ResearchPad - cerebral-cortex https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Differences in splicing defects between the grey and white matter in myotonic dystrophy type 1 patients]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14627 Myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1) is a multi-system disorder caused by CTG repeats in the myotonic dystrophy protein kinase (DMPK) gene. This leads to the sequestration of splicing factors such as muscleblind-like 1/2 (MBNL1/2) and aberrant splicing in the central nervous system. We investigated the splicing patterns of MBNL1/2 and genes controlled by MBNL2 in several regions of the brain and between the grey matter (GM) and white matter (WM) in DM1 patients using RT-PCR. Compared with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, as disease controls), the percentage of spliced-in parameter (PSI) for most of the examined exons were significantly altered in most of the brain regions of DM1 patients, except for the cerebellum. The splicing of many genes was differently regulated between the GM and WM in both DM1 and ALS. In 7 out of the 15 examined splicing events, the level of PSI change between DM1 and ALS was significantly higher in the GM than in the WM. The differences in alternative splicing between the GM and WM may be related to the effect of DM1 on the WM of the brain.

]]>
<![CDATA[The role of frontal and parietal cortex in the performance of gifted and average adolescents in a mental rotation task]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14471 Visual-spatial abilities are usually neglected in academic settings, even though several studies have shown that their predictive power in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics domains exceeds that of math and verbal ability. This neglect means that many spatially talented youths are not identified and nurtured, at a great cost to society. In the present work, we aim to identify behavioral and electrophysiological markers associated with visual spatial-ability in intellectually gifted adolescents (N = 15) compared to age-matched controls (N = 15). The participants performed a classic three-dimensional mental rotation task developed by Shepard and Metzler (1971) [33] while event-related potentials were measured in both frontal and parietal regions of interest. While response time was similar in the two groups, gifted subjects performed the test with greater accuracy. There was no indication of interhemispheric asymmetry of ERPs over parietal regions in both groups, although interhemispheric differences were observed in the frontal lobes. Moreover, intelligence quotient and working memory measures predicted variance in ERP’s amplitude in the right parietal and frontal hemispheres. We conclude that while gifted adolescents do not display a different pattern of electroencephalographic activity over the parietal cortex while performing the mental rotation task, their performance is correlated with the amplitude of ERPs in the frontal cortex during the execution of this task.

]]>
<![CDATA[Functional magnetic resonance imaging of the trail-making test in older adults]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13819 The trail-making test (TMT) is a popular neuropsychological test, which is used extensively to measure cognitive impairment associated with neurodegenerative disorders in older adults. Behavioural performance on the TMT has been investigated in older populations, but there is limited research on task-related brain activity in older adults. The current study administered a naturalistic version of the TMT to a healthy older-aged population in an MRI environment using a novel, MRI-compatible tablet. Functional MRI was conducted during task completion, allowing characterization of the brain activity associated with the TMT. Performance on the TMT was evaluated using number of errors and seconds per completion of each link. Results are reported for 36 cognitively healthy older adults between the ages of 52 and 85. Task-related activation was observed in extensive regions of the bilateral frontal, parietal, temporal and occipital lobes as well as key motor areas. Increased age was associated with reduced brain activity and worse task performance. Specifically, older age was correlated with decreased task-related activity in the bilateral occipital, temporal and parietal lobes. These results suggest that healthy older aging significantly affects brain function during the TMT, which consequently may result in performance decrements. The current study reveals the brain activation patterns underlying TMT performance in a healthy older aging population, which functions as an important, clinically-relevant control to compare to pathological aging in future investigations.

]]>
<![CDATA[Coordinated electrical activity in the olfactory bulb gates the oscillatory entrainment of entorhinal networks in neonatal mice]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5ca2dbd5eed0c48441ebcc

Although the developmental principles of sensory and cognitive processing have been extensively investigated, their synergy has been largely neglected. During early life, most sensory systems are still largely immature. As a notable exception, the olfactory system is functional at birth, controlling mother–offspring interactions and neonatal survival. Here, we elucidate the structural and functional principles underlying the communication between olfactory bulb (OB) and lateral entorhinal cortex (LEC)—the gatekeeper of limbic circuitry—during neonatal development. Combining optogenetics, pharmacology, and electrophysiology in vivo with axonal tracing, we show that mitral cell–dependent discontinuous theta bursts in OB drive network oscillations and time the firing in LEC of anesthetized mice via axonal projections confined to upper cortical layers. Acute pharmacological silencing of OB activity diminishes entorhinal oscillations, whereas odor exposure boosts OB–entorhinal coupling at fast frequencies. Chronic impairment of olfactory sensory neurons disrupts OB–entorhinal activity. Thus, OB activity shapes the maturation of entorhinal circuits.

]]>
<![CDATA[Zika virus infection at mid-gestation results in fetal cerebral cortical injury and fetal death in the olive baboon]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c4b7f5dd5eed0c4848412b9

Zika virus (ZIKV) infection during pregnancy in humans is associated with an increased incidence of congenital anomalies including microcephaly as well as fetal death and miscarriage and collectively has been referred to as Congenital Zika Syndrome (CZS). Animal models for ZIKV infection in pregnancy have been developed including mice and non-human primates (NHPs). In macaques, fetal CZS outcomes from maternal ZIKV infection range from none to significant. In the present study we develop the olive baboon (Papio anubis), as a model for vertical transfer of ZIKV during pregnancy. Four mid-gestation, timed-pregnant baboons were inoculated with the French Polynesian ZIKV isolate (104 ffu). This study specifically focused on the acute phase of vertical transfer. Dams were terminated at 7 days post infection (dpi; n = 1), 14 dpi (n = 2) and 21 dpi (n = 1). All dams exhibited mild to moderate rash and conjunctivitis. Viremia peaked at 5–7 dpi with only one of three dams remaining mildly viremic at 14 dpi. An anti-ZIKV IgM response was observed by 14 dpi in all three dams studied to this stage, and two dams developed a neutralizing IgG response by either 14 dpi or 21 dpi, the latter included transfer of the IgG to the fetus (cord blood). A systemic inflammatory response (increased IL2, IL6, IL7, IL15, IL16) was observed in three of four dams. Vertical transfer of ZIKV to the placenta was observed in three pregnancies (n = 2 at 14 dpi and n = 1 at 21 dpi) and ZIKV was detected in fetal tissues in two pregnancies: one associated with fetal death at ~14 dpi, and the other in a viable fetus at 21 dpi. ZIKV RNA was detected in the fetal cerebral cortex and other tissues of both of these fetuses. In the fetus studied at 21 dpi with vertical transfer of virus to the CNS, the frontal cerebral cortex exhibited notable defects in radial glia, radial glial fibers, disorganized migration of immature neurons to the cortical layers, and signs of pathology in immature oligodendrocytes. In addition, indices of pronounced neuroinflammation were observed including astrogliosis, increased microglia and IL6 expression. Of interest, in one fetus examined at 14 dpi without detection of ZIKV RNA in brain and other fetal tissues, increased neuroinflammation (IL6 and microglia) was observed in the cortex. Although the placenta of the 14 dpi dam with fetal death showed considerable pathology, only minor pathology was noted in the other three placentas. ZIKV was detected immunohistochemically in two placentas (14 dpi) and one placenta at 21 dpi but not at 7 dpi. This is the first study to examine the early events of vertical transfer of ZIKV in a NHP infected at mid-gestation. The baboon thus represents an additional NHP as a model for ZIKV induced brain pathologies to contrast and compare to humans as well as other NHPs.

]]>
<![CDATA[A functional MRI investigation of crossmodal interference in an audiovisual Stroop task]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c478c85d5eed0c484bd2d7f

The visual color-word Stroop task is widely used in clinical and research settings as a measure of cognitive control. Numerous neuroimaging studies have used color-word Stroop tasks to investigate the neural resources supporting cognitive control, but to our knowledge all have used unimodal (typically visual) Stroop paradigms. Thus, it is possible that this classic measure of cognitive control is not capturing the resources involved in multisensory cognitive control. The audiovisual integration and crossmodal correspondence literatures identify regions sensitive to congruency of auditory and visual stimuli, but it is unclear how these regions relate to the unimodal cognitive control literature. In this study we aimed to identify brain regions engaged by crossmodal cognitive control during an audiovisual color-word Stroop task, and how they relate to previous unimodal Stroop and audiovisual integration findings. First, we replicated previous behavioral audiovisual Stroop findings in an fMRI-adapted audiovisual Stroop paradigm: incongruent visual information increased reaction time towards an auditory stimulus and congruent visual information decreased reaction time. Second, we investigated the brain regions supporting cognitive control during an audiovisual color-word Stroop task using fMRI. Similar to unimodal cognitive control tasks, a left superior parietal region exhibited an interference effect of visual information on the auditory stimulus. This superior parietal region was also identified using a standard audiovisual integration localizing procedure, indicating that audiovisual integration resources are sensitive to cognitive control demands. Facilitation of the auditory stimulus by congruent visual information was found in posterior superior temporal cortex, including in the posterior STS which has been found to support audiovisual integration. The dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, often implicated in unimodal Stroop tasks, was not modulated by the audiovisual Stroop task. Overall the findings indicate that an audiovisual color-word Stroop task engages overlapping resources with audiovisual integration and overlapping but distinct resources compared to unimodal Stroop tasks.

]]>
<![CDATA[Relative cerebral flow from dynamic PIB scans as an alternative for FDG scans in Alzheimer’s disease PET studies]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c605a60d5eed0c4847ccf3a

In Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) dual-tracer positron emission tomography (PET) studies with 2-[18F]-fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose (FDG) and 11C-labelled Pittsburgh Compound B (PIB) are used to assess metabolism and cerebral amyloid-β deposition, respectively. Regional cerebral metabolism and blood flow (rCBF) are closely coupled, both providing an index for neuronal function. The present study compared PIB-derived rCBF, estimated by the ratio of tracer influx in target regions relative to reference region (R1) and early-stage PIB uptake (ePIB), to FDG scans. Fifteen PIB positive (+) patients and fifteen PIB negative (-) subjects underwent both FDG and PIB PET scans to assess the use of R1 and ePIB as a surrogate for FDG. First, subjects were classified based on visual inspection of the PIB PET images. Then, discriminative performance (PIB+ versus PIB-) of rCBF methods were compared to normalized regional FDG uptake. Strong positive correlations were found between analyses, suggesting that PIB-derived rCBF provides information that is closely related to what can be seen on FDG scans. Yet group related differences between method’s distributions were seen as well. Also, a better correlation with FDG was found for R1 than for ePIB. Further studies are needed to validate the use of R1 as an alternative for FDG studies in clinical applications.

]]>
<![CDATA[Locus Coeruleus tracking of prediction errors optimises cognitive flexibility: An Active Inference model]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c390b8dd5eed0c48491d307

The locus coeruleus (LC) in the pons is the major source of noradrenaline (NA) in the brain. Two modes of LC firing have been associated with distinct cognitive states: changes in tonic rates of firing are correlated with global levels of arousal and behavioural flexibility, whilst phasic LC responses are evoked by salient stimuli. Here, we unify these two modes of firing by modelling the response of the LC as a correlate of a prediction error when inferring states for action planning under Active Inference (AI). We simulate a classic Go/No-go reward learning task and a three-arm ‘explore/exploit’ task and show that, if LC activity is considered to reflect the magnitude of high level ‘state-action’ prediction errors, then both tonic and phasic modes of firing are emergent features of belief updating. We also demonstrate that when contingencies change, AI agents can update their internal models more quickly by feeding back this state-action prediction error–reflected in LC firing and noradrenaline release–to optimise learning rate, enabling large adjustments over short timescales. We propose that such prediction errors are mediated by cortico-LC connections, whilst ascending input from LC to cortex modulates belief updating in anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). In short, we characterise the LC/ NA system within a general theory of brain function. In doing so, we show that contrasting, behaviour-dependent firing patterns are an emergent property of the LC that translates state-action prediction errors into an optimal balance between plasticity and stability.

]]>
<![CDATA[Identification of transthyretin as a novel interacting partner for the δ subunit of GABAA receptors]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c3d014cd5eed0c48403a038

GABAA receptors (GABAA-Rs) play critical roles in brain development and synchronization of neural network activity. While synaptic GABAA-Rs can exert rapid inhibition, the extrasynaptic GABAA-Rs can tonically inhibit neuronal activity due to constant activation by ambient GABA. The δ subunit-containing GABAA-Rs are expressed abundantly in the cerebellum, hippocampus and thalamus to mediate the major tonic inhibition in the brain. While electrophysiological and pharmacological properties of the δ-GABAA-Rs have been well characterized, the molecular interacting partners of the δ-GABAA-Rs are not clearly defined. Here, using a yeast two-hybrid screening assay, we identified transthyretin (TTR) as a novel regulatory molecule for the δ-GABAA-Rs. Knockdown of TTR in cultured cerebellar granule neurons significantly decreased the δ receptor expression; whereas overexpressing TTR in cortical neurons increased the δ receptor expression. Electrophysiological analysis confirmed that knockdown or overexpression of TTR in cultured neurons resulted in a corresponding decrease or increase of tonic currents. Furthermore, in vivo analysis of TTR-/- mice revealed a significant decrease of the surface expression of the δ-GABAA-Rs in cerebellar granule neurons. Together, our studies identified TTR as a novel regulator of the δ-GABAA-Rs.

]]>
<![CDATA[Increased Alzheimer's risk during the menopause transition: A 3-year longitudinal brain imaging study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c1ab866d5eed0c484027e49

Two thirds of all persons with late-onset Alzheimer’s disease (AD) are women. Identification of sex-based molecular mechanisms underpinning the female-based prevalence of AD would advance development of therapeutic targets during the prodromal AD phase when prevention or delay in progression is most likely to be effective. This 3-year brain imaging study examines the impact of the menopausal transition on Alzheimer’s disease (AD) biomarker changes [brain β-amyloid load via 11C-PiB PET, and neurodegeneration via 18F-FDG PET and structural MRI] and cognitive performance in midlife. Fifty-nine 40–60 year-old cognitively normal participants with clinical, neuropsychological, and brain imaging exams at least 2 years apart were examined. These included 41 women [15 premenopausal controls (PRE), 14 perimenopausal (PERI), and 12 postmenopausal women (MENO)] and 18 men. We used targeted minimum loss-based estimation to evaluate AD biomarker and cognitive changes. Older age was associated with baseline Aβ and neurodegeneration markers, but not with rates of change in these biomarkers. APOE4 status influenced change in Aβ load, but not neurodegenerative changes. Longitudinally, MENO and PERI groups showed declines in estrogen-dependent memory tests as compared to men (p < .04). Adjusting for age, APOE4 status, and vascular risk confounds, the MENO and PERI groups exhibited higher rates of CMRglc decline as compared to males (p ≤ .015). The MENO group exhibited the highest rate of hippocampal volume loss (p’s ≤ .001), and higher rates of Aβ deposition than males (p < .01). CMRglc decline exceeded Aβ and atrophy changes in all female groups vs. men. These findings indicate emergence and progression of a female-specific hypometabolic AD-endophenotype during the menopausal transition. These findings suggest that the optimal window of opportunity for therapeutic intervention to prevent or delay progression of AD endophenotype in women is early in the endocrine aging process.

]]>
<![CDATA[Comparison of brain magnetic resonance imaging between myotonic dystrophy type 1 and cerebral autosomal dominant arteriopathy with subcortical infarcts and leukoencephalopathy]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c12cf6dd5eed0c4849145d0

Background

Anterior temporal lobe hyperintensities detected by brain MRI are a recognized imaging hallmark of cerebral autosomal dominant arteriopathy with subcortical infarcts and leukoencephalopathy (CADASIL). Because similar findings may be present in patients with myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1), the brain MRI in these two diseases is often misinterpreted. We compared the MRI findings between the two entities to examine whether they display distinctive characteristics.

Methods

This retrospective, cross-sectional study reviewed medical records of patients with DM1 or CADASIL admitted to Asan Medical Center between September 1999 and September 2017. We compared the frequency and grades of white matter changes in specific spatial regions between the groups according to age-related white matter change scores. We also evaluated the presence of cerebral microbleeds.

Results

A total of 29 patients with DM1 and 68 with CADASIL who had undergone MRI were included in the analysis. The overall prevalence of white matter hyperintensities was 20 (69%) and 66 (97%) in DM1 and CADASIL, respectively (p < 0.001), whereas the frequency of anterior temporal lobe hyperintensities was comparable between the groups (10 [34.5%] in DM1 vs. 35 [51.5%] in CADASIL, p = 0.125). The brain MRI of patients with DM1 revealed more limited involvement of the frontal, parieto-occipital, external capsule and basal ganglia regions compared with imaging in patients with CADASIL. Cerebral microbleeds were not observed in any case of DM1 but were present in 31 of 45 (68.9%) cases of CADASIL.

Conclusions

Anterior temporal lobe involvement in DM1 is not infrequent compared with CADASIL. However, because brain MRI in patients with DM1 lacks other distinctive features seen in CADASIL, imaging might assist in differentiating these two conditions.

]]>
<![CDATA[Study of tau pathology in male rTg4510 mice fed with a curcumin derivative Shiga-Y5]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c12cf25d5eed0c484914007

Intracellular inclusions of aggregated tau appear in neurons and glial cells in a range of neurodegenerative diseases known as tauopathies. Inhibition of pathological changes in tau is a therapeutic target for tauopathy. We recently synthesized a novel curcumin derivative, named Shiga-Y5, and showed that Shiga-Y5 inhibited cognitive impairment and amyloid deposition in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease. Here we investigated whether Shiga-Y5 inhibited cognitive impairment and tau accumulation in a mouse model of tauopathy, rTg4510. The rTg4510 mouse is a bitransgenic mouse model that uses a system of responder and activator transgenes to express human four-repeat tau with the P301L mutation. This strain is obtained by crossing tetO-MAPT*P301L mouse line (on a FVB/NJ background) with CaMKII-tTA mouse line (on a C57BL/6J background). Male rTg4510 mice and wild-type mice were fed with a standard chow diet with or without Shiga-Y5 (500 ppm) for 4 months. Behavioral tests were conducted from 5.5 months of age, and the mice were sacrificed at 6 months of age. There were no significant changes in behavioral performance in rTg4510 mice fed with SY5-containing chow diet compared with rTg4510 mice fed with control chow diet. Histological and biochemical analyses also showed no significant alterations in tau accumulation by the treatment with SY5. One of noticeable finding in this study was that rTg4510 mice on a F1 female FVB/NJ x male C57BL/6J background showed more severe tau accumulation than rTg4510 mice on a F1 female C57BL/6J x male FVB/NJ background. Further studies to clarify the mechanisms underlying tau aggregation may help to develop therapeutic approaches aimed at preventing this pathological feature.

]]>
<![CDATA[Brain functional changes in patients with botulism after illegal cosmetic injections of botulinum toxin: A resting-state fMRI study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c084226d5eed0c484fcbfae

Background

Botulinum toxin type A (BoNT-A) is generally considered safe and is widely used to treat a variety of clinical conditions involving muscle hyperactivity and for cosmetic purposes. However, the effects of BoNT-A poisoning (botulism) on brain function are poorly understood.

Methodology/Principal findings

Herein, we investigated brain functions in 9 patients who received illegal cosmetic injections of botulinum and 18 matched controls by combining the analysis methods of regional homogeneity (ReHo) and amplitude of low-frequency fluctuation (ALFF) based on resting-state fMRI. Compared with the controls, the patients with botulism exhibited significantly reduced ReHo values in the left posterior lobe of the cerebellum extending to the right anterior lobe of the cerebellum, as well as in the right anterior lobe of the cerebellum extending to the parahippocampal gyrus and right posterior lobe of the cerebellum. The patients with botulism also showed weakened ALFF values in the right anterior lobe of the cerebellum extending to the left anterior lobe of the cerebellum and right posterior lobe of the cerebellum, as well as in the right anterior lobe of the cerebellum.

Conclusions/Significance

The results indicate that BoNT-A may modulate cerebral activation in specific areas, which may play roles in both the adverse effects of botulism and the mechanism underlying clinical treatment with BoNT-A.

]]>
<![CDATA[In-vivo and numerical analysis of the eigenmodes produced by a multi-level Tic-Tac-Toe head transmit array for 7 Tesla MRI]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c06f05dd5eed0c484c6d7f8

Radio-frequency (RF) field inhomogeneities and higher levels of specific absorption rate (SAR) still present great challenges in ultrahigh-field (UHF) MRI. In this study, an in-depth analysis of the eigenmodes of a 20-channel transmit Tic-Tac-Toe (TTT) RF array for 7T neuro MRI is presented. The eigenmodes were calculated for five different Z levels (along the static magnetic field direction) of the coil. Four eigenmodes were obtained for each Z level (composed of 4 excitation ports), and they were named based on the characteristics of their field distributions: quadrature, opposite-phase, anti-quadrature, and zero-phase. Corresponding finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) simulations were performed and experimental B1+ field maps were acquired using a homogeneous spherical phantom and human head (in-vivo). The quadrature mode is the most efficient and it excites the central brain regions; the opposite-phase mode excites the brain peripheral regions; anti-quadrature mode excites the head periphery; and the zero-phase mode excites cerebellum and temporal lobes. Using this RF array, up to five eigenmodes (from five different Z levels) can be simultaneously excited. The superposition of these modes has the potential to produce homogeneous excitation with full brain coverage and low levels of SAR at 7T MRI.

]]>
<![CDATA[Lactosylceramide synthases encoded by B4galt5 and 6 genes are pivotal for neuronal generation and myelin formation in mice]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b8b29d640307c405292ca4e

It is uncertain which β4-galactosyltransferase (β4GalT; gene name, B4galt), β4GalT-5 and/or β4GalT-6, is responsible for the production of lactosylceramide (LacCer) synthase, which functions in the initial step of ganglioside biosynthesis. Here, we generated conditional B4galt5 knockout (B4galt5 cKO) mice, using Nestin-Cre mice, and crossed these with B4galt6 KO mice to generate B4galt5 and 6 double KO (DKO) mice in the central nervous system (CNS). LacCer synthase activity and major brain gangliosides were completely absent in brain homogenates from the DKO mice, although LacCer synthase activity was about half its normal level in B4galt5 cKO mice and B4galt6 KO mice. The DKO mice were born normally but they showed growth retardation and motor deficits at 2 weeks and died by 4 weeks of age. Histological analyses showed that myelin-associated proteins were rarely found localized in axons in the cerebral cortex, and axonal and myelin formation were remarkably impaired in the spinal cords of the DKO mice. Neuronal cells, differentiated from neurospheres that were prepared from the DKO mice, showed impairments in neurite outgrowth and branch formation, which can be explained by the fact that neurospheres from DKO mice could weakly interact with laminin due to lack of gangliosides, such as GM1a. Furthermore, the neurons were immature and perineuronal nets (PNNs) were poorly formed in DKO cerebral cortices. Our results indicate that LacCer synthase is encoded by B4galt5 and 6 genes in the CNS, and that gangliosides are indispensable for neuronal maturation, PNN formation, and axonal and myelin formation.

]]>
<![CDATA[Serial representation of items during working memory maintenance at letter-selective cortical sites]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b8acde540307c144d0de055

A key component of working memory is the ability to remember multiple items simultaneously. To understand how the human brain maintains multiple items in memory, we examined direct brain recordings of neural oscillations from neurosurgical patients as they performed a working memory task. We analyzed the data to identify the neural representations of individual memory items by identifying recording sites with broadband gamma activity that varied according to the identity of the letter a subject viewed. Next, we tested a previously proposed model of working memory, which had hypothesized that the neural representations of individual memory items sequentially occurred at different phases of the theta/alpha cycle. Consistent with this model, the phase of the theta/alpha oscillation when stimulus-related gamma activity occurred during maintenance reflected the order of list presentation. These results suggest that working memory is organized by a cortical phase code coordinated by coupled theta/alpha and gamma oscillations and, more broadly, provide support for the serial representation of items in working memory.

]]>
<![CDATA[METTL3-mediated m6A modification is required for cerebellar development]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b5b8fa1463d7e1effa4610b

N6-methyladenosine (m6A) RNA methylation is the most abundant modification on mRNAs and plays important roles in various biological processes. The formation of m6A is catalyzed by a methyltransferase complex including methyltransferase-like 3 (METTL3) as a key factor. However, the in vivo functions of METTL3 and m6A modification in mammalian development remain unclear. Here, we show that specific inactivation of Mettl3 in mouse nervous system causes severe developmental defects in the brain. Mettl3 conditional knockout (cKO) mice manifest cerebellar hypoplasia caused by drastically enhanced apoptosis of newborn cerebellar granule cells (CGCs) in the external granular layer (EGL). METTL3 depletion–induced loss of m6A modification causes extended RNA half-lives and aberrant splicing events, consequently leading to dysregulation of transcriptome-wide gene expression and premature CGC death. Our findings reveal a critical role of METTL3-mediated m6A in regulating the development of mammalian cerebellum.

]]>
<![CDATA[Distribution and Abundance of Glucocorticoid and Mineralocorticoid Receptors throughout the Brain of the Great Tit (Parus major)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da9aab0ee8fa60ba37df

The glucocorticoid stress response, regulated by the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, enables individuals to cope with stressors through transcriptional effects in cells expressing the appropriate receptors. The two receptors that bind glucocorticoids—the mineralocorticoid receptor (MR) and glucocorticoid receptor (GR)—are present in a variety of vertebrate tissues, but their expression in the brain is especially important. Neural receptor patterns have the potential to integrate multiple behavioral and physiological traits simultaneously, including self-regulation of glucocorticoid secretion through negative feedback processes. In the present work, we quantified the expression of GR and MR mRNA throughout the brain of a female great tit (Parus major), creating a distribution map encompassing 48 regions. This map, the first of its kind for P. major, demonstrated a widespread but not ubiquitous distribution of both receptor types. In the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus (PVN) and the hippocampus (HP)—the two brain regions that we sampled from a total of 25 birds, we found high GR mRNA expression in the former and, unexpectedly, low MR mRNA in the latter. We examined the covariation of MR and GR levels in these two regions and found a strong, positive relationship between MR in the PVN and MR in the HP and a similar trend for GR across these two regions. This correlation supports the idea that hormone pleiotropy may constrain an individual’s behavioral and physiological phenotype. In the female song system, we found moderate GR in hyperstriatum ventrale, pars caudalis (HVC), and moderate MR in robust nucleus of the arcopallium (RA). Understanding intra- and interspecific patterns of glucocorticoid receptor expression can inform us about the behavioral processes (e.g. song learning) that may be sensitive to stress and stimulate future hypotheses concerning the relationships between receptor expression, circulating hormone concentrations and performance traits under selection, including behavior.

]]>
<![CDATA[Effect of verbal task complexity in a working memory paradigm in patients with type 1 diabetes. A fMRI study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5cab0ee8fa60be0336

Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is commonly diagnosed in childhood and adolescence, and the developing brain has to cope with its deleterious effects. Although brain adaptation to the disease may not result in evident cognitive dysfunction, the effects of T1D on neurodevelopment could alter the pattern of BOLD fMRI activation. The aim of this study was to explore the neural BOLD activation pattern in patients with T1D versus that of healthy matched controls while performing two visuospatial working memory tasks, which included a pair of assignments administered through a block design. In the first task (condition A), the subjects were shown a trial sequence of 3 or 4 white squares positioned pseudorandomly around a fixation point on a black background. After a fixed delay, a second corresponding sequence of 3 or 4 red squares was shown that either resembled (direct, 50%) or differed from (50%) the previous stimulation order. The subjects were required to press one button if the two spatial sequences were identical or a second button if they were not. In condition B, the participants had to determine whether the second sequence of red squares appeared in inverse order (inverse, 50%) or not (50%) and respond by pressing a button. If the latter sequence followed an order distinct from the inverse sequence, the subjects were instructed to press a different button. Sixteen patients with normal IQ and without diabetes complications and 16 healthy control subjects participated in the study. In the behavioral analysis, there were no significant differences between the groups in the pure visuo-spatial task, but the patients with diabetes exhibited poorer performance in the task with verbal stimuli (p < .001). However, fMRI analyses revealed that the patients with T1D showed significantly increased activation in the prefrontal inferior cortex, subcortical regions and the cerebellum (in general p < .001). These different activation patterns could be due to adaptive compensation mechanisms that are devoted to improving efficiency while solving more complex cognitive tasks.

]]>
<![CDATA[Novel insights into SLC25A46-related pathologies in a genetic mouse model]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5aab0ee8fa60bdf253

The mitochondrial protein SLC25A46 has been recently identified as a novel pathogenic cause in a wide spectrum of neurological diseases, including inherited optic atrophy, Charcot-Marie-Tooth type 2, Leigh syndrome, progressive myoclonic ataxia and lethal congenital pontocerebellar hypoplasia. SLC25A46 is an outer membrane protein, member of the Solute Carrier 25 (SLC25) family of nuclear genes encoding mitochondrial carriers, with a role in mitochondrial dynamics and cristae maintenance. Here we identified a loss-of-function mutation in the Slc25a46 gene that causes lethal neuropathology in mice. Mutant mice manifest the main clinical features identified in patients, including ataxia, optic atrophy and cerebellar hypoplasia, which were completely rescued by expression of the human ortholog. Histopathological analysis revealed previously unseen lesions, most notably disrupted cytoarchitecture in the cerebellum and retina and prominent abnormalities in the neuromuscular junction. A distinct lymphoid phenotype was also evident. Our mutant mice provide a valid model for understanding the mechanistic basis of the complex SLC25A46-mediated pathologies, as well as for screening potential therapeutic interventions.

]]>