ResearchPad - neurotransmission https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Staurosporine and NEM mainly impair WNK-SPAK/OSR1 mediated phosphorylation of KCC2 and NKCC1]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14752 The pivotal role of KCC2 and NKCC1 in development and maintenance of fast inhibitory neurotransmission and their implication in severe human diseases arouse interest in posttranscriptional regulatory mechanisms such as (de)phosphorylation. Staurosporine (broad kinase inhibitor) and N-ethylmalemide (NEM) that modulate kinase and phosphatase activities enhance KCC2 and decrease NKCC1 activity. Here, we investigated the regulatory mechanism for this reciprocal regulation by mass spectrometry and immunoblot analyses using phospho-specific antibodies. Our analyses revealed that application of staurosporine or NEM dephosphorylates Thr1007 of KCC2, and Thr203, Thr207 and Thr212 of NKCC1. Dephosphorylation of Thr1007 of KCC2, and Thr207 and Thr212 of NKCC1 were previously demonstrated to activate KCC2 and to inactivate NKCC1. In addition, application of the two agents resulted in dephosphorylation of the T-loop and S-loop phosphorylation sites Thr233 and Ser373 of SPAK, a critical kinase in the WNK-SPAK/OSR1 signaling module mediating phosphorylation of KCC2 and NKCC1. Taken together, these results suggest that reciprocal regulation of KCC2 and NKCC1 via staurosporine and NEM is based on WNK-SPAK/OSR1 signaling. The key regulatory phospho-site Ser940 of KCC2 is not critically involved in the enhanced activation of KCC2 upon staurosporine and NEM treatment, as both agents have opposite effects on its phosphorylation status. Finally, NEM acts in a tissue-specific manner on Ser940, as shown by comparative analysis in HEK293 cells and immature cultured hippocampal neurons. In summary, our analyses identified phospho-sites that are responsive to staurosporine or NEM application. This provides important information towards a better understanding of the cooperative interactions of different phospho-sites.

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<![CDATA[Zinc enhances hippocampal long-term potentiation at CA1 synapses through NR2B containing NMDA receptors]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c084185d5eed0c484fc9dc4

The role of zinc (Zn2+), a modulator of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors, in regulating long-term synaptic plasticity at hippocampal CA1 synapses is poorly understood. The effects of exogenous application of Zn2+ and of chelation of endogenous Zn2+ were examined on long-term potentiation (LTP) of stimulus-evoked synaptic transmission at Schaffer collateral (SCH) synapses in field CA1 of mouse hippocampal slices using whole-cell patch clamp and field recordings. Low micromolar concentrations of exogenous Zn2+ enhanced the induction of LTP, and this effect required activation of NMDA receptors containing NR2B subunits. Zn2+ elicited a selective increase in NMDA/NR2B fEPSPs, and removal of endogenous Zn2+ with high-affinity Zn2+ chelators robustly reduced the magnitude of stimulus-evoked LTP. Taken together, our data show that Zn2+ at physiological concentrations enhances activation of NMDA receptors containing NR2B subunits, and that this effect enhances the magnitude of LTP.

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<![CDATA[Palmitoylation of Gephyrin Controls Receptor Clustering and Plasticity of GABAergic Synapses]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db1bab0ee8fa60bce20b

Gephyrin, the principal scaffolding protein at inhibitory synapses, needs to be palmitoylated in order to cluster and to assemble functional synapses.

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<![CDATA[Unraveling Genetic Modifiers in the Gria4 Mouse Model of Absence Epilepsy]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9ddab0ee8fa60b6861d

Absence epilepsy (AE) is a common type of genetic generalized epilepsy (GGE), particularly in children. AE and GGE are complex genetic diseases with few causal variants identified to date. Gria4 deficient mice provide a model of AE, one for which the common laboratory inbred strain C3H/HeJ (HeJ) harbors a natural IAP retrotransposon insertion in Gria4 that reduces its expression 8-fold. Between C3H and non-seizing strains such as C57BL/6, genetic modifiers alter disease severity. Even C3H substrains have surprising variation in the duration and incidence of spike-wave discharges (SWD), the characteristic electroencephalographic feature of absence seizures. Here we discovered extensive IAP retrotransposition in the C3H substrain, and identified a HeJ-private IAP in the Pcnxl2 gene, which encodes a putative multi-transmembrane protein of unknown function, resulting in decreased expression. By creating new Pcnxl2 frameshift alleles using TALEN mutagenesis, we show that Pcnxl2 deficiency is responsible for mitigating the seizure phenotype – making Pcnxl2 the first known modifier gene for absence seizures in any species. This finding gave us a handle on genetic complexity between strains, directing us to use another C3H substrain to map additional modifiers including validation of a Chr 15 locus that profoundly affects the severity of SWD episodes. Together these new findings expand our knowledge of how natural variation modulates seizures, and highlights the feasibility of characterizing and validating modifiers in mouse strains and substrains in the post-genome sequence era.

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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[Failed Stabilization for Long-Term Potentiation in the Auditory Cortex of Fmr1 Knockout Mice]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db35ab0ee8fa60bd2bae

Fragile X syndrome is a developmental disorder that affects sensory systems. A null mutation of the Fragile X Mental Retardation protein 1 (Fmr1) gene in mice has varied effects on developmental plasticity in different sensory systems, including normal barrel cortical plasticity, altered ocular dominance plasticity and grossly impaired auditory frequency map plasticity. The mutation also has different effects on long-term synaptic plasticity in somatosensory and visual cortical neurons, providing insights on how it may differentially affect the sensory systems. Here we present evidence that long-term potentiation (LTP) is impaired in the developing auditory cortex of the Fmr1 knockout (KO) mice. This impairment of synaptic plasticity is consistent with impaired frequency map plasticity in the Fmr1 KO mouse. Together, these results suggest a potential role of LTP in sensory map plasticity during early sensory development.

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<![CDATA[Coordination of Fictive Motor Activity in the Larval Zebrafish Is Generated by Non-Segmental Mechanisms]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da03ab0ee8fa60b75018

The cellular and network basis for most vertebrate locomotor central pattern generators (CPGs) is incompletely characterized, but organizational models based on known CPG architectures have been proposed. Segmental models propose that each spinal segment contains a circuit that controls local coordination and sends longer projections to coordinate activity between segments. Unsegmented/continuous models propose that patterned motor output is driven by gradients of neurons and synapses that do not have segmental boundaries. We tested these ideas in the larval zebrafish, an animal that swims in discrete episodes, each of which is composed of coordinated motor bursts that progress rostrocaudally and alternate from side to side. We perturbed the spinal cord using spinal transections or strychnine application and measured the effect on fictive motor output. Spinal transections eliminated episode structure, and reduced both rostrocaudal and side-to-side coordination. Preparations with fewer intact segments were more severely affected, and preparations consisting of midbody and caudal segments were more severely affected than those consisting of rostral segments. In reduced preparations with the same number of intact spinal segments, side-to-side coordination was more severely disrupted than rostrocaudal coordination. Reducing glycine receptor signaling with strychnine reversibly disrupted both rostrocaudal and side-to-side coordination in spinalized larvae without disrupting episodic structure. Both spinal transection and strychnine decreased the stability of the motor rhythm, but this effect was not causal in reducing coordination. These results are inconsistent with a segmented model of the spinal cord and are better explained by a continuous model in which motor neuron coordination is controlled by segment-spanning microcircuits.

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<![CDATA[A Physiologic Role for Serotonergic Transmission in Adult Rat Taste Buds]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da9bab0ee8fa60ba3a9d

Of the multiple neurotransmitters and neuropeptides expressed in the mammalian taste bud, serotonin remains both the most studied and least understood. Serotonin is expressed in a subset of taste receptor cells that form synapses with afferent nerve fibers (type III cells) and was once thought to be essential to neurotransmission (now understood as purinergic). However, the discovery of the 5-HT1A serotonin receptor in a subset of taste receptor cells paracrine to type III cell suggested a role in cell-to-cell communication during the processing of taste information. Functional data describing this role are lacking. Using anatomical and neurophysiological techniques, this study proposes a modulatory role for serotonin during the processing of taste information. Double labeling immunocytochemical and single cell RT-PCR technique experiments documented that 5-HT1A-expressing cells co-expressed markers for type II cells, cells which express T1R or T2R receptors and release ATP. These cells did not co-express type III cells markers. Neurophysiological recordings from the chorda tympani nerve, which innervates anterior taste buds, were performed prior to and during intravenous injection of a 5-HT1A receptor antagonist. These experiments revealed that serotonin facilitates processing of taste information for tastants representing sweet, sour, salty, and bitter taste qualities. On the other hand, injection of ondansetron, a 5-HT3 receptor antagonist, was without effect. Collectively, these data support the hypothesis that serotonin is a crucial element in a finely-tuned feedback loop involving the 5-HT1A receptor, ATP, and purinoceptors. It is hypothesized that serotonin facilitates gustatory signals by regulating the release of ATP through ATP-release channels possibly through phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate resynthesis. By doing so, 5-HT1A activation prevents desensitization of post-synaptic purinergic receptors expressed on afferent nerve fibers and enhances the afferent signal. Serotonin may thus play a major modulatory role within peripheral taste in shaping the afferent taste signals prior to their transmission across gustatory nerves.

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<![CDATA[Anterograde Activin Signaling Regulates Postsynaptic Membrane Potential and GluRIIA/B Abundance at the Drosophila Neuromuscular Junction]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dacfab0ee8fa60bb587d

Members of the TGF-β superfamily play numerous roles in nervous system development and function. In Drosophila, retrograde BMP signaling at the neuromuscular junction (NMJ) is required presynaptically for proper synapse growth and neurotransmitter release. In this study, we analyzed whether the Activin branch of the TGF-β superfamily also contributes to NMJ development and function. We find that elimination of the Activin/TGF-β type I receptor babo, or its downstream signal transducer smox, does not affect presynaptic NMJ growth or evoked excitatory junctional potentials (EJPs), but instead results in a number of postsynaptic defects including depolarized membrane potential, small size and frequency of miniature excitatory junction potentials (mEJPs), and decreased synaptic densities of the glutamate receptors GluRIIA and B. The majority of the defective smox synaptic phenotypes were rescued by muscle-specific expression of a smox transgene. Furthermore, a mutation in actβ, an Activin-like ligand that is strongly expressed in motor neurons, phenocopies babo and smox loss-of-function alleles. Our results demonstrate that anterograde Activin/TGF-β signaling at the Drosophila NMJ is crucial for achieving normal abundance and localization of several important postsynaptic signaling molecules and for regulating postsynaptic membrane physiology. Together with the well-established presynaptic role of the retrograde BMP signaling, our findings indicate that the two branches of the TGF-β superfamily are differentially deployed on each side of the Drosophila NMJ synapse to regulate distinct aspects of its development and function.

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<![CDATA[Pharmacological and Behavioral Characterization of D-473, an Orally Active Triple Reuptake Inhibitor Targeting Dopamine, Serotonin and Norepinephrine Transporters]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da93ab0ee8fa60ba0f79

Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a debilitating disease affecting a wide cross section of people around the world. The current therapy for depression is less than adequate and there is a considerable unmet need for more efficacious treatment. Dopamine has been shown to play a significant role in depression including production of anhedonia which has been one of the untreated symptoms in MDD. It has been hypothesized that drugs acting at all three monoamine transporters including dopamine transporter should provide more efficacious antidepressants activity. This has led to the development of triple reuptake inhibitor D-473 which is a novel pyran based molecule and interacts with all three monoamine transporters. The monoamine uptake inhibition activity in the cloned human transporters expressed in HEK-293 cells (70.4, 9.18 and 39.7 for DAT, SERT and NET, respectively) indicates a serotonin preferring triple reuptake inhibition profile for this drug. The drug D-473 exhibited good brain penetration and produced efficacious activity in rat forced swim test under oral administration. The optimal efficacy dose did not produce any locomotor activation. Microdialysis experiment demonstrated that systemic administration of D-473 elevated extracellular level of the three monoamines DA, 5-HT, and NE efficaciously in the dorsal lateral striatum (DLS) and the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) area, indicating in vivo blockade of all three monoamine transporters by D-473. Thus, the current biological data from D-473 indicate potent antidepressant activity of the molecule.

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<![CDATA[Stimulus-Specific Adaptation at the Synapse Level In Vitro]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9e3ab0ee8fa60b6a2a8

Stimulus-specific adaptation (SSA) is observed in many brain regions in humans and animals. SSA of cortical neurons has been proposed to accumulate through relays in ascending pathways. Here, we examined SSA at the synapse level using whole-cell patch-clamp recordings of primary cultured cortical neurons of the rat. First, we found that cultured neurons had high firing capability with 100-Hz current injection. However, neuron firing started to adapt to repeated electrically activated synaptic inputs at 10 Hz. Next, to activate different dendritic inputs, electrical stimulations were spatially separated. Cultured neurons showed similar SSA properties in the oddball stimulation paradigm compared to those reported in vivo. Single neurons responded preferentially to a deviant stimulus over repeated, standard stimuli considering both synapse-driven spikes and excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs). Compared with two closely placed stimulating electrodes that activated highly overlapping dendritic fields, two separately placed electrodes that activated less overlapping dendritic fields elicited greater SSA. Finally, we used glutamate puffing to directly activate postsynaptic glutamate receptors. Neurons showed SSA to two separately placed puffs repeated at 10 Hz. Compared with EPSCs, GABAa receptor-mediated inhibitory postsynaptic currents showed weaker SSA. Heterogeneity of the synaptic inputs was critical for producing SSA, with glutamate receptor desensitization participating in the process. Our findings suggest that postsynaptic fatigue contributes largely to SSA at low frequencies.

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<![CDATA[The Role of Histamine in the Retina: Studies on the Hdc Knockout Mouse]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da23ab0ee8fa60b7fba4

The role of histamine in the retina is not well understood, despite it regulating a number of functions within the brain, including sleep, feeding, energy balance, and anxiety. In this study we characterized the structure and function of the retina in mice that lacked expression of the rate limiting enzyme in the formation of histamine, histidine decarboxylase (Hdc−/− mouse). Using laser capture microdissection, Hdc mRNA expression was assessed in the inner and outer nuclear layers of adult C57Bl6J wildtype (WT) and Hdc−/−-retinae. In adult WT and Hdc−/−-mice, retinal fundi were imaged, retinal structure was assessed using immunocytochemistry and function was probed by electroretinography. Blood flow velocity was assessed by quantifying temporal changes in the dynamic fluorescein angiography in arterioles and venules. In WT retinae, Hdc gene expression was detected in the outer nuclear layer, but not the inner nuclear layer, while the lack of Hdc expression was confirmed in the Hdc−/− retina. Preliminary examination of the fundus and retinal structure of the widely used Hdc−/−mouse strain revealed discrete lesions across the retina that corresponded to areas of photoreceptor abnormality reminiscent of the rd8 (Crb1) mutation. This was confirmed after genotyping and the strain designated Hdcrd8/rd8. In order to determine the effect of the lack of Hdc-alone on the retina, Hdc−/− mice free of the Crb1 mutation were bred. Retinal fundi appeared normal in these animals and there was no difference in retinal structure, macrogliosis, nor any change in microglial characteristics in Hdc−/− compared to wildtype retinae. In addition, retinal function and retinal blood flow dynamics showed no alterations in the Hdc−/− retina. Overall, these results suggest that histamine plays little role in modulating retinal structure and function.

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<![CDATA[Characterization of a Prawn OA/TA Receptor in Xenopus Oocytes Suggests Functional Selectivity between Octopamine and Tyramine]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da5cab0ee8fa60b901c5

Here we report the characterization of an octopamine/tyramine (OA/TA or TyrR1) receptor (OA/TAMac) cloned from the freshwater prawn, Macrobrachium rosenbergii, an animal used in the study of agonistic social behavior. The invertebrate OA/TA receptors are seven trans-membrane domain G-protein coupled receptors that are related to vertebrate adrenergic receptors. Behavioral studies in arthropods indicate that octopaminergic signaling systems modulate fight or flight behaviors with octopamine and/or tyramine functioning in a similar way to the adrenalins in vertebrate systems. Despite the importance of octopamine signaling in behavioral studies of decapod crustaceans there are no functional data available for any of their octopamine or tyramine receptors. We expressed OA/TAMac in Xenopus oocytes where agonist-evoked trans-membrane currents were used as readouts of receptor activity. The currents were most effectively evoked by tyramine but were also evoked by octopamine and dopamine. They were effectively blocked by yohimbine. The electrophysiological approach we used enabled the continuous observation of complex dynamics over time. Using voltage steps, we were able to simultaneously resolve two types of endogenous currents that are affected over different time scales. At higher concentrations we observe that octopamine and tyramine can produce different and opposing effects on both of these currents, presumably through the activity of the single expressed receptor type. The pharmacological profile and apparent functional-selectivity are consistent with properties first observed in the OA/TA receptor from the insect Drosophila melanogaster. As the first functional data reported for any crustacean OA/TA receptor, these results suggest that functional-selectivity between tyramine and octopamine is a feature of this receptor type that may be conserved among arthropods.

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<![CDATA[Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Insertion/Deletion Polymorphism Is Not a Major Determining Factor in the Development of Sporadic Alzheimer Disease: Evidence from an Updated Meta-Analysis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da95ab0ee8fa60ba1b3c

Angiotensin-converting enzyme gene (ACE) insertion/deletion (I/D) polymorphism have long been linked to sporadic Alzheimer disease (SAD), but the established data remained controversial. To clarify this inconsistency, a comprehensive meta-analysis was conducted. Through searching of Pubmed, Embase, Alzgene, China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI) and manually searching relevant references, 53 independent studies from 48 articles were included, involving a total of 8153 cases and 14932 controls. The strength of association was assessed by using odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs). Further stratified analyses and heterogeneity analyses were tested, as was publication bias. Overall, significant associations were revealed between I/D polymorphism and SAD risk using allelic comparison (OR = 1.09, 95%CI = 1.01–1.17, p = 0.030), homozygote comparison (OR = 1.17, 95%CI = 1.01–1.34, p = 0.030) and the dominant model (OR = 1.16, 95%CI = 1.04–1.29, p = 0.008), but they were not sufficiently robust to withstand the false-positive report probability (FPRP) analyses. Otherwise, in subgroup analyses restricted to the high quality studies, the large sample size studies and studies with population-based controls, no significant association was observed in any genetic models. In summary, the current meta-analysis suggested that the ACE I/D polymorphism is unlikely to be a major determining factor in the development of SAD.

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<![CDATA[The Selective Antagonism of P2X7 and P2Y1 Receptors Prevents Synaptic Failure and Affects Cell Proliferation Induced by Oxygen and Glucose Deprivation in Rat Dentate Gyrus]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da7aab0ee8fa60b98178

Purinergic P2X and P2Y receptors are broadly expressed on both neurons and glial cells in the central nervous system (CNS), including dentate gyrus (DG). The aim of this research was to determine the synaptic and proliferative response of the DG to severe oxygen and glucose deprivation (OGD) in acute rat hippocampal slices and to investigate the contribution of P2X7 and P2Y1 receptor antagonism to recovery of synaptic activity after OGD. Extracellular field excitatory post-synaptic potentials (fEPSPs) in granule cells of the DG were recorded from rat hippocampal slices. Nine-min OGD elicited an irreversible loss of fEPSP and was invariably followed by the appearance of anoxic depolarization (AD). Application of MRS2179 (selective antagonist of P2Y1 receptor) and BBG (selective antagonist of P2X7 receptor), before and during OGD, prevented AD appearance and allowed a significant recovery of neurotransmission after 9-min OGD. The effects of 9-min OGD on proliferation and maturation of cells localized in the subgranular zone (SGZ) of slices prepared from rats treated with 5-Bromo-2′-deoxyuridine (BrdU) were investigated. Slices were further incubated with an immature neuron marker, doublecortin (DCX). The number of BrdU+ cells in the SGZ was significantly decreased 6 hours after OGD. This effect was antagonized by BBG, but not by MRS2179. Twenty-four hours after 9-min OGD, the number of BrdU+ cells returned to control values and a significant increase of DCX immunofluorescence was observed. This phenomenon was still evident when BBG, but not MRS2179, was applied during OGD. Furthermore, the P2Y1 antagonist reduced the number of BrdU+ cells at this time. The data demonstrate that P2X7 and P2Y1 activation contributes to early damage induced by OGD in the DG. At later stages after the insult, P2Y1 receptors might play an additional and different role in promoting cell proliferation and maturation in the DG.

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<![CDATA[Running Opposes the Effects of Social Isolation on Synaptic Plasticity and Transmission in a Rat Model of Depression]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daa2ab0ee8fa60ba6114

Stress, such as social isolation, is a well-known risk factor for depression, most probably in combination with predisposing genetic factors. Physical exercise on the other hand, is depicted as a wonder-treatment that makes you healthier, happier and live longer. However, the published results on the effects of exercise are ambiguous, especially when it comes to neuropsychiatric disorders. Here we combine a paradigm of social isolation with a genetic rat model of depression, the Flinders Sensitive Line (FSL), already known to have glutamatergic synaptic alterations. Compared to group-housed FSL rats, we found that social isolation further affects synaptic plasticity and increases basal synaptic transmission in hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons. These functional synaptic alterations co-exist with changes in hippocampal protein expression levels: social isolation in FSL rats reduce expression of the glial glutamate transporter GLT-1, and increase expression of the GluA2 AMPA-receptor subunit. We further show that physical exercise in form of voluntary running prevents the stress-induced synaptic effects but do not restore the endogenous mechanisms of depression already present in the FSL rat.

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<![CDATA[Tiagabine Improves Hippocampal Long-Term Depression in Rat Pups Subjected to Prenatal Inflammation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daddab0ee8fa60bbaa65

Maternal inflammation during pregnancy is associated with the later development of cognitive and behavioral impairment in the offspring, reminiscent of the traits of schizophrenia or autism spectrum disorders. Hippocampal long-term potentiation and long-term depression of glutamatergic synapses are respectively involved in memory formation and consolidation. In male rats, maternal inflammation with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) led to a premature loss of long-term depression, occurring between 12 and 25 postnatal days instead of after the first postnatal month, and aberrant occurrence of long-term potentiation. We hypothesized this would be related to GABAergic system impairment. Sprague Dawley rats received either LPS or isotonic saline ip on gestational day 19. Male offspring's hippocampus was studied between 12 and 25 postnatal days. Morphological and functional analyses demonstrated that prenatal LPS triggered a deficit of hippocampal GABAergic interneurons, associated with presynaptic GABAergic transmission deficiency in male offspring. Increasing ambient GABA by impairing GABA reuptake with tiagabine did not interact with the low frequency-induced long-term depression in control animals but fully prevented its impairment in male offspring of LPS-challenged dams. Tiagabine furthermore prevented the aberrant occurrence of paired-pulse triggered long-term potentiation in these rats. Deficiency in GABA seems to be central to the dysregulation of synaptic plasticity observed in juvenile in utero LPS-challenged rats. Modulating GABAergic tone may be a possible therapeutic strategy at this developmental stage.

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<![CDATA[Focal Cortical Lesions Induce Bidirectional Changes in the Excitability of Fast Spiking and Non Fast Spiking Cortical Interneurons]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db1dab0ee8fa60bce754

A physiological brain function requires neuronal networks to operate within a well-defined range of activity. Indeed, alterations in neuronal excitability have been associated with several pathological conditions, ranging from epilepsy to neuropsychiatric disorders. Changes in inhibitory transmission are known to play a key role in the development of hyperexcitability. However it is largely unknown whether specific interneuronal subpopulations contribute differentially to such pathological condition. In the present study we investigated functional alterations of inhibitory interneurons embedded in a hyperexcitable cortical circuit at the border of chronically induced focal lesions in mouse visual cortex. Interestingly, we found opposite alterations in the excitability of non fast-spiking (Non Fs) and fast-spiking (Fs) interneurons in acute cortical slices from injured animals. Non Fs interneurons displayed a depolarized membrane potential and a higher frequency of spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents (sEPSCs). In contrast, Fs interneurons showed a reduced sEPSCs amplitude. The observed downscaling of excitatory synapses targeting Fs interneurons may prevent the recruitment of this specific population of interneurons to the hyperexcitable network. This mechanism is likely to seriously affect neuronal network function and to exacerbate hyperexcitability but it may be important to protect this particular vulnerable population of GABAegic neurons from excitotoxicity.

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<![CDATA[A Conserved Dopamine-Cholecystokinin Signaling Pathway Shapes Context–Dependent Caenorhabditis elegans Behavior]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da40ab0ee8fa60b89c56

An organism's ability to thrive in changing environmental conditions requires the capacity for making flexible behavioral responses. Here we show that, in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, foraging responses to changes in food availability require nlp-12, a homolog of the mammalian neuropeptide cholecystokinin (CCK). nlp-12 expression is limited to a single interneuron (DVA) that is postsynaptic to dopaminergic neurons involved in food-sensing, and presynaptic to locomotory control neurons. NLP-12 release from DVA is regulated through the D1-like dopamine receptor DOP-1, and both nlp-12 and dop-1 are required for normal local food searching responses. nlp-12/CCK overexpression recapitulates characteristics of local food searching, and DVA ablation or mutations disrupting muscle acetylcholine receptor function attenuate these effects. Conversely, nlp-12 deletion reverses behavioral and functional changes associated with genetically enhanced muscle acetylcholine receptor activity. Thus, our data suggest that dopamine-mediated sensory information about food availability shapes foraging in a context-dependent manner through peptide modulation of locomotory output.

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<![CDATA[AlzhCPI: A knowledge base for predicting chemical-protein interactions towards Alzheimer’s disease]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5cab0ee8fa60be0016

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a complicated progressive neurodegeneration disorder. To confront AD, scientists are searching for multi-target-directed ligands (MTDLs) to delay disease progression. The in silico prediction of chemical-protein interactions (CPI) can accelerate target identification and drug discovery. Previously, we developed 100 binary classifiers to predict the CPI for 25 key targets against AD using the multi-target quantitative structure-activity relationship (mt-QSAR) method. In this investigation, we aimed to apply the mt-QSAR method to enlarge the model library to predict CPI towards AD. Another 104 binary classifiers were further constructed to predict the CPI for 26 preclinical AD targets based on the naive Bayesian (NB) and recursive partitioning (RP) algorithms. The internal 5-fold cross-validation and external test set validation were applied to evaluate the performance of the training sets and test set, respectively. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (ROC) for the test sets ranged from 0.629 to 1.0, with an average of 0.903. In addition, we developed a web server named AlzhCPI to integrate the comprehensive information of approximately 204 binary classifiers, which has potential applications in network pharmacology and drug repositioning. AlzhCPI is available online at http://rcidm.org/AlzhCPI/index.html. To illustrate the applicability of AlzhCPI, the developed system was employed for the systems pharmacology-based investigation of shichangpu against AD to enhance the understanding of the mechanisms of action of shichangpu from a holistic perspective.

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