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Molecular Brain

Bhagirathi Dash, Sulayman D Dib-Hajj, Stephen G Waxman
The alpha1 (α1) subunit of the sodium/potassium ATPase (i.e., Na+ /K+ -ATPase α1), the prototypical sodium pump, is expressed in each eukaryotic cell. They pump out three sodium ions in exchange for two extracellular potassium ions to establish a cellular electrochemical gradient important for firing of neuronal and cardiac action potentials. We hypothesized that myosin (myo or myh) motor proteins might interact with Na+ /K+ -ATPase α1 subunits in order for them to play an important role in the transport and trafficking of sodium pump...
August 7, 2018: Molecular Brain
Jung-Hwa Tao-Cheng
Neurons exhibit stimulation-induced ultrastructural changes such as increase of thickness and curvature of the postsynaptic density, decrease in contact area between subsurface cistern and plasma membrane, and formation of CaMKII clusters and synaptic spinules. These structural characteristics help in identifying the activity state of the neuron and should be taken into consideration when interpreting ultrastructural features of the neurons. Here in organotypic hippocampal slice cultures where experimental conditions can be easily manipulated, two additional features are documented in forebrain neurons as reliable benchmarks for stimulation-induced structural changes: (1) The neuronal nucleus showed conspicuous clustering of dark chromatin, and (2) the endoplasmic reticulum formed stacks with a uniform gap of ~ 13 nm filled with dark materials...
July 27, 2018: Molecular Brain
Danae Campos-Melo, Zachary C E Hawley, Michael J Strong
Neurofilaments (NFs) are the most abundant cytoskeletal component of vertebrate myelinated axons. NFs function by determining axonal caliber, promoting axonal growth and forming a 3-dimensional lattice that supports the organization of cytoplasmic organelles. The stoichiometry of NF protein subunits (NFL, NFM and NFH) has to be tightly controlled to avoid the formation of NF neuronal cytoplasmic inclusions (NCIs), axonal degeneration and neuronal death, all pathological hallmarks of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)...
July 20, 2018: Molecular Brain
Hirotaka Shoji, Tsuyoshi Miyakawa
Prepulse inhibition (PPI) is the suppression of a startle reflex response to a startle stimulus that occurs when a weak prepulse stimulus precedes the startle stimulus. PPI is measured to assess sensorimotor gating across species, including humans and rodents. Reduced PPI, which is thought to reflect dysfunction of sensorimotor gating, is reported in patients with psychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and in animal models of these disorders...
July 13, 2018: Molecular Brain
Beatrice Bianchi, Paul A Smith, Hugues Abriel
Transient receptor potential melastatin member 4 (TRPM4), a Ca2+ -activated nonselective cation channel, has been found to mediate cell membrane depolarization in immune response, insulin secretion, cardiovascular diseases, and cancer. In murine experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), TRPM4 deletion and administration of glibenclamide were found to ameliorate clinical symptoms and attenuate disease progression. However, the exact role of TRPM4 in EAE, as well as the molecular mechanisms underlining TRPM4 contribution in EAE, remain largely unclear...
July 11, 2018: Molecular Brain
Viacheslav Viatchenko-Karpinski, Jennifer Ling, Jianguo G Gu
Leak K+ currents are mediated by two-pore domain K+ (K2P) channels and are involved in controlling neuronal excitability. Of 15 members of K2P channels cloned so far, TRAAK, TREK-1, and TREK-2 are temperature sensitive. In the present study, we show that strong immunoreactivity of TRAAK, TREK-1 and TREK-2 channels was present mainly in small-sized dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons of rats. The percentages of neurons with strong immunoreactivity of TRAAK, TREK-1 and TREK-2 channels were 27, 23, and 20%, respectively...
July 6, 2018: Molecular Brain
Hideo Hagihara, Masayo Fujita, Juzoh Umemori, Makoto Hashimoto, Tsuyoshi Miyakawa
AIM: Maturation abnormalities of the brain cells have been suggested in several neuropsychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, autism spectrum disorders, and epilepsy. In this study, we examined the expression patterns of neuronal maturation markers in the brain of a mouse model of dementia with Lewy body-linked mutant β-synuclein (βS), especially in the hippocampus, to explore whether such brain abnormalities occur in neurodegenerative disorders as well. METHODS: Quantitative PCR (qPCR) and immunohistochemical analyses were performed using the hippocampus of 14-month-old P123H βS transgenic (Tg) mice to evaluate the expression of molecular markers for maturation of dentate granule cells...
July 6, 2018: Molecular Brain
Shin-Young Park, Min-Jeong Kang, Joong-Soo Han
Pro-inflammatory cytokine interleukin-1 beta (IL-1β) is a key mediator of inflammation and stress in the central nervous system (CNS), and is highly expressed in the developing brain. In this study, we investigated the possible role of IL-1β in neuronal differentiation of cortical neural precursor cells (NPCs). We showed that stimulation with IL-1β increased expression levels of neurotrophin-3 (NT3) and neurogenin 1 (Ngn1) and promoted neurite outgrowth. We also found that IL-1β increased mRNA and protein levels of Wnt5a...
July 4, 2018: Molecular Brain
Hanwoong Woo, Caroline Jeeyeon Hong, Seonghee Jung, Seongwon Choe, Seong-Woon Yu
Chronic stress is a psychologically significant factor that impairs learning and memory in the hippocampus. Insulin signaling is important for the development and cognitive function of the hippocampus. However, the relation between chronic stress and insulin signaling at the molecular level is poorly understood. Here, we show that chronic stress impairs insulin signaling in vitro and in vivo, and thereby induces deficits in hippocampal spatial working memory and neurobehavior. Corticosterone treatment of mouse hippocampal neurons in vitro caused neurotoxicity with an increase in the markers of autophagy but not apoptosis...
July 3, 2018: Molecular Brain
Julie Ry Gustafsson, Georgia Katsioudi, Matilda Degn, Patrick Ejlerskov, Shohreh Issazadeh-Navikas, Birgitte Rahbek Kornum
Major Histocompability Complex I (MHC-I) molecules present cellularly derived peptides to the adaptive immune system. Generally MHC-I is not expressed on healthy post-mitotic neurons in the central nervous system, but it is known to increase upon immune activation such as viral infections and also during neurodegenerative processes. MHC-I expression is known to be regulated by the DNA methyltransferase DNMT1 in non-neuronal cells. Interestingly DNMT1 expression is high in neurons despite these being non-dividing...
July 3, 2018: Molecular Brain
Le Shen, Weijia Wang, Siyu Li, Jing Qin, Yuguang Huang
Pruritus is the most common complication of intrathecal morphine; however, its exact molecular mechanism is unclear, and treatment is challenging. The analgesic effect of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonists and the morphine-associated increase in NMDA receptor activation suggest potential role of NMDA receptor in the spinal itch sensation. Male C57BL/6 mice were given intrathecal morphine to induce scratching behavior. The effects of NMDA, ketamine, ifenprodil and U0126 on morphine-induced pruritus and analgesia were evaluated also...
June 28, 2018: Molecular Brain
Dale B Bosco, Jiaying Zheng, Zhiyan Xu, Jiyun Peng, Ukpong B Eyo, Ke Tang, Cheng Yan, Jun Huang, Lijie Feng, Gongxiong Wu, Jason R Richardson, Hui Wang, Long-Jun Wu
Microglia have been shown to be of critical importance to the progression of temporal lobe epilepsy. However, the broad transcriptional changes that these cells undergo following seizure induction is not well understood. As such, we utilized RNAseq analysis upon microglia isolated from the hippocampus to determine expression pattern alterations following kainic acid induced seizure. We determined that microglia undergo dramatic changes to their expression patterns, particularly with regard to mitochondrial activity and metabolism...
June 20, 2018: Molecular Brain
Anna Shin, Jeonghoon Woo, Jung Eun Kim, Daesoo Kim
Drowsiness is an awake state with increased sleep drive, yet the neural correlates and underlying mechanisms remains unclear. Here, we established a mouse model of drowsiness, where mice are fasted for 1 day and then allowed to overeat high-fat food (to promote sleep) while positioned in an open-field box (to promote vigilance). They fall into a long-lasting drowsy state, as reflected by repeated and open-eyed nodding of the head while in a standing position. Simultaneous recording of electroencephalogram (EEG) and neck electromyogram (EMG) readouts revealed that this drowsy state including nodding state had multiple stages in terms of the relationship between the level of vigilance and head movement: delta oscillations decreased in power prior to the head-nodding period and increased during the non-nodding period...
June 7, 2018: Molecular Brain
Fang Xu, Dong-Qing Shi, Pak-Ming Lau, Michael Z Lin, Guo-Qiang Bi
Recent interest in high-throughput recording of neuronal activity has motivated rapid improvements in genetically encoded calcium or voltage indicators (GECIs or GEVIs) for all-optical electrophysiology. Among these probes, the ASAPs, a series of voltage indicators based on a variant of circularly permuted green fluorescent protein (cpGFP) and a conjugated voltage sensitive domain (VSD), are capable of detecting both action potentials and subthreshold neuronal activities. Here we show that the ASAPs, when excited by blue light, undergo reversible photobleaching...
June 4, 2018: Molecular Brain
Dong-Yun Jiang, Zheng Wu, Cody Tieu Forsyth, Yi Hu, Siu-Pok Yee, Gong Chen
Schizophrenia (SCZ) is a severe mental disorder characterized by delusion, hallucination, and cognitive deficits. We have previously identified from schizophrenia patients a loss-of-function mutation Arg215 →His215 (R215H) of neuroligin 2 (NLGN2) gene, which encodes a cell adhesion molecule critical for GABAergic synapse formation and function. Here, we generated a novel transgenic mouse line with neuroligin-2 (NL2) R215H mutation. The single point mutation caused a significant loss of NL2 protein in vivo, reduced GABAergic transmission, and impaired hippocampal activation...
June 1, 2018: Molecular Brain
Shun Mitsui, Asako Otomo, Masahisa Nozaki, Suzuka Ono, Kai Sato, Ryohei Shirakawa, Hiroaki Adachi, Masashi Aoki, Gen Sobue, Hui-Fang Shang, Shinji Hadano
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease characterized by a selective loss of upper and lower motor neurons. Recent studies have shown that mutations in SQSTM1 are linked to ALS. SQSTM1 encodes SQSTM1/p62 that regulates not only autophagy via the association with MAP1LC3/LC3 and ubiquitinated proteins but also the KEAP1-NFE2L2/Nrf2 anti-oxidative stress pathway by interacting with KEAP1. Previously, we have demonstrated that loss of SQSTM1 exacerbates disease phenotypes in a SOD1H46R -expressing ALS mouse model...
May 29, 2018: Molecular Brain
Goun Je, Subhrangshu Guhathakurta, Seung Pil Yun, Han Seok Ko, Yoon-Seong Kim
Alpha-synuclein (α-SYN) is one of the key contributors in Parkinson's disease (PD) pathogenesis. Despite the fact that increased α-SYN levels are considered one of the key contributors in developing PD, the molecular mechanisms underlying the regulation of α-SYN still needs to be elucidated. Since the 3' untranslated regions (3'UTRs) of messenger RNAs (mRNAs) have important roles in translation, localization, and stability of mRNAs through RNA binding proteins (RBPs) and microRNAs (miRNAs), it is important to identify the exact length of 3'UTRs of transcripts in order to understand the precise regulation of gene expression...
May 25, 2018: Molecular Brain
Tsutomu Sasaki, Rika Numano, Hiromi Yokota-Hashimoto, Sho Matsui, Naobumi Kimura, Hideyuki Takeuchi, Tadahiro Kitamura
A high-fat diet (HFD) causes obesity by promoting excessive energy intake, and simultaneously, by disturbing the timing of energy intake. Restoring the feeding pattern is sufficient to prevent HFD-induced obesity in mice. However, the molecular mechanism(s) underlying HFD-induced feeding pattern disturbances remain elusive. Saturated fatty acids activate microglia and cause hypothalamic inflammation. Activated microglia cause neuroinflammation, which spreads via inflammatory cytokines and gap-junction hemichannels...
May 24, 2018: Molecular Brain
Kazuhiro Maeta, Satoko Hattori, Junji Ikutomo, Hironori Edamatsu, Shymaa E Bilasy, Tsuyoshi Miyakawa, Tohru Kataoka
Rapgef2 and Rapgef6 define a subfamily of guanine nucleotide exchange factors for Rap small GTPases, characterized by the possession of the Ras/Rap-associating domain. Previous genomic analyses suggested their possible involvement in the etiology of schizophrenia. We recently demonstrated the development of an ectopic cortical mass (ECM), which resembles the human subcortical band heterotopia, in the dorsal telencephalon-specific Rapgef2 conditional knockout (Rapgef2-cKO) brains. Additional knockout of Rapgef6 in Rapgef2-cKO mice resulted in gross enlargement of the ECM whereas knockout of Rapgef6 alone (Rapgef6-KO) had no discernible effect on the brain morphology...
May 10, 2018: Molecular Brain
Zoé Husson, Ewan St John Smith
Regulation of brain pH is a critical homeostatic process and changes in brain pH modulate various ion channels and receptors and thus neuronal excitability. Tissue acidosis, resulting from hypoxia or hypercapnia, can activate various proteins and ion channels, among which acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs) a family of primarily Na+ permeable ion channels, which alongside classical excitotoxicity causes neuronal death. Naked mole-rats (NMRs, Heterocephalus glaber) are long-lived, fossorial, eusocial rodents that display remarkable behavioral/cellular hypoxia and hypercapnia resistance...
May 9, 2018: Molecular Brain
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