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Neuron, circuit, behavior

Alexandre Caron, Denis Richard
With the still-growing prevalence of obesity worldwide, major efforts are made to understand the various behavioral, environmental, and genetic factors that promote excess fat gain. Obesity results from an imbalance between energy intake and energy expenditure, which emphasizes the importance of deciphering the mechanisms behind energy balance regulation to understand its physiopathology. The control of energy balance is assured by brain systems/circuits capable of generating adequate ingestive and thermogenic responses to maintain the stability of energy reserves, which implies a proper integration of the homeostatic signals that inform about the status of the energy stores...
October 21, 2016: Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Shelby A Montague, Bruce S Baker
An animal's ability to learn and to form memories is essential for its survival. The fruit fly has proven to be a valuable model system for studies of learning and memory. One learned behavior in fruit flies is courtship conditioning. In Drosophila courtship conditioning, male flies learn not to court females during training with an unreceptive female. He retains a memory of this training and for several hours decreases courtship when subsequently paired with any female. Courtship conditioning is a unique learning paradigm; it uses a positive-valence stimulus, a female fly, to teach a male to decrease an innate behavior, courtship of the female...
2016: PloS One
Yiqin Jiang, Elise Pitmon, Jack Berry, Fred W Wolf, Zach McKenzie, Tim J Lebestky
Sleep is an essential behavioral state of rest that is regulated by homeostatic drives to ensure a balance of sleep and activity, as well as independent arousal mechanisms in the central brain. Dopamine has been identified as a critical regulator of both sleep behavior and arousal. Here we present results of a genetic screen that selectively restored the Dopamine Receptor (DopR/DopR1/dumb) to specific neuroanatomical regions of the adult Drosophila brain to assess requirements for DopR in sleep behavior. We have identified subsets of the mushroom body that utilize DopR in daytime sleep regulation...
October 19, 2016: G3: Genes—Genomes—Genetics
Virginia Mela, Sara Jimenez, Alejandra Freire-Regatillo, Vicente Barrios, Eva-María Marco, Ana-Belén Lopez-Rodriguez, Jesús Argente, María-Paz Viveros, Julie A Chowen
The neonatal leptin surge, occurring from postnatal day (PND) 5 to 13 and peaking at PND9 in rodents, is important for the development of neuroendocrine circuits involved in metabolic control and reproductive function. We previously demonstrated that treatment with a leptin antagonist from PND 5 to 9, coincident with peak leptin levels in the neonatal surge, modified trophic factors and markers of cell turnover and neuronal maturation in the hypothalamus of peri-pubertal rats. The kisspeptin system and metabolic neuropeptide and hormone levels were also modified...
October 14, 2016: Peptides
Anthony Holtmaat, Pico Caroni
Learning and memory are associated with the formation and modification of neuronal assemblies: populations of neurons that encode what has been learned and mediate memory retrieval upon recall. Functional studies of neuronal assemblies have progressed dramatically thanks to recent technological advances. Here we discuss how a focus on assembly formation and consolidation has provided a powerful conceptual framework to relate mechanistic studies of synaptic and circuit plasticity to behaviorally relevant aspects of learning and memory...
October 17, 2016: Nature Neuroscience
Siyu Zhang, Min Xu, Wei-Cheng Chang, Chenyan Ma, Johnny Phong Hoang Do, Daniel Jeong, Tiffany Lei, Jiang Lan Fan, Yang Dan
Long-range projections from the frontal cortex are known to modulate sensory processing in multiple modalities. Although the mouse has become an increasingly important animal model for studying the circuit basis of behavior, the functional organization of its frontal cortical long-range connectivity remains poorly characterized. Here we used virus-assisted circuit mapping to identify the brain networks for top-down modulation of visual, somatosensory and auditory processing. The visual cortex is reciprocally connected to the anterior cingulate area, whereas the somatosensory and auditory cortices are connected to the primary and secondary motor cortices...
October 17, 2016: Nature Neuroscience
Joshua Kim, Michele Pignatelli, Sangyu Xu, Shigeyoshi Itohara, Susumu Tonegawa
The basolateral amygdala (BLA) is a site of convergence of negative and positive stimuli and is critical for emotional behaviors and associations. However, the neural substrate for negative and positive behaviors and relationship between negative and positive representations in the basolateral amygdala are unknown. Here we identify two genetically distinct, spatially segregated populations of excitatory neurons in the mouse BLA that participate in valence-specific behaviors and are connected through mutual inhibition...
October 17, 2016: Nature Neuroscience
Rainer Engelken, Farzad Farkhooi, David Hansel, Carl van Vreeswijk, Fred Wolf
Neuronal activity in the central nervous system varies strongly in time and across neuronal populations. It is a longstanding proposal that such fluctuations generically arise from chaotic network dynamics. Various theoretical studies predict that the rich dynamics of rate models operating in the chaotic regime can subserve circuit computation and learning. Neurons in the brain, however, communicate via spikes and it is a theoretical challenge to obtain similar rate fluctuations in networks of spiking neuron models...
2016: F1000Research
Iryna Yavorska, Michael Wehr
Cortical inhibitory neurons exhibit remarkable diversity in their morphology, connectivity, and synaptic properties. Here, we review the function of somatostatin-expressing (SOM) inhibitory interneurons, focusing largely on sensory cortex. SOM neurons also comprise a number of subpopulations that can be distinguished by their morphology, input and output connectivity, laminar location, firing properties, and expression of molecular markers. Several of these classes of SOM neurons show unique dynamics and characteristics, such as facilitating synapses, specific axonal projections, intralaminar input, and top-down modulation, which suggest possible computational roles...
2016: Frontiers in Neural Circuits
Nelly Redolfi, Luisa Galla, Andrea Maset, Luca Murru, Eleonora Savoia, Ilaria Zamparo, Angela Gritti, Pierre Billuart, Maria Passafaro, Claudia Lodovichi
Among the X-linked genes associated to intellectual disability, Oligophrenin-1 (OPHN1) encodes for a Rho GTPase-activating protein, a key regulator of several developmental processes, such as dendrite and spine formation and synaptic activity. Inhibitory interneurons play a key role in the development and function of neuronal circuits. Whether mutation of OPHN1 can affect morphology and synaptic properties of inhibitory interneurons remains poorly understood. To address these open questions, we studied in a well established mouse model of X-linked intellectual disability, i...
October 13, 2016: Human Molecular Genetics
Luigi Bellocchio, Andrea Ruiz-Calvo, Anna Chiarlone, Magali Cabanas, Eva Resel, Jean-René Cazalets, Cristina Blázquez, Yoon H Cho, Ismael Galve-Roperh, Manuel Guzmán
: The dorsal striatum is a major input structure of the basal ganglia and plays a key role in the control of vital processes such as motor behavior, cognition, and motivation. The functionality of striatal neurons is tightly controlled by various metabotropic receptors. Whereas the Gs/Gi-protein-dependent tuning of striatal neurons is fairly well known, the precise impact and underlying mechanism of Gq-protein-dependent signals remain poorly understood. Here, using different experimental approaches, especially designer receptor exclusively activated by designer drug (DREADD) chemogenetic technology, we found that sustained activation of Gq-protein signaling impairs the functionality of striatal neurons and we unveil the precise molecular mechanism underlying this process: a phospholipase C/Ca(2+)/proline-rich tyrosine kinase 2/cJun N-terminal kinase pathway...
October 12, 2016: Journal of Neuroscience: the Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience
Jessica A Cardin
γ oscillations (20-80 Hz) are associated with sensory processing, cognition, and memory, and focused attention in animals and humans. γ activity can arise from several neural mechanisms in the cortex and hippocampus and can vary across circuits, behavioral states, and developmental stages. γ oscillations are nonstationary, typically occurring in short bouts, and the peak frequency of this rhythm is modulated by stimulus parameters. In addition, the participation of excitatory and inhibitory neurons in the γ rhythm varies across local circuits and conditions, particularly in the cortex...
October 12, 2016: Journal of Neuroscience: the Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience
Vikaas S Sohal
γ oscillations, which can be identified by rhythmic electrical signals ∼30-100 Hz, consist of interactions between excitatory and inhibitory neurons that result in rhythmic inhibition capable of entraining firing within local cortical circuits. Many possible mechanisms have been described through which γ oscillations could act on cortical circuits to modulate their responses to input, alter their patterns of activity, and/or enhance the efficacy of their outputs onto downstream targets. Recently, several studies have observed changes in behavior after optogenetically manipulating neocortical γ oscillations...
October 12, 2016: Journal of Neuroscience: the Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience
Alex S Mauss, Alexander Borst
Drosophila has emerged as an important model organism for the study of the neural basis of behavior. Its main asset is the experimental accessibility of identified neurons by genetic manipulation and physiological recordings. Drosophila therefore offers the opportunity to reach an integrative understanding of the development and neural underpinnings of behavior at all processing stages, from sensing to motor control, in a single species. Here, we will provide an account of the procedures involved in recording the electrical potential of individual neurons in the visual system of adult Drosophila using the whole-cell patch-clamp method...
2016: Methods in Molecular Biology
Peter B Winter, Renee M Brielmann, Nicholas P Timkovich, Helio T Navarro, Andreia Teixeira-Castro, Richard I Morimoto, Luis A N Amaral
The study of C. elegans has led to ground-breaking discoveries in gene-function, neuronal circuits, and physiological responses. Subtle behavioral phenotypes, however, are often difficult to measure reproducibly. We have developed an experimental and computational infrastructure to simultaneously record and analyze the physical characteristics, movement, and social behaviors of dozens of interacting free-moving nematodes. Our algorithm implements a directed acyclic network that reconstructs the complex behavioral trajectories generated by individual C...
October 11, 2016: Scientific Reports
Vipan K Parihar, Barrett D Allen, Chongshan Caressi, Stephanie Kwok, Esther Chu, Katherine K Tran, Nicole N Chmielewski, Erich Giedzinski, Munjal M Acharya, Richard A Britten, Janet E Baulch, Charles L Limoli
The Mars mission will result in an inevitable exposure to cosmic radiation that has been shown to cause cognitive impairments in rodent models, and possibly in astronauts engaged in deep space travel. Of particular concern is the potential for cosmic radiation exposure to compromise critical decision making during normal operations or under emergency conditions in deep space. Rodents exposed to cosmic radiation exhibit persistent hippocampal and cortical based performance decrements using six independent behavioral tasks administered between separate cohorts 12 and 24 weeks after irradiation...
October 10, 2016: Scientific Reports
Tihana Jovanic, Casey Martin Schneider-Mizell, Mei Shao, Jean-Baptiste Masson, Gennady Denisov, Richard Doty Fetter, Brett Daren Mensh, James William Truman, Albert Cardona, Marta Zlatic
Even a simple sensory stimulus can elicit distinct innate behaviors and sequences. During sensorimotor decisions, competitive interactions among neurons that promote distinct behaviors must ensure the selection and maintenance of one behavior, while suppressing others. The circuit implementation of these competitive interactions is still an open question. By combining comprehensive electron microscopy reconstruction of inhibitory interneuron networks, modeling, electrophysiology, and behavioral studies, we determined the circuit mechanisms that contribute to the Drosophila larval sensorimotor decision to startle, explore, or perform a sequence of the two in response to a mechanosensory stimulus...
October 20, 2016: Cell
Eleanor H Simpson, Christoph Kellendonk
The dopamine hypothesis of schizophrenia is supported by a large number of imaging studies that have identified an increase in dopamine binding at the D2 receptor selectively in the striatum. We review a decade of work using a regionally restricted and temporally regulated transgenic mouse model to investigate the behavioral, molecular, electrophysiological, and anatomical consequences of selective D2 receptor upregulation in the striatum. These studies have identified new and potentially important biomarkers at the circuit and molecular level that can now be explored in patients with schizophrenia...
July 14, 2016: Biological Psychiatry
Emilio Salazar-Gatzimas, Juyue Chen, Matthew S Creamer, Omer Mano, Holly B Mandel, Catherine A Matulis, Joseph Pottackal, Damon A Clark
Animals estimate visual motion by integrating light intensity information over time and space. The integration requires nonlinear processing, which makes motion estimation circuitry sensitive to specific spatiotemporal correlations that signify visual motion. Classical models of motion estimation weight these correlations to produce direction-selective signals. However, the correlational algorithms they describe have not been directly measured in elementary motion-detecting neurons (EMDs). Here, we employed stimuli to directly measure responses to pairwise correlations in Drosophila's EMD neurons, T4 and T5...
October 5, 2016: Neuron
Paolo Federico, Monica A Perez
The corticospinal tract contributes to the control of finger muscles during precision and power grip. The extent to which different sets of cortical interneuronal circuits during these distinct grasping behaviors remains unknown. To examine this question in humans we used noninvasive transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) over the hand representation of the primary motor cortex to elicit motor evoked potentials (MEPs) in an intrinsic finger muscle during index finger abduction (control task), precision grip, and power grip...
October 5, 2016: Cerebral Cortex
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