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Developmental Neurobiology

Christine K Wagner, Princy Quadros-Mennella
Steroid hormones activate nuclear receptors which, as transcription factors, can regulate critical aspects of neural development. Many regions of the rat forebrain, midbrain and hindbrain express progestin receptors (PR) during perinatal life, suggesting that progesterone may play an important role in the development of the brain. An immunohistochemical approach using two antibodies with differential recognition of ligand-bound PR was used to examine whether fetuses are exposed to maternal progesterone during pregnancy and whether progesterone from maternal circulation can bind to PR within the fetal brain...
October 14, 2016: Developmental Neurobiology
Henrik Gezelius, Guillermina Lopez-Bendito
The thalamus is a central structure of the brain, primarily recognized for the relay of incoming sensory and motor information to the cerebral cortex but also key in high order intracortical communication. It consists of glutamatergic projection neurons organized in several distinct nuclei, each having a stereotype connectivity pattern and functional roles. In the adult these nuclei can be appreciated by architectural boundaries, though their developmental origin and specification is only recently beginning to be revealed...
October 14, 2016: Developmental Neurobiology
Daniel Morales, Artur Kania
Neural circuit development involves the coordinated growth and guidance of axons to their targets. Following the identification of many guidance cue molecules, recent experiments have focussed on the interactions of their signalling cascades, which can be generally classified as additive or non-additive depending on the signal convergence point. While additive (parallel) signalling suggests limited molecular interaction between the pathways, non-additive signalling involves crosstalk between pathways and includes more complex synergistic, hierarchical, and permissive guidance cue relationships...
October 14, 2016: Developmental Neurobiology
Jeff Walker, Jason MacLean, Nicholas G Hatsopoulos
The common marmoset has recently gained interest as an animal model for systems and behavioral neuroscience. This is due in part to the advent of transgenic marmosets, which affords the possibility of combining genetic manipulations with physiological recording and behavioral monitoring to study neural systems. In this review, we will argue that the marmoset provides a unique opportunity to study the neural basis of voluntary motor control from an integrative perspective. First, as an intermediate animal model, the marmoset represents an important bridge in motor system function between other primates, including humans, and rodents...
October 14, 2016: Developmental Neurobiology
Steven J Eliades, Cory T Miller
There has been recent increasing interest in the use of marmosets, a New World primate species, as a model in biomedical research. One of the principal advantages of marmosets as a research model is their rich vocal repertoire and communicative vocal behaviors displayed both in the wild and in captivity. Studies of this species' vocal communication system have the potential to reveal the evolutionary underpinnings of human speech, and therefore are of interest to the neuroscience and biology research communities...
October 14, 2016: Developmental Neurobiology
J Alex Strahan, William H Walker, Taylor R Montgomery, Nancy G Forger
Minocycline, an antibiotic of the tetracycline family, inhibits microglia in many paradigms and is among the most commonly used tools for examining the role of microglia in physiological processes. Microglia may play an active role in triggering developmental neuronal cell death, although findings have been contradictory. To determine whether microglia influence developmental cell death, we treated perinatal mice with minocycline (45 mg/kg) and quantified effects on dying cells and microglial labeling using immunohistochemistry for activated caspase-3 (AC3) and ionized calcium-binding adapter molecule 1 (Iba1), respectively...
October 5, 2016: Developmental Neurobiology
Quentin Welniarz, Isabelle Dusart, Emmanuel Roze
The corticospinal tract (CST) plays a major role in cortical control of spinal cord activity. In particular, it is the principal motor pathway for voluntary movements. Here, we discuss: (i) the anatomic evolution and development of the CST across mammalian species, focusing on its role in motor functions; (ii) the molecular mechanisms regulating corticospinal tract formation and guidance during mouse development; and (iii) human disorders associated with abnormal CST development. A comparison of CST anatomy and development across mammalian species first highlights important similarities...
October 5, 2016: Developmental Neurobiology
Nicola Schiel, Antonio Souto
Callithrix jacchus are small-bodied Neotropical primates popularly known as common marmosets. They are endemic to Northeast Brazil and occur in contrasting environments such as the humid Atlantic Forest and the dry scrub forest of the Caatinga. Common marmosets live in social groups, usually containing only one breeding pair. These primates have a parental care system in which individuals help by providing assistance to the infants even when they are not related to them. Free-ranging groups use relatively small home ranges (0...
October 5, 2016: Developmental Neurobiology
Akiya Watakabe, Osamu Sadakane, Katsusuke Hata, Masanari Ohtsuka, Masafumi Takaji, Tetsuo Yamamori
It is important to study the neural connectivities and functions in primates. For this purpose, it is critical to be able to transfer genes to certain neurons in the primate brain so that we can image the neuronal signals and analyze the function of the transferred gene. Toward this end, our team has been developing gene transfer systems using viral vectors. In this review, we summarize our current achievements as follows. 1) We compared the features of gene transfer using five different AAV serotypes in combination with three different promoters, namely, CMV, mouse CaMKII (CaMKII), and human synapsin 1 (hSyn1), in the marmoset cortex with those in the mouse and macaque cortices...
October 5, 2016: Developmental Neurobiology
Afonso C Silva
The common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus) is a small New World monkey that has gained significant recent interest in neuroscience research, not only because of its compatibility with gene editing techniques, but also due to its tremendous versatility as an experimental animal model. Neuroimaging modalities, including anatomical (MRI) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), complemented by two-photon laser scanning microscopy and electrophysiology, have been at the forefront of unraveling the anatomical and functional organization of the marmoset brain...
October 5, 2016: Developmental Neurobiology
Stephanie E Zimmer, Steven G Doll, A Denise R Garcia, Michael R Akins
The autism-related protein Fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP) is an RNA binding protein that plays important roles during both nervous system development and experience dependent plasticity. Alternative splicing of the Fmr1 locus gives rise to 12 different FMRP splice forms that differ in the functional and regulatory domains they contain as well as in their expression profile among brain regions and across development. Complete loss of FMRP leads to morphological and functional changes in neurons, including an increase in the size and complexity of the axonal arbor...
September 19, 2016: Developmental Neurobiology
Bianca J Marlin, Robert C Froemke
Oxytocin is a hypothalamic neuropeptide that has gained attention for the effects on social behavior. Recent findings shed new light on the mechanisms of oxytocin in synaptic plasticity and adaptively modifying neural circuits for social interactions such as conspecific recognition, pair bonding, and maternal care. Here, we review several of these newer studies on oxytocin in the context of previous findings, with an emphasis on social behavior and circuit plasticity in various brain regions shown to be enriched for oxytocin receptors...
September 14, 2016: Developmental Neurobiology
Mariya S Spasova, Xiaodi Chen, Grazyna B Sadowska, Edward R Horton, Yow-Pin Lim, Barbara S Stonestreet
Hypoxic-ischemic (HI) brain injury is a major cause of neurological abnormalities in the perinatal period. Inflammation contributes to the evolution of HI brain injury. Inter-alpha inhibitor proteins (IAIPs) are a family of proteins that are part of the innate immune system. We have reported that endogenous IAIPs exhibit developmental changes in ovine brain and that exogenous IAIP treatment reduces neuronal death in HI neonatal rats. However, the effects of HI on endogenous IAIPs in brain have not been previously examined...
September 12, 2016: Developmental Neurobiology
Olga PeƱagarikano
Autism spectrum disorder is a behavioral disorder characterized by impairments in social interaction and communication together with the presence of stereotyped behaviors and restricted interests. Although highly genetic, its etiology is complex which correlates with the extensive heterogeneity found in its clinical manifestation, adding to the challenge of understanding its pathophysiology and develop targeted pharmacotherapies. The neuropeptide oxytocin is part of a highly conserved system involved in the regulation of social behavior, and both animal and human research have shown that variation in the oxytocin system accounts for interindividual differences in the expression of social behaviors in mammals...
September 7, 2016: Developmental Neurobiology
Sara Sannino, Bice Chini, Valery Grinevich
The hypothalamic neuropeptide oxytocin (OT) is a forefront molecule among neuropeptides due to its pronounced pro-social effects and its potential use in socio-emotional deficits that characterize the most prevalent neurodevelopmental and psychiatric disorders (autism spectrum disorders and schizophrenia). The effects of OT have been studied in young and adult subjects (either animals or humans), while the complete lifespan trajectories of OT system development and activity have been far less investigated. In this (mini) review, we will primarily focus on three temporal distinct periods of life - early postnatal period, puberty/adolescence and elderly...
September 7, 2016: Developmental Neurobiology
K E Boschen, S E McKeown, T L Roth, A Y Klintsova
Alcohol exposure in utero can result in Fetal Alcohol Spectrums Disorders (FASD). Measures of hippocampal neuroplasticity, including long-term potentiation, synaptic and dendritic organization, and adult neurogenesis, are consistently disrupted in rodent models of FASD. The current study investigated whether third trimester-equivalent binge-like alcohol exposure (AE) [postnatal days (PD) 4-9] affects dendritic morphology of immature dentate gyrus granule cells, and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (Bdnf) gene expression and DNA methylation in hippocampal tissue in adult male rats...
September 6, 2016: Developmental Neurobiology
L Oikonomidis, A Santangelo, Y Shiba, H Clarke, T W Robbins, A C Roberts
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
September 2, 2016: Developmental Neurobiology
I Martha Skerrett, Jamal Williams
Methods such as electron microscopy and electrophysiology led to the understanding that gap junctions were dense arrays of channels connecting the intracellular environments within almost all animal tissues. The characteristics of gap junctions were remarkably similar in preparations from phylogenetically diverse animals such as cnidarians and chordates. Although few studies directly compared them, minor differences were noted between gap junctions of vertebrates and invertebrates. For instance, a slightly wider gap was noted between cells of invertebrates and the spacing between invertebrate channels was generally greater...
September 1, 2016: Developmental Neurobiology
Yi Cai, Cory Chew, Fernando MuƱoz, Dale R Sengelaub
Partial depletion of spinal motoneuron populations induces dendritic atrophy in neighboring motoneurons, and treatment with testosterone is neuroprotective, attenuating induced dendritic atrophy. In this study we examined whether the protective effects of testosterone could be mediated via its androgenic or estrogenic metabolites. Furthermore, to assess whether these neuroprotective effects were mediated through steroid hormone receptors, we used receptor antagonists to attempt to prevent the neuroprotective effects of hormones after partial motoneuron depletion...
August 29, 2016: Developmental Neurobiology
Heather K Caldwell, Elizabeth A Aulino, Angela R Freeman, Travis V Miller, Shannah K Witchey
It is well established that the nonapeptide oxytocin (Oxt) is important for the neural modulation of behaviors in many mammalian species. Since its discovery in 1906 and synthesis in the early 1950s, elegant pharmacological work has helped identify specific neural substrates on which Oxt exerts its effects. More recently, mice with targeted genetic disruptions of the Oxt system, i.e. both the peptide and its receptor (the Oxtr), have further defined Oxt's actions and laid some important scientific groundwork for studies in other species...
August 11, 2016: Developmental Neurobiology
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