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Sample records for tegmental area neurons

  1. Ventral tegmental area GABA neurons and opiate motivation

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    Vargas-Perez, Hector; Mabey, Jennifer K.; Shin, Samuel I.; Steffensen, Scott C.; van der Kooy, Derek

    2013-01-01

    Rational Past research has demonstrated that when an animal changes from a previously drug-naive to an opiate-dependent and withdrawn state, morphine’s motivational effects are switched from a tegmental pedunculopontine nucleus (TPP)-dependent to a dopamine-dependent pathway. Interestingly, a corresponding change is observed in ventral tegmental area (VTA) GABAA receptors, which change from mediating hyperpolarization of VTA GABA neurons to mediating depolarization. Objectives The present study investigated whether pharmacological manipulation of VTA GABAA receptor activity could directly influence the mechanisms underlying opiate motivation. Results Using an unbiased place conditioning procedure, we demonstrated that in Wistar rats, intra-VTA administration of furosemide, a Cl− cotransporter inhibitor, was able to promote a switch in the mechanisms underlying morphine’s motivational properties, one which is normally observed only after chronic opiate exposure. This behavioral switch was prevented by intra-VTA administration of acetazolamide, an inhibitor of the bicarbonate ion-producing carbonic anhydrase enzyme. Electrophysiological recordings of mouse VTA showed that furosemide reduced the sensitivity of VTA GABA neurons to inhibition by the GABAA receptor agonist muscimol, instead increasing the firing rate of a significant subset of these GABA neurons. Conclusion Our results suggest that the carbonic anhydrase enzyme may constitute part of a common VTA GABA neuron-based biological pathway responsible for controlling the mechanisms underlying opiate motivation, supporting the hypothesis that VTA GABAA receptor hyperpolarization or depolarization is responsible for selecting TPP- or dopamine-dependent motivational outputs, respectively. PMID:23392354

  2. Multiplexed Neurochemical Signaling by Neurons of the Ventral Tegmental Area

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    Barker, David J.; Root, David H.; Zhang, Shiliang; Morales, Marisela

    2016-01-01

    The ventral tegmental area (VTA) is an evolutionarily conserved structure that has roles in reward-seeking, safety-seeking, learning, motivation, and neuropsychiatric disorders such as addiction and depression. The involvement of the VTA in these various behaviors and disorders is paralleled by its diverse signaling mechanisms. Here we review recent advances in our understanding of neuronal diversity in the VTA with a focus on cell phenotypes that participate in ‘multiplexed’ neurotransmission involving distinct signaling mechanisms. First, we describe the cellular diversity within the VTA, including neurons capable of transmitting dopamine, glutamate or GABA as well as neurons capable of multiplexing combinations of these neurotransmitters. Next, we describe the complex synaptic architecture used by VTA neurons in order to accommodate the transmission of multiple transmitters. We specifically cover recent findings showing that VTA multiplexed neurotransmission may be mediated by either the segregation of dopamine and glutamate into distinct microdomains within a single axon or by the integration of glutamate and GABA into a single axon terminal. In addition, we discuss our current understanding of the functional role that these multiplexed signaling pathways have in the lateral habenula and the nucleus accumbens. Finally, we consider the putative roles of VTA multiplexed neurotransmission in synaptic plasticity and discuss how changes in VTA multiplexed neurons may relate to various psychopathologies including drug addiction and depression. PMID:26763116

  3. Duration of inhibition of ventral tegmental area dopamine neurons encodes a level of conditioned fear.

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    Mileykovskiy, Boris; Morales, Marisela

    2011-05-18

    It is widely accepted that midbrain dopamine (DA) neurons encode actual and expected reward values by phasic alterations in firing rate. However, how DA neurons encode negative events in the environment is still unclear because some DA neurons appear to be depressed and others excited by aversive stimuli. Here, we show that exposing fear-conditioned rats to stimuli predicting electrical shock elicited three types of biphasic responses, each of which contained an inhibitory pause, in neurochemically identified ventral tegmental area (VTA) DA neurons. The duration of the inhibitory pause in these responses of VTA DA neurons was in direct proportion to the increase in respiratory rate reflecting the level of conditioned fear. Our results suggest that the duration of inhibition of VTA DA neurons encodes negative emotional values of signals predicting aversive events in the environment.

  4. Salsolinol facilitates glutamatergic transmission to dopamine neurons in the posterior ventral tegmental area of rats.

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    Guiqin Xie

    Full Text Available Although in vivo evidence indicates that salsolinol, the condensation product of acetaldehyde and dopamine, has properties that may contribute to alcohol abuse, the underlying mechanisms have not been fully elucidated. We have reported previously that salsolinol stimulates dopamine neurons in the posterior ventral tegmental area (p-VTA partly by reducing inhibitory GABAergic transmission, and that ethanol increases glutamatergic transmission to VTA-dopamine neurons via the activation of dopamine D(1 receptors (D(1Rs. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that salsolinol stimulates dopamine neurons involving activation of D(1Rs. By using whole-cell recordings on p-VTA-dopamine neurons in acute brain slices of rats, we found that salsolinol-induced increase in spike frequency of dopamine neurons was substantially attenuated by DL-2-amino-5-phosphono-valeric acid and 6, 7-dinitroquinoxaline-2, 3-dione, the antagonists of glutamatergic N-Methyl-D-aspartic acid and α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid receptors. Moreover, salsolinol increased the amplitude of evoked excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs and the frequency but not the amplitude of spontaneous EPSCs. Additionally, SKF83566, a D(1R antagonist attenuated the salsolinol-induced facilitation of EPSCs and of spontaneous firing of dopamine neurons. Our data reveal that salsolinol enhances glutamatergic transmission onto dopamine neurons via activation of D(1Rs at the glutamatergic afferents in dopamine neurons, which contributes to salsolinol's stimulating effect on p-VTA dopamine neurons. This appears to be a novel mechanism which contributes toward rewarding properties of salsolinol.

  5. Effects of sustained serotonin reuptake inhibition on the firing of dopamine neurons in the rat ventral tegmental area

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    Dremencov, Eliyahu; El Mansari, Mostafa; Blier, Pierre

    Background: Selective serotonin (5-HT) reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are efficacious in depression because of their ability to increase 5-HT neurotransmission. However, owing to a purported inhibitory effect of 5- HT on dopamine (DA) neuronal activity in the ventral tegmental area (VTA), this increase

  6. Endogenous Opioid-Induced Neuroplasticity of Dopaminergic Neurons in the Ventral Tegmental Area Influences Natural and Opiate Reward

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    Pitchers, Kyle K.; Coppens, Caroline M.; Beloate, Lauren N.; Fuller, Jonathan; Van, Sandy; Frohmader, Karla S.; Laviolette, Steven R.; Lehman, Michael N.; Coolen, Lique M.

    2014-01-01

    Natural reward and drugs of abuse converge on the mesolimbic pathway and activate common mechanism of neural plasticity in the nucleus accumbens. Chronic exposure to opiates induces plasticity in dopaminergic neurons of the ventral tegmental area (VTA), which regulates morphine reward tolerance.

  7. Estradiol increases the sensitivity of ventral tegmental area dopamine neurons to dopamine and ethanol.

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    Bertha J Vandegrift

    Full Text Available Gender differences in psychiatric disorders such as addiction may be modulated by the steroid hormone estrogen. For instance, 17β-estradiol (E2, the predominant form of circulating estrogen in pre-menopausal females, increases ethanol consumption, suggesting that E2 may affect the rewarding properties of ethanol and thus the development of alcohol use disorder in females. The ventral tegmental area (VTA is critically involved in the rewarding and reinforcing effects of ethanol. In order to determine the role of E2 in VTA physiology, gonadally intact female mice were sacrificed during diestrus II (high E2 or estrus (low E2 for electrophysiology recordings. We measured the excitation by ethanol and inhibition by dopamine (DA of VTA DA neurons and found that both excitation by ethanol and inhibition by dopamine were greater in diestrus II compared with estrus. Treatment of VTA slices from mice in diestrus II with an estrogen receptor antagonist (ICI 182,780 reduced ethanol-stimulated neuronal firing, but had no effect on ethanol-stimulated firing of neurons in slices from mice in estrus. Surprisingly, ICI 182,780 did not affect the inhibition by DA, indicating different mechanisms of action of estrogen receptors in altering ethanol and DA responses. We also examined the responses of VTA DA neurons to ethanol and DA in ovariectomized mice treated with E2 and found that E2 treatment enhanced the responses to ethanol and DA in a manner similar to what we observed in mice in diestrus II. Our data indicate that E2 modulates VTA neuron physiology, which may contribute to both the enhanced reinforcing and rewarding effects of alcohol and the development of other psychiatric disorders in females that involve alterations in DA neurotransmission.

  8. GABAA receptor drugs and neuronal plasticity in reward and aversion: focus on the ventral tegmental area

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    Elena eVashchinkina

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available GABAA receptors are the main fast inhibitory neurotransmitter receptors in the mammalian brain, and targets for many clinically important drugs widely used in the treatment of anxiety disorders, insomnia and in anesthesia. Nonetheless, there are significant risks associated with the long-term use of these drugs particularly related to development of tolerance and addiction. Addictive mechanisms of GABAA receptor drugs are poorly known, but recent findings suggest that those drugs may induce aberrant neuroadaptations in the brain reward circuitry. Recently, benzodiazepines, acting on synaptic GABAA receptors, and modulators of extrasynaptic GABAA receptors (THIP and neurosteroids have been found to induce plasticity in the ventral tegmental area (VTA dopamine neurons and their main target projections. Furthermore, depending whether synaptic or extrasynaptic GABAA receptor populations are activated, the behavioral outcome of repeated administration seems to correlate with rewarding or aversive behavioral responses, respectively. The VTA dopamine neurons project to forebrain centers such as the nucleus accumbens and medial prefrontal cortex, and receive afferent projections from these brain regions and especially from the extended amygdala and lateral habenula, forming the major part of the reward and aversion circuitry. Both synaptic and extrasynaptic GABAA drugs inhibit the VTA GABAergic interneurons, thus activating the VTA DA neurons by disinhibition and this way inducing glutamatergic synaptic plasticity. However, the GABAA drugs failed to alter synaptic spine numbers as studied from Golgi-Cox-stained VTA dendrites. Since the GABAergic drugs are known to depress the brain metabolism and gene expression, their likely way of inducing neuroplasticity in mature neurons is by disinhibiting the principal neurons, which remains to be rigorously tested for a number of clinically important anxiolytics, sedatives and anesthetics in different parts of

  9. Drumming with dopamine neurons : Resonance and synchronization in the Ventral Tegmental Area

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    van der Velden, L.J.J.

    2018-01-01

    The ventral tegmental area (VTA) is a dopaminergic nucleus in the midbrain with the propensity to exhibit spontaneous intrinsic rhythmic activity in the 1-5 Hz frequency range (ex vivo). Here, we combine in-vitro simultaneous action potential recording from a 60 channel multi-electro-array with

  10. Nicotinic activation of laterodorsal tegmental neurons

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

    2009-01-01

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

  11. Eating-induced dopamine release from mesolimbic neurons is mediated by NMDA receptors in the ventral tegmental area : A dual-probe microdialysis study

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    Westerink, BHC; deVries, JB

    This study was aimed at identifying the neuronal pathways that mediate the eating-induced increase in the release of dopamine in the nucleus accumbens of the rat brain. For that purpose, a microdialysis probe was implanted in the ventral tegmental area and a second probe was placed in the

  12. Stimulation of the ventral tegmental area increased nociceptive thresholds and decreased spinal dorsal horn neuronal activity in rat.

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    Li, Ai-Ling; Sibi, Jiny E; Yang, Xiaofei; Chiao, Jung-Chih; Peng, Yuan Bo

    2016-06-01

    Deep brain stimulation has been found to be effective in relieving intractable pain. The ventral tegmental area (VTA) plays a role not only in the reward process, but also in the modulation of nociception. Lesions of VTA result in increased pain thresholds and exacerbate pain in several pain models. It is hypothesized that direct activation of VTA will reduce pain experience. In this study, we investigated the effect of direct electrical stimulation of the VTA on mechanical, thermal and carrageenan-induced chemical nociceptive thresholds in Sprague-Dawley rats using our custom-designed wireless stimulator. We found that: (1) VTA stimulation itself did not show any change in mechanical or thermal threshold; and (2) the decreased mechanical and thermal thresholds induced by carrageenan injection in the hind paw contralateral to the stimulation site were significantly reversed by VTA stimulation. To further explore the underlying mechanism of VTA stimulation-induced analgesia, spinal cord dorsal horn neuronal responses to graded mechanical stimuli were recorded. VTA stimulation significantly inhibited dorsal horn neuronal activity in response to pressure and pinch from the paw, but not brush. This indicated that VTA stimulation may have exerted its analgesic effect via descending modulatory pain pathways, possibly through its connections with brain stem structures and cerebral cortex areas.

  13. Dynamic, nonlinear feedback regulation of slow pacemaking by A-type potassium current in ventral tegmental area neurons.

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    Khaliq, Zayd M; Bean, Bruce P

    2008-10-22

    We analyzed ionic currents that regulate pacemaking in dopaminergic neurons of the mouse ventral tegmental area by comparing voltage trajectories during spontaneous firing with ramp-evoked currents in voltage clamp. Most recordings were made in brain slice, with key experiments repeated using acutely dissociated neurons, which gave identical results. During spontaneous firing, net ionic current flowing between spikes was calculated from the time derivative of voltage multiplied by cell capacitance, signal-averaged over many firing cycles to enhance resolution. Net inward interspike current had a distinctive nonmonotonic shape, reaching a minimum (generally current that peaked near -55 mV. This current was undetectable with 5 mV/s ramps and increased steeply with depolarization rate over the range (10-50 mV/s) typical of natural pacemaking. Ramp-evoked subthreshold current was resistant to alpha-dendrotoxin, paxilline, apamin, and tetraethylammonium but sensitive to 4-aminopyridine and 0.5 mM Ba2+, consistent with A-type potassium current (I(A)). Same-cell comparison of currents elicited by various ramp speeds with natural spontaneous depolarization showed how the steep dependence of I(A) on depolarization rate results in small net inward currents during pacemaking. These results reveal a mechanism in which subthreshold I(A) is near zero at steady state, but is engaged at depolarization rates >10 mV/s to act as a powerful, supralinear feedback element. This feedback mechanism explains how net ionic current can be constrained to <1-2 pA but reliably inward, thus enabling slow, regular firing.

  14. Oxytocin receptors are expressed on dopamine and glutamate neurons in the mouse ventral tegmental area that project to nucleus accumbens and other mesolimbic targets.

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    Peris, Joanna; MacFadyen, Kaley; Smith, Justin A; de Kloet, Annette D; Wang, Lei; Krause, Eric G

    2017-04-01

    The mesolimbic dopamine (DA) circuitry determines which behaviors are positively reinforcing and therefore should be encoded in the memory to become a part of the behavioral repertoire. Natural reinforcers, like food and sex, activate this pathway, thereby increasing the likelihood of further consummatory, social, and sexual behaviors. Oxytocin (OT) has been implicated in mediating natural reward and OT-synthesizing neurons project to the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and nucleus accumbens (NAc); however, direct neuroanatomical evidence of OT regulation of DA neurons within the VTA is sparse. To phenotype OT-receptor (OTR) expressing neurons originating within the VTA, we delivered Cre-inducible adeno-associated virus that drives the expression of fluorescent marker into the VTA of male mice that had Cre-recombinase driven by OTR gene expression. OTR-expressing VTA neurons project to NAc, prefrontal cortex, the extended amygdala, and other forebrain regions but less than 10% of these OTR-expressing neurons were identified as DA neurons (defined by tyrosine hydroxylase colocalization). Instead, almost 50% of OTR-expressing cells in the VTA were glutamate (GLU) neurons, as indicated by expression of mRNA for the vesicular GLU transporter (vGluT). About one-third of OTR-expressing VTA neurons did not colocalize with either DA or GLU phenotypic markers. Thus, OTR expression by VTA neurons implicates that OT regulation of reward circuitry is more complex than a direct action on DA neurotransmission. J. Comp. Neurol. 525:1094-1108, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  15. CaV3.1 isoform of T-type calcium channels supports excitability of rat and mouse ventral tegmental area neurons.

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    Tracy, Matthew E; Tesic, Vesna; Stamenic, Tamara Timic; Joksimovic, Srdjan M; Busquet, Nicolas; Jevtovic-Todorovic, Vesna; Todorovic, Slobodan M

    2018-03-23

    Recent data have implicated voltage-gated calcium channels in the regulation of the excitability of neurons within the mesolimbic reward system. While the attention of most research has centered on high voltage L-type calcium channel activity, the presence and role of the low voltage-gated T-type calcium channel (T-channels) has not been well explored. Hence, we investigated T-channel properties in the neurons of the ventral tegmental area (VTA) utilizing wild-type (WT) rats and mice, Ca V 3.1 knock-out (KO) mice, and TH-eGFP knock-in (KI) rats in acute horizontal brain slices of adolescent animals. In voltage-clamp experiments, we first assessed T-channel activity in WT rats with characteristic properties of voltage-dependent activation and inactivation, as well as characteristic crisscrossing patterns of macroscopic current kinetics. T-current kinetics were similar in WT mice and WT rats but T-currents were abolished in Ca V 3.1 KO mice. In ensuing current-clamp experiments, we observed the presence of hyperpolarization-induced rebound burst firing in a subset of neurons in WT rats, as well as dopaminergic and non-dopaminergic neurons in TH-eGFP KI rats. Following the application of a pan-selective T-channel blocker TTA-P2, rebound bursting was significantly inhibited in all tested cells. In a behavioral assessment, the acute locomotor increase induced by a MK-801 (Dizocilpine) injection in WT mice was abolished in Ca V 3.1 KO mice, suggesting a tangible role for 3.1 T-type channels in drug response. We conclude that pharmacological targeting of Ca V 3.1 isoform of T-channels may be a novel approach for the treatment of disorders of mesolimbic reward system. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  16. The GABAA Receptor α2 Subunit Activates a Neuronal TLR4 Signal in the Ventral Tegmental Area that Regulates Alcohol and Nicotine Abuse

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    Irina Balan

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Alcoholism initiates with episodes of excessive alcohol drinking, known as binge drinking, which is one form of excessive drinking (NIAAA Newsletter, 2004 that is related to impulsivity and anxiety (Ducci et al., 2007; Edenberg et al., 2004 and is also predictive of smoking status. The predisposition of non-alcohol exposed subjects to initiate binge drinking is controlled by neuroimmune signaling that includes an innately activated neuronal Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4 signal. This signal also regulates cognitive impulsivity, a heritable trait that defines drug abuse initiation. However, the mechanism of signal activation, its function in dopaminergic (TH+ neurons within the reward circuitry implicated in drug-seeking behavior [viz. the ventral tegmental area (VTA], and its contribution to nicotine co-abuse are still poorly understood. We report that the γ-aminobutyric acidA receptor (GABAAR α2 subunit activates the TLR4 signal in neurons, culminating in the activation (phosphorylation/nuclear translocation of cyclic AMP response element binding (CREB but not NF-kB transcription factors and the upregulation of corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF and tyrosine hydroxylase (TH. The signal is activated through α2/TLR4 interaction, as evidenced by co-immunoprecipitation, and it is present in the VTA from drug-untreated alcohol-preferring P rats. VTA infusion of neurotropic herpes simplex virus (HSV vectors for α2 (pHSVsiLA2 or TLR4 (pHSVsiTLR4 but not scrambled (pHSVsiNC siRNA inhibits signal activation and both binge alcohol drinking and nicotine sensitization, suggesting that the α2-activated TLR4 signal contributes to the regulation of both alcohol and nicotine abuse.

  17. Inhibition by sigma receptor ligand, MS-377, of N-methyl- D-aspartate-induced currents in dopamine neurons of the rat ventral tegmental area.

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    Yamazaki, Yuu; Ishioka, Miwa; Matsubayashi, Hiroaki; Amano, Taku; Sasa, Masashi

    2002-04-01

    MS-377 [( R)-(+)-1-(4-chlorophenyl)-3-[4-(2-methoxyethyl) piperazin-1-yl]methyl-2-pyrrolidinone L-tartrate] is a novel anti-psychotic drug candidate with high affinity for sigma receptors but devoid of binding affinity for PCP binding site of NMDA receptor/ion channel complex. The effects of MS-377 on NMDA receptor and/or its ion channel complex were examined to elucidate the antipsychotic properties of MS-377. We examined the effect of MS-377 on NMDA ( N-methyl- D-aspartate)-induced current in acutely dissociated dopamine neurons of rat ventral tegmental area (VTA) using patch clamp whole cell recording. MS-377 applied in a bath inhibited the peak current evoked by NMDA applied via the U-tube method for 2 s in a concentration-dependent manner. Other sigma receptor ligands, BD-1063 (1-[2-(3,4-dichlorophenyl)ethyl]-4-methylpiperazine), NE-100 ( N, N-dipropyl-2-[4-methoxy-3-(2-phenylenoxy)-phenyl]-ethylamine monohydrochloride) and haloperidol also inhibited NMDA-induced current in a concentration-dependent manner. Interestingly, concomitant application of MS-377 with BD-1063, NE-100 or haloperidol at concentrations that had no effects on NMDA-induced current, potentiated the MS-377-induced inhibition. The results suggest that MS-377, as well as other sigma receptor ligands, indirectly acts on the sigma receptor to inhibit glutaminergic transmission mediated by NMDA receptor/ion channel complex in VTA dopamine neurons, thereby inhibiting dopamine release in target VTA areas.

  18. Chemogenetic activation of dopamine neurons in the ventral tegmental area, but not substantia nigra, induces hyperactivity in rats

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boekhoudt, Linde; Omrani, Azar; Luijendijk, Mieneke C M; Wolterink-Donselaar, Inge G; Wijbrans, Ellen C; van der Plasse, Geoffrey; Adan, Roger A H

    2016-01-01

    Hyperactivity is a core symptom in various psychiatric disorders, including attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, schizophrenia, bipolar disorders, and anorexia nervosa. Although hyperactivity has been linked to dopaminergic  signalling, the causal relationship between midbrain dopamine neuronal

  19. CB1-Dependent Long-Term Depression in Ventral Tegmental Area GABA Neurons: A Novel Target for Marijuana.

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    Friend, Lindsey; Weed, Jared; Sandoval, Philip; Nufer, Teresa; Ostlund, Isaac; Edwards, Jeffrey G

    2017-11-08

    The VTA is necessary for reward behavior with dopamine cells critically involved in reward signaling. Dopamine cells in turn are innervated and regulated by neighboring inhibitory GABA cells. Using whole-cell electrophysiology in juvenile-adolescent GAD67-GFP male mice, we examined excitatory plasticity in fluorescent VTA GABA cells. A novel CB1-dependent LTD was induced in GABA cells that was dependent on metabotropic glutamate receptor 5, and cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1). LTD was absent in CB1 knock-out mice but preserved in heterozygous littermates. Bath applied Δ 9 -tetrahydrocannabinol depressed GABA cell activity, therefore downstream dopamine cells will be disinhibited; and thus, this could potentially result in increased reward. Chronic injections of Δ 9 -tetrahydrocannabinol occluded LTD compared with vehicle injections; however, a single exposure was insufficient to do so. As synaptic modifications by drugs of abuse are often tied to addiction, these data suggest a possible mechanism for the addictive effects of Δ 9 -tetrahydrocannabinol in juvenile-adolescents, by potentially altering reward behavioral outcomes. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT The present study identifies a novel form of glutamatergic synaptic plasticity in VTA GABA neurons, a currently understudied cell type that is critical for the brain's reward circuit, and how Δ 9 -tetrahydrocannabinol occludes this plasticity. This study specifically addresses a potential unifying mechanism whereby marijuana could exert rewarding and addictive/withdrawal effects. Marijuana use and legalization are a pressing issue for many states in the United States. Although marijuana is the most commonly abused illicit drug, the implications of legalized, widespread, or continued usage are speculative. This study in juvenile-adolescent aged mice identifies a novel form of synaptic plasticity in VTA GABA cells, and the synaptic remodeling that can occur after Δ 9 -tetrahydrocannabinol use. Copyright © 2017 the

  20. GABAergic actions on cholinergic laterodorsal tegmental neurons

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    Kohlmeier, K A; Kristiansen, Uffe

    2010-01-01

    Cholinergic neurons of the pontine laterodorsal tegmentum (LDT) play a critical role in regulation of behavioral state. Therefore, elucidation of mechanisms that control their activity is vital for understanding of how switching between wakefulness, sleep and anesthetic states is effectuated....... In vivo studies suggest that GABAergic mechanisms within the pons play a critical role in behavioral state switching. However, the postsynaptic, electrophysiological actions of GABA on LDT neurons, as well as the identity of GABA receptors present in the LDT mediating these actions is virtually unexplored...... neurons. Post-synaptic location of GABA(A) receptors was demonstrated by persistence of muscimol-induced inward currents in TTX and low Ca(2+) solutions. THIP, a selective GABA(A) receptor agonist with a preference for d-subunit containing GABA(A) receptors, induced inward currents, suggesting...

  1. Ventral Tegmental Area and Substantia Nigra Neural Correlates of Spatial Learning

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    Martig, Adria K.; Mizumori, Sheri J. Y.

    2011-01-01

    The ventral tegmental area (VTA) and substantia nigra pars compacta (SNc) may provide modulatory signals that, respectively, influence hippocampal (HPC)- and striatal-dependent memory. Electrophysiological studies investigating neural correlates of learning and memory of dopamine (DA) neurons during classical conditioning tasks have found DA…

  2. Effects of drugs of abuse on putative rostromedial tegmental neurons, inhibitory afferents to midbrain dopamine cells.

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    Lecca, Salvatore; Melis, Miriam; Luchicchi, Antonio; Ennas, Maria Grazia; Castelli, Maria Paola; Muntoni, Anna Lisa; Pistis, Marco

    2011-02-01

    Recent findings have underlined the rostromedial tegmental nucleus (RMTg), a structure located caudally to the ventral tegmental area, as an important site involved in the mechanisms of aversion. RMTg contains γ-aminobutyric acid neurons responding to noxious stimuli, densely innervated by the lateral habenula and providing a major inhibitory projection to reward-encoding midbrain dopamine (DA) neurons. One of the key features of drug addiction is the perseverance of drug seeking in spite of negative and unpleasant consequences, likely mediated by response suppression within neural pathways mediating aversion. To investigate whether the RMTg has a function in the mechanisms of addicting drugs, we studied acute effects of morphine, cocaine, the cannabinoid agonist WIN55212-2 (WIN), and nicotine on putative RMTg neurons. We utilized single unit extracellular recordings in anesthetized rats and whole-cell patch-clamp recordings in brain slices to identify and characterize putative RMTg neurons and their responses to drugs of abuse. Morphine and WIN inhibited both firing rate in vivo and excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs) evoked by stimulation of rostral afferents in vitro, whereas cocaine inhibited discharge activity without affecting EPSC amplitude. Conversely, nicotine robustly excited putative RMTg neurons and enhanced EPSCs, an effect mediated by α7-containing nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. Our results suggest that activity of RMTg neurons is profoundly influenced by drugs of abuse and, as important inhibitory afferents to midbrain DA neurons, they might take place in the complex interplay between the neural circuits mediating aversion and reward.

  3. Ventral tegmental area dopamine revisited: effects of acute and repeated stress

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    Holly, Elizabeth N.; Miczek, Klaus A.

    2015-01-01

    Aversive events rapidly and potently excite certain dopamine neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA), promoting phasic increases in the medial prefrontal cortex and nucleus accumbens. This is in apparent contradiction to a wealth of literature demonstrating that most VTA dopamine neurons are strongly activated by reward and reward-predictive cues while inhibited by aversive stimuli. How can these divergent processes both be mediated by VTA dopamine neurons? The answer may lie within the functional and anatomical heterogeneity of the VTA. We focus on VTA heterogeneity in anatomy, neurochemistry, electrophysiology, and afferent/efferent connectivity. Second, recent evidence for a critical role of VTA dopamine neurons in response to both acute and repeated stress will be discussed. Understanding which dopamine neurons are activated by stress, the neural mechanisms driving the activation, and where these neurons project will provide valuable insight into how stress can promote psychiatric disorders associated with the dopamine system, such as addiction and depression. PMID:26676983

  4. Oleic Acid in the Ventral Tegmental Area Inhibits Feeding, Food Reward, and Dopamine Tone.

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    Hryhorczuk, Cecile; Sheng, Zhenyu; Décarie-Spain, Léa; Giguère, Nicolas; Ducrot, Charles; Trudeau, Louis-Éric; Routh, Vanessa H; Alquier, Thierry; Fulton, Stephanie

    2018-02-01

    Long-chain fatty acids (FAs) act centrally to decrease food intake and hepatic glucose production and alter hypothalamic neuronal activity in a manner that depends on FA type and cellular transport proteins. However, it is not known whether FAs are sensed by ventral tegmental area (VTA) dopamine (DA) neurons to control food-motivated behavior and DA neurotransmission. We investigated the impact of the monounsaturated FA oleate in the VTA on feeding, locomotion, food reward, and DA neuronal activity and DA neuron expression of FA-handling proteins and FA uptake. A single intra-VTA injection of oleate, but not of the saturated FA palmitate, decreased food intake and increased locomotor activity. Furthermore, intra-VTA oleate blunted the rewarding effects of high-fat/sugar food in an operant task and inhibited DA neuronal firing. Using sorted DA neuron preparations from TH-eGFP mice we found that DA neurons express FA transporter and binding proteins, and are capable of intracellular transport of long-chain FA. Finally, we demonstrate that a transporter blocker attenuates FA uptake into DA neurons and blocks the effects of intra-VTA oleate to decrease food-seeking and DA neuronal activity. Together, these results suggest that DA neurons detect FA and that oleate has actions in the VTA to suppress DA neuronal activity and food seeking following cellular incorporation. These findings highlight the capacity of DA neurons to act as metabolic sensors by responding not only to hormones but also to FA nutrient signals to modulate food-directed behavior.

  5. Cognitive Neurostimulation: Learning to Volitionally Sustain Ventral Tegmental Area Activation.

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    MacInnes, Jeff J; Dickerson, Kathryn C; Chen, Nan-Kuei; Adcock, R Alison

    2016-03-16

    Activation of the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and mesolimbic networks is essential to motivation, performance, and learning. Humans routinely attempt to motivate themselves, with unclear efficacy or impact on VTA networks. Using fMRI, we found untrained participants' motivational strategies failed to consistently activate VTA. After real-time VTA neurofeedback training, however, participants volitionally induced VTA activation without external aids, relative to baseline, Pre-test, and control groups. VTA self-activation was accompanied by increased mesolimbic network connectivity. Among two comparison groups (no neurofeedback, false neurofeedback) and an alternate neurofeedback group (nucleus accumbens), none sustained activation in target regions of interest nor increased VTA functional connectivity. The results comprise two novel demonstrations: learning and generalization after VTA neurofeedback training and the ability to sustain VTA activation without external reward or reward cues. These findings suggest theoretical alignment of ideas about motivation and midbrain physiology and the potential for generalizable interventions to improve performance and learning. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Context Dependent Effects of Ventral Tegmental Area Inactivation on Spatial Working Memory

    OpenAIRE

    Martig, Adria K.; Jones, Graham L.; Smith, Kelsey E.; Mizumori, Sheri J.Y.

    2009-01-01

    Rats were tested on a hippocampus dependent win-shift working memory task in familiar or novel environments after receiving bilateral ventral tegmental area infusions of baclofen. Baclofen infusion disrupted working memory performance in both familiar and novel environments. In addition, baclofen infusion selectively disrupted short-term working memory in the novel environment. This experiment confirms selective ventral tegmental area support of accurate performance during a context dependent...

  7. Exploring the Behavioral and Metabolic Phenotype Generated by Re-Introduction of the Ghrelin Receptor in the Ventral Tegmental Area

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Skov, Louise J; Jensen, Morten; Christiansen, Søren H

    2017-01-01

    Ghrelin receptor (Ghr-R) signaling in neurons of the ventral tegmental area (VTA) can modulate dopaminergic function and the reward-related effects of both palatable foods and drugs of abuse. In this study, we re-introduced the Ghr-R in VTA neurons in Ghr-R knockout mice (Ghr-R(VTA) mice) to spec...... for the reward-related effects of activation of VTA neurons. Overall, our data suggest that re-introduction of the Ghr-R in the mesolimbic reward system of Ghr-R knockout mice increases the level of activation induced by both cocaine and novelty stress.......Ghrelin receptor (Ghr-R) signaling in neurons of the ventral tegmental area (VTA) can modulate dopaminergic function and the reward-related effects of both palatable foods and drugs of abuse. In this study, we re-introduced the Ghr-R in VTA neurons in Ghr-R knockout mice (Ghr-R(VTA) mice...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

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    Alessandro Ciccarelli

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Biochemical evidence for. gamma. -aminobutyrate containing fibres from the nucleus accumbens to the substantia nigra and ventral tegmental area in the rat

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Walaas, I; Fonnum, F

    1980-01-01

    Glutamate decarboxylase activity, a specific marker for ..gamma..-aminobutyrate-containing neurons, has been analysed in microdissected samples from rat mesencephalon following unilateral electrocoagulations of the nucleus accumbens. This lesion resulted in a consistent decrease of 50% in the enzyme activity in the rostromedial substantia nigra, and a slight, but insignificant decrease (- 15%) in the medial parts of the caudal pars compacta of the substantia nigra. No change was found in the lateral pars compacta or the central pars reticulata. In the ventral tegmental area, the highest activity was found in the rostromedial part, adjacent to the mammillary body. At this level, a significant decrease of 20% was found in the ventral tegmental area on the lesioned side. In contrast, the activities in the medial accessory optic nucleus and the caudal ventral tegmental area adjacent to the interpenduncular nucleus were unchanged. The results indicate that the nucleus accumbens sends ..gamma..-aminobutyrate-containing fibres to the rostromedial substantia nigra and to the rostral ventral tegmental area. The caudal ventral tegmental area, the lateral pars compacta and the central pars reticulata do not receive measurable amounts of such fibres.

  14. Morphine withdrawal enhances constitutive μ-opioid receptor activity in the ventral tegmental area.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meye, Frank J; van Zessen, Ruud; Smidt, Marten P; Adan, Roger A H; Ramakers, Geert M J

    2012-11-14

    μ-Opioid receptors (MORs) in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) are pivotally involved in addictive behavior. While MORs are typically activated by opioids, they can also become constitutively active in the absence of any agonist. In the current study, we present evidence that MOR constitutive activity is highly relevant in the mouse VTA, as it regulates GABAergic input to dopamine neurons. Specifically, suppression of MOR constitutive activity with the inverse agonist KC-2-009 enhanced GABAergic neurotransmission onto VTA dopamine neurons. This inverse agonistic effect was fully blocked by the specific MOR neutral antagonist CTOP, which had no effect on GABAergic transmission itself. We next show that withdrawal from chronic morphine further increases the magnitude of inverse agonistic effects at the MOR, suggesting enhanced MOR constitutive activity. We demonstrate that this increase can be an adaptive response to the detrimental elevation in cAMP levels known to occur during morphine withdrawal. These findings offer important insights in the physiological occurrence and function of MOR constitutive activity, and have important implications for therapeutic strategies aimed at normalizing MOR signaling during addiction and opioid overdose.

  15. Opposite modulation of brain stimulation reward by NMDA and AMPA receptors in the ventral tegmental area.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ducrot, Charles; Fortier, Emmanuel; Bouchard, Claude; Rompré, Pierre-Paul

    2013-01-01

    Previous studies have shown that blockade of ventral tegmental area (VTA) glutamate N-Methyl-D-Aspartate (NMDA) receptors induces reward, stimulates forward locomotion and enhances brain stimulation reward. Glutamate induces two types of excitatory response on VTA neurons, a fast and short lasting depolarization mediated by α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole propionate (AMPA) receptors and a longer lasting depolarization mediated by NMDA receptors. A role for the two glutamate receptors in modulation of VTA neuronal activity is evidenced by the functional change in AMPA and NMDA synaptic responses that result from repeated exposure to reward. Since both receptors contribute to the action of glutamate on VTA neuronal activity, we studied the effects of VTA AMPA and NMDA receptor blockade on reward induced by electrical brain stimulation. Experiments were performed on rats trained to self-administer electrical pulses in the medial posterior mesencephalon. Reward thresholds were measured with the curve-shift paradigm before and for 2 h after bilateral VTA microinjections of the AMPA antagonist, NBQX (2,3,-Dioxo-6-nitro-1,2,3,4-tetrahydrobenzo(f)quinoxaline-7-sulfonamide, 0, 80, and 800 pmol/0.5 μl/side) and of a single dose (0.825 nmol/0.5 μl/side) of the NMDA antagonist, PPPA (2R,4S)-4-(3-Phosphonopropyl)-2-piperidinecarboxylic acid). NBQX produced a dose-dependent increase in reward threshold with no significant change in maximum rate of responding. Whereas PPPA injected at the same VTA sites produced a significant time dependent decrease in reward threshold and increase in maximum rate of responding. We found a negative correlation between the magnitude of the attenuation effect of NBQX and the enhancement effect of PPPA; moreover, NBQX and PPPA were most effective when injected, respectively, into the anterior and posterior VTA. These results suggest that glutamate acts on different receptor sub-types, most likely located on different VTA neurons, to

  16. Lesions of cholinergic pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus neurons fail to affect cocaine or heroin self-administration or conditioned place preference in rats.

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    Stephan Steidl

    Full Text Available Cholinergic input to the ventral tegmental area (VTA is known to contribute to reward. Although it is known that the pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus (PPTg provides an important source of excitatory input to the dopamine system, the specific role of PPTg cholinergic input to the VTA in cocaine reward has not been previously determined. We used a diphtheria toxin conjugated to urotensin-II (Dtx::UII, the endogenous ligand for urotensin-II receptors expressed by PPTg cholinergic but not glutamatergic or GABAergic cells, to lesion cholinergic PPTg neurons. Dtx::UII toxin infusion resulted in the loss of 95.78 (±0.65% of PPTg cholinergic cells but did not significantly alter either cocaine or heroin self-administration or the development of cocaine or heroin conditioned place preferences. Thus, cholinergic cells originating in PPTg do not appear to be critical for the rewarding effects of cocaine or of heroin.

  17. Rhythmic Firing of Pedunculopontine Tegmental Nucleus Neurons in Monkeys during Eye Movement Task.

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    Ken-Ichi Okada

    Full Text Available The pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus (PPTN has been thought to be involved in the control of behavioral state. Projections to the entire thalamus and reciprocal connections with the basal ganglia nuclei suggest a potential role for the PPTN in the control of various rhythmic behaviors, including waking/sleeping and locomotion. Recently, rhythmic activity in the local field potentials was recorded from the PPTN of patients with Parkinson's disease who were treated with levodopa, suggesting that rhythmic firing is a feature of the functioning PPTN and might change with the behaving conditions even within waking. However, it remains unclear whether and how single PPTN neurons exhibit rhythmic firing patterns during various behaving conditions, including executing conditioned eye movement behaviors, seeking reward, or during resting. We previously recorded from PPTN neurons in healthy monkeys during visually guided saccade tasks and reported task-related changes in firing rate, and in this paper, we reanalyzed these data and focused on their firing patterns. A population of PPTN neurons demonstrated a regular firing pattern in that the coefficient of variation of interspike intervals was lower than what would be expected of theoretical random and irregular spike trains. Furthermore, a group of PPTN neurons exhibited a clear periodic single spike firing that changed with the context of the behavioral task. Many of these neurons exhibited a periodic firing pattern during highly active conditions, either the fixation condition during the saccade task or the free-viewing condition during the intertrial interval. We speculate that these task context-related changes in rhythmic firing of PPTN neurons might regulate the monkey's attentional and vigilance state to perform the task.

  18. Morphine withdrawal enhances constitutive μ-opioid receptor activity in the ventral tegmental area

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meye, F.J.; van Zessen, R.; Smidt, M.P.; Adan, R.A.H.; Ramakers, G.M.J.

    2012-01-01

    μ-opioid receptors (MORs) in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) are pivotally involved in addictive behavior. While MORs are typically activated by opioids, they can also become constitutively active in the absence of any agonist. In the current study, we present evidence that MOR constitutive

  19. Electrical Stimulation of the Ventral Tegmental Area Induces Reanimation from General Anesthesia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solt, Ken; Van Dort, Christa J.; Chemali, Jessica J.; Taylor, Norman E.; Kenny, Jonathan D.; Brown, Emery N.

    2014-01-01

    BACKGROUND Methylphenidate or a D1 dopamine receptor agonist induce reanimation (active emergence) from general anesthesia. We tested whether electrical stimulation of dopaminergic nuclei also induces reanimation from general anesthesia. METHODS In adult rats, a bipolar insulated stainless steel electrode was placed in the ventral tegmental area (VTA, n = 5) or substantia nigra (SN, n = 5). After a minimum 7-day recovery period, the isoflurane dose sufficient to maintain loss of righting was established. Electrical stimulation was initiated and increased in intensity every 3 min to a maximum of 120μA. If stimulation restored the righting reflex, an additional experiment was performed at least 3 days later during continuous propofol anesthesia. Histological analysis was conducted to identify the location of the electrode tip. In separate experiments, stimulation was performed in the prone position during general anesthesia with isoflurane or propofol, and the electroencephalogram was recorded. RESULTS To maintain loss of righting, the dose of isoflurane was 0.9% ± 0.1 vol%, and the target plasma dose of propofol was 4.4 μg/ml ± 1.1 μg/ml (mean ± SD). In all rats with VTA electrodes, electrical stimulation induced a graded arousal response including righting that increased with current intensity. VTA stimulation induced a shift in electroencephalogram peak power from δ (anesthesia with isoflurane or propofol. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that dopamine release by VTA, but not SN, neurons induces reanimation from general anesthesia. PMID:24398816

  20. Functional μ-Opioid-Galanin Receptor Heteromers in the Ventral Tegmental Area.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreno, Estefanía; Quiroz, César; Rea, William; Cai, Ning-Sheng; Mallol, Josefa; Cortés, Antoni; Lluís, Carme; Canela, Enric I; Casadó, Vicent; Ferré, Sergi

    2017-02-01

    The neuropeptide galanin has been shown to interact with the opioid system. More specifically, galanin counteracts the behavioral effects of the systemic administration of μ-opioid receptor (MOR) agonists. Yet the mechanism responsible for this galanin-opioid interaction has remained elusive. Using biophysical techniques in mammalian transfected cells, we found evidence for selective heteromerization of MOR and the galanin receptor subtype Gal1 (Gal1R). Also in transfected cells, a synthetic peptide selectively disrupted MOR-Gal1R heteromerization as well as specific interactions between MOR and Gal1R ligands: a negative cross talk, by which galanin counteracted MAPK activation induced by the endogenous MOR agonist endomorphin-1, and a cross-antagonism, by which a MOR antagonist counteracted MAPK activation induced by galanin. These specific interactions, which represented biochemical properties of the MOR-Gal1R heteromer, could then be identified in situ in slices of rat ventral tegmental area (VTA) with MAPK activation and two additional cell signaling pathways, AKT and CREB phosphorylation. Furthermore, in vivo microdialysis experiments showed that the disruptive peptide selectively counteracted the ability of galanin to block the dendritic dopamine release in the rat VTA induced by local infusion of endomorphin-1, demonstrating a key role of MOR-Gal1R heteromers localized in the VTA in the direct control of dopamine cell function and their ability to mediate antagonistic interactions between MOR and Gal1R ligands. The results also indicate that MOR-Gal1R heteromers should be viewed as targets for the treatment of opioid use disorders. The μ-opioid receptor (MOR) localized in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) plays a key role in the reinforcing and addictive properties of opioids. With parallel in vitro experiments in mammalian transfected cells and in situ and in vivo experiments in rat VTA, we demonstrate that a significant population of these MORs form

  1. Neurotrophins in the ventral tegmental area: Role in social stress, mood disorders and drug abuse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nikulina, E M; Johnston, C E; Wang, J; Hammer, R P

    2014-12-12

    This review discusses the impact of neurotrophins and other trophic factors, including fibroblast growth factor and glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor, on mood disorders, weight regulation and drug abuse, with an emphasis on stress- and drug-induced changes in the ventral tegmental area (VTA). Neurotrophins, comprising nerve growth factor, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), and neurotrophins 3 and 4/5 play important roles in neuronal plasticity and the development of different psychopathologies. In the VTA, most research has focused on the role of BDNF, because other neurotrophins are not found there in significant quantities. BDNF originating in the VTA provides trophic support to dopamine neurons. The diverse intracellular signaling pathways activated by BDNF may underlie precise physiological functions specific to the VTA. In general, VTA BDNF expression increases after psychostimulant exposures, and enhanced BDNF level in the VTA facilitates psychostimulant effects. The impact of VTA BDNF on the behavioral effects of psychostimulants relies primarily on its action within the mesocorticolimbic circuit. In the case of opiates, VTA BDNF expression and effects seem to be dependent on whether an animal is drug-naïve or has a history of drug use, only the latter of which is related to dopamine mechanisms. Social defeat stress that is continuous in mice or intermittent in rats increases VTA BDNF expression, and is associated with depressive and social avoidance behaviors. Intermittent social defeat stress induces persistent VTA BDNF expression that triggers psychostimulant cross-sensitization. Understanding the cellular and molecular substrates of neurotrophin effects may lead to novel therapeutic approaches for the prevention and treatment of substance use and mood disorders. Copyright © 2014 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Role of dopamine receptors in the ventral tegmental area in conditioned fear.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Oliveira, Amanda Ribeiro; Reimer, Adriano Edgar; Brandão, Marcus Lira

    2009-05-16

    The increased startle reflex in the presence of a stimulus that has been previously paired with footshock has been termed fear-potentiated startle (FPS) and is considered a reliable index of anxiety. Some studies have suggested an association between stressful situations and alterations in dopaminergic (DA) transmission. Many studies converge on the hypothesis that the mesocorticolimbic pathway, originating from DA neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA), is particularly sensitive to fear-arousing stimuli. The present study explored the involvement of VTA DA receptors in the acquisition and expression of conditioned fear to a light conditioned stimulus (CS). We evaluated the effects of intra-VTA administration of SKF 38393 (D(1) agonist), SCH 23390 (D(1) antagonist), quinpirole (D(2) agonist), and sulpiride (D(2) antagonist) on FPS. All drugs were administered bilaterally into the VTA (1.0 microg/0.2 microl/site). Locomotor activity/exploration and motor coordination were evaluated in the open-field and rotarod tests. None of the drugs produced significant effects on FPS when injected before conditioning, indicating that VTA DA receptors are not involved in the acquisition of conditioned fear to a light-CS. In contrast, when injected before the test session, quinpirole significantly reduced FPS, whereas the other drugs had no effect. Quinpirole's ability to decrease FPS may be the result of an action on VTA D(2) presynaptic autoreceptors that decrease dopamine levels in terminal fields of the mesocorticolimbic pathway. Altogether, the present results suggest the importance of VTA DA neurons in the fear-activating effects of Pavlovian conditioning. In addition to demonstrating the importance of dopaminergic mechanisms in the motivational consequences of footshock, the present findings also indicate that these neural circuits are mainly involved in the expression, rather than acquisition, of conditioned fear.

  3. Ventral tegmental area orexin 1 receptors promote palatable food intake and oppose postingestive negative feedback.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Terrill, Sarah J; Hyde, Kellie M; Kay, Kristen E; Greene, Hayden E; Maske, Calyn B; Knierim, Amanda E; Davis, Jon F; Williams, Diana L

    2016-09-01

    Hypothalamic orexin neurons project to numerous brain areas, including the ventral tegmental area (VTA), which is involved in motivation and food-seeking behavior. Here we address how exogenously administered orexin-A and endogenous orexin 1 receptor (OX1R) activation in the VTA affects feeding behavior. We hypothesized that orexin-A and OX1R antagonist SB334867 delivered to the VTA, at doses that were subthreshold for effect when injected into the ventricle, would affect intake of palatable foods in multiple test situations. We first used a hedonic feeding model in which satiated rats selectively consume a high-fat diet (HFD). Intra-VTA orexin-A stimulated additional consumption of chow and increased HFD intake in this model. In ad libitum-fed rats given daily 30-min test sessions, intra-VTA orexin-A also increased intake of HFD and 0.1 M sucrose. Further analysis of licking patterns revealed that that VTA orexin-A increased meal size and licking burst size only toward the end of the meal. Consistent with this finding, a subthreshold dose of VTA orexin-A prevented intake suppression induced by gastrointestinal nutrient infusion. Surprisingly, intra-VTA orexin-A had no effect on operant responding for sucrose pellets on a progressive ratio schedule of reinforcement. A role for endogenous VTA OX1R stimulation is supported by our finding that bilateral VTA injection of the selective OX1R antagonist SB334867 suppressed 0.1 M sucrose intake. Together, our data suggest that OX1R activity in the VTA facilitates food intake, potentially by counteracting postingestive negative feedback that would normally suppress feeding later in a meal. Copyright © 2016 the American Physiological Society.

  4. Striatal and Tegmental Neurons Code Critical Signals for Temporal-Difference Learning of State Value in Domestic Chicks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chentao Wen

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available To ensure survival, animals must update the internal representations of their environment in a trial-and-error fashion. Psychological studies of associative learning and neurophysiological analyses of dopaminergic neurons have suggested that this updating process involves the temporal-difference (TD method in the basal ganglia network. However, the way in which the component variables of the TD method are implemented at the neuronal level is unclear. To investigate the underlying neural mechanisms, we trained domestic chicks to associate color cues with food rewards. We recorded neuronal activities from the medial striatum or tegmentum in a freely behaving condition and examined how reward omission changed neuronal firing. To compare neuronal activities with the signals assumed in the TD method, we simulated the behavioral task in the form of a finite sequence composed of discrete steps of time. The three signals assumed in the simulated task were the prediction signal, the target signal for updating, and the TD-error signal. In both the medial striatum and tegmentum, the majority of recorded neurons were categorized into three types according to their fitness for three models, though these neurons tended to form a continuum spectrum without distinct differences in the firing rate. Specifically, two types of striatal neurons successfully mimicked the target signal and the prediction signal. A linear summation of these two types of striatum neurons was a good fit for the activity of one type of tegmental neurons mimicking the TD-error signal. The present study thus demonstrates that the striatum and tegmentum can convey the signals critically required for the TD method. Based on the theoretical and neurophysiological studies, together with tract-tracing data, we propose a novel model to explain how the convergence of signals represented in the striatum could lead to the computation of TD error in tegmental dopaminergic neurons.

  5. Evaluation of GABA Receptors of Ventral Tegmental Area in Cardiovascular Responses in Rat

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    Minoo Rasoulpanah

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Background: The ventral tegmental area (VTA is well known for its role in cardiovascular control. It is demonstrated that about 20-30% of the VTA neurons are GABAergic though their role in cardiovascular control is not yet understood. This study is carried out to find the effects of GABA A and GABA B receptors on cardiovascular response of the VTA. Methods: Experiments were performed on urethane anesthetized male Wistar rats. Drugs were microinjected unilaterally into the VTA. The average changes in mean arterial pressure (MAP and heart rate (HR were compared between the case and the control groups using t test and with the pre-injection values using paired t test. Results: Microinjection of muscimol, a GABAA agonist (500, 1500 and 2500 pmol/100nl into the VTA had no significant effect on MAP and HR compared with the saline group and pre-injection values. Injection of bicuculline methiodide (BMI, 100 and 200 pmol/100 nl, a GABAA antagonist, caused a significant increase in the MAP (11.1±1.95mmHg, P<0.5 and a decrease in HR (-32.07±10.2, P<0.01. Microinjection of baclofen a GABAB receptor agonist (500 or 1000 pmole/100 nl and phaclofen a GABAB receptor antagonist (500 or 1000 pmole/100 nl had no significant effects on MAP and HR. Conclusion: For the first time it was demonstrated that GABA system of the VTA inhibits the cardiovascular system through the activation of GABAA but not the GABAB receptors.

  6. The Role of Ventral Tegmental Area Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid in Chronic Neuropathic Pain after Spinal Cord Injury in Rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ko, Moon Yi; Jang, Eun Young; Lee, June Yeon; Kim, Soo Phil; Whang, Sung Hun; Lee, Bong Hyo; Kim, Hee Young; Yang, Chae Ha; Cho, Hee Jung; Gwak, Young S

    2018-04-20

    Spinal cord injury (SCI) frequently results in chronic neuropathic pain (CNP). However, the understanding of brain neural circuits in CNP modulation is unclear. The present study examined the changes of ventral tegmental area (VTA) putative GABAergic and dopaminergic neuronal activity with CNP attenuation in rats. SCI was established by T10 clip compression injury (35 g, 1 min) in rats, and neuropathic pain behaviors, in vivo extracellular single-cell recording of putative VTA gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)/dopamine neurons, extracellular GABA level, glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD), and vesicular GABA transporters (VGATs) were measured in the VTA, respectively. The results revealed that extracellular GABA level was significantly increased in the CNP group (50.5 ± 18.9 nM) compared to the sham control group (10.2 ± 1.7 nM). In addition, expression of GAD 65/67 , c-Fos, and VGAT exhibited significant increases in the SCI groups compared to the sham control group. With regard to neuropathic pain behaviors, spontaneous pain measured by ultrasound vocalizations (USVs) and evoked pain measured by paw withdrawal thresholds showed significant alteration, which was reversed by intravenous (i.v.) administration of morphine (0.5-5.0 mg/kg). With regard to in vivo electrophysiology, VTA putative GABAergic neuronal activity (13.6 ± 1.7 spikes/sec) and putative dopaminergic neuronal activity (2.4 ± 0.8 spikes/sec) were increased and decreased, respectively, in the SCI group compared to the sham control group. These neuronal activities were reversed by i.v. administration of morphine. The present study suggests that chronic increase of GABAergic neuronal activity suppresses dopaminergic neuronal activity in the VTA and is responsible for negative emotion and motivation for attenuation of SCI-induced CNP.

  7. Presynaptic Regulation of Leptin in a Defined Lateral Hypothalamus-Ventral Tegmental Area Neurocircuitry Depends on Energy State.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Jing-Jing; Bello, Nicholas T; Pang, Zhiping P

    2017-12-06

    Synaptic transmission controls brain activity and behaviors, including food intake. Leptin, an adipocyte-derived hormone, acts on neurons located in the lateral hypothalamic area (LHA) to maintain energy homeostasis and regulate food intake behavior. The specific synaptic mechanisms, cell types, and neural projections mediating this effect remain unclear. In male mice, using pathway-specific retrograde tracing, whole-cell patch-clamp recordings and post hoc cell type identification, we found that leptin reduces excitatory synaptic strength onto both melanin-concentrating hormone- and orexin-expressing neurons projecting from the LHA to the ventral tegmental area (VTA), which may affect dopamine signaling and motivation for feeding. A presynaptic mechanism mediated by distinct intracellular signaling mechanisms may account for this regulation by leptin. The regulatory effects of leptin depend on intact leptin receptor signaling. Interestingly, the synaptic regulatory function of leptin in the LHA-to-VTA neuronal pathway is highly sensitive to energy states: both energy deficiency (acute fasting) and excessive energy storage (high-fat diet-induced obesity) blunt the effect of leptin. These data revealed that leptin may regulate synaptic transmission in the LHA-to-VTA neurocircuitry in an inverted "U-shape" fashion dependent on plasma glucose levels and related to metabolic states. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT The lateral hypothalamic area (LHA) to ventral tegmental area (VTA) projection is an important neural pathway involved in balancing whole-body energy states and reward. We found that the excitatory synaptic inputs to both orexin- and melanin-concentrating hormone expressing LHA neurons projecting to the VTA were suppressed by leptin, a peptide hormone derived from adipocytes that signals peripheral energy status to the brain. Interestingly, energy states seem to affect how leptin regulates synaptic transmission since both the depletion of energy induced by acute food

  8. REM sleep modulation by perifornical orexinergic inputs to the pedunculo-pontine tegmental neurons in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khanday, M A; Mallick, B N

    2015-11-12

    Rapid eye movement sleep (REMS) is regulated by the interaction of the REM-ON and REM-OFF neurons located in the pedunculo-pontine-tegmentum (PPT) and the locus coeruleus (LC), respectively. Many other brain areas, particularly those controlling non-REMS (NREMS) and waking, modulate REMS by modulating these REMS-related neurons. Perifornical (PeF) orexin (Ox)-ergic neurons are reported to increase waking and reduce NREMS as well as REMS; dysfunction of the PeF neurons are related to REMS loss-associated disorders. Hence, we were interested in understanding the neural mechanism of PeF-induced REMS modulation. As a first step we have recently reported that PeF Ox-ergic neurons modulate REMS by influencing the LC neurons (site for REM-OFF neurons). Thereafter, in this in vivo study we have explored the role of PeF inputs on the PPT neurons (site for REM-ON neurons) for the regulation of REMS. Chronic male rats were surgically prepared with implanted bilateral cannulae in PeF and PPT and electrodes for recording sleep-waking patterns. After post-surgical recovery sleep-waking-REMS were recorded when bilateral PeF neurons were stimulated by glutamate and simultaneously bilateral PPT neurons were infused with either saline or orexin receptor1 (OX1R) antagonist. It was observed that PeF stimulation increased waking and decreased NREMS as well as REMS, which were prevented by OX1R antagonist into the PPT. We conclude that the PeF stimulation-induced reduction in REMS was likely to be due to inhibition of REM-ON neurons in the PPT. As waking and NREMS are inversely related, subject to confirmation, the reduction in NREMS could be due to increased waking or vice versa. Based on our findings from this and earlier studies we have proposed a model showing connections between PeF- and PPT-neurons for REMS regulation. Copyright © 2015 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Mere Exposure: Preference Change for Novel Drinks Reflected in Human Ventral Tegmental Area.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ballard, Ian C; Hennigan, Kelly; McClure, Samuel M

    2017-05-01

    Preferences for novel stimuli tend to develop slowly over many exposures. Psychological accounts of this effect suggest that it depends on changes in the brain's valuation system. Participants consumed a novel fluid daily for 10 days and underwent fMRI on the first and last days. We hypothesized that changes in activation in areas associated with the dopamine system would accompany changes in preference. The change in activation in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) between sessions scaled with preference change. Furthermore, a network comprising the sensory thalamus, posterior insula, and ventrolateral striatum showed differential connectivity with the VTA that correlated with individual changes in preference. Our results suggest that the VTA is centrally involved in both assigning value to sensory stimuli and influencing downstream regions to translate these value signals into subjective preference. These results have important implications for models of dopaminergic function and behavioral addiction.

  10. Tyrosine hydroxylase in the ventral tegmental area of rams with high or low libido-A role for dopamine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kramer, A C; Mirto, A J; Austin, K J; Roselli, C E; Alexander, B M

    2017-12-01

    Dopamine synthesis in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) is necessary for the reinforcement of sexual behavior. The objective of this study determined if sexual stimuli initiates reward, and whether reward is attenuated in sexually inactive rams. Sexually active rams were exposed to urine from estrous (n=4) or ovariectomized (n=3) ewes with inactive rams (n=3) exposed to urine from estrous ewes. Following exposure, rams were exsanguinated and brains perfused. Alternating sections of the VTA were stained for Fos related antigens (FRA), tyrosine hydroxylase, and dopamine beta-hydroxylase activity. Forebrain tissue, mid-sagittal ventral to the anterior corpus callosum, was stained for dopamine D 2 receptors. Concentrations of cortisol was determined prior to and following exposure. Exposure to ovariectomized-ewe urine in sexually active rams did not influence (P=0.6) FRA expression, but fewer (PSexually inactive rams had fewer (Psexually active rams following exposure to estrous ewe urine. VTA neurons staining positive for dopamine beta-hydroxylase did not differ by sexual activity (P=0.44) or urine exposure (P=0.07). Exposure to stimulus did not influence (P=0.46) numbers of forebrain neurons staining positive for dopamine D2 receptors in sexually active rams, but fewer (P=0.04) neurons stain positive in inactive rams. Serum concentrations of cortisol did not differ (P≥0.52) among rams prior to or following stimulus. In conclusion sexual inactivity is unlikely due to stress, but may be partially a result of decreased tyrosine hydroxylase and/or the response to dopamine. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Gene expression patterns in the ventral tegmental area relate to oestrus behaviour in high-producing dairy cows

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wyszynska-Koko, J.; Wit, de A.A.C.; Beerda, B.; Veerkamp, R.F.; Pas, te M.F.W.

    2011-01-01

    Reduced oestrus behaviour expression or its absence (silent oestrus) results in subfertility in high-producing dairy cows. Insight into the genomic regulation of oestrus behaviour is likely to help alleviate reproduction problems. Here, gene expression was recorded in the ventral tegmental area

  12. Local field potentials in the ventral tegmental area during cocaine-induced locomotor activation: Measurements in freely moving rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris Bozer, Amber L; Li, Ai-Ling; Sibi, Jiny E; Bobzean, Samara A M; Peng, Yuan B; Perrotti, Linda I

    2016-03-01

    The ventral tegmental area (VTA) has been established as a critical nucleus for processing behavioral changes that occur during psychostimulant use. Although it is known that cocaine induced locomotor activity is initiated in the VTA, not much is known about the electrical activity in real time. The use of our custom-designed wireless module for recording local field potential (LFP) activity provides an opportunity to confirm and identify changes in neuronal activity within the VTA of freely moving rats. The purpose of this study was to investigate the changes in VTA LFP activity in real time that underlie cocaine induced changes in locomotor behavior. Recording electrodes were implanted in the VTA of rats. Locomotor behavior and LFP activity were simultaneously recorded at baseline, and after saline and cocaine injections. Results indicate that cocaine treatment caused increases in both locomotor behavior and LFP activity in the VTA. Specifically, LFP activity was highest during the first 30 min following the cocaine injection and was most robust in Delta and Theta frequency bands; indicating the role of low frequency VTA activity in the initiation of acute stimulant-induced locomotor behavior. Our results suggest that LFP recording in freely moving animals can be used in the future to provide valuable information pertaining to drug induced changes in neural activity. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. The dual orexin/hypocretin receptor antagonist, almorexant, in the ventral tegmental area attenuates ethanol self-administration.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Subhashini Srinivasan

    Full Text Available Recent studies have implicated the hypocretin/orexinergic system in reward-seeking behavior. Almorexant, a dual orexin/hypocretin R(1 and R(2 receptor antagonist, has proven effective in preclinical studies in promoting sleep in animal models and was in Phase III clinical trials for sleep disorders. The present study combines behavioral assays with in vitro biochemical and electrophysiological techniques to elucidate the role of almorexant in ethanol and sucrose intake. Using an operant self-administration paradigm, we demonstrate that systemic administration of almorexant decreased operant self-administration of both 20% ethanol and 5% sucrose. We further demonstrate that intra-ventral tegmental area (VTA infusions, but not intra-substantia nigra infusions, of almorexant reduced ethanol self-administration. Extracellular recordings performed in VTA neurons revealed that orexin-A increased firing and this enhancement of firing was blocked by almorexant. The results demonstrate that orexin/hypocretin receptors in distinct brain regions regulate ethanol and sucrose mediated behaviors.

  14. Acute Cocaine Exposure elicits rises in calcium in Arousal Related Laterodorsal Tegmental Neurons

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lambert, Mads; Ipsen, Theis; Kohlmeier, Kristi Anne

    2017-01-01

    Cocaine has strong reinforcing properties, which underlie its high addiction potential. Reinforcement of use of addictive drugs is associated with rises in dopamine (DA) in mesoaccumbal circuitry. Excitatory afferent input to mesoaccumbal circuitry sources from the laterodorsal tegmental nucleus...... (LDT). Chronic, systemic cocaine exposure has been shown to have cellular effects on LDT cells, but acute actions of local application have never been demonstrated. Using calcium imaging, we show that acute application of cocaine to mouse brain slices induces calcium spiking in cells of the LDT....... Spiking was attenuated by tetrodotoxin (TTX) and low calcium solutions, and abolished by prior exhaustion of intracellular calcium stores. Further, DA receptor antagonists reduced these transients, whereas DA induced rises with similar spiking kinetics. Amphetamine, which also results in elevated levels...

  15. Junk food diet-induced obesity increases D2 receptor autoinhibition in the ventral tegmental area and reduces ethanol drinking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cook, Jason B; Hendrickson, Linzy M; Garwood, Grant M; Toungate, Kelsey M; Nania, Christina V; Morikawa, Hitoshi

    2017-01-01

    Similar to drugs of abuse, the hedonic value of food is mediated, at least in part, by the mesostriatal dopamine (DA) system. Prolonged intake of either high calorie diets or drugs of abuse both lead to a blunting of the DA system. Most studies have focused on DAergic alterations in the striatum, but little is known about the effects of high calorie diets on ventral tegmental area (VTA) DA neurons. Since high calorie diets produce addictive-like DAergic adaptations, it is possible these diets may increase addiction susceptibility. However, high calorie diets consistently reduce psychostimulant intake and conditioned place preference in rodents. In contrast, high calorie diets can increase or decrease ethanol drinking, but it is not known how a junk food diet (cafeteria diet) affects ethanol drinking. In the current study, we administered a cafeteria diet consisting of bacon, potato chips, cheesecake, cookies, breakfast cereals, marshmallows, and chocolate candies to male Wistar rats for 3-4 weeks, producing an obese phenotype. Prior cafeteria diet feeding reduced homecage ethanol drinking over 2 weeks of testing, and transiently reduced sucrose and chow intake. Importantly, cafeteria diet had no effect on ethanol metabolism rate or blood ethanol concentrations following 2g/kg ethanol administration. In midbrain slices, we showed that cafeteria diet feeding enhances DA D2 receptor (D2R) autoinhibition in VTA DA neurons. These results show that junk food diet-induced obesity reduces ethanol drinking, and suggest that increased D2R autoinhibition in the VTA may contribute to deficits in DAergic signaling and reward hypofunction observed with obesity.

  16. Ventral Tegmental Area Dopamine Cell Activation during Male Rat Sexual Behavior Regulates Neuroplasticity and d-Amphetamine Cross-Sensitization following Sex Abstinence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beloate, Lauren N; Omrani, Azar; Adan, Roger A; Webb, Ian C; Coolen, Lique M

    2016-09-21

    , followed by a period of abstinence from sexual behavior, causes increased reward for amphetamine in male rats. This study demonstrates that activation of ventral tegmental area dopamine neurons during sexual experience regulates cross-sensitization of amphetamine reward. Finally, ventral tegmental area dopamine cell activation is essential for experience-induced neural adaptations in the nucleus accumbens, prefrontal cortex, and ventral tegmental area. These findings demonstrate a role of mesolimbic dopamine in the interaction between natural and drug rewards, and identify mesolimbic dopamine as a key mediator of changes in vulnerability for drug use after loss of natural reward. Copyright © 2016 the authors 0270-6474/16/369949-13$15.00/0.

  17. Reward and behavioral factors contributing to the tonic activity of monkey pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus neurons during saccade tasks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ken-ichi Okada

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available The pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus (PPTg in the brainstem plays a role in controlling reinforcement learning and executing conditioned behavior. We previously examined activity of PPTg neurons in monkeys during a reward-conditioned, visually guided saccade task, and reported that a population of these neurons exhibited tonic responses throughout the task period. These tonic responses might depend on prediction of the upcoming reward, successful execution of the task, or both. Here, we sought to further distinguish these factors and to investigate how each contributes to the tonic neuronal activity of the PPTg. In our normal visually guided saccade task, the monkey initially fixated on the central fixation target, then made saccades to the peripheral saccade target, and received a juice reward after the saccade target disappeared. Most of the tonic activity terminated shortly after the reward delivery, when the monkey broke fixation. To distinguish between reward and behavioral epochs, we then changed the task sequence for a block of trials, such that the saccade target remained visible after the reward delivery. Under these visible conditions, the monkeys tended to continue fixating on the saccade target even after the reward delivery. Therefore, the prediction of the upcoming reward and the end of an individual trial were separated in time. Regardless of the task conditions, half of the tonically active PPTg neurons terminated their activity around the time of the reward delivery, consistent with the view that PPTg neurons might send reward prediction signals until the time of reward delivery, which is essential for computing reward prediction error in reinforcement learning. On the other hand, the other half of the tonically active PPTg neurons changed their activity dependent on the task condition. In the normal condition, the tonic responses terminated around the time of the reward delivery, while in the visible condition, the activity

  18. Reward and Behavioral Factors Contributing to the Tonic Activity of Monkey Pedunculopontine Tegmental Nucleus Neurons during Saccade Tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Okada, Ken-Ichi; Kobayashi, Yasushi

    2016-01-01

    The pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus (PPTg) in the brainstem plays a role in controlling reinforcement learning and executing conditioned behavior. We previously examined the activity of PPTg neurons in monkeys during a reward-conditioned, visually guided saccade task, and reported that a population of these neurons exhibited tonic responses throughout the task period. These tonic responses might depend on prediction of the upcoming reward, successful execution of the task, or both. Here, we sought to further distinguish these factors and to investigate how each contributes to the tonic neuronal activity of the PPTg. In our normal visually guided saccade task, the monkey initially fixated on the central fixation target (FT), then made saccades to the peripheral saccade target and received a juice reward after the saccade target disappeared. Most of the tonic activity terminated shortly after the reward delivery, when the monkey broke fixation. To distinguish between reward and behavioral epochs, we then changed the task sequence for a block of trials, such that the saccade target remained visible after the reward delivery. Under these visible conditions, the monkeys tended to continue fixating on the saccade target even after the reward delivery. Therefore, the prediction of the upcoming reward and the end of an individual trial were separated in time. Regardless of the task conditions, half of the tonically active PPTg neurons terminated their activity around the time of the reward delivery, consistent with the view that PPTg neurons might send reward prediction signals until the time of reward delivery, which is essential for computing reward prediction error in reinforcement learning. On the other hand, the other half of the tonically active PPTg neurons changed their activity dependent on the task condition. In the normal condition, the tonic responses terminated around the time of the reward delivery, while in the visible condition, the activity continued

  19. Effects of prefrontal cortical inactivation on neural activity in the ventral tegmental area

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jo, Yong Sang; Lee, Jane; Mizumori, Sheri J.Y.

    2013-01-01

    Dopamine (DA) cells have been suggested to signal discrepancies between expected and actual rewards in reinforcement learning. DA cells in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) receive direct projections from the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), a structure that is known as one of the brain areas that represent expected future rewards. To investigate whether the mPFC contributes to generating reward prediction error signals of DA cells, we recorded VTA cells from rats foraging for different amounts of reward in a spatial working memory task. Our results showed that DA cells initially responded after the acquisition of rewards, but over training, they exhibited phasic responses when rats detected sensory cues originating from the rewards before obtaining them. We also observed two separate groups of non-DA cells that were activated in expectation of upcoming rewards or during reward consumption. Bilateral injections of muscimol, a GABAA agonist, into the mPFC significantly decreased the non-DA activity that encoded reward expectation. By contrast, the same manipulation of the mPFC elevated DA responses to reward-predicting cues. However, neither DA nor non-DA responses that were elicited after reward acquisition were affected by mPFC inactivation. These results suggest that the mPFC provides the information about expected rewards to the VTA, and its functional loss elevates DA responses to reward-predicting cues by altering expectations about forthcoming rewards. PMID:23658156

  20. Reduced activation in ventral striatum and ventral tegmental area during probabilistic decision-making in schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rausch, Franziska; Mier, Daniela; Eifler, Sarah; Esslinger, Christine; Schilling, Claudia; Schirmbeck, Frederike; Englisch, Susanne; Meyer-Lindenberg, Andreas; Kirsch, Peter; Zink, Mathias

    2014-07-01

    Patients with schizophrenia suffer from deficits in monitoring and controlling their own thoughts. Within these so-called metacognitive impairments, alterations in probabilistic reasoning might be one cognitive phenomenon disposing to delusions. However, so far little is known about alterations in associated brain functionality. A previously established task for functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), which requires a probabilistic decision after a variable amount of stimuli, was applied to 23 schizophrenia patients and 28 healthy controls matched for age, gender and educational levels. We compared activation patterns during decision-making under conditions of certainty versus uncertainty and evaluated the process of final decision-making in ventral striatum (VS) and ventral tegmental area (VTA). We replicated a pre-described extended cortical activation pattern during probabilistic reasoning. During final decision-making, activations in several fronto- and parietocortical areas, as well as in VS and VTA became apparent. In both of these regions schizophrenia patients showed a significantly reduced activation. These results further define the network underlying probabilistic decision-making. The observed hypo-activation in regions commonly associated with dopaminergic neurotransmission fits into current concepts of disrupted prediction error signaling in schizophrenia and suggests functional links to reward anticipation. Forthcoming studies with patients at risk for psychosis and drug-naive first episode patients are necessary to elucidate the development of these findings over time and the interplay with associated clinical symptoms. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. Orexin–Corticotropin-Releasing Factor Receptor Heteromers in the Ventral Tegmental Area as Targets for Cocaine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Navarro, Gemma; Quiroz, César; Moreno-Delgado, David; Sierakowiak, Adam; McDowell, Kimberly; Moreno, Estefanía; Rea, William; Cai, Ning-Sheng; Aguinaga, David; Howell, Lesley A.; Hausch, Felix; Cortés, Antonio; Mallol, Josefa; Casadó, Vicent; Lluís, Carme; Canela, Enric I.

    2015-01-01

    Release of the neuropeptides corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) and orexin-A in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) play an important role in stress-induced cocaine-seeking behavior. We provide evidence for pharmacologically significant interactions between CRF and orexin-A that depend on oligomerization of CRF1 receptor (CRF1R) and orexin OX1 receptors (OX1R). CRF1R–OX1R heteromers are the conduits of a negative crosstalk between orexin-A and CRF as demonstrated in transfected cells and rat VTA, in which they significantly modulate dendritic dopamine release. The cocaine target σ1 receptor (σ1R) also associates with the CRF1R–OX1R heteromer. Cocaine binding to the σ1R–CRF1R–OX1R complex promotes a long-term disruption of the orexin-A–CRF negative crosstalk. Through this mechanism, cocaine sensitizes VTA cells to the excitatory effects of both CRF and orexin-A, thus providing a mechanism by which stress induces cocaine seeking. PMID:25926444

  2. Orexin-corticotropin-releasing factor receptor heteromers in the ventral tegmental area as targets for cocaine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Navarro, Gemma; Quiroz, César; Moreno-Delgado, David; Sierakowiak, Adam; McDowell, Kimberly; Moreno, Estefanía; Rea, William; Cai, Ning-Sheng; Aguinaga, David; Howell, Lesley A; Hausch, Felix; Cortés, Antonio; Mallol, Josefa; Casadó, Vicent; Lluís, Carme; Canela, Enric I; Ferré, Sergi; McCormick, Peter J

    2015-04-29

    Release of the neuropeptides corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) and orexin-A in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) play an important role in stress-induced cocaine-seeking behavior. We provide evidence for pharmacologically significant interactions between CRF and orexin-A that depend on oligomerization of CRF1 receptor (CRF1R) and orexin OX1 receptors (OX1R). CRF1R-OX1R heteromers are the conduits of a negative crosstalk between orexin-A and CRF as demonstrated in transfected cells and rat VTA, in which they significantly modulate dendritic dopamine release. The cocaine target σ1 receptor (σ1R) also associates with the CRF1R-OX1R heteromer. Cocaine binding to the σ1R-CRF1R-OX1R complex promotes a long-term disruption of the orexin-A-CRF negative crosstalk. Through this mechanism, cocaine sensitizes VTA cells to the excitatory effects of both CRF and orexin-A, thus providing a mechanism by which stress induces cocaine seeking. Copyright © 2015 the authors 0270-6474/15/356639-15$15.00/0.

  3. Direct monitoring of dopamine and 5-HT release in substantia nigra and ventral tegmental area in vitro

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rice, M E; Richards, C D; Nedergaard, S

    1994-01-01

    Fast-scan cyclic voltammetry with carbon fibre microelectrodes was used to detect endogenous dopamine (DA) and 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) release from three distinct regions of guinea-pig mid-brain in vitro: rostral and caudal substantia nigra (SN) and the ventral tegmental area (VTA). Previous...... these regions with in situ electrodes and demonstrates the utility of fast-scan cyclic voltammetry to investigate the mechanisms and possible non-classical functions of somato-dendritic DA release....

  4. Epac Signaling Is Required for Cocaine-Induced Change in AMPA Receptor Subunit Composition in the Ventral Tegmental Area.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Xiaojie; Chen, Yao; Tong, Jiaqing; Reynolds, Ashley M; Proudfoot, Sarah C; Qi, Jinshun; Penzes, Peter; Lu, Youming; Liu, Qing-Song

    2016-04-27

    Exchange protein directly activated by cAMP (Epac) and protein kinase A (PKA) are intracellular receptors for cAMP. Although PKA and its downstream effectors have been studied extensively in the context of drug addiction, whether and how Epac regulates cellular and behavioral effects of drugs of abuse remain essentially unknown. Epac is known to regulate AMPA receptor (AMPAR) trafficking. Previous studies have shown that a single cocaine exposure in vivo leads to an increase in GluA2-lacking AMPARs in dopamine neurons of the ventral tegmental area (VTA). We tested the hypothesis that Epac mediates cocaine-induced changes in AMPAR subunit composition in the VTA. We report that a single cocaine injection in vivo in wild-type mice leads to inward rectification of EPSCs and renders EPSCs sensitive to a GluA2-lacking AMPAR blocker in VTA dopamine neurons. The cocaine-induced increase in GluA2-lacking AMPARs was absent in Epac2-deficient mice but not in Epac1-deficient mice. In addition, activation of Epac with the selective Epac agonist 8-CPT-2Me-cAMP (8-CPT) recapitulated the cocaine-induced increase in GluA2-lacking AMPARs, and the effects of 8-CPT were mediated by Epac2. We also show that conditioned place preference to cocaine was impaired in Epac2-deficient mice and in mice in which Epac2 was knocked down in the VTA but was not significantly altered in Epac1-deficient mice. Together, these results suggest that Epac2 is critically involved in the cocaine-induced change in AMPAR subunit composition and drug-cue associative learning. Addictive drugs, such as cocaine, induce long-lasting adaptions in the reward circuits of the brain. A single intraperitoneal injection of cocaine leads to changes in the composition and property of the AMPAR that carries excitatory inputs to dopamine neurons. Here, we provide evidence that exchange protein directly activated by cAMP (Epac), a cAMP sensor protein, is required for the cocaine-induced changes of the AMPAR. We found that the

  5. microRNA and mRNA profiles in ventral tegmental area relevant to stress-induced depression and resilience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Xiaoyan; Song, Zhenhua; Si, Yawei; Wang, Jin-Hui

    2018-06-01

    Chronic stress with lack of reward presumably may impair brain reward circuit, leading to major depressive disorder (MDD). Most individuals experiencing chronic stress do not suffer from MDD, i.e., resilience, implying the presence of endogenous anti-depression in the brain. Molecular mechanisms underlying stress-induced depression versus resilience were investigated. Mice were treated by chronic unpredictable mild stress (CUMS) for four weeks. Their mood state was assessed by behavioral tasks, such as sucrose preference, Y-maze and forced swimming testes. To reveal comprehensive molecular profiles of major depression versus resilience, mRNA and microRNA profiles were analyzed by high-throughput sequencing in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) harvested from control, CUMS-susceptible and CUMS-resilience mice. In data analyses of control versus CUMS-susceptible mice as well as control versus CUMS-resilience mice, 1.5 fold ratio in reads per kilo-base per million reads was set as the threshold to judge the involvement of mRNAs and microRNAs in the CUMS, depression or resilience. The downregulation of synaptic vesicle cycle, neurotrophin, GABAergic synapse and morphine addiction as well as the upregulation of transmitter release, calcium signal and cAMP-dependent response element binding are associated to CUMS-susceptibility. The downregulation of tyrosine metabolism and protein process in endoplasmic reticulum as well as the upregulation of amino acid biosynthesis, neuroactive ligand-receptor interaction and dopaminergic synapse are associated to CUMS-resilience. Therefore, the impairment of neurons and GABA/dopaminergic synapses in the VTA is associated with major depression. The upregulation of these entities is associated with resilience. Consistent results obtained from analyzing mRNAs and microRNAs as well as using different approaches strengthen our finding and conclusion. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  6. Abnormal ventral tegmental area-anterior cingulate cortex connectivity in Parkinson's disease with depression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Luqing; Hu, Xiao; Yuan, Yonggui; Liu, Weiguo; Chen, Hong

    2018-07-16

    Neuropathology suggests that Parkinson's disease (PD) with depression may involve a progressive degeneration of the nigrostriatal and mesocorticolimbic dopaminergic systems. Previous positron emission tomography (PET) and single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) studies have shown that dopamine changes in individual brain regions constituting the nigrostriatal and mesocorticolimbic circuits are associated with depression in PD. However, few studies have been conducted on the circuit-level alterations in this disease. The present study used resting-state fMRI and seed-based functional connectivity of putative dopaminergic midbrain regions (i.e., substantia nigra (SN) and ventral tegmental area (VTA)) to investigate the circuit-related abnormalities in PD with depression. The results showed that depressed PD (DPD) patients relative to healthy controls (HC) and non-depressed PD (NDPD) patients had increased functional connectivity between VTA and anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), demonstrating that dysfunctional mesocorticolimbic dopaminergic neurotransmission may be associated with depression in PD. Compared with HC, DPD and NDPD patients showed increased functional connectivity from SN to sensorimotor cortex, validating that alterations in the nigrostriatal circuitry could be responsible for cardinal motor features in PD. In addition, aberrant connectivity between VTA and ACC was correlated with the severity of depression in PD patients, further supporting that abnormal mesocorticolimbic system may account for depressive symptoms in PD. These results have provided potential circuit-level biomarkers of depression in PD, and suggested that resting state functional connectivity of midbrain dopaminergic nuclei may be useful for understanding the underlying pathology in PD with depression. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Assessment of cytochrome C oxidase dysfunction in the substantia nigra/ventral tegmental area in schizophrenia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew W Rice

    Full Text Available Perturbations in metabolism are a well-documented but complex facet of schizophrenia pathology. Optimal cellular performance requires the proper functioning of the electron transport chain, which is constituted by four enzymes located within the inner membrane of mitochondria. These enzymes create a proton gradient that is used to power the enzyme ATP synthase, producing ATP, which is crucial for the maintenance of cellular functioning. Anomalies in a single enzyme of the electron transport chain are sufficient to cause disruption of cellular metabolism. The last of these complexes is the cytochrome c oxidase (COX enzyme, which is composed of thirteen different subunits. COX is a major site for oxidative phosphorylation, and anomalies in this enzyme are one of the most frequent causes of mitochondrial pathology. The objective of the present report was to assess if metabolic anomalies linked to COX dysfunction may contribute to substantia nigra/ventral tegmental area (SN/VTA pathology in schizophrenia. We tested COX activity in postmortem SN/VTA from schizophrenia and non-psychiatric controls. We also tested the protein expression of key subunits for the assembly and activity of the enzyme, and the effect of antipsychotic medication on subunit expression. COX activity was not significantly different between schizophrenia and non-psychiatric controls. However, we found significant decreases in the expression of subunits II and IV-I of COX in schizophrenia. Interestingly, these decreases were observed in samples containing the entire rostro-caudal extent of the SN/VTA, while no significant differences were observed for samples containing only mid-caudal regions of the SN/VTA. Finally, rats chronically treated with antipsychotic drugs did not show significant changes in COX subunit expression. These findings suggest that COX subunit expression may be compromised in specific sub-regions of the SN/VTA (i.e. rostral regions, which may lead to a faulty

  8. Amylin receptor activation in the ventral tegmental area reduces motivated ingestive behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mietlicki-Baase, Elizabeth G; McGrath, Lauren E; Koch-Laskowski, Kieran; Krawczyk, Joanna; Reiner, David J; Pham, Tram; Nguyen, Chan Tran N; Turner, Christopher A; Olivos, Diana R; Wimmer, Mathieu E; Schmidt, Heath D; Hayes, Matthew R

    2017-09-01

    Amylin is produced in the pancreas and the brain, and acts centrally to reduce feeding and body weight. Recent data show that amylin can act in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) to reduce palatable food intake and promote negative energy balance, but the behavioral mechanisms by which these effects occur are not fully understood. The ability of VTA amylin signaling to reduce intake of specific palatable macronutrients (fat or carbohydrate) was tested in rats in several paradigms, including one-bottle acceptance tests, two-bottle choice tests, and a free-choice diet. Data show that VTA amylin receptor activation with the amylin receptor agonist salmon calcitonin (sCT) preferentially and potently reduces intake of fat, with more variable suppression of sucrose intake. Intake of a non-nutritive sweetener is also decreased by intra-VTA administration of sCT. As several feeding-related signals that act in the mesolimbic system also impact motivated behaviors besides feeding, we tested the hypothesis that the suppressive effects of amylin signaling in the VTA extend to other motivationally relevant stimuli. Results show that intra-VTA sCT reduces water intake in response to central administration of the dipsogenic peptide angiotensin II, but has no effect on ad libitum water intake in the absence of food. Importantly, open field and social interaction studies show that VTA amylin signaling does not produce anxiety-like behaviors. Collectively, these findings reveal a novel ability of VTA amylin receptor activation to alter palatable macronutrient intake, and also demonstrate a broader role of VTA amylin signaling for the control of motivated ingestive behaviors beyond feeding. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Involvement of serotonin in the ventral tegmental area in thermoregulation of freely moving rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ishiwata, Takayuki; Hasegawa, Hiroshi; Greenwood, Benjamin N

    2017-07-13

    We have recently reported that the serotonin (5-HT) projections from the midbrain's raphe nuclei that contains 5-HT cell bodies may play a role both in heat production and in heat loss. The purpose of the present study was to clarify the involvement of 5-HT in the ventral tegmental area (VTA), where 5-HT is suggested to participate in thermoregulation, using the combined methods of telemetry, microdialysis, and high performance liquid chromatography, with a special emphasis on regulation of the body temperature (T b ) in freely moving rats. First, we measured changes in T b , tail skin temperature (T tail ; an index of heat loss), heart rate (HR; an index of heat production), locomotor activity (Act), and levels of extracellular monoamines in the VTA during cold (5°C) or heat (35°C) exposure. Subsequently, we perfused citalopram (5-HT re-uptake inhibitor) into the VTA and measured the thermoregulatory parameters and monoamines release. Although T b , T tail , and HR changed during both exposures, significant changes in extracellular level of 5-HT (138.7±12.7% baseline, p<0.01), but not dopamine (DA) or noradrenaline (NA) were noted in the VTA only during heat exposure. In addition, perfusion of citalopram into the VTA increased extracellular 5-HT levels (221.0±52.2% baseline, p<0.01), but not DA or NA, while T b decreased from 37.4±0.1°C to 36.8±0.2°C (p<0.001),T tail increased from 26.3±0.4°C to 28.4±0.4°C (p<0.001), and HR and Act remained unchanged. Our results suggest that the VTA is a key area for thermoregulation, and 5-HT, but not DA or NA, modulates the heat loss system through action in the VTA. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Characterization of cognitive deficits in rats overexpressing human alpha-synuclein in the ventral tegmental area and medial septum using recombinant adeno-associated viral vectors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, Hélène; Jewett, Michael; Landeck, Natalie; Nilsson, Nathalie; Schagerlöf, Ulrika; Leanza, Giampiero; Kirik, Deniz

    2013-01-01

    Intraneuronal inclusions containing alpha-synuclein (a-syn) constitute one of the pathological hallmarks of Parkinson's disease (PD) and are accompanied by severe neurodegeneration of A9 dopaminergic neurons located in the substantia nigra. Although to a lesser extent, A10 dopaminergic neurons are also affected. Neurodegeneration of other neuronal populations, such as the cholinergic, serotonergic and noradrenergic cell groups, has also been documented in PD patients. Studies in human post-mortem PD brains and in rodent models suggest that deficits in cholinergic and dopaminergic systems may be associated with the cognitive impairment seen in this disease. Here, we investigated the consequences of targeted overexpression of a-syn in the mesocorticolimbic dopaminergic and septohippocampal cholinergic pathways. Rats were injected with recombinant adeno-associated viral vectors encoding for either human wild-type a-syn or green fluorescent protein (GFP) in the ventral tegmental area and the medial septum/vertical limb of the diagonal band of Broca, two regions rich in dopaminergic and cholinergic neurons, respectively. Histopathological analysis showed widespread insoluble a-syn positive inclusions in all major projections areas of the targeted nuclei, including the hippocampus, neocortex, nucleus accumbens and anteromedial striatum. In addition, the rats overexpressing human a-syn displayed an abnormal locomotor response to apomorphine injection and exhibited spatial learning and memory deficits in the Morris water maze task, in the absence of obvious spontaneous locomotor impairment. As losses in dopaminergic and cholinergic immunoreactivity in both the GFP and a-syn expressing animals were mild-to-moderate and did not differ from each other, the behavioral impairments seen in the a-syn overexpressing animals appear to be determined by the long term persisting neuropathology in the surviving neurons rather than by neurodegeneration.

  11. Ethanol drinking reduces extracellular dopamine levels in the posterior ventral tegmental area of nondependent alcohol-preferring rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Engleman, Eric A; Keen, Elizabeth J; Tilford, Sydney S; Thielen, Richard J; Morzorati, Sandra L

    2011-09-01

    Moderate ethanol exposure produces neuroadaptive changes in the mesocorticolimbic dopamine (DA) system in nondependent rats and increases measures of DA neuronal activity in vitro and in vivo. Moreover, moderate ethanol drinking and moderate systemic exposure elevates extracellular DA levels in mesocorticolimbic projection regions. However, the neuroadaptive changes subsequent to moderate ethanol drinking on basal DA levels have not been investigated in the ventral tegmental area (VTA). In the present study, adult female alcohol-preferring (P) rats were divided into alcohol-naive, alcohol-drinking, and alcohol-deprived groups. The alcohol-drinking group had continuous access to water and ethanol (15%, vol/vol) for 8 weeks. The alcohol-deprived group had 6 weeks of access followed by 2 weeks of ethanol deprivation, 2 weeks of ethanol re-exposure, followed again by 2 weeks of deprivation. The deprived rats demonstrated a robust alcohol deprivation effect (ADE) on ethanol reinstatement. The alcohol-naïve group had continuous access to water only. In the last week of the drinking protocol, all rats were implanted with unilateral microdialysis probes aimed at the posterior VTA and no-net-flux microdialysis was conducted to quantify extracellular DA levels and DA clearance. Results yielded significantly lower basal extracellular DA concentrations in the posterior VTA of the alcohol-drinking group compared with the alcohol-naive and alcohol-deprived groups (3.8±0.3nM vs. 5.0±0.5nM [Palcohol-drinking and alcohol-naive groups (72±2% vs. 46±4%, respectively) and not significantly different (P=.051) between alcohol-deprived and alcohol-naive groups (61±6% for the alcohol-deprived group). The data indicate that reductions in basal DA levels within the posterior VTA occur after moderate chronic ethanol intake in nondependent P rats. This reduction may result, in part, from increased DA uptake and may be important for the maintenance of ethanol drinking. These adaptations

  12. Age-related changes in nicotine response of cholinergic and non-cholinergic laterodorsal tegmental neurons: implications for the heightened adolescent susceptibility to nicotine addiction

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christensen, Mark Holm; Ishibashi, Masaru; Nielsen, Michael Linnemann

    2014-01-01

    The younger an individual starts smoking, the greater the likelihood that addiction to nicotine will develop, suggesting that neurobiological responses vary across age to the addictive component of cigarettes. Cholinergic neurons of the laterodorsal tegmental nucleus (LDT) are importantly involved...... in the development of addiction, however, the effects of nicotine on LDT neuronal excitability across ontogeny are unknown. Nicotinic effects on LDT cells across different age groups were examined using calcium imaging and whole-cell patch clamping. Within the youngest age group (P7–P15), nicotine induced larger...... intracellular calcium transients and inward currents. Nicotine induced a greater number of excitatory synaptic currents in the youngest animals, whereas larger amplitude inhibitory synaptic events were induced in cells from the oldest animals (P15–P34). Nicotine increased neuronal firing of cholinergic cells...

  13. Effects of Ascorbic Acid on the Amplitude of Ventral Tegmental Area Field Action Potential in Morphine-Exposed Rats (An Electrophysiology Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K Saadipour

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available Introduction & Objective: Evidences have indicated that the Ventral Tegmental Area (VTA is the major source of dopamine (DA neurons projecting to cortical and limbic regions involved in cognitive and motivational aspects of addiction. Also, studies have indicated that the Ascorbic acid (vitamin C can reduce the dependency symptoms of opioids such as morphine via effect of activity on dopaminergic neuron in VTA. For this reason, the aim of this study was to assess the effects of ascorbic acid on the amplitude of Ventral Tegmental Area field action potential in morphine-exposed rats. Materials & Methods: Forty male Wistar’s rats were used in this experimental study conducted at Yasuj University of Medical Sciences in 2010. Animals were randomly divided into four groups after electrode implantation and recovery period: 1. No- Vit C and No-Addicted group (nVitC.nA 2. Vit C and No-Addicted group (VitC.nA 3. No- Vit C and Addicted group (nVitCA 4.Vit C and Addicted (VitC.A, The Vit C groups received 500 mg/kg of Vit C during 20 days. For addicted groups morphine was administrated once daily for 20 days. In the 20th day, the field potential recording was accomplished. Two-way ANOVA was used for data analysis followed by the Tukey test for post hoc analysis. Results were considered significant at P < 0.05. Results: This study shows the exposure to morphine declined the power of Delta and Beta bands (p<0.05 and Vit C solely enhance power of Theta and Beta (p<0.05, p<0.001 in VTA nuclei. Furthermore, Vit C could alter power of some bands which were affected by morphine. Therefore it seems that Vit C has an increasing effects on them (p<0.05. Conclusion: Although the effect of Vit C on power of the VTA bands is not well known, but it is supposed that this phenomenon can be related to alteration in activity of dopaminergic neuron in the brain.

  14. ERK1/2 activation in rat ventral tegmental area by the mu-opioid agonist fentanyl : An in vitro study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lesscher, HMB; Burbach, JPH; Van Ree, JM; Gerrits, MAFM

    2003-01-01

    Opioid receptors in the ventral tegmental area, predominantly the mu-opioid receptors, have been suggested to modulate reinforcement sensitivity for both opioid and non-opioid drugs of abuse. The present study was conducted to study signal transduction proteins, which may mediate the functioning of

  15. Opposite modulation of brain stimulation reward by NMDA and AMPA receptors in the ventral tegmental area.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Charles eDucrot

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Previous studies have shown that blockade of ventral midbrain (VM glutamate N-Methyl-D-Aspartate (NMDA receptors induces reward, stimulates forward locomotion and enhances brain stimulation reward. Glutamate induces two types of excitatory response on VM neurons, a fast and short lasting depolarisation mediated by a-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole propionate (AMPA receptors and a longer lasting depolarization mediated by NMDA receptors. A role for the two glutamate receptors in modulation of VM neuronal activity is evidenced by the functional change in AMPA and NMDA synaptic responses that result from repeated exposure to reward. Since both receptors contribute to the action of glutamate on VM neuronal activity, we studied the effects of VM AMPA and NMDA receptor blockade on reward induced by electrical brain stimulation. Experiments were performed on rats trained to self-administer electrical pulses in the medial posterior mesencephalon. Reward thresholds were measured with the curve-shift paradigm before and for two hours after bilateral VM microinjections of the AMPA antagonist, NBQX (2,3,-Dioxo-6-nitro-1,2,3,4-tetrahydrobenzo(fquinoxaline-7-sulfonamide, 0, 80, and 800 pmol/0.5ul/side and of a single dose (0.825 nmol/0.5ul/side of the NMDA antagonist, PPPA (2R,4S-4-(3-Phosphonopropyl-2-piperidinecarboxylic acid. NBQX produced a dose-dependent increase in reward threshold with no significant change in maximum rate of responding. Whereas PPPA injected at the same VM sites produced a significant time dependent decrease in reward threshold and increase in maximum rate of responding. We found a negative correlation between the magnitude of the attenuation effect of NBQX and the enhancement effect of PPPA; moreover, NBQX and PPPA were most effective when injected respectively into the anterior and posterior VM. These results suggest that glutamate acts on different receptor sub-types, most likely located on different VM neurons, to modulate

  16. Hypocretin 1/orexin A in the ventral tegmental area enhances dopamine responses to cocaine and promotes cocaine self-administration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    España, Rodrigo A; Melchior, James R; Roberts, David C S; Jones, Sara R

    2011-03-01

    Recent evidence indicates that the hypocretin/orexin system participates in the regulation of reinforcement and addiction processes. For example, manipulations that decrease hypocretin neurotransmission result in disruptions of neurochemical and behavioral responses to cocaine. To further assess the relationship between the hypocretin system and cocaine reinforcement, the current studies used microdialysis and in vivo voltammetry to examine the effects of hypocretin 1 on cocaine-induced enhancement of dopamine signaling in the nucleus accumbens core. Fixed ratio, discrete trials, and progressive ratio self-administration procedures were also used to assess whether hypocretin 1 promotes cocaine self-administration behavior. Infusions of hypocretin 1 into the ventral tegmental area increased the effects of cocaine on tonic and phasic dopamine signaling and increased the motivation to self-administer cocaine on the discrete trials and progressive ratio schedules. Together with previous observations demonstrating that a hypocretin 1 receptor antagonist disrupts dopamine signaling and reduces self-administration of cocaine, the current observations further indicate that the hypocretin system participates in reinforcement processes likely through modulation of the mesolimbic dopamine system.

  17. Functional connectivity of the ventral tegmental area and avolition in subjects with schizophrenia: a resting state functional MRI study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giordano, Giulia Maria; Stanziano, Mario; Papa, Michele; Mucci, Armida; Prinster, Anna; Soricelli, Andrea; Galderisi, Silvana

    2018-04-10

    Avolition, a deficit in goal-directed behavior, is a key aspect of negative symptoms. It is highly prevalent in schizophrenia and is associated to poor functional outcome and to measures of real life motivation, indicating that central to the concept is the lack of interest and motivation. In this study we tested the hypothesis that avolition is related to altered connectivity within dopaminergic cortico-striatal circuits involved in motivation processes. Since dopamine input to these circuits derives mostly from the ventro-tegmental area (VTA), we investigated the relationships between the resting-state functional connectivity (RS-FC) of the VTA and avolition in twenty-six subjects with schizophrenia (SCZ), treated with second-generation antipsychotics only, compared to twenty-two healthy controls (HC). SCZ, in comparison to HC, showed significantly reduced RS-FC of the VTA with bilateral ventro-lateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC), bilateral insular cortex (IC) and right (R) lateral occipital complex (LOC) and increased RS-FC of the VTA with bilateral dorso-lateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). Significant negative correlations were found between avolition and RS-FC of the VTA with the bilateral IC, R VLPFC and R LOC. According to our findings, avolition is linked to a disconnectivity of the VTA from several key cortical regions involved in the integration of value information with action selection. These findings are in line with translational animal models of "auto-activation apathy". Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. and ECNP. All rights reserved.

  18. Age-related changes in nicotine response of cholinergic and non-cholinergic laterodorsal tegmental neurons: implications for the heightened adolescent susceptibility to nicotine addiction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christensen, Mark H.; Ishibashi, Masaru; Nielsen, Michael L.; Leonard, Christopher S.; Kohlmeier, Kristi A.

    2015-01-01

    The younger an individual starts smoking, the greater the likelihood that addiction to nicotine will develop, suggesting that neurobiological responses vary across age to the addictive component of cigarettes. Cholinergic neurons of the laterodorsal tegmental nucleus (LDT) are importantly involved in the development of addiction, however, the effects of nicotine on LDT neuronal excitability across ontogeny are unknown. Nicotinic effects on several parameters affecting LDT cells across different age groups were examined using calcium imaging and whole-cell patch clamping. Within the youngest age group (P7-P15), nicotine was found to induce larger intracellular calcium transients and inward currents. Nicotine induced a greater number of excitatory synaptic currents in the youngest animals, whereas larger amplitude inhibitory synaptic events were induced in cells from the oldest animals (P15-P34). Nicotine increased neuronal firing of cholinergic cells to a greater degree in younger animals, possibly linked to development associated differences found in nicotinic effects on action potential shape and afterhyperpolarization. We conclude that in addition to age-associated alterations of several properties expected to affect resting cell excitability, parameters affecting cell excitability are altered by nicotine differentially across ontogeny. Taken together, our data suggest that nicotine induces a larger excitatory response in cholinergic LDT neurons from the youngest animals, which could result in a greater excitatory output from these cells to target regions involved in development of addiction. Such output would be expected to be promotive of addiction; therefore, ontogenetic differences in nicotine-mediated increases in the excitability of the LDT could contribute to the differential susceptibility to nicotine addiction seen across age. PMID:24863041

  19. Local injection of d-lys-3-GHRP-6 in the rat amygdala, dentate gyrus or ventral tegmental area impairs memory consolidation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beheshti, Siamak; Aslani, Neda

    2018-02-01

    It is well known that the hormone ghrelin affects learning and memory in different experimental models of learning. Though, the effect of antagonism of ghrelin receptor type 1a (GHS-R1a) in various regions of the brain and on different stages of learning has not been examined. In this study the effect of injection of a GHS-R1a selective antagonist (d-Lys-3-GHRP-6) into the basolateral amygdala, dentate gyrus or ventral tegmental area was examined on memory consolidation in the passive avoidance task. Adult male Wistar rats weighing 230-280g were used. Animals underwent stereotaxic surgery and cannulated in their amygdala, dentate gyrus or ventral tegmental area. One week after surgery, the rats received different doses of d-Lys-3-GHRP-6 (0.08, 0.8, and 8nM), immediately after training. The control groups received solvent of the drug. Twenty four hours later in the test day, memory retrieval was assessed. In all groups, post-training injection of d-Lys-3-GHRP-6 decreased step-through latency and increased entries into the dark compartment and time spent in the dark compartment, significantly and in a dose-dependent manner. The results indicate that antagonism of the GHS-R1a in the rat amygdala, dentate gyrus or ventral tegmental area impairs memory consolidation and show that the ghrelin signaling has a widespread influence on cognitive performance. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  20. NMDA receptor glycine modulatory site in the ventral tegmental area regulates the acquisition, retrieval, and reconsolidation of cocaine reward memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Shuang-jiang; Xue, Li-fen; Wang, Xue-yi; Jiang, Wen-gao; Xue, Yan-xue; Liu, Jian-feng; He, Yin-yin; Luo, Yi-xiao; Lu, Lin

    2012-05-01

    Accumulating clinical and preclinical studies have shown that the memories of the rewarding effects of drugs and their paired cues may contribute to relapse and persistent cocaine use. Glutaminergic actions in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) have been shown to regulate the rewarding effect of drugs and conditioned responses to drug-associated cues, but the role of the VTA in the acquisition, retrieval, and reconsolidation of cocaine cues is not yet known. In the present study, we used 7-chlorothiokynurenic acid (7-CTKA), an N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor glycine modulatory site antagonist with no rewarding effects, to examine the role of the NMDA receptor glycine modulatory site in the acquisition, retrieval, and reconsolidation of cocaine-related reward memory using the conditioned place preference (CPP) paradigm. Separate groups of Sprague-Dawley rats were trained to acquire cocaine-induced CPP. Vehicle or 7-CTKA was microinjected into the VTA or substantia nigra (SN) (5 μg/μl) at different time points: 10 min before each CPP training session (acquisition), 10 min before the reactivation of CPP (retrieval), and immediately after the reactivation of CPP (reconsolidation). Cocaine-induced CPP was retested 24 h and 1 and 2 weeks after 7-CTKA administration. 7-CTKA microinjected into the VTA, but not SN, significantly impaired the acquisition, retrieval, and reconsolidation of cocaine-induced CPP without affecting cocaine-induced locomotion. Our findings suggest that the NMDA receptor glycine modulatory site in the VTA plays a major role in cocaine reward memory, and NMDA receptor glycine site antagonists may be potential pharmacotherapies for the management of relapse.

  1. Ghrelin and GHS-R1A signaling within the ventral and laterodorsal tegmental area regulate sexual behavior in sexually naïve male mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prieto-Garcia, Luna; Egecioglu, Emil; Studer, Erik; Westberg, Lars; Jerlhag, Elisabet

    2015-12-01

    In addition to food intake and energy balance regulation, ghrelin mediate the rewarding and motivational properties of palatable food as well as addictive drugs. The ability of ghrelin to regulate reinforcement involves the cholinergic-dopaminergic reward link, which encompasses a cholinergic projection from the laterodorsal tegmental area (LDTg) to the ventral tegmental area (VTA) together with mesolimbic dopaminergic projections from the VTA to the nucleus accumbens (NAc). Recently, systemic ghrelin was shown to regulate sexual behavior and motivation in male mice via dopamine neurotransmission. The present study therefore elucidates the role of ghrelin and ghrelin receptor (GHS-R1A) antagonist treatment within NAc, VTA or LDTg for sexual behavior in sexually naïve male mice. Local administration of the GHSR-1A antagonist, JMV2959, into the VTA or LDTg was found to reduce the preference for female mice, the number of mounts and the duration of mounting as well as to prolong the latency to mount. This was further substantiated by the findings that ghrelin administration into the VTA or LDTg increased the number of mounts and the duration of mounting and decreased the latency to mount. Moreover, ghrelin administered into the LDTg increased the preference for female mice. Accumbal administration of ghrelin increased whereas GHS-R1A antagonist decreased the intake of palatable food, but did not alter sexual behavior. In males exposed to sexual interaction, systemic administration of ghrelin increases whereas JMV2959 decreases the turnover of dopamine in the VTA. These data suggest that ghrelin signaling within the tegmental areas is required for sexual behavior in sexually naïve male mice. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  2. Transcriptomic profiling of the ventral tegmental area and nucleus accumbens in rhesus macaques following long-term cocaine self-administration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vallender, Eric J; Goswami, Dharmendra B; Shinday, Nina M; Westmoreland, Susan V; Yao, Wei-Dong; Rowlett, James K

    2017-06-01

    The behavioral consequences associated with addiction are thought to arise from drug-induced neuroadaptation. The mesolimbic system plays an important initial role in this process, and while the dopaminergic system specifically has been strongly interrogated, a complete understanding of the broad transcriptomic effects associated with cocaine use remains elusive. Using next generation sequencing approaches, we performed a comprehensive evaluation of gene expression differences in the ventral tegmental area and nucleus accumbens of rhesus macaques that had self-administered cocaine for roughly 100days and saline-yoked controls. During self-administration, the monkeys increased daily consumption of cocaine until almost the maximum number of injections were taken within the first 15min of the one hour session for a total intake of 3mg/kg/day. We confirm the centrality of dopaminergic differences in the ventral tegmental area, but in the nucleus accumbens we see the strongest evidence for an inflammatory response and large scale chromatin remodeling. These findings suggest an expanded understanding of the pathology of cocaine addiction with the potential to lead to the development of alternative treatment strategies. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. The rostromedial tegmental nucleus is essential for non-rapid eye movement sleep.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Su-Rong Yang

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available The rostromedial tegmental nucleus (RMTg, also called the GABAergic tail of the ventral tegmental area, projects to the midbrain dopaminergic system, dorsal raphe nucleus, locus coeruleus, and other regions. Whether the RMTg is involved in sleep-wake regulation is unknown. In the present study, pharmacogenetic activation of rat RMTg neurons promoted non-rapid eye movement (NREM sleep with increased slow-wave activity (SWA. Conversely, rats after neurotoxic lesions of 8 or 16 days showed decreased NREM sleep with reduced SWA at lights on. The reduced SWA persisted at least 25 days after lesions. Similarly, pharmacological and pharmacogenetic inactivation of rat RMTg neurons decreased NREM sleep. Electrophysiological experiments combined with optogenetics showed a direct inhibitory connection between the terminals of RMTg neurons and midbrain dopaminergic neurons. The bidirectional effects of the RMTg on the sleep-wake cycle were mimicked by the modulation of ventral tegmental area (VTA/substantia nigra compacta (SNc dopaminergic neuronal activity using a pharmacogenetic approach. Furthermore, during the 2-hour recovery period following 6-hour sleep deprivation, the amount of NREM sleep in both the lesion and control rats was significantly increased compared with baseline levels; however, only the control rats showed a significant increase in SWA compared with baseline levels. Collectively, our findings reveal an essential role of the RMTg in the promotion of NREM sleep and homeostatic regulation.

  4. Overexpression of the steroidogenic enzyme cytochrome P450 side chain cleavage in the ventral tegmental area increases 3α,5α-THP and reduces long-term operant ethanol self-administration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cook, Jason B; Werner, David F; Maldonado-Devincci, Antoniette M; Leonard, Maggie N; Fisher, Kristen R; O'Buckley, Todd K; Porcu, Patrizia; McCown, Thomas J; Besheer, Joyce; Hodge, Clyde W; Morrow, A Leslie

    2014-04-23

    Neuroactive steroids are endogenous neuromodulators capable of altering neuronal activity and behavior. In rodents, systemic administration of endogenous or synthetic neuroactive steroids reduces ethanol self-administration. We hypothesized this effect arises from actions within mesolimbic brain regions that we targeted by viral gene delivery. Cytochrome P450 side chain cleavage (P450scc) converts cholesterol to pregnenolone, the rate-limiting enzymatic reaction in neurosteroidogenesis. Therefore, we constructed a recombinant adeno-associated serotype 2 viral vector (rAAV2), which drives P450scc expression and neuroactive steroid synthesis. The P450scc-expressing vector (rAAV2-P450scc) or control GFP-expressing vector (rAAV2-GFP) were injected bilaterally into the ventral tegmental area (VTA) or nucleus accumbens (NAc) of alcohol preferring (P) rats trained to self-administer ethanol. P450scc overexpression in the VTA significantly reduced ethanol self-administration by 20% over the 3 week test period. P450scc overexpression in the NAc, however, did not alter ethanol self-administration. Locomotor activity was unaltered by vector administration to either region. P450scc overexpression produced a 36% increase in (3α,5α)-3-hydroxypregnan-20-one (3α,5α-THP, allopregnanolone)-positive cells in the VTA, but did not increase 3α,5α-THP immunoreactivity in NAc. These results suggest that P450scc overexpression and the resultant increase of 3α,5α-THP-positive cells in the VTA reduces ethanol reinforcement. 3α,5α-THP is localized to neurons in the VTA, including tyrosine hydroxylase neurons, but not astrocytes. Overall, the results demonstrate that using gene delivery to modulate neuroactive steroids shows promise for examining the neuronal mechanisms of moderate ethanol drinking, which could be extended to other behavioral paradigms and neuropsychiatric pathology.

  5. Activity of Protein Kinase C is Important for 3α,5α-THP’s Actions at Dopamine Type 1-like and/or GABAA receptors in the Ventral Tegmental Area for Lordosis of Rats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frye, Cheryl A.; Walf, Alicia A.

    2008-01-01

    In the ventral tegmental area, progestogens facilitate sexual receptivity of rodents via actions at dopamine type 1-like and/or γ-aminobutyric type A receptors and activation of downstream signal transduction molecules. In the present study, we investigated whether effects of progesterone’s metabolite, 3α,5α-THP, to enhance lordosis via actions at these receptors in the ventral tegmental area requires phospholipase C-dependent protein kinase C. The objective of this study was to test the hypothesis that: if progestogens’ actions through dopamine type 1-like and/or γ-aminobutyric type A receptors in the ventral tegmental area for lordosis require protein kinase C, then inhibiting protein kinase C in the ventral tegmental area should reduce 3α,5α-THP-facilitated lordosis and its enhancement by dopamine type 1-like or γ-aminobutyric type A receptor agonists. Ovariectomized, E2 (10 μg s.c. at hr 0)-primed rats were tested for their baseline lordosis responses and then received a series of three infusions to the ventral tegmental area: first, bisindolylmaleimide (75 nM/side) or vehicle; second, SKF38393 (100 ng/side), muscimol (100 ng/side), or vehicle; third, 3α,5α-THP (100, 200 ng) or vehicle. Rats were pre-tested for lordosis and motor behavior and then tested for lordosis after each infusion and 10 and 60 mins after the last infusion. Rats were tested for motor behavior following their last lordosis test. As has been previously demonstrated, 3α,5α-THP infusions to the ventral tegmental area increased lordosis and effects were further enhanced by infusions of SKF38393 and muscimol. Infusions of bisindolylmaleimide to the ventral tegmental area attenuated 3α,5α-THP-, SKF38393-, and/or muscimol-facilitated lordosis. Effects on lordosis were not solely due to changes in general motor behavior. Thus, 3α,5α-THP’s actions in the ventral tegmental area through membrane receptors may require activity of protein kinase C. PMID:18675324

  6. The Appetite-Inducing Peptide, Ghrelin, Induces Intracellular Store-Mediated Rises in Calcium in Addiction and Arousal-Related Laterodorsal Tegmental Neurons in Mouse Brain Slices

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hauberg, Katrine; Kohlmeier, Kristi Anne

    2015-01-01

    Ghrelin, a gut and brain peptide, has recently been shown to be involved in motivated behavior and regulation of the sleep and wakefulness cycle. The laterodorsal tegmental nucleus (LDT) is involved in appetitive behavior and control of the arousal state of an organism, and accordingly, behaviora...

  7. Knockdown of ventral tegmental area mu-opioid receptors in rats prevents effects of social defeat stress: Implications for amphetamine cross-sensitization, social avoidance, weight regulation and expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnston, Caitlin E.; Herschel, Daniel; Lasek, Amy W.; Hammer, Ronald P.; Nikulina, Ella M.

    2014-01-01

    Social defeat stress causes social avoidance and long-lasting cross-sensitization to psychostimulants, both of which are associated with increased brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) expression in the ventral tegmental area (VTA). Moreover, social stress upregulates VTA mu-opioid receptor (MOR) mRNA. In the VTA, MOR activation inhibits GABA neurons to disinhibit VTA dopamine neurons, thus providing a role for VTA MORs in the regulation of psychostimulant sensitization. The present study determined the effect of lentivirus-mediated MOR knockdown in the VTA on the consequences of intermittent social defeat stress, a salient and profound stressor in humans and rodents. Social stress exposure induced social avoidance and attenuated weight gain in animals with non-manipulated VTA MORs, but both these effects were prevented by VTA MOR knockdown. Rats with non-manipulated VTA MOR expression exhibited cross-sensitization to amphetamine challenge (1.0 mg/kg, i.p.), evidenced by a significant augmentation of locomotion. By contrast, knockdown of VTA MORs prevented stress-induced cross-sensitization without blunting the locomotor-activating effects of amphetamine. At the time point corresponding to amphetamine challenge, immunohistochemical analysis was performed to examine the effect of stress on VTA BDNF expression. Prior stress exposure increased VTA BDNF expression in rats with non-manipulated VTA MOR expression, while VTA MOR knockdown prevented stress-induced expression of VTA BDNF. Taken together, these results suggest that upregulation of VTA MOR is necessary for the behavioral and biochemical changes induced by social defeat stress. Elucidating VTA MOR regulation of stress effects on the mesolimbic system may provide new therapeutic targets for treating stress-induced vulnerability to substance abuse. PMID:25446676

  8. Different amounts of ejaculatory activity, a natural rewarding behavior, induce differential mu and delta opioid receptor internalization in the rat's ventral tegmental area.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garduño-Gutiérrez, René; León-Olea, Martha; Rodríguez-Manzo, Gabriela

    2013-12-06

    Opioid receptors internalize upon specific agonist stimulation. The in vivo significance of receptor internalization is not well established, partly due to the limited in vivo models used to study this phenomenon. Ejaculation promotes endogenous opioid release which activates opioid receptors at the brain, including the mesolimbic system and medial preoptic area. The objective of the present work was to analyze if there was a correlation between the degree of in vivo mu (MOR) and delta opioid receptor (DOR) internalization in the ventral tegmental area and the execution of different amounts of ejaculatory behavior of male rats. To this aim, we analyzed the brains of rats that ejaculated once or six successive times and of sexually exhausted rats with an established sexual inhibition, using immunofluorescence and confocal microscopy. Results showed that MOR and DOR internalization increased as a consequence of ejaculation. There was a relationship between the amount of sexual activity executed and the degree of internalization for MOR, but not for DOR. MOR internalization was larger in rats that ejaculated repeatedly than in animals ejaculating only once. Significant DOR internalization was found only in animals ejaculating once. Changes in MOR, DOR and beta arrestin2 detection, associated to sexual activity, were also found. It is suggested that copulation to satiety might be useful as a model system to study the biological significance of receptor internalization. © 2013 Published by Elsevier B.V.

  9. Decreased functional connectivity between ventral tegmental area and nucleus accumbens in Internet gaming disorder: evidence from resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Jin-Tao; Ma, Shan-Shan; Yip, Sarah W; Wang, Ling-Jiao; Chen, Chao; Yan, Chao-Gan; Liu, Lu; Liu, Ben; Deng, Lin-Yuan; Liu, Qin-Xue; Fang, Xiao-Yi

    2015-11-18

    Internet gaming disorder (IGD) has become an increasing mental health problem worldwide. Decreased resting-state functional connectivity (rsFC) between the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and the nucleus accumbens (NAcc) has been found in substance use and is thought to play an important role in the development of substance addiction. However, rsFC between the VTA and NAcc in a non-substance addiction, such as IGD, has not been assessed previously. The current study aimed to investigate: (1) if individuals with IGD exhibit alterations in VTA-NAcc functional connectivity; and (2) whether VTA-NAcc functional connectivity is associated with subjective Internet craving. Thirty-five male participants with IGD and 24 healthy control (HC) individuals participated in resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging. Regions of interest (left NAcc, right NAcc and VTA) were selected based on the literature and were defined by placing spheres centered on Talairach Daemon coordinates. In comparison with HCs, individuals with IGD had significantly decreased rsFC between the VTA and right NAcc. Resting-state functional connectivity strength between the VTA and right NAcc was negatively correlated with self-reported subjective craving for the Internet. These results suggest possible neural functional similarities between individuals with IGD and individuals with substance addictions.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  11. Medial forebrain bundle lesions fail to structurally and functionally disconnect the ventral tegmental area from many ipsilateral forebrain nuclei: implications for the neural substrate of brain stimulation reward.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simmons, J M; Ackermann, R F; Gallistel, C R

    1998-10-15

    Lesions in the medial forebrain bundle rostral to a stimulating electrode have variable effects on the rewarding efficacy of self-stimulation. We attempted to account for this variability by measuring the anatomical and functional effects of electrolytic lesions at the level of the lateral hypothalamus (LH) and by correlating these effects to postlesion changes in threshold pulse frequency (pps) for self-stimulation in the ventral tegmental area (VTA). We implanted True Blue in the VTA and compared cell labeling patterns in forebrain regions of intact and lesioned animals. We also compared stimulation-induced regional [14C]deoxyglucose (DG) accumulation patterns in the forebrains of intact and lesioned animals. As expected, postlesion threshold shifts varied: threshold pps remained the same or decreased in eight animals, increased by small but significant amounts in three rats, and increased substantially in six subjects. Unexpectedly, LH lesions did not anatomically or functionally disconnect all forebrain nuclei from the VTA. Most septal and preoptic regions contained equivalent levels of True Blue label in intact and lesioned animals. In both intact and lesioned groups, VTA stimulation increased metabolic activity in the fundus of the striatum (FS), the nucleus of the diagonal band, and the medial preoptic area. On the other hand, True Blue labeling demonstrated anatomical disconnection of the accumbens, FS, substantia innominata/magnocellular preoptic nucleus (SI/MA), and bed nucleus of the stria terminalis. [14C]DG autoradiography indicated functional disconnection of the lateral preoptic area and SI/MA. Correlations between patterns of True Blue labeling or [14C]deoxyglucose accumulation and postlesion shifts in threshold pulse frequency were weak and generally negative. These direct measures of connectivity concord with the behavioral measures in suggesting a diffuse net-like connection between forebrain nuclei and the VTA.

  12. Activation of D2 autoreceptors alters cocaine-induced locomotion and slows down local field oscillations in the rat ventral tegmental area.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koulchitsky, Stanislav; Delairesse, Charlotte; Beeken, Thom; Monteforte, Alexandre; Dethier, Julie; Quertemont, Etienne; Findeisen, Rolf; Bullinger, Eric; Seutin, Vincent

    2016-09-01

    Psychoactive substances affecting the dopaminergic system induce locomotor activation and, in high doses, stereotypies. Network mechanisms underlying the shift from an active goal-directed behavior to a "seemingly purposeless" stereotypic locomotion remain unclear. In the present study we sought to determine the relationships between the behavioral effects of dopaminergic drugs and their effects on local field potentials (LFPs), which were telemetrically recorded within the ventral tegmental area (VTA) of freely moving rats. We used the D2/D3 agonist quinpirole in a low, autoreceptor-selective (0.1 mg/kg, i.p.) and in a high (0.5 mg/kg, i.p.) dose, and a moderate dose of cocaine (10 mg/kg, i.p.). In the control group, power spectrum analysis revealed a prominent peak of LFP power in the theta frequency range during active exploration. Cocaine alone stimulated locomotion, but had no significant effect on the peak of the LFP power. In contrast, co-administration of low dose quinpirole with cocaine markedly altered the pattern of locomotion, from goal-directed exploratory behavior to recurrent motion resembling locomotor stereotypy. This behavioral effect was accompanied by a shift of the dominant theta power toward a significantly lower (by ∼15%) frequency. High dose quinpirole also provoked an increased locomotor activity with signs of behavioral stereotypies, and also induced a shift of the dominant oscillation frequency toward the lower range. These results demonstrate a correlation between the LFP oscillation frequency within the VTA and a qualitative aspect of locomotor behavior, perhaps due to a variable level of coherence of this region with its input or output areas. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Ventral tegmental area disruption selectively affects CA1/CA2 but not CA3 place fields during a differential reward working memory task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martig, Adria K; Mizumori, Sheri J Y

    2011-02-01

    Hippocampus (HPC) receives dopaminergic (DA) projections from the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and substantia nigra. These inputs appear to provide a modulatory signal that influences HPC dependent behaviors and place fields. We examined how efferent projections from VTA to HPC influence spatial working memory and place fields when the reward context changes. CA1 and CA3 process environmental context changes differently and VTA preferentially innervates CA1. Given these anatomical data and electrophysiological evidence that implicate DA in reward processing, we predicted that CA1 place fields would respond more strongly to both VTA disruption and changes in the reward context than CA3 place fields. Rats (N = 9) were implanted with infusion cannula targeting VTA and recording tetrodes aimed at HPC. Then they were tested on a differential reward, win-shift working memory task. One recording session consisted of 5 baseline and 5 manipulation trials during which place cells in CA1/CA2 (N = 167) and CA3 (N = 94) were recorded. Prior to manipulation trials rats were infused with either baclofen or saline and then subjected to control or reward conditions during which the learned locations of large and small reward quantities were reversed. VTA disruption resulted in an increase in errors, and in CA1/CA2 place field reorganization. There were no changes in any measures of CA3 place field stability during VTA disruption. Reward manipulations did not affect performance or place field stability in CA1/CA2 or CA3; however, changes in the reward locations "rescued" performance and place field stability in CA1/CA2 when VTA activity was compromised, perhaps by trigging compensatory mechanisms. These data support the hypothesis that VTA contributes to spatial working memory performance perhaps by maintaining place field stability selectively in CA1/CA2. Copyright © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  14. Effects of insulin and leptin in the ventral tegmental area and arcuate hypothalamic nucleus on food intake and brain reward function in female rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruijnzeel, Adrie W; Corrie, Lu W; Rogers, Jessica A; Yamada, Hidetaka

    2011-06-01

    There is evidence for a role of insulin and leptin in food intake, but the effects of these adiposity signals on the brain reward system are not well understood. Furthermore, the effects of insulin and leptin on food intake in females are underinvestigated. These studies investigated the role of insulin and leptin in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and the arcuate hypothalamic nucleus (Arc) on food intake and brain reward function in female rats. The intracranial self-stimulation procedure was used to assess the effects of insulin and leptin on the reward system. Elevations in brain reward thresholds are indicative of a decrease in brain reward function. The bilateral administration of leptin into the VTA (15-500 ng/side) or Arc (15-150 ng/side) decreased food intake for 72 h. The infusion of leptin into the VTA or Arc resulted in weight loss during the first 48 (VTA) or 24 h (Arc) after the infusions. The administration of insulin (0.005-5 mU/side) into the VTA or Arc decreased food intake for 24 h but did not affect body weights. The bilateral administration of low, but not high, doses of leptin (15 ng/side) or insulin (0.005 mU/side) into the VTA elevated brain reward thresholds. Neither insulin nor leptin in the Arc affected brain reward thresholds. These studies suggest that a small increase in leptin or insulin levels in the VTA leads to a decrease in brain reward function. A relatively large increase in insulin or leptin levels in the VTA or Arc decreases food intake. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  15. Effects of unilatral- and bilateral inhibition of rostral ventral tegmental area and central nucleus of amygdala on morphine-induced place conditioning in male Wistar rat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohammadian, Zahra; Sahraei, Hedayat; Meftahi, Gholam Hossein; Ali-Beik, Hengameh

    2017-03-01

    The rostral ventral tegmental area (VTAR) and central nucleus of amygdala (CeA) are considered the main regions for induction of psychological dependence on abused drugs, such as morphine. The main aim of this study was to investigate the transient inhibition of each right and left side as well as both sides of the VTAR and the CeA by lidocaine (2%) on morphine reward properties using the conditioned place preference (CPP) method. Male Wistar rats (250±20 g) 7 days after recovery from surgery and cannulation were conditioned to morphine (7.5 mg/kg) in CPP apparatus. Five minutes before morphine injection in conditioning phase, lidocaine was administered either uni- or bilaterally into the VTAR (0.25 μL/site) or CeA (0.5 μL/site). The results revealed that lidocaine administration into the left side, but not the right side of the VTAR and the CeA reduced morphine CPP significantly. The reduction was potentiated when lidocaine was injected into both sides of the VTAR and the CeA. The number of compartment crossings was reduced when lidocaine was injected into both sides of the VTAR and the CeA as well as the left side. Rearing was reduced when lidocaine was injected into the right, but not the left side of the VTAR. Sniffing and rearing increased when animals received lidocaine in the right side and reduced in the group that received lidocaine in the left side of the CeA. It was concluded that the right and the left side of VTAR and the CeA play different roles in morphine-induced activity and reward. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd.

  16. Alterations in food intake elicited by GABA and opioid agonists and antagonists administered into the ventral tegmental area region of rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Echo, Joyce A; Lamonte, Nicole; Ackerman, Tsippa F; Bodnar, Richard J

    2002-05-01

    Food intake is significantly increased following administration of mu-selective opioid agonists into the ventral tegmental area (VTA) region acting through multiple local opioid receptor subtypes. Since GABA receptor agonists in the VTA region are capable of eliciting feeding, the present study investigated whether feeding elicited by the mu-selective opioid agonist [D-Ala(2), NMe(4), Gly-ol(5)]-enkephalin (DAMGO) in the VTA region was altered by pretreatment into the same site with equimolar doses of either GABA(A) (bicuculline) or GABA(B) (saclofen) antagonists, and further, whether pretreatment with either general opioid or selective GABA receptor antagonists decreased feeding elicited by GABA(A) (muscimol) or GABA(B) (baclofen) agonists in the VTA region. DAMGO-induced feeding in the VTA region was dose-dependently decreased following pretreatment with either GABA(A) or GABA(B) antagonists in the absence of significant alterations in food intake by the antagonists per se. However, the presence of short-lived seizures following bicuculline in the VTA region suggests that this ingestive effect was caused by nonspecific actions. In contrast, GABA(B) receptors are involved in the full expression of mu-opioid agonist-induced feeding in this region since saclofen failed to elicit either seizure activity or a conditioned taste aversion. Pretreatment with naltrexone in the VTA region reduced intake elicited by baclofen, but not muscimol. Finally, baclofen-induced feeding was significantly reduced by saclofen, but not bicuculline, pretreatment in the VTA region. Therefore, possible coregulation between GABA(B) and opioid receptors in the VTA region, as suggested by immunocytochemical evidence, is supported by these behavioral effects upon ingestion.

  17. NMDA receptors regulate nicotine-enhanced brain reward function and intravenous nicotine self-administration: role of the ventral tegmental area and central nucleus of the amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kenny, Paul J; Chartoff, Elena; Roberto, Marisa; Carlezon, William A; Markou, Athina

    2009-01-01

    Nicotine is considered an important component of tobacco responsible for the smoking habit in humans. Nicotine increases glutamate-mediated transmission throughout brain reward circuitries. This action of nicotine could potentially contribute to its intrinsic rewarding and reward-enhancing properties, which motivate consumption of the drug. Here we show that the competitive N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist LY235959 (0.5-2.5 mg per kg) abolished nicotine-enhanced brain reward function, reflected in blockade of the lowering of intracranial self-stimulation (ICSS) thresholds usually observed after experimenter-administered (0.25 mg per kg) or intravenously self-administered (0.03 mg per kg per infusion) nicotine injections. The highest LY235959 dose (5 mg per kg) tested reversed the hedonic valence of nicotine from positive to negative, reflected in nicotine-induced elevations of ICSS thresholds. LY235959 doses that reversed nicotine-induced lowering of ICSS thresholds also markedly decreased nicotine self-administration without altering responding for food reinforcement, whereas the alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole propionic acid receptor antagonist NBQX had no effects on nicotine intake. In addition, nicotine self-administration upregulated NMDA receptor subunit expression in the central nucleus of the amygdala (CeA) and ventral tegmental area (VTA), suggesting important interactions between nicotine and the NMDA receptor. Furthermore, nicotine (1 microM) increased NMDA receptor-mediated excitatory postsynaptic currents in rat CeA slices, similar to its previously described effects in the VTA. Finally, infusion of LY235959 (0.1-10 ng per side) into the CeA or VTA decreased nicotine self-administration. Taken together, these data suggest that NMDA receptors, including those in the CeA and VTA, gate the magnitude and valence of the effects of nicotine on brain reward systems, thereby regulating motivation to consume the drug.

  18. The anatomy of the human medial forebrain bundle: Ventral tegmental area connections to reward-associated subcortical and frontal lobe regions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Volker Arnd Coenen

    Full Text Available Introduction: Despite their importance in reward, motivation, and learning there is only sparse anatomical knowledge about the human medial forebrain bundle (MFB and the connectivity of the ventral tegmental area (VTA. A thorough anatomical and microstructural description of the reward related PFC/OFC regions and their connection to the VTA - the superolateral branch of the MFB (slMFB - is however mandatory to enable an interpretation of distinct therapeutic effects from different interventional treatment modalities in neuropsychiatric disorders (DBS, TMS etc.. This work aims at a normative description of the human MFB (and more detailed the slMFB anatomy with respect to distant prefrontal connections and microstructural features. Methods and material: Healthy subjects (n = 55; mean age ± SD, 40 ± 10 years; 32 females underwent high resolution anatomical magnetic resonance imaging including diffusion tensor imaging. Connectivity of the VTA and the resulting slMFB were investigated on the group level using a global tractography approach. The Desikan/Killiany parceling (8 segments of the prefrontal cortex was used to describe sub-segments of the MFB. A qualitative overlap with Brodmann areas was additionally described. Additionally, a pure visual analysis was performed comparing local and global tracking approaches for their ability to fully visualize the slMFB. Results: The MFB could be robustly described both in the present sample as well as in additional control analyses in data from the human connectome project. Most VTA- connections reached the superior frontal gyrus, the middel frontal gyrus and the lateral orbitofrontal region corresponding to Brodmann areas 10, 9, 8, 11, and 11m. The projections to these regions comprised 97% (right and 98% (left of the total relative fiber counts of the slMFB. Discussion: The anatomical description of the human MFB shows far reaching connectivity of VTA to reward-related subcortical and

  19. Ghrelin signaling in the ventral tegmental area mediates both reward-based feeding and fasting-induced hyperphagia on high-fat diet.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, X J; Sun, B; Chen, K; Lv, B; Luo, X; Yan, J Q

    2015-08-06

    Ghrelin is a potent orexigenic hormone that acts in the central nervous system to stimulate food intake via the growth hormone secretagogue receptor (GHSR) that is abundantly expressed in the ventral tegmental area (VTA). Not only does ghrelin modulate feeding behavior via a homeostatic mechanism, but numerous studies have identified ghrelin as a key regulator of reward-based hedonic feeding behaviors. Nutritional states influence ghrelin and GHSR expression as well as the behavioral sensitivity to reward-inducing stimuli. In the current study, we examined the role of ghrelin at the VTA level in food intake in two different nutritional states, satiety and hunger, by using a restricted feeding model. In this model, rats were conditioned to a daily 3-h (h) feeding session on standard chow for 10days and a high-fat diet (HFD) was supplied either in the third hour after 2h of chow diet intake, or at the beginning of a daily meal on the test day. We found that intra-VTA microinjection of 1, 2, and 4μg of ghrelin, induced a dose-related increase of 1h of reward-based feeding on HFD in sated rats, as well as a 24-h body weight gain. The overconsumption stimulated by ghrelin could be attenuated by 10μg of direct infusion of the ghrelin receptor antagonist D-Lys3-GHRP-6 into the VTA. Moreover, our data showed that the injection of 1, 2, and 4μg of ghrelin in the VTA, enhanced fasting-induced hyperphagia on HFD in a dose-related manner following a 21-h food restriction as well as a 24-h body weight gain. Conversely, hyperphagia on HFD that is potentiated by ghrelin could be blocked by pretreatment with a 10-μg D-Lys3-GHRP-6 intra-VTA microinjection. Collectively, these data demonstrate that ghrelin signaling at the VTA level mediates both reward-based eating and fasting-induced hyperphagia and provides a primary target for the control of the intake of rewarding food. Copyright © 2015 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Age-related changes in functional postsynaptic nAChR subunits in neurons of the laterodorsal tegmental nucleus, a nucleus important in drug addiction

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christensen, Mark Holm; Kohlmeier, Kristi Anne

    2016-01-01

    the laterodorsal tegmentum (LDT), a nucleus importantly involved in drug addiction associated behaviours, across two periods of ontogeny in which nicotine-mediated excitatory responses were shown to depend on age. To this end, whole-cell patch-clamp recordings in mouse brain slices from identified LDT neurons...

  1. Age-related changes in functional postsynaptic nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subunits in neurons of the laterodorsal tegmental nucleus, a nucleus important in drug addiction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christensen, Mark H; Kohlmeier, Kristi A

    2016-03-01

    The earlier an individual initiates cigarette smoking, the higher the likelihood of development of dependency to nicotine, the addictive ingredient in cigarettes. One possible mechanism underlying this higher addiction liability is an ontogenetically differential cellular response induced by nicotine in neurons mediating the reinforcing or euphoric effects of this drug, which could arise from age-related differences in the composition of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) subunits. In the current study, we examined whether the subunit composition of nAChRs differed between neurons within the laterodorsal tegmentum (LDT), a nucleus importantly involved in drug addiction associated behaviours, across two periods of ontogeny in which nicotine-mediated excitatory responses were shown to depend on age. To this end, whole-cell patch-clamp recordings in mouse brain slices from identified LDT neurons, in combination with nAChR subunit-specific receptor antagonists, were conducted. Comparison of the contribution of different nAChR subunits to acetylcholine (ACh)-induced inward currents indicated that the contributions of the β2 and/or β4 and α7 nAChR subunits alter across age. Taken together, we conclude that across a limited ontogenetic period, there is plasticity in the subunit composition of nAChRs in LDT neurons. In addition, our data indicate, for the first time, functional presence of α6 nAChR subunits in LDT neurons within the age ranges studied. Changes in subunit composition of nAChRs across ontogeny could contribute to the age-related differential excitability induced by nicotine. Differences in the subunit composition of nAChRs within the LDT would be expected to contribute to ontogenetic-dependent outflow from the LDT to target regions, which include reward-related circuitry. © 2014 Society for the Study of Addiction.

  2. Relating normalization to neuronal populations across cortical areas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruff, Douglas A; Alberts, Joshua J; Cohen, Marlene R

    2016-09-01

    Normalization, which divisively scales neuronal responses to multiple stimuli, is thought to underlie many sensory, motor, and cognitive processes. In every study where it has been investigated, neurons measured in the same brain area under identical conditions exhibit a range of normalization, ranging from suppression by nonpreferred stimuli (strong normalization) to additive responses to combinations of stimuli (no normalization). Normalization has been hypothesized to arise from interactions between neuronal populations, either in the same or different brain areas, but current models of normalization are not mechanistic and focus on trial-averaged responses. To gain insight into the mechanisms underlying normalization, we examined interactions between neurons that exhibit different degrees of normalization. We recorded from multiple neurons in three cortical areas while rhesus monkeys viewed superimposed drifting gratings. We found that neurons showing strong normalization shared less trial-to-trial variability with other neurons in the same cortical area and more variability with neurons in other cortical areas than did units with weak normalization. Furthermore, the cortical organization of normalization was not random: neurons recorded on nearby electrodes tended to exhibit similar amounts of normalization. Together, our results suggest that normalization reflects a neuron's role in its local network and that modulatory factors like normalization share the topographic organization typical of sensory tuning properties. Copyright © 2016 the American Physiological Society.

  3. Brainstem projections of neurons located in various subdivisions of the dorsolateral hypothalamic area – an anterograde tract-tracing study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rege Sugárka Papp

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available The projections from the dorsolateral hypothalamic area (DLH to the lower brainstem have been investigated by using biotinylated dextran amine (BDA, an anterograde tracer in rats. The DLH can be divided into 3 areas (dorsomedial hypothalamus, perifornical area, lateral hypothalamic area, and further subdivided into 8 subdivisions. After unilateral stereotaxic injections of BDA into individual DLH subdivisions, the correct sites of injections were controlled histologically, and the distribution patterns of BDA-positive fibers were mapped on serial sections between the hypothalamus and spinal cord in 22 rats. BDA-labeled fibers were observable over 100 different brainstem areas, nuclei or subdivisions. Injections into the 8 DLH subdivisions established distinct topographical patterns. In general, the density of labeled fibers was low in the lower brainstem. High density of fibers was seen only 4 of the 116 areas: in the lateral and ventrolateral parts of the periaqueductal gray, the Barrington’s and the pedunculopontine tegmental nuclei. All of the biogenic amine cell groups in the lower brainstem (9 noradrenaline, 3 adrenaline and 9 serotonin cell groups received labeled fibers, some of them from all, or at least 7 DLH subdivisions, mainly from perifornical and ventral lateral hypothalamic neurons. Some of the tegmental nuclei and nuclei of the reticular formation were widely innervated, although the density of the BDA-labeled fibers was generally low. No definitive descending BDA-positive pathway, but long-run solitaire BDA-labeled fibers were seen in the lower brainstem. These descending fibers joined some of the large tracts or fasciculi in the brainstem. The distribution pattern of BDA-positive fibers of DLH origin throughout the lower brainstem was comparable to patterns of previously published orexin- or melanin-concentrating hormone-immunoreactive fibers with somewhat differences.

  4. Tribute to: Self-administered nicotine activates the mesolimbic dopamine system through the ventral tegmental area [William Corrigall, Kathleen Coen and Laurel Adamson, Brain Res. 653 (1994) 278-284].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leri, Francesco; Vaccarino, Franco J

    2016-08-15

    In this paper, Dr. Corrigall and collaborators described elegant experiments designed to elucidate the neurobiology of nicotine reinforcement. The nicotinic receptor antagonist dihydro-β-erythroidine (DHβE) was infused in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) or nucleus accumbens (NAC) of rats trained to self-administer nicotine intravenously. Additionally, DHβE was infused in the VTA of rats trained to self-administer food or cocaine, and nicotine self-administration was assessed in rats with lesions to the peduculopontine tegmental nucleus (PPT). A number of key themes emerged from this fundamental study that remain relevant today. The primary finding was that infusions of DHβE in the VTA, but not in the NAC, lowered nicotine self-administration, suggesting that nicotinic receptors in VTA are involved in the reinforcing action of nicotine. This conclusion has been confirmed by subsequent findings, and the nature of the nicotinic receptors has also been elucidated. The authors also reported that DHβE in the VTA had no effect on food or cocaine self-administration, and that lesions to the PPT did not alter nicotine self-administration. Since this initial investigation, the question of whether nicotinic receptors in the VTA are necessary for the reinforcing action of other stimuli, and by which mechanisms, has been extensively explored. Similarly, many groups have further investigated the role of mesopontine cholinergic nuclei in reinforcement. This paper not only contributed in important ways to our understanding of the neurochemical basis of nicotine reinforcement, but was also a key catalyst that gave rise to several research themes central to the neuropharmacology of substance abuse. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled SI:50th Anniversary Issue. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Galanin-Expressing GABA Neurons in the Lateral Hypothalamus Modulate Food Reward and Noncompulsive Locomotion

    OpenAIRE

    Qualls-Creekmore, Emily; Yu, Sangho; Francois, Marie; Hoang, John; Huesing, Clara; Bruce-Keller, Annadora; Burk, David; Berthoud, Hans-Rudolf; Morrison, Christopher D.; Münzberg, Heike

    2017-01-01

    The lateral hypothalamus (LHA) integrates reward and appetitive behavior and is composed of many overlapping neuronal populations. Recent studies associated LHA GABAergic neurons (LHAGABA), which densely innervate the ventral tegmental area (VTA), with modulation of food reward and consumption; yet, LHAGABA projections to the VTA exclusively modulated food consumption, not reward. We identified a subpopulation of LHAGABA neurons that coexpress the neuropeptide galanin (LHAGal). These LHAGal n...

  6. Voluntary nicotine consumption triggers in vivo potentiation of cortical excitatory drives to midbrain dopaminergic neurons

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Caillé, S.; Guillem, K.; Cador, M.; Manzoni, O.; Georges, F.

    2009-01-01

    Active response to either natural or pharmacological reward causes synaptic modifications to excitatory synapses on dopamine (DA) neurons of the ventral tegmental area (VTA). Here, we examine these modifications using nicotine, the main addictive component of tobacco, which is a potent regulator of

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  8. Sex-Dependent Effects of Stress on Immobility Behavior and VTA Dopamine Neuron Activity: Modulation by Ketamine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rincón-Cortés, Millie; Grace, Anthony A

    2017-10-01

    Stress constitutes a risk factor across several psychiatric disorders. Moreover, females are more susceptible to stress-related disorders, such as depression, than males. Although dopamine system underactivation is implicated in the pathophysiology of depression, little is known about the female dopamine system at baseline and post-stress. The effects of chronic mild stress were examined on ventral tegmental area dopamine neuron activity and forced swim test immobility by comparing male and female rats. The impact of a single dose of the rapid antidepressant ketamine (10 mg/kg, i.p.) on forced swim test immobility and ventral tegmental area function was then tested. Baseline ventral tegmental area dopamine activity was comparable in both sexes. At baseline, females exhibited roughly double the forced swim test immobility duration than males, which corresponded to ~50% decrease in ventral tegmental area dopamine population activity compared with similarly treated (i.e., post-forced swim test) males. Following chronic mild stress, there was greater immobility duration in both sexes and reduced ventral tegmental area dopamine neuron activity by approximately 50% in males and nearly 75% in females. Ketamine restored behavior and post-forced swim test ventral tegmental area dopamine activity for up to 7 days in females as well as in both male and female chronic mild stress-exposed rats. These data suggest increased female susceptibility to depression-like phenotypes (i.e., greater immobility, ventral tegmental area hypofunction) is associated with higher dopamine system sensitivity to both acute and repeated stress relative to males. Understanding the neural underpinnings of sex differences in stress vulnerability will provide insight into mechanisms of disease and optimizing therapeutic approaches in both sexes. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of CINP.

  9. Effects of BDNF receptor antagonist on the severity of physical and psychological dependence, morphine-induced locomotor sensitization and the ventral tegmental area-nucleus accumbens BDNF levels in morphine- dependent and withdrawn rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khalil-Khalili, Masoumeh; Rashidy-Pour, Ali; Bandegi, Ahmad Reza; Yousefi, Behpoor; Jorjani, Hassan; Miladi-Gorji, Hossein

    2018-03-06

    This study examined the effects of systemic administration of the TrkB receptor antagonist (ANA-12) on the severity of physical and psychological dependence and morphine-induced locomotor sensitization, the ventral tegmental area (VTA)-nucleus accumbens (NAc) BDNF levels in morphine-dependent and withdrawn rats. Rats were injected with bi-daily doses (10 mg/kg, at 12 h intervals) of morphine for 10 days. Then, rats were tested for naloxone-precipitated morphine withdrawal signs, the anxiety (the elevated plus maze-EPM) after the last morphine injection and injection of ANA12 (ip). Also, morphine-induced locomotor sensitization was evaluated after morphine challenge followed by an injection of ANA-12 in morphine-withdrawn rats. The VTA-NAc BDNF levels were assessed in morphine-dependent and withdrawn rats. The overall Gellert-Holtzman score was significantly higher in morphine-dependent rats receiving ANA-12 than in those receiving saline. Also, the percentage of time spent in the open arms in control and morphine-dependent rats receiving ANA-12 were higher compared to the Cont/Sal and D/Sal rats, respectively. There was no significant difference in the locomotor activity and the VTA-NAc BDNF levels between D/Sal/morphine and D/ANA-12/morphine groups after morphine withdrawal. We conclude that the systemic administration of ANA-12 exacerbates the severity of physical dependence on morphine and partially attenuates the anxiety-like behavior in morphine-dependent rats. However, ANA-12 did not affect morphine-induced locomotor sensitization and the VTA-NAc BDNF levels in morphine-dependent and withdrawn rats. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Dorsal Raphe Dopamine Neurons Represent the Experience of Social Isolation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matthews, Gillian A.; Nieh, Edward H.; Vander Weele, Caitlin M.; Halbert, Sarah A.; Pradhan, Roma V.; Yosafat, Ariella S.; Glober, Gordon F.; Izadmehr, Ehsan M.; Thomas, Rain E.; Lacy, Gabrielle D.; Wildes, Craig P.; Ungless, Mark A.; Tye, Kay M.

    2016-01-01

    Summary The motivation to seek social contact may arise from either positive or negative emotional states, as social interaction can be rewarding and social isolation can be aversive. While ventral tegmental area (VTA) dopamine (DA) neurons may mediate social reward, a cellular substrate for the negative affective state of loneliness has remained elusive. Here, we identify a functional role for DA neurons in the dorsal raphe nucleus (DRN), in which we observe synaptic changes following acute social isolation. DRN DA neurons show increased activity upon social contact following isolation, revealed by in vivo calcium imaging. Optogenetic activation of DRN DA neurons increases social preference but causes place avoidance. Furthermore, these neurons are necessary for promoting rebound sociability following an acute period of isolation. Finally, the degree to which these neurons modulate behavior is predicted by social rank, together supporting a role for DRN dopamine neurons in mediating a loneliness-like state. PaperClip PMID:26871628

  11. Distinct neuronal interactions in anterior inferotemporal areas of macaque monkeys during retrieval of object association memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hirabayashi, Toshiyuki; Tamura, Keita; Takeuchi, Daigo; Takeda, Masaki; Koyano, Kenji W; Miyashita, Yasushi

    2014-07-09

    In macaque monkeys, the anterior inferotemporal cortex, a region crucial for object memory processing, is composed of two adjacent, hierarchically distinct areas, TE and 36, for which different functional roles and neuronal responses in object memory tasks have been characterized. However, it remains unknown how the neuronal interactions differ between these areas during memory retrieval. Here, we conducted simultaneous recordings from multiple single-units in each of these areas while monkeys performed an object association memory task and examined the inter-area differences in neuronal interactions during the delay period. Although memory neurons showing sustained activity for the presented cue stimulus, cue-holding (CH) neurons, interacted with each other in both areas, only those neurons in area 36 interacted with another type of memory neurons coding for the to-be-recalled paired associate (pair-recall neurons) during memory retrieval. Furthermore, pairs of CH neurons in area TE showed functional coupling in response to each individual object during memory retention, whereas the same class of neuron pairs in area 36 exhibited a comparable strength of coupling in response to both associated objects. These results suggest predominant neuronal interactions in area 36 during the mnemonic processing, which may underlie the pivotal role of this brain area in both storage and retrieval of object association memory. Copyright © 2014 the authors 0270-6474/14/349377-12$15.00/0.

  12. 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.

  13. Glutamate neurons are intermixed with midbrain dopamine neurons in nonhuman primates and humans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Root, David H.; Wang, Hui-Ling; Liu, Bing; Barker, David J.; Mód, László; Szocsics, Péter; Silva, Afonso C.; Maglóczky, Zsófia; Morales, Marisela

    2016-01-01

    The rodent ventral tegmental area (VTA) and substantia nigra pars compacta (SNC) contain dopamine neurons intermixed with glutamate neurons (expressing vesicular glutamate transporter 2; VGluT2), which play roles in reward and aversion. However, identifying the neuronal compositions of the VTA and SNC in higher mammals has remained challenging. Here, we revealed VGluT2 neurons within the VTA and SNC of nonhuman primates and humans by simultaneous detection of VGluT2 mRNA and tyrosine hydroxylase (TH; for identification of dopamine neurons). We found that several VTA subdivisions share similar cellular compositions in nonhuman primates and humans; their rostral linear nuclei have a high prevalence of VGluT2 neurons lacking TH; their paranigral and parabrachial pigmented nuclei have mostly TH neurons, and their parabrachial pigmented nuclei have dual VGluT2-TH neurons. Within nonhuman primates and humans SNC, the vast majority of neurons are TH neurons but VGluT2 neurons were detected in the pars lateralis subdivision. The demonstration that midbrain dopamine neurons are intermixed with glutamate or glutamate-dopamine neurons from rodents to humans offers new opportunities for translational studies towards analyzing the roles that each of these neurons play in human behavior and in midbrain-associated illnesses such as addiction, depression, schizophrenia, and Parkinson’s disease. PMID:27477243

  14. No postnatal doubling of number of neurons in human Broca's areas (Brodmann areas 44 and 45)? A stereological study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uylings, H B M; Malofeeva, L I; Bogolepova, I N; Jacobsen, A M; Amunts, K; Zilles, K

    2005-01-01

    In this study we explored whether a postnatal doubling of the total number of neurons occurs in the human Brodmann areas 44 and 45 (Broca's area). We describe the most recent error prediction formulae and their application for the modern stereological estimators for volume and number of neurons. We estimated the number of neurons in 3D optical disector probes systematically random sampled throughout the entire Brodmann areas (BA) 44 and 45 in developing and young adult cases. In the relatively small number of male and female cases studied no substantial postnatal increase in total number of neurons occurred in areas 44 and 45; the volume of these areas reached adult values around 7 years. In addition, we did find indications that a shift from a right-over-left to a left-over-right asymmetry may occur in the volume of BA 45 during postnatal development. No major asymmetry in total number of neurons in BA 44 and 45 was detected.

  15. General, kappa, delta and mu opioid receptor antagonists mediate feeding elicited by the GABA-B agonist baclofen in the ventral tegmental area and nucleus accumbens shell in rats: reciprocal and regional interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miner, Patricia; Shimonova, Lyudmila; Khaimov, Arthur; Borukhova, Yaffa; Ilyayeva, Ester; Ranaldi, Robert; Bodnar, Richard J

    2012-03-14

    Food intake is significantly increased following administration of agonists of GABA and opioid receptors into the nucleus accumbens shell (NACs) and ventral tegmental area (VTA). GABA-A or GABA-B receptor antagonist pretreatment within the VTA or NACs differentially affects mu-opioid agonist-induced feeding elicited from the same site. Correspondingly, general or selective opioid receptor antagonist pretreatment within the VTA or NACs differentially affects GABA agonist-induced feeding elicited from the same site. Regional interactions have been evaluated in feeding studies by administering antagonists in one site prior to agonist administration in a second site. Thus, opioid antagonist-opioid agonist and GABA antagonist-GABA agonist feeding interactions have been identified between the VTA and NACs. However, pretreatment with GABA-A or GABA-B receptor antagonists in the VTA failed to affect mu opioid agonist-induced feeding elicited from the NACs, and correspondingly, these antagonists administered in the NACs failed to affect mu opioid-induced feeding elicited from the VTA. To evaluate whether regional and reciprocal VTA and NACs feeding interactions occur for opioid receptor modulation of GABA agonist-mediated feeding, the present study examined whether feeding elicited by the GABA-B agonist, baclofen microinjected into the NACs was dose-dependently blocked by pretreatment with general (naltrexone: NTX), mu (beta-funaltrexamine: BFNA), kappa (nor-binaltorphamine: NBNI) or delta (naltrindole: NTI) opioid antagonists in the VTA, and correspondingly, whether VTA baclofen-induced feeding was dose-dependently blocked by NACs pretreatment with NTX, BFNA, NBNI or NTI in rats. Bilateral pairs of cannulae aimed at the VTA and NACs were stereotaxically implanted in rats, and their food intakes were assessed following vehicle and baclofen (200 ng) in each site. Baclofen produced similar magnitudes of increased food intake following VTA and NACs treatment. Baclofen

  16. Decreased pyramidal neuron size in Brodmann areas 44 and 45 in patients with autism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacot-Descombes, Sarah; Uppal, Neha; Wicinski, Bridget; Santos, Micaela; Schmeidler, James; Giannakopoulos, Panteleimon; Heinsen, Helmut; Heinsein, Helmut; Schmitz, Christoph; Hof, Patrick R

    2012-07-01

    Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by deficits in social interaction and social communication, as well as by the presence of repetitive and stereotyped behaviors and interests. Brodmann areas 44 and 45 in the inferior frontal cortex, which are involved in language processing, imitation function, and sociality processing networks, have been implicated in this complex disorder. Using a stereologic approach, this study aims to explore the presence of neuropathological differences in areas 44 and 45 in patients with autism compared to age- and hemisphere-matched controls. Based on previous evidence in the fusiform gyrus, we expected to find a decrease in the number and size of pyramidal neurons as well as an increase in volume of layers III, V, and VI in patients with autism. We observed significantly smaller pyramidal neurons in patients with autism compared to controls, although there was no difference in pyramidal neuron numbers or layer volumes. The reduced pyramidal neuron size suggests that a certain degree of dysfunction of areas 44 and 45 plays a role in the pathology of autism. Our results also support previous studies that have shown specific cellular neuropathology in autism with regionally specific reduction in neuron size, and provide further evidence for the possible involvement of the mirror neuron system, as well as impairment of neuronal networks relevant to communication and social behaviors, in this disorder.

  17. Galanin-Expressing GABA Neurons in the Lateral Hypothalamus Modulate Food Reward and Noncompulsive Locomotion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qualls-Creekmore, Emily; Yu, Sangho; Francois, Marie; Hoang, John; Huesing, Clara; Bruce-Keller, Annadora; Burk, David; Berthoud, Hans-Rudolf; Morrison, Christopher D; Münzberg, Heike

    2017-06-21

    The lateral hypothalamus (LHA) integrates reward and appetitive behavior and is composed of many overlapping neuronal populations. Recent studies associated LHA GABAergic neurons (LHA GABA ), which densely innervate the ventral tegmental area (VTA), with modulation of food reward and consumption; yet, LHA GABA projections to the VTA exclusively modulated food consumption, not reward. We identified a subpopulation of LHA GABA neurons that coexpress the neuropeptide galanin (LHA Gal ). These LHA Gal neurons also modulate food reward, but lack direct VTA innervation. We hypothesized that LHA Gal neurons may represent a subpopulation of LHA GABA neurons that mediates food reward independent of direct VTA innervation. We used chemogenetic activation of LHA Gal or LHA GABA neurons in mice to compare their role in feeding behavior. We further analyzed locomotor behavior to understand how differential VTA connectivity and transmitter release in these LHA neurons influences this behavior. LHA Gal or LHA GABA neuronal activation both increased operant food-seeking behavior, but only activation of LHA GABA neurons increased overall chow consumption. Additionally, LHA Gal or LHA GABA neuronal activation similarly induced locomotor activity, but with striking differences in modality. Activation of LHA GABA neurons induced compulsive-like locomotor behavior; while LHA Gal neurons induced locomotor activity without compulsivity. Thus, LHA Gal neurons define a subpopulation of LHA GABA neurons without direct VTA innervation that mediate noncompulsive food-seeking behavior. We speculate that the striking difference in compulsive-like locomotor behavior is also based on differential VTA innervation. The downstream neural network responsible for this behavior and a potential role for galanin as neuromodulator remains to be identified. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT The lateral hypothalamus (LHA) regulates motivated feeding behavior via GABAergic LHA neurons. The molecular identity of LHA

  18. Neurons in cortical area MST remap the memory trace of visual motion across saccadic eye movements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Inaba, Naoko; Kawano, Kenji

    2014-05-27

    Perception of a stable visual world despite eye motion requires integration of visual information across saccadic eye movements. To investigate how the visual system deals with localization of moving visual stimuli across saccades, we observed spatiotemporal changes of receptive fields (RFs) of motion-sensitive neurons across periods of saccades in the middle temporal (MT) and medial superior temporal (MST) areas. We found that the location of the RFs moved with shifts of eye position due to saccades, indicating that motion-sensitive neurons in both areas have retinotopic RFs across saccades. Different characteristic responses emerged when the moving visual stimulus was turned off before the saccades. For MT neurons, virtually no response was observed after the saccade, suggesting that the responses of these neurons simply reflect the reafferent visual information. In contrast, most MST neurons increased their firing rates when a saccade brought the location of the visual stimulus into their RFs, where the visual stimulus itself no longer existed. These findings suggest that the responses of such MST neurons after saccades were evoked by a memory of the stimulus that had preexisted in the postsaccadic RFs ("memory remapping"). A delayed-saccade paradigm further revealed that memory remapping in MST was linked to the saccade itself, rather than to a shift in attention. Thus, the visual motion information across saccades was integrated in spatiotopic coordinates and represented in the activity of MST neurons. This is likely to contribute to the perception of a stable visual world in the presence of eye movements.

  19. Area-specific migration and recruitment of new neurons in the adult songbird brain

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vellema, Michiel; Van der Linden, Annemie; Gahr, Manfred

    2010-01-01

    sensitive to plastic changes, such as nucleus higher vocal center (HVC) and area X, recruited similar numbers of new neurons as their surrounding brain tissues, employing no specific directional mechanisms. The distribution pattern in and around HVC could best be described by a random displacement model......Neuron recruitment has been implicated in morphological and functional plasticity in the adult brain. Whereas mammals restrict neuron recruitment specifically to two regions of known plasticity, the hippocampus and olfactory bulb, newborn neurons are found throughout the forebrain of adult...... songbirds. In order to study the area-specificity of the widespread proliferation and recruitment in the songbird brain, six adult male canaries received repetitive intraperitoneal injections of the mitotic marker BrdU (5-bromo-2-deoxyuridine) and were sacrificed after 24 hours to study proliferation...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-10-01

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

  1. Neurophysiological evidence for the presence of cannabinoid CB1 receptors in the laterodorsal tegmental nucleus

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Soni, Neeraj; Satpathy, Shankha; Kohlmeier, Kristi Anne

    2014-01-01

    Marijuana, which acts within the endocannabinoid (eCB) system as an agonist of the cannabinoid type 1 receptor (CB1R), exhibits addictive properties and has powerful actions on the state of arousal of an organism. The laterodorsal tegmental nucleus (LDT), as a component of the reticular activating...... the firing frequency and synaptic activity of neurons in this nucleus. Therefore, endogenous eCB transmission could play a role in processes involving the LDT, such as cortical activation and motivated behaviours and, further, behavioural actions of marijuana are probably mediated, in part, via cellular...

  2. Stress and Sucrose Intake Modulate Neuronal Activity in the Anterior Hypothalamic Area in Rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitra, Arojit; Guèvremont, Geneviève; Timofeeva, Elena

    2016-01-01

    The anterior hypothalamic area (AHA) is an important integrative relay structure for a variety of autonomic, endocrine, and behavioral responses including feeding behavior and response to stress. However, changes in the activity of the AHA neurons during stress and feeding in freely moving rats are not clear. The present study investigated the firing rate and burst activity of neurons in the central nucleus of the AHA (cAHA) during sucrose intake in non-stressful conditions and after acute stress in freely behaving rats. Rats were implanted with micro-electrodes into the cAHA, and extracellular multi-unit activity was recorded during 1-h access to 10% sucrose in non-stressful conditions or after acute foot shock stress. Acute stress significantly reduced sucrose intake, total sucrose lick number, and lick frequency in licking clusters, and increased inter-lick intervals. At the cluster start (CS) of sucrose licking, the cAHA neurons increased (CS-excited, 20% of the recorded neurons), decreased (CS-inhibited, 42% of the neurons) or did not change (CS-nonresponsive, 38% of the neurons) their firing rate. Stress resulted in a significant increase in the firing rate of the CS-inhibited neurons by decreasing inter-spike intervals within the burst firing of these neurons. This increase in the stress-induced firing rate of the CS-inhibited neurons was accompanied by a disruption of the correlation between the firing rate of CS-inhibited and CS-nonresponsive neurons that was observed in non-stressful conditions. Stress did not affect the firing rate of the CS-excited and CS-nonresponsive neurons. However, stress changed the pattern of burst firing of the CS-excited and CS-nonresponsive neurons by decreasing and increasing the burst number in the CS-excited and CS-nonresponsive neurons, respectively. These results suggest that the cAHA neurons integrate the signals related to stress and intake of palatable food and play a role in the stress- and eating-related circuitry.

  3. Optimal staining methods for delineation of cortical areas and neuron counts in human brains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uylings, H B; Zilles, K; Rajkowska, G

    1999-04-01

    For cytoarchitectonic delineation of cortical areas in human brain, the Gallyas staining for somata with its sharp contrast between cell bodies and neuropil is preferable to the classical Nissl staining, the more so when an image analysis system is used. This Gallyas staining, however, does not appear to be appropriate for counting neuron numbers in pertinent brain areas, due to the lack of distinct cytological features between small neurons and glial cells. For cell counting Nissl is preferable. In an optimal design for cell counting at least both the Gallyas and the Nissl staining must be applied, the former staining for cytoarchitectural delineaton of cortical areas and the latter for counting the number of neurons in the pertinent cortical areas. Copyright 1999 Academic Press.

  4. Morphine disinhibits glutamatergic input to VTA dopamine neurons and promotes dopamine neuron excitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Ming; Zhao, Yanfang; Yang, Hualan; Luan, Wenjie; Song, Jiaojiao; Cui, Dongyang; Dong, Yi; Lai, Bin; Ma, Lan; Zheng, Ping

    2015-07-24

    One reported mechanism for morphine activation of dopamine (DA) neurons of the ventral tegmental area (VTA) is the disinhibition model of VTA-DA neurons. Morphine inhibits GABA inhibitory neurons, which shifts the balance between inhibitory and excitatory input to VTA-DA neurons in favor of excitation and then leads to VTA-DA neuron excitation. However, it is not known whether morphine has an additional strengthening effect on excitatory input. Our results suggest that glutamatergic input to VTA-DA neurons is inhibited by GABAergic interneurons via GABAB receptors and that morphine promotes presynaptic glutamate release by removing this inhibition. We also studied the contribution of the morphine-induced disinhibitory effect on the presynaptic glutamate release to the overall excitatory effect of morphine on VTA-DA neurons and related behavior. Our results suggest that the disinhibitory action of morphine on presynaptic glutamate release might be the main mechanism for morphine-induced increase in VTA-DA neuron firing and related behaviors.

  5. Responses of mirror neurons in area F5 to hand and tool grasping observation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rochat, Magali J.; Caruana, Fausto; Jezzini, Ahmad; Escola, Ludovic; Intskirveli, Irakli; Grammont, Franck; Gallese, Vittorio; Rizzolatti, Giacomo

    2010-01-01

    Mirror neurons are a distinct class of neurons that discharge both during the execution of a motor act and during observation of the same or similar motor act performed by another individual. However, the extent to which mirror neurons coding a motor act with a specific goal (e.g., grasping) might also respond to the observation of a motor act having the same goal, but achieved with artificial effectors, is not yet established. In the present study, we addressed this issue by recording mirror neurons from the ventral premotor cortex (area F5) of two monkeys trained to grasp objects with pliers. Neuron activity was recorded during the observation and execution of grasping performed with the hand, with pliers and during observation of an experimenter spearing food with a stick. The results showed that virtually all neurons responding to the observation of hand grasping also responded to the observation of grasping with pliers and, many of them to the observation of spearing with a stick. However, the intensity and pattern of the response differed among conditions. Hand grasping observation determined the earliest and the strongest discharge, while pliers grasping and spearing observation triggered weaker responses at longer latencies. We conclude that F5 grasping mirror neurons respond to the observation of a family of stimuli leading to the same goal. However, the response pattern depends upon the similarity between the observed motor act and the one executed by the hand, the natural motor template. PMID:20577726

  6. Electrophysiological characterization of male goldfish (Carassius auratus ventral preoptic area neurons receiving olfactory inputs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wudu E. Lado

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Chemical communication via sex pheromones is critical for successful reproduction but the underlying neural mechanisms are not well-understood. The goldfish is a tractable model because sex pheromones have been well-characterized in this species. We used male goldfish forebrain explants in vitro and performed whole-cell current clamp recordings from single neurons in the ventral preoptic area (vPOA to characterize their membrane properties and synaptic inputs from the olfactory bulbs (OB. Principle component and cluster analyses based on intrinsic membrane properties of vPOA neurons (N = 107 revealed five (I-V distinct cell groups. These cells displayed differences in their input resistance (Rinput: I II = IV > III = V. Evidence from electrical stimulation of the OB and application of receptor antagonists suggests that vPOA neurons receive monosynaptic glutamatergic inputs via the medial olfactory tract, with connectivity varying among neuronal groups [I (24%, II (40%, III (0%, IV (34% and V (2%].

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  8. Transmitter modulation of spike-evoked calcium transients in arousal related neurons

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kohlmeier, Kristi Anne; Leonard, Christopher S

    2006-01-01

    Nitric oxide synthase (NOS)-containing cholinergic neurons in the laterodorsal tegmentum (LDT) influence behavioral and motivational states through their projections to the thalamus, ventral tegmental area and a brainstem 'rapid eye movement (REM)-induction' site. Action potential-evoked intracel......Nitric oxide synthase (NOS)-containing cholinergic neurons in the laterodorsal tegmentum (LDT) influence behavioral and motivational states through their projections to the thalamus, ventral tegmental area and a brainstem 'rapid eye movement (REM)-induction' site. Action potential......-evoked intracellular calcium transients dampen excitability and stimulate NO production in these neurons. In this study, we investigated the action of several arousal-related neurotransmitters and the role of specific calcium channels in these LDT Ca(2+)-transients by simultaneous whole-cell recording and calcium...... of cholinergic LDT neurons and that inhibition of spike-evoked Ca(2+)-transients is a common action of neurotransmitters that also activate GIRK channels in these neurons. Because spike-evoked calcium influx dampens excitability, our findings suggest that these 'inhibitory' transmitters could boost firing rate...

  9. Individual mediodorsal thalamic neurons project to multiple areas of the rat prefrontal cortex: A single neuron-tracing study using virus vectors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuramoto, Eriko; Pan, Shixiu; Furuta, Takahiro; Tanaka, Yasuhiro R; Iwai, Haruki; Yamanaka, Atsushi; Ohno, Sachi; Kaneko, Takeshi; Goto, Tetsuya; Hioki, Hiroyuki

    2017-01-01

    The prefrontal cortex has an important role in a variety of cognitive and executive processes, and is generally defined by its reciprocal connections with the mediodorsal thalamic nucleus (MD). The rat MD is mainly subdivided into three segments, the medial (MDm), central (MDc), and lateral (MDl) divisions, on the basis of the cytoarchitecture and chemoarchitecture. The MD segments are known to topographically project to multiple prefrontal areas at the population level: the MDm mainly to the prelimbic, infralimbic, and agranular insular areas; the MDc to the orbital and agranular insular areas; and the MDl to the prelimbic and anterior cingulate areas. However, it is unknown whether individual MD neurons project to single or multiple prefrontal cortical areas. In the present study, we visualized individual MD neurons with Sindbis virus vectors, and reconstructed whole structures of MD neurons. While the main cortical projection targets of MDm, MDc, and MDl neurons were generally consistent with those of previous results, it was found that individual MD neurons sent their axon fibers to multiple prefrontal areas, and displayed various projection patterns in the target areas. Furthermore, the axons of single MD neurons were not homogeneously spread, but were rather distributed to form patchy axon arbors approximately 1 mm in diameter. The multiple-area projections and patchy axon arbors of single MD neurons might be able to coactivate cortical neuron groups in distant prefrontal areas simultaneously. Furthermore, considerable heterogeneity of the projection patterns is likely, to recruit the different sets of cortical neurons, and thus contributes to a variety of prefrontal functions. J. Comp. Neurol. 525:166-185, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  10. The mirror neuron system and the strange case of Broca's area.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cerri, Gabriella; Cabinio, Monia; Blasi, Valeria; Borroni, Paola; Iadanza, Antonella; Fava, Enrica; Fornia, Luca; Ferpozzi, Valentina; Riva, Marco; Casarotti, Alessandra; Martinelli Boneschi, Filippo; Falini, Andrea; Bello, Lorenzo

    2015-03-01

    Mirror neurons, originally described in the monkey premotor area F5, are embedded in a frontoparietal network for action execution and observation. A similar Mirror Neuron System (MNS) exists in humans, including precentral gyrus, inferior parietal lobule, and superior temporal sulcus. Controversial is the inclusion of Broca's area, as homologous to F5, a relevant issue in light of the mirror hypothesis of language evolution, which postulates a key role of Broca's area in action/speech perception/production. We assess "mirror" properties of this area by combining neuroimaging and intraoperative neurophysiological techniques. Our results show that Broca's area is minimally involved in action observation and has no motor output on hand or phonoarticulatory muscles, challenging its inclusion in the MNS. The presence of these functions in premotor BA6 makes this area the likely homologue of F5 suggesting that the MNS may be involved in the representation of articulatory rather than semantic components of speech. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  11. To Ingest or Rest? Specialized Roles of Lateral Hypothalamic Area Neurons in Coordinating Energy Balance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juliette A. Brown

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Survival depends on an organism’s ability to sense nutrient status and accordingly regulate intake and energy expenditure behaviors. Uncoupling of energy sensing and behavior, however, underlies energy balance disorders such as anorexia or obesity. The hypothalamus regulates energy balance, and in particular the lateral hypothalamic area (LHA is poised to coordinate peripheral cues of energy status and behaviors that impact weight, such as drinking, locomotor behavior, arousal/sleep and autonomic output. There are several populations of LHA neurons that are defined by their neuropeptide content and contribute to energy balance. LHA neurons that express the neuropeptides melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH or orexins/hypocretins (OX are best characterized and these neurons play important roles in regulating ingestion, arousal, locomotor behavior and autonomic function via distinct neuronal circuits. Recently, another population of LHA neurons containing the neuropeptide Neurotensin (Nts has been implicated in coordinating anorectic stimuli and behavior to regulate hydration and energy balance. Understanding the specific roles of MCH, OX and Nts neurons in harmonizing energy sensing and behavior thus has the potential to inform pharmacological strategies to modify behaviors and treat energy balance disorders.

  12. Brain stimulation used as biofeedback in neuronal activation of the temporal lobe area in autistic children

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    Vernon Furtado da Silva

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT This study focused upon the functional capacity of mirror neurons in autistic children. 30 individuals, 10 carriers of the autistic syndrome (GCA, 10 with intellectual impairments (GDI, and 10 non-autistics (GCN had registered eletroencephalogram from the brain area theoretically related to mirror neurons. Data collection procedure occurred prior to brain stimulation and after the stimulation session. During the second session, participants had to alternately process figures evoking neutral, happy, and/or sorrowful feelings. Results proved that, for all groups, the stimulation process in fact produced additional activation in the neural area under study. The level of activation was related to the format of emotional stimuli and the likelihood of boosting such stimuli. Since the increase of activation occurred in a model similar to the one observed for the control group, we may suggest that the difficulty people with autism have at expressing emotions is not due to nonexistence of mirror neurons.

  13. Brain stimulation used as biofeedback in neuronal activation of the temporal lobe area in autistic children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva, Vernon Furtado da; Calomeni, Mauricio Rocha; Nunes, Rodolfo Alkmim Moreira; Pimentel, Carlos Elias; Martins, Gabriela Paes; Oliveira, Patrícia da Cruz Araruna; Silva, Patrícia Bagno; Silva, Alair Pedro Ribeiro de Souza E

    2016-08-01

    This study focused upon the functional capacity of mirror neurons in autistic children. 30 individuals, 10 carriers of the autistic syndrome (GCA), 10 with intellectual impairments (GDI), and 10 non-autistics (GCN) had registered eletroencephalogram from the brain area theoretically related to mirror neurons. Data collection procedure occurred prior to brain stimulation and after the stimulation session. During the second session, participants had to alternately process figures evoking neutral, happy, and/or sorrowful feelings. Results proved that, for all groups, the stimulation process in fact produced additional activation in the neural area under study. The level of activation was related to the format of emotional stimuli and the likelihood of boosting such stimuli. Since the increase of activation occurred in a model similar to the one observed for the control group, we may suggest that the difficulty people with autism have at expressing emotions is not due to nonexistence of mirror neurons.

  14. Increased neuronal firing in resting and sleep in areas of the macaque medial prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gabbott, Paul L; Rolls, Edmund T

    2013-06-01

    The medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) of humans and macaques is an integral part of the default mode network and is a brain region that shows increased activation in the resting state. A previous paper from our laboratory reported significantly increased firing rates of neurons in the macaque subgenual cingulate cortex, Brodmann area (BA) 25, during disengagement from a task and also during slow wave sleep [E.T. Rolls et al. (2003) J. Neurophysiology, 90, 134-142]. Here we report the finding that there are neurons in other areas of mPFC that also increase their firing rates during disengagement from a task, drowsiness and eye-closure. During the neurophysiological recording of single mPFC cells (n = 249) in BAs 9, 10, 13 m, 14c, 24b and especially pregenual area 32, populations of neurons were identified whose firing rates altered significantly with eye-closure compared with eye-opening. Three types of neuron were identified: Type 1 cells (28.1% of the total population) significantly increased (mean + 329%; P ≪ 0.01) their average firing rate with eye-closure, from 3.1 spikes/s when awake to 10.2 spikes/s when asleep; Type 2 cells (6.0%) significantly decreased (mean -68%; P areas of mPFC, implicated in the anterior default mode network, there is a substantial population of neurons that significantly increase their firing rates during periods of eye-closure. Such neurons may be part of an interconnected network of distributed brain regions that are more active during periods of relaxed wakefulness than during attention-demanding tasks. © 2013 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  15. Sensitivity of neurons in the middle temporal area of marmoset monkeys to random dot motion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaplin, Tristan A; Allitt, Benjamin J; Hagan, Maureen A; Price, Nicholas S C; Rajan, Ramesh; Rosa, Marcello G P; Lui, Leo L

    2017-09-01

    Neurons in the middle temporal area (MT) of the primate cerebral cortex respond to moving visual stimuli. The sensitivity of MT neurons to motion signals can be characterized by using random-dot stimuli, in which the strength of the motion signal is manipulated by adding different levels of noise (elements that move in random directions). In macaques, this has allowed the calculation of "neurometric" thresholds. We characterized the responses of MT neurons in sufentanil/nitrous oxide-anesthetized marmoset monkeys, a species that has attracted considerable recent interest as an animal model for vision research. We found that MT neurons show a wide range of neurometric thresholds and that the responses of the most sensitive neurons could account for the behavioral performance of macaques and humans. We also investigated factors that contributed to the wide range of observed thresholds. The difference in firing rate between responses to motion in the preferred and null directions was the most effective predictor of neurometric threshold, whereas the direction tuning bandwidth had no correlation with the threshold. We also showed that it is possible to obtain reliable estimates of neurometric thresholds using stimuli that were not highly optimized for each neuron, as is often necessary when recording from large populations of neurons with different receptive field concurrently, as was the case in this study. These results demonstrate that marmoset MT shows an essential physiological similarity to macaque MT and suggest that its neurons are capable of representing motion signals that allow for comparable motion-in-noise judgments. NEW & NOTEWORTHY We report the activity of neurons in marmoset MT in response to random-dot motion stimuli of varying coherence. The information carried by individual MT neurons was comparable to that of the macaque, and the maximum firing rates were a strong predictor of sensitivity. Our study provides key information regarding the neural

  16. Expression of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma in key neuronal subsets regulating glucose metabolism and energy homeostasis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarruf, David A; Yu, Fang; Nguyen, Hong T; Williams, Diana L; Printz, Richard L; Niswender, Kevin D; Schwartz, Michael W

    2009-02-01

    In addition to increasing insulin sensitivity and adipogenesis, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)-gamma agonists cause weight gain and hyperphagia. Given the central role of the brain in the control of energy homeostasis, we sought to determine whether PPARgamma is expressed in key brain areas involved in metabolic regulation. Using immunohistochemistry, PPARgamma distribution and its colocalization with neuron-specific protein markers were investigated in rat and mouse brain sections spanning the hypothalamus, the ventral tegmental area, and the nucleus tractus solitarius. In several brain areas, nuclear PPARgamma immunoreactivity was detected in cells that costained for neuronal nuclei, a neuronal marker. In the hypothalamus, PPARgamma immunoreactivity was observed in a majority of neurons in the arcuate (including both agouti related protein and alpha-MSH containing cells) and ventromedial hypothalamic nuclei and was also present in the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus, the lateral hypothalamic area, and tyrosine hydroxylase-containing neurons in the ventral tegmental area but was not expressed in the nucleus tractus solitarius. To validate and extend these histochemical findings, we generated mice with neuron-specific PPARgamma deletion using nestin cre-LoxP technology. Compared with littermate controls, neuron-specific PPARgamma knockout mice exhibited dramatic reductions of both hypothalamic PPARgamma mRNA levels and PPARgamma immunoreactivity but showed no differences in food intake or body weight over a 4-wk study period. We conclude that: 1) PPARgamma mRNA and protein are expressed in the hypothalamus, 2) neurons are the predominant source of PPARgamma in the central nervous system, although it is likely expressed by nonneuronal cell types as well, and 3) arcuate nucleus neurons that control energy homeostasis and glucose metabolism are among those in which PPARgamma is expressed.

  17. Area-specific temporal control of corticospinal motor neuron differentiation by COUP-TFI

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomassy, Giulio Srubek; De Leonibus, Elvira; Jabaudon, Denis; Lodato, Simona; Alfano, Christian; Mele, Andrea; Macklis, Jeffrey D.; Studer, Michèle

    2010-01-01

    Transcription factors with gradients of expression in neocortical progenitors give rise to distinct motor and sensory cortical areas by controlling the area-specific differentiation of distinct neuronal subtypes. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying this area-restricted control are still unclear. Here, we show that COUP-TFI controls the timing of birth and specification of corticospinal motor neurons (CSMN) in somatosensory cortex via repression of a CSMN differentiation program. Loss of COUP-TFI function causes an area-specific premature generation of neurons with cardinal features of CSMN, which project to subcerebral structures, including the spinal cord. Concurrently, genuine CSMN differentiate imprecisely and do not project beyond the pons, together resulting in impaired skilled motor function in adult mice with cortical COUP-TFI loss-of-function. Our findings indicate that COUP-TFI exerts critical areal and temporal control over the precise differentiation of CSMN during corticogenesis, thereby enabling the area-specific functional features of motor and sensory areas to arise. PMID:20133588

  18. Area-specific development of distinct projection neuron subclasses is regulated by postnatal epigenetic modifications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harb, Kawssar; Magrinelli, Elia; Nicolas, Céline S; Lukianets, Nikita; Frangeul, Laura; Pietri, Mariel; Sun, Tao; Sandoz, Guillaume; Grammont, Franck; Jabaudon, Denis; Studer, Michèle; Alfano, Christian

    2016-01-01

    During cortical development, the identity of major classes of long-distance projection neurons is established by the expression of molecular determinants, which become gradually restricted and mutually exclusive. However, the mechanisms by which projection neurons acquire their final properties during postnatal stages are still poorly understood. In this study, we show that the number of neurons co-expressing Ctip2 and Satb2, respectively involved in the early specification of subcerebral and callosal projection neurons, progressively increases after birth in the somatosensory cortex. Ctip2/Satb2 postnatal co-localization defines two distinct neuronal subclasses projecting either to the contralateral cortex or to the brainstem suggesting that Ctip2/Satb2 co-expression may refine their properties rather than determine their identity. Gain- and loss-of-function approaches reveal that the transcriptional adaptor Lmo4 drives this maturation program through modulation of epigenetic mechanisms in a time- and area-specific manner, thereby indicating that a previously unknown genetic program postnatally promotes the acquisition of final subtype-specific features. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.09531.001 PMID:26814051

  19. Menthol Enhances Nicotine Reward-Related Behavior by Potentiating Nicotine-Induced Changes in nAChR Function, nAChR Upregulation, and DA Neuron Excitability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henderson, Brandon J; Wall, Teagan R; Henley, Beverley M; Kim, Charlene H; McKinney, Sheri; Lester, Henry A

    2017-11-01

    Understanding why the quit rate among smokers of menthol cigarettes is lower than non-menthol smokers requires identifying the neurons that are altered by nicotine, menthol, and acetylcholine. Dopaminergic (DA) neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) mediate the positive reinforcing effects of nicotine. Using mouse models, we show that menthol enhances nicotine-induced changes in nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) expressed on midbrain DA neurons. Menthol plus nicotine upregulates nAChR number and function on midbrain DA neurons more than nicotine alone. Menthol also enhances nicotine-induced changes in DA neuron excitability. In a conditioned place preference (CPP) assay, we observed that menthol plus nicotine produces greater reward-related behavior than nicotine alone. Our results connect changes in midbrain DA neurons to menthol-induced enhancements of nicotine reward-related behavior and may help explain how smokers of menthol cigarettes exhibit reduced cessation rates.

  20. Neuronal Activity in the Subthalamic Cerebrovasodilator Area under Partial-Gravity Conditions in Rats

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    Zeredo L Zeredo

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available The reduced-gravity environment in space is known to cause an upward shift in body fluids and thus require cardiovascular adaptations in astronauts. In this study, we recorded in rats the neuronal activity in the subthalamic cerebrovasodilator area (SVA, a key area that controls cerebral blood flow (CBF, in response to partial gravity. “Partial gravity” is the term that defines the reduced-gravity levels between 1 g (the unit gravity acceleration on Earth and 0 g (complete weightlessness in space. Neuronal activity was recorded telemetrically through chronically implanted microelectrodes in freely moving rats. Graded levels of partial gravity from 0.4 g to 0.01 g were generated by customized parabolic-flight maneuvers. Electrophysiological signals in each partial-gravity phase were compared to those of the preceding 1 g level-flight. As a result, SVA neuronal activity was significantly inhibited by the partial-gravity levels of 0.15 g and lower, but not by 0.2 g and higher. Gravity levels between 0.2–0.15 g could represent a critical threshold for the inhibition of neurons in the rat SVA. The lunar gravity (0.16 g might thus trigger neurogenic mechanisms of CBF control. This is the first study to examine brain electrophysiology with partial gravity as an experimental parameter.

  1. Acute oral administration of low doses of methylphenidate targets calretinin neurons in the rat septal area.

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    Alvaro eGarcía-Aviles

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Methylphenidate (MPD is a commonly administered drug to treat children suffering from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD. Alterations in septal driven hippocampal theta rhythm may underlie attention deficits observed in these patients. Amongst others, the septo-hippocampal connections have long been acknowledged to be important in preserving hippocampal function. Thus, we wanted to ascertain if methylphenidate administration, which improves attention in patients, could affect septal areas connecting with hippocampus. We used low and orally administered methylphenidate doses (1.3; 2.7 and 5mg/Kg to rats what mimics the dosage range in humans. In our model, we observed no effect when using 1.3mg/Kg methylphenidate; whereas 2.7 and 5 mg/Kg induced a significant increase in c-fos expression specifically in the medial septum, an area intimately connected to the hippocampus. We analyzed dopaminergic areas such as nucleus accumbens and striatum, and found that only 5mg/Kg induced c-fos levels increase. In these areas tyrosine hydroxylase correlated well with c-fos staining, whereas in the medial septum the sparse tyrosine hydroxylase fibres did not overlap with c-fos positive neurons. Double immunofluorescence of c-fos with neuronal markers in the septal area revealed that co-localization with choline acethyl transferase, parvalbumin, and calbindin with c-fos did not change with MPD treatment; whereas, calretinin and c-fos double labeled neurons increased after MPD administration. Altogether, these results suggest that low and acute doses of methylphenidate primary target specific populations of caltretinin medial septal neurons.

  2. Neuronal responses in visual area V2 (V2) of macaque monkeys with strabismic amblyopia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bi, H; Zhang, B; Tao, X; Harwerth, R S; Smith, E L; Chino, Y M

    2011-09-01

    Amblyopia, a developmental disorder of spatial vision, is thought to result from a cascade of cortical deficits over several processing stages beginning at the primary visual cortex (V1). However, beyond V1, little is known about how cortical development limits the visual performance of amblyopic primates. We quantitatively analyzed the monocular and binocular responses of V1 and V2 neurons in a group of strabismic monkeys exhibiting varying depths of amblyopia. Unlike in V1, the relative effectiveness of the affected eye to drive V2 neurons was drastically reduced in the amblyopic monkeys. The spatial resolution and the orientation bias of V2, but not V1, neurons were subnormal for the affected eyes. Binocular suppression was robust in both cortical areas, and the magnitude of suppression in individual monkeys was correlated with the depth of their amblyopia. These results suggest that the reduced functional connections beyond V1 and the subnormal spatial filter properties of V2 neurons might have substantially limited the sensitivity of the amblyopic eyes and that interocular suppression was likely to have played a key role in the observed alterations of V2 responses and the emergence of amblyopia.

  3. Ventral medullary neurones excited from the hypothalamic and mid-brain defence areas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hilton, S M; Smith, P R

    1984-07-01

    In cats anaesthetised with chloralose, the ventral medulla was explored in and around the strip previously identified as the location of the efferent pathway from the hypothalamic and mid-brain defence areas to the spinal cord, in a search for neurones excited by electrical stimulation of the defence areas. Such units were found mostly in the caudal part of this strip, at a depth of not more than 500 microns from the surface. Nearly all were located in the ventral part of nucleus paragigantocellularis lateralis (PGL) at the level of the rostral pole of the inferior olive. There was evidence of temporal and spatial facilitation, indicating a convergent excitatory input from the defence areas onto neurones in PGL. This is consistent with earlier evidence of a synaptic relay in the efferent pathway at this site. When the pathway is blocked at this site, arterial blood pressure falls profoundly, so activity in these neurones may be essential for the normal level of sympathetic nerve activity.

  4. A Neural Correlate of Predicted and Actual Reward-Value Information in Monkey Pedunculopontine Tegmental and Dorsal Raphe Nucleus during Saccade Tasks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Okada, Ken-ichi; Nakamura, Kae; Kobayashi, Yasushi

    2011-01-01

    Dopamine, acetylcholine, and serotonin, the main modulators of the central nervous system, have been proposed to play important roles in the execution of movement, control of several forms of attentional behavior, and reinforcement learning. While the response pattern of midbrain dopaminergic neurons and its specific role in reinforcement learning have been revealed, the role of the other neuromodulators remains rather elusive. Here, we review our recent studies using extracellular recording from neurons in the pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus, where many cholinergic neurons exist, and the dorsal raphe nucleus, where many serotonergic neurons exist, while monkeys performed eye movement tasks to obtain different reward values. The firing patterns of these neurons are often tonic throughout the task period, while dopaminergic neurons exhibited a phasic activity pattern to the task event. The different modulation patterns, together with the activity of dopaminergic neurons, reveal dynamic information processing between these different neuromodulator systems. PMID:22013541

  5. Midbrain dopamine neurons associated with reward processing innervate the neurogenic subventricular zone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lennington, Jessica B; Pope, Sara; Goodheart, Anna E; Drozdowicz, Linda; Daniels, Stephen B; Salamone, John D; Conover, Joanne C

    2011-09-14

    Coordinated regulation of the adult neurogenic subventricular zone (SVZ) is accomplished by a myriad of intrinsic and extrinsic factors. The neurotransmitter dopamine is one regulatory molecule implicated in SVZ function. Nigrostriatal and ventral tegmental area (VTA) midbrain dopamine neurons innervate regions adjacent to the SVZ, and dopamine synapses are found on SVZ cells. Cell division within the SVZ is decreased in humans with Parkinson's disease and in animal models of Parkinson's disease following exposure to toxins that selectively remove nigrostriatal neurons, suggesting that dopamine is critical for SVZ function and nigrostriatal neurons are the main suppliers of SVZ dopamine. However, when we examined the aphakia mouse, which is deficient in nigrostriatal neurons, we found no detrimental effect to SVZ proliferation or organization. Instead, dopamine innervation of the SVZ tracked to neurons at the ventrolateral boundary of the VTA. This same dopaminergic neuron population also innervated the SVZ of control mice. Characterization of these neurons revealed expression of proteins indicative of VTA neurons. Furthermore, exposure to the neurotoxin MPTP depleted neurons in the ventrolateral VTA and resulted in decreased SVZ proliferation. Together, these results reveal that dopamine signaling in the SVZ originates from a population of midbrain neurons more typically associated with motivational and reward processing.

  6. Electrophysiological and morphological properties of neurons in the prepositus hypoglossi nucleus that express both ChAT and VGAT in a double-transgenic rat model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saito, Yasuhiko; Zhang, Yue; Yanagawa, Yuchio

    2015-04-01

    Although it has been proposed that neurons that contain both acetylcholine (ACh) and γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) are present in the prepositus hypoglossi nucleus (PHN), these neurons have not been characterized because of the difficulty in identifying them. In the present study, PHN neurons that express both choline acetyltransferase and the vesicular GABA transporter (VGAT) were identified using double-transgenic rats, in which the cholinergic and inhibitory neurons express the fluorescent proteins tdTomato and Venus, respectively. To characterize the neurons that express both tdTomato and Venus (D+ neurons), the afterhyperpolarization (AHP) profiles and firing patterns of these neurons were investigated via whole-cell recordings of brainstem slice preparations. Regarding the three AHP profiles and four firing patterns that the D+ neurons exhibited, an AHP with an afterdepolarization and a firing pattern that exhibited a delay in the generation of the first spike were the preferential properties of these neurons. In the three morphological types classified, the multipolar type that exhibited radiating dendrites was predominant among the D+ neurons. Immunocytochemical analysis revealed that the VGAT-immunopositive axonal boutons that expressed tdTomato were primarily located in the dorsal cap of inferior olive (IO) and the PHN. Although the PHN receives cholinergic inputs from the pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus and laterodorsal tegmental nucleus, D+ neurons were absent from these brain areas. Together, these results suggest that PHN neurons that co-express ACh and GABA exhibit specific electrophysiological and morphological properties, and innervate the dorsal cap of the IO and the PHN. © 2015 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  7. Neurotoxic lesions of the pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus impair the elaboration of postictal antinociception.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Oliveira, Rithiele Cristina; de Oliveira, Ricardo; Falconi-Sobrinho, Luiz Luciano; Biagioni, Audrey Franceschi; Almada, Rafael Carvalho; Dos Anjos-Garcia, Tayllon; Bazaglia-de-Sousa, Guilherme; Khan, Asmat Ullah; Coimbra, Norberto Cysne

    2018-05-12

    Generalised tonic-clonic seizures, generated by abnormal neuronal hyper-activity, cause a significant and long-lasting increase in the nociceptive threshold. The pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus (PPTN) plays a crucial role in the regulation of seizures as well as the modulation of pain, but its role in postictal antinociceptive processes remains unclear. In the present study, we aimed to investigate the involvement of PPTN neurons in the postictal antinociception. Wistar rats had their tail-flick baseline recorded and were injected with ibotenic acid (1.0 μg/0.2 μL) into the PPTN, aiming to promote a local neurotoxic lesion. Five days after the neuronal damage, pentylenetetrazole (PTZ; 64 mg/kg) was intraperitoneally administered to induce tonic-clonic seizures. The tail-withdrawal latency was measured immediately after the seizures (0 min) and subsequently at 10-min intervals until 130 min after the seizures were induced pharmacologically. Ibotenic acid microinjected into the PPTN did not reduce the PTZ-induced seizure duration and severity, but it diminished the postictal antinociception from 0 to 130 min after the end of the PTZ-induced tonic-clonic seizures. These results suggest that the postictal antinociception depends on the PPTN neuronal cells integrity. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Area PEc Neurons Use a Multiphasic Pattern of Activity to Signal the Spatial Properties of Optic Flow

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Milena Raffi

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The cortical representation of visual perception requires the integration of several-signal processing distributed across many cortical areas, but the neural substrates of such perception are largely unknown. The type of firing pattern exhibited by single neurons is an important indicator of dynamic circuitry within or across cortical areas. Neurons in area PEc are involved in the spatial mapping of the visual field; thus, we sought to analyze the firing pattern of activity of PEc optic flow neurons to shed some light on the cortical processing of visual signals. We quantified the firing activity of 152 optic flow neurons using a spline interpolation function, which allowed determining onset, end, and latency of each neuronal response. We found that many PEc neurons showed multiphasic activity, which is strictly related to the position of the eye and to the position of the focus of expansion (FOE of the flow field. PEc neurons showed a multiphasic activity comprised of excitatory phases interspersed with inhibitory pauses. This phasic pattern seems to be a very efficient way to signal the spatial location of visual stimuli, given that the same neuron sends different firing patterns according to a specific combination of FOE/eye position.

  9. Concomitant release of ventral tegmental acetylcholine and accumbal dopamine by ghrelin in rats.

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    Elisabet Jerlhag

    Full Text Available Ghrelin, an orexigenic peptide, regulates energy balance specifically via hypothalamic circuits. Growing evidence suggest that ghrelin increases the incentive value of motivated behaviours via activation of the cholinergic-dopaminergic reward link. It encompasses the cholinergic afferent projection from the laterodorsal tegmental area (LDTg to the dopaminergic cells of the ventral tegmental area (VTA and the mesolimbic dopamine system projecting from the VTA to nucleus accumbens (N.Acc.. Ghrelin receptors (GHS-R1A are expressed in these reward nodes and ghrelin administration into the LDTg increases accumbal dopamine, an effect involving nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in the VTA. The present series of experiments were undertaken directly to test this hypothesis. Here we show that ghrelin, administered peripherally or locally into the LDTg concomitantly increases ventral tegmental acetylcholine as well as accumbal dopamine release. A GHS-R1A antagonist blocks this synchronous neurotransmitter release induced by peripheral ghrelin. In addition, local perfusion of the unselective nicotinic antagonist mecamylamine into the VTA blocks the ability of ghrelin (administered into the LDTg to increase N.Acc.-dopamine, but not VTA-acetylcholine. Collectively our data indicate that ghrelin activates the LDTg causing a release of acetylcholine in the VTA, which in turn activates local nicotinic acetylcholine receptors causing a release of accumbal dopamine. Given that a dysfunction in the cholinergic-dopaminergic reward system is involved in addictive behaviours, including compulsive overeating and alcohol use disorder, and that hyperghrelinemia is associated with such addictive behaviours, ghrelin-responsive circuits may serve as a novel pharmacological target for treatment of alcohol use disorder as well as binge eating.

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

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

    2016-01-01

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

  11. Metabolic regulation of lateral hypothalamic glucose-inhibited orexin neurons may influence midbrain reward neurocircuitry.

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    Sheng, Zhenyu; Santiago, Ammy M; Thomas, Mark P; Routh, Vanessa H

    2014-09-01

    Lateral hypothalamic area (LHA) orexin neurons modulate reward-based feeding by activating ventral tegmental area (VTA) dopamine (DA) neurons. We hypothesize that signals of peripheral energy status influence reward-based feeding by modulating the glucose sensitivity of LHA orexin glucose-inhibited (GI) neurons. This hypothesis was tested using electrophysiological recordings of LHA orexin-GI neurons in brain slices from 4 to 6week old male mice whose orexin neurons express green fluorescent protein (GFP) or putative VTA-DA neurons from C57Bl/6 mice. Low glucose directly activated ~60% of LHA orexin-GFP neurons in both whole cell and cell attached recordings. Leptin indirectly reduced and ghrelin directly enhanced the activation of LHA orexin-GI neurons by glucose decreases from 2.5 to 0.1mM by 53±12% (n=16, Pglucose sensitivity. Fasting increased activation of LHA orexin-GI neurons by decreased glucose, as would be predicted by these hormonal effects. We also evaluated putative VTA-DA neurons in a novel horizontal slice preparation containing the LHA and VTA. Decreased glucose increased the frequency of spontaneous excitatory post-synaptic currents (sEPSCs; 125 ± 40%, n=9, Pneurons. sEPSCs were completely blocked by AMPA and NMDA glutamate receptor antagonists (CNQX 20 μM, n=4; APV 20μM, n=4; respectively), demonstrating that these sEPSCs were mediated by glutamatergic transmission onto VTA DA neurons. Orexin-1 but not 2 receptor antagonism with SB334867 (10μM; n=9) and TCS-OX2-29 (2μM; n=5), respectively, blocks the effects of decreased glucose on VTA DA neurons. Thus, decreased glucose increases orexin-dependent excitatory glutamate neurotransmission onto VTA DA neurons. These data suggest that the glucose sensitivity of LHA orexin-GI neurons links metabolic state and reward-based feeding. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Convergent processing of both positive and negative motivational signals by the VTA dopamine neuronal populations.

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    Dong V Wang

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Dopamine neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA have been traditionally studied for their roles in reward-related motivation or drug addiction. Here we study how the VTA dopamine neuron population may process fearful and negative experiences as well as reward information in freely behaving mice. Using multi-tetrode recording, we find that up to 89% of the putative dopamine neurons in the VTA exhibit significant activation in response to the conditioned tone that predict food reward, while the same dopamine neuron population also respond to the fearful experiences such as free fall and shake events. The majority of these VTA putative dopamine neurons exhibit suppression and offset-rebound excitation, whereas ∼25% of the recorded putative dopamine neurons show excitation by the fearful events. Importantly, VTA putative dopamine neurons exhibit parametric encoding properties: their firing change durations are proportional to the fearful event durations. In addition, we demonstrate that the contextual information is crucial for these neurons to respectively elicit positive or negative motivational responses by the same conditioned tone. Taken together, our findings suggest that VTA dopamine neurons may employ the convergent encoding strategy for processing both positive and negative experiences, intimately integrating with cues and environmental context.

  13. Neurochemical, morphologic, and laminar characterization of cortical projection neurons in the cingulate motor areas of the macaque monkey

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    Nimchinsky, E. A.; Hof, P. R.; Young, W. G.; Morrison, J. H.; Bloom, F. E. (Principal Investigator)

    1996-01-01

    The primate cingulate gyrus contains multiple cortical areas that can be distinguished by several neurochemical features, including the distribution of neurofilament protein-enriched pyramidal neurons. In addition, connectivity and functional properties indicate that there are multiple motor areas in the cortex lining the cingulate sulcus. These motor areas were targeted for analysis of potential interactions among regional specialization, connectivity, and cellular characteristics such as neurochemical profile and morphology. Specifically, intracortical injections of retrogradely transported dyes and intracellular injection were combined with immunocytochemistry to investigate neurons projecting from the cingulate motor areas to the putative forelimb region of the primary motor cortex, area M1. Two separate groups of neurons projecting to area M1 emanated from the cingulate sulcus, one anterior and one posterior, both of which furnished commissural and ipsilateral connections with area M1. The primary difference between the two populations was laminar origin, with the anterior projection originating largely in deep layers, and the posterior projection taking origin equally in superficial and deep layers. With regard to cellular morphology, the anterior projection exhibited more morphologic diversity than the posterior projection. Commissural projections from both anterior and posterior fields originated largely in layer VI. Neurofilament protein distribution was a reliable tool for localizing the two projections and for discriminating between them. Comparable proportions of the two sets of projection neurons contained neurofilament protein, although the density and distribution of the total population of neurofilament protein-enriched neurons was very different in the two subareas of origin. Within a projection, the participating neurons exhibited a high degree of morphologic heterogeneity, and no correlation was observed between somatodendritic morphology and

  14. Optogenetic Activation of a Lateral Hypothalamic-Ventral Tegmental Drive-Reward Pathway.

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    Gigante, Eduardo D; Benaliouad, Faiza; Zamora-Olivencia, Veronica; Wise, Roy A

    2016-01-01

    Electrical stimulation of the lateral hypothalamus can motivate feeding or can serve as a reward in its own right. It remains unclear whether the same or independent but anatomically overlapping circuitries mediate the two effects. Electrical stimulation findings implicate medial forebrain bundle (MFB) fibers of passage in both effects, and optogenetic studies confirm a contribution from fibers originating in the lateral hypothalamic area and projecting to or through the ventral tegmental area. Here we report that optogenetic activation of ventral tegmental fibers from cells of origin in more anterior or posterior portions of the MFB failed to induce either reward or feeding. The feeding and reward induced by optogenetic activation of fibers from the lateral hypothalamic cells of origin were influenced similarly by variations in stimulation pulse width and pulse frequency, consistent with the hypothesis of a common substrate for the two effects. There were, however, several cases where feeding but not self-stimulation or self-stimulation but not feeding were induced, consistent with the hypothesis that distinct but anatomically overlapping systems mediate the two effects. Thus while optogenetic stimulation provides a more selective tool for characterizing the mechanisms of stimulation-induced feeding and reward, it does not yet resolve the question of common or independent substrates.

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

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    Iria G Dopeso-Reyes

    2014-12-01

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

  16. Molecular marker differences relate to developmental position and subsets of mesodiencephalic dopaminergic neurons.

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    Simone M Smits

    Full Text Available The development of mesodiencephalic dopaminergic (mdDA neurons located in the substantia nigra compacta (SNc and ventral tegmental area (VTA follow a number of stages marked by distinct events. After preparation of the region by signals that provide induction and patterning, several transcription factors have been identified, which are involved in specifying the neuronal fate of these cells. The specific vulnerability of SNc neurons is thought to root in these specific developmental programs. The present study examines the positions of young postmitotic mdDA neurons to relate developmental position to mdDA subset specific markers. MdDA neurons were mapped relative to the neuromeric domains (prosomeres 1-3 (P1-3, midbrain, and hindbrain as well as the longitudinal subdivisions (floor plate, basal plate, alar plate, as proposed by the prosomeric model. We found that postmitotic mdDA neurons are located mainly in the floorplate domain and very few in slightly more lateral domains. Moreover, mdDA neurons are present along a large proportion of the anterior/posterior axis extending from the midbrain to P3 in the diencephalon. The specific positions relate to some extent to the presence of specific subset markers as Ahd2. In the adult stage more of such subsets specific expressed genes are present and may represent a molecular map defining molecularly distinct groups of mdDA neurons.

  17. D-[3H]aspartate retrograde labelling of callosal and association neurons of somatosensory areas I and II of cats

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Barbaresi, P.; Fabri, M.; Conti, F.; Manzoni, T.

    1987-01-01

    Experiments were carried out on cats to ascertain whether corticocortical neurons of somatosensory areas I (SI) and II (SII) could be labelled by retrograde axonal transport of D-[ 3 H]aspartate (D-[ 3 H]Asp). This tritiated enantiomer of the amino acid aspartate is (1) taken up selectively by axon terminals of neurons releasing aspartate and/or glutamate as excitatory neurotransmitter, (2) retrogradely transported and accumulated in perikarya, (3) not metabolized, and (4) visualized by autoradiography. A solution of D-[ 3 H]Asp was injected in eight cats in the trunk and forelimb zones of SI (two cats) or in the forelimb zone of SII (six cats). In order to compare the labelling patterns obtained with D-[ 3 H]Asp with those resulting after injection of a nonselective neuronal tracer, horseradish peroxidase (HRP) was delivered mixed with the radioactive tracer in seven of the eight cats. Furthermore, six additional animals received HRP injections in SI (three cats; trunk and forelimb zones) or SII (three cats; forelimb zone). D-[ 3 H]Asp retrograde labelling of perikarya was absent from the ipsilateral thalamus of all cats injected with the radioactive tracer but a dense terminal plexus of anterogradely labelled corticothalamic fibers from SI and SII was observed, overlapping the distribution area of thalamocortical neurons retrogradely labelled with HRP from the same areas. D-[ 3 H]Asp-labelled neurones were present in ipsilateral SII (SII-SI association neurones) in cats injected in SI. In these animals a bundle of radioactive fibres was observed in the rostral portion of the corpus callosum entering the contralateral hemisphere. There, neurones retrogradely labelled with silver grains were present in SI (SI-SI callosal neurons)

  18. CART neurons in the arcuate nucleus and lateral hypothalamic area exert differential controls on energy homeostasis

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    Jackie Lau

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Objective: The cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript (CART codes for a pivotal neuropeptide important in the control of appetite and energy homeostasis. However, limited understanding exists for the defined effector sites underlying CART function, as discrepant effects of central CART administration have been reported. Methods: By combining Cart-cre knock-in mice with a Cart adeno-associated viral vector designed using the flip-excision switch (AAV-FLEX technology, specific reintroduction or overexpression of CART selectively in CART neurons in the arcuate nucleus (Arc and lateral hypothalamic area (LHA, respectively, was achieved. The effects on energy homeostasis control were investigated. Results: Here we show that CART neuron-specific reintroduction of CART into the Arc and LHA leads to distinct effects on energy homeostasis control. Specifically, CART reintroduction into the Arc of otherwise CART-deficient Cartcre/cre mice markedly decreased fat mass and body weight, whereas CART reintroduction into the LHA caused significant fat mass gain and lean mass loss, but overall unaltered body weight. The reduced adiposity in ArcCART;Cartcre/cre mice was associated with an increase in both energy expenditure and physical activity, along with significantly decreased Npy mRNA levels in the Arc but with no change in food consumption. Distinctively, the elevated fat mass in LHACART;Cartcre/cre mice was accompanied by diminished insulin responsiveness and glucose tolerance, greater spontaneous food intake, and reduced energy expenditure, which is consistent with the observed decrease of brown adipose tissue temperature. This is also in line with significantly reduced tyrosine hydroxylase (Th and notably increased corticotropin-releasing hormone (Crh mRNA expressions in the paraventricular nucleus (PVN. Conclusions: Taken together, these results identify catabolic and anabolic effects of CART in the Arc and LHA, respectively, demonstrating for

  19. Study on cognition disorder and morphologic change of neurons in hippocampus area following traumatic brain injury in rats

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    洪军; 崔建忠; 周云涛; 高俊玲

    2002-01-01

    Objective: To explore the correlation between cognition disorder and morphologic change of hippocampal neurons after traumatic brain injury (TBI).   Methods: Wistar rat models with severe TBI were made by Marmarous method. The histopathological change of the neurons in the hippocampus area were studied with hematoxylin-eosin (HE) staining and terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated X-dUPT nick end labeling (TUNEL), respectively. The cognitive function was evaluated with the Morris water maze test.   Results: The comprehensive neuronal degeneration and necrosis could be observed in CA2-3 regions of hippocampus at 3 days after injury. Apoptotic positive neurons in CA2-4 regions of hippocampus and dentate gyrus increased in the injured group at 24 hours following TBI. They peaked at 7 days and then declined. Significant impairment of spatial learning and memory was observed after injury in the rats.   Conclusions: The rats have obvious disorders in spatial learning and memory after severe TBI. Meanwhile, delayed neuronal necrosis and apoptosis can be observed in the neurons in the hippocampus area. It suggests that delayed hippocampal cell death may contribute to the functional deficit.

  20. Dopamine receptor gene expression by enkephalin neurons in rat forebrain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Le Moine, C.; Normand, E.; Guitteny, A.F.; Fouque, B.; Teoule, R.; Bloch, B.

    1990-01-01

    In situ hybridization experiments were performed with brain sections from normal, control and haloperidol-treated rats to identify and map the cells expressing the D2 dopamine receptor gene. D2 receptor mRNA was detected with radioactive or biotinylated oligonucleotide probes. D2 receptor mRNA was present in glandular cells of the pituitary intermediate lobe and in neurons of the substantia nigra, ventral tegmental area, and forebrain, especially in caudate putamen, nucleus accumbens, olfactory tubercle, and piriform cortex. Hybridization with D2 and preproenkephalin A probes in adjacent sections, as well as combined hybridization with the two probes in the same sections, demonstrated that all detectable enkephalin neurons in the striatum contained the D2 receptor mRNA. Large neurons in caudate putamen, which were unlabeled with the preproenkephalin A probe and which may have been cholinergic, also expressed the D2 receptor gene. Haloperidol treatment (14 or 21 days) provoked an increase in mRNA content for D2 receptor and preproenkephalin A in the striatum. This suggests that the increase in D2 receptor number observed after haloperidol treatment is due to increased activity of the D2 gene. These results indicate that in the striatum, the enkephalin neurons are direct targets for dopamine liberated from mesostriatal neurons

  1. Dopamine receptor gene expression by enkephalin neurons in rat forebrain

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    Le Moine, C.; Normand, E.; Guitteny, A.F.; Fouque, B.; Teoule, R.; Bloch, B. (Universite de Bordeaux II (France))

    1990-01-01

    In situ hybridization experiments were performed with brain sections from normal, control and haloperidol-treated rats to identify and map the cells expressing the D2 dopamine receptor gene. D2 receptor mRNA was detected with radioactive or biotinylated oligonucleotide probes. D2 receptor mRNA was present in glandular cells of the pituitary intermediate lobe and in neurons of the substantia nigra, ventral tegmental area, and forebrain, especially in caudate putamen, nucleus accumbens, olfactory tubercle, and piriform cortex. Hybridization with D2 and preproenkephalin A probes in adjacent sections, as well as combined hybridization with the two probes in the same sections, demonstrated that all detectable enkephalin neurons in the striatum contained the D2 receptor mRNA. Large neurons in caudate putamen, which were unlabeled with the preproenkephalin A probe and which may have been cholinergic, also expressed the D2 receptor gene. Haloperidol treatment (14 or 21 days) provoked an increase in mRNA content for D2 receptor and preproenkephalin A in the striatum. This suggests that the increase in D2 receptor number observed after haloperidol treatment is due to increased activity of the D2 gene. These results indicate that in the striatum, the enkephalin neurons are direct targets for dopamine liberated from mesostriatal neurons.

  2. Long-lasting novelty-induced neuronal reverberation during slow-wave sleep in multiple forebrain areas.

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    Sidarta Ribeiro

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available The discovery of experience-dependent brain reactivation during both slow-wave (SW and rapid eye-movement (REM sleep led to the notion that the consolidation of recently acquired memory traces requires neural replay during sleep. To date, however, several observations continue to undermine this hypothesis. To address some of these objections, we investigated the effects of a transient novel experience on the long-term evolution of ongoing neuronal activity in the rat forebrain. We observed that spatiotemporal patterns of neuronal ensemble activity originally produced by the tactile exploration of novel objects recurred for up to 48 h in the cerebral cortex, hippocampus, putamen, and thalamus. This novelty-induced recurrence was characterized by low but significant correlations values. Nearly identical results were found for neuronal activity sampled when animals were moving between objects without touching them. In contrast, negligible recurrence was observed for neuronal patterns obtained when animals explored a familiar environment. While the reverberation of past patterns of neuronal activity was strongest during SW sleep, waking was correlated with a decrease of neuronal reverberation. REM sleep showed more variable results across animals. In contrast with data from hippocampal place cells, we found no evidence of time compression or expansion of neuronal reverberation in any of the sampled forebrain areas. Our results indicate that persistent experience-dependent neuronal reverberation is a general property of multiple forebrain structures. It does not consist of an exact replay of previous activity, but instead it defines a mild and consistent bias towards salient neural ensemble firing patterns. These results are compatible with a slow and progressive process of memory consolidation, reflecting novelty-related neuronal ensemble relationships that seem to be context- rather than stimulus-specific. Based on our current and previous results

  3. Slice cultures of the imprinting-relevant forebrain area MNH of the domestic chick: quantitative characterization of neuronal morphology.

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    Hofmann, H; Braun, K

    1995-05-26

    The persistence of morphological features of neurons in slice cultures of the imprinting-relevant forebrain area MNH (mediorostral neostriatum and hyperstriatum ventrale) of the domestic chick was analysed at 7, 14, 21 and 28 days in vitro. After having been explanted and kept in culture the neurons in vitro have larger soma areas, longer and more extensively branched dendritic trees and lower spine frequencies compared to the neurons in vivo. During the analyzed culturing period, the parameters soma area, total and mean dendritic length, number of dendrites, number of dendritic nodes per dendrite and per neuron as well as the spine densities in different dendritic segments showed no significant differences between early and late periods. Highly correlated in every age group were the total dendritic length and the number of dendritic nodes per neuron, indicating regular ramification during dendritic growth. Since these morphological parameters remain stable during the first 4 weeks in vitro, this culture system may provide a suitable model to investigate experimentally induced morphological changes.

  4. Functional Connectome Analysis of Dopamine Neuron Glutamatergic Connections in Forebrain Regions.

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    Mingote, Susana; Chuhma, Nao; Kusnoor, Sheila V; Field, Bianca; Deutch, Ariel Y; Rayport, Stephen

    2015-12-09

    In the ventral tegmental area (VTA), a subpopulation of dopamine neurons express vesicular glutamate transporter 2 and make glutamatergic connections to nucleus accumbens (NAc) and olfactory tubercle (OT) neurons. However, their glutamatergic connections across the forebrain have not been explored systematically. To visualize dopamine neuron forebrain projections and to enable photostimulation of their axons independent of transmitter status, we virally transfected VTA neurons with channelrhodopsin-2 fused to enhanced yellow fluorescent protein (ChR2-EYFP) and used DAT(IREScre) mice to restrict expression to dopamine neurons. ChR2-EYFP-expressing neurons almost invariably stained for tyrosine hydroxylase, identifying them as dopaminergic. Dopamine neuron axons visualized by ChR2-EYFP fluorescence projected most densely to the striatum, moderately to the amygdala and entorhinal cortex (ERC), sparsely to prefrontal and cingulate cortices, and rarely to the hippocampus. Guided by ChR2-EYFP fluorescence, we recorded systematically from putative principal neurons in target areas and determined the incidence and strength of glutamatergic connections by activating all dopamine neuron terminals impinging on recorded neurons with wide-field photostimulation. This revealed strong glutamatergic connections in the NAc, OT, and ERC; moderate strength connections in the central amygdala; and weak connections in the cingulate cortex. No glutamatergic connections were found in the dorsal striatum, hippocampus, basolateral amygdala, or prefrontal cortex. These results indicate that VTA dopamine neurons elicit widespread, but regionally distinct, glutamatergic signals in the forebrain and begin to define the dopamine neuron excitatory functional connectome. Dopamine neurons are important for the control of motivated behavior and are involved in the pathophysiology of several major neuropsychiatric disorders. Recent studies have shown that some ventral midbrain dopamine neurons are

  5. Neurotensin enhances glutamatergic EPSCs in VTA neurons by acting on different neurotensin receptors.

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    Bose, Poulomee; Rompré, Pierre-Paul; Warren, Richard A

    2015-11-01

    Neurotensin (NT) is an endogenous neuropeptide that modulates dopamine and glutamate neurotransmission in several limbic regions innervated by neurons located in the ventral tegmental area (VTA). While several studies showed that NT exerted a direct modulation on VTA dopamine neurons less is known about its role in the modulation of glutamatergic neurotransmission in this region. The present study was aimed at characterising the effects of NT on glutamate-mediated responses in different populations of VTA neurons. Using whole cell patch clamp recording technique in horizontal rat brain slices, we measured the amplitude of glutamatergic excitatory post-synaptic currents (EPSCs) evoked by electrical stimulation of VTA afferents before and after application of different concentrations of NT1-13 or its C-terminal fragment, NT8-13. Neurons were classified as either Ih(+) or Ih(-) based on the presence or absence of a hyperpolarisation activated cationic current (Ih). We found that NT1-13 and NT8-13 produced comparable concentration dependent increase in the amplitude of EPSCs in both Ih(+) and Ih(-) neurons. In Ih(+) neurons, the enhancement effect of NT8-13 was blocked by both antagonists, while in Ih(-) neurons it was blocked by the NTS1/NTS2 antagonist, SR142948A, but not the preferred NTS1 antagonist, SR48692. In as much as Ih(-) neurons are non-dopaminergic neurons and Ih(+) neurons represent both dopamine and non-dopamine neurons, we can conclude that NT enhances glutamatergic mediated responses in dopamine, and in a subset of non-dopamine, neurons by acting respectively on NTS1 and an NT receptor other than NTS1. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Quantitative analysis of basal dendritic tree of layer III pyramidal neurons in different areas of adult human frontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeba, Martina; Jovanov-Milosević, Natasa; Petanjek, Zdravko

    2008-01-01

    Large long projecting (cortico-cortical) layer IIIc pyramidal neurons were recently disclosed to be in the basis of cognitive processing in primates. Therefore, we quantitatively examined the basal dendritic morphology of these neurons by using rapid Golgi and Golgi Cox impregnation methods among three distinct Brodmann areas (BA) of an adult human frontal cortex: the primary motor BA4 and the associative magnopyramidal BA9 from left hemisphere and the Broca's speech BA45 from both hemispheres. There was no statistically significant difference in basal dendritic length or complexity, as dendritic spine number or their density between analyzed BA's. In addition, we analyzed each of these BA's immunocytochemically for distribution of SMI-32, a marker of largest long distance projecting neurons. Within layer IIIc, the highest density of SMI-32 immunopositive pyramidal neurons was observed in associative BA9, while in primary BA4 they were sparse. Taken together, these data suggest that an increase in the complexity of cortico-cortical network within human frontal areas of different functional order may be principally based on the increase in density of large, SMI-32 immunopositive layer IIIc neurons, rather than by further increase in complexity of their dendritic tree and synaptic network.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-08-27

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

  8. Development of the preoptic area: time and site of origin, migratory routes, and settling patterns of its neurons

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bayer, S.A.; Altman, J.

    1987-01-01

    Neurogenesis and morphogenesis in the rat preoptic area were examined with [ 3 H]thymidine autoradiography. For neurogenesis, the experimental animals were the offspring of pregnant females given an injection of [ 3 H]thymidine on two consecutive gestational days. Nine groups were exposed to [ 3 H]thymidine on embryonic days E13-E14, E14-E15, E21-E22, respectively. On postnatal day P5, the percentage of labeled cells and the proportion of cells originating during 24-hr periods were quantified at four anteroposterior levels in the preoptic area. Throughout most of the preoptic area there is a lateral to medial neurogenetic gradient. Neurons originate between E12-E15 in the lateral preoptic area, between E13-E16 in the medial preoptic area, between E14-E17 in the medial preoptic nucleus, and between E15-E18 in the periventricular nucleus. These structures also have intrinsic dorsal to ventral neurogenetic gradients. There are two atypical structures: (1) the sexually dimorphic nucleus originates exceptionally late (E15-E19) and is located more lateral to the ventricle than older neurons; (2) in the median preoptic nucleus, where older neurons (E13-E14) are located closer to the third ventricle than younger neurons (E14-E17). For an autoradiographic study of morphogenesis, pregnant females were given a single injection of [ 3 H]thymidine during gestation, and their embryos were removed either two hrs later (short survival) or in successive 24-hr periods (sequential survival). Short-survival autoradiography was used to locate the putative neuroepithelial sources of preoptic nuclei, and sequential survival autoradiography was used to trace the migratory waves of young neurons and their final settling locations. The preoptic neuroepithelium is located anterior to and in the front wall of the optic recess

  9. Classic cadherin expressions balance postnatal neuronal positioning and dendrite dynamics to elaborate the specific cytoarchitecture of the mouse cortical area.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Egusa, Saki F; Inoue, Yukiko U; Asami, Junko; Terakawa, Youhei W; Hoshino, Mikio; Inoue, Takayoshi

    2016-04-01

    A unique feature of the mammalian cerebral cortex is in its tangential parcellation via anatomical and functional differences. However, the cellular and/or molecular machinery involved in cortical arealization remain largely unknown. Here we map expression profiles of classic cadherins in the postnatal mouse barrel field of the primary somatosensory area (S1BF) and generate a novel bacterial artificial chromosome transgenic (BAC-Tg) mouse line selectively illuminating nuclei of cadherin-6 (Cdh6)-expressing layer IV barrel neurons to confirm that tangential cellular assemblage of S1BF is established by postnatal day 5 (P5). When we electroporate the cadherins expressed in both barrel neurons and thalamo-cortical axon (TCA) terminals limited to the postnatal layer IV neurons, S1BF cytoarchitecture is disorganized with excess elongation of dendrites at P7. Upon delivery of dominant negative molecules for all classic cadherins, tangential cellular positioning and biased dendritic arborization of barrel neurons are significantly altered. These results underscore the value of classic cadherin-mediated sorting among neuronal cell bodies, dendrites and TCA terminals in postnatally elaborating the S1BF-specific tangential cytoarchitecture. Additionally, how the "protocortex" machinery affects classic cadherin expression profiles in the process of cortical arealization is examined and discussed. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd and the Japan Neuroscience Society. All rights reserved.

  10. Endogenous Glucagon-like Peptide-1 Suppresses High-Fat Food Intake by Reducing Synaptic Drive onto Mesolimbic Dopamine Neurons

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    Xue-Feng Wang

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1 and its analogs act as appetite suppressants and have been proven to be clinically efficacious in reducing body weight in obese individuals. Central GLP-1 is expressed in a small population of brainstem cells located in the nucleus tractus solitarius (NTS, which project to a wide range of brain areas. However, it remains unclear how endogenous GLP-1 released in the brain contributes to appetite regulation. Using chemogenetic tools, we discovered that central GLP-1 acts on the midbrain ventral tegmental area (VTA and suppresses high-fat food intake. We used integrated pathway tracing and synaptic physiology to further demonstrate that activation of GLP-1 receptors specifically reduces the excitatory synaptic strength of dopamine (DA neurons within the VTA that project to the nucleus accumbens (NAc medial shell. These data suggest that GLP-1 released from NTS neurons can reduce highly palatable food intake by suppressing mesolimbic DA signaling.

  11. Not a single but multiple populations of GABAergic neurons control sleep.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luppi, Pierre-Hervé; Peyron, Christelle; Fort, Patrice

    2017-04-01

    The role of gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA) in sleep induction and maintenance is well accepted since most insomnia treatments target GABAa receptors. However, the population(s) of GABAergic neurons involved in the beneficial effect of GABA on sleep remains to be identified. This is not an easy task since GABAergic neurons are widely distributed in all brain structures. A recently growing number of populations of GABAergic neurons have been involved in sleep control. We first review here possible candidates for inducing non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep including the GABAergic neurons of the ventrolateral preoptic area, the parafacial zone in the brainstem, the nucleus accumbens and the cortex. We also discuss the role of several populations of GABAergic neurons in rapid eye movement (REM) sleep control. Indeed, it is well accepted that muscle atonia occurring during REM sleep is due to a GABA/glycinergic hyperpolarization of motoneurons. Recent evidence strongly suggests that these neurons are located in the ventral medullary reticular formation. It has also recently been shown that neurons containing the neuropeptide melanin concentrating hormone and GABA located in the lateral hypothalamic area control REM sleep expression. Finally, a population of REM-off GABAergic neurons located in the ventrolateral periaqueductal gray has been shown to gate REM sleep by inhibiting glutamatergic neurons located in the sublaterodorsal tegmental nucleus. In summary, recent data clearly indicate that multiple populations of GABAergic neurons located throughout the brain from the cortex to the medulla oblongata control NREM and REM sleep. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. AgRP neurons regulate development of dopamine neuronal plasticity and nonfood-associated behaviors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dietrich, Marcelo O; Bober, Jeremy; Ferreira, Jozélia G; Tellez, Luis A; Mineur, Yann S; Souza, Diogo O; Gao, Xiao-Bing; Picciotto, Marina R; Araújo, Ivan; Liu, Zhong-Wu; Horvath, Tamas L

    2012-01-01

    It is not known whether behaviors unrelated to feeding are affected by hypothalamic regulators of hunger. We found that impairment of Agouti-related protein (AgRP) circuitry by either Sirt1 knockdown in AgRP-expressing neurons or early postnatal ablation of these neurons increased exploratory behavior and enhanced responses to cocaine. In AgRP circuit–impaired mice, ventral tegmental dopamine neurons exhibited enhanced spike timing–dependent long-term potentiation, altered amplitude of miniature postsynaptic currents and elevated dopamine in basal forebrain. Thus, AgRP neurons determine the set point of the reward circuitry and associated behaviors. PMID:22729177

  13. The effects of prostaglandin E2 on the firing rate activity of thermosensitive and temperature insensitive neurons in the ventromedial preoptic area of the rat hypothalamus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ranels, Heather J; Griffin, John D

    2003-02-21

    In response to an immune system challenge with lipopolysaccharide (LPS), recent work has shown that Fos immunoreactivity is displayed by neurons in the ventromedial preoptic area of the hypothalamus (VMPO). In addition, neurons in this region show distinct axonal projections to the anterior perifornical area (APFx) and the paraventricular nucleus (PVN). It has been hypothesized that neurons within the VMPO integrate their local responses to temperature with changes in firing activity that result from LPS induced production of prostaglandin E(2) (PGE(2)). This may be an important mechanism by which the set-point regulation of thermoeffector neurons in the APFx and PVN is altered, resulting in hyperthermia. To characterize the firing rate activity of VMPO neurons, single-unit recordings were made of neuronal extracellular activity in rat hypothalamic tissue slices. Based on the slope of firing rate as a function of tissue temperature, neurons were classified as either warm sensitive or temperature insensitive. Neurons were then treated with PGE(2) (200 nM) while tissue temperature was held at a constant level ( approximately 36 degrees C). The majority of temperature insensitive neurons responded to PGE(2) with an increase in firing rate activity, while warm sensitive neurons showed a reduction in firing rate. This suggests that both warm sensitive and temperature insensitive neurons in the VMPO may play critical and contrasting roles in the production of a fever during an acute phase response to infection.

  14. Enhancing excitability of dopamine neurons promotes motivational behaviour through increased action initiation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boekhoudt, Linde; Wijbrans, Ellen C; Man, Jodie H K; Luijendijk, Mieneke C M; de Jong, Johannes W; van der Plasse, Geoffrey; Vanderschuren, Louk J M J; Adan, Roger A H

    2018-01-01

    Motivational deficits are a key symptom in multiple psychiatric disorders, including major depressive disorder, schizophrenia and addiction. A likely neural substrate for these motivational deficits is the brain dopamine (DA) system. In particular, DA signalling in the nucleus accumbens, which originates from DA neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA), has been identified as a crucial substrate for effort-related and activational aspects of motivation. Unravelling how VTA DA neuronal activity relates to motivational behaviours is required to understand how motivational deficits in psychiatry can be specifically targeted. In this study, we therefore used designer receptors exclusively activated by designer drugs (DREADD) in TH:Cre rats, in order to determine the effects of chemogenetic DA neuron activation on different aspects of motivational behaviour. We found that chemogenetic activation of DA neurons in the VTA, but not substantia nigra, significantly increased responding for sucrose under a progressive ratio schedule of reinforcement. More specifically, high effort exertion was characterized by increased initiations of reward-seeking actions. This effect was dependent on effort requirements and instrumental contingencies, but was not affected by sucrose pre-feeding. Together, these findings indicate that VTA DA neuronal activation drives motivational behaviour by facilitating action initiation. With this study, we show that enhancing excitability of VTA DA neurons is a viable strategy to improve motivational behaviour. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. and ECNP. All rights reserved.

  15. The pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus as a motor and cognitive interface between the cerebellum and basal ganglia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fumika Mori

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available As an important component of ascending activating systems, brainstem cholinergic neurons in the pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus (PPTg are involved in the regulation of motor control (locomotion, posture and gaze and cognitive processes (attention, learning, and memory. The PPTg is highly interconnected with several regions of the basal ganglia, and one of its key functions is to regulate and relay activity from the basal ganglia. Together, they have been implicated in the motor control system (such as voluntary movement initiation or inhibition, and modulate aspects of executive function (such as motivation. In addition to its intimate connection with the basal ganglia, projections from the PPTg to the cerebellum have been recently reported to synaptically activate the deep cerebellar nuclei. Classically, the cerebellum and basal ganglia were regarded as forming separated anatomical loops that play a distinct functional role in motor and cognitive behavioral control. Here, we suggest that the PPTg may also act as an interface device between the basal ganglia and cerebellum. As such, part of the therapeutic effect of PPTg deep brain stimulation to relieve gait freezing and postural instability in advanced Parkinson’s disease patients might also involve modulation of the cerebellum. We review the anatomical position and role of the PPTg in the pathway of basal ganglia and cerebellum in relation to motor control, cognitive function, and Parkinson’s disease.

  16. The Pedunculopontine Tegmental Nucleus as a Motor and Cognitive Interface between the Cerebellum and Basal Ganglia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mori, Fumika; Okada, Ken-Ichi; Nomura, Taishin; Kobayashi, Yasushi

    2016-01-01

    As an important component of ascending activating systems, brainstem cholinergic neurons in the pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus (PPTg) are involved in the regulation of motor control (locomotion, posture and gaze) and cognitive processes (attention, learning and memory). The PPTg is highly interconnected with several regions of the basal ganglia, and one of its key functions is to regulate and relay activity from the basal ganglia. Together, they have been implicated in the motor control system (such as voluntary movement initiation or inhibition), and modulate aspects of executive function (such as motivation). In addition to its intimate connection with the basal ganglia, projections from the PPTg to the cerebellum have been recently reported to synaptically activate the deep cerebellar nuclei. Classically, the cerebellum and basal ganglia were regarded as forming separated anatomical loops that play a distinct functional role in motor and cognitive behavioral control. Here, we suggest that the PPTg may also act as an interface device between the basal ganglia and cerebellum. As such, part of the therapeutic effect of PPTg deep brain stimulation (DBS) to relieve gait freezing and postural instability in advanced Parkinson's disease (PD) patients might also involve modulation of the cerebellum. We review the anatomical position and role of the PPTg in the pathway of basal ganglia and cerebellum in relation to motor control, cognitive function and PD.

  17. Acupuncture attenuates cognitive deficits and increases pyramidal neuron number in hippocampal CA1 area of vascular dementia rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Fang; Yan, Chao-Qun; Lin, Li-Ting; Li, Hui; Zeng, Xiang-Hong; Liu, Yi; Du, Si-Qi; Zhu, Wen; Liu, Cun-Zhi

    2015-04-28

    Decreased cognition is recognized as one of the most severe and consistent behavioral impairments in dementia. Experimental studies have reported that acupuncture may improve cognitive deficits, relieve vascular dementia (VD) symptoms, and increase cerebral perfusion and electrical activity. Multi-infarction dementia was modeled in rats with 3% microemboli saline suspension. Two weeks after acupuncture at Zusanli (ST36), all rats were subjected to a hidden platform trial to test their 3-day spatial memory using the Morris water maze test. To estimate the numbers of pyramidal neuron, astrocytes, and synaptic boutons in hippocampal CA1 area, we adopted an unbiased stereology method to accurately sample and measure the size of cells. We found that acupuncture at ST36 significantly decreased the escape latency of VD rats. In addition, acupuncture significantly increased the pyramidal neuron number in hippocampal CA1 area (P area in any of the groups (P > 0.05). These findings suggest that acupuncture may improve cognitive deficits and increase pyramidal neuron number of hippocampal CA1 area in VD rats.

  18. CRMP5 regulates generation and survival of newborn neurons in olfactory and hippocampal neurogenic areas of the adult mouse brain.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandra Veyrac

    Full Text Available The Collapsin Response Mediator Proteins (CRMPS are highly expressed in the developing brain, and in adult brain areas that retain neurogenesis, ie: the olfactory bulb (OB and the dentate gyrus (DG. During brain development, CRMPs are essentially involved in signaling of axon guidance and neurite outgrowth, but their functions in the adult brain remain largely unknown. CRMP5 has been initially identified as the target of auto-antibodies involved in paraneoplasic neurological diseases and further implicated in a neurite outgrowth inhibition mediated by tubulin binding. Interestingly, CRMP5 is also highly expressed in adult brain neurogenic areas where its functions have not yet been elucidated. Here we observed in both neurogenic areas of the adult mouse brain that CRMP5 was present in proliferating and post-mitotic neuroblasts, while they migrate and differentiate into mature neurons. In CRMP5(-/- mice, the lack of CRMP5 resulted in a significant increase of proliferation and neurogenesis, but also in an excess of apoptotic death of granule cells in the OB and DG. These findings provide the first evidence that CRMP5 is involved in the generation and survival of newly generated neurons in areas of the adult brain with a high level of activity-dependent neuronal plasticity.

  19. VTA GABA neurons modulate specific learning behaviours through the control of dopamine and cholinergic systems

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    Meaghan C Creed

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The mesolimbic reward system is primarily comprised of the ventral tegmental area (VTA and the nucleus accumbens (NAc as well as their afferent and efferent connections. This circuitry is essential for learning about stimuli associated with motivationally-relevant outcomes. Moreover, addictive drugs affect and remodel this system, which may underlie their addictive properties. In addition to DA neurons, the VTA also contains approximately 30% ɣ-aminobutyric acid (GABA neurons. The task of signalling both rewarding and aversive events from the VTA to the NAc has mostly been ascribed to DA neurons and the role of GABA neurons has been largely neglected until recently. GABA neurons provide local inhibition of DA neurons and also long-range inhibition of projection regions, including the NAc. Here we review studies using a combination of in vivo and ex vivo electrophysiology, pharmacogenetic and optogenetic manipulations that have characterized the functional neuroanatomy of inhibitory circuits in the mesolimbic system, and describe how GABA neurons of the VTA regulate reward and aversion-related learning. We also discuss pharmacogenetic manipulation of this system with benzodiazepines (BDZs, a class of addictive drugs, which act directly on GABAA receptors located on GABA neurons of the VTA. The results gathered with each of these approaches suggest that VTA GABA neurons bi-directionally modulate activity of local DA neurons, underlying reward or aversion at the behavioural level. Conversely, long-range GABA projections from the VTA to the NAc selectively target cholinergic interneurons (CINs to pause their firing and temporarily reduce cholinergic tone in the NAc, which modulates associative learning. Further characterization of inhibitory circuit function within and beyond the VTA is needed in order to fully understand the function of the mesolimbic system under normal and pathological conditions.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-20

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

  1. Amylin and GLP-1 target different populations of area postrema neurons that are both modulated by nutrient stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Züger, Daniela; Forster, Karoline; Lutz, Thomas A; Riediger, Thomas

    2013-03-15

    The area postrema mediates the hypophagic effect of the pancreatic hormone amylin and is also sensitive to glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1). Protein seems to modulate amylin responsiveness because amylin seems to produce a stronger hypophagic effect and a stronger c-Fos expression when protein is absent from the diet. Accordingly, amylin induces a stronger c-Fos expression in the AP when injected in fasted compared to ad libitum fed rats. Here we tested the hypothesis that diet-derived protein attenuates the amylin dependent suppression of feeding and AP activation using isocaloric diets that differed in their protein content. Moreover, we investigated whether peripheral amino acid injection attenuates amylin-induced c-Fos expression in fasted rats. Since recent evidence suggests that GLP-1 may also reduce eating via the AP we tested whether 24 h fasting also increases neuronal AP responsiveness to GLP-1 similar to the fasting-induced increase in amylin responsiveness. Finally, we used the calcitonin receptor (CTR) as an immunohistochemical marker for amylin-receptive AP neurons to investigate whether amylin's target neurons differ from GLP-1 responsive AP neurons. We also dissociated amylin responsive cells from neurons implicated in other AP-mediated functions such as aversion or blood pressure regulation. For this purpose, we conducted c-Fos/CTR double staining after LiCl or angiotensin II treatment, respectively. Amylin (5 μg/kg s.c.) was more effective to reduce the intake of a 1% vs. an 8% or 18% protein diet and to induce c-Fos expression in the AP in rats receiving 1% vs. 18% protein diet. Increased protein intake was associated with increased blood amino acid levels. Peripheral injection of amino acids (1 g/kg i.p.) attenuated the amylin-induced AP activation in 24 h fasted rats. Similar to amylin, GLP-1 (100 μg/kg i.p.) elicited a significant c-Fos response only in fasted but not in ad libitum fed rats. However, in contrast to a high co-localization of

  2. Synaptic potentiation onto habenula neurons in learned helplessness model of depression

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Bo; Piriz, Joaquin; Mirrione, Martine; Chung, ChiHye; Proulx, Christophe D.; Schulz, Daniela; Henn, Fritz; Malinow, Roberto

    2010-01-01

    The cellular basis of depressive disorders is poorly understood1. Recent studies in monkeys indicate that neurons in the lateral habenula (LHb), a nucleus that mediates communication between forebrain and midbrain structures, can increase their activity when an animal fails to receive an expected positive reward or receives a stimulus that predicts aversive conditions (i.e. disappointment or anticipation of a negative outcome)2, 3, 4. LHb neurons project to and modulate dopamine-rich regions such as the ventral-tegmental area (VTA)2, 5 that control reward-seeking behavior6 and participate in depressive disorders7. Here we show in two learned helplessness models of depression that excitatory synapses onto LHb neurons projecting to the VTA are potentiated. Synaptic potentiation correlates with an animal’s helplessness behavior and is due to an enhanced presynaptic release probability. Depleting transmitter release by repeated electrical stimulation of LHb afferents, using a protocol that can be effective on depressed patients8, 9, dramatically suppresses synaptic drive onto VTA-projecting LHb neurons in brain slices and can significantly reduce learned helplessness behavior in rats. Our results indicate that increased presynaptic action onto LHb neurons contributes to the rodent learned helplessness model of depression. PMID:21350486

  3. Synaptic potentiation onto habenula neurons in the learned helplessness model of depression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Bo; Piriz, Joaquin; Mirrione, Martine; Chung, ChiHye; Proulx, Christophe D; Schulz, Daniela; Henn, Fritz; Malinow, Roberto

    2011-02-24

    The cellular basis of depressive disorders is poorly understood. Recent studies in monkeys indicate that neurons in the lateral habenula (LHb), a nucleus that mediates communication between forebrain and midbrain structures, can increase their activity when an animal fails to receive an expected positive reward or receives a stimulus that predicts aversive conditions (that is, disappointment or anticipation of a negative outcome). LHb neurons project to, and modulate, dopamine-rich regions, such as the ventral tegmental area (VTA), that control reward-seeking behaviour and participate in depressive disorders. Here we show that in two learned helplessness models of depression, excitatory synapses onto LHb neurons projecting to the VTA are potentiated. Synaptic potentiation correlates with an animal's helplessness behaviour and is due to an enhanced presynaptic release probability. Depleting transmitter release by repeated electrical stimulation of LHb afferents, using a protocol that can be effective for patients who are depressed, markedly suppresses synaptic drive onto VTA-projecting LHb neurons in brain slices and can significantly reduce learned helplessness behaviour in rats. Our results indicate that increased presynaptic action onto LHb neurons contributes to the rodent learned helplessness model of depression.

  4. Synaptic potentiation onto habenula neurons in the learned helplessness model of depression

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Li, B.; Schulz, D.; Piriz, J.; Mirrione, M.; Chung, C.H.; Proulx, C.D.; Schulz, D.; Henn, F.; Malinow, R.

    2011-01-01

    The cellular basis of depressive disorders is poorly understood. Recent studies in monkeys indicate that neurons in the lateral habenula (LHb), a nucleus that mediates communication between forebrain and midbrain structures, can increase their activity when an animal fails to receive an expected positive reward or receives a stimulus that predicts aversive conditions (that is, disappointment or anticipation of a negative outcome). LHb neurons project to, and modulate, dopamine-rich regions, such as the ventral tegmental area (VTA), that control reward-seeking behaviour and participate in depressive disorders. Here we show that in two learned helplessness models of depression, excitatory synapses onto LHb neurons projecting to the VTA are potentiated. Synaptic potentiation correlates with an animal's helplessness behaviour and is due to an enhanced presynaptic release probability. Depleting transmitter release by repeated electrical stimulation of LHb afferents, using a protocol that can be effective for patients who are depressed, markedly suppresses synaptic drive onto VTA-projecting LHb neurons in brain slices and can significantly reduce learned helplessness behaviour in rats. Our results indicate that increased presynaptic action onto LHb neurons contributes to the rodent learned helplessness model of depression.

  5. Comparison of gene expression profile in embryonic mesencephalon and neuronal primary cultures.

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    Dario Greco

    Full Text Available In the mammalian central nervous system (CNS an important contingent of dopaminergic neurons are localized in the substantia nigra and in the ventral tegmental area of the ventral midbrain. They constitute an anatomically and functionally heterogeneous group of cells involved in a variety of regulatory mechanisms, from locomotion to emotional/motivational behavior. Midbrain dopaminergic neuron (mDA primary cultures represent a useful tool to study molecular mechanisms involved in their development and maintenance. Considerable information has been gathered on the mDA neurons development and maturation in vivo, as well as on the molecular features of mDA primary cultures. Here we investigated in detail the gene expression differences between the tissue of origin and ventral midbrain primary cultures enriched in mDA neurons, using microarray technique. We integrated the results based on different re-annotations of the microarray probes. By using knowledge-based gene network techniques and promoter sequence analysis, we also uncovered mechanisms that might regulate the expression of CNS genes involved in the definition of the identity of specific cell types in the ventral midbrain. We integrate bioinformatics and functional genomics, together with developmental neurobiology. Moreover, we propose guidelines for the computational analysis of microarray gene expression data. Our findings help to clarify some molecular aspects of the development and differentiation of DA neurons within the midbrain.

  6. Concentration-dependent activation of dopamine receptors differentially modulates GABA release onto orexin neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linehan, Victoria; Trask, Robert B; Briggs, Chantalle; Rowe, Todd M; Hirasawa, Michiru

    2015-08-01

    Dopamine (DA) and orexin neurons play important roles in reward and food intake. There are anatomical and functional connections between these two cell groups: orexin peptides stimulate DA neurons in the ventral tegmental area and DA inhibits orexin neurons in the hypothalamus. However, the cellular mechanisms underlying the action of DA on orexin neurons remain incompletely understood. Therefore, the effect of DA on inhibitory transmission to orexin neurons was investigated in rat brain slices using the whole-cell patch-clamp technique. We found that DA modulated the frequency of spontaneous and miniature IPSCs (mIPSCs) in a concentration-dependent bidirectional manner. Low (1 μM) and high (100 μM) concentrations of DA decreased and increased IPSC frequency, respectively. These effects did not accompany a change in mIPSC amplitude and persisted in the presence of G-protein signaling inhibitor GDPβS in the pipette, suggesting that DA acts presynaptically. The decrease in mIPSC frequency was mediated by D2 receptors whereas the increase required co-activation of D1 and D2 receptors and subsequent activation of phospholipase C. In summary, our results suggest that DA has complex effects on GABAergic transmission to orexin neurons, involving cooperation of multiple receptor subtypes. The direction of dopaminergic influence on orexin neurons is dependent on the level of DA in the hypothalamus. At low levels DA disinhibits orexin neurons whereas at high levels it facilitates GABA release, which may act as negative feedback to curb the excitatory orexinergic output to DA neurons. These mechanisms may have implications for consummatory and motivated behaviours. © 2015 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  7. Neuronal Responses in Visual Area V2 (V2) of Macaque Monkeys with Strabismic Amblyopia

    OpenAIRE

    Bi, H.; Zhang, B.; Tao, X.; Harwerth, R. S.; Smith, E. L.; Chino, Y. M.

    2011-01-01

    Amblyopia, a developmental disorder of spatial vision, is thought to result from a cascade of cortical deficits over several processing stages beginning at the primary visual cortex (V1). However, beyond V1, little is known about how cortical development limits the visual performance of amblyopic primates. We quantitatively analyzed the monocular and binocular responses of V1 and V2 neurons in a group of strabismic monkeys exhibiting varying depths of amblyopia. Unlike in V1, the relative eff...

  8. Propagated but Topologically Distributed Forebrain Neurons Expressing Alpha-Synuclein in Aged Macaques.

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    Katsuo Kimura

    Full Text Available In neurodegenerative disorders, such as Parkinson's disease (PD, alpha-synuclein (α-syn accumulates to induce cell death and/or form a cytoplasmic inclusion called Lewy body (LB. This α-syn-related pathology is termed synucleinopathy. It remains unclear how α-syn accumulation expands during the progress of synucleinopathy in the human brain. In our study, we investigated the patterns of distribution and propagation of forebrain neurons expressing α-syn in aged macaques. It was found that the occurrence of α-syn-positive neurons proceeded topologically based on the midbrain dopamine pathways arising from the substantia nigra and the ventral tegmental area where they were primarily observed. In the nigrostriatal or mesolimbic dopamine pathway, the age-dependent increase in α-syn-positive neurons was evident in the striatum or the nucleus accumbens, respectively. Concerning the nigrostriatal pathway, a mediolateral or rostrocaudal gradient was seen in the substantia nigra or the striatum, respectively, and a compensatory increase in dopamine transporter occurred in the striatum regardless of the decreased dopamine level. In the mesocortical dopamine pathway, α-syn-positive neurons appeared in the prefrontal and then motor areas of the frontal lobe. Given that neither LB formation nor clinical phenotype manifestation was detected in any of the monkeys examined in the present study, aged macaques may be useful as a potential presymptomatic model for PD and LB-related neuropsychiatric disorders.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  10. Serotonergic versus Nonserotonergic Dorsal Raphe Projection Neurons: Differential Participation in Reward Circuitry

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ross A. McDevitt

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available The dorsal raphe nucleus (DRN contains the largest group of serotonin-producing neurons in the brain and projects to regions controlling reward. Although pharmacological studies suggest that serotonin inhibits reward seeking, electrical stimulation of the DRN strongly reinforces instrumental behavior. Here, we provide a targeted assessment of the behavioral, anatomical, and electrophysiological contributions of serotonergic and nonserotonergic DRN neurons to reward processes. To explore DRN heterogeneity, we used a simultaneous two-vector knockout/optogenetic stimulation strategy, as well as cre-induced and cre-silenced vectors in several cre-expressing transgenic mouse lines. We found that the DRN is capable of reinforcing behavior primarily via nonserotonergic neurons, for which the main projection target is the ventral tegmental area (VTA. Furthermore, these nonserotonergic projections provide glutamatergic excitation of VTA dopamine neurons and account for a large majority of the DRN-VTA pathway. These findings help to resolve apparent discrepancies between the roles of serotonin versus the DRN in behavioral reinforcement.

  11. Endogenous fatty acid ethanolamides suppress nicotine-induced activation of mesolimbic dopamine neurons through nuclear receptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melis, Miriam; Pillolla, Giuliano; Luchicchi, Antonio; Muntoni, Anna Lisa; Yasar, Sevil; Goldberg, Steven R; Pistis, Marco

    2008-12-17

    Nicotine stimulates the activity of mesolimbic dopamine neurons, which is believed to mediate the rewarding and addictive properties of tobacco use. Accumulating evidence suggests that the endocannabinoid system might play a major role in neuronal mechanisms underlying the rewarding properties of drugs of abuse, including nicotine. Here, we investigated the modulation of nicotine effects by the endocannabinoid system on dopamine neurons in the ventral tegmental area with electrophysiological techniques in vivo and in vitro. We discovered that pharmacological inhibition of fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), the enzyme that catabolizes fatty acid ethanolamides, among which the endocannabinoid anandamide (AEA) is the best known, suppressed nicotine-induced excitation of dopamine cells. Importantly, this effect was mimicked by the administration of the FAAH substrates oleoylethanolamide (OEA) and palmitoylethanolamide (PEA), but not methanandamide, the hydrolysis resistant analog of AEA. OEA and PEA are naturally occurring lipid signaling molecules structurally related to AEA, but devoid of affinity for cannabinoid receptors. They blocked the effects of nicotine by activation of the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-alpha (PPAR-alpha), a nuclear receptor transcription factor involved in several aspects of lipid metabolism and energy balance. Activation of PPAR-alpha triggered a nongenomic stimulation of tyrosine kinases, which might lead to phosphorylation and negative regulation of neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. These data indicate for the first time that the anorexic lipids OEA and PEA possess neuromodulatory properties as endogenous ligands of PPAR-alpha in the brain and provide a potential new target for the treatment of nicotine addiction.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-09-01

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

  13. The Lateral Habenula and Its Input to the Rostromedial Tegmental Nucleus Mediates Outcome-Specific Conditioned Inhibition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laurent, Vincent; Wong, Felix L; Balleine, Bernard W

    2017-11-08

    Animals can readily learn that stimuli predict the absence of specific appetitive outcomes; however, the neural substrates underlying such outcome-specific conditioned inhibition remain largely unexplored. Here, using female and male rats as subjects, we examined the involvement of the lateral habenula (LHb) and of its inputs onto the rostromedial tegmental nucleus (RMTg) in inhibitory learning. In these experiments, we used backward conditioning and contingency reversal to establish outcome-specific conditioned inhibitors for two distinct appetitive outcomes. Then, using the Pavlovian-instrumental transfer paradigm, we assessed the effects of manipulations of the LHb and the LHb-RMTg pathway on that inhibitory encoding. In control animals, we found that an outcome-specific conditioned inhibitor biased choice away from actions delivering that outcome and toward actions earning other outcomes. Importantly, this bias was abolished by both electrolytic lesions of the LHb and selective ablation of LHb neurons using Cre-dependent Caspase3 expression in Cre-expressing neurons projecting to the RMTg. This deficit was specific to conditioned inhibition; an excitatory predictor of a specific outcome-biased choice toward actions delivering the same outcome to a similar degree whether the LHb or the LHb-RMTg network was intact or not. LHb lesions also disrupted the ability of animals to inhibit previously encoded stimulus-outcome contingencies after their reversal, pointing to a critical role of the LHb and of its inputs onto the RMTg in outcome-specific conditioned inhibition in appetitive settings. These findings are consistent with the developing view that the LHb promotes a negative reward prediction error in Pavlovian conditioning. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Stimuli that positively or negatively predict rewarding outcomes influence choice between actions that deliver those outcomes. Previous studies have found that a positive predictor of a specific outcome biases choice

  14. The I2020T Leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 transgenic mouse exhibits impaired locomotive ability accompanied by dopaminergic neuron abnormalities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maekawa Tatsunori

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2 is the gene responsible for autosomal-dominant Parkinson’s disease (PD, PARK8, but the mechanism by which LRRK2 mutations cause neuronal dysfunction remains unknown. In the present study, we investigated for the first time a transgenic (TG mouse strain expressing human LRRK2 with an I2020T mutation in the kinase domain, which had been detected in the patients of the original PARK8 family. Results The TG mouse expressed I2020T LRRK2 in dopaminergic (DA neurons of the substantia nigra, ventral tegmental area, and olfactory bulb. In both the beam test and rotarod test, the TG mice exhibited impaired locomotive ability in comparison with their non-transgenic (NTG littermates. Although there was no obvious loss of DA neurons in either the substantia nigra or striatum, the TG brain showed several neurological abnormalities such as a reduced striatal dopamine content, fragmentation of the Golgi apparatus in DA neurons, and an increased degree of microtubule polymerization. Furthermore, the tyrosine hydroxylase-positive primary neurons derived from the TG mouse showed an increased frequency of apoptosis and had neurites with fewer branches and decreased outgrowth in comparison with those derived from the NTG controls. Conclusions The I2020T LRRK2 TG mouse exhibited impaired locomotive ability accompanied by several dopaminergic neuron abnormalities. The TG mouse should provide valuable clues to the etiology of PD caused by the LRRK2 mutation.

  15. Effects of prostaglandin E2 on the electrical properties of thermally classified neurons in the ventromedial preoptic area of the rat hypothalamus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Griffin John D

    2005-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Physiological and morphological evidence suggests that activation of the ventromedial preoptic area of the hypothalamus (VMPO is an essential component of an intravenous LPS-dependent fever. In response to the endogenous pyrogen prostaglandin E2 (PGE2, the majority of temperature insensitive neurons in the VMPO show an increase in firing rate, while warm sensitive neurons are inhibited. We have hypothesized that these PGE2 dependent effects on firing rate are due to changes in the inherent electrical properties of VMPO neurons, which are regulated by the activity of specific ionic currents. Results To characterize the electrical properties of VMPO neurons, whole-cell recordings were made in tissue slices from male Sprague-Dawley rats. Our results indicate that PGE2 dependent firing rate responses were not the result of changes in resting membrane potential, action potential amplitude and duration, or local synaptic input. However, PGE2 reduced the input resistance of all VMPO neurons, while increasing the excitability of temperature insensitive neurons and decreasing the excitability of warm sensitive neurons. In addition, the majority of temperature insensitive neurons responded to PGE2 with an increase in the rate of rise of the depolarizing prepotential that precedes each action potential. This response to PGE2 was reversed for warm sensitive neurons, in which the prepotential rate of rise decreased. Conclusion We would therefore suggest that PGE2 is having an effect on the ionic currents that regulate firing rate by controlling how fast membrane potential rises to threshold during the prepotential phase of the action potential.

  16. Effects of electrical stimulation of ventral septal area on firing rates of pyrogen-treated thermosensitive neurons in preoptic anterior hypothalamus from rabbits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, Jun; Xie, Xin-Hua; Lu, Da-Xiang; Fu, Yong-Mei

    2007-01-09

    Although there is considerable evidence supporting that fever evolved as a host defense response, it is important that the rise in body temperature would not be too high. Many endogenous cryogens or antipyretics that limit the rise in body temperature have been identified. Endogenous antipyretics attenuate fever by influencing the thermoregulatory neurons in the preoptic anterior hypothalamus (POAH) and in adjacent septal areas including ventral septal area (VSA). Our previous study showed that intracerebroventricular (I.C.V.) injection of interleukin-1beta (IL-1beta) affected electrophysiological activities of thermosensitive neurons in VSA regions, and electrical stimulation of POAH reversed the effect of IL-1beta. To further investigate the functional electrophysiological connection between POAH and VSA and its mechanisms in thermoregulation, the firing rates of thermosensitive neurons in POAH of forty-seven unit discharge were recorded by using extracellular microelectrode technique in New Zealand white rabbits. Our results show that the firing rates of the warm-sensitive neurons decreased significantly and those of the cold-sensitive neurons increased in POAH when the pyrogen (IL-1beta) was injected I.C.V. The effects of IL-1beta on firing rates in thermosensitive neurons of POAH were reversed by electrical stimulation of VSA. An arginine vasopressin (AVP) V1 antagonist abolished the regulatory effects of VSA on the firing rates in thermosensitive neurons of POAH evoked by IL-1beta. However, an AVP V2 antagonist had no effects. These data indicated that VSA regulates the activities of the thermosensitive neurons of POAH through AVP V1 but not AVP V2 receptor.

  17. Deep Learning Predicts Correlation between a Functional Signature of Higher Visual Areas and Sparse Firing of Neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chengxu Zhuang

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Visual information in the visual cortex is processed in a hierarchical manner. Recent studies show that higher visual areas, such as V2, V3, and V4, respond more vigorously to images with naturalistic higher-order statistics than to images lacking them. This property is a functional signature of higher areas, as it is much weaker or even absent in the primary visual cortex (V1. However, the mechanism underlying this signature remains elusive. We studied this problem using computational models. In several typical hierarchical visual models including the AlexNet, VggNet, and SHMAX, this signature was found to be prominent in higher layers but much weaker in lower layers. By changing both the model structure and experimental settings, we found that the signature strongly correlated with sparse firing of units in higher layers but not with any other factors, including model structure, training algorithm (supervised or unsupervised, receptive field size, and property of training stimuli. The results suggest an important role of sparse neuronal activity underlying this special feature of higher visual areas.

  18. Neurons in the monoaminergic nuclei of the rat and human central nervous system express FA1/dlk

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Charlotte Harken; Meyer, M; Schrøder, Henrik Daa

    2001-01-01

    The gene DLK1 encodes a member of the epidermal growth factor (EGF) superfamily, delta-like (dlk). When exposed in vivo to the action of an unknown protease, this type 1 membrane protein generates a soluble peptide referred to as Fetal antigen 1 (FA1). By acting in juxtacrine as well as paracrine....../autocrine manners, both forms have been shown to be active in the differentiation/proliferation process of various cell types. In adults, FA1/dlk has been demonstrated mainly within (neuro) endocrine tissues. In this study we investigated the presence of FA1/dlk in other parts of the developing and adult rat...... and human CNS. Using immunocytochemistry and in situ hybridization we found that in both species FA1/dlk was expressed in neurons of the Edinger-Westphal's nucleus as well as in substantia nigra, ventral tegmental area (VTA), locus coeruleus and in certain parts of the raphe nuclei....

  19. Role for the Rostromedial Tegmental Nucleus in Signaling the Aversive Properties of Alcohol.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glover, Elizabeth J; McDougle, Molly J; Siegel, Griffin S; Jhou, Thomas C; Chandler, L Judson

    2016-08-01

    While the rewarding effects of alcohol contribute significantly to its addictive potential, it is becoming increasingly appreciated that alcohol's aversive properties also play an important role in the propensity to drink. Despite this, the neurobiological mechanism for alcohol's aversive actions is not well understood. The rostromedial tegmental nucleus (RMTg) was recently characterized for its involvement in aversive signaling and has been shown to encode the aversive properties of cocaine, yet its involvement in alcohol's aversive actions have not been elucidated. Adult male and female Long-Evans rats underwent conditioned taste aversion (CTA) procedures where exposure to a novel saccharin solution was paired with intraperitoneal administration of saline, lithium chloride (LiCl), or ethanol (EtOH). Control rats underwent the same paradigm except that drug and saccharin exposure were explicitly unpaired. Saccharin consumption was measured on test day in the absence of drug administration, and rats were sacrificed 90 to 105 minutes following access to saccharin. Brains were subsequently harvested and processed for cFos immunohistochemistry. The number of cFos-labeled neurons was counted in the RMTg and the lateral habenula (LHb)-a region that sends prominent glutamatergic input to the RMTg. In rats that received paired drug and saccharin exposure, EtOH and LiCl induced significant CTA compared to saline to a similar degree in males and females. Both EtOH- and LiCl-induced CTA significantly enhanced cFos expression in the RMTg and LHb but not the hippocampus. Similar to behavioral measures, no significant effect of sex on CTA-induced cFos expression was observed. cFos expression in both the RMTg and LHb was significantly correlated with CTA magnitude with greater cFos being associated with more pronounced CTA. In addition, cFos expression in the RMTg was positively correlated with LHb cFos. These data suggest that the RMTg and LHb are involved in the expression of

  20. Sleep deprivation causes memory deficits by negatively impacting neuronal connectivity in hippocampal area CA1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Havekes, Robbert; Park, Alan J; Tudor, Jennifer C; Luczak, Vincent G; Hansen, Rolf T; Ferri, Sarah L; Bruinenberg, Vibeke M; Poplawski, Shane G; Day, Jonathan P; Aton, Sara J; Radwańska, Kasia; Meerlo, Peter; Houslay, Miles D; Baillie, George S; Abel, Ted

    2016-01-01

    Brief periods of sleep loss have long-lasting consequences such as impaired memory consolidation. Structural changes in synaptic connectivity have been proposed as a substrate of memory storage. Here, we examine the impact of brief periods of sleep deprivation on dendritic structure. In mice, we find that five hours of sleep deprivation decreases dendritic spine numbers selectively in hippocampal area CA1 and increased activity of the filamentous actin severing protein cofilin. Recovery sleep normalizes these structural alterations. Suppression of cofilin function prevents spine loss, deficits in hippocampal synaptic plasticity, and impairments in long-term memory caused by sleep deprivation. The elevated cofilin activity is caused by cAMP-degrading phosphodiesterase-4A5 (PDE4A5), which hampers cAMP-PKA-LIMK signaling. Attenuating PDE4A5 function prevents changes in cAMP-PKA-LIMK-cofilin signaling and cognitive deficits associated with sleep deprivation. Our work demonstrates the necessity of an intact cAMP-PDE4-PKA-LIMK-cofilin activation-signaling pathway for sleep deprivation-induced memory disruption and reduction in hippocampal spine density. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.13424.001 PMID:27549340

  1. Importance of kynurenine 3-monooxygenase for spontaneous firing and pharmacological responses of midbrain dopamine neurons: Relevance for schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tufvesson-Alm, Maximilian; Schwieler, Lilly; Schwarcz, Robert; Goiny, Michel; Erhardt, Sophie; Engberg, Göran

    2018-06-05

    Kynurenine 3-monooxygenase (KMO) is an essential enzyme of the kynurenine pathway, converting kynurenine into 3-hydroxykynurenine. Inhibition of KMO increases kynurenine, resulting in elevated levels of kynurenic acid (KYNA), an endogenous N-methyl-d-aspartate and α*7-nicotinic receptor antagonist. The concentration of KYNA is elevated in the brain of patients with schizophrenia, possibly as a result of a reduced KMO activity. In the present study, using in vivo single cell recording techniques, we investigated the electrophysiological characteristics of ventral tegmental area dopamine (VTA DA) neurons and their response to antipsychotic drugs in a KMO knock-out (K/O) mouse model. KMO K/O mice exhibited a marked increase in spontaneous VTA DA neuron activity as compared to wild-type (WT) mice. Furthermore, VTA DA neurons showed clear-cut, yet qualitatively opposite, responses to the antipsychotic drugs haloperidol and clozapine in the two genotypes. The anti-inflammatory drug parecoxib successfully lowered the firing activity of VTA DA neurons in KMO K/O, but not in WT mice. Minocycline, an antibiotic and anti-inflammatory drug, produced no effect in this regard. Taken together, the present data further support the usefulness of KMO K/O mice for studying distinct aspects of the pathophysiology and pharmacological treatment of psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

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

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    Matthew T C Brown

    2010-12-01

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

  3. Contribution of ventral tegmental GABA receptors to cocaine self-administration in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Backes, E N; Hemby, S E

    2008-03-01

    Recent evidence has suggested that compounds affecting GABAergic transmission may provide useful pharmacological tools for the treatment of cocaine addiction. Using a rat model of self-administration, the present study examined the effects of GABA agonists and antagonists injected directly into the ventral tegmental area (VTA) on cocaine intake in rats trained to self-administer cocaine (0, 125, 250 and 500 microg/infusion) under an FR5 schedule of reinforcement. Separate groups of rats received bilateral intra-VTA injections of the GABA-A antagonist picrotoxin (34 ng/side, n = 7; 68 ng/side, n = 8), GABA-A agonist muscimol (14 ng/side, n = 8), GABA-B agonist baclofen (56 ng/side, n = 7; 100 ng/side, n = 6), picrotoxin (68 ng/side) co-injected with the GABA-B antagonist 2-hydroxysaclofen (100 ng/side, n = 7; 2 microg/side, n = 8) or artificial cerebrospinal fluid (aCSF, n = 6) to assess the effects of the various compounds on the cocaine self-administration dose-response curve. Both picrotoxin and baclofen reduced responding maintained by cocaine, whereas muscimol had no effect on responding. In contrast, neither picrotoxin (n = 6) nor baclofen (n = 8) affected responding maintained by food. Interestingly, 2-hydroxysaclofen effectively blocked the suppression of responding produced by picrotoxin, suggesting that both picrotoxin and baclofen exert their effects via activation of GABA-B receptors. Additionally, these effects appear to be specific to cocaine reinforcement, supporting current investigation of baclofen as a treatment for cocaine addiction.

  4. Symmetrical central tegmental tract (CTT) hyperintense lesions on magnetic resonance imaging in children

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yoshida, Shoko; Hayakawa, Katsumi; Yamamoto, Akira; Aida, Noriko; Okano, Souzo; Matsushita, Hiroko; Kanda, Toyoko; Yamori, Yuriko; Yoshida, Naoko; Hirota, Haruyo

    2009-01-01

    The central tegmental tract (CTT) is mainly the extrapyramidal tract connecting between the red nucleus and the inferior olivary nucleus. There are only a few case reports describing CTT abnormalities on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in children. Our purpose was to evaluate the frequency of CTT lesions and their characteristics on MRI, and to correlate the MR imaging findings with clinical features. We reviewed retrospectively the MR images of 392 children (215 boys and 177 girls) ranging in age from 1 to 6 years. To evaluate symmetrical CTT hyperintense lesions, we defined a CTT lesion as an area of bilateral symmetrical hyperintensity in the tegmentum pontis on both T2-weighted images and diffusion-weighted images in more than two slices. We measured the ADC (apparent diffusion coefficient) values of symmetrical CTT hyperintensity, and compared them with those of children without CTT abnormality. CTT lesions were detected in 20 (5.1%) of the 392 children. The mean ADC value for these 20 children was significantly lower than that of the normal CTT (p<0.001). On MR imaging, other than CTT lesions, associated parenchymal lesion included: none (n=6); other abnormalities, including periventricular leukomalacia (n=3); thin corpus callosum (n=3); ventricular dilatation (n=2); encephalopathy (n=2). Clinically, cerebral palsy was the most frequent clinical diagnosis (n=6), accounting for 30%, which was significantly more frequent than the prevalence of cerebral palsy among children without CTT lesions (13%) (n<0.05). CTT lesions were detected in 5.1% of all the children examined. Cerebral palsy was the most frequent clinical diagnosis. (orig.)

  5. Symmetrical central tegmental tract (CTT) hyperintense lesions on magnetic resonance imaging in children

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yoshida, Shoko; Hayakawa, Katsumi; Yamamoto, Akira [Kyoto City Hospital, Department of Radiology, Kyoto (Japan); Aida, Noriko [Kanagawa Children' s Medical Center, Department of Radiology, Kyoto (Japan); Okano, Souzo; Matsushita, Hiroko [Kyoto City Hospital, Department of Pediatrics, Kyoto (Japan); Kanda, Toyoko; Yamori, Yuriko; Yoshida, Naoko; Hirota, Haruyo [St. Joseph Hospital for Handicapped Children, Department of Pediatric Neurology, Kyoto (Japan)

    2009-02-15

    The central tegmental tract (CTT) is mainly the extrapyramidal tract connecting between the red nucleus and the inferior olivary nucleus. There are only a few case reports describing CTT abnormalities on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in children. Our purpose was to evaluate the frequency of CTT lesions and their characteristics on MRI, and to correlate the MR imaging findings with clinical features. We reviewed retrospectively the MR images of 392 children (215 boys and 177 girls) ranging in age from 1 to 6 years. To evaluate symmetrical CTT hyperintense lesions, we defined a CTT lesion as an area of bilateral symmetrical hyperintensity in the tegmentum pontis on both T2-weighted images and diffusion-weighted images in more than two slices. We measured the ADC (apparent diffusion coefficient) values of symmetrical CTT hyperintensity, and compared them with those of children without CTT abnormality. CTT lesions were detected in 20 (5.1%) of the 392 children. The mean ADC value for these 20 children was significantly lower than that of the normal CTT (p<0.001). On MR imaging, other than CTT lesions, associated parenchymal lesion included: none (n=6); other abnormalities, including periventricular leukomalacia (n=3); thin corpus callosum (n=3); ventricular dilatation (n=2); encephalopathy (n=2). Clinically, cerebral palsy was the most frequent clinical diagnosis (n=6), accounting for 30%, which was significantly more frequent than the prevalence of cerebral palsy among children without CTT lesions (13%) (n<0.05). CTT lesions were detected in 5.1% of all the children examined. Cerebral palsy was the most frequent clinical diagnosis. (orig.)

  6. Repeated in vivo exposure of cocaine induces long-lasting synaptic plasticity in hypocretin/orexin-producing neurons in the lateral hypothalamus in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rao, Yan; Mineur, Yann S; Gan, Geliang; Wang, Alex Hanxiang; Liu, Zhong-Wu; Wu, Xinyuan; Suyama, Shigetomo; de Lecea, Luis; Horvath, Tamas L; Picciotto, Marina R; Gao, Xiao-Bing

    2013-04-01

    Hypocretin (orexin), a neuropeptide synthesized exclusively in the perifornical/lateral hypothalamus, is critical for drug seeking and relapse, but it is not clear how the circuitry centred on hypocretin-producing neurons (hypocretin neurons) is modified by drugs of abuse and how changes in this circuit might alter behaviours related to drug addiction. In this study, we show that repeated, but not single, in vivo cocaine administration leads to a long-lasting, experience-dependent potentiation of glutamatergic synapses on hypocretin neurons in mice following a cocaine-conditioned place preference (CPP) protocol. The synaptic potentiation occurs postsynaptically and probably involves up-regulation of AMPA-type glutamate receptors on hypocretin neurons. Phosphorylation of cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB) is also significantly increased in hypocretin neurons in cocaine-treated animals, suggesting that CREB-mediated pathways may contribute to synaptic potentiation in these cells. Furthermore, the potentiation of synaptic efficacy in hypocretin neurons persists during cocaine withdrawal, but reverses to baseline levels after prolonged abstinence. Finally, the induction of long-term potentiation (LTP) triggered by a high-frequency stimulation is facilitated in hypocretin neurons in cocaine-treated mice, suggesting that long-lasting changes in synapses onto hypocretin neurons would probably be further potentiated by other stimuli (such as concurrent environmental cues) paired with the drug. In summary, we show here that hypocretin neurons undergo experience-dependent synaptic potentiation that is distinct from that reported in other reward systems, such as the ventral tegmental area, following exposure to cocaine. These findings support the idea that the hypocretin system is important for behavioural changes associated with cocaine administration in animals and humans.

  7. The effect of low frequency stimulation of the pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus on basal ganglia in a rat model of Parkinson's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Eunkyoung; Song, Inho; Jang, Dong Pyo; Kim, In Young

    2014-08-08

    The pedunculopontine nucleus (PPN) has recently been introduced as an alternative target to the subthalamic nucleus (STN) or globus pallidus internus (GPi) for the treatment of advanced Parkinson's disease with severe and medically intractable axial symptoms such as gait and postural impairment. However, it is little known about how electrical stimulation of the PPN affects control of neuronal activities between the PPN and basal ganglia. We examined how low frequency stimulation of the pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus (PPTg) affects control of neuronal activities between the PPN and basal ganglia in 6-OHDA lesioned rats. In order to identify the effect of low frequency stimulation on the PPTg, neuronal activity in both the STN and substantia nigra par reticulata (SNr) were recorded and subjected to quantitative analysis, including analysis of firing rates and firing patterns. In this study, we found that the firing rates of the STN and SNr were suppressed during low frequency stimulation of the PPTg. However, the firing pattern, in contrast to the firing rate, did not exhibit significant changes in either the STN or SNr of 6-OHDA lesioned rats during low frequency stimulation of the PPTg. In addition, we also found that the firing rate of STN and SNr neurons displaying burst and random pattern were decreased by low frequency stimulation of PPTg, while the neurons displaying regular pattern were not affected. These results indicate that low frequency stimulation of the PPTg affects neuronal activity in both the STN and SNr, and may represent electrophysiological efficacy of low frequency PPN stimulation. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. [Mirror neurons].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rubia Vila, Francisco José

    2011-01-01

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

  9. Neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors: Common molecular substrates of nicotine and alcohol dependence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Linzy M. Hendrickson

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Alcohol and nicotine are often co-abused. As many as 80-95% of alcoholics are also smokers, suggesting that ethanol and nicotine, the primary addictive component of tobacco smoke, may functionally interact in the central nervous system and/or share a common mechanism of action. While nicotine initiates dependence by binding to and activating neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs, ligand-gated cation channels normally activated by endogenous acetylcholine (ACh, ethanol is much less specific with the ability to modulate multiple gene products including those encoding voltage-gated ion channels, and excitatory/inhibitory neurotransmitter receptors. However, emerging data indicate that ethanol interacts with nAChRs, both directly and indirectly, in the mesocorticolimbic dopaminergic (DAergic reward circuitry to affect brain reward systems. Like nicotine, ethanol activates DAergic neurons of the ventral tegmental area (VTA which project to the nucleus accumbens (NAc. Blockade of VTA nAChRs reduces ethanol-mediated activation of DAergic neurons, NAc DA release, consumption, and operant responding for ethanol in rodents. Thus, ethanol may increase ACh release into the VTA driving activation of DAergic neurons through nAChRs. In addition, ethanol potentiates distinct nAChR subtype responses to ACh and nicotine in vitro and in DAergic neurons. The smoking cessation therapeutic and nAChR partial agonist, varenicline, reduces alcohol consumption in heavy drinking smokers and rodent models of alcohol consumption. Finally, single nucleotide polymorphisms in nAChR subunit genes are associated with alcohol dependence phenotypes and smoking behaviors in human populations. Together, results from preclinical, clinical, and genetic studies indicate that nAChRs may have an inherent role in the abusive properties of ethanol, as well as in nicotine and alcohol co-dependence.

  10. Neuroanatomy of melanocortin-4 receptor pathway in the lateral hypothalamic area.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cui, Huxing; Sohn, Jong-Woo; Gautron, Laurent; Funahashi, Hisayuki; Williams, Kevin W; Elmquist, Joel K; Lutter, Michael

    2012-12-15

    The central melanocortin system regulates body energy homeostasis including the melanocortin-4 receptor (MC4R). The lateral hypothalamic area (LHA) receives dense melanocortinergic inputs from the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus and regulates multiple processes including food intake, reward behaviors, and autonomic function. By using a mouse line in which green fluorescent protein (GFP) is expressed under control of the MC4R gene promoter, we systemically investigated MC4R signaling in the LHA by combining double immunohistochemistry, electrophysiology, and retrograde tracing techniques. We found that LHA MC4R-GFP neurons coexpress neurotensin as well as the leptin receptor but do not coexpress other peptide neurotransmitters found in the LHA including orexin, melanin-concentrating hormone, and nesfatin-1. Furthermore, electrophysiological recording demonstrated that leptin, but not the MC4R agonist melanotan II, hyperpolarizes the majority of LHA MC4R-GFP neurons in an ATP- sensitive potassium channel-dependent manner. Retrograde tracing revealed that LHA MC4R-GFP neurons do not project to the ventral tegmental area, dorsal raphe nucleus, nucleus accumbens, and spinal cord, and only limited number of neurons project to the nucleus of the solitary tract and parabrachial nucleus. Our findings provide new insights into MC4R signaling in the LHA and its potential implications in homeostatic regulation of body energy balance. Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  11. Networks of VTA Neurons Encode Real-Time Information about Uncertain Numbers of Actions Executed to Earn a Reward

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jesse Wood

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Multiple and unpredictable numbers of actions are often required to achieve a goal. In order to organize behavior and allocate effort so that optimal behavioral policies can be selected, it is necessary to continually monitor ongoing actions. Real-time processing of information related to actions and outcomes is typically assigned to the prefrontal cortex and basal ganglia, but also depends on midbrain regions, especially the ventral tegmental area (VTA. We were interested in how individual VTA neurons, as well as networks within the VTA, encode salient events when an unpredictable number of serial actions are required to obtain a reward. We recorded from ensembles of putative dopamine and non-dopamine neurons in the VTA as animals performed multiple cued trials in a recording session where, in each trial, serial actions were randomly rewarded. While averaging population activity did not reveal a response pattern, we observed that different neurons were selectively tuned to low, medium, or high numbered actions in a trial. This preferential tuning of putative dopamine and non-dopamine VTA neurons to different subsets of actions in a trial allowed information about binned action number to be decoded from the ensemble activity. At the network level, tuning curve similarity was positively associated with action-evoked noise correlations, suggesting that action number selectivity reflects functional connectivity within these networks. Analysis of phasic responses to cue and reward revealed that the requirement to execute multiple and uncertain numbers of actions weakens both cue-evoked responses and cue-reward response correlation. The functional connectivity and ensemble coding scheme that we observe here may allow VTA neurons to cooperatively provide a real-time account of ongoing behavior. These computations may be critical to cognitive and motivational functions that have long been associated with VTA dopamine neurons.

  12. Leptin Suppresses the Rewarding Effects of Running via STAT3 Signaling in Dopamine Neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernandes, Maria Fernanda A; Matthys, Dominique; Hryhorczuk, Cécile; Sharma, Sandeep; Mogra, Shabana; Alquier, Thierry; Fulton, Stephanie

    2015-10-06

    The adipose hormone leptin potently influences physical activity. Leptin can decrease locomotion and running, yet the mechanisms involved and the influence of leptin on the rewarding effects of running ("runner's high") are unknown. Leptin receptor (LepR) signaling involves activation of signal transducer and activator of transcription-3 (STAT3), including in dopamine neurons of the ventral tegmental area (VTA) that are essential for reward-relevant behavior. We found that mice lacking STAT3 in dopamine neurons exhibit greater voluntary running, an effect reversed by viral-mediated STAT3 restoration. STAT3 deletion increased the rewarding effects of running whereas intra-VTA leptin blocked it in a STAT3-dependent manner. Finally, STAT3 loss-of-function reduced mesolimbic dopamine overflow and function. Findings suggest that leptin influences the motivational effects of running via LepR-STAT3 modulation of dopamine tone. Falling leptin is hypothesized to increase stamina and the rewarding effects of running as an adaptive means to enhance the pursuit and procurement of food. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. The Effect of N-acetyl-cysteine on Memory Retrieval and the Number of Intact Neurons of Hippocampal CA1 Area in Streptozotocin-induced Alzheimeric Male Rats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Niloufar Darbandi

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background: Alzheimer is a neurodegenerative disease wich caused memory impairment, reduced cognitive functions, intellectual ability and behavior changes. In this study, the effect of N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC as a strong antioxidant on memory deficiency and number of CA1 pyramidal neurons in Streptozotocine (STZ - induced Alzheimeric rats were studied. Materials and Methods: 32 Male Wistar rats were divided into four groups: sham group, streptozotocin group, treated group with streptozotocin plus N-acetyl-cysteine, and treated group with N-acetyl-cysteine alone. Intracerebroventricular (ICV administration of STZ was done in the first and the third day of surgery and i.p injection of N-acetyl-cysteine was done in the fourth of surgery. After the memory test, the animals were killed and their brains were fixed and density of intact neurons in the CA1 area of the hippocampus was investigated. Statistical analysis was performed with software SPSS, ANOVA and Prisme software. The level of statistical significance was set at p 0.05. Conclusion: N-acetyl-cysteine improved memory retrieval and hippocampal CA1 area intact neurons in streptozotocin-induced Alzheimeric male rats.

  14. Nicotinic receptor blockade decreases fos immunoreactivity within orexin/hypocretin-expressing neurons of nicotine-exposed rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simmons, Steven J; Gentile, Taylor A; Mo, Lili; Tran, Fionya H; Ma, Sisi; Muschamp, John W

    2016-11-01

    Tobacco smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States. Nicotine is the principal psychoactive ingredient in tobacco that causes addiction. The structures governing nicotine addiction, including those underlying withdrawal, are still being explored. Nicotine withdrawal is characterized by negative affective and cognitive symptoms that enhance relapse susceptibility, and suppressed dopaminergic transmission from ventral tegmental area (VTA) to target structures underlies behavioral symptoms of nicotine withdrawal. Agonist and partial agonist therapies help 1 in 4 treatment-seeking smokers at one-year post-cessation, and new targets are needed to more effectively aid smokers attempting to quit. Hypothalamic orexin/hypocretin neurons send excitatory projections to dopamine (DA)-producing neurons of VTA and modulate mesoaccumbal DA release. The effects of nicotinic receptor blockade, which is commonly used to precipitate withdrawal, on orexin neurons remain poorly investigated and present an attractive target for intervention. The present study sought to investigate the effects of nicotinic receptor blockade on hypothalamic orexin neurons using mecamylamine to precipitate withdrawal in rats. Separate groups of rats were treated with either chronic nicotine or saline for 7-days at which point effects of mecamylamine or saline on somatic signs and anxiety-like behavior were assessed. Finally, tissue from rats was harvested for immunofluorescent analysis of Fos within orexin neurons. Results demonstrate that nicotinic receptor blockade leads to reduced orexin cell activity, as indicated by lowered Fos-immunoreactivity, and suggest that this underlying cellular activity may be associated with symptoms of nicotine withdrawal as effects were most prominently observed in rats given chronic nicotine. We conclude from this study that orexin transmission becomes suppressed in rats upon nicotinic receptor blockade, and that behavioral symptoms associated

  15. Arginine vasopressin antagonizes the effects of prostaglandin E2 on the spontaneous activity of warm-sensitive and temperature-insensitive neurons in the medial preoptic area in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Jian-Hui; Hou, Xiao-Yu; Tang, Yu; Luo, Rong; Zhang, Jie; Liu, Chang; Yang, Yong-Lu

    2018-01-01

    Arginine vasopressin (AVP) plays an important role in thermoregulation and antipyresis. We have demonstrated that AVP could change the spontaneous activity of thermosensitive and temperature insensitive neurons in the preoptic area. However, whether AVP influences the effects of prostaglandin E 2 (PGE 2 ) on the spontaneous activity of neurons in the medial preoptic area (MPO) remains unclear. Our experiment showed that PGE 2 decreased the spontaneous activity of warm-sensitive neurons, and increased that of low-slope temperature-insensitive neurons in the MPO. AVP attenuated the inhibitory effect of PGE 2 on warm-sensitive neurons, and reversed the excitatory effect of PGE 2 on low-slope temperature-insensitive neurons, demonstrating that AVP antagonized the effects of PGE 2 on the spontaneous activity of these neurons. The effect of AVP was suppressed by an AVP V 1a receptor antagonist, suggesting that V 1a receptor mediated the action of AVP. We also demonstrated that AVP attenuated the PGE 2 -induced decrease in the prepotential's rate of rise in warm-sensitive neurons and the PGE 2 -induced increase in that in low-slope temperature-insensitive neurons through the V 1a receptor. Together, these data indicated that AVP antagonized the PGE 2 -induced change in the spontaneous activity of warm-sensitive and low-slope temperature-insensitive neurons in the MPO partly by reducing the PGE 2 -induced change in the prepotential of these neurons in a V 1a receptor-dependent manner. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Limbic connections with the ventral tegmental area in the nonhuman primate

    OpenAIRE

    Hernández Mombiela, Diana

    2016-01-01

    Las conductas adictivas consisten en la perdida de libertad frente a una variedad de estímulos en los que el individuo ha perdido la capacidad de controlar sus propios impulsos. Gran cantidad de trabajos experimentales se ha hecho para descubrir los mecanismos neurobiológicos subyacentes en la adicción, especialmente en los roedores. Conductas adictivas observadas en modelos experimentales muestran déficits en las funciones cognitivas que dependen del lóbulo frontal, en particular en la activ...

  17. The effects of acute alcohol exposure on the response properties of neurons in visual cortex area 17 of cats

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chen Bo; Xia Jing; Li Guangxing; Zhou Yifeng

    2010-01-01

    Physiological and behavioral studies have demonstrated that a number of visual functions such as visual acuity, contrast sensitivity, and motion perception can be impaired by acute alcohol exposure. The orientation- and direction-selective responses of cells in primary visual cortex are thought to participate in the perception of form and motion. To investigate how orientation selectivity and direction selectivity of neurons are influenced by acute alcohol exposure in vivo, we used the extracellular single-unit recording technique to examine the response properties of neurons in primary visual cortex (A17) of adult cats. We found that alcohol reduces spontaneous activity, visual evoked unit responses, the signal-to-noise ratio, and orientation selectivity of A17 cells. In addition, small but detectable changes in both the preferred orientation/direction and the bandwidth of the orientation tuning curve of strongly orientation-biased A17 cells were observed after acute alcohol administration. Our findings may provide physiological evidence for some alcohol-related deficits in visual function observed in behavioral studies.

  18. Effect of Testosterone on Neuronal Morphology and Neuritic Growth of Fetal Lamb Hypothalamus-Preoptic Area and Cerebral Cortex in Primary Culture.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Radhika C Reddy

    Full Text Available Testosterone plays an essential role in sexual differentiation of the male sheep brain. The ovine sexually dimorphic nucleus (oSDN, is 2 to 3 times larger in males than in females, and this sex difference is under the control of testosterone. The effect of testosterone on oSDN volume may result from enhanced expansion of soma areas and/or dendritic fields. To test this hypothesis, cells derived from the hypothalamus-preoptic area (HPOA and cerebral cortex (CTX of lamb fetuses were grown in primary culture to examine the direct morphological effects of testosterone on these cellular components. We found that within two days of plating, neurons derived from both the HPOA and CTX extend neuritic processes and express androgen receptors and aromatase immunoreactivity. Both treated and control neurites continue to grow and branch with increasing time in culture. Treatment with testosterone (10 nM for 3 days significantly (P < 0.05 increased both total neurite outgrowth (35% and soma size (8% in the HPOA and outgrowth (21% and number of branch points (33% in the CTX. These findings indicate that testosterone-induced somal enlargement and neurite outgrowth in fetal lamb neurons may contribute to the development of a fully masculine sheep brain.

  19. Brainstem projections of neurons located in various subdivisions of the dorsolateral hypothalamic area – an anterograde tract-tracing study

    OpenAIRE

    Rege Sugárka Papp; Rege Sugárka Papp; Miklos ePalkovits; Miklos ePalkovits

    2014-01-01

    The projections from the dorsolateral hypothalamic area (DLH) to the lower brainstem have been investigated by using biotinylated dextran amine (BDA), an anterograde tracer in rats. The DLH can be divided into 3 areas (dorsomedial hypothalamus, perifornical area, lateral hypothalamic area), and further subdivided into 8 subdivisions. After unilateral stereotaxic injections of BDA into individual DLH subdivisions, the correct sites of injections were controlled histologically, and the distribu...

  20. Neurons of the A5 region are required for the tachycardia evoked by electrical stimulation of the hypothalamic defence area in anaesthetized rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    López-González, M V; Díaz-Casares, A; Peinado-Aragonés, C A; Lara, J P; Barbancho, M A; Dawid-Milner, M S

    2013-08-01

    In order to assess the possible interactions between the pontine A5 region and the hypothalamic defence area (HDA), we have examined the pattern of double staining for c-Fos protein immunoreactivity (c-Fos-ir) and tyrosine hydroxylase, throughout the rostrocaudal extent of the A5 region in spontaneously breathing anaesthetized male Sprague-Dawley rats during electrical stimulation of the HDA. Activation of the HDA elicited a selective increase in c-Fos-ir with an ipsilateral predominance in catecholaminergic and non-catecholaminergic A5 somata (P HDA. Cardiorespiratory changes were analysed in response to electrical stimulation of the HDA before and after ipsilateral microinjection of muscimol within the A5 region. Stimulation of the HDA evoked an inspiratory facilitatory response, consisting of an increase in respiratory rate (P HDA stimulation were reduced (P HDA and the A5 region, extracellular recordings of putative A5 neurones were obtained during HDA stimulation. Seventy-five A5 cells were recorded, 35 of which were affected by the HDA (47%). These results indicate that neurones of the A5 region participate in the cardiovascular response evoked from the HDA. The possible mechanisms involved in these interactions are discussed.

  1. Molecular and Neuronal Plasticity Mechanisms in the Amygdala-Prefrontal Cortical Circuit: Implications for Opiate Addiction Memory Formation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura G Rosen

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available The persistence of associative memories linked to the rewarding properties of drugs of abuse is a core underlying feature of the addiction process. Opiate class drugs in particular, possess potent euphorigenic effects which, when linked to environmental cues, can produce drug-related ‘trigger’ memories that may persist for lengthy periods of time, even during abstinence, in both humans and other animals. Furthermore, the transitional switch from the drug-naïve, non-dependent state to states of dependence and withdrawal, represents a critical boundary between distinct neuronal and molecular substrates associated with opiate-reward memory formation. Identifying the functional molecular and neuronal mechanisms related to the acquisition, consolidation, recall and extinction phases of opiate-related reward memories is critical for understanding, and potentially reversing, addiction-related memory plasticity characteristic of compulsive drug-seeking behaviors. The mammalian prefrontal cortex (PFC and basolateral nucleus of the amygdala (BLA share important functional and anatomical connections that are involved importantly in the processing of associative memories linked to drug reward. In addition, both regions share interconnections with the mesolimbic pathway’s ventral tegmental area (VTA and nucleus accumbens (NAc and can modulate dopamine (DA transmission and neuronal activity associated with drug-related DAergic signaling dynamics. In this review, we will summarize research from both human and animal modelling studies highlighting the importance of neuronal and molecular plasticity mechanisms within this circuitry during critical phases of opiate addiction-related learning and memory processing. Specifically, we will focus on two molecular signaling pathways known to be involved in both drug-related neuroadaptations and in memory-related plasticity mechanisms; the extracellular-signal-regulated kinase system (ERK and the Ca2+/calmodulin

  2. Pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus lesions impair stimulus--reward learning in autoshaping and conditioned reinforcement paradigms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Inglis, W L; Olmstead, M C; Robbins, T W

    2000-04-01

    The role of the pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus (PPTg) in stimulus-reward learning was assessed by testing the effects of PPTg lesions on performance in visual autoshaping and conditioned reinforcement (CRf) paradigms. Rats with PPTg lesions were unable to learn an association between a conditioned stimulus (CS) and a primary reward in either paradigm. In the autoshaping experiment, PPTg-lesioned rats approached the CS+ and CS- with equal frequency, and the latencies to respond to the two stimuli did not differ. PPTg lesions also disrupted discriminated approaches to an appetitive CS in the CRf paradigm and completely abolished the acquisition of responding with CRf. These data are discussed in the context of a possible cognitive function of the PPTg, particularly in terms of lesion-induced disruptions of attentional processes that are mediated by the thalamus.

  3. Dopamine D1-D2 receptor heteromer in dual phenotype GABA/glutamate-coexpressing striatal medium spiny neurons: regulation of BDNF, GAD67 and VGLUT1/2.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Melissa L Perreault

    Full Text Available In basal ganglia a significant subset of GABAergic medium spiny neurons (MSNs coexpress D1 and D2 receptors (D1R and D2R along with the neuropeptides dynorphin (DYN and enkephalin (ENK. These coexpressing neurons have been recently shown to have a region-specific distribution throughout the mesolimbic and basal ganglia circuits. While the functional relevance of these MSNs remains relatively unexplored, they have been shown to exhibit the unique property of expressing the dopamine D1-D2 receptor heteromer, a novel receptor complex with distinct pharmacology and cell signaling properties. Here we showed that MSNs coexpressing the D1R and D2R also exhibited a dual GABA/glutamate phenotype. Activation of the D1R-D2R heteromer in these neurons resulted in the simultaneous, but differential regulation of proteins involved in GABA and glutamate production or vesicular uptake in the nucleus accumbens (NAc, ventral tegmental area (VTA, caudate putamen and substantia nigra (SN. Additionally, activation of the D1R-D2R heteromer in NAc shell, but not NAc core, differentially altered protein expression in VTA and SN, regions rich in dopamine cell bodies. The identification of a MSN with dual inhibitory and excitatory intrinsic functions provides new insights into the neuroanatomy of the basal ganglia and demonstrates a novel source of glutamate in this circuit. Furthermore, the demonstration of a dopamine receptor complex with the potential to differentially regulate the expression of proteins directly involved in GABAergic inhibitory or glutamatergic excitatory activation in VTA and SN may potentially provide new insights into the regulation of dopamine neuron activity. This could have broad implications in understanding how dysregulation of neurotransmission within basal ganglia contributes to dopamine neuronal dysfunction.

  4. Detection of tyrosine hydroxylase in dopaminergic neuron cell using gold nanoparticles-based barcode DNA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    An, Jeung Hee; Oh, Byung-Keun; Choi, Jeong Woo

    2013-04-01

    Tyrosine hydroxylase, the rate-limiting enzyme of catecholamine biosysthesis, is predominantly expressed in several cell groups within the brain, including the dopaminergic neurons of the substantia nigra and ventral tegmental area. We evaluated the efficacy of this protein-detection method in detecting tyrosine hydroxylase in normal and oxidative stress damaged dopaminergic cells. In this study, a coupling of DNA barcode and bead-based immnunoassay for detecting tyrosine hydroxylaser with PCR-like sensitivity is reported. The method relies on magnetic nanoparticles with antibodies and nanoparticles that are encoded with DNA and antibodies that can sandwich the target protein captured by the nanoparticle-bound antibodies. The aggregate sandwich structures are magnetically separated from solution, and treated to remove the conjugated barcode DNA. The DNA barcodes were identified by PCR analysis. The concentration of tyrosine hydroxylase in dopaminergic cell can be easily and rapidly detected using bio-barcode assay. The bio-barcode assay is a rapid and high-throughput screening tool to detect of neurotransmitter such as dopamine.

  5. Deletion of Rictor in catecholaminergic neurons alters locomotor activity and ingestive behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaska, Sophia; Brunk, Rebecca; Bali, Vedrana; Kechner, Megan; Mazei-Robison, Michelle S

    2017-05-01

    While the etiology of depression is not fully understood, increasing evidence from animal models suggests a role for the ventral tegmental area (VTA) in pathogenesis. In this paper, we investigate the potential role of VTA mechanistic target of rapamycin 2 (TORC2) signaling in mediating susceptibility to chronic social defeat stress (CSDS), a well-established mouse model of depression. Utilizing genetic and viral knockout of Rictor (rapamycin-insensitive companion of target of rapamycin), a requisite component of TORC2, we demonstrate that decreasing Rictor-dependent TORC2 signaling in catecholaminergic neurons, or within the VTA specifically, does not alter susceptibility to CSDS. Opiate abuse and mood disorders are often comorbid, and previous data demonstrate a role for VTA TORC2 in mediating opiate reward. Thus, we also investigated its potential role in mediating changes in opiate reward following CSDS. Catecholaminergic deletion of Rictor increases water, sucrose, and morphine intake but not preference in a two-bottle choice assay in stress-naïve mice, and these effects are maintained after stress. VTA-specific knockout of Rictor increases water and sucrose intake after physical CSDS, but does not alter consummatory behavior in the absence of stress. These findings suggest a novel role for TORC2 in mediating stress-induced changes in consummatory behaviors that may contribute to some aspects of mood disorders. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2001-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carmen Carbone

    2017-06-01

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

  8. Developmental Vitamin D (DVD) Deficiency Reduces Nurr1 and TH Expression in Post-mitotic Dopamine Neurons in Rat Mesencephalon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luan, Wei; Hammond, Luke Alexander; Cotter, Edmund; Osborne, Geoffrey William; Alexander, Suzanne Adele; Nink, Virginia; Cui, Xiaoying; Eyles, Darryl Walter

    2018-03-01

    Developmental vitamin D (DVD) deficiency has been proposed as an important risk factor for schizophrenia. Our previous study using Sprague Dawley rats found that DVD deficiency disrupted the ontogeny of mesencephalic dopamine neurons by decreasing the mRNA level of a crucial differentiation factor of dopamine cells, the nuclear receptor related 1 protein (Nurr1). However, it remains unknown whether this reflects a reduction in dopamine cell number or in Nurr1 expression. It is also unclear if any particular subset of developing dopamine neurons in the mesencephalon is selectively affected. In this study, we employed state-of-the-art spinning disk confocal microscopy optimized for the imaging of tissue sections and 3D segmentation to assess post-mitotic dopamine cells on a single-cell basis in the rat mesencephalon at embryonic day 15. Our results showed that DVD deficiency did not alter the number, morphology, or positioning of post-mitotic dopamine cells. However, the ratio of Nurr1+TH+ cells in the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNc) compared with the ventral tegmental area (VTA) was increased in DVD-deficient embryos. In addition, the expression of Nurr1 in immature dopamine cells and mature dopamine neurons in the VTA was decreased in DVD-deficient group. Tyrosine hydroxylase was selectively reduced in SNc of DVD-deficient mesencephalon. We conclude that DVD deficiency induced early alterations in mesencephalic dopamine development may in part explain the abnormal dopamine-related behaviors found in this model. Our findings may have broader implications for how certain environmental risk factors for schizophrenia may shape the ontogeny of dopaminergic systems and by inference increase the risk of schizophrenia.

  9. The dorsal tegmental noradrenergic projection: an analysis of its role in maze learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roberts, D C; Price, M T; Fibiger, H C

    1976-04-01

    The hypothesis that the noradrenergic projection from the locus coeruleus (LC) to the cerebral cortex and hippocampus is an important neural substrate for learning was evaluated. Maze performance was studied in rats receiving either electrolytic lesions of LC or 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) lesions of the dorsal tegmental noradrenergic projection. The LC lesions did not disrupt the acquisition of a running response for food reinforcement in an L-shaped runway, even though hippocampal-cortical norepinephrine (NE) was reduced to 29%. Greater telencephalic NE depletions (to 6% of control levels) produced by 6-OHDA also failed to disrupt the acquisition of this behavior or to impair the acquisition of a food-reinforced position habit in a T-maze. Neither locomotor activity nor habituation to a novel environment was affected by the 6-OHDA lesions. Rats with such lesions were, however, found to be significantly more distractible than were controls during the performance of a previously trained response. The hypothesis that telencephalic NE is of fundamental importance in learning was not supported. The data suggest that this system may participate in attentional mechanisms.

  10. Motor Neurons

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hounsgaard, Jorn

    2017-01-01

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

  11. Orexin receptor activation generates gamma band input to cholinergic and serotonergic arousal system neurons and drives an intrinsic Ca2+-dependent resonance in LDT and PPT cholinergic neurons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masaru eIshibashi

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available A hallmark of the waking state is a shift in EEG power to higher frequencies with epochs of synchronized intracortical gamma activity (30-60 Hz - a process associated with high-level cognitive functions. The ascending arousal system, including cholinergic laterodorsal (LDT and pedunculopontine (PPT tegmental neurons and serotonergic dorsal raphe (DR neurons, promotes this state. Recently, this system has been proposed as a gamma wave generator, in part, because some neurons produce high-threshold, Ca2+-dependent oscillations at gamma frequencies. However, it is not known whether arousal-related inputs to these neurons generate such oscillations, or whether such oscillations are ever transmitted to neuronal targets. Since key arousal input arises from hypothalamic orexin (hypocretin neurons, we investigated whether the unusually noisy, depolarizing orexin current could provide significant gamma input to cholinergic and serotonergic neurons, and whether such input could drive Ca2+-dependent oscillations. Whole-cell recordings in brain slices were obtained from mice expressing Cre-induced fluorescence in cholinergic LDT and PPT, and serotonergic DR neurons. After first quantifying reporter expression accuracy in cholinergic and serotonergic neurons, we found that the orexin current produced significant high frequency, including gamma, input to both cholinergic and serotonergic neurons. Then, by using a dynamic clamp, we found that adding a noisy orexin conductance to cholinergic neurons induced a Ca2+-dependent resonance that peaked in the theta and alpha frequency range (4 - 14 Hz and extended up to 100 Hz. We propose that this orexin current noise and the Ca2+ dependent resonance work synergistically to boost the encoding of high-frequency synaptic inputs into action potentials and to help ensure cholinergic neurons fire during EEG activation. This activity could reinforce thalamocortical states supporting arousal, REM sleep and intracortical

  12. Dorsal border periaqueductal gray neurons project to the area directly adjacent to the central canal ependyma of the C4-T8 spinal cord in the cat

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mouton, LJ; Kerstens, L; VanderWant, J; Holstege, G

    In a previous study horseradish peroxidase (HRP) injections in the upper thoracic and cervical spinal cord revealed some faintly labeled small neurons at the dorsal border of the periaqueductal gray (PAG). The present light microscopic and electronmicroscopic tracing study describes the precise

  13. Morphine regulates Argonaute 2 and TH expression and activity but not miR-133b in midbrain dopaminergic neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    García-Pérez, Daniel; López-Bellido, Roger; Hidalgo, Juana M; Rodríguez, Raquel E; Laorden, Maria Luisa; Núñez, Cristina; Milanés, Maria Victoria

    2015-01-01

    Epigenetic changes such as microRNAs (miRs)/Ago2-induced gene silencing represent complex molecular signature that regulate cellular plasticity. Recent studies showed involvement of miRs and Ago2 in drug addiction. In this study, we show that changes in gene expression induced by morphine and morphine withdrawal occur with concomitant epigenetic modifications in the mesolimbic dopaminergic (DA) pathway [ventral tegmental area (VTA)/nucleus accumbens (NAc) shell], which is critically involved in drug-induced dependence. We found that acute or chronic morphine administration as well as morphine withdrawal did not modify miR-133b messenger RNA (mRNA) expression in the VTA, whereas Ago2 protein levels were decreased and increased in morphine-dependent rats and after morphine withdrawal, respectively. These changes were paralleled with enhanced and decreased NAc tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) protein (an early DA marker) in morphine-dependent rats and after withdrawal, respectively. We also observed changes in TH mRNA expression in the VTA that could be related to Ago2-induced translational repression of TH mRNA during morphine withdrawal. However, the VTA number of TH-positive neurons suffered no alterations after the different treatment. Acute morphine administration produced a marked increase in TH activity and DA turnover in the NAc (shell). In contrast, precipitated morphine withdrawal decreased TH activation and did not change DA turnover. These findings provide new information into the possible correlation between Ago2/miRs complex regulation and DA neurons plasticity during opiate addiction. © 2013 Society for the Study of Addiction.

  14. Information processing by neuronal populations

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Hölscher, Christian; Munk, Matthias

    2009-01-01

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

  15. Coherence resonance in globally coupled neuronal networks with different neuron numbers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ning Wei-Lian; Zhang Zheng-Zhen; Zeng Shang-You; Luo Xiao-Shu; Hu Jin-Lin; Zeng Shao-Wen; Qiu Yi; Wu Hui-Si

    2012-01-01

    Because a brain consists of tremendous neuronal networks with different neuron numbers ranging from tens to tens of thousands, we study the coherence resonance due to ion channel noises in globally coupled neuronal networks with different neuron numbers. We confirm that for all neuronal networks with different neuron numbers there exist the array enhanced coherence resonance and the optimal synaptic conductance to cause the maximal spiking coherence. Furthermoremore, the enhancement effects of coupling on spiking coherence and on optimal synaptic conductance are almost the same, regardless of the neuron numbers in the neuronal networks. Therefore for all the neuronal networks with different neuron numbers in the brain, relative weak synaptic conductance (0.1 mS/cm 2 ) is sufficient to induce the maximal spiking coherence and the best sub-threshold signal encoding. (interdisciplinary physics and related areas of science and technology)

  16. Neural circuits containing olfactory neurons are involved in prepulse inhibition of the startle reflex in rats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haichen eNiu

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Many neuropsychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia, have been associated with abnormalities in the function of the olfactory system and prepulse inhibition (PPI of the startle reflex. However, whether these two abnormalities are related is unclear. The present study was designed to determine whether inhibiting olfactory sensory input via the infusion of zinc sulfate (ZnE, 0.17 M, 0.5 ml into the olfactory naris disrupts PPI. Furthermore, lidocaine/MK801 was bilaterally microinjected into the olfactory bulb (OB to examine whether the blockade of olfactory sensory input impairs PPI. To identify the neural projections that connect the olfaction- and PPI-related areas of the CNS, trans-synaptic retrograde tracing using a recombinant pseudorabies virus (PRV was performed. Our results demonstrated that blocking olfactory sensory input altered olfaction-related behavior. At the functional level, we demonstrated that the inhibition of olfactory sensory input impaired PPI of the startle response subsequent to a decrease in c-fos expression in relevant brain regions. Furthermore, the results of a similar and more robust experiment indicated that blocking olfactory sensory input via the microinjection of lidocaine/MK801 into the OB impaired PPI. At the circuit level, based on trans-synaptic retrograde tracing using PRV, we demonstrated that a large portion of the labeled neurons in several regions of the olfactory cortices connected to the pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus (PPTg. Thus, these data suggest that the olfactory system participates in the regulation of PPI and plays a role in the effect of PPI on the startle response in rats.

  17. Predicting Intentions of a Familiar Significant Other Beyond the Mirror Neuron System

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephanie Cacioppo

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Inferring intentions of others is one of the most intriguing issues in interpersonal interaction. Theories of embodied cognition and simulation suggest that this mechanism takes place through a direct and automatic matching process that occurs between an observed action and past actions. This process occurs via the reactivation of past self-related sensorimotor experiences within the inferior frontoparietal network (including the mirror neuron system, MNS. The working model is that the anticipatory representations of others' behaviors require internal predictive models of actions formed from pre-established, shared representations between the observer and the actor. This model suggests that observers should be better at predicting intentions performed by a familiar actor, rather than a stranger. However, little is known about the modulations of the intention brain network as a function of the familiarity between the observer and the actor. Here, we combined functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI with a behavioral intention inference task, in which participants were asked to predict intentions from three types of actors: A familiar actor (their significant other, themselves (another familiar actor, and a non-familiar actor (a stranger. Our results showed that the participants were better at inferring intentions performed by familiar actors than non-familiar actors and that this better performance was associated with greater activation within and beyond the inferior frontoparietal network i.e., in brain areas related to familiarity (e.g., precuneus. In addition, and in line with Hebbian principles of neural modulations, the more the participants reported being cognitively close to their partner, the less the brain areas associated with action self-other comparison (e.g., inferior parietal lobule, attention (e.g., superior parietal lobule, recollection (hippocampus, and pair bond (ventral tegmental area, VTA were recruited, suggesting that the

  18. Low doses of dextromethorphan attenuate morphine-induced rewarding via the sigma-1 receptor at ventral tegmental area in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Shiou-Lan; Hsu, Kuei-Ying; Huang, Eagle Yi-Kung; Lu, Ru-Band; Tao, Pao-Luh

    2011-09-01

    Chronic use of morphine causes rewarding and behavioral sensitization, which may lead to the development of psychological craving. In our previous study, we found that a widely used antitussive dextromethorphan (known as a low affinity NMDA receptor antagonist), at doses of 10-20 mg/kg (i.p.), effectively decreased morphine rewarding in rats. In this study, we further investigated the effects and mechanisms of low doses of DM (μg/kg range) on morphine rewarding and behavioral sensitization. A conditioned place preference test was used to determine the rewarding and a locomotor activity test was used to determine the behavioral sensitization induced by the drug(s) in rats. When a low dose of DM (3 or 10 μg/kg, i.p.) was co-administered with morphine (5 mg/kg, s.c.), the rewarding effect, but not behavioral sensitization, induced by morphine was inhibited. The inhibiting effect of DM could be blocked by systemically administering a sigma-1 receptor antagonist, BD1047 (3 mg/kg, i.p.). When BD1047 (5 nmole/site) was locally given at the VTA, it also blocked the effects of a low dose of DM in inhibiting morphine rewarding. Our findings suggest that the activation of the sigma-1 receptor at the VTA may be involved in the mechanism of low doses of DM in inhibiting the morphine rewarding effect and the possibility of using extremely low doses of DM in treatment of opioid addiction in clinics. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Constitutive cannabinoid 1 and mu opioid receptor activity in the ventral tegmental area: occurrence, function and therapeutic relevance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meye, F.J.

    2012-01-01

    Cannabinoid 1 receptors (CB1Rs) play a crucial role in regulating systems dedicated to processing rewards and emotions. It was known that in artificial systems, CB1Rs can exhibit activity that is independent of the typical agonist-driven form. However, it remained largely unclear whether this

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-11-01

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

  1. The Mirror Neuron System and Action Recognition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buccino, Giovanni; Binkofski, Ferdinand; Riggio, Lucia

    2004-01-01

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

  2. Atypical dopamine transporter inhibitors R-modafinil and JHW 007 differentially affect D2 autoreceptor neurotransmission and the firing rate of midbrain dopamine neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Avelar, Alicia J; Cao, Jianjing; Newman, Amy Hauck; Beckstead, Michael J

    2017-09-01

    Abuse of psychostimulants like cocaine that inhibit dopamine (DA) reuptake through the dopamine transporter (DAT) represents a major public health issue, however FDA-approved pharmacotherapies have yet to be developed. Recently a class of ligands termed "atypical DAT inhibitors" has gained attention due to their range of effectiveness in increasing extracellular DA levels without demonstrating significant abuse liability. These compounds not only hold promise as therapeutic agents to treat stimulant use disorders but also as experimental tools to improve our understanding of DAT function. Here we used patch clamp electrophysiology in mouse brain slices to explore the effects of two atypical DAT inhibitors (R-modafinil and JHW 007) on the physiology of single DA neurons in the substantia nigra and ventral tegmental area. Despite their commonalities of being DAT inhibitors that lack cocaine-like behavioral profiles, these compounds exhibited surprisingly divergent cellular effects. Similar to cocaine, R-modafinil slowed DA neuron firing in a D2 receptor-dependent manner and rapidly enhanced the amplitude and duration of D2 receptor-mediated currents in the midbrain. In contrast, JHW 007 exhibited little effect on firing, slow DAT blockade, and an unexpected inhibition of D2 receptor-mediated currents that may be due to direct D2 receptor antagonism. Furthermore, pretreatment with JHW 007 blunted the cellular effects of cocaine, suggesting that it may be valuable to investigate similar DAT inhibitors as potential therapeutic agents. Further exploration of these and other atypical DAT inhibitors may reveal important cellular effects of compounds that will have potential as pharmacotherapies for treating cocaine use disorders. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Optogenetic activation of serotonergic terminals facilitates GABAergic inhibitory input to orexin/hypocretin neurons

    OpenAIRE

    Chowdhury, Srikanta; Yamanaka, Akihiro

    2016-01-01

    Orexin/hypocretin neurons play a crucial role in the regulation of sleep/wakefulness, primarily in the maintenance of wakefulness. These neurons innervate wide areas of the brain and receive diverse synaptic inputs including those from serotonergic (5-HT) neurons in the raphe nucleus. Previously we showed that pharmacological application of 5-HT directly inhibited orexin neurons via 5-HT1A receptors. However, it was still unclear how 5-HT neurons regulated orexin neurons since 5-HT neurons co...

  4. Mirror neurons and language in schizophrenia

    OpenAIRE

    Bendová, Marie

    2016-01-01

    Mirror neurons are a specific kind of visuomotor neurons that are involved in action execution and also in action perception. The mirror mechanism is linked to a variety of complex psychological functions such as social-cognitive functions and language. People with schizophrenia have often difficulties both in mirror neuron system and in language skills. In the first part of our research we studied the connectivity of mirror neuron areas (such as IFG, STG, PMC, SMC and so on) by fMRI in resti...

  5. Neuronal coherence and its functional role in communication between neurons

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zeitler-Geurds, M.

    2010-01-01

    Neuronal oscillations are observed in many brain areas in various frequency bands. Each of the frequency bands is associated with a particular functional role. Gamma oscillations (30-80 Hz) are thought to be related to cognitive tasks like memory and attention and possibly also involved in the

  6. Mirror neuron system: basic findings and clinical applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iacoboni, Marco; Mazziotta, John C

    2007-09-01

    In primates, ventral premotor and rostral inferior parietal neurons fire during the execution of hand and mouth actions. Some cells (called mirror neurons) also fire when hand and mouth actions are just observed. Mirror neurons provide a simple neural mechanism for understanding the actions of others. In humans, posterior inferior frontal and rostral inferior parietal areas have mirror properties. These human areas are relevant to imitative learning and social behavior. Indeed, the socially isolating condition of autism is associated with a deficit in mirror neuron areas. Strategies inspired by mirror neuron research recently have been used in the treatment of autism and in motor rehabilitation after stroke.

  7. Synaptic Circuit Organization of Motor Corticothalamic Neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamawaki, Naoki

    2015-01-01

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

  8. Descending Command Neurons in the Brainstem that Halt Locomotion

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bouvier, Julien; Caggiano, Vittorio; Leiras, Roberto

    2015-01-01

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

  9. Activation of Hypocretin-1/Orexin-A Neurons Projecting to the Bed Nucleus of the Stria Terminalis and Paraventricular Nucleus Is Critical for Reinstatement of Alcohol Seeking by Neuropeptide S.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ubaldi, Massimo; Giordano, Antonio; Severi, Ilenia; Li, Hongwu; Kallupi, Marsida; de Guglielmo, Giordano; Ruggeri, Barbara; Stopponi, Serena; Ciccocioppo, Roberto; Cannella, Nazzareno

    2016-03-15

    Environmental conditioning is a major trigger for relapse in abstinent addicts. We showed that activation of the neuropeptide S (NPS) system exacerbates reinstatement vulnerability to cocaine and alcohol via stimulation of the hypocretin-1/orexin-A (Hcrt-1/Ox-A) system. Combining pharmacologic manipulations with immunohistochemistry techniques, we sought to determine how NPS and Hcrt-1/Ox-A systems interact to modulate reinstatement of alcohol seeking in rats. Intrahypothalamic injection of NPS facilitated discriminative cue-induced reinstatement of alcohol seeking. This effect was blocked by the selective Hcrt-1/Ox-A antagonist SB334867 microinjected into the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus (PVN) or into the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST) but not into the ventral tegmental area or the locus coeruleus. Combining double labeling and confocal microscopy analyses, we found that NPS-containing axons are in close apposition to hypothalamic Hcrt-1/Ox-A positive neurons, a significant proportion of which express NPS receptors, suggesting a direct interaction between the two systems. Retrograde tracing experiments showed that intra-PVN or intra-BNST red fluorobead unilateral injection labeled bilaterally Hcrt-1/Ox-A somata, suggesting that NPS could recruit two distinct neuronal pathways. Confirming this assumption, intra-BNST or PVN Hcrt-1/Ox-A injection enhanced alcohol seeking similarly to hypothalamic NPS injection but to a lesser degree. Results suggest that the Hcrt-1/Ox-A neurocircuitry mediating the facilitation of cue-induced reinstatement by NPS involves structures critically involved in stress regulation such as the PVN and the BNST. These findings open to the tempting hypothesis of a role of the NPS system in modulating the interactions between stress and environmental conditioning factors in drug relapse. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  10. Spike timing precision of neuronal circuits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kilinc, Deniz; Demir, Alper

    2018-04-17

    Spike timing is believed to be a key factor in sensory information encoding and computations performed by the neurons and neuronal circuits. However, the considerable noise and variability, arising from the inherently stochastic mechanisms that exist in the neurons and the synapses, degrade spike timing precision. Computational modeling can help decipher the mechanisms utilized by the neuronal circuits in order to regulate timing precision. In this paper, we utilize semi-analytical techniques, which were adapted from previously developed methods for electronic circuits, for the stochastic characterization of neuronal circuits. These techniques, which are orders of magnitude faster than traditional Monte Carlo type simulations, can be used to directly compute the spike timing jitter variance, power spectral densities, correlation functions, and other stochastic characterizations of neuronal circuit operation. We consider three distinct neuronal circuit motifs: Feedback inhibition, synaptic integration, and synaptic coupling. First, we show that both the spike timing precision and the energy efficiency of a spiking neuron are improved with feedback inhibition. We unveil the underlying mechanism through which this is achieved. Then, we demonstrate that a neuron can improve on the timing precision of its synaptic inputs, coming from multiple sources, via synaptic integration: The phase of the output spikes of the integrator neuron has the same variance as that of the sample average of the phases of its inputs. Finally, we reveal that weak synaptic coupling among neurons, in a fully connected network, enables them to behave like a single neuron with a larger membrane area, resulting in an improvement in the timing precision through cooperation.

  11. Responses of neurons to extreme osmomechanical stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wan, X; Harris, J A; Morris, C E

    1995-05-01

    Neurons are often regarded as fragile cells, easily destroyed by mechanical and osmotic insult. The results presented here demonstrate that this perception needs revision. Using extreme osmotic swelling, we show that molluscan neurons are astonishingly robust. In distilled water, a heterogeneous population of Lymnaea stagnalis CNS neurons swelled to several times their initial volume, yet had a ST50 (survival time for 50% of cells) > 60 min. Cells that were initially bigger survived longer. On return to normal medium, survivors were able, over the next 24 hr, to rearborize. Reversible membrane capacitance changes corresponding to about 0.7 muF/cm2 of apparent surface area accompanied neuronal swelling and shrinking in hypo- and hyperosmotic solutions; reversible changes in cell surface area evidently contributed to the neurons' ability to accommodate hydrostatic pressures then recover. The reversible membrane area/capacitance changes were not dependent on extracellular Ca2+. Neurons were monitored for potassium currents during direct mechanical inflation and during osmotically driven inflation. The latter but not the former stimulus routinely elicited small potassium currents, suggesting that tension increases activate the currents only if additional disruption of the cortex has occurred. Under stress in distilled water, a third of the neurons displayed a quite unexpected behavior: prolonged writhing of peripheral regions of the soma. This suggested that a plasma membrane-linked contractile machinery (presumably actomyosin) might contribute to the neurons' mechano-osmotic robustness by restricting water influx. Consistent with this possibility, 1 mM N-ethyl-maleimide, which inhibits myosin ATPase, decreased the ST50 to 18 min, rendered the survival time independent of initial size, and abolished writhing activity. For neurons, active mechanical resistance of the submembranous cortex, along with the mechanical compliance supplied by insertion or eversion of membrane

  12. Urotensin II modulates rapid eye movement sleep through activation of brainstem cholinergic neurons

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Huitron-Resendiz, Salvador; Kristensen, Morten Pilgaard; Sánchez-Alavez, Manuel

    2005-01-01

    administration of UII into the PPT nucleus increases REM sleep without inducing changes in the cortical blood flow. Intracerebroventricular injection of UII enhances both REM sleep and wakefulness and reduces slow-wave sleep 2. Intracerebroventricular, but not local, administration of UII increases cortical...... dorsal tegmental nuclei. This distribution suggests that the UII system is involved in functions regulated by acetylcholine, such as the sleep-wake cycle. Here, we tested the hypothesis that UII influences cholinergic PPT neuron activity and alters rapid eye movement (REM) sleep patterns in rats. Local...... synaptic transmission because it persisted in the presence of TTX and antagonists of ionotropic glutamate, GABA, and glycine receptors. Collectively, these results suggest that UII plays a role in the regulation of REM sleep independently of its cerebrovascular actions by directly activating cholinergic...

  13. Neuronal Migration Disorders

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  14. Motor Neuron Diseases

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  15. Cortical cell and neuron density estimates in one chimpanzee hemisphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collins, Christine E; Turner, Emily C; Sawyer, Eva Kille; Reed, Jamie L; Young, Nicole A; Flaherty, David K; Kaas, Jon H

    2016-01-19

    The density of cells and neurons in the neocortex of many mammals varies across cortical areas and regions. This variability is, perhaps, most pronounced in primates. Nonuniformity in the composition of cortex suggests regions of the cortex have different specializations. Specifically, regions with densely packed neurons contain smaller neurons that are activated by relatively few inputs, thereby preserving information, whereas regions that are less densely packed have larger neurons that have more integrative functions. Here we present the numbers of cells and neurons for 742 discrete locations across the neocortex in a chimpanzee. Using isotropic fractionation and flow fractionation methods for cell and neuron counts, we estimate that neocortex of one hemisphere contains 9.5 billion cells and 3.7 billion neurons. Primary visual cortex occupies 35 cm(2) of surface, 10% of the total, and contains 737 million densely packed neurons, 20% of the total neurons contained within the hemisphere. Other areas of high neuron packing include secondary visual areas, somatosensory cortex, and prefrontal granular cortex. Areas of low levels of neuron packing density include motor and premotor cortex. These values reflect those obtained from more limited samples of cortex in humans and other primates.

  16. Life-long stability of neurons: a century of research on neurogenesis, neuronal death and neuron quantification in adult CNS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turlejski, Kris; Djavadian, Ruzanna

    2002-01-01

    In this chapter we provide an extensive review of 100 years of research on the stability of neurons in the mammalian brain, with special emphasis on humans. Although Cajal formulated the Neuronal Doctrine, he was wrong in his beliefs that adult neurogenesis did not occur and adult neurons are dying throughout life. These two beliefs became accepted "common knowledge" and have shaped much of neuroscience research and provided much of the basis for clinical treatment of age-related brain diseases. In this review, we consider adult neurogenesis from a historical and evolutionary perspective. It is concluded, that while adult neurogenesis is a factor in the dynamics of the dentate gyrus and olfactory bulb, it is probably not a major factor during the life-span in most brain areas. Likewise, the acceptance of neuronal death as an explanation for normal age-related senility is challenged with evidence collected over the last fifty years. Much of the problem in changing this common belief of dying neurons was the inadequacies of neuronal counting methods. In this review we discuss in detail implications of recent improvements in neuronal quantification. We conclude: First, age-related neuronal atrophy is the major factor in functional deterioration of existing neurons and could be slowed down, or even reversed by various pharmacological interventions. Second, in most cases neuronal degeneration during aging is a pathology that in principle may be avoided. Third, loss of myelin and of the white matter is more frequent and important than the limited neuronal death in normal aging.

  17. Chromatin Regulation of Neuronal Maturation and Plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gallegos, David A; Chan, Urann; Chen, Liang-Fu; West, Anne E

    2018-05-01

    Neurons are dynamic cells that respond and adapt to stimuli throughout their long postmitotic lives. The structural and functional plasticity of neurons requires the regulated transcription of new gene products, and dysregulation of transcription in either the developing or adult brain impairs cognition. We discuss how mechanisms of chromatin regulation help to orchestrate the transcriptional programs that underlie the maturation of developing neurons and the plasticity of adult neurons. We review how chromatin regulation acts locally to modulate the expression of specific genes and more broadly to coordinate gene expression programs during transitions between cellular states. These data highlight the importance of epigenetic transcriptional mechanisms in postmitotic neurons. We suggest areas where emerging methods may advance understanding in the future. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Optogenetic stimulation of VTA dopamine neurons reveals that tonic but not phasic patterns of dopamine transmission reduce ethanol self-administration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Caroline E Bass

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available There is compelling evidence that acute ethanol exposure stimulates ventral tegmental area (VTA dopamine cell activity and that VTA-dependent dopamine release in terminal fields within the nucleus accumbens plays an integral role in the regulation of ethanol drinking behaviors. Unfortunately, due to technical limitations, the specific temporal dynamics linking VTA dopamine cell activation and ethanol self-administration are not known. In fact, establishing a causal link between specific patterns of dopamine transmission and ethanol drinking behaviors has proven elusive. Here, we sought to address these gaps in our knowledge using a newly developed viral-mediated gene delivery strategy to selectively express Channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2 on dopamine cells in the VTA of wild-type rats. We then used this approach to precisely control VTA dopamine transmission during voluntary ethanol drinking sessions. The results confirmed that ChR2 was selectively expressed on VTA dopamine cells and delivery of blue light pulses to the VTA induced dopamine release in accumbal terminal fields with very high temporal and spatial precision. Brief high frequency VTA stimulation induced phasic patterns of dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens. Lower frequency stimulation, applied for longer periods mimicked tonic increases in accumbal dopamine. Notably, using this optogenetic approach in rats engaged in an intermittent ethanol drinking procedure, we found that tonic, but not phasic, stimulation of VTA dopamine cells selectively attenuated ethanol drinking behaviors. Collectively, these data demonstrate the effectiveness of a novel viral targeting strategy that can be used to restrict opsin expression to dopamine cells in standard outbred animals and provide the first causal evidence demonstrating that tonic activation of VTA dopamine neurons selectively decreases ethanol self-administration behaviors.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  20. Mirror neurons: functions, mechanisms and models.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-04-12

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

  1. Neurochemical phenotypes of cardiorespiratory neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pilowsky, Paul M

    2008-12-10

    Interactions between the cardiovascular and respiratory systems have been known for many years but the functional significance of the interactions is still widely debated. Here I discuss the possible role of metabotropic receptors in regulating cardiorespiratory neurons in the brainstem and spinal cord. It is clear that, although much has been discovered, cardiorespiratory regulation is certainly one area that still has a long way to go before its secrets are fully divulged and their function in controlling circulatory and respiratory function is revealed.

  2. Layer 5 Callosal Parvalbumin-Expressing Neurons: A Distinct Functional Group of GABAergic Neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zurita, Hector; Feyen, Paul L C; Apicella, Alfonso Junior

    2018-01-01

    Previous studies have shown that parvalbumin-expressing neurons (CC-Parv neurons) connect the two hemispheres of motor and sensory areas via the corpus callosum, and are a functional part of the cortical circuit. Here we test the hypothesis that layer 5 CC-Parv neurons possess anatomical and molecular mechanisms which dampen excitability and modulate the gating of interhemispheric inhibition. In order to investigate this hypothesis we use viral tracing to determine the anatomical and electrophysiological properties of layer 5 CC-Parv and parvalbumin-expressing (Parv) neurons of the mouse auditory cortex (AC). Here we show that layer 5 CC-Parv neurons had larger dendritic fields characterized by longer dendrites that branched farther from the soma, whereas layer 5 Parv neurons had smaller dendritic fields characterized by shorter dendrites that branched nearer to the soma. The layer 5 CC-Parv neurons are characterized by delayed action potential (AP) responses to threshold currents, lower firing rates, and lower instantaneous frequencies compared to the layer 5 Parv neurons. Kv1.1 containing K + channels are the main source of the AP repolarization of the layer 5 CC-Parv and have a major role in determining both the spike delayed response, firing rate and instantaneous frequency of these neurons.

  3. Oscillatory integration windows in neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2014-01-01

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

  5. NeuronMetrics: software for semi-automated processing of cultured neuron images.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Narro, Martha L; Yang, Fan; Kraft, Robert; Wenk, Carola; Efrat, Alon; Restifo, Linda L

    2007-03-23

    Using primary cell culture to screen for changes in neuronal morphology requires specialized analysis software. We developed NeuronMetrics for semi-automated, quantitative analysis of two-dimensional (2D) images of fluorescently labeled cultured neurons. It skeletonizes the neuron image using two complementary image-processing techniques, capturing fine terminal neurites with high fidelity. An algorithm was devised to span wide gaps in the skeleton. NeuronMetrics uses a novel strategy based on geometric features called faces to extract a branch number estimate from complex arbors with numerous neurite-to-neurite contacts, without creating a precise, contact-free representation of the neurite arbor. It estimates total neurite length, branch number, primary neurite number, territory (the area of the convex polygon bounding the skeleton and cell body), and Polarity Index (a measure of neuronal polarity). These parameters provide fundamental information about the size and shape of neurite arbors, which are critical factors for neuronal function. NeuronMetrics streamlines optional manual tasks such as removing noise, isolating the largest primary neurite, and correcting length for self-fasciculating neurites. Numeric data are output in a single text file, readily imported into other applications for further analysis. Written as modules for ImageJ, NeuronMetrics provides practical analysis tools that are easy to use and support batch processing. Depending on the need for manual intervention, processing time for a batch of approximately 60 2D images is 1.0-2.5 h, from a folder of images to a table of numeric data. NeuronMetrics' output accelerates the quantitative detection of mutations and chemical compounds that alter neurite morphology in vitro, and will contribute to the use of cultured neurons for drug discovery.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dufourny, Laurence; Lomet, Didier

    2017-12-01

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

  7. Anxiogenic drug administration and elevated plus-maze exposure in rats activate populations of relaxin-3 neurons in the nucleus incertus and serotonergic neurons in the dorsal raphe nucleus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawther, A J; Clissold, M L; Ma, S; Kent, S; Lowry, C A; Gundlach, A L; Hale, M W

    2015-09-10

    Anxiety is a complex and adaptive emotional state controlled by a distributed and interconnected network of brain regions, and disruption of these networks is thought to give rise to the behavioral symptoms associated with anxiety disorders in humans. The dorsal raphe nucleus (DR), which contains the majority of forebrain-projecting serotonergic neurons, is implicated in the control of anxiety states and anxiety-related behavior via neuromodulatory effects on these networks. Relaxin-3 is the native neuropeptide ligand for the Gi/o-protein-coupled receptor, RXFP3, and is primarily expressed in the nucleus incertus (NI), a tegmental region immediately caudal to the DR. RXFP3 activation has been shown to modulate anxiety-related behavior in rodents, and RXFP3 mRNA is expressed in the DR. In this study, we examined the response of relaxin-3-containing neurons in the NI and serotonergic neurons in the DR following pharmacologically induced anxiety and exposure to an aversive environment. We administered the anxiogenic drug FG-7142 or vehicle to adult male Wistar rats and, 30 min later, exposed them to either the elevated plus-maze or home cage control conditions. Immunohistochemical detection of c-Fos was used to determine activation of serotonergic neurons in the DR and relaxin-3 neurons in the NI, measured 2h following drug injection. Analysis revealed that FG-7142 administration and exposure to the elevated plus-maze are both associated with an increase in c-Fos expression in relaxin-3-containing neurons in the NI and in serotonergic neurons in dorsal and ventrolateral regions of the DR. These data are consistent with the hypothesis that relaxin-3 systems in the NI and serotonin systems in the DR interact to form part of a network involved in the control of anxiety-related behavior. Copyright © 2015 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-09-01

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

  9. NEURON and Python.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  10. Spinal cord: motor neuron diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rezania, Kourosh; Roos, Raymond P

    2013-02-01

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

  11. Neuronal-glial trafficking

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bachelard, H.S.

    2001-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roda Rani eKonadhode

    2015-01-01

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

  13. Single neuron computation

    CERN Document Server

    McKenna, Thomas M; Zornetzer, Steven F

    1992-01-01

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

  14. Mesmerising mirror neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heyes, Cecilia

    2010-06-01

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

  15. The mirror neuron system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cattaneo, Luigi; Rizzolatti, Giacomo

    2009-05-01

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

  16. Hearing sounds, understanding actions: action representation in mirror neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohler, Evelyne; Keysers, Christian; Umiltà, M Alessandra; Fogassi, Leonardo; Gallese, Vittorio; Rizzolatti, Giacomo

    2002-08-02

    Many object-related actions can be recognized by their sound. We found neurons in monkey premotor cortex that discharge when the animal performs a specific action and when it hears the related sound. Most of the neurons also discharge when the monkey observes the same action. These audiovisual mirror neurons code actions independently of whether these actions are performed, heard, or seen. This discovery in the monkey homolog of Broca's area might shed light on the origin of language: audiovisual mirror neurons code abstract contents-the meaning of actions-and have the auditory access typical of human language to these contents.

  17. Neuromorphic Silicon Neuron Circuits

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  18. Neuromorphic silicon neuron circuits

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giacomo eIndiveri

    2011-05-01

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

  19. Norepinephrine metabolism in neuronal cultures is increased by angiotensin II

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sumners, C.; Shalit, S.L.; Kalberg, C.J.; Raizada, M.K.

    1987-01-01

    In this study the authors have examined the actions of angiotensin II (ANG II) on catecholamine metabolism in neuronal brain cell cultures prepared from the hypothalamus and brain stem. Neuronal cultures prepared from the brains of 1-day-old Sprague-Dawley rats exhibit specific neuronal uptake mechanisms for both norepinephrine (NE) and dopamine (DA), and also monoamine oxidase (MAO) and catechol O-methyltransferase (COMT) activity. Separate neuronal uptake sites for NE and DA were identified by using specific neuronal uptake inhibitors for each amine. In previous studies, they determined that ANG II (10 nM-1 μM) stimulates increased neuronal [ 3 H]NE uptake by acting as specific receptors. They have confirmed these results here and in addition have shown that ANG II has not significant effects on neuronal [ 3 H]DA uptake. These results suggest that the actions of ANG II are restricted to the NE transporter in neuronal cultures. It is possible that ANG II stimulates the intraneuronal metabolism of at least part of the NE that is taken up, because the peptide stimulates MAO activity, an effect mediated by specific ANG II receptors. ANG II had no effect on COMT activity in neuronal cultures. Therefore, the use of neuronal cultures of hypothalamus and brain stem they have determined that ANG II can specifically alter NE metabolism in these areas, while apparently not altering DA metabolism

  20. NeuronBank: a tool for cataloging neuronal circuitry

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul S Katz

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available The basic unit of any nervous system is the neuron. Therefore, understanding the operation of nervous systems ultimately requires an inventory of their constituent neurons and synaptic connectivity, which form neural circuits. The presence of uniquely identifiable neurons or classes of neurons in many invertebrates has facilitated the construction of cellular-level connectivity diagrams that can be generalized across individuals within a species. Homologous neurons can also be recognized across species. Here we describe NeuronBank.org, a web-based tool that we are developing for cataloging, searching, and analyzing neuronal circuitry within and across species. Information from a single species is represented in an individual branch of NeuronBank. Users can search within a branch or perform queries across branches to look for similarities in neuronal circuits across species. The branches allow for an extensible ontology so that additional characteristics can be added as knowledge grows. Each entry in NeuronBank generates a unique accession ID, allowing it to be easily cited. There is also an automatic link to a Wiki page allowing an encyclopedic explanation of the entry. All of the 44 previously published neurons plus one previously unpublished neuron from the mollusc, Tritonia diomedea, have been entered into a branch of NeuronBank as have 4 previously published neurons from the mollusc, Melibe leonina. The ability to organize information about neuronal circuits will make this information more accessible, ultimately aiding research on these important models.

  1. Failure of Neuronal Maturation in Alzheimer Disease Dentate Gyrus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Bin; Yamamori, Hidenaga; Tatebayashi, Yoshitaka; Shafit-Zagardo, Bridget; Tanimukai, Hitoshi; Chen, She; Iqbal, Khalid; Grundke-Iqbal, Inge

    2011-01-01

    The dentate gyrus, an important anatomic structure of the hippocampal formation, is one of the major areas in which neurogenesis takes place in the adult mammalian brain. Neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus is thought to play an important role in hippocampus-dependent learning and memory. Neurogenesis has been reported to be increased in the dentate gyrus of patients with Alzheimer disease, but it is not known whether the newly generated neurons differentiate into mature neurons. In this study, the expression of the mature neuronal marker high molecular weight microtubule-associated protein (MAP) isoforms MAP2a and b was found to be dramatically decreased in Alzheimer disease dentate gyrus, as determined by immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization. The total MAP2, including expression of the immature neuronal marker, the MAP2c isoform, was less affected. These findings suggest that newly generated neurons in Alzheimer disease dentate gyrus do not become mature neurons, although neuroproliferation is increased. PMID:18091557

  2. Electrophysiological characterization of harmane-induced activation of mesolimbic dopamine neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arib, Ouafa; Rat, Pascal; Molimard, Robert; Chait, Abderrahman; Faure, Philippe; de Beaurepaire, Renaud

    2010-03-10

    It has been suggested that the beta-carbolines harmane and norharmane may be involved in the pathophysiology of Parkinson's disease, psychosis and addiction, but the mechanisms of these possible effects remain to be elucidated. In the present study, the effects of the two compounds were examined by using in vivo extracellular recordings of ventral tegmental dopamine neurons. The effects of harmane (2mg/kg) and norharmane (2mg/kg), were compared to those of nicotine (11microg/kg), of cotinine (0.5mg/kg), of the monoamine-oxidase-A inhibitor befloxatone (0.12mg/kg), and of the monoamine-oxidase-B inhibitor selegiline (0.5mg/kg). The effects of harmane were also tested after pre-treatment with the nicotine receptor antagonist mecamylamine. The results show that all substances, except befloxatone, activate the firing and/or burst activity of dopamine neurons. The increase in firing rate produced by harmane was approximately 18 times greater than that produced by nicotine. Such powerful excitation of dopamine neurons by harmane may in part explain its involvement in neurotoxicity, psychosis and addiction. The absence of effect of befloxatone supports the hypothesis that the effect of harmane is not related to its monoamine-oxidase-A inhibitory properties. Mecamylamine inhibited by approximately 80% the activity of harmane, indicating that the activating effect of harmane on dopamine neurons involves several mechanisms, among which activation of nicotinic receptors likely has a prominent importance. The results of the present study support the hypothesis that harmane could be a tobacco (or smoke) component other than nicotine involved in tobacco dependence. Copyright (c) 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Spatially tuned normalization explains attention modulation variance within neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ni, Amy M; Maunsell, John H R

    2017-09-01

    Spatial attention improves perception of attended parts of a scene, a behavioral enhancement accompanied by modulations of neuronal firing rates. These modulations vary in size across neurons in the same brain area. Models of normalization explain much of this variance in attention modulation with differences in tuned normalization across neurons (Lee J, Maunsell JHR. PLoS One 4: e4651, 2009; Ni AM, Ray S, Maunsell JHR. Neuron 73: 803-813, 2012). However, recent studies suggest that normalization tuning varies with spatial location both across and within neurons (Ruff DA, Alberts JJ, Cohen MR. J Neurophysiol 116: 1375-1386, 2016; Verhoef BE, Maunsell JHR. eLife 5: e17256, 2016). Here we show directly that attention modulation and normalization tuning do in fact covary within individual neurons, in addition to across neurons as previously demonstrated. We recorded the activity of isolated neurons in the middle temporal area of two rhesus monkeys as they performed a change-detection task that controlled the focus of spatial attention. Using the same two drifting Gabor stimuli and the same two receptive field locations for each neuron, we found that switching which stimulus was presented at which location affected both attention modulation and normalization in a correlated way within neurons. We present an equal-maximum-suppression spatially tuned normalization model that explains this covariance both across and within neurons: each stimulus generates equally strong suppression of its own excitatory drive, but its suppression of distant stimuli is typically less. This new model specifies how the tuned normalization associated with each stimulus location varies across space both within and across neurons, changing our understanding of the normalization mechanism and how attention modulations depend on this mechanism. NEW & NOTEWORTHY Tuned normalization studies have demonstrated that the variance in attention modulation size seen across neurons from the same cortical

  4. Neuronal avalanches and learning

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Arcangelis, Lucilla de, E-mail: dearcangelis@na.infn.it [Department of Information Engineering and CNISM, Second University of Naples, 81031 Aversa (Italy)

    2011-05-01

    Networks of living neurons represent one of the most fascinating systems of biology. If the physical and chemical mechanisms at the basis of the functioning of a single neuron are quite well understood, the collective behaviour of a system of many neurons is an extremely intriguing subject. Crucial ingredient of this complex behaviour is the plasticity property of the network, namely the capacity to adapt and evolve depending on the level of activity. This plastic ability is believed, nowadays, to be at the basis of learning and memory in real brains. Spontaneous neuronal activity has recently shown features in common to other complex systems. Experimental data have, in fact, shown that electrical information propagates in a cortex slice via an avalanche mode. These avalanches are characterized by a power law distribution for the size and duration, features found in other problems in the context of the physics of complex systems and successful models have been developed to describe their behaviour. In this contribution we discuss a statistical mechanical model for the complex activity in a neuronal network. The model implements the main physiological properties of living neurons and is able to reproduce recent experimental results. Then, we discuss the learning abilities of this neuronal network. Learning occurs via plastic adaptation of synaptic strengths by a non-uniform negative feedback mechanism. The system is able to learn all the tested rules, in particular the exclusive OR (XOR) and a random rule with three inputs. The learning dynamics exhibits universal features as function of the strength of plastic adaptation. Any rule could be learned provided that the plastic adaptation is sufficiently slow.

  5. Neuronal avalanches and learning

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Arcangelis, Lucilla de

    2011-01-01

    Networks of living neurons represent one of the most fascinating systems of biology. If the physical and chemical mechanisms at the basis of the functioning of a single neuron are quite well understood, the collective behaviour of a system of many neurons is an extremely intriguing subject. Crucial ingredient of this complex behaviour is the plasticity property of the network, namely the capacity to adapt and evolve depending on the level of activity. This plastic ability is believed, nowadays, to be at the basis of learning and memory in real brains. Spontaneous neuronal activity has recently shown features in common to other complex systems. Experimental data have, in fact, shown that electrical information propagates in a cortex slice via an avalanche mode. These avalanches are characterized by a power law distribution for the size and duration, features found in other problems in the context of the physics of complex systems and successful models have been developed to describe their behaviour. In this contribution we discuss a statistical mechanical model for the complex activity in a neuronal network. The model implements the main physiological properties of living neurons and is able to reproduce recent experimental results. Then, we discuss the learning abilities of this neuronal network. Learning occurs via plastic adaptation of synaptic strengths by a non-uniform negative feedback mechanism. The system is able to learn all the tested rules, in particular the exclusive OR (XOR) and a random rule with three inputs. The learning dynamics exhibits universal features as function of the strength of plastic adaptation. Any rule could be learned provided that the plastic adaptation is sufficiently slow.

  6. Neuron-to-neuron transmission of α-synuclein fibrils through axonal transport

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freundt, Eric C.; Maynard, Nate; Clancy, Eileen K.; Roy, Shyamali; Bousset, Luc; Sourigues, Yannick; Covert, Markus; Melki, Ronald; Kirkegaard, Karla; Brahic, Michel

    2012-01-01

    Objective The lesions of Parkinson's disease spread through the brain in a characteristic pattern that corresponds to axonal projections. Previous observations suggest that misfolded α-synuclein could behave as a prion, moving from neuron to neuron and causing endogenous α-synuclein to misfold. Here, we characterized and quantified the axonal transport of α-synuclein fibrils and showed that fibrils could be transferred from axons to second-order neurons following anterograde transport. Methods We grew primary cortical mouse neurons in microfluidic devices to separate soma from axonal projections in fluidically isolated microenvironments. We used live-cell imaging and immunofluorescence to characterize the transport of fluorescent α-synuclein fibrils and their transfer to second-order neurons. Results Fibrillar α-synuclein was internalized by primary neurons and transported in axons with kinetics consistent with slow component-b of axonal transport (fast axonal transport with saltatory movement). Fibrillar α-synuclein was readily observed in the cell bodies of second-order neurons following anterograde axonal transport. Axon-to-soma transfer appeared not to require synaptic contacts. Interpretation These results support the hypothesis that the progression of Parkinson's disease can be caused by neuron-to-neuron spread of α-synuclein aggregates and that the anatomical pattern of progression of lesions between axonally connected areas results from the axonal transport of such aggregates. That the transfer did not appear to be transsynaptic gives hope that α-synuclein fibrils could be intercepted by drugs during the extra-cellular phase of their journey. PMID:23109146

  7. Functional circuits of new neurons in the dentate gyrus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carmen eVivar

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available The hippocampus is crucial for memory formation. New neurons are added throughout life to the hippocampal dentate gyrus (DG, a brain area considered important for differential storage of similar experiences and contexts. To better understand the functional contribution of adult neurogenesis to pattern separation processes, we recently used a novel synapse specific trans-neuronal tracing approach to identify the (sub cortical inputs to new dentate granule cells. It was observed that newly born neurons receive sequential innervation from structures important for memory function. Initially, septal-hippocampal cells provide input to new neurons, followed after about one month by perirhinal and lateral entorhinal cortex. These cortical areas are deemed relevant to encoding of novel environmental information and may enable pattern separation. Here, we review the developmental time-course and proposed functional relevance of new neurons, within the context of their unique neural circuitry.  

  8. Cholinergic neurons in the dorsomedial hypothalamus regulate mouse brown adipose tissue metabolism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jae Hoon Jeong

    2015-06-01

    Conclusion: DMH cholinergic neurons directly send efferent signals to sympathetic premotor neurons in the Rpa. Elevated cholinergic input to this area reduces BAT activity through activation of M2 mAChRs on serotonergic neurons. Therefore, the direct DMHACh–Rpa5-HT pathway may mediate physiological heat-defense responses to elevated environmental temperature.

  9. HCS-Neurons: identifying phenotypic changes in multi-neuron images upon drug treatments of high-content screening.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charoenkwan, Phasit; Hwang, Eric; Cutler, Robert W; Lee, Hua-Chin; Ko, Li-Wei; Huang, Hui-Ling; Ho, Shinn-Ying

    2013-01-01

    High-content screening (HCS) has become a powerful tool for drug discovery. However, the discovery of drugs targeting neurons is still hampered by the inability to accurately identify and quantify the phenotypic changes of multiple neurons in a single image (named multi-neuron image) of a high-content screen. Therefore, it is desirable to develop an automated image analysis method for analyzing multi-neuron images. We propose an automated analysis method with novel descriptors of neuromorphology features for analyzing HCS-based multi-neuron images, called HCS-neurons. To observe multiple phenotypic changes of neurons, we propose two kinds of descriptors which are neuron feature descriptor (NFD) of 13 neuromorphology features, e.g., neurite length, and generic feature descriptors (GFDs), e.g., Haralick texture. HCS-neurons can 1) automatically extract all quantitative phenotype features in both NFD and GFDs, 2) identify statistically significant phenotypic changes upon drug treatments using ANOVA and regression analysis, and 3) generate an accurate classifier to group neurons treated by different drug concentrations using support vector machine and an intelligent feature selection method. To evaluate HCS-neurons, we treated P19 neurons with nocodazole (a microtubule depolymerizing drug which has been shown to impair neurite development) at six concentrations ranging from 0 to 1000 ng/mL. The experimental results show that all the 13 features of NFD have statistically significant difference with respect to changes in various levels of nocodazole drug concentrations (NDC) and the phenotypic changes of neurites were consistent to the known effect of nocodazole in promoting neurite retraction. Three identified features, total neurite length, average neurite length, and average neurite area were able to achieve an independent test accuracy of 90.28% for the six-dosage classification problem. This NFD module and neuron image datasets are provided as a freely downloadable

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-02-10

    Perception of olfactory stimuli is mediated by distinct populations of olfactory sensory neurons, each with a characteristic set of morphological as well as functional parameters. Beyond two large populations of ciliated and microvillous neurons, a third population, crypt neurons, has been identified in teleost and cartilaginous fishes. We report here a novel, fourth olfactory sensory neuron population in zebrafish, which we named kappe neurons for their characteristic shape. Kappe neurons are identified by their Go-like immunoreactivity, and show a distinct spatial distribution within the olfactory epithelium, similar to, but significantly different from that of crypt neurons. Furthermore, kappe neurons project to a single identified target glomerulus within the olfactory bulb, mdg5 of the mediodorsal cluster, whereas crypt neurons are known to project exclusively to the mdg2 glomerulus. Kappe neurons are negative for established markers of ciliated, microvillous and crypt neurons, but appear to have microvilli. Kappe neurons constitute the fourth type of olfactory sensory neurons reported in teleost fishes and their existence suggests that encoding of olfactory stimuli may require a higher complexity than hitherto assumed already in the peripheral olfactory system.

  11. Merkel cells and neurons keep in touch

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woo, Seung-Hyun; Lumpkin, Ellen A.; Patapoutian, Ardem

    2014-01-01

    The Merkel cell-neurite complex is a unique vertebrate touch receptor comprising two distinct cell types in the skin. Its presence in touch-sensitive skin areas was recognized more than a century ago, but the functions of each cell type in sensory transduction have been unclear. Three recent studies demonstrate that Merkel cells are mechanosensitive cells that function in touch transduction via Piezo2. One study concludes that Merkel cells rather than sensory neurons are principal sites of mechanotransduction, whereas the other two studies report that both Merkel cells and neurons encode mechanical inputs. Together, these studies settle a longstanding debate on whether Merkel cells are mechanosensory cells, and enable future investigations of how these skin cells communicate with neurons. PMID:25480024

  12. Stochastic neuron models

    CERN Document Server

    Greenwood, Priscilla E

    2016-01-01

    This book describes a large number of open problems in the theory of stochastic neural systems, with the aim of enticing probabilists to work on them. This includes problems arising from stochastic models of individual neurons as well as those arising from stochastic models of the activities of small and large networks of interconnected neurons. The necessary neuroscience background to these problems is outlined within the text, so readers can grasp the context in which they arise. This book will be useful for graduate students and instructors providing material and references for applying probability to stochastic neuron modeling. Methods and results are presented, but the emphasis is on questions where additional stochastic analysis may contribute neuroscience insight. An extensive bibliography is included. Dr. Priscilla E. Greenwood is a Professor Emerita in the Department of Mathematics at the University of British Columbia. Dr. Lawrence M. Ward is a Professor in the Department of Psychology and the Brain...

  13. Internally generated preactivation of single neurons in human medial frontal cortex predicts volition

    OpenAIRE

    Fried, Itzhak; Mukamel, Roy; Kreiman, Gabriel

    2011-01-01

    Understanding how self-initiated behavior is encoded by neuronal circuits in the human brain remains elusive. We recorded the activity of 1019 neurons while twelve subjects performed self-initiated finger movement. We report progressive neuronal recruitment over ∼1500 ms before subjects report making the decision to move. We observed progressive increase or decrease in neuronal firing rate, particularly in the supplementary motor area (SMA), as the reported time of decision was approached. A ...

  14. Bursting synchronization in clustered neuronal networks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yu Hai-Tao; Wang Jiang; Deng Bin; Wei Xi-Le

    2013-01-01

    Neuronal networks in the brain exhibit the modular (clustered) property, i.e., they are composed of certain subnetworks with differential internal and external connectivity. We investigate bursting synchronization in a clustered neuronal network. A transition to mutual-phase synchronization takes place on the bursting time scale of coupled neurons, while on the spiking time scale, they behave asynchronously. This synchronization transition can be induced by the variations of inter- and intracoupling strengths, as well as the probability of random links between different subnetworks. Considering that some pathological conditions are related with the synchronization of bursting neurons in the brain, we analyze the control of bursting synchronization by using a time-periodic external signal in the clustered neuronal network. Simulation results show a frequency locking tongue in the driving parameter plane, where bursting synchronization is maintained, even in the presence of external driving. Hence, effective synchronization suppression can be realized with the driving parameters outside the frequency locking region. (interdisciplinary physics and related areas of science and technology)

  15. Neuronal Migration and Neuronal Migration Disorder in Cerebral Cortex

    OpenAIRE

    SUN, Xue-Zhi; TAKAHASHI, Sentaro; GUI, Chun; ZHANG, Rui; KOGA, Kazuo; NOUYE, Minoru; MURATA, Yoshiharu

    2002-01-01

    Neuronal cell migration is one of the most significant features during cortical development. After final mitosis, neurons migrate from the ventricular zone into the cortical plate, and then establish neuronal lamina and settle onto the outermost layer, forming an "inside-out" gradient of maturation. Neuronal migration is guided by radial glial fibers and also needs proper receptors, ligands, and other unknown extracellular factors, requests local signaling (e.g. some emitted by the Cajal-Retz...

  16. Local connections of layer 5 GABAergic interneurons to corticospinal neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yasuyo H Tanaka

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available In the local circuit of the cerebral cortex, GABAergic inhibitory interneurons are considered to work in collaboration with excitatory neurons. Although many interneuron subgroups have been described in the cortex, local inhibitory connections of each interneuron subgroup are only partially understood with respect to the functional neuron groups that receive these inhibitory connections. In the present study, we morphologically examined local inhibitory inputs to corticospinal neurons (CSNs in motor areas using transgenic rats in which GABAergic neurons expressed fluorescent protein Venus. By analysis of biocytin-filled axons obtained with whole-cell recording/staining in cortical slices, we classified fast-spiking (FS neurons in layer (L 5 into two types, FS1 and FS2, by their high and low densities of axonal arborization, respectively. We then investigated the connections of FS1, FS2, somatostatin-immunopositive (SOM and other (non-FS/non-SOM interneurons to CSNs that were retrogradely labeled in a Golgi-like manner in motor areas. When close appositions between the axon boutons of the intracellularly labeled interneurons and the somata/dendrites of the retrogradely labeled CSNs were examined electron-microscopically, 74% of these appositions made symmetric synaptic contacts. The axon boutons of single FS1 neurons were 2–4-fold more frequent in appositions to the somata/dendrites of CSNs than those of FS2, SOM and non-FS/non-SOM neurons. Axosomatic appositions were most frequently formed with axon boutons of FS1 and FS2 neurons (approximately 30% and least frequently formed with those of SOM neurons (7%. In contrast, SOM neurons most extensively sent axon boutons to the apical dendrites of CSNs. These results might suggest that motor outputs are controlled differentially by the subgroups of L5 GABAergic interneurons in cortical motor areas. 

  17. Neuronal nets in robotics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jimenez Sanchez, Raul

    1999-01-01

    The paper gives a generic idea of the solutions that the neuronal nets contribute to the robotics. The advantages and the inconveniences are exposed that have regarding the conventional techniques. It also describe the more excellent applications as the pursuit of trajectories, the positioning based on images, the force control or of the mobile robots management, among others

  18. Neuropeptide Y-immunoreactive neurons in the cerebral cortex of humans and other haplorrhine primates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raghanti, Mary Ann; Conley, Tiffini; Sudduth, Jessica; Erwin, Joseph M.; Stimpson, Cheryl D.; Hof, Patrick R.; Sherwood, Chet C.

    2012-01-01

    We examined the distribution of neurons immunoreactive for neuropeptide Y (NPY) in the posterior part of the superior temporal cortex (Brodmann's area 22 or area Tpt) of humans and nonhuman haplorrhine primates. NPY has been implicated in learning and memory and the density of NPY-expressing cortical neurons and axons is reduced in depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and Alzheimer's disease. Due to the role that NPY plays in both cognition and neurodegenerative diseases, we tested the hypothesis that the density of cortical and interstitial neurons expressing NPY was increased in humans relative to other primate species. The study sample included great apes (chimpanzee and gorilla), Old World monkeys (pigtailed macaque, moor macaque, and baboon) and New World monkeys (squirrel monkey and capuchin). Stereologic methods were used to estimate the density of NPY-immunoreactive (-ir) neurons in layers I-VI of area Tpt and the subjacent white matter. Adjacent Nissl-stained sections were used to calculate local densities of all neurons. The ratio of NPY-ir neurons to total neurons within area Tpt and the total density of NPY-ir neurons within the white matter were compared among species. Overall, NPY-ir neurons represented only an average of 0.006% of the total neuron population. While there were significant differences among species, phylogenetic trends in NPY-ir neuron distributions were not observed and humans did not differ from other primates. However, variation among species warrants further investigation into the distribution of this neuromodulator system. PMID:23042407

  19. Vasculo-Neuronal Coupling: Retrograde Vascular Communication to Brain Neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Ki Jung; Ramiro Diaz, Juan; Iddings, Jennifer A; Filosa, Jessica A

    2016-12-14

    Continuous cerebral blood flow is essential for neuronal survival, but whether vascular tone influences resting neuronal function is not known. Using a multidisciplinary approach in both rat and mice brain slices, we determined whether flow/pressure-evoked increases or decreases in parenchymal arteriole vascular tone, which result in arteriole constriction and dilation, respectively, altered resting cortical pyramidal neuron activity. We present evidence for intercellular communication in the brain involving a flow of information from vessel to astrocyte to neuron, a direction opposite to that of classic neurovascular coupling and referred to here as vasculo-neuronal coupling (VNC). Flow/pressure increases within parenchymal arterioles increased vascular tone and simultaneously decreased resting pyramidal neuron firing activity. On the other hand, flow/pressure decreases evoke parenchymal arteriole dilation and increased resting pyramidal neuron firing activity. In GLAST-CreERT2; R26-lsl-GCaMP3 mice, we demonstrate that increased parenchymal arteriole tone significantly increased intracellular calcium in perivascular astrocyte processes, the onset of astrocyte calcium changes preceded the inhibition of cortical pyramidal neuronal firing activity. During increases in parenchymal arteriole tone, the pyramidal neuron response was unaffected by blockers of nitric oxide, GABA A , glutamate, or ecto-ATPase. However, VNC was abrogated by TRPV4 channel, GABA B , as well as an adenosine A 1 receptor blocker. Differently to pyramidal neuron responses, increases in flow/pressure within parenchymal arterioles increased the firing activity of a subtype of interneuron. Together, these data suggest that VNC is a complex constitutive active process that enables neurons to efficiently adjust their resting activity according to brain perfusion levels, thus safeguarding cellular homeostasis by preventing mismatches between energy supply and demand. We present evidence for vessel-to-neuron

  20. Autoradiographic localization of putative nicotinic receptors in the rat brain using 125I-neuronal bungarotoxin

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schulz, D.W.; Loring, R.H.; Aizenman, E.; Zigmond, R.E.

    1991-01-01

    Neuronal bungarotoxin (NBT), a snake venom neurotoxin, selectively blocks nicotinic receptors in many peripheral and central neuronal preparations. alpha-Bungarotoxin (alpha BT), on the other hand, a second toxin isolated from the venom of the same snake, is an ineffective nicotinic antagonist in most vertebrate neuronal preparations studied thus far. To examine central nicotinic receptors recognized by NBT, we have characterized the binding of 125I-labeled NBT (125I-NBT) to rat brain membranes and have mapped the distribution of 125I-NBT binding in brain sections using quantitative light microscopic autoradiography. The binding of 125I-NBT was found to be saturable, of high affinity, and heterogeneously distributed in the brain. Pharmacological studies suggested that more than one population of sites is labeled by 125I-NBT. For example, one component of 125I-NBT binding was also recognized by alpha BT, while a second component, not recognized by alpha BT, was recognized by the nicotinic agonist nicotine. The highest densities of these alpha BT-insensitive, nicotine-sensitive sites were found in the fasciculus retroflexus, the lateral geniculate nucleus, the medial terminal nucleus of the accessory optic tract, and the olivary pretectal nucleus. alpha BT-sensitive NBT binding sites were found in highest density in the lateral geniculate nucleus, the subthalamic nucleus, the dorsal tegmental nucleus, and the medial mammillary nucleus (lateral part). The number of brain regions with a high density of 125I-NBT binding sites, blocked either by alpha BT or by nicotine, is low when compared with results obtained using other approaches to studying the central distribution of nicotinic receptors, such as labeling with 3H-nicotine or labeling with cDNA probes to mRNAs coding for putative receptor subunits

  1. Mirror neurons encode the subjective value of an observed action

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caggiano, Vittorio; Fogassi, Leonardo; Rizzolatti, Giacomo; Casile, Antonino; Giese, Martin A.; Thier, Peter

    2012-01-01

    Objects grasped by an agent have a value not only for the acting agent, but also for an individual observing the grasping act. The value that the observer attributes to the object that is grasped can be pivotal for selecting a possible behavioral response. Mirror neurons in area F5 of the monkey premotor cortex have been suggested to play a crucial role in the understanding of action goals. However, it has not been addressed if these neurons are also involved in representing the value of the grasped object. Here we report that observation-related neuronal responses of F5 mirror neurons are indeed modulated by the value that the monkey associates with the grasped object. These findings suggest that during action observation F5 mirror neurons have access to key information needed to shape the behavioral responses of the observer. PMID:22753471

  2. A Neuron-Based Model of Sleep-Wake Cycles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Postnova, Svetlana; Peters, Achim; Braun, Hans

    2008-03-01

    In recent years it was discovered that a neuropeptide orexin/hypocretin plays a main role in sleep processes. This peptide is produced by the neurons in the lateral hypothalamus, which project to almost all brain areas. We present a computational model of sleep-wake cycles, which is based on the Hodgkin-Huxley type neurons and considers reciprocal glutaminergic projections between the lateral hypothalamus and the prefrontal cortex. Orexin is released as a neuromodulator and is required to keep the neurons firing, which corresponds to the wake state. When orexin is depleted the neurons are getting silent as observed in the sleep state. They can be reactivated by the circadian signal from the suprachiasmatic nucleus and/or external stimuli (alarm clock). Orexin projections to the thalamocortical neurons also can account for their transition from tonic firing activity during wakefulness to synchronized burst discharges during sleep.

  3. Large-scale Ising-machines composed of magnetic neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mizushima, Koichi; Goto, Hayato; Sato, Rie

    2017-10-01

    We propose Ising-machines composed of magnetic neurons, that is, magnetic bits in a recording track. In large-scale machines, the sizes of both neurons and synapses need to be reduced, and neat and smart connections among neurons are also required to achieve all-to-all connectivity among them. These requirements can be fulfilled by adopting magnetic recording technologies such as race-track memories and skyrmion tracks because the area of a magnetic bit is almost two orders of magnitude smaller than that of static random access memory, which has normally been used as a semiconductor neuron, and the smart connections among neurons are realized by using the read and write methods of these technologies.

  4. Neuronal survival in the brain: neuron type-specific mechanisms

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pfisterer, Ulrich Gottfried; Khodosevich, Konstantin

    2017-01-01

    Neurogenic regions of mammalian brain produce many more neurons that will eventually survive and reach a mature stage. Developmental cell death affects both embryonically produced immature neurons and those immature neurons that are generated in regions of adult neurogenesis. Removal of substantial...... numbers of neurons that are not yet completely integrated into the local circuits helps to ensure that maturation and homeostatic function of neuronal networks in the brain proceed correctly. External signals from brain microenvironment together with intrinsic signaling pathways determine whether...... for survival in a certain brain region. This review focuses on how immature neurons survive during normal and impaired brain development, both in the embryonic/neonatal brain and in brain regions associated with adult neurogenesis, and emphasizes neuron type-specific mechanisms that help to survive for various...

  5. In vivo measurement of neuronal dopamine transporter in tobacco and cannabis dependents subjects with positron tomography and [{sup 11}C]P E 2 I

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Leroy, C; Ribeiro, M J; Trichard, C; Martinot, J L [Institut National de la Sante et de la Recherche Medicale (INSERM), U797, Research Unit, Neuroimaging and Psychiatry, IFR49, 91 - Orsay (France); CEA, Neuroimaging and Psychiatry, Unit, Hospital Dept. Frederic Joliot, I2BM, 91 - Orsay (France); Ribeiro, M J; Comtat, C; Dolle, F [Hospital Dept. Frederic Joliot, Research Medical Dept., I2BM, 91 - Orsay (France); Karila, L; Lukasiewicz, M; Reynaud, M [Paul Brousse Hospital, APHP, Psychiatry and Addictology Dept., 94 - Villejuif (France)

    2008-02-15

    Modifications of dopamine neurotransmission are classically involved in addictive behaviors and drug reinforcement. However, to date no data are available concerning the effects of cannabis addiction on dopaminergic neurotransmission in Human. The neuronal dopamine transporter (D.A.T.) is essential for the maintenance of normal dopamine homeostasis in the brain by ensuring the re-uptake of extracellular dopamine. Therefore, observation of D.A.T. availability abnormalities in cannabis-dependents subjects could provide further evidence for the implication of dopaminergic dysfunction in this addiction. Thus, as the cannabis dependent subjects are also most of time tobacco-dependents, this work aims studying the D.A.T. availability in age-paired control, tobacco-dependent and cannabis-dependent male subjects using Positron Emission Tomography (PET). Subjects are scanned on High Resolution Research Tomograph (H.R.R.T.) for one hour after injection of a selective D.A.T. radioligand ([{sup 11}C]P.E. 2 I.) [1]. The binding potential (B.P.) is calculated in order to obtained the specific binding of [{sup 11}C]P.E. 2 I. to the D.A.T. using the simplified reference tissue model of Lammertsma (S.R.T.M.) [2] and B.P. maps were generated according to Gunn model [3]. Comparison of mean B.P. obtained in Region Of Interest and voxel to voxel comparison of B.P. maps using S.P.M.5 were performed with M.A.N.C.O.V.A. controlled for age between control, tobacco-dependent and cannabis-dependent groups. Preliminary results are concordant between both approaches and shown significant decreases of the D.A.T. availability in the both groups of addicted subjects in comparison to controls at the level of dorsal and ventral striatum and the dorsal midbrain including substantia nigra and ventral tegmental area. However, no difference in D.A.T. binding between tobacco and cannabis dependents subjects was observed. These widespread modifications of D.A.T. availability in the dependents subjects

  6. Neuronal synchrony: peculiarity and generality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nowotny, Thomas; Huerta, Ramon; Rabinovich, Mikhail I

    2008-09-01

    Synchronization in neuronal systems is a new and intriguing application of dynamical systems theory. Why are neuronal systems different as a subject for synchronization? (1) Neurons in themselves are multidimensional nonlinear systems that are able to exhibit a wide variety of different activity patterns. Their "dynamical repertoire" includes regular or chaotic spiking, regular or chaotic bursting, multistability, and complex transient regimes. (2) Usually, neuronal oscillations are the result of the cooperative activity of many synaptically connected neurons (a neuronal circuit). Thus, it is necessary to consider synchronization between different neuronal circuits as well. (3) The synapses that implement the coupling between neurons are also dynamical elements and their intrinsic dynamics influences the process of synchronization or entrainment significantly. In this review we will focus on four new problems: (i) the synchronization in minimal neuronal networks with plastic synapses (synchronization with activity dependent coupling), (ii) synchronization of bursts that are generated by a group of nonsymmetrically coupled inhibitory neurons (heteroclinic synchronization), (iii) the coordination of activities of two coupled neuronal networks (partial synchronization of small composite structures), and (iv) coarse grained synchronization in larger systems (synchronization on a mesoscopic scale). (c) 2008 American Institute of Physics.

  7. Morphological Analysis of the Axonal Projections of EGFP-Labeled Esr1-Expressing Neurons in Transgenic Female Medaka.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zempo, Buntaro; Karigo, Tomomi; Kanda, Shinji; Akazome, Yasuhisa; Oka, Yoshitaka

    2018-02-01

    Some hypothalamic neurons expressing estrogen receptor α (Esr1) are thought to transmit a gonadal estrogen feedback signal to gonadotropin-releasing hormone 1 (GnRH1) neurons, which is the final common pathway for feedback regulation of reproductive functions. Moreover, estrogen-sensitive neurons are suggested to control sexual behaviors in coordination with reproduction. In mammals, hypothalamic estrogen-sensitive neurons release the peptide kisspeptin and regulate GnRH1 neurons. However, a growing body of evidence in nonmammalian species casts doubt on the regulation of GnRH1 neurons by kisspeptin neurons. As a step toward understanding how estrogen regulates neuronal circuits for reproduction and sex behavior in vertebrates in general, we generated a transgenic (Tg) medaka that expresses enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) specifically in esr1-expressing neurons (esr1 neurons) and analyzed their axonal projections. We found that esr1 neurons in the preoptic area (POA) project to the gnrh1 neurons. We also demonstrated by transcriptome and histological analyses that these esr1 neurons are glutamatergic or γ-aminobutyric acidergic (GABAergic) but not kisspeptinergic. We therefore suggest that glutamatergic and GABAergic esr1 neurons in the POA regulate gnrh1 neurons. This hypothesis is consistent with previous studies in mice that found that glutamatergic and GABAergic transmission is critical for estrogen-dependent changes in GnRH1 neuron firing. Thus, we propose that this neuronal circuit may provide an evolutionarily conserved mechanism for regulation of reproduction. In addition, we showed that telencephalic esr1 neurons project to medulla, which may control sexual behavior. Moreover, we found that some POA-esr1 neurons coexpress progesterone receptors. These neurons may form the neuronal circuits that regulate reproduction and sex behavior in response to the serum estrogen/progesterone. Copyright © 2018 Endocrine Society.

  8. Neurons in primary motor cortex engaged during action observation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dushanova, Juliana; Donoghue, John

    2010-01-01

    Neurons in higher cortical areas appear to become active during action observation, either by mirroring observed actions (termed mirror neurons) or by eliciting mental rehearsal of observed motor acts. We report the existence of neurons in the primary motor cortex (M1), an area that is generally considered to initiate and guide movement performance, responding to viewed actions. Multielectrode recordings in monkeys performing or observing a well-learned step-tracking task showed that approximately half of the M1 neurons that were active when monkeys performed the task were also active when they observed the action being performed by a human. These 'view' neurons were spatially intermingled with 'do' neurons, which are active only during movement performance. Simultaneously recorded 'view' neurons comprised two groups: approximately 38% retained the same preferred direction (PD) and timing during performance and viewing, and the remainder (62%) changed their PDs and time lag during viewing as compared with performance. Nevertheless, population activity during viewing was sufficient to predict the direction and trajectory of viewed movements as action unfolded, although less accurately than during performance. 'View' neurons became less active and contained poorer representations of action when only subcomponents of the task were being viewed. M1 'view' neurons thus appear to reflect aspects of a learned movement when observed in others, and form part of a broadly engaged set of cortical areas routinely responding to learned behaviors. These findings suggest that viewing a learned action elicits replay of aspects of M1 activity needed to perform the observed action, and could additionally reflect processing related to understanding, learning or mentally rehearsing action.

  9. From Neurons to Newtons

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Bjørn Gilbert

    2001-01-01

    proteins generate forces, to the macroscopic levels where overt arm movements are vol- untarily controlled within an unpredictable environment by legions of neurons¯ring in orderly fashion. An extensive computer simulation system has been developed for this thesis, which at present contains a neural...... network scripting language for specifying arbitrary neural architectures, de¯nition ¯les for detailed spinal networks, various biologically realistic models of neurons, and dynamic synapses. Also included are structurally accurate models of intrafusal and extra-fusal muscle ¯bers and a general body...... that an explicit function may be derived which expresses the force that the spindle contractile elements must produce to exactly counter spindle unloading during muscle shortening. This information was used to calculate the corresponding "optimal" °-motoneuronal activity level. For some simple arm movement tasks...

  10. Criticality in Neuronal Networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friedman, Nir; Ito, Shinya; Brinkman, Braden A. W.; Shimono, Masanori; Deville, R. E. Lee; Beggs, John M.; Dahmen, Karin A.; Butler, Tom C.

    2012-02-01

    In recent years, experiments detecting the electrical firing patterns in slices of in vitro brain tissue have been analyzed to suggest the presence of scale invariance and possibly criticality in the brain. Much of the work done however has been limited in two ways: 1) the data collected is from local field potentials that do not represent the firing of individual neurons; 2) the analysis has been primarily limited to histograms. In our work we examine data based on the firing of individual neurons (spike data), and greatly extend the analysis by considering shape collapse and exponents. Our results strongly suggest that the brain operates near a tuned critical point of a highly distinctive universality class.

  11. Developing neurons use a putative pioneer's peripheral arbor to establish their terminal fields.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gan, W B; Macagno, E R

    1995-05-01

    Pioneer neurons are known to guide later developing neurons during the initial phases of axonal outgrowth. To determine whether they are also important in the formation of terminal fields by the follower cells, we studied the role of a putative leech pioneer neuron, the pressure-sensitive (PD) neuron, in the establishment of other neurons' peripheral arbors. The PD neuron has a major axon that exits from its segmental ganglion to grow along the dorsal-posterior (DP) nerve to the dorsal body wall, where it arborizes extensively mainly in its own segment. It also has two minor axons that project to the two adjacent segments but branch to a lesser degree. We found that the peripheral projections of several later developing neurons, including the AP motor neuron and the TD sensory neuron, followed, with great precision, the major axon and peripheral arbor of the consegmental PD neuron, up to its fourth-order branches. When a PD neuron was ablated before it had grown to the body wall, the AP and TD axons grew normally toward and reached the target area, but then formed terminal arbors that were greatly reduced in size and abnormal in morphology. Further, if the ablation of a PD neuron was accompanied by the induction, in the same segment, of greater outgrowth of the minor axon of a PD neuron from the adjacent segment, the arbors of the same AP neurons grew along these novel PD neuron branches. These results demonstrate that the peripheral arbor of a PD neuron is a both necessary and sufficient template for the formation of normal terminal fields by certain later growing follower neurons.

  12. The Brainstem Pathologies of Parkinson's Disease and Dementia with Lewy Bodies

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Seidel, Kay; Mahlke, Josefine; Siswanto, Sonny; Krueger, Reijko; Heinsen, Helmut; Auburger, Georg; Bouzrou, Mohamed; Grinberg, Lea T.; Wicht, Helmut; Korf, Horst-Werner; den Dunnen, Wilfred; Rueb, Udo

    Parkinson's disease (PD) and dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) are among the human synucleinopathies, which show alpha-synuclein immunoreactive neuronal and/or glial aggregations and progressive neuronal loss in selected brain regions (eg, substantia nigra, ventral tegmental area, pedunculopontine

  13. Perifornical orexinergic neurons modulate REM sleep by influencing locus coeruleus neurons in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choudhary, R C; Khanday, M A; Mitra, A; Mallick, B N

    2014-10-24

    Activation of the orexin (OX)-ergic neurons in the perifornical (PeF) area has been reported to induce waking and reduce rapid eye movement sleep (REMS). The activities of OX-ergic neurons are maximum during active waking and they progressively reduce during non-REMS (NREMS) and REMS. Apparently, the locus coeruleus (LC) neurons also behave in a comparable manner as that of the OX-ergic neurons particularly in relation to waking and REMS. Further, as PeF OX-ergic neurons send dense projections to LC, we argued that the former could drive the LC neurons to modulate waking and REMS. Studies in freely moving normally behaving animals where simultaneously neuro-chemo-anatomo-physio-behavioral information could be deciphered would significantly strengthen our understanding on the regulation of REMS. Therefore, in this study in freely behaving chronically prepared rats we stimulated the PeF neurons without or with simultaneous blocking of specific subtypes of OX-ergic receptors in the LC while electrophysiological recording characterizing sleep-waking was continued. Single dose of glutamate stimulation as well as sustained mild electrical stimulation of PeF (both bilateral) significantly increased waking and reduced REMS as compared to baseline. Simultaneous application of OX-receptor1 (OX1R) antagonist bilaterally into the LC prevented PeF stimulation-induced REMS suppression. Also, the effect of electrical stimulation of the PeF was long lasting as compared to that of the glutamate stimulation. Further, sustained electrical stimulation significantly decreased both REMS duration as well as REMS frequency, while glutamate stimulation decreased REMS duration only. Copyright © 2014 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Golgi Analysis of Neuron Morphology in the Presumptive Somatosensory Cortex and Visual Cortex of the Florida Manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reyes, Laura D; Harland, Tessa; Reep, Roger L; Sherwood, Chet C; Jacobs, Bob

    2016-01-01

    The current study investigates neuron morphology in presumptive primary somatosensory (S1) and primary visual (V1) cortices of the Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) as revealed by Golgi impregnation. Sirenians, including manatees, have an aquatic lifestyle, a large body size, and a relatively large lissencephalic brain. The present study examines neuron morphology in 3 cortical areas: in S1, dorsolateral cortex area 1 (DL1) and cluster cortex area 2 (CL2) and in V1, dorsolateral cortex area 4 (DL4). Neurons exhibited a variety of morphological types, with pyramidal neurons being the most common. The large variety of neuron types present in the manatee cortex was comparable to that seen in other eutherian mammals, except for rodents and primates, where pyramid-shaped neurons predominate. A comparison between pyramidal neurons in S1 and V1 indicated relatively greater dendritic branching in S1. Across all 3 areas, the dendritic arborization pattern of pyramidal neurons was also similar to that observed previously in the afrotherian rock hyrax, cetartiodactyls, opossums, and echidnas but did not resemble the widely bifurcated dendrites seen in the large-brained African elephant. Despite adaptations for an aquatic environment, manatees did not share specific neuron types such as tritufted and star-like neurons that have been found in cetaceans. Manatees exhibit an evolutionarily primitive pattern of cortical neuron morphology shared with most other mammals and do not appear to have neuronal specializations for an aquatic niche. © 2016 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  15. Neuronal Activation After Prolonged Immobilization: Do the Same or Different Neurons Respond to a Novel Stressor?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marín-Blasco, Ignacio; Muñoz-Abellán, Cristina; Andero, Raül; Nadal, Roser; Armario, Antonio

    2018-04-01

    Despite extensive research on the impact of emotional stressors on brain function using immediate-early genes (e.g., c-fos), there are still important questions that remain unanswered such as the reason for the progressive decline of c-fos expression in response to prolonged stress and the neuronal populations activated by different stressors. This study tackles these 2 questions by evaluating c-fos expression in response to 2 different emotional stressors applied sequentially, and performing a fluorescent double labeling of c-Fos protein and c-fos mRNA on stress-related brain areas. Results were complemented with the assessment of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis activation. We showed that the progressive decline of c-fos expression could be related to 2 differing mechanisms involving either transcriptional repression or changes in stimulatory inputs. Moreover, the neuronal populations that respond to the different stressors appear to be predominantly separated in high-level processing areas (e.g., medial prefrontal cortex). However, in low-hierarchy areas (e.g., paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus) neuronal populations appear to respond unspecifically. The data suggest that the distinct physiological and behavioral consequences of emotional stressors, and their implication in the development of psychopathologies, are likely to be closely associated with neuronal populations specifically activated by each stressor.

  16. Astrocytic actions on extrasynaptic neuronal currents

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    Balazs ePal

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available In the last few decades, knowledge about astrocytic functions has significantly increased. It was demonstrated that astrocytes are not passive elements of the central nervous system, but active partners of neurons. There is a growing body of knowledge about the calcium excitability of astrocytes, the actions of different gliotransmitters and their release mechanisms, as well as the participation of astrocytes in the regulation of synaptic functions and their contribution to synaptic plasticity. However, astrocytic functions are even more complex than being a partner of the 'tripartite synapse', as they can influence extrasynaptic neuronal currents either by releasing substances or regulating ambient neurotransmitter levels. Several types of currents or changes of membrane potential with different kinetics and via different mechanisms can be elicited by astrocytic activity. Astrocyte-dependent phasic or tonic, inward or outward currents were described in several brain areas. Such currents, together with the synaptic actions of astrocytes, can contribute to neuromodulatory mechanisms, neurosensory and –secretory processes, cortical oscillatory activity, memory and learning or overall neuronal excitability. This mini-review is an attempt to give a brief summary of astrocyte-dependent extrasynaptic neuronal currents and their possible functional significance.

  17. Parvalbumin+ Neurons and Npas1+ Neurons Are Distinct Neuron Classes in the Mouse External Globus Pallidus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernández, Vivian M; Hegeman, Daniel J; Cui, Qiaoling; Kelver, Daniel A; Fiske, Michael P; Glajch, Kelly E; Pitt, Jason E; Huang, Tina Y; Justice, Nicholas J; Chan, C Savio

    2015-08-26

    Compelling evidence suggests that pathological activity of the external globus pallidus (GPe), a nucleus in the basal ganglia, contributes to the motor symptoms of a variety of movement disorders such as Parkinson's disease. Recent studies have challenged the idea that the GPe comprises a single, homogenous population of neurons that serves as a simple relay in the indirect pathway. However, we still lack a full understanding of the diversity of the neurons that make up the GPe. Specifically, a more precise classification scheme is needed to better describe the fundamental biology and function of different GPe neuron classes. To this end, we generated a novel multicistronic BAC (bacterial artificial chromosome) transgenic mouse line under the regulatory elements of the Npas1 gene. Using a combinatorial transgenic and immunohistochemical approach, we discovered that parvalbumin-expressing neurons and Npas1-expressing neurons in the GPe represent two nonoverlapping cell classes, amounting to 55% and 27% of the total GPe neuron population, respectively. These two genetically identified cell classes projected primarily to the subthalamic nucleus and to the striatum, respectively. Additionally, parvalbumin-expressing neurons and Npas1-expressing neurons were distinct in their autonomous and driven firing characteristics, their expression of intrinsic ion conductances, and their responsiveness to chronic 6-hydroxydopamine lesion. In summary, our data argue that parvalbumin-expressing neurons and Npas1-expressing neurons are two distinct functional classes of GPe neurons. This work revises our understanding of the GPe, and provides the foundation for future studies of its function and dysfunction. Until recently, the heterogeneity of the constituent neurons within the external globus pallidus (GPe) was not fully appreciated. We addressed this knowledge gap by discovering two principal GPe neuron classes, which were identified by their nonoverlapping expression of the

  18. Parvalbumin+ Neurons and Npas1+ Neurons Are Distinct Neuron Classes in the Mouse External Globus Pallidus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernández, Vivian M.; Hegeman, Daniel J.; Cui, Qiaoling; Kelver, Daniel A.; Fiske, Michael P.; Glajch, Kelly E.; Pitt, Jason E.; Huang, Tina Y.; Justice, Nicholas J.

    2015-01-01

    Compelling evidence suggests that pathological activity of the external globus pallidus (GPe), a nucleus in the basal ganglia, contributes to the motor symptoms of a variety of movement disorders such as Parkinson's disease. Recent studies have challenged the idea that the GPe comprises a single, homogenous population of neurons that serves as a simple relay in the indirect pathway. However, we still lack a full understanding of the diversity of the neurons that make up the GPe. Specifically, a more precise classification scheme is needed to better describe the fundamental biology and function of different GPe neuron classes. To this end, we generated a novel multicistronic BAC (bacterial artificial chromosome) transgenic mouse line under the regulatory elements of the Npas1 gene. Using a combinatorial transgenic and immunohistochemical approach, we discovered that parvalbumin-expressing neurons and Npas1-expressing neurons in the GPe represent two nonoverlapping cell classes, amounting to 55% and 27% of the total GPe neuron population, respectively. These two genetically identified cell classes projected primarily to the subthalamic nucleus and to the striatum, respectively. Additionally, parvalbumin-expressing neurons and Npas1-expressing neurons were distinct in their autonomous and driven firing characteristics, their expression of intrinsic ion conductances, and their responsiveness to chronic 6-hydroxydopamine lesion. In summary, our data argue that parvalbumin-expressing neurons and Npas1-expressing neurons are two distinct functional classes of GPe neurons. This work revises our understanding of the GPe, and provides the foundation for future studies of its function and dysfunction. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Until recently, the heterogeneity of the constituent neurons within the external globus pallidus (GPe) was not fully appreciated. We addressed this knowledge gap by discovering two principal GPe neuron classes, which were identified by their nonoverlapping

  19. Reduced Synaptic Vesicle Recycling during Hypoxia in Cultured Cortical Neurons

    OpenAIRE

    Fedorovich, Sergei; Hofmeijer, Jeannette; van Putten, Michel Johannes Antonius Maria; le Feber, Jakob

    2017-01-01

    Improvement of neuronal recovery in the ischemic penumbra, an area around the core of a brain infarct with some remaining perfusion, has a large potential for the development of therapy against acute ischemic stroke. However, mechanisms that lead to either recovery or secondary damage in the penumbra largely remain unclear. Recent studies in cultured networks of cortical neurons showed that failure of synaptic transmission (referred to as synaptic failure) is a critical factor in the penumbra...

  20. Predicting oculomotor behaviour from correlated populations of posterior parietal neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graf, Arnulf B A; Andersen, Richard A

    2015-01-23

    Oculomotor function critically depends on how signals representing saccade direction and eye position are combined across neurons in the lateral intraparietal (LIP) area of the posterior parietal cortex. Here we show that populations of parietal neurons exhibit correlated variability, and that using these interneuronal correlations yields oculomotor predictions that are more accurate and also less uncertain. The structure of LIP population responses is therefore essential for reliable read-out of oculomotor behaviour.

  1. Metabolic reprogramming during neuronal differentiation.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-09-01

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

  2. Localization of the brainstem GABAergic neurons controlling paradoxical (REM sleep.

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    Emilie Sapin

    Full Text Available Paradoxical sleep (PS is a state characterized by cortical activation, rapid eye movements and muscle atonia. Fifty years after its discovery, the neuronal network responsible for the genesis of PS has been only partially identified. We recently proposed that GABAergic neurons would have a pivotal role in that network. To localize these GABAergic neurons, we combined immunohistochemical detection of Fos with non-radioactive in situ hybridization of GAD67 mRNA (GABA synthesis enzyme in control rats, rats deprived of PS for 72 h and rats allowed to recover after such deprivation. Here we show that GABAergic neurons gating PS (PS-off neurons are principally located in the ventrolateral periaqueductal gray (vlPAG and the dorsal part of the deep mesencephalic reticular nucleus immediately ventral to it (dDpMe. Furthermore, iontophoretic application of muscimol for 20 min in this area in head-restrained rats induced a strong and significant increase in PS quantities compared to saline. In addition, we found a large number of GABAergic PS-on neurons in the vlPAG/dDPMe region and the medullary reticular nuclei known to generate muscle atonia during PS. Finally, we showed that PS-on neurons triggering PS localized in the SLD are not GABAergic. Altogether, our results indicate that multiple populations of PS-on GABAergic neurons are distributed in the brainstem while only one population of PS-off GABAergic neurons localized in the vlPAG/dDpMe region exist. From these results, we propose a revised model for PS control in which GABAergic PS-on and PS-off neurons localized in the vlPAG/dDPMe region play leading roles.

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

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    Shigeru Shinomoto

    2009-07-01

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

  4. Spindle neurons of the human anterior cingulate cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nimchinsky, E. A.; Vogt, B. A.; Morrison, J. H.; Hof, P. R.; Bloom, F. E. (Principal Investigator)

    1995-01-01

    The human anterior cingulate cortex is distinguished by the presence of an unusual cell type, a large spindle neuron in layer Vb. This cell has been noted numerous times in the historical literature but has not been studied with modern neuroanatomic techniques. For instance, details regarding the neuronal class to which these cells belong and regarding their precise distribution along both ventrodorsal and anteroposterior axes of the cingulate gyrus are still lacking. In the present study, morphological features and the anatomic distribution of this cell type were studied using computer-assisted mapping and immunocytochemical techniques. Spindle neurons are restricted to the subfields of the anterior cingulate cortex (Brodmann's area 24), exhibiting a greater density in anterior portions of this area than in posterior portions, and tapering off in the transition zone between anterior and posterior cingulate cortex. Furthermore, a majority of the spindle cells at any level is located in subarea 24b on the gyral surface. Immunocytochemical analysis revealed that the neurofilament protein triple was present in a large percentage of these neurons and that they did not contain calcium-binding proteins. Injections of the carbocyanine dye DiI into the cingulum bundle revealed that these cells are projection neurons. Finally, spindle cells were consistently affected in Alzheimer's disease cases, with an overall loss of about 60%. Taken together, these observations indicate that the spindle cells of the human cingulate cortex represent a morphological subpopulation of pyramidal neurons whose restricted distribution may be associated with functionally distinct areas.

  5. Distribution of glycinergic neuronal somata in the rat spinal cord.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hossaini, Mehdi; French, Pim J; Holstege, Jan C

    2007-04-20

    Glycine transporter 2 (GlyT2) mRNA is exclusively expressed in glycinergic neurons, and is presently considered a reliable marker for glycinergic neuronal somata. In this study, we have performed non-radioactive in situ hybridization to localize GlyT2 mRNA in fixed free-floating sections of cervical (C2 and C6), thoracic (T5), lumbar (L2 and L5) and sacral (S1) segments of the rat spinal cord. The results showed that in all segments the majority of the GlyT2 mRNA labeled (glycinergic) neuronal somata was present in the deep dorsal horn and the intermediate zone (laminae III-VIII), with around 50% (range 43.7-70.9%) in laminae VII&VIII. In contrast, the superficial dorsal horn, the motoneuronal cell groups and the area around the central canal contained only few glycinergic neuronal somata. The density (number of glycinergic neuronal somata per mm(2)) was also low in these areas, while the highest densities were found in laminae V to VIII. The lateral spinal nucleus and the lateral cervical nucleus also contained a limited number of glycinergic neurons. Our findings showed that the distribution pattern of the glycinergic neuronal somata is similar in all the examined segments. The few differences that were found in the relative laminar distribution between some of the segments, are most likely due to technical reasons. We therefore conclude that the observed distribution pattern of glycinergic neuronal somata is present throughout the spinal cord. Our findings further showed that the non-radioactive in situ hybridization technique for identifying GlyT2 mRNA in fixed free-floating sections is a highly efficient tool for identifying glycinergic neurons in the spinal cord.

  6. NEUROANATOMICAL ASSOCIATION OF HYPOTHALAMIC HSD2-CONTAINING NEURONS WITH ERα, CATECHOLAMINES, OR OXYTOCIN: IMPLICATIONS FOR FEEDING?

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    Maegan L. Askew

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available This study used immunohistochemical methods to investigate the possibility that hypothalamic neurons that contain 11-β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 2 (HSD2 are involved in the control of feeding by rats via neuroanatomical associations with the α subtype of estrogen receptor (ERα, catecholamines, and/or oxytocin. An aggregate of HSD2-containing neurons is located laterally in the hypothalamus, and the numbers of these neurons were greatly increased by estradiol treatment in ovariectomized rats compared to numbers in male rats and in ovariectomized rats that were not given estradiol. However, HSD2-containing neurons were anatomically segregated from ERα-containing neurons in the Ventromedial Hypothalamus and the Arcuate Nucleus. There was an absence of oxytocin-immunolabeled fibers in the area of HSD2-labeled neurons. Taken together, these findings provide no support for direct associations between hypothalamic HSD2 and ERα or oxytocin neurons in the control of feeding. In contrast, there was catecholamine-fiber labeling in the area of HSD2-labeled neurons, and these fibers occasionally were in close apposition to HSD2-labeled neurons. Therefore, we cannot rule out interactions between HSD2 and catecholamines in the control of feeding; however, given the relative sparseness of the appositions, any such interaction would appear to be modest. Thus, these studies do not conclusively identify a neuroanatomical substrate by which HSD2-containing neurons in the hypothalamus may alter feeding, and leave the functional role of hypothalamic HSD2-containing neurons subject to further investigation.

  7. Learning Recruits Neurons Representing Previously Established Associations in the Corvid Endbrain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Veit, Lena; Pidpruzhnykova, Galyna; Nieder, Andreas

    2017-10-01

    Crows quickly learn arbitrary associations. As a neuronal correlate of this behavior, single neurons in the corvid endbrain area nidopallium caudolaterale (NCL) change their response properties during association learning. In crows performing a delayed association task that required them to map both familiar and novel sample pictures to the same two choice pictures, NCL neurons established a common, prospective code for associations. Here, we report that neuronal tuning changes during learning were not distributed equally in the recorded population of NCL neurons. Instead, such learning-related changes relied almost exclusively on neurons which were already encoding familiar associations. Only in such neurons did behavioral improvements during learning of novel associations coincide with increasing selectivity over the learning process. The size and direction of selectivity for familiar and newly learned associations were highly correlated. These increases in selectivity for novel associations occurred only late in the delay period. Moreover, NCL neurons discriminated correct from erroneous trial outcome based on feedback signals at the end of the trial, particularly in newly learned associations. Our results indicate that task-relevant changes during association learning are not distributed within the population of corvid NCL neurons but rather are restricted to a specific group of association-selective neurons. Such association neurons in the multimodal cognitive integration area NCL likely play an important role during highly flexible behavior in corvids.

  8. Imitation, mirror neurons and autism

    OpenAIRE

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

    2001-01-01

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

  9. Organization of Functional Long-Range Circuits Controlling the Activity of Serotonergic Neurons in the Dorsal Raphe Nucleus

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    Li Zhou

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Serotonergic neurons play key roles in various biological processes. However, circuit mechanisms underlying tight control of serotonergic neurons remain largely unknown. Here, we systematically investigated the organization of long-range synaptic inputs to serotonergic neurons and GABAergic neurons in the dorsal raphe nucleus (DRN of mice with a combination of viral tracing, slice electrophysiological, and optogenetic techniques. We found that DRN serotonergic neurons and GABAergic neurons receive largely comparable synaptic inputs from six major upstream brain areas. Upon further analysis of the fine functional circuit structures, we found both bilateral and ipsilateral patterns of topographic connectivity in the DRN for the axons from different inputs. Moreover, the upstream brain areas were found to bidirectionally control the activity of DRN serotonergic neurons by recruiting feedforward inhibition or via a push-pull mechanism. Our study provides a framework for further deciphering the functional roles of long-range circuits controlling the activity of serotonergic neurons in the DRN.

  10. The biophysics of neuronal growth

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Franze, Kristian; Guck, Jochen

    2010-01-01

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

  11. Glucose-monitoring neurons in the mediodorsal prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagy, Bernadett; Szabó, István; Papp, Szilárd; Takács, Gábor; Szalay, Csaba; Karádi, Zoltán

    2012-03-20

    The mediodorsal prefrontal cortex (mdPFC), a key structure of the limbic neural circuitry, plays important roles in the central regulation of feeding. As an integrant part of the forebrain dopamine (DA) system, it performs complex roles via interconnections with various brain areas where glucose-monitoring (GM) neurons have been identified. The main goal of the present experiments was to examine whether similar GM neurons exist in the mediodorsal prefrontal cortex. To search for such chemosensory cells here, and to estimate their involvement in the DA circuitry, extracellular single neuron activity of the mediodorsal prefrontal cortex of anesthetized Wistar and Sprague-Dawley rats was recorded by means of tungsten wire multibarreled glass microelectrodes during microelectrophoretic administration of d-glucose and DA. One fourth of the neurons tested changed in firing rate in response to glucose, thus, proved to be elements of the forebrain GM neural network. DA responsive neurons in the mdPFC were found to represent similar proportion of all cells; the glucose-excited units were shown to display excitatory whereas the glucose-inhibited neurons were demonstrated to exert mainly inhibitory responses to dopamine. The glucose-monitoring neurons of the mdPFC and their distinct DA sensitivity are suggested to be of particular significance in adaptive processes of the central feeding control. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Regulation of Neuronal Protein Trafficking and Translocation by SUMOylation

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    Jeremy M. Henley

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Post-translational modifications of proteins are essential for cell function. Covalent modification by SUMO (small ubiquitin-like modifier plays a role in multiple cell processes, including transcriptional regulation, DNA damage repair, protein localization and trafficking. Factors affecting protein localization and trafficking are particularly crucial in neurons because of their polarization, morphological complexity and functional specialization. SUMOylation has emerged as a major mediator of intranuclear and nucleo-cytoplasmic translocations of proteins involved in critical pathways such as circadian rhythm, apoptosis and protein degradation. In addition, SUMO-regulated re-localization of extranuclear proteins is required to sustain neuronal excitability and synaptic transmission. Thus, SUMOylation is a key arbiter of neuronal viability and function. Here, we provide an overview of recent advances in our understanding of regulation of neuronal protein localization and translocation by SUMO and highlight exciting areas of ongoing research.

  13. Neurons of the dentate molecular layer in the rabbit hippocampus.

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    Francisco J Sancho-Bielsa

    Full Text Available The molecular layer of the dentate gyrus appears as the main entrance gate for information into the hippocampus, i.e., where the perforant path axons from the entorhinal cortex synapse onto the spines and dendrites of granule cells. A few dispersed neuronal somata appear intermingled in between and probably control the flow of information in this area. In rabbits, the number of neurons in the molecular layer increases in the first week of postnatal life and then stabilizes to appear permanent and heterogeneous over the individuals' life span, including old animals. By means of Golgi impregnations, NADPH histochemistry, immunocytochemical stainings and intracellular labelings (lucifer yellow and biocytin injections, eight neuronal morphological types have been detected in the molecular layer of developing adult and old rabbits. Six of them appear as interneurons displaying smooth dendrites and GABA immunoreactivity: those here called as globoid, vertical, small horizontal, large horizontal, inverted pyramidal and polymorphic. Additionally there are two GABA negative types: the sarmentous and ectopic granular neurons. The distribution of the somata and dendritic trees of these neurons shows preferences for a definite sublayer of the molecular layer: small horizontal, sarmentous and inverted pyramidal neurons are preferably found in the outer third of the molecular layer; vertical, globoid and polymorph neurons locate the intermediate third, while large horizontal and ectopic granular neurons occupy the inner third or the juxtagranular molecular layer. Our results reveal substantial differences in the morphology and electrophysiological behaviour between each neuronal archetype in the dentate molecular layer, allowing us to propose a new classification for this neural population.

  14. The function of mirror neurons in the learning process

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    Mara Daniel

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available In the last years, Neurosciences have developed very much, being elaborated many important theories scientific research in the field. The main goal of neuroscience is to understand how groups of neurons interact to create the behavior. Neuroscientists studying the action of molecules, genes and cells. It also explores the complex interactions involved in motion perception, thoughts, emotions and learning. Brick fundamental nervous system is the nerve cell, neuron. Neurons exchange information by sending electrical signals and chemical through connections called synapses. Discovered by a group of Italian researchers from the University of Parma, neurons - mirror are a special class of nerve cells played an important role in the direct knowledge, automatic and unconscious environment. These cortical neurons are activated not only when an action is fulfilled, but when we see how the same action is performed by someone else, they represent neural mechanism by which the actions, intentions and emotions of others can be understood automatically. In childhood neurons - mirror are extremely important. Thanks to them we learned a lot in the early years: smile, to ask for help and, in fact, all the behaviors and family and group norms. People learn by what they see and sense the others. Neurons - mirror are important to understanding the actions and intentions of other people and learn new skills through mirror image. They are involved in planning and controlling actions, abstract thinking and memory. If a child observes an action, neurons - mirror is activated and forming new neural pathways as if even he takes that action. Efficient activity of mirror neurons leads to good development in all areas at a higher emotional intelligence and the ability to empathize with others.

  15. The Neuronal Ceroid-Lipofuscinoses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bennett, Michael J.; Rakheja, Dinesh

    2013-01-01

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

  16. The straintronic spin-neuron

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Biswas, Ayan K; Bandyopadhyay, Supriyo; Atulasimha, Jayasimha

    2015-01-01

    In artificial neural networks, neurons are usually implemented with highly dissipative CMOS-based operational amplifiers. A more energy-efficient implementation is a ‘spin-neuron’ realized with a magneto-tunneling junction (MTJ) that is switched with a spin-polarized current (representing weighted sum of input currents) that either delivers a spin transfer torque or induces domain wall motion in the soft layer of the MTJ to mimic neuron firing. Here, we propose and analyze a different type of spin-neuron in which the soft layer of the MTJ is switched with mechanical strain generated by a voltage (representing weighted sum of input voltages) and term it straintronic spin-neuron. It dissipates orders of magnitude less energy in threshold operations than the traditional current-driven spin neuron at 0 K temperature and may even be faster. We have also studied the room-temperature firing behaviors of both types of spin neurons and find that thermal noise degrades the performance of both types, but the current-driven type is degraded much more than the straintronic type if both are optimized for maximum energy-efficiency. On the other hand, if both are designed to have the same level of thermal degradation, then the current-driven version will dissipate orders of magnitude more energy than the straintronic version. Thus, the straintronic spin-neuron is superior to current-driven spin neurons. (paper)

  17. Differential actions of orexin receptors in brainstem cholinergic and monoaminergic neurons revealed by receptor knockouts: implications for orexinergic signaling in arousal and narcolepsy

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    Kristi A Kohlmeier

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Orexin neuropeptides influence multiple homeostatic functions and play an essential role in the expression of normal sleep-wake behavior. While their two known receptors (OX1 and OX2 are targets for novel pharmacotherapeutics, the actions mediated by each receptor remain largely unexplored. Using brain slices from mice constitutively lacking either receptor, we used whole-cell and Ca2+ imaging methods to delineate the cellular actions of each receptor within cholinergic (laterodorsal tegmental nucleus; LDT and monoaminergic (dorsal raphe; DR and locus coeruleus; LC brainstem nuclei – where orexins promote arousal and suppress REM sleep. In slices from OX2-/- mice, orexin-A (300 nM elicited wild-type responses in LDT, DR and LC neurons consisting of a depolarizing current and augmented voltage-dependent Ca2+ transients. In slices from OX1-/- mice, the depolarizing current was absent in LDT and LC neurons and was attenuated in DR neurons, although Ca2+-transients were still augmented. Since orexin-A produced neither of these actions in slices lacking both receptors, our findings suggest that orexin-mediated depolarization is mediated by both receptors in DR, but is exclusively mediated by OX1 in LDT and LC neurons, even though OX2 is present and OX2 mRNA appears elevated in brainstems from OX1-/- mice. Considering published behavioral data, these findings support a model in which orexin-mediated excitation of mesopontine cholinergic and monoaminergic neurons contributes little to stabilizing spontaneous waking and sleep bouts, but functions in context-dependent arousal and helps restrict muscle atonia to REM sleep. The augmented Ca2± transients mediated by both receptors appeared mediated by influx via L-type Ca2+ channels, which is often linked to transcriptional signaling. This could provide an adaptive signal to compensate for receptor loss or prolonged antagonism and may contribute to the reduced severity of narcolepsy in single receptor

  18. Mechanisms for multiple activity modes of VTA dopamine neurons

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    Andrew eOster

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Midbrain ventral segmental area (VTA dopaminergic neurons send numerous projections to cortical and sub-cortical areas, and diffusely release dopamine (DA to their targets. DA neurons display a range of activity modes that vary in frequency and degree of burst firing. Importantly, DA neuronal bursting is associated with a significantly greater degree of DA release than an equivalent tonic activity pattern. Here, we introduce a single compartmental, conductance-based computational model for DA cell activity that captures the behavior of DA neuronal dynamics and examine the multiple factors that underlie DA firing modes: the strength of the SK conductance, the amount of drive, and GABA inhibition. Our results suggest that neurons with low SK conductance fire in a fast firing mode, are correlated with burst firing, and require higher levels of applied current before undergoing depolarization block. We go on to consider the role of GABAergic inhibition on an ensemble of dynamical classes of DA neurons and find that strong GABA inhibition suppresses burst firing. Our studies suggest differences in the distribution of the SK conductance and GABA inhibition levels may indicate subclasses of DA neurons within the VTA. We further identify, that by considering alternate potassium dynamics, the dynamics display burst patterns that terminate via depolarization block, akin to those observed in vivo in VTA DA neurons and in substantia nigra pars compacta DA cell preparations under apamin application. In addition, we consider the generation of transient burst firing events that are NMDA-initiated or elicited by a sudden decrease of GABA inhibition, that is, disinhibition.

  19. Auditory DUM neurons in a bush-cricket: A filter bank for carrier frequency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lefebvre, Paule Chloé; Seifert, Marvin; Stumpner, Andreas

    2018-05-01

    In bush-crickets the first stage of central auditory processing occurs in the prothoracic ganglion. About 15 to 50 different auditory dorsal unpaired median neurons (DUM neurons) exist but they have not been studied in any detail. These DUM neurons may be classified into seven different morphological types, although, there is only limited correlation between morphology and physiological responses. Ninety seven percent of the stained neurons were local, 3% were intersegmental. About 90% project nearly exclusively into the auditory neuropile, and 45% into restricted areas therein. Lateral extensions overlap with the axons of primary auditory sensory neurons close to their branching point. DUM neurons are typically tuned to frequencies covering the range between 2 and 50 kHz and thereby may establish a filter bank for carrier frequency. Less than 10% of DUM neurons have their branches in adjacent and more posterior regions of the auditory neuropile and are mostly tuned to low frequencies, less sensitive than the other types and respond to vibration. Thirty five percent of DUM show indications of inhibition, either through reduced responses at higher intensities, or by hyperpolarizing responses to sound. Most DUM neurons produce phasic spike responses preferably at higher intensities. Spikes may be elicited by intracellular current injection. Preliminary data suggest that auditory DUM neurons have GABA as transmitter and therefore may inhibit other auditory interneurons. From all known local auditory neurons, only DUM neurons have frequency specific responses which appear suited for local processing relevant for acoustic communication in bush crickets. © 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  20. Anorexia and impaired glucose metabolism in mice with hypothalamic ablation of Glut4 neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ren, Hongxia; Lu, Taylor Y; McGraw, Timothy E; Accili, Domenico

    2015-02-01

    The central nervous system (CNS) uses glucose independent of insulin. Nonetheless, insulin receptors and insulin-responsive glucose transporters (Glut4) often colocalize in neurons (Glut4 neurons) in anatomically and functionally distinct areas of the CNS. The apparent heterogeneity of Glut4 neurons has thus far thwarted attempts to understand their function. To answer this question, we used Cre-dependent, diphtheria toxin-mediated cell ablation to selectively remove basal hypothalamic Glut4 neurons and investigate the resulting phenotypes. After Glut4 neuron ablation, mice demonstrate altered hormone and nutrient signaling in the CNS. Accordingly, they exhibit negative energy balance phenotype characterized by reduced food intake and increased energy expenditure, without locomotor deficits or gross neuronal abnormalities. Glut4 neuron ablation affects orexigenic melanin-concentrating hormone neurons but has limited effect on neuropeptide Y/agouti-related protein and proopiomelanocortin neurons. The food intake phenotype can be partially normalized by GABA administration, suggesting that it arises from defective GABAergic transmission. Glut4 neuron-ablated mice show peripheral metabolic defects, including fasting hyperglycemia and glucose intolerance, decreased insulin levels, and elevated hepatic gluconeogenic genes. We conclude that Glut4 neurons integrate hormonal and nutritional cues and mediate CNS actions of insulin on energy balance and peripheral metabolism. © 2015 by the American Diabetes Association. Readers may use this article as long as the work is properly cited, the use is educational and not for profit, and the work is not altered.

  1. Neuronal discrimination capacity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Deng Yingchun; Williams, Peter; Feng Jianfeng; Liu Feng

    2003-01-01

    We explore neuronal mechanisms of discriminating between masked signals. It is found that when the correlation between input signals is zero, the output signals are separable if and only if input signals are separable. With positively (negatively) correlated signals, the output signals are separable (mixed) even when input signals are mixed (separable). Exact values of discrimination capacity are obtained for two most interesting cases: the exactly balanced inhibitory and excitatory input case and the uncorrelated input case. Interestingly, the discrimination capacity obtained in these cases is independent of model parameters, input distribution and is universal. Our results also suggest a functional role of inhibitory inputs and correlated inputs or, more generally, the large variability of efferent spike trains observed in in vivo experiments: the larger the variability of efferent spike trains, the easier it is to discriminate between masked input signals

  2. Neuronal discrimination capacity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Deng Yingchun [Department of Mathematics, Hunan Normal University 410081, Changsha (China); COGS, University of Sussex at Brighton, BN1 9QH (United Kingdom); Williams, Peter; Feng Jianfeng [COGS, University of Sussex at Brighton, BN1 9QH (United Kingdom); Liu Feng [COGS, University of Sussex at Brighton, BN1 9QH (United Kingdom); Physics Department, Nanjing University (China)

    2003-12-19

    We explore neuronal mechanisms of discriminating between masked signals. It is found that when the correlation between input signals is zero, the output signals are separable if and only if input signals are separable. With positively (negatively) correlated signals, the output signals are separable (mixed) even when input signals are mixed (separable). Exact values of discrimination capacity are obtained for two most interesting cases: the exactly balanced inhibitory and excitatory input case and the uncorrelated input case. Interestingly, the discrimination capacity obtained in these cases is independent of model parameters, input distribution and is universal. Our results also suggest a functional role of inhibitory inputs and correlated inputs or, more generally, the large variability of efferent spike trains observed in in vivo experiments: the larger the variability of efferent spike trains, the easier it is to discriminate between masked input signals.

  3. Orexin neurons receive glycinergic innervations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mari Hondo

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

  4. Changes in Appetitive Associative Strength Modulates Nucleus Accumbens, But Not Orbitofrontal Cortex Neuronal Ensemble Excitability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ziminski, Joseph J; Hessler, Sabine; Margetts-Smith, Gabriella; Sieburg, Meike C; Crombag, Hans S; Koya, Eisuke

    2017-03-22

    Cues that predict the availability of food rewards influence motivational states and elicit food-seeking behaviors. If a cue no longer predicts food availability, then animals may adapt accordingly by inhibiting food-seeking responses. Sparsely activated sets of neurons, coined "neuronal ensembles," have been shown to encode the strength of reward-cue associations. Although alterations in intrinsic excitability have been shown to underlie many learning and memory processes, little is known about these properties specifically on cue-activated neuronal ensembles. We examined the activation patterns of cue-activated orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) and nucleus accumbens (NAc) shell ensembles using wild-type and Fos-GFP mice, which express green fluorescent protein (GFP) in activated neurons, after appetitive conditioning with sucrose and extinction learning. We also investigated the neuronal excitability of recently activated, GFP+ neurons in these brain areas using whole-cell electrophysiology in brain slices. Exposure to a sucrose cue elicited activation of neurons in both the NAc shell and OFC. In the NAc shell, but not the OFC, these activated GFP+ neurons were more excitable than surrounding GFP- neurons. After extinction, the number of neurons activated in both areas was reduced and activated ensembles in neither area exhibited altered excitability. These data suggest that learning-induced alterations in the intrinsic excitability of neuronal ensembles is regulated dynamically across different brain areas. Furthermore, we show that changes in associative strength modulate the excitability profile of activated ensembles in the NAc shell. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Sparsely distributed sets of neurons called "neuronal ensembles" encode learned associations about food and cues predictive of its availability. Widespread changes in neuronal excitability have been observed in limbic brain areas after associative learning, but little is known about the excitability changes that

  5. Activation of groups of excitatory neurons in the mammalian spinal cord or hindbrain evokes locomotion

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hägglund, Martin; Borgius, Lotta; Dougherty, Kimberly J.

    2010-01-01

    Central pattern generators (CPGs) are spinal neuronal networks required for locomotion. Glutamatergic neurons have been implicated as being important for intrinsic rhythm generation in the CPG and for the command signal for initiating locomotion, although this has not been demonstrated directly. We...... neurons in the spinal cord are critical for initiating or maintaining the rhythm and that activation of hindbrain areas containing the locomotor command regions is sufficient to directly activate the spinal locomotor network....

  6. Understanding emotions in others: mirror neuron dysfunction in children with autism spectrum disorders

    OpenAIRE

    Dapretto, Mirella; Davies, Mari S; Pfeifer, Jennifer H; Scott, Ashley A; Sigman, Marian; Bookheimer, Susan Y; Iacoboni, Marco

    2005-01-01

    To examine mirror neuron abnormalities in autism, high-functioning children with autism and matched controls underwent fMRI while imitating and observing emotional expressions. Although both groups performed the tasks equally well, children with autism showed no mirror neuron activity in the inferior frontal gyrus (pars opercularis). Notably, activity in this area was inversely related to symptom severity in the social domain, suggesting that a dysfunctional ‘mirror neuron system’ may underli...

  7. Soudobé trendy v oblasti zrcadlových neuronů

    OpenAIRE

    ŠLAJSOVÁ, Kristýna

    2014-01-01

    This bachelor thesis will discuss the extensive area of mirror neurons. Conception of the thesis is rather theoretical; the thesis is led like a survey study and also contains a research from a variety of foreign languages sources. The thesis provides an insight into the solid subject of mirror neurons and their psychological aspects. These aspects deal with the theory of the mirror neurons in a context of a mother child relations, language and speech, cultural differences, emotions and imita...

  8. Understanding emotions in others: mirror neuron dysfunction in children with autism spectrum disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dapretto, Mirella; Davies, Mari S; Pfeifer, Jennifer H; Scott, Ashley A; Sigman, Marian; Bookheimer, Susan Y; Iacoboni, Marco

    2006-01-01

    To examine mirror neuron abnormalities in autism, high-functioning children with autism and matched controls underwent fMRI while imitating and observing emotional expressions. Although both groups performed the tasks equally well, children with autism showed no mirror neuron activity in the inferior frontal gyrus (pars opercularis). Notably, activity in this area was inversely related to symptom severity in the social domain, suggesting that a dysfunctional 'mirror neuron system' may underlie the social deficits observed in autism.

  9. Anorexia and Impaired Glucose Metabolism in Mice With Hypothalamic Ablation of Glut4 Neurons

    OpenAIRE

    Ren, Hongxia; Lu, Taylor Y.; McGraw, Timothy E.; Accili, Domenico

    2014-01-01

    The central nervous system (CNS) uses glucose independent of insulin. Nonetheless, insulin receptors and insulin-responsive glucose transporters (Glut4) often colocalize in neurons (Glut4 neurons) in anatomically and functionally distinct areas of the CNS. The apparent heterogeneity of Glut4 neurons has thus far thwarted attempts to understand their function. To answer this question, we used Cre-dependent, diphtheria toxin?mediated cell ablation to selectively remove basal hypothalamic Glut4 ...

  10. [Responses of bat cochlear nucleus neurons to ultrasonic stimuli].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vasil'ev, A G; Grigor'eva, T I

    1977-01-01

    The responses of cochlear nuclei single units in Vespertilionidae and Rhinolophidae were studied by means of ultrasound stimuli of different frequencies. Most neurons were found to have one or two complementary response areas with best frequencies equal to 1/2 and 1/3 of the highest one (which we regard as the basic best frequency). In Vespertilionidae which emit frequency-modulated signals some neurons have complementary areas with upper thresholds. The latency of responses do not correlate with the stimulus frequency. This suggests that there is no correlative reception of echosignals at this level of auditory system in bats.

  11. Dopaminergic Neurons Controlling Anterior Pituitary Functions: Anatomy and Ontogenesis in Zebrafish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fontaine, Romain; Affaticati, Pierre; Bureau, Charlotte; Colin, Ingrid; Demarque, Michaël; Dufour, Sylvie; Vernier, Philippe; Yamamoto, Kei; Pasqualini, Catherine

    2015-08-01

    Dopaminergic (DA) neurons located in the preoptico-hypothalamic region of the brain exert a major neuroendocrine control on reproduction, growth, and homeostasis by regulating the secretion of anterior pituitary (or adenohypophysis) hormones. Here, using a retrograde tract tracing experiment, we identified the neurons playing this role in the zebrafish. The DA cells projecting directly to the anterior pituitary are localized in the most anteroventral part of the preoptic area, and we named them preoptico-hypophyseal DA (POHDA) neurons. During development, these neurons do not appear before 72 hours postfertilization (hpf) and are the last dopaminergic cell group to differentiate. We found that the number of neurons in this cell population continues to increase throughout life proportionally to the growth of the fish. 5-Bromo-2'-deoxyuridine incorporation analysis suggested that this increase is due to continuous neurogenesis and not due to a phenotypic change in already-existing neurons. Finally, expression profiles of several genes (foxg1a, dlx2a, and nr4a2a/b) were different in the POHDA compared with the adjacent suprachiasmatic DA neurons, suggesting that POHDA neurons develop as a distinct DA cell population in the preoptic area. This study offers some insights into the regional identity of the preoptic area and provides the first bases for future functional genetic studies on the development of DA neurons controlling anterior pituitary functions.

  12. Neuron-glia metabolic coupling and plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magistretti, Pierre J

    2011-04-01

    The focus of the current research projects in my laboratory revolves around the question of metabolic plasticity of neuron-glia coupling. Our hypothesis is that behavioural conditions, such as for example learning or the sleep-wake cycle, in which synaptic plasticity is well documented, or during specific pathological conditions, are accompanied by changes in the regulation of energy metabolism of astrocytes. We have indeed observed that the 'metabolic profile' of astrocytes is modified during the sleep-wake cycle and during conditions mimicking neuroinflammation in the presence or absence of amyloid-β. The effect of amyloid-β on energy metabolism is dependent on its state of aggregation and on internalization of the peptide by astrocytes. Distinct patterns of metabolic activity could be observed during the learning and recall phases in a spatial learning task. Gene expression analysis in activated areas, notably hippocampous and retrosplenial cortex, demonstrated that the expression levels of several genes implicated in astrocyte-neuron metabolic coupling are enhanced by learning. Regarding metabolic plasticity during the sleep-wake cycle, we have observed that the level of expression of a panel of selected genes, which we know are key for neuron-glia metabolic coupling, is modulated by sleep deprivation.

  13. Pathogenesis of motor neuron disease

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Xuefei Wang

    2006-01-01

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

  14. [Development of intellect, emotion, and intentions, and their neuronal systems].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Segawa, Masaya

    2008-09-01

    Intellect, emotion and intentions, the major components of the human mentality, are neurologically correlated to memory and sensorimotor integration, the neuronal system consisting of the amygdale and hypothalamus, and motivation and learning, respectively. Development of these neuronal processes was evaluated by correlating the pathophysiologies of idiopathic developmental neuropsychiatric disorders and developmental courses of sleep parameters, sleep-wake rhythm (SWR), and locomotion. The memory system and sensory pathways develop by the 9th gestational months. Habituation or dorsal bundle extinction (DBE) develop after the 34th gestational week. In the first 4 months after birth, DBE is consolidated and fine tuning of the primary sensory cortex and its neuronal connection to the unimodal sensory association area along with functional lateralization of the cortex are accomplished. After 4 months, restriction of atonia in the REM stage enables the integrative function of the brain and induces synaptogenesis of the cortex around 6 months and locomotion in late infancy by activating the dopaminergic (DA) neurons induces synaptogenesis of the frontal cortex. Locomotion in early infancy involves functional specialization of the cortex and in childhood with development of biphasic SWR activation of the areas of the prefrontal cortex. Development of emotions reflects in the development of personal communication and the arousal function of the hypothalamus. The former is shown in the mother-child relationship in the first 4 months, in communication with adults and playmates in late infancy to early childhood, and in development of social relationships with sympathy by the early school age with functional maturation of the orbitofrontal cortex. The latter is demonstrated in the secretion of melatonin during night time by 4 months, in the circadian rhythm of body temperature by 8 months, and in the secretion of the growth hormone by 4-5 years with synchronization to the

  15. Simulating synchronization in neuronal networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fink, Christian G.

    2016-06-01

    We discuss several techniques used in simulating neuronal networks by exploring how a network's connectivity structure affects its propensity for synchronous spiking. Network connectivity is generated using the Watts-Strogatz small-world algorithm, and two key measures of network structure are described. These measures quantify structural characteristics that influence collective neuronal spiking, which is simulated using the leaky integrate-and-fire model. Simulations show that adding a small number of random connections to an otherwise lattice-like connectivity structure leads to a dramatic increase in neuronal synchronization.

  16. Glial tumors with neuronal differentiation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Chul-Kee; Phi, Ji Hoon; Park, Sung-Hye

    2015-01-01

    Immunohistochemical studies for neuronal differentiation in glial tumors revealed subsets of tumors having both characteristics of glial and neuronal lineages. Glial tumors with neuronal differentiation can be observed with diverse phenotypes and histologic grades. The rosette-forming glioneuronal tumor of the fourth ventricle and papillary glioneuronal tumor have been newly classified as distinct disease entities. There are other candidates for classification, such as the glioneuronal tumor without pseudopapillary architecture, glioneuronal tumor with neuropil-like islands, and the malignant glioneuronal tumor. The clinical significance of these previously unclassified tumors should be confirmed. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Mechanosensing in hypothalamic osmosensory neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prager-Khoutorsky, Masha

    2017-11-01

    Osmosensory neurons are specialized cells activated by increases in blood osmolality to trigger thirst, secretion of the antidiuretic hormone vasopressin, and elevated sympathetic tone during dehydration. In addition to multiple extrinsic factors modulating their activity, osmosensory neurons are intrinsically osmosensitive, as they are activated by increased osmolality in the absence of neighboring cells or synaptic contacts. This intrinsic osmosensitivity is a mechanical process associated with osmolality-induced changes in cell volume. This review summarises recent findings revealing molecular mechanisms underlying the mechanical activation of osmosensory neurons and highlighting important roles of microtubules, actin, and mechanosensitive ion channels in this process. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. From Neurons to Brain: Adaptive Self-Wiring of Neurons

    OpenAIRE

    Segev, Ronen; Ben-Jacob, Eshel

    1998-01-01

    During embryonic morpho-genesis, a collection of individual neurons turns into a functioning network with unique capabilities. Only recently has this most staggering example of emergent process in the natural world, began to be studied. Here we propose a navigational strategy for neurites growth cones, based on sophisticated chemical signaling. We further propose that the embryonic environment (the neurons and the glia cells) acts as an excitable media in which concentric and spiral chemical ...

  19. Expression of the ghrelin receptor gene in neurons of the medulla oblongata of the rat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bron, Romke; Yin, Lei; Russo, Domenico; Furness, John B

    2013-08-15

    There is ambiguity concerning the distribution of neurons that express the ghrelin receptor (GHSR) in the medulla oblongata. In the current study we used a sensitive nonradioactive method to investigate GHSR mRNA distribution by in situ hybridization. Strong expression of the GHSR gene was confirmed in neurons of the facial nucleus (FacN, 7), the dorsal vagal complex (DVC), and the semicompact (but not compact) nucleus ambiguus (AmbSC and AmbC). In addition, expression of GHSR was found in other regions, where it had not been described before. GHSR-positive neurons were observed in the gustatory rostral nucleus tractus solitarius and in areas involved in vestibulo-ocular processing (such as the medial vestibular nucleus and the nucleus abducens). GHSR expression was also noted in ventral areas associated with cardiorespiratory control, including the gigantocellular reticular nucleus, the lateral paragigantocellular nucleus, the rostral and caudal ventrolateral medulla, the (pre)-Bötzinger complex, and the rostral and caudal ventrolateral respiratory group. However, GHSR-positive neurons in ventrolateral areas did not express markers for cardiovascular presympathetic vasomotor neurons, respiratory propriobulbar rhythmogenic neurons, or sensory interneurons. GHSR-positive cells were intermingled with catecholamine neurons in the dorsal vagal complex but these populations did not overlap. Thus, the ghrelin receptor occurs in the medulla oblongata in 1) second-order sensory neurons processing gustatory, vestibulo-ocular, and visceral sensation; 2) cholinergic somatomotor neurons of the FacN and autonomic preganglionic neurons of the DMNX and AmbSC; 3) cardiovascular neurons in the DVC, Gi, and LPGi; 4) neurons of as yet unknown function in the ventrolateral medulla. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc., A Wiley Company.

  20. High-Throughput Mapping of Single-Neuron Projections by Sequencing of Barcoded RNA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kebschull, Justus M; Garcia da Silva, Pedro; Reid, Ashlan P; Peikon, Ian D; Albeanu, Dinu F; Zador, Anthony M

    2016-09-07

    Neurons transmit information to distant brain regions via long-range axonal projections. In the mouse, area-to-area connections have only been systematically mapped using bulk labeling techniques, which obscure the diverse projections of intermingled single neurons. Here we describe MAPseq (Multiplexed Analysis of Projections by Sequencing), a technique that can map the projections of thousands or even millions of single neurons by labeling large sets of neurons with random RNA sequences ("barcodes"). Axons are filled with barcode mRNA, each putative projection area is dissected, and the barcode mRNA is extracted and sequenced. Applying MAPseq to the locus coeruleus (LC), we find that individual LC neurons have preferred cortical targets. By recasting neuroanatomy, which is traditionally viewed as a problem of microscopy, as a problem of sequencing, MAPseq harnesses advances in sequencing technology to permit high-throughput interrogation of brain circuits. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Transistor analogs of emergent iono-neuronal dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rachmuth, Guy; Poon, Chi-Sang

    2008-06-01

    Neuromorphic analog metal-oxide-silicon (MOS) transistor circuits promise compact, low-power, and high-speed emulations of iono-neuronal dynamics orders-of-magnitude faster than digital simulation. However, their inherently limited input voltage dynamic range vs power consumption and silicon die area tradeoffs makes them highly sensitive to transistor mismatch due to fabrication inaccuracy, device noise, and other nonidealities. This limitation precludes robust analog very-large-scale-integration (aVLSI) circuits implementation of emergent iono-neuronal dynamics computations beyond simple spiking with limited ion channel dynamics. Here we present versatile neuromorphic analog building-block circuits that afford near-maximum voltage dynamic range operating within the low-power MOS transistor weak-inversion regime which is ideal for aVLSI implementation or implantable biomimetic device applications. The fabricated microchip allowed robust realization of dynamic iono-neuronal computations such as coincidence detection of presynaptic spikes or pre- and postsynaptic activities. As a critical performance benchmark, the high-speed and highly interactive iono-neuronal simulation capability on-chip enabled our prompt discovery of a minimal model of chaotic pacemaker bursting, an emergent iono-neuronal behavior of fundamental biological significance which has hitherto defied experimental testing or computational exploration via conventional digital or analog simulations. These compact and power-efficient transistor analogs of emergent iono-neuronal dynamics open new avenues for next-generation neuromorphic, neuroprosthetic, and brain-machine interface applications.

  2. Efficient synchronization of structurally adaptive coupled Hindmarsh-Rose neurons

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Moujahid, A.; D'Anjou, A.; Torrealdea, F.J.; Torrealdea, F.

    2011-01-01

    Highlights: → Neural activity might be constrained by a requirement of energy efficiency. → Signaling in synchrony is a normal way to propagate information between neurons. → Quality of synchrony affects the capacity to exchange information and the energy cost. → Adaptive mechanism leads to high degree of synchronization between nonidentical neurons. - Abstract: The use of spikes to carry information between brain areas implies complete or partial synchronization of the neurons involved. The degree of synchronization reached by two coupled systems and the energy cost of maintaining their synchronized behavior is highly dependent on the nature of the systems. For non-identical systems the maintenance of a synchronized regime is energetically a costly process. In this work, we study conditions under which two non-identical electrically coupled neurons can reach an efficient regime of synchronization at low energy cost. We show that the energy consumption required to keep the synchronized regime can be spontaneously reduced if the receiving neuron has adaptive mechanisms able to bring its biological parameters closer in value to the corresponding ones in the sending neuron.

  3. Imaging of intracranial neuronal and mixed neuronal-glial tumours

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cui Shimin; Qin Jinxi; Zhang Leili; Liu Meili; Jin Song; Yan Shixin; Liu Li; Dai Weiying; Li Tao; Gao Man

    2001-01-01

    Objective: To investigate the characteristic clinical, imaging , and pathologic findings of intracranial neuronal and mixed neuronal-glial tumours. Methods: The imaging findings of surgery and pathobiology proved intracranial neuronal and mixed neuronal-glial tumours in 14 cases (7 male and 7 female, ranging in age from 6-56 years; mean age 33.8 years) were retrospectively analyzed. Results: Eight gangliogliomas were located in the frontal lobe (4 cases), temporal lobe (1 case), front- temporal lobe (2 cases), and pons (1 case). They appeared as iso-or low density on CT, iso-or low signal intensity on T 1 WI, and high signal intensity on T 2 WI on MR imaging. Two central neurocytomas were located in the supratentorial ventricles. Four desmoplastic gangliogliomas were seen as cystic masses, appearing as low signal intensity on T 1 WI and high signal intensity on T 2 WI. Conclusion: Intracranial neuronal and mixed neuronal-glial tumours had imaging characteristics. Combined with clinical history, it was possible to make a tendency preoperative diagnosis using CT or MR

  4. Frontal lobe atrophy in motor neuron diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kiernan, J A; Hudson, A J

    1994-08-01

    Neuronal degeneration in the precentral gyrus alone cannot account for the occurrence of spastic paresis in motor neuron diseases. To look for more extensive cortical atrophy we measured MRIs of the upper parts of the frontal and parietal lobes in 11 sporadic cases of classical amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), eight patients with primary lateral sclerosis (PLS) and an age- and sex-matched group of 49 neurologically normal people. None of the patients had overt dementia or other mental diseases. In PLS there is progressive spastic paresis but in contrast to ALS there is no lower motor neuron degeneration. The surface area of the precentral gyri and the amount of underlying white matter in PLS were consistently approximately 75% of the normal size. By contrast, there was some shrinkage of the precentral gyri in some of the ALS patients but the mean measurements for the group did not differ significantly from the controls. Anterior to the precentral sulci, the cortical surface area in PLS was approximately 85% of that of the controls, with correspondingly reduced white matter. In ALS the cortical surface areas of the anterior frontal lobes did not differ from those of the controls, but the amount of underlying white matter was reduced almost as much in ALS as it was in PLS. The measured changes in the frontal lobes suggest that in PLS there is simultaneous atrophy of the primary, premotor and supplementary motor areas of the cortex, with consequent degeneration of corticospinal and corticoreticular axons descending through the underlying white matter. These changes could account for the progressive upper motor neuron syndrome. In ALS, with no significant frontal cortical atrophy, the shrinkage of the white matter may be due to degeneration of axons projecting to the frontal cortex from elsewhere. Deprivation of afferents could explain the diminution of motor functions of the frontal lobes in ALS and also the changes in word fluency, judgement and attention that

  5. Cochlear nucleus neuron analysis in individuals with presbycusis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hinojosa, Raul; Nelson, Erik G

    2011-12-01

    The aim of this study was to analyze the cochlear nucleus neuron population in individuals with normal hearing and presbycusis. Retrospective study of archival human temporal bone and brain stem tissues. Using strict inclusion criteria, the temporal bones and cochlear nuclei from six normal hearing individuals and four individuals with presbycusis were selected for analysis. The spiral ganglion cell population, the cochlear nucleus neuron population, and the cell body size of the neurons were quantified in these cases. A relationship was not observed between age and the spiral ganglion cell population in the normal hearing group. Presbycusis subjects exhibited a reduced spiral ganglion cell population. The mean cochlear nucleus neuron population was observed to be significantly higher in the presbycusis group (mean ± standard deviation: 114,170 ± 10,570) compared to the normal hearing group (91,470 ± 9,510) (P = .019). This difference was predominantly the result of greater multipolar and granule cell neuron populations. Only the fusiform neuron type exhibited a significantly different mean cell body cross-sectional area between the normal hearing group (242 ± 27) and the presbycusis group (300 ± 37) (P = .033). This investigation is the first time, to our knowledge, that the populations of the eight neuron types in the cochlear nucleus have been quantified in both normal hearing individuals and individuals with presbycusis. The data support the concept that presbycusis is not an effect of aging alone but instead may be a condition that predisposes one to hearing loss with advancing age and is characterized by a congenitally elevated cochlear nucleus neuron population. Copyright © 2011 The American Laryngological, Rhinological, and Otological Society, Inc.

  6. [Mirror neurons: from anatomy to pathophysiological and therapeutic implications].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mathon, B

    2013-04-01

    Mirror neurons are a special class of neurons discovered in the 1990s. They respond when we perform an action and also when we see someone else perform that action. They play a role in the pathophysiology of some neuropsychiatric diseases. Mirror neurons have been identified in humans: in Broca's area and the inferior parietal cortex. Their responses are qualitative and selective depending on the observed action. Emotions (including disgust) and empathy seem to operate according to a mirror mechanism. Indeed, the mirror system allows us to encode the sensory experience and to simulate the emotional state of others. This results in our improved identification of the emotions in others. Additionally, mirror neurons can encode an observed action in motor stimuli and allow its reproduction; thus, they are involved in imitation and learning. Current studies are assessing the role of mirror neurons in the pathopysiology of social-behavior disorders, including autism and schizophrenia. Understanding this mirror system will allow us to develop psychotherapy practices based on empathic resonance between the patient and the therapist. Also, some authors report that a passive rehabilitation technique, based on stimulation of the mirror-neuron system, has a beneficial effect in the treatment of patients with post-stroke motor deficits. Mirror neurons are an anatomical entity that enables improved understanding of behavior and emotions, and serves as a base for developing new cognitive therapies. Additional studies are needed to clarify the exact role of this neuronal system in social cognition and its role in the development of some neuropsychiatric diseases. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  7. Tinbergen on mirror neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heyes, Cecilia

    2014-01-01

    Fifty years ago, Niko Tinbergen defined the scope of behavioural biology with his four problems: causation, ontogeny, survival value and evolution. About 20 years ago, there was another highly significant development in behavioural biology—the discovery of mirror neurons (MNs). Here, I use Tinbergen's original four problems (rather than the list that appears in textbooks) to highlight the differences between two prominent accounts of MNs, the genetic and associative accounts; to suggest that the latter provides the defeasible ‘best explanation’ for current data on the causation and ontogeny of MNs; and to argue that functional analysis, of the kind that Tinbergen identified somewhat misleadingly with studies of ‘survival value’, should be a high priority for future research. In this kind of functional analysis, system-level theories would assign MNs a small, but potentially important, role in the achievement of action understanding—or another social cognitive function—by a production line of interacting component processes. These theories would be tested by experimental intervention in human and non-human animal samples with carefully documented and controlled developmental histories. PMID:24778376

  8. Neurons on the couch.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marić, Nadja P; Jašović-Gašić, Miroslava

    2010-12-01

    A hundred years after psychoanalysis was introduced, neuroscience has taken a giant step forward. It seems nowadays that effects of psychotherapy could be monitored and measured by state-of-the art brain imaging techniques. Today, the psychotherapy is considered as a strategic and purposeful environmental influence intended to enhance learning. Since gene expression is regulated by environmental influences throughout life and these processes create brain architecture and influence the strength of synaptic connections, psychotherapy (as a kind of learning) should be explored in the context of aforementioned paradigm. In other words, when placing a client on the couch, therapist actually placed client's neuronal network; while listening and talking, expressing and analyzing, experiencing transference and counter transference, therapist tends to stabilize synaptic connections and influence dendritic growth by regulating gene-transcriptional activity. Therefore, we strongly believe that, in the near future, an increasing knowledge on cellular and molecular interactions and mechanisms of action of different psycho- and pharmaco-therapeutic procedures will enable us to tailor a sophisticated therapeutic approach toward a person, by combining major therapeutic strategies in psychiatry on the basis of rational goals and evidence-based therapeutic expectations.

  9. Tinbergen on mirror neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heyes, Cecilia

    2014-01-01

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

  10. New neurons in the adult brain : The role of sleep and consequences of sleep loss

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meerlo, Peter; Mistiberger, Ralph E.; Jacobs, Barry L.; Heller, H. Craig; McGinty, Dennis; Mistlberger, Ralph E.

    2009-01-01

    Research over the last few decades has firmly established that new neurons are generated in selected areas of the adult mammalian brain, particularly the dentate gyrus of the hippocampal formation and the subventricular zone of the lateral ventricles. The function of adult-born neurons is still a

  11. Understanding Neuronal Mechanisms of Epilepsy ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Admin

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

  12. Imitation, mirror neurons and autism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, J H; Whiten, A; Suddendorf, T; Perrett, D I

    2001-06-01

    Various deficits in the cognitive functioning of people with autism have been documented in recent years but these provide only partial explanations for the condition. We focus instead on an imitative disturbance involving difficulties both in copying actions and in inhibiting more stereotyped mimicking, such as echolalia. A candidate for the neural basis of this disturbance may be found in a recently discovered class of neurons in frontal cortex, 'mirror neurons' (MNs). These neurons show activity in relation both to specific actions performed by self and matching actions performed by others, providing a potential bridge between minds. MN systems exist in primates without imitative and 'theory of mind' abilities and we suggest that in order for them to have become utilized to perform social cognitive functions, sophisticated cortical neuronal systems have evolved in which MNs function as key elements. Early developmental failures of MN systems are likely to result in a consequent cascade of developmental impairments characterised by the clinical syndrome of autism.

  13. Systematic, cross-cortex variation in neuron numbers in rodents and primates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charvet, Christine J; Cahalane, Diarmuid J; Finlay, Barbara L

    2015-01-01

    Uniformity, local variability, and systematic variation in neuron numbers per unit of cortical surface area across species and cortical areas have been claimed to characterize the isocortex. Resolving these claims has been difficult, because species, techniques, and cortical areas vary across studies. We present a stereological assessment of neuron numbers in layers II-IV and V-VI per unit of cortical surface area across the isocortex in rodents (hamster, Mesocricetus auratus; agouti, Dasyprocta azarae; paca, Cuniculus paca) and primates (owl monkey, Aotus trivigratus; tamarin, Saguinus midas; capuchin, Cebus apella); these chosen to vary systematically in cortical size. The contributions of species, cortical areas, and techniques (stereology, "isotropic fractionator") to neuron estimates were assessed. Neurons per unit of cortical surface area increase across the rostro-caudal (RC) axis in primates (varying by a factor of 1.64-2.13 across the rostral and caudal poles) but less in rodents (varying by a factor of 1.15-1.54). Layer II-IV neurons account for most of this variation. When integrated into the context of species variation, and this RC gradient in neuron numbers, conflicts between studies can be accounted for. The RC variation in isocortical neurons in adulthood mirrors the gradients in neurogenesis duration in development. © The Author 2013. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  14. Chimera states in bursting neurons

    OpenAIRE

    Bera, Bidesh K.; Ghosh, Dibakar; Lakshmanan, M.

    2015-01-01

    We study the existence of chimera states in pulse-coupled networks of bursting Hindmarsh-Rose neurons with nonlocal, global and local (nearest neighbor) couplings. Through a linear stability analysis, we discuss the behavior of stability function in the incoherent (i.e. disorder), coherent, chimera and multi-chimera states. Surprisingly, we find that chimera and multi-chimera states occur even using local nearest neighbor interaction in a network of identical bursting neurons alone. This is i...

  15. Role of Estrogens in the Size of Neuronal Somata of Paravaginal Ganglia in Ovariectomized Rabbits

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura G. Hernández-Aragón

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available We aimed to determine the role of estrogens in modulating the size of neuronal somata of paravaginal ganglia. Rabbits were allocated into control (C, ovariectomized (OVX, and OVX treated with estradiol benzoate (OVX + EB groups to evaluate the neuronal soma area; total serum estradiol (E2 and testosterone (T levels; the percentage of immunoreactive (ir neurons anti-aromatase, anti-estrogen receptor (ERα, ERβ and anti-androgen receptor (AR; the intensity of the immunostaining anti-glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF and the GDNF family receptor alpha type 1 (GFRα1; and the number of satellite glial cells (SGCs per neuron. There was a decrease in the neuronal soma size for the OVX group, which was associated with low T, high percentages of aromatase-ir and neuritic AR-ir neurons, and a strong immunostaining anti-GDNF and anti-GFRα1. The decrease in the neuronal soma size was prevented by the EB treatment that increased the E2 without affecting the T levels. Moreover, there was a high percentage of neuritic AR-ir neurons, a strong GDNF immunostaining in the SGC, and an increase in the SGCs per neuron. Present findings show that estrogens modulate the soma size of neurons of the paravaginal ganglia, likely involving the participation of the SGC.

  16. Internally generated preactivation of single neurons in human medial frontal cortex predicts volition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fried, Itzhak; Mukamel, Roy; Kreiman, Gabriel

    2011-01-01

    Understanding how self-initiated behavior is encoded by neuronal circuits in the human brain remains elusive. We recorded the activity of 1019 neurons while twelve subjects performed self-initiated finger movement. We report progressive neuronal recruitment over ~1500 ms before subjects report making the decision to move. We observed progressive increase or decrease in neuronal firing rate, particularly in the supplementary motor area (SMA), as the reported time of decision was approached. A population of 256 SMA neurons is sufficient to predict in single trials the impending decision to move with accuracy greater than 80% already 700 ms prior to subjects’ awareness. Furthermore, we predict, with a precision of a few hundred ms, the actual time point of this voluntary decision to move. We implement a computational model whereby volition emerges once a change in internally generated firing rate of neuronal assemblies crosses a threshold. PMID:21315264

  17. Spike-Timing of Orbitofrontal Neurons Is Synchronized With Breathing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kőszeghy, Áron; Lasztóczi, Bálint; Forro, Thomas; Klausberger, Thomas

    2018-01-01

    The orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) has been implicated in a multiplicity of complex brain functions, including representations of expected outcome properties, post-decision confidence, momentary food-reward values, complex flavors and odors. As breathing rhythm has an influence on odor processing at primary olfactory areas, we tested the hypothesis that it may also influence neuronal activity in the OFC, a prefrontal area involved also in higher order processing of odors. We recorded spike timing of orbitofrontal neurons as well as local field potentials (LFPs) in awake, head-fixed mice, together with the breathing rhythm. We observed that a large majority of orbitofrontal neurons showed robust phase-coupling to breathing during immobility and running. The phase coupling of action potentials to breathing was significantly stronger in orbitofrontal neurons compared to cells in the medial prefrontal cortex. The characteristic synchronization of orbitofrontal neurons with breathing might provide a temporal framework for multi-variable processing of olfactory, gustatory and reward-value relationships.

  18. Spike-Timing of Orbitofrontal Neurons Is Synchronized With Breathing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Áron Kőszeghy

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available The orbitofrontal cortex (OFC has been implicated in a multiplicity of complex brain functions, including representations of expected outcome properties, post-decision confidence, momentary food-reward values, complex flavors and odors. As breathing rhythm has an influence on odor processing at primary olfactory areas, we tested the hypothesis that it may also influence neuronal activity in the OFC, a prefrontal area involved also in higher order processing of odors. We recorded spike timing of orbitofrontal neurons as well as local field potentials (LFPs in awake, head-fixed mice, together with the breathing rhythm. We observed that a large majority of orbitofrontal neurons showed robust phase-coupling to breathing during immobility and running. The phase coupling of action potentials to breathing was significantly stronger in orbitofrontal neurons compared to cells in the medial prefrontal cortex. The characteristic synchronization of orbitofrontal neurons with breathing might provide a temporal framework for multi-variable processing of olfactory, gustatory and reward-value relationships.

  19. Communication among neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marner, Lisbeth

    2012-04-01

    The communication among neurons is the prerequisite for the working brain. To understand the cellular, neurochemical, and structural basis of this communication, and the impacts of aging and disease on brain function, quantitative measures are necessary. This thesis evaluates several quantitative neurobiological methods with respect to possible bias and methodological issues. Stereological methods are suited for the unbiased estimation of number, length, and volumes of components of the nervous system. Stereological estimates of the total length of myelinated nerve fibers were made in white matter of post mortem brains, and the impact of aging and diseases as Schizophrenia and Alzheimer's disease were evaluated. Although stereological methods are in principle unbiased, shrinkage artifacts are difficult to account for. Positron emission tomography (PET) recordings, in conjunction with kinetic modeling, permit the quantitation of radioligand binding in brain. The novel serotonin 5-HT4 antagonist [11C]SB207145 was used as an example of the validation process for quantitative PET receptor imaging. Methods based on reference tissue as well as methods based on an arterial plasma input function were evaluated with respect to precision and accuracy. It was shown that [11C]SB207145 binding had high sensitivity to occupancy by unlabeled ligand, necessitating high specific activity in the radiosynthesis to avoid bias. The established serotonin 5-HT2A ligand [18F]altanersin was evaluated in a two-year follow-up study in elderly subjects. Application of partial volume correction of the PET data diminished the reliability of the measures, but allowed for the correct distinction between changes due to brain atrophy and receptor availability. Furthermore, a PET study of patients with Alzheimer's disease with the serotonin transporter ligand [11C]DASB showed relatively preserved serotonergic projections, despite a marked decrease in 5-HT2A receptor binding. Possible confounders are

  20. Histochemical demonstration of mercury induced changes in rat neurons

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Danscher, G; Schrøder, H D

    1979-01-01

    A histochemical method modified for ultrastructural studies of mercury induced changes is described. Rat neurons from areas known to be influenced by mercury are used as examples. The histochemical reaction, suggested to be caused by polymercury sulphide complexes, is localized to "dense bodies......" where it is visible 14 days after initiation of peroral mercury treatment (20 mg HgCl2/l drinking water)....

  1. Mirror Neurons in Humans: Consisting or Confounding Evidence?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turella, Luca; Pierno, Andrea C.; Tubaldi, Federico; Castiello, Umberto

    2009-01-01

    The widely known discovery of mirror neurons in macaques shows that premotor and parietal cortical areas are not only involved in executing one's own movement, but are also active when observing the action of others. The goal of this essay is to critically evaluate the substance of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and positron emission…

  2. Characterization of neuronal intrinsic properties and synaptic transmission in layer I of anterior cingulate cortex from adult mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Li Xiang-Yao

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract The neurons in neocortex layer I (LI provide inhibition to the cortical networks. Despite increasing use of mice for the study of brain functions, few studies were reported about mouse LI neurons. In the present study, we characterized intrinsic properties of LI neurons of the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC, a key cortical area for sensory and cognitive functions, by using whole-cell patch clamp recording approach. Seventy one neurons in LI and 12 pyramidal neurons in LII/III were recorded. Although all of the LI neurons expressed continuous adapting firing characteristics, the unsupervised clustering results revealed five groups in the ACC, including: Spontaneous firing neurons; Delay-sAHP neurons, Delay-fAHP neurons, and two groups of neurons with ADP, named ADP1 and ADP2, respectively. Using pharmacological approaches, we found that LI neurons received both excitatory (mediated by AMPA, kainate and NMDA receptors, and inhibitory inputs (which were mediated by GABAA receptors. Our studies provide the first report characterizing the electrophysiological properties of neurons in LI of the ACC from adult mice.

  3. Developmental Patterns of Doublecortin Expression and White Matter Neuron Density in the Postnatal Primate Prefrontal Cortex and Schizophrenia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fung, Samantha J.; Joshi, Dipesh; Allen, Katherine M.; Sivagnanasundaram, Sinthuja; Rothmond, Debora A.; Saunders, Richard; Noble, Pamela L.; Webster, Maree J.; Shannon Weickert, Cynthia

    2011-01-01

    Postnatal neurogenesis occurs in the subventricular zone and dentate gyrus, and evidence suggests that new neurons may be present in additional regions of the mature primate brain, including the prefrontal cortex (PFC). Addition of new neurons to the PFC implies local generation of neurons or migration from areas such as the subventricular zone. We examined the putative contribution of new, migrating neurons to postnatal cortical development by determining the density of neurons in white matter subjacent to the cortex and measuring expression of doublecortin (DCX), a microtubule-associated protein involved in neuronal migration, in humans and rhesus macaques. We found a striking decline in DCX expression (human and macaque) and density of white matter neurons (humans) during infancy, consistent with the arrival of new neurons in the early postnatal cortex. Considering the expansion of the brain during this time, the decline in white matter neuron density does not necessarily indicate reduced total numbers of white matter neurons in early postnatal life. Furthermore, numerous cells in the white matter and deep grey matter were positive for the migration-associated glycoprotein polysialiated-neuronal cell adhesion molecule and GAD65/67, suggesting that immature migrating neurons in the adult may be GABAergic. We also examined DCX mRNA in the PFC of adult schizophrenia patients (n = 37) and matched controls (n = 37) and did not find any difference in DCX mRNA expression. However, we report a negative correlation between DCX mRNA expression and white matter neuron density in adult schizophrenia patients, in contrast to a positive correlation in human development where DCX mRNA and white matter neuron density are higher earlier in life. Accumulation of neurons in the white matter in schizophrenia would be congruent with a negative correlation between DCX mRNA and white matter neuron density and support the hypothesis of a migration deficit in schizophrenia. PMID

  4. Developmental patterns of doublecortin expression and white matter neuron density in the postnatal primate prefrontal cortex and schizophrenia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samantha J Fung

    Full Text Available Postnatal neurogenesis occurs in the subventricular zone and dentate gyrus, and evidence suggests that new neurons may be present in additional regions of the mature primate brain, including the prefrontal cortex (PFC. Addition of new neurons to the PFC implies local generation of neurons or migration from areas such as the subventricular zone. We examined the putative contribution of new, migrating neurons to postnatal cortical development by determining the density of neurons in white matter subjacent to the cortex and measuring expression of doublecortin (DCX, a microtubule-associated protein involved in neuronal migration, in humans and rhesus macaques. We found a striking decline in DCX expression (human and macaque and density of white matter neurons (humans during infancy, consistent with the arrival of new neurons in the early postnatal cortex. Considering the expansion of the brain during this time, the decline in white matter neuron density does not necessarily indicate reduced total numbers of white matter neurons in early postnatal life. Furthermore, numerous cells in the white matter and deep grey matter were positive for the migration-associated glycoprotein polysialiated-neuronal cell adhesion molecule and GAD65/67, suggesting that immature migrating neurons in the adult may be GABAergic. We also examined DCX mRNA in the PFC of adult schizophrenia patients (n = 37 and matched controls (n = 37 and did not find any difference in DCX mRNA expression. However, we report a negative correlation between DCX mRNA expression and white matter neuron density in adult schizophrenia patients, in contrast to a positive correlation in human development where DCX mRNA and white matter neuron density are higher earlier in life. Accumulation of neurons in the white matter in schizophrenia would be congruent with a negative correlation between DCX mRNA and white matter neuron density and support the hypothesis of a migration deficit in

  5. Learning of time series through neuron-to-neuron instruction

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Miyazaki, Y [Department of Physics, Kyoto University, Kyoto 606-8502, (Japan); Kinzel, W [Institut fuer Theoretische Physik, Universitaet Wurzburg, 97074 Wurzburg (Germany); Shinomoto, S [Department of Physics, Kyoto University, Kyoto (Japan)

    2003-02-07

    A model neuron with delayline feedback connections can learn a time series generated by another model neuron. It has been known that some student neurons that have completed such learning under the instruction of a teacher's quasi-periodic sequence mimic the teacher's time series over a long interval, even after instruction has ceased. We found that in addition to such faithful students, there are unfaithful students whose time series eventually diverge exponentially from that of the teacher. In order to understand the circumstances that allow for such a variety of students, the orbit dimension was estimated numerically. The quasi-periodic orbits in question were found to be confined in spaces with dimensions significantly smaller than that of the full phase space.

  6. Learning of time series through neuron-to-neuron instruction

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Miyazaki, Y; Kinzel, W; Shinomoto, S

    2003-01-01

    A model neuron with delayline feedback connections can learn a time series generated by another model neuron. It has been known that some student neurons that have completed such learning under the instruction of a teacher's quasi-periodic sequence mimic the teacher's time series over a long interval, even after instruction has ceased. We found that in addition to such faithful students, there are unfaithful students whose time series eventually diverge exponentially from that of the teacher. In order to understand the circumstances that allow for such a variety of students, the orbit dimension was estimated numerically. The quasi-periodic orbits in question were found to be confined in spaces with dimensions significantly smaller than that of the full phase space

  7. The mirror-neuron system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rizzolatti, Giacomo; Craighero, Laila

    2004-01-01

    A category of stimuli of great importance for primates, humans in particular, is that formed by actions done by other individuals. If we want to survive, we must understand the actions of others. Furthermore, without action understanding, social organization is impossible. In the case of humans, there is another faculty that depends on the observation of others' actions: imitation learning. Unlike most species, we are able to learn by imitation, and this faculty is at the basis of human culture. In this review we present data on a neurophysiological mechanism--the mirror-neuron mechanism--that appears to play a fundamental role in both action understanding and imitation. We describe first the functional properties of mirror neurons in monkeys. We review next the characteristics of the mirror-neuron system in humans. We stress, in particular, those properties specific to the human mirror-neuron system that might explain the human capacity to learn by imitation. We conclude by discussing the relationship between the mirror-neuron system and language.

  8. Neuronal factors determining high intelligence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dicke, Ursula; Roth, Gerhard

    2016-01-05

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

  9. Energy Model of Neuron Activation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Romanyshyn, Yuriy; Smerdov, Andriy; Petrytska, Svitlana

    2017-02-01

    On the basis of the neurophysiological strength-duration (amplitude-duration) curve of neuron activation (which relates the threshold amplitude of a rectangular current pulse of neuron activation to the pulse duration), as well as with the use of activation energy constraint (the threshold curve corresponds to the energy threshold of neuron activation by a rectangular current pulse), an energy model of neuron activation by a single current pulse has been constructed. The constructed model of activation, which determines its spectral properties, is a bandpass filter. Under the condition of minimum-phase feature of the neuron activation model, on the basis of Hilbert transform, the possibilities of phase-frequency response calculation from its amplitude-frequency response have been considered. Approximation to the amplitude-frequency response by the response of the Butterworth filter of the first order, as well as obtaining the pulse response corresponding to this approximation, give us the possibility of analyzing the efficiency of activating current pulses of various shapes, including analysis in accordance with the energy constraint.

  10. Making neurons from mature glia: a far-fetched dream?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berninger, Benedikt

    2010-05-01

    The fact that cells with glial characteristics such as forebrain radial glia during development and astroglial stem cells in the adult neurogenic zones serve as neuronal precursors provokes the question why glia in most other areas of the adult central nervous system are apparently incapable of generating new neurons. Besides being of pivotal biological interest answers to this question may also open new avenues for cell-based therapies of neurodegenerative diseases that involve a permanent loss of neurons which are not replaced naturally. For if one could indeed instruct glia to generate neurons, such a strategy would carry the enormous advantage of making use of a large pool of endogenous, and hence autologous cells, thereby circumventing many of the problems associated with therapeutic strategies based on transplantation. Accordingly, the recent years have seen increasing effort in assessing the plasticity of astroglia and other types of resident non-neuronal cells as a potential source for new neurons in the injured brain or eye. For instance, following injury astroglia in the cerebral cortex and Müller glia in the retina can de-differentiate and acquire stem or precursor cell like properties. Moreover, it has been shown that astroglia can be reprogrammed in vitro by forced expression of neurogenic transcription factors to transgress their lineage restriction and stably acquire a neuronal identity. In this review I will discuss the status quo of these early attempts, the limitations currently encountered and the future challenges before the full potential of this approach can be weighed. Copyright 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Mechanisms of magnetic stimulation of central nervous system neurons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tamar Pashut

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS is a stimulation method in which a magnetic coil generates a magnetic field in an area of interest in the brain. This magnetic field induces an electric field that modulates neuronal activity. The spatial distribution of the induced electric field is determined by the geometry and location of the coil relative to the brain. Although TMS has been used for several decades, the biophysical basis underlying the stimulation of neurons in the central nervous system (CNS is still unknown. To address this problem we developed a numerical scheme enabling us to combine realistic magnetic stimulation (MS with compartmental modeling of neurons with arbitrary morphology. The induced electric field for each location in space was combined with standard compartmental modeling software to calculate the membrane current generated by the electromagnetic field for each segment of the neuron. In agreement with previous studies, the simulations suggested that peripheral axons were excited by the spatial gradients of the induced electric field. In both peripheral and central neurons, MS amplitude required for action potential generation was inversely proportional to the square of the diameter of the stimulated compartment. Due to the importance of the fiber's diameter, magnetic stimulation of CNS neurons depolarized the soma followed by initiation of an action potential in the initial segment of the axon. Passive dendrites affect this process primarily as current sinks, not sources. The simulations predict that neurons with low current threshold are more susceptible to magnetic stimulation. Moreover, they suggest that MS does not directly trigger dendritic regenerative mechanisms. These insights into the mechanism of MS may be relevant for the design of multi-intensity TMS protocols, may facilitate the construction of magnetic stimulators, and may aid the interpretation of results of TMS of the CNS.

  12. Mechanisms of magnetic stimulation of central nervous system neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pashut, Tamar; Wolfus, Shuki; Friedman, Alex; Lavidor, Michal; Bar-Gad, Izhar; Yeshurun, Yosef; Korngreen, Alon

    2011-03-01

    Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a stimulation method in which a magnetic coil generates a magnetic field in an area of interest in the brain. This magnetic field induces an electric field that modulates neuronal activity. The spatial distribution of the induced electric field is determined by the geometry and location of the coil relative to the brain. Although TMS has been used for several decades, the biophysical basis underlying the stimulation of neurons in the central nervous system (CNS) is still unknown. To address this problem we developed a numerical scheme enabling us to combine realistic magnetic stimulation (MS) with compartmental modeling of neurons with arbitrary morphology. The induced electric field for each location in space was combined with standard compartmental modeling software to calculate the membrane current generated by the electromagnetic field for each segment of the neuron. In agreement with previous studies, the simulations suggested that peripheral axons were excited by the spatial gradients of the induced electric field. In both peripheral and central neurons, MS amplitude required for action potential generation was inversely proportional to the square of the diameter of the stimulated compartment. Due to the importance of the fiber's diameter, magnetic stimulation of CNS neurons depolarized the soma followed by initiation of an action potential in the initial segment of the axon. Passive dendrites affect this process primarily as current sinks, not sources. The simulations predict that neurons with low current threshold are more susceptible to magnetic stimulation. Moreover, they suggest that MS does not directly trigger dendritic regenerative mechanisms. These insights into the mechanism of MS may be relevant for the design of multi-intensity TMS protocols, may facilitate the construction of magnetic stimulators, and may aid the interpretation of results of TMS of the CNS.

  13. Turning skin into dopamine neurons

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Malin Parmar; Johan Jakobsson

    2011-01-01

    The possibility to generate neurons from fibroblasts became a reality with the development of iPS technology a few years ago.By reprogramming somatic cells using transcription factor (TF) overexpression,it is possible to generate pluripotent stem cells that then can be differentiated into any somatic cell type including various subtypes of neurons.This raises the possibility of using donor-matched or even patientspecific cells for cell therapy of neurological disorders such as Parkinson's disease (PD),Huntington's disease and stroke.Supporting this idea,dopamine neurons,which are the cells dying in PD,derived from human iPS cells have been demonstrated to survive transplantation and reverse motor symptoms in animal models of PD [1].

  14. NADPH- Diaphorase positive cardiac neurons in the atria of mice. A morphoquantitative study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Castelucci Patrícia

    2006-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The present study was conducted to determine the location, the morphology and distribution of NADPH-diaphorase positive neurons in the cardiac nerve plexus of the atria of mice (ASn. This plexus lies over the muscular layer of the atria, dorsal to the muscle itself, in the connective tissue of the subepicardium. NADPH- diaphorase staining was performed on whole-mount preparations of the atria mice. For descriptive purposes, all data are presented as means ± SEM. Results The majority of the NADPH-diaphorase positive neurons were observed in the ganglia of the plexus. A few single neurons were also observed. The number of NADPH-d positive neurons was 57 ± 4 (ranging from 39 to 79 neurons. The ganglion neurons were located in 3 distinct groups: (1 in the region situated cranial to the pulmonary veins, (2 caudally to the pulmonary veins, and (3 in the atrial groove. The largest group of neurons was located cranially to the pulmonary veins (66.7%. Three morphological types of NADPH-diaphorase neurons could be distinguished on the basis of their shape: unipolar cells, bipolar cells and cells with three processes (multipolar cells. The unipolar neurons predominated (78.9%, whereas the multipolar were encountered less frequently (5,3%. The sizes (area of maximal cell profile of the neurons ranged from about 90 μm2to about 220 μm2. Morphometrically, the three types of neurons were similar and there were no significant differences in their sizes. The total number of cardiac neurons (obtained by staining the neurons with NADH-diaphorase method was 530 ± 23. Therefore, the NADPH-diaphorase positive neurons of the heart represent 10% of the number of cardiac neurons stained by NADH. Conclusion The obtained data have shown that the NADPH-d positive neurons in the cardiac plexus of the atria of mice are morphologically different, and therefore, it is possible that the function of the neurons may also be different.

  15. Dislocation Coupling-Induced Transition of Synchronization in Two-Layer Neuronal Networks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Qin Hui-Xin; Ma Jun; Wang Chun-Ni; Jin Wu-Yin

    2014-01-01

    The mutual coupling between neurons in a realistic neuronal system is much complex, and a two-layer neuronal network is designed to investigate the transition of electric activities of neurons. The Hindmarsh—Rose neuron model is used to describe the local dynamics of each neuron, and neurons in the two-layer networks are coupled in dislocated type. The coupling intensity between two-layer networks, and the coupling ratio (Pro), which defines the percentage involved in the coupling in each layer, are changed to observe the synchronization transition of collective behaviors in the two-layer networks. It is found that the two-layer networks of neurons becomes synchronized with increasing the coupling intensity and coupling ratio (Pro) beyond certain thresholds. An ordered wave in the first layer is useful to wake up the rest state in the second layer, or suppress the spatiotemporal state in the second layer under coupling by generating target wave or spiral waves. And the scheme of dislocation coupling can be used to suppress spatiotemporal chaos and excite quiescent neurons. (interdisciplinary physics and related areas of science and technology)

  16. Functional Characterization of Lamina X Neurons in ex-Vivo Spinal Cord Preparation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Volodymyr Krotov

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Functional properties of lamina X neurons in the spinal cord remain unknown despite the established role of this area for somatosensory integration, visceral nociception, autonomic regulation and motoneuron output modulation. Investigations of neuronal functioning in the lamina X have been hampered by technical challenges. Here we introduce an ex-vivo spinal cord preparation with both dorsal and ventral roots still attached for functional studies of the lamina X neurons and their connectivity using an oblique LED illumination for resolved visualization of lamina X neurons in a thick tissue. With the elaborated approach, we demonstrate electrophysiological characteristics of lamina X neurons by their membrane properties, firing pattern discharge and fiber innervation (either afferent or efferent. The tissue preparation has been also probed using Ca2+ imaging with fluorescent Ca2+ dyes (membrane-impermeable or -permeable to demonstrate the depolarization-induced changes in intracellular calcium concentration in lamina X neurons. Finally, we performed visualization of subpopulations of lamina X neurons stained by retrograde labeling with aminostilbamidine dye to identify sympathetic preganglionic and projection neurons in the lamina X. Thus, the elaborated approach provides a reliable tool for investigation of functional properties and connectivity in specific neuronal subpopulations, boosting research of lamina X of the spinal cord.

  17. Role of local neurons in cerebrocortical vasodilation elicited from cerebellum

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Iadecola, C.; Arneric, S.P.; Baker, H.D.; Tucker, L.W.; Reis, D.J.

    1987-01-01

    The vasodilation elicited in cerebral cortex by stimulation of the cerebellar fastigial nucleus (FN) is mediated by input pathways coming from the basal forebrain. The authors studied whether these pathways mediate the cortical vasodilation via a direct action on local blood vessels or via interposed local neurons. Neurons were destroyed in the primary sensory cortex by local microinjection of the excitotoxin ibotenic acid (IBO). Five days later rats were anesthetized, paralyzed, and ventilated. Arterial pressure and blood gases were controlled, and FN was stimulated electrically. Local cerebral blood flow (LCBF) was measured using the [ 14 C]iodoantipyrine technique with autoradiography. Five days after IBO, neurons were destroyed in a restricted cortical area, and afferent fibers and terminals were preserved. The selectivity of the neuronal loss was established by histological and biochemical criteria and by transport of horseradish, peroxidase from or into the lesion. Within the lesion, resting LCBF was unaffected, but the increase in LCBF evoked from the FN was abolished. In contrast the vasodilation elicited by hypercapnia was preserved. In the rest of the brain the vasodilation elicited from FN was largely unaffected. The authors conclude that the vasodilation evoked from FN in cerebral cortex depends on the integrity of a restricted population of local neurons that interact with the local microvasculature

  18. Astrocyte-neuronal interactions in epileptogenesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hadera, Mussie Ghezu; Eloqayli, Haytham; Jaradat, Saied; Nehlig, Astrid; Sonnewald, Ursula

    2015-07-01

    Pentylenetetrazol, kainic acid, or pilocarpine can be used to induce seizures in animal models of epilepsy. The present Review describes disturbances in astrocyte-neuron interactions in the acute, latent, and chronic phases analyzed by magnetic resonance spectroscopy of brain tissue extracts from rats injected with [1-(13)C]glucose and [1,2-(13)C]acetate. The most consistent change after onset of seizures was the decrease in (13)C labeling of glutamate (GLU) from [1-(13) C]glucose regardless of brain area, severity, or duration of the period with seizures and toxin used. In most cases this decrease was accompanied by a reduction in glutamine (GLN) labeling from [1-(13)C]glucose, presumably as a direct consequence of the reduction in labeling of GLU and the GLU-GLN cycle. Amounts of GLN were never changed. Reduction in the content of N-acetyl aspartate (NAA) was first detectable some time after status epilepticus but before the occurrence of spontaneous seizures. This decrease can be an indication of neuronal death and/or mitochondrial impairment and might indicate beginning gliosis. It is known that gliosis occurs in the chronic phase of temporal lobe epilepsy in hippocampus, but astrocyte metabolism appears normal in this phase, indicating that the gliotic astrocytes have a somewhat reduced metabolism per volume. A decrease in (13)C labeling of GLU from [1-(13)C]glucose is a very sensitive measure for the onset of epileptogenesis, whereas reduction of NAA is first detectable later. In the chronic phases of the hippocampal formation, astrocyte metabolism is upregulated given that the number of neurons is reduced. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  19. Integrated workflows for spiking neuronal network simulations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ján eAntolík

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available The increasing availability of computational resources is enabling more detailed, realistic modelling in computational neuroscience, resulting in a shift towards more heterogeneous models of neuronal circuits, and employment of complex experimental protocols. This poses a challenge for existing tool chains, as the set of tools involved in a typical modeller's workflow is expanding concomitantly, with growing complexity in the metadata flowing between them. For many parts of the workflow, a range of tools is available; however, numerous areas lack dedicated tools, while integration of existing tools is limited. This forces modellers to either handle the workflow manually, leading to errors, or to write substantial amounts of code to automate parts of the workflow, in both cases reducing their productivity.To address these issues, we have developed Mozaik: a workflow system for spiking neuronal network simulations written in Python. Mozaik integrates model, experiment and stimulation specification, simulation execution, data storage, data analysis and visualisation into a single automated workflow, ensuring that all relevant metadata are available to all workflow components. It is based on several existing tools, including PyNN, Neo and Matplotlib. It offers a declarative way to specify models and recording configurations using hierarchically organised configuration files. Mozaik automatically records all data together with all relevant metadata about the experimental context, allowing automation of the analysis and visualisation stages. Mozaik has a modular architecture, and the existing modules are designed to be extensible with minimal programming effort. Mozaik increases the productivity of running virtual experiments on highly structured neuronal networks by automating the entire experimental cycle, while increasing the reliability of modelling studies by relieving the user from manual handling of the flow of metadata between the individual

  20. Neuronal involvement in cisplatin neuropathy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2007-01-01

    of large dorsal root ganglion cells. Motor conduction studies, autonomic function and warm and cold temperature sensation remained unchanged at all doses of cisplatin treatment. The results of these studies are consistent with degeneration of large sensory neurons whereas there was no evidence of distal......Although it is well known that cisplatin causes a sensory neuropathy, the primary site of involvement is not established. The clinical symptoms localized in a stocking-glove distribution may be explained by a length dependent neuronopathy or by a distal axonopathy. To study whether the whole neuron...

  1. Calcium signals in olfactory neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tareilus, E; Noé, J; Breer, H

    1995-11-09

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

  2. Descending brain neurons in larval lamprey: Spinal projection patterns and initiation of locomotion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaw, Albert C.; Jackson, Adam W.; Holmes, Tamra; Thurman, Suzie; Davis, G.R.; McClellan, Andrew D.

    2010-01-01

    In larval lamprey, partial lesions were made in the rostral spinal cord to determine which spinal tracts are important for descending activation of locomotion and to identify descending brain neurons that project in these tracts. In whole animals and in vitro brain/spinal cord preparations, brain-initiated spinal locomotor activity was present when the lateral or intermediate spinal tracts were spared but usually was abolished when the medial tracts were spared. We previously showed that descending brain neurons are located in eleven cell groups, including reticulospinal (RS) neurons in the mesenecephalic reticular nucleus (MRN) as well as the anterior (ARRN), middle (MRRN), and posterior (PRRN) rhombencephalic reticular nuclei. Other descending brain neurons are located in the diencephalic (Di) as well as the anterolateral (ALV), dorsolateral (DLV), and posterolateral (PLV) vagal groups. In the present study, the Mauthner and auxillary Mauthner cells, most neurons in the Di, ALV, DLV, and PLV cell groups, and some neurons in the ARRN and PRRN had crossed descending axons. The majority of neurons projecting in medial spinal tracts included large identified Müller cells and neurons in the Di, MRN, ALV, and DLV. Axons of individual descending brain neurons usually did not switch spinal tracts, have branches in multiple tracts, or cross the midline within the rostral cord. Most neurons that projected in the lateral/intermediate spinal tracts were in the ARRN, MRRN, and PRRN. Thus, output neurons of the locomotor command system are distributed in several reticular nuclei, whose neurons project in relatively wide areas of the cord. PMID:20510243

  3. Neuronal gain modulability is determined by dendritic morphology: A computational optogenetic study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jarvis, Sarah; Nikolic, Konstantin; Schultz, Simon R

    2018-03-01

    The mechanisms by which the gain of the neuronal input-output function may be modulated have been the subject of much investigation. However, little is known of the role of dendrites in neuronal gain control. New optogenetic experimental paradigms based on spatial profiles or patterns of light stimulation offer the prospect of elucidating many aspects of single cell function, including the role of dendrites in gain control. We thus developed a model to investigate how competing excitatory and inhibitory input within the dendritic arbor alters neuronal gain, incorporating kinetic models of opsins into our modeling to ensure it is experimentally testable. To investigate how different topologies of the neuronal dendritic tree affect the neuron's input-output characteristics we generate branching geometries which replicate morphological features of most common neurons, but keep the number of branches and overall area of dendrites approximately constant. We found a relationship between a neuron's gain modulability and its dendritic morphology, with neurons with bipolar dendrites with a moderate degree of branching being most receptive to control of the gain of their input-output relationship. The theory was then tested and confirmed on two examples of realistic neurons: 1) layer V pyramidal cells-confirming their role in neural circuits as a regulator of the gain in the circuit in addition to acting as the primary excitatory neurons, and 2) stellate cells. In addition to providing testable predictions and a novel application of dual-opsins, our model suggests that innervation of all dendritic subdomains is required for full gain modulation, revealing the importance of dendritic targeting in the generation of neuronal gain control and the functions that it subserves. Finally, our study also demonstrates that neurophysiological investigations which use direct current injection into the soma and bypass the dendrites may miss some important neuronal functions, such as gain

  4. Acetaminophen inhibits neuronal inflammation and protects neurons from oxidative stress

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Grammas Paula

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Recent studies have demonstrated a link between the inflammatory response, increased cytokine formation, and neurodegeneration in the brain. The beneficial effects of anti-inflammatory drugs in neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease (AD, have been documented. Increasing evidence suggests that acetaminophen has unappreciated anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. The objectives of this study are to determine the effects of acetaminophen on cultured brain neuronal survival and inflammatory factor expression when exposed to oxidative stress. Methods Cerebral cortical cultured neurons are pretreated with acetaminophen and then exposed to the superoxide-generating compound menadione (5 μM. Cell survival is assessed by MTT assay and inflammatory protein (tumor necrosis factor alpha, interleukin-1, macrophage inflammatory protein alpha, and RANTES release quantitated by ELISA. Expression of pro- and anti-apoptotic proteins is assessed by western blots. Results Acetaminophen has pro-survival effects on neurons in culture. Menadione, a superoxide releasing oxidant stressor, causes a significant (p Conclusion These data show that acetaminophen has anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory effects on neurons and suggest a heretofore unappreciated therapeutic potential for this drug in neurodegenerative diseases such as AD that are characterized by oxidant and inflammatory stress.

  5. Integrity of Cerebellar Fastigial Nucleus Intrinsic Neurons Is Critical for the Global Ischemic Preconditioning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eugene V. Golanov

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Excitation of intrinsic neurons of cerebellar fastigial nucleus (FN renders brain tolerant to local and global ischemia. This effect reaches a maximum 72 h after the stimulation and lasts over 10 days. Comparable neuroprotection is observed following sublethal global brain ischemia, a phenomenon known as preconditioning. We hypothesized that FN may participate in the mechanisms of ischemic preconditioning as a part of the intrinsic neuroprotective mechanism. To explore potential significance of FN neurons in brain ischemic tolerance we lesioned intrinsic FN neurons with excitotoxin ibotenic acid five days before exposure to 20 min four-vessel occlusion (4-VO global ischemia while analyzing neuronal damage in Cornu Ammoni area 1 (CA1 hippocampal area one week later. In FN-lesioned animals, loss of CA1 cells was higher by 22% compared to control (phosphate buffered saline (PBS-injected animals. Moreover, lesion of FN neurons increased morbidity following global ischemia by 50%. Ablation of FN neurons also reversed salvaging effects of five-minute ischemic preconditioning on CA1 neurons and morbidity, while ablation of cerebellar dentate nucleus neurons did not change effect of ischemic preconditioning. We conclude that FN is an important part of intrinsic neuroprotective system, which participates in ischemic preconditioning and may participate in naturally occurring neuroprotection, such as “diving response”.

  6. Models of the stochastic activity of neurones

    CERN Document Server

    Holden, Arun Vivian

    1976-01-01

    These notes have grown from a series of seminars given at Leeds between 1972 and 1975. They represent an attempt to gather together the different kinds of model which have been proposed to account for the stochastic activity of neurones, and to provide an introduction to this area of mathematical biology. A striking feature of the electrical activity of the nervous system is that it appears stochastic: this is apparent at all levels of recording, ranging from intracellular recordings to the electroencephalogram. The chapters start with fluctuations in membrane potential, proceed through single unit and synaptic activity and end with the behaviour of large aggregates of neurones: L have chgaen this seque~~e\\/~~';uggest that the interesting behaviourr~f :the nervous system - its individuality, variability and dynamic forms - may in part result from the stochastic behaviour of its components. I would like to thank Dr. Julio Rubio for reading and commenting on the drafts, Mrs. Doris Beighton for producing the fin...

  7. Unbalanced Neuronal Circuits in Addiction

    OpenAIRE

    Volkow, Nora D.; Wang, Gen-Jack; Tomasi, Dardo; Baler, Ruben D.

    2013-01-01

    Through sequential waves of drug-induced neurochemical stimulation, addiction co-opts the brain's neuronal circuits that mediate reward, motivation, , to behavioral inflexibility and a severe disruption of self-control and compulsive drug intake. Brain imaging technologies have allowed neuroscientists to map out the neural landscape of addiction in the human brain and to understand how drugs modify it.

  8. Computing with Spiking Neuron Networks

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    H. Paugam-Moisy; S.M. Bohte (Sander); G. Rozenberg; T.H.W. Baeck (Thomas); J.N. Kok (Joost)

    2012-01-01

    htmlabstractAbstract Spiking Neuron Networks (SNNs) are often referred to as the 3rd gener- ation of neural networks. Highly inspired from natural computing in the brain and recent advances in neurosciences, they derive their strength and interest from an ac- curate modeling of synaptic interactions

  9. What do mirror neurons mirror?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  10. Optimal compensation for neuron loss

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  11. Hypothalamic neurones governing glucose homeostasis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coppari, R

    2015-06-01

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

  12. Graded Neuronal Modulations Related to Visual Spatial Attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maunsell, John H. R.

    2016-01-01

    Studies of visual attention in monkeys typically measure neuronal activity when the stimulus event to be detected occurs at a cued location versus when it occurs at an uncued location. But this approach does not address how neuronal activity changes relative to conditions where attention is unconstrained by cueing. Human psychophysical studies have used neutral cueing conditions and found that neutrally cued behavioral performance is generally intermediate to that of cued and uncued conditions (Posner et al., 1978; Mangun and Hillyard, 1990; Montagna et al., 2009). To determine whether the neuronal correlates of visual attention during neutral cueing are similarly intermediate, we trained macaque monkeys to detect changes in stimulus orientation that were more likely to occur at one location (cued) than another (uncued), or were equally likely to occur at either stimulus location (neutral). Consistent with human studies, performance was best when the location was cued, intermediate when both locations were neutrally cued, and worst when the location was uncued. Neuronal modulations in visual area V4 were also graded as a function of cue validity and behavioral performance. By recording from both hemispheres simultaneously, we investigated the possibility of switching attention between stimulus locations during neutral cueing. The results failed to support a unitary “spotlight” of attention. Overall, our findings indicate that attention-related changes in V4 are graded to accommodate task demands. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Studies of the neuronal correlates of attention in monkeys typically use visual cues to manipulate where attention is focused (“cued” vs “uncued”). Human psychophysical studies often also include neutrally cued trials to study how attention naturally varies between points of interest. But the neuronal correlates of this neutral condition are unclear. We measured behavioral performance and neuronal activity in cued, uncued, and neutrally

  13. Graded Neuronal Modulations Related to Visual Spatial Attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayo, J Patrick; Maunsell, John H R

    2016-05-11

    Studies of visual attention in monkeys typically measure neuronal activity when the stimulus event to be detected occurs at a cued location versus when it occurs at an uncued location. But this approach does not address how neuronal activity changes relative to conditions where attention is unconstrained by cueing. Human psychophysical studies have used neutral cueing conditions and found that neutrally cued behavioral performance is generally intermediate to that of cued and uncued conditions (Posner et al., 1978; Mangun and Hillyard, 1990; Montagna et al., 2009). To determine whether the neuronal correlates of visual attention during neutral cueing are similarly intermediate, we trained macaque monkeys to detect changes in stimulus orientation that were more likely to occur at one location (cued) than another (uncued), or were equally likely to occur at either stimulus location (neutral). Consistent with human studies, performance was best when the location was cued, intermediate when both locations were neutrally cued, and worst when the location was uncued. Neuronal modulations in visual area V4 were also graded as a function of cue validity and behavioral performance. By recording from both hemispheres simultaneously, we investigated the possibility of switching attention between stimulus locations during neutral cueing. The results failed to support a unitary "spotlight" of attention. Overall, our findings indicate that attention-related changes in V4 are graded to accommodate task demands. Studies of the neuronal correlates of attention in monkeys typically use visual cues to manipulate where attention is focused ("cued" vs "uncued"). Human psychophysical studies often also include neutrally cued trials to study how attention naturally varies between points of interest. But the neuronal correlates of this neutral condition are unclear. We measured behavioral performance and neuronal activity in cued, uncued, and neutrally cued blocks of trials. Behavioral

  14. Subtype-Specific Corticostriatal Projection Neuron Developmental Gene Expression and Corticospinal Expression of the Paroxysmal Nonkinesigenic Dyskinesia Gene

    OpenAIRE

    Xu, Zhaoying

    2016-01-01

    The mammalian neocortex is responsible for motor control, integration of sensory information, perception, cognitive function, and consciousness. It is complex, yet highly organized, with six layers containing broad classes of excitatory projection neurons (along with interneurons) with diverse subtype and area identities. Corticostriatal projection neurons (CStrPN) are the major cortical efferent neurons connecting the cerebral cortex to the striatum of the basal ganglia, and are critically i...

  15. Neuronal effects of nicotine during auditory selective attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-06-01

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

  16. Multiplicative multifractal modeling and discrimination of human neuronal activity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zheng Yi; Gao Jianbo; Sanchez, Justin C.; Principe, Jose C.; Okun, Michael S.

    2005-01-01

    Understanding neuronal firing patterns is one of the most important problems in theoretical neuroscience. It is also very important for clinical neurosurgery. In this Letter, we introduce a computational procedure to examine whether neuronal firing recordings could be characterized by cascade multiplicative multifractals. By analyzing raw recording data as well as generated spike train data from 3 patients collected in two brain areas, the globus pallidus externa (GPe) and the globus pallidus interna (GPi), we show that the neural firings are consistent with a multifractal process over certain time scale range (t 1 ,t 2 ), where t 1 is argued to be not smaller than the mean inter-spike-interval of neuronal firings, while t 2 may be related to the time that neuronal signals propagate in the major neural branching structures pertinent to GPi and GPe. The generalized dimension spectrum D q effectively differentiates the two brain areas, both intra- and inter-patients. For distinguishing between GPe and GPi, it is further shown that the cascade model is more effective than the methods recently examined by Schiff et al. as well as the Fano factor analysis. Therefore, the methodology may be useful in developing computer aided tools to help clinicians perform precision neurosurgery in the operating room

  17. Extracting neuronal functional network dynamics via adaptive Granger causality analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheikhattar, Alireza; Miran, Sina; Liu, Ji; Fritz, Jonathan B; Shamma, Shihab A; Kanold, Patrick O; Babadi, Behtash

    2018-04-24

    Quantifying the functional relations between the nodes in a network based on local observations is a key challenge in studying complex systems. Most existing time series analysis techniques for this purpose provide static estimates of the network properties, pertain to stationary Gaussian data, or do not take into account the ubiquitous sparsity in the underlying functional networks. When applied to spike recordings from neuronal ensembles undergoing rapid task-dependent dynamics, they thus hinder a precise statistical characterization of the dynamic neuronal functional networks underlying adaptive behavior. We develop a dynamic estimation and inference paradigm for extracting functional neuronal network dynamics in the sense of Granger, by integrating techniques from adaptive filtering, compressed sensing, point process theory, and high-dimensional statistics. We demonstrate the utility of our proposed paradigm through theoretical analysis, algorithm development, and application to synthetic and real data. Application of our techniques to two-photon Ca 2+ imaging experiments from the mouse auditory cortex reveals unique features of the functional neuronal network structures underlying spontaneous activity at unprecedented spatiotemporal resolution. Our analysis of simultaneous recordings from the ferret auditory and prefrontal cortical areas suggests evidence for the role of rapid top-down and bottom-up functional dynamics across these areas involved in robust attentive behavior.

  18. The synchronization of asymmetric-structured electric coupling neuronal system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Guanping; Jin, Wuyin; Liu, Hao; Sun, Wei

    2018-02-01

    Based on the Hindmarsh-Rose (HR) model, the synchronization dynamics of asymmetric-structured electric coupling two neuronal system is investigated in this paper. It is discovered that when the time-delay scope and coupling strength for the synchronization are correlated positively under unequal time delay, the time-delay difference does not make a clear distinction between the two individual inter-spike intervals (ISI) bifurcation diagrams of the two coupled neurons. Therefore, the superficial difference of the system synchronization dynamics is not obvious for the unequal time-delay feedback. In the asymmetrical current incentives under asymmetric electric coupled system, the two neurons can only be almost completely synchronized in specific area of the interval which end-pointed with two discharge modes for a single neuron under different stimuli currents before coupling, but the intervention of time-delay feedback, together with the change of the coupling strength, can make the coupled system not only almost completely synchronized within anywhere in the front area, but also outside of it.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-10-01

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

  20. Oscillating from Neurosecretion to Multitasking Dopamine Neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David R. Grattan

    2016-04-01

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

  1. Mirror Neurons, the Representation of Word meaning, and the Foot of the Third Left Frontal Convolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Zubicaray, Greig; Postle, Natasha; McMahon, Katie; Meredith, Matthew; Ashton, Roderick

    2010-01-01

    Previous neuroimaging research has attempted to demonstrate a preferential involvement of the human mirror neuron system (MNS) in the comprehension of effector-related action word (verb) meanings. These studies have assumed that Broca's area (or Brodmann's area 44) is the homologue of a monkey premotor area (F5) containing mouth and hand mirror…

  2. The pairwise phase consistency in cortical network and its relationship with neuronal activation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wang Daming

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Gamma-band neuronal oscillation and synchronization with the range of 30-90 Hz are ubiquitous phenomenon across numerous brain areas and various species, and correlated with plenty of cognitive functions. The phase of the oscillation, as one aspect of CTC (Communication through Coherence hypothesis, underlies various functions for feature coding, memory processing and behaviour performing. The PPC (Pairwise Phase Consistency, an improved coherence measure, statistically quantifies the strength of phase synchronization. In order to evaluate the PPC and its relationships with input stimulus, neuronal activation and firing rate, a simplified spiking neuronal network is constructed to simulate orientation columns in primary visual cortex. If the input orientation stimulus is preferred for a certain orientation column, neurons within this corresponding column will obtain higher firing rate and stronger neuronal activation, which consequently engender higher PPC values, with higher PPC corresponding to higher firing rate. In addition, we investigate the PPC in time resolved analysis with a sliding window.

  3. Autoradiographic assessment of [3H]proline uptake by neurons of epileptogenic mirror focus

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Khudoerkov, R.M.

    1985-01-01

    Epileptogenic mirror focus was produced in the left parietal area of the rat brain by cobalt implantation into the contralateral hemisphere. On the 14th day after cobalt implantation [ 3 H]proline was injected into both experimental and control rats (without cobalt). The incorporation of [ 3 H]proline in neurons of layers III and V of the parietal brain cortex and neurons of the nucleus lateralis thalami was investigated by the autoradiography technique. A statistically reliable increase in [ 3 H]proline uptake was observed in neurons of layer III (31%) and in neurons of layer V (41%) of the epileptogenic mirror focus. The other neuronal types revealed no reliable changes. The morphological and functional aspects of the altered protein metabolism during epileptogenesis are discussed. (author)

  4. Individual Neurons Confined to Distinct Antennal-Lobe Tracts in the Heliothine Moth: Morphological Characteristics and Global Projection Patterns

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ian, Elena; Zhao, Xin C.; Lande, Andreas; Berg, Bente G.

    2016-01-01

    To explore fundamental principles characterizing chemosensory information processing, we have identified antennal-lobe projection neurons in the heliothine moth, including several neuron types not previously described. Generally, odor information is conveyed from the primary olfactory center of the moth brain, the antennal lobe, to higher brain centers via projection neuron axons passing along several parallel pathways, of which the medial, mediolateral, and lateral antennal-lobe tract are considered the classical ones. Recent data have revealed the projections of the individual tracts more in detail demonstrating three main target regions in the protocerebrum; the calyces are innervated mainly by the medial tract, the superior intermediate protocerebrum by the lateral tract exclusively, and the lateral horn by all tracts. In the present study, we have identified, via iontophoretic intracellular staining combined with confocal microscopy, individual projection neurons confined to the tracts mentioned above, plus two additional ones. Further, using the visualization software AMIRA, we reconstructed the stained neurons and registered the models into a standard brain atlas, which allowed us to compare the termination areas of individual projection neurons both across and within distinct tracts. The data demonstrate a morphological diversity of the projection neurons within distinct tracts. Comparison of the output areas of the neurons confined to the three main tracts in the lateral horn showed overlapping terminal regions for the medial and mediolateral tracts; the lateral tract neurons, on the contrary, targeted mostly other output areas in the protocerebrum. PMID:27822181

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

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

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

    2013-01-01

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

  6. Astrocyte-neuron communication: functional consequences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ben Achour, Sarrah; Pascual, Olivier

    2012-11-01

    Astrocyte-neuron communication has recently been proposed as a potential mechanism participating to synaptic transmission. With the development of this concept and accumulating evidences in favor of a modulation of synaptic transmission by astrocytes, has emerged the term gliotransmission. It refers to the capacity of astrocytes to release various transmitters, such as ATP, glutamate, D-serine, and GABA in the vicinity of synapses. While the cellular mechanisms involved in gliotransmission still need to be better described and, for some, identified, the aim of more and more studies is to determine the role of astrocytes from a functional point of view. This review will summarize the principal studies that have investigated a potential role of astrocytes in the various functions regulated by the brain (sleep, breathing, perception, learning and memory…). This will allow us to highlight the similarities and discrepancies in the signaling pathways involved in the different areas of the brain related to these functions.

  7. Anatomy and physiology of phrenic afferent neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nair, Jayakrishnan; Streeter, Kristi A; Turner, Sara M F; Sunshine, Michael D; Bolser, Donald C; Fox, Emily J; Davenport, Paul W; Fuller, David D

    2017-12-01

    Large-diameter myelinated phrenic afferents discharge in phase with diaphragm contraction, and smaller diameter fibers discharge across the respiratory cycle. In this article, we review the phrenic afferent literature and highlight areas in need of further study. We conclude that 1 ) activation of both myelinated and nonmyelinated phrenic sensory afferents can influence respiratory motor output on a breath-by-breath basis; 2 ) the relative impact of phrenic afferents substantially increases with diaphragm work and fatigue; 3 ) activation of phrenic afferents has a powerful impact on sympathetic motor outflow, and 4 ) phrenic afferents contribute to diaphragm somatosensation and the conscious perception of breathing. Much remains to be learned regarding the spinal and supraspinal distribution and synaptic contacts of myelinated and nonmyelinated phrenic afferents. Similarly, very little is known regarding the potential role of phrenic afferent neurons in triggering or modulating expression of respiratory neuroplasticity. Copyright © 2017 the American Physiological Society.

  8. α-Synuclein fibril-induced paradoxical structural and functional defects in hippocampal neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Froula, Jessica M; Henderson, Benjamin W; Gonzalez, Jose Carlos; Vaden, Jada H; Mclean, John W; Wu, Yumei; Banumurthy, Gokulakrishna; Overstreet-Wadiche, Linda; Herskowitz, Jeremy H; Volpicelli-Daley, Laura A

    2018-05-01

    Neuronal inclusions composed of α-synuclein (α-syn) characterize Parkinson's Disease (PD) and Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB). Cognitive dysfunction defines DLB, and up to 80% of PD patients develop dementia. α-Syn inclusions are abundant in the hippocampus, yet functional consequences are unclear. To determine if pathologic α-syn causes neuronal defects, we induced endogenous α-syn to form inclusions resembling those found in diseased brains by treating hippocampal neurons with α-syn fibrils. At seven days after adding fibrils, α-syn inclusions are abundant in axons, but there is no cell death at this time point, allowing us to assess for potential alterations in neuronal function that are not caused by neuron death. We found that exposure of neurons to fibrils caused a significant reduction in mushroom spine densities, adding to the growing body of literature showing that altered spine morphology is a major pathologic phenotype in synucleinopathies. The reduction in spine densities occurred only in wild type neurons and not in neurons from α-syn knockout mice, suggesting that the changes in spine morphology result from fibril-induced corruption of endogenously expressed α-syn. Paradoxically, reduced postsynaptic spine density was accompanied by increased frequency of miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs) and presynaptic docked vesicles, suggesting enhanced presynaptic function. Action-potential dependent activity was unchanged, suggesting compensatory mechanisms responding to synaptic defects. Although activity at the level of the synapse was unchanged, neurons exposed to α-syn fibrils, showed reduced frequency and amplitudes of spontaneous Ca 2+ transients. These findings open areas of research to determine the mechanisms that alter neuronal function in brain regions critical for cognition at time points before neuron death.

  9. Neuronal network disturbance after focal ischemia in rats

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kataoka, K.; Hayakawa, T.; Yamada, K.; Mushiroi, T.; Kuroda, R.; Mogami, H.

    1989-01-01

    We studied functional disturbances following left middle cerebral artery occlusion in rats. Neuronal function was evaluated by [14C]2-deoxyglucose autoradiography 1 day after occlusion. We analyzed the mechanisms of change in glucose utilization outside the infarct using Fink-Heimer silver impregnation, axonal transport of wheat germ agglutinin-conjugated-horseradish peroxidase, and succinate dehydrogenase histochemistry. One day after occlusion, glucose utilization was remarkably reduced in the areas surrounding the infarct. There were many silver grains indicating degeneration of the synaptic terminals in the cortical areas surrounding the infarct and the ipsilateral cingulate cortex. Moreover, in the left thalamus where the left middle cerebral artery supplied no blood, glucose utilization significantly decreased compared with sham-operated rats. In the left thalamus, massive silver staining of degenerated synaptic terminals and decreases in succinate dehydrogenase activity were observed 4 and 5 days after occlusion. The absence of succinate dehydrogenase staining may reflect early changes in retrograde degeneration of thalamic neurons after ischemic injury of the thalamocortical pathway. Terminal degeneration even affected areas remote from the infarct: there were silver grains in the contralateral hemisphere transcallosally connected to the infarct and in the ipsilateral substantia nigra. Axonal transport study showed disruption of the corticospinal tract by subcortical ischemia; the transcallosal pathways in the cortex surrounding the infarct were preserved. The relation between neural function and the neuronal network in the area surrounding the focal cerebral infarct is discussed with regard to ischemic penumbra and diaschisis

  10. Glucose modulates food-related salience coding of midbrain neurons in humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ulrich, Martin; Endres, Felix; Kölle, Markus; Adolph, Oliver; Widenhorn-Müller, Katharina; Grön, Georg

    2016-12-01

    Although early rat studies demonstrated that administration of glucose diminishes dopaminergic midbrain activity, evidence in humans has been lacking so far. In the present functional magnetic resonance imaging study, glucose was intravenously infused in healthy human male participants while seeing images depicting low-caloric food (LC), high-caloric food (HC), and non-food (NF) during a food/NF discrimination task. Analysis of brain activation focused on the ventral tegmental area (VTA) as the origin of the mesolimbic system involved in salience coding. Under unmodulated fasting baseline conditions, VTA activation was greater during HC compared with LC food cues. Subsequent to infusion of glucose, this difference in VTA activation as a function of caloric load leveled off and even reversed. In a control group not receiving glucose, VTA activation during HC relative to LC cues remained stable throughout the course of the experiment. Similar treatment-specific patterns of brain activation were observed for the hypothalamus. The present findings show for the first time in humans that glucose infusion modulates salience coding mediated by the VTA. Hum Brain Mapp 37:4376-4384, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  11. Computational model of neuron-astrocyte interactions during focal seizure generation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Davide eReato

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Empirical research in the last decade revealed that astrocytes can respond to neurotransmitters with Ca2+ elevations and generate feedback signals to neurons which modulate synaptic transmission and neuronal excitability. This discovery changed our basic understanding of brain function and provided new perspectives for how astrocytes can participate not only to information processing, but also to the genesis of brain disorders, such as epilepsy. Epilepsy is a neurological disorder characterized by recurrent seizures that can arise focally at restricted areas and propagate throughout the brain. Studies in brain slice models suggest that astrocytes contribute to epileptiform activity by increasing neuronal excitability through a Ca2+-dependent release of glutamate. The underlying mechanism remains, however, unclear. In this study, we implemented a parsimonious network model of neurons and astrocytes. The model consists of excitatory and inhibitory neurons described by Izhikevich's neuron dynamics. The experimentally observed Ca2+ change in astrocytes in response to neuronal activity was modeled with linear equations. We considered that glutamate is released from astrocytes above certain intracellular Ca2+ concentrations thus providing a non-linear positive feedback signal to neurons. Propagating seizure-like ictal discharges (IDs were reliably evoked in our computational model by repeatedly exciting a small area of the network, which replicates experimental results in a slice model of focal ID in entorhinal cortex. We found that the threshold of focal ID generation was lowered when an excitatory feedback-loop between astrocytes and neurons was included. Simulations show that astrocytes can contribute to ID generation by directly affecting the excitatory/inhibitory balance of the neuronal network. Our model can be used to obtain mechanistic insights into the distinct contributions of the different signaling pathways to the generation and

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bragg, Elise M; Briggs, Farran

    2017-02-15

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

  13. Wiring economy and volume exclusion determine neuronal placement in the Drosophila brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rivera-Alba, Marta; Vitaladevuni, Shiv N; Mishchenko, Yuriy; Mischenko, Yuriy; Lu, Zhiyuan; Takemura, Shin-Ya; Scheffer, Lou; Meinertzhagen, Ian A; Chklovskii, Dmitri B; de Polavieja, Gonzalo G

    2011-12-06

    Wiring economy has successfully explained the individual placement of neurons in simple nervous systems like that of Caenorhabditis elegans [1-3] and the locations of coarser structures like cortical areas in complex vertebrate brains [4]. However, it remains unclear whether wiring economy can explain the placement of individual neurons in brains larger than that of C. elegans. Indeed, given the greater number of neuronal interconnections in larger brains, simply minimizing the length of connections results in unrealistic configurations, with multiple neurons occupying the same position in space. Avoiding such configurations, or volume exclusion, repels neurons from each other, thus counteracting wiring economy. Here we test whether wiring economy together with volume exclusion can explain the placement of neurons in a module of the Drosophila melanogaster brain known as lamina cartridge [5-13]. We used newly developed techniques for semiautomated reconstruction from serial electron microscopy (EM) [14] to obtain the shapes of neurons, the location of synapses, and the resultant synaptic connectivity. We show that wiring length minimization and volume exclusion together can explain the structure of the lamina microcircuit. Therefore, even in brains larger than that of C. elegans, at least for some circuits, optimization can play an important role in individual neuron placement. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Sex differences in feeding behavior in rats: the relationship with neuronal activation in the hypothalamus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Atsushi eFukushima

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available There is general agreement that the central nervous system in rodents differs between sexes due to the presence of gonadal steroid hormone during differentiation. Sex differences in feeding seem to occur among species, and responses to fasting (i.e., starvation, gonadal steroids (i.e., testosterone and estradiol, and diet (i.e., western-style diet vary significantly between sexes. The hypothalamus is the center for controlling feeding behavior. We examined the activation of feeding-related peptides in neurons in the hypothalamus. Phosphorylation of cyclic AMP response element-binding protein (CREB is a good marker for neural activation, as is the Fos antigen. Therefore, we predicted that sex differences in the activity of melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH neurons would be associated with feeding behavior. We determined the response of MCH neurons to glucose in the lateral hypothalamic area (LHA and our results suggested MCH neurons play an important role in sex differences in feeding behavior. In addition, fasting increased the number of orexin neurons harboring phosphorylated CREB in female rats (regardless of the estrous day, but not male rats. Glucose injection decreased the number of these neurons with phosphorylated CREB in fasted female rats. Finally, under normal spontaneous food intake, MCH neurons, but not orexin neurons, expressed phosphorylated CREB. These sex differences in response to fasting and glucose, as well as under normal conditions, suggest a vulnerability to metabolic challenges in females.

  15. Three Types of Cortical L5 Neurons that Differ in Brain-Wide Connectivity and Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Euiseok J.; Juavinett, Ashley L.; Kyubwa, Espoir M.; Jacobs, Matthew W.; Callaway, Edward M.

    2015-01-01

    SUMMARY Cortical layer 5 (L5) pyramidal neurons integrate inputs from many sources and distribute outputs to cortical and subcortical structures. Previous studies demonstrate two L5 pyramid types: cortico-cortical (CC) and cortico-subcortical (CS). We characterize connectivity and function of these cell types in mouse primary visual cortex and reveal a new subtype. Unlike previously described L5 CC and CS neurons, this new subtype does not project to striatum [cortico-cortical, non-striatal (CC-NS)] and has distinct morphology, physiology and visual responses. Monosynaptic rabies tracing reveals that CC neurons preferentially receive input from higher visual areas, while CS neurons receive more input from structures implicated in top-down modulation of brain states. CS neurons are also more direction-selective and prefer faster stimuli than CC neurons. These differences suggest distinct roles as specialized output channels, with CS neurons integrating information and generating responses more relevant to movement control and CC neurons being more important in visual perception. PMID:26671462

  16. Three Types of Cortical Layer 5 Neurons That Differ in Brain-wide Connectivity and Function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Euiseok J; Juavinett, Ashley L; Kyubwa, Espoir M; Jacobs, Matthew W; Callaway, Edward M

    2015-12-16

    Cortical layer 5 (L5) pyramidal neurons integrate inputs from many sources and distribute outputs to cortical and subcortical structures. Previous studies demonstrate two L5 pyramid types: cortico-cortical (CC) and cortico-subcortical (CS). We characterize connectivity and function of these cell types in mouse primary visual cortex and reveal a new subtype. Unlike previously described L5 CC and CS neurons, this new subtype does not project to striatum [cortico-cortical, non-striatal (CC-NS)] and has distinct morphology, physiology, and visual responses. Monosynaptic rabies tracing reveals that CC neurons preferentially receive input from higher visual areas, while CS neurons receive more input from structures implicated in top-down modulation of brain states. CS neurons are also more direction-selective and prefer faster stimuli than CC neurons. These differences suggest distinct roles as specialized output channels, with CS neurons integrating information and generating responses more relevant to movement control and CC neurons being more important in visual perception. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. How to make spinal motor neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis-Dusenbery, Brandi N; Williams, Luis A; Klim, Joseph R; Eggan, Kevin

    2014-02-01

    All muscle movements, including breathing, walking, and fine motor skills rely on the function of the spinal motor neuron to transmit signals from the brain to individual muscle groups. Loss of spinal motor neuron function underlies several neurological disorders for which treatment has been hampered by the inability to obtain sufficient quantities of primary motor neurons to perform mechanistic studies or drug screens. Progress towards overcoming this challenge has been achieved through the synthesis of developmental biology paradigms and advances in stem cell and reprogramming technology, which allow the production of motor neurons in vitro. In this Primer, we discuss how the logic of spinal motor neuron development has been applied to allow generation of motor neurons either from pluripotent stem cells by directed differentiation and transcriptional programming, or from somatic cells by direct lineage conversion. Finally, we discuss methods to evaluate the molecular and functional properties of motor neurons generated through each of these techniques.

  18. Firing dynamics of an autaptic neuron

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang Heng-Tong; Chen Yong

    2015-01-01

    Autapses are synapses that connect a neuron to itself in the nervous system. Previously, both experimental and theoretical studies have demonstrated that autaptic connections in the nervous system have a significant physiological function. Autapses in nature provide self-delayed feedback, thus introducing an additional timescale to neuronal activities and causing many dynamic behaviors in neurons. Recently, theoretical studies have revealed that an autapse provides a control option for adjusting the response of a neuron: e.g., an autaptic connection can cause the electrical activities of the Hindmarsh–Rose neuron to switch between quiescent, periodic, and chaotic firing patterns; an autapse can enhance or suppress the mode-locking status of a neuron injected with sinusoidal current; and the firing frequency and interspike interval distributions of the response spike train can also be modified by the autapse. In this paper, we review recent studies that showed how an autapse affects the response of a single neuron. (topical review)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-07

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

  20. Control Areas

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of Homeland Security — This feature class represents electric power Control Areas. Control Areas, also known as Balancing Authority Areas, are controlled by Balancing Authorities, who are...

  1. Mirror neurons and motor intentionality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rizzolatti, Giacomo; Sinigaglia, Corrado

    2007-01-01

    Our social life rests to a large extent on our ability to understand the intentions of others. What are the bases of this ability? A very influential view is that we understand the intentions of others because we are able to represent them as having mental states. Without this meta-representational (mind-reading) ability their behavior would be meaningless to us. Over the past few years this view has been challenged by neurophysiological findings and, in particular, by the discovery of mirror neurons. The functional properties of these neurons indicate that intentional understanding is based primarily on a mechanism that directly matches the sensory representation of the observed actions with one's own motor representation of those same actions. These findings reveal how deeply motor and intentional components of action are intertwined, suggesting that both can be fully comprehended only starting from a motor approach to intentionality.

  2. Unbalanced neuronal circuits in addiction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Volkow, Nora D; Wang, Gen-Jack; Tomasi, Dardo; Baler, Ruben D

    2013-08-01

    Through sequential waves of drug-induced neurochemical stimulation, addiction co-opts the brain's neuronal circuits that mediate reward, motivation to behavioral inflexibility and a severe disruption of self-control and compulsive drug intake. Brain imaging technologies have allowed neuroscientists to map out the neural landscape of addiction in the human brain and to understand how drugs modify it. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  3. Mirror Neurons from Associative Learning

    OpenAIRE

    Catmur, Caroline; Press, Clare; Heyes, Cecilia

    2016-01-01

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

  4. Trafficking of neuronal calcium channels

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Weiss, Norbert; Zamponi, G. W.

    2017-01-01

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

  5. Selective serotonergic excitation of callosal projection neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel eAvesar

    2012-03-01

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

  6. A small population of hypothalamic neurons govern fertility: the critical role of VAX1 in GnRH neuron development and fertility maintenance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoffmann, Hanne M; Mellon, Pamela L

    2016-01-01

    Fertility depends on the correct maturation and function of approximately 800 gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) neurons in the brain. GnRH neurons are at the apex of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis that regulates fertility. In adulthood, GnRH neurons are scattered throughout the anterior hypothalamic area and project to the median eminence, where GnRH is released into the portal vasculature to stimulate release of luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) from the pituitary. LH and FSH then regulate gonadal steroidogenesis and gametogenesis. Absence of GnRH neurons or inappropriate GnRH release leads to infertility. Despite the critical role of GnRH neurons in fertility, we still have a limited understanding of the genes responsible for proper GnRH neuron development and function in adulthood. GnRH neurons originate in the olfactory placode then migrate into the brain. Homeodomain transcription factors expressed within GnRH neurons or along their migratory path are candidate genes for inherited infertility. Using a combined in vitro and in vivo approach, we have identified Ventral Anterior Homeobox 1 ( Vax1 ) as a novel homeodomain transcription factor responsible for GnRH neuron maturation and fertility. GnRH neuron counts in Vax1 knock-out embryos revealed Vax1 to be required for the presence of GnRH-expressing cells at embryonic day 17.5 (E17.5), but not at E13.5. To localize the effects of Vax1 on fertility, we generated Vax1 flox mice and crossed them with Gnrh cre mice to specifically delete Vax1 within GnRH neurons. GnRH staining in Vax1 flox/flox :GnRH cre mice show a total absence of GnRH expression in the adult. We performed lineage tracing in Vax1 flox/flox :GnRH cre :RosaLacZ mice which proved GnRH neurons to be alive, but incapable of expressing GnRH. The absence of GnRH leads to delayed puberty, hypogonadism and complete infertility in both sexes. Finally, using the immortalized model GnRH neuron cell lines, GN11 and

  7. Neuronal representations of stimulus associations develop in the temporal lobe during learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Messinger, A; Squire, L R; Zola, S M; Albright, T D

    2001-10-09

    Visual stimuli that are frequently seen together become associated in long-term memory, such that the sight of one stimulus readily brings to mind the thought or image of the other. It has been hypothesized that acquisition of such long-term associative memories proceeds via the strengthening of connections between neurons representing the associated stimuli, such that a neuron initially responding only to one stimulus of an associated pair eventually comes to respond to both. Consistent with this hypothesis, studies have demonstrated that individual neurons in the primate inferior temporal cortex tend to exhibit similar responses to pairs of visual stimuli that have become behaviorally associated. In the present study, we investigated the role of these areas in the formation of conditional visual associations by monitoring the responses of individual neurons during the learning of new stimulus pairs. We found that many neurons in both area TE and perirhinal cortex came to elicit more similar neuronal responses to paired stimuli as learning proceeded. Moreover, these neuronal response changes were learning-dependent and proceeded with an average time course that paralleled learning. This experience-dependent plasticity of sensory representations in the cerebral cortex may underlie the learning of associations between objects.

  8. Characterization of neuronal damage by iomazenil binding and cerebral blood flow in an ischemic rat model

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Toyama, Hiroshi; Takeuchi, Akira; Koga, Sukehiko; Matsumura, Kaname; Nakashima, Hiromichi; Takeda, Kan; Yoshida, Toshimichi; Ichise, Masanori

    1998-01-01

    I-123-iomazenil is a SPECT probe for central benzodiazepine receptors (BZR) which may reflect intact cortical neuron density after ischemic insults. We evaluated whether neuronal damage in rats could be characterized by iomazenil as compared with cerebral blood flow (CBF). Serial changes in I-125-iomazenil for BZR and I-123-IMP for CBF were analyzed after the unilateral middle cerebral artery occlusion in rats by using an in vivo dualtracer technique. Uptake ratios of affected to contralateral regions were calculated. The iomazenil as well as IMP were decreased in all regions except for the cerebellum (remote area). Both iomazenil and IMP increased over time except in the temporal region (ischemic core). The iomazenil uptake was higher than IMP except in the ischemic core between 1 and 3-4 wk when iomazenil was lower than IMP. Iomazenil showed a moderate decrease in the proximal and middle parietal regions (peri-infarct areas) at 3-4 wk. The triphenyl-tetrazolium-chloride (TTC) stain at 1 wk demonstrated unstained tissue in the temporal region indicating tissue necrosis. With hematoxylin-eosin (HE) stain at 1 wk, widespread neuronal necrosis with occasional intact neurons were found in the proximal parietal region, and isolated necrotic neurons were represented in the distal parietal region. Iomazenil correlated well with the neuron distribution and the finding of a discrepancy between iomazenil and IMP might be useful in evaluating the neuronal damage. (author)

  9. Communication through resonance in spiking neuronal networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hahn, Gerald; Bujan, Alejandro F; Frégnac, Yves; Aertsen, Ad; Kumar, Arvind

    2014-08-01

    The cortex processes stimuli through a distributed network of specialized brain areas. This processing requires mechanisms that can route neuronal activity across weakly connected cortical regions. Routing models proposed thus far are either limited to propagation of spiking activity across strongly connected networks or require distinct mechanisms that create local oscillations and establish their coherence between distant cortical areas. Here, we propose a novel mechanism which explains how synchronous spiking activity propagates across weakly connected brain areas supported by oscillations. In our model, oscillatory activity unleashes network resonance that amplifies feeble synchronous signals and promotes their propagation along weak connections ("communication through resonance"). The emergence of coherent oscillations is a natural consequence of synchronous activity propagation and therefore the assumption of different mechanisms that create oscillations and provide coherence is not necessary. Moreover, the phase-locking of oscillations is a side effect of communication rather than its requirement. Finally, we show how the state of ongoing activity could affect the communication through resonance and propose that modulations of the ongoing activity state could influence information processing in distributed cortical networks.

  10. Results on a Binding Neuron Model and Their Implications for Modified Hourglass Model for Neuronal Network

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Viswanathan Arunachalam

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The classical models of single neuron like Hodgkin-Huxley point neuron or leaky integrate and fire neuron assume the influence of postsynaptic potentials to last till the neuron fires. Vidybida (2008 in a refreshing departure has proposed models for binding neurons in which the trace of an input is remembered only for a finite fixed period of time after which it is forgotten. The binding neurons conform to the behaviour of real neurons and are applicable in constructing fast recurrent networks for computer modeling. This paper develops explicitly several useful results for a binding neuron like the firing time distribution and other statistical characteristics. We also discuss the applicability of the developed results in constructing a modified hourglass network model in which there are interconnected neurons with excitatory as well as inhibitory inputs. Limited simulation results of the hourglass network are presented.

  11. Single-cell axotomy of cultured hippocampal neurons integrated in neuronal circuits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gomis-Rüth, Susana; Stiess, Michael; Wierenga, Corette J; Meyn, Liane; Bradke, Frank

    2014-05-01

    An understanding of the molecular mechanisms of axon regeneration after injury is key for the development of potential therapies. Single-cell axotomy of dissociated neurons enables the study of the intrinsic regenerative capacities of injured axons. This protocol describes how to perform single-cell axotomy on dissociated hippocampal neurons containing synapses. Furthermore, to axotomize hippocampal neurons integrated in neuronal circuits, we describe how to set up coculture with a few fluorescently labeled neurons. This approach allows axotomy of single cells in a complex neuronal network and the observation of morphological and molecular changes during axon regeneration. Thus, single-cell axotomy of mature neurons is a valuable tool for gaining insights into cell intrinsic axon regeneration and the plasticity of neuronal polarity of mature neurons. Dissociation of the hippocampus and plating of hippocampal neurons takes ∼2 h. Neurons are then left to grow for 2 weeks, during which time they integrate into neuronal circuits. Subsequent axotomy takes 10 min per neuron and further imaging takes 10 min per neuron.

  12. Anatomical distribution of estrogen target neurons in turtle brain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kim, Y.S.; Stumpf, W.E.; Sar, M.

    1981-01-01

    Autoradiographic studies with [ 3 H]estradiol-17β in red-eared turtle (Pseudemys scripta elegans) show concentration and retention of radioactivity in nuclei of neurons in certain regions. Accumulations of estrogen target neurons exist in the periventricular brain with relationships to ventral extensions of the forebrain ventricles, including parolfactory, amygdaloid, septal, preoptic, hypothalamic and thalamic areas, as well as the dorsal ventricular ridge, the piriform cortex, and midbrain-pontine periaqueductal structures. The general anatomical pattern of distribution of estrogen target neurons corresponds to those observed not only in another reptile (Anolis carolinensis), but also in birds and mammals, as well as in teleosts and cyclostomes. In Pseudemys, which appears to display an intermediate degree of phylogenetic differentiation, the amygdaloid-septal-preoptic groups of estrogen target neurons constitute a continuum. In phylogenetic ascendency, e.g. in mammals, these cell populations are increasingly separated and distinct, while in phylogenetic descendency, e.g. in teleosts and cyclostomes, an amygdaloid group appears to be absent or contained within the septal-preoptic target cell population. (Auth.)

  13. Anatomical distribution of estrogen target neurons in turtle brain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kim, Y.S.; Stumpf, W.E.; Sar, M. (North Carolina Univ., Chapel Hill (USA))

    1981-12-28

    Autoradiographic studies with (/sup 3/H)estradiol-17..beta.. in red-eared turtle (Pseudemys scripta elegans) show concentration and retention of radioactivity in nuclei of neurons in certain regions. Accumulations of estrogen target neurons exist in the periventricular brain with relationships to ventral extensions of the forebrain ventricles, including parolfactory, amygdaloid, septal, preoptic, hypothalamic and thalamic areas, as well as the dorsal ventricular ridge, the piriform cortex, and midbrain-pontine periaqueductal structures. The general anatomical pattern of distribution of estrogen target neurons corresponds to those observed not only in another reptile (Anolis carolinensis), but also in birds and mammals, as well as in teleosts and cyclostomes. In Pseudemys, which appears to display an intermediate degree of phylogenetic differentiation, the amygdaloid-septal-preoptic groups of estrogen target neurons constitute a continuum. In phylogenetic ascendency, e.g. in mammals, these cell populations are increasingly separated and