glutamine/GABA cycling and protects the cerebral cortex from neuroapoptosis.

  5. Groundwater vulnerability to pollution mapping of Ranchi district using GIS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krishna, R.; Iqbal, J.; Gorai, A. K.; Pathak, G.; Tuluri, F.; Tchounwou, P. B.

    2015-12-01

    Groundwater pollution due to anthropogenic activities is one of the major environmental problems in urban and industrial areas. The present study demonstrates the integrated approach with GIS and DRASTIC model to derive a groundwater vulnerability to pollution map. The model considers the seven hydrogeological factors [Depth to water table ( D), net recharge ( R), aquifer media ( A), soil media ( S), topography or slope ( T), impact of vadose zone ( I) and hydraulic Conductivity( C)] for generating the groundwater vulnerability to pollution map. The model was applied for assessing the groundwater vulnerability to pollution in Ranchi district, Jharkhand, India. The model was validated by comparing the model output (vulnerability indices) with the observed nitrate concentrations in groundwater in the study area. The reason behind the selection of nitrate is that the major sources of nitrate in groundwater are anthropogenic in nature. Groundwater samples were collected from 30 wells/tube wells distributed in the study area. The samples were analyzed in the laboratory for measuring the nitrate concentrations in groundwater. A sensitivity analysis of the integrated model was performed to evaluate the influence of single parameters on groundwater vulnerability index. New weights were computed for each input parameters to understand the influence of individual hydrogeological factors in vulnerability indices in the study area. Aquifer vulnerability maps generated in this study can be used for environmental planning and groundwater management.

  6. Groundwater vulnerability to pollution mapping of Ranchi district using GIS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krishna, R; Iqbal, J; Gorai, A K; Pathak, G; Tuluri, F; Tchounwou, P B

    2015-12-01

    Groundwater pollution due to anthropogenic activities is one of the major environmental problems in urban and industrial areas. The present study demonstrates the integrated approach with GIS and DRASTIC model to derive a groundwater vulnerability to pollution map. The model considers the seven hydrogeological factors [Depth to water table ( D ), net recharge ( R ), aquifer media ( A ), soil media ( S ), topography or slope ( T ), impact of vadose zone ( I ) and hydraulic Conductivity( C )] for generating the groundwater vulnerability to pollution map. The model was applied for assessing the groundwater vulnerability to pollution in Ranchi district, Jharkhand, India. The model was validated by comparing the model output (vulnerability indices) with the observed nitrate concentrations in groundwater in the study area. The reason behind the selection of nitrate is that the major sources of nitrate in groundwater are anthropogenic in nature. Groundwater samples were collected from 30 wells/tube wells distributed in the study area. The samples were analyzed in the laboratory for measuring the nitrate concentrations in groundwater. A sensitivity analysis of the integrated model was performed to evaluate the influence of single parameters on groundwater vulnerability index. New weights were computed for each input parameters to understand the influence of individual hydrogeological factors in vulnerability indices in the study area. Aquifer vulnerability maps generated in this study can be used for environmental planning and groundwater management.

  7. Vulnerability Identification Errors in Security Risk Assessments

    OpenAIRE

    Taubenberger, Stefan

    2014-01-01

    At present, companies rely on information technology systems to achieve their business objectives, making them vulnerable to cybersecurity threats. Information security risk assessments help organisations to identify their risks and vulnerabilities. An accurate identification of risks and vulnerabilities is a challenge, because the input data is uncertain. So-called ’vulnerability identification errors‘ can occur if false positive vulnerabilities are identified, or if vulnerabilities remain u...

  8. Poverty and Vulnerability - An Interdisciplinary Approach

    OpenAIRE

    Makoka, Donald; Kaplan, Marcus

    2005-01-01

    This paper describes the concepts of poverty and vulnerability as well as the interconnections and differences between them using an interdisciplinary approach. While poverty is a static concept, vulnerability has a forward-looking dimension. We, therefore, review the methodologies that different disciplines use to measure poverty and vulnerability. In particular, the differences between vulnerability to natural disasters, vulnerability to climate change, as well as vulnerability to poverty a...

  9. Neurons Containing Orexin or Melanin Concentrating Hormone Reciprocally Regulate Wake and Sleep

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roda Rani eKonadhode

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available There is considerable amount of data on arousal neurons whereas there is a paucity of knowledge regarding neurons that make us fall asleep. Indeed, current network models of sleep-wake regulation list many arousal neuronal populations compared to only one sleep group located in the preoptic area. There are neurons outside the preoptic area that are active during sleep, but they have never been selectively manipulated. Indeed, none of the sleep-active neurons have been selectively stimulated. To close this knowledge gap we used optogenetics to selectively manipulate neurons containing melanin concentrating hormone (MCH. The MCH neurons are located in the posterior hypothalamus intermingled with the orexin arousal neurons. Our data indicated that optogenetic stimulation of MCH neurons in wildtype mice (J Neuroscience, 2013 robustly increased both non-REM and REM sleep. MCH neuron stimulation increased sleep during the animal’s normal active period, which is compelling evidence that stimulation of MCH neurons has a powerful effect in counteracting the strong arousal signal from all of the arousal neurons. The MCH neurons represent the only group of sleep-active neurons that when selectively stimulated induce sleep. From a translational perspective this is potentially useful in sleep disorders, such as insomnia, where sleep needs to be triggered against a strong arousal drive. Our studies indicate that the MCH neurons belong within an overall model of sleep-wake regulation.

  10. Hypothalamic neurones governing glucose homeostasis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coppari, R

    2015-06-01

    The notion that the brain directly controls the level of glucose in the blood (glycaemia) independent of its known action on food intake and body weight has been known ever since 1849. That year, the French physiologist Dr Claude Bernard reported that physical puncture of the floor of the fourth cerebral ventricle rapidly leads to an increased level of sugar in the blood (and urine) in rabbits. Despite this important discovery, it took approximately 150 years before significant efforts aimed at understanding the underlying mechanism of brain-mediated control of glucose metabolism were made. Technological developments allowing for genetically-mediated manipulation of selected molecular pathways in a neurone-type-specific fashion unravelled the importance of specific molecules in specific neuronal populations. These neuronal pathways govern glucose metabolism in the presence and even in the absence of insulin. Also, a peculiarity of these pathways is that certain biochemically-defined neurones govern glucose metabolism in a tissue-specific fashion. © 2015 British Society for Neuroendocrinology.

  11. CDC's Social Vulnerability Index (SVI)

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Department of Health & Human Services — Social vulnerability refers to the resilience of communities when confronted by external stresses on human health, stresses such as natural or human-caused...

  12. Southern African Coastal vulnerability assessment

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Rautenbach, C

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available or business. The CSIR coastal systems group uses specialist skills in coastal engineering, geographic engineering systems and numerical modelling to assess and map vulnerable coastal ecosystems to develop specific adaptation measures and coastal protection...

  13. CALTRANS CLIMATE CHANGE VULNERABILITY ASSESSMENTS

    Science.gov (United States)

    2018-01-01

    The following report was developed for the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) to summarize a vulnerability assessment conducted for assets in Caltrans District 4. The assessment was developed to specifically identify the potential eff...

  14. Network Vulnerability and Risk Assessment

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Alward, Randy G; Carley, Kathleen M; Madsen, Fredrik; Taylor, Vincent K; Vandenberghe, Grant

    2006-01-01

    To help understand a network and its ability to continue operating when under attack, the break out group discussed issues that need to be considered when presenting network vulnerability information...

  15. Vulnerability Assessments in Ethical Hacking

    OpenAIRE

    Ashiqur Rahman ,; Md. SarwarAlam Rasel; Asaduzzaman Noman; Shakh Md. Alimuzjaman Alim

    2016-01-01

    Ethical hackers use the same methods and techniques to test and bypass a system's defenses as their less-principled counterparts, but rather than taking advantage of any vulnerabilities found, they document them and provide actionable advice on how to fix them so the organization can improve its overall security. The purpose of ethical hacking is to evaluate the security of a network or system's infrastructure. It entails finding and attempting to exploit any vulnerabilities to de...

  16. Software Design Level Security Vulnerabilities

    OpenAIRE

    S. Rehman; K. Mustafa

    2011-01-01

    Several thousand software design vulnerabilities have been reported through established databases. But they need to be structured and classified to be optimally usable in the pursuit of minimal and effective mitigation mechanism. In order we developed a criterion set for a communicative description of the same to serve the purpose as a taxonomic description of security vulnerabilities, arising in the design phase of Software development lifecycle. This description is a part of an effort to id...

  17. Stress Tests and Vulnerability Assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wallner, A.; Lorenz, P.

    2012-01-01

    After the accident in Fukushima, nuclear safety as topic in anti-nuclear work has gained importance within the Joint Project countries. Therefore, nuclear safety and in particular the activities of the European stress tests were chosen to be the main focus of the Joint Project 2011/2012 as well as the common theme of the national projects. This brochure describes: A) Vulnerability Assessment A critical review of the EU Nuclear Stress Tests in Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Ukraine is presented in chapter 1. The review details the main weaknesses identified within the stress tests. Important shortcomings not mentioned in the stress tests reports are also discussed. These evaluations do not claim to be exhaustive, but the findings contribute to a more comprehensive understanding of safety and risk of nuclear power plants in Europe. B) Transparency of the stress tests In chapter 2 the experience of the Joint Project NGOs concerning transparency of the stress tests is presented. The information is not meant to be an evaluation of the transparency of the stress tests in general – such an evaluation is not possible within the scope of this brochure. The evaluation aims to show activities concerning stress tests and how they were conceived by the JP NGOs. Some recommendations for improvement are given. C) Safety focus Within the main topic “nuclear safety” of the Joint Project 2011/2012 the NGOs of each JP country selected a special safety relevant topic, which is/was of particular interest in their country: Bulgaria: The short story of Belene NPP – The victory – Key points of the campaign against the nuclear power plant Romania: Risks of the CANDU reactor design Czech Republic: Results of the conference “Power Plant Load Testing: Safety Inspection or Propaganda?“ Slovakia: Safety deficits of the NPP Mochovce These safety relevant issues are discussed in separate sections within the brochure at hand. (author)

  18. Stress Tests and Vulnerability Assessment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wallner, A. [Austrian Institute of Ecology, Vienna (Austria); Lorenz, P. [ed.; Becker, O. [eds.; Weber, U. [Austrian Institute of Ecology, Vienna (Austria)

    2012-07-01

    After the accident in Fukushima, nuclear safety as topic in anti-nuclear work has gained importance within the Joint Project countries. Therefore, nuclear safety and in particular the activities of the European stress tests were chosen to be the main focus of the Joint Project 2011/2012 as well as the common theme of the national projects. This brochure describes: A) Vulnerability Assessment A critical review of the EU Nuclear Stress Tests in Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Ukraine is presented in chapter 1. The review details the main weaknesses identified within the stress tests. Important shortcomings not mentioned in the stress tests reports are also discussed. These evaluations do not claim to be exhaustive, but the findings contribute to a more comprehensive understanding of safety and risk of nuclear power plants in Europe. B) Transparency of the stress tests In chapter 2 the experience of the Joint Project NGOs concerning transparency of the stress tests is presented. The information is not meant to be an evaluation of the transparency of the stress tests in general – such an evaluation is not possible within the scope of this brochure. The evaluation aims to show activities concerning stress tests and how they were conceived by the JP NGOs. Some recommendations for improvement are given. C) Safety focus Within the main topic “nuclear safety” of the Joint Project 2011/2012 the NGOs of each JP country selected a special safety relevant topic, which is/was of particular interest in their country: Bulgaria: The short story of Belene NPP – The victory – Key points of the campaign against the nuclear power plant Romania: Risks of the CANDU reactor design Czech Republic: Results of the conference “Power Plant Load Testing: Safety Inspection or Propaganda?“ Slovakia: Safety deficits of the NPP Mochovce These safety relevant issues are discussed in separate sections within the brochure at hand. (author)

  19. Review Article: A comparison of flood and earthquake vulnerability assessment indicators

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Ruiter, Marleen C.; Ward, Philip J.; Daniell, James E.; Aerts, Jeroen C. J. H.

    2017-07-01

    In a cross-disciplinary study, we carried out an extensive literature review to increase understanding of vulnerability indicators used in the disciplines of earthquake- and flood vulnerability assessments. We provide insights into potential improvements in both fields by identifying and comparing quantitative vulnerability indicators grouped into physical and social categories. Next, a selection of index- and curve-based vulnerability models that use these indicators are described, comparing several characteristics such as temporal and spatial aspects. Earthquake vulnerability methods traditionally have a strong focus on object-based physical attributes used in vulnerability curve-based models, while flood vulnerability studies focus more on indicators applied to aggregated land-use classes in curve-based models. In assessing the differences and similarities between indicators used in earthquake and flood vulnerability models, we only include models that separately assess either of the two hazard types. Flood vulnerability studies could be improved using approaches from earthquake studies, such as developing object-based physical vulnerability curve assessments and incorporating time-of-the-day-based building occupation patterns. Likewise, earthquake assessments could learn from flood studies by refining their selection of social vulnerability indicators. Based on the lessons obtained in this study, we recommend future studies for exploring risk assessment methodologies across different hazard types.

  20. Heme oxygenase-2 gene deletion attenuates oxidative stress in neurons exposed to extracellular hemin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benvenisti-Zarom Luna

    2004-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Hemin, the oxidized form of heme, accumulates in intracranial hematomas and is a potent oxidant. Growing evidence suggests that it contributes to delayed injury to surrounding tissue, and that this process is affected by the heme oxygenase enzymes. In a prior study, heme oxygenase-2 gene deletion increased the vulnerability of cultured cortical astrocytes to hemin. The present study tested the effect of HO-2 gene deletion on protein oxidation, reactive oxygen species formation, and cell viability after mixed cortical neuron/astrocyte cultures were incubated with neurotoxic concentrations of hemin. Results Continuous exposure of wild-type cultures to 1–10 μM hemin for 14 h produced concentration-dependent neuronal death, as detected by both LDH release and fluorescence intensity after propidium iodide staining, with an EC50 of 1–2 μM; astrocytes were not injured by these low hemin concentrations. Cell death was consistently reduced by at least 60% in knockout cultures. Exposure to hemin for 4 hours, a time point that preceded cell lysis, increased protein oxidation in wild-type cultures, as detected by staining of immunoblots for protein carbonyl groups. At 10 μM hemin, carbonylation was increased 2.3-fold compared with control sister cultures subjected to medium exchanges only; this effect was reduced by about two-thirds in knockout cultures. Cellular reactive oxygen species, detected by fluorescence intensity after dihydrorhodamine 123 (DHR staining, was markedly increased by hemin in wild-type cultures and was localized to neuronal cell bodies and processes. In contrast, DHR fluorescence intensity in knockout cultures did not differ from that of sham-washed controls. Neuronal death in wild-type cultures was almost completely prevented by the lipid-soluble iron chelator phenanthroline; deferoxamine had a weaker but significant effect. Conclusions These results suggest that HO-2 gene deletion protects neurons in mixed

  1. Statistics of Visual Responses to Image Object Stimuli from Primate AIT Neurons to DNN Neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, Qiulei; Wang, Hong; Hu, Zhanyi

    2018-02-01

    Under the goal-driven paradigm, Yamins et al. ( 2014 ; Yamins & DiCarlo, 2016 ) have shown that by optimizing only the final eight-way categorization performance of a four-layer hierarchical network, not only can its top output layer quantitatively predict IT neuron responses but its penultimate layer can also automatically predict V4 neuron responses. Currently, deep neural networks (DNNs) in the field of computer vision have reached image object categorization performance comparable to that of human beings on ImageNet, a data set that contains 1.3 million training images of 1000 categories. We explore whether the DNN neurons (units in DNNs) possess image object representational statistics similar to monkey IT neurons, particularly when the network becomes deeper and the number of image categories becomes larger, using VGG19, a typical and widely used deep network of 19 layers in the computer vision field. Following Lehky, Kiani, Esteky, and Tanaka ( 2011 , 2014 ), where the response statistics of 674 IT neurons to 806 image stimuli are analyzed using three measures (kurtosis, Pareto tail index, and intrinsic dimensionality), we investigate the three issues in this letter using the same three measures: (1) the similarities and differences of the neural response statistics between VGG19 and primate IT cortex, (2) the variation trends of the response statistics of VGG19 neurons at different layers from low to high, and (3) the variation trends of the response statistics of VGG19 neurons when the numbers of stimuli and neurons increase. We find that the response statistics on both single-neuron selectivity and population sparseness of VGG19 neurons are fundamentally different from those of IT neurons in most cases; by increasing the number of neurons in different layers and the number of stimuli, the response statistics of neurons at different layers from low to high do not substantially change; and the estimated intrinsic dimensionality values at the low

  2. GIS Based Measurement and Regulatory Zoning of Urban Ecological Vulnerability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaorui Zhang

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Urban ecological vulnerability is measured on the basis of ecological sensitivity and resilience based on the concept analysis of vulnerability. GIS-based multicriteria decision analysis (GIS-MCDA methods are used, supported by the spatial analysis tools of GIS, to define different levels of vulnerability for areas of the urban ecology. These areas are further classified into different types of regulatory zones. Taking the city of Hefei in China as the empirical research site, this study uses GIS-MCDA, including the index system, index weights and overlay rules, to measure the degree of its ecological vulnerability on the GIS platform. There are eight indices in the system. Raking and analytical hierarchy process (AHP methods are used to calculate index weights according to the characteristics of the index system. The integrated overlay rule, including selection of the maximum value, and weighted linear combination (WLC are applied as the overlay rules. In this way, five types of vulnerability areas have been classified as follows: very low vulnerability, low vulnerability, medium vulnerability, high vulnerability and very high vulnerability. They can be further grouped into three types of regulatory zone of ecological green line, ecological grey line and ecological red line. The study demonstrates that ecological green line areas are the largest (53.61% of the total study area and can be intensively developed; ecological grey line areas (19.59% of the total area can serve as the ecological buffer zone, and ecological red line areas (26.80% cannot be developed and must be protected. The results indicate that ecological green line areas may provide sufficient room for future urban development in Hefei city. Finally, the respective regulatory countermeasures are put forward. This research provides a scientific basis for decision-making around urban ecological protection, construction and sustainable development. It also provides theoretical method

  3. Optogenetic identification of hypothalamic orexin neuron projections to paraventricular spinally projecting neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dergacheva, Olga; Yamanaka, Akihiro; Schwartz, Alan R; Polotsky, Vsevolod Y; Mendelowitz, David

    2017-04-01

    Orexin neurons, and activation of orexin receptors, are generally thought to be sympathoexcitatory; however, the functional connectivity between orexin neurons and a likely sympathetic target, the hypothalamic spinally projecting neurons (SPNs) in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus (PVN) has not been established. To test the hypothesis that orexin neurons project directly to SPNs in the PVN, channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2) was selectively expressed in orexin neurons to enable photoactivation of ChR2-expressing fibers while examining evoked postsynaptic currents in SPNs in rat hypothalamic slices. Selective photoactivation of orexin fibers elicited short-latency postsynaptic currents in all SPNs tested ( n = 34). These light-triggered responses were heterogeneous, with a majority being excitatory glutamatergic responses (59%) and a minority of inhibitory GABAergic (35%) and mixed glutamatergic and GABAergic currents (6%). Both glutamatergic and GABAergic responses were present in the presence of tetrodotoxin and 4-aminopyridine, suggesting a monosynaptic connection between orexin neurons and SPNs. In addition to generating postsynaptic responses, photostimulation facilitated action potential firing in SPNs (current clamp configuration). Glutamatergic, but not GABAergic, postsynaptic currents were diminished by application of the orexin receptor antagonist almorexant, indicating orexin release facilitates glutamatergic neurotransmission in this pathway. This work identifies a neuronal circuit by which orexin neurons likely exert sympathoexcitatory control of cardiovascular function. NEW & NOTEWORTHY This is the first study to establish, using innovative optogenetic approaches in a transgenic rat model, that there are robust heterogeneous projections from orexin neurons to paraventricular spinally projecting neurons, including excitatory glutamatergic and inhibitory GABAergic neurotransmission. Endogenous orexin release modulates glutamatergic, but not

  4. The SAVI vulnerability assessment model

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Winblad, A.E.

    1987-01-01

    The assessment model ''Systematic Analysis of Vulnerability to Intrusion'' (SAVI) presented in this report is a PC-based path analysis model. It can provide estimates of protection system effectiveness (or vulnerability) against a spectrum of outsider threats including collusion with an insider adversary. It calculates one measure of system effectiveness, the probability of interruption P(I), for all potential adversary paths. SAVI can perform both theft and sabotage vulnerability analyses. For theft, the analysis is based on the assumption that adversaries should be interrupted either before they can accomplish removal of the target material from its normal location or removal from the site boundary. For sabotage, the analysis is based on the assumption that adversaries should be interrupted before completion of their sabotage task

  5. New approach to analyzing vulnerability

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    O'Callaghan, P.B.; Carlson, R.L.; Riedeman, G.W.

    1986-01-01

    The Westinghouse Hanford Company (WHC) has recently completed construction of the Fuel Cycle Plant (FCP) at Richland, Washington. At start-up the facility will fabricate driver fuel for the Fast Flux Test Facility in the Secure Automated Fabrication line. After construction completion, but before facility certification, the Department of Energy (DOE) Richland Operation Office requested that a vulnerability analysis be performed which assumed multiple insiders as a threat to the security system. A unique method of analyzing facility vulnerabilities was developed at the Security Applications Center (SAC), which is managed by WHC for DOE. The method that was developed verifies a previous vulnerability assessment, as well as introducing a modeling technique which analyzes security alarms in relation to delaying factors and possible insider activities. With this information it is possible to assess the relative strength or weakness of various possible routes to and from a target within a facility

  6. Europe's vulnerability to energy crises

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2008-01-15

    The growing dependency of Europe as a whole on energy imports and anticipated further increases in energy prices reinforce the concerns about meeting the energy demand in the future. The objective of the Study is to identify the threats leading to potential energy crises and suggest solutions for facing, in an appropriate way, the related key challenges. In addition, the Study intends to develop a number of indicators effective enough to assess the level of different types of vulnerability, as well the overall vulnerability of a country or region, including threats to physical disruption, higher energy prices etc. The use of vulnerability indicators is highly recommended for all WEC-European countries, as well as to policy makers and market players.

  7. [The detector, the command neuron and plastic convergence].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sokolov, E N

    1977-01-01

    The paper deals with the structure of detectors, the function of commanding neurones and the problem of relationship between detectors and commanding neurons. An example of hierarchial organization of detectors is provided by the colour analyser in which a layer of receptors, a layer of opponent neurones and a layer of colour-selective detectors are singled out. The colour detector is selectively sensitive to a certain combination of excitations at the input. If the detector is selectively activated by a certain combination of excitations at the input, the selective activation of the commanding neurone through a pool of motoneurones brings about a reaction at the output, specific in its organization. The reflexogenic zone of the reaction is determined by the detectors which converge on the commanding neurone controlling the given reaction. The plasticity of the reaction results from a plastic convergence of the detectors on the commanding neurone which controls the reaction. This comprises selective switching off the detectors from the commanding neurone (habituation) and connecting the detectors to the commanding neurone (facilitation).

  8. Tsunami vulnerability assessment in the western coastal belt in Sri Lanka

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ranagalage, M. M.

    2017-12-01

    26th December 2004 tsunami disaster has caused massive loss of life, damage to coastal infrastructures and disruption to economic activities in the coastal belt of Sri Lanka. Tsunami vulnerability assessment is a requirement for disaster risk and vulnerability reduction. It plays a major role in identifying the extent and level of vulnerabilities to disasters within the communities. There is a need for a clearer understanding of the disaster risk patterns and factors contributing to it in different parts of the coastal belt. The main objective of this study is to investigate tsunami vulnerability assessment of Moratuwa Municipal council area in Sri Lanka. We have selected Moratuwa area due to considering urbanization pattern and Tsunami hazards of the country. Different data sets such as one-meter resolution LiDAR data, orthophoto, population, housing data and road layer were employed in this study. We employed tsunami vulnerability model for 1796 housing units located there, for a tsunami scenario with a maximum run-up 8 meters. 86% of the total land area affected by the tsunami in 8 meters scenarios. Additionally, building population has been used to estimate population in different vulnerability levels. The result shows that 32% of the buildings have extremely critical vulnerability level, 46% have critical vulnerability level, 22% have high vulnerability level, and 1% have a moderate vulnerability. According to the population estimation model results, 18% reside building with extremely critical vulnerability, 43% with critical vulnerability, 36% with high vulnerability and 3% belong to moderate vulnerability level. The results of the study provide a clear picture of tsunami vulnerability. Outcomes of this analysis can use as a valuable tool for urban planners to assess the risk and extent of disaster risk reduction which could be achieved via suitable mitigation measures to manage the coastal belt in Sri Lanka.

  9. Vulnerability assessments as a political creation: tsunami management in Portugal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pronk, Maartje; Maat, Harro; Crane, Todd A

    2017-10-01

    Vulnerability assessments are a cornerstone of contemporary disaster research. This paper shows how research procedures and the presentation of results of vulnerability assessments are politically filtered. Using data from a study of tsunami risk assessment in Portugal, the paper demonstrates that approaches, measurement instruments, and research procedures for evaluating vulnerability are influenced by institutional preferences, lines of communication, or lack thereof, between stakeholder groups, and available technical expertise. The institutional setting and the pattern of stakeholder interactions form a filter, resulting in a particular conceptualisation of vulnerability, affecting its operationalisation via existing methods and technologies and its institutional embedding. The Portuguese case reveals a conceptualisation that is aligned with perceptions prevalent in national government bureaucracies and the exclusion of local stakeholders owing to selected methodologies and assessment procedures. The decisions taken by actors involved in these areas affect how vulnerability is assessed, and ultimately which vulnerability reduction policies will be recommended in the appraisal. © 2017 The Author(s). Disasters © Overseas Development Institute, 2017.

  10. Importance of biometrics to addressing vulnerabilities of the U.S. infrastructure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arndt, Craig M.; Hall, Nathaniel A.

    2004-08-01

    Human identification technologies are important threat countermeasures in minimizing select infrastructure vulnerabilities. Properly targeted countermeasures should be selected and integrated into an overall security solution based on disciplined analysis and modeling. Available data on infrastructure value, threat intelligence, and system vulnerabilities are carefully organized, analyzed and modeled. Prior to design and deployment of an effective countermeasure; the proper role and appropriateness of technology in addressing the overall set of vulnerabilities is established. Deployment of biometrics systems, as with other countermeasures, introduces potentially heightened vulnerabilities into the system. Heightened vulnerabilities may arise from both the newly introduced system complexities and an unfocused understanding of the set of vulnerabilities impacted by the new countermeasure. The countermeasure's own inherent vulnerabilities and those introduced by the system's integration with the existing system are analyzed and modeled to determine the overall vulnerability impact. The United States infrastructure is composed of government and private assets. The infrastructure is valued by their potential impact on several components: human physical safety, physical/information replacement/repair cost, potential contribution to future loss (criticality in weapons production), direct productivity output, national macro-economic output/productivity, and information integrity. These components must be considered in determining the overall impact of an infrastructure security breach. Cost/benefit analysis is then incorporated in the security technology deployment decision process. Overall security risks based on system vulnerabilities and threat intelligence determines areas of potential benefit. Biometric countermeasures are often considered when additional security at intended points of entry would minimize vulnerabilities.

  11. Response sensitivity of barrel neuron subpopulations to simulated thalamic input.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pesavento, Michael J; Rittenhouse, Cynthia D; Pinto, David J

    2010-06-01

    Our goal is to examine the relationship between neuron- and network-level processing in the context of a well-studied cortical function, the processing of thalamic input by whisker-barrel circuits in rodent neocortex. Here we focus on neuron-level processing and investigate the responses of excitatory and inhibitory barrel neurons to simulated thalamic inputs applied using the dynamic clamp method in brain slices. Simulated inputs are modeled after real thalamic inputs recorded in vivo in response to brief whisker deflections. Our results suggest that inhibitory neurons require more input to reach firing threshold, but then fire earlier, with less variability, and respond to a broader range of inputs than do excitatory neurons. Differences in the responses of barrel neuron subtypes depend on their intrinsic membrane properties. Neurons with a low input resistance require more input to reach threshold but then fire earlier than neurons with a higher input resistance, regardless of the neuron's classification. Our results also suggest that the response properties of excitatory versus inhibitory barrel neurons are consistent with the response sensitivities of the ensemble barrel network. The short response latency of inhibitory neurons may serve to suppress ensemble barrel responses to asynchronous thalamic input. Correspondingly, whereas neurons acting as part of the barrel circuit in vivo are highly selective for temporally correlated thalamic input, excitatory barrel neurons acting alone in vitro are less so. These data suggest that network-level processing of thalamic input in barrel cortex depends on neuron-level processing of the same input by excitatory and inhibitory barrel neurons.

  12. Neuronal Rac1 Is Required for Learning-Evoked Neurogenesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Matthew P.; Freewoman, Julia; Cord, Branden; Babu, Harish; Brakebusch, Cord

    2013-01-01

    Hippocampus-dependent learning and memory relies on synaptic plasticity as well as network adaptations provided by the addition of adult-born neurons. We have previously shown that activity-induced intracellular signaling through the Rho family small GTPase Rac1 is necessary in forebrain projection neurons for normal synaptic plasticity in vivo, and here we show that selective loss of neuronal Rac1 also impairs the learning-evoked increase in neurogenesis in the adult mouse hippocampus. Earlier work has indicated that experience elevates the abundance of adult-born neurons in the hippocampus primarily by enhancing the survival of neurons produced just before the learning event. Loss of Rac1 in mature projection neurons did reduce learning-evoked neurogenesis but, contrary to our expectations, these effects were not mediated by altering the survival of young neurons in the hippocampus. Instead, loss of neuronal Rac1 activation selectively impaired a learning-evoked increase in the proliferation and accumulation of neural precursors generated during the learning event itself. This indicates that experience-induced alterations in neurogenesis can be mechanistically resolved into two effects: (1) the well documented but Rac1-independent signaling cascade that enhances the survival of young postmitotic neurons; and (2) a previously unrecognized Rac1-dependent signaling cascade that stimulates the proliferative production and retention of new neurons generated during learning itself. PMID:23884931

  13. Vulnerability in north- central Vietnam

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Casse, Thorkil; Milhøj, Anders; Nguyen, Thao Phuong

    2015-01-01

    This article examines changes in livelihood strategies in response to flooding. It does so on the basis of a household survey which was undertaken in three provinces in north central Vietnam. All households in the survey were regularly affected by flooding, but only poor households experience a l...... the impact of flooding in the provinces. The article ends by looking at the vulnerability-resilience debate concluding that the poorer households could enter a vulnerability loop, unless new strategies to cope with natural hazards are suggested....

  14. Managing a network vulnerability assessment

    CERN Document Server

    Peltier, Thomas R; Blackley, John A

    2003-01-01

    Managing a Network Vulnerability Assessment provides a formal framework for finding and eliminating network security threats, ensuring that no vulnerabilities are overlooked. This thorough overview focuses on the steps necessary to successfully manage an assessment, including the development of a scope statement, the understanding and proper use of assessment methodology, the creation of an expert assessment team, and the production of a valuable response report. The book also details what commercial, freeware, and shareware tools are available, how they work, and how to use them.

  15. Kappe neurons, a novel population of olfactory sensory neurons

    OpenAIRE

    Ahuja, Gaurav; Nia, Shahrzad Bozorg; Zapilko, Veronika; Shiriagin, Vladimir; Kowatschew, Daniel; Oka, Yuichiro; Korsching, Sigrun I.

    2014-01-01

    Perception of olfactory stimuli is mediated by distinct populations of olfactory sensory neurons, each with a characteristic set of morphological as well as functional parameters. Beyond two large populations of ciliated and microvillous neurons, a third population, crypt neurons, has been identified in teleost and cartilaginous fishes. We report here a novel, fourth olfactory sensory neuron population in zebrafish, which we named kappe neurons for their characteristic shape. Kappe neurons ar...

  16. Vulnerable plaque detection: The role of 18-fluorine ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Positron emission tomography computed tomography (PET-CT) is a combined functional and structural multi modality imaging tool that can be utilized to detect vulnerable and atherosclerotic plaques. In this study we observe the prevalence of active and calcified plaques in selected arteries during whole-body 18F-FDG ...

  17. Identification and ranking of environmental threats with ecosystem vulnerability distributions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zijp, Michiel C; Huijbregts, Mark A J; Schipper, Aafke M; Mulder, Christian; Posthuma, Leo

    2017-08-24

    Responses of ecosystems to human-induced stress vary in space and time, because both stressors and ecosystem vulnerabilities vary in space and time. Presently, ecosystem impact assessments mainly take into account variation in stressors, without considering variation in ecosystem vulnerability. We developed a method to address ecosystem vulnerability variation by quantifying ecosystem vulnerability distributions (EVDs) based on monitoring data of local species compositions and environmental conditions. The method incorporates spatial variation of both abiotic and biotic variables to quantify variation in responses among species and ecosystems. We show that EVDs can be derived based on a selection of locations, existing monitoring data and a selected impact boundary, and can be used in stressor identification and ranking for a region. A case study on Ohio's freshwater ecosystems, with freshwater fish as target species group, showed that physical habitat impairment and nutrient loads ranked highest as current stressors, with species losses higher than 5% for at least 6% of the locations. EVDs complement existing approaches of stressor assessment and management, which typically account only for variability in stressors, by accounting for variation in the vulnerability of the responding ecosystems.

  18. Assessing the social vulnerability to malaria in Rwanda.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bizimana, Jean-Pierre; Twarabamenye, Emmanuel; Kienberger, Stefan

    2015-01-07

    Since 2004, malaria interventions in Rwanda have resulted in substantial decline of malaria incidence. However, this achievement is fragile as potentials for local malaria transmissions remain. The risk of getting malaria infection is partially explained by social conditions of vulnerable populations. Since vulnerability to malaria is both influenced by social and environmental factors, its complexity cannot be measured by a single value. The aim of this paper is, therefore, to apply a composite indicator approach for assessing social vulnerability to malaria in Rwanda. This assessment informs the decision-makers in targeting malaria interventions and allocating limited resources to reduce malaria burden in Rwanda. A literature review was used to conceptualize the social vulnerability to malaria and to select the appropriate vulnerability indicators. Indicators used in the index creation were classified into susceptibility and lack of resilience vulnerability domains. The main steps followed include selection of indicators and datasets, imputation of missing values, descriptive statistics, normalization and weighting of indicators, local sensitivity analysis and indicators aggregation. Correlation analysis helped to empirically evidence the association between the indicators and malaria incidence. The high values of social vulnerability to malaria are found in Gicumbi, Rusizi, Nyaruguru and Gisagara, and low values in Muhanga, Nyarugenge, Kicukiro and Nyanza. The most influential susceptibility indicators to increase malaria are population change (r = 0.729), average number of persons per bedroom (r = 0.531), number of households affected by droughts and famines (r = 0.591), and area used for irrigation (r = 0.611). The bed net ownership (r = -0.398) and poor housing wall materials (0.378) are the lack of resilience indicators that significantly correlate with malaria incidence. The developed composite index social vulnerability to malaria

  19. Assessing vulnerability to drought: identifying underlying factors across Europe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Urquijo, Julia; Gonzalez Tánago, Itziar; Ballesteros, Mario; De Stefano, Lucia

    2015-04-01

    Drought is considered one of the most severe and damaging natural hazards in terms of people and sectors affected and associated losses. Drought is a normal and recurrent climatic phenomenon that occurs worldwide, although its spatial and temporal characteristics vary significantly among climates. In the case of Europe, in the last thirty years, the region has suffered several drought events that have caused estimated economic damages over a €100 billion and have affected almost 20% of its territory and population. In recent years, there has been a growing awareness among experts and authorities of the need to shift from a reactive crisis approach to a drought risk management approach, as well as of the importance of designing and implementing policies, strategies and plans at country and river basin levels to deal with drought. The identification of whom and what is vulnerable to drought is a central aspect of drought risk mitigation and planning and several authors agree that societal vulnerability often determines drought risk more than the actual precipitation shortfalls. The final aim of a drought vulnerability assessment is to identify the underlying sources of drought impact, in order to develop policy options that help to enhance coping capacity and therefore to prevent drought impact. This study identifies and maps factors underlying vulnerability to drought across Europe. The identification of factors influencing vulnerability starts from the analysis of past drought impacts in four European socioeconomic sectors. This analysis, along with an extensive literature review, led to the selection of vulnerability factors that are both relevant and adequate for the European context. Adopting the IPCC model, vulnerability factors were grouped to describe exposure, sensitivity and adaptive capacity. The aggregation of these components has resulted in the mapping of vulnerability to drought across Europe at NUTS02 level. Final results have been compared with

  20. NEURON and Python.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hines, Michael L; Davison, Andrew P; Muller, Eilif

    2009-01-01

    The NEURON simulation program now allows Python to be used, alone or in combination with NEURON's traditional Hoc interpreter. Adding Python to NEURON has the immediate benefit of making available a very extensive suite of analysis tools written for engineering and science. It also catalyzes NEURON software development by offering users a modern programming tool that is recognized for its flexibility and power to create and maintain complex programs. At the same time, nothing is lost because all existing models written in Hoc, including graphical user interface tools, continue to work without change and are also available within the Python context. An example of the benefits of Python availability is the use of the xml module in implementing NEURON's Import3D and CellBuild tools to read MorphML and NeuroML model specifications.

  1. Municipal vulnerability to climate change

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Mambo, Julia

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available South Africa, like the rest of Africa, is considered highly vulnerable to climate change and variability as well as to global change. Climate change is and will continue to be an issue of concern in the development of the country. South Africa faces...

  2. Autonomy, Vulnerability, Recognition, and Justice

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Anderson, J.H.; Honneth, A.

    2005-01-01

    One of liberalism’s core commitments is to safeguarding individuals’ autonomy. And a central aspect of liberal social justice is the commitment to protecting the vulnerable. Taken together, and combined with an understanding of autonomy as an acquired set of capacities to lead one’s own life,

  3. Decision Vulnerability Analysis (DVA) Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-05-01

    31 14 Graphical Representation of the Summary Judgments of the Effectiveness, Vulnerability, and Understanding of the Subsystems’ as Judged by...posed several challenges. Numerous organizational typologies have been suggested over the years ( Robbins , 1994), and these typologies are often based...structure and functioning from a typology perspective ( Robbins , 1994), excerpts from a task analysis that described how the analysts currently performed

  4. 1C software vulnerabilities description

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ivanov Oleg

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available This article is devoted to the vulnerability of the application solution based on the “1C: Enterprise 8” platform, which can be used by only built-in tools of the platform. Possible threats and attack algorithm are described.

  5. Underground Economics for Vulnerability Risk

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Allodi, L.

    The estimation of vulnerability risk is at the core of any IT security management strategy. Among technical and infrastructural metrics of risk, attacker economics represent an emerging new aspect that several risk assessment methodologies propose to consider (e.g., based on game theory). Yet the

  6. Trust, Endangerment and Divine Vulnerability

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christoffersen, Mikkel Gabriel

    2017-01-01

    Faith is trusting God in the midst of endangerment. Yet, human experience of excessive suffering has challenged any spontaneous trust in God. In this article, I reconsider the idea of faith as trust in God, adding an emphasis on the divine vulnerability in the incarnation, and I develop a more...

  7. DNA Repair Modulates The Vulnerability of The Developing Brain to Alkylating Agents

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kisby, G.E.; Olivas, A.; Park, T.; Churchwell, M.; Doerge, D.; Samson, L. D.; Gerson, S.L.; Turker, M.S.

    2009-01-01

    Neurons of the developing brain are especially vulnerable to environmental agents that damage DNA (i.e., genotoxicants), but the mechanism is poorly understood. The focus of the present study is to demonstrate that DNA damage plays a key role in disrupting neurodevelopment. To examine this hypothesis, we compared the cytotoxic and DNA damaging properties of the methylating agents methylazoxymethanol (MAM) and dimethyl sulfate (DMS) and the mono- and bifunctional alkylating agents chloroethylamine (CEA) and nitrogen mustard (HN2), in granule cell neurons derived from the cerebellum of neonatal wild type mice and three transgenic DNA repair strains. Wild type cerebellar neurons were significantly more sensitive to the alkylating agents DMS and HN2 than neuronal cultures treated with MAM or the half-mustard CEA. Parallel studies with neuronal cultures from mice deficient in alkylguanine DNA glycosylase (Aag-/-) or O6-methylguanine methyltransferase (Mgmt-/-), revealed significant differences in the sensitivity of neurons to all four genotoxicants. Mgmt-/- neurons were more sensitive to MAM and HN2 than the other genotoxicants and wild type neurons treated with either alkylating agent. In contrast, Aag-/- neurons were for the most part significantly less sensitive than wild type or Mgmt-/- neurons to MAM and HN2. Aag-/- neurons were also significantly less sensitive than wild type neurons treated with either DMS or CEA. Granule cell development and motor function were also more severely disturbed by MAM and HN2 in Mgmt-/- mice than in comparably treated wild type mice. In contrast, cerebellar development and motor function were well preserved in MAM treated Aag-/- or MGMT overexpressing (MgmtTg+) mice, even as compared with wild type mice suggesting that AAG protein increases MAM toxicity, whereas MGMT protein decreases toxicity. Surprisingly, neuronal development and motor function were severely disturbed in MgmtTg+ mice treated with HN2. Collectively, these in vitro

  8. Individual differences and vulnerability to drug addiction: a focus on the endocannabinoid system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sagheddu, Claudia; Melis, Miriam

    2015-01-01

    Vulnerability to drug addiction depends upon the interactions between the biological makeup of the individual, the environment, and age. These interactions are complex and difficult to tease apart. Since dopamine is involved in the rewarding effects of drugs of abuse, it is postulated that innate differences in mesocorticolimbic pathway can influence the response to drug exposure. In particular, higher and lower expression of dopamine D2 receptors in the ventral striatum (i.e. a marker of dopamine function) has been considered a putative protective and a risk factor, respectively, that can influence one's susceptibility to continued drug abuse as well as the transition to addiction. This phenomenon, which is phylogenetically preserved, appears to be a compensatory change to increased impulse activity of midbrain dopamine neurons. Hence, dopamine neuronal excitability plays a fundamental role in the diverse stages of the drug addiction cycle. In this review, a framework for the evidence that modulation of dopamine neuronal activity plays in the context of vulnerability to drug addiction will be presented. Furthermore, since endogenous cannabinoids serve as retrograde messengers to shape afferent neuronal activity in a short- and long-lasting fashion, their role in individual differences and vulnerability to drug addiction will be discussed.

  9. Spinal cord: motor neuron diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rezania, Kourosh; Roos, Raymond P

    2013-02-01

    Spinal cord motor neuron diseases affect lower motor neurons in the ventral horn. This article focuses on the most common spinal cord motor neuron disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, which also affects upper motor neurons. Also discussed are other motor neuron diseases that only affect the lower motor neurons. Despite the identification of several genes associated with familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, the pathogenesis of this complex disease remains elusive. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Efficient induction of dopaminergic neuron differentiation from induced pluripotent stem cells reveals impaired mitophagy in PARK2 neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suzuki, Sadafumi; Akamatsu, Wado; Kisa, Fumihiko; Sone, Takefumi; Ishikawa, Kei-Ichi; Kuzumaki, Naoko; Katayama, Hiroyuki; Miyawaki, Atsushi; Hattori, Nobutaka; Okano, Hideyuki

    2017-01-29

    Patient-specific induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) show promise for use as tools for in vitro modeling of Parkinson's disease. We sought to improve the efficiency of dopaminergic (DA) neuron induction from iPSCs by the using surface markers expressed in DA progenitors to increase the significance of the phenotypic analysis. By sorting for a CD184 high /CD44 - fraction during neural differentiation, we obtained a population of cells that were enriched in DA neuron precursor cells and achieved higher differentiation efficiencies than those obtained through the same protocol without sorting. This high efficiency method of DA neuronal induction enabled reliable detection of reactive oxygen species (ROS) accumulation and vulnerable phenotypes in PARK2 iPSCs-derived DA neurons. We additionally established a quantitative system using the mt-mKeima reporter system to monitor mitophagy in which mitochondria fuse with lysosomes and, by combining this system with the method of DA neuronal induction described above, determined that mitophagy is impaired in PARK2 neurons. These findings suggest that the efficiency of DA neuron induction is important for the precise detection of cellular phenotypes in modeling Parkinson's disease. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  11. Parkin and PINK1 Patient iPSC-Derived Midbrain Dopamine Neurons Exhibit Mitochondrial Dysfunction and α-Synuclein Accumulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sun Young Chung

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Parkinson's disease (PD is characterized by the selective loss of dopamine neurons in the substantia nigra; however, the mechanism of neurodegeneration in PD remains unclear. A subset of familial PD is linked to mutations in PARK2 and PINK1, which lead to dysfunctional mitochondria-related proteins Parkin and PINK1, suggesting that pathways implicated in these monogenic forms could play a more general role in PD. We demonstrate that the identification of disease-related phenotypes in PD-patient-specific induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC-derived midbrain dopamine (mDA neurons depends on the type of differentiation protocol utilized. In a floor-plate-based but not a neural-rosette-based directed differentiation strategy, iPSC-derived mDA neurons recapitulate PD phenotypes, including pathogenic protein accumulation, cell-type-specific vulnerability, mitochondrial dysfunction, and abnormal neurotransmitter homeostasis. We propose that these form a pathogenic loop that contributes to disease. Our study illustrates the promise of iPSC technology for examining PD pathogenesis and identifying therapeutic targets.

  12. Parkin and PINK1 Patient iPSC-Derived Midbrain Dopamine Neurons Exhibit Mitochondrial Dysfunction and α-Synuclein Accumulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chung, Sun Young; Kishinevsky, Sarah; Mazzulli, Joseph R; Graziotto, John; Mrejeru, Ana; Mosharov, Eugene V; Puspita, Lesly; Valiulahi, Parvin; Sulzer, David; Milner, Teresa A; Taldone, Tony; Krainc, Dimitri; Studer, Lorenz; Shim, Jae-Won

    2016-10-11

    Parkinson's disease (PD) is characterized by the selective loss of dopamine neurons in the substantia nigra; however, the mechanism of neurodegeneration in PD remains unclear. A subset of familial PD is linked to mutations in PARK2 and PINK1, which lead to dysfunctional mitochondria-related proteins Parkin and PINK1, suggesting that pathways implicated in these monogenic forms could play a more general role in PD. We demonstrate that the identification of disease-related phenotypes in PD-patient-specific induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived midbrain dopamine (mDA) neurons depends on the type of differentiation protocol utilized. In a floor-plate-based but not a neural-rosette-based directed differentiation strategy, iPSC-derived mDA neurons recapitulate PD phenotypes, including pathogenic protein accumulation, cell-type-specific vulnerability, mitochondrial dysfunction, and abnormal neurotransmitter homeostasis. We propose that these form a pathogenic loop that contributes to disease. Our study illustrates the promise of iPSC technology for examining PD pathogenesis and identifying therapeutic targets. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Neuronal-glial trafficking

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bachelard, H.S.

    2001-01-01

    Full text: The name 'glia' originates from the Greek word for glue, because astro glia (or astrocytes) were thought only to provide an anatomical framework for the electrically-excitable neurones. However, awareness that astrocytes perform vital roles in protecting the neurones, which they surround, emerged from evidence that they act as neuroprotective K + -sinks, and that they remove potentially toxic extracellular glutamate from the vicinity of the neurones. The astrocytes convert the glutamate to non-toxic glutamine which is returned to the neurones and used to replenish transmitter glutamate. This 'glutamate-glutamine cycle' (established in the 1960s by Berl and his colleagues) also contributes to protecting the neurones against a build-up of toxic ammonia. Glial cells also supply the neurones with components for free-radical scavenging glutathione. Recent studies have revealed that glial cells play a more positive interactive role in furnishing the neurones with fuels. Studies using radioactive 14 C, 13 C-MRS and 15 N-GCMS have revealed that glia produce alanine, lactate and proline for consumption by neurones, with increased formation of neurotransmitter glutamate. On neuronal activation the release of NH 4 + and glutamate from the neurones stimulates glucose uptake and glycolysis in the glia to produce more alanine, which can be regarded as an 'alanine-glutamate cycle' Use of 14 C-labelled precursors provided early evidence that neurotransmitter GABA may be partly derived from glial glutamine, and this has been confirmed recently in vivo by MRS isotopomer analysis of the GABA and glutamine labelled from 13 C-acetate. Relative rates of intermediary metabolism in glia and neurones can be calculated using a combination of [1- 13 C] glucose and [1,2- 13 C] acetate. When glutamate is released by neurones there is a net neuronal loss of TCA intermediates which have to be replenished. Part of this is derived from carboxylation of pyruvate, (pyruvate carboxylase

  14. Crosstalks between kisspeptin neurons and somatostatin neurons are not photoperiod dependent in the ewe hypothalamus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dufourny, Laurence; Lomet, Didier

    2017-12-01

    Seasonal reproduction is under the control of gonadal steroid feedback, itself synchronized by day-length or photoperiod. As steroid action on GnRH neurons is mostly indirect and therefore exerted through interneurons, we looked for neuroanatomical interactions between kisspeptin (KP) neurons and somatostatin (SOM) neurons, two populations targeted by sex steroids, in three diencephalic areas involved in the central control of ovulation and/or sexual behavior: the arcuate nucleus (ARC), the preoptic area (POA) and the ventrolateral part of the ventromedial hypothalamus (VMHvl). KP is the most potent secretagogue of GnRH secretion while SOM has been shown to centrally inhibit LH pulsatile release. Notably, hypothalamic contents of these two neuropeptides vary with photoperiod in specific seasonal species. Our hypothesis is that SOM inhibits KP neuron activity and therefore indirectly modulate GnRH release and that this effect may be seasonally regulated. We used sections from ovariectomized estradiol-replaced ewes killed after photoperiodic treatment mimicking breeding or anestrus season. We performed triple immunofluorescent labeling to simultaneously detect KP, SOM and synapsin, a marker for synaptic vesicles. Sections from the POA and from the mediobasal hypothalamus were examined using a confocal microscope. Randomly selected KP or SOM neurons were observed in the POA and ARC. SOM neurons were also observed in the VMHvl. In both the ARC and POA, nearly all KP neurons presented numerous SOM contacts. SOM neurons presented KP terminals more frequently in the ARC than in the POA and VMHvl. Quantitative analysis failed to demonstrate major seasonal variations of KP and SOM interactions. Our data suggest a possible inhibitory action of SOM on all KP neurons in both photoperiodic statuses. On the other hand, the physiological significance of KP modulation of SOM neuron activity and vice versa remain to be determined. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Vulnerability of damage-accumulating systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lind, Niels C.

    1996-01-01

    Disastrous failures have shown that systems can be highly vulnerable. Quantified vulnerability can help designers and regulators to decide how much vulnerability is tolerable. Vulnerability of a system to a specified disturbance is defined as the ratio of the probability of failure of the disturbed system to the probability of failure of the undisturbed system. This vulnerability can be specialized to particular system types. It is adapted here to systems that are expected to deteriorate while in service due to processes such as fatigue, creep, corrosion, aging, neglect or insufficient maintenance. Application is illustrated by vulnerability to fatigue under constant and variable stress

  16. Upper motor neuron and extra-motor neuron involvement in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: A clinical and brain imaging review

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Graaff, M. M.; de Jong, J. M. B. V.; Baas, F.; de Visser, M.

    2009-01-01

    There is an ongoing discussion whether ALS is primarily a disease of upper motor neurons or lower motor neurons. We undertook a review to assess how new insights have contributed to solve this controversy. For this purpose we selected relevant publications from 1995 onwards focussing on (1) primary

  17. The Hyperpolarization-Activated Current Determines Synaptic Excitability, Calcium Activity and Specific Viability of Substantia Nigra Dopaminergic Neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carmen Carbone

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Differential vulnerability between Substantia Nigra pars compacta (SNpc and Ventral Tegmental Area (VTA dopaminergic (DAergic neurons is a hallmark of Parkinson’s disease (PD. Understanding the molecular bases of this key histopathological aspect would foster the development of much-needed disease-modifying therapies. Non-heterogeneous DAergic degeneration is present in both toxin-based and genetic animal models, suggesting that cellular specificity, rather than causing factors, constitutes the background for differential vulnerability. In this regard, we previously demonstrated that MPP+, a neurotoxin able to cause selective nigrostriatal degeneration in animal rodents and primates, inhibits the Hyperpolarization-activated current (Ih in SNpc DAergic neurons and that pharmacological Ih antagonism causes potentiation of evoked Excitatory post-synaptic potentials (EPSPs. Of note, the magnitude of such potentiation is greater in the SNpc subfield, consistent with higher Ih density. In the present work, we show that Ih block-induced synaptic potentiation leads to the amplification of somatic calcium responses (SCRs in vitro. This effect is specific for the SNpc subfield and largely mediated by L-Type calcium channels, as indicated by sensitivity to the CaV 1 blocker isradipine. Furthermore, Ih is downregulated by low intracellular ATP and determines the efficacy of GABAergic inhibition in SNpc DAergic neurons. Finally, we show that stereotaxic administration of Ih blockers causes SNpc-specific neurodegeneration and hemiparkinsonian motor phenotype in rats. During PD progression, Ih downregulation may result from mitochondrial dysfunction and, in concert with PD-related disinhibition of excitatory inputs, determine a SNpc-specific disease pathway.

  18. Assessing European wild fire vulnerability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oehler, F.; Oliveira, S.; Barredo, J. I.; Camia, A.; Ayanz, J. San Miguel; Pettenella, D.; Mavsar, R.

    2012-04-01

    Wild fire vulnerability is a measure of potential socio-economic damage caused by a fire in a specific area. As such it is an important component of long-term fire risk management, helping policy-makers take informed decisions about adequate expenditures for fire prevention and suppression, and to target those regions at highest risk. This paper presents a first approach to assess wild fire vulnerability at the European level. A conservative approach was chosen that assesses the cost of restoring the previous land cover after a potential fire. Based on the CORINE Land Cover, a restoration cost was established for each land cover class at country level, and an average restoration time was assigned according to the recovery capacity of the land cover. The damage caused by fire was then assessed by discounting the cost of restoring the previous land cover over the restoration period. Three different vulnerability scenarios were considered assuming low, medium and high fire severity causing different levels of damage. Over Europe, the potential damage of wild land fires ranges from 10 - 13, 732 Euro*ha-1*yr-1 for low fire severity, 32 - 45,772 Euro*ha-1*yr-1 for medium fire severity and 54 - 77,812 Euro*ha-1*yr-1 for high fire severity. The least vulnerable are natural grasslands, moors and heathland and sclerophyllous vegetation, while the highest cost occurs for restoring broad-leaved forest. Preliminary validation comparing these estimates with official damage assessments for past fires shows reasonable results. The restoration cost approach allows for a straightforward, data extensive assessment of fire vulnerability at European level. A disadvantage is the inherent simplification of the evaluation procedure with the underestimation of non-markets goods and services. Thus, a second approach has been developed, valuing individual wild land goods and services and assessing their annual flow which is lost for a certain period of time in case of a fire event. However

  19. MS-377, a selective sigma receptor ligand, indirectly blocks the action of PCP in the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor ion-channel complex in primary cultured rat neuronal cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karasawa, Jun-ichi; Yamamoto, Hideko; Yamamoto, Toshifumi; Sagi, Naoki; Horikomi, Kazutoshi; Sora, Ichiro

    2002-02-22

    MS-377 ((R)-(+)-1-(4-chlorophenyl)-3-[4-(2-methoxyethyl)piperazin-1-yl]methyl-2-pyrrolidinone L-tartrate) is a antipsychotic agent that binds to sigma-1 receptor. MS-377 showed anti-dopaminergic and anti-serotonergic activities and antagonistic action against phencyclidine (PCP)-induced behaviors in an animal model. These anti-psychotic activities of MS-377 are attributable to association with sigma-1 receptor. However, the mechanism by which the sigma-1 receptor ligands exact those numerous effects remains to be elucidated. In the present study, we evaluated the effect of MS-377 on N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor ion-channel complex in primary cultured rat neuronal cells. First, we examined the effect of MS-377 on NMDA-induced Ca2+ influx with fura-2/ AM loaded cells. MS-377 showed no effects on the basal Ca2+ concentration and NMDA-induced Ca2+ influx by itself PCP and SKF-10047 reduced the NMDA-induced increase in intracellular Ca2+ concentration. Pre-incubation of 1 microM MS-377 was found to significantly block the reduction by PCP or SKF-10047 of the NMDA-induced Ca2+ influx. Second, the effect of MS-377 on [3H]MK-801 intact cell binding was examined. PCP, haloperidol and (+)-pentazocine inhibited [3H]MK-801 binding, although MS-377 showed no effect by itself Pre-treatment of MS-377 markedly reversed the inhibition of [3H]MK-801 binding by PCP in a dose-dependent manner. These effects of MS-377 may depend on its affinity for the sigma-1 receptor, because MS-377 is a selective sigma-1 receptor ligand without any affinity for NMDA receptor ion-channel complex. These observations suggest that the MS-377 indirectly modulated the NMDA receptor ion-channel complex, and the anti-psychotic activities of MS-377, in part, are attributable to such on action via sigma-1 receptor.

  20. Single neuron computation

    CERN Document Server

    McKenna, Thomas M; Zornetzer, Steven F

    1992-01-01

    This book contains twenty-two original contributions that provide a comprehensive overview of computational approaches to understanding a single neuron structure. The focus on cellular-level processes is twofold. From a computational neuroscience perspective, a thorough understanding of the information processing performed by single neurons leads to an understanding of circuit- and systems-level activity. From the standpoint of artificial neural networks (ANNs), a single real neuron is as complex an operational unit as an entire ANN, and formalizing the complex computations performed by real n

  1. Mesmerising mirror neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heyes, Cecilia

    2010-06-01

    Mirror neurons have been hailed as the key to understanding social cognition. I argue that three currents of thought-relating to evolution, atomism and telepathy-have magnified the perceived importance of mirror neurons. When they are understood to be a product of associative learning, rather than an adaptation for social cognition, mirror neurons are no longer mesmerising, but they continue to raise important questions about both the psychology of science and the neural bases of social cognition. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. The mirror neuron system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cattaneo, Luigi; Rizzolatti, Giacomo

    2009-05-01

    Mirror neurons are a class of neurons, originally discovered in the premotor cortex of monkeys, that discharge both when individuals perform a given motor act and when they observe others perform that same motor act. Ample evidence demonstrates the existence of a cortical network with the properties of mirror neurons (mirror system) in humans. The human mirror system is involved in understanding others' actions and their intentions behind them, and it underlies mechanisms of observational learning. Herein, we will discuss the clinical implications of the mirror system.

  3. Construction of road network vulnerability evaluation index based on general travel cost

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leng, Jun-qiang; Zhai, Jing; Li, Qian-wen; Zhao, Lin

    2018-03-01

    With the development of China's economy and the continuous improvement of her urban road network, the vulnerability of the urban road network has attracted increasing attention. Based on general travel cost, this work constructs the vulnerability evaluation index for the urban road network, and evaluates the vulnerability of the urban road network from the perspective of user generalised travel cost. Firstly, the generalised travel cost model is constructed based on vehicle cost, travel time, and traveller comfort. Then, the network efficiency index is selected as an evaluation index of vulnerability: the network efficiency index is composed of the traffic volume and the generalised travel cost, which are obtained from the equilibrium state of the network. In addition, the research analyses the influence of traffic capacity decrease, road section attribute value, and location of road section, on vulnerability. Finally, the vulnerability index is used to analyse the local area network of Harbin and verify its applicability.

  4. Index-based groundwater vulnerability mapping models using hydrogeological settings: A critical evaluation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kumar, Prashant; Bansod, Baban K.S.; Debnath, Sanjit K.; Thakur, Praveen Kumar; Ghanshyam, C.

    2015-01-01

    Groundwater vulnerability maps are useful for decision making in land use planning and water resource management. This paper reviews the various groundwater vulnerability assessment models developed across the world. Each model has been evaluated in terms of its pros and cons and the environmental conditions of its application. The paper further discusses the validation techniques used for the generated vulnerability maps by various models. Implicit challenges associated with the development of the groundwater vulnerability assessment models have also been identified with scientific considerations to the parameter relations and their selections. - Highlights: • Various index-based groundwater vulnerability assessment models have been discussed. • A comparative analysis of the models and its applicability in different hydrogeological settings has been discussed. • Research problems of underlying vulnerability assessment models are also reported in this review paper

  5. Index-based groundwater vulnerability mapping models using hydrogeological settings: A critical evaluation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kumar, Prashant, E-mail: prashantkumar@csio.res.in [CSIR-Central Scientific Instruments Organisation, Chandigarh 160030 (India); Academy of Scientific and Innovative Research—CSIO, Chandigarh 160030 (India); Bansod, Baban K.S.; Debnath, Sanjit K. [CSIR-Central Scientific Instruments Organisation, Chandigarh 160030 (India); Academy of Scientific and Innovative Research—CSIO, Chandigarh 160030 (India); Thakur, Praveen Kumar [Indian Institute of Remote Sensing (ISRO), Dehradun 248001 (India); Ghanshyam, C. [CSIR-Central Scientific Instruments Organisation, Chandigarh 160030 (India); Academy of Scientific and Innovative Research—CSIO, Chandigarh 160030 (India)

    2015-02-15

    Groundwater vulnerability maps are useful for decision making in land use planning and water resource management. This paper reviews the various groundwater vulnerability assessment models developed across the world. Each model has been evaluated in terms of its pros and cons and the environmental conditions of its application. The paper further discusses the validation techniques used for the generated vulnerability maps by various models. Implicit challenges associated with the development of the groundwater vulnerability assessment models have also been identified with scientific considerations to the parameter relations and their selections. - Highlights: • Various index-based groundwater vulnerability assessment models have been discussed. • A comparative analysis of the models and its applicability in different hydrogeological settings has been discussed. • Research problems of underlying vulnerability assessment models are also reported in this review paper.

  6. FLOOD VULNERABILITY IN BODVA RIVER BASIN IN SLOVAKIA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ZELENAKOVA MARTINA

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available The aim of the paper is to generate a composite map for decision makers using selected factors, mainly of natural character, causing floods. In the analyses, some of the causative factors for flooding in a catchment area are taken into account, such as soil type, precipitation, land use, size of catchment and basin slope. A case study of flood vulnerability identification in the Bodva river basin in eastern Slovakia is employed to illustrate the different approaches. A geographical information system (GIS is integrated with multicriteria analysis (MCA in the paper. The identification of flood vulnerability consists of two basic phases. Firstly, the effective factors causing floods are identified. Secondly several approaches to MCA in a GIS environment are applied and these approaches are evaluated in order to prepared flood vulnerability map.

  7. Potential of 3D City Models to assess flood vulnerability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schröter, Kai; Bochow, Mathias; Schüttig, Martin; Nagel, Claus; Ross, Lutz; Kreibich, Heidi

    2016-04-01

    Vulnerability, as the product of exposure and susceptibility, is a key factor of the flood risk equation. Furthermore, the estimation of flood loss is very sensitive to the choice of the vulnerability model. Still, in contrast to elaborate hazard simulations, vulnerability is often considered in a simplified manner concerning the spatial resolution and geo-location of exposed objects as well as the susceptibility of these objects at risk. Usually, area specific potential flood loss is quantified on the level of aggregated land-use classes, and both hazard intensity and resistance characteristics of affected objects are represented in highly simplified terms. We investigate the potential of 3D City Models and spatial features derived from remote sensing data to improve the differentiation of vulnerability in flood risk assessment. 3D City Models are based on CityGML, an application scheme of the Geography Markup Language (GML), which represents the 3D geometry, 3D topology, semantics and appearance of objects on different levels of detail. As such, 3D City Models offer detailed spatial information which is useful to describe the exposure and to characterize the susceptibility of residential buildings at risk. This information is further consolidated with spatial features of the building stock derived from remote sensing data. Using this database a spatially detailed flood vulnerability model is developed by means of data-mining. Empirical flood damage data are used to derive and to validate flood susceptibility models for individual objects. We present first results from a prototype application in the city of Dresden, Germany. The vulnerability modeling based on 3D City Models and remote sensing data is compared i) to the generally accepted good engineering practice based on area specific loss potential and ii) to a highly detailed representation of flood vulnerability based on a building typology using urban structure types. Comparisons are drawn in terms of

  8. Vulnerabilities

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-05-04

    May 1, 2006)”, http://www.mod.go.jp/e/d_policy/dp13.html (accessed 1 April 2009). 6 ibid 7 Hongo , Jun. “Japan, U.S. sign accord on forces,” The...Jacobs, G. Keith. "Guam Becoming US Pacific Linchpin." Asia-Pacific Defence Reporter 29 (2003): 38-39. Jun, Hongo . "Japan, U.S. sign accord on forces

  9. Direct projections from hypothalamic orexin neurons to brainstem cardiac vagal neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dergacheva, Olga; Yamanaka, Akihiro; Schwartz, Alan R; Polotsky, Vsevolod Y; Mendelowitz, David

    2016-12-17

    Orexin neurons are known to augment the sympathetic control of cardiovascular function, however the role of orexin neurons in parasympathetic cardiac regulation remains unclear. To test the hypothesis that orexin neurons contribute to parasympathetic control we selectively expressed channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2) in orexin neurons in orexin-Cre transgenic rats and examined postsynaptic currents in cardiac vagal neurons (CVNs) in the dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus (DMV). Simultaneous photostimulation and recording in ChR2-expressing orexin neurons in the lateral hypothalamus resulted in reliable action potential firing as well as large whole-cell currents suggesting a strong expression of ChR2 and reliable optogenetic excitation. Photostimulation of ChR2-expressing fibers in the DMV elicited short-latency (ranging from 3.2ms to 8.5ms) postsynaptic currents in 16 out of 44 CVNs tested. These responses were heterogeneous and included excitatory glutamatergic (63%) and inhibitory GABAergic (37%) postsynaptic currents. The results from this study suggest different sub-population of orexin neurons may exert diverse influences on brainstem CVNs and therefore may play distinct functional roles in parasympathetic control of the heart. Copyright © 2016 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Vulnerable participants in health research

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nordentoft, Helle Merete; Nanna, Kappel

    2011-01-01

    Ethical guidelines for conducting research are embedded in the Helsinki declaration of 1964. We contend that these abstract and intentionally universal guidelines need to be appropriated for social and health care research in which purpose and methods often deviate from medical research. The guid......Ethical guidelines for conducting research are embedded in the Helsinki declaration of 1964. We contend that these abstract and intentionally universal guidelines need to be appropriated for social and health care research in which purpose and methods often deviate from medical research...... and problems of vulnerable patients and - at the same time - respect their integrity without exposing them unnecessarily? The article illuminates the interactional construction of roles and relationships and how they affect the contextual construction of vulnerability. In this respect we demonstrate...

  11. VULNERABILITY OF PART TIME EMPLOYEES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raluca Dimitriu

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available The employee who concluded a part-time contract is the employee whose normal working hours, calculated weekly or as monthly average, is lower than the number of normal working hours of a comparable full-time employee. Part-time workers generally have the same legal status as full time workers. In fact, the vulnerability of this category of workers is not necessarily legal but rather economic: income - in proportion to the work performed, may be insufficient to cover the needs of living. However, such vulnerability may also have a certain cultural component: in some societies, professional identity is determined by the length of working hours. Also, part time work may hide many types of indirect discrimination.As a result, the part-time contract requires more than a protective legislation: it requires a strategy. This paper proposes a number of milestones of such a strategy, as well as some concrete de lege ferenda proposals.

  12. Groundwater vulnerability map for South Africa

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Chiedza Musekiwa

    Coastal vulnerability is the degree to which a coastal system is susceptible to, ... methods, indicator-based approaches, GIS-based decision support systems and ..... E 2005, 'Coastal Vulnerability and Risk Parameters', European Water, vol.

  13. Climate change & extreme weather vulnerability assessment framework.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-12-01

    The Federal Highway Administrations (FHWAs) Climate Change and Extreme Weather Vulnerability : Assessment Framework is a guide for transportation agencies interested in assessing their vulnerability : to climate change and extreme weather event...

  14. Aircraft vulnerability analysis by modelling and simulation

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Willers, CJ

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available attributable to misuse of the weapon or to missile performance restrictions. This paper analyses some of the factors affecting aircraft vulnerability and demonstrates a structured analysis of the risk and aircraft vulnerability problem. The aircraft...

  15. Helping air quality managers identify vulnerable communities

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Wright, C

    2008-10-01

    Full Text Available population exposure and vulnerability risk prioritisation model is proposed for potential use by air quality managers in conjunction with their air quality management plans. The model includes factors such as vulnerability caused by poverty, respiratory...

  16. Spatial differences in drought vulnerability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perčec Tadić, M.; Cindić, K.; Gajić-Čapka, M.; Zaninović, K.

    2012-04-01

    Drought causes the highest economic losses among all hydro-meteorological events in Croatia. It is the most frequent hazard, which produces the highest damages in the agricultural sector. The climate assessment in Croatia according to the aridity index (defined as the ratio of precipitation and potential evapotranspiration) shows that the susceptibility to desertification is present in the warm part of the year and it is mostly pronounced in the Adriatic region and the eastern Croatia lowland. The evidence of more frequent extreme drought events in the last decade is apparent. These facts were motivation to study the drought risk assessment in Croatia. One step in this issue is the construction of the vulnerability map. This map is a complex combination of the geomorphologic and climatological inputs (maps) that are presumed to be natural factors which modify the amount of moisture in the soil. In this study, the first version of the vulnerability map is followed by the updated one that additionally includes the soil types and the land use classes. The first input considered is the geomorphologic slope angle calculated from the digital elevation model (DEM). The SRTM DEM of 100 m resolution is used. The steeper slopes are more likely to lose water and to become dryer. The second climatological parameter, the solar irradiation map, gives for the territory of Croatia the maximum irradiation on the coast. The next meteorological parameter that influences the drought vulnerability is precipitation which is in this assessment included through the precipitation variability expressed by the coefficient of variation. Larger precipitation variability is related with the higher drought vulnerability. The preliminary results for Croatia, according to the recommended procedure in the framework of Drought Management Centre for Southeastern Europe (DMCSEE project), show the most sensitive areas to drought in the southern Adriatic coast and eastern continental lowland.

  17. Pro-survival role for Parkinson's associated gene DJ-1 revealed in trophically impaired dopaminergic neurons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liviu Aron

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available The mechanisms underlying the selective death of substantia nigra (SN neurons in Parkinson disease (PD remain elusive. While inactivation of DJ-1, an oxidative stress suppressor, causes PD, animal models lacking DJ-1 show no overt dopaminergic (DA neuron degeneration in the SN. Here, we show that aging mice lacking DJ-1 and the GDNF-receptor Ret in the DA system display an accelerated loss of SN cell bodies, but not axons, compared to mice that only lack Ret signaling. The survival requirement for DJ-1 is specific for the GIRK2-positive subpopulation in the SN which projects exclusively to the striatum and is more vulnerable in PD. Using Drosophila genetics, we show that constitutively active Ret and associated Ras/ERK, but not PI3K/Akt, signaling components interact genetically with DJ-1. Double loss-of-function experiments indicate that DJ-1 interacts with ERK signaling to control eye and wing development. Our study uncovers a conserved interaction between DJ-1 and Ret-mediated signaling and a novel cell survival role for DJ-1 in the mouse. A better understanding of the molecular connections between trophic signaling, cellular stress and aging could uncover new targets for drug development in PD.

  18. Persistent variations in neuronal DNA methylation following cocaine self-administration and protracted abstinence in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker-Andresen, Danay; Zhao, Qiongyi; Li, Xiang; Jupp, Bianca; Chesworth, Rose; Lawrence, Andrew J; Bredy, Timothy

    2015-10-01

    Continued vulnerability to relapse during abstinence is characteristic of cocaine addiction and suggests that drug-induced neuroadaptations persist during abstinence. However, the precise cellular and molecular attributes of these adaptations remain equivocal. One possibility is that cocaine self-administration leads to enduring changes in DNA methylation. To address this possibility, we isolated neurons from medial prefrontal cortex and performed high throughput DNA sequencing to examine changes in DNA methylation following cocaine self-administration. Twenty-nine genomic regions became persistently differentially methylated during cocaine self-administration, and an additional 28 regions became selectively differentially methylated during abstinence. Altered DNA methylation was associated with isoform-specific changes in the expression of co-localizing genes. These results provide the first neuron-specific, genome-wide profile of changes in DNA methylation induced by cocaine self-administration and protracted abstinence. Moreover, our findings suggest that altered DNA methylation facilitates long-term behavioral adaptation in a manner that extends beyond the perpetuation of altered transcriptional states.

  19. Persistent variations in neuronal DNA methylation following cocaine self-administration and protracted abstinence in mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Danay Baker-Andresen

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Continued vulnerability to relapse during abstinence is a characteristic of cocaine addiction and suggests that drug-induced neuroadaptations persist during abstinence. However, the precise cellular and molecular attributes of these adaptations remain equivocal. One possibility is that cocaine self-administration leads to enduring changes in DNA methylation. To address this possibility, we isolated neurons from medial prefrontal cortex and performed high throughput DNA sequencing to examine changes in DNA methylation following cocaine self-administration. Twenty-nine genomic regions became persistently differentially methylated during cocaine self-administration, and an additional 28 regions became selectively differentially methylated during abstinence. Altered DNA methylation was associated with isoform-specific changes in the expression of co-localizing genes. These results provide the first neuron-specific, genome-wide profile of changes in DNA methylation induced by cocaine self-administration and protracted abstinence. Moreover, our findings suggest that altered DNA methylation facilitates long-term behavioral adaptation in a manner that extends beyond the perpetuation of altered transcriptional states.

  20. Urban Vulnerability Assessment Using AHP

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alireza Rezaei

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Purpose. Physical expansion of urban areas and cities is of great importance nowadays. Irreparable damages will thus be caused by lack of proper planning against natural disasters. Crisis management will therefore guide through prevention, preparedness, disaster relief, and recovery by planning an appropriate program. Methodology. Principal processes of crisis management against earthquake in Iran were evaluated and discussed. Multicriteria earthquake crisis management was then proposed by means of Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP. Vulnerability of 19 urban areas in Qazvin city was studied and analyzed as a case study. Three main criteria were considered as “physical dimensions and physical vulnerability texture,” “the amount of urban texture responsibility to aid after crisis,” and “possibility of city reversibility after the crisis.” These criteria were divided into 20 subcriteria which were prioritized by a questionnaire survey. Findings. “High population density,” “urban texture of old and repairable buildings,” “lack of relief and medical services,” “a few organic texture areas,” “sidewalks with less than 6 meters width in the region,” and “lack of open spaces in the area” were concluded to be the most important reasons causing high vulnerability of urban texture in Qazvin city.

  1. Enhancing protection for vulnerable waters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Creed, Irena F.; Lane, Charles R.; Serran, Jacqueline N.; Alexander, Laurie C.; Basu, Nandita B.; Calhoun, Aram J. K.; Christensen, Jay R.; Cohen, Matthew J.; Craft, Christopher; D'Amico, Ellen; Dekeyser, Edward; Fowler, Laurie; Golden, Heather E.; Jawitz, James W.; Kalla, Peter; Kirkman, L. Katherine; Lang, Megan; Leibowitz, Scott G.; Lewis, David B.; Marton, John; McLaughlin, Daniel L.; Raanan-Kiperwas, Hadas; Rains, Mark C.; Rains, Kai C.; Smith, Lora

    2017-11-01

    Governments worldwide do not adequately protect their limited freshwater systems and therefore place freshwater functions and attendant ecosystem services at risk. The best available scientific evidence compels enhanced protections for freshwater systems, especially for impermanent streams and wetlands outside of floodplains that are particularly vulnerable to alteration or destruction. New approaches to freshwater sustainability -- implemented through scientifically informed adaptive management -- are required to protect freshwater systems through periods of changing societal needs. One such approach introduced in the US in 2015 is the Clean Water Rule, which clarified the jurisdictional scope for federally protected waters. However, within hours of its implementation litigants convinced the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit to stay the rule, and the subsequently elected administration has now placed it under review for potential revision or rescission. Regardless of its outcome at the federal level, policy and management discussions initiated by the propagation of this rare rulemaking event have potential far-reaching implications at all levels of government across the US and worldwide. At this timely juncture, we provide a scientific rationale and three policy options for all levels of government to meaningfully enhance protection of these vulnerable waters. A fourth option, a 'do-nothing' approach, is wholly inconsistent with the well-established scientific evidence of the importance of these vulnerable waters.

  2. Legislative vulnerability of minority groups.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paula, Carlos Eduardo Artiaga; Silva, Ana Paula da; Bittar, Cléria Maria Lôbo

    2017-12-01

    Minorities are in an inferior position in society and therefore vulnerable in many aspects. This study analyzes legislative vulnerability and aims to categorize as "weak" or "strong" the protection conferred by law to the following minorities: elderly, disabled, LGBT, Indians, women, children/ adolescents and black people. In order to do so, it was developed a documental research in 30 federal laws in which legal provisions were searched to protect minorities. Next, the articles were organized in the following categories: civil, criminal, administrative, labor and procedural, to be analyzed afterwards. Legal protection was considered "strong" when there were legal provisions that observed the five categories and "weak" when it did not meet this criterion. It was noted that six groups have "strong" legislative protection, which elides the assertion that minorities are outside the law. The exception is the LGBT group, whose legislative protection is weak. In addition, consecrating rights through laws strengthens the institutional channels for minorities to demand their rights. Finally, it was observed that the legislative protection granted tominorities is not homogeneous but rather discriminatory, and there is an interference by the majority group in the rights regulation of vulnerable groups.

  3. PORT SECURITY-Threats and Vulnerabilities

    OpenAIRE

    Kusi, Bernard

    2015-01-01

    The main objective of this thesis is to identify the threats and the vulnerabilities concerning Takoradi port, and finally recommend measure to overcome the identified threats and vul-nerabilities. Various categories of potential threats and vulnerabilities have been studied throughout the literature review. However, because each port presents a unique sets of threats and vulnerabilities, there was a need to look critically into how Takoradi port operations are being conducted in other to ide...

  4. Neuromorphic Silicon Neuron Circuits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Indiveri, Giacomo; Linares-Barranco, Bernabé; Hamilton, Tara Julia; van Schaik, André; Etienne-Cummings, Ralph; Delbruck, Tobi; Liu, Shih-Chii; Dudek, Piotr; Häfliger, Philipp; Renaud, Sylvie; Schemmel, Johannes; Cauwenberghs, Gert; Arthur, John; Hynna, Kai; Folowosele, Fopefolu; Saighi, Sylvain; Serrano-Gotarredona, Teresa; Wijekoon, Jayawan; Wang, Yingxue; Boahen, Kwabena

    2011-01-01

    Hardware implementations of spiking neurons can be extremely useful for a large variety of applications, ranging from high-speed modeling of large-scale neural systems to real-time behaving systems, to bidirectional brain–machine interfaces. The specific circuit solutions used to implement silicon neurons depend on the application requirements. In this paper we describe the most common building blocks and techniques used to implement these circuits, and present an overview of a wide range of neuromorphic silicon neurons, which implement different computational models, ranging from biophysically realistic and conductance-based Hodgkin–Huxley models to bi-dimensional generalized adaptive integrate and fire models. We compare the different design methodologies used for each silicon neuron design described, and demonstrate their features with experimental results, measured from a wide range of fabricated VLSI chips. PMID:21747754

  5. Neuromorphic silicon neuron circuits

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giacomo eIndiveri

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Hardware implementations of spiking neurons can be extremely useful for a large variety of applications, ranging from high-speed modeling of large-scale neural systems to real-time behaving systems, to bidirectional brain-machine interfaces. The specific circuit solutions used to implement silicon neurons depend on the application requirements. In this paper we describe the most common building blocks and techniques used to implement these circuits, and present an overview of a wide range of neuromorphic silicon neurons, which implement different computational models, ranging from biophysically realistic and conductance based Hodgkin-Huxley models to bi-dimensional generalized adaptive Integrate and Fire models. We compare the different design methodologies used for each silicon neuron design described, and demonstrate their features with experimental results, measured from a wide range of fabricated VLSI chips.

  6. Effects of hypoglycaemia on neuronal metabolism in the adult brain: role of alternative substrates to glucose.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amaral, Ana I

    2013-07-01

    Hypoglycaemia is characterized by decreased blood glucose levels and is associated with different pathologies (e.g. diabetes, inborn errors of metabolism). Depending on its severity, it might affect cognitive functions, including impaired judgment and decreased memory capacity, which have been linked to alterations of brain energy metabolism. Glucose is the major cerebral energy substrate in the adult brain and supports the complex metabolic interactions between neurons and astrocytes, which are essential for synaptic activity. Therefore, hypoglycaemia disturbs cerebral metabolism and, consequently, neuronal function. Despite the high vulnerability of neurons to hypoglycaemia, important neurochemical changes enabling these cells to prolong their resistance to hypoglycaemia have been described. This review aims at providing an overview over the main metabolic effects of hypoglycaemia on neurons, covering in vitro and in vivo findings. Recent studies provided evidence that non-glucose substrates including pyruvate, glycogen, ketone bodies, glutamate, glutamine, and aspartate, are metabolized by neurons in the absence of glucose and contribute to prolong neuronal function and delay ATP depletion during hypoglycaemia. One of the pathways likely implicated in the process is the pyruvate recycling pathway, which allows for the full oxidation of glutamate and glutamine. The operation of this pathway in neurons, particularly after hypoglycaemia, has been re-confirmed recently using metabolic modelling tools (i.e. Metabolic Flux Analysis), which allow for a detailed investigation of cellular metabolism in cultured cells. Overall, the knowledge summarized herein might be used for the development of potential therapies targeting neuronal protection in patients vulnerable to hypoglycaemic episodes.

  7. Cotton genetic resources and crop vulnerability

    Science.gov (United States)

    A report on the genetic vulnerability of cotton was provided to the National Genetic Resources Advisory Council. The report discussed crop vulnerabilities associated with emerging diseases, emerging pests, and a narrowing genetic base. To address these crop vulnerabilities, the report discussed the ...

  8. Animal models to study plaque vulnerability

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schapira, K.; Heeneman, S.; Daemen, M. J. A. P.

    2007-01-01

    The need to identify and characterize vulnerable atherosclerotic lesions in humans has lead to the development of various animal models of plaque vulnerability. In this review, current concepts of the vulnerable plaque as it leads to an acute coronary event are described, such as plaque rupture,

  9. Dicer maintains the identity and function of proprioceptive sensory neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Toole, Sean M; Ferrer, Monica M; Mekonnen, Jennifer; Zhang, Haihan; Shima, Yasuyuki; Ladle, David R; Nelson, Sacha B

    2017-03-01

    Neuronal cell identity is established during development and must be maintained throughout an animal's life (Fishell G, Heintz N. Neuron 80: 602-612, 2013). Transcription factors critical for establishing neuronal identity can be required for maintaining it (Deneris ES, Hobert O. Nat Neurosci 17: 899-907, 2014). Posttranscriptional regulation also plays an important role in neuronal differentiation (Bian S, Sun T. Mol Neurobiol 44: 359-373, 2011), but its role in maintaining cell identity is less established. To better understand how posttranscriptional regulation might contribute to cell identity, we examined the proprioceptive neurons in the dorsal root ganglion (DRG), a highly specialized sensory neuron class, with well-established properties that distinguish them from other neurons in the ganglion. By conditionally ablating Dicer in mice, using parvalbumin (Pvalb)-driven Cre recombinase, we impaired posttranscriptional regulation in the proprioceptive sensory neuron population. Knockout (KO) animals display a progressive form of ataxia at the beginning of the fourth postnatal week that is accompanied by a cell death within the DRG. Before cell loss, expression profiling shows a reduction of proprioceptor specific genes and an increased expression of nonproprioceptive genes normally enriched in other ganglion neurons. Furthermore, although central connections of these neurons are intact, the peripheral connections to the muscle are functionally impaired. Posttranscriptional regulation is therefore necessary to retain the transcriptional identity and support functional specialization of the proprioceptive sensory neurons. NEW & NOTEWORTHY We have demonstrated that selectively impairing Dicer in parvalbumin-positive neurons, which include the proprioceptors, triggers behavioral changes, a lack of muscle connectivity, and a loss of transcriptional identity as observed through RNA sequencing. These results suggest that Dicer and, most likely by extension, micro

  10. NeuronBank: a tool for cataloging neuronal circuitry

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul S Katz

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available The basic unit of any nervous system is the neuron. Therefore, understanding the operation of nervous systems ultimately requires an inventory of their constituent neurons and synaptic connectivity, which form neural circuits. The presence of uniquely identifiable neurons or classes of neurons in many invertebrates has facilitated the construction of cellular-level connectivity diagrams that can be generalized across individuals within a species. Homologous neurons can also be recognized across species. Here we describe NeuronBank.org, a web-based tool that we are developing for cataloging, searching, and analyzing neuronal circuitry within and across species. Information from a single species is represented in an individual branch of NeuronBank. Users can search within a branch or perform queries across branches to look for similarities in neuronal circuits across species. The branches allow for an extensible ontology so that additional characteristics can be added as knowledge grows. Each entry in NeuronBank generates a unique accession ID, allowing it to be easily cited. There is also an automatic link to a Wiki page allowing an encyclopedic explanation of the entry. All of the 44 previously published neurons plus one previously unpublished neuron from the mollusc, Tritonia diomedea, have been entered into a branch of NeuronBank as have 4 previously published neurons from the mollusc, Melibe leonina. The ability to organize information about neuronal circuits will make this information more accessible, ultimately aiding research on these important models.

  11. Measuring vulnerability to disaster displacement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brink, Susan A.; Khazai, Bijan; Power, Christopher; Wenzel, Friedemann

    2015-04-01

    Large scale disasters can cause devastating impacts in terms of population displacement. Between 2008 and 2013, on average 27 million people were displaced annually by disasters (Yonetani 2014). After large events such as hurricane Katrina or the Port-au-Prince earthquake, images of inadequate public shelter and concerns about large scale and often inequitable migration have been broadcast around the world. Population displacement can often be one of the most devastating and visible impacts of a natural disaster. Despite the importance of population displacement in disaster events, measures to understand the socio-economic vulnerability of a community often use broad metrics to estimate the total socio-economic risk of an event rather than focusing on the specific impacts that a community faces in a disaster. Population displacement is complex and multi-causal with the physical impact of a disaster interacting with vulnerability arising from the response, environmental issues (e.g., weather), cultural concerns (e.g., expectations of adequate shelter), and many individual factors (e.g., mobility, risk perception). In addition to the complexity of the causes, population displacement is difficult to measure because of the wide variety of different terms and definitions and its multi-dimensional nature. When we speak of severe population displacement, we may refer to a large number of displaced people, an extended length of displacement or associated difficulties such as poor shelter quality, risk of violence and crime in shelter communities, discrimination in aid, a lack of access to employment or other difficulties that can be associated with large scale population displacement. We have completed a thorough review of the literature on disaster population displacement. Research has been conducted on historic events to understand the types of negative impacts associated with population displacement and also the vulnerability of different groups to these impacts. We

  12. The double tragedy of agriculture vulnerability to climate variability in Africa: How vulnerable is smallholder agriculture to rainfall variability in Ghana?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emmanuel K. Derbile

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available This article analysed vulnerability of smallholder agriculture to climate variability, particularly the alternating incidences of drought and heavy precipitation events in Ghana. Although there is an unmet need for understanding the linkages between climate change and livelihoods, the urgent need for climate change adaptation planning (CCAP in response to climate change makes vulnerability assessment even more compelling in development research. The data for analysis were collected from two complementary studies. These included a regional survey in the Upper West Region and an in-depth study in three selected communities in the Sissala East District. The results showed that smallholder agriculture is significantly vulnerable to climate variability in the region and that three layers of vulnerability can be identified in a ladder of vulnerability. Firstly, farmers are confronted with the double tragedy of droughts and heavy precipitation events, which adversely affect both crops and livestock. Secondly, farmers have to decide on crops for adaptation, but each option – whether indigenous crops, new early-maturing crops or genetically modified crops – predisposes farmers to a different set of risks. Finally, the overall impact is a higher-level vulnerability, namely the risk of total livelihood failure and food insecurity. The article recommended CCAP and an endogenous development (ED approach to addressing agriculture vulnerability to climate variability within the framework of decentralisation and local governance in Ghana. Keywords: Climate variability; agriculture; vulnerability; endogenous development; Ghana

  13. Hippocampal developmental vulnerability to methylmercury extends into prepubescence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maryann eObiorah

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available The developing brain is sensitive to environmental toxicants such as methylmercury (MeHg, to which humans are exposed via contaminated seafood. Prenatal exposure in children is associated with learning, memory and IQ deficits, which can result from hippocampal dysfunction. To explore underlying mechanisms, we have used the postnatal day (P7 rat to model the third trimester of human gestation. We previously showed that a single low exposure (0.6 µg/gbw that approaches human exposure reduced hippocampal neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus (DG 24 hours later, including later proliferation and memory in adolescence. Yet, the vulnerable stem cell population and period of developmental vulnerability remain undefined. In this study, we find that P7 exposure of stem cells has long-term consequences for adolescent neurogenesis. It reduced the number of mitotic S-phase cells (BrdU, especially those in the highly proliferative Tbr2+ population, and immature neurons (Doublecortin in adolescence, suggesting partial depletion of the later stem cell pool. To define developmental vulnerability to MeHg in prepubescent (P14 and adolescent (P21 rats, we examined acute 24 h effects of MeHg exposure on mitosis and apoptosis. We found that low exposure did not adversely impact neurogenesis at either age, but that a higher exposure (5 µg/gbw at P14 reduced the total number of neural stem cells (Sox2+ by 23% and BrdU+ cells by 26% in the DG hilus, suggesting that vulnerability diminishes with age. To see if these effects may reflect changes in MeHg transfer across the blood brain barrier, we assessed Hg content in the hippocampus after peripheral injection and found that similar levels (~800 ng/gm were obtained at 24 h at both P14 and P21, declining in parallel, suggesting that changes in vulnerability depend more on local tissue and cellular mechanisms. Together, we show that MeHg vulnerability depends on age, and that early exposure impairs later neurogenesis in

  14. HCS-Neurons: identifying phenotypic changes in multi-neuron images upon drug treatments of high-content screening.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charoenkwan, Phasit; Hwang, Eric; Cutler, Robert W; Lee, Hua-Chin; Ko, Li-Wei; Huang, Hui-Ling; Ho, Shinn-Ying

    2013-01-01

    High-content screening (HCS) has become a powerful tool for drug discovery. However, the discovery of drugs targeting neurons is still hampered by the inability to accurately identify and quantify the phenotypic changes of multiple neurons in a single image (named multi-neuron image) of a high-content screen. Therefore, it is desirable to develop an automated image analysis method for analyzing multi-neuron images. We propose an automated analysis method with novel descriptors of neuromorphology features for analyzing HCS-based multi-neuron images, called HCS-neurons. To observe multiple phenotypic changes of neurons, we propose two kinds of descriptors which are neuron feature descriptor (NFD) of 13 neuromorphology features, e.g., neurite length, and generic feature descriptors (GFDs), e.g., Haralick texture. HCS-neurons can 1) automatically extract all quantitative phenotype features in both NFD and GFDs, 2) identify statistically significant phenotypic changes upon drug treatments using ANOVA and regression analysis, and 3) generate an accurate classifier to group neurons treated by different drug concentrations using support vector machine and an intelligent feature selection method. To evaluate HCS-neurons, we treated P19 neurons with nocodazole (a microtubule depolymerizing drug which has been shown to impair neurite development) at six concentrations ranging from 0 to 1000 ng/mL. The experimental results show that all the 13 features of NFD have statistically significant difference with respect to changes in various levels of nocodazole drug concentrations (NDC) and the phenotypic changes of neurites were consistent to the known effect of nocodazole in promoting neurite retraction. Three identified features, total neurite length, average neurite length, and average neurite area were able to achieve an independent test accuracy of 90.28% for the six-dosage classification problem. This NFD module and neuron image datasets are provided as a freely downloadable

  15. GABAergic actions on cholinergic laterodorsal tegmental neurons

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kohlmeier, K A; Kristiansen, Uffe

    2010-01-01

    Cholinergic neurons of the pontine laterodorsal tegmentum (LDT) play a critical role in regulation of behavioral state. Therefore, elucidation of mechanisms that control their activity is vital for understanding of how switching between wakefulness, sleep and anesthetic states is effectuated....... In vivo studies suggest that GABAergic mechanisms within the pons play a critical role in behavioral state switching. However, the postsynaptic, electrophysiological actions of GABA on LDT neurons, as well as the identity of GABA receptors present in the LDT mediating these actions is virtually unexplored...... neurons. Post-synaptic location of GABA(A) receptors was demonstrated by persistence of muscimol-induced inward currents in TTX and low Ca(2+) solutions. THIP, a selective GABA(A) receptor agonist with a preference for d-subunit containing GABA(A) receptors, induced inward currents, suggesting...

  16. Neuronal avalanches and learning

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Arcangelis, Lucilla de, E-mail: dearcangelis@na.infn.it [Department of Information Engineering and CNISM, Second University of Naples, 81031 Aversa (Italy)

    2011-05-01

    Networks of living neurons represent one of the most fascinating systems of biology. If the physical and chemical mechanisms at the basis of the functioning of a single neuron are quite well understood, the collective behaviour of a system of many neurons is an extremely intriguing subject. Crucial ingredient of this complex behaviour is the plasticity property of the network, namely the capacity to adapt and evolve depending on the level of activity. This plastic ability is believed, nowadays, to be at the basis of learning and memory in real brains. Spontaneous neuronal activity has recently shown features in common to other complex systems. Experimental data have, in fact, shown that electrical information propagates in a cortex slice via an avalanche mode. These avalanches are characterized by a power law distribution for the size and duration, features found in other problems in the context of the physics of complex systems and successful models have been developed to describe their behaviour. In this contribution we discuss a statistical mechanical model for the complex activity in a neuronal network. The model implements the main physiological properties of living neurons and is able to reproduce recent experimental results. Then, we discuss the learning abilities of this neuronal network. Learning occurs via plastic adaptation of synaptic strengths by a non-uniform negative feedback mechanism. The system is able to learn all the tested rules, in particular the exclusive OR (XOR) and a random rule with three inputs. The learning dynamics exhibits universal features as function of the strength of plastic adaptation. Any rule could be learned provided that the plastic adaptation is sufficiently slow.

  17. Neuronal avalanches and learning

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Arcangelis, Lucilla de

    2011-01-01

    Networks of living neurons represent one of the most fascinating systems of biology. If the physical and chemical mechanisms at the basis of the functioning of a single neuron are quite well understood, the collective behaviour of a system of many neurons is an extremely intriguing subject. Crucial ingredient of this complex behaviour is the plasticity property of the network, namely the capacity to adapt and evolve depending on the level of activity. This plastic ability is believed, nowadays, to be at the basis of learning and memory in real brains. Spontaneous neuronal activity has recently shown features in common to other complex systems. Experimental data have, in fact, shown that electrical information propagates in a cortex slice via an avalanche mode. These avalanches are characterized by a power law distribution for the size and duration, features found in other problems in the context of the physics of complex systems and successful models have been developed to describe their behaviour. In this contribution we discuss a statistical mechanical model for the complex activity in a neuronal network. The model implements the main physiological properties of living neurons and is able to reproduce recent experimental results. Then, we discuss the learning abilities of this neuronal network. Learning occurs via plastic adaptation of synaptic strengths by a non-uniform negative feedback mechanism. The system is able to learn all the tested rules, in particular the exclusive OR (XOR) and a random rule with three inputs. The learning dynamics exhibits universal features as function of the strength of plastic adaptation. Any rule could be learned provided that the plastic adaptation is sufficiently slow.

  18. Channel properties of Nax expressed in neurons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masahito Matsumoto

    Full Text Available Nax is a sodium-concentration ([Na+]-sensitive Na channel with a gating threshold of ~150 mM for extracellular [Na+] ([Na+]o in vitro. We previously reported that Nax was preferentially expressed in the glial cells of sensory circumventricular organs including the subfornical organ, and was involved in [Na+] sensing for the control of salt-intake behavior. Although Nax was also suggested to be expressed in the neurons of some brain regions including the amygdala and cerebral cortex, the channel properties of Nax have not yet been adequately characterized in neurons. We herein verified that Nax was expressed in neurons in the lateral amygdala of mice using an antibody that was newly generated against mouse Nax. To investigate the channel properties of Nax expressed in neurons, we established an inducible cell line of Nax using the mouse neuroblastoma cell line, Neuro-2a, which is endogenously devoid of the expression of Nax. Functional analyses of this cell line revealed that the [Na+]-sensitivity of Nax in neuronal cells was similar to that expressed in glial cells. The cation selectivity sequence of the Nax channel in cations was revealed to be Na+ ≈ Li+ > Rb+ > Cs+ for the first time. Furthermore, we demonstrated that Nax bound to postsynaptic density protein 95 (PSD95 through its PSD95/Disc-large/ZO-1 (PDZ-binding motif at the C-terminus in neurons. The interaction between Nax and PSD95 may be involved in promoting the surface expression of Nax channels because the depletion of endogenous PSD95 resulted in a decrease in Nax at the plasma membrane. These results indicated, for the first time, that Nax functions as a [Na+]-sensitive Na channel in neurons as well as in glial cells.

  19. Memory Vulnerability Diagnosis for Binary Program

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tang Feng-Yi

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Vulnerability diagnosis is important for program security analysis. It is a further step to understand the vulnerability after it is detected, as well as a preparatory step for vulnerability repair or exploitation. This paper mainly analyses the inner theories of major memory vulnerabilities and the threats of them. And then suggests some methods to diagnose several types of memory vulnerabilities for the binary programs, which is a difficult task due to the lack of source code. The diagnosis methods target at buffer overflow, use after free (UAF and format string vulnerabilities. We carried out some tests on the Linux platform to validate the effectiveness of the diagnosis methods. It is proved that the methods can judge the type of the vulnerability given a binary program.

  20. Vulnerability of housing buildings in Bucharest, Romania

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bostenaru, M.

    2009-04-01

    The author participates to the World Housing Encyclopedia project (www.world-housing.net), an internet based database of housing buildings in earthquake prone areas of the world. This is a voluntary project run by the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute, Oakland, California and the International Association of Earthquake Engineering, financial means being available only for the website where the information is shared. For broader dissemination in 2004 a summary publication of the reports to date was published. The database can be querried for various parameters and browsed after geographic distribution. Participation is open to any housing experts. Between 2003 and 2006 the author was also member of the editorial board. The author contributed numerous reports about building types in Romania, and each one about building types in Germany and Switzerland. This presentation will be about the contributed reports on building types in Romania. To the Encyclopedia eight reports on building types from Bucharest were contributed, while in further research of the author one more was similarly described regarding the vulnerability and the seismic retrofit. The selection of these types was done considering the historic development of the built substance in Bucharest from 1850 on, time from which a representative amount of housing buildings which can be classified in typologies can be found in Bucharest. While the structural types are not necessarily characteristic for the style, since the style has other time limits, often appearing before the type became common and then remaining being practiced also after another style gained ground, a historic succession can be seen also in this case. The nine types considered can be grouped in seven time categories: - the time 1850-1880, for a vernacular housing type with masonry load bearing walls and timber floors, - the time 1880-1920, for the type of two storey or multi-storey house with masonry walls and timber floors (in which

  1. Markers of neuroinflammation and neuronal injury in bipolar disorder: Relation to prospective clinical outcomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isgren, Anniella; Sellgren, Carl; Ekman, Carl-Johan; Holmén-Larsson, Jessica; Blennow, Kaj; Zetterberg, Henrik; Jakobsson, Joel; Landén, Mikael

    2017-10-01

    Neuroimmune mechanisms have been linked to the pathophysiology of bipolar disorder based on studies of biomarkers in plasma, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), and postmortem brain tissue. There are, however, no longitudinal studies investigating if CSF markers of neuroinflammation and neuronal injury predict clinical outcomes in patients with bipolar disorder. We have in previous studies found higher CSF concentrations of interleukin-8 (IL-8), monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 (MCP-1/CCL-2), chitinase-3-like protein 1 (CHI3L1/YKL-40), and neurofilament light chain (NF-L) in euthymic patients with bipolar disorder compared with controls. Here, we investigated the relationship of these CSF markers of neuroinflammation and neuronal injury with clinical outcomes in a prospective study. 77 patients with CSF analyzed at baseline were followed for 6-7years. Associations of baseline biomarkers with clinical outcomes (manic/hypomanic and depressive episodes, suicide attempts, psychotic symptoms, inpatient care, GAF score change) were investigated. Baseline MCP-1 concentrations were positively associated with manic/hypomanic episodes and inpatient care during follow-up. YKL-40 concentrations were negatively associated with manic/hypomanic episodes and with occurrence of psychotic symptoms. The prospective negative association between YKL-40 and manic/hypomanic episodes survived multiple testing correction. Concentrations of IL-8 and NF-L were not associated with clinical outcomes. High concentrations of these selected CSF markers of neuroinflammation and neuronal injury at baseline were not consistently associated with poor clinical outcomes in this prospective study. The assessed proteins may be involved in adaptive immune processes or reflect a state of vulnerability for bipolar disorder rather than being of predictive value for disease progression. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Behavioral plasticity through the modulation of switch neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vassiliades, Vassilis; Christodoulou, Chris

    2016-02-01

    A central question in artificial intelligence is how to design agents capable of switching between different behaviors in response to environmental changes. Taking inspiration from neuroscience, we address this problem by utilizing artificial neural networks (NNs) as agent controllers, and mechanisms such as neuromodulation and synaptic gating. The novel aspect of this work is the introduction of a type of artificial neuron we call "switch neuron". A switch neuron regulates the flow of information in NNs by selectively gating all but one of its incoming synaptic connections, effectively allowing only one signal to propagate forward. The allowed connection is determined by the switch neuron's level of modulatory activation which is affected by modulatory signals, such as signals that encode some information about the reward received by the agent. An important aspect of the switch neuron is that it can be used in appropriate "switch modules" in order to modulate other switch neurons. As we show, the introduction of the switch modules enables the creation of sequences of gating events. This is achieved through the design of a modulatory pathway capable of exploring in a principled manner all permutations of the connections arriving on the switch neurons. We test the model by presenting appropriate architectures in nonstationary binary association problems and T-maze tasks. The results show that for all tasks, the switch neuron architectures generate optimal adaptive behaviors, providing evidence that the switch neuron model could be a valuable tool in simulations where behavioral plasticity is required. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Insulin controls food intake and energy balance via NPY neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kim Loh

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Objectives: Insulin signaling in the brain has been implicated in the control of satiety, glucose homeostasis and energy balance. However, insulin signaling is dispensable in energy homeostasis controlling AgRP or POMC neurons and it is unclear which other neurons regulate these effects. Here we describe an ancient insulin/NPY neuronal network that governs energy homeostasis across phyla. Methods: To address the role of insulin action specifically in NPY neurons, we generated a variety of models by selectively removing insulin signaling in NPY neurons in flies and mice and testing the consequences on energy homeostasis. Results: By specifically targeting the insulin receptor in both fly and mouse NPY expressing neurons, we found NPY-specific insulin signaling controls food intake and energy expenditure, and lack of insulin signaling in NPY neurons leads to increased energy stores and an obese phenotype. Additionally, the lack of insulin signaling in NPY neurons leads to a dysregulation of GH/IGF-1 axis and to altered insulin sensitivity. Conclusions: Taken together, these results suggest that insulin actions in NPY neurons is critical for maintaining energy balance and an impairment of this pathway may be causally linked to the development of metabolic diseases. Keywords: Hypothalamus, NPY, Insulin, Obesity

  4. Large-scale modelling of neuronal systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Castellani, G.; Verondini, E.; Giampieri, E.; Bersani, F.; Remondini, D.; Milanesi, L.; Zironi, I.

    2009-01-01

    The brain is, without any doubt, the most, complex system of the human body. Its complexity is also due to the extremely high number of neurons, as well as the huge number of synapses connecting them. Each neuron is capable to perform complex tasks, like learning and memorizing a large class of patterns. The simulation of large neuronal systems is challenging for both technological and computational reasons, and can open new perspectives for the comprehension of brain functioning. A well-known and widely accepted model of bidirectional synaptic plasticity, the BCM model, is stated by a differential equation approach based on bistability and selectivity properties. We have modified the BCM model extending it from a single-neuron to a whole-network model. This new model is capable to generate interesting network topologies starting from a small number of local parameters, describing the interaction between incoming and outgoing links from each neuron. We have characterized this model in terms of complex network theory, showing how this, learning rule can be a support For network generation.

  5. County-level heat vulnerability of urban and rural residents in Tibet, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bai, Li; Woodward, Alistair; Cirendunzhu; Liu, Qiyong

    2016-01-12

    Tibet is especially vulnerable to climate change due to the relatively rapid rise of temperature over past decades. The effects on mortality and morbidity of extreme heat in Tibet have been examined in previous studies; no heat adaptation initiatives have yet been implemented. We estimated heat vulnerability of urban and rural populations in 73 Tibetan counties and identified potential areas for public health intervention and further research. According to data availability and vulnerability factors identified previously in Tibet and elsewhere, we selected 10 variables related to advanced age, low income, illiteracy, physical and mental disability, small living spaces and living alone. We separately created and mapped county-level cumulative heat vulnerability indices for urban and rural residents by summing up factor scores produced by a principal components analysis (PCA). For both study populations, PCA yielded four factors with similar structure. The components for rural and urban residents explained 76.5 % and 77.7 % respectively of the variability in the original vulnerability variables. We found spatial variability of heat vulnerability across counties, with generally higher vulnerability in high-altitude counties. Although we observed similar median values and ranges of the cumulative heat vulnerability index values among urban and rural residents overall, the pattern varied strongly from one county to another. We have developed a measure of population vulnerability to high temperatures in Tibet. These are preliminary findings, but they may assist targeted adaptation plans in response to future rapid warming in Tibet.

  6. Drought vulnerability assessment: The case of wheat farmers in Western Iran

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zarafshani, Kiumars; Sharafi, Lida; Azadi, Hossein; Hosseininia, Gholamhossein; De Maeyer, Philippe; Witlox, Frank

    2012-12-01

    Drought, as a natural and slow-onset phenomenon, creates numerous damages to agricultural communities. As a drought prone area in the Middle East, Iran has currently launched a crisis management approach to mitigate the harmful impacts of drought. However, thus far studies indicate that effective drought management strategies should be designed based upon vulnerability management which can increase farmers' ability to challenge the impacts. The purpose of this study was to assess drought vulnerability across three drought intensities (very high, extremely high, and critical) areas in Western Iran. Accordingly, a survey study was applied and 370 wheat farmers who all experienced drought during 2007-2009 were selected through a multi-stage stratified random sampling method. Face to face interviews were used to collect data on vulnerability indices from the farmers. Me-Bar and Valdez's vulnerability formula was applied to assess the vulnerability of wheat farmers during drought. Results revealed that the farmers' vulnerability is influenced mainly by economic, socio-cultural, psychological, technical, and infrastructural factors. The results also indicated that the farmers in Sarpole-Zahab township were most vulnerable compared to those in the Kermanshah township as the least vulnerable. Accordingly, some conclusions and recommendations are drawn for both policy-makers and practitioners who often must prioritize limited resources in the design vulnerability-reducing interventions.

  7. Growth Defects in the Dorsal Pallium after Genetically Targeted Ablation of Principal Preplate Neurons and Neuroblasts: A Morphometric Analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robin Fisher

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available The present study delineates the large-scale, organic responses of growth in the dorsal pallium to targeted genetic ablations of the principal PP (preplate neurons of the neocortex. Ganciclovir treatment during prenatal development [from E11 (embryonic age 11 to E13] of mice selectively killed cells with shared S-phase vulnerability and targeted expression of a GPT [golli promoter transgene; GPT linked to HSV-TK (herpes simplex virus-thymidine kinase, τ-eGFP and lacZ reporters] localized in PP neurons and their intermediate progenitor neuroblasts. The volume, area and thickness of the pallium were measured in an E12-P4 (postnatal age 4 longitudinal study with comparisons between ablated (HSV-TK+/0 and control (HSV-TK0/0 littermates. The extent of ablations was also systematically varied, and the effect on physical growth was assessed in an E18 cross-sectional study. The morphological evidence obtained in the present study supports the conclusion that genetically targeted ablations delay the settlement of the principal PP neurons of the dorsal pallium. This leads to progressive and substantial reductions of growth, despite compensatory responses that rapidly replace the ablated cells. These growth defects originate from inductive cellular interactions in the proliferative matrix of the ventricular zone of the pallium, but are amplified by subsequent morphogenic and trophic cellular interactions. The defects persist during the course of prenatal and postnatal development to demonstrate a constrained dose-response relationship with the extent of specific killing of GPT neurons. The defects propagate simultaneously in both the horizontal and vertical cytoarchitectural dimensions of the developing pallium, an outcome that produces a localized shortfall of volume in the telencephalic vesicles.

  8. Learning Recruits Neurons Representing Previously Established Associations in the Corvid Endbrain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Veit, Lena; Pidpruzhnykova, Galyna; Nieder, Andreas

    2017-10-01

    Crows quickly learn arbitrary associations. As a neuronal correlate of this behavior, single neurons in the corvid endbrain area nidopallium caudolaterale (NCL) change their response properties during association learning. In crows performing a delayed association task that required them to map both familiar and novel sample pictures to the same two choice pictures, NCL neurons established a common, prospective code for associations. Here, we report that neuronal tuning changes during learning were not distributed equally in the recorded population of NCL neurons. Instead, such learning-related changes relied almost exclusively on neurons which were already encoding familiar associations. Only in such neurons did behavioral improvements during learning of novel associations coincide with increasing selectivity over the learning process. The size and direction of selectivity for familiar and newly learned associations were highly correlated. These increases in selectivity for novel associations occurred only late in the delay period. Moreover, NCL neurons discriminated correct from erroneous trial outcome based on feedback signals at the end of the trial, particularly in newly learned associations. Our results indicate that task-relevant changes during association learning are not distributed within the population of corvid NCL neurons but rather are restricted to a specific group of association-selective neurons. Such association neurons in the multimodal cognitive integration area NCL likely play an important role during highly flexible behavior in corvids.

  9. Kappe neurons, a novel population of olfactory sensory neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahuja, Gaurav; Bozorg Nia, Shahrzad; Zapilko, Veronika; Shiriagin, Vladimir; Kowatschew, Daniel; Oka, Yuichiro; Korsching, Sigrun I

    2014-02-10

    Perception of olfactory stimuli is mediated by distinct populations of olfactory sensory neurons, each with a characteristic set of morphological as well as functional parameters. Beyond two large populations of ciliated and microvillous neurons, a third population, crypt neurons, has been identified in teleost and cartilaginous fishes. We report here a novel, fourth olfactory sensory neuron population in zebrafish, which we named kappe neurons for their characteristic shape. Kappe neurons are identified by their Go-like immunoreactivity, and show a distinct spatial distribution within the olfactory epithelium, similar to, but significantly different from that of crypt neurons. Furthermore, kappe neurons project to a single identified target glomerulus within the olfactory bulb, mdg5 of the mediodorsal cluster, whereas crypt neurons are known to project exclusively to the mdg2 glomerulus. Kappe neurons are negative for established markers of ciliated, microvillous and crypt neurons, but appear to have microvilli. Kappe neurons constitute the fourth type of olfactory sensory neurons reported in teleost fishes and their existence suggests that encoding of olfactory stimuli may require a higher complexity than hitherto assumed already in the peripheral olfactory system.

  10. Dynamics of immune system vulnerabilities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stromberg, Sean P.

    The adaptive immune system can be viewed as a complex system, which adapts, over time, to reflect the history of infections experienced by the organism. Understanding its operation requires viewing it in terms of tradeoffs under constraints and evolutionary history. It typically displays "robust, yet fragile" behavior, meaning common tasks are robust to small changes but novel threats or changes in environment can have dire consequences. In this dissertation we use mechanistic models to study several biological processes: the immune response, the homeostasis of cells in the lymphatic system, and the process that normally prevents autoreactive cells from entering the lymphatic system. Using these models we then study the effects of these processes interacting. We show that the mechanisms that regulate the numbers of cells in the immune system, in conjunction with the immune response, can act to suppress autoreactive cells from proliferating, thus showing quantitatively how pathogenic infections can suppress autoimmune disease. We also show that over long periods of time this same effect can thin the repertoire of cells that defend against novel threats, leading to an age correlated vulnerability. This vulnerability is shown to be a consequence of system dynamics, not due to degradation of immune system components with age. Finally, modeling a specific tolerance mechanism that normally prevents autoimmune disease, in conjunction with models of the immune response and homeostasis we look at the consequences of the immune system mistakenly incorporating pathogenic molecules into its tolerizing mechanisms. The signature of this dynamic matches closely that of the dengue virus system.

  11. Vulnerable to HIV / AIDS. Migration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernandez, I

    1998-01-01

    This special report discusses the impact of globalization, patterns of migration in Southeast Asia, gender issues in migration, the links between migration and HIV/AIDS, and spatial mobility and social networks. Migrants are particularly marginalized in countries that blame migrants for transmission of infectious and communicable diseases and other social ills. Effective control of HIV/AIDS among migrant and native populations requires a multisectoral approach. Programs should critically review the privatization of health care services and challenge economic models that polarize the rich and the poor, men and women, North and South, and migrant and native. Programs should recognize the equality between locals and migrants in receipt of health services. Countermeasures should have input from migrants in order to reduce the conditions that increase vulnerability to HIV/AIDS. Gender-oriented research is needed to understand women's role in migration. Rapid assessment has obscured the human dimension of migrants' vulnerability to HIV. Condom promotion is not enough. Migration is a major consequence of globalization, which holds the promise, real or imagined, of prosperity for all. Mass migration can be fueled by explosive regional developments. In Southeast Asia, migration has been part of the process of economic development. The potential to emigrate increases with greater per capita income. "Tiger" economies have been labor importers. Safe sex is not practiced in many Asian countries because risk is not taken seriously. Migrants tend to be used as economic tools, without consideration of social adjustment and sex behavior among singles.

  12. Vulnerability of network of networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Havlin, S.; Kenett, D. Y.; Bashan, A.; Gao, J.; Stanley, H. E.

    2014-10-01

    Our dependence on networks - be they infrastructure, economic, social or others - leaves us prone to crises caused by the vulnerabilities of these networks. There is a great need to develop new methods to protect infrastructure networks and prevent cascade of failures (especially in cases of coupled networks). Terrorist attacks on transportation networks have traumatized modern societies. With a single blast, it has become possible to paralyze airline traffic, electric power supply, ground transportation or Internet communication. How, and at which cost can one restructure the network such that it will become more robust against malicious attacks? The gradual increase in attacks on the networks society depends on - Internet, mobile phone, transportation, air travel, banking, etc. - emphasize the need to develop new strategies to protect and defend these crucial networks of communication and infrastructure networks. One example is the threat of liquid explosives a few years ago, which completely shut down air travel for days, and has created extreme changes in regulations. Such threats and dangers warrant the need for new tools and strategies to defend critical infrastructure. In this paper we review recent advances in the theoretical understanding of the vulnerabilities of interdependent networks with and without spatial embedding, attack strategies and their affect on such networks of networks as well as recently developed strategies to optimize and repair failures caused by such attacks.

  13. Stochastic neuron models

    CERN Document Server

    Greenwood, Priscilla E

    2016-01-01

    This book describes a large number of open problems in the theory of stochastic neural systems, with the aim of enticing probabilists to work on them. This includes problems arising from stochastic models of individual neurons as well as those arising from stochastic models of the activities of small and large networks of interconnected neurons. The necessary neuroscience background to these problems is outlined within the text, so readers can grasp the context in which they arise. This book will be useful for graduate students and instructors providing material and references for applying probability to stochastic neuron modeling. Methods and results are presented, but the emphasis is on questions where additional stochastic analysis may contribute neuroscience insight. An extensive bibliography is included. Dr. Priscilla E. Greenwood is a Professor Emerita in the Department of Mathematics at the University of British Columbia. Dr. Lawrence M. Ward is a Professor in the Department of Psychology and the Brain...

  14. An assessment of flood vulnerability in Khyber Pukhtunkhwa province of Pakistan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Said Qasim

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available In this research we have attempted to measure vulnerability of the communities living in the flood prone area of Khyber Pukhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. Extensive literature review was conducted to identify the flood vulnerability indicators. Primary data were used to achieve the objective of this study. Questionnaires were used to collect the primary data from the selected households and from the director of Centre for Disaster Preparedness and Management. Subjective assessment technique was used to allocate weights to the selected indicators of vulnerability. A sample size of 280 respondents was taken from three selected locations of Charsadda, Nowshera and Peshawar. Simple random sampling was employed for the selection of respondents. Results revealed that overall vulnerability as well as component vulnerability for the selected locations was very high. The study therefore recommends preparedness, provision of funds for building houses with flood resistant materials and building houses in safer places. There is also a need for enhancing the adaptive capacities of the concerned communities through their socio-economic uplift. Implementation of these policies would lower the vulnerability of the communities to flood disasters.

  15. Neuronal Migration and Neuronal Migration Disorder in Cerebral Cortex

    OpenAIRE

    SUN, Xue-Zhi; TAKAHASHI, Sentaro; GUI, Chun; ZHANG, Rui; KOGA, Kazuo; NOUYE, Minoru; MURATA, Yoshiharu

    2002-01-01

    Neuronal cell migration is one of the most significant features during cortical development. After final mitosis, neurons migrate from the ventricular zone into the cortical plate, and then establish neuronal lamina and settle onto the outermost layer, forming an "inside-out" gradient of maturation. Neuronal migration is guided by radial glial fibers and also needs proper receptors, ligands, and other unknown extracellular factors, requests local signaling (e.g. some emitted by the Cajal-Retz...

  16. Mirror neurons encode the subjective value of an observed action

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caggiano, Vittorio; Fogassi, Leonardo; Rizzolatti, Giacomo; Casile, Antonino; Giese, Martin A.; Thier, Peter

    2012-01-01

    Objects grasped by an agent have a value not only for the acting agent, but also for an individual observing the grasping act. The value that the observer attributes to the object that is grasped can be pivotal for selecting a possible behavioral response. Mirror neurons in area F5 of the monkey premotor cortex have been suggested to play a crucial role in the understanding of action goals. However, it has not been addressed if these neurons are also involved in representing the value of the grasped object. Here we report that observation-related neuronal responses of F5 mirror neurons are indeed modulated by the value that the monkey associates with the grasped object. These findings suggest that during action observation F5 mirror neurons have access to key information needed to shape the behavioral responses of the observer. PMID:22753471

  17. An holistic view on aquifer vulnerability based on a distinction of different types of vulnerability

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Luca, Domenico Antonio; Lasagna, Manuela; Franchino, Elisa

    2016-04-01

    AN HOLISTIC VIEW ON AQUIFER VULNERABILITY BASED ON A DISTINCTION OF DIFFERENT TYPES OF VULNERABILITY D.A. De Luca1 , M. Lasagna1, E. Franchino1 1Department of Earth Sciences, University of Turin The concept of vulnerability is certainly useful in the field of groundwater protection. Nevertheless, within the scientific community, the definition of groundwater vulnerability is still debatable and not clear and conclusive. This is probably due to the fact that researchers often have very different experiences and education. A positive effect of it is a constant exchange of ideas, but there are also negative consequences and difficulties in deepening the issue. The different approaches are very important but they are usable only if the concept of vulnerability is standardized: thus, for the sake of clarity, a number of definitions should be laid down, based on the different types of vulnerability. These definitions can then provide the necessary holistic view for the aquifer vulnerability assessment. Nowadays vulnerability methods focus on the degree of vulnerability and the parameters needed for its evaluation, often neglecting to clarify what is the type of vulnerability the proposed methods are referred. The type of vulnerability, indeed, is both logically and hierarchically superior to the degree of vulnerability. More specifically the type of vulnerability represents the evaluation of the hydrogeological conditions considered in the vulnerability assessment and able to influence the way in which the contamination can take place. Currently the only distinction, based on of the type of vulnerability, is referred to intrinsic and specific vulnerability. Intrinsic vulnerability assesses the susceptibility of the receptor based on the natural properties of the land and subsurface; specific vulnerability also includes properties of the analyzed contaminant. This distinction is useful but not exhaustive. In addition to this, e.g., a distinction of vertical vulnerability

  18. Drug abuse: vulnerability and transition to addiction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le Moal, M

    2009-05-01

    Intrinsic vulnerability is central to the transition of recreational drug use to misuse. Several factors contribute to vulnerability, inherent or acquired, and they account for the huge individual differences observed concerning the propensity to enter in the addiction process. Some of the multifactional causes for a vulnerable phenotype will be examined: genetic factors, age and gender influences, various comorbidities and epidemiological observations. Stress-induced vulnerability will be particularly reviewed because it provides a good model for a pathophysiological research and for relating environmental events to biological consequences of drug vulnerability, namely through the striato-cortical dopamine system. Experimental studies are generally blind concerning these historical factors that contribute vulnerability and a critical evaluation of current animal models is needed. The transition of the last stage of the process, addiction, is conceptualized as a progression from homeostasis to allostasis and then, to pathology.

  19. Vulnerability and resilience: a critical nexus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lotz, Mianna

    2016-02-01

    Not all forms of human fragility or vulnerability are unavoidable. Sometimes we knowingly and intentionally impose conditions of vulnerability on others; and sometimes we knowingly and intentionally enter into and assume conditions of vulnerability for ourselves (for example, when we decide to trust or forgive, enter into intimate relationships with others, become a parent, become a subject of medical or psychotherapeutic treatment, and the like). In this article, I propose a presently overlooked basis on which one might evaluate whether the imposition or assumption of vulnerability is acceptable, and on which one might ground a significant class of vulnerability-related obligations. Distinct from existing accounts of the importance of promoting autonomy in conditions of vulnerability, this article offers a preliminary exploration of the nature, role, and importance of resilience promotion, its relationship to autonomy promotion, and its prospects for improving human wellbeing in autonomy inhibiting conditions.

  20. Vulnerability assessment of medieval civic towers as a tool for retrofitting design

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Casciati, Sara; Faravelli, Lucia

    2008-01-01

    The seismic vulnerability of an ancient civic bell-tower is studied. Rather than seeing it as an intermediate stage toward a risk analysis, the assessment of vulnerability is here pursued for the purpose of optimizing the retrofit design. The vulnerability curves are drawn by carrying out a single time history analysis of a model calibrated on the basis of experimental data. From the results of this analysis, the medians of three selected performance parameters are estimated, and they are used to compute, for each of them, the probability of exceeding or attaining the three corresponding levels of light, moderate and severe damage. The same numerical model is then used to incorporate the effects of several retrofitting solutions and to re-estimate the associated vulnerability curves. The ultimate goal is to provide a numerical tool able to drive the optimization process of a retrofit design by the comparison of the vulnerability estimates associated with the different retrofitting solutions

  1. An Assessment of the radiological vulnerability for Spanish soils

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Trueba, C.; Millan, R.; Schimid, T.; Lago, C.; Gutierrez, J.

    2000-01-01

    A methodology is presented to assess the radiological vulnerability of soils, based exclusively on their pedagogical properties. The radiological vulnerability defined as the potential capacity of soils to fix or transfer deposited radiocaesium and radiostrontium to plants, is represented in terms of vulnerability indexes. Two pathways are considered, the external irradiation and their transfer through the food chain, where the top horizon and a critical depth of 60 cm is taken into account, respectively, Partial vulnerability indexes are considered for each pathway, which allows a qualitative prediction of the behaviour of the contaminants in soils Global indexes have been obtained as the sum of the partial indexes. The methodology has been applied and validated using a data base consisting of more than 2000 soil profiles selected from all over Spain. This included a pedagogical characterisation and normalisation of the different soil profiles. Results have been obtained for individual soil profiles and with the aid of a GIS, the distribution of the partial and global indexes have been presented for the most representative soil types. (Author)

  2. Methods to Secure Databases Against Vulnerabilities

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-12-01

    for several languages such as C, C++, PHP, Java and Python [16]. MySQL will work well with very large databases. The documentation references...using Eclipse and connected to each database management system using Python and Java drivers provided by MySQL , MongoDB, and Datastax (for Cassandra...tiers in Python and Java . Problem MySQL MongoDB Cassandra 1. Injection a. Tautologies Vulnerable Vulnerable Not Vulnerable b. Illegal query

  3. Electrical Activity in a Time-Delay Four-Variable Neuron Model under Electromagnetic Induction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Keming Tang

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available To investigate the effect of electromagnetic induction on the electrical activity of neuron, the variable for magnetic flow is used to improve Hindmarsh–Rose neuron model. Simultaneously, due to the existence of time-delay when signals are propagated between neurons or even in one neuron, it is important to study the role of time-delay in regulating the electrical activity of the neuron. For this end, a four-variable neuron model is proposed to investigate the effects of electromagnetic induction and time-delay. Simulation results suggest that the proposed neuron model can show multiple modes of electrical activity, which is dependent on the time-delay and external forcing current. It means that suitable discharge mode can be obtained by selecting the time-delay or external forcing current, which could be helpful for further investigation of electromagnetic radiation on biological neuronal system.

  4. New technologies for examining the role of neuronal ensembles in drug addiction and fear.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cruz, Fabio C; Koya, Eisuke; Guez-Barber, Danielle H; Bossert, Jennifer M; Lupica, Carl R; Shaham, Yavin; Hope, Bruce T

    2013-11-01

    Correlational data suggest that learned associations are encoded within neuronal ensembles. However, it has been difficult to prove that neuronal ensembles mediate learned behaviours because traditional pharmacological and lesion methods, and even newer cell type-specific methods, affect both activated and non-activated neurons. In addition, previous studies on synaptic and molecular alterations induced by learning did not distinguish between behaviourally activated and non-activated neurons. Here, we describe three new approaches--Daun02 inactivation, FACS sorting of activated neurons and Fos-GFP transgenic rats--that have been used to selectively target and study activated neuronal ensembles in models of conditioned drug effects and relapse. We also describe two new tools--Fos-tTA transgenic mice and inactivation of CREB-overexpressing neurons--that have been used to study the role of neuronal ensembles in conditioned fear.

  5. New technologies for examining neuronal ensembles in drug addiction and fear

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cruz, Fabio C.; Koya, Eisuke; Guez-Barber, Danielle H.; Bossert, Jennifer M.; Lupica, Carl R.; Shaham, Yavin; Hope, Bruce T.

    2015-01-01

    Correlational data suggest that learned associations are encoded within neuronal ensembles. However, it has been difficult to prove that neuronal ensembles mediate learned behaviours because traditional pharmacological and lesion methods, and even newer cell type-specific methods, affect both activated and non-activated neurons. Additionally, previous studies on synaptic and molecular alterations induced by learning did not distinguish between behaviourally activated and non-activated neurons. Here, we describe three new approaches—Daun02 inactivation, FACS sorting of activated neurons and c-fos-GFP transgenic rats — that have been used to selectively target and study activated neuronal ensembles in models of conditioned drug effects and relapse. We also describe two new tools — c-fos-tTA mice and inactivation of CREB-overexpressing neurons — that have been used to study the role of neuronal ensembles in conditioned fear. PMID:24088811

  6. Ransomware - Threats Vulnerabilities And Recommendations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nadeem Shah

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Attack methodologies transform with the transforming dynamics of technology. Consequently it becomes imperative that individuals and organization implement the highest levels of security within their devices and infrastructure for optimal protection against these rapidly evolving attacks. Ransomware is one such attack that never fails to surprise in terms of its ability to identify vulnerabilities and loopholes in technology. This paper discusses the categories of ransomware its common attack vectors and provides a threat landscape with the aim to highlight the true potential and destructive nature of such malware based attacks. In this paper we also present the most current ransomware attack that is still a potential threat and also provide recommendations and strategies for prevention and protection against these attacks. A novel solution is also discussed that could be further worked upon in the future by other researchers and vendors of security devices.

  7. Proliferation Vulnerability Red Team report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hinton, J.P.; Barnard, R.W.; Bennett, D.E. [and others

    1996-10-01

    This report is the product of a four-month independent technical assessment of potential proliferation vulnerabilities associated with the plutonium disposition alternatives currently under review by DOE/MD. The scope of this MD-chartered/Sandia-led study was limited to technical considerations that could reduce proliferation resistance during various stages of the disposition processes below the Stored Weapon/Spent Fuel standards. Both overt and covert threats from host nation and unauthorized parties were considered. The results of this study will be integrated with complementary work by others into an overall Nonproliferation and Arms Control Assessment in support of a Secretarial Record of Decision later this year for disposition of surplus U.S. weapons plutonium.

  8. Neuronal nets in robotics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jimenez Sanchez, Raul

    1999-01-01

    The paper gives a generic idea of the solutions that the neuronal nets contribute to the robotics. The advantages and the inconveniences are exposed that have regarding the conventional techniques. It also describe the more excellent applications as the pursuit of trajectories, the positioning based on images, the force control or of the mobile robots management, among others

  9. ICMPv6 RA Flooding Vulnerability Research

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Linas Jočys

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available ICMPv6 is the newest version of internet control message protocol, whose main purpose is to send error message indicating packet processing failure. It is know that ICMPv6 is technologically vulnerable. One of those vulnerabilities is the ICMPv6 RA flooding vulnerability, which can lead to systems in Local Area Network slow down or full stop. This paper will discuss Windows (XP, 7, 8.1 and Linux Ubuntu 14 operating systems resistance to RA flooding attack research and countermeasures to minimize this vulnerability.

  10. Vulnerability maps for Druzba crude oil pipeline

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hladik, P.; Hosnedl, P.; Buresova, H.; Corbet, J.

    2012-01-01

    Maps of risk for individual environmental aspects within the protection zone of the Czech part of the Druzba crude oil pipeline (505.7 km) were developed based on a modified 'H and V index' method. Risk data were added into a GIS of the Druzba pipeline so that the system could be used as conceptual material in the field of environmental protection (a base for the new SCADA system). Considered environmental aspects were assessed in terms of their vulnerability. The criteria were defined as the vulnerability of the aquatic environment (surface waters and ground waters), the vulnerability of soil environment and the vulnerability of biotic components of the environment. (authors)

  11. Assessing vulnerability of urban African communities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Karlsson Nyed, Patrik; Jean-Baptiste, Nathalie; Herslund, Lise Byskov

    2014-01-01

    East African cities are in the process of assessing their vulnerabilities to climate change, but face difficulties in capturing the complexity of the various facets of vulnerability. This holistic approach, captures four different dimensions of vulnerability to flooding - Assets, Institutions......, Attitudes and the Physical environment, with Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, as a case city. The methodology is actively involving the expertise of the stakeholders, and uses GIS to analyze and compile the data. The final output is presented as a comprehensible map, delineating the varying vulnerability...

  12. Commercial Air Carrier Vulnerabilities to Information Operations

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Shelburn, Bryan H

    2002-01-01

    .... The increasing dependence of government and industry on information technology has created critical vulnerabilities that can be exploited by degrading or destroying the use of information systems...

  13. Mining Bug Databases for Unidentified Software Vulnerabilities

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dumidu Wijayasekara; Milos Manic; Jason Wright; Miles McQueen

    2012-06-01

    Identifying software vulnerabilities is becoming more important as critical and sensitive systems increasingly rely on complex software systems. It has been suggested in previous work that some bugs are only identified as vulnerabilities long after the bug has been made public. These vulnerabilities are known as hidden impact vulnerabilities. This paper discusses the feasibility and necessity to mine common publicly available bug databases for vulnerabilities that are yet to be identified. We present bug database analysis of two well known and frequently used software packages, namely Linux kernel and MySQL. It is shown that for both Linux and MySQL, a significant portion of vulnerabilities that were discovered for the time period from January 2006 to April 2011 were hidden impact vulnerabilities. It is also shown that the percentage of hidden impact vulnerabilities has increased in the last two years, for both software packages. We then propose an improved hidden impact vulnerability identification methodology based on text mining bug databases, and conclude by discussing a few potential problems faced by such a classifier.

  14. BDNF heightens the sensitivity of motor neurons to excitotoxic insults through activation of TrkB

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Peter; Kalb, Robert G.; Walton, K. D. (Principal Investigator)

    2003-01-01

    The survival promoting and neuroprotective actions of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) are well known but under certain circumstances this growth factor can also exacerbate excitotoxic insults to neurons. Prior exploration of the receptor through which BDNF exerts this action on motor neurons deflects attention away from p75. Here we investigated the possibility that BDNF acts through the receptor tyrosine kinase, TrkB, to confer on motor neurons sensitivity to excitotoxic challenge. We blocked BDNF activation of TrkB using a dominant negative TrkB mutant or a TrkB function blocking antibody, and found that this protected motor neurons against excitotoxic insult in cultures of mixed spinal cord neurons. Addition of a function blocking antibody to BDNF to mixed spinal cord neuron cultures is also neuroprotective indicating that endogenously produced BDNF participates in vulnerability to excitotoxicity. We next examined the intracellular signaling cascades that are engaged upon TrkB activation. Previously we found that inhibition of the phosphatidylinositide-3'-kinase (PI3'K) pathway blocks BDNF-induced excitotoxic sensitivity. Here we show that expression of a constitutively active catalytic subunit of PI3'K, p110, confers excitotoxic sensitivity (ES) upon motor neurons not incubated with BDNF. Parallel studies with purified motor neurons confirm that these events are likely to be occuring specifically within motor neurons. The abrogation of BDNF's capacity to accentuate excitotoxic insults may make it a more attractive neuroprotective agent.

  15. Ambient but not local lactate underlies neuronal tolerance to prolonged glucose deprivation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sobieski, Courtney; Shu, Hong-Jin

    2018-01-01

    Neurons require a nearly constant supply of ATP. Glucose is the predominant source of brain ATP, but the direct effects of prolonged glucose deprivation on neuronal viability and function remain unclear. In sparse rat hippocampal microcultures, neurons were surprisingly resilient to 16 h glucose removal in the absence of secondary excitotoxicity. Neuronal survival and synaptic transmission were unaffected by prolonged removal of exogenous glucose. Inhibition of lactate transport decreased microculture neuronal survival during concurrent glucose deprivation, suggesting that endogenously released lactate is important for tolerance to glucose deprivation. Tandem depolarization and glucose deprivation also reduced neuronal survival, and trace glucose concentrations afforded neuroprotection. Mass cultures, in contrast to microcultures, were insensitive to depolarizing glucose deprivation, a difference attributable to increased extracellular lactate levels. Removal of local astrocyte support did not reduce survival in response to glucose deprivation or alter evoked excitatory transmission, suggesting that on-demand, local lactate shuttling is not necessary for neuronal tolerance to prolonged glucose removal. Taken together, these data suggest that endogenously produced lactate available globally in the extracellular milieu sustains neurons in the absence of glucose. A better understanding of resilience mechanisms in reduced preparations could lead to therapeutic strategies aimed to bolster these mechanisms in vulnerable neuronal populations. PMID:29617444

  16. Memory formation orchestrates the wiring of adult-born hippocampal neurons into brain circuits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petsophonsakul, Petnoi; Richetin, Kevin; Andraini, Trinovita; Roybon, Laurent; Rampon, Claire

    2017-08-01

    During memory formation, structural rearrangements of dendritic spines provide a mean to durably modulate synaptic connectivity within neuronal networks. New neurons generated throughout the adult life in the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus contribute to learning and memory. As these neurons become incorporated into the network, they generate huge numbers of new connections that modify hippocampal circuitry and functioning. However, it is yet unclear as to how the dynamic process of memory formation influences their synaptic integration into neuronal circuits. New memories are established according to a multistep process during which new information is first acquired and then consolidated to form a stable memory trace. Upon recall, memory is transiently destabilized and vulnerable to modification. Using contextual fear conditioning, we found that learning was associated with an acceleration of dendritic spines formation of adult-born neurons, and that spine connectivity becomes strengthened after memory consolidation. Moreover, we observed that afferent connectivity onto adult-born neurons is enhanced after memory retrieval, while extinction training induces a change of spine shapes. Together, these findings reveal that the neuronal activity supporting memory processes strongly influences the structural dendritic integration of adult-born neurons into pre-existing neuronal circuits. Such change of afferent connectivity is likely to impact the overall wiring of hippocampal network, and consequently, to regulate hippocampal function.

  17. Regional vulnerability of longitudinal cortical association connectivity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rafael Ceschin

    2015-01-01

    correlated with alteration in eigenvector centrality, clustering coefficient (inter-regional and participation co-efficient (inter-modular alterations of frontal–striatal and fronto-limbic nodes suggesting re-organization of these pathways. Both along tract and structural topology network measurements correlated strongly with motor and visual clinical outcome scores. This study shows the value of combining along-tract analysis and structural network topology in depicting not only selective parietal occipital regional vulnerability but also reorganization of frontal–striatal and frontal–limbic pathways in preterm children with cerebral palsy. These finding also support the concept that widespread, but selective posterior–anterior neural network connectivity alterations in preterm children with cerebral palsy likely contribute to the pathogenesis of neurosensory and cognitive impairment in this group.

  18. Specific responses of human hippocampal neurons are associated with better memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suthana, Nanthia A; Parikshak, Neelroop N; Ekstrom, Arne D; Ison, Matias J; Knowlton, Barbara J; Bookheimer, Susan Y; Fried, Itzhak

    2015-08-18

    A population of human hippocampal neurons has shown responses to individual concepts (e.g., Jennifer Aniston) that generalize to different instances of the concept. However, recordings from the rodent hippocampus suggest an important function of these neurons is their ability to discriminate overlapping representations, or pattern separate, a process that may facilitate discrimination of similar events for successful memory. In the current study, we explored whether human hippocampal neurons can also demonstrate the ability to discriminate between overlapping representations and whether this selectivity could be directly related to memory performance. We show that among medial temporal lobe (MTL) neurons, certain populations of neurons are selective for a previously studied (target) image in that they show a significant decrease in firing rate to very similar (lure) images. We found that a greater proportion of these neurons can be found in the hippocampus compared with other MTL regions, and that memory for individual items is correlated to the degree of selectivity of hippocampal neurons responsive to those items. Moreover, a greater proportion of hippocampal neurons showed selective firing for target images in good compared with poor performers, with overall memory performance correlated with hippocampal selectivity. In contrast, selectivity in other MTL regions was not associated with memory performance. These findings show that a substantial proportion of human hippocampal neurons encode specific memories that support the discrimination of overlapping representations. These results also provide previously unidentified evidence consistent with a unique role of the human hippocampus in orthogonalization of representations in declarative memory.

  19. Functional differentiation of macaque visual temporal cortical neurons using a parametric action space.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vangeneugden, Joris; Pollick, Frank; Vogels, Rufin

    2009-03-01

    Neurons in the rostral superior temporal sulcus (STS) are responsive to displays of body movements. We employed a parametric action space to determine how similarities among actions are represented by visual temporal neurons and how form and motion information contributes to their responses. The stimulus space consisted of a stick-plus-point-light figure performing arm actions and their blends. Multidimensional scaling showed that the responses of temporal neurons represented the ordinal similarity between these actions. Further tests distinguished neurons responding equally strongly to static presentations and to actions ("snapshot" neurons), from those responding much less strongly to static presentations, but responding well when motion was present ("motion" neurons). The "motion" neurons were predominantly found in the upper bank/fundus of the STS, and "snapshot" neurons in the lower bank of the STS and inferior temporal convexity. Most "motion" neurons showed strong response modulation during the course of an action, thus responding to action kinematics. "Motion" neurons displayed a greater average selectivity for these simple arm actions than did "snapshot" neurons. We suggest that the "motion" neurons code for visual kinematics, whereas the "snapshot" neurons code for form/posture, and that both can contribute to action recognition, in agreement with computation models of action recognition.

  20. Calibration of groundwater vulnerability mapping using the generalized reduced gradient method.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elçi, Alper

    2017-12-01

    Groundwater vulnerability assessment studies are essential in water resources management. Overlay-and-index methods such as DRASTIC are widely used for mapping of groundwater vulnerability, however, these methods mainly suffer from a subjective selection of model parameters. The objective of this study is to introduce a calibration procedure that results in a more accurate assessment of groundwater vulnerability. The improvement of the assessment is formulated as a parameter optimization problem using an objective function that is based on the correlation between actual groundwater contamination and vulnerability index values. The non-linear optimization problem is solved with the generalized-reduced-gradient (GRG) method, which is numerical algorithm based optimization method. To demonstrate the applicability of the procedure, a vulnerability map for the Tahtali stream basin is calibrated using nitrate concentration data. The calibration procedure is easy to implement and aims the maximization of correlation between observed pollutant concentrations and groundwater vulnerability index values. The influence of each vulnerability parameter in the calculation of the vulnerability index is assessed by performing a single-parameter sensitivity analysis. Results of the sensitivity analysis show that all factors are effective on the final vulnerability index. Calibration of the vulnerability map improves the correlation between index values and measured nitrate concentrations by 19%. The regression coefficient increases from 0.280 to 0.485. It is evident that the spatial distribution and the proportions of vulnerability class areas are significantly altered with the calibration process. Although the applicability of the calibration method is demonstrated on the DRASTIC model, the applicability of the approach is not specific to a certain model and can also be easily applied to other overlay-and-index methods. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. Vasculo-Neuronal Coupling: Retrograde Vascular Communication to Brain Neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Ki Jung; Ramiro Diaz, Juan; Iddings, Jennifer A; Filosa, Jessica A

    2016-12-14

    Continuous cerebral blood flow is essential for neuronal survival, but whether vascular tone influences resting neuronal function is not known. Using a multidisciplinary approach in both rat and mice brain slices, we determined whether flow/pressure-evoked increases or decreases in parenchymal arteriole vascular tone, which result in arteriole constriction and dilation, respectively, altered resting cortical pyramidal neuron activity. We present evidence for intercellular communication in the brain involving a flow of information from vessel to astrocyte to neuron, a direction opposite to that of classic neurovascular coupling and referred to here as vasculo-neuronal coupling (VNC). Flow/pressure increases within parenchymal arterioles increased vascular tone and simultaneously decreased resting pyramidal neuron firing activity. On the other hand, flow/pressure decreases evoke parenchymal arteriole dilation and increased resting pyramidal neuron firing activity. In GLAST-CreERT2; R26-lsl-GCaMP3 mice, we demonstrate that increased parenchymal arteriole tone significantly increased intracellular calcium in perivascular astrocyte processes, the onset of astrocyte calcium changes preceded the inhibition of cortical pyramidal neuronal firing activity. During increases in parenchymal arteriole tone, the pyramidal neuron response was unaffected by blockers of nitric oxide, GABA A , glutamate, or ecto-ATPase. However, VNC was abrogated by TRPV4 channel, GABA B , as well as an adenosine A 1 receptor blocker. Differently to pyramidal neuron responses, increases in flow/pressure within parenchymal arterioles increased the firing activity of a subtype of interneuron. Together, these data suggest that VNC is a complex constitutive active process that enables neurons to efficiently adjust their resting activity according to brain perfusion levels, thus safeguarding cellular homeostasis by preventing mismatches between energy supply and demand. We present evidence for vessel-to-neuron

  2. Urban Heat Wave Vulnerability Analysis Considering Climate Change

    Science.gov (United States)

    JE, M.; KIM, H.; Jung, S.

    2017-12-01

    Much attention has been paid to thermal environments in Seoul City in South Korea since 2016 when the worst heatwave in 22 years. It is necessary to provide a selective measure by singling out vulnerable regions in advance to cope with the heat wave-related damage. This study aims to analyze and categorize vulnerable regions of thermal environments in the Seoul and analyzes and discusses the factors and risk factors for each type. To do this, this study conducted the following processes: first, based on the analyzed various literature reviews, indices that can evaluate vulnerable regions of thermal environment are collated. The indices were divided into climate exposure index related to temperature, sensitivity index including demographic, social, and economic indices, and adaptation index related to urban environment and climate adaptation policy status. Second, significant variables were derived to evaluate a vulnerable region of thermal environment based on the summarized indices in the above. this study analyzed a relationship between the number of heat-related patients in Seoul and variables that affected the number using multi-variate statistical analysis to derive significant variables. Third, the importance of each variable was calculated quantitatively by integrating the statistical analysis results and analytic hierarchy process (AHP) method. Fourth, a distribution of data for each index was identified based on the selected variables and indices were normalized and overlapped. Fifth, For the climate exposure index, evaluations were conducted as same as the current vulnerability evaluation method by selecting future temperature of Seoul predicted through the representative concentration pathways (RCPs) climate change scenarios as an evaluation variable. The results of this study can be utilized as foundational data to establish a countermeasure against heatwave in Seoul. Although it is limited to control heatwave occurrences itself completely, improvements

  3. High vulnerability of the developing brain to ionizing radiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Inouye, Minoru

    1991-01-01

    The developing mammalian brain is highly susceptible to environmental teratogenic insults, because of its long-lasting sensitive period extending from the beginning of embryonic organogenesis to the postnatal infantile period, the great vulnerability of undifferentiated neural cells to wide range of environmental agents including ionizing radiation, and the lack of further reproductive capacity of neurons. Disturbances in the production of neurons, and their migration to the cerebral and cerebellar cortices, give rise to malformations of the brain, such as an absent corpus callosum, disorganized cortical architecture, abnormal fissuring of the cerebral and cerebellar hemispheres, heterotopic cortical gray matter, ectopic cerebellar granule cells, microcephaly, etc. The critical developmental stage for the induction of histogenetic disorders of the cerebral cortex in humans is 8 weeks of pregnancy and following some weeks. This corresponds to day 13 of pregnancy for mice and day 15 for rats, i.e., the ventricular cells of fetal telencephalon are most susceptible to radiation-induced cell death in this stage of development. The lowest doses of X- and gamma-radiations which induce detectable biological effects in rats and mice are around 0.02 Gy in increasing acute cell death. Reduced brain weight and abnormal dendritic arborization are induced by 0.25 Gy and more. Histological abnormalities are produced by 0.5 Gy and more, and microcephaly and cerebellar malformations are by 1 Gy and more. (author)

  4. Encoding of Spatial Attention by Primate Prefrontal Cortex Neuronal Ensembles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Treue, Stefan

    2018-01-01

    Abstract Single neurons in the primate lateral prefrontal cortex (LPFC) encode information about the allocation of visual attention and the features of visual stimuli. However, how this compares to the performance of neuronal ensembles at encoding the same information is poorly understood. Here, we recorded the responses of neuronal ensembles in the LPFC of two macaque monkeys while they performed a task that required attending to one of two moving random dot patterns positioned in different hemifields and ignoring the other pattern. We found single units selective for the location of the attended stimulus as well as for its motion direction. To determine the coding of both variables in the population of recorded units, we used a linear classifier and progressively built neuronal ensembles by iteratively adding units according to their individual performance (best single units), or by iteratively adding units based on their contribution to the ensemble performance (best ensemble). For both methods, ensembles of relatively small sizes (n decoding performance relative to individual single units. However, the decoder reached similar performance using fewer neurons with the best ensemble building method compared with the best single units method. Our results indicate that neuronal ensembles within the LPFC encode more information about the attended spatial and nonspatial features of visual stimuli than individual neurons. They further suggest that efficient coding of attention can be achieved by relatively small neuronal ensembles characterized by a certain relationship between signal and noise correlation structures. PMID:29568798

  5. A vulnerability-centric requirements engineering framework : Analyzing security attacks, countermeasures, and requirements based on vulnerabilities

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Elahi, G.; Yu, E.; Zannone, N.

    2010-01-01

    Many security breaches occur because of exploitation of vulnerabilities within the system. Vulnerabilities are weaknesses in the requirements, design, and implementation, which attackers exploit to compromise the system. This paper proposes a methodological framework for security requirements

  6. Growth of large patterned arrays of neurons using plasma methods

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brown, I G; Bjornstad, K A; Blakely, E A; Galvin, J E; Monteiro, O R; Sangyuenyongpipat, S

    2003-01-01

    To understand how large systems of neurons communicate, we need to develop, among other things, methods for growing patterned networks of large numbers of neurons. Success with this challenge will be important to our understanding of how the brain works, as well as to the development of novel kinds of computer architecture that may parallel the organization of the brain. We have investigated the use of metal ion implantation using a vacuum-arc ion source, and plasma deposition with a filtered vacuum-arc system, as a means of forming regions of selective neuronal attachment on surfaces. Lithographic patterns created by the treating surface with ion species that enhance or inhibit neuronal cell attachment allow subsequent proliferation and/or differentiation of the neurons to form desired patterned neural arrays. In the work described here, we used glass microscope slides as substrates, and some of the experiments made use of simple masks to form patterns of ion beam or plasma deposition treated regions. PC-12 rat neurons were then cultured on the treated substrates coated with Type I Collagen, and the growth and differentiation was monitored. Particularly good selective growth was obtained using plasma deposition of diamond-like carbon films of about one hundred Angstroms thickness. Neuron proliferation and the elaboration of dendrites and axons after the addition of nerve growth factor both showed excellent contrast, with prolific growth and differentiation on the treated surfaces and very low growth on the untreated surfaces

  7. Growth of large patterned arrays of neurons using plasma methods

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brown, I G; Bjornstad, K A; Blakely, E A; Galvin, J E; Monteiro, O R; Sangyuenyongpipat, S [Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA 94720 (United States)

    2003-05-01

    To understand how large systems of neurons communicate, we need to develop, among other things, methods for growing patterned networks of large numbers of neurons. Success with this challenge will be important to our understanding of how the brain works, as well as to the development of novel kinds of computer architecture that may parallel the organization of the brain. We have investigated the use of metal ion implantation using a vacuum-arc ion source, and plasma deposition with a filtered vacuum-arc system, as a means of forming regions of selective neuronal attachment on surfaces. Lithographic patterns created by the treating surface with ion species that enhance or inhibit neuronal cell attachment allow subsequent proliferation and/or differentiation of the neurons to form desired patterned neural arrays. In the work described here, we used glass microscope slides as substrates, and some of the experiments made use of simple masks to form patterns of ion beam or plasma deposition treated regions. PC-12 rat neurons were then cultured on the treated substrates coated with Type I Collagen, and the growth and differentiation was monitored. Particularly good selective growth was obtained using plasma deposition of diamond-like carbon films of about one hundred Angstroms thickness. Neuron proliferation and the elaboration of dendrites and axons after the addition of nerve growth factor both showed excellent contrast, with prolific growth and differentiation on the treated surfaces and very low growth on the untreated surfaces.

  8. [Spatial and temporal changes of the ecological vulnerability in a serious soil erosion area, Southern China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yao, Xiong; Yu, Kun Yong; Liu, Jian; Yang, Su Ping; He, Ping; Deng, Yang Bo; Yu, Xin Yan; Chen, Zhang Hao

    2016-03-01

    Research on eco-environment vulnerability assessment contributes to the ecological environmental conservation and restoration. With Changting County as the study area, this paper selec-ted 7 indicators including slope, soil type, multi-year average precipitation, elevation deviate degree, normalized difference vegetation index, population density and land use type to build ecological vulnerability assessment system by using multicollinearity diagnostics analysis approach. The quantitative assessment of ecological vulnerability in 1999, 2006 and 2014 was calculated by using entropy weight method and comprehensive index method. The changes of the temporal-spatial distribution of ecological vulnerability were also analyzed. The results showed that the ecological vulnerability level index (EVLI) decreased overall but increased locally from 1999 to 2014. The average EVLI values in 1999, 2006 and 2014 were 0.4533±0.1216, 0.4160±0.1111 and 0.3916±0.1139, respectively, indicating that the ecological vulnerability in Changting County was at the moderate grade. The EVLI decreased from 2.92 in 1999 to 2.38 in 2006 and 2.13 in 2014. The spatial distribution of the ecological vulnerability was high inside but low outside. The high vulnerability areas were distributed mainly in Hetian Town and Tingzhou Town, where the slope was less than 15° and the altitude was lower than 500 m. During the study period, Sanzhou Town had the largest decreasing range of EVLI while Tingzhou Town had the lowest.

  9. Comparisons of complex network based models and real train flow model to analyze Chinese railway vulnerability

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ouyang, Min; Zhao, Lijing; Hong, Liu; Pan, Zhezhe

    2014-01-01

    Recently numerous studies have applied complex network based models to study the performance and vulnerability of infrastructure systems under various types of attacks and hazards. But how effective are these models to capture their real performance response is still a question worthy of research. Taking the Chinese railway system as an example, this paper selects three typical complex network based models, including purely topological model (PTM), purely shortest path model (PSPM), and weight (link length) based shortest path model (WBSPM), to analyze railway accessibility and flow-based vulnerability and compare their results with those from the real train flow model (RTFM). The results show that the WBSPM can produce the train routines with 83% stations and 77% railway links identical to the real routines and can approach the RTFM the best for railway vulnerability under both single and multiple component failures. The correlation coefficient for accessibility vulnerability from WBSPM and RTFM under single station failures is 0.96 while it is 0.92 for flow-based vulnerability; under multiple station failures, where each station has the same failure probability fp, the WBSPM can produce almost identical vulnerability results with those from the RTFM under almost all failures scenarios when fp is larger than 0.62 for accessibility vulnerability and 0.86 for flow-based vulnerability

  10. The assessment of vulnerability to natural disasters in China by using the DEA method

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wei Yiming; Fan Ying; Lu Cong; Tsai, H.-T.

    2004-01-01

    China has been greatly affected by natural disasters, so that it is of great importance to analyze the impact of natural disasters on national economy. Usually, the frequency of disasters or absolute loss inflicted by disasters is the first priority to be considered, while the capability of regions to overcome disasters is ignored. The concept of vulnerability is used to measure the capability to overcome disasters in different regions with distinctive economies. Traditional methods for vulnerability analysis calculate sub-indices based on disaster frequency, loss, the economic impact and the population of each region, and then add the sub-indices to get a composite index for regional vulnerability. But those methods are sensitive to the weights selected for sub-indices when multi-indexes are added up to get an index of total vulnerability. The analytic results are less convincing because of the subjectivity of different weighting methods. A data envelopment analysis (DEA)-based model for analysis of regional vulnerability to natural disasters is presented here to improve upon the traditional method. This paper systematically describes the DEA method to evaluate the relative severity of disasters in each region. A model for regional vulnerability analysis is developed, based on the annual governmental statistics from 1989 to 2000. The regional vulnerabilities in China's mainland are illustrated as a case study, and a new method for the classification of regional vulnerability to natural disasters in China is proposed

  11. Neuronal survival in the brain: neuron type-specific mechanisms

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pfisterer, Ulrich Gottfried; Khodosevich, Konstantin

    2017-01-01

    Neurogenic regions of mammalian brain produce many more neurons that will eventually survive and reach a mature stage. Developmental cell death affects both embryonically produced immature neurons and those immature neurons that are generated in regions of adult neurogenesis. Removal of substantial...... numbers of neurons that are not yet completely integrated into the local circuits helps to ensure that maturation and homeostatic function of neuronal networks in the brain proceed correctly. External signals from brain microenvironment together with intrinsic signaling pathways determine whether...... for survival in a certain brain region. This review focuses on how immature neurons survive during normal and impaired brain development, both in the embryonic/neonatal brain and in brain regions associated with adult neurogenesis, and emphasizes neuron type-specific mechanisms that help to survive for various...

  12. Modeling Coastal Vulnerability through Space and Time.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hopper, Thomas; Meixler, Marcia S

    2016-01-01

    Coastal ecosystems experience a wide range of stressors including wave forces, storm surge, sea-level rise, and anthropogenic modification and are thus vulnerable to erosion. Urban coastal ecosystems are especially important due to the large populations these limited ecosystems serve. However, few studies have addressed the issue of urban coastal vulnerability at the landscape scale with spatial data that are finely resolved. The purpose of this study was to model and map coastal vulnerability and the role of natural habitats in reducing vulnerability in Jamaica Bay, New York, in terms of nine coastal vulnerability metrics (relief, wave exposure, geomorphology, natural habitats, exposure, exposure with no habitat, habitat role, erodible shoreline, and surge) under past (1609), current (2015), and future (2080) scenarios using InVEST 3.2.0. We analyzed vulnerability results both spatially and across all time periods, by stakeholder (ownership) and by distance to damage from Hurricane Sandy. We found significant differences in vulnerability metrics between past, current and future scenarios for all nine metrics except relief and wave exposure. The marsh islands in the center of the bay are currently vulnerable. In the future, these islands will likely be inundated, placing additional areas of the shoreline increasingly at risk. Significant differences in vulnerability exist between stakeholders; the Breezy Point Cooperative and Gateway National Recreation Area had the largest erodible shoreline segments. Significant correlations exist for all vulnerability (exposure/surge) and storm damage combinations except for exposure and distance to artificial debris. Coastal protective features, ranging from storm surge barriers and levees to natural features (e.g. wetlands), have been promoted to decrease future flood risk to communities in coastal areas around the world. Our methods of combining coastal vulnerability results with additional data and across multiple time

  13. Neuron array with plastic synapses and programmable dendrites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramakrishnan, Shubha; Wunderlich, Richard; Hasler, Jennifer; George, Suma

    2013-10-01

    We describe a novel neuromorphic chip architecture that models neurons for efficient computation. Traditional architectures of neuron array chips consist of large scale systems that are interfaced with AER for implementing intra- or inter-chip connectivity. We present a chip that uses AER for inter-chip communication but uses fast, reconfigurable FPGA-style routing with local memory for intra-chip connectivity. We model neurons with biologically realistic channel models, synapses and dendrites. This chip is suitable for small-scale network simulations and can also be used for sequence detection, utilizing directional selectivity properties of dendrites, ultimately for use in word recognition.

  14. Beta-band intermuscular coherence: a novel biomarker of upper motor neuron dysfunction in motor neuron disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fisher, Karen M.; Zaaimi, Boubker; Williams, Timothy L.; Baker, Stuart N.

    2012-01-01

    In motor neuron disease, the focus of therapy is to prevent or slow neuronal degeneration with neuroprotective pharmacological agents; early diagnosis and treatment are thus essential. Incorporation of needle electromyographic evidence of lower motor neuron degeneration into diagnostic criteria has undoubtedly advanced diagnosis, but even earlier diagnosis might be possible by including tests of subclinical upper motor neuron disease. We hypothesized that beta-band (15–30 Hz) intermuscular coherence could be used as an electrophysiological marker of upper motor neuron integrity in such patients. We measured intermuscular coherence in eight patients who conformed to established diagnostic criteria for primary lateral sclerosis and six patients with progressive muscular atrophy, together with 16 age-matched controls. In the primary lateral sclerosis variant of motor neuron disease, there is selective destruction of motor cortical layer V pyramidal neurons and degeneration of the corticospinal tract, without involvement of anterior horn cells. In progressive muscular atrophy, there is selective degeneration of anterior horn cells but a normal corticospinal tract. All patients with primary lateral sclerosis had abnormal motor-evoked potentials as assessed using transcranial magnetic stimulation, whereas these were similar to controls in progressive muscular atrophy. Upper and lower limb intermuscular coherence was measured during a precision grip and an ankle dorsiflexion task, respectively. Significant beta-band coherence was observed in all control subjects and all patients with progressive muscular atrophy tested, but not in the patients with primary lateral sclerosis. We conclude that intermuscular coherence in the 15–30 Hz range is dependent on an intact corticospinal tract but persists in the face of selective anterior horn cell destruction. Based on the distributions of coherence values measured from patients with primary lateral sclerosis and control

  15. Socio-economic vulnerability to natural hazards - proposal for an indicator-based model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eidsvig, U.; McLean, A.; Vangelsten, B. V.; Kalsnes, B.; Ciurean, R. L.; Argyroudis, S.; Winter, M.; Corominas, J.; Mavrouli, O. C.; Fotopoulou, S.; Pitilakis, K.; Baills, A.; Malet, J. P.

    2012-04-01

    ranked from 1 (lowest vulnerability) to 5 (highest vulnerability) and weighted, based on its overall degree of influence. The indicator weights range from 1 (least influential) to 3 (most influential) and have been selected on the basis of expert judgment. The final vulnerability score is taken as the weighted average of the individual indicators. The method was applied for locations in Norway, Greece, France, Andorra and Romania. The purpose of the case studies was to compare vulnerability levels and to test and possibly improve the methodology. In the case studies, similar vulnerability scores were obtained for the locations in Norway, Andorra and France. A higher vulnerability score was obtained for the location in Greece, while the highest vulnerability score was obtained for the location in Romania. The higher score for the locations in Greece and Romania are mainly due to economic conditions and conditions regarding preparedness and recovery.

  16. Normal movement selectivity in autism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dinstein, Ilan; Thomas, Cibu; Humphreys, Kate; Minshew, Nancy; Behrmann, Marlene; Heeger, David J

    2010-05-13

    It has been proposed that individuals with autism have difficulties understanding the goals and intentions of others because of a fundamental dysfunction in the mirror neuron system. Here, however, we show that individuals with autism exhibited not only normal fMRI responses in mirror system areas during observation and execution of hand movements but also exhibited typical movement-selective adaptation (repetition suppression) when observing or executing the same movement repeatedly. Movement selectivity is a defining characteristic of neurons involved in movement perception, including mirror neurons, and, as such, these findings argue against a mirror system dysfunction in autism. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Neuro-Compatible Metabolic Glycan Labeling of Primary Hippocampal Neurons in Noncontact, Sandwich-Type Neuron-Astrocyte Coculture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choi, Ji Yu; Park, Matthew; Cho, Hyeoncheol; Kim, Mi-Hee; Kang, Kyungtae; Choi, Insung S

    2017-12-20

    Glycans are intimately involved in several facets of neuronal development and neuropathology. However, the metabolic labeling of surface glycans in primary neurons is a difficult task because of the neurotoxicity of unnatural monosaccharides that are used as a metabolic precursor, hindering the progress of metabolic engineering in neuron-related fields. Therefore, in this paper, we report a neurosupportive, neuron-astrocyte coculture system that neutralizes the neurotoxic effects of unnatural monosaccharides, allowing for the long-term observation and characterization of glycans in primary neurons in vitro. Polysialic acids in neurons are selectively imaged, via the metabolic labeling of sialoglycans with peracetylated N-azidoacetyl-d-mannosamine (Ac 4 ManNAz), for up to 21 DIV. Two-color labeling shows that neuronal activities, such as neurite outgrowth and recycling of membrane components, are highly dynamic and change over time during development. In addition, the insertion sites of membrane components are suggested to not be random, but be predominantly localized in developing neurites. This work provides a new research platform and also suggests advanced 3D systems for metabolic-labeling studies of glycans in primary neurons.

  18. Optogenetic control of human neurons in organotypic brain cultures

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersson, My; Avaliani, Natalia; Svensson, Andreas

    2016-01-01

    Optogenetics is one of the most powerful tools in neuroscience, allowing for selective control of specific neuronal populations in the brain of experimental animals, including mammals. We report, for the first time, the application of optogenetic tools to human brain tissue providing a proof......-of-concept for the use of optogenetics in neuromodulation of human cortical and hippocampal neurons as a possible tool to explore network mechanisms and develop future therapeutic strategies....

  19. Evidence that OGG1 glycosylase protects neurons against oxidative DNA damage and cell death under ischemic conditions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Liu, Dong; Croteau, Deborah L; Souza-Pinto, Nadja

    2011-01-01

    to ischemic and oxidative stress. After exposure of cultured neurons to oxidative and metabolic stress levels of OGG1 in the nucleus were elevated and mitochondria exhibited fragmentation and increased levels of the mitochondrial fission protein dynamin-related protein 1 (Drp1) and reduced membrane potential......7,8-Dihydro-8-oxoguanine DNA glycosylase (OGG1) is a major DNA glycosylase involved in base-excision repair (BER) of oxidative DNA damage to nuclear and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). We used OGG1-deficient (OGG1(-/-)) mice to examine the possible roles of OGG1 in the vulnerability of neurons....... Cortical neurons isolated from OGG1(-/-) mice were more vulnerable to oxidative insults than were OGG1(+/+) neurons, and OGG1(-/-) mice developed larger cortical infarcts and behavioral deficits after permanent middle cerebral artery occlusion compared with OGG1(+/+) mice. Accumulations of oxidative DNA...

  20. IT Security Vulnerability and Incident Response Management

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hafkamp, W.H.M.; Paulus, S.; Pohlman, N.; Reimer, H.

    2006-01-01

    This paper summarises the results of a Dutch PhD research project on IT security vulnerability and incident response management, which is supervised by the University of Twente in the Netherlands and which is currently in its final stage. Vulnerabilities are ‘failures or weaknesses in computer

  1. Vulnerability, Borderline Personality Disorders. Clinical and ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Borderline personality disorder and vulnerability are difficult to assess and are rather elusive to define. A case study material is presented from a cognitive analytical model. An attempt of the dominant features of cognitive analytical therapy and discussion of vulnerability in relation to personality disorder is provided.

  2. Managing Risk, Reducing Vulnerability and Enhancing Productivity ...

    International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Digital Library (Canada)

    Managing Risk, Reducing Vulnerability and Enhancing Productivity under a Changing Climate. The countries of the Greater Horn of Africa are particularly vulnerable to drought, exacerbated by widespread poverty and dependence on rainfed agriculture. Even with normal rainfall, the region does not produce enough food to ...

  3. Reducing vulnerability among pastoralists in Northern Kenya

    International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Digital Library (Canada)

    CCAA

    vulnerability among pastoralist communities in Mandera and Turkana in Northern Kenya, led by the Kenyan NGO ... to understand how people have experienced droughts and other ... norms and gender roles may make them more or less vulnerable, ... and see direct impacts on the resources they depend on for their.

  4. The politics of vulnerability and resilience

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Frerks, G.E.; Warner, J.F.; Weijs, B.

    2011-01-01

    Much conceptual confusion exists over the concepts of vulnerability and (social) resilience, reinforced by the different paradigms (the article identifies four) and disciplinary traditions underlying their use. While since the 1980s the social construction of "vulnerability" as a driver for disaster

  5. Climate change vulnerability assessment in Georgia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Binita KC; J. Marshall Shepherd; Cassandra Johnson Gaither

    2015-01-01

    Climate change is occurring in the Southeastern United States, and one manifestation is changes in frequency and intensity of extreme events. A vulnerability assessment is performed in the state of Georgia (United States) at the county level from 1975 to 2012 in decadal increments. Climate change vulnerability is typically measured as a function of exposure to physical...

  6. Predicting Vulnerability Risks Using Software Characteristics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roumani, Yaman

    2012-01-01

    Software vulnerabilities have been regarded as one of the key reasons for computer security breaches that have resulted in billions of dollars in losses per year (Telang and Wattal 2005). With the growth of the software industry and the Internet, the number of vulnerability attacks and the ease with which an attack can be made have increased. From…

  7. Vulnerability and Adaptation to Climate Change: Agricultural ...

    International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Digital Library (Canada)

    2016-04-21

    Apr 21, 2016 ... Much of this biodiversity is highly vulnerable to climate change. ... an astonishing range of life forms found nowhere else on the planet. ... As well as improving information on climate change vulnerabilities, ... They also note negative effects on traditional knowledge, which is seen as losing its sacred power.

  8. Method of Pentest Synthesis and Vulnerability Detection

    OpenAIRE

    Hahanova Irina Vitalyevna

    2012-01-01

    The structural method for penetration test generation and vulnerability simulation for infrastructure of telecommunication hardwaresoftware information cybernetic systems (CS), focused to protect against unauthorized access the services defined in the system specification by means of penetrating through legal interfaces of component interaction, which have vulnerabilities, is proposed. A protection service infrastructure is created with cybersystem and maintains it during the life cycle, serv...

  9. Current diagnostic modalities for vulnerable plaque detection

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    J.A. Schaar (Johannes); F. Mastik (Frits); E.S. Regar (Eveline); C.A. den Uil (Corstiaan); F.J.H. Gijsen (Frank); J.J. Wentzel (Jolanda); P.W.J.C. Serruys (Patrick); A.F.W. van der Steen (Ton)

    2007-01-01

    textabstractRupture of vulnerable plaques is the main cause of acute coronary syndrome and myocardial infarction. Identification of vulnerable plaques is therefore essential to enable the development of treatment modalities to stabilize such plaques. Several diagnostic methods are currently tested

  10. Neuronal synchrony: peculiarity and generality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nowotny, Thomas; Huerta, Ramon; Rabinovich, Mikhail I

    2008-09-01

    Synchronization in neuronal systems is a new and intriguing application of dynamical systems theory. Why are neuronal systems different as a subject for synchronization? (1) Neurons in themselves are multidimensional nonlinear systems that are able to exhibit a wide variety of different activity patterns. Their "dynamical repertoire" includes regular or chaotic spiking, regular or chaotic bursting, multistability, and complex transient regimes. (2) Usually, neuronal oscillations are the result of the cooperative activity of many synaptically connected neurons (a neuronal circuit). Thus, it is necessary to consider synchronization between different neuronal circuits as well. (3) The synapses that implement the coupling between neurons are also dynamical elements and their intrinsic dynamics influences the process of synchronization or entrainment significantly. In this review we will focus on four new problems: (i) the synchronization in minimal neuronal networks with plastic synapses (synchronization with activity dependent coupling), (ii) synchronization of bursts that are generated by a group of nonsymmetrically coupled inhibitory neurons (heteroclinic synchronization), (iii) the coordination of activities of two coupled neuronal networks (partial synchronization of small composite structures), and (iv) coarse grained synchronization in larger systems (synchronization on a mesoscopic scale). (c) 2008 American Institute of Physics.

  11. Data Quality Objectives Workbook for Assessing Chemical Vulnerability Potential in REDOX and U Plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bauer, R. G.

    1999-01-01

    The purpose of this data quality objective workbook is to present the rationale for selecting the sampling and characterization strategy that supports the assessment of the chemical vulnerabilities of the five tanks. Since characterization of the tanks' contents is likely to be expensive, a secondary goal was established to characterize the tank contents for proper waste designation and disposal at the same time the tanks are characterized for chemical vulnerability

  12. Seismic vulnerability of natural gas pipelines

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lanzano, Giovanni; Salzano, Ernesto; Santucci de Magistris, Filippo; Fabbrocino, Giovanni

    2013-01-01

    This work deals with the analysis of the interaction of earthquakes with pipelines transporting and distributing natural gas for industrial and civil use. To this aim, a new large data-set of seismic information classified on the basis of selected seismological, geotechnical and structural parameters is presented and analyzed. Particular attention is devoted to continuous pipelines under strong ground shaking, which is the geotechnical effect due to passage of waves in soil. Results are provided in terms of the likelihood of the loss of containment with respect to Peak Ground Velocity (PGV), a seismic intensity parameter which may be easily retrieved either from local authorities and public databases or from site dependent hazard analysis. Fragility functions and seismic intensity threshold values for the failure and for the loss of containment of gas from pipeline systems are also given. The obtained functions can be easily implemented in existing codes and guidelines for industrial risk assessment, land-use planning, and for the design of public distribution network, with specific reference to Natural—Technological interaction (Na-Tech). -- Highlights: • The seismic vulnerability of natural gas pipelines is analyzed. • A collection of data for pipelines damaged by earthquake is given. • Damage states and risk states for pipelines are defined. • Consequence-based fragility formulations for the loss of containment are given • Seismic threshold values for public authority, risk assessment and gas distribution are shown

  13. Vulnerabilities Classification for Safe Development on Android

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ricardo Luis D. M. Ferreira

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available The global sales market is currently led by devices with the Android operating system. In 2015, more than 1 billion smartphones were sold, of which 81.5% were operated by the Android platform. In 2017, it is estimated that 267.78 billion applications will be downloaded from Google Play. According to Qian, 90% of applications are vulnerable, despite the recommendations of rules and standards for the safe software development. This study presents a classification of vulnerabilities, indicating the vulnerability, the safety aspect defined by the Brazilian Association of Technical Standards (Associação Brasileira de Normas Técnicas - ABNT norm NBR ISO/IEC 27002 which will be violated, which lines of code generate the vulnerability and what should be done to avoid it, and the threat agent used by each of them. This classification allows the identification of possible points of vulnerability, allowing the developer to correct the identified gaps.

  14. From Neurons to Newtons

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Bjørn Gilbert

    2001-01-01

    proteins generate forces, to the macroscopic levels where overt arm movements are vol- untarily controlled within an unpredictable environment by legions of neurons¯ring in orderly fashion. An extensive computer simulation system has been developed for this thesis, which at present contains a neural...... network scripting language for specifying arbitrary neural architectures, de¯nition ¯les for detailed spinal networks, various biologically realistic models of neurons, and dynamic synapses. Also included are structurally accurate models of intrafusal and extra-fusal muscle ¯bers and a general body...... that an explicit function may be derived which expresses the force that the spindle contractile elements must produce to exactly counter spindle unloading during muscle shortening. This information was used to calculate the corresponding "optimal" °-motoneuronal activity level. For some simple arm movement tasks...

  15. Criticality in Neuronal Networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friedman, Nir; Ito, Shinya; Brinkman, Braden A. W.; Shimono, Masanori; Deville, R. E. Lee; Beggs, John M.; Dahmen, Karin A.; Butler, Tom C.

    2012-02-01

    In recent years, experiments detecting the electrical firing patterns in slices of in vitro brain tissue have been analyzed to suggest the presence of scale invariance and possibly criticality in the brain. Much of the work done however has been limited in two ways: 1) the data collected is from local field potentials that do not represent the firing of individual neurons; 2) the analysis has been primarily limited to histograms. In our work we examine data based on the firing of individual neurons (spike data), and greatly extend the analysis by considering shape collapse and exponents. Our results strongly suggest that the brain operates near a tuned critical point of a highly distinctive universality class.

  16. [Health vulnerability mapping in the Community of Madrid (Spain)].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramasco-Gutiérrez, Milagros; Heras-Mosteiro, Julio; Garabato-González, Sonsoles; Aránguez-Ruiz, Emiliano; Aguirre Martín-Gil, Ramón

    The Public Health General Directorate of Madrid has developed a health vulnerability mapping methodology to assist regional social health teams in health planning, prioritisation and intervention based on a model of social determinants of health and an equity approach. This process began with the selection of areas with the worst social indicators in health vulnerability. Then, key stakeholders of the region jointly identified priority areas of intervention and developed a consensual plan of action. We present the outcomes of this experience and its connection with theoretical models of asset-based community development, health-integrated georeferencing systems and community health interventions. Copyright © 2016 SESPAS. Publicado por Elsevier España, S.L.U. All rights reserved.

  17. Neuron-specific feeding RNAi in C. elegans and its use in a screen for essential genes required for GABA neuron function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Firnhaber, Christopher; Hammarlund, Marc

    2013-11-01

    Forward genetic screens are important tools for exploring the genetic requirements for neuronal function. However, conventional forward screens often have difficulty identifying genes whose relevant functions are masked by pleiotropy. In particular, if loss of gene function results in sterility, lethality, or other severe pleiotropy, neuronal-specific functions cannot be readily analyzed. Here we describe a method in C. elegans for generating cell-specific knockdown in neurons using feeding RNAi and its application in a screen for the role of essential genes in GABAergic neurons. We combine manipulations that increase the sensitivity of select neurons to RNAi with manipulations that block RNAi in other cells. We produce animal strains in which feeding RNAi results in restricted gene knockdown in either GABA-, acetylcholine-, dopamine-, or glutamate-releasing neurons. In these strains, we observe neuron cell-type specific behavioral changes when we knock down genes required for these neurons to function, including genes encoding the basal neurotransmission machinery. These reagents enable high-throughput, cell-specific knockdown in the nervous system, facilitating rapid dissection of the site of gene action and screening for neuronal functions of essential genes. Using the GABA-specific RNAi strain, we screened 1,320 RNAi clones targeting essential genes on chromosomes I, II, and III for their effect on GABA neuron function. We identified 48 genes whose GABA cell-specific knockdown resulted in reduced GABA motor output. This screen extends our understanding of the genetic requirements for continued neuronal function in a mature organism.

  18. Differential Receptive Field Properties of Parvalbumin and Somatostatin Inhibitory Neurons in Mouse Auditory Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Ling-Yun; Xiong, Xiaorui R; Ibrahim, Leena A; Yuan, Wei; Tao, Huizhong W; Zhang, Li I

    2015-07-01

    Cortical inhibitory circuits play important roles in shaping sensory processing. In auditory cortex, however, functional properties of genetically identified inhibitory neurons are poorly characterized. By two-photon imaging-guided recordings, we specifically targeted 2 major types of cortical inhibitory neuron, parvalbumin (PV) and somatostatin (SOM) expressing neurons, in superficial layers of mouse auditory cortex. We found that PV cells exhibited broader tonal receptive fields with lower intensity thresholds and stronger tone-evoked spike responses compared with SOM neurons. The latter exhibited similar frequency selectivity as excitatory neurons. The broader/weaker frequency tuning of PV neurons was attributed to a broader range of synaptic inputs and stronger subthreshold responses elicited, which resulted in a higher efficiency in the conversion of input to output. In addition, onsets of both the input and spike responses of SOM neurons were significantly delayed compared with PV and excitatory cells. Our results suggest that PV and SOM neurons engage in auditory cortical circuits in different manners: while PV neurons may provide broadly tuned feedforward inhibition for a rapid control of ascending inputs to excitatory neurons, the delayed and more selective inhibition from SOM neurons may provide a specific modulation of feedback inputs on their distal dendrites. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  19. Loss of MeCP2 From Forebrain Excitatory Neurons Leads to Cortical Hyperexcitation and Seizures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Wen; Peterson, Matthew; Beyer, Barbara; Frankel, Wayne N.

    2014-01-01

    Mutations of MECP2 cause Rett syndrome (RTT), a neurodevelopmental disorder leading to loss of motor and cognitive functions, impaired social interactions, and seizure at young ages. Defects of neuronal circuit development and function are thought to be responsible for the symptoms of RTT. The majority of RTT patients show recurrent seizures, indicating that neuronal hyperexcitation is a common feature of RTT. However, mechanisms underlying hyperexcitation in RTT are poorly understood. Here we show that deletion of Mecp2 from cortical excitatory neurons but not forebrain inhibitory neurons in the mouse leads to spontaneous seizures. Selective deletion of Mecp2 from excitatory but not inhibitory neurons in the forebrain reduces GABAergic transmission in layer 5 pyramidal neurons in the prefrontal and somatosensory cortices. Loss of MeCP2 from cortical excitatory neurons reduces the number of GABAergic synapses in the cortex, and enhances the excitability of layer 5 pyramidal neurons. Using single-cell deletion of Mecp2 in layer 2/3 pyramidal neurons, we show that GABAergic transmission is reduced in neurons without MeCP2, but is normal in neighboring neurons with MeCP2. Together, these results suggest that MeCP2 in cortical excitatory neurons plays a critical role in the regulation of GABAergic transmission and cortical excitability. PMID:24523563

  20. Molecular and Cellular Organization of Taste Neurons in Adult Drosophila Pharynx

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yu-Chieh David Chen

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Summary: The Drosophila pharyngeal taste organs are poorly characterized despite their location at important sites for monitoring food quality. Functional analysis of pharyngeal neurons has been hindered by the paucity of molecular tools to manipulate them, as well as their relative inaccessibility for neurophysiological investigations. Here, we generate receptor-to-neuron maps of all three pharyngeal taste organs by performing a comprehensive chemoreceptor-GAL4/LexA expression analysis. The organization of pharyngeal neurons reveals similarities and distinctions in receptor repertoires and neuronal groupings compared to external taste neurons. We validate the mapping results by pinpointing a single pharyngeal neuron required for feeding avoidance of L-canavanine. Inducible activation of pharyngeal taste neurons reveals functional differences between external and internal taste neurons and functional subdivision within pharyngeal sweet neurons. Our results provide roadmaps of pharyngeal taste organs in an insect model system for probing the role of these understudied neurons in controlling feeding behaviors. : Chen and Dahanukar carry out a large-scale, systematic analysis to understand the molecular organization of pharyngeal taste neurons. Taking advantage of the molecular genetic toolkit that arises from this map, they use genetic dissection strategies to probe the functional roles of selected pharyngeal neurons in food choice. Keywords: Drosophila, taste, pharynx, chemosensory receptors, gustatory receptors, ionotropic receptors, feeding

  1. Parvalbumin+ Neurons and Npas1+ Neurons Are Distinct Neuron Classes in the Mouse External Globus Pallidus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernández, Vivian M; Hegeman, Daniel J; Cui, Qiaoling; Kelver, Daniel A; Fiske, Michael P; Glajch, Kelly E; Pitt, Jason E; Huang, Tina Y; Justice, Nicholas J; Chan, C Savio

    2015-08-26

    Compelling evidence suggests that pathological activity of the external globus pallidus (GPe), a nucleus in the basal ganglia, contributes to the motor symptoms of a variety of movement disorders such as Parkinson's disease. Recent studies have challenged the idea that the GPe comprises a single, homogenous population of neurons that serves as a simple relay in the indirect pathway. However, we still lack a full understanding of the diversity of the neurons that make up the GPe. Specifically, a more precise classification scheme is needed to better describe the fundamental biology and function of different GPe neuron classes. To this end, we generated a novel multicistronic BAC (bacterial artificial chromosome) transgenic mouse line under the regulatory elements of the Npas1 gene. Using a combinatorial transgenic and immunohistochemical approach, we discovered that parvalbumin-expressing neurons and Npas1-expressing neurons in the GPe represent two nonoverlapping cell classes, amounting to 55% and 27% of the total GPe neuron population, respectively. These two genetically identified cell classes projected primarily to the subthalamic nucleus and to the striatum, respectively. Additionally, parvalbumin-expressing neurons and Npas1-expressing neurons were distinct in their autonomous and driven firing characteristics, their expression of intrinsic ion conductances, and their responsiveness to chronic 6-hydroxydopamine lesion. In summary, our data argue that parvalbumin-expressing neurons and Npas1-expressing neurons are two distinct functional classes of GPe neurons. This work revises our understanding of the GPe, and provides the foundation for future studies of its function and dysfunction. Until recently, the heterogeneity of the constituent neurons within the external globus pallidus (GPe) was not fully appreciated. We addressed this knowledge gap by discovering two principal GPe neuron classes, which were identified by their nonoverlapping expression of the

  2. Parvalbumin+ Neurons and Npas1+ Neurons Are Distinct Neuron Classes in the Mouse External Globus Pallidus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernández, Vivian M.; Hegeman, Daniel J.; Cui, Qiaoling; Kelver, Daniel A.; Fiske, Michael P.; Glajch, Kelly E.; Pitt, Jason E.; Huang, Tina Y.; Justice, Nicholas J.

    2015-01-01

    Compelling evidence suggests that pathological activity of the external globus pallidus (GPe), a nucleus in the basal ganglia, contributes to the motor symptoms of a variety of movement disorders such as Parkinson's disease. Recent studies have challenged the idea that the GPe comprises a single, homogenous population of neurons that serves as a simple relay in the indirect pathway. However, we still lack a full understanding of the diversity of the neurons that make up the GPe. Specifically, a more precise classification scheme is needed to better describe the fundamental biology and function of different GPe neuron classes. To this end, we generated a novel multicistronic BAC (bacterial artificial chromosome) transgenic mouse line under the regulatory elements of the Npas1 gene. Using a combinatorial transgenic and immunohistochemical approach, we discovered that parvalbumin-expressing neurons and Npas1-expressing neurons in the GPe represent two nonoverlapping cell classes, amounting to 55% and 27% of the total GPe neuron population, respectively. These two genetically identified cell classes projected primarily to the subthalamic nucleus and to the striatum, respectively. Additionally, parvalbumin-expressing neurons and Npas1-expressing neurons were distinct in their autonomous and driven firing characteristics, their expression of intrinsic ion conductances, and their responsiveness to chronic 6-hydroxydopamine lesion. In summary, our data argue that parvalbumin-expressing neurons and Npas1-expressing neurons are two distinct functional classes of GPe neurons. This work revises our understanding of the GPe, and provides the foundation for future studies of its function and dysfunction. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Until recently, the heterogeneity of the constituent neurons within the external globus pallidus (GPe) was not fully appreciated. We addressed this knowledge gap by discovering two principal GPe neuron classes, which were identified by their nonoverlapping

  3. Sex differences in feeding behavior in rats: the relationship with neuronal activation in the hypothalamus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Atsushi eFukushima

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available There is general agreement that the central nervous system in rodents differs between sexes due to the presence of gonadal steroid hormone during differentiation. Sex differences in feeding seem to occur among species, and responses to fasting (i.e., starvation, gonadal steroids (i.e., testosterone and estradiol, and diet (i.e., western-style diet vary significantly between sexes. The hypothalamus is the center for controlling feeding behavior. We examined the activation of feeding-related peptides in neurons in the hypothalamus. Phosphorylation of cyclic AMP response element-binding protein (CREB is a good marker for neural activation, as is the Fos antigen. Therefore, we predicted that sex differences in the activity of melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH neurons would be associated with feeding behavior. We determined the response of MCH neurons to glucose in the lateral hypothalamic area (LHA and our results suggested MCH neurons play an important role in sex differences in feeding behavior. In addition, fasting increased the number of orexin neurons harboring phosphorylated CREB in female rats (regardless of the estrous day, but not male rats. Glucose injection decreased the number of these neurons with phosphorylated CREB in fasted female rats. Finally, under normal spontaneous food intake, MCH neurons, but not orexin neurons, expressed phosphorylated CREB. These sex differences in response to fasting and glucose, as well as under normal conditions, suggest a vulnerability to metabolic challenges in females.

  4. Molecular marker differences relate to developmental position and subsets of mesodiencephalic dopaminergic neurons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simone M Smits

    Full Text Available The development of mesodiencephalic dopaminergic (mdDA neurons located in the substantia nigra compacta (SNc and ventral tegmental area (VTA follow a number of stages marked by distinct events. After preparation of the region by signals that provide induction and patterning, several transcription factors have been identified, which are involved in specifying the neuronal fate of these cells. The specific vulnerability of SNc neurons is thought to root in these specific developmental programs. The present study examines the positions of young postmitotic mdDA neurons to relate developmental position to mdDA subset specific markers. MdDA neurons were mapped relative to the neuromeric domains (prosomeres 1-3 (P1-3, midbrain, and hindbrain as well as the longitudinal subdivisions (floor plate, basal plate, alar plate, as proposed by the prosomeric model. We found that postmitotic mdDA neurons are located mainly in the floorplate domain and very few in slightly more lateral domains. Moreover, mdDA neurons are present along a large proportion of the anterior/posterior axis extending from the midbrain to P3 in the diencephalon. The specific positions relate to some extent to the presence of specific subset markers as Ahd2. In the adult stage more of such subsets specific expressed genes are present and may represent a molecular map defining molecularly distinct groups of mdDA neurons.

  5. Acute action of rotenone on excitability of catecholaminergic neurons in rostral ventrolateral medulla.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Zhaoqiang; Shi, Limin; Du, Xixun; Jiao, Qian; Jiang, Hong

    2017-09-01

    The degeneration of the rostral ventrolateral medulla (RVLM) catecholaminergic neurons was responsible for some cardiovascular symptoms in Parkinson's disease (PD). Our previous study had observed the impairment of these neurons in the early stage of PD in the rotenone-induced PD rat model, but the related mechanisms remain unclear. Rotenone is a mitochondrial inhibitor, influencing the neuronal electrophysiological activity through activation of K-ATP channels that potentially participate in cell death processes. In the present study, effects of rotenone on electrophysiological properties of RVLM catecholaminergic neurons and its underlying mechanisms were investigated. In coronal slices of brain containing the RVLM through patch clamp technique, rotenone (0.5μM) induced gradual postsynaptic inhibition on the spontaneous firing and cell membrane hyperpolarization with outward currents of catecholaminergic neurons. The electrophysiological changes were blocked by glibenclamide (30μM), a blocker of K-ATP channels, and were nearly unchanged by diazoxide (100μM), an opener of K-ATP channels. Our results also showed that effects of rotenone on catecholaminergic neurons including reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation were prevented by pretreatment of coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10, 100μM), a scavenger of ROS. These suggest that rotenone-induced electrophysiological changes of RVLM catecholaminergic neurons are caused by the opening of K-ATP channels, which are partly related to ROS generation. The changes of K-ATP channels might account for the vulnerability of RVLM catecholaminergic neurons. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Morphological evidence for novel enteric neuronal circuitry in guinea pig distal colon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smolilo, D J; Costa, M; Hibberd, T J; Wattchow, D A; Spencer, Nick J

    2018-07-01

    The gastrointestinal (GI) tract is unique compared to all other internal organs; it is the only organ with its own nervous system and its own population of intrinsic sensory neurons, known as intrinsic primary afferent neurons (IPANs). How these IPANs form neuronal circuits with other functional classes of neurons in the enteric nervous system (ENS) is incompletely understood. We used a combination of light microscopy, immunohistochemistry and confocal microscopy to examine the topographical distribution of specific classes of neurons in the myenteric plexus of guinea-pig colon, including putative IPANs, with other classes of enteric neurons. These findings were based on immunoreactivity to the neuronal markers, calbindin, calretinin and nitric oxide synthase. We then correlated the varicose outputs formed by putative IPANs with subclasses of excitatory interneurons and motor neurons. We revealed that calbindin-immunoreactive varicosities form specialized structures resembling 'baskets' within the majority of myenteric ganglia, which were arranged in clusters around calretinin-immunoreactive neurons. These calbindin baskets directly arose from projections of putative IPANs and represent morphological evidence of preferential input from sensory neurons directly to a select group of calretinin neurons. Our findings uncovered that these neurons are likely to be ascending excitatory interneurons and excitatory motor neurons. Our study reveals for the first time in the colon, a novel enteric neural circuit, whereby calbindin-immunoreactive putative sensory neurons form specialized varicose structures that likely direct synaptic outputs to excitatory interneurons and motor neurons. This circuit likely forms the basis of polarized neuronal pathways underlying motility. © 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  7. Vulnerability of intertropical littoral areas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manighetti, Isabelle; De Wit, Rutger; Duvail, Stéphanie; Seyler, Patrick

    2017-10-01

    The coastal zone is of very high importance for human development and human wellbeing. Half of the global urban population lives in the coastal zone, where it has access to both continental and marine ecosystem services and to maritime transport. These urban populations coexist with rural and traditional coastal populations, some of which still possess good traditional ecological knowledge of the coastal ecosystems. Marine biodiversity and favourable environmental conditions sustain fisheries and aquaculture, represent a source of inspiration for humankind and provide numerous opportunities for recreation and tourism. In addition, coastal areas provide nursery functions for juvenile fish and invertebrates, which is important for the fish and crayfish stocks exploited offshore. Located at the interface between marine energy and continental processes, the coastal landscapes are dynamic environments. Nevertheless, the destruction of habitats and the increasing exploitation of the coastal zone represent serious threats to the ecosystems. Moreover, human land use and modifications in the watersheds have strong impacts on the coastal zone primarily by contributing to their pollution and nutrient over-enrichment. Damming and creation of reservoirs upstream also heavily modify the hydrology of the watersheds and often dramatically reduce the delivery of sediments to the coastal zone. In addition to these regional and local anthropogenic impacts, the coastal zone is vulnerable to global change among which sea level rise and climate change are particularly important drivers. Many coastal zones extend along giant faults and subduction zones, which makes them particularly exposed to earthquakes and tsunami hazards. Other forms of natural hazards are caused by hurricanes and cyclones that develop at sea and whose trajectories often hit the coastlines.

  8. Groundwater vulnerability mapping of Qatar aquifers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baalousha, Husam Musa

    2016-12-01

    Qatar is one of the most arid countries in the world with limited water resources. With little rainfall and no surface water, groundwater is the only natural source of fresh water in the country. Whilst the country relies mainly on desalination of seawater to secure water supply, groundwater has extensively been used for irrigation over the last three decades, which caused adverse environmental impact. Vulnerability assessment is a widely used tool for groundwater protection and land-use management. Aquifers in Qatar are carbonate with lots of fractures, depressions and cavities. Karst aquifers are generally more vulnerable to contamination than other aquifers as any anthropogenic-sourced contaminant, especially above a highly fractured zone, can infiltrate quickly into the aquifer and spread over a wide area. The vulnerability assessment method presented in this study is based on two approaches: DRASTIC and EPIK, within the framework of Geographical Information System (GIS). Results of this study show that DRASTIC vulnerability method suits Qatar hydrogeological settings more than EPIK. The produced vulnerability map using DRASTIC shows coastal and karst areas have the highest vulnerability class. The southern part of the country is located in the low vulnerability class due to occurrence of shale formation within aquifer media, which averts downward movement of contaminants.

  9. Vulnerability, Health Agency and Capability to Health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Straehle, Christine

    2016-01-01

    One of the defining features of the capability approach (CA) to health, as developed in Venkatapuram's book Health Justice, is its aim to enable individual health agency. Furthermore, the CA to health hopes to provide a strong guideline for assessing the health-enabling content of social and political conditions. In this article, I employ the recent literature on the liberal concept of vulnerability to assess the CA. I distinguish two kinds of vulnerability. Considering circumstantial vulnerability, I argue that liberal accounts of vulnerability concerned with individual autonomy, align with the CA to health. Individuals should, as far as possible, be able to make health-enabling decisions about their lives, and their capability to do so should certainly not be hindered by public policy. The CA to health and a vulnerability-based analysis then work alongside to define moral responsibilities and designate those who hold them. Both approaches demand social policy to address circumstances that hinder individuals from taking health-enabling decisions. A background condition of vulnerability, on the other hand, even though it hampers the capability for health, does not warrant the strong moral claim proposed by the CA to health to define health as a meta-capability that should guide social policy. Nothing in our designing social policy could change the challenge to health agency when we deal with background conditions of vulnerability. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  10. A measure of vulnerability and damage tolerance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lind, Niels C.

    1995-01-01

    The purpose of the paper is to present probabilistic definitions of 'vulnerability' and 'damage tolerance'. A new measure of damage is also proposed. Disastrous failures, such as of the Titanic or the Chernobyl reactor, have revealed that some systems can be highly vulnerable. A seemingly insignificant damage can reduce such a system's resistance severely. Attempts to write design code requirements for damage tolerance or structural integrity have not been successful so far. One reason is that these ideas have not been defined with the necessary precision. The suggested definitions aim to be general, applicable to all engineered systems, and readily specializable to particular system types. Vulnerability is defined as the ratio of the failure probability of the damaged system to the failure probability of the undamaged system. It is argued that 'vulnerability' and 'damage tolerance' are complementary concepts. Damage tolerance is defined as the reciprocal of vulnerability. Vulnerability and damage tolerance both concern hypothetical future damage. A damage factor, applicable for the analysis of an existing structure in an assessed state of damage, is defined analogous to vulnerability. Application is illustrated by examples

  11. Determining Vulnerability Importance in Environmental Impact Assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Toro, Javier; Duarte, Oscar; Requena, Ignacio; Zamorano, Montserrat

    2012-01-01

    The concept of vulnerability has been used to describe the susceptibility of physical, biotic, and social systems to harm or hazard. In this sense, it is a tool that reduces the uncertainties of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) since it does not depend exclusively on the value assessments of the evaluator, but rather is based on the environmental state indicators of the site where the projects or activities are being carried out. The concept of vulnerability thus reduces the possibility that evaluators will subjectively interpret results, and be influenced by outside interests and pressures during projects. However, up until now, EIA has been hindered by a lack of effective methods. This research study analyzes the concept of vulnerability, defines Vulnerability Importance and proposes its inclusion in qualitative EIA methodology. The method used to quantify Vulnerability Importance is based on a set of environmental factors and indicators that provide a comprehensive overview of the environmental state. The results obtained in Colombia highlight the usefulness and objectivity of this method since there is a direct relation between this value and the environmental state of the departments analyzed. - Research Highlights: ► The concept of vulnerability could be considered defining Vulnerability Importance included in qualitative EIA methodology. ► The use of the concept of environmental vulnerability could reduce the subjectivity of qualitative methods of EIA. ► A method to quantify the Vulnerability Importance proposed provides a comprehensive overview of the environmental state. ► Results in Colombia highlight the usefulness and objectivity of this method.

  12. Changes in prefrontal neuronal activity after learning to perform a spatial working memory task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qi, Xue-Lian; Meyer, Travis; Stanford, Terrence R; Constantinidis, Christos

    2011-12-01

    The prefrontal cortex is considered essential for learning to perform cognitive tasks though little is known about how the representation of stimulus properties is altered by learning. To address this issue, we recorded neuronal activity in monkeys before and after training on a task that required visual working memory. After the subjects learned to perform the task, we observed activation of more prefrontal neurons and increased activity during working memory maintenance. The working memory-related increase in firing rate was due mostly to regular-spiking putative pyramidal neurons. Unexpectedly, the selectivity of neurons for stimulus properties and the ability of neurons to discriminate between stimuli decreased as the information about stimulus properties was apparently present in neural firing prior to training and neuronal selectivity degraded after training in the task. The effect was robust and could not be accounted for by differences in sampling sites, selection of neurons, level of performance, or merely the elapse of time. The results indicate that, in contrast to the effects of perceptual learning, mastery of a cognitive task degrades the apparent stimulus selectivity as neurons represent more abstract information related to the task. This effect is countered by the recruitment of more neurons after training.

  13. Defining energy vulnerability in mobility. Measuring energy vulnerability in mobility. Acting against energy vulnerability in mobility. Discussing energy vulnerability in mobility. Task no. 4

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jouffe, Yves; Massot, Marie-Helene; Noble, Cyprien

    2015-01-01

    Extensive expansion of urban areas generates transportation needs and energy expenses for mobility. Households already impacted by fuel poverty also suffer from energy vulnerability in their mobility. This report was prepared in the framework of the study of fuel poverty in France in the light of several indicators from existing inquiries, databases and modeling tools. The report is organised in 4 parts dealing with: the definition of energy vulnerability in mobility, its measurement, the possible remedial actions, and the discussions about energy vulnerability in mobility through working group meetings, respectively