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James P Reynolds, Kaiyu Zheng, Dmitri A Rusakov
All-optical registration of neuronal and astrocytic activities within the intact mammalian brain has improved significantly with recent advances in optical sensors and biophotonics. However, relating single-synapse release events and local astroglial responses to sensory stimuli in an intact animal has not hitherto been feasible. Here, we present a multiplexed multiphoton excitation imaging approach for assessing the relationship between presynaptic Ca2+ entry at thalamocortical axonal boutons and perisynaptic astrocytic Ca2+ elevations, induced by whisker stimulation in the barrel cortex of C57BL/6 mice...
June 14, 2018: Neuroscience Letters
Takuji Iwasato, Reha S Erzurumlu
Molecular identification of neuronal types and genetic and imaging approaches to characterize their properties reveal morphological, physiological and dynamic aspects of sensory circuit development. Here we focus on the mouse tactile sensory circuitry, with particular emphasis on the main trigeminal pathway that connects the whiskers, the major tactile organ in rodents, to the neocortex. At each level of this pathway, neurogenesis, axonal elongation, pathfinding, target recognition and circuit reorganization including dendritic refinement of cortical layer 4 neurons occur contemporaneously and a multitude of molecular signals are used in differing combinations...
June 13, 2018: Current Opinion in Neurobiology
Robyn A Grant, Vicki Breakell, Tony J Prescott
All small mammals have prominent facial whiskers that they employ as tactile sensors to guide navigation and foraging in complex habitats. Nocturnal, arboreal mammals tend to have the longest and most densely packed whiskers, and semi-aquatic mammals have the most sensitive. Here we present evidence to indicate that many small mammals use their whiskers to tactually guide safe foot positioning. Specifically, in 11, small, non-flying mammal species, we demonstrate that forepaw placement always falls within the ground contact zone of the whisker field and that forepaw width is always smaller than whisker span...
June 13, 2018: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
Guihang Zhang, Xiaosong Jiang, ChangJun Qiao, Zhenyi Shao, Degui Zhu, Minhao Zhu, Victor Valcarcel
Single-crystal α-Al₂O₃ fibres can be utilized as a novel reinforcement in high-temperature composites owing to their high elastic modulus, chemical and thermal stability. Unlike non-oxide fibres and polycrystalline alumina fibres, high-temperature oxidation and polycrystalline particles boundary growth will not occur for single-crystal α-Al₂O₃ fibres. In this work, single-crystal α-Al₂O₃ whiskers and Al₂O₃ particles synergistic reinforced copper-graphite composites were fabricated by mechanical alloying and hot isostatic pressing techniques...
June 11, 2018: Materials
Suellen Almeida-Corrêa, Michael Czisch, Carsten T Wotjak
Manganese-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (MEMRI) is a powerful tool for in vivo non-invasive whole-brain mapping of neuronal activity. Mn2+ enters active neurons via voltage-gated calcium channels and increases local contrast in T1 -weighted images. Given the property of Mn2+ of axonal transport, this technique can also be used for tract tracing after local administration of the contrast agent. However, MEMRI is still not widely employed in basic research due to the lack of a complete description of the Mn2+ dynamics in the brain...
2018: Frontiers in Neural Circuits
Inseok Ko, Hyejung Chang
BACKGROUND: Interactive visualization is an important approach to help to understand and to explain large amounts of data, particularly in light of decision support. Although data visualization have been introduced in healthcare and clinical fields, analytics has often been performed by data experts, focused on specific subjects, or insufficient statistical evidence. Therefore, this study suggests the procedures of effective and efficient visualization of big data for general healthcare researchers...
August 2018: International Journal of Medical Informatics
L Cattoir, J Claessens, R Cartuyvels, A M Van den Abeele
Collecting adequate volumes of blood in blood culture bottles is crucial for sensitive detection of bacteremia and fungemia. Tools enabling easy collection of data on the degree of blood culture bottle filling at different hospital departments are an important step toward quality measurement and improvement. In this study, we verified the accuracy of a software tool for the monitoring of blood culture bottle filling developed by Becton Dickinson, BD blood volume monitoring system (BVMS) that was adjusted for use on plastic BACTEC bottles, and evaluated its ease of use in routine practice...
June 7, 2018: European Journal of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases
Silke Kreitz, Benito de Celis Alonso, Michael Uder, Andreas Hess
Resting state (RS) connectivity has been increasingly studied in healthy and diseased brains in humans and animals. This paper presents a new method to analyze RS data from fMRI that combines multiple seed correlation analysis with graph-theory (MSRA). We characterize and evaluate this new method in relation to two other graph-theoretical methods and ICA. The graph-theoretical methods calculate cross-correlations of regional average time-courses, one using seed regions of the same size (SRCC) and the other using whole brain structure regions (RCCA)...
2018: Frontiers in Neuroscience
Reika Kubo, Atsu Aiba, Kouichi Hashimoto
Perioral tactile signals are transmitted via the infraorbital nerve (ION) to trigeminal nuclei. Each cerebellar Purkinje cell receives this signal as complex spikes (CSs) via a climbing fibre emerging from the inferior olive (IO). However, the anatomical pathway from the trigeminal nuclei to the IO is not clearly identified. In the present study, we recorded CSs from Purkinje cells in male mice by single unit recording, and examined the signal transduction pathway. CSs were evoked by electrical stimulation of the ipsilateral or contralateral ION with a latency of 20-70 ms...
June 6, 2018: Journal of Physiology
Maria Burkovetskaya, Megan E Bosch, Nikolay Karpuk, Rachel Fallet, Tammy Kielian
Juvenile Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinosis (JNCL) is an autosomal recessive lysosomal storage disease caused by loss-of-function mutations in CLN3. Symptoms appear between 5-10 years of age, beginning with blindness and seizures, followed by progressive cognitive and motor decline, and premature death. Glial activation and impaired neuronal activity are early signs of pathology in the Cln3Δex7/8 mouse model of JNCL, whereas neuron death occurs much later in the disease process. We previously reported that Cln3Δex7/8 microglia are primed towards a pro-inflammatory phenotype typified by exaggerated caspase-1 inflammasome activation and here we extend those findings to demonstrate heightened caspase activity in the Cln3Δex7/8 mouse brain...
June 5, 2018: Journal of Neurochemistry
Mellanie Fontes-Dutra, Júlio Santos-Terra, Iohanna Deckmann, Gustavo Brum Schwingel, Gustavo Della-Flora Nunes, Mauro Mozael Hirsch, Guilherme Bauer-Negrini, Rudimar S Riesgo, Victorio Bambini-Júnior, Cecília Hedin-Pereira, Carmem Gottfried
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is characterized by impairments in both social communication and interaction and repetitive or stereotyped behaviors. Although its etiology remains unknown, genetic and environmental risk factors have been associated with this disorder, including the exposure to valproic acid (VPA) during pregnancy. Resveratrol (RSV) is an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant molecule known to prevent social impairments in the VPA animal model of autism. This study aimed to analyze the effects of prenatal exposure to VPA, as well as possible preventive effects of RSV, on sensory behavior, the localization of GABAergic parvalbumin (PV+ ) neurons in sensory brain regions and the expression of proteins of excitatory and inhibitory synapses...
2018: Frontiers in Synaptic Neuroscience
Daniel T Blumstein, Dana M Williams
Banded mongoose pups learn foraging preferences from unrelated group members rather than their parents, suggesting that cultural transmission maintains behavioral diversity in groups.
June 4, 2018: Current Biology: CB
Oscar Gonzalez-Perez, Verónica López-Virgen, Nereida Ibarra-Castaneda
Facial vibrissae, commonly known as whiskers, are the main sensitive tactile system in rodents. Whisker stimulation triggers neuronal activity that promotes neural plasticity in the barrel cortex (BC) and helps create spatial maps in the adult hippocampus. Moreover, activity-dependent inputs and calcium homeostasis modulate adult neurogenesis. Therefore, the neuronal activity of the BC possibly regulates hippocampal functions and neurogenesis. To assess whether tactile information from facial whiskers may modulate hippocampal functions and neurogenesis, we permanently eliminated whiskers in CD1 male mice and analyzed the effects in cellular composition, molecular expression and memory processing in the adult hippocampus...
2018: Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience
Gabriella Nyitrai, Tamás Spisák, Zsófia Spisák, Dávid Gajári, Pálma Diószegi, Tamás Zsigmond Kincses, András Czurkó
Bilateral common carotid artery occlusion (BCCAo) in the rat is a widely used animal model of vascular dementia and a valuable tool for preclinical pharmacological drug testing, although the varying degrees of acute focal ischemic lesions it induces could interfere with its translational value. Recently, a modification to the BCCAo model, the stepwise occlusion of the two carotid arteries, has been introduced. To acquire objective translatable measures, we used longitudinal multimodal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to assess the effects of semi-chronic (8 days) donepezil treatment in this model, with half of the Wistar rats receiving the treatment one week after the stepwise BCCAo...
2018: PloS One
Genki Minamisawa, Sung Eun Kwon, Maxime Chevée, Solange P Brown, Daniel H O'Connor
Sensory perception depends on interactions among cortical areas. These interactions are mediated by canonical patterns of connectivity in which higher areas send feedback projections to lower areas via neurons in superficial and deep layers. Here, we probed the circuit basis of interactions among two areas critical for touch perception in mice, whisker primary (wS1) and secondary (wS2) somatosensory cortices. Neurons in layer 4 of wS2 (S2L4 ) formed a major feedback pathway to wS1. Feedback from wS2 to wS1 was organized somatotopically...
May 29, 2018: Cell Reports
Deepa L Ramamurthy, Leah A Krubitzer
Sensory systems do not develop and function independently of one another, yet they are typically studied in isolation. Effects of multisensory interactions on the developing neocortex can be revealed by altering the ratios of incoming sensory inputs associated with different modalities. We investigated neural responses in primary somatosensory cortex (S1) of short-tailed opossums ( Monodelphis domestica ; either sex), following the elimination of visual input through bilateral enucleation very early in development...
May 28, 2018: Journal of Neuroscience: the Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience
Reda M Felfel, Kazi M Zakir Hossain, Sumaya F Kabir, Soon Y Liew, Ifty Ahmed, David M Grant
Transparent and flexible nanocomposite films with a range of Agarose to Cellulose Nano-Whisker (CNW) ratios were produced using never-dried CNWs. The incorporation of never-dried CNWs within Agarose played an important role in the surface roughness (Ra 7-15 nm) and light transparency of the films (from 84 to 90%). Surface induced crystallisation of Agarose by CNWs was also found with increasing percentage of crystallinity (up to 79%) for the nanocomposite films, where CNW acted as nucleating sites. The enhanced tensile strength (ca...
August 15, 2018: Carbohydrate Polymers
Giacomo D'Angelo, Amal Elhussieny, Marwa Faisal, I S Fahim, Nicola M Everitt
The use of biodegradable materials for shopping bag production, and other products made from plastics, has recently been an object of intense research-with the aim of reducing the environmental burdens given by conventional materials. Chitosan is a potential material because of its biocompatibility, degradability, and non-toxicity. It is a semi-natural biopolymeric material produced by the deacetylation of chitin, which is the second most abundant natural biopolymer (after cellulose). Chitin is found in the exoskeleton of insects, marine crustaceans, and the cell walls of certain fungi and algae...
May 22, 2018: Journal of Functional Biomaterials
Kentaro Ishida, Tetsuichiro Saito, Toshiyuki Mitsui
A Merkel cell-neurite complex is a touch receptor composed of specialized epithelial cells named Merkel cells and peripheral sensory nerves in the skin. Merkel cells are found in touch-sensitive skin components including whisker follicles. The nerve fibers that innervate Merkel cells of a whisker follicle extend from the maxillary branch of the trigeminal ganglion. Whiskers as a sensory organ attribute to the complicated architecture of the Merkel cell-neurite complex, and therefore it is intriguing how the structure is formed...
May 22, 2018: Development, Growth & Differentiation
Davide Buttarazzi, Giuseppe Pandolfo, Giovanni C Porzio
The box-and-whiskers plot is an extraordinary graphical tool that provides a quick visual summary of an observed distribution. In spite of its many extensions, a really suitable boxplot to display circular data is not yet available. Thanks to its simplicity and strong visual impact, such a tool would be especially useful in all fields where circular measures arise: biometrics, astronomy, environmetrics, Earth sciences, to cite just a few. For this reason, in line with Tukey's original idea, a Tukey-like circular boxplot is introduced...
May 21, 2018: Biometrics
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