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molecular neuroscience

Joseph R Knoedler, Nirao M Shah
A long-standing goal in developmental neuroscience is to understand the mechanisms by which steroid sex hormones pattern the mammalian central nervous system along male or female pathways to enable subsequent displays of sexually dimorphic behaviors. In this article, we review recent advances in understanding the epigenetic and transcriptional mechanisms mediating sexual differentiation of the brain in mammals, flies, and worms. These studies suggest a model of sexual differentiation wherein master regulators of sex determination initiate a cascade of sexually dimorphic gene expression that controls development of neural pathways and behavioral displays in a strikingly modular manner...
October 10, 2018: Current Opinion in Neurobiology
Olga L Lopatina, Yulia K Komleva, Yana V Gorina, Raisa Ya Olovyannikova, Lyudmila V Trufanova, Takanori Hashimoto, Tetsuya Takahashi, Mitsuru Kikuchi, Yoshio Minabe, Haruhiro Higashida, Alla B Salmina
Social recognition is the sensitive domains of complex behavior critical for identification, interpretation and storage of socially meaningful information. Social recognition develops throughout childhood and adolescent, and is affected in a wide variety of psychiatric disorders. Recently, new data appeared on the molecular mechanisms of these processes, particularly, the excitatory-inhibitory (E/I) ratio which is modified during development, and then E/I balance is established in the adult brain. While E/I imbalance has been proposed as a mechanism for schizophrenia, it also seems to be the common mechanism in autism spectrum disorder (ASD)...
September 21, 2018: Neuropeptides
Koen Kole, Tansu Celikel
The heterogeneous organization of the mammalian neocortex poses a challenge for elucidating the molecular mechanisms underlying its physiological processes. Although high-throughput molecular methods are increasingly deployed in neuroscience, their anatomical specificity is often lacking. In this unit, we introduce a targeted microdissection technique that enables extraction of high-quality RNA and proteins at high anatomical resolution from acutely prepared brain slices. We exemplify its utility by isolating single cortical columns and laminae from the mouse primary somatosensory (barrel) cortex...
October 4, 2018: Current Protocols in Neuroscience
Oleg Kovtun, Ian D Tomlinson, Danielle M Bailey, Lucas B Thal, Emily J Ross, Lauren Harris, Michael P Frankland, Riley S Ferguson, Zachary Glaser, Jonathan Greer, Sandra J Rosenthal
The use of nanometer-sized semiconductor crystals, known as quantum dots, allows us to directly observe individual biomolecular transactions through a fluorescence microscope. Here, we review the evolution of single quantum dot tracking over the past two decades, highlight key biophysical discoveries facilitated by quantum dots, briefly discuss biochemical and optical implementation strategies for a single quantum dot tracking experiment, and report recent accomplishments of our group at the interface of molecular neuroscience and nanoscience...
August 16, 2018: Chemical Physics Letters
Olaf Sporns
Network neuroscience is a thriving and rapidly expanding field. Empirical data on brain networks, from molecular to behavioral scales, are ever increasing in size and complexity. These developments lead to a strong demand for appropriate tools and methods that model and analyze brain network data, such as those provided by graph theory. This brief review surveys some of the most commonly used and neurobiologically insightful graph measures and techniques. Among these, the detection of network communities or modules, and the identification of central network elements that facilitate communication and signal transfer, are particularly salient...
June 2018: Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience
Scott A Hollingsworth, Ron O Dror
The impact of molecular dynamics (MD) simulations in molecular biology and drug discovery has expanded dramatically in recent years. These simulations capture the behavior of proteins and other biomolecules in full atomic detail and at very fine temporal resolution. Major improvements in simulation speed, accuracy, and accessibility, together with the proliferation of experimental structural data, have increased the appeal of biomolecular simulation to experimentalists-a trend particularly noticeable in, although certainly not limited to, neuroscience...
September 19, 2018: Neuron
Emily Qualls-Creekmore, Heike Münzberg
Our ability to modulate and observe neuronal activity in defined neurons in freely moving animals has revolutionized neuroscience research in recent years. Findings in the lateral hypothalamus (LHA) highlighted the existence of many neuronal circuits that regulate distinct phenotypes of feeding behavior, emotional valence and locomotor activity. Several of these neuronal circuits do not fit into a common model of neuronal integration and highlight the need to improve working models for complex behaviors. This review will specifically focus on recent literature that distinguishes LHA circuits based on their molecular and anatomical characteristics and studies their role in feeding, associated behaviors (e...
September 12, 2018: Endocrinology
Bruce D Trapp, Daniel Ontaneda
Dr Bruce Trapp and Dr Daniel Ontaneda speak to Laura Dormer, Commissioning Editor: Bruce D Trapp, PhD, is a Chair of the Department of Neurosciences at the Lerner Research Institute, Cleveland Clinic (OH, USA) and Professor of Molecular Medicine at Case Western Reserve University (OH, USA). Dr Trapp received his PhD from Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine in Chicago (IL, USA). Dr Trapp's research investigates the cause of neurological disability in multiple sclerosis patients, cellular mechanism of brain repair in neurodegenerative diseases and the molecular biology of myelination in the central and peripheral nervous systems...
September 14, 2018: Neurodegenerative Disease Management
Paul J Zak
Buddhism shares with science the task of examining the mind empirically. But Buddhism has pursued, for two millennia, direct investigation of the mind through penetrating introspection. Neuroscience, on the other hand, relies on third-person knowledge in the form of scientific observation. In the book that is the subject of this review, two friends, one a Buddhist monk trained as a molecular biologist, and the other, a distinguished neuroscientist, offer their perspectives on the mind, the self, consciousness, the unconscious, free will, epistemology, meditation, and neuroplasticity ...
November 2017: Cerebrum: the Dana Forum on Brain Science
Stephen J Smith
Array tomography encompasses light and electron microscopy modalities that offer unparalleled opportunities to explore three-dimensional cellular architectures in extremely fine structural and molecular detail. Fluorescence array tomography achieves much higher resolution and molecular multiplexing than most other fluorescence microscopy methods, while electron array tomography can capture three-dimensional ultrastructure much more easily and rapidly than traditional serial-section electron microscopy methods...
September 6, 2018: BMC Biology
Seung-Hyun Jung, Ha Yeun Song, Young Se Hyun, Yu-Cheol Kim, Ilson Whang, Tae-Young Choi, Seonmi Jo
Cephalopods have the most advanced nervous systems and intelligent behavior among all invertebrates. Their brains provide comparative insights for understanding the molecular and functional origins of the human brain. Although brain maps that contain information on the organization of each subregion are necessary for a study on the brain, no whole brain atlas for adult cephalopods has been constructed to date. Here, we obtained sagittal and coronal sections covering the entire brain of adult Octopus minor (Sasaki), which belongs to the genus with the most species in the class Cephalopoda and is commercially available in East Asia throughout the year...
August 2018: Experimental Neurobiology
Alexa J Roemmich, Soleil S Schutte, Diane K O'Dowd
Cost-effective and efficient, the fruit fly ( Drosophila melanogaster ) has been used to make many key discoveries in the field of neuroscience and to model a number of neurological disorders. Great strides in understanding have been made using sophisticated molecular genetic tools and behavioral assays. Functional analysis of neural activity was initially limited to the neuromuscular junction (NMJ) and in the central nervous system (CNS) of embryos and larvae. Elucidating the cellular mechanisms underlying neurological processes and disorders in the mature nervous system have been more challenging due to difficulty in recording from neurons in adult brains...
July 20, 2018: Bio-protocol
Suguru Takagi, Akinao Nose
Invertebrate species have significantly contributed to neuroscience owing to the accessibility they provide to cellular- and molecular-level understanding of brain functions. Somatotopic action selection is one of the key features of animal behavior, and studying this process in invertebrates is potentially a sweet spot in understanding the general relationship between neuronal morphology, circuit structure, and animal behavior. In this review, we introduce circuit architectures that realize somatotopic action selection, from simple reflexes to patterned motor outputs, in different invertebrate species...
August 18, 2018: Neuroscience Research
Risako Nakai, Mari Ohnuki, Kota Kuroki, Haruka Ito, Hirohisa Hirai, Ryunosuke Kitajima, Toko Fujimoto, Masato Nakagawa, Wolfgang Enard, Masanori Imamura
Non-human primates are our closest relatives and are of special interest for ecological, evolutionary and biomedical research. The Japanese macaque (Macaca fuscata) has contributed to the progress of primatology and neurosciences over 60 years. Despite this importance, the molecular and cellular basis of the Japanese macaque remains unexplored since useful cellular tools are lacking. Here we generated induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) from skin fibroblasts of the Japanese macaque with Sendai virus or plasmid vectors...
August 15, 2018: Scientific Reports
Haibo Ni, Stefano Morotti, Eleonora Grandi
In cardiac electrophysiology, there exist many sources of inter- and intra-personal variability. These include variability in conditions and environment, and genotypic and molecular diversity, including differences in expression and behavior of ion channels and transporters, which lead to phenotypic diversity (e.g., variable integrated responses at the cell, tissue, and organ levels). These variabilities play an important role in progression of heart disease and arrhythmia syndromes and outcomes of therapeutic interventions...
2018: Frontiers in Physiology
Tayfun Tumkaya, Stanislav Ott, Adam Claridge-Chang
Geneticists use olfactory conditioning in Drosophila to identify learning genes; however, little is known about how these genes are integrated into short-term memory (STM) pathways. Here, we investigated the hypothesis that the STM evidence base is weak. We performed systematic review and meta-analysis of the field. Using metrics to quantify variation between discovery articles and follow-up studies, we found that seven genes were both highly replicated, and highly reproducible. However, ~80% of STM genes have never been replicated...
August 2, 2018: Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews
Bart P F Rutten
Epigenetics refers to environmentally sensitive modifications to DNA and chromatin that regulate gene transcription without altering the genetic sequence itself. Because of the brain's central role in a person's adaptation to dynamic changes in the environment, the field of epigenetic research is particularly pertinent for the neurosciences and mental health and illness. "Neuroepigenetics" refers to the field of epigenetics, as applied to research of the nervous system and related functional abilities...
2018: Progress in Molecular Biology and Translational Science
Juan P Jiménez, Alberto Botto, Luisa Herrera, Caroline Leighton, José L Rossi, Yamil Quevedo, Jaime R Silva, Felipe Martínez, Rodrigo Assar, Luis A Salazar, Manuel Ortiz, Ulises Ríos, Paulina Barros, Karina Jaramillo, Patrick Luyten
Recent research in psychiatric genetics has led to a move away from simple diathesis-stress models to more complex models of psychopathology incorporating a focus on gene-environment interactions and epigenetics. Our increased understanding of the way biology encodes the impact of life events on organisms has also generated more sophisticated theoretical models concerning the molecular processes at the interface between "nature" and "nurture." There is also increasing consensus that psychotherapy entails a specific type of learning in the context of an emotional relationship (i...
2018: Frontiers in Genetics
Abby K Scurfield
Signaling transduction pathways are now known to be foundational mechanisms for a wide variety of biological function. Nobel laureate Paul Greengard dedicated his early career to the exploration of how these molecular cascades are triggered by neurotransmitters, hence applying a general phenomenon to the nervous system. A review by Hemmings, Nairn, McGuinness, Huganir, and Greengard published in the FASEB journal in 1989 identifies three different effects of protein phosphorylation, namely vesicle release, modulation of receptor sensitivity, and initiation of positive or negative feedback systems...
2018: Journal of Undergraduate Neuroscience Education: JUNE: a Publication of FUN, Faculty for Undergraduate Neuroscience
Swastik Phulera, Hongtao Zhu, Jie Yu, Derek P Claxton, Nate Yoder, Craig Yoshioka, Eric Gouaux
Fast inhibitory neurotransmission in the mammalian nervous system is largely mediated by GABAA receptors, chloride-selective members of the superfamily of pentameric Cys-loop receptors. Native GABAA receptors are heteromeric assemblies sensitive to many important drugs, from sedatives to anesthetics and anticonvulsant agents, with mutant forms of GABAA receptors implicated in multiple neurological diseases. Despite the profound importance of heteromeric GABAA receptors in neuroscience and medicine, they have proven recalcitrant to structure determination...
July 25, 2018: ELife
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