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Journal of Neurogenetics

Kirsten E Zeuner, Albert Acewicz, Arne Knutzen, Dirk Dressler, Katja Lohmann, Karsten Witt
Writers' cramp is a movement disorder with dystonic co-contraction of fingers and hand during writing and is part of the clinical spectrum of focal dystonias. Previous studies showed reduced striatal dopamine receptor D2 (DRD2) availability in dystonia. The expression of D2 receptors is modulated by a DRD2/ANKK1-Taq1A polymorphism (rs1800497). This study addresses the question of whether the DRD2/ANKK1-Taq1A polymorphism is a risk factor for writer's cramp. We determined the DRD2/ANKK1-Taq1A polymorphism 34 patients with writer's cramp compared to 67 age matched controls...
October 4, 2016: Journal of Neurogenetics
Taixiang Saur, Bruce M Cohen, Qi Ma, Suzann M Babb, Edgar A Buttner, Wei-Dong Yao
Cholinergic dysfunction contributes to cognitive deficits in schizophrenia. The atypical antipsychotic clozapine improves cognition in patients with schizophrenia, possibly through modulation of the cholinergic system. However, little is known about specific underlying mechanisms. We investigated the acute and chronic effects of clozapine on cholinergic synaptic transmission in cultured superior cervical ganglion (SCG) neurons. Spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents (sEPSCs) were detected and were reversibly inhibited by the nicotinic receptor antagonist d-tubocurarine, confirming that the synaptic responses were primarily mediated by nicotinic receptors...
September 14, 2016: Journal of Neurogenetics
Nigel S Atkinson
This is a brief reminiscence of my time in the Ganetzky lab from 1986-1990 and its effect on my scientific trajectory.
September 1, 2016: Journal of Neurogenetics
(no author information available yet)
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
June 28, 2016: Journal of Neurogenetics
Mine Elagoz Yuksel, Betul Yuceturk, Omer Faruk Karatas, Mustafa Ozen, Burak Dogangun
Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are one of the life long existing disorders. Abnormal methylation status of gene promoters of oxytonergic system has been implicated as among the etiologic factors of ASDs. We, therefore, investigated the methylation frequency of oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR) promoter from peripheral blood samples of children with autistic features. Our sample includes 66 children in total (22-94 months); 27 children with ASDs according to the DSM-IV-TR and the Childhood Autism Rating Scale and 39 children who don't have any autistic like symptoms as the healthy control group...
June 16, 2016: Journal of Neurogenetics
Nozomi Koseki, Satoshi Mori, Shoki Suzuki, Yuta Tonooka, Sakiko Kosugi, Hiroyoshi Miyakawa, Takako Morimoto
Animals make decisions on behavioral choice by evaluating internal and external signals. Individuals often make decisions in different ways, but the underlying neural mechanisms are not well understood. Here we describe a system for observing the behavior of individual Drosophila melanogaster larvae simultaneously presented with contradictory signals, in this case attractive (yeast paste) and aversive (NaCl) signals. Olfaction was used to detect the yeast paste, whereas the ENaC/Pickpocket channel was important for NaCl detection...
June 16, 2016: Journal of Neurogenetics
Kurt R Weiss, J Troy Littleton
Polyglutamine expansion within Huntingtin (Htt) causes the fatal neurodegenerative disorder Huntington's Disease (HD). Although Htt is ubiquitously expressed and conserved from Drosophila to humans, its normal biological function is still being elucidated. Here we characterize a role for the Drosophila Htt homolog (dHtt) in fast axonal transport (FAT). Generation and expression of transgenic dHtt-mRFP and human Htt-mRFP fusion proteins in Drosophila revealed co-localization with mitochondria and synaptic vesicles undergoing FAT...
June 16, 2016: Journal of Neurogenetics
Kristin M Scaplen, Karla R Kaun
In a complex environment, animals learn from their responses to stimuli and events. Appropriate response to reward and punishment can promote survival, reproduction and increase evolutionary fitness. Interestingly, the neural processes underlying these responses are remarkably similar across phyla. In all species, dopamine is central to encoding reward and directing motivated behaviors, however, a comprehensive understanding of how circuits encode reward and direct motivated behaviors is still lacking. In part, this is a result of the sheer diversity of neurons, the heterogeneity of their responses and the complexity of neural circuits within which they are found...
June 2016: Journal of Neurogenetics
Pavel Masek, Alex C Keene
Taste allows animals to discriminate the value and potential toxicity of food prior to ingestion. Many tastants elicit an innate attractive or avoidance response that is modifiable with nutritional state and prior experience. A powerful genetic tool kit, well-characterized gustatory system, and standardized behavioral assays make the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, an excellent system for investigating taste processing and memory. Recent studies have used this system to identify the neural basis for acquired taste preference...
June 2016: Journal of Neurogenetics
Caroline Kibat, Seetha Krishnan, Mahathi Ramaswamy, Bradley J Baker, Suresh Jesuthasan
Neural circuits are non-linear dynamical systems that transform information based on the pattern of input, current state and functional connectivity. To understand how a given stimulus is processed, one would ideally record neural activity across the entire brain of a behaving animal, at cellular or even subcellular resolution, in addition to characterizing anatomical connectivity. Given their transparency and relatively small size, larval zebrafish provide a powerful system for brain-wide monitoring of neural activity...
June 2016: Journal of Neurogenetics
Ian A Meinertzhagen
The brain is a network of neurons, one that generates behaviour, and knowing the former is crucial to understanding the latter. Identifying the exact network of synaptic connections, or connectome, of the fly's central nervous system is now a major objective in Drosophila neurobiology, one that has been initiated in several laboratories, especially the Janelia Research Campus of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Progress is most advanced in the optic neuropiles of the visual system. The effort to derive a connectome from these and other neuropile regions is proceeding by various methods of electron microscopy, especially focused-ion beam milling scanning electron microscopy, and relies upon - but is to be carefully distinguished from - published light microscopic methods that reveal the projections of genetically labelled cell types...
June 2016: Journal of Neurogenetics
Benjamin H White
The past decade has witnessed the development of powerful, genetically encoded tools for manipulating and monitoring neuronal function in freely moving animals. These tools are most readily deployed in genetic model organisms and efforts to map the circuits that govern behavior have increasingly focused on worms, flies, zebrafish, and mice. The traditional virtues of these animals for genetic studies in terms of small size, short generation times, and ease of animal husbandry in a laboratory setting have facilitated rapid progress, and the neural basis of an increasing number of behaviors is being established at cellular resolution in each of these animals...
June 2016: Journal of Neurogenetics
Jiangnan Luo, Philip G McQueen, Bo Shi, Chi-Hon Lee, Chun-Yuan Ting
The most striking structure in the nervous system is the complex yet stereotyped morphology of the neuronal dendritic tree. Dendritic morphologies and the connections they make govern information flow and integration in the brain. The fundamental mechanisms that regulate dendritic outgrowth and branching are subjects of extensive study. In this review, we summarize recent advances in the molecular and cellular mechanisms for routing dendrites in layers and columns, prevalent organizational structures in the brain...
June 2016: Journal of Neurogenetics
Harold A Burgess, Chi-Hon Lee, Chun-Fang Wu
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
June 2016: Journal of Neurogenetics
Claire E McKellar
Following considerable progress on the molecular and cellular basis of taste perception in fly sensory neurons, the time is now ripe to explore how taste information, integrated with hunger and satiety, undergo a sensorimotor transformation to lead to the motor actions of feeding behavior. I examine what is known of feeding circuitry in adult flies from more than 250 years of work in larger flies and from newer work in Drosophila. I review the anatomy of the proboscis, its muscles and their functions (where known), its motor neurons, interneurons known to receive taste inputs, interneurons that diverge from taste circuitry to provide information to other circuits, interneurons from other circuits that converge on feeding circuits, proprioceptors that influence the motor control of feeding, and sites of integration of hunger and satiety on feeding circuits...
June 2016: Journal of Neurogenetics
Melina E Hale, Hilary R Katz, Martin Y Peek, Rachel T Fremont
Startle behaviors are rapid, high-performance motor responses to threatening stimuli. Startle responses have been identified in a broad range of species across animal diversity. For investigations of neural circuit structure and function, these behaviors offer a number of benefits, including that they are driven by large and identifiable neurons and their neural control is simple in comparison to other behaviors. Among vertebrates, the best-known startle circuit is the Mauthner cell circuit of fishes. In recent years, genetic approaches in zebrafish have provided key tools for morphological and physiological dissection of circuits and greatly extended understanding of their architecture...
June 2016: Journal of Neurogenetics
Eric J Horstick, Thomas Mueller, Harold A Burgess
Over the course of each day, animals prioritize different objectives. Immediate goals may reflect fluctuating internal homeostatic demands, prompting individuals to seek out energy supplies or warmth. At other times, the environment may present temporary challenges or opportunities. Homeostatic demands and environmental signals often elicit persistent changes in an animal's behavior to meet needs and challenges over extended periods of time. These changes reflect the underlying motivational state of the animal...
June 2016: Journal of Neurogenetics
Greer S Kirshenbaum, Nagi F Idris, James Dachtler, John C Roder, Steven J Clapcote
Social behavioral deficits have been observed in patients diagnosed with alternating hemiplegia of childhood (AHC), rapid-onset dystonia-parkinsonism and CAPOS syndrome, in which specific missense mutations in ATP1A3, encoding the Na(+), K(+)-ATPase α3 subunit, have been identified. To test the hypothesis that social behavioral deficits represent part of the phenotype of Na(+), K(+)-ATPase α3 mutations, we assessed the social behavior of the Myshkin mouse model of AHC, which has an I810N mutation identical to that found in an AHC patient with co-morbid autism...
March 2016: Journal of Neurogenetics
Terrence McDonald, Hongyu A Liang, Raul Sanoja, Anthony L Gotter, Scott D Kuduk, Paul J Coleman, Karen M Smith, Christopher J Winrow, John J Renger
Orexin signaling, known to modulate arousal and vigilance, is also involved in nociception as orexin neurons project to regions of the brain and spinal cord involved in pain processing, and the administration of orexin peptides can alter pain response in a wide range of preclinical models. Pharmacological treatment with the potent, selective and structurally distinct dual orexin receptor antagonists (ORAs) DORA-12 and DORA-2 significantly reduced pain responses during both phases I and II of the mouse formalin pain model and significantly reversed hyperalgesia in the rat complete Freund's adjuvant pain model, respectively...
March 2016: Journal of Neurogenetics
Philipp Backhaus, Tobias Langenhan, Kirsa Neuser
Clostridial neurotoxins (botulinum toxins and tetanus toxin) disrupt neurotransmitter release by cleaving neuronal SNARE proteins. We generated transgenic flies allowing for conditional expression of different botulinum toxins and evaluated their potential as tools for the analysis of synaptic and neuronal network function in Drosophila melanogaster by applying biochemical assays and behavioral analysis. On the biochemical level, cleavage assays in cultured Drosophila S2 cells were performed and the cleavage efficiency was assessed via western blot analysis...
March 2016: Journal of Neurogenetics
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