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Sample records for synaptic tenacity synaptic

  1. 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...

  2. 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

  3. Synaptic Plasticity and Translation Initiation

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-01-01

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

  4. Synaptic electronics: materials, devices and applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-09-27

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

  5. Circadian Regulation of Synaptic Plasticity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcos G. Frank

    2016-07-01

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

  6. 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

  7. Endocannabinoid signaling and synaptic function

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  8. Synaptic Determinants of Rett Syndrome

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  9. Synaptic determinants of Rett syndrome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elena M B Boggio

    2010-08-01

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

  10. Optogenetic analysis of synaptic function

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Liewald, Jana F.; Brauner, Martin; Stephens, Greg J.; Bouhours, Magali; Schultheis, Christian; Zhen, Mei; Gottschalk, Alexander

    2008-01-01

    We introduce optogenetic investigation of neurotransmission (OptIoN) for time-resolved and quantitative assessment of synaptic function via behavioral and electrophysiological analyses. We photo-triggered release of acetylcholine or γ-aminobutyric acid at Caenorhabditis elegans neuromuscular

  11. Synaptic AMPA receptor plasticity and behavior

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kessels, Helmut W.; Malinow, Roberto

    2009-01-01

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

  12. Molecular Recognition within Synaptic Scaffolds

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Erlendsson, Simon

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

  13. Network response synchronization enhanced by synaptic plasticity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lobov, S.; Simonov, A.; Kastalskiy, I.; Kazantsev, V.

    2016-02-01

    Synchronization of neural network response on spatially localized periodic stimulation was studied. The network consisted of synaptically coupled spiking neurons with spike-timing-dependent synaptic plasticity (STDP). Network connectivity was defined by time evolving matrix of synaptic weights. We found that the steady-state spatial pattern of the weights could be rearranged due to locally applied external periodic stimulation. A method for visualization of synaptic weights as vector field was introduced to monitor the evolving connectivity matrix. We demonstrated that changes in the vector field and associated weight rearrangements underlay an enhancement of synchronization range.

  14. Synaptic Plasticity and Memory Formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    1993-06-30

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

  15. Klotho regulates CA1 hippocampal synaptic plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-07

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

  16. The developmental stages of synaptic plasticity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lohmann, Christian; Kessels, Helmut W.

    2014-01-01

    The brain is programmed to drive behaviour by precisely wiring the appropriate neuronal circuits. Wiring and rewiring of neuronal circuits largely depends on the orchestrated changes in the strengths of synaptic contacts. Here, we review how the rules of synaptic plasticity change during development

  17. Pushing synaptic vesicles over the RIM.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaeser, Pascal S

    2011-05-01

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

  18. Emergent spatial synaptic structure from diffusive plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sweeney, Yann; Clopath, Claudia

    2017-04-01

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

  19. Models of Short-Term Synaptic Plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  20. Molecular mechanisms of synaptic remodeling in alcoholism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kyzar, Evan J; Pandey, Subhash C

    2015-08-05

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

  1. Quantitative Proteomics of Synaptic and Nonsynaptic Mitochondria: Insights for Synaptic Mitochondrial Vulnerability

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-01-01

    Synaptic mitochondria are essential for maintaining calcium homeostasis and producing ATP, processes vital for neuronal integrity and synaptic transmission. Synaptic mitochondria exhibit increased oxidative damage during aging and are more vulnerable to calcium insult than nonsynaptic mitochondria. Why synaptic mitochondria are specifically more susceptible to cumulative damage remains to be determined. In this study, the generation of a super-SILAC mix that served as an appropriate internal standard for mouse brain mitochondria mass spectrometry based analysis allowed for the quantification of the proteomic differences between synaptic and nonsynaptic mitochondria isolated from 10-month-old mice. We identified a total of 2260 common proteins between synaptic and nonsynaptic mitochondria of which 1629 were annotated as mitochondrial. Quantitative proteomic analysis of the proteins common between synaptic and nonsynaptic mitochondria revealed significant differential expression of 522 proteins involved in several pathways including oxidative phosphorylation, mitochondrial fission/fusion, calcium transport, and mitochondrial DNA replication and maintenance. In comparison to nonsynaptic mitochondria, synaptic mitochondria exhibited increased age-associated mitochondrial DNA deletions and decreased bioenergetic function. These findings provide insights into synaptic mitochondrial susceptibility to damage. PMID:24708184

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-05

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

  3. 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.

  4. Synaptic adhesion molecule IgSF11 regulates synaptic transmission and plasticity

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Caixia Lv

    2016-06-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hey-Kyoung eLee

    2012-02-01

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

  7. Diacylglycerol Kinases in the Coordination of Synaptic Plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  8. 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

  9. Synaptic Correlates of Working Memory Capacity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mi, Yuanyuan; Katkov, Mikhail; Tsodyks, Misha

    2017-01-18

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

  10. Astrocytes optimize the synaptic transmission of information.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Suhita Nadkarni

    2008-05-01

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

  11. Heterosynaptic Plasticity Prevents Runaway Synaptic Dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rozan Vroman

    2014-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-24

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

  14. Input significance analysis: feature selection through synaptic ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This work is interested in ISA methods that can manipulate synaptic weights namely. Connection Weights (CW) and Garson's Algorithm (GA) and the classifier selected is. Evolving Fuzzy Neural Networks (EFuNNs). Firstly, it test FS method on a dataset selected from the UCI Machine Learning Repository and executed in an ...

  15. Synaptic plasticity and the warburg effect

    KAUST Repository

    Magistretti, Pierre J.

    2014-01-01

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

  16. P2X Receptors and Synaptic Plasticity

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

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

    2009-01-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. Basic mechanisms for recognition and transport of synaptic cargos

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  19. Bilinearity in spatiotemporal integration of synaptic inputs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Songting Li

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Neurons process information via integration of synaptic inputs from dendrites. Many experimental results demonstrate dendritic integration could be highly nonlinear, yet few theoretical analyses have been performed to obtain a precise quantitative characterization analytically. Based on asymptotic analysis of a two-compartment passive cable model, given a pair of time-dependent synaptic conductance inputs, we derive a bilinear spatiotemporal dendritic integration rule. The summed somatic potential can be well approximated by the linear summation of the two postsynaptic potentials elicited separately, plus a third additional bilinear term proportional to their product with a proportionality coefficient [Formula: see text]. The rule is valid for a pair of synaptic inputs of all types, including excitation-inhibition, excitation-excitation, and inhibition-inhibition. In addition, the rule is valid during the whole dendritic integration process for a pair of synaptic inputs with arbitrary input time differences and input locations. The coefficient [Formula: see text] is demonstrated to be nearly independent of the input strengths but is dependent on input times and input locations. This rule is then verified through simulation of a realistic pyramidal neuron model and in electrophysiological experiments of rat hippocampal CA1 neurons. The rule is further generalized to describe the spatiotemporal dendritic integration of multiple excitatory and inhibitory synaptic inputs. The integration of multiple inputs can be decomposed into the sum of all possible pairwise integration, where each paired integration obeys the bilinear rule. This decomposition leads to a graph representation of dendritic integration, which can be viewed as functionally sparse.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-11-17

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

  1. Stochastic single-molecule dynamics of synaptic membrane protein domains

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-09-01

    Motivated by single-molecule experiments on synaptic membrane protein domains, we use a stochastic lattice model to study protein reaction and diffusion processes in crowded membranes. We find that the stochastic reaction-diffusion dynamics of synaptic proteins provide a simple physical mechanism for collective fluctuations in synaptic domains, the molecular turnover observed at synaptic domains, key features of the single-molecule trajectories observed for synaptic proteins, and spatially inhomogeneous protein lifetimes at the cell membrane. Our results suggest that central aspects of the single-molecule and collective dynamics observed for membrane protein domains can be understood in terms of stochastic reaction-diffusion processes at the cell membrane.

  2. Influence of Synaptic Depression on Memory Storage Capacity

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-08-01

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

  3. Carbon Nanotube Synaptic Transistor Network for Pattern Recognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-11-18

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perea, Gertrudis; Navarrete, Marta; Araque, Alfonso

    2009-08-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. Molecular Signatures Underlying Synaptic Vesicle Cargo Retrieval

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mori, Yasunori; Takamori, Shigeo

    2018-01-01

    Efficient retrieval of the synaptic vesicle (SV) membrane from the presynaptic plasma membrane, a process called endocytosis, is crucial for the fidelity of neurotransmission, particularly during sustained neural activity. Although multiple modes of endocytosis have been identified, it is clear that the efficient retrieval of the major SV cargos into newly formed SVs during any of these modes is fundamental for synaptic transmission. It is currently believed that SVs are eventually reformed via a clathrin-dependent pathway. Various adaptor proteins recognize SV cargos and link them to clathrin, ensuring the efficient retrieval of the cargos into newly formed SVs. Here, we summarize our current knowledge of the molecular signatures within individual SV cargos that underlie efficient retrieval into SV membranes, as well as discuss possible contributions of the mechanisms under physiological conditions. PMID:29379416

  7. Synaptic devices based on purely electronic memristors

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pan, Ruobing [Ningbo Institute of Materials Technology and Engineering, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Ningbo 315201 (China); Institute of Materials Science, School of Materials Science and Engineering, Shanghai University, Shanghai 200072 (China); Li, Jun; Zhuge, Fei, E-mail: zhugefei@nimte.ac.cn, E-mail: h-cao@nimte.ac.cn; Zhu, Liqiang; Liang, Lingyan; Zhang, Hongliang; Gao, Junhua; Cao, Hongtao, E-mail: zhugefei@nimte.ac.cn, E-mail: h-cao@nimte.ac.cn; Fu, Bing; Li, Kang [Ningbo Institute of Materials Technology and Engineering, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Ningbo 315201 (China)

    2016-01-04

    Memristive devices have been widely employed to emulate biological synaptic behavior. In these cases, the memristive switching generally originates from electrical field induced ion migration or Joule heating induced phase change. In this letter, the Ti/ZnO/Pt structure was found to show memristive switching ascribed to a carrier trapping/detrapping of the trap sites (e.g., oxygen vacancies or zinc interstitials) in ZnO. The carrier trapping/detrapping level can be controllably adjusted by regulating the current compliance level or voltage amplitude. Multi-level conductance states can, therefore, be realized in such memristive device. The spike-timing-dependent plasticity, an important Hebbian learning rule, has been implemented in this type of synaptic device. Compared with filamentary-type memristive devices, purely electronic memristors have potential to reduce their energy consumption and work more stably and reliably, since no structural distortion occurs.

  8. Hippocampal synaptic plasticity, spatial memory and anxiety

    OpenAIRE

    Bannerman, David M.; Sprengel, Rolf; Sanderson, David J.; McHugh, Stephen B.; Rawlins, J. Nicholas P.; Monyer, Hannah; Seeburg, Peter H.

    2014-01-01

    Recent studies using transgenic mice lacking NMDA receptors in the hippocampus challenge the long-standing hypothesis that hippocampal long-term potentiation-like mechanisms underlie the encoding and storage of associative long-term spatial memories. However, it may not be the synaptic plasticity-dependent memory hypothesis that is wrong; instead, it may be the role of the hippocampus that needs to be re-examined. We present an account of hippocampal function that explains its role in both me...

  9. 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.

  10. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juan eMorales

    2013-07-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masaharu Takamori

    2017-04-01

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

  14. Synaptic transmission and plasticity in an active cortical network.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ramon Reig

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The cerebral cortex is permanently active during both awake and sleep states. This ongoing cortical activity has an impact on synaptic transmission and short-term plasticity. An activity pattern generated by the cortical network is a slow rhythmic activity that alternates up (active and down (silent states, a pattern occurring during slow wave sleep, anesthesia and even in vitro. Here we have studied 1 how network activity affects short term synaptic plasticity and, 2 how synaptic transmission varies in up versus down states. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Intracellular recordings obtained from cortex in vitro and in vivo were used to record synaptic potentials, while presynaptic activation was achieved either with electrical or natural stimulation. Repetitive activation of layer 4 to layer 2/3 synaptic connections from ferret visual cortex slices displayed synaptic augmentation that was larger and longer lasting in active than in silent slices. Paired-pulse facilitation was also significantly larger in an active network and it persisted for longer intervals (up to 200 ms than in silent slices. Intracortical synaptic potentials occurring during up states in vitro increased their amplitude while paired-pulse facilitation disappeared. Both intracortical and thalamocortical synaptic potentials were also significantly larger in up than in down states in the cat visual cortex in vivo. These enhanced synaptic potentials did not further facilitate when pairs of stimuli were given, thus paired-pulse facilitation during up states in vivo was virtually absent. Visually induced synaptic responses displayed larger amplitudes when occurring during up versus down states. This was further tested in rat barrel cortex, where a sensory activated synaptic potential was also larger in up states. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: These results imply that synaptic transmission in an active cortical network is more secure and efficient due to larger amplitude of

  15. Calcineurin mediates homeostatic synaptic plasticity by regulating retinoic acid synthesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arendt, Kristin L; Zhang, Zhenjie; Ganesan, Subhashree; Hintze, Maik; Shin, Maggie M; Tang, Yitai; Cho, Ahryon; Graef, Isabella A; Chen, Lu

    2015-10-20

    Homeostatic synaptic plasticity is a form of non-Hebbian plasticity that maintains stability of the network and fidelity for information processing in response to prolonged perturbation of network and synaptic activity. Prolonged blockade of synaptic activity decreases resting Ca(2+) levels in neurons, thereby inducing retinoic acid (RA) synthesis and RA-dependent homeostatic synaptic plasticity; however, the signal transduction pathway that links reduced Ca(2+)-levels to RA synthesis remains unknown. Here we identify the Ca(2+)-dependent protein phosphatase calcineurin (CaN) as a key regulator for RA synthesis and homeostatic synaptic plasticity. Prolonged inhibition of CaN activity promotes RA synthesis in neurons, and leads to increased excitatory and decreased inhibitory synaptic transmission. These effects of CaN inhibitors on synaptic transmission are blocked by pharmacological inhibitors of RA synthesis or acute genetic deletion of the RA receptor RARα. Thus, CaN, acting upstream of RA, plays a critical role in gating RA signaling pathway in response to synaptic activity. Moreover, activity blockade-induced homeostatic synaptic plasticity is absent in CaN knockout neurons, demonstrating the essential role of CaN in RA-dependent homeostatic synaptic plasticity. Interestingly, in GluA1 S831A and S845A knockin mice, CaN inhibitor- and RA-induced regulation of synaptic transmission is intact, suggesting that phosphorylation of GluA1 C-terminal serine residues S831 and S845 is not required for CaN inhibitor- or RA-induced homeostatic synaptic plasticity. Thus, our study uncovers an unforeseen role of CaN in postsynaptic signaling, and defines CaN as the Ca(2+)-sensing signaling molecule that mediates RA-dependent homeostatic synaptic plasticity.

  16. 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

  17. LTD-like molecular pathways in developmental synaptic pruning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piochon, Claire; Kano, Masanobu; Hansel, Christian

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  19. Electrophysiological Techniques for Studying Synaptic Activity In Vivo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeggo, Ross; Zhao, Fei-Yue; Spanswick, David

    2014-03-03

    Understanding the physiology, pharmacology, and plasticity associated with synaptic function is a key goal of neuroscience research and is fundamental to identifying the processes involved in the development and manifestation of neurological disease. A diverse range of electrophysiological methodologies are used to study synaptic function. Described in this unit is a technique for recording electrical activity from a single component of the central nervous system that is used to investigate pre- and post-synaptic elements of synaptic function. A strength of this technique is that it can be used on live animals, although the effect of anesthesia must be taken into consideration when interpreting the results. This methodology can be employed not only in naïve animals for studying normal physiological synaptic function, but also in a variety of disease models, including transgenic animals, to examine dysfunctional synaptic plasticity associated with neurological pathologies. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. [Astrocytes and microglia: active players in synaptic plasticity].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ronzano, Rémi

    2017-12-01

    Synaptic plasticity consists in a change in structure and composition of presynaptic and postsynaptic compartments. For a long time, synaptic plasticity had been thought as a neuronal mechanism only under the control of neural network activity. However, recently, with the growing knowledge about glial physiology, plasticity has been reviewed as a mechanism influenced by the synaptic environment. Thus, it appears that astrocytes and microglia modulate these mechanisms modifying neural environment by clearance of neurotransmitters, releasing essential factors and modulating inflammation. Moreover, glia can change its own activity and the expression pattern of many factors that modulate synaptic plasticity according to the environment. Hence, these populations of "non-neuronal" cells in the central nervous system seem to be active players in synaptic plasticity. This review discusses how glia modulates synaptic plasticity focusing on long-term potentiation and depression, and questions the role of the signaling processes between astrocytes and microglia in these mechanisms. © 2017 médecine/sciences – Inserm.

  1. Astrocytes and synaptic plasticity in health and disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, A; Abraham, Wickliffe C

    2017-06-01

    Activity-dependent synaptic plasticity phenomena such as long-term potentiation and long-term depression are candidate mechanisms for storing information in the brain. Regulation of synaptic plasticity is critical for healthy cognition and learning and this is provided in part by metaplasticity, which can act to maintain synaptic transmission within a dynamic range and potentially prevent excitotoxicity. Metaplasticity mechanisms also allow neurons to integrate plasticity-associated signals over time. Interestingly, astrocytes appear to be critical for certain forms of synaptic plasticity and metaplasticity mechanisms. Synaptic dysfunction is increasingly viewed as an early feature of AD that is correlated with the severity of cognitive decline, and the development of these pathologies is correlated with a rise in reactive astrocytes. This review focuses on the contributions of astrocytes to synaptic plasticity and metaplasticity in normal tissue, and addresses whether astroglial pathology may lead to aberrant engagement of these mechanisms in neurological diseases such as Alzheimer's disease.

  2. Defective Glycinergic Synaptic Transmission in Zebrafish Motility Mutants

    OpenAIRE

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  4. Mild hypoxia affects synaptic connectivity in cultured neuronal networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hofmeijer, Jeannette; Mulder, Alex T B; Farinha, Ana C; van Putten, Michel J A M; le Feber, Joost

    2014-04-04

    Eighty percent of patients with chronic mild cerebral ischemia/hypoxia resulting from chronic heart failure or pulmonary disease have cognitive impairment. Overt structural neuronal damage is lacking and the precise cause of neuronal damage is unclear. As almost half of the cerebral energy consumption is used for synaptic transmission, and synaptic failure is the first abrupt consequence of acute complete anoxia, synaptic dysfunction is a candidate mechanism for the cognitive deterioration in chronic mild ischemia/hypoxia. Because measurement of synaptic functioning in patients is problematic, we use cultured networks of cortical neurons from new born rats, grown over a multi-electrode array, as a model system. These were exposed to partial hypoxia (partial oxygen pressure of 150Torr lowered to 40-50Torr) during 3 (n=14) or 6 (n=8) hours. Synaptic functioning was assessed before, during, and after hypoxia by assessment of spontaneous network activity, functional connectivity, and synaptically driven network responses to electrical stimulation. Action potential heights and shapes and non-synaptic stimulus responses were used as measures of individual neuronal integrity. During hypoxia of 3 and 6h, there was a statistically significant decrease of spontaneous network activity, functional connectivity, and synaptically driven network responses, whereas direct responses and action potentials remained unchanged. These changes were largely reversible. Our results indicate that in cultured neuronal networks, partial hypoxia during 3 or 6h causes isolated disturbances of synaptic connectivity. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  7. Autophagy mediates the degradation of synaptic vesicles: A potential mechanism of synaptic plasticity injury induced by microwave exposure in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hao, Yanhui; Li, Wenchao; Wang, Hui; Zhang, Jing; Yu, Chao; Tan, Shengzhi; Wang, Haoyu; Xu, Xinping; Dong, Ji; Yao, Binwei; Zhou, Hongmei; Zhao, Li; Peng, Ruiyun

    2018-02-03

    To explore how autophagy changes and whether autophagy is involved in the pathophysiological process of synaptic plasticity injury caused by microwave radiation, we established a 30 mW/cm 2 microwave-exposure in vivo model, which caused reversible injuries in rat neurons. Microwave radiation induced cognitive impairment in rats and synaptic plasticity injury in rat hippocampal neurons. Autophagy in rat hippocampal neurons was activated following microwave exposure. Additionally, we observed that synaptic vesicles were encapsulated by autophagosomes, a phenomenon more evident in the microwave-exposed group. Colocation of autophagosomes and synaptic vesicles in rat hippocampal neurons increased following microwave exposure. microwave exposure led to the activation of autophagy in rat hippocampal neurons, and excessive activation of autophagy might damage synaptic plasticity by mediating synaptic vesicle degradation. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-14

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

  9. 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".

  10. Ubiquitination-dependent mechanisms regulate synaptic growth and function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    DiAntonio, A; Haghighi, A P; Portman, S L; Lee, J D; Amaranto, A M; Goodman, C S

    2001-07-26

    The covalent attachment of ubiquitin to cellular proteins is a powerful mechanism for controlling protein activity and localization. Ubiquitination is a reversible modification promoted by ubiquitin ligases and antagonized by deubiquitinating proteases. Ubiquitin-dependent mechanisms regulate many important processes including cell-cycle progression, apoptosis and transcriptional regulation. Here we show that ubiquitin-dependent mechanisms regulate synaptic development at the Drosophila neuromuscular junction (NMJ). Neuronal overexpression of the deubiquitinating protease fat facets leads to a profound disruption of synaptic growth control; there is a large increase in the number of synaptic boutons, an elaboration of the synaptic branching pattern, and a disruption of synaptic function. Antagonizing the ubiquitination pathway in neurons by expression of the yeast deubiquitinating protease UBP2 (ref. 5) also produces synaptic overgrowth and dysfunction. Genetic interactions between fat facets and highwire, a negative regulator of synaptic growth that has structural homology to a family of ubiquitin ligases, suggest that synaptic development may be controlled by the balance between positive and negative regulators of ubiquitination.

  11. 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…

  12. 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.

  13. Impaired synaptic plasticity in RASopathies: a mini-review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mainberger, Florian; Langer, Susanne; Mall, Volker; Jung, Nikolai H

    2016-10-01

    Synaptic plasticity in the form of long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD) is considered to be the neurophysiological correlate of learning and memory. Impairments are discussed to be one of the underlying pathophysiological mechanisms of developmental disorders. In so-called RASopathies [e.g., neurofibromatosis 1 (NF1)], neurocognitive impairments are frequent and are affected by components of the RAS pathway which lead to impairments in synaptic plasticity. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) provides a non-invasive method to investigate synaptic plasticity in humans. Here, we review studies using TMS to evaluate synaptic plasticity in patients with RASopathies. Patients with NF1 and Noonan syndrome (NS) showed reduced cortical LTP-like synaptic plasticity. In contrast, increased LTP-like synaptic plasticity has been shown in Costello syndrome. Notably, lovastatin normalized impaired LTP-like plasticity and increased intracortical inhibition in patients with NF1. TMS has been shown to be a safe and efficient method to investigate synaptic plasticity and intracortical inhibition in patients with RASopathies. Deeper insights in impairments of synaptic plasticity in RASopathies could help to develop new options for the therapy of learning deficits in these patients.

  14. The discovery of GluA3-dependent synaptic plasticity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Renner, M.C.

    2016-01-01

    AMPA receptors (AMPARs) are responsible for fast excitatory synaptic transmission. GluA1-containing AMPARs have been extensively studied and play a key role in several forms of synaptic plasticity and memory. In contrast, GluA3-containing AMPARs have historically been ignored because they have

  15. Role of MicroRNA in Governing Synaptic Plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  16. 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

  17. The Ubiquitin-Proteasome Pathway and Synaptic Plasticity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hegde, Ashok N.

    2010-01-01

    Proteolysis by the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway (UPP) has emerged as a new molecular mechanism that controls wide-ranging functions in the nervous system, including fine-tuning of synaptic connections during development and synaptic plasticity in the adult organism. In the UPP, attachment of a small protein, ubiquitin, tags the substrates for…

  18. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  20. Nicotinic mechanisms influencing synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Placzek, Andon Nicholas; Zhang, Tao A; Dani, John Anthony

    2009-01-01

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are expressed throughout the hippocampus, and nicotinic signaling plays an important role in neuronal function. In the context of learning and memory related behaviors associated with hippocampal function, a potentially significant feature of nAChR activity is the impact it has on synaptic plasticity. Synaptic plasticity in hippocampal neurons has long been considered a contributing cellular mechanism of learning and memory. These same kinds of cellular mechanisms are a factor in the development of nicotine addiction. Nicotinic signaling has been demonstrated by in vitro studies to affect synaptic plasticity in hippocampal neurons via multiple steps, and the signaling has also been shown to evoke synaptic plasticity in vivo. This review focuses on the nAChRs subtypes that contribute to hippocampal synaptic plasticity at the cellular and circuit level. It also considers nicotinic influences over long-term changes in the hippocampus that may contribute to addiction. PMID:19434057

  1. Soft-bound synaptic plasticity increases storage capacity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark C W van Rossum

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Xin; Gao, Jian-Feng

    2017-06-25

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

  3. Synaptic Plasticity onto Dopamine Neurons Shapes Fear Learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-18

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wilfredo Blanco

    2015-05-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-02-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. Epigenetic mechanisms in memory and synaptic function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sultan, Faraz A; Day, Jeremy J

    2011-01-01

    Although the term ‘epigenetics’ was coined nearly seventy years ago, its critical function in memory processing by the adult CNS has only recently been appreciated. The hypothesis that epigenetic mechanisms regulate memory and behavior was motivated by the need for stable molecular processes that evade turnover of the neuronal proteome. In this article, we discuss evidence that supports a role for neural epigenetic modifications in the formation, consolidation and storage of memory. In addition, we will review the evidence that epigenetic mechanisms regulate synaptic plasticity, a cellular correlate of memory. We will also examine how the concerted action of multiple epigenetic mechanisms with varying spatiotemporal profiles influence selective gene expression in response to behavioral experience. Finally, we will suggest key areas for future research that will help elucidate the complex, vital and still mysterious, role of epigenetic mechanisms in neural function and behavior. PMID:22122279

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meredith, Rhiannon M.; van Ooyen, Arjen

    2012-01-01

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

  13. Pannexin 1 Regulates Bidirectional Hippocampal Synaptic Plasticity in Adult Mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alvaro O. Ardiles

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available The threshold for bidirectional modification of synaptic plasticity is known to be controlled by several factors, including the balance between protein phosphorylation and dephosphorylation, postsynaptic free Ca2+ concentration and NMDA receptor (NMDAR composition of GluN2 subunits. Pannexin 1 (Panx1, a member of the integral membrane protein family, has been shown to form non-selective channels and to regulate the induction of synaptic plasticity as well as hippocampal-dependent learning. Although Panx1 channels have been suggested to play a role in excitatory long-term potentiation (LTP, it remains unknown whether these channels also modulate long-term depression (LTD or the balance between both types of synaptic plasticity. To study how Panx1 contributes to excitatory synaptic efficacy, we examined the age-dependent effects of eliminating or blocking Panx1 channels on excitatory synaptic plasticity within the CA1 region of the mouse hippocampus. By using different protocols to induce bidirectional synaptic plasticity, Panx1 channel blockade or lack of Panx1 were found to enhance LTP, whereas both conditions precluded the induction of LTD in adults, but not in young animals. These findings suggest that Panx1 channels restrain the sliding threshold for the induction of synaptic plasticity and underlying brain mechanisms of learning and memory.

  14. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-07

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

  16. Pannexin 1 regulates bidirectional hippocampal synaptic plasticity in adult mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ardiles, Alvaro O; Flores-Muñoz, Carolina; Toro-Ayala, Gabriela; Cárdenas, Ana M; Palacios, Adrian G; Muñoz, Pablo; Fuenzalida, Marco; Sáez, Juan C; Martínez, Agustín D

    2014-01-01

    The threshold for bidirectional modification of synaptic plasticity is known to be controlled by several factors, including the balance between protein phosphorylation and dephosphorylation, postsynaptic free Ca(2+) concentration and NMDA receptor (NMDAR) composition of GluN2 subunits. Pannexin 1 (Panx1), a member of the integral membrane protein family, has been shown to form non-selective channels and to regulate the induction of synaptic plasticity as well as hippocampal-dependent learning. Although Panx1 channels have been suggested to play a role in excitatory long-term potentiation (LTP), it remains unknown whether these channels also modulate long-term depression (LTD) or the balance between both types of synaptic plasticity. To study how Panx1 contributes to excitatory synaptic efficacy, we examined the age-dependent effects of eliminating or blocking Panx1 channels on excitatory synaptic plasticity within the CA1 region of the mouse hippocampus. By using different protocols to induce bidirectional synaptic plasticity, Panx1 channel blockade or lack of Panx1 were found to enhance LTP, whereas both conditions precluded the induction of LTD in adults, but not in young animals. These findings suggest that Panx1 channels restrain the sliding threshold for the induction of synaptic plasticity and underlying brain mechanisms of learning and memory.

  17. Synaptic Mechanisms of Memory Consolidation during Sleep Slow Oscillations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Yina; Krishnan, Giri P; Bazhenov, Maxim

    2016-04-13

    Sleep is critical for regulation of synaptic efficacy, memories, and learning. However, the underlying mechanisms of how sleep rhythms contribute to consolidating memories acquired during wakefulness remain unclear. Here we studied the role of slow oscillations, 0.2-1 Hz rhythmic transitions between Up and Down states during stage 3/4 sleep, on dynamics of synaptic connectivity in the thalamocortical network model implementing spike-timing-dependent synaptic plasticity. We found that the spatiotemporal pattern of Up-state propagation determines the changes of synaptic strengths between neurons. Furthermore, an external input, mimicking hippocampal ripples, delivered to the cortical network results in input-specific changes of synaptic weights, which persisted after stimulation was removed. These synaptic changes promoted replay of specific firing sequences of the cortical neurons. Our study proposes a neuronal mechanism on how an interaction between hippocampal input, such as mediated by sharp wave-ripple events, cortical slow oscillations, and synaptic plasticity, may lead to consolidation of memories through preferential replay of cortical cell spike sequences during slow-wave sleep. Sleep is critical for memory and learning. Replay during sleep of temporally ordered spike sequences related to a recent experience was proposed to be a neuronal substrate of memory consolidation. However, specific mechanisms of replay or how spike sequence replay leads to synaptic changes that underlie memory consolidation are still poorly understood. Here we used a detailed computational model of the thalamocortical system to report that interaction between slow cortical oscillations and synaptic plasticity during deep sleep can underlie mapping hippocampal memory traces to persistent cortical representation. This study provided, for the first time, a mechanistic explanation of how slow-wave sleep may promote consolidation of recent memory events. Copyright © 2016 the authors 0270-6474/16/364231-17$15.00/0.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  19. A Model of Bidirectional Synaptic Plasticity: From Signaling Network to Channel Conductance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castellani, Gastone C.; Quinlan, Elizabeth M.; Bersani, Ferdinando; Cooper, Leon N.; Shouval, Harel Z.

    2005-01-01

    In many regions of the brain, including the mammalian cortex, the strength of synaptic transmission can be bidirectionally regulated by cortical activity (synaptic plasticity). One line of evidence indicates that long-term synaptic potentiation (LTP) and long-term synaptic depression (LTD), correlate with the phosphorylation/dephosphorylation of…

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Park, Alan Jung; Havekes, Robbert; Choi, Jennifer H K; Luczak, Vincent; Nie, Ting; Huang, Ted; Abel, Ted

    2014-01-01

    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

  1. The roles of STP and LTP in synaptic encoding

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arturas Volianskis

    2013-02-01

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

  2. Neuro-inspired computing using resistive synaptic devices

    CERN Document Server

    2017-01-01

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

  3. Learning and Memory, Part II: Molecular Mechanisms of Synaptic Plasticity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lombroso, Paul; Ogren, Marilee

    2009-01-01

    The molecular events that are responsible for strengthening synaptic connections and how these are linked to memory and learning are discussed. The laboratory preparations that allow the investigation of these events are also described.

  4. Experience-dependent homeostatic synaptic plasticity in neocortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-03-01

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

  5. Synaptic Control of Secretory Trafficking in Dendrites

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cyril Hanus

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Localized signaling in neuronal dendrites requires tight spatial control of membrane composition. Upon initial synthesis, nascent secretory cargo in dendrites exits the endoplasmic reticulum (ER from local zones of ER complexity that are spatially coupled to post-ER compartments. Although newly synthesized membrane proteins can be processed locally, the mechanisms that control the spatial range of secretory cargo transport in dendritic segments are unknown. Here, we monitored the dynamics of nascent membrane proteins in dendritic post-ER compartments under regimes of low or increased neuronal activity. In response to activity blockade, post-ER carriers are highly mobile and are transported over long distances. Conversely, increasing synaptic activity dramatically restricts the spatial scale of post-ER trafficking along dendrites. This activity-induced confinement of secretory cargo requires site-specific phosphorylation of the kinesin motor KIF17 by Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinases (CaMK. Thus, the length scales of early secretory trafficking in dendrites are tuned by activity-dependent regulation of microtubule-dependent transport.

  6. Rewiring of neuronal networks during synaptic silencing.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-15

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

  7. 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.

  8. Development of auditory cortical synaptic receptive fields.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Froemke, Robert C; Jones, Bianca J

    2011-11-01

    The central nervous system is plastic throughout life, but is most sensitive to the statistics of the sensory environment during critical periods of early postnatal development. In the auditory cortex, various forms of acoustic experience have been found to shape the formation of receptive fields and influence the overall rate of cortical organization. The synaptic mechanisms that control cortical receptive field plasticity are beginning to be described, particularly for frequency tuning in rodent primary auditory cortex. Inhibitory circuitry plays a major role in critical period regulation, and new evidence suggests that the formation of excitatory-inhibitory balance determines the duration of critical period plasticity for auditory cortical frequency tuning. Cortical inhibition is poorly tuned in the infant brain, but becomes co-tuned with excitation in an experience-dependent manner over the first postnatal month. We discuss evidence suggesting that this may be a general feature of the developing cortex, and describe the functional implications of such transient excitatory-inhibitory imbalance. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Inhibitory Control of Synaptic and Behavioral Plasticity by Octopaminergic Signaling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koon, Alex C.; Budnik, Vivian

    2012-01-01

    Adrenergic receptors and their ligands are important regulators of synaptic plasticity and metaplasticity, but the exact mechanisms underlying their action are still poorly understood. Octopamine, the invertebrate homolog of mammalian adrenaline or noradrenaline, plays important roles in modulating behavior and synaptic functions. We previously uncovered an octopaminergic positive feedback mechanism to regulate structural synaptic plasticity during development and in response to starvation. Under this mechanism, activation of Octß2R autoreceptors by octopamine at octopaminergic neurons initiated a cAMP-dependent cascade that stimulated the development of new synaptic boutons at the Drosophila larval neuromuscular junction (NMJ). However, the regulatory mechanisms that served to brake such positive feedback were not known. Here, we report the presence of an alternative octopamine autoreceptor, Octß1R, with antagonistic functions on synaptic growth. Mutations in octß1r result in the overgrowth of both glutamatergic and octopaminergic NMJs suggesting that Octß1R is a negative regulator of synaptic expansion. As Octß2R, Octß1R functioned in a cell autonomous manner at presynaptic motorneurons. However, unlike Octß2R, which activated a cAMP pathway, Octß1R likely inhibited cAMP production through inhibitory Goα. Despite its inhibitory role, Octß1R was required for acute changes in synaptic structure in response to octopamine and for starvation-induced increase in locomotor speed. These results demonstrate the dual action of octopamine on synaptic growth and behavioral plasticity, and highlight the important role of inhibitory influences for normal responses to physiological stimuli. PMID:22553037

  10. Common mechanisms of synaptic plasticity in vertebrates and invertebrates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glanzman, David L.

    2016-01-01

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

  11. Synaptic plasticity model of therapeutic sleep deprivation in major depression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolf, Elias; Kuhn, Marion; Normann, Claus; Mainberger, Florian; Maier, Jonathan G; Maywald, Sarah; Bredl, Aliza; Klöppel, Stefan; Biber, Knut; van Calker, Dietrich; Riemann, Dieter; Sterr, Annette; Nissen, Christoph

    2016-12-01

    Therapeutic sleep deprivation (SD) is a rapid acting treatment for major depressive disorder (MDD). Within hours, SD leads to a dramatic decrease in depressive symptoms in 50-60% of patients with MDD. Scientifically, therapeutic SD presents a unique paradigm to study the neurobiology of MDD. Yet, up to now, the neurobiological basis of the antidepressant effect, which is most likely different from today's first-line treatments, is not sufficiently understood. This article puts the idea forward that sleep/wake-dependent shifts in synaptic plasticity, i.e., the neural basis of adaptive network function and behavior, represent a critical mechanism of therapeutic SD in MDD. Particularly, this article centers on two major hypotheses of MDD and sleep, the synaptic plasticity hypothesis of MDD and the synaptic homeostasis hypothesis of sleep-wake regulation, and on how they can be integrated into a novel synaptic plasticity model of therapeutic SD in MDD. As a major component, the model proposes that therapeutic SD, by homeostatically enhancing cortical synaptic strength, shifts the initially deficient inducibility of associative synaptic long-term potentiation (LTP) in patients with MDD in a more favorable window of associative plasticity. Research on the molecular effects of SD in animals and humans, including observations in the neurotrophic, adenosinergic, monoaminergic, and glutamatergic system, provides some support for the hypothesis of associative synaptic plasticity facilitation after therapeutic SD in MDD. The model proposes a novel framework for a mechanism of action of therapeutic SD that can be further tested in humans based on non-invasive indices and in animals based on direct studies of synaptic plasticity. Further determining the mechanisms of action of SD might contribute to the development of novel fast acting treatments for MDD, one of the major health problems worldwide. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. An Improved Test for Detecting Multiplicative Homeostatic Synaptic Scaling

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  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. Self-organised criticality via retro-synaptic signals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernandez-Urbina, Victor; Herrmann, J. Michael

    2016-12-01

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

  15. Cerebellar Synaptic Plasticity and the Credit Assignment Problem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jörntell, Henrik

    2016-04-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Bi, Zedong; Zhou, Changsong

    2016-01-01

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

  17. Synaptic dimorphism in Onychophoran cephalic ganglia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

  18. Bayesian inference of synaptic quantal parameters from correlated vesicle release

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexander D Bird

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Synaptic transmission is both history-dependent and stochastic, resulting in varying responses to presentations of the same presynaptic stimulus. This complicates attempts to infer synaptic parameters and has led to the proposal of a number of different strategies for their quantification. Recently Bayesian approaches have been applied to make more efficient use of the data collected in paired intracellular recordings. Methods have been developed that either provide a complete model of the distribution of amplitudes for isolated responses or approximate the amplitude distributions of a train of post-synaptic potentials, with correct short-term synaptic dynamics but neglecting correlations. In both cases the methods provided significantly improved inference of model parameters as compared to existing mean-variance fitting approaches. However, for synapses with high release probability, low vesicle number or relatively low restock rate and for data in which only one or few repeats of the same pattern are available, correlations between serial events can allow for the extraction of significantly more information from experiment: a more complete Bayesian approach would take this into account also. This has not been possible previously because of the technical difficulty in calculating the likelihood of amplitudes seen in correlated post-synaptic potential trains; however, recent theoretical advances have now rendered the likelihood calculation tractable for a broad class of synaptic dynamics models. Here we present a compact mathematical form for the likelihood in terms of a matrix product and demonstrate how marginals of the posterior provide information on covariance of parameter distributions. The associated computer code for Bayesian parameter inference for a variety of models of synaptic dynamics is provided in the supplementary material allowing for quantal and dynamical parameters to be readily inferred from experimental data sets.

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

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

    2016-01-01

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

  20. Frequency of Synaptic Autoantibody Accompaniments and Neurological Manifestations of Thymoma.

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    Zekeridou, Anastasia; McKeon, Andrew; Lennon, Vanda A

    2016-07-01

    Thymoma is commonly recognized in association with paraneoplastic autoimmune myasthenia gravis (MG), an IgG-mediated impairment of synaptic transmission targeting the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor of muscle. Newly identified synaptic autoantibodies may expand the serological profile of thymoma. To investigate the frequency of potentially pathogenic neural synaptic autoantibodies in patients with thymoma. We retrospectively identified patients with histopathologically confirmed thymoma and serum available to test for synaptic autoantibodies (collected 1986-2014) at the Mayo Clinic Neuroimmunology Laboratory. We identified and classified 193 patients with thymoma into 4 groups: (1) lacking neurological autoimmunity (n = 43); (2) isolated MG (n = 98); (3) MG plus additional autoimmune neurological manifestations (n = 26); and (4) neurological autoimmunity other than MG (n = 26). Clinical presentation and serum profile of autoantibodies reactive with molecularly defined synaptic plasma membrane proteins of muscle, peripheral, and central nervous systems. Of the 193 patients with thymoma, mean patient age was 52 years and did not significantly differ by sex (106 women) or group. Myasthenia gravis was the most prevalent clinical manifestation (64%) followed by dysautonomia (16 patients [8%]) and encephalopathy (15 patients [8%]); 164 patients (85%) had at least 1 synaptic autoantibody, and 63 of these patients (38%) had at least 1 more. Muscle acetylcholine receptor was most frequent (78%), followed by ganglionic acetylcholine receptor (20%), voltage-gated Kv1 potassium channel-complex (13%), and α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid receptor (5%). Less frequent were aquaporin-4, voltage-gated Kv1 potassium channel-complex related proteins (leucine-rich glioma-inactivated 1 and contactin-associated protein-like 2), glycine receptor, and γ-aminobutyric acid-A receptor. Synaptic autoantibodies were significantly more frequent in patients

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-07-01

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

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

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    Dalva Matthew B

    2010-02-01

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

  3. Exercise-Induced Fatigue Impairs Bidirectional Corticostriatal Synaptic Plasticity.

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    Ma, Jing; Chen, Huimin; Liu, Xiaoli; Zhang, Lingtao; Qiao, Decai

    2018-01-01

    Exercise-induced fatigue (EF) is a ubiquitous phenomenon in sports competition and training. It can impair athletes' motor skill execution and cognition. Corticostriatal synaptic plasticity is considered to be the cellular mechanism of movement control and motor learning. However, the effect of EF on corticostriatal synaptic plasticity remains elusive. In the present study, using field excitatory postsynaptic potential recording, we found that the corticostriatal long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD) were both impaired in EF mice. To further investigate the cellular mechanisms underlying the impaired synaptic plasticity in corticostriatal pathway, whole-cell patch clamp recordings were carried out on striatal medium spiny neurons (MSNs). MSNs in EF mice exhibited increased spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic current (sEPSC) frequency and decreased paired-pulse ratio (PPR), while with normal basic electrophysiological properties and normal sEPSC amplitude. Furthermore, the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA)/α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionate (AMPA) ratio of MSNs was reduced in EF mice. These results suggest that the enhanced presynaptic glutamate (Glu) release and downregulated postsynaptic NMDA receptor function lead to the impaired corticostriatal plasticity in EF mice. Taken together, our findings for the first time show that the bidirectional corticostriatal synaptic plasticity is impaired after EF, and suggest that the aberrant corticostriatal synaptic plasticity may be involved in the production and/or maintenance of EF.

  4. Cell-specific synaptic plasticity induced by network oscillations.

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    Zarnadze, Shota; Bäuerle, Peter; Santos-Torres, Julio; Böhm, Claudia; Schmitz, Dietmar; Geiger, Jörg Rp; Dugladze, Tamar; Gloveli, Tengis

    2016-05-24

    Gamma rhythms are known to contribute to the process of memory encoding. However, little is known about the underlying mechanisms at the molecular, cellular and network levels. Using local field potential recording in awake behaving mice and concomitant field potential and whole-cell recordings in slice preparations we found that gamma rhythms lead to activity-dependent modification of hippocampal networks, including alterations in sharp wave-ripple complexes. Network plasticity, expressed as long-lasting increases in sharp wave-associated synaptic currents, exhibits enhanced excitatory synaptic strength in pyramidal cells that is induced postsynaptically and depends on metabotropic glutamate receptor-5 activation. In sharp contrast, alteration of inhibitory synaptic strength is independent of postsynaptic activation and less pronounced. Further, we found a cell type-specific, directionally biased synaptic plasticity of two major types of GABAergic cells, parvalbumin- and cholecystokinin-expressing interneurons. Thus, we propose that gamma frequency oscillations represent a network state that introduces long-lasting synaptic plasticity in a cell-specific manner.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-10-01

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

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

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

    2015-03-01

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

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

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    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).

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Pittà, Maurizio; Brunel, Nicolas

    2016-01-01

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

  10. Reactive Oxygen Species: Physiological and Physiopathological Effects on Synaptic Plasticity

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    Beckhauser, Thiago Fernando; Francis-Oliveira, José; De Pasquale, Roberto

    2016-01-01

    In the mammalian central nervous system, reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation is counterbalanced by antioxidant defenses. When large amounts of ROS accumulate, antioxidant mechanisms become overwhelmed and oxidative cellular stress may occur. Therefore, ROS are typically characterized as toxic molecules, oxidizing membrane lipids, changing the conformation of proteins, damaging nucleic acids, and causing deficits in synaptic plasticity. High ROS concentrations are associated with a decline in cognitive functions, as observed in some neurodegenerative disorders and age-dependent decay of neuroplasticity. Nevertheless, controlled ROS production provides the optimal redox state for the activation of transductional pathways involved in synaptic changes. Since ROS may regulate neuronal activity and elicit negative effects at the same time, the distinction between beneficial and deleterious consequences is unclear. In this regard, this review assesses current research and describes the main sources of ROS in neurons, specifying their involvement in synaptic plasticity and distinguishing between physiological and pathological processes implicated. PMID:27625575

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

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    Sadra Sadeh

    2015-06-01

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

  12. Precise synaptic efficacy alignment suggests potentiation dominated learning

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    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. Defective glycinergic synaptic transmission in zebrafish motility mutants

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    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-01

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

  15. Depression as a Glial-Based Synaptic Dysfunction

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

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

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

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    Zedong eBi

    2016-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

  1. Fragile X Syndrome: Keys to the Molecular Genetics of Synaptic Plasticity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lombroso, Paul J.; Ogren, Marilee P.

    2008-01-01

    Fragile X syndrome, the most common form of inherited mental retardation is discussed. The relationship between specific impairments in synaptic plasticity and Fragile X syndrome is investigated as it strengthens synaptic contacts between neurons.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  3. Irregular persistent activity induced by synaptic excitatory feedback

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francesca Barbieri

    2007-11-01

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

  4. How do astrocytes shape synaptic transmission? Insights from electrophysiology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Glenn eDallérac

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available A major breakthrough in neuroscience has been the realization in the last decades that the dogmatic view of astroglial cells as being merely fostering and buffering elements of the nervous system is simplistic. A wealth of investigations now shows that astrocytes actually participate in the control of synaptic transmission in an active manner. This was first hinted by the intimate contacts glial processes make with neurons, particularly at the synaptic level, and evidenced using electrophysiological and calcium imaging techniques. Calcium imaging has provided critical evidence demonstrating that astrocytic regulation of synaptic efficacy is not a passive phenomenon. However, given that cellular activation is not only represented by calcium signaling, it is also crucial to assess concomitant mechanisms. We and others have used electrophysiological techniques to simultaneously record neuronal and astrocytic activity, thus enabling the study of multiple ionic currents and in depth investigation of neuro-glial dialogues. In the current review, we focus on the input such approach has provided in the understanding of astrocyte-neuron interactions underlying control of synaptic efficacy.

  5. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rune W Berg

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

  7. Inhibition of hippocampal synaptic transmission by impairment of Ral function

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Owe-Larsson, Björn; Chaves-Olarte, Esteban; Chauhan, Ashok

    2005-01-01

    Large clostridial cytotoxins and protein overexpression were used to probe for involvement of Ras-related GTPases (guanosine triphosphate) in synaptic transmission in cultured rat hippocampal neurons. The toxins TcdA-10463 (inactivates Rho, Rac, Cdc42, Rap) and TcsL-1522 (inactivates Ral, Rac, Ra...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-01

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

  9. Amino Acid Neurotransmitters; Mechanisms of Their Uptake into Synaptic Vesicles

    Science.gov (United States)

    1991-08-01

    phenylhydrazone (CCCP), ouabain. L-glutamate (disodium gan and Whittaker, 1966: Rassin , 1972; Kontro et al., salt), D-aspartate, diaminobutyric acid (DABA... Rassin D. K. 1 972) Amino acids as putative transmitters: failure to endings Isynaptosomes) in different regions of brain: effect of bind synaptic

  10. Synaptic mRNAs are modulated by learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferrara, Eugenia; Cefaliello, Carolina; Eyman, Maria; De Stefano, Rosanna; Giuditta, Antonio; Crispino, Marianna

    2009-07-01

    We have recently demonstrated that brain plastic events significantly modify synaptic protein synthesis measured by the incorporation of [(35)S]methionine in brain synaptosomal proteins. Notably, in rats learning a two-way active avoidance task, the local synthesis of two synaptic proteins was selectively enhanced. Because this effect may be attributed to transcriptional modulation, we used reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction methods to determine the content of discrete synaptosomal mRNAs in rats exposed to the same training protocol. Correlative analyses between behavioral responses and synaptosomal mRNA content showed that GAT-1 mRNA (a prevalent presynaptic component) correlates with avoidances and escapes in rat cerebellum, while glial fibrillary acid protein mRNA (an astrocytic component) correlates with freezings in cerebellum and cerebral cortex. These observations support the hypothesis that synaptic protein synthesis may be transcriptionally regulated. The cellular origin of synaptic transcripts is briefly discussed, with special regard to those present at large distances from neuron somas. (c) 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dougherty Patrick M

    2009-07-01

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

  12. Control of synaptic plasticity in deep cortical networks

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Roelfsema, Pieter R; Holtmaat, Anthony

    2018-01-01

    Humans and many other animals have an enormous capacity to learn about sensory stimuli and to master new skills. However, many of the mechanisms that enable us to learn remain to be understood. One of the greatest challenges of systems neuroscience is to explain how synaptic connections change to

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert Nisticò

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

  14. Modulation of synaptic potentials and cell excitability by dendritic

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Its major cellular substrates, the medium spiny (MS) neurons, possess a wide variety of dendritic active conductances that may modulate the excitatory post synaptic potentials (EPSPs) and cell excitability. We examine this issue using a biophysically detailed 189-compartment stylized model of the NAc MS neuron, ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  17. Cdk5 is essential for synaptic vesicle endocytosis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tan, Timothy C; Valova, Valentina A; Malladi, Chandra S

    2003-01-01

    Synaptic vesicle endocytosis (SVE) is triggered by calcineurin-mediated dephosphorylation of the dephosphin proteins. SVE is maintained by the subsequent rephosphorylation of the dephosphins by unidentified protein kinases. Here, we show that cyclin-dependent kinase 5 (Cdk5) phosphorylates dynamin...

  18. Modulation of synaptic potentials and cell excitability by dendritic ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Modulation of synaptic potentials and cell excitability by dendritic. KIR and KAs channels in nucleus accumbens medium spiny neurons: A computational study. JESSY JOHN* and ROHIT MANCHANDA. Biomedical Engineering group, Department of Biosciences and Bioengineering, Indian Institute of Technology. Bombay ...

  19. Emerging Link between Alzheimer's Disease and Homeostatic Synaptic Plasticity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jang, Sung-Soo; Chung, Hee Jung

    2016-01-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is an irreversible brain disorder characterized by progressive cognitive decline and neurodegeneration of brain regions that are crucial for learning and memory. Although intracellular neurofibrillary tangles and extracellular senile plaques, composed of insoluble amyloid-β (Aβ) peptides, have been the hallmarks of postmortem AD brains, memory impairment in early AD correlates better with pathological accumulation of soluble Aβ oligomers and persistent weakening of excitatory synaptic strength, which is demonstrated by inhibition of long-term potentiation, enhancement of long-term depression, and loss of synapses. However, current, approved interventions aiming to reduce Aβ levels have failed to retard disease progression; this has led to a pressing need to identify and target alternative pathogenic mechanisms of AD. Recently, it has been suggested that the disruption of Hebbian synaptic plasticity in AD is due to aberrant metaplasticity, which is a form of homeostatic plasticity that tunes the magnitude and direction of future synaptic plasticity based on previous neuronal or synaptic activity. This review examines emerging evidence for aberrant metaplasticity in AD. Putative mechanisms underlying aberrant metaplasticity in AD will also be discussed. We hope this review inspires future studies to test the extent to which these mechanisms contribute to the etiology of AD and offer therapeutic targets. PMID:27019755

  20. Spontaneous Activity Drives Local Synaptic Plasticity In Vivo

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  1. Isoform Specificity of Protein Kinase Cs in Synaptic Plasticity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sossin, Wayne S.

    2007-01-01

    Protein kinase Cs (PKCs) are implicated in many forms of synaptic plasticity. However, the specific isoform(s) of PKC that underlie(s) these events are often not known. We have used "Aplysia" as a model system in order to investigate the isoform specificity of PKC actions due to the presence of fewer isoforms and a large number of documented…

  2. Corticosterone alters AMPAR mobility and facilitates bidirectional synaptic plasticity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Martin, S.; Henley, J.M.; Holman, D.; Zhou, M.; Wiegert, O.; van Spronsen, M.; Joëls, M.; Hoogenraad, C.C.; Krugers, H.J.

    2009-01-01

    Background: The stress hormone corticosterone has the ability both to enhance and suppress synaptic plasticity and learning and memory processes. However, until today there is very little known about the molecular mechanism that underlies the bidirectional effects of stress and corticosteroid

  3. The Role of Short Term Synaptic Plasticity in Temporal Coding of Neuronal Networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chandrasekaran, Lakshmi

    2008-01-01

    Short term synaptic plasticity is a phenomenon which is commonly found in the central nervous system. It could contribute to functions of signal processing namely, temporal integration and coincidence detection by modulating the input synaptic strength. This dissertation has two parts. First, we study the effects of short term synaptic plasticity…

  4. The Role of Proteases in Hippocampal Synaptic Plasticity: Putting Together Small Pieces of a Complex Puzzle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salazar, Ivan L; Caldeira, Margarida V; Curcio, Michele; Duarte, Carlos B

    2016-02-01

    Long-term synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus is thought to underlie the formation of certain forms of memory, including spatial memory. The early phase of long-term synaptic potentiation and synaptic depression depends on post-translational modifications of synaptic proteins, while protein synthesis is also required for the late-phase of both forms of synaptic plasticity (L-LTP and L-LTD). Numerous pieces of evidence show a role for different types of proteases in synaptic plasticity, further increasing the diversity of mechanisms involved in the regulation of the intracellular and extracellular protein content. The cleavage of extracellular proteins is coupled to changes in postsynaptic intracellular mechanisms, and additional alterations in this compartment result from the protease-mediated targeting of intracellular proteins. Both mechanisms contribute to initiate signaling cascades that drive downstream pathways coupled to synaptic plasticity. In this review we summarize the evidence pointing to a role for extracellular and intracellular proteases, with distinct specificities, in synaptic plasticity. Where in the cells the proteases are located, and how they are regulated is also discussed. The combined actions of proteases and translation mechanisms contribute to a tight control of the synaptic proteome relevant for long-term synaptic potentiation and synaptic depression in the hippocampus. Additional studies are required to elucidate the mechanisms whereby these changes in the synaptic proteome are related with plasticity phenomena.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  6. Synaptic dysfunction in amygdala in intellectual disorder models.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-06-08

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

  7. Neural ECM molecules in axonal and synaptic homeostatic plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frischknecht, Renato; Chang, Kae-Jiun; Rasband, Matthew N; Seidenbecher, Constanze I

    2014-01-01

    Neural circuits can express different forms of plasticity. So far, Hebbian synaptic plasticity was considered the most important plastic phenomenon, but over the last decade, homeostatic mechanisms gained more interest because they can explain how a neuronal network maintains stable baseline function despite multiple plastic challenges, like developmental plasticity, learning, or lesion. Such destabilizing influences can be counterbalanced by the mechanisms of homeostatic plasticity, which restore the stability of neuronal circuits. Synaptic scaling is a mechanism in which neurons can detect changes in their own firing rates through a set of molecular sensors that then regulate receptor trafficking to scale the accumulation of glutamate receptors at synaptic sites. Additional homeostatic mechanisms allow local changes in synaptic activation to generate local synaptic adaptations and network-wide changes in activity, which lead to adjustments in the balance between excitation and inhibition. The molecular pathways underlying these forms of homeostatic plasticity are currently under intense investigation, and it becomes clear that the extracellular matrix (ECM) of the brain, which surrounds individual neurons and integrates them into the tissue, is an important element in these processes. As a highly dynamic structure, which can be remodeled and degraded in an activity-dependent manner and in concerted action of neurons and glial cells, it can on one hand promote structural and functional plasticity and on the other hand stabilize neural microcircuits. This chapter highlights the composition of brain ECM with particular emphasis on perisynaptic and axonal matrix formations and its involvement in plastic and adaptive processes of the central nervous system.

  8. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  10. A calcium-dependent plasticity rule for HCN channels maintains activity homeostasis and stable synaptic learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Honnuraiah, Suraj; Narayanan, Rishikesh

    2013-01-01

    Theoretical and computational frameworks for synaptic plasticity and learning have a long and cherished history, with few parallels within the well-established literature for plasticity of voltage-gated ion channels. In this study, we derive rules for plasticity in the hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated (HCN) channels, and assess the synergy between synaptic and HCN channel plasticity in establishing stability during synaptic learning. To do this, we employ a conductance-based model for the hippocampal pyramidal neuron, and incorporate synaptic plasticity through the well-established Bienenstock-Cooper-Munro (BCM)-like rule for synaptic plasticity, wherein the direction and strength of the plasticity is dependent on the concentration of calcium influx. Under this framework, we derive a rule for HCN channel plasticity to establish homeostasis in synaptically-driven firing rate, and incorporate such plasticity into our model. In demonstrating that this rule for HCN channel plasticity helps maintain firing rate homeostasis after bidirectional synaptic plasticity, we observe a linear relationship between synaptic plasticity and HCN channel plasticity for maintaining firing rate homeostasis. Motivated by this linear relationship, we derive a calcium-dependent rule for HCN-channel plasticity, and demonstrate that firing rate homeostasis is maintained in the face of synaptic plasticity when moderate and high levels of cytosolic calcium influx induced depression and potentiation of the HCN-channel conductance, respectively. Additionally, we show that such synergy between synaptic and HCN-channel plasticity enhances the stability of synaptic learning through metaplasticity in the BCM-like synaptic plasticity profile. Finally, we demonstrate that the synergistic interaction between synaptic and HCN-channel plasticity preserves robustness of information transfer across the neuron under a rate-coding schema. Our results establish specific physiological roles

  11. A calcium-dependent plasticity rule for HCN channels maintains activity homeostasis and stable synaptic learning.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Suraj Honnuraiah

    Full Text Available Theoretical and computational frameworks for synaptic plasticity and learning have a long and cherished history, with few parallels within the well-established literature for plasticity of voltage-gated ion channels. In this study, we derive rules for plasticity in the hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated (HCN channels, and assess the synergy between synaptic and HCN channel plasticity in establishing stability during synaptic learning. To do this, we employ a conductance-based model for the hippocampal pyramidal neuron, and incorporate synaptic plasticity through the well-established Bienenstock-Cooper-Munro (BCM-like rule for synaptic plasticity, wherein the direction and strength of the plasticity is dependent on the concentration of calcium influx. Under this framework, we derive a rule for HCN channel plasticity to establish homeostasis in synaptically-driven firing rate, and incorporate such plasticity into our model. In demonstrating that this rule for HCN channel plasticity helps maintain firing rate homeostasis after bidirectional synaptic plasticity, we observe a linear relationship between synaptic plasticity and HCN channel plasticity for maintaining firing rate homeostasis. Motivated by this linear relationship, we derive a calcium-dependent rule for HCN-channel plasticity, and demonstrate that firing rate homeostasis is maintained in the face of synaptic plasticity when moderate and high levels of cytosolic calcium influx induced depression and potentiation of the HCN-channel conductance, respectively. Additionally, we show that such synergy between synaptic and HCN-channel plasticity enhances the stability of synaptic learning through metaplasticity in the BCM-like synaptic plasticity profile. Finally, we demonstrate that the synergistic interaction between synaptic and HCN-channel plasticity preserves robustness of information transfer across the neuron under a rate-coding schema. Our results establish specific

  12. A Calcium-Dependent Plasticity Rule for HCN Channels Maintains Activity Homeostasis and Stable Synaptic Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Honnuraiah, Suraj; Narayanan, Rishikesh

    2013-01-01

    Theoretical and computational frameworks for synaptic plasticity and learning have a long and cherished history, with few parallels within the well-established literature for plasticity of voltage-gated ion channels. In this study, we derive rules for plasticity in the hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated (HCN) channels, and assess the synergy between synaptic and HCN channel plasticity in establishing stability during synaptic learning. To do this, we employ a conductance-based model for the hippocampal pyramidal neuron, and incorporate synaptic plasticity through the well-established Bienenstock-Cooper-Munro (BCM)-like rule for synaptic plasticity, wherein the direction and strength of the plasticity is dependent on the concentration of calcium influx. Under this framework, we derive a rule for HCN channel plasticity to establish homeostasis in synaptically-driven firing rate, and incorporate such plasticity into our model. In demonstrating that this rule for HCN channel plasticity helps maintain firing rate homeostasis after bidirectional synaptic plasticity, we observe a linear relationship between synaptic plasticity and HCN channel plasticity for maintaining firing rate homeostasis. Motivated by this linear relationship, we derive a calcium-dependent rule for HCN-channel plasticity, and demonstrate that firing rate homeostasis is maintained in the face of synaptic plasticity when moderate and high levels of cytosolic calcium influx induced depression and potentiation of the HCN-channel conductance, respectively. Additionally, we show that such synergy between synaptic and HCN-channel plasticity enhances the stability of synaptic learning through metaplasticity in the BCM-like synaptic plasticity profile. Finally, we demonstrate that the synergistic interaction between synaptic and HCN-channel plasticity preserves robustness of information transfer across the neuron under a rate-coding schema. Our results establish specific physiological roles

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fauth, Michael; Wörgötter, Florentin; Tetzlaff, Christian

    2015-01-01

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

  14. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. Ataxias and cerebellar dysfunction: involvement of synaptic plasticity deficits?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rinaldo, Lorenzo; Hansel, Christian

    2011-01-01

    Summary Adaptive processes within cerebellar circuits, such as long-term depression and long-term potentiation at parallel fiber-Purkinje cell synapses, have long been seen as important to cerebellar motor learning, and yet little attention has been given to any possible significance of these processes for cerebellar dysfunction and disease. Several forms of ataxia are caused by mutations in genes encoding for ion channels located at key junctures in pathways that lead to the induction of synaptic plasticity, suggesting that there might be an association between deficits in plasticity and the ataxic phenotype. Herein we explore this possibility and examine the available evidence linking the two together, highlighting specifically the role of P/Q-type calcium channels and their downstream effector small-conductance calcium-sensitive (SK2) potassium channels in the regulation of synaptic gain and intrinsic excitability, and reviewing their connections to ataxia. PMID:21232209

  18. Characterization of auditory synaptic inputs to gerbil perirhinal cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vibhakar C Kotak

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available The representation of acoustic cues involves regions downstream from the auditory cortex (ACx. One such area, the perirhinal cortex (PRh, processes sensory signals containing mnemonic information. Therefore, our goal was to assess whether PRh receives auditory inputs from the auditory thalamus (MG and ACx in an auditory thalamocortical brain slice preparation and characterize these afferent-driven synaptic properties. When the MG or ACx was electrically stimulated, synaptic responses were recorded from the PRh neurons. Blockade of GABA-A receptors dramatically increased the amplitude of evoked excitatory potentials. Stimulation of the MG or ACx also evoked calcium transients in most PRh neurons. Separately, when fluoro ruby was injected in ACx in vivo, anterogradely labeled axons and terminals were observed in the PRh. Collectively, these data show that the PRh integrates auditory information from the MG and ACx and that auditory driven inhibition dominates the postsynaptic responses in a non-sensory cortical region downstream from the auditory cortex.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shimeng eYu

    2013-10-01

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

  20. Synaptic plasticity in sleep: learning, homeostasis, and disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Gordon; Grone, Brian; Colas, Damien; Appelbaum, Lior; Mourrain, Philippe

    2012-01-01

    Sleep is a fundamental and evolutionarily conserved aspect of animal life. Recent studies have shed light on the role of sleep in synaptic plasticity. Demonstrations of memory replay and synapse homeostasis suggest that one essential role of sleep is in the consolidation and optimization of synaptic circuits to retain salient memory traces despite the noise of daily experience. Here, we review this recent evidence, and suggest that sleep creates a heightened state of plasticity, which may be essential for this optimization. Furthermore, we discuss how sleep deficits seen in diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and autism spectrum disorders might not just reflect underlying circuit malfunction, but could also play a direct role in the progression of those disorders. PMID:21840068

  1. 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.

  2. Characterization of emergent synaptic topologies in noisy neural networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Aaron James

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

  3. 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.

  4. Short term synaptic depression improves information transfer in perceptual multistability

    OpenAIRE

    Kilpatrick, Zachary P.

    2013-01-01

    Competitive neural networks are often used to model the dynamics of perceptual bistability. Switching between percepts can occur through fluctuations and/or a slow adaptive process. Here, we analyze switching statistics in competitive networks with short term synaptic depression and noise. We start by analyzing a ring model that yields spatially structured solutions and complement this with a study of a space-free network whose populations are coupled with mutual inhibition. Dominance times a...

  5. Cholinergic synaptic vesicle heterogeneity: evidence for regulation of acetylcholine transport

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gracz, L.M.; Wang, W.; Parsons, S.M.

    1988-01-01

    Crude cholinergic synaptic vesicles from a homogenate of the electric organ of Torpedo californica were centrifuged to equilibrium in an isosmotic sucrose density gradient. The classical VP 1 synaptic vesicles banding at 1.055 g/mL actively transported [ 3 H]acetylcholine (AcCh). An organelle banding at about 1.071 g/mL transported even more [ 3 H]AcCh. Transport by both organelles was inhibited by the known AcCh storage blockers trans-2-(4-phenylpiperidino)cyclohexanol (vesamicol, formerly AH5183) and nigericin. Relative to VP 1 vesicles the denser organelle was slightly smaller as shown by size-exclusion chromatography. It is concluded that the denser organelle corresponds to the recycling VP 2 synaptic vesicle originally described in intact Torpedo marmorata electric organ. The properties of the receptor for vesamicol were studied by measuring binding of [ 3 H]vesamicol, and the amount of SV2 antigen characteristic of secretory vesicles was assayed with a monoclonal antibody directed against it. Relative to VP 1 vesicles the VP 2 vesicles had a ratio of [ 3 H]AcCh transport activity to vesamicol receptor concentration that typically was 4-7-fold higher, whereas the ratio of SV2 antigen concentration to vesamicol receptor concentration was about 2-fold higher. The Hill coefficients α/sub H/ and equilibrium dissociation constants K for vesamicol binding to VP 1 and VP 2 vesicles were essentially the same. The positive Hill coefficient suggests that the vesamicol receptor exists as a homotropic oligomeric complex. The results demonstrate that VP 1 and VP 2 synaptic vesicles exhibit functional differences in the AcCh transport system, presumably as a result of regulatory phenomena

  6. Synaptic metaplasticity underlies tetanic potentiation in Lymnaea: a novel paradigm.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anita Mehta

    Full Text Available We present a mathematical model that explains and interprets a novel form of short-term potentiation, which was found to be use-, but not time-dependent, in experiments done on Lymnaea neurons. The high degree of potentiation is explained using a model of synaptic metaplasticity, while the use-dependence (which is critically reliant on the presence of kinase in the experiment is explained using a model of a stochastic and bistable biological switch.

  7. 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.

  8. Dynamic learning and memory, synaptic plasticity and neurogenesis: an update

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Stuchlík, Aleš

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 8, APR 1 (2014), s. 106 ISSN 1662-5153 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA14-03627S Grant - others:Rada Programu interní podpory projektů mezinárodní spolupráce AV ČR(CZ) M200111204 Institutional support: RVO:67985823 Keywords : learning * memory * synaptic plasticity * neurogenesis Subject RIV: FH - Neurology Impact factor: 3.270, year: 2014

  9. Neonatal exposure to antiepileptic drugs disrupts striatal synaptic development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forcelli, Patrick A; Janssen, Megan J; Vicini, Stefano; Gale, Karen

    2012-09-01

    Drug exposure during critical periods of brain development may adversely affect nervous system function, posing a challenge for treating infants. This is of particular concern for treating neonatal seizures, as early life exposure to drugs such as phenobarbital is associated with adverse neurological outcomes in patients and induction of neuronal apoptosis in animal models. The functional significance of the preclinical neurotoxicity has been questioned due to the absence of evidence for functional impairment associated with drug-induced developmental apoptosis. We used patch-clamp recordings to examine functional synaptic maturation in striatal medium spiny neurons from neonatal rats exposed to antiepileptic drugs with proapoptotic action (phenobarbital, phenytoin, lamotrigine) and without proapoptotic action (levetiracetam). Phenobarbital-exposed rats were also assessed for reversal learning at weaning. Recordings from control animals revealed increased inhibitory and excitatory synaptic connectivity between postnatal day (P)10 and P18. This maturation was absent in rats exposed at P7 to a single dose of phenobarbital, phenytoin, or lamotrigine. Additionally, phenobarbital exposure impaired striatal-mediated behavior on P25. Neuroprotective pretreatment with melatonin, which prevents drug-induced neurodevelopmental apoptosis, prevented the drug-induced disruption in maturation. Levetiracetam was found not to disrupt synaptic development. Our results provide the first evidence that exposure to antiepileptic drugs during a sensitive postnatal period impairs physiological maturation of synapses in neurons that survive the initial drug insult. These findings suggest a mechanism by which early life exposure to antiepileptic drugs can impact cognitive and behavioral outcomes, underscoring the need to identify therapies that control seizures without compromising synaptic maturation. Copyright © 2012 American Neurological Association.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gwenaëlle L Clarke

    2012-02-01

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

  11. Activity-dependent modulation of neural circuit synaptic connectivity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Charles R Tessier

    2009-07-01

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

  12. Torsin A Localization in the Mouse Cerebellar Synaptic Circuitry.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francesca Puglisi

    Full Text Available Torsin A (TA is a ubiquitous protein belonging to the superfamily of proteins called "ATPases associated with a variety of cellular activities" (AAA(+ ATPase. To date, a great deal of attention has been focused on neuronal TA since its mutant form causes early-onset (DYT1 torsion dystonia, an inherited movement disorder characterized by sustained muscle contractions and abnormal postures. Interestingly, it has been proposed that TA, by interacting with the cytoskeletal network, may contribute to the control of neurite outgrowth and/or by acting as a chaperone at synapses could affect synaptic vesicle turnover and neurotransmitter release. Accordingly, both its peculiar developmental expression in striatum and cerebellum and evidence from DYT1 knock-in mice suggest that TA may influence dendritic arborization and synaptogenesis in the brain. Therefore, to better understand TA function a detailed description of its localization at synaptic level is required. Here, we characterized by means of rigorous quantitative confocal analysis TA distribution in the mouse cerebellum at postnatal day 14 (P14, when both cerebellar synaptogenesis and TA expression peak. We observed that the protein is broadly distributed both in cerebellar cortex and in the deep cerebellar nuclei (DCN. Of note, Purkinje cells (PC express high levels of TA also in the spines and axonal terminals. In addition, abundant expression of the protein was found in the main GABA-ergic and glutamatergic inputs of the cerebellar cortex. Finally, TA was observed also in glial cells, a cellular population little explored so far. These results extend our knowledge on TA synaptic localization providing a clue to its potential role in synaptic development.

  13. Binocular Rivalry in a Competitive Neural Network with Synaptic Depression

    KAUST Repository

    Kilpatrick, Zachary P.

    2010-01-01

    We study binocular rivalry in a competitive neural network with synaptic depression. In particular, we consider two coupled hypercolums within primary visual cortex (V1), representing orientation selective cells responding to either left or right eye inputs. Coupling between hypercolumns is dominated by inhibition, especially for neurons with dissimilar orientation preferences. Within hypercolumns, recurrent connectivity is excitatory for similar orientations and inhibitory for different orientations. All synaptic connections are modifiable by local synaptic depression. When the hypercolumns are driven by orthogonal oriented stimuli, it is possible to induce oscillations that are representative of binocular rivalry. We first analyze the occurrence of oscillations in a space-clamped version of the model using a fast-slow analys is, taking advantage of the fact that depression evolves much slower than population activity. We th en analyze the onset of oscillations in the full spatially extended system by carrying out a piecewise smooth stability analysis of single (winner-take-all) and double (fusion) bumps within the network. Although our stability analysis takes into account only instabilities associated with real eigenvalues, it identifies points of instability that are consistent with what is found numerically. In particular, we show that, in regions of parameter space where double bumps are unstable and no single bumps exist, binocular rivalry can arise as a slow alternation between either population supporting a bump. © 2010 Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics.

  14. The computational power of astrocyte mediated synaptic plasticity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rogier eMin

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Research in the last two decades has made clear that astrocytes play a crucial role in the brain beyond their functions in energy metabolism and homeostasis. Many studies have shown that astrocytes can dynamically modulate neuronal excitability and synaptic plasticity, and might participate in higher brain functions like learning and memory. With the plethora of astrocyte-mediated signaling processes described in the literature today, the current challenge is to identify which of these processes happen under what physiological condition, and how this shapes information processing and, ultimately, behavior. To answer these questions will require a combination of advanced physiological, genetical and behavioral experiments. Additionally, mathematical modeling will prove crucial for testing predictions on the possible functions of astrocytes in neuronal networks, and to generate novel ideas as to how astrocytes can contribute to the complexity of the brain. Here, we aim to provide an outline of how astrocytes can interact with neurons. We do this by reviewing recent experimental literature on astrocyte-neuron interactions, discussing the dynamic effects of astrocytes on neuronal excitability and short- and long-term synaptic plasticity. Finally, we will outline the potential computational functions that astrocyte-neuron interactions can serve in the brain. We will discuss how astrocytes could govern metaplasticity in the brain, how they might organize the clustering of synaptic inputs, and how they could function as memory elements for neuronal activity. We conclude that astrocytes can enhance the computational power of neuronal networks in previously unexpected ways.

  15. Evolution of the aging brain transcriptome and synaptic regulation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patrick M Loerch

    Full Text Available Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative disorders of aging are characterized by clinical and pathological features that are relatively specific to humans. To obtain greater insight into how brain aging has evolved, we compared age-related gene expression changes in the cortex of humans, rhesus macaques, and mice on a genome-wide scale. A small subset of gene expression changes are conserved in all three species, including robust age-dependent upregulation of the neuroprotective gene apolipoprotein D (APOD and downregulation of the synaptic cAMP signaling gene calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase IV (CAMK4. However, analysis of gene ontology and cell type localization shows that humans and rhesus macaques have diverged from mice due to a dramatic increase in age-dependent repression of neuronal genes. Many of these age-regulated neuronal genes are associated with synaptic function. Notably, genes associated with GABA-ergic inhibitory function are robustly age-downregulated in humans but not in mice at the level of both mRNA and protein. Gene downregulation was not associated with overall neuronal or synaptic loss. Thus, repression of neuronal gene expression is a prominent and recently evolved feature of brain aging in humans and rhesus macaques that may alter neural networks and contribute to age-related cognitive changes.

  16. Control of synaptic function by endocannabinoid-mediated retrograde signaling

    Science.gov (United States)

    KANO, Masanobu

    2014-01-01

    Since the first reports in 2001, great advances have been made towards the understanding of endocannabinoid-mediated synaptic modulation. Electrophysiological studies have revealed that one of the two major endocannabinoids, 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), is produced from membrane lipids upon postsynaptic Ca2+ elevation and/or activation of Gq/11-coupled receptors, and released from postsynaptic neurons. The released 2-AG then acts retrogradely onto presynaptic cannabinoid CB1 receptors and induces suppression of neurotransmitter release either transiently or persistently. These forms of 2-AG-mediated retrograde synaptic modulation are functional throughout the brain. The other major endocannabinoid, anandamide, mediates a certain form of endocannabinoid-mediated long-term depression (LTD). Anandamide also functions as an agonist for transient receptor potential vanilloid receptor type 1 (TRPV1) and mediates endocannabinoid-independent and TRPV1-dependent forms of LTD. It has also been demonstrated that the endocannabinoid system itself is plastic, which can be either up- or down-regulated by experimental or environmental conditions. In this review, I will make an overview of the mechanisms underlying endocannabinoid-mediated synaptic modulation. PMID:25169670

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-11-15

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

  18. STDP with adaptive synaptic delay for robot navigation control

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arena, Paolo; Patané, Luca; Distefano, Francesco; Bucolo, Sebastiano; Aiello, Orazio

    2007-05-01

    In this work a biologically inspired network of spiking neurons is used for robot navigation control. The two tasks taken into account are obstacle avoidance and landmark-based navigation. The system learns the correlation among unconditioned stimuli (pre-wired sensors) and conditioned stimuli (high level sensors) through Spike Timing Dependent Plasticity (STDP). In order to improve the robot behaviours not only the synaptic weight but also the synaptic delay is subject to learning. Modulating the synaptic delay the robot is able to store the landmark position, like in a short time memory, and to use this information to smooth the turning actions prolonging the landmark effects also when it is no more visible. Simulations are carried out in a dynamic simulation environment and the robotic system considered is a cockroach-inspired hexapod robot. The locomotion signals are generated by a Central Pattern Generator and the spiking network is devoted to control the heading of the robot acting on the amplitude of the leg steps. Several scenarios have been proposed, for instance a T-shaped labyrinth, used in laboratory experiments with mice to demonstrate classical and operant conditioning, has been considered. Finally the proposed adaptive navigation control structure can be extended in a modular way to include other features detected by new sensors included in the correlation-based learning process.

  19. Robust Short-Term Memory without Synaptic Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  20. Functional consequences of pre- and postsynaptic expression of synaptic plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costa, Rui Ponte; Mizusaki, Beatriz E P; Sjöström, P Jesper; van Rossum, Mark C W

    2017-03-05

    Growing experimental evidence shows that both homeostatic and Hebbian synaptic plasticity can be expressed presynaptically as well as postsynaptically. In this review, we start by discussing this evidence and methods used to determine expression loci. Next, we discuss the functional consequences of this diversity in pre- and postsynaptic expression of both homeostatic and Hebbian synaptic plasticity. In particular, we explore the functional consequences of a biologically tuned model of pre- and postsynaptically expressed spike-timing-dependent plasticity complemented with postsynaptic homeostatic control. The pre- and postsynaptic expression in this model predicts (i) more reliable receptive fields and sensory perception, (ii) rapid recovery of forgotten information (memory savings), and (iii) reduced response latencies, compared with a model with postsynaptic expression only. Finally, we discuss open questions that will require a considerable research effort to better elucidate how the specific locus of expression of homeostatic and Hebbian plasticity alters synaptic and network computations.This article is part of the themed issue 'Integrating Hebbian and homeostatic plasticity'. © 2017 The Authors.

  1. 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

  2. Effective Mechanism for Synthesis of Neurotransmitter Glutamate and its Loading into Synaptic Vesicles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takeda, Kouji; Ueda, Tetsufumi

    2017-01-01

    Glutamate accumulation into synaptic vesicles is a pivotal step in glutamate transmission. This process is achieved by a vesicular glutamate transporter (VGLUT) coupled to v-type proton ATPase. Normal synaptic transmission, in particular during intensive neuronal firing, would demand rapid transmitter re-filling of emptied synaptic vesicles. We have previously shown that isolated synaptic vesicles are capable of synthesizing glutamate from α-ketoglutarate (not from glutamine) by vesicle-bound aspartate aminotransferase for immediate uptake, in addition to ATP required for uptake by vesicle-bound glycolytic enzymes. This suggests that local synthesis of these substances, essential for glutamate transmission, could occur at the synaptic vesicle. Here we provide evidence that synaptosomes (pinched-off nerve terminals) also accumulate α-ketoglutarate-derived glutamate into synaptic vesicles within, at the expense of ATP generated through glycolysis. Glutamine-derived glutamate is also accumulated into synaptic vesicles in synaptosomes. The underlying mechanism is discussed. It is suggested that local synthesis of both glutamate and ATP at the presynaptic synaptic vesicle would represent an efficient mechanism for swift glutamate loading into synaptic vesicles, supporting maintenance of normal synaptic transmission.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bi, Zedong; Zhou, Changsong

    2016-01-01

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

  5. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Bi, Zedong; Zhou, Changsong

    2016-01-01

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

  7. Synaptic and non-synaptic mitochondria in hippocampus of adult rats differ in their sensitivity to hypothyroidism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhuravliova, E; Barbakadze, T; Jojua, N; Zaalishvili, E; Shanshiashvili, L; Natsvlishvili, N; Kalandadze, I; Narmania, N; Chogovadze, I; Mikeladze, D

    2012-11-01

    Hypothyroidism in humans provokes various neuropsychiatric disorders, movement, and cognitive abnormalities that may greatly depend on the mitochondrial energy metabolism. Brain cells contain at least two major populations of mitochondria that include the non-synaptic mitochondria, which originate from neuronal and glial cell bodies (CM), and the synaptic (SM) mitochondria, which primarily originate from the nerve terminals. Several parameters of oxidative stress and other parameters in SM and CM fractions of hippocampus of adult rats were compared among euthyroid (control), hypothyroid (methimazol-treated), and thyroxine (T4)-treated hypothyroid states. nNOS translocation to CM was observed with concomitant increase of mtNOS's activity in hypothyroid rats. In parallel, oxidation of cytochrome c oxidase and production of peroxides with substrates of complex I (glutamate + malate) were enhanced in CM, whereas the activity of aconitase and mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm) were decreased. Furthermore, the elevation of mitochondrial hexokinase activity in CM was also found. No differences in these parameters between control and hypothyroid animals were observed in SM. However, in contrast to CM, hypothyroidism increases the level of pro-apoptotic K-Ras and Bad in SM. Our results suggest that hypothyroidism induces moderate and reversible oxidative/nitrosative stress in hippocampal CM, leading to the compensatory elevation of hexokinase activity and aerobic glycolysis. Such adaptive activation in glycolytic metabolism does not occur in SM, suggesting that synaptic mitochondria differ in their sensitivity to the energetic disturbance in hypothyroid conditions.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christoph Straub

    2016-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aseel Shomar

    2017-07-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

    Neurons often receive massive concurrent bombardment of synaptic inhibition and excitation during functional network activity. This increases membrane conductance and causes fluctuations in membrane potential (V(m)) and spike timing. The conductance increase is commonly attributed to synaptic...... conductance, but also includes the intrinsic conductances recruited during network activity. These two sources of conductance have contrasting dynamic properties at sub-threshold membrane potentials. Synaptic transmitter gated conductance changes abruptly and briefly with each presynaptic action potential...... input we find that the magnitude of the membrane fluctuations uniquely determines the relative contribution of synaptic and intrinsic conductance. We also quantify how V(m)-fluctuations vary with synaptic correlations for fixed ratios of synaptic and intrinsic conductance. Interestingly, the levels of V...

  12. PSD-95 and PSD-93 Play Critical but Distinct Roles in Synaptic Scaling Up and Down

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Qian; Turrigiano, Gina G.

    2011-01-01

    Synaptic scaling stabilizes neuronal firing through the homeostatic regulation of postsynaptic strength, but the mechanisms by which chronic changes in activity lead to bidirectional adjustments in synaptic AMPAR abundance are incompletely understood. Further, it remains unclear to what extent scaling up and scaling down utilize distinct molecular machinery. PSD-95 is a scaffold protein proposed to serve as a binding “slot” that determines synaptic AMPAR content, and synaptic PSD-95 abundance is regulated by activity, raising the possibility that activity-dependent changes in the synaptic abundance of PSD-95 or other MAGUKs drives the bidirectional changes in AMPAR accumulation during synaptic scaling. We found that synaptic PSD-95 and SAP102 (but not PSD-93) abundance were bidirectionally regulated by activity, but these changes were not sufficient to drive homeostatic changes in synaptic strength. Although not sufficient, the PSD-95-MAGUKs were necessary for synaptic scaling, but scaling up and down were differentially dependent on PSD-95 and PSD-93. Scaling down was completely blocked by reduced or enhanced PSD-95, through a mechanism that depended on the PDZ1/2 domains. In contrast scaling up could be supported by either PSD-95 or PSD-93 in a manner that depended on neuronal age, and was unaffected by a superabundance of PSD-95. Taken together, our data suggest that scaling up and down of quantal amplitude is not driven by changes in synaptic abundance of PSD-95-MAGUKs, but rather that the PSD-95 MAGUKs serve as critical synaptic organizers that utilize distinct protein-protein interactions to mediate homeostatic accumulation and loss of synaptic AMPAR. PMID:21543610

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Puentes-Mestril, Carlos; Aton, Sara J

    2017-01-01

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

  15. Synaptic proteome changes in the hypothalamus of mother rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Udvari, Edina Brigitta; Völgyi, Katalin; Gulyássy, Péter; Dimén, Diána; Kis, Viktor; Barna, János; Szabó, Éva Rebeka; Lubec, Gert; Juhász, Gábor; Kékesi, Katalin Adrienna; Dobolyi, Árpád

    2017-04-21

    To establish synaptic proteome changes associated with motherhood, we isolated synaptosome fractions from the hypothalamus of mother rats and non-maternal control females at the 11th postpartum day. Proteomic analysis by two-dimensional differential gel electrophoresis combined with mass spectrometric protein identification established 26 significant proteins, 7 increasing and 19 decreasing protein levels in the dams. The altered proteins are mainly involved in energy homeostasis, protein folding, and metabolic processes suggesting the involvement of these cellular processes in maternal adaptations. The decrease in a significantly altered protein, complement component 1q subcomponent-binding protein (C1qbp) was validated with Western blotting. Furthermore, immunohistochemistry showed its presence in hypothalamic fibers and terminals in agreement with its presence in synaptosomes. We also found the expression of C1qbp in different hypothalamic nuclei including the preoptic area and the paraventricular hypothalamic nucleus at the protein and at the mRNA level using immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization histochemistry, respectively. Bioinformatical network analysis revealed that cytokines, growth factors, and protein kinases are common regulators, which indicates a complex regulation of the proteome change in mothers. The results suggest that maternal responsiveness is associated with synaptic proteins level changes in the hypothalamus, and that growth factors and cytokines may govern these alterations. The period of motherhood is accompanied with several behavioral, neuroendocrine, emotional and metabolic adaptations in the brain. Although it is established that various hypothalamic networks participate in the maternal adaptations of the rodent brain, our knowledge on the molecular background of these alterations remains seriously limited. In the present study, we first determined that the functional alterations of the maternal brain can be detected at the

  16. Addiction-like Synaptic Impairments in Diet-Induced Obesity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Robyn Mary; Kupchik, Yonatan Michael; Spencer, Sade; Garcia-Keller, Constanza; Spanswick, David C; Lawrence, Andrew John; Simonds, Stephanie Elise; Schwartz, Danielle Joy; Jordan, Kelsey Ann; Jhou, Thomas Clayton; Kalivas, Peter William

    2017-05-01

    There is increasing evidence that the pathological overeating underlying some forms of obesity is compulsive in nature and therefore contains elements of an addictive disorder. However, direct physiological evidence linking obesity to synaptic plasticity akin to that occurring in addiction is lacking. We sought to establish whether the propensity to diet-induced obesity (DIO) is associated with addictive-like behavior, as well as synaptic impairments in the nucleus accumbens core considered hallmarks of addiction. Sprague Dawley rats were allowed free access to a palatable diet for 8 weeks then separated by weight gain into DIO-prone and DIO-resistant subgroups. Access to palatable food was then restricted to daily operant self-administration sessions using fixed ratio 1, 3, and 5 and progressive ratio schedules. Subsequently, nucleus accumbens brain slices were prepared, and we tested for changes in the ratio between α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole propionic acid (AMPA) and N-methyl-D-aspartate currents and the ability to exhibit long-term depression. We found that propensity to develop DIO is linked to deficits in the ability to induce long-term depression in the nucleus accumbens, as well as increased potentiation at these synapses as measured by AMPA/N-methyl-D-aspartate currents. Consistent with these impairments, we observed addictive-like behavior in DIO-prone rats, including 1) heightened motivation for palatable food; 2) excessive intake; and 3) increased food seeking when food was unavailable. Our results show overlap between the propensity for DIO and the synaptic changes associated with facets of addictive behavior, supporting partial coincident neurological underpinnings for compulsive overeating and drug addiction. Copyright © 2016 Society of Biological Psychiatry. All rights reserved.

  17. Two aspects of ASIC function: Synaptic plasticity and neuronal injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Yan; Jiang, Nan; Li, Jun; Ji, Yong-Hua; Xiong, Zhi-Gang; Zha, Xiang-ming

    2015-07-01

    Extracellular brain pH fluctuates in both physiological and disease conditions. The main postsynaptic proton receptor is the acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs). During the past decade, much progress has been made on protons, ASICs, and neurological disease. This review summarizes the recent progress on synaptic role of protons and our current understanding of how ASICs contribute to various types of neuronal injury in the brain. This article is part of the Special Issue entitled 'Acid-Sensing Ion Channels in the Nervous System'. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Colocalization of synapsin and actin during synaptic vesicle recycling

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bloom, Ona; Evergren, Emma; Tomilin, Nikolay

    2003-01-01

    activity, however, synapsin was detected in the pool of vesicles proximal to the active zone. In addition, actin and synapsin were found colocalized in a dynamic filamentous cytomatrix at the sites of synaptic vesicle recycling, endocytic zones. Synapsin immunolabeling was not associated with clathrin......-coated intermediates but was found on vesicles that appeared to be recycling back to the cluster. Disruption of synapsin function by microinjection of antisynapsin antibodies resulted in a prominent reduction of the cytomatrix at endocytic zones of active synapses. Our data suggest that in addition to its known...

  19. Synaptic plasticity in health and disease: introduction and overview

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bliss, T. V. P.; Collingridge, G. L.; Morris, R. G. M.

    2014-01-01

    We summarize the reviews and research papers submitted by speakers at a discussion meeting on Synaptic Plasticity in Health and Disease held at the Royal Society, London on 2–3 December 2013, and a subsequent satellite meeting convened at the Royal Society/Kavli Centre at Chicheley Hall on 4–5 December 2013. Together, these contributions give an overview of current research and controversies in a vibrant branch of neuroscience with important implications for the understanding of many forms of learning and memory, and a wide spectrum of neurological and cognitive disorders. PMID:24298133

  20. Comparing development of synaptic proteins in rat visual, somatosensory, and frontal cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

    Two theories have influenced our understanding of cortical development: the integrated network theory, where synaptic development is coordinated across areas; and the cascade theory, where the cortex develops in a wave-like manner from sensory to non-sensory areas. These different views on cortical development raise challenges for current studies aimed at comparing detailed maturation of the connectome among cortical areas. We have taken a different approach to compare synaptic development in rat visual, somatosensory, and frontal cortex by measuring expression of pre-synaptic (synapsin and synaptophysin) proteins that regulate vesicle cycling, and post-synaptic density (PSD-95 and Gephyrin) proteins that anchor excitatory or inhibitory (E-I) receptors. We also compared development of the balances between the pairs of pre- or post-synaptic proteins, and the overall pre- to post-synaptic balance, to address functional maturation and emergence of the E-I balance. We found that development of the individual proteins and the post-synaptic index overlapped among the three cortical areas, but the pre-synaptic index matured later in frontal cortex. Finally, we applied a neuroinformatics approach using principal component analysis and found that three components captured development of the synaptic proteins. The first component accounted for 64% of the variance in protein expression and reflected total protein expression, which overlapped among the three cortical areas. The second component was gephyrin and the E-I balance, it emerged as sequential waves starting in somatosensory, then frontal, and finally visual cortex. The third component was the balance between pre- and post-synaptic proteins, and this followed a different developmental trajectory in somatosensory cortex. Together, these results give the most support to an integrated network of synaptic development, but also highlight more complex patterns of development that vary in timing and end point among the

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-05-01

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

  2. Comparing development of synaptic proteins in rat visual, somatosensory, and frontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pinto, Joshua G A; Jones, David G; Murphy, Kathryn M

    2013-01-01

    Two theories have influenced our understanding of cortical development: the integrated network theory, where synaptic development is coordinated across areas; and the cascade theory, where the cortex develops in a wave-like manner from sensory to non-sensory areas. These different views on cortical development raise challenges for current studies aimed at comparing detailed maturation of the connectome among cortical areas. We have taken a different approach to compare synaptic development in rat visual, somatosensory, and frontal cortex by measuring expression of pre-synaptic (synapsin and synaptophysin) proteins that regulate vesicle cycling, and post-synaptic density (PSD-95 and Gephyrin) proteins that anchor excitatory or inhibitory (E-I) receptors. We also compared development of the balances between the pairs of pre- or post-synaptic proteins, and the overall pre- to post-synaptic balance, to address functional maturation and emergence of the E-I balance. We found that development of the individual proteins and the post-synaptic index overlapped among the three cortical areas, but the pre-synaptic index matured later in frontal cortex. Finally, we applied a neuroinformatics approach using principal component analysis and found that three components captured development of the synaptic proteins. The first component accounted for 64% of the variance in protein expression and reflected total protein expression, which overlapped among the three cortical areas. The second component was gephyrin and the E-I balance, it emerged as sequential waves starting in somatosensory, then frontal, and finally visual cortex. The third component was the balance between pre- and post-synaptic proteins, and this followed a different developmental trajectory in somatosensory cortex. Together, these results give the most support to an integrated network of synaptic development, but also highlight more complex patterns of development that vary in timing and end point among the

  3. F42. CHONDROTIN-6 SULFATE CLUSTERS: ASSOCIATION OF SYNAPTIC DOMAINS AND REGULATION OF SYNAPTIC PLASTICITY DURING FEAR LEARNING

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chelini, Gabriele; Berciu, Cristina; Pilobello, Kanoelani; Peter, Durning; Rachel, Jenkins; Kahn, Moazzzam; Ramikie, Teniel; Subramanian, Siva; Ressler, Kerry; Pantazopoulos, Charalampos; Berretta, Sabina

    2018-01-01

    Abstract Background Emerging evidence from our group and others has brought the brain extracellular matrix (ECM) to the forefront of investigations on brain disorders. Our group has shown that organized perisynaptic ECM aggregates, i.e. perineuronal nets (PNNs) are decreased in several brain regions in people with schizophrenia (SZ) and bipolar disorder (BD). PNNs were detected by their expression of specific chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans (CSPGs), main components of the ECM, thought to play a key role in synaptic regulation during development and adulthood. Our studies have also shown that glial cells expressing CSPGs are altered in these disorders, suggesting a link between glial cell and PNN abnormalities. Finally, we have recently shown that novel CSPG structures, bearing a distinct CS-6 sulfation pattern and named CS-6 glial clusters, are decreased in the amygdala of people with SZ and BD. The morphology and function of CS-6 glial clusters is not currently known, but evidence from rodents and on the role of CSPGs in regulating synaptic functions strongly suggest that they may affect synaptic plasticity. We tested this hypothesis using a combination of human postmortem and rodent brain studies. Methods High Resolution electron microscopy was used to investigate the ultrastructural organization of CS-6 glia clusters. A transgenic mouse model expressing green fluorescent protein in a subset of excitatory pyramidal neurons was used to investigate dendritic spines association with CS-6 glia clusters. Mice were exposed to a single session of auditory fear conditioning for a total of 15 minutes. Animals were euthanized 4 hours after behavioral test. Multiplex immunocytochemistry was used to visualize CS-6 clusters. Results In human tissue, we show that CS-6 glia clusters are widespread in several brain regions, including the amygdala, entorhinal cortex, thalamus and hippocampus. Ultrastructural results show that CS-6 glia clusters are formed by CS-6 accumulations

  4. Exaggerated translation causes synaptic and behavioural aberrations associated with autism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santini, Emanuela; Huynh, Thu N; MacAskill, Andrew F; Carter, Adam G; Pierre, Philippe; Ruggero, Davide; Kaphzan, Hanoch; Klann, Eric

    2013-01-17

    Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are an early onset, heterogeneous group of heritable neuropsychiatric disorders with symptoms that include deficits in social interaction skills, impaired communication abilities, and ritualistic-like repetitive behaviours. One of the hypotheses for a common molecular mechanism underlying ASDs is altered translational control resulting in exaggerated protein synthesis. Genetic variants in chromosome 4q, which contains the EIF4E locus, have been described in patients with autism. Importantly, a rare single nucleotide polymorphism has been identified in autism that is associated with increased promoter activity in the EIF4E gene. Here we show that genetically increasing the levels of eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4E (eIF4E) in mice results in exaggerated cap-dependent translation and aberrant behaviours reminiscent of autism, including repetitive and perseverative behaviours and social interaction deficits. Moreover, these autistic-like behaviours are accompanied by synaptic pathophysiology in the medial prefrontal cortex, striatum and hippocampus. The autistic-like behaviours displayed by the eIF4E-transgenic mice are corrected by intracerebroventricular infusions of the cap-dependent translation inhibitor 4EGI-1. Our findings demonstrate a causal relationship between exaggerated cap-dependent translation, synaptic dysfunction and aberrant behaviours associated with autism.

  5. Emerging Links between Homeostatic Synaptic Plasticity and Neurological Disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dion eDickman

    2013-11-01

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

  6. Oxidative Stress, Synaptic Dysfunction, and Alzheimer's Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tönnies, Eric; Trushina, Eugenia

    2017-01-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a devastating neurodegenerative disorder without a cure. Most AD cases are sporadic where age represents the greatest risk factor. Lack of understanding of the disease mechanism hinders the development of efficacious therapeutic approaches. The loss of synapses in the affected brain regions correlates best with cognitive impairment in AD patients and has been considered as the early mechanism that precedes neuronal loss. Oxidative stress has been recognized as a contributing factor in aging and in the progression of multiple neurodegenerative diseases including AD. Increased production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) associated with age- and disease-dependent loss of mitochondrial function, altered metal homeostasis, and reduced antioxidant defense directly affect synaptic activity and neurotransmission in neurons leading to cognitive dysfunction. In addition, molecular targets affected by ROS include nuclear and mitochondrial DNA, lipids, proteins, calcium homeostasis, mitochondrial dynamics and function, cellular architecture, receptor trafficking and endocytosis, and energy homeostasis. Abnormal cellular metabolism in turn could affect the production and accumulation of amyloid-β (Aβ) and hyperphosphorylated Tau protein, which independently could exacerbate mitochondrial dysfunction and ROS production, thereby contributing to a vicious cycle. While mounting evidence implicates ROS in the AD etiology, clinical trials with antioxidant therapies have not produced consistent results. In this review, we will discuss the role of oxidative stress in synaptic dysfunction in AD, innovative therapeutic strategies evolved based on a better understanding of the complexity of molecular mechanisms of AD, and the dual role ROS play in health and disease.

  7. Finite post synaptic potentials cause a fast neuronal response

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Moritz eHelias

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available A generic property of the communication between neurons is the exchange of pulsesat discrete time points, the action potentials. However, the prevalenttheory of spiking neuronal networks of integrate-and-fire model neuronsrelies on two assumptions: the superposition of many afferent synapticimpulses is approximated by Gaussian white noise, equivalent to avanishing magnitude of the synaptic impulses, and the transfer oftime varying signals by neurons is assessable by linearization. Goingbeyond both approximations, we find that in the presence of synapticimpulses the response to transient inputs differs qualitatively fromprevious predictions. It is instantaneous rather than exhibiting low-passcharacteristics, depends non-linearly on the amplitude of the impulse,is asymmetric for excitation and inhibition and is promoted by a characteristiclevel of synaptic background noise. These findings resolve contradictionsbetween the earlier theory and experimental observations. Here wereview the recent theoretical progress that enabled these insights.We explain why the membrane potential near threshold is sensitiveto properties of the afferent noise and show how this shapes the neuralresponse. A further extension of the theory to time evolution in discretesteps quantifies simulation artifacts and yields improved methodsto cross check results.

  8. Synaptic Wnt/GSK3β Signaling Hub in Autism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caracci, Mario O.; Ávila, Miguel E.; De Ferrari, Giancarlo V.

    2016-01-01

    Hundreds of genes have been associated with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) and the interaction of weak and de novo variants derive from distinct autistic phenotypes thus making up the “spectrum.” The convergence of these variants in networks of genes associated with synaptic function warrants the study of cell signaling pathways involved in the regulation of the synapse. The Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway plays a central role in the development and regulation of the central nervous system and several genes belonging to the cascade have been genetically associated with ASDs. In the present paper, we review basic information regarding the role of Wnt/β-catenin signaling in excitatory/inhibitory balance (E/I balance) through the regulation of pre- and postsynaptic compartments. Furthermore, we integrate information supporting the role of the glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK3β) in the onset/development of ASDs through direct modulation of Wnt/β-catenin signaling. Finally, given GSK3β activity as key modulator of synaptic plasticity, we explore the potential of this kinase as a therapeutic target for ASD. PMID:26881141

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-06

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  13. Tumor necrosis factor alpha maintains denervation-induced homeostatic synaptic plasticity of mouse dentate granule cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Denise eBecker

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Neurons which lose part of their input respond with a compensatory increase in excitatory synaptic strength. This observation is of particular interest in the context of neurological diseases, which are accompanied by the loss of neurons and subsequent denervation of connected brain regions. However, while the cellular and molecular mechanisms of pharmacologically induced homeostatic synaptic plasticity have been identified to a certain degree, denervation-induced homeostatic synaptic plasticity remains not well understood. Here, we employed the entorhinal denervation in vitro model to study the role of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα on changes in excitatory synaptic strength of mouse dentate granule cells following partial deafferentation. Our experiments disclose that TNFα is required for the maintenance of a compensatory increase in excitatory synaptic strength at 3/4 days postlesion (dpl, but not for the induction of synaptic scaling at 1 - 2 dpl. Furthermore, laser capture microdissection (LMD combined with quantitative PCR (qPCR demonstrates an increase in TNFα-mRNA levels in the denervated zone, which is consistent with our previous finding on a local, i.e., layer-specific increase in excitatory synaptic strength at 3 - 4 dpl. Immunostainings for the glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP and TNFα suggest that astrocytes are a source of TNFα in our experimental setting. We conclude that TNFα-signaling is a major regulatory system that aims at maintaining the homeostatic synaptic response of denervated neurons.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rainer ePielot

    2012-06-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  17. 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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  19. Reelin Supplementation Enhances Cognitive Ability, Synaptic Plasticity, and Dendritic Spine Density

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rogers, Justin T.; Rusiana, Ian; Trotter, Justin; Zhao, Lisa; Donaldson, Erika; Pak, Daniel T.S.; Babus, Lenard W.; Peters, Melinda; Banko, Jessica L.; Chavis, Pascale; Rebeck, G. William; Hoe, Hyang-Sook; Weeber, Edwin J.

    2011-01-01

    Apolipoprotein receptors belong to an evolutionarily conserved surface receptor family that has intimate roles in the modulation of synaptic plasticity and is necessary for proper hippocampal-dependent memory formation. The known lipoprotein receptor ligand Reelin is important for normal synaptic plasticity, dendritic morphology, and cognitive…

  20. Extracellular ATP modulates synaptic plasticity induced by activation of metabotropic glutamate receptors in the hippocampus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamazaki, Yoshihiko; Fujii, Satoshi

    2015-01-01

    Synaptic plasticity is believed to be a cellular mechanism for memory formation in the brain. It has been known that the metabotropic glutamate receptor (mGluR) is required for persistent forms of memory and induction of synaptic plasticity. Application of mGluR agonists induces synaptic plasticity in the absence of electrical conditioning stimulation, such as high or low frequency stimulation. The direction of the mGluR-induced synaptic plasticity, i.e., either long-term potentiation (LTP) or long-term-depression (LTD), is dependent on whether N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors (NMDARs) are co-activated with mGluRs. ATP has modulatory effects on neuronal functions and, in particular, there is increasing evidence that it plays a crucial role in synaptic plasticity. LTP can be induced by application of ATP, and this effect is inhibited by NMDAR antagonist. Although cooperative effects of NMDARs and mGluRs and of NMDARs and extracellular ATP in synaptic plasticity have been revealed, the effect of extracellular ATP on mGluR-induced synaptic plasticity is unknown. In this article, we summarize published data on mGluR- and ATP-induced synaptic plasticity, and present new data showing that extracellular ATP facilitates both the LTP and LTD induced by mGluR activation.

  1. Theta-specific susceptibility in a model of adaptive synaptic plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albers, Christian; Schmiedt, Joscha T; Pawelzik, Klaus R

    2013-01-01

    Learning and memory formation are processes which are still not fully understood. It is widely believed that synaptic plasticity is the most important neural substrate for both. However, it has been observed that large-scale theta band oscillations in the mammalian brain are beneficial for learning, and it is not clear if and how this is linked to synaptic plasticity. Also, the underlying dynamics of synaptic plasticity itself have not been completely uncovered yet, especially for non-linear interactions between multiple spikes. Here, we present a new and simple dynamical model of synaptic plasticity. It incorporates novel contributions to synaptic plasticity including adaptation processes. We test its ability to reproduce non-linear effects on four different data sets of complex spike patterns, and show that the model can be tuned to reproduce the observed synaptic changes in great detail. When subjected to periodically varying firing rates, already linear pair based spike timing dependent plasticity (STDP) predicts a specific susceptibility of synaptic plasticity to pre- and postsynaptic firing rate oscillations in the theta-band. Our model retains this band-pass property, while for high firing rates in the non-linear regime it modifies the specific phase relation required for depression and potentiation. For realistic parameters, maximal synaptic potentiation occurs when the postsynaptic is trailing the presynaptic activity slightly. Anti-phase oscillations tend to depress it. Our results are well in line with experimental findings, providing a straightforward and mechanistic explanation for the importance of theta oscillations for learning.

  2. Hebbian Wiring Plasticity Generates Efficient Network Structures for Robust Inference with Synaptic Weight Plasticity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hiratani, Naoki; Fukai, Tomoki

    2016-01-01

    In the adult mammalian cortex, a small fraction of spines are created and eliminated every day, and the resultant synaptic connection structure is highly nonrandom, even in local circuits. However, it remains unknown whether a particular synaptic connection structure is functionally advantageous in local circuits, and why creation and elimination of synaptic connections is necessary in addition to rich synaptic weight plasticity. To answer these questions, we studied an inference task model through theoretical and numerical analyses. We demonstrate that a robustly beneficial network structure naturally emerges by combining Hebbian-type synaptic weight plasticity and wiring plasticity. Especially in a sparsely connected network, wiring plasticity achieves reliable computation by enabling efficient information transmission. Furthermore, the proposed rule reproduces experimental observed correlation between spine dynamics and task performance. PMID:27303271

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neniskyte, Urte; Gross, Cornelius T

    2017-11-01

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

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

    KAUST Repository

    Bressloff, Paul C.

    2011-01-01

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

  5. Aging synaptic mitochondria exhibit dynamic proteomic changes while maintaining bioenergetic function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stauch, Kelly L; Purnell, Phillip R; Fox, Howard S

    2014-04-01

    Aging correlates with a progressive impairment of mitochondrial homeostasis and is an influential factor for several forms of neurodegeneration. However, the mechanisms underlying age-related alterations in synaptosomal mitochondria, a neuronal mitochondria population highly susceptible to insults and critical for brain function, remain incompletely understood. Therefore this study investigates the synaptic mitochondrial proteomic and bioenergetic alterations that occur with age. The utilization of a state of the art quantitative proteomics approach allowed for the comparison of protein expression levels in synaptic mitochondria isolated from 5 (mature), 12 (old), and 24 (aged) month old mice. During the process of aging we find that dynamic proteomic alterations occur in synaptic mitochondria. Despite direct (mitochondrial DNA deletions) and indirect (increased antioxidant protein levels) signs of mitochondrial damage in the aged mice, there was an overall maintenance of mitochondrial function. Therefore the synaptic mitochondrial proteomic changes that occur with aging correlate with preservation of synaptic mitochondrial function.

  6. Hebbian Wiring Plasticity Generates Efficient Network Structures for Robust Inference with Synaptic Weight Plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hiratani, Naoki; Fukai, Tomoki

    2016-01-01

    In the adult mammalian cortex, a small fraction of spines are created and eliminated every day, and the resultant synaptic connection structure is highly nonrandom, even in local circuits. However, it remains unknown whether a particular synaptic connection structure is functionally advantageous in local circuits, and why creation and elimination of synaptic connections is necessary in addition to rich synaptic weight plasticity. To answer these questions, we studied an inference task model through theoretical and numerical analyses. We demonstrate that a robustly beneficial network structure naturally emerges by combining Hebbian-type synaptic weight plasticity and wiring plasticity. Especially in a sparsely connected network, wiring plasticity achieves reliable computation by enabling efficient information transmission. Furthermore, the proposed rule reproduces experimental observed correlation between spine dynamics and task performance.

  7. On the estimation of population-specific synaptic currents from laminar multielectrode recordings

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sergey L Gratiy

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Multielectrode array recordings of extracellular electrical field potentials along the depth axis of the cerebral cortex is an up-and-coming approach for investigating activity of cortical neuronal circuits. The low-frequency band of extracellular potential, i.e., the local field potential (LFP, is assumed to reflect the synaptic activity and can be used to extract the current source density (CSD profile. However, physiological interpretation of CSD profiles is uncertain because the analysis does not disambiguate synaptic inputs from passive return currents. Here we present a novel mathematical framework for identifying excited neuronal populations and for separating synaptic input currents from return currents based on LFP recordings. This involves a combination of the linear forward model, which predicts population-specific laminar LFP in response to sinusoidal synaptic inputs applied at different locations along the population cells having realistic morphologies and the linear inverse model, which reconstructs laminar profiles of synaptic inputs from the Fourier spectrum of the laminar LFP data based on the forward prediction. The model allows reconstruction of synaptic input profiles on a spatial scale comparable to known anatomical organization of synaptic projections within a cortical column. Assuming spatial correlation of synaptic inputs within individual populations, the model decomposes the columnar LFP into population-specific contributions. Constraining the solution with a priori knowledge of the spatial distribution of synaptic connectivity further allows prediction of active projections from the composite LFP profile. This modeling framework successfully delineates the main relationships between the synaptic input currents and the evoked LFP and can serve as a foundation for modeling more realistic processing of active dendritic conductances.

  8. All for One But Not One for All: Excitatory Synaptic Scaling and Intrinsic Excitability Are Coregulated by CaMKIV, Whereas Inhibitory Synaptic Scaling Is Under Independent Control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joseph, Annelise; Turrigiano, Gina G

    2017-07-12

    Neocortical circuits use a family of homeostatic plasticity mechanisms to stabilize firing, including excitatory and inhibitory synaptic scaling and homeostatic intrinsic plasticity (Turrigiano and Nelson, 2004). All three mechanisms can be induced in tandem in cultured rat neocortical pyramidal neurons by chronic manipulations of firing, but it is unknown whether they are coinduced by the same activity-sensors and signaling pathways, or whether they are under independent control. Calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase type IV (CaMKIV) is a key sensory/effector in excitatory synaptic scaling that senses perturbations in firing through changes in calcium influx, and translates this into compensatory changes in excitatory quantal amplitude (Ibata et al., 2008; Goold and Nicoll, 2010). Whether CaMKIV also controls inhibitory synaptic scaling and intrinsic homeostatic plasticity was unknown. To test this we manipulated CaMKIV signaling in individual neurons using dominant-negative (dn) or constitutively-active (ca) forms of nuclear-localized CaMKIV and measured the induction of all three forms of homeostatic plasticity. We found that excitatory synaptic scaling and intrinsic plasticity were bidirectionally coinduced by these manipulations. In contrast, these cell-autonomous manipulations had no impact on inhibitory quantal amplitude. Finally, we found that spontaneous firing rates were shifted up or down by dnCaMKIV or caCaMKIV, respectively, suggesting that uncoupling CaMKIV activation from activity generates an error signal in the negative feedback mechanism that controls firing rates. Together, our data show that excitatory synaptic scaling and intrinsic excitability are tightly coordinated through bidirectional changes in the same signaling pathway, whereas inhibitory synaptic scaling is sensed and regulated through an independent control mechanism. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Maintaining stable function in highly interconnected neural circuits is essential for

  9. Binding Sites for Amyloid-β Oligomers and Synaptic Toxicity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Levi M.; Strittmatter, Stephen M.

    2017-01-01

    In Alzheimer’s disease (AD), insoluble and fibrillary amyloid-β (Aβ) peptide accumulates in plaques. However, soluble Aβ oligomers are most potent in creating synaptic dysfunction and loss. Therefore, receptors for Aβ oligomers are hypothesized to be the first step in a neuronal cascade leading to dementia. A number of cell-surface proteins have been described as Aβ binding proteins, and one or more are likely to mediate Aβ oligomer toxicity in AD. Cellular prion protein (PrPC) is a high-affinity Aβ oligomer binding site, and a range of data delineates a signaling pathway leading from Aβ complexation with PrPC to neuronal impairment. Further study of Aβ binding proteins will define the molecular basis of this crucial step in AD pathogenesis. PMID:27940601

  10. GABA Metabolism and Transport: Effects on Synaptic Efficacy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fabian C. Roth

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available GABAergic inhibition is an important regulator of excitability in neuronal networks. In addition, inhibitory synaptic signals contribute crucially to the organization of spatiotemporal patterns of network activity, especially during coherent oscillations. In order to maintain stable network states, the release of GABA by interneurons must be plastic in timing and amount. This homeostatic regulation is achieved by several pre- and postsynaptic mechanisms and is triggered by various activity-dependent local signals such as excitatory input or ambient levels of neurotransmitters. Here, we review findings on the availability of GABA for release at presynaptic terminals of interneurons. Presynaptic GABA content seems to be an important determinant of inhibitory efficacy and can be differentially regulated by changing synthesis, transport, and degradation of GABA or related molecules. We will discuss the functional impact of such regulations on neuronal network patterns and, finally, point towards pharmacological approaches targeting these processes.

  11. Disruption of an Evolutionarily Novel Synaptic Expression Pattern in Autism.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiling Liu

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Cognitive defects in autism spectrum disorder (ASD include socialization and communication: key behavioral capacities that separate humans from other species. Here, we analyze gene expression in the prefrontal cortex of 63 autism patients and control individuals, as well as 62 chimpanzees and macaques, from natal to adult age. We show that among all aberrant expression changes seen in ASD brains, a single aberrant expression pattern overrepresented in genes involved synaptic-related pathways is enriched in nucleotide variants linked to autism. Furthermore, only this pattern contains an excess of developmental expression features unique to humans, thus resulting in the disruption of human-specific developmental programs in autism. Several members of the early growth response (EGR transcription factor family can be implicated in regulation of this aberrant developmental change. Our study draws a connection between the genetic risk architecture of autism and molecular features of cortical development unique to humans.

  12. Multistate Resistive Switching Memory for Synaptic Memory Applications

    KAUST Repository

    Hota, Mrinal Kanti

    2016-07-12

    Reproducible low bias bipolar resistive switching memory in HfZnOx based memristors is reported. The modification of the concentration of oxygen vacancies in the ternary oxide film, which is facilitated by adding ZnO into HfO2, results in improved memory operation by the ternary oxide compared to the single binary oxides. A controlled multistate memory operation is achieved by controlling current compliance and RESET stop voltages. A high DC cyclic stability up to 400 cycles in the multistate memory performance is observed. Conventional synaptic operation in terms of potentiation, depression plasticity, and Ebbinghaus forgetting process are also studied. The memory mechanism is shown to originate from the migration of the oxygen vacancies and modulation of the interfacial layers. © 2016 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim

  13. Disruption of an Evolutionarily Novel Synaptic Expression Pattern in Autism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Xi; Hu, Haiyang; Guijarro, Patricia; Mitchell, Amanda; Ely, John J.; Sherwood, Chet C.; Hof, Patrick R.; Qiu, Zilong; Pääbo, Svante; Akbarian, Schahram; Khaitovich, Philipp

    2016-01-01

    Cognitive defects in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) include socialization and communication: key behavioral capacities that separate humans from other species. Here, we analyze gene expression in the prefrontal cortex of 63 autism patients and control individuals, as well as 62 chimpanzees and macaques, from natal to adult age. We show that among all aberrant expression changes seen in ASD brains, a single aberrant expression pattern overrepresented in genes involved synaptic-related pathways is enriched in nucleotide variants linked to autism. Furthermore, only this pattern contains an excess of developmental expression features unique to humans, thus resulting in the disruption of human-specific developmental programs in autism. Several members of the early growth response (EGR) transcription factor family can be implicated in regulation of this aberrant developmental change. Our study draws a connection between the genetic risk architecture of autism and molecular features of cortical development unique to humans. PMID:27685936

  14. Neuronal Depolarization Drives Increased Dopamine Synaptic Vesicle Loading via VGLUT.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aguilar, Jenny I; Dunn, Matthew; Mingote, Susana; Karam, Caline S; Farino, Zachary J; Sonders, Mark S; Choi, Se Joon; Grygoruk, Anna; Zhang, Yuchao; Cela, Carolina; Choi, Ben Jiwon; Flores, Jorge; Freyberg, Robin J; McCabe, Brian D; Mosharov, Eugene V; Krantz, David E; Javitch, Jonathan A; Sulzer, David; Sames, Dalibor; Rayport, Stephen; Freyberg, Zachary

    2017-08-30

    The ability of presynaptic dopamine terminals to tune neurotransmitter release to meet the demands of neuronal activity is critical to neurotransmission. Although vesicle content has been assumed to be static, in vitro data increasingly suggest that cell activity modulates vesicle content. Here, we use a coordinated genetic, pharmacological, and imaging approach in Drosophila to study the presynaptic machinery responsible for these vesicular processes in vivo. We show that cell depolarization increases synaptic vesicle dopamine content prior to release via vesicular hyperacidification. This depolarization-induced hyperacidification is mediated by the vesicular glutamate transporter (VGLUT). Remarkably, both depolarization-induced dopamine vesicle hyperacidification and its dependence on VGLUT2 are seen in ventral midbrain dopamine neurons in the mouse. Together, these data suggest that in response to depolarization, dopamine vesicles utilize a cascade of vesicular transporters to dynamically increase the vesicular pH gradient, thereby increasing dopamine vesicle content. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    KAUST Repository

    Naous, Rawan

    2016-11-02

    In neuromorphic circuits, stochasticity in the cortex can be mapped into the synaptic or neuronal components. The hardware emulation of these stochastic neural networks are currently being extensively studied using resistive memories or memristors. The ionic process involved in the underlying switching behavior of the memristive elements is considered as the main source of stochasticity of its operation. Building on its inherent variability, the memristor is incorporated into abstract models of stochastic neurons and synapses. Two approaches of stochastic neural networks are investigated. Aside from the size and area perspective, the impact on the system performance, in terms of accuracy, recognition rates, and learning, among these two approaches and where the memristor would fall into place are the main comparison points to be considered.

  16. Slow GABAA mediated synaptic transmission in rat visual cortex

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    Sceniak Michael P

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Previous reports of inhibition in the neocortex suggest that inhibition is mediated predominantly through GABAA receptors exhibiting fast kinetics. Within the hippocampus, it has been shown that GABAA responses can take the form of either fast or slow response kinetics. Our findings indicate, for the first time, that the neocortex displays synaptic responses with slow GABAA receptor mediated inhibitory postsynaptic currents (IPSCs. These IPSCs are kinetically and pharmacologically similar to responses found in the hippocampus, although the anatomical specificity of evoked responses is unique from hippocampus. Spontaneous slow GABAA IPSCs were recorded from both pyramidal and inhibitory neurons in rat visual cortex. Results GABAA slow IPSCs were significantly different from fast responses with respect to rise times and decay time constants, but not amplitudes. Spontaneously occurring GABAA slow IPSCs were nearly 100 times less frequent than fast sIPSCs and both were completely abolished by the chloride channel blocker, picrotoxin. The GABAA subunit-specific antagonist, furosemide, depressed spontaneous and evoked GABAA fast IPSCs, but not slow GABAA-mediated IPSCs. Anatomical specificity was evident using minimal stimulation: IPSCs with slow kinetics were evoked predominantly through stimulation of layer 1/2 apical dendritic zones of layer 4 pyramidal neurons and across their basal dendrites, while GABAA fast IPSCs were evoked through stimulation throughout the dendritic arborization. Many evoked IPSCs were also composed of a combination of fast and slow IPSC components. Conclusion GABAA slow IPSCs displayed durations that were approximately 4 fold longer than typical GABAA fast IPSCs, but shorter than GABAB-mediated inhibition. The anatomical and pharmacological specificity of evoked slow IPSCs suggests a unique origin of synaptic input. Incorporating GABAA slow IPSCs into computational models of cortical function will help

  17. Pannexin1 stabilizes synaptic plasticity and is needed for learning.

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    Nora Prochnow

    Full Text Available Pannexin 1 (Panx1 represents a class of vertebrate membrane channels, bearing significant sequence homology with the invertebrate gap junction proteins, the innexins and more distant similarities in the membrane topologies and pharmacological sensitivities with gap junction proteins of the connexin family. In the nervous system, cooperation among pannexin channels, adenosine receptors, and K(ATP channels modulating neuronal excitability via ATP and adenosine has been recognized, but little is known about the significance in vivo. However, the localization of Panx1 at postsynaptic sites in hippocampal neurons and astrocytes in close proximity together with the fundamental role of ATP and adenosine for CNS metabolism and cell signaling underscore the potential relevance of this channel to synaptic plasticity and higher brain functions. Here, we report increased excitability and potently enhanced early and persistent LTP responses in the CA1 region of acute slice preparations from adult Panx1(-/- mice. Adenosine application and N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR-blocking normalized this phenotype, suggesting that absence of Panx1 causes chronic extracellular ATP/adenosine depletion, thus facilitating postsynaptic NMDAR activation. Compensatory transcriptional up-regulation of metabotropic glutamate receptor 4 (grm4 accompanies these adaptive changes. The physiological modification, promoted by loss of Panx1, led to distinct behavioral alterations, enhancing anxiety and impairing object recognition and spatial learning in Panx1(-/- mice. We conclude that ATP release through Panx1 channels plays a critical role in maintaining synaptic strength and plasticity in CA1 neurons of the adult hippocampus. This result provides the rationale for in-depth analysis of Panx1 function and adenosine based therapies in CNS disorders.

  18. Adiponectin modulates synaptic plasticity in hippocampal dentate gyrus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pousti, Farideh; Ahmadi, Ramesh; Mirahmadi, Fatemeh; Hosseinmardi, Narges; Rohampour, Kambiz

    2018-01-01

    Recent studies have suggested the involvement of some metabolic hormones in memory formation and synaptic plasticity. Insulin dysfunction is known as an essential process in the pathogenesis of sporadic Alzheimer's disease (AD). In this study we examined whether adiponectin (ADN), as an insulin-sensitizing adipokine, could affect hippocampal synaptic plasticity. Field potential recordings were performed on intracerebroventricular (icv) cannulated urethane anesthetized rats. After baseline recording from dentate gyrus (DG) and 10min prior to high/low frequency stimulation (HFS/LFS), 10μl icv ADN (600nm) were injected. The slope of field excitatory postsynaptic potentials (fEPSP) and the amplitude of population spikes (PS) were recorded in response to perforanth path (PP) stimulation. Paired pulse stimuli and ADN injection without any stimulation protocols were also evaluated. Application of ADN before HFS increased PS amplitude recorded in DG significantly (P≤0.05) in comparison to HFS only group. ADN suppressed the potency of LFS to induce long-term depression (LTD), causing a significant difference between fEPSP slope (P≤0.05) and PS amplitude (P≤0.01) between ADN+LFS and ADN group. Paired pulse stimuli applied at 20ms intervals showed more paired pulse facilitation (PPF), when applied after ADN (P≤0.05). ADN induced a chemical long-term potentiation (LTP) in which fEPSP slope and PS amplitude increased significantly (P≤0.01 and P≤0.05, respectively). It is concluded that ADN is able to potentiate the HFS-induced LTP and suppress LFS-induced LTD. ADN caused a chemical LTP, when applied without any tetanic protocol. ADN may enhance the presynaptic release probability. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  19. Intrinsic cellular and molecular properties of in vivo hippocampal synaptic plasticity are altered in the absence of key synaptic matrix molecules.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jansen, Stephan; Gottschling, Christine; Faissner, Andreas; Manahan-Vaughan, Denise

    2017-08-01

    Hippocampal synaptic plasticity comprises a key cellular mechanism for information storage. In the hippocampus, both long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD) are triggered by synaptic Ca 2+ -elevations that are typically mediated by the opening of voltage-gated cation channels, such as N-methyl-d-aspartate receptors (NMDAR), in the postsynaptic density. The integrity of the post-synaptic density is ensured by the extracellular matrix (ECM). Here, we explored whether synaptic plasticity is affected in adult behaving mice that lack the ECM proteins brevican, neurocan, tenascin-C, and tenascin-R (KO). We observed that the profiles of synaptic potentiation and depression in the dentate gyrus (DG) were profoundly altered compared to plasticity profiles in wild-type littermates (WT). Specifically, synaptic depression was amplified in a frequency-dependent manner and although late-LTP (>24 hr) was expressed following strong afferent tetanization, the early component of LTP (4 hr) elicited by weaker tetanization was equivalent in WT and KO animals. Furthermore, this latter form of LTP was NMDAR-dependent in WT but not KO mice. Scrutiny of DG receptor expression revealed significantly lower levels of both the GluN2A and GluN2B subunits of the N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor, of the metabotropic glutamate receptor, mGlu5 and of the L-type calcium channel, Ca v 1.3 in KO compared to WT animals. Homer 1a and of the P/Q-type calcium channel, Ca v 1.2 were unchanged in KO mice. Taken together, findings suggest that in mice that lack multiple ECM proteins, synaptic plasticity is intact, but is fundamentally different. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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

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    Anubhuti Goel

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-03-31

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Addictive nicotine alters local circuit inhibition during the induction of in vivo hippocampal synaptic potentiation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Tao A; Tang, Jianrong; Pidoplichko, Volodymyr I; Dani, John A

    2010-05-05

    The drug addiction process shares many commonalities with normal learning and memory. Addictive drugs subvert normal synaptic plasticity mechanisms, and the consequent synaptic changes underlie long-lasting modifications in behavior that accrue during the progression from drug use to addiction. Supporting this hypothesis, it was recently shown that nicotine administered to freely moving mice induces long-term synaptic potentiation of the perforant path connection to granule cells of the dentate gyrus. The perforant path carries place and spatial information that links the environment to drug taking. An example of that association is the nicotine-induced synaptic potentiation of the perforant path that was found to underlie nicotine-conditioned place preference. The present study examines the influence of nicotine over local GABAergic inhibition within the dentate gyrus during the drug-induced synaptic potentiation. In vivo recordings from freely moving mice suggested that both feedforward and feedback inhibition onto granules cells were diminished by nicotine during the induction of synaptic potentiation. In vitro brain slice studies indicated that nicotine altered local circuit inhibition within the dentate gyrus leading to disinhibition of granule cells. These changes in local inhibition contributed to nicotine-induced in vivo synaptic potentiation, thus, likely contributed to drug-associated memories. Through this learning process, environmental features become cues that motivate conditioned drug-seeking and drug-taking behaviors.

  5. Glial Processes at the Drosophila Larval Neuromuscular Junction Match Synaptic Growth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brink, Deidre L.; Gilbert, Mary; Xie, Xiaojun; Petley-Ragan, Lindsay; Auld, Vanessa J.

    2012-01-01

    Glia are integral participants in synaptic physiology, remodeling and maturation from blowflies to humans, yet how glial structure is coordinated with synaptic growth is unknown. To investigate the dynamics of glial development at the Drosophila larval neuromuscular junction (NMJ), we developed a live imaging system to establish the relationship between glia, neuronal boutons, and the muscle subsynaptic reticulum. Using this system we observed processes from two classes of peripheral glia present at the NMJ. Processes from the subperineurial glia formed a blood-nerve barrier around the axon proximal to the first bouton. Processes from the perineurial glial extended beyond the end of the blood-nerve barrier into the NMJ where they contacted synapses and extended across non-synaptic muscle. Growth of the glial processes was coordinated with NMJ growth and synaptic activity. Increasing synaptic size through elevated temperature or the highwire mutation increased the extent of glial processes at the NMJ and conversely blocking synaptic activity and size decreased the presence and size of glial processes. We found that elevated temperature was required during embryogenesis in order to increase glial expansion at the nmj. Therefore, in our live imaging system, glial processes at the NMJ are likely indirectly regulated by synaptic changes to ensure the coordinated growth of all components of the tripartite larval NMJ. PMID:22666403

  6. Learning to discriminate through long-term changes of dynamical synaptic transmission.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leibold, Christian; Bendels, Michael H K

    2009-12-01

    Short-term synaptic plasticity is modulated by long-term synaptic changes. There is, however, no general agreement on the computational role of this interaction. Here, we derive a learning rule for the release probability and the maximal synaptic conductance in a circuit model with combined recurrent and feedforward connections that allows learning to discriminate among natural inputs. Short-term synaptic plasticity thereby provides a nonlinear expansion of the input space of a linear classifier, whereas the random recurrent network serves to decorrelate the expanded input space. Computer simulations reveal that the twofold increase in the number of input dimensions through short-term synaptic plasticity improves the performance of a standard perceptron up to 100%. The distributions of release probabilities and maximal synaptic conductances at the capacity limit strongly depend on the balance between excitation and inhibition. The model also suggests a new computational interpretation of spikes evoked by stimuli outside the classical receptive field. These neuronal activities may reflect decorrelation of the expanded stimulus space by intracortical synaptic connections.

  7. Caffeine Controls Glutamatergic Synaptic Transmission and Pyramidal Neuron Excitability in Human Neocortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kerkhofs, Amber; Xavier, Ana C.; da Silva, Beatriz S.; Canas, Paula M.; Idema, Sander; Baayen, Johannes C.; Ferreira, Samira G.; Cunha, Rodrigo A.; Mansvelder, Huibert D.

    2018-01-01

    Caffeine is the most widely used psychoactive drug, bolstering attention and normalizing mood and cognition, all functions involving cerebral cortical circuits. Whereas studies in rodents showed that caffeine acts through the antagonism of inhibitory A1 adenosine receptors (A1R), neither the role of A1R nor the impact of caffeine on human cortical neurons is known. We here provide the first characterization of the impact of realistic concentrations of caffeine experienced by moderate coffee drinkers (50 μM) on excitability of pyramidal neurons and excitatory synaptic transmission in the human temporal cortex. Moderate concentrations of caffeine disinhibited several of the inhibitory A1R-mediated effects of adenosine, similar to previous observations in the rodent brain. Thus, caffeine restored the adenosine-induced decrease of both intrinsic membrane excitability and excitatory synaptic transmission in the human pyramidal neurons through antagonism of post-synaptic A1R. Indeed, the A1R-mediated effects of endogenous adenosine were more efficient to inhibit synaptic transmission than neuronal excitability. This was associated with a distinct affinity of caffeine for synaptic versus extra-synaptic human cortical A1R, probably resulting from a different molecular organization of A1R in human cortical synapses. These findings constitute the first neurophysiological description of the impact of caffeine on pyramidal neuron excitability and excitatory synaptic transmission in the human temporal cortex, providing adequate ground for the effects of caffeine on cognition in humans. PMID:29354052

  8. Caffeine Controls Glutamatergic Synaptic Transmission and Pyramidal Neuron Excitability in Human Neocortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amber Kerkhofs

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Caffeine is the most widely used psychoactive drug, bolstering attention and normalizing mood and cognition, all functions involving cerebral cortical circuits. Whereas studies in rodents showed that caffeine acts through the antagonism of inhibitory A1 adenosine receptors (A1R, neither the role of A1R nor the impact of caffeine on human cortical neurons is known. We here provide the first characterization of the impact of realistic concentrations of caffeine experienced by moderate coffee drinkers (50 μM on excitability of pyramidal neurons and excitatory synaptic transmission in the human temporal cortex. Moderate concentrations of caffeine disinhibited several of the inhibitory A1R-mediated effects of adenosine, similar to previous observations in the rodent brain. Thus, caffeine restored the adenosine-induced decrease of both intrinsic membrane excitability and excitatory synaptic transmission in the human pyramidal neurons through antagonism of post-synaptic A1R. Indeed, the A1R-mediated effects of endogenous adenosine were more efficient to inhibit synaptic transmission than neuronal excitability. This was associated with a distinct affinity of caffeine for synaptic versus extra-synaptic human cortical A1R, probably resulting from a different molecular organization of A1R in human cortical synapses. These findings constitute the first neurophysiological description of the impact of caffeine on pyramidal neuron excitability and excitatory synaptic transmission in the human temporal cortex, providing adequate ground for the effects of caffeine on cognition in humans.

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

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    Manami Yamashita

    2018-03-01

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

  10. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Todorova, Vyara; Blokland, Arjan

    2017-01-01

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

  12. Synaptic plasticity modulation by circulating peptides and metaplasticity: Involvement in Alzheimer's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peineau, Stéphane; Rabiant, Kevin; Pierrefiche, Olivier; Potier, Brigitte

    2018-02-06

    Synaptic plasticity is a cellular process involved in learning and memory whose alteration in its two main forms (Long Term Depression (LTD) and Long Term Potentiation (LTP)), is observed in most brain pathologies, including neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease (AD). In humans, AD is associated at the cellular level with neuropathological lesions composed of extracellular deposits of β-amyloid (Aβ) protein aggregates and intracellular neurofibrillary tangles, cellular loss, neuroinflammation and a general brain homeostasis dysregulation. Thus, a dramatic synaptic environment perturbation is observed in AD patients, involving changes in brain neuropeptides, cytokines, growth factors or chemokines concentration and diffusion. Studies performed in animal models demonstrate that these circulating peptides strongly affect synaptic functions and in particular synaptic plasticity. Besides this neuromodulatory action of circulating peptides, other synaptic plasticity regulation mechanisms such as metaplasticity are altered in AD animal models. Here, we will review new insights into the study of synaptic plasticity regulatory/modulatory mechanisms which could influence the process of synaptic plasticity in the context of AD with a particular attention to the role of metaplasticity and peptide dependent neuromodulation. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Phasic Dopamine Modifies Sensory-Driven Output of Striatal Neurons through Synaptic Plasticity.

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    Wieland, Sebastian; Schindler, Sebastian; Huber, Cathrin; Köhr, Georg; Oswald, Manfred J; Kelsch, Wolfgang

    2015-07-08

    Animals are facing a complex sensory world in which only few stimuli are relevant to guide behavior. Value has to be assigned to relevant stimuli such as odors to select them over concurring information. Phasic dopamine is involved in the value assignment to stimuli in the ventral striatum. The underlying cellular mechanisms are incompletely understood. In striatal projection neurons of the ventral striatum in adult mice, we therefore examined the features and dynamics of phasic dopamine-induced synaptic plasticity and how this plasticity may modify the striatal output. Phasic dopamine is predicted to tag inputs that occur in temporal proximity. Indeed, we observed D1 receptor-dependent synaptic potentiation only when odor-like bursts and optogenetically evoked phasic dopamine release were paired within a time window of synaptic potentiation persisted after the phasic dopamine signal had ceased, but gradually reversed when odor-like bursts continued to be presented. The synaptic plasticity depended on the sensory input rate and was input specific. Importantly, synaptic plasticity amplified the firing response to a given olfactory input as the dendritic integration and the firing threshold remained unchanged during synaptic potentiation. Thus, phasic dopamine-induced synaptic plasticity can change information transfer through dynamic increases of the output of striatal projection neurons to specific sensory inputs. This plasticity may provide a neural substrate for dynamic value assignment in the striatum. Copyright © 2015 the authors 0270-6474/15/359946-11$15.00/0.

  14. Reversed synaptic effects of hypocretin and NPY mediated by excitatory GABA-dependent synaptic activity in developing MCH neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Ying; Xu, Youfen; van den Pol, Anthony N

    2013-03-01

    In mature neurons, GABA is the primary inhibitory neurotransmitter. In contrast, in developing neurons, GABA exerts excitatory actions, and in some neurons GABA-mediated excitatory synaptic activity is more prevalent than glutamate-mediated excitation. Hypothalamic neuropeptides that modulate cognitive arousal and energy homeostasis, hypocretin/orexin and neuropeptide Y (NPY), evoked reversed effects on synaptic actions that were dependent on presynaptic GABA release onto melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) neurons. MCH neurons were identified by selective green fluorescent protein (GFP) expression in transgenic mice. In adults, hypocretin increased GABA release leading to reduced excitation. In contrast, in the developing brain as studied here with analysis of miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents, paired-pulse ratios, and evoked potentials, hypocretin acted presynaptically to enhance the excitatory actions of GABA. The ability of hypocretin to enhance GABA release increases inhibition in adult neurons but paradoxically enhances excitation in developing MCH neurons. In contrast, NPY attenuation of GABA release reduced inhibition in mature neurons but enhanced inhibition during development by attenuating GABA excitation. Both hypocretin and NPY also evoked direct actions on developing MCH neurons. Hypocretin excited MCH cells by activating a sodium-calcium exchanger and by reducing potassium currents; NPY reduced activity by increasing an inwardly rectifying potassium current. These data for the first time show that both hypocretin and NPY receptors are functional presynaptically during early postnatal hypothalamic development and that both neuropeptides modulate GABA actions during development with a valence of enhanced excitation or inhibition opposite to that of the adult state, potentially allowing neuropeptide modulation of use-dependent synapse stabilization.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yee, Ada X; Chen, Lu

    2016-11-01

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

  16. Reversible plasticity of fear memory-encoding amygdala synaptic circuits even after fear memory consolidation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ingie Hong

    Full Text Available It is generally believed that after memory consolidation, memory-encoding synaptic circuits are persistently modified and become less plastic. This, however, may hinder the remaining capacity of information storage in a given neural circuit. Here we consider the hypothesis that memory-encoding synaptic circuits still retain reversible plasticity even after memory consolidation. To test this, we employed a protocol of auditory fear conditioning which recruited the vast majority of the thalamic input synaptic circuit to the lateral amygdala (T-LA synaptic circuit; a storage site for fear memory with fear conditioning-induced synaptic plasticity. Subsequently the fear memory-encoding synaptic circuits were challenged with fear extinction and re-conditioning to determine whether these circuits exhibit reversible plasticity. We found that fear memory-encoding T-LA synaptic circuit exhibited dynamic efficacy changes in tight correlation with fear memory strength even after fear memory consolidation. Initial conditioning or re-conditioning brought T-LA synaptic circuit near the ceiling of their modification range (occluding LTP and enhancing depotentiation in brain slices prepared from conditioned or re-conditioned rats, while extinction reversed this change (reinstating LTP and occluding depotentiation in brain slices prepared from extinguished rats. Consistently, fear conditioning-induced synaptic potentiation at T-LA synapses was functionally reversed by extinction and reinstated by subsequent re-conditioning. These results suggest reversible plasticity of fear memory-encoding circuits even after fear memory consolidation. This reversible plasticity of memory-encoding synapses may be involved in updating the contents of original memory even after memory consolidation.

  17. Natural Firing Patterns Imply Low Sensitivity of Synaptic Plasticity to Spike Timing Compared with Firing Rate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graupner, Michael; Wallisch, Pascal; Ostojic, Srdjan

    2016-11-02

    Synaptic plasticity is sensitive to the rate and the timing of presynaptic and postsynaptic action potentials. In experimental protocols inducing plasticity, the imposed spike trains are typically regular and the relative timing between every presynaptic and postsynaptic spike is fixed. This is at odds with firing patterns observed in the cortex of intact animals, where cells fire irregularly and the timing between presynaptic and postsynaptic spikes varies. To investigate synaptic changes elicited by in vivo-like firing, we used numerical simulations and mathematical analysis of synaptic plasticity models. We found that the influence of spike timing on plasticity is weaker than expected from regular stimulation protocols. Moreover, when neurons fire irregularly, synaptic changes induced by precise spike timing can be equivalently induced by a modest firing rate variation. Our findings bridge the gap between existing results on synaptic plasticity and plasticity occurring in vivo, and challenge the dominant role of spike timing in plasticity. Synaptic plasticity, the change in efficacy of connections between neurons, is thought to underlie learning and memory. The dominant paradigm posits that the precise timing of neural action potentials (APs) is central for plasticity induction. This concept is based on experiments using highly regular and stereotyped patterns of APs, in stark contrast with natural neuronal activity. Using synaptic plasticity models, we investigated how irregular, in vivo-like activity shapes synaptic plasticity. We found that synaptic changes induced by precise timing of APs are much weaker than suggested by regular stimulation protocols, and can be equivalently induced by modest variations of the AP rate alone. Our results call into question the dominant role of precise AP timing for plasticity in natural conditions. Copyright © 2016 Graupner et al.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Disruption of cortical synaptic homeostasis in individuals with chronic low back pain

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thapa, Tribikram; Graven-Nielsen, Thomas; Chipchase, Lucinda S.

    2018-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: Homeostatic plasticity mechanisms regulate synaptic plasticity in the human brain. Impaired homeostatic plasticity may contribute to maladaptive synaptic plasticity and symptom persistence in chronic musculoskeletal pain. METHODS: We examined homeostatic plasticity in fifty individuals...... with baseline (P plasticity in the primary motor cortex of individuals with cLBP. SIGNIFICANCE: Impaired homeostatic plasticity could explain maladaptive synaptic plasticity and symptom persistence in cLBP....... an excitatory response to tDCS applied alone, and evaluate homeostatic plasticity, respectively. Corticomotor excitability was assessed in the corticomotor representation of the first dorsal interosseous muscle by transcranial magnetic stimulation-induced motor evoked potentials (MEPs) recorded before and 0, 10...

  1. Associative Memory and Mutual Information in a Chaotic Neural NetworkIntroducing Function Typed Synaptic Weights

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masanao, Obayashi; Kenji, Yuda; Rie, Omiya; Kunikazu, Kobayashi

    So far, in associative memory search problems chaotic neural networks have constant synaptic weights to store patterns. In this paper, we propose a chaotic neural network(CNN) which has function typed synaptic weights to store patterns in order to make a better performance of the retrieval of the stored patterns. In stored patterns retrieval simulation, it is clarified that our proposed method is superior to the conventional method, that is, which has constant synaptic weights. Furthermore we propose an algorithm to calculate the mutual information in a CNN and show that the mutual information in the CNN, which are on the edge of chaos, gets the biggest values.

  2. EEA1 restores homeostatic synaptic plasticity in hippocampal neurons from Rett syndrome mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Xin; Pozzo-Miller, Lucas

    2017-08-15

    Rett syndrome is a neurodevelopmental disorder caused by loss-of-function mutations in MECP2, the gene encoding the transcriptional regulator methyl-CpG-binding protein 2 (MeCP2). Mecp2 deletion in mice results in an imbalance of excitation and inhibition in hippocampal neurons, which affects 'Hebbian' synaptic plasticity. We show that Mecp2-deficient neurons also lack homeostatic synaptic plasticity, likely due to reduced levels of EEA1, a protein involved in AMPA receptor endocytosis. Expression of EEA1 restored homeostatic synaptic plasticity in Mecp2-deficient neurons, providing novel targets of intervention in Rett syndrome. Rett syndrome is a neurodevelopmental disorder caused by loss-of-function mutations in MECP2, the gene encoding the transcriptional regulator methyl-CpG-binding protein 2 (MeCP2). Deletion of Mecp2 in mice results in an imbalance of synaptic excitation and inhibition in hippocampal pyramidal neurons, which affects 'Hebbian' long-term synaptic plasticity. Since the excitatory-inhibitory balance is maintained by homeostatic mechanisms, we examined the role of MeCP2 in homeostatic synaptic plasticity (HSP) at excitatory synapses. Negative feedback HSP, also known as synaptic scaling, maintains the global synaptic strength of individual neurons in response to sustained alterations in neuronal activity. Hippocampal neurons from Mecp2 knockout (KO) mice do not show the characteristic homeostatic scaling up of the amplitude of miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents (mEPSCs) and of synaptic levels of the GluA1 subunit of AMPA-type glutamate receptors after 48 h silencing with the Na + channel blocker tetrodotoxin. This deficit in HSP is bidirectional because Mecp2 KO neurons also failed to scale down mEPSC amplitudes and GluA1 synaptic levels after 48 h blockade of type A GABA receptor (GABA A R)-mediated inhibition with bicuculline. Consistent with the role of synaptic trafficking of AMPA-type of glutamate receptors in HSP, Mecp2 KO neurons

  3. Degeneracy in the regulation of short-term plasticity and synaptic filtering by presynaptic mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mukunda, Chinmayee L; Narayanan, Rishikesh

    2017-04-15

    We develop a new biophysically rooted, physiologically constrained conductance-based synaptic model to mechanistically account for short-term facilitation and depression, respectively through residual calcium and transmitter depletion kinetics. We address the specific question of how presynaptic components (including voltage-gated ion channels, pumps, buffers and release-handling mechanisms) and interactions among them define synaptic filtering and short-term plasticity profiles. Employing global sensitivity analyses (GSAs), we show that near-identical synaptic filters and short-term plasticity profiles could emerge from disparate presynaptic parametric combinations with weak pairwise correlations. Using virtual knockout models, a technique to address the question of channel-specific contributions within the GSA framework, we unveil the differential and variable impact of each ion channel on synaptic physiology. Our conclusions strengthen the argument that parametric and interactional complexity in biological systems should not be viewed from the limited curse-of-dimensionality standpoint, but from the evolutionarily advantageous perspective of providing functional robustness through degeneracy. Information processing in neurons is known to emerge as a gestalt of pre- and post-synaptic filtering. However, the impact of presynaptic mechanisms on synaptic filters has not been quantitatively assessed. Here, we developed a biophysically rooted, conductance-based model synapse that was endowed with six different voltage-gated ion channels, calcium pumps, calcium buffer and neurotransmitter-replenishment mechanisms in the presynaptic terminal. We tuned our model to match the short-term plasticity profile and band-pass structure of Schaffer collateral synapses, and performed sensitivity analyses to demonstrate that presynaptic voltage-gated ion channels regulated synaptic filters through changes in excitability and associated calcium influx. These sensitivity analyses

  4. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ayla eAksoy Aksel

    2013-08-01

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

  6. Synaptic plasticity can produce and enhance direction selectivity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sean Carver

    2008-02-01

    Full Text Available The discrimination of the direction of movement of sensory images is critical to the control of many animal behaviors. We propose a parsimonious model of motion processing that generates direction selective responses using short-term synaptic depression and can reproduce salient features of direction selectivity found in a population of neurons in the midbrain of the weakly electric fish Eigenmannia virescens. The model achieves direction selectivity with an elementary Reichardt motion detector: information from spatially separated receptive fields converges onto a neuron via dynamically different pathways. In the model, these differences arise from convergence of information through distinct synapses that either exhibit or do not exhibit short-term synaptic depression--short-term depression produces phase-advances relative to nondepressing synapses. Short-term depression is modeled using two state-variables, a fast process with a time constant on the order of tens to hundreds of milliseconds, and a slow process with a time constant on the order of seconds to tens of seconds. These processes correspond to naturally occurring time constants observed at synapses that exhibit short-term depression. Inclusion of the fast process is sufficient for the generation of temporal disparities that are necessary for direction selectivity in the elementary Reichardt circuit. The addition of the slow process can enhance direction selectivity over time for stimuli that are sustained for periods of seconds or more. Transient (i.e., short-duration stimuli do not evoke the slow process and therefore do not elicit enhanced direction selectivity. The addition of a sustained global, synchronous oscillation in the gamma frequency range can, however, drive the slow process and enhance direction selectivity to transient stimuli. This enhancement effect does not, however, occur for all combinations of model parameters. The ratio of depressing and nondepressing synapses

  7. Size distribution and radial density profile of synaptic vesicles by SAXS and light scattering

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Castorph, Simon; Salditt, Tim [Institute for X-ray Physics, Goettingen (Germany); Holt, Matthew; Jahn, Reinhard [Max Plank Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, Goettingen (Germany); Sztucki, Michael [European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, Grenoble (France)

    2008-07-01

    Synaptic vesicles are small membraneous organelles within the nerve terminal, encapsulating neurotransmitters by a lipid bilayer. The transport of the neurotransmitter, the fusion at the plasma membrane, and the release of the stored neurotransmitters into the synaptic cleft are since long know as essential step in nerve conduction of the chemical synapse. A detailed structural view of these molecular mechanisms is still lacking, not withstanding the enormous progress in the field during recent years. From measurements and quantitative fitting of small angle X-ray scattering curves and dynamic light scattering the averaged structural properties of synaptic vesicles can be determined. We present SAXS measurements and fits revealing the width of the size distribution function and details of the radial scattering length profile of synaptic vesicles from rat brain. Representative values for the inner and outer radius and the size polydispersity as well as the density and width of the outer protein layer are obtained.

  8. Effects of early life stress on rodent hippocampal synaptic plasticity : a systematic review

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Derks, Nienke AV; Krugers, Harm J; Hoogenraad, Casper C.; Joëls, Marian; Sarabdjitsingh, R.A.

    2017-01-01

    Early life stress shapes brain development and animal behavior. Neurophysiological properties such as signal transmission and synaptic plasticity are thought to underlie the animal's behavioral performance. We carried out a systematic review to determine how early life stress relates to

  9. Activity Dependent Synaptic Plasticity Mimicked on Indium-Tin-Oxide Electric-Double-Layer Transistor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wen, Juan; Zhu, Li Qiang; Fu, Yang Ming; Xiao, Hui; Guo, Li Qiang; Wan, Qing

    2017-10-25

    Ion coupling has provided an additional method to modulate electric properties for solid-state materials. Here, phosphorosilicate glass (PSG)-based electrolyte gated protonic/electronic coupled indium-tin-oxide electric-double-layer (EDL) transistors are fabricated. The oxide transistor exhibits good electrical performances due to an extremely strong proton gating behavior for the electrolyte. With interfacial electrochemical doping, channel conductances of the oxide EDL transistor can be regulated to different levels, corresponding to different initial synaptic weights. Thus, activity dependent synaptic responses such as excitatory postsynaptic current, paired-pulse facilitation, and high-pass filtering are discussed in detail. The proposed proton conductor gated oxide EDL synaptic transistors with activity dependent synaptic plasticities may act as fundamental building blocks for neuromorphic system applications.

  10. 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

    . 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...... 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...... is partially impaired and animals have a slower rate of hippocampal-based spatial discrimination learning. These data provide the first evidence that rAAV-based gene therapy using NPY exerts relative limited effect on synaptic plasticity and learning in the hippocampus, and therefore this approach could...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guan Wang

    2012-01-01

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

  12. Purines released from astrocytes inhibit excitatory synaptic transmission in the ventral horn of the spinal cord

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Carlsen, Eva Maria Meier; Perrier, Jean-Francois Marie

    2014-01-01

    . Neurons responded to electrical stimulation by monosynaptic EPSCs (excitatory monosynaptic postsynaptic currents). We used mice expressing the enhanced green fluorescent protein under the promoter of the glial fibrillary acidic protein to identify astrocytes. Chelating calcium with BAPTA in a single...... by different neuromodulators. These substances are usually thought of being released by dedicated neurons. However, in other networks from the central nervous system synaptic transmission is also modulated by transmitters released from astrocytes. The star-shaped glial cell responds to neurotransmitters...... by releasing gliotransmitters, which in turn modulate synaptic transmission. Here we investigated if astrocytes present in the ventral horn of the spinal cord modulate synaptic transmission. We evoked synaptic inputs in ventral horn neurons recorded in a slice preparation from the spinal cord of neonatal mice...

  13. Time to Be SHY? Some Comments on Sleep and Synaptic Homeostasis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giulio Tononi

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Sleep must serve an essential, universal function, one that offsets the risk of being disconnected from the environment. The synaptic homeostasis hypothesis (SHY is an attempt to identify this essential function. Its core claim is that sleep is needed to reestablish synaptic homeostasis, which is challenged by the remarkable plasticity of the brain. In other words, sleep is “the price we pay for plasticity.” In this issue, M. G. Frank reviewed several aspects of the hypothesis and raised several issues. The comments below provide a brief summary of the motivations underlying SHY and clarify that SHY is a hypothesis not about specific mechanisms, but about a universal, essential function of sleep. This function is the preservation of synaptic homeostasis in the face of a systematic bias toward a net increase in synaptic strength—a challenge that is posed by learning during adult wake, and by massive synaptogenesis during development.

  14. Immunogold localization of serotonin within synaptic terminals in the rat mesencephalic trigeminal nucleus

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Liem, RSB; Copray, JCVM

    1996-01-01

    With the use of postembedding electron-microscopic immunogold cytochemistry, the vesicular distribution of serotonin within serotonergic synaptic terminals in the mesencephalic trigeminal nucleus was determined in order to obtain further insight into the mechanisms and function, significance of

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maurizio eDe Pitta'

    2012-12-01

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

  16. Synaptic Loss and the Pathophysiology of PTSD: Implications for Ketamine as a Prototype Novel Therapeutic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krystal, John H.; Abdallah, Chadi G.; Averill, Lynette A.; Kelmendi, Benjamin; Harpaz-Rotem, Ilan; Sanacora, Gerard; Southwick, Steven M.; Duman, Ronald S.

    2018-01-01

    Purpose of Review Studies of the neurobiology and treatment of PTSD have highlighted many aspects of the pathophysiology of this disorder that might be relevant to treatment. The purpose of this review is to highlight the potential clinical importance of an often-neglected consequence of stress models in animals that may be relevant to PTSD: the stress-related loss of synaptic connectivity. Recent Findings Here, we will briefly review evidence that PTSD might be a “synaptic disconnection syndrome” and highlight the importance of this perspective for the emerging therapeutic application of ketamine as a potential rapid-acting treatment for this disorder that may work, in part, by restoring synaptic connectivity. Summary Synaptic disconnection may contribute to the profile of PTSD symptoms that may be targeted by novel pharmacotherapeutics. PMID:28844076

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Khanmohammadi, Mahdieh

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Berg, Rune W.; Ditlevsen, Susanne

    2013-01-01

    and excitation and their confidence limits from single sweep trials. The estimates are based on the mean membrane potential, (V) , and the membrane time constant,τ. The time constant provides the total conductance (G = capacitance/τ) and is extracted from the autocorrelation of V. The synaptic conductances can...... then be inferred from (V) when approximating the neuron as a single compartment. We further employ a stochastic model to establish limits of confidence. The method is verified on models and experimental data, where the synaptic input is manipulated pharmacologically or estimated by an alternative method....... The method gives best results if the synaptic input is large compared to other conductances, the intrinsic conductances have little or no time dependence or are comparably small, the ligand gated kinetics is faster than the membrane time constant, and the majority of synaptic contacts are electrotonically...

  19. Synaptic state matching: a dynamical architecture for predictive internal representation and feature detection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tavazoie, Saeed

    2013-01-01

    Here we explore the possibility that a core function of sensory cortex is the generation of an internal simulation of sensory environment in real-time. A logical elaboration of this idea leads to a dynamical neural architecture that oscillates between two fundamental network states, one driven by external input, and the other by recurrent synaptic drive in the absence of sensory input. Synaptic strength is modified by a proposed synaptic state matching (SSM) process that ensures equivalence of spike statistics between the two network states. Remarkably, SSM, operating locally at individual synapses, generates accurate and stable network-level predictive internal representations, enabling pattern completion and unsupervised feature detection from noisy sensory input. SSM is a biologically plausible substrate for learning and memory because it brings together sequence learning, feature detection, synaptic homeostasis, and network oscillations under a single unifying computational framework.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

  1. Systems biology of synaptic plasticity: a review on N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor mediated biochemical pathways and related mathematical models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Y; Kulasiri, D; Samarasinghe, S

    2014-08-01

    Synaptic plasticity, an emergent property of synaptic networks, has shown strong correlation to one of the essential functions of the brain, memory formation. Through understanding synaptic plasticity, we hope to discover the modulators and mechanisms that trigger memory formation. In this paper, we first review the well understood modulators and mechanisms underlying N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor dependent synaptic plasticity, a major form of synaptic plasticity in hippocampus, and then comment on the key mathematical modelling approaches available in the literature to understand synaptic plasticity as the integration of the established functionalities of synaptic components. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Spike timing analysis in neural networks with unsupervised synaptic plasticity

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

    The synaptic plasticity rules that sculpt a neural network architecture are key elements to understand cortical processing, as they may explain the emergence of stable, functional activity, while avoiding runaway excitation. For an associative memory framework, they should be built in a way as to enable the network to reproduce a robust spatio-temporal trajectory in response to an external stimulus. Still, how these rules may be implemented in recurrent networks and the way they relate to their capacity of pattern recognition remains unclear. We studied the effects of three phenomenological unsupervised rules in sparsely connected recurrent networks for associative memory: spike-timing-dependent-plasticity, short-term-plasticity and an homeostatic scaling. The system stability is monitored during the learning process of the network, as the mean firing rate converges to a value determined by the homeostatic scaling. Afterwards, it is possible to measure the recovery efficiency of the activity following each initial stimulus. This is evaluated by a measure of the correlation between spike fire timings, and we analysed the full memory separation capacity and limitations of this system.

  3. Synaptic Plasticity and Spike Synchronisation in Neuronal Networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borges, Rafael R.; Borges, Fernando S.; Lameu, Ewandson L.; Protachevicz, Paulo R.; Iarosz, Kelly C.; Caldas, Iberê L.; Viana, Ricardo L.; Macau, Elbert E. N.; Baptista, Murilo S.; Grebogi, Celso; Batista, Antonio M.

    2017-12-01

    Brain plasticity, also known as neuroplasticity, is a fundamental mechanism of neuronal adaptation in response to changes in the environment or due to brain injury. In this review, we show our results about the effects of synaptic plasticity on neuronal networks composed by Hodgkin-Huxley neurons. We show that the final topology of the evolved network depends crucially on the ratio between the strengths of the inhibitory and excitatory synapses. Excitation of the same order of inhibition revels an evolved network that presents the rich-club phenomenon, well known to exist in the brain. For initial networks with considerably larger inhibitory strengths, we observe the emergence of a complex evolved topology, where neurons sparsely connected to other neurons, also a typical topology of the brain. The presence of noise enhances the strength of both types of synapses, but if the initial network has synapses of both natures with similar strengths. Finally, we show how the synchronous behaviour of the evolved network will reflect its evolved topology.

  4. Molecular membrane dynamics: Insights into synaptic function and neuropathological disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bannai, Hiroko

    2018-04-01

    The fluid mosaic model states that molecules in the plasma membrane can freely undergo lateral diffusion; however, in neurons and glia, specific membrane molecules are concentrated in cellular microdomains to overcome the randomizing effects of free diffusion. This specialized distribution of membrane molecules is crucial for various cell functions; one example is the accumulation of neurotransmitter receptors at the postsynaptic neuronal membrane, which enables efficient synaptic transmission. Quantum dot-single particle tracking (QD-SPT) is a super-resolution imaging technique that uses semiconductor nanocrystal quantum dots as fluorescent probes, and is a powerful tool for analyzing protein and lipid behavior in the plasma membrane. In this article, we review studies implementing QD-SPT in neuroscience research and important data gleaned using this technology. Recent QD-SPT experiments have provided critical insights into the mechanism and physiological relevance of membrane self-organization in neurons and astrocytes in the brain. The mobility of some membrane molecules may become abnormal in cellular models of epilepsy and Alzheimer's disease. Based on these findings, we propose that the behavior of membrane molecules reflects the condition of neurons in pathological disease states. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ireland Ltd and Japan Neuroscience Society. All rights reserved.

  5. Optogenetic monitoring of synaptic activity with genetically encoded voltage indicators

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    Ryuichi Nakajima

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available The age of genetically encoded voltage indicators has matured to the point that changes in membrane potential can now be observed optically in vivo. Improving the signal size and speed of these voltage sensors has been the primary driving forces during this maturation process. As a result, there is a wide range of probes using different voltage detecting mechanisms and fluorescent reporters. As the use of these probes transitions from optically reporting membrane potential in single, cultured cells to imaging populations of cells in slice and/or in vivo, a new challenge emerges – optically resolving the different types of neuronal activity. While improvements in speed and signal size are still needed, optimizing the voltage range and the subcellular expression (ie., soma only of the probe are becoming more important. In this review, we will examine the ability of recently developed probes to report synaptic activity in slice and in vivo. The VSFP family of voltage sensors, ArcLight, ASAP-1, and the rhodopsin family of probes are all good at reporting changes in membrane potential, but all have difficulty distinguishing subthreshold depolarizations from action potentials and detecting neuronal inhibition when imaging populations of cells. Finally, we will offer a few possible ways to improve the optical resolution of the various types of neuronal activities.

  6. Endocannabinoid System and Synaptic Plasticity: Implications for Emotional Responses

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    María-Paz Viveros

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available The endocannabinoid system has been involved in the regulation of anxiety, and proposed as an inhibitory modulator of neuronal, behavioral and adrenocortical responses to stressful stimuli. Brain regions such as the amygdala, hippocampus and cortex, which are directly involved in the regulation of emotional behavior, contain high densities of cannabinoid CB1 receptors. Mutant mice lacking CB1 receptors show anxiogenic and depressive-like behaviors as well as an altered hypothalamus pituitary adrenal axis activity, whereas enhancement of endocannabinoid signaling produces anxiolytic and antidepressant-like effects. Genetic and pharmacological approaches also support an involvement of endocannabinoids in extinction of aversive memories. Thus, the endocannabinoid system appears to play a pivotal role in the regulation of emotional states. Endocannabinoids have emerged as mediators of short- and long- term synaptic plasticity in diverse brain structures. Despite the fact that most of the studies on this field have been performed using in vitro models, endocannabinoid-mediated plasticity might be considered as a plausible candidate underlying some of the diverse physiological functions of the endogenous cannabinoid system, including developmental, affective and cognitive processes. In this paper, we will focus on the functional relevance of endocannabinoid-mediated plasticity within the framework of emotional responses. Alterations of the endocannabinoid system may constitute an important factor in the aetiology of certain neuropsychiatric disorders, and, in turn, enhancers of endocannabinoid signaling could represent a potential therapeutical tool in the treatment of both anxiety and depressive symptoms.

  7. Distinct Functions of Endophilin Isoforms in Synaptic Vesicle Endocytosis

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    Jifeng Zhang

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Endophilin isoforms perform distinct characteristics in their interactions with N-type Ca2+ channels and dynamin. However, precise functional differences for the endophilin isoforms on synaptic vesicle (SV endocytosis remain unknown. By coupling RNA interference and electrophysiological recording techniques in cultured rat hippocampal neurons, we investigated the functional differences of three isoforms of endophilin in SV endocytosis. The results showed that the amplitude of normalized evoked excitatory postsynaptic currents in endophilin1 knockdown neurons decreased significantly for both single train and multiple train stimulations. Similar results were found using endophilin2 knockdown neurons, whereas endophilin3 siRNA exhibited no change compared with control neurons. Endophilin1 and endophilin2 affected SV endocytosis, but the effect of endophilin1 and endophilin2 double knockdown was not different from that of either knockdown alone. This result suggested that endophilin1 and endophilin2 functioned together but not independently during SV endocytosis. Taken together, our results indicate that SV endocytosis is sustained by endophilin1 and endophilin2 isoforms, but not by endophilin3, in primary cultured hippocampal neurons.

  8. Supervised and unsupervised learning with two sites of synaptic integration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Körding, K P; König, P

    2001-01-01

    Many learning rules for neural networks derive from abstract objective functions. The weights in those networks are typically optimized utilizing gradient ascent on the objective function. In those networks each neuron needs to store two variables. One variable, called activity, contains the bottom-up sensory-fugal information involved in the core signal processing. The other variable typically describes the derivative of the objective function with respect to the cell's activity and is exclusively used for learning. This variable allows the objective function's derivative to be calculated with respect to each weight and thus the weight update. Although this approach is widely used, the mapping of such two variables onto physiology is unclear, and these learning algorithms are often considered biologically unrealistic. However, recent research on the properties of cortical pyramidal neurons shows that these cells have at least two sites of synaptic integration, the basal and the apical dendrite, and are thus appropriately described by at least two variables. Here we discuss whether these results could constitute a physiological basis for the described abstract learning rules. As examples we demonstrate an implementation of the backpropagation of error algorithm and a specific self-supervised learning algorithm using these principles. Thus, compared to standard, one-integration-site neurons, it is possible to incorporate interesting properties in neural networks that are inspired by physiology with a modest increase of complexity.

  9. Synaptic plasticity enables adaptive self-tuning critical networks.

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    Nigel Stepp

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available During rest, the mammalian cortex displays spontaneous neural activity. Spiking of single neurons during rest has been described as irregular and asynchronous. In contrast, recent in vivo and in vitro population measures of spontaneous activity, using the LFP, EEG, MEG or fMRI suggest that the default state of the cortex is critical, manifested by spontaneous, scale-invariant, cascades of activity known as neuronal avalanches. Criticality keeps a network poised for optimal information processing, but this view seems to be difficult to reconcile with apparently irregular single neuron spiking. Here, we simulate a 10,000 neuron, deterministic, plastic network of spiking neurons. We show that a combination of short- and long-term synaptic plasticity enables these networks to exhibit criticality in the face of intrinsic, i.e. self-sustained, asynchronous spiking. Brief external perturbations lead to adaptive, long-term modification of intrinsic network connectivity through long-term excitatory plasticity, whereas long-term inhibitory plasticity enables rapid self-tuning of the network back to a critical state. The critical state is characterized by a branching parameter oscillating around unity, a critical exponent close to -3/2 and a long tail distribution of a self-similarity parameter between 0.5 and 1.

  10. Very low concentrations of ethanol suppress excitatory synaptic transmission in rat visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luong, Lucas; Bannon, Nicholas M; Redenti, Andrew; Chistiakova, Marina; Volgushev, Maxim

    2017-05-01

    Ethanol is one of the most commonly used substances in the world. Behavioral effects of alcohol are well described, however, cellular mechanisms of its action are poorly understood. There is an apparent contradiction between measurable behavioral changes produced by low concentrations of ethanol, and lack of evidence of synaptic changes at these concentrations. Furthermore, effects of ethanol on synaptic transmission in the neocortex are poorly understood. Here, we set to determine effects of ethanol on excitatory synaptic transmission in the neocortex. We show that 1-50 mm ethanol suppresses excitatory synaptic transmission to layer 2/3 pyramidal neurons in rat visual cortex in a concentration-dependent manner. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first demonstration of the effects of very low concentrations of ethanol (from 1 mm) on synaptic transmission in the neocortex. We further show that a selective antagonist of A 1 adenosine receptors, 8-cyclopentyl-1,3-dipropylxanthine (DPCPX), blocks effects of 1-10 mm ethanol on synaptic transmission. However, the reduction in excitatory postsynaptic potential amplitude by 50 mm ethanol was not affected by DPCPX. We propose that ethanol depresses excitatory synaptic transmission in the neocortex by at least two mechanisms, engaged at different concentrations: low concentrations of ethanol reduce synaptic transmission via A 1 R-dependent mechanism and involve presynaptic changes, while higher concentrations activate additional, adenosine-independent mechanisms with predominantly postsynaptic action. Involvement of adenosine signaling in mediating effects of low concentrations of ethanol may have important implications for understanding alcohol's effects on brain function, and provide a mechanistic explanation to the interaction between alcohol and caffeine. © 2017 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  11. Hierarchical Chunking of Sequential Memory on Neuromorphic Architecture with Reduced Synaptic Plasticity

    OpenAIRE

    Li, Guoqi; Deng, Lei; Wang, Dong; Wang, Wei; Zeng, Fei; Zhang, Ziyang; Li, Huanglong; Song, Sen; Pei, Jing; Shi, Luping

    2016-01-01

    Chunking refers to a phenomenon whereby individuals group items together when performing a memory task to improve the performance of sequential memory. In this work, we build a bio-plausible hierarchical chunking of sequential memory (HCSM) model to explain why such improvement happens. We address this issue by linking hierarchical chunking with synaptic plasticity and neuromorphic engineering. We uncover that a chunking mechanism reduces the requirements of synaptic plasticity since it allow...

  12. Reversible Plasticity of Fear Memory-Encoding Amygdala Synaptic Circuits Even after Fear Memory Consolidation

    OpenAIRE

    Hong, Ingie; Kim, Jihye; Lee, Junuk; Park, Sungmo; Song, Beomjong; Kim, Jeongyeon; An, Bobae; Park, Kyungjoon; Lee, Hyun Woo; Lee, Seungbok; Kim, Hyun; Park, Sang-Hyun; Eom, Khee Dong; Lee, Sukwon; Choi, Sukwoo

    2011-01-01

    It is generally believed that after memory consolidation, memory-encoding synaptic circuits are persistently modified and become less plastic. This, however, may hinder the remaining capacity of information storage in a given neural circuit. Here we consider the hypothesis that memory-encoding synaptic circuits still retain reversible plasticity even after memory consolidation. To test this, we employed a protocol of auditory fear conditioning which recruited the vast majority of the thalamic...

  13. Visual Stimulation Activates ERK in Synaptic and Somatic Compartments of Rat Cortical Neurons with Parallel Kinetics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boggio, Elena M.; Putignano, Elena; Sassoè-Pognetto, Marco; Pizzorusso, Tommaso; Giustetto, Maurizio

    2007-01-01

    Background Extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) signalling pathway plays a crucial role in regulating diverse neuronal processes, such as cell proliferation and differentiation, and long-term synaptic plasticity. However, a detailed understanding of the action of ERK in neurons is made difficult by the lack of knowledge about its subcellular localization in response to physiological stimuli. To address this issue, we have studied the effect of visual stimulation in vivo of dark-reared rats on the spatial-temporal dynamics of ERK activation in pyramidal neurons of the visual cortex. Methodology/Principal Findings Using immunogold electron microscopy, we show that phosphorylated ERK (pERK) is present in dendritic spines, both at synaptic and non-synaptic plasma membrane domains. Moreover, pERK is also detected in presynaptic axonal boutons forming connections with dendritic spines. Visual stimulation after dark rearing during the critical period causes a rapid increase in the number of pERK-labelled synapses in cortical layers I–II/III. This visually-induced activation of ERK at synaptic sites occurs in pre- and post-synaptic compartments and its temporal profile is identical to that of ERK activation in neuronal cell bodies. Conclusions/Significance Visual stimulation in vivo increases pERK expression at pre- and post-synaptic sites of axo-spinous junctions, suggesting that ERK plays an important role in the local modulation of synaptic function. The data presented here support a model in which pERK can have early and late actions both centrally in the cell nucleus and peripherally at synaptic contacts. PMID:17622349

  14. 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

  15. Simulation of synaptic coupling of neuron-like generators via a memristive device

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerasimova, S. A.; Mikhaylov, A. N.; Belov, A. I.; Korolev, D. S.; Gorshkov, O. N.; Kazantsev, V. B.

    2017-08-01

    A physical model of synaptically coupled neuron-like generators interacting via a memristive device has been presented. The model simulates the synaptic transmission of pulsed signals between brain neurons. The action on the receiving generator has been performed via a memristive device that demonstrates adaptive behavior. It has been established that the proposed coupling channel provides the forced synchronization with the parameters depending on the memristive device sensitivity. Synchronization modes 1: 1 and 2: 1 have been experimentally observed.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jia, Yan; Parker, David

    2016-01-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. Late onset deficits in synaptic plasticity in the valproic acid rat model of autism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Henry Giles Stratten Martin

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Valproic acid (VPA is a frequently used drug in the treatment of epilepsy, bipolar disorders and migraines; however it is also a potent teratogen. Prenatal exposure increases the risk of childhood malformations and can result in cognitive deficits. In rodents in utero exposure to VPA also causes neurodevelopmental abnormalities and is an important model of autism. In early postnatal life VPA exposed rat pups show changes in medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC physiology and synaptic connectivity. Specifically, principal neurons show decreased excitability but increased local connectivity, coupled with an increase in long-term potentiation (LTP due to an up-regulation of NMDA receptor (NMDAR expression. However recent evidence suggests compensatory homeostatic mechanisms lead to normalization of synaptic NMDA receptors during later postnatal development. Here we have extended study of mPFC synaptic physiology into adulthood to better understand the longitudinal consequences of early developmental abnormalities in VPA exposed rats. Surprisingly in contrast to early postnatal life and adolescence, we find that adult VPA exposed rats show reduced synaptic function. Both NMDAR mediated currents and LTP are lower in adult VPA rats, although spontaneous activity and endocannabinoid dependent long-term depression are normal. We conclude that rather than correcting, synaptic abnormalities persist into adulthood in VPA exposed rats, although a quite different synaptic phenotype is present. This switch from hyper to hypo function in mPFC may be linked to some of the neurodevelopmental defects found in prenatal VPA exposure and autism spectrum disorders in general.

  20. Cannabidiol inhibits synaptic transmission in rat hippocampal cultures and slices via multiple receptor pathways

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ledgerwood, CJ; Greenwood, SM; Brett, RR; Pratt, JA; Bushell, TJ

    2011-01-01

    BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Cannabidiol (CBD) has emerged as an interesting compound with therapeutic potential in several CNS disorders. However, whether it can modulate synaptic activity in the CNS remains unclear. Here, we have investigated whether CBD modulates synaptic transmission in rat hippocampal cultures and acute slices. EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH The effect of CBD on synaptic transmission was examined in rat hippocampal cultures and acute slices using whole cell patch clamp and standard extracellular recordings respectively. KEY RESULTS Cannabidiol decreased synaptic activity in hippocampal cultures in a concentration-dependent and Pertussis toxin-sensitive manner. The effects of CBD in culture were significantly reduced in the presence of the cannabinoid receptor (CB1) inverse agonist, LY320135 but were unaffected by the 5-HT1A receptor antagonist, WAY100135. In hippocampal slices, CBD inhibited basal synaptic transmission, an effect that was abolished by the proposed CB1 receptor antagonist, AM251, in addition to LY320135 and WAY100135. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS Cannabidiol reduces synaptic transmission in hippocampal in vitro preparations and we propose a role for both 5-HT1A and CB1 receptors in these CBD-mediated effects. These data offer some mechanistic insights into the effects of CBD and emphasize that further investigations into the actions of CBD in the CNS are required in order to elucidate the full therapeutic potential of CBD. PMID:20825410

  1. Depolarization-induced calcium-independent synaptic vesicle exo- and endocytosis at frog motor nerve terminals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abdrakhmanov, M M; Petrov, A M; Grigoryev, P N; Zefirov, A L

    2013-10-01

    The transmitter release and synaptic vesicle exo- and endocytosis induced by constant current depolarization of nerve terminals were studied by microelectode extracellular recording of miniature endplate currents and fluorescent microscopy (FM 1-43 styryl dye). Depolarization of the plasma membrane of nerve terminals in the control specimen was shown to significantly increase the MEPC frequency (quantal transmitter release) and exocytotic rate (FM 1-43 unloading from the synaptic vesicles preliminarily stained with the dye), which was caused by a rise in the intracellular Ca(2+) concentration due to opening of voltage-gated Ca channels. A slight increase in the MEPC frequency and in the rate of synaptic vesicle exocytosis was observed under depolarization in case of blockade of Ca channels and chelating of intracellular Ca(2+) ions (cooperative action of Cd(2+) and EGTA-AM). The processes of synaptic vesicle endocytosis (FM 1-43 loading) were proportional to the number of synaptic vesicles that had undergone exocytosis both in the control and in case of cooperative action of Cd(2+) and EGTA-AM. A hypothesis has been put forward that Ca-independent synaptic vesicle exo- and endocytosis that can be induced directly by depolarization of the membrane exists in the frog motor terminal in addition to the conventional Ca-dependent process.

  2. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-09-01

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

  4. The requirement of BDNF for hippocampal synaptic plasticity is experience-dependent.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aarse, Janna; Herlitze, Stefan; Manahan-Vaughan, Denise

    2016-06-01

    Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) supports neuronal survival, growth, and differentiation and has been implicated in forms of hippocampus-dependent learning. In vitro, a specific role in hippocampal synaptic plasticity has been described, although not all experience-dependent forms of synaptic plasticity critically depend on BDNF. Synaptic plasticity is likely to enable long-term synaptic information storage and memory, and the induction of persistent (>24 h) forms, such as long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD) is tightly associated with learning specific aspects of a spatial representation. Whether BDNF is required for persistent (>24 h) forms of LTP and LTD, and how it contributes to synaptic plasticity in the freely behaving rodent has never been explored. We examined LTP, LTD, and related forms of learning in the CA1 region of freely dependent mice that have a partial knockdown of BDNF (BDNF(+/-) ). We show that whereas early-LTD (synaptic plasticity may circumvent the need for BDNF, rather it may play a specific role in the optimization of weaker forms of plasticity. The finding that both learning-facilitated LTD and spatial reference memory are both impaired in BDNF(+/-) mice, suggests moreover, that it is critically required for the physiological encoding of hippocampus-dependent memory. © 2015 The Authors Hippocampus Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  5. Buyang Huanwu decoction facilitates neurorehabilitation through an improvement of synaptic plasticity in cerebral ischemic rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pan, Ruihuan; Cai, Jun; Zhan, Lechang; Guo, Youhua; Huang, Run-Yue; Li, Xiong; Zhou, Mingchao; Xu, Dandan; Zhan, Jie; Chen, Hongxia

    2017-03-28

    Loss of neural function is a critical but unsolved issue after cerebral ischemia insult. Neuronal plasticity and remodeling are crucial for recovery of neural functions after brain injury. Buyang Huanwu decoction, which is a classic formula in traditional Chinese medicine, can positively alter synaptic plasticity. This study assessed the effects of Buyang Huanwu decoction in combination with physical exercise on neuronal plasticity in cerebral ischemic rats. Cerebral ischemic rats were administered Buyang Huanwu decoction and participated in physical exercise after the induction of a permanent middle cerebral artery occlusion. The neurobehavioral functions and infarct volumes were evaluated. The presynaptic (SYN), postsynaptic (GAP-43) and cytoskeletal (MAP-2) proteins in the coronal brain samples were evaluated by immunohistochemistry and western blot analyses. The ultrastructure of the neuronal synaptic junctions in the same region were analyzed using transmission electron microscopy. Combination treatment of Buyang Huanwu decoction and physical exercise ameliorated the neurobehavioral deficits (p synaptic ultrastructure. Buyang Huanwu decoction facilitated neurorehabilitation following a cerebral ischemia insult through an improvement in synaptic plasticity. Graphical abstract The Buyang Huanwu decoction (BYHWD) combined with physical exercise (PE) attenuates synaptic disruption and promotes synaptic plasticity following cerebral ischemia (stroke).

  6. Dynamic expression of long noncoding RNAs and repeat elements in synaptic plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maag, Jesper L V; Panja, Debabrata; Sporild, Ida; Patil, Sudarshan; Kaczorowski, Dominik C; Bramham, Clive R; Dinger, Marcel E; Wibrand, Karin

    2015-01-01

    Long-term potentiation (LTP) of synaptic transmission is recognized as a cellular mechanism for learning and memory storage. Although de novo gene transcription is known to be required in the formation of stable LTP, the molecular mechanisms underlying synaptic plasticity remain elusive. Noncoding RNAs have emerged as major regulatory molecules that are abundantly and specifically expressed in the mammalian brain. By combining RNA-seq analysis with LTP induction in the dentate gyrus of live rats, we provide the first global transcriptomic analysis of synaptic plasticity in the adult brain. Expression profiles of mRNAs and long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) were obtained at 30 min, 2 and 5 h after high-frequency stimulation of the perforant pathway. The temporal analysis revealed dynamic expression profiles of lncRNAs with many positively, and highly, correlated to protein-coding genes with known roles in synaptic plasticity, suggesting their possible involvement in LTP. In light of observations suggesting a role for retrotransposons in brain function, we examined the expression of various classes of repeat elements. Our analysis identifies dynamic regulation of LINE1 and SINE retrotransposons, and extensive regulation of tRNA. These experiments reveal a hitherto unknown complexity of gene expression in long-term synaptic plasticity involving the dynamic regulation of lncRNAs and repeat elements. These findings provide a broader foundation for elucidating the transcriptional and epigenetic regulation of synaptic plasticity in both the healthy brain and in neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric disorders.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Runchun M; Hamilton, Tara J; Tapson, Jonathan C; van Schaik, André

    2015-01-01

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

  9. Opposite Synaptic Alterations at the Neuromuscular Junction in an ALS Mouse Model: When Motor Units Matter.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tremblay, Elsa; Martineau, Éric; Robitaille, Richard

    2017-09-13

    Denervation of the neuromuscular junction (NMJ) precedes the loss of motor neurons (MNs) in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). ALS is characterized by a motor unit (MU)-dependent vulnerability where MNs with fast-fatigable (FF) characteristics are lost first, followed by fast fatigue-resistant (FR) and slow (S) MNs. However, changes in NMJ properties as a function of MU types remain debated. We hypothesized that NMJ synaptic functions would be altered precociously in an MU-specific manner, before structural alterations of the NMJ. Synaptic transmission and morphological changes of NMJs have been explored in two nerve-muscle preparations of male SOD1 G37R mice and their wild-type (WT) littermates: the soleus (S and FR MU); and the extensor digitorum longus (FF MU). S, FR, and FF NMJs of WT mice showed distinct synaptic properties from which we build an MU synaptic profile (MUSP) that reports MU-dependent NMJ synaptic properties. At postnatal day 180 (P180), FF and S NMJs of SOD1 already showed, respectively, lower and higher quantal content compared with WT mice, before signs of MN death and before NMJ morphological alterations. Changes persisted in both muscles until preonset (P380), while denervation was frequent in the mutant mouse. MN death was evident at this stage. Additional changes occurred at clinical disease onset (P450) for S and FR MU. As a whole, our results reveal a reversed MUSP in SOD1 mutants and highlight MU-specific synaptic changes occurring in a precise temporal sequence. Importantly, changes in synaptic properties appear to be good predictors of vulnerability to neurodegeneration. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT The inadequate excitability of motor neurons and their output, the neuromuscular junctions (NMJs), has been considered a key factor in the detrimental outcome of the motor function in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. However, a conundrum persists at the NMJ whereby persistent but incoherent opposite neurotransmission changes have been reported

  10. Leptin potentiates GABAergic synaptic transmission in the developing rodent hippocampus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Damien eGuimond

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available It is becoming increasingly clear that leptin is not only a hormone regulating energy homeostasis but also a neurotrophic factor impacting a number of brain regions, including the hippocampus. Although leptin promotes the development of GABAergic transmission in the hypothalamus, little is known about its action on the GABAergic system in the hippocampus. Here we show that leptin modulates GABAergic transmission onto developing CA3 pyramidal cells of newborn rats. Specifically, leptin induces a long-lasting potentiation (LLP-GABAA of miniature GABAA receptor-mediated postsynaptic current (GABAA-PSC frequency. Leptin also increases the amplitude of evoked GABAA-PSCs in a subset of neurons along with a decrease in the coefficient of variation and no change in the paired-pulse ratio, pointing to an increased recruitment of functional synapses. Adding pharmacological blockers to the recording pipette showed that the leptin-induced LLP-GABAA requires postsynaptic calcium released from internal stores, as well as postsynaptic MAPK/ERK kinases 1 and/or 2 (MEK1/2, phosphoinositide 3 kinase (PI3K and calcium-calmodulin kinase kinase (CaMKK. Finally, study of CA3 pyramidal cells in leptin-deficient ob/ob mice revealed a reduction in the basal frequency of miniature GABAA-PSCs compared to wild type littermates. In addition, presynaptic GAD65 immunostaining was reduced in the CA3 stratum pyramidale of mutant animals, both results converging to suggest a decreased number of functional GABAergic synapses in ob/ob mice. Overall, these results show that leptin potentiates and promotes the development of GABAergic synaptic transmission in the developing hippocampus likely via an increase in the number of functional synapses, and provide insights into the intracellular pathways mediating this effect. This study further extends the scope of leptin’s neurotrophic action to a key regulator of hippocampal development and function, namely GABAergic transmission.

  11. Miniature excitatory synaptic currents in cultured hippocampal neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Finch, D M; Fisher, R S; Jackson, M B

    1990-06-04

    We performed patch clamp recordings in the whole cell mode from cultured embryonic mouse hippocampal neurons. In bathing solutions containing tetrodotoxin (TTX), the cells showed spontaneous inward currents (SICs) ranging in size from 1 to 100 pA. Several observations indicated that the SICs were miniature excitatory synaptic currents mediated primarily by non-NMDA (N-methyl-D-aspartate) excitatory amino acid receptors: the rising phase of SICs was fast (1 ms to half amplitude at room temperature) and smooth, suggesting unitary events. The SICs were blocked by the broad-spectrum glutamate receptor antagonist gamma-D-glutamylglycine (DGG), but not by the selective NMDA-receptor antagonist D-2-amino-5-phosphonovaleric acid (5-APV). SICs were also blocked by desensitizing concentrations of quisqualate. Incubating cells in tetanus toxin, which blocks exocytotic transmitter release, eliminated SICs. The presence of SICs was consistent with the morphological arrangement of glutamatergic innervation in the cell cultures demonstrated immunohistochemically. Spontaneous outward currents (SOCs) were blocked by bicuculline and presumed to be mediated by GABAA receptors. This is consistent with immunohistochemical demonstration of GABAergic synapses. SIC frequency was increased in a calcium dependent manner by bathing the cells in a solution high in K+, and application of the dihydropyridine L-type calcium channel agonist BAY K 8644 increased the frequency of SICs. Increases in SIC frequency produced by high K+ solutions were reversed by Cd2+ and omega-conotoxin GVIA, but not by the selective L-type channel antagonist nimodipine. This suggested that presynaptic L-type channels were in a gating mode that was not blocked by nimodipine, and/or that another class of calcium channel makes a dominant contribution to excitatory transmitter release.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moroz, Leonid L; Kohn, Andrea B

    2015-12-01

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

  13. Motor unit recruitment strategies and muscle properties determine the influence of synaptic noise on force steadiness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dideriksen, Jakob L.; Negro, Francesco; Enoka, Roger M.

    2012-01-01

    Motoneurons receive synaptic inputs from tens of thousands of connections that cause membrane potential to fluctuate continuously (synaptic noise), which introduces variability in discharge times of action potentials. We hypothesized that the influence of synaptic noise on force steadiness during voluntary contractions is limited to low muscle forces. The hypothesis was examined with an analytical description of transduction of motor unit spike trains into muscle force, a computational model of motor unit recruitment and rate coding, and experimental analysis of interspike interval variability during steady contractions with the abductor digiti minimi muscle. Simulations varied contraction force, level of synaptic noise, size of motor unit population, recruitment range, twitch contraction times, and level of motor unit short-term synchronization. Consistent with the analytical derivations, simulations and experimental data showed that force variability at target forces above a threshold was primarily due to low-frequency oscillations in neural drive, whereas the influence of synaptic noise was almost completely attenuated by two low-pass filters, one related to convolution of motoneuron spike trains with motor unit twitches (temporal summation) and the other attributable to summation of single motor unit forces (spatial summation). The threshold force above which synaptic noise ceased to influence force steadiness depended on recruitment range, size of motor unit population, and muscle contractile properties. This threshold was low (motor unit recruitment and muscle properties of a typical muscle are tuned to limit the influence of synaptic noise on force steadiness to low forces and that the inability to produce a constant force during stronger contractions is mainly attributable to the common low-frequency oscillations in motoneuron discharge rates. PMID:22423000

  14. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Denise eManahan-Vaughan

    2012-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-21

    Although progress has been made in the detection and characterization of neural plasticity in depression, it has not been fully understood in individual synaptic changes in the neural circuits under chronic stress and antidepressant treatment. Using electron microscopy and Western-blot analyses, the present study quantitatively examined the changes in the Gray's Type I synaptic ultrastructures and the expression of synapse-associated proteins in the key brain regions of rats' depressive-related neural circuit after chronic unpredicted mild stress and/or escitalopram administration. Meanwhile, their depressive behaviors were also determined by several tests. The Type I synapses underwent considerable remodeling after chronic unpredicted mild stress, which resulted in the changed width of the synaptic cleft, length of the active zone, postsynaptic density thickness, and/or synaptic curvature in the subregions of medial prefrontal cortex and hippocampus, as well as the basolateral amygdaloid nucleus of the amygdala, accompanied by changed expression of several synapse-associated proteins. Chronic escitalopram administration significantly changed the above alternations in the chronic unpredicted mild stress rats but had little effect on normal controls. Also, there was a positive correlation between the locomotor activity and the maximal synaptic postsynaptic density thickness in the stratum radiatum of the Cornu Ammonis 1 region and a negative correlation between the sucrose preference and the length of the active zone in the basolateral amygdaloid nucleus region in chronic unpredicted mild stress rats. These findings strongly indicate that chronic stress and escitalopram can alter synaptic plasticity in the neural circuits, and the remodeled synaptic ultrastructure was correlated with the rats' depressive behaviors, suggesting a therapeutic target for further exploration. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of CINP.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Felipe Vidal

    2017-12-01

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

  18. Calcium dynamics predict direction of synaptic plasticity in striatal spiny projection neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jędrzejewska-Szmek, Joanna; Damodaran, Sriraman; Dorman, Daniel B; Blackwell, Kim T

    2017-04-01

    The striatum is a major site of learning and memory formation for sensorimotor and cognitive association. One of the mechanisms used by the brain for memory storage is synaptic plasticity - the long-lasting, activity-dependent change in synaptic strength. All forms of synaptic plasticity require an elevation in intracellular calcium, and a common hypothesis is that the amplitude and duration of calcium transients can determine the direction of synaptic plasticity. The utility of this hypothesis in the striatum is unclear in part because dopamine is required for striatal plasticity and in part because of the diversity in stimulation protocols. To test whether calcium can predict plasticity direction, we developed a calcium-based plasticity rule using a spiny projection neuron model with sophisticated calcium dynamics including calcium diffusion, buffering and pump extrusion. We utilized three spike timing-dependent plasticity (STDP) induction protocols, in which postsynaptic potentials are paired with precisely timed action potentials and the timing of such pairing determines whether potentiation or depression will occur. Results show that despite the variation in calcium dynamics, a single, calcium-based plasticity rule, which explicitly considers duration of calcium elevations, can explain the direction of synaptic weight change for all three STDP protocols. Additional simulations show that the plasticity rule correctly predicts the NMDA receptor dependence of long-term potentiation and the L-type channel dependence of long-term depression. By utilizing realistic calcium dynamics, the model reveals mechanisms controlling synaptic plasticity direction, and shows that the dynamics of calcium, not just calcium amplitude, are crucial for synaptic plasticity. © 2016 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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

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    Frédéric Gambino

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-02-15

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

  1. Coexistence of Multiple Types of Synaptic Plasticity in Individual Hippocampal CA1 Pyramidal Neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edelmann, Elke; Cepeda-Prado, Efrain; Leßmann, Volkmar

    2017-01-01

    Understanding learning and memory mechanisms is an important goal in neuroscience. To gain insights into the underlying cellular mechanisms for memory formation, synaptic plasticity processes are studied with various techniques in different brain regions. A valid model to scrutinize different ways to enhance or decrease synaptic transmission is recording of long-term potentiation (LTP) or long-term depression (LTD). At the single cell level, spike timing-dependent plasticity (STDP) protocols have emerged as a powerful tool to investigate synaptic plasticity with stimulation paradigms that also likely occur during memory formation in vivo . Such kind of plasticity can be induced by different STDP paradigms with multiple repeat numbers and stimulation patterns. They subsequently recruit or activate different molecular pathways and neuromodulators for induction and expression of STDP. Dopamine (DA) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) have been recently shown to be important modulators for hippocampal STDP at Schaffer collateral (SC)-CA1 synapses and are activated exclusively by distinguishable STDP paradigms. Distinct types of parallel synaptic plasticity in a given neuron depend on specific subcellular molecular prerequisites. Since the basal and apical dendrites of CA1 pyramidal neurons are known to be heterogeneous, and distance-dependent dendritic gradients for specific receptors and ion channels are described, the dendrites might provide domain specific locations for multiple types of synaptic plasticity in the same neuron. In addition to the distinct signaling and expression mechanisms of various types of LTP and LTD, activation of these different types of plasticity might depend on background brain activity states. In this article, we will discuss some ideas why multiple forms of synaptic plasticity can simultaneously and independently coexist and can contribute so effectively to increasing the efficacy of memory storage and processing capacity of the

  2. The Hypoxia Mimetic Protocatechuic Acid Ethyl Ester Inhibits Synaptic Signaling and Plasticity in the Rat Hippocampus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lanigan, Sinead M; O'Connor, John J

    2018-01-15

    During hypoxia a number of physiological changes occur within neurons including the stabilization of hypoxia-inducible factors (HIFs). The activity of these proteins is regulated by O 2 , Fe 2+ , 2-OG and ascorbate-dependant hydroxylases which contain prolyl-4-hydroxylase domains (PHDs). PHD inhibitors have been widely used and have been shown to have a preconditioning and protective effect against a later and more severe hypoxic insult. In this study we have investigated the neuroprotective effects of the PHD inhibitor, protocatechuic acid ethyl ester (ethyl 3,4, dihydroxybenzoate: EDHB), as well as its effects on synaptic transmission and plasticity in the rat hippocampus using electrophysiological techniques. We report for the first time, an acute concentration-dependent and reversible inhibitory effect of EDHB (10-100 μM) on synaptic transmission in the dentate gyrus but not Cornu Ammonis 1 (CA1) region which does not affect cell viability. This effect was attenuated through the application of the NMDA or GABA A receptor antagonists, AP-5 and picrotoxin in the dentate gyrus. There were no changes in the ratio of paired responses after EDHB application suggesting a post-synaptic mechanism of action. EDHB (100 μM), was found to inhibit synaptic plasticity in both the dentate gyrus and CA1 regions. Application of exogenous Fe 2+ (100 μM) or digoxin (100 nM) did not reverse EDHB's inhibitory effect on synaptic transmission or plasticity in both regions, suggesting that its effects may be HIF-independent. These results highlight a novel modulatory role for the PHD inhibitor EDHB in hippocampal synaptic transmission and plasticity. A novel post-synaptic mechanism of action may be involved, possibly involving NMDA and GABA A receptor activation. Copyright © 2017 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. GluR2 protein-protein interactions and the regulation of AMPA receptors during synaptic plasticity.

    OpenAIRE

    Duprat, Fabrice; Daw, Michael; Lim, Wonil; Collingridge, Graham; Isaac, John

    2003-01-01

    AMPA-type glutamate receptors mediate most fast excitatory synaptic transmissions in the mammalian brain. They are critically involved in the expression of long-term potentiation and long-term depression, forms of synaptic plasticity that are thought to underlie learning and memory. A number of synaptic proteins have been identified that interact with the intracellular C-termini of AMPA receptor subunits. Here, we review recent studies and present new experimental data on the roles of these i...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crabtree, Gregg W; Gogos, Joseph A

    2014-01-01

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

  6. Cortactin Is a Regulator of Activity-Dependent Synaptic Plasticity Controlled by Wingless.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alicea, Daniel; Perez, Marizabeth; Maldonado, Carolina; Dominicci-Cotto, Carihann; Marie, Bruno

    2017-02-22

    Major signaling molecules initially characterized as key early developmental regulators are also essential for the plasticity of the nervous system. Previously, the Wingless (Wg)/Wnt pathway was shown to underlie the structural and electrophysiological changes during activity-dependent synaptic plasticity at the Drosophila neuromuscular junction. A challenge remains to understand how this signal mediates the cellular changes underlying this plasticity. Here, we focus on the actin regulator Cortactin, a major organizer of protrusion, membrane mobility, and invasiveness, and define its new role in synaptic plasticity. We show that Cortactin is present presynaptically and postsynaptically at the Drosophila NMJ and that it is a presynaptic regulator of rapid activity-dependent modifications in synaptic structure. Furthermore, animals lacking presynaptic Cortactin show a decrease in spontaneous release frequency, and presynaptic Cortactin is necessary for the rapid potentiation of spontaneous release frequency that takes place during activity-dependent plasticity. Most interestingly, Cortactin levels increase at stimulated synaptic terminals and this increase requires neuronal activity, de novo transcription and depends on Wg/Wnt expression. Because it is not simply the presence of Cortactin in the presynaptic terminal but its increase that is necessary for the full range of activity-dependent plasticity, we conclude that it probably plays a direct and important role in the regulation of this process. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT In the nervous system, changes in activity that lead to modifications in synaptic structure and function are referred to as synaptic plasticity and are thought to be the basis of learning and memory. The secreted Wingless/Wnt molecule is a potent regulator of synaptic plasticity in both vertebrates and invertebrates. Understanding the molecular mechanisms that underlie these plastic changes is a major gap in our knowledge. Here, we identify a

  7. The Spacing Effect for Structural Synaptic Plasticity Provides Specificity and Precision in Plastic Changes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    San Martin, Alvaro; Rela, Lorena; Gelb, Bruce; Pagani, Mario Rafael

    2017-05-10

    In contrast to trials of training without intervals (massed training), training trials spaced over time (spaced training) induce a more persistent memory identified as long-term memory (LTM). This phenomenon, known as the spacing effect for memory, is poorly understood. LTM is supported by structural synaptic plasticity; however, how synapses integrate spaced stimuli remains elusive. Here, we analyzed events of structural synaptic plasticity at the single-synapse level after distinct patterns of stimulation in motoneurons of Drosophila We found that the spacing effect is a phenomenon detected at synaptic level, which determines the specificity and the precision in structural synaptic plasticity. Whereas a single pulse of stimulation (massed) induced structural synaptic plasticity, the same amount of stimulation divided in three spaced stimuli completely prevented it. This inhibitory effect was determined by the length of the interstimulus intervals. The inhibitory effect of the spacing was lost by suppressing the activity of Ras or mitogen-activated protein kinase, whereas the overexpression of Ras-WT enhanced it. Moreover, dividing the same total time of stimulation into five or more stimuli produced a higher precision in the number of events of plasticity. Ras mutations associated with intellectual disability abolished the spacing effect and led neurons to decode distinct stimulation patterns as massed stimulation. This evidence suggests that the spacing effect for memory may result from the effect of the spacing in synaptic plasticity, which appears to be a property not limited to neurons involved in learning and memory. We propose a model of spacing-dependent structural synaptic plasticity. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Long-term memory (LTM) induced by repeated trials spaced over time is known as the spacing effect, a common property in the animal kingdom. Altered mechanisms in the spacing effect have been found in animal models of disorders with intellectual

  8. Epsin 1 Promotes Synaptic Growth by Enhancing BMP Signal Levels in Motoneuron Nuclei.

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    Phillip A Vanlandingham

    Full Text Available Bone morphogenetic protein (BMP retrograde signaling is crucial for neuronal development and synaptic plasticity. However, how the BMP effector phospho-Mother against decapentaplegic (pMad is processed following receptor activation remains poorly understood. Here we show that Drosophila Epsin1/Liquid facets (Lqf positively regulates synaptic growth through post-endocytotic processing of pMad signaling complex. Lqf and the BMP receptor Wishful thinking (Wit interact genetically and biochemically. lqf loss of function (LOF reduces bouton number whereas overexpression of lqf stimulates bouton growth. Lqf-stimulated synaptic overgrowth is suppressed by genetic reduction of wit. Further, synaptic pMad fails to accumulate inside the motoneuron nuclei in lqf mutants and lqf suppresses synaptic overgrowth in spinster (spin mutants with enhanced BMP signaling by reducing accumulation of nuclear pMad. Interestingly, lqf mutations reduce nuclear pMad levels without causing an apparent blockage of axonal transport itself. Finally, overexpression of Lqf significantly increases the number of multivesicular bodies (MVBs in the synapse whereas lqf LOF reduces MVB formation, indicating that Lqf may function in signaling endosome recycling or maturation. Based on these observations, we propose that Lqf plays a novel endosomal role to ensure efficient retrograde transport of BMP signaling endosomes into motoneuron nuclei.

  9. Nicotine uses neuron-glia communication to enhance hippocampal synaptic transmission and long-term memory.

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    Mónica López-Hidalgo

    Full Text Available Nicotine enhances synaptic transmission and facilitates long-term memory. Now it is known that bi-directional glia-neuron interactions play important roles in the physiology of the brain. However, the involvement of glial cells in the effects of nicotine has not been considered until now. In particular, the gliotransmitter D-serine, an endogenous co-agonist of NMDA receptors, enables different types of synaptic plasticity and memory in the hippocampus. Here, we report that hippocampal long-term synaptic plasticity induced by nicotine was annulled by an enzyme that degrades endogenous D-serine, or by an NMDA receptor antagonist that acts at the D-serine binding site. Accordingly, both effects of nicotine: the enhancement of synaptic transmission and facilitation of long-term memory were eliminated by impairing glial cells with fluoroacetate, and were restored with exogenous D-serine. Together, these results show that glial D-serine is essential for the long-term effects of nicotine on synaptic plasticity and memory, and they highlight the roles of glial cells as key participants in brain functions.

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

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    Daisuke Miyamoto

    2017-11-01

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

  11. A high-throughput model for investigating neuronal function and synaptic transmission in cultured neuronal networks.

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    Virdee, Jasmeet K; Saro, Gabriella; Fouillet, Antoine; Findlay, Jeremy; Ferreira, Filipa; Eversden, Sarah; O'Neill, Michael J; Wolak, Joanna; Ursu, Daniel

    2017-11-03

    Loss of synapses or alteration of synaptic activity is associated with cognitive impairment observed in a number of psychiatric and neurological disorders, such as schizophrenia and Alzheimer's disease. Therefore successful development of in vitro methods that can investigate synaptic function in a high-throughput format could be highly impactful for neuroscience drug discovery. We present here the development, characterisation and validation of a novel high-throughput in vitro model for assessing neuronal function and synaptic transmission in primary rodent neurons. The novelty of our approach resides in the combination of the electrical field stimulation (EFS) with data acquisition in spatially separated areas of an interconnected neuronal network. We integrated our methodology with state of the art drug discovery instrumentation (FLIPR Tetra) and used selective tool compounds to perform a systematic pharmacological validation of the model. We investigated pharmacological modulators targeting pre- and post-synaptic receptors (AMPA, NMDA, GABA-A, mGluR2/3 receptors and Nav, Cav voltage-gated ion channels) and demonstrated the ability of our model to discriminate and measure synaptic transmission in cultured neuronal networks. Application of the model described here as an unbiased phenotypic screening approach will help with our long term goals of discovering novel therapeutic strategies for treating neurological disorders.

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

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    Emily Petrus

    2014-01-01

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

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

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    Robert Sweet

    2010-06-01

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

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

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    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.

  15. Activity-dependent synaptic plasticity modulates the critical phase of brain development.

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    Chaudhury, Sraboni; Sharma, Vikram; Kumar, Vivek; Nag, Tapas C; Wadhwa, Shashi

    2016-04-01

    Plasticity or neuronal plasticity is a unique and adaptive feature of nervous system which allows neurons to reorganize their interactions in response to an intrinsic or extrinsic stimulation and shapes the formation and maintenance of a functional neuronal circuit. Synaptic plasticity is the most important form of neural plasticity and plays critical role during the development allowing the formation of precise neural connectivity via the process of pruning. In the sensory systems-auditory and visual, this process is heavily dependent on the external cues perceived during the development. Environmental enrichment paradigms in an activity-dependent manner result in early maturation of the synapses and more efficient trans-synaptic signaling or communication flow. This has been extensively observed in the avian auditory system. On the other hand, stimuli results in negative effect can cause alterations in the synaptic connectivity and strength resulting in various developmental brain disorders including autism, fragile X syndrome and rett syndrome. In this review we discuss the role of different forms of activity (spontaneous or environmental) during the development of the nervous system in modifying synaptic plasticity necessary for shaping the adult brain. Also, we try to explore various factors (molecular, genetic and epigenetic) involved in altering the synaptic plasticity in positive and negative way. Copyright © 2015 The Japanese Society of Child Neurology. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

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

    2014-04-02

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

  17. Opposing Synaptic Regulation of Amyloid-β Metabolism by NMDA Receptors In Vivo

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    Verges, Deborah K.; Restivo, Jessica L.; Goebel, Whitney D.; Holtzman, David M.; Cirrito, John R.

    2012-01-01

    The concentration of amyloid-β (Aβ) within the brain extracellular space is one determinant of whether the peptide will aggregate into toxic species that are important in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) pathogenesis. Some types of synaptic activity can regulate Aβ levels. Here we demonstrate two distinct mechanisms that are simultaneously activated by NMDA receptors and regulate brain interstitial fluid (ISF) Aβ levels in opposite directions in the living mouse. Depending on the dose of NMDA administered locally to the brain, ISF Aβ levels either increase or decrease. Low doses of NMDA increase action potentials and synaptic transmission which leads to an elevation in synaptic Aβ generation. In contrast, high doses of NMDA activate signaling pathways that lead to ERK (extracellular-regulated kinase) activation, which reduces processing of APP into Aβ. This depression in Aβ via APP processing occurs despite dramatically elevated synaptic activity. Both of these synaptic mechanisms are simultaneously active, with the balance between them determining whether ISF Aβ levels will increase or decrease. NMDA receptor antagonists increase ISF Aβ levels, suggesting that basal activity at these receptors normally suppresses Aβ levels in vivo. This has implications for understanding normal Aβ metabolism as well as AD pathogenesis. PMID:21813692

  18. 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.

  19. Age dependence of the rapid antidepressant and synaptic effects of acute NMDA receptor blockade

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    Elena eNosyreva

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Ketamine is a NMDA receptor antagonist that produces rapid antidepressant responses in individuals with major depressive disorder. The antidepressant action of ketamine has been linked to blocking NMDA receptor activation at rest, which inhibits eukaryotic elongation factor2 kinase leading to desuppression of protein synthesis and synaptic potentiation in the CA1 region of the hippocampus. Here, we investigated ketamine mediated antidepressant response and the resulting synaptic potentiation in juvenile animals. We found that ketamine did not produce an antidepressant response in juvenile animals in the novelty suppressed feeding or the forced swim test. In addition ketamine application failed to trigger synaptic potentiation in hippocampal slices obtained from juvenile animals, unlike its action in slices from older animals (6-9 weeks old. The inability of ketamine to trigger an antidepressant response or subsequent synaptic plasticity processes suggests a developmental component to ketamine mediated antidepressant efficacy. We also show that the NMDAR antagonist AP5 triggers synaptic potentiation in mature hippocampus similar to the action of ketamine, demonstrating that global competitive blockade of NMDA receptors is sufficient to trigger this effect. These findings suggest that global blockade of NMDA receptors in developmentally mature hippocampal synapses are required for the antidepressant efficacy of ketamine.

  20. Reelin supplementation recovers synaptic plasticity and cognitive deficits in a mouse model for Angelman syndrome.

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    Hethorn, Whitney R; Ciarlone, Stephanie L; Filonova, Irina; Rogers, Justin T; Aguirre, Daniela; Ramirez, Raquel A; Grieco, Joseph C; Peters, Melinda M; Gulick, Danielle; Anderson, Anne E; L Banko, Jessica; Lussier, April L; Weeber, Edwin J

    2015-05-01

    The Reelin signaling pathway is implicated in processes controlling synaptic plasticity and hippocampus-dependent learning and memory. A single direct in vivo application of Reelin enhances long-term potentiation, increases dendritic spine density and improves associative and spatial learning and memory. Angelman syndrome (AS) is a neurological disorder that presents with an overall defect in synaptic function, including decreased long-term potentiation, reduced dendritic spine density, and deficits in learning and memory, making it an attractive model in which to examine the ability of Reelin to recover synaptic function and cognitive deficits. In this study, we investigated the effects of Reelin administration on synaptic plasticity and cognitive function in a mouse model of AS and demonstrated that bilateral, intraventricular injections of Reelin recover synaptic function and corresponding hippocampus-dependent associative and spatial learning and memory. Additionally, we describe alteration of the Reelin profile in tissue from both the AS mouse and post-mortem human brain. © 2015 The Authors. European Journal of Neuroscience published by Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  1. Functional dissection of synaptic circuits: in vivo patch-clamp recording in neuroscience.

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    Tao, Can; Zhang, Guangwei; Xiong, Ying; Zhou, Yi

    2015-01-01

    Neuronal activity is dominated by synaptic inputs from excitatory or inhibitory neural circuits. With the development of in vivo patch-clamp recording, especially in vivo voltage-clamp recording, researchers can not only directly measure neuronal activity, such as spiking responses or membrane potential dynamics, but also quantify synaptic inputs from excitatory and inhibitory circuits in living animals. This approach enables researchers to directly unravel different synaptic components and to understand their underlying roles in particular brain functions. Combining in vivo patch-clamp recording with other techniques, such as two-photon imaging or optogenetics, can provide even clearer functional dissection of the synaptic contributions of different neurons or nuclei. Here, we summarized current applications and recent research progress using the in vivo patch-clamp recording method and focused on its role in the functional dissection of different synaptic inputs. The key factors of a successful in vivo patch-clamp experiment and possible solutions based on references and our experiences were also discussed.

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

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    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.

  3. Exposure to cocaine regulates inhibitory synaptic transmission from the ventral tegmental area to the nucleus accumbens.

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    Ishikawa, Masago; Otaka, Mami; Neumann, Peter A; Wang, Zhijian; Cook, James M; Schlüter, Oliver M; Dong, Yan; Huang, Yanhua H

    2013-10-01

    Synaptic projections from the ventral tegmental area (VTA) to the nucleus accumbens (NAc) make up the backbone of the brain reward pathway, a neural circuit that mediates behavioural responses elicited by natural rewards as well as by cocaine and other drugs of abuse. In addition to the well-known modulatory dopaminergic projection, the VTA also provides fast excitatory and inhibitory synaptic input to the NAc, directly regulating NAc medium spiny neurons (MSNs). However, the cellular nature of VTA-to-NAc fast synaptic transmission and its roles in drug-induced adaptations are not well understood. Using viral-mediated in vivo expression of channelrhodopsin 2, the present study dissected fast excitatory and inhibitory synaptic transmission from the VTA to NAc MSNs in rats. Our results suggest that, following repeated exposure to cocaine (15 mg kg(-1) day(-1) × 5 days, i.p., 1 or 21 day withdrawal), a presynaptic enhancement of excitatory transmission and suppression of inhibitory transmission occurred at different withdrawal time points at VTA-to-NAc core synapses. In contrast, no postsynaptic alterations were detected at either type of synapse. These results suggest that changes in VTA-to-NAc fast excitatory and inhibitory synaptic transmissions may contribute to cocaine-induced alteration of the brain reward circuitry.

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

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    Harish Babu

    2009-09-01

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

  5. Dysregulation of Elongation Factor 1A Expression is Correlated with Synaptic Plasticity Impairments in Alzheimer's Disease.

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    Beckelman, Brenna C; Day, Stephen; Zhou, Xueyan; Donohue, Maggie; Gouras, Gunnar K; Klann, Eric; Keene, C Dirk; Ma, Tao

    2016-09-06

    Synaptic dysfunction may represent an early and crucial pathophysiology in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Recent studies implicate a connection between synaptic plasticity deficits and compromised capacity of de novo protein synthesis in AD. The mRNA translational factor eukaryotic elongation factor 1A (eEF1A) is critically involved in several forms of long-lasting synaptic plasticity. By examining postmortem human brain samples, a transgenic mouse model, and application of synthetic human Aβ42 on mouse hippocampal slices, we demonstrated that eEF1A protein levels were significantly decreased in AD, particularly in the hippocampus. In contrast, brain levels of eukaryotic elongation factor 2 were unaltered in AD. Further, upregulation of eEF1A expression by the adenylyl cyclase activator forskolin, which induces long-lasting synaptic plasticity, was blunted in hippocampal slices derived from Tg2576 AD model mice. Finally, Aβ-induced hippocampal long-term potentiation defects were alleviated by upregulation of eEF1A signaling via brain-specific knockdown of the gene encoding tuberous sclerosis 2. In summary, our findings suggest a strong correlation between the dysregulation of eEF1A synthesis and AD-associated synaptic failure. These findings provide insights into the understanding of molecular mechanisms underlying AD etiology and may aid in identification of novel biomarkers and therapeutic targets.

  6. Neuromodulated Synaptic Plasticity on the SpiNNaker Neuromorphic System

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    Mantas Mikaitis

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available SpiNNaker is a digital neuromorphic architecture, designed specifically for the low power simulation of large-scale spiking neural networks at speeds close to biological real-time. Unlike other neuromorphic systems, SpiNNaker allows users to develop their own neuron and synapse models as well as specify arbitrary connectivity. As a result SpiNNaker has proved to be a powerful tool for studying different neuron models as well as synaptic plasticity—believed to be one of the main mechanisms behind learning and memory in the brain. A number of Spike-Timing-Dependent-Plasticity(STDP rules have already been implemented on SpiNNaker and have been shown to be capable of solving various learning tasks in real-time. However, while STDP is an important biological theory of learning, it is a form of Hebbian or unsupervised learning and therefore does not explain behaviors that depend on feedback from the environment. Instead, learning rules based on neuromodulated STDP (three-factor learning rules have been shown to be capable of solving reinforcement learning tasks in a biologically plausible manner. In this paper we demonstrate for the first time how a model of three-factor STDP, with the third-factor representing spikes from dopaminergic neurons, can be implemented on the SpiNNaker neuromorphic system. Using this learning rule we first show how reward and punishment signals can be delivered to a single synapse before going on to demonstrate it in a larger network which solves the credit assignment problem in a Pavlovian conditioning experiment. Because of its extra complexity, we find that our three-factor learning rule requires approximately 2× as much processing time as the existing SpiNNaker STDP learning rules. However, we show that it is still possible to run our Pavlovian conditioning model with up to 1 × 104 neurons in real-time, opening up new research opportunities for modeling behavioral learning on SpiNNaker.

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

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    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.

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

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    Blanpied, Thomas A; Ehlers, Michael D

    2004-06-15

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

  9. Ginkgolic acid protects against Aβ-induced synaptic dysfunction in the hippocampus

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    Dalila Mango

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Ginkgo leaf is the most used form of supplement for cognitive ailments. The standardized extract formulation EGb 761 is a dietary supplement with proven benefit in several neurological and psychiatric conditions including memory decline in Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia and dementia. Ginkgolic acid is a component of this extract which shows pleiotropic effects including antitumoral and anti-HIV action; however its effect on memory is still unknown. Here, we carried out an electrophysiological analysis to investigate the effects of ginkgolic acid on long term potentiation and synaptic transmission at CA1 hippocampal synapses. We also evaluated the potential rescuing effect of ginkgolic acid on the synaptic dysfunction following in vitro application of Aβ. Data obtained indicate that ginkgolic acid exerts neuroprotective effects against Aβ-induced impairment of neurotransmitter release and synaptic plasticity.

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

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    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.

  11. Postnatal aniracetam treatment improves prenatal ethanol induced attenuation of AMPA receptor-mediated synaptic transmission.

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    Wijayawardhane, Nayana; Shonesy, Brian C; Vaglenova, Julia; Vaithianathan, Thirumalini; Carpenter, Mark; Breese, Charles R; Dityatev, Alexander; Suppiramaniam, Vishnu

    2007-06-01

    Aniracetam is a nootropic compound and an allosteric modulator of AMPA receptors (AMPARs) which mediate synaptic mechanisms of learning and memory. Here we analyzed impairments in AMPAR-mediated synaptic transmission caused by moderate prenatal ethanol exposure and investigated the effects of postnatal aniracetam treatment on these abnormalities. Pregnant Sprague-Dawley rats were gavaged with ethanol or isocaloric sucrose throughout pregnancy, and subsequently the offspring were treated with aniracetam on postnatal days (PND) 18 to 27. Hippocampal slices prepared from these pups on PND 28 to 34 were used for the whole-cell patch-clamp recordings of AMPAR-mediated spontaneous and miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents in CA1 pyramidal cells. Our results indicate that moderate ethanol exposure during pregnancy results in impaired hippocampal AMPAR-mediated neurotransmission, and critically timed aniracetam treatment can abrogate this deficiency. These results highlight the possibility that aniracetam treatment can restore synaptic transmission and ameliorate cognitive deficits associated with the fetal alcohol syndrome.

  12. Plasticity of Hippocampal Excitatory-Inhibitory Balance: Missing the Synaptic Control in the Epileptic Brain

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    Christian Bonansco

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Synaptic plasticity is the capacity generated by experience to modify the neural function and, thereby, adapt our behaviour. Long-term plasticity of glutamatergic and GABAergic transmission occurs in a concerted manner, finely adjusting the excitatory-inhibitory (E/I balance. Imbalances of E/I function are related to several neurological diseases including epilepsy. Several evidences have demonstrated that astrocytes are able to control the synaptic plasticity, with astrocytes being active partners in synaptic physiology and E/I balance. Here, we revise molecular evidences showing the epileptic stage as an abnormal form of long-term brain plasticity and propose the possible participation of astrocytes to the abnormal increase of glutamatergic and decrease of GABAergic neurotransmission in epileptic networks.

  13. Mapping sensory circuits by anterograde trans-synaptic transfer of recombinant rabies virus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zampieri, Niccolò; Jessell, Thomas M.; Murray, Andrew J.

    2014-01-01

    Summary Primary sensory neurons convey information from the external world to relay circuits within the central nervous system (CNS), but the identity and organization of the neurons that process incoming sensory information remains sketchy. Within the CNS viral tracing techniques that rely on retrograde trans-synaptic transfer provide a powerful tool for delineating circuit organization. Viral tracing of the circuits engaged by primary sensory neurons has, however, been hampered by the absence of a genetically tractable anterograde transfer system. In this study we demonstrate that rabies virus can infect sensory neurons in the somatosensory system, is subject to anterograde trans-synaptic transfer from primary sensory to spinal target neurons, and can delineate output connectivity with third-order neurons. Anterograde trans-synaptic transfer is a feature shared by other classes of primary sensory neurons, permitting the identification and potentially the manipulation of neural circuits processing sensory feedback within the mammalian CNS. PMID:24486087

  14. Early synaptic dysfunction induced by alpha-synuclein in a rat model of Parkinson's disease

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Phan, Jenny-Ann; Stokholm, Kathrine; Zareba-Paslawska, Justyna

    2017-01-01

    Evidence suggests that synapses are affected first in Parkinson’s disease (PD). Here, we tested the claim that pathological accumulation of α-synuclein, and subsequent synaptic disruption, occur in absence of dopaminergic neuron loss in PD. We determined early synaptic changes in rats...... that overexpress human α-synuclein by local injection of viral-vectors in midbrain. We aimed to achieve α-synuclein levels sufficient to induce terminal pathology without significant loss of nigral neurons. We tested synaptic disruption in vivo by analyzing motor defects and binding of a positron emission...... tomography (PET) radioligand to the vesicular monoamine transporter 2, (VMAT2), [11C]dihydrotetrabenazine (DTBZ). Animals overexpressing α-synuclein had progressive motor impairment and, 12 weeks post-surgery, showed asymmetric in vivo striatal DTBZ binding. The PET images matched ligand binding in post...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura Torres-Benito

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gershman, Samuel J

    2014-01-01

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

  17. Structural synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus induced by spatial experience and its implications in information processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carasatorre, M; Ramírez-Amaya, V; Díaz Cintra, S

    2016-10-01

    Long-lasting memory formation requires that groups of neurons processing new information develop the ability to reproduce the patterns of neural activity acquired by experience. Changes in synaptic efficiency let neurons organise to form ensembles that repeat certain activity patterns again and again. Among other changes in synaptic plasticity, structural modifications tend to be long-lasting which suggests that they underlie long-term memory. There is a large body of evidence supporting that experience promotes changes in the synaptic structure, particularly in the hippocampus. Structural changes to the hippocampus may be functionally implicated in stabilising acquired memories and encoding new information. Copyright © 2012 Sociedad Española de Neurología. Publicado por Elsevier España, S.L.U. All rights reserved.

  18. 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.

  19. Facilitation of AMPA receptor synaptic delivery as a molecular mechanism for cognitive enhancement

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Knafo, Shira; Venero, César; Sánchez-Puelles, Cristina

    2012-01-01

    ) that enhances spatial learning and memory in rats. We have now investigated the cellular and molecular basis of this cognitive enhancement, using biochemical, morphological, electrophysiological, and behavioral analyses. We have found that FGL triggers a long-lasting enhancement of synaptic transmission......Cell adhesion molecules and downstream growth factor-dependent signaling are critical for brain development and synaptic plasticity, and they have been linked to cognitive function in adult animals. We have previously developed a mimetic peptide (FGL) from the neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM......MKII activation. These results provide a mechanistic link between facilitation of AMPA receptor synaptic delivery and improved hippocampal-dependent learning, induced by a pharmacological cognitive enhancer....

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valerie Cathérine Brandt

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

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

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    Akira Takashima

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-12-20

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

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

    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

  4. Inter-synaptic learning of combination rules in a cortical network model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frédéric eLavigne

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Selecting responses in working memory while processing combinations of stimuli depends strongly on their relations stored in long-term memory. However, the learning of XOR-like combinations of stimuli and responses according to complex rules raises the issue of the non-linear separability of the responses within the space of stimuli. One proposed solution is to add neurons that perform a stage of non-linear processing between the stimuli and responses, at the cost of increasing the network size. Based on the non-linear integration of synaptic inputs within dendritic compartments, we propose here an inter-synaptic (IS learning algorithm that determines the probability of potentiating/depressing each synapse as a function of the co-activity of the other synapses within the same dendrite. The IS learning is effective with random connectivity and without either a priori wiring or additional neurons.Our results show that IS learning generates efficacy values that are sufficient for the processing of XOR-like combinations, on the basis of the sole correlational structure of the stimuli and responses. We analyze the types of dendrites involved in terms of the number of synapses from pre-synaptic neurons coding for the stimuli and responses. The synaptic efficacy values obtained show that different dendrites specialize in the detection of different combinations of stimuli. The resulting behavior of the cortical network model is analyzed as a function of inter-synaptic vs. Hebbian learning. Combinatorial priming effects show that the retrospective activity of neurons coding for the stimuli trigger XOR-like combination-selective prospective activity of neurons coding for the expected response. The synergistic effects of inter-synaptic learning and of mixed-coding neurons are simulated. The results show that, although each mechanism is sufficient by itself, their combined effects improve the performance of the network.

  5. Robustness of learning that is based on covariance-driven synaptic plasticity.

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    Yonatan Loewenstein

    2008-03-01

    Full Text Available It is widely believed that learning is due, at least in part, to long-lasting modifications of the strengths of synapses in the brain. Theoretical studies have shown that a family of synaptic plasticity rules, in which synaptic changes are driven by covariance, is particularly useful for many forms of learning, including associative memory, gradient estimation, and operant conditioning. Covariance-based plasticity is inherently sensitive. Even a slight mistuning of the parameters of a covariance-based plasticity rule is likely to result in substantial changes in synaptic efficacies. Therefore, the biological relevance of covariance-based plasticity models is questionable. Here, we study the effects of mistuning parameters of the plasticity rule in a decision making model in which synaptic plasticity is driven by the covariance of reward and neural activity. An exact covariance plasticity rule yields Herrnstein's matching law. We show that although the effect of slight mistuning of the plasticity rule on the synaptic efficacies is large, the behavioral effect is small. Thus, matching behavior is robust to mistuning of the parameters of the covariance-based plasticity rule. Furthermore, the mistuned covariance rule results in undermatching, which is consistent with experimentally observed behavior. These results substantiate the hypothesis that approximate covariance-based synaptic plasticity underlies operant conditioning. However, we show that the mistuning of the mean subtraction makes behavior sensitive to the mistuning of the properties of the decision making network. Thus, there is a tradeoff between the robustness of matching behavior to changes in the plasticity rule and its robustness to changes in the properties of the decision making network.

  6. Presynaptic inhibition of GABAergic synaptic transmission by adenosine in mouse hypothalamic hypocretin neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xia, J X; Xiong, J X; Wang, H K; Duan, S M; Ye, J N; Hu, Z A

    2012-01-10

    Hypocretin neurons in the lateral hypothalamus, a new wakefulness-promoting center, have been recently regarded as an important target involved in endogenous adenosine-regulating sleep homeostasis. The GABAergic synaptic transmissions are the main inhibitory afferents to hypocretin neurons, which play an important role in the regulation of excitability of these neurons. The inhibitory effect of adenosine, a homeostatic sleep-promoting factor, on the excitatory glutamatergic synaptic transmissions in hypocretin neurons has been well documented, whether adenosine also modulates these inhibitory GABAergic synaptic transmissions in these neurons has not been investigated. In this study, the effect of adenosine on inhibitory postsynaptic currents (IPSCs) in hypocretin neurons was examined by using perforated patch-clamp recordings in the acute hypothalamic slices. The findings demonstrated that adenosine suppressed the amplitude of evoked IPSCs in a dose-dependent manner, which was completely abolished by 8-cyclopentyltheophylline (CPT), a selective antagonist of adenosine A1 receptor but not adenosine A2 receptor antagonist 3,7-dimethyl-1-(2-propynyl) xanthine. A presynaptic origin was suggested as following: adenosine increased paired-pulse ratio as well as reduced GABAergic miniature IPSC frequency without affecting the miniature IPSC amplitude. Further findings demonstrated that when the frequency of electrical stimulation was raised to 10 Hz, but not 1 Hz, a time-dependent depression of evoked IPSC amplitude was detected in hypocretin neurons, which could be partially blocked by CPT. However, under a higher frequency at 100 Hz stimulation, CPT had no action on the depressed GABAergic synaptic transmission induced by such tetanic stimulation in these hypocretin neurons. These results suggest that endogenous adenosine generated under certain stronger activities of synaptic transmissions exerts an inhibitory effect on GABAergic synaptic transmission in hypocretin

  7. 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.

  8. Effects of Food Restriction and Sucrose Intake on Synaptic Delivery of AMPA Receptors in Nucleus Accumbens

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peng, Xing-Xiang; Ziff, Edward B.; Carr, Kenneth D.

    2011-01-01

    Insertion and removal of AMPA receptors from the synaptic membrane underlie dynamic tuning of synaptic transmission and enduring changes in synaptic strength. Preclinical addiction research suggests that AMPA receptor trafficking plays an important role in nucleus accumbens (NAc) neuroplasticity underlying the compulsive and persistent quality of drug-seeking. Considering the parallels between drug addiction and compulsive eating, plus the supranormal reward properties of sucrose, and the role of dieting as a risk factor in development of binge pathology, the present study used a biochemical subcellular fractionation approach to determine whether brief intake of a 10% sucrose solution increases synaptic delivery of AMPA receptors in NAc of chronically food-restricted (FR) relative to ad libitum fed (AL) rats. FR, alone, produced a small but significant increase in synaptic expression of AMPA receptors. This may contribute to NAc integrative mechanisms that mediate the enhanced behavioral responsiveness of FR subjects to phasic reward stimuli, including food and drugs. Brief intake of sucrose increased GluR1 in the PSD, regardless of dietary condition, though the net effect was greater in FR than AL subjects. A marked increase in GluR2 was also observed, but only in FR rats. This set of results suggests that in FR subjects, sucrose may have primarily increased delivery of GluR1/GluR2 heteromers to the PSD, while in AL subjects sucrose increased delivery of GluR2-lacking channels. The functional consequences of these possible differences in subunit composition of trafficked AMPA receptors between diet groups remain to be determined. Nevertheless, the present set of results suggest a promising new avenue to pursue in the effort to understand synaptic plasticity involved in adaptive and pathological food-directed behavior, and the mechanistic basis of severe dieting as a risk factor for the latter. PMID:21425350

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

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    Samuel H. Friedman

    2013-11-01

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

  10. Identifying and tracking simulated synaptic inputs from neuronal firing: insights from in vitro experiments.

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    Maxim Volgushev

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Accurately describing synaptic interactions between neurons and how interactions change over time are key challenges for systems neuroscience. Although intracellular electrophysiology is a powerful tool for studying synaptic integration and plasticity, it is limited by the small number of neurons that can be recorded simultaneously in vitro and by the technical difficulty of intracellular recording in vivo. One way around these difficulties may be to use large-scale extracellular recording of spike trains and apply statistical methods to model and infer functional connections between neurons. These techniques have the potential to reveal large-scale connectivity structure based on the spike timing alone. However, the interpretation of functional connectivity is often approximate, since only a small fraction of presynaptic inputs are typically observed. Here we use in vitro current injection in layer 2/3 pyramidal neurons to validate methods for inferring functional connectivity in a setting where input to the neuron is controlled. In experiments with partially-defined input, we inject a single simulated input with known amplitude on a background of fluctuating noise. In a fully-defined input paradigm, we then control the synaptic weights and timing of many simulated presynaptic neurons. By analyzing the firing of neurons in response to these artificial inputs, we ask 1 How does functional connectivity inferred from spikes relate to simulated synaptic input? and 2 What are the limitations of connectivity inference? We find that individual current-based synaptic inputs are detectable over a broad range of amplitudes and conditions. Detectability depends on input amplitude and output firing rate, and excitatory inputs are detected more readily than inhibitory. Moreover, as we model increasing numbers of presynaptic inputs, we are able to estimate connection strengths more accurately and detect the presence of connections more quickly. These results

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

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    Joseph eChrol-Cannon

    2015-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ross, M. D.

    1994-01-01

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

  13. Learning structure of sensory inputs with synaptic plasticity leads to interference.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chrol-Cannon, Joseph; Jin, Yaochu

    2015-01-01

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

  14. The N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor and dysbindin interact to modulate synaptic plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gokhale, Avanti; Mullin, Ariana P; Zlatic, Stephanie A; Easley, Charles A; Merritt, Megan E; Raj, Nisha; Larimore, Jennifer; Gordon, David E; Peden, Andrew A; Sanyal, Subhabrata; Faundez, Victor

    2015-05-13

    Dysbindin is a schizophrenia susceptibility factor and subunit of the biogenesis of lysosome-related organelles complex 1 (BLOC-1) required for lysosome-related organelle biogenesis, and in neurons, synaptic vesicle assembly, neurotransmission, and plasticity. Protein networks, or interactomes, downstream of dysbindin/BLOC-1 remain partially explored despite their potential to illuminate neurodevelopmental disorder mechanisms. Here, we conducted a proteome-wide search for polypeptides whose cellular content is sensitive to dysbindin/BLOC-1 loss of function. We identified components of the vesicle fusion machinery as factors downregulated in dysbindin/BLOC-1 deficiency in neuroectodermal cells and iPSC-derived human neurons, among them the N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor (NSF). Human dysbindin/BLOC-1 coprecipitates with NSF and vice versa, and both proteins colocalized in a Drosophila model synapse. To test the hypothesis that NSF and dysbindin/BLOC-1 participate in a pathway-regulating synaptic function, we examined the role for NSF in dysbindin/BLOC-1-dependent synaptic homeostatic plasticity in Drosophila. As previously described, we found that mutations in dysbindin precluded homeostatic synaptic plasticity elicited by acute blockage of postsynaptic receptors. This dysbindin mutant phenotype is fully rescued by presynaptic expression of either dysbindin or Drosophila NSF. However, neither reduction of NSF alone or in combination with dysbindin haploinsufficiency impaired homeostatic synaptic plasticity. Our results demonstrate that dysbindin/BLOC-1 expression defects result in altered cellular content of proteins of the vesicle fusion apparatus and therefore influence synaptic plasticity. Copyright © 2015 the authors 0270-6474/15/357643-11$15.00/0.

  15. Stability Analysis on Sparsely Encoded Associative Memory with Short-Term Synaptic Dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Muyuan; Katori, Yuichi; Aihara, Kazuyuki

    This study investigates the stability of sparsely encoded associative memory in a network composed of stochastic neurons. The incorporation of short-term synaptic dynamics significantly changes the stability with respect to synaptic properties. Various states including static and oscillatory states are found in the network dynamics. Specifically, the sparseness of memory patterns raises the problem of spurious states. A mean field model is used to analyze the detailed structure in the stability and show that the performance of memory retrieval is recovered by appropriate feedback.

  16. Cocaine Promotes Coincidence Detection and Lowers Induction Threshold during Hebbian Associative Synaptic Potentiation in Prefrontal Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruan, Hongyu; Yao, Wei-Dong

    2017-01-25

    Addictive drugs usurp neural plasticity mechanisms that normally serve reward-related learning and memory, primarily by evoking changes in glutamatergic synaptic strength in the mesocorticolimbic dopamine circuitry. Here, we show that repeated cocaine exposure in vivo does not alter synaptic strength in the mouse prefrontal cortex during an early period of withdrawal, but instead modifies a Hebbian quantitative synaptic learning rule by broadening the temporal window and lowers the induction threshold for spike-timing-dependent LTP (t-LTP). After repeated, but not single, daily cocaine injections, t-LTP in layer V pyramidal neurons is induced at +30 ms, a normally ineffective timing interval for t-LTP induction in saline-exposed mice. This cocaine-induced, extended-timing t-LTP lasts for ∼1 week after terminating cocaine and is accompanied by an increased susceptibility to potentiation by fewer pre-post spike pairs, indicating a reduced t-LTP induction threshold. Basal synaptic strength and the maximal attainable t-LTP magnitude remain unchanged after cocaine exposure. We further show that the cocaine facilitation of t-LTP induction is caused by sensitized D1-cAMP/protein kinase A dopamine signaling in pyramidal neurons, which then pathologically recruits voltage-gated l-type Ca 2+ channels that synergize with GluN2A-containing NMDA receptors to drive t-LTP at extended timing. Our results illustrate a mechanism by which cocaine, acting on a key neuromodulation pathway, modifies the coincidence detection window during Hebbian plasticity to facilitate associative synaptic potentiation in prefrontal excitatory circuits. By modifying rules that govern activity-dependent synaptic plasticity, addictive drugs can derail the experience-driven neural circuit remodeling process important for executive control of reward and addiction. It is believed that addictive drugs often render an addict's brain reward system hypersensitive, leaving the individual more susceptible to

  17. 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

  18. Investigation of the synaptic device based on the resistive switching behavior in hafnium oxide

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bin Gao

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Metal-oxide based electronics synapse is promising for future neuromorphic computation application due to its simple structure and fab-friendly materials. HfOx resistive switching memory has been demonstrated superior performance such as high speed, low voltage, robust reliability, excellent repeatability, and so on. In this work, the HfOx synaptic device was investigated based on its resistive switching phenomenon. HfOx resistive switching device with different electrodes and dopants were fabricated. TiN/Gd:HfOx/Pt stack exhibited the best synaptic performance, including controllable multilevel ability and low training energy consumption. The training schemes for memory and forgetting were developed.

  19. Controllable SET process in O-Ti-Sb-Te based phase change memory for synaptic application

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ren, Kun; Li, Ruiheng; Chen, Xin; Wang, Yong; Shen, Jiabin; Xia, Mengjiao; Lv, Shilong; Ji, Zhenguo; Song, Zhitang

    2018-02-01

    The nonlinear resistance change and small bit resolution of phase change memory (PCM) under identical operation pulses will limit its performance as a synaptic device. The octahedral Ti-Te units in Ti-Sb-Te, regarded as nucleation seeds, are degenerated when Ti is bonded with O, causing a slower crystallization and a controllable SET process in PCM cells. A linear resistance change under identical pulses, a resolution of ˜8 bits, and an ON/OFF ratio of ˜102 has been achieved in O-Ti-Sb-Te based PCM, showing its potential application as a synaptic device to improve recognition performance of the neural network.

  20. Interaction between the glutamate transporter GLT1b and the synaptic PDZ domain protein PICK1

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bassan, Merav; Liu, Hongguang; Madsen, Kenneth L

    2008-01-01

    Synaptic plasticity is implemented by the interaction of glutamate receptors with PDZ domain proteins. Glutamate transporters provide the only known mechanism of clearance of glutamate from excitatory synapses, and GLT1 is the major glutamate transporter. We show here that GLT1 interacts...... expressing PICK1 and GLT1b. In addition, expression of GLT1b in COS7 cells changed the distribution of PICK1, bringing it to the surface. GLT1b and PICK1 co-localized with each other and with synaptic markers in hippocampal neurons in culture. Phorbol ester, an activator of protein kinase C (PKC), a known...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leem, Yea-Hyun

    2017-12-31

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

  2. Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation effectively facilitates spatial cognition and synaptic plasticity associated with increasing the levels of BDNF and synaptic proteins in Wistar rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shang, Yingchun; Wang, Xin; Shang, Xueliang; Zhang, Hui; Liu, Zhipeng; Yin, Tao; Zhang, Tao

    2016-10-01

    Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) is a non-invasive technique, by which cognitive deficits can be alleviated. Furthermore, rTMS may facilitate learning and memory. However, its underlying mechanism is still little known. The aim of this study was to investigate if the facilitation of spatial cognition and synaptic plasticity, induced by rTMS, is regulated by enhancing pre- and postsynaptic proteins in normal rats. Morris water maze (MWM) test was performed to examine the spatial cognition. The synaptic plasticity, including long-term potentiation (LTP) and depotentiation (DEP), presynaptic plasticity paired-pulse facilitation (PPF), from the hippocampal Schaffer collaterals to CA1 region was subsequently measured using in vivo electrophysiological techniques. The expressions of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), presynaptic protein synaptophysin (SYP) and postsynaptic protein NR2B were measured by Western blot. Our data show that the spatial learning/memory and reversal learning/memory in rTMS rats were remarkably enhanced compared to that in the Sham group. Furthermore, LTP and DEP as well as PPF were effectively facilitated by 5Hz-rTMS. Additionally, the expressions of BDNF, SYP and NR2B were significantly increased via magnetic stimulation. The results suggest that rTMS considerably increases the expressions of BDNF, postsynaptic protein NR2B and presynaptic protein SYP, and thereby significantly enhances the synaptic plasticity and spatial cognition in normal animals. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-11-09

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-20

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

  5. Nitric oxide signaling is recruited as a compensatory mechanism for sustaining synaptic plasticity in Alzheimer's disease mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chakroborty, Shreaya; Kim, Joyce; Schneider, Corinne; West, Anthony R; Stutzmann, Grace E

    2015-04-29

    Synaptic plasticity deficits are increasingly recognized as causing the memory impairments which define Alzheimer's disease (AD). In AD mouse models, evidence of abnormal synaptic function is present before the onset of cognitive deficits, and presents as increased synaptic depression revealed only when synaptic homeostasis is challenged, such as with suppression of ryanodine receptor (RyR)-evoked calcium signaling. Otherwise, at early disease stages, the synaptic physiology phenotype appears normal. This suggests compensatory mechanisms are recruited to maintain a functionally normal net output of the hippocampal circuit. A candidate calcium-regulated synaptic modulator is nitric oxide (NO), which acts presynaptically to boost vesicle release and glutamatergic transmission. Here we tested whether there is a feedforward cycle between the increased RyR calcium release seen in presymptomatic AD mice and aberrant NO signaling which augments synaptic plasticity. Using a combination of electrophysiological approaches, two-photon calcium imaging, and protein biochemistry in hippocampal tissue from presymptomatic 3xTg-AD and NonTg mice, we show that blocking NO synthesis results in markedly augmented synaptic depression mediated through presynaptic mechanisms in 3xTg-AD mice. Additionally, blocking NO reduces the augmented synaptically evoked dendritic calcium release mediated by enhanced RyR calcium release. This is accompanied by increased nNOS levels in the AD mice and is reversed upon normalization of RyR-evoked calcium release with chronic dantrolene treatment. Thus, recruitment of NO is serving a compensatory role to boost synaptic transmission and plasticity during early AD stages. However, NO's dual role in neuroprotection and neurodegeneration may convert to maladaptive functions as the disease progresses. Copyright © 2015 the authors 0270-6474/15/356893-10$15.00/0.

  6. Emerging Link between Alzheimer’s Disease and Homeostatic Synaptic Plasticity

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    Sung-Soo Jang

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Alzheimer’s disease (AD is an irreversible brain disorder characterized by progressive cognitive decline and neurodegeneration of brain regions that are crucial for learning and memory. Although intracellular neurofibrillary tangles and extracellular senile plaques, composed of insoluble amyloid-β (Aβ peptides, have been the hallmarks of postmortem AD brains, memory impairment in early AD correlates better with pathological accumulation of soluble Aβ oligomers and persistent weakening of excitatory synaptic strength, which is demonstrated by inhibition of long-term potentiation, enhancement of long-term depression, and loss of synapses. However, current, approved interventions aiming to reduce Aβ levels have failed to retard disease progression; this has led to a pressing need to identify and target alternative pathogenic mechanisms of AD. Recently, it has been suggested that the disruption of Hebbian synaptic plasticity in AD is due to aberrant metaplasticity, which is a form of homeostatic plasticity that tunes the magnitude and direction of future synaptic plasticity based on previous neuronal or synaptic activity. This review examines emerging evidence for aberrant metaplasticity in AD. Putative mechanisms underlying aberrant metaplasticity in AD will also be discussed. We hope this review inspires future studies to test the extent to which these mechanisms contribute to the etiology of AD and offer therapeutic targets.

  7. The Krebs Cycle Enzyme Isocitrate Dehydrogenase 3A Couples Mitochondrial Metabolism to Synaptic Transmission.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ugur, Berrak; Bao, Huan; Stawarski, Michal; Duraine, Lita R; Zuo, Zhongyuan; Lin, Yong Qi; Neely, G Gregory; Macleod, Gregory T; Chapman, Edwin R; Bellen, Hugo J

    2017-12-26

    Neurotransmission is a tightly regulated Ca 2+ -dependent process. Upon Ca 2+ influx, Synaptotagmin1 (Syt1) promotes fusion of synaptic vesicles (SVs) with the plasma membrane. This requires regulation at multiple levels, but the role of metabolites in SV release is unclear. Here, we uncover a role for isocitrate dehydrogenase 3a (idh3a), a Krebs cycle enzyme, in neurotransmission. Loss of idh3a leads to a reduction of the metabolite, alpha-ketoglutarate (αKG), causing defects in synaptic transmission similar to the loss of syt1. Supplementing idh3a flies with αKG suppresses these defects through an ATP or neurotransmitter-independent mechanism. Indeed, αKG, but not glutamate, enhances Syt1-dependent fusion in a reconstitution assay. αKG promotes interaction between the C2-domains of Syt1 and phospholipids. The data reveal conserved metabolic regulation of synaptic transmission via αKG. Our studies provide a synaptic role for αKG, a metabolite that has been proposed as a treatment for aging and neurodegenerative disorders. Copyright © 2017 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Familiarity Detection is an Intrinsic Property of Cortical Microcircuits with Bidirectional Synaptic Plasticity

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Humans instantly recognize a previously seen face as “familiar.” To deepen our understanding of familiarity-novelty detection, we simulated biologically plausible neural network models of generic cortical microcircuits consisting of spiking neurons with random recurrent synaptic connections. NMDA receptor (NMDAR)-dependent synaptic plasticity was implemented to allow for unsupervised learning and bidirectional modifications. Network spiking activity evoked by sensory inputs consisting of face images altered synaptic efficacy, which resulted in the network responding more strongly to a previously seen face than a novel face. Network size determined how many faces could be accurately recognized as familiar. When the simulated model became sufficiently complex in structure, multiple familiarity traces could be retained in the same network by forming partially-overlapping subnetworks that differ slightly from each other, thereby resulting in a high storage capacity. Fisher’s discriminant analysis was applied to identify critical neurons whose spiking activity predicted familiar input patterns. Intriguingly, as sensory exposure was prolonged, the selected critical neurons tended to appear at deeper layers of the network model, suggesting recruitment of additional circuits in the network for incremental information storage. We conclude that generic cortical microcircuits with bidirectional synaptic plasticity have an intrinsic ability to detect familiar inputs. This ability does not require a specialized wiring diagram or supervision and can therefore be expected to emerge naturally in developing cortical circuits. PMID:28534043

  9. Regulation of synaptic scaling by action potential-independent miniature neurotransmission.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonzalez-Islas, Carlos; Bülow, Pernille; Wenner, Peter

    2018-03-01

    Synaptic scaling represents a homeostatic adjustment in synaptic strength that was first identified as a cell-wide mechanism to achieve firing rate homeostasis after perturbations to spiking activity levels. In this review, we consider a form of synaptic scaling that is triggered by changes in action potential-independent neurotransmitter release. This plasticity appears to be both triggered and expressed locally at the dendritic site of the synapse that experiences a perturbation. A discussion of different forms of scaling triggered by different perturbations is presented. We consider work from multiple groups supporting this form of scaling, which we call neurotransmission-based scaling. This class of homeostatic synaptic plasticity is compared in studies using hippocampal and cortical cultures, as well as in vivo work in the embryonic chick spinal cord. Despite differences in the tissues examined, there are clear similarities in neurotransmission-based scaling, which appear to be molecularly distinct from the originally described spike-based scaling. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  10. Bi-directional modulation of AMPA receptor unitary conductance by synaptic activity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthews Paul

    2004-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Knowledge of how synapses alter their efficiency of communication is central to the understanding of learning and memory. The most extensively studied forms of synaptic plasticity are long-term potentiation (LTP and its counterpart long-term depression (LTD of AMPA receptor-mediated synaptic transmission. In the CA1 region of the hippocampus, it has been shown that LTP often involves a rapid increase in the unitary conductance of AMPA receptor channels. However, LTP can also occur in the absence of any alteration in AMPA receptor unitary conductance. In the present study we have used whole-cell dendritic recording, failures analysis and non-stationary fluctuation analysis to investigate the mechanism of depotentiation of LTP. Results We find that when LTP involves an increase in unitary conductance, subsequent depotentiation invariably involves the return of unitary conductance to pre-LTP values. In contrast, when LTP does not involve a change in unitary conductance then depotentiation also occurs in the absence of any change in unitary conductance, indicating a reduction in the number of activated receptors as the most likely mechanism. Conclusions These data show that unitary conductance can be bi-directionally modified by synaptic activity. Furthermore, there are at least two distinct mechanisms to restore synaptic strength from a potentiated state, which depend upon the mechanism of the previous potentiation.

  11. Brain-like associative learning using a nanoscale non-volatile phase change synaptic device array

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sukru Burc Eryilmaz

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Recent advances in neuroscience together with nanoscale electronic device technology have resulted in huge interests in realizing brain-like computing hardwares using emerging nanoscale memory devices as synaptic elements. Although there has been experimental work that demonstrated the operation of nanoscale synaptic element at the single device level, network level studies have been limited to simulations. In this work, we demonstrate, using experiments, array level associative learning using phase change synaptic devices connected in a grid like configuration similar to the organization of the biological brain. Implementing Hebbian learning with phase change memory cells, the synaptic grid was able to store presented patterns and recall missing patterns in an associative brain-like fashion. We found that the system is robust to device variations, and large variations in cell resistance states can be accommodated by increasing the number of training epochs. We illustrated the tradeoff between variation tolerance of the network and the overall energy consumption, and found that energy consumption is decreased significantly for lower variation tolerance.

  12. INVOLVEMENT OF SYNAPTIC GENES IN THE PATHOGENESIS OF AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDERS: THE CASE OF SYNAPSINS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Silvia eGiovedi

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs are heterogeneous neurodevelopmental disorders characterized by deficits in social interaction and social communication, restricted interests and repetitive behaviors. Many synaptic protein genes are linked to the pathogenesis of ASDs, making them prototypical synaptopathies. An array of mutations in the synapsin (Syn genes in humans have been recently associated with ASD and epilepsy, diseases that display a frequent comorbidity. Synapsins are presynaptic proteins regulating synaptic vesicle traffic, neurotransmitter release and short-term synaptic plasticity. In doing so, Syn isoforms control the tone of activity of neural circuits and the balance between excitation and inhibition. As ASD pathogenesis is believed to result from dysfunctions in the balance between excitatory and inhibitory transmissions in neocortical areas, Syns are novel ASD candidate genes. Accordingly, deletion of single Syn genes in mice, in addition to epilepsy, causes core symptoms of ASD by affecting social behavior, social communication and repetitive behaviors. Thus, Syn knockout mice represent a good experimental model to define synaptic alterations involved in the pathogenesis of ASD and epilepsy.

  13. Demonstration of Synaptic Behaviors and Resistive Switching Characterizations by Proton Exchange Reactions in Silicon Oxide

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Yao-Feng; Fowler, Burt; Chen, Ying-Chen; Zhou, Fei; Pan, Chih-Hung; Chang, Ting-Chang; Lee, Jack C.

    2016-02-01

    We realize a device with biological synaptic behaviors by integrating silicon oxide (SiOx) resistive switching memory with Si diodes. Minimal synaptic power consumption due to sneak-path current is achieved and the capability for spike-induced synaptic behaviors is demonstrated, representing critical milestones for the use of SiO2-based materials in future neuromorphic computing applications. Biological synaptic behaviors such as long-term potentiation (LTP), long-term depression (LTD) and spike-timing dependent plasticity (STDP) are demonstrated systematically using a comprehensive analysis of spike-induced waveforms, and represent interesting potential applications for SiOx-based resistive switching materials. The resistive switching SET transition is modeled as hydrogen (proton) release from (SiH)2 to generate the hydrogen bridge defect, and the RESET transition is modeled as an electrochemical reaction (proton capture) that re-forms (SiH)2. The experimental results suggest a simple, robust approach to realize programmable neuromorphic chips compatible with large-scale CMOS manufacturing technology.

  14. Roles for Regulator of G Protein Signaling Proteins in Synaptic Signaling and Plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerber, Kyle J; Squires, Katherine E; Hepler, John R

    2016-02-01

    The regulator of G protein signaling (RGS) family of proteins serves critical roles in G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) and heterotrimeric G protein signal transduction. RGS proteins are best understood as negative regulators of GPCR/G protein signaling. They achieve this by acting as GTPase activating proteins (GAPs) for Gα subunits and accelerating the turnoff of G protein signaling. Many RGS proteins also bind additional signaling partners that either regulate their functions or enable them to regulate other important signaling events. At neuronal synapses, GPCRs, G proteins, and RGS proteins work in coordination to regulate key aspects of neurotransmitter release, synaptic transmission, and synaptic plasticity, which are necessary for central nervous system physiology and behavior. Accumulating evidence has revealed key roles for specific RGS proteins in multiple signaling pathways at neuronal synapses, regulating both pre- and postsynaptic signaling events and synaptic plasticity. Here, we review and highlight the current knowledge of specific RGS proteins (RGS2, RGS4, RGS7, RGS9-2, and RGS14) that have been clearly demonstrated to serve critical roles in modulating synaptic signaling and plasticity throughout the brain, and we consider their potential as future therapeutic targets. Copyright © 2016 by The American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.

  15. SAD-B Phosphorylation of CAST Controls Active Zone Vesicle Recycling for Synaptic Depression

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    Sumiko Mochida

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Short-term synaptic depression (STD is a common form of activity-dependent plasticity observed widely in the nervous system. Few molecular pathways that control STD have been described, but the active zone (AZ release apparatus provides a possible link between neuronal activity and plasticity. Here, we show that an AZ cytomatrix protein CAST and an AZ-associated protein kinase SAD-B coordinately regulate STD by controlling reloading of the AZ with release-ready synaptic vesicles. SAD-B phosphorylates the N-terminal serine (S45 of CAST, and S45 phosphorylation increases with higher firing rate. A phosphomimetic CAST (S45D mimics CAST deletion, which enhances STD by delaying reloading of the readily releasable pool (RRP, resulting in a pool size decrease. A phosphonegative CAST (S45A inhibits STD and accelerates RRP reloading. Our results suggest that the CAST/SAD-B reaction serves as a brake on synaptic transmission by temporal calibration of activity and synaptic depression via RRP size regulation.

  16. Anesthetic action on extra-synaptic receptors: effects in neural population models of EEG activity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Meysam eHashemi

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available The role of extra-synaptic receptors in the regulation of excitation and inhibition in the brainhas attracted increasing attention. Because activity in the extra-synaptic receptors plays a role inregulating the level of excitation and inhibition in the brain, they may be important in determiningthe level of consciousness. This paper reviews briefly the literature on extra-synaptic GABAand NMDA receptors and their affinity to anesthetic drugs. We propose a neural populationmodel that illustrates how the effect of the anesthetic drug propofol on GABAergic extra-synapticreceptors results in changes in neural population activity and the electroencephalogram (EEG. Our results show that increased tonic inhibition in inhibitory cortical neurons cause a dramaticincrease in the power of both delta and alpha bands. Conversely, the effects of increased tonicinhibition in cortical excitatory neurons and thalamic relay neurons have the opposite effect anddecrease the power in these bands. The increased delta activity is in accord with observed datafor deepening propofol anesthesia; but is absolutely dependent on the inclusion of extra synaptic(tonic GABA action in the model.

  17. KV7 Channels Regulate Firing during Synaptic Integration in GABAergic Striatal Neurons

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    M. Belén Pérez-Ramírez

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Striatal projection neurons (SPNs process motor and cognitive information. Their activity is affected by Parkinson’s disease, in which dopamine concentration is decreased and acetylcholine concentration is increased. Acetylcholine activates muscarinic receptors in SPNs. Its main source is the cholinergic interneuron that responds with a briefer latency than SPNs during a cortical command. Therefore, an important question is whether muscarinic G-protein coupled receptors and their signaling cascades are fast enough to intervene during synaptic responses to regulate synaptic integration and firing. One of the most known voltage dependent channels regulated by muscarinic receptors is the KV7/KCNQ channel. It is not known whether these channels regulate the integration of suprathreshold corticostriatal responses. Here, we study the impact of cholinergic muscarinic modulation on the synaptic response of SPNs by regulating KV7 channels. We found that KV7 channels regulate corticostriatal synaptic integration and that this modulation occurs in the dendritic/spines compartment. In contrast, it is negligible in the somatic compartment. This modulation occurs on sub- and suprathreshold responses and lasts during the whole duration of the responses, hundreds of milliseconds, greatly altering SPNs firing properties. This modulation affected the behavior of the striatal microcircuit.

  18. 3D estimation of synaptic vesicle distributions in serial section transmission electron microscopy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Khanmohammadi, Mahdieh; Darkner, Sune; Nava, Nicoletta

    directly. It is hypothesized that in a rat model of behavioral stress the vesicles distribution varies. We propose methods for estimating the 3-dimensional distribution of synaptic vesicles from the active zone through serial section transmission electron microscope images (ssTEM) from Sprague-Dawley rat...

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

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    Amit Agarwal

    2014-08-01

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

  20. SRC Inhibition Reduces NR2B Surface Expression and Synaptic Plasticity in the Amygdala

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sinai, Laleh; Duffy, Steven; Roder, John C.

    2010-01-01

    The Src protein tyrosine kinase plays a central role in the regulation of N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) activity by regulating NMDAR subunit 2B (NR2B) surface expression. In the amygdala, NMDA-dependent synaptic plasticity resulting from convergent somatosensory and auditory inputs contributes to emotional memory; however, the role of Src…

  1. 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

    at the site of synaptic vesicle recycling, the endocytic zone. Compounds interfering with actin function, including phalloidin, the catalytic subunit of Clostridium botulinum C2 toxin, and N-ethylmaleimide-treated myosin S1 fragments were microinjected into the axon. In unstimulated, phalloidin-injected axons...

  2. The Eps15 C. elegans homologue EHS-1 is implicated in synaptic vesicle recycling

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Salcini, A E; Hilliard, M A; Croce, A

    2001-01-01

    implicated Eps15 in endocytosis, its function in the endocytic machinery remains unclear. Here we show that the Caenorhabditis elegans gene, zk1248.3 (ehs-1), is the orthologue of Eps15 in nematodes, and that its product, EHS-1, localizes to synaptic-rich regions. ehs-1-impaired worms showed temperature...

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Nicotinic ACh receptors in the hippocampal circuit; functional expression and role in synaptic plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yakel, Jerrel L

    2014-10-01

    Acetylcholine (ACh) can regulate neuronal excitability in the hippocampus, an important area in the brain for learning and memory, by acting on both nicotinic (nAChRs) and muscarinic ACh receptors. The primary cholinergic input to the hippocampus arises from the medial septum and diagonal band of Broca (MS-DBB), and we investigated how their activation regulated hippocampal synaptic plasticity. We found that activation of these endogenous cholinergic inputs can directly induce different forms of hippocampal synaptic plasticity with a timing precision in the millisecond range. Furthermore, we observed a prolonged enhancement of excitability both pre- and postsynaptically. Lastly we found that the presence of the α7 nAChR subtype to both pre- and postsynaptic sites appeared to be required to induce this plasticity. We propose that α7 nAChRs coordinate pre- and postsynaptic activities to induce glutamatergic synaptic plasticity, and thus provide a novel mechanism underlying physiological neuronal communication that could lead to timing-dependent synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus. © 2014 The Authors. The Journal of Physiology © 2014 The Physiological Society.

  6. Homeostatic scaling of neuronal excitability by synaptic modulation of somatic hyperpolarization-activated Ih channels.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Welie, I.; van Hooft, J.A.; Wadman, W.J.

    2004-01-01

    The hyperpolarization-activated cation current (Ih) plays an important role in determining membrane potential and firing characteristics of neurons and therefore is a potential target for regulation of intrinsic excitability. Here we show that an increase in AMPA-receptor-dependent synaptic activity

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ines eHristovska

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abrams, Thomas W

    2017-09-25

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2014-10-02

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tali eRosenberg

    2014-11-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicolangelo L Iannella

    2010-07-01

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

  12. 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.

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

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    Dmitry V. Amakhin

    2016-10-01

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

  14. Role for a novel Usher protein complex in hair cell synaptic maturation.

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    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.

  15. Synaptic degeneration and remodelling after fast kindling of the olfactory bulb

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Woldbye, D P; Bolwig, T G; Kragh, J

    1996-01-01

    in the basolateral amygdala and dentate gyrus, suggesting that these regions may be functionally altered during the kindling process. In the piriform cortex and dentate gyrus increased NCAM/D3(SNAP-25) ratios found ipsilaterally at seven days after kindling probably reflect an elevated rate of synaptic remodelling...

  16. SYNAPTIC PLASTICITY IN THE DENTATE GYRUS OF AGED RATS IS ALTERED AFTER CHRONIC NIMODIPINE APPLICATION

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    DEJONG, GI; BUWALDA, B; SCHUURMAN, T; LUITEN, PGM

    1992-01-01

    We examined ultrastructural correlates of synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus of young (3 months) vs aged (30 months) Wistar rats and established the effects of the calcium antagonist nimodipine in animals chronically treated from 24 to 30 months. The effects of nimodipine was studied since this

  17. Robust network oscillations during mammalian respiratory rhythm generation driven by synaptic dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guerrier, Claire; Hayes, John A.; Fortin, Gilles; Holcman, David

    2015-01-01

    How might synaptic dynamics generate synchronous oscillations in neuronal networks? We address this question in the preBötzinger complex (preBötC), a brainstem neural network that paces robust, yet labile, inspiration in mammals. The preBötC is composed of a few hundred neurons that alternate bursting activity with silent periods, but the mechanism underlying this vital rhythm remains elusive. Using a computational approach to model a randomly connected neuronal network that relies on short-term synaptic facilitation (SF) and depression (SD), we show that synaptic fluctuations can initiate population activities through recurrent excitation. We also show that a two-step SD process allows activity in the network to synchronize (bursts) and generate a population refractory period (silence). The model was validated against an array of experimental conditions, which recapitulate several processes the preBötC may experience. Consistent with the modeling assumptions, we reveal, by electrophysiological recordings, that SF/SD can occur at preBötC synapses on timescales that influence rhythmic population activity. We conclude that nondeterministic neuronal spiking and dynamic synaptic strengths in a randomly connected network are sufficient to give rise to regular respiratory-like rhythmic network activity and lability, which may play an important role in generating the rhythm for breathing and other coordinated motor activities in mammals. PMID:26195782

  18. LRRK2 controls an EndoA phosphorylation cycle in synaptic endocytosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matta, Samer; Van Kolen, Kristof; da Cunha, Raquel; van den Bogaart, Geert; Mandemakers, Wim; Miskiewicz, Katarzyna; De Bock, Pieter-Jan; Morais, Vanessa A; Vilain, Sven; Haddad, Dominik; Delbroek, Lore; Swerts, Jef; Chávez-Gutiérrez, Lucía; Esposito, Giovanni; Daneels, Guy; Karran, Eric; Holt, Matthew; Gevaert, Kris; Moechars, Diederik W; De Strooper, Bart; Verstreken, Patrik

    2012-09-20

    LRRK2 is a kinase mutated in Parkinson's disease, but how the protein affects synaptic function remains enigmatic. We identified LRRK2 as a critical regulator of EndophilinA. Using genetic and biochemical studies involving Lrrk loss-of-function mutants and Parkinson-related LRRK2(G2019S) gain-of-kinase function, we show that LRRK2 affects synaptic endocytosis by phosphorylating EndoA at S75, a residue in the BAR domain. We show that LRRK2-mediated EndoA phosphorylation has profound effects on EndoA-dependent membrane tubulation and membrane association in vitro and in vivo and on synaptic vesicle endocytosis at Drosophila neuromuscular junctions in vivo. Our work uncovers a regulatory mechanism that indicates that reduced LRRK2 kinase activity facilitates EndoA membrane association, while increased kinase activity inhibits membrane association. Consequently, both too much and too little LRRK2-dependent EndoA phosphorylation impedes synaptic endocytosis, and we propose a model in which LRRK2 kinase activity is part of an EndoA phosphorylation cycle that facilitates efficient vesicle formation at synapses. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Complement emerges as a masterful regulator of CNS homeostasis, neural synaptic plasticity and cognitive function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mastellos, Dimitrios C

    2014-11-01

    Growing evidence points to a previously elusive role of complement-modulated pathways in CNS development, neurogenesis and synaptic plasticity. Distinct complement effectors appear to play a multifaceted role in brain homeostasis by regulating synaptic pruning in the retinogeniculate system and sculpting functional neural circuits both in the developing and adult mammalian brain. A recent study by Perez-Alcazar et al. (2014) provides novel insights into this intricate interplay between complement and the dynamically regulated brain synaptic circuitry, by reporting that mice deficient in C3 exhibit enhanced hippocampus-dependent spatial learning and cognitive performance. This behavioral pattern is associated with an impact of C3 on the functional capacity of glutamatergic synapses, supporting a crucial role for complement in excitatory synapse elimination in the hippocampus. These findings add a fresh twist to this rapidly evolving research field, suggesting that discrete complement components may differentially modulate synaptic connectivity by wiring up with diverse neural effectors in different regions of the brain. The emerging role of complement in synaptogenesis and neural network plasticity opens new conceptual avenues for considering complement interception as a potential therapeutic modality for ameliorating progressive cognitive impairment in age-related, debilitating brain diseases with a prominent inflammatory signature. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Short- and long-term modulation of synaptic inputs to brain reward areas by nicotine

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Fagen, Z.M.; Mansvelder, H.D.; Keath, R.; McGehee, D.S.

    2003-01-01

    Dopamine signaling in brain reward areas is a key element in the development of drug abuse and dependence. Recent anatomical and electrophysiological research has begun to elucidate both complexity and specificity In synaptic connections between ventral tegmental neurons and their inputs.

  1. Dopamine Regulates Aversive Contextual Learning and Associated In Vivo Synaptic Plasticity in the Hippocampus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John I. Broussard

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Dopamine release during reward-driven behaviors influences synaptic plasticity. However, dopamine innervation and release in the hippocampus and its role during aversive behaviors are controversial. Here, we show that in vivo hippocampal synaptic plasticity in the CA3-CA1 circuit underlies contextual learning during inhibitory avoidance (IA training. Immunohistochemistry and molecular techniques verified sparse dopaminergic innervation of the hippocampus from the midbrain. The long-term synaptic potentiation (LTP underlying the learning of IA was assessed with a D1-like dopamine receptor agonist or antagonist in ex vivo hippocampal slices and in vivo in freely moving mice. Inhibition of D1-like dopamine receptors impaired memory of the IA task and prevented the training-induced enhancement of both ex vivo and in vivo LTP induction. The results indicate that dopamine-receptor signaling during an aversive contextual task regulates aversive memory retention and regulates associated synaptic mechanisms in the hippocampus that likely underlie learning.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yazmín Ramiro-Cortés

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

  3. Inhibition of phosphodiesterase 2 increases neuronal cGMP, synaptic plasticity and memory performance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boess, F.G.; Hendrix, M.; Staay, van der F.J.; Erb, C.; Schreiber, R.; Staveren, W.C.G.; Vente, de J.; Prikaerts, J.; Blokland, A.; Koenig, G.

    2004-01-01

    An essential element of the signalling cascade leading to synaptic plasticity is the intracellular second messenger molecule guanosine 3¿,5¿-cyclic monophosphate (cGMP). Using the novel, potent, and selective inhibitor Bay 60-7550, we show that the enzyme 3¿,5¿-cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterase

  4. 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.

  5. Astroglial calcium signaling displays short-term plasticity and adjusts synaptic efficacy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeremie eSibille

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Astrocytes are dynamic signaling brain elements able to sense neuronal inputs and to respond by complex calcium signals, which are thought to represent their excitability. Such signaling has been proposed to modulate, or not, neuronal activities ranging from basal synaptic transmission to epileptiform discharges. However, whether calcium signaling in astrocytes exhibits activity-dependent changes and acutely modulates short-term synaptic plasticity is currently unclear. We here show, using dual recordings of astroglial calcium signals and synaptic transmission, that calcium signaling in astrocytes displays, concomitantly to excitatory synapses, short-term plasticity in response to prolonged repetitive and tetanic stimulations of Schaffer collaterals. We also found that acute inhibition of calcium signaling in astrocytes by intracellular calcium chelation rapidly potentiates excitatory synaptic transmission and short-term plasticity of Shaffer collateral CA1 synapses, i.e. paired-pulse facilitation and responses to tetanic and prolonged repetitive stimulation. These data reveal that calcium signaling of astrocytes is plastic and down-regulates basal transmission and short-term plasticity of hippocampal CA1 glutamatergic synapses.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kristina eSchulz

    2010-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  8. Neurogranin as a Cerebrospinal Fluid Biomarker for Synaptic Loss in Symptomatic Alzheimer Disease

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kester, M.I.; Teunissen, C.E.; Crimmins, D.L.; Herries, E.M.; Ladenson, J.H.; Scheltens, P.; van der Flier, W.M.; Morris, J.C.; Holtzman, D.M.; Fagan, A.M.

    2015-01-01

    IMPORTANCE: Neurogranin (NGRN) seems to be a promising novel cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarker for synaptic loss; however, clinical, and especially longitudinal, data are sparse. OBJECTIVE: To examine the utility of NGRN, with repeated CSF sampling, for diagnosis, prognosis, and monitoring of

  9. Neurotrophin receptor p75NTR mediates Huntington’s disease–associated synaptic and memory dysfunction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brito, Verónica; Giralt, Albert; Enriquez-Barreto, Lilian; Puigdellívol, Mar; Suelves, Nuria; Zamora-Moratalla, Alfonsa; Ballesteros, Jesús J.; Martín, Eduardo D.; Dominguez-Iturza, Nuria; Morales, Miguel; Alberch, Jordi; Ginés, Sílvia

    2014-01-01

    Learning and memory deficits are early clinical manifestations of Huntington’s disease (HD). These cognitive impairments have been mainly associated with frontostriatal HD pathology; however, compelling evidence provided by several HD murine models suggests that the hippocampus may contribute to synaptic deficits and memory dysfunction in HD. The neurotrophin receptor p75NTR negatively regulates spine density, which is associated with learning and memory; therefore, we explored whether disturbed p75NTR function in the hippocampus could contribute to synaptic dysfunction and memory deficits in HD. Here, we determined that levels of p75NTR are markedly increased in the hippocampus of 2 distinct mouse models of HD and in HD patients. Normalization of p75NTR levels in HD mutant mice heterozygous for p75NTR prevented memory and synaptic plasticity deficits and ameliorated dendritic spine abnormalities, likely through normalization of the activity of the GTPase RhoA. Moreover, viral-mediated overexpression of p75NTR in the hippocampus of WT mice reproduced HD learning and memory deficits, while knockdown of p75NTR in the hippocampus of HD mice prevented cognitive decline. Together, these findings provide evidence of hippocampus-associated memory deficits in HD and demonstrate that p75NTR mediates synaptic, learning, and memory dysfunction in HD. PMID:25180603

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark S. Cooper

    2011-01-01

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

  12. Synaptic effects of low molecular weight components from Chilean Black Widow spider venom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parodi, Jorge; Romero, Fernando

    2008-11-01

    alpha-Latrotoxin is the principal component of the venom from the euroasiatic Black Widow spider and has been studied for its pharmacological use as a synaptic modulator. Interestingly, smaller molecular weight fractions have been found to be associated with this toxin, but their cellular actions have not been studied in detail. The venom from the Chilean Black Widow spider (Latrodectus mactans) does not produce alpha-latrotoxin, however it does contain several small polypeptides. We have recently demonstrated cellular effects of these peptides at the synaptic level using whole-cell patch clamp techniques. Purified venom from the glands of L. mactans was studied in 12 DIV rat hippocampal neuronal cultures. Venom at a concentration of 10nM was able to decrease neuronal conductance thereby increasing membrane resistance. This effect on the passive properties of the neurons induced a change in action potential kinetics simulating the action of classic potassium channel blockers. These changes produced an increase in spontaneous synaptic activity in rat hippocampal cultures in the presence of the venom in a concentration- and time-dependent manner. These results indicate that venom from Chilean spider L. mactans is capable of increasing cell membrane resistance, prolonging the action potential and generating an increase in synaptic activity demonstrating an interesting pharmacological effect of these low molecular weight fragments.

  13. Predicting seizure by modeling synaptic plasticity based on EEG signals - a case study of inherited epilepsy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Honghui; Su, Jianzhong; Wang, Qingyun; Liu, Yueming; Good, Levi; Pascual, Juan M.

    2018-03-01

    This paper explores the internal dynamical mechanisms of epileptic seizures through quantitative modeling based on full brain electroencephalogram (EEG) signals. Our goal is to provide seizure prediction and facilitate treatment for epileptic patients. Motivated by an earlier mathematical model with incorporated synaptic plasticity, we studied the nonlinear dynamics of inherited seizures through a differential equation model. First, driven by a set of clinical inherited electroencephalogram data recorded from a patient with diagnosed Glucose Transporter Deficiency, we developed a dynamic seizure model on a system of ordinary differential equations. The model was reduced in complexity after considering and removing redundancy of each EEG channel. Then we verified that the proposed model produces qualitatively relevant behavior which matches the basic experimental observations of inherited seizure, including synchronization index and frequency. Meanwhile, the rationality of the connectivity structure hypothesis in the modeling process was verified. Further, through varying the threshold condition and excitation strength of synaptic plasticity, we elucidated the effect of synaptic plasticity to our seizure model. Results suggest that synaptic plasticity has great effect on the duration of seizure activities, which support the plausibility of therapeutic interventions for seizure control.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Schrader Angela

    2010-11-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian Keck

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

  16. Bacterial cytolysin during meningitis disrupts the regulation of glutamate in the brain, leading to synaptic damage.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carolin Wippel

    Full Text Available Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcal meningitis is a common bacterial infection of the brain. The cholesterol-dependent cytolysin pneumolysin represents a key factor, determining the neuropathogenic potential of the pneumococci. Here, we demonstrate selective synaptic loss within the superficial layers of the frontal neocortex of post-mortem brain samples from individuals with pneumococcal meningitis. A similar effect was observed in mice with pneumococcal meningitis only when the bacteria expressed the pore-forming cholesterol-dependent cytolysin pneumolysin. Exposure of acute mouse brain slices to only pore-competent pneumolysin at disease-relevant, non-lytic concentrations caused permanent dendritic swelling, dendritic spine elimination and synaptic loss. The NMDA glutamate receptor antagonists MK801 and D-AP5 reduced this pathology. Pneumolysin increased glutamate levels within the mouse brain slices. In mouse astrocytes, pneumolysin initiated the release of glutamate in a calcium-dependent manner. We propose that pneumolysin plays a significant synapto- and dendritotoxic role in pneumococcal meningitis by initiating glutamate release from astrocytes, leading to subsequent glutamate-dependent synaptic damage. We outline for the first time the occurrence of synaptic pathology in pneumococcal meningitis and demonstrate that a bacterial cytolysin can dysregulate the control of glutamate in the brain, inducing excitotoxic damage.

  17. Tumor suppressor menin mediates peripheral nerve injury-induced neuropathic pain through potentiating synaptic plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, S; Wu, H; Wang, X; Shen, X; Guo, X; Shen, R; Wang, F

    2012-10-25

    Synaptic plasticity is a crucial step in the development of central sensitization in the pathogenesis of neuropathic hyperalgesia. Menin, the product of the multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN1) gene, possesses the property of synaptogenesis which plays an essential role in neuronal activity. We tested the contributing role of spinal menin in peripheral nerve injury-induced neuropathic hypersensitivity through modulating neuronal synaptic plasticity. After approval by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, nociceptive responses were detected with von Frey filaments and thermal plate after spared nerve injury in C57BL/6 mice who were treated with either intrathecal antisense oligonucleotide of MEN1 (ASO) or vehicle. Extracellular spontaneous discharge frequency, field excitatory postsynaptic potential (fEPSP), and monosynaptic excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs) were measured electrophysiologically. Intrathecal ASO alleviated nerve injury-induced mechanical and thermal hypersensitivity. Upregulated spinal menin after nerve injury colocalized with NeuN in the superficial laminae; genetic knockdown of spinal menin reduced nerve injury induced in vivo spontaneous activity and instantaneous frequency and in vitro field potentials; ASO decreased the frequency and amplitude of monosynaptic EPSCs, and reduced synaptic strength and total charge. Collectively, these findings highlight the role of upregulated neuronal menin in the spinal cord in potentiating spinal synaptic plasticity in peripheral nerve injury-induced neuropathic hypersensitivity. Copyright © 2012 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Fear extinction as a model for synaptic plasticity in major depressive disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuhn, Marion; Höger, Nora; Feige, Bernd; Blechert, Jens; Normann, Claus; Nissen, Christoph

    2014-01-01

    The neuroplasticity hypothesis of major depressive disorder proposes that a dysfunction of synaptic plasticity represents a basic pathomechanism of the disorder. Animal models of depression indicate enhanced plasticity in a ventral emotional network, comprising the amygdala. Here, we investigated fear extinction learning as a non-invasive probe for amygdala-dependent synaptic plasticity in patients with major depressive disorder and healthy controls. Differential fear conditioning was measured in 37 inpatients with severe unipolar depression (International Classification of Diseases, 10th revision, criteria) and 40 healthy controls. The eye-blink startle response, a subcortical output signal that is modulated by local synaptic plasticity in the amygdala in fear acquisition and extinction learning, was recorded as the primary outcome parameter. After robust and similar fear acquisition in both groups, patients with major depressive disorder showed significantly enhanced fear extinction learning in comparison to healthy controls, as indicated by startle responses to conditioned stimuli. The strength of extinction learning was positively correlated with the total illness duration. The finding of enhanced fear extinction learning in major depressive disorder is consistent with the concept that the disorder is characterized by enhanced synaptic plasticity in the amygdala and the ventral emotional network. Clinically, the observation emphasizes the potential of successful extinction learning, the basis of exposure therapy, in anxiety-related disorders despite the frequent comorbidity of major depressive disorder.

  19. Fear extinction as a model for synaptic plasticity in major depressive disorder.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marion Kuhn

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The neuroplasticity hypothesis of major depressive disorder proposes that a dysfunction of synaptic plasticity represents a basic pathomechanism of the disorder. Animal models of depression indicate enhanced plasticity in a ventral emotional network, comprising the amygdala. Here, we investigated fear extinction learning as a non-invasive probe for amygdala-dependent synaptic plasticity in patients with major depressive disorder and healthy controls. METHODS: Differential fear conditioning was measured in 37 inpatients with severe unipolar depression (International Classification of Diseases, 10th revision, criteria and 40 healthy controls. The eye-blink startle response, a subcortical output signal that is modulated by local synaptic plasticity in the amygdala in fear acquisition and extinction learning, was recorded as the primary outcome parameter. RESULTS: After robust and similar fear acquisition in both groups, patients with major depressive disorder showed significantly enhanced fear extinction learning in comparison to healthy controls, as indicated by startle responses to conditioned stimuli. The strength of extinction learning was positively correlated with the total illness duration. CONCLUSIONS: The finding of enhanced fear extinction learning in major depressive disorder is consistent with the concept that the disorder is characterized by enhanced synaptic plasticity in the amygdala and the ventral emotional network. Clinically, the observation emphasizes the potential of successful extinction learning, the basis of exposure therapy, in anxiety-related disorders despite the frequent comorbidity of major depressive disorder.

  20. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-08-21

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Khanmohammadi, Mahdieh; Waagepetersen, Rasmus; Nava, Nicoletta

    2014-01-01

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

  3. Synaptic plasticity through activation of GluA3-containing AMPA-receptors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gutierrez-Castellanos, Nicolas; Reinders, Niels R; van Huijstee, Aile N; Xiong, Hui; Lodder, Tessa R

    2017-01-01

    Excitatory synaptic transmission is mediated by AMPA-type glutamate receptors (AMPARs). In CA1 pyramidal neurons of the hippocampus two types of AMPARs predominate: those that contain subunits GluA1 and GluA2 (GluA1/2), and those that contain GluA2 and GluA3 (GluA2/3). Whereas subunits GluA1 and GluA2 have been extensively studied, the contribution of GluA3 to synapse physiology has remained unclear. Here we show in mice that GluA2/3s are in a low-conductance state under basal conditions, and although present at synapses they contribute little to synaptic currents. When intracellular cyclic AMP (cAMP) levels rise, GluA2/3 channels shift to a high-conductance state, leading to synaptic potentiation. This cAMP-driven synaptic potentiation requires the activation of both protein kinase A (PKA) and the GTPase Ras, and is induced upon the activation of β-adrenergic receptors. Together, these experiments reveal a novel type of plasticity at CA1 hippocampal synapses that is expressed by the activation of GluA3-containing AMPARs. PMID:28762944

  4. Enriched environment ameliorates depression-induced cognitive deficits and restores abnormal hippocampal synaptic plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahati, K; Bhagya, V; Christofer, T; Sneha, A; Shankaranarayana Rao, B S

    2016-10-01

    Severe depression compromises structural and functional integrity of the brain and results in impaired learning and memory, maladaptive synaptic plasticity as well as degenerative changes in the hippocampus and amygdala. The precise mechanisms underlying cognitive dysfunctions in depression remain largely unknown. On the other hand, enriched environment (EE) offers beneficial effects on cognitive functions, synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus. However, the effect of EE on endogenous depression associated cognitive dysfunction has not been explored. Accordingly, we have attempted to address this issue by investigating behavioural, structural and synaptic plasticity mechanisms in an animal model of endogenous depression after exposure to enriched environment. Our results demonstrate that depression is associated with impaired spatial learning and enhanced anxiety-like behaviour which is correlated with hypotrophy of the dentate gyrus and amygdalar hypertrophy. We also observed a gross reduction in the hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP). We report a complete behavioural recovery with reduced indices of anhedonia and behavioural despair, reduced anxiety-like behaviour and improved spatial learning along with a complete restoration of dentate gyrus and amygdalar volumes in depressive rats subjected to EE. Enrichment also facilitated CA3-Schaffer collateral LTP. Our study convincingly proves that depression-induces learning deficits and impairs hippocampal synaptic plasticity. It also highlights the role of environmental stimuli in restoring depression-induced cognitive deficits which might prove vital in outlining more effective strategies to treat major depressive disorders. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Long-Term Exercise Is Needed to Enhance Synaptic Plasticity in the Hippocampus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patten, Anna R.; Sickmann, Helle; Hryciw, Brett N.; Kucharsky, Tessa; Parton, Roberta; Kernick, Aimee; Christie, Brian R.

    2013-01-01

    Exercise can have many benefits for the body, but it also benefits the brain by increasing neurogenesis, synaptic plasticity, and performance on learning and memory tasks. The period of exercise needed to realize the structural and functional benefits for the brain have not been well delineated, and previous studies have used periods of exercise…

  6. Transcriptional and post-translational regulation of Arc in synaptic plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carmichael, Ruth E; Henley, Jeremy M

    2017-09-07

    One of the most interesting features of Arc-dependent synaptic plasticity is how multiple types of synaptic activity can converge to alter Arc transcription and then diverge to induce different plasticity outcomes, ranging from AMPA receptor internalisation that promotes long-term depression (LTD), to actin stabilisation that promotes long-term potentiation (LTP). This diversity suggests that there must be numerous levels of control to ensure the temporal profile, abundance, localisation and function of Arc are appropriately regulated to effect learning and memory in the correct contexts. The activity-dependent transcription and post-translational modification of Arc are crucial regulators of synaptic plasticity, fine-tuning the function of this key protein depending on the specific situation. The extensive cross-talk between signalling pathways and the numerous routes of Arc regulation provide a complex interplay of processes in which Arc-mediated plasticity can be broadly induced, but specifically tailored to synaptic activity. Here we provide an overview what is currently known about these processes and potential future directions. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xin-Xing; Zha, Ying-Ying; Yang, Bo; Chen, Lin; Wang, Ming

    Fullerenol, a water-soluble fullerene derivative, has attracted much attention due to its bioactive properties, including the antioxidative properties and free radical scavenging ability. Due to its superior nature, fullerenol represents a promising diagnostic, therapeutic, and protective agent. Therefore, elucidation of the possible side effects of fullerenol is important in determining its potential role. In the present study, we investigated the acute effects of 5 μM fullerenol on synaptic plasticity in hippocampal brain slices of rats. Incubation with fullerenol for 20 minutes significantly decreased the peak of paired-pulse facilitation and long-term potentiation, indicating that fullerenol suppresses the short- and long-term synaptic plasticity of region I of hippocampus. We found that fullerenol depressed the activity and the expression of nitric oxide (NO) synthase in hippocampus. In view of the important role of NO in synaptic plasticity, the inhibition of fullerenol on NO synthase may contribute to the suppression of synaptic plasticity. These findings may facilitate the evaluation of the side effects of fullerenol.

  8. Predicting seizure by modeling synaptic plasticity based on EEG signals - a case study of inherited epilepsy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Honghui; Su, Jianzhong; Wang, Qingyun; Liu, Yueming; Good, Levi; Pascual, Juan

    2018-03-01

    This paper explores the internal dynamical mechanisms of epileptic seizures through quantitative modeling based on full brain electroencephalogram (EEG) signals. Our goal is to provide seizure prediction and facilitate treatment for epileptic patients. Motivated by an earlier mathematical model with incorporated synaptic plasticity, we studied the nonlinear dynamics of inherited seizures through a differential equation model. First, driven by a set of clinical inherited electroencephalogram data recorded from a patient with diagnosed Glucose Transporter Deficiency, we developed a dynamic seizure model on a system of ordinary differential equations. The model was reduced in complexity after considering and removing redundancy of each EEG channel. Then we verified that the proposed model produces qualitatively relevant behavior which matches the basic experimental observations of inherited seizure, including synchronization index and frequency. Meanwhile, the rationality of the connectivity structure hypothesis in the modeling process was verified. Further, through varying the threshold condition and excitation strength of synaptic plasticity, we elucidated the effect of synaptic plasticity to our seizure model. Results suggest that synaptic plasticity has great effect on the duration of seizure activities, which support the plausibility of therapeutic interventions for seizure control.

  9. AMPA receptor trafficking and the mechanisms underlying synaptic plasticity and cognitive aging

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henley, Jeremy M.; Wilkinson, Kevin A.

    2013-01-01

    Even in healthy individuals there is an inexorable agerelated decline in cognitive function. This is due, in large part, to reduced synaptic plasticity caused by changes in the molecular composition of the postsynaptic membrane. AMPA receptors (AMPARs) are glutamate-gated cation channels that mediate the overwhelming majority of fast excitatory transmission in the brain. Changes in AMPAR number and/or function are a core feature of synaptic plasticity and age-related cognitive decline, AMPARs are highly dynamic proteins that are subject to highly controlled trafficking, recycling, and/or degradation and replacement. This active regulation of AMPAR synthesis, targeting, synaptic dwell time, and degradation is fundamentally important for memory formation and storage. Further, aberrant AMPAR trafficking and consequent detrimental changes in synapses are strongly implicated in many brain diseases, which represent a vast social and economic burden. The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of the molecular and cellular AMPA receptor trafficking events that control synaptic responsiveness and plasticity, and highlight what is known currently known about how these processes change with age and disease. PMID:23576886

  10. Plasticity of GABA transporters: an unconventional route to shape inhibitory synaptic transmission

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Annalisa eScimemi

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available The brain relies on GABAergic neurons to control the ongoing activity of neuronal networks. GABAergic neurons control the firing pattern of excitatory cells, the temporal structure of membrane potential oscillations and the time window for integration of synaptic inputs. These actions require a fine control of the timing of GABA receptor activation which, in turn, depends on the precise timing of GABA release from pre-synaptic terminals and GABA clearance from the extracellular space. Extracellular GABA is not subject to enzymatic breakdown, and its clearance relies entirely on diffusion and uptake by specific transporters. In contrast to glutamate transporters, GABA transporters are abundantly expressed in neuronal pre-synaptic terminals. GABA transporters move laterally within the plasma membrane and are continuously trafficked to/from intracellular compartments. It is hypothesized that due to their proximity to GABA release sites, changes in the concentration and lateral mobility of GABA transporters may have a significant effect on the time course of the GABA concentration profile in and out of the synaptic cleft. To date, this hypothesis remains to be tested. Here we use 3D Monte Carlo reaction-diffusion simulations to analyze how changes in the density of expression and lateral mobility of GABA transporters in the cell membrane affect the extracellular GABA concentration profile and the activation of GABA receptors. Our results indicate that these manipulations mainly alter the GABA concentration profile away from the synaptic cleft. These findings provide novel insights into how the ability of GABA transporters to undergo plastic changes may alter the strength of GABAergic signals and the activity of neuronal networks in the brain.

  11. Synaptic Impairment and Robustness of Excitatory Neuronal Networks with Different Topologies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mirzakhalili, Ehsan; Gourgou, Eleni; Booth, Victoria; Epureanu, Bogdan

    2017-01-01

    Synaptic deficiencies are a known hallmark of neurodegenerative diseases, but the diagnosis of impaired synapses on the cellular level is not an easy task. Nonetheless, changes in the system-level dynamics of neuronal networks with damaged synapses can be detected using techniques that do not require high spatial resolution. This paper investigates how the structure/topology of neuronal networks influences their dynamics when they suffer from synaptic loss. We study different neuronal network structures/topologies by specifying their degree distributions. The modes of the degree distribution can be used to construct networks that consist of rich clubs and resemble small world networks, as well. We define two dynamical metrics to compare the activity of networks with different structures: persistent activity (namely, the self-sustained activity of the network upon removal of the initial stimulus) and quality of activity (namely, percentage of neurons that participate in the persistent activity of the network). Our results show that synaptic loss affects the persistent activity of networks with bimodal degree distributions less than it affects random networks. The robustness of neuronal networks enhances when the distance between the modes of the degree distribution increases, suggesting that the rich clubs of networks with distinct modes keep the whole network active. In addition, a tradeoff is observed between the quality of activity and the persistent activity. For a range of distributions, both of these dynamical metrics are considerably high for networks with bimodal degree distribution compared to random networks. We also propose three different scenarios of synaptic impairment, which may correspond to different pathological or biological conditions. Regardless of the network structure/topology, results demonstrate that synaptic loss has more severe effects on the activity of the network when impairments are correlated with the activity of the neurons.

  12. Dynamic modulation of short-term synaptic plasticity in the auditory cortex: the role of norepinephrine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salgado, Humberto; García-Oscos, Francisco; Dinh, Lu; Atzori, Marco

    2011-01-01

    Norepinephrine (NE) is an important modulator of neuronal activity in the auditory cortex. Using patch-clamp recording and a pair pulse protocol on an auditory cortex slice preparation we recently demonstrated that NE affects cortical inhibition in a layer-specific manner, by decreasing apical but increasing basal inhibition onto layer II/III pyramidal cell dendrites. In the present study we used a similar protocol to investigate the dependence of noradrenergic modulation of inhibition on stimulus frequency, using 1s-long train pulses at 5, 10, and 20 Hz. The study was conducted using pharmacologically isolated inhibitory postsynaptic currents (IPSCs) evoked by electrical stimulation of axons either in layer I (LI-eIPSCs) or in layer II/III (LII/III-eIPSCs). We found that: 1) LI-eIPSC display less synaptic depression than LII/III-eIPSCs at all the frequencies tested, 2) in both type of synapses depression had a presynaptic component which could be altered manipulating [Ca²+]₀, 3) NE modestly altered short-term synaptic plasticity at low or intermediate (5-10 Hz) frequencies, but selectively enhanced synaptic facilitation in LI-eIPSCs while increasing synaptic depression of LII/III-eIPSCs in the latest (>250 ms) part of the response, at high stimulation frequency (20 Hz). We speculate that these mechanisms may limit the temporal window for top-down synaptic integration as well as the duration and intensity of stimulus-evoked gamma-oscillations triggered by complex auditory stimuli during alertness. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  13. Climbing fiber-Purkinje cell synaptic pathology in tremor and cerebellar degenerative diseases

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Chi-Ying; Wang, Jie; Sims, Peter A.; Pan, Ming-Kai; Liou, Jyun-you; Lee, Danielle; Tate, William J.; Kelly, Geoffrey C.; Louis, Elan D.; Faust, Phyllis L.

    2017-01-01

    Changes in climbing fiber-Purkinje cell (CF-PC) synaptic connections have been found in the essential tremor (ET) cerebellum, and these changes are correlated with tremor severity. Whether these postmortem changes are specific to ET remains to be investigated. We assessed CF-PC synaptic pathology in the postmortem cerebellum across a range of degenerative movement disorders [10 Parkinson’s disease (PD) cases, 10 multiple system atrophy (MSA) cases, 10 spinocerebellar ataxia type 1 (SCA1) cases, and 20 ET cases] and 25 controls. We observed differences in terms of CF pathological features across these disorders. Specifically, PD cases and ET cases both had more CFs extending into the parallel fiber (PF) territory, but ET cases had more complex branching and increased length of CFs in the PF territory along with decreased CF synaptic density compared to PD cases. MSA cases and SCA1 cases had the most severely reduced CF synaptic density and a marked paucity of CFs extending into the PF territory. Furthermore, CFs in a subset of MSA cases formed collateral branches parallel to the PC layer, a feature not seen in other diagnostic groups. Using unsupervised cluster analysis, the cases and controls could all be categorized into four clusters based on the CF pathology and features of PC pathology, including counts of PCs and their axonal torpedoes. ET cases and PD cases co-segregated into two clusters, whereas SCA1 cases and MSA cases formed another cluster, separate from the control cluster. Interestingly, the presence of resting tremor seemed to be the clinical feature that separated the cases into the two ET-PD clusters. In conclusion, our study demonstrates that these degenerative movement disorders seem to differ with respect to the pattern of CF synaptic pathology they exhibit. It remains to be determined how these differences contribute to the clinical presentations of these diseases. PMID:27704282

  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. Axon and dendrite geography predict the specificity of synaptic connections in a functioning spinal cord network

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Borisyuk Roman

    2007-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background How specific are the synaptic connections formed as neuronal networks develop and can simple rules account for the formation of functioning circuits? These questions are assessed in the spinal circuits controlling swimming in hatchling frog tadpoles. This is possible because detailed information is now available on the identity and synaptic connections of the main types of neuron. Results The probabilities of synapses between 7 types of identified spinal neuron were measured directly by making electrical recordings from 500 pairs of neurons. For the same neuron types, the dorso-ventral distributions of axons and dendrites were measured and then used to calculate the probabilities that axons would encounter particular dendrites and so potentially form synaptic connections. Surprisingly, synapses were found between all types of neuron but contact probabilities could be predicted simply by the anatomical overlap of their axons and dendrites. These results suggested that synapse formation may not require axons to recognise specific, correct dendrites. To test the plausibility of simpler hypotheses, we first made computational models that were able to generate longitudinal axon growth paths and reproduce the axon distribution patterns and synaptic contact probabilities found in the spinal cord. To test if probabilistic rules could produce functioning spinal networks, we then made realistic computational models of spinal cord neurons, giving them established cell-specific properties and connecting them into networks using the contact probabilities we had determined. A majority of these networks produced robust swimming activity. Conclusion Simple factors such as morphogen gradients controlling dorso-ventral soma, dendrite and axon positions may sufficiently constrain the synaptic connections made between different types of neuron as the spinal cord first develops and allow functional networks to form. Our analysis implies that

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  17. New rules governing synaptic plasticity in core nucleus accumbens medium spiny neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ji, Xincai; Martin, Gilles E

    2012-12-01

    The nucleus accumbens is a forebrain region responsible for drug reward and goal-directed behaviors. It has long been believed that drugs of abuse exert their addictive properties on behavior by altering the strength of synaptic communication over long periods of time. To date, attempts at understanding the relationship between drugs of abuse and synaptic plasticity have relied on the high-frequency long-term potentiation model of T.V. Bliss & T. Lømo [(1973) Journal of Physiology, 232, 331-356]. We examined synaptic plasticity using spike-timing-dependent plasticity, a stimulation paradigm that reflects more closely the in vivo firing patterns of mouse core nucleus accumbens medium spiny neurons and their afferents. In contrast to other brain regions, the same stimulation paradigm evoked bidirectional long-term plasticity. The magnitude of spike-timing-dependent long-term potentiation (tLTP) changed with the delay between action potentials and excitatory post-synaptic potentials, and frequency, whereas that of spike-timing-dependent long-term depression (tLTD) remained unchanged. We showed that tLTP depended on N-methyl-d-aspartate receptors, whereas tLTD relied on action potentials. Importantly, the intracellular calcium signaling pathways mobilised during tLTP and tLTD were different. Thus, calcium-induced calcium release underlies tLTD but not tLTP. Finally, we found that the firing pattern of a subset of medium spiny neurons was strongly inhibited by dopamine receptor agonists. Surprisingly, these neurons were exclusively associated with tLTP but not with tLTD. Taken together, these data point to the existence of two subgroups of medium spiny neurons with distinct properties, each displaying unique abilities to undergo synaptic plasticity. © 2012 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  18. Very long-chain fatty acids support synaptic structure and function in the mammalian retina

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hopiavuori Blake R.

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Elongation of Very Long chain fatty acids-like 4 (ELOVL4 is a fatty acid elongase responsible for the biosynthesis of very long chain (VLC; ≥ C26 fatty acids in the retina, brain, skin, Meibomian gland, and testes. Heterozygous inheritance of mutant ELOVL4 causes juvenile macular degeneration in autosomal dominant Stargardt-like macular dystrophy (STGD3. Retinal photoreceptors are enriched with VLC polyunsaturated fatty acids (VLC-PUFAs, which have been shown by our group and others to be necessary for the survival of rod photoreceptors. Our group performed a series of studies using mice conditionally depleted of retinal Elovl4 (KO aimed at understanding the role of VLC-PUFAs in long-term retinal health and function, focusing on the role of these fatty acids in mediating synaptic function between the photoreceptors and the rest of the neural retina. The absence of VLC-PUFA from the retina of KO mice resulted in a marked decrease in retinal b-wave responses of the electroretinogram as well as a decrease in the amplitude of the oscillatory potentials mediated by the neural retina. Although there were no measureable differences between KO and wild type (WT mice in either pre-synaptic rod calcium channel function or post-synaptic bipolar cell glutamate receptor responses, ultrastructural analysis revealed a marked decrease in the diameter of synaptic vesicles in rod terminals. Recent quantification suggests that this decrease in synaptic vesicle size due to the absence of VLC-PUFAs in KO mice, and the consequent decrease in glutamate content, could account for the decrease in b-wave response amplitudes that were previously measured in these animals.

  19. Inhibition of AMPAR endocytosis alleviates pentobarbital-induced spatial memory deficits and synaptic depression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Wei; Tan, Tao; Yu, Yanzhi; Huang, Zhilin; Du, Yehong; Han, Huili; Dong, Zhifang

    2018-02-26

    Our previous study has shown that pentobarbital causes memory deficits and impairs hippocampal synaptic plasticity. The Tat-GluA2 3Y peptide (GluA2 3Y ) prevents activity-dependent α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole propionic acid receptor (AMPAR) endocytosis. It enables early-phase long-term potentiation (LTP) to proceed to late-phase LTP allowing short-term memory to convert to long-term memory. The purpose of this study is to explore the potential effects of GluA2 3Y on pentobarbital-induced memory deficits through behavioral and electrophysiological paradigms. We found that in vivo intrahippocampal infusion of GluA2 3Y (100μM, 1μl per hippocampus) 30min prior to pentobarbital administration (8mM, 1μl per hippocampus) significantly rescued the pentobarbital-induced deficit of memory retrieval in rats during the Morris water maze test. Pre-incubation of GluA2 3Y (10μM) partially rescued bath application of pentobarbital-induced synaptic transmission of the CA3-CA1 pathway in hippocampal slices. More importantly, GluA2 3Y selectively upregulated the synaptic GluA2 expression that was suppressed by pentobarbital. Together, these results suggest that inhibition of GluA2-containing AMPAR endocytosis by GluA2 3Y increases the pentobarbital-suppressed basal synaptic transmission by upregulating the synaptic GluA2, and then subsequently alleviates spatial memory deficits. Therefore, inhibition of AMPAR endocytosis may be a potential therapeutic way to treat memory disorders caused by anesthetics. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. β-Amyloid triggers aberrant over-scaling of homeostatic synaptic plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilbert, James; Shu, Shu; Yang, Xin; Lu, Youming; Zhu, Ling-Qiang; Man, Heng-Ye

    2016-12-13

    The over-production of β-amyloid (Aβ) has been strongly correlated to neuronal dysfunction and altered synaptic plasticity in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Accordingly, it has been proposed that disrupted synaptic transmission and neuronal network instability underlie memory failure that is evident in the early phases of AD. Homeostatic synaptic plasticity (HSP) serves to restrain neuronal activity within a physiological range. Therefore a disruption of this mechanism may lead to destabilization in synaptic and neural circuit function. Here, we report that during HSP by neuronal activity deprivation, application of Aβ results in an aberrant over-response of the up-regulation of AMPA receptor (AMPAR)-mediated synaptic currents and cell-surface AMPAR expression. In the visual cortex, in vivo HSP induced by visual deprivation shows a similar over-response following an Aβ local injection. Aβ increases the expression of GluA2-lacking, calcium permeable AMPARs (CP-AMPARs), which are required for the initiation, but not maintenance of HSP. Both GluA2-lacking and GluA2-containing AMPARs contribute to the Aβ-mediated over-scaling of HSP. We also find that Aβ induces the dissociation of HDAC1 from the miR124 transcription factor EVI1, leading to an up-regulation of miR124 expression and increased amount of CP-AMPARs. Thus, via aberrant stimulation of miR124 expression and biogenesis of CP-AMPARs, Aβ is able to induce an over response in HSP. This Aβ-mediated dysregulation in homeostatic plasticity may play an important role in the pathogenesis of altered neural function and memory deficits in the early stages of AD.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-02

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-01

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

  3. Control of Homeostatic Synaptic Plasticity by AKAP-Anchored Kinase and Phosphatase Regulation of Ca2+-Permeable AMPA Receptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanderson, Jennifer L; Scott, John D; Dell'Acqua, Mark L

    2018-02-13

    Neuronal information processing requires multiple forms of synaptic plasticity mediated by NMDA and AMPA-type glutamate receptors (NMDAR, AMPAR). These plasticity mechanisms include long-term potentiation (LTP) and depression (LTD), which are Hebbian, homosynaptic mechanisms locally regulating synaptic strength of specific inputs, and homeostatic synaptic scaling, which is a heterosynaptic mechanism globally regulating synaptic strength across all inputs. In many cases, LTP and homeostatic scaling regulate AMPAR subunit composition to increase synaptic strength via incorporation of Ca 2+ -permeable receptors (CP-AMPAR) containing GluA1, but lacking GluA2, subunits. Previous work by our group and others demonstrated that anchoring of the kinase PKA and the phosphatase calcineurin (CaN) to A-kinase anchoring protein (AKAP) 150 play opposing roles in regulation of GluA1 Ser845 phosphorylation and CP-AMPAR synaptic incorporation during hippocampal LTP and LTD. Here, using both male and female knock-in mice that are deficient in PKA or CaN anchoring, we show that AKAP150-anchored PKA and CaN also play novel roles in controlling CP-AMPAR synaptic incorporation during homeostatic plasticity in hippocampal neurons. We found that genetic disruption of AKAP-PKA anchoring prevented increases in Ser845 phosphorylation and CP-AMPAR synaptic recruitment during rapid homeostatic synaptic scaling-up induced by combined blockade of action potential firing and NMDAR activity. In contrast, genetic disruption of AKAP-CaN anchoring resulted in basal increases in Ser845 phosphorylation and CP-AMPAR synaptic activity that blocked subsequent scaling-up by preventing additional CP-AMPAR recruitment. Thus, the balanced, opposing phospho-regulation provided by AKAP-anchored PKA and CaN is essential for control of both Hebbian and homeostatic plasticity mechanisms that require CP-AMPARs. Significance statement: Neuronal circuit function is shaped by multiple forms of activity

  4. Acute Stress Suppresses Synaptic Inhibition and Increases Anxiety via Endocannabinoid Release in the Basolateral Amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di, Shi; Itoga, Christy A; Fisher, Marc O; Solomonow, Jonathan; Roltsch, Emily A; Gilpin, Nicholas W; Tasker, Jeffrey G

    2016-08-10

    Stress and glucocorticoids stimulate the rapid mobilization of endocannabinoids in the basolateral amygdala (BLA). Cannabinoid receptors in the BLA contribute to anxiogenesis and fear-memory formation. We tested for rapid glucocorticoid-induced endocannabinoid regulation of synaptic inhibition in the rat BLA. Glucocorticoid application to amygdala slices elicited a rapid, nonreversible suppression of spontaneous, but not evoked, GABAergic synaptic currents in BLA principal neurons; the effect was also seen with a membrane-impermeant glucocorticoid, but not with intracellular glucocorticoid application, implicating a membrane-associated glucocorticoid receptor. The glucocorticoid suppression of GABA currents was not blocked by antagonists of nuclear corticosteroid receptors, or by inhibitors of gene transcription or protein synthesis, but was blocked by inhibiting postsynaptic G-protein activity, suggesting a postsynaptic nongenomic steroid signaling mechanism that stimulates the release of a retrograde messenger. The rapid glucocorticoid-induced suppression of inhibition was prevented by blocking CB1 receptors and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) synthesis, and it was mimicked and occluded by CB1 receptor agonists, indicating it was mediated by the retrograde release of the endocannabinoid 2-AG. The rapid glucocorticoid effect in BLA neurons in vitro was occluded by prior in vivo acute stress-induced, or prior in vitro glucocorticoid-induced, release of endocannabinoid. Acute stress also caused an increase in anxiety-like behavior that wa