Literature context: RRID:AB_887873 Chemicals, Peptides, and Recomb
Rapid and efficient synaptic vesicle fusion requires a pool of primed vesicles, the nearby tethering of Ca2+ channels, and the presence of the phospholipid PIP2 in the target membrane. Although the presynaptic active zone mediates the first two requirements, it is unclear how fusion is targeted to membranes with high PIP2 content. Here we find that the C2B domain of the active zone scaffold RIM is critical for action potential-triggered fusion. Remarkably, the known RIM functions in vesicle priming and Ca2+ influx do not require RIM C2B domains. Instead, biophysical experiments reveal that RIM C2 domains, which lack Ca2+ binding, specifically bind to PIP2. Mutational analyses establish that PIP2 binding to RIM C2B and its tethering to the other RIM domains are crucial for efficient exocytosis. We propose that RIM C2B domains are constitutive PIP2-binding modules that couple mechanisms for vesicle priming and Ca2+ channel tethering to PIP2-containing target membranes.
Literature context: Table 2 in (Viney et al., 2013) RRID:AB_887873 Vesicular glutamate transporter
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.
Literature context: Synaptic Systems Cat#131 004; RRID:AB_887873 Chicken polyclonal anti-MAP2 Ab
In contrast with numerous studies of glutamate receptor-associated proteins and their involvement in the modulation of excitatory synapses, much less is known about mechanisms controlling postsynaptic GABAA receptor (GABAAR) numbers. Using tandem affinity purification from tagged GABAAR γ2 subunit transgenic mice and proteomic analysis, we isolated several GABAAR-associated proteins, including Cleft lip and palate transmembrane protein 1 (Clptm1). Clptm1 interacted with all GABAAR subunits tested and promoted GABAAR trapping in the endoplasmic reticulum. Overexpression of Clptm1 reduced GABAAR-mediated currents in a recombinant system, in cultured hippocampal neurons, and in brain, with no effect on glycine or AMPA receptor-mediated currents. Conversely, knockdown of Clptm1 increased phasic and tonic inhibitory transmission with no effect on excitatory synaptic transmission. Furthermore, altering the expression level of Clptm1 mimicked activity-induced inhibitory synaptic scaling. Thus, in complement to other GABAAR-associated proteins that promote receptor surface expression, Clptm1 limits GABAAR forward trafficking and regulates inhibitory homeostatic plasticity.
Literature context: ystems; Cat#131004, RRID:AB_887873), and rabbit polyclonal anti-ge
Despite the characteristic etiologies and phenotypes, different brain disorders rely on common pathogenic events. Glutamate-induced neurotoxicity is a pathogenic event shared by different brain disorders. Another event occurring in different brain pathological conditions is the increase of the extracellular ATP levels, which is now recognized as a danger and harmful signal in the brain, as heralded by the ability of P2 receptors (P2Rs) to affect a wide range of brain disorders. Yet, how ATP and P2R contribute to neurodegeneration remains poorly defined. For that purpose, we now examined the contribution of extracellular ATP and P2Rs to glutamate-induced neurodegeneration. We found both in vitro and in vivo that ATP/ADP through the activation of P2Y1R contributes to glutamate-induced neuronal death in the rat hippocampus. We found in cultured rat hippocampal neurons that the exposure to glutamate (100 µM) for 30 min triggers a sustained increase of extracellular ATP levels, which contributes to NMDA receptor (NMDAR)-mediated hippocampal neuronal death through the activation of P2Y1R. We also determined that P2Y1R is involved in excitotoxicity in vivo as the blockade of P2Y1R significantly attenuated rat hippocampal neuronal death upon the systemic administration of kainic acid or upon the intrahippocampal injection of quinolinic acid. This contribution of P2Y1R fades with increasing intensity of excitotoxic conditions, which indicates that P2Y1R is not contributing directly to neurodegeneration, rather behaving as a catalyst decreasing the threshold from which glutamate becomes neurotoxic. Moreover, we unraveled that such excitotoxicity process began with an early synaptotoxicity that was also prevented/attenuated by the antagonism of P2Y1R, both in vitro and in vivo. This should rely on the observed glutamate-induced calpain-mediated axonal cytoskeleton damage, most likely favored by a P2Y1R-driven increase of NMDAR-mediated Ca2+ entry selectively in axons. This may constitute a degenerative mechanism shared by different brain diseases, particularly relevant at initial pathogenic stages.
Literature context: body (131004, Synaptic Systems, RRID:AB_887873). To visualize CytC, we used a
Mitochondrial function in neurons is tightly linked with metabolic and signaling mechanisms that ultimately determine neuronal performance. The subcellular distribution of these organelles is dynamically regulated as they are directed to axonal release sites on demand, but whether mitochondrial internal ultrastructure and molecular properties would reflect the actual performance requirements in a synapse-specific manner, remains to be established. Here, we examined performance-determining ultrastructural features of presynaptic mitochondria in GABAergic and glutamatergic axons of mice and human. Using electron-tomography and super-resolution microscopy we found, that these features were coupled to synaptic strength: mitochondria in boutons with high synaptic activity exhibited an ultrastructure optimized for high rate metabolism and contained higher levels of the respiratory chain protein cytochrome-c (CytC) than mitochondria in boutons with lower activity. The strong, cell type-independent correlation between mitochondrial ultrastructure, molecular fingerprints and synaptic performance suggests that changes in synaptic activity could trigger ultrastructural plasticity of presynaptic mitochondria, likely to adjust their performance to the actual metabolic demand.
Literature context: tic Systems Cat. No. 131 004; RRID:AB_887873 Vesicular Glutamate transporter
Rhythmic medial septal (MS) GABAergic input coordinates cortical theta oscillations. However, the rules of innervation of cortical cells and regions by diverse septal neurons are unknown. We report a specialized population of septal GABAergic neurons, the Teevra cells, selectively innervating the hippocampal CA3 area bypassing CA1, CA2, and the dentate gyrus. Parvalbumin-immunopositive Teevra cells show the highest rhythmicity among MS neurons and fire with short burst duration (median, 38 ms) preferentially at the trough of both CA1 theta and slow irregular oscillations, coincident with highest hippocampal excitability. Teevra cells synaptically target GABAergic axo-axonic and some CCK interneurons in restricted septo-temporal CA3 segments. The rhythmicity of their firing decreases from septal to temporal termination of individual axons. We hypothesize that Teevra neurons coordinate oscillatory activity across the septo-temporal axis, phasing the firing of specific CA3 interneurons, thereby contributing to the selection of pyramidal cell assemblies at the theta trough via disinhibition. VIDEO ABSTRACT.
Literature context: 1,000) Synaptic Systems 131004; RRID:AB_887873 Guinea Pig anti-vGluT1 (1:1,000
Animals depend on sensory feedback from mechanosensory afferents for the dynamic control of movement. This sensory feedback needs to be selectively modulated in a task- and context-dependent manner. Here, we show that inhibitory interneurons (INs) expressing the RORβ orphan nuclear receptor gate sensory feedback to the spinal motor system during walking and are required for the production of a fluid locomotor rhythm. Genetic manipulations that abrogate inhibitory RORβ IN function result in an ataxic gait characterized by exaggerated flexion movements and marked alterations to the step cycle. Inactivation of RORβ in inhibitory neurons leads to reduced presynaptic inhibition and changes to sensory-evoked reflexes, arguing that the RORβ inhibitory INs function to suppress the sensory transmission pathways that activate flexor motor reflexes and interfere with the ongoing locomotor program. VIDEO ABSTRACT.
Literature context: Synaptic Systems Cat#: 131004, RRID:AB_887873 Chicken polyclonal anti-MAP2 Av
In the brain, many types of interneurons make functionally diverse inhibitory synapses onto principal neurons. Although numerous molecules have been identified to function in inhibitory synapse development, it remains unknown whether there is a unifying mechanism for development of diverse inhibitory synapses. Here we report a general molecular mechanism underlying hippocampal inhibitory synapse development. In developing neurons, the establishment of GABAergic transmission depends on Neuroligin 2 (NL2), a synaptic cell adhesion molecule (CAM). During maturation, inhibitory synapse development requires both NL2 and Slitrk3 (ST3), another CAM. Importantly, NL2 and ST3 interact with nanomolar affinity through their extracellular domains to synergistically promote synapse development. Selective perturbation of the NL2-ST3 interaction impairs inhibitory synapse development with consequent disruptions in hippocampal network activity and increased seizure susceptibility. Our findings reveal how unique postsynaptic CAMs work in concert to control synaptogenesis and establish a general framework for GABAergic synapse development.
Literature context: aptic Systems, catalog #131004, RRID:AB_887873), and PTEN (rabbit polyclonal 1
Changes in synaptic strength and connectivity are thought to be a major mechanism through which many gene variants cause neurological disease. Hyperactivation of the PI3K-mTOR signaling network, via loss of function of repressors such as PTEN, causes epilepsy in humans and animal models, and altered mTOR signaling may contribute to a broad range of neurological diseases. Changes in synaptic transmission have been reported in animal models of PTEN loss; however, the full extent of these changes, and their effect on network function, is still unknown. To better understand the scope of these changes, we recorded from pairs of mouse hippocampal neurons cultured in a two-neuron microcircuit configuration that allowed us to characterize all four major connection types within the hippocampus. Loss of PTEN caused changes in excitatory and inhibitory connectivity, and these changes were postsynaptic, presynaptic, and transynaptic, suggesting that disruption of PTEN has the potential to affect most connection types in the hippocampal circuit. Given the complexity of the changes at the synaptic level, we measured changes in network behavior after deleting Pten from neurons in an organotypic hippocampal slice network. Slices containing Pten-deleted neurons showed increased recruitment of neurons into network bursts. Importantly, these changes were not confined to Pten-deleted neurons, but involved the entire network, suggesting that the extensive changes in synaptic connectivity rewire the entire network in such a way that promotes a widespread increase in functional connectivity.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Homozygous deletion of the Pten gene in neuronal subpopulations in the mouse serves as a valuable model of epilepsy caused by mTOR hyperactivation. To better understand how gene deletions lead to altered neuronal activity, we investigated the synaptic and network effects that occur 1 week after Pten deletion. PTEN loss increased the connectivity of all four types of hippocampal synaptic connections, including two forms of increased inhibition of inhibition, and increased network functional connectivity. These data suggest that single gene mutations that cause neurological diseases such as epilepsy may affect a surprising range of connection types. Moreover, given the robustness of homeostatic plasticity, these diverse effects on connection types may be necessary to cause network phenotypes such as increased synchrony.
Literature context: VGAT RRID:AB_887873 Guinea pig Synaptic Systems 131
GABAA receptor (GABAAR) pentamers are assembled from a pool of 19 subunits, and variety in subunit combinations diversifies GABAAR functions to tune brain activity. Pentamers with distinct subunit compositions localize differentially at synaptic and non-synaptic sites to mediate phasic and tonic inhibition, respectively. Despite multitudes of theoretical permutations, limited subunit combinations have been identified in the brain. Currently, no molecular model exists for combinatorial GABAAR assembly in vivo. Here, we reveal assembly rules of native GABAAR complexes that explain GABAAR subunit subcellular distributions using mice and Xenopus laevis oocytes. First, α subunits possess intrinsic signals to segregate into distinct pentamers. Second, γ2 is essential for GABAAR assembly with Neuroligin-2 (NL2) and GARLHs, which localize GABAARs at synapses. Third, δ suppresses α6 synaptic localization by preventing assembly with GARLHs/NL2. These findings establish the first molecular model for combinatorial GABAAR assembly in vivo and reveal an assembly pathway regulating GABAAR synaptic localization.
Literature context: #131 004, RRID:AB_887873; Synaptic
The lateral prefrontal cortex (LPFC) and anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) of the primate play distinctive roles in the mediation of complex cognitive tasks. Compared with the LPFC, integration of information by the ACC can span longer timescales and requires stronger engagement of inhibitory processes. Here, we reveal the synaptic mechanism likely to underlie these differences using in vitro patch-clamp recordings of synaptic events and multiscale imaging of synaptic markers in rhesus monkeys. Although excitatory synaptic signaling does not differ, the level of synaptic inhibition is much higher in ACC than LPFC layer 3 pyramidal neurons, with a significantly higher frequency (∼6×) and longer duration of inhibitory synaptic currents. The number of inhibitory synapses and the ratio of cholecystokinin to parvalbumin-positive inhibitory inputs are also significantly higher in ACC compared with LPFC neurons. Therefore, inhibition is functionally and structurally more robust and diverse in ACC than in LPFC, resulting in a lower excitatory: inhibitory ratio and a greater dynamic range for signal integration and network oscillation by the ACC. These differences in inhibitory circuitry likely underlie the distinctive network dynamics in ACC and LPC during normal and pathological brain states.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT The lateral prefrontal cortex (LPFC) and anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) play temporally distinct roles during the execution of cognitive tasks (rapid working memory during ongoing tasks and long-term memory to guide future action, respectively). Compared with LPFC-mediated tasks, ACC-mediated tasks can span longer timescales and require stronger engagement of inhibition. This study shows that inhibitory signaling is much more robust and diverse in the ACC than in the LPFC. Therefore, there is a lower excitatory: inhibitory synaptic ratio and a greater dynamic range for signal integration and oscillatory behavior in the ACC. These significant differences in inhibitory synaptic transmission form an important basis for the differential timing of cognitive processing by the LPFC and ACC in normal and pathological brain states.
Literature context: 31004/13; RRID:AB_887873; guinea pi
Collybistin (CB) is a guanine nucleotide exchange factor selectively localized to γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA)ergic and glycinergic postsynapses. Active CB interacts with gephyrin, inducing the submembranous clustering and the postsynaptic accumulation of gephyrin, which is a scaffold protein that recruits GABAA receptors (GABAA Rs) at the postsynapse. CB is expressed with or without a src homology 3 (SH3) domain. We have previously reported the effects on GABAergic synapses of the acute overexpression of CBSH3- or CBSH3+ in cultured hippocampal (HP) neurons. In the present communication, we are studying the effects on GABAergic synapses after chronic in vivo transgenic expression of CB2SH3- or CB2SH3+ in neurons of the adult rat cerebral cortex. The embryonic precursors of these cortical neurons were in utero electroporated with CBSH3- or CBSH3+ DNAs, migrated to the appropriate cortical layer, and became integrated in cortical circuits. The results show that: 1) the strength of inhibitory synapses in vivo can be enhanced by increasing the expression of CB in neurons; and 2) there are significant differences in the results between in vivo and in culture studies. J. Comp. Neurol. 525:1291-1311, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Literature context: #131004; RRID:AB_887873) were appl
Parvalbumin-expressing inhibitory neurons in the mammalian CNS are specialized for fast transmitter release at their output synapses. However, the Ca2+ sensor(s) used by identified inhibitory synapses, including the output synapses of parvalbumin-expressing inhibitory neurons, have only recently started to be addressed. Here, we investigated the roles of Syt1 and Syt2 at two types of fast-releasing inhibitory connections in the mammalian CNS: the medial nucleus of the trapezoid body to lateral superior olive glycinergic synapse, and the basket/stellate cell-Purkinje GABAergic synapse in the cerebellum. We used conditional and conventional knock-out (KO) mouse lines, with viral expression of Cre-recombinase and a light-activated ion channel for optical stimulation of the transduced fibers, to produce Syt1-Syt2 double KO synapses in vivo Surprisingly, we found that KO of Syt2 alone had only minor effects on evoked transmitter release, despite the clear presence of the protein in inhibitory nerve terminals revealed by immunohistochemistry. We show that Syt1 is weakly coexpressed at these inhibitory synapses and must be genetically inactivated together with Syt2 to achieve a significant reduction and desynchronization of fast release. Thus, our work identifies the functionally relevant Ca2+ sensor(s) at fast-releasing inhibitory synapses and shows that two major Syt isoforms can cooperate to mediate release at a given synaptic connection.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT During synaptic transmission, the influx of Ca2+ into the presynaptic nerve terminal activates a Ca2+ sensor for vesicle fusion, a crucial step in the activity-dependent release of neurotransmitter. Synaptotagmin (Syt) proteins, and especially Syt1 and Syt2, have been identified as the Ca2+ sensor at excitatory synapses, but the Ca2+ sensor(s) at inhibitory synapses in native brain tissue are not well known. We found that both Syt1 and Syt2 need to be genetically inactivated to cause a significant reduction of activity-evoked release at two types of fast inhibitory synapses in mouse brain. Thus, we identify Syt2 as a functionally important Ca2+ sensor at fast-releasing inhibitory synapses, and show that Syt1 and Syt2 can redundantly control transmitter release at specific brain synapses.
Literature context: Systems; RRID:AB_887873), monoclon
Inhibitory synapses are established during development but continue to be generated and modulated in strength in the mature nervous system. In the spinal cord and brainstem, presynaptically released inhibitory neurotransmitter dominantly switches from GABA to glycine during normal development in vivo. While presynaptic mechanisms of the shift of inhibitory neurotransmission are well investigated, the contribution of postsynaptic neurotransmitter receptors to this shift is not fully elucidated. Synaptic clustering of glycine receptors (GlyRs) is regulated by activation-dependent depolarization in early development. However, GlyR activation induces hyperpolarization after the first postnatal week, and little is known whether and how presynaptically released glycine regulates postsynaptic receptors in a depolarization-independent manner in mature developmental stage. Here we developed spinal cord neuronal culture of rodents using chronic strychnine application to investigate whether initial activation of GlyRs in mature stage could change postsynaptic localization of GlyRs. Immunocytochemical analyses demonstrate that chronic blockade of GlyR activation until mature developmental stage resulted in smaller clusters of postsynaptic GlyRs that could be enlarged upon receptor activation for 1 h in the mature stage. Furthermore, live cell-imaging techniques show that GlyR activation decreases its lateral diffusion at synapses, and this phenomenon is dependent on PKC, but neither Ca2+ nor CaMKII activity. These results suggest that the GlyR activation can regulate receptor diffusion and cluster size at inhibitory synapses in mature stage, providing not only new insights into the postsynaptic mechanism of shifting inhibitory neurotransmission but also the inhibitory synaptic plasticity in mature nervous system.
Literature context: 131 004, RRID:AB_887873), PAX2 (ra
Myelination occurs selectively around neuronal axons to increase the efficiency and velocity of action potentials. While oligodendrocytes are capable of myelinating permissive structures in the absence of molecular cues, structurally permissive neuronal somata and dendrites remain unmyelinated. Utilizing a purified spinal cord neuron-oligodendrocyte myelinating co-culture system, we demonstrate that disruption of dynamic neuron-oligodendrocyte signaling by chemical cross-linking results in aberrant myelination of the somatodendritic compartment of neurons. We hypothesize that an inhibitory somatodendritic cue is necessary to prevent non-axonal myelination. Using next-generation sequencing and candidate profiling, we identify neuronal junction adhesion molecule 2 (JAM2) as an inhibitory myelin-guidance molecule. Taken together, our results demonstrate that the somatodendritic compartment directly inhibits myelination and suggest a model in which broadly indiscriminate myelination is tailored by inhibitory signaling to meet local myelination requirements.
Literature context: T (1:500, RRID:AB_887873); mouse an
In a presynaptic nerve terminal, synaptic strength is determined by the pool of readily releasable vesicles (RRP) and the probability of release (P) of each RRP vesicle. These parameters are controlled at the active zone and vary across synapses, but how such synapse specific control is achieved is not understood. ELKS proteins are enriched at vertebrate active zones and enhance P at inhibitory hippocampal synapses, but ELKS functions at excitatory synapses are not known. Studying conditional knockout mice for ELKS, we find that ELKS enhances the RRP at excitatory synapses without affecting P. Surprisingly, ELKS C-terminal sequences, which interact with RIM, are dispensable for RRP enhancement. Instead, the N-terminal ELKS coiled-coil domains that bind to Liprin-α and Bassoon are necessary to control RRP. Thus, ELKS removal has differential, synapse-specific effects on RRP and P, and our findings establish important roles for ELKS N-terminal domains in synaptic vesicle priming.
Literature context: ; 131004; RRID:AB_887873; Synaptic
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.
Literature context: 31004/13; RRID:AB_887873), the Rb a
We studied the effect of clonal overexpression of neuroligin 3 (NL3) or neuroligin 2 (NL2) in the adult rat cerebral cortex following in utero electroporation (IUEP) at embryonic stage E14. Overexpression of NL3 leads to a large increase in vesicular gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) transporter (vGAT) and glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD)65 in the GABAergic contacts that the overexpressing neurons receive. Overexpression of NL2 produced a similar effect but to a lesser extent. In contrast, overexpression of NL3 or NL2 after IUEP does not affect vesicular glutamate transporter 1 (vGlut1) in the glutamatergic contacts that the NL3 or NL2-overexpressing neurons receive. The NL3 or NL2-overexpressing neurons do not show increased innervation by parvalbumin-containing GABAergic terminals or increased parvalbumin in the same terminals that show increased vGAT. These results indicate that the observed increase in vGAT and GAD65 is not due to increased GABAergic innervation but to increased expression of vGAT and GAD65 in the GABAergic contacts that NL3 or NL2-overexpressing neurons receive. The majority of bright vGAT puncta contacting the NL3-overexpressing neurons have no gephyrin juxtaposed to them, indicating that many of these contacts are nonsynaptic. This contrasts with the majority of the NL2-overexpressing neurons, which show plenty of synaptic gephyrin clusters juxtaposed to vGAT. Besides having an effect on GABAergic contacts, overexpression of NL3 interferes with the neuronal radial migration, in the cerebral cortex, of the neurons overexpressing NL3.
Literature context: nHostSourceCat.#DilutionVGATG.P.SYSY1310041:1000VGLUT2G.P.SYSY1354041:3000
The sublaterodorsal nucleus (SLD) in the pons of the rat is a locus supporting short-latency induction of a REM sleep-like state following local application of a GABAA receptor antagonist or kainate, glutamate receptor agonist. One putatively relevant source of these neurotransmitters is from the region of the deep mesencephalic nucleus (DpMe) just ventrolateral to the periaquiductal gray, termed the dorsal DpMe (dDpMe). Here, the amino acid neurotransmitter innervation of SLD from dDpMe was studied utilizing anterograde tract-tracing with biotinylated dextranamine (BDA) and fluorescence immunohistochemistry visualized with laser scanning confocal microscopy. Both markers for inhibitory and excitatory amino acid neurotransmitters were found in varicose axon fibers in SLD originating from dDpMe. Vesicular glutamate transporter2 (VGLUT2) represented the largest number of anterogradely labeled varicosities followed by vesicular GABA transporter (VGAT). Numerous VGAT and VGLUT2 labeled varicosities were observed apposed to dDpMe-labeled axon fibers indicating both excitatory and inhibitory presynaptic, local modulation within the SLD. Some double-labeled BDA/VGAT varicosities were seen apposed to small somata labeled for glutamate consistent with being presynaptic to the phenotype of REM sleep-active SLD neurons. Results found support the current theoretical framework of the interaction of dDpMe and SLD in control of REM sleep, while also indicating operation of mechanisms with a greater level of complexity.
A fundamental organizational principle of the central nervous system is that gray matter is the province of neuronal somata, white matter their processes. However, the rat and primate dorsal columns (archetypal spinal "white matter" tracts) are actually of intermediate character, insofar as they contain a surprisingly prominent neuropil of unknown function. Here I report on the morphology, inputs, projections, and functional properties of these neurons. Small fusiform and larger lentiform neurons are most abundant in the gracile fasciculus of the cervical and lumbar enlargements and are absent from the cuneate fasciculus and corticospinal tract. Many have dendrites that run along the dorsal pia, and, although in transverse sections these neurons appear isolated from the gray matter, they are also connected to area X by varicose and sometimes loosely fasciculated dendrites. These neurons receive neurochemically diverse, compartmentalized synaptic inputs (primary afferent, intrinsic and descending), half express the substance P receptor, and some project supraspinally. Unlike substantia gelatinosa neurons, they do not express protein kinase C gamma. Functionally, they have small receptive fields, which are somatotopically appropriate with respect to their anterior-posterior position along the neuraxis. They respond to innocuous and/or noxious mechanical stimulation of the distal extremities, and some are prone to central sensitization or "windup." Morphologically, neurochemically, and functionally, therefore, these cells most closely resemble neurons in laminae III-VI in the dorsal horn. The proximity of their dorsal dendrites to the pia mater may also reflect an ability to integrate internal (e.g., changes in cerebrospinal fluid compostition) and external (e.g., somatic) stimuli.