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electrical synapse

Andrei Tsentsevitsky, Leniz Nurullin, Evgeny Nikolsky, Artem Malomouzh
There is some evidence that glutamate (Glu) acts as a signaling molecule at vertebrate neuromuscular junctions where acetylcholine (ACh) serves as a neurotransmitter. In this study, performed on the cutaneous pectoris muscle of the frog Rana ridibunda, Glu receptor mechanisms that modulate ACh release processes were analyzed. Electrophysiological experiments showed that Glu reduces both spontaneous and evoked quantal secretion of ACh and synchronizes its release in response to electrical stimulation. Quisqualate, an agonist of ionotropic α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic receptors and metabotropic Group I mGlu receptors, also exerted Glu-like inhibitory effects on the secretion of ACh but had no effect on the kinetics of quantal release...
October 22, 2016: Journal of Neuroscience Research
William R Pitchers, Savvas J Constantinou, Mauricio Losilla, Jason R Gallant
Electric fish have served as a model system in biology since the 18th century, providing deep insight into the nature of bioelectrogenesis, the molecular structure of the synapse, and brain circuitry underlying complex behavior. Neuroethologists have collected extensive phenotypic data that span biological levels of analysis from molecules to ecosystems. This phenotypic data, together with genomic resources obtained over the past decades, have motivated new and exciting hypotheses that position the weakly electric fish model to address fundamental 21(st) century biological questions...
October 18, 2016: Journal of Physiology, Paris
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
Beatrice Vignoli, Giulia Battistini, Riccardo Melani, Robert Blum, Spartaco Santi, Nicoletta Berardi, Marco Canossa
Glial cells respond to neuronal activation and release neuroactive molecules (termed "gliotransmitters") that can affect synaptic activity and modulate plasticity. In this study, we used molecular genetic tools, ultra-structural microscopy, and electrophysiology to assess the role of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) on cortical gliotransmission in vivo. We find that glial cells recycle BDNF that was previously secreted by neurons as pro-neurotrophin following long-term potentiation (LTP)-inducing electrical stimulation...
October 12, 2016: Neuron
N De Geeter, P Lioumis, A Laakso, G Crevecoeur, L Dupré
When delivered over a specific cortical site, TMS can temporarily disrupt the ongoing process in that area. This allows mapping of speech-related areas for preoperative evaluation purposes. We numerically explore the observed variability of TMS responses during a speech mapping experiment performed with a neuronavigation system. We selected four cases with very small perturbations in coil position and orientation. In one case (E) a naming error occurred, while in the other cases (NEA, B, C) the subject appointed the images as smoothly as without TMS...
October 7, 2016: Physics in Medicine and Biology
Céline Melin, Florian Jacquot, Nicolas Vitello, Radhouane Dallel, Alain Artola
INTRODUCTION: Within superficial trigeminal nucleus caudalis (Sp5C) (laminae I/II), meningeal primary afferents project exclusively to lamina I, whereas nociceptive cutaneous ones distribute in both lamina I and outer lamina II. Whether such a relative absence of meningeal inputs to lamina II represents a fundamental difference from cutaneous pathways in the central processing of sensory information is still unknown. METHODS: We recorded extracellular field potentials in the superficial Sp5C of anesthetised rats evoked by electrically stimulating the dura mater, to selectively assess the synaptic transmission between meningeal primary afferents and second-order Sp5C neurons, the first synapse in trigeminovascular pathways...
October 5, 2016: Cephalalgia: An International Journal of Headache
Mahan Azadpour, Robert L Smith
Cochlear implants (CIs) bypass some of the mechanisms that underlie normal neural behavior as occurs in acoustic hearing. One such neural mechanism is short-term adaptation, which has been proposed to have a significant role in speech perception. Acoustically-evoked neural adaptation has been mainly attributed to the depletion of neurotransmitter in the hair-cell to auditory-nerve synapse and is therefore not fully present in CI stimulation. This study evaluated a signal processing method that integrated a physiological model of hair-cell adaptation into CI speech processing...
September 30, 2016: Hearing Research
Ted J Warren, Matthew J Van Hook, Daniel Tranchina, Wallace B Thoreson
UNLABELLED: Inhibitory feedback from horizontal cells (HCs) to cones generates center-surround receptive fields and color opponency in the retina. Mechanisms of HC feedback remain unsettled, but one hypothesis proposes that an ephaptic mechanism may alter the extracellular electrical field surrounding photoreceptor synaptic terminals, thereby altering Ca(2+) channel activity and photoreceptor output. An ephaptic voltage change produced by current flowing through open channels in the HC membrane should occur with no delay...
September 28, 2016: Journal of Neuroscience: the Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience
Zhongrui Wang, Saumil Joshi, Sergey E Savel'ev, Hao Jiang, Rivu Midya, Peng Lin, Miao Hu, Ning Ge, John Paul Strachan, Zhiyong Li, Qing Wu, Mark Barnell, Geng-Lin Li, Huolin L Xin, R Stanley Williams, Qiangfei Xia, J Joshua Yang
The accumulation and extrusion of Ca(2+) in the pre- and postsynaptic compartments play a critical role in initiating plastic changes in biological synapses. To emulate this fundamental process in electronic devices, we developed diffusive Ag-in-oxide memristors with a temporal response during and after stimulation similar to that of the synaptic Ca(2+) dynamics. In situ high-resolution transmission electron microscopy and nanoparticle dynamics simulations both demonstrate that Ag atoms disperse under electrical bias and regroup spontaneously under zero bias because of interfacial energy minimization, closely resembling synaptic influx and extrusion of Ca(2+), respectively...
September 26, 2016: Nature Materials
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
Mark H Myers, Madeline Threatt, Karsten M Solies, Brent M McFerrin, Lindsey B Hopf, J Douglas Birdwell, Karl A Sillay
BACKGROUND: The brain, made up of billions of neurons and synapses, is the marvelous core of human thought, action and memory. However, if neuronal activity manifests into abnormal electrical activity across the brain, neural behavior may exhibit synchronous neural firings known as seizures. If unprovoked seizures occur repeatedly, a patient may be diagnosed with epilepsy. PURPOSE: The scope of this project is to develop an ambulatory seizure monitoring system that can be used away from a hospital, making it possible for the user to stay at home, and primary care personnel to monitor a patient's seizure activity in order to provide deeper analysis of the patient's condition and apply personalized intervention techniques...
July 2016: Annals of Neurosciences
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
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
Kelly G Sullivan, Maya Emmons-Bell, Michael Levin
A key problem in evolutionary developmental biology is identifying the sources of instructive information that determine species-specific anatomical pattern. Understanding the inputs to large-scale morphology is also crucial for efforts to manipulate pattern formation in regenerative medicine and synthetic bioengineering. Recent studies have revealed a physiological system of communication among cells that regulates pattern during embryogenesis and regeneration in vertebrate and invertebrate models. Somatic tissues form networks using the same ion channels, electrical synapses, and neurotransmitter mechanisms exploited by the brain for information-processing...
July 2016: Communicative & Integrative Biology
J H Coote, R A Chauhan
Autonomic control of the heart has a significant influence over development of life threatening arrhythmias that can lead to sudden cardiac death. Sympathetic activity is known to be upregulated during these conditions and hence the sympathetic nerves present a target for treatment. However, a better understanding of the anatomy and physiology of cardiac sympathetic nerves is required for the progression of clinical interventions. This review explores the organization of the cardiac sympathetic nerves, from the preganglionic origin to the postganglionic innervations, and provides an overview of literature surrounding anti-arrhythmic therapies including thoracic sympathectomy and dorsal spinal cord stimulation...
August 2016: Autonomic Neuroscience: Basic & Clinical
Rongrong Guo, Shasha Zhang, Miao Xiao, Fuping Qian, Zuhong He, Dan Li, Xiaoli Zhang, Huawei Li, Xiaowei Yang, Ming Wang, Renjie Chai, Mingliang Tang
In order to govern cell-specific behaviors in tissue engineering for neural repair and regeneration, a better understanding of material-cell interactions, especially the bioelectric functions, is extremely important. Graphene has been reported to be a potential candidate for use as a scaffold and neural interfacing material. However, the bioelectric evolvement of cell membranes on these conductive graphene substrates remains largely uninvestigated. In this study, we used a neural stem cell (NSC) model to explore the possible changes in membrane bioelectric properties - including resting membrane potentials and action potentials - and cell behaviors on graphene films under both proliferation and differentiation conditions...
November 2016: Biomaterials
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
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
Xing-Hua Yao, Min Wang, Xiang-Nan He, Fei He, Shu-Qing Zhang, Wenlian Lu, Zi-Long Qiu, Yong-Chun Yu
The coexistence of electrical and chemical synapses among interneurons is essential for interneuron function in the neocortex. However, it remains largely unclear whether electrical coupling between interneurons influences chemical synapse formation and microcircuit assembly during development. Here, we show that electrical and GABAergic chemical connections robustly develop between interneurons in neocortical layer 1 over a similar time course. Electrical coupling promotes action potential generation and synchronous firing between layer 1 interneurons...
2016: Nature Communications
Vittorio Foglietti, Nan Yang, Carmela Aruta, Fabio Di Pietrantonio, Domenico Cannatà, Massimiliano Benetti, Giuseppe Balestrino
We report on the characterization of resistive switching devices based on epitaxial CeO2 thin films as a functional material. CeO2 epitaxial thin films were grown by the pulsed laser deposition technique on conductive substrates. Platinum and titanium nitride top electrodes (TE) were successively deposited. Very good performances, in terms of resistivity switching and multilevel operation capability, were obtained using the Pt TE. The dependence of the low resistance and high resistance state on the TE material and on the CeO2 film thickness were explained...
September 16, 2016: Nanotechnology
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