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Frontiers in Neural Circuits

Adam Reichenthal, Mor Ben-Tov, Ronen Segev
Many studies have yielded valuable knowledge on the early visual system but it is biased since the studies have focused on terrestrial mammals alone. Here, to better account for visual systems in different environments and animal classes, we studied the structure of early visual processing in the archerfish which harnesses its extreme visual ability to hunt by shooting water jets at prey hanging on vegetation above the water. Thus, the archerfish provides a unique opportunity to study visual processing in a vertebrate which is an expert vision-guided predator with a very different brain structure than mammals...
2018: Frontiers in Neural Circuits
Philip E B Nickerson, Arturo Ortin-Martinez, Valerie A Wallace
Considerable research effort has been invested into the transplantation of mammalian photoreceptors into healthy and degenerating mouse eyes. Several platforms of rod and cone fluorescent reporting have been central to refining the isolation, purification and transplantation of photoreceptors. The tracking of engrafted cells, including identifying the position, morphology and degree of donor cell integration post-transplant is highly dependent on the use of fluorescent protein reporters. Improvements in imaging and analysis of transplant recipients have revealed that donor cell fluorescent reporters can transfer into host tissue though a process termed material exchange (ME)...
2018: Frontiers in Neural Circuits
Marie E Gaine, Snehajyoti Chatterjee, Ted Abel
Sleep deprivation disrupts the lives of millions of people every day and has a profound impact on the molecular biology of the brain. These effects begin as changes within a neuron, at the DNA and RNA level, and result in alterations in neuronal plasticity and dysregulation of many cognitive functions including learning and memory. The epigenome plays a critical role in regulating gene expression in the context of memory storage. In this review article, we begin by describing the effects of epigenetic alterations on the regulation of gene expression, focusing on the most common epigenetic mechanisms: (i) DNA methylation; (ii) histone modifications; and (iii) non-coding RNAs...
2018: Frontiers in Neural Circuits
Bo-Mi Song, Chi-Hon Lee
Many visual animals exploit spectral information for seeking food and mates, for identifying preys and predators, and for navigation. Animals use chromatic information in two ways. "True color vision," the ability to discriminate visual stimuli on the basis of their spectral content independent of brightness, is thought to play an important role in object identification. In contrast, "wavelength-specific behavior," which is strongly dependent on brightness, often associates with foraging, navigation, and other species-specific needs...
2018: Frontiers in Neural Circuits
Zhe Han, Xiaoxing Zhang, Jia Zhu, Yulei Chen, Chengyu T Li
Understanding neuronal mechanisms of learned behaviors requires efficient behavioral assays. We designed a high-throughput automatic training system (HATS) for olfactory behaviors in head-fixed mice. The hardware and software were constructed to enable automatic training with minimal human intervention. The integrated system was composed of customized 3D-printing supporting components, an odor-delivery unit with fast response, Arduino based hardware-controlling and data-acquisition unit. Furthermore, the customized software was designed to enable automatic training in all training phases, including lick-teaching, shaping and learning...
2018: Frontiers in Neural Circuits
Shinya Ito, David A Feldheim
The superior colliculus (SC) is a midbrain area where visual, auditory and somatosensory information are integrated to initiate motor commands. The SC plays a central role in visual information processing in the mouse; it receives projections from 85% to 90% of the retinal ganglion cells (RGCs). While the mouse SC has been a long-standing model used to study retinotopic map formation, a number of technological advances in mouse molecular genetic techniques, large-scale physiological recordings and SC-dependent visual behavioral assays have made the mouse an even more ideal model to understand the relationship between circuitry and behavior...
2018: Frontiers in Neural Circuits
Adrienne Mueller, Steven B Shepard, Tirin Moore
Dopamine signaling in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) is important for cognitive functions, yet very little is known about the expression of the D5 class of dopamine receptors (D5Rs) in this region. To address this, we co-stained for D5Rs, pyramidal neurons (neurogranin+), putative long-range projection pyramidal neurons (SMI-32+), and several classes of inhibitory interneuron (parvalbumin+, calbindin+, calretinin+, somatostatin+) within the frontal eye field (FEF): an area within the PFC involved in the control of visual spatial attention...
2018: Frontiers in Neural Circuits
Tomas Vega-Zuniga, Dominik Trost, Katrin Schicker, Eva M Bogner, Harald Luksch
Previous avian thalamic studies have shown that the medial ventral thalamus is composed of several nuclei located close to the lateral wall of the third ventricle. Although the general connectivity is known, detailed morphology and connectivity pattern in some regions are still elusive. Here, using the intracellular filling technique in the chicken, we focused on two neural structures, namely, the retinorecipient neuropil of the n. geniculatus lateralis pars ventralis (GLv), and the adjacent n. intercalatus thalami (ICT)...
2018: Frontiers in Neural Circuits
Gabriela L Carrillo, Jianmin Su, Aboozar Monavarfeshani, Michael A Fox
The suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) is the master pacemaker that drives circadian behaviors. SCN neurons have intrinsic, self-sustained rhythmicity that is governed by transcription-translation feedback loops. Intrinsic rhythms within the SCN do not match the day-night cycle and are therefore entrained by light-derived cues. Such cues are transmitted to the SCN by a class of intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGCs). In the present study, we sought to identify how axons from ipRGCs target the SCN...
2018: Frontiers in Neural Circuits
Paride Antinucci, Robert Hindges
Visual information is already processed in the retina before it is transmitted to higher visual centers in the brain. This includes the extraction of salient features from visual scenes, such as motion directionality or contrast, through neurons belonging to distinct neural circuits. Some retinal neurons are tuned to the orientation of elongated visual stimuli. Such 'orientation-selective' neurons are present in the retinae of most, if not all, vertebrate species analyzed to date, with species-specific differences in frequency and degree of tuning...
2018: Frontiers in Neural Circuits
Mitsuhiro Hashimoto, Akihiro Yamanaka, Shigeki Kato, Manabu Tanifuji, Kazuto Kobayashi, Hiroyuki Yaginuma
Cerebellar malformations cause changes to the sleep-wake cycle, resulting in sleep disturbance. However, it is unclear how the cerebellum contributes to the sleep-wake cycle. To examine the neural connections between the cerebellum and the nuclei involved in the sleep-wake cycle, we investigated the axonal projections of Purkinje cells in the mouse posterior vermis by using an adeno-associated virus (AAV) vector (serotype rh10) as an anterograde tracer. When an AAV vector expressing humanized renilla green fluorescent protein was injected into the cerebellar lobule IX, hrGFP and synaptophysin double-positive axonal terminals were observed in the region of medial parabrachial nucleus (MPB)...
2018: Frontiers in Neural Circuits
Robert Lindroos, Matthijs C Dorst, Kai Du, Marko Filipović, Daniel Keller, Maya Ketzef, Alexander K Kozlov, Arvind Kumar, Mikael Lindahl, Anu G Nair, Juan Pérez-Fernández, Sten Grillner, Gilad Silberberg, Jeanette Hellgren Kotaleski
The basal ganglia are involved in the motivational and habitual control of motor and cognitive behaviors. Striatum, the largest basal ganglia input stage, integrates cortical and thalamic inputs in functionally segregated cortico-basal ganglia-thalamic loops, and in addition the basal ganglia output nuclei control targets in the brainstem. Striatal function depends on the balance between the direct pathway medium spiny neurons (D1-MSNs) that express D1 dopamine receptors and the indirect pathway MSNs that express D2 dopamine receptors...
2018: Frontiers in Neural Circuits
Choongseok Park, Katie N Clements, Fadi A Issa, Sungwoo Ahn
While the effects of social experience on nervous system function have been extensively investigated in both vertebrate and invertebrate systems, our understanding of how social status differentially affects learning remains limited. In the context of habituation, a well-characterized form of non-associative learning, we investigated how the learning processes differ between socially dominant and subordinate in zebrafish ( Danio rerio ). We found that social status and frequency of stimulus inputs influence the habituation rate of short latency C-start escape response that is initiated by the Mauthner neuron (M-cell)...
2018: Frontiers in Neural Circuits
Andreas Bjorefeldt, Sebastian Illes, Henrik Zetterberg, Eric Hanse
The cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) occupies the brain's ventricles and subarachnoid space and, together with the interstitial fluid (ISF), forms a continuous fluidic network that bathes all cells of the central nervous system (CNS). As such, the CSF is well positioned to actively distribute neuromodulators to neural circuits in vivo via volume transmission. Recent in vitro experimental work in brain slices and neuronal cultures has shown that human CSF indeed contains neuromodulators that strongly influence neuronal activity...
2018: Frontiers in Neural Circuits
Jennifer J Coppola, Anita A Disney
Acetylcholine (ACh) is believed to act as a neuromodulator in cortical circuits that support cognition, specifically in processes including learning, memory consolidation, vigilance, arousal and attention. The cholinergic modulation of cortical processes is studied in many model systems including rodents, cats and primates. Further, these studies are performed in cortical areas ranging from the primary visual cortex to the prefrontal cortex and using diverse methodologies. The results of these studies have been combined into singular models of function-a practice based on an implicit assumption that the various model systems are equivalent and interchangeable...
2018: Frontiers in Neural Circuits
Xiao Yu, Nicholas P Franks, William Wisden
Sedatives target just a handful of receptors and ion channels. But we have no satisfying explanation for how activating these receptors produces sedation. In particular, do sedatives act at restricted brain locations and circuitries or more widely? Two prominent sedative drugs in clinical use are zolpidem, a GABAA receptor positive allosteric modulator, and dexmedetomidine (DEX), a selective α2 adrenergic receptor agonist. By targeting hypothalamic neuromodulatory systems both drugs induce a sleep-like state, but in different ways: zolpidem primarily reduces the latency to NREM sleep, and is a controlled substance taken by many people to help them sleep; DEX produces prominent slow wave activity in the electroencephalogram (EEG) resembling stage 2 NREM sleep, but with complications of hypothermia and lowered blood pressure-it is used for long term sedation in hospital intensive care units-under DEX-induced sedation patients are arousable and responsive, and this drug reduces the risk of delirium...
2018: Frontiers in Neural Circuits
Emily K Stephens, Arielle L Baker, Allan T Gulledge
Serotonin (5-HT) selectively excites subpopulations of pyramidal neurons in the neocortex via activation of 5-HT2A (2A) receptors coupled to Gq subtype G-protein alpha subunits. Gq-mediated excitatory responses have been attributed primarily to suppression of potassium conductances, including those mediated by KV7 potassium channels (i.e., the M-current), or activation of non-specific cation conductances that underlie calcium-dependent afterdepolarizations (ADPs). However, 2A-dependent excitation of cortical neurons has not been extensively studied, and no consensus exists regarding the underlying ionic effector(s) involved...
2018: Frontiers in Neural Circuits
Camila S Deolindo, Ana C B Kunicki, Maria I da Silva, Fabrício Lima Brasil, Renan C Moioli
Accumulating evidence suggests that neural interactions are distributed and relate to animal behavior, but many open questions remain. The neural assembly hypothesis, formulated by Hebb, states that synchronously active single neurons may transiently organize into functional neural circuits-neuronal assemblies (NAs)-and that would constitute the fundamental unit of information processing in the brain. However, the formation, vanishing, and temporal evolution of NAs are not fully understood. In particular, characterizing NAs in multiple brain regions over the course of behavioral tasks is relevant to assess the highly distributed nature of brain processing...
2017: Frontiers in Neural Circuits
Shea N Gillet, Hiroyuki K Kato, Marissa A Justen, Mandy Lai, Jeffry S Isaacson
Projections from auditory cortex to the amygdala are thought to contribute to the induction of auditory fear learning. In addition, fear conditioning has been found to enhance cortical responses to conditioned tones, suggesting that cortical plasticity contributes to fear learning. However, the functional role of auditory cortex in the retrieval of fear memories is unclear and how fear learning regulates cortical sensory representations is not well understood. To address these questions, we use acute optogenetic silencing and chronic two-photon calcium imaging in mouse auditory cortex during fear learning...
2017: Frontiers in Neural Circuits
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