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Sample records for subfornical organ neurons

  1. Apelin acts in the subfornical organ to influence neuronal excitability and cardiovascular function.

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    Dai, Li; Smith, Pauline M; Kuksis, Markus; Ferguson, Alastair V

    2013-07-01

    Apelin is an adipocyte-derived hormone involved in the regulation of water balance, food intake and the cardiovascular system partially through actions in the CNS. The subfornical organ (SFO) is a circumventricular organ with identified roles in body fluid homeostasis, cardiovascular control and energy balance. The SFO lacks a normal blood-brain barrier, and is thus able to detect circulating signalling molecules such as angiotensin II and leptin. In this study, we investigated actions of apelin-13, the predominant apelin isoform in brain and circulatory system, on the excitability of dissociated SFO neurons using electrophysiological approaches, and determined the cardiovascular consequences of direct administration into the SFO of anaesthetized rats. Whole cell current clamp recording revealed that bath-applied 100 nm apelin-13 directly influences the excitability of the majority of SFO neurons by eliciting either depolarizing (31.8%, mean 7.0 ± 0.8 mV) or hyperpolarizing (28.6%, mean -10.4 ± 1.8 mV) responses. Using voltage-clamp techniques, we also identified modulatory actions of apelin-13 on specific ion channels, demonstrating that apelin-13 activates a non-selective cationic conductance to depolarize SFO neurons while activation of the delayed rectifier potassium conductance underlies hyperpolarizing effects. In anaesthetized rats, microinjection of apelin into SFO decreased both blood pressure (BP) (mean area under the curve -1492.3 ± 357.1 mmHg.s, n = 5) and heart rate (HR) (-32.4 ± 10.39 beats, n = 5). Our data suggest that circulating apelin can directly affect BP and HR as a consequence of the ability of this peptide to modulate the excitability of SFO neurons.

  2. Multiple receptor subtypes mediate the effects of serotonin on rat subfornical organ neurons

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    Scrogin, K. E.; Johnson, A. K.; Schmid, H. A.

    1998-01-01

    The subfornical organ (SFO) receives significant serotonergic innervation. However, few reports have examined the functional effects of serotonin on SFO neurons. This study characterized the effects of serotonin on spontaneously firing SFO neurons in the rat brain slice. Of 31 neurons tested, 80% responded to serotonin (1-100 microM) with either an increase (n = 15) or decrease (n = 10) in spontaneous activity. Responses to serotonin were dose dependent and persisted after synaptic blockade. Excitatory responses could also be mimicked by the 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT)2A/2C receptor agonist 2,5-dimethoxy-4-iodoamphetamine (DOI; 1-10 microM) and could be blocked by the 5-HT2A/2C-receptor antagonist LY-53,857 (10 microM). LY-53,857 unmasked inhibitory responses to serotonin in 56% of serotonin-excited cells tested. Serotonin-inhibited cells were also inhibited by the 5-HT1A-receptor agonist 8-hydroxy-2(di-n-propylamino)tetralin (8-OH-DPAT; 1-10 microM; n = 7). The data indicate that SFO neurons are responsive to serotonin via postsynaptic activation of multiple receptor subtypes. The results suggest that excitatory responses to serotonin are mediated by 5-HT2A or 5-HT2C receptors and that inhibitory responses may be mediated by 5-HT1A receptors. In addition, similar percentages of serotonin-excited and -inhibited cells were also sensitive to ANG II. As such the functional relationship between serotonin and ANG II in the SFO remains unclear.

  3. Replication-deficient adenovirus vector transfer of gfp reporter gene into supraoptic nucleus and subfornical organ neurons

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    Vasquez, E. C.; Johnson, R. F.; Beltz, T. G.; Haskell, R. E.; Davidson, B. L.; Johnson, A. K.

    1998-01-01

    The present studies used defined cells of the subfornical organ (SFO) and supraoptic nuclei (SON) as model systems to demonstrate the efficacy of replication-deficient adenovirus (Ad) encoding green fluorescent protein (GFP) for gene transfer. The studies investigated the effects of both direct transfection of the SON and indirect transfection (i.e., via retrograde transport) of SFO neurons. The SON of rats were injected with Ad (2 x 10(6) pfu) and sacrificed 1-7 days later for cell culture of the SON and of the SFO. In the SON, GFP fluorescence was visualized in both neuronal and nonneuronal cells while only neurons in the SFO expressed GFP. Successful in vitro transfection of cultured cells from the SON and SFO was also achieved with Ad (2 x 10(6) to 2 x 10(8) pfu). The expression of GFP in in vitro transfected cells was higher in nonneuronal (approximately 28% in SON and SFO) than neuronal (approximately 4% in SON and 10% in SFO) cells. The expression of GFP was time and viral concentration related. No apparent alterations in cellular morphology of transfected cells were detected and electrophysiological characterization of transfected cells was similar between GFP-expressing and nonexpressing neurons. We conclude that (1) GFP is an effective marker for gene transfer in living SON and SFO cells, (2) Ad infects both neuronal and nonneuronal cells, (3) Ad is taken up by axonal projections from the SON and retrogradely transported to the SFO where it is expressed at detectable levels, and (4) Ad does not adversely affect neuronal viability. These results demonstrate the feasibility of using adenoviral vectors to deliver genes to the SFO-SON axis. Copyright 1998 Academic Press.

  4. Agonist activation of cytosolic Ca2+ in subfornical organ cells projecting to the supraoptic nucleus

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    Johnson, R. F.; Beltz, T. G.; Sharma, R. V.; Xu, Z.; Bhatty, R. A.; Johnson, A. K.

    2001-01-01

    The subfornical organ (SFO) is sensitive to both ANG II and ACh, and local application of these agents produces dipsogenic responses and vasopressin release. The present study examined the effects of cholinergic drugs, ANG II, and increased extracellular osmolarity on dissociated, cultured cells of the SFO that were retrogradely labeled from the supraoptic nucleus. The effects were measured as changes in cytosolic calcium in fura 2-loaded cells by using a calcium imaging system. Both ACh and carbachol increased intracellular ionic calcium concentration ([Ca2+]i). However, in contrast to the effects of muscarinic receptor agonists on SFO neurons, manipulation of the extracellular osmolality produced no effects, and application of ANG II produced only moderate effects on [Ca2+]i in a few retrogradely labeled cells. The cholinergic effects on [Ca2+]i could be blocked with the muscarinic receptor antagonist atropine and with the more selective muscarinic receptor antagonists pirenzepine and 4-diphenylacetoxy-N-methylpiperdine methiodide (4-DAMP). In addition, the calcium in the extracellular fluid was required for the cholinergic-induced increase in [Ca2+]i. These findings indicate that ACh acts to induce a functional cellular response in SFO neurons through action on a muscarinic receptor, probably of the M1 subtype and that the increase of [Ca2+]i, at least initially, requires the entry of extracellular Ca2+. Also, consistent with a functional role of M1 receptors in the SFO are the results of immunohistochemical preparations demonstrating M1 muscarinic receptor-like protein present within this forebrain circumventricular organ.

  5. Pro-inflammatory cytokines upregulate sympathoexcitatory mechanisms in the subfornical organ of the rat

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    Wei, Shun-Guang; Yu, Yang; Zhang, Zhi-Hua; Felder, Robert B.

    2015-01-01

    Our previous work indicated that the subfornical organ (SFO) is an important brain sensor of blood-borne pro-inflammatory cytokines, mediating their central effects on autonomic and cardiovascular function. However, the mechanisms by which SFO mediates the central effects of circulating pro-inflammatory cytokines remain unclear. We hypothesized that pro-inflammatory cytokines act within the SFO to upregulate the expression of excitatory and inflammatory mediators that drive sympathetic nerve activity. In urethane-anesthetized Sprague-Dawley rats, direct microinjection of TNF-α (25 ng) or IL-1β (25 ng) into SFO increased mean blood pressure, heart rate and renal sympathetic nerve activity within 15–20 minutes, mimicking the response to systemically administered pro-inflammatory cytokines. Pretreatment of SFO with microinjections of the angiotensin II type 1 receptor (AT1R) blocker losartan (1 µg), angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor captopril (1 µg) or cyclooxygenase (COX)-2 inhibitor NS-398 (2 µg) attenuated those responses. Four hours after the SFO microinjection of TNF-α (25 ng) or IL-1β (25 ng), mRNA for ACE, AT1R, TNF-α and the p55 TNF-α receptor TNFR1, IL-1β and the IL-1R receptor, and COX-2 had increased in SFO, and mRNA for ACE, AT1R and COX-2 had increased downstream in the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus. Confocal immunofluorescent images revealed that immunoreactivity for TNFR1 and the IL-1 receptor accessory protein, a subunit of the IL-1 receptor, co-localized with ACE, AT1R-like, COX-2 and prostaglandin E2 EP3 receptor immunoreactivity in SFO neurons. These data suggest that pro-inflammatory cytokines act within the SFO to upregulate the expression of inflammatory and excitatory mediators that drive sympathetic excitation. PMID:25776070

  6. Characteristic clinical features of adipsic hypernatremia patients with subfornical organ-targeting antibody

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    Nakamura-Utsunomiya, Akari; Hiyama, Takeshi Y.; Okada, Satoshi; Noda, Masaharu; Kobayashi, Masao

    2017-01-01

    Abstract. Adipsic hypernatremia is a rare disease presenting as persistent hypernatremia with disturbance of thirst regulation and hypothalamic dysfunction. As a result of congenital disease, tumors, or inflammation, most cases are accompanied by structural abnormalities in the hypothalamic-pituitary area. While cases with no hypothalamic-pituitary structural lesion have been reported, their etiology has not been elucidated. Recently, we reported three patients with adipsic hypernatremia whose serum-derived immunoglobulin (Ig) specifically reacted with mouse subfornical organ (SFO) tissue. As one of the circumventricular organs (CVOs) that form a sensory interface between the blood and brain, the SFO is a critical site for generating physiological responses to dehydration and hypernatremia. Intravenous injection of the patient’s Ig fraction induced hypernatremia in mice, along with inflammation and apoptosis in the SFO. These results support a new autoimmunity-related mechanism for inducing adipsic hypernatremia without demonstrable hypothalamic-pituitary structural lesions. In this review, we aim to highlight the characteristic clinical features of these patients, in addition to etiological mechanisms related to SFO function. These findings may be useful for diagnosing adipsic hypernatremia caused by an autoimmune response to the SFO, and support development of new strategies for prevention and treatment. PMID:29026268

  7. Subfornical Organ Mediates Sympathetic and Hemodynamic Responses to Blood-borne Pro-Inflammatory Cytokines

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    Wei, Shun-Guang; Zhang, Zhi-Hua; Beltz, Terry G.; Yu, Yang; Johnson, Alan Kim; Felder, Robert B.

    2013-01-01

    Pro-inflammatory cytokines play an important role in regulating autonomic and cardiovascular function in hypertension and heart failure. Peripherally administered pro-inflammatory cytokines such as tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and interleukin-1β (IL-1β) act upon the brain to increase blood pressure (BP), heart rate (HR) and sympathetic nerve activity. These molecules are too large to penetrate blood brain barrier (BBB), and so the mechanisms by which they elicit these responses remain unknown. We tested the hypothesis that the subfornical organ (SFO), a forebrain circumventricular organ that lacks a BBB, plays a major role in mediating the sympathetic and hemodynamic responses to circulating pro-inflammatory cytokines. Intracarotid artery (ICA) injection of TNF-α (200 ng) or IL-1β (200 ng) dramatically increased mean BP (MBP), HR and renal sympathetic nerve activity (RSNA) in rats with sham lesions of the SFO (SFO-s). These excitatory responses to ICA TNF-α and IL-1β were significantly attenuated in SFO-lesioned (SFO-x) rats. Similarly, the increases in MBP, HR and RSNA in response to intravenous (IV) injections of TNF-α (500 ng) or IL-1β (500 ng) in SFO-s rats were significantly reduced in the SFO-x rats. Immunofluorescent staining revealed a dense distribution of the p55 TNF-α receptor and the IL-1 receptor accessory protein, a subunit of the IL-1 receptor, in the SFO. These data suggest that SFO is a predominant site in the brain at which circulating pro-inflammatory cytokines act to elicit cardiovascular and sympathetic responses. PMID:23670302

  8. Glucagon-like peptide I receptors in the subfornical organ and the area postrema are accessible to circulating glucagon-like peptide I

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    Orskov, C; Poulsen, Steen Seier; Møller, M

    1996-01-01

    -labeled GLP-I. The specificity of the binding was tested by co-injection of excess amounts of unlabeled GLP-I. Using light microscopical autoradiography of rat brain sections, we found specific 125I-GLP-I binding exclusively in the subfornical organ and the area postrema. This binding was abolished when...... an excess amount of unlabeled GLP-I was co-injected with the labeled GLP-I. We conclude that cells in the subfornical organ and the area postrema could be responsive to blood-borne GLP-I. The observed binding of peripherally administered GLP-I to the subfornical organ and the area postrema, which both have...

  9. TNF-α receptor 1 knockdown in the subfornical organ ameliorates sympathetic excitation and cardiac hemodynamics in heart failure rats.

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    Yu, Yang; Wei, Shun-Guang; Weiss, Robert M; Felder, Robert B

    2017-10-01

    In systolic heart failure (HF), circulating proinflammatory cytokines upregulate inflammation and renin-angiotensin system (RAS) activity in cardiovascular regions of the brain, contributing to sympathetic excitation and cardiac dysfunction. Important among these is the subfornical organ (SFO), a forebrain circumventricular organ that lacks an effective blood-brain barrier and senses circulating humors. We hypothesized that the tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) receptor 1 (TNFR1) in the SFO contributes to sympathetic excitation and cardiac dysfunction in HF rats. Rats received SFO microinjections of a TNFR1 shRNA or a scrambled shRNA lentiviral vector carrying green fluorescent protein, or vehicle. One week later, some rats were euthanized to confirm the accuracy of the SFO microinjections and the transfection potential of the lentiviral vector. Other rats underwent coronary artery ligation (CL) to induce HF or a sham operation. Four weeks after CL, vehicle- and scrambled shRNA-treated HF rats had significant increases in TNFR1 mRNA and protein, NF-κB activity, and mRNA for inflammatory mediators, RAS components and c-Fos protein in the SFO and downstream in the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus, along with increased plasma norepinephrine levels and impaired cardiac function, compared with vehicle-treated sham-operated rats. In HF rats treated with TNFR1 shRNA, TNFR1 was reduced in the SFO but not paraventricular nucleus, and the central and peripheral manifestations of HF were ameliorated. In sham-operated rats treated with TNFR1 shRNA, TNFR1 expression was also reduced in the SFO but there were no other effects. These results suggest a key role for TNFR1 in the SFO in the pathophysiology of systolic HF. NEW & NOTEWORTHY Activation of TNF-α receptor 1 in the subfornical organ (SFO) contributes to sympathetic excitation in heart failure rats by increasing inflammation and renin-angiotensin system activity in the SFO and downstream in the hypothalamic

  10. Blood-borne interleukin-1β acts on the subfornical organ to upregulate the sympathoexcitatory milieu of the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus.

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    Wei, Shun-Guang; Yu, Yang; Felder, Robert B

    2018-03-01

    We previously reported that microinjection of the proinflammatory cytokine interleukin-1β (IL-1β) into the subfornical organ (SFO) elicits a pressor response accompanied by increases in inflammation and renin-angiotensin system (RAS) activity in the SFO and hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus (PVN). The present study sought to determine whether blood-borne IL-1β induces similar neurochemical changes in the SFO and PVN and, if so, whether increased inflammation and RAS activity at the SFO level orchestrate the sympathoexcitatory response to circulating IL-1β. In urethane-anesthetized male Sprague-Dawley rats, intravenous injection of IL-1β (500 ng) increased blood pressure, heart rate, renal sympathetic nerve activity, and mRNA for angiotensin-converting enzyme, angiotensin II type 1a receptor, cyclooxygenase-2, tumor necrosis factor-α, and IL-1β, as well as the tumor necrosis factor-α p55 receptor and the IL-1 receptor, in the SFO and PVN. Pretreatment with SFO microinjections of the angiotensin II type 1a receptor blocker losartan (1 µg), the angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor captopril (1 µg), or the cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitor NS-398 (2 µg) attenuated expression of these excitatory mediators in the SFO and downstream in the PVN and the IL-1β-induced pressor responses. An SFO lesion minimized the IL-1β-induced expression of inflammatory and RAS components as well as c-Fos, an indicator of neuronal excitation, in the PVN. These studies demonstrate that circulating IL-1β, which increases in cardiovascular disorders such as hypertension and heart failure, acts on the SFO to increase inflammation and RAS activity in the SFO and PVN and that intervening in these neurochemical processes in the SFO can significantly reduce the sympathetic response.

  11. Microtubules are organized independently of the centrosome in Drosophila neurons

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    Nguyen Michelle M

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The best-studied arrangement of microtubules is that organized by the centrosome, a cloud of microtubule nucleating and anchoring proteins is clustered around centrioles. However, noncentrosomal microtubule arrays are common in many differentiated cells, including neurons. Although microtubules are not anchored at neuronal centrosomes, it remains unclear whether the centrosome plays a role in organizing neuronal microtubules. We use Drosophila as a model system to determine whether centrosomal microtubule nucleation is important in mature neurons. Results In developing and mature neurons, centrioles were not surrounded by the core nucleation protein γ-tubulin. This suggests that the centrioles do not organize functional centrosomes in Drosophila neurons in vivo. Consistent with this idea, centriole position was not correlated with a specific region of the cell body in neurons, and growing microtubules did not cluster around the centriole, even after axon severing when the number of growing plus ends is dramatically increased. To determine whether the centrosome was required for microtubule organization in mature neurons, we used two approaches. First, we used DSas-4 centriole duplication mutants. In these mutants, centrioles were present in many larval sensory neurons, but they were not fully functional. Despite reduced centriole function, microtubule orientation was normal in axons and dendrites. Second, we used laser ablation to eliminate the centriole, and again found that microtubule polarity in axons and dendrites was normal, even 3 days after treatment. Conclusion We conclude that the centrosome is not a major site of microtubule nucleation in Drosophila neurons, and is not required for maintenance of neuronal microtubule organization in these cells.

  12. Neuronal organization of olfactory bulb circuits

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    Shin eNagayama

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Olfactory sensory neurons extend their axons solely to the olfactory bulb, which is dedicated to odor information processing. The olfactory bulb is divided into multiple layers, with different types of neurons found in each of the layers. Therefore, neurons in the olfactory bulb have conventionally been categorized based on the layers in which their cell bodies are found; namely, juxtaglomerular cells in the glomerular layer, tufted cells in the external plexiform layer, mitral cells in the mitral cell layer, and granule cells in the granule cell layer. More recently, numerous studies have revealed the heterogeneous nature of each of these cell types, allowing them to be further divided into subclasses based on differences in morphological, molecular, and electrophysiological properties. In addition, technical developments and advances have resulted in an increasing number of studies regarding cell types other than the conventionally categorized ones described above, including short-axon cells and adult-generated interneurons. Thus, the expanding diversity of cells in the olfactory bulb is now being acknowledged. However, our current understanding of olfactory bulb neuronal circuits is mostly based on the conventional and simplest classification of cell types. Few studies have taken neuronal diversity into account for understanding the function of the neuronal circuits in this region of the brain. This oversight may contribute to the roadblocks in developing more precise and accurate models of olfactory neuronal networks. The purpose of this review is therefore to discuss the expanse of existing work on neuronal diversity in the olfactory bulb up to this point, so as to provide an overall picture of the olfactory bulb circuit.

  13. Developing neuronal networks: self-organized criticality predicts the future.

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    Pu, Jiangbo; Gong, Hui; Li, Xiangning; Luo, Qingming

    2013-01-01

    Self-organized criticality emerged in neural activity is one of the key concepts to describe the formation and the function of developing neuronal networks. The relationship between critical dynamics and neural development is both theoretically and experimentally appealing. However, whereas it is well-known that cortical networks exhibit a rich repertoire of activity patterns at different stages during in vitro maturation, dynamical activity patterns through the entire neural development still remains unclear. Here we show that a series of metastable network states emerged in the developing and "aging" process of hippocampal networks cultured from dissociated rat neurons. The unidirectional sequence of state transitions could be only observed in networks showing power-law scaling of distributed neuronal avalanches. Our data suggest that self-organized criticality may guide spontaneous activity into a sequential succession of homeostatically-regulated transient patterns during development, which may help to predict the tendency of neural development at early ages in the future.

  14. Self-organization of spiking neurons using action potential timing.

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    Ruf, B; Schmitt, M

    1998-01-01

    We propose a mechanism for unsupervised learning in networks of spiking neurons which is based on the timing of single firing events. Our results show that a topology preserving behavior quite similar to that of Kohonen's self-organizing map can be achieved using temporal coding. In contrast to previous approaches, which use rate coding, the winner among competing neurons can be determined fast and locally. Our model is a further step toward a more realistic description of unsupervised learning in biological neural systems. Furthermore, it may provide a basis for fast implementations in pulsed VLSI (very large scale integration).

  15. Channel properties of Nax expressed in neurons.

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    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.

  16. Innate Synchronous Oscillations in Freely-Organized Small Neuronal Circuits

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    Shein Idelson, Mark; Ben-Jacob, Eshel; Hanein, Yael

    2010-01-01

    Background Information processing in neuronal networks relies on the network's ability to generate temporal patterns of action potentials. Although the nature of neuronal network activity has been intensively investigated in the past several decades at the individual neuron level, the underlying principles of the collective network activity, such as the synchronization and coordination between neurons, are largely unknown. Here we focus on isolated neuronal clusters in culture and address the following simple, yet fundamental questions: What is the minimal number of cells needed to exhibit collective dynamics? What are the internal temporal characteristics of such dynamics and how do the temporal features of network activity alternate upon crossover from minimal networks to large networks? Methodology/Principal Findings We used network engineering techniques to induce self-organization of cultured networks into neuronal clusters of different sizes. We found that small clusters made of as few as 40 cells already exhibit spontaneous collective events characterized by innate synchronous network oscillations in the range of 25 to 100 Hz. The oscillation frequency of each network appeared to be independent of cluster size. The duration and rate of the network events scale with cluster size but converge to that of large uniform networks. Finally, the investigation of two coupled clusters revealed clear activity propagation with master/slave asymmetry. Conclusions/Significance The nature of the activity patterns observed in small networks, namely the consistent emergence of similar activity across networks of different size and morphology, suggests that neuronal clusters self-regulate their activity to sustain network bursts with internal oscillatory features. We therefore suggest that clusters of as few as tens of cells can serve as a minimal but sufficient functional network, capable of sustaining oscillatory activity. Interestingly, the frequencies of these

  17. Aldosterone-Sensing Neurons in the NTS Exhibit State-Dependent Pacemaker Activity and Drive Sodium Appetite via Synergy with Angiotensin II Signaling.

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    Resch, Jon M; Fenselau, Henning; Madara, Joseph C; Wu, Chen; Campbell, John N; Lyubetskaya, Anna; Dawes, Brian A; Tsai, Linus T; Li, Monica M; Livneh, Yoav; Ke, Qingen; Kang, Peter M; Fejes-Tóth, Géza; Náray-Fejes-Tóth, Anikó; Geerling, Joel C; Lowell, Bradford B

    2017-09-27

    Sodium deficiency increases angiotensin II (ATII) and aldosterone, which synergistically stimulate sodium retention and consumption. Recently, ATII-responsive neurons in the subfornical organ (SFO) and aldosterone-sensitive neurons in the nucleus of the solitary tract (NTS HSD2 neurons) were shown to drive sodium appetite. Here we investigate the basis for NTS HSD2 neuron activation, identify the circuit by which NTS HSD2 neurons drive appetite, and uncover an interaction between the NTS HSD2 circuit and ATII signaling. NTS HSD2 neurons respond to sodium deficiency with spontaneous pacemaker-like activity-the consequence of "cardiac" HCN and Na v 1.5 channels. Remarkably, NTS HSD2 neurons are necessary for sodium appetite, and with concurrent ATII signaling their activity is sufficient to produce rapid consumption. Importantly, NTS HSD2 neurons stimulate appetite via projections to the vlBNST, which is also the effector site for ATII-responsive SFO neurons. The interaction between angiotensin signaling and NTS HSD2 neurons provides a neuronal context for the long-standing "synergy hypothesis" of sodium appetite regulation. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Molecular and Cellular Organization of Taste Neurons in Adult Drosophila Pharynx

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    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

  19. Self-Organizing Map with False-Neighbor Degree between Neurons for Effective Self-Organization

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    Matsushita, Haruna; Nishio, Yoshifumi

    In the real world, it is not always true that neighboring houses are physically adjacent or close to each other. in other words, “neighbors” are not always “true neighbors” In this study, we propose a new Self-Organizing Map (SOM) algorithm, SOM with False-Neighbor degree between neurons (called FN-SOM). The behavior of FN-SOM is investigated with learning for various input data. We confirm that FN-SOM can obtain a more effective map reflecting the distribution state of input data than the conventional SOM and Growing Grid.

  20. Rich-Club Organization in Effective Connectivity among Cortical Neurons

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    Shimono, Masanori; Ito, Shinya; Yeh, Fang-Chin; Timme, Nicholas; Myroshnychenko, Maxym; Lapish, Christopher C.; Tosi, Zachary; Hottowy, Pawel; Smith, Wesley C.; Masmanidis, Sotiris C.; Litke, Alan M.; Sporns, Olaf; Beggs, John M.

    2016-01-01

    The performance of complex networks, like the brain, depends on how effectively their elements communicate. Despite the importance of communication, it is virtually unknown how information is transferred in local cortical networks, consisting of hundreds of closely spaced neurons. To address this, it is important to record simultaneously from hundreds of neurons at a spacing that matches typical axonal connection distances, and at a temporal resolution that matches synaptic delays. We used a 512-electrode array (60 μm spacing) to record spontaneous activity at 20 kHz from up to 500 neurons simultaneously in slice cultures of mouse somatosensory cortex for 1 h at a time. We applied a previously validated version of transfer entropy to quantify information transfer. Similar to in vivo reports, we found an approximately lognormal distribution of firing rates. Pairwise information transfer strengths also were nearly lognormally distributed, similar to reports of synaptic strengths. Some neurons transferred and received much more information than others, which is consistent with previous predictions. Neurons with the highest outgoing and incoming information transfer were more strongly connected to each other than chance, thus forming a “rich club.” We found similar results in networks recorded in vivo from rodent cortex, suggesting the generality of these findings. A rich-club structure has been found previously in large-scale human brain networks and is thought to facilitate communication between cortical regions. The discovery of a small, but information-rich, subset of neurons within cortical regions suggests that this population will play a vital role in communication, learning, and memory. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Many studies have focused on communication networks between cortical brain regions. In contrast, very few studies have examined communication networks within a cortical region. This is the first study to combine such a large number of neurons (several

  1. Photoelectrical stimulation of neuronal cells by an organic semiconductor-electrolyte Interface

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    Abdullaeva, Oliya S.; Schulz, Matthias; Balzer, Frank

    2016-01-01

    As a step toward the realization of neuroprosthetics for vision restoration, we follow an electrophysiological patch-clamp approach to study the fundamental photoelectrical stimulation mechanism of neuronal model cells by an organic semiconductor–electrolyte interface. Our photoactive layer...

  2. Human iPSC-Derived Endothelial Cells and Microengineered Organ-Chip Enhance Neuronal Development

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    Samuel Sances

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Summary: Human stem cell-derived models of development and neurodegenerative diseases are challenged by cellular immaturity in vitro. Microengineered organ-on-chip (or Organ-Chip systems are designed to emulate microvolume cytoarchitecture and enable co-culture of distinct cell types. Brain microvascular endothelial cells (BMECs share common signaling pathways with neurons early in development, but their contribution to human neuronal maturation is largely unknown. To study this interaction and influence of microculture, we derived both spinal motor neurons and BMECs from human induced pluripotent stem cells and observed increased calcium transient function and Chip-specific gene expression in Organ-Chips compared with 96-well plates. Seeding BMECs in the Organ-Chip led to vascular-neural interaction and specific gene activation that further enhanced neuronal function and in vivo-like signatures. The results show that the vascular system has specific maturation effects on spinal cord neural tissue, and the use of Organ-Chips can move stem cell models closer to an in vivo condition. : Sances et al. combine Organ-Chip technology with human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived spinal motor neurons to study the maturation effects of Organ-Chip culture. By including microvascular cells also derived from the same patient line, the authors show enhancement of neuronal function, reproduction of vascular-neuron pathways, and specific gene activation that resembles in vivo spinal cord development. Keywords: organ-on-chip, spinal cord, iPSC, disease modeling, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, microphysiological system, brain microvascular endothelial cells, spinal motor neurons, vasculature, microfluidic device

  3. Organically modified silica nanoparticles are biocompatible and can be targeted to neurons in vivo.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Farda Barandeh

    Full Text Available The application of nanotechnology in biological research is beginning to have a major impact leading to the development of new types of tools for human health. One focus of nanobiotechnology is the development of nanoparticle-based formulations for use in drug or gene delivery systems. However most of the nano probes currently in use have varying levels of toxicity in cells or whole organisms and therefore are not suitable for in vivo application or long-term use. Here we test the potential of a novel silica based nanoparticle (organically modified silica, ORMOSIL in living neurons within a whole organism. We show that feeding ORMOSIL nanoparticles to Drosophila has no effect on viability. ORMOSIL nanoparticles penetrate into living brains, neuronal cell bodies and axonal projections. In the neuronal cell body, nanoparticles are present in the cytoplasm, but not in the nucleus. Strikingly, incorporation of ORMOSIL nanoparticles into the brain did not induce aberrant neuronal death or interfered with normal neuronal processes. Our results in Drosophila indicate that these novel silica based nanoparticles are biocompatible and not toxic to whole organisms, and has potential for the development of long-term applications.

  4. Organically Modified Silica Nanoparticles Are Biocompatible and Can Be Targeted to Neurons In Vivo

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Rajiv; Iacobucci, Gary J.; Kuznicki, Michelle L.; Kosterman, Andrew; Bergey, Earl J.; Prasad, Paras N.; Gunawardena, Shermali

    2012-01-01

    The application of nanotechnology in biological research is beginning to have a major impact leading to the development of new types of tools for human health. One focus of nanobiotechnology is the development of nanoparticle-based formulations for use in drug or gene delivery systems. However most of the nano probes currently in use have varying levels of toxicity in cells or whole organisms and therefore are not suitable for in vivo application or long-term use. Here we test the potential of a novel silica based nanoparticle (organically modified silica, ORMOSIL) in living neurons within a whole organism. We show that feeding ORMOSIL nanoparticles to Drosophila has no effect on viability. ORMOSIL nanoparticles penetrate into living brains, neuronal cell bodies and axonal projections. In the neuronal cell body, nanoparticles are present in the cytoplasm, but not in the nucleus. Strikingly, incorporation of ORMOSIL nanoparticles into the brain did not induce aberrant neuronal death or interfered with normal neuronal processes. Our results in Drosophila indicate that these novel silica based nanoparticles are biocompatible and not toxic to whole organisms, and has potential for the development of long-term applications. PMID:22238611

  5. Micro-connectomics: probing the organization of neuronal networks at the cellular scale.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schröter, Manuel; Paulsen, Ole; Bullmore, Edward T

    2017-03-01

    Defining the organizational principles of neuronal networks at the cellular scale, or micro-connectomics, is a key challenge of modern neuroscience. In this Review, we focus on graph theoretical parameters of micro-connectome topology, often informed by economical principles that conceptually originated with Ramón y Cajal's conservation laws. First, we summarize results from studies in intact small organisms and in samples from larger nervous systems. We then evaluate the evidence for an economical trade-off between biological cost and functional value in the organization of neuronal networks. Various results suggest that many aspects of neuronal network organization are indeed the outcome of competition between these two fundamental selection pressures.

  6. Organization of left-right coordination of neuronal activity in the mammalian spinal cord

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Shevtsova, Natalia A.; Talpalar, Adolfo E.; Markin, Sergey N.

    2015-01-01

    . In this study, we construct and analyse two computational models of spinal locomotor circuits consisting of left and right rhythm generators interacting bilaterally via several neuronal pathways mediated by different CINs. The CIN populations incorporated in the models include the genetically identified......Different locomotor gaits in mammals, such as walking or galloping, are produced by coordinated activity in neuronal circuits in the spinal cord. Coordination of neuronal activity between left and right sides of the cord is provided by commissural interneurons (CINs), whose axons cross the midline...... and the left-right synchronous hopping-like pattern in mutants lacking specific neuron classes, and speed-dependent asymmetric changes of flexor and extensor phase durations. The models provide insights into the architecture of spinal network and the organization of parallel inhibitory and excitatory CIN...

  7. Spinal muscular atrophy: a motor neuron disorder or a multi-organ disease?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shababi, Monir; Lorson, Christian L; Rudnik-Schöneborn, Sabine S

    2014-01-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is an autosomal recessive disorder that is the leading genetic cause of infantile death. SMA is characterized by loss of motor neurons in the ventral horn of the spinal cord, leading to weakness and muscle atrophy. SMA occurs as a result of homozygous deletion or mutations in Survival Motor Neuron-1 (SMN1). Loss of SMN1 leads to a dramatic reduction in SMN protein, which is essential for motor neuron survival. SMA disease severity ranges from extremely severe to a relatively mild adult onset form of proximal muscle atrophy. Severe SMA patients typically die mostly within months or a few years as a consequence of respiratory insufficiency and bulbar paralysis. SMA is widely known as a motor neuron disease; however, there are numerous clinical reports indicating the involvement of additional peripheral organs contributing to the complete picture of the disease in severe cases. In this review, we have compiled clinical and experimental reports that demonstrate the association between the loss of SMN and peripheral organ deficiency and malfunction. Whether defective peripheral organs are a consequence of neuronal damage/muscle atrophy or a direct result of SMN loss will be discussed. © 2013 Anatomical Society.

  8. Self-organization without conservation: are neuronal avalanches generically critical?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonachela, Juan A.; de Franciscis, Sebastiano; Torres, Joaquín J.; Muñoz, Miguel A.

    2010-02-01

    Recent experiments on cortical neural networks have revealed the existence of well-defined avalanches of electrical activity. Such avalanches have been claimed to be generically scale invariant—i.e. power law distributed—with many exciting implications in neuroscience. Recently, a self-organized model has been proposed by Levina, Herrmann and Geisel to explain this empirical finding. Given that (i) neural dynamics is dissipative and (ii) there is a loading mechanism progressively 'charging' the background synaptic strength, this model/dynamics is very similar in spirit to forest-fire and earthquake models, archetypical examples of non-conserving self-organization, which have recently been shown to lack true criticality. Here we show that cortical neural networks obeying (i) and (ii) are not generically critical; unless parameters are fine-tuned, their dynamics is either subcritical or supercritical, even if the pseudo-critical region is relatively broad. This conclusion seems to be in agreement with the most recent experimental observations. The main implication of our work is that, if future experimental research on cortical networks were to support the observation that truly critical avalanches are the norm and not the exception, then one should look for more elaborate (adaptive/evolutionary) explanations, beyond simple self-organization, to account for this.

  9. INHIBITORY EFFECTS OF VOLATILE ORGANIC COMPOUNDS ON NEURONAL NICOTINIC ACETYLCHOLINE RECEPTORS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    INHIBITORY EFFECTS OF VOLATILE ORGANIC COMPOUNDS ON NEURONAL NICOTINIC ACETYLCHOLINE RECEPTORS. A.S. Bale*; P.J. Bushnell; C.A. Meacham; T.J. Shafer Neurotoxicology Division, NHEERL, ORD, US Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, NC, USA Toluene (TOL...

  10. 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)

  11. MeCP2, A Modulator of Neuronal Chromatin Organization Involved in Rett Syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martínez de Paz, Alexia; Ausió, Juan

    2017-01-01

    From an epigenetic perspective, the genomic chromatin organization of neurons exhibits unique features when compared to somatic cells. Methyl CpG binding protein 2 (MeCP2), through its ability to bind to methylated DNA, seems to be a major player in regulating such unusual organization. An important contribution to this uniqueness stems from the intrinsically disordered nature of this highly abundant chromosomal protein in neurons. Upon its binding to methylated/hydroxymethylated DNA, MeCP2 is able to recruit a plethora of interacting protein and RNA partners. The final outcome is a highly specialized chromatin organization wherein linker histones (histones of the H1 family) and MeCP2 share an organizational role that dynamically changes during neuronal development and that it is still poorly understood. MeCP2 mutations alter its chromatin-binding dynamics and/or impair the ability of the protein to interact with some of its partners, resulting in Rett syndrome (RTT). Therefore, deciphering the molecular details involved in the MeCP2 neuronal chromatin arrangement is critical for our understanding of the proper and altered functionality of these cells.

  12. The Expression of Fos, Jun and AP-1 DNA Binding Activity in Rat Supraoptic Nucleus Neurons Following Acute Versus Repeated Osmotic Stimulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    1995-06-22

    52: 3013-54 Bishop, J.M. 1987. The molecular genetics of cancer. Science 235, 305-310 145 Bishop, J.M., Varmus, H.E. 1982. Functions and origins of...administration of angiotensin II in rats with lesions of the septal area and subfornical organ. Neuroscience 15: 61-67 Irwin, J., Ahluwalia , P. and Anisman

  13. Neurobiologically Realistic Determinants of Self-Organized Criticality in Networks of Spiking Neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rubinov, Mikail; Sporns, Olaf; Thivierge, Jean-Philippe; Breakspear, Michael

    2011-01-01

    Self-organized criticality refers to the spontaneous emergence of self-similar dynamics in complex systems poised between order and randomness. The presence of self-organized critical dynamics in the brain is theoretically appealing and is supported by recent neurophysiological studies. Despite this, the neurobiological determinants of these dynamics have not been previously sought. Here, we systematically examined the influence of such determinants in hierarchically modular networks of leaky integrate-and-fire neurons with spike-timing-dependent synaptic plasticity and axonal conduction delays. We characterized emergent dynamics in our networks by distributions of active neuronal ensemble modules (neuronal avalanches) and rigorously assessed these distributions for power-law scaling. We found that spike-timing-dependent synaptic plasticity enabled a rapid phase transition from random subcritical dynamics to ordered supercritical dynamics. Importantly, modular connectivity and low wiring cost broadened this transition, and enabled a regime indicative of self-organized criticality. The regime only occurred when modular connectivity, low wiring cost and synaptic plasticity were simultaneously present, and the regime was most evident when between-module connection density scaled as a power-law. The regime was robust to variations in other neurobiologically relevant parameters and favored systems with low external drive and strong internal interactions. Increases in system size and connectivity facilitated internal interactions, permitting reductions in external drive and facilitating convergence of postsynaptic-response magnitude and synaptic-plasticity learning rate parameter values towards neurobiologically realistic levels. We hence infer a novel association between self-organized critical neuronal dynamics and several neurobiologically realistic features of structural connectivity. The central role of these features in our model may reflect their importance for

  14. Self-organization of orientation maps in a formal neuron model using a cluster learning rule.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuroiwa, J; Inawashiro, S; Miyake, S; Aso, H

    2000-01-01

    Self-organization of orientation maps due to external stimuli in the primary visual area of the cerebral cortex is studied in a two-layered neural network which consists of formal neuron models with a sigmoidal output function. A cluster learning rule is proposed as an extended Hebbian learning rule, where a modification of synaptic connections is influenced by an activation of neighboring output neurons. By making use of self-consistent Monte Carlo method, we evaluate output responses of neurons against explicit inputs after the learning. An orientation map calculated from the output responses reproduces characteristic features of biological ones. Moreover quantitative analysis of our results are consistent with those of experimental results. It is shown that the cluster learning rule plays an important role in forming smooth changes of preferred orientations.

  15. Organization of Valence-Encoding and Projection-Defined Neurons in the Basolateral Amygdala

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna Beyeler

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available The basolateral amygdala (BLA mediates associative learning for both fear and reward. Accumulating evidence supports the notion that different BLA projections distinctly alter motivated behavior, including projections to the nucleus accumbens (NAc, medial aspect of the central amygdala (CeM, and ventral hippocampus (vHPC. Although there is consensus regarding the existence of distinct subsets of BLA neurons encoding positive or negative valence, controversy remains regarding the anatomical arrangement of these populations. First, we map the location of more than 1,000 neurons distributed across the BLA and recorded during a Pavlovian discrimination task. Next, we determine the location of projection-defined neurons labeled with retrograde tracers and use CLARITY to reveal the axonal path in 3-dimensional space. Finally, we examine the local influence of each projection-defined populations within the BLA. Understanding the functional and topographical organization of circuits underlying valence assignment could reveal fundamental principles about emotional processing.

  16. New neurons for injured brains? The emergence of new genetic model organisms to study brain regeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernández-Hernández, Ismael; Rhiner, Christa

    2015-09-01

    Neuronal circuits in the adult brain have long been viewed as static and stable. However, research in the past 20 years has shown that specialized regions of the adult brain, which harbor adult neural stem cells, continue to produce new neurons in a wide range of species. Brain plasticity is also observed after injury. Depending on the extent and permissive environment of neurogenic regions, different organisms show great variability in their capacity to replace lost neurons by endogenous neurogenesis. In Zebrafish and Drosophila, the formation of new neurons from progenitor cells in the adult brain was only discovered recently. Here, we compare properties of adult neural stem cells, their niches and regenerative responses from mammals to flies. Current models of brain injury have revealed that specific injury-induced genetic programs and comparison of neuronal fitness are implicated in brain repair. We highlight the potential of these recently implemented models of brain regeneration to identify novel regulators of stem cell activation and regenerative neurogenesis. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Phase transitions and self-organized criticality in networks of stochastic spiking neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brochini, Ludmila; de Andrade Costa, Ariadne; Abadi, Miguel; Roque, Antônio C.; Stolfi, Jorge; Kinouchi, Osame

    2016-11-01

    Phase transitions and critical behavior are crucial issues both in theoretical and experimental neuroscience. We report analytic and computational results about phase transitions and self-organized criticality (SOC) in networks with general stochastic neurons. The stochastic neuron has a firing probability given by a smooth monotonic function Φ(V) of the membrane potential V, rather than a sharp firing threshold. We find that such networks can operate in several dynamic regimes (phases) depending on the average synaptic weight and the shape of the firing function Φ. In particular, we encounter both continuous and discontinuous phase transitions to absorbing states. At the continuous transition critical boundary, neuronal avalanches occur whose distributions of size and duration are given by power laws, as observed in biological neural networks. We also propose and test a new mechanism to produce SOC: the use of dynamic neuronal gains - a form of short-term plasticity probably located at the axon initial segment (AIS) - instead of depressing synapses at the dendrites (as previously studied in the literature). The new self-organization mechanism produces a slightly supercritical state, that we called SOSC, in accord to some intuitions of Alan Turing.

  18. Phase transitions and self-organized criticality in networks of stochastic spiking neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brochini, Ludmila; de Andrade Costa, Ariadne; Abadi, Miguel; Roque, Antônio C; Stolfi, Jorge; Kinouchi, Osame

    2016-11-07

    Phase transitions and critical behavior are crucial issues both in theoretical and experimental neuroscience. We report analytic and computational results about phase transitions and self-organized criticality (SOC) in networks with general stochastic neurons. The stochastic neuron has a firing probability given by a smooth monotonic function Φ(V) of the membrane potential V, rather than a sharp firing threshold. We find that such networks can operate in several dynamic regimes (phases) depending on the average synaptic weight and the shape of the firing function Φ. In particular, we encounter both continuous and discontinuous phase transitions to absorbing states. At the continuous transition critical boundary, neuronal avalanches occur whose distributions of size and duration are given by power laws, as observed in biological neural networks. We also propose and test a new mechanism to produce SOC: the use of dynamic neuronal gains - a form of short-term plasticity probably located at the axon initial segment (AIS) - instead of depressing synapses at the dendrites (as previously studied in the literature). The new self-organization mechanism produces a slightly supercritical state, that we called SOSC, in accord to some intuitions of Alan Turing.

  19. Encoding properties of the mechanosensory neurons in the Johnston's organ of the hawk moth, Manduca sexta.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dieudonné, Alexandre; Daniel, Thomas L; Sane, Sanjay P

    2014-09-01

    Antennal mechanosensors play a key role in control and stability of insect flight. In addition to the well-established role of antennae as airflow detectors, recent studies have indicated that the sensing of antennal vibrations by Johnston's organs also provides a mechanosensory feedback relevant for flight stabilization. However, few studies have addressed how the individual units, or scolopidia, of the Johnston's organs encode these antennal vibrations and communicate it to the brain. Here, we characterize the encoding properties of individual scolopidia from the Johnston's organs in the hawk moth, Manduca sexta, through intracellular neurophysiological recordings from axons of the scolopidial neurons. We stimulated the flagellum-pedicel joint using a custom setup that delivered mechanical stimuli of various (step, sinusoidal, frequency and amplitude sweeps) waveforms. Single units of the Johnston's organs typically displayed phaso-tonic responses to step stimuli with short (3-5 ms) latencies. Their phase-locked response to sinusoidal stimuli in the 0.1-100 Hz frequency range showed high fidelity (vector strengths>0.9). The neurons were able to encode different phases of the stimulus motion and were also extremely sensitive to small amplitude (<0.05 deg) deflections with some indication of directional tuning. In many cases, the firing frequency of the neurons varied linearly as a function of the stimulus frequency at wingbeat and double wingbeat frequencies, which may be relevant to their role in flight stabilization. Iontophoretic fills of these neurons with fluorescent dyes showed that they all projected in the antennal mechanosensory and motor center (AMMC) area of the brain. Taken together, these results showcase the speed and high sensitivity of scolopidia of the Johnston's organs, and hence their ability to encode fine antennal vibrations. © 2014. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  20. Synaptic Noise Facilitates the Emergence of Self-Organized Criticality in the Caenorhabditis elegans Neuronal Network

    OpenAIRE

    Çiftçi, Koray

    2017-01-01

    Avalanches with power-law distributed size parameters have been observed in neuronal networks. This observation might be a manifestation of the self-organized criticality (SOC). Yet, the physiological mechanicsm of this behavior is currently unknown. Describing synaptic noise as transmission failures mainly originating from the probabilistic nature of neurotransmitter release, this study investigates the potential of this noise as a mechanism for driving the functional architecture of the neu...

  1. Self-organized criticality occurs in non-conservative neuronal networks during `up' states

    Science.gov (United States)

    Millman, Daniel; Mihalas, Stefan; Kirkwood, Alfredo; Niebur, Ernst

    2010-10-01

    During sleep, under anaesthesia and in vitro, cortical neurons in sensory, motor, association and executive areas fluctuate between so-called up and down states, which are characterized by distinct membrane potentials and spike rates. Another phenomenon observed in preparations similar to those that exhibit up and down states-such as anaesthetized rats, brain slices and cultures devoid of sensory input, as well as awake monkey cortex-is self-organized criticality (SOC). SOC is characterized by activity `avalanches' with a branching parameter near unity and size distribution that obeys a power law with a critical exponent of about -3/2. Recent work has demonstrated SOC in conservative neuronal network models, but critical behaviour breaks down when biologically realistic `leaky' neurons are introduced. Here, we report robust SOC behaviour in networks of non-conservative leaky integrate-and-fire neurons with short-term synaptic depression. We show analytically and numerically that these networks typically have two stable activity levels, corresponding to up and down states, that the networks switch spontaneously between these states and that up states are critical and down states are subcritical.

  2. Emergence of small-world anatomical networks in self-organizing clustered neuronal cultures.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel de Santos-Sierra

    Full Text Available In vitro primary cultures of dissociated invertebrate neurons from locust ganglia are used to experimentally investigate the morphological evolution of assemblies of living neurons, as they self-organize from collections of separated cells into elaborated, clustered, networks. At all the different stages of the culture's development, identification of neurons' and neurites' location by means of a dedicated software allows to ultimately extract an adjacency matrix from each image of the culture. In turn, a systematic statistical analysis of a group of topological observables grants us the possibility of quantifying and tracking the progression of the main network's characteristics during the self-organization process of the culture. Our results point to the existence of a particular state corresponding to a small-world network configuration, in which several relevant graph's micro- and meso-scale properties emerge. Finally, we identify the main physical processes ruling the culture's morphological transformations, and embed them into a simplified growth model qualitatively reproducing the overall set of experimental observations.

  3. Super-resolution microscopy reveals functional organization of dopamine transporters into cholesterol and neuronal activity-dependent nanodomains

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rahbek-Clemmensen, Troels; Lycas, Matthew D.; Erlendsson, Simon

    2017-01-01

    to cholesterol depletion. Live photoactivated localization microscopy shows a similar dopamine transporter membrane organization in live heterologous cells. In neurons, dual-color dSTORM shows that tyrosine hydroxylase and vesicular monoamine transporter-2 are distinctively localized adjacent to...

  4. [Organization of the receptive fields of the superior colliculus neurons of the squirrel Sciurus vulgaris].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mass, A M

    1976-01-01

    Studies have been made on the reaction of single neurons of the superior colliculus to stationary and moving visual stimuli in immobilized squirrels. The main bulk of collicular units (59%) is not directionally selective, 11%--exhibit high directional selectivity and 30%--were found to be relatively selective. Most of the cells (85%) "prefer" high speed of stimulus motion. Optimal speed for these neurons is equal to 30--100 degree/sec. Testing by a stationary light spot (0.5degree in diameter), reveals different structure of the receptive fields with various types of "on"-and "off"-inputs. Lateral inhibition was observed in the receptive fields with both uniform organization and separated "on" and "off" areas.

  5. Northeast Under/graduate Research Organization for Neuroscience (NEURON): Our Thirteenth Conference for Neuroscience Trainees and Educators

    OpenAIRE

    McLaughlin, Jay P.; Gomes, Stacey; Seliga, Angela; Goyette, Sharon Ramos; Morrison, Amy; Reich, Christian G.; Frye, Cheryl A.

    2009-01-01

    The Northeast Under/Graduate Research Organization for Neuroscience (NEURON) was established 12 years ago in order to foster the training, education, and research of both undergraduate and graduate neuroscience students. NEURON hosts two annual conferences (Boston in the fall; New York City in the spring) to promote and support neuroscience training, education, and research. For 12 years, the organization has promoted neuroscience by exposing neuroscience trainees to research and educational ...

  6. Pinceau Organization in the Cerebellum Requires Distinct Functions of Neurofascin in Purkinje and Basket Neurons During Postnatal Development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buttermore, Elizabeth D.; Piochon, Claire; Wallace, Michael L.; Philpot, Benjamin D.; Hansel, Christian; Bhat, Manzoor A.

    2012-01-01

    Basket axon collaterals synapse onto the Purkinje soma/axon initial segment (AIS) area to form specialized structures, the pinceau, which are critical for normal cerebellar function. Mechanistic details of how the pinceau become organized during cerebellar development are poorly understood. Loss of cytoskeletal adaptor protein Ankyrin G (AnkG) results in mislocalization of the cell adhesion molecule Neurofascin (Nfasc) at the Purkinje AIS and abnormal organization of the pinceau. Loss of Nfasc in adult Purkinje neurons leads to slow disorganization of the Purkinje AIS and pinceau morphology. Here we utilized mouse conditional knockout techniques to show that selective loss of Nfasc specifically in Purkinje neurons during early development prevented maturation of the AIS and resulted in loss of Purkinje neuron spontaneous activity and pinceau disorganization. Loss of Nfasc in both Purkinje and basket neurons caused abnormal basket axon collateral branching and targeting to Purkinje soma/AIS, leading to extensive pinceau disorganization, Purkinje neuron degeneration and severe ataxia. Our studies reveal that the Purkinje Nfasc is required for AIS maturation and for maintaining stable contacts between basket axon terminals and the Purkinje AIS during pinceau organization, while the basket neuron Nfasc in combination with Purkinje Nfasc is required for proper basket axon collateral outgrowth and targeting to Purkinje soma/AIS. Thus, cerebellar pinceau organization requires coordinated mechanisms involving specific Nfasc functions in both Purkinje and basket neurons. PMID:22492029

  7. Relative toxicity for indoor semi volatile organic compounds based on neuronal death.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fournier, Kevin; Baumont, Emmanuel; Glorennec, Philippe; Bonvallot, Nathalie

    2017-09-05

    Semi Volatile Organic Compounds (SVOCs) are contaminants commonly found in dwellings as a result of their use as plasticizers, flame retardants, or pesticides in building materials and consumer products. Many SVOCs are suspected of being neurotoxic, based on mammal experimentation (impairment of locomotor activity, spatial learning/memory or behavioral changes), raising the question of cumulative risk assessment. The aim of this work is to estimate the relative toxicity of such SVOCs, based on neuronal death. SVOCs fulfilling the following conditions were included: detection frequency >10% in dwellings, availability of data on effects or mechanism of action for neurotoxicity, and availability of dose-response relationships based on cell viability assays as a proxy of neuronal death. Benchmark concentration values (BMC) were estimated using a Hill model, and compared to assess relative toxicity. Of the 58 SVOCs selected, 28 were suspected of being neurotoxic in mammals, and 21 have been documented as inducing a decrease in cell viability in vitro. 13 have at least one dose-response relationship that can be used to derive a BMC based on a 10% fall in neuronal viability. Based on this in vitro endpoint, PCB-153 appeared to be the most toxic compound, having the lowest BMC 10 (0.072μM) and diazinon the least toxic compound, having the highest BMC 10 (94.35μM). We showed that experimental designs (in particular choice of cell lines) had a significant influence on BMC calculation. For the first time, the relative in vitro toxicity of 13 indoor contaminants belonging to different chemical families has been assessed on the basis of neuronal cell viability. Lack of comparable toxicity datasets limits the number of SVOCs that can be included. More standardized protocols in terms of cell lines, species and exposure duration should be developed with a view to cumulative risk assessment. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. Identification of Transgenic Organisms Based on Terahertz Spectroscopy and Hyper Sausage Neuron

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, J.; Li, Zh.; Hu, F.; Chen, T.; Du, Y.; Xin, H.

    2015-03-01

    This paper presents a novel approach for identifi cation of terahertz (THz) spectra of genetically modifi ed organisms (GMOs) based on hyper sausage neuron (HSN), and THz transmittance spectra of some typical transgenic sugarbeet samples are investigated to demonstrate its feasibility. Principal component analysis (PCA) is applied to extract features of the spectrum data, and instead of the original spectrum data, the feature signals are fed into the HSN pattern recognition, a new multiple weights neural network (MWNN). The experimental result shows that the HSN model not only can correctly classify different types of transgenic sugar-beets, but also can reject nonsimilar samples of the same type. The proposed approach provides a new effective method for detection and identification of genetically modified organisms by using THz spectroscopy.

  9. Distribution and compartmental organization of GABAergic medium-sized spiny neurons in the mouse Nucleus Accumbens

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giuseppe eGangarossa

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available The nucleus accumbens (NAc is a critical brain region involved in many reward-related behaviors. The NAc comprises major compartments the core and the shell, which encompass several subterritories. GABAergic medium-sized spiny neurons (MSNs constitute the output neurons of the NAc core and shell. While the functional organization of the NAc core outputs resembles the one described for the dorsal striatum, a simple classification of the NAc shell neurons has been difficult to define due to the complexity of the compartmental segregation of cells. We used a variety of BAC transgenic mice expressing enhanced green fluorescence (EGFP or the Cre-recombinase (Cre under the control of the promoter of dopamine D1, D2, and D3 receptors and of adenosine A2a receptor to dissect the microanatomy of the NAc. Moreover, using various immunological markers we characterized in detail the distribution of MSNs in the mouse NAc. In addition, cell-type specific ERK phosphorylation in the NAc subterritories was analyzed following acute administration of SKF81297 (a D1R-like agonist, quinpirole (a D2R-like agonist, apomorphine (a non-selective DA receptor agonist, raclopride (a D2R-like antagonist, and psychostimulant drugs, including cocaine and d-amphetamine. Each drug generated a unique topography and cell-type specific activation of ERK in the NAc. Our results show the existence of marked differences in the receptor expression pattern and functional activation of MSNs within the shell subterritories. This study emphasizes the anatomical and functional heterogeneity of the NAc, which will have to be considered in its further study.

  10. Morphometric analysis of neurons from the marginal and substantia gelatinosa layers of human spinal cord: Classification according to laminar organization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Milošević Nebojša T.

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available The main goal of morphometric analysis of neuronal images, except for getting information about their geometry and dendritic branching patterns, is their classification based on laminar organization. The majority of contemporary techniques for image analysis are based on the application of fractal theory, which has some limitations on results analysis. For that reasons, the new, mostly nonfractal techniques for image analysis had been designed in the past few years. This study shows the analysis of morphometry of the human spinal cord neurons from the marginal (lamina I and substantia gelatinosa (laminae I-II. For the analysis of neuron images two techniques of morphometric analysis were used: box-counting method as a mainly used technique for fractal analysis, and circle-counting method as a newly designed technique for measuring the length of dendrites. The use of these methods for neurons of the mentioned regions of human spinal cord showed that circlecounting method had given more accurate results than fractal analysis method. When the proposed method was used for the analysis of neuronal images, it was possible to classify neurons according to their laminar position.

  11. Cortical Motor Organization, Mirror Neurons, and Embodied Language: An Evolutionary Perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leonardo Fogassi

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available The recent conceptual achievement that the cortical motor system plays a crucial role not only in motor control but also in higher cognitive functions has given a new perspective also on the involvement of motor cortex in language perception and production. In particular, there is evidence that the matching mechanism based on mirror neurons can be involved in both pho-nological recognition and retrieval of meaning, especially for action word categories, thus suggesting a contribution of an action–perception mechanism to the automatic comprehension of semantics. Furthermore, a compari-son of the anatomo-functional properties of the frontal motor cortex among different primates and their communicative modalities indicates that the combination of the voluntary control of the gestural communication systems and of the vocal apparatus has been the critical factor in the transition from a gestural-based communication into a predominantly speech-based system. Finally, considering that the monkey and human premotor-parietal motor system, plus the prefrontal cortex, are involved in the sequential motor organization of actions and in the hierarchical combination of motor elements, we propose that elements of such motor organization have been exploited in other domains, including some aspects of the syntactic structure of language.

  12. In search of a periodic table of the neurons: Axonal-dendritic circuitry as the organizing principle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ascoli, Giorgio A.; Wheeler, Diek W.

    2016-01-01

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

  13. Organization of left–right coordination of neuronal activity in the mammalian spinal cord: Insights from computational modelling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shevtsova, Natalia A; Talpalar, Adolfo E; Markin, Sergey N; Harris-Warrick, Ronald M; Kiehn, Ole; Rybak, Ilya A

    2015-01-01

    Different locomotor gaits in mammals, such as walking or galloping, are produced by coordinated activity in neuronal circuits in the spinal cord. Coordination of neuronal activity between left and right sides of the cord is provided by commissural interneurons (CINs), whose axons cross the midline. In this study, we construct and analyse two computational models of spinal locomotor circuits consisting of left and right rhythm generators interacting bilaterally via several neuronal pathways mediated by different CINs. The CIN populations incorporated in the models include the genetically identified inhibitory (V0D) and excitatory (V0V) subtypes of V0 CINs and excitatory V3 CINs. The model also includes the ipsilaterally projecting excitatory V2a interneurons mediating excitatory drive to the V0V CINs. The proposed network architectures and CIN connectivity allow the models to closely reproduce and suggest mechanistic explanations for several experimental observations. These phenomena include: different speed-dependent contributions of V0D and V0V CINs and V2a interneurons to left–right alternation of neural activity, switching gaits between the left–right alternating walking-like activity and the left–right synchronous hopping-like pattern in mutants lacking specific neuron classes, and speed-dependent asymmetric changes of flexor and extensor phase durations. The models provide insights into the architecture of spinal network and the organization of parallel inhibitory and excitatory CIN pathways and suggest explanations for how these pathways maintain alternating and synchronous gaits at different locomotor speeds. The models propose testable predictions about the neural organization and operation of mammalian locomotor circuits. Key points Coordination of neuronal activity between left and right sides of the mammalian spinal cord is provided by several sets of commissural interneurons (CINs) whose axons cross the midline. Genetically identified inhibitory V

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gabriel Koch Ocker

    2015-08-01

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

  15. Structural organization of procerebrums of terrestrial molluscs : Characteristics of neuronal pattern, plasticity, and age peculiarities

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zaitseva, OV

    2000-01-01

    In terrestrial snails and slugs, the presence of five types of neurons has been shown: typical granular, horizontal, stellate, apical, and basal cells. A peculiarity of procerebrum neurons is a loop-like segment of the basal process. Granular cells have been established to spread both as cell

  16. Self-organization of synchronous activity propagation in neuronal networks driven by local excitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bayati, Mehdi; Valizadeh, Alireza; Abbassian, Abdolhossein; Cheng, Sen

    2015-01-01

    Many experimental and theoretical studies have suggested that the reliable propagation of synchronous neural activity is crucial for neural information processing. The propagation of synchronous firing activity in so-called synfire chains has been studied extensively in feed-forward networks of spiking neurons. However, it remains unclear how such neural activity could emerge in recurrent neuronal networks through synaptic plasticity. In this study, we investigate whether local excitation, i.e., neurons that fire at a higher frequency than the other, spontaneously active neurons in the network, can shape a network to allow for synchronous activity propagation. We use two-dimensional, locally connected and heterogeneous neuronal networks with spike-timing dependent plasticity (STDP). We find that, in our model, local excitation drives profound network changes within seconds. In the emergent network, neural activity propagates synchronously through the network. This activity originates from the site of the local excitation and propagates through the network. The synchronous activity propagation persists, even when the local excitation is removed, since it derives from the synaptic weight matrix. Importantly, once this connectivity is established it remains stable even in the presence of spontaneous activity. Our results suggest that synfire-chain-like activity can emerge in a relatively simple way in realistic neural networks by locally exciting the desired origin of the neuronal sequence.

  17. Neuronal Regression of Internal Leg Vibroreceptor Organs in a Cave-Dwelling Insect (Orthoptera: Rhaphidophoridae: Dolichopoda araneiformis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strauß, Johannes; Stritih, Nataša

    2017-01-01

    Animals' adaptations to cave habitats generally include elaboration of extraoptic senses, and in insects the receptor structures located on the legs are supposed to become more prominent in response to constant darkness. The receptors for detecting substrate vibrations are often highly sensitive scolopidial sensilla localized within the legs or the body. For troglobitic insects the evolutionary changes in vibroreceptor organs have not been studied. Since rock is an extremely unfavorable medium for vibration transmission, selection on vibration receptors may be weakened in caves, and these sensory organs may undergo regressive evolution. We investigated the anatomy of the most elaborate internal vibration detection system in orthopteroid insects, the scolopidial subgenual organ complex in the cave cricket Dolichopoda araneiformis (Orthoptera: Ensifera: Rhaphidophoridae). This is a suitable model species which shows high levels of adaptation to cave life in terms of both phenotypic and life cycle characteristics. We compared our data with data on the anatomy and physiology of the subgenual organ complex from the related troglophilic species Troglophilus neglectus. In D. araneiformis, the subgenual organ complex contains three scolopidial organs: the subgenual organ, the intermediate organ, and the accessory organ. The presence of individual organs and their innervation pattern are identical to those found in T. neglectus, while the subgenual organ and the accessory organ of D. araneiformis contain about 50% fewer scolopidial sensilla than in T. neglectus. This suggests neuronal regression of these organs in D. araneiformis, which may reflect a relaxed selection pressure for vibration detection in caves. At the same time, a high level of overall neuroanatomical conservation of the intermediate organ in this species suggests persistence of the selection pressure maintaining this particular organ. While regressive evolution of chordotonal organs has been documented for

  18. Sub-cellular organization of the melanin-concentrating hormone neurons in the hypothalamus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jancsik, Veronika; Bene, Roland; Sótonyi, Péter; Zachar, Gergely

    2018-01-01

    Melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) is a potent orexigenic and sleep-promoting neuropeptide in mammals produced predominately by hypothalamic neurons which project to a wide variety of brain areas. Several MCH producing neurons contain MCH as the only neuropeptide, while others comprise cocaine- and amphetamine regulated transcript (CART) as well. The intrahypothalamic localization and the projection pattern of these two subpopulations are distinct. To provide structural grounding to understand the mechanism of action of MCH neurons we show here the subcellular localization of the neuropeptides in the two subpopulations within the hypothalamus of healthy young male mice by applying single and double immunofluorescence labelling.; Thick, prominent MCH immunopositive reticulation and fine discrete granules are detected within the perikarya of both CART positive and CART-free MCH neurons. Typically, one or more immunoreactive processes emanate from the perikarya. The bulk of CART immunoreactivity is also centrally positioned, surrounded by sparse immunoreactive granules within the perikarya and in the processes. In double immunopositive neurons, the two neuropeptides seem to colocalize in the heavily labelled central area, while the immunopositive granules in the cell body periphery and in the processes apparently contain either MCH or CART. This spatial arrangement suggests that MCH and CART, after being synthetized and processed in the endoplasmic reticulum/Golgi complex, are sorted into separate dense core vesicles, which then enter into the cell processes. This mechanism allows for both concerted and independent regulation of the transport and release of MCH and CART. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Neuronal projections from the Haller's organ and palp sensilla to the synganglion of Amblyomma americanum

    Science.gov (United States)

    The present study was conducted to elucidate the neuronal pathways between peripheral olfactory and taste sensilla and the synganglion in an Ixodidae tick species. The tarsus of the front legs (olfactory nerves) and the fourth palpal segment (gustatory nerves) of unfed Amblyomma americanum males and...

  20. [The motor organization of cerebral cortex and the role of the mirror neuron system. Clinical impact for rehabilitation].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sallés, Laia; Gironès, Xavier; Lafuente, José Vicente

    2015-01-06

    The basic characteristics of Penfield homunculus (somatotopy and unique representation) have been questioned. The existence of a defined anatomo-functional organization within different segments of the same region is controversial. The presence of multiple motor representations in the primary motor area and in the parietal lobe interconnected by parieto-frontal circuits, which are widely overlapped, form a complex organization. Both features support the recovery of functions after brain injury. Regarding the movement organization, it is possible to yield a relevant impact through the understanding of actions and intentions of others, which is mediated by the activation of mirror-neuron systems. The implementation of cognitive functions (observation, image of the action and imitation) from the acute treatment phase allows the activation of motor representations without having to perform the action and it plays an important role in learning motor patterns. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier España, S.L.U. All rights reserved.

  1. A decaying factor accounts for contained activity in neuronal networks with no need of hierarchical or modular organization

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Amancio, Diego R; Oliveira Jr, Osvaldo N; Costa, Luciano da F

    2012-01-01

    The mechanisms responsible for containing activity in systems represented by networks are crucial in various phenomena, for example, in diseases such as epilepsy that affect the neuronal networks and for information dissemination in social networks. The first models to account for contained activity included triggering and inhibition processes, but they cannot be applied to social networks where inhibition is clearly absent. A recent model showed that contained activity can be achieved with no need of inhibition processes provided that the network is subdivided into modules (communities). In this paper, we introduce a new concept inspired in the Hebbian theory, through which containment of activity is achieved by incorporating a dynamics based on a decaying activity in a random walk mechanism preferential to the node activity. Upon selecting the decay coefficient within a proper range, we observed sustained activity in all the networks tested, namely, random, Barabási–Albert and geographical networks. The generality of this finding was confirmed by showing that modularity is no longer needed if the dynamics based on the integrate-and-fire dynamics incorporated the decay factor. Taken together, these results provide a proof of principle that persistent, restrained network activation might occur in the absence of any particular topological structure. This may be the reason why neuronal activity does not spread out to the entire neuronal network, even when no special topological organization exists. (paper)

  2. A decaying factor accounts for contained activity in neuronal networks with no need of hierarchical or modular organization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amancio, Diego R.; Oliveira, Osvaldo N., Jr.; Costa, Luciano da F.

    2012-11-01

    The mechanisms responsible for containing activity in systems represented by networks are crucial in various phenomena, for example, in diseases such as epilepsy that affect the neuronal networks and for information dissemination in social networks. The first models to account for contained activity included triggering and inhibition processes, but they cannot be applied to social networks where inhibition is clearly absent. A recent model showed that contained activity can be achieved with no need of inhibition processes provided that the network is subdivided into modules (communities). In this paper, we introduce a new concept inspired in the Hebbian theory, through which containment of activity is achieved by incorporating a dynamics based on a decaying activity in a random walk mechanism preferential to the node activity. Upon selecting the decay coefficient within a proper range, we observed sustained activity in all the networks tested, namely, random, Barabási-Albert and geographical networks. The generality of this finding was confirmed by showing that modularity is no longer needed if the dynamics based on the integrate-and-fire dynamics incorporated the decay factor. Taken together, these results provide a proof of principle that persistent, restrained network activation might occur in the absence of any particular topological structure. This may be the reason why neuronal activity does not spread out to the entire neuronal network, even when no special topological organization exists. .

  3. New aspects of fenestrated vasculature and tissue dynamics in the sensory circumventricular organs of adult brains

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seiji eMiyata

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available The blood–brain barrier (BBB generally consists of endothelial tight junction barriers that prevent the free entry of blood-derived substances, thereby maintaining the extracellular environment of the brain. However, the circumventricular organs (CVOs, which are located along the midlines of the brain ventricles, lack these endothelial barriers and have fenestrated capillaries; therefore, they have a number of essential functions, including the transduction of information between the blood circulation and brain. Previous studies have demonstrated the extensive contribution of the CVOs to body fluid and thermal homeostasis, energy balance, the chemoreception of blood-derived substances, and neuroinflammation. In this review, recent advances have been discussed in fenestrated capillary characterization and dynamic tissue reconstruction accompanied by angiogenesis and neurogliogenesis in the sensory CVOs of adult brains. The sensory CVOs, including the organum vasculosum of the lamina terminalis (OVLT, subfornical organ (SFO, and area postrema (AP, have size-selective and heterogeneous vascular permeabilities. Astrocyte-/tanycyte-like neural stem cells (NSCs sense blood- and cerebrospinal fluid-derived information through the transient receptor potential vanilloid 1, a mechanical/osmotic receptor, Toll-like receptor 4, a lipopolysaccharide receptor, and Nax, a Na-sensing Na channel. They also express tight junction proteins and densely and tightly surround mature neurons to protect them from blood-derived neurotoxic substances, indicating that the NSCs of the CVOs perform BBB functions while maintaining the capacity to differentiate into new neurons and glial cells. In addition to neurogliogenesis, the density of fenestrated capillaries is regulated by angiogenesis, which is accompanied by the active proliferation and sprouting of endothelial cells. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF signaling may be involved in angiogenesis and

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ascoli, Giorgio A; Wheeler, Diek W

    2016-10-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. VOLATILE ORGANIC COMPOUNDS INHIBIT HUMAN AND RAT NEURONAL NICOTINIC ACETYLCHOLINE RECEPTORS EXPRESSED IN XENOPUS OOCYTES.

    Science.gov (United States)

    This manuscript provides evidence to indicate that rats and humans are equally sensitive at the pharmacodynamic level to effects of volatile organic compounds.? This manuscript also presents novel data that provides a plausible mechanism, disruption of ion channel functi...

  7. Dietary sodium deprivation evokes activation of brain regional neurons and down-regulation of angiotensin II type 1 receptor and angiotensin-convertion enzyme mRNA expression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, B; Yang, X J; Chen, K; Yang, D J; Yan, J Q

    2009-12-15

    Previous studies have indicated that the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) is implicated in the induction of sodium appetite in rats and that different dietary sodium intakes influence the mRNA expression of central and peripheral RAAS components. To determine whether dietary sodium deprivation activates regional brain neurons related to sodium appetite, and changes their gene expression of RAAS components of rats, the present study examined the c-Fos expression after chronic exposure to low sodium diet, and determined the relationship between plasma and brain angiotensin I (ANG I), angiotensin II (ANG II) and aldosterone (ALD) levels and the sodium ingestive behavior variations, as well as the effects of prolonged dietary sodium deprivation on ANG II type 1 (AT1) and ANG II type 2 (AT2) receptors and angiotensin-convertion enzyme (ACE) mRNA levels in the involved brain regions using the method of real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Results showed that the Fos immunoreactivity (Fos-ir) expression in forebrain areas such as subfornical organ (SFO), paraventricular hypothalamic nuclei (PVN), supraoptic nucleus (SON) and organum vasculosum laminae terminalis (OVLT) all increased significantly and that the levels of ANG I, ANG II and ALD also increased in plasma and forebrain in rats fed with low sodium diet. In contrast, AT1, ACE mRNA in PVN, SON and OVLT decreased significantly in dietary sodium depleted rats, while AT2 mRNA expression did not change in the examined areas. These results suggest that many brain areas are activated by increased levels of plasma and/or brain ANG II and ALD, which underlies the elevated preference for hypertonic salt solution after prolonged exposure to low sodium diet, and that the regional AT1 and ACE mRNA are down-regulated after dietary sodium deprivation, which may be mediated by increased ANG II in plasma and/or brain tissue.

  8. INHIBITION OF HUMAN A7 NEURONAL NICOTINIC ACETYLCHOLINE RECEPTORS BY THE VOLATILE ORGANIC SOLVENT TRICHLOROETHYLENE.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Volatile organic compounds such as toleune, trichloroethylene and perchloroethylene are potent and reversible blockers of voltage-gated calcium current in nerve growth factor (NGF)-differentiated pheochromocytoma (PC12) cells. It is hypothesized that effects of VOCs on ICa contri...

  9. The Suprachiasmatic nucleus balances sympathetic and parasympathetic output to peripheral organs through separate preautonomic neurons

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Buijs, Ruud M.; la Fleur, Susanne E.; Wortel, Joke; van Heyningen, Caroline; Zuiddam, Laura; Mettenleiter, Thomas C.; Kalsbeek, Andries; Nagai, Katsuya; Niijima, Akira

    2003-01-01

    Opposing parasympathetic and sympathetic signals determine the autonomic output of the brain to the body and the change in balance over the sleep-wake cycle. The suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) organizes the activity/inactivity cycle and the behaviors that go along with it, but it is unclear how the

  10. Organization and number of orexinergic neurons in the hypothalamus of two species of Cetartiodactyla: a comparison of giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis) and harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dell, Leigh-Anne; Patzke, Nina; Bhagwandin, Adhil; Bux, Faiza; Fuxe, Kjell; Barber, Grace; Siegel, Jerome M; Manger, Paul R

    2012-07-01

    The present study describes the organization of the orexinergic (hypocretinergic) neurons in the hypothalamus of the giraffe and harbour porpoise--two members of the mammalian Order Cetartiodactyla which is comprised of the even-toed ungulates and the cetaceans as they share a monophyletic ancestry. Diencephalons from two sub-adult male giraffes and two adult male harbour porpoises were coronally sectioned and immunohistochemically stained for orexin-A. The staining revealed that the orexinergic neurons could be readily divided into two distinct neuronal types based on somal volume, area and length, these being the parvocellular and magnocellular orexin-A immunopositive (OxA+) groups. The magnocellular group could be further subdivided, on topological grounds, into three distinct clusters--a main cluster in the perifornical and lateral hypothalamus, a cluster associated with the zona incerta and a cluster associated with the optic tract. The parvocellular neurons were found in the medial hypothalamus, but could not be subdivided, rather they form a topologically amorphous cluster. The parvocellular cluster appears to be unique to the Cetartiodactyla as these neurons have not been described in other mammals to date, while the magnocellular nuclei appear to be homologous to similar nuclei described in other mammals. The overall size of both the parvocellular and magnocellular neurons (based on somal volume, area and length) were larger in the giraffe than the harbour porpoise, but the harbour porpoise had a higher number of both parvocellular and magnocellular orexinergic neurons than the giraffe despite both having a similar brain mass. The higher number of both parvocellular and magnocellular orexinergic neurons in the harbour porpoise may relate to the unusual sleep mechanisms in the cetaceans. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Organization and number of orexinergic neurons in the hypothalamus of two species of Cetartiodactyla: A comparison of giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis) and harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dell, Leigh-Anne; Patzke, Nina; Bhagwandin, Adhil; Bux, Faiza; Fuxe, Kjell; Barber, Grace; Siegel, Jerome M.; Manger, Paul R.

    2012-01-01

    The present study describes the organization of the orexinergic (hypocretinergic) neurons in the hypothalamus of the giraffe and harbour porpoise – two members of the mammalian Order Cetartiodactyla which is comprised of the even-toed ungulates and the cetaceans as they share a monophyletic ancestry. Diencephalons from two sub-adult male giraffes and two adult male harbour porpoises were coronally sectioned and immunohistochemically stained for orexin-A. The staining revealed that the orexinergic neurons could be readily divided into two distinct neuronal types based on somal volume, area and length, these being the parvocellular and magnocellular orexin-A immunopositive (OxA+) groups. The magnocellular group could be further subdivided, on topological grounds, into three distinct clusters – a main cluster in the perifornical and lateral hypothalamus, a cluster associated with the zona incerta and a cluster associated with the optic tract. The parvocellular neurons were found in the medial hypothalamus, but could not be subdivided, rather they form a topologically amorphous cluster. The parvocellular cluster appears to be unique to the Cetartiodactyla as these neurons have not been described in other mammals to date, while the magnocellular nuclei appear to be homologous to similar nuclei described in other mammals. The overall size of both the parvocellular and magnocellular neurons (based on somal volume, area and length) were larger in the giraffe than the harbour porpoise, but the harbour porpoise had a higher number of both parvocellular and magnocellular orexinergic neurons than the giraffe despite both having a similar brain mass. The higher number of both parvocellular and magnocellular orexinergic neurons in the harbour porpoise may relate to the unusual sleep mechanisms in the cetaceans. PMID:22683547

  12. Organic bioelectronics for electronic-to-chemical translation in modulation of neuronal signaling and machine-to-brain interfacing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larsson, Karin C; Kjäll, Peter; Richter-Dahlfors, Agneta

    2013-09-01

    A major challenge when creating interfaces for the nervous system is to translate between the signal carriers of the nervous system (ions and neurotransmitters) and those of conventional electronics (electrons). Organic conjugated polymers represent a unique class of materials that utilizes both electrons and ions as charge carriers. Based on these materials, we have established a series of novel communication interfaces between electronic components and biological systems. The organic electronic ion pump (OEIP) presented in this review is made of the polymer-polyelectrolyte system poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene):poly(styrenesulfonate) (PEDOT:PSS). The OEIP translates electronic signals into electrophoretic migration of ions and neurotransmitters. We demonstrate how spatio-temporally controlled delivery of ions and neurotransmitters can be used to modulate intracellular Ca(2+) signaling in neuronal cells in the absence of convective disturbances. The electronic control of delivery enables strict control of dynamic parameters, such as amplitude and frequency of Ca(2+) responses, and can be used to generate temporal patterns mimicking naturally occurring Ca(2+) oscillations. To enable further control of the ionic signals we developed the electrophoretic chemical transistor, an analog of the traditional transistor used to amplify and/or switch electronic signals. Finally, we demonstrate the use of the OEIP in a new "machine-to-brain" interface by modulating brainstem responses in vivo. This review highlights the potential of communication interfaces based on conjugated polymers in generating complex, high-resolution, signal patterns to control cell physiology. We foresee widespread applications for these devices in biomedical research and in future medical devices within multiple therapeutic areas. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Organic Bioelectronics-Novel Applications in Biomedicine. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Organic cation transporter-mediated ergothioneine uptake in mouse neural progenitor cells suppresses proliferation and promotes differentiation into neurons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Takahiro Ishimoto

    Full Text Available The aim of the present study is to clarify the functional expression and physiological role in neural progenitor cells (NPCs of carnitine/organic cation transporter OCTN1/SLC22A4, which accepts the naturally occurring food-derived antioxidant ergothioneine (ERGO as a substrate in vivo. Real-time PCR analysis revealed that mRNA expression of OCTN1 was much higher than that of other organic cation transporters in mouse cultured cortical NPCs. Immunocytochemical analysis showed colocalization of OCTN1 with the NPC marker nestin in cultured NPCs and mouse embryonic carcinoma P19 cells differentiated into neural progenitor-like cells (P19-NPCs. These cells exhibited time-dependent [(3H]ERGO uptake. These results demonstrate that OCTN1 is functionally expressed in murine NPCs. Cultured NPCs and P19-NPCs formed neurospheres from clusters of proliferating cells in a culture time-dependent manner. Exposure of cultured NPCs to ERGO or other antioxidants (edaravone and ascorbic acid led to a significant decrease in the area of neurospheres with concomitant elimination of intracellular reactive oxygen species. Transfection of P19-NPCs with small interfering RNA for OCTN1 markedly promoted formation of neurospheres with a concomitant decrease of [(3H]ERGO uptake. On the other hand, exposure of cultured NPCs to ERGO markedly increased the number of cells immunoreactive for the neuronal marker βIII-tubulin, but decreased the number immunoreactive for the astroglial marker glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP, with concomitant up-regulation of neuronal differentiation activator gene Math1. Interestingly, edaravone and ascorbic acid did not affect such differentiation of NPCs, in contrast to the case of proliferation. Knockdown of OCTN1 increased the number of cells immunoreactive for GFAP, but decreased the number immunoreactive for βIII-tubulin, with concomitant down-regulation of Math1 in P19-NPCs. Thus, OCTN1-mediated uptake of ERGO in NPCs inhibits

  14. Coexistence of Stochastic Oscillations and Self-Organized Criticality in a Neuronal Network: Sandpile Model Application.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saeedi, Alireza; Jannesari, Mostafa; Gharibzadeh, Shahriar; Bakouie, Fatemeh

    2018-04-01

    Self-organized criticality (SOC) and stochastic oscillations (SOs) are two theoretically contradictory phenomena that are suggested to coexist in the brain. Recently it has been shown that an accumulation-release process like sandpile dynamics can generate SOC and SOs simultaneously. We considered the effect of the network structure on this coexistence and showed that the sandpile dynamics on a small-world network can produce two power law regimes along with two groups of SOs-two peaks in the power spectrum of the generated signal simultaneously. We also showed that external stimuli in the sandpile dynamics do not affect the coexistence of SOC and SOs but increase the frequency of SOs, which is consistent with our knowledge of the brain.

  15. Collagen organization regulates stretch-initiated pain-related neuronal signals in vitro: Implications for structure-function relationships in innervated ligaments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Sijia; Singh, Sagar; Winkelstein, Beth A

    2018-02-01

    Injury to the spinal facet capsule, an innervated ligament with heterogeneous collagen organization, produces pain. Although mechanical facet joint trauma activates embedded afferents, it is unclear if, and how, the varied extracellular microstructure of its ligament affects sensory transduction for pain from mechanical inputs. To investigate the effects of macroscopic deformations on afferents in collagen matrices with different organizations, an in vitro neuron-collagen construct (NCC) model was used. NCCs with either randomly organized or parallel aligned collagen fibers were used to mimic the varied microstructure in the facet capsular ligament. Embryonic rat dorsal root ganglia (DRG) were encapsulated in the NCCs; axonal outgrowth was uniform and in all directions in random NCCs, but parallel in aligned NCCs. NCCs underwent uniaxial stretch (0.25 ± 0.06 strain) corresponding to sub-failure facet capsule strains that induce pain. Macroscopic NCC mechanics were measured and axonal expression of phosphorylated extracellular signal-regulated kinase (pERK) and the neurotransmitter substance P (SP) was assayed at 1 day to assess neuronal activation and nociception. Stretch significantly upregulated pERK expression in both random and aligned gels (p organization. These findings suggest that collagen organization differentially modulates pain-related neuronal signaling and support structural heterogeneity of ligament tissue as mediating sensory function. © 2017 Orthopaedic Research Society. Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Orthop Res 36:770-777, 2018. © 2017 Orthopaedic Research Society. Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  16. Effect of ionizing radiation in sensory ganglion neurons: organization and dynamics of nuclear compartments of DNA damage/repair and their relationship with transcription and cell cycle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Casafont, Iñigo; Palanca, Ana; Lafarga, Vanesa; Berciano, Maria T; Lafarga, Miguel

    2011-10-01

    Neurons are very sensitive to DNA damage induced by endogenous and exogenous genotoxic agents, as defective DNA repair can lead to neurodevelopmental disorders, brain tumors and neurodegenerative diseases with severe clinical manifestations. Understanding the impact of DNA damage/repair mechanisms on the nuclear organization, particularly on the regulation of transcription and cell cycle, is essential to know the pathophysiology of defective DNA repair syndromes. In this work, we study the nuclear architecture and spatiotemporal organization of chromatin compartments involved in the DNA damage response (DDR) in rat sensory ganglion neurons exposed to X-ray irradiation (IR). We demonstrate that the neuronal DDR involves the formation of two categories of DNA-damage processing chromatin compartments: transient, disappearing within the 1 day post-IR, and persistent, where unrepaired DNA is accumulated. Both compartments concentrate components of the DDR pathway, including γH2AX, pATM and 53BP1. Furthermore, DNA damage does not induce neuronal apoptosis but triggers the G0-G1 cell cycle phase transition, which is mediated by the activation of the ATM-p53 pathway and increased protein levels of p21 and cyclin D1. Moreover, the run on transcription assay reveals a severe inhibition of transcription at 0.5 h post-IR, followed by its rapid recovery over the 1 day post-IR in parallel with the progression of DNA repair. Therefore, the response of healthy neurons to DNA damage involves a transcription- and cell cycle-dependent but apoptosis-independent process. Furthermore, we propose that the segregation of unrepaired DNA in a few persistent chromatin compartments preserves genomic stability of undamaged DNA and the global transcription rate in neurons.

  17. Distributed Bayesian Computation and Self-Organized Learning in Sheets of Spiking Neurons with Local Lateral Inhibition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bill, Johannes; Buesing, Lars; Habenschuss, Stefan; Nessler, Bernhard; Maass, Wolfgang; Legenstein, Robert

    2015-01-01

    During the last decade, Bayesian probability theory has emerged as a framework in cognitive science and neuroscience for describing perception, reasoning and learning of mammals. However, our understanding of how probabilistic computations could be organized in the brain, and how the observed connectivity structure of cortical microcircuits supports these calculations, is rudimentary at best. In this study, we investigate statistical inference and self-organized learning in a spatially extended spiking network model, that accommodates both local competitive and large-scale associative aspects of neural information processing, under a unified Bayesian account. Specifically, we show how the spiking dynamics of a recurrent network with lateral excitation and local inhibition in response to distributed spiking input, can be understood as sampling from a variational posterior distribution of a well-defined implicit probabilistic model. This interpretation further permits a rigorous analytical treatment of experience-dependent plasticity on the network level. Using machine learning theory, we derive update rules for neuron and synapse parameters which equate with Hebbian synaptic and homeostatic intrinsic plasticity rules in a neural implementation. In computer simulations, we demonstrate that the interplay of these plasticity rules leads to the emergence of probabilistic local experts that form distributed assemblies of similarly tuned cells communicating through lateral excitatory connections. The resulting sparse distributed spike code of a well-adapted network carries compressed information on salient input features combined with prior experience on correlations among them. Our theory predicts that the emergence of such efficient representations benefits from network architectures in which the range of local inhibition matches the spatial extent of pyramidal cells that share common afferent input. PMID:26284370

  18. Distributed Bayesian Computation and Self-Organized Learning in Sheets of Spiking Neurons with Local Lateral Inhibition.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Johannes Bill

    Full Text Available During the last decade, Bayesian probability theory has emerged as a framework in cognitive science and neuroscience for describing perception, reasoning and learning of mammals. However, our understanding of how probabilistic computations could be organized in the brain, and how the observed connectivity structure of cortical microcircuits supports these calculations, is rudimentary at best. In this study, we investigate statistical inference and self-organized learning in a spatially extended spiking network model, that accommodates both local competitive and large-scale associative aspects of neural information processing, under a unified Bayesian account. Specifically, we show how the spiking dynamics of a recurrent network with lateral excitation and local inhibition in response to distributed spiking input, can be understood as sampling from a variational posterior distribution of a well-defined implicit probabilistic model. This interpretation further permits a rigorous analytical treatment of experience-dependent plasticity on the network level. Using machine learning theory, we derive update rules for neuron and synapse parameters which equate with Hebbian synaptic and homeostatic intrinsic plasticity rules in a neural implementation. In computer simulations, we demonstrate that the interplay of these plasticity rules leads to the emergence of probabilistic local experts that form distributed assemblies of similarly tuned cells communicating through lateral excitatory connections. The resulting sparse distributed spike code of a well-adapted network carries compressed information on salient input features combined with prior experience on correlations among them. Our theory predicts that the emergence of such efficient representations benefits from network architectures in which the range of local inhibition matches the spatial extent of pyramidal cells that share common afferent input.

  19. Response properties and receptive field organization of collision-sensitive neurons in the optic tectum of bullfrog, Rana catesbeiana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kang, Hong-Jian; Li, Xiao-Hong

    2010-08-01

    Many studies have reported that animals will display collision avoidance behavior when the size of retinal image of an object reaches a threshold. The present study aimed to investigate the neural correlates underlying the frog collision avoidance behavior. Different types of visual stimuli simulating the retinal image of an approaching or a recessing object were generated by a computer and presented to the right eye of frog. A multielectrode array was used to examine the activity of collision-sensitive neurons, and single electrode recordings were employed to quantify visual parameter(s) of the frog collision-sensitive neurons. The multielectrode array revealed that 40 neurons in the optic tectum showed selective responsiveness to objects approaching on a direct collision course. The response profiles of these collision-sensitive neurons were similar to those of lobula giant movement detector (LGMD) in the locust or to those of neurons in the pigeon. However, the receptive field (RF) size of the frog neurons [(18.5+/-3.8) degrees, n=33)] was smaller than those of collision-sensitive neurons of the locust and the pigeon. Multielectrode recordings also showed that the collision-sensitive neurons were activated only when the focus of expansion of a looming retinal image was located within the center of its RF. There was a linear relationship between the parameter l/v (l denotes half-size of the object, v denotes approaching velocity) and time-to-collision (time difference between the peak of the neuronal activity and the predictive collision) in 16 collision-sensitive neurons. Theoretical consideration showed that the peak firing rate always occurred at a fixed delay of (60.1 +/- 39.5) ms (n=16) after the object had reached a constant angular size of (14.8 +/- 3.4) degrees (n=16) on the retina. The results may help clarify the mechanisms underlying the collision avoidance behavior in bullfrog.

  20. Organization and number of orexinergic neurons in the hypothalamus of two species of Cetartiodactyla: A comparison of giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis) and harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena)

    OpenAIRE

    Dell, Leigh-Anne; Patzke, Nina; Bhagwandin, Adhil; Bux, Faiza; Fuxe, Kjell; Barber, Grace; Siegel, Jerome M.; Manger, Paul R.

    2012-01-01

    The present study describes the organization of the orexinergic (hypocretinergic) neurons in the hypothalamus of the giraffe and harbour porpoise – two members of the mammalian Order Cetartiodactyla which is comprised of the even-toed ungulates and the cetaceans as they share a monophyletic ancestry. Diencephalons from two sub-adult male giraffes and two adult male harbour porpoises were coronally sectioned and immunohistochemically stained for orexin-A. The staining revealed that the orexine...

  1. Glucagon-like peptide I receptors in the subfornical organ and the area postrema are accessible to circulating glucagon-like peptide I

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Orskov, C; Poulsen, Steen Seier; Møller, M

    1996-01-01

    The intestinal incretin hormone glucagon-like peptide I (GLP-I) inhibits gastric motility and secretion in normal, but not in vagotomized subjects, pointing to a centrally mediated effect. Therefore, our aim was to study the availability of rat brain GLP-I receptors to peripherally injected 125I-...

  2. Orexin/Hypocretin and Organizing Principles for a Diversity of Wake-Promoting Neurons in the Brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schöne, Cornelia; Burdakov, Denis

    2017-01-01

    An enigmatic feature of behavioural state control is the rich diversity of wake-promoting neural systems. This diversity has been rationalized as 'robustness via redundancy', wherein wakefulness control is not critically dependent on one type of neuron or molecule. Studies of the brain orexin/hypocretin system challenge this view by demonstrating that wakefulness control fails upon loss of this neurotransmitter system. Since orexin neurons signal arousal need, and excite other wake-promoting neurons, their actions illuminate nonredundant principles of arousal control. Here, we suggest such principles by reviewing the orexin system from a collective viewpoint of biology, physics and engineering. Orexin peptides excite other arousal-promoting neurons (noradrenaline, histamine, serotonin, acetylcholine neurons), either by activating mixed-cation conductances or by inhibiting potassium conductances. Ohm's law predicts that these opposite conductance changes will produce opposite effects on sensitivity of neuronal excitability to current inputs, thus enabling orexin to differentially control input-output gain of its target networks. Orexin neurons also produce other transmitters, including glutamate. When orexin cells fire, glutamate-mediated downstream excitation displays temporal decay, but orexin-mediated excitation escalates, as if orexin transmission enabled arousal controllers to compute a time integral of arousal need. Since the anatomical and functional architecture of the orexin system contains negative feedback loops (e.g. orexin ➔ histamine ➔ noradrenaline/serotonin-orexin), such computations may stabilize wakefulness via integral feedback, a basic engineering strategy for set point control in uncertain environments. Such dynamic behavioural control requires several distinct wake-promoting modules, which perform nonredundant transformations of arousal signals and are connected in feedback loops.

  3. Gastrointestinal-projecting neurones in the dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus exhibit direct and viscerotopically organized sensitivity to orexin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grabauskas, Gintautas; Moises, Hylan C

    2003-01-01

    Orexin (hypocretin)-containing projections from lateral hypothalamus (LH) are thought to play an important role in the regulation of feeding behaviour and energy balance. In rodent studies, central administration of orexin peptides increases food intake, and orexin neurones in the LH are activated by hypoglycaemia during fasting. In addition, administration of orexins into the fourth ventricle or the dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus (DMV) has been shown to stimulate gastric acid secretion and motility, respectively, via vagal efferent pathways. In this study, whole-cell recordings were obtained from DMV neurones in rat brainstem slices to investigate the cellular mechanism(s) by which orexins produce their gastrostimulatory effects. To determine whether responsiveness to orexins might be differentially expressed among distinct populations of preganglionic vagal motor neurones, recordings were made from neurones whose projections to the gastrointestinal tract had been identified by retrograde labelling following apposition of the fluorescent tracer DiI to the gastric fundus, corpus or antrum/pylorus, the duodenum or caecum. Additionally, the responses of neurones to orexins were compared with those produced by oxytocin, which acts within the DMV to stimulate gastric acid secretion, but inhibits gastric motor function. Bath application of orexin-A or orexin-B (30–300 nm) produced a slow depolarization, accompanied by increased firing in 47 of 102 DMV neurones tested, including 70 % (30/43) of those that projected to the gastric fundus or corpus. In contrast, few DMV neurones that supplied the antrum/pylorus (3/13), duodenum (4/18) or caecum (1/13) were responsive to these peptides. The depolarizing responses were concentration dependent and persisted during synaptic isolation of neurones with TTX or Cd2+, indicating they resulted from activation of postsynaptic orexin receptors. They were also associated with a small increase in membrane resistance, and in voltage

  4. Cultures of Cerebellar Granule Neurons

    OpenAIRE

    sprotocols

    2014-01-01

    Authors: Parizad M. Bilimoria and Azad Bonni1 Corresponding author ([]()) ### INTRODUCTION Primary cultures of granule neurons from the post-natal rat cerebellum provide an excellent model system for molecular and cell biological studies of neuronal development and function. The cerebellar cortex, with its highly organized structure and few neuronal subtypes, offers a well-characterized neural circuitry. Many fundamental insight...

  5. Segmental and laminar organization of the spinothalamic neurons in cat : Evidence for at least five separate clusters

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Klop, Esther Marije; Mouton, Leonora J.; Holstege, Gert

    2005-01-01

    The spinothalamic tract (STT), well known for its role in the relay of information about noxe, temperature, and crude touch, is usually associated with projections from lamina 1, but spinothalamic neurons in other laminae have also been reported. In cat, no complete overview exists of the precise

  6. Organization and trade-off of spectro-temporal tuning properties of duration-tuned neurons in the mammalian inferior colliculus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morrison, James A; Farzan, Faranak; Fremouw, Thane; Sayegh, Riziq; Covey, Ellen; Faure, Paul A

    2014-05-01

    Neurons throughout the mammalian central auditory pathway respond selectively to stimulus frequency and amplitude, and some are also selective for stimulus duration. First found in the auditory midbrain or inferior colliculus (IC), these duration-tuned neurons (DTNs) provide a potential neural mechanism for encoding temporal features of sound. In this study, we investigated how having an additional neural response filter, one selective to the duration of an auditory stimulus, influences frequency tuning and neural organization by recording single-unit responses and measuring the dorsal-ventral position and spectral-temporal tuning properties of auditory DTNs from the IC of the awake big brown bat (Eptesicus fuscus). Like other IC neurons, DTNs were tonotopically organized and had either V-shaped, U-shaped, or O-shaped frequency tuning curves (excitatory frequency response areas). We hypothesized there would be an interaction between frequency and duration tuning in DTNs, as electrical engineering theory for resonant filters dictates a trade-off in spectral-temporal resolution: sharp tuning in the frequency domain results in poorer resolution in the time domain and vice versa. While the IC is a more complex signal analyzer than an electrical filter, a similar operational trade-off could exist in the responses of DTNs. Our data revealed two patterns of spectro-temporal sensitivity and spatial organization within the IC: DTNs with sharp frequency tuning and broad duration tuning were located in the dorsal IC, whereas cells with wide spectral tuning and narrow temporal tuning were found in the ventral IC. Copyright © 2014 the American Physiological Society.

  7. Volatile Organic Compound Gamma-Butyrolactone Released upon Herpes Simplex Virus Type -1 Acute Infection Modulated Membrane Potential and Repressed Viral Infection in Human Neuron-Like Cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rochford, Kevin; Chen, Feng; Waguespack, Yan; Figliozzi, Robert W; Kharel, Madan K; Zhang, Qiaojuan; Martin-Caraballo, Miguel; Hsia, S Victor

    2016-01-01

    Herpes Simplex Virus Type -1 (HSV-1) infections can cause serious complications such as keratitis and encephalitis. The goal of this study was to identify any changes in the concentrations of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) produced during HSV-1 infection of epithelial cells that could potentially be used as an indicator of a response to stress. An additional objective was to study if any VOCs released from acute epithelial infection may influence subsequent neuronal infection to facilitate latency. To investigate these hypotheses, Vero cells were infected with HSV-1 and the emission of VOCs was analyzed using two-dimensional gas chromatograph/mass spectrometry (2D GC/MS). It was observed that the concentrations of gamma-butyrolactone (GBL) in particular changed significantly after a 24-hour infection. Since HSV-1 may establish latency in neurons after the acute infection, GBL was tested to determine if it exerts neuronal regulation of infection. The results indicated that GBL altered the resting membrane potential of differentiated LNCaP cells and promoted a non-permissive state of HSV-1 infection by repressing viral replication. These observations may provide useful clues towards understanding the complex signaling pathways that occur during the HSV-1 primary infection and establishment of viral latency.

  8. Motor neuronal repletion of the NMJ organizer, Agrin, modulates the severity of the spinal muscular atrophy disease phenotype in model mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Jeong-Ki; Caine, Charlotte; Awano, Tomoyuki; Herbst, Ruth; Monani, Umrao R

    2017-07-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a common and often fatal neuromuscular disorder caused by low levels of the Survival Motor Neuron (SMN) protein. Amongst the earliest detectable consequences of SMN deficiency are profound defects of the neuromuscular junctions (NMJs). In model mice these synapses appear disorganized, fail to mature and are characterized by poorly arborized nerve terminals. Given one role of the SMN protein in orchestrating the assembly of spliceosomal snRNP particles and subsequently regulating the alternative splicing of pre-mRNAs, a plausible link between SMN function and the distal neuromuscular SMA phenotype is an incorrectly spliced transcript or transcripts involved in establishing or maintaining NMJ structure. In this study, we explore the effects of one such transcript-Z+Agrin-known to be a critical organizer of the NMJ. We confirm that low SMN protein reduces motor neuronal levels of Z+Agrin. Repletion of this isoform of Agrin in the motor neurons of SMA model mice increases muscle fiber size, enhances the post-synaptic NMJ area, reduces the abnormal accumulation of intermediate filaments in nerve terminals of the neuromuscular synapse and improves the innervation of muscles. While these effects are independent of changes in SMN levels or increases in motor neuron numbers they nevertheless have a significant effect on the overall disease phenotype, enhancing mean survival in severely affected SMA model mice by ∼40%. We conclude that Agrin is an important target of the SMN protein and that mitigating NMJ defects may be one strategy in treating human spinal muscular atrophy. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  9. A self-organizing state-space-model approach for parameter estimation in hodgkin-huxley-type models of single neurons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dimitrios V Vavoulis

    Full Text Available Traditional approaches to the problem of parameter estimation in biophysical models of neurons and neural networks usually adopt a global search algorithm (for example, an evolutionary algorithm, often in combination with a local search method (such as gradient descent in order to minimize the value of a cost function, which measures the discrepancy between various features of the available experimental data and model output. In this study, we approach the problem of parameter estimation in conductance-based models of single neurons from a different perspective. By adopting a hidden-dynamical-systems formalism, we expressed parameter estimation as an inference problem in these systems, which can then be tackled using a range of well-established statistical inference methods. The particular method we used was Kitagawa's self-organizing state-space model, which was applied on a number of Hodgkin-Huxley-type models using simulated or actual electrophysiological data. We showed that the algorithm can be used to estimate a large number of parameters, including maximal conductances, reversal potentials, kinetics of ionic currents, measurement and intrinsic noise, based on low-dimensional experimental data and sufficiently informative priors in the form of pre-defined constraints imposed on model parameters. The algorithm remained operational even when very noisy experimental data were used. Importantly, by combining the self-organizing state-space model with an adaptive sampling algorithm akin to the Covariance Matrix Adaptation Evolution Strategy, we achieved a significant reduction in the variance of parameter estimates. The algorithm did not require the explicit formulation of a cost function and it was straightforward to apply on compartmental models and multiple data sets. Overall, the proposed methodology is particularly suitable for resolving high-dimensional inference problems based on noisy electrophysiological data and, therefore, a

  10. Differential antiepileptic effects of the organic calcium antagonists verapamil and flunarizine in neurons of organotypic neocortical explants from newborn rats

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bingmann, D; Speckmann, E J; Baker, R E; Ruijter, J; de Jong, B. M.

    1988-01-01

    Effects of the organic calcium antagonists verapamil and flunarizine on pentylenetetrazol induced paroxysmal depolarizations were tested in organotypic neocortical explants taken from neonatal rats. In these in vitro experiments the papaverin derivative verapamil depressed, and finally abolished,

  11. Spiking neurons in a hierarchical self-organizing map model can learn to develop spatial and temporal properties of entorhinal grid cells and hippocampal place cells.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Praveen K Pilly

    Full Text Available Medial entorhinal grid cells and hippocampal place cells provide neural correlates of spatial representation in the brain. A place cell typically fires whenever an animal is present in one or more spatial regions, or places, of an environment. A grid cell typically fires in multiple spatial regions that form a regular hexagonal grid structure extending throughout the environment. Different grid and place cells prefer spatially offset regions, with their firing fields increasing in size along the dorsoventral axes of the medial entorhinal cortex and hippocampus. The spacing between neighboring fields for a grid cell also increases along the dorsoventral axis. This article presents a neural model whose spiking neurons operate in a hierarchy of self-organizing maps, each obeying the same laws. This spiking GridPlaceMap model simulates how grid cells and place cells may develop. It responds to realistic rat navigational trajectories by learning grid cells with hexagonal grid firing fields of multiple spatial scales and place cells with one or more firing fields that match neurophysiological data about these cells and their development in juvenile rats. The place cells represent much larger spaces than the grid cells, which enable them to support navigational behaviors. Both self-organizing maps amplify and learn to categorize the most frequent and energetic co-occurrences of their inputs. The current results build upon a previous rate-based model of grid and place cell learning, and thus illustrate a general method for converting rate-based adaptive neural models, without the loss of any of their analog properties, into models whose cells obey spiking dynamics. New properties of the spiking GridPlaceMap model include the appearance of theta band modulation. The spiking model also opens a path for implementation in brain-emulating nanochips comprised of networks of noisy spiking neurons with multiple-level adaptive weights for controlling autonomous

  12. Noisy Neurons

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    IAS Admin

    Nerves are fibres that conduct electrical signals and hence pass on information from and to the brain. Nerves are made of nerve cells called neurons (Figure 1). Instructions in our body are sent via electrical signals that present themselves as variations in the potential across neuronal membranes. These potential differences ...

  13. Comparison of the neurotoxicities between volatile organic compounds and fragrant organic compounds on human neuroblastoma SK-N-SH cells and primary cultured rat neurons

    OpenAIRE

    Yasue Yamada; Kohei Ohtani; Akinori Imajo; Hanae Izu; Hitomi Nakamura; Kohei Shiraishi

    2015-01-01

    These are many volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that are synthesized, produced from petroleum or derived from natural compounds, mostly plants. Fragrant and volatile organic compounds from plants have been used as food additives, medicines and aromatherapy. Several clinical and pathological studies have shown that chronic abuse of VOCs, mainly toluene, causes several neuropsychiatric disorders. Little is known about the mechanisms of neurotoxicity of the solvents. n-Octanal, nonanal, and 2-e...

  14. The Vertebrate Brain, Evidence of Its Modular Organization and Operating System: Insights into the Brain's Basic Units of Structure, Function, and Operation and How They Influence Neuronal Signaling and Behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baslow, Morris H

    2011-01-01

    The human brain is a complex organ made up of neurons and several other cell types, and whose role is processing information for use in eliciting behaviors. However, the composition of its repeating cellular units for both structure and function are unresolved. Based on recent descriptions of the brain's physiological "operating system", a function of the tri-cellular metabolism of N-acetylaspartate (NAA) and N-acetylaspartylglutamate (NAAG) for supply of energy, and on the nature of "neuronal words and languages" for intercellular communication, insights into the brain's modular structural and functional units have been gained. In this article, it is proposed that the basic structural unit in brain is defined by its physiological operating system, and that it consists of a single neuron, and one or more astrocytes, oligodendrocytes, and vascular system endothelial cells. It is also proposed that the basic functional unit in the brain is defined by how neurons communicate, and consists of two neurons and their interconnecting dendritic-synaptic-dendritic field. Since a functional unit is composed of two neurons, it requires two structural units to form a functional unit. Thus, the brain can be envisioned as being made up of the three-dimensional stacking and intertwining of myriad structural units which results not only in its gross structure, but also in producing a uniform distribution of binary functional units. Since the physiological NAA-NAAG operating system for supply of energy is repeated in every structural unit, it is positioned to control global brain function.

  15. Identification of the endogenous key substrates of the human organic cation transporter OCT2 and their implication in function of dopaminergic neurons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dirk Taubert

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The etiology of neurodegenerative disorders, such as the accelerated loss of dopaminergic neurons in Parkinson's disease, is unclear. Current hypotheses suggest an abnormal function of the neuronal sodium-dependent dopamine transporter DAT to contribute to cell death in the dopaminergic system, but it has not been investigated whether sodium-independent amine transporters are implicated in the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: By the use of a novel tandem-mass spectrometry-based substrate search technique, we have shown that the dopaminergic neuromodulators histidyl-proline diketopiperazine (cyclo(his-pro and salsolinol were the endogenous key substrates of the sodium-independent organic cation transporter OCT2. Quantitative real-time mRNA expression analysis revealed that OCT2 in contrast to its related transporters was preferentially expressed in the dopaminergic regions of the substantia nigra where it colocalized with DAT and tyrosine hydroxylase. By assessing cell viability with the MTT reduction assay, we found that salsolinol exhibited a selective toxicity toward OCT2-expressing cells that was prevented by cyclo(his-pro. A frequent genetic variant of OCT2 with the amino acid substitution R400C reduced the transport efficiency for the cytoprotective cyclo(his-pro and thereby increased the susceptibility to salsolinol-induced cell death. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our findings indicate that the OCT2-regulated interplay between cyclo(his-pro and salsolinol is crucial for nigral cell integrity and that a shift in transport efficiency may impact the risk of Parkinson's disease.

  16. Comparison of the neurotoxicities between volatile organic compounds and fragrant organic compounds on human neuroblastoma SK-N-SH cells and primary cultured rat neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yasue Yamada

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available These are many volatile organic compounds (VOCs that are synthesized, produced from petroleum or derived from natural compounds, mostly plants. Fragrant and volatile organic compounds from plants have been used as food additives, medicines and aromatherapy. Several clinical and pathological studies have shown that chronic abuse of VOCs, mainly toluene, causes several neuropsychiatric disorders. Little is known about the mechanisms of neurotoxicity of the solvents. n-Octanal, nonanal, and 2-ethyl-1-hexanol, which are used catalyzers or intermediates of chemical reactions, are released into the environment. Essential oils have the functions of self-defense, sterilization, and antibiosis in plants. When volatile organic compounds enter the body, there is the possibility that they will pass through the blood–brain barrier (BBB and affect the central nervous system (CNS. However, the direct effects of volatile organic compounds on neural function and their toxicities are still unclear. We compared the toxicities of n-octanal, nonanal and 2-ethyl-1-hexanol with those of five naturally derived fragrant organic compounds (FOCs, linalool, cis-3-hexen-1-ol, isoamyl alcohol, n-propyl alcohol and n-phenethyl alcohol. MTT assay of human neuroblastoma SK-N-SH cells showed that the IC50 values of linalool, cis-3-hexen-1-ol, isoamyl alcohol, n-propyl alcohol and phenethyl alcohol were 1.33, 2.3, >5, >5, and 2.39 mM, respectively, and the IC50 values of toluene, n-octanal, nonanal and 2-ethyl-1-hexanol were 850, 37.2, 8.31 and 15.1 μM, respectively. FOCs showed lower toxicities than those of VOCs. These results indicate that FOCs are safer than other compounds.

  17. [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.

  18. Noisy Neurons

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Resonance – Journal of Science Education; Volume 20; Issue 1. Noisy Neurons: Hodgkin-Huxley Model and Stochastic Variants. Shurti Paranjape. General Article Volume 20 Issue 1 January 2015 pp 34-43. Fulltext. Click here to view fulltext PDF. Permanent link:

  19. 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...... properties of this facility in the path from synaptic sites to the motor axon is reviewed with emphasis on voltage sensitive ion channels and regulatory metabotropic transmitter pathways. The catalog of the intrinsic response properties, their underlying mechanisms, and regulation obtained from motoneurons...... in in vitro preparations is far from complete. Nevertheless, a foundation has been provided for pursuing functional significance of intrinsic response properties in motoneurons in vivo during motor behavior at levels from molecules to systems....

  20. 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.

  1. Neurons in the basal forebrain project to the cortex in a complex topographic organization that reflects corticocortical connectivity patterns: an experimental study based on retrograde tracing and 3D reconstruction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zaborszky, Laszlo; Csordas, Attila; Mosca, Kevin; Kim, Joseph; Gielow, Matthew R; Vadasz, Csaba; Nadasdy, Zoltan

    2015-01-01

    The most prominent feature of the Basal Forebrain (BF) is the collection of large cortically projecting neurons (basal nucleus of Meynert) that serve as the primary source of cholinergic input to the entire cortical mantle. Despite its broad involvement in cortical activation, attention, and memory, the functional details of the BF are not well understood due to the anatomical complexity of the region. This study tested the hypothesis that basalocortical connections reflect cortical connectivity patterns. Distinct retrograde tracers were deposited into various frontal and posterior cortical areas, and retrogradely labeled cholinergic and noncholinergic neurons were mapped in the BF. Concurrently, we mapped retrogradely labeled cells in posterior cortical areas that project to various frontal areas, and all cell populations were combined in the same coordinate system. Our studies suggest that the cholinergic and noncholinergic projections to the neocortex are not diffuse, but instead, are organized into segregated or overlapping pools of projection neurons. The extent of overlap between BF populations projecting to the cortex depends on the degree of connectivity between the cortical targets of these projection populations. We suggest that the organization of projections from the BF may enable parallel modulation of multiple groupings of interconnected yet nonadjacent cortical areas. © The Author 2013. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  2. The Neurogenic Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Transcription Factor NeuroD6 Concomitantly Increases Mitochondrial mass and Regulates Cytoskeletal Organization in the Early Stages of Neuronal Differentiation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kristin Kathleen Baxter

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available Mitochondria play a central role during neurogenesis by providing energy in the form of ATP for cytoskeletal remodelling, outgrowth of neuronal processes, growth cone activity and synaptic activity. However, the fundamental question of how differentiating neurons control mitochondrial biogenesis remains vastly unexplored. Since our previous studies have shown that the neurogenic bHLH (basic helix–loop–helix transcription factor NeuroD6 is sufficient to induce differentiation of the neuronal progenitor-like PC12 cells and that it triggers expression of mitochondrial-related genes, we investigated whether NeuroD6 could modulate the mitochondrial biomass using our PC12-ND6 cellular paradigm. Using a combination of flow cytometry, confocal microscopy and mitochondrial fractionation, we demonstrate that NeuroD6 stimulates maximal mitochondrial mass at the lamellipodia stage, thus preceding axonal growth. NeuroD6 triggers remodelling of the actin and microtubule networks in conjunction with increased expression of the motor protein KIF5B, thus promoting mitochondrial movement in developing neurites with accumulation in growth cones. Maintenance of the NeuroD6-induced mitochondrial mass requires an intact cytoskeletal network, as its disruption severely reduces mitochondrial mass. The present study provides the first evidence that NeuroD6 plays an integrative role in co-ordinating increase in mitochondrial mass with cytoskeletal remodelling, suggestive of a role of this transcription factor as a co-regulator of neuronal differentiation and energy metabolism.

  3. The origin and function of mirror neurons: the missing link.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lingnau, Angelika; Caramazza, Alfonso

    2014-04-01

    We argue, by analogy to the neural organization of the object recognition system, that demonstration of modulation of mirror neurons by associative learning does not imply absence of genetic adaptation. Innate connectivity defines the types of processes mirror neurons can participate in while allowing for extensive local plasticity. However, the proper function of these neurons remains to be worked out.

  4. Noisy Neurons

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    IAS Admin

    Recent experiments show fluctuations which call for introducing randomness into the model's equations. Some simulations which re- produce the observed behavior are presented. 1. The Hodgkin–Huxley Model. A few billion years ago, life began. In its infant stages, life only manifested itself as unicellular organisms which.

  5. A single-neuron tracing study of arkypallidal and prototypic neurons in healthy rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

  6. Towards a Neuronal Gauge Theory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sengupta, Biswa; Tozzi, Arturo; Cooray, Gerald K.; Douglas, Pamela K.; Friston, Karl J.

    2016-01-01

    Given the amount of knowledge and data accruing in the neurosciences, is it time to formulate a general principle for neuronal dynamics that holds at evolutionary, developmental, and perceptual timescales? In this paper, we propose that the brain (and other self-organised biological systems) can be characterised via the mathematical apparatus of a gauge theory. The picture that emerges from this approach suggests that any biological system (from a neuron to an organism) can be cast as resolving uncertainty about its external milieu, either by changing its internal states or its relationship to the environment. Using formal arguments, we show that a gauge theory for neuronal dynamics—based on approximate Bayesian inference—has the potential to shed new light on phenomena that have thus far eluded a formal description, such as attention and the link between action and perception. PMID:26953636

  7. Macroscopic Description for Networks of Spiking Neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montbrió, Ernest; Pazó, Diego; Roxin, Alex

    2015-04-01

    A major goal of neuroscience, statistical physics, and nonlinear dynamics is to understand how brain function arises from the collective dynamics of networks of spiking neurons. This challenge has been chiefly addressed through large-scale numerical simulations. Alternatively, researchers have formulated mean-field theories to gain insight into macroscopic states of large neuronal networks in terms of the collective firing activity of the neurons, or the firing rate. However, these theories have not succeeded in establishing an exact correspondence between the firing rate of the network and the underlying microscopic state of the spiking neurons. This has largely constrained the range of applicability of such macroscopic descriptions, particularly when trying to describe neuronal synchronization. Here, we provide the derivation of a set of exact macroscopic equations for a network of spiking neurons. Our results reveal that the spike generation mechanism of individual neurons introduces an effective coupling between two biophysically relevant macroscopic quantities, the firing rate and the mean membrane potential, which together govern the evolution of the neuronal network. The resulting equations exactly describe all possible macroscopic dynamical states of the network, including states of synchronous spiking activity. Finally, we show that the firing-rate description is related, via a conformal map, to a low-dimensional description in terms of the Kuramoto order parameter, called Ott-Antonsen theory. We anticipate that our results will be an important tool in investigating how large networks of spiking neurons self-organize in time to process and encode information in the brain.

  8. Anatomical Organization of Urocortin 3-Synthesizing Neurons and Immunoreactive Terminals in the Central Nervous System of Non-Human Primates [Sapajus spp.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniella S. Battagello

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Urocortin 3 (UCN3 is a neuropeptide member of the corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF peptide family that acts as a selective endogenous ligand for the CRF, subtype 2 (CRF2 receptor. Immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization data from rodents revealed UCN3-containing neurons in discrete regions of the central nervous system (CNS, such as the medial preoptic nucleus, the rostral perifornical area (PFA, the medial nucleus of the amygdala and the superior paraolivary nucleus. UCN3-immunoreactive (UCN3-ir terminals are distributed throughout regions that mostly overlap with regions of CRF2 messenger RNA (mRNA expression. Currently, no similar mapping exists for non-human primates. To better understand the role of this neuropeptide, we aimed to study the UCN3 distribution in the brains of New World monkeys of the Sapajus genus. To this end, we analyzed the gene and peptide sequences in these animals and performed immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization to identify UCN3 synthesis sites and to determine the distribution of UCN3-ir terminals. The sequencing of the Sapajus spp. UCN3-coding gene revealed 88% and 65% identity to the human and rat counterparts, respectively. Additionally, using a probe generated from monkey cDNA and an antiserum raised against human UCN3, we found that labeled cells are mainly located in the hypothalamic and limbic regions. UCN3-ir axons and terminals are primarily distributed in the ventromedial hypothalamic nucleus (VMH and the lateral septal nucleus (LS. Our results demonstrate that UCN3-producing neurons in the CNS of monkeys are phylogenetically conserved compared to those of the rodent brain, that the distribution of fibers agrees with the distribution of CRF2 in other primates and that there is anatomical evidence for the participation of UCN3 in neuroendocrine control in primates.

  9. Organics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chian, Edward S. K.; DeWalle, Foppe B.

    1978-01-01

    Presents water analysis literature for 1978. This review is concerned with organics, and it covers: (1) detergents and surfactants; (2) aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbons; (3) pesticides and chlorinated hydrocarbons; and (4) naturally occurring organics. A list of 208 references is also presented. (HM)

  10. Organizers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Callison, Daniel

    2000-01-01

    Focuses on "organizers," tools or techniques that provide identification and classification along with possible relationships or connections among ideas, concepts, and issues. Discusses David Ausubel's research and ideas concerning advance organizers; the implications of Ausubel's theory to curriculum and teaching; "webbing," a…

  11. Organizations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hatch, Mary Jo

    Most of us recognize that organizations are everywhere. You meet them on every street corner in the form of families and shops, study in them, work for them, buy from them, pay taxes to them. But have you given much thought to where they came from, what they are today, and what they might become...... and considers many more. Mary Jo Hatch introduces the concept of organizations by presenting definitions and ideas drawn from the a variety of subject areas including the physical sciences, economics, sociology, psychology, anthropology, literature, and the visual and performing arts. Drawing on examples from...... prehistory and everyday life, from the animal kingdom as well as from business, government, and other formal organizations, Hatch provides a lively and thought provoking introduction to the process of organization....

  12. Organizations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hatch, Mary Jo

    and considers many more. Mary Jo Hatch introduces the concept of organizations by presenting definitions and ideas drawn from the a variety of subject areas including the physical sciences, economics, sociology, psychology, anthropology, literature, and the visual and performing arts. Drawing on examples from......Most of us recognize that organizations are everywhere. You meet them on every street corner in the form of families and shops, study in them, work for them, buy from them, pay taxes to them. But have you given much thought to where they came from, what they are today, and what they might become...... prehistory and everyday life, from the animal kingdom as well as from business, government, and other formal organizations, Hatch provides a lively and thought provoking introduction to the process of organization....

  13. NBLAST: Rapid, Sensitive Comparison of Neuronal Structure and Construction of Neuron Family Databases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costa, Marta; Manton, James D; Ostrovsky, Aaron D; Prohaska, Steffen; Jefferis, Gregory S X E

    2016-07-20

    Neural circuit mapping is generating datasets of tens of thousands of labeled neurons. New computational tools are needed to search and organize these data. We present NBLAST, a sensitive and rapid algorithm, for measuring pairwise neuronal similarity. NBLAST considers both position and local geometry, decomposing neurons into short segments; matched segments are scored using a probabilistic scoring matrix defined by statistics of matches and non-matches. We validated NBLAST on a published dataset of 16,129 single Drosophila neurons. NBLAST can distinguish neuronal types down to the finest level (single identified neurons) without a priori information. Cluster analysis of extensively studied neuronal classes identified new types and unreported topographical features. Fully automated clustering organized the validation dataset into 1,052 clusters, many of which map onto previously described neuronal types. NBLAST supports additional query types, including searching neurons against transgene expression patterns. Finally, we show that NBLAST is effective with data from other invertebrates and zebrafish. VIDEO ABSTRACT. Copyright © 2016 MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Mirror neurons: their implications for group psychotherapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schermer, Victor L

    2010-10-01

    Recently discovered mirror neurons in the motor cortex of the brain register the actions and intentions of both the organism and others in the environment. As such, they may play a significant role in social behavior and groups. This paper considers the potential implications of mirror neurons and related neural networks for group therapists, proposing that mirror neurons and mirror systems provide "hard-wired" support for the group therapist's belief in the centrality of relationships in the treatment process and exploring their value in accounting for group-as-a-whole phenomena. Mirror neurons further confirm the holistic, social nature of perception, action, and intention as distinct from a stimulus-response behaviorism. The implications of mirror neurons and mirroring processes for the group therapist role, interventions, and training are also discussed.

  15. NEURON and Python

    OpenAIRE

    Michael Hines; Andrew P Davison; Eilif Muller

    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 ...

  16. A new kind of auxiliary heart in insects: functional morphology and neuronal control of the accessory pulsatile organs of the cricket ovipositor

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

    Introduction In insects, the pumping of the dorsal heart causes circulation of hemolymph throughout the central body cavity, but not within the interior of long body appendages. Hemolymph exchange in these dead-end structures is accomplished by special flow-guiding structures and/or autonomous pulsatile organs (“auxiliary hearts”). In this paper accessory pulsatile organs for an insect ovipositor are described for the first time. We studied these organs in females of the cricket Acheta domesticus by analyzing their functional morphology, neuroanatomy and physiological control. Results The lumen of the four long ovipositor valves is subdivided by longitudinal septa of connective tissue into efferent and afferent hemolymph sinuses which are confluent distally. The countercurrent flow in these sinuses is effected by pulsatile organs which are located at the bases of the ovipositor valves. Each of the four organs consists of a pumping chamber which is compressed by rhythmically contracting muscles. The morphology of the paired organs is laterally mirrored, and there are differences in some details between the dorsal and ventral organs. The compression of the pumping chambers of each valve pair occurs with a left-right alternating rhythm with a frequency of 0.2 to 0.5 Hz and is synchronized between the dorsal and ventral organs. The more anteriorly located genital chamber shows rhythmical lateral movements simultaneous to those of the ovipositor pulsatile organs and probably supports the hemolymph exchange in the abdominal apex region. The left-right alternating rhythm is produced by a central pattern generator located in the terminal ganglion. It requires no sensory feedback for its output since it persists in the completely isolated ganglion. Rhythm-modulating and rhythm-resetting interneurons are identified in the terminal ganglion. Conclusion The circulatory organs of the cricket ovipositor have a unique functional morphology. The pumping apparatus at the base

  17. Transgenic tools to characterize neuronal properties of discrete populations of zebrafish neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Satou, Chie; Kimura, Yukiko; Hirata, Hiromi; Suster, Maximiliano L; Kawakami, Koichi; Higashijima, Shin-ichi

    2013-09-01

    The developing nervous system consists of a variety of cell types. Transgenic animals expressing reporter genes in specific classes of neuronal cells are powerful tools for the study of neuronal network formation. We generated a wide variety of transgenic zebrafish that expressed reporter genes in specific classes of neurons or neuronal progenitors. These include lines in which neurons of specific neurotransmitter phenotypes expressed fluorescent proteins or Gal4, and lines in which specific subsets of the dorsal progenitor domain in the spinal cord expressed fluorescent proteins. Using these, we examined domain organization in the developing dorsal spinal cord, and found that there are six progenitor domains in zebrafish, which is similar to the domain organization in mice. We also systematically characterized neurotransmitter properties of the neurons that are produced from each domain. Given that reporter gene expressions occurs in a wide area of the nervous system in the lines generated, these transgenic fish should serve as powerful tools for the investigation of not only the neurons in the dorsal spinal cord but also neuronal structures and functions in many other regions of the nervous system.

  18. Intrinsically active and pacemaker neurons in pluripotent stem cell-derived neuronal populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Illes, Sebastian; Jakab, Martin; Beyer, Felix; Gelfert, Renate; Couillard-Despres, Sébastien; Schnitzler, Alfons; Ritter, Markus; Aigner, Ludwig

    2014-03-11

    Neurons generated from pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) self-organize into functional neuronal assemblies in vitro, generating synchronous network activities. Intriguingly, PSC-derived neuronal assemblies develop spontaneous activities that are independent of external stimulation, suggesting the presence of thus far undetected intrinsically active neurons (IANs). Here, by using mouse embryonic stem cells, we provide evidence for the existence of IANs in PSC-neuronal networks based on extracellular multielectrode array and intracellular patch-clamp recordings. IANs remain active after pharmacological inhibition of fast synaptic communication and possess intrinsic mechanisms required for autonomous neuronal activity. PSC-derived IANs are functionally integrated in PSC-neuronal populations, contribute to synchronous network bursting, and exhibit pacemaker properties. The intrinsic activity and pacemaker properties of the neuronal subpopulation identified herein may be particularly relevant for interventions involving transplantation of neural tissues. IANs may be a key element in the regulation of the functional activity of grafted as well as preexisting host neuronal networks.

  19. Oscillatory integration windows in neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gupta, Nitin; Singh, Swikriti Saran; Stopfer, Mark

    2016-01-01

    Oscillatory synchrony among neurons occurs in many species and brain areas, and has been proposed to help neural circuits process information. One hypothesis states that oscillatory input creates cyclic integration windows: specific times in each oscillatory cycle when postsynaptic neurons become especially responsive to inputs. With paired local field potential (LFP) and intracellular recordings and controlled stimulus manipulations we directly test this idea in the locust olfactory system. We find that inputs arriving in Kenyon cells (KCs) sum most effectively in a preferred window of the oscillation cycle. With a computational model, we show that the non-uniform structure of noise in the membrane potential helps mediate this process. Further experiments performed in vivo demonstrate that integration windows can form in the absence of inhibition and at a broad range of oscillation frequencies. Our results reveal how a fundamental coincidence-detection mechanism in a neural circuit functions to decode temporally organized spiking. PMID:27976720

  20. Corticospinal mirror neurons

    OpenAIRE

    Kraskov, A.; Philipp, R.; Waldert, S.; Vigneswaran, G.; Quallo, M. M.; Lemon, R. N.

    2014-01-01

    Here, we report the properties of neurons with mirror-like characteristics that were identified as pyramidal tract neurons (PTNs) and recorded in the ventral premotor cortex (area F5) and primary motor cortex (M1) of three macaque monkeys. We analysed the neurons' discharge while the monkeys performed active grasp of either food or an object, and also while they observed an experimenter carrying out a similar range of grasps. A considerable proportion of tested PTNs showed clear mirror-like p...

  1. Energy-efficient neural information processing in individual neurons and neuronal networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Lianchun; Yu, Yuguo

    2017-11-01

    Brains are composed of networks of an enormous number of neurons interconnected with synapses. Neural information is carried by the electrical signals within neurons and the chemical signals among neurons. Generating these electrical and chemical signals is metabolically expensive. The fundamental issue raised here is whether brains have evolved efficient ways of developing an energy-efficient neural code from the molecular level to the circuit level. Here, we summarize the factors and biophysical mechanisms that could contribute to the energy-efficient neural code for processing input signals. The factors range from ion channel kinetics, body temperature, axonal propagation of action potentials, low-probability release of synaptic neurotransmitters, optimal input and noise, the size of neurons and neuronal clusters, excitation/inhibition balance, coding strategy, cortical wiring, and the organization of functional connectivity. Both experimental and computational evidence suggests that neural systems may use these factors to maximize the efficiency of energy consumption in processing neural signals. Studies indicate that efficient energy utilization may be universal in neuronal systems as an evolutionary consequence of the pressure of limited energy. As a result, neuronal connections may be wired in a highly economical manner to lower energy costs and space. Individual neurons within a network may encode independent stimulus components to allow a minimal number of neurons to represent whole stimulus characteristics efficiently. This basic principle may fundamentally change our view of how billions of neurons organize themselves into complex circuits to operate and generate the most powerful intelligent cognition in nature. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  2. Use of neuronal networks in the modeling of the doses that receives the Cuban population by potassium-40 contained in their organism

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zerquera, Juan Tomas; Prendes Alonso, Miguel; Lopez Bejerano, Gladys M.; Acosta Rodriguez, Nancy

    2001-01-01

    The potassium 40 constitutes the main source natural present in the organism that influences in the effective dose that people receive. With the objective of evaluating the contribution from this component to the doses received by the Cuban population, a study was developed in order to evaluate the doses for this cause. A representative sample was selected based on the distribution of Cuban population by sex and ages. The measurements were carried out in the Whole Body Counter of the Center for Radiation Protection and Hygiene. For the estimate of the doses an uniform distribution of potassium was assumed in the whole body and the methodology was used recommended by the ICRP. The values of annual effective dose varies between 93 and 209 mSv for the feminine sex and 102 and 212 mSv for the masculine sex. With the obtained values they were the adjustment coefficients for the functions dose-age for each one of the sexes. At the same time it was possible to model the estimate of the doses by means of a neural network that, trained with the obtained experimental data, it allows to estimate the due doses directly to the potassium 40 starting from the sex data, age, height and corporal weight. The effective dose mediates yearly for the public's members it was estimated in 149 ± 6 mSv, starting from the experimental data and the Cuban population's specific characteristics. (author)

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana edel Puerto

    2013-10-01

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

  4. Camillo Golgi and Santiago Ramon y Cajal: the anatomical organization of the cortex of the cerebellum. Can the neuron doctrine still support our actual knowledge on the cerebellar structural arrangement?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sotelo, Constantino

    2011-01-07

    Camillo Golgi and Santiago Ramón y Cajal were the two main investigators that revealed the morphological organization of the cerebellar cortex, although they never shared the same basic concepts. While for Golgi all axons fused into a large syncytium (the diffuse nerve network), for Cajal they had free endings and communication between neurons was done by contiguity not by continuity. The classical diagrammatic representation of the cerebellar circuitry shown by Cajal in his Croonian lecture (1894), although still valid, has drastically change by the accumulation of the great amount of data generated from 1894 to our days. The topic of this review is to briefly summarize this new knowledge, and to confront it with Cajal's concepts, to determine whether or not the added complexity to the circuit invalidates the Cajal's principles. Our conclusion is that although most of these principles are consolidated, the applicability of the law of dynamic polarization does not adapt to some of them. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. 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...

  6. Corticospinal mirror neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kraskov, A; Philipp, R; Waldert, S; Vigneswaran, G; Quallo, M M; Lemon, R N

    2014-01-01

    Here, we report the properties of neurons with mirror-like characteristics that were identified as pyramidal tract neurons (PTNs) and recorded in the ventral premotor cortex (area F5) and primary motor cortex (M1) of three macaque monkeys. We analysed the neurons' discharge while the monkeys performed active grasp of either food or an object, and also while they observed an experimenter carrying out a similar range of grasps. A considerable proportion of tested PTNs showed clear mirror-like properties (52% F5 and 58% M1). Some PTNs exhibited 'classical' mirror neuron properties, increasing activity for both execution and observation, while others decreased their discharge during observation ('suppression mirror-neurons'). These experiments not only demonstrate the existence of PTNs as mirror neurons in M1, but also reveal some interesting differences between M1 and F5 mirror PTNs. Although observation-related changes in the discharge of PTNs must reach the spinal cord and will include some direct projections to motoneurons supplying grasping muscles, there was no EMG activity in these muscles during action observation. We suggest that the mirror neuron system is involved in the withholding of unwanted movement during action observation. Mirror neurons are differentially recruited in the behaviour that switches rapidly between making your own movements and observing those of others.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. Expression of dystrophin in the mouse myenteric neurones.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vannucchi, M G; Corsani, L; Giovannini, M G; Faussone-Pellegrini, M S

    2001-03-09

    Dystrophin, a membrane-associated protein, plays relevant roles in cell functions. Its lack or trunkated expression results in Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), a pathology associated with alterations in gastrointestinal motility considered to be neural in origin. No data are available on the presence of dystrophin in myenteric neurones. We labelled mouse myenteric neurones with DYS1-, DYS2-, DYS3-antibodies; staining was located on the perikarya and processes, with no differences in distribution or intensity among the antibodies; the western immunoblot analysis indicated that myenteric neurones express several dystrophin isoforms; anti-dystrophins/anti-neuronal specific enolase double-labeling confirmed that all neurones express dystrophin. Dystrophin in myenteric neurones might play a role in cytoskeletal organization, axonal transport and signal pathways; its lack might cause the intestinal motor abnormalities reported in DMD patients.

  12. Robust Master-Slave Synchronization of Neuronal Systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hector Puebla

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The desire to understand physiological mechanisms of neuronal systems has led to the introduction of engineering concepts to explain how the brain works. The synchronization of neurons is a central topic in understanding the behavior of living organisms in neurosciences and has been addressed using concepts from control engineering. We introduce a simple and reliable robust synchronization approach for neuronal systems. The proposed synchronization method is based on a master-slave configuration in conjunction with a coupling input enhanced with compensation of model uncertainties. Our approach has two nice features for the synchronization of neuronal systems: (i a simple structure that uses the minimum information and (ii good robustness properties against model uncertainties and noise. Two benchmark neuronal systems, Hodgkin-Huxley and Hindmarsh-Rose neurons, are used to illustrate our findings. The proposed synchronization approach is aimed at gaining insight into the effect of external electrical stimulation of nerve cells.

  13. Synaptic Plasticity onto Dopamine Neurons Shapes Fear Learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pignatelli, Marco; Umanah, George Kwabena Essien; Ribeiro, Sissi Palma; Chen, Rong; Karuppagounder, Senthilkumar Senthil; Yau, Hau-Jie; Eacker, Stephen; Dawson, Valina Lynn; Dawson, Ted Murray; Bonci, Antonello

    2017-01-18

    Fear learning is a fundamental behavioral process that requires dopamine (DA) release. Experience-dependent synaptic plasticity occurs on DA neurons while an organism is engaged in aversive experiences. However, whether synaptic plasticity onto DA neurons is causally involved in aversion learning is unknown. Here, we show that a stress priming procedure enhances fear learning by engaging VTA synaptic plasticity. Moreover, we took advantage of the ability of the ATPase Thorase to regulate the internalization of AMPA receptors (AMPARs) in order to selectively manipulate glutamatergic synaptic plasticity on DA neurons. Genetic ablation of Thorase in DAT + neurons produced increased AMPAR surface expression and function that lead to impaired induction of both long-term depression (LTD) and long-term potentiation (LTP). Strikingly, animals lacking Thorase in DAT + neurons expressed greater associative learning in a fear conditioning paradigm. In conclusion, our data provide a novel, causal link between synaptic plasticity onto DA neurons and fear learning. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  14. Integrated microfluidic platforms for investigating neuronal networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Hyung Joon

    This dissertation describes the development and application of integrated microfluidics-based assay platforms to study neuronal activities in the nervous system in-vitro. The assay platforms were fabricated using soft lithography and micro/nano fabrication including microfluidics, surface patterning, and nanomaterial synthesis. The use of integrated microfluidics-based assay platform allows culturing and manipulating many types of neuronal tissues in precisely controlled microenvironment. Furthermore, they provide organized multi-cellular in-vitro model, long-term monitoring with live cell imaging, and compatibility with molecular biology techniques and electrophysiology experiment. In this dissertation, the integrated microfluidics-based assay platforms are developed for investigation of neuronal activities such as local protein synthesis, impairment of axonal transport by chemical/physical variants, growth cone path finding under chemical/physical cues, and synaptic transmission in neuronal circuit. Chapter 1 describes the motivation, objectives, and scope for developing in-vitro platform to study various neuronal activities. Chapter 2 introduces microfluidic culture platform for biochemical assay with large-scale neuronal tissues that are utilized as model system in neuroscience research. Chapter 3 focuses on the investigation of impaired axonal transport by beta-Amyloid and oxidative stress. The platform allows to control neuronal processes and to quantify mitochondrial movement in various regions of axons away from applied drugs. Chapter 4 demonstrates the development of microfluidics-based growth cone turning assay to elucidate the mechanism underlying axon guidance under soluble factors and shear flow. Using this platform, the behaviors of growth cone of mammalian neurons are verified under the gradient of inhibitory molecules and also shear flow in well-controlled manner. In Chapter 5, I combine in-vitro multicellular model with microfabricated MEA

  15. Corticospinal mirror neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kraskov, A.; Philipp, R.; Waldert, S.; Vigneswaran, G.; Quallo, M. M.; Lemon, R. N.

    2014-01-01

    Here, we report the properties of neurons with mirror-like characteristics that were identified as pyramidal tract neurons (PTNs) and recorded in the ventral premotor cortex (area F5) and primary motor cortex (M1) of three macaque monkeys. We analysed the neurons’ discharge while the monkeys performed active grasp of either food or an object, and also while they observed an experimenter carrying out a similar range of grasps. A considerable proportion of tested PTNs showed clear mirror-like properties (52% F5 and 58% M1). Some PTNs exhibited ‘classical’ mirror neuron properties, increasing activity for both execution and observation, while others decreased their discharge during observation (‘suppression mirror-neurons’). These experiments not only demonstrate the existence of PTNs as mirror neurons in M1, but also reveal some interesting differences between M1 and F5 mirror PTNs. Although observation-related changes in the discharge of PTNs must reach the spinal cord and will include some direct projections to motoneurons supplying grasping muscles, there was no EMG activity in these muscles during action observation. We suggest that the mirror neuron system is involved in the withholding of unwanted movement during action observation. Mirror neurons are differentially recruited in the behaviour that switches rapidly between making your own movements and observing those of others. PMID:24778371

  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. Signals and Circuits in the Purkinje Neuron

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ze'ev R Abrams

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Purkinje neurons in the cerebellum have over 100,000 inputs organized in an orthogonal geometry, and a single output channel. As the sole output of the cerebellar cortex layer, their complex firing pattern has been associated with motor control and learning. As such they have been extensively modeled and measured using tools ranging from electrophysiology and neuroanatomy, to dynamic systems and artificial intelligence methods. However, there is an alternative approach to analyze and describe the neuronal output of these cells using concepts from Electrical Engineering, particularly signal processing and digital/analog circuits. By viewing the Purkinje neuron as an unknown circuit to be reverse-engineered, we can use the tools that provide the foundations of today’s integrated circuits and communication systems to analyze the Purkinje system at the circuit level. We use Fourier transforms to analyze and isolate the inherent frequency modes in the Purkinje neuron and define 3 unique frequency ranges associated with the cells’ output. Comparing the Purkinje neuron to a signal generator that can be externally modulated adds an entire level of complexity to the functional role of these neurons both in terms of data analysis and information processing, relying on Fourier analysis methods in place of statistical ones. We also re-describe some of the recent literature in the field, using the nomenclature of signal processing. Furthermore, by comparing the experimental data of the past decade with basic electronic circuitry, we can resolve the outstanding controversy in the field, by recognizing that the Purkinje neuron can act as a multivibrator circuit.

  18. 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.

  19. 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...

  20. Stages of neuronal network formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woiterski, Lydia; Claudepierre, Thomas; Luxenhofer, Robert; Jordan, Rainer; Käs, Josef A.

    2013-02-01

    Graph theoretical approaches have become a powerful tool for investigating the architecture and dynamics of complex networks. The topology of network graphs revealed small-world properties for very different real systems among these neuronal networks. In this study, we observed the early development of mouse retinal ganglion cell (RGC) networks in vitro using time-lapse video microscopy. By means of a time-resolved graph theoretical analysis of the connectivity, shortest path length and the edge length, we were able to discover the different stages during the network formation. Starting from single cells, at the first stage neurons connected to each other ending up in a network with maximum complexity. In the further course, we observed a simplification of the network which manifested in a change of relevant network parameters such as the minimization of the path length. Moreover, we found that RGC networks self-organized as small-world networks at both stages; however, the optimization occurred only in the second stage.

  1. Synaptic plasticity and neuronal refractory time cause scaling behaviour of neuronal avalanches

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michiels van Kessenich, L.; de Arcangelis, L.; Herrmann, H. J.

    2016-08-01

    Neuronal avalanches measured in vitro and in vivo in different cortical networks consistently exhibit power law behaviour for the size and duration distributions with exponents typical for a mean field self-organized branching process. These exponents are also recovered in neuronal network simulations implementing various neuronal dynamics on different network topologies. They can therefore be considered a very robust feature of spontaneous neuronal activity. Interestingly, this scaling behaviour is also observed on regular lattices in finite dimensions, which raises the question about the origin of the mean field behavior observed experimentally. In this study we provide an answer to this open question by investigating the effect of activity dependent plasticity in combination with the neuronal refractory time in a neuronal network. Results show that the refractory time hinders backward avalanches forcing a directed propagation. Hebbian plastic adaptation plays the role of sculpting these directed avalanche patterns into the topology of the network slowly changing it into a branched structure where loops are marginal.

  2. Quantitative analysis of microvessels in rat circumventricular organs and pituitary gland

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fenstermacher, J.; Gross, P.; Sposito, N.; Pettersen, S.; Blasberg, R.; Patlak, C.; Butler, A.

    1986-01-01

    The cerebral circumventricular organs (CVOs) and pituitary gland (PG) purportedly have dense, highly permeable capillary beds which allow for ready blood-tissue exchange of messenger molecules. Quantitation of various morphological and physiological features of the capillaries with CVOs and PG plus some brain structures which have tight or blood-brain barrier (BBB) capillaries was undertaken in rats using several radiolabeled markers, quantitative autoradiography, image analysis, and light and electron microscopic morphometry. Microvascular blood volumes in CVOs and PG were several times larger than in other brain areas (54-70 μ/g and 5-8 μ/g, respectively). Capillary density and surface area were generally much greater in CVOs and PG than in gray matter; however the highest values for these two parameters were found for the pituitary neural lobe (NL) and supraoptic nucleus (SON), which has BBB capillaries. The rate of capillary blood flow was highest in NL and was similar in the subfornical organ, median eminence, cerebral cortex and SON (1.5 ml/g/min). The transcapillary exchange of several markers was 200-500 times greater in CVOs and NL than in BBB capillaries

  3. ULTRASTRUCTURAL CHANGES OF THE NEURONAL ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ULTRASTRUCTURAL CHANGES OF THE NEURONAL COMPONENT IN THE DETRUSOR MUSCLE FOLLOWING SACRAL ROOT STIMULATION OF DECENTRALIZED ... Early sacral root electric stimulation decreased the incidence of neuronal degeneration in decentralized detrusor muscle, together with improving the ...

  4. Direct neuronal glucose uptake Heralds activity-dependent increases in cerebral metabolism

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lundgaard, Iben; Li, Baoman; Xie, Lulu

    2015-01-01

    Metabolically, the brain is a highly active organ that relies almost exclusively on glucose as its energy source. According to the astrocyte-to-neuron lactate shuttle hypothesis, glucose is taken up by astrocytes and converted to lactate, which is then oxidized by neurons. Here we show, using two......-photon imaging of a near-infrared 2-deoxyglucose analogue (2DG-IR), that glucose is taken up preferentially by neurons in awake behaving mice. Anaesthesia suppressed neuronal 2DG-IR uptake and sensory stimulation was associated with a sharp increase in neuronal, but not astrocytic, 2DG-IR uptake. Moreover......, hexokinase, which catalyses the first enzymatic steps in glycolysis, was highly enriched in neurons compared with astrocytes, in mouse as well as in human cortex. These observations suggest that brain activity and neuronal glucose metabolism are directly linked, and identify the neuron as the principal locus...

  5. 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...... 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...

  6. Neuronal substrate of eating disorders

    OpenAIRE

    Timofeeva, Elena; Calvez, Juliane

    2014-01-01

    Eating disorders are devastating and life-threatening psychiatric diseases. Although clinical and experimental investigations have significantly progressed in discovering the neuronal causes of eating disorders, the exact neuronal and molecular mechanisms of the development and maintenance of these pathologies are not fully understood. The complexity of the neuronal substrate of eating disorders hampers progress in revealing the precise mechanisms. The present re...

  7. Motor neuron disease in blacks

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    1989-08-19

    Aug 19, 1989 ... We reported earlier that motor neuron disease occurs more commonly among blacks than Parkinson's disease, which is relatively rare in this race group.! The hypothesis that these conditions, and other neuronal abiotrophies, are the result of previous subclinical neuronal insult and subsequent age-related.

  8. YAP regulates neuronal differentiation through Sonic hedgehog signaling pathway

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lin, Yi-Ting; Ding, Jing-Ya [Department of Life Sciences and Institute of Genome Sciences, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei 112, Taiwan (China); Li, Ming-Yang [Department of Life Science, National Taiwan Normal University, Taipei 116, Taiwan (China); Yeh, Tien-Shun [Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei 112, Taiwan (China); Wang, Tsu-Wei, E-mail: twwang@ntnu.edu.tw [Department of Life Science, National Taiwan Normal University, Taipei 116, Taiwan (China); Yu, Jenn-Yah, E-mail: jyyu@ym.edu.tw [Department of Life Sciences and Institute of Genome Sciences, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei 112, Taiwan (China); Brain Research Center, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei 112, Taiwan (China)

    2012-09-10

    Tight regulation of cell numbers by controlling cell proliferation and apoptosis is important during development. Recently, the Hippo pathway has been shown to regulate tissue growth and organ size in Drosophila. In mammalian cells, it also affects cell proliferation and differentiation in various tissues, including the nervous system. Interplay of several signaling cascades, such as Notch, Wnt, and Sonic Hedgehog (Shh) pathways, control cell proliferation during neuronal differentiation. However, it remains unclear whether the Hippo pathway coordinates with other signaling cascades in regulating neuronal differentiation. Here, we used P19 cells, a mouse embryonic carcinoma cell line, as a model to study roles of YAP, a core component of the Hippo pathway, in neuronal differentiation. P19 cells can be induced to differentiate into neurons by expressing a neural bHLH transcription factor gene Ascl1. Our results showed that YAP promoted cell proliferation and inhibited neuronal differentiation. Expression of Yap activated Shh but not Wnt or Notch signaling activity during neuronal differentiation. Furthermore, expression of Yap increased the expression of Patched homolog 1 (Ptch1), a downstream target of the Shh signaling. Knockdown of Gli2, a transcription factor of the Shh pathway, promoted neuronal differentiation even when Yap was over-expressed. We further demonstrated that over-expression of Yap inhibited neuronal differentiation in primary mouse cortical progenitors and Gli2 knockdown rescued the differentiation defect in Yap over-expressing cells. In conclusion, our study reveals that Shh signaling acts downstream of YAP in regulating neuronal differentiation. -- Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer YAP promotes cell proliferation and inhibits neuronal differentiation in P19 cells. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer YAP promotes Sonic hedgehog signaling activity during neuronal differentiation. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Knockdown of Gli2 rescues the Yap

  9. Glutamate and GABA in vestibulo-sympathetic pathway neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gay R Holstein

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available The vestibulo-sympathetic reflex actively modulates blood pressure during changes in posture. This reflex allows humans to stand up and quadrupeds to rear or climb without a precipitous decline in cerebral perfusion. The vestibulo-sympathetic reflex pathway conveys signals from the vestibular end organs to the caudal vestibular nuclei. These cells, in turn, project to pre-sympathetic neurons in the rostral and caudal ventrolateral medulla (RVLM and CVLM, respectively. The present study assessed glutamate- and GABA-related immunofluorescence associated with central vestibular neurons of the vestibulo-sympathetic reflex pathway in rats. Retrograde FluoroGold tract tracing was used to label vestibular neurons with projections to RVLM or CVLM, and sinusoidal galvanic vestibular stimulation was employed to activate these pathways. Central vestibular neurons of the vestibulo-sympathetic reflex were identified by co-localization of FluoroGold and cFos protein, which accumulates in some vestibular neurons following galvanic stimulation. Triple-label immunofluorescence was used to co-localize glutamate- or GABA- labeling in the identified vestibulo-sympathetic reflex pathway neurons. Most activated projection neurons displayed intense glutamate immunofluorescence, suggestive of glutamatergic neurotransmission. To support this, anterograde tracer was injected into the caudal vestibular nuclei. Vestibular axons and terminals in RVLM and CVLM co-localized the anterograde tracer and vesicular glutamate transporter-2 signals. Other retrogradely-labeled cFos-positive neurons displayed intense GABA immunofluorescence. Vestibulo-sympathetic reflex pathway neurons of both phenotypes were present in the caudal medial and spinal vestibular nuclei, and projected to both RVLM and CVLM. As a group, however, triple-labeled vestibular cells with intense glutamate immunofluorescence were located more rostrally in the vestibular nuclei than the GABAergic neurons. Only the

  10. Multi-Scale Molecular Deconstruction of the Serotonin Neuron System.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Okaty, Benjamin W; Freret, Morgan E; Rood, Benjamin D; Brust, Rachael D; Hennessy, Morgan L; deBairos, Danielle; Kim, Jun Chul; Cook, Melloni N; Dymecki, Susan M

    2015-11-18

    Serotonergic (5HT) neurons modulate diverse behaviors and physiology and are implicated in distinct clinical disorders. Corresponding diversity in 5HT neuronal phenotypes is becoming apparent and is likely rooted in molecular differences, yet a comprehensive approach characterizing molecular variation across the 5HT system is lacking, as is concomitant linkage to cellular phenotypes. Here we combine intersectional fate mapping, neuron sorting, and genome-wide RNA-seq to deconstruct the mouse 5HT system at multiple levels of granularity-from anatomy, to genetic sublineages, to single neurons. Our unbiased analyses reveal principles underlying system organization, 5HT neuron subtypes, constellations of differentially expressed genes distinguishing subtypes, and predictions of subtype-specific functions. Using electrophysiology, subtype-specific neuron silencing, and conditional gene knockout, we show that these molecularly defined 5HT neuron subtypes are functionally distinct. Collectively, this resource classifies molecular diversity across the 5HT system and discovers sertonergic subtypes, markers, organizing principles, and subtype-specific functions with potential disease relevance. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Otolith-Canal Convergence In Vestibular Nuclei Neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dickman, J. David; Si, Xiao-Hong

    2002-01-01

    The current final report covers the period from June 1, 1999 to May 31, 2002. The primary objective of the investigation was to determine how information regarding head movements and head position relative to gravity is received and processed by central vestibular nuclei neurons in the brainstem. Specialized receptors in the vestibular labyrinths of the inner ear function to detect angular and linear accelerations of the head, with receptors located in the semicircular canals transducing rotational head movements and receptors located in the otolith organs transducing changes in head position relative to gravity or linear accelerations of the head. The information from these different receptors is then transmitted to central vestibular nuclei neurons which process the input signals, then project the appropriate output information to the eye, head, and body musculature motor neurons to control compensatory reflexes. Although a number of studies have reported on the responsiveness of vestibular nuclei neurons, it has not yet been possible to determine precisely how these cells combine the information from the different angular and linear acceleration receptors into a correct neural output signal. In the present project, rotational and linear motion stimuli were separately delivered while recording responses from vestibular nuclei neurons that were characterized according to direct input from the labyrinth and eye movement sensitivity. Responses from neurons receiving convergent input from the semicircular canals and otolith organs were quantified and compared to non-convergent neurons.

  12. Emergence of local synchronization in neuronal networks with adaptive couplings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chakravartula, Shilpa; Indic, Premananda; Sundaram, Bala; Killingback, Timothy

    2017-01-01

    Local synchronization, both prolonged and transient, of oscillatory neuronal behavior in cortical networks plays a fundamental role in many aspects of perception and cognition. Here we study networks of Hindmarsh-Rose neurons with a new type of adaptive coupling, and show that these networks naturally produce both permanent and transient synchronization of local clusters of neurons. These deterministic systems exhibit complex dynamics with 1/fη power spectra, which appears to be a consequence of a novel form of self-organized criticality.

  13. Nuclear architecture and gene silencing in olfactory sensory neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Armelin-Correa, Lucia M; Nagai, Maíra H; Leme Silva, Artur G; Malnic, Bettina

    2014-01-01

    Odorants are discriminated by hundreds of odorant receptor (OR) genes, which are dispersed throughout the mammalian genome. The OR genes are expressed in a highly specialized type of cell, the olfactory sensory neuron. Each one of these neurons expresses one of the 2 alleles from one single OR gene type. The mechanisms underlying OR gene expression are unclear. Here we describe recent work demonstrating that the olfactory sensory neuron shows a particular nuclear architecture, and that the genomic OR loci are colocalized in silencing heterochromatin compartments within the nucleus. These discoveries highlight the important role played by epigenetic modifications and nuclear genome organization in the regulation of OR gene expression.

  14. Tinbergen on mirror neurons

    OpenAIRE

    Heyes, Cecilia

    2014-01-01

    Fifty years ago, Niko Tinbergen defined the scope of behavioural biology with his four problems: causation, ontogeny, survival value and evolution. About 20 years ago, there was another highly significant development in behavioural biology—the discovery of mirror neurons (MNs). Here, I use Tinbergen's original four problems (rather than the list that appears in textbooks) to highlight the differences between two prominent accounts of MNs, the genetic and associative accounts; to suggest that ...

  15. Taurine Biosynthesis by Neurons and Astrocytes*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vitvitsky, Victor; Garg, Sanjay K.; Banerjee, Ruma

    2011-01-01

    The physiological roles of taurine, a product of cysteine degradation and one of the most abundant amino acids in the body, remain elusive. Taurine deficiency leads to heart dysfunction, brain development abnormalities, retinal degradation, and other pathologies. The taurine synthetic pathway is proposed to be incomplete in astrocytes and neurons, and metabolic cooperation between these cell types is reportedly needed to complete the pathway. In this study, we analyzed taurine synthesis capability as reported by incorporation of radioactivity from [35S]cysteine into taurine, in primary murine astrocytes and neurons, and in several transformed cell lines (human (SH-SY5Y) and murine (N1E-115) neuroblastoma, human astrocytoma (U-87MG and 1321 N1), and rat glioma (C6)). Extensive incorporation of radioactivity from [35S]cysteine into taurine was observed in rat glioma cells as well as in primary mouse astrocytes and neurons, establishing the presence of an intact taurine synthesis pathway in these cells. Interestingly, exposure of cells to cysteine or cysteamine resulted in elevated intracellular hypotaurine without a corresponding increase in taurine levels, suggesting that oxidation of hypotaurine limits taurine synthesis in cells. Consistent with its role as an organic osmolyte, taurine synthesis was stimulated under hypertonic conditions in neurons. PMID:21778230

  16. Quinolinic acid induces disrupts cytoskeletal homeostasis in striatal neurons. Protective role of astrocyte-neuron interaction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pierozan, Paula; Ferreira, Fernanda; de Lima, Bárbara Ortiz; Pessoa-Pureur, Regina

    2015-02-01

    Quinolinic acid (QUIN) is an endogenous metabolite of the kynurenine pathway involved in several neurological disorders. Among the several mechanisms involved in QUIN-mediated toxicity, disruption of the cytoskeleton has been demonstrated in striatally injected rats and in striatal slices. The present work searched for the actions of QUIN in primary striatal neurons. Neurons exposed to 10 µM QUIN presented hyperphosphorylated neurofilament (NF) subunits (NFL, NFM, and NFH). Hyperphosphorylation was abrogated in the presence of protein kinase A and protein kinase C inhibitors H89 (20 μM) and staurosporine (10 nM), respectively, as well as by specific antagonists to N-methyl-D-aspartate (50 µM DL-AP5) and metabotropic glutamate receptor 1 (100 µM MPEP). Also, intra- and extracellular Ca(2+) chelators (10 µM BAPTA-AM and 1 mM EGTA, respectively) and Ca(2+) influx through L-type voltage-dependent Ca(2+) channel (10 µM verapamil) are implicated in QUIN-mediated effects. Cells immunostained for the neuronal markers βIII-tubulin and microtubule-associated protein 2 showed altered neurite/neuron ratios and neurite outgrowth. NF hyperphosphorylation and morphological alterations were totally prevented by conditioned medium from QUIN-treated astrocytes. Cocultured astrocytes and neurons interacted with one another reciprocally, protecting them against QUIN injury. Cocultured cells preserved their cytoskeletal organization and cell morphology together with unaltered activity of the phosphorylating system associated with the cytoskeleton. This article describes cytoskeletal disruption as one of the most relevant actions of QUIN toxicity in striatal neurons in culture with soluble factors secreted by astrocytes, with neuron-astrocyte interaction playing a role in neuroprotection. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  17. Blueberries and neuronal aging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shukitt-Hale, Barbara

    2012-01-01

    As the population of people in the United States over the age of 65 years continues to increase, so too will the incidence of age-related pathologies, including decreases in cognitive and motor function. In cases of severe deficits in memory or motor function, hospitalization and/or custodial care would be a likely outcome. This means that unless some way is found to reduce these age-related decrements in neuronal function, health care costs will continue to rise exponentially. Evidence is accumulating that consumption of blueberries may be one strategy to forestall or even reverse age-related neuronal deficits, as well as their subsequent behavioral manifestations, in order to increase healthy aging. Research suggests that the polyphenolic compounds found in blueberries exert their beneficial effects either through their ability to lower oxidative stress and inflammation or directly by altering the signaling involved in neuronal communication. These interventions, in turn, may protect against age-related deficits in cognitive and motor function. Appropriately, the US Department of Agriculture has figured prominently in these discoveries, through the efforts of two USDA researchers who worked for the department 100 years apart. Copyright © 2012 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  18. Modeling the Development of Goal-Specificity in Mirror Neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thill, Serge; Svensson, Henrik; Ziemke, Tom

    2011-12-01

    Neurophysiological studies have shown that parietal mirror neurons encode not only actions but also the goal of these actions. Although some mirror neurons will fire whenever a certain action is perceived (goal-independently), most will only fire if the motion is perceived as part of an action with a specific goal. This result is important for the action-understanding hypothesis as it provides a potential neurological basis for such a cognitive ability. It is also relevant for the design of artificial cognitive systems, in particular robotic systems that rely on computational models of the mirror system in their interaction with other agents. Yet, to date, no computational model has explicitly addressed the mechanisms that give rise to both goal-specific and goal-independent parietal mirror neurons. In the present paper, we present a computational model based on a self-organizing map, which receives artificial inputs representing information about both the observed or executed actions and the context in which they were executed. We show that the map develops a biologically plausible organization in which goal-specific mirror neurons emerge. We further show that the fundamental cause for both the appearance and the number of goal-specific neurons can be found in geometric relationships between the different inputs to the map. The results are important to the action-understanding hypothesis as they provide a mechanism for the emergence of goal-specific parietal mirror neurons and lead to a number of predictions: (1) Learning of new goals may mostly reassign existing goal-specific neurons rather than recruit new ones; (2) input differences between executed and observed actions can explain observed corresponding differences in the number of goal-specific neurons; and (3) the percentage of goal-specific neurons may differ between motion primitives.

  19. 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

  20. Astroglial networks promote neuronal coordination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chever, Oana; Dossi, Elena; Pannasch, Ulrike; Derangeon, Mickael; Rouach, Nathalie

    2016-01-12

    Astrocytes interact with neurons to regulate network activity. Although the gap junction subunits connexin 30 and connexin 43 mediate the formation of extensive astroglial networks that cover large functional neuronal territories, their role in neuronal synchronization remains unknown. Using connexin 30- and connexin 43-deficient mice, we showed that astroglial networks promoted sustained population bursts in hippocampal slices by setting the basal active state of neurons. Astroglial networks limited excessive neuronal depolarization induced by spontaneous synaptic activity, increased neuronal release probability, and favored the recruitment of neurons during bursting, thus promoting the coordinated activation of neuronal networks. In vivo, this sustained neuronal coordination translated into increased severity of acutely evoked epileptiform events and convulsive behavior. These results revealed that connexin-mediated astroglial networks synchronize bursting of neuronal assemblies, which can exacerbate pathological network activity and associated behavior. Our data thus provide molecular and biophysical evidence predicting selective astroglial gap junction inhibitors as anticonvulsive drugs. Copyright © 2016, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  1. 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...... of phenomena, ranging from the force-velocity and force-length relationships, to tetanic fusion, "catch-like" e®ects and the distinctions between fast and slow muscle ¯ber types. Furthermore the model incorporates su±cient neuromus-cular information as to permit orderly recruitment of motor units, exponential...

  2. Candidate glutamatergic neurons in the visual system of Drosophila.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shamprasad Varija Raghu

    Full Text Available The visual system of Drosophila contains approximately 60,000 neurons that are organized in parallel, retinotopically arranged columns. A large number of these neurons have been characterized in great anatomical detail. However, studies providing direct evidence for synaptic signaling and the neurotransmitter used by individual neurons are relatively sparse. Here we present a first layout of neurons in the Drosophila visual system that likely release glutamate as their major neurotransmitter. We identified 33 different types of neurons of the lamina, medulla, lobula and lobula plate. Based on the previous Golgi-staining analysis, the identified neurons are further classified into 16 major subgroups representing lamina monopolar (L, transmedullary (Tm, transmedullary Y (TmY, Y, medulla intrinsic (Mi, Mt, Pm, Dm, Mi Am, bushy T (T, translobula plate (Tlp, lobula intrinsic (Lcn, Lt, Li, lobula plate tangential (LPTCs and lobula plate intrinsic (LPi cell types. In addition, we found 11 cell types that were not described by the previous Golgi analysis. This classification of candidate glutamatergic neurons fosters the future neurogenetic dissection of information processing in circuits of the fly visual system.

  3. Imitation, mirror neurons and autism

    OpenAIRE

    Williams, Justin H.G.; Whiten, Andrew; Suddendorf, Thomas; Perrett, David I.

    2001-01-01

    Various deficits in the cognitive functioning of people with autism have been documented in recent years but these provide only partial explanations for the condition. We focus instead on an imitative disturbance involving difficulties both in copying actions and in inhibiting more stereotyped mimicking, such as echolalia. A candidate for the neural basis of this disturbance may be found in a recently discovered class of neurons in frontal cortex, 'mirror neurons' (MNs). These neurons show ac...

  4. Neuronal sFlt1 and Vegfaa determine venous sprouting and spinal cord vascularization

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wild, Raphael; Klems, Alina; Takamiya, Masanari

    2017-01-01

    Formation of organ-specific vasculatures requires cross-talk between developing tissue and specialized endothelial cells. Here we show how developing zebrafish spinal cord neurons coordinate vessel growth through balancing of neuron-derived Vegfaa, with neuronal sFlt1 restricting Vegfaa......-Kdrl mediated angiogenesis at the neurovascular interface. Neuron-specific loss of flt1 or increased neuronal vegfaa expression promotes angiogenesis and peri-neural tube vascular network formation. Combining loss of neuronal flt1 with gain of vegfaa promotes sprout invasion into the neural tube. On loss...... of neuronal flt1, ectopic sprouts emanate from veins involving special angiogenic cell behaviours including nuclear positioning and a molecular signature distinct from primary arterial or secondary venous sprouting. Manipulation of arteriovenous identity or Notch signalling established that ectopic sprouting...

  5. Using neuronal populations to study the mechanisms underlying spatial and feature attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen, Marlene R.; Maunsell, John H.R.

    2012-01-01

    Summary Visual attention affects both perception and neuronal responses. Whether the same neuronal mechanisms mediate spatial attention, which improves perception of attended locations, and non-spatial forms of attention has been a subject of considerable debate. Spatial and feature attention have similar effects on individual neurons. Because visual cortex is retinotopically organized, however, spatial attention can co-modulate local neuronal populations, while feature attention generally requires more selective modulation. We compared the effects of feature and spatial attention on local and spatially separated populations by recording simultaneously from dozens of neurons in both hemispheres of V4. Feature and spatial attention affect the activity of local populations similarly, modulating both firing rates and correlations between pairs of nearby neurons. However, while spatial attention appears to act on local populations, feature attention is coordinated across hemispheres. Our results are consistent with a unified attentional mechanism that can modulate the responses of arbitrary subgroups of neurons. PMID:21689604

  6. A single gene target of an ETS-family transcription factor determines neuronal CO2-chemosensitivity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julia P Brandt

    Full Text Available Many animals possess neurons specialized for the detection of carbon dioxide (CO(2, which acts as a cue to elicit behavioral responses and is also an internally generated product of respiration that regulates animal physiology. In many organisms how such neurons detect CO(2 is poorly understood. We report here a mechanism that endows C. elegans neurons with the ability to detect CO(2. The ETS-5 transcription factor is necessary for the specification of CO(2-sensing BAG neurons. Expression of a single ETS-5 target gene, gcy-9, which encodes a receptor-type guanylate cyclase, is sufficient to bypass a requirement for ets-5 in CO(2-detection and transforms neurons into CO(2-sensing neurons. Because ETS-5 and GCY-9 are members of gene families that are conserved between nematodes and vertebrates, a similar mechanism might act in the specification of CO(2-sensing neurons in other phyla.

  7. The biophysics of neuronal growth

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Franze, Kristian; Guck, Jochen

    2010-01-01

    For a long time, neuroscience has focused on biochemical, molecular biological and electrophysiological aspects of neuronal physiology and pathology. However, there is a growing body of evidence indicating the importance of physical stimuli for neuronal growth and development. In this review we briefly summarize the historical background of neurobiophysics and give an overview over the current understanding of neuronal growth from a physics perspective. We show how biophysics has so far contributed to a better understanding of neuronal growth and discuss current inconsistencies. Finally, we speculate how biophysics may contribute to the successful treatment of lesions to the central nervous system, which have been considered incurable until very recently.

  8. Activation of muscarinic receptors by non-neuronal acetylcholine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wessler, Ignaz Karl; Kirkpatrick, Charles James

    2012-01-01

    The biological role of acetylcholine and the cholinergic system is revisited based particularly on scientific research early and late in the last century. On the one hand, acetylcholine represents the classical neurotransmitter, whereas on the other hand, acetylcholine and the pivotal components of the cholinergic system (high-affinity choline uptake, choline acetyltransferase and its end product acetylcholine, muscarinic and nicotinic receptors and esterase) are expressed by more or less all mammalian cells, i.e. by the majority of cells not innervated by neurons at all. Moreover, it has been demonstrated that acetylcholine and "cholinergic receptors" are expressed in non-neuronal organisms such as plants and protists. Acetylcholine is even synthesized by bacteria and algae representing an extremely old signalling molecule on the evolutionary timescale. The following article summarizes examples, in which non-neuronal acetylcholine is released from primitive organisms as well as from mammalian non-neuronal cells and binds to muscarinic receptors to modulate/regulate phenotypic cell functions via auto-/paracrine pathways. The examples demonstrate that non-neuronal acetylcholine and the non-neuronal cholinergic system are vital for various types of cells such as epithelial, endothelial and immune cells.

  9. Nociceptor Sensory Neuron-Immune Interactions in Pain and Inflammation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pinho-Ribeiro, Felipe A; Verri, Waldiceu A; Chiu, Isaac M

    2017-01-01

    Nociceptor sensory neurons protect organisms from danger by eliciting pain and driving avoidance. Pain also accompanies many types of inflammation and injury. It is increasingly clear that active crosstalk occurs between nociceptor neurons and the immune system to regulate pain, host defense, and inflammatory diseases. Immune cells at peripheral nerve terminals and within the spinal cord release mediators that modulate mechanical and thermal sensitivity. In turn, nociceptor neurons release neuropeptides and neurotransmitters from nerve terminals that regulate vascular, innate, and adaptive immune cell responses. Therefore, the dialog between nociceptor neurons and the immune system is a fundamental aspect of inflammation, both acute and chronic. A better understanding of these interactions could produce approaches to treat chronic pain and inflammatory diseases. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Reactive oxygen species in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus alter sympathetic activity during metabolic syndrome.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    JOSIANE CAMPOS CRUZ

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available The paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus (PVN contains heterogeneous populations of neurons involved in autonomic and neuroendocrine regulation. The PVN plays an important role in the sympathoexcitatory response to increasing circulating levels of angiotensin II (Ang-II, which activates AT1 receptors in the circumventricular organs (OCVs, mainly in the subfornical organ (SFO. Circulating Ang-II induces a de novo synthesis of Ang-II in SFO neurons projecting to pre-autonomic PVN neurons. Activation of AT1 receptors induces intracellular increases in reactive oxygen species (ROS, leading to increases in sympathetic nerve activity (SNA. Chronic sympathetic nerve activation promotes a series of metabolic disorders that characterizes the metabolic syndrome (MetS: dyslipidemia, hyperinsulinemia, glucose intolerance, hyperleptinemia and elevated plasma hormone levels, such as noradrenaline, glucocorticoids, leptin, insulin and Ang-II. This review will discuss the contribution of our laboratory and others regarding the sympathoexcitation caused by peripheral Ang-II-induced reactive oxygen species along the subfornical organ and paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus. We hypothesize that this mechanism could be involved in metabolic disorders underlying MetS.

  11. Motor neuron disease in blacks

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    1989-08-19

    Aug 19, 1989 ... A series of 86 black, Indian and white patients with motor neuron disease were analysed retrospectively. Although the material does not allow statistically valid conclusions, there are sufficient cases among blacks to allow two prima facie observations in this population group: (~ motor neuron disease.

  12. The Neuronal Ceroid-Lipofuscinoses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bennett, Michael J.; Rakheja, Dinesh

    2013-01-01

    The neuronal ceroid-lipofuscinoses (NCL's, Batten disease) represent a group of severe neurodegenerative diseases, which mostly present in childhood. The phenotypes are similar and include visual loss, seizures, loss of motor and cognitive function, and early death. At autopsy, there is massive neuronal loss with characteristic storage in…

  13. Understanding Neuronal Mechanisms of Epilepsy ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Admin

    20 μM glutamate,. Recording epileptogenesis. Long term connectivity c. 10 min neuronal loss. (De Lorenzo et al., 2000) injury epileptogenesis. Neuronal loss .... decay. Control Condition. Relative Increase in τ decay. Values in. Epileptic Condition. The relative contribution of the Na+/Ca2+ exchangers in Ca2+ extrusion.

  14. Orexin neurons receive glycinergic innervations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mari Hondo

    Full Text Available Glycine, a nonessential amino-acid that acts as an inhibitory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system, is currently used as a dietary supplement to improve the quality of sleep, but its mechanism of action is poorly understood. We confirmed the effects of glycine on sleep/wakefulness behavior in mice when administered peripherally. Glycine administration increased non-rapid eye movement (NREM sleep time and decreased the amount and mean episode duration of wakefulness when administered in the dark period. Since peripheral administration of glycine induced fragmentation of sleep/wakefulness states, which is a characteristic of orexin deficiency, we examined the effects of glycine on orexin neurons. The number of Fos-positive orexin neurons markedly decreased after intraperitoneal administration of glycine to mice. To examine whether glycine acts directly on orexin neurons, we examined the effects of glycine on orexin neurons by patch-clamp electrophysiology. Glycine directly induced hyperpolarization and cessation of firing of orexin neurons. These responses were inhibited by a specific glycine receptor antagonist, strychnine. Triple-labeling immunofluorescent analysis showed close apposition of glycine transporter 2 (GlyT2-immunoreactive glycinergic fibers onto orexin-immunoreactive neurons. Immunoelectron microscopic analysis revealed that GlyT2-immunoreactive terminals made symmetrical synaptic contacts with somata and dendrites of orexin neurons. Double-labeling immunoelectron microscopy demonstrated that glycine receptor alpha subunits were localized in the postsynaptic membrane of symmetrical inhibitory synapses on orexin neurons. Considering the importance of glycinergic regulation during REM sleep, our observations suggest that glycine injection might affect the activity of orexin neurons, and that glycinergic inhibition of orexin neurons might play a role in physiological sleep regulation.

  15. The Edible Red Alga Porphyra yezoensis Promotes Neuronal Survival and Cytoarchitecture in Primary Hippocampal Neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohibbullah, Md; Bhuiyan, Mohammad Maqueshudul Haque; Hannan, Md Abdul; Getachew, Paulos; Hong, Yong-Ki; Choi, Jae-Suk; Choi, In Soon; Moon, Il Soo

    2016-07-01

    The edible red alga Porphyra yezoensis is among the most popular marine algae and is of economic and medicinal importance. In the present study, the neurotrophic and neuroprotective activities of the ethanol extract of P. yezoensis (PYE) were investigated in primary cultures of hippocampal neurons. Results revealed that PYE significantly increased neurite outgrowth at an optimal concentration of 15 µg/mL. PYE dose-dependently increased viable cells, significantly accelerated the rate of neuronal differentiation in cultures, promoted axodendritic arborization, and eventually induced synaptogenesis. In addition to morphological development, PYE also promoted functional maturation as indicated by the staining of live cultures with FM 1-43. Moreover, PYE increased neuronal survivability, which was attributed to reduced apoptosis and its ROS scavenging activity. Taurine, a major organic acid in PYE (2.584/100 mg of dry PYE) promoted neurite outgrowth in a dose-dependent manner, and this promotion was suppressed by the taurine antagonist isethionic acid. The study indicates that PYE and its active component, taurine, facilitate neuronal development and maturation and have a neuroprotective effect.

  16. Simulating pancreatic neuroplasticity: in vitro dual-neuron plasticity assay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Demir, Ihsan Ekin; Tieftrunk, Elke; Schäfer, Karl-Herbert; Friess, Helmut; Ceyhan, Güralp O

    2014-04-14

    Neuroplasticity is an inherent feature of the enteric nervous system and gastrointestinal (GI) innervation under pathological conditions. However, the pathophysiological role of neuroplasticity in GI disorders remains unknown. Novel experimental models which allow simulation and modulation of GI neuroplasticity may enable enhanced appreciation of the contribution of neuroplasticity in particular GI diseases such as pancreatic cancer (PCa) and chronic pancreatitis (CP). Here, we present a protocol for simulation of pancreatic neuroplasticity under in vitro conditions using newborn rat dorsal root ganglia (DRG) and myenteric plexus (MP) neurons. This dual-neuron approach not only permits monitoring of both organ-intrinsic and -extrinsic neuroplasticity, but also represents a valuable tool to assess neuronal and glial morphology and electrophysiology. Moreover, it allows functional modulation of supplied microenvironmental contents for studying their impact on neuroplasticity. Once established, the present neuroplasticity assay bears the potential of being applicable to the study of neuroplasticity in any GI organ.

  17. Towards reproducible descriptions of neuronal network models.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eilen Nordlie

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available Progress in science depends on the effective exchange of ideas among scientists. New ideas can be assessed and criticized in a meaningful manner only if they are formulated precisely. This applies to simulation studies as well as to experiments and theories. But after more than 50 years of neuronal network simulations, we still lack a clear and common understanding of the role of computational models in neuroscience as well as established practices for describing network models in publications. This hinders the critical evaluation of network models as well as their re-use. We analyze here 14 research papers proposing neuronal network models of different complexity and find widely varying approaches to model descriptions, with regard to both the means of description and the ordering and placement of material. We further observe great variation in the graphical representation of networks and the notation used in equations. Based on our observations, we propose a good model description practice, composed of guidelines for the organization of publications, a checklist for model descriptions, templates for tables presenting model structure, and guidelines for diagrams of networks. The main purpose of this good practice is to trigger a debate about the communication of neuronal network models in a manner comprehensible to humans, as opposed to machine-readable model description languages. We believe that the good model description practice proposed here, together with a number of other recent initiatives on data-, model-, and software-sharing, may lead to a deeper and more fruitful exchange of ideas among computational neuroscientists in years to come. We further hope that work on standardized ways of describing--and thinking about--complex neuronal networks will lead the scientific community to a clearer understanding of high-level concepts in network dynamics, and will thus lead to deeper insights into the function of the brain.

  18. High-resolution mapping of neuronal activity by thallium autometallography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goldschmidt, Jürgen; Zuschratter, Werner; Scheich, Henning

    2004-10-01

    Different methods are available for imaging neuronal activity in the mammalian brain with a spatial resolution sufficiently high to detect activation patterns at the level of individual functional modules such as cortical columns. Severe difficulties exist, however, in visualizing the different degree of activity of each individual neuron within such a module, and mapping neuronal activity with a spatial resolution of single axons has remained impossible thus far. Here, we present a novel method for mapping neuronal activity that is able to visualize activation patterns with light and electron microscopical resolution. The method is based on the tight coupling of neuronal activity and potassium (K(+)) uptake. We have injected Mongolian gerbils with the K(+) analogue thallium (Tl(+)), stimulated the animals with pure tones of different frequencies and analyzed, by an autometallographic method, the Tl(+) distribution in the auditory cortex (AC). We find tonotopically organized columns of increased Tl(+)-uptake in AC. Within columns, the spatial patterns of neuronal activity as revealed by thallium autometallography are highly elaborated. Tl(+)-uptake differs in different layers, sublayers, and cell types, being especially high in large multipolar inhibitory interneurons in layer IV. A prominent feature of the columnar activation pattern is the presence of vertical modules of minicolumnar dimensions. Clusters of layer Vb pyramidal cells and their apical dendrite bundles are clearly visible in the center of the columns.

  19. A map of octopaminergic neurons in the Drosophila brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Busch, Sebastian; Selcho, Mareike; Ito, Kei; Tanimoto, Hiromu

    2009-04-20

    The biogenic amine octopamine modulates diverse behaviors in invertebrates. At the single neuron level, the mode of action is well understood in the peripheral nervous system owing to its simple structure and accessibility. For elucidating the role of individual octopaminergic neurons in the modulation of complex behaviors, a detailed analysis of the connectivity in the central nervous system is required. Here we present a comprehensive anatomical map of candidate octopaminergic neurons in the adult Drosophila brain: including the supra- and subesophageal ganglia. Application of the Flp-out technique enabled visualization of 27 types of individual octopaminergic neurons. Based on their morphology and distribution of genetic markers, we found that most octopaminergic neurons project to multiple brain structures with a clear separation of dendritic and presynaptic regions. Whereas their major dendrites are confined to specific brain regions, each cell type targets different, yet defined, neuropils distributed throughout the central nervous system. This would allow them to constitute combinatorial modules assigned to the modulation of distinct neuronal processes. The map may provide an anatomical framework for the functional constitution of the octopaminergic system. It also serves as a model for the single-cell organization of a particular neurotransmitter in the brain. 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  20. Analyzing the structure and function of neuronal circuits in zebrafish

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rainer eFriedrich

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available The clever choice of animal models has been instrumental for many breakthrough discoveries in life sciences. One of the outstanding challenges in neuroscience is the in-depth analysis of neuronal circuits to understand how interactions between large numbers of neurons give rise to the computational power of the brain. A promising model organism to address this challenge is the zebrafish, not only because it is cheap, transparent and accessible to sophisticated genetic manipulations but also because it offers unique advantages for quantitative analyses of circuit structure and function. One of the most important advantages of zebrafish is its small brain size, both at larval and adult stages. Small brains enable exhaustive measurements of neuronal activity patterns by optical imaging and facilitate large-scale reconstructions of wiring diagrams by electron microscopic approaches. Such information is important, and probably essential, to obtain mechanistic insights into neuronal computations underlying higher brain functions and dysfunctions. This review provides a brief overview over current methods and motivations for dense reconstructions of neuronal activity and connectivity patterns. It then discusses selective advantages of zebrafish and provides examples how these advantages are exploited to study neuronal computations in the olfactory bulb.

  1. Patterning human neuronal networks on photolithographically engineered silicon dioxide substrates functionalized with glial analogues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hughes, Mark A; Brennan, Paul M; Bunting, Andrew S; Cameron, Katherine; Murray, Alan F; Shipston, Mike J

    2014-05-01

    Interfacing neurons with silicon semiconductors is a challenge being tackled through various bioengineering approaches. Such constructs inform our understanding of neuronal coding and learning and ultimately guide us toward creating intelligent neuroprostheses. A fundamental prerequisite is to dictate the spatial organization of neuronal cells. We sought to pattern neurons using photolithographically defined arrays of polymer parylene-C, activated with fetal calf serum. We used a purified human neuronal cell line [Lund human mesencephalic (LUHMES)] to establish whether neurons remain viable when isolated on-chip or whether they require a supporting cell substrate. When cultured in isolation, LUHMES neurons failed to pattern and did not show any morphological signs of differentiation. We therefore sought a cell type with which to prepattern parylene regions, hypothesizing that this cellular template would enable secondary neuronal adhesion and network formation. From a range of cell lines tested, human embryonal kidney (HEK) 293 cells patterned with highest accuracy. LUHMES neurons adhered to pre-established HEK 293 cell clusters and this coculture environment promoted morphological differentiation of neurons. Neurites extended between islands of adherent cell somata, creating an orthogonally arranged neuronal network. HEK 293 cells appear to fulfill a role analogous to glia, dictating cell adhesion, and generating an environment conducive to neuronal survival. We next replaced HEK 293 cells with slower growing glioma-derived precursors. These primary human cells patterned accurately on parylene and provided a similarly effective scaffold for neuronal adhesion. These findings advance the use of this microfabrication-compatible platform for neuronal patterning. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  2. Local-circuit phenotypes of layer 5 neurons in motor-frontal cortex of YFP-H mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jianing Yu

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Layer 5 pyramidal neurons comprise an important but heterogeneous group of cortical projection neurons. In motor-frontal cortex, these neurons are centrally involved in the cortical control of movement. Recent studies indicate that local excitatory networks in mouse motor-frontal cortex are dominated by descending pathways from layer 2/3 to 5. However, those pathways were identified in experiments involving unlabeled neurons in wild type mice. Here, to explore the possibility of class-specific connectivity in this descending pathway, we mapped the local sources of excitatory synaptic input to a genetically labeled population of cortical neurons: YFP-positive layer 5 neurons of YFP-H mice. We found, first, that in motor cortex, YFP-positive neurons were distributed in a double blade, consistent with the idea of layer 5B having greater thickness in frontal neocortex. Second, whereas unlabeled neurons in upper layer 5 received their strongest inputs from layer 2, YFP-positive neurons in the upper blade received prominent layer 3 inputs. Third, YFP-positive neurons exhibited distinct electrophysiological properties, including low spike frequency adaptation, as reported previously. Our results with this genetically labeled neuronal population indicate the presence of distinct local-circuit phenotypes among layer 5 pyramidal neurons in mouse motor-frontal cortex, and present a paradigm for investigating local circuit organization in other genetically labeled populations of cortical neurons.

  3. Cdc42 regulates cofilin during the establishment of neuronal polarity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  4. Varicella zoster virus (VZV)-human neuron interaction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baird, Nicholas L; Yu, Xiaoli; Cohrs, Randall J; Gilden, Don

    2013-09-04

    Varicella zoster virus (VZV) is a highly neurotropic, exclusively human herpesvirus. Primary infection causes varicella (chickenpox), wherein VZV replicates in multiple organs, particularly the skin. Widespread infection in vivo is confirmed by the ability of VZV to kill tissue culture cells in vitro derived from any organ. After varicella, VZV becomes latent in ganglionic neurons along the entire neuraxis. During latency, virus DNA replication stops, transcription is restricted, and no progeny virions are produced, indicating a unique virus-cell (neuron) relationship. VZV reactivation produces zoster (shingles), often complicated by serious neurological and ocular disorders. The molecular trigger(s) for reactivation, and thus the identity of a potential target to prevent it, remains unknown due to an incomplete understanding of the VZV-neuron interaction. While no in vitro system has yet recapitulated the findings in latently infected ganglia, recent studies show that VZV infection of human neurons in SCID mice and of human stem cells, including induced human pluripotent stem cells and normal human neural progenitor tissue-like assemblies, can be established in the absence of a cytopathic effect. Usefulness of these systems in discovering the mechanisms underlying reactivation awaits analyses of VZV-infected, highly pure (>90%), terminally differentiated human neurons capable of prolonged survival in vitro.

  5. Varicella Zoster Virus (VZV-Human Neuron Interaction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Don Gilden

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Varicella zoster virus (VZV is a highly neurotropic, exclusively human herpesvirus. Primary infection causes varicella (chickenpox, wherein VZV replicates in multiple organs, particularly the skin. Widespread infection in vivo is confirmed by the ability of VZV to kill tissue culture cells in vitro derived from any organ. After varicella, VZV becomes latent in ganglionic neurons along the entire neuraxis. During latency, virus DNA replication stops, transcription is restricted, and no progeny virions are produced, indicating a unique virus-cell (neuron relationship. VZV reactivation produces zoster (shingles, often complicated by serious neurological and ocular disorders. The molecular trigger(s for reactivation, and thus the identity of a potential target to prevent it, remains unknown due to an incomplete understanding of the VZV-neuron interaction. While no in vitro system has yet recapitulated the findings in latently infected ganglia, recent studies show that VZV infection of human neurons in SCID mice and of human stem cells, including induced human pluripotent stem cells and normal human neural progenitor tissue-like assemblies, can be established in the absence of a cytopathic effect. Usefulness of these systems in discovering the mechanisms underlying reactivation awaits analyses of VZV-infected, highly pure (>90%, terminally differentiated human neurons capable of prolonged survival in vitro.

  6. Tinbergen on mirror neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heyes, Cecilia

    2014-01-01

    Fifty years ago, Niko Tinbergen defined the scope of behavioural biology with his four problems: causation, ontogeny, survival value and evolution. About 20 years ago, there was another highly significant development in behavioural biology-the discovery of mirror neurons (MNs). Here, I use Tinbergen's original four problems (rather than the list that appears in textbooks) to highlight the differences between two prominent accounts of MNs, the genetic and associative accounts; to suggest that the latter provides the defeasible 'best explanation' for current data on the causation and ontogeny of MNs; and to argue that functional analysis, of the kind that Tinbergen identified somewhat misleadingly with studies of 'survival value', should be a high priority for future research. In this kind of functional analysis, system-level theories would assign MNs a small, but potentially important, role in the achievement of action understanding-or another social cognitive function-by a production line of interacting component processes. These theories would be tested by experimental intervention in human and non-human animal samples with carefully documented and controlled developmental histories.

  7. Mechanism of the process formation; podocytes vs. neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kobayashi, Naoto

    2002-05-15

    In this review article we discuss the common mechanism for cellular process formation. Besides the podocyte, the mechanism of process formation, including cytoskeletal organization and signal transduction, etc., has been studied using neurons and glias as model systems. There has been an accumulation of data showing common cell biological features of the podocyte and the neuron: 1) Both cells possess long and short cell processes equipped with highly organized cytoskeletal systems; 2) Both show cytoskeletal segregation; microtubules (MTs) and intermediate filaments (IFs) in podocyte primary processes and in neurites, while actin filaments (AFs) are abundant in podocyte foot processes in neuronal synaptic regions; 3) In both cells, process formation is mechanically dependent on MTs, whose assembly is regulated by various microtubule- associated proteins (MAPs); 4) In both cells, process formation is positively regulated by PP2A, a Ser/Thr protein phosphatase; 5) In both cells, process formation is accelerated by laminin, an extracellular matrix protein. In addition, recent data from our and other laboratories have shown that podocyte processes share many features with neuronal dendrites: 1) Podocyte processes and neuronal dendrites possess MTs with mixed polarity, namely, plus-end-distal and minus-end-distal MTs coexist in these processes; 2) To establish the mixed polarity of MTs, both express CHO1/MKLP1, a kinesin-related motor protein, and when its expression is inhibited formation of both podocyte processes and neuronal dendrites is abolished; 3) The elongation of both podocyte processes and neuronal dendrites is supported by rab8-regulated basolateral-type membrane transport; 4) Both podocyte processes and neuronal dendrites express synaptopodin, an actin-associated protein, in a development-dependent manner; interestingly, in both cells, synaptopodin is localized not in the main shaft of processes but in thin short projections from the main shaft. We propose

  8. DNA Damage Induced Neuronal Death

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Kisby, Glen

    1999-01-01

    ... (nitrogen mustard or HN2) and the neurotoxic DNA-damaging agent methylazoxymethanol (MAM) using neuronal and astrocyte cell cultures from different brain regions of mice with perturbed DNA repair...

  9. Information processing by neuronal populations

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Hölscher, Christian; Munk, Matthias

    2009-01-01

    ... simultaneously recorded spike trains 120 Mark Laubach, Nandakumar S. Narayanan, and Eyal Y. Kimchi Part III Neuronal population information coding and plasticity in specific brain areas 149 7 F...

  10. Deciphering mirror neurons: rational decision versus associative learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khalil, Elias L

    2014-04-01

    The rational-decision approach is superior to the associative-learning approach of Cook et al. at explaining why mirror neurons fire or do not fire - even when the stimulus is the same. The rational-decision approach is superior because it starts with the analysis of the intention of the organism, that is, with the identification of the specific objective or goal that the organism is trying to maximize.

  11. Trafficking of neuronal calcium channels

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Weiss, Norbert; Zamponi, G. W.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 1, č. 1 (2017), č. článku NS20160003. ISSN 2059-6553 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA15-13556S; GA MŠk 7AMB15FR015 Institutional support: RVO:61388963 Keywords : calcium channel * neuron * trafficing Subject RIV: ED - Physiology OBOR OECD: Physiology (including cytology) http://www. neuron alsignaling.org/content/1/1/NS20160003

  12. Diversity in the neuronal machine: order and variability in interneuronal microcircuits

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Soltesz, Ivan

    2006-01-01

    ... Disorders 42 3: Order in Diversity: From Phenomenology to Function 45 Diversity at Multiple Levels of Neuronal Organization 45 Linnean Order in Diversity: A Modern Compendium of Interneuronal Spe...

  13. Single-Cell Transcriptional Analysis Reveals Novel Neuronal Phenotypes and Interaction Networks Involved in the Central Circadian Clock.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, James; Zhu, Haisun; O'Sullivan, Sean; Ogunnaike, Babatunde A; Weaver, David R; Schwaber, James S; Vadigepalli, Rajanikanth

    2016-01-01

    Single-cell heterogeneity confounds efforts to understand how a population of cells organizes into cellular networks that underlie tissue-level function. This complexity is prominent in the mammalian suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN). Here, individual neurons exhibit a remarkable amount of asynchronous behavior and transcriptional heterogeneity. However, SCN neurons are able to generate precisely coordinated synaptic and molecular outputs that synchronize the body to a common circadian cycle by organizing into cellular networks. To understand this emergent cellular network property, it is important to reconcile single-neuron heterogeneity with network organization. In light of recent studies suggesting that transcriptionally heterogeneous cells organize into distinct cellular phenotypes, we characterized the transcriptional, spatial, and functional organization of 352 SCN neurons from mice experiencing phase-shifts in their circadian cycle. Using the community structure detection method and multivariate analytical techniques, we identified previously undescribed neuronal phenotypes that are likely to participate in regulatory networks with known SCN cell types. Based on the newly discovered neuronal phenotypes, we developed a data-driven neuronal network structure in which multiple cell types interact through known synaptic and paracrine signaling mechanisms. These results provide a basis from which to interpret the functional variability of SCN neurons and describe methodologies toward understanding how a population of heterogeneous single cells organizes into cellular networks that underlie tissue-level function.

  14. Single-cell Transcriptional Analysis Reveals Novel Neuronal Phenotypes and Interaction Networks involved In the Central Circadian Clock

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James Park

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Single-cell heterogeneity confounds efforts to understand how a population of cells organizes into cellular networks that underlie tissue-level function. This complexity is prominent in the mammalian suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN. Here, individual neurons exhibit a remarkable amount of asynchronous behavior and transcriptional heterogeneity. However, SCN neurons are able to generate precisely coordinated synaptic and molecular outputs that synchronize the body to a common circadian cycle by organizing into cellular networks. To understand this emergent cellular network property, it is important to reconcile single-neuron heterogeneity with network organization. In light of recent studies suggesting that transcriptionally heterogeneous cells organize into distinct cellular phenotypes, we characterized the transcriptional, spatial, and functional organization of 352 SCN neurons from mice experiencing phase-shifts in their circadian cycle. Using the community structure detection method and multivariate analytical techniques, we identified previously undescribed neuronal phenotypes that are likely to participate in regulatory networks with known SCN cell types. Based on the newly discovered neuronal phenotypes, we developed a data-driven neuronal network structure in which multiple cell types interact through known synaptic and paracrine signaling mechanisms. These results provide a basis from which to interpret the functional variability of SCN neurons and describe methodologies towards understanding how a population of heterogeneous single cells organizes into cellular networks that underlie tissue-level function.

  15. Neuronal Rat Brain Damage Caused by Endogenous and Exogenous Hyperthermia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mustafa Aydın

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available OBJECTIVE: Hyperthermia may induce pathologic alterations within body systems and organs including brain. In this study, neuronal effects of endogenous and exogenous hyperthermia (41°C were studied in rats. METHODS: The endogenous hyperthermia (41°C was induced by lipopolysaccharide and the exogenous by an (electric heater. Possible neuronal damage was evaluated by examining healthy, apoptotic and necrotic cells, and heat shock proteins (HSP 27, HSP 70 in the cerebral cortex, cerebellum and hypothalamus RESULTS: At cellular level, when all neuronal tissues are taken into account; (i a significant increase in the necrotic cells was observed in the both groups (p0.05. CONCLUSION: The neural tissue of brain can show different degree of response to hyperthermia. But we can conclude that endogenous hyperthermia is more harmful to central nervous system than exogenous hyperthermia

  16. Neuronal factors determining high intelligence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dicke, Ursula; Roth, Gerhard

    2016-01-05

    Many attempts have been made to correlate degrees of both animal and human intelligence with brain properties. With respect to mammals, a much-discussed trait concerns absolute and relative brain size, either uncorrected or corrected for body size. However, the correlation of both with degrees of intelligence yields large inconsistencies, because although they are regarded as the most intelligent mammals, monkeys and apes, including humans, have neither the absolutely nor the relatively largest brains. The best fit between brain traits and degrees of intelligence among mammals is reached by a combination of the number of cortical neurons, neuron packing density, interneuronal distance and axonal conduction velocity--factors that determine general information processing capacity (IPC), as reflected by general intelligence. The highest IPC is found in humans, followed by the great apes, Old World and New World monkeys. The IPC of cetaceans and elephants is much lower because of a thin cortex, low neuron packing density and low axonal conduction velocity. By contrast, corvid and psittacid birds have very small and densely packed pallial neurons and relatively many neurons, which, despite very small brain volumes, might explain their high intelligence. The evolution of a syntactical and grammatical language in humans most probably has served as an additional intelligence amplifier, which may have happened in songbirds and psittacids in a convergent manner. © 2015 The Author(s).

  17. More questions for mirror neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borg, Emma

    2013-09-01

    The mirror neuron system is widely held to provide direct access to the motor goals of others. This paper critically investigates this idea, focusing on the so-called 'intentional worry'. I explore two answers to the intentional worry: first that the worry is premised on too limited an understanding of mirror neuron behaviour (Sections 2 and 3), second that the appeal made to mirror neurons can be refined in such a way as to avoid the worry (Section 4). I argue that the first response requires an account of the mechanism by which small-scale gestures are supposedly mapped to larger chains of actions but that none of the extant accounts of this mechanism are plausible. Section 4 then briefly examines refinements of the mirror neuron-mindreading hypothesis which avoid the intentional worry. I conclude that these refinements may well be plausible but that they undermine many of the claims standardly made for mirror neurons. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Sialic acid accelerates the electrophoretic velocity of injured dorsal root ganglion neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chen-xu Li

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Peripheral nerve injury has been shown to result in ectopic spontaneous discharges on soma and injured sites of sensory neurons, thereby inducing neuropathic pain. With the increase of membrane proteins on soma and injured site neurons, the negatively charged sialic acids bind to the external domains of membrane proteins, resulting in an increase of this charge. We therefore speculate that the electrophoretic velocity of injured neurons may be faster than non-injured neurons. The present study established rat models of neuropathic pain via chronic constriction injury. Results of the cell electrophoresis test revealed that the electrophoretic velocity of injured neuronal cells was faster than that of non-injured (control cells. We then treated cells with divalent cations of Ca 2+ and organic compounds with positive charges, polylysine to counteract the negatively charged sialic acids, or neuraminidase to specifically remove sialic acids from the membrane surface of injured neurons. All three treatments significantly reduced the electrophoretic velocity of injured neuronal cells. These findings suggest that enhanced sialic acids on injured neurons may accelerate the electrophoretic velocity of injured neurons.

  19. 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

  20. Neuronal oscillations in Parkinson's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Witcher, Mark; Moran, Rosalyn; Tatter, Stephen B; Laxton, Adrian W

    2014-06-01

    Parkinson's Disease (PD), characterized by tremor, rigidity, and bradykinesia, is one of the most prevalent neurodegenerative disorders in the world. The pathological hallmark of PD is the loss of dopaminergic cells in the substantia nigra and other brain regions. The pathophysiological mechanisms by which dopaminergic cell loss leads to the motor manifestations of PD are yet to be fully elucidated. A growing body of evidence has revealed abnormal neuronal oscillations within and between multiple brain regions in PD. Unique oscillatory patterns are associated with specific motor abnormalities in PD. Therapies, such as dopaminergic medication and deep brain stimulation that disrupt these abnormal neuronal oscillatory patterns produce symptomatic improvement in PD patients. These findings emphasize the importance of abnormal neuronal oscillations in the pathophysiology of PD, making the disruption of these oscillatory patterns a promising target in the development of effective PD treatments.

  1. In vivo Labeling of Constellations of Functionally Identified Neurons for Targeted in vitro Recordings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lien, Anthony D; Scanziani, Massimo

    2011-01-01

    Relating the functional properties of neurons in an intact organism with their cellular and synaptic characteristics is necessary for a mechanistic understanding of brain function. However, while the functional properties of cortical neurons (e.g., tuning to sensory stimuli) are necessarily determined in vivo, detailed cellular and synaptic analysis relies on in vitro techniques. Here we describe an approach that combines in vivo calcium imaging (for functional characterization) with photo-activation of fluorescent proteins (for neuron labeling), thereby allowing targeted in vitro recording of multiple neurons with known functional properties. We expressed photo-activatable GFP rendered non-diffusible through fusion with a histone protein (H2B-PAGFP) in the mouse visual cortex to rapidly photo-label constellations of neurons in vivo at cellular and sub-cellular resolution using two-photon excitation. This photo-labeling method was compatible with two-photon calcium imaging of neuronal responses to visual stimuli, allowing us to label constellations of neurons with specific functional properties. Photo-labeled neurons were easily identified in vitro in acute brain slices and could be targeted for whole-cell recording. We also demonstrate that in vitro and in vivo image stacks of the same photo-labeled neurons could be registered to one another, allowing the exact in vivo response properties of individual neurons recorded in vitro to be known. The ability to perform in vitro recordings from neurons with known functional properties opens up exciting new possibilities for dissecting the cellular, synaptic, and circuit mechanisms that underlie neuronal function in vivo.

  2. Prospective Coding by Spiking Neurons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Johanni Brea

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Animals learn to make predictions, such as associating the sound of a bell with upcoming feeding or predicting a movement that a motor command is eliciting. How predictions are realized on the neuronal level and what plasticity rule underlies their learning is not well understood. Here we propose a biologically plausible synaptic plasticity rule to learn predictions on a single neuron level on a timescale of seconds. The learning rule allows a spiking two-compartment neuron to match its current firing rate to its own expected future discounted firing rate. For instance, if an originally neutral event is repeatedly followed by an event that elevates the firing rate of a neuron, the originally neutral event will eventually also elevate the neuron's firing rate. The plasticity rule is a form of spike timing dependent plasticity in which a presynaptic spike followed by a postsynaptic spike leads to potentiation. Even if the plasticity window has a width of 20 milliseconds, associations on the time scale of seconds can be learned. We illustrate prospective coding with three examples: learning to predict a time varying input, learning to predict the next stimulus in a delayed paired-associate task and learning with a recurrent network to reproduce a temporally compressed version of a sequence. We discuss the potential role of the learning mechanism in classical trace conditioning. In the special case that the signal to be predicted encodes reward, the neuron learns to predict the discounted future reward and learning is closely related to the temporal difference learning algorithm TD(λ.

  3. Calcium signals in olfactory neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tareilus, E; Noé, J; Breer, H

    1995-11-09

    Laser scanning confocal microscopy in combination with the fluorescent calcium indicators Fluo-3 and Fura-Red was employed to estimate the intracellular concentration of free calcium ions in individual olfactory receptor neurons and to monitor temporal and spatial changes in the Ca(2+)-level upon stimulation. The chemosensory cells responded to odorants with a significant increase in the calcium concentration, preferentially in the dendritic knob. Applying various stimulation paradigma, it was found that in a population of isolated cells, subsets of receptor neurons display distinct patterns of responsiveness.

  4. [What mirror neurons have revealed: revisited].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murata, Akira; Maeda, Kazutaka

    2014-06-01

    The first paper on mirror neurons was published in 1992. In the span of over two decades since then, much knowledge about the relationship between social cognitive function and the motor control system has been accumulated. Direct matching of visual actions and their corresponding motor representations is the most important functional property of mirror neuron. Many studies have emphasized intrinsic simulation as a core concept for mirror neurons. Mirror neurons are thought to play a role in social cognitive function. However, the function of mirror neurons in the macaque remains unclear, because such cognitive functions are limited or lacking in macaque monkeys. It is therefore important to discuss these neurons in the context of motor function. Rizzolatti and colleagues have stressed that the most important function of mirror neurons in macaques is recognition of actions performed by other individuals. I suggest that mirror neurons in the Macaque inferior pariental lobule might be correlated with body schema. In the parieto-premotor network, matching of corollary discharge and actual sensory feedback is an essential neuronal operation. Recently, neurons showing mirror properties were found in some cortical areas outside the mirror neuron system. The current work would revisit the outcomes of mirror neuron studies to discuss the function of mirror neurons in the monkey.

  5. The Neuronal Network Orchestration behind Motor Behaviors

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Petersen, Peter Christian

    behaviors from a premotor network with recurrent connections, which is operating in the irregular regime. Our experimental findings are in agreement with studies from the cortex and the balanced model. It is therefore relevant to study the population activity in the spinal cord for traits from cortex...... (Buzsáki and Mizuseki, 2014). Roxin et al. (2011) detailed the firing rate distribution in networks in the balanced regime, and found it to be similar to a lognormal distribution and describing the data from the population studies very well. Our experimental observations and analysis are in agreement......In biological networks, millions of neurons organize themselves from microscopic noisy individuals to robust macroscopic entities. These entities are capable of producing higher functions like sensory processing, decision-making, and elaborate behavioral responses. Every aspect of these behaviors...

  6. What do mirror neurons mirror?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Uithol, S.; Rooij, I.J.E.I. van; Bekkering, H.; Haselager, W.F.G.

    2011-01-01

    Single cell recordings in monkeys provide strong evidence for an important role of the motor system in action understanding. This evidence is backed up by data from studies of the (human) mirror neuron system using neuroimaging or TMS techniques, and behavioral experiments. Although the data

  7. Biomechanics of single cortical neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernick, Kristin B; Prevost, Thibault P; Suresh, Subra; Socrate, Simona

    2011-03-01

    This study presents experimental results and computational analysis of the large strain dynamic behavior of single neurons in vitro with the objective of formulating a novel quantitative framework for the biomechanics of cortical neurons. Relying on the atomic force microscopy (AFM) technique, novel testing protocols are developed to enable the characterization of neural soma deformability over a range of indentation rates spanning three orders of magnitude, 10, 1, and 0.1 μm s(-1). Modified spherical AFM probes were utilized to compress the cell bodies of neonatal rat cortical neurons in load, unload, reload and relaxation conditions. The cell response showed marked hysteretic features, strong non-linearities, and substantial time/rate dependencies. The rheological data were complemented with geometrical measurements of cell body morphology, i.e. cross-diameter and height estimates. A constitutive model, validated by the present experiments, is proposed to quantify the mechanical behavior of cortical neurons. The model aimed to correlate empirical findings with measurable degrees of (hyper)elastic resilience and viscosity at the cell level. The proposed formulation, predicated upon previous constitutive model developments undertaken at the cortical tissue level, was implemented in a three-dimensional finite element framework. The simulated cell response was calibrated to the experimental measurements under the selected test conditions, providing a novel single cell model that could form the basis for further refinements. Copyright © 2010 Acta Materialia Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Optimal compensation for neuron loss

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barrett, David GT; Denève, Sophie; Machens, Christian K

    2016-01-01

    The brain has an impressive ability to withstand neural damage. Diseases that kill neurons can go unnoticed for years, and incomplete brain lesions or silencing of neurons often fail to produce any behavioral effect. How does the brain compensate for such damage, and what are the limits of this compensation? We propose that neural circuits instantly compensate for neuron loss, thereby preserving their function as much as possible. We show that this compensation can explain changes in tuning curves induced by neuron silencing across a variety of systems, including the primary visual cortex. We find that compensatory mechanisms can be implemented through the dynamics of networks with a tight balance of excitation and inhibition, without requiring synaptic plasticity. The limits of this compensatory mechanism are reached when excitation and inhibition become unbalanced, thereby demarcating a recovery boundary, where signal representation fails and where diseases may become symptomatic. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.12454.001 PMID:27935480

  9. Neuronal involvement in cisplatin neuropathy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Krarup-Hansen, A; Helweg-Larsen, Susanne Elisabeth; Schmalbruch, H

    2007-01-01

    of large dorsal root ganglion cells. Motor conduction studies, autonomic function and warm and cold temperature sensation remained unchanged at all doses of cisplatin treatment. The results of these studies are consistent with degeneration of large sensory neurons whereas there was no evidence of distal...

  10. Tuning the network: modulation of neuronal microcircuits in the spinal cord and hippocampus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    LeBeau, Fiona E N; El Manira, Abdeljabbar; Griller, Sten

    2005-10-01

    Adaptation of an organism to its changing environment ultimately depends on the modification of neuronal activity. The dynamic interaction between cellular components within neuronal networks relies on fast synaptic interaction via ionotropic receptors. However, neuronal networks are also subject to modulation mediated by various metabotropic G-protein-coupled receptors that modify synaptic and neuronal function. Modulation increases the functional complexity of a network, because the same cellular components can produce different outputs depending on the behavioural state of the animal. This review, which is part of the TINS Microcircuits Special Feature, provides an overview of neuromodulation in two neuronal circuits that both produce oscillatory activity but differ fundamentally in function. Hippocampal circuits are compared with the spinal networks generating locomotion, with a view to exploring common principles of neuromodulatory activity.

  11. Shape, connectedness and dynamics in neuronal networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Comin, Cesar Henrique; da Fontoura Costa, Luciano

    2013-11-15

    The morphology of neurons is directly related to several aspects of the nervous system, including its connectedness, health, development, evolution, dynamics and, ultimately, behavior. Such interplays of the neuronal morphology can be understood within the more general shape-function paradigm. The current article reviews, in an introductory way, some key issues regarding the role of neuronal morphology in the nervous system, with emphasis on works developed in the authors' group. The following topics are addressed: (a) characterization of neuronal shape; (b) stochastic synthesis of neurons and neuronal systems; (c) characterization of the connectivity of neuronal networks by using complex networks concepts; and (d) investigations of influences of neuronal shape on network dynamics. The presented concepts and methods are useful also for several other multiple object systems, such as protein-protein interaction, tissues, aggregates and polymers. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. How Might New Neurons Buffer Against Stress?

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Institute Announcements (104 items) How Might New Neurons Buffer Against Stress? Clues Emerging from Studies in New ... better understand how having new neurons appears to buffer against stress effects on behavior, the NIMH researchers ...

  13. [The ontogeny of the mirror neuron system].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Myowa-Yamakoshi, Masako

    2014-06-01

    Abstract Humans utilize the mirror neuron system to understand and predict others' actions. However, the ontogeny of the mirror neuron system remains unknown. Whether mirror neuron function is an innate trait or whether mirror neurons acquire their sensorimotor matching properties ontogenetically remains to be clarified. In this paper, I review the ontogenetic theory of the mirror neuron system. I then discuss the functioning of the mirror neuron system in the context of social cognitive abilities, which are unique to humans. Recently, some researchers argue that it is too early to interpret the function of mirror neurons as an understanding of the underlying psychological states of others. They imply that such functioning would require inferential cognitive processes that are known to involve areas outside the mirror neuron system. Filling in this missing link may be the key to elucidating the unique ability of humans to understand others' actions.

  14. Unbiased View of Synaptic and Neuronal Gene Complement in Ctenophores: Are There Pan-neuronal and Pan-synaptic Genes across Metazoa?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moroz, Leonid L; Kohn, Andrea B

    2015-12-01

    Hypotheses of origins and evolution of neurons and synapses are controversial, mostly due to limited comparative data. Here, we investigated the genome-wide distribution of the bilaterian "synaptic" and "neuronal" protein-coding genes in non-bilaterian basal metazoans (Ctenophora, Porifera, Placozoa, and Cnidaria). First, there are no recognized genes uniquely expressed in neurons across all metazoan lineages. None of the so-called pan-neuronal genes such as embryonic lethal abnormal vision (ELAV), Musashi, or Neuroglobin are expressed exclusively in neurons of the ctenophore Pleurobrachia. Second, our comparative analysis of about 200 genes encoding canonical presynaptic and postsynaptic proteins in bilaterians suggests that there are no true "pan-synaptic" genes or genes uniquely and specifically attributed to all classes of synapses. The majority of these genes encode receptive and secretory complexes in a broad spectrum of eukaryotes. Trichoplax (Placozoa) an organism without neurons and synapses has more orthologs of bilaterian synapse-related/neuron-related genes than do ctenophores-the group with well-developed neuronal and synaptic organization. Third, the majority of genes encoding ion channels and ionotropic receptors are broadly expressed in unicellular eukaryotes and non-neuronal tissues in metazoans. Therefore, they cannot be viewed as neuronal markers. Nevertheless, the co-expression of multiple types of ion channels and receptors does correlate with the presence of neural and synaptic organization. As an illustrative example, the ctenophore genomes encode a greater diversity of ion channels and ionotropic receptors compared with the genomes of the placozoan Trichoplax and the demosponge Amphimedon. Surprisingly, both placozoans and sponges have a similar number of orthologs of "synaptic" proteins as we identified in the genomes of two ctenophores. Ctenophores have a distinct synaptic organization compared with other animals. Our analysis of

  15. Spiking Neuron Network Helmholtz Machine

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pavel eSountsov

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available An increasing amount of behavioral and neurophysiological data suggests that the brain performs optimal (or near-optimal probabilistic inference and learning during perception and other tasks. Although many machine learning algorithms exist that perform inference and learning in an optimal way, the complete description of how one of those algorithms (or a novel algorithm can be implemented in the brain is currently incomplete. There have been many proposed solutions that address how neurons can perform optimal inference but the question of how synaptic plasticity can implement optimal learning is rarely addressed. This paper aims to unify the two fields of probabilistic inference and synaptic plasticity by using a neuronal network of realistic model spiking neurons to implement a well studied computational model called the Helmholtz Machine. The Helmholtz Machine is amenable to neural implementation as the algorithm it uses to learn its parameters, called the wake-sleep algorithm, uses a local delta learning rule. Our spiking-neuron network implements both the delta rule and a small example of a Helmholtz machine. This neuronal network can learn an internal model of continuous-valued training data sets without supervision. The network can also perform inference on the learned internal models. We show how various biophysical features of the neural implementation constrain the parameters of the wake-sleep algorithm, such as the duration of the wake and sleep phases of learning and the minimal sample duration. We examine the deviations from optimal performance and tie them to the properties of the synaptic plasticity rule.

  16. MicroRNA miR-9 modifies motor neuron columns by a tuning regulation of FoxP1 levels in developing spinal cords

    OpenAIRE

    Otaegi, Gaizka; Pollock, Andrew; Hong, Janet; Sun, Tao

    2011-01-01

    The precise organization of motor neuron subtypes in a columnar pattern in developing spinal cords is controlled by cross-interactions of multiple transcription factors and segmental expressions of Hox genes and their accessory proteins. Accurate expression levels and domains of these regulators are essential for organizing spinal motor neuron columns and axonal projections to target muscles. Here, we show that microRNA miR-9 is transiently expressed in a motor neuron subtype and displays ove...

  17. Can molecular motors drive distance measurements in injured neurons?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Naaman Kam

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available Injury to nerve axons induces diverse responses in neuronal cell bodies, some of which are influenced by the distance from the site of injury. This suggests that neurons have the capacity to estimate the distance of the injury site from their cell body. Recent work has shown that the molecular motor dynein transports importin-mediated retrograde signaling complexes from axonal lesion sites to cell bodies, raising the question whether dynein-based mechanisms enable axonal distance estimations in injured neurons? We used computer simulations to examine mechanisms that may provide nerve cells with dynein-dependent distance assessment capabilities. A multiple-signals model was postulated based on the time delay between the arrival of two or more signals produced at the site of injury-a rapid signal carried by action potentials or similar mechanisms and slower signals carried by dynein. The time delay between the arrivals of these two types of signals should reflect the distance traversed, and simulations of this model show that it can indeed provide a basis for distance measurements in the context of nerve injuries. The analyses indicate that the suggested mechanism can allow nerve cells to discriminate between distances differing by 10% or more of their total axon length, and suggest that dynein-based retrograde signaling in neurons can be utilized for this purpose over different scales of nerves and organisms. Moreover, such a mechanism might also function in synapse to nucleus signaling in uninjured neurons. This could potentially allow a neuron to dynamically sense the relative lengths of its processes on an ongoing basis, enabling appropriate metabolic output from cell body to processes.

  18. Automatic 3D neuron tracing using all-path pruning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peng, Hanchuan; Long, Fuhui; Myers, Gene

    2011-07-01

    Digital reconstruction, or tracing, of 3D neuron structures is critical toward reverse engineering the wiring and functions of a brain. However, despite a number of existing studies, this task is still challenging, especially when a 3D microscopic image has low signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and fragmented neuron segments. Published work can handle these hard situations only by introducing global prior information, such as where a neurite segment starts and terminates. However, manual incorporation of such global information can be very time consuming. Thus, a completely automatic approach for these hard situations is highly desirable. We have developed an automatic graph algorithm, called the all-path pruning (APP), to trace the 3D structure of a neuron. To avoid potential mis-tracing of some parts of a neuron, an APP first produces an initial over-reconstruction, by tracing the optimal geodesic shortest path from the seed location to every possible destination voxel/pixel location in the image. Since the initial reconstruction contains all the possible paths and thus could contain redundant structural components (SC), we simplify the entire reconstruction without compromising its connectedness by pruning the redundant structural elements, using a new maximal-covering minimal-redundant (MCMR) subgraph algorithm. We show that MCMR has a linear computational complexity and will converge. We examined the performance of our method using challenging 3D neuronal image datasets of model organisms (e.g. fruit fly). The software is available upon request. We plan to eventually release the software as a plugin of the V3D-Neuron package at http://penglab.janelia.org/proj/v3d. pengh@janelia.hhmi.org.

  19. Can molecular motors drive distance measurements in injured neurons?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kam, Naaman; Pilpel, Yitzhak; Fainzilber, Mike

    2009-08-01

    Injury to nerve axons induces diverse responses in neuronal cell bodies, some of which are influenced by the distance from the site of injury. This suggests that neurons have the capacity to estimate the distance of the injury site from their cell body. Recent work has shown that the molecular motor dynein transports importin-mediated retrograde signaling complexes from axonal lesion sites to cell bodies, raising the question whether dynein-based mechanisms enable axonal distance estimations in injured neurons? We used computer simulations to examine mechanisms that may provide nerve cells with dynein-dependent distance assessment capabilities. A multiple-signals model was postulated based on the time delay between the arrival of two or more signals produced at the site of injury-a rapid signal carried by action potentials or similar mechanisms and slower signals carried by dynein. The time delay between the arrivals of these two types of signals should reflect the distance traversed, and simulations of this model show that it can indeed provide a basis for distance measurements in the context of nerve injuries. The analyses indicate that the suggested mechanism can allow nerve cells to discriminate between distances differing by 10% or more of their total axon length, and suggest that dynein-based retrograde signaling in neurons can be utilized for this purpose over different scales of nerves and organisms. Moreover, such a mechanism might also function in synapse to nucleus signaling in uninjured neurons. This could potentially allow a neuron to dynamically sense the relative lengths of its processes on an ongoing basis, enabling appropriate metabolic output from cell body to processes.

  20. BlastNeuron for Automated Comparison, Retrieval and Clustering of 3D Neuron Morphologies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wan, Yinan; Long, Fuhui; Qu, Lei; Xiao, Hang; Hawrylycz, Michael; Myers, Eugene W; Peng, Hanchuan

    2015-10-01

    Characterizing the identity and types of neurons in the brain, as well as their associated function, requires a means of quantifying and comparing 3D neuron morphology. Presently, neuron comparison methods are based on statistics from neuronal morphology such as size and number of branches, which are not fully suitable for detecting local similarities and differences in the detailed structure. We developed BlastNeuron to compare neurons in terms of their global appearance, detailed arborization patterns, and topological similarity. BlastNeuron first compares and clusters 3D neuron reconstructions based on global morphology features and moment invariants, independent of their orientations, sizes, level of reconstruction and other variations. Subsequently, BlastNeuron performs local alignment between any pair of retrieved neurons via a tree-topology driven dynamic programming method. A 3D correspondence map can thus be generated at the resolution of single reconstruction nodes. We applied BlastNeuron to three datasets: (1) 10,000+ neuron reconstructions from a public morphology database, (2) 681 newly and manually reconstructed neurons, and (3) neurons reconstructions produced using several independent reconstruction methods. Our approach was able to accurately and efficiently retrieve morphologically and functionally similar neuron structures from large morphology database, identify the local common structures, and find clusters of neurons that share similarities in both morphology and molecular profiles.

  1. Molecular Programming of Mesodiencephalic Dopaminergic Neuronal Subsets

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Smidt, M.P.

    Dopamine neurons of the substantia nigra compacta (SNc) and ventral tegmental area (VTA) are critical components of the neuronal machinery to control emotion and movement in mammals. The slow and gradual death of these neurons as seen in Parkinson's disease has triggered a large investment in

  2. Effect of Methamidophos on cerebellar neuronal cells

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    olayemitoyin

    Taken together, our study shows that low dose methamidophos may negatively impact. TH-mediated cerebellar neuronal cell development and function, and consequently could interfere with TH-regulated neuronal events. Keywords: Methamidophos, Thyroid hormone, Purkinje cells, Granule cell, Neuronal development.

  3. Cognition and behavior in motor neuron disease

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Raaphorst, J.

    2015-01-01

    Motor neuron disease (MND) is a devastating neurodegenerative disorder characterized by progressive motor neuron loss, leading to weakness of the muscles of arms and legs, bulbar and respiratory muscles. Depending on the involvement of the lower and the upper motor neuron, amyotrophic lateral

  4. The spectrum of lower motor neuron syndromes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2003-01-01

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

  5. Oscillating from Neurosecretion to Multitasking Dopamine Neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David R. Grattan

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available In this issue of Cell Reports, Stagkourakis et al. (2016 report that oscillating hypothalamic TIDA neurons, previously thought to be simple neurosecretory neurons controlling pituitary prolactin secretion, control dopamine output via autoregulatory mechanisms and thus could potentially regulate other physiologically important hypothalamic neuronal circuits.

  6. Responses of single neurons and neuronal ensembles in frog first- and second-order olfactory neurons

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Rospars, J. P.; Šanda, Pavel; Lánský, Petr; Duchamp-Viret, P.

    2013-01-01

    Roč. 1536, NOV 6 (2013), s. 144-158 ISSN 0006-8993 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GBP304/12/G069; GA ČR(CZ) GAP103/11/0282 Institutional support: RVO:67985823 Keywords : olfaction * spiking activity * neuronal model Subject RIV: JD - Computer Applications, Robotics Impact factor: 2.828, year: 2013

  7. A distance constrained synaptic plasticity model of C. elegans neuronal network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Badhwar, Rahul; Bagler, Ganesh

    2017-03-01

    Brain research has been driven by enquiry for principles of brain structure organization and its control mechanisms. The neuronal wiring map of C. elegans, the only complete connectome available till date, presents an incredible opportunity to learn basic governing principles that drive structure and function of its neuronal architecture. Despite its apparently simple nervous system, C. elegans is known to possess complex functions. The nervous system forms an important underlying framework which specifies phenotypic features associated to sensation, movement, conditioning and memory. In this study, with the help of graph theoretical models, we investigated the C. elegans neuronal network to identify network features that are critical for its control. The 'driver neurons' are associated with important biological functions such as reproduction, signalling processes and anatomical structural development. We created 1D and 2D network models of C. elegans neuronal system to probe the role of features that confer controllability and small world nature. The simple 1D ring model is critically poised for the number of feed forward motifs, neuronal clustering and characteristic path-length in response to synaptic rewiring, indicating optimal rewiring. Using empirically observed distance constraint in the neuronal network as a guiding principle, we created a distance constrained synaptic plasticity model that simultaneously explains small world nature, saturation of feed forward motifs as well as observed number of driver neurons. The distance constrained model suggests optimum long distance synaptic connections as a key feature specifying control of the network.

  8. Inference of neuronal functional circuitry with spike-triggered non-negative matrix factorization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Jian K; Schreyer, Helene M; Onken, Arno; Rozenblit, Fernando; Khani, Mohammad H; Krishnamoorthy, Vidhyasankar; Panzeri, Stefano; Gollisch, Tim

    2017-07-26

    Neurons in sensory systems often pool inputs over arrays of presynaptic cells, giving rise to functional subunits inside a neuron's receptive field. The organization of these subunits provides a signature of the neuron's presynaptic functional connectivity and determines how the neuron integrates sensory stimuli. Here we introduce the method of spike-triggered non-negative matrix factorization for detecting the layout of subunits within a neuron's receptive field. The method only requires the neuron's spiking responses under finely structured sensory stimulation and is therefore applicable to large populations of simultaneously recorded neurons. Applied to recordings from ganglion cells in the salamander retina, the method retrieves the receptive fields of presynaptic bipolar cells, as verified by simultaneous bipolar and ganglion cell recordings. The identified subunit layouts allow improved predictions of ganglion cell responses to natural stimuli and reveal shared bipolar cell input into distinct types of ganglion cells.How a neuron integrates sensory information requires knowledge about its functional presynaptic connections. Here the authors report a new method using non-negative matrix factorization to identify the layout of presynaptic bipolar cell inputs onto retinal ganglion cells and predict their responses to natural stimuli.

  9. Matrix stiffness modulates formation and activity of neuronal networks of controlled architectures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lantoine, Joséphine; Grevesse, Thomas; Villers, Agnès; Delhaye, Geoffrey; Mestdagh, Camille; Versaevel, Marie; Mohammed, Danahe; Bruyère, Céline; Alaimo, Laura; Lacour, Stéphanie P; Ris, Laurence; Gabriele, Sylvain

    2016-05-01

    The ability to construct easily in vitro networks of primary neurons organized with imposed topologies is required for neural tissue engineering as well as for the development of neuronal interfaces with desirable characteristics. However, accumulating evidence suggests that the mechanical properties of the culture matrix can modulate important neuronal functions such as growth, extension, branching and activity. Here we designed robust and reproducible laminin-polylysine grid micropatterns on cell culture substrates that have similar biochemical properties but a 100-fold difference in Young's modulus to investigate the role of the matrix rigidity on the formation and activity of cortical neuronal networks. We found that cell bodies of primary cortical neurons gradually accumulate in circular islands, whereas axonal extensions spread on linear tracks to connect circular islands. Our findings indicate that migration of cortical neurons is enhanced on soft substrates, leading to a faster formation of neuronal networks. Furthermore, the pre-synaptic density was two times higher on stiff substrates and consistently the number of action potentials and miniature synaptic currents was enhanced on stiff substrates. Taken together, our results provide compelling evidence to indicate that matrix stiffness is a key parameter to modulate the growth dynamics, synaptic density and electrophysiological activity of cortical neuronal networks, thus providing useful information on scaffold design for neural tissue engineering. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Bi-directionally protective communication between neurons and astrocytes under ischemia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Xiao-Mei; Qian, Christopher; Zhou, Yu-Fu; Yan, Yick-Chun; Luo, Qian-Qian; Yung, Wing-Ho; Zhang, Fa-Li; Jiang, Li-Rong; Qian, Zhong Ming; Ke, Ya

    2017-10-01

    The extensive existing knowledge on bi-directional communication between astrocytes and neurons led us to hypothesize that not only ischemia-preconditioned (IP) astrocytes can protect neurons but also IP neurons protect astrocytes from lethal ischemic injury. Here, we demonstrated for the first time that neurons have a significant role in protecting astrocytes from ischemic injury. The cultured medium from IP neurons (IPcNCM) induced a remarkable reduction in LDH and an increase in cell viability in ischemic astrocytes in vitro. Selective neuronal loss by kainic acid injection induced a significant increase in apoptotic astrocyte numbers in the brain of ischemic rats in vivo. Furthermore, TUNEL analysis, DNA ladder assay, and the measurements of ROS, GSH, pro- and anti-apoptotic factors, anti-oxidant enzymes and signal molecules in vitro and/or in vivo demonstrated that IP neurons protect astrocytes by an EPO-mediated inhibition of pro-apoptotic signals, activation of anti-apoptotic proteins via the P13K/ERK/STAT5 pathways and activation of anti-oxidant proteins via up-regulation of anti-oxidant enzymes. We demonstrated the existence of astro-protection by IP neurons under ischemia and proposed that the bi-directionally protective communications between cells might be a common activity in the brain or peripheral organs under most if not all pathological conditions. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Bi-directionally protective communication between neurons and astrocytes under ischemia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiao-Mei Wu

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available The extensive existing knowledge on bi-directional communication between astrocytes and neurons led us to hypothesize that not only ischemia-preconditioned (IP astrocytes can protect neurons but also IP neurons protect astrocytes from lethal ischemic injury. Here, we demonstrated for the first time that neurons have a significant role in protecting astrocytes from ischemic injury. The cultured medium from IP neurons (IPcNCM induced a remarkable reduction in LDH and an increase in cell viability in ischemic astrocytes in vitro. Selective neuronal loss by kainic acid injection induced a significant increase in apoptotic astrocyte numbers in the brain of ischemic rats in vivo. Furthermore, TUNEL analysis, DNA ladder assay, and the measurements of ROS, GSH, pro- and anti-apoptotic factors, anti-oxidant enzymes and signal molecules in vitro and/or in vivo demonstrated that IP neurons protect astrocytes by an EPO-mediated inhibition of pro-apoptotic signals, activation of anti-apoptotic proteins via the P13K/ERK/STAT5 pathways and activation of anti-oxidant proteins via up-regulation of anti-oxidant enzymes. We demonstrated the existence of astro-protection by IP neurons under ischemia and proposed that the bi-directionally protective communications between cells might be a common activity in the brain or peripheral organs under most if not all pathological conditions.

  12. What We Know Currently about Mirror Neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kilner, J.M.; Lemon, R.N.

    2013-01-01

    Mirror neurons were discovered over twenty years ago in the ventral premotor region F5 of the macaque monkey. Since their discovery much has been written about these neurons, both in the scientific literature and in the popular press. They have been proposed to be the neuronal substrate underlying a vast array of different functions. Indeed so much has been written about mirror neurons that last year they were referred to, rightly or wrongly, as “The most hyped concept in neuroscience”. Here we try to cut through some of this hyperbole and review what is currently known (and not known) about mirror neurons. PMID:24309286

  13. What we know currently about mirror neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kilner, J M; Lemon, R N

    2013-12-02

    Mirror neurons were discovered over twenty years ago in the ventral premotor region F5 of the macaque monkey. Since their discovery much has been written about these neurons, both in the scientific literature and in the popular press. They have been proposed to be the neuronal substrate underlying a vast array of different functions. Indeed so much has been written about mirror neurons that last year they were referred to, rightly or wrongly, as "The most hyped concept in neuroscience". Here we try to cut through some of this hyperbole and review what is currently known (and not known) about mirror neurons. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Neuronal involvement in cisplatin neuropathy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Krarup-Hansen, A; Helweg-Larsen, Susanne Elisabeth; Schmalbruch, H

    2007-01-01

    Although it is well known that cisplatin causes a sensory neuropathy, the primary site of involvement is not established. The clinical symptoms localized in a stocking-glove distribution may be explained by a length dependent neuronopathy or by a distal axonopathy. To study whether the whole neuron...... nerve were 50-60% reduced, whereas no definite changes occurred at lower doses. The SNAP conduction velocities were reduced by 10-15% at cumulative doses of 400-700 mg/m2 consistent with loss of large myelinated fibres. SNAPs from primarily Pacinian corpuscles in digit 3 and the dorsolateral side...... of large dorsal root ganglion cells. Motor conduction studies, autonomic function and warm and cold temperature sensation remained unchanged at all doses of cisplatin treatment. The results of these studies are consistent with degeneration of large sensory neurons whereas there was no evidence of distal...

  15. Spatially selective photoconductive stimulation of live neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jacob eCampbell

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Synaptic activity is intimately linked to neuronal structure and function. Stimulation of live cultured primary neurons, coupled with fluorescent indicator imaging, is a powerful technique to assess the impact of synaptic activity on neuronal protein trafficking and function. Current technology for neuronal stimulation in culture include chemical techniques or microelectrode or optogenetic based techniques. While technically powerful, chemical stimulation has limited spatial resolution and microelectrode and optogenetic techniques require specialized equipment and expertise. We report an optimized and improved technique for laser based photoconductive stimulation of live neurons using an inverted confocal microscope that overcomes these limitations. The advantages of this approach include its non-invasive nature and adaptability to temporal and spatial manipulation. We demonstrate that the technique can be manipulated to achieve spatially selective stimulation of live neurons. Coupled with live imaging of fluorescent indicators, this simple and efficient technique should allow for significant advances in neuronal cell biology.

  16. Mirror Neurons from Associative Learning

    OpenAIRE

    Catmur, Caroline; Press, Clare; Heyes, Cecilia

    2016-01-01

    Mirror neurons fire both when executing actions and observing others perform similar actions. Their sensorimotor matching properties have generally been considered a genetic adaptation for social cognition; however, in the present chapter we argue that the evidence in favor of this account is not compelling. Instead we present evidence supporting an alternative account: that mirror neurons’ matching properties arise from associative learning during individual development. Notably, this proces...

  17. Neurons from the adult human dentate nucleus: neural networks in the neuron classification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grbatinić, Ivan; Marić, Dušica L; Milošević, Nebojša T

    2015-04-07

    Topological (central vs. border neuron type) and morphological classification of adult human dentate nucleus neurons according to their quantified histomorphological properties using neural networks on real and virtual neuron samples. In the real sample 53.1% and 14.1% of central and border neurons, respectively, are classified correctly with total of 32.8% of misclassified neurons. The most important result present 62.2% of misclassified neurons in border neurons group which is even greater than number of correctly classified neurons (37.8%) in that group, showing obvious failure of network to classify neurons correctly based on computational parameters used in our study. On the virtual sample 97.3% of misclassified neurons in border neurons group which is much greater than number of correctly classified neurons (2.7%) in that group, again confirms obvious failure of network to classify neurons correctly. Statistical analysis shows that there is no statistically significant difference in between central and border neurons for each measured parameter (p>0.05). Total of 96.74% neurons are morphologically classified correctly by neural networks and each one belongs to one of the four histomorphological types: (a) neurons with small soma and short dendrites, (b) neurons with small soma and long dendrites, (c) neuron with large soma and short dendrites, (d) neurons with large soma and long dendrites. Statistical analysis supports these results (pneurons can be classified in four neuron types according to their quantitative histomorphological properties. These neuron types consist of two neuron sets, small and large ones with respect to their perykarions with subtypes differing in dendrite length i.e. neurons with short vs. long dendrites. Besides confirmation of neuron classification on small and large ones, already shown in literature, we found two new subtypes i.e. neurons with small soma and long dendrites and with large soma and short dendrites. These neurons are

  18. Relating neuronal firing patterns to functional differentiation of cerebral cortex.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shigeru Shinomoto

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available It has been empirically established that the cerebral cortical areas defined by Brodmann one hundred years ago solely on the basis of cellular organization are closely correlated to their function, such as sensation, association, and motion. Cytoarchitectonically distinct cortical areas have different densities and types of neurons. Thus, signaling patterns may also vary among cytoarchitectonically unique cortical areas. To examine how neuronal signaling patterns are related to innate cortical functions, we detected intrinsic features of cortical firing by devising a metric that efficiently isolates non-Poisson irregular characteristics, independent of spike rate fluctuations that are caused extrinsically by ever-changing behavioral conditions. Using the new metric, we analyzed spike trains from over 1,000 neurons in 15 cortical areas sampled by eight independent neurophysiological laboratories. Analysis of firing-pattern dissimilarities across cortical areas revealed a gradient of firing regularity that corresponded closely to the functional category of the cortical area; neuronal spiking patterns are regular in motor areas, random in the visual areas, and bursty in the prefrontal area. Thus, signaling patterns may play an important role in function-specific cerebral cortical computation.

  19. Bacteria activate sensory neurons that modulate pain and inflammation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiu, Isaac M; Heesters, Balthasar A; Ghasemlou, Nader; Von Hehn, Christian A; Zhao, Fan; Tran, Johnathan; Wainger, Brian; Strominger, Amanda; Muralidharan, Sriya; Horswill, Alexander R; Bubeck Wardenburg, Juliane; Hwang, Sun Wook; Carroll, Michael C; Woolf, Clifford J

    2013-09-05

    Nociceptor sensory neurons are specialized to detect potentially damaging stimuli, protecting the organism by initiating the sensation of pain and eliciting defensive behaviours. Bacterial infections produce pain by unknown molecular mechanisms, although they are presumed to be secondary to immune activation. Here we demonstrate that bacteria directly activate nociceptors, and that the immune response mediated through TLR2, MyD88, T cells, B cells, and neutrophils and monocytes is not necessary for Staphylococcus aureus-induced pain in mice. Mechanical and thermal hyperalgesia in mice is correlated with live bacterial load rather than tissue swelling or immune activation. Bacteria induce calcium flux and action potentials in nociceptor neurons, in part via bacterial N-formylated peptides and the pore-forming toxin α-haemolysin, through distinct mechanisms. Specific ablation of Nav1.8-lineage neurons, which include nociceptors, abrogated pain during bacterial infection, but concurrently increased local immune infiltration and lymphadenopathy of the draining lymph node. Thus, bacterial pathogens produce pain by directly activating sensory neurons that modulate inflammation, an unsuspected role for the nervous system in host-pathogen interactions.

  20. Consciousness from neurons and waves

    Science.gov (United States)

    John, E. R.

    2004-05-01

    This paper presents a theory of consciousness based on the following evidence: [1] Complex stimuli are decomposed by the exogenous system into attributes transmitted to synapses of pyramidal neurons in lower cortical layers, encoding fragments of sensations as nonrandom synchronization that increases local voltages; [2] Endogenous readouts from representational systems encoding memories in a mesolimbic system are transmitted to synapses of the pyramidal neurons in upper layers; [3] Excitability of pyramidal neurons receiving convergent exogenous and endogenous inputs is enhanced, converting fragments of sensations to fragments of perception and creating high voltage islands of non-random synchrony; [4] Local Field Potential (LFP) oscillations are homeostatically regulated, imposing dynamically maintained local voltage thresholds that define a "Ground State" [5] Deviations from these most probable levels constitute local perturbations of entropy; [6] Modulation of cortex by LFPs, facilitating coherent cortico-thalamic (C-T) volleys of cells with suprathreshold excitability, binds dispersed fragments of local perturbations of entropy; [7] The thalamic cells from which convergence arose respond to these volleys by coherent T-C-T-C reverberations; [8] Sustained reverberation establishes a resonating electromagnetic field of information, the vehicle sustaining unified perception; [9] The resonating field of information constitutes Global Negative and generates the content of consciousness; [10] Invariant reversible LFP changes occur upon loss of consciousness and persistent shifts accompany many clinical disorders.

  1. 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.

  2. Neuron-Based Heredity and Human Evolution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Don Marshall Gash

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract:Abstract: It is widely recognized that human evolution has been driven by two systems of heredity: one DNA-based and the other based on the transmission of behaviorally acquired information via nervous system functions. The genetic system is ancient, going back to the appearance of life on Earth. It is responsible for the evolutionary processes described by Darwin. By comparison, the nervous system is relatively newly minted and in its highest form, responsible for ideation and mind-to-mind transmission of information. Here the informational capabilities and functions of the two systems are compared. While employing quite different mechanisms for encoding, storing and transmission of information, both systems perform these generic hereditary functions. Three additional features of neuron-based heredity in humans are identified: the ability to transfer hereditary information to other members of their population, not just progeny; a selection process for the information being transferred; and a profoundly shorter time span for creation and dissemination of survival-enhancing information in a population. The mechanisms underlying neuron-based heredity involve hippocampal neurogenesis and memory and learning processes modifying and creating new neural assemblages changing brain structure and functions. A fundamental process in rewiring brain circuitry is through increased neural activity (use strengthening and increasing the number of synaptic connections. Decreased activity in circuitry (disuse leads to loss of synapses. Use and disuse modifying an organ to bring about new modes of living, habits and functions are processes are in line with Neolamarckian concepts of evolution (Packard, 1901. Evidence is presented of bipartite evolutionary processes – Darwinian and Neolamarckian – driving human descent from a common ancestor shared with the great apes.

  3. Neuron-based heredity and human evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gash, Don M; Deane, Andrew S

    2015-01-01

    It is widely recognized that human evolution has been driven by two systems of heredity: one DNA-based and the other based on the transmission of behaviorally acquired information via nervous system functions. The genetic system is ancient, going back to the appearance of life on Earth. It is responsible for the evolutionary processes described by Darwin. By comparison, the nervous system is relatively newly minted and in its highest form, responsible for ideation and mind-to-mind transmission of information. Here the informational capabilities and functions of the two systems are compared. While employing quite different mechanisms for encoding, storing and transmission of information, both systems perform these generic hereditary functions. Three additional features of neuron-based heredity in humans are identified: the ability to transfer hereditary information to other members of their population, not just progeny; a selection process for the information being transferred; and a profoundly shorter time span for creation and dissemination of survival-enhancing information in a population. The mechanisms underlying neuron-based heredity involve hippocampal neurogenesis and memory and learning processes modifying and creating new neural assemblages changing brain structure and functions. A fundamental process in rewiring brain circuitry is through increased neural activity (use) strengthening and increasing the number of synaptic connections. Decreased activity in circuitry (disuse) leads to loss of synapses. Use and disuse modifying an organ to bring about new modes of living, habits and functions are processes in line with Neolamarckian concepts of evolution (Packard, 1901). Evidence is presented of bipartite evolutionary processes-Darwinian and Neolamarckian-driving human descent from a common ancestor shared with the great apes.

  4. Response properties of neighboring neurons in the auditory midbrain for pure-tone stimulation: a tetrode study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seshagiri, Chandran V; Delgutte, Bertrand

    2007-10-01

    The complex anatomical structure of the central nucleus of the inferior colliculus (ICC), the principal auditory nucleus in the midbrain, may provide the basis for functional organization of auditory information. To investigate this organization, we used tetrodes to record from neighboring neurons in the ICC of anesthetized cats and studied the similarity and difference among the responses of these neurons to pure-tone stimuli using widely used physiological characterizations. Consistent with the tonotopic arrangement of neurons in the ICC and reports of a threshold map, we found a high degree of correlation in the best frequencies (BFs) of neighboring neurons, which were mostly binaural beats. However, the characteristic phases (CPs) of neighboring neurons revealed a significant correlation. Because the CP is related to the neural mechanisms generating the ITD sensitivity, this result is consistent with segregation of inputs to the ICC from the lateral and medial superior olives.

  5. Motor neurons and the generation of spinal motor neurons diversity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicolas eStifani

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Motor neurons (MNs are neuronal cells located in the central nervous system (CNS controlling a variety of downstream targets. This function infers the existence of MN subtypes matching the identity of the targets they innervate. To illustrate the mechanism involved in the generation of cellular diversity and the acquisition of specific identity, this review will focus on spinal motor neurons (SpMNs that have been the core of significant work and discoveries during the last decades. SpMNs are responsible for the contraction of effector muscles in the periphery. Humans possess more than 500 different skeletal muscles capable to work in a precise time and space coordination to generate complex movements such as walking or grasping. To ensure such refined coordination, SpMNs must retain the identity of the muscle they innervate.Within the last two decades, scientists around the world have produced considerable efforts to elucidate several critical steps of SpMNs differentiation. During development, SpMNs emerge from dividing progenitor cells located in the medial portion of the ventral neural tube. MN identities are established by patterning cues working in cooperation with intrinsic sets of transcription factors. As the embryo develop, MNs further differentiate in a stepwise manner to form compact anatomical groups termed pools connecting to a unique muscle target. MN pools are not homogeneous and comprise subtypes according to the muscle fibers they innervate.This article aims to provide a global view of MN classification as well as an up-to-date review of the molecular mechanisms involved in the generation of SpMN diversity. Remaining conundrums will be discussed since a complete understanding of those mechanisms constitutes the foundation required for the elaboration of prospective MN regeneration therapies.

  6. Identified Serotonin-Releasing Neurons Induce Behavioral Quiescence and Suppress Mating in Drosophila.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pooryasin, Atefeh; Fiala, André

    2015-09-16

    Animals show different levels of activity that are reflected in sensory responsiveness and endogenously generated behaviors. Biogenic amines have been determined to be causal factors for these states of arousal. It is well established that, in Drosophila, dopamine and octopamine promote increased arousal. However, little is known about factors that regulate arousal negatively and induce states of quiescence. Moreover, it remains unclear whether global, diffuse modulatory systems comprehensively affecting brain activity determine general states of arousal. Alternatively, individual aminergic neurons might selectively modulate the animals' activity in a distinct behavioral context. Here, we show that artificially activating large populations of serotonin-releasing neurons induces behavioral quiescence and inhibits feeding and mating. We systematically narrowed down a role of serotonin in inhibiting endogenously generated locomotor activity to neurons located in the posterior medial protocerebrum. We identified neurons of this cell cluster that suppress mating, but not feeding behavior. These results suggest that serotonin does not uniformly act as global, negative modulator of general arousal. Rather, distinct serotoninergic neurons can act as inhibitory modulators of specific behaviors. An animal's responsiveness to external stimuli and its various types of endogenously generated, motivated behavior are highly dynamic and change between states of high activity and states of low activity. It remains unclear whether these states are mediated by unitary modulatory systems globally affecting brain activity, or whether distinct neurons modulate specific neuronal circuits underlying particular types of behavior. Using the model organism Drosophila melanogaster, we find that activating large proportions of serotonin-releasing neurons induces behavioral quiescence. Moreover, distinct serotonin-releasing neurons that we genetically isolated and identified negatively affect

  7. Creation of defined single cell resolution neuronal circuits on microelectrode arrays

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pirlo, Russell Kirk

    2009-12-01

    The way cell-cell organization of neuronal networks influences activity and facilitates function is not well understood. Microelectrode arrays (MEAs) and advancing cell patterning technologies have enabled access to and control of in vitro neuronal networks spawning much new research in neuroscience and neuroengineering. We propose that small, simple networks of neurons with defined circuitry may serve as valuable research models where every connection can be analyzed, controlled and manipulated. Towards the goal of creating such neuronal networks we have applied microfabricated elastomeric membranes, surface modification and our unique laser cell patterning system to create defined neuronal circuits with single-cell precision on MEAs. Definition of synaptic connectivity was imposed by the 3D physical constraints of polydimethylsiloxane elastomeric membranes. The membranes had 20mum clear-through holes and 2-3mum deep channels which when applied to the surface of the MEA formed microwells to confine neurons to electrodes connected via shallow tunnels to direct neurite outgrowth. Tapering and turning of channels was used to influence neurite polarity. Biocompatibility of the membranes was increased by vacuum baking, oligomer extraction, and autoclaving. Membranes were bound to the MEA by oxygen plasma treatment and heated pressure. The MEA/membrane surface was treated with oxygen plasma, poly-D-lysine and laminin to improve neuron attachment, survival and neurite outgrowth. Prior to cell patterning the outer edge of culture area was seeded with 5x10 5 cells per cm and incubated for 2 days. Single embryonic day 7 chick forebrain neurons were then patterned into the microwells and onto the electrodes using our laser cell patterning system. Patterned neurons successfully attached to and were confined to the electrodes. Neurites extended through the interconnecting channels and connected with adjacent neurons. These results demonstrate that neuronal circuits can be

  8. A chemical-genetic strategy reveals distinct temporal requirements for SAD-1 kinase in neuronal polarization and synapse formation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shokat Kevan M

    2008-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Neurons assemble into a functional network through a sequence of developmental processes including neuronal polarization and synapse formation. In Caenorhabditis elegans, the serine/threonine SAD-1 kinase is essential for proper neuronal polarity and synaptic organization. To determine if SAD-1 activity regulates the establishment or maintenance of these neuronal structures, we examined its temporal requirements using a chemical-genetic method that allows for selective and reversible inactivation of its kinase activity in vivo. Results We generated a PP1 analog-sensitive variant of SAD-1. Through temporal inhibition of SAD-1 kinase activity we show that its activity is required for the establishment of both neuronal polarity and synaptic organization. However, while SAD-1 activity is needed strictly when neurons are polarizing, the temporal requirement for SAD-1 is less stringent in synaptic organization, which can also be re-established during maintenance. Conclusion This study reports the first temporal analysis of a neural kinase activity using the chemical-genetic system. It reveals that neuronal polarity and synaptic organization have distinct temporal requirements for SAD-1.

  9. Synchronization of neurons in micro-electrode array cultures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esposti, F.; Signorini, M. G.

    2008-12-01

    A lot of methods were created in last decade for the spatio-temporal analysis of multi-electrode array (MEA) neuronal data sets. In this paper we show how a new simple analysis approach that considers the total network activity, is able to show interesting neuronal network system dynamical features. In particular, we perform two different analyses: a neuronal connectivity examination studying networks at different days in vitro (div) and an analysis of the long per- iod effects of the administration of two common neuroactive drugs, Tetrodotoxin (TTX) and D-2-amino-5-phosphonovalerate (AP5), to spontaneously spiking mature neuronal networks. Our analysis is performed considering burst topology, i.e., cataloguing network bursts as Global (if they involve more than the 25% of the MEA channels) or Local (if less that 25%). In the first analysis, this division allows to understand the network connectivity developments. The networking increases from div 1 to 6 building up an undifferentiated highly connected network. From div 6 to 10 the networking decreases (pruning) till reaching a plateau in a small-world like organization. The second analysis highlights substantial differences between long period effects of TTX and AP5. Results show that AP5, selectively blocking NMDA receptors and inhibiting long term potentiation, is unable to produce activity twisting in a network that already reached a developmental plateau, but it is able to desynchronize sub-network (Local) activity. TTX, on the other side, blocking any type of electrical communication among neurons, acts on the whole network synchronization. The important activity increment in the post-TTX epoch (+66%), together with the Global activity explosion, suggests the possibility of a long-term inhibitory-synapse depression mechanism.

  10. Small-world networks in neuronal populations: a computational perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zippo, Antonio G; Gelsomino, Giuliana; Van Duin, Pieter; Nencini, Sara; Caramenti, Gian Carlo; Valente, Maurizio; Biella, Gabriele E M

    2013-08-01

    The analysis of the brain in terms of integrated neural networks may offer insights on the reciprocal relation between structure and information processing. Even with inherent technical limits, many studies acknowledge neuron spatial arrangements and communication modes as key factors. In this perspective, we investigated the functional organization of neuronal networks by explicitly assuming a specific functional topology, the small-world network. We developed two different computational approaches. Firstly, we asked whether neuronal populations actually express small-world properties during a definite task, such as a learning task. For this purpose we developed the Inductive Conceptual Network (ICN), which is a hierarchical bio-inspired spiking network, capable of learning invariant patterns by using variable-order Markov models implemented in its nodes. As a result, we actually observed small-world topologies during learning in the ICN. Speculating that the expression of small-world networks is not solely related to learning tasks, we then built a de facto network assuming that the information processing in the brain may occur through functional small-world topologies. In this de facto network, synchronous spikes reflected functional small-world network dependencies. In order to verify the consistency of the assumption, we tested the null-hypothesis by replacing the small-world networks with random networks. As a result, only small world networks exhibited functional biomimetic characteristics such as timing and rate codes, conventional coding strategies and neuronal avalanches, which are cascades of bursting activities with a power-law distribution. Our results suggest that small-world functional configurations are liable to underpin brain information processing at neuronal level. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Otolith-Canal Convergence in Vestibular Nuclei Neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dickman, J. David

    1996-01-01

    During manned spaceflight, acute vestibular disturbances often occur, leading to physical duress and a loss of performance. Vestibular adaptation to the weightless environment follows within two to three days yet the mechanisms responsible for the disturbance and subsequent adaptation are still unknown In order to understand vestibular system function in space and normal earth conditions the basic physiological mechanisms of vestibular information co coding must be determined. Information processing regarding head movement and head position with respect to gravity takes place in the vestibular nuclei neurons that receive signals From the semicircular canals and otolith organs in the vestibular labyrinth. These neurons must synthesize the information into a coded output signal that provides for the head and eye movement reflexes as well as the conscious perception of the body in three-dimensional space The current investigation will for the first time. determine how the vestibular nuclei neurons quantitatively synthesize afferent information from the different linear and angular acceleration receptors in the vestibular labyrinths into an integrated output signal. During the second year of funding, progress on the current project has been focused on the anatomical orientation of semicircular canals and the spatial orientation of the innervating afferent responses. This information is necessary in order to understand how vestibular nuclei neurons process the incoming afferent spatial signals particularly with the convergent otolith afferent signals that are also spatially distributed Since information from the vestibular nuclei is presented to different brain regions associated with differing reflexive and sensory functions it is important to understand the computational mechanisms used by vestibular neurons to produce the appropriate output signal.

  12. Neuronal Networks on Nanocellulose Scaffolds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jonsson, Malin; Brackmann, Christian; Puchades, Maja; Brattås, Karoline; Ewing, Andrew; Gatenholm, Paul; Enejder, Annika

    2015-11-01

    Proliferation, integration, and neurite extension of PC12 cells, a widely used culture model for cholinergic neurons, were studied in nanocellulose scaffolds biosynthesized by Gluconacetobacter xylinus to allow a three-dimensional (3D) extension of neurites better mimicking neuronal networks in tissue. The interaction with control scaffolds was compared with cationized nanocellulose (trimethyl ammonium betahydroxy propyl [TMAHP] cellulose) to investigate the impact of surface charges on the cell interaction mechanisms. Furthermore, coatings with extracellular matrix proteins (collagen, fibronectin, and laminin) were investigated to determine the importance of integrin-mediated cell attachment. Cell proliferation was evaluated by a cellular proliferation assay, while cell integration and neurite propagation were studied by simultaneous label-free Coherent anti-Stokes Raman Scattering and second harmonic generation microscopy, providing 3D images of PC12 cells and arrangement of nanocellulose fibrils, respectively. Cell attachment and proliferation were enhanced by TMAHP modification, but not by protein coating. Protein coating instead promoted active interaction between the cells and the scaffold, hence lateral cell migration and integration. Irrespective of surface modification, deepest cell integration measured was one to two cell layers, whereas neurites have a capacity to integrate deeper than the cell bodies in the scaffold due to their fine dimensions and amoeba-like migration pattern. Neurites with lengths of >50 μm were observed, successfully connecting individual cells and cell clusters. In conclusion, TMAHP-modified nanocellulose scaffolds promote initial cellular scaffold adhesion, which combined with additional cell-scaffold treatments enables further formation of 3D neuronal networks.

  13. A chimeric path to neuronal synchronization

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Essaki Arumugam, Easwara Moorthy; Spano, Mark L. [School of Biological and Health Systems Engineering, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona 85287-9709 (United States)

    2015-01-15

    Synchronization of neuronal activity is associated with neurological disorders such as epilepsy. This process of neuronal synchronization is not fully understood. To further our understanding, we have experimentally studied the progression of this synchronization from normal neuronal firing to full synchronization. We implemented nine FitzHugh-Nagumo neurons (a simplified Hodgkin-Huxley model) via discrete electronics. For different coupling parameters (synaptic strengths), the neurons in the ring were either unsynchronized or completely synchronized when locally coupled in a ring. When a single long-range connection (nonlocal coupling) was introduced, an intermediate state known as a chimera appeared. The results indicate that (1) epilepsy is likely not only a dynamical disease but also a topological disease, strongly tied to the connectivity of the underlying network of neurons, and (2) the synchronization process in epilepsy may not be an “all or none” phenomenon, but can pass through an intermediate stage (chimera)

  14. A chimeric path to neuronal synchronization

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Essaki Arumugam, Easwara Moorthy; Spano, Mark L.

    2015-01-01

    Synchronization of neuronal activity is associated with neurological disorders such as epilepsy. This process of neuronal synchronization is not fully understood. To further our understanding, we have experimentally studied the progression of this synchronization from normal neuronal firing to full synchronization. We implemented nine FitzHugh-Nagumo neurons (a simplified Hodgkin-Huxley model) via discrete electronics. For different coupling parameters (synaptic strengths), the neurons in the ring were either unsynchronized or completely synchronized when locally coupled in a ring. When a single long-range connection (nonlocal coupling) was introduced, an intermediate state known as a chimera appeared. The results indicate that (1) epilepsy is likely not only a dynamical disease but also a topological disease, strongly tied to the connectivity of the underlying network of neurons, and (2) the synchronization process in epilepsy may not be an “all or none” phenomenon, but can pass through an intermediate stage (chimera)

  15. Morphological Neuron Classification Using Machine Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vasques, Xavier; Vanel, Laurent; Villette, Guillaume; Cif, Laura

    2016-01-01

    Classification and quantitative characterization of neuronal morphologies from histological neuronal reconstruction is challenging since it is still unclear how to delineate a neuronal cell class and which are the best features to define them by. The morphological neuron characterization represents a primary source to address anatomical comparisons, morphometric analysis of cells, or brain modeling. The objectives of this paper are (i) to develop and integrate a pipeline that goes from morphological feature extraction to classification and (ii) to assess and compare the accuracy of machine learning algorithms to classify neuron morphologies. The algorithms were trained on 430 digitally reconstructed neurons subjectively classified into layers and/or m-types using young and/or adult development state population of the somatosensory cortex in rats. For supervised algorithms, linear discriminant analysis provided better classification results in comparison with others. For unsupervised algorithms, the affinity propagation and the Ward algorithms provided slightly better results. PMID:27847467

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ramírez G.

    1999-01-01

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

  17. Neuronal modelling of baroreflex response to orthostatic stress

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samin, Azfar

    The accelerations experienced in aerial combat can cause pilot loss of consciousness (GLOC) due to a critical reduction in cerebral blood circulation. The development of smart protective equipment requires understanding of how the brain processes blood pressure (BP) information in response to acceleration. We present a biologically plausible model of the Baroreflex to investigate the neural correlates of short-term BP control under acceleration or orthostatic stress. The neuronal network model, which employs an integrate-and-fire representation of a biological neuron, comprises the sensory, motor, and the central neural processing areas that form the Baroreflex. Our modelling strategy is to test hypotheses relating to the encoding mechanisms of multiple sensory inputs to the nucleus tractus solitarius (NTS), the site of central neural processing. The goal is to run simulations and reproduce model responses that are consistent with the variety of available experimental data. Model construction and connectivity are inspired by the available anatomical and neurophysiological evidence that points to a barotopic organization in the NTS, and the presence of frequency-dependent synaptic depression, which provides a mechanism for generating non-linear local responses in NTS neurons that result in quantifiable dynamic global baroreflex responses. The entire physiological range of BP and rate of change of BP variables is encoded in a palisade of NTS neurons in that the spike responses approximate Gaussian 'tuning' curves. An adapting weighted-average decoding scheme computes the motor responses and a compensatory signal regulates the heart rate (HR). Model simulations suggest that: (1) the NTS neurons can encode the hydrostatic pressure difference between two vertically separated sensory receptor regions at +Gz, and use changes in that difference for the regulation of HR; (2) even though NTS neurons do not fire with a cardiac rhythm seen in the afferents, pulse

  18. Performance limitations of relay neurons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rahul Agarwal

    Full Text Available Relay cells are prevalent throughout sensory systems and receive two types of inputs: driving and modulating. The driving input contains receptive field properties that must be transmitted while the modulating input alters the specifics of transmission. For example, the visual thalamus contains relay neurons that receive driving inputs from the retina that encode a visual image, and modulating inputs from reticular activating system and layer 6 of visual cortex that control what aspects of the image will be relayed back to visual cortex for perception. What gets relayed depends on several factors such as attentional demands and a subject's goals. In this paper, we analyze a biophysical based model of a relay cell and use systems theoretic tools to construct analytic bounds on how well the cell transmits a driving input as a function of the neuron's electrophysiological properties, the modulating input, and the driving signal parameters. We assume that the modulating input belongs to a class of sinusoidal signals and that the driving input is an irregular train of pulses with inter-pulse intervals obeying an exponential distribution. Our analysis applies to any [Formula: see text] order model as long as the neuron does not spike without a driving input pulse and exhibits a refractory period. Our bounds on relay reliability contain performance obtained through simulation of a second and third order model, and suggest, for instance, that if the frequency of the modulating input increases or the DC offset decreases, then relay increases. Our analysis also shows, for the first time, how the biophysical properties of the neuron (e.g. ion channel dynamics define the oscillatory patterns needed in the modulating input for appropriately timed relay of sensory information. In our discussion, we describe how our bounds predict experimentally observed neural activity in the basal ganglia in (i health, (ii in Parkinson's disease (PD, and (iii in PD during

  19. Neurosemantics, neurons and system theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Breidbach, Olaf

    2007-08-01

    Following the concept of internal representations, signal processing in a neuronal system has to be evaluated exclusively based on internal system characteristics. Thus, this approach omits the external observer as a control function for sensory integration. Instead, the configuration of the system and its computational performance are the effects of endogenous factors. Such self-referential operation is due to a strictly local computation in a network and, thereby, computations follow a set of rules that constitute the emergent behaviour of the system. These rules can be shown to correspond to a "logic" that is intrinsic to the system, an idea which provides the basis for neurosemantics.

  20. Novel model of neuronal bioenergetics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bak, Lasse Kristoffer; Obel, Linea Lykke Frimodt; Walls, Anne B

    2012-01-01

    matrix thus activating the tricarboxylic acid cycle dehydrogenases. This will lead to a lower activity of the MASH (malate-aspartate shuttle), which in turn will result in anaerobic glycolysis and lactate production rather than lactate utilization. In the present work, we have investigated the effect...... is positively correlated with intracellular Ca2+ whereas lactate utilization is not. This result lends further support for a significant role of glucose in neuronal bioenergetics and that Ca2+ signalling may control the switch between glucose and lactate utilization during synaptic activity. Based...... a positive correlation between oxidative metabolism of glucose and Ca2+ signalling....

  1. Arc - An endogenous neuronal retrovirus?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shepherd, Jason D

    2018-05-01

    The neuronal gene Arc is essential for long-lasting information storage in the mammalian brain and has been implicated in various neurological disorders. However, little is known about Arc's evolutionary origins. Recent studies suggest that mammalian Arc originated from a vertebrate lineage of Ty3/gypsy retrotransposons, which are also ancestral to retroviruses. In particular, Arc contains homology to the Gag polyprotein that forms the viral capsid and is essential for viral infectivity. This surprising connection raises the intriguing possibility that Arc may share molecular characteristics of retroviruses. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Osmosensation in vasopressin neurons: changing actin density to optimize function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prager-Khoutorsky, Masha; Bourque, Charles W

    2010-02-01

    The proportional relation between circulating vasopressin concentration and plasma osmolality is fundamental for body fluid homeostasis. Although changes in the sensitivity of this relation are associated with pathophysiological conditions, central mechanisms modulating osmoregulatory gain are unknown. Here, we review recent data that sheds important light on this process. The cell autonomous osmosensitivity of vasopressin neurons depends on cation channels comprising a variant of the transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) channel. Hyperosmotic activation is mediated by a mechanical process where sensitivity increases in proportion with actin filament density. Moreover, angiotensin II amplifies osmotic activation by a rapid stimulation of actin polymerization, suggesting that neurotransmitter-induced changes in cytoskeletal organization in osmosensory neurons can mediate central changes in osmoregulatory gain. (c) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. 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.

  4. Microelectrode array-induced neuronal alignment directs neurite outgrowth: analysis using a fast Fourier transform (FFT).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Radotić, Viktorija; Braeken, Dries; Kovačić, Damir

    2017-12-01

    Many studies have shown that the topography of the substrate on which neurons are cultured can promote neuronal adhesion and guide neurite outgrowth in the same direction as the underlying topography. To investigate this effect, isotropic substrate-complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) chips were used as one example of microelectrode arrays (MEAs) for directing neurite growth of spiral ganglion neurons. Neurons were isolated from 5 to 7-day-old rat pups, cultured 1 day in vitro (DIV) and 4 DIV, and then fixed with 4% paraformaldehyde. For analysis of neurite alignment and orientation, fast Fourier transformation (FFT) was used. Results revealed that on the micro-patterned surface of a CMOS chip, neurons orient their neurites along three directional axes at 30, 90, and 150° and that neurites aligned in straight lines between adjacent pillars and mostly followed a single direction while occasionally branching perpendicularly. We conclude that the CMOS substrate guides neurites towards electrodes by means of their structured pillar organization and can produce electrical stimulation of aligned neurons as well as monitoring their neural activities once neurites are in the vicinity of electrodes. These findings are of particular interest for neural tissue engineering with the ultimate goal of developing a new generation of MEA essential for improved electrical stimulation of auditory neurons.

  5. Beadex Function in the Motor Neurons Is Essential for Female Reproduction in Drosophila melanogaster

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kairamkonda, Subhash; Nongthomba, Upendra

    2014-01-01

    Drosophila melanogaster has served as an excellent model system for understanding the neuronal circuits and molecular mechanisms regulating complex behaviors. The Drosophila female reproductive circuits, in particular, are well studied and can be used as a tool to understand the role of novel genes in neuronal function in general and female reproduction in particular. In the present study, the role of Beadex, a transcription co-activator, in Drosophila female reproduction was assessed by generation of mutant and knock down studies. Null allele of Beadex was generated by transposase induced excision of P-element present within an intron of Beadex gene. The mutant showed highly compromised reproductive abilities as evaluated by reduced fecundity and fertility, abnormal oviposition and more importantly, the failure of sperm release from storage organs. However, no defect was found in the overall ovariole development. Tissue specific, targeted knock down of Beadex indicated that its function in neurons is important for efficient female reproduction, since its neuronal knock down led to compromised female reproductive abilities, similar to Beadex null females. Further, different neuronal class specific knock down studies revealed that Beadex function is required in motor neurons for normal fecundity and fertility of females. Thus, the present study attributes a novel and essential role for Beadex in female reproduction through neurons. PMID:25396431

  6. Transcriptional profiling at whole population and single cell levels reveals somatosensory neuron molecular diversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiu, Isaac M; Barrett, Lee B; Williams, Erika K; Strochlic, David E; Lee, Seungkyu; Weyer, Andy D; Lou, Shan; Bryman, Gregory S; Roberson, David P; Ghasemlou, Nader; Piccoli, Cara; Ahat, Ezgi; Wang, Victor; Cobos, Enrique J; Stucky, Cheryl L; Ma, Qiufu; Liberles, Stephen D; Woolf, Clifford J

    2014-01-01

    The somatosensory nervous system is critical for the organism's ability to respond to mechanical, thermal, and nociceptive stimuli. Somatosensory neurons are functionally and anatomically diverse but their molecular profiles are not well-defined. Here, we used transcriptional profiling to analyze the detailed molecular signatures of dorsal root ganglion (DRG) sensory neurons. We used two mouse reporter lines and surface IB4 labeling to purify three major non-overlapping classes of neurons: 1) IB4+SNS-Cre/TdTomato+, 2) IB4−SNS-Cre/TdTomato+, and 3) Parv-Cre/TdTomato+ cells, encompassing the majority of nociceptive, pruriceptive, and proprioceptive neurons. These neurons displayed distinct expression patterns of ion channels, transcription factors, and GPCRs. Highly parallel qRT-PCR analysis of 334 single neurons selected by membership of the three populations demonstrated further diversity, with unbiased clustering analysis identifying six distinct subgroups. These data significantly increase our knowledge of the molecular identities of known DRG populations and uncover potentially novel subsets, revealing the complexity and diversity of those neurons underlying somatosensation. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.04660.001 PMID:25525749

  7. Restricted loss of olivocochlear but not vestibular efferent neurons in the senescent gerbil (Meriones unguiculatus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Susanne eRadtke-Schuller

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Degeneration of hearing and vertigo are symptoms of age-related auditory and vestibular disorders reflecting multifactorial changes in the peripheral and central nervous system whose interplay remains largely unknown. Originating bilaterally in the brain stem, vestibular and auditory efferent cholinergic projections exert feedback control on the peripheral sensory organs, and modulate sensory processing. We studied age-related changes in the auditory and vestibular efferent systems by evaluating number of cholinergic efferent neurons in young adult and aged gerbils, and in cholinergic trigeminal neurons serving as a control for efferents not related to the inner ear. We observed a significant loss of olivocochlear neurons in aged compared to young adult animals, whereas the overall number of lateral superior olive cells was not reduced in aging. Although the loss of lateral and medial olivocochlear neurons was uniform and equal on both sides of the brain, there were frequency-related differences within the lateral olivocochlear neurons, where the decline was larger in the medial limb of the superior olivary nucleus (high frequency representation than in the lateral limb (middle-to-low frequency representation. In contrast, neither the number of vestibular efferent neurons, nor the population of motor trigeminal neurons were significantly reduced in the aged animals. These observations suggest differential effects of aging on the respective cholinergic efferent brainstem systems.

  8. Corazonin neurons function in sexually dimorphic circuitry that shape behavioral responses to stress in Drosophila.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yan Zhao

    Full Text Available All organisms are confronted with dynamic environmental changes that challenge homeostasis, which is the operational definition of stress. Stress produces adaptive behavioral and physiological responses, which, in the Metazoa, are mediated through the actions of various hormones. Based on its associated phenotypes and its expression profiles, a candidate stress hormone in Drosophila is the corazonin neuropeptide. We evaluated the potential roles of corazonin in mediating stress-related changes in target behaviors and physiologies through genetic alteration of corazonin neuronal excitability. Ablation of corazonin neurons confers resistance to metabolic, osmotic, and oxidative stress, as measured by survival. Silencing and activation of corazonin neurons lead to differential lifespan under stress, and these effects showed a strong dependence on sex. Additionally, altered corazonin neuron physiology leads to fundamental differences in locomotor activity, and these effects were also sex-dependent. The dynamics of altered locomotor behavior accompanying stress was likewise altered in flies with altered corazonin neuronal function. We report that corazonin transcript expression is altered under starvation and osmotic stress, and that triglyceride and dopamine levels are equally impacted in corazonin neuronal alterations and these phenotypes similarly show significant sexual dimorphisms. Notably, these sexual dimorphisms map to corazonin neurons. These results underscore the importance of central peptidergic processing within the context of stress and place corazonin signaling as a critical feature of neuroendocrine events that shape stress responses and may underlie the inherent sexual dimorphic differences in stress responses.

  9. High-Degree Neurons Feed Cortical Computations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicholas M Timme

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Recent work has shown that functional connectivity among cortical neurons is highly varied, with a small percentage of neurons having many more connections than others. Also, recent theoretical developments now make it possible to quantify how neurons modify information from the connections they receive. Therefore, it is now possible to investigate how information modification, or computation, depends on the number of connections a neuron receives (in-degree or sends out (out-degree. To do this, we recorded the simultaneous spiking activity of hundreds of neurons in cortico-hippocampal slice cultures using a high-density 512-electrode array. This preparation and recording method combination produced large numbers of neurons recorded at temporal and spatial resolutions that are not currently available in any in vivo recording system. We utilized transfer entropy (a well-established method for detecting linear and nonlinear interactions in time series and the partial information decomposition (a powerful, recently developed tool for dissecting multivariate information processing into distinct parts to quantify computation between neurons where information flows converged. We found that computations did not occur equally in all neurons throughout the networks. Surprisingly, neurons that computed large amounts of information tended to receive connections from high out-degree neurons. However, the in-degree of a neuron was not related to the amount of information it computed. To gain insight into these findings, we developed a simple feedforward network model. We found that a degree-modified Hebbian wiring rule best reproduced the pattern of computation and degree correlation results seen in the real data. Interestingly, this rule also maximized signal propagation in the presence of network-wide correlations, suggesting a mechanism by which cortex could deal with common random background input. These are the first results to show that the extent to

  10. Mirror neurons: From origin to function

    OpenAIRE

    Cook, R; Bird, G; Catmur, C; Press, C; Heyes, C

    2014-01-01

    This article argues that mirror neurons originate in sensorimotor associative learning and therefore a new approach is needed to investigate their functions. Mirror neurons were discovered about 20 years ago in the monkey brain, and there is now evidence that they are also present in the human brain. The intriguing feature of many mirror neurons is that they fire not only when the animal is performing an action, such as grasping an object using a power grip, but also when the animal passively...

  11. Do enteric neurons make hypocretin? ☆

    OpenAIRE

    Baumann, Christian R.; Clark, Erika L.; Pedersen, Nigel P.; Hecht, Jonathan L.; Scammell, Thomas E.

    2007-01-01

    Hypocretins (orexins) are wake-promoting neuropeptides produced by hypothalamic neurons. These hypocretin-producing cells are lost in people with narcolepsy, possibly due to an autoimmune attack. Prior studies described hypocretin neurons in the enteric nervous system, and these cells could be an additional target of an autoimmune process. We sought to determine whether enteric hypocretin neurons are lost in narcoleptic subjects. Even though we tried several methods (including whole mounts, s...

  12. Synchronous Behavior of Two Coupled Biological Neurons

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Elson, R.C.; Selverston, A.I.; Elson, R.C.; Selverston, A.I.; Huerta, R.; Rulkov, N.F.; Rabinovich, M.I.; Abarbanel, H.D.; Selverston, A.I.; Huerta, R.; Abarbanel, H.D.

    1998-01-01

    We report experimental studies of synchronization phenomena in a pair of biological neurons that interact through naturally occurring, electrical coupling. When these neurons generate irregular bursts of spikes, the natural coupling synchronizes slow oscillations of membrane potential, but not the fast spikes. By adding artificial electrical coupling we studied transitions between synchrony and asynchrony in both slow oscillations and fast spikes. We discuss the dynamics of bursting and synchronization in living neurons with distributed functional morphology. copyright 1998 The American Physical Society

  13. Central Projections of Antennal and Labial Palp Sensory Neurons in the Migratory Armyworm Mythimna separata

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bai-Wei Ma

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available The oriental armyworm, Mythimna separata (Walker, is a polyphagous, migratory pest relying on olfactory cues to find mates, locate nectar, and guide long-distance flight behavior. In the present study, a combination of neuroanatomical techniques were utilized on this species, including backfills, confocal microscopy, and three-dimensional reconstructions, to trace the central projections of sensory neurons from the antenna and the labial pit organ, respectively. As previously shown, the axons of the labial sensory neurons project via the ipsilateral labial nerve and terminate in three main areas of the central nervous system: (1 the labial-palp pit organ glomerulus of each antennal lobe, (2 the gnathal ganglion, and (3 the prothoracic ganglion of the ventral nerve cord. Similarly, the antennal sensory axons project to multiple areas of the central nervous system. The ipsilateral antennal nerve targets mainly the antennal lobe, the antennal mechanosensory and motor center, and the prothoracic and mesothoracic ganglia. Specific staining experiments including dye application to each of the three antennal segments indicate that the antennal lobe receives input from flagellar olfactory neurons exclusively, while the antennal mechanosensory and motor center is innervated by mechanosensory neurons from the whole antenna, comprising the flagellum, pedicle, and scape. The terminals in the mechanosensory and motor center are organized in segregated zones relating to the origin of neurons. The flagellar mechanosensory axons target anterior zones, while the pedicular and scapal axons terminate in posterior zones. In the ventral nerve cord, the processes from the antennal sensory neurons terminate in the motor area of the thoracic ganglia, suggesting a close connection with motor neurons. Taken together, the numerous neuropils innervated by axons both from the antenna and labial palp indicate the multiple roles these sensory organs serve in insect behavior.

  14. A New Population of Parvocellular Oxytocin Neurons Controlling Magnocellular Neuron Activity and Inflammatory Pain Processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eliava, Marina; Melchior, Meggane; Knobloch-Bollmann, H Sophie; Wahis, Jérôme; da Silva Gouveia, Miriam; Tang, Yan; Ciobanu, Alexandru Cristian; Triana Del Rio, Rodrigo; Roth, Lena C; Althammer, Ferdinand; Chavant, Virginie; Goumon, Yannick; Gruber, Tim; Petit-Demoulière, Nathalie; Busnelli, Marta; Chini, Bice; Tan, Linette L; Mitre, Mariela; Froemke, Robert C; Chao, Moses V; Giese, Günter; Sprengel, Rolf; Kuner, Rohini; Poisbeau, Pierrick; Seeburg, Peter H; Stoop, Ron; Charlet, Alexandre; Grinevich, Valery

    2016-03-16

    Oxytocin (OT) is a neuropeptide elaborated by the hypothalamic paraventricular (PVN) and supraoptic (SON) nuclei. Magnocellular OT neurons of these nuclei innervate numerous forebrain regions and release OT into the blood from the posterior pituitary. The PVN also harbors parvocellular OT cells that project to the brainstem and spinal cord, but their function has not been directly assessed. Here, we identified a subset of approximately 30 parvocellular OT neurons, with collateral projections onto magnocellular OT neurons and neurons of deep layers of the spinal cord. Evoked OT release from these OT neurons suppresses nociception and promotes analgesia in an animal model of inflammatory pain. Our findings identify a new population of OT neurons that modulates nociception in a two tier process: (1) directly by release of OT from axons onto sensory spinal cord neurons and inhibiting their activity and (2) indirectly by stimulating OT release from SON neurons into the periphery. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Molecular Programming of Mesodiencephalic Dopaminergic Neuronal Subsets

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    Marten P. Smidt

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Dopamine neurons of the substantia nigra compacta (SNc and ventral tegmental area (VTA are critical components of the neuronal machinery to control emotion and movement in mammals. The slow and gradual death of these neurons as seen in Parkinson's disease has triggered a large investment in research toward unraveling the molecular determinants that are used to generate these neurons and to get an insight in their apparent selective vulnerability. Here, I set out to summarize the current view on the molecular distinctions that exist within this mesodiencephalic dopamine (mdDA system and elaborate on the molecular programming that is responsible for creating such diversity.

  16. Mechanisms of Neuronal Apoptosis In Vivo

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Martin, Lee J

    2004-01-01

    .... Neuronal cell death in the form of apoptosis or necrosis occurs after exposure to neurotoxins, chemical warfare agents, radiation, viruses, and after seizures, trauma, limb amputation, and hypoxic...

  17. Autosomal dominant adult neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nijssen, Peter C.G.

    2011-01-01

    this thesis investigates a family with autosomal dominant neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis, with chapters on clinical neurology, neuropathology, neurogenetics, neurophysiology, auditory and visual aspects.

  18. Shaping Neuronal Network Activity by Presynaptic Mechanisms.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ayal Lavi

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Neuronal microcircuits generate oscillatory activity, which has been linked to basic functions such as sleep, learning and sensorimotor gating. Although synaptic release processes are well known for their ability to shape the interaction between neurons in microcircuits, most computational models do not simulate the synaptic transmission process directly and hence cannot explain how changes in synaptic parameters alter neuronal network activity. In this paper, we present a novel neuronal network model that incorporates presynaptic release mechanisms, such as vesicle pool dynamics and calcium-dependent release probability, to model the spontaneous activity of neuronal networks. The model, which is based on modified leaky integrate-and-fire neurons, generates spontaneous network activity patterns, which are similar to experimental data and robust under changes in the model's primary gain parameters such as excitatory postsynaptic potential and connectivity ratio. Furthermore, it reliably recreates experimental findings and provides mechanistic explanations for data obtained from microelectrode array recordings, such as network burst termination and the effects of pharmacological and genetic manipulations. The model demonstrates how elevated asynchronous release, but not spontaneous release, synchronizes neuronal network activity and reveals that asynchronous release enhances utilization of the recycling vesicle pool to induce the network effect. The model further predicts a positive correlation between vesicle priming at the single-neuron level and burst frequency at the network level; this prediction is supported by experimental findings. Thus, the model is utilized to reveal how synaptic release processes at the neuronal level govern activity patterns and synchronization at the network level.

  19. Glutamate mediated astrocytic filtering of neuronal activity.

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    Gilad Wallach

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Neuron-astrocyte communication is an important regulatory mechanism in various brain functions but its complexity and role are yet to be fully understood. In particular, the temporal pattern of astrocyte response to neuronal firing has not been fully characterized. Here, we used neuron-astrocyte cultures on multi-electrode arrays coupled to Ca2+ imaging and explored the range of neuronal stimulation frequencies while keeping constant the amount of stimulation. Our results reveal that astrocytes specifically respond to the frequency of neuronal stimulation by intracellular Ca2+ transients, with a clear onset of astrocytic activation at neuron firing rates around 3-5 Hz. The cell-to-cell heterogeneity of the astrocyte Ca2+ response was however large and increasing with stimulation frequency. Astrocytic activation by neurons was abolished with antagonists of type I metabotropic glutamate receptor, validating the glutamate-dependence of this neuron-to-astrocyte pathway. Using a realistic biophysical model of glutamate-based intracellular calcium signaling in astrocytes, we suggest that the stepwise response is due to the supralinear dynamics of intracellular IP3 and that the heterogeneity of the responses may be due to the heterogeneity of the astrocyte-to-astrocyte couplings via gap junction channels. Therefore our results present astrocyte intracellular Ca2+ activity as a nonlinear integrator of glutamate-dependent neuronal activity.

  20. Glutamate Mediated Astrocytic Filtering of Neuronal Activity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herzog, Nitzan; De Pittà, Maurizio; Jacob, Eshel Ben; Berry, Hugues; Hanein, Yael

    2014-01-01

    Neuron-astrocyte communication is an important regulatory mechanism in various brain functions but its complexity and role are yet to be fully understood. In particular, the temporal pattern of astrocyte response to neuronal firing has not been fully characterized. Here, we used neuron-astrocyte cultures on multi-electrode arrays coupled to Ca2+ imaging and explored the range of neuronal stimulation frequencies while keeping constant the amount of stimulation. Our results reveal that astrocytes specifically respond to the frequency of neuronal stimulation by intracellular Ca2+ transients, with a clear onset of astrocytic activation at neuron firing rates around 3-5 Hz. The cell-to-cell heterogeneity of the astrocyte Ca2+ response was however large and increasing with stimulation frequency. Astrocytic activation by neurons was abolished with antagonists of type I metabotropic glutamate receptor, validating the glutamate-dependence of this neuron-to-astrocyte pathway. Using a realistic biophysical model of glutamate-based intracellular calcium signaling in astrocytes, we suggest that the stepwise response is due to the supralinear dynamics of intracellular IP3 and that the heterogeneity of the responses may be due to the heterogeneity of the astrocyte-to-astrocyte couplings via gap junction channels. Therefore our results present astrocyte intracellular Ca2+ activity as a nonlinear integrator of glutamate-dependent neuronal activity. PMID:25521344

  1. Effective stimuli for constructing reliable neuron models.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shaul Druckmann

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available The rich dynamical nature of neurons poses major conceptual and technical challenges for unraveling their nonlinear membrane properties. Traditionally, various current waveforms have been injected at the soma to probe neuron dynamics, but the rationale for selecting specific stimuli has never been rigorously justified. The present experimental and theoretical study proposes a novel framework, inspired by learning theory, for objectively selecting the stimuli that best unravel the neuron's dynamics. The efficacy of stimuli is assessed in terms of their ability to constrain the parameter space of biophysically detailed conductance-based models that faithfully replicate the neuron's dynamics as attested by their ability to generalize well to the neuron's response to novel experimental stimuli. We used this framework to evaluate a variety of stimuli in different types of cortical neurons, ages and animals. Despite their simplicity, a set of stimuli consisting of step and ramp current pulses outperforms synaptic-like noisy stimuli in revealing the dynamics of these neurons. The general framework that we propose paves a new way for defining, evaluating and standardizing effective electrical probing of neurons and will thus lay the foundation for a much deeper understanding of the electrical nature of these highly sophisticated and non-linear devices and of the neuronal networks that they compose.

  2. Spiking Neurons for Analysis of Patterns

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huntsberger, Terrance

    2008-01-01

    Artificial neural networks comprising spiking neurons of a novel type have been conceived as improved pattern-analysis and pattern-recognition computational systems. These neurons are represented by a mathematical model denoted the state-variable model (SVM), which among other things, exploits a computational parallelism inherent in spiking-neuron geometry. Networks of SVM neurons offer advantages of speed and computational efficiency, relative to traditional artificial neural networks. The SVM also overcomes some of the limitations of prior spiking-neuron models. There are numerous potential pattern-recognition, tracking, and data-reduction (data preprocessing) applications for these SVM neural networks on Earth and in exploration of remote planets. Spiking neurons imitate biological neurons more closely than do the neurons of traditional artificial neural networks. A spiking neuron includes a central cell body (soma) surrounded by a tree-like interconnection network (dendrites). Spiking neurons are so named because they generate trains of output pulses (spikes) in response to inputs received from sensors or from other neurons. They gain their speed advantage over traditional neural networks by using the timing of individual spikes for computation, whereas traditional artificial neurons use averages of activity levels over time. Moreover, spiking neurons use the delays inherent in dendritic processing in order to efficiently encode the information content of incoming signals. Because traditional artificial neurons fail to capture this encoding, they have less processing capability, and so it is necessary to use more gates when implementing traditional artificial neurons in electronic circuitry. Such higher-order functions as dynamic tasking are effected by use of pools (collections) of spiking neurons interconnected by spike-transmitting fibers. The SVM includes adaptive thresholds and submodels of transport of ions (in imitation of such transport in biological

  3. Functional diversity of supragranular GABAergic neurons in the barrel cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luc J Gentet

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Although the neocortex forms a distributed system comprised of several functional areas, its vertical columnar organization is largely conserved across areas and species, suggesting the existence of a canonical neocortical microcircuit. In order to elucidate the principles governing the organization of such a cortical diagram, a detailed understanding of the dynamics binding different types of cortical neurons into a coherent algorithm is essential. Within this complex circuitry, GABAergic interneurons, while forming approximately only 15-20% of all cortical neurons, appear critical in maintaining a dynamic balance between excitation and inhibition. Despite their importance, cortical GABAergic neurons have not been extensively studied in vivo and their precise role in shaping the local microcircuit sensory response still remains to be determined. Their paucity, combined with their molecular, anatomical and physiological diversity, has made it difficult to even establish a consensual nomenclature.However, recent technological advances in microscopy and mouse genetics have fostered a renewed interest in neocortical interneurons by putting them within visible reach of experimenters. The anatomically well-defined whisker-to-barrel pathway of the rodent is particularly amenable to studies attempting to link cortical circuit dynamics to behavior. To each whisker corresponds a discrete cortical unit equivalent to a single column, specialized in the encoding and processing of the sensory information it receives. In this review, we will focus on the functional role that each subtype of supragranular GABAergic neuron embedded within such a single neocortical unit may play in shaping the dynamics of the local circuit during somatosensory integration.

  4. Representation of visual scenes by local neuronal populations in layer 2/3 of mouse visual cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bjorn M Kampa

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available How are visual scenes encoded in local neural networks of visual cortex? In rodents, visual cortex lacks a columnar organization so that processing of diverse features from a spot in visual space could be performed locally by populations of neighboring neurons. To examine how complex visual scenes are represented by local microcircuits in mouse visual cortex we measured visually-evoked responses of layer 2/3 neuronal populations using 3D two-photon calcium imaging. Both natural and artificial movie scenes (10-s duration evoked distributed and sparsely organized responses in local populations of 70 to 150 neurons within the sampled volumes. About 50% of neurons showed calcium transients during visual scene presentation, of which about half displayed reliable temporal activation patterns. The majority of the reliably responding neurons were activated primarily by one of the four visual scenes applied. Consequently, single neurons performed poorly in decoding, which visual scene had been presented. In contrast, high levels of decoding performance (>80% were reached when considering population responses, requiring about 80 randomly picked cells or 20 reliable responders. Furthermore, reliable responding neurons tended to have neighbors sharing the same stimulus preference. Because of this local redundancy, it was beneficial for efficient scene decoding to read out activity from spatially distributed rather than locally clustered neurons. Our results suggest a population code in layer 2/3 of visual cortex, where the visual environment is dynamically represented in the activation of distinct functional sub-networks.

  5. Temporally coordinated spiking activity of human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived neurons co-cultured with astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kayama, Tasuku; Suzuki, Ikuro; Odawara, Aoi; Sasaki, Takuya; Ikegaya, Yuji

    2018-01-01

    In culture conditions, human induced-pluripotent stem cells (hiPSC)-derived neurons form synaptic connections with other cells and establish neuronal networks, which are expected to be an in vitro model system for drug discovery screening and toxicity testing. While early studies demonstrated effects of co-culture of hiPSC-derived neurons with astroglial cells on survival and maturation of hiPSC-derived neurons, the population spiking patterns of such hiPSC-derived neurons have not been fully characterized. In this study, we analyzed temporal spiking patterns of hiPSC-derived neurons recorded by a multi-electrode array system. We discovered that specific sets of hiPSC-derived neurons co-cultured with astrocytes showed more frequent and highly coherent non-random synchronized spike trains and more dynamic changes in overall spike patterns over time. These temporally coordinated spiking patterns are physiological signs of organized circuits of hiPSC-derived neurons and suggest benefits of co-culture of hiPSC-derived neurons with astrocytes. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Patterns of axonal branching of neurons of the substantia nigra pars reticulata and pars lateralis in the rat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cebrián, Carolina; Parent, André; Prensa, Lucía

    2005-11-21

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

  7. Discrimination of communication vocalizations by single neurons and groups of neurons in the auditory midbrain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schneider, David M; Woolley, Sarah M N

    2010-06-01

    Many social animals including songbirds use communication vocalizations for individual recognition. The perception of vocalizations depends on the encoding of complex sounds by neurons in the ascending auditory system, each of which is tuned to a particular subset of acoustic features. Here, we examined how well the responses of single auditory neurons could be used to discriminate among bird songs and we compared discriminability to spectrotemporal tuning. We then used biologically realistic models of pooled neural responses to test whether the responses of groups of neurons discriminated among songs better than the responses of single neurons and whether discrimination by groups of neurons was related to spectrotemporal tuning and trial-to-trial response variability. The responses of single auditory midbrain neurons could be used to discriminate among vocalizations with a wide range of abilities, ranging from chance to 100%. The ability to discriminate among songs using single neuron responses was not correlated with spectrotemporal tuning. Pooling the responses of pairs of neurons generally led to better discrimination than the average of the two inputs and the most discriminating input. Pooling the responses of three to five single neurons continued to improve neural discrimination. The increase in discriminability was largest for groups of neurons with similar spectrotemporal tuning. Further, we found that groups of neurons with correlated spike trains achieved the largest gains in discriminability. We simulated neurons with varying levels of temporal precision and measured the discriminability of responses from single simulated neurons and groups of simulated neurons. Simulated neurons with biologically observed levels of temporal precision benefited more from pooling correlated inputs than did neurons with highly precise or imprecise spike trains. These findings suggest that pooling correlated neural responses with the levels of precision observed in the

  8. Differentiating lower motor neuron syndromes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garg, Nidhi; Park, Susanna B; Vucic, Steve; Yiannikas, Con; Spies, Judy; Howells, James; Huynh, William; Matamala, José M; Krishnan, Arun V; Pollard, John D; Cornblath, David R; Reilly, Mary M; Kiernan, Matthew C

    2017-06-01

    Lower motor neuron (LMN) syndromes typically present with muscle wasting and weakness and may arise from pathology affecting the distal motor nerve up to the level of the anterior horn cell. A variety of hereditary causes are recognised, including spinal muscular atrophy, distal hereditary motor neuropathy and LMN variants of familial motor neuron disease. Recent genetic advances have resulted in the identification of a variety of disease-causing mutations. Immune-mediated disorders, including multifocal motor neuropathy and variants of chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy, account for a proportion of LMN presentations and are important to recognise, as effective treatments are available. The present review will outline the spectrum of LMN syndromes that may develop in adulthood and provide a framework for the clinician assessing a patient presenting with predominantly LMN features. Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://www.bmj.com/company/products-services/rights-and-licensing/.

  9. Ephaptic Coupling of Cortical Neurons: Possible Contribution of Astroglial Magnetic Fields?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martinez-Banaclocha, Marcos

    2018-02-01

    The close anatomical and functional relationship between neuronal circuits and the astroglial network in the neocortex has been demonstrated at several organization levels supporting the idea that neuron-astroglial crosstalk can play a key role in information processing. In addition to chemical and electrical neurotransmission, other non-synaptic mechanisms called ephaptic interactions seem to be important to understand neuronal coupling and cognitive functions. Recent interest in this issue comes from the fact that extra-cranial electric and magnetic field stimulations have shown therapeutic actions in the clinical practice. The present paper reviews the current knowledge regarding the ephaptic effects in mammalian neocortex and proposes that astroglial bio-magnetic fields associated with Ca 2+ transients could be implicated in the ephaptic coupling of neurons by a direct magnetic modulation of the intercellular local field potentials. Copyright © 2017 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Disruption of Transient Serotonin Accumulation by Non-Serotonin-Producing Neurons Impairs Cortical Map Development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaoning Chen

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Polymorphisms that alter serotonin transporter SERT expression and functionality increase the risks for autism and psychiatric traits. Here, we investigate how SERT controls serotonin signaling in developing CNS in mice. SERT is transiently expressed in specific sets of glutamatergic neurons and uptakes extrasynaptic serotonin during perinatal CNS development. We show that SERT expression in glutamatergic thalamocortical axons (TCAs dictates sensory map architecture. Knockout of SERT in TCAs causes lasting alterations in TCA patterning, spatial organizations of cortical neurons, and dendritic arborization in sensory cortex. Pharmacological reduction of serotonin synthesis during the first postnatal week rescues sensory maps in SERTGluΔ mice. Furthermore, knockdown of SERT expression in serotonin-producing neurons does not impair barrel maps. We propose that spatiotemporal SERT expression in non-serotonin-producing neurons represents a determinant in early life genetic programming of cortical circuits. Perturbing this SERT function could be involved in the origin of sensory and cognitive deficits associated with neurodevelopmental disorders.

  11. Reelin signaling in the migration of ventral brain stem and spinal cord neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandra eBlaess

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available The extracellular matrix protein Reelin is an important orchestrator of neuronal migration during the development of the central nervous system. While its role and mechanism of action have been extensively studied and reviewed in the formation of dorsal laminar brain structures like the cerebral cortex, hippocampus, and cerebellum, its functions during the neuronal migration events that result in the nuclear organization of the ventral central nervous system are less well understood. In an attempt to delineate an underlying pattern of Reelin action in the formation of neuronal cell clusters, this review highlights the role of Reelin signaling in the migration of neuronal populations that originate in the ventral brain stem and the spinal cord.

  12. Functional architecture of reward learning in mushroom body extrinsic neurons of larval Drosophila.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saumweber, Timo; Rohwedder, Astrid; Schleyer, Michael; Eichler, Katharina; Chen, Yi-Chun; Aso, Yoshinori; Cardona, Albert; Eschbach, Claire; Kobler, Oliver; Voigt, Anne; Durairaja, Archana; Mancini, Nino; Zlatic, Marta; Truman, James W; Thum, Andreas S; Gerber, Bertram

    2018-03-16

    The brain adaptively integrates present sensory input, past experience, and options for future action. The insect mushroom body exemplifies how a central brain structure brings about such integration. Here we use a combination of systematic single-cell labeling, connectomics, transgenic silencing, and activation experiments to study the mushroom body at single-cell resolution, focusing on the behavioral architecture of its input and output neurons (MBINs and MBONs), and of the mushroom body intrinsic APL neuron. Our results reveal the identity and morphology of almost all of these 44 neurons in stage 3 Drosophila larvae. Upon an initial screen, functional analyses focusing on the mushroom body medial lobe uncover sparse and specific functions of its dopaminergic MBINs, its MBONs, and of the GABAergic APL neuron across three behavioral tasks, namely odor preference, taste preference, and associative learning between odor and taste. Our results thus provide a cellular-resolution study case of how brains organize behavior.

  13. Targeted deletion of Sox10 by Wnt1-cre defects neuronal migration and projection in the mouse inner ear.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    YanYan Mao

    Full Text Available Sensory nerves of the brainstem are mostly composed of placode-derived neurons, neural crest-derived neurons and neural crest-derived Schwann cells. This mixed origin of cells has made it difficult to dissect interdependence for fiber guidance. Inner ear-derived neurons are known to connect to the brain after delayed loss of Schwann cells in ErbB2 mutants. However, the ErbB2 mutant related alterations in the ear and the brain compound interpretation of the data. We present here a new model to evaluate exclusively the effect of Schwann cell loss on inner ear innervation. Conditional deletion of the neural crest specific transcription factor, Sox10, using the rhombic lip/neural crest specific Wnt1-cre driver spares Sox10 expression in the ear. We confirm that neural crest-derived cells provide a stop signal for migrating spiral ganglion neurons. In the absence of Schwann cells, spiral ganglion neurons migrate into the center of the cochlea and even out of the ear toward the brain. Spiral ganglion neuron afferent processes reach the organ of Corti, but many afferent fibers bypass the organ of Corti to enter the lateral wall of the cochlea. In contrast to this peripheral disorganization, the central projection to cochlear nuclei is normal. Compared to ErbB2 mutants, conditional Sox10 mutants have limited cell death in spiral ganglion neurons, indicating that the absence of Schwann cells alone contributes little to the embryonic survival of neurons. These data suggest that neural crest-derived cells are dispensable for all central and some peripheral targeting of inner ear neurons. However, Schwann cells provide a stop signal for migratory spiral ganglion neurons and facilitate proper targeting of the organ of Corti by spiral ganglion afferents.

  14. Essential roles of mitochondrial depolarization in neuron loss through microglial activation and attraction toward neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nam, Min-Kyung; Shin, Hyun-Ah; Han, Ji-Hye; Park, Dae-Wook; Rhim, Hyangshuk

    2013-04-10

    As life spans increased, neurodegenerative disorders that affect aging populations have also increased. Progressive neuronal loss in specific brain regions is the most common cause of neurodegenerative disease; however, key determinants mediating neuron loss are not fully understood. Using a model of mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm) loss, we found only 25% cell loss in SH-SY5Y (SH) neuronal mono-cultures, but interestingly, 85% neuronal loss occurred when neurons were co-cultured with BV2 microglia. SH neurons overexpressing uncoupling protein 2 exhibited an increase in neuron-microglia interactions, which represent an early step in microglial phagocytosis of neurons. This result indicates that ΔΨm loss in SH neurons is an important contributor to recruitment of BV2 microglia. Notably, we show that ΔΨm loss in BV2 microglia plays a crucial role in microglial activation and phagocytosis of damaged SH neurons. Thus, our study demonstrates that ΔΨm loss in both neurons and microglia is a critical determinant of neuron loss. These findings also offer new insights into neuroimmunological and bioenergetical aspects of neurodegenerative disease. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Cerebellar Nuclear Neurons Use Time and Rate Coding to Transmit Purkinje Neuron Pauses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sudhakar, Shyam Kumar; Torben-Nielsen, Benjamin; De Schutter, Erik

    2015-12-01

    Neurons of the cerebellar nuclei convey the final output of the cerebellum to their targets in various parts of the brain. Within the cerebellum their direct upstream connections originate from inhibitory Purkinje neurons. Purkinje neurons have a complex firing pattern of regular spikes interrupted by intermittent pauses of variable length. How can the cerebellar nucleus process this complex input pattern? In this modeling study, we investigate different forms of Purkinje neuron simple spike pause synchrony and its influence on candidate coding strategies in the cerebellar nuclei. That is, we investigate how different alignments of synchronous pauses in synthetic Purkinje neuron spike trains affect either time-locking or rate-changes in the downstream nuclei. We find that Purkinje neuron synchrony is mainly represented by changes in the firing rate of cerebellar nuclei neurons. Pause beginning synchronization produced a unique effect on nuclei neuron firing, while the effect of pause ending and pause overlapping synchronization could not be distinguished from each other. Pause beginning synchronization produced better time-locking of nuclear neurons for short length pauses. We also characterize the effect of pause length and spike jitter on the nuclear neuron firing. Additionally, we find that the rate of rebound responses in nuclear neurons after a synchronous pause is controlled by the firing rate of Purkinje neurons preceding it.

  16. Cerebellar Nuclear Neurons Use Time and Rate Coding to Transmit Purkinje Neuron Pauses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sudhakar, Shyam Kumar; Torben-Nielsen, Benjamin; De Schutter, Erik

    2015-01-01

    Neurons of the cerebellar nuclei convey the final output of the cerebellum to their targets in various parts of the brain. Within the cerebellum their direct upstream connections originate from inhibitory Purkinje neurons. Purkinje neurons have a complex firing pattern of regular spikes interrupted by intermittent pauses of variable length. How can the cerebellar nucleus process this complex input pattern? In this modeling study, we investigate different forms of Purkinje neuron simple spike pause synchrony and its influence on candidate coding strategies in the cerebellar nuclei. That is, we investigate how different alignments of synchronous pauses in synthetic Purkinje neuron spike trains affect either time-locking or rate-changes in the downstream nuclei. We find that Purkinje neuron synchrony is mainly represented by changes in the firing rate of cerebellar nuclei neurons. Pause beginning synchronization produced a unique effect on nuclei neuron firing, while the effect of pause ending and pause overlapping synchronization could not be distinguished from each other. Pause beginning synchronization produced better time-locking of nuclear neurons for short length pauses. We also characterize the effect of pause length and spike jitter on the nuclear neuron firing. Additionally, we find that the rate of rebound responses in nuclear neurons after a synchronous pause is controlled by the firing rate of Purkinje neurons preceding it. PMID:26630202

  17. Eltrombopag, a thrombopoietin mimetic, crosses the blood-brain-barrier and impairs iron-dependent hippocampal neuron dendrite development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bastian, Thomas W.; Duck, Kari A.; Michalopoulos, George C.; Chen, Michael J.; Liu, Zhi-Jian; Connor, James R.; Lanier, Lorene M.; Sola-Visner, Martha C.; Georgieff, Michael K.

    2017-01-01

    Background Thrombocytopenia is common in sick neonates. Thrombopoietin mimetics (e.g., eltrombopag (ELT)) might provide an alternative therapy for selected neonates with severe and prolonged thrombocytopenia, and for infants and young children with different varieties of thrombocytopenia. However, ELT chelates intracellular iron, which may adversely affect developing organs with high metabolic requirements. Iron deficiency (ID) is particularly deleterious during brain development, impairing neuronal myelination, dopamine signaling, and dendritic maturation and ultimately impairing long-term neurological function (e.g. hippocampal-dependent learning and memory). Objective Determine whether ELT crosses the blood-brain barrier (BBB), causes neuronal ID and impairs hippocampal neuron dendrite maturation. Methods ELT transport across the BBB was assessed using primary bovine brain microvascular endothelial cells. Embryonic mouse primary hippocampal neuron cultures were treated with ELT or deferoxamine (DFO, an iron chelator) from 7 days in vitro (DIV) through 14DIV and assessed for gene expression and neuronal dendrite complexity. Results ELT crossed the BBB in a time-dependent manner. 2 and 6 μM ELT increased Tfr1 and Slc11a2 (iron-responsive genes involved in neuronal iron uptake) mRNA levels, indicating neuronal ID. 6 μM ELT, but not 2 μM ELT, decreased BdnfVI, Camk2a, and Vamp1 mRNA levels, suggesting impaired neuronal development and synaptic function. Dendrite branch number and length was reduced in 6 μM ELT-treated neurons, resulting in blunted dendritic arbor complexity that was similar to DFO-treated neurons. Conclusions ELT treatment during development may impair neuronal structure due to neuronal ID. Pre-clinical in vivo studies are warranted to assess ELT safety during periods of rapid brain development. PMID:28005311

  18. Inhibitory neurons modulate spontaneous signaling in cultured cortical neurons: density-dependent regulation of excitatory neuronal signaling

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Serra, Michael; Guaraldi, Mary; Shea, Thomas B

    2010-01-01

    Cortical neuronal activity depends on a balance between excitatory and inhibitory influences. Culturing of neurons on multi-electrode arrays (MEAs) has provided insight into the development and maintenance of neuronal networks. Herein, we seeded MEAs with murine embryonic cortical/hippocampal neurons at different densities ( 1000 cells mm −2 ) and monitored resultant spontaneous signaling. Sparsely seeded cultures displayed a large number of bipolar, rapid, high-amplitude individual signals with no apparent temporal regularity. By contrast, densely seeded cultures instead displayed clusters of signals at regular intervals. These patterns were observed even within thinner and thicker areas of the same culture. GABAergic neurons (25% of total neurons in our cultures) mediated the differential signal patterns observed above, since addition of the inhibitory antagonist bicuculline to dense cultures and hippocampal slice cultures induced the signal pattern characteristic of sparse cultures. Sparsely seeded cultures likely lacked sufficient inhibitory neurons to modulate excitatory activity. Differential seeding of MEAs can provide a unique model for analyses of pertubation in the interaction between excitatory and inhibitory function during aging and neuropathological conditions where dysregulation of GABAergic neurons is a significant component

  19. Neuron Morphology Influences Axon Initial Segment Plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gulledge, Allan T; Bravo, Jaime J

    2016-01-01

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

  20. Interactive Exploration for Continuously Expanding Neuron Databases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Zhongyu; Metaxas, Dimitris N; Lu, Aidong; Zhang, Shaoting

    2017-02-15

    This paper proposes a novel framework to help biologists explore and analyze neurons based on retrieval of data from neuron morphological databases. In recent years, the continuously expanding neuron databases provide a rich source of information to associate neuronal morphologies with their functional properties. We design a coarse-to-fine framework for efficient and effective data retrieval from large-scale neuron databases. In the coarse-level, for efficiency in large-scale, we employ a binary coding method to compress morphological features into binary codes of tens of bits. Short binary codes allow for real-time similarity searching in Hamming space. Because the neuron databases are continuously expanding, it is inefficient to re-train the binary coding model from scratch when adding new neurons. To solve this problem, we extend binary coding with online updating schemes, which only considers the newly added neurons and update the model on-the-fly, without accessing the whole neuron databases. In the fine-grained level, we introduce domain experts/users in the framework, which can give relevance feedback for the binary coding based retrieval results. This interactive strategy can improve the retrieval performance through re-ranking the above coarse results, where we design a new similarity measure and take the feedback into account. Our framework is validated on more than 17,000 neuron cells, showing promising retrieval accuracy and efficiency. Moreover, we demonstrate its use case in assisting biologists to identify and explore unknown neurons. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Sensory experience shapes the integration of adult-born neurons into the olfactory bulb.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanson, Elizabeth; Swanson, Jessica; Arenkiel, Benjamin R

    2017-08-01

    Olfaction is an ancient sensory modality which is heavily involved in viscerally-important tasks like finding food and identifying mates. Olfactory processing involves interpreting stimuli from a non-continuous odor space, and translating them into an organized pattern of neuronal activity in the olfactory bulb. Additionally, olfactory processing is rapidly modulated by behavioral states and vice versa. This implies strong bidirectional neuromodulation between the olfactory bulb and other brain regions that include the cortex, hippocampus, and basal forebrain. Intriguingly, the olfactory bulb is one of the only brain regions where adult-born neurons are integrated into existing networks throughout life. The ongoing integration of adult-born neurons is known to be important for olfactory processing, odor discrimination, and odor learning. Furthermore, the survival and integration of the adult-born neurons is regulated by neuromodulatory signaling, sensory experience, and olfactory learning. Studies making use of new genetic markers to label and manipulate immature adult-born neurons reveal an increase in their population response to odors as they mature. Importantly, this reflects a period of developmental plasticity where adult-born neurons are especially sensitive to sensory experience and olfactory learning. In this review, we discuss the contribution of adult neurogenesis to olfactory bulb plasticity and information processing, with a focus on the developmental plasticity of adult born neurons, and how it is influenced by sensory experience and olfactory learning. Ultimately, recent studies raise important questions about behavioral-state-dependent effects on adult-born neurons, and the consequences of neuromodulation on the developmental plasticity of newborn neurons in the olfactory bulb.

  2. Neurochemical differences between target-specific populations of rat dorsal raphe projection neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prouty, Eric W; Chandler, Daniel J; Waterhouse, Barry D

    2017-11-15

    Serotonin (5-HT)-containing neurons in the dorsal raphe (DR) nucleus project throughout the forebrain and are implicated in many physiological processes and neuropsychiatric disorders. Diversity among these neurons has been characterized in terms of their neurochemistry and anatomical organization, but a clear sense of whether these attributes align with specific brain functions or terminal fields is lacking. DR 5-HT neurons can co-express additional neuroactive substances, increasing the potential for individualized regulation of target circuits. The goal of this study was to link DR neurons to a specific functional role by characterizing cells according to both their neurotransmitter expression and efferent connectivity; specifically, cells projecting to the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), a region implicated in cognition, emotion, and responses to stress. Following retrograde tracer injection, brainstem sections from Sprague-Dawley rats were immunohistochemically stained for markers of serotonin, glutamate, GABA, and nitric oxide (NO). 98% of the mPFC-projecting serotonergic neurons co-expressed the marker for glutamate, while the markers for NO and GABA were observed in 60% and less than 1% of those neurons, respectively. To identify potential target-specific differences in co-transmitter expression, we also characterized DR neurons projecting to a visual sensory structure, the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN). The proportion of serotonergic neurons co-expressing NO was greater amongst cells targeting the mPFC vs LGN (60% vs 22%). The established role of 5-HT in affective disorders and the emerging role of NO in stress signaling suggest that the impact of 5-HT/NO co-localization in DR neurons that regulate mPFC circuit function may be clinically relevant. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Chronic odorant exposure upregulates acquisition of functional properties in cultured embryonic chick olfactory sensory neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Neill, Grace; Musto, Christa; Gomez, George

    2017-05-01

    Neuronal development and differentiation is modulated by activity-dependent mechanisms that stimulate endogenous neurogenesis and differentiation to promote adaptive survival of the organism. Studies on bird odor imprinting have shown how sensory stimuli or environmental influences can affect neonatal behavior, presumably by remodeling the developing nervous system. It is unclear whether these changes originate from the sensory neurons themselves or from the brain. Thus, we attempted to address this by using an in vitro system to separate the peripheral neurons from their central connections. Olfactory neurons from embryonic day 17 Gallus domesticus chicks were isolated, cultured, and exposed to 100 µM amyl acetate or phenethyl alcohol in 12-hr bouts, alternated with periods of no-odor exposure. On days 4 and 5 in vitro, cells were immunostained for olfactory marker protein, neuron-specific tubulin, and olfactory GTP-binding protein, and tested for odorant sensitivity using calcium imaging. While odorant exposure did not result in a significant increase in the overall number of neurons, it promoted neuron differentiation: a larger proportion of odorant-exposed cells expressed olfactory marker protein and the olfactory GTP-binding protein. When cell responsiveness was tested using calcium imaging, a greater proportion of odorant-exposed cells responded to stimulation with 100 µM amyl acetate or phenethyl alcohol. Thus, odorant exposure during development modulated the developmental trajectories of individual neurons, resulting in changes in protein expression associated with odorant signaling. This suggests that the neuronal changes in the periphery have an important contribution to the overall long-term functional changes associated with odor imprinting. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  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. Assessing neuronal networks: understanding Alzheimer's disease.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Bokde, Arun L W

    2012-02-01

    Findings derived from neuroimaging of the structural and functional organization of the human brain have led to the widely supported hypothesis that neuronal networks of temporally coordinated brain activity across different regional brain structures underpin cognitive function. Failure of integration within a network leads to cognitive dysfunction. The current discussion on Alzheimer\\'s disease (AD) argues that it presents in part a disconnection syndrome. Studies using functional magnetic resonance imaging, positron emission tomography and electroencephalography demonstrate that synchronicity of brain activity is altered in AD and correlates with cognitive deficits. Moreover, recent advances in diffusion tensor imaging have made it possible to track axonal projections across the brain, revealing substantial regional impairment in fiber-tract integrity in AD. Accumulating evidence points towards a network breakdown reflecting disconnection at both the structural and functional system level. The exact relationship among these multiple mechanistic variables and their contribution to cognitive alterations and ultimately decline is yet unknown. Focused research efforts aimed at the integration of both function and structure hold great promise not only in improving our understanding of cognition but also of its characteristic progressive metamorphosis in complex chronic neurodegenerative disorders such as AD.

  8. Insect Flight: From Newton's Law to Neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Z. Jane

    2016-03-01

    Why do animals move the way they do? Bacteria, insects, birds, and fish share with us the necessity to move so as to live. Although each organism follows its own evolutionary course, it also obeys a set of common laws. At the very least, the movement of animals, like that of planets, is governed by Newton's law: All things fall. On Earth, most things fall in air or water, and their motions are thus subject to the laws of hydrodynamics. Through trial and error, animals have found ways to interact with fluid so they can float, drift, swim, sail, glide, soar, and fly. This elementary struggle to escape the fate of falling shapes the development of motors, sensors, and mind. Perhaps we can deduce parts of their neural computations by understanding what animals must do so as not to fall. Here I discuss recent developments along this line of inquiry in the case of insect flight. Asking how often a fly must sense its orientation in order to balance in air has shed new light on the role of motor neurons and steering muscles responsible for flight stability.

  9. Phenolic antioxidants attenuate hippocampal neuronal cell damage ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    In this regard, certain dietary compounds are begining to receive increased attention, in particular those involving phytochemicals found in medicinal plants in alleviating neuronal injury. In the present study, we examined whether medicinal plant extracts protect neurons against excitotoxic lesions induced by kainic acid (KA) ...

  10. Do mirror neurons subserve action understanding?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hickok, Gregory

    2013-04-12

    Mirror neurons were once widely believed to support action understanding via motor simulation of the observed actions. Recent evidence regarding the functional properties of mirror neurons in monkeys as well as much neuropsychological evidence in humans has shown that this is not the case. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Mirror neurons: functions, mechanisms and models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oztop, Erhan; Kawato, Mitsuo; Arbib, Michael A

    2013-04-12

    Mirror neurons for manipulation fire both when the animal manipulates an object in a specific way and when it sees another animal (or the experimenter) perform an action that is more or less similar. Such neurons were originally found in macaque monkeys, in the ventral premotor cortex, area F5 and later also in the inferior parietal lobule. Recent neuroimaging data indicate that the adult human brain is endowed with a "mirror neuron system," putatively containing mirror neurons and other neurons, for matching the observation and execution of actions. Mirror neurons may serve action recognition in monkeys as well as humans, whereas their putative role in imitation and language may be realized in human but not in monkey. This article shows the important role of computational models in providing sufficient and causal explanations for the observed phenomena involving mirror systems and the learning processes which form them, and underlines the need for additional circuitry to lift up the monkey mirror neuron circuit to sustain the posited cognitive functions attributed to the human mirror neuron system. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Adaptive Neurons For Artificial Neural Networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tawel, Raoul

    1990-01-01

    Training time decreases dramatically. In improved mathematical model of neural-network processor, temperature of neurons (in addition to connection strengths, also called weights, of synapses) varied during supervised-learning phase of operation according to mathematical formalism and not heuristic rule. Evidence that biological neural networks also process information at neuronal level.

  13. Do Mirror Neurons Subserve Action Understanding?

    OpenAIRE

    Hickok, Gregory

    2012-01-01

    Mirror neurons were once widely believed to support action understanding via motor simulation of the observed actions. Recent evidence regarding the functional properties of mirror neurons in monkeys as well as much neuropsychological evidence in humans has shown that this is not the case

  14. The Mirror Neuron System and Action Recognition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buccino, Giovanni; Binkofski, Ferdinand; Riggio, Lucia

    2004-01-01

    Mirror neurons, first described in the rostral part of monkey ventral premotor cortex (area F5), discharge both when the animal performs a goal-directed hand action and when it observes another individual performing the same or a similar action. More recently, in the same area mirror neurons responding to the observation of mouth actions have been…

  15. Where do mirror neurons come from?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heyes, Cecilia

    2010-03-01

    Debates about the evolution of the 'mirror neuron system' imply that it is an adaptation for action understanding. Alternatively, mirror neurons may be a byproduct of associative learning. Here I argue that the adaptation and associative hypotheses both offer plausible accounts of the origin of mirror neurons, but the associative hypothesis has three advantages. First, it provides a straightforward, testable explanation for the differences between monkeys and humans that have led some researchers to question the existence of a mirror neuron system. Second, it is consistent with emerging evidence that mirror neurons contribute to a range of social cognitive functions, but do not play a dominant, specialised role in action understanding. Finally, the associative hypothesis is supported by recent data showing that, even in adulthood, the mirror neuron system can be transformed by sensorimotor learning. The associative account implies that mirror neurons come from sensorimotor experience, and that much of this experience is obtained through interaction with others. Therefore, if the associative account is correct, the mirror neuron system is a product, as well as a process, of social interaction. (c) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Motors and Adaptors : Transport Regulation within Neurons

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Spronsen, C.S.A.M.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/337616655

    2012-01-01

    Human thoughts and behavior are the outcome of communication between neurons in our brains. There is an entire world inside each of these neurons where transactions are established and meeting points are set. By using molecular motors to transport proteins and organelles along cytoskeletal tracks,

  17. Neuronal involvement in cisplatin neuropathy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Krarup-Hansen, A; Helweg-Larsen, Susanne Elisabeth; Schmalbruch, H

    2007-01-01

    Although it is well known that cisplatin causes a sensory neuropathy, the primary site of involvement is not established. The clinical symptoms localized in a stocking-glove distribution may be explained by a length dependent neuronopathy or by a distal axonopathy. To study whether the whole neuron...... higher than 300 mg/m2 the patients lost distal tendon and H-reflexes and displayed reduced vibration sense in the feet and the fingers. The amplitudes of sensory nerve action potentials (SNAP) from the fingers innervated by the median nerve and the dorsolateral side of the foot innervated by the sural...... of the foot evoked by a tactile probe showed similar changes to those observed in SNAPs evoked by electrical stimulation. At these doses, somatosensory evoked potentials (SEPs) from the tibial nerve had increased latencies of peripheral, spinal and central responses suggesting loss of central processes...

  18. Nicotinic activation of laterodorsal tegmental neurons

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ishibashi, Masaru; Leonard, Christopher S; Kohlmeier, Kristi A

    2009-01-01

    Identifying the neurological mechanisms underlying nicotine reinforcement is a healthcare imperative, if society is to effectively combat tobacco addiction. The majority of studies of the neurobiology of addiction have focused on dopamine (DA)-containing neurons of the ventral tegmental area (VTA......). However, recent data suggest that neurons of the laterodorsal tegmental (LDT) nucleus, which sends cholinergic, GABAergic, and glutamatergic-containing projections to DA-containing neurons of the VTA, are critical to gating normal functioning of this nucleus. The actions of nicotine on LDT neurons...... are unknown. We addressed this issue by examining the effects of nicotine on identified cholinergic and non-cholinergic LDT neurons using whole-cell patch clamp and Ca(2+)-imaging methods in brain slices from mice (P12-P45). Nicotine applied by puffer pipette or bath superfusion elicited membrane...

  19. Mirror neurons through the lens of epigenetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferrari, Pier F; Tramacere, Antonella; Simpson, Elizabeth A; Iriki, Atsushi

    2013-09-01

    The consensus view in mirror neuron research is that mirror neurons comprise a uniform, stable execution-observation matching system. In this opinion article, we argue that, in light of recent evidence, this is at best an incomplete and oversimplified view of mirror neurons, where activity is actually variable and more plastic than previously theorized. We propose an epigenetic account for understanding developmental changes in sensorimotor systems, including variations in mirror neuron activity. Although associative and genetic accounts fail to consider the complexity of genetic and nongenetic interactions, we propose a new evolutionary developmental biology (evo-devo) perspective, which predicts that environmental differences early in development should produce variations in mirror neuron response patterns, tuning them to the social environment. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Reflections on mirror neurons and speech perception

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lotto, Andrew J.; Hickok, Gregory S.; Holt, Lori L.

    2010-01-01

    The discovery of mirror neurons, a class of neurons that respond when a monkey performs an action and also when the monkey observes others producing the same action, has promoted a renaissance for the Motor Theory (MT) of speech perception. This is because mirror neurons seem to accomplish the same kind of one to one mapping between perception and action that MT theorizes to be the basis of human speech communication. However, this seeming correspondence is superficial, and there are theoretical and empirical reasons to temper enthusiasm about the explanatory role mirror neurons might have for speech perception. In fact, rather than providing support for MT, mirror neurons are actually inconsistent with the central tenets of MT. PMID:19223222

  1. Power laws from linear neuronal cable theory

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pettersen, Klas H; Lindén, Henrik Anders; Tetzlaff, Tom

    2014-01-01

    suggested to be at the root of this phenomenon, we here demonstrate a possible origin of such power laws in the biophysical properties of single neurons described by the standard cable equation. Taking advantage of the analytical tractability of the so called ball and stick neuron model, we derive general...... expressions for the PSD transfer functions for a set of measures of neuronal activity: the soma membrane current, the current-dipole moment (corresponding to the single-neuron EEG contribution), and the soma membrane potential. These PSD transfer functions relate the PSDs of the respective measurements...... to the PSDs of the noisy input currents. With homogeneously distributed input currents across the neuronal membrane we find that all PSD transfer functions express asymptotic high-frequency [Formula: see text] power laws with power-law exponents analytically identified as [Formula: see text] for the soma...

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Reflections on mirror neurons and speech perception.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lotto, Andrew J; Hickok, Gregory S; Holt, Lori L

    2009-03-01

    The discovery of mirror neurons, a class of neurons that respond when a monkey performs an action and also when the monkey observes others producing the same action, has promoted a renaissance for the Motor Theory (MT) of speech perception. This is because mirror neurons seem to accomplish the same kind of one to one mapping between perception and action that MT theorizes to be the basis of human speech communication. However, this seeming correspondence is superficial, and there are theoretical and empirical reasons to temper enthusiasm about the explanatory role mirror neurons might have for speech perception. In fact, rather than providing support for MT, mirror neurons are actually inconsistent with the central tenets of MT.

  5. Neuron-derived IgG protects neurons from complement-dependent cytotoxicity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Jie; Niu, Na; Li, Bingjie; McNutt, Michael A

    2013-12-01

    Passive immunity of the nervous system has traditionally been thought to be predominantly due to the blood-brain barrier. This concept must now be revisited based on the existence of neuron-derived IgG. The conventional concept is that IgG is produced solely by mature B lymphocytes, but it has now been found to be synthesized by murine and human neurons. However, the function of this endogenous IgG is poorly understood. In this study, we confirm IgG production by rat cortical neurons at the protein and mRNA levels, with 69.0 ± 5.8% of cortical neurons IgG-positive. Injury to primary-culture neurons was induced by complement leading to increases in IgG production. Blockage of neuron-derived IgG resulted in more neuronal death and early apoptosis in the presence of complement. In addition, FcγRI was found in microglia and astrocytes. Expression of FcγR I in microglia was increased by exposure to neuron-derived IgG. Release of NO from microglia triggered by complement was attenuated by neuron-derived IgG, and this attenuation could be reversed by IgG neutralization. These data demonstrate that neuron-derived IgG is protective of neurons against injury induced by complement and microglial activation. IgG appears to play an important role in maintaining the stability of the nervous system.

  6. Mirror neurons: from origin to function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cook, Richard; Bird, Geoffrey; Catmur, Caroline; Press, Clare; Heyes, Cecilia

    2014-04-01

    This article argues that mirror neurons originate in sensorimotor associative learning and therefore a new approach is needed to investigate their functions. Mirror neurons were discovered about 20 years ago in the monkey brain, and there is now evidence that they are also present in the human brain. The intriguing feature of many mirror neurons is that they fire not only when the animal is performing an action, such as grasping an object using a power grip, but also when the animal passively observes a similar action performed by another agent. It is widely believed that mirror neurons are a genetic adaptation for action understanding; that they were designed by evolution to fulfill a specific socio-cognitive function. In contrast, we argue that mirror neurons are forged by domain-general processes of associative learning in the course of individual development, and, although they may have psychological functions, they do not necessarily have a specific evolutionary purpose or adaptive function. The evidence supporting this view shows that (1) mirror neurons do not consistently encode action "goals"; (2) the contingency- and context-sensitive nature of associative learning explains the full range of mirror neuron properties; (3) human infants receive enough sensorimotor experience to support associative learning of mirror neurons ("wealth of the stimulus"); and (4) mirror neurons can be changed in radical ways by sensorimotor training. The associative account implies that reliable information about the function of mirror neurons can be obtained only by research based on developmental history, system-level theory, and careful experimentation.

  7. Hypoxia-induced changes in neuronal network properties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peña, Fernando; Ramirez, Jan-Marino

    2005-12-01

    Because of their high energetic demand, neurons within the mammalian central nervous system are extremely sensitive to changes in partial pressure of oxygen. Faced with acute hypoxic conditions, an organism must follow a complex and highly dynamic emergency plan to secure survival. Behavioral functions that are not immediately essential for survival are turned off, and critical behaviors (such as breathing) undergo a biphasic response. An augmentation of breathing is initially adaptive, whereas prolonged hypoxic conditions are better served by an energy-saving mode. However, the hypoxic response of an organism depends on many additional factors. Environmental conditions, the animal's age and health, and the pattern (continuous vs intermittent) and duration (chronic vs acute) of hypoxia greatly determine the specific course of a hypoxic response. Different forms of hypoxia can cause pathology or be used as therapy. Therefore, it is not surprising that the hypoxic response of an organism results from widespread and highly diverse reconfigurations of neuronal network functions in different brain areas that are accomplished by diverse hypoxic changes at all levels of the nervous system (i.e., molecular, cellular, synaptic, neuronal, network). Hypoxia-induced changes in synaptic transmission are generally depressive and result primarily from presynaptic mechanisms, whereas changes in intrinsic properties involve excitatory and inhibitory alterations involving the majority of K+, Na+, and Ca2+ channels. This article reviews the response of the nervous system to hypoxia, accounting for all levels of integration from the cellular to the network level, and postulates that a better understanding of the diversity of cellular events is only possible if cellular and network events are considered in a functional and organismal context.

  8. Caenorhabditis elegans glia modulate neuronal activity and behavior

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stout Jr., Randy F.; Verkhratsky, Alexei; Parpura, Vladimir

    2014-01-01

    Glial cells of Caenorhabditis elegans can modulate neuronal activity and behavior, which is the focus of this review. Initially, we provide an overview of neuroglial evolution, making a comparison between C. elegans glia and their genealogical counterparts. What follows is a brief discussion on C. elegans glia characteristics in terms of their exact numbers, germ layers origin, their necessity for proper development of sensory organs, and lack of their need for neuronal survival. The more specific roles that various glial cells have on neuron-based activity/behavior are succinctly presented. The cephalic sheath glia are important for development, maintenance and activity of central synapses, whereas the amphid glia seem to set the tone of sensory synapses; these glial cell types are ectoderm-derived. Mesoderm-derived Glial-Like cells in the nerve Ring (GLRs) appear to be a part of the circuit for production of motor movement of the worm anterior. Finally, we discuss tools and approaches utilized in studying C. elegans glia, which are assets available for this animal, making it an appealing model, not only in neurosciences, but in biology in general. PMID:24672428

  9. The central clock neurons regulate lipid storage in Drosophila.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Justin R DiAngelo

    Full Text Available A proper balance of lipid breakdown and synthesis is essential for achieving energy homeostasis as alterations in either of these processes can lead to pathological states such as obesity. The regulation of lipid metabolism is quite complex with multiple signals integrated to control overall triglyceride levels in metabolic tissues. Based upon studies demonstrating effects of the circadian clock on metabolism, we sought to determine if the central clock cells in the Drosophila brain contribute to lipid levels in the fat body, the main nutrient storage organ of the fly. Here, we show that altering the function of the Drosophila central clock neurons leads to an increase in fat body triglycerides. We also show that although triglyceride levels are not affected by age, they are increased by expression of the amyloid-beta protein in central clock neurons. The effect on lipid storage seems to be independent of circadian clock output as changes in triglycerides are not always observed in genetic manipulations that result in altered locomotor rhythms. These data demonstrate that the activity of the central clock neurons is necessary for proper lipid storage.

  10. Heat pulse excitability of vestibular hair cells and afferent neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brichta, Alan M.; Tabatabaee, Hessam; Boutros, Peter J.; Ahn, JoongHo; Della Santina, Charles C.; Poppi, Lauren A.; Lim, Rebecca

    2016-01-01

    In the present study we combined electrophysiology with optical heat pulse stimuli to examine thermodynamics of membrane electrical excitability in mammalian vestibular hair cells and afferent neurons. We recorded whole cell currents in mammalian type II vestibular hair cells using an excised preparation (mouse) and action potentials (APs) in afferent neurons in vivo (chinchilla) in response to optical heat pulses applied to the crista (ΔT ≈ 0.25°C per pulse). Afferent spike trains evoked by heat pulse stimuli were diverse and included asynchronous inhibition, asynchronous excitation, and/or phase-locked APs synchronized to each infrared heat pulse. Thermal responses of membrane currents responsible for APs in ganglion neurons were strictly excitatory, with Q10 ≈ 2. In contrast, hair cells responded with a mix of excitatory and inhibitory currents. Excitatory hair cell membrane currents included a thermoelectric capacitive current proportional to the rate of temperature rise (dT/dt) and an inward conduction current driven by ΔT. An iberiotoxin-sensitive inhibitory conduction current was also evoked by ΔT, rising in heat pulse excitability in vestibular sensory organs and provide quantitative methods for rational application of optical heat pulses to examine protein biophysics and manipulate cellular excitability. PMID:27226448

  11. Neuronal expression of muskelin in the rodent central nervous system

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Georges-Labouesse Elisabeth

    2007-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The kelch repeat protein muskelin mediates cytoskeletal responses to the extracellular matrix protein thrombospondin 1, (TSP1, that is known to promote synaptogenesis in the central nervous system (CNS. Muskelin displays intracellular localization and affects cytoskeletal organization in adherent cells. Muskelin is expressed in adult brain and has been reported to bind the Cdk5 activator p39, which also facilitates the formation of functional synapses. Since little is known about muskelin in neuronal tissues, we here analysed the tissue distribution of muskelin in rodent brain and analysed its subcellular localization using cultured neurons from multiple life stages. Results Our data show that muskelin transcripts and polypeptides are expressed throughout the central nervous system with significantly high levels in hippocampus and cerebellum, a finding that resembles the tissue distribution of p39. At the subcellular level, muskelin is found in the soma, in neurite projections and the nucleus with a punctate distribution in both axons and dendrites. Immunostaining and synaptosome preparations identify partial localization of muskelin at synaptic sites. Differential centrifugation further reveals muskelin in membrane-enriched, rather than cytosolic fractions. Conclusion Our results suggest that muskelin represents a multifunctional protein associated with membranes and/or large protein complexes in most neurons of the central nervous system. These data are in conclusion with distinct roles of muskelin's functional interaction partners.

  12. Terrestrial Trunked Radio (TETRA) exposure of neuronal in vitro networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Köhler, Tim; Wölfel, Maximilian; Ciba, Manuel; Bochtler, Ulrich; Thielemann, Christiane

    2018-04-01

    Terrestrial Trunked Radio (TETRA) is a worldwide common mobile communication standard, used by authorities and organizations with security tasks. Previous studies reported on health effects of TETRA, with focus on the specific pulse frequency of 17.64Hz, which affects calcium efflux in neuronal cells. Likewise among others, it was reported that TETRA affects heart rate variability, neurophysiology and leads to headaches. In contrast, other studies conclude that TETRA does not affect calcium efflux of cells and has no effect on people's health. In the present study we examine whether TETRA short- and long-term exposure could affect the electrophysiology of neuronal in vitro networks. Experiments were performed with a carrier frequency of 395MHz, a pulse frequency of 17.64Hz and a differential quaternary phase-shift keying (π/4 DQPSK) modulation. Specific absorption rates (SAR) of 1.17W/kg and 2.21W/kg were applied. In conclusion, the present results do not indicate any effect of TETRA exposure on electrophysiology of neuronal in vitro networks, neither for short-term nor long-term exposure. This applies to the examined parameters spike rate, burst rate, burst duration and network synchrony. Copyright © 2017 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Spinal Muscular Atrophy: More than a Disease of Motor Neurons?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nash, L A; Burns, J K; Chardon, J Warman; Kothary, R; Parks, R J

    2016-01-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is the most common genetically inherited neurodegenerative disease resulting in infant mortality. SMA is caused by genetic deletion or mutation in the survival of motor neuron 1 (SMN1) gene, which results in reduced levels of the survival of motor neuron (SMN) protein. SMN protein deficiency preferentially affects α- motor neurons, leading to their degeneration and subsequent atrophy of limb and trunk muscles, progressing to death in severe forms of the disease. More recent studies have shown that SMN protein depletion is detrimental to the functioning of other tissues including skeletal muscle, heart, autonomic and enteric nervous systems, metabolic/endocrine (e.g. pancreas), lymphatic, bone and reproductive system. In this review, we summarize studies discussing SMN protein's function in various cell and tissue types and their involvement in the context of SMA disease etiology. Taken together, these studies indicate that SMA is a multi-organ disease, which suggests that truly effective disease intervention may require body-wide correction of SMN protein levels. Copyright© Bentham Science Publishers; For any queries, please email at epub@benthamscience.org.

  14. The Emerging Field of Epitranscriptomics in Neurodevelopmental and Neuronal Disorders

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    Margarita T. Angelova

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Analogous to DNA methylation and histone modifications, RNA modifications represent a novel layer of regulation of gene expression. The dynamic nature and increasing number of RNA modifications offer new possibilities to rapidly alter gene expression upon specific environmental changes. Recent lines of evidence indicate that modified RNA molecules and associated complexes regulating and “reading” RNA modifications play key roles in the nervous system of several organisms, controlling both, its development and function. Mutations in several human genes that modify transfer RNA (tRNA have been linked to neurological disorders, in particular to intellectual disability. Loss of RNA modifications alters the stability of tRNA, resulting in reduced translation efficiency and generation of tRNA fragments, which can interfere with neuronal functions. Modifications present on messenger RNAs (mRNAs also play important roles during brain development. They contribute to neuronal growth and regeneration as well as to the local regulation of synaptic functions. Hence, potential combinatorial effects of RNA modifications on different classes of RNA may represent a novel code to dynamically fine tune gene expression during brain function. Here we discuss the recent findings demonstrating the impact of modified RNAs on neuronal processes and disorders.

  15. Contribution of synchronized GABAergic neurons to dopaminergic neuron firing and bursting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morozova, Ekaterina O; Myroshnychenko, Maxym; Zakharov, Denis; di Volo, Matteo; Gutkin, Boris; Lapish, Christopher C; Kuznetsov, Alexey

    2016-10-01

    In the ventral tegmental area (VTA), interactions between dopamine (DA) and γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) neurons are critical for regulating DA neuron activity and thus DA efflux. To provide a mechanistic explanation of how GABA neurons influence DA neuron firing, we developed a circuit model of the VTA. The model is based on feed-forward inhibition and recreates canonical features of the VTA neurons. Simulations revealed that γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptor (GABAR) stimulation can differentially influence the firing pattern of the DA neuron, depending on the level of synchronization among GABA neurons. Asynchronous activity of GABA neurons provides a constant level of inhibition to the DA neuron and, when removed, produces a classical disinhibition burst. In contrast, when GABA neurons are synchronized by common synaptic input, their influence evokes additional spikes in the DA neuron, resulting in increased measures of firing and bursting. Distinct from previous mechanisms, the increases were not based on lowered firing rate of the GABA neurons or weaker hyperpolarization by the GABAR synaptic current. This phenomenon was induced by GABA-mediated hyperpolarization of the DA neuron that leads to decreases in intracellular calcium (Ca 2+ ) concentration, thus reducing the Ca 2+ -dependent potassium (K + ) current. In this way, the GABA-mediated hyperpolarization replaces Ca 2+ -dependent K + current; however, this inhibition is pulsatile, which allows the DA neuron to fire during the rhythmic pauses in inhibition. Our results emphasize the importance of inhibition in the VTA, which has been discussed in many studies, and suggest a novel mechanism whereby computations can occur locally. Copyright © 2016 the American Physiological Society.

  16. Neuronal responses to physiological stress

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kagias, Konstantinos; Nehammer, Camilla; Pocock, Roger David John

    2012-01-01

    Physiological stress can be defined as any external or internal condition that challenges the homeostasis of a cell or an organism. It can be divided into three different aspects: environmental stress, intrinsic developmental stress, and aging. Throughout life all living organisms are challenged ...

  17. Three-dimensional analysis of vestibular efferent neurons innervating semicircular canals of the gerbil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Purcell, I. M.; Perachio, A. A.

    1997-01-01

    Anterograde labeling techniques were used to examine peripheral innervation patterns of vestibular efferent neurons in the crista ampullares of the gerbil. Vestibular efferent neurons were labeled by extracellular injections of biocytin or biotinylated dextran amine into the contralateral or ipsilateral dorsal subgroup of efferent cell bodies (group e) located dorsolateral to the facial nerve genu. Anterogradely labeled efferent terminal field varicosities consist mainly of boutons en passant with fewer of the terminal type. The bouton swellings are located predominately in apposition to the basolateral borders of the afferent calyces and type II hair cells, but several boutons were identified close to the hair cell apical border on both types. Three-dimensional reconstruction and morphological analysis of the terminal fields from these cells located in the sensory neuroepithelium of the anterior, horizontal, and posterior cristae were performed. We show that efferent neurons densely innervate each end organ in widespread terminal fields. Subepithelial bifurcations of parent axons were minimal, with extensive collateralization occurring after the axons penetrated the basement membrane of the neuroepithelium. Axonal branching ranged between the 6th and 27th orders and terminal field collecting area far exceeds that of the peripheral terminals of primary afferent neurons. The terminal fields of the efferent neurons display three morphologically heterogeneous types: central, peripheral, and planum. All cell types possess terminal fields displaying a high degree of anisotropy with orientations typically parallel to or within +/-45 degrees of the longitudinal axis if the crista. Terminal fields of the central and planum zones predominately project medially toward the transverse axis from the more laterally located penetration of the basement membrane by the parent axon. Peripheral zone terminal fields extend predominately toward the planum semilunatum. The innervation

  18. Presynaptic neurones may contribute a unique glycoprotein to the extracellular matrix at the synapse

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caroni, Pico; Carlson, Steven S.; Schweitzer, Erik; Kelly, Regis B.

    1985-04-01

    As the extracellular matrix at the original site of a neuromuscular junction seems to play a major part in the specificity of synaptic regeneration1-5, considerable attention has been paid to unique molecules localized to this region6-11. Here we describe an extracellular matrix glycoprotein of the elasmobranch electric organ that is localized near the nerve endings. By immunological criteria, it is synthesized in the cell bodies, transported down the axons and is related to a glycoprotein in the synaptic vesicles of the neurones that innervate the electric organ. It is apparently specific for these neurones, as it cannot be detected elsewhere in the nervous system of the fish. Therefore, neurones seem to contribute unique extracellular matrix glycoproteins to the synaptic region. Synaptic vesicles could be involved in transporting these glycoproteins to or from the nerve terminal surface.

  19. Switch of rhodopsin expression in terminally differentiated Drosophila sensory neurons

    OpenAIRE

    Sprecher, Simon G.; Desplan, Claude

    2008-01-01

    Specificity of sensory neurons requires restricted expression of one sensory receptor gene and the exclusion of all others within a given cell. In the Drosophila retina, functional identity of photoreceptors depends on light-sensitive Rhodopsins (Rhs). The much simpler larval eye (Bolwig organ) is composed of about 12 photoreceptors, eight of which are green-sensitive (Rh6) and four blue-sensitive (Rh5)1. The larval eye becomes the adult extraretinal ‘eyelet’ composed of four green-sensitive ...

  20. Subsampling effects in neuronal avalanche distributions recorded in vivo

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    Munk Matthias HJ

    2009-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Many systems in nature are characterized by complex behaviour where large cascades of events, or avalanches, unpredictably alternate with periods of little activity. Snow avalanches are an example. Often the size distribution f(s of a system's avalanches follows a power law, and the branching parameter sigma, the average number of events triggered by a single preceding event, is unity. A power law for f(s, and sigma = 1, are hallmark features of self-organized critical (SOC systems, and both have been found for neuronal activity in vitro. Therefore, and since SOC systems and neuronal activity both show large variability, long-term stability and memory capabilities, SOC has been proposed to govern neuronal dynamics in vivo. Testing this hypothesis is difficult because neuronal activity is spatially or temporally subsampled, while theories of SOC systems assume full sampling. To close this gap, we investigated how subsampling affects f(s and sigma by imposing subsampling on three different SOC models. We then compared f(s and sigma of the subsampled models with those of multielectrode local field potential (LFP activity recorded in three macaque monkeys performing a short term memory task. Results Neither the LFP nor the subsampled SOC models showed a power law for f(s. Both, f(s and sigma, depended sensitively on the subsampling geometry and the dynamics of the model. Only one of the SOC models, the Abelian Sandpile Model, exhibited f(s and sigma similar to those calculated from LFP activity. Conclusion Since subsampling can prevent the observation of the characteristic power law and sigma in SOC systems, misclassifications of critical systems as sub- or supercritical are possible. Nevertheless, the system specific scaling of f(s and sigma under subsampling conditions may prove useful to select physiologically motivated models of brain function. Models that better reproduce f(s and sigma calculated from the physiological

  1. Properties of bilateral spinocerebellar activation of cerebellar cortical neurons

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    Pontus eGeborek

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available We aimed to explore the cerebellar cortical inputs from two spinocerebellar pathways, the spinal border cell-component of the ventral spinocerebellar tract (SBC-VSCT and the dorsal spinocerebellar tract (DSCT, respectively, in the sublobule C1 of the cerebellar posterior lobe. The two pathways were activated by electrical stimulation of the contralateral lateral funiculus (coLF and the ipsilateral LF (iLF at lower thoracic levels. Most granule cells in sublobule C1 did not respond at all but part of the granule cell population displayed high-intensity responses to either coLF or iLF stimulation. As a rule, Golgi cells and Purkinje cell simple spikes responded to input from both LFs, although Golgi cells could be more selective. In addition, a small population of granule cells responded to input from both the coLF and the iLF. However, in these cases, similarities in the temporal topography and magnitude of the responses suggested that the same axons were stimulated from the two LFs, i.e. that the axons of individual spinocerebellar neurons could be present in both funiculi. This was also confirmed for a population of spinal neurons located within known locations of SBC-VSCT neurons and dorsal horn DSCT neurons. We conclude that bilateral spinocerebellar responses can occur in cerebellar granule cells, but the VSCT and DSCT systems that provide the input can also be organized bilaterally. The implications for the traditional functional separation of VSCT and DSCT systems and the issue whether granule cells primarily integrate functionally similar information or not are discussed.

  2. Digital, three-dimensional average shaped atlas of the heliothis virescens brain with integrated gustatory and olfactory neurons

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    Pål Kvello

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available We use the moth Heliothis virescens as model organism for studying the neural network involved in chemosensory coding and learning. The constituent neurons are characterised by intracellular recordings combined with staining, resulting in a single neuron identified in each brain preparation. In order to spatially relate the neurons of different preparations a common brain framework was required. We here present an average shaped atlas of the moth brain. It is based on 11 female brain preparations, each stained with a fluorescent synaptic marker and scanned in confocal laser-scanning microscope. Brain neuropils of each preparation were manually reconstructed in the computer software AMIRA, followed by generating the atlas using the Iterative Shape Average Procedure. To demonstrate the application of the atlas we have registered two olfactory and two gustatory interneurons, as well as the axonal projections of gustatory receptor neurons into the atlas, visualising their spatial relationships. The olfactory interneurons, showing the typical morphology of inner-tract antennal lobe projection neurons, projected in the calyces of the mushroom body and laterally in the protocerebral lobe. The two gustatory interneurons, responding to sucrose and quinine respectively, projected in different areas of the brain. The wide projections of the quinine responding neuron included a lateral area adjacent to the projections of the olfactory interneurons. The sucrose responding neuron was confined to the suboesophageal ganglion with dendritic arborizations overlapping the axonal projections of the gustatory receptor neurons on the proboscis. By serving as a tool for the integration of neurons, the atlas offers visual access to the spatial relationship between the neurons in three dimensions, and thus facilitates the study of neuronal networks in the Heliothis virescens brain. The moth standard brain is accessible at http://www.nt.ntnu.no/users/kvello/H_virescens_standardbrain/

  3. A recent class of chemosensory neurons developed in mouse and rat.

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    Lucia Silvotti

    Full Text Available In most animal species, the vomeronasal organ ensures the individual recognition of conspecifics, a prerequisite for a successful reproduction. The vomeronasal organ expresses several receptors for pheromone detection. Mouse vomeronasal type-2 receptors (V2Rs are restricted to the basal neurons of this organ and organized in four families. Family-A, B and D (family ABD V2Rs are expressed monogenically (one receptor per neuron and coexpress with either Vmn2r1 or Vmn2r2, two members of family-C V2Rs. Thus, basal neurons are characterized by specific combinations of two V2Rs. To investigate this issue, we raised antibodies against all family-C V2Rs and analyzed their expression pattern. We found that six out of seven family-C V2Rs (Vmn2r2-7 largely coexpressed and that none of the anti-Vmn2r2-7 antibodies significantly stained Vmn2r1 positive neurons. Thus, basal neurons are divided into two complementary subsets. The first subset (Vmn2r1-positive preferentially coexpresses a distinct group of family-ABD V2Rs, whereas the second subset (Vmn2r2-7-positive coexpresses the remaining group of V2Rs. Phylogenetic reconstruction and the analysis of genetic loci in various species reveal that receptors expressed by this second neuronal subset are recent branches of the V2R tree exclusively present in mouse and rat. Conversely, V2Rs expressed in Vmn2r1 positive neurons, are phylogenetically ancient and found in most vertebrates including rodents. Noticeably, the more recent neuronal subset expresses a type of Major Histocompatibility Complex genes only found in murine species. These results indicate that the expansion of the V2R repertoire in a murine ancestor occurred with the establishment of a new population of vomeronasal neurons in which coexists the polygenic expression of a recent group of family-C V2Rs (Vmn2r2-7 and the monogenic expression of a recent group of family-ABD V2Rs. This evolutionary innovation could provide a molecular rationale for the

  4. Staufen2 Regulates Neuronal Target RNAs

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    Jacki E. Heraud-Farlow

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available RNA-binding proteins play crucial roles in directing RNA translation to neuronal synapses. Staufen2 (Stau2 has been implicated in both dendritic RNA localization and synaptic plasticity in mammalian neurons. Here, we report the identification of functionally relevant Stau2 target mRNAs in neurons. The majority of Stau2-copurifying mRNAs expressed in the hippocampus are present in neuronal processes, further implicating Stau2 in dendritic mRNA regulation. Stau2 targets are enriched for secondary structures similar to those identified in the 3′ UTRs of Drosophila Staufen targets. Next, we show that Stau2 regulates steady-state levels of many neuronal RNAs and that its targets are predominantly downregulated in Stau2-deficient neurons. Detailed analysis confirms that Stau2 stabilizes the expression of one synaptic signaling component, the regulator of G protein signaling 4 (Rgs4 mRNA, via its 3′ UTR. This study defines the global impact of Stau2 on mRNAs in neurons, revealing a role in stabilization of the levels of synaptic targets.

  5. Organization within Organization Studies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lopdrup-Hjorth, Thomas

    This paper explores how prevalent contemporary problematizations of organizations coincide with a widespread assessment that Organization Studies (OS) has run out of steam. This impasse, the paper argues, is largely due to the emergence of an organization-phobia that has come to seize several...... strands of theorizing. By attending to the wide-ranging and far-reaching history of this organization-phobia, the paper argues that OS has become increasingly incapable of speaking about its core object. I show how organizations went from being conceptualized as entities of major importance to becoming...... credibility and legitimacy to begin with, the organization-phobia resulting from this history has been implicated in dismantling organizations, and in making OS progressively irrelevant to a wider public....

  6. Neuronal ERK signaling in response to graphene oxide in nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qu, Man; Li, Yunhui; Wu, Qiuli; Xia, Yankai; Wang, Dayong

    2017-05-01

    ERK signaling is one of the important mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs). However, the role of ERK signaling in the regulation of response to engineered nanomaterial exposure is still largely unclear. In this study, using in vivo assay system of Caenorhabditis elegans, we investigated the function of ERK signaling in response to graphene oxide (GO) exposure and the underlying molecular mechanism. GO exposure increased the expression of MEK-2/MEK and MPK-1/ERK in the ERK signaling pathway. Mutation of mek-2 or mpk-1 resulted in a susceptibility to GO toxicity. Both the MEK-2 and the MPK-1 acted in neurons to regulate the response to GO exposure, and the neuronal expression of MEK-2 or MPK-1 caused a resistance to GO toxicity. In the neurons, SKN-1b/Nrf acted downstream of the MPK-1, and AEX-3, a guanine exchange factor for GTPase, further acted downstream of the SKN-1b to regulate the response to GO exposure. Therefore, a signaling cascade of MEK-2-MPK-1-SKN-1b/-AEX-3 was identified in the neurons required for the regulation of response to GO exposure. Moreover, genetic interaction assay demonstrated that the neuronal ERK signaling-mediated signaling pathway and the intestinal p38 MAPK-mediated signaling pathway functioned synergistically in the regulation of response to GO exposure. Our results highlight the crucial function of the neuronal ERK signaling in the regulation of response to nanomaterial exposure in organisms.

  7. Biological conservation law as an emerging functionality in dynamical neuronal networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Podobnik, Boris; Jusup, Marko; Tiganj, Zoran; Wang, Wen-Xu; Buldú, Javier M; Stanley, H Eugene

    2017-11-07

    Scientists strive to understand how functionalities, such as conservation laws, emerge in complex systems. Living complex systems in particular create high-ordered functionalities by pairing up low-ordered complementary processes, e.g., one process to build and the other to correct. We propose a network mechanism that demonstrates how collective statistical laws can emerge at a macro (i.e., whole-network) level even when they do not exist at a unit (i.e., network-node) level. Drawing inspiration from neuroscience, we model a highly stylized dynamical neuronal network in which neurons fire either randomly or in response to the firing of neighboring neurons. A synapse connecting two neighboring neurons strengthens when both of these neurons are excited and weakens otherwise. We demonstrate that during this interplay between the synaptic and neuronal dynamics, when the network is near a critical point, both recurrent spontaneous and stimulated phase transitions enable the phase-dependent processes to replace each other and spontaneously generate a statistical conservation law-the conservation of synaptic strength. This conservation law is an emerging functionality selected by evolution and is thus a form of biological self-organized criticality in which the key dynamical modes are collective.

  8. Synaptic signal streams generated by ex vivo neuronal networks contain non-random, complex patterns.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Sangmook; Zemianek, Jill M; Shultz, Abraham; Vo, Anh; Maron, Ben Y; Therrien, Mikaela; Courtright, Christina; Guaraldi, Mary; Yanco, Holly A; Shea, Thomas B

    2014-11-01

    Cultured embryonic neurons develop functional networks that transmit synaptic signals over multiple sequentially connected neurons as revealed by multi-electrode arrays (MEAs) embedded within the culture dish. Signal streams of ex vivo networks contain spikes and bursts of varying amplitude and duration. Despite the random interactions inherent in dissociated cultures, neurons are capable of establishing functional ex vivo networks that transmit signals among synaptically connected neurons, undergo developmental maturation, and respond to exogenous stimulation by alterations in signal patterns. These characteristics indicate that a considerable degree of organization is an inherent property of neurons. We demonstrate herein that (1) certain signal types occur more frequently than others, (2) the predominant signal types change during and following maturation, (3) signal predominance is dependent upon inhibitory activity, and (4) certain signals preferentially follow others in a non-reciprocal manner. These findings indicate that the elaboration of complex signal streams comprised of a non-random distribution of signal patterns is an emergent property of ex vivo neuronal networks. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  9. Characteristics of fast-spiking neurons in the striatum of behaving monkeys.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamada, Hiroshi; Inokawa, Hitoshi; Hori, Yukiko; Pan, Xiaochuan; Matsuzaki, Ryuichi; Nakamura, Kae; Samejima, Kazuyuki; Shidara, Munetaka; Kimura, Minoru; Sakagami, Masamichi; Minamimoto, Takafumi

    2016-04-01

    Inhibitory interneurons are the fundamental constituents of neural circuits that organize network outputs. The striatum as part of the basal ganglia is involved in reward-directed behaviors. However, the role of the inhibitory interneurons in this process remains unclear, especially in behaving monkeys. We recorded the striatal single neuron activity while monkeys performed reward-directed hand or eye movements. Presumed parvalbumin-containing GABAergic interneurons (fast-spiking neurons, FSNs) were identified based on narrow spike shapes in three independent experiments, though they were a small population (4.2%, 42/997). We found that FSNs are characterized by high-frequency and less-bursty discharges, which are distinct from the basic firing properties of the presumed projection neurons (phasically active neurons, PANs). Besides, the encoded information regarding actions and outcomes was similar between FSNs and PANs in terms of proportion of neurons, but the discharge selectivity was higher in PANs than that of FSNs. The coding of actions and outcomes in FSNs and PANs was consistently observed under various behavioral contexts in distinct parts of the striatum (caudate nucleus, putamen, and anterior striatum). Our results suggest that FSNs may enhance the discharge selectivity of postsynaptic output neurons (PANs) in encoding crucial variables for a reward-directed behavior. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  10. Neural dynamics as sampling: a model for stochastic computation in recurrent networks of spiking neurons.

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    Lars Buesing

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available The organization of computations in networks of spiking neurons in the brain is still largely unknown, in particular in view of the inherently stochastic features of their firing activity and the experimentally observed trial-to-trial variability of neural systems in the brain. In principle there exists a powerful computational framework for stochastic computations, probabilistic inference by sampling, which can explain a large number of macroscopic experimental data in neuroscience and cognitive science. But it has turned out to be surprisingly difficult to create a link between these abstract models for stochastic computations and more detailed models of the dynamics of networks of spiking neurons. Here we create such a link and show that under some conditions the stochastic firing activity of networks of spiking neurons can be interpreted as probabilistic inference via Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC sampling. Since common methods for MCMC sampling in distributed systems, such as Gibbs sampling, are inconsistent with the dynamics of spiking neurons, we introduce a different approach based on non-reversible Markov chains that is able to reflect inherent temporal processes of spiking neuronal activity through a suitable choice of random variables. We propose a neural network model and show by a rigorous theoretical analysis that its neural activity implements MCMC sampling of a given distribution, both for the case of discrete and continuous time. This provides a step towards closing the gap between abstract functional models of cortical computation and more detailed models of networks of spiking neurons.

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

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    Sgadò Paola

    2012-07-01

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

  12. Common and Divergent Mechanisms in Developmental Neuronal Remodeling and Dying Back Neurodegeneration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yaron, Avraham; Schuldiner, Oren

    2016-01-01

    Cell death is an inherent process that is required for the proper wiring of the nervous system. In the last four decades, it has been found that in a parallel developmental pathway, axons and dendrite are eliminated without the death of the neuron. This developmentally regulated “axonal death” results in neuronal remodeling which is an essential mechanism to sculpt neuronal networks in both vertebrates and invertebrates. Studies across various organisms have demonstrated that a conserved strategy to form adult neuronal circuitry often involves generating too many connections that are later eliminated with high temporal and spatial resolution. Can neuronal remodeling can be perceived as developmentally and spatially regulated neurodegeneration? It has been previously speculated that injury induced degeneration (Wallerian degeneration) share molecular similarities with dying back neurodegenerative diseases. In this opinion piece, we examine the similarities and differences between the mechanisms regulating neuronal remodeling and those being perturbed in dying back neurodegenerative diseases. We focus primarily on ALS and peripheral neuropathies and highlight possible shared pathways and mechanisms. While mechanistic data is just beginning to emerge, and despite the inherent differences between disease oriented and developmental processes, we believe that some of the similarities between these developmental and disease-initiated degeneration warrant closer collaborations and cross talk between these different fields. PMID:27404258

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fumiaki Fukushima

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

  14. Human embryonic stem cell-derived neuronal cells form spontaneously active neuronal networks in vitro.

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    Heikkilä, Teemu J; Ylä-Outinen, Laura; Tanskanen, Jarno M A; Lappalainen, Riikka S; Skottman, Heli; Suuronen, Riitta; Mikkonen, Jarno E; Hyttinen, Jari A K; Narkilahti, Susanna

    2009-07-01

    The production of functional human embryonic stem cell (hESC)-derived neuronal cells is critical for the application of hESCs in treating neurodegenerative disorders. To study the potential functionality of hESC-derived neurons, we cultured and monitored the development of hESC-derived neuronal networks on microelectrode arrays. Immunocytochemical studies revealed that these networks were positive for the neuronal marker proteins beta-tubulin(III) and microtubule-associated protein 2 (MAP-2). The hESC-derived neuronal networks were spontaneously active and exhibited a multitude of electrical impulse firing patterns. Synchronous bursts of electrical activity similar to those reported for hippocampal neurons and rodent embryonic stem cell-derived neuronal networks were recorded from the differentiated cultures until up to 4 months. The dependence of the observed neuronal network activity on sodium ion channels was examined using tetrodotoxin (TTX). Antagonists for the glutamate receptors NMDA [D(-)-2-amino-5-phosphonopentanoic acid] and AMPA/kainate [6-cyano-7-nitroquinoxaline-2,3-dione], and for GABAA receptors [(-)-bicuculline methiodide] modulated the spontaneous electrical activity, indicating that pharmacologically susceptible neuronal networks with functional synapses had been generated. The findings indicate that hESC-derived neuronal cells can generate spontaneously active networks with synchronous communication in vitro, and are therefore suitable for use in developmental and drug screening studies, as well as for regenerative medicine.

  15. Survival motor neuron protein in motor neurons determines synaptic integrity in spinal muscular atrophy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martinez, Tara L; Kong, Lingling; Wang, Xueyong; Osborne, Melissa A; Crowder, Melissa E; Van Meerbeke, James P; Xu, Xixi; Davis, Crystal; Wooley, Joe; Goldhamer, David J; Lutz, Cathleen M; Rich, Mark M; Sumner, Charlotte J

    2012-06-20

    The inherited motor neuron disease spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is caused by deficient expression of survival motor neuron (SMN) protein and results in severe muscle weakness. In SMA mice, synaptic dysfunction of both neuromuscular junctions (NMJs) and central sensorimotor synapses precedes motor neuron cell death. To address whether this synaptic dysfunction is due to SMN deficiency in motor neurons, muscle, or both, we generated three lines of conditional SMA mice with tissue-specific increases in SMN expression. All three lines of mice showed increased survival, weights, and improved motor behavior. While increased SMN expression in motor neurons prevented synaptic dysfunction at the NMJ and restored motor neuron somal synapses, increased SMN expression in muscle did not affect synaptic function although it did improve myofiber size. Together these data indicate that both peripheral and central synaptic integrity are dependent on motor neurons in SMA, but SMN may have variable roles in the maintenance of these different synapses. At the NMJ, it functions at the presynaptic terminal in a cell-autonomous fashion, but may be necessary for retrograde trophic signaling to presynaptic inputs onto motor neurons. Importantly, SMN also appears to function in muscle growth and/or maintenance independent of motor neurons. Our data suggest that SMN plays distinct roles in muscle, NMJs, and motor neuron somal synapses and that restored function of SMN at all three sites will be necessary for full recovery of muscle power.

  16. Protocol for culturing low density pure rat hippocampal neurons supported by mature mixed neuron cultures.

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    Yang, Qian; Ke, Yini; Luo, Jianhong; Tang, Yang

    2017-02-01

    primary hippocampal neuron cultures allow for subcellular morphological dissection, easy access to drug treatment and electrophysiology analysis of individual neurons, and is therefore an ideal model for the study of neuron physiology. While neuron and glia mixed cultures are relatively easy to prepare, pure neurons are particular hard to culture at low densities which are suitable for morphology studies. This may be due to a lack of neurotrophic factors such as brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), neurotrophin-3 (NT3) and Glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF). In this study we used a two step protocol in which neuron-glia mixed cultures were initially prepared for maturation to support the growth of young neurons plated at very low densities. Our protocol showed that neurotrophic support resulted in physiologically functional hippocampal neurons with larger cell body, increased neurite length and decreased branching and complexity compared to cultures prepared using a conventional method. Our protocol provides a novel way to culture highly uniformed hippocampal neurons for acquiring high quality, neuron based data. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Hypertrophy of neurons within cardiac ganglia in human, canine, and rat heart failure: the potential role of nerve growth factor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Sanjay; Sayers, Scott; Walter, James S; Thomas, Donald; Dieter, Robert S; Nee, Lisa M; Wurster, Robert D

    2013-08-19

    Autonomic imbalances including parasympathetic withdrawal and sympathetic overactivity are cardinal features of heart failure regardless of etiology; however, mechanisms underlying these imbalances remain unknown. Animal model studies of heart and visceral organ hypertrophy predict that nerve growth factor levels should be elevated in heart failure; whether this is so in human heart failure, though, remains unclear. We tested the hypotheses that neurons in cardiac ganglia are hypertrophied in human, canine, and rat heart failure and that nerve growth factor, which we hypothesize is elevated in the failing heart, contributes to this neuronal hypertrophy. Somal morphology of neurons from human (579.54±14.34 versus 327.45±9.17 μm(2); Phearts (767.80±18.37 versus 650.23±9.84 μm(2); Phearts (327.98±3.15 versus 271.29±2.79 μm(2); Phuman heart are 250% greater than levels in healthy donor hearts. Neurons from cardiac ganglia cultured with nerve growth factor are significantly larger and have greater dendritic arborization than neurons in control cultures. Hypertrophied neurons are significantly less excitable than smaller ones; thus, hypertrophy of vagal postganglionic neurons in cardiac ganglia would help to explain the parasympathetic withdrawal that accompanies heart failure. Furthermore, our observations suggest that nerve growth factor, which is elevated in the failing human heart, causes hypertrophy of neurons in cardiac ganglia.

  18. Confocal imaging of autonomic preganglionic neurons in the spinal cord of the caecilian Typhlonectes natans (Amphibia: Gymnophiona).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zaccone, Daniele; Lauriano, Eugenia Rita; Capillo, Gioele; Zuwała, Krystyna; Budzik, Karolina Agata; Kuciel, Michał; Zaccone, Giacomo

    2014-10-01

    Little is known about the spinal sympathetic organization in the caecilian amphibians. We examined for the first time the location of sympathetic preganglionic neurons (SPNs) in the spinal cord using a panel of specific markers expressed in SPNs. The SPNs of anuran amphibians form two cell columns segregated mainly in the lateral and medial marginal areas of the central gray matter. In the caecilian Typhlonectes natans immunoreactivity for galanin and ChAT is found in most laterally arranged neurons lying in spinal segments 2-7. They are encircled by TH- and nNOS-immunoreactive nerve fibers. These neurons might project specifically to a population of adrenergic sympathetic postganglionic neurons in paravertebral ganglia and/or non-adrenergic sympathetic postganglionic neurons in the celiac ganglia. However the segmental restriction and target specificity of the neurons of the species studied are not known. As mucous and granular glands in the dermis may represent one of the peripheral targets of the adrenergic ganglion cells and reflect the prominent preganglionic cell columns, an immunohistochemical study was done also on these glands. Retrograde-tracing studies are, however, needed to study the segmental localization of the preganglionic neurons and their projections to the postganglionic neurons in sympathetic ganglia. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  19. Context-aware modeling of neuronal morphologies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benjamin eTorben-Nielsen

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Neuronal morphologies are pivotal for brain functioning: physical overlap between dendrites and axons constrain the circuit topology, and the precise shape and composition of dendrites determine the integration of inputs to produce an output signal. At the same time, morphologies are highly diverse and variant. The variance, presumably, originates from neurons developing in a densely packed brain substrate where they interact (e.g., repulsion or attraction with other actors in this substrate. However, when studying neurons their context is never part of the analysis and they are treated as if they existed in isolation.Here we argue that to fully understand neuronal morphology and its variance it is important to consider neurons in relation to each other and to other actors in the surrounding brain substrate, i.e., their context. We propose a context-aware computational framework, NeuroMaC, in which large numbers of neurons can be grown simultaneously according to growth rules expressed in terms of interactions between the developing neuron and the surrounding brain substrate.As a proof of principle, we demonstrate that by using NeuroMaC we can generate accurate virtual morphologies of distinct classes both in isolation and as part of neuronal forests. Accuracy is validated against population statistics of experimentally reconstructed morphologies. We show that context-aware generation of neurons can explain characteristics of variation. Indeed, plausible variation is an inherent property of the morphologies generated by context-aware rules. We speculate about the applicability of this framework to investigate morphologies and circuits, to classify healthy and pathological morphologies, and to generate large quantities of morphologies for large-scale modeling.

  20. Ebi/AP-1 suppresses pro-apoptotic genes expression and permits long-term survival of Drosophila sensory neurons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Young-Mi Lim

    Full Text Available Sensory organs are constantly exposed to physical and chemical stresses that collectively threaten the survival of sensory neurons. Failure to protect stressed neurons leads to age-related loss of neurons and sensory dysfunction in organs in which the supply of new sensory neurons is limited, such as the human auditory system. Transducin β-like protein 1 (TBL1 is a candidate gene for ocular albinism with late-onset sensorineural deafness, a form of X-linked age-related hearing loss. TBL1 encodes an evolutionarily conserved F-box-like and WD40 repeats-containing subunit of the nuclear receptor co-repressor/silencing mediator for retinoid and thyroid hormone receptor and other transcriptional co-repressor complexes. Here we report that a Drosophila homologue of TBL1, Ebi, is required for maintenance of photoreceptor neurons. Loss of ebi function caused late-onset neuronal apoptosis in the retina and increased sensitivity to oxidative stress. Ebi formed a complex with activator protein 1 (AP-1 and was required for repression of Drosophila pro-apoptotic and anti-apoptotic genes expression. These results suggest that Ebi/AP-1 suppresses basal transcription levels of apoptotic genes and thereby protects sensory neurons from degeneration.

  1. Improved system identification using artificial neural networks and analysis of individual differences in responses of an identified neuron.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costalago Meruelo, Alicia; Simpson, David M; Veres, Sandor M; Newland, Philip L

    2016-03-01

    Mathematical modelling is used routinely to understand the coding properties and dynamics of responses of neurons and neural networks. Here we analyse the effectiveness of Artificial Neural Networks (ANNs) as a modelling tool for motor neuron responses. We used ANNs to model the synaptic responses of an identified motor neuron, the fast extensor motor neuron, of the desert locust in response to displacement of a sensory organ, the femoral chordotonal organ, which monitors movements of the tibia relative to the femur of the leg. The aim of the study was threefold: first to determine the potential value of ANNs as tools to model and investigate neural networks, second to understand the generalisation properties of ANNs across individuals and to different input signals and third, to understand individual differences in responses of an identified neuron. A metaheuristic algorithm was developed to design the ANN architectures. The performance of the models generated by the ANNs was compared with those generated through previous mathematical models of the same neuron. The results suggest that ANNs are significantly better than LNL and Wiener models in predicting specific neural responses to Gaussian White Noise, but not significantly different when tested with sinusoidal inputs. They are also able to predict responses of the same neuron in different individuals irrespective of which animal was used to develop the model, although notable differences between some individuals were evident. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  2. Modulation of Specific Sensory Cortical Areas by Segregated Basal Forebrain Cholinergic Neurons Demonstrated by Neuronal Tracing and Optogenetic Stimulation in Mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaves-Coira, Irene; Barros-Zulaica, Natali; Rodrigo-Angulo, Margarita; Núñez, Ángel

    2016-01-01

    Neocortical cholinergic activity plays a fundamental role in sensory processing and cognitive functions. Previous results have suggested a refined anatomical and functional topographical organization of basal forebrain (BF) projections that may control cortical sensory processing in a specific manner. We have used retrograde anatomical procedures to demonstrate the existence of specific neuronal groups in the BF involved in the control of specific sensory cortices. Fluoro-Gold (FlGo) and Fast Blue (FB) fluorescent retrograde tracers were deposited into the primary somatosensory (S1) and primary auditory (A1) cortices in mice. Our results revealed that the BF is a heterogeneous area in which neurons projecting to different cortical areas are segregated into different neuronal groups. Most of the neurons located in the horizontal limb of the diagonal band of Broca (HDB) projected to the S1 cortex, indicating that this area is specialized in the sensory processing of tactile stimuli. However, the nucleus basalis magnocellularis (B) nucleus shows a similar number of cells projecting to the S1 as to the A1 cortices. In addition, we analyzed the cholinergic effects on the S1 and A1 cortical sensory responses by optogenetic stimulation of the BF neurons in urethane-anesthetized transgenic mice. We used transgenic mice expressing the light-activated cation channel, channelrhodopsin-2, tagged with a fluorescent protein (ChR2-YFP) under the control of the choline-acetyl transferase promoter (ChAT). Cortical evoked potentials were induced by whisker deflections or by auditory clicks. According to the anatomical results, optogenetic HDB stimulation induced more extensive facilitation of tactile evoked potentials in S1 than auditory evoked potentials in A1, while optogenetic stimulation of the B nucleus facilitated either tactile or auditory evoked potentials equally. Consequently, our results suggest that cholinergic projections to the cortex are organized into segregated

  3. Modulation of specific sensory cortical areas by segregated basal forebrain cholinergic neurons demonstrated by neuronal tracing and optogenetic stimulation in mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Irene eChaves-Coira

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Neocortical cholinergic activity plays a fundamental role in sensory processing and cognitive functions. Previous results have suggested a refined anatomical and functional topographical organization of basal forebrain (BF projections that may control cortical sensory processing in a specific manner. We have used retrograde anatomical procedures to demonstrate the existence of specific neuronal groups in the BF involved in the control of specific sensory cortices. Fluoro-gold and Fast Blue fluorescent retrograde tracers were deposited into the primary somatosensory (S1 and primary auditory (A1 cortices in mice. Our results revealed that the BF is a heterogeneous area in which neurons projecting to different cortical areas are segregated into different neuronal groups. Most of the neurons located in the horizontal limb of the diagonal band of Broca (HDB projected to the S1 cortex, indicating that this area is specialized in the sensory processing of tactile stimuli. However, the nucleus basalis magnocellularis (B nucleus shows a similar number of cells projecting to the S1 as to the A1 cortices. In addition, we analyzed the cholinergic effects on the S1 and A1 cortical sensory responses by optogenetic stimulation of the BF neurons in urethane-anesthetized transgenic mice. We used transgenic mice expressing the light-activated cation channel, channelrhodopsin-2, tagged with a fluorescent protein (ChR2-YFP under the control of the choline-acetyl transferase promoter (ChAT. Cortical evoked potentials were induced by whisker deflections or by auditory clicks. According to the anatomical results, optogenetic HDB stimulation induced more extensive facilitation of tactile evoked potentials in S1 than auditory evoked potentials in A1, while optogenetic stimulation of the B nucleus facilitated either tactile or auditory evoked potentials equally. Consequently, our results suggest that cholinergic projections to the cortex are organized into segregated

  4. A Dynamic Bayesian Model for Characterizing Cross-Neuronal Interactions During Decision-Making.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Bo; Moorman, David E; Behseta, Sam; Ombao, Hernando; Shahbaba, Babak

    2016-01-01

    The goal of this paper is to develop a novel statistical model for studying cross-neuronal spike train interactions during decision making. For an individual to successfully complete the task of decision-making, a number of temporally-organized events must occur: stimuli must be detected, potential outcomes must be evaluated, behaviors must be executed or inhibited, and outcomes (such as reward or no-reward) must be experienced. Due to the complexity of this process, it is likely the case that decision-making is encoded by the temporally-precise interactions between large populations of neurons. Most existing statistical models, however, are inadequate for analyzing such a phenomenon because they provide only an aggregated measure of interactions over time. To address this considerable limitation, we propose a dynamic Bayesian model which captures the time-varying nature of neuronal activity (such as the time-varying strength of the interactions between neurons). The proposed method yielded results that reveal new insight into the dynamic nature of population coding in the prefrontal cortex during decision making. In our analysis, we note that while some neurons in the prefrontal cortex do not synchronize their firing activity until the presence of a reward, a different set of neurons synchronize their activity shortly after stimulus onset. These differentially synchronizing sub-populations of neurons suggests a continuum of population representation of the reward-seeking task. Secondly, our analyses also suggest that the degree of synchronization differs between the rewarded and non-rewarded conditions. Moreover, the proposed model is scalable to handle data on many simultaneously-recorded neurons and is applicable to analyzing other types of multivariate time series data with latent structure. Supplementary materials (including computer codes) for our paper are available online.

  5. Anatomy and physiology of neurons composing the commissural ring nerve of the cricket, Acheta domesticus.

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    Killian, K A; Bollins, J P; Govind, C K

    2000-03-01

    The commissural ring nerve (RN) of the cricket Acheta domesticus links together the two cercal motor nerves of the terminal abdominal ganglion. It contains the axons of almost 100 neurons including two bilateral clusters of eight to 13 ventrolateral neurons and approximately 75 neurons with midline somata within the terminal abdominal ganglion. The ventrolateral neurons have an ipsilateral dendritic arborization within the dorsal neuropil of the ganglion and their axons use the RN as a commissure in order to enter the contralateral nerves of the tenth ganglionic neuromere. In contrast, most midline neurons have bifurcating axons projecting bilaterally into the neuropil of the ganglion as well as into the RN where they often branch extensively before entering the contralateral tenth nerves. Most RN neurons have small, non-spiking somata with spike initiation zones distant from the soma. Many midline neurons also produce double-peaked spikes in their somata, indicative of multiple spike initiation zones. Spontaneous neuronal activity recorded extracellularly from the RN reveals several units, some with variable firing patterns, but none responding to sensory stimuli. The RN is primarily composed of small (50 nm diameter) axon profiles with a few large (0.5-1 microm diameter) profiles. Occasionally, profiles of nerve terminals containing primarily small clear vesicles and a few large dense vesicles are observed. These vesicles can sometimes be clustered about an active zone. We conclude that the primary function of the RN is to serve as a peripheral nerve commissure and that its role as a neurohemal organ is negligible. J. Exp. Zool. 286:350-366, 2000. Copyright 2000 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  6. Hub connectivity, neuronal diversity, and gene expression in the Caenorhabditis elegans connectome

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    Pocock, Roger; Fornito, Alex

    2018-01-01

    Studies of nervous system connectivity, in a wide variety of species and at different scales of resolution, have identified several highly conserved motifs of network organization. One such motif is a heterogeneous distribution of connectivity across neural elements, such that some elements act as highly connected and functionally important network hubs. These brain network hubs are also densely interconnected, forming a so-called rich club. Recent work in mouse has identified a distinctive transcriptional signature of neural hubs, characterized by tightly coupled expression of oxidative metabolism genes, with similar genes characterizing macroscale inter-modular hub regions of the human cortex. Here, we sought to determine whether hubs of the neuronal C. elegans connectome also show tightly coupled gene expression. Using open data on the chemical and electrical connectivity of 279 C. elegans neurons, and binary gene expression data for each neuron across 948 genes, we computed a correlated gene expression score for each pair of neurons, providing a measure of their gene expression similarity. We demonstrate that connections between hub neurons are the most similar in their gene expression while connections between nonhubs are the least similar. Genes with the greatest contribution to this effect are involved in glutamatergic and cholinergic signaling, and other communication processes. We further show that coupled expression between hub neurons cannot be explained by their neuronal subtype (i.e., sensory, motor, or interneuron), separation distance, chemically secreted neurotransmitter, birth time, pairwise lineage distance, or their topological module affiliation. Instead, this coupling is intrinsically linked to the identity of most hubs as command interneurons, a specific class of interneurons that regulates locomotion. Our results suggest that neural hubs may possess a distinctive transcriptional signature, preserved across scales and species, that is related

  7. Ultrastructure of GABA- and tachykinin-immunoreactive neurons in the lower division of the central body of the desert locust

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    Uwe Homberg

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available The central complex, a group of neuropils spanning the midline of the insect brain, plays a key role in spatial orientation and navigation. In the desert locust and other species, many neurons of the central complex are sensitive to the oscillation plane of polarized light above the animal and are likely involved in the coding of compass directions derived from the polarization pattern of the sky. Polarized light signals enter the locust central complex primarily through two types of -aminobutyric acid (GABA-immunoreactive tangential neurons, termed TL2 and TL3 that innervate specific layers of the lower division of the central body (CBL. Candidate postsynaptic partners are columnar neurons (CL1 connecting the CBL to the protocerebral bridge. Subsets of CL1 neurons are immunoreactive to antisera against locustatachykinin (LomTK. To better understand the synaptic connectivities of tangential and columnar neurons in the CBL, we studied its ultrastructural organization in the desert locust, both with conventional electron microscopy and in preparations immunolabeled for GABA or LomTK. Neuronal profiles in the CBL were rich in mitochondria and vesicles. Three types of vesicles were distinguished: small clear vesicles with diameters of 20-40 nm, dark dense-core vesicles (diameter 70-120 nm, and granular dense-core vesicles (diameter 70-80 nm. Neurons were connected via divergent dyads and, less frequently, through convergent dyads. GABA-immunoreactive neurons contained small clear vesicles and small numbers of dark dense core vesicles. They had both pre- and postsynaptic contacts but output synapses were observed more frequently than input synapses. LomTK immunostaining was concentrated on large granular vesicles; neurons had pre- and postsynaptic connections often with neurons assumed to be GABAergic. The data suggest that GABA-immunoreactive tangential neurons provide signals to postsynaptic neurons in the CBL, including LomTK-immunolabeled CL1

  8. Cellullar insights into cerebral cortical development: focusing on the locomotion mode of neuronal migration

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    Takeshi eKawauchi

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available The mammalian brain consists of numerous compartments that are closely connected with each other via neural networks, comprising the basis of higher order brain functions. The highly specialized structure originates from simple pseudostratified neuroepithelium-derived neural progenitors located near the ventricle. A long journey by neurons from the ventricular side is essential for the formation of a sophisticated brain structure, including a mammalian-specific six-layered cerebral cortex. Neuronal migration consists of several contiguous steps, but the locomotion mode comprises a large part of the migration. The locomoting neurons exhibit unique features; a radial glial fiber-dependent migration requiring the endocytic recycling of N-cadherin and a neuron-specific migration mode with dilation/swelling formation that requires the actin and microtubule organization possibly regulated by cyclin-dependent kinase 5 (Cdk5, Dcx, p27kip1, Rac1 and POSH. Here I will introduce the roles of various cellular events, such as cytoskeletal organization, cell adhesion and membrane trafficking, in the regulation of the neuronal migration, with particular focus on the locomotion mode.

  9. Probabilistic Inference in General Graphical Models through Sampling in Stochastic Networks of Spiking Neurons

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    Pecevski, Dejan; Buesing, Lars; Maass, Wolfgang

    2011-01-01

    An important open problem of computational neuroscience is the generic organization of computations in networks of neurons in the brain. We show here through rigorous theoretical analysis that inherent stochastic features of spiking neurons, in combination with simple nonlinear computational operations in specific network motifs and dendritic arbors, enable networks of spiking neurons to carry out probabilistic inference through sampling in general graphical models. In particular, it enables them to carry out probabilistic inference in Bayesian networks with converging arrows (“explaining away”) and with undirected loops, that occur in many real-world tasks. Ubiquitous stochastic features of networks of spiking neurons, such as trial-to-trial variability and spontaneous activity, are necessary ingredients of the underlying computational organization. We demonstrate through computer simulations that this approach can be scaled up to neural emulations of probabilistic inference in fairly large graphical models, yielding some of the most complex computations that have been carried out so far in networks of spiking neurons. PMID:22219717

  10. NeuroElectro: a window to the world's neuron electrophysiology data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tripathy, Shreejoy J; Savitskaya, Judith; Burton, Shawn D; Urban, Nathaniel N; Gerkin, Richard C

    2014-01-01

    The behavior of neural circuits is determined largely by the electrophysiological properties of the neurons they contain. Understanding the relationships of these properties requires the ability to first identify and catalog each property. However, information about such properties is largely locked away in decades of closed-access journal articles with heterogeneous conventions for reporting results, making it difficult to utilize the underlying data. We solve this problem through the NeuroElectro project: a Python library, RESTful API, and web application (at http://neuroelectro.org) for the extraction, visualization, and summarization of published data on neurons' electrophysiological properties. Information is organized both by neuron type (using neuron definitions provided by NeuroLex) and by electrophysiological property (using a newly developed ontology). We describe the techniques and challenges associated with the automated extraction of tabular electrophysiological data and methodological metadata from journal articles. We further discuss strategies for how to best combine, normalize and organize data across these heterogeneous sources. NeuroElectro is a valuable resource for experimental physiologists attempting to supplement their own data, for computational modelers looking to constrain their model parameters, and for theoreticians searching for undiscovered relationships among neurons and their properties.

  11. NeuroElectro: A Window to the World's Neuron Electrophysiology Data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shreejoy J Tripathy

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available The behavior of neural circuits is determined largely by the electrophysiological properties of the neurons they contain. Understanding the relationships of these properties requires the ability to first identify and catalog each property. However, information about such properties is largely locked away in decades of closed-access journal articles with heterogeneous conventions for reporting results, making it difficult to utilize the underlying data. We solve this problem through the NeuroElectro project: a Python library, RESTful API, and web application (at http://neuroelectro.org for the extraction, visualization, and summarization of published data on neurons' electrophysiological properties. Information is organized both by neuron type (using neuron definitions provided by NeuroLex and by electrophysiological property (using a newly developed ontology. We describe the techniques and challenges associated with the automated extraction of tabular electrophysiological data and methodological metadata from journal articles. We further discuss strategies for how to best combine, normalize and organize data across these heterogeneous sources. NeuroElectro is a valuable resource for experimental physiologists looking to supplement their own data, for computational modelers looking to constrain their model parameters, and for theoreticians searching for undiscovered relationships among neurons and their properties.

  12. A novel enteric neuron-glia coculture system reveals the role of glia in neuronal development.

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    Le Berre-Scoul, Catherine; Chevalier, Julien; Oleynikova, Elena; Cossais, François; Talon, Sophie; Neunlist, Michel; Boudin, Hélène

    2017-01-15

    Unlike astrocytes in the brain, the potential role of enteric glial cells (EGCs) in the formation of the enteric neuronal circuit is currently unknown. To examine the role of EGCs in the formation of the neuronal network, we developed a novel neuron-enriched culture model from embryonic rat intestine grown in indirect coculture with EGCs. We found that EGCs shape axonal complexity and synapse density in enteric neurons, through purinergic- and glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor-dependent pathways. Using a novel and valuable culture model to study enteric neuron-glia interactions, our study identified EGCs as a key cellular actor regulating neuronal network maturation. In the nervous system, the formation of neuronal circuitry results from a complex and coordinated action of intrinsic and extrinsic factors. In the CNS, extrinsic mediators derived from astrocytes have been shown to play a key role in neuronal maturation, including dendritic shaping, axon guidance and synaptogenesis. In the enteric nervous system (ENS), the potential role of enteric glial cells (EGCs) in the maturation of developing enteric neuronal circuit is currently unknown. A major obstacle in addressing this question is the difficulty in obtaining a valuable experimental model in which enteric neurons could be isolated and maintained without EGCs. We adapted a cell culture method previously developed for CNS neurons to establish a neuron-enriched primary culture from embryonic rat intestine which was cultured in indirect coculture with EGCs. We demonstrated that enteric neurons grown in such conditions showed several structural, phenotypic and functional hallmarks of proper development and maturation. However, when neurons were grown without EGCs, the complexity of the axonal arbour and the density of synapses were markedly reduced, suggesting that glial-derived factors contribute strongly to the formation of the neuronal circuitry. We found that these effects played by EGCs were

  13. Cellular and molecular neuronal plasticity.

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    Griesbach, Grace S; Hovda, David A

    2015-01-01

    The brain has the capability to adapt to function when tissue is compromised. This capability of adaptation paves the road to recovery and allows for rehabilitation after a traumatic brain injury (TBI). This chapter addresses neuroplasticity within the context of TBI. Here neuroplasticity is defined as changes in neuronal structure and function, including synaptic changes as well as modifications in neural pathways. First, the influence of TBI pathology on neuroplasticity is addressed. Here, proteins that are important in neuroplasticity are introduced and a description given of how these are affected in a temporal and severity-dependent manner. Secondly, given that we are becoming increasingly aware that the brain's response to injury is highly influenced by the environmental milieu, the manner in which behavioral manipulations have an effect on TBI-associated neuroplasticity is addressed. A description is given of how specific environmental qualities may facilitate or hinder neuroplasticity. Finally, the long-term effects of neuroplasticity and the relevance it has to rehabilitation are described. © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. The Relevance of AgRP Neuron-Derived GABA Inputs to POMC Neurons Differs for Spontaneous and Evoked Release.

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    Rau, Andrew R; Hentges, Shane T

    2017-08-02

    Hypothalamic agouti-related peptide (AgRP) neurons potently stimulate food intake, whereas proopiomelanocortin (POMC) neurons inhibit feeding. Whether AgRP neurons exert their orexigenic actions, at least in part, by inhibiting anorexigenic POMC neurons remains unclear. Here, the connectivity between GABA-releasing AgRP neurons and POMC neurons was examined in brain slices from male and female mice. GABA-mediated spontaneous IPSCs (sIPSCs) in POMC neurons were unaffected by disturbing GABA release from AgRP neurons either by cell type-specific deletion of the vesicular GABA transporter or by expression of botulinum toxin in AgRP neurons to prevent vesicle-associated membrane protein 2-dependent vesicle fusion. Additionally, there was no difference in the ability of μ-opioid receptor (MOR) agonists to inhibit sIPSCs in POMC neurons when MORs were deleted from AgRP neurons, and activation of the inhibitory designer receptor hM4Di on AgRP neurons did not affect sIPSCs recorded from POMC neurons. These approaches collectively indicate that AgRP neurons do not significantly contribute to the strong spontaneous GABA input to POMC neurons. Despite these observations, optogenetic stimulation of AgRP neurons reliably produced evoked IPSCs in POMC neurons, leading to the inhibition of POMC neuron firing. Thus, AgRP neurons can potently affect POMC neuron function without contributing a significant source of spontaneous GABA input to POMC neurons. Together, these results indicate that the relevance of GABAergic inputs from AgRP to POMC neurons is state dependent and highlight the need to consider different types of transmitter release in circuit mapping and physiologic regulation. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Agouti-related peptide (AgRP) neurons play an important role in driving food intake, while proopiomelanocortin (POMC) neurons inhibit feeding. Despite the importance of these two well characterized neuron types in maintaining metabolic homeostasis, communication between these

  15. The ontogenetic origins of mirror neurons: evidence from 'tool-use' and 'audiovisual' mirror neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cook, Richard

    2012-10-23

    Since their discovery, mirror neurons--units in the macaque brain that discharge both during action observation and execution--have attracted considerable interest. Whether mirror neurons are an innate endowment or acquire their sensorimotor matching properties ontogenetically has been the subject of intense debate. It is widely believed that these units are an innate trait; that we are born with a set of mature mirror neurons because their matching properties conveyed upon our ancestors an evolutionary advantage. However, an alternative view is that mirror neurons acquire their matching properties during ontogeny, through correlated experience of observing and performing actions. The present article re-examines frequently overlooked neurophysiological reports of 'tool-use' and 'audiovisual' mirror neurons within the context of this debate. It is argued that these findings represent compelling evidence that mirror neurons are a product of sensorimotor experience, and not an innate endowment.

  16. Patterns of symptom development in patients with motor neuron disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walhout, Renée; Verstraete, Esther; van den Heuvel, Martijn P; Veldink, Jan H; van den Berg, Leonard H

    2018-02-01

    To investigate whether symptom development in motor neuron disease (MND) is a random or organized process. Six hundred patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), upper motor neuron (UMN) or lower motor neuron (LMN) phenotypes were invited for a questionnaire concerning symptom development. A binomial test was used to examine distribution of symptoms from site of onset. Development of symptoms over time was evaluated by Kaplan-Meier analysis. There were 470 respondents (ALS = 254; LMN = 100; UMN = 116). Subsequent symptoms were more often in the contralateral limb following unilateral limb onset (ALS: arms p = 1.05 × 10 -8 , legs p < 2.86 × 10 -15 ; LMN phenotype: arms p = 6.74 × 10 -9 , legs p = 6.26 × 10 -6 ; UMN phenotype: legs p = 4.07 × 10 -14 ). In patients with limb onset, symptoms occurred significantly faster in the contralateral limb, followed by the other limbs and lastly by the bulbar region. Patterns of non-contiguous symptom development were also reported: leg symptoms followed bulbar onset in 30%, and bulbar symptoms followed leg onset in 11% of ALS patients. Preferred spread of symptoms from one limb to the contralateral limb, and to adjacent sites appears to be a characteristic of MND phenotypes, suggesting that symptom spread is organized, possibly involving axonal connectivity. Non-contiguous symptom development, however, is not uncommon, and may involve other factors.

  17. Peripheral Neuron Survival and Outgrowth on Graphene

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Domenica Convertino

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Graphene displays properties that make it appealing for neuroregenerative medicine, yet its interaction with peripheral neurons has been scarcely investigated. Here, we culture on graphene two established models for peripheral neurons: PC12 cells and DRG primary neurons. We perform a nano-resolved analysis of polymeric coatings on graphene and combine optical microscopy and viability assays to assess the material cytocompatibility and influence on differentiation. We find that differentiated PC12 cells display a remarkably increased neurite length on graphene (up to 27% with respect to controls. Notably, DRG primary neurons survive both on bare and coated graphene. They present dense axonal networks on coated graphene, while they form cell islets characterized by dense axonal bundles on uncoated graphene. These findings indicate that graphene holds potential for nerve tissue regeneration and might pave the road to novel concepts of active nerve conduits.

  18. Review Paper: Polyphenolic Antioxidants and Neuronal Regeneration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amin Ataie

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Many studies indicate that oxidative stress is involved in the pathophysiology of neurodegenerative diseases. Oxidative stress can induce neuronal damages, modulate intracellular signaling and ultimately leads to neuronal death by apoptosis or necrosis. To review antioxidants preventive effects on oxidative stress and neurodegenerative diseases we accumulated data from international medical journals and academic informations' sites. According to many studies, antioxidants could reduce toxic neuronal damages and many studies confirmed the efficacy of polyphenol antioxidants in fruits and vegetables to reduce neuronal death and to diminish oxidative stress. This systematic review showed the antioxidant activities of phytochemicals which play as natural neuroprotectives with low adverse effects against some neurodegenerative diseases as Parkinson or Alzheimer diseases.

  19. Review Paper: Polyphenolic Antioxidants and Neuronal Regeneration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amin Ataie

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Many studies indicate that oxidative stress is involved in the pathophysiology of neurodegenerative diseases. Oxidative stress can induce neuronal damages, modulate intracellular signaling and ultimately leads to neuronal death by apoptosis or necrosis. To review antioxidants preventive effects on oxidative stress and neurodegenerative diseases we accumulated data from international medical journals and academic informations' sites. According to many studies, antioxidants could reduce toxic neuronal damages and many studies confirmed the efficacy of polyphenol antioxidants in fruits and vegetables to reduce neuronal death and to diminish oxidative stress. This systematic review showed the antioxidant activities of phytochemicals which play as natural neuroprotectives with low adverse effects against some neurodegenerative diseases as Parkinson or Alzheimer diseases.

  20. Managing Brain Extracellular K(+) during Neuronal Activity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, Brian Roland; Stoica, Anca; MacAulay, Nanna

    2016-01-01

    isoform compositions of the Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase remain unresolved. The various cell types in the brain serve a certain temporal contribution in the face of network activity; astrocytes respond directly to the immediate release of K(+) from neurons, whereas the neurons themselves become the primary K......During neuronal activity in the brain, extracellular K(+) rises and is subsequently removed to prevent a widespread depolarization. One of the key players in regulating extracellular K(+) is the Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase, although the relative involvement and physiological impact of the different subunit......(+) absorbers as activity ends. The kinetic characteristics of the catalytic α subunit isoforms of the Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase are, partly, determined by the accessory β subunit with which they combine. The isoform combinations expressed by astrocytes and neurons, respectively, appear to be in line with the kinetic...

  1. Advances in 3D neuronal cell culture

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Frimat, Jean Philippe; Xie, Sijia; Bastiaens, Alex; Schurink, Bart; Wolbers, Floor; Den Toonder, Jaap; Luttge, Regina

    2015-01-01

    In this contribution, the authors present our advances in three-dimensional (3D) neuronal cell culture platform technology contributing to controlled environments for microtissue engineering and analysis of cellular physiological and pathological responses. First, a micromachined silicon sieving

  2. Imaging neuronal pathways with 52Mn PET

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Napieczynska, Hanna; Severin, Gregory; Fonslet, Jesper

    2017-01-01

    Manganese in its divalent state (Mn2+) has features that make it a unique tool for tracing neuronal pathways. It is taken up and transported by neurons in an activity dependent manner and it can cross synapses. It also acts as a contrast agent for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) enabling...... visualization of neuronal tracts. However, due to the limited sensitivity of MRI systems relatively high Mn2+ doses are required. This is undesirable, especially in long-term studies, because of the known toxicity of the metal. In order to overcome this limitation, we propose 52Mn as a positron emission...... tomography (PET) neuronal tract tracer. We used 52Mn for imaging dopaminergic pathways after a unilateral injection into the ventral tegmental area (VTA), as well as the striatonigral pathway after an injection into the dorsal striatum (STR) in rats. Furthermore, we tested potentially noxious effects...

  3. 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...

  4. Do enteric neurons make hypocretin? ☆

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baumann, Christian R.; Clark, Erika L.; Pedersen, Nigel P.; Hecht, Jonathan L.; Scammell, Thomas E.

    2008-01-01

    Hypocretins (orexins) are wake-promoting neuropeptides produced by hypothalamic neurons. These hypocretin-producing cells are lost in people with narcolepsy, possibly due to an autoimmune attack. Prior studies described hypocretin neurons in the enteric nervous system, and these cells could be an additional target of an autoimmune process. We sought to determine whether enteric hypocretin neurons are lost in narcoleptic subjects. Even though we tried several methods (including whole mounts, sectioned tissue, pre-treatment of mice with colchicine, and the use of various primary antisera), we could not identify hypocretin-producing cells in enteric nervous tissue collected from mice or normal human subjects. These results raise doubts about whether enteric neurons produce hypocretin. PMID:18191238

  5. Control of arousal by the orexin neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alexandre, Chloe; Andermann, Mark L; Scammell, Thomas E

    2013-01-01

    The orexin-producing neurons in the lateral hypothalamus play an essential role in promoting arousal and maintaining wakefulness. These neurons receive a broad variety of signals related to environmental, physiological and emotional stimuli; they project to almost every brain region involved in the regulation of wakefulness; and they fire most strongly during active wakefulness, high motor activation, and sustained attention. This review focuses on the specific neuronal pathways through which the orexin neurons promote wakefulness and maintain high level of arousal, and how recent studies using optogenetic and pharmacogenetic methods have demonstrated that the locus coeruleus, the tuberomammillary nucleus, and the basal forebrain are some of the key sites mediating the arousing actions of orexins. PMID:23683477

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paula G Slater

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

  7. Reconstruction of phrenic neuron identity in embryonic stem cell-derived motor neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Machado, Carolina Barcellos; Kanning, Kevin C; Kreis, Patricia; Stevenson, Danielle; Crossley, Martin; Nowak, Magdalena; Iacovino, Michelina; Kyba, Michael; Chambers, David; Blanc, Eric; Lieberam, Ivo

    2014-02-01

    Air breathing is an essential motor function for vertebrates living on land. The rhythm that drives breathing is generated within the central nervous system and relayed via specialised subsets of spinal motor neurons to muscles that regulate lung volume. In mammals, a key respiratory muscle is the diaphragm, which is innervated by motor neurons in the phrenic nucleus. Remarkably, relatively little is known about how this crucial subtype of motor neuron is generated during embryogenesis. Here, we used direct differentiation of motor neurons from mouse embryonic stem cells as a tool to identify genes that direct phrenic neuron identity. We find that three determinants, Pou3f1, Hoxa5 and Notch, act in combination to promote a phrenic neuron molecular identity. We show that Notch signalling induces Pou3f1 in developing motor neurons in vitro and in vivo. This suggests that the phrenic neuron lineage is established through a local source of Notch ligand at mid-cervical levels. Furthermore, we find that the cadherins Pcdh10, which is regulated by Pou3f1 and Hoxa5, and Cdh10, which is controlled by Pou3f1, are both mediators of like-like clustering of motor neuron cell bodies. This specific Pcdh10/Cdh10 activity might provide the means by which phrenic neurons are assembled into a distinct nucleus. Our study provides a framework for understanding how phrenic neuron identity is conferred and will help to generate this rare and inaccessible yet vital neuronal subtype directly from pluripotent stem cells, thus facilitating subsequent functional investigations.

  8. Authors’ response: mirror neurons: tests and testability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Catmur, Caroline; Press, Clare; Cook, Richard; Bird, Geoffrey; Heyes, Cecilia

    2014-04-01

    Commentators have tended to focus on the conceptual framework of our article, the contrast between genetic and associative accounts of mirror neurons, and to challenge it with additional possibilities rather than empirical data. This makes the empirically focused comments especially valuable. The mirror neuron debate is replete with ideas; what it needs now are system-level theories and careful experiments – tests and testability.

  9. Action observation: Inferring intentions without mirror neurons

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Frith, Christopher; Kilner, James M

    2008-01-01

    A recent study has shown, using fMRI, that the mirror neuron system does not mediate action understanding when the observed action is novel or when it is hard to understand.......A recent study has shown, using fMRI, that the mirror neuron system does not mediate action understanding when the observed action is novel or when it is hard to understand....

  10. Spatio-Temporal Modeling of Neuron Fields

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lund, Adam

    The starting point and focal point for this thesis was stochastic dynamical modelling of neuronal imaging data with the declared objective of drawing inference, within this model framework, in a large-scale (high-dimensional) data setting. Implicitly this objective entails carrying out three......-temporal array data. This framework was developed with neuron field models in mind but may in turn be applied to other settings conforming to the spatio-temporal array data setup....

  11. Unidirectional synchronization of Hodgkin-Huxley neurons

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cornejo-Perez, Octavio; Femat, Ricardo

    2005-01-01

    Synchronization dynamics of two noiseless Hodgkin-Huxley (HH) neurons under the action of feedback control is studied. The spiking patterns of the action potentials evoked by periodic external modulations attain synchronization states under the feedback action. Numerical simulations for the synchronization dynamics of regular-irregular desynchronized spiking sequences are displayed. The results are discussed in context of generalized synchronization. It is also shown that the HH neurons can be synchronized in face of unmeasured states

  12. Unidirectional synchronization of Hodgkin-Huxley neurons

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cornejo-Perez, Octavio [Division de Matematicas Aplicadas y Sistemas, Computacionales, IPICYT, Apdo. Postal 3-74 Tangamanga, 78231 San Luis Potosi (Mexico)]. E-mail: octavio@ipicyt.edu.mx; Femat, Ricardo [Division de Matematicas Aplicadas y Sistemas, Computacionales, IPICYT, Apdo. Postal 3-74 Tangamanga, 78231 San Luis Potosi (Mexico)]. E-mail: rfemat@ipicyt.edu.mx

    2005-07-01

    Synchronization dynamics of two noiseless Hodgkin-Huxley (HH) neurons under the action of feedback control is studied. The spiking patterns of the action potentials evoked by periodic external modulations attain synchronization states under the feedback action. Numerical simulations for the synchronization dynamics of regular-irregular desynchronized spiking sequences are displayed. The results are discussed in context of generalized synchronization. It is also shown that the HH neurons can be synchronized in face of unmeasured states.

  13. Sleep disordered breathing in motor neurone disease

    OpenAIRE

    D’Cruz, Rebecca F.; Murphy, Patrick B.; Kaltsakas, Georgios

    2018-01-01

    Motor neurone disease (MND) is a neurodegenerative disease defined by axonal loss and gliosis of upper and lower motor neurones in the motor cortex, lower brainstem nuclei and ventral horn of the spinal cord. MND is currently incurable and has a poor prognosis, with death typically occurring 3 to 5 years after disease onset. The disease is characterised by rapidly progressive weakness leading to paralysis, fasciculations, bulbar symptoms (including dysarthria and dysphagia) and respiratory co...

  14. Neural network with dynamically adaptable neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tawel, Raoul (Inventor)

    1994-01-01

    This invention is an adaptive neuron for use in neural network processors. The adaptive neuron participates in the supervised learning phase of operation on a co-equal basis with the synapse matrix elements by adaptively changing its gain in a similar manner to the change of weights in the synapse IO elements. In this manner, training time is decreased by as much as three orders of magnitude.

  15. Inducible Gene Manipulations in Serotonergic Neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weber, Tillmann; Böhm, Gerald; Hermann, Elke; Schütz, Günther; Schönig, Kai; Bartsch, Dusan

    2009-01-01

    An impairment of the serotonergic (5-HT) system has been implicated in the etiology of many neuropsychiatric disorders. Despite the considerable genetic evidence, the exact molecular and pathophysiological mechanisms underlying this dysfunction remain largely unknown. To address the lack of instruments for the molecular dissection of gene function in serotonergic neurons we have developed a new mouse transgenic tool that allows inducible Cre-mediated recombination of genes selectively in 5-HT neurons of all raphe nuclei. In this transgenic mouse line, the tamoxifen-inducible CreERT2 recombinase is expressed under the regulatory control of the mouse tryptophan hydroxylase 2 (Tph2) gene locus (177 kb). Tamoxifen treatment efficiently induced recombination selectively in serotonergic neurons with minimal background activity in vehicle-treated mice. These genetic manipulations can be initiated at any desired time during embryonic development, neonatal stage or adulthood. To illustrate the versatility of this new tool, we show that Brainbow-1.0LTPH2-CreERT2 mice display highly efficient recombination in serotonergic neurons with individual 5-HT neurons labeling with multiple distinct fluorescent colors. This labeling is well suited for visualization and tracing of serotonergic neurons and their network architecture. Finally, the applicability of TPH2-CreERT2 for loxP-flanked candidate gene manipulation is evidenced by our successful knockout induction of the ubiquitously expressed glucocorticoid-receptor exclusively in 5-HT neurons of adult mice. The TPH2-CreERT2 line will allow detailed analysis of gene function in both developing and adult serotonergic neurons. PMID:19936315

  16. Neurons compute internal models of the physical laws of motion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Angelaki, Dora E; Shaikh, Aasef G; Green, Andrea M; Dickman, J David

    2004-07-29

    A critical step in self-motion perception and spatial awareness is the integration of motion cues from multiple sensory organs that individually do not provide an accurate representation of the physical world. One of the best-studied sensory ambiguities is found in visual processing, and arises because of the inherent uncertainty in detecting the motion direction of an untextured contour moving within a small aperture. A similar sensory ambiguity arises in identifying the actual motion associated with linear accelerations sensed by the otolith organs in the inner ear. These internal linear accelerometers respond identically during translational motion (for example, running forward) and gravitational accelerations experienced as we reorient the head relative to gravity (that is, head tilt). Using new stimulus combinations, we identify here cerebellar and brainstem motion-sensitive neurons that compute a solution to the inertial motion detection problem. We show that the firing rates of these populations of neurons reflect the computations necessary to construct an internal model representation of the physical equations of motion.

  17. A regulatory code for neuron-specific odor receptor expression.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anandasankar Ray

    2008-05-01

    Full Text Available Olfactory receptor neurons (ORNs must select-from a large repertoire-which odor receptors to express. In Drosophila, most ORNs express one of 60 Or genes, and most Or genes are expressed in a single ORN class in a process that produces a stereotyped receptor-to-neuron map. The construction of this map poses a problem of receptor gene regulation that is remarkable in its dimension and about which little is known. By using a phylogenetic approach and the genome sequences of 12 Drosophila species, we systematically identified regulatory elements that are evolutionarily conserved and specific for individual Or genes of the maxillary palp. Genetic analysis of these elements supports a model in which each receptor gene contains a zip code, consisting of elements that act positively to promote expression in a subset of ORN classes, and elements that restrict expression to a single ORN class. We identified a transcription factor, Scalloped, that mediates repression. Some elements are used in other chemosensory organs, and some are conserved upstream of axon-guidance genes. Surprisingly, the odor response spectra and organization of maxillary palp ORNs have been extremely well-conserved for tens of millions of years, even though the amino acid sequences of the receptors are not highly conserved. These results, taken together, define the logic by which individual ORNs in the maxillary palp select which odor receptors to express.

  18. 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

  19. Neurons and neuronal activity control gene expression in astrocytes to regulate their development and metabolism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hasel, Philip; Dando, Owen; Jiwaji, Zoeb; Baxter, Paul; Todd, Alison C; Heron, Samuel; Márkus, Nóra M; McQueen, Jamie; Hampton, David W; Torvell, Megan; Tiwari, Sachin S; McKay, Sean; Eraso-Pichot, Abel; Zorzano, Antonio; Masgrau, Roser; Galea, Elena; Chandran, Siddharthan; Wyllie, David J A; Simpson, T Ian; Hardingham, Giles E

    2017-05-02

    The influence that neurons exert on astrocytic function is poorly understood. To investigate this, we first developed a system combining cortical neurons and astrocytes from closely related species, followed by RNA-seq and in silico species separation. This approach uncovers a wide programme of neuron-induced astrocytic gene expression, involving Notch signalling, which drives and maintains astrocytic maturity and neurotransmitter uptake function, is conserved in human development, and is disrupted by neurodegeneration. Separately, hundreds of astrocytic genes are acutely regulated by synaptic activity via mechanisms involving cAMP/PKA-dependent CREB activation. This includes the coordinated activity-dependent upregulation of major astrocytic components of the astrocyte-neuron lactate shuttle, leading to a CREB-dependent increase in astrocytic glucose metabolism and elevated lactate export. Moreover, the groups of astrocytic genes induced by neurons or neuronal activity both show age-dependent decline in humans. Thus, neurons and neuronal activity regulate the astrocytic transcriptome with the potential to shape astrocyte-neuron metabolic cooperation.

  20. A neuron-astrocyte transistor-like model for neuromorphic dressed neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valenza, G; Pioggia, G; Armato, A; Ferro, M; Scilingo, E P; De Rossi, D

    2011-09-01

    Experimental evidences on the role of the synaptic glia as an active partner together with the bold synapse in neuronal signaling and dynamics of neural tissue strongly suggest to investigate on a more realistic neuron-glia model for better understanding human brain processing. Among the glial cells, the astrocytes play a crucial role in the tripartite synapsis, i.e. the dressed neuron. A well-known two-way astrocyte-neuron interaction can be found in the literature, completely revising the purely supportive role for the glia. The aim of this study is to provide a computationally efficient model for neuron-glia interaction. The neuron-glia interactions were simulated by implementing the Li-Rinzel model for an astrocyte and the Izhikevich model for a neuron. Assuming the dressed neuron dynamics similar to the nonlinear input-output characteristics of a bipolar junction transistor, we derived our computationally efficient model. This model may represent the fundamental computational unit for the development of real-time artificial neuron-glia networks opening new perspectives in pattern recognition systems and in brain neurophysiology. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Labeling of neuronal differentiation and neuron cells with biocompatible fluorescent nanodiamonds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsu, Tzu-Chia; Liu, Kuang-Kai; Chang, Huan-Cheng; Hwang, Eric; Chao, Jui-I

    2014-05-16

    Nanodiamond is a promising carbon nanomaterial developed for biomedical applications. Here, we show fluorescent nanodiamond (FND) with the biocompatible properties that can be used for the labeling and tracking of neuronal differentiation and neuron cells derived from embryonal carcinoma stem (ECS) cells. The fluorescence intensities of FNDs were increased by treatment with FNDs in both the mouse P19 and human NT2/D1 ECS cells. FNDs were taken into ECS cells; however, FNDs did not alter the cellular morphology and growth ability. Moreover, FNDs did not change the protein expression of stem cell marker SSEA-1 of ECS cells. The neuronal differentiation of ECS cells could be induced by retinoic acid (RA). Interestingly, FNDs did not affect on the morphological alteration, cytotoxicity and apoptosis during the neuronal differentiation. Besides, FNDs did not alter the cell viability and the expression of neuron-specific marker β-III-tubulin in these differentiated neuron cells. The existence of FNDs in the neuron cells can be identified by confocal microscopy and flow cytometry. Together, FND is a biocompatible and readily detectable nanomaterial for the labeling and tracking of neuronal differentiation process and neuron cells from stem cells.

  2. Arsenic Trioxide Modulates the Central Snail Neuron Action Potential

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guan-Ling Lu

    2009-09-01

    Conclusion: As2O3 at 10 mM elicits BoPs in central snail neurons and this effect may relate to the PLC activity of the neuron, rather than protein kinase A activity, or calcium influxes of the neuron. As2O3 at higher concentration irreversibly abolishes the spontaneous action potentials of the neuron.

  3. Optimal stimulus shapes for neuronal excitation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel B Forger

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available An important problem in neuronal computation is to discern how features of stimuli control the timing of action potentials. One aspect of this problem is to determine how an action potential, or spike, can be elicited with the least energy cost, e.g., a minimal amount of applied current. Here we show in the Hodgkin & Huxley model of the action potential and in experiments on squid giant axons that: 1 spike generation in a neuron can be highly discriminatory for stimulus shape and 2 the optimal stimulus shape is dependent upon inputs to the neuron. We show how polarity and time course of post-synaptic currents determine which of these optimal stimulus shapes best excites the neuron. These results are obtained mathematically using the calculus of variations and experimentally using a stochastic search methodology. Our findings reveal a surprising complexity of computation at the single cell level that may be relevant for understanding optimization of signaling in neurons and neuronal networks.

  4. Information transmission with spiking Bayesian neurons

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lochmann, Timm; Deneve, Sophie

    2008-01-01

    Spike trains of cortical neurons resulting from repeatedpresentations of a stimulus are variable and exhibit Poisson-like statistics. Many models of neural coding therefore assumed that sensory information is contained in instantaneous firing rates, not spike times. Here, we ask how much information about time-varying stimuli can be transmitted by spiking neurons with such input and output variability. In particular, does this variability imply spike generation to be intrinsically stochastic? We consider a model neuron that estimates optimally the current state of a time-varying binary variable (e.g. presence of a stimulus) by integrating incoming spikes. The unit signals its current estimate to other units with spikes whenever the estimate increased by a fixed amount. As shown previously, this computation results in integrate and fire dynamics with Poisson-like output spike trains. This output variability is entirely due to the stochastic input rather than noisy spike generation. As a result such a deterministic neuron can transmit most of the information about the time varying stimulus. This contrasts with a standard model of sensory neurons, the linear-nonlinear Poisson (LNP) model which assumes that most variability in output spike trains is due to stochastic spike generation. Although it yields the same firing statistics, we found that such noisy firing results in the loss of most information. Finally, we use this framework to compare potential effects of top-down attention versus bottom-up saliency on information transfer with spiking neurons

  5. Rewiring of neuronal networks during synaptic silencing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wrosch, Jana Katharina; Einem, Vicky von; Breininger, Katharina; Dahlmanns, Marc; Maier, Andreas; Kornhuber, Johannes; Groemer, Teja Wolfgang

    2017-09-15

    Analyzing the connectivity of neuronal networks, based on functional brain imaging data, has yielded new insight into brain circuitry, bringing functional and effective networks into the focus of interest for understanding complex neurological and psychiatric disorders. However, the analysis of network changes, based on the activity of individual neurons, is hindered by the lack of suitable meaningful and reproducible methodologies. Here, we used calcium imaging, statistical spike time analysis and a powerful classification model to reconstruct effective networks of primary rat hippocampal neurons in vitro. This method enables the calculation of network parameters, such as propagation probability, path length, and clustering behavior through the measurement of synaptic activity at the single-cell level, thus providing a fuller understanding of how changes at single synapses translate to an entire population of neurons. We demonstrate that our methodology can detect the known effects of drug-induced neuronal inactivity and can be used to investigate the extensive rewiring processes affecting population-wide connectivity patterns after periods of induced neuronal inactivity.

  6. Simulation of developing human neuronal cell networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lenk, Kerstin; Priwitzer, Barbara; Ylä-Outinen, Laura; Tietz, Lukas H B; Narkilahti, Susanna; Hyttinen, Jari A K

    2016-08-30

    Microelectrode array (MEA) is a widely used technique to study for example the functional properties of neuronal networks derived from human embryonic stem cells (hESC-NN). With hESC-NN, we can investigate the earliest developmental stages of neuronal network formation in the human brain. In this paper, we propose an in silico model of maturating hESC-NNs based on a phenomenological model called INEX. We focus on simulations of the development of bursts in hESC-NNs, which are the main feature of neuronal activation patterns. The model was developed with data from developing hESC-NN recordings on MEAs which showed increase in the neuronal activity during the investigated six measurement time points in the experimental and simulated data. Our simulations suggest that the maturation process of hESC-NN, resulting in the formation of bursts, can be explained by the development of synapses. Moreover, spike and burst rate both decreased at the last measurement time point suggesting a pruning of synapses as the weak ones are removed. To conclude, our model reflects the assumption that the interaction between excitatory and inhibitory neurons during the maturation of a neuronal network and the spontaneous emergence of bursts are due to increased connectivity caused by the forming of new synapses.

  7. Endocannabinoids mediate neuron-astrocyte communication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Navarrete, Marta; Araque, Alfonso

    2008-03-27

    Cannabinoid receptors play key roles in brain function, and cannabinoid effects in brain physiology and drug-related behavior are thought to be mediated by receptors present in neurons. Neuron-astrocyte communication relies on the expression by astrocytes of neurotransmitter receptors. Yet, the expression of cannabinoid receptors by astrocytes in situ and their involvement in the neuron-astrocyte communication remain largely unknown. We show that hippocampal astrocytes express CB1 receptors that upon activation lead to phospholipase C-dependent Ca2+ mobilization from internal stores. These receptors are activated by endocannabinoids released by neurons, increasing astrocyte Ca2+ levels, which stimulate glutamate release that activates NMDA receptors in pyramidal neurons. These results demonstrate the existence of endocannabinoid-mediated neuron-astrocyte communication, revealing that astrocytes are targets of cannabinoids and might therefore participate in the physiology of cannabinoid-related addiction. They also reveal the existence of an endocannabinoid-glutamate signaling pathway where astrocytes serve as a bridge for nonsynaptic interneuronal communication.

  8. Mechanical Dissociation of Retinal Neurons with Vibration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Motomura, Tamami; Hayashida, Yuki; Murayama, Nobuki

    The neuromorphic device, which implements the functions of biological neural circuits by means of VLSI technology, has been collecting much attention in the engineering fields in the last decade. Concurrently, progress in neuroscience research has revealed the nonlinear computation in single neuron levels, suggesting that individual neurons are not merely the circuit elements but computational units. Thus, elucidating the properties of neuronal signal processing is thought to be an essential step for developing the next generation of neuromorphic devices. In the present study, we developed a method for dissociating single neurons from specific sublayers of mammalian retinas with using no proteolytic enzymes but rather combining tissue incubation in a low-Ca2+ medium and the vibro-dissociation technique developed for the slices of brains and spinal cords previously. Our method took shorter time of the procedure, and required less elaborated skill, than the conventional enzymatic method did; nevertheless it yielded enough number of the cells available for acute electrophysiological experiments. The isolated retinal neurons were useful for measuring the nonlinear membrane conductances as well as the spike firing properties under the perforated-patch whole-cell configuration. These neurons also enabled us to examine the effects of proteolytic enzymes on the membrane excitability in those cells.

  9. Organization within Organization Studies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lopdrup-Hjorth, Thomas

    strands of theorizing. By attending to the wide-ranging and far-reaching history of this organization-phobia, the paper argues that OS has become increasingly incapable of speaking about its core object. I show how organizations went from being conceptualized as entities of major importance to becoming...

  10. Knowledge Organization = Information Organization?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hjørland, Birger

    Are the terms ―information organization‖ (IO), ―organization of information‖ (OI) and ―information architecture‖ (IA) synonyms for knowledge organization (KO)? This study uses bibliometric methods, among others, to determine some relations between these terms and their meanings. Apparently the data...

  11. Neuronal background of activation of estivated snails, with special attention to the monoaminergic system: a biochemical, physiological, and neuroanatomical study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernádi, L; Vehovszky, A; Gyori, J; Hiripi, L

    2008-02-01

    Osmotic stimulation activates both estivated and inactivated specimens of Helix pomatia and increases their central arousal. High-pressure liquid chromatography has shown that, during activation, the level of both serotonin and dopamine decreases in the central nervous system (CNS) but increases in the foot and heart, organs that are involved in the eversion of the body. In isolated CNS from activated animals, the firing frequency of the heart-modulator serotonergic (RPas) neurons is significantly higher than that in the CNS of estivated or inactivated animals. These neurons innervate both the heart and the anterior aorta. In semi-intact preparations, distilled water (an osmotic stimulus) applied to the mantle collar increases their firing frequency, whereas tactile stimulation evokes their inhibition. Extracellularly applied monoamines mimic the effect of peripheral stimuli: serotonin (0.1-10 microM) increases the activity of the RPas neurons, whereas dopamine (0.1-10 microM) inhibits their activity. Tyrosine-hydroxylase immunocytochemistry and retrograde neurobiotin tracing have revealed similar bipolar receptor cells in the mantle collar and tail, organs that are exposed to environmental stimuli in estivated animals. Serotonin immunocytochemistry carried out on the same tissues does not visualize receptor cells but labels a dense network of fibers that appear to innervate neurobiotin-labeled receptor cells. The combination of neurobiotin-labeling of RPas neurons and immunolabeling suggests that RPas neurons receive direct dopaminergic inputs from receptor cells and serotonergic inputs from central serotonergic neurons, indicating that central serotonergic neurons are interconnected. Thus, the RPas neurons may belong to neuronal elements of the arousal system.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herde, Michel K; Herbison, Allan E

    2015-11-01

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

  13. Brainstem respiratory oscillators develop independently of neuronal migration defects in the Wnt/PCP mouse mutant looptail.

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    Muriel Thoby-Brisson

    Full Text Available The proper development and maturation of neuronal circuits require precise migration of component neurons from their birthplace (germinal zone to their final positions. Little is known about the effects of aberrant neuronal position on the functioning of organized neuronal groups, especially in mammals. Here, we investigated the formation and properties of brainstem respiratory neurons in looptail (Lp mutant mice in which facial motor neurons closely apposed to some respiratory neurons fail to migrate due to loss of function of the Wnt/Planar Cell Polarity (PCP protein Vangl2. Using calcium imaging and immunostaining on embryonic hindbrain preparations, we found that respiratory neurons constituting the embryonic parafacial oscillator (e-pF settled at the ventral surface of the medulla in Vangl2(Lp/+ and Vangl2(Lp/Lp embryos despite the failure of tangential migration of its normally adjacent facial motor nucleus. Anatomically, the e-pF neurons were displaced medially in Lp/+ embryos and rostro-medially Lp/Lp embryos. Pharmacological treatments showed that the e-pF oscillator exhibited characteristic network properties in both Lp/+ and Lp/Lp embryos. Furthermore, using hindbrain slices, we found that the other respiratory oscillator, the preBötzinger complex, was also anatomically and functionally established in Lp mutants. Importantly, the displaced e-pF oscillator established functional connections with the preBötC oscillator in Lp/+ mutants. Our data highlight the robustness of the developmental processes that assemble the neuronal networks mediating an essential physiological function.

  14. The neocortex of cetartiodactyls. II. Neuronal morphology of the visual and motor cortices in the giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacobs, Bob; Harland, Tessa; Kennedy, Deborah; Schall, Matthew; Wicinski, Bridget; Butti, Camilla; Hof, Patrick R; Sherwood, Chet C; Manger, Paul R

    2015-09-01

    The present quantitative study extends our investigation of cetartiodactyls by exploring the neuronal morphology in the giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis) neocortex. Here, we investigate giraffe primary visual and motor cortices from perfusion-fixed brains of three subadults stained with a modified rapid Golgi technique. Neurons (n = 244) were quantified on a computer-assisted microscopy system. Qualitatively, the giraffe neocortex contained an array of complex spiny neurons that included both "typical" pyramidal neuron morphology and "atypical" spiny neurons in terms of morphology and/or orientation. In general, the neocortex exhibited a vertical columnar organization of apical dendrites. Although there was no significant quantitative difference in dendritic complexity for pyramidal neurons between primary visual (n = 78) and motor cortices (n = 65), there was a significant difference in dendritic spine density (motor cortex > visual cortex). The morphology of aspiny neurons in giraffes appeared to be similar to that of other eutherian mammals. For cross-species comparison of neuron morphology, giraffe pyramidal neurons were compared to those quantified with the same methodology in African elephants and some cetaceans (e.g., bottlenose dolphin, minke whale, humpback whale). Across species, the giraffe (and cetaceans) exhibited less widely bifurcating apical dendrites compared to elephants. Quantitative dendritic measures revealed that the elephant and humpback whale had more extensive dendrites than giraffes, whereas the minke whale and bottlenose dolphin had less extensive dendritic arbors. Spine measures were highest in the giraffe, perhaps due to the high quality, perfusion fixation. The neuronal morphology in giraffe neocortex is thus generally consistent with what is known about other cetartiodactyls.

  15. Transient receptor potential (TRP) A1 activated currents in TRPV1 and cholecystokinin-sensitive cranial visceral afferent neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choi, Myung-Jin; Jin, Zhenhua; Park, Yong Seek; Rhee, Young Kyoung; Jin, Young-Ho

    2011-04-06

    Culinary use of the pungent spices has potential health benefits including a reduction in food intake. Pungent spices often contain ingredients that activate members of the transient receptor potential (TRP) family A1 and evoke pain from capsaicin-sensitive somatosensory neurons. TRPA1 channel have also been identified on cranial visceral afferent neurons but their distribution and functional contributions are poorly understood. Visceral vagal neurons transduce mechanical and chemical signals from peripheral organs to the nucleus tractus solitarii. Many capsaicin-sensitive vagal afferents participate in peripheral satiety signaling that includes cholecystokinin (CCK) sensitive neurons. To assess signaling, the TRPA1 selective agonist allyl isothiocyanate (AITC) was tested together with CCK and capsaicin (200nM), a TRPV1 specific agonist. In isolated nodose neurons, AITC (0.05-0.2mM) evoked concentration-dependent inward currents in 38% of the tested neurons. The TRPA1 specific antagonist HC-030031 (10μM) blocked AITC responses. TRPA1 responses were mixed across neurons that were capsaicin-sensitive and -insensitive. However CCK evoked inward currents only on capsaicin-sensitive neurons and 28% of the CCK-sensitive neurons expressed TRPA1. Our results indicate that TRPA1 is co-expressed with TRPV1 in CCK-sensitive nodose neurons. The findings indicate a potential mechanism by which spices can act within cranial visceral afferent pathways mediating satiety and contribute to the reduction of the food intake associated with spiced diets. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Sensory neuroanatomy of stick insects highlights the evolutionary diversity of the orthopteroid subgenual organ complex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strauß, Johannes; Lakes-Harlan, Reinhard

    2013-11-01

    The subgenual organ is a scolopidial sense organ located in the tibia of many insects. In this study the neuroanatomy of the subgenual organ complex of stick insects is clarified for two species, Carausius morosus and Siyploidea sipylus. Neuronal tracing shows a subgenual organ complex that consists of a subgenual organ and a distal organ. There are no differences in neuroanatomy between the three thoracic leg pairs, and the sensory structures are highly similar in both species. A comparison of the neuroanatomy with other orthopteroid insects highlights two features unique in Phasmatodea. The subgenual organ contains a set of densely arranged sensory neurons in the anterior-ventral part of the organ, and a distal organ with 16-17 scolopidial sensilla in C. morosus and 20-22 scolopidial sensilla in S. sipylus. The somata of sensory neurons in the distal organ are organized in a linear array extending distally into the tibia, with only a few exceptions of closely associated neurons. The stick insect sense organs show a case of an elaborate scolopidial sense organ that evolved in addition to the subgenual organ. The neuroanatomy of stick insects is compared to that studied in other orthopteroid taxa (cockroaches, locusts, crickets, tettigoniids). The comparison of sensory structures indicates that elaborate scolopidial organs have evolved repeatedly among orthopteroids. The distal organ in stick insects has the highest number of sensory neurons known for distal organs so far. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  17. Eltrombopag, a thrombopoietin mimetic, crosses the blood-brain barrier and impairs iron-dependent hippocampal neuron dendrite development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bastian, T W; Duck, K A; Michalopoulos, G C; Chen, M J; Liu, Z-J; Connor, J R; Lanier, L M; Sola-Visner, M C; Georgieff, M K

    2017-03-01

    Essentials Potential neurodevelopmental side effects of thrombopoietin mimetics need to be considered. The effects of eltrombopag (ELT) on neuronal iron status and dendrite development were assessed. ELT crosses the blood-brain barrier and causes iron deficiency in developing neurons. ELT blunts dendrite maturation, indicating a need for more safety studies before neonatal use. Background Thrombocytopenia is common in sick neonates. Thrombopoietin mimetics (e.g. eltrombopag [ELT]) might provide an alternative therapy for selected neonates with severe and prolonged thrombocytopenia, and for infants and young children with different varieties of thrombocytopenia. However, ELT chelates intracellular iron, which may adversely affect developing organs with high metabolic requirements. Iron deficiency (ID) is particularly deleterious during brain development, impairing neuronal myelination, dopamine signaling and dendritic maturation and ultimately impairing long-term neurological function (e.g. hippocampal-dependent learning and memory). Objective To determine whether ELT crosses the blood-brain barrier (BBB), causes neuronal ID and impairs hippocampal neuron dendrite maturation. Methods ELT transport across the BBB was assessed using primary bovine brain microvascular endothelial cells. Embryonic mouse primary hippocampal neuron cultures were treated with ELT or deferoxamine (DFO, an iron chelator) from 7 days in vitro (DIV) through 14 DIV and assessed for gene expression and neuronal dendrite complexity. Results ELT crossed the BBB in a time-dependent manner. 2 and 6 μm ELT increased Tfr1 and Slc11a2 (iron-responsive genes involved in neuronal iron uptake) mRNA levels, indicating neuronal ID. 6 μm ELT, but not 2 μm ELT, decreased BdnfVI, Camk2a and Vamp1 mRNA levels, suggesting impaired neuronal development and synaptic function. Dendrite branch number and length were reduced in 6 μm ELT-treated neurons, resulting in blunted dendritic arbor complexity that

  18. Equipment to Support Development of Neuronal Network Controlled Robots

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-06-25

    growth and training of neuronal neural networks to control robot arms. This work was done to learn the properties of the neurons and neuronal network , by...Equipment to Support Development of Neuronal Network Controlled Robots With this award, our team purchased an ALA 2-channel stimulus generator, an...peer-reviewed journals: Number of Papers published in non peer-reviewed journals: Final Report: Equipment to Support Development of Neuronal Network

  19. A novel perspective on neuron study: damaging and promoting effects in different neurons induced by mechanical stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yazhou; Wang, Wei; Li, Zong; Hao, Shilei; Wang, Bochu

    2016-10-01

    A growing volume of experimental evidence demonstrates that mechanical stress plays a significant role in growth, proliferation, apoptosis, gene expression, electrophysiological properties and many other aspects of neurons. In this review, first, the mechanical microenvironment and properties of neurons under in vivo conditions are introduced and analyzed. Second, research works in recent decades on the effects of different mechanical forces, especially compression and tension, on various neurons, including dorsal root ganglion neurons, retinal ganglion cells, cerebral cortex neurons, hippocampus neurons, neural stem cells, and other neurons, are summarized. Previous research results demonstrate that mechanical stress can not only injure neurons by damaging their morphology, impacting their electrophysiological characteristics and gene expression, but also promote neuron self-repair. Finally, some future perspectives in neuron research are discussed.

  20. Neuronal Survival, Morphology and Outgrowth of Spiral Ganglion Neurons Using a Defined Growth Factor Combination.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jana Schwieger

    Full Text Available The functionality of cochlear implants (CI depends, among others, on the number and excitability of surviving spiral ganglion neurons (SGN. The spatial separation between the SGN, located in the bony axis of the inner ear, and the CI, which is inserted in the scala tympani, results in suboptimal performance of CI patients and may be decreased by attracting the SGN neurites towards the electrode contacts. Neurotrophic factors (NTFs can support neuronal survival and neurite outgrowth.Since brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF is well known for its neuroprotective effect and ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF increases neurite outgrowth, we evaluated if the combination of BDNF and CNTF leads to an enhanced neuronal survival with extended neurite outgrowth. Both NTFs were added in effective high concentrations (BDNF 50 ng/ml, CNTF 100 ng/ml, alone and in combination, to cultured dissociated SGN of neonatal rats for 48 hours.The neuronal survival and neurite outgrowth were significantly higher in SGN treated with the combination of the two NTFs compared to treatment with each factor alone. Additionally, with respect to the morphology, the combination of BDNF and CNTF leads to a significantly higher number of bipolar neurons and a decreased number of neurons without neurites in culture.The combination of BDNF and CNTF shows a great potential to increase the neuronal survival and the number of bipolar neurons in vitro and to regenerate retracted nerve fibers.

  1. Neuron Image Analyzer: Automated and Accurate Extraction of Neuronal Data from Low Quality Images.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Kwang-Min; Son, Kilho; Palmore, G Tayhas R

    2015-11-23

    Image analysis software is an essential tool used in neuroscience and neural engineering to evaluate changes in neuronal structure following extracellular stimuli. Both manual and automated methods in current use are severely inadequate at detecting and quantifying changes in neuronal morphology when the images analyzed have a low signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). This inadequacy derives from the fact that these methods often include data from non-neuronal structures or artifacts by simply tracing pixels with high intensity. In this paper, we describe Neuron Image Analyzer (NIA), a novel algorithm that overcomes these inadequacies by employing Laplacian of Gaussian filter and graphical models (i.e., Hidden Markov Model, Fully Connected Chain Model) to specifically extract relational pixel information corresponding to neuronal structures (i.e., soma, neurite). As such, NIA that is based on vector representation is less likely to detect false signals (i.e., non-neuronal structures) or generate artifact signals (i.e., deformation of original structures) than current image analysis algorithms that are based on raster representation. We demonstrate that NIA enables precise quantification of neuronal processes (e.g., length and orientation of neurites) in low quality images with a significant increase in the accuracy of detecting neuronal changes post-stimulation.

  2. Morphine disinhibits glutamatergic input to VTA dopamine neurons and promotes dopamine neuron excitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Ming; Zhao, Yanfang; Yang, Hualan; Luan, Wenjie; Song, Jiaojiao; Cui, Dongyang; Dong, Yi; Lai, Bin; Ma, Lan; Zheng, Ping

    2015-07-24

    One reported mechanism for morphine activation of dopamine (DA) neurons of the ventral tegmental area (VTA) is the disinhibition model of VTA-DA neurons. Morphine inhibits GABA inhibitory neurons, which shifts the balance between inhibitory and excitatory input to VTA-DA neurons in favor of excitation and then leads to VTA-DA neuron excitation. However, it is not known whether morphine has an additional strengthening effect on excitatory input. Our results suggest that glutamatergic input to VTA-DA neurons is inhibited by GABAergic interneurons via GABAB receptors and that morphine promotes presynaptic glutamate release by removing this inhibition. We also studied the contribution of the morphine-induced disinhibitory effect on the presynaptic glutamate release to the overall excitatory effect of morphine on VTA-DA neurons and related behavior. Our results suggest that the disinhibitory action of morphine on presynaptic glutamate release might be the main mechanism for morphine-induced increase in VTA-DA neuron firing and related behaviors.

  3. CRISPR Epigenome Editing of AKAP150 in DRG Neurons Abolishes Degenerative IVD-Induced Neuronal Activation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stover, Joshua D; Farhang, Niloofar; Berrett, Kristofer C; Gertz, Jason; Lawrence, Brandon; Bowles, Robby D

    2017-09-06

    Back pain is a major contributor to disability and has significant socioeconomic impacts worldwide. The degenerative intervertebral disc (IVD) has been hypothesized to contribute to back pain, but a better understanding of the interactions between the degenerative IVD and nociceptive neurons innervating the disc and treatment strategies that directly target these interactions is needed to improve our understanding and treatment of back pain. We investigated degenerative IVD-induced changes to dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neuron activity and utilized CRISPR epigenome editing as a neuromodulation strategy. By exposing DRG neurons to degenerative IVD-conditioned media under both normal and pathological IVD pH levels, we demonstrate that degenerative IVDs trigger interleukin (IL)-6-induced increases in neuron activity to thermal stimuli, which is directly mediated by AKAP and enhanced by acidic pH. Utilizing this novel information on AKAP-mediated increases in nociceptive neuron activity, we developed lentiviral CRISPR epigenome editing vectors that modulate endogenous expression of AKAP150 by targeted promoter histone methylation. When delivered to DRG neurons, these epigenome-modifying vectors abolished degenerative IVD-induced DRG-elevated neuron activity while preserving non-pathologic neuron activity. This work elucidates the potential for CRISPR epigenome editing as a targeted gene-based pain neuromodulation strategy. Copyright © 2017 The American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Insulin receptor signaling in the development of neuronal structure and function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cline Hollis T

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Sensory experience plays a crucial role in regulating neuronal shape and in developing synaptic contacts during brain formation. These features are required for a neuron to receive, integrate, and transmit signals within the neuronal network so that animals can adapt to the constant changing environment. Insulin receptor signaling, which has been extensively studied in peripheral organ systems such as liver, muscle and adipocyte, has recently been shown to play important roles in the central nervous system. Here we review the current understanding of the underlying mechanisms that regulate structural and functional aspects of circuit development, particularly with respect to the role of insulin receptor signaling in synaptic function and the development of dendritic arbor morphology. The potential link between insulin receptor signaling malfunction and neurological disorders will also be discussed.

  5. Taurine reduces blue light-induced retinal neuronal cell apoptosis in vitro.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dayang, Wu; Dongbo, Pang

    2018-02-27

    The massive uptake of organic compatible osmolytes is a self-protective response to multiple stressors. This study aimed to determine the protective effects of the osmolyte taurine against blue light-induced apoptosis in retinal neuronal cells in vitro. Real-time PCR was used to measure osmolyte transport. Radioimmunoassays were performed to measure osmolyte uptake. Cell Counting Kit-8 assays were conducted to measure cellular viability. Flow cytometry analysis was used to measure apoptosis. Compared with normotonic stress, hypertonic stress-induced uptake of osmolytes, including betaine, myoinositol, and taurine, into the retinal neuronal cells. Blue light increased osmolyte transporter mRNA expression together with osmolyte uptake. Furthermore, taurine significantly suppressed blue light-induced retinal neuronal cell apoptosis. The compatible osmolyte taurine may have an important role in cell resistance to blue light and cell survival.

  6. Development of Cortical GABAergic Neurons: Interplay of progenitor diversity and environmental factors on fate specification

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juliana Alves Brandão

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Cortical GABAergic interneurons constitute an extremely diverse population of cells organized in a well-defined topology of precisely interconnected cells. They play a crucial role regulating inhibitory-excitatory balance in brain circuits, gating sensory perception and regulating spike timing to brain oscillations during distinct behaviors. Dysfunctions in the establishment of proper inhibitory circuits have been associated to several brain disorders such as autism, epilepsy and schizophrenia. In the rodent adult cortex, inhibitory neurons are generated during the second gestational week from distinct progenitor lineages located in restricted domains of the ventral telencephalon. However, only recently, studies have revealed some of the mechanisms generating the heterogeneity of neuronal subtypes and their modes of integration in brain networks. Here we will discuss some the events involved in the production of cortical GABAergic neuron diversity with focus on the interaction between intrinsically driven genetic programs and environmental signals during development.

  7. The DCR protein TTC3 affects differentiation and Golgi compactness in neurons through specific actin-regulating pathways.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gaia Elena Berto

    Full Text Available In neuronal cells, actin remodeling plays a well known role in neurite extension but is also deeply involved in the organization of intracellular structures, such as the Golgi apparatus. However, it is still not very clear which mechanisms may regulate actin dynamics at the different sites. In this report we show that high levels of the TTC3 protein, encoded by one of the genes of the Down Syndrome Critical Region (DCR, prevent neurite extension and disrupt Golgi compactness in differentiating primary neurons. These effects largely depend on the capability of TTC3 to promote actin polymerization through signaling pathways involving RhoA, ROCK, CIT-N and PIIa. However, the functional relationships between these molecules differ significantly if considering the TTC3 activity on neurite extension or on Golgi organization. Finally, our results reveal an unexpected stage-dependent requirement for F-actin in Golgi organization at different stages of neuronal differentiation.

  8. Neuronal Assemblies Evidence Distributed Interactions within a Tactile Discrimination Task in Rats

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    Camila S. Deolindo

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Accumulating evidence suggests that neural interactions are distributed and relate to animal behavior, but many open questions remain. The neural assembly hypothesis, formulated by Hebb, states that synchronously active single neurons may transiently organize into functional neural circuits—neuronal assemblies (NAs—and that would constitute the fundamental unit of information processing in the brain. However, the formation, vanishing, and temporal evolution of NAs are not fully understood. In particular, characterizing NAs in multiple brain regions over the course of behavioral tasks is relevant to assess the highly distributed nature of brain processing. In the context of NA characterization, active tactile discrimination tasks with rats are elucidative because they engage several cortical areas in the processing of information that are otherwise masked in passive or anesthetized scenarios. In this work, we investigate the dynamic formation of NAs within and among four different cortical regions in long-range fronto-parieto-occipital networks (primary somatosensory, primary visual, prefrontal, and posterior parietal cortices, simultaneously recorded from seven rats engaged in an active tactile discrimination task. Our results first confirm that task-related neuronal firing rate dynamics in all four regions is significantly modulated. Notably, a support vector machine decoder reveals that neural populations contain more information about the tactile stimulus than the majority of single neurons alone. Then, over the course of the task, we identify the emergence and vanishing of NAs whose participating neurons are shown to contain more information about animal behavior than randomly chosen neurons. Taken together, our results further support the role of multiple and distributed neurons as the functional unit of information processing in the brain (NA hypothesis and their link to active animal behavior.

  9. Transgenic Mouse Lines Subdivide External Segment of the Globus Pallidus (GPe) Neurons and Reveal Distinct GPe Output Pathways

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mastro, Kevin J.; Bouchard, Rachel S.; Holt, Hiromi A. K.

    2014-01-01

    Cell-type diversity in the brain enables the assembly of complex neural circuits, whose organization and patterns of activity give rise to brain function. However, the identification of distinct neuronal populations within a given brain region is often complicated by a lack of objective criteria to distinguish one neuronal population from another. In the external segment of the globus pallidus (GPe), neuronal populations have been defined using molecular, anatomical, and electrophysiological criteria, but these classification schemes are often not generalizable across preparations and lack consistency even within the same preparation. Here, we present a novel use of existing transgenic mouse lines, Lim homeobox 6 (Lhx6)–Cre and parvalbumin (PV)–Cre, to define genetically distinct cell populations in the GPe that differ molecularly, anatomically, and electrophysiologically. Lhx6–GPe neurons, which do not express PV, are concentrated in the medial portion of the GPe. They have lower spontaneous firing rates, narrower dynamic ranges, and make stronger projections to the striatum and substantia nigra pars compacta compared with PV–GPe neurons. In contrast, PV–GPe neurons are more concentrated in the lateral portions of the GPe. They have narrower action potentials, deeper afterhyperpolarizations, and make stronger projections to the subthalamic nucleus and parafascicular nucleus of the thalamus. These electrophysiological and anatomical differences suggest that Lhx6–GPe and PV–GPe neurons participate in different circuits with the potential to contribute to different aspects of motor function and dysfunction in disease. PMID:24501350

  10. Fractal dimension of apical dendritic arborization differs in the superficial and the deep pyramidal neurons of the rat cerebral neocortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Puškaš, Nela; Zaletel, Ivan; Stefanović, Bratislav D; Ristanović, Dušan

    2015-03-04

    Pyramidal neurons of the mammalian cerebral cortex have specific structure and pattern of organization that involves the presence of apical dendrite. Morphology of the apical dendrite is well-known, but quantification of its complexity still remains open. Fractal analysis has proved to be a valuable method for analyzing the complexity of dendrite morphology. The aim of this study was to establish the fractal dimension of apical dendrite arborization of pyramidal neurons in distinct neocortical laminae by using the modified box-counting method. A total of thirty, Golgi impregnated neurons from the rat brain were analyzed: 15 superficial (cell bodies located within lamina II-III), and 15 deep pyramidal neurons (cell bodies situated within lamina V-VI). Analysis of topological parameters of apical dendrite arborization showed no statistical differences except in total dendritic length (p=0.02), indicating considerable homogeneity between the two groups of neurons. On the other hand, average fractal dimension of apical dendrite was 1.33±0.06 for the superficial and 1.24±0.04 for the deep cortical neurons, showing statistically significant difference between these two groups (pfractal dimension values, apical dendrites of the superficial pyramidal neurons tend to show higher structural complexity compared to the deep ones. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. SOMATOTOPIC ORGANIZATION OF FERRET THALAMUS

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    Mario eVázquez García

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available The stereotaxic reference marks of ferret skull have large variability and the reference point for stereotaxic experiments in ferret brain is difficult to define. Here, using extracellular single-unit recordings, we studied the somatotopic organization of cutaneous receptive fields in the ventroposterior medial (VPM and the ventral posterolateral (VPL nuclei of the ferret thalamus. The mechanical stimulation of the skin was done through air puffs. The skull was positioned according to Horsley-Clarke coordinate system. Most of the neurons responding to face skin stimulation were located +7 - +9 mm anterior, 2 – 3.9 mm lateral and 7-9.6 mm from cortical surface, whereas those responding to body skin stimulation were located +7 - +10 mm anterior, 3.3 - 5.5 mm lateral and 6.7 -10 mm from cortical surface. Out of 90 thalamic neurons recorded in this study, 58 responded to the body and the other neurons to the face stimulation. All neurons responded with spikes to stimulus onset, 37 % of neurons responded only to stimuli onset and offset and 22 % neurons fired tonically throughout stimulating epoch. The whiskers representation was located in the middle of the VPM nucleus, whereas those of the tongue, nose, bridge of the nose, supraorbital areas, upper and lower lips, and lower jaw were surrounding the whiskers representation. Within the VPL nucleus there was a clear topological correspondence from forelimb to hindlimb in the medial-to-lateral direction. Our findings indicate the whiskers representation in VPM or the forelimb-hindlimb representation in the VPL nucleus can be considered as a reliable reference in the ferret thalamus.

  12. Somatotopic organization of ferret thalamus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vázquez-García, Mario; Wallman, Marie-Josée; Timofeev, Igor

    2014-01-01

    The stereotaxic reference marks of ferret skull have large variability and the reference point for stereotaxic experiments in ferret brain is difficult to define. Here, using extracellular single-unit recordings, we studied the somatotopic organization of cutaneous receptive fields in the ventroposterior medial (VPM) and the ventral posterolateral (VPL) nuclei of the ferret thalamus. The mechanical stimulation of the skin was done through air puffs. The skull was positioned according to Horsley-Clarke coordinate system. Most of the neurons responding to face skin stimulation were located +7–+9 mm anterior, 2–3.9 mm lateral and 7–9.6 mm from cortical surface, whereas those responding to body skin stimulation were located +7–+10 mm anterior, 3.3–5.5 mm lateral and 6.7–10 mm from cortical surface. Out of 90 thalamic neurons recorded in this study, 58 responded to the body and the other neurons to the face stimulation. All neurons responded with spikes to stimulus onset, 37% of neurons responded only to stimuli onset and offset and 22% neurons fired tonically throughout stimulating epoch. The whiskers representation was located in the middle of the VPM nucleus, whereas those of the tongue, nose, bridge of the nose, supraorbital areas, upper and lower lips, and lower jaw were surrounding the whiskers representation. Within the VPL nucleus there was a clear topological correspondence from forelimb to hindlimb in the medial-to-lateral direction. Our findings indicate the whiskers representation in VPM or the forelimb-hindlimb representation in the VPL nucleus can be considered as a reliable reference in the ferret thalamus. PMID:25484859

  13. Persistent Histamine Excitation of Glutamatergic Preoptic Neurons

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    Tabarean, Iustin V.

    2012-01-01

    Thermoregulatory neurons of the median preoptic nucleus (MnPO) represent a target at which histamine modulates body temperature. The mechanism by which histamine excites a population of MnPO neurons is not known. In this study it was found that histamine activated a cationic inward current and increased the intracellular Ca2+ concentration, actions that had a transient component as well as a sustained one that lasted for tens of minutes after removal of the agonist. The sustained component was blocked by TRPC channel blockers. Single-cell reverse transcription-PCR analysis revealed expression of TRPC1, TRPC5 and TRPC7 subunits in neurons excited by histamine. These studies also established the presence of transcripts for the glutamatergic marker Vglut2 and for the H1 histamine receptor in neurons excited by histamine. Intracellular application of antibodies directed against cytoplasmic sites of the TRPC1 or TRPC5 channel subunits decreased the histamine-induced inward current. The persistent inward current and elevation in intracellular Ca2+ concentration could be reversed by activating the PKA pathway. This data reveal a novel mechanism by which histamine induces persistent excitation and sustained intracellular Ca2+ elevation in glutamatergic MnPO neurons. PMID:23082195

  14. Neuron-microglia interaction in neuroinflammation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suzumura, Akio

    2013-02-01

    Microglia are monocyte-macrophage lineage cells, while other glial cells are neuroectodermal origin. Accumulation of microglia is commonly observed around degenerating neurons. There, microglia produce a variety of factors and function both neurotoxic and neuroprotective. Thus, accumulation of glia in various neurological disorders is not a static scar, gliosis, but more actively involved in degeneration and regeneration as neuroinflammation. We have shown previously that the most neurotoxic factor from activated microglia is glutamate, and that the suppression of glutamate release from microglia results in amelioration of disease progression in animal models of neurodegenerative disorders. On the other hands, when exposed to harmful stimuli, neurons also produce various factors as "help me" signals. Recently, we found that a CX3C chemokine, fractalkine (FKN), and interleukin-34 (IL-34) were secreted from damaged neurons. FKN and IL-34 differently activated microglia to rescue neurons by upregulating phagocytosis of toxicants or damaged debris, and production of anti-oxidant enzyme. The bi-directional interaction between neurons and microglia is important for understanding of chronic neuroinflammation, and gives us clues for future therapeutic strategy against neurodegenerative disorders.

  15. Disorders of motor neurons manifested by hyperactivity.

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    Grapperon, A M; Attarian, S

    2017-05-01

    Neuronal and/or axonal hyperactivity and hyperexcitability is an important feature of motor neuron diseases. It results clinically in cramps and fasciculations. It is not specific to motor neuron diseases, and can occur in healthy subjects, as well as in various pathologies of the peripheral nervous system, including nerve hyperexcitability syndromes. Hyperexcitability plays an important and debated role in the pathophysiology of motor neuron diseases, especially in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The mechanisms causing hyperexcitability are not yet clearly identified. While most studies favor a distal axonal origin site of fasciculations, some of the fasciculations could be of cortical origin. The consequences of hyperexcitability are also discussed, whether it is rather protective or deleterious in the disease course. Fasciculations are depicted both clinically and using electromyogram, and more recently the interest of ultrasound has been highlighted. The importance of fasciculation potentials in the diagnosis of ALS led to changes in electrophysiological criteria at Awaji consensus conference. The contribution of these modifications to ALS diagnosis has been the subject of several studies. In clinical practice, it is necessary to distinguish fasciculations potentials of motor neuron disease from benign fasciculations. In most studies of fasciculation potentials in ALS, the presence of complex fasciculation potentials appears to be relevant for the diagnosis and the prognosis of the disease. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  16. Synchronous behavior of two coupled electronic neurons

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    Pinto, R. D. [Institute for Nonlinear Science, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California 92093-0402 (United States); Varona, P. [Institute for Nonlinear Science, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California 92093-0402 (United States); GNB, Departamento Ingenieria Informatica, Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, 28049 Madrid, (Spain); Volkovskii, A. R. [Institute for Nonlinear Science, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California 92093-0402 (United States); Szuecs, A. [Institute for Nonlinear Science, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California 92093-0402 (United States); Abarbanel, Henry D. I. [Institute for Nonlinear Science, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California 92093-0402 (United States); Department of Physics and Marine Physical Laboratory, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California 92093-0402 (United States); Rabinovich, M. I. [Institute for Nonlinear Science, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California 92093-0402 (United States)

    2000-08-01

    We report on experimental studies of synchronization phenomena in a pair of analog electronic neurons (ENs). The ENs were designed to reproduce the observed membrane voltage oscillations of isolated biological neurons from the stomatogastric ganglion of the California spiny lobster Panulirus interruptus. The ENs are simple analog circuits which integrate four-dimensional differential equations representing fast and slow subcellular mechanisms that produce the characteristic regular/chaotic spiking-bursting behavior of these cells. In this paper we study their dynamical behavior as we couple them in the same configurations as we have done for their counterpart biological neurons. The interconnections we use for these neural oscillators are both direct electrical connections and excitatory and inhibitory chemical connections: each realized by analog circuitry and suggested by biological examples. We provide here quantitative evidence that the ENs and the biological neurons behave similarly when coupled in the same manner. They each display well defined bifurcations in their mutual synchronization and regularization. We report briefly on an experiment on coupled biological neurons and four-dimensional ENs, which provides further ground for testing the validity of our numerical and electronic models of individual neural behavior. Our experiments as a whole present interesting new examples of regularization and synchronization in coupled nonlinear oscillators. (c) 2000 The American Physical Society.

  17. Autapses promote synchronization in neuronal networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fan, Huawei; Wang, Yafeng; Wang, Hengtong; Lai, Ying-Cheng; Wang, Xingang

    2018-01-12

    Neurological disorders such as epileptic seizures are believed to be caused by neuronal synchrony. However, to ascertain the causal role of neuronal synchronization in such diseases through the traditional approach of electrophysiological data analysis remains a controversial, challenging, and outstanding problem. We offer an alternative principle to assess the physiological role of neuronal synchrony based on identifying structural anomalies in the underlying network and studying their impacts on the collective dynamics. In particular, we focus on autapses - time delayed self-feedback links that exist on a small fraction of neurons in the network, and investigate their impacts on network synchronization through a detailed stability analysis. Our main finding is that the proper placement of a small number of autapses in the network can promote synchronization significantly, providing the computational and theoretical bases for hypothesizing a high degree of synchrony in real neuronal networks with autapses. Our result that autapses, the shortest possible links in any network, can effectively modulate the collective dynamics provides also a viable strategy for optimal control of complex network dynamics at minimal cost.

  18. Memristors Empower Spiking Neurons With Stochasticity

    KAUST Repository

    Al-Shedivat, Maruan

    2015-06-01

    Recent theoretical studies have shown that probabilistic spiking can be interpreted as learning and inference in cortical microcircuits. This interpretation creates new opportunities for building neuromorphic systems driven by probabilistic learning algorithms. However, such systems must have two crucial features: 1) the neurons should follow a specific behavioral model, and 2) stochastic spiking should be implemented efficiently for it to be scalable. This paper proposes a memristor-based stochastically spiking neuron that fulfills these requirements. First, the analytical model of the memristor is enhanced so it can capture the behavioral stochasticity consistent with experimentally observed phenomena. The switching behavior of the memristor model is demonstrated to be akin to the firing of the stochastic spike response neuron model, the primary building block for probabilistic algorithms in spiking neural networks. Furthermore, the paper proposes a neural soma circuit that utilizes the intrinsic nondeterminism of memristive switching for efficient spike generation. The simulations and analysis of the behavior of a single stochastic neuron and a winner-take-all network built of such neurons and trained on handwritten digits confirm that the circuit can be used for building probabilistic sampling and pattern adaptation machinery in spiking networks. The findings constitute an important step towards scalable and efficient probabilistic neuromorphic platforms. © 2011 IEEE.

  19. WNT signalling in neuronal maturation and synaptogenesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Silvana Beatriz Rosso

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available The Wnt signaling pathway plays a role in the development of the central nervous system (CNS and growing evidence indicates that Wnts also regulates the structure and function of the adult nervous system. Wnt components are key regulators of a variety of developmental processes, including embryonic patterning, cell specification, and cell polarity. In the nervous system, Wnt signaling also regulates the formation and function of neuronal circuits by controlling neuronal differentiation, axon outgrowth and guidance, dendrite development, synaptic function and neuronal plasticity. Wnt factors can signal through three very well characterized cascades: canonical or β-catenin pathway, planar cell polarity pathway and calcium pathway that control different processes. However, divergent downstream cascades have been identified to control neuronal morphogenesis. In the nervous system, the expression of Wnt proteins is a highly controlled process. In addition, deregulation of Wnt signaling has been associated with neurodegenerative diseases. Here, we will review different aspects of neuronal and dendrite maturation, including spinogenesis and synaptogenesis. Finally, the role of Wnt pathway components on Alzheimer’s disease will be revised.

  20. Quadratic sinusoidal analysis of voltage clamped neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magnani, Christophe; Moore, Lee E

    2011-11-01

    Nonlinear biophysical properties of individual neurons are known to play a major role in the nervous system, especially those active at subthreshold membrane potentials that integrate synaptic inputs during action potential initiation. Previous electrophysiological studies have made use of a piecewise linear characterization of voltage clamped neurons, which consists of a sequence of linear admittances computed at different voltage levels. In this paper, a fundamentally new theory is developed in two stages. First, analytical equations are derived for a multi-sinusoidal voltage clamp of a Hodgkin-Huxley type model to reveal the quadratic response at the ionic channel level. Second, the resulting behavior is generalized to a novel Hermitian neural operator, which uses an algebraic formulation capturing the entire quadratic behavior of a voltage clamped neuron. In addition, this operator can also be used for a nonlinear identification analysis directly applicable to experimental measurements. In this case, a Hermitian matrix of interactions is built with paired frequency probing measurements performed at specific harmonic and interactive output frequencies. More importantly, eigenanalysis of the neural operator provides a concise signature of the voltage dependent conductances determined by their particular distribution on the dendritic and somatic membrane regions of neurons. Finally, the theory is concretely illustrated by an analysis of an experimentally measured vestibular neuron, providing a remarkably compact description of the quadratic responses involved in the nonlinear processing underlying the control of eye position during head rotation, namely the neural integrator.

  1. High-Throughput Screening in Primary Neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharma, Punita; Ando, D. Michael; Daub, Aaron; Kaye, Julia A.; Finkbeiner, Steven

    2013-01-01

    Despite years of incremental progress in our understanding of diseases such as Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD), Huntington's disease (HD), and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), there are still no disease-modifying therapeutics. The discrepancy between the number of lead compounds and approved drugs may partially be a result of the methods used to generate the leads and highlights the need for new technology to obtain more detailed and physiologically relevant information on cellular processes in normal and diseased states. Our high-throughput screening (HTS) system in a primary neuron model can help address this unmet need. HTS allows scientists to assay thousands of conditions in a short period of time which can reveal completely new aspects of biology and identify potential therapeutics in the span of a few months when conventional methods could take years or fail all together. HTS in primary neurons combines the advantages of HTS with the biological relevance of intact, fully differentiated neurons which can capture the critical cellular events or homeostatic states that make neurons uniquely susceptible to disease-associated proteins. We detail methodologies of our primary neuron HTS assay workflow from sample preparation to data reporting. We also discuss our adaptation of our HTS system into high-content screening (HCS), a type of HTS that uses multichannel fluorescence images to capture biological events in situ, and is uniquely suited to study dynamical processes in living cells. PMID:22341232

  2. Reliable neuronal systems: the importance of heterogeneity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Johannes Lengler

    Full Text Available For every engineer it goes without saying: in order to build a reliable system we need components that consistently behave precisely as they should. It is also well known that neurons, the building blocks of brains, do not satisfy this constraint. Even neurons of the same type come with huge variances in their properties and these properties also vary over time. Synapses, the connections between neurons, are highly unreliable in forwarding signals. In this paper we argue that both these fact add variance to neuronal processes, and that this variance is not a handicap of neural systems, but that instead predictable and reliable functional behavior of neural systems depends crucially on this variability. In particular, we show that higher variance allows a recurrently connected neural population to react more sensitively to incoming signals, and processes them faster and more energy efficient. This, for example, challenges the general assumption that the intrinsic variability of neurons in the brain is a defect that has to be overcome by synaptic plasticity in the process of learning.

  3. Learning intrinsic excitability in medium spiny neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scheler, Gabriele

    2013-01-01

    We present an unsupervised, local activation-dependent learning rule for intrinsic plasticity (IP) which affects the composition of ion channel conductances for single neurons in a use-dependent way. We use a single-compartment conductance-based model for medium spiny striatal neurons in order to show the effects of parameterization of individual ion channels on the neuronal membrane potential-curent relationship (activation function). We show that parameter changes within the physiological ranges are sufficient to create an ensemble of neurons with significantly different activation functions. We emphasize that the effects of intrinsic neuronal modulation on spiking behavior require a distributed mode of synaptic input and can be eliminated by strongly correlated input. We show how modulation and adaptivity in ion channel conductances can be utilized to store patterns without an additional contribution by synaptic plasticity (SP). The adaptation of the spike response may result in either "positive" or "negative" pattern learning. However, read-out of stored information depends on a distributed pattern of synaptic activity to let intrinsic modulation determine spike response. We briefly discuss the implications of this conditional memory on learning and addiction.

  4. FG-MOS neuron for binary CNN

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flak, Jacek; Laiho, Mika; Halonen, Kari

    2005-06-01

    This paper presents a neuron implementation based on floating-gate MOSFET (FG-MOS) structure. The computation is performed by charge distribution at the input of FG-MOS inverter determining the cell state. There is no current-flow through the interconnections after processing is completed, thus a significant reduction in DC power consumption can be achieved. Such neuron can be used to build a capacitively coupled cellular neural/nonlinear network (CNN) for processing black and white (B/W) images. Although the coupling coefficients are basically implemented with capacitances, this approach provides them with 1-bit programmability. Also the neuron's threshold level can be digitally programmed to four different values. The templates operating on the B/W images can be modified to have only binary-valued {0,1} terms or can be split into such (sequentially run) simple subtasks. Therefore, the presented neuron structure is able to perform the evaluation of almost all B/W templates proposed so far. Exploration of FG-MOS structures can help to understand the implementation problems of capacitively coupled CNNs. Such a situation appears, e.g., in nanoelectronic CNNs composed of single-electron tunneling (SET) transistors, which also deal with B/W images only. Moreover, the binary programmability approach utilized here should help to develop an effective programming scheme for future SET or CMOS-SET hybrid CNN implementations. Along with the neuron structure, its operation description and simulation results of the 8 x 8 network are presented.

  5. Binding by asynchrony: the neuronal phase code

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zoltan Nadasdy

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Neurons display continuous subthreshold oscillations and discrete action potentials. When action potentials are phase-locked to the subthreshold oscillation, we hypothesize they represent two types of information: the presence/absence of a sensory feature and the phase of subthreshold oscillation. If subthreshold oscillation phases are neuron-specific, then the sources of action potentials can be recovered based on the action potential times. If the spatial information about the stimulus is converted to action potential phases, then action potentials from multiple neurons can be combined into a single axon and the spatial configuration reconstructed elsewhere. For the reconstruction to be successful, we introduce two assumptions: that a subthreshold oscillation field has a constant phase gradient and that coincidences between action potentials and intracellular subthreshold oscillations are neuron-specific as defined by the "interference principle." Under these assumptions, a phase coding model enables information transfer between structures and reproduces experimental phenomenons such as phase precession, grid cell architecture, and phase modulation of cortical spikes. This article reviews a recently proposed neuronal algorithm for information encoding and decoding from the phase of action potentials (Nadasdy 2009. The focus is given to the principles common across different systems instead of emphasizing system specific differences.

  6. 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

  7. Entrained rhythmic activities of neuronal ensembles as perceptual memory of time interval.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sumbre, Germán; Muto, Akira; Baier, Herwig; Poo, Mu-ming

    2008-11-06

    The ability to process temporal information is fundamental to sensory perception, cognitive processing and motor behaviour of all living organisms, from amoebae to humans. Neural circuit mechanisms based on neuronal and synaptic properties have been shown to process temporal information over the range of tens of microseconds to hundreds of milliseconds. How neural circuits process temporal information in the range of seconds to minutes is much less understood. Studies of working memory in monkeys and rats have shown that neurons in the prefrontal cortex, the parietal cortex and the thalamus exhibit ramping activities that linearly correlate with the lapse of time until the end of a specific time interval of several seconds that the animal is trained to memorize. Many organisms can also memorize the time interval of rhythmic sensory stimuli in the timescale of seconds and can coordinate motor behaviour accordingly, for example, by keeping the rhythm after exposure to the beat of music. Here we report a form of rhythmic activity among specific neuronal ensembles in the zebrafish optic tectum, which retains the memory of the time interval (in the order of seconds) of repetitive sensory stimuli for a duration of up to approximately 20 s. After repetitive visual conditioning stimulation (CS) of zebrafish larvae, we observed rhythmic post-CS activities among specific tectal neuronal ensembles, with a regular interval that closely matched the CS. Visuomotor behaviour of the zebrafish larvae also showed regular post-CS repetitions at the entrained time interval that correlated with rhythmic neuronal ensemble activities in the tectum. Thus, rhythmic activities among specific neuronal ensembles may act as an adjustable 'metronome' for time intervals in the order of seconds, and serve as a mechanism for the short-term perceptual memory of rhythmic sensory experience.

  8. Selective loss of alpha motor neurons with sparing of gamma motor neurons and spinal cord cholinergic neurons in a mouse model of spinal muscular atrophy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Powis, Rachael A; Gillingwater, Thomas H

    2016-03-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a neuromuscular disease characterised primarily by loss of lower motor neurons from the ventral grey horn of the spinal cord and proximal muscle atrophy. Recent experiments utilising mouse models of SMA have demonstrated that not all motor neurons are equally susceptible to the disease, revealing that other populations of neurons can also be affected. Here, we have extended investigations of selective vulnerability of neuronal populations in the spinal cord of SMA mice to include comparative assessments of alpha motor neuron (α-MN) and gamma motor neuron (γ-MN) pools, as well as other populations of cholinergic neurons. Immunohistochemical analyses of late-symptomatic SMA mouse spinal cord revealed that numbers of α-MNs were significantly reduced at all levels of the spinal cord compared with controls, whereas numbers of γ-MNs remained stable. Likewise, the average size of α-MN cell somata was decreased in SMA mice with no change occurring in γ-MNs. Evaluation of other pools of spinal cord cholinergic neurons revealed that pre-ganglionic sympathetic neurons, central canal cluster interneurons, partition interneurons and preganglionic autonomic dorsal commissural nucleus neuron numbers all remained unaffected in SMA mice. Taken together, these findings indicate that α-MNs are uniquely vulnerable among cholinergic neuron populations in the SMA mouse spinal cord, with γ-MNs and other cholinergic neuronal populations being largely spared. © 2015 Anatomical Society.

  9. Electron Tomography Analysis of Tick-Borne Encephalitis Virus Infection in Human Neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bílý, Tomáš; Palus, Martin; Eyer, Luděk; Elsterová, Jana; Vancová, Marie; Růžek, Daniel

    2015-06-15

    Tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV) causes serious, potentially fatal neurological infections that affect humans in endemic regions of Europe and Asia. Neurons are the primary target for TBEV infection in the central nervous system. However, knowledge about this viral infection and virus-induced neuronal injury is fragmental. Here, we directly examined the pathology that occurs after TBEV infection in human primary neurons. We exploited the advantages of advanced high-pressure freezing and freeze-substitution techniques to achieve optimal preservation of infected cell architecture. Electron tomographic (ET) reconstructions elucidated high-resolution 3D images of the proliferating endoplasmic reticulum, and individual tubule-like structures of different diameters in the endoplasmic reticulum cisternae of single cells. ET revealed direct connections between the tubule-like structures and viral particles in the endoplasmic reticulum. Furthermore, ET showed connections between cellular microtubules and vacuoles that harbored the TBEV virions in neuronal extensions. This study was the first to characterize the 3D topographical organization of membranous whorls and autophagic vacuoles in TBEV-infected human neurons. The functional importance of autophagy during TBEV replication was studied in human neuroblastoma cells; stimulation of autophagy resulted in significantly increased dose-dependent TBEV production, whereas the inhibition of autophagy showed a profound, dose-dependent decrease of the yield of infectious virus.

  10. Acrylamide alters neurotransmitter induced calcium responses in murine ESC-derived and primary neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sisnaiske, Julia; Hausherr, Vanessa; Krug, Anne K; Zimmer, Bastian; Hengstler, Jan G; Leist, Marcel; van Thriel, Christoph

    2014-07-01

    Stem cell-derived specialized cell types are of interest as an alternative cell system to identify and research neurotoxic effects and modes of action. Developmental toxicity may be studied during differentiation, while organ-specific toxicity may be assessed in fully functional cells, such as neurons. In this study we tested if fully differentiated neurons derived from murine embryonic stem cells (ESCN) could be used to investigate the effects of the well characterized neurotoxic model compound acrylamide (ACR) and if ESCN behave similar to murine primary cortical neurons (pCN) from 16 days old embryos. We characterized the differentiation process of cryopreserved ESC-derived neural precursor cells (NPC) differentiating to ESCN. During the differentiation process (days 11-20) a strong increase in calcium responses to glutamate, acetylcholine and GABA were observed. Moreover, neuron specific marker proteins, β-III-tubulin, MAP2, Tau, Rbfox3 and synaptophysin showed similar patterns to pCN. In ESCN and pCN the neuronal structure, e.g. neurites, was not affected by low concentrations of ACR [0.5-1.6mM]. However, 24h incubation periods with 0.5-1.6mM ACR led to a reduction of acetylcholine and glutamate induced calcium responses. In conclusion, we show that non-cytotoxic concentrations of ACR alter neurotransmission in ESCN as well as pCN. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Targeting Neuronal Networks with Combined Drug and Stimulation Paradigms Guided by Neuroimaging to Treat Brain Disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faingold, Carl L; Blumenfeld, Hal

    2015-10-01

    Improved therapy of brain disorders can be achieved by focusing on neuronal networks, utilizing combined pharmacological and stimulation paradigms guided by neuroimaging. Neuronal networks that mediate normal brain functions, such as hearing, interact with other networks, which is important but commonly neglected. Network interaction changes often underlie brain disorders, including epilepsy. "Conditional multireceptive" (CMR) brain areas (e.g., brainstem reticular formation and amygdala) are critical in mediating neuroplastic changes that facilitate network interactions. CMR neurons receive multiple inputs but exhibit extensive response variability due to milieu and behavioral state changes and are exquisitely sensitive to agents that increase or inhibit GABA-mediated inhibition. Enhanced CMR neuronal responsiveness leads to expression of emergent properties--nonlinear events--resulting from network self-organization. Determining brain disorder mechanisms requires animals that model behaviors and neuroanatomical substrates of human disorders identified by neuroimaging. However, not all sites activated during network operation are requisite for that operation. Other active sites are ancillary, because their blockade does not alter network function. Requisite network sites exhibit emergent properties that are critical targets for pharmacological and stimulation therapies. Improved treatment of brain disorders should involve combined pharmacological and stimulation therapies, guided by neuroimaging, to correct network malfunctions by targeting specific network neurons. © The Author(s) 2015.

  12. Distribution and chemical coding of neurons in intramural ganglia of the porcine urinary bladder trigone.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zenon Pidsudko

    2004-03-01

    Full Text Available This study presents the distribution and chemical coding of neurons in the porcine intramural ganglia of the urinary bladder trigone (IG-UBT demonstrated using combined retrograde tracing and double-labelling immunohistochemistry. Retrograde fluorescent tracer Fast Blue (FB was injected into the wall of both the left and right side of the bladder trigone during laparotomy performed under pentobarbital anaesthesia. Ten-microm-thick cryostat sections were processed for double-labelling immunofluorescence with antibodies against tyrosine hydroxylase (TH, dopamine beta-hydroxylase (DBH, neuropeptide Y (NPY, somatostatin (SOM, galanin (GAL, vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP, nitric oxide synthase (NOS, calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP, substance P (SP, Leu5-enkephalin (LENK and choline acetyltransferase (ChAT. IG-UBT neurons formed characteristic clusters (from a few to tens neuronal cells found under visceral peritoneum or in the outer muscular layer. Immunohistochemistry revealed four main populations of IG-UBT neurons: SOM- (ca. 35%, SP- (ca. 32%, ChAT- and NPY- immunoreactive (-IR (ca. 23% as well as non-adrenergic non-cholinergic nerve cells (ca. 6%. This study has demonstrated a relatively large population of differently coded IG-UBT neurons, which constitute an important element of the complex neuro-endocrine system involved in the regulation of the porcine urogenital organ function.

  13. AlGaN/GaN-based HEMTs for electrical stimulation of neuronal cell cultures

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Witte, H; Warnke, C; Krost, A; Voigt, T; De Lima, A; Ivanov, I; Vidakovic-Koch, T R; Sundmacher, K

    2011-01-01

    Unipolar source-drain voltage pulses of GaN/AlGaN-high electron mobility transistors (HEMTs) were used for stimulation of cultured neuronal networks obtained from embryonic rat cerebral cortex. The HEMT sensor was grown by metal organic vapour phase epitaxy on a 2 inch sapphire substrate consisting of 10 single HEMTs concentrically arranged around the wafer centre. Electrolytic reactions between the HEMT sensor surface and the culture medium were not detected using cyclic voltammetry. During voltage pulses and resulting neuronal excitation, capacitances were recharged giving indications of the contributions of the AlGaN and AlO x isolation layers between the two-dimensional electron gas channel and the neuron culture. The resulting threshold current for stimulation of neuron activity strongly depended on the culture and HEMT position on the sensor surface under consideration which was caused by different impedances of each neuron culture and position within the culture. The differences of culture impedances could be explained by variations of composition, thickness and conductivity of the culture areas.

  14. AlGaN/GaN-based HEMTs for electrical stimulation of neuronal cell cultures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Witte, H.; Warnke, C.; Voigt, T.; de Lima, A.; Ivanov, I.; Vidakovic-Koch, T. R.; Sundmacher, K.; Krost, A.

    2011-09-01

    Unipolar source-drain voltage pulses of GaN/AlGaN-high electron mobility transistors (HEMTs) were used for stimulation of cultured neuronal networks obtained from embryonic rat cerebral cortex. The HEMT sensor was grown by metal organic vapour phase epitaxy on a 2 inch sapphire substrate consisting of 10 single HEMTs concentrically arranged around the wafer centre. Electrolytic reactions between the HEMT sensor surface and the culture medium were not detected using cyclic voltammetry. During voltage pulses and resulting neuronal excitation, capacitances were recharged giving indications of the contributions of the AlGaN and AlOx isolation layers between the two-dimensional electron gas channel and the neuron culture. The resulting threshold current for stimulation of neuron activity strongly depended on the culture and HEMT position on the sensor surface under consideration which was caused by different impedances of each neuron culture and position within the culture. The differences of culture impedances could be explained by variations of composition, thickness and conductivity of the culture areas.

  15. Double labelling immunohistochemical characterization of autonomic sympathetic neurons innervating the sow retractor clitoridis muscle

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L Ragionieri

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available Retrograde neuronal tracing and immunohistochemical methods were used to define the neurochemical content of sympathetic neurons projecting to the sow retractor clitoridis muscle (RCM. Differently from the other smooth muscles of genital organs, the RCM is an isolated muscle that is tonically contracted in the rest phase and relaxed in the active phase. This peculiarity makes it an interesting experimental model. The fluorescent tracer fast blue was injected into the RCM of three 50 kg subjects. After a one-week survival period, the ipsilateral paravertebral ganglion S1, that in a preliminary study showed the greatest number of cells projecting to the muscle, was collected from each animal. The co-existence of tyrosine hydroxylase with choline acetyltransferase, neuronal nitric oxide synthase, calcitonin gene-related peptide, leuenkephalin, neuropeptide Y, substance P and vasoactive intestinal polypeptide was studied under a fluorescent microscope on cryostat sections. Tyrosine hydroxylase was present in about 58% of the neurons projecting to the muscle and was found to be co-localized with each of the other tested substances.Within fast blue-labelled cells negative to the adrenergic marker, small populations of neurons singularly containing each of the other enzymatic markers or peptides were also observed. The present study documents the complexity of the neurochemical interactions that regulate the activity of the smooth myocytes of the RCM and their vascular components.

  16. Functional wiring of hypocretin and LC-NE neurons: implications for arousal.

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    Matthew E Carter

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available To survive in a rapidly changing environment, animals must sense their external world and internal physiological state and properly regulate levels of arousal. Levels of arousal that are abnormally high may result in inefficient use of internal energy stores and unfocused attention to salient environmental stimuli. Alternatively, levels of arousal that are abnormally low may result in the inability to properly seek food, water, sexual partners, and other factors necessary for life. In the brain, neurons that express hypocretin neuropeptides may be uniquely posed to sense the external and internal state of the animal and tune arousal state according to behavioral needs. In recent years, we have applied temporally precise optogenetic techniques to study the role of these neurons and their downstream connections in regulating arousal. In particular, we have found that noradrenergic neurons in the brainstem locus coeruleus are particularly important for mediating the effects of hypocretin neurons on arousal. Here, we discuss our recent results and consider the implications of the anatomical connectivity of these neurons in regulating the arousal state of an organism across various states of sleep and wakefulness.

  17. Caffeine Controls Glutamatergic Synaptic Transmission and Pyramidal Neuron Excitability in Human Neocortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kerkhofs, Amber; Xavier, Ana C.; da Silva, Beatriz S.; Canas, Paula M.; Idema, Sander; Baayen, Johannes C.; Ferreira, Samira G.; Cunha, Rodrigo A.; Mansvelder, Huibert D.

    2018-01-01

    Caffeine is the most widely used psychoactive drug, bolstering attention and normalizing mood and cognition, all functions involving cerebral cortical circuits. Whereas studies in rodents showed that caffeine acts through the antagonism of inhibitory A1 adenosine receptors (A1R), neither the role of A1R nor the impact of caffeine on human cortical neurons is known. We here provide the first characterization of the impact of realistic concentrations of caffeine experienced by moderate coffee drinkers (50 μM) on excitability of pyramidal neurons and excitatory synaptic transmission in the human temporal cortex. Moderate concentrations of caffeine disinhibited several of the inhibitory A1R-mediated effects of adenosine, similar to previous observations in the rodent brain. Thus, caffeine restored the adenosine-induced decrease of both intrinsic membrane excitability and excitatory synaptic transmission in the human pyramidal neurons through antagonism of post-synaptic A1R. Indeed, the A1R-mediated effects of endogenous adenosine were more efficient to inhibit synaptic transmission than neuronal excitability. This was associated with a distinct affinity of caffeine for synaptic versus extra-synaptic human cortical A1R, probably resulting from a different molecular organization of A1R in human cortical synapses. These findings constitute the first neurophysiological description of the impact of caffeine on pyramidal neuron excitability and excitatory synaptic transmission in the human temporal cortex, providing adequate ground for the effects of caffeine on cognition in humans. PMID:29354052

  18. Caffeine Controls Glutamatergic Synaptic Transmission and Pyramidal Neuron Excitability in Human Neocortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amber Kerkhofs

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Caffeine is the most widely used psychoactive drug, bolstering attention and normalizing mood and cognition, all functions involving cerebral cortical circuits. Whereas studies in rodents showed that caffeine acts through the antagonism of inhibitory A1 adenosine receptors (A1R, neither the role of A1R nor the impact of caffeine on human cortical neurons is known. We here provide the first characterization of the impact of realistic concentrations of caffeine experienced by moderate coffee drinkers (50 μM on excitability of pyramidal neurons and excitatory synaptic transmission in the human temporal cortex. Moderate concentrations of caffeine disinhibited several of the inhibitory A1R-mediated effects of adenosine, similar to previous observations in the rodent brain. Thus, caffeine restored the adenosine-induced decrease of both intrinsic membrane excitability and excitatory synaptic transmission in the human pyramidal neurons through antagonism of post-synaptic A1R. Indeed, the A1R-mediated effects of endogenous adenosine were more efficient to inhibit synaptic transmission than neuronal excitability. This was associated with a distinct affinity of caffeine for synaptic versus extra-synaptic human cortical A1R, probably resulting from a different molecular organization of A1R in human cortical synapses. These findings constitute the first neurophysiological description of the impact of caffeine on pyramidal neuron excitability and excitatory synaptic transmission in the human temporal cortex, providing adequate ground for the effects of caffeine on cognition in humans.

  19. The Satiety Signaling Neuropeptide Perisulfakinin Inhibits the Activity of Central Neurons Promoting General Activity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wicher, Dieter; Derst, Christian; Gautier, Hélène; Lapied, Bruno; Heinemann, Stefan H.; Agricola, Hans-Jürgen

    2007-01-01

    The metabolic state is one of the determinants of the general activity level. Satiety is related to resting or sleep whereas hunger correlates to wakefulness and activity. The counterpart to the mammalian satiety signal cholecystokinin (CCK) in insects are the sulfakinins. The aim of this study was to resolve the mechanism by which the antifeedant activity of perisulfakinin (PSK) in Periplaneta americana is mediated. We identified the sources of PSK which is used both as hormone and as paracrine messenger. PSK is found in the neurohemal organ of the brain and in nerve endings throughout the central nervous system. To correlate the distributions of PSK and its receptor (PSKR), we cloned the gene coding for PSKR and provide evidence for its expression within the nervous system. It occurs only in a few neurons, among them are the dorsal unpaired median (DUM) neurons which release octopamine thereby regulating the general level of activity. Application of PSK to DUM neurons attenuated the spiking frequency (EC50=11pM) due to reduction of a pacemaker Ca2+ current through cAMP-inhibited pTRPγ channels. PSK increased the intracellular cAMP level while decreasing the intracellular Ca2+ concentration in DUM neurons. Thus, the satiety signal conferred by PSK acts antagonistically to the hunger signal, provided by the adipokinetic hormone (AKH): PSK depresses the electrical activity of DUM neurons by inhibiting the pTRPγ channel that is activated by AKH under conditions of food shortage. PMID:18946521

  20. The satiety signaling neuropeptide perisulfakinin inhibits the activity of central neurons promoting general activity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dieter Wicher

    2007-12-01

    Full Text Available The metabolic state is one of the determinants of the general activity level. Satiety is related to resting or sleep whereas hunger correlates to wakefulness and activity. The counterpart to the mammalian satiety signal cholecystokinin (CCK in insects are the sulfakinins. The aim of this study was to resolve the mechanism by which the antifeedant activity of perisulfakinin (PSK in Periplaneta americana is mediated. We identified the sources of PSK which is used both as hormone and as paracrine messenger. PSK is found in the neurohemal organ of the brain and in nerve endings throughout the central nervous system. To correlate the distributions of PSK and its receptor (PSKR, we cloned the gene coding for PSKR and provide evidence for its expression within the nervous system. It occurs only in a few neurons, among them are the dorsal unpaired median (DUM neurons which release octopamine thereby regulating the general level of activity. Application of PSK to DUM neurons attenuated the spiking frequency (EC50=11pM due to reduction of a pacemaker Ca2+ current through cAMP-inhibited pTRPγ channels. PSK increased the intracellular cAMP level while decreasing the intracellular Ca2+ concentration in DUM neurons. Thus, the satiety signal conferred by PSK acts antagonistically to the hunger signal, provided by the adipokinetic hormone (AKH: PSK depresses the electrical activity of DUM neurons by inhibiting the pTRPγ channel that is activated by AKH under conditions of food shortage.

  1. Excitatory Neuronal Hubs Configure Multisensory Integration of Slow Waves in Association Cortex

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    Satoshi Kuroki

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Summary: Multisensory integration (MSI is a fundamental emergent property of the mammalian brain. During MSI, perceptual information encoded in patterned activity is processed in multimodal association cortex. The systems-level neuronal dynamics that coordinate MSI, however, are unknown. Here, we demonstrate intrinsic hub-like network activity in the association cortex that regulates MSI. We engineered calcium reporter mouse lines based on the fluorescence resonance energy transfer sensor yellow cameleon (YC2.60 expressed in excitatory or inhibitory neurons. In medial and parietal association cortex, we observed spontaneous slow waves that self-organized into hubs defined by long-range excitatory and local inhibitory circuits. Unlike directional source/sink-like flows in sensory areas, medial/parietal excitatory and inhibitory hubs had net-zero balanced inputs. Remarkably, multisensory stimulation triggered rapid phase-locking mainly of excitatory hub activity persisting for seconds after the stimulus offset. Therefore, association cortex tends to form balanced excitatory networks that configure slow-wave phase-locking for MSI. Video Abstract: : Kuroki et al. performed cell-type-specific, wide-field FRET-based calcium imaging to visualize cortical network activity induced by multisensory inputs. They observed phase-locking of cortical slow waves in excitatory neuronal hubs in association cortical areas that may underlie multisensory integration. Keywords: wide-field calcium imaging, multisensory integration, cortical slow waves, association cortex, phase locking, fluorescence resonance energy transfer, spontaneous activity, excitatory neuron, inhibitory neuron, mouse

  2. High-throughput computer method for 3D neuronal structure reconstruction from the image stack of the Drosophila brain and its applications.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ping-Chang Lee

    Full Text Available Drosophila melanogaster is a well-studied model organism, especially in the field of neurophysiology and neural circuits. The brain of the Drosophila is small but complex, and the image of a single neuron in the brain can be acquired using confocal microscopy. Analyzing the Drosophila brain is an ideal start to understanding the neural structure. The most fundamental task in studying the neural network of Drosophila is to reconstruct neuronal structures from image stacks. Although the fruit fly brain is small, it contains approximately 100,000 neurons. It is impossible to trace all the neurons manually. This study presents a high-throughput algorithm for reconstructing the neuronal structures from 3D image stacks collected by a laser scanning confocal microscope. The proposed method reconstructs the neuronal structure by applying the shortest path graph algorithm. The vertices in the graph are certain points on the 2D skeletons of the neuron in the slices. These points are close to the 3D centerlines of the neuron branches. The accuracy of the algorithm was verified using the DIADEM data set. This method has been adopted as part of the protocol of the FlyCircuit Database, and was successfully applied to process more than 16,000 neurons. This study also shows that further analysis based on the reconstruction results can be performed to gather more information on the neural network.

  3. Neuronal replacement therapy: previous achievements and challenges ahead

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grade, Sofia; Götz, Magdalena

    2017-10-01

    Lifelong neurogenesis and incorporation of newborn neurons into mature neuronal circuits operates in specialized niches of the mammalian brain and serves as role model for neuronal replacement strategies. However, to which extent can the remaining brain parenchyma, which never incorporates new neurons during the adulthood, be as plastic and readily accommodate neurons in networks that suffered neuronal loss due to injury or neurological disease? Which microenvironment is permissive for neuronal replacement and synaptic integration and which cells perform best? Can lost function be restored and how adequate is the participation in the pre-existing circuitry? Could aberrant connections cause malfunction especially in networks dominated by excitatory neurons, such as the cerebral cortex? These questions show how important connectivity and circuitry aspects are for regenerative medicine, which is the focus of this review. We will discuss the impressive advances in neuronal replacement strategies and success from exogenous as well as endogenous cell sources. Both have seen key novel technologies, like the groundbreaking discovery of induced pluripotent stem cells and direct neuronal reprogramming, offering alternatives to the transplantation of fetal neurons, and both herald great expectations. For these to become reality, neuronal circuitry analysis is key now. As our understanding of neuronal circuits increases, neuronal replacement therapy should fulfill those prerequisites in network structure and function, in brain-wide input and output. Now is the time to incorporate neural circuitry research into regenerative medicine if we ever want to truly repair brain injury.

  4. Characteristics of sodium currents in rat geniculate ganglion neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakamura, Shiro; Bradley, Robert M

    2011-12-01

    Geniculate ganglion (GG) cell bodies of chorda tympani (CT), greater superficial petrosal (GSP), and posterior auricular (PA) nerves transmit orofacial sensory information to the rostral nucleus of the solitary tract. We have used whole cell recording to investigate the characteristics of the Na(+) channels in isolated Fluorogold-labeled GG neurons that innervate different peripheral receptive fields. GG neurons expressed two classes of Na(+) channels, TTX sensitive (TTX-S) and TTX resistant (TTX-R). The majority of GG neurons expressed TTX-R currents of different amplitudes. TTX-R currents were relatively small in 60% of the neurons but were large in 12% of the sampled population. In a further 28% of the neurons, TTX completely abolished all Na(+) currents. Application of TTX completely inhibited action potential generation in all CT and PA neurons but had little effect on the generation of action potentials in 40% of GSP neurons. Most CT, GSP, and PA neurons stained positively with IB(4), and 27% of the GSP neurons were capsaicin sensitive. The majority of IB(4)-positive GSP neurons with large TTX-R Na(+) currents responded to capsaicin, whereas IB(4)-positive GSP neurons with small TTX-R Na(+) currents were capsaicin insensitive. These data demonstrate the heterogeneity of GG neurons and indicate the existence of a subset of GSP neurons sensitive to capsaicin, usually associated with nociceptors. Since there are no reports of nociceptors in the GSP receptive field, the role of these capsaicin-sensitive neurons is not clear.

  5. Neuronal avalanches in complex networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Victor Hernandez-Urbina

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Brain networks are neither regular nor random. Their structure allows for optimal information processing and transmission across the entire neural substrate of an organism. However, for topological features to be appropriately harnessed, brain networks should implement a dynamical regime which prevents phase-locked and chaotic behaviour. Critical neural dynamics refer to a dynamical regime in which the system is poised at the boundary between regularity and randomness. It has been reported that neural systems poised at this boundary achieve maximum computational power. In this paper, we review recent results regarding critical neural dynamics that emerge from systems whose underlying structure exhibits complex network properties.

  6. Genetic dissection of neural circuit anatomy underlying feeding behavior in Drosophila: distinct classes of hugin-expressing neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bader, Rüdiger; Colomb, Julien; Pankratz, Bettina; Schröck, Anne; Stocker, Reinhard F; Pankratz, Michael J

    2007-06-10

    The hugin gene of Drosophila encodes a neuropeptide with homology to mammalian neuromedin U. The hugin-expressing neurons are localized exclusively to the subesophageal ganglion of the central nervous system and modulate feeding behavior in response to nutrient signals. These neurons send neurites to the protocerebrum, the ventral nerve cord, the ring gland, and the pharynx and may interact with the gustatory sense organs. In this study, we have investigated the morphology of the hugin neurons at a single-cell level by using clonal analysis. We show that single cells project to only one of the four major targets. In addition, the neurites of the different hugin cells overlap in a specific brain region lateral to the foramen of the esophagus, which could be a new site of neuropeptide release for feeding regulation. Our study reveals novel complexity in the morphology of individual hugin neurons, which has functional implication for how they coordinate feeding behavior and growth.

  7. Neuronal Circuitry Mechanisms Regulating Adult Mammalian Neurogenesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Juan; Olsen, Reid H.J.; Sun, Jiaqi; Ming, Guo-li; Song, Hongjun

    2017-01-01

    The adult mammalian brain is a dynamic structure, capable of remodeling in response to various physiological and pathological stimuli. One dramatic example of brain plasticity is the birth and subsequent integration of newborn neurons into the existing circuitry. This process, termed adult neurogenesis, recapitulates neural developmental events in two specialized adult brain regions: the lateral ventricles of the forebrain. Recent studies have begun to delineate how the existing neuronal circuits influence the dynamic process of adult neurogenesis, from activation of quiescent neural stem cells (NSCs) to the integration and survival of newborn neurons. Here, we review recent progress toward understanding the circuit-based regulation of adult neurogenesis in the hippocampus and olfactory bulb. PMID:27143698

  8. Merkel cells and neurons keep in touch

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woo, Seung-Hyun; Lumpkin, Ellen A.; Patapoutian, Ardem

    2014-01-01

    The Merkel cell-neurite complex is a unique vertebrate touch receptor comprising two distinct cell types in the skin. Its presence in touch-sensitive skin areas was recognized more than a century ago, but the functions of each cell type in sensory transduction have been unclear. Three recent studies demonstrate that Merkel cells are mechanosensitive cells that function in touch transduction via Piezo2. One study concludes that Merkel cells rather than sensory neurons are principal sites of mechanotransduction, whereas the other two studies report that both Merkel cells and neurons encode mechanical inputs. Together, these studies settle a longstanding debate on whether Merkel cells are mechanosensory cells, and enable future investigations of how these skin cells communicate with neurons. PMID:25480024

  9. Mirror Neurons and Mirror-Touch Synesthesia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linkovski, Omer; Katzin, Naama; Salti, Moti

    2016-05-30

    Since mirror neurons were introduced to the neuroscientific community more than 20 years ago, they have become an elegant and intuitive account for different cognitive mechanisms (e.g., empathy, goal understanding) and conditions (e.g., autism spectrum disorders). Recently, mirror neurons were suggested to be the mechanism underlying a specific type of synesthesia. Mirror-touch synesthesia is a phenomenon in which individuals experience somatosensory sensations when seeing someone else being touched. Appealing as it is, careful delineation is required when applying this mechanism. Using the mirror-touch synesthesia case, we put forward theoretical and methodological issues that should be addressed before relying on the mirror-neurons account. © The Author(s) 2016.

  10. Current Source Density Estimation for Single Neurons

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    Dorottya Cserpán

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Recent developments of multielectrode technology made it possible to measure the extracellular potential generated in the neural tissue with spatial precision on the order of tens of micrometers and on submillisecond time scale. Combining such measurements with imaging of single neurons within the studied tissue opens up new experimental possibilities for estimating distribution of current sources along a dendritic tree. In this work we show that if we are able to relate part of the recording of extracellular potential to a specific cell of known morphology we can estimate the spatiotemporal distribution of transmembrane currents along it. We present here an extension of the kernel CSD method (Potworowski et al., 2012 applicable in such case. We test it on several model neurons of progressively complicated morphologies from ball-and-stick to realistic, up to analysis of simulated neuron activity embedded in a substantial working network (Traub et al, 2005. We discuss the caveats and possibilities of this new approach.

  11. Dynamics of a structured neuron population

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pakdaman, Khashayar; Salort, Delphine; Perthame, Benoît

    2010-01-01

    We study the dynamics of assemblies of interacting neurons. For large fully connected networks, the dynamics of the system can be described by a partial differential equation reminiscent of age-structure models used in mathematical ecology, where the 'age' of a neuron represents the time elapsed since its last discharge. The nonlinearity arises from the connectivity J of the network. We prove some mathematical properties of the model that are directly related to qualitative properties. On the one hand, we prove that it is well-posed and that it admits stationary states which, depending upon the connectivity, can be unique or not. On the other hand, we study the long time behaviour of solutions; both for small and large J, we prove the relaxation to the steady state describing asynchronous firing of the neurons. In the middle range, numerical experiments show that periodic solutions appear expressing re-synchronization of the network and asynchronous firing

  12. Runx transcription factors in neuronal development

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    Shiga Takashi

    2008-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Runt-related (Runx transcription factors control diverse aspects of embryonic development and are responsible for the pathogenesis of many human diseases. In recent years, the functions of this transcription factor family in the nervous system have just begun to be understood. In dorsal root ganglion neurons, Runx1 and Runx3 play pivotal roles in the development of nociceptive and proprioceptive sensory neurons, respectively. Runx appears to control the transcriptional regulation of neurotrophin receptors, numerous ion channels and neuropeptides. As a consequence, Runx contributes to diverse aspects of the sensory system in higher vertebrates. In this review, we summarize recent progress in determining the role of Runx in neuronal development.

  13. Microglia in neuronal plasticity: Influence of stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delpech, Jean-Christophe; Madore, Charlotte; Nadjar, Agnes; Joffre, Corinne; Wohleb, Eric S; Layé, Sophie

    2015-09-01

    The central nervous system (CNS) has previously been regarded as an immune-privileged site with the absence of immune cell responses but this dogma was not entirely true. Microglia are the brain innate immune cells and recent findings indicate that they participate both in CNS disease and infection as well as facilitate normal CNS function. Microglia are highly plastic and play integral roles in sculpting the structure of the CNS, refining neuronal circuitry and connectivity, and contribute actively to neuronal plasticity in the healthy brain. Interestingly, psychological stress can perturb the function of microglia in association with an impaired neuronal plasticity and the development of emotional behavior alterations. As a result it seemed important to describe in this review some findings indicating that the stress-induced microglia dysfunction may underlie neuroplasticity deficits associated to many mood disorders. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled 'Neuroimmunology and Synaptic Function'. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Mechanosensor Channels in Mammalian Somatosensory Neurons

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    Patrick Delmas

    2007-09-01

    Full Text Available Mechanoreceptive sensory neurons innervating the skin, skeletal muscles andviscera signal both innocuous and noxious information necessary for proprioception, touchand pain. These neurons are responsible for the transduction of mechanical stimuli intoaction potentials that propagate to the central nervous system. The ability of these cells todetect mechanical stimuli impinging on them relies on the presence of mechanosensitivechannels that transduce the external mechanical forces into electrical and chemical signals.Although a great deal of information regarding the molecular and biophysical properties ofmechanosensitive channels in prokaryotes has been accumulated over the past two decades,less is known about the mechanosensitive channels necessary for proprioception and thesenses of touch and pain. This review summarizes the most pertinent data onmechanosensitive channels of mammalian somatosensory neurons, focusing on theirproperties, pharmacology and putative identity.

  15. Defective neuronal migration and inhibition of bipolar to multipolar transition of migrating neural cells by Mesoderm-Specific Transcript, Mest, in the developing mouse neocortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ji, Liting; Bishayee, Kausik; Sadra, Ali; Choi, Seunghyuk; Choi, Wooyul; Moon, Sungho; Jho, Eek-Hoon; Huh, Sung-Oh

    2017-07-04

    Brain developmental disorders such as lissencephaly can result from faulty neuronal migration and differentiation during the formation of the mammalian neocortex. The cerebral cortex is a modular structure, where developmentally, newborn neurons are generated as a neuro-epithelial sheet and subsequently differentiate, migrate and organize into their final positions in the cerebral cortical plate via a process involving both tangential and radial migration. The specific role of Mest, an imprinted gene, in neuronal migration has not been previously studied. In this work, we reduced expression of Mest with in utero electroporation of neuronal progenitors in the developing embryonic mouse neocortex. Reduction of Mest levels by shRNA significantly reduced the number of neurons migrating to the cortical plate. Also, Mest-knockdown disrupted the transition of bipolar neurons into multipolar neurons migrating out of the sub-ventricular zone region. The migrating neurons also adopted a more tangential migration pattern upon knockdown of the Mest message, losing their potential to attach to radial glia cells, required for radial migration. The differentiation and migration properties of neurons via Wnt-Akt signaling were affected by Mest changes. In addition, miR-335, encoded in a Mest gene intron, was identified as being responsible for blocking the default tangential migration of the neurons. Our results suggest that Mest and its intron product, miR-335, play important roles in neuronal migration with Mest regulating the morphological transition of primary neurons required in the formation of the mammalian neocortex. Copyright © 2017 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Neuronal glycogen synthesis contributes to physiological aging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sinadinos, Christopher; Valles-Ortega, Jordi; Boulan, Laura; Solsona, Estel; Tevy, Maria F; Marquez, Mercedes; Duran, Jordi; Lopez-Iglesias, Carmen; Calbó, Joaquim; Blasco, Ester; Pumarola, Marti; Milán, Marco; Guinovart, Joan J

    2014-10-01

    Glycogen is a branched polymer of glucose and the carbohydrate energy store for animal cells. In the brain, it is essentially found in glial cells, although it is also present in minute amounts in neurons. In humans, loss-of-function mutations in laforin and malin, proteins involved in suppressing glycogen synthesis, induce the presence of high numbers of insoluble polyglucosan bodies in neuronal cells. Known as Lafora bodies (LBs), these deposits result in the aggressive neurodegeneration seen in Lafora's disease. Polysaccharide-based aggregates, called corpora amylacea (CA), are also present in the neurons of aged human brains. Despite the similarity of CA to LBs, the mechanisms and functional consequences of CA formation are yet unknown. Here, we show that wild-type laboratory mice also accumulate glycogen-based aggregates in the brain as they age. These structures are immunopositive for an array of metabolic and stress-response proteins, some of which were previously shown to aggregate in correlation with age in the human brain and are also present in LBs. Remarkably, these structures and their associated protein aggregates are not present in the aged mouse brain upon genetic ablation of glycogen synthase. Similar genetic intervention in Drosophila prevents the accumulation of glycogen clusters in the neuronal processes of aged flies. Most interestingly, targeted reduction of Drosophila glycogen synthase in neurons improves neurological function with age and extends lifespan. These results demonstrate that neuronal glycogen accumulation contributes to physiological aging and may therefore constitute a key factor regulating age-related neurological decline in humans. © 2014 The Authors. Aging cell published by the Anatomical Society and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  17. Nuclear Calcium Buffering Capacity Shapes Neuronal Architecture*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mauceri, Daniela; Hagenston, Anna M.; Schramm, Kathrin; Weiss, Ursula; Bading, Hilmar

    2015-01-01

    Calcium-binding proteins (CaBPs) such as parvalbumin are part of the cellular calcium buffering system that determines intracellular calcium diffusion and influences the spatiotemporal dynamics of calcium signals. In neurons, CaBPs are primarily localized to the cytosol and function, for example, in nerve terminals in short-term synaptic plasticity. However, CaBPs are also expressed in the cell nucleus, suggesting that they modulate nuclear calcium signals, which are key regulators of neuronal gene expression. Here we show that the calcium buffering capacity of the cell nucleus in mouse hippocampal neurons regulates neuronal architecture by modulating the expression levels of VEGFD and the complement factor C1q-c, two nuclear calcium-regulated genes that control dendrite geometry and spine density, respectively. Increasing the levels of nuclear calcium buffers by means of expression of a nuclearly targeted form of parvalbumin fused to mCherry (PV.NLS-mC) led to a reduction in VEGFD expression and, as a result, to a decrease in total dendritic length and complexity. In contrast, mRNA levels of the synapse pruning factor C1q-c were increased in neurons expressing PV.NLS-mC, causing a reduction in the density and size of dendritic spines. Our results establish a close link between nuclear calcium buffering capacity and the transcription of genes that determine neuronal structure. They suggest that the development of cognitive deficits observed in neurological conditions associated with CaBP deregulation may reflect the loss of necessary structural features of dendrites and spines. PMID:26231212

  18. Implementing Signature Neural Networks with Spiking Neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carrillo-Medina, José Luis; Latorre, Roberto

    2016-01-01

    Spiking Neural Networks constitute the most promising approach to develop realistic Artificial Neural Networks (ANNs). Unlike traditional firing rate-based paradigms, information coding in spiking models is based on the precise timing of individual spikes. It has been demonstrated that spiking ANNs can be successfully and efficiently applied to multiple realistic problems solvable with traditional strategies (e.g., data classification or pattern recognition). In recent years, major breakthroughs in neuroscience research have discovered new relevant computational principles in different living neural systems. Could ANNs benefit from some of these recent findings providing novel elements of inspiration? This is an intriguing question for the research community and the development of spiking ANNs including novel bio-inspired information coding and processing strategies is gaining attention. From this perspective, in this work, we adapt the core concepts of the recently proposed Signature Neural Network paradigm-i.e., neural signatures to identify each unit in the network, local information contextualization during the processing, and multicoding strategies for information propagation regarding the origin and the content of the data-to be employed in a spiking neural network. To the best of our knowledge, none of these mechanisms have been used yet in the context of ANNs of spiking neurons. This paper provides a proof-of-concept for their applicability in such networks. Computer simulations show that a simple network model like the discussed here exhibits complex self-organizing properties. The combination of multiple simultaneous encoding schemes allows the network to generate coexisting spatio-temporal patterns of activity encoding information in different spatio-temporal spaces. As a function of the network and/or intra-unit parameters shaping the corresponding encoding modality, different forms of competition among the evoked patterns can emerge even in the absence

  19. Mirror neurons: Enigma of the metaphysical modular brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Acharya, Sourya; Shukla, Samarth

    2012-07-01

    Mirror neurons are one of the most important discoveries in the last decade of neuroscience. These are a variety of visuospatial neurons which indicate fundamentally about human social interaction. Essentially, mirror neurons respond to actions that we observe in others. The interesting part is that mirror neurons fire in the same way when we actually recreate that action ourselves. Apart from imitation, they are responsible for myriad of other sophisticated human behavior and thought processes. Defects in the mirror neuron system are being linked to disorders like autism. This review is a brief introduction to the neurons that shaped our civilization.

  20. 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...