X
Forgot Password

If you have forgotten your password you can enter your email here and get a temporary password sent to your email.

Anti-Choline Acetyltransferase antibody

RRID:AB_2079751

Antibody ID

AB_2079751

Target Antigen

ChAT rat, mouse, macaque monkey, guinea pig, chicken, opossum, avian, human

Proper Citation

(Millipore Cat# AB144P, RRID:AB_2079751)

Clonality

polyclonal antibody

Comments

validated for use in IH(P), IC, IH and WB.

Host Organism

goat

Vendor

Millipore

Cat Num

AB144P

Publications that use this research resource

The cholinergic system in the basal forebrain of the Atlantic white-sided dolphin (Lagenorhynchus acutus).

  • Reid GA
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2018 Aug 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

The basal forebrain (BFB) cholinergic neurotransmitter system is important in a number of brain functions including attention, memory, and the sleep-wake cycle. The size of this region has been linked to the increase in encephalization of the brain in a number of species. Cetaceans, particularly those belonging to the family Delphinidae, have a relatively large brain compared to its body size and it is expected that the cholinergic BFB in the dolphin would be a prominent feature. However, this has not yet been explored in detail. This study examines and maps the neuroanatomy and cholinergic chemoarchitecture of the BFB in the Atlantic white-sided dolphin (Lagenorhynchus acutus). As in some other mammals, the BFB in this species is a prominent structure along the medioventral surface of the brain. The parcellation and distribution of cholinergic neural elements of the dolphin BFB was comparable to that observed in other mammals in that it has a medial septal nucleus, a nucleus of the vertical limb of the diagonal band of Broca, a nucleus of the horizontal limb of the diagonal band of Broca, and a nucleus basalis of Meynert. The observed BFB cholinergic system of this dolphin is consistent with evolutionarily conserved and important functions for survival.

Funding information:
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - R01 HL064632-13(United States)

Post-crossing segment of dI1 commissural axons forms collateral branches to motor neurons in the developing spinal cord.

  • Kaneyama T
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2018 Aug 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

The dI1 commissural axons in the developing spinal cord, upon crossing the midline through the floor plate, make a sharp turn to grow rostrally. These post-crossing axons initially just extend adjacent to the floor plate without entering nearby motor columns. However, it remains poorly characterized how these post-crossing dI1 axons behave subsequently to this process. In the present study, to address this issue, we examined in detail the behavior of post-crossing dI1 axons in mice, using the Atoh1 enhancer-based conditional expression system that enables selective and sparse labeling of individual dI1 axons, together with Hb9 and ChAT immunohistochemistry for precise identification of spinal motor neurons (MNs). We found unexpectedly that the post-crossing segment of dI1 axons later gave off collateral branches that extended laterally to invade motor columns. Interestingly, these collateral branches emerged at around the time when their primary growth cones initiated invasion into motor columns. In addition, although the length of the laterally growing collateral branches increased with age, the majority of them remained within motor columns. Strikingly, these collateral branches further gave rise to multiple secondary branches in the region of MNs that innervate muscles close to the body axis. Moreover, these axonal branches formed presynaptic terminals on MNs. These observations demonstrate that dI1 commissural neurons develop axonal projection to spinal MNs via collateral branches arising later from the post-crossing segment of these axons. Our findings thus reveal a previously unrecognized projection of dI1 commissural axons that may contribute directly to generating proper motor output.

Funding information:
  • European Research Council - 249968(International)

Loss of Atoh1 from neurons regulating hypoxic and hypercapnic chemoresponses causes neonatal respiratory failure in mice.

  • van der Heijden ME
  • Elife
  • 2018 Jul 4

Literature context:


Abstract:

Atoh1-null mice die at birth from respiratory failure, but the precise cause has remained elusive. Loss of Atoh1 from various components of the respiratory circuitry (e.g., the retrotrapezoid nucleus (RTN)) have so far produced at most 50% neonatal lethality. To identify other Atoh1-lineage neurons that contribute to postnatal survival, we examined parabrachial complex neurons derived from the rostral rhombic lip (rRL) and found that they are activated during respiratory chemochallenges. Atoh1-deletion from the rRL does not affect survival, but causes apneas and respiratory depression during hypoxia, likely due to loss of projections to the preBötzinger Complex and RTN. Atoh1 thus promotes the development of the neural circuits governing hypoxic (rRL) and hypercapnic (RTN) chemoresponses, and combined loss of Atoh1 from these regions causes fully penetrant neonatal lethality. This work underscores the importance of modulating respiratory rhythms in response to chemosensory information during early postnatal life.

Funding information:
  • American Heart Association - Predoctoral fellowship award number 17PRE33660616()
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - GM083975(United States)

Regional chemoarchitecture of the brain of lungfishes based on calbindin D-28K and calretinin immunohistochemistry.

  • Morona R
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2018 Jun 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

Lungfishes are the closest living relatives of land vertebrates, and their neuroanatomical organization is particularly relevant for deducing the neural traits that have been conserved, modified, or lost with the transition from fishes to land vertebrates. The immunohistochemical localization of calbindin (CB) and calretinin (CR) provides a powerful method for discerning segregated neuronal populations, fiber tracts, and neuropils and is here applied to the brains of Neoceratodus and Protopterus, representing the two extant orders of lungfishes. The results showed abundant cells containing these proteins in pallial and subpallial telencephalic regions, with particular distinct distribution in the basal ganglia, amygdaloid complex, and septum. Similarly, the distribution of CB and CR containing cells supports the division of the hypothalamus of lungfishes into neuromeric regions, as in tetrapods. The dense concentrations of CB and CR positive cells and fibers highlight the extent of the thalamus. As in other vertebrates, the optic tectum is characterized by numerous CB positive cells and fibers and smaller numbers of CR cells. The so-called cerebellar nucleus contains abundant CB and CR cells with long ascending axons, which raises the possibility that it could be homologized to the secondary gustatory nucleus of other vertebrates. The corpus of the cerebellum is devoid of CB and CR and cells positive for both proteins are found in the cerebellar auricles and the octavolateralis nuclei. Comparison with other vertebrates reveals that lungfishes share most of their features of calcium binding protein distribution with amphibians, particularly with salamanders.

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - T32CA154274(United States)

Inhibitory and modulatory inputs to the vocal central pattern generator of a teleost fish.

  • Rosner E
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2018 Jun 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Vocalization is a behavioral feature that is shared among multiple vertebrate lineages, including fish. The temporal patterning of vocal communication signals is set, in part, by central pattern generators (CPGs). Toadfishes are well-established models for CPG coding of vocalization at the hindbrain level. The vocal CPG comprises three topographically separate nuclei: pre-pacemaker, pacemaker, motor. While the connectivity between these nuclei is well understood, their neurochemical profile remains largely unexplored. The highly vocal Gulf toadfish, Opsanus beta, has been the subject of previous behavioral, neuroanatomical and neurophysiological studies. Combining transneuronal neurobiotin-labeling with immunohistochemistry, we map the distribution of inhibitory neurotransmitters and neuromodulators along with gap junctions in the vocal CPG of this species. Dense GABAergic and glycinergic label is found throughout the CPG, with labeled somata immediately adjacent to or within CPG nuclei, including a distinct subset of pacemaker neurons co-labeled with neurobiotin and glycine. Neurobiotin-labeled motor and pacemaker neurons are densely co-labeled with the gap junction protein connexin 35/36, supporting the hypothesis that transneuronal neurobiotin-labeling occurs, at least in part, via gap junction coupling. Serotonergic and catecholaminergic label is also robust within the entire vocal CPG, with additional cholinergic label in pacemaker and prepacemaker nuclei. Likely sources of these putative modulatory inputs are neurons within or immediately adjacent to vocal CPG neurons. Together with prior neurophysiological investigations, the results reveal potential mechanisms for generating multiple classes of social context-dependent vocalizations with widely divergent temporal and spectral properties.

Funding information:
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - DK-46939(United States)

Efferent projections of excitatory and inhibitory preBötzinger Complex neurons.

  • Yang CF
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2018 Jun 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

The preBötzinger Complex (preBötC), a compact medullary region essential for generating normal breathing rhythm and pattern, is the kernel of the breathing central pattern generator (CPG). Excitatory preBötC neurons in rats project to major breathing-related brainstem regions. Here, we provide a brainstem connectivity map in mice for both excitatory and inhibitory preBötC neurons. Using a genetic strategy to label preBötC neurons, we confirmed extensive projections of preBötC excitatory neurons within the brainstem breathing CPG including the contralateral preBötC, Bötzinger Complex (BötC), ventral respiratory group, nucleus of the solitary tract, parahypoglossal nucleus, parafacial region (RTN/pFRG or alternatively, pFL /pFV ), parabrachial and Kölliker-Füse nuclei, as well as major projections to the midbrain periaqueductal gray. Interestingly, preBötC inhibitory projections paralleled the excitatory projections. Moreover, we examined overlapping projections in the pons in detail and found that they targeted the same neurons. We further explored the direct anatomical link between the preBötC and suprapontine brain regions that may govern emotion and other complex behaviors that can affect or be affected by breathing. Forebrain efferent projections were sparse and restricted to specific nuclei within the thalamus and hypothalamus, with processes rarely observed in cortex, basal ganglia, or other limbic regions, e.g., amygdala or hippocampus. We conclude that the preBötC sends direct, presumably inspiratory-modulated, excitatory and inhibitory projections in parallel to distinct targets throughout the brain that generate and modulate breathing pattern and/or coordinate breathing with other behaviors, physiology, cognition, or emotional state.

Funding information:
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - F32 HL126522()
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - R35 HL135779()
  • NIAMS NIH HHS - AR43510-17(United States)
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS072211()

Chrna5-expressing neurons in the interpeduncular nucleus mediate aversion primed by prior stimulation or nicotine exposure.

  • Morton G
  • J. Neurosci.
  • 2018 Jun 28

Literature context:


Abstract:

Genetic studies have shown an association between smoking and variation at the CHRNA5/A3/B4 gene locus, encoding the α5, α3 and β4 nicotinic receptor subunits. The α5 receptor has been specifically implicated because smoking-associated haplotypes contain a coding variant in the CHRNA5 gene. The Chrna5/a3/b4 locus is conserved in rodents, and the restricted expression of these subunits suggests neural pathways through which the reinforcing and aversive properties of nicotine may be mediated. Here we show that in the interpeduncular nucleus (IP), the site of the highest Chrna5 mRNA expression in rodents, electrophysiological responses to nicotinic acetylcholine receptor stimulation are markedly reduced in α5 null mice. In this regard, we find IP neurons differ markedly from their upstream ventral medial habenula cholinergic partners, which appear unaltered by loss of α5. To probe the functional role of α5-containing IP neurons, we used BAC recombineering to generate transgenic mice expressing Cre-recombinase from the Chrna5 locus. Reporter expression driven by Chrna5Cre demonstrates that transcription of Chrna5 is regulated independently from the Chrna3/b4 genes, transcribed on the opposite strand. Chrna5-expressing IP neurons are GABAergic and project to distant targets in the mesopontine raphe and tegmentum, rather than forming local circuits. Optogenetic stimulation of Chrna5-expressing IP neurons failed to elicit physical manifestations of withdrawal. However, following recent prior stimulation or exposure to nicotine, IP stimulation becomes aversive. These results using mice of both sexes support the idea that the risk allele of CHRNA5 may increase the drive to smoke via loss of IP-mediated nicotine aversion.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENTUnderstanding the receptors and neural pathways underlying the reinforcing and aversive effects of nicotine may suggest new treatments for tobacco addiction. Part of the individual variability in smoking is associated with specific forms of the α5 nicotinic receptor subunit gene. Here we show that deletion of the α5 subunit in mice markedly reduces the cellular response to nicotine and acetylcholine in the interpeduncular nucleus (IP). Stimulation of α5-expressing IP neurons using optogenetics is aversive, but this effect requires priming by recent prior stimulation or exposure to nicotine.. These results support the idea that the smoking-associated variant of the α5 gene may increase the drive to smoke via loss of IP-mediated nicotine aversion.

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - R01CA90446(United States)
  • NIDA NIH HHS - R01 DA035838(United States)
  • NINDS NIH HHS - N01NS02331(United States)

Morphometric analysis of astrocytes in brainstem respiratory regions.

  • Sheikhbahaei S
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2018 Jun 11

Literature context:


Abstract:

Astrocytes, the most abundant and structurally complex glial cells of the central nervous system, are proposed to play an important role in modulating the activities of neuronal networks, including respiratory rhythm-generating circuits of the preBötzinger complex (preBötC) located in the ventrolateral medulla of the brainstem. However, structural properties of astrocytes residing within different brainstem regions are unknown. In this study astrocytes in the preBötC, an intermediate reticular formation (IRF) region with respiratory-related function, and a region of the nucleus tractus solitarius (NTS) in adult rats were reconstructed and their morphological features were compared. Detailed morphological analysis revealed that preBötC astrocytes are structurally more complex than those residing within the functionally distinct neighboring IRF region, or the NTS, located at the dorsal aspect of the medulla oblongata. Structural analyses of the brainstem microvasculature indicated no significant regional differences in vascular properties. We hypothesize that high morphological complexity of preBötC astrocytes reflects their functional role in providing structural/metabolic support and modulation of the key neuronal circuits essential for breathing, as well as constraints imposed by arrangements of associated neurons and/or other local structural features of the brainstem parenchyma. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Funding information:
  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research - (Canada)

Differential inputs to striatal cholinergic and parvalbumin interneurons imply functional distinctions.

  • Klug JR
  • Elife
  • 2018 May 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Striatal cholinergic (ChAT) and parvalbumin (PV) interneurons exert powerful influences on striatal function in health and disease, yet little is known about the organization of their inputs. Here using rabies tracing, electrophysiology and genetic tools, we compare the whole-brain inputs to these two types of striatal interneurons and dissect their functional connectivity in mice. ChAT interneurons receive a substantial cortical input from associative regions of cortex, such as the orbitofrontal cortex. Amongst subcortical inputs, a previously unknown inhibitory thalamic reticular nucleus input to striatal PV interneurons is identified. Additionally, the external segment of the globus pallidus targets striatal ChAT interneurons, which is sufficient to inhibit tonic ChAT interneuron firing. Finally, we describe a novel excitatory pathway from the pedunculopontine nucleus that innervates ChAT interneurons. These results establish the brain-wide direct inputs of two major types of striatal interneurons and allude to distinct roles in regulating striatal activity and controlling behavior.

Funding information:
  • National Institutes of Health - R01AG047669()
  • National Institutes of Health - R01NS083815()
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - R01 HL073085-08(United States)

A single episode of binge alcohol drinking causes sleep disturbance, disrupts sleep homeostasis and downregulates equilibrative nucleoside transporter 1.

  • Sharma R
  • J. Neurochem.
  • 2018 May 27

Literature context:


Abstract:

Binge alcohol drinking, a risky pattern of alcohol consumption, has severe consequences toward health and well-being of an individual, his family and society. Although, binge drinking has detrimental effects on sleep, underlying mechanisms are unknown. We used adult male C57BL/6J mice and exposed them to a single, four-hour session of binge alcohol self-administration, in stress-free environment, to examine neuronal mechanisms affecting sleep. We first verified binge pattern of alcohol consumption. When allowed to self-administer alcohol in a non-stressful environment, mice consumed alcohol in a binge pattern. Next, effect of binge drinking on sleep-wakefulness was monitored. While sleep-wakefulness remained unchanged during drinking session, significant increase in non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep was observed during 4 hours of active period post-binge, followed by increased wakefulness, reduced sleep during subsequent sleep (light) period; although the timing of sleep onset (at lights-on) remained unaffected. Next, electrophysiological and biochemical indicators of sleep homeostasis were examined using sleep deprivation-recovery sleep paradigm. Mice exposed to binge-drinking did not show an increase in cortical theta power and basal forebrain adenosine levels during sleep deprivation; NREM sleep and NREM delta power did not increase during recovery sleep suggesting that mice exposed to binge alcohol do not develop sleep pressure. Our final experiment examined expression of genes regulating sleep homeostasis following binge drinking. While binge drinking did not affect adenosine kinase and A1 receptor, expression of equilibrative nucleoside transporter 1 (ENT1) was significantly reduced. These results suggest that binge alcohol consumption-induced downregulation of ENT1 expression may disrupt sleep homeostasis and cause sleep disturbances. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Funding information:
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - GM099409(United States)

Circadian and Brain State Modulation of Network Hyperexcitability in Alzheimer's Disease.

  • Brown R
  • eNeuro
  • 2018 May 22

Literature context:


Abstract:

Network hyperexcitability is a feature of Alzheimer' disease (AD) as well as numerous transgenic mouse models of AD. While hyperexcitability in AD patients and AD animal models share certain features, the mechanistic overlap remains to be established. We aimed to identify features of network hyperexcitability in AD models that can be related to epileptiform activity signatures in AD patients. We studied network hyperexcitability in mice expressing amyloid precursor protein (APP) with mutations that cause familial AD, and compared a transgenic model that overexpresses human APP (hAPP) (J20), to a knock-in model expressing APP at physiological levels (APPNL/F). We recorded continuous long-term electrocorticogram (ECoG) activity from mice, and studied modulation by circadian cycle, behavioral, and brain state. We report that while J20s exhibit frequent interictal spikes (IISs), APPNL/F mice do not. In J20 mice, IISs were most prevalent during daylight hours and the circadian modulation was associated with sleep. Further analysis of brain state revealed that IIS in J20s are associated with features of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. We found no evidence of cholinergic changes that may contribute to IIS-circadian coupling in J20s. In contrast to J20s, intracranial recordings capturing IIS in AD patients demonstrated frequent IIS in non-REM (NREM) sleep. The salient differences in sleep-stage coupling of IIS in APP overexpressing mice and AD patients suggests that different mechanisms may underlie network hyperexcitability in mice and humans. We posit that sleep-stage coupling of IIS should be an important consideration in identifying mouse AD models that most closely recapitulate network hyperexcitability in human AD.

Funding information:
  • Wellcome Trust - (United Kingdom)

Nucleus Accumbens Microcircuit Underlying D2-MSN-Driven Increase in Motivation.

  • Soares-Cunha C
  • eNeuro
  • 2018 May 22

Literature context:


Abstract:

The nucleus accumbens (NAc) plays a central role in reinforcement and motivation. Around 95% of the NAc neurons are medium spiny neurons (MSNs), divided into those expressing dopamine receptor D1 (D1R) or dopamine receptor D2 (D2R). Optogenetic activation of D2-MSNs increased motivation, whereas inhibition of these neurons produced the opposite effect. Yet, it is still unclear how activation of D2-MSNs affects other local neurons/interneurons or input terminals and how this contributes for motivation enhancement. To answer this question, in this work we combined optogenetic modulation of D2-MSNs with in loco pharmacological delivery of specific neurotransmitter antagonists in rats. First, we showed that optogenetic activation of D2-MSNs increases motivation in a progressive ratio (PR) task. We demonstrated that this behavioral effect relies on cholinergic-dependent modulation of dopaminergic signalling of ventral tegmental area (VTA) terminals, which requires D1R and D2R signalling in the NAc. D2-MSN optogenetic activation decreased ventral pallidum (VP) activity, reducing the inhibitory tone to VTA, leading to increased dopaminergic activity. Importantly, optogenetic activation of D2-MSN terminals in the VP was sufficient to recapitulate the motivation enhancement. In summary, our data suggests that optogenetic stimulation of NAc D2-MSNs indirectly modulates VTA dopaminergic activity, contributing for increased motivation. Moreover, both types of dopamine receptors signalling in the NAc are required in order to produce the positive behavioral effects.

Funding information:
  • NIBIB NIH HHS - R01 EB008281(United States)

Immunohistochemical Procedures for Characterizing the Retinal Expression Patterns of Cre Driver Mouse Lines.

  • Lu Q
  • Methods Mol. Biol.
  • 2018 Apr 26

Literature context:


Abstract:

The retina is a thin neural tissue sitting on the backside of the eye, composed of light-sensing cells, interneurons, and output ganglion neurons. The latter send electrical signals to higher visual centers in the brain. Transgenic mouse lines are becoming one of the most valuable mammalian animal models for the study of visual signal processing within the retina. Especially, the generation of Cre recombinase transgenic mouse lines provides a powerful tool for genetic manipulation. A key step for the utilization of transgenic lines is the characterization of their transgene expression patterns in the retina. Here we describe a standard protocol for characterizing the expression pattern of the Cre recombinase or fluorescent proteins in the retina with an immunohistochemical approach.

Shared rhythmic subcortical GABAergic input to the entorhinal cortex and presubiculum.

  • Viney TJ
  • Elife
  • 2018 Apr 5

Literature context:


Abstract:

Rhythmic theta frequency (~5-12 Hz) oscillations coordinate neuronal synchrony and higher frequency oscillations across the cortex. Spatial navigation and context-dependent episodic memories are represented in several interconnected regions including the hippocampal and entorhinal cortices, but the cellular mechanisms for their dynamic coupling remain to be defined. Using monosynaptically-restricted retrograde viral tracing in mice, we identified a subcortical GABAergic input from the medial septum that terminated in the entorhinal cortex, with collaterals innervating the dorsal presubiculum. Extracellularly recording and labeling GABAergic entorhinal-projecting neurons in awake behaving mice show that these subcortical neurons, named orchid cells, fire in long rhythmic bursts during immobility and locomotion. Orchid cells discharge near the peak of hippocampal and entorhinal theta oscillations, couple to entorhinal gamma oscillations, and target subpopulations of extra-hippocampal GABAergic interneurons. Thus, orchid cells are a specialized source of rhythmic subcortical GABAergic modulation of 'upstream' and 'downstream' cortico-cortical circuits involved in mnemonic functions.

Funding information:
  • Medical Research Council - MC_UU_12024/4()
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - R01 HL083473(United States)
  • Wellcome - 108726/Z/15/Z()

Sub-topographic maps for regionally enhanced analysis of visual space in the mouse retina.

  • El-Danaf RN
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2018 Apr 20

Literature context:


Abstract:

In many species, neurons are unevenly distributed across the retina, leading to nonuniform analysis of specific visual features at certain locations in visual space. In recent years, the mouse has emerged as a premiere model for probing visual system function, development and disease. Thus, achieving a detailed understanding of mouse visual circuit architecture is of paramount importance. The general belief is that mice possess a relatively even topographic distribution of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs)- the output neurons of the eye. However, mouse RGCs include ∼30 subtypes; each responds best to a specific feature in the visual scene and conveys that information to central targets. Given the crucial role of RGCs and the prominence of the mouse as a model, we asked how different RGC subtypes are distributed across the retina. We targeted and filled individual fluorescently tagged RGC subtypes from across the retinal surface and evaluated the dendritic arbor extent and soma size of each cell according to its specific retinotopic position. Three prominent RGC subtypes: On-Off direction selective RGCs, object-motion-sensitive RGCs, and a specialized subclass of non-image-forming RGCs each had marked topographic variations in their dendritic arbor sizes. Moreover, the pattern of variation was distinct for each RGC subtype. Thus, there is increasing evidence that the mouse retina encodes visual space in a region-specific manner. As a consequence, some visual features are sampled far more densely at certain retinal locations than others. These findings have implications for central visual processing, perception and behavior in this prominent model species. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Funding information:
  • NIAID NIH HHS - AI073641(United States)

Convergence and Divergence of CRH Amacrine Cells in Mouse Retinal Circuitry.

  • Park SJH
  • J. Neurosci.
  • 2018 Apr 11

Literature context:


Abstract:

Inhibitory interneurons sculpt the outputs of excitatory circuits to expand the dynamic range of information processing. In mammalian retina, >30 types of amacrine cells provide lateral inhibition to vertical, excitatory bipolar cell circuits, but functional roles for only a few amacrine cells are well established. Here, we elucidate the function of corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH)-expressing amacrine cells labeled in Cre-transgenic mice of either sex. CRH cells costratify with the ON alpha ganglion cell, a neuron highly sensitive to positive contrast. Electrophysiological and optogenetic analyses demonstrate that two CRH types (CRH-1 and CRH-3) make GABAergic synapses with ON alpha cells. CRH-1 cells signal via graded membrane potential changes, whereas CRH-3 cells fire action potentials. Both types show sustained ON-type responses to positive contrast over a range of stimulus conditions. Optogenetic control of transmission at CRH-1 synapses demonstrates that these synapses are tuned to low temporal frequencies, maintaining GABA release during fast hyperpolarizations during brief periods of negative contrast. CRH amacrine cell output is suppressed by prolonged negative contrast, when ON alpha ganglion cells continue to receive inhibitory input from converging OFF-pathway amacrine cells; the converging ON- and OFF-pathway inhibition balances tonic excitatory drive to ON alpha cells. Previously, it was demonstrated that CRH-1 cells inhibit firing by suppressed-by-contrast (SbC) ganglion cells during positive contrast. Therefore, divergent outputs of CRH-1 cells inhibit two ganglion cell types with opposite responses to positive contrast. The opposing responses of ON alpha and SbC ganglion cells are explained by differing excitation/inhibition balance in the two circuits.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT A goal of neuroscience research is to explain the function of neural circuits at the level of specific cell types. Here, we studied the function of specific types of inhibitory interneurons, corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) amacrine cells, in the mouse retina. Genetic tools were used to identify and manipulate CRH cells, which make GABAergic synapses with a well studied ganglion cell type, the ON alpha cell. CRH cells converge with other types of amacrine cells to tonically inhibit ON alpha cells and balance their high level of excitation. CRH cells diverge to different types of ganglion cell, the unique properties of which depend on their balance of excitation and inhibition.

Funding information:
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - R21 HL085377(United States)

Kir4.1-Dependent Astrocyte-Fast Motor Neuron Interactions Are Required for Peak Strength.

  • Kelley KW
  • Neuron
  • 2018 Apr 18

Literature context:


Abstract:

Diversified neurons are essential for sensorimotor function, but whether astrocytes become specialized to optimize circuit performance remains unclear. Large fast α-motor neurons (FαMNs) of spinal cord innervate fast-twitch muscles that generate peak strength. We report that ventral horn astrocytes express the inward-rectifying K+ channel Kir4.1 (a.k.a. Kcnj10) around MNs in a VGLUT1-dependent manner. Loss of astrocyte-encoded Kir4.1 selectively altered FαMN size and function and led to reduced peak strength. Overexpression of Kir4.1 in astrocytes was sufficient to increase MN size through activation of the PI3K/mTOR/pS6 pathway. Kir4.1 was downregulated cell autonomously in astrocytes derived from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients with SOD1 mutation. However, astrocyte Kir4.1 was dispensable for FαMN survival even in the mutant SOD1 background. These findings show that astrocyte Kir4.1 is essential for maintenance of peak strength and suggest that Kir4.1 downregulation might uncouple symptoms of muscle weakness from MN cell death in diseases like ALS.

Funding information:
  • FIC NIH HHS - K01 TW000001(United States)

Regional distribution of cholinergic, catecholaminergic, serotonergic and orexinergic neurons in the brain of two carnivore species: The feliform banded mongoose (Mungos mungo) and the caniform domestic ferret (Mustela putorius furo).

  • Pillay S
  • J. Chem. Neuroanat.
  • 2018 Mar 19

Literature context:


Abstract:

The nuclear organization of the cholinergic, catecholaminergic, serotonergic and orexinergic neurons in the brains of two species of carnivore, the banded mongoose (Mungos mungo) and domestic ferret (Mustela putorius furo), is presented. The banded mongoose belongs to the feliform suborder and the domestic ferret to the caniform suborder, having last shared a common ancestor approximately 53 million years ago; however, they have a very similar overall morphology and life history, presenting an interesting opportunity to examine the extent of evolutionary plasticity in these systems. The brains of the two carnivore species were coronally sectioned and immunohistochemically stained with antibodies against choline acetyltransferase, tyrosine hydroxylase, serotonin and orexin-A. The overall organization and complement of the nuclei of these systems was identical between the two species, although minor differences were noted. Moreover, this overall organization is identical to other studies undertaken in the domestic cat and dog. While for the most part the nuclei forming these systems are similar to those observed in other mammals, two species differences, which appear to be carnivore-specific, were noted. First, cholinergic neurons were observed in the lateral septal nucleus of both species, an apparently carnivore specific feature not recorded previously in other mammals. Second, the serotonergic neurons of the peripheral division of the dorsal raphe complex exhibited a significant caudad expansion, intermingling with the cholinergic and catecholaminergic nuclei of the pons, a carnivore specific feature. These carnivore specific features likely have functional consequences related to coping with stress and the expression of sleep.

Delivery of an anti-transthyretin Nanobody to the brain through intranasal administration reveals transthyretin expression and secretion by motor neurons.

  • Gomes JR
  • J. Neurochem.
  • 2018 Mar 13

Literature context:


Abstract:

Transthyretin (TTR) is a transport protein of retinol and thyroxine in serum and CSF, which is mainly secreted by liver and choroid plexus, and in smaller amounts in other cells throughout the body. The exact role of TTR and its specific expression in Central Nervous System (CNS) remains understudied. We investigated TTR expression and metabolism in CNS, through the intranasal and intracerebroventricular delivery of a specific anti-TTR Nanobody to the brain, unveiling Nanobody pharmacokinetics to the CNS. In TTR deficient mice, we observed that anti-TTR Nanobody was successfully distributed throughout all brain areas, and also reaching the spinal cord. In wild-type mice, a similar distribution pattern was observed. However, in areas known to be rich in TTR, reduced levels of Nanobody were found, suggesting potential target-mediated effects. Indeed, in wild-type mice, the anti-TTR Nanobody was specifically internalized in a receptor-mediated process, by neuronal-like cells, which were identified as motor neurons. Whereas in KO TTR mice Nanobody was internalized by all cells, for late lysosomal degradation. Moreover, we demonstrate that in vivo motor neurons also actively synthesize TTR. Finally, in vitro cultured primary motor neurons were also found to synthesize and secrete TTR into culture media. Thus, through a novel intranasal CNS distribution study with an anti-TTR Nanobody, we disclose a new cell type capable of synthesizing TTR, which might be important for the understanding of the physiological role of TTR, as well as in pathological conditions where TTR levels are altered in CSF, such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

Funding information:
  • NEI NIH HHS - EY017653(United States)

Distinct Contributions of Mesencephalic Locomotor Region Nuclei to Locomotor Control in the Freely Behaving Mouse.

  • Josset N
  • Curr. Biol.
  • 2018 Mar 19

Literature context:


Abstract:

The mesencephalic locomotor region (MLR) has been initially identified as a supraspinal center capable of initiating and modulating locomotion. Whereas its functional contribution to locomotion has been widely documented throughout the phylogeny from the lamprey to humans, there is still debate about its exact organization. Combining kinematic and electrophysiological recordings in mouse genetics, our study reveals that glutamatergic neurons of the cuneiform nucleus initiate locomotion and induce running gaits, whereas glutamatergic and cholinergic neurons of the pedunculopontine nucleus modulate locomotor pattern and rhythm, contributing to slow-walking gaits. By initiating, modulating, and accelerating locomotion, our study identifies and characterizes distinct neuronal populations of this functional region important to locomotor command.

Funding information:
  • Medical Research Council - G1100358(United Kingdom)

The morphological characterization of orientation-biased displaced large-field ganglion cells in the central part of goldfish retina.

  • Hoshi H
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2018 Feb 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

The vertebrate retina has about 30 subtypes of ganglion cells. Each ganglion cell receives synaptic inputs from specific types of bipolar and amacrine cells ramifying at the same depth of the inner plexiform layer (IPL), each of which is thought to process a specific aspect of visual information. Here, we identified one type of displaced ganglion cell in the goldfish retina which had a large and elongated dendritic field. As a population, all of these ganglion cells were oriented in the horizontal axis and perpendicular to the dorsal-ventral axis of the goldfish eye in the central part of retina. This ganglion cell has previously been classified as Type 1.2. However, the circuit elements which synapse with this ganglion cell are not yet characterized. We found that this displaced ganglion cell was directly tracer-coupled only with homologous ganglion cells at sites containing Cx35/36 puncta. We further illustrated that the processes of dopaminergic neurons often terminated next to intersections between processes of ganglion cells, close to where dopamine D1 receptors were localized. Finally, we showed that Mb1 ON bipolar cells had ribbon synapses in the axonal processes passing through the IPL and made ectopic synapses with this displaced ganglion cell that stratified into stratum 1 of the IPL. These results suggest that the displaced ganglion cell may synapse with both Mb1 cells using ectopic ribbon synapses and OFF cone bipolar cells with regular ribbon synapses in the IPL to function in both scotopic and photopic light conditions.

DNER and NFIA are expressed by developing and mature AII amacrine cells in the mouse retina.

  • Keeley PW
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2018 Feb 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

The present study has taken advantage of publicly available cell type specific mRNA expression databases in order to identify potential genes participating in the development of retinal AII amacrine cells. We profile two such genes, Delta/Notch-like EGF repeat containing (Dner) and nuclear factor I/A (Nfia), that are each heavily expressed in AII amacrine cells in the mature mouse retina, and which conjointly identify this retinal cell population in its entirety when using antibodies to DNER and NFIA. DNER is present on the plasma membrane, while NFIA is confined to the nucleus, consistent with known functions of each of these two proteins. DNER also identifies some other subsets of retinal ganglion and amacrine cell types, along with horizontal cells, while NFIA identifies a subset of bipolar cells as well as Muller glia and astrocytes. During early postnatal development, NFIA labels astrocytes on the day of birth, AII amacrine cells at postnatal (P) day 5, and Muller glia by P10, when horizontal cells also transiently exhibit NFIA immunofluorescence. DNER, by contrast, is present in ganglion and amacrine cells on P1, also labeling the horizontal cells by P10. Developing AII amacrine cells exhibit accumulating DNER labeling at the dendritic stalk, labeling that becomes progressively conspicuous by P10, as it is in maturity. This developmental time course is consistent with a prospective role for each gene in the differentiation of AII amacrine cells.

Graded Arrays of Spinal and Supraspinal V2a Interneuron Subtypes Underlie Forelimb and Hindlimb Motor Control.

  • Hayashi M
  • Neuron
  • 2018 Feb 21

Literature context:


Abstract:

The spinal cord contains neural networks that enable regionally distinct motor outputs along the body axis. Nevertheless, it remains unclear how segment-specific motor computations are processed because the cardinal interneuron classes that control motor neurons appear uniform at each level of the spinal cord. V2a interneurons are essential to both forelimb and hindlimb movements, and here we identify two major types that emerge during development: type I neurons marked by high Chx10 form recurrent networks with neighboring spinal neurons and type II neurons that downregulate Chx10 and project to supraspinal structures. Types I and II V2a interneurons are arrayed in counter-gradients, and this network activates different patterns of motor output at cervical and lumbar levels. Single-cell RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) revealed type I and II V2a neurons are each comprised of multiple subtypes. Our findings uncover a molecular and anatomical organization of V2a interneurons reminiscent of the orderly way motor neurons are divided into columns and pools.

Funding information:
  • European Commission - Advanced Grant 294354(United States)
  • NIA NIH HHS - R01 AG036040(United States)

Altered Baseline and Nicotine-Mediated Behavioral and Cholinergic Profiles in ChAT-Cre Mouse Lines.

  • Chen E
  • J. Neurosci.
  • 2018 Feb 28

Literature context:


Abstract:

The recent development of transgenic rodent lines expressing cre recombinase in a cell-specific manner, along with advances in engineered viral vectors, has permitted in-depth investigations into circuit function. However, emerging evidence has begun to suggest that genetic modifications may introduce unexpected caveats. In the current studies, we sought to extensively characterize male and female mice from both the ChAT(BAC)-Cre mouse line, created with the bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) method, and ChAT(IRES)-Cre mouse line, generated with the internal ribosome entry site (IRES) method. ChAT(BAC)-Cre transgenic and wild-type mice did not differ in general locomotor behavior, anxiety measures, drug-induced cataplexy, nicotine-mediated hypolocomotion, or operant food training. However, ChAT(BAC)-Cre transgenic mice did exhibit significant deficits in intravenous nicotine self-administration, which paralleled an increase in vesicular acetylcholine transporter and choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) hippocampal expression. For the ChAT(IRES)-Cre line, transgenic mice exhibited deficits in baseline locomotor, nicotine-mediated hypolocomotion, and operant food training compared with wild-type and hemizygous littermates. No differences among ChAT(IRES)-Cre wild-type, hemizygous, and transgenic littermates were found in anxiety measures, drug-induced cataplexy, and nicotine self-administration. Given that increased cre expression was present in the ChAT(IRES)-Cre transgenic mice, as well as a decrease in ChAT expression in the hippocampus, altered neuronal function may underlie behavioral phenotypes. In contrast, ChAT(IRES)-Cre hemizygous mice were more similar to wild-type mice in both protein expression and the majority of behavioral assessments. As such, interpretation of data derived from ChAT-Cre rodents must consider potential limitations dependent on the line and/or genotype used in research investigations.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Altered baseline and/or nicotine-mediated behavioral profiles were discovered in transgenic mice from the ChAT(BAC)-Cre and ChAT(IRES)-Cre lines. Given that these cre-expressing mice have become increasingly used by the scientific community, either independently with chemicogenetic and optogenetic viral vectors or crossed with other transgenic lines, the current studies highlight important considerations for the interpretation of data from previous and future experimental investigations. Moreover, the current findings detail the behavioral effects of either increased or decreased baseline cholinergic signaling mechanisms on locomotor, anxiety, learning/memory, and intravenous nicotine self-administration behaviors.

Funding information:
  • NIAID NIH HHS - AI07090-31(United States)

A Subpopulation of Striatal Neurons Mediates Levodopa-Induced Dyskinesia.

  • Girasole AE
  • Neuron
  • 2018 Feb 21

Literature context:


Abstract:

Parkinson's disease is characterized by the progressive loss of midbrain dopamine neurons. Dopamine replacement therapy with levodopa alleviates parkinsonian motor symptoms but is complicated by the development of involuntary movements, termed levodopa-induced dyskinesia (LID). Aberrant activity in the striatum has been hypothesized to cause LID. Here, to establish a direct link between striatal activity and dyskinesia, we combine optogenetics and a method to manipulate dyskinesia-associated neurons, targeted recombination in active populations (TRAP). We find that TRAPed cells are a stable subset of sensorimotor striatal neurons, predominantly from the direct pathway, and that reactivation of TRAPed striatal neurons causes dyskinesia in the absence of levodopa. Inhibition of TRAPed cells, but not a nonspecific subset of direct pathway neurons, ameliorates LID. These results establish that a distinct subset of striatal neurons is causally involved in LID and indicate that successful therapeutic strategies for treating LID may require targeting functionally selective neuronal subtypes.

Eliminating Glutamatergic Input onto Horizontal Cells Changes the Dynamic Range and Receptive Field Organization of Mouse Retinal Ganglion Cells.

  • Ströh S
  • J. Neurosci.
  • 2018 Feb 21

Literature context:


Abstract:

In the mammalian retina, horizontal cells receive glutamatergic inputs from many rod and cone photoreceptors and return feedback signals to them, thereby changing photoreceptor glutamate release in a light-dependent manner. Horizontal cells also provide feedforward signals to bipolar cells. It is unclear, however, how horizontal cell signals also affect the temporal, spatial, and contrast tuning in retinal output neurons, the ganglion cells. To study this, we generated a genetically modified mouse line in which we eliminated the light dependency of feedback by deleting glutamate receptors from mouse horizontal cells. This genetic modification allowed us to investigate the impact of horizontal cells on ganglion cell signaling independent of the actual mode of feedback in the outer retina and without pharmacological manipulation of signal transmission. In control and genetically modified mice (both sexes), we recorded the light responses of transient OFF-α retinal ganglion cells in the intact retina. Excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs) were reduced and the cells were tuned to lower temporal frequencies and higher contrasts, presumably because photoreceptor output was attenuated. Moreover, receptive fields of recorded cells showed a significantly altered surround structure. Our data thus suggest that horizontal cells are responsible for adjusting the dynamic range of retinal ganglion cells and, together with amacrine cells, contribute to the center/surround organization of ganglion cell receptive fields in the mouse.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Horizontal cells represent a major neuronal class in the mammalian retina and provide lateral feedback and feedforward signals to photoreceptors and bipolar cells, respectively. The mode of signal transmission remains controversial and, moreover, the contribution of horizontal cells to visual processing is still elusive. To address the question of how horizontal cells affect retinal output signals, we recorded the light responses of transient OFF-α retinal ganglion cells in a newly generated mouse line. In this mouse line, horizontal cell signals were no longer modulated by light. With light response recordings, we show that horizontal cells increase the dynamic range of retinal ganglion cells for contrast and temporal changes and contribute to the center/surround organization of their receptive fields.

Funding information:
  • National Institutes of Health - 5T32HD007228(United States)
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - GM54096(United States)

Local and Long-Range Circuit Connections to Hilar Mossy Cells in the Dentate Gyrus.

  • Sun Y
  • eNeuro
  • 2018 Jan 29

Literature context:


Abstract:

Hilar mossy cells are the prominent glutamatergic cell type in the dentate hilus of the dentate gyrus (DG); they have been proposed to have critical roles in the DG network. To better understand how mossy cells contribute to DG function, we have applied new viral genetic and functional circuit mapping approaches to quantitatively map and compare local and long-range circuit connections of mossy cells and dentate granule cells in the mouse. The great majority of inputs to mossy cells consist of two parallel inputs from within the DG: an excitatory input pathway from dentate granule cells and an inhibitory input pathway from local DG inhibitory neurons. Mossy cells also receive a moderate degree of excitatory and inhibitory CA3 input from proximal CA3 subfields. Long range inputs to mossy cells are numerically sparse, and they are only identified readily from the medial septum and the septofimbrial nucleus. In comparison, dentate granule cells receive most of their inputs from the entorhinal cortex. The granule cells receive significant synaptic inputs from the hilus and the medial septum, and they also receive direct inputs from both distal and proximal CA3 subfields, which has been underdescribed in the existing literature. Our slice-based physiological mapping studies further supported the identified circuit connections of mossy cells and granule cells. Together, our data suggest that hilar mossy cells are major local circuit integrators and they exert modulation of the activity of dentate granule cells as well as the CA3 region through "back-projection" pathways.

Glial scars are permeable to the neurotoxic environment of chronic stroke infarcts.

  • Zbesko JC
  • Neurobiol. Dis.
  • 2018 Jan 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

Following stroke, the damaged tissue undergoes liquefactive necrosis, a stage of infarct resolution that lasts for months although the exact length of time is currently unknown. One method of repair involves reactive astrocytes and microglia forming a glial scar to compartmentalize the area of liquefactive necrosis from the rest of the brain. The formation of the glial scar is a critical component of the healing response to stroke, as well as other central nervous system (CNS) injuries. The goal of this study was to evaluate the toxicity of the extracellular fluid present in areas of liquefactive necrosis and determine how effectively it is segregated from the remainder of the brain. To accomplish this goal, we used a mouse model of stroke in conjunction with an extracellular fluid toxicity assay, fluorescent and electron microscopy, immunostaining, tracer injections into the infarct, and multiplex immunoassays. We confirmed that the extracellular fluid present in areas of liquefactive necrosis following stroke is toxic to primary cortical and hippocampal neurons for at least 7 weeks following stroke, and discovered that although glial scars are robust physical and endocytic barriers, they are nevertheless permeable. We found that molecules present in the area of liquefactive necrosis can leak across the glial scar and are removed by a combination of paravascular clearance and microglial endocytosis in the adjacent tissue. Despite these mechanisms, there is delayed atrophy, cytotoxic edema, and neuron loss in regions adjacent to the infarct for weeks following stroke. These findings suggest that one mechanism of neurodegeneration following stroke is the failure of glial scars to impermeably segregate areas of liquefactive necrosis from surviving brain tissue.

Funding information:
  • NIA NIH HHS - P30 AG019610()
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - R01 DK048006(United States)
  • NINDS NIH HHS - F31 NS105455()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS096091()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - U24 NS072026()
  • NINR NIH HHS - K99 NR013593()
  • NINR NIH HHS - R00 NR013593()

Ultraconserved Enhancers Are Required for Normal Development.

  • Dickel DE
  • Cell
  • 2018 Jan 25

Literature context:


Abstract:

Non-coding "ultraconserved" regions containing hundreds of consecutive bases of perfect sequence conservation across mammalian genomes can function as distant-acting enhancers. However, initial deletion studies in mice revealed that loss of such extraordinarily constrained sequences had no immediate impact on viability. Here, we show that ultraconserved enhancers are required for normal development. Focusing on some of the longest ultraconserved sites genome wide, located near the essential neuronal transcription factor Arx, we used genome editing to create an expanded series of knockout mice lacking individual or combinations of ultraconserved enhancers. Mice with single or pairwise deletions of ultraconserved enhancers were viable and fertile but in nearly all cases showed neurological or growth abnormalities, including substantial alterations of neuron populations and structural brain defects. Our results demonstrate the functional importance of ultraconserved enhancers and indicate that remarkably strong sequence conservation likely results from fitness deficits that appear subtle in a laboratory setting.

Funding information:
  • NCRR NIH HHS - S10 RR027303()
  • NCRR NIH HHS - S10 RR029668()
  • NHGRI NIH HHS - R01 HG003988()
  • NHGRI NIH HHS - UM1 HG009421()
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - R24 HL123879()
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - T32 HL094274-01A2(United States)
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - UM1 HL098166()
  • NIMH NIH HHS - R37 MH049428()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS034661()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS099099()

Spinal cholinergic interneurons differentially control motoneuron excitability and alter the locomotor network operational range.

  • Bertuzzi M
  • Sci Rep
  • 2018 Jan 31

Literature context:


Abstract:

While cholinergic neuromodulation is important for locomotor circuit operation, the specific neuronal mechanisms that acetylcholine employs to regulate and fine-tune the speed of locomotion are largely unknown. Here, we show that cholinergic interneurons are present in the zebrafish spinal cord and differentially control the excitability of distinct classes of motoneurons (slow, intermediate and fast) in a muscarinic dependent manner. Moreover, we reveal that m2-type muscarinic acetylcholine receptors (mAChRs) are present in fast and intermediate motoneurons, but not in the slow motoneurons, and that their activation decreases neuronal firing. We also reveal a strong correlation between the muscarinic receptor configuration on motoneurons and the ability of the animals to locomote at different speeds, which might serve as a plasticity mechanism to alter the operational range of the locomotor networks. These unexpected findings provide new insights into the functional flexibility of motoneurons and how they execute locomotion at different speeds.

Distinct projection targets define subpopulations of mouse brainstem vagal neurons that express the autism-associated MET receptor tyrosine kinase.

  • Kamitakahara A
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2017 Dec 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

Detailed anatomical tracing and mapping of the viscerotopic organization of the vagal motor nuclei has provided insight into autonomic function in health and disease. To further define specific cellular identities, we paired information based on visceral connectivity with a cell-type specific marker of a subpopulation of neurons in the dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus (DMV) and nucleus ambiguus (nAmb) that express the autism-associated MET receptor tyrosine kinase. As gastrointestinal disturbances are common in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), we sought to define the relationship between MET-expressing (MET+) neurons in the DMV and nAmb, and the gastrointestinal tract. Using wholemount tissue staining and clearing, or retrograde tracing in a METEGFP transgenic mouse, we identify three novel subpopulations of EGFP+ vagal brainstem neurons: (a) EGFP+ neurons in the nAmb projecting to the esophagus or laryngeal muscles, (b) EGFP+ neurons in the medial DMV projecting to the stomach, and (b) EGFP+ neurons in the lateral DMV projecting to the cecum and/or proximal colon. Expression of the MET ligand, hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), by tissues innervated by vagal motor neurons during fetal development reveal potential sites of HGF-MET interaction. Furthermore, similar cellular expression patterns of MET in the brainstem of both the mouse and nonhuman primate suggests that MET expression at these sites is evolutionarily conserved. Together, the data suggest that MET+ neurons in the brainstem vagal motor nuclei are anatomically positioned to regulate distinct portions of the gastrointestinal tract, with implications for the pathophysiology of gastrointestinal comorbidities of ASD.

Endocannabinoid Actions on Cortical Terminals Orchestrate Local Modulation of Dopamine Release in the Nucleus Accumbens.

  • Mateo Y
  • Neuron
  • 2017 Dec 6

Literature context:


Abstract:

Dopamine (DA) transmission mediates numerous aspects of behavior. Although DA release is strongly linked to firing of DA neurons, recent developments indicate the importance of presynaptic modulation at striatal dopaminergic terminals. The endocannabinoid (eCB) system regulates DA release and is a canonical gatekeeper of goal-directed behavior. Here we report that extracellular DA increases induced by selective optogenetic activation of cholinergic neurons in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) are inhibited by CB1 agonists and eCBs. This modulation requires CB1 receptors on cortical glutamatergic afferents. Dopamine increases driven by optogenetic activation of prefrontal cortex (PFC) terminals in the NAc are similarly modulated by activation of these CB1 receptors. We further demonstrate that this same population of CB1 receptors modulates optical self-stimulation sustained by activation of PFC afferents in the NAc. These results establish local eCB actions on PFC terminals within the NAc that inhibit mesolimbic DA release and constrain reward-driven behavior.

Funding information:
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - R01 HL 65470(United States)
  • NIAAA NIH HHS - ZIA AA000416()
  • NIDA NIH HHS - F32 DA041827()
  • NIDA NIH HHS - R01 DA022340()
  • NIDA NIH HHS - R01 DA042595()

Behavioral and stereological characterization of Hdc KO mice: Relation to Tourette syndrome.

  • Abdurakhmanova S
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2017 Nov 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

A premature termination codon in the human histidine decarboxylase (Hdc) gene has been identified in a family suffering from Guilles de la Tourette syndrome (GTS). In the current study we investigated if mice lacking the histamine producing enzyme HDC share the morphological and cytological phenotype with GTS patients by using magnetic resonance (MRI) and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), unbiased stereology and immunohistochemistry. Behavior of Hdc knock-out (Hdc KO) mice was assessed in an open field test. The results of stereological, volumetric and DTI analysis measurements showed no significant differences between control and Hdc KO mice. The numbers and distribution of GABAergic parvalbumin or nitric oxide-expressing and cholinergic interneurons were normal in Hdc KO mice. Cortical morphology and layering in adult Hdc KO mice were also preserved. In open field test Hdc KO mice showed impaired exploratory activity and habituation when introduced to novel environment. Our results indicate that Hdc deficiency in mice does not disturb the development of striatal and cortical interneurons and does not lead to the morphological and cytological phenotypes characterized by humans with GTS. Nevertheless, histamine deficiency leads to behavioral alterations probably due to neurotransmitter dysbalance on the level of the striatum.

Funding information:
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - T32 GM008433(United States)

Organization of the catecholaminergic systems in the brain of lungfishes, the closest living relatives of terrestrial vertebrates.

  • López JM
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2017 Oct 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Lungfishes are a group of sarcopterygian fishes currently considered the closest living relatives of tetrapods, and represent an interesting group for the study of evolutionary traits in the transition from fishes to tetrapods. Catecholaminergic systems in the brain are among the most carefully analyzed neurotransmitter systems in the brain of most vertebrate groups. Their organization shows major shared characteristics, although traits particular to each vertebrate class have also been found, primarily between anamniotes and amniotes. Given the relevance of lungfishes in evolutionary terms, the present study provides the first comprehensive and detailed map of the catecholaminergic structures in the brain of two representative species of lungfishes, an African lungfish (Protopterus dolloi) and the Australian lungfish (Neoceratodus forsteri), as revealed by immunohistochemistry. Distinct groups of catecholaminergic cells were observed in the olfactory bulb, pallium, and preoptic area of the telencephalon, and the subpallium is devoid of these cells. Hypothalamic and diencephalic groups were detected and, in particular, the dopaminergic nucleus of the periventricular organ was evidenced with dopamine antibodies but not with anti-tyrosine hydroxylase. A well developed mesostriatal system was revealed formed by conspicuous groups of dopamine cells in the midbrain tegmentum and profuse innervation of the subpallium. Comparison of these results with those from other classes of vertebrates shows numerous common traits shared by most groups and also highlights particular features in lungfishes different from actinopterygian fishes that resemble those of amphibians and amniotes.

The Possible Role of TASK Channels in Rank-Ordered Recruitment of Motoneurons in the Dorsolateral Part of the Trigeminal Motor Nucleus.

  • Okamoto K
  • eNeuro
  • 2017 Oct 31

Literature context:


Abstract:

Because a rank-ordered recruitment of motor units occurs during isometric contraction of jaw-closing muscles, jaw-closing motoneurons (MNs) may be recruited in a manner dependent on their soma sizes or input resistances (IRs). In the dorsolateral part of the trigeminal motor nucleus (dl-TMN) in rats, MNs abundantly express TWIK (two-pore domain weak inwardly rectifying K channel)-related acid-sensitive-K(+) channel (TASK)-1 and TASK3 channels, which determine the IR and resting membrane potential. Here we examined how TASK channels are involved in IR-dependent activation/recruitment of MNs in the rat dl-TMN by using multiple methods. The real-time PCR study revealed that single large MNs (>35 μm) expressed TASK1 and TASK3 mRNAs more abundantly compared with single small MNs (15-20 μm). The immunohistochemistry revealed that TASK1 and TASK3 channels were complementarily distributed in somata and dendrites of MNs, respectively. The density of TASK1 channels seemed to increase with a decrease in soma diameter while there were inverse relationships between the soma size of MNs and IR, resting membrane potential, or spike threshold. Dual whole-cell recordings obtained from smaller and larger MNs revealed that the recruitment of MNs depends on their IRs in response to repetitive stimulation of the presumed Ia afferents. 8-Bromoguanosine-cGMP decreased IRs in small MNs, while it hardly changed those in large MNs, and subsequently decreased the difference in spike-onset latency between the smaller and larger MNs, causing a synchronous activation of MNs. These results suggest that TASK channels play critical roles in rank-ordered recruitment of MNs in the dl-TMN.

Deconstruction of Corticospinal Circuits for Goal-Directed Motor Skills.

  • Wang X
  • Cell
  • 2017 Oct 5

Literature context:


Abstract:

Corticospinal neurons (CSNs) represent the direct cortical outputs to the spinal cord and play important roles in motor control across different species. However, their organizational principle remains unclear. By using a retrograde labeling system, we defined the requirement of CSNs in the execution of a skilled forelimb food-pellet retrieval task in mice. In vivo imaging of CSN activity during performance revealed the sequential activation of topographically ordered functional ensembles with moderate local mixing. Region-specific manipulations indicate that CSNs from caudal or rostral forelimb area control reaching or grasping, respectively, and both are required in the transitional pronation step. These region-specific CSNs terminate in different spinal levels and locations, therefore preferentially connecting with the premotor neurons of muscles engaged in different steps of the task. Together, our findings suggest that spatially defined groups of CSNs encode different movement modules, providing a logic for parallel-ordered corticospinal circuits to orchestrate multistep motor skills.

Dorsal Medial Habenula Regulation of Mood-Related Behaviors and Primary Reinforcement by Tachykinin-Expressing Habenula Neurons.

  • Hsu YW
  • eNeuro
  • 2017 Oct 31

Literature context:


Abstract:

Animal models have been developed to investigate aspects of stress, anxiety, and depression, but our understanding of the circuitry underlying these models remains incomplete. Prior studies of the habenula, a poorly understood nucleus in the dorsal diencephalon, suggest that projections to the medial habenula (MHb) regulate fear and anxiety responses, whereas the lateral habenula (LHb) is involved in the expression of learned helplessness, a model of depression. Tissue-specific deletion of the transcription factor Pou4f1 in the dorsal MHb (dMHb) results in a developmental lesion of this subnucleus. These dMHb-ablated mice show deficits in voluntary exercise, a possible correlate of depression. Here we explore the role of the dMHb in mood-related behaviors and intrinsic reinforcement. Lesions of the dMHb do not elicit changes in contextual conditioned fear. However, dMHb-lesioned mice exhibit shorter immobility time in the tail suspension test, another model of depression. dMHb-lesioned mice also display increased vulnerability to the induction of learned helplessness. However, this effect is not due specifically to the dMHb lesion, but appears to result from Pou4f1 haploinsufficiency elsewhere in the nervous system. Pou4f1 haploinsufficiency does not produce the other phenotypes associated with dMHb lesions. Using optogenetic intracranial self-stimulation, intrinsic reinforcement by the dMHb can be mapped to a specific population of neurokinin-expressing habenula neurons. Together, our data show that the dMHb is involved in the regulation of multiple mood-related behaviors, but also support the idea that these behaviors do not reflect a single functional pathway.

Generation and Characterization of α9 and α10 Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor Subunit Knockout Mice on a C57BL/6J Background.

  • Morley BJ
  • Front Neurosci
  • 2017 Oct 6

Literature context:


Abstract:

We generated constitutive knockout mouse models for the α9 and α10 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) subunits by derivation from conditional knockouts by breeding with CRE deleter mice. We then backcrossed them onto a C57BL/6J genetic background. In this manuscript, we report the generation of the strains and an auditory phenotypic characterization of the constitutive α9 and α10 knockouts and a double α9α10 constitutive knockout. Although the α9 and α10 nAChR subunits are relevant to a number of physiological measures, we chose to characterize the mouse with auditory studies to compare them to existing but different α9 and α10 nAChR knockouts (KOs). Auditory brainstem response (ABR) measurements and distortion product otoacoustic emissions (DPOAEs) showed that all constitutive mouse strains had normal hearing. DPOAEs with contralateral noise (efferent adaptation measurements), however, showed that efferent strength was significantly reduced after deletion of both the α9 and α10 subunits, in comparison to wildtype controls. Animals tested were 3-8 weeks of age and efferent strength was not correlated with age. Confocal studies of single and double constitutive KOs showed that all KOs had abnormal efferent innervation of cochlear hair cells. The morphological results are similar to those obtained in other strains using constitutive deletion of exon 4 of α9 or α10 nAChR. The results of our physiological studies, however, differ from previous auditory studies using a α9 KO generated by deletion of the exon 4 region and backcrossed onto a mixed CBA/CaJ X 129Sv background.

Funding information:
  • NIDCD NIH HHS - K18 DC013304()
  • NIDCD NIH HHS - P30 DC004665()
  • NIDCD NIH HHS - P30 DC005188()

Innervation of the syrinx of the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata).

  • Faunes M
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2017 Sep 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

In songbirds, the learning and maintenance of song is dependent on auditory feedback, but little is known about the presence or role of other forms of sensory feedback. Here, we studied the innervation of the avian vocal organ, the syrinx, in the zebra finch. Using a combination of immunohistochemistry, immunofluorescence and neural tracing with subunit B of cholera toxin (CTB), we analysed the peripheral and central endings of the branch of the hypoglossal nerve that supplies the syrinx, the tracheosyringeal nerve. In the syringeal muscles, we show the presence of numerous choline acetyl transferase-like immunoreactive en plaque motor endplates and substance P-like immunoreactive, thin and varicose free nerve endings. Substance P-like immunoreactive free nerve endings were also present in the luminal syringeal tissues, especially in the luminal epithelium of the trachea and pessulus. Also, by a combination of immunofluorescence and transganglionic tracing following injections of CTB in the tracheosyringeal nerve, we identified as central targets of the syringeal receptors the caudolateral part of the interpolaris subnucleus of the descending trigeminal tract, a caudolateral region of the nucleus tractus solitarius, and a lateral band of the principal sensory trigeminal nucleus. Further studies are required to determine the sensory modalities of these receptors and the connections of their specific synaptic targets.

Developmental and adult characterization of secretagogin expressing amacrine cells in zebrafish retina.

  • Dudczig S
  • PLoS ONE
  • 2017 Sep 26

Literature context:


Abstract:

Calcium binding proteins show stereotypical expression patterns within diverse neuron types across the central nervous system. Here, we provide a characterization of developmental and adult secretagogin-immunolabelled neurons in the zebrafish retina with an emphasis on co-expression of multiple calcium binding proteins. Secretagogin is a recently identified and cloned member of the F-hand family of calcium binding proteins, which labels distinct neuron populations in the retinas of mammalian vertebrates. Both the adult distribution of secretagogin labeled retinal neurons as well as the developmental expression indicative of the stage of neurogenesis during which this calcium binding protein is expressed was quantified. Secretagogin expression was confined to an amacrine interneuron population in the inner nuclear layer, with monostratified neurites in the center of the inner plexiform layer and a relatively regular soma distribution (regularity index > 2.5 across central-peripheral areas). However, only a subpopulation (~60%) co-labeled with gamma-aminobutyric acid as their neurotransmitter, suggesting that possibly two amacrine subtypes are secretagogin immunoreactive. Quantitative co-labeling analysis with other known amacrine subtype markers including the three main calcium binding proteins parvalbumin, calbindin and calretinin identifies secretagogin immunoreactive neurons as a distinct neuron population. The highest density of secretagogin cells of ~1800 cells / mm2 remained relatively evenly along the horizontal meridian, whilst the density dropped of to 125 cells / mm2 towards the dorsal and ventral periphery. Thus, secretagogin represents a new amacrine label within the zebrafish retina. The developmental expression suggests a possible role in late stage differentiation. This characterization forms the basis of functional studies assessing how the expression of distinct calcium binding proteins might be regulated to compensate for the loss of one of the others.

MicroRNAs Induce a Permissive Chromatin Environment that Enables Neuronal Subtype-Specific Reprogramming of Adult Human Fibroblasts.

  • Abernathy DG
  • Cell Stem Cell
  • 2017 Sep 7

Literature context:


Abstract:

Directed reprogramming of human fibroblasts into fully differentiated neurons requires massive changes in epigenetic and transcriptional states. Induction of a chromatin environment permissive for acquiring neuronal subtype identity is therefore a major barrier to fate conversion. Here we show that the brain-enriched miRNAs miR-9/9∗ and miR-124 (miR-9/9∗-124) trigger reconfiguration of chromatin accessibility, DNA methylation, and mRNA expression to induce a default neuronal state. miR-9/9∗-124-induced neurons (miNs) are functionally excitable and uncommitted toward specific subtypes but possess open chromatin at neuronal subtype-specific loci, suggesting that such identity can be imparted by additional lineage-specific transcription factors. Consistently, we show that ISL1 and LHX3 selectively drive conversion to a highly homogeneous population of human spinal cord motor neurons. This study shows that modular synergism between miRNAs and neuronal subtype-specific transcription factors can drive lineage-specific neuronal reprogramming, providing a general platform for high-efficiency generation of distinct subtypes of human neurons.

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - U01 CA200060()
  • NHGRI NIH HHS - R01 HG007175()
  • NHGRI NIH HHS - R01 HG007354()
  • NHGRI NIH HHS - U01 HG009391()
  • NIDA NIH HHS - R25 DA027995()
  • NIEHS NIH HHS - R01 ES024992()
  • NIEHS NIH HHS - U24 ES026699()

Specific connections of the interpeduncular subnuclei reveal distinct components of the habenulopeduncular pathway.

  • Quina LA
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2017 Aug 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

The habenulopeduncular pathway consists of the medial habenula (MHb), its output tract, the fasciculus retroflexus, and its principal target, the interpeduncular nucleus (IP). Several IP subnuclei have been described, but their specific projections and relationship to habenula inputs are not well understood. Here we have used viral, transgenic, and conventional anterograde and retrograde tract-tracing methods to better define the relationship between the dorsal and ventral MHb, the IP, and the secondary efferent targets of this system. Although prior studies have reported that the IP has ascending projections to ventral forebrain structures, we find that these projections originate almost entirely in the apical subnucleus, which may be more appropriately described as part of the median raphe system. The laterodorsal tegmental nucleus receives inhibitory inputs from the contralateral dorsolateral IP, and mainly excitatory inputs from the ipsilateral rostrolateral IP subnucleus. The midline central gray of the pons and nucleus incertus receive input from the rostral IP, which contains a mix of inhibitory and excitatory neurons, and the dorsomedial IP, which is exclusively inhibitory. The lateral central gray of the pons receives bilateral input from the lateral IP, which in turn receives bilateral input from the dorsal MHb. Taken together with prior studies of IP projections to the raphe, these results form an emerging map of the habenulopeduncular system that has significant implications for the proposed function of the IP in a variety of behaviors, including models of mood disorders and behavioral responses to nicotine.

Selective synaptic connections in the retinal pathway for night vision.

  • Beaudoin DL
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2017 Aug 30

Literature context:


Abstract:

The mammalian retina encodes visual information in dim light using rod photoreceptors and a specialized circuit: rods→rod bipolar cells→AII amacrine cell. The AII amacrine cell uses sign-conserving electrical synapses to modulate ON cone bipolar cell terminals and sign-inverting chemical (glycinergic) synapses to modulate OFF cone cell bipolar terminals; these ON and OFF cone bipolar terminals then drive the output neurons, retinal ganglion cells (RGCs), following light increments and decrements, respectively. The AII amacrine cell also makes direct glycinergic synapses with certain RGCs, but it is not well established how many types receive this direct AII input. Here, we investigated functional AII amacrine→RGC synaptic connections in the retina of the guinea pig (Cavia porcellus) by recording inhibitory currents from RGCs in the presence of ionotropic glutamate receptor (iGluR) antagonists. This condition isolates a specific pathway through the AII amacrine cell that does not require iGluRs: cone→ON cone bipolar cell→AII amacrine cell→RGC. These recordings show that AII amacrine cells make direct synapses with OFF Alpha, OFF Delta and a smaller OFF transient RGC type that co-stratifies with OFF Alpha cells. However, AII amacrine cells avoid making synapses with numerous RGC types that co-stratify with the connected RGCs. Selective AII connections ensure that a privileged minority of RGC types receives direct input from the night-vision pathway, independent from OFF bipolar cell activity. Furthermore, these results illustrate the specificity of retinal connections, which cannot be predicted solely by co-stratification of dendrites and axons within the inner plexiform layer.

Reorganization of the septohippocampal cholinergic fiber system in experimental epilepsy.

  • Soares JI
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2017 Aug 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

The septohippocampal cholinergic neurotransmission has long been implicated in seizures, but little is known about the structural features of this projection system in epileptic brain. We evaluated the effects of experimental epilepsy on the areal density of cholinergic terminals (fiber varicosities) in the dentate gyrus. For this purpose, we used two distinct post-status epilepticus rat models, in which epilepsy was induced with injections of either kainic acid or pilocarpine. To visualize the cholinergic fibers, we used brain sections immunostained for the vesicular acetylcholine transporter. It was found that the density of cholinergic fiber varicosities was higher in epileptic rats versus control rats in the inner and outer zones of the dentate molecular layer, but it was reduced in the dentate hilus. We further evaluated the effects of kainate treatment on the total number, density, and soma volume of septal cholinergic cells, which were visualized in brain sections stained for either vesicular acetylcholine transporter or choline acetyltransferase (ChAT). Both the number of septal cells with cholinergic phenotype and their density were increased in epileptic rats when compared to control rats. The septal cells stained for vesicular acetylcholine transporter, but not for ChAT, have enlarged perikarya in epileptic rats. These results revealed previously unknown details of structural reorganization of the septohippocampal cholinergic system in experimental epilepsy, involving fiber sprouting into the dentate molecular layer and a parallel fiber retraction from the dentate hilus. We hypothesize that epilepsy-related neuroplasticity of septohippocampal cholinergic neurons is capable of increasing neuronal excitability of the dentate gyrus.

Reduced Slc6a15 in Nucleus Accumbens D2-Neurons Underlies Stress Susceptibility.

  • Chandra R
  • J. Neurosci.
  • 2017 Jul 5

Literature context:


Abstract:

Previous research demonstrates that Slc6a15, a neutral amino acid transporter, is associated with depression susceptibility. However, no study examined Slc6a15 in the ventral striatum [nucleus accumbens (NAc)] in depression. Given our previous characterization of Slc6a15 as a striatal dopamine receptor 2 (D2)-neuron-enriched gene, we examined the role of Slc6a15 in NAc D2-neurons in mediating susceptibility to stress in male mice. First, we showed that Slc6a15 mRNA was reduced in NAc of mice susceptible to chronic social defeat stress (CSDS), a paradigm that produces behavioral and molecular adaptations that resemble clinical depression. Consistent with our preclinical data, we observed Slc6a15 mRNA reduction in NAc of individuals with major depressive disorder (MDD). The Slc6a15 reduction in NAc occurred selectively in D2-neurons. Next, we used Cre-inducible viruses combined with D2-Cre mice to reduce or overexpress Slc6a15 in NAc D2-neurons. Slc6a15 reduction in D2-neurons caused enhanced susceptibility to a subthreshold social defeat stress (SSDS) as observed by reduced social interaction, while a reduction in social interaction following CSDS was not observed when Slc6a15 expression in D2-neurons was restored. Finally, since both D2-medium spiny neurons (MSNs) and D2-expressing choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) interneurons express Slc6a15, we examined Slc6a15 protein in these interneurons after CSDS. Slc6a15 protein was unaltered in ChAT interneurons. Consistent with this, reducing Slc5a15 selectively in NAc D2-MSNs, using A2A-Cre mice that express Cre selectively in D2-MSNs, caused enhanced susceptibility to SSDS. Collectively, our data demonstrate that reduced Slc6a15 in NAc occurs in MDD individuals and that Slc6a15 reduction in NAc D2-neurons underlies stress susceptibility.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Our study demonstrates a role for reduced Slc6a15, a neutral amino acid transporter, in nucleus accumbens (NAc) in depression and stress susceptibility. The reduction of Slc6a15 occurs selectively in the NAc D2-neurons. Genetic reduction of Slc6a15 induces susceptibility to a subthreshold stress, while genetic overexpression in D2-neurons prevents social avoidance after chronic social defeat stress.

Funding information:
  • NIMH NIH HHS - R01 MH106500()

Barrington's nucleus: Neuroanatomic landscape of the mouse "pontine micturition center".

  • Verstegen AMJ
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2017 Jul 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Barrington's nucleus (Bar) is thought to contain neurons that trigger voiding and thereby function as the "pontine micturition center." Lacking detailed information on this region in mice, we examined gene and protein markers to characterize Bar and the neurons surrounding it. Like rats and cats, mice have an ovoid core of medium-sized Bar neurons located medial to the locus coeruleus (LC). Bar neurons express a GFP reporter for Vglut2, develop from a Math1/Atoh1 lineage, and exhibit immunoreactivity for NeuN. Many neurons in and around this core cluster express a reporter for corticotrophin-releasing hormone (BarCRH ). Axons from BarCRH neurons project to the lumbosacral spinal cord and ramify extensively in two regions: the dorsal gray commissural and intermediolateral nuclei. BarCRH neurons have unexpectedly long dendrites, which may receive synaptic input from the cerebral cortex and other brain regions beyond the core afferents identified previously. Finally, at least five populations of neurons surround Bar: rostral-dorsomedial cholinergic neurons in the laterodorsal tegmental nucleus; lateral noradrenergic neurons in the LC; medial GABAergic neurons in the pontine central gray; ventromedial, small GABAergic neurons that express FoxP2; and dorsolateral glutamatergic neurons that express FoxP2 in the pLC and form a wedge dividing Bar from the dorsal LC. We discuss the implications of this new information for interpreting existing data and future experiments targeting BarCRH neurons and their synaptic afferents to study micturition and other pelvic functions.

Funding information:
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - T32 HL007901()
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - P20 DK103086()
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - R01 DK113030()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R25 NS070682()

Differential Control of Dopaminergic Excitability and Locomotion by Cholinergic Inputs in Mouse Substantia Nigra.

  • Estakhr J
  • Curr. Biol.
  • 2017 Jul 10

Literature context:


Abstract:

Understanding how dopaminergic (DA) neurons of the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNc) govern movements requires a detailed knowledge of how different neurotransmitter systems modulate DA neuronal excitability. We report a heterogeneity of electrophysiological properties between medial and lateral SNc neurons modulated by cholinergic neurotransmission. Lateral DA neurons received mainly excitatory (nicotinic or glutamatergic) mediated cholinergic neurotransmission. Medial DA neurons received predominantly GABAergic currents mediated by presynaptic nicotinic receptors or biphasic GABAergic and nicotinic neurotransmission conveyed by GABA and ACh corelease, which inhibited DA neurons. To examine whether cholinergic signaling in the SNc controls mouse behavior, we used optogenetics in awake behaving mice and found that activation of cholinergic terminals in the medial SNc decreased locomotion, whereas activation in the lateral SNc increased locomotion. Our findings provide novel insights on how cholinergic inputs to subregions of the SNc regulate the excitability of DA neurons differentially, resulting in different patterns of motor behavior.

Funding information:
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - P01 GM048677()
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - R01 GM103801()

Cell-type specific differences in promoter activity of the ALS-linked C9orf72 mouse ortholog.

  • Langseth AJ
  • Sci Rep
  • 2017 Jul 18

Literature context:


Abstract:

A hexanucleotide repeat expansion in the C9orf72 gene is the most common cause of inherited forms of the neurodegenerative disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Both loss-of-function and gain-of-function mechanisms have been proposed to underlie this disease, but the pathogenic pathways are not fully understood. To better understand the involvement of different cell types in the pathogenesis of ALS, we systematically analyzed the distribution of promoter activity of the mouse ortholog of C9orf72 in the central nervous system. We demonstrate that C9orf72 promoter activity is widespread in both excitatory and inhibitory neurons as well as in oligodendrocytes and oligodendrocyte precursor cells. In contrast, few microglia and astrocytes exhibit detectable C9orf72 promoter activity. Although at a gross level, the distribution of C9orf72 promoter activity largely follows overall cellular density, we found that it is selectively enriched in subsets of neurons and glial cells that degenerate in ALS. Specifically, we show that C9orf72 promoter activity is enriched in corticospinal and spinal motor neurons as well as in oligodendrocytes in brain regions that are affected in ALS. These results suggest that cell autonomous changes in both neurons and glia may contribute to C9orf72-mediated disease, as has been shown for mutations in superoxide dismutase-1 (SOD1).

In vivo expression of Nurr1/Nr4a2a in developing retinal amacrine subtypes in zebrafish Tg(nr4a2a:eGFP) transgenics.

  • Goodings L
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2017 Jun 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

The Nuclear receptor subfamily 4 group A member 2 (Nr4a2) is crucial for the formation or maintenance of dopaminergic neurons in the central nervous system including the retina, where dopaminergic amacrine cells contribute to visual function. Little is known about which cells express Nr4a2 at which developmental stage. Furthermore, whether Nr4a2 functions in combination with other genes is poorly understood. Thus, we generated a novel transgenic to visualize Nr4a2 expression in vivo during zebrafish retinogenesis. A 4.1 kb fragment of the nr4a2a promoter was used to drive green fluorescent protein expression in this Tg(nr4a2a:eGFP) line. In situ hybridization showed that transgene expression follows endogenous RNA expression at a cellular level. Temporal expression and lineages were quantified using in vivo time-lapse imaging in embryos. Nr4a2 expressing retinal subtypes were characterized immunohistochemically. Nr4a2a:eGFP labeled multiple neuron subtypes including 24.5% of all amacrine interneurons. Nr4a2a:eGFP labels all tyrosine hydroxylase labeled dopaminergic amacrine cells, and other nondopaminergic GABAergic amacrine populations. Nr4a2a:eGFP is confined to a specific progenitor lineage identified by sequential expression of the bhlh transcription factor Atonal7 (Atoh7) and Pancreas transcription factor 1a (Ptf1a), and labels postmitotic postmigratory amacrine cells. Thus, developmental Nr4a2a expression indicates a role during late differentiation of specific amacrine interneurons. Tg(nr4a2a:eGFP) is an early marker of distinct neurons including dopaminergic amacrine cells. It can be utilized to assess consequences of gene manipulations and understand whether Nr4a2 only carries out its role in the presence of specific coexpressed genes. This will allow Nr4a2 use to be refined for regenerative approaches.

Aberrant activity in retinal degeneration impairs central visual processing and relies on Cx36-containing gap junctions.

  • Ivanova E
  • Exp. Eye Res.
  • 2017 Jun 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

In retinal degenerative disease (RD), the diminished light signal from dying photoreceptors has been considered the sole cause of visual impairment. Recent studies show a 10-fold increase in spontaneous activity in the RD network, challenging this paradigm. This aberrant activity forms a new barrier for the light signal, and not only exacerbates the loss of vision, but also may stand in the way of visual restoration. This activity originates in AII amacrine cells and relies on excessive activation of gap junctions. However, it remains unclear whether aberrant activity affects central visual processing and what mechanisms lead to this excessive activation of gap junctions. By combining genetic manipulation with electrophysiological recordings of light-induced activity in both living mice and isolated wholemount retina, we demonstrate that aberrant activity extends along retinotectal projections to alter activity in higher brain centers. Next, to selectively eliminate Cx36-containing gap junctions, which are the primary type expressed by AII amacrine cells, we crossed rd10 mice, a slow-degenerating model of RD, with Cx36 knockout mice. We found that retinal aberrant activity was reduced in the rd10/Cx36KO mice compared to rd10 controls, a direct evidence for involvement of Cx36-containing gap junctions in generating aberrant activity in RD. These data provide an essential support for future experiments to determine if selectively targeting these gap junctions could be a valid strategy for reducing aberrant activity and restoring light responses in RD.

Funding information:
  • Wellcome Trust - 091593(United Kingdom)

Sigma-1 Receptor Plays a Negative Modulation on N-type Calcium Channel.

  • Zhang K
  • Front Pharmacol
  • 2017 Jun 12

Literature context:


Abstract:

The sigma-1 receptor is a 223 amino acids molecular chaperone with a single transmembrane domain. It is resident to eukaryotic mitochondrial-associated endoplasmic reticulum and plasma membranes. By chaperone-mediated interactions with ion channels, G-protein coupled receptors and cell-signaling molecules, the sigma-1 receptor performs broad physiological and pharmacological functions. Despite sigma-1 receptors have been confirmed to regulate various types of ion channels, the relationship between the sigma-1 receptor and N-type Ca2+ channel is still unclear. Considering both sigma-1 receptors and N-type Ca2+ channels are involved in intracellular calcium homeostasis and neurotransmission, we undertake studies to explore the possible interaction between these two proteins. In the experiment, we confirmed the expression of the sigma-1 receptors and the N-type calcium channels in the cholinergic interneurons (ChIs) in rat striatum by using single-cell reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (scRT-PCR) and immunofluorescence staining. N-type Ca2+ currents recorded from ChIs in the brain slice of rat striatum was depressed when sigma-1 receptor agonists (SKF-10047 and Pre-084) were administrated. The inhibition was completely abolished by sigma-1 receptor antagonist (BD-1063). Co-expression of the sigma-1 receptors and the N-type calcium channels in Xenopus oocytes presented a decrease of N-type Ca2+ current amplitude with an increase of sigma-1 receptor expression. SKF-10047 could further depress N-type Ca2+ currents recorded from oocytes. The fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) assays and co-immunoprecipitation (Co-IP) demonstrated that sigma-1 receptors and N-type Ca2+ channels formed a protein complex when they were co-expressed in HEK-293T (Human Embryonic Kidney -293T) cells. Our results revealed that the sigma-1 receptors played a negative modulation on N-type Ca2+ channels. The mechanism for the inhibition of sigma-1 receptors on N-type Ca2+ channels probably involved a chaperone-mediated direct interaction and agonist-induced conformational changes in the receptor-channel complexes on the cell surface.

Anatomy and spatial organization of Müller glia in mouse retina.

  • Wang J
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2017 Jun 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Müller glia, the most abundant glia of vertebrate retina, have an elaborate morphology characterized by a vertical stalk that spans the retina and branches in each retinal layer. Müller glia play diverse, critical roles in retinal homeostasis, which are presumably enabled by their complex anatomy. However, much remains unknown, particularly in mouse, about the anatomical arrangement of Müller cells and their arbors, and how these features arise in development. Here we use membrane-targeted fluorescent proteins to reveal the fine structure of mouse Müller arbors. We find sublayer-specific arbor specializations within the inner plexiform layer (IPL) that occur consistently at defined laminar locations. We then characterize Müller glia spatial patterning, revealing how individual cells collaborate to form a pan-retinal network. Müller cells, unlike neurons, are spread across the retina with homogenous density, and their arbor sizes change little with eccentricity. Using Brainbow methods to label neighboring cells in different colors, we find that Müller glia tile retinal space with minimal overlap. The shape of their arbors is irregular but nonrandom, suggesting that local interactions between neighboring cells determine their territories. Finally, we identify a developmental window at postnatal Days 6 to 9 when Müller arbors first colonize the synaptic layers beginning in stereotyped inner plexiform layer sublaminae. Together, our study defines the anatomical arrangement of mouse Müller glia and their network in the radial and tangential planes of the retina, in development and adulthood. The local precision of Müller glia organization suggests that their morphology is sculpted by specific cell to cell interactions with neurons and each other.

Funding information:
  • NEI NIH HHS - P30 EY005722()
  • NEI NIH HHS - R01 EY024694()

Vesicular acetylcholine transporter (VAChT) over-expression induces major modifications of striatal cholinergic interneuron morphology and function.

  • Janickova H
  • J. Neurochem.
  • 2017 Jun 19

Literature context:


Abstract:

Striatal cholinergic interneurons (CIN) are pivotal for the regulation of the striatal network. Acetylcholine (ACh) released by CIN is centrally involved in reward behavior as well as locomotor or cognitive functions. Recently, BAC transgenic mice expressing channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2) protein under the control of the choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) promoter (ChAT-ChR2) and displaying almost 50 extra copies of the VAChT gene were used to dissect cholinergic circuit connectivity and function using optogenetic approaches. These mice display over-expression of the vesicular acetylcholine transporter (VAChT) and increased cholinergic tone. Consequently, ChAT-ChR2 mice are a valuable model to investigate hypercholinergic phenotypes. Previous experiments established that ChAT-ChR2 mice display an increased sensitivity to amphetamine induced-locomotor activity and stereotypes. In the present report, we analyzed the impact of VAChT over-expression in the striatum of ChAT-ChR2 mice. ChAT-ChR2 mice displayed increased locomotor sensitization in response to low dose of cocaine. In addition, we observed a dramatic remodeling of the morphology of CIN in ChAT-ChR2 transgenic mice. VAChT immunolabeling was markedly enhanced in the soma and terminal of CIN from ChAT-ChR2 mice as previously shown (Crittenden et al. 2014). Interestingly, the number of cholinergic varicosities was markedly reduced (-87%) whereas their size was significantly increased (+177%). Moreover, VAChT over-expression dramatically modified its trafficking along the somatodendritic and axonal arbor. These findings demonstrate that ChAT-ChR2 mice present major alterations of CIN neuronal morphology and increased behavioral sensitization to cocaine, supporting the notion that the increased levels of VAChT observed in these mice make them fundamentally different from wild-type mice.

GABAergic innervation of the ciliary ganglion in macaque monkeys - A light and electron microscopic study.

  • Barnerssoi M
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2017 May 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

The vertebrate ciliary ganglion (CG) is a relay station in the parasympathetic pathway activating the iris sphincter and ciliary muscle to mediate pupillary constriction and lens accommodation, respectively. While the postganglionic motoneurons in the CG are cholinergic, as are their inputs, there is evidence from avian studies that GABA may also be involved. Here, we used light and electron microscopic methods to examine the GABAergic innervation of the CG in Macaca fascicularis monkeys. Immunohistochemistry for the gamma aminobutyric acid synthesizing enzyme glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD) and choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) revealed that all CG neurons are contacted by ChAT-positive terminals. A subpopulation of 17.5% of CG neurons was associated with terminal boutons expressing GAD-immunoreactivity in addition. Double-labeling for GAD and synaptophysin confirmed that these were synaptic terminals. Electron microscopic analysis in conjunction with GABA-immunogold staining showed that (1) GAD-positive terminals mainly target dendrites and spines in the perisomatic neuropil of CG neurons; (2) GABA is restricted to a specific terminal type, which displays intermediate features lying between classically excitatory and inhibitory endings; and (3) if a CG neuron is contacted by GABA-positive terminals, virtually all perisomatic terminals supplying it show GABA immunoreactivity. The source of this GABAergic input and whether GABA contributes to a specific CG function remains to be investigated. Nevertheless, our data indicate that the innervation of the ciliary ganglion is more complex than previously thought, and that GABA may play a neuromodulatory role in the control of lens or pupil function. J. Comp. Neurol. 525:1517-1531, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Funding information:
  • European Research Council - 323183(International)
  • NIEHS NIH HHS - R00 ES017781(United States)

Septal Cholinergic Neuromodulation Tunes the Astrocyte-Dependent Gating of Hippocampal NMDA Receptors to Wakefulness.

  • Papouin T
  • Neuron
  • 2017 May 17

Literature context:


Abstract:

The activation of the N-methyl D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) is controlled by a glutamate-binding site and a distinct, independently regulated, co-agonist-binding site. In most brain regions, the NMDAR co-agonist is the astrocyte-derived gliotransmitter D-serine. We found that D-serine levels oscillate in mouse hippocampus as a function of wakefulness, in vitro and in vivo. This causes a full saturation of the NMDAR co-agonist site in the dark (active) phase that dissipates to sub-saturating levels during the light (sleep) phase, and influences learning performance throughout the day. We demonstrate that hippocampal astrocytes sense the wakefulness-dependent activity of septal cholinergic fibers through the α7-nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (α7nAChR), whose activation drives D-serine release. We conclude that astrocytes tune the gating of synaptic NMDARs to the vigilance state and demonstrate that this is directly relevant to schizophrenia, a disorder characterized by NMDAR and cholinergic hypofunctions. Indeed, bypassing cholinergic activity with a clinically tested α7nAChR agonist successfully enhances NMDAR activation. VIDEO ABSTRACT.

Funding information:
  • NIAAA NIH HHS - R01 AA020183()
  • NIMH NIH HHS - F31 MH106208()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - P30 NS047243()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS037585()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R37 NS037585()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - T32 NS061764()

Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors regulate vestibular afferent gain and activation timing.

  • Morley BJ
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2017 Apr 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Little is known about the function of the cholinergic efferents innervating peripheral vestibular hair cells. We measured vestibular sensory evoked potentials (VsEPs) in α9 knockout (KO) mice, α10 KO mice, α7 KO mice, α9/10 and α7/9 double KO mice, and wild-type (WT) controls. We also studied the morphology and ultrastructure of efferent terminals on vestibular hair cells in α9, α10, and α9/10 KOs. Both type I and type ll vestibular hair cells express the α9 and α10 subunits. The efferent boutons on vestibular cells in α9, α10, and α9/10 KOs appeared normal, but a quantitative analysis was not performed. Mean VsEP thresholds were significantly elevated in α9 and α9/10 KO animals. Some α9 and α9/10 KO animals, however, had normal or near-normal thresholds, whereas others were greatly affected. Despite individual variability in threshold responses, latencies were consistently shortened. The double α7/9 KO resulted in decreased variance by normalizing waveforms and latencies. The phenotypes of the α7 and α10 single KOs were identical. Both α7 and α10 KO mice evidenced normal thresholds, decreased activation latencies, and larger amplitudes compared with WT mice. The data suggest a complex interaction of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) in regulating vestibular afferent gain and activation timing. Although the α9/10 heteromeric nAChR is an important component of vestibular efferent activity, other peripheral or central nAChRs involving the α7 subunit or α10 subunit and α9 homomeric receptors are also important. J. Comp. Neurol. 525:1216-1233, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Tridimensional Visualization and Analysis of Early Human Development.

  • Belle M
  • Cell
  • 2017 Mar 23

Literature context:


Abstract:

Generating a precise cellular and molecular cartography of the human embryo is essential to our understanding of the mechanisms of organogenesis in normal and pathological conditions. Here, we have combined whole-mount immunostaining, 3DISCO clearing, and light-sheet imaging to start building a 3D cellular map of the human development during the first trimester of gestation. We provide high-resolution 3D images of the developing peripheral nervous, muscular, vascular, cardiopulmonary, and urogenital systems. We found that the adult-like pattern of skin innervation is established before the end of the first trimester, showing important intra- and inter-individual variations in nerve branches. We also present evidence for a differential vascularization of the male and female genital tracts concomitant with sex determination. This work paves the way for a cellular and molecular reference atlas of human cells, which will be of paramount importance to understanding human development in health and disease. PAPERCLIP.

Gene expression analysis of developing cell groups in the pretectal region of Xenopus laevis.

  • Morona R
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2017 Mar 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Our previous analysis of progenitor domains in the pretectum of Xenopus revealed three molecularly distinct anteroposterior subdivisions, identified as precommissural (PcP), juxtacommissural (JcP), and commissural (CoP) histogenetic domains (Morona et al. [2011] J Comp Neurol 519:1024-1050). Here we analyzed at later developmental stages the nuclei derived from these areas, attending to their gene expression patterns and histogenesis. Transcription-factor gene markers were used to selectively map derivatives of each domain: Pax7 and Pax6 (CoP); Foxp1 and Six3 (JcP); and Xiro1, VGlut2, Ebf1, and Ebf3 (PcP). Additional genoarchitectural information was provided by the expression of Gbx2, NPY, Lhx1, and Lhx9. This allowed both unambiguous characterization of the anuran pretectal nuclei with regard to their origin in the three early anteroposterior progenitor domains, and their comparison with counterparts in the chick and mouse pretectum. Our observations demonstrated a molecular conservation, during practically all the stages analyzed, for most of the main markers used to define genoarchitecturally the main derivatives of each pretectal domain. We found molecular evidence to propose homologous derivatives from the CoP (olivary pretectal, parvocellular, and magnocellular posterior commissure and lateral terminal nuclei), JcP (spiriformis lateral and lateral terminal nuclei), and PcP (anterior pretectal nucleus) to those described in avian studies. These results represent significant progress in the comprehension of the diencephalic region of Xenopus and show that the organization of the pretectum possesses many features shared with birds. J. Comp. Neurol. 525:715-752, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Funding information:
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - T32 DK007319(United States)

Cholinergic profiles in the Goettingen miniature pig (Sus scrofa domesticus) brain.

  • Mahady LJ
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2017 Feb 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

Central cholinergic structures within the brain of the even-toed hoofed Goettingen miniature domestic pig (Sus scrofa domesticus) were evaluated by immunohistochemical visualization of choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) and the low-affinity neurotrophin receptor, p75NTR . ChAT-immunoreactive (-ir) perikarya were seen in the olfactory tubercle, striatum, medial septal nucleus, vertical and horizontal limbs of the diagonal band of Broca, and the nucleus basalis of Meynert, medial habenular nucleus, zona incerta, neurosecretory arcuate nucleus, cranial motor nuclei III and IV, Edinger-Westphal nucleus, parabigeminal nucleus, pedunculopontine nucleus, and laterodorsal tegmental nucleus. Cholinergic ChAT-ir neurons were also found within transitional cortical areas (insular, cingulate, and piriform cortices) and hippocampus proper. ChAT-ir fibers were seen throughout the dentate gyrus and hippocampus, in the mediodorsal, laterodorsal, anteroventral, and parateanial thalamic nuclei, the fasciculus retroflexus of Meynert, basolateral and basomedial amygdaloid nuclei, anterior pretectal and interpeduncular nuclei, as well as select laminae of the superior colliculus. Double immunofluorescence demonstrated that virtually all ChAT-ir basal forebrain neurons were also p75NTR -positive. The present findings indicate that the central cholinergic system in the miniature pig is similar to other mammalian species. Therefore, the miniature pig may be an appropriate animal model for preclinical studies of neurodegenerative diseases where the cholinergic system is compromised. J. Comp. Neurol. 525:553-573, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Cholinergic innervation of the basal ganglia in humans and other anthropoid primates.

  • Stephenson AR
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2017 Feb 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Cholinergic innervation of the basal ganglia is important in learning and memory. Striatal cholinergic neurons integrate cognitive and motivational states with behavior. Given these roles, it is not surprising that deficits in cortical cholinergic innervation have been correlated with loss of cognitive function in Alzheimer's disease and schizophrenia. Such evidence suggests the potential significance of subcortical cholinergic innervation in the evolution of the human brain. To compare humans with other closely related primates, the present study quantified axons and interneurons immunoreactive for choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) in regions of the executive and motor loops of the basal ganglia of humans, great apes, and monkeys. We also compared ChAT-immunoreactive (ir) interneuron morphological types among species within striatal regions. The results indicate that humans and great apes differ from monkeys in having a preponderance of multipolar ChAT-ir interneurons in the caudate nucleus and putamen, whereas monkeys have a more heterogeneous representation of multipolar, bipolar, and unipolar interneurons. Cholinergic innervation, as measured by axon and interneuron densities, did not differ across species in the medial caudate nucleus. Differences were detected in the dorsal caudate nucleus, putamen, and globus pallidus but the observed variation did not associate with the phylogenetic structure of the species in the sample. However, combining the present results with previously published data for dopamine revealed a unique pattern of innervation for humans, with higher amounts of dopamine compared with acetylcholine in the striatum. Taken together, these findings indicate a potential evolutionary shift in basal ganglia neurotransmission in humans that may favor increased synaptic plasticity. J. Comp. Neurol. 525:319-332, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Funding information:
  • NINDS NIH HHS - NS37853(United States)

Melanopsin-expressing ganglion cells in human retina: Morphology, distribution, and synaptic connections.

  • Nasir-Ahmad S
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2017 Jan 18

Literature context:


Abstract:

Melanopsin-expressing retinal ganglion cells are intrinsically photosensitive cells that are involved in non-image forming visual processes such as the pupillary light reflex and circadian entrainment but also contribute to visual perception. Here we used immunohistochemistry to study the morphology, density, distribution, and synaptic connectivity of melanopsin-expressing ganglion cells in four post mortem human donor retinas. Two types of melanopsin-expressing ganglion cells were distinguished based on their dendritic stratification near either the outer or the inner border of the inner plexiform layer. Outer stratifying cells make up on average 60% of the melanopsin-expressing cells. About half of the melanopsin-expressing cells (or 80% of the outer stratifying cells) have their soma displaced to the inner nuclear layer. Inner stratifying cells have their soma exclusively in the ganglion cell layer and include a small proportion of bistratified cells. The dendritic field diameter of melanopsin-expressing cells ranges from 250 (near the fovea) to 1,000 µm in peripheral retina. The dendritic trees of outer stratifying cells cover the retina independent of soma location. The dendritic fields of both outer and inner stratifying cells show a high degree of overlap with a coverage factor of approximately two. Melanopsin-expressing cells occur at an average peak density of between ∼20 and ∼40 cells/mm2 at about 2 mm eccentricity, the density drops to below ∼10 cells/mm2 at about 8 mm eccentricity. Both the outer and inner stratifying dendrites express postsynaptic density (PSD95) immunoreactive puncta suggesting that they receive synaptic input from bipolar cells.

Suppression of C9orf72 RNA repeat-induced neurotoxicity by the ALS-associated RNA-binding protein Zfp106.

  • Celona B
  • Elife
  • 2017 Jan 10

Literature context:


Abstract:

Expanded GGGGCC repeats in the first intron of the C9orf72 gene represent the most common cause of familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), but the mechanisms underlying repeat-induced disease remain incompletely resolved. One proposed gain-of-function mechanism is that repeat-containing RNA forms aggregates that sequester RNA binding proteins, leading to altered RNA metabolism in motor neurons. Here, we identify the zinc finger protein Zfp106 as a specific GGGGCC RNA repeat-binding protein, and using affinity purification-mass spectrometry, we show that Zfp106 interacts with multiple other RNA binding proteins, including the ALS-associated factors TDP-43 and FUS. We also show that Zfp106 knockout mice develop severe motor neuron degeneration, which can be suppressed by transgenic restoration of Zfp106 specifically in motor neurons. Finally, we show that Zfp106 potently suppresses neurotoxicity in a Drosophila model of C9orf72 ALS. Thus, these studies identify Zfp106 as an RNA binding protein with important implications for ALS.

Funding information:
  • BLRD VA - I01 BX001108()
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - P01 HL089707()
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - R01 HL064658()
  • NIA NIH HHS - P01 AG019724()
  • NIA NIH HHS - P50 AG023501()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS098516()
  • RRD VA - I01 RX002133()

Survey of retinal ganglion cell morphology in marmoset.

  • Masri RA
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2016 Dec 20

Literature context:


Abstract:

In primate retina, the midget, parasol, and small bistratified cell populations form the large majority of ganglion cells. In addition, there is a variety of low-density wide-field ganglion cell types that are less well characterized. Here we studied retinal ganglion cells in the common marmoset, Callithrix jacchus, using particle-mediated gene transfer. Ganglion cells were transfected with an expression plasmid for the postsynaptic density 95-green fluorescent protein. The retinas were processed with established immunohistochemical markers for bipolar and/or amacrine cells to determine ganglion cell dendritic stratification. In total over 500 ganglion cells were classified based on their dendritic field size, morphology, and stratification in the inner plexiform layer. Over 17 types were distinguished, including midget, parasol, broad thorny, small bistratified, large bistratified, recursive bistratified, recursive monostratified, narrow thorny, smooth monostratified, large sparse, giant sparse (melanopsin) ganglion cells, and a group that may contain several as yet uncharacterized types. Assuming each characterized type forms a hexagonal mosaic, the midget and parasol cells account for over 80% of all ganglion cells in the central retina but only ∼50% of cells in the peripheral (>2 mm) retina. We conclude that the fovea is dominated by midget and parasol cells, but outside the fovea the ganglion cell diversity in marmoset is likely as great as that reported for nonprimate retinas. Taken together, the ganglion cell types in marmoset retina resemble those described previously in macaque retina with respect to morphology, stratification, and change in proportion across the retina.

Deficiency of CPEB2-Confined Choline Acetyltransferase Expression in the Dorsal Motor Nucleus of Vagus Causes Hyperactivated Parasympathetic Signaling-Associated Bronchoconstriction.

  • Lai YT
  • J. Neurosci.
  • 2016 Dec 14

Literature context:


Abstract:

Cytoplasmic polyadenylation element binding protein 2 (CPEB2) is an RNA-binding protein and translational regulator. To understand the physiological function of CPEB2, we generated CPEB2 knock-out (KO) mice and found that most died within 3 d after birth. CPEB2 is highly expressed in the brainstem, which controls vital functions, such as breathing. Whole-body plethysmography revealed that KO neonates had aberrant respiration with frequent apnea. Nevertheless, the morphology and function of the respiratory rhythm generator and diaphragm neuromuscular junctions appeared normal. We found that upregulated translation of choline acetyltransferase in the CPEB2 KO dorsal motor nucleus of vagus resulted in hyperactivation of parasympathetic signaling-induced bronchoconstriction, as evidenced by increased pulmonary acetylcholine and phosphorylated myosin light chain 2 in bronchial smooth muscles. Specific deletion of CPEB2 in cholinergic neurons sufficiently caused increased apnea in neonatal pups and airway hyper-reactivity in adult mice. Moreover, inhalation of an anticholinergic bronchodilator reduced apnea episodes in global and cholinergic CPEB2-KO mice. Together, the elevated airway constriction induced by cholinergic transmission in KO neonates may account for the respiratory defect and mortality. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT: This study first generated and characterized cpeb2 gene-deficient mice. CPEB2-knock-out (KO) mice are born alive but most die within 3 d after birth showing no overt defects in anatomy. We found that the KO neonates showed severe apnea and altered respiratory pattern. Such respiratory defects could be recapitulated in mice with pan-neuron-specific or cholinergic neuron-specific ablation of the cpeb2 gene. Further investigation revealed that cholinergic transmission in the KO dorsal motor nucleus of vagus was overactivated because KO mice lack CPEB2-suppressed translation of the rate-limiting enzyme in the production of acetylcholine (i.e., choline acetyltransferase). Consequently, increased parasympathetic signaling leads to hyperactivated bronchoconstriction and abnormal respiration in the KO neonates.

Developmental pattern of the neuronal intermediate filament inaa in the zebrafish retina.

  • Liao ML
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2016 Dec 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

α-Internexin is a member of the neuronal intermediate filament (nIF) protein family, which also includes peripherin and neurofilament (NF) triplet proteins. Previous studies found that expression of α-internexin precedes that of the NF triplet proteins in mammals and suggested that α-internexin plays a key role in the neuronal cytoskeleton network during development. In this study, we aimed to analyze the expression patterns and function of internexin neuronal intermediate filament protein-alpha a (inaa), the encoding gene of which is a homolog of the mammalian α-internexin, during retinal development in zebrafish. Via in vitro and in vivo studies, we demonstrated that zebrafish inaa is an α-internexin homolog that shares characteristics with nIFs. An immunohistochemical analysis of zebrafish revealed that inaa was distributed dynamically in the developing retina. It was widely localized in retinal neuroepithelial cells at 1 day postfertilization (dpf), and was mainly found in the ganglion cell layer (GCL) and inner part of the inner nuclear layer (INL) from 3-9 dpf; after 14 dpf, it was restricted to the outer nuclear layer (ONL). Moreover, we demonstrated for the first time that inaa acted distinctively from the cytoskeletal scaffold of zebrafish cone photoreceptors during development. In conclusion, we demonstrated the morphological features of a novel nIF, inaa, and illustrated its developmental expression pattern in the zebrafish retina. J. Comp. Neurol. 524:3810-3826, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Long-Distance Descending Spinal Neurons Ensure Quadrupedal Locomotor Stability.

  • Ruder L
  • Neuron
  • 2016 Dec 7

Literature context:


Abstract:

Locomotion is an essential animal behavior used for translocation. The spinal cord acts as key executing center, but how it coordinates many body parts located across distance remains poorly understood. Here we employed mouse genetic and viral approaches to reveal organizational principles of long-projecting spinal circuits and their role in quadrupedal locomotion. Using neurotransmitter identity, developmental origin, and projection patterns as criteria, we uncover that spinal segments controlling forelimbs and hindlimbs are bidirectionally connected by symmetrically organized direct synaptic pathways that encompass multiple genetically tractable neuronal subpopulations. We demonstrate that selective ablation of descending spinal neurons linking cervical to lumbar segments impairs coherent locomotion, by reducing postural stability and speed during exploratory locomotion, as well as perturbing interlimb coordination during reinforced high-speed stepping. Together, our results implicate a highly organized long-distance projection system of spinal origin in the control of postural body stabilization and reliability during quadrupedal locomotion.

Funding information:
  • NEI NIH HHS - T32 EY007143(United States)

Secretagogin expression delineates functionally-specialized populations of striatal parvalbumin-containing interneurons.

  • Garas FN
  • Elife
  • 2016 Sep 26

Literature context:


Abstract:

Corticostriatal afferents can engage parvalbumin-expressing (PV+) interneurons to rapidly curtail the activity of striatal projection neurons (SPNs), thus shaping striatal output. Schemes of basal ganglia circuit dynamics generally consider striatal PV+ interneurons to be homogenous, despite considerable heterogeneity in both form and function. We demonstrate that the selective co-expression of another calcium-binding protein, secretagogin (Scgn), separates PV+ interneurons in rat and primate striatum into two topographically-, physiologically- and structurally-distinct cell populations. In rats, these two interneuron populations differed in their firing rates, patterns and relationships with cortical oscillations in vivo. Moreover, the axons of identified PV+/Scgn+ interneurons preferentially targeted the somata of SPNs of the so-called 'direct pathway', whereas PV+/Scgn- interneurons preferentially targeted 'indirect pathway' SPNs. These two populations of interneurons could therefore provide a substrate through which either of the striatal output pathways can be rapidly and selectively inhibited to subsequently mediate the expression of behavioral routines.

Replacing the PDZ-interacting C-termini of DSCAM and DSCAML1 with epitope tags causes different phenotypic severity in different cell populations.

  • Garrett AM
  • Elife
  • 2016 Sep 16

Literature context:


Abstract:

Different types of neurons in the retina are organized vertically into layers and horizontally in a mosaic pattern that helps ensure proper neural network formation and information processing throughout the visual field. The vertebrate Dscams (DSCAM and DSCAML1) are cell adhesion molecules that support the development of this organization by promoting self-avoidance at the level of cell types, promoting normal developmental cell death, and directing vertical neurite stratification. To understand the molecular interactions required for these activities, we tested the functional significance of the interaction between the C-terminus of the Dscams and multi-PDZ domain-containing scaffolding proteins in mouse. We hypothesized that this PDZ-interacting domain would mediate a subset of the Dscams' functions. Instead, we found that in the absence of these interactions, some cell types developed almost normally, while others resembled complete loss of function. Thus, we show differential dependence on this domain for Dscams' functions in different cell types.

Funding information:
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - DK046367(United States)

Molecular features distinguish ten neuronal types in the mouse superficial superior colliculus.

  • Byun H
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2016 Aug 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

The superior colliculus (SC) is a midbrain center involved in controlling head and eye movements in response to inputs from multiple sensory modalities. Visual inputs arise from both the retina and visual cortex and converge onto the superficial layer of the SC (sSC). Neurons in the sSC send information to deeper layers of the SC and to thalamic nuclei that modulate visually guided behaviors. Presently, our understanding of sSC neurons is impeded by a lack of molecular markers that define specific cell types. To better understand the identity and organization of sSC neurons, we took a systematic approach to investigate gene expression within four molecular families: transcription factors, cell adhesion molecules, neuropeptides, and calcium binding proteins. Our analysis revealed 12 molecules with distinct expression patterns in mouse sSC: cadherin 7, contactin 3, netrin G2, cadherin 6, protocadherin 20, retinoid-related orphan receptor β, brain-specific homeobox/POU domain protein 3b, Ets variant gene 1, substance P, somatostatin, vasoactive intestinal polypeptide, and parvalbumin. Double labeling experiments, by either in situ hybridization or immunostaining, demonstrated that the 12 molecular markers collectively define 10 different sSC neuronal types. The characteristic positions of these cell types divide the sSC into four distinct layers. The 12 markers identified here will serve as valuable tools to examine molecular mechanisms that regulate development of sSC neuronal types. These markers could also be used to examine the connections between specific cell types that form retinocollicular, corticocollicular, or colliculothalamic pathways. J. Comp. Neurol. 524:2300-2321, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Funding information:
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS073857(United States)

Involvement of Striatal Cholinergic Interneurons and M1 and M4 Muscarinic Receptors in Motor Symptoms of Parkinson's Disease.

  • Ztaou S
  • J. Neurosci.
  • 2016 Aug 31

Literature context:


Abstract:

Over the last decade, striatal cholinergic interneurons (ChIs) have reemerged as key actors in the pathophysiology of basal-ganglia-related movement disorders. However, the mechanisms involved are still unclear. In this study, we address the role of ChI activity in the expression of parkinsonian-like motor deficits in a unilateral nigrostriatal 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) lesion model using optogenetic and pharmacological approaches. Dorsal striatal photoinhibition of ChIs in lesioned ChAT(cre/cre) mice expressing halorhodopsin in ChIs reduces akinesia, bradykinesia, and sensorimotor neglect. Muscarinic acetylcholine receptor (mAChR) blockade by scopolamine produces similar anti-parkinsonian effects. To decipher which of the mAChR subtypes provides these beneficial effects, systemic and intrastriatal administration of the selective M1 and M4 mAChR antagonists telenzepine and tropicamide, respectively, were tested in the same model of Parkinson's disease. The two compounds alleviate 6-OHDA lesion-induced motor deficits. Telenzepine produces its beneficial effects by blocking postsynaptic M1 mAChRs expressed on medium spiny neurons (MSNs) at the origin of the indirect striatopallidal and direct striatonigral pathways. The anti-parkinsonian effects of tropicamide were almost completely abolished in mutant lesioned mice that lack M4 mAChRs specifically in dopamine D1-receptor-expressing neurons, suggesting that postsynaptic M4 mAChRs expressed on direct MSNs mediate the antiakinetic action of tropicamide. The present results show that altered cholinergic transmission via M1 and M4 mAChRs of the dorsal striatum plays a pivotal role in the occurrence of motor symptoms in Parkinson's disease. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT: The striatum, where dopaminergic and cholinergic systems interact, is the pivotal structure of basal ganglia involved in pathophysiological changes underlying Parkinson's disease. Here, using optogenetic and pharmacological approaches, we investigated the involvement of striatal cholinergic interneurons (ChIs) and muscarinic receptor subtypes (mAChRs) in the occurrence of a wide range of motor deficits such as akinesia, bradykinesia, motor coordination, and sensorimotor neglect after unilateral nigrostriatal 6-hydroxydopamine lesion in mice. Our results show that photoinhibition of ChIs in the dorsal striatum and pharmacological blockade of muscarinic receptors, specifically postsynaptic M1 and M4 mAChRs, alleviate lesion-induced motor deficits. The present study points to these receptor subtypes as potential targets for the symptomatic treatment of parkinsonian-like motor symptoms.

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - U54 CA151881(United States)
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - R01 GM102253(United States)

Protective Effect of ALA in Crushed Optic Nerve Cat Retinal Ganglion Cells Using a New Marker RBPMS.

  • Wang Y
  • PLoS ONE
  • 2016 Aug 10

Literature context:


Abstract:

In this study we first sought to determine whether RNA-binding protein with multiple splicing (RBPMS) can serve as a specific marker for cat retina ganglion cells (RGCs) using retrograde labeling and immunohistochemistry staining. RBPM was then used as an RGC marker to study RGC survival after optic nerve crush (ONC) and alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) treatment in cats. ALA treatment yielded a peak density of RBPMS-alpha cells within the peak isodensity zone (>60/mm2) which did not differ from ONC retinas. The area within the zone was significantly enlarged (control: 2.3%, ONC: 0.06%, ONC+ALA: 0.1%). As for the 10-21/mm2 zone, ALA treatment resulted in a significant increase in area (control: 34.5%, ONC: 12.1%, ONC+ALA: 35.9%). ALA can alleviate crush-induced RGC injury.

Funding information:
  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research - 115076-1(Canada)

Selective Vulnerability of Specific Retinal Ganglion Cell Types and Synapses after Transient Ocular Hypertension.

  • Ou Y
  • J. Neurosci.
  • 2016 Aug 31

Literature context:


Abstract:

Key issues concerning ganglion cell type-specific loss and synaptic changes in animal models of experimental glaucoma remain highly debated. Importantly, changes in the structure and function of various RGC types that occur early, within 14 d after acute, transient intraocular pressure elevation, have not been previously assessed. Using biolistic transfection of individual RGCs and multielectrode array recordings to measure light responses in mice, we examined the effects of laser-induced ocular hypertension on the structure and function of a subset of RGCs. Among the α-like RGCs studied, αOFF-transient RGCs exhibited higher rates of cell death, with corresponding reductions in dendritic area, dendritic complexity, and synapse density. Functionally, OFF-transient RGCs displayed decreases in spontaneous activity and receptive field size. In contrast, neither αOFF-sustained nor αON-sustained RGCs displayed decreases in light responses, although they did exhibit a decrease in excitatory postsynaptic sites, suggesting that synapse loss may be one of the earliest signs of degeneration. Interestingly, presynaptic ribbon density decreased to a greater degree in the OFF sublamina of the inner plexiform layer, corroborating the hypothesis that RGCs with dendrites stratifying in the OFF sublamina may be damaged early. Indeed, OFF arbors of ON-OFF RGCs lose complexity more rapidly than ON arbors. Our results reveal type-specific differences in RGC responses to injury with a selective vulnerability of αOFF-transient RGCs, and furthermore, an increased susceptibility of synapses in the OFF sublamina. The selective vulnerability of specific RGC types offers new avenues for the design of more sensitive functional tests and targeted neuroprotection. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT: Conflicting reports regarding the selective vulnerability of specific retinal ganglion cell (RGC) types in glaucoma exist. We examine, for the first time, the effects of transient intraocular pressure elevation on the structure and function of various RGC types. Among the α-like RGCs studied, αOFF-transient RGCs are the most vulnerable to transient transient intraocular pressure elevation as measured by rates of cell death, morphologic alterations in dendrites and synapses, and physiological dysfunction. Specifically, we found that presynaptic ribbon density decreased to a greater degree in the OFF sublamina of the inner plexiform layer. Our results suggest selective vulnerability both of specific types of RGCs and of specific inner plexiform layer sublaminae, opening new avenues for identifying novel diagnostic and treatment targets in glaucoma.

Topographic organization of the basal forebrain projections to the perirhinal, postrhinal, and entorhinal cortex in rats.

  • Kondo H
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2016 Aug 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

Previous studies have shown that the basal forebrain (BF) modulates cortical activation via its projections to the entire cortical mantle. However, the organization of these projections is only partially understood or, for certain areas, unknown. In this study, we examined the topographic organization of cholinergic and noncholinergic projections from the BF to the perirhinal, postrhinal, and entorhinal cortex by using retrograde tracing combined with choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) immunohistochemistry in rats. The perirhinal and postrhinal cortex receives major cholinergic and noncholinergic input from the caudal BF, including the caudal globus pallidus and substantia innominata and moderate input from the horizontal limb of the diagonal band, whereas the entorhinal cortex receives major input from the rostral BF, including the medial septum and the vertical and horizontal limbs of the diagonal band. In the perirhinal cases, cholinergic projection neurons are distributed more caudally in the caudal globus pallidus than noncholinergic projection neurons. Compared with the perirhinal cases, the distribution of cholinergic and noncholinergic neurons projecting to the postrhinal cortex shifts slightly caudally in the caudal globus pallidus. The distribution of cholinergic and noncholinergic neurons projecting to the lateral entorhinal cortex extends more caudally in the BF than to the medial entorhinal cortex. The ratio of ChAT-positive projection neurons to total projection neurons is higher in the perirhinal/postrhinal cases (26-48%) than in the entorhinal cases (13-30%). These results indicate that the organization of cholinergic and noncholinergic projections from the BF to the parahippocampal cortex is more complex than previously described. J. Comp. Neurol. 524:2503-2515, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Dopamine D1 receptor expression is bipolar cell type-specific in the mouse retina.

  • Farshi P
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2016 Jul 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

In the retina, dopamine is a key molecule for daytime vision. Dopamine is released by retinal dopaminergic amacrine cells and transmits signaling either by conventional synaptic or by volume transmission. By means of volume transmission, dopamine modulates all layers of retinal neurons; however, it is not well understood how dopamine modulates visual signaling pathways in bipolar cells. Here we analyzed Drd1a-tdTomato BAC transgenic mice and found that the dopamine D1 receptor (D1R) is expressed in retinal bipolar cells in a type-dependent manner. Strong tdTomato fluorescence was detected in the inner nuclear layer and localized to type 1, 3b, and 4 OFF bipolar cells and type 5-2, XBC, 6, and 7 ON bipolar cells. In contrast, type 2, 3a, 5-1, 9, and rod bipolar cells did not express Drd1a-tdTomato. Other interneurons were also found to express tdTomato including horizontal cells and a subset (25%) of AII amacrine cells. Diverse visual processing pathways, such as color or motion-coded pathways, are thought to be initiated in retinal bipolar cells. Our results indicate that dopamine sculpts bipolar cell performance in a type-dependent manner to facilitate daytime vision. J. Comp. Neurol. 524:2059-2079, 2016. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Funding information:
  • NIMH NIH HHS - R01MH101207(United States)

Organization of the sleep-related neural systems in the brain of the minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata).

  • Dell LA
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2016 Jul 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

The current study analyzed the nuclear organization of the neural systems related to the control and regulation of sleep and wake in the basal forebrain, diencephalon, midbrain, and pons of the minke whale, a mysticete cetacean. While odontocete cetaceans sleep in an unusual manner, with unihemispheric slow wave sleep (USWS) and suppressed REM sleep, it is unclear whether the mysticete whales show a similar sleep pattern. Previously, we detailed a range of features in the odontocete brain that appear to be related to odontocete-type sleep, and here present our analysis of these features in the minke whale brain. All neural elements involved in sleep regulation and control found in bihemispheric sleeping mammals and the harbor porpoise were present in the minke whale, with no specific nuclei being absent, and no novel nuclei being present. This qualitative similarity relates to the cholinergic, noradrenergic, serotonergic and orexinergic systems, and the GABAergic elements of these nuclei. Quantitative analysis revealed that the numbers of pontine cholinergic (274,242) and noradrenergic (203,686) neurons, and hypothalamic orexinergic neurons (277,604), are markedly higher than other large-brained bihemispheric sleeping mammals. Small telencephalic commissures (anterior, corpus callosum, and hippocampal), an enlarged posterior commissure, supernumerary pontine cholinergic and noradrenergic cells, and an enlarged peripheral division of the dorsal raphe nuclear complex of the minke whale, all indicate that the suite of neural characteristics thought to be involved in the control of USWS and the suppression of REM in the odontocete cetaceans are present in the minke whale. J. Comp. Neurol. 524:2018-2035, 2016. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Brn3a and Brn3b knockout mice display unvaried retinal fine structure despite major morphological and numerical alterations of ganglion cells.

  • Ghinia MG
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2016 Jul 8

Literature context:


Abstract:

Ganglion cells (GCs), the retinal output neurons, receive synaptic inputs from bipolar and amacrine cells in the inner plexiform layer (IPL) and send information to the brain nuclei via the optic nerve. Although GCs constitute less than 1% of the total retinal cells, they occur in numerous types and are the first neurons formed during retinal development. Using Brn3a and Brn3b mutant mice in which the alkaline phosphatase gene was knocked-in (Badea et al. [Neuron] 2009;61:852-864; Badea and Nathans [Vision Res] 2011;51:269-279), we studied the general effects after gene removal on the retinal neuropil together with the consequences of lack of development of large numbers of GCs onto the remaining retinal neurons of the same class. We analyzed the morphology, number, and general architecture of various neuronal types presynaptic to GCs, searching for changes secondary to the decrement in the number of their postsynaptic partners, as well as the morphology and distribution of retinal astrocytes, for their strong topographical relation to GCs. We found that, despite GC losses, retinal organization in Brn3 null mice is remarkably similar to that of wild-type controls. J. Comp. Neurol., 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Funding information:
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - T32 HL110952(United States)
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R37 NS041590(United States)

Organization of the sleep-related neural systems in the brain of the harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena).

  • Dell LA
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2016 Jul 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

The present study provides the first systematic immunohistochemical neuroanatomical investigation of the systems involved in the control and regulation of sleep in an odontocete cetacean, the harbor porpoise (Phocoena phocoena). The odontocete cetaceans show an unusual form of mammalian sleep, with unihemispheric slow waves, suppressed REM sleep, and continuous bodily movement. All the neural elements involved in sleep regulation and control found in bihemispheric sleeping mammals were present in the harbor porpoise, with no specific nuclei being absent, and no novel nuclei being present. This qualitative similarity of nuclear organization relates to the cholinergic, noradrenergic, serotonergic, and orexinergic systems and is extended to the γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA)ergic elements involved with these nuclei. Quantitative analysis of the cholinergic and noradrenergic nuclei of the pontine region revealed that in comparison with other mammals, the numbers of pontine cholinergic (126,776) and noradrenergic (122,878) neurons are markedly higher than in other large-brained bihemispheric sleeping mammals. The diminutive telencephalic commissures (anterior commissure, corpus callosum, and hippocampal commissure) along with an enlarged posterior commissure and supernumerary pontine cholinergic and noradrenergic neurons indicate that the control of unihemispheric slow-wave sleep is likely to be a function of interpontine competition, facilitated through the posterior commissure, in response to unilateral telencephalic input related to the drive for sleep. In addition, an expanded peripheral division of the dorsal raphe nuclear complex appears likely to play a role in the suppression of REM sleep in odontocete cetaceans. Thus, the current study provides several clues to the understanding of the neural control of the unusual sleep phenomenology present in odontocete cetaceans. J. Comp. Neurol. 524:1999-2017, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - CA060553(United States)
  • NCI NIH HHS - P30 CA177558(United States)

Linking Cholinergic Interneurons, Synaptic Plasticity, and Behavior during the Extinction of a Cocaine-Context Association.

  • Lee J
  • Neuron
  • 2016 Jun 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Despite the fact that cholinergic interneurons are a key cell type within the nucleus accumbens, a relationship between synaptic plasticity and the in vivo activity of cholinergic interneurons remains to be established. Here, we identify a three-way link between the activity of cholinergic interneurons, synaptic plasticity, and learning in mice undergoing the extinction of a cocaine-context association. We found that activity of cholinergic interneurons regulates extinction learning for a cocaine-context association and generates a sustained reduction in glutamatergic presynaptic strength onto medium spiny neurons. Interestingly, activation of cholinergic interneurons does not support reinforcement learning or plasticity by itself, suggesting that these neurons have a modulatory rather than a reinforcing function.

Funding information:
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS052370(United States)

Organization of the nitrergic neuronal system in the primitive bony fishes Polypterus senegalus and Erpetoichthys calabaricus (Actinopterygii: Cladistia).

  • López JM
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2016 Jun 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

Cladistians are a group of basal actinopterygian fishes that constitute a good model for studying primitive brain features, most likely present in the ancestral bony fishes. The analysis of the nitrergic neurons (with the enzyme nitric oxide synthase; NOS) has helped in understanding important aspects of brain organization in all vertebrates studied. We investigated the nitrergic system of two cladistian species by means of specific antibodies against NOS and NADPH-diaphorase (NADPH-d) histochemistry, which, with the exception of the primary olfactory and terminal nerve fibers, labeled only for NADPH-d, yielded identical results. Double immunohistochemistry was conducted for simultaneous detection of NOS with tyrosine hydroxylase, choline acetyltransferase, calbindin, calretinin, and serotonin, to establish accurately the localization of the nitrergic neurons and fibers and to assess possible interactions between these neuroactive substances. The pattern of distribution in both species showed only subtle differences in the density of labeled cells. Distinct groups of NOS-immunoreactive cells were observed in pallial and subpallial areas, paraventricular region, tuberal and retromammillary hypothalamic areas, posterior tubercle, prethalamic and thalamic areas, optic tectum, torus semicircularis, mesencephalic tegmentum, interpeduncular nucleus, superior and middle reticular nuclei, magnocellular vestibular nucleus, solitary tract nucleus, nucleus medianus magnocellularis, the spinal cord and amacrine cells in the retina. Large neurons in cranial nerve sensory ganglia were also labeled. The comparison of these results with those from other vertebrates, using a neuromeric analysis, reveals a conserved pattern of organization of the nitrergic system from this primitive fish group to amniotes, including mammals.

Somatostatin 2a receptors are not expressed on functionally identified respiratory neurons in the ventral respiratory column of the rat.

  • Le S
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2016 May 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Microinjection of somatostatin (SST) causes site-specific effects on respiratory phase transition, frequency, and amplitude when microinjected into the ventrolateral medulla (VLM) of the anesthetized rat, suggesting selective expression of SST receptors on different functional classes of respiratory neurons. Of the six subtypes of SST receptor, somatostatin 2a (sst2a ) is the most prevalent in the VLM, and other investigators have suggested that glutamatergic neurons in the preBötzinger Complex (preBötC) that coexpress neurokinin-1 receptor (NK1R), SST, and sst2a are critical for the generation of respiratory rhythm. However, quantitative data describing the distribution of sst2a in respiratory compartments other than preBötC, or on functionally identified respiratory neurons, is absent. Here we examine the medullary expression of sst2a with particular reference to glycinergic/expiratory neurons in the Bötzinger Complex (BötC) and NK1R-immunoreactive/inspiratory neurons in the preBötC. We found robust sst2a expression at all rostrocaudal levels of the VLM, including a large proportion of catecholaminergic neurons, but no colocalization of sst2a and glycine transporter 2 mRNA in the BötC. In the preBötC 54% of sst2a -immunoreactive neurons were also positive for NK1R. sst2a was not observed in any of 52 dye-labeled respiratory interneurons, including seven BötC expiratory-decrementing and 11 preBötC preinspiratory neurons. We conclude that sst2a is not expressed on BötC respiratory neurons and that phasic respiratory activity is a poor predictor of sst2a expression in the preBötC. Therefore, sst2a is unlikely to underlie responses to BötC SST injection, and is sparse or absent on respiratory neurons identified by classical functional criteria. J. Comp. Neurol. 524:1384-1398, 2016. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Funding information:
  • NINDS NIH HHS - F31NS077750(United States)

Involvement of HCN Channel in Muscarinic Inhibitory Action on Tonic Firing of Dorsolateral Striatal Cholinergic Interneurons.

  • Zhao Z
  • Front Cell Neurosci
  • 2016 Apr 6

Literature context:


Abstract:

The striatum is the most prominent nucleus in the basal ganglia and plays an important role in motor movement regulation. The cholinergic interneurons (ChIs) in striatum are involved in the motion regulation by releasing acetylcholine (ACh) and modulating the output of striatal projection neurons. Here, we report that muscarinic ACh receptor (M receptor) agonists, ACh and Oxotremorine (OXO-M), decreased the firing frequency of ChIs by blocking the hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated (HCN) channels. Scopolamine (SCO), a nonselective antagonist of M receptors, abolished the inhibition. OXO-M exerted its function by activating the Gi/o cAMP signaling cascade. The single-cell reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (scRT-PCR) revealed that all the five subtypes of M receptors and four subtypes of HCN channels were expressed on ChIs. Among them, M2 receptors and HCN2 channels were the most dominant ones and expressed in every single studied cholinergic interneuron (ChI).Our results suggest that ACh regulates not only the output of striatal projection neurons, but also the firing activity of ChIs themselves by activating presynaptic M receptors in the dorsal striatum. The activation of M2 receptors and blockage of HCN2 channels may play an important role in ACh inhibition on the excitability of ChIs. This finding adds a new G-protein coupled receptor mediated regulation on ChIs and provides a cellular mechanism for control of cholinergic activity and ACh release in the dorsal striatum.

Funding information:
  • NIDCD NIH HHS - R1DC009417(United States)

Excitatory and inhibitory innervation of the mouse orofacial motor nuclei: A stereological study.

  • Faunes M
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2016 Mar 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Neurons in the trigeminal (Mo5), facial (Mo7), ambiguus (Amb), and hypoglossal (Mo12) motor nuclei innervate jaw, facial, pharynx/larynx/esophagus, and tongue muscles, respectively. They are essential for movements subserving feeding, exploration of the environment, and social communication. These neurons are largely controlled by sensory afferents and premotor neurons of the reticular formation, where central pattern generator circuits controlling orofacial movements are located. To provide a description of the orofacial nuclei of the adult mouse and to ascertain the influence of excitatory and inhibitory afferents upon them, we used stereology to estimate the number of motoneurons as well as of varicosities immunopositive for glutamate (VGluT1+, VGluT2+) and GABA/glycine (known as VIAAT+ or VGAT+) vesicular transporters in the Mo5, Mo7, Amb, and Mo12. Mo5, Mo7, Amb, and Mo12 contain ∼1,000, ∼3,000, ∼600, and ∼1,700 cells, respectively. VGluT1+, VGluT2+, and VIAAT+ varicosities respectively represent: 28%, 41%, and 31% in Mo5; 2%, 49%, and 49% in Mo7; 12%, 42%, and 46% in Amb; and 4%, 54%, and 42% in Mo12. The Mo5 jaw-closing subdivision shows the highest VGluT1+ innervation. Noticeably, the VGluT2+ and VIAAT+ varicosity density in Mo7 is 5-fold higher than in Mo5 and 10-fold higher than in Amb and Mo12. The high density of terminals in Mo7 likely reflects the convergence and integration of numerous inputs to motoneurons subserving the wide range of complex behaviors to which this nucleus contributes. Also, somatic versus neuropil location of varicosities suggests that most of these afferents are integrated in the dendritic trees of Mo7 neurons.

Funding information:
  • European Research Council - 293549(International)

Coexpression of auxiliary subunits KChIP and DPPL in potassium channel Kv4-positive nociceptors and pain-modulating spinal interneurons.

  • Cheng CF
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2016 Mar 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Subthreshold A-type K(+) currents (ISA s) have been recorded from the somata of nociceptors and spinal lamina II excitatory interneurons, which sense and modulate pain, respectively. Kv4 channels are responsible for the somatodendritic ISA s. Accumulative evidence suggests that neuronal Kv4 channels are ternary complexes including pore-forming Kv4 subunits and two types of auxiliary subunits: K(+) channel-interacting proteins (KChIPs) and dipeptidyl peptidase-like proteins (DPPLs). Previous reports have shown Kv4.3 in a subset of nonpeptidergic nociceptors and Kv4.2/Kv4.3 in certain spinal lamina II excitatory interneurons. However, whether and which KChIP and DPPL are coexpressed with Kv4 in these ISA -expressing pain-related neurons is unknown. In this study we mapped the protein distribution of KChIP1, KChIP2, KChIP3, DPP6, and DPP10 in adult rat dorsal root ganglion (DRG) and spinal cord by immunohistochemistry. In the DRG, we found colocalization of KChIP1, KChIP2, and DPP10 in the somatic surface and cytoplasm of Kv4.3(+) nociceptors. KChIP3 appears in most Aβ and Aδ sensory neurons as well as a small population of peptidergic nociceptors, whereas DPP6 is absent in sensory neurons. In the spinal cord, KChIP1 is coexpressed with Kv4.3 in the cell bodies of a subset of lamina II excitatory interneurons, while KChIP1, KChIP2, and DPP6 are colocalized with Kv4.2 and Kv4.3 in their dendrites. Within the dorsal horn, besides KChIP3 in the inner lamina II and lamina III, we detected DPP10 in most projection neurons, which transmit pain signal to brain. The results suggest the existence of Kv4/KChIP/DPPL ternary complexes in ISA -expressing nociceptors and pain-modulating spinal interneurons.

Funding information:
  • NINDS NIH HHS - P30NS048154(United States)
  • PHS HHS - T32 016434-33(United States)

Context-Dependent Gait Choice Elicited by EphA4 Mutation in Lbx1 Spinal Interneurons.

  • Satoh D
  • Neuron
  • 2016 Mar 2

Literature context:


Abstract:

The most commonly used locomotor strategy in rodents is left-right limb alternation. Mutation of the axon guidance molecule EphA4 profoundly alters this basic locomotor pattern to synchrony. Here we report that conditional mutation of EphA4 in spinal interneurons expressing the transcription factor Lbx1 degrades the robustness in the expression of left-right alternating gait during development. Lbx1 EphA4 conditional mice exhibit alternating gait when walking on ground, but synchronous gait in environments with decreased weight-load, like swimming and airstepping. Using cell-type-specific, transient pharmacogenetic silencing approaches, we attribute this behavioral gait switch to neuronal activity of dorsal Lbx1 spinal interneurons. We also found that in Lbx1 EphA4 conditional mice these dorsal interneurons form aberrant bilateral connections to motor neurons, thereby indirectly transmitting received unilateral proprioceptive sensory information to both spinal sides. Together, our findings reveal the behavioral and circuit-level impact of conditional EphA4 mutation in a transcriptionally defined spinal interneuron subpopulation.

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - R01 CA154130(United States)

Physiological and morphological characterization of ganglion cells in the salamander retina.

  • Wang J
  • Vision Res.
  • 2016 Feb 10

Literature context:


Abstract:

Retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) integrate visual information from the retina and transmit collective signals to the brain. A systematic investigation of functional and morphological characteristics of various types of RGCs is important to comprehensively understand how the visual system encodes and transmits information via various RGC pathways. This study evaluated both physiological and morphological properties of 67 RGCs in dark-adapted flat-mounted salamander retina by examining light-evoked cation and chloride current responses via voltage-clamp recordings and visualizing morphology by Lucifer yellow fluorescence with a confocal microscope. Six groups of RGCs were described: asymmetrical ON-OFF RGCs, symmetrical ON RGCs, OFF RGCs, and narrow-, medium- and wide-field ON-OFF RGCs. Dendritic field diameters of RGCs ranged 102-490 μm: narrow field (<200 μm, 31% of RGCs), medium field (200-300 μm, 45%) and wide field (>300 μm, 24%). Dendritic ramification patterns of RGCs agree with the sublamina A/B rule. 34% of RGCs were monostratified, 24% bistratified and 42% diffusely stratified. 70% of ON RGCs and OFF RGCs were monostratified. Wide-field RGCs were diffusely stratified. 82% of RGCs generated light-evoked ON-OFF responses, while 11% generated ON responses and 7% OFF responses. Response sensitivity analysis suggested that some RGCs obtained separated rod/cone bipolar cell inputs whereas others obtained mixed bipolar cell inputs. 25% of neurons in the RGC layer were displaced amacrine cells. Although more types may be defined by more refined classification criteria, this report is to incorporate more physiological properties into RGC classification.

Cell adhesion molecule contactin-associated protein 3 is expressed in the mouse basal ganglia during early postnatal stages.

  • Hirata H
  • J. Neurosci. Res.
  • 2016 Jan 28

Literature context:


Abstract:

Cell adhesion molecules play important roles in the development of the nervous system. Among the contactin-associated protein (Caspr; also known as Cntnap) family, which belongs to the neurexin superfamily of proteins, Caspr and Caspr2 are indispensable for the formation and maintenance of myelinated nerves. In contrast, a physiological role for Caspr3 remains to be elucidated. This study examines the expression and localization of Caspr3 in the mouse brain using newly generated Caspr3 antibodies. Caspr3 was expressed abundantly between the first and the second postnatal weeks. During this period, Caspr3 was localized especially to the basal ganglia, including the striatum, external segment of the globus pallidus, and substantia nigra, and no gross abnormalities were apparent in the basal ganglia of Caspr3 knockout mice. In the striatum, Caspr3 was expressed by a subpopulation of medium spiny neurons that constitute the direct and indirect pathways. Caspr3 immunostaining was observed as punctate around the cell bodies as well as in the soma. These Caspr3 signals did not, however, overlap with those of synaptic markers. Our findings suggest that Caspr3 may play an important role in basal ganglia development during early postnatal stages.

Effects of the jimpy mutation on mouse retinal structure and function.

  • Hovhannisyan A
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2015 Dec 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

The Jimpy mutant mouse has a point mutation in the proteolipid protein gene (plp1). The resulting misfolding of the protein leads to oligodendrocyte death, myelin destruction, and failure to produce adequately myelinated axons in the central nervous system (CNS). It is not known how the absence of normal myelination during development influences neural function. We characterized the Jimpy mouse retina to find out whether lack of myelination in the optic nerve during development has an effect on normal functioning and morphology of the retina. Optokinetic reflex measurements showed that Jimpy mice had, in general, a functional visual system. Both PLP1 antibody staining and reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction for plp1 mRNA showed that plp1 is not expressed in the wild-type retina. However, in the optic nerve, plp1 is normally expressed, and consequently, in Jimpy mutant mice, myelination of axons in the optic nerve was mostly absent. Nevertheless, neither axon count nor axon ultrastructure in the optic nerve was affected. Physiological recordings of ganglion cell activity using microelectrode arrays revealed a decrease of stimulus-evoked activity at mesopic light levels. Morphological analysis of the retina did not show any significant differences in the gross morphology, such as thickness of retinal layers or cell number in the inner and outer nuclear layer. The cell bodies in the inner nuclear layer, however, were larger in the peripheral retina of Jimpy mutant mice. Antibody labeling against cell type-specific markers showed that the number of rod bipolar and horizontal cells was increased in Jimpy mice. In conclusion, whereas the Jimpy mutation has dramatic effects on the myelination of retinal ganglion cell axons, it has moderate effects on retinal morphology and function.

Intrinsic and extrinsic innervation of the heart in zebrafish (Danio rerio).

  • Stoyek MR
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2015 Aug 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

In the vertebrate heart the intracardiac nervous system is the final common pathway for autonomic control of cardiac output, but the neuroanatomy of this system is not well understood. In this study we investigated the innervation of the heart in a model vertebrate, the zebrafish. We used antibodies against acetylated tubulin, human neuronal protein C/D, choline acetyltransferase, tyrosine hydroxylase, neuronal nitric oxide synthase, and vasoactive intestinal polypeptide to visualize neural elements and their neurotransmitter content. Most neurons were located at the venous pole in a plexus around the sinoatrial valve; mean total number of cells was 197 ± 23, and 92% were choline acetyltransferase positive, implying a cholinergic role. The plexus contained cholinergic, adrenergic, and nitrergic axons and vasoactive intestinal polypeptide-positive terminals, some innervating somata. Putative pacemaker cells near the plexus showed immunoreactivity for hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated channel 4 (HCN4) and the transcription factor Islet-1 (Isl1). The neurotracer neurobiotin showed that extrinsic axons from the left and right vagosympathetic trunks innervated the sinoatrial plexus proximal to their entry into the heart; some extrinsic axons from each trunk also projected into the medial dorsal plexus region. Extrinsic axons also innervated the atrial and ventricular walls. An extracardiac nerve trunk innervated the bulbus arteriosus and entered the arterial pole of the heart to innervate the proximal ventricle. We have shown that the intracardiac nervous system in the zebrafish is anatomically and neurochemically complex, providing a substrate for autonomic control of cardiac effectors in all chambers.

Spinal neuronal activation during locomotor-like activity enabled by epidural stimulation and 5-hydroxytryptamine agonists in spinal rats.

  • Duru PO
  • J. Neurosci. Res.
  • 2015 Aug 22

Literature context:


Abstract:

The neural networks that generate stepping in complete spinal adult rats remain poorly defined. To address this problem, we used c-fos (an activity-dependent marker) to identify active interneurons and motoneurons in the lumbar spinal cord of adult spinal rats during a 30-min bout of bipedal stepping. Spinal rats were either step trained (30 min/day, 3 days/week, for 7.5 weeks) or not step trained. Stepping was enabled by epidural stimulation and the administration of the serotonergic agonists quipazine and 8-OHDPAT. A third group of spinal rats served as untreated (no stimulation, drugs, or stepping) controls. The numbers of activated cholinergic central canal cluster cells and partition neurons were higher in both step-trained and nontrained rats than in untreated rats and were higher in nontrained than in step-trained rats. The latter finding suggests that daily treatment with epidural stimulation plus serotonergic agonist treatment without step training enhances the excitability of a broader cholinergic interneuronal population than does step training. The numbers of activated interneurons in laminae II-VI of lumbar cross-sections were higher in both step-trained and nontrained rats than in untreated rats, and they were highest in step-trained rats. This finding suggests that this population of interneurons is responsive to epidural stimulation plus serotonergic treatment and that load-bearing induced when stepping has an additive effect. The numbers of activated motoneurons of all size categories were higher in the step-trained group than in the other two groups, reflecting a strong effect of loading on motoneuron recruitment. In general, these results indicate that the spinal networks for locomotion are similar with and without brain input. SIGNIFICANCE: We identified neurons within the spinal cord networks that are activated during assisted stepping in paraplegic rats. We stimulated the spinal cord and administered a drug to help the rats step. One group was trained to step and another was not trained. We observed a lower percentage of activated neurons in specific spinal cord regions in trained rats than in nontrained rats after a 1-hr stepping bout, suggesting that step training reduces activation of some types of spinal neurons. This observation indicates that training makes the spinal networks more efficient and suggests a "learning" phenomenon in the spinal cord without any brain input.

Evidence for limited D1 and D2 receptor coexpression and colocalization within the dorsal striatum of the neonatal mouse.

  • Biezonski DK
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2015 Jun 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

The striatum is the major input nucleus of the basal ganglia involved in reward processing, goal-directed behaviors, habit learning, and motor control. The striatum projects to the basal ganglia output nuclei via the "direct" and "indirect" pathways, which can be distinguished by their projection fields and their opposing effects on behavior. In adult animals, the functional opposition is modulated by the differential actions of D1 and D2 dopamine receptors (D1R, D2R), the expression of which is largely separated between these pathways. To determine whether a similar degree of separation exists earlier in development, we used dual-label immunohistochemistry to map dorsal-striatal D1R and D2R expression at the promoter level in postnatal day 0 (PD0) Drd1a-tdTomato/Drd2-GFP BAC transgenic mice, and at the receptor level by costaining for native D1R and D2R in wildtype (WT) PD0 animals. To assess for potential molecular interactions between D1R and D2R we also employed a recently developed proximity-ligation assay (PLA). Limited coexpression and colocalization of the D1R and D2R proteins was found in clusters of neurons endemic to the "patch" compartment as identified by costaining with tyrosine hydroxylase, but not outside these clusters. Moreover, in contrast to our recent findings where we failed to detect a D1R-D2R PLA signal in the adult striatum, in PD0 striatum we did identify a clear PLA signal for this pair of receptors. This colocalization at close proximity points to a possible role for D1R/D2R-mediated crosstalk in early striatal ontogeny.

Efferent innervation of turtle semicircular canal cristae: comparisons with bird and mouse.

  • Jordan PM
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2015 Jun 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

In the vestibular periphery of nearly every vertebrate, cholinergic vestibular efferent neurons give rise to numerous presynaptic varicosities that target hair cells and afferent processes in the sensory neuroepithelium. Although pharmacological studies have described the postsynaptic actions of vestibular efferent stimulation in several species, characterization of efferent innervation patterns and the relative distribution of efferent varicosities among hair cells and afferents are also integral to understanding how efferent synapses operate. Vestibular efferent markers, however, have not been well characterized in the turtle, one of the animal models used by our laboratory. Here we sought to identify reliable efferent neuronal markers in the vestibular periphery of turtle, to use these markers to understand how efferent synapses are organized, and to compare efferent neuronal labeling patterns in turtle with two other amniotes using some of the same markers. Efferent fibers and varicosities were visualized in the semicircular canal of red-eared turtles (Trachemys scripta elegans), zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata), and mice (Mus musculus) utilizing fluorescent immunohistochemistry with antibodies against choline acetyltransferase (ChAT). Vestibular hair cells and afferents were counterstained using antibodies to myosin VIIa and calretinin. In all species, ChAT labeled a population of small diameter fibers giving rise to numerous spherical varicosities abutting type II hair cells and afferent processes. That these ChAT-positive varicosities represent presynaptic release sites were demonstrated by colabeling with antibodies against the synaptic vesicle proteins synapsin I, SV2, or syntaxin and the neuropeptide calcitonin gene-related peptide. Comparisons of efferent innervation patterns among the three species are discussed.

Conserved expression of the GPR151 receptor in habenular axonal projections of vertebrates.

  • Broms J
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2015 Feb 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

The habenula is a phylogenetically conserved brain structure in the epithalamus. It is a major node in the information flow between fronto-limbic brain regions and monoaminergic brainstem nuclei, and is thus anatomically and functionally ideally positioned to regulate emotional, motivational, and cognitive behaviors. Consequently, the habenula may be critically important in the pathophysiology of psychiatric disorders such as addiction and depression. Here we investigated the expression pattern of GPR151, a G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR), whose mRNA has been identified as highly and specifically enriched in habenular neurons by in situ hybridization and translating ribosome affinity purification (TRAP). In the present immunohistochemical study we demonstrate a pronounced and highly specific expression of the GPR151 protein in the medial and lateral habenula of rodent brain. Specific expression was also seen in efferent habenular fibers projecting to the interpeduncular nucleus, the rostromedial tegmental area, the rhabdoid nucleus, the mesencephalic raphe nuclei, and the dorsal tegmental nucleus. Using confocal microscopy and quantitative colocalization analysis, we found that GPR151-expressing axons and terminals overlap with cholinergic, substance P-ergic, and glutamatergic markers. Virtually identical expression patterns were observed in rat, mouse, and zebrafish brains. Our data demonstrate that GPR151 is highly conserved, specific for a subdivision of the habenular neurocircuitry, and constitutes a promising novel target for psychiatric drug development.

Characteristic patterns of dendritic remodeling in early-stage glaucoma: evidence from genetically identified retinal ganglion cell types.

  • El-Danaf RN
  • J. Neurosci.
  • 2015 Feb 11

Literature context:


Abstract:

Retinal ganglion cell (RGC) loss is a hallmark of glaucoma and the second leading cause of blindness worldwide. The type and timing of cellular changes leading to RGC loss in glaucoma remain incompletely understood, including whether specific RGC subtypes are preferentially impacted at early stages of this disease. Here we applied the microbead occlusion model of glaucoma to different transgenic mouse lines, each expressing green fluorescent protein in 1-2 specific RGC subtypes. Targeted filling, reconstruction, and subsequent comparison of the genetically identified RGCs in control and bead-injected eyes revealed that some subtypes undergo significant dendritic rearrangements as early as 7 d following induction of elevated intraocular pressure (IOP). By comparing specific On-type, On-Off-type and Off-type RGCs, we found that RGCs that target the majority of their dendritic arbors to the scleral half or "Off" sublamina of the inner plexiform layer (IPL) undergo the greatest changes, whereas RGCs with the majority of their dendrites in the On sublamina did not alter their structure at this time point. Moreover, M1 intrinsically photosensitive RGCs, which functionally are On RGCs but structurally stratify their dendrites in the Off sublamina of the IPL, also underwent significant changes in dendritic structure 1 week after elevated IOP. Thus, our findings reveal that certain RGC subtypes manifest significant changes in dendritic structure after very brief exposure to elevated IOP. The observation that RGCs stratifying most of their dendrites in the Off sublamina are first to alter their structure may inform the development of new strategies to detect, monitor, and treat glaucoma in humans.

Funding information:
  • NIMH NIH HHS - T32 MH096678(United States)

Activation of the mouse primary visual cortex by medial prefrontal subregion stimulation is not mediated by cholinergic basalo-cortical projections.

  • Nguyen HN
  • Front Syst Neurosci
  • 2015 Feb 24

Literature context:


Abstract:

The medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) exerts top-down control of primary visual cortex (V1) activity. As there is no direct neuronal projection from mPFC to V1, this functional connection may use an indirect route, i.e., via basalo-cortical cholinergic projections. The cholinergic projections to V1 originate from neurons in the horizontal limb of the diagonal band of Broca (HDB), which receive neuronal projections from the ventral part of the mPFC, composed of prelimbic (PrL) and infralimbic cortices (IL). Therefore, the objective of this study was to determine whether electrical stimulation of mice mPFC subregions activate (1) V1 neurons; and (2) HDB cholinergic neurons, suggesting that the HDB serves as a relay point in the mPFC-V1 interaction. Neuronal activation was quantified using c-Fos immunocytochemistry or thallium autometallography for each V1 layer using automated particle analysis tools and optical density measurement. Stimulation of IL and PrL induced significantly higher c-Fos expression or thallium labeling in layers II/III and V of V1 in the stimulated hemisphere only. A HDB cholinergic neuron-specific lesion by saporin administration reduced IL-induced c-Fos expression in layers II/III of V1 but not in layer V. However, there was no c-Fos expression or thallium labeling in the HDB neurons, suggesting that this area was not activated by IL stimulation. Stimulation of another mPFC subarea, the anterior cingulate cortex (AC), which is involved in attention and receives input from V1, activated neither V1 nor HDB. The present results indicate that IL and PrL, but not AC, stimulation activates V1 with the minor involvement of the HDB cholinergic projections. These results suggest a functional link between the ventral mPFC and V1, but this function is only marginally supported by HDB cholinergic neurons and may involve other brain regions.

Funding information:
  • NINDS NIH HHS - T32 NS061764(United States)

Analysis of bipolar and amacrine populations in marmoset retina.

  • Weltzien F
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2015 Feb 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

About 15 parallel ganglion cell pathways transmit visual signals to the brain, but the interneuron (bipolar and amacrine) populations providing input to ganglion cells remain poorly understood in primate retina. We carried out a quantitative analysis of the inner nuclear layer in the retina of the marmoset (Callithrix jacchus). Vertical Vibratome sections along the horizontal meridian were processed with immunohistochemical markers. Image stacks were taken with a confocal microscope, and densities of cell populations were determined. The density of flat midget bipolar cells fell from 15,746 cells/mm(2) at 1 mm (8 deg) to 7,827 cells/mm(2) at 3 mm (25 deg). The rod bipolar cell density fell from 8,640 cells/mm(2) at 1 mm to 4,278 cells/mm(2) at 3 mm, but the ratio of the two bipolar cell types did not change with eccentricity. The amacrine cell density ranged from 30,000 cells/mm(2) at 8 deg to less than 15,000 cells/mm(2) at 25 deg, but throughout the retina, the ratio of glycinergic to γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA)ergic to amacrine cells remained relatively constant. The fractions of rod bipolar, cone bipolar, amacrine, Müller, and horizontal cells of all cells in the inner nuclear layer were comparable in central and peripheral retina. Marmosets had lower proportions of midget bipolar and rod bipolar in comparison with macaque. These differences were correlated with differences in rod and cone densities between the two species and did not reflect fundamental differences in the wiring between the two species.

Efferent pathways of the mouse lateral habenula.

  • Quina LA
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2015 Jan 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

The lateral habenula (LHb) is part of the habenula complex of the dorsal thalamus. Recent studies of the LHb have focused on its projections to the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and rostromedial tegmental nucleus (RMTg), which contain γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA)ergic neurons that mediate reward prediction error via inhibition of dopaminergic activity. However, older studies in the rat have also identified LHb outputs to the lateral and posterior hypothalamus, median raphe, dorsal raphe, and dorsal tegmentum. Although these studies have shown that the medial and lateral divisions of the LHb have somewhat distinct projections, the topographic specificity of LHb efferents is not completely understood, and the relative extent of these projections to brainstem targets is unknown. Here we have used anterograde tracing with adeno-associated virus-mediated expression of green fluorescent protein, combined with serial two-photon tomography, to map the efferents of the LHb on a standard coordinate system for the entire mouse brain, and reconstruct the efferent pathways of the LHb in three dimensions. Using automated quantitation of fiber density, we show that in addition to the RMTg, the median raphe, caudal dorsal raphe, and pontine central gray are major recipients of LHb efferents. By using retrograde tract tracing with cholera toxin subunit B, we show that LHb neurons projecting to the hypothalamus, VTA, median raphe, caudal dorsal raphe, and pontine central gray reside in characteristic, but sometimes overlapping regions of the LHb. Together these results provide the anatomical basis for systematic studies of LHb function in neural circuits and behavior in mice. J. Comp. Neurol. 523:32-60, 2015. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Funding information:
  • NEI NIH HHS - R21EY021016(United States)

GABAergic projections from the medial septum selectively inhibit interneurons in the medial entorhinal cortex.

  • Gonzalez-Sulser A
  • J. Neurosci.
  • 2014 Dec 10

Literature context:


Abstract:

The medial septum (MS) is required for theta rhythmic oscillations and grid cell firing in the medial entorhinal cortex (MEC). While GABAergic, glutamatergic, and cholinergic neurons project from the MS to the MEC, their synaptic targets are unknown. To investigate whether MS neurons innervate specific layers and cell types in the MEC, we expressed channelrhodopsin-2 in mouse MS neurons and used patch-clamp recording in brain slices to determine the response to light activation of identified cells in the MEC. Following activation of MS axons, we observed fast monosynaptic GABAergic IPSPs in the majority (>60%) of fast-spiking (FS) and low-threshold-spiking (LTS) interneurons in all layers of the MEC, but in only 1.5% of nonstellate principal cells (NSPCs) and in no stellate cells. We also observed fast glutamatergic responses to MS activation in a minority (<5%) of NSPCs, FS, and LTS interneurons. During stimulation of MS inputs at theta frequency (10 Hz), the amplitude of GABAergic IPSPs was maintained, and spike output from LTS and FS interneurons was entrained at low (25-60 Hz) and high (60-180 Hz) gamma frequencies, respectively. By demonstrating cell type-specific targeting of the GABAergic projection from the MS to the MEC, our results support the idea that the MS controls theta frequency activity in the MEC through coordination of inhibitory circuits.

Funding information:
  • NIDCD NIH HHS - R01 DC001856(United States)

Large basolateral processes on type II hair cells are novel processing units in mammalian vestibular organs.

  • Pujol R
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2014 Oct 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Sensory receptors in the vestibular system (hair cells) encode head movements and drive central motor reflexes that control gaze, body movements, and body orientation. In mammals, type I and II vestibular hair cells are defined by their shape, contacts with vestibular afferent nerves, and membrane conductance. Here we describe unique morphological features of type II vestibular hair cells in mature rodents (mice and gerbils) and bats. These features are cytoplasmic processes that extend laterally from the hair cell base and project under type I hair cells. Closer analysis of adult mouse utricles demonstrated that the basolateral processes of type II hair cells vary in shape, size, and branching, with the longest processes extending three to four hair cell widths. The hair cell basolateral processes synapse upon vestibular afferent nerves and receive inputs from vestibular efferent nerves. Furthermore, some basolateral processes make physical contacts with the processes of other type II hair cells, forming some sort of network among type II hair cells. Basolateral processes are rare in perinatal mice and do not attain their mature form until 3-6 weeks of age. These observations demonstrate that basolateral processes are significant signaling regions of type II vestibular hair cells and suggest that type II hair cells may directly communicate with each other, which has not been described in vertebrates.

GABAergic and glutamatergic efferents of the mouse ventral tegmental area.

  • Taylor SR
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2014 Oct 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

The role of dopaminergic (DA) projections from the ventral tegmental area (VTA) in appetitive and rewarding behavior has been widely studied, but the VTA also has documented DA-independent functions. Several drugs of abuse, act on VTA GABAergic neurons, and most studies have focused on local inhibitory connections. Relatively little is known about VTA GABA projection neurons and their connections to brain sites outside the VTA. This study employed viral-vector-mediated cell-type-specific anterograde tracing, classical retrograde tracing, and immunohistochemistry to characterize VTA GABA efferents throughout the brain. We found that VTA GABA neurons project widely to forebrain and brainstem targets, including the ventral pallidum, lateral and magnocellular preoptic nuclei, lateral hypothalamus, and lateral habenula. Minor projections also go to central amygdala, mediodorsal thalamus, dorsal raphe, and deep mesencephalic nuclei, and sparse projections go to prefrontal cortical regions and to nucleus accumbens shell and core. These projections differ from the major VTA DA target regions. Retrograde tracing studies confirmed results from the anterograde experiments and differences in projections from VTA subnuclei. Retrogradely labeled GABA neurons were not numerous, and most non-tyrosine hydroxylase/retrogradely labeled cells lacked GABAergic markers. Many non-TH/retrogradely labeled cells projecting to several areas expressed VGluT2. VTA GABA and glutamate neurons project throughout the brain, most prominently to regions with reciprocal connections to the VTA. These data indicate that VTA GABA and glutamate neurons may have more DA-independent functions than previously recognized.

Funding information:
  • NCRR NIH HHS - RR 17072(United States)

Exercise modulates chloride homeostasis after spinal cord injury.

  • Côté MP
  • J. Neurosci.
  • 2014 Jul 2

Literature context:


Abstract:

Activity-based therapies are routinely integrated in spinal cord injury (SCI) rehabilitation programs because they result in a reduction of hyperreflexia and spasticity. However, the mechanisms by which exercise regulates activity in spinal pathways to reduce spasticity and improve functional recovery are poorly understood. Persisting alterations in the action of GABA on postsynaptic targets is a signature of CNS injuries, including SCI. The action of GABA depends on the intracellular chloride concentration, which is determined largely by the expression of two cation-chloride cotransporters (CCCs), KCC2 and NKCC1, which serve as chloride exporters and importers, respectively. We hypothesized that the reduction in hyperreflexia with exercise after SCI relies on a return to chloride homeostasis. Sprague Dawley rats received a spinal cord transection at T12 and were assigned to SCI-7d, SCI-14d, SCI-14d+exercise, SCI-28d, SCI-28d+exercise, or SCI-56d groups. During a terminal experiment, H-reflexes were recorded from interosseus muscles after stimulation of the tibial nerve and the low-frequency-dependent depression (FDD) was assessed. We provide evidence that exercise returns spinal excitability and levels of KCC2 and NKCC1 toward normal levels in the lumbar spinal cord. Acutely altering chloride extrusion using the KCC2 blocker DIOA masked the effect of exercise on FDD, whereas blocking NKCC1 with bumetanide returned FDD toward intact levels after SCI. Our results indicate that exercise contributes to reflex recovery and restoration of endogenous inhibition through a return to chloride homeostasis after SCI. This lends support for CCCs as part of a pathway that could be manipulated to improve functional recovery when combined with rehabilitation programs.

Funding information:
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS087632(United States)

Regional innervation of the heart in the goldfish, Carassius auratus: a confocal microscopy study.

  • Newton CM
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2014 Feb 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

The intracardiac nervous system represents the final common pathway for autonomic control of the vertebrate heart in maintaining cardiovascular homeostasis. In teleost fishes, details of the organization of this system are not well understood. Here we investigated innervation patterns in the heart of the goldfish, a species representative of a large group of cyprinids. We used antibodies against the neuronal markers zn-12, acetylated tubulin, and human neuronal protein C/D, as well as choline acetyltransferase, tyrosine hydroxylase, nitric oxide synthetase, and vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP) to detect neural elements and their transmitter contents in wholemounts and sections of cardiac tissue. All chambers of the heart were innervated by choline acetyltransferase-positive axons, implying cholinergic regulation; and by tyrosine hydroxylase-containing axons, implying adrenergic regulation. The mean total number of intracardiac neurons was 713 ± 78 (SE), nearly half of which were cholinergic. Neuronal somata were mainly located in a ganglionated plexus around the sinoatrial valves. Somata were contacted by cholinergic, adrenergic, nitrergic, and VIP-positive terminals. Putative pacemaker cells, identified by immunoreactivity for hyperpolarization activated, cyclic nucleotide-gated channel 4, were located in the base of the sinoatrial valves, and this region was densely innervated by cholinergic and adrenergic terminals. We have shown that the goldfish heart possesses the necessary neuroanatomical substrate for fine, region-by-region autonomic control of the myocardial effectors that are involved in determining cardiac output.

Spatiotemporal patterns of Pax3, Pax6, and Pax7 expression in the developing brain of a urodele amphibian, Pleurodeles waltl.

  • Joven A
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2013 Dec 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

The onset and developmental dynamics of Pax3, Pax6, and Pax7 expressions were analyzed by immunohistochemical techniques in the central nervous system (CNS) of embryos, larvae, and recently metamorphosed juveniles of the urodele amphibian Pleurodeles waltl. During the embryonic period, the Pax proteins start being detectable in neuroepithelial domains. Subsequently, they become restricted to subsets of cells in distinct brain regions, maintaining different degrees of expression in late larvae and juvenile brains. Specifically, Pax6 is broadly expressed all along the urodele CNS (olfactory bulbs, pallium, basal ganglia, diencephalon, mesencephalic tegmentum, rhombencephalon, and spinal cord) and the developing olfactory organ and retina. Pax3 and Pax7 are excluded from the rostral forebrain and were usually observed in overlapping regions during embryonic development, whereas Pax3 expression is highly downregulated as development proceeds. Thus, Pax3 is restricted to the roof plate of prosomere 2, pretectum, optic tectum, rhombencephalon, and spinal cord. Comparatively, Pax7 was more conspicuous in all these regions. Pax7 cells were also found in the paraphysis, intermediate lobe of the hypophysis, and basal plate of prosomere 3. Our data show that the expression patterns of the three Pax genes studied are overall evolutionarily conserved, and therefore could unequivocally be used to identify subdivisions in the urodele brain similar to other vertebrates, which are not clearly discernable with classical techniques. In addition, the spatiotemporal sequences of expression provide indirect evidence of putative migratory routes across neuromeric limits and the alar-basal boundary.

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - CA126189(United States)

Spatial resolution of an eye containing a grouped retina: ganglion cell morphology and tectal physiology in the weakly electric fish Gnathonemus petersii.

  • Pusch R
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2013 Dec 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

The retina of the weakly electric fish Gnathonemus petersii is a so-called grouped retina where photoreceptors are bundled. These bundles are regarded as functional units and this type of retinal specialization is uniquely found in teleosts. To understand how this anatomical organization influences visual information processing we investigated the morphology and distribution of retinal ganglion cells (GCs) and the response properties of retinal afferents terminating in the major retinorecipient area, the optic tectum. GCs were classified based on their dendritic morphology (dendritic field diameters <90-100 μm: narrow-field GCs; 110-280 μm: widefield GCs; >280 μm: giant GCs). Within these classes subtypes were distinguished based on the ramification patterns of the dendrites in the sublaminae of the inner plexiform layer. Properties of presumed optic nerve terminals were investigated in the optic tectum using extracellular recordings. Physiological classes could be observed based on their response to visual stimuli (on; off; on-off, and fast units). Receptive field sizes and spatiotemporal properties were classified and the topographical representation of the visual space was mapped in the tectum. Gratings of low spatial frequencies were best responded to and followed up to high temporal frequencies (>30 Hz). Most of the recorded units were directionally selective. No evidence of distorted topographies in the tectum was found, i.e., no overrepresentation of the retina was seen in the tectum opticum. The grouped retina of G. petersii seems to be optimized for the detection of large, fast objects in an environment of low optical quality.

Funding information:
  • Wellcome Trust - HG00022(United Kingdom)

Alzheimer's disease pathology in the neocortex and hippocampus of the western lowland gorilla (Gorilla gorilla gorilla).

  • Perez SE
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2013 Dec 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

The two major histopathologic hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease (AD) are amyloid beta protein (Aβ) plaques and neurofibrillary tangles (NFT). Aβ pathology is a common feature in the aged nonhuman primate brain, whereas NFT are found almost exclusively in humans. Few studies have examined AD-related pathology in great apes, which are the closest phylogenetic relatives of humans. In the present study, we examined Aβ and tau-like lesions in the neocortex and hippocampus of aged male and female western lowland gorillas using immunohistochemistry and histochemistry. Analysis revealed an age-related increase in Aβ-immunoreactive plaques and vasculature in the gorilla brain. Aβ plaques were more abundant in the neocortex and hippocampus of females, whereas Aβ-positive blood vessels were more widespread in male gorillas. Plaques were also Aβ40-, Aβ42-, and Aβ oligomer-immunoreactive, but only weakly thioflavine S- or 6-CN-PiB-positive in both sexes, indicative of the less fibrillar (diffuse) nature of Aβ plaques in gorillas. Although phosphorylated neurofilament immunostaining revealed a few dystrophic neurites and neurons, choline acetyltransferase-immunoreactive fibers were not dystrophic. Neurons stained for the tau marker Alz50 were found in the neocortex and hippocampus of gorillas at all ages. Occasional Alz50-, MC1-, and AT8-immunoreactive astrocyte and oligodendrocyte coiled bodies and neuritic clusters were seen in the neocortex and hippocampus of the oldest gorillas. This study demonstrates the spontaneous presence of both Aβ plaques and tau-like lesions in the neocortex and hippocampus in old male and female western lowland gorillas, placing this species at relevance in the context of AD research.

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - U01 CA168394(United States)

Neuronal and nonneuronal cholinergic structures in the mouse gastrointestinal tract and spleen.

  • Gautron L
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2013 Nov 30

Literature context:


Abstract:

Accumulating evidence demonstrates that acetylcholine can directly modulate immune function in peripheral tissues including the spleen and gastrointestinal tract. However, the anatomical relationships between the peripheral cholinergic system and immune cells located in these lymphoid tissues remain unclear due to inherent technical difficulties with currently available neuroanatomical methods. In this study, mice with specific expression of the tdTomato fluorescent protein in choline acetyltransferase (ChAT)-expressing cells were used to label preganglionic and postganglionic cholinergic neurons and their projections to lymphoid tissues. Notably, our anatomical observations revealed an abundant innervation in the intestinal lamina propria of the entire gastrointestinal tract principally originating from cholinergic enteric neurons. The aforementioned innervation frequently approached macrophages, plasma cells, and lymphocytes located in the lamina propria and, to a lesser extent, lymphocytes in the interfollicular areas of Peyer's patches. In addition to the above innervation, we observed labeled epithelial cells in the gallbladder and lower intestines, as well as Microfold cells and T-cells within Peyer's patches. In contrast, we found only a sparse innervation in the spleen consisting of neuronal fibers of spinal origin present around arterioles and in lymphocyte-containing areas of the white pulp. Lastly, a small population of ChAT-expressing lymphocytes was identified in the spleen including both T- and B-cells. In summary, this study describes the variety of cholinergic neuronal and nonneuronal cells in a position to modulate gastrointestinal and splenic immunity in the mouse.

Funding information:
  • Howard Hughes Medical Institute - R01 GM088624(United States)

Development of myenteric cholinergic neurons in ChAT-Cre;R26R-YFP mice.

  • Hao MM
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2013 Oct 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Cholinergic neurons are the major excitatory neurons of the enteric nervous system (ENS), and include intrinsic sensory neurons, interneurons, and excitatory motor neurons. Cholinergic neurons have been detected in the embryonic ENS; however, the development of these neurons has been difficult to study as they are difficult to detect prior to birth using conventional immunohistochemistry. In this study we used ChAT-Cre;R26R-YFP mice to examine the development of cholinergic neurons in the gut of embryonic and postnatal mice. Cholinergic (YFP+) neurons were first detected at embryonic day (E)11.5, and the proportion of cholinergic neurons gradually increased during pre- and postnatal development. At birth, myenteric cholinergic neurons comprised less than half of their adult proportions in the small intestine (25% of myenteric neurons were YFP+ at P0 compared to 62% in adults). The earliest cholinergic neurons appear to mainly project anally. Projections into the presumptive circular muscle were first observed at E14.5. A subpopulation of cholinergic neurons coexpress calbindin through embryonic and postnatal development, but only a small proportion coexpressed neuronal nitric oxide synthase. Our study shows that cholinergic neurons in the ENS develop over a protracted period of time.

Funding information:
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - DK84142(United States)
  • Wellcome Trust - 085532(United Kingdom)

Calretinin inputs are confined to motoneurons for upward eye movements in monkey.

  • Zeeh C
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2013 Oct 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Motoneurons of extraocular muscles are controlled by different premotor pathways, whose selective damage may cause directionally selective eye movement disorders. The fact that clinical disorders can affect only one direction, e.g., isolated up-/downgaze palsy or up-/downbeat nystagmus, indicates that up- and downgaze pathways are organized separately. Recent work in monkey revealed that a subpopulation of premotor neurons of the vertical eye movement system contains the calcium-binding protein calretinin (CR). With combined tract-tracing and immunofluorescence, the motoneurons of vertically pulling eye muscles in monkey were investigated for the presence of CR-positive afferent terminals. In the oculomotor nucleus, CR was specifically found in punctate profiles contacting superior rectus and inferior oblique motoneurons, as well as levator palpebrae motoneurons, all of which participate in upward eye movements. Double-immunofluorescence labeling revealed that CR-positive terminals lacked the γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA)-synthesizing enzyme glutamate decarboxylase, which is present in inhibitory afferents to all motoneurons mediating vertical eye movements. Therefore, CR-containing afferents are considered to be excitatory. In conclusion, a strong CR input is confined to motoneurons mediating upgaze, which derive from premotor pathways mediating saccades and smooth pursuit, but not from secondary vestibulo-ocular neurons in the magnocellular part of the medial vestibular nucleus. The functional significance of CR in these connections is unclear, but it may serve as a useful marker to locate upgaze pathways in the human brain.

Funding information:
  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research - (Canada)
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - R01 DK-078049(United States)

Long-term effects of a lumbosacral ventral root avulsion injury on axotomized motor neurons and avulsed ventral roots in a non-human primate model of cauda equina injury.

  • Ohlsson M
  • Neuroscience
  • 2013 Oct 10

Literature context:


Abstract:

Here, we have translated from the rat to the non-human primate a unilateral lumbosacral injury as a model for cauda equina injury. In this morphological study, we have investigated retrograde effects of a unilateral L6-S2 ventral root avulsion (VRA) injury as well as the long-term effects of Wallerian degeneration on avulsed ventral roots at 6-10 months post-operatively in four adult male rhesus monkeys. Immunohistochemistry for choline acetyl transferase and glial fibrillary acidic protein demonstrated a significant loss of the majority of the axotomized motoneurons in the affected L6-S2 segments and signs of an associated astrocytic glial response within the ventral horn of the L6 and S1 spinal cord segments. Quantitative analysis of the avulsed ventral roots showed that they exhibited normal size and were populated by a normal number of myelinated axons. However, the myelinated axons in the avulsed ventral roots were markedly smaller in caliber compared to the fibers of the intact contralateral ventral roots, which served as controls. Ultrastructural studies confirmed the presence of small myelinated axons and a population of unmyelinated axons within the avulsed roots. In addition, collagen fibers were readily identified within the endoneurium of the avulsed roots. In summary, a lumbosacral VRA injury resulted in retrograde motoneuron loss and astrocytic glial activation in the ventral horn. Surprisingly, the Wallerian degeneration of motor axons in the avulsed ventral roots was followed by a repopulation of the avulsed roots by small myelinated and unmyelinated fibers. We speculate that the small axons may represent sprouting or axonal regeneration by primary afferents or autonomic fibers.

Vesicular glutamate transporter-3 in the rodent brain: vesicular colocalization with vesicular γ-aminobutyric acid transporter.

  • Stensrud MJ
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2013 Sep 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Vesicular glutamate transporters (VGLUT1-3) carry glutamate into synaptic vesicles. VGLUT3 has been reported to be localized in nonglutamatergic neuronal populations in the brain. However, detailed subcellular localization of VGLUT3 has not been shown. In particular, the identity of synaptic vesicles expressing VGLUT3 remains to be revealed. Here we present novel electron microscopic postembedding immunogold data from mouse and rat brains showing that small, clear, and round synaptic vesicles in γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA)-ergic nerve terminals contain labeling for both VGLUT3 and the vesicular GABA transporter (VGAT). Immunoisolation of synaptic vesicles confirmed the immunogold data and showed vesicular colocalization of VGLUT3 and VGAT. Moreover, we show that gold particles signaling VGLUT3 are present in synaptic vesicles in acetylcholinergic nerve terminals in the striatum. Quantitative immunogold analyses reveal that the density of VGLUT3 gold particles is similar in GABAergic terminals in the hippocampus and the neocortex to that in cholinergic terminals in the striatum. In contrast to in the hippocampus and the neocortex, VGLUT3 was absent from VGAT-positive terminals in the striatum. The labeling pattern produced by the VGLUT3 antibodies was found to be specific; there was no labeling in VGLUT3 knockout tissue, and the observed labeling throughout the rat brain corresponds to the known light-microscopic distribution of VGLUT3. From the present results, we infer that glutamate is released with GABA from inhibitory terminals and acetylcholine from cholinergic terminals.

Expression of the ghrelin receptor gene in neurons of the medulla oblongata of the rat.

  • Bron R
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2013 Aug 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

There is ambiguity concerning the distribution of neurons that express the ghrelin receptor (GHSR) in the medulla oblongata. In the current study we used a sensitive nonradioactive method to investigate GHSR mRNA distribution by in situ hybridization. Strong expression of the GHSR gene was confirmed in neurons of the facial nucleus (FacN, 7), the dorsal vagal complex (DVC), and the semicompact (but not compact) nucleus ambiguus (AmbSC and AmbC). In addition, expression of GHSR was found in other regions, where it had not been described before. GHSR-positive neurons were observed in the gustatory rostral nucleus tractus solitarius and in areas involved in vestibulo-ocular processing (such as the medial vestibular nucleus and the nucleus abducens). GHSR expression was also noted in ventral areas associated with cardiorespiratory control, including the gigantocellular reticular nucleus, the lateral paragigantocellular nucleus, the rostral and caudal ventrolateral medulla, the (pre)-Bötzinger complex, and the rostral and caudal ventrolateral respiratory group. However, GHSR-positive neurons in ventrolateral areas did not express markers for cardiovascular presympathetic vasomotor neurons, respiratory propriobulbar rhythmogenic neurons, or sensory interneurons. GHSR-positive cells were intermingled with catecholamine neurons in the dorsal vagal complex but these populations did not overlap. Thus, the ghrelin receptor occurs in the medulla oblongata in 1) second-order sensory neurons processing gustatory, vestibulo-ocular, and visceral sensation; 2) cholinergic somatomotor neurons of the FacN and autonomic preganglionic neurons of the DMNX and AmbSC; 3) cardiovascular neurons in the DVC, Gi, and LPGi; 4) neurons of as yet unknown function in the ventrolateral medulla.

Neurochemical codes of sympathetic preganglionic neurons activated by glucoprivation.

  • Parker LM
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2013 Aug 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

Glucoprivation or hypoglycemia induces a range of counterregulatory responses, including glucose mobilization, reduced glucose utilization, and de novo glucose synthesis. These responses are mediated in part by the sympathetic nervous system. The aim of this study was to determine the chemical codes of sympathetic preganglionic neurons (SPN) activated by glucoprivation, induced by 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2DG). SPN controlling the adrenal glands and celiac ganglia, which ultimately can innervate the liver and pancreas, were targeted together with the superior cervical ganglia (control). 23.9% ± 1.3% of SPN in the T4-T11 region contained c-Fos immunoreactivity following 2DG; 70.3% ± 1.8% of SPN innervating the adrenal glands and 37.4% ± 3% of SPN innervating celiac ganglia were activated. 14.8% ± 3.5% of SPN (C8-T3) innervating superior cervical ganglia were activated. In the C8-T3 region 55% ± 10% of SPN activated contained PPCART, with only 12% ± 3% expressing PPE mRNA, whereas, in the T4-T11 region, 78% ± 4% contained PPE, with only 6.0% ± 0.6% expressing PPCART mRNA. Thus CART is not involved in glucose mobilization. Two chemically distinct populations of SPN (PPE⁺ 57.4% ± 5%, PPE⁻ ∼40%) were identified to regulate adrenaline release in response to glucoprivation. Multiple chemically distinct SPN populations innervating a specific target could suggest their graded recruitment. The two distinct populations of SPN (PPE⁺ 67.6% ± 9%, PPE⁻ ∼30%) projecting to celiac ganglia activated by glucoprivation could direct pancreatic and hepatic or other counterregulatory responses. Nearly all SPN that expressed PPE mRNA and projected to the adrenal glands or celiac ganglia were activated, suggesting a role for the inhibitory peptide enkephalin in responses evoked by glucoprivation.

Funding information:
  • NIMH NIH HHS - MH092257(United States)

Expression patterns of Pax6 and Pax7 in the adult brain of a urodele amphibian, Pleurodeles waltl.

  • Joven A
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2013 Jun 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

Expression patterns of Pax6, Pax7, and, to a lesser extent, Pax3 genes were analyzed by a combination of immunohistochemical techniques in the central nervous system of adult specimens of the urodele amphibian Pleurodeles waltl. Only Pax6 was found in the telencephalon, specifically the olfactory bulbs, striatum, septum, and lateral and central parts of the amygdala. In the diencephalon, Pax6 and Pax7 were distinct in the alar and basal parts, respectively, of prosomere 3. The distribution of Pax6, Pax7, and Pax3 cells correlated with the three pretectal domains. Pax7 specifically labeled cells in the dorsal mesencephalon, mainly in the optic tectum, and Pax6 cells were the only cells found in the tegmentum. Large populations of Pax7 cells occupied the rostral rhombencephalon, along with lower numbers of Pax6 and Pax3 cells. Pax6 was found in most granule cells of the cerebellum. Pax6 cells also formed a column of scattered neurons in the reticular formation and were found in the octavolateral area. The rhombencephalic ventricular zone of the alar plate expressed Pax7. Dorsal Pax7 cells and ventral Pax6 cells were found along the spinal cord. Our results show that the expression of Pax6 and Pax7 is widely maintained in the brains of adult urodeles, in contrast to the situation in other tetrapods. This discrepancy could be due to the generally pedomorphic features of urodele brains. Although the precise role of these transcription factors in adult brains remains to be determined, our findings support the idea that they may also function in adult urodeles.

Funding information:
  • NIBIB NIH HHS - R03 EB012461-01(United States)

Characterization of multiple bistratified retinal ganglion cells in a purkinje cell protein 2-Cre transgenic mouse line.

  • Ivanova E
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2013 Jun 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

Retinal ganglion cells are categorized into multiple classes, including multiple types of bistratified ganglion cells (BGCs). The recent use of transgenic mouse lines with specific type(s) of ganglion cells that are labeled by fluorescent markers has facilitated the morphological and physiological studies of BGCs, particularly the directional-selective BGCs. The most important benefit from using transgenic animals is the capability to perform in vivo gene manipulation. In particular, the Cre/LoxP recombination system has become a powerful tool, allowing gene deletion, overexpression, and ectopic expression in a cell type-specific and temporally controlled fashion. The key to this tool is the availability of Cre mouse lines with cell or tissue type-specific expression of Cre recombinase. In this study we characterized the Cre-positive retinal ganglion cells in a PCP2 (Purkinje cell protein 2)-cre mouse line. We found that all of the Cre-positive retinal ganglion cells were BGCs. Based on morphological criteria, we determined that they can be grouped into five types. The On- and Off-dendrites of three of these types stratified outside of the cholinergic bands and differed from directional selective ganglion cells (DSGCs) morphologically. These cells were negative for Brn-3b and positive for both calretinin and CART retina markers. The remaining two types were identified as putative On-Off and On-DSGCs. This Cre mouse line could be useful for further studies of the molecular and functional properties of BGCs in mice.

Funding information:
  • European Research Council - 242870(International)

Properties of the ON bistratified ganglion cell in the rabbit retina.

  • Hoshi H
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2013 May 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

The identity of the types of different neurons in mammalian retinae is now close to being completely known for a few mammalian species; comparison reveals strong homologies for many neurons across the order. Still, there remain some cell types rarely encountered and inadequately described, despite not being rare in relative frequency. Here we describe in detail an additional ganglion cell type in rabbit that is bistratified with dendrites in both sublaminae, yet spikes only at light onset and has no response bias to the direction of moving bars. This ON bistratified ganglion cell type is most easily distinguished by the unusual behavior of its dendritic arbors. While dendrites that arborize in sublamina b terminate at that level, those that ascend to arborize in sublamina a do not normally terminate there. Instead, when they reach the approximate radius of the dendrites in sublamina b, they dive sharply back down to ramify in sublamina b. Here they continue to course even further away from the soma at the same level as the branches wholly contained in sublamina b, thereby forming an annulus of secondary ON dendrites in sublamina b. This pattern of branching creates a bistratified dendritic field of approximately equal area in the two sublaminae initially, to which is then added an external annulus of dendrites only in sublamina b whose origin is entirely from processes descending from sublamina a. It is coupled to a population of wide-field amacrine cells upon which the dendrites of the ganglion cell often terminate.

Funding information:
  • NHGRI NIH HHS - R01 HG006827(United States)

Alterations in the motor neuron-renshaw cell circuit in the Sod1(G93A) mouse model.

  • Wootz H
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2013 May 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Motor neurons become hyperexcitable during progression of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). This abnormal firing behavior has been explained by changes in their membrane properties, but more recently it has been suggested that changes in premotor circuits may also contribute to this abnormal activity. The specific circuits that may be altered during development of ALS have not been investigated. Here we examined the Renshaw cell recurrent circuit that exerts inhibitory feedback control on motor neuron firing. Using two markers for Renshaw cells (calbindin and cholinergic nicotinic receptor subunit alpha2 [Chrna2]), two general markers for motor neurons (NeuN and vesicular acethylcholine transporter [VAChT]), and two markers for fast motor neurons (Chondrolectin and calcitonin-related polypeptide alpha [Calca]), we analyzed the survival and connectivity of these cells during disease progression in the Sod1(G93A) mouse model. Most calbindin-immunoreactive (IR) Renshaw cells survive to end stage but downregulate postsynaptic Chrna2 in presymptomatic animals. In motor neurons, some markers are downregulated early (NeuN, VAChT, Chondrolectin) and others at end stage (Calca). Early downregulation of presynaptic VAChT and Chrna2 was correlated with disconnection from Renshaw cells as well as major structural abnormalities of motor axon synapses inside the spinal cord. Renshaw cell synapses on motor neurons underwent more complex changes, including transitional sprouting preferentially over remaining NeuN-IR motor neurons. We conclude that the loss of presynaptic motor axon input on Renshaw cells occurs at early stages of ALS and disconnects the recurrent inhibitory circuit, presumably resulting in diminished control of motor neuron firing.

Funding information:
  • NICHD NIH HHS - R24 HD042828(United States)

Expression of Pannexin1 in the outer plexiform layer of the mouse retina and physiological impact of its knockout.

  • Kranz K
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2013 Apr 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Pannexin1 (Panx1) belongs to a class of vertebrate proteins that exhibits sequence homology to innexins, the invertebrate gap junction proteins, and which also shares topological similarities with vertebrate gap junction proteins, the connexins. Unlike gap junctional channels, Panx1 forms single-membrane channels, whose functional role in neuronal circuits is still unsettled. We therefore investigated the subcellular distribution of Panx1 in the mouse retina of wildtype and Panx1-null mice by reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), immunohistochemistry, and electron microscopy. Use of Panx1-deficient mice served as a model to assess the physiological role of Panx1 by electroretinographic recordings and also to ensure the specificity of the anti-Panx1 antibody labeling. Expression of Panx1 was found in type 3a OFF bipolar cells and in dendrites and axonal processes of horizontal cells. Panx1 was also found in horizontal cell dendrites representing the lateral elements of the triad synapse at cone and rod terminals. In vivo electroretinography of Panx1 knockout mice indicated an increased a- and b-wave compared to Panx1 wildtype mice under scotopic conditions. The effect on the b-wave was confirmed by in vitro electroretinograms from the inner retina. These results suggest that Panx1 channels serve as sinks for extracellular current flow making them possible candidates for the mediation of feedback from horizontal cells to photoreceptors.

Funding information:
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS64004(United States)
  • NLM NIH HHS - LM05773(United States)

Pattern of calbindin-D28k and calretinin immunoreactivity in the brain of Xenopus laevis during embryonic and larval development.

  • Morona R
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2013 Jan 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

The present study represents a detailed spatiotemporal analysis of the localization of calbindin-D28k (CB) and calretinin (CR) immunoreactive structures in the brain of Xenopus laevis throughout development, conducted with the aim to correlate the onset of the immunoreactivity with the development of compartmentalization of distinct subdivisions recently identified in the brain of adult amphibians and primarily highlighted when analyzed within a segmental paradigm. CR and CB are expressed early in the brain and showed a progressively increasing expression throughout development, although transient expression in some neuronal subpopulations was also noted. Common and distinct characteristics in Xenopus, as compared with reported features during development in the brain of mammals, were observed. The development of specific regions in the forebrain such as the olfactory bulbs, the components of the basal ganglia and the amygdaloid complex, the alar and basal hypothalamic regions, and the distinct diencephalic neuromeres could be analyzed on the basis of the distinct expression of CB and CR in subregions. Similarly, the compartments of the mesencephalon and the main rhombencephalic regions, including the cerebellum, were differently highlighted by their specific content in CB and CR throughout development. Our results show the usefulness of the analysis of the distribution of these proteins as a tool in neuroanatomy to interpret developmental aspects of many brain regions.

Funding information:
  • NICHD NIH HHS - R01 HD048954(United States)
  • Wellcome Trust - 077074(United Kingdom)

Neuroanatomical organization of the cholinergic system in the central nervous system of a basal actinopterygian fish, the senegal bichir Polypterus senegalus.

  • López JM
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2013 Jan 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Polypterid bony fishes are believed to be basal to other living ray-finned fishes, and their brain organization is therefore critical in providing information as to primitive neural characters that existed in the earliest ray-finned fishes. The cholinergic system has been characterized in more advanced ray-finned fishes, but not in polypterids. In order to establish which cholinergic neural centers characterized the earliest ray-finned fishes, the distribution of choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) is described in Polypterus and compared with the distribution of this molecule in other ray-finned fishes. Cell groups immunoreactive for ChAT were observed in the hypothalamus, the habenula, the optic tectum, the isthmus, the cranial motor nuclei, and the spinal motor column. Cholinergic fibers were observed in both the telencephalic pallium and the subpallium, in the thalamus and pretectum, in the optic tectum and torus semicircularis, in the mesencephalic tegmentum, in the cerebellar crest, in the solitary nucleus, and in the dorsal column nuclei. Comparison of the data within a segmental neuromeric context indicates that the cholinergic system in polypterid fishes is generally similar to that in other ray-finned fishes, but cholinergic-positive neurons in the pallium and subpallium, and in the thalamus and cerebellum, of teleosts appear to have evolved following the separation of polypterids and other ray-finned fishes.

Funding information:
  • Intramural NIH HHS - ZIA HL006021-04(United States)
  • NINDS NIH HHS - T32 NS061764(United States)

Molecular characterization of the subnuclei in rat habenula.

  • Aizawa H
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2012 Dec 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

The mammalian habenula is involved in regulating the activities of serotonergic and dopaminergic neurons. It consists of the medial and lateral habenulae, with each subregion having distinct neural connectivity. Despite the functional significance, manipulating neural activity in a subset of habenular pathways remains difficult because of the poor availability of molecular markers that delineate the subnuclear structures. Thus, we examined the molecular nature of neurons in the habenular subnuclei by analyzing the gene expressions of neurotransmitter markers. The results showed that different subregions of the medial habenula (MHb) use different combinations of neurotransmitter systems and could be categorized as either exclusively glutamatergic (superior part of MHb), both substance P-ergic and glutamatergic (dorsal region of central part of MHb), or both cholinergic and glutamatergic (inferior part, ventral region of central part, and lateral part of MHb). The superior part of the MHb strongly expressed interleukin-18 and was innervated by noradrenergic fibers. In contrast, the inferior part, ventral region of the central part, and lateral part of the MHb were peculiar in that acetylcholine and glutamate were cotransmitted from the axonal terminals. In contrast, neurons in the lateral habenula (LHb) were almost uniformly glutamatergic. Finally, the expressions of Htr2c and Drd2 seemed complementary in the medial LHb division, whereas they coincided in the lateral division, suggesting that the medial and lateral divisions of LHb show strong heterogeneity with respect to monoamine receptor expression. These analyses clarify molecular differences between subnuclei in the mammalian habenula that support their respective functional implications.

Funding information:
  • NIDCR NIH HHS - R03 DE024490(United States)

Dopamine and full-field illumination activate D1 and D2-D5-type receptors in adult rat retinal ganglion cells.

  • Ogata G
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2012 Dec 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Dopamine can regulate signal generation and transmission by activating multiple receptors and signaling cascades, especially in striatum, hippocampus, and cerebral cortex. Dopamine modulates an even larger variety of cellular properties in retina, yet has been reported to do so by only D1 receptor-driven cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) increases or D2 receptor-driven cAMP decreases. Here, we test the possibility that dopamine operates differently on retinal ganglion cells, because the ganglion cell layer binds D1 and D2 receptor ligands, and displays changes in signaling components other than cAMP under illumination that should release dopamine. In adult rat retinal ganglion cells, based on patch-clamp recordings, Ca(2+) imaging, and immunohistochemistry, we find that 1) spike firing is inhibited by dopamine and SKF 83959 (an agonist that does not activate homomeric D1 receptors or alter cAMP levels in other systems); 2) D1 and D2 receptor antagonists (SCH 23390, eticlopride, raclopride) counteract these effects; 3) these antagonists also block light-induced rises in cAMP, light-induced activation of Ca(2+) /calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II, and dopamine-induced Ca(2+) influx; and 4) the Ca(2+) rise is markedly reduced by removing extracellular Ca(2+) and by an IP3 receptor antagonist (2-APB). These results provide the first evidence that dopamine activates a receptor in adult mammalian retinal neurons that is distinct from classical D1 and D2 receptors, and that dopamine can activate mechanisms in addition to cAMP and cAMP-dependent protein kinase to modulate retinal ganglion cell excitability.

Funding information:
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - U01 DK062453(United States)

Phox2b expression in the taste centers of fish.

  • Coppola E
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2012 Nov 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

The homeodomain transcription factor Phox2b controls the formation of the sensory-motor reflex circuits of the viscera in vertebrates. Among Phox2b-dependent structures characterized in rodents is the nucleus of the solitary tract, the first relay for visceral sensory input, including taste. Here we show that Phox2b is expressed throughout the primary taste centers of two cyprinid fish, Danio rerio and Carassius auratus, i.e., in their vagal, glossopharyngeal, and facial lobes, providing the first molecular evidence for their homology with the nucleus of the solitary tract of mammals and suggesting that a single ancestral Phox2b-positive neuronal type evolved to give rise to both fish and mammalian structures. In zebrafish larvae, the distribution of Phox2b²⁺ neurons, combined with the expression pattern of Olig4 (a homologue of Olig3, determinant of the nucleus of the solitary tract in mice), reveals that the superficial position and sheet-like architecture of the viscerosensory column in cyprinid fish, ideally suited for the somatotopic representation of oropharyngeal and bodily surfaces, arise by radial migration from a dorsal progenitor domain, in contrast to the tangential migration observed in amniotes.

Funding information:
  • NIH HHS - U42 OD010924(United States)

Efferent projections of C3 adrenergic neurons in the rat central nervous system.

  • Sevigny CP
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2012 Aug 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

C3 neurons constitute one of three known adrenergic nuclei in the rat central nervous system (CNS). While the adrenergic C1 cell group has been extensively characterized both physiologically and anatomically, the C3 nucleus has remained relatively obscure. This study employed a lentiviral tracing technique that expresses green fluorescent protein behind a promoter selective to noradrenergic and adrenergic neurons. Microinjection of this virus into the C3 nucleus enabled the selective tracing of C3 efferents throughout the rat CNS, thus revealing the anatomical framework of C3 projections. C3 terminal fields were observed in over 40 different CNS nuclei, spanning all levels of the spinal cord, as well as various medullary, mesencephalic, hypothalamic, thalamic, and telencephalic nuclei. The highest densities of C3 axon varicosities were observed in Lamina X and the intermediolateral cell column of the thoracic spinal cord, as well as the dorsomedial medulla (both commissural and medial nuclei of the solitary tract, area postrema, and the dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus), ventrolateral periaqueductal gray, dorsal parabrachial nucleus, periventricular and rhomboid nuclei of the thalamus, and paraventricular and periventricular nuclei of the hypothalamus. In addition, moderate and sparse projections were observed in many catecholaminergic and serotonergic nuclei, as well as the area anterior and ventral to the third ventricle, Lamina X of the cervical, lumbar, and sacral spinal cord, and various hypothalamic and telencephalic nuclei. The anatomical map of C3 projections detailed in this survey hopes to lay the first steps toward developing a functional framework for this nucleus.

Funding information:
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - T32 GM008471(United States)

Spinal projections of the A5, A6 (locus coeruleus), and A7 noradrenergic cell groups in rats.

  • Bruinstroop E
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2012 Jun 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

The pontine noradrenergic cell groups, A5, A6 (locus coeruleus), and A7, provide the only noradrenergic innervation of the spinal cord, but the individual contribution of each of these populations to the regional innervation of the spinal cord remains controversial. We used an adeno-associated viral (AAV) vector encoding green fluorescent protein under an artificial dopamine beta-hydroxylase (PRSx8) promoter to trace the spinal projections from the A5, A6, and A7 groups. Projections from all three groups travel through the spinal cord in both the lateral and ventral funiculi and in the dorsal surface of the dorsal horn, but A6 axons take predominantly the dorsal and ventral routes, whereas A5 axons take mainly a lateral and A7 axons a ventral route. The A6 group provides the densest innervation at all levels, and includes all parts of the spinal gray matter, but it is particularly dense in the dorsal horn. The A7 group provides the next most dense innervation, again including all parts of the spinal cord, but is it denser in the ventral horn. The A5 group supplies only sparse innervation to the dorsal and ventral horns and to the cervical and lumbosacral levels, but provides the densest innervation to the thoracic intermediolateral cell column, and in particular to the sympathetic preganglionic neurons. Thus, the pontine noradrenergic cell groups project in a roughly topographic and complementary fashion onto the spinal cord. The pattern of spinal projections observed suggests that the locus coeruleus might have the greatest effect on somatosensory transmission, the A7 group on motor function, and the A5 group on sympathetic function.

Funding information:
  • NIDCD NIH HHS - R03 DC012125(United States)

Morphological and functional characterization of cholinergic interneurons in the dorsal horn of the mouse spinal cord.

  • Mesnage B
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2011 Nov 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Endogenous acetylcholine is an important modulator of sensory processing, especially at the spinal level, where nociceptive (pain-related) stimuli enter the central nervous system and are integrated before being relayed to the brain. To decipher the organization of the local cholinergic circuitry in the spinal dorsal horn, we used transgenic mice expressing enchanced green fluorescent protein specifically in cholinergic neurons (ChAT::EGFP) and characterized the morphology, neurochemistry, and firing properties of the sparse population of cholinergic interneurons in this area. Three-dimensional reconstruction of lamina III ChAT::EGFP neurons based either on their intrinsic fluorescence or on intracellular labeling in live tissue demonstrated that these neurons have long and thin processes that grow preferentially in the dorsal direction. Their dendrites and axon are highly elongated in the rostrocaudal direction, beyond the limits of a single spinal segment. These unique morphological features suggest that dorsal horn cholinergic interneurons are the main contributors to the plexus of cholinergic processes located in lamina IIi, just dorsal to their cell bodies. In addition, immunostainings demonstrated that dorsal horn cholinergic interneurons in the mouse are γ-aminobutyric acidergic and express nitric oxide synthase, as in rats. Finally, electrophysiological recordings from these neurons in spinal cord slices demonstrate that two-thirds of them have a repetitive spiking pattern with frequent rebound spikes following hyperpolarization. Altogether our results indicate that, although they are rare, the morphological and functional features of cholinergic neurons enable them to collect segmental information in superficial layers of the dorsal horn and to modulate it over several segments.

Funding information:
  • NEI NIH HHS - 5R24EY01474-04(United States)

Two distinct types of ON directionally selective ganglion cells in the rabbit retina.

  • Hoshi H
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2011 Sep 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Mammalian retinas contain about 20 types of ganglion cells that respond to different aspects of the visual scene, including the direction of motion of objects in the visual field. The rabbit retina has long been thought to contain two distinct types of directionally selective (DS) ganglion cell: a bistratified ON-OFF DS ganglion cell that responds to onset and termination of light, and an ON DS ganglion cell, which stratifies only in the ON layer and responds only to light onset. This division is challenged by targeted recordings from rabbit retina, which indicate that ON DS ganglion cells occur in two discriminably different types. One of these is strongly tracer-coupled to amacrine cells; the other is never tracer-coupled. These two types also differ in branching pattern, stratification depth, relative latency, and transience of spiking. The sustained, uncoupled ON DS cell ramifies completely within the lower cholinergic band and responds to nicotine with continuous firing. In contrast, the transient, coupled ON DS ganglion cell stratifies above the cholinergic band and is not positioned to receive major input from cholinergic amacrine cells, consistent with its modest response to the cholinergic agonist nicotine. Much data have accrued that directional responses in the mammalian retina originate via gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) release from the dendrites of starburst amacrine cells (Euler et al., 2002). If there is an ON DS ganglion cell that does not stratify in the starburst band, this suggests that its GABA-dependent directional signals may be generated by a mechanism independent of starburst amacrine cells.

Funding information:
  • Intramural NIH HHS - (United States)

Colocalization of hyperpolarization-activated, cyclic nucleotide-gated channel subunits in rat retinal ganglion cells.

  • Stradleigh TW
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2011 Sep 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

The current-passing pore of mammalian hyperpolarization-activated, cyclic nucleotide-gated (HCN) channels is formed by subunit isoforms denoted HCN1-4. In various brain areas, antibodies directed against multiple isoforms bind to single neurons, and the current (I(h)) passed during hyperpolarizations differs from that of heterologously expressed homomeric channels. By contrast, retinal rod, cone, and bipolar cells appear to use homomeric HCN channels. Here, we assess the generality of this pattern by examining HCN1 and HCN4 immunoreactivity in rat retinal ganglion cells, measuring I(h) in dissociated cells, and testing whether HCN1 and HCN4 proteins coimmunoprecipitate. Nearly half of the ganglion cells in whole-mounted retinae bound antibodies against both isoforms. Consistent with colocalization and physical association, 8-bromo-cAMP shifted the voltage sensitivity of I(h) less than that of HCN4 channels and more than that of HCN1 channels, and HCN1 coimmunoprecipitated with HCN4 from membrane fraction proteins. Finally, the immunopositive somata ranged in diameter from the smallest to the largest in rat retina, the dendrites of immunopositive cells arborized at various levels of the inner plexiform layer and over fields of different diameters, and I(h) activated with similar kinetics and proportions of fast and slow components in small, medium, and large somata. These results show that different HCN subunits colocalize in single retinal ganglion cells, identify a subunit that can reconcile native I(h) properties with the previously reported presence of HCN4 in these cells, and indicate that I(h) is biophysically similar in morphologically diverse retinal ganglion cells and differs from I(h) in rods, cones, and bipolar cells.

Funding information:
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - U01 DK063862-08(United States)

Neural cell adhesion molecule ablation in mice causes hippocampal dysplasia and loss of septal cholinergic neurons.

  • Tereshchenko Y
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2011 Aug 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

The neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM) is implicated in nervous system development and plasticity. In humans, abnormal NCAM expression has been linked to the pathogenesis of neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders accompanied by cognitive dysfunctions. Impaired cognition is also observed in NCAM-deficient (NCAM(-/-) ) mice. Considering the importance of the septal cholinergic nuclei and the hippocampus for cognition, we performed quantitative morphological analyses of these areas in young and adult (2 and 13 months old, respectively) NCAM(-/-) mice and wild-type (NCAM(+/+) ) littermates. In young mice, we found lower numbers of septal cholinergic neurons in NCAM(-/-) than in NCAM(+/+) mice. Despite deficient numbers of neurons, total lengths of cholinergic axons and choline acetyltransferase protein levels in the hippocampus of NCAM(-/-) mice were normal. The hippocampus of NCAM(-/-) mice was atrophic, notably in the CA3 subfield and the dentate gyrus (DG). The atrophy appeared to have different primary causes in the two subfields: loss of pyramidal cells in CA3 and reduced branching and volume of granule cell dendrites in the DG. The frequency of dendritic spines on dentate granule cells in NCAM(-/-) mice was normal. Numbers of parvalbumin-positive (PV(+) ) interneurons were reduced in NCAM(-/-) mice in proportion to subfield volume loss, and the ratios of principal cells to PV(+) interneurons were similar to those of NCAM(+/+) mice. None of the observed abnormalities was exaggerated or alleviated in adult NCAM(-/-) mice. Our observations indicate that NCAM ablation causes structural abnormalities in the hippocampus and the forebrain cholinergic system in adult mice, which may contribute to impaired cognition in NCAM(-/-) mice.

Funding information:
  • NCRR NIH HHS - R01 RR025030-01(United States)
  • NEI NIH HHS - EY08120-20S1(United States)

Structure and function of bistratified intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells in the mouse.

  • Schmidt TM
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2011 Jun 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

A subpopulation of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) expresses the photopigment melanopsin, rendering these cells intrinsically photosensitive (ipRGCs). These cells are critical for competent circadian entrainment, pupillary light reflex, and other non-imaging-forming photic responses. Research has now demonstrated the presence of multiple subpopulations of ipRGC based on the dendritic stratification in the inner plexiform layer (IPL), those monostratified in the Off sublamina (M1), those monostratified in the On sublamina (M2,4,5), and those bistratified in both the On and the Off sublaminae (M3). Despite evidence that M1 and M2 cells are distinct subpopulations of ipRGC based on distinct morphological and physiological properties, the inclusion of M3 cells as a distinct subtype has remained controversial. Aside from the identification of M3 cells as a morphological subpopulation of ipRGC, to date there have been no functional descriptions of M3 cell physiology or synaptic inputs. Our data provide the first in-depth description of M3 cell structural and functional properties. We report that M3 cells form a morphologically heterogeneous population but one that is physiologically homogeneous with properties similar to those of M2 cells.

Funding information:
  • Intramural NIH HHS - N01-AI-70042(United States)

Stereotyped axonal arbors of retinal ganglion cell subsets in the mouse superior colliculus.

  • Hong YK
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2011 Jun 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

Mouse retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) have been classified into around 20 subtypes based on the shape, size, and laminar position of their dendritic arbors. In most cases tested, RGC subtypes classified in this manner also have distinct functional signatures. Here we asked whether RGC subtypes defined by dendritic morphology have stereotyped axonal arbors in their main central target, the superior colliculus (SC). We used transgenic and viral methods to sparsely label RGCs and characterized both dendritic and axonal arbors of individual RGCs. Axon arbors varied in size, shape, and laminar position. For each of 12 subtypes defined dendritically, however, axonal arbors in the contralateral SC showed considerable stereotypy. We found no systematic relationship between the laminar position of an RGC's dendrites within the inner plexiform layer and that of its axon within the retinorecipient zone of the SC, suggesting that distinct developmental mechanisms specify dendritic and axonal laminar positions. We did, however, note a significant correlation between the dendritic field sizes of RGCs and the laminar position of their axon arbors: RGCs with larger dendritic areas, and hence larger receptive fields, projected to deeper strata within the SC. Finally, combining these new results with previous physiological analyses, we find that RGC subtypes that share similar functional properties, such as directional selectivity, project to similar depths within the SC.

Funding information:
  • Howard Hughes Medical Institute - R01 NS054814-06(United States)

Bipolar cells of the ground squirrel retina.

  • Puller C
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2011 Mar 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Parallel processing of an image projected onto the retina starts at the first synapse, the cone pedicle, and each cone feeds its light signal into a minimum of eight different bipolar cell types. Hence, the morphological classification of bipolar cells is a prerequisite for analyzing retinal circuitry. Here we applied common bipolar cell markers to the cone-dominated ground squirrel retina, studied the labeling by confocal microscopy and electron microscopy, and compared the resulting bipolar cell types with those of the mouse (rod dominated) and primate retina. Eight different cone bipolar cell types (three OFF and five ON) and one rod bipolar cell were distinguished. The major criteria for classifying the cells were their immunocytochemical identity, their dendritic branching pattern, and the shape and stratification level of their axons in the inner plexiform layer (IPL). Immunostaining with antibodies against Gγ13, a marker for ON bipolar cells, made it possible to separate OFF and ON bipolars. Recoverin-positive OFF bipolar cells partly overlapped with ON bipolar axon terminals at the ON/OFF border of the IPL. Antibodies against HCN4 labeled the S-cone selective (bb) bipolar cell. The calcium-binding protein CaB5 was expressed in two OFF and two ON cone bipolar cell types, and CD15 labeled a widefield ON cone bipolar cell comparable to the DB6 in primate.

Funding information:
  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research - (Canada)

Subdivisions of the turtle Pseudemys scripta subpallium based on the expression of regulatory genes and neuronal markers.

  • Moreno N
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2010 Dec 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

The patterns of distribution of a set of conserved brain developmental regulatory transcription factors and neuronal markers were analyzed in the subpallium of the juvenile turtle, Pseudemys scripta. Immunohistochemical techniques were used with a combination of primary antibodies for the identification of the main boundaries and subdivisions in the basal telencephalon. In the basal ganglia, the combinatorial expression on Pax6, Nkx2.1, and GABA was a powerful tool for the identification of the nucleus accumbens, the dorsal portion of the striatum, and the pallidal regions. It was also possible to suggest migratory streams of neurons from the pallidum into the striatal regions. On the basis of GABA, Pax6, Tbr1, tyrosine hydroxylase, Darpp32, and Nkx2.1 combinatorial expression patterns, the boundaries of the septal subdivisions and their embryological origin were assessed. In particular, the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis was identified. Within the amygdaloid complex, the striatal central amygdala was characterized by Pax6 expression, whereas Orthopedia gene expression highlighted, at least, a subdivision of the medial amygdala. A newly identified preoptic commissural area and the boundaries of the preoptic area were assessed, mainly by the localization of Nkx2.1 expression. Finally, additional data were obtained by combining immunohistochemistry and tracing techniques on the interneuronal nature of the cholinerginergic, nitrergic, and Nkx2.1-positive striatal cells. Taken together, all the results of the present study allowed recognizing main features in the organization of the subpallium in reptiles that, in most cases, are shared with other amniotes and amphibians.

Funding information:
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS3900(United States)

Neurochemical coding of enteric neurons in adult and embryonic zebrafish (Danio rerio).

  • Uyttebroek L
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2010 Nov 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Although the morphology and development of the zebrafish enteric nervous system have been extensively studied, the precise neurochemical coding of enteric neurons and their proportional enteric distribution are currently not known. By using immunohistochemistry, we determined the proportional expression and coexpression of neurochemical markers in the embryonic and adult zebrafish intestine. Tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP), and pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating peptide (PACAP) were observed only in nerve fibers, whereas other markers were also detected in neuronal cell bodies. Calretinin and calbindin had similar distributions. In embryos, all markers, except for choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) and TH, were present from 72 hours postfertilization. Nitrergic neurons, evenly distributed and remaining constant in time, constituted the major neuronal subpopulation. The neuronal proportions of the other markers increased during development and were characterized by regional differences. In the adult, all markers examined were expressed in the enteric nervous system. A large percentage of enteric neurons displayed calbindin and calretinin, and serotonin was the only marker showing significant distribution differences in the three intestinal regions. Colocalization studies showed that serotonin was not coexpressed with any of the other markers. At least five neuronal subpopulations were determined: a serotonergic, a nitrergic noncholinergic, two cholinergic nonnitrergic subpopulations along with one subpopulation expressing both ChAT and neuronal nitric oxide synthase. Analysis of nerve fibers revealed that nitrergic neurons coexpress VIP and PACAP, and that nitrergic neurons innervate the tunica muscularis, whereas serotonergic and cholinergic nonnitrergic neurons innervate the lamina propria and the tunica muscularis.

Funding information:
  • NIBIB NIH HHS - P41-EB001978(United States)

Expression of the embryonal isoform (0N/3R) of the microtubule-associated protein tau in the adult rat central nervous system.

  • Bullmann T
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2010 Jul 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Tau is a microtubule-associated protein expressed predominantly in neurons. The transcript of the tau gene is alternatively spliced. Resulting isoforms contain three or four microtubule-binding repeats. The shortest tau isoform contains only three repeats (3R) and is expressed at birth. Previous data on rodents suggested that this isoform is no longer expressed during adulthood. It is replaced by tau isoforms containing four repeats (4R). The adult 4R tau isoforms bind to microtubules with higher affinity than 3R tau isoforms. Therefore, this isoform switch may reflect a need for more dynamic microtubules during development. Recently, we observed in rats that the 3R tau isoform is transiently expressed in adult neurogenesis. Subsequently, we performed an immunohistochemical labeling of the 3R tau isoform on serial sections of the adult rat brain. Interestingly, the 3R tau isoform is not only expressed in neuronal precursor cells. It is also present in mature neurons of the olfactory bulb, magnocellular neurosecretory system, posterolateral hypothalamus, locus coeruleus, raphe nucleus, solitary nucleus, medial septum and diagonal band, olfactory tuberculus, and piriform/olfactory cortex. This expression pattern is similar to that observed for the polysialylated form of the neuronal cell adhesion molecule (PSA-NCAM) and the microtubule-associated proteins doublecortin and collapsin response mediating protein (CRMP-4/TUC-4/Ulip-1), which are also highly expressed during early development. The retention of a juvenile phenotype in some neurons might be associated with a functionally significant neuronal plasticity.

Funding information:
  • NEI NIH HHS - R44 EY012332-03(United States)
  • Wellcome Trust - 086084(United Kingdom)

Identification of novel spinal cholinergic genetic subtypes disclose Chodl and Pitx2 as markers for fast motor neurons and partition cells.

  • Enjin A
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2010 Jun 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

Spinal cholinergic neurons are critical for motor function in both the autonomic and somatic nervous systems and are affected in spinal cord injury and in diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and spinal muscular atrophy. Using two screening approaches and in situ hybridization, we identified 159 genes expressed in typical cholinergic patterns in the spinal cord. These include two general cholinergic neuron markers, one gene exclusively expressed in motor neurons, and nine genes expressed in unknown subtypes of somatic motor neurons. Further, we present evidence that chondrolectin (Chodl) is expressed by fast motor neurons and that estrogen-related receptor beta (ERRbeta) is a candidate marker for slow motor neurons. In addition, we suggest paired-like homeodomain transcription factor 2 (Pitx2) as a marker for cholinergic partition cells.

Funding information:
  • NHGRI NIH HHS - P01 HG004120(United States)

Paraventricular hypothalamic nucleus: axonal projections to the brainstem.

  • Geerling JC
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2010 May 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

The paraventricular hypothalamic nucleus (PVH) contains many neurons that innervate the brainstem, but information regarding their target sites remains incomplete. Here we labeled neurons in the rat PVH with an anterograde axonal tracer, Phaseolus vulgaris leucoagglutinin (PHAL), and studied their descending projections in reference to specific neuronal subpopulations throughout the brainstem. While many of their target sites were identified previously, numerous new observations were made. Major findings include: 1) In the midbrain, the PVH projects lightly to the ventral tegmental area, Edinger-Westphal nucleus, ventrolateral periaqueductal gray matter, reticular formation, pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus, and dorsal raphe nucleus. 2) In the dorsal pons, the PVH projects heavily to the pre-locus coeruleus, yet very little to the catecholamine neurons in the locus coeruleus, and selectively targets the viscerosensory subregions of the parabrachial nucleus. 3) In the ventral medulla, the superior salivatory nucleus, retrotrapezoid nucleus, compact and external formations of the nucleus ambiguous, A1 and caudal C1 catecholamine neurons, and caudal pressor area receive dense axonal projections, generally exceeding the PVH projection to the rostral C1 region. 4) The medial nucleus of the solitary tract (including A2 noradrenergic and aldosterone-sensitive neurons) receives the most extensive projections of the PVH, substantially more than the dorsal vagal nucleus or area postrema. Our findings suggest that the PVH may modulate a range of homeostatic functions, including cerebral and ocular blood flow, corneal and nasal hydration, ingestive behavior, sodium intake, and glucose metabolism, as well as cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, and respiratory activities.

Ret-PCP2 colocalizes with protein kinase C in a subset of primate ON cone bipolar cells.

  • Sulaiman P
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2010 Apr 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Purkinje cell protein 2 (PCP2), a member of the family of guanine dissociation inhibitors and a strong interactor with the G-protein subunit G alpha(o), localizes to retinal ON bipolar cells. The retina-specific splice variant of PCP2, Ret-PCP2, accelerates the light response of rod bipolar cells by modulating the mGluR6 transduction cascade. All ON cone bipolar cells express mGluR6 and G alpha(o), but only a subset expresses Ret-PCP2. Here we test the hypothesis that Ret-PCP2 contributes to shaping the various temporal bandwidths of ON cone bipolar cells in monkey retina. We found that the retinal splice variants in monkey and mouse are similar and longer than the cerebellar variants. Ret-PCP2 is strongly expressed by diffuse cone bipolar type 4 cells (DB4; marked with anti-PKCalpha) and weakly expressed by midget bipolar dendrites (labeled by antibodies against G alpha(o), G gamma 13, or mGluR6). Ret-PCP2 is absent from diffuse cone bipolar type 6 (DB6; marked with anti-CD15) and blue cone bipolar cells (marked with anti-CCK precursor). Thus, cone bipolar cells that terminate in stratum 3 of the inner plexiform layer (DB4) express more Ret-PCP2 than those that terminate in strata 3 + 4 (midget bipolar cells), and these in turn express more than those that terminate in stratum 5 (DB6 and blue cone bipolar cells). This expression pattern approximates the arborization of ganglion cells (GC) with different temporal bandwidths: parasol GCs stratifying near stratum 3 are faster than midget GCs stratifying in strata 3 + 4, and these are probably faster than the sluggish GCs that arborize in stratum 5.

Decreased number of parvalbumin and cholinergic interneurons in the striatum of individuals with Tourette syndrome.

  • Kataoka Y
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2010 Feb 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Corticobasal ganglia neuronal ensembles bring automatic motor skills into voluntary control and integrate them into ongoing motor behavior. A 5% decrease in caudate (Cd) nucleus volume is the most consistent structural finding in the brain of patients with Tourette syndrome (TS), but the cellular abnormalities that underlie this decrease in volume are unclear. In this study the density of different types of interneurons and medium spiny neurons (MSNs) in the striatum was assessed in the postmortem brains of 5 TS subjects as compared with normal controls (NC) by unbiased stereological analyses. TS patients demonstrated a 50%-60% decrease of both parvalbumin (PV)+ and choline acetyltransferase (ChAT)+ cholinergic interneurons in the Cd and the putamen (Pt). Cholinergic interneurons were decreased in TS patients in the associative and sensorimotor regions but not in the limbic regions of the striatum, such that the normal gradient in density of cholinergic cells (highest in associative regions, intermediate in sensorimotor and lowest in limbic regions) was abolished. No significant difference was present in the densities of medium-sized calretinin (CR)+ interneurons, MSNs, and total neurons. The selective deficit of PV+ and cholinergic striatal interneurons in TS subjects may result in an impaired cortico/thalamic control of striatal neuron firing in TS.

Ikaros-1 couples cell cycle arrest of late striatal precursors with neurogenesis of enkephalinergic neurons.

  • Martín-Ibáñez R
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2010 Feb 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

During central nervous system development, several transcription factors regulate the differentiation of progenitor cells to postmitotic neurons. Here we describe a novel role for Ikaros-1 in the generation of late-born striatal neurons. Our results show that Ikaros-1 is expressed in the boundary of the striatal germinal zone (GZ)/mantle zone (MZ), where it induces cell cycle arrest of neural progenitors by up-regulation of the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor (CDKi) p21(Cip1/Waf1). This effect is coupled with the neuronal differentiation of late precursors, which in turn is critical for the second wave of striatal neurogenesis that gives rise to matrix neurons. Consistently, Ikaros(-/-) mice had fewer striatal projecting neurons and, in particular, enkephalin (ENK)-positive neurons. In addition, overexpression of Ikaros-1 in primary striatal cultures increases the number of calbindin- and ENK-positive neurons. Our results also show that Ikaros-1 acts downstream of the Dlx family of transcription factors, insofar as its expression is lost in Dlx1/2 double knockout mice. However, we demonstrate that Ikaros-1 and Ebf-1 independently regulate the final determination of the two populations of striatal projection neurons of the matrix compartment, ENK- and substance P-positive neurons. In conclusion, our findings identify Ikaros-1 as a modulator of cell cycle exit of neural progenitors that gives rise to the neurogenesis of ENK-positive striatal neurons.

Funding information:
  • Medical Research Council - G0601585(United Kingdom)

Melanocortin-4 receptor expression in a vago-vagal circuitry involved in postprandial functions.

  • Gautron L
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2010 Jan 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Vagal afferents regulate energy balance by providing a link between the brain and postprandial signals originating from the gut. In the current study, we investigated melanocortin-4 receptor (MC4R) expression in the nodose ganglion, where the cell bodies of vagal sensory afferents reside. By using a line of mice expressing green fluorescent protein (GFP) under the control of the MC4R promoter, we found GFP expression in approximately one-third of nodose ganglion neurons. By using immunohistochemistry combined with in situ hybridization, we also demonstrated that approximately 20% of GFP-positive neurons coexpressed cholecystokinin receptor A. In addition, we found that the GFP is transported to peripheral tissues by both vagal sensory afferents and motor efferents, which allowed us to assess the sites innervated by MC4R-GFP neurons. GFP-positive efferents that co-expressed choline acetyltransferase specifically terminated in the hepatic artery and the myenteric plexus of the stomach and duodenum. In contrast, GFP-positive afferents that did not express cholinergic or sympathetic markers terminated in the submucosal plexus and mucosa of the duodenum. Retrograde tracing experiments confirmed the innervation of the duodenum by GFP-positive neurons located in the nodose ganglion. Our findings support the hypothesis that MC4R signaling in vagal afferents may modulate the activity of fibers sensitive to satiety signals such as cholecystokinin, and that MC4R signaling in vagal efferents may contribute to the control of the liver and gastrointestinal tract.

A novel somatostatin-immunoreactive mossy fiber pathway associated with HSP25-immunoreactive purkinje cell stripes in the mouse cerebellum.

  • Armstrong CL
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2009 Dec 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Somatostatin 28 immunoreactivity (Sst28-ir) identifies a specific subset of mossy fiber terminals in the adult mouse cerebellum. By using double-labeling immunohistochemistry, we determined that Sst28-ir is associated with presynaptic mossy fiber terminal rosettes, and not Purkinje cells, Golgi cells, or unipolar brush cells. Sst28-ir mossy fibers are restricted to the central zone (lobules VI/VII) and nodular zone (lobules IX, X) of the vermis, and the paraflocculus and flocculus. Within each transverse zone the mossy fiber terminal fields form a reproducible array of parasagittal stripes. The boundaries of Sst28-ir stripes align with a specific array of Purkinje cell stripes revealed by using immunocytochemistry for the small heat shock protein HSP25. In the cerebellum of the homozygous weaver mouse, in which a subpopulation of HSP25-ir Purkinje cells are located ectopically, the corresponding Sst28-ir mossy fiber projection is also ectopic, suggesting a role for a specific Purkinje cell subset in afferent pattern formation. Likewise, in the scrambler mutant mouse, Sst28-ir mossy fibers show a very close association with HSP25-ir Purkinje cell clusters. HSP25 itself does not appear to be critical for normal patterning, however: in the KJR mouse, which does not express cerebellar HSP25, Sst28 expression appears to be normal. Likewise, the Purkinje cell patterning antigens zebrin II and HSP25 are expressed normally in both Sst- and Sst-receptor knockout mice, suggesting that somatostatinergic transmission is not necessary for Purkinje cell stripe formation.

Birthdays of retinal amacrine cell subtypes are systematically related to their molecular identity and soma position.

  • Voinescu PE
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2009 Dec 10

Literature context:


Abstract:

The mammalian retina contains six major cell types, several of which are divided into multiple molecularly and morphologically distinct subtypes. To understand how subtype diversity arises during development, we focused on amacrine interneurons in the mouse retina; approximately 30 amacrine subtypes have been identified in mammals. We used antibody markers to identify the two main amacrine subsets--GABAergic and glycinergic--and further subdivided these groups into smaller subsets based on expression of neurotransmitter and transcription factor markers. We then used bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) labeling to see whether amacrine subsets are born (become postmitotic) at different times, as is the case for lamina-specified subsets of cortical projection neurons. We found that GABAergic amacrines are generated on average 2-3 days before glycinergic amacrines. Moreover, subsets of GABAergic amacrines are born at distinct times. We also found a strong correlation between amacrine cell birthday and soma position in the mature retina, another point of similarity with cortical projection neurons. This relationship raised the possibility that amacrine subtype identity is determined by signals that uncommitted cells receive after they migrate to their destinations. However, cells labeled with BrdU in vivo, then dissociated and allowed to develop in vitro, acquired the amacrine subtype-specific markers appropriate for their birthdays, supporting the idea that they become specified near the time and place of their birth. Together, our results suggest that the birthdays of amacrine cells independently specify their destinations and subtype identities.

Expression of the diabetes-associated gene TCF7L2 in adult mouse brain.

  • Lee S
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2009 Dec 20

Literature context:


Abstract:

Polymorphisms of the gene TCF7L2 (transcription factor 7-like 2) are strongly associated with the development and progression of type 2 diabetes. TCF7L2 is important in the development of peripheral organs such as adipocytes, pancreas, and the intestine. However, very little is known about its expression elsewhere. In this study we used in situ hybridization histochemistry to show that TCF7L2 has a unique expression pattern in the mouse brain. TCF7L2 is expressed in two distinct populations. First, it is highly expressed in thalamic and tectal structures. Additionally, TCF7L2 mRNA is expressed at moderate to low levels in specific cells of the hypothalamus, preoptic nucleus, and circumventricular organs. Collectively, these patterns of expression suggest that TCF7L2 has distinct functions within the brain, with a general role in the development and maintenance of thalamic and midbrain neurons, and then a distinct role in autonomic homeostasis.

Immunotoxin-induced ablation of melanopsin retinal ganglion cells in a non-murine mammalian model.

  • Ingham ES
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2009 Sep 10

Literature context:


Abstract:

In mammals, non-image-forming visual functions, including circadian photoentrainment and the pupillary light reflex, are thought to be mediated by the combination of rods, cones, and the melanopsin-expressing intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGCs). Although several genetic models have been developed to clarify the individual roles of the rod, cone, and ipRGC systems in mediating non-image visual function, assessing the in vivo role(s) of the ipRGCs has been complicated by the possibility of ontogenetic issues in these genetically modified animal models. In the present study, we describe the development and validation of an immunotoxin that specifically targets the ipRGC population in the mature mammalian retina. This ipRGC immunotoxin, consisting of saporin conjugated to a melanopsin polyclonal antibody, was evaluated with respect to its effectiveness and specificity in depleting the ipRGC population in the fully developed rat retina. The results showed that the ipRGC toxin rapidly and permanently depleted approximately 70% of the ipRGC population, without inducing appreciable changes in the cell number or morphology of any of the non-melanopsin-containing retinal cell populations investigated. These findings suggest that the newly developed ipRGC immunotoxin provides a potent method for achieving relatively rapid, permanent, and selective depletion of the ipRGC population in a non-murine model system. The development of this ipRGC-ablation method is the next step in elucidating the role of ipRGCs in mediating non-visual and circadian light-resetting responses in a wide range of non-murine mammalian models.

Funding information:
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - R01 DK057840-09(United States)

Efferent innervation to the auditory basilar papilla of scincid lizards.

  • Wibowo E
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2009 Sep 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Hair cells of the inner ear of vertebrates are innervated by afferent neurons that transmit sensory information to the brain as well as efferent neurons that receive feedback from the brainstem. The function of the efferent feedback system is poorly understood and may have changed during evolution when different tetrapod groups acquired sensitivity to airborne sound and extended their hearing ranges to higher frequencies. Lizards show a unique subdivision of their basilar papilla (homologous to the mammalian organ of Corti) into a low-frequency (<1 kHz) and a high-frequency (approximately 1-5 kHz) region. The high-frequency region was reported to have lost its efferent innervation, suggesting it was insignificant or even functionally detrimental at higher frequencies. We re-examined the innervation to the basilar papilla of five species of Australian scincid lizards, by using immunohistochemistry. Anti-choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) was used as an efferent marker. Co-localization with anti-synaptic vesicle protein 2 confirmed the synaptic identity of label. Cholinergic terminals were observed along the whole length of the basilar papilla, including the regions that had previously been described as devoid of efferent innervation. However, there was a clear decrease in terminal density from apical, low-frequency to basal, high-frequency locations. Our findings suggest that efferent innervation is a general feature of the hair cells in the basilar papilla of lizards, irrespective of tonotopic location. This re-enforces the notion that efferent feedback control of hair cells is a fundamental and important property of all vertebrate hearing organs.

GABAergic neuron distribution in the pedunculopontine nucleus defines functional subterritories.

  • Mena-Segovia J
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2009 Aug 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA)ergic neurons are widely distributed in brainstem structures involved in the regulation of the sleep-wake cycle, locomotion, and attention. These brainstem structures include the pedunculopontine nucleus (PPN), which is traditionally characterized by its population of cholinergic neurons that have local and wide-ranging connections. The functional heterogeneity of the PPN is partially explained by the topographic distribution of cholinergic neurons, but such heterogeneity might also arise from the organization of other neuronal populations within the PPN. To understand whether a topographical organization is also maintained by GABAergic neurons, we labeled these neurons by in situ hybridization for glutamic acid decarboxylase mRNA combined with immunohistochemistry for choline acetyltransferase to reveal cholinergic neurons. We analyzed their distribution within the PPN by using a method to quantify regional differences based on stereological cell counts. We show that GABAergic neurons of the rat PPN have a rostrocaudal gradient that is opposite to that of cholinergic neurons. Indeed, GABAergic neurons are predominantly concentrated in the rostral PPN; in addition, they form, along with cholinergic neurons, a small, high-density cluster in the most caudal portion of the nucleus. Thus, we provide evidence of heterogeneity in the distribution of different neuronal populations in the PPN and show that GABAergic and cholinergic neurons define neurochemically distinct areas. Our data suggest that the PPN is neurochemically segregated, and such differences define functional territories.

Human neural stem cell grafts in the spinal cord of SOD1 transgenic rats: differentiation and structural integration into the segmental motor circuitry.

  • Xu L
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2009 Jun 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Cell replacement strategies for degenerative and traumatic diseases of the nervous system depend on the functional integration of grafted cells into host neural circuitry, a condition necessary for the propagation of physiological signals and, perhaps, targeting of trophic support to injured neurons. We have recently shown that human neural stem cell (NSC) grafts ameliorate motor neuron disease in SOD1 transgenic rodents. Here we study structural aspects of integration of neuronally differentiated human NSCs in the motor circuitry of SOD1 G93A rats. Human NSCs were grafted into the lumbar protuberance of 8-week-old SOD1 G93A rats; the results were compared to those on control Sprague-Dawley rats. Using pre-embedding immuno-electron microscopy, we found human synaptophysin (+) terminals contacting the perikarya and proximal dendrites of host alpha motor neurons. Synaptophysin (+) terminals had well-formed synaptic vesicles and were associated with membrane specializations primarily in the form of symmetrical synapses. To analyze the anatomy of motor circuits engaging differentiated NSCs, we injected the retrograde transneuronal tracer Bartha-pseudorabies virus (PRV) or the retrograde marker cholera toxin B (CTB) into the gastrocnemius muscle/sciatic nerve of SOD1 rats before disease onset and also into control rats. With this tracing, NSC-derived neurons were labeled with PRV but not CTB, a pattern suggesting that PRV entered NSC-derived neurons via transneuronal transfer from host motor neurons but not via direct transport from the host musculature. Our results indicate an advanced degree of structural integration, via functional synapses, of differentiated human NSCs into the segmental motor circuitry of SOD1-G93A rats.

Variability in the occurrence of nitric oxide synthase immunoreactivity in different populations of rat sympathetic preganglionic neurons.

  • Hinrichs JM
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2009 Jun 10

Literature context:


Abstract:

The proportion of sympathetic preganglionic neurons (SPN) showing nitric oxide synthase (NOS) immunoreactivity appears to vary with innervation target and blood pressure level. For normotensive Sprague-Dawley rats (SD), we evaluated peroxidase immunolabelling for choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) plus NOS in spinal cord segments T1-L2 and assessed NOS immunofluorescence in SPN retrogradely labelled with cholera toxin B subunit from the adrenal medulla (AM) or superior cervical (SCG), coeliac (CG), or major pelvic (MPG) ganglia. We also compared the distributions and numbers of NOS-positive and NOS-negative/ChAT-positive lateral horn neurons in SD with those in normotensive Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) and spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR). In SD, WKY, and SHR, rostrocaudal, dorsoventral, and mediolateral differences occurred in the distributions of NOS-positive and NOS-negative/ChAT-positive neurons in the intermediolateral cell column (IML), whereas the two groups were similarly distributed throughout the central autonomic area (CAA). Among the four retrogradely labelled populations of SPN, the percentages showing NOS immunoreactivity differed (CG-projecting, 54.8% +/- 0.7%; SCG-projecting, 75.3% +/- 1.2%; MPG-projecting, 89% +/- 1.1% and AM-projecting, 98.6% +/- 0.2%). Within each retrogradely labelled group of SPN, the NOS-positive proportion also varied with subnuclear location (e.g., 25.5% +/- 4.0% of CG-projecting SPN in the CAA vs. 82.7% +/- 7.6% of CG-projecting SPN in the dorsolateral funiculus). The numbers of NOS-positive and NOS-negative/ChAT-positive neurons in T9-T11 were the same in SD and SHR but differed in WKY. Our results show that the expression of NOS within SPN varies depending on the target that they innervate and also on their subnuclear location. Our data indicate that there are no anatomical differences between nitric oxide-synthesizing SPN in normotensive SD and hypertensive SHR.

Funding information:
  • NIMH NIH HHS - R01 MH077556(United States)

Afferents to the GABAergic tail of the ventral tegmental area in the rat.

  • Kaufling J
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2009 Apr 20

Literature context:


Abstract:

We previously showed that chronic psychostimulant exposure induces the transcription factor DeltaFosB in gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)ergic neurons of the caudal tier of the ventral tegmental area (VTA). This subregion was defined as the tail of the VTA (tVTA). In the present study, we showed that tVTA can also be visualized by analyzing FosB/DeltaFosB response following acute cocaine injection. This induction occurs in GABAergic neurons, as identified by glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD) expression. To characterize tVTA further, we mapped its inputs by using the retrograde tracers Fluoro-Gold or cholera toxin B subunit. Retrogradely labeled neurons were observed in the medial prefrontal cortex, the lateral septum, the ventral pallidum, the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis, the substantia innominata, the medial and lateral preoptic areas, the lateral and dorsal hypothalamic areas, the lateral habenula, the intermediate layers of the superior colliculus, the dorsal raphe, the periaqueductal gray, and the mesencephalic and pontine reticular formation. Projections from the prefrontal cortex, the hypothalamus, and the lateral habenula to the tVTA were also shown by using the anterograde tracer biotinylated dextran amine (BDA). We showed that the central nucleus of the amygdala innervates the anterior extent of the VTA but not the tVTA. Moreover, the tVTA mainly receives non-aminergic inputs from the dorsal raphe and the locus coeruleus. Although the tVTA has a low density of dopaminergic neurons, its afferents are mostly similar to those targeting the rest of the VTA. This suggests that the tVTA can be considered as a VTA subregion despite its caudal location.

Mediolateral and rostrocaudal topographic organization of the sympathetic preganglionic cell pool in the spinal cord of Xenopus laevis.

  • Nakano M
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2009 Mar 20

Literature context:


Abstract:

The sympathetic preganglionic cell pool in Xenopus laevis can be divided into four parts, i.e., the intercalated nucleus (IC) and the intermediolateral nucleus (IML) located respectively at the medial and the lateral borders of the lateral field, the lateral funiculus, and the ventral field within the thoracolumbar spinal segments. We compared the location of the preganglionic cells labeled following tracer application to the paravertebral sympathetic chain with those labeled following application to the celiac ganglion (CG), the adrenal gland (AG), and the splanchnic nerves (SNs) and found that their relative contribution differs depending on the sites. In tracer application to the paravertebral chain ganglia and the sympathetic trunk, 31.4-41.9% and 43.9-58.4% of labeled cells were detected respectively in the IC and in the IML, whereas application to the CG, AG, and on all the SNs, revealed that more than 84% of labeled cells were found in the IML and in the lateral funiculus with less than 8.6% in the IC. The contribution of the ventral field cells was less than 7.5% in all experiments. This type of topographic cytoarchitecture is a character shared with the mammalian preganglionic cell pool, but what distinguishes it from that of mammals is its systematic form throughout the entire longitudinal extent of the pool. In Xenopus, differences of mean soma areas and dendritic projections of labeled cells also suggest that the cell pools are distinguished not only by their location and axonal projections, but also by the morphology of their cells.

Axotomy alters alternative splicing of choline acetyltransferase in the rat dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus nerve.

  • Saito A
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2009 Mar 10

Literature context:


Abstract:

Choline acetyltransferase of the peripheral type (pChAT) is a splice variant that lacks exons 6-9 of the common-type ChAT (cChAT); the role of pChAT remains unknown. We investigated the expression of pChAT and cChAT after axotomy to try to elucidate its function. In the dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus nerve (DMNV), nucleus ambiguus (NA), and hypoglossal nucleus (HN) of control rats, we observed neural expression of cChAT but no pChAT-positive neurons. Following nerve transection, we clearly detected pChAT-labeled neurons in the DMNV and weakly labeled neurons in the NA, but pChAT was not seen in the HN. In the DMNV, the mean number of cChAT-positive neurons decreased rapidly to 40.5% of control at 3 days post transection, and to 5.0% of control after 7 days. The number of cChAT-positive neurons then gradually increased and reached a plateau of about 25% of control value at 28 days post transection. pChAT-positive neurons did not appear until 7 days after transection. On the same day, pChAT mRNA was detected in the DMNV neurons by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) by using laser capture microdissection. The number of pChAT-positive neurons gradually decreased, and only 10% of the cholinergic neurons retained pChAT expression 56 days post transection. Double-immunofluorescence analysis showed that some of the DMNV neurons expressed both cChAT and pChAT upon recovery from axotomy. These results suggest that the expression of pChAT is associated with the regenerative or degenerative processes of motoneurons especially for general visceral efferents.

Funding information:
  • NICHD NIH HHS - HD21294(United States)

Components and properties of the G3 ganglion cell circuit in the rabbit retina.

  • Hoshi H
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2009 Mar 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Each point on the retina is sampled by about 15 types of ganglion cell, each of which is an element in a circuit also containing specific types of bipolar cell and amacrine cell. Only a few of these circuits are well characterized. We found that intracellular injection of Neurobiotin into a specific ganglion cell type targeted by fluorescent markers also stained an asymmetrically branching ganglion cell. It was also tracer-coupled to an unusual type of amacrine cell whose dendrites were strongly asymmetric, coursing in a narrow bundle from the soma in the dorsal direction only. The dendritic field of the ganglion cell stratifies initially in sublamina b (the ON layers), but with few specializations and branches, and then more extensively in sublamina a (the OFF layers) at the level of the processes of the coupled amacrine cell. Intersections of the ganglion and amacrine cell processes contain puncta immunopositive for Cx36. Additionally, we found that the dopaminergic amacrine cell makes contact with both the ganglion cell and the amacrine cell, and that a bipolar cell immunopositive for calbindin synapses onto the sublamina b processes of the ganglion cell. Dopamine D(1) receptor activation reduced tracer flow to the amacrine cells. We have thus targeted and characterized two poorly understood retinal cell types and placed them with two other cell types in a substantial portion of a new retinal circuit. This unique circuit comprised of pronounced asymmetries in the ganglion cell and amacrine cell dendritic fields may result in a substantial orientation bias.

Connexin36, an essential element in the rod pathway, is highly expressed in the essentially rodless retina of Gallus gallus.

  • Kihara AH
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2009 Feb 10

Literature context:


Abstract:

Electrical coupling provided by connexins (Cx) in gap junctions (GJ) plays important roles in both the developing and the mature retina. In mammalian nocturnal species, Cx36 is an essential component in the rod pathway, the retinal circuit specialized for night, scotopic vision. Here, we report the expression of Cx36 in a species (Gallus gallus) that phylogenetic development endows with an essentially rodless retina. Cx36 gene is very highly expressed in comparison with other Cxs previously described in the adult retina, such as Cx43, Cx45, and Cx50. Moreover, real-time PCR, Western blot, and immunofluorescence all revealed that Cx36 expression massively increased over time during development. We thoroughly examined Cx36 in the inner and outer plexiform layers, where this protein was particularly abundant. Cx36 was observed mainly in the off sublamina of the inner plexiform layer rather than in the on sublamina previously described in the mammalian retina. In addition, Cx36 colocalized with specific cell markers, revealing the expression of this protein in distinct amacrine cells. To investigate further the involvement of Cx36 in visual processing, we examined its functional regulation in retinas from dark-adapted animals. Light deprivation markedly up-regulates Cx36 gene expression in the retina, resulting in an increased accumulation of the protein within and between cone synaptic terminals. In summary, the developmental regulation of Cx36 expression results in particular circuitry-related roles in the chick retina. Moreover, this study demonstrated that Cx36 onto- and phylogenesis in the vertebrate retina simultaneously exhibit similarities and particularities.

Funding information:
  • NINDS NIH HHS - U24-NS050606(United States)

Development of the serotoninergic system in the central nervous system of a shark, the lesser spotted dogfish Scyliorhinus canicula.

  • Carrera I
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2008 Dec 20

Literature context:


Abstract:

Chondrychthyans (cartilaginous fishes) are key to understanding the ancestral gnathostome condition since they provide an outgroup to sarcopterygians and actinopterygians. To gain comparative knowledge about the development of the vertebrate serotoninergic systems, we studied by immunohistochemistry the origin, spatiotemporal organization, and migration patterns of serotonin-containing neurons and the growth of axonal pathways in the central nervous system of a shark, the lesser spotted dogfish. Hindbrain serotonin-immunoreactive cells arose close to the floor plate and most populations migrated ventrally and mediolaterally to form the various raphe and reticular groups. The order of appearance of serotoninergic populations in the rhombencephalon and spinal cord (first the superior groups and then the inferior and spinal populations) roughly matched with that reported in other vertebrates but important differences were noted in the formation of prosencephalic groups in fishes. In addition to preoptic and hypothalamic areas, serotoninergic cerebrospinal fluid-contacting cells were observed in the isthmus (raphe dorsalis anterioris). Transient serotonin-immunoreactive cells were noted in the pineal organ, habenula, and pretectum. Further, we provide a revised anatomical framework for reticular and raphe serotoninergic populations considering their origin and segmental organization. Two distinct phases of development of the serotoninergic innervation were distinguished, that of the formation of the main axonal pathways and that of the branching of fibers. The development of main serotoninergic ascending pathways in dogfish was notably similar to that described in mammals. Our findings suggest the conservation of developmental patterns in serotoninergic systems and enhance the importance of elasmobranchs for understanding the early evolution of this system in vertebrates.

Funding information:
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R03 NS062431-01(United States)

Differential expression of canonical (classical) transient receptor potential channels in guinea pig enteric nervous system.

  • Liu S
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2008 Dec 20

Literature context:


Abstract:

The canonical transient receptor potential (TRPC) family of ion channels is implicated in many neuronal processes including calcium homeostasis, membrane excitability, synaptic transmission, and axon guidance. TRPC channels are postulated to be important in the functional neurobiology of the enteric nervous system (ENS); nevertheless, details for expression in the ENS are lacking. Reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction, Western blotting, and immunohistochemistry were used to study the expression and localization of TRPC channels. We found mRNA transcripts, protein on Western blots, and immunoreactivity (IR) for TRPC1/3/4/6 expressed in the small intestinal ENS of adult guinea pigs. TRPC1/3/4/6-IR was localized to distinct subpopulations of enteric neurons and was differentially distributed between the myenteric and submucosal divisions of the ENS. TRPC1-IR was widely distributed and localized to neurons with cholinergic, calretinin, and nitrergic neuronal immunochemical codes in the myenteric plexus. It was localized to both cholinergic and noncholinergic secretomotor neurons in the submucosal plexus. TRPC3-IR was found only in the submucosal plexus and was expressed exclusively by neuropeptide Y-IR neurons. TRPC4/6-IR was expressed in only a small population of myenteric neurons, but was abundantly expressed in the submucosal plexus. TRPC4/6-IR was coexpressed with both cholinergic and nitrergic neurochemical codes in the myenteric plexus. In the submucosal plexus, TRPC4/6-IR was expressed exclusively in noncholinergic secretomotor neurons. No TRPC1/3/4/6-IR was found in calbindin-IR neurons. TRPC3/4/6-IR was widely expressed along varicose nerve fibers and colocalized with synaptophysin-IR at putative neurotransmitter release sites. Our results suggest important roles for TRPC channels in ENS physiology and neuronal regulation of gut function.

Retinal anatomy and visual performance in a diurnal cone-rich laboratory rodent, the Nile grass rat (Arvicanthis niloticus).

  • Gaillard F
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2008 Oct 10

Literature context:


Abstract:

Unlike laboratory rats and mice, muridae of the Arvicanthis family (A. ansorgei and A. niloticus) are adapted to functioning best in daylight. To date, they have been used as experimental models mainly in studies of circadian rhythms. However, recent work aimed at optimizing photoreceptor-directed gene delivery vectors (Khani et al. [2007] Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 48:3954-3961) suggests their potential usefulness for studying retinal pathologies and therapies. In the present study we analyzed the retinal anatomy and visual performance of the Nile grass rat (A. niloticus) using immunohistofluorescence and the optokinetic response (OKR). We found that approximately 35-40% of photoreceptors are cones; that many neural features of the inner retina are similar to those in other diurnal mammals; and that spatial acuity, measured by the OKR, is more than two times that of the usual laboratory rodents. These observations are consistent with the known diurnal habits of this animal, and further support its pertinence as a complementary model for studies of structure, function, and pathology in cone-rich mammalian retinae.

Funding information:
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - R01 GM071832-03(United States)

Wolfram syndrome 1 (Wfs1) gene expression in the normal mouse visual system.

  • Kawano J
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2008 Sep 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Wolfram syndrome (OMIM 222300) is a neurodegenerative disorder defined by insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus and progressive optic atrophy. This syndrome has been attributed to mutations in the WFS1 gene, which codes for a putative multi-spanning membrane glycoprotein of the endoplasmic reticulum. The function of WFS1 (wolframin), the distribution of this protein in the mammalian visual system, and the pathogenesis of optic atrophy in Wolfram syndrome are unclear. In this study we made a detailed analysis of the distribution of Wfs1 mRNA and protein in the normal mouse visual system by using in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry. The mRNA and protein were observed in the retina, optic nerve, and brain. In the retina, Wfs1 expression was strong in amacrine and Müller cells, and moderate in photoreceptors and horizontal cells. In addition, it was detectable in bipolar and retinal ganglion cells. Interestingly, moderate Wfs1 expression was seen in the optic nerve, particularly in astrocytes, while little Wfs1 was expressed in the optic chiasm or optic tract. In the brain, moderate Wfs1 expression was observed in the zonal, superficial gray, and intermediate gray layers of the superior colliculus, in the dorsomedial part of the suprachiasmatic nucleus, and in layer II of the primary and secondary visual cortices. Thus, Wfs1 mRNA and protein were widely distributed in the normal mouse visual system. This evidence may provide clues as to the physiological role of Wfs1 protein in the biology of vision, and help to explain the selective vulnerability of the optic nerve to WFS1 loss-of-function.

Funding information:
  • NIMH NIH HHS - R01 MH049428(United States)

Distinct molecular pathways for development of telencephalic interneuron subtypes revealed through analysis of Lhx6 mutants.

  • Zhao Y
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2008 Sep 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Here we analyze the role of the Lhx6 lim-homeobox transcription factor in regulating the development of subsets of neocortical, hippocampal, and striatal interneurons. An Lhx6 loss-of-function allele, which expresses placental alkaline phosphatase (PLAP), allowed analysis of the development and fate of Lhx6-expressing interneurons in mice lacking this homeobox transcription factor. There are Lhx6+;Dlx+ and Lhx6-;Dlx+ subtypes of tangentially migrating interneurons. Most interneurons in Lhx6(PLAP/PLAP) mutants migrate to the cortex, although less efficiently, and exhibit defects in populating the marginal zone and superficial parts of the neocortical plate. By contrast, migration to superficial parts of the hippocampus is not seriously affected. Furthermore, whereas parvalbumin+ and somatostatin+ interneurons do not differentiate, NPY+ interneurons are present; we suggest that these NPY+ interneurons are derived from the Lhx6-;Dlx+ subtype. Striatal interneurons show deficits distinct from pallial interneurons, including a reduction in the NPY+ subtype. We provide evidence that Lhx6 mediates these effects through promoting expression of receptors that regulate interneuron migration (ErbB4, CXCR4, and CXCR7), and through promoting the expression of transcription factors either known (Arx) or implicated (bMaf, Cux2, and NPAS1) in controlling interneuron development.

Development of enteric and vagal innervation of the zebrafish (Danio rerio) gut.

  • Olsson C
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2008 Jun 10

Literature context:


Abstract:

The autonomic nervous system develops following migration and differentiation of precursor cells originating in the neural crest. Using immunohistochemistry on intact zebrafish embryos and larvae we followed the development of the intrinsic enteric and extrinsic vagal innervation of the gut. At 3 days postfertilization (dpf), enteric nerve cell bodies and fibers were seen mainly in the middle and distal intestine, while the innervation of the proximal intestine was scarcer. The number of fibers and cell bodies gradually increased, although a large intraindividual variation was seen in the timing (but not the order) of development. At 11-13 dpf most of the proximal intestine received a similar degree of innervation as the rest of the gut. The main intestinal branches of the vagus were similarly often already well developed at 3 dpf, entering the gut at the transition between the proximal and middle intestine and projecting posteriorly along the length of the gut. Subsequently, fibers branching off the vagus innervated all regions of the gut. The presence of several putative enteric neurotransmitters was suggested by using markers for neurokinin A (NKA), pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP), vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP), nitric oxide, serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT), and calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP). The present results corroborate the belief that the enteric innervation is well developed before the onset of feeding (normally occurring around 5-6 dpf). Further, the more detailed picture of how development proceeds at stages previously not examined suggests a correlation between increasing innervation and more regular and elaborated motility patterns.

Funding information:
  • NIDA NIH HHS - DA16272(United States)
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - GM069593(United States)

A novel basal ganglia pathway forms a loop linking a vocal learning circuit with its dopaminergic input.

  • Gale SD
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2008 Jun 10

Literature context:


Abstract:

Dopamine has been implicated in mediating contextual modulation of motor behaviors and learning in many species. In songbirds, dopamine may act on the basal ganglia nucleus Area X to influence the neural activity that contributes to vocal learning and contextual changes in song variability. Neurons in midbrain dopamine centers, the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNc) and ventral tegmental area (VTA), densely innervate Area X and show singing-related changes in firing rate. In addition, dopamine levels in Area X change during singing. It is unknown, however, how song-related information could reach dopaminergic neurons. Here we report an anatomical pathway that could provide song-related information to the SNc and VTA. By using injections of bidirectionally transported fluorescent tracers in adult male zebra finches, we show that Area X and other song control nuclei do not project directly to the SNc or VTA. Instead, we describe an indirect pathway from Area X to midbrain dopaminergic neurons via a connection in the ventral pallidum (VP). Specifically, Area X projects to the VP via axon collaterals of Area X output neurons that also project to the thalamus. Dual injections revealed that the area of VP receiving input from Area X projects to the SNc and VTA. Furthermore, VP terminals in the SNc and VTA overlap with cells that project back to Area X. A portion of the arcopallium also projects to the SNc and VTA and could carry auditory information. These data demonstrate an anatomical loop through which Area X activity could influence its dopaminergic input.

Mirror-symmetrical populations of wide-field amacrine cells of the macaque monkey retina.

  • Majumdar S
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2008 May 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Retinas of macaque monkeys were immunostained for glycogen phosphorylase (glypho). Glypho was localized to regular and displaced amacrine cells. Their processes occupied two narrow strata within the inner plexiform layer (IPL). The labeling pattern is reminiscent of cholinergic amacrine cells; however, double immunostaining of the retinas for choline acetyltransferase and glypho revealed two different cell populations. Intracellular injection of DiI showed that glypho-immunoreactive amacrine cells are wide-field amacrine cells with straight, radially oriented, and sparsely branched dendrites. The density of the cells increased from approximately 70/mm(2) in the peripheral retina to approximately 700/mm(2) in the central retina. The regular glypho-immunoreactive amacrine cells branch in sublamina 2 of the IPL, where they receive input from OFF-cone bipolar cells. The displaced cells branch in sublamina 3/4 and receive input from ON-cone bipolar cells. This suggests that the regular cells are OFF-cells and the displaced cells are ON-cells. The cells express gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)-like immunoreactivity and receive glycinergic input through synapses expressing preferentially the glycine receptor alpha2 subunit. The close proximity of the dendritic strata of glypho-immunoreactive amacrine cells, cholinergic amacrine cells, and direction-selective ganglion cells suggests a possible role of the cells in the generation of direction-selective light responses of the monkey retina.

Funding information:
  • NEI NIH HHS - R01 EY017037(United States)

Spatial patterning of cholinergic amacrine cells in the mouse retina.

  • Whitney IE
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2008 May 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

The two populations of cholinergic amacrine cells in the inner nuclear layer (INL) and the ganglion cell layer (GCL) differ in their spatial organization in the mouse retina, but the basis for this difference is not understood. The present investigation examined this issue in six strains of mice that differ in their number of cholinergic cells, addressing how the regularity, packing, and spacing of these cells varies as a function of strain, layer, and density. The number of cholinergic cells was lower in the GCL than in the INL in all six strains. The nearest neighbor and Voronoi domain regularity indexes as well as the packing factor were each consistently lower for the GCL. While these regularity indexes and the packing factor were largely stable across variation in density, the effective radius was inversely related to density for both the GCL and INL, being smaller and more variable in the GCL. Consequently, despite the lower densities in the GCL, neighboring cells were more likely to be positioned closer to one another than in the higher-density INL, thereby reducing regularity and packing. This difference in the spatial organization of cholinergic cells may be due to the cells in the GCL having been passively displaced by fascicles of optic axons and an expanding retinal vasculature during development. In support of this interpretation, we show such displacement of cholinergic somata relative to their dendritic stalks and a decline in packing efficiency and regularity during postnatal development that is more severe for the GCL.

Funding information:
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS077989(United States)

Role of acetylcholine in nitric oxide production in the salamander retina.

  • Cimini BA
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2008 Apr 20

Literature context:


Abstract:

Although acetylcholine is one of the most widely studied neurotransmitters in the retina, many questions remain about its downstream signaling mechanisms. In this study we initially characterized the cholinergic neurotransmitter system in the salamander retina by localizing a variety of cholinergic markers. We then examined the link between both muscarinic and nicotinic receptor activation and nitric oxide production by using immunocytochemistry for cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) as an indicator. We found a large increase in cGMP-like immunoreactivity (cGMP-LI) in the inner retina in response to muscarinic (but not nicotinic) receptor activation. Based on the amplification of mRNA transcripts, receptor immunocytochemistry, and the use of selective antagonists, we identified these receptors as M2 muscarinic receptors. Using double-labeling techniques, we established that these increases in cGMP-LI were seen in GABAergic but not cholinergic amacrine cells, and that the increases were blocked by inhibitors of nitric oxide production. The creation of nitric oxide in response to cholinergic receptor activation may provide a mechanism for modulating the well-known mutual interactions of acetylcholine-glycine-GABA in the inner retina. As GABA and glycine are the primary inhibitory neurotransmitters in the retina, signaling pathways that modulate their levels or release will have major implications for the processing of complex stimuli by the retina.

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - R01 CA069202(United States)

Comparison of the distributions of urocortin-containing and cholinergic neurons in the perioculomotor midbrain of the cat and macaque.

  • May PJ
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2008 Mar 20

Literature context:


Abstract:

Urocortin is a novel neurotransmitter that appears to play a role in eating and drinking behavior. Most urocortin-positive (urocortin(+)) neurons in rodents are found in the cytoarchitecturally defined Edinger-Westphal nucleus (EW). However, the EW is traditionally described as the source of the preganglionic parasympathetic outflow to the ciliary ganglion. We examined the distribution of urocortin(+) cells and motoneurons by use of immunohistochemical staining for this peptide and for choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) in macaque monkeys, in which most preganglionic motoneurons inhabit the EW, and in cats, in which most do not. In both species, lack of overt double labeling indicated that the ChAT(+) and urocortin(+) cells are separate populations. In the monkey, most nonoculomotor ChAT(+) neurons were found within the EW. In contrast, urocortin(+) cells were distributed mainly between the oculomotor nuclei and in the supraoculomotor area. In the cat, most nonoculomotor ChAT(+) cells were located in the supraoculomotor area and anteromedian nucleus. Few were present in the cat EW. Instead, this nucleus was filled with urocortin(+) cells. These results highlight the fact the term EW has come to indicate different nuclei in different species. Consequently, we have adopted the identifiers preganglionic (EW(PG)) and urocortin-containing (EW(U)) to designate the cytoarchitecturally defined EW nuclei in monkeys and cats, respectively. Furthermore, we propose a new open-ended nomenclature for the perioculomotor (pIII) cells groups that have distinctive projections and neurochemical signatures. This will allow more effective scientific discourse on the connections and function of groups such as the periculomotor urocortin (pIII(U)) and preganglionic (pIII(PG)) populations.

Funding information:
  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research - 115076-1(Canada)

Perioculomotor cell groups in monkey and man defined by their histochemical and functional properties: reappraisal of the Edinger-Westphal nucleus.

  • Horn AK
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2008 Mar 20

Literature context:


Abstract:

The perioculomotor region contains several functional cell groups, including parasympathetic preganglionic neurons of the ciliary ganglion, motoneurons of multiply innervated muscle fibers (MIF) of extraocular muscles, and urocortin-positive neurons. In this study, midbrain sections of monkey and human were treated with antibodies against choline acetyltransferase (ChAT), cytochrome oxidase (CytOx), nonphosphorylated neurofilaments (NP-NF), chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan (CSPG), and urocortin (UCN) to identify them by their histochemical properties. To facilitate the comparison between species, a new nomenclature was introduced (see also May et al., 2007), which designates these perioculomotor cell populations (pIII) in terms of their function and histochemical properties. The name Edinger-Westphal nucleus (EW) is kept for the cytoarchitecturally defined cell group traditionally considered as the location of preganglionic neurons of the ciliary ganglion. In monkey, the EW contains ChAT-positive presumed preganglionic neurons, and is therefore termed EW(PG), but in contrast human EW consists of noncholinergic UCN-positive neurons, and is therefore termed EW(U). In human, the presumed preganglionic neurons were found dorsal to EW(U), as an inconspicuous group of ChAT- and CytOx-positive neurons. They were interspersed with prominent CSPG-positive cells, a pattern also present in monkey. For the first time, the MIF motoneurons could be identified around the medial aspect of the human oculomotor nucleus as a group of ChAT-positive neurons that lack CSPG-positive perineuronal nets. Moreover, the Perlia nucleus was found to share the histochemical properties of oculomotor twitch motoneurons. The present results form the basis for addressing the appropriate functional cell groups in correlative clinicopathological studies.

Funding information:
  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research - MOP-81270(Canada)

Fate mapping Nkx2.1-lineage cells in the mouse telencephalon.

  • Xu Q
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2008 Jan 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

The homeodomain transcription factor Nkx2.1 is expressed in the pallidal (subcortical) telencephalon, including the medial ganglionic eminence (MGE) and preoptic area. Studies have shown that Nkx2.1 is required for normal patterning of the MGE and for the specification of the parvalbumin (PV)- and somatostatin (SST)-expressing cortical interneurons. To define the contribution of Nkx2.1 lineages to neurons in the mature telencephalon, we have generated transgenic mice carrying the genomic integration of a modified bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) in which the second exon of Nkx2.1 is replaced by the Cre recombinase. Analysis of these mice has found that they express the Cre recombinase and Cre reporters within Nkx2.1-expressing domains of the brain, thyroid, pituitary, and lung. Telencephalic expression of reporters begins at about embryonic day 10.5. Expression both of Cre and of recombination-based Cre reporters is weaker within the dorsalmost region of the MGE than in other Nkx2.1-expressing regions. In this paper, we present fate-mapping data on Nkx2.1-lineage neurons throughout the telencephalon, including the cerebral cortex, amygdala, olfactory bulb, striatum, globus pallidus, septum, and nucleus basalis.

Funding information:
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS059600(United States)

Cholinergic innervation of the frontal cortex: differences among humans, chimpanzees, and macaque monkeys.

  • Raghanti MA
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2008 Jan 20

Literature context:


Abstract:

Cholinergic innervation of the frontal cortex is important in higher cognitive functions and may have been altered in humans relative to other species to support human-specific intellectual capacities. To evaluate this hypothesis we conducted quantitative comparative analyses of choline acetyltransferase-immunoreactive axons in cortical areas 9, 32, and 4 among humans, chimpanzees, and macaque monkeys. Area 9 of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex is involved in inductive reasoning and specific components of working memory processes, while area 32 of the medial prefrontal cortex has been implicated in theory of mind. Area 4 (primary motor cortex) was also evaluated because it is not directly associated with higher cognitive functions. The findings revealed no quantitative species differences in the three cortical areas examined, indicating that human cognitive specializations are not related to a quantitative increase in cortical cholinergic input. However, species-specific morphological specializations were observed. Clusters of cholinergic fibers that may be indicative of cortical plasticity events were present in chimpanzees and humans, but not in macaques. The other significant morphology noted was the common and distinctive oval or ovoid perisomatic staining in macaque cortices. This feature was also sporadically observed in chimpanzee cortex. Our findings suggest a potential alteration of cortical cholinergic afferents within the prefrontal cortex of humans and chimpanzees, to the exclusion of macaque monkeys.

Funding information:
  • NEI NIH HHS - R37 EY006837(United States)

Development of starburst cholinergic amacrine cells in the retina of Tupaia belangeri.

  • Knabe W
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2007 Jun 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

"Starburst" cholinergic amacrines specify the response of direction-selective ganglion cells to image motion. Here, development of cholinergic amacrines was studied in the tree shrew Tupaia belangeri (Scandentia) by immunohistochemistry with antibodies against choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) and neurofilament proteins. Starburst amacrines expressed ChAT much earlier than previously thought. From embryonic day 34 (E34) onward, orthotopic and displaced subpopulations segregated from a single cluster of immunoreactive precursor cells. Orthotopic starburst amacrines rapidly took up positions in the inner nuclear layer. Displaced starburst amacrines were first arranged in a monocellular row in the inner plexiform layer, and, with a delay of 1 week, they descended to the ganglion cell layer. Conversely, dendritic stratification of displaced amacrines slightly preceded that of orthotopic ones. Starburst amacrines expressed the medium-molecular-weight neurofilament protein (NF-M) from E34 to postnatal day 11 (P11) and coexpressed alpha-internexin from E36.5 to P11. Consequently, neurofilaments composed of alpha-internexin and NF-M may stabilize developing dendrites of starburst amacrines. During the first 2 postnatal weeks, subpopulations of anti-NF-M-labeled ganglion cells costratified with the preexisting dendritic strata of starburst amacrines in the ON sublamina, OFF sublamina, or both. Hence, anti-NF-M-labeled ganglion cells may include direction-selective ones. Thereafter, NF-M and alpha-internexin proteins disappeared from starburst amacrines, and NF-M immunoreactivity was lost in the dendrites of ganglion cells. Our findings suggest that NF-M and alpha-internexin are important for starburst amacrines and ganglion cells to recognize each other and, thus, contribute to the formation of early developing retinal circuits in the inner plexiform layer.

Funding information:
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01NS082672(United States)

Differential distribution of hyperpolarization-activated and cyclic nucleotide-gated channels in cone bipolar cells of the rat retina.

  • Fyk-Kolodziej B
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2007 Apr 20

Literature context:


Abstract:

The hyperpolarization-activated and cyclic nucleotide-gated (HCN) channel isoforms HCN1, HCN2, and HCN4 were localized by immunofluorescence in the rat retina. Double labeling with the vesicular glutamate transporter (VGLUT1) was used to identify bipolar cell axon terminals in the inner retina. The HCN1 channel was localized to two cell types with differing intracellular distributions, insofar as staining was seen in the dendrites of a putative OFF-type cone bipolar cell and in the axon terminals of an ON-type bipolar that ramifies in stratum 3 (s3) of the inner plexiform layer (IPL). Staining for HCN4 was seen in two sets of bipolar axon terminals located in s2 and s3 and positioned between the two bands of choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) staining. The cells that ramify in s2 were identified as type 3 cone bipolar cells and the cells that ramify in s3 cells as a subclass of type 5 cone bipolars. The latter group, designated here as type 5b, exhibit diffuse axon terminals and can be distinguished from the narrowly stratifying type 5a cells. Double labeling showed that type 5b cone bipolar cells express both HCN1 and HCN4 as well as HCN2. Superposition of HCN channel labeling with VGLUT1 staining confirmed the presence of a cone bipolar cell whose terminals ramify in the same stratum of the IPL as type 5b cells but that do not express these HCN channels.

Funding information:
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - R01 DK084352(United States)

Metabotropic glutamate receptor 4-immunopositive terminals of medium-sized spiny neurons selectively form synapses with cholinergic interneurons in the rat neostriatum.

  • Kuramoto E
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2007 Feb 10

Literature context:


Abstract:

Metabotropic glutamate receptor 4 (mGluR4) is localized mainly to presynaptic membranes in the brain. Rat neostriatum has been reported to contain two types of mGluR4-immunoreactive axon varicosities: small, weakly immunoreactive varicosities that were distributed randomly (type 1) and large, intensely immunoreactive ones that were often aligned linearly (type 2). In the present study, most type 1 terminals formed asymmetric synapses on dendritic spines, whereas type 2 terminals made symmetric synapses on dendritic shafts, showing immunoreactivity for GABAergic markers. After depletion of neostriatal neurons, type 2 but not type 1 varicosities were largely decreased in the damaged region. When medium-sized spiny neurons (MSNs) were labeled with Sindbis virus expressing membrane-targeted green fluorescent protein, mGluR4 immunoreactivity was observed on some varicosities of their axon collaterals in immunofluorescence and immunoelectron microscopies. Furthermore, type 2 varicosities were often positive for substance P but mostly negative for striatal interneuron markers and preproenkephalin. Thus, striatonigral/striato-entopeduncular MSNs are likely to be the largest source of type 2 mGluR4-immunopositive axon terminals in the neostriatum. Next, in the double-immunofluorescence study, almost all choline acetyltransferase (ChAT)-immunopositive and 41% of NK1 receptor-positive dendrites were heavily associated with type 2 mGluR4-immunoreactive varicosities. Neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS)-positive dendrites, in contrast, seemed associated with only a few type 2 varicosities. Conversely, almost all type 2 varicosities were closely apposed to NK1 receptor-positive dendrites that were known to be derived from cholinergic and nNOS-producing interneurons. These findings indicate that the mGluR4-positive terminals of MSN axon collaterals selectively form synapses with neostriatal cholinergic interneurons.

Funding information:
  • NCRR NIH HHS - P20 RR017677(United States)
  • NINDS NIH HHS - NS34865(United States)

Epidermal growth factor receptor in adult retinal neurons of rat, mouse, and human.

  • Chen H
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2007 Jan 10

Literature context:


Abstract:

During development, the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) regulates proliferation and differentiation of many types of cells, including precursors of neurons and glia. In the adult, EGFR continues to drive the growth and differentiation of epithelial cells but is absent from glia in the CNS. However, the localization and functions of EGFR in adult neurons are not well defined. By using immunohistochemistry and Western blotting, we have identified EGFR and its ligands in adult retinal ganglion cells in the normal rat, mouse, and human retina. EGFR and its ligands were also present in certain other adult retinal neurons, for example, horizontal cells and amacrine cells, and had different distribution patterns among these species. In addition, we found that EGFR was expressed in the rat retinal ganglion cell line RGC-5. One of the EGFR ligands, EGF, caused a cell shape change and increased neurofilament phosphorylation in RGC-5 cells. The expression of EGFR in postmitotic, terminally differentiated adult retinal neurons suggests that EGFR has pleiotropic functions. In addition to the conventional mitogenic role in adult epithelial cells, EGFR must serve a different, nonmitogenic function in adult neurons. Our work localizes EGFR and its ligands in the adult retinas of several species as a step toward investigating the nonmitogenic functions of EGFR in adult neurons.

Funding information:
  • NHGRI NIH HHS - U01-HG003162(United States)

Horizontal eye movement networks in primates as revealed by retrograde transneuronal transfer of rabies virus: differences in monosynaptic input to "slow" and "fast" abducens motoneurons.

  • Ugolini G
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2006 Oct 20

Literature context:


Abstract:

The sources of monosynaptic input to "fast" and "slow" abducens motoneurons (MNs) were revealed in primates by retrograde transneuronal tracing with rabies virus after injection either into the distal or central portions of the lateral rectus (LR) muscle, containing, respectively, "en grappe" endplates innervating slow muscle fibers or "en plaque" motor endplates innervating fast fibers. Rabies uptake involved exclusively motor endplates within the injected portion of the muscle. At 2.5 days after injections, remarkable differences of innervation of slow and fast MNs were demonstrated. Premotor connectivity of slow MNs, revealed here for the first time, involves mainly the supraoculomotor area, central mesencephalic reticular formation, and portions of medial vestibular and prepositus hypoglossi nuclei carrying eye position and smooth pursuit signals. Results suggest that slow MNs are involved exclusively in slow eye movements (vergence and possibly smooth pursuit), muscle length stabilization and gaze holding (fixation), and rule out their participation in fast eye movements (saccades, vestibulo-ocular reflex). By contrast, all known monosynaptic pathways to LR MNs innervate fast MNs, showing their participation in the entire horizontal eye movements repertoire. Hitherto unknown monosynaptic connections were also revealed, such as those derived from the central mesencephalic reticular formation and vertical eye movements pathways (Y group, interstitial nucleus of Cajal, rostral interstitial nucleus of the medial longitudinal fasciculus). The different connectivity of fast and slow MNs parallel differences in properties of muscle fibers that they innervate, suggesting that muscle fibers properties, rather than being self-determined, are the result of differences of their premotor innervation.

Funding information:
  • NIDCD NIH HHS - DC0338(United States)
  • NIH HHS - R24 OD011194(United States)

Vesicular glutamate transporter 3 immunoreactivity is present in cholinergic basal forebrain neurons projecting to the basolateral amygdala in rat.

  • Nickerson Poulin A
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2006 Oct 10

Literature context:


Abstract:

The basal forebrain (BF) plays a role in behavioral and cortical arousal, attention, learning, and memory. It has been suggested that cholinergic BF neurons co-release glutamate, and some cholinergic BF neurons have been reported to contain vesicular glutamate transporter 3 (VGLUT3). We examined the distribution and projections of BF cholinergic neurons containing VGLUT3, by using dual-label immunofluorescence for choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) and VGLUT3, in situ hybridization, and retrograde tracing. Neurons immunoreactive (+) or containing mRNAs for both ChAT and VGLUT3 were mainly localized to the ventral pallidum and more caudal BF regions; the co-immunoreactive neurons represented 31% of cholinergic neurons in the ventral pallidum and 5-9% more caudally. Examination of cholinergic axon terminals in known target areas of BF projections indicated that the basolateral amygdaloid nucleus contained numerous terminals co-immunoreactive for ChAT and VGLUT3, whereas sampled areas of the olfactory bulb, neocortex, hippocampus, reticular thalamic nucleus, and interpeduncular nucleus were devoid of double-labeled terminals. The basolateral amygdala is innervated by cholinergic BF neurons lacking low-affinity p75 nerve growth factor receptors; many ChAT+VGLUT3+ BF neurons were immunonegative to this receptor. Twenty-five to 79% of ChAT+VGLUT3+ neurons in different BF regions were retrogradely labeled from the basolateral amygdala, up to 52% (ventral pallidum) of the retrogradely labeled ChAT+ neurons were VGLUT3+, and the largest number of amygdala-projecting ChAT+VGluT3+ neurons was found in the ventral pallidum. These findings indicate that BF cholinergic neurons containing VGLUT3 project to the basolateral amygdala and suggest that these neurons might have the capacity to release both acetylcholine and glutamate.

Funding information:
  • NIA NIH HHS - T32 AG007434(United States)
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - P01 GM061354(United States)

Synaptic input to OFF parasol ganglion cells in macaque retina.

  • Bordt AS
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2006 Sep 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

A Neurobiotin-injected OFF parasol cell from midperipheral macaque retina was studied by reconstruction of serial ultrathin sections and compared with ON parasol cells studied previously. In most respects, the synaptic inputs to the two subtypes were similar. Only a few of the amacrine cell processes that provided input to the labeled OFF parasol ganglion cell dendrites made or received inputs within the series, and none of these interactions were with the bipolar cells or other amacrine cells presynaptic to the OFF parasol cell. These findings suggest that the direct inhibitory input to OFF parasol cells originates from other areas of the retina. OFF parasol cells were known to receive inputs from two types of diffuse bipolar cells. To identify candidates for the presynaptic amacrine cells, OFF parasol cells were labeled with Lucifer yellow by using a juxtacellular labeling technique, and amacrine cells known to costratify with them were labeled via immunofluorescent methods. Appositions were observed with amacrine cells containing immunoreactive calretinin, parvalbumin, choline acetylatransferase, and G6-Gly, a cholecystokinin precursor. These findings suggest that the inhibitory input to parasol cells conveys information about several different attributes of visual stimuli and, particularly, about their global properties.

Funding information:
  • PHS HHS - HHSN267200715002C(United States)

Distinct subpopulations of cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) and neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) containing sympathetic preganglionic neurons in spontaneously hypertensive and Wistar-Kyoto rats.

  • Powers-Martin K
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2006 Aug 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

The sympathetic preganglionic neurons (SPN) of the intermediolateral cell column (IML) play a critical role in the maintenance of vascular tone. We undertook a comparative neuroanatomical analysis of neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) expression in the SPN of the mature normotensive Wistar Kyoto (WKY) and spontaneously hypertensive rat (SHR). The anatomical relationship between nNOS and the NO signaling molecule cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) was also determined. All animals were male, age > 6 months. Fluorogold (FG) retrograde labeling of SPN (detected with immunohistochemistry) was combined with NADPH-diaphorase histochemistry for NOS in the thoracic spinal cord (T1-11, n = 5 WKY, 5 SHR). There was no difference in the total number of FG-labeled SPN (WKY 6,542 +/- 828, SHR 6,091 +/- 820), but the proportion of FG-labeled cells expressing NOS was significantly less in the SHR (WKY 64.4 +/- 5.1 vs. SHR 55.6 +/- 2.1, P < 0.05). Fluorescence immunohistochemistry for nNOS/cGMP (n = 4 WKY, 4 SHR) was also performed. Confocal microscopy revealed that all nNOS-positive SPN contain cGMP and confirmed a strain-specific anatomical arrangement of SPN cell clusters. A novel subpopulation of cGMP-only cells were also identified. Double labeling for cGMP and choline acetyltransferase (n = 3 WKY, 3 SHR), confirmed these cells as SPN in both WKY and SHR. These results suggest that cGMP is a key signaling molecule in SPN, and that a reduced number of NOS neurons in the SHR may play a role in the increase in sympathetic tone associated with hypertension in these animals.

Funding information:
  • NIDA NIH HHS - DA 13332(United States)
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - #1R44GM087021(United States)

Liberalization of donor criteria in lung transplantation.

  • Whiting D
  • Am Surg
  • 2003 Oct 22

Literature context:


Abstract:

Donor shortage remains a major obstacle to widespread application of lung transplantation. In region 5, including California, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Arizona, the United Network of Organ Sharing (UNOS) database median waiting time for lung transplant candidates in 2000-2001 exceeded 17 months. The purpose of this study was to determine the impact of liberalization of donor criteria on median waiting time and short-term outcome of lung transplantation. From September 1999 to October 2002, 42 patients underwent lung transplantation from nonstandard donors. The donors were classified as nonstandard due to (1) infiltrate on chest radiograph (n = 33), (2) PaO2 < 300 on FiO2 1.0 and PEEP 5 (n = 3), (3) PaO2 < 100 on FiO2 0.4 and PEEP 5 (n = 3), (4) purulent sputum on bronchoscopy (n = 22), and (5) smoking history greater than 50 pack-years (n = 1). Perioperative characteristics and short-term outcome of this group was analyzed. The median waiting time for this cohort was 114 days (range, 10-1267), as compared with the national UNOS database median waiting time of 24 months between 1996 and 2001. The incidence of ischemia reperfusion injury was 2.3 per cent. None of the recipients developed pneumonia. The median ventilator support time was 2 days (range, 1-95). The median ICU stay and hospital stay were 4 days (range, 2-103) and 14 days (range, 5-194), respectively. The 3-month survival was 97.6 per cent. Selective liberalization of donor lung criteria can decrease the waiting time and is associated with favorable short-term outcome. Utilization of nonstandard lungs can expand the donor pool.

Funding information:
  • Medical Research Council - MC_U127580973(United Kingdom)