ResearchPad - afferent-neurons https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[The qualitative assessment of optical coherence tomography and the central retinal sensitivity in patients with retinitis pigmentosa]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7697 To analyze the relationships between qualitative and quantitative parameters of spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) and the central retinal sensitivity in patients with retinitis pigmentosa (RP).Materials and methodsNinety-three eyes of 93 patients were finally enrolled, with a median age (quartile) of 58 (24.5) years. We assessed the patients using SD-OCT and the 10–2 program of a Humphry Field Analyzer (HFA). As a qualitative parameter, two graders independently classified the patients’ SD-OCT images into five severity grades (grades 1–5) based on the severity of damage to the photoreceptor inner and outer segments (IS/OS) layer. As quantitative parameters, we measured the IS-ellipsoid zone (IS-EZ) width, IS/OS thickness, outer nuclear layer (ONL) thickness, central macular thickness (CMT, 1 and 3 mm) and macular cube (6 × 6 mm) volume and thickness. The central retinal sensitivity was defined by the best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA; logMAR), average sensitivities of the central 4 (foveal sensitivity [FS]) and 12 (macular sensitivity [MS]) points of the HFA 10–2 program and the mean deviation (MD) of the 10–2 program. Spearman’s correlation was used to assess the association between both qualitative and quantitative parameters and variables of the central retinal sensitivity. In addition, we performed a multiple regression analysis using these parameters to identify the parameters most strongly influencing the central retinal sensitivity.ResultsThe IS/OS severity grade was significantly correlated with the BCVA (ρ = 0.741, P < 0.001), FS (ρ = −0.844, P < 0.001), MS (ρ = −0.820, P < 0.001) and MD (ρ = −0.681, P < 0.001) and showed stronger correlations to them than any other quantitative parameters including the IS-EZ width, IS/OS thickness, ONL thickness, CMTs and macular cube volume/thickness. Furthermore, a step-wise multiple regression analysis indicated that the IS/OS severity grade was more strongly associated with the BCVA (β = 0.659, P < 0.001), FS (β = −0.820, P < 0.001), MS (β = −0.820, P < 0.001) and MD (β = −0.674, P < 0.001) than any other quantitative parameters. The intraclass correlation coefficient between two graders indicated substantial correlation (κ = 0.70).DiscussionThe qualitative grading of OCT based on the severity of the IS/OS layer was simple and strongly correlated with the central retinal sensitivity in patients with RP. It may be useful to assess the central visual function in patients with RP, although there is some variation in severity within the same severity grade. ]]> <![CDATA[Neuroprotective effects of exogenous erythropoietin in Wistar rats by downregulating apoptotic factors to attenuate N-methyl-D-aspartate-mediated retinal ganglion cells death]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N85685bba-c047-422b-abfc-358a98ed1fe7

The aim of this study was to investigate whether exogenous erythropoietin (EPO) administration attenuates N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA)-mediated excitotoxic retinal damage in Wistar rats. The survival rate of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) were investigated by flat mount analysis and flow cytometry. A total of 125 male Wistar rats were randomly assigned to five groups: negative control, NMDA80 (i.e., 80 nmoles NMDA intravitreally injected), NMDA80 + 10ng EPO, NMDA80 + 50ng EPO, and NMDA80 + 250ng EPO. The NMDA80 + 50ng EPO treatment group was used to evaluate various administrated points (pre-/co-/post- administration of NMDA80). Meanwhile, the transferase dUTP Nick-End Labeling (TUNEL) assay of RGCs, the inner plexiform layer (IPL) thickness and the apoptotic signal transduction pathways of μ-calpain, Bax, and caspase 9 were assessed simultaneously using an immunohistochemical method (IHC). When EPO was co-administered with NMDA80, attenuated cell death occurred through the downregulation of the apoptotic indicators: μ-calpain was activated first (peak at ~18hrs), followed by Bax and caspase 9 (peak at ~40hrs). Furthermore, the images of retinal cross sections have clearly demonstrated that thickness of the inner plexiform layer (IPL) was significantly recovered at 40 hours after receiving intravitreal injection with NMDA80 and 50ng EPO. Exogenous EPO may protect RGCs and bipolar cell axon terminals in IPL by downregulating apoptotic factors to attenuate NMDA-mediated excitotoxic retinal damage.

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<![CDATA[A Notch-mediated, temporal asymmetry in BMP pathway activation promotes photoreceptor subtype diversification]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5ca2d9d5eed0c48441ebbe

Neural progenitors produce neurons whose identities can vary as a function of the time that specification occurs. Here, we describe the heterochronic specification of two photoreceptor (PhR) subtypes in the zebrafish pineal gland. We find that accelerating PhR specification by impairing Notch signaling favors the early fate at the expense of the later fate. Using in vivo lineage tracing, we show that most pineal PhRs are born from a fate-restricted progenitor. Furthermore, sister cells derived from the division of PhR-restricted progenitors activate the bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling pathway at different times after division, and this heterochrony requires Notch activity. Finally, we demonstrate that PhR identity is established as a function of when the BMP pathway is activated. We propose a novel model in which division of a progenitor with restricted potential generates sister cells with distinct identities via a temporal asymmetry in the activation of a signaling pathway.

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<![CDATA[Regeneration of the zebrafish retinal pigment epithelium after widespread genetic ablation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c59fefbd5eed0c484135888

The retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) is a specialized monolayer of pigmented cells within the eye that is critical for maintaining visual system function. Diseases affecting the RPE have dire consequences for vision, and the most prevalent of these is atrophic (dry) age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which is thought to result from RPE dysfunction and degeneration. An intriguing possibility for treating RPE degenerative diseases like atrophic AMD is the stimulation of endogenous RPE regeneration; however, very little is known about the mechanisms driving successful RPE regeneration in vivo. Here, we developed a zebrafish transgenic model (rpe65a:nfsB-eGFP) that enabled ablation of large swathes of mature RPE. RPE ablation resulted in rapid RPE degeneration, as well as degeneration of Bruch’s membrane and underlying photoreceptors. Using this model, we demonstrate for the first time that zebrafish are capable of regenerating a functional RPE monolayer after RPE ablation. Regenerated RPE cells first appear at the periphery of the RPE, and regeneration proceeds in a peripheral-to-central fashion. RPE ablation elicits a robust proliferative response in the remaining RPE. Subsequently, proliferative cells move into the injury site and differentiate into RPE. BrdU incorporation assays demonstrate that the regenerated RPE is likely derived from remaining peripheral RPE cells. Pharmacological disruption using IWR-1, a Wnt signaling antagonist, significantly reduces cell proliferation in the RPE and impairs overall RPE recovery. These data demonstrate that the zebrafish RPE possesses a robust capacity for regeneration and highlight a potential mechanism through which endogenous RPE regenerate in vivo.

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<![CDATA[The findings of optical coherence tomography of retinal degeneration in relation to the morphological and electroretinographic features in RPE65−/− mice]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c59ff13d5eed0c484135aa6

Purpose

Mutations of the gene encoding RPE65 cause Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA) retinitis pigmentosa (RP). The optical coherence tomography (OCT) is increasingly utilized to noninvasively evaluate various types of retinal diseases, including RP. The present study was conducted to characterize the OCT findings of the RPE65−/− mice—an animal model of LCA and RP—in relation to the morphological features based on histological and electron microscopic findings as well as electroretinography (ERG) features.

Materials and methods

RPE65−/− mice were employed as a model of retinal degeneration. C57BL/6J mice were used as a wild-type control. OCT was performed on the RPE65−/− mice from postnatal day (P) 22 to 170. The longitudinal changes in the OCT images and fundus pictures were analyzed both qualitatively and quantitatively in comparison to those of C57BL/6J mice. The OCT images were also compared to the histological and electron microscopic findings. Full field combined rod and cone ERG was performed to analyze the relationship between morphology based on OCT and the amplitudes of the a- and b-waves.

Results

In the RPE65−/− mice, the photoreceptor rod and cone layer appeared as a diffuse hyperreflective zone contiguous with the inner segment ellipsoid zone (IS-EZ) on OCT, even on P22, whereas the IS-EZ and interdigitation zone were clearly identified in the age-matched C57BL/6J mice. The histological analyses revealed that the regular arrangement of the photoreceptor inner and outer segments was gradually lost in the RPE65-/- mice. On electron microscopy, most of the rod outer segments were degenerated from P21 to P35, whereas outer segments became variably shorter after P49 although ultrastructure appeared to normalize. The thickness of the outer nuclear layer of RPE65−/− mice was slowly and progressively reduced in comparison to C57BL/6J mice. Although the thickness of the inner and outer segment layer of RPE65−/− mice was significantly decreased in comparison to C57BL/6J mice, the change was not progressive, at least until P170. Even at P35, the amplitudes of both a- and b-waves on ERG were severely deteriorated in comparison to those of C57BL/6J mice. Mottled depigmented spots appeared throughout the fundus in RPE65−/− mice after P72, and were detected as hyperreflective deposits under the retinal pigment epithelium on OCT.

Discussion

The pathological changes in the inner and outer segments layer of RPE65−/− mice were identified as diffuse hyperreflective changes on OCT. The rod outer segments showed degeneration in the early postnatal periods but became morphologically normalized in the disc structure after P49, although the sizes of the length of the rod outer segments were variable. OCT could not qualitatively differentiate the early degeneration of rods from the late variability in size of rods. Although the morphology of the photoreceptor outer segments was relatively preserved in the RPE65−/− mice, the amplitudes of ERG were severely disturbed. These structural and functional deficits may be derived from the defective supply of 11-cis-retinol to the photoreceptors.

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<![CDATA[Neuroprotective and neuroregenerative effects of CRMP-5 on retinal ganglion cells in an experimental in vivo and in vitro model of glaucoma]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c521853d5eed0c484797c19

Purpose

To analyze the potential neuro-protective and neuro-regenerative effects of Collapsin-response-mediator-protein-5 (CRMP-5) on retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) using in vitro and in vivo animal models of glaucoma.

Methods

Elevated intraocular pressure (IOP) was induced in adult female Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats by cauterization of three episcleral veins. Changes in CRMP-5 expression within the retinal proteome were analyzed via label-free mass spectrometry. In vitro, retinal explants were cultured under elevated pressure (60 mmHg) within a high-pressure incubation chamber with and without addition of different concentrations of CRMP-5 (4 μg/l, 200 μg/l and 400 μg/l). In addition, retinal explants were cultured under regenerative conditions with and without application of 200 μg/l CRMP-5 after performing an optic nerve crush (ONC). Thirdly, an antibody against Protein Kinase B (PKB) was added to examine the possible effects of CRMP-5. RGC count was performed. Number and length of the axons were determined and compared. To undermine a signal-transduction pathway via CRMP-5 and PKB microarray and immunohistochemistry were performed.

Results

CRMP-5 was downregulated threefold in animals showing chronically elevated IOP. The addition of CRMP-5 to retinal culture significantly increased RGC numbers under pressure in a dose-dependent manner and increased and elongated outgrowing axons in retinal explants significantly which could be blocked by PKB. Especially the number of neurites longer than 400 μm significantly increased after application of CRMP-5. CRMP-5 as well as PKB were detected higher in the experimental than in the control group.

Conclusion

CRMP-5 seems to play an important role in an animal model of glaucoma. Addition of CRMP-5 exerts neuro-protective and neuro-regenerative effects in vitro. This effect could be mediated via activation of PKB affecting intra-cellular apoptosis pathways.

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<![CDATA[Mouse model of ocular hypertension with retinal ganglion cell degeneration]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c466550d5eed0c4845188e3

Objectives

Ocular hypertension is a primary risk factor for glaucoma and results in retinal ganglion cell (RGC) degeneration. Current animal models of glaucoma lack severe RGC cell death as seen in glaucoma, making assessment of physiological mediators of cell death difficult. We developed a modified mouse model of ocular hypertension whereby long-lasting elevation of intraocular pressure (IOP) is achieved, resulting in significant reproducible damage to RGCs.

Results

In this model, microbeads are mixed with hyaluronic acid and injected into the anterior chamber of C57BL/6J mice. The hyaluronic acid allows for a gradual release of microbeads, resulting in sustained blockage of Schlemm’s canal. IOP elevation was bimodal during the course of the model’s progression. The first peak occurred 1 hours after beads injection, with an IOP value of 44.69 ± 6.00 mmHg, and the second peak occurred 6–12 days post-induction, with an IOP value of 34.91 ± 5.21 mmHg. RGC damage was most severe in the peripheral retina, with a loss of 64.1% compared to that of untreated eyes, while the midperiphery exhibited a 32.4% loss, 4 weeks following disease induction.

Conclusions

These results suggest that sustained IOP elevation causes more RGC damage in the periphery than in the midperiphery of the retina. This model yields significant and reproducible RGC degeneration.

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<![CDATA[Odorant mixtures elicit less variable and faster responses than pure odorants]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c181342d5eed0c484774956

In natural environments, odors are typically mixtures of several different chemical compounds. However, the implications of mixtures for odor processing have not been fully investigated. We have extended a standard olfactory receptor model to mixtures and found through its mathematical analysis that odorant-evoked activity patterns are more stable across concentrations and first-spike latencies of receptor neurons are shorter for mixtures than for pure odorants. Shorter first-spike latencies arise from the nonlinear dependence of binding rate on odorant concentration, commonly described by the Hill coefficient, while the more stable activity patterns result from the competition between different ligands for receptor sites. These results are consistent with observations from numerical simulations and physiological recordings in the olfactory system of insects. Our results suggest that mixtures allow faster and more reliable olfactory coding, which could be one of the reasons why animals often use mixtures in chemical signaling.

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<![CDATA[Patterning the insect eye: From stochastic to deterministic mechanisms]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5bf71f6dd5eed0c484dcb59a

While most processes in biology are highly deterministic, stochastic mechanisms are sometimes used to increase cellular diversity. In human and Drosophila eyes, photoreceptors sensitive to different wavelengths of light are distributed in stochastic patterns, and one such patterning system has been analyzed in detail in the Drosophila retina. Interestingly, some species in the dipteran family Dolichopodidae (the “long legged” flies, or “Doli”) instead exhibit highly orderly deterministic eye patterns. In these species, alternating columns of ommatidia (unit eyes) produce corneal lenses of different colors. Occasional perturbations in some individuals disrupt the regular columns in a way that suggests that patterning occurs via a posterior-to-anterior signaling relay during development, and that specification follows a local, cellular-automaton-like rule. We hypothesize that the regulatory mechanisms that pattern the eye are largely conserved among flies and that the difference between unordered Drosophila and ordered dolichopodid eyes can be explained in terms of relative strengths of signaling interactions rather than a rewiring of the regulatory network itself. We present a simple stochastic model that is capable of explaining both the stochastic Drosophila eye and the striped pattern of Dolichopodidae eyes and thereby characterize the least number of underlying developmental rules necessary to produce both stochastic and deterministic patterns. We show that only small changes to model parameters are needed to also reproduce intermediate, semi-random patterns observed in another Doli species, and quantification of ommatidial distributions in these eyes suggests that their patterning follows similar rules.

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<![CDATA[Zebrafish larvae show negative phototaxis to near-infrared light]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c084230d5eed0c484fcc1c1

Zebrafish larvae (Danio rerio) are among the most used model species to test biological effects of different substances in biomedical research, neuroscience and ecotoxicology. Most tests are based on changes in swimming activity of zebrafish larvae by using commercially available high-throughput screening systems. These systems record and analyse behaviour patterns using visible (VIS) and near-infrared (NIR) light sources, to simulate day (VIS) and night (NIR) phases, which allow continuous recording of the behaviour using a NIR sensitive camera. So far, however, the sensitivity of zebrafish larvae to NIR has never been tested experimentally, although being a critical piece of information for interpreting their behaviour under experimental conditions. Here, we investigated the swimming activity of 96 hpf (hours post fertilization) and 120 hpf zebrafish larvae under light sources of NIR at 860 nm and at 960 nm wavelength and under VIS light. A thermal source was simultaneously presented opposite to one of the light sources as control. We found that zebrafish larvae of both larval stages showed a clear negative phototactic response towards 860 nm NIR light and to VIS light, but not to 960 nm NIR light. Our results demonstrated that zebrafish larvae are able to perceive NIR at 860 nm, which is almost identical to the most commonly used light source in commercial screening systems (NIR at 850 nm) to create a dark environment. These tests, however, are not performed in the dark from the zebrafish´s point of view. We recommend testing sensitivity of the used test organism before assuming no interaction with the applied light source of commonly used biosensor test systems. Previous studies on biological effects of substances to zebrafish larvae should be interpreted with caution.

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<![CDATA[Automated algorithms combining structure and function outperform general ophthalmologists in diagnosing glaucoma]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c117b31d5eed0c484698343

Purpose

To test the ability of machine learning classifiers (MLCs) using optical coherence tomography (OCT) and standard automated perimetry (SAP) parameters to discriminate between healthy and glaucomatous individuals, and to compare it to the diagnostic ability of the combined structure-function index (CSFI), general ophthalmologists and glaucoma specialists.

Design

Cross-sectional prospective study.

Methods

Fifty eight eyes of 58 patients with early to moderate glaucoma (median value of the mean deviation = −3.44 dB; interquartile range, -6.0 to -2.4 dB) and 66 eyes of 66 healthy individuals underwent OCT and SAP tests. The diagnostic accuracy (area under the ROC curve—AUC) of 10 MLCs was compared to those obtained with the CSFI, 3 general ophthalmologists and 3 glaucoma specialists exposed to the same OCT and SAP data.

Results

The AUCs obtained with MLCs ranged from 0.805 (Classification Tree) to 0.931 (Radial Basis Function Network, RBF). The sensitivity at 90% specificity ranged from 51.6% (Classification Tree) to 82.8% (Bagging, Multilayer Perceptron and Support Vector Machine Gaussian). The CSFI had a sensitivity of 79.3% at 90% specificity, and the highest AUC (0.948). General ophthalmologists and glaucoma specialists’ grading had sensitivities of 66.2% and 83.8% at 90% specificity, and AUCs of 0.879 and 0.921, respectively. RBF (the best MLC), the CSFI, and glaucoma specialists showed significantly higher AUCs than that obtained by general ophthalmologists (P<0.05). However, there were no significant differences between the AUCs obtained by RBF, the CSFI, and glaucoma specialists (P>0.25).

Conclusion

Our findings suggest that both MLCs and the CSFI can be helpful in clinical practice and effectively improve glaucoma diagnosis in the primary eye care setting, when there is no glaucoma specialist available.

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<![CDATA[Functional architecture of the foveola revealed in the living primate]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c0841b8d5eed0c484fca8ba

The primate foveola, with its high cone density and magnified cortical representation, is exquisitely specialized for high-resolution spatial vision. However, uncovering the wiring of retinal circuitry responsible for this performance has been challenging due to the difficulty in recording receptive fields of foveal retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) in vivo. In this study, we use adaptive optics scanning laser ophthalmoscopy (AOSLO) to image the calcium responses of RGCs in the living primate, with a stable, high precision visual stimulus that allowed us to localize the receptive fields of hundreds of foveal ganglion cells. This approach revealed a precisely radial organization of foveal RGCs, despite the many distortions possible during the extended developmental migration of foveal cells. By back projecting the line connecting RGC somas to their receptive fields, we have been able to define the ‘physiological center’ of the foveola, locating the vertical meridian separating left and right hemifields in vivo.

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<![CDATA[<i>PLoS Computational Biology</i> Issue Image | Vol. 14(11) November 2018]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c0ae482d5eed0c484589d9c

Moth antennal neurons adjust their encoding optimally with respect to pheromone fluctuations

Sensory neural systems of living organisms encode the representation of their environment with remarkable efficiency. This is manifested, e.g., in the way how male moths perform long-distance searches of their females by tracking the pheromone plumes. In the study "Moth olfactory receptor neurons adjust their encoding efficiency to temporal statistics of pheromone fluctuations" Levakova et al. analyzed responses of pheromone-specific antennal neurons to naturalistic stimulation. It was shown that the coding accuracy and the stimulus distribution are in the optimal relationship as predicted by both information theory and statistical estimation theory.

Image Credit: Marie Levakova

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<![CDATA[Firing-rate based network modeling of the dLGN circuit: Effects of cortical feedback on spatiotemporal response properties of relay cells]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b07d0de463d7e0d4a37a6e7

Visually evoked signals in the retina pass through the dorsal geniculate nucleus (dLGN) on the way to the visual cortex. This is however not a simple feedforward flow of information: there is a significant feedback from cortical cells back to both relay cells and interneurons in the dLGN. Despite four decades of experimental and theoretical studies, the functional role of this feedback is still debated. Here we use a firing-rate model, the extended difference-of-Gaussians (eDOG) model, to explore cortical feedback effects on visual responses of dLGN relay cells. For this model the responses are found by direct evaluation of two- or three-dimensional integrals allowing for fast and comprehensive studies of putative effects of different candidate organizations of the cortical feedback. Our analysis identifies a special mixed configuration of excitatory and inhibitory cortical feedback which seems to best account for available experimental data. This configuration consists of (i) a slow (long-delay) and spatially widespread inhibitory feedback, combined with (ii) a fast (short-delayed) and spatially narrow excitatory feedback, where (iii) the excitatory/inhibitory ON-ON connections are accompanied respectively by inhibitory/excitatory OFF-ON connections, i.e. following a phase-reversed arrangement. The recent development of optogenetic and pharmacogenetic methods has provided new tools for more precise manipulation and investigation of the thalamocortical circuit, in particular for mice. Such data will expectedly allow the eDOG model to be better constrained by data from specific animal model systems than has been possible until now for cat. We have therefore made the Python tool pyLGN which allows for easy adaptation of the eDOG model to new situations.

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<![CDATA[Receptors of intermediates of carbohydrate metabolism, GPR91 and GPR99, mediate axon growth]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b07d0e7463d7e0d4a37a6ed

During the development of the visual system, high levels of energy are expended propelling axons from the retina to the brain. However, the role of intermediates of carbohydrate metabolism in the development of the visual system has been overlooked. Here, we report that the carbohydrate metabolites succinate and α-ketoglutarate (α-KG) and their respective receptor—GPR91 and GPR99—are involved in modulating retinal ganglion cell (RGC) projections toward the thalamus during visual system development. Using ex vivo and in vivo approaches, combined with pharmacological and genetic analyses, we revealed that GPR91 and GPR99 are expressed on axons of developing RGCs and have complementary roles during RGC axon growth in an extracellular signal–regulated kinases 1 and 2 (ERK1/2)-dependent manner. However, they have no effects on axon guidance. These findings suggest an important role for these receptors during the establishment of the visual system and provide a foundational link between carbohydrate metabolism and axon growth.

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<![CDATA[Prickle is phosphorylated by Nemo and targeted for degradation to maintain Prickle/Spiny-legs isoform balance during planar cell polarity establishment]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b043667463d7e0f0e6b9792

Planar cell polarity (PCP) instructs tissue patterning in a wide range of organisms from fruit flies to humans. PCP signaling coordinates cell behavior across tissues and is integrated by cells to couple cell fate identity with position in a developing tissue. In the fly eye, PCP signaling is required for the specification of R3 and R4 photoreceptors based upon their positioning relative to the dorso-ventral axis. The ‘core’ PCP pathway involves the asymmetric localization of two distinct membrane-bound complexes, one containing Frizzled (Fz, required in R3) and the other Van Gogh (Vang, required in R4). Inhibitory interactions between the cytosolic components of each complex reinforce asymmetric localization. Prickle (Pk) and Spiny-legs (Pk-Sple) are two antagonistic isoforms of the prickle (pk) gene and are cytoplasmic components of the Vang complex. The balance between their levels is critical for tissue patterning, with Pk-Sple being the major functional isoform in the eye. Here we uncover a post-translational role for Nemo kinase in limiting the amount of the minor isoform Pk. We identified Pk as a Nemo substrate in a genome-wide in vitro band-shift screen. In vivo, nemo genetically interacts with pkpk but not pksple and enhances PCP defects in the eye and leg. Nemo phosphorylation limits Pk levels and is required specifically in the R4 photoreceptor like the major isoform, Pk-Sple. Genetic interaction and biochemical data suggest that Nemo phosphorylation of Pk leads to its proteasomal degradation via the Cullin1/SkpA/Slmb complex. dTAK and Homeodomain interacting protein kinase (Hipk) may also act together with Nemo to target Pk for degradation, consistent with similar observations in mammalian studies. Our results therefore demonstrate a mechanism to maintain low levels of the minor Pk isoform, allowing PCP complexes to form correctly and specify cell fate.

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<![CDATA[Expression and Localization of CaBP Ca2+ Binding Proteins in the Mouse Cochlea]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9ebab0ee8fa60b6c94d

CaBPs are a family of EF-hand Ca2+ binding proteins that are structurally similar to calmodulin. CaBPs can interact with, and yet differentially modulate, effectors that are regulated by calmodulin, such as Cav1 voltage-gated Ca2+ channels. Immunolabeling studies suggest that multiple CaBP family members (CaBP1, 2, 4, and 5) are expressed in the cochlea. To gain insights into the respective auditory functions of these CaBPs, we characterized the expression and cellular localization of CaBPs in the mouse cochlea. By quantitative reverse transcription PCR, we show that CaBP1 and CaBP2 are the major CaBPs expressed in mouse cochlea both before and after hearing onset. Of the three alternatively spliced variants of CaBP1 (caldendrin, CaBP1-L, and CaBP1-S) and CaBP2 (CaBP2-alt, CaBP2-L, CaBP2-S), caldendrin and CaBP2-alt are the most abundant. By in situ hybridization, probes recognizing caldendrin strongly label the spiral ganglion, while probes designed to recognize all three isoforms of CaBP1 weakly label both the inner and outer hair cells as well as the spiral ganglion. Within the spiral ganglion, caldendrin/CaBP1 labeling is associated with cells resembling satellite glial cells. CaBP2-alt is strongly expressed in inner hair cells both before and after hearing onset. Probes designed to recognize all three variants of CaBP2 strongly label inner hair cells before hearing onset and outer hair cells after the onset of hearing. Thus, CaBP1 and CaBP2 may have overlapping roles in regulating Ca2+ signaling in the hair cells, and CaBP1 may have an additional function in the spiral ganglion. Our findings provide a framework for understanding the role of CaBP family members in the auditory periphery.

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<![CDATA[Instrument design and protocol for the study of light controlled processes in aquatic organisms, and its application to examine the effect of infrared light on zebrafish]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db53ab0ee8fa60bdca5b

The acquisition of reliable data strongly depends on experimental design. When studying the effects of light on processes such as behaviour and physiology it is crucial to maintain all environmental conditions constant apart from the one under study. Furthermore, the precise values of the environmental factors applied during the experiment should be known. Although seemingly obvious, these conditions are often not met when the effects of light are being studied. Here, we document and discuss the wavelengths and light intensities of natural and artificial light sources. We present standardised experimental protocols together with building plans of a custom made instrument designed to accurately control light and temperature for experiments using fresh water or marine species. Infrared light is commonly used for recording behaviour and in electrophysiological experiments although the properties of fish photoreceptors potentially allow detection into the far red. As an example of our experimental procedure we have applied our protocol and instrument to specifically test the impact of infrared light (840 nm) on the zebrafish circadian clock, which controls many aspects of behaviour, physiology and metabolism. We demonstrate that infrared light does not influence the zebrafish circadian clock. Our results help to provide a solid framework for the future study of light dependent processes in aquatic organisms.

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<![CDATA[Dynasore blocks evoked release while augmenting spontaneous synaptic transmission from primary visceral afferents]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db52ab0ee8fa60bdc680

The recycling of vesicle membrane fused during exocytosis is essential to maintaining neurotransmission. The GTPase dynamin is involved in pinching off membrane to complete endocytosis and can be inhibited by dynasore resulting in activity-dependent depletion of release-competent synaptic vesicles. In rat brainstem slices, we examined the effects of dynasore on three different modes of glutamate release–spontaneous, evoked, and asynchronous release–at solitary tract (ST) inputs to neurons in the nucleus of the solitary tract (NTS). Intermittent bursts of stimuli to the ST interspersed with pauses in stimulation allowed examination of these three modes in each neuron continuously. Application of 100 μM dynasore rapidly increased the spontaneous EPSC (sEPSC) frequency which was followed by inhibition of both ST-evoked EPSCs (ST-EPSC) as well as asynchronous EPSCs. The onset of ST-EPSC failures was not accompanied by amplitude reduction–a pattern more consistent with conduction block than reduced probability of vesicle release. Neither result suggested that dynasore interrupted endocytosis. The dynasore response profile resembled intense presynaptic TRPV1 activation. The TRPV1 antagonist capsazepine failed to prevent dynasore increases in sEPSC frequency but did prevent the block of the ST-EPSC. In contrast, the TRPV1 antagonist JNJ 17203212 prevented both actions of dynasore in neurons with TRPV1-expressing ST inputs. In a neuron lacking TRPV1-expressing ST inputs, however, dynasore promptly increased sEPSC rate followed by block of ST-evoked EPSCs. Together our results suggest that dynasore actions on ST-NTS transmission are TRPV1-independent and changes in glutamatergic transmission are not consistent with changes in vesicle recycling and endocytosis.

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<![CDATA[Polo-Like Kinase 3 Appears Dispensable for Normal Retinal Development Despite Robust Embryonic Expression]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db03ab0ee8fa60bc775a

During retinogenesis seven different cell types are generated in distinct yet overlapping timepoints from a population of retinal progenitor cells. Previously, we performed single cell transcriptome analyses of retinal progenitor cells to identify candidate genes that may play roles in the generation of early-born retinal neurons. Based on its expression pattern in subsets of early retinal cells, polo-like kinase 3 (Plk3) was identified as one such candidate gene. Further characterization of Plk3 expression by in situ hybridization revealed that this gene is expressed as cells exit the cell cycle. We obtained a Plk3 deficient mouse and investigated changes in the retina’s morphology and transcriptome through immunohistochemistry, in situ hybridization and gene expression profiling. These experiments have been performed initially on adult mice and subsequently extended throughout retinal development. Although morphological studies revealed no consistent changes in retinogenesis upon Plk3 loss, microarray profiling revealed potential candidate genes altered in Plk3-KO mice. Further studies will be necessary to understand the connection between these changes in gene expression and the loss of a protein kinase such as Plk3.

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