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Sample records for synapse organization synaptic

  1. Synapse geometry and receptor dynamics modulate synaptic strength.

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    Dominik Freche

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

  2. Role of mental retardation-associated dystrophin-gene product Dp71 in excitatory synapse organization, synaptic plasticity and behavioral functions.

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    Fatma Daoud

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD is caused by deficient expression of the cytoskeletal protein, dystrophin. One third of DMD patients also have mental retardation (MR, likely due to mutations preventing expression of dystrophin and other brain products of the DMD gene expressed from distinct internal promoters. Loss of Dp71, the major DMD-gene product in brain, is thought to contribute to the severity of MR; however, the specific function of Dp71 is poorly understood. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Complementary approaches were used to explore the role of Dp71 in neuronal function and identify mechanisms by which Dp71 loss may impair neuronal and cognitive functions. Besides the normal expression of Dp71 in a subpopulation of astrocytes, we found that a pool of Dp71 colocalizes with synaptic proteins in cultured neurons and is expressed in synaptic subcellular fractions in adult brains. We report that Dp71-associated protein complexes interact with specialized modular scaffolds of proteins that cluster glutamate receptors and organize signaling in postsynaptic densities. We then undertook the first functional examination of the brain and cognitive alterations in the Dp71-null mice. We found that these mice display abnormal synapse organization and maturation in vitro, altered synapse density in the adult brain, enhanced glutamatergic transmission and reduced synaptic plasticity in CA1 hippocampus. Dp71-null mice show selective behavioral disturbances characterized by reduced exploratory and novelty-seeking behavior, mild retention deficits in inhibitory avoidance, and impairments in spatial learning and memory. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Results suggest that Dp71 expression in neurons play a regulatory role in glutamatergic synapse organization and function, which provides a new mechanism by which inactivation of Dp71 in association with that of other DMD-gene products may lead to increased severity of MR.

  3. Organization of central synapses by adhesion molecules.

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    Tallafuss, Alexandra; Constable, John R L; Washbourne, Philip

    2010-07-01

    Synapses are the primary means for transmitting information from one neuron to the next. They are formed during the development of the nervous system, and the formation of appropriate synapses is crucial for the establishment of neuronal circuits that underlie behavior and cognition. Understanding how synapses form and are maintained will allow us to address developmental disorders such as autism, mental retardation and possibly also psychological disorders. A number of biochemical and proteomic studies have revealed a diverse and vast assortment of molecules that are present at the synapse. It is now important to untangle this large array of proteins and determine how it assembles into a functioning unit. Here we focus on recent reports describing how synaptic cell adhesion molecules interact with and organize the presynaptic and postsynaptic specializations of both excitatory and inhibitory central synapses. © The Authors (2010). Journal Compilation © Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  4. N-cadherin relocalizes from the periphery to the center of the synapse after transient synaptic stimulation in hippocampal neurons.

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    Patricia T Yam

    Full Text Available N-cadherin is a cell adhesion molecule which is enriched at synapses. Binding of N-cadherin molecules to each other across the synaptic cleft has been postulated to stabilize adhesion between the presynaptic bouton and the postsynaptic terminal. N-cadherin is also required for activity-induced changes at synapses, including hippocampal long term potentiation and activity-induced spine expansion and stabilization. We hypothesized that these activity-dependent changes might involve changes in N-cadherin localization within synapses. To determine whether synaptic activity changes the localization of N-cadherin, we used structured illumination microscopy, a super-resolution approach which overcomes the conventional resolution limits of light microscopy, to visualize the localization of N-cadherin within synapses of hippocampal neurons. We found that synaptic N-cadherin exhibits a spectrum of localization patterns, ranging from puncta at the periphery of the synapse adjacent to the active zone to an even distribution along the synaptic cleft. Furthermore, the N-cadherin localization pattern within synapses changes during KCl depolarization and after transient synaptic stimulation. During KCl depolarization, N-cadherin relocalizes away from the central region of the synaptic cleft to the periphery of the synapse. In contrast, after transient synaptic stimulation with KCl followed by a period of rest in normal media, fewer synapses have N-cadherin present as puncta at the periphery and more synapses have N-cadherin present more centrally and uniformly along the synapse compared to unstimulated cells. This indicates that transient synaptic stimulation modulates N-cadherin localization within the synapse. These results bring new information to the structural organization and activity-induced changes occurring at synapses, and suggest that N-cadherin relocalization may contribute to activity dependent changes at synapses.

  5. Tripartite synapses: astrocytes process and control synaptic information.

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    Perea, Gertrudis; Navarrete, Marta; Araque, Alfonso

    2009-08-01

    The term 'tripartite synapse' refers to a concept in synaptic physiology based on the demonstration of the existence of bidirectional communication between astrocytes and neurons. Consistent with this concept, in addition to the classic 'bipartite' information flow between the pre- and postsynaptic neurons, astrocytes exchange information with the synaptic neuronal elements, responding to synaptic activity and, in turn, regulating synaptic transmission. Because recent evidence has demonstrated that astrocytes integrate and process synaptic information and control synaptic transmission and plasticity, astrocytes, being active partners in synaptic function, are cellular elements involved in the processing, transfer and storage of information by the nervous system. Consequently, in contrast to the classically accepted paradigm that brain function results exclusively from neuronal activity, there is an emerging view, which we review herein, in which brain function actually arises from the coordinated activity of a network comprising both neurons and glia.

  6. Short-Term Synaptic Plasticity at Interneuronal Synapses Could Sculpt Rhythmic Motor Patterns.

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    Jia, Yan; Parker, David

    2016-01-01

    The output of a neuronal network depends on the organization and functional properties of its component cells and synapses. While the characterization of synaptic properties has lagged cellular analyses, a potentially important aspect in rhythmically active networks is how network synapses affect, and are in turn affected by, network activity. This could lead to a potential circular interaction where short-term activity-dependent synaptic plasticity is both influenced by and influences the network output. The analysis of synaptic plasticity in the lamprey locomotor network was extended here to characterize the short-term plasticity of connections between network interneurons and to try and address its potential network role. Paired recordings from identified interneurons in quiescent networks showed synapse-specific synaptic properties and plasticity that supported the presence of two hemisegmental groups that could influence bursting: depression in an excitatory interneuron group, and facilitation in an inhibitory feedback circuit. The influence of activity-dependent synaptic plasticity on network activity was investigated experimentally by changing Ringer Ca(2+) levels, and in a simple computer model. A potential caveat of the experimental analyses was that changes in Ringer Ca(2+) (and compensatory adjustments in Mg(2+) in some cases) could alter several other cellular and synaptic properties. Several of these properties were tested, and while there was some variability, these were not usually significantly affected by the Ringer changes. The experimental analyses suggested that depression of excitatory inputs had the strongest influence on the patterning of network activity. The simulation supported a role for this effect, and also suggested that the inhibitory facilitating group could modulate the influence of the excitatory synaptic depression. Short-term activity-dependent synaptic plasticity has not generally been considered in spinal cord models. These

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

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    Meredith, Rhiannon M.; van Ooyen, Arjen

    2012-01-01

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

  8. Synaptic Cell Adhesion

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

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    Rudenko, Gabby (Texas-MED)

    2017-01-01

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

  10. Gephyrin, the enigmatic organizer at GABAergic synapses

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    Tretter, Verena; Mukherjee, Jayanta; Maric, Hans-Michael

    2012-01-01

    GABA(A) receptors are clustered at synaptic sites to achieve a high density of postsynaptic receptors opposite the input axonal terminals. This allows for an efficient propagation of GABA mediated signals, which mostly result in neuronal inhibition. A key organizer for inhibitory synaptic receptors...

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

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    Schroeder, Anna; de Wit, Joris

    2018-04-09

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

  12. Synaptic Conversion of Chloride-Dependent Synapses in Spinal Nociceptive Circuits: Roles in Neuropathic Pain

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    Mark S. Cooper

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Electrophysiological conversion of chloride-dependent synapses from inhibitory to excitatory function, as a result of aberrant neuronal chloride homeostasis, is a known mechanism for the genesis of neuropathic pain. This paper examines theoretically how this type of synaptic conversion can disrupt circuit logic in spinal nociceptive circuits. First, a mathematical scaling factor is developed to represent local aberration in chloride electrochemical driving potential. Using this mathematical scaling factor, electrophysiological symbols are developed to represent the magnitude of synaptic conversion within nociceptive circuits. When inserted into a nociceptive circuit diagram, these symbols assist in understanding the generation of neuropathic pain associated with the collapse of transmembrane chloride gradients. A more generalized scaling factor is also derived to represent the interplay of chloride and bicarbonate driving potentials on the function of GABAergic and glycinergic synapses. These mathematical and symbolic representations of synaptic conversion help illustrate the critical role that anion driving potentials play in the transduction of pain. Using these representations, we discuss ramifications of glial-mediated synaptic conversion in the genesis, and treatment, of neuropathic pain.

  13. Syncrip/hnRNP Q influences synaptic transmission and regulates BMP signaling at the Drosophila neuromuscular synapse

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    James M. Halstead

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Synaptic plasticity involves the modulation of synaptic connections in response to neuronal activity via multiple pathways. One mechanism modulates synaptic transmission by retrograde signals from the post-synapse that influence the probability of vesicle release in the pre-synapse. Despite its importance, very few factors required for the expression of retrograde signals, and proper synaptic transmission, have been identified. Here, we identify the conserved RNA binding protein Syncrip as a new factor that modulates the efficiency of vesicle release from the motoneuron and is required for correct synapse structure. We show that syncrip is required genetically and its protein product is detected only in the muscle and not in the motoneuron itself. This unexpected non-autonomy is at least partly explained by the fact that Syncrip modulates retrograde BMP signals from the muscle back to the motoneuron. We show that Syncrip influences the levels of the Bone Morphogenic Protein ligand Glass Bottom Boat from the post-synapse and regulates the pre-synapse. Our results highlight the RNA-binding protein Syncrip as a novel regulator of synaptic output. Given its known role in regulating translation, we propose that Syncrip is important for maintaining a balance between the strength of presynaptic vesicle release and postsynaptic translation.

  14. Maternal dietary loads of alpha-tocopherol increase synapse density and glial synaptic coverage in the hippocampus of adult offspring

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    S. Salucci

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available An increased intake of the antioxidant α-Tocopherol (vitamin E is recommended in complicated pregnancies, to prevent free radical damage to mother and fetus. However, the anti-PKC and antimitotic activity of α-Tocopherol raises concerns about its potential effects on brain development. Recently, we found that maternal dietary loads of α-Tocopherol through pregnancy and lactation cause developmental deficit in hippocampal synaptic plasticity in rat offspring. The defect persisted into adulthood, with behavioral alterations in hippocampus-dependent learning. Here, using the same rat model of maternal supplementation, ultrastructural morphometric studies were carried out to provide mechanistic interpretation to such a functional impairment in adult offspring by the occurrence of long-term changes in density and morphological features of hippocampal synapses. Higher density of axo-spinous synapses was found in CA1 stratum radiatum of α-Tocopherol-exposed rats compared to controls, pointing to a reduced synapse pruning. No morphometric changes were found in synaptic ultrastructural features, i.e., perimeter of axon terminals, length of synaptic specializations, extension of bouton-spine contact. Glia-synapse anatomical relationship was also affected. Heavier astrocytic coverage of synapses was observed in Tocopherol-treated offspring, notably surrounding axon terminals; moreover, the percentage of synapses contacted by astrocytic endfeet at bouton-spine interface (tripartite synapses was increased. These findings indicate that gestational and neonatal exposure to supranutritional tocopherol intake can result in anatomical changes of offspring hippocampus that last through adulthood. These include a surplus of axo-spinous synapses and an aberrant glia-synapse relationship, which may represent the morphological signature of previously described alterations in synaptic plasticity and hippocampus-dependent learning.

  15. Retinohypothalamic Tract Synapses in the Rat Suprachiasmatic Nucleus Demonstrate Short-Term Synaptic Plasticity

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    Moldavan, Mykhaylo G.

    2010-01-01

    The master circadian pacemaker located in the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) is entrained by light intensity–dependent signals transmitted via the retinohypothalamic tract (RHT). Short-term plasticity at glutamatergic RHT–SCN synapses was studied using stimulus frequencies that simulated the firing of light sensitive retinal ganglion cells. The evoked excitatory postsynaptic current (eEPSC) was recorded from SCN neurons located in hypothalamic brain slices. The eEPSC amplitude was stable during 0.08 Hz stimulation and exhibited frequency-dependent short-term synaptic depression (SD) during 0.5 to 100 Hz stimulus trains in 95 of 99 (96%) recorded neurons. During SD the steady-state eEPSC amplitude decreased, whereas the cumulative charge transfer increased in a frequency-dependent manner and saturated at 20 Hz. SD was similar during subjective day and night and decreased with increasing temperature. Paired-pulse stimulation (PPS) and voltage-dependent Ca2+ channel (VDCC) blockers were used to characterize a presynaptic release mechanism. Facilitation was present in 30% and depression in 70% of studied neurons during PPS. Synaptic transmission was reduced by blocking both N- and P/Q-type presynaptic VDCCs, but only the N-type channel blocker significantly relieved SD. Aniracetam inhibited AMPA receptor desensitization but did not alter SD. Thus we concluded that SD is the principal form of short-term plasticity at RHT synapses, which presynaptically and frequency-dependently attenuates light-induced glutamatergic RHT synaptic transmission protecting SCN neurons against excessive excitation. PMID:20220078

  16. Organization of central synapses by adhesion molecules

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    Tallafuss, Alexandra; Constable, John R.L.; Washbourne, Philip

    2010-01-01

    Synapses are the primary means for transmitting information from one neuron to the next. They are formed during development of the nervous system, and formation of appropriate synapses is crucial for establishment of neuronal circuits that underlie behavior and cognition. Understanding how synapses form and are maintained will allow us to address developmental disorders such as autism, mental retardation and possibly also psychological disorders. A number of biochemical and proteomic studies ...

  17. Artificial Synapses Based on in-Plane Gate Organic Electrochemical Transistors.

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    Qian, Chuan; Sun, Jia; Kong, Ling-An; Gou, Guangyang; Yang, Junliang; He, Jun; Gao, Yongli; Wan, Qing

    2016-10-05

    Realization of biological synapses using electronic devices is regarded as the basic building blocks for neuromorphic engineering and artificial neural network. With the advantages of biocompatibility, low cost, flexibility, and compatible with printing and roll-to-roll processes, the artificial synapse based on organic transistor is of great interest. In this paper, the artificial synapse simulation by ion-gel gated organic field-effect transistors (FETs) with poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) active channel is demonstrated. Key features of the synaptic behaviors, such as paired-pulse facilitation (PPF), short-term plasticity (STP), self-tuning, the spike logic operation, spatiotemporal dentritic integration, and modulation are successfully mimicked. Furthermore, the interface doping processes of electrolyte ions between the active P3HT layer and ion gels is comprehensively studied for confirming the operating processes underlying the conductivity and excitatory postsynaptic current (EPSC) variations in the organic synaptic devices. This study represents an important step toward building future artificial neuromorphic systems with newly emerged ion gel gated organic synaptic devices.

  18. Synapses between parallel fibres and stellate cells express long-term changes in synaptic efficacy in rat cerebellum.

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    Rancillac, Armelle; Crépel, Francis

    2004-02-01

    Various forms of synaptic plasticity underlying motor learning have already been well characterized at cerebellar parallel fibre (PF)-Purkinje cell (PC) synapses. Inhibitory interneurones play an important role in controlling the excitability and synchronization of PCs. We have therefore tested the possibility that excitatory synapses between PFs and stellate cells (SCs) are also able to exhibit long-term changes in synaptic efficacy. In the present study, we show that long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD) were induced at these synapses by a low frequency stimulation protocol (2 Hz for 60 s) and that pairing this low frequency stimulation protocol with postsynaptic depolarization induced a marked shift of synaptic plasticity in favour of LTP. This LTP was cAMP independent, but required nitric oxide (NO) production from pre- and/or postsynaptic elements, depending on the stimulation or pairing protocol used, respectively. In contrast, LTD was not dependent on NO production but it required activation of postsynaptic group II and possibly of group I metabotropic glutamate receptors. Finally, stimulation of PFs at 8 Hz for 15 s also induced LTP at PF-SC synapses. But in this case, LTP was cAMP dependent, as was also observed at PF-PC synapses for presynaptic LTP induced in the same conditions. Thus, long-term changes in synaptic efficacy can be accomplished by PF-SCs synapses as well as by PF-PC synapses, suggesting that both types of plasticity might co-operate during cerebellar motor learning.

  19. Differential regulation of polarized synaptic vesicle trafficking and synapse stability in neural circuit rewiring in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Naina Kurup

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Neural circuits are dynamic, with activity-dependent changes in synapse density and connectivity peaking during different phases of animal development. In C. elegans, young larvae form mature motor circuits through a dramatic switch in GABAergic neuron connectivity, by concomitant elimination of existing synapses and formation of new synapses that are maintained throughout adulthood. We have previously shown that an increase in microtubule dynamics during motor circuit rewiring facilitates new synapse formation. Here, we further investigate cellular control of circuit rewiring through the analysis of mutants obtained in a forward genetic screen. Using live imaging, we characterize novel mutations that alter cargo binding in the dynein motor complex and enhance anterograde synaptic vesicle movement during remodeling, providing in vivo evidence for the tug-of-war between kinesin and dynein in fast axonal transport. We also find that a casein kinase homolog, TTBK-3, inhibits stabilization of nascent synapses in their new locations, a previously unexplored facet of structural plasticity of synapses. Our study delineates temporally distinct signaling pathways that are required for effective neural circuit refinement.

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

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    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.

  1. Estradiol pretreatment ameliorates impaired synaptic plasticity at synapses of insulted CA1 neurons after transient global ischemia

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    Takeuchi, Koichi; Yang, Yupeng; Takayasu, Yukihiro; Gertner, Michael; Hwang, Jee-Yeon; Aromolaran, Kelly; Bennett, Michael V.L.; Zukin, R. Suzanne

    2015-01-01

    Global ischemia in humans or induced experimentally in animals causes selective and delayed neuronal death in pyramidal neurons of the hippocampal CA1. The ovarian hormone estradiol administered before or immediately after insult affords histological protection in experimental models of focal and global ischemia and ameliorates the cognitive deficits associated with ischemic cell death. However, the impact of estradiol on the functional integrity of Schaffer collateral to CA1 (Sch-CA1) pyramidal cell synapses following global ischemia is not clear. Here we show that long term estradiol treatment initiated 14 days prior to global ischemia in ovariectomized female rats acts via the IGF-1 receptor to protect the functional integrity of CA1 neurons. Global ischemia impairs basal synaptic transmission, assessed by the input/output relation at Sch-CA1 synapses, and NMDA receptor (NMDAR)-dependent long term potentiation (LTP), assessed at 3 days after surgery. Presynaptic function, assessed by fiber volley and paired pulse facilitation, is unchanged. To our knowledge, our results are the first to demonstrate that estradiol at near physiological concentrations enhances basal excitatory synaptic transmission and ameliorates deficits in LTP at synapses onto CA1 neurons in a clinically-relevant model of global ischemia. Estradiol-induced rescue of LTP requires the IGF-1 receptor, but not the classical estrogen receptors (ER)-α or β. These findings support a model whereby estradiol acts via the IGF-1 receptor to maintain the functional integrity of hippocampal CA1 synapses in the face of global ischemia. PMID:25463028

  2. Human Brain-Derived Aβ Oligomers Bind to Synapses and Disrupt Synaptic Activity in a Manner That Requires APP.

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    Wang, Zemin; Jackson, Rosemary J; Hong, Wei; Taylor, Walter M; Corbett, Grant T; Moreno, Arturo; Liu, Wen; Li, Shaomin; Frosch, Matthew P; Slutsky, Inna; Young-Pearse, Tracy L; Spires-Jones, Tara L; Walsh, Dominic M

    2017-12-06

    Compelling genetic evidence links the amyloid precursor protein (APP) to Alzheimer's disease (AD) and several theories have been advanced to explain the relationship. A leading hypothesis proposes that a small amphipathic fragment of APP, the amyloid β-protein (Aβ), self-associates to form soluble aggregates that impair synaptic and network activity. Here, we used the most disease-relevant form of Aβ, protein isolated from AD brain. Using this material, we show that the synaptotoxic effects of Aβ depend on expression of APP and that the Aβ-mediated impairment of synaptic plasticity is accompanied by presynaptic effects that disrupt the excitatory/inhibitory (E/I) balance. The net increase in the E/I ratio and inhibition of plasticity are associated with Aβ localizing to synapses and binding of soluble Aβ aggregates to synapses requires the expression of APP. Our findings indicate a role for APP in AD pathogenesis beyond the generation of Aβ and suggest modulation of APP expression as a therapy for AD. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Here, we report on the plasticity-disrupting effects of amyloid β-protein (Aβ) isolated from Alzheimer's disease (AD) brain and the requirement of amyloid precursor protein (APP) for these effects. We show that Aβ-containing AD brain extracts block hippocampal LTP, augment glutamate release probability, and disrupt the excitatory/inhibitory balance. These effects are associated with Aβ localizing to synapses and genetic ablation of APP prevents both Aβ binding and Aβ-mediated synaptic dysfunctions. Our results emphasize the importance of APP in AD and should stimulate new studies to elucidate APP-related targets suitable for pharmacological manipulation. Copyright © 2017 the authors 0270-6474/17/3711947-20$15.00/0.

  3. Correlations induced by depressing synapses in critically self-organized networks with quenched dynamics.

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    Campos, João Guilherme Ferreira; Costa, Ariadne de Andrade; Copelli, Mauro; Kinouchi, Osame

    2017-04-01

    In a recent work, mean-field analysis and computer simulations were employed to analyze critical self-organization in networks of excitable cellular automata where randomly chosen synapses in the network were depressed after each spike (the so-called annealed dynamics). Calculations agree with simulations of the annealed version, showing that the nominal branching ratio σ converges to unity in the thermodynamic limit, as expected of a self-organized critical system. However, the question remains whether the same results apply to the biological case where only the synapses of firing neurons are depressed (the so-called quenched dynamics). We show that simulations of the quenched model yield significant deviations from σ=1 due to spatial correlations. However, the model is shown to be critical, as the largest eigenvalue of the synaptic matrix approaches unity in the thermodynamic limit, that is, λ_{c}=1. We also study the finite size effects near the critical state as a function of the parameters of the synaptic dynamics.

  4. Chronic fluoxetine administration enhances synaptic plasticity and increases functional dynamics in hippocampal CA3-CA1 synapses.

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    Popova, Dina; Castrén, Eero; Taira, Tomi

    2017-11-01

    Recent studies demonstrate that chronic administration of the widely used antidepressant fluoxetine (FLX) promotes neurogenesis, synaptogenesis and synaptic plasticity in the adult hippocampus, cortex and amygdala. However, the mechanisms underlying these effects and how are they related to the clinical antidepressant efficacy are still poorly understood. We show here that chronic FLX administration decreases hippocampus-associated neophobia in naïve mice. In parallel, electrophysiological recordings in hippocampal CA3-CA1 circuitry revealed that the FLX treatment resulted in increased short- and long-term plasticity likely attributed to changes in presynaptic function. These changes were accompanied by enhancement in the expression of proteins related to vesicular trafficking and release, namely synaptophysin, synaptotagmin 1, MUNC 18 and syntaxin 1. Thus, chronic FLX administration is associated with enhanced synaptic dynamics atypical of mature CA1 synapses, elevated hippocampal plasticity, improved hippocampus-dependent behavior as well as altered expression of synaptic proteins regulating neurotransmitter trafficking and release. The results support the idea that antidepressants can promote neuronal plasticity and show that they can increase the functional dynamic range and information processing in synaptic circuitries. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Diversity in Long-Term Synaptic Plasticity at Inhibitory Synapses of Striatal Spiny Neurons

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    Rueda-Orozco, Pavel E.; Mendoza, Ernesto; Hernandez, Ricardo; Aceves, Jose J.; Ibanez-Sandoval, Osvaldo; Galarraga, Elvira; Bargas, Jose

    2009-01-01

    Procedural memories and habits are posited to be stored in the basal ganglia, whose intrinsic circuitries possess important inhibitory connections arising from striatal spiny neurons. However, no information about long-term plasticity at these synapses is available. Therefore, this work describes a novel postsynaptically dependent long-term…

  6. Modulation of synaptic depression of the calyx of Held synapse by GABAB receptors and spontaneous activity

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Wang, T.; Rusu, S. I.; Hrušková, Bohdana; Tureček, Rostislav; Borst, J. G.

    2013-01-01

    Roč. 591, č. 19 (2013), s. 4877-4894 ISSN 0022-3751 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GAP303/11/0131 Institutional support: RVO:68378041 Keywords : GABAB * synaptic transmission * auditory Subject RIV: FH - Neurology Impact factor: 4.544, year: 2013

  7. Effect of Neuroinflammation on Synaptic Organization and Function in the Developing Brain: Implications for Neurodevelopmental and Neurodegenerative Disorders

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    Mottahedin, Amin; Ardalan, Maryam; Chumak, Tetyana

    2017-01-01

    The brain is a plastic organ where both the intrinsic CNS milieu and extrinsic cues play important roles in shaping and wiring neural connections. The perinatal period constitutes a critical time in central nervous system development with extensive refinement of neural connections, which are highly...... physiology and pathophysiology, including microglia-mediated elimination of synapses. We propose that activation of the immune system dynamically affects synaptic organization and function in the developing brain. We will discuss the role of neuroinflammation in altered synaptic plasticity following...

  8. Effect of Neuroinflammation on Synaptic Organization and Function in the Developing Brain: Implications for Neurodevelopmental and Neurodegenerative Disorders

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    Amin Mottahedin

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available The brain is a plastic organ where both the intrinsic CNS milieu and extrinsic cues play important roles in shaping and wiring neural connections. The perinatal period constitutes a critical time in central nervous system development with extensive refinement of neural connections, which are highly sensitive to fetal and neonatal compromise, such as inflammatory challenges. Emerging evidence suggests that inflammatory cells in the brain such as microglia and astrocytes are pivotal in regulating synaptic structure and function. In this article, we will review the role of glia cells in synaptic physiology and pathophysiology, including microglia-mediated elimination of synapses. We propose that activation of the immune system dynamically affects synaptic organization and function in the developing brain. We will discuss the role of neuroinflammation in altered synaptic plasticity following perinatal inflammatory challenges and potential implications for neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christine L. Dixon

    2017-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayer, Stefanie N.; Bading, Hilmar

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayer, Stefanie N; Bading, Hilmar

    2015-02-27

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

  12. Loss of GPRC5B impairs synapse formation of Purkinje cells with cerebellar nuclear neurons and disrupts cerebellar synaptic plasticity and motor learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sano, Takamitsu; Kohyama-Koganeya, Ayako; Kinoshita, Masami O; Tatsukawa, Tetsuya; Shimizu, Chika; Oshima, Eriko; Yamada, Kazuyuki; Le, Tung Dinh; Akagi, Takumi; Tohyama, Koujiro; Nagao, Soichi; Hirabayashi, Yoshio

    2018-02-23

    GPRC5B is a membrane glycoprotein robustly expressed in mouse cerebellar Purkinje cells (PCs). Its function is unknown. In Gprc5b -/- mice that lack GPRC5B, PCs develop distal axonal swellings in deep cerebellar nuclei (DCN). Numerous misshapen mitochondria, which generated excessive amounts of reactive oxygen species (ROS), accumulated in these distal axonal swellings. In primary cell cultures of Gprc5b -/- PCs, pharmacological reduction of ROS prevented the appearance of such swellings. To examine the physiological role of GPRC5B in PCs, we analyzed cerebellar synaptic transmission and cerebellum-dependent motor learning in Gprc5b -/- mice. Patch-clamp recordings in cerebellum slices in vitro revealed that the induction of long-term depression (LTD) at parallel fiber-PC synapses was normal in adult Gprc5b -/- mice, whereas the induction of long-term potentiation (LTP) at mossy fiber-DCN neuron synapses was attenuated in juvenile Gprc5b -/- mice. In Gprc5b -/- mice, long-term motor learning was impaired in both the rotarod test and the horizontal optokinetic response eye movement (HOKR) test. These observations suggest that GPRC5B plays not only an important role in the development of distal axons of PCs and formation of synapses with DCN neurons, but also in the synaptic plasticity that underlies long-term motor learning. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. and Japan Neuroscience Society. All rights reserved.

  13. Stable Learning of Functional Maps in Self-Organizing Spiking Neural Networks with Continuous Synaptic Plasticity

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    Narayan eSrinivasa

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available This study describes a spiking model that self-organizes for stable formation and maintenance of orientation and ocular dominance maps in the visual cortex (V1. This self-organization process simulates three development phases: an early experience-independent phase, a late experience-independent phase and a subsequent refinement phase during which experience acts to shape the map properties. The ocular dominance maps that emerge accommodate the two sets of monocular inputs that arise from the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN to layer 4 of V1. The orientation selectivity maps that emerge feature well-developed iso-orientation domains and fractures. During the last two phases of development the orientation preferences at some locations appear to rotate continuously through +/- 180 along circular paths and referred to as pinwheel-like patterns but without any corresponding point discontinuities in the orientation gradient maps. The formation of these functional maps is driven by balanced excitatory and inhibitory currents that are established via synaptic plasticity based on spike timing for both excitatory and inhibitory synapses. The stability and maintenance of the formed maps with continuous synaptic plasticity is enabled by homeostasis caused by inhibitory plasticity. However, a prolonged exposure to repeated stimuli does alter the formed maps over time due to plasticity. The results from this study suggest that continuous synaptic plasticity in both excitatory neurons and interneurons could play a critical role in the formation, stability, and maintenance of functional maps in the cortex.

  14. Stable learning of functional maps in self-organizing spiking neural networks with continuous synaptic plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Srinivasa, Narayan; Jiang, Qin

    2013-01-01

    This study describes a spiking model that self-organizes for stable formation and maintenance of orientation and ocular dominance maps in the visual cortex (V1). This self-organization process simulates three development phases: an early experience-independent phase, a late experience-independent phase and a subsequent refinement phase during which experience acts to shape the map properties. The ocular dominance maps that emerge accommodate the two sets of monocular inputs that arise from the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN) to layer 4 of V1. The orientation selectivity maps that emerge feature well-developed iso-orientation domains and fractures. During the last two phases of development the orientation preferences at some locations appear to rotate continuously through ±180° along circular paths and referred to as pinwheel-like patterns but without any corresponding point discontinuities in the orientation gradient maps. The formation of these functional maps is driven by balanced excitatory and inhibitory currents that are established via synaptic plasticity based on spike timing for both excitatory and inhibitory synapses. The stability and maintenance of the formed maps with continuous synaptic plasticity is enabled by homeostasis caused by inhibitory plasticity. However, a prolonged exposure to repeated stimuli does alter the formed maps over time due to plasticity. The results from this study suggest that continuous synaptic plasticity in both excitatory neurons and interneurons could play a critical role in the formation, stability, and maintenance of functional maps in the cortex.

  15. βCaMKII plays a nonenzymatic role in hippocampal synaptic plasticity and learning by targeting αCaMKII to synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borgesius, Nils Z; van Woerden, Geeske M; Buitendijk, Gabrielle H S; Keijzer, Nanda; Jaarsma, Dick; Hoogenraad, Casper C; Elgersma, Ype

    2011-07-13

    The calcium/calmodulin-dependent kinase type II (CaMKII) holoenzyme of the forebrain predominantly consists of heteromeric complexes of the αCaMKII and βCaMKII isoforms. Yet, in contrast to αCaMKII, the role of βCaMKII in hippocampal synaptic plasticity and learning has not been investigated. Here, we compare two targeted Camk2b mouse mutants to study the role of βCaMKII in hippocampal function. Using a Camk2b(-/-) mutant, in which βCaMKII is absent, we show that both hippocampal-dependent learning and Schaffer collateral-CA1 long-term potentiation (LTP) are highly dependent upon the presence of βCaMKII. We further show that βCaMKII is required for proper targeting of αCaMKII to the synapse, indicating that βCaMKII regulates the distribution of αCaMKII between the synaptic pool and the adjacent dendritic shaft. In contrast, localization of αCaMKII, hippocampal synaptic plasticity and learning were unaffected in the Camk2b(A303R) mutant, in which the calcium/calmodulin-dependent activation of βCaMKII is prevented, while the F-actin binding and bundling property is preserved. This indicates that the calcium/calmodulin-dependent kinase activity of βCaMKII is fully dispensable for hippocampal learning, LTP, and targeting of αCaMKII, but implies a critical role for the F-actin binding and bundling properties of βCaMKII in synaptic function. Together, our data provide compelling support for a model of CaMKII function in which αCaMKII and βCaMKII act in concert, but with distinct functions, to regulate hippocampal synaptic plasticity and learning.

  16. Plasticity-Driven Self-Organization under Topological Constraints Accounts for Non-random Features of Cortical Synaptic Wiring.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miner, Daniel; Triesch, Jochen

    2016-02-01

    Understanding the structure and dynamics of cortical connectivity is vital to understanding cortical function. Experimental data strongly suggest that local recurrent connectivity in the cortex is significantly non-random, exhibiting, for example, above-chance bidirectionality and an overrepresentation of certain triangular motifs. Additional evidence suggests a significant distance dependency to connectivity over a local scale of a few hundred microns, and particular patterns of synaptic turnover dynamics, including a heavy-tailed distribution of synaptic efficacies, a power law distribution of synaptic lifetimes, and a tendency for stronger synapses to be more stable over time. Understanding how many of these non-random features simultaneously arise would provide valuable insights into the development and function of the cortex. While previous work has modeled some of the individual features of local cortical wiring, there is no model that begins to comprehensively account for all of them. We present a spiking network model of a rodent Layer 5 cortical slice which, via the interactions of a few simple biologically motivated intrinsic, synaptic, and structural plasticity mechanisms, qualitatively reproduces these non-random effects when combined with simple topological constraints. Our model suggests that mechanisms of self-organization arising from a small number of plasticity rules provide a parsimonious explanation for numerous experimentally observed non-random features of recurrent cortical wiring. Interestingly, similar mechanisms have been shown to endow recurrent networks with powerful learning abilities, suggesting that these mechanism are central to understanding both structure and function of cortical synaptic wiring.

  17. Dopamine D1/D5, but not D2/D3, receptor dependency of synaptic plasticity at hippocampal mossy fiber synapses that is enabled by patterned afferent stimulation, or spatial learning

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    Hardy Hagena

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Although the mossy fiber (MF synapses of the hippocampal CA3 region display quite distinct properties in terms of the molecular mechanisms that underlie synaptic plasticity, they nonetheless exhibit persistent (>24h synaptic plasticity that is akin to that observed at the Schaffer collateral (SCH-CA1 and perforant path (PP-dentate gyrus (DG synapses of freely behaving rats. In addition, they also respond to novel spatial learning with very enduring forms of long-term potentiation (LTP and long-term depression (LTD. These latter forms of synaptic plasticity are directly related to the learning behavior: novel exploration of generalized changes in space facilitates the expression of LTP at MF-CA3 synapses, whereas exploration of novel configurations of large environmental features facilitates the expression of LTD. In the absence of spatial novelty, synaptic plasticity is not expressed. Motivation is a potent determinant of whether learning about spatial experience effectively occurs and the neuromodulator dopamine plays a key role in motivation-based learning. Prior research on the regulation by dopamine receptors of long-term synaptic plasticity in CA1 and dentate gyrus synapses in vivo suggests that whereas D2/D3 receptors may modulate a general predisposition toward expressing plasticity, D1/D5 receptors may directly regulate the direction of change in synaptic strength that occurs during learning. Although the CA3 region is believed to play a pivotal role in many forms of learning, the role of these receptors in persistent (>24h forms of synaptic plasticity at MF-CA3 synapses is unknown. Here, we report that whereas pharmacological antagonism of D2/D3 receptors had no impact on LTP or LTD, antagonism of D1/D5 receptors significantly impaired LTP and LTD that were induced by solely by means of patterned afferent stimulation, or LTP/LTD that are typically enhanced by the conjunction of afferent stimulation and novel spatial learning. These data

  18. Dopamine D1/D5, But not D2/D3, Receptor Dependency of Synaptic Plasticity at Hippocampal Mossy Fiber Synapses that Is Enabled by Patterned Afferent Stimulation, or Spatial Learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hagena, Hardy; Manahan-Vaughan, Denise

    2016-01-01

    Although the mossy fiber (MF) synapses of the hippocampal CA3 region display quite distinct properties in terms of the molecular mechanisms that underlie synaptic plasticity, they nonetheless exhibit persistent (>24 h) synaptic plasticity that is akin to that observed at the Schaffer collateral (SCH)-CA1 and perforant path (PP)-dentate gyrus (DG) synapses of freely behaving rats. In addition, they also respond to novel spatial learning with very enduring forms of long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD). These latter forms of synaptic plasticity are directly related to the learning behavior: novel exploration of generalized changes in space facilitates the expression of LTP at MF-CA3 synapses, whereas exploration of novel configurations of large environmental features facilitates the expression of LTD. In the absence of spatial novelty, synaptic plasticity is not expressed. Motivation is a potent determinant of whether learning about the spatial experience effectively occurs and the neuromodulator dopamine (DA) plays a key role in motivation-based learning. Prior research on the regulation by DA receptors of long-term synaptic plasticity in CA1 and DG synapses in vivo suggests that whereas D2/D3 receptors may modulate a general predisposition toward expressing plasticity, D1/D5 receptors may directly regulate the direction of change in synaptic strength that occurs during learning. Although the CA3 region is believed to play a pivotal role in many forms of learning, the role of dopamine receptors in persistent (>24 h) forms of synaptic plasticity at MF-CA3 synapses is unknown. Here, we report that whereas pharmacological antagonism of D2/D3 receptors had no impact on LTP or LTD, antagonism of D1/D5 receptors significantly impaired LTP and LTD that were induced by solely by means of patterned afferent stimulation, or LTP/LTD that are typically enhanced by the conjunction of afferent stimulation and novel spatial learning. These data indicate an

  19. "The seven sins" of the Hebbian synapse: can the hypothesis of synaptic plasticity explain long-term memory consolidation?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arshavsky, Yuri I

    2006-10-01

    Memorizing new facts and events means that entering information produces specific physical changes within the brain. According to the commonly accepted view, traces of memory are stored through the structural modifications of synaptic connections, which result in changes of synaptic efficiency and, therefore, in formations of new patterns of neural activity (the hypothesis of synaptic plasticity). Most of the current knowledge on learning and initial stages of memory consolidation ("synaptic consolidation") is based on this hypothesis. However, the hypothesis of synaptic plasticity faces a number of conceptual and experimental difficulties when it deals with potentially permanent consolidation of declarative memory ("system consolidation"). These difficulties are rooted in the major intrinsic self-contradiction of the hypothesis: stable declarative memory is unlikely to be based on such a non-stable foundation as synaptic plasticity. Memory that can last throughout an entire lifespan should be "etched in stone." The only "stone-like" molecules within living cells are DNA molecules. Therefore, I advocate an alternative, genomic hypothesis of memory, which suggests that acquired information is persistently stored within individual neurons through modifications of DNA, and that these modifications serve as the carriers of elementary memory traces.

  20. The presynaptic machinery at the synapse of C. elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calahorro, Fernando; Izquierdo, Patricia G

    2018-03-12

    Synapses are specialized contact sites that mediate information flow between neurons and their targets. Important physical interactions across the synapse are mediated by synaptic adhesion molecules. These adhesions regulate formation of synapses during development and play a role during mature synaptic function. Importantly, genes regulating synaptogenesis and axon regeneration are conserved across the animal phyla. Genetic screens in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans have identified a number of molecules required for synapse patterning and assembly. C. elegans is able to survive even with its neuronal function severely compromised. This is in comparison with Drosophila and mice where increased complexity makes them less tolerant to impaired function. Although this fact may reflect differences in the function of the homologous proteins in the synapses between these organisms, the most likely interpretation is that many of these components are equally important, but not absolutely essential, for synaptic transmission to support the relatively undemanding life style of laboratory maintained C. elegans. Here, we review research on the major group of synaptic proteins, involved in the presynaptic machinery in C. elegans, showing a strong conservation between higher organisms and highlight how C. elegans can be used as an informative tool for dissecting synaptic components, based on a simple nervous system organization.

  1. IL-1 receptor accessory protein-like 1 associated with mental retardation and autism mediates synapse formation by trans-synaptic interaction with protein tyrosine phosphatase δ.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoshida, Tomoyuki; Yasumura, Misato; Uemura, Takeshi; Lee, Sung-Jin; Ra, Moonjin; Taguchi, Ryo; Iwakura, Yoichiro; Mishina, Masayoshi

    2011-09-21

    Mental retardation (MR) and autism are highly heterogeneous neurodevelopmental disorders. IL-1-receptor accessory protein-like 1 (IL1RAPL1) is responsible for nonsyndromic MR and is associated with autism. Thus, the elucidation of the functional role of IL1RAPL1 will contribute to our understanding of the pathogenesis of these mental disorders. Here, we showed that knockdown of endogenous IL1RAPL1 in cultured cortical neurons suppressed the accumulation of punctate staining signals for active zone protein Bassoon and decreased the number of dendritic protrusions. Consistently, the expression of IL1RAPL1 in cultured neurons stimulated the accumulation of Bassoon and spinogenesis. The extracellular domain (ECD) of IL1RAPL1 was required and sufficient for the presynaptic differentiation-inducing activity, while both the ECD and cytoplasmic domain were essential for the spinogenic activity. Notably, the synaptogenic activity of IL1RAPL1 was specific for excitatory synapses. Furthermore, we identified presynaptic protein tyrosine phosphatase (PTP) δ as a major IL1RAPL1-ECD interacting protein by affinity chromatography. IL1RAPL1 interacted selectively with certain forms of PTPδ splice variants carrying mini-exon peptides in Ig-like domains. The synaptogenic activity of IL1RAPL1 was abolished in primary neurons from PTPδ knock-out mice. IL1RAPL1 showed robust synaptogenic activity in vivo when transfected into the cortical neurons of wild-type mice but not in PTPδ knock-out mice. These results suggest that IL1RAPL1 mediates synapse formation through trans-synaptic interaction with PTPδ. Our findings raise an intriguing possibility that the impairment of synapse formation may underlie certain forms of MR and autism as a common pathogenic pathway shared by these mental disorders.

  2. APP and APLP2 interact with the synaptic release machinery and facilitate transmitter release at hippocampal synapses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fanutza, Tomas; Del Prete, Dolores; Ford, Michael J; Castillo, Pablo E; D’Adamio, Luciano

    2015-01-01

    The amyloid precursor protein (APP), whose mutations cause familial Alzheimer’s disease, interacts with the synaptic release machinery, suggesting a role in neurotransmission. Here we mapped this interaction to the NH2-terminal region of the APP intracellular domain. A peptide encompassing this binding domain -named JCasp- is naturally produced by a γ-secretase/caspase double-cut of APP. JCasp interferes with the APP-presynaptic proteins interaction and, if linked to a cell-penetrating peptide, reduces glutamate release in acute hippocampal slices from wild-type but not APP deficient mice, indicating that JCasp inhibits APP function.The APP-like protein-2 (APLP2) also binds the synaptic release machinery. Deletion of APP and APLP2 produces synaptic deficits similar to those caused by JCasp. Our data support the notion that APP and APLP2 facilitate transmitter release, likely through the interaction with the neurotransmitter release machinery. Given the link of APP to Alzheimer’s disease, alterations of this synaptic role of APP could contribute to dementia. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.09743.001 PMID:26551565

  3. Differentiation and Characterization of Excitatory and Inhibitory Synapses by Cryo-electron Tomography and Correlative Microscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Rong; Zhang, Bin; Qi, Lei; Shivakoti, Sakar; Tian, Chong-Li; Lau, Pak-Ming

    2018-01-01

    As key functional units in neural circuits, different types of neuronal synapses play distinct roles in brain information processing, learning, and memory. Synaptic abnormalities are believed to underlie various neurological and psychiatric disorders. Here, by combining cryo-electron tomography and cryo-correlative light and electron microscopy, we distinguished intact excitatory and inhibitory synapses of cultured hippocampal neurons, and visualized the in situ 3D organization of synaptic organelles and macromolecules in their native state. Quantitative analyses of >100 synaptic tomograms reveal that excitatory synapses contain a mesh-like postsynaptic density (PSD) with thickness ranging from 20 to 50 nm. In contrast, the PSD in inhibitory synapses assumes a thin sheet-like structure ∼12 nm from the postsynaptic membrane. On the presynaptic side, spherical synaptic vesicles (SVs) of 25–60 nm diameter and discus-shaped ellipsoidal SVs of various sizes coexist in both synaptic types, with more ellipsoidal ones in inhibitory synapses. High-resolution tomograms obtained using a Volta phase plate and electron filtering and counting reveal glutamate receptor-like and GABAA receptor-like structures that interact with putative scaffolding and adhesion molecules, reflecting details of receptor anchoring and PSD organization. These results provide an updated view of the ultrastructure of excitatory and inhibitory synapses, and demonstrate the potential of our approach to gain insight into the organizational principles of cellular architecture underlying distinct synaptic functions. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT To understand functional properties of neuronal synapses, it is desirable to analyze their structure at molecular resolution. We have developed an integrative approach combining cryo-electron tomography and correlative fluorescence microscopy to visualize 3D ultrastructural features of intact excitatory and inhibitory synapses in their native state. Our approach shows

  4. Neurobeachin regulates neurotransmitter receptor trafficking to synapses

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nair, R.; Lauks, J.; Jung, S; Cooke, N.E.; de Wit, H.; Brose, N.; Kilimann, M.W.; Verhage, M.; Rhee, J.

    2013-01-01

    The surface density of neurotransmitter receptors at synapses is a key determinant of synaptic efficacy. Synaptic receptor accumulation is regulated by the transport, postsynaptic anchoring, and turnover of receptors, involving multiple trafficking, sorting, motor, and scaffold proteins. We found

  5. Synaptic and Cellular Organization of Layer 1 of the Developing Rat Somatosensory Cortex

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    Shruti eMuralidhar

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available We have performed a systematic and quantitative study of the neuronal and synaptic organisation of neocortical layer 1 in the somatosensory cortex in juvenile rats (P13 – P16 using multi-neuron patch-clamp and 3D morphology reconstructions. We used both subjective expert based and objective classification to establish distinct morphological groups. According to expert based subjective classification, the neurons were classified into six morphological types: (1 the dense axon neurogliaform cell (NGC-DA and (2 a sparse axon neurogliaform cell (NGC-SA, (3 the horizontal axon cell (HAC and (4 those with descending axonal colaterals (DAC, (5 the large axon cell (LAC and (6 the small axon cell (SAC. We also used objective supervised and unsupervised analyses that confirmed 4 out of the 6 expert proposed groups, namely, DAC, HAC, LAC and a combined NGC. The cells were also classified into 5 electrophysiological types based on the Petilla convention; classical non-adapting (cNAC, burst non-adapting (bNAC, classical adapting (cAC, classical stuttering (cSTUT and classical irregular spiking (cIR. The most common electrophysiological type was the cNAC type (40% and the most commonly encountered morpho-electrical type of neuron was the NGC-DA - cNAC. Layer 1 cells are connected by GABAergic inhibitory synaptic connections with a 7.9% connection probability, as well gap junctions with 5.2% connection probability. Most synaptic connections were mediated by both GABAA and GABAB receptors (62.6%, as observed from the response characteristics to single pulse and train stimulations. A smaller fraction of synaptic connections were mediated exclusively by GABAA (15.4% or GABAB (21.8% receptors. Based on the morphological reconstructions, we found multi-synapse connections with an average of 9 putative synapses per connection. These putative touches were widely distributed with 39% on somata and 61% on dendrites.

  6. A compound memristive synapse model for statistical learning through STDP in spiking neural networks

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    Johannes eBill

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Memristors have recently emerged as promising circuit elements to mimic the function of biological synapses in neuromorphic computing. The fabrication of reliable nanoscale memristive synapses, that feature continuous conductance changes based on the timing of pre- and postsynaptic spikes, has however turned out to be challenging. In this article, we propose an alternative approach, the compound memristive synapse, that circumvents this problem by the use of memristors with binary memristive states. A compound memristive synapse employs multiple bistable memristors in parallel to jointly form one synapse, thereby providing a spectrum of synaptic efficacies. We investigate the computational implications of synaptic plasticity in the compound synapse by integrating the recently observed phenomenon of stochastic filament formation into an abstract model of stochastic switching. Using this abstract model, we first show how standard pulsing schemes give rise to spike-timing dependent plasticity (STDP with a stabilizing weight dependence in compound synapses. In a next step, we study unsupervised learning with compound synapses in networks of spiking neurons organized in a winner-take-all architecture. Our theoretical analysis reveals that compound-synapse STDP implements generalized Expectation-Maximization in the spiking network. Specifically, the emergent synapse configuration represents the most salient features of the input distribution in a Mixture-of-Gaussians generative model. Furthermore, the network’s spike response to spiking input streams approximates a well-defined Bayesian posterior distribution. We show in computer simulations how such networks learn to represent high-dimensional distributions over images of handwritten digits with high fidelity even in presence of substantial device variations and under severe noise conditions. Therefore, the compound memristive synapse may provide a synaptic design principle for future neuromorphic

  7. Synaptic Plasticity and Translation Initiation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klann, Eric; Antion, Marcia D.; Banko, Jessica L.; Hou, Lingfei

    2004-01-01

    It is widely accepted that protein synthesis, including local protein synthesis at synapses, is required for several forms of synaptic plasticity. Local protein synthesis enables synapses to control synaptic strength independent of the cell body via rapid protein production from pre-existing mRNA. Therefore, regulation of translation initiation is…

  8. Neuroligin-1 loss is associated with reduced tenacity of excitatory synapses.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adel Zeidan

    Full Text Available Neuroligins (Nlgns are postsynaptic, integral membrane cell adhesion molecules that play important roles in the formation, validation, and maturation of synapses in the mammalian central nervous system. Given their prominent roles in the life cycle of synapses, it might be expected that the loss of neuroligin family members would affect the stability of synaptic organization, and ultimately, affect the tenacity and persistence of individual synaptic junctions. Here we examined whether and to what extent the loss of Nlgn-1 affects the dynamics of several key synaptic molecules and the constancy of their contents at individual synapses over time. Fluorescently tagged versions of the postsynaptic scaffold molecule PSD-95, the AMPA-type glutamate receptor subunit GluA2 and the presynaptic vesicle molecule SV2A were expressed in primary cortical cultures from Nlgn-1 KO mice and wild-type (WT littermates, and live imaging was used to follow the constancy of their contents at individual synapses over periods of 8-12 hours. We found that the loss of Nlgn-1 was associated with larger fluctuations in the synaptic contents of these molecules and a poorer preservation of their contents at individual synapses. Furthermore, rates of synaptic turnover were somewhat greater in neurons from Nlgn-1 knockout mice. Finally, the increased GluA2 redistribution rates observed in neurons from Nlgn-1 knockout mice were negated by suppressing spontaneous network activity. These findings suggest that the loss of Nlgn-1 is associated with some use-dependent destabilization of excitatory synapse organization, and indicate that in the absence of Nlgn-1, the tenacity of excitatory synapses might be somewhat impaired.

  9. Synaptic vesicles isolated from the electric organ of Torpedo californica and from the central nervous system of Mus musculus contain small ribonucleic acids (sRNAs

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    Huinan Li

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Synaptic vesicles (SVs are presynaptic organelles that load and release small molecule neurotransmitters at chemical synapses. In addition to classic neurotransmitters, we have demonstrated that SVs isolated from the Peripheral Nervous Systems (PNS of the electric organ of Torpedo californica, a model cholinergic synapse, and SVs isolated from the Central Nervous System (CNS of Mus musculus (mouse contain small ribonucleic acids (sRNAs; ≤50 nucleotides (Scientific Reports, 5:1–14(14918 Li et al. (2015 [1]. Our previous publication provided the five most abundant sequences associated with the T. californica SVs, and the ten most abundant sequences associated with the mouse SVs, representing 59% and 39% of the total sRNA reads sequenced, respectively. We provide here a full repository of the SV sRNAs sequenced from T. californica and the mouse deposited in the NCBI as biosamples. Three data studies are included: SVs isolated from the electric organ of T. californica using standard techniques, SVs isolated from the electric organ of T. californica using standard techniques with an additional affinity purification step, and finally, SVs isolated from the CNS of mouse. The three biosamples are available at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/biosample/ SRS1523467, SRS1523466, and SRS1523472 respectively.

  10. Microtubule-organizing center polarity and the immunological synapse: protein kinase C and beyond

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Morgan eHuse

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Cytoskeletal polarization is crucial for many aspects of immune function, ranging from neutrophil migration to the sampling of gut flora by intestinal dendritic cells. It also plays a key role during lymphocyte cell-cell interactions, the most conspicuous of which is perhaps the immunological synapse (IS formed between a T cell and an antigen-presenting cell (APC. IS formation is associated with the reorientation of the T cell’s microtubule-organizing center (MTOC to a position just beneath the cell-cell interface. This cytoskeletal remodeling event aligns secretory organelles inside the T cell with the IS, enabling the directional release of cytokines and cytolytic factors toward the APC. MTOC polarization is therefore crucial for maintaining the specificity of a T cell’s secretory and cytotoxic responses. It has been known for some time that T cell receptor (TCR stimulation activates the MTOC polarization response. It has been difficult, however, to identify the machinery that couples early TCR signaling to cytoskeletal remodeling. Over the past few years, considerable progress has been made in this area. This review will present an overview of recent advances, touching on both the mechanisms that drive MTOC polarization and the effector responses that require it. Particular attention will be paid to both novel and atypical members of the protein kinase C family, which are now known to play important roles in both the establishment and the maintenance of the polarized state.

  11. Microtubule-organizing center polarity and the immunological synapse: protein kinase C and beyond.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huse, Morgan

    2012-01-01

    Cytoskeletal polarization is crucial for many aspects of immune function, ranging from neutrophil migration to the sampling of gut flora by intestinal dendritic cells. It also plays a key role during lymphocyte cell-cell interactions, the most conspicuous of which is perhaps the immunological synapse (IS) formed between a T cell and an antigen-presenting cell (APC). IS formation is associated with the reorientation of the T cell's microtubule-organizing center (MTOC) to a position just beneath the cell-cell interface. This cytoskeletal remodeling event aligns secretory organelles inside the T cell with the IS, enabling the directional release of cytokines and cytolytic factors toward the APC. MTOC polarization is therefore crucial for maintaining the specificity of a T cell's secretory and cytotoxic responses. It has been known for some time that T cell receptor (TCR) stimulation activates the MTOC polarization response. It has been difficult, however, to identify the machinery that couples early TCR signaling to cytoskeletal remodeling. Over the past few years, considerable progress has been made in this area. This review will present an overview of recent advances, touching on both the mechanisms that drive MTOC polarization and the effector responses that require it. Particular attention will be paid to both novel and atypical members of the protein kinase C family, which are now known to play important roles in both the establishment and the maintenance of the polarized state.

  12. Synapse proteomics: current status and quantitative applications

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Li, K.W.; Jimenez, C.R.

    2008-01-01

    Chemical synapses are key organelles for neurotransmission. The coordinated actions of protein networks in diverse synaptic subdomains drive the sequential molecular events of transmitter release from the presynaptic bouton, activation of transmitter receptors located in the postsynaptic density and

  13. Rare exonic deletions implicate the synaptic organizer Gephyrin (GPHN) in risk for autism, schizophrenia and seizures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lionel, Anath C; Vaags, Andrea K; Sato, Daisuke; Gazzellone, Matthew J; Mitchell, Elyse B; Chen, Hong Yang; Costain, Gregory; Walker, Susan; Egger, Gerald; Thiruvahindrapuram, Bhooma; Merico, Daniele; Prasad, Aparna; Anagnostou, Evdokia; Fombonne, Eric; Zwaigenbaum, Lonnie; Roberts, Wendy; Szatmari, Peter; Fernandez, Bridget A; Georgieva, Lyudmila; Brzustowicz, Linda M; Roetzer, Katharina; Kaschnitz, Wolfgang; Vincent, John B; Windpassinger, Christian; Marshall, Christian R; Trifiletti, Rosario R; Kirmani, Salman; Kirov, George; Petek, Erwin; Hodge, Jennelle C; Bassett, Anne S; Scherer, Stephen W

    2013-05-15

    The GPHN gene codes for gephyrin, a key scaffolding protein in the neuronal postsynaptic membrane, responsible for the clustering and localization of glycine and GABA receptors at inhibitory synapses. Gephyrin has well-established functional links with several synaptic proteins that have been implicated in genetic risk for neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism spectrum disorder (ASD), schizophrenia and epilepsy including the neuroligins (NLGN2, NLGN4), the neurexins (NRXN1, NRXN2, NRXN3) and collybistin (ARHGEF9). Moreover, temporal lobe epilepsy has been linked to abnormally spliced GPHN mRNA lacking exons encoding the G-domain of the gephyrin protein, potentially arising due to cellular stress associated with epileptogenesis such as temperature and alkalosis. Here, we present clinical and genomic characterization of six unrelated subjects, with a range of neurodevelopmental diagnoses including ASD, schizophrenia or seizures, who possess rare de novo or inherited hemizygous microdeletions overlapping exons of GPHN at chromosome 14q23.3. The region of common overlap across the deletions encompasses exons 3-5, corresponding to the G-domain of the gephyrin protein. These findings, together with previous reports of homozygous GPHN mutations in connection with autosomal recessive molybdenum cofactor deficiency, will aid in clinical genetic interpretation of the GPHN mutation spectrum. Our data also add to the accumulating evidence implicating neuronal synaptic gene products as key molecular factors underlying the etiologies of a diverse range of neurodevelopmental conditions.

  14. SMN requirement for synaptic vesicle, active zone and microtubule postnatal organization in motor nerve terminals.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura Torres-Benito

    Full Text Available Low levels of the Survival Motor Neuron (SMN protein produce Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA, a severe monogenetic disease in infants characterized by muscle weakness and impaired synaptic transmission. We report here severe structural and functional alterations in the organization of the organelles and the cytoskeleton of motor nerve terminals in a mouse model of SMA. The decrease in SMN levels resulted in the clustering of synaptic vesicles (SVs and Active Zones (AZs, reduction in the size of the readily releasable pool (RRP, and the recycling pool (RP of synaptic vesicles, a decrease in active mitochondria and limiting of neurofilament and microtubule maturation. We propose that SMN is essential for the normal postnatal maturation of motor nerve terminals and that SMN deficiency disrupts the presynaptic organization leading to neurodegeneration.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Melanie A Samuel

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

  16. A new measure for the strength of electrical synapses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julie S Haas

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Electrical synapses, like chemical synapses, mediate intraneuronal communication. Electrical synapses are typically quantified by subthreshold measurements of coupling, which fall short in describing their impact on spiking activity in coupled neighbors. Here we describe a novel measurement for electrical synapse strength that directly evaluates the effect of synaptically transmitted activity on spike timing. This method, also applicable to neurotransmitter-based synapses, communicates the considerable strength of electrical synapses. For electrical synapses measured in rodent slices of the thalamic reticular nucleus, spike timing is modulated by tens of ms by activity in a coupled neighbor.

  17. Spatially restricted actin-regulatory signaling contributes to synapse morphology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicholson, Daniel A.; Cahill, Michael E.; Tulisiak, Christopher T.; Geinisman, Yuri; Penzes, Peter

    2012-01-01

    The actin cytoskeleton in dendritic spines is organized into microdomains, but how signaling molecules that regulate actin are spatially governed is incompletely understood. Here we examine how the localization of the RacGEF kalirin-7, a well-characterized regulator of actin in spines, varies as a function of postsynaptic density (PSD) area and spine volume. Using serial section electron microscopy (EM), we find that extrasynaptic, but not synaptic, expression of kalirin-7 varies directly with synapse size and spine volume. Moreover, we find that overall expression levels of kalirin-7 differ in spines bearing perforated and non-perforated synapses, due primarily to extrasynaptic pools of kalirin-7 expression in the former. Overall, our findings indicate that kalirin-7 is differentially compartmentalized in spines as a function of both synapse morphology and spine size. PMID:22458534

  18. ATP-ases of synaptic plasma membranes in striatum: enzymatic systems for synapses functionality by in vivo administration of L-acetylcarnitine in relation to Parkinson's Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Villa, R F; Ferrari, F; Gorini, A

    2013-09-17

    The maximum rate (Vmax) of some enzymatic activities related to energy consumption was evaluated in synaptic plasma membranes from rat brain striatum, the synaptic energy state being a crucial factor in neurodegenerative diseases etiopathogenesis. Two types of synaptic plasma membranes were isolated from rats subjected to in vivo treatment with L-acetylcarnitine at two different doses (30 and 60 mg × kg(-1) i.p., 28 days, 5 days/week). The following enzyme activities were evaluated: acetylcholinesterase (AChE); Na(+), K(+), Mg(2+)-ATP-ase; ouabain insensitive Mg(2+)-ATP-ase; Na(+), K(+)-ATP-ase; direct Mg(2+)-ATP-ase; Ca(2+), Mg(2+)-ATP-ase; and low- and high-affinity Ca(2+)-ATP-ase. In control (vehicle-treated) animals, enzymatic activities are differently expressed in synaptic plasma membranes type I (SPM1) with respect to synaptic plasma membranes type II (SPM2), the evaluated enzymatic activities being higher in SPM2. Subchronic treatment with L-acetylcarnitine decreased AChE on SPM1 and SPM2 at the dose of 30 mg × kg(-1). Pharmacological treatment decreased ouabain insensitive Mg(2+)-ATP-ase activity and high affinity Ca(2+)-ATP-ase activity at the doses of 30 and 60 mg × kg(-1) respectively on SPM1, while it decreased Na(+), K(+)-ATP-ase, direct Mg(2+)-ATP-ase and Ca(2+), Mg(2+)-ATP-ase activities at the dose of 30 mg × kg(-1) on SPM2. These results suggest that the sensitivity to drug treatment is different between these two populations of synaptic plasma membranes from the striatum, confirming the micro-heterogeneity of these subfractions, possessing different metabolic machinery with respect to energy consumption and utilization and the regional selective effect of L-acetylcarnitine on cerebral tissue, depending on the considered area. The drug potential effect at the synaptic level in Parkinson's Disease neuroprotection is also discussed with respect to acetylcholine and energy metabolism. Copyright © 2013 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Papper, Marc; Kempter, Richard; Leibold, Christian

    2011-01-01

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

  20. Extracellular ATP hydrolysis inhibits synaptic transmission by increasing ph buffering in the synaptic cleft.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rozan Vroman

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Neuronal computations strongly depend on inhibitory interactions. One such example occurs at the first retinal synapse, where horizontal cells inhibit photoreceptors. This interaction generates the center/surround organization of bipolar cell receptive fields and is crucial for contrast enhancement. Despite its essential role in vision, the underlying synaptic mechanism has puzzled the neuroscience community for decades. Two competing hypotheses are currently considered: an ephaptic and a proton-mediated mechanism. Here we show that horizontal cells feed back to photoreceptors via an unexpected synthesis of the two. The first one is a very fast ephaptic mechanism that has no synaptic delay, making it one of the fastest inhibitory synapses known. The second one is a relatively slow (τ≈200 ms, highly intriguing mechanism. It depends on ATP release via Pannexin 1 channels located on horizontal cell dendrites invaginating the cone synaptic terminal. The ecto-ATPase NTPDase1 hydrolyses extracellular ATP to AMP, phosphate groups, and protons. The phosphate groups and protons form a pH buffer with a pKa of 7.2, which keeps the pH in the synaptic cleft relatively acidic. This inhibits the cone Ca²⁺ channels and consequently reduces the glutamate release by the cones. When horizontal cells hyperpolarize, the pannexin 1 channels decrease their conductance, the ATP release decreases, and the formation of the pH buffer reduces. The resulting alkalization in the synaptic cleft consequently increases cone glutamate release. Surprisingly, the hydrolysis of ATP instead of ATP itself mediates the synaptic modulation. Our results not only solve longstanding issues regarding horizontal cell to photoreceptor feedback, they also demonstrate a new form of synaptic modulation. Because pannexin 1 channels and ecto-ATPases are strongly expressed in the nervous system and pannexin 1 function is implicated in synaptic plasticity, we anticipate that this novel form

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2014-10-02

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

  2. Lateral regulation of synaptic transmission by astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Covelo, A; Araque, A

    2016-05-26

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

  3. Alzheimer's disease: synapses gone cold

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hyman Bradley T

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Alzheimer's disease (AD is a progressive neurodegenerative disease characterized by insidious cognitive decline and memory dysfunction. Synapse loss is the best pathological correlate of cognitive decline in AD and mounting evidence suggests that AD is primarily a disease of synaptic dysfunction. Soluble oligomeric forms of amyloid beta (Aβ, the peptide that aggregates to form senile plaques in the brain of AD patients, have been shown to be toxic to neuronal synapses both in vitro and in vivo. Aβ oligomers inhibit long-term potentiation (LTP and facilitate long-term depression (LTD, electrophysiological correlates of memory formation. Furthermore, oligomeric Aβ has also been shown to induce synapse loss and cognitive impairment in animals. The molecular underpinnings of these observations are now being elucidated, and may provide clear therapeutic targets for effectively treating the disease. Here, we review recent findings concerning AD pathogenesis with a particular focus on how Aβ impacts synapses.

  4. EDITORIAL: Synaptic electronics Synaptic electronics

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-09-01

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

  5. Synaptic Plasticity and Learning Behaviors Mimicked in Single Inorganic Synapses of Pt/HfOx/ZnOx/TiN Memristive System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Lai-Guo; Zhang, Wei; Chen, Yan; Cao, Yan-Qiang; Li, Ai-Dong; Wu, Di

    2017-01-01

    In this work, a kind of new memristor with the simple structure of Pt/HfOx/ZnOx/TiN was fabricated completely via combination of thermal-atomic layer deposition (TALD) and plasma-enhanced ALD (PEALD). The synaptic plasticity and learning behaviors of Pt/HfOx/ZnOx/TiN memristive system have been investigated deeply. Multilevel resistance states are obtained by varying the programming voltage amplitudes during the pulse cycling. The device conductance can be continuously increased or decreased from cycle to cycle with better endurance characteristics up to about 3 × 103 cycles. Several essential synaptic functions are simultaneously achieved in such a single double-layer of HfOx/ZnOx device, including nonlinear transmission properties, such as long-term plasticity (LTP), short-term plasticity (STP), and spike-timing-dependent plasticity. The transformation from STP to LTP induced by repetitive pulse stimulation is confirmed in Pt/HfOx/ZnOx/TiN memristive device. Above all, simple structure of Pt/HfOx/ZnOx/TiN by ALD technique is a kind of promising memristor device for applications in artificial neural network.

  6. The sticky synapse

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Owczarek, Sylwia Elzbieta; Kristiansen, Lars Villiam; Hortsch, Michael

    NCAM-type proteins modulate multiple neuronal functions, including the outgrowth and guidance of neurites, the formation, maturation, and plasticity of synapses, and the induction of both long-term potentiation and long-term depression. The ectodomains of NCAM proteins have a basic structure...... signal transduction. A central feature of the synaptic function of NCAM proteins is the regulation of their extracellular interactions by adhesion-modulating glycoepitopes, their removal from the cell surface by endocytosis, and the elimination of their adhesion-mediating interactions by the proteolytic...

  7. 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...

  8. Inter-Synaptic Lateral Diffusion of GABAA Receptors Shapes Inhibitory Synaptic Currents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Luca, Emanuela; Ravasenga, Tiziana; Petrini, Enrica Maria; Polenghi, Alice; Nieus, Thierry; Guazzi, Stefania; Barberis, Andrea

    2017-07-05

    The lateral mobility of neurotransmitter receptors has been shown to tune synaptic signals. Here we report that GABAA receptors (GABAARs) can diffuse between adjacent dendritic GABAergic synapses in long-living desensitized states, thus laterally spreading "activation memories" between inhibitory synapses. Glutamatergic activity limits this inter-synaptic diffusion by trapping GABAARs at excitatory synapses. This novel form of activity-dependent hetero-synaptic interplay is likely to modulate dendritic synaptic signaling. Copyright © 2017 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Synaptic AMPA receptor plasticity and behavior

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kessels, Helmut W.; Malinow, Roberto

    2009-01-01

    The ability to change behavior likely depends on the selective strengthening and weakening of brain synapses. The cellular models of synaptic plasticity, long-term potentiation (LTP) and depression (LTD) of synaptic strength, can be expressed by the synaptic insertion or removal of AMPA receptors

  10. Diversity of Spine Synapses in Animals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Ya-Xian; Mattson, Mark P.; Yao, Pamela J.

    2016-01-01

    Here we examine the structure of the various types of spine synapses throughout the animal kingdom. Based on available evidence, we suggest that there are two major categories of spine synapses: invaginating and non-invaginating, with distributions that vary among different groups of animals. In the simplest living animals with definitive nerve cells and synapses, the cnidarians and ctenophores, most chemical synapses do not form spine synapses. But some cnidarians have invaginating spine synapses, especially in photoreceptor terminals of motile cnidarians with highly complex visual organs, and also in some mainly sessile cnidarians with rapid prey capture reflexes. This association of invaginating spine synapses with complex sensory inputs is retained in the evolution of higher animals in photoreceptor terminals and some mechanoreceptor synapses. In contrast to invaginating spine synapse, non-invaginating spine synapses have been described only in animals with bilateral symmetry, heads and brains, associated with greater complexity in neural connections. This is apparent already in the simplest bilaterians, the flatworms, which can have well-developed non-invaginating spine synapses in some cases. Non-invaginating spine synapses diversify in higher animal groups. We also discuss the functional advantages of having synapses on spines and more specifically, on invaginating spines. And finally we discuss pathologies associated with spine synapses, concentrating on those systems and diseases where invaginating spine synapses are involved. PMID:27230661

  11. Experience-dependent homeostatic synaptic plasticity in neocortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitt, Jessica L; Petrus, Emily; Lee, Hey-Kyoung

    2014-03-01

    The organism's ability to adapt to the changing sensory environment is due in part to the ability of the nervous system to change with experience. Input and synapse specific Hebbian plasticity, such as long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD), are critical for sculpting the nervous system to wire its circuit in tune with the environment and for storing memories. However, these synaptic plasticity mechanisms are innately unstable and require another mode of plasticity that maintains homeostasis to allow neurons to function within a desired dynamic range. Several modes of homeostatic adaptation are known, some of which work at the synaptic level. This review will focus on the known mechanisms of experience-induced homeostatic synaptic plasticity in the neocortex and their potential function in sensory cortex plasticity. This article is part of the Special Issue entitled 'Homeostatic Synaptic Plasticity'. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Loss of transforming growth factor-beta 2 leads to impairment of central synapse function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rickmann Michael

    2008-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The formation of functional synapses is a crucial event in neuronal network formation, and with regard to regulation of breathing it is essential for life. Members of the transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-β superfamily act as intercellular signaling molecules during synaptogenesis of the neuromuscular junction of Drosophila and are involved in synaptic function of sensory neurons of Aplysia. Results Here we show that while TGF-β2 is not crucial for the morphology and function of the neuromuscular junction of the diaphragm muscle of mice, it is essential for proper synaptic function in the pre-Bötzinger complex, a central rhythm organizer located in the brainstem. Genetic deletion of TGF-β2 in mice strongly impaired both GABA/glycinergic and glutamatergic synaptic transmission in the pre-Bötzinger complex area, while numbers and morphology of central synapses of knock-out animals were indistinguishable from their wild-type littermates at embryonic day 18.5. Conclusion The results demonstrate that TGF-β2 influences synaptic function, rather than synaptogenesis, specifically at central synapses. The functional alterations in the respiratory center of the brain are probably the underlying cause of the perinatal death of the TGF-β2 knock-out mice.

  13. Defects of the Glycinergic Synapse in Zebrafish

    OpenAIRE

    Ogino, Kazutoyo; Hirata, Hiromi

    2016-01-01

    Glycine mediates fast inhibitory synaptic transmission. Physiological importance of the glycinergic synapse is well established in the brainstem and the spinal cord. In humans, the loss of glycinergic function in the spinal cord and brainstem leads to hyperekplexia, which is characterized by an excess startle reflex to sudden acoustic or tactile stimulation. In addition, glycinergic synapses in this region are also involved in the regulation of respiration and locomotion, and in the nocicepti...

  14. Mammalian Cochlear Hair Cell Regeneration and Ribbon Synapse Reformation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaoling Lu

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Hair cells (HCs are the sensory preceptor cells in the inner ear, which play an important role in hearing and balance. The HCs of organ of Corti are susceptible to noise, ototoxic drugs, and infections, thus resulting in permanent hearing loss. Recent approaches of HCs regeneration provide new directions for finding the treatment of sensor neural deafness. To have normal hearing function, the regenerated HCs must be reinnervated by nerve fibers and reform ribbon synapse with the dendrite of spiral ganglion neuron through nerve regeneration. In this review, we discuss the research progress in HC regeneration, the synaptic plasticity, and the reinnervation of new regenerated HCs in mammalian inner ear.

  15. Role of neuron-glia interactions in developmental synapse elimination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Terni, Beatrice; López-Murcia, Francisco José; Llobet, Artur

    2017-03-01

    During the embryonic development of the nervous system there is a massive formation of synapses. However, the exuberant connectivity present after birth must be pruned during postnatal growth to optimize the function of neuronal circuits. Whilst glial cells play a fundamental role in the formation of early synaptic contacts, their contribution to developmental modifications of established synapses is not well understood. The present review aims to highlight the various roles of glia in the developmental refinement of embryonic synaptic connectivity. We summarize recent evidences linking secretory abilities of glial cells to the disassembly of synaptic contacts that are complementary of a well-established phagocytic role. Considering a theoretical framework, it is discussed how release of glial molecules could be relevant to the developmental refinement of synaptic connectivity. Finally, we propose a three-stage model of synapse elimination in which neurons and glia are functionally associated to timely eliminate synapses. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Organization of GABAergic synaptic circuits in the rat ventral tegmental area.

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    Alessandro Ciccarelli

    Full Text Available The ventral tegmental area (VTA is widely implicated in drug addiction and other psychiatric disorders. This brain region is densely populated by dopaminergic (DA neurons and also contains a sparse population of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABAergic cells that regulate the activity of the principal neurons. Therefore, an in-depth knowledge of the organization of VTA GABAergic circuits and of the plasticity induced by drug consumption is essential for understanding the mechanisms by which drugs induce stable changes in brain reward circuits. Using immunohistochemistry, we provide a detailed description of the localization of major GABA(A and GABA(B receptor subunits in the rat VTA. We show that DA and GABAergic cells express both GABA(A and GABA(B receptors. However VTA neurons differ considerably in the expression of GABA(A receptor subunits, as the α1 subunit is associated predominantly with non-DA cells, whereas the α3 subunit is present at low levels in both types of VTA neurons. Using an unbiased stereological method, we then demonstrate that α1-positive elements represent only a fraction of non-DA neurons and that the ratio of DA and non-DA cells is quite variable throughout the rostro-caudal extent of the VTA. Interestingly, DA and non-DA cells receive a similar density of perisomatic synapses, whereas axo-dendritic synapses are significantly more abundant in non-DA cells, indicating that local interneurons receive prominent GABAergic inhibition. These findings reveal a differential expression of GABA receptor subtypes in the two major categories of VTA neurons and provide an anatomical basis for interpreting the plasticity of inhibitory circuits induced by drug exposure.

  17. Nanoscale Molecular Reorganization of the Inhibitory Postsynaptic Density Is a Determinant of GABAergic Synaptic Potentiation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pennacchietti, Francesca; Vascon, Sebastiano; Nieus, Thierry; Rosillo, Christian; Das, Sabyasachi; Tyagarajan, Shiva K; Diaspro, Alberto; Del Bue, Alessio; Petrini, Enrica Maria; Barberis, Andrea; Cella Zanacchi, Francesca

    2017-02-15

    Gephyrin is a key scaffold protein mediating the anchoring of GABAA receptors at inhibitory synapses. Here, we exploited superresolution techniques combined with proximity-based clustering analysis and model simulations to investigate the single-molecule gephyrin reorganization during plasticity of inhibitory synapses in mouse hippocampal cultured neurons. This approach revealed that, during the expression of inhibitory LTP, the increase of gephyrin density at postsynaptic sites is associated with the promoted formation of gephyrin nanodomains. We demonstrate that the gephyrin rearrangement in nanodomains stabilizes the amplitude of postsynaptic currents, indicating that, in addition to the number of synaptic GABAA receptors, the nanoscale distribution of GABAA receptors in the postsynaptic area is a crucial determinant for the expression of inhibitory synaptic plasticity. In addition, the methodology implemented here clears the way to the application of the graph-based theory to single-molecule data for the description and quantification of the spatial organization of the synapse at the single-molecule level. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT The mechanisms of inhibitory synaptic plasticity are poorly understood, mainly because the size of the synapse is below the diffraction limit, thus reducing the effectiveness of conventional optical and imaging techniques. Here, we exploited superresolution approaches combined with clustering analysis to study at unprecedented resolution the distribution of the inhibitory scaffold protein gephyrin in response to protocols inducing LTP of inhibitory synaptic responses (iLTP). We found that, during the expression of iLTP, the increase of synaptic gephyrin is associated with the fragmentation of gephyrin in subsynaptic nanodomains. We demonstrate that such synaptic gephyrin nanodomains stabilize the amplitude of inhibitory postsynaptic responses, thus identifying the nanoscale gephyrin rearrangement as a key determinant for inhibitory

  18. Microanatomy of dendritic spines: emerging principles of synaptic pathology in psychiatric and neurological disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blanpied, Thomas A; Ehlers, Michael D

    2004-06-15

    Psychiatric and neurologic disorders ranging from mental retardation to addiction are accompanied by structural and functional alterations of synaptic connections in the brain. Such alterations include abnormal density and morphology of dendritic spines, synapse loss, and aberrant synaptic signaling and plasticity. Recent work is revealing an unexpectedly complex biochemical and subcellular organization of dendritic spines. In this review, we highlight the molecular interplay between functional domains of the spine, including the postsynaptic density, the actin cytoskeleton, and membrane trafficking domains. This research points to an emerging level of analysis--a microanatomical understanding of synaptic physiology--that will be critical for discerning how synapses operate in normal physiologic states and for identifying and reversing microscopic changes in psychiatric and neurologic disease. Copyright 2004 Society of Biological Psychiatry

  19. Synaptic molecular imaging in spared and deprived columns of mouse barrel cortex with array tomography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weiler, Nicholas C; Collman, Forrest; Vogelstein, Joshua T; Burns, Randal; Smith, Stephen J

    2014-01-01

    A major question in neuroscience is how diverse subsets of synaptic connections in neural circuits are affected by experience dependent plasticity to form the basis for behavioral learning and memory. Differences in protein expression patterns at individual synapses could constitute a key to understanding both synaptic diversity and the effects of plasticity at different synapse populations. Our approach to this question leverages the immunohistochemical multiplexing capability of array tomography (ATomo) and the columnar organization of mouse barrel cortex to create a dataset comprising high resolution volumetric images of spared and deprived cortical whisker barrels stained for over a dozen synaptic molecules each. These dataset has been made available through the Open Connectome Project for interactive online viewing, and may also be downloaded for offline analysis using web, Matlab, and other interfaces.

  20. Arc protein: a flexible hub for synaptic plasticity and cognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nikolaienko, Oleksii; Patil, Sudarshan; Eriksen, Maria Steene; Bramham, Clive R

    2017-09-07

    Mammalian excitatory synapses express diverse types of synaptic plasticity. A major challenge in neuroscience is to understand how a neuron utilizes different types of plasticity to sculpt brain development, function, and behavior. Neuronal activity-induced expression of the immediate early protein, Arc, is critical for long-term potentiation and depression of synaptic transmission, homeostatic synaptic scaling, and adaptive functions such as long-term memory formation. However, the molecular basis of Arc protein function as a regulator of synaptic plasticity and cognition remains a puzzle. Recent work on the biophysical and structural properties of Arc, its protein-protein interactions and post-translational modifications have shed light on the issue. Here, we present Arc protein as a flexible, multifunctional and interactive hub. Arc interacts with specific effector proteins in neuronal compartments (dendritic spines, nuclear domains) to bidirectionally regulate synaptic strength by distinct molecular mechanisms. Arc stability, subcellular localization, and interactions are dictated by synaptic activity and post-translational modification of Arc. This functional versatility and context-dependent signaling supports a view of Arc as a highly specialized master organizer of long-term synaptic plasticity, critical for information storage and cognition. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  1. Endocannabinoid signaling and synaptic function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castillo, Pablo E.; Younts, Thomas J.; Chávez, Andrés E.; Hashimotodani, Yuki

    2012-01-01

    Endocannabinoids are key modulators of synaptic function. By activating cannabinoid receptors expressed in the central nervous system, these lipid messengers can regulate several neural functions and behaviors. As experimental tools advance, the repertoire of known endocannabinoid-mediated effects at the synapse, and their underlying mechanism, continues to expand. Retrograde signaling is the principal mode by which endocannabinoids mediate short- and long-term forms of plasticity at both excitatory and inhibitory synapses. However, growing evidence suggests that endocannabinoids can also signal in a non-retrograde manner. In addition to mediating synaptic plasticity, the endocannabinoid system is itself subject to plastic changes. Multiple points of interaction with other neuromodulatory and signaling systems have now been identified. Synaptic endocannabinoid signaling is thus mechanistically more complex and diverse than originally thought. In this review, we focus on new advances in endocannabinoid signaling and highlight their role as potent regulators of synaptic function in the mammalian brain. PMID:23040807

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  3. Signal regulatory proteins (SIRPS) are secreted presynaptic organizing molecules.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Umemori, Hisashi; Sanes, Joshua R

    2008-12-05

    Formation of chemical synapses requires exchange of organizing signals between the synaptic partners. Using synaptic vesicle aggregation in cultured neurons as a marker of presynaptic differentiation, we purified candidate presynaptic organizers from mouse brain. A major bioactive species was the extracellular domain of signal regulatory protein alpha (SIRP-alpha), a transmembrane immunoglobulin superfamily member concentrated at synapses. The extracellular domain of SIRP-alpha is cleaved and shed in a developmentally regulated manner. The presynaptic organizing activity of SIRP-alpha is mediated in part by CD47. SIRP-alpha homologues, SIRP-beta and -gamma also have synaptic vesicle clustering activity. The effects of SIRP-alpha are distinct from those of another presynaptic organizer, FGF22: the two proteins induced vesicle clusters of different sizes, differed in their ability to promote neurite branching, and acted through different receptors and signaling pathways. SIRP family proteins may act together with other organizing molecules to pattern synapses.

  4. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ayla eAksoy Aksel

    2013-08-01

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

  6. Cell Biology of Astrocyte-Synapse Interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, Nicola J; Eroglu, Cagla

    2017-11-01

    Astrocytes, the most abundant glial cells in the mammalian brain, are critical regulators of brain development and physiology through dynamic and often bidirectional interactions with neuronal synapses. Despite the clear importance of astrocytes for the establishment and maintenance of proper synaptic connectivity, our understanding of their role in brain function is still in its infancy. We propose that this is at least in part due to large gaps in our knowledge of the cell biology of astrocytes and the mechanisms they use to interact with synapses. In this review, we summarize some of the seminal findings that yield important insight into the cellular and molecular basis of astrocyte-neuron communication, focusing on the role of astrocytes in the development and remodeling of synapses. Furthermore, we pose some pressing questions that need to be addressed to advance our mechanistic understanding of the role of astrocytes in regulating synaptic development. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. NMDAR-mediated calcium transients elicited by glutamate co-release at developing inhibitory synapses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abigail Kalmbach

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available Before hearing onset, the topographic organization of the inhibitory sound localization pathway from the medial nucleus of the trapezoid body (MNTB to the lateral superior olive (LSO is refined by means of synaptic silencing and strengthening. During this refinement period MNTB-LSO synapses not only release GABA and glycine but also release glutamate. This co-released glutamate can elicit postsynaptic currents that are predominantly mediated by NMDA receptors (NMDARs. To gain a better understanding of how glutamate contributes to synaptic signaling at developing MNTB-LSO inhibitory synapse, we investigated to what degree and under what conditions NMDARs contribute to postsynaptic calcium responses. Our results demonstrate that MNTB-LSO synapses can elicit compartmentalized calcium responses along aspiny LSO dendrites. These responses are significantly attenuated by the NMDARs antagonist APV. APV, however, has no effect on somatically recorded electrical postsynaptic responses, indicating little, if any, contribution of NMDARs to spike generation. Small NMDAR-mediated calcium responses were also observed under physiological levels of extracellular magnesium concentrations indicating that MNTB-LSO synapses activate magnesium sensitive NMDAR on immature LSO dendrites. In Fura-2 AM loaded neurons, blocking GABAA and glycine receptors decreased NMDAR contribution to somatic calcium responses suggesting that GABA and glycine, perhaps by shunting backpropagating action potentials, decrease the level of NMDAR activation under strong stimulus conditions.

  8. A recipe for ridding synapses of the ubiquitous AMPA receptor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turrigiano, Gina G

    2002-12-01

    Getting AMPA receptors into and out of synapses represents an important mechanism for changing synaptic strength, but the signals that target AMPA receptors for removal from the synaptic membrane are incompletely understood. A recent study in Ceanorhabditis elegans suggests that ubiquitination of AMPA receptors is one important signal that targets these receptors for endocytosis.

  9. Piccolo Promotes Vesicle Replenishment at a Fast Central Auditory Synapse

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tanvi Butola

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Piccolo and Bassoon are the two largest cytomatrix of the active zone (CAZ proteins involved in scaffolding and regulating neurotransmitter release at presynaptic active zones (AZs, but have long been discussed as being functionally redundant. We employed genetic manipulation to bring forth and segregate the role of Piccolo from that of Bassoon at central auditory synapses of the cochlear nucleus—the endbulbs of Held. These synapses specialize in high frequency synaptic transmission, ideally poised to reveal even subtle deficits in the regulation of neurotransmitter release upon molecular perturbation. Combining semi-quantitative immunohistochemistry, electron microscopy, and in vitro and in vivo electrophysiology we first studied signal transmission in Piccolo-deficient mice. Our analysis was not confounded by a cochlear deficit, as a short isoform of Piccolo (“Piccolino” present at the upstream ribbon synapses of cochlear inner hair cells (IHC, is unaffected by the mutation. Disruption of Piccolo increased the abundance of Bassoon at the AZs of endbulbs, while that of RIM1 was reduced and other CAZ proteins remained unaltered. Presynaptic fiber stimulation revealed smaller amplitude of the evoked excitatory postsynaptic currents (eEPSC, while eEPSC kinetics as well as miniature EPSCs (mEPSCs remained unchanged. Cumulative analysis of eEPSC trains indicated that the reduced eEPSC amplitude of Piccolo-deficient endbulb synapses is primarily due to a reduced readily releasable pool (RRP of synaptic vesicles (SV, as was corroborated by a reduction of vesicles at the AZ found on an ultrastructural level. Release probability seemed largely unaltered. Recovery from short-term depression was slowed. We then performed a physiological analysis of endbulb synapses from mice which, in addition to Piccolo deficiency, lacked one functional allele of the Bassoon gene. Analysis of the double-mutant endbulbs revealed an increase in release probability

  10. Invaginating Structures in Mammalian Synapses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petralia, Ronald S.; Wang, Ya-Xian; Mattson, Mark P.; Yao, Pamela J.

    2018-01-01

    Invaginating structures at chemical synapses in the mammalian nervous system exist in presynaptic axon terminals, postsynaptic spines or dendrites, and glial processes. These invaginating structures can be divided into three categories. The first category includes slender protrusions invaginating into axonal terminals, postsynaptic spines, or glial processes. Best known examples of this category are spinules extending from postsynaptic spines into presynaptic terminals in forebrain synapses. Another example of this category are protrusions from inhibitory presynaptic terminals invaginating into postsynaptic neuronal somas. Regardless of the direction and location, the invaginating structures of the first category do not have synaptic active zones within the invagination. The second category includes postsynaptic spines invaginating into presynaptic terminals, whereas the third category includes presynaptic terminals invaginating into postsynaptic spines or dendrites. Unlike the first category, the second and third categories have active zones within the invagination. An example of the second category are mossy terminal synapses of the hippocampal CA3 region, in which enlarged spine-like structures invaginate partly or entirely into mossy terminals. An example of the third category is the neuromuscular junction (NMJ) where substantial invaginations of the presynaptic terminals invaginate into the muscle fibers. In the retina, rod and cone synapses have invaginating processes from horizontal and bipolar cells. Because horizontal cells act both as post and presynaptic structures, their invaginating processes represent both the second and third category. These invaginating structures likely play broad yet specialized roles in modulating neuronal cell signaling.

  11. The Diversity of Cortical Inhibitory Synapses

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    Yoshiyuki eKubota

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available The most typical and well known inhibitory action in the cortical microcircuit is a strong inhibition on the target neuron by axo-somatic synapses. However, it has become clear that synaptic inhibition in the cortex is much more diverse and complicated. Firstly, at least ten or more inhibitory non-pyramidal cell subtypes engage in diverse inhibitory functions to produce the elaborate activity characteristic of the different cortical states. Each distinct non-pyramidal cell subtype has its own independent inhibitory function. Secondly, the inhibitory synapses innervate different neuronal domains, such as axons, spines, dendrites and soma, and their IPSP size is not uniform. Thus cortical inhibition is highly complex, with a wide variety of anatomical and physiological modes. Moreover, the functional significance of the various inhibitory synapse innervation styles and their unique structural dynamic behaviors differ from those of excitatory synapses. In this review, we summarize our current understanding of the inhibitory mechanisms of the cortical microcircuit.

  12. Tuning synaptic transmission in the hippocampus by stress: The CRH system

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuncai eChen

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available To enhance survival, an organism needs to remember--and learn from--threatening or stressful events. This fact necessitates the presence of mechanisms by which stress can influence synaptic transmission in brain regions, such as hippocampus, that subserve learning and memory. A major focus of this series of monographs is on the role and actions of adrenal-derived hormones, corticosteroids, and of brain-derived neurotransmitters, on synaptic function in the stressed hippocampus. Here we focus on the contribution of hippocampus-intrinsic, stress-activated CRH-CRH receptor signaling to the function and structure of hippocampal synapses. CRH is expressed in interneurons of adult hippocampus, and is released from axon terminals during stress. The peptide exerts time- and dose-dependent effects on learning and memory via modulation of synaptic function and plasticity. Whereas physiological levels of CRH, acting over seconds to minutes, augment memory processes, exposure to presumed severe-stress levels of the peptide results in spine retraction and loss of synapses over more protracted time-frames. Loss of dendritic spines (and hence of synapses takes place through actin cytoskeleton collapse downstream of CRHR1 receptors that reside within excitatory synapses on spine heads. Chronic exposure to stress levels of CRH may promote dying-back (atrophy of spine-carrying dendrites. Thus, the acute effects of CRH may contribute to stress-induced adaptive mechanisms, whereas chronic or excessive exposure to the peptide may promote learning problems and premature cognitive decline.

  13. Ca2+-permeable AMPA receptors in homeostatic synaptic plasticity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hey-Kyoung eLee

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Neurons possess diverse mechanisms of homeostatic adaptation to overall changes in neural and synaptic activity, which are critical for proper brain functions. Homeostatic regulation of excitatory synapses has been studied in the context of synaptic scaling, which allows neurons to adjust their excitatory synaptic gain to maintain their activity within a dynamic range. Recent evidence suggests that one of the main mechanisms underlying synaptic scaling is by altering the function of postsynaptic AMPA receptors (AMPARs, including synaptic expression of Ca2+-permeable (CP- AMPARs. CP-AMPARs endow synapses with unique properties, which may benefit adaptation of neurons to periods of inactivity as would occur when a major input is lost. This review will summarize how synaptic expression of CP-AMPARs is regulated during homeostatic synaptic plasticity in the context of synaptic scaling, and will address the potential functional consequences of altering synaptic CP-AMPAR content.

  14. Basic mechanisms for recognition and transport of synaptic cargos

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    M.A. Schlager (Max); C.C. Hoogenraad (Casper)

    2009-01-01

    textabstractSynaptic cargo trafficking is essential for synapse formation, function and plasticity. In order to transport synaptic cargo, such as synaptic vesicle precursors, mitochondria, neurotransmitter receptors and signaling proteins to their site of action, neurons make use of molecular motor

  15. Dynamic mobility of functional GABAA receptors at inhibitory synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, Philip; Mortensen, Martin; Hosie, Alastair M; Smart, Trevor G

    2005-07-01

    Importing functional GABAA receptors into synapses is fundamental for establishing and maintaining inhibitory transmission and for controlling neuronal excitability. By introducing a binding site for an irreversible inhibitor into the GABAA receptor alpha1 subunit channel lining region that can be accessed only when the receptor is activated, we have determined the dynamics of receptor mobility between synaptic and extrasynaptic locations in hippocampal pyramidal neurons. We demonstrate that the cell surface GABAA receptor population shows no fast recovery after irreversible inhibition. In contrast, after selective inhibition, the synaptic receptor population rapidly recovers by the import of new functional entities within minutes. The trafficking pathways that promote rapid importation of synaptic receptors do not involve insertion from intracellular pools, but reflect receptor diffusion within the plane of the membrane. This process offers the synapse a rapid mechanism to replenish functional GABAA receptors at inhibitory synapses and a means to control synaptic efficacy.

  16. An NMDA Receptor-Dependent Mechanism Underlies Inhibitory Synapse Development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xinglong Gu

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available In the mammalian brain, GABAergic synaptic transmission provides inhibitory balance to glutamatergic excitatory drive and controls neuronal output. The molecular mechanisms underlying the development of GABAergic synapses remain largely unclear. Here, we report that NMDA-type ionotropic glutamate receptors (NMDARs in individual immature neurons are the upstream signaling molecules essential for GABAergic synapse development, which requires signaling via Calmodulin binding motif in the C0 domain of the NMDAR GluN1 subunit. Interestingly, in neurons lacking NMDARs, whereas GABAergic synaptic transmission is strongly reduced, the tonic inhibition mediated by extrasynaptic GABAA receptors is increased, suggesting a compensatory mechanism for the lack of synaptic inhibition. These results demonstrate a crucial role for NMDARs in specifying the development of inhibitory synapses, and suggest an important mechanism for controlling the establishment of the balance between synaptic excitation and inhibition in the developing brain.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2016-01-25

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

  19. A non-volatile organic electrochemical device as a low-voltage artificial synapse for neuromorphic computing

    Science.gov (United States)

    van de Burgt, Yoeri; Lubberman, Ewout; Fuller, Elliot J.; Keene, Scott T.; Faria, Grégorio C.; Agarwal, Sapan; Marinella, Matthew J.; Alec Talin, A.; Salleo, Alberto

    2017-04-01

    The brain is capable of massively parallel information processing while consuming only ~1-100 fJ per synaptic event. Inspired by the efficiency of the brain, CMOS-based neural architectures and memristors are being developed for pattern recognition and machine learning. However, the volatility, design complexity and high supply voltages for CMOS architectures, and the stochastic and energy-costly switching of memristors complicate the path to achieve the interconnectivity, information density, and energy efficiency of the brain using either approach. Here we describe an electrochemical neuromorphic organic device (ENODe) operating with a fundamentally different mechanism from existing memristors. ENODe switches at low voltage and energy (500 distinct, non-volatile conductance states within a ~1 V range, and achieves high classification accuracy when implemented in neural network simulations. Plastic ENODes are also fabricated on flexible substrates enabling the integration of neuromorphic functionality in stretchable electronic systems. Mechanical flexibility makes ENODes compatible with three-dimensional architectures, opening a path towards extreme interconnectivity comparable to the human brain.

  20. Localization of mineralocorticoid receptors at mammalian synapses.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eric M Prager

    Full Text Available In the brain, membrane associated nongenomic steroid receptors can induce fast-acting responses to ion conductance and second messenger systems of neurons. Emerging data suggest that membrane associated glucocorticoid and mineralocorticoid receptors may directly regulate synaptic excitability during times of stress when adrenal hormones are elevated. As the key neuron signaling interface, the synapse is involved in learning and memory, including traumatic memories during times of stress. The lateral amygdala is a key site for synaptic plasticity underlying conditioned fear, which can both trigger and be coincident with the stress response. A large body of electrophysiological data shows rapid regulation of neuronal excitability by steroid hormone receptors. Despite the importance of these receptors, to date, only the glucocorticoid receptor has been anatomically localized to the membrane. We investigated the subcellular sites of mineralocorticoid receptors in the lateral amygdala of the Sprague-Dawley rat. Immunoblot analysis revealed the presence of mineralocorticoid receptors in the amygdala. Using electron microscopy, we found mineralocorticoid receptors expressed at both nuclear including: glutamatergic and GABAergic neurons and extra nuclear sites including: presynaptic terminals, neuronal dendrites, and dendritic spines. Importantly we also observed mineralocorticoid receptors at postsynaptic membrane densities of excitatory synapses. These data provide direct anatomical evidence supporting the concept that, at some synapses, synaptic transmission is regulated by mineralocorticoid receptors. Thus part of the stress signaling response in the brain is a direct modulation of the synapse itself by adrenal steroids.

  1. Intercellular protein-protein interactions at synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Xiaofei; Hou, Dongmei; Jiang, Wei; Zhang, Chen

    2014-06-01

    Chemical synapses are asymmetric intercellular junctions through which neurons send nerve impulses to communicate with other neurons or excitable cells. The appropriate formation of synapses, both spatially and temporally, is essential for brain function and depends on the intercellular protein-protein interactions of cell adhesion molecules (CAMs) at synaptic clefts. The CAM proteins link pre- and post-synaptic sites, and play essential roles in promoting synapse formation and maturation, maintaining synapse number and type, accumulating neurotransmitter receptors and ion channels, controlling neuronal differentiation, and even regulating synaptic plasticity directly. Alteration of the interactions of CAMs leads to structural and functional impairments, which results in many neurological disorders, such as autism, Alzheimer's disease and schizophrenia. Therefore, it is crucial to understand the functions of CAMs during development and in the mature neural system, as well as in the pathogenesis of some neurological disorders. Here, we review the function of the major classes of CAMs, and how dysfunction of CAMs relates to several neurological disorders.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erica L. Gorenberg

    2017-05-01

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

  3. Two Wnts Instruct Topographic Synaptic Innervation in C. elegans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kota Mizumoto

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Gradients of topographic cues play essential roles in the organization of sensory systems by guiding axonal growth cones. Little is known about whether there are additional mechanisms for precise topographic mapping of synaptic connections. Whereas the C. elegans DA8 and DA9 neurons have similar axonal trajectories, their synapses are positioned in distinct but adjacent domains in the anterior-posterior axis. We found that two Wnts, LIN-44 and EGL-20, are responsible for this spatial organization of synapses. Both Wnts form putative posterior-high, anterior-low gradients. The posteriorly expressed LIN-44 inhibits synapse formation in both DA9 and DA8, and creates a synapse-free domain on both axons via LIN-17 /Frizzled. EGL-20, a more anteriorly expressed Wnt, inhibits synapse formation through MIG-1/Frizzled, which is expressed in DA8 but not in DA9. The Wnt-Frizzled specificity and selective Frizzled expression dictate the stereotyped, topographic positioning of synapses between these two neurons.

  4. Artificial Synaptic Devices Based on Natural Chicken Albumen Coupled Electric-Double-Layer Transistors

    OpenAIRE

    Wu, Guodong; Feng, Ping; Wan, Xiang; Zhu, Liqiang; Shi, Yi; Wan, Qing

    2016-01-01

    Recent progress in using biomaterials to fabricate functional electronics has got growing attention for the new generation of environmentally friendly and biocompatible electronic devices. As a kind of biological material with rich source, proteins are essential natural component of all organisms. At the same time, artificial synaptic devices are of great significance for neuromorphic systems because they can emulate the signal process and memory behaviors of biological synapses. In this repo...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  6. Presynaptic active zone density during development and synaptic plasticity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gwenaëlle L Clarke

    2012-02-01

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

  7. SynProt: A Database for Proteins of Detergent-Resistant Synaptic Protein Preparations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pielot, Rainer; Smalla, Karl-Heinz; Müller, Anke; Landgraf, Peter; Lehmann, Anne-Christin; Eisenschmidt, Elke; Haus, Utz-Uwe; Weismantel, Robert; Gundelfinger, Eckart D.; Dieterich, Daniela C.

    2012-01-01

    Chemical synapses are highly specialized cell–cell contacts for communication between neurons in the CNS characterized by complex and dynamic protein networks at both synaptic membranes. The cytomatrix at the active zone (CAZ) organizes the apparatus for the regulated release of transmitters from the presynapse. At the postsynaptic side, the postsynaptic density constitutes the machinery for detection, integration, and transduction of the transmitter signal. Both pre- and postsynaptic protein networks represent the molecular substrates for synaptic plasticity. Their function can be altered both by regulating their composition and by post-translational modification of their components. For a comprehensive understanding of synaptic networks the entire ensemble of synaptic proteins has to be considered. To support this, we established a comprehensive database for synaptic junction proteins (SynProt database) primarily based on proteomics data obtained from biochemical preparations of detergent-resistant synaptic junctions. The database currently contains 2,788 non-redundant entries of rat, mouse, and some human proteins, which mainly have been manually extracted from 12 proteomic studies and annotated for synaptic subcellular localization. Each dataset is completed with manually added information including protein classifiers as well as automatically retrieved and updated information from public databases (UniProt and PubMed). We intend that the database will be used to support modeling of synaptic protein networks and rational experimental design. PMID:22737123

  8. SynProt: A Comprehensive Database for Proteins of the Detergent-Resistant Synaptic Junctions Fraction

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    Rainer ePielot

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Chemical synapses are highly specialized cell-cell contacts for communication between neurons in the CNS characterized by complex and dynamic protein networks at both synaptic membranes. The cytomatrix at the active zone (CAZ organizes the apparatus for the regulated release of transmitters from the presynapse. At the postsynaptic side, the postsynaptic density constitutes the machinery for detection, integration and transduction of the transmitter signal. Both pre- and postsynaptic protein networks represent the molecular substrates for synaptic plasticity. Their function can be altered both by regulating their composition and by post-translational modification of their components. For a comprehensive understanding of synaptic networks the entire ensemble of synaptic proteins has to be considered. To support this, we established a comprehensive database for synaptic junction proteins (SynProt database primarily based on proteomics data obtained from biochemical preparations of detergent-resistant synaptic junctions. The database currently contains 2,788 non-redundant entries of rat, mouse and some human proteins, which mainly have been manually extracted from twelve proteomic studies and annotated for synaptic subcellular localization. Each dataset is completed with manually added information including protein classifiers as well as automatically retrieved and updated information from public databases (UniProt and PubMed. We intend that the database will be used to support modeling of synaptic protein networks and rational experimental design.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bi, Zedong; Zhou, Changsong

    2016-01-01

    Synapses may undergo variable changes during plasticity because of the variability of spike patterns such as temporal stochasticity and spatial randomness. Here, we call the variability of synaptic weight changes during plasticity to be efficacy variability. In this paper, we investigate how four aspects of spike pattern statistics (i.e., synchronous firing, burstiness/regularity, heterogeneity of rates and heterogeneity of cross-correlations) influence the efficacy variability under pair-wise additive spike-timing dependent plasticity (STDP) and synaptic homeostasis (the mean strength of plastic synapses into a neuron is bounded), by implementing spike shuffling methods onto spike patterns self-organized by a network of excitatory and inhibitory leaky integrate-and-fire (LIF) neurons. With the increase of the decay time scale of the inhibitory synaptic currents, the LIF network undergoes a transition from asynchronous state to weak synchronous state and then to synchronous bursting state. We first shuffle these spike patterns using a variety of methods, each designed to evidently change a specific pattern statistics; and then investigate the change of efficacy variability of the synapses under STDP and synaptic homeostasis, when the neurons in the network fire according to the spike patterns before and after being treated by a shuffling method. In this way, we can understand how the change of pattern statistics may cause the change of efficacy variability. Our results are consistent with those of our previous study which implements spike-generating models on converging motifs. We also find that burstiness/regularity is important to determine the efficacy variability under asynchronous states, while heterogeneity of cross-correlations is the main factor to cause efficacy variability when the network moves into synchronous bursting states (the states observed in epilepsy). PMID:27555816

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zedong Bi

    2016-08-01

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

  11. Synaptotagmin 7 confers frequency invariance onto specialized depressing synapses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turecek, Josef; Jackman, Skyler L.; Regehr, Wade G.

    2017-11-01

    At most synapses in the brain, short-term plasticity dynamically modulates synaptic strength. Rapid frequency-dependent changes in synaptic strength have key roles in sensory adaptation, gain control and many other neural computations. However, some auditory, vestibular and cerebellar synapses maintain constant strength over a wide range of firing frequencies, and as a result efficiently encode firing rates. Despite its apparent simplicity, frequency-invariant transmission is difficult to achieve because of inherent synaptic nonlinearities. Here we study frequency-invariant transmission at synapses from Purkinje cells to deep cerebellar nuclei and at vestibular synapses in mice. Prolonged activation of these synapses leads to initial depression, which is followed by steady-state responses that are frequency invariant for their physiological activity range. We find that synaptotagmin 7 (Syt7), a calcium sensor for short-term facilitation, is present at both synapses. It was unclear why a sensor for facilitation would be present at these and other depressing synapses. We find that at Purkinje cell and vestibular synapses, Syt7 supports facilitation that is normally masked by depression, which can be revealed in wild-type mice but is absent in Syt7 knockout mice. In wild-type mice, facilitation increases with firing frequency and counteracts depression to produce frequency-invariant transmission. In Syt7-knockout mice, Purkinje cell and vestibular synapses exhibit conventional use-dependent depression, weakening to a greater extent as the firing frequency is increased. Presynaptic rescue of Syt7 expression restores both facilitation and frequency-invariant transmission. Our results identify a function for Syt7 at synapses that exhibit overall depression, and demonstrate that facilitation has an unexpected and important function in producing frequency-invariant transmission.

  12. CNS Neurons Deposit Laminin α5 to Stabilize Synapses

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    Mitchell H. Omar

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Summary: Synapses in the developing brain are structurally dynamic but become stable by early adulthood. We demonstrate here that an α5-subunit-containing laminin stabilizes synapses during this developmental transition. Hippocampal neurons deposit laminin α5 at synapses during adolescence as connections stabilize. Disruption of laminin α5 in neurons causes dramatic fluctuations in dendritic spine head size that can be rescued by exogenous α5-containing laminin. Conditional deletion of laminin α5 in vivo increases dendritic spine size and leads to an age-dependent loss of synapses accompanied by behavioral defects. Remaining synapses have larger postsynaptic densities and enhanced neurotransmission. Finally, we provide evidence that laminin α5 acts through an integrin α3β1-Abl2 kinase-p190RhoGAP signaling cascade and partners with laminin β2 to regulate dendritic spine density and behavior. Together, our results identify laminin α5 as a stabilizer of dendritic spines and synapses in the brain and elucidate key cellular and molecular mechanisms by which it acts. : In the developing brain, synaptic structure transitions from dynamic to stable by early adulthood. Omar et al. identify a laminin molecule deposited at synapses in the brain that is essential for dendritic spine structural regulation and synapse stability between early postnatal development and adulthood. Keywords: extracellular matrix, ECM, synapse maturation, adhesion, Lama5, Lamb2, synapse loss, stability, structural plasticity, motility

  13. Nonlinear Synapses for Large-Scale Models: An Efficient Representation Enables Complex Synapse Dynamics Modeling in Large-Scale Simulations

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    Eric eHu

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Chemical synapses are comprised of a wide collection of intricate signaling pathways involving complex dynamics. These mechanisms are often reduced to simple spikes or exponential representations in order to enable computer simulations at higher spatial levels of complexity. However, these representations cannot capture important nonlinear dynamics found in synaptic transmission. Here, we propose an input-output (IO synapse model capable of generating complex nonlinear dynamics while maintaining low computational complexity. This IO synapse model is an extension of a detailed mechanistic glutamatergic synapse model capable of capturing the input-output relationships of the mechanistic model using the Volterra functional power series. We demonstrate that the IO synapse model is able to successfully track the nonlinear dynamics of the synapse up to the third order with high accuracy. We also evaluate the accuracy of the IO synapse model at different input frequencies and compared its performance with that of kinetic models in compartmental neuron models. Our results demonstrate that the IO synapse model is capable of efficiently replicating complex nonlinear dynamics that were represented in the original mechanistic model and provide a method to replicate complex and diverse synaptic transmission within neuron network simulations.

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

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    Kyung-Seok Han

    2017-01-01

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

  15. Synaptic theory of Replicator-like melioration

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    Yonatan Loewenstein

    2010-06-01

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

  16. Defects of the Glycinergic Synapse in Zebrafish

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ogino, Kazutoyo; Hirata, Hiromi

    2016-01-01

    Glycine mediates fast inhibitory synaptic transmission. Physiological importance of the glycinergic synapse is well established in the brainstem and the spinal cord. In humans, the loss of glycinergic function in the spinal cord and brainstem leads to hyperekplexia, which is characterized by an excess startle reflex to sudden acoustic or tactile stimulation. In addition, glycinergic synapses in this region are also involved in the regulation of respiration and locomotion, and in the nociceptive processing. The importance of the glycinergic synapse is conserved across vertebrate species. A teleost fish, the zebrafish, offers several advantages as a vertebrate model for research of glycinergic synapse. Mutagenesis screens in zebrafish have isolated two motor defective mutants that have pathogenic mutations in glycinergic synaptic transmission: bandoneon (beo) and shocked (sho). Beo mutants have a loss-of-function mutation of glycine receptor (GlyR) β-subunit b, alternatively, sho mutant is a glycinergic transporter 1 (GlyT1) defective mutant. These mutants are useful animal models for understanding of glycinergic synaptic transmission and for identification of novel therapeutic agents for human diseases arising from defect in glycinergic transmission, such as hyperekplexia or glycine encephalopathy. Recent advances in techniques for genome editing and for imaging and manipulating of a molecule or a physiological process make zebrafish more attractive model. In this review, we describe the glycinergic defective zebrafish mutants and the technical advances in both forward and reverse genetic approaches as well as in vivo visualization and manipulation approaches for the study of the glycinergic synapse in zebrafish. PMID:27445686

  17. Astrocytes optimize the synaptic transmission of information.

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    Suhita Nadkarni

    2008-05-01

    Full Text Available Chemical synapses transmit information via the release of neurotransmitter-filled vesicles from the presynaptic terminal. Using computational modeling, we predict that the limited availability of neurotransmitter resources in combination with the spontaneous release of vesicles limits the maximum degree of enhancement of synaptic transmission. This gives rise to an optimal tuning that depends on the number of active zones. There is strong experimental evidence that astrocytes that enwrap synapses can modulate the probabilities of vesicle release through bidirectional signaling and hence regulate synaptic transmission. For low-fidelity hippocampal synapses, which typically have only one or two active zones, the predicted optimal values lie close to those determined by experimentally measured astrocytic feedback, suggesting that astrocytes optimize synaptic transmission of information.

  18. Microglia actively regulate the number of functional synapses.

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    Kyungmin Ji

    Full Text Available Microglia are the immunocompetent cells of the central nervous system. In the physiological setting, their highly motile processes continually survey the local brain parenchyma and transiently contact synaptic elements. Although recent work has shown that the interaction of microglia with synapses contributes to synaptic remodeling during development, the role of microglia in synaptic physiology is just starting to get explored. To assess this question, we employed an electrophysiological approach using two methods to manipulate microglia in culture: organotypic hippocampal brain slices in which microglia were depleted using clodronate liposomes, and cultured hippocampal neurons to which microglia were added. We show here that the frequency of excitatory postsynaptic current increases in microglia-depleted brain slices, consistent with a higher synaptic density, and that this enhancement ensures from the loss of microglia since it is reversed when the microglia are replenished. Conversely, the addition of microglia to neuronal cultures decreases synaptic activity and reduces the density of synapses, spine numbers, surface expression of AMPA receptor (GluA1, and levels of synaptic adhesion molecules. Taken together, our findings demonstrate that non-activated microglia acutely modulate synaptic activity by regulating the number of functional synapses in the central nervous system.

  19. Artificial Synaptic Devices Based on Natural Chicken Albumen Coupled Electric-Double-Layer Transistors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Guodong; Feng, Ping; Wan, Xiang; Zhu, Liqiang; Shi, Yi; Wan, Qing

    2016-03-24

    Recent progress in using biomaterials to fabricate functional electronics has got growing attention for the new generation of environmentally friendly and biocompatible electronic devices. As a kind of biological material with rich source, proteins are essential natural component of all organisms. At the same time, artificial synaptic devices are of great significance for neuromorphic systems because they can emulate the signal process and memory behaviors of biological synapses. In this report, natural chicken albumen with high proton conductivity was used as the coupling electrolyte film for organic/inorganic hybrid synaptic devices fabrication. Some important synaptic functions including paired-pulse facilitation, dynamic filtering, short-term to long-term memory transition and spatial summation and shunting inhibition were successfully mimicked. Our results are very interesting for biological friendly artificial neuron networks and neuromorphic systems.

  20. The penumbra of learning: a statistical theory of synaptic tagging and capture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gershman, Samuel J

    2014-01-01

    Learning in humans and animals is accompanied by a penumbra: Learning one task benefits from learning an unrelated task shortly before or after. At the cellular level, the penumbra of learning appears when weak potentiation of one synapse is amplified by strong potentiation of another synapse on the same neuron during a critical time window. Weak potentiation sets a molecular tag that enables the synapse to capture plasticity-related proteins synthesized in response to strong potentiation at another synapse. This paper describes a computational model which formalizes synaptic tagging and capture in terms of statistical learning mechanisms. According to this model, synaptic strength encodes a probabilistic inference about the dynamically changing association between pre- and post-synaptic firing rates. The rate of change is itself inferred, coupling together different synapses on the same neuron. When the inputs to one synapse change rapidly, the inferred rate of change increases, amplifying learning at other synapses.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Bi, Zedong; Zhou, Changsong

    2016-01-01

    In neural systems, synaptic plasticity is usually driven by spike trains. Due to the inherent noises of neurons and synapses as well as the randomness of connection details, spike trains typically exhibit variability such as spatial randomness and temporal stochasticity, resulting in variability of synaptic changes under plasticity, which we call efficacy variability. How the variability of spike trains influences the efficacy variability of synapses remains unclear. In this paper, we try to...

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Synaptically Driven Phosphorylation of Ribosomal Protein S6 Is Differentially Regulated at Active Synapses versus Dendrites and Cell Bodies by MAPK and PI3K/mTOR Signaling Pathways

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pirbhoy, Patricia Salgado; Farris, Shannon; Steward, Oswald

    2017-01-01

    High-frequency stimulation of the medial perforant path triggers robust phosphorylation of ribosomal protein S6 (rpS6) in activated dendritic domains and granule cell bodies. Here we dissect the signaling pathways responsible for synaptically driven rpS6 phosphorylation in the dentate gyrus using pharmacological agents to inhibit PI3-kinase/mTOR…

  5. Long-term potentiation expands information content of hippocampal dentate gyrus synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bromer, Cailey; Bartol, Thomas M; Bowden, Jared B; Hubbard, Dusten D; Hanka, Dakota C; Gonzalez, Paola V; Kuwajima, Masaaki; Mendenhall, John M; Parker, Patrick H; Abraham, Wickliffe C; Sejnowski, Terrence J; Harris, Kristen M

    2018-03-06

    An approach combining signal detection theory and precise 3D reconstructions from serial section electron microscopy (3DEM) was used to investigate synaptic plasticity and information storage capacity at medial perforant path synapses in adult hippocampal dentate gyrus in vivo. Induction of long-term potentiation (LTP) markedly increased the frequencies of both small and large spines measured 30 minutes later. This bidirectional expansion resulted in heterosynaptic counterbalancing of total synaptic area per unit length of granule cell dendrite. Control hemispheres exhibited 6.5 distinct spine sizes for 2.7 bits of storage capacity while LTP resulted in 12.9 distinct spine sizes (3.7 bits). In contrast, control hippocampal CA1 synapses exhibited 4.7 bits with much greater synaptic precision than either control or potentiated dentate gyrus synapses. Thus, synaptic plasticity altered total capacity, yet hippocampal subregions differed dramatically in their synaptic information storage capacity, reflecting their diverse functions and activation histories.

  6. Klotho regulates CA1 hippocampal synaptic plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Qin; Vo, Hai T; Wang, Jing; Fox-Quick, Stephanie; Dobrunz, Lynn E; King, Gwendalyn D

    2017-04-07

    Global klotho overexpression extends lifespan while global klotho-deficiency shortens it. As well, klotho protein manipulations inversely regulate cognitive function. Mice without klotho develop rapid onset cognitive impairment before they are 2months old. Meanwhile, adult mice overexpressing klotho show enhanced cognitive function, particularly in hippocampal-dependent tasks. The cognitive enhancing effects of klotho extend to humans with a klotho polymorphism that increases circulating klotho and executive function. To affect cognitive function, klotho could act in or on the synapse to modulate synaptic transmission or plasticity. However, it is not yet known if klotho is located at synapses, and little is known about its effects on synaptic function. To test this, we fractionated hippocampi and detected klotho expression in both pre and post-synaptic compartments. We find that loss of klotho enhances both pre and post-synaptic measures of CA1 hippocampal synaptic plasticity at 5weeks of age. However, a rapid loss of synaptic enhancement occurs such that by 7weeks, when mice are cognitively impaired, there is no difference from wild-type controls. Klotho overexpressing mice show no early life effects on synaptic plasticity, but decreased CA1 hippocampal long-term potentiation was measured at 6months of age. Together these data suggest that klotho affects cognition, at least in part, by regulating hippocampal synaptic plasticity. Copyright © 2017 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Diacylglycerol Kinases in the Coordination of Synaptic Plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Dongwon; Kim, Eunjoon; Tanaka-Yamamoto, Keiko

    2016-01-01

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

  8. Face classification using electronic synapses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yao, Peng; Wu, Huaqiang; Gao, Bin; Eryilmaz, Sukru Burc; Huang, Xueyao; Zhang, Wenqiang; Zhang, Qingtian; Deng, Ning; Shi, Luping; Wong, H.-S. Philip; Qian, He

    2017-05-01

    Conventional hardware platforms consume huge amount of energy for cognitive learning due to the data movement between the processor and the off-chip memory. Brain-inspired device technologies using analogue weight storage allow to complete cognitive tasks more efficiently. Here we present an analogue non-volatile resistive memory (an electronic synapse) with foundry friendly materials. The device shows bidirectional continuous weight modulation behaviour. Grey-scale face classification is experimentally demonstrated using an integrated 1024-cell array with parallel online training. The energy consumption within the analogue synapses for each iteration is 1,000 × (20 ×) lower compared to an implementation using Intel Xeon Phi processor with off-chip memory (with hypothetical on-chip digital resistive random access memory). The accuracy on test sets is close to the result using a central processing unit. These experimental results consolidate the feasibility of analogue synaptic array and pave the way toward building an energy efficient and large-scale neuromorphic system.

  9. Spike timing-dependent plasticity as the origin of the formation of clustered synaptic efficacy engrams

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicolangelo L Iannella

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available Synapse location, dendritic active properties and synaptic plasticity are all known to play some role in shaping the different input streams impinging onto a neuron. It remains unclear however, how the magnitude and spatial distribution of synaptic efficacies emerge from this interplay. Here, we investigate this interplay using a biophysically detailed neuron model of a reconstructed layer 2/3 pyramidal cell and spike timing-dependent plasticity (STDP. Specifically, we focus on the issue of how the efficacy of synapses contributed by different input streams are spatially represented in dendrites after STDP learning. We construct a simple feed forward network where a detailed model neuron receives synaptic inputs independently from multiple yet equally sized groups of afferent fibres with correlated activity, mimicking the spike activity from different neuronal populations encoding, for example, different sensory modalities. Interestingly, ensuing STDP learning, we observe that for all afferent groups, STDP leads to synaptic efficacies arranged into spatially segregated clusters effectively partitioning the dendritic tree. These segregated clusters possess a characteristic global organisation in space, where they form a tessellation in which each group dominates mutually exclusive regions of the dendrite.Put simply, the dendritic imprint from different input streams left after STDP learning effectively forms what we term a dendritic efficacy mosaic. Furthermore, we show how variations of the inputs and STDP rule affect such an organization. Our model suggests that STDP may be an important mechanism for creating a clustered plasticity engram, which shapes how different input streams are spatially represented in dendrite.

  10. Rhythmic changes in synapse numbers in Drosophila melanogaster motor terminals.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Santiago Ruiz

    Full Text Available Previous studies have shown that the morphology of the neuromuscular junction of the flight motor neuron MN5 in Drosophila melanogaster undergoes daily rhythmical changes, with smaller synaptic boutons during the night, when the fly is resting, than during the day, when the fly is active. With electron microscopy and laser confocal microscopy, we searched for a rhythmic change in synapse numbers in this neuron, both under light:darkness (LD cycles and constant darkness (DD. We expected the number of synapses to increase during the morning, when the fly has an intense phase of locomotion activity under LD and DD. Surprisingly, only our DD data were consistent with this hypothesis. In LD, we found more synapses at midnight than at midday. We propose that under LD conditions, there is a daily rhythm of formation of new synapses in the dark phase, when the fly is resting, and disassembly over the light phase, when the fly is active. Several parameters appeared to be light dependent, since they were affected differently under LD or DD. The great majority of boutons containing synapses had only one and very few had either two or more, with a 70∶25∶5 ratio (one, two and three or more synapses in LD and 75∶20∶5 in DD. Given the maintenance of this proportion even when both bouton and synapse numbers changed with time, we suggest that there is a homeostatic mechanism regulating synapse distribution among MN5 boutons.

  11. Three-dimensional distribution of cortical synapses: a replicated point pattern-based analysis

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    Laura eAnton-Sanchez

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available The biggest problem when analyzing the brain is that its synaptic connections are extremely complex. Generally, the billions of neurons making up the brain exchange information through two types of highly specialized structures: chemical synapses (the vast majority and so-called gap junctions (a substrate of one class of electrical synapse. Here we are interested in exploring the three-dimensional spatial distribution of chemical synapses in the cerebral cortex. Recent research has showed that the three-dimensional spatial distribution of synapses in layer III of the neocortex can be modeled by a random sequential adsorption (RSA point process, i.e., synapses are distributed in space almost randomly, with the only constraint that they cannot overlap. In this study we hypothesize that RSA processes can also explain the distribution of synapses in all cortical layers. We also investigate whether there are differences in both the synaptic density and spatial distribution of synapses between layers. Using combined focused ion beam milling and scanning electron microscopy (FIB/SEM, we obtained three-dimensional samples from the six layers of the rat somatosensory cortex and identified and reconstructed the synaptic junctions. A total volume of tissue of approximately 4500 μm3 and around 4000 synapses from three different animals were analyzed. Different samples, layers and/or animals were aggregated and compared using RSA replicated spatial point processes. The results showed no significant differences in the synaptic distribution across the different rats used in the study. We found that RSA processes described the spatial distribution of synapses in all samples of each layer. We also found that the synaptic distribution in layers II to VI conforms to a common underlying RSA process with different densities per layer. Interestingly, the results showed that synapses in layer I had a slightly different spatial distribution from the other layers.

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

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    Leon Chua

    2012-03-01

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

  13. Presynaptic [Ca2+] and GCAPs: aspects on the structure and function of photoreceptor ribbon synapses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frank eSchmitz

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Changes in intracellular calcium ions [Ca2+] play important roles in photoreceptor signalling. Consequently, intracellular [Ca2+] levels need to be tightly controlled. In the light-sensitive outer segments (OS of photoreceptors, Ca2+ regulates the activity of retinal guanylate cyclases (ret-GCs thus playing a central role in phototransduction and light-adaptation by restoring light-induced decreases in cGMP. In the synaptic terminals, changes of intracellular Ca2+ trigger various aspects of neurotransmission. Photoreceptors employ tonically active ribbon synapses that encode light-induced, graded changes of membrane potential into different rates of synaptic vesicle exocytosis. The active zones of ribbon synapses contain large electron-dense structures, synaptic ribbons, that are associated with large numbers of synaptic vesicles. Synaptic coding at ribbon synapses differs from synaptic coding at conventional (phasic synapses. Recent studies revealed new insights how synaptic ribbons are involved in this process. This review focuses on the regulation of [Ca2+] in presynaptic photoreceptor terminals and on the function of a particular Ca2+-regulated protein, the neuronal calcium sensor protein GCAP2 (guanylate cyclase-activating protein-2 in the photoreceptor ribbon synapse. GCAP2, an EF hand-containing protein plays multiple roles in the OS and in the photoreceptor synapse. In the OS, GCAP2 works as a Ca2+-sensor within a Ca2+-regulated feedback loop that adjusts cGMP levels. In the photoreceptor synapse, GCAP2 binds to RIBEYE, a component of synaptic ribbons, and mediates Ca2+-dependent plasticity at that site. Possible mechanisms are discussed.

  14. Models of Short-Term Synaptic Plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barroso-Flores, Janet; Herrera-Valdez, Marco A; Galarraga, Elvira; Bargas, José

    2017-01-01

    We focus on dynamical descriptions of short-term synaptic plasticity. Instead of focusing on the molecular machinery that has been reviewed recently by several authors, we concentrate on the dynamics and functional significance of synaptic plasticity, and review some mathematical models that reproduce different properties of the dynamics of short term synaptic plasticity that have been observed experimentally. The complexity and shortcomings of these models point to the need of simple, yet physiologically meaningful models. We propose a simplified model to be tested in synapses displaying different types of short-term plasticity.

  15. The immunological synapse

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Klemmensen, Thomas; Pedersen, Lars Ostergaard; Geisler, Carsten

    2003-01-01

    . A distinct 3-dimensional supramolecular structure at the T cell/APC interface has been suggested to be involved in the information transfer. Due to its functional analogy to the neuronal synapse, the structure has been termed the "immunological synapse" (IS). Here, we review molecular aspects concerning...

  16. Ultrafast Synaptic Events in a Chalcogenide Memristor

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-04-01

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

  17. Experience-Dependent Regulation of Presynaptic NMDARs Enhances Neurotransmitter Release at Neocortical Synapses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Urban-Ciecko, Joanna; Wen, Jing A.; Parekh, Puja K.; Barth, Alison L.

    2015-01-01

    Sensory experience can selectively alter excitatory synaptic strength at neocortical synapses. The rapid increase in synaptic strength induced by selective whisker stimulation (single-row experience/SRE, where all but one row of whiskers has been removed from the mouse face) is due, at least in part, to the trafficking of AMPA receptors (AMPARs)…

  18. Prevention of Noise Damage to Cochlear Synapses

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-10-01

    neurotrophic factor CNTF in promoting synapse regeneration. KEYWORDS Anandamide Auditory Brainstem Response Calcium Ion Calcium-Permeable AMPA Receptors...excitotoxic trauma (kainic acid) in vitro? f) Does CNTF promote synapse regeneration in vitro as does NT-3? W81XWH-14-1-0494 Annual Progress Report 29... CNTF ) is expressed in the organ of Corti at high levels, comparable to NT-3. We have also found that CNTF is approximately as effective as NT-3 in

  19. Microglial interactions with synapses are modulated by visual experience.

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    Marie-Ève Tremblay

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available Microglia are the immune cells of the brain. In the absence of pathological insult, their highly motile processes continually survey the brain parenchyma and transiently contact synaptic elements. Aside from monitoring, their physiological roles at synapses are not known. To gain insight into possible roles of microglia in the modification of synaptic structures, we used immunocytochemical electron microscopy, serial section electron microscopy with three-dimensional reconstructions, and two-photon in vivo imaging to characterize microglial interactions with synapses during normal and altered sensory experience, in the visual cortex of juvenile mice. During normal visual experience, most microglial processes displayed direct apposition with multiple synapse-associated elements, including synaptic clefts. Microglial processes were also distinctively surrounded by pockets of extracellular space. In terms of dynamics, microglial processes localized to the vicinity of small and transiently growing dendritic spines, which were typically lost over 2 d. When experience was manipulated through light deprivation and reexposure, microglial processes changed their morphology, showed altered distributions of extracellular space, displayed phagocytic structures, apposed synaptic clefts more frequently, and enveloped synapse-associated elements more extensively. While light deprivation induced microglia to become less motile and changed their preference of localization to the vicinity of a subset of larger dendritic spines that persistently shrank, light reexposure reversed these behaviors. Taken together, these findings reveal different modalities of microglial interactions with synapses that are subtly altered by sensory experience. These findings suggest that microglia may actively contribute to the experience-dependent modification or elimination of a specific subset of synapses in the healthy brain.

  20. Neuroglial plasticity at striatal glutamatergic synapses in Parkinson's disease

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    Rosa M Villalba

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Striatal dopamine denervation is the pathological hallmark of Parkinson’s disease (PD. Another major pathological change described in animal models and PD patients is a significant reduction in the density of dendritic spines on medium spiny striatal projection neurons. Simultaneously, the ultrastructural features of the neuronal synaptic elements at the remaining corticostriatal and thalamostriatal glutamatergic axo-spinous synapses undergo complex ultrastructural remodeling consistent with increased synaptic activity (Villalba et al., 2011. The concept of tripartite synapses (TS was introduced a decade ago, according to which astrocytes process and exchange information with neuronal synaptic elements at glutamatergic synapses (Araque et al., 1999a. Although there has been compelling evidence that astrocytes are integral functional elements of tripartite glutamatergic synaptic complexes in the cerebral cortex and hippocampus, their exact functional role, degree of plasticity and preponderance in other CNS regions remain poorly understood. In this review, we discuss our recent findings showing that neuronal elements at cortical and thalamic glutamatergic synapses undergo significant plastic changes in the striatum of MPTP-treated parkinsonian monkeys. We also present new ultrastructural data that demonstrate a significant expansion of the astrocytic coverage of striatal TS synapses in the parkinsonian state, providing further evidence for ultrastructural compensatory changes that affect both neuronal and glial elements at TS. Together with our limited understanding of the mechanisms by which astrocytes respond to changes in neuronal activity and extracellular transmitter homeostasis, the role of both neuronal and glial components of excitatory synapses must be considered, if one hopes to take advantage of glia-neuronal communication knowledge to better understand the pathophysiology of striatal processing in parkinsonism, and develop new PD

  1. Emergent spatial synaptic structure from diffusive plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sweeney, Yann; Clopath, Claudia

    2017-04-01

    Some neurotransmitters can diffuse freely across cell membranes, influencing neighbouring neurons regardless of their synaptic coupling. This provides a means of neural communication, alternative to synaptic transmission, which can influence the way in which neural networks process information. Here, we ask whether diffusive neurotransmission can also influence the structure of synaptic connectivity in a network undergoing plasticity. We propose a form of Hebbian synaptic plasticity which is mediated by a diffusive neurotransmitter. Whenever a synapse is modified at an individual neuron through our proposed mechanism, similar but smaller modifications occur in synapses connecting to neighbouring neurons. The effects of this diffusive plasticity are explored in networks of rate-based neurons. This leads to the emergence of spatial structure in the synaptic connectivity of the network. We show that this spatial structure can coexist with other forms of structure in the synaptic connectivity, such as with groups of strongly interconnected neurons that form in response to correlated external drive. Finally, we explore diffusive plasticity in a simple feedforward network model of receptive field development. We show that, as widely observed across sensory cortex, the preferred stimulus identity of neurons in our network become spatially correlated due to diffusion. Our proposed mechanism of diffusive plasticity provides an efficient mechanism for generating these spatial correlations in stimulus preference which can flexibly interact with other forms of synaptic organisation. © 2016 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  2. Analog Memristive Synapse in Spiking Networks Implementing Unsupervised Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Covi, Erika; Brivio, Stefano; Serb, Alexander; Prodromakis, Themis; Fanciulli, Marco; Spiga, Sabina

    2016-01-01

    Emerging brain-inspired architectures call for devices that can emulate the functionality of biological synapses in order to implement new efficient computational schemes able to solve ill-posed problems. Various devices and solutions are still under investigation and, in this respect, a challenge is opened to the researchers in the field. Indeed, the optimal candidate is a device able to reproduce the complete functionality of a synapse, i.e., the typical synaptic process underlying learning in biological systems (activity-dependent synaptic plasticity). This implies a device able to change its resistance (synaptic strength, or weight) upon proper electrical stimuli (synaptic activity) and showing several stable resistive states throughout its dynamic range (analog behavior). Moreover, it should be able to perform spike timing dependent plasticity (STDP), an associative homosynaptic plasticity learning rule based on the delay time between the two firing neurons the synapse is connected to. This rule is a fundamental learning protocol in state-of-art networks, because it allows unsupervised learning. Notwithstanding this fact, STDP-based unsupervised learning has been proposed several times mainly for binary synapses rather than multilevel synapses composed of many binary memristors. This paper proposes an HfO2-based analog memristor as a synaptic element which performs STDP within a small spiking neuromorphic network operating unsupervised learning for character recognition. The trained network is able to recognize five characters even in case incomplete or noisy images are displayed and it is robust to a device-to-device variability of up to ±30%. PMID:27826226

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  4. Silent Synapse-Based Circuitry Remodeling in Drug Addiction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, Yan

    2016-05-01

    Exposure to cocaine, and likely other drugs of abuse, generates α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid receptor-silent glutamatergic synapses in the nucleus accumbens. These immature synaptic contacts evolve after drug withdrawal to redefine the neurocircuital properties. These results raise at least three critical questions: (1) what are the molecular and cellular mechanisms that mediate drug-induced generation of silent synapses; (2) how are neurocircuits remodeled upon generation and evolution of drug-generated silent synapses; and (3) what behavioral consequences are produced by silent synapse-based circuitry remodeling? This short review analyzes related experimental results, and extends them to some speculations. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of CINP.

  5. Post-Synapse Model Cell for Synaptic Glutamate Receptor (GluR-Based Biosensing: Strategy and Engineering to Maximize Ligand-Gated Ion-Flux Achieving High Signal-to-Noise Ratio

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tetsuya Haruyama

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Cell-based biosensing is a “smart” way to obtain efficacy-information on the effect of applied chemical on cellular biological cascade. We have proposed an engineered post-synapse model cell-based biosensors to investigate the effects of chemicals on ionotropic glutamate receptor (GluR, which is a focus of attention as a molecular target for clinical neural drug discovery. The engineered model cell has several advantages over native cells, including improved ease of handling and better reproducibility in the application of cell-based biosensors. However, in general, cell-based biosensors often have low signal-to-noise (S/N ratios due to the low level of cellular responses. In order to obtain a higher S/N ratio in model cells, we have attempted to design a tactic model cell with elevated cellular response. We have revealed that the increase GluR expression level is not directly connected to the amplification of cellular responses because the saturation of surface expression of GluR, leading to a limit on the total ion influx. Furthermore, coexpression of GluR with a voltage-gated potassium channel increased Ca2+ ion influx beyond levels obtained with saturating amounts of GluR alone. The construction of model cells based on strategy of amplifying ion flux per individual receptors can be used to perform smart cell-based biosensing with an improved S/N ratio.

  6. Post-synapse model cell for synaptic glutamate receptor (GluR)-based biosensing: strategy and engineering to maximize ligand-gated ion-flux achieving high signal-to-noise ratio.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tateishi, Akito; Coleman, Sarah K; Migita, Satoshi; Keinänen, Kari; Haruyama, Tetsuya

    2012-01-01

    Cell-based biosensing is a "smart" way to obtain efficacy-information on the effect of applied chemical on cellular biological cascade. We have proposed an engineered post-synapse model cell-based biosensors to investigate the effects of chemicals on ionotropic glutamate receptor (GluR), which is a focus of attention as a molecular target for clinical neural drug discovery. The engineered model cell has several advantages over native cells, including improved ease of handling and better reproducibility in the application of cell-based biosensors. However, in general, cell-based biosensors often have low signal-to-noise (S/N) ratios due to the low level of cellular responses. In order to obtain a higher S/N ratio in model cells, we have attempted to design a tactic model cell with elevated cellular response. We have revealed that the increase GluR expression level is not directly connected to the amplification of cellular responses because the saturation of surface expression of GluR, leading to a limit on the total ion influx. Furthermore, coexpression of GluR with a voltage-gated potassium channel increased Ca(2+) ion influx beyond levels obtained with saturating amounts of GluR alone. The construction of model cells based on strategy of amplifying ion flux per individual receptors can be used to perform smart cell-based biosensing with an improved S/N ratio.

  7. The debate on the kiss-and-run fusion at synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Liming; Wu, Ling-Gang

    2007-09-01

    It has long been proposed that following vesicle fusion, a small pore might open and close rapidly without full dilation. Such 'kiss-and-run' vesicle fusion can in principle result in rapid vesicle recycling and influence the size and the kinetics of the resulting synaptic current. However, the existence of kiss-and-run remains highly controversial, as revealed by recent imaging and electrophysiological studies at several synapses, including hippocampal synapses, neuromuscular junctions and retinal bipolar synapses. Only a minor fraction of fusion events has been shown to be kiss-and-run, as determined using cell-attached capacitance recordings in endocrine cells, pituitary nerve terminals and calyx-type synapses. Further work is needed to determine whether kiss-and-run is a major mode of fusion and has a major role in controlling synaptic strength at synapses.

  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. Comparative anatomy of phagocytic and immunological synapses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Florence eNiedergang

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The generation of phagocytic cups and immunological synapses are crucial events of the innate and adaptive immune responses, respectively. They are triggered by distinct immune receptors and performed by different cell types. However, growing experimental evidence shows that a very close series of molecular and cellular events control these two processes. Thus, the tight and dynamic interplay between receptor signaling, actin and microtubule cytoskeleton, and targeted vesicle traffic are all critical features to build functional phagosomes and immunological synapses. Interestingly, both phagocytic cups and immunological synapses display particular spatial and temporal patterns of receptors and signaling molecules, leading to the notion of phagocytic synapse. Here we discuss both types of structures, their organization and the mechanisms by which they are generated and regulated.

  10. Paired-pulse facilitation achieved in protonic/electronic hybrid indium gallium zinc oxide synaptic transistors

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Guo, Li Qiang, E-mail: guoliqiang@ujs.edu.cn; Ding, Jian Ning; Huang, Yu Kai [Micro/Nano Science & Technology Center, Jiangsu University, Zhenjiang, 212013 (China); Zhu, Li Qiang, E-mail: lqzhu@nimte.ac.cn [Ningbo Institute of Materials Technology and Engineering, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Ningbo 315201 (China)

    2015-08-15

    Neuromorphic devices with paired pulse facilitation emulating that of biological synapses are the key to develop artificial neural networks. Here, phosphorus-doped nanogranular SiO{sub 2} electrolyte is used as gate dielectric for protonic/electronic hybrid indium gallium zinc oxide (IGZO) synaptic transistor. In such synaptic transistors, protons within the SiO{sub 2} electrolyte are deemed as neurotransmitters of biological synapses. Paired-pulse facilitation (PPF) behaviors for the analogous information were mimicked. The temperature dependent PPF behaviors were also investigated systematically. The results indicate that the protonic/electronic hybrid IGZO synaptic transistors would be promising candidates for inorganic synapses in artificial neural network applications.

  11. Triheteromeric NMDA Receptors at Hippocampal Synapses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tovar, Kenneth R.; McGinley, Matthew J.; Westbrook, Gary L.

    2013-01-01

    NMDA receptors are composed of two GluN1 (N1) and two GluN2 (N2) subunits. Constituent N2 subunits control the pharmacological and kinetic characteristics of the receptor. NMDA receptors in hippocampal or cortical neurons are often thought of as diheteromeric, i.e., containing only one type of N2 subunit. However, triheteromeric receptors with more than one type of N2 subunit also have been reported and the relative contribution of di- and triheteromeric NMDA receptors at synapses has been difficult to assess. Because wild-type hippocampal principal neurons express N1, N2A and N2B, we used cultured hippocampal principal neurons from N2A and N2B-knockout mice as templates for diheteromeric synaptic receptors. Summation of N1/N2B and N1/N2A excitatory postsynaptic currents could not account for the deactivation kinetics of wild-type excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs) however. To make a quantitative estimate of NMDA receptor subtypes at wild-type synapses, we used the deactivation kinetics, as well as the effects of the competitive antagonist NVP-AAM077. Our results indicate that three types of NMDA receptors contribute to the wild-type EPSC, with at least two-thirds being triheteromeric receptors. Functional isolation of synaptic triheteromeric receptors revealed deactivation kinetics and pharmacology distinct from either diheteromeric receptor subtype. Because of differences in open probability, synaptic triheteromeric receptors outnumbered N1/N2A receptors by 5.8 to 1 and N1/N2B receptors by 3.2 to 1. Our results suggest that triheteromeric NMDA receptors must be either preferentially assembled or preferentially localized at synapses. PMID:23699525

  12. Glutamate transporter GLAST controls synaptic wrapping by Bergmann glia and ensures proper wiring of Purkinje cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miyazaki, Taisuke; Yamasaki, Miwako; Hashimoto, Kouichi; Kohda, Kazuhisa; Yuzaki, Michisuke; Shimamoto, Keiko; Tanaka, Kohichi; Kano, Masanobu; Watanabe, Masahiko

    2017-07-11

    Astrocytes regulate synaptic transmission through controlling neurotransmitter concentrations around synapses. Little is known, however, about their roles in neural circuit development. Here we report that Bergmann glia (BG), specialized cerebellar astrocytes that thoroughly enwrap Purkinje cells (PCs), are essential for synaptic organization in PCs through the action of the l-glutamate/l-aspartate transporter (GLAST). In GLAST-knockout mice, dendritic innervation by the main ascending climbing fiber (CF) branch was significantly weakened, whereas the transverse branch, which is thin and nonsynaptogenic in control mice, was transformed into thick and synaptogenic branches. Both types of CF branches frequently produced aberrant wiring to proximal and distal dendrites, causing multiple CF-PC innervation. Our electrophysiological analysis revealed that slow and small CF-evoked excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs) were recorded from almost all PCs in GLAST-knockout mice. These atypical CF-EPSCs were far more numerous and had significantly faster 10-90% rise time than those elicited by glutamate spillover under pharmacological blockade of glial glutamate transporters. Innervation by parallel fibers (PFs) was also affected. PF synapses were robustly increased in the entire dendritic trees, leading to impaired segregation of CF and PF territories. Furthermore, lamellate BG processes were retracted from PC dendrites and synapses, leading to the exposure of these neuronal elements to the extracellular milieus. These synaptic and glial phenotypes were reproduced in wild-type mice after functional blockade of glial glutamate transporters. These findings highlight that glutamate transporter function by GLAST on BG plays important roles in development and maintenance of proper synaptic wiring and wrapping in PCs.

  13. Synaptic plasticity in the auditory system: a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friauf, Eckhard; Fischer, Alexander U; Fuhr, Martin F

    2015-07-01

    Synaptic transmission via chemical synapses is dynamic, i.e., the strength of postsynaptic responses may change considerably in response to repeated synaptic activation. Synaptic strength is increased during facilitation, augmentation and potentiation, whereas a decrease in synaptic strength is characteristic for depression and attenuation. This review attempts to discuss the literature on short-term and long-term synaptic plasticity in the auditory brainstem of mammals and birds. One hallmark of the auditory system, particularly the inner ear and lower brainstem stations, is information transfer through neurons that fire action potentials at very high frequency, thereby activating synapses >500 times per second. Some auditory synapses display morphological specializations of the presynaptic terminals, e.g., calyceal extensions, whereas other auditory synapses do not. The review focuses on short-term depression and short-term facilitation, i.e., plastic changes with durations in the millisecond range. Other types of short-term synaptic plasticity, e.g., posttetanic potentiation and depolarization-induced suppression of excitation, will be discussed much more briefly. The same holds true for subtypes of long-term plasticity, like prolonged depolarizations and spike-time-dependent plasticity. We also address forms of plasticity in the auditory brainstem that do not comprise synaptic plasticity in a strict sense, namely short-term suppression, paired tone facilitation, short-term adaptation, synaptic adaptation and neural adaptation. Finally, we perform a meta-analysis of 61 studies in which short-term depression (STD) in the auditory system is opposed to short-term depression at non-auditory synapses in order to compare high-frequency neurons with those that fire action potentials at a lower rate. This meta-analysis reveals considerably less STD in most auditory synapses than in non-auditory ones, enabling reliable, failure-free synaptic transmission even at

  14. Detergent-dependent separation of postsynaptic density, membrane rafts and other subsynaptic structures from the synaptic plasma membrane of rat forebrain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, LiYing; Sakagami, Hiroyuki; Suzuki, Tatsuo

    2014-10-01

    We systematically investigated the purification process of post-synaptic density (PSD) and post-synaptic membrane rafts (PSRs) from the rat forebrain synaptic plasma membranes by examining the components and the structures of the materials obtained after the treatment of synaptic plasma membranes with TX-100, n-octyl β-d-glucoside (OG) or 3-([3-cholamidopropyl]dimethylammonio)-2-hydroxy-1-propanesulfonate (CHAPSO). These three detergents exhibited distinct separation profiles for the synaptic subdomains. Type I and type II PSD proteins displayed mutually exclusive distribution. After TX-100 treatment, type I PSD was recovered in two fractions: a pellet and an insoluble fraction 8, which contained partially broken PSD-PSR complexes. Conventional PSD was suggested to be a mixture of these two PSD pools and did not contain type II PSD. An association of type I PSD with PSRs was identified in the TX-100 treatment, and those with type II PSD in the OG and CHAPSO treatments. An association of GABA receptors with gephyrin was easily dissociated. OG at a high concentration solubilized the type I PSD proteins. CHAPSO treatment resulted in a variety of distinct fractions, which contained certain novel structures. Two different pools of GluA, either PSD or possibly raft-associated, were identified in the OG and CHAPSO treatments. These results are useful in advancing our understanding of the structural organization of synapses at the molecular level. We systematically investigated the purification process of post-synaptic density (PSD) and synaptic membrane rafts by examining the structures obtained after treatment of the SPMs with TX-100, n-octyl β-d-glucoside or CHAPSO. Differential distribution of type I and type II PSD, synaptic membrane rafts, and other novel subdomains in the SPM give clues to understand the structural organization of synapses at the molecular level. © 2014 International Society for Neurochemistry.

  15. Confocal Synaptology: Synaptic Rearrangements in Neurodegenerative Disorders and upon Nervous System Injury

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maja Vulovic

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available The nervous system is a notable exception to the rule that the cell is the structural and functional unit of tissue systems and organs. The functional unit of the nervous system is the synapse, the contact between two nerve cells. As such, synapses are the foci of investigations of nervous system organization and function, as well as a potential readout for the progression of various disorders of the nervous system. In the past decade the development of antibodies specific to presynaptic terminals has enabled us to assess, at the optical, laser scanning microscopy level, these subcellular structures, and has provided a simple method for the quantification of various synapses. Indeed, excitatory (glutamatergic and inhibitory synapses can be visualized using antibodies against the respective vesicular transporters, and choline-acetyl transferase (ChAT immunoreactivity identifies cholinergic synapses throughout the central nervous system. Here we review the results of several studies in which these methods were used to estimate synaptic numbers as the structural equivalent of functional outcome measures in spinal cord and femoral nerve injuries, as well as in genetic mouse models of neurodegeneration, including Alzheimer’s disease (AD. The results implicate disease- and brain region-specific changes in specific types of synapses, which correlate well with the degree of functional deficit caused by the disease process. Additionally, results are reproducible between various studies and experimental paradigms, supporting the reliability of the method. To conclude, this quantitative approach enables fast and reliable estimation of the degree of the progression of neurodegenerative changes and can be used as a parameter of recovery in experimental models.

  16. Proteome rearrangements after auditory learning: high-resolution profiling of synapse-enriched protein fractions from mouse brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kähne, Thilo; Richter, Sandra; Kolodziej, Angela; Smalla, Karl-Heinz; Pielot, Rainer; Engler, Alexander; Ohl, Frank W; Dieterich, Daniela C; Seidenbecher, Constanze; Tischmeyer, Wolfgang; Naumann, Michael; Gundelfinger, Eckart D

    2016-07-01

    Learning and memory processes are accompanied by rearrangements of synaptic protein networks. While various studies have demonstrated the regulation of individual synaptic proteins during these processes, much less is known about the complex regulation of synaptic proteomes. Recently, we reported that auditory discrimination learning in mice is associated with a relative down-regulation of proteins involved in the structural organization of synapses in various brain regions. Aiming at the identification of biological processes and signaling pathways involved in auditory memory formation, here, a label-free quantification approach was utilized to identify regulated synaptic junctional proteins and phosphoproteins in the auditory cortex, frontal cortex, hippocampus, and striatum of mice 24 h after the learning experiment. Twenty proteins, including postsynaptic scaffolds, actin-remodeling proteins, and RNA-binding proteins, were regulated in at least three brain regions pointing to common, cross-regional mechanisms. Most of the detected synaptic proteome changes were, however, restricted to individual brain regions. For example, several members of the Septin family of cytoskeletal proteins were up-regulated only in the hippocampus, while Septin-9 was down-regulated in the hippocampus, the frontal cortex, and the striatum. Meta analyses utilizing several databases were employed to identify underlying cellular functions and biological pathways. Data are available via ProteomeExchange with identifier PXD003089. How does the protein composition of synapses change in different brain areas upon auditory learning? We unravel discrete proteome changes in mouse auditory cortex, frontal cortex, hippocampus, and striatum functionally implicated in the learning process. We identify not only common but also area-specific biological pathways and cellular processes modulated 24 h after training, indicating individual contributions of the regions to memory processing. © 2016 The

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

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    Christoph Straub

    2016-07-01

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

  18. Oxide-based synaptic transistors gated by solution-processed gelatin electrolytes

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Yinke; Sun, Jia; Qian, Chuan; Kong, Ling-An; Gou, Guangyang; Li, Hongjian

    2017-04-01

    In human brain, a large number of neurons are connected via synapses. Simulation of the synaptic behaviors using electronic devices is the most important step for neuromorphic systems. In this paper, proton conducting gelatin electrolyte-gated oxide field-effect transistors (FETs) were used for emulating synaptic functions, in which the gate electrode is regarded as pre-synaptic neuron and the channel layer as the post-synaptic neuron. In analogy to the biological synapse, a potential spike can be applied at the gate electrode and trigger ionic motion in the gelatin electrolyte, which in turn generates excitatory post-synaptic current (EPSC) in the channel layer. Basic synaptic behaviors including spike time-dependent EPSC, paired-pulse facilitation (PPF), self-adaptation, and frequency-dependent synaptic transmission were successfully mimicked. Such ionic/electronic hybrid devices are beneficial for synaptic electronics and brain-inspired neuromorphic systems.

  19. Soft-bound synaptic plasticity increases storage capacity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark C W van Rossum

    Full Text Available Accurate models of synaptic plasticity are essential to understand the adaptive properties of the nervous system and for realistic models of learning and memory. Experiments have shown that synaptic plasticity depends not only on pre- and post-synaptic activity patterns, but also on the strength of the connection itself. Namely, weaker synapses are more easily strengthened than already strong ones. This so called soft-bound plasticity automatically constrains the synaptic strengths. It is known that this has important consequences for the dynamics of plasticity and the synaptic weight distribution, but its impact on information storage is unknown. In this modeling study we introduce an information theoretic framework to analyse memory storage in an online learning setting. We show that soft-bound plasticity increases a variety of performance criteria by about 18% over hard-bound plasticity, and likely maximizes the storage capacity of synapses.

  20. Ultralow power artificial synapses using nanotextured magnetic Josephson junctions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schneider, Michael L.; Donnelly, Christine A.; Russek, Stephen E.; Baek, Burm; Pufall, Matthew R.; Hopkins, Peter F.; Dresselhaus, Paul D.; Benz, Samuel P.; Rippard, William H.

    2018-01-01

    Neuromorphic computing promises to markedly improve the efficiency of certain computational tasks, such as perception and decision-making. Although software and specialized hardware implementations of neural networks have made tremendous accomplishments, both implementations are still many orders of magnitude less energy efficient than the human brain. We demonstrate a new form of artificial synapse based on dynamically reconfigurable superconducting Josephson junctions with magnetic nanoclusters in the barrier. The spiking energy per pulse varies with the magnetic configuration, but in our demonstration devices, the spiking energy is always less than 1 aJ. This compares very favorably with the roughly 10 fJ per synaptic event in the human brain. Each artificial synapse is composed of a Si barrier containing Mn nanoclusters with superconducting Nb electrodes. The critical current of each synapse junction, which is analogous to the synaptic weight, can be tuned using input voltage spikes that change the spin alignment of Mn nanoclusters. We demonstrate synaptic weight training with electrical pulses as small as 3 aJ. Further, the Josephson plasma frequencies of the devices, which determine the dynamical time scales, all exceed 100 GHz. These new artificial synapses provide a significant step toward a neuromorphic platform that is faster, more energy-efficient, and thus can attain far greater complexity than has been demonstrated with other technologies. PMID:29387787

  1. Shaping inhibition: activity dependent structural plasticity of GABAergic synapses

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    Carmen E Flores

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Inhibitory transmission through the neurotransmitter Ɣ-aminobutyric acid (GABA shapes network activity in the mammalian cerebral cortex by filtering synaptic incoming information and dictating the activity of principal cells. The incredibly diverse population of cortical neurons that use GABA as neurotransmitter shows an equally diverse range of mechanisms that regulate changes in the strength of GABAergic synaptic transmission and allow them to dynamically follow and command the activity of neuronal ensembles. Similarly to glutamatergic synaptic transmission, activity-dependent functional changes in inhibitory neurotransmission are accompanied by alterations in GABAergic synapse structure that range from morphological reorganization of postsynaptic density to de novo formation and elimination of inhibitory contacts. Here we review several aspects of structural plasticity of inhibitory synapses, including its induction by different forms of neuronal activity, behavioral and sensory experience and the molecular mechanisms and signaling pathways involved. We discuss the functional consequences of GABAergic synapse structural plasticity for information processing and memory formation in view of the heterogenous nature of the structural plasticity phenomena affecting inhibitory synapses impinging on somatic and dendritic compartments of cortical and hippocampal neurons.

  2. Effect of prenatal auditory stimulation on numerical synaptic density and mean synaptic height in the posthatch Day 1 chick hippocampus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaudhury, Sraboni; Nag, Tapas Chandra; Wadhwa, Shashi

    2009-02-01

    Previous studies on prenatal auditory stimulation by species-specific sound or sitar music showed enhanced morphological and biochemical changes in chick hippocampus, which plays an important role in learning and memory. Changes in the efficiency of synapses, synaptic morphology and de novo synapse formation affects learning and memory. Therefore, in the present study, we set out to investigate the mean synaptic density and mean synaptic height at posthatch Day 1 in dorsal and ventral part of chick hippocampus following prenatal auditory stimulation. Fertilized 0 day eggs of domestic chick incubated under normal conditions were exposed to patterned sounds of species-specific and sitar music at 65 dB levels for 15 min/h round the clock (frequency range: 100-6300 Hz) from embryonic Day 10 till hatching. The synapses identified under transmission electron microscope were estimated for their numerical density by physical disector method and also the mean synaptic height calculated. Our results demonstrate a significant increase in mean synaptic density with no alterations in the mean synaptic height following both types of auditory stimulation in the dorsal as well as ventral part of the hippocampus. The observed increase in mean synaptic density suggests enhanced synaptic substrate to strengthen hippocampal function. 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  3. Fundamental Molecules and Mechanisms for Forming and Maintaining Neuromuscular Synapses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huijbers, Maartje G.; Remedio, Leonor

    2018-01-01

    The neuromuscular synapse is a relatively large synapse with hundreds of active zones in presynaptic motor nerve terminals and more than ten million acetylcholine receptors (AChRs) in the postsynaptic membrane. The enrichment of proteins in presynaptic and postsynaptic membranes ensures a rapid, robust, and reliable synaptic transmission. Over fifty years ago, classic studies of the neuromuscular synapse led to a comprehensive understanding of how a synapse looks and works, but these landmark studies did not reveal the molecular mechanisms responsible for building and maintaining a synapse. During the past two-dozen years, the critical molecular players, responsible for assembling the specialized postsynaptic membrane and regulating nerve terminal differentiation, have begun to be identified and their mechanism of action better understood. Here, we describe and discuss five of these key molecular players, paying heed to their discovery as well as describing their currently understood mechanisms of action. In addition, we discuss the important gaps that remain to better understand how these proteins act to control synaptic differentiation and maintenance. PMID:29415504

  4. Synaptic Homeostasis and Its Immunological Disturbance in Neuromuscular Junction Disorders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masaharu Takamori

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available In the neuromuscular junction, postsynaptic nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR clustering, trans-synaptic communication and synaptic stabilization are modulated by the molecular mechanisms underlying synaptic plasticity. The synaptic functions are based presynaptically on the active zone architecture, synaptic vesicle proteins, Ca2+ channels and synaptic vesicle recycling. Postsynaptically, they are based on rapsyn-anchored nAChR clusters, localized sensitivity to ACh, and synaptic stabilization via linkage to the extracellular matrix so as to be precisely opposed to the nerve terminal. Focusing on neural agrin, Wnts, muscle-specific tyrosine kinase (a mediator of agrin and Wnts signalings and regulator of trans-synaptic communication, low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 4 (the receptor of agrin and Wnts and participant in retrograde signaling, laminin-network (including muscle-derived agrin, extracellular matrix proteins (participating in the synaptic stabilization and presynaptic receptors (including muscarinic and adenosine receptors, we review the functional structures of the synapse by making reference to immunological pathogenecities in postsynaptic disease, myasthenia gravis. The synapse-related proteins including cortactin, coronin-6, caveolin-3, doublecortin, R-spondin 2, amyloid precursor family proteins, glia cell-derived neurotrophic factor and neurexins are also discussed in terms of their possible contribution to efficient synaptic transmission at the neuromuscular junction.

  5. Characterization of emergent synaptic topologies in noisy neural networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Aaron James

    Learned behaviors are one of the key contributors to an animal's ultimate survival. It is widely believed that the brain's microcircuitry undergoes structural changes when a new behavior is learned. In particular, motor learning, during which an animal learns a sequence of muscular movements, often requires precisely-timed coordination between muscles and becomes very natural once ingrained. Experiments show that neurons in the motor cortex exhibit precisely-timed spike activity when performing a learned motor behavior, and constituent stereotypical elements of the behavior can last several hundred milliseconds. The subject of this manuscript concerns how organized synaptic structures that produce stereotypical spike sequences emerge from random, dynamical networks. After a brief introduction in Chapter 1, we begin Chapter 2 by introducing a spike-timing-dependent plasticity (STDP) rule that defines how the activity of the network drives changes in network topology. The rule is then applied to idealized networks of leaky integrate-and-fire neurons (LIF). These neurons are not subjected to the variability that typically characterize neurons in vivo. In noiseless networks, synapses develop closed loops of strong connectivity that reproduce stereotypical, precisely-timed spike patterns from an initially random network. We demonstrate the characteristics of the asymptotic synaptic configuration are dependent on the statistics of the initial random network. The spike timings of the neurons simulated in Chapter 2 are generated exactly by a computationally economical, nonlinear mapping which is extended to LIF neurons injected with fluctuating current in Chapter 3. Development of an economical mapping that incorporates noise provides a practical solution to the long simulation times required to produce asymptotic synaptic topologies in networks with STDP in the presence of realistic neuronal variability. The mapping relies on generating numerical solutions to the dynamics

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-10-03

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juan eMorales

    2013-07-01

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

  9. Carbon Nanotube Synaptic Transistor Network for Pattern Recognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Sungho; Yoon, Jinsu; Kim, Hee-Dong; Choi, Sung-Jin

    2015-11-18

    Inspired by the human brain, a neuromorphic system combining complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) and adjustable synaptic devices may offer new computing paradigms by enabling massive neural-network parallelism. In particular, synaptic devices, which are capable of emulating the functions of biological synapses, are used as the essential building blocks for an information storage and processing system. However, previous synaptic devices based on two-terminal resistive devices remain challenging because of their variability and specific physical mechanisms of resistance change, which lead to a bottleneck in the implementation of a high-density synaptic device network. Here we report that a three-terminal synaptic transistor based on carbon nanotubes can provide reliable synaptic functions that encode relative timing and regulate weight change. In addition, using system-level simulations, the developed synaptic transistor network associated with CMOS circuits can perform unsupervised learning for pattern recognition using a simplified spike-timing-dependent plasticity scheme.

  10. D-serine and serine racemase are associated with PSD-95 and glutamatergic synapse stability

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    Hong eLin

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available D-serine is an endogenous coagonist at the glycine site of synaptic NMDA receptors (NMDARs, synthesized by serine racemase (SR through conversion of L-serine. It is crucial for synaptic plasticity and is implicated in schizophrenia. Our previous studies demonstrated specific loss of SR, D-serine-responsive synaptic NMDARs, and glutamatergic synapses in cortical neurons lacking alpha7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, which promotes glutamatergic synapse formation and maturation during development. We thus hypothesize that D-serine and SR (D-serine/SR are associated with glutamatergic synaptic development. Using morphological and molecular studies in cortical neuronal cultures, we demonstrate that D-serine/SR are associated with PSD-95 and NMDARs in postsynaptic neurons and with glutamatergic synapse stability during synaptic development. Endogenous D-serine and SR colocalize with PSD-95, but not presynaptic vesicular glutamate transporter 1 (VGLUT1, in glutamatergic synapses of cultured cortical neurons. Low-density astrocytes in cortical neuronal cultures lack SR expression but contain enriched D-serine in large vesicle-like structures, suggesting possible synthesis of D-serine in postsynaptic neurons and storage in astrocytes. More interestingly, endogenous D-serine and SR colocalize with PSD-95 in the postsynaptic terminals of glutamatergic synapses during early and late synaptic development, implicating involvement of D-serine/SR in glutamatergic synaptic development. Exogenous application of D-serine enhances the interactions of SR with PSD-95 and NR1, and increases the number of VGLUT1- and PSD-95-positive glutamatergic synapses, suggesting that exogenous D-serine enhances postsynaptic SR/PSD-95 signaling and stabilizes glutamatergic synapses during cortical synaptic development. This is blocked by NMDAR antagonist 2-amino-5-phosphonopentanoic acid (AP5 and 7-chlorokynurenic acid (7-CK, a specific antagonist at the glycine site of NMDARs

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

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    Clarrisa A Bradley

    2012-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bradley, Clarrisa A.; Peineau, Stéphane; Taghibiglou, Changiz; Nicolas, Celine S.; Whitcomb, Daniel J.; Bortolotto, Zuner A.; Kaang, Bong-Kiun; Cho, Kwangwook; Wang, Yu Tian; Collingridge, Graham L.

    2012-01-01

    Glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK-3) has many cellular functions. Recent evidence suggests that it plays a key role in certain types of synaptic plasticity, in particular a form of long-term depression (LTD) that is induced by the synaptic activation of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors (NMDARs). In the present article we summarize what is currently known concerning the roles of GSK-3 in synaptic plasticity at both glutamatergic and GABAergic synapses. We summarize its role in cognition and speculate on how alterations in the synaptic functioning of GSK-3 may be a major factor in certain neurodegenerative disorders. PMID:22363262

  13. Untangling the two-way signalling route from synapses to the nucleus, and from the nucleus back to the synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nonaka, Mio; Fujii, Hajime; Kim, Ryang; Kawashima, Takashi; Okuno, Hiroyuki; Bito, Haruhiko

    2014-01-05

    During learning and memory, it has been suggested that the coordinated electrical activity of hippocampal neurons translates information about the external environment into internal neuronal representations, which then are stored initially within the hippocampus and subsequently into other areas of the brain. A widely held hypothesis posits that synaptic plasticity is a key feature that critically modulates the triggering and the maintenance of such representations, some of which are thought to persist over time as traces or tags. However, the molecular and cell biological basis for these traces and tags has remained elusive. Here, we review recent findings that help clarify some of the molecular and cellular mechanisms critical for these events, by untangling a two-way signalling crosstalk route between the synapses and the neuronal soma. In particular, a detailed interrogation of the soma-to-synapse delivery of immediate early gene product Arc/Arg3.1, whose induction is triggered by heightened synaptic activity in many brain areas, teases apart an unsuspected 'inverse' synaptic tagging mechanism that likely contributes to maintaining the contrast of synaptic weight between strengthened and weak synapses within an active ensemble.

  14. Synaptic Plasticity and Memory Formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    1993-06-30

    suspected of being the substrate of several forms of memory encoded by synapses in the forebrain of humans and other mammals. Work in the past year...of LTP will enhance the encoding of memory . Aniracetam , as noted, prolongs the open time of the AMPA receptor and in this way facilitates excitatory...121 t Iffw,,a" S. FUNO4NG mUMSERS Synaptic Plasticity and Memory Formation F 49620-92-0307 C (ci) b.q F Gary Lynch 7. Pf(RfO*INN ORGAMIZAMNIO NMMW(S

  15. Synaptic Ribbons Require Ribeye for Electron Density, Proper Synaptic Localization, and Recruitment of Calcium Channels

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    Caixia Lv

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Synaptic ribbons are structures made largely of the protein Ribeye that hold synaptic vesicles near release sites in non-spiking cells in some sensory systems. Here, we introduce frameshift mutations in the two zebrafish genes encoding for Ribeye and thus remove Ribeye protein from neuromast hair cells. Despite Ribeye depletion, vesicles collect around ribbon-like structures that lack electron density, which we term “ghost ribbons.” Ghost ribbons are smaller in size but possess a similar number of smaller vesicles and are poorly localized to synapses and calcium channels. These hair cells exhibit enhanced exocytosis, as measured by capacitance, and recordings from afferent neurons post-synaptic to hair cells show no significant difference in spike rates. Our results suggest that Ribeye makes up most of the synaptic ribbon density in neuromast hair cells and is necessary for proper localization of calcium channels and synaptic ribbons.

  16. Organization of common synaptic drive to motoneurones during fictive locomotion in the spinal cat

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Jens Bo; Conway, B.A.; Halliday, D.M.

    2005-01-01

    The basic locomotor rhythm in the cat is generated by a neuronal network in the spinal cord. The exact organization of this network and its drive to the spinal motoneurones is unknown. The purpose of the present study was to use time (cumulant density) and frequency domain (coherence) analysis...... to examine the organization of the last order drive to motoneurones during fictive locomotion (evoked by application of nialamide and dihydroxyphenylalanine (DOPA)) in the spinal cat. In all cats, narrow central synchronization peaks (half-width ... electroneurograms (ENGs) of close synergists, but not between nerves belonging to muscles acting on different joints or to antagonistic muscles. Coherence was not observed at frequencies above 100 Hz and was mainly observed between synergists. Intracellular recording was obtained from a population of 70 lumbar...

  17. Molecular Recognition within Synaptic Scaffolds

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Erlendsson, Simon

    -length structural model of the PICK1 dimer in-solution. We found the PICK1 BAR dimer to resemble an elongated crescent-shaped structure, spanning ~160 Å, with the PICK1 PDZ domains loosely attached to the BAR domain. This finding is in contrast to previous findings for other BAR domain proteins, where adjacent......Scaffolding proteins are abundant participants and regulators of the extensive intracellular framework required for maintaining cellular functions such as cellular adhesion and signal transduction cascades. In excitatory neuronal synapses these scaffolding proteins often contain one or more PDZ...... domains, responsible for tethering their respective synaptic protein ligands. Therefore, understanding the specificity and binding mechanisms of PDZ domain proteins is essential to understand regulation of synaptic plasticity. PICK1 is a PDZ domain-containing scaffolding protein predominantly expressed...

  18. A bionics chemical synapse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thanapitak, Surachoke; Toumazou, Christofer

    2013-06-01

    Implementation of the current mode CMOS circuit for chemical synapses (AMPA and NMDA receptors) with dynamic change of glutamate as the neurotransmitter input is presented in this paper. Additionally, circuit realisation for receptor GABA(A) and GABA(B) with an electrical signal which symbolises γ-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA) perturbation is introduced. The chemical sensor for glutamate sensing is the modified ISFET with enzyme (glutamate oxidase) immobilisation. The measured results from these biomimetics chemical synapse circuits closely match with the simulation result from the mathematical model. The total power consumption of the whole chip (four chemical synapse circuits and all auxiliary circuits) is 168.3 μW. The total chip area is 3 mm(2) in 0.35-μm AMS CMOS technology.

  19. Neuromuscular NMDA Receptors Modulate Developmental Synapse Elimination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Personius, Kirkwood E; Slusher, Barbara S; Udin, Susan B

    2016-08-24

    At birth, each mammalian skeletal muscle fiber is innervated by multiple motor neurons, but in a few weeks, all but one of those axons retracts (Redfern, 1970) and differential activity between inputs controls this phenomenon (Personius and Balice-Gordon, 2001; Sanes and Lichtman, 2001; Personius et al., 2007; Favero et al., 2012). Acetylcholine, the primary neuromuscular transmitter, has long been presumed to mediate this activity-dependent process (O'Brien et al., 1978), but glutamatergic transmission also occurs at the neuromuscular junction (Berger et al., 1995; Grozdanovic and Gossrau, 1998; Mays et al., 2009). To test the role of neuromuscular NMDA receptors, we assessed their contribution to muscle calcium fluxes in mice and tested whether they influence removal of excess innervation at the end plate. Developmental synapse pruning was slowed by reduction of NMDA receptor activation or expression and by reduction of glutamate production. Conversely, pruning is accelerated by application of exogenous NMDA. We also found that NMDA induced increased muscle calcium only during the first 2 postnatal weeks. Therefore, neuromuscular NMDA receptors play previously unsuspected roles in neuromuscular activity and synaptic pruning during development. In normal adult muscle, each muscle fiber is innervated by a single axon, but at birth, fibers are multiply innervated. Elimination of excess connections requires neural activity; because the neuromuscular junction (NMJ) is a cholinergic synapse, acetylcholine has been assumed to be the critical mediator of activity. However, glutamate receptors are also expressed at the NMJ. We found that axon removal in mice is slowed by pharmacological and molecular manipulations that decrease signaling through neuromuscular NMDA receptors, whereas application of exogenous NMDA at the NMJ accelerates synapse elimination and increases muscle calcium levels during the first 2 postnatal weeks. Therefore, neuromuscular NMDA receptors play

  20. Heterosynaptic Plasticity Prevents Runaway Synaptic Dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Jen-Yung; Lonjers, Peter; Lee, Christopher; Chistiakova, Marina; Volgushev, Maxim

    2013-01-01

    Spike timing-dependent plasticity (STDP) and other conventional Hebbian-type plasticity rules are prone to produce runaway dynamics of synaptic weights. Once potentiated, a synapse would have higher probability to lead to spikes and thus to be further potentiated, but once depressed, a synapse would tend to be further depressed. The runaway synaptic dynamics can be prevented by precisely balancing STDP rules for potentiation and depression; however, experimental evidence shows a great variety of potentiation and depression windows and magnitudes. Here we show that modifications of synapses to layer 2/3 pyramidal neurons from rat visual and auditory cortices in slices can be induced by intracellular tetanization: bursts of postsynaptic spikes without presynaptic stimulation. Induction of these heterosynaptic changes depended on the rise of intracellular calcium, and their direction and magnitude correlated with initial state of release mechanisms. We suggest that this type of plasticity serves as a mechanism that stabilizes the distribution of synaptic weights and prevents their runaway dynamics. To test this hypothesis, we develop a cortical neuron model implementing both homosynaptic (STDP) and heterosynaptic plasticity with properties matching the experimental data. We find that heterosynaptic plasticity effectively prevented runaway dynamics for the tested range of STDP and input parameters. Synaptic weights, although shifted from the original, remained normally distributed and nonsaturated. Our study presents a biophysically constrained model of how the interaction of different forms of plasticity—Hebbian and heterosynaptic—may prevent runaway synaptic dynamics and keep synaptic weights unsaturated and thus capable of further plastic changes and formation of new memories. PMID:24089497

  1. A Reinforcement Learning Framework for Spiking Networks with Dynamic Synapses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karim El-Laithy

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available An integration of both the Hebbian-based and reinforcement learning (RL rules is presented for dynamic synapses. The proposed framework permits the Hebbian rule to update the hidden synaptic model parameters regulating the synaptic response rather than the synaptic weights. This is performed using both the value and the sign of the temporal difference in the reward signal after each trial. Applying this framework, a spiking network with spike-timing-dependent synapses is tested to learn the exclusive-OR computation on a temporally coded basis. Reward values are calculated with the distance between the output spike train of the network and a reference target one. Results show that the network is able to capture the required dynamics and that the proposed framework can reveal indeed an integrated version of Hebbian and RL. The proposed framework is tractable and less computationally expensive. The framework is applicable to a wide class of synaptic models and is not restricted to the used neural representation. This generality, along with the reported results, supports adopting the introduced approach to benefit from the biologically plausible synaptic models in a wide range of intuitive signal processing.

  2. Learning and retrieval behavior in recurrent neural networks with pre-synaptic dependent homeostatic plasticity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mizusaki, Beatriz E. P.; Agnes, Everton J.; Erichsen, Rubem; Brunnet, Leonardo G.

    2017-08-01

    The plastic character of brain synapses is considered to be one of the foundations for the formation of memories. There are numerous kinds of such phenomenon currently described in the literature, but their role in the development of information pathways in neural networks with recurrent architectures is still not completely clear. In this paper we study the role of an activity-based process, called pre-synaptic dependent homeostatic scaling, in the organization of networks that yield precise-timed spiking patterns. It encodes spatio-temporal information in the synaptic weights as it associates a learned input with a specific response. We introduce a correlation measure to evaluate the precision of the spiking patterns and explore the effects of different inhibitory interactions and learning parameters. We find that large learning periods are important in order to improve the network learning capacity and discuss this ability in the presence of distinct inhibitory currents.

  3. Triple Function of Synaptotagmin 7 Ensures Efficiency of High-Frequency Transmission at Central GABAergic Synapses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chong Chen

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Synaptotagmin 7 (Syt7 is thought to be a Ca2+ sensor that mediates asynchronous transmitter release and facilitation at synapses. However, Syt7 is strongly expressed in fast-spiking, parvalbumin-expressing GABAergic interneurons, and the output synapses of these neurons produce only minimal asynchronous release and show depression rather than facilitation. To resolve this apparent contradiction, we examined the effects of genetic elimination of Syt7 on synaptic transmission at the GABAergic basket cell (BC-Purkinje cell (PC synapse in cerebellum. Our results indicate that at the BC-PC synapse, Syt7 contributes to asynchronous release, pool replenishment, and facilitation. In combination, these three effects ensure efficient transmitter release during high-frequency activity and guarantee frequency independence of inhibition. Our results identify a distinct function of Syt7: ensuring the efficiency of high-frequency inhibitory synaptic transmission.

  4. The Auxiliary Calcium Channel Subunit α2δ4 Is Required for Axonal Elaboration, Synaptic Transmission, and Wiring of Rod Photoreceptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yuchen; Fehlhaber, Katherine E; Sarria, Ignacio; Cao, Yan; Ingram, Norianne T; Guerrero-Given, Debbie; Throesch, Ben; Baldwin, Kristin; Kamasawa, Naomi; Ohtsuka, Toshihisa; Sampath, Alapakkam P; Martemyanov, Kirill A

    2017-03-22

    Neural circuit wiring relies on selective synapse formation whereby a presynaptic release apparatus is matched with its cognate postsynaptic machinery. At metabotropic synapses, the molecular mechanisms underlying this process are poorly understood. In the mammalian retina, rod photoreceptors form selective contacts with rod ON-bipolar cells by aligning the presynaptic voltage-gated Ca 2+ channel directing glutamate release (Ca V 1.4) with postsynaptic mGluR6 receptors. We show this coordination requires an extracellular protein, α2δ4, which complexes with Ca V 1.4 and the rod synaptogenic mediator, ELFN1, for trans-synaptic alignment with mGluR6. Eliminating α2δ4 in mice abolishes rod synaptogenesis and synaptic transmission to rod ON-bipolar cells, and disrupts postsynaptic mGluR6 clustering. We further find that in rods, α2δ4 is crucial for organizing synaptic ribbons and setting Ca V 1.4 voltage sensitivity. In cones, α2δ4 is essential for Ca V 1.4 function, but is not required for ribbon organization, synaptogenesis, or synaptic transmission. These findings offer insights into retinal pathologies associated with α2δ4 dysfunction. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Synaptic Organization of Perisomatic GABAergic Inputs onto the Principal Cells of the Mouse Basolateral Amygdala

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vereczki, Viktória K.; Veres, Judit M.; Müller, Kinga; Nagy, Gergö A.; Rácz, Bence; Barsy, Boglárka; Hájos, Norbert

    2016-01-01

    Spike generation is most effectively controlled by inhibitory inputs that target the perisomatic region of neurons. Despite the critical importance of this functional domain, very little is known about the organization of the GABAergic inputs contacting the perisomatic region of principal cells (PCs) in the basolateral amygdala. Using immunocytochemistry combined with in vitro single-cell labeling we determined the number and sources of GABAergic inputs of PCs at light and electron microscopic levels in mice. We found that the soma and proximal dendrites of PCs were innervated primarily by two neurochemically distinct basket cell types expressing parvalbumin (PVBC) or cholecystokinin and CB1 cannabinoid receptors (CCK/CB1BC). The innervation of the initial segment of PC axons was found to be parceled out by PVBCs and axo-axonic cells (AAC), as the majority of GABAergic inputs onto the region nearest to the soma (between 0 and 10 μm) originated from PVBCs, while the largest portion of the axon initial segment was innervated by AACs. Detailed morphological investigations revealed that the three perisomatic region-targeting interneuron types significantly differed in dendritic and axonal arborization properties. We found that, although individual PVBCs targeted PCs via more terminals than CCK/CB1BCs, similar numbers (15–17) of the two BC types converge onto single PCs, whereas fewer (6–7) AACs innervate the axon initial segment of single PCs. Furthermore, we estimated that a PVBC and a CCK/CB1BC may target 800–900 and 700–800 PCs, respectively, while an AAC can innervate 600–650 PCs. Thus, BCs and AACs innervate ~10 and 20% of PC population, respectively, within their axonal cloud. Our results collectively suggest, that these interneuron types may be differently affiliated within the local amygdalar microcircuits in order to fulfill specific functions in network operation during various brain states. PMID:27013983

  6. Differential regulation of synaptic AP-2/clathrin vesicle uncoating in synaptic plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Candiello, Ermes; Mishra, Ratnakar; Schmidt, Bernhard; Jahn, Olaf; Schu, Peter

    2017-11-17

    AP-1/σ1B-deficiency causes X-linked intellectual disability. AP-1/σ1B -/- mice have impaired synaptic vesicle recycling, fewer synaptic vesicles and enhanced endosome maturation mediated by AP-1/σ1A. Despite defects in synaptic vesicle recycling synapses contain two times more endocytic AP-2 clathrin-coated vesicles. We demonstrate increased formation of two classes of AP-2/clathrin coated vesicles. One which uncoats readily and a second with a stabilised clathrin coat. Coat stabilisation is mediated by three molecular mechanisms: reduced recruitment of Hsc70 and synaptojanin1 and enhanced μ2/AP-2 phosphorylation and activation. Stabilised AP-2 vesicles are enriched in the structural active zone proteins Git1 and stonin2 and synapses contain more Git1. Endocytosis of the synaptic vesicle exocytosis regulating Munc13 isoforms are differentially effected. Regulation of synaptic protein endocytosis by the differential stability of AP-2/clathrin coats is a novel molecular mechanism of synaptic plasticity.

  7. Learning through ferroelectric domain dynamics in solid-state synapses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boyn, Sören; Grollier, Julie; Lecerf, Gwendal; Xu, Bin; Locatelli, Nicolas; Fusil, Stéphane; Girod, Stéphanie; Carrétéro, Cécile; Garcia, Karin; Xavier, Stéphane; Tomas, Jean; Bellaiche, Laurent; Bibes, Manuel; Barthélémy, Agnès; Saïghi, Sylvain; Garcia, Vincent

    2017-04-01

    In the brain, learning is achieved through the ability of synapses to reconfigure the strength by which they connect neurons (synaptic plasticity). In promising solid-state synapses called memristors, conductance can be finely tuned by voltage pulses and set to evolve according to a biological learning rule called spike-timing-dependent plasticity (STDP). Future neuromorphic architectures will comprise billions of such nanosynapses, which require a clear understanding of the physical mechanisms responsible for plasticity. Here we report on synapses based on ferroelectric tunnel junctions and show that STDP can be harnessed from inhomogeneous polarization switching. Through combined scanning probe imaging, electrical transport and atomic-scale molecular dynamics, we demonstrate that conductance variations can be modelled by the nucleation-dominated reversal of domains. Based on this physical model, our simulations show that arrays of ferroelectric nanosynapses can autonomously learn to recognize patterns in a predictable way, opening the path towards unsupervised learning in spiking neural networks.

  8. Functional hallmarks of GABAergic synapse maturation and the diverse roles of neurotrophins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rosemarie eGrantyn

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available Functional impairment of the adult brain can result from deficits in the ontogeny of GABAergic synaptic transmission. Gene defects underlying autism spectrum disorders, Rett’s syndrome or some forms of epilepsy, but also a diverse set of syndromes accompanying perinatal trauma, hormonal imbalances, intake of sleep-inducing or mood-improving drugs or, quite common, alcohol intake during pregnancy can alter GABA signaling early in life. The search for therapeutically relevant endogenous molecules or exogenous compounds able to alleviate the consequences of dysfunction of GABAergic transmission in the embryonic or postnatal brain requires a clear understanding of its site- and state-dependent development. At the level of single synapses, it is necessary to discriminate between presynaptic and postsynaptic alterations, and to define parameters that can be regarded as both suitable and accessible for the quantification of developmental changes. Here we focus on the performance of GABAergic synapses in two brain structures, the hippocampus and the superior colliculus, describe some novel aspects of neurotrophin effects during the development of GABAergic synaptic transmission and examine the applicability of the following rules: 1 Synaptic transmission starts with GABA, 2 Nascent/immature GABAergic synapses operate in a ballistic mode (multivesicular release, 3 Immature synaptic terminals release vesicles with higher probability than mature synapses, 4 Immature GABAergic synapses are prone to paired pulse and tetanic depression, 5 Synapse maturation is characterized by an increasing dominance of synchronous over asynchronous release, 6 In immature neurons GABA acts as a depolarizing transmitter, 7 Synapse maturation implies IPSC shortening due to an increase in alpha1 subunit expression, 8 Extrasynaptic (tonic conductances can inhibit the development of synaptic (phasic GABA actions.

  9. Process for forming synapses in neural networks and resistor therefor

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fu, Chi Y.

    1996-01-01

    Customizable neural network in which one or more resistors form each synapse. All the resistors in the synaptic array are identical, thus simplifying the processing issues. Highly doped, amorphous silicon is used as the resistor material, to create extremely high resistances occupying very small spaces. Connected in series with each resistor in the array is at least one severable conductor whose uppermost layer has a lower reflectivity of laser energy than typical metal conductors at a desired laser wavelength.

  10. Storage capacity of attractor neural networks with depressing synapses

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Torres, Joaquin J.; Pantic, Lovorka; Kappen, Hilbert J.

    2002-01-01

    We compute the capacity of a binary neural network with dynamic depressing synapses to store and retrieve an infinite number of patterns. We use a biologically motivated model of synaptic depression and a standard mean-field approach. We find that at T=0 the critical storage capacity decreases with the degree of the depression. We confirm the validity of our main mean-field results with numerical simulations

  11. The State of Synapses in Fragile X Syndrome

    OpenAIRE

    Pfeiffer, Brad E.; Huber, Kimberly M.

    2009-01-01

    Fragile X Syndrome is the most common inherited form of mental retardation and a leading genetic cause of autism. There is increasing evidence in both FXS and other forms of autism that alterations in synapse number, structure and function are associated and contribute to these prevalent diseases. FXS is caused by loss of function of the Fmr1 gene which encodes the RNA binding protein, FMRP. Therefore, FXS is a tractable model to understand synaptic dysfunction in cognitive disorders. FMRP is...

  12. Learning-guided automatic three dimensional synapse quantification for drosophila neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanders, Jonathan; Singh, Anil; Sterne, Gabriella; Ye, Bing; Zhou, Jie

    2015-05-28

    The subcellular distribution of synapses is fundamentally important for the assembly, function, and plasticity of the nervous system. Automated and effective quantification tools are a prerequisite to large-scale studies of the molecular mechanisms of subcellular synapse distribution. Common practices for synapse quantification in neuroscience labs remain largely manual or semi-manual. This is mainly due to computational challenges in automatic quantification of synapses, including large volume, high dimensions and staining artifacts. In the case of confocal imaging, optical limit and xy-z resolution disparity also require special considerations to achieve the necessary robustness. A novel algorithm is presented in the paper for learning-guided automatic recognition and quantification of synaptic markers in 3D confocal images. The method developed a discriminative model based on 3D feature descriptors that detected the centers of synaptic markers. It made use of adaptive thresholding and multi-channel co-localization to improve the robustness. The detected markers then guided the splitting of synapse clumps, which further improved the precision and recall of the detected synapses. Algorithms were tested on lobula plate tangential cells (LPTCs) in the brain of Drosophila melanogaster, for GABAergic synaptic markers on axon terminals as well as dendrites. The presented method was able to overcome the staining artifacts and the fuzzy boundaries of synapse clumps in 3D confocal image, and automatically quantify synaptic markers in a complex neuron such as LPTC. Comparison with some existing tools used in automatic 3D synapse quantification also proved the effectiveness of the proposed method.

  13. Local Order within Global Disorder: Synaptic Architecture of Visual Space.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scholl, Benjamin; Wilson, Daniel E; Fitzpatrick, David

    2017-12-06

    Substantial evidence at the subcellular level indicates that the spatial arrangement of synaptic inputs onto dendrites could play a significant role in cortical computations, but how synapses of functionally defined cortical networks are arranged within the dendrites of individual neurons remains unclear. Here we assessed one-dimensional spatial receptive fields of individual dendritic spines within individual layer 2/3 neuron dendrites. Spatial receptive field properties of dendritic spines were strikingly diverse, with no evidence of large-scale topographic organization. At a fine scale, organization was evident: neighboring spines separated by less than 10 μm shared similar spatial receptive field properties and exhibited a distance-dependent correlation in sensory-driven and spontaneous activity patterns. Fine-scale dendritic organization was supported by the fact that functional groups of spines defined by dimensionality reduction of receptive field properties exhibited non-random dendritic clustering. Our results demonstrate that functional synaptic clustering is a robust feature existing at a local spatial scale. VIDEO ABSTRACT. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Alzheimer's disease: synaptic dysfunction and Abeta

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Shankar, Ganesh M

    2009-11-23

    Abstract Synapse loss is an early and invariant feature of Alzheimer\\'s disease (AD) and there is a strong correlation between the extent of synapse loss and the severity of dementia. Accordingly, it has been proposed that synapse loss underlies the memory impairment evident in the early phase of AD and that since plasticity is important for neuronal viability, persistent disruption of plasticity may account for the frank cell loss typical of later phases of the disease. Extensive multi-disciplinary research has implicated the amyloid β-protein (Aβ) in the aetiology of AD and here we review the evidence that non-fibrillar soluble forms of Aβ are mediators of synaptic compromise. We also discuss the possible mechanisms of Aβ synaptotoxicity and potential targets for therapeutic intervention.

  15. Extracellular proteolysis in structural and functional plasticity of mossy fiber synapses in hippocampus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Grzegorz eWiera

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Brain is continuously altered in response to experience and environmental changes. One of the underlying mechanisms is synaptic plasticity, which is manifested by modification of synapse structure and function. It is becoming clear that regulated extracellular proteolysis plays a pivotal role in the structural and functional remodeling of synapses during brain development, learning and memory formation. Clearly, plasticity mechanisms may substantially differ between projections. Mossy fiber synapses onto CA3 pyramidal cells display several unique functional features, including pronounced short-term facilitation, a presynaptically expressed LTP that is independent of NMDAR activation, and NMDA-dependent metaplasticity. Moreover, structural plasticity at mossy fiber synapses ranges from the reorganization of projection topology after hippocampus-dependent learning, through intrinsically different dynamic properties of synaptic boutons to pre- and postsynaptic structural changes accompanying LTP induction. Although concomitant functional and structural plasticity in this pathway strongly suggests a role of extracellular proteolysis, its impact only starts to be investigated in this projection. In the present report, we review the role of extracellular proteolysis in various aspects of synaptic plasticity in hippocampal mossy fiber synapses. A growing body of evidence demonstrates that among perisynaptic proteases, tPA/plasmin system, β-site amyloid precursor protein-cleaving enzyme 1 (BACE1 and metalloproteinases play a crucial role in shaping plastic changes in this projection. We discuss recent advances and emerging hypotheses on the roles of proteases in mechanisms underlying mossy fiber target specific synaptic plasticity and memory formation.

  16. 3D reconstruction of synapses with deep learning based on EM Images

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiao, Chi; Rao, Qiang; Zhang, Dandan; Chen, Xi; Han, Hua; Xie, Qiwei

    2017-03-01

    Recently, due to the rapid development of electron microscope (EM) with its high resolution, stacks delivered by EM can be used to analyze a variety of components that are critical to understand brain function. Since synaptic study is essential in neurobiology and can be analyzed by EM stacks, the automated routines for reconstruction of synapses based on EM Images can become a very useful tool for analyzing large volumes of brain tissue and providing the ability to understand the mechanism of brain. In this article, we propose a novel automated method to realize 3D reconstruction of synapses for Automated Tapecollecting Ultra Microtome Scanning Electron Microscopy (ATUM-SEM) with deep learning. Being different from other reconstruction algorithms, which employ classifier to segment synaptic clefts directly. We utilize deep learning method and segmentation algorithm to obtain synaptic clefts as well as promote the accuracy of reconstruction. The proposed method contains five parts: (1) using modified Moving Least Square (MLS) deformation algorithm and Scale Invariant Feature Transform (SIFT) features to register adjacent sections, (2) adopting Faster Region Convolutional Neural Networks (Faster R-CNN) algorithm to detect synapses, (3) utilizing screening method which takes context cues of synapses into consideration to reduce the false positive rate, (4) combining a practical morphology algorithm with a suitable fitting function to segment synaptic clefts and optimize the shape of them, (5) applying the plugin in FIJI to show the final 3D visualization of synapses. Experimental results on ATUM-SEM images demonstrate the effectiveness of our proposed method.

  17. LTD-like molecular pathways in developmental synaptic pruning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piochon, Claire; Kano, Masanobu; Hansel, Christian

    2016-01-01

    In long-term depression (LTD) at synapses in the adult brain, synaptic strength is reduced in an experience-dependent manner. LTD thus provides a cellular mechanism for information storage in some forms of learning. A similar activity-dependent reduction in synaptic strength also occurs in the developing brain and there provides an essential step in synaptic pruning and the postnatal development of neural circuits. Here we review evidence suggesting that LTD and synaptic pruning share components of their underlying molecular machinery and may thus represent two developmental stages of the same type of synaptic modulation that serve different, but related, functions in neural circuit plasticity. We also assess the relationship between LTD and synaptic pruning in the context of recent findings of LTD dysregulation in several mouse models of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and discuss whether LTD deficits can indicate impaired pruning processes that are required for proper brain development. PMID:27669991

  18. Potentiation of electrical and chemical synaptic transmission mediated by endocannabinoids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cachope, Roger; Mackie, Ken; Triller, Antoine; O’Brien, John; Pereda, Alberto E.

    2009-01-01

    SUMMARY Endocannabinoids are well established as inhibitors of chemical synaptic transmission via presynaptic activation of the cannabinoid type 1 receptor (CB1R). Contrasting this notion, we show that dendritic release of endocannabinoids mediates potentiation of synaptic transmission at mixed (electrical and chemical) synaptic contacts on the goldfish Mauthner cell. Remarkably, the observed enhancement was not restricted to the glutamatergic component of the synaptic response but also included a parallel increase in electrical transmission. This novel effect involved the activation of CB1 receptors and was indirectly mediated via the release of dopamine from nearby varicosities, which in turn led to potentiation of the synaptic response via a cAMP-dependent protein kinase-mediated postsynaptic mechanism. Thus, endocannabinoid release can potentiate synaptic transmission and its functional roles include the regulation of gap junction-mediated electrical synapses. Similar interactions between endocannabinoid and dopaminergic systems may be widespread and potentially relevant for the motor and rewarding effects of cannabis derivatives. PMID:18093525

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-10-01

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

  20. Super resolution imaging of genetically labelled synapses in Drosophila brain tissue

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Isabelle Ayumi Spühler

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Understanding synaptic connectivity and plasticity within brain circuits and their relationship to learning and behavior is a fundamental quest in neuroscience. Visualizing the fine details of synapses using optical microscopy remains however a major technical challenge. Super resolution microscopy opens the possibility to reveal molecular features of synapses beyond the diffraction limit. With direct stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy, dSTORM, we image synaptic proteins in the brain tissue of the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster. Super resolution imaging of brain tissue harbors difficulties due to light scattering and the density of signals. In order to reduce out of focus signal, we take advantage of the genetic tools available in the Drosophila and have fluorescently tagged synaptic proteins expressed in only a small number of neurons. These neurons form synapses within the calyx of the mushroom body, a distinct brain region involved in associative memory formation. Our results show that super resolution microscopy, in combination with genetically labelled synaptic proteins, is a powerful tool to investigate synapses in a quantitative fashion providing an entry point for studies on synaptic plasticity during learning and memory formation

  1. Super Resolution Imaging of Genetically Labeled Synapses in Drosophila Brain Tissue

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spühler, Isabelle A.; Conley, Gaurasundar M.; Scheffold, Frank; Sprecher, Simon G.

    2016-01-01

    Understanding synaptic connectivity and plasticity within brain circuits and their relationship to learning and behavior is a fundamental quest in neuroscience. Visualizing the fine details of synapses using optical microscopy remains however a major technical challenge. Super resolution microscopy opens the possibility to reveal molecular features of synapses beyond the diffraction limit. With direct stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy, dSTORM, we image synaptic proteins in the brain tissue of the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster. Super resolution imaging of brain tissue harbors difficulties due to light scattering and the density of signals. In order to reduce out of focus signal, we take advantage of the genetic tools available in the Drosophila and have fluorescently tagged synaptic proteins expressed in only a small number of neurons. These neurons form synapses within the calyx of the mushroom body, a distinct brain region involved in associative memory formation. Our results show that super resolution microscopy, in combination with genetically labeled synaptic proteins, is a powerful tool to investigate synapses in a quantitative fashion providing an entry point for studies on synaptic plasticity during learning and memory formation. PMID:27303270

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harsing, Laszlo G; Matyus, Peter

    2013-04-01

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

  3. Synaptic adhesion molecule IgSF11 regulates synaptic transmission and plasticity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shin, Hyewon; van Riesen, Christoph; Whitcomb, Daniel; Warburton, Julia M.; Jo, Jihoon; Kim, Doyoun; Kim, Sun Gyun; Um, Seung Min; Kwon, Seok-kyu; Kim, Myoung-Hwan; Roh, Junyeop Daniel; Woo, Jooyeon; Jun, Heejung; Lee, Dongmin; Mah, Won; Kim, Hyun; Kaang, Bong-Kiun; Cho, Kwangwook; Rhee, Jeong-Seop; Choquet, Daniel; Kim, Eunjoon

    2016-01-01

    Summary Synaptic adhesion molecules regulate synapse development and plasticity through mechanisms including trans-synaptic adhesion and recruitment of diverse synaptic proteins. We report here that the immunoglobulin superfamily member 11 (IgSF11), a homophilic adhesion molecule preferentially expressed in the brain, is a novel and dual-binding partner of the postsynaptic scaffolding protein PSD-95 and AMPAR glutamate receptors (AMPARs). IgSF11 requires PSD-95 binding for its excitatory synaptic localization. In addition, IgSF11 stabilizes synaptic AMPARs, as shown by IgSF11 knockdown-induced suppression of AMPAR-mediated synaptic transmission and increased surface mobility of AMPARs, measured by high-throughput, single-molecule tracking. IgSF11 deletion in mice leads to suppression of AMPAR-mediated synaptic transmission in the dentate gyrus and long-term potentiation in the CA1 region of the hippocampus. IgSF11 does not regulate the functional characteristics of AMPARs, including desensitization, deactivation, or recovery. These results suggest that IgSF11 regulates excitatory synaptic transmission and plasticity through its tripartite interactions with PSD-95 and AMPARs. PMID:26595655

  4. Effects of curcumin on synapses in APPswe/PS1dE9 mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Yingkun; Wang, Pengwen; Wei, Peng; Feng, Huili; Ren, Ying; Yang, Jinduo; Rao, Yingxue; Shi, Jing; Tian, Jinzhou

    2016-06-01

    Significant losses of synapses have been demonstrated in studies of Alzheimer's disease (AD), but structural and functional changes in synapses that depend on alterations of the postsynaptic density (PSD) area occur prior to synaptic loss and play a crucial role in the pathology of AD. Evidence suggests that curcumin can ameliorate the learning and memory deficits of AD. To investigate the effects of curcumin on synapses, APPswe/PS1dE9 double transgenic mice (an AD model) were used, and the ultra-structures of synapses and synapse-associated proteins were observed. Six months after administration, few abnormal synapses were observed upon electron microscopy in the hippocampal CA1 areas of the APPswe/PS1dE9 double transgenic mice. The treatment of the mice with curcumin resulted in improvements in the quantity and structure of the synapses. Immunohistochemistry and western blot analyses revealed that the expressions of PSD95 and Shank1 were reduced in the hippocampal CA1 areas of the APPswe/PS1dE9 double transgenic mice, but curcumin treatment increased the expressions of these proteins. Our findings suggest that curcumin improved the structure and function of the synapses by regulating the synapse-related proteins PSD95 and Shank1. © The Author(s) 2016.

  5. Cooperative stochastic binding and unbinding explain synaptic size dynamics and statistics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shomar, Aseel; Geyrhofer, Lukas; Ziv, Noam E; Brenner, Naama

    2017-07-01

    Synapses are dynamic molecular assemblies whose sizes fluctuate significantly over time-scales of hours and days. In the current study, we examined the possibility that the spontaneous microscopic dynamics exhibited by synaptic molecules can explain the macroscopic size fluctuations of individual synapses and the statistical properties of synaptic populations. We present a mesoscopic model, which ties the two levels. Its basic premise is that synaptic size fluctuations reflect cooperative assimilation and removal of molecules at a patch of postsynaptic membrane. The introduction of cooperativity to both assimilation and removal in a stochastic biophysical model of these processes, gives rise to features qualitatively similar to those measured experimentally: nanoclusters of synaptic scaffolds, fluctuations in synaptic sizes, skewed, stable size distributions and their scaling in response to perturbations. Our model thus points to the potentially fundamental role of cooperativity in dictating synaptic remodeling dynamics and offers a conceptual understanding of these dynamics in terms of central microscopic features and processes.

  6. Cooperative stochastic binding and unbinding explain synaptic size dynamics and statistics.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aseel Shomar

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Synapses are dynamic molecular assemblies whose sizes fluctuate significantly over time-scales of hours and days. In the current study, we examined the possibility that the spontaneous microscopic dynamics exhibited by synaptic molecules can explain the macroscopic size fluctuations of individual synapses and the statistical properties of synaptic populations. We present a mesoscopic model, which ties the two levels. Its basic premise is that synaptic size fluctuations reflect cooperative assimilation and removal of molecules at a patch of postsynaptic membrane. The introduction of cooperativity to both assimilation and removal in a stochastic biophysical model of these processes, gives rise to features qualitatively similar to those measured experimentally: nanoclusters of synaptic scaffolds, fluctuations in synaptic sizes, skewed, stable size distributions and their scaling in response to perturbations. Our model thus points to the potentially fundamental role of cooperativity in dictating synaptic remodeling dynamics and offers a conceptual understanding of these dynamics in terms of central microscopic features and processes.

  7. Circadian Regulation of Synaptic Plasticity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcos G. Frank

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Circadian rhythms refer to oscillations in biological processes with a period of approximately 24 h. In addition to the sleep/wake cycle, there are circadian rhythms in metabolism, body temperature, hormone output, organ function and gene expression. There is also evidence of circadian rhythms in synaptic plasticity, in some cases driven by a master central clock and in other cases by peripheral clocks. In this article, I review the evidence for circadian influences on synaptic plasticity. I also discuss ways to disentangle the effects of brain state and rhythms on synaptic plasticity.

  8. Design principles of electrical synaptic plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Brien, John

    2017-09-08

    Essentially all animals with nervous systems utilize electrical synapses as a core element of communication. Electrical synapses, formed by gap junctions between neurons, provide rapid, bidirectional communication that accomplishes tasks distinct from and complementary to chemical synapses. These include coordination of neuron activity, suppression of voltage noise, establishment of electrical pathways that define circuits, and modulation of high order network behavior. In keeping with the omnipresent demand to alter neural network function in order to respond to environmental cues and perform tasks, electrical synapses exhibit extensive plasticity. In some networks, this plasticity can have dramatic effects that completely remodel circuits or remove the influence of certain cell types from networks. Electrical synaptic plasticity occurs on three distinct time scales, ranging from milliseconds to days, with different mechanisms accounting for each. This essay highlights principles that dictate the properties of electrical coupling within networks and the plasticity of the electrical synapses, drawing examples extensively from retinal networks. Copyright © 2017 The Author. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. Neuronal cytoskeleton in synaptic plasticity and regeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gordon-Weeks, Phillip R; Fournier, Alyson E

    2014-04-01

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

  10. Synapse-specific and compartmentalized expression of presynaptic homeostatic potentiation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xiling; Goel, Pragya; Chen, Catherine; Angajala, Varun; Chen, Xun; Dickman, Dion K

    2018-04-05

    Postsynaptic compartments can be specifically modulated during various forms of synaptic plasticity, but it is unclear whether this precision is shared at presynaptic terminals. Presynaptic Homeostatic Plasticity (PHP) stabilizes neurotransmission at the Drosophila neuromuscular junction, where a retrograde enhancement of presynaptic neurotransmitter release compensates for diminished postsynaptic receptor functionality. To test the specificity of PHP induction and expression, we have developed a genetic manipulation to reduce postsynaptic receptor expression at one of the two muscles innervated by a single motor neuron. We find that PHP can be induced and expressed at a subset of synapses, over both acute and chronic time scales, without influencing transmission at adjacent release sites. Further, homeostatic modulations to CaMKII, vesicle pools, and functional release sites are compartmentalized and do not spread to neighboring pre- or post-synaptic structures. Thus, both PHP induction and expression mechanisms are locally transmitted and restricted to specific synaptic compartments. © 2018, Li et al.

  11. Glutamatergic synaptic plasticity in the mesocorticolimbic system in addiction.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Huijstee, A.N.; Mansvelder, H.D.

    2015-01-01

    Addictive drugs remodel the brain’s reward circuitry, the mesocorticolimbic dopamine (DA) system, by inducing widespread adaptations of glutamatergic synapses. This drug-induced synaptic plasticity is thought to contribute to both the development and the persistence of addiction. This review

  12. Spontaneous Activity Drives Local Synaptic Plasticity In Vivo

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Winnubst, Johan; Cheyne, Juliette E; Niculescu, Dragos; Lohmann, C.

    2015-01-01

    Spontaneous activity fine-tunes neuronal connections in the developing brain. To explore the underlying synaptic plasticity mechanisms, we monitored naturally occurring changes in spontaneous activity at individual synapses with whole-cell patch-clamp recordings and simultaneous calcium imaging in

  13. Effects of dynamic synapses on noise-delayed response latency of a single neuron

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uzuntarla, M.; Ozer, M.; Ileri, U.; Calim, A.; Torres, J. J.

    2015-12-01

    The noise-delayed decay (NDD) phenomenon emerges when the first-spike latency of a periodically forced stochastic neuron exhibits a maximum for a particular range of noise intensity. Here, we investigate the latency response dynamics of a single Hodgkin-Huxley neuron that is subject to both a suprathreshold periodic stimulus and a background activity arriving through dynamic synapses. We study the first-spike latency response as a function of the presynaptic firing rate f . This constitutes a more realistic scenario than previous works, since f provides a suitable biophysically realistic parameter to control the level of activity in actual neural systems. We first report on the emergence of classical NDD behavior as a function of f for the limit of static synapses. Second, we show that when short-term depression and facilitation mechanisms are included at the synapses, different NDD features can be found due to their modulatory effect on synaptic current fluctuations. For example, an intriguing double NDD (DNDD) behavior occurs for different sets of relevant synaptic parameters. Moreover, depending on the balance between synaptic depression and synaptic facilitation, single NDD or DNDD can prevail, in such a way that synaptic facilitation favors the emergence of DNDD whereas synaptic depression favors the existence of single NDD. Here we report the existence of the DNDD effect in the response latency dynamics of a neuron.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2011-01-01

    Cortical neurons are typically driven by several thousand synapses. The precise spatiotemporal pattern formed by these inputs can modulate the response of a post-synaptic cell. In this work, we explore how the temporal structure of pre-synaptic inhibitory and excitatory inputs impact the post-synaptic firing of a conductance-based integrate and fire neuron. Both the excitatory and inhibitory input was modeled by renewal gamma processes with varying shape factors for modeling regular and tempo...

  15. Stochastic Learning in Oxide Binary Synaptic Device for Neuromorphic Computing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shimeng eYu

    2013-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  17. AMPA Receptor Trafficking in Homeostatic Synaptic Plasticity: Functional Molecules and Signaling Cascades

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guan Wang

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Homeostatic synaptic plasticity is a negative-feedback response employed to compensate for functional disturbances in the nervous system. Typically, synaptic activity is strengthened when neuronal firing is chronically suppressed or weakened when neuronal activity is chronically elevated. At both the whole cell and entire network levels, activity manipulation leads to a global up- or downscaling of the transmission efficacy of all synapses. However, the homeostatic response can also be induced locally at subcellular regions or individual synapses. Homeostatic synaptic scaling is expressed mainly via the regulation of α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid receptor (AMPAR trafficking and synaptic expression. Here we review the recently identified functional molecules and signaling pathways that are involved in homeostatic plasticity, especially the homeostatic regulation of AMPAR localization at excitatory synapses.

  18. Differences in chloride gradients allow for three distinct types of synaptic modulation by endocannabinoids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yanqing; Burrell, Brian D

    2016-08-01

    Endocannabinoids can elicit persistent depression of excitatory and inhibitory synapses, reducing or enhancing (disinhibiting) neural circuit output, respectively. In this study, we examined whether differences in Cl(-) gradients can regulate which synapses undergo endocannabinoid-mediated synaptic depression vs. disinhibition using the well-characterized central nervous system (CNS) of the medicinal leech, Hirudo verbana Exogenous application of endocannabinoids or capsaicin elicits potentiation of pressure (P) cell synapses and depression of both polymodal (Npoly) and mechanical (Nmech) nociceptive synapses. In P synapses, blocking Cl(-) export prevented endocannabinoid-mediated potentiation, consistent with a disinhibition process that has been indicated by previous experiments. In Nmech neurons, which are depolarized by GABA due to an elevated Cl(-) equilibrium potentials (ECl), endocannabinoid-mediated depression was prevented by blocking Cl(-) import, indicating that this decrease in synaptic signaling was due to depression of excitatory GABAergic input (disexcitation). Npoly neurons are also depolarized by GABA, but endocannabinoids elicit depression in these synapses directly and were only weakly affected by disruption of Cl(-) import. Consequently, the primary role of elevated ECl may be to protect Npoly synapses from disinhibition. All forms of endocannabinoid-mediated plasticity required activation of transient potential receptor vanilloid (TRPV) channels. Endocannabinoid/TRPV-dependent synaptic plasticity could also be elicited by distinct patterns of afferent stimulation with low-frequency stimulation (LFS) eliciting endocannabinoid-mediated depression of Npoly synapses and high-frequency stimulus (HFS) eliciting endocannabinoid-mediated potentiation of P synapses and depression of Nmech synapses. These findings demonstrate a critical role of differences in Cl(-) gradients between neurons in determining the sign, potentiation vs. depression, of

  19. Remodeling of inhibitory synaptic connections in developing ferret visual cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dalva Matthew B

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In the visual cortex, as in many other regions of the developing brain, excitatory synaptic connections undergo substantial remodeling during development. While evidence suggests that local inhibitory synapses may behave similarly, the extent and mechanisms that mediate remodeling of inhibitory connections are not well understood. Results Using scanning laser photostimulation in slices of developing ferret visual cortex, we assessed the overall patterns of developing inhibitory and excitatory synaptic connections converging onto individual neurons. Inhibitory synaptic inputs onto pyramidal neurons in cortical layers 2 and 3 were already present as early as postnatal day 20, well before eye opening, and originated from regions close to the recorded neurons. During the ensuing 2 weeks, the numbers of synaptic inputs increased, with the numbers of inhibitory (and excitatory synaptic inputs peaking near the time of eye opening. The pattern of inhibitory inputs refined rapidly prior to the refinement of excitatory inputs. By uncaging the neurotransmtter GABA in brain slices from animals of different ages, we find that this rapid refinement correlated with a loss of excitatory activity by GABA. Conclusion Inhibitory synapses, like excitatory synapses, undergo significant postnatal remodeling. The time course of the remodeling of inhibitory connections correlates with the emergence of orientation tuning in the visual cortex, implicating these rearrangements in the genesis of adult cortical response properties.

  20. Molecular switches at the synapse emerge from receptor and kinase traffic.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    2005-07-01

    Full Text Available Changes in the synaptic connection strengths between neurons are believed to play a role in memory formation. An important mechanism for changing synaptic strength is through movement of neurotransmitter receptors and regulatory proteins to and from the synapse. Several activity-triggered biochemical events control these movements. Here we use computer models to explore how these putative memory-related changes can be stabilised long after the initial trigger, and beyond the lifetime of synaptic molecules. We base our models on published biochemical data and experiments on the activity-dependent movement of a glutamate receptor, AMPAR, and a calcium-dependent kinase, CaMKII. We find that both of these molecules participate in distinct bistable switches. These simulated switches are effective for long periods despite molecular turnover and biochemical fluctuations arising from the small numbers of molecules in the synapse. The AMPAR switch arises from a novel self-recruitment process where the presence of sufficient receptors biases the receptor movement cycle to insert still more receptors into the synapse. The CaMKII switch arises from autophosphorylation of the kinase. The switches may function in a tightly coupled manner, or relatively independently. The latter case leads to multiple stable states of the synapse. We propose that similar self-recruitment cycles may be important for maintaining levels of many molecules that undergo regulated movement, and that these may lead to combinatorial possible stable states of systems like the synapse.

  1. Neuron-NG2 Cell Synapses: Novel Functions for Regulating NG2 Cell Proliferation and Differentiation

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    Qian-Kun Yang

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available NG2 cells are a population of CNS cells that are distinct from neurons, mature oligodendrocytes, astrocytes, and microglia. These cells can be identified by their NG2 proteoglycan expression. NG2 cells have a highly branched morphology, with abundant processes radiating from the cell body, and express a complex set of voltage-gated channels, AMPA/kainate, and GABA receptors. Neurons notably form classical and nonclassical synapses with NG2 cells, which have varied characteristics and functions. Neuron-NG2 cell synapses could fine-tune NG2 cell activities, including the NG2 cell cycle, differentiation, migration, and myelination, and may be a novel potential therapeutic target for NG2 cell-related diseases, such as hypoxia-ischemia injury and periventricular leukomalacia. Furthermore, neuron-NG2 cell synapses may be correlated with the plasticity of CNS in adulthood with the synaptic contacts passing onto their progenies during proliferation, and synaptic contacts decrease rapidly upon NG2 cell differentiation. In this review, we highlight the characteristics of classical and nonclassical neuron-NG2 cell synapses, the potential functions, and the fate of synaptic contacts during proliferation and differentiation, with the emphasis on the regulation of the NG2 cell cycle by neuron-NG2 cell synapses and their potential underlying mechanisms.

  2. Effects of Trace Metal Profiles Characteristic for Autism on Synapses in Cultured Neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simone Hagmeyer

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Various recent studies revealed that biometal dyshomeostasis plays a crucial role in the pathogenesis of neurological disorders such as autism spectrum disorders (ASD. Substantial evidence indicates that disrupted neuronal homeostasis of different metal ions such as Fe, Cu, Pb, Hg, Se, and Zn may mediate synaptic dysfunction and impair synapse formation and maturation. Here, we performed in vitro studies investigating the consequences of an imbalance of transition metals on glutamatergic synapses of hippocampal neurons. We analyzed whether an imbalance of any one metal ion alters cell health and synapse numbers. Moreover, we evaluated whether a biometal profile characteristic for ASD patients influences synapse formation, maturation, and composition regarding NMDA receptor subunits and Shank proteins. Our results show that an ASD like biometal profile leads to a reduction of NMDAR (NR/Grin/GluN subunit 1 and 2a, as well as Shank gene expression along with a reduction of synapse density. Additionally, synaptic protein levels of GluN2a and Shanks are reduced. Although Zn supplementation is able to rescue the aforementioned alterations, Zn deficiency is not solely responsible as causative factor. Thus, we conclude that balancing Zn levels in ASD might be a prime target to normalize synaptic alterations caused by biometal dyshomeostasis.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  5. Role of perisynaptic parameters in neurotransmitter homeostasis - computational study of a general synapse

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pendyam, Sandeep; Mohan, Ashwin; Kalivas, Peter W.; Nair, Satish S.

    2015-01-01

    Extracellular neurotransmitter concentrations vary over a wide range depending on the type of neurotransmitter and location in the brain. Neurotransmitter homeostasis near a synapse is achieved by a balance of several mechanisms including vesicular release from the presynapse, diffusion, uptake by transporters, non-synaptic production, and regulation of release by autoreceptors. These mechanisms are also affected by the glia surrounding the synapse. However, the role of these mechanisms in achieving neurotransmitter homeostasis is not well understood. A biophysical modeling framework was proposed to reverse engineer glial configurations and parameters related to homeostasis for synapses that support a range of neurotransmitter gradients. Model experiments reveal that synapses with extracellular neurotransmitter concentrations in the micromolar range require non-synaptic neurotransmitter sources and tight synaptic isolation by extracellular glial formations. The model was used to identify the role of perisynaptic parameters on neurotransmitter homeostasis, and to propose glial configurations that could support different levels of extracellular neurotransmitter concentrations. Ranking the parameters based on their effect on neurotransmitter homeostasis, non-synaptic sources were found to be the most important followed by transporter concentration and diffusion coefficient. PMID:22460547

  6. Radix Puerariae modulates glutamatergic synaptic architecture and potentiates functional synaptic plasticity in primary hippocampal neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhuiyan, Mohammad Maqueshudul Haque; Haque, Md Nazmul; Mohibbullah, Md; Kim, Yung Kyu; Moon, Il Soo

    2017-09-14

    Neurologic disorders are frequently characterized by synaptic pathology, including abnormal density and morphology of dendritic spines, synapse loss, and aberrant synaptic signaling and plasticity. Therefore, to promote and/or protect synapses by the use of natural molecules capable of modulating neurodevelopmental events, such as, spinogenesis and synaptic plasticity, could offer a preventive and curative strategy for nervous disorders associated with synaptic pathology. Radix Puerariae, the root of Pueraria monatana var. lobata (Willd.) Sanjappa&Pradeep, is a Chinese ethnomedicine, traditionally used for the treatment of memory-related nervous disorders including Alzheimer's disease. In the previous study, we showed that the ethanolic extracts of Radix Puerariae (RPE) and its prime constituent, puerarin induced neuritogenesis and synapse formation in cultured hippocampal neurons, and thus could improve memory functions. In the present study, we specifically investigated the abilities of RPE and puerarin to improve memory-related brain disorders through modulating synaptic maturation and functional potentiation. Rat embryonic (E19) brain neurons were cultured in the absence or presence of RPE or puerarin. At predetermined times, cells were live-stained with DiO or fixed and immunostained to visualize neuronal morphologies, or lysed for protein harvesting. Morphometric analyses of dendritic spines and synaptogenesis were performed using Image J software. Functional pre- and postsynaptic plasticity was measured by FM1-43 staining and whole-cell patch clamping, respectively. RPE or puerarin-mediated changes in actin-related protein 2 were assessed by Western blotting. Neuronal survivals were measured using propidium iodide exclusion assay. RPE and puerarin both: (1) promoted a significant increase in the numbers, and maturation, of dendritic spines; (2) modulated the formation of glutamatergic synapses; (3) potentiated synaptic transmission by increasing the sizes of

  7. Synapse-specific astrocyte gating of amygdala-related behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin-Fernandez, Mario; Jamison, Stephanie; Robin, Laurie M; Zhao, Zhe; Martin, Eduardo D; Aguilar, Juan; Benneyworth, Michael A; Marsicano, Giovanni; Araque, Alfonso

    2017-11-01

    The amygdala plays key roles in fear and anxiety. Studies of the amygdala have largely focused on neuronal function and connectivity. Astrocytes functionally interact with neurons, but their role in the amygdala remains largely unknown. We show that astrocytes in the medial subdivision of the central amygdala (CeM) determine the synaptic and behavioral outputs of amygdala circuits. To investigate the role of astrocytes in amygdala-related behavior and identify the underlying synaptic mechanisms, we used exogenous or endogenous signaling to selectively activate CeM astrocytes. Astrocytes depressed excitatory synapses from basolateral amygdala via A 1 adenosine receptor activation and enhanced inhibitory synapses from the lateral subdivision of the central amygdala via A 2A receptor activation. Furthermore, astrocytic activation decreased the firing rate of CeM neurons and reduced fear expression in a fear-conditioning paradigm. Therefore, we conclude that astrocyte activity determines fear responses by selectively regulating specific synapses, which indicates that animal behavior results from the coordinated activity of neurons and astrocytes.

  8. Nanogranular SiO{sub 2} proton gated silicon layer transistor mimicking biological synapses

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Liu, M. J.; Huang, G. S., E-mail: gshuang@fudan.edu.cn, E-mail: pfeng@nju.edu.cn; Guo, Q. L.; Tian, Z. A.; Li, G. J.; Mei, Y. F. [Department of Materials Science, Fudan University, Shanghai 200433 (China); Feng, P., E-mail: gshuang@fudan.edu.cn, E-mail: pfeng@nju.edu.cn; Shao, F.; Wan, Q. [School of Electronic Science and Engineering and Collaborative Innovation Center of Advanced Microstructures, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093 (China)

    2016-06-20

    Silicon on insulator (SOI)-based transistors gated by nanogranular SiO{sub 2} proton conducting electrolytes were fabricated to mimic synapse behaviors. This SOI-based device has both top proton gate and bottom buried oxide gate. Electrical transfer properties of top proton gate show hysteresis curves different from those of bottom gate, and therefore, excitatory post-synaptic current and paired pulse facilitation (PPF) behavior of biological synapses are mimicked. Moreover, we noticed that PPF index can be effectively tuned by the spike interval applied on the top proton gate. Synaptic behaviors and functions, like short-term memory, and its properties are also experimentally demonstrated in our device. Such SOI-based electronic synapses are promising for building neuromorphic systems.

  9. Nanogranular SiO2 proton gated silicon layer transistor mimicking biological synapses

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liu, M. J.; Huang, G. S.; Guo, Q. L.; Tian, Z. A.; Li, G. J.; Mei, Y. F.; Feng, P.; Shao, F.; Wan, Q.

    2016-01-01

    Silicon on insulator (SOI)-based transistors gated by nanogranular SiO 2 proton conducting electrolytes were fabricated to mimic synapse behaviors. This SOI-based device has both top proton gate and bottom buried oxide gate. Electrical transfer properties of top proton gate show hysteresis curves different from those of bottom gate, and therefore, excitatory post-synaptic current and paired pulse facilitation (PPF) behavior of biological synapses are mimicked. Moreover, we noticed that PPF index can be effectively tuned by the spike interval applied on the top proton gate. Synaptic behaviors and functions, like short-term memory, and its properties are also experimentally demonstrated in our device. Such SOI-based electronic synapses are promising for building neuromorphic systems.

  10. Eph receptors and ephrins in neuron-astrocyte communication at synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murai, Keith K; Pasquale, Elena B

    2011-11-01

    Neuron-glia communication is essential for regulating the properties of synaptic connections in the brain. Astrocytes, in particular, play a critical and complex role in synapse development, maintenance, and plasticity. Likewise, neurons reciprocally influence astrocyte physiology. However, the molecular signaling events that enable astrocytes and neurons to effectively communicate with each other are only partially defined. Recent findings have revealed that Eph receptor tyrosine kinases and ephrins play an important role in contact-dependent neuron-glia communication at synapses. Upon binding, these two families of cell surface-associated proteins trigger bidirectional signaling events that regulate the structural and physiological properties of both neurons and astrocytes. This review will focus on the emerging role of Eph receptors and ephrins in neuron-astrocyte interaction at synapses and discuss implications for synaptic plasticity, behavior, and disease. Copyright © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  11. Precise synaptic efficacy alignment suggests potentiation dominated learning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christoph eHartmann

    2016-01-01

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

  12. Depression as a Glial-Based Synaptic Dysfunction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rial, Daniel; Lemos, Cristina; Pinheiro, Helena; Duarte, Joana M.; Gonçalves, Francisco Q.; Real, Joana I.; Prediger, Rui D.; Gonçalves, Nélio; Gomes, Catarina A.; Canas, Paula M.; Agostinho, Paula; Cunha, Rodrigo A.

    2016-01-01

    Recent studies combining pharmacological, behavioral, electrophysiological and molecular approaches indicate that depression results from maladaptive neuroplastic processes occurring in defined frontolimbic circuits responsible for emotional processing such as the prefrontal cortex, hippocampus, amygdala and ventral striatum. However, the exact mechanisms controlling synaptic plasticity that are disrupted to trigger depressive conditions have not been elucidated. Since glial cells (astrocytes and microglia) tightly and dynamically interact with synapses, engaging a bi-directional communication critical for the processing of synaptic information, we now revisit the role of glial cells in the etiology of depression focusing on a dysfunction of the “quad-partite” synapse. This interest is supported by the observations that depressive-like conditions are associated with a decreased density and hypofunction of astrocytes and with an increased microglia “activation” in frontolimbic regions, which is expected to contribute for the synaptic dysfunction present in depression. Furthermore, the traditional culprits of depression (glucocorticoids, biogenic amines, brain-derived neurotrophic factor, BDNF) affect glia functioning, whereas antidepressant treatments (serotonin-selective reuptake inhibitors, SSRIs, electroshocks, deep brain stimulation) recover glia functioning. In this context of a quad-partite synapse, systems modulating glia-synapse bidirectional communication—such as the purinergic neuromodulation system operated by adenosine 5′-triphosphate (ATP) and adenosine—emerge as promising candidates to “re-normalize” synaptic function by combining direct synaptic effects with an ability to also control astrocyte and microglia function. This proposed triple action of purines to control aberrant synaptic function illustrates the rationale to consider the interference with glia dysfunction as a mechanism of action driving the design of future

  13. Depression as a Glial-Based Synaptic Dysfunction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel eRial

    2016-01-01

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

  14. Regulation of dopamine D1 receptor dynamics within the postsynaptic density of hippocampal glutamate synapses.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laurent Ladepeche

    Full Text Available Dopamine receptor potently modulates glutamate signalling, synaptic plasticity and neuronal network adaptations in various pathophysiological processes. Although key intracellular signalling cascades have been identified, the cellular mechanism by which dopamine and glutamate receptor-mediated signalling interplay at glutamate synapse remain poorly understood. Among the cellular mechanisms proposed to aggregate D1R in glutamate synapses, the direct interaction between D1R and the scaffold protein PSD95 or the direct interaction with the glutamate NMDA receptor (NMDAR have been proposed. To tackle this question we here used high-resolution single nanoparticle imaging since it provides a powerful way to investigate at the sub-micron resolution the dynamic interaction between these partners in live synapses. We demonstrate in hippocampal neuronal networks that dopamine D1 receptors (D1R laterally diffuse within glutamate synapses, in which their diffusion is reduced. Disrupting the interaction between D1R and PSD95, through genetical manipulation and competing peptide, did not affect D1R dynamics in glutamatergic synapses. However, preventing the physical interaction between D1R and the GluN1 subunit of NMDAR abolished the synaptic stabilization of diffusing D1R. Together, these data provide direct evidence that the interaction between D1R and NMDAR in synapses participate in the building of the dopamine-receptor-mediated signalling, and most likely to the glutamate-dopamine cross-talk.

  15. Recruitment of dynein to the Jurkat immunological synapse

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    Combs, Jeffrey; Kim, Soo Jin; Tan, Sarah; Ligon, Lee A.; Holzbaur, Erika L. F.; Kuhn, Jeffrey; Poenie, Martin

    2006-10-01

    Binding of T cells to antigen-presenting cells leads to the formation of the immunological synapse, translocation of the microtubule-organizing center (MTOC) to the synapse, and focused secretion of effector molecules. Here, we show that upon activation of Jurkat cells microtubules project from the MTOC to a ring of the scaffolding protein ADAP, localized at the synapse. Loss of ADAP, but not lymphocyte function-associated antigen 1, leads to a severe defect in MTOC polarization at the immunological synapse. The microtubule motor protein cytoplasmic dynein clusters into a ring at the synapse, colocalizing with the ADAP ring. ADAP coprecipitates with dynein from activated Jurkat cells, and loss of ADAP prevents MTOC translocation and the specific recruitment of dynein to the synapse. These results suggest a mechanism that links signaling through the T cell receptor to translocation of the MTOC, in which the minus end-directed motor cytoplasmic dynein, localized at the synapse through an interaction with ADAP, reels in the MTOC, allowing for directed secretion along the polarized microtubule cytoskeleton. microtubules | T cell polarization | -catenin | PLAC-24

  16. Peripheral synapses and giant neurons in whip spiders.

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    Foelix, Rainer; Troyer, David; Igelmund, Peter

    2002-08-15

    Among invertebrates the synapses between neurons are generally restricted to ganglia, i.e., to the central nervous system (CNS). As an exception, synapses occur in the sensory nerves of arachnid legs, indicating that some nervous integration is already taking place far out in the periphery. In the antenniform legs of whip spiders (Amblypygi), a very special synaptic circuit is present. These highly modified legs contain several large interneurons (giant neurons) that receive mechanosensory input from 700-1,500 tarsal bristles. Some of the sensory cell axons contact a giant neuron at its short, branched dendrite, a few at the soma, but most synapse onto the long giant axon. The fine structure of these synapses resembles that of typical chemical synapses in other arthropods. Although thousands of sensory fibers converge on a single giant neuron, there is no reduction in the actual number of sensory fibers, because these afferent fibers continue their course to the CNS after having made several en passant synapses onto the giant neuron. Touching a single tarsal bristle is sufficient to elicit action potentials in a giant neuron. Owing to the large diameter of the giant axon (10-20 microm), the action potentials reach the CNS within 55 ms, at conduction velocities of up to 7 m/s. However, mechanical stimulation of the tarsal bristles does not elicit a fast escape response, in contrast to giant fiber systems in earthworms, certain insects, and crayfishes. A quick escape is observed in whip spiders, but only after stimulation of the filiform hairs (trichobothria) on the regular walking legs. Although the giant fiber system in the antenniform legs undoubtedly provides a fast sensory pathway, its biological significance is not clearly understood at the moment. Copyright 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zedong eBi

    2016-02-01

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

  18. Requirement for Microglia for the Maintenance of Synaptic Function and Integrity in the Mature Retina.

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    Wang, Xu; Zhao, Lian; Zhang, Jun; Fariss, Robert N; Ma, Wenxin; Kretschmer, Friedrich; Wang, Minhua; Qian, Hao Hua; Badea, Tudor C; Diamond, Jeffrey S; Gan, Wen-Biao; Roger, Jerome E; Wong, Wai T

    2016-03-02

    Microglia, the principal resident immune cell of the CNS, exert significant influence on neurons during development and in pathological situations. However, if and how microglia contribute to normal neuronal function in the mature uninjured CNS is not well understood. We used the model of the adult mouse retina, a part of the CNS amenable to structural and functional analysis, to investigate the constitutive role of microglia by depleting microglia from the retina in a sustained manner using genetic methods. We discovered that microglia are not acutely required for the maintenance of adult retinal architecture, the survival of retinal neurons, or the laminar organization of their dendritic and axonal compartments. However, sustained microglial depletion results in the degeneration of photoreceptor synapses in the outer plexiform layer, leading to a progressive functional deterioration in retinal light responses. Our results demonstrate that microglia are constitutively required for the maintenance of synaptic structure in the adult retina and for synaptic transmission underlying normal visual function. Our findings on constitutive microglial function are relevant in understanding microglial contributions to pathology and in the consideration of therapeutic interventions that reduce or perturb constitutive microglial function. Microglia, the principal resident immune cell population in the CNS, has been implicated in diseases in the brain and retina. However, how they contribute to the everyday function of the CNS is unclear. Using the model of the adult mouse retina, we examined the constitutive role of microglia by depleting microglia from the retina. We found that in the absence of microglia, retinal neurons did not undergo overt cell death or become structurally disorganized in their processes. However, connections between neurons called synapses begin to break down, leading to a decreased ability of the retina to transmit light responses. Our results indicate

  19. Errant gardeners: glial-cell-dependent synaptic pruning and neurodevelopmental disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neniskyte, Urte; Gross, Cornelius T

    2017-11-01

    The final stage of brain development is associated with the generation and maturation of neuronal synapses. However, the same period is also associated with a peak in synapse elimination - a process known as synaptic pruning - that has been proposed to be crucial for the maturation of remaining synaptic connections. Recent studies have pointed to a key role for glial cells in synaptic pruning in various parts of the nervous system and have identified a set of critical signalling pathways between glia and neurons. At the same time, brain imaging and post-mortem anatomical studies suggest that insufficient or excessive synaptic pruning may underlie several neurodevelopmental disorders, including autism, schizophrenia and epilepsy. Here, we review current data on the cellular, physiological and molecular mechanisms of glial-cell-dependent synaptic pruning and outline their potential contribution to neurodevelopmental disorders.

  20. Distribution and structure of efferent synapses in the chicken retina

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindstrom, SH; Nacsa, N; Blankenship, T; Fitzgerald, PG; Weller, C; Vaney, DI; Wilson, M

    2012-01-01

    The visual system of birds includes an efferent projection from a visual area, the isthmooptic nucleus in the midbrain, back to the retina. Using a combination of anterograde labeling of efferent fibers, reconstruction of dye-filled neurons, NADPH-diaphorase staining, and transmission electron microscopy we have examined the distribution of efferent fibers and their synaptic structures in the chicken retina. We show that efferent fibers terminate strictly within the ventral retina. In 2 completely mapped retinas, only 2 fibers from a total of 15,359 terminated in the dorsal retina. The major synapse made by each efferent fiber is with a single Efferent Target Amacrine Cell (TC). This synapse consists of 5-25 boutons of 2μm diameter, each with multiple active zones, pressed into the TC soma or synapsing with a basketwork of rudimentary TC dendrites in the inner nuclear layer (INL). This basketwork, which is sheathed by Muller cells processes, defines a private neuropil in the INL within which TCs were also seen to receive input from retinal neurons. In addition to the major synapse, efferent fibers typically produce several very thin processes that terminate nearby in single small boutons and for which the soma of a local amacrine cell is one of the likely postsynaptic partners. A minority of efferent fibers also give rise to a thicker process terminating in a strongly diaphorase positive ball about 5μm in diameter. PMID:19439107

  1. Sleep: The hebbian reinforcement of the local inhibitory synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Touzet, Claude

    2015-09-01

    Sleep is ubiquitous among the animal realm, and represents about 30% of our lives. Despite numerous efforts, the reason behind our need for sleep is still unknown. The Theory of neuronal Cognition (TnC) proposes that sleep is the period of time during which the local inhibitory synapses (in particular the cortical ones) are replenished. Indeed, as long as the active brain stays awake, hebbian learning guarantees that efficient inhibitory synapses lose their efficiency – just because they are efficient at avoiding the activation of the targeted neurons. Since hebbian learning is the only known mechanism of synapse modification, it follows that to replenish the inhibitory synapses' efficiency, source and targeted neurons must be activated together. This is achieved by a local depolarization that may travel (wave). The period of time during which such slow waves are experienced has been named the "slow-wave sleep" (SWS). It is cut into several pieces by shorter periods of paradoxical sleep (REM) which activity resembles that of the awake state. Indeed, SWS – because it only allows local neural activation – decreases the excitatory long distance connections strength. To avoid losing the associations built during the awake state, these long distance activations are played again during the REM sleep. REM and SWS sleeps act together to guarantee that when the subject awakes again, his inhibitory synaptic efficiency is restored and his (excitatory) long distance associations are still there. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. N-CADHERIN PRODOMAIN CLEAVAGE REGULATES SYNAPSE FORMATION IN VIVO

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    Latefi, Nazlie S.; Pedraza, Liliana; Schohl, Anne; Li, Ziwei; Ruthazer, Edward S.

    2009-01-01

    Cadherins are initially synthesized bearing a prodomain that is thought to limit adhesion during early stages of biosynthesis. Functional cadherins lack this prodomain, raising the intriguing possibility that cells may utilize prodomain cleavage as a means to temporally or spatially regulate adhesion after delivery of cadherin to the cell surface. In support of this idea, immunostaining for the prodomain of zebrafish N-cadherin revealed enriched labeling at neuronal surfaces at the soma and along axonal processes. To determine whether post-translational cleavage of the prodomain affects synapse formation, we imaged Rohon-Beard cells in zebrafish embryos expressing GFP-tagged wild-type N-cadherin (NCAD-GFP) or a GFP-tagged N-cadherin mutant expressing an uncleavable prodomain (PRON-GFP) rendering it non-adhesive. NCAD-GFP accumulated at synaptic microdomains in a developmentally regulated manner, and its overexpression transiently accelerated synapse formation. PRON-GFP was much more diffusely distributed along the axon and its overexpression delayed synapse formation. Our results support the notion that N-cadherin serves to stabilize pre- to postsynaptic contacts early in synapse development and suggests that regulated cleavage of the N-cadherin prodomain may be a mechanism by which the kinetics of synaptogenesis are regulated. PMID:19365814

  3. Characterization of Ribeye subunits in zebrafish hair cells reveals that exogenous Ribeye B-domain and CtBP1 localize to the basal ends of synaptic ribbons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lavinia Sheets

    Full Text Available Synaptic ribbons are presynaptic structures formed by the self-association of RIBEYE-the main structural component of ribbon synapses. RIBEYE consists of two domains: a unique N-terminal A-domain and a C-terminal B-domain that is identical to the transcription co-repressor C-terminal binding protein 2 (CtBP2. Previous studies in cell lines have shown that RIBEYE A-domain alone is sufficient to form ribbon-like aggregates and that both A- and B- domains form homo-and heterotypic interactions. As these interactions are likely the basis for synaptic-ribbon assembly and structural plasticity, we wanted to examine how zebrafish Ribeye A- and B- domains interact with synaptic ribbons in vivo. To that end, we characterized the localization of exogenously expressed Ribeye A- and B- domains and the closely related protein, CtBP1, in the hair cells of transgenic zebrafish larvae. Unexpectedly, exogenously expressed Ribeye A-domain showed variable patterns of localization in hair cells; one zebrafish paralog of A-domain failed to self-associate or localize to synaptic ribbons, while the other self-assembled but sometimes failed to localize to synaptic ribbons. By contrast, Ribeye B-domain/CtBP2 was robustly localized to synaptic ribbons. Moreover, both exogenously expressed B-domain/CtBP2 and CtBP1 were preferentially localized to the basal end of ribbons adjacent to the postsynaptic density. Overexpression of B-domain/CtBP2 also appeared to affect synaptic-ribbon composition; endogenous levels of ribbon-localized Ribeye were significantly reduced as hair cells matured in B-domain/CtBP2 transgenic larvae compared to wild-type. These results reveal how exogenously expressed Ribeye domains interact with synaptic ribbons, and suggest a potential organization of elements within the ribbon body.

  4. Characterization of Ribeye subunits in zebrafish hair cells reveals that exogenous Ribeye B-domain and CtBP1 localize to the basal ends of synaptic ribbons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheets, Lavinia; Hagen, Matthew W; Nicolson, Teresa

    2014-01-01

    Synaptic ribbons are presynaptic structures formed by the self-association of RIBEYE-the main structural component of ribbon synapses. RIBEYE consists of two domains: a unique N-terminal A-domain and a C-terminal B-domain that is identical to the transcription co-repressor C-terminal binding protein 2 (CtBP2). Previous studies in cell lines have shown that RIBEYE A-domain alone is sufficient to form ribbon-like aggregates and that both A- and B- domains form homo-and heterotypic interactions. As these interactions are likely the basis for synaptic-ribbon assembly and structural plasticity, we wanted to examine how zebrafish Ribeye A- and B- domains interact with synaptic ribbons in vivo. To that end, we characterized the localization of exogenously expressed Ribeye A- and B- domains and the closely related protein, CtBP1, in the hair cells of transgenic zebrafish larvae. Unexpectedly, exogenously expressed Ribeye A-domain showed variable patterns of localization in hair cells; one zebrafish paralog of A-domain failed to self-associate or localize to synaptic ribbons, while the other self-assembled but sometimes failed to localize to synaptic ribbons. By contrast, Ribeye B-domain/CtBP2 was robustly localized to synaptic ribbons. Moreover, both exogenously expressed B-domain/CtBP2 and CtBP1 were preferentially localized to the basal end of ribbons adjacent to the postsynaptic density. Overexpression of B-domain/CtBP2 also appeared to affect synaptic-ribbon composition; endogenous levels of ribbon-localized Ribeye were significantly reduced as hair cells matured in B-domain/CtBP2 transgenic larvae compared to wild-type. These results reveal how exogenously expressed Ribeye domains interact with synaptic ribbons, and suggest a potential organization of elements within the ribbon body.

  5. An Improved Test for Detecting Multiplicative Homeostatic Synaptic Scaling

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    Kim, Jimok; Tsien, Richard W.; Alger, Bradley E.

    2012-01-01

    Homeostatic scaling of synaptic strengths is essential for maintenance of network “gain”, but also poses a risk of losing the distinctions among relative synaptic weights, which are possibly cellular correlates of memory storage. Multiplicative scaling of all synapses has been proposed as a mechanism that would preserve the relative weights among them, because they would all be proportionately adjusted. It is crucial for this hypothesis that all synapses be affected identically, but whether or not this actually occurs is difficult to determine directly. Mathematical tests for multiplicative synaptic scaling are presently carried out on distributions of miniature synaptic current amplitudes, but the accuracy of the test procedure has not been fully validated. We now show that the existence of an amplitude threshold for empirical detection of miniature synaptic currents limits the use of the most common method for detecting multiplicative changes. Our new method circumvents the problem by discarding the potentially distorting subthreshold values after computational scaling. This new method should be useful in assessing the underlying neurophysiological nature of a homeostatic synaptic scaling transformation, and therefore in evaluating its functional significance. PMID:22615990

  6. Structural Components of Synaptic Plasticity and Memory Consolidation

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

    2015-01-01

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

  7. Microorganism and Fungi Drive Evolution of Plant Synapses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frantisek eBaluska

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available In the course of plant evolution, there is an obvious trend toward an increased complexity of plant bodies, as well as an increased sophistication of plant behavior and communication. Phenotypic plasticity of plants is based on the polar auxin transport machinery that is directly linked with plant sensory systems impinging on plant behavior and adaptive responses. Similar to the emergence and evolution of eukaryotic cells, evolution of land plants was also shaped and driven by infective and symbiotic microorganisms. These microorganisms are the driving force behind the evolution of plant synapses and other neuronal aspects of higher plants; this is especially pronounced in the root apices. Plant synapses allow synaptic cell-cell communication and coordination in plants, as well as sensory-motor integration in root apices searching for water and mineral nutrition. These neuronal aspects of higher plants are closely linked with their unique ability to adapt to environmental changes.

  8. Microorganism and filamentous fungi drive evolution of plant synapses.

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    Baluška, František; Mancuso, Stefano

    2013-01-01

    In the course of plant evolution, there is an obvious trend toward an increased complexity of plant bodies, as well as an increased sophistication of plant behavior and communication. Phenotypic plasticity of plants is based on the polar auxin transport machinery that is directly linked with plant sensory systems impinging on plant behavior and adaptive responses. Similar to the emergence and evolution of eukaryotic cells, evolution of land plants was also shaped and driven by infective and symbiotic microorganisms. These microorganisms are the driving force behind the evolution of plant synapses and other neuronal aspects of higher plants; this is especially pronounced in the root apices. Plant synapses allow synaptic cell-cell communication and coordination in plants, as well as sensory-motor integration in root apices searching for water and mineral nutrition. These neuronal aspects of higher plants are closely linked with their unique ability to adapt to environmental changes.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-11-01

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

  10. Functional properties of a metabotropic glutamate receptor at dendritic synapses of ON bipolar cells in the amphibian retina.

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    Tian, N; Slaughter, M M

    1995-01-01

    Perforated patch-voltage and current-clamp recordings were obtained from ON bipolar cells in the amphibian retinal slice preparation. The currents produced by the photoreceptor transmitter were compared to the currents produced by selective metabotropic glutamate agonists: L-2-amino-4-phosphonobutyrate (L-AP4, APB) and IS,3R 1-amino-1,3 cyclopentanedicarboxylic acid (1S, 3R ACPD). Both agonists produced currents that were very similar to that produced by the photoreceptor transmitter in terms of conductance and reversal potential. The similarities suggest that the metabotropic glutamate receptors are functionally localized to the synaptic region of ON bipolar dendrites. The synaptic conductance rarely exceeded the non-synaptic conductance. The mean input resistance of ON bipolar neurons was 770 M omega in the light and 1.2 G omega in the dark. The average light-regulated synaptic conductance was 57% of the non-synaptic conductance. The L-AP4 regulated conductance averaged 77% of the non-synaptic conductance, while the 1S, 3R ACPD regulated conductance averaged 95% of the non-synaptic conductance. This balance between synaptic and non-synaptic conductance indicates that the synapse will not shunt the cell and the conductance ratio serves to maximize incremental gain at the photoreceptor to ON bipolar synapse. This conductance mechanism makes the ON bipolar cell well equipped to relay rod signals.

  11. Linking Network Activity to Synaptic Plasticity during Sleep: Hypotheses and Recent Data.

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    Puentes-Mestril, Carlos; Aton, Sara J

    2017-01-01

    Research findings over the past two decades have supported a link between sleep states and synaptic plasticity. Numerous mechanistic hypotheses have been put forth to explain this relationship. For example, multiple studies have shown structural alterations to synapses (including changes in synaptic volume, spine density, and receptor composition) indicative of synaptic weakening after a period of sleep. Direct measures of neuronal activity and synaptic strength support the idea that a period of sleep can reduce synaptic strength. This has led to the synaptic homeostasis hypothesis (SHY), which asserts that during slow wave sleep, synapses are downscaled throughout the brain to counteract net strengthening of network synapses during waking experience (e.g., during learning). However, neither the cellular mechanisms mediating these synaptic changes, nor the sleep-dependent activity changes driving those cellular events are well-defined. Here we discuss potential cellular and network dynamic mechanisms which could underlie reductions in synaptic strength during sleep. We also discuss recent findings demonstrating circuit-specific synaptic strengthening (rather than weakening) during sleep. Based on these data, we explore the hypothetical role of sleep-associated network activity patterns in driving synaptic strengthening. We propose an alternative to SHY-namely that depending on experience during prior wake, a variety of plasticity mechanisms may operate in the brain during sleep. We conclude that either synaptic strengthening or synaptic weakening can occur across sleep, depending on changes to specific neural circuits (such as gene expression and protein translation) induced by experiences in wake. Clarifying the mechanisms underlying these different forms of sleep-dependent plasticity will significantly advance our understanding of how sleep benefits various cognitive functions.

  12. Volterra representation enables modeling of complex synaptic nonlinear dynamics in large-scale simulations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Eric Y; Bouteiller, Jean-Marie C; Song, Dong; Baudry, Michel; Berger, Theodore W

    2015-01-01

    Chemical synapses are comprised of a wide collection of intricate signaling pathways involving complex dynamics. These mechanisms are often reduced to simple spikes or exponential representations in order to enable computer simulations at higher spatial levels of complexity. However, these representations cannot capture important nonlinear dynamics found in synaptic transmission. Here, we propose an input-output (IO) synapse model capable of generating complex nonlinear dynamics while maintaining low computational complexity. This IO synapse model is an extension of a detailed mechanistic glutamatergic synapse model capable of capturing the input-output relationships of the mechanistic model using the Volterra functional power series. We demonstrate that the IO synapse model is able to successfully track the nonlinear dynamics of the synapse up to the third order with high accuracy. We also evaluate the accuracy of the IO synapse model at different input frequencies and compared its performance with that of kinetic models in compartmental neuron models. Our results demonstrate that the IO synapse model is capable of efficiently replicating complex nonlinear dynamics that were represented in the original mechanistic model and provide a method to replicate complex and diverse synaptic transmission within neuron network simulations.

  13. Learning may need only a few bits of synaptic precision

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baldassi, Carlo; Gerace, Federica; Lucibello, Carlo; Saglietti, Luca; Zecchina, Riccardo

    2016-05-01

    Learning in neural networks poses peculiar challenges when using discretized rather then continuous synaptic states. The choice of discrete synapses is motivated by biological reasoning and experiments, and possibly by hardware implementation considerations as well. In this paper we extend a previous large deviations analysis which unveiled the existence of peculiar dense regions in the space of synaptic states which accounts for the possibility of learning efficiently in networks with binary synapses. We extend the analysis to synapses with multiple states and generally more plausible biological features. The results clearly indicate that the overall qualitative picture is unchanged with respect to the binary case, and very robust to variation of the details of the model. We also provide quantitative results which suggest that the advantages of increasing the synaptic precision (i.e., the number of internal synaptic states) rapidly vanish after the first few bits, and therefore that, for practical applications, only few bits may be needed for near-optimal performance, consistent with recent biological findings. Finally, we demonstrate how the theoretical analysis can be exploited to design efficient algorithmic search strategies.

  14. Conditional reduction of adult neurogenesis impairs bidirectional hippocampal synaptic plasticity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Massa, Federico; Koehl, Muriel; Wiesner, Theresa; Grosjean, Noelle; Revest, Jean-Michel; Piazza, Pier-Vincenzo; Abrous, Djoher Nora; Oliet, Stéphane H. R.

    2011-01-01

    Adult neurogenesis is a process by which the brain produces new neurons once development has ceased. Adult hippocampal neurogenesis has been linked to the relational processing of spatial information, a role attributed to the contribution of newborn neurons to long-term potentiation (LTP). However, whether newborn neurons also influence long-term depression (LTD), and how synaptic transmission and plasticity are affected as they incorporate their network, remain to be determined. To address these issues, we took advantage of a genetic model in which a majority of adult-born neurons can be selectively ablated in the dentate gyrus (DG) and, most importantly, in which neurogenesis can be restored on demand. Using electrophysiological recordings, we show that selective reduction of adult-born neurons impairs synaptic transmission at medial perforant pathway synapses onto DG granule cells. Furthermore, LTP and LTD are largely compromised at these synapses, probably as a result of an increased induction threshold. Whereas the deficits in synaptic transmission and plasticity are completely rescued by restoring neurogenesis, these synapses regain their ability to express LTP much faster than their ability to express LTD. These results demonstrate that both LTP and LTD are influenced by adult neurogenesis. They also indicate that as newborn neurons integrate their network, the ability to express bidirectional synaptic plasticity is largely improved at these synapses. These findings establish that adult neurogenesis is an important process for synaptic transmission and bidirectional plasticity in the DG, accounting for its role in efficiently integrating novel incoming information and in forming new memories. PMID:21464314

  15. Synaptic Scaling in Combination with Many Generic Plasticity Mechanisms Stabilizes Circuit Connectivity

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

    Synaptic scaling is a slow process that modifies synapses, keeping the firing rate of neural circuits in specific regimes. Together with other processes, such as conventional synaptic plasticity in the form of long term depression and potentiation, synaptic scaling changes the synaptic patterns in a network, ensuring diverse, functionally relevant, stable, and input-dependent connectivity. How synaptic patterns are generated and stabilized, however, is largely unknown. Here we formally describe and analyze synaptic scaling based on results from experimental studies and demonstrate that the combination of different conventional plasticity mechanisms and synaptic scaling provides a powerful general framework for regulating network connectivity. In addition, we design several simple models that reproduce experimentally observed synaptic distributions as well as the observed synaptic modifications during sustained activity changes. These models predict that the combination of plasticity with scaling generates globally stable, input-controlled synaptic patterns, also in recurrent networks. Thus, in combination with other forms of plasticity, synaptic scaling can robustly yield neuronal circuits with high synaptic diversity, which potentially enables robust dynamic storage of complex activation patterns. This mechanism is even more pronounced when considering networks with a realistic degree of inhibition. Synaptic scaling combined with plasticity could thus be the basis for learning structured behavior even in initially random networks. PMID:22203799

  16. Transcellular communication at the immunological synapse: a vesicular traffic-mediated mutual exchange [version 1; referees: 3 approved

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francesca Finetti

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available The cell’s ability to communicate with the extracellular environment, with other cells, and with itself is a crucial feature of eukaryotic organisms. In the immune system, T lymphocytes assemble a specialized structure upon contact with antigen-presenting cells bearing a peptide-major histocompatibility complex ligand, known as the immunological synapse (IS. The IS has been extensively characterized as a signaling platform essential for T-cell activation. Moreover, emerging evidence identifies the IS as a device for vesicular traffic-mediated cell-to-cell communication as well as an active release site of soluble molecules. Here, we will review recent advances in the role of vesicular trafficking in IS assembly and focused secretion of microvesicles at the synaptic area in naïve T cells and discuss the role of the IS in transcellular communication.

  17. Emerging Synaptic Molecules as Candidates in the Etiology of Neurological Disorders

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    Viviana I. Torres

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Synapses are complex structures that allow communication between neurons in the central nervous system. Studies conducted in vertebrate and invertebrate models have contributed to the knowledge of the function of synaptic proteins. The functional synapse requires numerous protein complexes with specialized functions that are regulated in space and time to allow synaptic plasticity. However, their interplay during neuronal development, learning, and memory is poorly understood. Accumulating evidence links synapse proteins to neurodevelopmental, neuropsychiatric, and neurodegenerative diseases. In this review, we describe the way in which several proteins that participate in cell adhesion, scaffolding, exocytosis, and neurotransmitter reception from presynaptic and postsynaptic compartments, mainly from excitatory synapses, have been associated with several synaptopathies, and we relate their functions to the disease phenotype.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  19. Recent advances in understanding synaptic abnormalities in Rett syndrome [version 1; referees: 2 approved

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael Johnston

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Rett syndrome is an extremely disabling X-linked nervous system disorder that mainly affects girls in early childhood and causes autism-like behavior, severe intellectual disability, seizures, sleep disturbances, autonomic instability, and other disorders due to mutations in the MeCP2 (methyl CpG-binding protein 2 transcription factor. The disorder targets synapses and synaptic plasticity and has been shown to disrupt the balance between glutamate excitatory synapses and GABAergic inhibitory synapses. In fact, it can be argued that Rett syndrome is primarily a disorder of synaptic plasticity and that agents that can correct this imbalance may have beneficial effects on brain development. This review briefly summarizes the link between disrupted synaptic plasticity mechanisms and Rett syndrome and early clinical trials that aim to target these abnormalities to improve the outcome for these severely disabled children.

  20. Long-term depression-associated signaling is required for an in vitro model of NMDA receptor-dependent synapse pruning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henson, Maile A; Tucker, Charles J; Zhao, Meilan; Dudek, Serena M

    2017-02-01

    Activity-dependent pruning of synaptic contacts plays a critical role in shaping neuronal circuitry in response to the environment during postnatal brain development. Although there is compelling evidence that shrinkage of dendritic spines coincides with synaptic long-term depression (LTD), and that LTD is accompanied by synapse loss, whether NMDA receptor (NMDAR)-dependent LTD is a required step in the progression toward synapse pruning is still unknown. Using repeated applications of NMDA to induce LTD in dissociated rat neuronal cultures, we found that synapse density, as measured by colocalization of fluorescent markers for pre- and postsynaptic structures, was decreased irrespective of the presynaptic marker used, post-treatment recovery time, and the dendritic location of synapses. Consistent with previous studies, we found that synapse loss could occur without apparent net spine loss or cell death. Furthermore, synapse loss was unlikely to require direct contact with microglia, as the number of these cells was minimal in our culture preparations. Supporting a model by which NMDAR-LTD is required for synapse loss, the effect of NMDA on fluorescence colocalization was prevented by phosphatase and caspase inhibitors. In addition, gene transcription and protein translation also appeared to be required for loss of putative synapses. These data support the idea that NMDAR-dependent LTD is a required step in synapse pruning and contribute to our understanding of the basic mechanisms of this developmental process. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  1. Simple PC-based system for morphometric analysis of synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buravkov, S V

    1995-01-01

    The computer system designed for synaptic morphometry of aksosomatic and aksospine synapses of brain is described in the present paper. It is based on an AT-comparable personal computer equipped with low-cost frame grabber. This hardware configuration allows to input images from any TV source such as TV camera, videorecorder for further processing. The appropriate software was written in Microsoft Quick Basic to measure the main morphometric parameters of axon ending, dendritic spines, total contact, active zone and mitochondria. Number of synaptic vesicles (total and active) were also counted using a mouse as a pointing device. The derivative parameters (vesicle density, mitochondrial density) are then calculated. All measured data are stored in ASCII format, allowing ease in editing and export into other application programs. Statistical evaluation and calculation of histograms is performed by associated program also written in Quick Basic. The advantages and disadvantages of this approach are discussed.

  2. Role of MicroRNA in Governing Synaptic Plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ye, Yuqin; Xu, Hongyu; Su, Xinhong; He, Xiaosheng

    2016-01-01

    Although synaptic plasticity in neural circuits is orchestrated by an ocean of genes, molecules, and proteins, the underlying mechanisms remain poorly understood. Recently, it is well acknowledged that miRNA exerts widespread regulation over the translation and degradation of target gene in nervous system. Increasing evidence suggests that quite a few specific miRNAs play important roles in various respects of synaptic plasticity including synaptogenesis, synaptic morphology alteration, and synaptic function modification. More importantly, the miRNA-mediated regulation of synaptic plasticity is not only responsible for synapse development and function but also involved in the pathophysiology of plasticity-related diseases. A review is made here on the function of miRNAs in governing synaptic plasticity, emphasizing the emerging regulatory role of individual miRNAs in synaptic morphological and functional plasticity, as well as their implications in neurological disorders. Understanding of the way in which miRNAs contribute to synaptic plasticity provides rational clues in establishing the novel therapeutic strategy for plasticity-related diseases.

  3. Glutamatergic synaptic plasticity in the mesocorticolimbic system in addiction

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  4. Memory and pattern storage in neural networks with activity dependent synapses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mejias, J. F.; Torres, J. J.

    2009-01-01

    We present recently obtained results on the influence of the interplay between several activity dependent synaptic mechanisms, such as short-term depression and facilitation, on the maximum memory storage capacity in an attractor neural network [1]. In contrast with the case of synaptic depression, which drastically reduces the capacity of the network to store and retrieve activity patterns [2], synaptic facilitation is able to enhance the memory capacity in different situations. In particular, we find that a convenient balance between depression and facilitation can enhance the memory capacity, reaching maximal values similar to those obtained with static synapses, that is, without activity-dependent processes. We also argue, employing simple arguments, that this level of balance is compatible with experimental data recorded from some cortical areas, where depression and facilitation may play an important role for both memory-oriented tasks and information processing. We conclude that depressing synapses with a certain level of facilitation allow to recover the good retrieval properties of networks with static synapses while maintaining the nonlinear properties of dynamic synapses, convenient for information processing and coding.

  5. Layer Specific Development of Neocortical Pyramidal to Fast Spiking Cells Synapses.

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    Olga eVoinova

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available All cortical neurons are engaged in inhibitory feedback loops which ensure excitation-inhibition balance and are key elements for the development of coherent network activity. The resulting network patterns are strongly dependent on the strength and dynamic properties of these excitatory-inhibitory loops which show pronounced regional and developmental diversity. We therefore compared the properties and postnatal maturation of two different synapses between rat neocortical pyramidal cells (layer 2/3 and layer 5, respectively and fast spiking (FS interneurons in the corresponding layer. At P14, both synapses showed synaptic depression upon repetitive activation. Synaptic release properties between layer 2/3 pyramidal cells and FS cells were stable from P14 to P28. In contrast, layer 5 pyramidal to FS cell connections showed a significant increase in paired pulse ratio by P28. Presynaptic calcium dynamics did also change at these synapses, including the sensitivity to exogenously loaded calcium buffers and expression of presynaptic calcium channels subtypes. These results underline the large variety of properties at different, yet similar, synapses in the neocortex. They also suggest that postnatal maturation of the brain goes along with increasing differences between synaptically driven network activity in layer 5 and layer 2/3.

  6. Short-term plasticity and long-term potentiation mimicked in single inorganic synapses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ohno, Takeo; Hasegawa, Tsuyoshi; Tsuruoka, Tohru; Terabe, Kazuya; Gimzewski, James K.; Aono, Masakazu

    2011-08-01

    Memory is believed to occur in the human brain as a result of two types of synaptic plasticity: short-term plasticity (STP) and long-term potentiation (LTP; refs , , , ). In neuromorphic engineering, emulation of known neural behaviour has proven to be difficult to implement in software because of the highly complex interconnected nature of thought processes. Here we report the discovery of a Ag2S inorganic synapse, which emulates the synaptic functions of both STP and LTP characteristics through the use of input pulse repetition time. The structure known as an atomic switch, operating at critical voltages, stores information as STP with a spontaneous decay of conductance level in response to intermittent input stimuli, whereas frequent stimulation results in a transition to LTP. The Ag2S inorganic synapse has interesting characteristics with analogies to an individual biological synapse, and achieves dynamic memorization in a single device without the need of external preprogramming. A psychological model related to the process of memorizing and forgetting is also demonstrated using the inorganic synapses. Our Ag2S element indicates a breakthrough in mimicking synaptic behaviour essential for the further creation of artificial neural systems that emulate characteristics of human memory.

  7. Spike Pattern Structure Influences Efficacy Variability under STDP and Synaptic Homeostasis

    OpenAIRE

    Bi, Zedong; Zhou, Changsong; Zhou, Hai-Jun

    2015-01-01

    In neural systems, synaptic plasticity is usually driven by spike trains. Due to the inherent noises of neurons, synapses and networks, spike trains typically exhibit externally uncontrollable variability such as spatial heterogeneity and temporal stochasticity, resulting in variability of synapses, which we call efficacy variability. Spike patterns with the same population rate but inducing different efficacy variability may result in neuronal networks with sharply different structures and f...

  8. The roles of STP and LTP in synaptic encoding

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    Arturas Volianskis

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Long-term potentiation (LTP, a cellular model of learning and memory, is generally regarded as a unitary phenomenon that alters the strength of synaptic transmission by increasing the postsynaptic response to the release of a quantum of neurotransmitter. LTP, at CA3-CA1 synapses in the hippocampus, contains a stimulation-labile phase of short-term potentiation (STP, or transient LTP, t-LTP that decays into stable LTP. By studying the responses of populations of neurons to brief bursts of high-frequency afferent stimulation before and after the induction of LTP, we found that synaptic responses during bursts are potentiated equally during LTP but not during STP. We show that STP modulates the frequency response of synaptic transmission whereas LTP preserves the fidelity. Thus, STP and LTP have different functional consequences for the transfer of synaptic information.

  9. A spaceflight study of synaptic plasticity in adult rat vestibular maculas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ross, M. D.

    1994-01-01

    Behavioral signs of vestibular perturbation in altered gravity have not been well correlated with structural modifications in neurovestibular centers. This ultrastructural research investigated synaptic plasticity in hair cells of adult rat utricular maculas exposed to microgravity for nine days on a space shuttle. The hypothesis was that synaptic plasticity would be more evident in type II hair cells because they are part of a distributed modifying macular circuitry. All rats were shared with other investigators and were subjected to treatments unrelated to this experiment. Maculas were obtained from flight and control rats after shuttle return (R + 0) and nine days post-flight (R + 9). R + 9 rats had chromodacryorrhea, a sign of acute stress. Tissues were prepared for ultrastructural study by conventional methods. Ribbon synapses were counted in fifty serial sections from medial utricular macular regions of three rats of each flight and control group. Counts in fifty additional consecutive sections from one sample in each group established method reliability. All synapses were photographed and located to specific cells on mosaics of entire sections. Pooled data were analyzed statistically. Flown rats showed abnormal posture and movement at R + 0. They had statistically significant increases in total ribbon synapses and in sphere-like ribbons in both kinds of hair cells; in type II cells, pairs of synapses nearly doubled and clusters of 3 to 6 synapses increased twelve-fold. At R + 9, behavioral signs were normal. However, synapse counts remained high in both kinds of hair cells of flight maculas and were elevated in control type II cells. Only counts in type I cells showed statistically significant differences at R + 9. High synaptic counts at R + 9 may have resulted from stress due to experimental treatments. The results nevertheless demonstrate that adult maculas retain the potential for synaptic plasticity. Type II cells exhibited more synaptic plasticity, but

  10. A Machine Learning Method for the Prediction of Receptor Activation in the Simulation of Synapses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montes, Jesus; Gomez, Elena; Merchán-Pérez, Angel; DeFelipe, Javier; Peña, Jose-Maria

    2013-01-01

    Chemical synaptic transmission involves the release of a neurotransmitter that diffuses in the extracellular space and interacts with specific receptors located on the postsynaptic membrane. Computer simulation approaches provide fundamental tools for exploring various aspects of the synaptic transmission under different conditions. In particular, Monte Carlo methods can track the stochastic movements of neurotransmitter molecules and their interactions with other discrete molecules, the receptors. However, these methods are computationally expensive, even when used with simplified models, preventing their use in large-scale and multi-scale simulations of complex neuronal systems that may involve large numbers of synaptic connections. We have developed a machine-learning based method that can accurately predict relevant aspects of the behavior of synapses, such as the percentage of open synaptic receptors as a function of time since the release of the neurotransmitter, with considerably lower computational cost compared with the conventional Monte Carlo alternative. The method is designed to learn patterns and general principles from a corpus of previously generated Monte Carlo simulations of synapses covering a wide range of structural and functional characteristics. These patterns are later used as a predictive model of the behavior of synapses under different conditions without the need for additional computationally expensive Monte Carlo simulations. This is performed in five stages: data sampling, fold creation, machine learning, validation and curve fitting. The resulting procedure is accurate, automatic, and it is general enough to predict synapse behavior under experimental conditions that are different to the ones it has been trained on. Since our method efficiently reproduces the results that can be obtained with Monte Carlo simulations at a considerably lower computational cost, it is suitable for the simulation of high numbers of synapses and it is

  11. A machine learning method for the prediction of receptor activation in the simulation of synapses.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jesus Montes

    Full Text Available Chemical synaptic transmission involves the release of a neurotransmitter that diffuses in the extracellular space and interacts with specific receptors located on the postsynaptic membrane. Computer simulation approaches provide fundamental tools for exploring various aspects of the synaptic transmission under different conditions. In particular, Monte Carlo methods can track the stochastic movements of neurotransmitter molecules and their interactions with other discrete molecules, the receptors. However, these methods are computationally expensive, even when used with simplified models, preventing their use in large-scale and multi-scale simulations of complex neuronal systems that may involve large numbers of synaptic connections. We have developed a machine-learning based method that can accurately predict relevant aspects of the behavior of synapses, such as the percentage of open synaptic receptors as a function of time since the release of the neurotransmitter, with considerably lower computational cost compared with the conventional Monte Carlo alternative. The method is designed to learn patterns and general principles from a corpus of previously generated Monte Carlo simulations of synapses covering a wide range of structural and functional characteristics. These patterns are later used as a predictive model of the behavior of synapses under different conditions without the need for additional computationally expensive Monte Carlo simulations. This is performed in five stages: data sampling, fold creation, machine learning, validation and curve fitting. The resulting procedure is accurate, automatic, and it is general enough to predict synapse behavior under experimental conditions that are different to the ones it has been trained on. Since our method efficiently reproduces the results that can be obtained with Monte Carlo simulations at a considerably lower computational cost, it is suitable for the simulation of high numbers of

  12. Visualizing the distribution of synapses from individual neurons in the mouse brain.

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    Ling Li

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available Proper function of the mammalian brain relies on the establishment of highly specific synaptic connections among billions of neurons. To understand how complex neural circuits function, it is crucial to precisely describe neuronal connectivity and the distributions of synapses to and from individual neurons.In this study, we present a new genetic synaptic labeling method that relies on expression of a presynaptic marker, synaptophysin-GFP (Syp-GFP in individual neurons in vivo. We assess the reliability of this method and use it to analyze the spatial patterning of synapses in developing and mature cerebellar granule cells (GCs. In immature GCs, Syp-GFP is distributed in both axonal and dendritic regions. Upon maturation, it becomes strongly enriched in axons. In mature GCs, we analyzed synapses along their ascending segments and parallel fibers. We observe no differences in presynaptic distribution between GCs born at different developmental time points and thus having varied depths of projections in the molecular layer. We found that the mean densities of synapses along the parallel fiber and the ascending segment above the Purkinje cell (PC layer are statistically indistinguishable, and higher than previous estimates. Interestingly, presynaptic terminals were also found in the ascending segments of GCs below and within the PC layer, with the mean densities two-fold lower than that above the PC layer. The difference in the density of synapses in these parts of the ascending segment likely reflects the regional differences in postsynaptic target cells of GCs.The ability to visualize synapses of single neurons in vivo is valuable for studying synaptogenesis and synaptic plasticity within individual neurons as well as information flow in neural circuits.

  13. Emerging phenomena in neural networks with dynamic synapses and their computational implications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joaquin J. eTorres

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available In this paper we review our research on the effect and computational role of dynamical synapses on feed-forward and recurrent neural networks. Among others, we report on the appearance of a new class of dynamical memories which result from the destabilisation of learned memory attractors. This has important consequences for dynamic information processing allowing the system to sequentially access the information stored in the memories under changing stimuli. Although storage capacity of stable memories also decreases, our study demonstrated the positive effect of synaptic facilitation to recover maximum storage capacity and to enlarge the capacity of the system for memory recall in noisy conditions. Possibly, the new dynamical behaviour can be associated with the voltage transitions between up and down states observed in cortical areas in the brain. We investigated the conditions for which the permanence times in the up state are power-law distributed, which is a sign for criticality, and concluded that the experimentally observed large variability of permanence times could be explained as the result of noisy dynamic synapses with large recovery times. Finally, we report how short-term synaptic processes can transmit weak signals throughout more than one frequency range in noisy neural networks, displaying a kind of stochastic multi-resonance. This effect is due to competition between activity-dependent synaptic fluctuations (due to dynamic synapses and the existence of neuron firing threshold which adapts to the incoming mean synaptic input.

  14. Acyl Ghrelin Improves Synapse Recovery in an In Vitro Model of Postanoxic Encephalopathy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoyanova, Irina I; Hofmeijer, Jeannette; van Putten, Michel J A M; le Feber, Joost

    2016-11-01

    Comatose patients after cardiac arrest have a poor prognosis. Approximately half never awakes as a result of severe diffuse postanoxic encephalopathy. Several neuroprotective agents have been tested, however without significant effect. In the present study, we used cultured neuronal networks as a model system to study the general synaptic damage caused by temporary severe hypoxia and the possibility to restrict it by ghrelin treatment. Briefly, we applied hypoxia (pO 2 lowered from 150 to 20 mmHg) during 6 h in 55 cultures. Three hours after restoration of normoxia, half of the cultures were treated with ghrelin for 24 h, while the other, non-supplemented, were used as a control. All cultures were processed immunocytochemically for detection of the synaptic marker synaptophysin. We observed that hypoxia led to drastic decline of the number of synapses, followed by some recovery after return to normoxia, but still below the prehypoxic level. Additionally, synaptic vulnerability was selective: large- and small-sized neurons were more susceptible to synaptic damage than the medium-sized ones. Ghrelin treatment significantly increased the synapse density, as compared with the non-treated controls or with the prehypoxic period. The effect was detected in all neuronal subtypes. In conclusion, exogenous ghrelin has a robust impact on the recovery of cortical synapses after hypoxia. It raises the possibility that ghrelin or its analogs may have a therapeutic potential for treatment of postanoxic encephalopathy.

  15. Autism-Associated Chromatin Regulator Brg1/SmarcA4 Is Required for Synapse Development and Myocyte Enhancer Factor 2-Mediated Synapse Remodeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Zilai; Cao, Mou; Chang, Chia-Wei; Wang, Cindy; Shi, Xuanming; Zhan, Xiaoming; Birnbaum, Shari G; Bezprozvanny, Ilya; Huber, Kimberly M; Wu, Jiang I

    2016-01-01

    Synapse development requires normal neuronal activities and the precise expression of synapse-related genes. Dysregulation of synaptic genes results in neurological diseases such as autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Mutations in genes encoding chromatin-remodeling factor Brg1/SmarcA4 and its associated proteins are the genetic causes of several developmental diseases with neurological defects and autistic symptoms. Recent large-scale genomic studies predicted Brg1/SmarcA4 as one of the key nodes of the ASD gene network. We report that Brg1 deletion in early postnatal hippocampal neurons led to reduced dendritic spine density and maturation and impaired synapse activities. In developing mice, neuronal Brg1 deletion caused severe neurological defects. Gene expression analyses indicated that Brg1 regulates a significant number of genes known to be involved in synapse function and implicated in ASD. We found that Brg1 is required for dendritic spine/synapse elimination mediated by the ASD-associated transcription factor myocyte enhancer factor 2 (MEF2) and that Brg1 regulates the activity-induced expression of a specific subset of genes that overlap significantly with the targets of MEF2. Our analyses showed that Brg1 interacts with MEF2 and that MEF2 is required for Brg1 recruitment to target genes in response to neuron activation. Thus, Brg1 plays important roles in both synapse development/maturation and MEF2-mediated synapse remodeling. Our study reveals specific functions of the epigenetic regulator Brg1 in synapse development and provides insights into its role in neurological diseases such as ASD. Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  16. Poisson-Like Spiking in Circuits with Probabilistic Synapses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreno-Bote, Rubén

    2014-01-01

    Neuronal activity in cortex is variable both spontaneously and during stimulation, and it has the remarkable property that it is Poisson-like over broad ranges of firing rates covering from virtually zero to hundreds of spikes per second. The mechanisms underlying cortical-like spiking variability over such a broad continuum of rates are currently unknown. We show that neuronal networks endowed with probabilistic synaptic transmission, a well-documented source of variability in cortex, robustly generate Poisson-like variability over several orders of magnitude in their firing rate without fine-tuning of the network parameters. Other sources of variability, such as random synaptic delays or spike generation jittering, do not lead to Poisson-like variability at high rates because they cannot be sufficiently amplified by recurrent neuronal networks. We also show that probabilistic synapses predict Fano factor constancy of synaptic conductances. Our results suggest that synaptic noise is a robust and sufficient mechanism for the type of variability found in cortex. PMID:25032705

  17. Synaptic Determinants of Rett Syndrome

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boggio, Elena M.; Lonetti, Giuseppina; Pizzorusso, Tommaso; Giustetto, Maurizio

    2010-01-01

    There is mounting evidence showing that the structural and molecular organization of synaptic connections is affected both in human patients and in animal models of neurological and psychiatric diseases. As a consequence of these experimental observations, it has been introduced the concept of synapsopathies, a notion describing brain disorders of synaptic function and plasticity. A close correlation between neurological diseases and synaptic abnormalities is especially relevant for those syndromes including also mental retardation in their symptomatology, such as Rett syndrome (RS). RS (MIM312750) is an X-linked dominant neurological disorder that is caused in the majority of cases by mutations in methyl-CpG-binding protein 2 (MeCP2). This review will focus on the current knowledge of the synaptic alterations produced by mutations of the gene MeCP2 in mouse models of RS and will highlight prospects experimental therapies currently in use. Different experimental approaches have revealed that RS could be the consequence of an impairment in the homeostasis of synaptic transmission in specific brain regions. Indeed, several forms of experience-induced neuronal plasticity are impaired in the absence of MeCP2. Based on the results presented in this review, it is reasonable to propose that understanding how the brain is affected by diseases such as RS is at reach. This effort will bring us closer to identify the neurobiological bases of human cognition. PMID:21423514

  18. Synaptic determinants of Rett syndrome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elena M B Boggio

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available There is mounting evidence showing that the structural and molecular organization of synaptic connections are affected both in human patients and in animal models of neurological and psychiatric diseases. As a consequence of these experimental observations, it has been introduced the concept of synapsopathies, a notion describing brain disorders of synaptic function and plasticity. A close correlation between neurological diseases and synaptic abnormalities is especially relevant for those syndromes including also mental retardation in their symptomatology, such as Rett Syndrome (RS. RS (MIM312750 is an X-linked dominant neurological disorder that is caused, in the majority of cases by mutations in methyl-CpG-binding protein 2 (MeCP2. This review will focus on the current knowledge of the synaptic alterations produced by mutations of the gene MeCP2 in mouse models of RS and will highlight prospects experimental therapies currently in use. Different experimental approaches have revealed that RS could be the consequence of an impairment in the homeostasis of synaptic transmission in specific brain regions. Indeed, several forms of experience-induced neuronal plasticity are impaired in the absence of MeCP2. Based on the results presented in this review, it is reasonable to propose that understanding how the brain is affected by diseases such as RS is at reach. This effort will bring us closer to identify the neurobiological bases of human cognition.

  19. GABAA Receptor Activity Shapes the Formation of Inhibitory Synapses between Developing Medium Spiny Neurons

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    Jessica eArama

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Basal ganglia play an essential role in motor coordination and cognitive functions. The GABAergic medium spiny neurons (MSNs account for ~95 % of all the neurons in this brain region. Central to the normal functioning of MSNs is integration of synaptic activity arriving from the glutamatergic corticostriatal and thalamostriatal afferents, with synaptic inhibition mediated by local interneurons and MSN axon collaterals. In this study we have investigated how the specific types of GABAergic synapses between the MSNs develop over time, and how the activity of GABAA receptors (GABAARs influences this development. Isolated embryonic (E17 MSNs form a homogenous population in vitro and display spontaneous synaptic activity and functional properties similar to their in vivo counterparts. In dual whole-cell recordings of synaptically connected pairs of MSNs, action potential-activated synaptic events were detected between 7 and 14 days in vitro (DIV, which coincided with the shift in GABAAR operation from depolarization to hyperpolarization, as detected indirectly by intracellular calcium imaging. In parallel, the predominant subtypes of inhibitory synapses, which innervate dendrites of MSNs and contain GABAAR α1 or α2 subunits, underwent distinct changes in the size of postsynaptic clusters, with α1 becoming smaller and α2 larger over time, while both the percentage and the size of mixed α1/α2-postsynaptic clusters were increased. When activity of GABAARs was under chronic blockade between 4-7 DIV, the structural properties of these synapses remained unchanged. In contrast, chronic inhibition of GABAARs between7-14 DIV led to reduction in size of α1- and α1/α2-postsynaptic clusters and a concomitant increase in number and size of α2-postsynaptic clusters. Thus, the main subtypes of GABAergic synapses formed by MSNs are regulated by GABAAR activity, but in opposite directions, and thus appear to be driven by different molecular mechanisms.

  20. 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.

  1. Spatial distribution of synapses on tyrosine hydroxylase-expressing juxtaglomerular cells in the mouse olfactory glomerulus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kiyokage, Emi; Kobayashi, Kazuto; Toida, Kazunori

    2017-04-01

    Olfactory sensory axons converge in specific glomeruli where they form excitatory synapses onto dendrites of mitral/tufted (M/T) and juxtaglomerular (JG) cells, including periglomerular (PG), external tufted (ET), and superficial-short axon cells. JG cells consist of heterogeneous subpopulations with different neurochemical, physiological, and morphological properties. Among JG cells, previous electron microscopic (EM) studies have shown that the majority of synaptic inputs to tyrosine hydroxylase (TH)-immunoreactive neurons were asymmetrical synapses from olfactory nerve (ON) terminals. However, recent physiological results revealed that 70% of dopaminergic/γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA)ergic neurons received polysynaptic inputs via ET cells, whereas the remaining 30% received monosynaptic ON inputs. To understand the discrepancies between EM and physiological data, we used serial EM analysis combined with confocal laser scanning microscope images to examine the spatial distribution of synapses on dendrites using mice expressing enhanced green fluorescent protein under the control of the TH promoter. The majority of synaptic inputs to TH-expressing JG cells were from ON terminals, and they preferentially targeted distal dendrites from the soma. On the other hand, the numbers of non-ON inputs were fewer and targeted proximal dendrites. Furthermore, individual TH-expressing JG cells formed serial synapses, such as M/T→TH→another presumed M/T or ON→TH→presumed M/T, but not reciprocal synapses. Serotonergic fibers also associated with somatic regions of TH neurons, displaying non-ON profiles. Thus, fewer proximal non-ON synapses provide more effective inputs than large numbers of distal ON synapses and may occur on the physiologically characterized population of dopaminergic-GABAergic neurons (70%) that receive their most effective inputs indirectly via an ON→ET→TH circuit. J. Comp. Neurol. 525:1059-1074, 2017. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2017 Wiley

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yiu Chung Tse

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

  3. Synaptic Bistability Due to Nucleation and Evaporation of Receptor Clusters

    KAUST Repository

    Burlakov, V. M.

    2012-01-10

    We introduce a bistability mechanism for long-term synaptic plasticity based on switching between two metastable states that contain significantly different numbers of synaptic receptors. One state is characterized by a two-dimensional gas of mobile interacting receptors and is stabilized against clustering by a high nucleation barrier. The other state contains a receptor gas in equilibrium with a large cluster of immobile receptors, which is stabilized by the turnover rate of receptors into and out of the synapse. Transitions between the two states can be initiated by either an increase (potentiation) or a decrease (depotentiation) of the net receptor flux into the synapse. This changes the saturation level of the receptor gas and triggers nucleation or evaporation of receptor clusters. © 2012 American Physical Society.

  4. Computational quest for understanding the role of astrocyte signaling in synaptic transmission and plasticity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maurizio eDe Pitta'

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available The complexity of the signaling network that underlies astrocyte-synapse interactions may seem discouraging when tackled from a theoretical perspective. Computational modeling is challenged by the fact that many details remain hitherto unknown and conventional approaches to describe synaptic function are unsuitable to explain experimental observations when astrocytic signaling is taken into account. Supported by experimental evidence is the possibility that astrocytes perform genuine information processing by means of their calcium signaling and are players in the physiological setting of the basal tone of synaptic transmission. Here we consider the plausibility of this scenario from a theoretical perspective, focusing on the modulation of synaptic release probability by the astrocyte and its implications on synaptic plasticity. The analysis of the signaling pathways underlying such modulation refines our notion of the tripartite synapse and has profound implications on our understanding of brain function.

  5. Synaptic Plasticity and Memory: New Insights from Hippocampal Left-Right Asymmetries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    El-Gaby, Mohamady; Shipton, Olivia A; Paulsen, Ole

    2015-10-01

    All synapses are not the same. They differ in their morphology, molecular constituents, and malleability. A striking left-right asymmetry in the distribution of different types of synapse was recently uncovered at the CA3-CA1 projection in the mouse hippocampus, whereby afferents from the CA3 in the left hemisphere innervate small, highly plastic synapses on the apical dendrites of CA1 pyramidal neurons, whereas those originating from the right CA3 target larger, more stable synapses. Activity-dependent modification of these synapses is thought to participate in circuit formation and remodeling during development, and further plastic changes may support memory encoding in adulthood. Therefore, exploiting the CA3-CA1 asymmetry provides a promising opportunity to investigate the roles that different types of synapse play in these fundamental properties of the CNS. Here we describe the discovery of these segregated synaptic populations in the mouse hippocampus, and discuss what we have already learnt about synaptic plasticity from this asymmetric arrangement. We then propose models for how the asymmetry could be generated during development, and how the adult hippocampus might use these distinct populations of synapses differentially during learning and memory. Finally, we outline the potential implications of this left-right asymmetry for human hippocampal function, as well as dysfunction in memory disorders such as Alzheimer's disease. © The Author(s) 2014.

  6. Neural Cell Adhesion Molecules of the Immunoglobulin Superfamily Regulate Synapse Formation, Maintenance, and Function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sytnyk, Vladimir; Leshchyns'ka, Iryna; Schachner, Melitta

    2017-05-01

    Immunoglobulin superfamily adhesion molecules are among the most abundant proteins in vertebrate and invertebrate nervous systems. Prominent family members are the neural cell adhesion molecules NCAM and L1, which were the first to be shown to be essential not only in development but also in synaptic function and as key regulators of synapse formation, synaptic activity, plasticity, and synaptic vesicle recycling at distinct developmental and activity stages. In addition to interacting with each other, adhesion molecules interact with ion channels and cytokine and neurotransmitter receptors. Mutations in their genes are linked to neurological disorders associated with abnormal development and synaptic functioning. This review presents an overview of recent studies on these molecules and their crucial impact on neurological disorders. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. A cellular model of memory reconsolidation involves reactivation-induced destabilization and restabilization at the sensorimotor synapse in Aplysia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Sue-Hyun; Kwak, Chuljung; Shim, Jaehoon; Kim, Jung-Eun; Choi, Sun-Lim; Kim, Hyoung F.; Jang, Deok-Jin; Lee, Jin-A; Lee, Kyungmin; Lee, Chi-Hoon; Lee, Young-Don; Miniaci, Maria Concetta; Bailey, Craig H.; Kandel, Eric R.; Kaang, Bong-Kiun

    2012-01-01

    The memory reconsolidation hypothesis suggests that a memory trace becomes labile after retrieval and needs to be reconsolidated before it can be stabilized. However, it is unclear from earlier studies whether the same synapses involved in encoding the memory trace are those that are destabilized and restabilized after the synaptic reactivation that accompanies memory retrieval, or whether new and different synapses are recruited. To address this issue, we studied a simple nonassociative form of memory, long-term sensitization of the gill- and siphon-withdrawal reflex in Aplysia, and its cellular analog, long-term facilitation at the sensory-to-motor neuron synapse. We found that after memory retrieval, behavioral long-term sensitization in Aplysia becomes labile via ubiquitin/proteasome-dependent protein degradation and is reconsolidated by means of de novo protein synthesis. In parallel, we found that on the cellular level, long-term facilitation at the sensory-to-motor neuron synapse that mediates long-term sensitization is also destabilized by protein degradation and is restabilized by protein synthesis after synaptic reactivation, a procedure that parallels memory retrieval or retraining evident on the behavioral level. These results provide direct evidence that the same synapses that store the long-term memory trace encoded by changes in the strength of synaptic connections critical for sensitization are disrupted and reconstructed after signal retrieval. PMID:22893682

  8. Synaptic Democracy and Vesicular Transport in Axons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bressloff, Paul C.; Levien, Ethan

    2015-04-01

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

  9. The space where aging acts: focus on the GABAergic synapse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rozycka, Aleksandra; Liguz-Lecznar, Monika

    2017-08-01

    As it was established that aging is not associated with massive neuronal loss, as was believed in the mid-20th Century, scientific interest has addressed the influence of aging on particular neuronal subpopulations and their synaptic contacts, which constitute the substrate for neural plasticity. Inhibitory neurons represent the most complex and diverse group of neurons, showing distinct molecular and physiological characteristics and possessing a compelling ability to control the physiology of neural circuits. This review focuses on the aging of GABAergic neurons and synapses. Understanding how aging affects synapses of particular neuronal subpopulations may help explain the heterogeneity of aging-related effects. We reviewed the literature concerning the effects of aging on the numbers of GABAergic neurons and synapses as well as aging-related alterations in their presynaptic and postsynaptic components. Finally, we discussed the influence of those changes on the plasticity of the GABAergic system, highlighting our results concerning aging in mouse somatosensory cortex and linking them to plasticity impairments and brain disorders. We posit that aging-induced impairments of the GABAergic system lead to an inhibitory/excitatory imbalance, thereby decreasing neuron's ability to respond with plastic changes to environmental and cellular challenges, leaving the brain more vulnerable to cognitive decline and damage by synaptopathic diseases. © 2017 The Authors. Aging Cell published by the Anatomical Society and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  10. TFH-derived dopamine accelerates productive synapses in germinal centres.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Papa, Ilenia; Saliba, David; Ponzoni, Maurilio; Bustamante, Sonia; Canete, Pablo F; Gonzalez-Figueroa, Paula; McNamara, Hayley A; Valvo, Salvatore; Grimbaldeston, Michele; Sweet, Rebecca A; Vohra, Harpreet; Cockburn, Ian A; Meyer-Hermann, Michael; Dustin, Michael L; Doglioni, Claudio; Vinuesa, Carola G

    2017-07-20

    Protective high-affinity antibody responses depend on competitive selection of B cells carrying somatically mutated B-cell receptors by follicular helper T (T FH ) cells in germinal centres. The rapid T-B-cell interactions that occur during this process are reminiscent of neural synaptic transmission pathways. Here we show that a proportion of human T FH cells contain dense-core granules marked by chromogranin B, which are normally found in neuronal presynaptic terminals storing catecholamines such as dopamine. T FH cells produce high amounts of dopamine and release it upon cognate interaction with B cells. Dopamine causes rapid translocation of intracellular ICOSL (inducible T-cell co-stimulator ligand, also known as ICOSLG) to the B-cell surface, which enhances accumulation of CD40L and chromogranin B granules at the human T FH cell synapse and increases the synapse area. Mathematical modelling suggests that faster dopamine-induced T-B-cell interactions increase total germinal centre output and accelerate it by days. Delivery of neurotransmitters across the T-B-cell synapse may be advantageous in the face of infection.

  11. Remote tactile sensing system integrated with magnetic synapse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oh, Sunjong; Jung, Youngdo; Kim, Seonggi; Kim, SungJoon; Hu, Xinghao; Lim, Hyuneui; Kim, CheolGi

    2017-12-05

    Mechanoreceptors in a fingertip convert external tactile stimulations into electrical signals, which are transmitted by the nervous system through synaptic transmitters and then perceived by the brain with high accuracy and reliability. Inspired by the human synapse system, this paper reports a robust tactile sensing system consisting of a remote touch tip and a magnetic synapse. External pressure on the remote touch tip is transferred in the form of air pressure to the magnetic synapse, where its variation is converted into electrical signals. The developed system has high sensitivity and a wide dynamic range. The remote sensing system demonstrated tactile capabilities over wide pressure range with a minimum detectable pressure of 6 Pa. In addition, it could measure tactile stimulation up to 1,000 Hz without distortion and hysteresis, owing to the separation of the touching and sensing parts. The excellent performance of the system in terms of surface texture discrimination, heartbeat measurement from the human wrist, and satisfactory detection quality in water indicates that it has considerable potential for various mechanosensory applications in different environments.

  12. Directional Trans-Synaptic Labeling of Specific Neuronal Connections in Live Animals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Desbois, Muriel; Cook, Steven J; Emmons, Scott W; Bülow, Hannes E

    2015-07-01

    Understanding animal behavior and development requires visualization and analysis of their synaptic connectivity, but existing methods are laborious or may not depend on trans-synaptic interactions. Here we describe a transgenic approach for in vivo labeling of specific connections in Caenorhabditis elegans, which we term iBLINC. The method is based on BLINC (Biotin Labeling of INtercellular Contacts) and involves trans-synaptic enzymatic transfer of biotin by the Escherichia coli biotin ligase BirA onto an acceptor peptide. A BirA fusion with the presynaptic cell adhesion molecule NRX-1/neurexin is expressed presynaptically, whereas a fusion between the acceptor peptide and the postsynaptic protein NLG-1/neuroligin is expressed postsynaptically. The biotinylated acceptor peptide::NLG-1/neuroligin fusion is detected by a monomeric streptavidin::fluorescent protein fusion transgenically secreted into the extracellular space. Physical contact between neurons is insufficient to create a fluorescent signal, suggesting that synapse formation is required. The labeling approach appears to capture the directionality of synaptic connections, and quantitative analyses of synapse patterns display excellent concordance with electron micrograph reconstructions. Experiments using photoconvertible fluorescent proteins suggest that the method can be utilized for studies of protein dynamics at the synapse. Applying this technique, we find connectivity patterns of defined connections to vary across a population of wild-type animals. In aging animals, specific segments of synaptic connections are more susceptible to decline than others, consistent with dedicated mechanisms of synaptic maintenance. Collectively, we have developed an enzyme-based, trans-synaptic labeling method that allows high-resolution analyses of synaptic connectivity as well as protein dynamics at specific synapses of live animals. Copyright © 2015 by the Genetics Society of America.

  13. Thyroid hormone is required for pruning, functioning and long-term maintenance of afferent inner hair cell synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sundaresan, Srividya; Kong, Jee-Hyun; Fang, Qing; Salles, Felipe T; Wangsawihardja, Felix; Ricci, Anthony J; Mustapha, Mirna

    2016-01-01

    Functional maturation of afferent synaptic connections to inner hair cells (IHCs) involves pruning of excess synapses formed during development, as well as the strengthening and survival of the retained synapses. These events take place during the thyroid hormone (TH)-critical period of cochlear development, which is in the perinatal period for mice and in the third trimester for humans. Here, we used the hypothyroid Snell dwarf mouse (Pit1(dw)) as a model to study the role of TH in afferent type I synaptic refinement and functional maturation. We observed defects in afferent synaptic pruning and delays in calcium channel clustering in the IHCs of Pit1(dw) mice. Nevertheless, calcium currents and capacitance reached near normal levels in Pit1(dw) IHCs by the age of onset of hearing, despite the excess number of retained synapses. We restored normal synaptic pruning in Pit1(dw) IHCs by supplementing with TH from postnatal day (P)3 to P8, establishing this window as being critical for TH action on this process. Afferent terminals of older Pit1(dw) IHCs showed evidence of excitotoxic damage accompanied by a concomitant reduction in the levels of the glial glutamate transporter, GLAST. Our results indicate that a lack of TH during a critical period of inner ear development causes defects in pruning and long-term homeostatic maintenance of afferent synapses. © 2015 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  14. Learning Discloses Abnormal Structural and Functional Plasticity at Hippocampal Synapses in the APP23 Mouse Model of Alzheimer's Disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Middei, Silvia; Roberto, Anna; Berretta, Nicola; Panico, Maria Beatrice; Lista, Simone; Bernardi, Giorgio; Mercuri, Nicola B.; Ammassari-Teule, Martine; Nistico, Robert

    2010-01-01

    B6-Tg/Thy1APP23Sdz (APP23) mutant mice exhibit neurohistological hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease but show intact basal hippocampal neurotransmission and synaptic plasticity. Here, we examine whether spatial learning differently modifies the structural and electrophysiological properties of hippocampal synapses in APP23 and wild-type mice. While…

  15. Pushing synaptic vesicles over the RIM.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaeser, Pascal S

    2011-05-01

    In a presynaptic nerve terminal, neurotransmitter release is largely restricted to specialized sites called active zones. Active zones consist of a complex protein network, and they organize fusion of synaptic vesicles with the presynaptic plasma membrane in response to action potentials. Rab3-interacting molecules (RIMs) are central components of active zones. In a recent series of experiments, we have systematically dissected the molecular mechanisms by which RIMs operate in synaptic vesicle release. We found that RIMs execute two critical functions of active zones by virtue of independent protein domains. They tether presyanptic Ca(2+) channels to the active zone, and they activate priming of synaptic vesicles by monomerizing homodimeric, constitutively inactive Munc13. These data indicate that RIMs orchestrate synaptic vesicle release into a coherent process. In conjunction with previous studies, they suggest that RIMs form a molecular platform on which plasticity of synaptic vesicle release can operate.

  16. Reliability of signal transfer at a tonically transmitting, graded potential synapse of the locust ocellar pathway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simmons, Peter J; de Ruyter van Steveninck, Rob

    2005-08-17

    We assessed the performance of a synapse that transmits small, sustained, graded potentials between two classes of second-order ocellar "L-neurons" of the locust. We characterized the transmission of both fixed levels of membrane potential and fluctuating signals by recording postsynaptic responses to changes in presynaptic potential. To ensure repeatability between stimuli, we controlled presynaptic signals with a voltage clamp. We found that the synapse introduces noise above the level of background activity in the postsynaptic neuron. By driving the presynaptic neuron with slow-ramp changes in potential, we found that the number of discrete signal levels the synapse transmits is approximately 20. It can also transmit approximately 20 discrete levels when the presynaptic signal is a graded rebound spike. Synaptic noise level is constant over the operating range of the synapse, which would not be expected if presynaptic potential set the probability for the release of individual quanta of neurotransmitter according to Poisson statistics. Responses to individual quanta of neurotransmission could not be resolved, which is consistent with a synapse that operates with large numbers of vesicles evoking small responses. When challenged with white noise stimuli, the synapse can transmit information at rates up to 450 bits/s, a performance that is sufficient to transmit natural signals about changes in illumination.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Bi, Zedong; Zhou, Changsong

    2016-01-01

    Synapses may undergo variable changes during plasticity because of the variability of spike patterns such as temporal stochasticity and spatial randomness. Here, we call the variability of synaptic weight changes during plasticity to be efficacy variability. In this paper, we investigate how four aspects of spike pattern statistics (i.e., synchronous firing, burstiness/regularity, heterogeneity of rates and heterogeneity of cross-correlations) influence the efficacy variability under pair-wis...

  18. Synaptic Homeostasis and Restructuring across the Sleep-Wake Cycle.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wilfredo Blanco

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Sleep is critical for hippocampus-dependent memory consolidation. However, the underlying mechanisms of synaptic plasticity are poorly understood. The central controversy is on whether long-term potentiation (LTP takes a role during sleep and which would be its specific effect on memory. To address this question, we used immunohistochemistry to measure phosphorylation of Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (pCaMKIIα in the rat hippocampus immediately after specific sleep-wake states were interrupted. Control animals not exposed to novel objects during waking (WK showed stable pCaMKIIα levels across the sleep-wake cycle, but animals exposed to novel objects showed a decrease during subsequent slow-wave sleep (SWS followed by a rebound during rapid-eye-movement sleep (REM. The levels of pCaMKIIα during REM were proportional to cortical spindles near SWS/REM transitions. Based on these results, we modeled sleep-dependent LTP on a network of fully connected excitatory neurons fed with spikes recorded from the rat hippocampus across WK, SWS and REM. Sleep without LTP orderly rescaled synaptic weights to a narrow range of intermediate values. In contrast, LTP triggered near the SWS/REM transition led to marked swaps in synaptic weight ranking. To better understand the interaction between rescaling and restructuring during sleep, we implemented synaptic homeostasis and embossing in a detailed hippocampal-cortical model with both excitatory and inhibitory neurons. Synaptic homeostasis was implemented by weakening potentiation and strengthening depression, while synaptic embossing was simulated by evoking LTP on selected synapses. We observed that synaptic homeostasis facilitates controlled synaptic restructuring. The results imply a mechanism for a cognitive synergy between SWS and REM, and suggest that LTP at the SWS/REM transition critically influences the effect of sleep: Its lack determines synaptic homeostasis, its presence causes

  19. Stochastic lattice model of synaptic membrane protein domains

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-05-01

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

  20. Stochastic lattice model of synaptic membrane protein domains.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-05-01

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

  1. Activity-dependent transport of the transcriptional coactivator CRTC1 from synapse to nucleus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ch'ng, Toh Hean; Uzgil, Besim; Lin, Peter; Avliyakulov, Nuraly K; O'Dell, Thomas J; Martin, Kelsey C

    2012-07-06

    Long-lasting changes in synaptic efficacy, such as those underlying long-term memory, require transcription. Activity-dependent transport of synaptically localized transcriptional regulators provides a direct means of coupling synaptic stimulation with changes in transcription. The CREB-regulated transcriptional coactivator (CRTC1), which is required for long-term hippocampal plasticity, binds CREB to potently promote transcription. We show that CRTC1 localizes to synapses in silenced hippocampal neurons but translocates to the nucleus in response to localized synaptic stimulation. Regulated nuclear translocation occurs only in excitatory neurons and requires calcium influx and calcineurin activation. CRTC1 is controlled in a dual fashion with activity regulating CRTC1 nuclear translocation and cAMP modulating its persistence in the nucleus. Neuronal activity triggers a complex change in CRTC1 phosphorylation, suggesting that CRTC1 may link specific types of stimuli to specific changes in gene expression. Together, our results indicate that synapse-to-nuclear transport of CRTC1 dynamically informs the nucleus about synaptic activity. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Modulation of Central Synapses by Astrocyte-Released ATP and Postsynaptic P2X Receptors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pankratov, Yuriy

    2017-01-01

    Communication between neuronal and glial cells is important for neural plasticity. P2X receptors are ATP-gated cation channels widely expressed in the brain where they mediate action of extracellular ATP released by neurons and/or glia. Recent data show that postsynaptic P2X receptors underlie slow neuromodulatory actions rather than fast synaptic transmission at brain synapses. Here, we review these findings with a particular focus on the release of ATP by astrocytes and the diversity of postsynaptic P2X-mediated modulation of synaptic strength and plasticity in the CNS. PMID:28845311

  3. Modulation of Central Synapses by Astrocyte-Released ATP and Postsynaptic P2X Receptors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eric Boué-Grabot

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Communication between neuronal and glial cells is important for neural plasticity. P2X receptors are ATP-gated cation channels widely expressed in the brain where they mediate action of extracellular ATP released by neurons and/or glia. Recent data show that postsynaptic P2X receptors underlie slow neuromodulatory actions rather than fast synaptic transmission at brain synapses. Here, we review these findings with a particular focus on the release of ATP by astrocytes and the diversity of postsynaptic P2X-mediated modulation of synaptic strength and plasticity in the CNS.

  4. Synapse Pathology in Psychiatric and Neurologic Disease

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    M. van Spronsen (Myrrhe); C.C. Hoogenraad (Casper)

    2010-01-01

    textabstractInhibitory and excitatory synapses play a fundamental role in information processing in the brain. Excitatory synapses usually are situated on dendritic spines, small membrane protrusions that harbor glutamate receptors and postsynaptic density components and help transmit electrical

  5. Functional mapping of brain synapses by the enriching activity-marker SynaptoZip.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferro, Mattia; Lamanna, Jacopo; Ripamonti, Maddalena; Racchetti, Gabriella; Arena, Alessandro; Spadini, Sara; Montesano, Giovanni; Cortese, Riccardo; Zimarino, Vincenzo; Malgaroli, Antonio

    2017-10-31

    Ideally, elucidating the role of specific brain circuits in animal behavior would require the ability to measure activity at all involved synapses, possibly with unrestricted field of view, thus even at those boutons deeply located into the brain. Here, we introduce and validate an efficient scheme reporting synaptic vesicle cycling in vivo. This is based on SynaptoZip, a genetically encoded molecule deploying in the vesicular lumen a bait moiety designed to capture upon exocytosis a labeled alien peptide, Synbond. The resulting signal is cumulative and stores the number of cycling events occurring at individual synapses. Since this functional signal is enduring and measurable both online and ex post, SynaptoZip provides a unique method for the analysis of the history of synaptic activity in regions several millimeters below the brain surface. We show its broad applicability by reporting stimulus-evoked and spontaneous circuit activity in wide cortical fields, in anesthetized and freely moving animals.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-12-20

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhiqiang Liu

    2010-12-01

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

  9. The short- and long-term proteomic effects of sleep deprivation on the cortical and thalamic synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simor, Attila; Györffy, Balázs András; Gulyássy, Péter; Völgyi, Katalin; Tóth, Vilmos; Todorov, Mihail Ivilinov; Kis, Viktor; Borhegyi, Zsolt; Szabó, Zoltán; Janáky, Tamás; Drahos, László; Juhász, Gábor; Kékesi, Katalin Adrienna

    2017-03-01

    Acute total sleep deprivation (SD) impairs memory consolidation, attention, working memory and perception. Structural, electrophysiological and molecular experimental approaches provided evidences for the involvement of sleep in synaptic functions. Despite the wide scientific interest on the effects of sleep on the synapse, there is a lack of systematic investigation of sleep-related changes in the synaptic proteome. We isolated parietal cortical and thalamic synaptosomes of rats after 8h of total SD by gentle handling and 16h after the end of deprivation to investigate the short- and longer-term effects of SD on the synaptic proteome, respectively. The SD efficiency was verified by electrophysiology. Protein abundance alterations of the synaptosomes were analyzed by fluorescent two-dimensional differential gel electrophoresis and by tandem mass spectrometry. As several altered proteins were found to be involved in synaptic strength regulation, our data can support the synaptic homeostasis hypothesis function of sleep and highlight the long-term influence of SD after the recovery sleep period, mostly on cortical synapses. Furthermore, the large-scale and brain area-specific protein network change in the synapses may support both ideas of sleep-related synaptogenesis and molecular maintenance and reorganization in normal rat brain. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Temporal coding at the immature depolarizing GABAergic synapse

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guzel Valeeva

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available In the developing hippocampus, GABA exerts depolarizing and excitatory actions and contributes to the generation of neuronal network driven Giant Depolarizing Potentials (GDPs. Here, we studied spike time coding at immature GABAergic synapses and its impact on synchronization of the neuronal network during GDPs in the neonatal (postnatal days P2-6 rat hippocampal slices. Using extracellular recordings, we found that the delays of action potentials (APs evoked by synaptic activation of GABA(A receptors are long (mean, 65 ms and variable (within a time window of 10-200 ms. During patch-clamp recordings, depolarizing GABAergic responses were mainly subthreshold and their amplification by persistent sodium conductance was required to trigger APs. AP delays at GABAergic synapses shortened and their variability reduced with an increase in intracellular chloride concentration during whole-cell recordings. Negative shift of the GABA reversal potential (EGABA with low concentrations of bumetanide, or potentiation of GABA(A receptors with diazepam reduced GDPs amplitude, desynchronized neuronal firing during GDPs and slowed down GDPs propagation. Partial blockade of GABA(A receptors with bicuculline increased neuronal synchronization and accelerated GDPs propagation. We propose that spike-timing at depolarizing GABA synapses is determined by intracellular chloride concentration. At physiological levels of intracellular chloride GABAergic depolarization does not reach the action potential threshold and amplification of GABAergic responses by non-inactivating sodium conductance is required for postsynaptic AP initiation. Slow and variable excitation at GABAergic synapse determines the level of neuronal synchrony and the rate of GDPs propagation in the developing hippocampus.

  11. Heterogeneous Association of Alzheimer's Disease-Linked Amyloid-β and Amyloid-β Protein Precursor with Synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Willén, Katarina; Sroka, Agnieszka; Takahashi, Reisuke H; Gouras, Gunnar K

    2017-01-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is increasingly viewed as a disease of synapses. Loss of synapses correlates better with cognitive decline than amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles, the hallmark neuropathological lesions of AD. Soluble forms of amyloid-β (Aβ) have emerged as mediators of synapse dysfunction. Aβ binds to, accumulates, and aggregates in synapses. However, the anatomical and neurotransmitter specificity of Aβ and the amyloid-β protein precursor (AβPP) in AD remain poorly understood. In addition, the relative roles of Aβ and AβPP in the development of AD, at pre- versus post-synaptic compartments and axons versus dendrites, respectively, remain unclear. Here we use immunogold electron microscopy and confocal microscopy to provide evidence for heterogeneity in the localization of Aβ/AβPP. We demonstrate that Aβ binds to a subset of synapses in cultured neurons, with preferential binding to glutamatergic compared to GABAergic neurons. We also highlight the challenge of defining pre- versus post-synaptic localization of this binding by confocal microscopy. Further, endogenous Aβ42 accumulates in both glutamatergic and GABAergic AβPP/PS1 transgenic primary neurons, but at varying levels. Moreover, upon knock-out of presenilin 1 or inhibition of γ-secretase AβPP C-terminal fragments accumulate both pre- and post-synaptically; however earlier pre-synaptically, consistent with a higher rate of AβPP processing in axons. A better understanding of the synaptic and anatomical selectivity of Aβ/AβPP in AD can be important for the development of more effective new therapies for this major disease of aging.

  12. Heterogeneous Association of Alzheimer’s Disease-Linked Amyloid-β and Amyloid-β Protein Precursor with Synapses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Willén, Katarina; Sroka, Agnieszka; Takahashi, Reisuke H.; Gouras, Gunnar K.

    2017-01-01

    Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is increasingly viewed as a disease of synapses. Loss of synapses correlates better with cognitive decline than amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles, the hallmark neuropathological lesions of AD. Soluble forms of amyloid-β (Aβ) have emerged as mediators of synapse dysfunction. Aβ binds to, accumulates, and aggregates in synapses. However, the anatomical and neurotransmitter specificity of Aβ and the amyloid-β protein precursor (AβPP) in AD remain poorly understood. In addition, the relative roles of Aβ and AβPP in the development of AD, at pre- versus post-synaptic compartments and axons versus dendrites, respectively, remain unclear. Here we use immunogold electron microscopy and confocal microscopy to provide evidence for heterogeneity in the localization of Aβ/AβPP. We demonstrate that Aβ binds to a subset of synapses in cultured neurons, with preferential binding to glutamatergic compared to GABAergic neurons. We also highlight the challenge of defining pre- versus post-synaptic localization of this binding by confocal microscopy. Further, endogenous Aβ42 accumulates in both glutamatergic and GABAergic AβPP/PS1 transgenic primary neurons, but at varying levels. Moreover, upon knock-out of presenilin 1 or inhibition of γ-secretase AβPP C-terminal fragments accumulate both pre- and post-synaptically; however earlier pre-synaptically, consistent with a higher rate of AβPP processing in axons. A better understanding of the synaptic and anatomical selectivity of Aβ/AβPP in AD can be important for the development of more effective new therapies for this major disease of aging. PMID:28869466

  13. Accelerated intoxication of GABAergic synapses by botulinum neurotoxin A disinhibits stem cell-derived neuron networks prior to network silencing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Phillip H Beske

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs are extremely potent toxins that specifically cleave SNARE proteins in peripheral synapses, preventing neurotransmitter release. Neuronal responses to BoNT intoxication are traditionally studied by quantifying SNARE protein cleavage in vitro or monitoring physiological paralysis in vivo. Consequently, the dynamic effects of intoxication on synaptic behaviors are not well understood. We have reported that mouse embryonic stem cell-derived neurons (ESNs are highly sensitive to BoNT based on molecular readouts of intoxication. Here we study the time-dependent changes in synapse- and network-level behaviors following addition of BoNT/A to spontaneously active networks of glutamatergic and GABAergic ESNs. Whole-cell patch-clamp recordings indicated that BoNT/A rapidly blocked synaptic neurotransmission, confirming that ESNs replicate the functional pathophysiology responsible for clinical botulism. Quantitation of spontaneous neurotransmission in pharmacologically isolated synapses revealed accelerated silencing of GABAergic synapses compared to glutamatergic synapses, which was consistent with the selective accumulation of cleaved SNAP-25 at GAD1+ presynaptic terminals at early timepoints. Different latencies of intoxication resulted in complex network responses to BoNT/A addition, involving rapid disinhibition of stochastic firing followed by network silencing. Synaptic activity was found to be highly sensitive to SNAP-25 cleavage, reflecting the functional consequences of the localized cleavage of the small subpopulation of SNAP-25 that is engaged in neurotransmitter release in the nerve terminal. Collectively these findings illustrate that use of synaptic function assays in networked neurons cultures offers a novel and highly sensitive approach for mechanistic studies of toxin:neuron interactions and synaptic responses to BoNT.

  14. The Formation of Multi-synaptic Connections by the Interaction of Synaptic and Structural Plasticity and Their Functional Consequences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fauth, Michael; Wörgötter, Florentin; Tetzlaff, Christian

    2015-01-01

    Cortical connectivity emerges from the permanent interaction between neuronal activity and synaptic as well as structural plasticity. An important experimentally observed feature of this connectivity is the distribution of the number of synapses from one neuron to another, which has been measured in several cortical layers. All of these distributions are bimodal with one peak at zero and a second one at a small number (3–8) of synapses. In this study, using a probabilistic model of structural plasticity, which depends on the synaptic weights, we explore how these distributions can emerge and which functional consequences they have. We find that bimodal distributions arise generically from the interaction of structural plasticity with synaptic plasticity rules that fulfill the following biological realistic constraints: First, the synaptic weights have to grow with the postsynaptic activity. Second, this growth curve and/or the input-output relation of the postsynaptic neuron have to change sub-linearly (negative curvature). As most neurons show such input-output-relations, these constraints can be fulfilled by many biological reasonable systems. Given such a system, we show that the different activities, which can explain the layer-specific distributions, correspond to experimentally observed activities. Considering these activities as working point of the system and varying the pre- or postsynaptic stimulation reveals a hysteresis in the number of synapses. As a consequence of this, the connectivity between two neurons can be controlled by activity but is also safeguarded against overly fast changes. These results indicate that the complex dynamics between activity and plasticity will, already between a pair of neurons, induce a variety of possible stable synaptic distributions, which could support memory mechanisms. PMID:25590330

  15. Differentiated effect of ageing on the enzymes of Krebs' cycle, electron transfer complexes and glutamate metabolism of non-synaptic and intra-synaptic mitochondria from cerebral cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Villa, R F; Gorini, A; Hoyer, S

    2006-11-01

    The effect of ageing on the activity of enzymes linked to Krebs' cycle, electron transfer chain and glutamate metabolism was studied in three different types of mitochondria of cerebral cortex of 1-year old and 2-year old male Wistar rats. We assessed the maximum rate (V(max)) of the mitochondrial enzyme activities in non-synaptic perikaryal mitochondria, and in two populations of intra-synaptic mitochondria. The results indicated that: (i) in normal, steady-state cerebral cortex the values of the catalytic activities of the enzymes markedly differed in the various populations of mitochondria; (ii) in intra-synaptic mitochondria, ageing affected the catalytic properties of the enzymes linked to Krebs' cycle, electron transfer chain and glutamate metabolism; (iii) these changes were more evident in intra-synaptic "heavy" than "light" mitochondria. These results indicate a different age-related vulnerability of subpopulations of mitochondria in vivo located into synapses than non-synaptic ones.

  16. Effects of Trace Metal Profiles Characteristic for Autism on Synapses in Cultured Neurons

    OpenAIRE

    Hagmeyer, Simone; Mangus, Katharina; Boeckers, Tobias M.; Grabrucker, Andreas M.

    2015-01-01

    Various recent studies revealed that biometal dyshomeostasis plays a crucial role in the pathogenesis of neurological disorders such as autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Substantial evidence indicates that disrupted neuronal homeostasis of different metal ions such as Fe, Cu, Pb, Hg, Se, and Zn may mediate synaptic dysfunction and impair synapse formation and maturation. Here, we performed in vitro studies investigating the consequences of an imbalance of transition metals on glutamatergic syn...

  17. Differential regulation of spontaneous and evoked inhibitory synaptic transmission in somatosensory cortex by retinoic acid.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yee, Ada X; Chen, Lu

    2016-11-01

    Retinoic acid (RA), a developmental morphogen, has emerged in recent studies as a novel synaptic signaling molecule that acts in mature hippocampal neurons to modulate excitatory and inhibitory synaptic transmission in the context of homeostatic synaptic plasticity. However, it is unclear whether RA is capable of modulating neural circuits outside of the hippocampus, and if so, whether the mode of RA's action at synapses is similar to that within the hippocampal network. Here we explore for the first time RA's synaptic function outside the hippocampus and uncover a novel function of all-trans retinoic acid at inhibitory synapses. Acute RA treatment increases spontaneous inhibitory synaptic transmission in L2/3 pyramidal neurons of the somatosensory cortex, and this effect requires expression of RA's receptor RARα both pre- and post-synaptically. Intriguingly, RA does not seem to affect evoked inhibitory transmission assayed with either extracellular stimulation or direct activation of action potentials in presynaptic interneurons at connected pairs of interneurons and pyramidal neurons. Taken together, these results suggest that RA's action at synapses is not monotonous, but is diverse depending on the type of synaptic connection (excitatory versus inhibitory) and circuit (hippocampal versus cortical). Thus, synaptic signaling of RA may mediate multi-faceted regulation of synaptic plasticity. In addition to its classic roles in brain development, retinoic acid (RA) has recently been shown to regulate excitatory and inhibitory transmission in the adult brain. Here, the authors show that in layer 2/3 (L2/3) of the somatosensory cortex (S1), acute RA induces increases in spontaneous but not action-potential evoked transmission, and that this requires retinoic acid receptor (RARα) both in presynaptic PV-positive interneurons and postsynaptic pyramidal (PN) neurons. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  18. The role of neurexins and neuroligins in the formation, maturation, and function of vertebrate synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krueger, Dilja D; Tuffy, Liam P; Papadopoulos, Theofilos; Brose, Nils

    2012-06-01

    Neurexins (NXs) and neuroligins (NLs) are transsynaptically interacting cell adhesion proteins that play a key role in the formation, maturation, activity-dependent validation, and maintenance of synapses. As complex alternative splicing processes in nerve cells generate a large number of NX and NLs variants, it has been proposed that a combinatorial interaction code generated by these variants may determine synapse identity and network connectivity during brain development. The functional importance of NXs and NLs is exemplified by the fact that mutations in NX and NL genes are associated with several neuropsychiatric disorders, most notably with autism. Accordingly, major research efforts have focused on the molecular mechanisms by which NXs and NLs operate at synapses. In this review, we summarize recent progress in this field and discuss emerging topics, such as the role of alternative interaction partners of NXs and NLs in synapse formation and function, and their relevance for synaptic plasticity in the mature brain. The novel findings highlight the fundamental importance of NX-NL interactions in a wide range of synaptic functions. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. New players tip the scales in the balance between excitatory and inhibitory synapses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    El-Husseini Alaa

    2005-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Synaptogenesis is a highly controlled process, involving a vast array of players which include cell adhesion molecules, scaffolding and signaling proteins, neurotransmitter receptors and proteins associated with the synaptic vesicle machinery. These molecules cooperate in an intricate manner on both the pre- and postsynaptic sides to orchestrate the precise assembly of neuronal contacts. This is an amazing feat considering that a single neuron receives tens of thousands of synaptic inputs but virtually no mismatch between pre- and postsynaptic components occur in vivo. One crucial aspect of synapse formation is whether a nascent synapse will develop into an excitatory or inhibitory contact. The tight control of a balance between the types of synapses formed regulates the overall neuronal excitability, and is thus critical for normal brain function and plasticity. However, little is known about how this balance is achieved. This review discusses recent findings which provide clues to how neurons may control excitatory and inhibitory synapse formation, with focus on the involvement of the neuroligin family and PSD-95 in this process.

  20. Spatial distribution of excitatory synapses on the dendrites of ganglion cells in the mouse retina.

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    Yin-Peng Chen

    Full Text Available Excitatory glutamatergic inputs from bipolar cells affect the physiological properties of ganglion cells in the mammalian retina. The spatial distribution of these excitatory synapses on the dendrites of retinal ganglion cells thus may shape their distinct functions. To visualize the spatial pattern of excitatory glutamatergic input into the ganglion cells in the mouse retina, particle-mediated gene transfer of plasmids expressing postsynaptic density 95-green fluorescent fusion protein (PSD95-GFP was used to label the excitatory synapses. Despite wide variation in the size and morphology of the retinal ganglion cells, the expression of PSD95 puncta was found to follow two general rules. Firstly, the PSD95 puncta are regularly spaced, at 1-2 µm intervals, along the dendrites, whereby the presence of an excitatory synapse creates an exclusion zone that rules out the presence of other glutamatergic synaptic inputs. Secondly, the spatial distribution of PSD95 puncta on the dendrites of diverse retinal ganglion cells are similar in that the number of excitatory synapses appears to be less on primary dendrites and to increase to a plateau on higher branch order dendrites. These observations suggest that synaptogenesis is spatially regulated along the dendritic segments and that the number of synaptic contacts is relatively constant beyond the primary dendrites. Interestingly, we also found that the linear puncta density is slightly higher in large cells than in small cells. This may suggest that retinal ganglion cells with a large dendritic field tend to show an increased connectivity of excitatory synapses that makes up for their reduced dendrite density. Mapping the spatial distribution pattern of the excitatory synapses on retinal ganglion cells thus provides explicit structural information that is essential for our understanding of how excitatory glutamatergic inputs shape neuronal responses.

  1. The demise of the synapse as the locus of memory: A looming paradigm shift?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patrick C. Trettenbrein

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Synaptic plasticity is widely considered to be the neurobiological basis of learning and memory by neuroscientists and researchers in adjacent fields, though diverging opinions are increasingly being recognised. From the perspective of what we might call classical cognitive science it has always been understood that the mind/brain is to be considered a computational-representational system. Proponents of the information-processing approach to cognitive science have long been critical of connectionist or network approaches to (neuro-cognitive architecture, pointing to the shortcomings of the associative psychology that underlies Hebbian learning as well as to the fact that synapses are practically unfit to implement symbols. Recent work on memory has been adding fuel to the fire and current findings in neuroscience now provide first tentative neurobiological evidence for the cognitive scientists’ doubts about the synapse as the (sole locus of memory in the brain. This paper briefly considers the history and appeal of synaptic plasticity as a memory mechanism, followed by a summary of the cognitive scientists’ objections regarding these assertions. Next, a variety of tentative neuroscientific evidence that appears to substantiate questioning the idea of the synapse as the locus of memory is presented. On this basis, a novel way of thinking about the role of synaptic plasticity in learning and memory is proposed.

  2. Dysfunctional synapse in Alzheimer's disease - A focus on NMDA receptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mota, Sandra I; Ferreira, Ildete L; Rego, A Cristina

    2014-01-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most prevalent form of dementia in the elderly. Alterations capable of causing brain circuitry dysfunctions in AD may take several years to develop. Oligomeric amyloid-beta peptide (Aβ) plays a complex role in the molecular events that lead to progressive loss of function and eventually to neurodegeneration in this devastating disease. Moreover, N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors (NMDARs) activation has been recently implicated in AD-related synaptic dysfunction. Thus, in this review we focus on glutamatergic neurotransmission impairment and the changes in NMDAR regulation in AD, following the description on the role and location of NMDARs at pre- and post-synaptic sites under physiological conditions. In addition, considering that there is currently no effective ways to cure AD or stop its progression, we further discuss the relevance of NMDARs antagonists to prevent AD symptomatology. This review posits additional information on the role played by Aβ in AD and the importance of targeting the tripartite glutamatergic synapse in early asymptomatic and possible reversible stages of the disease through preventive and/or disease-modifying therapeutic strategies. This article is part of the Special Issue entitled 'The Synaptic Basis of Neurodegenerative Disorders'. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Synaptic maturation at cortical projections to the lateral amygdala in a mouse model of Rett syndrome.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frédéric Gambino

    Full Text Available Rett syndrome (RTT is a neuro-developmental disorder caused by loss of function of Mecp2--methyl-CpG-binding protein 2--an epigenetic factor controlling DNA transcription. In mice, removal of Mecp2 in the forebrain recapitulates most of behavioral deficits found in global Mecp2 deficient mice, including amygdala-related hyper-anxiety and lack of social interaction, pointing a role of Mecp2 in emotional learning. Yet very little is known about the establishment and maintenance of synaptic function in the adult amygdala and the role of Mecp2 in these processes. Here, we performed a longitudinal examination of synaptic properties at excitatory projections to principal cells of the lateral nucleus of the amygdala (LA in Mecp2 mutant mice and their wild-type littermates. We first show that during animal life, Cortico-LA projections switch from a tonic to a phasic mode, whereas Thalamo-LA synapses are phasic at all ages. In parallel, we observed a specific elimination of Cortico-LA synapses and a decrease in their ability of generating presynaptic long term potentiation. In absence of Mecp2, both synaptic maturation and synaptic elimination were exaggerated albeit still specific to cortical projections. Surprisingly, associative LTP was unaffected at Mecp2 deficient synapses suggesting that synaptic maintenance rather than activity-dependent synaptic learning may be causal in RTT physiopathology. Finally, because the timing of synaptic evolution was preserved, we propose that some of the developmental effects of Mecp2 may be exerted within an endogenous program and restricted to synapses which maturate during animal life.

  4. Synaptic Plasticity: Cleaved Kinases and the Specificity of Erasing Traumatic Memories.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abrams, Thomas W

    2017-09-25

    New possibilities for treating posttraumatic stress disorder and anxiety disorders involving abnormal memories are emerging from analysis of persistent protein kinase activation and mechanisms of synapse-specific modification, known as synaptic tagging. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Analysing the distribution of synaptic vesicles using a spatial point process model

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Khanmohammadi, Mahdieh; Waagepetersen, Rasmus; Nava, Nicoletta

    2014-01-01

    Stress can affect the brain functionality in many ways. As the synaptic vesicles have a major role in nervous signal transportation in synapses, their distribution in relationship to the active zone is very important in studying the neuron responses. We study the effect of stress on brain functio...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Keith B Godfrey

    2009-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-03-01

    It is generally accepted that complex memories are stored in distributed representations throughout the brain, however the mechanisms underlying these representations are not understood. Here, we review recent findings regarding the subcellular mechanisms implicated in memory formation, which provide evidence for a dendrite-centered theory of memory. Plasticity-related phenomena which affect synaptic properties, such as synaptic tagging and capture, synaptic clustering, branch strength potentiation and spinogenesis provide the foundation for a model of memory storage that relies heavily on processes operating at the dendrite level. The emerging picture suggests that clusters of functionally related synapses may serve as key computational and memory storage units in the brain. We discuss both experimental evidence and theoretical models that support this hypothesis and explore its advantages for neuronal function. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Synaptic proteins and receptors defects in autism spectrum disorders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jianling eChen

    2014-09-01

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

  10. Modulation of Synaptic Plasticity by Glutamatergic Gliotransmission: A Modeling Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Pittà, Maurizio; Brunel, Nicolas

    2016-01-01

    Glutamatergic gliotransmission, that is, the release of glutamate from perisynaptic astrocyte processes in an activity-dependent manner, has emerged as a potentially crucial signaling pathway for regulation of synaptic plasticity, yet its modes of expression and function in vivo remain unclear. Here, we focus on two experimentally well-identified gliotransmitter pathways, (i) modulations of synaptic release and (ii) postsynaptic slow inward currents mediated by glutamate released from astrocytes, and investigate their possible functional relevance on synaptic plasticity in a biophysical model of an astrocyte-regulated synapse. Our model predicts that both pathways could profoundly affect both short- and long-term plasticity. In particular, activity-dependent glutamate release from astrocytes could dramatically change spike-timing-dependent plasticity, turning potentiation into depression (and vice versa) for the same induction protocol. PMID:27195153

  11. Ribbon Synaptic Plasticity in Gravity Sensors of Rats Flown on Neurolab

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ross, Muriel D.; Varelas, Joseph

    2003-01-01

    Previous spaceflight experiments (Space Life Sciences-1 and -2 (SLS-1 and SLS-2)) first demonstrated the extraordinary ability of gravity sensor hair cells to change the number, kind, and distribution of connections (synapses) they make to other cells while in weightlessness. The number of synapses in hair cells in one part of the inner ear (the utricle) was markedly elevated on flight day 13 (FD13) of SLS-2. Unanswered questions, however, were whether these increases in synapses occur rapidly and whether they remain stable in weightlessness. The answers have implications for long-duration human space travel. If gravity sensors can adapt quickly, crews may be able to move easily between different gravity levels, since the sensors will adapt rapidly to weightlessness on the spacecraft and then back to Earth's gravity when the mission ends. This ability to adapt is also important for recovery from balance disorders. To further our understanding of this adaptive potential (a property called neuronal synaptic plasticity), the present Neurolab research was undertaken. Our experiment examined whether: (a) increases in synapses would remain stable throughout the flight, (b) changes in the number of synapses were uniform across different portions of the gravity sensors (the utricle and saccule), and (c) synaptic changes were similar for the different types of hair cells (Type I and Type II). Utricular and saccular maculae (the gravity-sensing portions of the inner ear) were collected in flight from rats on FD2 and FD14. Samples were also collected from control rats on the ground. Tissues were prepared for ultrastructural study. Hair cells and their ribbon synapses were examined in a transmission electron microscope. Synapses were counted in all hair cells in 50 consecutive sections that crossed the striolar zone. Results indicate that utricular hair cell synapses initially increased significantly in number in both types of hair cells by FD2. Counts declined by FD14, but

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  13. Cerebellar Synaptic Plasticity and the Credit Assignment Problem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jörntell, Henrik

    2016-04-01

    The mechanism by which a learnt synaptic weight change can contribute to learning or adaptation of brain function is a type of credit assignment problem, which is a key issue for many parts of the brain. In the cerebellum, detailed knowledge not only of the local circuitry connectivity but also of the topography of different sources of afferent/external information makes this problem particularly tractable. In addition, multiple forms of synaptic plasticity and their general rules of induction have been identified. In this review, we will discuss the possible roles of synaptic and cellular plasticity at specific locations in contributing to behavioral changes. Focus will be on the parts of the cerebellum that are devoted to limb control, which constitute a large proportion of the cortex and where the knowledge of the external connectivity is particularly well known. From this perspective, a number of sites of synaptic plasticity appear to primarily have the function of balancing the overall level of activity in the cerebellar circuitry, whereas the locations at which synaptic plasticity leads to functional changes in terms of limb control are more limited. Specifically, the postsynaptic forms of long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD) at the parallel fiber synapses made on interneurons and Purkinje cells, respectively, are the types of plasticity that mediate the widest associative capacity and the tightest link between the synaptic change and the external functions that are to be controlled.

  14. Quantitative 3D Ultrastructure of Thalamocortical Synapses from the "Lemniscal" Ventral Posteromedial Nucleus in Mouse Barrel Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodriguez-Moreno, Javier; Rollenhagen, Astrid; Arlandis, Jaime; Santuy, Andrea; Merchan-Pérez, Angel; DeFelipe, Javier; Lübke, Joachim H R; Clasca, Francisco

    2017-07-28

    Thalamocortical synapses from "lemniscal" neurons of the dorsomedial portion of the rodent ventral posteromedial nucleus (VPMdm) are able to induce with remarkable efficacy, despite their relative low numbers, the firing of primary somatosensory cortex (S1) layer 4 (L4) neurons. To which extent this high efficacy depends on structural synaptic features remains unclear. Using both serial transmission (TEM) and focused ion beam milling scanning electron microscopy (FIB/SEM), we 3D-reconstructed and quantitatively analyzed anterogradely labeled VPMdm axons in L4 of adult mouse S1. All VPMdm synapses are asymmetric. Virtually all are established by axonal boutons, 53% of which contact multiple (2-4) elements (overall synapse/bouton ratio = 1.6). Most boutons are large (mean 0.47 μm3), and contain 1-3 mitochondria. Vesicle pools and postsynaptic density (PSD) surface areas are large compared to others in rodent cortex. Most PSDs are complex. Most synapses (83%) are established on dendritic spine heads. Furthermore, 15% of the postsynaptic spines receive a second, symmetric synapse. In addition, 13% of the spine heads have a large protrusion inserted into a membrane pouch of the VPMdm bouton. The unusual combination of structural features in VPMdm synapses is likely to contribute significantly to the high efficacy, strength, and plasticity of these thalamocortical synapses. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  15. Synaptic ultrastructure changes in trigeminocervical complex posttrigeminal nerve injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, John; Trinh, Van Nancy; Sears-Kraxberger, Ilse; Li, Kang-Wu; Steward, Oswald; Luo, Z David

    2016-02-01

    Trigeminal nerves collecting sensory information from the orofacial area synapse on second-order neurons in the dorsal horn of subnucleus caudalis and cervical C1/C2 spinal cord (Vc/C2, or trigeminocervical complex), which is critical for sensory information processing. Injury to the trigeminal nerves may cause maladaptive changes in synaptic connectivity that plays an important role in chronic pain development. Here we examined whether injury to the infraorbital nerve, a branch of the trigeminal nerves, led to synaptic ultrastructural changes when the injured animals have developed neuropathic pain states. Transmission electron microscopy was used to examine synaptic profiles in Vc/C2 at 3 weeks postinjury, corresponding to the time of peak behavioral hypersensitivity following chronic constriction injury to the infraorbital nerve (CCI-ION). Using established criteria, synaptic profiles were classified as associated with excitatory (R-), inhibitory (F-), and primary afferent (C-) terminals. Each type was counted within the superficial dorsal horn of the Vc/C2 and the means from each rat were compared between sham and injured animals; synaptic contact length was also measured. The overall analysis indicates that rats with orofacial pain states had increased numbers and decreased mean synaptic length of R-profiles within the Vc/C2 superficial dorsal horn (lamina I) 3 weeks post-CCI-ION. Increases in the number of excitatory synapses in the superficial dorsal horn of Vc/C2 could lead to enhanced activation of nociceptive pathways, contributing to the development of orofacial pain states. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  16. Phosphorylation of AMPA receptors is required for sensory deprivation-induced homeostatic synaptic plasticity.

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    Anubhuti Goel

    Full Text Available Sensory experience, and the lack thereof, can alter the function of excitatory synapses in the primary sensory cortices. Recent evidence suggests that changes in sensory experience can regulate the synaptic level of Ca(2+-permeable AMPA receptors (CP-AMPARs. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying such a process have not been determined. We found that binocular visual deprivation, which is a well-established in vivo model to produce multiplicative synaptic scaling in visual cortex of juvenile rodents, is accompanied by an increase in the phosphorylation of AMPAR GluR1 (or GluA1 subunit at the serine 845 (S845 site and the appearance of CP-AMPARs at synapses. To address the role of GluR1-S845 in visual deprivation-induced homeostatic synaptic plasticity, we used mice lacking key phosphorylation sites on the GluR1 subunit. We found that mice specifically lacking the GluR1-S845 site (GluR1-S845A mutants, which is a substrate of cAMP-dependent kinase (PKA, show abnormal basal excitatory synaptic transmission and lack visual deprivation-induced homeostatic synaptic plasticity. We also found evidence that increasing GluR1-S845 phosphorylation alone is not sufficient to produce normal multiplicative synaptic scaling. Our study provides concrete evidence that a GluR1 dependent mechanism, especially S845 phosphorylation, is a necessary pre-requisite step for in vivo homeostatic synaptic plasticity.

  17. Phosphorylation of AMPA receptors is required for sensory deprivation-induced homeostatic synaptic plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goel, Anubhuti; Xu, Linda W; Snyder, Kevin P; Song, Lihua; Goenaga-Vazquez, Yamila; Megill, Andrea; Takamiya, Kogo; Huganir, Richard L; Lee, Hey-Kyoung

    2011-03-31

    Sensory experience, and the lack thereof, can alter the function of excitatory synapses in the primary sensory cortices. Recent evidence suggests that changes in sensory experience can regulate the synaptic level of Ca(2+)-permeable AMPA receptors (CP-AMPARs). However, the molecular mechanisms underlying such a process have not been determined. We found that binocular visual deprivation, which is a well-established in vivo model to produce multiplicative synaptic scaling in visual cortex of juvenile rodents, is accompanied by an increase in the phosphorylation of AMPAR GluR1 (or GluA1) subunit at the serine 845 (S845) site and the appearance of CP-AMPARs at synapses. To address the role of GluR1-S845 in visual deprivation-induced homeostatic synaptic plasticity, we used mice lacking key phosphorylation sites on the GluR1 subunit. We found that mice specifically lacking the GluR1-S845 site (GluR1-S845A mutants), which is a substrate of cAMP-dependent kinase (PKA), show abnormal basal excitatory synaptic transmission and lack visual deprivation-induced homeostatic synaptic plasticity. We also found evidence that increasing GluR1-S845 phosphorylation alone is not sufficient to produce normal multiplicative synaptic scaling. Our study provides concrete evidence that a GluR1 dependent mechanism, especially S845 phosphorylation, is a necessary pre-requisite step for in vivo homeostatic synaptic plasticity.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jason Tait Sanchez Quinones

    2015-01-01

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

  19. Mitochondria and Synaptic Plasticity in the Mature and Aging Nervous System.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Todorova, Vyara; Blokland, Arjan

    2017-01-01

    Synaptic plasticity in the adult brain is believed to represent the cellular mechanisms of learning and memory. Mitochondria are involved in the regulation of the complex processes of synaptic plasticity. This paper reviews the current knowledge on the regulatory roles of mitochondria in the function and plasticity of synapses and the implications of mitochondrial dysfunctions in synaptic transmission. First, the importance of mitochondrial distribution and motility for maintenance and strengthening of dendritic spines, but also for new spines/synapses formation is presented. Secondly, the major mitochondrial functions as energy supplier and calcium buffer organelles are considered as possible explanation for their essential and regulatory roles in neuronal plasticity processes. Thirdly, the effects of synaptic potentiation on mitochondrial gene expression are discussed. And finally, the relation between age-related alterations in synaptic plasticity and mitochondrial dysfunctions is considered. It appears that memory loss and neurodegeneration during aging are related to mitochondrial (dys)function. Although, it is clear that mitochondria are essential for synaptic plasticity, further studies are indicated to scrutinize the intracellular and molecular processes that regulate the functions of mitochondria in synaptic plasticity.

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

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    Runchun Mark Wang

    2015-05-01

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

  1. Adenosine A2A Receptors Control Glutamatergic Synaptic Plasticity in Fast Spiking Interneurons of the Prefrontal Cortex

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    Amber Kerkhofs

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Adenosine A2A receptors (A2AR are activated upon increased synaptic activity to assist in the implementation of long-term plastic changes at synapses. While it is reported that A2AR are involved in the control of prefrontal cortex (PFC-dependent behavior such as working memory, reversal learning and effort-based decision making, it is not known whether A2AR control glutamatergic synapse plasticity within the medial PFC (mPFC. To elucidate that, we tested whether A2AR blockade affects long-term plasticity (LTP of excitatory post-synaptic potentials in pyramidal neurons and fast spiking (FS interneurons in layer 5 of the mPFC and of population spikes. Our results show that A2AR are enriched at mPFC synapses, where their blockade reversed the direction of plasticity at excitatory synapses onto layer 5 FS interneurons from LTP to long-term depression, while their blockade had no effect on the induction of LTP at excitatory synapses onto layer 5 pyramidal neurons. At the network level, extracellularly induced LTP of population spikes was reduced by A2AR blockade. The interneuron-specificity of A2AR in controlling glutamatergic synapse LTP may ensure that during periods of high synaptic activity, a proper excitation/inhibition balance is maintained within the mPFC.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chih-Chieh Wang

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

  3. Cryo–electron tomography reveals a critical role of RIM1α in synaptic vesicle tethering

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernández-Busnadiego, Rubén; Asano, Shoh; Oprisoreanu, Ana-Maria; Sakata, Eri; Doengi, Michael; Kochovski, Zdravko; Zürner, Magdalena; Stein, Valentin; Schoch, Susanne; Baumeister, Wolfgang

    2013-01-01

    Synaptic vesicles are embedded in a complex filamentous network at the presynaptic terminal. Before fusion, vesicles are linked to the active zone (AZ) by short filaments (tethers). The identity of the molecules that form and regulate tethers remains unknown, but Rab3-interacting molecule (RIM) is a prominent candidate, given its central role in AZ organization. In this paper, we analyzed presynaptic architecture of RIM1α knockout (KO) mice by cryo–electron tomography. In stark contrast to previous work on dehydrated, chemically fixed samples, our data show significant alterations in vesicle distribution and AZ tethering that could provide a structural basis for the functional deficits of RIM1α KO synapses. Proteasome inhibition reversed these structural defects, suggesting a functional recovery confirmed by electrophysiological recordings. Altogether, our results not only point to the ubiquitin–proteasome system as an important regulator of presynaptic architecture and function but also show that the tethering machinery plays a critical role in exocytosis, converging into a structural model of synaptic vesicle priming by RIM1α. PMID:23712261

  4. Cryo-electron tomography reveals a critical role of RIM1α in synaptic vesicle tethering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernández-Busnadiego, Rubén; Asano, Shoh; Oprisoreanu, Ana-Maria; Sakata, Eri; Doengi, Michael; Kochovski, Zdravko; Zürner, Magdalena; Stein, Valentin; Schoch, Susanne; Baumeister, Wolfgang; Lucić, Vladan

    2013-05-27

    Synaptic vesicles are embedded in a complex filamentous network at the presynaptic terminal. Before fusion, vesicles are linked to the active zone (AZ) by short filaments (tethers). The identity of the molecules that form and regulate tethers remains unknown, but Rab3-interacting molecule (RIM) is a prominent candidate, given its central role in AZ organization. In this paper, we analyzed presynaptic architecture of RIM1α knockout (KO) mice by cryo-electron tomography. In stark contrast to previous work on dehydrated, chemically fixed samples, our data show significant alterations in vesicle distribution and AZ tethering that could provide a structural basis for the functional deficits of RIM1α KO synapses. Proteasome inhibition reversed these structural defects, suggesting a functional recovery confirmed by electrophysiological recordings. Altogether, our results not only point to the ubiquitin-proteasome system as an important regulator of presynaptic architecture and function but also show that the tethering machinery plays a critical role in exocytosis, converging into a structural model of synaptic vesicle priming by RIM1α.

  5. Fasudil, a Clinically Used ROCK Inhibitor, Stabilizes Rod Photoreceptor Synapses after Retinal Detachment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Townes-Anderson, Ellen; Wang, Jianfeng; Halász, Éva; Sugino, Ilene; Pitler, Amy; Whitehead, Ian; Zarbin, Marco

    2017-06-01

    Retinal detachment disrupts the rod-bipolar synapse in the outer plexiform layer by retraction of rod axons. We showed that breakage is due to RhoA activation whereas inhibition of Rho kinase (ROCK), using Y27632, reduces synaptic damage. We test whether the ROCK inhibitor fasudil, used for other clinical applications, can prevent synaptic injury after detachment. Detachments were made in pigs by subretinal injection of balanced salt solution (BSS) or fasudil (1, 10 mM). In some animals, fasudil was injected intravitreally after BSS-induced detachment. After 2 to 4 hours, retinae were fixed for immunocytochemistry and confocal microscopy. Axon retraction was quantified by imaging synaptic vesicle label in the outer nuclear layer. Apoptosis was analyzed using propidium iodide staining. For biochemical analysis by Western blotting, retinal explants, detached from retinal pigmented epithelium, were cultured for 2 hours. Subretinal injection of fasudil (10 mM) reduced retraction of rod spherules by 51.3% compared to control detachments ( n = 3 pigs, P = 0.002). Intravitreal injection of 10 mM fasudil, a more clinically feasible route of administration, also reduced retraction (28.7%, n = 5, P ROCK, was decreased with 30 μM fasudil ( n = 8-10 explants, P ROCK signaling with fasudil reduced photoreceptor degeneration and preserved the rod-bipolar synapse after retinal detachment. These results support the possibility, previously tested with Y27632, that ROCK inhibition may attenuate synaptic damage in iatrogenic detachments.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  7. SynDIG4/Prrt1 Is Required for Excitatory Synapse Development and Plasticity Underlying Cognitive Function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lucas Matt

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Altering AMPA receptor (AMPAR content at synapses is a key mechanism underlying the regulation of synaptic strength during learning and memory. Previous work demonstrated that SynDIG1 (synapse differentiation-induced gene 1 encodes a transmembrane AMPAR-associated protein that regulates excitatory synapse strength and number. Here we show that the related protein SynDIG4 (also known as Prrt1 modifies AMPAR gating properties in a subunit-dependent manner. Young SynDIG4 knockout (KO mice have weaker excitatory synapses, as evaluated by immunocytochemistry and electrophysiology. Adult SynDIG4 KO mice show complete loss of tetanus-induced long-term potentiation (LTP, while mEPSC amplitude is reduced by only 25%. Furthermore, SynDIG4 KO mice exhibit deficits in two independent cognitive assays. Given that SynDIG4 colocalizes with the AMPAR subunit GluA1 at non-synaptic sites, we propose that SynDIG4 maintains a pool of extrasynaptic AMPARs necessary for synapse development and function underlying higher-order cognitive plasticity.

  8. The artificial synapse chip: From proteins to prostheses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peterman, Mark Charles

    channel recordings from the staphylococcal protein pore alpha-hemolysin. The Artificial Synapse Chip is a platform for investigating a variety of biological systems. Using this device, we have studied membrane-bound proteins and developed a prototype interface for retinal prostheses. While this is only a proof of concept for a retinal prosthetic interface, it is a significant step towards mimicking neurotransmitter release during synaptic transmission.

  9. Quantifying Repetitive Transmission at Chemical Synapses: A Generative-Model Approach123

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barri, Alessandro; Wang, Yun; Hansel, David

    2016-01-01

    Abstract The dependence of the synaptic responses on the history of activation and their large variability are both distinctive features of repetitive transmission at chemical synapses. Quantitative investigations have mostly focused on trial-averaged responses to characterize dynamic aspects of the transmission—thus disregarding variability—or on the fluctuations of the responses in steady conditions to characterize variability—thus disregarding dynamics. We present a statistically principled framework to quantify the dynamics of the probability distribution of synaptic responses under arbitrary patterns of activation. This is achieved by constructing a generative model of repetitive transmission, which includes an explicit description of the sources of stochasticity present in the process. The underlying parameters are then selected via an expectation-maximization algorithm that is exact for a large class of models of synaptic transmission, so as to maximize the likelihood of the observed responses. The method exploits the information contained in the correlation between responses to produce highly accurate estimates of both quantal and dynamic parameters from the same recordings. The method also provides important conceptual and technical advances over existing state-of-the-art techniques. In particular, the repetition of the same stimulation in identical conditions becomes unnecessary. This paves the way to the design of optimal protocols to estimate synaptic parameters, to the quantitative comparison of synaptic models over benchmark datasets, and, most importantly, to the study of repetitive transmission under physiologically relevant patterns of synaptic activation. PMID:27200414

  10. Quantifying Repetitive Transmission at Chemical Synapses: A Generative-Model Approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barri, Alessandro; Wang, Yun; Hansel, David; Mongillo, Gianluigi

    2016-01-01

    The dependence of the synaptic responses on the history of activation and their large variability are both distinctive features of repetitive transmission at chemical synapses. Quantitative investigations have mostly focused on trial-averaged responses to characterize dynamic aspects of the transmission--thus disregarding variability--or on the fluctuations of the responses in steady conditions to characterize variability--thus disregarding dynamics. We present a statistically principled framework to quantify the dynamics of the probability distribution of synaptic responses under arbitrary patterns of activation. This is achieved by constructing a generative model of repetitive transmission, which includes an explicit description of the sources of stochasticity present in the process. The underlying parameters are then selected via an expectation-maximization algorithm that is exact for a large class of models of synaptic transmission, so as to maximize the likelihood of the observed responses. The method exploits the information contained in the correlation between responses to produce highly accurate estimates of both quantal and dynamic parameters from the same recordings. The method also provides important conceptual and technical advances over existing state-of-the-art techniques. In particular, the repetition of the same stimulation in identical conditions becomes unnecessary. This paves the way to the design of optimal protocols to estimate synaptic parameters, to the quantitative comparison of synaptic models over benchmark datasets, and, most importantly, to the study of repetitive transmission under physiologically relevant patterns of synaptic activation.

  11. Hyperconnectivity and slow synapses during early development of medial prefrontal cortex in a mouse model for mental retardation and autism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Testa-Silva, Guilherme; Loebel, Alex; Giugliano, Michele; de Kock, Christiaan P J; Mansvelder, Huibert D; Meredith, Rhiannon M

    2012-06-01

    Neuronal theories of neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs) of autism and mental retardation propose that abnormal connectivity underlies deficits in attentional processing. We tested this theory by studying unitary synaptic connections between layer 5 pyramidal neurons within medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) networks in the Fmr1-KO mouse model for mental retardation and autism. In line with predictions from neurocognitive theory, we found that neighboring pyramidal neurons were hyperconnected during a critical period in early mPFC development. Surprisingly, excitatory synaptic connections between Fmr1-KO pyramidal neurons were significantly slower and failed to recover from short-term depression as quickly as wild type (WT) synapses. By 4-5 weeks of mPFC development, connectivity rates were identical for both KO and WT pyramidal neurons and synapse dynamics changed from depressing to facilitating responses with similar properties in both groups. We propose that the early alteration in connectivity and synaptic recovery are tightly linked: using a network model, we show that slower synapses are essential to counterbalance hyperconnectivity in order to maintain a dynamic range of excitatory activity. However, the slow synaptic time constants induce decreased responsiveness to low-frequency stimulation, which may explain deficits in integration and early information processing in attentional neuronal networks in NDDs.

  12. Rate dynamics of leaky integrate-and-fire neurons with strong synapses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eilen Nordlie

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Firing-rate models provide a practical tool for studying the dynamics of trial- or population-averaged neuronal signals. A wealth of theoretical and experimental studies has been dedicated to the derivation or extraction of such models by investigating the firing-rate response characteristics of ensembles of neurons. The majority of these studies assumes that neurons receive input spikes at a high rate through weak synapses (diffusion approximation. For many biological neural systems, however, this assumption cannot be justified. So far, it is unclear how time-varying presynaptic firing rates are transmitted by a population of neurons if the diffusion assumption is dropped. Here, we numerically investigate the stationary and non-stationary firing-rate response properties of leaky integrate-and-fire (LIF neurons receiving input spikes through excitatory synapses with alpha-function shaped postsynaptic currents for strong synaptic weights. Input spike trains are modelled by inhomogeneous Poisson point-processes with sinusoidal rate. Average rates, modulation amplitudes and phases of the period-averaged spike responses are measured for a broad range of stimulus, synapse and neuron parameters. Across wide parameter regions, the resulting transfer functions can be approximated by a linear 1st-order low-pass filter. Below a critical synaptic weight, the cutoff frequencies are approximately constant and determined by the synaptic time constants. Only for synapses with unrealistically strong weights are the cutoff frequencies significantly increased. To account for stimuli with larger modulation depths, we combine the measured linear transfer function with the nonlinear response characteristics obtained for stationary inputs. The resulting linear-nonlinear model accurately predicts the population response for a variety of non-sinusoidal stimuli.

  13. Facial stimulation induces long-term depression at cerebellar molecular layer interneuron–Purkinje cell synapses in vivo in mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    De-Lai eQiu

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Cerebellar long-term synaptic plasticity has been proposed to provide a cellular mechanism for motor learning. Numerous studies have demonstrated the induction and mechanisms of synaptic plasticity at parallel fiber–Purkinje cell (PF–PC, parallel fiber–molecular layer interneurons (PF–MLI and mossy fiber–granule cell (MF–GC synapses, but no study has investigated sensory stimulation-evoked synaptic plasticity at MLI–PC synapses in the cerebellar cortex of living animals. We studied the expression and mechanism of MLI–PC GABAergic synaptic plasticity induced by a train of facial stimulation in urethane-anesthetized mice by cell-attached recordings and pharmacological methods. We found that 1 Hz, but not a 2 Hz or 4 Hz, facial stimulation induced a long-term depression (LTD of GABAergic transmission at MLI–PC synapses, which was accompanied with a decrease in the stimulation-evoked pause of spike firing in PCs, but did not induce a significant change in the properties of the sensory-evoked spike events of MLIs. The MLI–PC GABAergic LTD could be prevented by blocking cannabinoid type 1 (CB1 receptors, and could be pharmacologically induced by a CB1 receptor agonist. Additionally, 1 Hz facial stimulation delivered in the presence of a metabotropic glutamate receptor 1 (mGluR1 antagonist, JNJ16259685, still induced the MLI–PC GABAergic LTD, whereas blocking N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA receptors during 1 Hz facial stimulation abolished the expression of MLI–PC GABAergic LTD. These results indicate that sensory stimulation can induce an endocannabinoid (eCB-dependent LTD of GABAergic transmission at MLI–PC synapses via activation of NMDA receptors in cerebellar cortical Crus II in vivo in mice. Our results suggest that the sensory stimulation-evoked MLI–PC GABAergic synaptic plasticity may play a critical role in motor learning in animals.

  14. Reduced cortical distribution volume of iodine-123 iomazenil in Alzheimer's disease as a measure of loss of synapses

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Soricelli, A; Postiglione, A; Grivet-Fojaja, M R

    1996-01-01

    indiscriminately to affect all cortical neurons, albeit more so in some areas than in others. In this pilot study we measured Vd in six patients with probable AD and in five age-matched controls using a brain-dedicated single-photon emission tomography scanner allowing all cortical levels to be sampled......Iodine-123 labelled iomazenil (IMZ) is a specific tracer for the GABAA receptor, the dominant inhibitory synapse of the brain. The cerebral distribution volume (Vd) of IMZ may be taken as a quantitative measure of these synapses in Alzheimer's disease (AD), where synaptic loss tends...

  15. Independent origins of neurons and synapses: insights from ctenophores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moroz, Leonid L; Kohn, Andrea B

    2016-01-05

    There is more than one way to develop neuronal complexity, and animals frequently use different molecular toolkits to achieve similar functional outcomes. Genomics and metabolomics data from basal metazoans suggest that neural signalling evolved independently in ctenophores and cnidarians/bilaterians. This polygenesis hypothesis explains the lack of pan-neuronal and pan-synaptic genes across metazoans, including remarkable examples of lineage-specific evolution of neurogenic and signalling molecules as well as synaptic components. Sponges and placozoans are two lineages without neural and muscular systems. The possibility of secondary loss of neurons and synapses in the Porifera/Placozoa clades is a highly unlikely and less parsimonious scenario. We conclude that acetylcholine, serotonin, histamine, dopamine, octopamine and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) were recruited as transmitters in the neural systems in cnidarian and bilaterian lineages. By contrast, ctenophores independently evolved numerous secretory peptides, indicating extensive adaptations within the clade and suggesting that early neural systems might be peptidergic. Comparative analysis of glutamate signalling also shows numerous lineage-specific innovations, implying the extensive use of this ubiquitous metabolite and intercellular messenger over the course of convergent and parallel evolution of mechanisms of intercellular communication. Therefore: (i) we view a neuron as a functional character but not a genetic character, and (ii) any given neural system cannot be considered as a single character because it is composed of different cell lineages with distinct genealogies, origins and evolutionary histories. Thus, when reconstructing the evolution of nervous systems, we ought to start with the identification of particular cell lineages by establishing distant neural homologies or examples of convergent evolution. In a corollary of the hypothesis of the independent origins of neurons, our analyses

  16. Sequences Flanking the Gephyrin-Binding Site of GlyRβ Tune Receptor Stabilization at Synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grünewald, Nora; Jan, Audric; Salvatico, Charlotte; Kress, Vanessa; Renner, Marianne; Triller, Antoine; Specht, Christian G; Schwarz, Guenter

    2018-01-01

    The efficacy of synaptic transmission is determined by the number of neurotransmitter receptors at synapses. Their recruitment depends upon the availability of postsynaptic scaffolding molecules that interact with specific binding sequences of the receptor. At inhibitory synapses, gephyrin is the major scaffold protein that mediates the accumulation of heteromeric glycine receptors (GlyRs) via the cytoplasmic loop in the β-subunit (β-loop). This binding involves high- and low-affinity interactions, but the molecular mechanism of this bimodal binding and its implication in GlyR stabilization at synapses remain unknown. We have approached this question using a combination of quantitative biochemical tools and high-density single molecule tracking in cultured rat spinal cord neurons. The high-affinity binding site could be identified and was shown to rely on the formation of a 3 10 -helix C-terminal to the β-loop core gephyrin-binding motif. This site plays a structural role in shaping the core motif and represents the major contributor to the synaptic confinement of GlyRs by gephyrin. The N-terminal flanking sequence promotes lower affinity interactions by occupying newly identified binding sites on gephyrin. Despite its low affinity, this binding site plays a modulatory role in tuning the mobility of the receptor. Together, the GlyR β-loop sequences flanking the core-binding site differentially regulate the affinity of the receptor for gephyrin and its trapping at synapses. Our experimental approach thus bridges the gap between thermodynamic aspects of receptor-scaffold interactions and functional receptor stabilization at synapses in living cells.

  17. A light-stimulated synaptic transistor with synaptic plasticity and memory functions based on InGaZnOx–Al2O3 thin film structure

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  18. A light-stimulated synaptic transistor with synaptic plasticity and memory functions based on InGaZnOx-Al2O3 thin film structure

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-01

    In this work, a synaptic transistor based on the indium gallium zinc oxide (IGZO)-aluminum oxide (Al2O3) thin film structure, which uses ultraviolet (UV) light pulses as the pre-synaptic stimulus, has been demonstrated. The synaptic transistor exhibits the behavior of synaptic plasticity like the paired-pulse facilitation. In addition, it also shows the brain's memory behaviors including the transition from short-term memory to long-term memory and the Ebbinghaus forgetting curve. The synapse-like behavior and memory behaviors of the transistor are due to the trapping and detrapping processes of the holes, which are generated by the UV pulses, at the IGZO/Al2O3 interface and/or in the Al2O3 layer.

  19. The potential role of exercise in chronic stress-related changes in AMPA receptor phenotype underlying synaptic plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leem, Yea-Hyun

    2017-12-31

    Chronic stress can cause disturbances in synaptic plasticity, such as longterm potentiation, along with behavioral defects including memory deficits. One major mechanism sustaining synaptic plasticity involves the dynamics and contents of α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid receptors (AMPARs) in the central nervous system. In particular, chronic stress-induced disruption of AMPARs includes it abnormal expression, trafficking, and calcium conductance at glutamatergic synapses, which contributes to synaptic plasticity at excitatory synapses. Exercise has the effect of promoting synaptic plasticity in neurons. However, the contribution of exercise to AMPAR behavior under chronic stressful maladaptation remains unclear. The present article reviews the information about the chronic stress-related synaptic plasticity and the role of exercise from the previous-published articles. AMPAR-mediated synaptic transmission is an important for chronic stress-related changes of synaptic plasticity, and exercise may at least partly contribute to these episodes. The present article discusses the relationship between AMPARs and synaptic plasticity in chronic stress, as well as the potential role of exercise.

  20. A role for dendritic mGluR5-mediated local translation of Arc/Arg3.1 in MEF2-dependent synapse elimination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilkerson, Julia R; Tsai, Nien-Pei; Maksimova, Marina A; Wu, Hao; Cabalo, Nicole P; Loerwald, Kristofer W; Dictenberg, Jason B; Gibson, Jay R; Huber, Kimberly M

    2014-06-12

    Experience refines synaptic connectivity through neural activity-dependent regulation of transcription factors. Although activity-dependent regulation of transcription factors has been well described, it is unknown whether synaptic activity and local, dendritic regulation of the induced transcripts are necessary for mammalian synaptic plasticity in response to transcription factor activation. Neuronal depolarization activates the myocyte enhancer factor 2 (MEF2) family of transcription factors that suppresses excitatory synapse number. We report that activation of metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 (mGluR5) on the dendrites, but not cell soma, of hippocampal CA1 neurons is required for MEF2-induced functional and structural synapse elimination. We present evidence that mGluR5 is necessary for synapse elimination to stimulate dendritic translation of the MEF2 target gene Arc/Arg3.1. Activity-regulated cytoskeletal-associated protein (Arc) is required for MEF2-induced synapse elimination, where it plays an acute, cell-autonomous, and postsynaptic role. This work reveals a role for dendritic activity in local translation of specific transcripts in synapse refinement. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. A Role for Dendritic mGluR5-Mediated Local Translation of Arc/Arg3.1 in MEF2-Dependent Synapse Elimination

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julia R. Wilkerson

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Experience refines synaptic connectivity through neural activity-dependent regulation of transcription factors. Although activity-dependent regulation of transcription factors has been well described, it is unknown whether synaptic activity and local, dendritic regulation of the induced transcripts are necessary for mammalian synaptic plasticity in response to transcription factor activation. Neuronal depolarization activates the myocyte enhancer factor 2 (MEF2 family of transcription factors that suppresses excitatory synapse number. We report that activation of metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 (mGluR5 on the dendrites, but not cell soma, of hippocampal CA1 neurons is required for MEF2-induced functional and structural synapse elimination. We present evidence that mGluR5 is necessary for synapse elimination to stimulate dendritic translation of the MEF2 target gene Arc/Arg3.1. Activity-regulated cytoskeletal-associated protein (Arc is required for MEF2-induced synapse elimination, where it plays an acute, cell-autonomous, and postsynaptic role. This work reveals a role for dendritic activity in local translation of specific transcripts in synapse refinement.

  2. Molecular constraints on synaptic tagging and maintenance of long-term potentiation: a predictive model.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul Smolen

    Full Text Available Protein synthesis-dependent, late long-term potentiation (LTP and depression (LTD at glutamatergic hippocampal synapses are well characterized examples of long-term synaptic plasticity. Persistent increased activity of protein kinase M ζ (PKMζ is thought essential for maintaining LTP. Additional spatial and temporal features that govern LTP and LTD induction are embodied in the synaptic tagging and capture (STC and cross capture hypotheses. Only synapses that have been "tagged" by a stimulus sufficient for LTP and learning can "capture" PKMζ. A model was developed to simulate the dynamics of key molecules required for LTP and LTD. The model concisely represents relationships between tagging, capture, LTD, and LTP maintenance. The model successfully simulated LTP maintained by persistent synaptic PKMζ, STC, LTD, and cross capture, and makes testable predictions concerning the dynamics of PKMζ. The maintenance of LTP, and consequently of at least some forms of long-term memory, is predicted to require continual positive feedback in which PKMζ enhances its own synthesis only at potentiated synapses. This feedback underlies bistability in the activity of PKMζ. Second, cross capture requires the induction of LTD to induce dendritic PKMζ synthesis, although this may require tagging of a nearby synapse for LTP. The model also simulates the effects of PKMζ inhibition, and makes additional predictions for the dynamics of CaM kinases. Experiments testing the above predictions would significantly advance the understanding of memory maintenance.

  3. Molecular constraints on synaptic tagging and maintenance of long-term potentiation: a predictive model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smolen, Paul; Baxter, Douglas A; Byrne, John H

    2012-01-01

    Protein synthesis-dependent, late long-term potentiation (LTP) and depression (LTD) at glutamatergic hippocampal synapses are well characterized examples of long-term synaptic plasticity. Persistent increased activity of protein kinase M ζ (PKMζ) is thought essential for maintaining LTP. Additional spatial and temporal features that govern LTP and LTD induction are embodied in the synaptic tagging and capture (STC) and cross capture hypotheses. Only synapses that have been "tagged" by a stimulus sufficient for LTP and learning can "capture" PKMζ. A model was developed to simulate the dynamics of key molecules required for LTP and LTD. The model concisely represents relationships between tagging, capture, LTD, and LTP maintenance. The model successfully simulated LTP maintained by persistent synaptic PKMζ, STC, LTD, and cross capture, and makes testable predictions concerning the dynamics of PKMζ. The maintenance of LTP, and consequently of at least some forms of long-term memory, is predicted to require continual positive feedback in which PKMζ enhances its own synthesis only at potentiated synapses. This feedback underlies bistability in the activity of PKMζ. Second, cross capture requires the induction of LTD to induce dendritic PKMζ synthesis, although this may require tagging of a nearby synapse for LTP. The model also simulates the effects of PKMζ inhibition, and makes additional predictions for the dynamics of CaM kinases. Experiments testing the above predictions would significantly advance the understanding of memory maintenance.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-21

    Although progress has been made in the detection and characterization of neural plasticity in depression, it has not been fully understood in individual synaptic changes in the neural circuits under chronic stress and antidepressant treatment. Using electron microscopy and Western-blot analyses, the present study quantitatively examined the changes in the Gray's Type I synaptic ultrastructures and the expression of synapse-associated proteins in the key brain regions of rats' depressive-related neural circuit after chronic unpredicted mild stress and/or escitalopram administration. Meanwhile, their depressive behaviors were also determined by several tests. The Type I synapses underwent considerable remodeling after chronic unpredicted mild stress, which resulted in the changed width of the synaptic cleft, length of the active zone, postsynaptic density thickness, and/or synaptic curvature in the subregions of medial prefrontal cortex and hippocampus, as well as the basolateral amygdaloid nucleus of the amygdala, accompanied by changed expression of several synapse-associated proteins. Chronic escitalopram administration significantly changed the above alternations in the chronic unpredicted mild stress rats but had little effect on normal controls. Also, there was a positive correlation between the locomotor activity and the maximal synaptic postsynaptic density thickness in the stratum radiatum of the Cornu Ammonis 1 region and a negative correlation between the sucrose preference and the length of the active zone in the basolateral amygdaloid nucleus region in chronic unpredicted mild stress rats. These findings strongly indicate that chronic stress and escitalopram can alter synaptic plasticity in the neural circuits, and the remodeled synaptic ultrastructure was correlated with the rats' depressive behaviors, suggesting a therapeutic target for further exploration. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of CINP.

  6. Npas4 Is a Critical Regulator of Learning-Induced Plasticity at Mossy Fiber-CA3 Synapses during Contextual Memory Formation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weng, Feng-Ju; Garcia, Rodrigo I; Lutzu, Stefano; Alviña, Karina; Zhang, Yuxiang; Dushko, Margaret; Ku, Taeyun; Zemoura, Khaled; Rich, David; Garcia-Dominguez, Dario; Hung, Matthew; Yelhekar, Tushar D; Sørensen, Andreas Toft; Xu, Weifeng; Chung, Kwanghun; Castillo, Pablo E; Lin, Yingxi

    2018-03-07

    Synaptic connections between hippocampal mossy fibers (MFs) and CA3 pyramidal neurons are essential for contextual memory encoding, but the molecular mechanisms regulating MF-CA3 synapses during memory formation and the exact nature of this regulation are poorly understood. Here we report that the activity-dependent transcription factor Npas4 selectively regulates the structure and strength of MF-CA3 synapses by restricting the number of their functional synaptic contacts without affecting the other synaptic inputs onto CA3 pyramidal neurons. Using an activity-dependent reporter, we identified CA3 pyramidal cells that were activated by contextual learning and found that MF inputs on these cells were selectively strengthened. Deletion of Npas4 prevented both contextual memory formation and this learning-induced synaptic modification. We further show that Npas4 regulates MF-CA3 synapses by controlling the expression of the polo-like kinase Plk2. Thus, Npas4 is a critical regulator of experience-dependent, structural, and functional plasticity at MF-CA3 synapses during contextual memory formation. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Analysis of shape and spatial interaction of synaptic vesicles using data from focused ion beam scanning electron microscopy (FIB-SEM

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mahdieh eKhanmohammadi

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available The spatial interactions of synaptic vesicles in synapses were assessed after a detailed characterization of size, shape, and orientation of the synaptic vesicles. We hypothesized that shape and orientation of the synaptic vesicles are influenced by their movement towards the active zone causing deviations from spherical shape and systematic trends in their orientation.We studied three-dimensional representations of synapses obtained by manual annotation of focused ion beam scanning electron microscopy (FIB-SEM images of male mouse brain. The configurations of synaptic vesicles were regarded as marked point patterns, where the points are the centers of the vesicles, and the mark of a vesicle is given by its size, shape, and orientation characteristics. Statistics for marked point processes were employed to study spatial interactions between vesicles.We found that the synaptic vesicles in excitatory synapses appeared to be of oblate ellipsoid shape and in inhibitory synapses appeared to be of cigar ellipsoid shape, and followed a systematic pattern regarding their orientation towards the active zone. Moreover, there was strong evidence of spatial alignment in the orientations of pairs of synaptic vesicles, and of repulsion between them, beyond that caused by their physical extent.

  8. A 2-transistor/1-resistor artificial synapse capable of communication and stochastic learning in neuromorphic systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Zhongqiang; Ambrogio, Stefano; Balatti, Simone; Ielmini, Daniele

    2014-01-01

    Resistive (or memristive) switching devices based on metal oxides find applications in memory, logic and neuromorphic computing systems. Their small area, low power operation, and high functionality meet the challenges of brain-inspired computing aiming at achieving a huge density of active connections (synapses) with low operation power. This work presents a new artificial synapse scheme, consisting of a memristive switch connected to 2 transistors responsible for gating the communication and learning operations. Spike timing dependent plasticity (STDP) is achieved through appropriate shaping of the pre-synaptic and the post synaptic spikes. Experiments with integrated artificial synapses demonstrate STDP with stochastic behavior due to (i) the natural variability of set/reset processes in the nanoscale switch, and (ii) the different response of the switch to a given stimulus depending on the initial state. Experimental results are confirmed by model-based simulations of the memristive switching. Finally, system-level simulations of a 2-layer neural network and a simplified STDP model show random learning and recognition of patterns.

  9. High resolution in situ zymography reveals matrix metalloproteinase activity at glutamatergic synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gawlak, M; Górkiewicz, T; Gorlewicz, A; Konopacki, F A; Kaczmarek, L; Wilczynski, G M

    2009-01-12

    Synaptic plasticity involves remodeling of extracellular matrix. This is mediated, in part, by enzymes of the matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) family, in particular by gelatinase MMP-9. Accordingly, there is a need of developing methods to visualize gelatinolytic activity at the level of individual synapses, especially in the context of neurotransmitters receptors. Here we present a high-resolution fluorescent in situ zymography (ISZ), performed in thin sections of the alcohol-fixed and polyester wax-embedded brain tissue of the rat (Rattus norvegicus), which is superior to the current ISZ protocols. The method allows visualization of structural details up to the resolution-limit of light microscopy, in conjunction with immunofluorescent labeling. We used this technique to visualize and quantify gelatinolytic activity at the synapses in control and seizure-affected rat brain. In particular, we demonstrated, for the first time, frequent colocalization of gelatinase(s) with synaptic N-methyl-D-aspartic acid (NMDA)- and AMPA-type glutamate receptors. We believe that our method represents a valuable tool to study extracellular proteolytic processes at the synapses, it could be used, as well, to investigate proteinase involvement in a range of physiological and pathological phenomena in the nervous system.

  10. The role of the tripartite glutamatergic synapse in the pathophysiology of Alzheimer's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rudy, Carolyn C; Hunsberger, Holly C; Weitzner, Daniel S; Reed, Miranda N

    2015-03-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia in individuals over 65 years of age and is characterized by accumulation of beta-amyloid (Aβ) and tau. Both Aβ and tau alter synaptic plasticity, leading to synapse loss, neural network dysfunction, and eventually neuron loss. However, the exact mechanism by which these proteins cause neurodegeneration is still not clear. A growing body of evidence suggests perturbations in the glutamatergic tripartite synapse, comprised of a presynaptic terminal, a postsynaptic spine, and an astrocytic process, may underlie the pathogenic mechanisms of AD. Glutamate is the primary excitatory neurotransmitter in the brain and plays an important role in learning and memory, but alterations in glutamatergic signaling can lead to excitotoxicity. This review discusses the ways in which both beta-amyloid (Aβ) and tau act alone and in concert to perturb synaptic functioning of the tripartite synapse, including alterations in glutamate release, astrocytic uptake, and receptor signaling. Particular emphasis is given to the role of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) as a possible convergence point for Aβ and tau toxicity.

  11. Reversible plasticity of fear memory-encoding amygdala synaptic circuits even after fear memory consolidation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ingie Hong

    Full Text Available It is generally believed that after memory consolidation, memory-encoding synaptic circuits are persistently modified and become less plastic. This, however, may hinder the remaining capacity of information storage in a given neural circuit. Here we consider the hypothesis that memory-encoding synaptic circuits still retain reversible plasticity even after memory consolidation. To test this, we employed a protocol of auditory fear conditioning which recruited the vast majority of the thalamic input synaptic circuit to the lateral amygdala (T-LA synaptic circuit; a storage site for fear memory with fear conditioning-induced synaptic plasticity. Subsequently the fear memory-encoding synaptic circuits were challenged with fear extinction and re-conditioning to determine whether these circuits exhibit reversible plasticity. We found that fear memory-encoding T-LA synaptic circuit exhibited dynamic efficacy changes in tight correlation with fear memory strength even after fear memory consolidation. Initial conditioning or re-conditioning brought T-LA synaptic circuit near the ceiling of their modification range (occluding LTP and enhancing depotentiation in brain slices prepared from conditioned or re-conditioned rats, while extinction reversed this change (reinstating LTP and occluding depotentiation in brain slices prepared from extinguished rats. Consistently, fear conditioning-induced synaptic potentiation at T-LA synapses was functionally reversed by extinction and reinstated by subsequent re-conditioning. These results suggest reversible plasticity of fear memory-encoding circuits even after fear memory consolidation. This reversible plasticity of memory-encoding synapses may be involved in updating the contents of original memory even after memory consolidation.

  12. Calcium signaling in synapse-to-nucleus communication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hagenston, Anna M; Bading, Hilmar

    2011-11-01

    Changes in the intracellular concentration of calcium ions in neurons are involved in neurite growth, development, and remodeling, regulation of neuronal excitability, increases and decreases in the strength of synaptic connections, and the activation of survival and programmed cell death pathways. An important aspect of the signals that trigger these processes is that they are frequently initiated in the form of glutamatergic neurotransmission within dendritic trees, while their completion involves specific changes in the patterns of genes expressed within neuronal nuclei. Accordingly, two prominent aims of research concerned with calcium signaling in neurons are determination of the mechanisms governing information conveyance between synapse and nucleus, and discovery of the rules dictating translation of specific patterns of inputs into appropriate and specific transcriptional responses. In this article, we present an overview of the avenues by which glutamatergic excitation of dendrites may be communicated to the neuronal nucleus and the primary calcium-dependent signaling pathways by which synaptic activity can invoke changes in neuronal gene expression programs.

  13. Npas4 Is a Critical Regulator of Learning-Induced Plasticity at Mossy Fiber-CA3 Synapses during Contextual Memory Formation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Weng, Feng-Ju; Garcia, Rodrigo I; Lutzu, Stefano

    2018-01-01

    pyramidal cells that were activated by contextual learning and found that MF inputs on these cells were selectively strengthened. Deletion of Npas4 prevented both contextual memory formation and this learning-induced synaptic modification. We further show that Npas4 regulates MF-CA3 synapses by controlling......Synaptic connections between hippocampal mossy fibers (MFs) and CA3 pyramidal neurons are essential for contextual memory encoding, but the molecular mechanisms regulating MF-CA3 synapses during memory formation and the exact nature of this regulation are poorly understood. Here we report...... the expression of the polo-like kinase Plk2. Thus, Npas4 is a critical regulator of experience-dependent, structural, and functional plasticity at MF-CA3 synapses during contextual memory formation....

  14. Bayesian inference of synaptic quantal parameters from correlated vesicle release

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexander D Bird

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Synaptic transmission is both history-dependent and stochastic, resulting in varying responses to presentations of the same presynaptic stimulus. This complicates attempts to infer synaptic parameters and has led to the proposal of a number of different strategies for their quantification. Recently Bayesian approaches have been applied to make more efficient use of the data collected in paired intracellular recordings. Methods have been developed that either provide a complete model of the distribution of amplitudes for isolated responses or approximate the amplitude distributions of a train of post-synaptic potentials, with correct short-term synaptic dynamics but neglecting correlations. In both cases the methods provided significantly improved inference of model parameters as compared to existing mean-variance fitting approaches. However, for synapses with high release probability, low vesicle number or relatively low restock rate and for data in which only one or few repeats of the same pattern are available, correlations between serial events can allow for the extraction of significantly more information from experiment: a more complete Bayesian approach would take this into account also. This has not been possible previously because of the technical difficulty in calculating the likelihood of amplitudes seen in correlated post-synaptic potential trains; however, recent theoretical advances have now rendered the likelihood calculation tractable for a broad class of synaptic dynamics models. Here we present a compact mathematical form for the likelihood in terms of a matrix product and demonstrate how marginals of the posterior provide information on covariance of parameter distributions. The associated computer code for Bayesian parameter inference for a variety of models of synaptic dynamics is provided in the supplementary material allowing for quantal and dynamical parameters to be readily inferred from experimental data sets.

  15. Comparative study of human and mouse postsynaptic proteomes finds high compositional conservation and abundance differences for key synaptic proteins.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alex Bayés

    Full Text Available Direct comparison of protein components from human and mouse excitatory synapses is important for determining the suitability of mice as models of human brain disease and to understand the evolution of the mammalian brain. The postsynaptic density is a highly complex set of proteins organized into molecular networks that play a central role in behavior and disease. We report the first direct comparison of the proteome of triplicate isolates of mouse and human cortical postsynaptic densities. The mouse postsynaptic density comprised 1556 proteins and the human one 1461. A large compositional overlap was observed; more than 70% of human postsynaptic density proteins were also observed in the mouse postsynaptic density. Quantitative analysis of postsynaptic density components in both species indicates a broadly similar profile of abundance but also shows that there is higher abundance variation between species than within species. Well known components of this synaptic structure are generally more abundant in the mouse postsynaptic density. Significant inter-species abundance differences exist in some families of key postsynaptic density proteins including glutamatergic neurotransmitter receptors and adaptor proteins. Furthermore, we have identified a closely interacting set of molecules enriched in the human postsynaptic density that could be involved in dendrite and spine structural plasticity. Understanding synapse proteome diversity within and between species will be important to further our understanding of brain complexity and disease.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ines eHristovska

    2016-01-01

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

  17. Role for a novel Usher protein complex in hair cell synaptic maturation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marisa Zallocchi

    Full Text Available The molecular mechanisms underlying hair cell synaptic maturation are not well understood. Cadherin-23 (CDH23, protocadherin-15 (PCDH15 and the very large G-protein coupled receptor 1 (VLGR1 have been implicated in the development of cochlear hair cell stereocilia, while clarin-1 has been suggested to also play a role in synaptogenesis. Mutations in CDH23, PCDH15, VLGR1 and clarin-1 cause Usher syndrome, characterized by congenital deafness, vestibular dysfunction and retinitis pigmentosa. Here we show developmental expression of these Usher proteins in afferent spiral ganglion neurons and hair cell synapses. We identify a novel synaptic Usher complex comprised of clarin-1 and specific isoforms of CDH23, PCDH15 and VLGR1. To establish the in vivo relevance of this complex, we performed morphological and quantitative analysis of the neuronal fibers and their synapses in the Clrn1-/- mouse, which was generated by incomplete deletion of the gene. These mice showed a delay in neuronal/synaptic maturation by both immunostaining and electron microscopy. Analysis of the ribbon synapses in Ames waltzer(av3J mice also suggests a delay in hair cell synaptogenesis. Collectively, these results show that, in addition to the well documented role for Usher proteins in stereocilia development, Usher protein complexes comprised of specific protein isoforms likely function in synaptic maturation as well.

  18. Astroglial calcium signaling displays short-term plasticity and adjusts synaptic efficacy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeremie eSibille

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Astrocytes are dynamic signaling brain elements able to sense neuronal inputs and to respond by complex calcium signals, which are thought to represent their excitability. Such signaling has been proposed to modulate, or not, neuronal activities ranging from basal synaptic transmission to epileptiform discharges. However, whether calcium signaling in astrocytes exhibits activity-dependent changes and acutely modulates short-term synaptic plasticity is currently unclear. We here show, using dual recordings of astroglial calcium signals and synaptic transmission, that calcium signaling in astrocytes displays, concomitantly to excitatory synapses, short-term plasticity in response to prolonged repetitive and tetanic stimulations of Schaffer collaterals. We also found that acute inhibition of calcium signaling in astrocytes by intracellular calcium chelation rapidly potentiates excitatory synaptic transmission and short-term plasticity of Shaffer collateral CA1 synapses, i.e. paired-pulse facilitation and responses to tetanic and prolonged repetitive stimulation. These data reveal that calcium signaling of astrocytes is plastic and down-regulates basal transmission and short-term plasticity of hippocampal CA1 glutamatergic synapses.

  19. Synaptic plasticity through activation of GluA3-containing AMPA-receptors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gutierrez-Castellanos, Nicolas; Reinders, Niels R; van Huijstee, Aile N; Xiong, Hui; Lodder, Tessa R

    2017-01-01

    Excitatory synaptic transmission is mediated by AMPA-type glutamate receptors (AMPARs). In CA1 pyramidal neurons of the hippocampus two types of AMPARs predominate: those that contain subunits GluA1 and GluA2 (GluA1/2), and those that contain GluA2 and GluA3 (GluA2/3). Whereas subunits GluA1 and GluA2 have been extensively studied, the contribution of GluA3 to synapse physiology has remained unclear. Here we show in mice that GluA2/3s are in a low-conductance state under basal conditions, and although present at synapses they contribute little to synaptic currents. When intracellular cyclic AMP (cAMP) levels rise, GluA2/3 channels shift to a high-conductance state, leading to synaptic potentiation. This cAMP-driven synaptic potentiation requires the activation of both protein kinase A (PKA) and the GTPase Ras, and is induced upon the activation of β-adrenergic receptors. Together, these experiments reveal a novel type of plasticity at CA1 hippocampal synapses that is expressed by the activation of GluA3-containing AMPARs. PMID:28762944

  20. Optimal and Local Connectivity Between Neuron and Synapse Array in the Quantum Dot/Silicon Brain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duong, Tuan A.; Assad, Christopher; Thakoor, Anikumar P.

    2010-01-01

    This innovation is used to connect between synapse and neuron arrays using nanowire in quantum dot and metal in CMOS (complementary metal oxide semiconductor) technology to enable the density of a brain-like connection in hardware. The hardware implementation combines three technologies: 1. Quantum dot and nanowire-based compact synaptic cell (50x50 sq nm) with inherently low parasitic capacitance (hence, low dynamic power approx.l0(exp -11) watts/synapse), 2. Neuron and learning circuits implemented in 50-nm CMOS technology, to be integrated with quantum dot and nanowire synapse, and 3. 3D stacking approach to achieve the overall numbers of high density O(10(exp 12)) synapses and O(10(exp 8)) neurons in the overall system. In a 1-sq cm of quantum dot layer sitting on a 50-nm CMOS layer, innovators were able to pack a 10(exp 6)-neuron and 10(exp 10)-synapse array; however, the constraint for the connection scheme is that each neuron will receive a non-identical 10(exp 4)-synapse set, including itself, via its efficacy of the connection. This is not a fully connected system where the 100x100 synapse array only has a 100-input data bus and 100-output data bus. Due to the data bus sharing, it poses a great challenge to have a complete connected system, and its constraint within the quantum dot and silicon wafer layer. For an effective connection scheme, there are three conditions to be met: 1. Local connection. 2. The nanowire should be connected locally, not globally from which it helps to maximize the data flow by sharing the same wire space location. 3. Each synapse can have an alternate summation line if needed (this option is doable based on the simple mask creation). The 10(exp 3)x10(exp 3)-neuron array was partitioned into a 10-block, 10(exp 2)x10(exp 3)-neuron array. This building block can be completely mapped within itself (10,000 synapses to a neuron).

  1. Astrocytosis in parkinsonism: considering tripartite striatal synapses in physiopathology?

    OpenAIRE

    Charron, Giselle; Doudnikoff, Evelyne; Canron, Marie-Helene; Li, Qin; Véga, Céline; Marais, Sebastien; Baufreton, Jérôme; Vital, Anne; Oliet, Stéphane H. R.; Bezard, Erwan

    2014-01-01

    International audience; The current concept of basal ganglia organization and function in physiological and pathophysiological conditions excludes the most numerous cells in the brain, i.e., the astrocytes, present with a ratio of 10:1 neuron. Their role in neurodegenerative condition such as Parkinson's disease (PD) remains to be elucidated. Before embarking into physiological investigations of the yet-to-be-identified " tripartite " synapses in the basal ganglia in general and the striatum ...

  2. Activated CaMKII Couples GluN2B and Casein Kinase 2 to Control Synaptic NMDA Receptors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antonio Sanz-Clemente

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Synaptic activity triggers a profound reorganization of the molecular composition of excitatory synapses. For example, NMDA receptors are removed from synapses in an activity- and calcium-dependent manner, via casein kinase 2 (CK2 phosphorylation of the PDZ ligand of the GluN2B subunit (S1480. However, how synaptic activity drives this process remains unclear because CK2 is a constitutively active kinase, which is not directly regulated by calcium. We show here that activated CaMKII couples GluN2B and CK2 to form a trimolecular complex and increases CK2-mediated phosphorylation of GluN2B S1480. In addition, a GluN2B mutant, which contains an insert to mimic the GluN2A sequence and cannot bind to CaMKII, displays reduced S1480 phosphorylation and increased surface expression. We find that although disrupting GluN2B/CaMKII binding reduces synapse number, it increases synaptic-GluN2B content. Therefore, the GluN2B/CaMKII association controls synapse density and PSD composition in an activity-dependent manner, including recruitment of CK2 for the removal of GluN2B from synapses.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephane ePages

    2015-04-01

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

  4. The Ubiquitin-Proteasome Pathway and Synaptic Plasticity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hegde, Ashok N.

    2010-01-01

    Proteolysis by the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway (UPP) has emerged as a new molecular mechanism that controls wide-ranging functions in the nervous system, including fine-tuning of synaptic connections during development and synaptic plasticity in the adult organism. In the UPP, attachment of a small protein, ubiquitin, tags the substrates for…

  5. Reduced Synapse and Axon Numbers in the Prefrontal Cortex of Rats Subjected to a Chronic Stress Model for Depression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Csabai, Dávid; Wiborg, Ove; Czéh, Boldizsár

    2018-01-01

    Stressful experiences can induce structural changes in neurons of the limbic system. These cellular changes contribute to the development of stress-induced psychopathologies like depressive disorders. In the prefrontal cortex of chronically stressed animals, reduced dendritic length and spine loss have been reported. This loss of dendritic material should consequently result in synapse loss as well, because of the reduced dendritic surface. But so far, no one studied synapse numbers in the prefrontal cortex of chronically stressed animals. Here, we examined synaptic contacts in rats subjected to an animal model for depression, where animals are exposed to a chronic stress protocol. Our hypothesis was that long term stress should reduce the number of axo-spinous synapses in the medial prefrontal cortex. Adult male rats were exposed to daily stress for 9 weeks and afterward we did a post mortem quantitative electron microscopic analysis to quantify the number and morphology of synapses in the infralimbic cortex. We analyzed asymmetric (Type I) and symmetric (Type II) synapses in all cortical layers in control and stressed rats. We also quantified axon numbers and measured the volume of the infralimbic cortex. In our systematic unbiased analysis, we examined 21,000 axon terminals in total. We found the following numbers in the infralimbic cortex of control rats: 1.15 × 10 9 asymmetric synapses, 1.06 × 10 8 symmetric synapses and 1.00 × 10 8 myelinated axons. The density of asymmetric synapses was 5.5/μm 3 and the density of symmetric synapses was 0.5/μm 3 . Average synapse membrane length was 207 nm and the average axon terminal membrane length was 489 nm. Stress reduced the number of synapses and myelinated axons in the deeper cortical layers, while synapse membrane lengths were increased. These stress-induced ultrastructural changes indicate that neurons of the infralimbic cortex have reduced cortical network connectivity. Such reduced network connectivity is

  6. Reduced Synapse and Axon Numbers in the Prefrontal Cortex of Rats Subjected to a Chronic Stress Model for Depression

    Science.gov (United States)

    Csabai, Dávid; Wiborg, Ove; Czéh, Boldizsár

    2018-01-01

    Stressful experiences can induce structural changes in neurons of the limbic system. These cellular changes contribute to the development of stress-induced psychopathologies like depressive disorders. In the prefrontal cortex of chronically stressed animals, reduced dendritic length and spine loss have been reported. This loss of dendritic material should consequently result in synapse loss as well, because of the reduced dendritic surface. But so far, no one studied synapse numbers in the prefrontal cortex of chronically stressed animals. Here, we examined synaptic contacts in rats subjected to an animal model for depression, where animals are exposed to a chronic stress protocol. Our hypothesis was that long term stress should reduce the number of axo-spinous synapses in the medial prefrontal cortex. Adult male rats were exposed to daily stress for 9 weeks and afterward we did a post mortem quantitative electron microscopic analysis to quantify the number and morphology of synapses in the infralimbic cortex. We analyzed asymmetric (Type I) and symmetric (Type II) synapses in all cortical layers in control and stressed rats. We also quantified axon numbers and measured the volume of the infralimbic cortex. In our systematic unbiased analysis, we examined 21,000 axon terminals in total. We found the following numbers in the infralimbic cortex of control rats: 1.15 × 109 asymmetric synapses, 1.06 × 108 symmetric synapses and 1.00 × 108 myelinated axons. The density of asymmetric synapses was 5.5/μm3 and the density of symmetric synapses was 0.5/μm3. Average synapse membrane length was 207 nm and the average axon terminal membrane length was 489 nm. Stress reduced the number of synapses and myelinated axons in the deeper cortical layers, while synapse membrane lengths were increased. These stress-induced ultrastructural changes indicate that neurons of the infralimbic cortex have reduced cortical network connectivity. Such reduced network connectivity is likely

  7. The Spacing Effect for Structural Synaptic Plasticity Provides Specificity and Precision in Plastic Changes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    San Martin, Alvaro; Rela, Lorena; Gelb, Bruce; Pagani, Mario Rafael

    2017-05-10

    In contrast to trials of training without intervals (massed training), training trials spaced over time (spaced training) induce a more persistent memory identified as long-term memory (LTM). This phenomenon, known as the spacing effect for memory, is poorly understood. LTM is supported by structural synaptic plasticity; however, how synapses integrate spaced stimuli remains elusive. Here, we analyzed events of structural synaptic plasticity at the single-synapse level after distinct patterns of stimulation in motoneurons of Drosophila We found that the spacing effect is a phenomenon detected at synaptic level, which determines the specificity and the precision in structural synaptic plasticity. Whereas a single pulse of stimulation (massed) induced structural synaptic plasticity, the same amount of stimulation divided in three spaced stimuli completely prevented it. This inhibitory effect was determined by the length of the interstimulus intervals. The inhibitory effect of the spacing was lost by suppressing the activity of Ras or mitogen-activated protein kinase, whereas the overexpression of Ras-WT enhanced it. Moreover, dividing the same total time of stimulation into five or more stimuli produced a higher precision in the number of events of plasticity. Ras mutations associated with intellectual disability abolished the spacing effect and led neurons to decode distinct stimulation patterns as massed stimulation. This evidence suggests that the spacing effect for memory may result from the effect of the spacing in synaptic plasticity, which appears to be a property not limited to neurons involved in learning and memory. We propose a model of spacing-dependent structural synaptic plasticity. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Long-term memory (LTM) induced by repeated trials spaced over time is known as the spacing effect, a common property in the animal kingdom. Altered mechanisms in the spacing effect have been found in animal models of disorders with intellectual

  8. Neurexin-Neuroligin Synaptic Complex Regulates Schizophrenia-Related DISC1/Kal-7/Rac1 “Signalosome”

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jacobsen, Sylwia Owczarek; Bang, Marie Louise; Berezin, Vladimir

    2015-01-01

    Neurexins (NXs) and neuroligins (NLs) are cell adhesion molecules that are localized at opposite sites of synaptic membranes. They interact with each other to promote the assembly, maintenance, and function of synapses in the central nervous system. Both NX and NL are cleaved from a membrane-atta...

  9. SynSysNet: integration of experimental data on synaptic protein-protein interactions with drug-target relations

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    von Eichborn, J.; Dunkel, M.; Gohlke, B.O.; Preissner, S.C.; Hoffmann, M.F.; Bauer, J.M.J.; Armstrong, J.D.; Schaefer, M.H.; Andrade-Navarro, M.A.; Le Novere, N.; Croning, M.D.R.; Grant, S.G.N.; van Nierop, P.; Smit, A.B.; Preissner, R.

    2013-01-01

    We created SynSysNet, available online at http://bioinformatics.charite.de/ synsysnet, to provide a platform that creates a comprehensive 4D network of synaptic interactions. Neuronal synapses are fundamental structures linking nerve cells in the brain and they are responsible for neuronal

  10. The Roles of MAPK Cascades in Synaptic Plasticity and Memory in "Aplysia": Facilitatory Effects and Inhibitory Constraints

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharma, Shiv K.; Carew, Thomas J.

    2004-01-01

    Synaptic plasticity is thought to contribute to memory formation. Serotonin-induced facilitation of sensory-motor (SN-MN) synapses in "Aplysia" is an extensively studied cellular analog of memory for sensitization. Serotonin, a modulatory neurotransmitter, is released in the CNS during sensitization training, and induces three temporally and…

  11. Colocalization of synapsin and actin during synaptic vesicle recycling

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bloom, Ona; Evergren, Emma; Tomilin, Nikolay

    2003-01-01

    activity, however, synapsin was detected in the pool of vesicles proximal to the active zone. In addition, actin and synapsin were found colocalized in a dynamic filamentous cytomatrix at the sites of synaptic vesicle recycling, endocytic zones. Synapsin immunolabeling was not associated with clathrin......-coated intermediates but was found on vesicles that appeared to be recycling back to the cluster. Disruption of synapsin function by microinjection of antisynapsin antibodies resulted in a prominent reduction of the cytomatrix at endocytic zones of active synapses. Our data suggest that in addition to its known...

  12. A Novel Chaotic Neural Network Using Memristive Synapse with Applications in Associative Memory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaofang Hu

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Chaotic Neural Network, also denoted by the acronym CNN, has rich dynamical behaviors that can be harnessed in promising engineering applications. However, due to its complex synapse learning rules and network structure, it is difficult to update its synaptic weights quickly and implement its large scale physical circuit. This paper addresses an implementation scheme of a novel CNN with memristive neural synapses that may provide a feasible solution for further development of CNN. Memristor, widely known as the fourth fundamental circuit element, was theoretically predicted by Chua in 1971 and has been developed in 2008 by the researchers in Hewlett-Packard Laboratory. Memristor based hybrid nanoscale CMOS technology is expected to revolutionize the digital and neuromorphic computation. The proposed memristive CNN has four significant features: (1 nanoscale memristors can simplify the synaptic circuit greatly and enable the synaptic weights update easily; (2 it can separate stored patterns from superimposed input; (3 it can deal with one-to-many associative memory; (4 it can deal with many-to-many associative memory. Simulation results are provided to illustrate the effectiveness of the proposed scheme.

  13. Multiple forms of metaplasticity at a single hippocampal synapse during late postnatal development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel G. McHail

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Metaplasticity refers to adjustment in the requirements for induction of synaptic plasticity based on the prior history of activity. Numerous forms of developmental metaplasticity are observed at Schaffer collateral synapses in the rat hippocampus at the end of the third postnatal week. Emergence of spatial learning and memory at this developmental stage suggests possible involvement of metaplasticity in the final maturation of the hippocampus. Three distinct metaplastic phenomena are apparent. (1 As transmitter release probability increases with increasing age, presynaptic potentiation is reduced. (2 Alterations in the composition and channel conductance properties of AMPARs facilitate the induction of postsynaptic potentiation with increasing age. (3 Low frequency stimulation inhibits subsequent induction of potentiation in animals older but not younger than 3 weeks of age. Thus, many forms of plasticity expressed at SC-CA1 synapses are different in rats younger and older than 3 weeks of age, illustrating the complex orchestration of physiological modifications that underlie the maturation of hippocampal excitatory synaptic transmission. This review paper describes three late postnatal modifications to synaptic plasticity induction in the hippocampus and attempts to relate these metaplastic changes to developmental alterations in hippocampal network activity and the maturation of contextual learning.

  14. Artificial neuron synapse transistor based on silicon nanomembrane on plastic substrate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Minjie; Huang, Gaoshan; Feng, Ping; Guo, Qinglei; Shao, Feng; Tian, Ziao; Li, Gongjin; Wan, Qing; Mei, Yongfeng

    2017-06-01

    Silicon nanomembrane (SiNM) transistors gated by chitosan membrane were fabricated on plastic substrate to mimic synapse behaviors. The device has both a bottom proton gate (BG) and multiple side gates (SG). Electrical transfer properties of BG show hysteresis curves different from those of typical SiO2 gate dielectric. Synaptic behaviors and functions by linear accumulation and release of protons have been mimicked on this device: excitatory post-synaptic current (EPSC) and paired pulse facilitation behavior of biological synapses were mimicked and the paired-pulse facilitation index could be effectively tuned by the spike interval applied on the BG. Synaptic behaviors and functions, including short-term memory and long-term memory, were also experimentally demonstrated in BG mode. Meanwhile, spiking logic operation and logic modulation were realized in SG mode. Project supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 51322201), the Specialized Research Fund for the Doctoral Program of Higher Education (No. 20120071110025), and Science and Technology Commission of Shanghai Municipality (No. 14JC1400200).

  15. Rapid strengthening of thalamo-amygdala synapses mediates cue-reward learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tye, Kay M; Stuber, Garret D; de Ridder, Bram; Bonci, Antonello; Janak, Patricia H

    2008-06-26

    What neural changes underlie individual differences in goal-directed learning? The lateral amygdala (LA) is important for assigning emotional and motivational significance to discrete environmental cues, including those that signal rewarding events. Recognizing that a cue predicts a reward enhances an animal's ability to acquire that reward; however, the cellular and synaptic mechanisms that underlie cue-reward learning are unclear. Here we show that marked changes in both cue-induced neuronal firing and input-specific synaptic strength occur with the successful acquisition of a cue-reward association within a single training session. We performed both in vivo and ex vivo electrophysiological recordings in the LA of rats trained to self-administer sucrose. We observed that reward-learning success increased in proportion to the number of amygdala neurons that responded phasically to a reward-predictive cue. Furthermore, cue-reward learning induced an AMPA (alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-isoxazole propionic acid)-receptor-mediated increase in the strength of thalamic, but not cortical, synapses in the LA that was apparent immediately after the first training session. The level of learning attained by individual subjects was highly correlated with the degree of synaptic strength enhancement. Importantly, intra-LA NMDA (N-methyl-d-aspartate)-receptor blockade impaired reward-learning performance and attenuated the associated increase in synaptic strength. These findings provide evidence of a connection between LA synaptic plasticity and cue-reward learning, potentially representing a key mechanism underlying goal-directed behaviour.

  16. Reduced synapse and axon numbers in the prefrontal cortex of rats subjected to a chronic stress model for depression

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Csabai, Dávid; Wiborg, Ove; Czéh, Boldizsár

    2018-01-01

    Stressful experiences can induce structural changes in neurons of the limbic system. These cellular changes contribute to the development of stress-induced psychopathologies like depressive disorders. In the prefrontal cortex of chronically stressed animals, reduced dendritic length and spine loss...... have been reported. This loss of dendritic material should consequently result in synapse loss as well, because of the reduced dendritic surface. But so far, no one studied synapse numbers in the prefrontal cortex of chronically stressed animals. Here, we examined synaptic contacts in rats subjected...... to an animal model for depression, where animals are exposed to a chronic stress protocol. Our hypothesis was that long term stress should reduce the number of axo-spinous synapses in the medial prefrontal cortex. Adult male rats were exposed to daily stress for 9 weeks and afterward we did a post mortem...

  17. Steps in the formation of neurites and synapses studied in cultured leech neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    De-Miguel F.F.

    2000-01-01

    Full Text Available Leech neurons in culture have provided novel insights into the steps in the formation of neurite outgrowth patterns, target recognition and synapse formation. Identified adult neurons from the central nervous system of the leech can be removed individually and plated in culture under well-controlled conditions, where they retain their characteristic physiological properties, grow neurites and form specific chemical or electrical synapses. Different identified neurons develop distinctive outgrowth patterns that depend on their identities and on the molecular composition of the substrate. On native substrates, the patterns displayed by these neurons reproduce characteristics from the adult or the developing neurons. In addition, the substrate may induce selective directed growth between pairs of neurons that normally make contact in the ganglion. Upon contact, pairs of cultured leech neurons form chemical or electrical synapses, or both types depending on the neuronal identities. Anterograde and retrograde signals during membrane contact and synapse formation modify the distribution of synaptic terminals, calcium currents, and responses to 5-hydroxytryptamine.

  18. Generation of functional inhibitory synapses incorporating defined combinations of GABA(A or glycine receptor subunits

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christine Laura Dixon

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Fast inhibitory neurotransmission in the brain is mediated by wide range of GABAA receptor (GABAAR and glycine receptor (GlyR isoforms, each with different physiological and pharmacological properties. Because multiple isoforms are expressed simultaneously in most neurons, it is difficult to define the properties of inhibitory postsynaptic currents mediated by individual isoforms in vivo. Although recombinant expression systems permit the expression of individual isoforms in isolation, they require exogenous agonist application which cannot mimic the dynamic neurotransmitter profile characteristic of native synapses. We describe a neuron-HEK293 cell co-culture technique for generating inhibitory synapses incorporating defined combinations of GABAAR or GlyR subunits. Primary neuronal cultures, prepared from embryonic rat cerebral cortex or spinal cord, are used to provide presynaptic GABAergic and glycinergic terminals, respectively. When the cultures are mature, HEK293 cells expressing the subunits of interest plus neuroligin 2A are plated onto the neurons, which rapidly form synapses onto HEK293 cells. Patch clamp electrophysiology is then used to analyze the physiological and pharmacological properties of the inhibitory postsynaptic currents mediated by the recombinant receptors. The method is suitable for investigating the kinetic properties or the effects of drugs on inhibitory postsynaptic currents mediated by defined GABAAR or GlyR isoforms of interest, the effects of hereditary disease mutations on the formation and function of both types of synapses, and synaptogenesis and synaptic clustering mechanisms. The entire cell preparation procedure takes 2 – 5 weeks.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  20. Mice lacking the synaptic adhesion molecule Neph2/Kirrel3 display moderate hyperactivity and defective novel object preference

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Su Yeon eChoi

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Synaptic adhesion molecules regulate diverse aspects of neuronal synapse development, including synapse specificity, formation, and maturation. Neph2, also known as Kirrel3, is an immunoglobulin superfamily adhesion molecule implicated in intellectual disability, neurocognitive delay associated with Jacobsen syndrome, and autism spectrum disorders. We here report mice lacking Neph2 (Neph2–/– mice display moderate hyperactivity in a familiar but not novel environment and novel object recognition deficit with normal performances in Morris water maze spatial learning and memory, contextual fear conditioning and extinction, and pattern separation tests. These mice show normal levels of anxiety-like behaviors, social interaction, and repetitive behaviors. At the synapse level, Neph2–/– dentate gyrus granule cells exhibit unaltered dendritic spine density and spontaneous excitatory synaptic transmission. These results suggest that Neph2 is important for normal locomotor activity and object recognition memory.

  1. Emulating short-term synaptic dynamics with memristive devices

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  2. Ataxias and cerebellar dysfunction: involvement of synaptic plasticity deficits?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rinaldo, Lorenzo; Hansel, Christian

    2011-01-01

    Summary Adaptive processes within cerebellar circuits, such as long-term depression and long-term potentiation at parallel fiber-Purkinje cell synapses, have long been seen as important to cerebellar motor learning, and yet little attention has been given to any possible significance of these processes for cerebellar dysfunction and disease. Several forms of ataxia are caused by mutations in genes encoding for ion channels located at key junctures in pathways that lead to the induction of synaptic plasticity, suggesting that there might be an association between deficits in plasticity and the ataxic phenotype. Herein we explore this possibility and examine the available evidence linking the two together, highlighting specifically the role of P/Q-type calcium channels and their downstream effector small-conductance calcium-sensitive (SK2) potassium channels in the regulation of synaptic gain and intrinsic excitability, and reviewing their connections to ataxia. PMID:21232209

  3. Synaptic plasticity in sleep: learning, homeostasis, and disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Gordon; Grone, Brian; Colas, Damien; Appelbaum, Lior; Mourrain, Philippe

    2012-01-01

    Sleep is a fundamental and evolutionarily conserved aspect of animal life. Recent studies have shed light on the role of sleep in synaptic plasticity. Demonstrations of memory replay and synapse homeostasis suggest that one essential role of sleep is in the consolidation and optimization of synaptic circuits to retain salient memory traces despite the noise of daily experience. Here, we review this recent evidence, and suggest that sleep creates a heightened state of plasticity, which may be essential for this optimization. Furthermore, we discuss how sleep deficits seen in diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and autism spectrum disorders might not just reflect underlying circuit malfunction, but could also play a direct role in the progression of those disorders. PMID:21840068

  4. Size distribution and radial density profile of synaptic vesicles by SAXS and light scattering

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Castorph, Simon; Salditt, Tim [Institute for X-ray Physics, Goettingen (Germany); Holt, Matthew; Jahn, Reinhard [Max Plank Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, Goettingen (Germany); Sztucki, Michael [European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, Grenoble (France)

    2008-07-01

    Synaptic vesicles are small membraneous organelles within the nerve terminal, encapsulating neurotransmitters by a lipid bilayer. The transport of the neurotransmitter, the fusion at the plasma membrane, and the release of the stored neurotransmitters into the synaptic cleft are since long know as essential step in nerve conduction of the chemical synapse. A detailed structural view of these molecular mechanisms is still lacking, not withstanding the enormous progress in the field during recent years. From measurements and quantitative fitting of small angle X-ray scattering curves and dynamic light scattering the averaged structural properties of synaptic vesicles can be determined. We present SAXS measurements and fits revealing the width of the size distribution function and details of the radial scattering length profile of synaptic vesicles from rat brain. Representative values for the inner and outer radius and the size polydispersity as well as the density and width of the outer protein layer are obtained.

  5. Synaptic state matching: a dynamical architecture for predictive internal representation and feature detection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tavazoie, Saeed

    2013-01-01

    Here we explore the possibility that a core function of sensory cortex is the generation of an internal simulation of sensory environment in real-time. A logical elaboration of this idea leads to a dynamical neural architecture that oscillates between two fundamental network states, one driven by external input, and the other by recurrent synaptic drive in the absence of sensory input. Synaptic strength is modified by a proposed synaptic state matching (SSM) process that ensures equivalence of spike statistics between the two network states. Remarkably, SSM, operating locally at individual synapses, generates accurate and stable network-level predictive internal representations, enabling pattern completion and unsupervised feature detection from noisy sensory input. SSM is a biologically plausible substrate for learning and memory because it brings together sequence learning, feature detection, synaptic homeostasis, and network oscillations under a single unifying computational framework.

  6. Persistent long-term facilitation at an identified synapse becomes labile with activation of short-term heterosynaptic plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Jiang-Yuan; Schacher, Samuel

    2014-04-02

    Short-term and long-term synaptic plasticity are cellular correlates of learning and memory of different durations. Little is known, however, how these two forms of plasticity interact at the same synaptic connection. We examined the reciprocal impact of short-term heterosynaptic or homosynaptic plasticity at sensorimotor synapses of Aplysia in cell culture when expressing persistent long-term facilitation (P-LTF) evoked by serotonin [5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT)]. Short-term heterosynaptic plasticity induced by 5-HT (facilitation) or the neuropeptide FMRFa (depression) and short-term homosynaptic plasticity induced by tetanus [post-tetanic potentiation (PTP)] or low-frequency stimulation [homosynaptic depression (HSD)] of the sensory neuron were expressed in both control synapses and synapses expressing P-LTF in the absence or presence of protein synthesis inhibitors. All forms of short-term plasticity failed to significantly affect ongoing P-LTF in the absence of protein synthesis inhibitors. However, P-LTF reversed to control levels when either 5-HT or FMRFa was applied in the presence of rapamycin. In contrast, P-LTF was unaffected when either PTP or HSD was evoked in the presence of either rapamycin or anisomycin. These results indicate that synapses expressing persistent plasticity acquire a "new" baseline and functionally express short-term changes as naive synapses, but the new baseline becomes labile following selective activations-heterosynaptic stimuli that evoke opposite forms of plasticity-such that when presented in the presence of protein synthesis inhibitors produce a rapid reversal of the persistent plasticity. Activity-selective induction of a labile state at synapses expressing persistent plasticity may facilitate the development of therapies for reversing inappropriate memories.

  7. Reciprocal synapses between mushroom body and dopamine neurons form a positive feedback loop required for learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cervantes-Sandoval, Isaac; Phan, Anna; Chakraborty, Molee; Davis, Ronald L

    2017-05-10

    Current thought envisions dopamine neurons conveying the reinforcing effect of the unconditioned stimulus during associative learning to the axons of Drosophila mushroom body Kenyon cells for normal olfactory learning. Here, we show using functional GFP reconstitution experiments that Kenyon cells and dopamine neurons from axoaxonic reciprocal synapses. The dopamine neurons receive cholinergic input via nicotinic acetylcholine receptors from the Kenyon cells; knocking down these receptors impairs olfactory learning revealing the importance of these receptors at the synapse. Blocking the synaptic output of Kenyon cells during olfactory conditioning reduces presynaptic calcium transients in dopamine neurons, a finding consistent with reciprocal communication. Moreover, silencing Kenyon cells decreases the normal chronic activity of the dopamine neurons. Our results reveal a new and critical role for positive feedback onto dopamine neurons through reciprocal connections with Kenyon cells for normal olfactory learning.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Runchun M; Hamilton, Tara J; Tapson, Jonathan C; van Schaik, André

    2015-01-01

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

  9. Inter-synaptic learning of combination rules in a cortical network model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frédéric eLavigne

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Selecting responses in working memory while processing combinations of stimuli depends strongly on their relations stored in long-term memory. However, the learning of XOR-like combinations of stimuli and responses according to complex rules raises the issue of the non-linear separability of the responses within the space of stimuli. One proposed solution is to add neurons that perform a stage of non-linear processing between the stimuli and responses, at the cost of increasing the network size. Based on the non-linear integration of synaptic inputs within dendritic compartments, we propose here an inter-synaptic (IS learning algorithm that determines the probability of potentiating/depressing each synapse as a function of the co-activity of the other synapses within the same dendrite. The IS learning is effective with random connectivity and without either a priori wiring or additional neurons.Our results show that IS learning generates efficacy values that are sufficient for the processing of XOR-like combinations, on the basis of the sole correlational structure of the stimuli and responses. We analyze the types of dendrites involved in terms of the number of synapses from pre-synaptic neurons coding for the stimuli and responses. The synaptic efficacy values obtained show that different dendrites specialize in the detection of different combinations of stimuli. The resulting behavior of the cortical network model is analyzed as a function of inter-synaptic vs. Hebbian learning. Combinatorial priming effects show that the retrospective activity of neurons coding for the stimuli trigger XOR-like combination-selective prospective activity of neurons coding for the expected response. The synergistic effects of inter-synaptic learning and of mixed-coding neurons are simulated. The results show that, although each mechanism is sufficient by itself, their combined effects improve the performance of the network.

  10. Molecular machines regulating the release probability of synaptic vesicles at the active zone.

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    Christoph eKoerber

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available The fusion of synaptic vesicles (SVs with the plasma membrane of the active zone (AZ upon arrival of an action potential (AP at the presynaptic compartment is a tightly regulated probabil-istic process crucial for information transfer. The probability of a SV to release its transmitter content in response to an AP, termed release probability (Pr, is highly diverse both at the level of entire synapses and individual SVs at a given synapse. Differences in Pr exist between different types of synapses, between synapses of the same type, synapses originating from the same axon and even between different SV subpopulations within the same presynaptic terminal. The Pr of SVs at the AZ is set by a complex interplay of different presynaptic properties including the availability of release-ready SVs, the location of the SVs relative to the voltage-gated calcium channels (VGCCs at the AZ, the magnitude of calcium influx upon arrival of the AP, the buffer-ing of calcium ions as well as the identity and sensitivity of the calcium sensor. These properties are not only interconnected, but can also be regulated dynamically to match the requirements of activity patterns mediated by the synapse. Here, we review recent advances in identifying mole-cules and molecular machines taking part in the determination of vesicular Pr at the AZ.

  11. Astrocytosis in parkinsonism: considering tripartite striatal synapses in physiopathology?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charron, Giselle; Doudnikoff, Evelyne; Canron, Marie-Helene; Li, Qin; Véga, Céline; Marais, Sebastien; Baufreton, Jérôme; Vital, Anne; Oliet, Stéphane H R; Bezard, Erwan

    2014-01-01

    The current concept of basal ganglia organization and function in physiological and pathophysiological conditions excludes the most numerous cells in the brain, i.e., the astrocytes, present with a ratio of 10:1 neuron. Their role in neurodegenerative condition such as Parkinson's disease (PD) remains to be elucidated. Before embarking into physiological investigations of the yet-to-be-identified "tripartite" synapses in the basal ganglia in general and the striatum in particular, we therefore characterized anatomically the PD-related modifications in astrocytic morphology, the changes in astrocytic network connections and the consequences on the spatial relationship between astrocytic processes and asymmetric synapses in normal and PD-like conditions in experimental and human PD. Our results unravel a dramatic regulation of striatal astrocytosis supporting the hypothesis of a key role in (dys) regulating corticostriatal transmission. Astrocytes and their various properties might thus represent a therapeutic target in PD.

  12. Astrocytosis in parkinsonism: considering tripartite striatal synapses in physiopathology?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giselle eCharron

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available The current concept of basal ganglia organization and function in physiological and pathophysiological conditions excludes the most numerous cells in the brain, i.e. the astrocytes, present with a ratio of 10:1 neuron. Their role in neurodegenerative condition such as Parkinson’s disease (PD remains to be elucidated. Before embarking into physiological investigations of the yet-to-be-identified tripartite synapses in the basal ganglia in general and the striatum in particular, we therefore characterized anatomically the PD-related modifications in astrocytic morphology, the changes in astrocytic network connections and the consequences on the spatial relationship between astrocytic processes and asymmetric synapses in normal and PD-like conditions in experimental and human PD. Our results unravel a dramatic regulation of striatal astrocytosis supporting the hypothesis of a key role in (dysregulating corticostriatal transmission. Astrocytes and their various properties might thus represent a therapeutic target in PD.

  13. Thrombospondins 1 and 2 are important for afferent synapse formation and function in the inner ear.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mendus, Diana; Sundaresan, Srividya; Grillet, Nicolas; Wangsawihardja, Felix; Leu, Rose; Müller, Ulrich; Jones, Sherri M; Mustapha, Mirna

    2014-04-01

    Thrombospondins (TSPs) constitute a family of secreted extracellular matrix proteins that have been shown to be involved in the formation of synapses in the central nervous system. In this study, we show that TSP1 and TSP2 are expressed in the cochlea, and offer the first description of their putative roles in afferent synapse development and function in the inner ear. We examined mice with deletions of TSP1, TSP2 and both (TSP1/TSP2) for inner ear development and function. Immunostaining for synaptic markers indicated a significant decrease in the number of formed afferent synapses in the cochleae of TSP2 and TSP1/TSP2 knockout (KO) mice at postnatal day (P)29. In functional studies, TSP2 and TSP1/TSP2 KO mice showed elevated auditory brainstem response (ABR) thresholds as compared with wild-type littermates, starting at P15, with the most severe phenotype being seen for TSP1/TSP2 KO mice. TSP1/TSP2 KO mice also showed reduced wave I amplitudes of ABRs and vestibular evoked potentials, suggesting synaptic dysfunction in both the auditory and vestibular systems. Whereas ABR thresholds in TSP1 KO mice were relatively unaffected at early ages, TSP1/TSP2 KO mice showed the most severe phenotype among all of the genotypes tested, suggesting functional redundancy between the two genes. On the basis of the above results, we propose that TSPs play an important role in afferent synapse development and function of the inner ear. © 2014 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  14. A cortical attractor network with Martinotti cells driven by facilitating synapses.

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    Pradeep Krishnamurthy

    Full Text Available The population of pyramidal cells significantly outnumbers the inhibitory interneurons in the neocortex, while at the same time the diversity of interneuron types is much more pronounced. One acknowledged key role of inhibition is to control the rate and patterning of pyramidal cell firing via negative feedback, but most likely the diversity of inhibitory pathways is matched by a corresponding diversity of functional roles. An important distinguishing feature of cortical interneurons is the variability of the short-term plasticity properties of synapses received from pyramidal cells. The Martinotti cell type has recently come under scrutiny due to the distinctly facilitating nature of the synapses they receive from pyramidal cells. This distinguishes these neurons from basket cells and other inhibitory interneurons typically targeted by depressing synapses. A key aspect of the work reported here has been to pinpoint the role of this variability. We first set out to reproduce quantitatively based on in vitro data the di-synaptic inhibitory microcircuit connecting two pyramidal cells via one or a few Martinotti cells. In a second step, we embedded this microcircuit in a previously developed attractor memory network model of neocortical layers 2/3. This model network demonstrated that basket cells with their characteristic depressing synapses are the first to discharge when the network enters an attractor state and that Martinotti cells respond with a delay, thereby shifting the excitation-inhibition balance and acting to terminate the attractor state. A parameter sensitivity analysis suggested that Martinotti cells might, in fact, play a dominant role in setting the attractor dwell time and thus cortical speed of processing, with cellular adaptation and synaptic depression having a less prominent role than previously thought.

  15. Three-terminal ferroelectric synapse device with concurrent learning function for artificial neural networks

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nishitani, Y.; Kaneko, Y.; Ueda, M.; Fujii, E. [Advanced Technology Research Laboratories, Panasonic Corporation, Seika, Kyoto 619-0237 (Japan); Morie, T. [Graduate School of Life Science and Systems Engineering, Kyushu Institute of Technology, Wakamatsu-ku, Kitakyushu 808-0196 (Japan)

    2012-06-15

    Spike-timing-dependent synaptic plasticity (STDP) is demonstrated in a synapse device based on a ferroelectric-gate field-effect transistor (FeFET). STDP is a key of the learning functions observed in human brains, where the synaptic weight changes only depending on the spike timing of the pre- and post-neurons. The FeFET is composed of the stacked oxide materials with ZnO/Pr(Zr,Ti)O{sub 3} (PZT)/SrRuO{sub 3}. In the FeFET, the channel conductance can be altered depending on the density of electrons induced by the polarization of PZT film, which can be controlled by applying the gate voltage in a non-volatile manner. Applying a pulse gate voltage enables the multi-valued modulation of the conductance, which is expected to be caused by a change in PZT polarization. This variation depends on the height and the duration of the pulse gate voltage. Utilizing these characteristics, symmetric and asymmetric STDP learning functions are successfully implemented in the FeFET-based synapse device by applying the non-linear pulse gate voltage generated from a set of two pulses in a sampling circuit, in which the two pulses correspond to the spikes from the pre- and post-neurons. The three-terminal structure of the synapse device enables the concurrent learning, in which the weight update can be performed without canceling signal transmission among neurons, while the neural networks using the previously reported two-terminal synapse devices need to stop signal transmission for learning.

  16. Alteration of AMPA Receptor-Mediated Synaptic Transmission by Alexa Fluor 488 and 594 in Cerebellar Stellate Cells123

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-01-01

    Abstract The fluorescent dyes, Alexa Fluor 488 and 594 are commonly used to visualize dendritic structures and the localization of synapses, both of which are critical for the spatial and temporal integration of synaptic inputs. However, the effect of the dyes on synaptic transmission is not known. Here we investigated whether Alexa Fluor dyes alter the properties of synaptic currents mediated by two subtypes of AMPA receptors (AMPARs) at cerebellar stellate cell synapses. In naive mice, GluA2-lacking AMPAR-mediated synaptic currents displayed an inwardly rectifying current–voltage (I–V) relationship due to blockade by cytoplasmic spermine at depolarized potentials. We found that the inclusion of 100 µm Alexa Fluor dye, but not 10 µm, in the pipette solution led to a gradual increase in the amplitude of EPSCs at +40 mV and a change in the I–V relationship from inwardly rectifying to more linear. In mice exposed to an acute stress, AMPARs switched to GluA2-containing receptors, and 100 µm Alexa Fluor 594 did not alter the I–V relationship of synaptic currents. Therefore, a high concentration of Alexa Fluor dye changed the I–V relationship of EPSCs at GluA2-lacking AMPAR synapses. PMID:27280156

  17. Alteration of AMPA Receptor-Mediated Synaptic Transmission by Alexa Fluor 488 and 594 in Cerebellar Stellate Cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maroteaux, Matthieu; Liu, Siqiong June

    2016-01-01

    The fluorescent dyes, Alexa Fluor 488 and 594 are commonly used to visualize dendritic structures and the localization of synapses, both of which are critical for the spatial and temporal integration of synaptic inputs. However, the effect of the dyes on synaptic transmission is not known. Here we investigated whether Alexa Fluor dyes alter the properties of synaptic currents mediated by two subtypes of AMPA receptors (AMPARs) at cerebellar stellate cell synapses. In naive mice, GluA2-lacking AMPAR-mediated synaptic currents displayed an inwardly rectifying current-voltage (I-V) relationship due to blockade by cytoplasmic spermine at depolarized potentials. We found that the inclusion of 100 µm Alexa Fluor dye, but not 10 µm, in the pipette solution led to a gradual increase in the amplitude of EPSCs at +40 mV and a change in the I-V relationship from inwardly rectifying to more linear. In mice exposed to an acute stress, AMPARs switched to GluA2-containing receptors, and 100 µm Alexa Fluor 594 did not alter the I-V relationship of synaptic currents. Therefore, a high concentration of Alexa Fluor dye changed the I-V relationship of EPSCs at GluA2-lacking AMPAR synapses.

  18. Enhanced Transmission at the Calyx of Held Synapse in a Mouse Model for Angelman Syndrome

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    Tiantian Wang

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available The neurodevelopmental disorder Angelman syndrome (AS is characterized by intellectual disability, motor dysfunction, distinct behavioral aspects, and epilepsy. AS is caused by a loss of the maternally expressed UBE3A gene, and many of the symptoms are recapitulated in a Ube3a mouse model of this syndrome. At the cellular level, changes in the axon initial segment (AIS have been reported, and changes in vesicle cycling have indicated the presence of presynaptic deficits. Here we studied the role of UBE3A in the auditory system by recording synaptic transmission at the calyx of Held synapse in the medial nucleus of the trapezoid body (MNTB through in vivo whole cell and juxtacellular recordings. We show that MNTB principal neurons in Ube3a mice exhibit a hyperpolarized resting membrane potential, an increased action potential (AP amplitude and a decreased AP half width. Moreover, both the pre- and postsynaptic AP in the calyx of Held synapse of Ube3a mice showed significantly faster recovery from spike depression. An increase in AIS length was observed in the principal MNTB neurons of Ube3a mice, providing a possible substrate for these gain-of-function changes. Apart from the effect on APs, we also observed that EPSPs showed decreased short-term synaptic depression (STD during long sound stimulations in AS mice, and faster recovery from STD following these tones, which is suggestive of a presynaptic gain-of-function. Our findings thus provide in vivo evidence that UBE3A plays a critical role in controlling synaptic transmission and excitability at excitatory synapses.

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

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    Daisuke Miyamoto

    2017-11-01

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

  20. Exposure to cocaine regulates inhibitory synaptic transmission from the ventral tegmental area to the nucleus accumbens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ishikawa, Masago; Otaka, Mami; Neumann, Peter A; Wang, Zhijian; Cook, James M; Schlüter, Oliver M; Dong, Yan; Huang, Yanhua H

    2013-10-01

    Synaptic projections from the ventral tegmental area (VTA) to the nucleus accumbens (NAc) make up the backbone of the brain reward pathway, a neural circuit that mediates behavioural responses elicited by natural rewards as well as by cocaine and other drugs of abuse. In addition to the well-known modulatory dopaminergic projection, the VTA also provides fast excitatory and inhibitory synaptic input to the NAc, directly regulating NAc medium spiny neurons (MSNs). However, the cellular nature of VTA-to-NAc fast synaptic transmission and its roles in drug-induced adaptations are not well understood. Using viral-mediated in vivo expression of channelrhodopsin 2, the present study dissected fast excitatory and inhibitory synaptic transmission from the VTA to NAc MSNs in rats. Our results suggest that, following repeated exposure to cocaine (15 mg kg(-1) day(-1) × 5 days, i.p., 1 or 21 day withdrawal), a presynaptic enhancement of excitatory transmission and suppression of inhibitory transmission occurred at different withdrawal time points at VTA-to-NAc core synapses. In contrast, no postsynaptic alterations were detected at either type of synapse. These results suggest that changes in VTA-to-NAc fast excitatory and inhibitory synaptic transmissions may contribute to cocaine-induced alteration of the brain reward circuitry.

  1. Emerging Link between Alzheimer's Disease and Homeostatic Synaptic Plasticity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jang, Sung-Soo; Chung, Hee Jung

    2016-01-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is an irreversible brain disorder characterized by progressive cognitive decline and neurodegeneration of brain regions that are crucial for learning and memory. Although intracellular neurofibrillary tangles and extracellular senile plaques, composed of insoluble amyloid-β (Aβ) peptides, have been the hallmarks of postmortem AD brains, memory impairment in early AD correlates better with pathological accumulation of soluble Aβ oligomers and persistent weakening of excitatory synaptic strength, which is demonstrated by inhibition of long-term potentiation, enhancement of long-term depression, and loss of synapses. However, current, approved interventions aiming to reduce Aβ levels have failed to retard disease progression; this has led to a pressing need to identify and target alternative pathogenic mechanisms of AD. Recently, it has been suggested that the disruption of Hebbian synaptic plasticity in AD is due to aberrant metaplasticity, which is a form of homeostatic plasticity that tunes the magnitude and direction of future synaptic plasticity based on previous neuronal or synaptic activity. This review examines emerging evidence for aberrant metaplasticity in AD. Putative mechanisms underlying aberrant metaplasticity in AD will also be discussed. We hope this review inspires future studies to test the extent to which these mechanisms contribute to the etiology of AD and offer therapeutic targets. PMID:27019755

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    DiAntonio Aaron

    2007-08-01

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

  3. Perturbed Hippocampal Synaptic Inhibition and γ-Oscillations in a Neuroligin-4 Knockout Mouse Model of Autism

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    Matthieu Hammer

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Loss-of-function mutations in the synaptic adhesion protein Neuroligin-4 are among the most common genetic abnormalities associated with autism spectrum disorders, but little is known about the function of Neuroligin-4 and the consequences of its loss. We assessed synaptic and network characteristics in Neuroligin-4 knockout mice, focusing on the hippocampus as a model brain region with a critical role in cognition and memory, and found that Neuroligin-4 deletion causes subtle defects of the protein composition and function of GABAergic synapses in the hippocampal CA3 region. Interestingly, these subtle synaptic changes are accompanied by pronounced perturbations of γ-oscillatory network activity, which has been implicated in cognitive function and is altered in multiple psychiatric and neurodevelopmental disorders. Our data provide important insights into the mechanisms by which Neuroligin-4-dependent GABAergic synapses may contribute to autism phenotypes and indicate new strategies for therapeutic approaches.

  4. Investigation of the synaptic device based on the resistive switching behavior in hafnium oxide

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    Bin Gao

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Metal-oxide based electronics synapse is promising for future neuromorphic computation application due to its simple structure and fab-friendly materials. HfOx resistive switching memory has been demonstrated superior performance such as high speed, low voltage, robust reliability, excellent repeatability, and so on. In this work, the HfOx synaptic device was investigated based on its resistive switching phenomenon. HfOx resistive switching device with different electrodes and dopants were fabricated. TiN/Gd:HfOx/Pt stack exhibited the best synaptic performance, including controllable multilevel ability and low training energy consumption. The training schemes for memory and forgetting were developed.

  5. Interaction between the glutamate transporter GLT1b and the synaptic PDZ domain protein PICK1

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bassan, Merav; Liu, Hongguang; Madsen, Kenneth L

    2008-01-01

    Synaptic plasticity is implemented by the interaction of glutamate receptors with PDZ domain proteins. Glutamate transporters provide the only known mechanism of clearance of glutamate from excitatory synapses, and GLT1 is the major glutamate transporter. We show here that GLT1 interacts...... expressing PICK1 and GLT1b. In addition, expression of GLT1b in COS7 cells changed the distribution of PICK1, bringing it to the surface. GLT1b and PICK1 co-localized with each other and with synaptic markers in hippocampal neurons in culture. Phorbol ester, an activator of protein kinase C (PKC), a known...

  6. Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) influences spatial cognition and modulates hippocampal structural synaptic plasticity in aging mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Jun; Zhang, Zhanchi; Kang, Lin; Geng, Dandan; Wang, Yanyong; Wang, Mingwei; Cui, Huixian

    2014-10-01

    Normal aging is characteristic with the gradual decline in cognitive function associated with the progressive reduction of structural and functional plasticity in the hippocampus. Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) has developed into a novel neurological and psychiatric tool that can be used to investigate the neurobiology of cognitive function. Recent studies have demonstrated that low-frequency rTMS (≤1Hz) affects synaptic plasticity in rats with vascular dementia (VaD), and it ameliorates the spatial cognitive ability in mice with Aβ1-42-mediated memory deficits, but there are little concerns about the effects of rTMS on normal aging related cognition and synaptic plasticity changes. Thus, the current study investigated the effects of rTMS on spatial memory behavior, neuron and synapse morphology in the hippocampus, and synaptic protein markers and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF)/tropomyosin-related kinase B (TrkB) in normal aging mice, to illustrate the mechanisms of rTMS in regulating cognitive capacity. Relative to adult animals, aging caused hippocampal-dependent cognitive impairment, simultaneously inhibited the activation of the BDNF-TrkB signaling pathway, reduced the transcription and expression of synaptic protein markers: synaptophysin (SYN), growth associated protein 43 (GAP43) and post-synaptic density protein 95 (PSD95), as well as decreased synapse density and PSD (post-synaptic density) thickness. Interestingly, rTMS with low intensity (110% average resting motor threshold intensity, 1Hz, LIMS) triggered the activation of BDNF and TrkB, upregulated the level of synaptic protein markers, and increased synapse density and thickened PSD, and further reversed the spatial cognition dysfunction in aging mice. Conversely, high-intensity magnetic stimulation (150% average resting motor threshold intensity, 1Hz, HIMS) appeared to be detrimental, inducing thinning of PSDs, disordered synaptic structure, and a large number of

  7. Defective glycinergic synaptic transmission in zebrafish motility mutants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hiromi Hirata

    2010-01-01

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

  8. Defective Glycinergic Synaptic Transmission in Zebrafish Motility Mutants

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  9. Modulation, plasticity and pathophysiology of the parallel fiber-Purkinje cell synapse

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eriola Hoxha

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available The parallel fiber-Purkinje cell synapse represents the point of maximal signal divergence in the cerebellar cortex with an estimated number of about 60 billion synaptic contacts in the rat and 100,000 billions in humans. At the same time, the Purkinje cell dendritic tree is a site of remarkable convergence of more than 100,000 parallel fiber synapses. Parallel fibers activity generates fast postsynaptic currents via AMPA receptors, and slower signals, mediated by mGlu1 receptors, resulting in Purkinje cell depolarization accompanied by sharp calcium elevation within dendritic regions. Long-term depression and long-term potentiation have been widely described for the parallel fiber-Purkinje cell synapse and have been proposed as mechanisms for motor learning. The mechanisms of induction for LTP and LTD involve different signaling mechanisms within the presynaptic terminal and/or at the postsynaptic site, promoting enduring modification in the neurotransmitter release and change in responsiveness to the neurotransmitter. The parallel fiber-Purkinje cell synapse is finely modulated by several neurotransmitters, including serotonin, noradrenaline, and acetylcholine. The ability of these neuromodulators to gate LTP and LTD at the parallel fiber-Purkinje cell synapse could, at least in part, explain their effect on cerebellar-dependent learning and memory paradigms. Overall, these findings have important implications for understanding the cerebellar involvement in a series of pathological conditions, ranging from ataxia to autism. For example, parallel fiber-Purkinje cell synapse dysfunctions have been identified in several murine models of spinocerebellar ataxia (SCA types 1, 3, 5 and 27. In some cases, the defect is specific for the AMPA receptor signaling (SCA27, while in others the mGlu1 pathway is affected (SCA1, 3, 5. Interestingly, the parallel fiber-Purkinje cell synapse has been shown to be hyper-functional in a mutant mouse model of autism

  10. In Vivo Ribbon Mobility and Turnover of Ribeye at Zebrafish Hair Cell Synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graydon, Cole W; Manor, Uri; Kindt, Katie S

    2017-08-07

    Ribbons are presynaptic structures that mediate synaptic vesicle release in some sensory cells of the auditory and visual systems. Although composed predominately of the protein Ribeye, very little is known about the structural dynamics of ribbons. Here we describe the in vivo mobility and turnover of Ribeye at hair cell ribbon synapses by monitoring fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) in transgenic zebrafish with GFP-tagged Ribeye. We show that Ribeye can exchange between halves of a ribbon within ~1 minute in a manner that is consistent with a simple diffusion mechanism. In contrast, exchange of Ribeye between other ribbons via the cell's cytoplasm takes several hours.

  11. Low-voltage protonic/electronic hybrid indium zinc oxide synaptic transistors on paper substrates

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wu, Guodong; Wan, Changjin; Wan, Qing; Zhou, Jumei; Zhu, Liqiang

    2014-01-01

    Low-voltage (1.5 V) indium zinc oxide (IZO)-based electric-double-layer (EDL) thin-film transistors (TFTs) gated by nanogranular proton conducting SiO 2 electrolyte films are fabricated on paper substrates. Both enhancement-mode and depletion-mode operation are obtained by tuning the thickness of the IZO channel layer. Furthermore, such flexible IZO protonic/electronic hybrid EDL TFTs can be used as artificial synapses, and synaptic stimulation response and short-term synaptic plasticity function are demonstrated. The protonic/electronic hybrid EDL TFTs on paper substrates proposed here are promising for low-power flexible paper electronics, artificial synapses and bioelectronics. (paper)

  12. Silicon synaptic transistor for hardware-based spiking neural network and neuromorphic system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Hyungjin; Hwang, Sungmin; Park, Jungjin; Park, Byung-Gook

    2017-10-01

    Brain-inspired neuromorphic systems have attracted much attention as new computing paradigms for power-efficient computation. Here, we report a silicon synaptic transistor with two electrically independent gates to realize a hardware-based neural network system without any switching components. The spike-timing dependent plasticity characteristics of the synaptic devices are measured and analyzed. With the help of the device model based on the measured data, the pattern recognition capability of the hardware-based spiking neural network systems is demonstrated using the modified national institute of standards and technology handwritten dataset. By comparing systems with and without inhibitory synapse part, it is confirmed that the inhibitory synapse part is an essential element in obtaining effective and high pattern classification capability.

  13. Coordinated activation of distinct Ca2+ sources and metabotropic glutamate receptors encodes Hebbian synaptic plasticity

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    Tigaret, Cezar M.; Olivo, Valeria; Sadowski, Josef H.L.P.; Ashby, Michael C.; Mellor, Jack R.

    2016-01-01

    At glutamatergic synapses, induction of associative synaptic plasticity requires time-correlated presynaptic and postsynaptic spikes to activate postsynaptic NMDA receptors (NMDARs). The magnitudes of the ensuing Ca2+ transients within dendritic spines are thought to determine the amplitude and direction of synaptic change. In contrast, we show that at mature hippocampal Schaffer collateral synapses the magnitudes of Ca2+ transients during plasticity induction do not match this rule. Indeed, LTP induced by time-correlated pre- and postsynaptic spikes instead requires the sequential activation of NMDARs followed by voltage-sensitive Ca2+ channels within dendritic spines. Furthermore, LTP requires inhibition of SK channels by mGluR1, which removes a negative feedback loop that constitutively regulates NMDARs. Therefore, rather than being controlled simply by the magnitude of the postsynaptic calcium rise, LTP induction requires the coordinated activation of distinct sources of Ca2+ and mGluR1-dependent facilitation of NMDAR function. PMID:26758963

  14. The Pathophysiology of Fragile X (and What It Teaches Us about Synapses)

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    Bhakar, Asha L.; Dölen, Gül; Bear, Mark F.

    2014-01-01

    Fragile X is the most common known inherited cause of intellectual disability and autism, and it typically results from transcriptional silencing of FMR1 and loss of the encoded protein, FMRP (fragile X mental retardation protein). FMRP is an mRNA-binding protein that functions at many synapses to inhibit local translation stimulated by metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs) 1 and 5. Recent studies on the biology of FMRP and the signaling pathways downstream of mGluR1/5 have yielded deeper insight into how synaptic protein synthesis and plasticity are regulated by experience. This new knowledge has also suggested ways that altered signaling and synaptic function can be corrected in fragile X, and human clinical trials based on this information are under way. PMID:22483044

  15. Degeneracy in the regulation of short-term plasticity and synaptic filtering by presynaptic mechanisms.

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    Mukunda, Chinmayee L; Narayanan, Rishikesh

    2017-04-15

    We develop a new biophysically rooted, physiologically constrained conductance-based synaptic model to mechanistically account for short-term facilitation and depression, respectively through residual calcium and transmitter depletion kinetics. We address the specific question of how presynaptic components (including voltage-gated ion channels, pumps, buffers and release-handling mechanisms) and interactions among them define synaptic filtering and short-term plasticity profiles. Employing global sensitivity analyses (GSAs), we show that near-identical synaptic filters and short-term plasticity profiles could emerge from disparate presynaptic parametric combinations with weak pairwise correlations. Using virtual knockout models, a technique to address the question of channel-specific contributions within the GSA framework, we unveil the differential and variable impact of each ion channel on synaptic physiology. Our conclusions strengthen the argument that parametric and interactional complexity in biological systems should not be viewed from the limited curse-of-dimensionality standpoint, but from the evolutionarily advantageous perspective of providing functional robustness through degeneracy. Information processing in neurons is known to emerge as a gestalt of pre- and post-synaptic filtering. However, the impact of presynaptic mechanisms on synaptic filters has not been quantitatively assessed. Here, we developed a biophysically rooted, conductance-based model synapse that was endowed with six different voltage-gated ion channels, calcium pumps, calcium buffer and neurotransmitter-replenishment mechanisms in the presynaptic terminal. We tuned our model to match the short-term plasticity profile and band-pass structure of Schaffer collateral synapses, and performed sensitivity analyses to demonstrate that presynaptic voltage-gated ion channels regulated synaptic filters through changes in excitability and associated calcium influx. These sensitivity analyses

  16. Stress enhances fear by forming new synapses with greater capacity for long-term potentiation in the amygdala.

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    Suvrathan, Aparna; Bennur, Sharath; Ghosh, Supriya; Tomar, Anupratap; Anilkumar, Shobha; Chattarji, Sumantra

    2014-01-05

    Prolonged and severe stress leads to cognitive deficits, but facilitates emotional behaviour. Little is known about the synaptic basis for this contrast. Here, we report that in rats subjected to chronic immobilization stress, long-term potentiation (LTP) and NMDA receptor (NMDAR)-mediated synaptic responses are enhanced in principal neurons of the lateral amygdala, a brain area involved in fear memory formation. This is accompanied by electrophysiological and morphological changes consistent with the formation of 'silent synapses', containing only NMDARs. In parallel, chronic stress also reduces synaptic inhibition. Together, these synaptic changes would enable amygdalar neurons to undergo further experience-dependent modifications, leading to stronger fear memories. Consistent with this prediction, stressed animals exhibit enhanced conditioned fear. Hence, stress may leave its mark in the amygdala by generating new synapses with greater capacity for plasticity, thereby creating an ideal neuronal substrate for affective disorders. These findings also highlight the unique features of stress-induced plasticity in the amygdala that are strikingly different from the stress-induced impairment of structure and function in the hippocampus.

  17. Spiking Neural P Systems With Scheduled Synapses.

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    Cabarle, Francis George C; Adorna, Henry N; Jiang, Min; Zeng, Xiangxiang

    2017-12-01

    Spiking neural P systems (SN P systems) are models of computation inspired by biological spiking neurons. SN P systems have neurons as spike processors, which are placed on the nodes of a directed and static graph (the edges in the graph are the synapses). In this paper, we introduce a variant called SN P systems with scheduled synapses (SSN P systems). SSN P systems are inspired and motivated by the structural dynamism of biological synapses, while incorporating ideas from nonstatic (i.e., dynamic) graphs and networks. In particular, synapses in SSN P systems are available only at specific durations according to their schedules. The SSN P systems model is a response to the problem of introducing durations to synapses of SN P systems. Since SN P systems are in essence static graphs, it is natural to consider them for dynamic graphs also. We introduce local and global schedule types, also taking inspiration from the above-mentioned sources. We prove that SSN P systems are computationally universal as number generators and acceptors for both schedule types, under a normal form (i.e., a simplifying set of restrictions). The introduction of synapse schedules for either schedule type proves useful in programming the system, despite restrictions in the normal form.

  18. Three-dimensional relationships between perisynaptic astroglia and human hippocampal synapses.

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    Witcher, Mark R; Park, Yong D; Lee, Mark R; Sharma, Suash; Harris, Kristen M; Kirov, Sergei A

    2010-04-01

    Perisynaptic astroglia are critical for normal synaptic development and function. Little is known, however, about perisynaptic astroglia in the human hippocampus. When mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (MTLE) is refractory to medication, surgical removal is required for seizure quiescence. To investigate perisynaptic astroglia in human hippocampus, we recovered slices for several hours in vitro from three surgical specimens and then quickly fixed them to achieve high-quality ultrastructure. Histological samples from each case were found to have mesial temporal sclerosis with Blumcke Type 1a (mild, moderate) or 1b (severe) pathology. Quantitative analysis through serial section transmission electron microscopy in CA1 stratum radiatum revealed more synapses in the mild (10/10 microm(3)) than the moderate (5/10 microm(3)) or severe (1/10 microm(3)) cases. Normal spines occurred in mild and moderate cases, but a few multisynaptic spines were all that remained in the severe case. Like adult rat hippocampus, perisynaptic astroglial processes were preferentially associated with larger synapses in the mild and moderate cases, but rarely penetrated the cluster of axonal boutons surrounding multisynaptic spines. Synapse perimeters were only partially surrounded by astroglial processes such that all synapses had some access to substances in the extracellular space, similar to adult rat hippocampus. Junctions between astroglial processes were observed more frequently in moderate than mild case, but were obscured by densely packed intermediate filaments in astroglial processes of the severe case. These findings suggest that perisynaptic astroglial processes associate with synapses in human hippocampus in a manner similar to model systems and are disrupted by severe MTLE pathology.

  19. Glial Processes at the Drosophila Larval Neuromuscular Junction Match Synaptic Growth

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    Brink, Deidre L.; Gilbert, Mary; Xie, Xiaojun; Petley-Ragan, Lindsay; Auld, Vanessa J.

    2012-01-01

    Glia are integral participants in synaptic physiology, remodeling and maturation from blowflies to humans, yet how glial structure is coordinated with synaptic growth is unknown. To investigate the dynamics of glial development at the Drosophila larval neuromuscular junction (NMJ), we developed a live imaging system to establish the relationship between glia, neuronal boutons, and the muscle subsynaptic reticulum. Using this system we observed processes from two classes of peripheral glia present at the NMJ. Processes from the subperineurial glia formed a blood-nerve barrier around the axon proximal to the first bouton. Processes from the perineurial glial extended beyond the end of the blood-nerve barrier into the NMJ where they contacted synapses and extended across non-synaptic muscle. Growth of the glial processes was coordinated with NMJ growth and synaptic activity. Increasing synaptic size through elevated temperature or the highwire mutation increased the extent of glial processes at the NMJ and conversely blocking synaptic activity and size decreased the presence and size of glial processes. We found that elevated temperature was required during embryogenesis in order to increase glial expansion at the nmj. Therefore, in our live imaging system, glial processes at the NMJ are likely indirectly regulated by synaptic changes to ensure the coordinated growth of all components of the tripartite larval NMJ. PMID:22666403

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

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    Nie, Jingjing; Yang, Xiaosu

    2017-01-01

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

  1. Associations of unilateral whisker and olfactory signals induce synapse formation and memory cell recruitment in bilateral barrel cortices: cellular mechanism for unilateral training toward bilateral memory

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    Zilong Gao

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Somatosensory signals and operative skills learned by unilateral limbs can be retrieved bilaterally. In terms of cellular mechanism underlying this unilateral learning toward bilateral memory, we hypothesized that associative memory cells in bilateral cortices and synapse innervations between them were produced. In the examination of this hypothesis, we have observed that paired unilateral whisker and odor stimulations led to odorant-induced whisker motions in bilateral sides, which were attenuated by inhibiting the activity of barrel cortices. In the mice that showed bilateral cross-modal responses, the neurons in both sides of barrel cortices became to encode this new odor signal alongside the innate whisker signal. Axon projections and synapse formations from the barrel cortex, which was co-activated with the piriform cortex, toward its contralateral barrel cortex were upregulated. Glutamatergic synaptic transmission in bilateral barrel cortices was upregulated and GABAergic synaptic transmission was downregulated. The associative activations of the sensory cortices facilitate new axon projection, glutamatergic synapse formation and GABAergic synapse downregulation, which drive the neurons to be recruited as associative memory cells in the bilateral cortices. Our data reveals the productions of associative memory cells and synapse innervations in bilateral sensory cortices for unilateral training toward bilateral memory.

  2. Synaptic Plasticity onto Dopamine Neurons Shapes Fear Learning.

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    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.

  3. Synaptic Plasticity and Spike Synchronisation in Neuronal Networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borges, Rafael R.; Borges, Fernando S.; Lameu, Ewandson L.; Protachevicz, Paulo R.; Iarosz, Kelly C.; Caldas, Iberê L.; Viana, Ricardo L.; Macau, Elbert E. N.; Baptista, Murilo S.; Grebogi, Celso; Batista, Antonio M.

    2017-12-01

    Brain plasticity, also known as neuroplasticity, is a fundamental mechanism of neuronal adaptation in response to changes in the environment or due to brain injury. In this review, we show our results about the effects of synaptic plasticity on neuronal networks composed by Hodgkin-Huxley neurons. We show that the final topology of the evolved network depends crucially on the ratio between the strengths of the inhibitory and excitatory synapses. Excitation of the same order of inhibition revels an evolved network that presents the rich-club phenomenon, well known to exist in the brain. For initial networks with considerably larger inhibitory strengths, we observe the emergence of a complex evolved topology, where neurons sparsely connected to other neurons, also a typical topology of the brain. The presence of noise enhances the strength of both types of synapses, but if the initial network has synapses of both natures with similar strengths. Finally, we show how the synchronous behaviour of the evolved network will reflect its evolved topology.

  4. Prolonged wakefulness induces experience-dependent synaptic plasticity in mouse hypocretin/orexin neurons.

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    Rao, Yan; Liu, Zhong-Wu; Borok, Erzsebet; Rabenstein, Rebecca L; Shanabrough, Marya; Lu, Min; Picciotto, Marina R; Horvath, Tamas L; Gao, Xiao-Bing

    2007-12-01

    Sleep is a natural process that preserves energy, facilitates development, and restores the nervous system in higher animals. Sleep loss resulting from physiological and pathological conditions exerts tremendous pressure on neuronal circuitry responsible for sleep-wake regulation. It is not yet clear how acute and chronic sleep loss modify neuronal activities and lead to adaptive changes in animals. Here, we show that acute and chronic prolonged wakefulness in mice induced by modafinil treatment produced long-term potentiation (LTP) of glutamatergic synapses on hypocretin/orexin neurons in the lateral hypothalamus, a well-established arousal/wake-promoting center. A similar potentiation of synaptic strength at glutamatergic synapses on hypocretin/orexin neurons was also seen when mice were sleep deprived for 4 hours by gentle handling. Blockade of dopamine D1 receptors attenuated prolonged wakefulness and synaptic plasticity in these neurons, suggesting that modafinil functions through activation of the dopamine system. Also, activation of the cAMP pathway was not able to further induce LTP at glutamatergic synapses in brain slices from mice treated with modafinil. These results indicate that synaptic plasticity due to prolonged wakefulness occurs in circuits responsible for arousal and may contribute to changes in the brain and body of animals experiencing sleep loss.

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

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    Borisyuk Roman

    2007-09-01

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

  6. Neuron-wide RNA transport combines with netrin-mediated local translation to spatially regulate the synaptic proteome.

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    Kim, Sangmok; Martin, Kelsey C

    2015-01-08

    The persistence of experience-dependent changes in brain connectivity requires RNA localization and protein synthesis. Previous studies have demonstrated a role for local translation in altering the structure and function of synapses during synapse formation and experience-dependent synaptic plasticity. In this study, we ask whether in addition to promoting local translation, local stimulation also triggers directed trafficking of RNAs from nucleus to stimulated synapses. Imaging of RNA localization and translation in cultured Aplysia sensory-motor neurons revealed that RNAs were delivered throughout the arbor of the sensory neuron, but that translation was enriched only at sites of synaptic contact and/or synaptic stimulation. Investigation of the mechanisms that trigger local translation revealed a role for calcium-dependent retrograde netrin-1/DCC receptor signaling. Spatially restricting gene expression by regulating local translation rather than by directing the delivery of mRNAs from nucleus to stimulated synapses maximizes the readiness of the entire neuronal arbor to respond to local cues.

  7. Chronic Fluoxetine Induces the Enlargement of Perforant Path-Granule Cell Synapses in the Mouse Dentate Gyrus.

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    Kitahara, Yosuke; Ohta, Keisuke; Hasuo, Hiroshi; Shuto, Takahide; Kuroiwa, Mahomi; Sotogaku, Naoki; Togo, Akinobu; Nakamura, Kei-ichiro; Nishi, Akinori

    2016-01-01

    A selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor is the most commonly prescribed antidepressant for the treatment of major depression. However, the mechanisms underlying the actions of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are not fully understood. In the dentate gyrus, chronic fluoxetine treatment induces increased excitability of mature granule cells (GCs) as well as neurogenesis. The major input to the dentate gyrus is the perforant path axons (boutons) from the entorhinal cortex (layer II). Through voltage-sensitive dye imaging, we found that the excitatory neurotransmission of the perforant path synapse onto the GCs in the middle molecular layer of the mouse dentate gyrus (perforant path-GC synapse) is enhanced after chronic fluoxetine treatment (15 mg/kg/day, 14 days). Therefore, we further examined whether chronic fluoxetine treatment affects the morphology of the perforant path-GC synapse, using FIB/SEM (focused ion beam/scanning electron microscopy). A three-dimensional reconstruction of dendritic spines revealed the appearance of extremely large-sized spines after chronic fluoxetine treatment. The large-sized spines had a postsynaptic density with a large volume. However, chronic fluoxetine treatment did not affect spine density. The presynaptic boutons that were in contact with the large-sized spines were large in volume, and the volumes of the mitochondria and synaptic vesicles inside the boutons were correlated with the size of the boutons. Thus, the large-sized perforant path-GC synapse induced by chronic fluoxetine treatment contains synaptic components that correlate with the synapse size and that may be involved in enhanced glutamatergic neurotransmission.

  8. Optogenetic Examination of Prefrontal-Amygdala Synaptic Development.

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

    2017-03-15

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

  9. Multiassociative Memory: Recurrent Synapses Increase Storage Capacity.

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    Gauy, Marcelo Matheus; Meier, Florian; Steger, Angelika

    2017-05-01

    The connection density of nearby neurons in the cortex has been observed to be around 0.1, whereas the longer-range connections are present with much sparser density (Kalisman, Silberberg, & Markram, 2005 ). We propose a memory association model that qualitatively explains these empirical observations. The model we consider is a multiassociative, sparse, Willshaw-like model consisting of binary threshold neurons and binary synapses. It uses recurrent synapses for iterative retrieval of stored memories. We quantify the usefulness of recurrent synapses by simulating the model for small network sizes and by doing a precise mathematical analysis for large network sizes. Given the network parameters, we can determine the precise values of recurrent and afferent synapse densities that optimize the storage capacity of the network. If the network size is like that of a cortical column, then the predicted optimal recurrent density lies in a range that is compatible with biological measurements. Furthermore, we show that our model is able to surpass the standard Willshaw model in the multiassociative case if the information capacity is normalized per strong synapse or per bits required to store the model, as considered in Knoblauch, Palm, and Sommer ( 2010 ).

  10. Glutamate synapses in human cognitive disorders.

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    Volk, Lenora; Chiu, Shu-Ling; Sharma, Kamal; Huganir, Richard L

    2015-07-08

    Accumulating data, including those from large genetic association studies, indicate that alterations in glutamatergic synapse structure and function represent a common underlying pathology in many symptomatically distinct cognitive disorders. In this review, we discuss evidence from human genetic studies and data from animal models supporting a role for aberrant glutamatergic synapse function in the etiology of intellectual disability (ID), autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and schizophrenia (SCZ), neurodevelopmental disorders that comprise a significant proportion of human cognitive disease and exact a substantial financial and social burden. The varied manifestations of impaired perceptual processing, executive function, social interaction, communication, and/or intellectual ability in ID, ASD, and SCZ appear to emerge from altered neural microstructure, function, and/or wiring rather than gross changes in neuron number or morphology. Here, we review evidence that these disorders may share a common underlying neuropathy: altered excitatory synapse function. We focus on the most promising candidate genes affecting glutamatergic synapse function, highlighting the likely disease-relevant functional consequences of each. We first present a brief overview of glutamatergic synapses and then explore the genetic and phenotypic evidence for altered glutamate signaling in ID, ASD, and SCZ.

  11. Presynaptic GABAB Receptors Regulate Hippocampal Synapses during Associative Learning in Behaving Mice.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M Teresa Jurado-Parras

    Full Text Available GABAB receptors are the G-protein-coupled receptors for GABA, the main inhibitory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system. Pharmacological activation of GABAB receptors regulates neurotransmission and neuronal excitability at pre- and postsynaptic sites. Electrophysiological activation of GABAB receptors in brain slices generally requires strong stimulus intensities. This raises the question as to whether behavioral stimuli are strong enough to activate GABAB receptors. Here we show that GABAB1a-/- mice, which constitutively lack presynaptic GABAB receptors at glutamatergic synapses, are impaired in their ability to acquire an operant learning task. In vivo recordings during the operant conditioning reveal a deficit in learning-dependent increases in synaptic strength at CA3-CA1 synapses. Moreover, GABAB1a-/- mice fail to synchronize neuronal activity in the CA1 area during the acquisition process. Our results support that activation of presynaptic hippocampal GABAB receptors is important for acquisition of a learning task and for learning-associated synaptic changes and network dynamics.

  12. Distortion of neuronal geometry and formation of aberrant synapses in neuronal storage disease.

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    Purpura, D P; Suzuki, K

    1976-10-29

    Golgi and electron microscope studies of cortical neurons in several lysosomal storage diseases were carried out to elucidate structural features of the large neural processes (meganeurites) that develop as storage sites for accumulated undigestible substrates. Meganeurites occur preferentially in pyramidal neurons wherein they develop between the base of the perikaryon and the initial portion of the axon. They frequently give rise to secondary neurites which bear filopodium-like processes. Meganeurites may possess spines some of which are contacted by presynaptic processes containing synaptic vesicles. The extent of meganeurite development is related to the onset, severity and clinical course of neuronal storage disease. Extensive development of bizarre and pleomorphic meganeurites occurs in classical Tay-Sachs disease (infantile GM2-gangliosidosis, B variant), whereas a smaller proportion of neurons exhibits meganeurites in juvenile GM2-hangliosidosis and Hurler's disease. Meganeurites with spines and spine synapses were prominent in GM2-gangliosidosis, AB variant. It is proposed that meganeurites and meganeurite synapses contribute to the onset and progression of neuronal dysfunction in storage diseases by altering electrical properties of the neuron and modifying integrative operations of somadendritic synaptic inputs.

  13. TRANSGENIC STRATEGY FOR IDENTIFYING SYNAPTIC CONNECTIONS IN MICE BY FLUORESCENCE COMPLEMENTATION (GRASP

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    Masahito eYamagata

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available In the "GFP reconstitution across synaptic partners" (GRASP method, non-fluorescent fragments of GFP are expressed in two different neurons; the fragments self-assemble at synapses between the two to form a fluorophore. GRASP has proven useful for light microscopic identification of synapses in two invertebrate species, Caenorhabditis elegans and Drosophila melanogaster, but has not yet been applied to vertebrates. Here, we describe GRASP constructs that function in mammalian cells and implement a transgenic strategy in which a Cre-dependent gene switch leads to expression of the two fragments in mutually exclusive neuronal subsets in mice. Using a transgenic line that expresses Cre selectively in rod photoreceptors, we demonstrate labeling of synapses in the outer plexiform layer of the retina. Labeling is specific, in that synapses made by rods remain labeled for at least 6 months whereas nearby synapses made by intercalated cone photoreceptors on many of the same interneurons remain unlabeled. We also generated antisera that label reconstituted GFP but neither fragment in order to amplify the GRASP signal and thereby increase the sensitivity of the method.

  14. Roles for Regulator of G Protein Signaling Proteins in Synaptic Signaling and Plasticity.

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    Gerber, Kyle J; Squires, Katherine E; Hepler, John R

    2016-02-01

    The regulator of G protein signaling (RGS) family of proteins serves critical roles in G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) and heterotrimeric G protein signal transduction. RGS proteins are best understood as negative regulators of GPCR/G protein signaling. They achieve this by acting as GTPase activating proteins (GAPs) for Gα subunits and accelerating the turnoff of G protein signaling. Many RGS proteins also bind additional signaling partners that either regulate their functions or enable them to regulate other important signaling events. At neuronal synapses, GPCRs, G proteins, and RGS proteins work in coordination to regulate key aspects of neurotransmitter release, synaptic transmission, and synaptic plasticity, which are necessary for central nervous system physiology and behavior. Accumulating evidence has revealed key roles for specific RGS proteins in multiple signaling pathways at neuronal synapses, regulating both pre- and postsynaptic signaling events and synaptic plasticity. Here, we review and highlight the current knowledge of specific RGS proteins (RGS2, RGS4, RGS7, RGS9-2, and RGS14) that have been clearly demonstrated to serve critical roles in modulating synaptic signaling and plasticity throughout the brain, and we consider their potential as future therapeutic targets. Copyright © 2016 by The American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.

  15. Localization of Presynaptic Plasticity Mechanisms Enables Functional Independence of Synaptic and Ectopic Transmission in the Cerebellum

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    Katharine L. Dobson

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available In the cerebellar molecular layer parallel fibre terminals release glutamate from both the active zone and from extrasynaptic “ectopic” sites. Ectopic release mediates transmission to the Bergmann glia that ensheathe the synapse, activating Ca2+-permeable AMPA receptors and glutamate transporters. Parallel fibre terminals exhibit several forms of presynaptic plasticity, including cAMP-dependent long-term potentiation and endocannabinoid-dependent long-term depression, but it is not known whether these presynaptic forms of long-term plasticity also influence ectopic transmission to Bergmann glia. Stimulation of parallel fibre inputs at 16 Hz evoked LTP of synaptic transmission, but LTD of ectopic transmission. Pharmacological activation of adenylyl cyclase by forskolin caused LTP at Purkinje neurons, but only transient potentiation at Bergmann glia, reinforcing the concept that ectopic sites lack the capacity to express sustained cAMP-dependent potentiation. Activation of mGluR1 caused depression of synaptic transmission via retrograde endocannabinoid signalling but had no significant effect at ectopic sites. In contrast, activation of NMDA receptors suppressed both synaptic and ectopic transmission. The results suggest that the signalling mechanisms for presynaptic LTP and retrograde depression by endocannabinoids are restricted to the active zone at parallel fibre synapses, allowing independent modulation of synaptic transmission to Purkinje neurons and ectopic transmission to Bergmann glia.

  16. Complement emerges as a masterful regulator of CNS homeostasis, neural synaptic plasticity and cognitive function.

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    Mastellos, Dimitrios C

    2014-11-01

    Growing evidence points to a previously elusive role of complement-modulated pathways in CNS development, neurogenesis and synaptic plasticity. Distinct complement effectors appear to play a multifaceted role in brain homeostasis by regulating synaptic pruning in the retinogeniculate system and sculpting functional neural circuits both in the developing and adult mammalian brain. A recent study by Perez-Alcazar et al. (2014) provides novel insights into this intricate interplay between complement and the dynamically regulated brain synaptic circuitry, by reporting that mice deficient in C3 exhibit enhanced hippocampus-dependent spatial learning and cognitive performance. This behavioral pattern is associated with an impact of C3 on the functional capacity of glutamatergic synapses, supporting a crucial role for complement in excitatory synapse elimination in the hippocampus. These findings add a fresh twist to this rapidly evolving research field, suggesting that discrete complement components may differentially modulate synaptic connectivity by wiring up with diverse neural effectors in different regions of the brain. The emerging role of complement in synaptogenesis and neural network plasticity opens new conceptual avenues for considering complement interception as a potential therapeutic modality for ameliorating progressive cognitive impairment in age-related, debilitating brain diseases with a prominent inflammatory signature. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Hsp90 chaperone inhibitor 17-AAG attenuates Aβ-induced synaptic toxicity and memory impairment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Yaomin; Wang, Bin; Liu, Dan; Li, Jing Jing; Xue, Yueqiang; Sakata, Kazuko; Zhu, Ling-qiang; Heldt, Scott A; Xu, Huaxi; Liao, Francesca-Fang

    2014-02-12

    The excessive accumulation of soluble amyloid peptides (Aβ) plays a crucial role in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD), particularly in synaptic dysfunction. The role of the two major chaperone proteins, Hsp70 and Hsp90, in clearing misfolded protein aggregates has been established. Despite their abundant presence in synapses, the role of these chaperones in synapses remains elusive. Here, we report that Hsp90 inhibition by 17-AAG elicited not only a heat shock-like response but also upregulated presynaptic and postsynaptic proteins, such as synapsin I, synaptophysin, and PSD95 in neurons. 17-AAG treatment enhanced high-frequency stimulation-evoked LTP and protected neurons from synaptic damage induced by soluble Aβ. In AD transgenic mice, the daily administration of 17-AAG over 7 d resulted in a marked increase in PSD95 expression in hippocampi. 17-AAG treatments in wild-type C57BL/6 mice challenged by soluble Aβ significantly improved contextual fear memory. Further, we demonstrate that 17-AAG activated synaptic protein expression via transcriptional mechanisms through the heat shock transcription factor HSF1. Together, our findings identify a novel function of Hsp90 inhibition in regulating synaptic plasticity, in addition to the known neuroprotective effects of the chaperones against Aβ and tau toxicity, thus further supporting the potential of Hsp90 inhibitors in treating neurodegenerative diseases.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Schrader Angela

    2010-11-01

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

  19. Development of neural circuitry for precise temporal sequences through spontaneous activity, axon remodeling, and synaptic plasticity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joseph K Jun

    2007-08-01

    Full Text Available Temporally precise sequences of neuronal spikes that span hundreds of milliseconds are observed in many brain areas, including songbird premotor nucleus, cat visual cortex, and primary motor cortex. Synfire chains-networks in which groups of neurons are connected via excitatory synapses into a unidirectional chain-are thought to underlie the generation of such sequences. It is unknown, however, how synfire chains can form in local neural circuits, especially for long chains. Here, we show through computer simulation that long synfire chains can develop through spike-time dependent synaptic plasticity and axon remodeling-the pruning of prolific weak connections that follows the emergence of a finite number of strong connections. The formation process begins with a random network. A subset of neurons, called training neurons, intermittently receive superthreshold external input. Gradually, a synfire chain emerges through a recruiting process, in which neurons within the network connect to the tail of the chain started by the training neurons. The model is robust to varying parameters, as well as natural events like neuronal turnover and massive lesions. Our model suggests that long synfire chain can form during the development through self-organization, and axon remodeling, ubiquitous in developing neural circuits, is essential in the process.

  20. Spontaneous Vesicle Fusion Is Differentially Regulated at Cholinergic and GABAergic Synapses

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    Haowen Liu

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available The locomotion of C. elegans is balanced by excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmitter release at neuromuscular junctions. However, the molecular mechanisms that maintain the balance of synaptic transmission remain enigmatic. Here, we investigated the function of voltage-gated Ca2+ channels in triggering spontaneous release at cholinergic and GABAergic synapses. Recordings of the miniature excitatory/inhibitory postsynaptic currents (mEPSCs and mIPSCs, respectively showed that UNC-2/CaV2 and EGL-19/CaV1 channels are the two major triggers for spontaneous release. Notably, however, Ca2+-independent spontaneous release was observed at GABAergic but not cholinergic synapses. Functional screening led to the identification of hypomorphic unc-64/Syntaxin-1A and snb-1/VAMP2 mutants in which mEPSCs are severely impaired, whereas mIPSCs remain unaltered, indicating differential regulation of these currents at cholinergic and GABAergic synapses. Moreover, Ca2+-independent spontaneous GABA release was nearly abolished in the hypomorphic unc-64 and snb-1 mutants, suggesting distinct mechanisms for Ca2+-dependent and Ca2+-independent spontaneous release.