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Frontiers in Synaptic Neuroscience

Eriola Hoxha, Filippo Tempia, Pellegrino Lippiello, Maria Concetta Miniaci
The parallel fiber-Purkinje cell (PF-PC) synapse represents the point of maximal signal divergence in the cerebellar cortex with an estimated number of about 60 billion synaptic contacts in the rat and 100,000 billions in humans. At the same time, the Purkinje cell dendritic tree is a site of remarkable convergence of more than 100,000 parallel fiber synapses. Parallel fiber activity generates fast postsynaptic currents via α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) receptors, and slower signals, mediated by mGlu1 receptors, resulting in Purkinje cell depolarization accompanied by sharp calcium elevation within dendritic regions...
2016: Frontiers in Synaptic Neuroscience
Anna Tchenio, Kristina Valentinova, Manuel Mameli
The lateral habenula (LHb) and the serotonergic system both contribute to motivational states by encoding rewarding and aversive signals. Converging evidence suggests that perturbation of these systems is critical for the pathophysiology of mood disorders. Anatomical and functional studies indicate that the serotonergic system and the LHb are interconnected in a forward-feedback loop. However, how serotonin release modifies the synaptic and cellular properties of LHb neurons and whether this has any behavioral repercussions remain poorly investigated...
2016: Frontiers in Synaptic Neuroscience
Jesús J Ballesteros, Arne Buschler, Georg Köhr, Denise Manahan-Vaughan
The glutamatergic N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) is critically involved in many forms of hippocampus-dependent memory that may be enabled by synaptic plasticity. Behavioral studies with NMDAR antagonists and NMDAR subunit (GluN2) mutants revealed distinct contributions from GluN2A- and GluN2B-containing NMDARs to rapidly and slowly acquired memory performance. Furthermore, studies of synaptic plasticity, in genetically modified mice in vitro, suggest that GluN2A and GluN2B may contribute in different ways to the induction and longevity of synaptic plasticity...
2016: Frontiers in Synaptic Neuroscience
Luke Y Prince, Travis J Bacon, Cezar M Tigaret, Jack R Mellor
The feedforward dentate gyrus-CA3 microcircuit in the hippocampus is thought to activate ensembles of CA3 pyramidal cells and interneurons to encode and retrieve episodic memories. The creation of these CA3 ensembles depends on neuromodulatory input and synaptic plasticity within this microcircuit. Here we review the mechanisms by which the neuromodulators aceylcholine, noradrenaline, dopamine, and serotonin reconfigure this microcircuit and thereby infer the net effect of these modulators on the processes of episodic memory encoding and retrieval...
2016: Frontiers in Synaptic Neuroscience
Hannah Twarkowski, Denise Manahan-Vaughan
Neuromodulation by means of the catecholaminergic system is a key component of motivation-driven learning and behaviorally modulated hippocampal synaptic plasticity. In particular, dopamine acting on D1/D5 receptors and noradrenaline acting on beta-adrenergic receptors exert a very potent regulation of forms of hippocampal synaptic plasticity that last for very long-periods of time (>24 h), and occur in conjunction with novel spatial learning. Antagonism of these receptors not only prevents long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD), but prevents the memory of the spatial event that, under normal circumstances, leads to the perpetuation of these plasticity forms...
2016: Frontiers in Synaptic Neuroscience
Hardy Hagena, Denise Manahan-Vaughan
Although the mossy fiber (MF) synapses of the hippocampal CA3 region display quite distinct properties in terms of the molecular mechanisms that underlie synaptic plasticity, they nonetheless exhibit persistent (>24 h) synaptic plasticity that is akin to that observed at the Schaffer collateral (SCH)-CA1 and perforant path (PP)-dentate gyrus (DG) synapses of freely behaving rats. In addition, they also respond to novel spatial learning with very enduring forms of long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD)...
2016: Frontiers in Synaptic Neuroscience
Seok-Kyu Kwon, Yusuke Hirabayashi, Franck Polleux
Calcium (Ca(2+)) plays innumerable critical functions in neurons ranging from regulation of neurotransmitter release and synaptic plasticity to activity-dependent transcription. Therefore, more than any other cell types, neurons are critically dependent on spatially and temporally controlled Ca(2+) dynamics. This is achieved through an exquisite level of compartmentalization of Ca(2+) storage and release from various organelles. The function of these organelles in the regulation of Ca(2+) dynamics has been studied for decades using electrophysiological and optical methods combined with pharmacological and genetic alterations...
2016: Frontiers in Synaptic Neuroscience
Marco Atzori, Roberto Cuevas-Olguin, Eric Esquivel-Rendon, Francisco Garcia-Oscos, Roberto C Salgado-Delgado, Nadia Saderi, Marcela Miranda-Morales, Mario Treviño, Juan C Pineda, Humberto Salgado
Norepinephrine (NE) is synthesized in the Locus Coeruleus (LC) of the brainstem, from where it is released by axonal varicosities throughout the brain via volume transmission. A wealth of data from clinics and from animal models indicates that this catecholamine coordinates the activity of the central nervous system (CNS) and of the whole organism by modulating cell function in a vast number of brain areas in a coordinated manner. The ubiquity of NE receptors, the daunting number of cerebral areas regulated by the catecholamine, as well as the variety of cellular effects and of their timescales have contributed so far to defeat the attempts to integrate central adrenergic function into a unitary and coherent framework...
2016: Frontiers in Synaptic Neuroscience
Silvio O Rizzoli, Lucia Tabares
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
2016: Frontiers in Synaptic Neuroscience
Isabell Begemann, Milos Galic
Many core paradigms of contemporary neuroscience are based on information obtained by electron or light microscopy. Intriguingly, these two imaging techniques are often viewed as complementary, yet separate entities. Recent technological advancements in microscopy techniques, labeling tools, and fixation or preparation procedures have fueled the development of a series of hybrid approaches that allow correlating functional fluorescence microscopy data and ultrastructural information from electron micrographs from a singular biological event...
2016: Frontiers in Synaptic Neuroscience
Tatyana O Sharpee
Parsing the visual scene into objects is paramount to survival. Yet, how this is accomplished by the nervous system remains largely unknown, even in the comparatively well understood visual system. It is especially unclear how detailed peripheral signal representations are transformed into the object-oriented representations that are independent of object position and are provided by the final stages of visual processing. This perspective discusses advances in computational algorithms for fitting large-scale models that make it possible to reconstruct the intermediate steps of visual processing based on neural responses to natural stimuli...
2016: Frontiers in Synaptic Neuroscience
Shigeki Watanabe
Electron microscopy depicts subcellular structures at synapses exquisitely but only captures static images. To visualize membrane dynamics, we have developed a novel technique, called flash-and-freeze, which induces neuronal activity with a flash of light and captures the membrane dynamics by rapid freezing. For characterizing membrane movements during synaptic transmission, a light-sensitive cation channel, channelrhodopsin, is heterologously expressed in mouse hippocampal neurons or in Caenorhabditis elegans motor neurons...
2016: Frontiers in Synaptic Neuroscience
Ayse Dosemeci, Richard J Weinberg, Thomas S Reese, Jung-Hwa Tao-Cheng
The postsynaptic density (PSD), apparent in electron micrographs as a dense lamina just beneath the postsynaptic membrane, includes a deeper layer, the "pallium", containing a scaffold of Shank and Homer proteins. Though poorly defined in traditionally prepared thin-section electron micrographs, the pallium becomes denser and more conspicuous during intense synaptic activity, due to the reversible addition of CaMKII and other proteins. In this Perspective article, we review the significance of CaMKII-mediated recruitment of proteins to the pallium with respect to both the trafficking of receptors and the remodeling of spine shape that follow synaptic stimulation...
2016: Frontiers in Synaptic Neuroscience
Ryuichi Nakajima, Arong Jung, Bong-June Yoon, Bradley J Baker
The age of genetically encoded voltage indicators (GEVIs) has matured to the point that changes in membrane potential can now be observed optically in vivo. Improving the signal size and speed of these voltage sensors has been the primary driving forces during this maturation process. As a result, there is a wide range of probes using different voltage detecting mechanisms and fluorescent reporters. As the use of these probes transitions from optically reporting membrane potential in single, cultured cells to imaging populations of cells in slice and/or in vivo, a new challenge emerges-optically resolving the different types of neuronal activity...
2016: Frontiers in Synaptic Neuroscience
Kim Dore, Jonathan Aow, Roberto Malinow
The NMDA receptor (R) participates in many important physiological and pathological processes. For example, its activation is required for both long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD) of synaptic transmission, cellular models of learning and memory. Furthermore, it may play a role in the actions of amyloid-beta on synapses as well as in the signaling leading to cell death following stroke. Until recently, these processes were thought to be mediated by ion-flux through the receptor. Using a combination of imaging and electrophysiological approaches, ion-flux independent functions of the NMDAR were recently examined...
2016: Frontiers in Synaptic Neuroscience
Rachel E Jackson, Juan Burrone
Synaptic transmission depends on the influx of calcium into the presynaptic compartment, which drives neurotransmitter release. Genetically encoded reporters are widely used tools to understand these processes, particularly pHluorin-based reporters that report vesicle exocytosis and endocytosis through pH dependent changes in fluorescence, and genetically encoded calcium indicators (GECIs) that exhibit changes in fluorescence upon binding to calcium. The recent expansion of the color palette of available indicators has made it possible to image multiple probes simultaneously within a cell...
2016: Frontiers in Synaptic Neuroscience
Tuo P Li, Thomas A Blanpied
Postsynaptic transmembrane proteins are critical elements of synapses, mediating trans-cellular contact, sensitivity to neurotransmitters and other signaling molecules, and flux of Ca and other ions. Positioning and mobility of each member of this large class of proteins is critical to their individual function at the synapse. One critical example is that the position of glutamate receptors within the postsynaptic density (PSD) strongly modulates their function by aligning or misaligning them with sites of presynaptic vesicle fusion...
2016: Frontiers in Synaptic Neuroscience
Jung-Hwa Hong, Mikyoung Park
Formation of functional synapses is a fundamental process for establishing neural circuits and ultimately for expressing complex behavior. Extensive research has interrogated how such functional synapses are formed and how synapse formation contributes to the generation of neural circuitry and behavior. The nervous system of Caenorhabditis elegans, due to its relatively simple structure, the transparent body, and tractable genetic system, has been adapted as an excellent model to investigate synapses and the functional connectome...
2016: Frontiers in Synaptic Neuroscience
Beatrice M Pigott, John Garthwaite
Nitric oxide (NO) has long been implicated in the generation of long-term potentiation (LTP) and other types of synaptic plasticity, a role for which the intimate coupling between NMDA receptors (NMDARs) and the neuronal isoform of NO synthase (nNOS) is likely to be instrumental in many instances. While several types of synaptic plasticity depend on NMDARs, others do not, an example of which is LTP triggered by opening of L-type voltage-gated Ca(2+) channels (L-VGCCs) in postsynaptic neurons. In CA3-CA1 synapses in the hippocampus, NMDAR-dependent LTP (LTPNMDAR) appears to be primarily expressed postsynaptically whereas L-VGCC-dependent LTP (LTPL-VGCC), which often coexists with LTPNMDAR, appears mainly to reflect enhanced presynaptic transmitter release...
2016: Frontiers in Synaptic Neuroscience
Hojin Lee, Won Chan Oh, Jihye Seong, Jinhyun Kim
The complex information-processing capabilities of the central nervous system emerge from intricate patterns of synaptic input-output relationships among various neuronal circuit components. Understanding these capabilities thus requires a precise description of the individual synapses that comprise neural networks. Recent advances in fluorescent protein engineering, along with developments in light-favoring tissue clearing and optical imaging techniques, have rendered light microscopy (LM) a potent candidate for large-scale analyses of synapses, their properties, and their connectivity...
2016: Frontiers in Synaptic Neuroscience
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