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chemical synapse

Lisa Waberer, Erik Henrich, Oliver Peetz, Nina Morgner, Volker Dötsch, Frank Bernhard, Walter Volknandt
The integral synaptic vesicle protein SV31 has been shown to bind divalent cations. Here, we demonstrate that SV31 protein synthesized within a cell-free system binds Zn(2+) and to a lower extent Ni(2+) and Cu(2+) ions. Expression with Zn(2+) stabilized the protein and increased solubility. SV31 was preferentially monomeric in detergent and revealed specific binding of Zn(2+) . When co-translationally inserted into defined nanodisc bilayers, SV31 assembled into dimeric complexes, resulting in increased binding of Zn(2+) ...
November 5, 2016: Journal of Neurochemistry
Stephen G Clarke, Matthew S Scarnati, Kenneth G Paradiso
: At chemical synapses, presynaptic action potentials (APs) activate voltage-gated calcium channels, allowing calcium to enter and trigger neurotransmitter release. The duration, peak amplitude, and shape of the AP falling phase alter calcium entry, which can affect neurotransmitter release significantly. In many neurons, APs do not immediately return to the resting potential, but instead exhibit a period of depolarization or hyperpolarization referred to as an afterpotential. We hypothesized that presynaptic afterpotentials should alter neurotransmitter release by affecting the electrical driving force for calcium entry and calcium channel gating...
November 9, 2016: Journal of Neuroscience: the Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience
Matthew T Richers, Joseph M Amatrudo, Jeremy P Olson, Graham C R Ellis-Davies
Caged neurotransmitters, in combination with focused light beams, enable precise interrogation of neuronal function, even at the level of single synapses. However, most caged transmitters are, surprisingly, severe antagonists of ionotropic gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors. By conjugation of a large, neutral dendrimer to a caged GABA probe we introduce a "cloaking" technology that effectively reduces such antagonism to very low levels. Such cloaked caged compounds will enable the study of the signaling of the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA in its natural state using two-photon uncaging microscopy for the first time...
December 2, 2016: Angewandte Chemie
Cailin M Rothwell, Eric de Hoog, Gaynor Elizabeth Spencer
Trophic factors can influence many aspects of nervous system function, such as neurite outgrowth, synapse formation and synapse modulation. The vitamin A metabolite, retinoic acid can exert trophic effects to promote neuronal survival and outgrowth in many species, and is also known to modulate vertebrate hippocampal synapses. However, its role in synaptogenesis has not been well studied, and whether it can modulate existing invertebrate synapses is also not known. In this study, we first examined a potential trophic effect of retinoic acid on the formation of excitatory synapses, independently of its role in neurite outgrowth, using cultured neurons of the mollusc Lymnaea stagnalis...
November 16, 2016: Journal of Neurophysiology
Yüksel Çakir
Synchronization behaviors of bursting neurons coupled through electrical and dynamic chemical synapses are investigated. The Izhikevich model is used with random and small world network of bursting neurons. Various currents which consist of diffusive electrical and time-delayed dynamic chemical synapses are used in the simulations to investigate the influences of synaptic currents and couplings on synchronization behavior of bursting neurons. The effects of parameters, such as time delay, inhibitory synaptic strengths, and decay time on synchronization behavior are investigated...
November 10, 2016: Network: Computation in Neural Systems
Alex Fogli Iseppe, Angela Pignatelli, Ottorino Belluzzi
Within the olfactory bulb (OB), periglomerular (PG) cells consist of various types of interneurons, generally classified by their chemical properties such as neurotransmitter and calcium binding proteins. Calretinin (CR) characterizes morphologically and functionally the more numerous and one of the less known subpopulation of PG cells in the OB. Using of transgenic mice expressing eGFP under the CR promoter, we have tried to obtain the first functional characterization of these cells. Electrophysiological recordings were made in these cells using the patch-clamp technique in thin slices...
2016: Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience
Steven W Barger
Ask any neuroscientist to name the most profound discoveries in the field in the past 60 years, and at or near the top of the list will be a phenomenon or technique related to genes and their expression. Indeed, our understanding of genetics and gene regulation has ushered in whole new systems of knowledge and new empirical approaches, many of which could not have even been imagined prior to the molecular biology boon of recent decades. Neurochemistry, in the classic sense, intersects with these concepts in the manifestation of neuropeptides, obviously dependent upon the central dogma (the established rules by which DNA sequence is eventually converted into protein primary structure) not only for their conformation but also for their levels and locales of expression...
October 17, 2016: Journal of Neurochemistry
Elisa G Krächan, Alexander U Fischer, Jürgen Franke, Eckhard Friauf
KEY POINTS: Auditory brainstem neurons involved in sound source localization are equipped with several morphological and molecular features that enable them to compute interaural level and time differences. As sound source localization works continually, synaptic transmission between these neurons should be reliable and temporally precise, even during sustained periods of high-frequency activity. Using patch-clamp recordings in acute brain slices, we compared synaptic reliability and temporal precision in the seconds-minute range between auditory and two types of hippocampal synapses; the latter are less confronted with temporally precise high-frequency transmission than the auditory ones...
September 26, 2016: Journal of Physiology
Saurabh Kumar Jha, Niraj Kumar Jha, Dhiraj Kumar, Renu Sharma, Abhishek Shrivastava, Rashmi K Ambasta, Pravir Kumar
The communication between neurons at synaptic junctions is an intriguing process that monitors the transmission of various electro-chemical signals in the central nervous system. Albeit any aberration in the mechanisms associated with transmission of these signals leads to loss of synaptic contacts in both the neocortex and hippocampus thereby causing insidious cognitive decline and memory dysfunction. Compelling evidence suggests that soluble amyloid-β (Aβ) and hyperphosphorylated tau serve as toxins in the dysfunction of synaptic plasticity and aberrant neurotransmitter (NT) release at synapses consequently causing a cognitive decline in Alzheimer's disease (AD)...
September 23, 2016: Journal of Alzheimer's Disease: JAD
Bas van Bommel, Marina Mikhaylova
Synaptic connectivity forms the basis for neuronal communication and the storage of information. Experiences and learning of new abilities can drive remodelling of this connectivity and promotes the formation of spine clusters; dendritic segments with a higher spine density. Spines located within these segments are frequently co-activated, undergo different dynamics than synapses located outside of this dendritic compartment and have, in general, a longer lifetime. Several lines of evidence have shown that chemical synapses located close to each other share or compete for intracellular signalling molecules and structural resources...
December 2016: Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews
Lidia Szczupak
Intercellular interactions in the nervous system are mediated by two types of dedicated structural arrangements: electrical and chemical synapses. Several characteristics distinguish these two mechanisms of communication, such as speed, reliability and the fact that electrical synapses are, potentially, bidirectional. Given these properties, electrical synapses can subserve, in addition to synchrony, three main interrelated network functions: signal amplification, noise reduction and/or coincidence detection...
September 17, 2016: Current Opinion in Neurobiology
Hisae Nishioka, Norie Tooi, Takehisa Isobe, Norio Nakatsuji, Kazuhiro Aiba
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia. Cellular AD models derived from human pluripotent stem cells are promising tools in AD research. We recently developed human embryonic stem cell-derived AD models which overexpress mutant Presenilin1 genes, and which exhibit AD phenotypes, including synaptic dysfunction. In this study, we found that our AD models showed reduced levels of RAB3A and SV2B proteins in the pre-synapses, which is a possible cause of electrophysiological abnormalities. Through the screening of chemical compounds using our AD models, we have identified Aβ peptide inhibitors which decrease the concentration of Aβ in culture supernatant...
2016: Scientific Reports
Shaolin Liu, Adam C Puche, Michael T Shipley
UNLABELLED: Sensory processing shapes our perception. In mammals, odor information is encoded by combinatorial activity patterns of olfactory bulb (OB) glomeruli. Glomeruli are richly interconnected by short axon cells (SACs), which form the interglomerular circuit (IGC). It is unclear how the IGC impacts OB output to downstream neural circuits. We combined in vitro and in vivo electrophysiology with optogenetics in mice and found the following: (1) the IGC potently and monosynaptically inhibits the OB output neurons mitral/tufted cells (MTCs) by GABA release from SACs: (2) gap junction-mediated electrical coupling is strong for the SAC→MTC synapse, but negligible for the SAC→ETC synapse; (3) brief IGC-mediated inhibition is temporally prolonged by the intrinsic properties of MTCs; and (4) sniff frequency IGC activation in vivo generates persistent MTC inhibition...
September 14, 2016: Journal of Neuroscience: the Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience
Hongying Wei, Fan Liang, Ge Meng, Zhiqing Nie, Ren Zhou, Wei Cheng, Xiaomeng Wu, Yan Feng, Yan Wang
Fine particulate matter (PM2.5) has been implicated as a risk factor for neurodevelopmental disorders including autism in children. However, the underlying biological mechanism remains unclear. DNA methylation is suggested to be a fundamental mechanism for the neuronal responses to environmental cues. We prepared whole particle of PM2.5 (PM2.5), water-soluble extracts (Pw), organic extracts (Po) and carbon core component (Pc) and characterized their chemical constitutes. We found that PM2.5 induced significant redox imbalance, decreased the levels of intercellular methyl donor S-adenosylmethionine and caused global DNA hypomethylation...
2016: Scientific Reports
Adriana De-La-Rosa Tovar, Prashant K Mishra, Francisco F De-Miguel
We studied how a neuronal circuit composed of two neuron types connected by chemical and electrical synapses maintains constant its integrative capacities as neurons grow. For this we combined electrophysiological experiments with mathematical modeling in pairs of electrically-coupled Retzius neurons from postnatal to adult leeches. The electrically-coupled dendrites of both Retzius neurons receive a common chemical input, which produces excitatory postsynaptic potentials (EPSPs) with varying amplitudes. Each EPSP spreads to the soma, but also crosses the electrical synapse to arrive at the soma of the coupled neuron...
2016: Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience
David Eriksson
To test the importance of a certain cell type or brain area it is common to make a "lack of function" experiment in which the neuronal population of interest is inhibited. Here we review physiological and methodological constraints for making controlled perturbations using the corticothalamic circuit as an example. The brain with its many types of cells and rich interconnectivity offers many paths through which a perturbation can spread within a short time. To understand the side effects of the perturbation one should record from those paths...
2016: Frontiers in Neural Circuits
Friedrich-Wilhelm Schürmann
In the insect brain, mushroom bodies represent a prominent central neuropil for multisensory integration and, crucially, for learning and memory. For this reason, special attention has been focused on its small chemical synapses. Early studies on synaptic types and their distribution, using conventional electron microscopy, and recent publications have resolved basic features of synaptic circuits. More recent studies, using experimental methods for resolving neurons, such as immunocytochemistry, genetic labelling, high resolution confocal microscopy and more advanced electron microscopy, have revealed many new details about the fine structure and molecular contents of identifiable neurons of mushroom bodies and has led to more refined modelling of functional organisation...
October 5, 2016: Arthropod Structure & Development
Rodrigo Lozano, Kerry J Gilmore, Brianna C Thompson, Elise M Stewart, Aaron M Waters, Mario Romero-Ortega, Gordon G Wallace
: Neuromuscular junctions (NMJ) are specialized synapses that link motor neurons with muscle fibers. These sites are fundamental to human muscle activity, controlling swallowing and breathing amongst many other vital functions. Study of this synapse formation is an essential area in neuroscience; the understanding of how neurons interact and control their targets during development and regeneration are fundamental questions. Existing data reveals that during initial stages of development neurons target and form synapses driven by biophysical and biochemical cues, and during later stages they require electrical activity to develop their functional interactions...
November 2016: Acta Biomaterialia
Kenrick An Fu Yap, Mahesh Shivarama Shetty, Gisela Garcia-Alvarez, Bo Lu, Durgadevi Alagappan, Masatsugu Oh-Hora, Sreedharan Sajikumar, Marc Fivaz
STIM2 is an integral membrane protein of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) that regulates the activity of plasma membrane (PM) channels at ER-PM contact sites. Recent studies show that STIM2 promotes spine maturation and surface expression of the AMPA receptor (AMPAR) subunit GluA1, hinting at a probable role in synaptic plasticity. Here, we used a Stim2 cKO mouse to explore the function of STIM2 in Long-Term Potentiation (LTP) and Depression (LTD), two widely-studied models of synaptic plasticity implicated in information storage...
August 18, 2016: Neurobiology of Learning and Memory
Seongkyun Kim, Hyoungkyu Kim, Jerald D Kralik, Jaeseung Jeong
Determining the fundamental architectural design of complex nervous systems will lead to significant medical and technological advances. Yet it remains unclear how nervous systems evolved highly efficient networks with near optimal sharing of pathways that yet produce multiple distinct behaviors to reach the organism's goals. To determine this, the nematode roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans is an attractive model system. Progress has been made in delineating the behavioral circuits of the C. elegans, however, many details are unclear, including the specific functions of every neuron and synapse, as well as the extent the behavioral circuits are separate and parallel versus integrative and serial...
August 2016: PLoS Computational Biology
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