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Plastic Brain

Nicholas P Vyleta, Carolina Borges-Merjane, Peter Jonas
Mossy fiber synapses on CA3 pyramidal cells are 'conditional detonators' that reliably discharge postsynaptic targets. The 'conditional' nature implies that burst activity in dentate gyrus granule cells is required for detonation. Whether single unitary excitatory postsynaptic potentials (EPSPs) trigger spikes in CA3 neurons remains unknown. Mossy fiber synapses exhibit both pronounced short-term facilitation and uniquely large post-tetanic potentiation (PTP). We tested whether PTP could convert mossy fiber synapses from subdetonator into detonator mode, using a recently developed method to selectively and noninvasively stimulate individual presynaptic terminals in rat brain slices...
October 25, 2016: ELife
Luca Lo Verde, Maria Concetta Morrone, Claudia Lunghi
It is known that, after a prolonged period of visual deprivation, the adult visual cortex can be recruited for nonvisual processing, reflecting cross-modal plasticity. Here, we investigated whether cross-modal plasticity can occur at short timescales in the typical adult brain by comparing the interaction between vision and touch during binocular rivalry before and after a brief period of monocular deprivation, which strongly alters ocular balance favoring the deprived eye. While viewing dichoptically two gratings of orthogonal orientation, participants were asked to actively explore a haptic grating congruent in orientation to one of the two rivalrous stimuli...
October 25, 2016: Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience
Tian Tian, Linying Guo, Jing Xu, Shun Zhang, Jingjing Shi, Chengxia Liu, Yuanyuan Qin, Wenzhen Zhu
Peripheral nerve damage does not fully explain the pathogenesis of trigeminal neuralgia (TN). Central nervous system changes can follow trigeminal nerve dysfunction. We hypothesized that brain white matter and functional connectivity changes in TN patients were involved in pain perception, modulation, the cognitive-affective system, and motor function; moreover, changes in functional reorganization were correlated with white matter alterations. Twenty left TN patients and twenty-two healthy controls were studied...
October 25, 2016: Scientific Reports
Federica Agosta, Roberto Gatti, Elisabetta Sarasso, Maria Antonietta Volonté, Elisa Canu, Alessandro Meani, Lidia Sarro, Massimiliano Copetti, Erik Cattrysse, Eric Kerckhofs, Giancarlo Comi, Andrea Falini, Massimo Filippi
Gait disorders represent a therapeutic challenge in Parkinson's disease (PD). This study investigated the efficacy of 4-week action observation training (AOT) on disease severity, freezing of gait and motor abilities in PD, and evaluated treatment-related brain functional changes. 25 PD patients with freezing of gait were randomized into two groups: AOT (action observation combined with practicing the observed actions) and "Landscape" (same physical training combined with landscape-videos observation). At baseline and 4-week, patients underwent clinical evaluation and fMRI...
October 24, 2016: Journal of Neurology
Henry Oppermann, Yonghong Ding, Jeevan Sharma, Mandy Berndt Paetz, Jürgen Meixensberger, Frank Gaunitz, Claudia Birkemeyer
BACKGROUND: Tumor cells are highly dependent on glucose even in the presence of oxygen. This concept called the Warburg effect is a hallmark of cancer and strategies are considered to therapeutically exploit the phenomenon such as ketogenic diets. The success of such strategies is dependent on a profound understanding of tumor cell metabolism. With new techniques it is now possible to thoroughly analyze the metabolic responses to the withdrawal of substrates and their substitution by others...
2016: Nutrition & Metabolism
Hong-Yan Cai, Zhao-Jun Wang, Christian Hölscher, Li Yuan, Jun Zhang, Peng Sun, Jing Li, Wei Yang, Mei-Na Wu, Jin-Shun Qi
Type 2 diabetes mellitus(T2DM) is a risk factor of Alzheimer's disease (AD), which is most likely linked to impairments of insulin signaling in the brain. Hence, drugs enhancing insulin signaling may have therapeutic potential for AD. Lixisenatide, a novel long-lasting glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) analogue, facilitates insulin signaling and has neuroprotective properties. We previously reported the protective effects of lixisenatide on memory formation and synaptic plasticity. Here, we describe additional key neuroprotective properties of lixisenatide and its possible molecular and cellular mechanisms against AD-related impairments in rats...
October 21, 2016: Behavioural Brain Research
Michael M Kasumovic, Zhiliang Chen, Marc R Wilkins
BACKGROUND: Ecological and evolutionary model organisms have provided extensive insight into the ecological triggers, adaptive benefits, and evolution of life-history driven developmental plasticity. Despite this, we still have a poor understanding of the underlying genetic changes that occur during shifts towards different developmental trajectories. The goal of this study is to determine whether we can identify underlying gene expression patterns that can describe the different life-history trajectories individuals follow in response to social cues of competition...
October 24, 2016: BMC Genomics
Manel Ben Aissa, Sue H Lee, Brian M Bennett, Gregory R J Thatcher
cAMP-response element-binding protein (CREB) plays a central role in various aspects of central nervous system (CNS) function, ranging from the developmental stages to neuronal plasticity and survival in adult brain. Activation of CREB plays a crucial role in learning and memory and is at the convergence of multiple intracellular signaling cascades including CAMKII and MAPK. This review focuses on the important functions of nitric oxide (NO) in activating CREB via the NO receptor, soluble guanylyl cyclase (sGC), and production of the second messenger, cGMP...
2016: Current Medicinal Chemistry
Shane Virani, Colin Russell, Megan L Bruschetta, Kevin Ngoc Hua, Brigitte M Potvin, David Cox, Stephen N Robinovitch
INTRODUCTION: Shoulder-to-head contact is the most common cause of concussions in ice hockey, accounting for 42% of cases in the National Hockey League (NHL). The goal of this project was to determine how shoulder pad stiffness, modified by adding foam padding over the shoulder cap of existing shoulder pads, affected head impact severity when participants delivered checks to an instrumented dummy. METHODS: Fifteen participants administered "the hardest shoulder checks they were comfortable delivering" to the head of a dummy equipped with tri-axial accelerometers and gyros mounted in its helmet...
October 21, 2016: Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise
Nataliya Di Donato, Ying Y Jean, A Murat Maga, Briana D Krewson, Alison B Shupp, Maria I Avrutsky, Achira Roy, Sarah Collins, Carissa Olds, Rebecca A Willert, Agnieszka M Czaja, Rachel Johnson, Jessi A Stover, Steven Gottlieb, Deborah Bartholdi, Anita Rauch, Amy Goldstein, Victoria Boyd-Kyle, Kimberly A Aldinger, Ghayda M Mirzaa, Anke Nissen, Karlla W Brigatti, Erik G Puffenberger, Kathleen J Millen, Kevin A Strauss, William B Dobyns, Carol M Troy, Robert N Jinks
Lissencephaly is a malformation of cortical development typically caused by deficient neuronal migration resulting in cortical thickening and reduced gyration. Here we describe a "thin" lissencephaly (TLIS) variant characterized by megalencephaly, frontal predominant pachygyria, intellectual disability, and seizures. Trio-based whole-exome sequencing and targeted re-sequencing identified recessive mutations of CRADD in six individuals with TLIS from four unrelated families of diverse ethnic backgrounds. CRADD (also known as RAIDD) is a death-domain-containing adaptor protein that oligomerizes with PIDD and caspase-2 to initiate apoptosis...
October 18, 2016: American Journal of Human Genetics
Vishal Kothari, Yuwen Luo, Talia Tornabene, Ann Marie O'Neill, Michael W Greene, Geetha Thangiah, Jeganathan Ramesh Babu
High fat diet-induced obesity is associated with insulin resistance (IR) and other chronic, diet related illnesses, including dementia. Alzheimer disease is the most common form of dementia, and is characterized by the presence of amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles in brain. This study was designed to determine whether diet-induced changes in peripheral insulin sensitivity could contribute to alterations in brain insulin signaling and cognitive functions. Four week old, male C57BL/6NHsd mice were randomly assigned a high fat diet (40% energy from fat) with 42g/L liquid sugar (HFS) added to the drinking water or a normal chow diet (12% energy from fat) for 14weeks...
October 19, 2016: Biochimica et Biophysica Acta
Larisa Tratnjek, Marko Živin, Gordana Glavan
Synaptotagmin 7 (SYT7) is ubiquitously expressed calcium sensor, involved in neuronal membrane trafficking. Immunoprecipitation experiments demonstrated that SYT7 interacts with Synaptotagmin-binding, cytoplasmic RNA-interacting protein (SYNCRIP). SYNCRIP is a component of mRNA granules, which are transported to dendrites and are prerequisite for synaptic plasticity. Given the potential significance of SYT7 regulation in processes of neurodegeneration, which are characterized by high level of synaptic vulnerability, we aimed to analyse and compare the distribution of SYT7 and SYNCRIP proteins in the adult rat striatum, hippocampus, cerebral and cerebellar cortex...
October 19, 2016: Journal of Chemical Neuroanatomy
Cinthia D Coria-Lucero, Rebeca S Golini, Ivana T Ponce, Nicolas Deyurka, Ana C Anzulovich, Silvia M Delgado, Lorena S Navigatore-Fonzo
Aging brain undergoes several changes leading to a decline in cognitive functions. Memory and learning-related genes such as Creb, Bdnf and its receptor TrkB, are expressed in different brain regions including prefrontal cortex. Those genes' proteins regulate a wide range of functions such as synaptic plasticity and long-term potentiation. In this work, our objectives were: 1) to investigate whether Creb1, Bdnf and TrkB genes display endogenous circadian expression rhythms, in the prefrontal cortex of rats maintained under constant darkness conditions; 2) to study the synchronization of those temporal patterns to the local cellular clock and 3) to evaluate the aging consequences on both cognition-related genes and activating clock transcription factor, BMAL1, rhythms...
October 19, 2016: Brain Research
Andrea Locci, Patrizia Porcu, Giuseppe Talani, Francesca Santoru, Roberta Berretti, Elisa Giunti, Valentina Licheri, Enrico Sanna, Alessandra Concas
Exposure of female rats to estradiol during the perinatal period has profound effects on GABAergic neurotransmission that are crucial to establish sexually dimorphic brain characteristics. We previously showed that neonatal β-estradiol 3-benzoate (EB) treatment decreases brain concentrations of the neurosteroid allopregnanolone, a potent positive modulator of extrasynaptic GABAA receptors (GABAAR). We thus evaluated whether neonatal EB treatment affects GABAAR expression and function in the hippocampus of adult female rats...
October 18, 2016: Hormones and Behavior
Thibaut Aurore, Russo Cristina, Morales-Quezada Leon, Hurtado-Puerto Aura, Deitos Alícia, Steven Freedman, Carvalho Sandra, Fregni Felipe
Transcranial pulsed current stimulation (tPCS) and transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) are two noninvasive neuromodulatory brain stimulation techniques whose effects on human brain and behavior have been studied individually. In the present study we aimed to quantify the effects of tDCS and tPCS, individually and in combination, on cortical activity, sensitivity and pain-related assessments in healthy individuals in order to understand their neurophysiological mechanisms and potential applications in clinical populations...
October 17, 2016: Neuroscience Letters
Thomas J Younts, Hannah R Monday, Barna Dudok, Matthew E Klein, Bryen A Jordan, István Katona, Pablo E Castillo
Long-term changes of neurotransmitter release are critical for proper brain function. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying these changes are poorly understood. While protein synthesis is crucial for the consolidation of postsynaptic plasticity, whether and how protein synthesis regulates presynaptic plasticity in the mature mammalian brain remain unclear. Here, using paired whole-cell recordings in rodent hippocampal slices, we report that presynaptic protein synthesis is required for long-term, but not short-term, plasticity of GABA release from type 1 cannabinoid receptor (CB1)-expressing axons...
October 19, 2016: Neuron
Mathieu Fonteneau, Dominique Filliol, Patrick Anglard, Katia Befort, Pascal Romieu, Jean Zwiller
DNA methylation is a major epigenetic process which regulates the accessibility of genes to the transcriptional machinery. In the present study, we investigated whether modifying the global DNA methylation pattern in the brain would alter cocaine intake by rats, using the cocaine self-administration test. The data indicate that treatment of rats with the DNA methyltransferase inhibitors 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine and zebularine actually enhanced the reinforcing properties of cocaine. To get some insights about the underlying neurobiological mechanisms, a genome-wide methylation analysis was undertaken in the prefrontal cortex of rats self-administering cocaine and treated or not with 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine...
October 20, 2016: Genes, Brain, and Behavior
Laura Whitton, Donna Cosgrove, Christopher Clarkson, Denise Harold, Kimberley Kendall, Alex Richards, Kiran Mantripragada, Michael J Owen, Michael C O'Donovan, James Walters, Annette Hartmann, Betina Konte, Dan Rujescu, Michael Gill, Aiden Corvin, Stephen Rea, Gary Donohoe, Derek W Morris
Epigenetic mechanisms are an important heritable and dynamic means of regulating various genomic functions, including gene expression, to orchestrate brain development, adult neurogenesis, and synaptic plasticity. These processes when perturbed are thought to contribute to schizophrenia pathophysiology. A core feature of schizophrenia is cognitive dysfunction. For genetic disorders where cognitive impairment is more severe such as intellectual disability, there are a disproportionally high number of genes involved in the epigenetic regulation of gene transcription...
October 20, 2016: American Journal of Medical Genetics. Part B, Neuropsychiatric Genetics
Jeroen Aerts, Annelies Laeremans, Laurens Minerva, Kurt Boonen, Budamgunta Harshavardhan, Rudi D'hooge, Dirk Valkenborg, Geert Baggerman, Lutgarde Arckens
The Morris water maze (MWM) spatial learning task has been demonstrated to involve a cognitive switch of action control to serve the transition from an early towards a late learning phase. However, the molecular mechanisms governing this switch are largely unknown. We employed MALDI MS imaging (MSI) to screen for changes in expression of small proteins in brain structures implicated in the different learning phases. We compared mice trained for 3days and 30days in the MWM, reflecting an early and a late learning phase in relation to the acquisition of a spatial learning task...
October 17, 2016: Biochimica et Biophysica Acta
Prabesh Bhattarai, Alvin Kuriakose Thomas, Mehmet Ilyas Cosacak, Christos Papadimitriou, Violeta Mashkaryan, Cynthia Froc, Susanne Reinhardt, Thomas Kurth, Andreas Dahl, Yixin Zhang, Caghan Kizil
Human brains are prone to neurodegeneration, given that endogenous neural stem/progenitor cells (NSPCs) fail to support neurogenesis. To investigate the molecular programs potentially mediating neurodegeneration-induced NSPC plasticity in regenerating organisms, we generated an Amyloid-β42 (Aβ42)-dependent neurotoxic model in adult zebrafish brain through cerebroventricular microinjection of cell-penetrating Aβ42 derivatives. Aβ42 deposits in neurons and causes phenotypes reminiscent of amyloid pathophysiology: apoptosis, microglial activation, synaptic degeneration, and learning deficits...
October 18, 2016: Cell Reports
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