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Sample records for synapse organization synaptic

  1. Molecular Mechanisms of Synaptic Specificity: Spotlight on Hippocampal and Cerebellar Synapse Organizers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Dongseok; Bae, Sungwon; Yoon, Taek Han; Ko, Jaewon

    2018-04-18

    Synapses and neural circuits form with exquisite specificity during brain development to allow the precise and appropriate flow of neural information. Although this property of synapses and neural circuits has been extensively investigated for more than a century, molecular mechanisms underlying this property are only recently being unveiled. Recent studies highlight several classes of cell-surface proteins as organizing hubs in building structural and functional architectures of specific synapses and neural circuits. In the present minireview, we discuss recent findings on various synapse organizers that confer the distinct properties of specific synapse types and neural circuit architectures in mammalian brains, with a particular focus on the hippocampus and cerebellum.

  2. Synapse geometry and receptor dynamics modulate synaptic strength.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  3. Organization of central synapses by adhesion molecules.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Presynaptic proteoglycans: sweet organizers of synapse development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Yoo Sung; Kim, Eunjoon

    2013-08-21

    Synaptic adhesion molecules control neuronal synapse development. In this issue of Neuron, Siddiqui et al. (2013) and de Wit et al. (2013) demonstrate that LRRTM4, a postsynaptic adhesion molecule, trans-synaptically interacts with presynaptic heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs) to promote synapse development. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. 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

  6. The balancing act of GABAergic synapse organizers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ko, Jaewon; Choii, Gayoung; Um, Ji Won

    2015-04-01

    GABA (γ-aminobutyric acid) is the main neurotransmitter at inhibitory synapses in the mammalian brain. It is essential for maintaining the excitation and inhibition (E/I) ratio, whose imbalance underlies various brain diseases. Emerging information about inhibitory synapse organizers provides a novel molecular framework for understanding E/I balance at the synapse, circuit, and systems levels. This review highlights recent advances in deciphering these components of the inhibitory synapse and their roles in the development, transmission, and circuit properties of inhibitory synapses. We also discuss how their dysfunction may lead to a variety of brain disorders, suggesting new therapeutic strategies based on balancing the E/I ratio.

  7. Mechanisms of input and output synaptic specificity: finding partners, building synapses, and fine-tuning communication.

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    Rawson, Randi L; Martin, E Anne; Williams, Megan E

    2017-08-01

    For most neurons to function properly, they need to develop synaptic specificity. This requires finding specific partner neurons, building the correct types of synapses, and fine-tuning these synapses in response to neural activity. Synaptic specificity is common at both a neuron's input and output synapses, whereby unique synapses are built depending on the partnering neuron. Neuroscientists have long appreciated the remarkable specificity of neural circuits but identifying molecular mechanisms mediating synaptic specificity has only recently accelerated. Here, we focus on recent progress in understanding input and output synaptic specificity in the mammalian brain. We review newly identified circuit examples for both and the latest research identifying molecular mediators including Kirrel3, FGFs, and DGLα. Lastly, we expect the pace of research on input and output specificity to continue to accelerate with the advent of new technologies in genomics, microscopy, and proteomics. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Emergent Synapse Organizers: LAR-RPTPs and Their Companions.

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    Han, K A; Jeon, S; Um, J W; Ko, J

    2016-01-01

    Leukocyte common antigen-related receptor tyrosine phosphatases (LAR-RPTPs) have emerged as key players that organize various aspects of neuronal development, including axon guidance, neurite extension, and synapse formation and function. Recent research has highlighted the roles of LAR-RPTPs at neuronal synapses in mediating distinct synaptic adhesion pathways through interactions with a host of extracellular ligands and in governing a variety of intracellular signaling cascades through binding to various scaffolds and signaling proteins. In this chapter, we review and update current research progress on the extracellular ligands of LAR-RPTPs, regulation of their extracellular interactions by alternative splicing and heparan sulfates, and their intracellular signaling machineries. In particular, we review structural insights on complexes of LAR-RPTPs with their various ligands. These studies lend support to general molecular mechanisms underlying LAR-RPTP-mediated synaptic adhesion and signaling pathways. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

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    Hunter, J D; Milton, J G

    2001-08-01

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

  10. Synaptic Cell Adhesion

    OpenAIRE

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rudenko, Gabby (Texas-MED)

    2017-01-01

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

  12. Gephyrin, the enigmatic organizer at GABAergic synapses

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    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...

  13. Secreted factors as synaptic organizers.

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    Johnson-Venkatesh, Erin M; Umemori, Hisashi

    2010-07-01

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

  14. MAGUKs: multifaceted synaptic organizers.

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

    2017-04-01

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

  15. Synapse formation and maintenance by C1q family proteins: a new class of secreted synapse organizers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuzaki, Michisuke

    2010-07-01

    Several C1q family members, especially the Cbln and C1q-like subfamilies, are highly and predominantly expressed in the central nervous system. Cbln1, a member of the Cbln subfamily, plays two unique roles at parallel fiber (PF)-Purkinje cell synapses in the cerebellum: the formation and stabilization of synaptic contact, and the control of functional synaptic plasticity by regulating the postsynaptic endocytotic pathway. The delta2 glutamate receptor (GluD2), which is predominantly expressed in Purkinje cells, plays similar critical roles in the cerebellum. In addition, viral expression of GluD2 or the application of recombinant Cbln1 induces PF-Purkinje cell synaptogenesis in vitro and in vivo. Antigen-unmasking methods were necessary to reveal the immunoreactivities for endogenous Cbln1 and GluD2 at the synaptic junction of PF synapses. We propose that Cbln1 and GluD2 are located at the synaptic cleft, where various proteins undergo intricate molecular interactions with each other, and serve as a bidirectional synaptic organizer. © The Author (2010). Journal Compilation © Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schroeder, Anna; de Wit, Joris

    2018-04-09

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

  17. Neurotrophin-3 Regulates Synapse Development by Modulating TrkC-PTPσ Synaptic Adhesion and Intracellular Signaling Pathways.

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    Han, Kyung Ah; Woo, Doyeon; Kim, Seungjoon; Choii, Gayoung; Jeon, Sangmin; Won, Seoung Youn; Kim, Ho Min; Heo, Won Do; Um, Ji Won; Ko, Jaewon

    2016-04-27

    neurotrophin-3 (NT-3) modulates the synaptic adhesion pathway involving neurotrophin receptor tyrosine kinase C (TrkC) and presynaptic protein tyrosine phosphatase σ (PTPσ) in a bidirectional manner at excitatory synapses. NT-3 acts in concentration-independent manner to facilitate TrkC-mediated presynaptic differentiation, whereas it acts in a concentration-dependent manner to exert differential effects on TrkC-mediated organization of postsynaptic development. We further investigated TrkC extracellular ligand binding, intracellular signaling pathways, and kinase activity in NT-3-induced synapse development. Last, we found that interneuronal differences in TrkC levels regulate the synapse number. Overall, these results suggest that NT-3 functions as a positive modulator of synaptogenesis involving TrkC and PTPσ. Copyright © 2016 the authors 0270-6474/16/364817-16$15.00/0.

  18. 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.

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

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    Yuzaki, Michisuke

    2017-08-01

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

  20. 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.

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

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    Soonwook eChoi

    2014-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  3. Emerging roles of the neurotrophin receptor TrkC in synapse organization.

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    Naito, Yusuke; Lee, Alfred Kihoon; Takahashi, Hideto

    2017-03-01

    Tropomyosin-receptor-kinase (Trk) receptors have been extensively studied for their roles in kinase-dependent signaling cascades in nervous system development. Synapse organization is coordinated by trans-synaptic interactions of various cell adhesion proteins, a representative example of which is the neurexin-neuroligin complex. Recently, a novel role for TrkC as a synapse organizing protein has been established. Post-synaptic TrkC binds to pre-synaptic type-IIa receptor-type protein tyrosine phosphatase sigma (PTPσ). TrkC-PTPσ specifically induces excitatory synapses in a kinase domain-independent manner. TrkC has distinct extracellular domains for PTPσ- and NT-3-binding and thus may bind both ligands simultaneously. Indeed, NT-3 enhances the TrkC-PTPσ interaction, thus facilitating synapse induction at the pre-synaptic side and increasing pre-synaptic vesicle recycling in a kinase-independent fashion. A crystal structure study has revealed the detailed structure of the TrkC-PTPσ complex as well as competitive modulation of TrkC-mediated synaptogenesis by heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs), which bind the same domain of TrkC as PTPσ. Thus, there is strong evidence supporting a role for the TrkC-PTPσ complex in mechanisms underlying the fine turning of neural connectivity. Furthermore, disruption of the TrkC-PTPσ complex may be the underlying cause of certain psychiatric disorders caused by mutations in the gene encoding TrkC (NTRK3), supporting its role in cognitive functions. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd and Japan Neuroscience Society. All rights reserved.

  4. Organization of central synapses by adhesion molecules

    OpenAIRE

    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 ...

  5. SAD-B kinase regulates pre-synaptic vesicular dynamics at hippocampal Schaffer collateral synapses and affects contextual fear memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watabe, Ayako M; Nagase, Masashi; Hagiwara, Akari; Hida, Yamato; Tsuji, Megumi; Ochiai, Toshitaka; Kato, Fusao; Ohtsuka, Toshihisa

    2016-01-01

    Synapses of amphids defective (SAD)-A/B kinases control various steps in neuronal development and differentiation, such as axon specifications and maturation in central and peripheral nervous systems. At mature pre-synaptic terminals, SAD-B is associated with synaptic vesicles and the active zone cytomatrix; however, how SAD-B regulates neurotransmission and synaptic plasticity in vivo remains unclear. Thus, we used SAD-B knockout (KO) mice to study the function of this pre-synaptic kinase in the brain. We found that the paired-pulse ratio was significantly enhanced at Shaffer collateral synapses in the hippocampal CA1 region in SAD-B KO mice compared with wild-type littermates. We also found that the frequency of the miniature excitatory post-synaptic current was decreased in SAD-B KO mice. Moreover, synaptic depression following prolonged low-frequency synaptic stimulation was significantly enhanced in SAD-B KO mice. These results suggest that SAD-B kinase regulates vesicular release probability at pre-synaptic terminals and is involved in vesicular trafficking and/or regulation of the readily releasable pool size. Finally, we found that hippocampus-dependent contextual fear learning was significantly impaired in SAD-B KO mice. These observations suggest that SAD-B kinase plays pivotal roles in controlling vesicular release properties and regulating hippocampal function in the mature brain. Synapses of amphids defective (SAD)-A/B kinases control various steps in neuronal development and differentiation, but their roles in mature brains were only partially known. Here, we demonstrated, at mature pre-synaptic terminals, that SAD-B regulates vesicular release probability and synaptic plasticity. Moreover, hippocampus-dependent contextual fear learning was significantly impaired in SAD-B KO mice, suggesting that SAD-B kinase plays pivotal roles in controlling vesicular release properties and regulating hippocampal function in the mature brain. © 2015 International

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  7. 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.

  8. Organizers of inhibitory synapses come of age.

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    Krueger-Burg, Dilja; Papadopoulos, Theofilos; Brose, Nils

    2017-08-01

    While the postsynaptic density of excitatory synapses is known to encompass a highly complex molecular machinery, the equivalent organizational structure of inhibitory synapses has long remained largely undefined. In recent years, however, substantial progress has been made towards identifying the full complement of organizational proteins present at inhibitory synapses, including submembranous scaffolds, intracellular signaling proteins, transsynaptic adhesion proteins, and secreted factors. Here, we summarize these findings and discuss future challenges in assigning synapse-specific functions to the newly discovered catalog of proteins, an endeavor that will depend heavily on newly developed technologies such as proximity biotinylation. Further advances are made all the more essential by growing evidence that links inhibitory synapses to psychiatric and neurological disorders. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Molecular determinants of magnesium-dependent synaptic plasticity at electrical synapses formed by connexin36

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    Palacios-Prado, Nicolás; Chapuis, Sandrine; Panjkovich, Alejandro; Fregeac, Julien; Nagy, James I.; Bukauskas, Feliksas F.

    2014-08-01

    Neuronal gap junction (GJ) channels composed of connexin36 (Cx36) play an important role in neuronal synchronization and network dynamics. Here we show that Cx36-containing electrical synapses between inhibitory neurons of the thalamic reticular nucleus are bidirectionally modulated by changes in intracellular free magnesium concentration ([Mg2+]i). Chimeragenesis demonstrates that the first extracellular loop of Cx36 contains a Mg2+-sensitive domain, and site-directed mutagenesis shows that the pore-lining residue D47 is critical in determining high Mg2+-sensitivity. Single-channel analysis of Mg2+-sensitive chimeras and mutants reveals that [Mg2+]i controls the strength of electrical coupling mostly via gating mechanisms. In addition, asymmetric transjunctional [Mg2+]i induces strong instantaneous rectification, providing a novel mechanism for electrical rectification in homotypic Cx36 GJs. We suggest that Mg2+-dependent synaptic plasticity of Cx36-containing electrical synapses could underlie neuronal circuit reconfiguration via changes in brain energy metabolism that affects neuronal levels of intracellular ATP and [Mg2+]i.

  10. On optical detection of densely labeled synapses in neuropil and mapping connectivity with combinatorially multiplexed fluorescent synaptic markers.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuriy Mishchenko

    Full Text Available We propose a new method for mapping neural connectivity optically, by utilizing Cre/Lox system Brainbow to tag synapses of different neurons with random mixtures of different fluorophores, such as GFP, YFP, etc., and then detecting patterns of fluorophores at different synapses using light microscopy (LM. Such patterns will immediately report the pre- and post-synaptic cells at each synaptic connection, without tracing neural projections from individual synapses to corresponding cell bodies. We simulate fluorescence from a population of densely labeled synapses in a block of hippocampal neuropil, completely reconstructed from electron microscopy data, and show that high-end LM is able to detect such patterns with over 95% accuracy. We conclude, therefore, that with the described approach neural connectivity in macroscopically large neural circuits can be mapped with great accuracy, in scalable manner, using fast optical tools, and straightforward image processing. Relying on an electron microscopy dataset, we also derive and explicitly enumerate the conditions that should be met to allow synaptic connectivity studies with high-resolution optical tools.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-15

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ocker, Gabriel Koch; Litwin-Kumar, Ashok; Doiron, Brent

    2015-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  16. Deficits in synaptic function occur at medial perforant path-dentate granule cell synapses prior to Schaffer collateral-CA1 pyramidal cell synapses in the novel TgF344-Alzheimer's Disease Rat Model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Lindsey A; McMahon, Lori L

    2018-02-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) pathology begins decades prior to onset of clinical symptoms, and the entorhinal cortex and hippocampus are among the first and most extensively impacted brain regions. The TgF344-AD rat model, which more fully recapitulates human AD pathology in an age-dependent manner, is a next generation preclinical rodent model for understanding pathophysiological processes underlying the earliest stages of AD (Cohen et al., 2013). Whether synaptic alterations occur in hippocampus prior to reported learning and memory deficit is not known. Furthermore, it is not known if specific hippocampal synapses are differentially affected by progressing AD pathology, or if synaptic deficits begin to appear at the same age in males and females in this preclinical model. Here, we investigated the time-course of synaptic changes in basal transmission, paired-pulse ratio, as an indirect measure of presynaptic release probability, long-term potentiation (LTP), and dendritic spine density at two hippocampal synapses in male and ovariectomized female TgF344-AD rats and wildtype littermates, prior to reported behavioral deficits. Decreased basal synaptic transmission begins at medial perforant path-dentate granule cell (MPP-DGC) synapses prior to Schaffer-collateral-CA1 (CA3-CA1) synapses, in the absence of a change in paired-pulse ratio (PPR) or dendritic spine density. N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor (NMDAR)-dependent LTP magnitude is unaffected at CA3-CA1 synapses at 6, 9, and 12months of age, but is significantly increased at MPP-DGC synapses in TgF344-AD rats at 6months only. Sex differences were only observed at CA3-CA1 synapses where the decrease in basal transmission occurs at a younger age in males versus females. These are the first studies to define presymptomatic alterations in hippocampal synaptic transmission in the TgF344-AD rat model. The time course of altered synaptic transmission mimics the spread of pathology through hippocampus in human AD and provides

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  18. Inverse stochastic resonance induced by synaptic background activity with unreliable synapses

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Uzuntarla, Muhammet, E-mail: muzuntarla@yahoo.com

    2013-11-15

    Inverse stochastic resonance (ISR) is a recently pronounced phenomenon that is the minimum occurrence in mean firing rate of a rhythmically firing neuron as noise level varies. Here, by using a realistic modeling approach for the noise, we investigate the ISR with concrete biophysical mechanisms. It is shown that mean firing rate of a single neuron subjected to synaptic bombardment exhibits a minimum as the spike transmission probability varies. We also demonstrate that the occurrence of ISR strongly depends on the synaptic input regime, where it is most prominent in the balanced state of excitatory and inhibitory inputs.

  19. 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

  20. Synaptic activity-related classical protein kinase C isoform localization in the adult rat neuromuscular synapse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Besalduch, Núria; Tomàs, Marta; Santafé, Manel M; Garcia, Neus; Tomàs, Josep; Lanuza, Maria Angel

    2010-01-10

    Protein kinase C (PKC) is essential for signal transduction in a variety of cells, including neurons and myocytes, and is involved in both acetylcholine release and muscle fiber contraction. Here, we demonstrate that the increases in synaptic activity by nerve stimulation couple PKC to transmitter release in the rat neuromuscular junction and increase the level of alpha, betaI, and betaII isoforms in the membrane when muscle contraction follows the stimulation. The phosphorylation activity of these classical PKCs also increases. It seems that the muscle has to contract in order to maintain or increase classical PKCs in the membrane. We use immunohistochemistry to show that PKCalpha and PKCbetaI were located in the nerve terminals, whereas PKCalpha and PKCbetaII were located in the postsynaptic and the Schwann cells. Stimulation and contraction do not change these cellular distributions, but our results show that the localization of classical PKC isoforms in the membrane is affected by synaptic activity.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brose, Nils

    2009-03-12

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

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

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    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.

  4. The 'disector' a tool for quantitative assessment of synaptic plasticity an example on hippocampal synapses and synapse-perforations in ageing rats

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Groot, D.M.G. de; Bierman, E.P.B.; Bruijnzeel, P.L.B.; Woutersen, R.A.

    1995-01-01

    The 'disector' method was used to estimate number and size of simple non-perforated and complex 'perforated' synapses and their 'perforations' in the hippocampal CA3 area of 3, 12, 24 and 30 months old rats. A decrease with age from 3 to 24 months of age in the number of non-perforated synapses per

  5. 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.

  6. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ammendrup-Johnsen, Ina; Naito, Yusuke; Craig, Ann Marie; Takahashi, Hideto

    2015-09-09

    Neurotrophin-3 (NT-3) and its high-affinity receptor TrkC play crucial trophic roles in neuronal differentiation, axon outgrowth, and synapse development and plasticity in the nervous system. We demonstrated previously that postsynaptic TrkC functions as a glutamatergic synapse-inducing (synaptogenic) cell adhesion molecule trans-interacting with presynaptic protein tyrosine phosphatase σ (PTPσ). Given that NT-3 and PTPσ bind distinct domains of the TrkC extracellular region, here we tested the hypothesis that NT-3 modulates TrkC/PTPσ binding and synaptogenic activity. NT-3 enhanced PTPσ binding to cell surface-expressed TrkC and facilitated the presynapse-inducing activity of TrkC in rat hippocampal neurons. Imaging of recycling presynaptic vesicles combined with TrkC knockdown and rescue approaches demonstrated that NT-3 rapidly potentiates presynaptic function via binding endogenous postsynaptic TrkC in a tyrosine kinase-independent manner. Thus, NT-3 positively modulates the TrkC-PTPσ complex for glutamatergic presynaptic assembly and function independently from TrkC kinase activation. Our findings provide new insight into synaptic roles of neurotrophin signaling and mechanisms controlling synaptic organizing complexes. Significance statement: Although many synaptogenic adhesion complexes have been identified in recent years, little is known about modulatory mechanisms. Here, we demonstrate a novel role of neurotrophin-3 in synaptic assembly and function as a positive modulator of the TrkC-protein tyrosine phosphatase σ complex. This study provides new insight into the involvement of neurotrophin signaling in synapse development and plasticity, presenting a molecular mechanism that may underlie previous observations of short- and long-term enhancement of presynaptic function by neurotrophin. Given the links of synaptogenic adhesion molecules to autism and schizophrenia, this study might also contribute to a better understanding of the pathogenesis of

  8. 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.

  9. Reversing the outcome of synapse elimination at developing neuromuscular junctions in vivo: evidence for synaptic competition and its mechanism.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephen G Turney

    Full Text Available During mammalian development, neuromuscular junctions and some other postsynaptic cells transition from multiple- to single-innervation as synaptic sites are exchanged between different axons. It is unclear whether one axon invades synaptic sites to drive off other inputs or alternatively axons expand their territory in response to sites vacated by other axons. Here we show that soon-to-be-eliminated axons rapidly reverse fate and grow to occupy vacant sites at a neuromuscular junction after laser removal of a stronger input. This reversal supports the idea that axons take over sites that were previously vacated. Indeed, during normal development we observed withdrawal followed by takeover. The stimulus for axon growth is not postsynaptic cell inactivity because axons grow into unoccupied sites even when target cells are functionally innervated. These results demonstrate competition at the synaptic level and enable us to provide a conceptual framework for understanding this form of synaptic plasticity.

  10. Reversing the outcome of synapse elimination at developing neuromuscular junctions in vivo: evidence for synaptic competition and its mechanism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turney, Stephen G; Lichtman, Jeff W

    2012-01-01

    During mammalian development, neuromuscular junctions and some other postsynaptic cells transition from multiple- to single-innervation as synaptic sites are exchanged between different axons. It is unclear whether one axon invades synaptic sites to drive off other inputs or alternatively axons expand their territory in response to sites vacated by other axons. Here we show that soon-to-be-eliminated axons rapidly reverse fate and grow to occupy vacant sites at a neuromuscular junction after laser removal of a stronger input. This reversal supports the idea that axons take over sites that were previously vacated. Indeed, during normal development we observed withdrawal followed by takeover. The stimulus for axon growth is not postsynaptic cell inactivity because axons grow into unoccupied sites even when target cells are functionally innervated. These results demonstrate competition at the synaptic level and enable us to provide a conceptual framework for understanding this form of synaptic plasticity.

  11. "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.

  12. 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

  13. The organization of plasticity in the cerebellar cortex: from synapses to control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Angelo, Egidio

    2014-01-01

    The cerebellum is thought to play a critical role in procedural learning, but the relationship between this function and the underlying cellular and synaptic mechanisms remains largely speculative. At present, at least nine forms of long-term synaptic and nonsynaptic plasticity (some of which are bidirectional) have been reported in the cerebellar cortex and deep cerebellar nuclei. These include long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression at the mossy fiber-granule cell synapse, at the synapses formed by parallel fibers, climbing fibers, and molecular layer interneurons on Purkinje cells, and at the synapses formed by mossy fibers and Purkinje cells on deep cerebellar nuclear cells, as well as LTP of intrinsic excitability in granule cells, Purkinje cells, and deep cerebellar nuclear cells. It is suggested that the complex properties of cerebellar learning would emerge from the distribution of plasticity in the network and from its dynamic remodeling during the different phases of learning. Intrinsic and extrinsic factors may hold the key to explain how the different forms of plasticity cooperate to select specific transmission channels and to regulate the signal-to-noise ratio through the cerebellar cortex. These factors include regulation of neuronal excitation by local inhibitory networks, engagement of specific molecular mechanisms by spike bursts and theta-frequency oscillations, and gating by external neuromodulators. Therefore, a new and more complex view of cerebellar plasticity is emerging with respect to that predicted by the original "Motor Learning Theory," opening issues that will require experimental and computational testing. © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. 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.

  15. Synaptic Circuit Organization of Motor Corticothalamic Neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamawaki, Naoki

    2015-01-01

    Corticothalamic (CT) neurons in layer 6 constitute a large but enigmatic class of cortical projection neurons. How they are integrated into intracortical and thalamo-cortico-thalamic circuits is incompletely understood, especially outside of sensory cortex. Here, we investigated CT circuits in mouse forelimb motor cortex (M1) using multiple circuit-analysis methods. Stimulating and recording from CT, intratelencephalic (IT), and pyramidal tract (PT) projection neurons, we found strong CT↔ CT and CT↔ IT connections; however, CT→IT connections were limited to IT neurons in layer 6, not 5B. There was strikingly little CT↔ PT excitatory connectivity. Disynaptic inhibition systematically accompanied excitation in these pathways, scaling with the amplitude of excitation according to both presynaptic (class-specific) and postsynaptic (cell-by-cell) factors. In particular, CT neurons evoked proportionally more inhibition relative to excitation (I/E ratio) than IT neurons. Furthermore, the amplitude of inhibition was tuned to match the amount of excitation at the level of individual neurons; in the extreme, neurons receiving no excitation received no inhibition either. Extending these studies to dissect the connectivity between cortex and thalamus, we found that M1-CT neurons and thalamocortical neurons in the ventrolateral (VL) nucleus were remarkably unconnected in either direction. Instead, VL axons in the cortex excited both IT and PT neurons, and CT axons in the thalamus excited other thalamic neurons, including those in the posterior nucleus, which additionally received PT excitation. These findings, which contrast in several ways with previous observations in sensory areas, illuminate the basic circuit organization of CT neurons within M1 and between M1 and thalamus. PMID:25653383

  16. A perisynaptic ménage à trois between Dlg, DLin-7, and Metro controls proper organization of Drosophila synaptic junctions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bachmann, André; Kobler, Oliver; Kittel, Robert J; Wichmann, Carolin; Sierralta, Jimena; Sigrist, Stephan J; Gundelfinger, Eckart D; Knust, Elisabeth; Thomas, Ulrich

    2010-04-28

    Structural plasticity of synaptic junctions is a prerequisite to achieve and modulate connectivity within nervous systems, e.g., during learning and memory formation. It demands adequate backup systems that allow remodeling while retaining sufficient stability to prevent unwanted synaptic disintegration. The strength of submembranous scaffold complexes, which are fundamental to the architecture of synaptic junctions, likely constitutes a crucial determinant of synaptic stability. Postsynaptic density protein-95 (PSD-95)/ Discs-large (Dlg)-like membrane-associated guanylate kinases (DLG-MAGUKs) are principal scaffold proteins at both vertebrate and invertebrate synapses. At Drosophila larval glutamatergic neuromuscular junctions (NMJs) DlgA and DlgS97 exert pleiotropic functions, probably reflecting a few known and a number of yet-unknown binding partners. In this study we have identified Metro, a novel p55/MPP-like Drosophila MAGUK as a major binding partner of perisynaptic DlgS97 at larval NMJs. Based on homotypic LIN-2,-7 (L27) domain interactions, Metro stabilizes junctional DlgS97 in a complex with the highly conserved adaptor protein DLin-7. In a remarkably interdependent manner, Metro and DLin-7 act downstream of DlgS97 to control NMJ expansion and proper establishment of synaptic boutons. Using quantitative 3D-imaging we further demonstrate that the complex controls the size of postsynaptic glutamate receptor fields. Our findings accentuate the importance of perisynaptic scaffold complexes for synaptic stabilization and organization.

  17. Fine structure and synaptic organization of the mesencephalic trigeminal nucleus of the cat: a quantitative electron microscopic study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lazarov, N

    1996-01-01

    The ultrastructure and synaptic organization of the mesencephalic trigeminal nucleus (MTN) were studied in adult cats by transmission electron microscopy and more precisely quantified with an automated image analysis system. Two subpopulations of MTN neurons were identified within the nucleus: large spherical or ovoid (pseudo)unipolar cells amounted to about 60% of the total population that resemble typical primary sensory neurons and small multipolar neurons (estimated 40%), some of which are possibly interneurons. By electron microscopy, most neurons in the MTN proved to have a rich cytoplasm in the perikaryon with abundant rough endoplasmic reticulum, a large number of free ribosomes and polysomes, also well-developed Golgi complex, and numerous mitochondria and neurofilaments indicating a high rate of protein synthesis and axonal transport in these cells. Three types of synaptic contacts were observed in the MTN: axodendritic, axosomatic and axospinic of both symmetric and asymmetric morphology. Most of them (almost 90%) were axodendritic and axodendritic spine. Approximately 70% of axon terminals contained small round vesicles (S-type boutons) whereas the other 30% belonged to the P-type boutons filled with a pleomorphic vesicle population. Axosomatic synapses were comparatively rare accounting for 10% of the total. About two-third of them were of S-type and almost 25% of the remaining third were F-type in which flat synaptic vesicles could be seen, and less than 10% were P- and G-types with granular vesicles.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuzaki, Michisuke

    2018-02-10

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

  19. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-03-12

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bill, Johannes; Legenstein, Robert

    2014-01-01

    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 architectures.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  4. On-chip photonic synapse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Zengguang; Ríos, Carlos; Pernice, Wolfram H P; Wright, C David; Bhaskaran, Harish

    2017-09-01

    The search for new "neuromorphic computing" architectures that mimic the brain's approach to simultaneous processing and storage of information is intense. Because, in real brains, neuronal synapses outnumber neurons by many orders of magnitude, the realization of hardware devices mimicking the functionality of a synapse is a first and essential step in such a search. We report the development of such a hardware synapse, implemented entirely in the optical domain via a photonic integrated-circuit approach. Using purely optical means brings the benefits of ultrafast operation speed, virtually unlimited bandwidth, and no electrical interconnect power losses. Our synapse uses phase-change materials combined with integrated silicon nitride waveguides. Crucially, we can randomly set the synaptic weight simply by varying the number of optical pulses sent down the waveguide, delivering an incredibly simple yet powerful approach that heralds systems with a continuously variable synaptic plasticity resembling the true analog nature of biological synapses.

  5. The novel protein kinase C epsilon isoform at the adult neuromuscular synapse: location, regulation by synaptic activity-dependent muscle contraction through TrkB signaling and coupling to ACh release.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Obis, Teresa; Besalduch, Núria; Hurtado, Erica; Nadal, Laura; Santafe, Manel M; Garcia, Neus; Tomàs, Marta; Priego, Mercedes; Lanuza, Maria A; Tomàs, Josep

    2015-02-10

    Protein kinase C (PKC) regulates a variety of neural functions, including neurotransmitter release. Although various PKC isoforms can be expressed at the synaptic sites and specific cell distribution may contribute to their functional diversity, little is known about the isoform-specific functions of PKCs in neuromuscular synapse. The present study is designed to examine the location of the novel isoform nPKCε at the neuromuscular junction (NMJ), their synaptic activity-related expression changes, its regulation by muscle contraction, and their possible involvement in acetylcholine release. We use immunohistochemistry and confocal microscopy to demonstrate that the novel isoform nPKCε is exclusively located in the motor nerve terminals of the adult rat NMJ. We also report that electrical stimulation of synaptic inputs to the skeletal muscle significantly increased the amount of nPKCε isoform as well as its phosphorylated form in the synaptic membrane, and muscle contraction is necessary for these nPKCε expression changes. The results also demonstrate that synaptic activity-induced muscle contraction promotes changes in presynaptic nPKCε through the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF)-mediated tyrosine kinase receptor B (TrkB) signaling. Moreover, nPKCε activity results in phosphorylation of the substrate MARCKS involved in actin cytoskeleton remodeling and related with neurotransmission. Finally, blocking nPKCε with a nPKCε-specific translocation inhibitor peptide (εV1-2) strongly reduces phorbol ester-induced ACh release potentiation, which further indicates that nPKCε is involved in neurotransmission. Together, these results provide a mechanistic insight into how synaptic activity-induced muscle contraction could regulate the presynaptic action of the nPKCε isoform and suggest that muscle contraction is an important regulatory step in TrkB signaling at the NMJ.

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

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    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  8. The biochemical anatomy of cortical inhibitory synapses.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elizabeth A Heller

    Full Text Available Classical electron microscopic studies of the mammalian brain revealed two major classes of synapses, distinguished by the presence of a large postsynaptic density (PSD exclusively at type 1, excitatory synapses. Biochemical studies of the PSD have established the paradigm of the synapse as a complex signal-processing machine that controls synaptic plasticity. We report here the results of a proteomic analysis of type 2, inhibitory synaptic complexes isolated by affinity purification from the cerebral cortex. We show that these synaptic complexes contain a variety of neurotransmitter receptors, neural cell-scaffolding and adhesion molecules, but that they are entirely lacking in cell signaling proteins. This fundamental distinction between the functions of type 1 and type 2 synapses in the nervous system has far reaching implications for models of synaptic plasticity, rapid adaptations in neural circuits, and homeostatic mechanisms controlling the balance of excitation and inhibition in the mature brain.

  9. Involvement of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in the functional elimination of synaptic contacts at polyinnervated neuromuscular synapses during development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia, N; Santafe, M M; Tomàs, M; Lanuza, M A; Besalduch, N; Tomàs, J

    2010-05-15

    We use immunohistochemistry to describe the localization of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and its receptors trkB and p75(NTR) in the neuromuscular synapses of postnatal rats (P6-P7) during the synapse elimination period. The receptor protein p75(NTR) is present in the nerve terminal, muscle cell and glial Schwann cell whereas BDNF and trkB proteins can be detected mainly in the pre- and postsynaptic elements. Exogenously applied BDNF (10 nM for 3 hr or 50 nM for 1 hr) increases ACh release from singly and dually innervated synapses. This effect may be specific for BDNF because the neurotrophin NT-4 (2-8 nM) does not modulate release at P6-P7. Blocking the receptors trkB and p75(NTR) (with K-252a and anti-p75-192-IgG, respectively) completely abolishes the potentiating effect of exogenous BDNF. In addition, exogenous BDNF transiently recruits functionally depressed silent terminals, and this effect seems to be mediated by trkB. Calcium ions, the L-type voltage-dependent calcium channels and protein kinase C are involved in BDNF-mediated nerve ending recruitment. Blocking experiments suggest that endogenous BDNF could operate through p75(NTR) receptors coupled to potentiate ACh release in all nerve terminals because the anti-p75-192-IgG reduces release. However, blocking the trkB receptor (K-252a) or neutralizing endogenous BDNF with the trkB-IgG fusion protein reveals a trkB-mediated release inhibition on almost mature strong endings in dual junctions. Taken together these results suggest that a BDNF-induced p75(NTR)-mediated ACh release potentiating mechanism and a BDNF-induced trkB-mediated release inhibitory mechanism may contribute to developmental synapse disconnection. (c) 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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…

  14. Synapse Formation in Monosynaptic Sensory–Motor Connections Is Regulated by Presynaptic Rho GTPase Cdc42

    Science.gov (United States)

    Imai, Fumiyasu; Ladle, David R.; Leslie, Jennifer R.; Duan, Xin; Rizvi, Tilat A.; Ciraolo, Georgianne M.; Zheng, Yi

    2016-01-01

    Spinal reflex circuit development requires the precise regulation of axon trajectories, synaptic specificity, and synapse formation. Of these three crucial steps, the molecular mechanisms underlying synapse formation between group Ia proprioceptive sensory neurons and motor neurons is the least understood. Here, we show that the Rho GTPase Cdc42 controls synapse formation in monosynaptic sensory–motor connections in presynaptic, but not postsynaptic, neurons. In mice lacking Cdc42 in presynaptic sensory neurons, proprioceptive sensory axons appropriately reach the ventral spinal cord, but significantly fewer synapses are formed with motor neurons compared with wild-type mice. Concordantly, electrophysiological analyses show diminished EPSP amplitudes in monosynaptic sensory–motor circuits in these mutants. Temporally targeted deletion of Cdc42 in sensory neurons after sensory–motor circuit establishment reveals that Cdc42 does not affect synaptic transmission. Furthermore, addition of the synaptic organizers, neuroligins, induces presynaptic differentiation of wild-type, but not Cdc42-deficient, proprioceptive sensory neurons in vitro. Together, our findings demonstrate that Cdc42 in presynaptic neurons is required for synapse formation in monosynaptic sensory–motor circuits. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Group Ia proprioceptive sensory neurons form direct synapses with motor neurons, but the molecular mechanisms underlying synapse formation in these monosynaptic sensory–motor connections are unknown. We show that deleting Cdc42 in sensory neurons does not affect proprioceptive sensory axon targeting because axons reach the ventral spinal cord appropriately, but these neurons form significantly fewer presynaptic terminals on motor neurons. Electrophysiological analysis further shows that EPSPs are decreased in these mice. Finally, we demonstrate that Cdc42 is involved in neuroligin-dependent presynaptic differentiation of proprioceptive sensory neurons in vitro

  15. Zinc at glutamatergic synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paoletti, P; Vergnano, A M; Barbour, B; Casado, M

    2009-01-12

    It has long been known that the mammalian forebrain contains a subset of glutamatergic neurons that sequester zinc in their synaptic vesicles. This zinc may be released into the synaptic cleft upon neuronal activity. Extracellular zinc has the potential to interact with and modulate many different synaptic targets, including glutamate receptors and transporters. Among these targets, NMDA receptors appear particularly interesting because certain NMDA receptor subtypes (those containing the NR2A subunit) contain allosteric sites exquisitely sensitive to extracellular zinc. The existence of these high-affinity zinc binding sites raises the possibility that zinc may act both in a phasic and tonic mode. Changes in zinc concentration and subcellular zinc distribution have also been described in several pathological conditions linked to glutamatergic transmission dysfunctions. However, despite intense investigation, the functional significance of vesicular zinc remains largely a mystery. In this review, we present the anatomy and the physiology of the glutamatergic zinc-containing synapse. Particular emphasis is put on the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying the putative roles of zinc as a messenger involved in excitatory synaptic transmission and plasticity. We also highlight the many controversial issues and unanswered questions. Finally, we present and compare two widely used zinc chelators, CaEDTA and tricine, and show why tricine should be preferred to CaEDTA when studying fast transient zinc elevations as may occur during synaptic activity.

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

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

    2014-10-02

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

  17. Memory Synapses Are Defined by Distinct Molecular Complexes: A Proposal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sossin, Wayne S

    2018-01-01

    Synapses are diverse in form and function. While there are strong evidential and theoretical reasons for believing that memories are stored at synapses, the concept of a specialized "memory synapse" is rarely discussed. Here, we review the evidence that memories are stored at the synapse and consider the opposing possibilities. We argue that if memories are stored in an active fashion at synapses, then these memory synapses must have distinct molecular complexes that distinguish them from other synapses. In particular, examples from Aplysia sensory-motor neuron synapses and synapses on defined engram neurons in rodent models are discussed. Specific hypotheses for molecular complexes that define memory synapses are presented, including persistently active kinases, transmitter receptor complexes and trans-synaptic adhesion proteins.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Shaping Synapses by the Neural Extracellular Matrix

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maura Ferrer-Ferrer

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Accumulating data support the importance of interactions between pre- and postsynaptic neuronal elements with astroglial processes and extracellular matrix (ECM for formation and plasticity of chemical synapses, and thus validate the concept of a tetrapartite synapse. Here we outline the major mechanisms driving: (i synaptogenesis by secreted extracellular scaffolding molecules, like thrombospondins (TSPs, neuronal pentraxins (NPs and cerebellins, which respectively promote presynaptic, postsynaptic differentiation or both; (ii maturation of synapses via reelin and integrin ligands-mediated signaling; and (iii regulation of synaptic plasticity by ECM-dependent control of induction and consolidation of new synaptic configurations. Particularly, we focused on potential importance of activity-dependent concerted activation of multiple extracellular proteases, such as ADAMTS4/5/15, MMP9 and neurotrypsin, for permissive and instructive events in synaptic remodeling through localized degradation of perisynaptic ECM and generation of proteolytic fragments as inducers of synaptic plasticity.

  2. C. elegans STRADalpha and SAD cooperatively regulate neuronal polarity and synaptic organization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Joanne S M; Hung, Wesley; Narbonne, Patrick; Roy, Richard; Zhen, Mei

    2010-01-01

    Neurons are polarized cells with morphologically and functionally distinct axons and dendrites. The SAD kinases are crucial for establishing the axon-dendrite identity across species. Previous studies suggest that a tumour suppressor kinase, LKB1, in the presence of a pseudokinase, STRADalpha, initiates axonal differentiation and growth through activating the SAD kinases in vertebrate neurons. STRADalpha was implicated in the localization, stabilization and activation of LKB1 in various cell culture studies. Its in vivo functions, however, have not been examined. In our present study, we analyzed the neuronal phenotypes of the first loss-of-function mutants for STRADalpha and examined their genetic interactions with LKB1 and SAD in C. elegans. Unexpectedly, only the C. elegans STRADalpha, STRD-1, functions exclusively through the SAD kinase, SAD-1, to regulate neuronal polarity and synaptic organization. Moreover, STRD-1 tightly associates with SAD-1 to coordinate its synaptic localizations. By contrast, the C. elegans LKB1, PAR-4, also functions in an additional genetic pathway independently of SAD-1 and STRD-1 to regulate neuronal polarity. We propose that STRD-1 establishes neuronal polarity and organizes synaptic proteins in a complex with the SAD-1 kinase. Our findings suggest that instead of a single, linear genetic pathway, STRADalpha and LKB1 regulate neuronal development through multiple effectors that are shared in some cellular contexts but distinct in others.

  3. Evidence for presynaptically silent synapses in the immature hippocampus

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yoon, Jae Young; Choi, Sukwoo

    2017-01-01

    Silent synapses show NMDA receptor (NMDAR)-mediated synaptic responses, but not AMPAR-mediated synaptic responses. A prevailing hypothesis states that silent synapses contain NMDARs, but not AMPARs. However, alternative presynaptic hypotheses, according to which AMPARs are present at silent synapses, have been proposed; silent synapses show slow glutamate release via a fusion pore, and glutamate spillover from the neighboring synaptic terminals. Consistent with these presynaptic hypotheses, the peak glutamate concentrations at silent synapses have been estimated to be ≪170 μM, much lower than those seen at functional synapses. Glutamate transients predicted based on the two presynaptic mechanisms have been shown to activate only high-affinity NMDARs, but not low-affinity AMPARs. Interestingly, a previous study has developed a new approach to distinguish between the two presynaptic mechanisms using dextran, an inert macromolecule that reduces the diffusivity of released glutamate: postsynaptic responses through the fusion pore mechanism, but not through the spillover mechanism, are potentiated by reduced glutamate diffusivity. Therefore, we reasoned that if the fusion pore mechanism underlies silent synapses, dextran application would reveal AMPAR-mediated synaptic responses at silent synapses. In the present study, we recorded AMPAR-mediated synaptic responses at the CA3-CA1 synapses in neonatal rats in the presence of blockers for NMDARs and GABAARs. Bath application of dextran revealed synaptic responses at silent synapses. GYKI53655, a selective AMPAR-antagonist, completely inhibited the unsilenced synaptic responses, indicating that the unsilenced synaptic responses are mediated by AMPARs. The dextran-mediated reduction in glutamate diffusivity would also lead to the activation of metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs), which might induce unsilencing via the activation of unknown intracellular signaling. Hence, we determined whether mGluR-blockers alter

  4. 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...

  5. Lack of Cdkl5 disrupts the organization of excitatory and inhibitory synapses and parvalbumin interneurons in the primary visual cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Riccardo Pizzo

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available CDKL5 (cyclin-dependent kinase-like 5 mutations are found in severe neurodevelopmental disorders, including the Hanefeld variant of Rett syndrome (CDKL5 disorder. CDKL5 loss-of-function murine models recapitulate pathological signs of the human disease, such as visual attention deficits and reduced visual acuity. Here we investigated the cellular and synaptic substrates of visual defects by studying the organization of the primary visual cortex (V1 of Cdkl5-/y mice. We found a severe reduction of c-fos expression in V1 of Cdkl5-/y mutants, suggesting circuit hypoactivity. Glutamatergic presynaptic structures were increased, but postsynaptic PSD-95 and Homer were significantly downregulated in CDKL5 mutants. Interneurons expressing parvalbumin, but not other types of interneuron, had a higher density in mutant V1, and were hyperconnected with pyramidal neurons. Finally, the developmental trajectory of pavalbumin-containing cells was also affected in Cdkl5-/y mice, as revealed by fainter appearance perineuronal nets at the closure of the critical period. The present data reveal an overall disruption of V1 cellular and synaptic organization that may cause a shift in the excitation/inhibition balance likely to underlie the visual deficits characteristic of CDKL5 disorder. Moreover, ablation of CDKL5 is likely to tamper with the mechanisms underlying experience-dependent refinement of cortical circuits during the critical period of development.

  6. Lack of Cdkl5 Disrupts the Organization of Excitatory and Inhibitory Synapses and Parvalbumin Interneurons in the Primary Visual Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pizzo, Riccardo; Gurgone, Antonia; Castroflorio, Enrico; Amendola, Elena; Gross, Cornelius; Sassoè-Pognetto, Marco; Giustetto, Maurizio

    2016-01-01

    Cyclin-dependent kinase-like 5 (CDKL5) mutations are found in severe neurodevelopmental disorders, including the Hanefeld variant of Rett syndrome (RTT; CDKL5 disorder). CDKL5 loss-of-function murine models recapitulate pathological signs of the human disease, such as visual attention deficits and reduced visual acuity. Here we investigated the cellular and synaptic substrates of visual defects by studying the organization of the primary visual cortex (V1) of Cdkl5 -/y mice. We found a severe reduction of c-Fos expression in V1 of Cdkl5 -/y mutants, suggesting circuit hypoactivity. Glutamatergic presynaptic structures were increased, but postsynaptic PSD-95 and Homer were significantly downregulated in CDKL5 mutants. Interneurons expressing parvalbumin, but not other types of interneuron, had a higher density in mutant V1, and were hyperconnected with pyramidal neurons. Finally, the developmental trajectory of pavalbumin-containing cells was also affected in Cdkl5 -/y mice, as revealed by fainter appearance perineuronal nets at the closure of the critical period (CP). The present data reveal an overall disruption of V1 cellular and synaptic organization that may cause a shift in the excitation/inhibition balance likely to underlie the visual deficits characteristic of CDKL5 disorder. Moreover, ablation of CDKL5 is likely to tamper with the mechanisms underlying experience-dependent refinement of cortical circuits during the CP of development.

  7. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ciccarelli, Alessandro; Calza, Arianna; Panzanelli, Patrizia; Concas, Alessandra; Giustetto, Maurizio; Sassoè-Pognetto, Marco

    2012-01-01

    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 (GABA)ergic 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  10. 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...... mediate cell-cell adhesion through homophilic interactions and bind to growth factors, growth factor receptors, glutamate receptors, other CAMs, and components of the extracellular matrix. Intracellularly, NCAM-type proteins interact with various cytoskeletal proteins and regulators of intracellular...... 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...

  11. Energy-efficient neuron, synapse and STDP integrated circuits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cruz-Albrecht, Jose M; Yung, Michael W; Srinivasa, Narayan

    2012-06-01

    Ultra-low energy biologically-inspired neuron and synapse integrated circuits are presented. The synapse includes a spike timing dependent plasticity (STDP) learning rule circuit. These circuits have been designed, fabricated and tested using a 90 nm CMOS process. Experimental measurements demonstrate proper operation. The neuron and the synapse with STDP circuits have an energy consumption of around 0.4 pJ per spike and synaptic operation respectively.

  12. 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.

  13. The integration of signalling and the spatial organization of the T cell synapse

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeremie eRossy

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Engagement of the T cell antigen receptor (TCR triggers signalling pathways that lead to T cell selection, differentiation and clonal expansion. Superimposed onto the biochemical network is a spatial organization that describes individual receptor molecules, dimers, oligomers and higher order structures. Here we review recent finding about TCR organization in naïve and memory T cells. A key question that has emerged is how antigen-TCR interactions encode spatial information to direct T cell activation and differentiation. Single molecule super-resolution microscopy may become an important tool in decoding receptor organization at the molecular level.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Astrocytes mediate synapse elimination through MEGF10 and MERTK pathways

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chung, Won-Suk; Clarke, Laura E.; Wang, Gordon X.; Stafford, Benjamin K.; Sher, Alexander; Chakraborty, Chandrani; Joung, Julia; Foo, Lynette C.; Thompson, Andrew; Chen, Chinfei; Smith, Stephen J.; Barres, Ben A.

    2013-12-01

    To achieve its precise neural connectivity, the developing mammalian nervous system undergoes extensive activity-dependent synapse remodelling. Recently, microglial cells have been shown to be responsible for a portion of synaptic pruning, but the remaining mechanisms remain unknown. Here we report a new role for astrocytes in actively engulfing central nervous system synapses. This process helps to mediate synapse elimination, requires the MEGF10 and MERTK phagocytic pathways, and is strongly dependent on neuronal activity. Developing mice deficient in both astrocyte pathways fail to refine their retinogeniculate connections normally and retain excess functional synapses. Finally, we show that in the adult mouse brain, astrocytes continuously engulf both excitatory and inhibitory synapses. These studies reveal a novel role for astrocytes in mediating synapse elimination in the developing and adult brain, identify MEGF10 and MERTK as critical proteins in the synapse remodelling underlying neural circuit refinement, and have important implications for understanding learning and memory as well as neurological disease processes.

  18. 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.

  19. Ca(2+) influx and neurotransmitter release at ribbon synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cho, Soyoun; von Gersdorff, Henrique

    2012-01-01

    Ca(2+) influx through voltage-gated Ca(2+) channels triggers the release of neurotransmitters at presynaptic terminals. Some sensory receptor cells in the peripheral auditory and visual systems have specialized synapses that express an electron-dense organelle called a synaptic ribbon. Like conventional synapses, ribbon synapses exhibit SNARE-mediated exocytosis, clathrin-mediated endocytosis, and short-term plasticity. However, unlike non-ribbon synapses, voltage-gated L-type Ca(2+) channel opening at ribbon synapses triggers a form of multiquantal release that can be highly synchronous. Furthermore, ribbon synapses appear to be specialized for fast and high throughput exocytosis controlled by graded membrane potential changes. Here we will discuss some of the basic aspects of synaptic transmission at different types of ribbon synapses, and we will emphasize recent evidence that auditory and retinal ribbon synapses have marked differences. This will lead us to suggest that ribbon synapses are specialized for particular operating ranges and frequencies of stimulation. We propose that different types of ribbon synapses transfer diverse rates of sensory information by expressing a particular repertoire of critical components, and by placing them at precise and strategic locations, so that a continuous supply of primed vesicles and Ca(2+) influx leads to fast, accurate, and ongoing exocytosis. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Synaptic vesicle distribution by conveyor belt.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moughamian, Armen J; Holzbaur, Erika L F

    2012-03-02

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

  1. The Diversity of Cortical Inhibitory Synapses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  2. Communication Breakdown: The Impact of Ageing on Synapse Structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petralia, Ronald S.; Mattson, Mark P.; Yao, Pamela J.

    2014-01-01

    Impaired synaptic plasticity is implicated in the functional decline of the nervous system associated with ageing. Understanding the structure of ageing synapses is essential to understanding the functions of these synapses and their role in the ageing nervous system. In this review, we summarize studies on ageing synapses in vertebrates and invertebrates, focusing on changes in morphology and ultrastructure. We cover different parts of the nervous system, including the brain, the retina, the cochlea, and the neuromuscular junction. The morphological characteristics of aged synapses could shed light on the underlying molecular changes and their functional consequences. PMID:24495392

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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...

  12. Ankyrins: Roles in synaptic biology and pathology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Katharine R; Penzes, Peter

    2018-05-03

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

  13. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-07-15

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

  15. Synaptic Vesicle Endocytosis in Different Model Systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Quan Gan

    2018-06-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zedong Bi

    2016-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bailey, Craig H; Kandel, Eric R

    2008-01-01

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

  18. Loss of Synapse Repressor MDGA1 Enhances Perisomatic Inhibition, Confers Resistance to Network Excitation, and Impairs Cognitive Function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steven A. Connor

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Synaptopathies contributing to neurodevelopmental disorders are linked to mutations in synaptic organizing molecules, including postsynaptic neuroligins, presynaptic neurexins, and MDGAs, which regulate their interaction. The role of MDGA1 in suppressing inhibitory versus excitatory synapses is controversial based on in vitro studies. We show that genetic deletion of MDGA1 in vivo elevates hippocampal CA1 inhibitory, but not excitatory, synapse density and transmission. Furthermore, MDGA1 is selectively expressed by pyramidal neurons and regulates perisomatic, but not distal dendritic, inhibitory synapses. Mdga1−/− hippocampal networks demonstrate muted responses to neural excitation, and Mdga1−/− mice are resistant to induced seizures. Mdga1−/− mice further demonstrate compromised hippocampal long-term potentiation, consistent with observed deficits in spatial and context-dependent learning and memory. These results suggest that mutations in MDGA1 may contribute to cognitive deficits through altered synaptic transmission and plasticity by loss of suppression of inhibitory synapse development in a subcellular domain- and cell-type-selective manner.

  19. Experimental Implementation of a Biometric Laser Synaptic Sensor

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexander N. Pisarchik

    2013-12-01

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

  20. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  2. Mitochondria and Neurotransmission: Evacuating the Synapse

    OpenAIRE

    Hollenbeck, Peter J.

    2005-01-01

    An abundance of mitochondria has been the hallmark of synapses since their first ultrastructural description 50 years ago. Mitochondria have been shown to be essential for synaptic form and function in many systems, but until recently it has not been clear exactly what role(s) they play in neurotransmission. Now, evidence from the nervous system of Drosophila identifies the specific subcellular events that are most dependent upon nearby mitochondria.

  3. Synaptic theory of Replicator-like melioration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yonatan Loewenstein

    2010-06-01

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

  4. Organization and dynamics of the actin cytoskeleton during dendritic spine morphological remodeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chazeau, Anaël; Giannone, Grégory

    2016-08-01

    In the central nervous system, most excitatory post-synapses are small subcellular structures called dendritic spines. Their structure and morphological remodeling are tightly coupled to changes in synaptic transmission. The F-actin cytoskeleton is the main driving force of dendritic spine remodeling and sustains synaptic plasticity. It is therefore essential to understand how changes in synaptic transmission can regulate the organization and dynamics of actin binding proteins (ABPs). In this review, we will provide a detailed description of the organization and dynamics of F-actin and ABPs in dendritic spines and will discuss the current models explaining how the actin cytoskeleton sustains both structural and functional synaptic plasticity.

  5. Stabilization of memory States by stochastic facilitating synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Paul

    2013-12-06

    Bistability within a small neural circuit can arise through an appropriate strength of excitatory recurrent feedback. The stability of a state of neural activity, measured by the mean dwelling time before a noise-induced transition to another state, depends on the neural firing-rate curves, the net strength of excitatory feedback, the statistics of spike times, and increases exponentially with the number of equivalent neurons in the circuit. Here, we show that such stability is greatly enhanced by synaptic facilitation and reduced by synaptic depression. We take into account the alteration in times of synaptic vesicle release, by calculating distributions of inter-release intervals of a synapse, which differ from the distribution of its incoming interspike intervals when the synapse is dynamic. In particular, release intervals produced by a Poisson spike train have a coefficient of variation greater than one when synapses are probabilistic and facilitating, whereas the coefficient of variation is less than one when synapses are depressing. However, in spite of the increased variability in postsynaptic input produced by facilitating synapses, their dominant effect is reduced synaptic efficacy at low input rates compared to high rates, which increases the curvature of neural input-output functions, leading to wider regions of bistability in parameter space and enhanced lifetimes of memory states. Our results are based on analytic methods with approximate formulae and bolstered by simulations of both Poisson processes and of circuits of noisy spiking model neurons.

  6. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-03-01

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

  8. High bandwidth synaptic communication and frequency tracking in human neocortex

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Testa-Silva, Guilherme; Verhoog, Matthijs B; Linaro, Daniele; de Kock, Christiaan P J; Baayen, Johannes C; Meredith, Rhiannon M; De Zeeuw, Chris I; Giugliano, Michele; Mansvelder, Huibert D

    2014-01-01

    Neuronal firing, synaptic transmission, and its plasticity form the building blocks for processing and storage of information in the brain. It is unknown whether adult human synapses are more efficient in transferring information between neurons than rodent synapses. To test this, we recorded from

  9. High bandwidth synaptic communication and frequency tracking in human neocortex.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Testa-Silva, G.; Verhoog, M.B.; Linaro, D.; de Kock, C.P.J.; Baayen, J.C.; Meredith, R.M.; Zeeuw, C.I.; Giugliano, M.; Mansvelder, H.D.

    2014-01-01

    Neuronal firing, synaptic transmission, and its plasticity form the building blocks for processing and storage of information in the brain. It is unknown whether adult human synapses are more efficient in transferring information between neurons than rodent synapses. To test this, we recorded from

  10. High Bandwidth Synaptic Communication and Frequency Tracking in Human Neocortex

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    G. Testa-Silva (Guilherme); M.B. Verhoog (Matthijs); D. Linaro (Daniele); C.P.J. de Kock (Christiaan); J.C. Baayen; R.M. Meredith (Rhiannon); C.I. de Zeeuw (Chris); M. Giugliano (Michele); H.D. Mansvelder (Huibert)

    2014-01-01

    textabstractNeuronal firing, synaptic transmission, and its plasticity form the building blocks for processing and storage of information in the brain. It is unknown whether adult human synapses are more efficient in transferring information between neurons than rodent synapses. To test this, we

  11. The role of extracellular proteolysis in synaptic plasticity of the central nervous system 

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna Konopka

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available The extracellular matrix (ECM of the central nervous system has a specific structure and protein composition that are different from those in other organs. Today we know that the ECM not only provides physical scaffolding for the neurons and glia, but also actively modifies their functions. Over the last two decades, a growing body of research evidence has been collected, suggesting an important role of ECM proteolysis in synaptic plasticity of the brain. So far the majority of data concern two large families of proteases: the serine proteases and the matrix metalloproteinases. The members of these families are localized at the synapses, and are secreted into the extracellular space in an activity-dependent manner. The proteases remodel the local environment as well as influencing synapse structure and function. The structural modifications induced by proteases include shape and size changes, as well as synapse elimination, and synaptogenesis. The functional changes include modifications of receptor function in the postsynaptic part of the synapse, as well as the potentiation or depression of neurotransmitter secretion by the presynaptic site. The present review summarizes the current view on the role of extracellular proteolysis in the physiological synaptic plasticity underlying the phenomena of learning and memory, as well as in the pathological plasticity occurring during epileptogenesis or development of drug addiction. 

  12. Synaptic organization and division of labor in the exceptionally polymorphic ant Pheidole rhea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gordon, Darcy G; Traniello, James F A

    2018-05-29

    Social insect polyphenisms provide models to examine the neural basis of division of labor and anatomy of the invertebrate social brain. Worker size-related behavior is hypothesized to enhance task performance, raising questions concerning the integration of morphology, behavior, and cellular neuroarchitecture, and how variation in sensory inputs and cognitive demands of behaviorally differentiated workers is reflected in higher-order processing ability. We used the highly polymorphic ant Pheidole rhea, which has three distinct worker size classes - minors, soldiers, and supersoldiers - to examine variation in synaptic circuitry across worker size and social role. We hypothesized that the density and size of synaptic complexes (microglomeruli, MG) would be positively associated with behavioral repertoire and the relative size of the mushroom bodies (MB). Supersoldiers had significantly larger and less dense MG in the lip (olfactory region) of the MB calyx (MBC), and larger MG in the collar (visual region) compared to minors. Soldiers were intermediate in synaptic phenotype: they did not differ significantly in MG density from minors and supersoldiers, had MG of similar size to minors in the lip, and did not differ from these two worker groups in MG size in the collar. Results suggest a complex relationship between MG density, size, behavior, and worker body size involving a conserved and plastic neurobiological development plan, although workers show strong variation in size and social role. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Remodeling of hippocampal spine synapses in the rat learned helplessness model of depression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hajszan, Tibor; Dow, Antonia; Warner-Schmidt, Jennifer L; Szigeti-Buck, Klara; Sallam, Nermin L; Parducz, Arpad; Leranth, Csaba; Duman, Ronald S

    2009-03-01

    Although it has been postulated for many years that depression is associated with loss of synapses, primarily in the hippocampus, and that antidepressants facilitate synapse growth, we still lack ultrastructural evidence that changes in depressive behavior are indeed correlated with structural synaptic modifications. We analyzed hippocampal spine synapses of male rats (n=127) with electron microscopic stereology in association with performance in the learned helplessness paradigm. Inescapable footshock (IES) caused an acute and persistent loss of spine synapses in each of CA1, CA3, and dentate gyrus, which was associated with a severe escape deficit in learned helplessness. On the other hand, IES elicited no significant synaptic alterations in motor cortex. A single injection of corticosterone reproduced both the hippocampal synaptic changes and the behavioral responses induced by IES. Treatment of IES-exposed animals for 6 days with desipramine reversed both the hippocampal spine synapse loss and the escape deficit in learned helplessness. We noted, however, that desipramine failed to restore the number of CA1 spine synapses to nonstressed levels, which was associated with a minor escape deficit compared with nonstressed control rats. Shorter, 1-day or 3-day desipramine treatments, however, had neither synaptic nor behavioral effects. These results indicate that changes in depressive behavior are associated with remarkable remodeling of hippocampal spine synapses at the ultrastructural level. Because spine synapse loss contributes to hippocampal dysfunction, this cellular mechanism may be an important component in the neurobiology of stress-related disorders such as depression.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Distinct transmitter release properties determine differences in short-term plasticity at functional and silent synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cabezas, Carolina; Buño, Washington

    2006-05-01

    Recent evidence suggests that functional and silent synapses are not only postsynaptically different but also presynaptically distinct. The presynaptic differences may be of functional importance in memory formation because a proposed mechanism for long-term potentiation is the conversion of silent synapses into functional ones. However, there is little direct experimentally evidence of these differences. We have investigated the transmitter release properties of functional and silent Schaffer collateral synapses and show that on the average functional synapses displayed a lower percentage of failures and higher excitatory postsynaptic current (EPSC) amplitudes than silent synapses at +60 mV. Moreover, functional but not silent synapses show paired-pulse facilitation (PPF) at +60 mV and thus presynaptic short-term plasticity will be distinct in the two types of synapse. We examined whether intraterminal endoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ stores influenced the release properties of these synapses. Ryanodine (100 microM) and thapsigargin (1 microM) increased the percentage of failures and decreased both the EPSC amplitude and PPF in functional synapses. Caffeine (10 mM) had the opposite effects. In contrast, silent synapses were insensitive to both ryanodine and caffeine. Hence we have identified differences in the release properties of functional and silent synapses, suggesting that synaptic terminals of functional synapses express regulatory molecular mechanisms that are absent in silent synapses.

  17. Alterations in the properties of neonatal thalamocortical synapses with time in in vitro slices.

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    Liliana L Luz

    Full Text Available New synapses are constantly being generated and lost in the living brain with only a subset of these being stabilized to form an enduring component of neuronal circuitry. The properties of synaptic transmission have primarily been established in a variety of in vitro neuronal preparations. It is not clear, however, if newly-formed and persistent synapses contribute to the results of these studies consistently throughout the lifespan of these preparations. In neonatal somatosensory, barrel, cortex we have previously hypothesized that a population of thalamocortical synapses displaying unusually slow kinetics represent newly-formed, default-transient synapses. This clear phenotype would provide an ideal tool to investigate if such newly formed synapses consistently contribute to synaptic transmission throughout a normal experimental protocol. We show that the proportion of synapses recorded in vitro displaying slow kinetics decreases with time after brain slice preparation. However, slow synapses persist in vitro in the presence of either minocycline, an inhibitor of microglia-mediated synapse elimination, or the TrkB agonist 7,8-dihydroxyflavone a promoter of synapse formation. These findings show that the observed properties of synaptic transmission may systematically change with time in vitro in a standard brain slice preparation.

  18. Fine structure of synapses on dendritic spines

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    Michael eFrotscher

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Camillo Golgi’s Reazione Nera led to the discovery of dendritic spines, small appendages originating from dendritic shafts. With the advent of electron microscopy (EM they were identified as sites of synaptic contact. Later it was found that changes in synaptic strength were associated with changes in the shape of dendritic spines. While live-cell imaging was advantageous in monitoring the time course of such changes in spine structure, EM is still the best method for the simultaneous visualization of all cellular components, including actual synaptic contacts, at high resolution. Immunogold labeling for EM reveals the precise localization of molecules in relation to synaptic structures. Previous EM studies of spines and synapses were performed in tissue subjected to aldehyde fixation and dehydration in ethanol, which is associated with protein denaturation and tissue shrinkage. It has remained an issue to what extent fine structural details are preserved when subjecting the tissue to these procedures. In the present review, we report recent studies on the fine structure of spines and synapses using high-pressure freezing (HPF, which avoids protein denaturation by aldehydes and results in an excellent preservation of ultrastructural detail. In these studies, HPF was used to monitor subtle fine-structural changes in spine shape associated with chemically induced long-term potentiation (cLTP at identified hippocampal mossy fiber synapses. Changes in spine shape result from reorganization of the actin cytoskeleton. We report that cLTP was associated with decreased immunogold labeling for phosphorylated cofilin (p-cofilin, an actin-depolymerizing protein. Phosphorylation of cofilin renders it unable to depolymerize F-actin, which stabilizes the actin cytoskeleton. Decreased levels of p-cofilin, in turn, suggest increased actin turnover, possibly underlying the changes in spine shape associated with cLTP. The findings reviewed here establish HPF as

  19. Diacylglycerol kinases in the coordination of synaptic plasticity

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    Dongwon Lee

    2016-08-01

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

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

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    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.

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

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    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.

  2. Short-term ionic plasticity at GABAergic synapses

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    Joseph Valentino Raimondo

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Fast synaptic inhibition in the brain is mediated by the pre-synaptic release of the neurotransmitter γ-Aminobutyric acid (GABA and the post-synaptic activation of GABA-sensitive ionotropic receptors. As with excitatory synapses, it is being increasinly appreciated that a variety of plastic processes occur at inhibitory synapses, which operate over a range of timescales. Here we examine a form of activity-dependent plasticity that is somewhat unique to GABAergic transmission. This involves short-lasting changes to the ionic driving force for the postsynaptic receptors, a process referred to as short-term ionic plasticity. These changes are directly related to the history of activity at inhibitory synapses and are influenced by a variety of factors including the location of the synapse and the post-synaptic cell’s ion regulation mechanisms. We explore the processes underlying this form of plasticity, when and where it can occur, and how it is likely to impact network activity.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anton-Sanchez, Laura; Bielza, Concha; Merchán-Pérez, Angel; Rodríguez, José-Rodrigo; DeFelipe, Javier; Larrañaga, Pedro

    2014-01-01

    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 4500μm3 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. PMID:25206325

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

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    Sara Calafate

    2015-05-01

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

  5. 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...

  6. Synaptic Effects of Electric Fields

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rahman, Asif

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

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

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    Leon Chua

    2012-03-01

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

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

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    Taylor Michael R

    2008-12-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. Synaptic consolidation across multiple timescales

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    Lorric Ziegler

    2014-03-01

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

  11. 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)…

  12. 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

  13. Cadmium action in synapses in the brain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Minami, Akira; Takeda, Atsushi; Nishibaba, Daisuke; Tekefuta, Sachiyo; Oku, Naoto [Department of Radiobiochemistry, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Shizuoka, Shizuoka (Japan)

    2001-05-01

    Chronic exposure to cadmium causes central nervous system disorders, e.g., olfactory dysfunction. To clarify cadmium toxicity in synaptic neurotransmission in the brain, the movement and action of cadmium in the synapses was examined using in vivo microdialysis. One and 24 h after injection of {sup 109}CdCl{sub 2} into the amygdala of rats, {sup 109}Cd release into the extracellular space was facilitated by stimulation with high K{sup +}, suggesting that cadmium taken up in amygdalar neurons is released into the synaptic clefts in a calcium- and impulse-dependent manner. To examine the action of cadmium in the synapses, the amygdala was perfused with artificial cerebrospinal fluid containing 10-30 {mu}M CdCl{sub 2}. The release of excitatory neurotransmitters, i.e., glutamate and aspartate, into the extracellular space was decreased during perfusion with cadmium, while the release of inhibitory neurotransmitters, i.e., glycine and {gamma}-amino butyric acid (GABA), into the extracellular space was increased during the period. These results suggest that cadmium released from the amygdalar neuron terminals affects the degree and balance of excitation-inhibition in synaptic neurotransmission. (author)

  14. Cadmium action in synapses in the brain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Minami, Akira; Takeda, Atsushi; Nishibaba, Daisuke; Tekefuta, Sachiyo; Oku, Naoto

    2001-01-01

    Chronic exposure to cadmium causes central nervous system disorders, e.g., olfactory dysfunction. To clarify cadmium toxicity in synaptic neurotransmission in the brain, the movement and action of cadmium in the synapses was examined using in vivo microdialysis. One and 24 h after injection of 109 CdCl 2 into the amygdala of rats, 109 Cd release into the extracellular space was facilitated by stimulation with high K + , suggesting that cadmium taken up in amygdalar neurons is released into the synaptic clefts in a calcium- and impulse-dependent manner. To examine the action of cadmium in the synapses, the amygdala was perfused with artificial cerebrospinal fluid containing 10-30 μM CdCl 2 . The release of excitatory neurotransmitters, i.e., glutamate and aspartate, into the extracellular space was decreased during perfusion with cadmium, while the release of inhibitory neurotransmitters, i.e., glycine and γ-amino butyric acid (GABA), into the extracellular space was increased during the period. These results suggest that cadmium released from the amygdalar neuron terminals affects the degree and balance of excitation-inhibition in synaptic neurotransmission. (author)

  15. Analog memristive synapse in spiking networks implementing unsupervised learning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erika Covi

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available 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 characters are displayed and it is robust to a device-to-device variability of up to +/-30%.

  16. 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 HfO 2 -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%.

  17. Silent synapses in neuromuscular junction development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomàs, Josep; Santafé, Manel M; Lanuza, Maria A; García, Neus; Besalduch, Nuria; Tomàs, Marta

    2011-01-01

    In the last few years, evidence has been found to suggest that some synaptic contacts become silent but can be functionally recruited before they completely retract during postnatal synapse elimination in muscle. The physiological mechanism of developmental synapse elimination may be better understood by studying this synapse recruitment. This Mini-Review collects previously published data and new results to propose a molecular mechanism for axonal disconnection. The mechanism is based on protein kinase C (PKC)-dependent inhibition of acetylcholine (ACh) release. PKC activity may be stimulated by a methoctramine-sensitive M2-type muscarinic receptor and by calcium inflow though P/Q- and L-type voltage-dependent calcium channels. In addition, tropomyosin-related tyrosine kinase B (trkB) receptor-mediated brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) activity may oppose the PKC-mediated ACh release depression. Thus, a balance between trkB and muscarinic pathways may contribute to the final functional suppression of some neuromuscular synapses during development. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Ultrastructure and synaptic organization of the spinal accessory nucleus of the rat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayakawa, Tetsu; Takanaga, Akinori; Tanaka, Koichi; Maeda, Seishi; Seki, Makoto

    2002-06-01

    The accessory nucleus is composed of neurons in the medial column that innervate the sternocleidomastoid muscle, and neurons in the lateral column that innervate the trapezius muscle. We retrogradely labeled these neurons by injection of cholera toxin conjugated horseradish peroxidase into the sternomastoid (SM) or the clavotrapezius (CT) muscles, and investigated fine structure and synaptology of these neurons. Almost all SM and CT motoneurons had the appearance of alpha-motoneurons, i.e., large, oval or polygonal cells containing well-developed organelles, Nissl bodies, and a prominent spherical nucleus. More than 60% of the somatic membrane was covered with terminals. The SM motoneurons (34.4 x 52.2 microm, 1,363.1 microm(2) in a section) were slightly larger than the CT motoneurons (32.8 x 54.2 microm, 1,180.8 microm(2)). The average number of axosomatic terminals in a section was 52.2 for the SM, and 54.2 for the CT motoneurons. More than half of them (58.0%) contained pleomorphic vesicles and made symmetric synaptic contacts (Gray's type II) with the SM motoneurons, while 57.9% of them contained round vesicles and made asymmetric synaptic contacts (Gray's type I) with the CT motoneurons. A few C-terminals were present on the SM (3.5) and the CT (3.7) motoneurons. About 60% of the axodendritic terminals were Gray's type I in both the SM and the CT motoneurons. A few labeled small motoneurons were also found among the SM and the CT motoneurons. They were small (19.2 x 26.2 microm, 367.0 microm(2)), round cells containing poorly developed organelles with a few axosomatic terminals (9.3). Only 20% of the somatic membrane was covered with the terminals. Thus, these neurons were presumed to be gamma-motoneurons. These results indicate that the motoneurons in the medial and the lateral column of the accessory nucleus have different ultrastructural characteristics.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Synaptic plasticity in drug reward circuitry.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2002-11-01

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

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

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    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.

  5. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Li Qiang Guo

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Neuromorphic devices with paired pulse facilitation emulating that of biological synapses are the key to develop artificial neural networks. Here, phosphorus-doped nanogranular SiO2 electrolyte is used as gate dielectric for protonic/electronic hybrid indium gallium zinc oxide (IGZO synaptic transistor. In such synaptic transistors, protons within the SiO2 electrolyte are deemed as neurotransmitters of biological synapses. Paired-pulse facilitation (PPF behaviors for the analogous information were mimicked. The temperature dependent PPF behaviors were also investigated systematically. The results indicate that the protonic/electronic hybrid IGZO synaptic transistors would be promising candidates for inorganic synapses in artificial neural network applications.

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

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    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.

  8. The basic circuit of the IC: tectothalamic neurons with different patterns of synaptic organization send different messages to the thalamus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ito, Tetsufumi; Oliver, Douglas L.

    2012-01-01

    The inferior colliculus (IC) in the midbrain of the auditory system uses a unique basic circuit to organize the inputs from virtually all of the lower auditory brainstem and transmit this information to the medial geniculate body (MGB) in the thalamus. Here, we review the basic circuit of the IC, the neuronal types, the organization of their inputs and outputs. We specifically discuss the large GABAergic (LG) neurons and how they differ from the small GABAergic (SG) and the more numerous glutamatergic neurons. The somata and dendrites of LG neurons are identified by axosomatic glutamatergic synapses that are lacking in the other cell types and exclusively contain the glutamate transporter VGLUT2. Although LG neurons are most numerous in the central nucleus of the IC (ICC), an analysis of their distribution suggests that they are not specifically associated with one set of ascending inputs. The inputs to ICC may be organized into functional zones with different subsets of brainstem inputs, but each zone may contain the same three neuron types. However, the sources of VGLUT2 axosomatic terminals on the LG neuron are not known. Neurons in the dorsal cochlear nucleus, superior olivary complex, intermediate nucleus of the lateral lemniscus, and IC itself that express the gene for VGLUT2 only are the likely origin of the dense VGLUT2 axosomatic terminals on LG tectothalamic neurons. The IC is unique since LG neurons are GABAergic tectothalamic neurons in addition to the numerous glutamatergic tectothalamic neurons. SG neurons evidently target other auditory structures. The basic circuit of the IC and the LG neurons in particular, has implications for the transmission of information about sound through the midbrain to the MGB. PMID:22855671

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Daily changes in synaptic innervation of VIP neurons in the rat suprachiasmatic nucleus: contribution of glutamatergic afferents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Girardet, Clémence; Blanchard, Marie-Pierre; Ferracci, Géraldine; Lévêque, Christian; Moreno, Mathias; François-Bellan, Anne-Marie; Becquet, Denis; Bosler, Olivier

    2010-01-01

    The daily temporal organization of rhythmic functions in mammals, which requires synchronization of the circadian clock to the 24-h light-dark cycle, is believed to involve adjustments of the mutual phasing of the cellular oscillators that comprise the time-keeper within the suprachiasmatic nucleus of the hypothalamus (SCN). Following from a previous study showing that the SCN undergoes day/night rearrangements of its neuronal-glial network that may be crucial for intercellular phasing, we investigated the contribution of glutamatergic synapses, known to play major roles in SCN functioning, to such rhythmic plastic events. Neither expression levels of the vesicular glutamate transporters nor numbers of glutamatergic terminals showed nycthemeral variations in the SCN. However, using quantitative imaging after combined immunolabelling, the density of synapses on neurons expressing vasoactive intestinal peptide, known as targets of the retinal input, increased during the day and both glutamatergic and non-glutamatergic synapses contributed to the increase (+36%). This was not the case for synapses made on vasopressin-containing neurons, the other major source of SCN efferents in the non-retinorecipient region. Together with electron microscope observations showing no differences in the morphometric features of glutamatergic terminals during the day and night, these data show that the light synchronization process in the SCN involves a selective remodelling of synapses at sites of photic integration. They provide a further illustration of how the adult brain may rapidly and reversibly adapt its synaptic architecture to functional needs.

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

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    Annalisa Alfieri

    2017-06-01

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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Upregulation of transmitter release probability improves a conversion of synaptic analogue signals into neuronal digital spikes

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-01

    Action potentials at the neurons and graded signals at the synapses are primary codes in the brain. In terms of their functional interaction, the studies were focused on the influence of presynaptic spike patterns on synaptic activities. How the synapse dynamics quantitatively regulates the encoding of postsynaptic digital spikes remains unclear. We investigated this question at unitary glutamatergic synapses on cortical GABAergic neurons, especially the quantitative influences of release probability on synapse dynamics and neuronal encoding. Glutamate release probability and synaptic strength are proportionally upregulated by presynaptic sequential spikes. The upregulation of release probability and the efficiency of probability-driven synaptic facilitation are strengthened by elevating presynaptic spike frequency and Ca2+. The upregulation of release probability improves spike capacity and timing precision at postsynaptic neuron. These results suggest that the upregulation of presynaptic glutamate release facilitates a conversion of synaptic analogue signals into digital spikes in postsynaptic neurons, i.e., a functional compatibility between presynaptic and postsynaptic partners. PMID:22852823

  19. Spontaneous Vesicle Recycling in the Synaptic Bouton

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    Sven eTruckenbrodt

    2014-12-01

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

  20. Active hippocampal networks undergo spontaneous synaptic modification.

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    Masako Tsukamoto-Yasui

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

  1. 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

    pairs to antagonistic pools) failed to reveal any short-lasting synchronization. These data demonstrate that short-term synchronization during fictive locomotion is relatively weak and is restricted to close synergists. In addition, coherence analysis failed to identify any specific rhythmic component......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...

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

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    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nielsen, J B; Conway, B A; Halliday, D M; Perreault, M-C; Hultborn, H

    2005-11-15

    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 synchronization was observed between the individual intracellular recordings and the ENGs recorded from nerves of the same pool and of close synergists. Recordings from 34 pairs of motoneurones (10 pairs belonged to the same motor pool, 11 pairs to close synergists and 13 pairs to antagonistic pools) failed to reveal any short-lasting synchronization. These data demonstrate that short-term synchronization during fictive locomotion is relatively weak and is restricted to close synergists. In addition, coherence analysis failed to identify any specific rhythmic component in the locomotor drive that could be associated with this synchronization. These results resemble findings obtained during human treadmill walking and imply that the spinal interneurones participating in the generation of the locomotor rhythm are themselves weakly synchronized. The restricted synchronization within the locomotor drive to motoneuronal pools may be a feature of the locomotor generating networks that is related to the ability of these networks to produce highly adaptive patterns of muscle activity during locomotion.

  4. Long-term culture of astrocytes attenuates the readily releasable pool of synaptic vesicles.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hiroyuki Kawano

    Full Text Available The astrocyte is a major glial cell type of the brain, and plays key roles in the formation, maturation, stabilization and elimination of synapses. Thus, changes in astrocyte condition and age can influence information processing at synapses. However, whether and how aging astrocytes affect synaptic function and maturation have not yet been thoroughly investigated. Here, we show the effects of prolonged culture on the ability of astrocytes to induce synapse formation and to modify synaptic transmission, using cultured autaptic neurons. By 9 weeks in culture, astrocytes derived from the mouse cerebral cortex demonstrated increases in β-galactosidase activity and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP expression, both of which are characteristic of aging and glial activation in vitro. Autaptic hippocampal neurons plated on these aging astrocytes showed a smaller amount of evoked release of the excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate, and a lower frequency of miniature release of glutamate, both of which were attributable to a reduction in the pool of readily releasable synaptic vesicles. Other features of synaptogenesis and synaptic transmission were retained, for example the ability to induce structural synapses, the presynaptic release probability, the fraction of functional presynaptic nerve terminals, and the ability to recruit functional AMPA and NMDA glutamate receptors to synapses. Thus the presence of aging astrocytes affects the efficiency of synaptic transmission. Given that the pool of readily releasable vesicles is also small at immature synapses, our results are consistent with astrocytic aging leading to retarded synapse maturation.

  5. 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.

  6. 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...

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. When is an Inhibitory Synapse Effective?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qian, Ning; Sejnowski, Terrence J.

    1990-10-01

    Interactions between excitatory and inhibitory synaptic inputs on dendrites determine the level of activity in neurons. Models based on the cable equation predict that silent shunting inhibition can strongly veto the effect of an excitatory input. The cable model assumes that ionic concentrations do not change during the electrical activity, which may not be a valid assumption, especially for small structures such as dendritic spines. We present here an analysis and computer simulations to show that for large Cl^- conductance changes, the more general Nernst-Planck electrodiffusion model predicts that shunting inhibition on spines should be much less effective than that predicted by the cable model. This is a consequence of the large changes in the intracellular ionic concentration of Cl^- that can occur in small structures, which would alter the reversal potential and reduce the driving force for Cl^-. Shunting inhibition should therefore not be effective on spines, but it could be significantly more effective on the dendritic shaft at the base of the spine. In contrast to shunting inhibition, hyperpolarizing synaptic inhibition mediated by K^+ currents can be very effective in reducing the excitatory synaptic potentials on the same spine if the excitatory conductance change is less than 10 nS. We predict that if the inhibitory synapses found on cortical spines are to be effective, then they should be mediated by K^+ through GABA_B receptors.

  12. 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.

  13. A Reaction-Diffusion Model for Synapse Growth and Long-Term Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Kang; Lisman, John; Hagan, Michael

    Memory storage involves strengthening of synaptic transmission known as long-term potentiation (LTP). The late phase of LTP is associated with structural processes that enlarge the synapse. Yet, synapses must be stable, despite continual subunit turnover, over the lifetime of an encoded memory. These considerations suggest that synapses are variable-size stable structure (VSSS), meaning they can switch between multiple metastable structures with different sizes. The mechanisms underlying VSSS are poorly understood. While experiments and theory have suggested that the interplay between diffusion and receptor-scaffold interactions can lead to a preferred stable size for synaptic domains, such a mechanism cannot explain how synapses adopt widely different sizes. Here we develop a minimal reaction-diffusion model of VSSS for synapse growth, incorporating the recent observation from super-resolution microscopy that neural activity can build compositional heterogeneities within synaptic domains. We find that introducing such heterogeneities can change the stable domain size in a controlled manner. We discuss a potential connection between this model and experimental data on synapse sizes, and how it provides a possible mechanism to structurally encode graded long-term memory. We acknowledge the support from NSF INSPIRE Award number IOS-1526941 (KL, MFH, JL) and the Brandeis Center for Bioinspired Soft Materials, an NSF MRSEC, DMR- 1420382 (MFH).

  14. Metaplasticity at CA1 Synapses by Homeostatic Control of Presynaptic Release Dynamics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cary Soares

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Summary: Hebbian and homeostatic forms of plasticity operate on different timescales to regulate synaptic strength. The degree of mechanistic overlap between these processes and their mutual influence are still incompletely understood. Here, we report that homeostatic synaptic strengthening induced by prolonged network inactivity compromised the ability of CA1 synapses to exhibit LTP. This effect could not be accounted for by an obvious deficit in the postsynaptic capacity for LTP expression, since neither the fraction of silent synapses nor the ability to induce LTP by two-photon glutamate uncaging were reduced by the homeostatic process. Rather, optical quantal analysis reveals that homeostatically strengthened synapses display a reduced capacity to maintain glutamate release fidelity during repetitive stimulation, ultimately impeding the induction, and thus expression, of LTP. By regulating the short-term dynamics of glutamate release, the homeostatic process thus influences key aspects of dynamic network function and exhibits features of metaplasticity. : Several forms of synaptic plasticity operating over distinct spatiotemporal scales have been described at hippocampal synapses. Whether these distinct plasticity mechanisms interact and influence one another remains incompletely understood. Here, Soares et al. show that homeostatic plasticity induced by network silencing influences short-term release dynamics and Hebbian plasticity rules at hippocampal synapses. Keywords: synapse, LTP, homeostatic plasticity, metaplasticity, iGluSNFR

  15. Label-free visualization of ultrastructural features of artificial synapses via cryo-EM.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gopalakrishnan, Gopakumar; Yam, Patricia T; Madwar, Carolin; Bostina, Mihnea; Rouiller, Isabelle; Colman, David R; Lennox, R Bruce

    2011-12-21

    The ultrastructural details of presynapses formed between artificial substrates of submicrometer silica beads and hippocampal neurons are visualized via cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM). The silica beads are derivatized by poly-d-lysine or lipid bilayers. Molecular features known to exist at presynapses are clearly present at these artificial synapses, as visualized by cryo-EM. Key synaptic features such as the membrane contact area at synaptic junctions, the presynaptic bouton containing presynaptic vesicles, as well as microtubular structures can be identified. This is the first report of the direct, label-free observation of ultrastructural details of artificial synapses.

  16. Attractor neural networks with resource-efficient synaptic connectivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pehlevan, Cengiz; Sengupta, Anirvan

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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  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. Role of the MAGUK protein family in synapse formation and function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oliva, Carlos; Escobedo, Pía; Astorga, César; Molina, Claudia; Sierralta, Jimena

    2012-01-01

    Synaptic function is crucially dependent on the spatial organization of the presynaptic and postsynaptic apparatuses and the juxtaposition of both membrane compartments. This precise arrangement is achieved by a protein network at the submembrane region of each cell that is built around scaffold proteins. The membrane-associated guanylate kinase (MAGUK) family of proteins is a widely expressed and well-conserved group of proteins that plays an essential role in the formation and regulation of this scaffolding. Here, we review general features of this protein family, focusing on the discs large and calcium/calmodulin-dependent serine protein kinase subfamilies of MAGUKs in the formation, function, and plasticity of synapses. Copyright © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  1. 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

  2. IR wireless cluster synapses of HYDRA very large neural networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jannson, Tomasz; Forrester, Thomas

    2008-04-01

    RF/IR wireless (virtual) synapses are critical components of HYDRA (Hyper-Distributed Robotic Autonomy) neural networks, already discussed in two earlier papers. The HYDRA network has the potential to be very large, up to 10 11-neurons and 10 18-synapses, based on already established technologies (cellular RF telephony and IR-wireless LANs). It is organized into almost fully connected IR-wireless clusters. The HYDRA neurons and synapses are very flexible, simple, and low-cost. They can be modified into a broad variety of biologically-inspired brain-like computing capabilities. In this third paper, we focus on neural hardware in general, and on IR-wireless synapses in particular. Such synapses, based on LED/LD-connections, dominate the HYDRA neural cluster.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2002-01-01

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

  4. Slack KNa Channels Influence Dorsal Horn Synapses and Nociceptive Behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evely, Katherine M; Pryce, Kerri D; Bausch, Anne E; Lukowski, Robert; Ruth, Peter; Haj-Dahmane, Samir; Bhattacharjee, Arin

    2017-01-01

    The sodium-activated potassium channel Slack (Kcnt1, Slo2.2) is highly expressed in dorsal root ganglion neurons where it regulates neuronal firing. Several studies have implicated the Slack channel in pain processing, but the precise mechanism or the levels within the sensory pathway where channels are involved remain unclear. Here, we furthered the behavioral characterization of Slack channel knockout mice and for the first time examined the role of Slack channels in the superficial, pain-processing lamina of the dorsal horn. We performed whole-cell recordings from spinal cord slices to examine the intrinsic and synaptic properties of putative inhibitory and excitatory lamina II interneurons. Slack channel deletion altered intrinsic properties and synaptic drive to favor an overall enhanced excitatory tone. We measured the amplitudes and paired pulse ratio of paired excitatory post-synaptic currents at primary afferent synapses evoked by electrical stimulation of the dorsal root entry zone. We found a substantial decrease in the paired pulse ratio at synapses in Slack deleted neurons compared to wildtype, indicating increased presynaptic release from primary afferents. Corroborating these data, plantar test showed Slack knockout mice have an enhanced nociceptive responsiveness to localized thermal stimuli compared to wildtype mice. Our findings suggest that Slack channels regulate synaptic transmission within the spinal cord dorsal horn and by doing so establishes the threshold for thermal nociception.

  5. 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.

  6. Neuronal cytoskeleton in synaptic plasticity and regeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gordon-Weeks, Phillip R; Fournier, Alyson E

    2014-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xiling; Goel, Pragya; Chen, Catherine; Angajala, Varun; Chen, Xun

    2018-01-01

    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. PMID:29620520

  8. Disruption of basal lamina components in neuromotor synapses of children with spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karyn G Robinson

    Full Text Available Cerebral palsy (CP is a static encephalopathy occurring when a lesion to the developing brain results in disordered movement and posture. Patients present with sometimes overlapping spastic, athetoid/dyskinetic, and ataxic symptoms. Spastic CP, which is characterized by stiff muscles, weakness, and poor motor control, accounts for ∼80% of cases. The detailed mechanisms leading to disordered movement in spastic CP are not completely understood, but clinical experience and recent studies suggest involvement of peripheral motor synapses. For example, it is recognized that CP patients have altered sensitivities to drugs that target neuromuscular junctions (NMJs, and protein localization studies suggest that NMJ microanatomy is disrupted in CP. Since CP originates during maturation, we hypothesized that NMJ disruption in spastic CP is associated with retention of an immature neuromotor phenotype later in life. Scoliosis patients with spastic CP or idiopathic disease were enrolled in a prospective, partially-blinded study to evaluate NMJ organization and neuromotor maturation. The localization of synaptic acetylcholine esterase (AChE relative to postsynaptic acetylcholine receptor (AChR, synaptic laminin β2, and presynaptic vesicle protein 2 (SV2 appeared mismatched in the CP samples; whereas, no significant disruption was found between AChR and SV2. These data suggest that pre- and postsynaptic NMJ components in CP children were appropriately distributed even though AChE and laminin β2 within the synaptic basal lamina appeared disrupted. Follow up electron microscopy indicated that NMJs from CP patients appeared generally mature and similar to controls with some differences present, including deeper postsynaptic folds and reduced presynaptic mitochondria. Analysis of maturational markers, including myosin, syntrophin, myogenin, and AChR subunit expression, and telomere lengths, all indicated similar levels of motor maturation in the two groups

  9. The Predominance of Electric Transport in Synaptic Transmission

    OpenAIRE

    Hamid Reza Noori

    2008-01-01

    The quantitative description of the motion of neurotransmitters in the synaptic cleft appears to be one of the most difficult problems in the modeling of synapses. Here we show in contradiction to the common view, that this process is merely governed by electric transport than diffusion forces.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-11-01

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

  13. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2015-01-01

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

  15. Readily releasable pool of synaptic vesicles measured at single synaptic contacts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trigo, Federico F; Sakaba, Takeshi; Ogden, David; Marty, Alain

    2012-10-30

    To distinguish between different models of vesicular release in brain synapses, it is necessary to know the number of vesicles of transmitter that can be released immediately at individual synapses by a high-calcium stimulus, the readily releasable pool (RRP). We used direct stimulation by calcium uncaging at identified, single-site inhibitory synapses to investigate the statistics of vesicular release and the size of the RRP. Vesicular release, detected as quantal responses in the postsynaptic neuron, showed an unexpected stochastic variation in the number of quanta from stimulus to stimulus at high intracellular calcium, with a mean of 1.9 per stimulus and a maximum of three or four. The results provide direct measurement of the RRP at single synaptic sites. They are consistent with models in which release proceeds from a small number of vesicle docking sites with an average occupancy around 0.7.

  16. Spectrotemporal dynamics of auditory cortical synaptic receptive field plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Froemke, Robert C; Martins, Ana Raquel O

    2011-09-01

    The nervous system must dynamically represent sensory information in order for animals to perceive and operate within a complex, changing environment. Receptive field plasticity in the auditory cortex allows cortical networks to organize around salient features of the sensory environment during postnatal development, and then subsequently refine these representations depending on behavioral context later in life. Here we review the major features of auditory cortical receptive field plasticity in young and adult animals, focusing on modifications to frequency tuning of synaptic inputs. Alteration in the patterns of acoustic input, including sensory deprivation and tonal exposure, leads to rapid adjustments of excitatory and inhibitory strengths that collectively determine the suprathreshold tuning curves of cortical neurons. Long-term cortical plasticity also requires co-activation of subcortical neuromodulatory control nuclei such as the cholinergic nucleus basalis, particularly in adults. Regardless of developmental stage, regulation of inhibition seems to be a general mechanism by which changes in sensory experience and neuromodulatory state can remodel cortical receptive fields. We discuss recent findings suggesting that the microdynamics of synaptic receptive field plasticity unfold as a multi-phase set of distinct phenomena, initiated by disrupting the balance between excitation and inhibition, and eventually leading to wide-scale changes to many synapses throughout the cortex. These changes are coordinated to enhance the representations of newly-significant stimuli, possibly for improved signal processing and language learning in humans. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  19. 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).

  20. 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

  1. Investigation of synapse formation and function in a glutamatergic-GABAergic two-neuron microcircuit.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Chia-Ling; Trimbuch, Thorsten; Chao, Hsiao-Tuan; Jordan, Julia-Christine; Herman, Melissa A; Rosenmund, Christian

    2014-01-15

    Neural circuits are composed of mainly glutamatergic and GABAergic neurons, which communicate through synaptic connections. Many factors instruct the formation and function of these synapses; however, it is difficult to dissect the contribution of intrinsic cell programs from that of extrinsic environmental effects in an intact network. Here, we perform paired recordings from two-neuron microculture preparations of mouse hippocampal glutamatergic and GABAergic neurons to investigate how synaptic input and output of these two principal cells develop. In our reduced preparation, we found that glutamatergic neurons showed no change in synaptic output or input regardless of partner neuron cell type or neuronal activity level. In contrast, we found that glutamatergic input caused the GABAergic neuron to modify its output by way of an increase in synapse formation and a decrease in synaptic release efficiency. These findings are consistent with aspects of GABAergic synapse maturation observed in many brain regions. In addition, changes in GABAergic output are cell wide and not target-cell specific. We also found that glutamatergic neuronal activity determined the AMPA receptor properties of synapses on the partner GABAergic neuron. All modifications of GABAergic input and output required activity of the glutamatergic neuron. Because our system has reduced extrinsic factors, the changes we saw in the GABAergic neuron due to glutamatergic input may reflect initiation of maturation programs that underlie the formation and function of in vivo neural circuits.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Owen Rackham

    2010-07-01

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

  3. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-09

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Dynamic Observation of Brain-Like Learning in a Ferroelectric Synapse Device

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nishitani, Yu; Kaneko, Yukihiro; Ueda, Michihito; Fujii, Eiji; Tsujimura, Ayumu

    2013-04-01

    A brain-like learning function was implemented in an electronic synapse device using a ferroelectric-gate field effect transistor (FeFET). The FeFET was a bottom-gate type FET with a ZnO channel and a ferroelectric Pb(Zr,Ti)O3 (PZT) gate insulator. The synaptic weight, which is represented by the channel conductance of the FeFET, is updated by applying a gate voltage through a change in the ferroelectric polarization in the PZT. A learning function based on the symmetric spike-timing dependent synaptic plasticity was implemented in the synapse device using the multilevel weight update by applying a pulse gate voltage. The dynamic weighting and learning behavior in the synapse device was observed as a change in the membrane potential in a spiking neuron circuit.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Effects of Estradiol on Learned Helplessness and Associated Remodeling of Hippocampal Spine Synapses in Female Rats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hajszan, Tibor; Szigeti-Buck, Klara; Sallam, Nermin L; Bober, Jeremy; Parducz, Arpad; MacLusky, Neil J; Leranth, Csaba; Duman, Ronald S

    2009-01-01

    Background Despite the fact that women are twice as likely to develop depression as men, our understanding of depression neurobiology in females is limited. We have recently reported in male rats that development of helpless behavior is associated with a severe loss of hippocampal spine synapses, which is reversed by treatment with the antidepressant, desipramine. Considering the fact that estradiol has a hippocampal synaptogenic effect similar to those of antidepressants, the presence of estradiol during the female reproductive life may influence behavioral and synaptic responses to stress and depression. Methods Using electron microscopic stereology, we analyzed hippocampal spine synapses in association with helpless behavior in ovariectomized female rats (n=70), under different conditions of estradiol exposure. Results Stress induced an acute and persistent loss of hippocampal spine synapses, while subchronic treatment with desipramine reversed the stress-induced synaptic loss. Estradiol supplementation given either prior to stress or prior to escape testing of nonstressed animals both increased the number of hippocampal spine synapses. Correlation analysis demonstrated a statistically significant negative correlation between the severity of helpless behavior and hippocampal spine synapse numbers. Conclusions These findings suggest that hippocampal spine synapse remodeling may be a critical factor underlying learned helplessness and, possibly, the neurobiology of depression. PMID:19811775

  12. 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

  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. Neuromodulation, development and synaptic plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foehring, R C; Lorenzon, N M

    1999-03-01

    We discuss parallels in the mechanisms underlying use-dependent synaptic plasticity during development and long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD) in neocortical synapses. Neuromodulators, such as norepinephrine, serotonin, and acetylcholine have also been implicated in regulating both developmental plasticity and LTP/LTD. There are many potential levels of interaction between neuromodulators and plasticity. Ion channels are substrates for modulation in many cell types. We discuss examples of modulation of voltage-gated Ca2+ channels and Ca(2+)-dependent K+ channels and the consequences for neocortical pyramidal cell firing behaviour. At the time when developmental plasticity is most evident in rat cortex, the substrate for modulation is changing as the densities and relative proportions of various ion channels types are altered during ontogeny. We discuss examples of changes in K+ and Ca2+ channels and the consequence for modulation of neuronal activity.

  15. TrkB and PKMζ regulate synaptic localization of PSD-95 in developing cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoshii, Akira; Murata, Yasunobu; Kim, Jihye; Zhang, Chao; Shokat, Kevan M.; Constantine-Paton, Martha

    2011-01-01

    Post-synaptic density 95 (PSD-95), the major scaffold at excitatory synapses, is critical for synapse maturation and learning. In rodents, eye opening, the onset of pattern vision, triggers a rapid movement of PSD-95 from visual neuron somata to synapses. We previously showed that the PI3 kinase-Akt pathway downstream of BDNF/TrkB signaling stimulates synaptic delivery of PSD-95 via vesicular transport. However, vesicular transport requires PSD-95 palmitoylation to attach it to a lipid membrane. Also PSD-95 insertion at synapses is known to require this lipid modification. Here, we show that BDNF/TrkB signaling is also necessary for PSD-95 palmitoylation and its transport to synapses in mouse visual cortical layer 2/3 neurons. However, palmitoylation of PSD-95 requires the activation of another pathway downstream of BDNF/TrkB, namely signaling through PLCγ and the brain-specific PKC variant PKMζ. We find that PKMζ selectively regulates phosphorylation of the palmitoylation enzyme ZDHHC8. Inhibition of PKMζ results in a reduction of synaptic PSD-95 accumulation in vivo, which can be rescued by over-expression ZDHHC8. Therefore, TrkB and PKMζ, two critical regulators of synaptic plasticity, facilitate PSD-95 targeting to synapses. These results also indicate that palmitoylation can be regulated by a trophic factor. Our findings have implications for neurodevelopmental disorders as well as ageing brains. PMID:21849550

  16. 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

  17. Unsupervised learning in neural networks with short range synapses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brunnet, L. G.; Agnes, E. J.; Mizusaki, B. E. P.; Erichsen, R., Jr.

    2013-01-01

    Different areas of the brain are involved in specific aspects of the information being processed both in learning and in memory formation. For example, the hippocampus is important in the consolidation of information from short-term memory to long-term memory, while emotional memory seems to be dealt by the amygdala. On the microscopic scale the underlying structures in these areas differ in the kind of neurons involved, in their connectivity, or in their clustering degree but, at this level, learning and memory are attributed to neuronal synapses mediated by longterm potentiation and long-term depression. In this work we explore the properties of a short range synaptic connection network, a nearest neighbor lattice composed mostly by excitatory neurons and a fraction of inhibitory ones. The mechanism of synaptic modification responsible for the emergence of memory is Spike-Timing-Dependent Plasticity (STDP), a Hebbian-like rule, where potentiation/depression is acquired when causal/non-causal spikes happen in a synapse involving two neurons. The system is intended to store and recognize memories associated to spatial external inputs presented as simple geometrical forms. The synaptic modifications are continuously applied to excitatory connections, including a homeostasis rule and STDP. In this work we explore the different scenarios under which a network with short range connections can accomplish the task of storing and recognizing simple connected patterns.

  18. Building blocks of temporal filters in retinal synapses.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bongsoo Suh

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Sensory systems must be able to extract features of a stimulus to detect and represent properties of the world. Because sensory signals are constantly changing, a critical aspect of this transformation relates to the timing of signals and the ability to filter those signals to select dynamic properties, such as visual motion. At first assessment, one might think that the primary biophysical properties that construct a temporal filter would be dynamic mechanisms such as molecular concentration or membrane electrical properties. However, in the current issue of PLOS Biology, Baden et al. identify a mechanism of temporal filtering in the zebrafish and goldfish retina that is not dynamic but is in fact a structural building block-the physical size of a synapse itself. The authors observe that small, bipolar cell synaptic terminals are fast and highly adaptive, whereas large ones are slower and adapt less. Using a computational model, they conclude that the volume of the synaptic terminal influences the calcium concentration and the number of available vesicles. These results indicate that the size of the presynaptic terminal is an independent control for the dynamics of a synapse and may reveal aspects of synaptic function that can be inferred from anatomical structure.

  19. Stochastic Synapses Enable Efficient Brain-Inspired Learning Machines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neftci, Emre O.; Pedroni, Bruno U.; Joshi, Siddharth; Al-Shedivat, Maruan; Cauwenberghs, Gert

    2016-01-01

    Recent studies have shown that synaptic unreliability is a robust and sufficient mechanism for inducing the stochasticity observed in cortex. Here, we introduce Synaptic Sampling Machines (S2Ms), a class of neural network models that uses synaptic stochasticity as a means to Monte Carlo sampling and unsupervised learning. Similar to the original formulation of Boltzmann machines, these models can be viewed as a stochastic counterpart of Hopfield networks, but where stochasticity is induced by a random mask over the connections. Synaptic stochasticity plays the dual role of an efficient mechanism for sampling, and a regularizer during learning akin to DropConnect. A local synaptic plasticity rule implementing an event-driven form of contrastive divergence enables the learning of generative models in an on-line fashion. S2Ms perform equally well using discrete-timed artificial units (as in Hopfield networks) or continuous-timed leaky integrate and fire neurons. The learned representations are remarkably sparse and robust to reductions in bit precision and synapse pruning: removal of more than 75% of the weakest connections followed by cursory re-learning causes a negligible performance loss on benchmark classification tasks. The spiking neuron-based S2Ms outperform existing spike-based unsupervised learners, while potentially offering substantial advantages in terms of power and complexity, and are thus promising models for on-line learning in brain-inspired hardware. PMID:27445650

  20. 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.

  1. 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

    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 indiscriminat...... simultaneously. Reduced values were found in all regions except in the occipital (visual) cortex. In particular, temporal and parietal cortex Vd was significantly (P...

  2. Neural circuit rewiring: insights from DD synapse remodeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kurup, Naina; Jin, Yishi

    2016-01-01

    Nervous systems exhibit many forms of neuronal plasticity during growth, learning and memory consolidation, as well as in response to injury. Such plasticity can occur across entire nervous systems as with the case of insect metamorphosis, in individual classes of neurons, or even at the level of a single neuron. A striking example of neuronal plasticity in C. elegans is the synaptic rewiring of the GABAergic Dorsal D-type motor neurons during larval development, termed DD remodeling. DD remodeling entails multi-step coordination to concurrently eliminate pre-existing synapses and form new synapses on different neurites, without changing the overall morphology of the neuron. This mini-review focuses on recent advances in understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms driving DD remodeling.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  4. Structural Components of Synaptic Plasticity and Memory Consolidation

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-05-26

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

  6. Activity-dependent control of NMDA receptor subunit composition at hippocampal mossy fibre synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carta, Mario; Srikumar, Bettadapura N; Gorlewicz, Adam; Rebola, Nelson; Mulle, Christophe

    2018-02-15

    CA3 pyramidal cells display input-specific differences in the subunit composition of synaptic NMDA receptors (NMDARs). Although at low density, GluN2B contributes significantly to NMDAR-mediated EPSCs at mossy fibre synapses. Long-term potentiation (LTP) of NMDARs triggers a modification in the subunit composition of synaptic NMDARs by insertion of GluN2B. GluN2B subunits are essential for the expression of LTP of NMDARs at mossy fibre synapses. Single neurons express NMDA receptors (NMDARs) with distinct subunit composition and biophysical properties that can be segregated in an input-specific manner. The dynamic control of the heterogeneous distribution of synaptic NMDARs is crucial to control input-dependent synaptic integration and plasticity. In hippocampal CA3 pyramidal cells from mice of both sexes, we found that mossy fibre (MF) synapses display a markedly lower proportion of GluN2B-containing NMDARs than associative/commissural synapses. The mechanism involved in such heterogeneous distribution of GluN2B subunits is not known. Here we show that long-term potentiation (LTP) of NMDARs, which is selectively expressed at MF-CA3 pyramidal cell synapses, triggers a modification in the subunit composition of synaptic NMDARs by insertion of GluN2B. This activity-dependent recruitment of GluN2B at mature MF-CA3 pyramidal cell synapses contrasts with the removal of GluN2B subunits at other glutamatergic synapses during development and in response to activity. Furthermore, although expressed at low levels, GluN2B is necessary for the expression of LTP of NMDARs at MF-CA3 pyramidal cell synapses. Altogether, we reveal a previously unknown activity-dependent regulation and function of GluN2B subunits that may contribute to the heterogeneous plasticity induction rules in CA3 pyramidal cells. © 2017 Centre Nationnal de la Recherche Scientifique. The Journal of Physiology © 2017 The Physiological Society.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Synaptic vesicles contain small ribonucleic acids (sRNAs) including transfer RNA fragments (trfRNA) and microRNAs (miRNA).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Huinan; Wu, Cheng; Aramayo, Rodolfo; Sachs, Matthew S; Harlow, Mark L

    2015-10-08

    Synaptic vesicles (SVs) are neuronal presynaptic organelles that load and release neurotransmitter at chemical synapses. In addition to classic neurotransmitters, we have found that synaptic vesicles isolated from the electric organ of Torpedo californica, a model cholinergic synapse, contain small ribonucleic acids (sRNAs), primarily the 5' ends of transfer RNAs (tRNAs) termed tRNA fragments (trfRNAs). To test the evolutionary conservation of SV sRNAs we examined isolated SVs from the mouse central nervous system (CNS). We found abundant levels of sRNAs in mouse SVs, including trfRNAs and micro RNAs (miRNAs) known to be involved in transcriptional and translational regulation. This discovery suggests that, in addition to inducing changes in local dendritic excitability through the release of neurotransmitters, SVs may, through the release of specific trfRNAs and miRNAs, directly regulate local protein synthesis. We believe these findings have broad implications for the study of chemical synaptic transmission.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-09-03

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

  11. Combined effect of chemical and electrical synapses in Hindmarsh-Rose neural networks on synchronization and the rate of information.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baptista, M S; Moukam Kakmeni, F M; Grebogi, C

    2010-09-01

    In this work we studied the combined action of chemical and electrical synapses in small networks of Hindmarsh-Rose (HR) neurons on the synchronous behavior and on the rate of information produced (per time unit) by the networks. We show that if the chemical synapse is excitatory, the larger the chemical synapse strength used the smaller the electrical synapse strength needed to achieve complete synchronization, and for moderate synaptic strengths one should expect to find desynchronous behavior. Otherwise, if the chemical synapse is inhibitory, the larger the chemical synapse strength used the larger the electrical synapse strength needed to achieve complete synchronization, and for moderate synaptic strengths one should expect to find synchronous behaviors. Finally, we show how to calculate semianalytically an upper bound for the rate of information produced per time unit (Kolmogorov-Sinai entropy) in larger networks. As an application, we show that this upper bound is linearly proportional to the number of neurons in a network whose neurons are highly connected.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Glutamatergic synaptic plasticity in the mesocorticolimbic system in addiction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aile evan Huijstee

    2015-01-01

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

  17. 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

  18. Stability and Function of Hippocampal Mossy Fiber Synapses Depend on Bcl11b/Ctip2

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elodie De Bruyckere

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Structural and functional plasticity of synapses are critical neuronal mechanisms underlying learning and memory. While activity-dependent regulation of synaptic strength has been extensively studied, much less is known about the transcriptional control of synapse maintenance and plasticity. Hippocampal mossy fiber (MF synapses connect dentate granule cells to CA3 pyramidal neurons and are important for spatial memory formation and consolidation. The transcription factor Bcl11b/Ctip2 is expressed in dentate granule cells and required for postnatal hippocampal development. Ablation of Bcl11b/Ctip2 in the adult hippocampus results in impaired adult neurogenesis and spatial memory. The molecular mechanisms underlying the behavioral impairment remained unclear. Here we show that selective deletion of Bcl11b/Ctip2 in the adult mouse hippocampus leads to a rapid loss of excitatory synapses in CA3 as well as reduced ultrastructural complexity of remaining mossy fiber boutons (MFBs. Moreover, a dramatic decline of long-term potentiation (LTP of the dentate gyrus-CA3 (DG-CA3 projection is caused by adult loss of Bcl11b/Ctip2. Differential transcriptomics revealed the deregulation of genes associated with synaptic transmission in mutants. Together, our data suggest Bcl11b/Ctip2 to regulate maintenance and function of MF synapses in the adult hippocampus.

  19. 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

  20. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-20

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. NMDA receptor content of synapses in stratum radiatum of the hippocampal CA1 area.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Racca, C; Stephenson, F A; Streit, P; Roberts, J D; Somogyi, P

    2000-04-01

    Glutamate receptors activated by NMDA (NMDARs) or AMPA (AMPARs) are clustered on dendritic spines of pyramidal cells. Both the AMPAR-mediated postsynaptic responses and the synaptic AMPAR immunoreactivity show a large intersynapse variability. Postsynaptic responses mediated by NMDARs show less variability. To assess the variability in NMDAR content and the extent of their coexistence with AMPARs in Schaffer collateral-commissural synapses of adult rat CA1 pyramidal cells, electron microscopic immunogold localization of receptors has been used. Immunoreactivity of NMDARs was detected in virtually all synapses on spines, but AMPARs were undetectable, on average, in 12% of synapses. A proportion of synapses had a very high AMPAR content relative to the mean content, resulting in a distribution more skewed toward larger values than that of NMDARs. The variability of synaptic NMDAR content [coefficient of variation (CV), 0.64-0.70] was much lower than that of the AMPAR content (CV, 1.17-1.45). Unlike the AMPAR content, the NMDAR content showed only a weak correlation with synapse size. As reported previously for AMPARs, the immunoreactivity of NMDARs was also associated with the spine apparatus within spines. The results demonstrate that the majority of the synapses made by CA3 pyramidal cells onto spines of CA1 pyramids express both NMDARs and AMPARs, but with variable ratios. A less-variable NMDAR content is accompanied by a wide variability of AMPAR content, indicating that the regulation of expression of the two receptors is not closely linked. These findings support reports that fast excitatory transmission at some of these synapses is mediated by activation mainly of NMDARs.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Synaptic communication between neurons and NG2+ cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paukert, Martin; Bergles, Dwight E

    2006-10-01

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

  10. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian Tetzlaff

    2013-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-10-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. Myostatin-like proteins regulate synaptic function and neuronal morphology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Augustin, Hrvoje; McGourty, Kieran; Steinert, Joern R; Cochemé, Helena M; Adcott, Jennifer; Cabecinha, Melissa; Vincent, Alec; Halff, Els F; Kittler, Josef T; Boucrot, Emmanuel; Partridge, Linda

    2017-07-01

    Growth factors of the TGFβ superfamily play key roles in regulating neuronal and muscle function. Myostatin (or GDF8) and GDF11 are potent negative regulators of skeletal muscle mass. However, expression of myostatin and its cognate receptors in other tissues, including brain and peripheral nerves, suggests a potential wider biological role. Here, we show that Myoglianin (MYO), the Drosophila homolog of myostatin and GDF11, regulates not only body weight and muscle size, but also inhibits neuromuscular synapse strength and composition in a Smad2-dependent manner. Both myostatin and GDF11 affected synapse formation in isolated rat cortical neuron cultures, suggesting an effect on synaptogenesis beyond neuromuscular junctions. We also show that MYO acts in vivo to inhibit synaptic transmission between neurons in the escape response neural circuit of adult flies. Thus, these anti-myogenic proteins act as important inhibitors of synapse function and neuronal growth. © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

    2012-08-28

    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.

  18. 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".

  19. A VLSI recurrent network of integrate-and-fire neurons connected by plastic synapses with long-term memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chicca, E; Badoni, D; Dante, V; D'Andreagiovanni, M; Salina, G; Carota, L; Fusi, S; Del Giudice, P

    2003-01-01

    Electronic neuromorphic devices with on-chip, on-line learning should be able to modify quickly the synaptic couplings to acquire information about new patterns to be stored (synaptic plasticity) and, at the same time, preserve this information on very long time scales (synaptic stability). Here, we illustrate the electronic implementation of a simple solution to this stability-plasticity problem, recently proposed and studied in various contexts. It is based on the observation that reducing the analog depth of the synapses to the extreme (bistable synapses) does not necessarily disrupt the performance of the device as an associative memory, provided that 1) the number of neurons is large enough; 2) the transitions between stable synaptic states are stochastic; and 3) learning is slow. The drastic reduction of the analog depth of the synaptic variable also makes this solution appealing from the point of view of electronic implementation and offers a simple methodological alternative to the technological solution based on floating gates. We describe the full custom analog very large-scale integration (VLSI) realization of a small network of integrate-and-fire neurons connected by bistable deterministic plastic synapses which can implement the idea of stochastic learning. In the absence of stimuli, the memory is preserved indefinitely. During the stimulation the synapse undergoes quick temporary changes through the activities of the pre- and postsynaptic neurons; those changes stochastically result in a long-term modification of the synaptic efficacy. The intentionally disordered pattern of connectivity allows the system to generate a randomness suited to drive the stochastic selection mechanism. We check by a suitable stimulation protocol that the stochastic synaptic plasticity produces the expected pattern of potentiation and depression in the electronic network.

  20. 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.

  1. 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…

  2. Synaptic Plasticity in Cardiac Innervation and Its Potential Role in Atrial Fibrillation

    OpenAIRE

    Jesse L. Ashton; Rebecca A. B. Burton; Gil Bub; Bruce H. Smaill; Bruce H. Smaill; Johanna M. Montgomery

    2018-01-01

    Synaptic plasticity is defined as the ability of synapses to change their strength of transmission. Plasticity of synaptic connections in the brain is a major focus of neuroscience research, as it is the primary mechanism underpinning learning and memory. Beyond the brain however, plasticity in peripheral neurons is less well understood, particularly in the neurons innervating the heart. The atria receive rich innervation from the autonomic branch of the peripheral nervous system. Sympathetic...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James H Long

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

  4. Organic cation transporter 2 (SLC22A2), a low-affinity and high-capacity choline transporter, is preferentially enriched on synaptic vesicles in cholinergic neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakata, T; Matsui, T; Kobayashi, K; Kobayashi, Y; Anzai, N

    2013-11-12

    Organic cation transporters (OCTs) are expressed mainly in the kidney and liver. OCTs transport intrinsic organic cations, including monoamine, dopamine, serotonine and choline, across the plasma membrane. Here, we demonstrate that OCT2 (SLC22A2) is expressed in cholinergic neurons, motoneurons in the anterior horn of the spinal cord, and is implicated in acetylcholine (Ach) recycling in presynaptic terminals. Application of rabbit anti-peptide antibody revealed that OCT2 was expressed in the anterior horn of the spinal cord. Double immunostaining of muscle sections with anti-OCT2 and alpha-bungarotoxin (BTX) revealed that OCT2 was localized in the neuromuscular junctions (NMJs). Immunoelectron microscopy revealed that OCT2 was localized both in synaptic vesicles (SVs) in presynaptic terminals around the motoneurons (C-terminals) and in SVs in nerve terminals in NMJs. The similarity in the distribution of OCT2 in cholinergic neurons and that of vesicular acetyl choline transporter (VAchT), and the fact that OCT2 can transport choline suggest that OCT2 could work as a low-affinity and high-capacity choline transporter at presynaptic terminals in cholinergic neurons in a firing-dependent manner. Copyright © 2013 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. 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

  6. LL5beta: a regulator of postsynaptic differentiation identified in a screen for synaptically enriched transcripts at the neuromuscular junction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kishi, Masashi; Kummer, Terrance T; Eglen, Stephen J; Sanes, Joshua R

    2005-04-25

    In both neurons and muscle fibers, specific mRNAs are concentrated beneath and locally translated at synaptic sites. At the skeletal neuromuscular junction, all synaptic RNAs identified to date encode synaptic components. Using microarrays, we compared RNAs in synapse-rich and -free regions of muscles, thereby identifying transcripts that are enriched near synapses and that encode soluble membrane and nuclear proteins. One gene product, LL5beta, binds to both phosphoinositides and a cytoskeletal protein, filamin, one form of which is concentrated at synaptic sites. LL5beta is itself associated with the cytoplasmic face of the postsynaptic membrane; its highest levels border regions of highest acetylcholine receptor (AChR) density, which suggests a role in "corraling" AChRs. Consistent with this idea, perturbing LL5beta expression in myotubes inhibits AChR aggregation. Thus, a strategy designed to identify novel synaptic components led to identification of a protein required for assembly of the postsynaptic apparatus.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  11. Prevention of Noise Damage to Cochlear Synapses

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-10-01

    Assessment of synapse regeneration : Twelve week old CBA/CaJ mice are exposed to a moderate noise that destroys synapses on inner hair cells (IHCs) but spares...result of excitotoxic trauma to cochlear synapses due to glutamate released from the hair cells . Excitotoxic trauma damages the postsynaptic cell by...components ............................................. 12 d) Quantitative analysis of effects of neurotrophic factors on synapse regeneration in vitro

  12. Retrogradely Transported TrkA Endosomes Signal Locally within Dendrites to Maintain Sympathetic Neuron Synapses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kathryn M. Lehigh

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Sympathetic neurons require NGF from their target fields for survival, axonal target innervation, dendritic growth and formation, and maintenance of synaptic inputs from preganglionic neurons. Target-derived NGF signals are propagated retrogradely, from distal axons to somata of sympathetic neurons via TrkA signaling endosomes. We report that a subset of TrkA endosomes that are transported from distal axons to cell bodies translocate into dendrites, where they are signaling competent and move bidirectionally, in close proximity to synaptic protein clusters. Using a strategy for spatially confined inhibition of TrkA kinase activity, we found that distal-axon-derived TrkA signaling endosomes are necessary within sympathetic neuron dendrites for maintenance of synapses. Thus, TrkA signaling endosomes have unique functions in different cellular compartments. Moreover, target-derived NGF mediates circuit formation and synapse maintenance through TrkA endosome signaling within dendrites to promote aggregation of postsynaptic protein complexes.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. The interplay between neurons and glia in synapse development and plasticity

    OpenAIRE

    Stogsdill, Jeff A; Eroglu, Cagla

    2016-01-01

    In the brain, the formation of complex neuronal networks amenable to experience-dependent remodeling is complicated by the diversity of neurons and synapse types. The establishment of a functional brain depends not only on neurons, but also non-neuronal glial cells. Glia are in continuous bi-directional communication with neurons to direct the formation and refinement of synaptic connectivity. This article reviews important findings, which uncovered cellular and molecular aspects of the neuro...

  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. Astrocyte lipid metabolism is critical for synapse development and function in vivo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Deijk, Anne-Lieke F; Camargo, Nutabi; Timmerman, Jaap; Heistek, Tim; Brouwers, Jos F; Mogavero, Floriana; Mansvelder, Huibert D; Smit, August B; Verheijen, Mark H G

    2017-04-01

    The brain is considered to be autonomous in lipid synthesis with astrocytes producing lipids far more efficiently than neurons. Accordingly, it is generally assumed that astrocyte-derived lipids are taken up by neurons to support synapse formation and function. Initial confirmation of this assumption has been obtained in cell cultures, but whether astrocyte-derived lipids support synapses in vivo is not known. Here, we address this issue and determined the role of astrocyte lipid metabolism in hippocampal synapse formation and function in vivo. Hippocampal protein expression for the sterol regulatory element-binding protein (SREBP) and its target gene fatty acid synthase (Fasn) was found in astrocytes but not in neurons. Diminishing SREBP activity in astrocytes using mice in which the SREBP cleavage-activating protein (SCAP) was deleted from GFAP-expressing cells resulted in decreased cholesterol and phospholipid secretion by astrocytes. Interestingly, SCAP mutant mice showed more immature synapses, lower presynaptic protein SNAP-25 levels as well as reduced numbers of synaptic vesicles, indicating impaired development of the presynaptic terminal. Accordingly, hippocampal short-term and long-term synaptic plasticity were defective in mutant mice. These findings establish a critical role for astrocyte lipid metabolism in presynaptic terminal development and function in vivo. GLIA 2017;65:670-682. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  20. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  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. Contextual Learning Requires Functional Diversity at Excitatory and Inhibitory Synapses onto CA1 Pyramidal Neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dai Mitsushima

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Although the hippocampus is processing temporal and spatial information in particular context, the encoding rule creating memory is completely unknown. To examine the mechanism, we trained rats on an inhibitory avoidance (IA task, a hippocampus-dependent rapid one-trial contextual learning paradigm. By combining Herpes virus-mediated in vivo gene delivery with in vitro patch-clamp recordings, I reported contextual learning drives GluR1-containing AMPA receptors into CA3-CA1 synapses. The molecular event is required for contextual memory, since bilateral expression of delivery blocker in CA1 successfully blocked IA learning. Moreover, I found a logarithmic correlation between the number of delivery blocking cells and learning performance. Considering that one all-or-none device can process 1-bit of data per clock (Nobert Wiener 1961, the logarithmic correlation may provides evidence that CA1 neurons transmit essential data of contextual information. Further, I recently reported critical role of acetylcholine as an intrinsic trigger of learning-dependent synaptic plasticity. IA training induced ACh release in CA1 that strengthened not only AMPA receptor-mediated excitatory synapses, but also GABAA receptor-mediated inhibitory synapses on each CA1 neuron. More importantly, IA-trained rats showed individually different excitatory and inhibitory synaptic inputs with wide variation on each CA1 neuron. Here I propose a new hypothesis that the diversity of synaptic inputs on CA1 neurons may depict cell-specific outputs processing experienced episodes after training.

  4. 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.

  5. Synaptic control of motoneuronal excitability

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2000-01-01

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

  6. The AMPA receptor-associated protein Shisa7 regulates hippocampal synaptic function and contextual memory

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schmitz, Leanne J M; Klaassen, Remco V; Ruiperez-Alonso, Marta; Zamri, Azra Elia; Stroeder, Jasper; Rao-Ruiz, Priyanka; Lodder, Johannes C; van der Loo, Rolinka J; Mansvelder, Huib D; Smit, August B; Spijker, Sabine; Verhage, Matthijs

    2017-01-01

    Glutamatergic synapses rely on AMPA receptors (AMPARs) for fast synaptic transmission and plasticity. AMPAR auxiliary proteins regulate receptor trafficking, and modulate receptor mobility and its biophysical properties. The AMPAR auxiliary protein Shisa7 (CKAMP59) has been shown to interact with

  7. Making of a Synapse: Recurrent Roles of Drebrin A at Excitatory Synapses Throughout Life.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aoki, Chiye; Sherpa, Ang D

    2017-01-01

    Mature excitatory synapses are composed of more than 1500 proteins postsynaptically and hundreds more that operate presynaptically. Among them, drebrin is an F-actin-binding protein that increases noticeably during juvenile synaptogenesis. Electron microscopic analysis reveals that drebrin is highly enriched specifically on the postsynaptic side of excitatory synapses. Since dendritic spines are structures specialized for excitatory synaptic transmission, the function of drebrin was probed by analyzing the ultrastructural characteristics of dendritic spines of animals with genetic deletion of drebrin A (DAKO), the adult isoform of drebrin. Electron microscopic analyses revealed that these brains are surprisingly intact, in that axo-spinous synaptic junctions are well-formed and not significantly altered in number. This normal ultrastructure may be because drebrin E, the alternate embryonic isoform, compensates for the genetic deletion of drebrin A. However, DAKO results in the loss of homeostatic plasticity of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors (NMDARs). The NMDAR activation-dependent trafficking of the NR2A subunit-containing NMDARs from dendritic shafts into spine head cytoplasm is greatly diminished within brains of DAKO. Conversely, within brains of wild-type rodents, spines respond to NMDAR blockade with influx of F-actin, drebrin A, and NR2A subunits of NMDARs. These observations indicate that drebrin A facilitates the trafficking of NMDAR cargos in an F-actin-dependent manner to mediate homeostatic plasticity. Analysis of the brains of transgenic mice used as models of Alzheimer's disease (AD) reveals that the loss of drebrin from dendritic spines predates the emergence of synaptic dysfunction and cognitive impairment, suggesting that this form of homeostatic plasticity contributes toward cognition. Two studies suggest that the nature of drebrin's interaction with NMDARs is dependent on the receptor's subunit composition. Drebrin A can be found co

  8. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-04-27

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

  10. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  12. Constancy and variability in cortical structure. A study on synapses and dendritic spines in hedgehog and monkey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schüz, A; Demianenko, G P

    1995-01-01

    Synapses and dendritic spines were investigated in the parietal cortex of the hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus) and the monkey (Macaca mulatta). There was no significant difference in the density of synapses between the two species (14 synapses/100 microns2 in the hedgehog, 15/100 microns2 in the monkey), neither in the size of the synaptic junctions, in the proportion of Type I and Type II synapses (8-10% were of Type II in the hedgehog, 10-14% in the monkey) nor in the proportion of perforated synapses (8% in the hedgehog, 5% in the monkey). The only striking difference at the electron microscopic level concerned the frequency of synapses in which the postsynaptic profile was deeply indented into the presynaptic terminal. Such synapses were 10 times more frequent in the monkey. Dendritic spines were investigated in Golgi-preparations. The density of spines along dendrites was similar in both species. The results are discussed with regard to connectivity in the cortex of small and large brains.

  13. 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.

  14. Frequency dependent changes in NMDAR-dependent synaptic plasticity

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    Arvind eKumar

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available The NMDAR-dependent synaptic plasticity is thought to mediate several forms of learning, and can be induced by spike trains containing a small number of spikes occurring with varying rates and timing, as well as with oscillations. We computed the influence of these variables on the plasticity induced at a single NMDAR containing synapse using a reduced model that was analytically tractable, and these findings were confirmed using detailed, multi-compartment model. In addition to explaining diverse experimental results about the rate and timing dependence of synaptic plasticity, the model made several novel and testable predictions. We found that there was a preferred frequency for inducing long-term potentiation (LTP such that higher frequency stimuli induced lesser LTP, decreasing as 1/f when the number of spikes in the stimulus was kept fixed. Among other things, the preferred frequency for inducing LTP varied as a function of the distance of the synapse from the soma. In fact, same stimulation frequencies could induce LTP or LTD depending on the dendritic location of the synapse. Next, we found that rhythmic stimuli induced greater plasticity then irregular stimuli. Furthermore, brief bursts of spikes significantly expanded the timing dependence of plasticity. Finally, we found that in the ~5-15Hz frequency range both rate- and timing-dependent plasticity mechanisms work synergistically to render the synaptic plasticity most sensitive to spike-timing. These findings provide computational evidence that oscillations can have a profound influence on the plasticity of an NMDAR-dependent synapse, and show a novel role for the dendritic morphology in this process.

  15. Blocking effects of human tau on squid giant synapse transmission and its prevention by T-817 MA

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    Herman eMoreno

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Filamentous tau inclusions are hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease (AD and related neurodegenerative tauopathies, but the molecular mechanisms involved in tau mediated changes in neuronal function and their possible effects on synaptic transmission are unknown. We have evaluated the effects of human tau protein injected directly into the presynaptic terminal axon of the squid giant synapse, which affords functional, structural, and biochemical analysis of its action on the synaptic release process. Indeed, we have found that at physiological concentrations recombinant human tau isoforms (h-tau 42 become phosphorylated, produce a rapid synaptic transmission block, and induce the formation of clusters of aggregated synaptic vesicles in the vicinity of the active zone. Presynaptic voltage clamp recordings demonstrate that h-tau does not modify the presynaptic calcium current amplitude or kinetics. Analysis of synaptic noise at the post-synaptic axon following pre-synaptic h-tau42 microinjection revealed an initial phase of increase spontaneous transmitter release followed by a marked reduction in noise. Finally, systemic administration of T-817MA, a proposed neuro-protective agent, rescued tau-induced synaptic abnormalities. Our results show novel mechanisms of h-tau42 mediated synaptic transmission failure and more importantly identify a potential therapeutic agent to treat/prevent tau-related neurotoxicity.

  16. Synaptic Plasticity, Dementia and Alzheimer Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

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    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.

  18. Impacts of hybrid synapses on the noise-delayed decay in scale-free neural networks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yilmaz, Ergin

    2014-01-01

    Highlights: • We investigate the NDD phenomenon in a hybrid scale-free network. • Electrical synapses are more impressive on the emergence of NDD. • Electrical synapses are more efficient in suppressing of the NDD. • Average degree has two opposite effects on the appearance time of the first spike. - Abstract: We study the phenomenon of noise-delayed decay in a scale-free neural network consisting of excitable FitzHugh–Nagumo neurons. In contrast to earlier works, where only electrical synapses are considered among neurons, we primarily examine the effects of hybrid synapses on the noise-delayed decay in this study. We show that the electrical synaptic coupling is more impressive than the chemical coupling in determining the appearance time of the first-spike and more efficient on the mitigation of the delay time in the detection of a suprathreshold input signal. We obtain that hybrid networks including inhibitory chemical synapses have higher signal detection capabilities than those of including excitatory ones. We also find that average degree exhibits two different effects, which are strengthening and weakening the noise-delayed decay effect depending on the noise intensity

  19. Optimal recall from bounded metaplastic synapses: predicting functional adaptations in hippocampal area CA3.

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    Cristina Savin

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available A venerable history of classical work on autoassociative memory has significantly shaped our understanding of several features of the hippocampus, and most prominently of its CA3 area, in relation to memory storage and retrieval. However, existing theories of hippocampal memory processing ignore a key biological constraint affecting memory storage in neural circuits: the bounded dynamical range of synapses. Recent treatments based on the notion of metaplasticity provide a powerful model for individual bounded synapses; however, their implications for the ability of the hippocampus to retrieve memories well and the dynamics of neurons associated with that retrieval are both unknown. Here, we develop a theoretical framework for memory storage and recall with bounded synapses. We formulate the recall of a previously stored pattern from a noisy recall cue and limited-capacity (and therefore lossy synapses as a probabilistic inference problem, and derive neural dynamics that implement approximate inference algorithms to solve this problem efficiently. In particular, for binary synapses with metaplastic states, we demonstrate for the first time that memories can be efficiently read out with biologically plausible network dynamics that are completely constrained by the synaptic plasticity rule, and the statistics of the stored patterns and of the recall cue. Our theory organises into a coherent framework a wide range of existing data about the regulation of excitability, feedback inhibition, and network oscillations in area CA3, and makes novel and directly testable predictions that can guide future experiments.

  20. LRRTM3 Regulates Excitatory Synapse Development through Alternative Splicing and Neurexin Binding

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    Ji Won Um

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available The four members of the LRRTM family (LRRTM1-4 are postsynaptic adhesion molecules essential for excitatory synapse development. They have also been implicated in neuropsychiatric diseases. Here, we focus on LRRTM3, showing that two distinct LRRTM3 variants generated by alternative splicing regulate LRRTM3 interaction with PSD-95, but not its excitatory synapse-promoting activity. Overexpression of either LRRTM3 variant increased excitatory synapse density in dentate gyrus (DG granule neurons, whereas LRRTM3 knockdown decreased it. LRRTM3 also controlled activity-regulated AMPA receptor surface expression in an alternative splicing-dependent manner. Furthermore, Lrrtm3-knockout mice displayed specific alterations in excitatory synapse density, excitatory synaptic transmission and excitability in DG granule neurons but not in CA1 pyramidal neurons. Lastly, LRRTM3 required only specific splice variants of presynaptic neurexins for their synaptogenic activity. Collectively, our data highlight alternative splicing and differential presynaptic ligand utilization in the regulation of LRRTMs, revealing key regulatory mechanisms for excitatory synapse development.

  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. 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.

  3. Imaging Polarized Secretory Traffic at the Immune Synapse in Living T Lymphocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calvo, Víctor; Izquierdo, Manuel

    2018-01-01

    Immune synapse (IS) formation by T lymphocytes constitutes a crucial event involved in antigen-specific, cellular and humoral immune responses. After IS formation by T lymphocytes and antigen-presenting cells, the convergence of secretory vesicles toward the microtubule-organizing center (MTOC) and MTOC polarization to the IS are involved in polarized secretion at the synaptic cleft. This specialized mechanism appears to specifically provide the immune system with a fine strategy to increase the efficiency of crucial secretory effector functions of T lymphocytes, while minimizing non-specific, cytokine-mediated stimulation of bystander cells, target cell killing and activation-induced cell death. The molecular bases involved in the polarized secretory traffic toward the IS in T lymphocytes have been the focus of interest, thus different models and several imaging strategies have been developed to gain insights into the mechanisms governing directional secretory traffic. In this review, we deal with the most widely used, state-of-the-art approaches to address the molecular mechanisms underlying this crucial, immune secretory response.

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

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    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.

  5. Lrit1, a Retinal Transmembrane Protein, Regulates Selective Synapse Formation in Cone Photoreceptor Cells and Visual Acuity

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    Akiko Ueno

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Summary: In the vertebrate retina, cone photoreceptors play crucial roles in photopic vision by transmitting light-evoked signals to ON- and/or OFF-bipolar cells. However, the mechanisms underlying selective synapse formation in the cone photoreceptor pathway remain poorly understood. Here, we found that Lrit1, a leucine-rich transmembrane protein, localizes to the photoreceptor synaptic terminal and regulates the synaptic connection between cone photoreceptors and cone ON-bipolar cells. Lrit1-deficient retinas exhibit an aberrant morphology of cone photoreceptor pedicles, as well as an impairment of signal transmission from cone photoreceptors to cone ON-bipolar cells. Furthermore, we demonstrated that Lrit1 interacts with Frmpd2, a photoreceptor scaffold protein, and with mGluR6, an ON-bipolar cell-specific glutamate receptor. Additionally, Lrit1-null mice showed visual acuity impairments in their optokinetic responses. These results suggest that the Frmpd2-Lrit1-mGluR6 axis regulates selective synapse formation in cone photoreceptors and is essential for normal visual function. : Ueno et al. finds that Lrit1 plays an important role in regulating the synaptic connection between cone photoreceptors and cone ON-bipolar cells. The Frmpd2-Lrit1-mGluR6 axis is crucial for selective synapse formation in cone photoreceptors and for development of normal visual function. Keywords: retina, circuit, synapse formation, cone photoreceptor cell, ON-bipolar cell, visual acuity

  6. 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.

  7. Statistical theory of synaptic connectivity in the neocortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Escobar, Gina

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

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

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    Maya Kaufman

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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

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

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    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.

  12. Synchrony detection and amplification by silicon neurons with STDP synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bofill-i-petit, Adria; Murray, Alan F

    2004-09-01

    Spike-timing dependent synaptic plasticity (STDP) is a form of plasticity driven by precise spike-timing differences between presynaptic and postsynaptic spikes. Thus, the learning rules underlying STDP are suitable for learning neuronal temporal phenomena such as spike-timing synchrony. It is well known that weight-independent STDP creates unstable learning processes resulting in balanced bimodal weight distributions. In this paper, we present a neuromorphic analog very large scale integration (VLSI) circuit that contains a feedforward network of silicon neurons with STDP synapses. The learning rule implemented can be tuned to have a moderate level of weight dependence. This helps stabilise the learning process and still generates binary weight distributions. From on-chip learning experiments we show that the chip can detect and amplify hierarchical spike-timing synchrony structures embedded in noisy spike trains. The weight distributions of the network emerging from learning are bimodal.

  13. Overexpression of synapsin Ia in the rat calyx of Held accelerates short-term plasticity and decreases synaptic vesicle volume and active zone area

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    Mariya eVasileva

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Synapsins are synaptic vesicle (SV proteins organizing a component of the reserve pool of vesicles at most central nervous system synapses. Alternative splicing of the three mammalian genes results in multiple isoforms that may differentially contribute to the organization and maintenance of the synaptic vesicle-pools. To address this, we first characterized the expression pattern of synapsin isoforms in the rat calyx of Held. At postnatal day 16, synapsins Ia, Ib, IIb and IIIa were present, while IIa – known to sustain repetitive transmission in glutamatergic terminals – was not detectable. To test if the synapsin I isoforms could mediate IIa-like effect, and if this depends on the presence of the E-domain, we overexpressed either synapsin Ia or synapsin Ib in the rat calyx of Held via recombinant adeno-associated virus-mediated gene transfer. Although the size and overall structure of the perturbed calyces remained unchanged, short-term depression and recovery from depression were accelerated upon overexpression of synapsin I isoforms. Thus, at the calyx of Held, synapsin Ia may not substitute for the synapsin IIa-function reported for hippocampal synapses. Using electron microscopic three-dimensional reconstructions we found a redistribution of SV clusters proximal to the active zones (AZ alongside with a decrease of both AZ area and SV volume. The number of SVs at individual AZs was strongly reduced. Hence, our data indicate that the amount of synapsin Ia expressed in the calyx regulates the rate and extent of short-term synaptic plasticity by affecting vesicle recruitment to the AZ. Finally, our study reveals a novel contribution of synapsin Ia to define the surface area of AZs.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-03

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

  15. Synaptic Plasticity and Nociception

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ChenJianguo

    2004-01-01

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

  16. Banach Synaptic Algebras

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foulis, David J.; Pulmannov, Sylvia

    2018-04-01

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

  17. GLUT4 Mobilization Supports Energetic Demands of Active Synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ashrafi, Ghazaleh; Wu, Zhuhao; Farrell, Ryan J; Ryan, Timothy A

    2017-02-08

    The brain is highly sensitive to proper fuel availability as evidenced by the rapid decline in neuronal function during ischemic attacks and acute severe hypoglycemia. We previously showed that sustained presynaptic function requires activity-driven glycolysis. Here, we provide strong evidence that during action potential (AP) firing, nerve terminals rely on the glucose transporter GLUT4 as a glycolytic regulatory system to meet the activity-driven increase in energy demands. Activity at synapses triggers insertion of GLUT4 into the axonal plasma membrane driven by activation of the metabolic sensor AMP kinase. Furthermore, we show that genetic ablation of GLUT4 leads to an arrest of synaptic vesicle recycling during sustained AP firing, similar to what is observed during acute glucose deprivation. The reliance on this biochemical regulatory system for "exercising" synapses is reminiscent of that occurring in exercising muscle to sustain cellular function and identifies nerve terminals as critical sites of proper metabolic control. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Blocking Effects of Human Tau on Squid Giant Synapse Transmission and Its Prevention by T-817 MA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreno, Herman; Choi, Soonwook; Yu, Eunah; Brusco, Janaina; Avila, Jesus; Moreira, Jorge E.; Sugimori, Mutsuyuki; Llinás, Rodolfo R.

    2011-01-01

    Filamentous tau inclusions are hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease and related neurodegenerative tauopathies, but the molecular mechanisms involved in tau-mediated changes in neuronal function and their possible effects on synaptic transmission are unknown. We have evaluated the effects of human tau protein injected directly into the presynaptic terminal axon of the squid giant synapse, which affords functional, structural, and biochemical analysis of its action on the synaptic release process. Indeed, we have found that at physiological concentration recombinant human tau (h-tau42) becomes phosphorylated, produces a rapid synaptic transmission block, and induces the formation of clusters of aggregated synaptic vesicles in the vicinity of the active zone. Presynaptic voltage clamp recordings demonstrate that h-tau42 does not modify the presynaptic calcium current amplitude or kinetics. Analysis of synaptic noise at the post-synaptic axon following presynaptic h-tau42 microinjection revealed an initial phase of increase spontaneous transmitter release followed by a marked reduction in noise. Finally, systemic administration of T-817MA, a proposed neuro-protective agent, rescued tau-induced synaptic abnormalities. Our results show novel mechanisms of h-tau42 mediated synaptic transmission failure and identify a potential therapeutic agent to treat tau-related neurotoxicity. PMID:21629767

  19. Spiking Neural Networks with Unsupervised Learning Based on STDP Using Resistive Synaptic Devices and Analog CMOS Neuron Circuit.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kwon, Min-Woo; Baek, Myung-Hyun; Hwang, Sungmin; Kim, Sungjun; Park, Byung-Gook

    2018-09-01

    We designed the CMOS analog integrate and fire (I&F) neuron circuit can drive resistive synaptic device. The neuron circuit consists of a current mirror for spatial integration, a capacitor for temporal integration, asymmetric negative and positive pulse generation part, a refractory part, and finally a back-propagation pulse generation part for learning of the synaptic devices. The resistive synaptic devices were fabricated using HfOx switching layer by atomic layer deposition (ALD). The resistive synaptic device had gradual set and reset characteristics and the conductance was adjusted by spike-timing-dependent-plasticity (STDP) learning rule. We carried out circuit simulation of synaptic device and CMOS neuron circuit. And we have developed an unsupervised spiking neural networks (SNNs) for 5 × 5 pattern recognition and classification using the neuron circuit and synaptic devices. The hardware-based SNNs can autonomously and efficiently control the weight updates of the synapses between neurons, without the aid of software calculations.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zonta, Barbara; Minichiello, Liliana

    2013-10-18

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barbara eZonta

    2013-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-01

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

  4. Spike timing regulation on the millisecond scale by distributed synaptic plasticity at the cerebellum input stage: a simulation study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jesus A Garrido

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available The way long-term synaptic plasticity regulates neuronal spike patterns is not completely understood. This issue is especially relevant for the cerebellum, which is endowed with several forms of long-term synaptic plasticity and has been predicted to operate as a timing and a learning machine. Here we have used a computational model to simulate the impact of multiple distributed synaptic weights in the cerebellar granular layer network. In response to mossy fiber bursts, synaptic weights at multiple connections played a crucial role to regulate spike number and positioning in granule cells. The weight at mossy fiber to granule cell synapses regulated the delay of the first spike and the weight at mossy fiber and parallel fiber to Golgi cell synapses regulated the duration of the time-window during which the first-spike could be emitted. Moreover, the weights of synapses controlling Golgi cell activation regulated the intensity of granule cell inhibition and therefore the number of spikes that could be emitted. First spike timing was regulated with millisecond precision and the number of spikes ranged from 0 to 3. Interestingly, different combinations of synaptic weights optimized either first-spike timing precision or spike number, efficiently controlling transmission and filtering properties. These results predict that distributed synaptic plasticity regulates the emission of quasi-digital spike patterns on the millisecond time scale and allows the cerebellar granular layer to flexibly control burst transmission along the mossy fiber pathway.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-03-01

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

  8. Involvement of intracellular Zn2+ signaling in LTP at perforant pathway-CA1 pyramidal cell synapse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tamano, Haruna; Nishio, Ryusuke; Takeda, Atsushi

    2017-07-01

    Physiological significance of synaptic Zn 2+ signaling was examined at perforant pathway-CA1 pyramidal cell synapses. In vivo long-term potentiation (LTP) at perforant pathway-CA1 pyramidal cell synapses was induced using a recording electrode attached to a microdialysis probe and the recording region was locally perfused with artificial cerebrospinal fluid (ACSF) via the microdialysis probe. Perforant pathway LTP was not attenuated under perfusion with CaEDTA (10 mM), an extracellular Zn 2+ chelator, but attenuated under perfusion with ZnAF-2DA (50 μM), an intracellular Zn 2+ chelator, suggesting that intracellular Zn 2+ signaling is required for perforant pathway LTP. Even in rat brain slices bathed in CaEDTA in ACSF, intracellular Zn 2+ level, which was measured with intracellular ZnAF-2, was increased in the stratum lacunosum-moleculare where perforant pathway-CA1 pyramidal cell synapses were contained after tetanic stimulation. These results suggest that intracellular Zn 2+ signaling, which originates in internal stores/proteins, is involved in LTP at perforant pathway-CA1 pyramidal cell synapses. Because the influx of extracellular Zn 2+ , which originates in presynaptic Zn 2+ release, is involved in LTP at Schaffer collateral-CA1 pyramidal cell synapses, synapse-dependent Zn 2+ dynamics may be involved in plasticity of postsynaptic CA1 pyramidal cells. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  9. Magnetic Tunnel Junction Based Long-Term Short-Term Stochastic Synapse for a Spiking Neural Network with On-Chip STDP Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Srinivasan, Gopalakrishnan; Sengupta, Abhronil; Roy, Kaushik

    2016-07-01

    Spiking Neural Networks (SNNs) have emerged as a powerful neuromorphic computing paradigm to carry out classification and recognition tasks. Nevertheless, the general purpose computing platforms and the custom hardware architectures implemented using standard CMOS technology, have been unable to rival the power efficiency of the human brain. Hence, there is a need for novel nanoelectronic devices that can efficiently model the neurons and synapses constituting an SNN. In this work, we propose a heterostructure composed of a Magnetic Tunnel Junction (MTJ) and a heavy metal as a stochastic binary synapse. Synaptic plasticity is achieved by the stochastic switching of the MTJ conductance states, based on the temporal correlation between the spiking activities of the interconnecting neurons. Additionally, we present a significance driven long-term short-term stochastic synapse comprising two unique binary synaptic elements, in order to improve the synaptic learning efficiency. We demonstrate the efficacy of the proposed synaptic configurations and the stochastic learning algorithm on an SNN trained to classify handwritten digits from the MNIST dataset, using a device to system-level simulation framework. The power efficiency of the proposed neuromorphic system stems from the ultra-low programming energy of the spintronic synapses.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Multiple cell adhesion molecules shaping a complex nicotinic synapse on neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Triana-Baltzer, Gallen B; Liu, Zhaoping; Gounko, Natalia V; Berg, Darwin K

    2008-09-01

    Neuroligin, SynCAM, and L1-CAM are cell adhesion molecules with synaptogenic roles in glutamatergic pathways. We show here that SynCAM is expressed in the chick ciliary ganglion, embedded in a nicotinic pathway, and, as shown previously for neuroligin and L1-CAM, acts transcellularly to promote synaptic maturation on the neurons in culture. Moreover, we show that electroporation of chick embryos with dominant negative constructs disrupting any of the three molecules in vivo reduces the total amount of presynaptic SV2 overlaying the neurons expressing the constructs. Only disruption of L1-CAM and neuroligin, however, reduces the number of SV2 puncta specifically overlaying nicotinic receptor clusters. Disrupting L1-CAM and neuroligin together produces no additional decrement, indicating that they act on the same subset of synapses. SynCAM may affect synaptic maturation rather than synapse formation. The results indicate that individual neurons can express multiple synaptogenic molecules with different effects on the same class of nicotinic synapses.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

    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...... 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....

  16. 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).

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-05-19

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  19. Pursuit of Neurotransmitter Functions: Being Attracted with Fascination of the Synapse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Konishi, Shiro

    2017-01-01

    In the beginning of the 1970s, only two chemical substances, acetylcholine and γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA), had been definitely established as neurotransmitters. Under such circumstances, I started my scientific career in Professor Masanori Otsuka's lab searching for the transmitter of primary sensory neurons. Until 1976, lines of evidence had accumulated indicating that the undecapeptide substance P could be released as a transmitter from primary afferent fibers into spinal synapses, although the substance P-mediated synaptic response had yet to be identified. Peripheral synapses could serve as a good model and thus, it was demonstrated in the prevertebral sympathetic ganglia by1985 that substance P released from axon collaterals of primary sensory neurons acts as the transmitter mediating non-cholinergic slow excitatory postsynaptic potential (EPSP). At that time, we also found that autonomic synapses were useful to uncover the transmitter role of the opioid peptide enkephalins, whose functions had been unknown since their discovery in 1975. Accordingly, enkephalins were found to serve a transmitter role in mediating presynaptic inhibition of cholinergic fast and non-cholinergic slow transmission in the prevertebral sympathetic ganglia. In 1990s, we attempted to devise a combined technique of brain slices and patch-clamp recordings. We applied it to study the regulatory mechanisms that operate around cerebellar GABAergic inhibitory synapses, because most of the studies then had centered on excitatory synapses and because inhibitory synapses are crucially involved in brain functions and disorders. Consequently, we discovered novel forms of heterosynaptic interactions, dual actions of a single transmitter, and receptor crosstalk, the details of which are described in this review.

  20. Role for a Novel Usher Protein Complex in Hair Cell Synaptic Maturation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zallocchi, Marisa; Meehan, Daniel T.; Delimont, Duane; Rutledge, Joseph; Gratton, Michael Anne; Flannery, John; Cosgrove, Dominic

    2012-01-01

    The molecular mechanisms underlying hair cell synaptic maturation are not well understood. Cadherin-23 (CDH23), protocadherin-15 (PCDH15) and the very large G-protein coupled receptor 1 (VLGR1) have been implicated in the development of cochlear hair cell stereocilia, while clarin-1 has been suggested to also play a role in synaptogenesis. Mutations in CDH23, PCDH15, VLGR1 and clarin-1 cause Usher syndrome, characterized by congenital deafness, vestibular dysfunction and retinitis pigmentosa. Here we show developmental expression of these Usher proteins in afferent spiral ganglion neurons and hair cell synapses. We identify a novel synaptic Usher complex comprised of clarin-1 and specific isoforms of CDH23, PCDH15 and VLGR1. To establish the in vivo relevance of this complex, we performed morphological and quantitative analysis of the neuronal fibers and their synapses in the Clrn1−/− mouse, which was generated by incomplete deletion of the gene. These mice showed a delay in neuronal/synaptic maturation by both immunostaining and electron microscopy. Analysis of the ribbon synapses in Ames waltzerav3J mice also suggests a delay in hair cell synaptogenesis. Collectively, these results show that, in addition to the well documented role for Usher proteins in stereocilia development, Usher protein complexes comprised of specific protein isoforms likely function in synaptic maturation as well. PMID:22363448

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

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    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.

  2. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matamales, Miriam

    2012-12-19

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

  4. 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

  5. Reduced Synapse and Axon Numbers in the Prefrontal Cortex of Rats Subjected to a Chronic Stress Model for Depression

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dávid Csabai

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available 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

  6. Size and receptor density of glutamatergic synapses: a viewpoint from left-right asymmetry of CA3-CA1 connections

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yoshiaki Shinohara

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available Synaptic plasticity is considered to be the main mechanism for learning and memory. Excitatory synapses in the cerebral cortex and hippocampus undergo plastic changes during development and in response to electric stimulation. It is widely accepted that this process is mediated by insertion and elimination of various glutamate receptors. In a series of recent investigations on left-right asymmetry of hippocampal CA3-CA1 synapses, glutamate receptor subunits have been found to have distinctive expression patterns that depend on the postsynaptic density (PSD area. Particularly notable are the GluR1 AMPA receptor subunit and NR2B NMDA receptor subunit, where receptor density has either a supra-linear (GluR1 AMPA or inverse (NR2B NMDAR relationship to the PSD area. We review current understanding of structural and physiological synaptic plasticity and propose a scheme to classify receptor subtypes by their expression pattern with respect to PSD area.

  7. Regulation of the Postsynaptic Compartment of Excitatory Synapses by the Actin Cytoskeleton in Health and Its Disruption in Disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Holly Stefen

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Disruption of synaptic function at excitatory synapses is one of the earliest pathological changes seen in wide range of neurological diseases. The proper control of the segregation of neurotransmitter receptors at these synapses is directly correlated with the intact regulation of the postsynaptic cytoskeleton. In this review, we are discussing key factors that regulate the structure and dynamics of the actin cytoskeleton, the major cytoskeletal building block that supports the postsynaptic compartment. Special attention is given to the complex interplay of actin-associated proteins that are found in the synaptic specialization. We then discuss our current understanding of how disruption of these cytoskeletal elements may contribute to the pathological events observed in the nervous system under disease conditions with a particular focus on Alzheimer’s disease pathology.

  8. 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.

  9. Linking Mitochondria to Synapses: New Insights for Stress-Related Neuropsychiatric Disorders

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    Freddy Jeanneteau

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The brain evolved cellular mechanisms for adapting synaptic function to energy supply. This is particularly evident when homeostasis is challenged by stress. Signaling loops between the mitochondria and synapses scale neuronal connectivity with bioenergetics capacity. A biphasic “inverted U shape” response to the stress hormone glucocorticoids is demonstrated in mitochondria and at synapses, modulating neural plasticity and physiological responses. Low dose enhances neurotransmission, synaptic growth, mitochondrial functions, learning, and memory whereas chronic, higher doses produce inhibition of these functions. The range of physiological effects by stress and glucocorticoid depends on the dose, duration, and context at exposure. These criteria are met by neuronal activity and the circadian, stress-sensitive and ultradian, stress-insensitive modes of glucocorticoid secretion. A major hallmark of stress-related neuropsychiatric disorders is the disrupted glucocorticoid rhythms and tissue resistance to signaling with the glucocorticoid receptor (GR. GR resistance could result from the loss of context-dependent glucocorticoid signaling mediated by the downregulation of the activity-dependent neurotrophin BDNF. The coincidence of BDNF and GR signaling changes glucocorticoid signaling output with consequences on mitochondrial respiration efficiency, synaptic plasticity, and adaptive trajectories.

  10. Reciprocal synapses between outer hair cells and their afferent terminals: evidence for a local neural network in the mammalian cochlea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thiers, Fabio A; Nadol, Joseph B; Liberman, M Charles

    2008-12-01

    Cochlear outer hair cells (OHCs) serve both as sensory receptors and biological motors. Their sensory function is poorly understood because their afferent innervation, the type-II spiral ganglion cell, has small unmyelinated axons and constitutes only 5% of the cochlear nerve. Reciprocal synapses between OHCs and their type-II terminals, consisting of paired afferent and efferent specialization, have been described in the primate cochlea. Here, we use serial and semi-serial-section transmission electron microscopy to quantify the nature and number of synaptic interactions in the OHC area of adult cats. Reciprocal synapses were found in all OHC rows and all cochlear frequency regions. They were more common among third-row OHCs and in the apical half of the cochlea, where 86% of synapses were reciprocal. The relative frequency of reciprocal synapses was unchanged following surgical transection of the olivocochlear bundle in one cat, confirming that reciprocal synapses were not formed by efferent fibers. In the normal ear, axo-dendritic synapses between olivocochlear terminals and type-II terminals and/or dendrites were as common as synapses between olivocochlear terminals and OHCs, especially in the first row, where, on average, almost 30 such synapses were seen in the region under a single OHC. The results suggest that a complex local neuronal circuitry in the OHC area, formed by the dendrites of type-II neurons and modulated by the olivocochlear system, may be a fundamental property of the mammalian cochlea, rather than a curiosity of the primate ear. This network may mediate local feedback control of, and bidirectional communication among, OHCs throughout the cochlear spiral.

  11. Hydrodynamic flow in a synaptic cleft during exocytosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shneider, M N; Gimatdinov, R S; Skorinkin, A I; Kovyazina, I V; Nikolsky, E E

    2012-01-01

    It is shown that exocytosis in a chemical synapse may be accompanied by "microjet" formation due to the overpressure that exists in the vesicles. This mechanism may take place either at complete fusion of a vesicle with the presynaptic membrane or in the so-called kiss-and-run mode of neurotransmitter release. A simple hydrodynamic model of the viscous incompressible flow arising in the synaptic cleft is suggested. The occurrence of hydrodynamic flow (microjet) leads to more efficient transport of neurotransmitter than in the case of classical diffusive transport.

  12. 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

  13. Investigation of the ferroelectric switching behavior of P(VDF-TrFE)-PMMA blended films for synaptic device applications

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kim, E J; Kim, K A; Yoon, S M

    2016-01-01

    Synaptic plasticity can be mimicked by electronic synaptic devices. By using ferroelectric thin films as gate insulator for thin-film transistors (TFT), channel conductance can be defined as the synaptic plasticity, and gradually modulated by the variations in amounts of aligned ferroelectric dipoles. Poly(vinylidene fluoride-trifluoroethylene) [P(VDF-TrFE)]-poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) blended films are chosen and their switching kinetics are investigated by using the Kolmogorov-Avrami-Ishibashi model. The switching time for ferroelectric polarization is sensitively influenced by the amplitude of applied electric field and volumetric ratio of ferroelectric beta-phases in the P(VDF-TrFE)-PMMA films. The switching time of the P(VDF-TrFE) increases with decreasing the pulse amplitude and/or the ratio of ferroelectric beta-phases by incorporation of PMMA. The activation electric field is also found to increase as the increase in blended amount of PMMA. Synapse TFTs are fabricated using the P(VDF-TrFE)-PMMA as gate insulator and In-Ga-Zn-O active channels. The drain currents of the synapse TFTs gradually increased when the voltage pulse signals with given duration are repeatedly applied. This suggests that the synaptic weights can be modulated by the number of external pulse signals, and that the proposed synapse TFT can be applied for mimicking the operations of bio-synapses. (paper)

  14. GABAergic Synapses at the Axon Initial Segment of Basolateral Amygdala Projection Neurons Modulate Fear Extinction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saha, Rinki; Knapp, Stephanie; Chakraborty, Darpan; Horovitz, Omer; Albrecht, Anne; Kriebel, Martin; Kaphzan, Hanoch; Ehrlich, Ingrid; Volkmer, Hansjürgen; Richter-Levin, Gal

    2017-01-01

    Inhibitory synaptic transmission in the amygdala has a pivotal role in fear learning and its extinction. However, the local circuits formed by GABAergic inhibitory interneurons within the amygdala and their detailed function in shaping these behaviors are not well understood. Here we used lentiviral-mediated knockdown of the cell adhesion molecule neurofascin in the basolateral amygdala (BLA) to specifically remove inhibitory synapses at the axon initial segment (AIS) of BLA projection neurons. Quantitative analysis of GABAergic synapse markers and measurement of miniature inhibitory postsynaptic currents in BLA projection neurons after neurofascin knockdown ex vivo confirmed the loss of GABAergic input. We then studied the impact of this manipulation on anxiety-like behavior and auditory cued fear conditioning and its extinction as BLA related behavioral paradigms, as well as on long-term potentiation (LTP) in the ventral subiculum-BLA pathway in vivo. BLA knockdown of neurofascin impaired ventral subiculum-BLA-LTP. While this manipulation did not affect anxiety-like behavior and fear memory acquisition and consolidation, it specifically impaired extinction. Our findings indicate that modification of inhibitory synapses at the AIS of BLA projection neurons is sufficient to selectively impair extinction behavior. A better understanding of the role of distinct GABAergic synapses may provide novel and more specific targets for therapeutic interventions in extinction-based therapies.

  15. MET receptor tyrosine kinase controls dendritic complexity, spine morphogenesis, and glutamatergic synapse maturation in the hippocampus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qiu, Shenfeng; Lu, Zhongming; Levitt, Pat

    2014-12-03

    The MET receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK), implicated in risk for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and in functional and structural circuit integrity in humans, is a temporally and spatially regulated receptor enriched in dorsal pallial-derived structures during mouse forebrain development. Here we report that loss or gain of function of MET in vitro or in vivo leads to changes, opposite in nature, in dendritic complexity, spine morphogenesis, and the timing of glutamatergic synapse maturation onto hippocampus CA1 neurons. Consistent with the morphological and biochemical changes, deletion of Met in mutant mice results in precocious maturation of excitatory synapse, as indicated by a reduction of the proportion of silent synapses, a faster GluN2A subunit switch, and an enhanced acquisition of AMPA receptors at synaptic sites. Thus, MET-mediated signaling appears to serve as a mechanism for controlling the timing of neuronal growth and functional maturation. These studies suggest that mistimed maturation of glutamatergic synapses leads to the aberrant neural circuits that may be associated with ASD risk. Copyright © 2014 the authors 0270-6474/14/3416166-14$15.00/0.

  16. 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.

  17. Presynaptic Membrane Receptors Modulate ACh Release, Axonal Competition and Synapse Elimination during Neuromuscular Junction Development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomàs, Josep; Garcia, Neus; Lanuza, Maria A; Santafé, Manel M; Tomàs, Marta; Nadal, Laura; Hurtado, Erica; Simó, Anna; Cilleros, Víctor

    2017-01-01

    During the histogenesis of the nervous system a lush production of neurons, which establish an excessive number of synapses, is followed by a drop in both neurons and synaptic contacts as maturation proceeds. Hebbian competition between axons with different activities leads to the loss of roughly half of the neurons initially produced so connectivity is refined and specificity gained. The skeletal muscle fibers in the newborn neuromuscular junction (NMJ) are polyinnervated but by the end of the competition, 2 weeks later, the NMJ are innervated by only one axon. This peripheral synapse has long been used as a convenient model for synapse development. In the last few years, we have studied transmitter release and the local involvement of the presynaptic muscarinic acetylcholine autoreceptors (mAChR), adenosine autoreceptors (AR) and trophic factor receptors (TFR, for neurotrophins and trophic cytokines) during the development of NMJ and in the adult. This review article brings together previously published data and proposes a molecular background for developmental axonal competition and loss. At the end of the first week postnatal, these receptors modulate transmitter release in the various nerve terminals on polyinnervated NMJ and contribute to axonal competition and synapse elimination.

  18. Presynaptic Membrane Receptors Modulate ACh Release, Axonal Competition and Synapse Elimination during Neuromuscular Junction Development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Josep Tomàs

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available During the histogenesis of the nervous system a lush production of neurons, which establish an excessive number of synapses, is followed by a drop in both neurons and synaptic contacts as maturation proceeds. Hebbian competition between axons with different activities leads to the loss of roughly half of the neurons initially produced so connectivity is refined and specificity gained. The skeletal muscle fibers in the newborn neuromuscular junction (NMJ are polyinnervated but by the end of the competition, 2 weeks later, the NMJ are innervated by only one axon. This peripheral synapse has long been used as a convenient model for synapse development. In the last few years, we have studied transmitter release and the local involvement of the presynaptic muscarinic acetylcholine autoreceptors (mAChR, adenosine autoreceptors (AR and trophic factor receptors (TFR, for neurotrophins and trophic cytokines during the development of NMJ and in the adult. This review article brings together previously published data and proposes a molecular background for developmental axonal competition and loss. At the end of the first week postnatal, these receptors modulate transmitter release in the various nerve terminals on polyinnervated NMJ and contribute to axonal competition and synapse elimination.

  19. Impact of delays on the synchronization transitions of modular neuronal networks with hybrid synapses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Chen; Wang, Jiang; Yu, Haitao; Deng, Bin; Wei, Xile; Tsang, Kaiming; Chan, Wailok

    2013-09-01

    The combined effects of the information transmission delay and the ratio of the electrical and chemical synapses on the synchronization transitions in the hybrid modular neuronal network are investigated in this paper. Numerical results show that the synchronization of neuron activities can be either promoted or destroyed as the information transmission delay increases, irrespective of the probability of electrical synapses in the hybrid-synaptic network. Interestingly, when the number of the electrical synapses exceeds a certain level, further increasing its proportion can obviously enhance the spatiotemporal synchronization transitions. Moreover, the coupling strength has a significant effect on the synchronization transition. The dominated type of the synapse always has a more profound effect on the emergency of the synchronous behaviors. Furthermore, the results of the modular neuronal network structures demonstrate that excessive partitioning of the modular network may result in the dramatic detriment of neuronal synchronization. Considering that information transmission delays are inevitable in intra- and inter-neuronal networks communication, the obtained results may have important implications for the exploration of the synchronization mechanism underlying several neural system diseases such as Parkinson's Disease.

  20. Novelty exposure overcomes foot shock-induced spatial-memory impairment by processes of synaptic-tagging in rats

    OpenAIRE

    Almaguer-Melian, William; Bergado-Rosado, Jorge; Pavón-Fuentes, Nancy; Alberti-Amador, Esteban; Mercerón-Martínez, Daymara; Frey, Julietta U.

    2012-01-01

    Novelty processing can transform short-term into long-term memory. We propose that this memory-reinforcing effect of novelty could be explained by mechanisms outlined in the “synaptic tagging hypothesis.” Initial short-term memory is sustained by a transient plasticity change at activated synapses and sets synaptic tags. These tags are later able to capture and process the plasticity-related proteins (PRPs), which are required to transform a short-term synaptic change into a long-term one. No...

  1. 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

  2. Drosophila Syd-1, liprin-α, and protein phosphatase 2A B' subunit Wrd function in a linear pathway to prevent ectopic accumulation of synaptic materials in distal axons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Long; Tian, Xiaolin; Zhu, Mingwei; Bulgari, Dinara; Böhme, Mathias A; Goettfert, Fabian; Wichmann, Carolin; Sigrist, Stephan J; Levitan, Edwin S; Wu, Chunlai

    2014-06-18

    During synaptic development, presynaptic differentiation occurs as an intrinsic property of axons to form specialized areas of plasma membrane [active zones (AZs)] that regulate exocytosis and endocytosis of synaptic vesicles. Genetic and biochemical studies in vertebrate and invertebrate model systems have identified a number of proteins involved in AZ assembly. However, elucidating the molecular events of AZ assembly in a spatiotemporal manner remains a challenge. Syd-1 (synapse defective-1) and Liprin-α have been identified as two master organizers of AZ assembly. Genetic and imaging analyses in invertebrates show that Syd-1 works upstream of Liprin-α in synaptic assembly through undefined mechanisms. To understand molecular pathways downstream of Liprin-α, we performed a proteomic screen of Liprin-α-interacting proteins in Drosophila brains. We identify Drosophila protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) regulatory subunit B' [Wrd (Well Rounded)] as a Liprin-α-interacting protein, and we demonstrate that it mediates the interaction of Liprin-α with PP2A holoenzyme and the Liprin-α-dependent synaptic localization of PP2A. Interestingly, loss of function in syd-1, liprin-α, or wrd shares a common defect in which a portion of synaptic vesicles, dense-core vesicles, and presynaptic cytomatrix proteins ectopically accumulate at the distal, but not proximal, region of motoneuron axons. Strong genetic data show that a linear syd-1/liprin-α/wrd pathway in the motoneuron antagonizes glycogen synthase kinase-3β kinase activity to prevent the ectopic accumulation of synaptic materials. Furthermore, we provide data suggesting that the syd-1/liprin-α/wrd pathway stabilizes AZ specification at the nerve terminal and that such a novel function is independent of the roles of syd-1/liprin-α in regulating the morphology of the T-bar structural protein BRP (Bruchpilot). Copyright © 2014 the authors 0270-6474/14/348474-14$15.00/0.

  3. Drosophila Syd-1, Liprin-α, and Protein Phosphatase 2A B′ Subunit Wrd Function in a Linear Pathway to Prevent Ectopic Accumulation of Synaptic Materials in Distal Axons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Long; Tian, Xiaolin; Zhu, Mingwei; Bulgari, Dinara; Böhme, Mathias A.; Goettfert, Fabian; Wichmann, Carolin; Sigrist, Stephan J.; Levitan, Edwin S.

    2014-01-01

    During synaptic development, presynaptic differentiation occurs as an intrinsic property of axons to form specialized areas of plasma membrane [active zones (AZs)] that regulate exocytosis and endocytosis of synaptic vesicles. Genetic and biochemical studies in vertebrate and invertebrate model systems have identified a number of proteins involved in AZ assembly. However, elucidating the molecular events of AZ assembly in a spatiotemporal manner remains a challenge. Syd-1 (synapse defective-1) and Liprin-α have been identified as two master organizers of AZ assembly. Genetic and imaging analyses in invertebrates show that Syd-1 works upstream of Liprin-α in synaptic assembly through undefined mechanisms. To understand molecular pathways downstream of Liprin-α, we performed a proteomic screen of Liprin-α-interacting proteins in Drosophila brains. We identify Drosophila protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) regulatory subunit B′ [Wrd (Well Rounded)] as a Liprin-α-interacting protein, and we demonstrate that it mediates the interaction of Liprin-α with PP2A holoenzyme and the Liprin-α-dependent synaptic localization of PP2A. Interestingly, loss of function in syd-1, liprin-α, or wrd shares a common defect in which a portion of synaptic vesicles, dense-core vesicles, and presynaptic cytomatrix proteins ectopically accumulate at the distal, but not proximal, region of motoneuron axons. Strong genetic data show that a linear syd-1/liprin-α/wrd pathway in the motoneuron antagonizes glycogen synthase kinase-3β kinase activity to prevent the ectopic accumulation of synaptic materials. Furthermore, we provide data suggesting that the syd-1/liprin-α/wrd pathway stabilizes AZ specification at the nerve terminal and that such a novel function is independent of the roles of syd-1/liprin-α in regulating the morphology of the T-bar structural protein BRP (Bruchpilot). PMID:24948803

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. The interplay between neurons and glia in synapse development and plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stogsdill, Jeff A; Eroglu, Cagla

    2017-02-01

    In the brain, the formation of complex neuronal networks amenable to experience-dependent remodeling is complicated by the diversity of neurons and synapse types. The establishment of a functional brain depends not only on neurons, but also non-neuronal glial cells. Glia are in continuous bi-directional communication with neurons to direct the formation and refinement of synaptic connectivity. This article reviews important findings, which uncovered cellular and molecular aspects of the neuron-glia cross-talk that govern the formation and remodeling of synapses and circuits. In vivo evidence demonstrating the critical interplay between neurons and glia will be the major focus. Additional attention will be given to how aberrant communication between neurons and glia may contribute to neural pathologies. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. From synapse to nucleus and back again--communication over distance within neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fainzilber, Mike; Budnik, Vivian; Segal, Rosalind A; Kreutz, Michael R

    2011-11-09

    How do neurons integrate intracellular communication from synapse to nucleus and back? Here we briefly summarize aspects of this topic covered by a symposium at Neuroscience 2011. A rich repertoire of signaling mechanisms link both dendritic terminals and axon tips with neuronal soma and nucleus, using motor-dependent transport machineries to traverse the long intracellular distances along neuronal processes. Activation mechanisms at terminals include localized translation of dendritic or axonal RNA, proteolytic cleavage of receptors or second messengers, and differential phosphorylation of signaling moieties. Signaling complexes may be transported in endosomes, or as non-endosomal complexes associated with importins and dynein. Anterograde transport of RNA granules from the soma to neuronal processes, coupled with retrograde transport of proteins translated locally at terminals or within processes, may fuel ongoing bidirectional communication between soma and synapse to modulate synaptic plasticity as well as neuronal growth and survival decisions.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Miriam Matamales

    2012-01-01

    Synaptic activity can trigger gene expression programs that are required for the stable change of neuronal properties, a process that is essential for learning and memory. Currently, it is still unclear how the stimulation of dendritic synapses can be coupled to transcription in the nucleus in a timely way given that large distances can separate these two cellular compartments. Although several mechanisms have been proposed to explain long distance communication between synapses and the nucle...

  9. 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.

  10. Identification of dorsal root synaptic terminals on monkey ventral horn cells by electron microscopic autoradiography

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ralston, H.J.; Ralston, D.D.

    1979-01-01

    The projection of dorsal root fibres to the motor nucleus of the macaque monkey spinal cord has been examined utilizing light and electron microscopic autoradiography. Light microscopy demonstrates a very sparse labelling of primary afferent fibres in the ventral horn. Silver grains overlying radioactive sources are frequently clustered into small groups, often adjacent to dendritic profiles. Under the electron microscope, myelinated axons and a few large synaptic profiles containing rounded synaptic vesicles were overlain by numerous silver grains. These labelled profiles made synaptic contact with dendrites 1 - 3 micrometers in diameter. The labelled profiles did not contact cell bodies or large proximal dendrites of ventral horn neutrons. Frequently, small synaptic profiles containing flattened vesicles were presynaptic to the large labelled terminals and it is suggested that these axoaxonal synapses may mediate presynaptic inhibition of the primary afferent fibres. The relationship of the present findings to previously published physiological and anatomical studies is discussed. (author)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Soricelli, A.; Postiglione, A.; Grivet-Fojaja, M.R.; Mainenti, P.P.; Discepolo, A.; Varrone, A.; Salvatore, M.; Lassen, N.A.

    1996-01-01

    Iodine-123 labelled iomazenil (IMZ) is a specific tracer for the GABA A receptor, the dominant inhibitory synapse of the brain. The cerebral distribution volume (V d ) of IMZ may be taken as a quantitative measure of these synapses in Alzheimer's disease (AD), where synaptic loss tends indiscriminately to affect all cortical neurons, albeit more so in some areas than in others. In this pilot study we measured V d 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 simultaneously. Reduced values were found in all regions except in the occipital (visual) cortex. In particular, temporal and parietal cortex V d was significantly (P d averaged 69 ml/ml in normals and 51 ml/ml in AD, and parietal V d averaged 71 ml/ml in normals and 48 ml/ml in AD. These results accord well with emission tomographic studies of blood flow or labelled glucose. This supports the idea that while only measuring a subpopulation of synapses, the IMZ method reflects synaptic loss and hence functional loss in AD. The method constitutes an in vivo version of synaptic quantitation that in histopathological studies has been shown to correlated closely with the mental deterioration in AD. (orig.)

  13. Excitatory Synaptic Drive and Feedforward Inhibition in the Hippocampal CA3 Circuit Are Regulated by SynCAM 1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Kellie A; Ribic, Adema; Laage Gaupp, Fabian M; Coman, Daniel; Huang, Yuegao; Dulla, Chris G; Hyder, Fahmeed; Biederer, Thomas

    2016-07-13

    Select adhesion proteins control the development of synapses and modulate their structural and functional properties. Despite these important roles, the extent to which different synapse-organizing mechanisms act across brain regions to establish connectivity and regulate network properties is incompletely understood. Further, their functional roles in different neuronal populations remain to be defined. Here, we applied diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), a modality of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), to map connectivity changes in knock-out (KO) mice lacking the synaptogenic cell adhesion protein SynCAM 1. This identified reduced fractional anisotropy in the hippocampal CA3 area in absence of SynCAM 1. In agreement, mossy fiber refinement in CA3 was impaired in SynCAM 1 KO mice. Mossy fibers make excitatory inputs onto postsynaptic specializations of CA3 pyramidal neurons termed thorny excrescences and these structures were smaller in the absence of SynCAM 1. However, the most prevalent targets of mossy fibers are GABAergic interneurons and SynCAM 1 loss unexpectedly reduced the number of excitatory terminals onto parvalbumin (PV)-positive interneurons in CA3. SynCAM 1 KO mice additionally exhibited lower postsynaptic GluA1 expression in these PV-positive interneurons. These synaptic imbalances in SynCAM 1 KO mice resulted in CA3 disinhibition, in agreement with reduced feedforward inhibition in this network in the absence of SynCAM 1-dependent excitatory drive onto interneurons. In turn, mice lacking SynCAM 1 were impaired in memory tasks involving CA3. Our results support that SynCAM 1 modulates excitatory mossy fiber inputs onto both interneurons and principal neurons in the hippocampal CA3 area to balance network excitability. This study advances our understanding of synapse-organizing mechanisms on two levels. First, the data support that synaptogenic proteins guide connectivity and can function in distinct brain regions even if they are expressed broadly

  14. A cortical attractor network with Martinotti cells driven by facilitating synapses.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nishitani, Y.; Kaneko, Y.; Ueda, M.; Fujii, E.; Morie, T.

    2012-01-01

    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 3 (PZT)/SrRuO 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. 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.

  17. Molecular machines regulating the release probability of synaptic vesicles at the active zone.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  18. The Corticohippocampal Circuit, Synaptic Plasticity, and Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Basu, Jayeeta; Siegelbaum, Steven A.

    2015-01-01

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

  19. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    El Laithy, Karim; Bogdan, Martin

    2014-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-11-17

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miyamoto, Daisuke; Hirai, Daichi; Murayama, Masanori

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daisuke Miyamoto

    2017-11-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Communication, the centrosome and the immunological synapse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stinchcombe, Jane C; Griffiths, Gillian M

    2014-09-05

    Recent findings on the behaviour of the centrosome at the immunological synapse suggest a critical role for centrosome polarization in controlling the communication between immune cells required to generate an effective immune response. The features observed at the immunological synapse show parallels to centrosome (basal body) polarization seen in cilia and flagella, and the cellular communication that is now known to occur at all of these sites.

  8. Analysis of shape and spatial interaction of synaptic vesicles using data from focused ion beam scanning electron microscopy (FIB-SEM)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Khanmohammadi, Mahdieh; Waagepetersen, Rasmus Plenge; Sporring, Jon

    2015-01-01

    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...... 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...

  9. Diversity in immunological synapse structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thauland, Timothy J; Parker, David C

    2010-01-01

    Immunological synapses (ISs) are formed at the T cell–antigen-presenting cell (APC) interface during antigen recognition, and play a central role in T-cell activation and in the delivery of effector functions. ISs were originally described as a peripheral ring of adhesion molecules surrounding a central accumulation of T-cell receptor (TCR)–peptide major histocompatibility complex (pMHC) interactions. Although the structure of these ‘classical’ ISs has been the subject of intense study, non-classical ISs have also been observed under a variety of conditions. Multifocal ISs, characterized by adhesion molecules dispersed among numerous small accumulations of TCR–pMHC, and motile ‘immunological kinapses’ have both been described. In this review, we discuss the conditions under which non-classical ISs are formed. Specifically, we explore the profound effect that the phenotypes of both T cells and APCs have on IS structure. We also comment on the role that IS structure may play in T-cell function. PMID:21039474

  10. 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)

  11. Involvement of neurotrophin-3 (NT-3) in the functional elimination of synaptic contacts during neuromuscular development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia, Neus; Santafé, Manel M; Tomàs, Marta; Lanuza, Maria A; Besalduch, Nuria; Tomàs, Josep

    2010-04-05

    Confocal immunohistochemistry shows that neurotrophin-3 (NT-3) and its receptor tropomyosin-related tyrosin kinase C (trkC) are present in both neonatal (P6) and adult (P45) mouse motor nerve terminals in neuromuscular junctions (NMJ) colocalized with several synaptic proteins. NT-3 incubation (1-3h, in the range 10-200ng/ml) does not change the size of the evoked and spontaneous endplate potentials at P45. However, NT-3 (1h, 100ng/ml) strongly potentiates evoked ACh release from the weak (70%) and the strong (50%) axonal inputs on dually innervated postnatal endplates (P6) but not in the most developed postnatal singly innervated synapses at P6. The present results indicate that NT-3 has a role in the developmental mechanism that eliminates redundant synapses though it cannot modulate synaptic transmission locally as the NMJ matures.

  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. Neurotrophin-4 couples to locally modulated ACh release at the end of neuromuscular synapse maturation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia, N; Santafe, M M; Tomas, M; Lanuza, M A; Besalduch, N; Tomas, J

    2010-01-01

    We use immunocytochemistry to show that neurotrophin-4 (NT-4) and its receptor proteins (p75(NTR) and tropomyosin-related tyrosine kinase B) are present in neonatal neuromuscular junctions (NMJ) colocalized with several synaptic markers. NT-4 incubation (1h, in the range 2-12 nM) does not change the size of the endplate potential between P6 and P45. However, extended exposure (3h) to a relatively low dose of NT-4 (2 nM) potentiates ACh release (approx. 70%) in adult but not in neonatal muscles. The present results suggest that the developmental mechanism of axonal competition and neonatal elimination of redundant synapses cannot be modulated by added NT-4. However, this neurotrophin was able to modulate synaptic transmission locally in the adult NMJ.

  14. The Pathophysiology of Fragile X (and What It Teaches Us about Synapses)

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Muscarinic receptors modulate dendrodendritic inhibitory synapses to sculpt glomerular output.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Shaolin; Shao, Zuoyi; Puche, Adam; Wachowiak, Matt; Rothermel, Markus; Shipley, Michael T

    2015-04-08

    Cholinergic [acetylcholine (ACh)] axons from the basal forebrain innervate olfactory bulb glomeruli, the initial site of synaptic integration in the olfactory system. Both nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) and muscarinic acetylcholine receptors (mAChRs) are expressed in glomeruli. The activation of nAChRs directly excites both mitral/tufted cells (MTCs) and external tufted cells (ETCs), the two major excitatory neurons that transmit glomerular output. The functional roles of mAChRs in glomerular circuits are unknown. We show that the restricted glomerular application of ACh causes rapid, brief nAChR-mediated excitation of both MTCs and ETCs in the mouse olfactory bulb. This excitation is followed by mAChR-mediated inhibition, which is blocked by GABAA receptor antagonists, indicating the engagement of periglomerular cells (PGCs) and/or short axon cells (SACs), the two major glomerular inhibitory neurons. Indeed, selective activation of glomerular mAChRs, with ionotropic GluRs and nAChRs blocked, increased IPSCs in MTCs and ETCs, indicating that mAChRs recruit glomerular inhibitory circuits. Selective activation of glomerular mAChRs in the presence of tetrodotoxin increased IPSCs in all glomerular neurons, indicating action potential-independent enhancement of GABA release from PGC and/or SAC dendrodendritic synapses. mAChR-mediated enhancement of GABA release also presynaptically suppressed the first synapse of the olfactory system via GABAB receptors on sensory terminals. Together, these results indicate that cholinergic modulation of glomerular circuits is biphasic, involving an initial excitation of MTC/ETCs mediated by nAChRs followed by inhibition mediated directly by mAChRs on PGCs/SACs. This may phasically enhance the sensitivity of glomerular outputs to odorants, an action that is consistent with recent in vivo findings. Copyright © 2015 the authors 0270-6474/15/355680-13$15.00/0.

  16. Hypoxia-Induced neonatal seizures diminish silent synapses and long-term potentiation in hippocampal CA1 neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Chengwen; Bell, Jocelyn J. Lippman; Sun, Hongyu; Jensen, Frances E.

    2012-01-01

    Neonatal seizures can lead to epilepsy and long-term cognitive deficits in adulthood. Using a rodent model of the most common form of human neonatal seizures, hypoxia-induced seizures (HS), we aimed to determine whether these seizures modify long-term potentiation (LTP) and “silent” N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR)-only synapses in hippocampal CA1. At 48-72 hours (hrs) post-HS, electrophysiology and immunofluorescent confocal microscopy revealed a significant decrease in the incidence of silent synapses, and an increase in amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid receptors (AMPARs) at the synapses. Coincident with this decrease in silent synapses, there was an attenuation of LTP elicited by either tetanic stimulation of Schaffer collaterals or a pairing protocol, and persistent attenuation of LTP in slices removed in later adulthood after P10 HS. Furthermore, post-seizure treatment in vivo with the AMPAR antagonist 2,3-dihydroxy-6-nitro-7-sulfonyl-benzo[f]quinoxaline (NBQX) protected against the HS-induced depletion of silent synapses and preserved LTP. Thus, this study demonstrates a novel mechanism by which early-life seizures could impair synaptic plasticity, suggesting a potential target for therapeutic strategies to prevent long-term cognitive deficits. PMID:22171027

  17. Synaptic reorganization in the adult rat's ventral cochlear nucleus following its total sensory deafferentation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heika Hildebrandt

    Full Text Available Ablation of a cochlea causes total sensory deafferentation of the cochlear nucleus in the brainstem, providing a model to investigate nervous degeneration and formation of new synaptic contacts in the adult brain. In a quantitative electron microscopical study on the plasticity of the central auditory system of the Wistar rat, we first determined what fraction of the total number of synaptic contact zones (SCZs in the anteroventral cochlear nucleus (AVCN is attributable to primary sensory innervation and how many synapses remain after total unilateral cochlear ablation. Second, we attempted to identify the potential for a deafferentation-dependent synaptogenesis. SCZs were ultrastructurally identified before and after deafferentation in tissue treated for ethanolic phosphotungstic acid (EPTA staining. This was combined with pre-embedding immunocytochemistry for gephyrin identifying inhibitory SCZs, the growth-associated protein GAP-43, glutamate, and choline acetyltransferase. A stereological analysis of EPTA stained sections revealed 1.11±0.09 (S.E.M.×10(9 SCZs per mm(3 of AVCN tissue. Within 7 days of deafferentation, this number was down by 46%. Excitatory and inhibitory synapses were differentially affected on the side of deafferentation. Excitatory synapses were quickly reduced and then began to increase in number again, necessarily being complemented from sources other than cochlear neurons, while inhibitory synapses were reduced more slowly and continuously. The result was a transient rise of the relative fraction of inhibitory synapses with a decline below original levels thereafter. Synaptogenesis was inferred by the emergence of morphologically immature SCZs that were consistently associated with GAP-43 immunoreactivity. SCZs of this type were estimated to make up a fraction of close to 30% of the total synaptic population present by ten weeks after sensory deafferentation. In conclusion, there appears to be a substantial potential

  18. Stress enhances fear by forming new synapses with greater capacity for long-term potentiation in the amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  19. Short-term Synaptic Depression in the Feedforward Inhibitory Circuit in the Dorsal Lateral Geniculate Nucleus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Augustinaite, Sigita; Heggelund, Paul

    2018-05-24

    Synaptic short-term plasticity (STP) regulates synaptic transmission in an activity-dependent manner and thereby has important roles in the signal processing in the brain. In some synapses, a presynaptic train of action potentials elicits post-synaptic potentials that gradually increase during the train (facilitation), but in other synapses, these potentials gradually decrease (depression). We studied STP in neurons in the visual thalamic relay, the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus (dLGN). The dLGN contains two types of neurons: excitatory thalamocortical (TC) neurons, which transfer signals from retinal afferents to visual cortex, and local inhibitory interneurons, which form an inhibitory feedforward loop that regulates the thalamocortical signal transmission. The overall STP in the retino-thalamic relay is short-term depression, but the distinct kind and characteristics of the plasticity at the different types of synapses are unknown. We studied STP in the excitatory responses of interneurons to stimulation of retinal afferents, in the inhibitory responses of TC neurons to stimulation of afferents from interneurons, and in the disynaptic inhibitory responses of TC neurons to stimulation of retinal afferents. Moreover, we studied STP at the direct excitatory input to TC neurons from retinal afferents. The STP at all types of the synapses showed short-term depression. This depression can accentuate rapid changes in the stream of signals and thereby promote detectability of significant features in the sensory input. In vision, detection of edges and contours is essential for object perception, and the synaptic short-term depression in the early visual pathway provides important contributions to this detection process. Copyright © 2018 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. 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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  1. Age-related changes in the hippocampus (loss of synaptophysin and glial-synaptic interaction) are modified by systemic treatment with an NCAM-derived peptide, FGL.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ojo, Bunmi; Rezaie, Payam; Gabbott, Paul L; Davies, Heather; Colyer, Frances; Cowley, Thelma R; Lynch, Marina; Stewart, Michael G

    2012-07-01

    Altered synaptic morphology, progressive loss of synapses and glial (astrocyte and microglial) cell activation are considered as characteristic hallmarks of aging. Recent evidence suggests that there is a concomitant age-related decrease in expression of the presynaptic protein, synaptophysin, and the neuronal glycoprotein CD200, which, by interacting with its receptor, plays a role in maintaining microglia in a quiescent state. These age-related changes may be indicative of reduced neuroglial support of synapses. FG Loop (FGL) peptide synthesized from the second fibronectin type III module of neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM), has previously been shown to attenuate age-related glial cell activation, and to 'restore' cognitive function in aged rats. The mechanisms by which FGL exerts these neuroprotective effects remain unclear, but could involve regulation of CD200, modifying glial-synaptic interactions (affecting neuroglial 'support' at synapses), or impacting directly on synaptic function. Light and electron microscopic (EM) analyses were undertaken to investigate whether systemic treatment with FGL (i) alters CD200, synaptophysin (presynaptic) and PSD-95 (postsynaptic) immunohistochemical expression levels, (ii) affects synaptic number, or (iii) exerts any effects on glial-synaptic interactions within young (4 month-old) and aged (22 month-old) rat hippocampus. Treatment with FGL attenuated the age-related loss of synaptophysin immunoreactivity (-ir) within CA3 and hilus (with no major effect on PSD-95-ir), and of CD200-ir specifically in the CA3 region. Ultrastructural morphometric analyses showed that FGL treatment (i) prevented age-related loss in astrocyte-synaptic contacts, (ii) reduced microglia-synaptic contacts in the CA3 stratum radiatum, but (iii) had no effect on the mean number of synapses in this region. These data suggest that FGL mediates its neuroprotective effects by regulating glial-synaptic interaction. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nie, Jingjing; Yang, Xiaosu

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Deidre L Brink

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

  4. 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.

  5. Synaptic Plasticity in Cardiac Innervation and Its Potential Role in Atrial Fibrillation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jesse L. Ashton

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Synaptic plasticity is defined as the ability of synapses to change their strength of transmission. Plasticity of synaptic connections in the brain is a major focus of neuroscience research, as it is the primary mechanism underpinning learning and memory. Beyond the brain however, plasticity in peripheral neurons is less well understood, particularly in the neurons innervating the heart. The atria receive rich innervation from the autonomic branch of the peripheral nervous system. Sympathetic neurons are clustered in stellate and cervical ganglia alongside the spinal cord and extend fibers to the heart directly innervating the myocardium. These neurons are major drivers of hyperactive sympathetic activity observed in heart disease, ventricular arrhythmias, and sudden cardiac death. Both pre- and postsynaptic changes have been observed to occur at synapses formed by sympathetic ganglion neurons, suggesting that plasticity at sympathetic neuro-cardiac synapses is a major contributor to arrhythmias. Less is known about the plasticity in parasympathetic neurons located in clusters on the heart surface. These neuronal clusters, termed ganglionated plexi, or “little brains,” can independently modulate neural control of the heart and stimulation that enhances their excitability can induce arrhythmia such as atrial fibrillation. The ability of these neurons to alter parasympathetic activity suggests that plasticity may indeed occur at the synapses formed on and by ganglionated plexi neurons. Such changes may not only fine-tune autonomic innervation of the heart, but could also be a source of maladaptive plasticity during atrial fibrillation.

  6. Biophysical synaptic dynamics in an analog VLSI network of Hodgkin-Huxley neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Theodore; Cauwenberghs, Gert

    2009-01-01

    We study synaptic dynamics in a biophysical network of four coupled spiking neurons implemented in an analog VLSI silicon microchip. The four neurons implement a generalized Hodgkin-Huxley model with individually configurable rate-based kinetics of opening and closing of Na+ and K+ ion channels. The twelve synapses implement a rate-based first-order kinetic model of neurotransmitter and receptor dynamics, accounting for NMDA and non-NMDA type chemical synapses. The implemented models on the chip are fully configurable by 384 parameters accounting for conductances, reversal potentials, and pre/post-synaptic voltage-dependence of the channel kinetics. We describe the models and present experimental results from the chip characterizing single neuron dynamics, single synapse dynamics, and multi-neuron network dynamics showing phase-locking behavior as a function of synaptic coupling strength. The 3mm x 3mm microchip consumes 1.29 mW power making it promising for applications including neuromorphic modeling and neural prostheses.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ovtscharoff, Wladimir; Helmeke, Carina; Braun, Katharina

    2006-10-20

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gilles Erwann Martin

    2015-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-06-01

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

  11. Chronic Fluoxetine Induces the Enlargement of Perforant Path-Granule Cell Synapses in the Mouse Dentate Gyrus

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. PMID:26788851

  12. Glutamate synapses in human cognitive disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  13. Astrocytes mediate in vivo cholinergic-induced synaptic plasticity.

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    Marta Navarrete

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Long-term potentiation (LTP of synaptic transmission represents the cellular basis of learning and memory. Astrocytes have been shown to regulate synaptic transmission and plasticity. However, their involvement in specific physiological processes that induce LTP in vivo remains unknown. Here we show that in vivo cholinergic activity evoked by sensory stimulation or electrical stimulation of the septal nucleus increases Ca²⁺ in hippocampal astrocytes and induces LTP of CA3-CA1 synapses, which requires cholinergic muscarinic (mAChR and metabotropic glutamate receptor (mGluR activation. Stimulation of cholinergic pathways in hippocampal slices evokes astrocyte Ca²⁺ elevations, postsynaptic depolarizations of CA1 pyramidal neurons, and LTP of transmitter release at single CA3-CA1 synapses. Like in vivo, these effects are mediated by mAChRs, and this cholinergic-induced LTP (c-LTP also involves mGluR activation. Astrocyte Ca²⁺ elevations and LTP are absent in IP₃R2 knock-out mice. Downregulating astrocyte Ca²⁺ signal by loading astrocytes with BAPTA or GDPβS also prevents LTP, which is restored by simultaneous astrocyte Ca²⁺ uncaging and postsynaptic depolarization. Therefore, cholinergic-induced LTP requires astrocyte Ca²⁺ elevations, which stimulate astrocyte glutamate release that activates mGluRs. The cholinergic-induced LTP results from the temporal coincidence of the postsynaptic activity and the astrocyte Ca²⁺ signal simultaneously evoked by cholinergic activity. Therefore, the astrocyte Ca²⁺ signal is necessary for cholinergic-induced synaptic plasticity, indicating that astrocytes are directly involved in brain storage information.

  14. Optogenetic Examination of Prefrontal-Amygdala Synaptic Development.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-03-15

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

  15. The influence of single bursts vs. single spikes at excitatory dendrodendritic synapses

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    Masurkar, Arjun V.; Chen, Wei R.

    2015-01-01

    The synchronization of neuronal activity is thought to enhance information processing. There is much evidence supporting rhythmically bursting external tufted cells (ETCs) of the rodent olfactory bulb glomeruli coordinating the activation of glomerular interneurons and mitral cells via dendrodendritic excitation. However, as bursting has variable significance at axodendritic cortical synapses, it is not clear if ETC bursting imparts a specific functional advantage over the preliminary spike in dendrodendritic synaptic networks. To answer this question, we investigated the influence of single ETC bursts and spikes with the in-vitro rat olfactory bulb preparation at different levels of processing, via calcium imaging of presynaptic ETC dendrites, dual electrical recording of ETC–interneuron synaptic pairs, and multicellular calcium imaging of ETC-induced population activity. Our findings supported single ETC bursts, vs. single spikes, driving robust presynaptic calcium signaling, which in turn was associated with profound extension of the initial monosynaptic spike-driven dendrodendritic excitatory postsynaptic potential. This extension could be driven by either the spike-dependent or spike-independent components of the burst. At the population level, burst-induced excitation was more widespread and reliable compared with single spikes. This further supports the ETC network, in part due to a functional advantage of bursting at excitatory dendrodendritic synapses, coordinating synchronous activity at behaviorally relevant frequencies related to odor processing in vivo. PMID:22277089

  16. The influence of single bursts versus single spikes at excitatory dendrodendritic synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masurkar, Arjun V; Chen, Wei R

    2012-02-01

    The synchronization of neuronal activity is thought to enhance information processing. There is much evidence supporting rhythmically bursting external tufted cells (ETCs) of the rodent olfactory bulb glomeruli coordinating the activation of glomerular interneurons and mitral cells via dendrodendritic excitation. However, as bursting has variable significance at axodendritic cortical synapses, it is not clear if ETC bursting imparts a specific functional advantage over the preliminary spike in dendrodendritic synaptic networks. To answer this question, we investigated the influence of single ETC bursts and spikes with the in vitro rat olfactory bulb preparation at different levels of processing, via calcium imaging of presynaptic ETC dendrites, dual electrical recording of ETC -interneuron synaptic pairs, and multicellular calcium imaging of ETC-induced population activity. Our findings supported single ETC bursts, versus single spikes, driving robust presynaptic calcium signaling, which in turn was associated with profound extension of the initial monosynaptic spike-driven dendrodendritic excitatory postsynaptic potential. This extension could be driven by either the spike-dependent or spike-independent components of the burst. At the population level, burst-induced excitation was more widespread and reliable compared with single spikes. This further supports the ETC network, in part due to a functional advantage of bursting at excitatory dendrodendritic synapses, coordinating synchronous activity at behaviorally relevant frequencies related to odor processing in vivo. © 2012 The Authors. European Journal of Neuroscience © 2012 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  17. Resolution enhancement in neural networks with dynamical synapses

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    C. C. Alan Fung

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Conventionally, information is represented by spike rates in the neural system. Here, we consider the ability of temporally modulated activities in neuronal networks to carry information extra to spike rates. These temporal modulations, commonly known as population spikes, are due to the presence of synaptic depression in a neuronal network model. We discuss its relevance to an experiment on transparent motions in macaque monkeys by Treue et al. in 2000. They found that if the moving directions of objects are too close, the firing rate profile will be very similar to that with one direction. As the difference in the moving directions of objects is large enough, the neuronal system would respond in such a way that the network enhances the resolution in the moving directions of the objects. In this paper, we propose that this behavior can be reproduced by neural networks with dynamical synapses when there are multiple external inputs. We will demonstrate how resolution enhancement can be achieved, and discuss the conditions under which temporally modulated activities are able to enhance information processing performances in general.

  18. Integrated plasticity at inhibitory and excitatory synapses in the cerebellar circuit

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    Lisa eMapelli

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available The way long-term potentiation (LTP and depression (LTD are integrated within the different synapses of brain neuronal circuits is poorly understood. In order to progress beyond the identification of specific molecular mechanisms, a system in which multiple forms of plasticity can be correlated with large-scale neural processing is required. In this paper we take as an example the cerebellar network , in which extensive investigations have revealed LTP and LTD at several excitatory and inhibitory synapses. Cerebellar LTP and LTD occur in all three main cerebellar subcircuits (granular layer, molecular layer, deep cerebellar nuclei and correspondingly regulate the function of their three main neurons: granule cells (GrCs, Purkinje cells (PCs and deep cerebellar nuclear (DCN cells. All these neurons, in addition to be excited, are reached by feed-forward and feed-back inhibitory connections, in which LTP and LTD may either operate synergistically or homeostatically in order to control information flow through the circuit. Although the investigation of individual synaptic plasticities in vitro is essential to prove their existence and mechanisms, it is insufficient to generate a coherent view of their impact on network functioning in vivo. Recent computational models and cell-specific genetic mutations in mice are shedding light on how plasticity at multiple excitatory and inhibitory synapses might regulate neuronal activities in the cerebellar circuit and contribute to learning and memory and behavioral control.

  19. Retrograde Signaling from Progranulin to Sort1 Counteracts Synapse Elimination in the Developing Cerebellum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uesaka, Naofumi; Abe, Manabu; Konno, Kohtarou; Yamazaki, Maya; Sakoori, Kazuto; Watanabe, Takaki; Kao, Tzu-Huei; Mikuni, Takayasu; Watanabe, Masahiko; Sakimura, Kenji; Kano, Masanobu

    2018-02-21

    Elimination of redundant synapses formed early in development and strengthening of necessary connections are crucial for shaping functional neural circuits. Purkinje cells (PCs) in the neonatal cerebellum are innervated by multiple climbing fibers (CFs) with similar strengths. A single CF is strengthened whereas the other CFs are eliminated in each PC during postnatal development. The underlying mechanisms, particularly for the strengthening of single CFs, are poorly understood. Here we report that progranulin, a multi-functional growth factor implicated in the pathogenesis of frontotemporal dementia, strengthens developing CF synaptic inputs and counteracts their elimination from postnatal day 11 to 16. Progranulin derived from PCs acts retrogradely onto its putative receptor Sort1 on CFs. This effect is independent of semaphorin 3A, another retrograde signaling molecule that counteracts CF synapse elimination. We propose that progranulin-Sort1 signaling strengthens and maintains developing CF inputs, and may contribute to selection of single "winner" CFs that survive synapse elimination. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Specific Disruption of Hippocampal Mossy Fiber Synapses in a Mouse Model of Familial Alzheimer's Disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilke, Scott A.; Raam, Tara; Antonios, Joseph K.; Bushong, Eric A.; Koo, Edward H.; Ellisman, Mark H.; Ghosh, Anirvan

    2014-01-01

    The earliest stages of Alzheimer's disease (AD) are characterized by deficits in memory and cognition indicating hippocampal pathology. While it is now recognized that synapse dysfunction precedes the hallmark pathological findings of AD, it is unclear if specific hippocampal synapses are particularly vulnerable. Since the mossy fiber (MF) synapse between dentate gyrus (DG) and CA3 regions underlies critical functions disrupted in AD, we utilized serial block-face electron microscopy (SBEM) to analyze MF microcircuitry in a mouse model of familial Alzheimer's disease (FAD). FAD mutant MF terminal complexes were severely disrupted compared to control – they were smaller, contacted fewer postsynaptic spines and had greater numbers of presynaptic filopodial processes. Multi-headed CA3 dendritic spines in the FAD mutant condition were reduced in complexity and had significantly smaller sites of synaptic contact. Significantly, there was no change in the volume of classical dendritic spines at neighboring inputs to CA3 neurons suggesting input-specific defects in the early course of AD related pathology. These data indicate a specific vulnerability of the DG-CA3 network in AD pathogenesis and demonstrate the utility of SBEM to assess circuit specific alterations in mouse models of human disease. PMID:24454724

  1. Integrated plasticity at inhibitory and excitatory synapses in the cerebellar circuit.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mapelli, Lisa; Pagani, Martina; Garrido, Jesus A; D'Angelo, Egidio

    2015-01-01

    The way long-term potentiation (LTP) and depression (LTD) are integrated within the different synapses of brain neuronal circuits is poorly understood. In order to progress beyond the identification of specific molecular mechanisms, a system in which multiple forms of plasticity can be correlated with large-scale neural processing is required. In this paper we take as an example the cerebellar network, in which extensive investigations have revealed LTP and LTD at several excitatory and inhibitory synapses. Cerebellar LTP and LTD occur in all three main cerebellar subcircuits (granular layer, molecular layer, deep cerebellar nuclei) and correspondingly regulate the function of their three main neurons: granule cells (GrCs), Purkinje cells (PCs) and deep cerebellar nuclear (DCN) cells. All these neurons, in addition to be excited, are reached by feed-forward and feed-back inhibitory connections, in which LTP and LTD may either operate synergistically or homeostatically in order to control information flow through the circuit. Although the investigation of individual synaptic plasticities in vitro is essential to prove their existence and mechanisms, it is insufficient to generate a coherent view of their impact on network functioning in vivo. Recent computational models and cell-specific genetic mutations in mice are shedding light on how plasticity at multiple excitatory and inhibitory synapses might regulate neuronal activities in the cerebellar circuit and contribute to learning and memory and behavioral control.

  2. Astrocytic glutamate transport regulates a Drosophila CNS synapse that lacks astrocyte ensheathment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacNamee, Sarah E; Liu, Kendra E; Gerhard, Stephan; Tran, Cathy T; Fetter, Richard D; Cardona, Albert; Tolbert, Leslie P; Oland, Lynne A

    2016-07-01

    Anatomical, molecular, and physiological interactions between astrocytes and neuronal synapses regulate information processing in the brain. The fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster has become a valuable experimental system for genetic manipulation of the nervous system and has enormous potential for elucidating mechanisms that mediate neuron-glia interactions. Here, we show the first electrophysiological recordings from Drosophila astrocytes and characterize their spatial and physiological relationship with particular synapses. Astrocyte intrinsic properties were found to be strongly analogous to those of vertebrate astrocytes, including a passive current-voltage relationship, low membrane resistance, high capacitance, and dye-coupling to local astrocytes. Responses to optogenetic stimulation of glutamatergic premotor neurons were correlated directly with anatomy using serial electron microscopy reconstructions of homologous identified neurons and surrounding astrocytic processes. Robust bidirectional communication was present: neuronal activation triggered astrocytic glutamate transport via excitatory amino acid transporter 1 (Eaat1), and blocking Eaat1 extended glutamatergic interneuron-evoked inhibitory postsynaptic currents in motor neurons. The neuronal synapses were always located within 1 μm of an astrocytic process, but none were ensheathed by those processes. Thus, fly astrocytes can modulate fast synaptic transmission via neurotransmitter transport within these anatomical parameters. J. Comp. Neurol. 524:1979-1998, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Simulations of centriole of polarized centrosome as a monopole antenna in immune and viral synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dvorak, Josef; Melichar, Bohuslav; Filipova, Alzbeta; Grimova, Jana; Grimova, Nela; Rozsypalova, Aneta; Buka, David; Voboril, Rene; Zapletal, Radek; Buchler, Tomas; Richter, Igor; Buka, David

    2018-01-01

    The immune synapse (IS) is a temporary interface between an antigen-presenting cell and an effector lymphocyte. Viral synapse is a molecularly organized cellular junction that is structurally similar to the IS. Primary cilium is considered as a functional homologue of the IS due to the morphological and functional similarities in architecture between both micotubule structures. It has been hypothesized that endogenous electromagnetic field in the cell is generated by a unique cooperating system between mitochondria and microtubules. We are extending this prior hypothesis of the endogenous electromagnetic field in the cell postulating that polarized centriole in immune and viral synapse could serve as a monopole antenna. This is an addition to our hypothesis that primary cilium could serve as a monopole antenna. We simulated the distribution of electric field of centriole of polarized centrosome as a monopole antenna in immune and viral synapse. Very weak electromagnetic field of polarized centriole of CD8+ T lymphocyte in IS can contribute to the transport of cytolytic granules into the attacked (cancer) cell. Analogically, very weak electromagnetic field of polarized centriole in viral synapse of infected CD4 cells can aid the transport of viruses (human immunodeficiency virus) to non-infected CD4 cells. We hypothesized that healthy organisms need these monopole antennas. If, during the neoplastic transformation, healthy cells lose monopole antennas in form of primary cilia, the IS aims to replace them by monopole antennas of polarized centrioles in IS to restore homeostasis.

  6. Changes in Properties of Auditory Nerve Synapses following Conductive Hearing Loss.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhuang, Xiaowen; Sun, Wei; Xu-Friedman, Matthew A

    2017-01-11

    Auditory activity plays an important role in the development of the auditory system. Decreased activity can result from conductive hearing loss (CHL) associated with otitis media, which may lead to long-term perceptual deficits. The effects of CHL have been mainly studied at later stages of the auditory pathway, but early stages remain less examined. However, changes in early stages could be important because they would affect how information about sounds is conveyed to higher-order areas for further processing and localization. We examined the effects of CHL at auditory nerve synapses onto bushy cells in the mouse anteroventral cochlear nucleus following occlusion of the ear canal. These synapses, called endbulbs of Held, normally show strong depression in voltage-clamp recordings in brain slices. After 1 week of CHL, endbulbs showed even greater depression, reflecting higher release probability. We observed no differences in quantal size between control and occluded mice. We confirmed these observations using mean-variance analysis and the integration method, which also revealed that the number of release sites decreased after occlusion. Consistent with this, synaptic puncta immunopositive for VGLUT1 decreased in area after occlusion. The level of depression and number of release sites both showed recovery after returning to normal conditions. Finally, bushy cells fired fewer action potentials in response to evoked synaptic activity after occlusion, likely because of increased depression and decreased input resistance. These effects appear to reflect a homeostatic, adaptive response of auditory nerve synapses to reduced activity. These effects may have important implications for perceptual changes following CHL. Normal hearing is important to everyday life, but abnormal auditory experience during development can lead to processing disorders. For example, otitis media reduces sound to the ear, which can cause long-lasting deficits in language skills and verbal

  7. Transmission to interneurons is via slow excitatory synaptic potentials mediated by P2Y(1 receptors during descending inhibition in guinea-pig ileum.

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    Peter D J Thornton

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The nature of synaptic transmission at functionally distinct synapses in intestinal reflex pathways has not been fully identified. In this study, we investigated whether transmission between interneurons in the descending inhibitory pathway is mediated by a purine acting at P2Y receptors to produce slow excitatory synaptic potentials (EPSPs. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Myenteric neurons from guinea-pig ileum in vitro were impaled with intracellular microelectrodes. Responses to distension 15 mm oral to the recording site, in a separately perfused stimulation chamber and to electrical stimulation of local nerve trunks were recorded. A subset of neurons, previously identified as nitric oxide synthase immunoreactive descending interneurons, responded to both stimuli with slow EPSPs that were reversibly abolished by a high concentration of PPADS (30 μM, P2 receptor antagonist. When added to the central chamber of a three chambered organ bath, PPADS concentration-dependently depressed transmission through that chamber of descending inhibitory reflexes, measured as inhibitory junction potentials in the circular muscle of the anal chamber. Reflexes evoked by distension in the central chamber were unaffected. A similar depression of transmission was seen when the specific P2Y(1 receptor antagonist MRS 2179 (10 μM was in the central chamber. Blocking either nicotinic receptors (hexamethonium 200 μM or 5-HT(3 receptors (granisetron 1 μM together with P2 receptors had no greater effect than blocking P2 receptors alone. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Slow EPSPs mediated by P2Y(1 receptors, play a primary role in transmission between descending interneurons of the inhibitory reflexes in the guinea-pig ileum. This is the first demonstration for a primary role of excitatory metabotropic receptors in physiological transmission at a functionally identified synapse.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

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

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    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.

  11. Zinc-mediated transactivation of TrkB potentiates the hippocampal mossy fiber-CA3 pyramid synapse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Yang Z; Pan, Enhui; Xiong, Zhi-Qi; McNamara, James O

    2008-02-28

    The receptor tyrosine kinase, TrkB, is critical to diverse functions of the mammalian nervous system in health and disease. Evidence of TrkB activation during epileptogenesis in vivo despite genetic deletion of its prototypic neurotrophin ligands led us to hypothesize that a non-neurotrophin, the divalent cation zinc, can transactivate TrkB. We found that zinc activates TrkB through increasing Src family kinase activity by an activity-regulated mechanism independent of neurotrophins. One subcellular locale at which zinc activates TrkB is the postsynaptic density of excitatory synapses. Exogenous zinc potentiates the efficacy of the hippocampal mossy fiber (mf)-CA3 pyramid synapse by a TrkB-requiring mechanism. Long-term potentiation of this synapse is impaired by deletion of TrkB, inhibition of TrkB kinase activity, and by CaEDTA, a selective chelator of zinc. The activity-dependent activation of synaptic TrkB in a neurotrophin-independent manner provides a mechanism by which this receptor can regulate synaptic plasticity.

  12. Synaptic dimorphism in Onychophoran cephalic ganglia

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    Z Peña-Contreras

    2007-03-01

    Full Text Available The taxonomic location of the Onychophora has been controversial because of their phenotypic and genotypic characteristics, related to both annelids and arthropods. We analyzed the ultrastructure of the neurons and their synapses in the cephalic ganglion of a poorly known invertebrate, the velvet worm Peripatus sedgwicki, from the mountainous region of El Valle, Mérida, Venezuela. Cephalic ganglia were dissected, fixed and processed for transmission electron microscopy. The animal has a high degree of neurobiological development, as evidenced by the presence of asymmetric (excitatory and symmetric (inhibitory synapses, as well as the existence of glial cell processes in a wide neuropile zone. The postsynaptic terminals were seen to contain subsynaptic cisterns formed by membranes of smooth endoplasmic reticulum beneath the postsynaptic density, whereas the presynaptic terminal showed numerous electron transparent synaptic vesicles. From the neurophylogenetic perspectives, the ultrastructural characteristics of the central nervous tissue of the Onychophora show important evolutionary acquirements, such as the presence of both excitatory and inhibitory synapses, indicating functional synaptic transmission, and the appearance of mature glial cells. Rev. Biol . Trop. 55 (1: 261-267. Epub 2007 March. 31.Estudiamos la ultraestructura de las neuronas y sus sinapsis del ganglio cefálico de un invertebrado poco conocido del phylum Onychophora: Peripatus sedgwicki de los Andes Venezolanos, utilizando para ello la microscopía electrónica de transmisión. La localización taxonómica de los onicóforos ha sido controversial debido a sus características fenotípicas y genotípicas que los relacionan tanto con los anélidos como con los artrópodos. Para este trabajo se estudió el ganglio cefálico de P. sedgwicki de la zona montañosa de El Valle, Mérida, Venezuela. El ganglio cefálico se localiza en la región anterior del animal y fue diseccionado

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  14. Loss of Cdc42 leads to defects in synaptic plasticity and remote memory recall.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Il Hwan; Wang, Hong; Soderling, Scott H; Yasuda, Ryohei

    2014-07-08

    Cdc42 is a signaling protein important for reorganization of actin cytoskeleton and morphogenesis of cells. However, the functional role of Cdc42 in synaptic plasticity and in behaviors such as learning and memory are not well understood. Here we report that postnatal forebrain deletion of Cdc42 leads to deficits in synaptic plasticity and in remote memory recall using conditional knockout of Cdc42. We found that deletion of Cdc42 impaired LTP in the Schaffer collateral synapses and postsynaptic structural plasticity of dendritic spines in CA1 pyramidal neurons in the hippocampus. Additionally, loss of Cdc42 did not affect memory acquisition, but instead significantly impaired remote memory recall. Together these results indicate that the postnatal functions of Cdc42 may be crucial for the synaptic plasticity in hippocampal neurons, which contribute to the capacity for remote memory recall.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  16. Wireless synapses in bio-inspired neural networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jannson, Tomasz; Forrester, Thomas; Degrood, Kevin

    2009-05-01

    Wireless (virtual) synapses represent a novel approach to bio-inspired neural networks that follow the infrastructure of the biological brain, except that biological (physical) synapses are replaced by virtual ones based on cellular telephony modeling. Such synapses are of two types: intracluster synapses are based on IR wireless ones, while intercluster synapses are based on RF wireless ones. Such synapses have three unique features, atypical of conventional artificial ones: very high parallelism (close to that of the human brain), very high reconfigurability (easy to kill and to create), and very high plasticity (easy to modify or upgrade). In this paper we analyze the general concept of wireless synapses with special emphasis on RF wireless synapses. Also, biological mammalian (vertebrate) neural models are discussed for comparison, and a novel neural lensing effect is discussed in detail.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2016-06-28

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

  18. A cell adhesion molecule mimetic, FGL peptide, induces alterations in synapse and dendritic spine structure in the dentate gyrus of aged rats: a three-dimensional ultrastructural study

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Popov, Victor I; Medvedev, Nikolay I; Kraev, Igor V

    2008-01-01

    pits. Three-dimensional analysis showed a significant decrease in both post-synaptic density and apposition zone curvature of mushroom spines following FGL treatment, whereas for thin spines the convexity of the apposition zone increased. These data indicate that FGL induces large changes in the fine...... 100 serial ultrathin sections. FGL affected neither hippocampal volume nor spine or synaptic density in the middle molecular layer of the dentate gyrus. However, it increased the ratio of mushroom to thin spines, number of multivesicular bodies and also increased the frequency of appearance of coated...... structure of synapses and dendritic spines in hippocampus of aged rats, complementing data showing its effect on cognitive processes....

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fassio, Anna; Fadda, Manuela; Benfenati, Fabio

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna eFassio

    2016-05-01

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

  1. Remodelling at the calyx of Held-MNTB synapse in mice developing with unilateral conductive hearing loss.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grande, Giovanbattista; Negandhi, Jaina; Harrison, Robert V; Wang, Lu-Yang

    2014-04-01

    Structure and function of central synapses are profoundly influenced by experience during developmental sensitive periods. Sensory synapses, which are the indispensable interface for the developing brain to interact with its environment, are particularly plastic. In the auditory system, moderate forms of unilateral hearing loss during development are prevalent but the pre- and postsynaptic modifications that occur when hearing symmetry is perturbed are not well understood. We investigated this issue by performing experiments at the large calyx of Held synapse. Principal neurons of the medial nucleus of the trapezoid body (MNTB) are innervated by calyx of Held terminals that originate from the axons of globular bushy cells located in the contralateral ventral cochlear nucleus. We compared populations of synapses in the same animal that were either sound deprived (SD) or sound experienced (SE) after unilateral conductive hearing loss (CHL). Middle ear ossicles were removed 1 week prior to hearing onset (approx. postnatal day (P) 12) and morphological and electrophysiological approaches were applied to auditory brainstem slices taken from these mice at P17-19. Calyces in the SD and SE MNTB acquired their mature digitated morphology but these were structurally more complex than those in normal hearing mice. This was accompanied by bilateral decreases in initial EPSC amplitude and synaptic conductance despite the CHL being unilateral. During high-frequency stimulation, some SD synapses displayed short-term depression whereas others displayed short-term facilitation followed by slow depression similar to the heterogeneities observed in normal hearing mice. However SE synapses predominantly displayed short-term facilitation followed by slow depression which could be explained in part by the decrease in release probability. Furthermore, the excitability of principal cells in the SD MNTB had increased significantly. Despite these unilateral changes in short-term plasticity

  2. Perinatal exposure to lead (Pb) induces ultrastructural and molecular alterations in synapses of rat offspring.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gąssowska, Magdalena; Baranowska-Bosiacka, Irena; Moczydłowska, Joanna; Frontczak-Baniewicz, Małgorzata; Gewartowska, Magdalena; Strużyńska, Lidia; Gutowska, Izabela; Chlubek, Dariusz; Adamczyk, Agata

    2016-12-12

    Lead (Pb), environmentally abundant heavy-metal pollutant, is a strong toxicant for the developing central nervous system. Pb intoxication in children, even at low doses, is found to affect learning and memorizing, with devastating effects on cognitive function and intellectual development. However, the precise mechanism by which Pb impairs synaptic plasticity is not fully elucidated. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of pre- and neonatal exposure to low dose of Pb (with Pb concentrations in whole blood below 10μg/dL) on the synaptic structure and the pre- and postsynaptic proteins expression in the developing rat brain. Furthermore, the level of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) was analyzed. Pregnant female Wistar rats received 0.1% lead acetate (PbAc) in drinking water from the first day of gestation until weaning of the offspring, while the control animals received drinking water. During the feeding of pups, mothers from the Pb-group were continuously receiving PbAc. Pups of both groups were weaned at postnatal day 21 and then until postnatal day 28 received only drinking water. 28-day old pups were sacrificed and the ultrastructural changes as well as expression of presynaptic (VAMP1/2, synaptophysin, synaptotagmin-1, SNAP25, syntaxin-1) and postsynaptic (PSD-95) proteins were analyzed in: forebrain cortex, cerebellum and hippocampus. Our data revealed that pre- and neonatal exposure to low dose of Pb promotes pathological changes in synapses, including nerve endings swelling, blurred and thickened synaptic cleft structure as well as enhanced density of synaptic vesicles in the presynaptic area. Moreover, synaptic mitochondria were elongated, swollen or shrunken in Pb-treated animals. These structural abnormalities were accompanied by decrease in the level of key synaptic proteins: synaptotagmin-1 in cerebellum, SNAP25 in hippocampus and syntaxin-1 in cerebellum and hippocampus. In turn, increased level of synaptophysin was

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samuel H. Friedman

    2013-11-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brenda L Bloodgood

    2009-09-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Akira Takashima

    Full Text Available The synaptic integration in individual central neuron is critically affected by how active conductances are distributed over dendrites. It has been well known that the dendrites of central neurons are richly endowed with voltage- and ligand-regulated ion conductances. Nonspiking interneurons (NSIs, almost exclusively characteristic to arthropod central nervous systems, do not generate action potentials and hence lack voltage-regulated sodium channels, yet having a variety of voltage-regulated potassium conductances on their dendritic membrane including the one similar to the delayed-rectifier type potassium conductance. It remains unknown, however, how the active conductances are distributed over dendrites and how the synaptic integration is affected by t