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Rabbit Anti-GABA Antibody, Unconjugated

RRID:AB_477652

Antibody ID

AB_477652

Target Antigen

GABA

Proper Citation

(Sigma-Aldrich Cat# A2052, RRID:AB_477652)

Clonality

unknown

Comments

Vendor recommendations: Other; Western Blot; Dot Blot, immunomicroscopy

Host Organism

rabbit

Vendor

Sigma-Aldrich

Cat Num

A2052

Publications that use this research resource

GABA-like immunoreactivity in Biomphalaria: Colocalization with tyrosine hydroxylase-like immunoreactivity in the feeding motor systems of panpulmonate snails.

  • Vaasjo LO
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2018 Aug 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

The simpler nervous systems of certain invertebrates provide opportunities to examine colocalized classical neurotransmitters in the context of identified neurons and well defined neural circuits. This study examined the distribution of γ-aminobutyric acid-like immunoreactivity (GABAli) in the nervous system of the panpulmonates Biomphalaria glabrata and Biomphalaria alexandrina, major intermediate hosts for intestinal schistosomiasis. GABAli neurons were localized in the cerebral, pedal, and buccal ganglia of each species. With the exception of a projection to the base of the tentacle, GABAli fibers were confined to the CNS. As GABAli was previously reported to be colocalized with markers for dopamine (DA) in five neurons in the feeding network of the euopisthobranch gastropod Aplysia californica (Díaz-Ríos, Oyola, & Miller, 2002), double-labeling protocols were used to compare the distribution of GABAli with tyrosine hydroxylase immunoreactivity (THli). As in Aplysia, GABAli-THli colocalization was limited to five neurons, all of which were located in the buccal ganglion. Five GABAli-THli cells were also observed in the buccal ganglia of two other intensively studied panpulmonate species, Lymnaea stagnalis and Helisoma trivolvis. These findings indicate that colocalization of the classical neurotransmitters GABA and DA in feeding central pattern generator (CPG) interneurons preceded the divergence of euopisthobranch and panpulmonate taxa. These observations also support the hypothesis that heterogastropod feeding CPG networks exhibit a common universal design.

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - CA16368(United States)
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - P20 GM103642()
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - SC3 GM087200()
  • NIMHD NIH HHS - G12 MD007600()
  • NIMHD NIH HHS - U54 MD007600()

Evolution of Cortical Neurogenesis in Amniotes Controlled by Robo Signaling Levels.

  • Cárdenas A
  • Cell
  • 2018 Jun 20

Literature context:


Abstract:

Cerebral cortex size differs dramatically between reptiles, birds, and mammals, owing to developmental differences in neuron production. In mammals, signaling pathways regulating neurogenesis have been identified, but genetic differences behind their evolution across amniotes remain unknown. We show that direct neurogenesis from radial glia cells, with limited neuron production, dominates the avian, reptilian, and mammalian paleocortex, whereas in the evolutionarily recent mammalian neocortex, most neurogenesis is indirect via basal progenitors. Gain- and loss-of-function experiments in mouse, chick, and snake embryos and in human cerebral organoids demonstrate that high Slit/Robo and low Dll1 signaling, via Jag1 and Jag2, are necessary and sufficient to drive direct neurogenesis. Attenuating Robo signaling and enhancing Dll1 in snakes and birds recapitulates the formation of basal progenitors and promotes indirect neurogenesis. Our study identifies modulation in activity levels of conserved signaling pathways as a primary mechanism driving the expansion and increased complexity of the mammalian neocortex during amniote evolution.

Funding information:
  • Wellcome Trust - (United Kingdom)

Super-Obese Patient-Derived iPSC Hypothalamic Neurons Exhibit Obesogenic Signatures and Hormone Responses.

  • Rajamani U
  • Cell Stem Cell
  • 2018 May 3

Literature context:


Abstract:

The hypothalamus contains neurons that integrate hunger and satiety endocrine signals from the periphery and are implicated in the pathophysiology of obesity. The limited availability of human hypothalamic neurons hampers our understanding of obesity disease mechanisms. To address this, we generated human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) from multiple normal body mass index (BMI; BMI ≤ 25) subjects and super-obese (OBS) donors (BMI ≥ 50) with polygenic coding variants in obesity-associated genes. We developed a method to reliably differentiate hiPSCs into hypothalamic-like neurons (iHTNs) capable of secreting orexigenic and anorexigenic neuropeptides. Transcriptomic profiling revealed that, although iHTNs maintain a fetal identity, they respond appropriately to metabolic hormones ghrelin and leptin. Notably, OBS iHTNs retained disease signatures and phenotypes of high BMI, exhibiting dysregulated respiratory function, ghrelin-leptin signaling, axonal guidance, glutamate receptors, and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress pathways. Thus, human iHTNs provide a powerful platform to study obesity and gene-environment interactions.

Funding information:
  • NIAID NIH HHS - R01 AI032751(United States)

Nociceptive interneurons control modular motor pathways to promote escape behavior in Drosophila.

  • Burgos A
  • Elife
  • 2018 Mar 12

Literature context:


Abstract:

Rapid and efficient escape behaviors in response to noxious sensory stimuli are essential for protection and survival. Yet, how noxious stimuli are transformed to coordinated escape behaviors remains poorly understood. In Drosophila larvae, noxious stimuli trigger sequential body bending and corkscrew-like rolling behavior. We identified a population of interneurons in the nerve cord of Drosophila, termed Down-and-Back (DnB) neurons, that are activated by noxious heat, promote nociceptive behavior, and are required for robust escape responses to noxious stimuli. Electron microscopic circuit reconstruction shows that DnBs are targets of nociceptive and mechanosensory neurons, are directly presynaptic to pre-motor circuits, and link indirectly to Goro rolling command-like neurons. DnB activation promotes activity in Goro neurons, and coincident inactivation of Goro neurons prevents the rolling sequence but leaves intact body bending motor responses. Thus, activity from nociceptors to DnB interneurons coordinates modular elements of nociceptive escape behavior.

Funding information:
  • Howard Hughes Medical Institute - (United States)
  • Japan Society for the Promotion of Science - KAKENHI 26890025()
  • National Institutes of Health - GM086458()
  • National Institutes of Health - NS061908()
  • National Institutes of Health - NS086564()
  • National Institutes of Health - NS090909-01()
  • National Science Foundation - Graduate Research Fellowship()
  • Thompson Family Foundation - Innovation Award()

Long-term, dynamic synaptic reorganization after GABAergic precursor cell transplantation into adult mouse spinal cord.

  • Llewellyn-Smith IJ
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2018 Feb 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

Transplanting embryonic precursors of GABAergic neurons from the medial ganglionic eminence (MGE) into adult mouse spinal cord ameliorates mechanical and thermal hypersensitivity in peripheral nerve injury models of neuropathic pain. Although Fos and transneuronal tracing studies strongly suggest that integration of MGE-derived neurons into host spinal cord circuits underlies recovery of function, the extent to which there is synaptic integration of the transplanted cells has not been established. Here, we used electron microscopic immunocytochemistry to assess directly integration of GFP-expressing MGE-derived neuronal precursors into dorsal horn circuitry in intact, adult mice with short- (5-6 weeks) or long-term (4-6 months) transplants. We detected GFP with pre-embedding avidin-biotin-peroxidase and GABA with post-embedding immunogold labeling. At short and long times post-transplant, we found host-derived synapses on GFP-immunoreactive MGE cells bodies and dendrites. The proportion of dendrites with synaptic input increased from 50% to 80% by 6 months. In all mice, MGE-derived terminals formed synapses with GFP-negative (host) cell bodies and dendrites and, unexpectedly, with some GFP-positive (i.e., MGE-derived) dendrites, possibly reflecting autoapses or cross talk among transplanted neurons. We also observed axoaxonic appositions between MGE and host terminals. Immunogold labeling for GABA confirmed that the transplanted cells were GABAergic and that some transplanted cells received an inhibitory GABAergic input. We conclude that transplanted MGE neurons retain their GABAergic phenotype and integrate dynamically into host-transplant synaptic circuits. Taken together with our previous electrophysiological analyses, we conclude that MGE cells are not GABA pumps, but alleviate pain and itch through synaptic release of GABA.

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - P50 CA127001(United States)

Cell type specific tracing of the subcortical input to primary visual cortex from the basal forebrain.

  • Lean GA
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2018 Feb 14

Literature context:


Abstract:

The basal forebrain provides cholinergic inputs to primary visual cortex (V1) that play a key modulatory role on visual function. While basal forebrain afferents terminate in the infragranular layers of V1, acetylcholine is delivered to more superficial layers through volume transmission. Nevertheless, direct synaptic contact in deep layers 5 and 6 may provide a more immediate effect on V1 modulation. Using helper viruses with cell type specific promoters to target retrograde infection of pseudotyped and genetically modified rabies virus evidence was found for direct synaptic input onto V1 inhibitory neurons. These inputs were similar in number to geniculocortical inputs and, therefore, considered robust. In contrast, while clear evidence for dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus input to V1 excitatory neurons was found, there was no evidence of direct synaptic input from the basal forebrain. These results suggest a direct and more immediate influence of the basal forebrain on local V1 inhibition.

Funding information:
  • NEI NIH HHS - R01 EY024890()
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - K01 DK081621-01(United States)
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R21 NS072948()

Dissecting the Causal Mechanism of X-Linked Dystonia-Parkinsonism by Integrating Genome and Transcriptome Assembly.

  • Aneichyk T
  • Cell
  • 2018 Feb 22

Literature context:


Abstract:

X-linked Dystonia-Parkinsonism (XDP) is a Mendelian neurodegenerative disease that is endemic to the Philippines and is associated with a founder haplotype. We integrated multiple genome and transcriptome assembly technologies to narrow the causal mutation to the TAF1 locus, which included a SINE-VNTR-Alu (SVA) retrotransposition into intron 32 of the gene. Transcriptome analyses identified decreased expression of the canonical cTAF1 transcript among XDP probands, and de novo assembly across multiple pluripotent stem-cell-derived neuronal lineages discovered aberrant TAF1 transcription that involved alternative splicing and intron retention (IR) in proximity to the SVA that was anti-correlated with overall TAF1 expression. CRISPR/Cas9 excision of the SVA rescued this XDP-specific transcriptional signature and normalized TAF1 expression in probands. These data suggest an SVA-mediated aberrant transcriptional mechanism associated with XDP and may provide a roadmap for layered technologies and integrated assembly-based analyses for other unsolved Mendelian disorders.

Funding information:
  • Medical Research Council - G0601618(United Kingdom)
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS102423()

Inhibitory neuron-specific Cre-dependent red fluorescent labeling using VGAT BAC-based transgenic mouse lines with identified transgene integration sites.

  • Kaneko R
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2018 Feb 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

Inhibitory neurons are crucial for shaping and regulating the dynamics of the entire network, and disturbances in these neurons contribute to brain disorders. Despite the recent progress in genetic labeling techniques, the heterogeneity of inhibitory neurons requires the development of highly characterized tools that allow accurate, convenient, and versatile visualization of inhibitory neurons in the mouse brain. Here, we report a novel genetic technique to visualize the vast majority and/or sparse subsets of inhibitory neurons in the mouse brain without using techniques that require advanced skills. We developed several lines of Cre-dependent tdTomato reporter mice based on the vesicular GABA transporter (VGAT)-BAC, named VGAT-stop-tdTomato mice. The most useful line (line #54) was selected for further analysis based on two characteristics: the inhibitory neuron-specificity of tdTomato expression and the transgene integration site, which confers efficient breeding and fewer adverse effects resulting from transgene integration-related genomic disruption. Robust and inhibitory neuron-specific expression of tdTomato was observed in a wide range of developmental and cellular contexts. By breeding the VGAT-stop-tdTomato mouse (line #54) with a novel Cre driver mouse line, Galntl4-CreER, sparse labeling of inhibitory neurons was achieved following tamoxifen administration. Furthermore, another interesting line (line #58) was generated through the unexpected integration of the transgene into the X-chromosome and will be used to map X-chromosome inactivation of inhibitory neurons. Taken together, our studies provide new, well-characterized tools with which multiple aspects of inhibitory neurons can be studied in the mouse.

Homeostatic Changes in GABA and Acetylcholine Muscarinic Receptors on GABAergic Neurons in the Mesencephalic Reticular Formation following Sleep Deprivation.

  • Toossi H
  • eNeuro
  • 2018 Jan 6

Literature context:


Abstract:

We have examined whether GABAergic neurons in the mesencephalic reticular formation (RFMes), which are believed to inhibit the neurons in the pons that generate paradoxical sleep (PS or REMS), are submitted to homeostatic regulation under conditions of sleep deprivation (SD) by enforced waking during the day in mice. Using immunofluorescence, we investigated first, by staining for c-Fos, whether GABAergic RFMes neurons are active during SD and then, by staining for receptors, whether their activity is associated with homeostatic changes in GABAA or acetylcholine muscarinic type 2 (AChM2) receptors (Rs), which evoke inhibition. We found that a significantly greater proportion of the GABAergic neurons were positively stained for c-Fos after SD (∼27%) as compared to sleep control (SC; ∼1%) and sleep recovery (SR; ∼6%), suggesting that they were more active during waking with SD and less active or inactive during sleep with SC and SR. The density of GABAARs and AChM2Rs on the plasma membrane of the GABAergic neurons was significantly increased after SD and restored to control levels after SR. We conclude that the density of these receptors is increased on RFMes GABAergic neurons during presumed enhanced activity with SD and is restored to control levels during presumed lesser or inactivity with SR. Such increases in GABAAR and AChM2R with sleep deficits would be associated with increased susceptibility of the wake-active GABAergic neurons to inhibition from GABAergic and cholinergic sleep-active neurons and to thus permitting the onset of sleep and PS with muscle atonia.

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - 5P01CA013106-38(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.

Distribution and diversity of intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells in tree shrew.

  • Johnson EN
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2017 Dec 14

Literature context:


Abstract:

Intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGCs) mediate the pupillary light reflex, circadian entrainment, and may contribute to luminance and color perception. The diversity of ipRGCs varies from rodents to primates, suggesting differences in their contributions to retinal output. To further understand the variability in their organization and diversity across species, we used immunohistochemical methods to examine ipRGCs in tree shrew (Tupaia belangeri). Tree shrews share membership in the same clade, or evolutionary branch, as rodents and primates. They are highly visual, diurnal animals with a cone-dominated retina and a geniculo-cortical organization resembling that of primates. We identified cells with morphological similarities to M1 and M2 cells described previously in rodents and primates. M1-like cells typically had somas in the ganglion cell layer, with 23% displaced to the inner nuclear layer (INL). However, unlike M1 cells, they had bistratified dendritic fields ramifying in S1 and S5 that collectively tiled space. M2-like cells had dendritic fields restricted to S5 that were smaller and more densely branching. A novel third type of melanopsin immunopositive cell was identified. These cells had somata exclusively in the INL and monostratified dendritic fields restricted to S1 that tiled space. Surprisingly, these cells immunolabeled for tyrosine hydroxylase, a key component in dopamine synthesis. These cells immunolabeled for an RGC marker, not amacrine cell markers, suggesting that they are dopaminergic ipRGCs. We found no evidence for M4 or M5 ipRGCs, described previously in rodents. These results identify some organizational features of the ipRGC system that are canonical versus species-specific.

Funding information:
  • NEI NIH HHS - R01 EY024567()
  • NEI NIH HHS - R01 EY027193()
  • NHGRI NIH HHS - R01 HG004401(United States)

Divergent Connectivity of Homologous Command-like Neurons Mediates Segment-Specific Touch Responses in Drosophila.

  • Takagi S
  • Neuron
  • 2017 Dec 20

Literature context:


Abstract:

Animals adaptively respond to a tactile stimulus by choosing an ethologically relevant behavior depending on the location of the stimuli. Here, we investigate how somatosensory inputs on different body segments are linked to distinct motor outputs in Drosophila larvae. Larvae escape by backward locomotion when touched on the head, while they crawl forward when touched on the tail. We identify a class of segmentally repeated second-order somatosensory interneurons, that we named Wave, whose activation in anterior and posterior segments elicit backward and forward locomotion, respectively. Anterior and posterior Wave neurons extend their dendrites in opposite directions to receive somatosensory inputs from the head and tail, respectively. Downstream of anterior Wave neurons, we identify premotor circuits including the neuron A03a5, which together with Wave, is necessary for the backward locomotion touch response. Thus, Wave neurons match their receptive field to appropriate motor programs by participating in different circuits in different segments.

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - P01 CA108671(United States)

GABA-, histamine-, and FMRFamide-immunoreactivity in the visual, vestibular and central nervous systems of Hermissenda crassicornis.

  • Webber MP
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2017 Nov 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Hermissenda crassicornis is a model for studying the molecular and cellular basis for classical conditioning, based on its ability to associate light with vestibular stimulation. We used confocal microscopy to map histamine (HA), FMRF-amide, and γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) immunoreactivity in the central nervous system (CNS), eyes, optic ganglia and statocysts of the nudibranchs. For HA immunoreactivity, we documented both consistently and variably labeled CNS structures across individuals. We also noted minor differences in GABA immunoreactivity in the CNS compared to previous work on Hermissenda. Contrary to expectations, we found no evidence for GABA inside the visual or vestibular systems. Instead, we found only FMRFamide- and HA immunoreactivity (FMRFamide: 4 optic ganglion cells, 4-5 hair cells; HA: 3 optic ganglion cells, 8 hair cells). Overall, our results can act as basis for comparisons of nervous systems across nudibranchs, and suggest further exploration of intraspecific plasticity versus evolutionary changes in gastropod nervous systems.

Population dynamics of neural progenitor cells during aging in the cerebral cortex.

  • Okada Y
  • Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun.
  • 2017 Nov 4

Literature context:


Abstract:

Recent studies indicate that adult neurogenesis occurs in the cerebral cortex of rodents. Neural progenitor cells (NPCs) have been found in the adult cerebral cortex. These cells are expected to be regulated by various stimuli, including environmental enrichment, exercise, learning, and stress. However, it is unclear what stimuli can regulate cortical NPCs. In this study, we examined whether aging has an impact on population dynamics of NPCs in the murine cerebral cortex, using immunohistological staining for NPCs. The density of NPCs was kept from 5- to 12-month-old, dramatically decreased at 17-month-old, and thereafter maintained the same level until 24-month-old. Comparing the densities of NPCs in the cortical areas, such as the cingulate, primary motor, primary somatosensory, and insular cortices, we found that the degrees of decreased densities of NPCs in the cingulate and insular cortices were significantly smaller than those in the primary motor and somatosensory cortices. NPCs in aged cortex produced new neurons by ischemia. These results indicate that in aged mice, NPCs exist and produce new neurons in the cerebral cortex. Additionally, the extent of reduction of the density of NPCs in the cortices with higher cognitive functions may be less than that in the primary motor and somatosensory cortices.

Interneurons in the Honeybee Primary Auditory Center Responding to Waggle Dance-Like Vibration Pulses.

  • Ai H
  • J. Neurosci.
  • 2017 Nov 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Female honeybees use the "waggle dance" to communicate the location of nectar sources to their hive mates. Distance information is encoded in the duration of the waggle phase (von Frisch, 1967). During the waggle phase, the dancer produces trains of vibration pulses, which are detected by the follower bees via Johnston's organ located on the antennae. To uncover the neural mechanisms underlying the encoding of distance information in the waggle dance follower, we investigated morphology, physiology, and immunohistochemistry of interneurons arborizing in the primary auditory center of the honeybee (Apis mellifera). We identified major interneuron types, named DL-Int-1, DL-Int-2, and bilateral DL-dSEG-LP, that responded with different spiking patterns to vibration pulses applied to the antennae. Experimental and computational analyses suggest that inhibitory connection plays a role in encoding and processing the duration of vibration pulse trains in the primary auditory center of the honeybee.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT The waggle dance represents a form of symbolic communication used by honeybees to convey the location of food sources via species-specific sound. The brain mechanisms used to decipher this symbolic information are unknown. We examined interneurons in the honeybee primary auditory center and identified different neuron types with specific properties. The results of our computational analyses suggest that inhibitory connection plays a role in encoding waggle dance signals. Our results are critical for understanding how the honeybee deciphers information from the sound produced by the waggle dance and provide new insights regarding how common neural mechanisms are used by different species to achieve communication.

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.

Heterophilic Type II Cadherins Are Required for High-Magnitude Synaptic Potentiation in the Hippocampus.

  • Basu R
  • Neuron
  • 2017 Sep 27

Literature context:


Abstract:

Hippocampal CA3 neurons form synapses with CA1 neurons in two layers, stratum oriens (SO) and stratum radiatum (SR). Each layer develops unique synaptic properties but molecular mechanisms that mediate these differences are unknown. Here, we show that SO synapses normally have significantly more mushroom spines and higher-magnitude long-term potentiation (LTP) than SR synapses. Further, we discovered that these differences require the Type II classic cadherins, cadherins-6, -9, and -10. Though cadherins typically function via trans-cellular homophilic interactions, our results suggest presynaptic cadherin-9 binds postsynaptic cadherins-6 and -10 to regulate mushroom spine density and high-magnitude LTP in the SO layer. Loss of these cadherins has no effect on the lower-magnitude LTP typically observed in the SR layer, demonstrating that cadherins-6, -9, and -10 are gatekeepers for high-magnitude LTP. Thus, Type II cadherins may uniquely contribute to the specificity and strength of synaptic changes associated with learning and memory.

Funding information:
  • NEI NIH HHS - R01 EY022073()

Molecular and Circuit-Dynamical Identification of Top-Down Neural Mechanisms for Restraint of Reward Seeking.

  • Kim CK
  • Cell
  • 2017 Aug 24

Literature context:


Abstract:

Reward-seeking behavior is fundamental to survival, but suppression of this behavior can be essential as well, even for rewards of high value. In humans and rodents, the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) has been implicated in suppressing reward seeking; however, despite vital significance in health and disease, the neural circuitry through which mPFC regulates reward seeking remains incompletely understood. Here, we show that a specific subset of superficial mPFC projections to a subfield of nucleus accumbens (NAc) neurons naturally encodes the decision to initiate or suppress reward seeking when faced with risk of punishment. A highly resolved subpopulation of these top-down projecting neurons, identified by 2-photon Ca2+ imaging and activity-dependent labeling to recruit the relevant neurons, was found capable of suppressing reward seeking. This natural activity-resolved mPFC-to-NAc projection displayed unique molecular-genetic and microcircuit-level features concordant with a conserved role in the regulation of reward-seeking behavior, providing cellular and anatomical identifiers of behavioral and possible therapeutic significance.

Selective Silencing of Hippocampal Parvalbumin Interneurons Induces Development of Recurrent Spontaneous Limbic Seizures in Mice.

  • Drexel M
  • J. Neurosci.
  • 2017 Aug 23

Literature context:


Abstract:

Temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) is the most frequent form of focal epilepsies and is generally associated with malfunctioning of the hippocampal formation. Recently, a preferential loss of parvalbumin (PV) neurons has been observed in the subiculum of TLE patients and in animal models of TLE. To demonstrate a possible causative role of defunct PV neurons in the generation of TLE, we permanently inhibited GABA release selectively from PV neurons of the ventral subiculum by injecting a viral vector expressing tetanus toxin light chain in male mice. Subsequently, mice were subjected to telemetric EEG recording and video monitoring. Eighty-eight percent of the mice presented clusters of spike-wave discharges (C-SWDs; 40.0 ± 9.07/month), and 64% showed spontaneous recurrent seizures (SRSs; 5.3 ± 0.83/month). Mice injected with a control vector presented with neither C-SWDs nor SRSs. No neurodegeneration was observed due to vector injection or SRS. Interestingly, mice that presented with only C-SWDs but no SRSs, developed SRSs upon injection of a subconvulsive dose of pentylenetetrazole after 6 weeks. The initial frequency of SRSs declined by ∼30% after 5 weeks. In contrast to permanent silencing of PV neurons, transient inhibition of GABA release from PV neurons through the designer receptor hM4Di selectively expressed in PV-containing neurons transiently reduced the seizure threshold of the mice but induced neither acute nor recurrent seizures. Our data demonstrate a critical role for perisomatic inhibition mediated by PV-containing interneurons, suggesting that their sustained silencing could be causally involved in the development of TLE.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Development of temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) generally takes years after an initial insult during which maladaptation of hippocampal circuitries takes place. In human TLE and in animal models of TLE, parvalbumin neurons are selectively lost in the subiculum, the major output area of the hippocampus. The present experiments demonstrate that specific and sustained inhibition of GABA release from parvalbumin-expressing interneurons (mostly basket cells) in sector CA1/subiculum is sufficient to induce hyperexcitability and spontaneous recurrent seizures in mice. As in patients with nonlesional TLE, these mice developed epilepsy without signs of neurodegeneration. The experiments highlight the importance of the potent inhibitory action mediated by parvalbumin cells in the hippocampus and identify a potential mechanism in the development of TLE.

A Circuit Node that Integrates Convergent Input from Neuromodulatory and Social Behavior-Promoting Neurons to Control Aggression in Drosophila.

  • Watanabe K
  • Neuron
  • 2017 Aug 30

Literature context:


Abstract:

Diffuse neuromodulatory systems such as norepinephrine (NE) control brain-wide states such as arousal, but whether they control complex social behaviors more specifically is not clear. Octopamine (OA), the insect homolog of NE, is known to promote both arousal and aggression. We have performed a systematic, unbiased screen to identify OA receptor-expressing neurons (OARNs) that control aggression in Drosophila. Our results uncover a tiny population of male-specific aSP2 neurons that mediate a specific influence of OA on aggression, independent of any effect on arousal. Unexpectedly, these neurons receive convergent input from OA neurons and P1 neurons, a population of FruM+ neurons that promotes male courtship behavior. Behavioral epistasis experiments suggest that aSP2 neurons may constitute an integration node at which OAergic neuromodulation can bias the output of P1 neurons to favor aggression over inter-male courtship. These results have potential implications for thinking about the role of related neuromodulatory systems in mammals.

Funding information:
  • NIMH NIH HHS - MH084020(United States)

Direct Reprogramming of Fibroblasts via a Chemically Induced XEN-like State.

  • Li X
  • Cell Stem Cell
  • 2017 Aug 3

Literature context:


Abstract:

Direct lineage reprogramming, including with small molecules, has emerged as a promising approach for generating desired cell types. We recently found that during chemical induction of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) from mouse fibroblasts, cells pass through an extra-embryonic endoderm (XEN)-like state. Here, we show that these chemically induced XEN-like cells can also be induced to directly reprogram into functional neurons, bypassing the pluripotent state. The induced neurons possess neuron-specific expression profiles, form functional synapses in culture, and further mature after transplantation into the adult mouse brain. Using similar principles, we were also able to induce hepatocyte-like cells from the XEN-like cells. Cells in the induced XEN-like state were readily expandable over at least 20 passages and retained genome stability and lineage specification potential. Our study therefore establishes a multifunctional route for chemical lineage reprogramming and may provide a platform for generating a diverse range of cell types via application of this expandable XEN-like state.

ASCL1 Reorganizes Chromatin to Direct Neuronal Fate and Suppress Tumorigenicity of Glioblastoma Stem Cells.

  • Park NI
  • Cell Stem Cell
  • 2017 Aug 3

Literature context:


Abstract:

Glioblastomas exhibit a hierarchical cellular organization, suggesting that they are driven by neoplastic stem cells that retain partial yet abnormal differentiation potential. Here, we show that a large subset of patient-derived glioblastoma stem cells (GSCs) express high levels of Achaete-scute homolog 1 (ASCL1), a proneural transcription factor involved in normal neurogenesis. ASCL1hi GSCs exhibit a latent capacity for terminal neuronal differentiation in response to inhibition of Notch signaling, whereas ASCL1lo GSCs do not. Increasing ASCL1 levels in ASCL1lo GSCs restores neuronal lineage potential, promotes terminal differentiation, and attenuates tumorigenicity. ASCL1 mediates these effects by functioning as a pioneer factor at closed chromatin, opening new sites to activate a neurogenic gene expression program. Directing GSCs toward terminal differentiation may provide therapeutic applications for a subset of GBM patients and strongly supports efforts to restore differentiation potential in GBM and other cancers.

ARX polyalanine expansion mutations lead to migration impediment in the rostral cortex coupled with a developmental deficit of calbindin-positive cortical GABAergic interneurons.

  • Lee K
  • Neuroscience
  • 2017 Aug 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

The Aristaless-related homeobox gene (ARX) is indispensable for interneuron development. Patients with ARX polyalanine expansion mutations of the first two tracts (namely PA1 and PA2) suffer from intellectual disability of varying severity, with seizures a frequent comorbidity. The impact of PA1 and PA2 mutations on the brain development is unknown, hindering the search for therapeutic interventions. Here, we characterized the disturbances to cortical interneuron development in mice modeling the two most common ARX polyalanine expansion mutations in human. We found a consistent ∼40-50% reduction of calbindin-positive interneurons, but not Stt+ or Cr+ interneurons, within the cortex of newborn hemizygous mice (p=0.024) for both mutant strains compared to wildtype (p=0.011). We demonstrate that this was a consequence of calbindin precursor cells being arrested or delayed at the ventral subpallium en route of tangential migration. Ex-vivo assay validated this migration deficit in PA1 cells (p=0.0002) suggesting that the defect is contributed by intrinsic loss of Arx function within migrating cells. Both humans and mice with PA1 mutations present with severe clinical features, including intellectual disability and infantile spasms. Our data further demonstrated the pathogenic mechanism was robustly shared between PA1 and PA2 mutations, as previously reported including Arx protein reduction and overlapping transcriptome profiles within the developing mouse brains. Data from our study demonstrated that cortical calbindin interneuron development and migration is negatively affected by ARX polyalanine expansion mutations. Understanding the cellular pathogenesis contributing to disease manifestation is necessary to screen efficacy of potential therapeutic interventions.

Origins of Cell-Type-Specific Olfactory Processing in the Drosophila Mushroom Body Circuit.

  • Inada K
  • Neuron
  • 2017 Jul 19

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Abstract:

How cell-type-specific physiological properties shape neuronal functions in a circuit remains poorly understood. We addressed this issue in the Drosophila mushroom body (MB), a higher olfactory circuit, where neurons belonging to distinct glomeruli in the antennal lobe feed excitation to three types of intrinsic neurons, α/β, α'/β', and γ Kenyon cells (KCs). Two-photon optogenetics and intracellular recording revealed that whereas glomerular inputs add similarly in all KCs, spikes were generated most readily in α'/β' KCs. This cell type was also the most competent in recruiting GABAergic inhibition fed back by anterior paired lateral neuron, which responded to odors either locally within a lobe or globally across all lobes depending on the strength of stimuli. Notably, as predicted from these physiological properties, α'/β' KCs had the highest odor detection speed, sensitivity, and discriminability. This enhanced discrimination required proper GABAergic inhibition. These results link cell-type-specific mechanisms and functions in the MB circuit.

Epidermal growth factor signals attenuate phenotypic and functional development of neocortical GABA neurons.

  • Namba H
  • J. Neurochem.
  • 2017 Jun 13

Literature context:


Abstract:

Phenotypic development of neocortical GABA neurons is highly plastic and promoted by various neurotrophic factors such as neuregulin-1. A subpopulation of GABA neurons expresses not only neuregulin receptor (ErbB4) but also epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptor (ErbB1) during development, but the neurobiological action of EGF on this cell population is less understood than that of neuregulin-1. Here, we examined the effects of exogenous EGF on immature GABA neurons both in culture and in vivo and also explored physiological consequences in adults. We prepared low density cultures from the neocortex of rat embryos and treated neocortical neurons with EGF. EGF decreased protein levels of glutamic acid decarboxylases (GAD65 and GAD67), and EGF influences on neuronal survival and glial proliferation were negligible or limited. The EGF treatment also diminished the frequency of miniature inhibitory postsynaptic currents (mIPSCs). In vivo administration of EGF to mouse pups reproduced the above GABAergic phenomena in neocortical culture. In EGF-injected postnatal mice, GAD- and parvalbumin-immunoreactivities were reduced in the frontal cortex. In addition, postnatal EGF treatment decreased mIPSC frequency in, and the density of, GABAergic terminals on pyramidal cells. Although these phenotypic influences on GABA neurons became less marked during development, it later resulted in the reduced β- and γ-powers of sound-evoked electroencephalogram in adults, which is regulated by parvalbumin-positive GABA neurons and implicated in the schizophrenia pathophysiology. These findings suggest that, in contrast to the ErbB4 ligand of neuregulin-1, the ErbB1 ligand of EGF exerts unique maturation-attenuating influences on developing cortical GABAergic neurons.

Funding information:
  • Wellcome Trust - 090108/Z/09/Z(United Kingdom)

The laminar organization of the Drosophila ellipsoid body is semaphorin-dependent and prevents the formation of ectopic synaptic connections.

  • Xie X
  • Elife
  • 2017 Jun 20

Literature context:


Abstract:

The ellipsoid body (EB) in the Drosophila brain is a central complex (CX) substructure that harbors circumferentially laminated ring (R) neuron axons and mediates multifaceted sensory integration and motor coordination functions. However, what regulates R axon lamination and how lamination affects R neuron function remain unknown. We show here that the EB is sequentially innervated by small-field and large-field neurons and that early developing EB neurons play an important regulatory role in EB laminae formation. The transmembrane proteins semaphorin-1a (Sema-1a) and plexin A function together to regulate R axon lamination. R neurons recruit both GABA and GABA-A receptors to their axon terminals in the EB, and optogenetic stimulation coupled with electrophysiological recordings show that Sema-1a-dependent R axon lamination is required for preventing the spread of synaptic inhibition between adjacent EB lamina. These results provide direct evidence that EB lamination is critical for local pre-synaptic inhibitory circuit organization.

Funding information:
  • NINDS NIH HHS - P30 NS050274()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS079584()

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.

Multiple cell types form the VIP amacrine cell population.

  • Pérez de Sevilla Müller L
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2017 May 4

Literature context:


Abstract:

Amacrine cells are a heterogeneous group of interneurons that form microcircuits with bipolar, amacrine and ganglion cells to process visual information in the inner retina. This study has characterized the morphology, neurochemistry and major cell types of a VIP-ires-Cre amacrine cell population. VIP-tdTomato and -Confetti (Brainbow2.1) mouse lines were generated by crossing a VIP-ires-Cre line with either a Cre-dependent tdTomato or Brainbow2.1 reporter line. Retinal sections and whole-mounts were evaluated by quantitative, immunohistochemical, and intracellular labeling approaches. The majority of tdTomato and Confetti fluorescent cell bodies were in the inner nuclear layer (INL) and a few cell bodies were in the ganglion cell layer (GCL). Fluorescent processes ramified in strata 1, 3, 4, and 5 of the inner plexiform layer (IPL). All tdTomato fluorescent cells expressed syntaxin 1A and GABA-immunoreactivity indicating they were amacrine cells. The average VIP-tdTomato fluorescent cell density in the INL and GCL was 535 and 24 cells/mm2 , respectively. TdTomato fluorescent cells in the INL and GCL contained VIP-immunoreactivity. The VIP-ires-Cre amacrine cell types were identified in VIP-Brainbow2.1 retinas or by intracellular labeling in VIP-tdTomato retinas. VIP-1 amacrine cells are bistratified, wide-field cells that ramify in strata 1, 4, and 5, VIP-2A and 2B amacrine cells are medium-field cells that mainly ramify in strata 3 and 4, and VIP-3 displaced amacrine cells are medium-field cells that ramify in strata 4 and 5 of the IPL. VIP-ires-Cre amacrine cells form a neuropeptide-expressing cell population with multiple cell types, which are likely to have distinct roles in visual processing.

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)

An inhibitory gate for state transition in cortex.

  • Zucca S
  • Elife
  • 2017 May 16

Literature context:


Abstract:

Large scale transitions between active (up) and silent (down) states during quiet wakefulness or NREM sleep regulate fundamental cortical functions and are known to involve both excitatory and inhibitory cells. However, if and how inhibition regulates these activity transitions is unclear. Using fluorescence-targeted electrophysiological recording and cell-specific optogenetic manipulation in both anesthetized and non-anesthetized mice, we found that two major classes of interneurons, the parvalbumin and the somatostatin positive cells, tightly control both up-to-down and down-to-up state transitions. Inhibitory regulation of state transition was observed under both natural and optogenetically-evoked conditions. Moreover, perturbative optogenetic experiments revealed that the inhibitory control of state transition was interneuron-type specific. Finally, local manipulation of small ensembles of interneurons affected cortical populations millimetres away from the modulated region. Together, these results demonstrate that inhibition potently gates transitions between cortical activity states, and reveal the cellular mechanisms by which local inhibitory microcircuits regulate state transitions at the mesoscale.

Funding information:
  • NINDS NIH HHS - U01 NS090576()

Rai1 frees mice from the repression of active wake behaviors by light.

  • Diessler S
  • Elife
  • 2017 May 26

Literature context:


Abstract:

Besides its role in vision, light impacts physiology and behavior through circadian and direct (aka 'masking') mechanisms. In Smith-Magenis syndrome (SMS), the dysregulation of both sleep-wake behavior and melatonin production strongly suggests impaired non-visual light perception. We discovered that mice haploinsufficient for the SMS causal gene, Retinoic acid induced-1 (Rai1), were hypersensitive to light such that light eliminated alert and active-wake behaviors, while leaving time-spent-awake unaffected. Moreover, variables pertaining to circadian rhythm entrainment were activated more strongly by light. At the input level, the activation of rod/cone and suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN) by light was paradoxically greatly reduced, while the downstream activation of the ventral-subparaventricular zone (vSPVZ) was increased. The vSPVZ integrates retinal and SCN input and, when activated, suppresses locomotor activity, consistent with the behavioral hypersensitivity to light we observed. Our results implicate Rai1 as a novel and central player in processing non-visual light information, from input to behavioral output.

Transient oxytocin signaling primes the development and function of excitatory hippocampal neurons.

  • Ripamonti S
  • Elife
  • 2017 Feb 23

Literature context:


Abstract:

Beyond its role in parturition and lactation, oxytocin influences higher brain processes that control social behavior of mammals, and perturbed oxytocin signaling has been linked to the pathogenesis of several psychiatric disorders. However, it is still largely unknown how oxytocin exactly regulates neuronal function. We show that early, transient oxytocin exposure in vitro inhibits the development of hippocampal glutamatergic neurons, leading to reduced dendrite complexity, synapse density, and excitatory transmission, while sparing GABAergic neurons. Conversely, genetic elimination of oxytocin receptors increases the expression of protein components of excitatory synapses and excitatory synaptic transmission in vitro. In vivo, oxytocin-receptor-deficient hippocampal pyramidal neurons develop more complex dendrites, which leads to increased spine number and reduced γ-oscillations. These results indicate that oxytocin controls the development of hippocampal excitatory neurons and contributes to the maintenance of a physiological excitation/inhibition balance, whose disruption can cause neurobehavioral disturbances.

A Brainstem-Spinal Cord Inhibitory Circuit for Mechanical Pain Modulation by GABA and Enkephalins.

  • François A
  • Neuron
  • 2017 Feb 22

Literature context:


Abstract:

Pain thresholds are, in part, set as a function of emotional and internal states by descending modulation of nociceptive transmission in the spinal cord. Neurons of the rostral ventromedial medulla (RVM) are thought to critically contribute to this process; however, the neural circuits and synaptic mechanisms by which distinct populations of RVM neurons facilitate or diminish pain remain elusive. Here we used in vivo opto/chemogenetic manipulations and trans-synaptic tracing of genetically identified dorsal horn and RVM neurons to uncover an RVM-spinal cord-primary afferent circuit controlling pain thresholds. Unexpectedly, we found that RVM GABAergic neurons facilitate mechanical pain by inhibiting dorsal horn enkephalinergic/GABAergic interneurons. We further demonstrate that these interneurons gate sensory inputs and control pain through temporally coordinated enkephalin- and GABA-mediated presynaptic inhibition of somatosensory neurons. Our results uncover a descending disynaptic inhibitory circuit that facilitates mechanical pain, is engaged during stress, and could be targeted to establish higher pain thresholds. VIDEO ABSTRACT.

Complete identification of four giant interneurons supplying mushroom body calyces in the cockroach Periplaneta americana.

  • Takahashi N
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2017 Jan 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Global inhibition is a fundamental physiological mechanism that has been proposed to shape odor representation in higher-order olfactory centers. A pair of mushroom bodies (MBs) in insect brains, an analog of the mammalian olfactory cortex, are implicated in multisensory integration and associative memory formation. With the use of single/multiple intracellular recording and staining in the cockroach Periplaneta americana, we succeeded in unambiguous identification of four tightly bundled GABA-immunoreactive giant interneurons that are presumably involved in global inhibitory control of the MB. These neurons, including three spiking neurons and one nonspiking neuron, possess dendrites in termination fields of MB output neurons and send axon terminals back to MB input sites, calyces, suggesting feedback roles onto the MB. The largest spiking neuron innervates almost exclusively the basal region of calyces, while the two smaller spiking neurons and the second-largest nonspiking neuron innervate more profusely the peripheral (lip) region of the calyces than the basal region. This subdivision corresponds well to the calycal zonation made by axon terminals of two populations of uniglomerular projection neurons with dendrites in distinct glomerular groups in the antennal lobe. The four giant neurons exhibited excitatory responses to every odor tested in a neuron-specific fashion, and two of the neurons also exhibited inhibitory responses in some recording sessions. Our results suggest that two parallel olfactory inputs to the MB undergo different forms of inhibitory control by the giant neurons, which may, in turn, be involved in different aspects of odor discrimination, plasticity, and state-dependent gain control. J. Comp. Neurol. 525:204-230, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Funding information:
  • NINDS NIH HHS - F31 NS080614(United States)

Distinct Hippocampal Pathways Mediate Dissociable Roles of Context in Memory Retrieval.

  • Xu C
  • Cell
  • 2016 Nov 3

Literature context:


Abstract:

Memories about sensory experiences are tightly linked to the context in which they were formed. Memory contextualization is fundamental for the selection of appropriate behavioral reactions needed for survival, yet the underlying neuronal circuits are poorly understood. By combining trans-synaptic viral tracing and optogenetic manipulation, we found that the ventral hippocampus (vHC) and the amygdala, two key brain structures encoding context and emotional experiences, interact via multiple parallel pathways. A projection from the vHC to the basal amygdala mediates fear behavior elicited by a conditioned context, whereas a parallel projection from a distinct subset of vHC neurons onto midbrain-projecting neurons in the central amygdala is necessary for context-dependent retrieval of cued fear memories. Our findings demonstrate that two fundamentally distinct roles of context in fear memory retrieval are processed by distinct vHC output pathways, thereby allowing for the formation of robust contextual fear memories while preserving context-dependent behavioral flexibility.

Competitive Disinhibition Mediates Behavioral Choice and Sequences in Drosophila.

  • Jovanic T
  • Cell
  • 2016 Oct 20

Literature context:


Abstract:

Even a simple sensory stimulus can elicit distinct innate behaviors and sequences. During sensorimotor decisions, competitive interactions among neurons that promote distinct behaviors must ensure the selection and maintenance of one behavior, while suppressing others. The circuit implementation of these competitive interactions is still an open question. By combining comprehensive electron microscopy reconstruction of inhibitory interneuron networks, modeling, electrophysiology, and behavioral studies, we determined the circuit mechanisms that contribute to the Drosophila larval sensorimotor decision to startle, explore, or perform a sequence of the two in response to a mechanosensory stimulus. Together, these studies reveal that, early in sensory processing, (1) reciprocally connected feedforward inhibitory interneurons implement behavioral choice, (2) local feedback disinhibition provides positive feedback that consolidates and maintains the chosen behavior, and (3) lateral disinhibition promotes sequence transitions. The combination of these interconnected circuit motifs can implement both behavior selection and the serial organization of behaviors into a sequence.

Funding information:
  • NIA NIH HHS - R01 AG036040(United States)

In Utero Exposure to Valproic Acid Induces Neocortical Dysgenesis via Dysregulation of Neural Progenitor Cell Proliferation/Differentiation.

  • Fujimura K
  • J. Neurosci.
  • 2016 Oct 19

Literature context:


Abstract:

Valproic acid (VPA), a widely used antiepileptic drug, is an inhibitor of histone deacetylases, which epigenetically modify cell proliferation/differentiation in developing tissues. A series of recent clinical studies in humans reported that VPA exposure in utero impaired histogenesis and the development of the central nervous system, leading to increased risks of congenital malformation and the impairment of higher brain functions in children. In the present study conducted in mice, we report that VPA exposure in utero (1) increases the amount of acetylated histone proteins, (2) alters the expression of G1-phase regulatory proteins, (3) inhibits the cell cycle exit of neural progenitor cells during the early stage of neocortical histogenesis, and (4) increases the production of projection neurons distributed in the superficial neocortical layers in embryonic brains. Together, our findings show that VPA exposure in utero alters proliferation/differentiation characteristics of neural progenitor cells and hence leads to the neocortical dysgenesis. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT: This study provides new insight into the mechanisms of how an altered in utero environment, such as drug exposure, affects the generation of neurons prenatally. The antiepileptic drug valproic acid (VPA) is a good target molecule as in utero exposure to VPA has been repeatedly reported to increase the risk of nervous system malformations and to impair higher brain functions in children. We show that VPA decreases the probability of differentiation of the neural progenitor cells (NPCs) in mice, resulting in an abnormally increased number of projection neurons in the superficial layers of the neocortex. Further, we suggest that histone deacetylase inhibition by VPA may be involved in the dysregulation of proliferation/differentiation characteristics of NPCs.

A GABAergic tecto-tegmento-tectal pathway in pigeons.

  • Stacho M
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2016 Oct 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Previous studies have demonstrated that the optic tecta of the left and right brain halves reciprocally inhibit each other in birds. In mammals, the superior colliculus receives inhibitory γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA)ergic input from the basal ganglia via both the ipsilateral and the contralateral substantia nigra pars reticulata (SNr). This contralateral SNr projection is important in intertectal inhibition. Because the basal ganglia are evolutionarily conserved, the tectal projections of the SNr may show a similar pattern in birds. Therefore, the SNr could be a relay station in an indirect tecto-tectal pathway constituting the neuronal substrate for the tecto-tectal inhibition. To test this hypothesis, we performed bilateral anterograde and retrograde tectal tracing combined with GABA immunohistochemistry in pigeons. Suprisingly, the SNr has only ipsilateral projections to the optic tectum, and these are non-GABAergic. Inhibitory GABAergic input to the contralateral optic tectum arises instead from a nearby tegmental region that receives input from the ipsilateral optic tectum. Thus, a disynaptic pathway exists that possibly constitutes the anatomical substrate for the inhibitory tecto-tectal interaction. This pathway likely plays an important role in attentional switches between the laterally placed eyes of birds. J. Comp. Neurol. 524:2886-2913, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Funding information:
  • NINDS NIH HHS - NS072202(United States)

Maintenance of age in human neurons generated by microRNA-based neuronal conversion of fibroblasts.

  • Huh CJ
  • Elife
  • 2016 Sep 20

Literature context:


Abstract:

Aging is a major risk factor in many forms of late-onset neurodegenerative disorders. The ability to recapitulate age-related characteristics of human neurons in culture will offer unprecedented opportunities to study the biological processes underlying neuronal aging. Here, we show that using a recently demonstrated microRNA-based cellular reprogramming approach, human fibroblasts from postnatal to near centenarian donors can be efficiently converted into neurons that maintain multiple age-associated signatures. Application of an epigenetic biomarker of aging (referred to as epigenetic clock) to DNA methylation data revealed that the epigenetic ages of fibroblasts were highly correlated with corresponding age estimates of reprogrammed neurons. Transcriptome and microRNA profiles reveal genes differentially expressed between young and old neurons. Further analyses of oxidative stress, DNA damage and telomere length exhibit the retention of age-associated cellular properties in converted neurons from corresponding fibroblasts. Our results collectively demonstrate the maintenance of age after neuronal conversion.

Genetic cell targeting uncovers specific neuronal types and distinct subregions in the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis.

  • Nguyen AQ
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2016 Aug 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

The bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST) plays an important role in fear, stress, and anxiety. It contains a collection of subnuclei delineated by gross cytoarchitecture features; however, there has yet to be a systematic examination of specific BNST neuronal types and their associated neurochemical makeup. The present study focuses on improved characterization of the anterior BNST based on differing molecular and chemical expression aided by mouse genetics. Specific Cre driver lines crossed with a fluorescent reporter line were used for genetic cell targeting and immunochemical staining. Using this new approach, we were able to robustly identify specific excitatory and inhibitory cell types in the BNST. The presence and distribution of excitatory neurons were firmly established; glutamatergic neurons in the anterior BNST accounted for about 14% and 31% of dorsal and ventral BNST cells, respectively. GABAergic neurons expressing different isoforms of glutamic acid decarboxylase were found to have differential subregional distributions. Almost no parvalbumin-expressing cells were found in the BNST, while somatostatin-expressing cells and calretinin-expressing cells account for modest proportions of BNST cells. In addition, vasoactive intestinal peptide-expressing axonal plexuses were prominent in the oval and juxtacapsular subregions. In addition, we discovered that corticotropin-releasing hormone-expressing cells contain GABAergic and glutamatergic subpopulations. Together, this study reveals new information on excitatory and inhibitory neurons in the BNST, which will facilitate genetic dissection and functional studies of BNST subregions. J. Comp. Neurol. 524:2379-2399, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Funding information:
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS085093(United States)

The anatomical basis for modulatory convergence in the antennal lobe of Manduca sexta.

  • Lizbinski KM
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2016 Jun 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

The release of neuromodulators by widely projecting neurons often allows sensory systems to alter how they process information based on the physiological state of an animal. Neuromodulators alter network function by changing the biophysical properties of individual neurons and the synaptic efficacy with which individual neurons communicate. However, most, if not all, sensory networks receive multiple neuromodulatory inputs, and the mechanisms by which sensory networks integrate multiple modulatory inputs are not well understood. Here we characterized the relative glomerular distribution of two extrinsic neuromodulators associated with distinct physiological states, serotonin (5-HT) and dopamine (DA), in the antennal lobe (AL) of the moth Manduca sexta. By using immunocytochemistry and mass dye fills, we characterized the innervation patterns of both 5-HT- and tyrosine hydroxylase-immunoreactive processes relative to each other, to olfactory receptor neurons (ORNs), to projection neurons (PNs), and to several subsets of local interneurons (LNs). 5-HT immunoreactivity had nearly complete overlap with PNs and LNs, yet no overlap with ORNs, suggesting that 5-HT may modulate PNs and LNs directly but not ORNs. TH immunoreactivity overlapped with PNs, LNs, and ORNs, suggesting that dopamine has the potential to modulate all three cell types. Furthermore, the branching density of each neuromodulator differed, with 5-HT exhibiting denser arborizations and TH-ir processes being sparser. Our results suggest that 5-HT and DA extrinsic neurons target partially overlapping glomerular regions, yet DA extends further into the region occupied by ORNs.

Comparative Mapping of GABA-Immunoreactive Neurons in the Buccal Ganglia of Nudipleura Molluscs.

  • Gunaratne CA
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2016 Apr 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

Phylogenetic comparisons of neurotransmitter distribution are important for understanding the ground plan organization of nervous systems. This study describes the γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA)-immunoreactive (GABA-ir) neurons in the buccal ganglia of six sea slug species (Mollusca, Gastropoda, Euthyneura, Nudipleura). In the nudibranch species, Hermissenda crassicornis, Tritonia diomedea, Tochuina tetraquetra, and Dendronotus iris, the number of GABA-ir neurons was highly consistent. Another nudibranch, Melibe leonina, however, contained approximately half the number of GABA-ir neurons. This may relate to its loss of a radula and its unique feeding behavior. The GABA immunoreactivity in a sister group to the nudibranchs, Pleurobranchaea californica, differed drastically from that of the nudibranchs. Not only did it have significantly more GABA-ir neurons but it also had a unique GABA distribution pattern. Furthermore, unlike the nudibranchs, the Pleurobranchaea GABA distribution was also different from that of other, more distantly related, euopisthobranch and panpulmonate snails and slugs. This suggests that the Pleurobranchaea GABA distribution may be a derived feature, unique to this lineage. The majority of GABA-ir axons and neuropil in the Nudipleura were restricted to the buccal ganglia, commissures, and connectives. However, in Tritonia and Pleurobranchaea, we detected a few GABA-ir fibers in buccal nerves that innervate feeding muscles. Although the specific functions of the GABA-ir neurons in the species in this study are not known, the innervation pattern suggests these neurons may play an integrative or regulatory role in bilaterally coordinated behaviors in the Nudipleura.

Ultrastructure of geniculocortical synaptic connections in the tree shrew striate cortex.

  • Familtsev D
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2016 Apr 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

To determine whether thalamocortical synaptic circuits differ across cortical areas, we examined the ultrastructure of geniculocortical terminals in the tree shrew striate cortex to compare directly the characteristics of these terminals with those of pulvinocortical terminals (examined previously in the temporal cortex of the same species; Chomsung et al. [] Cereb Cortex 20:997-1011). Tree shrews are considered to represent a prototype of early prosimian primates but are unique in that sublaminae of striate cortex layer IV respond preferentially to light onset (IVa) or offset (IVb). We examined geniculocortical inputs to these two sublayers labeled by tracer or virus injections or an antibody against the type 2 vesicular glutamate antibody (vGLUT2). We found that layer IV geniculocortical terminals, as well as their postsynaptic targets, were significantly larger than pulvinocortical terminals and their postsynaptic targets. In addition, we found that 9-10% of geniculocortical terminals in each sublamina contacted GABAergic interneurons, whereas pulvinocortical terminals were not found to contact any interneurons. Moreover, we found that the majority of geniculocortical terminals in both IVa and IVb contained dendritic protrusions, whereas pulvinocortical terminals do not contain these structures. Finally, we found that synaptopodin, a protein uniquely associated with the spine apparatus, and telencephalin (TLCN, or intercellular adhesion molecule type 5), a protein associated with maturation of dendritic spines, are largely excluded from geniculocortical recipient layers of the striate cortex. Together our results suggest major differences in the synaptic organization of thalamocortical pathways in striate and extrastriate areas.

Connectivity and neurochemistry of the commissura anterior of the pigeon (Columba livia).

  • Letzner S
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2016 Feb 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

The anterior commissure (AC) and the much smaller hippocampal commissure constitute the only interhemispheric pathways at the telencephalic level in birds. Since the degeneration study from Zeier and Karten (), no detailed description of the topographic organization of the AC has been performed. This information is not only necessary for a better understanding of interhemispheric transfer in birds, but also for a comparative analysis of the evolution of commissural systems in the vertebrate classes. We therefore examined the fiber connections of the AC by using choleratoxin subunit B (CTB) and biotinylated dextran amine (BDA). Injections into subareas of the arcopallium and posterior amygdala (PoA) demonstrated contralateral projection fields within the anterior arcopallium (AA), intermediate arcopallium (AI), PoA, lateral, caudolateral and central nidopallium, dorsal and ventral mesopallium, and medial striatum (MSt). Interestingly, only arcopallial and amygdaloid projections were reciprocally organized, and all AC projections originated within a rather small area of the arcopallium and the PoA. The commissural neurons were not GABA-positive, and thus possibly not of an inhibitory nature. In sum, our neuroanatomical study demonstrates that a small group of arcopallial and amygdaloid neurons constitute a wide range of contralateral projections to sensorimotor and limbic structures. Different from mammals, in birds the neurons that project via the AC constitute mostly heterotopically organized and unidirectional connections. In addition, the great majority of pallial areas do not participate by themselves in interhemispheric exchange in birds. Instead, commissural exchange rests on a rather small arcopallial and amygdaloid cluster of neurons.

Funding information:
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - T32 GM008042(United States)

The Role of Sonic Hedgehog in the Specification of Human Cortical Progenitors In Vitro.

  • Radonjić NV
  • Cereb. Cortex
  • 2016 Jan 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

Impaired sonic hedgehog (Shh) signaling is involved in the pathology of cortical formation found in neuropsychiatric disorders. However, its role in the specification of human cortical progenitors is not known. Here, we report that Shh is expressed in the human developing cortex at mid-gestation by radial glia cells (RGCs) and cortical neurons. We used RGC cultures, established from the dorsal (cortical) telencephalon of human brain at mid-gestation to study the effect of Shh signaling. Cortical RGCs in vitro maintained their regional characteristics, expressed components of Shh signaling, and differentiated into Nkx2.1, Lhx6, and calretinin-positive (CalR(+)) cells, potential cortical interneuron progenitors. Treatment with exogenous Shh increased the pool of Nkx2.1(+) progenitors, decreased Lhx6 expression, and suppressed the generation of CalR(+) cells. The blockade of endogenous Shh signaling increased the number of CalR(+) cells, but did not affect Nkx2.1 expression, implying the existence of parallel Shh-independent pathways for cortical Nkx2.1 regulation. These results support the idea that, during human brain development, Shh plays an important role in the specification of cortical progenitors. Since direct functional studies in humans are limited, the in vitro system that we established here could be of great interest for modeling the development of human cortical progenitors.

Co-localization of Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid and Glutamate in Neurons of the Spider Central Nervous System.

  • Fabian-Fine R
  • Cell Tissue Res.
  • 2015 Dec 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

Spider sensory neurons with cell bodies close to various sensory organs are innervated by putative efferent axons from the central nervous system (CNS). Light and electronmicroscopic imaging of immunolabeled neurons has demonstrated that neurotransmitters present at peripheral synapses include γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA), glutamate and octopamine. Moreover, electrophysiological studies show that these neurotransmitters modulate the sensitivity of peripheral sensory neurons. Here, we undertook immunocytochemical investigations to characterize GABA and glutamate-immunoreactive neurons in three-dimensional reconstructions of the spider CNS. We document that both neurotransmitters are abundant in morphologically distinct neurons throughout the CNS. Labeling for the vesicular transporters, VGAT for GABA and VGLUT for glutamate, showed corresponding patterns, supporting the specificity of antibody binding. Whereas some neurons displayed strong immunolabeling, others were only weakly labeled. Double labeling showed that a subpopulation of weakly labeled neurons present in all ganglia expresses both GABA and glutamate. Double labeled, strongly and weakly labeled GABA and glutamate immunoreactive axons were also observed in the periphery along muscle fibers and peripheral sensory neurons. Electron microscopic investigations showed presynaptic profiles of various diameters with mixed vesicle populations innervating muscle tissue as well as sensory neurons. Our findings provide evidence that: (1) sensory neurons and muscle fibers are innervated by morphologically distinct, centrally located GABA- and glutamate immunoreactive neurons; (2) a subpopulation of these neurons may co-release both neurotransmitters; and (3) sensory neurons and muscles are innervated by all of these neurochemically and morphologically distinct types of neurons. The biochemical diversity of presynaptic innervation may contribute to how spiders filter natural stimuli and coordinate appropriate response patterns.

Cytogenesis in the adult monkey motor cortex: perivascular NG2 cells are the major adult born cell type.

  • Stanton GB
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2015 Apr 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

We used confocal microscopy and immunohistochemistry (IHC) to look for new cells in the motor cortex of adult macaque monkeys that might form the cellular bases of improved brain function from exercise. Twenty-four female Macaca fascicularis monkeys divided into groups by age (10-12 years, 15-17 years), postexercise survival periods, and controls, received 10 weekly injections of the thymidine analog, bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) to mark new cells. Sixteen monkeys survived 15 weeks (5 weeks postexercise) and 8 monkeys survived 27 weeks (12 weeks postexercise) after initial BrdU injections. Additionally, five Macaca mulatta female monkeys (∼5.5-7 years) received single injections of BrdU and survived 2 days, 2 weeks, and 6 weeks after BrdU injections. Neural and glial antibodies were used to identify new cell phenotypes and to look for changes in proportions of these cells with respect to time and experimental conditions. No BrdU(+) /DCx(+) cells were found but about 7.5% of new cells were calretinin-positive (Cr(+) ). BrdU(+) /GABA(+) (gamma-aminobutyric acid) cells were also found but no new Cr(+) or GABA(+) cells colabeled with a mature neuron marker, NeuN or chondroitin sulfate antibody, NG2. The proportion of new cells that were NG2(+) was about 85% for short and long survival monkeys of which two, newly described perivascular phenotypes (Pldv and Elu) and a small percentage of pericytes (2.5%) comprised 44% and 51% of the new NG2(+) cells, respectively. Proportions of NG2(+) phenotypes were affected by post-BrdU survival periods, monkey age, and possibly a postexercise sedentary period but no direct effect of exercise was found.

Diversity and wiring variability of visual local neurons in the Drosophila medulla M6 stratum.

  • Chin AL
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2014 Dec 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Local neurons in the vertebrate retina are instrumental in transforming visual inputs to extract contrast, motion, and color information and in shaping bipolar-to-ganglion cell transmission to the brain. In Drosophila, UV vision is represented by R7 inner photoreceptor neurons that project to the medulla M6 stratum, with relatively little known of this downstream substrate. Here, using R7 terminals as references, we generated a 3D volume model of the M6 stratum, which revealed a retinotopic map for UV representations. Using this volume model as a common 3D framework, we compiled and analyzed the spatial distributions of more than 200 single M6-specific local neurons (M6-LNs). Based on the segregation of putative dendrites and axons, these local neurons were classified into two families, directional and nondirectional. Neurotransmitter immunostaining suggested a signal routing model in which some visual information is relayed by directional M6-LNs from the anterior to the posterior M6 and all visual information is inhibited by a diverse population of nondirectional M6-LNs covering the entire M6 stratum. Our findings suggest that the Drosophila medulla M6 stratum contains diverse LNs that form repeating functional modules similar to those found in the vertebrate inner plexiform layer.

Funding information:
  • NIA NIH HHS - AG025688(United States)
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - R01 GM056834(United States)

Odd-skipped labels a group of distinct neurons associated with the mushroom body and optic lobe in the adult Drosophila brain.

  • Levy P
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2014 Jun 11

Literature context:


Abstract:

Olfactory processing has been intensively studied in Drosophila melanogaster. However, we still know little about the descending neural pathways from the higher order processing centers and how these connect with other neural circuits. Here we describe, in detail, the adult projections patterns that arise from a cluster of 78 neurons, defined by the expression of the Odd-skipped transcription factor. We term these neurons Odd neurons. By using expression of genetically encoded axonal and dendritic markers, we show that a subset of the Odd neurons projects dendrites into the calyx of the mushroom body (MB) and axons into the inferior protocerebrum. We exclude the possibility that the Odd neurons are part of the well-known Kenyon cells whose projections form the MB and conclude that the Odd neurons belong to a previously not described class of extrinsic MB neurons. In addition, three of the Odd neurons project into the lobula plate of the optic lobe, and two of these cells extend axons ipsi- and contralaterally in the brain. Anatomically, these cells do not resemble any previously described lobula plate tangential cells (LPTCs) in Drosophila. We show that the Odd neurons are predominantly cholinergic but also include a small number of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA)ergic neurons. Finally, we provide evidence that the Odd neurons are a hemilineage, suggesting they are born from a defined set of neuroblasts. Our anatomical analysis hints at the possibility that subgroups of Odd neurons could be involved in olfactory and visual processing.

Funding information:
  • NHGRI NIH HHS - 5 T32 HG000044(United States)

Choline acetyltransferase-like immunoreactivity in a physiologically distinct subtype of olfactory nonspiking local interneurons in the cockroach (periplaneta americana).

  • Fusca D
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2013 Oct 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

Behavioral and physiological studies have shown that local interneurons are pivotal for processing odor information in the insect antennal lobe. They mediate inhibitory and excitatory interactions between the glomerular pathways and ultimately shape the tuning profile of projection neurons. To identify putative cholinergic local interneurons in the antennal lobe of Periplaneta americana, an antibody raised against the biosynthetic enzyme choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) was applied to individual morphologically and electrophysiologically characterized local interneurons. In nonspiking type IIa1 local interneurons, which were classified in this study, we found ChAT-like immunoreactivity suggesting that they are most likely excitatory. This is a well-defined population of neurons that generates Ca(2+) -driven spikelets upon depolarization and stimulation with odorants, but not Na(+) -driven action potentials, because they lack voltage-activated transient Na(+) currents. The nonspiking type IIa2 and type IIb local interneurons, in which Ca(2+) -driven spikelets were absent, had no ChAT-like immunoreactivity. The GABA-like immunoreactive, spiking type I local interneurons had no ChAT-like immunoreactivity. In addition, we showed that uniglomerular projection neurons with cell bodies located in the ventral portion of the ventrolateral somata group and projections along the inner antennocerebral tract exhibited ChAT-like immunoreactivity. Assigning potential transmitters and neuromodulators to distinct morphological and electrophysiological types of antennal lobe neurons is an important prerequisite for a detailed understanding of odor information processing in insects.

Funding information:
  • NINDS NIH HHS - P01 NS44306(United States)

GABAergic inputs from direct and indirect striatal projection neurons onto cholinergic interneurons in the primate putamen.

  • Gonzales KK
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2013 Aug 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Striatal cholinergic interneurons (ChIs) are involved in reward-dependent learning and the regulation of attention. The activity of these neurons is modulated by intrinsic and extrinsic γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA)ergic and glutamatergic afferents, but the source and relative prevalence of these diverse regulatory inputs remain to be characterized. To address this issue, we performed a quantitative ultrastructural analysis of the GABAergic and glutamatergic innervation of ChIs in the postcommissural putamen of rhesus monkeys. Postembedding immunogold localization of GABA combined with peroxidase immunostaining for choline acetyltransferase showed that 60% of all synaptic inputs to ChIs originate from GABAergic terminals, whereas 21% are from putatively glutamatergic terminals that establish asymmetric synapses, and 19% from other (non-GABAergic) sources of symmetric synapses. Double pre-embedding immunoelectron microscopy using substance P and Met-/Leu-enkephalin antibodies to label GABAergic terminals from collaterals of "direct" and "indirect" striatal projection neurons, respectively, revealed that 47% of the indirect pathway terminals and 36% of the direct pathway terminals target ChIs. Together, substance P- and enkephalin-positive terminals represent 24% of all synapses onto ChIs in the monkey putamen. These findings show that ChIs receive prominent GABAergic inputs from multiple origins, including a significant contingent from axon collaterals of direct and indirect pathway projection neurons.

Funding information:
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - GM071909(United States)

A novel α-synuclein-GFP mouse model displays progressive motor impairment, olfactory dysfunction and accumulation of α-synuclein-GFP.

  • Hansen C
  • Neurobiol. Dis.
  • 2013 Aug 5

Literature context:


Abstract:

Compelling evidence suggests that accumulation and aggregation of alpha-synuclein (α-syn) contribute to the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease (PD). Here, we describe a novel Bacterial Artificial Chromosome (BAC) transgenic model, in which we have expressed wild-type human α-syn fused to green fluorescent protein (GFP), under control of the mouse α-syn promoter. We observed a widespread and high expression of α-syn-GFP in multiple brain regions, including the dopaminergic neurons of the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc) and the ventral tegmental area, the olfactory bulb as well as in neocortical neurons. With increasing age, transgenic mice exhibited reductions in amphetamine-induced locomotor activity in the open field, impaired rotarod performance and a reduced striatal dopamine release, as measured by amperometry. In addition, they progressively developed deficits in an odor discrimination test. Western blot analysis revealed that α-syn-GFP and phospho-α-syn levels increased in multiple brain regions, as the mice grew older. Further, we observed, by immunohistochemical staining for phospho-α-syn and in vivo by two-photon microscopy, the formation of α-syn aggregates as the mice aged. The latter illustrates that the model can be used to track α-syn aggregation in vivo. In summary, this novel BAC α-syn-GFP model mimics a unique set of aspects of PD progression combined with the possibility of tracking α-syn aggregation in neocortex of living mice. Therefore, this α-syn-GFP-mouse model can provide a powerful tool that will facilitate the study of α-syn biology and its involvement in PD pathogenesis.

Funding information:
  • NIDCD NIH HHS - 5R01DC000127(United States)
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - GM066826(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)

Concentric zones for pheromone components in the mushroom body calyx of the moth brain.

  • Namiki S
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2013 Apr 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

The spatial distribution of input and output neurons in the mushroom body (MB) calyx was investigated in the silkmoth Bombyx mori. In Lepidoptera, the brain has a specialized system for processing sex pheromones. How individual pheromone components are represented in the MB has not yet been elucidated. Toward this end, we first compared the distribution of the presynaptic boutons of antennal lobe projection neurons (PNs), which transfer odor information from the antennal lobe to the MB calyx. The axons of PNs that innervate pheromonal glomeruli were confined to a relatively small area within the calyx. In contrast, the axons of PNs that innervate nonpheromonal glomeruli were more widely distributed. PN axons for the minor pheromone component covered a larger area than those for the major pheromone component and partially overlapped with those innervating nonpheromonal glomeruli, suggesting the integration of the minor pheromone component with plant odors. Overall, we found that PN axons innervating pheromonal and nonpheromonal glomeruli were organized into concentric zones. We then analyzed the dendritic fields of Kenyon cells (KCs), which receive inputs from PNs. Despite the strong regional localization of axons of different PN classes, the dendrites of KCs were less well classified. Finally, we estimated the connectivity between PNs and KCs and suggest that the dendritic field may be organized to receive different amounts of pheromonal and nonpheromonal inputs. PNs for multiple pheromone components and plant odors enter the calyx in a concentric fashion, and they are read out by the elaborate dendritic field of KCs.

Funding information:
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - HL071540(United States)
  • NLM NIH HHS - R01-LM006845(United States)

Distribution and intrinsic membrane properties of basal forebrain GABAergic and parvalbumin neurons in the mouse.

  • McKenna JT
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2013 Apr 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

The basal forebrain (BF) strongly regulates cortical activation, sleep homeostasis, and attention. Many BF neurons involved in these processes are GABAergic, including a subpopulation of projection neurons containing the calcium-binding protein, parvalbumin (PV). However, technical difficulties in identification have prevented a precise mapping of the distribution of GABAergic and GABA/PV+ neurons in the mouse or a determination of their intrinsic membrane properties. Here we used mice expressing fluorescent proteins in GABAergic (GAD67-GFP knock-in mice) or PV+ neurons (PV-Tomato mice) to study these neurons. Immunohistochemical staining for GABA in GAD67-GFP mice confirmed that GFP selectively labeled BF GABAergic neurons. GFP+ neurons and fibers were distributed throughout the BF, with the highest density in the magnocellular preoptic area (MCPO). Immunohistochemistry for PV indicated that the majority of PV+ neurons in the BF were large (>20 μm) or medium-sized (15-20 μm) GFP+ neurons. Most medium and large-sized BF GFP+ neurons, including those retrogradely labeled from the neocortex, were fast-firing and spontaneously active in vitro. They exhibited prominent hyperpolarization-activated inward currents and subthreshold "spikelets," suggestive of electrical coupling. PV+ neurons recorded in PV-Tomato mice had similar properties but had significantly narrower action potentials and a higher maximal firing frequency. Another population of smaller GFP+ neurons had properties similar to striatal projection neurons. The fast firing and electrical coupling of BF GABA/PV+ neurons, together with their projections to cortical interneurons and the thalamic reticular nucleus, suggest a strong and synchronous control of the neocortical fast rhythms typical of wakefulness and REM sleep.

Funding information:
  • Wellcome Trust - 095198/Z/10/Z(United Kingdom)

Characterization of the hypothalamus of Xenopus laevis during development. I. The alar regions.

  • Domínguez L
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2013 Mar 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

The patterns of expression of a set of conserved developmental regulatory transcription factors and neuronal markers were analyzed in the alar hypothalamus of Xenopus laevis throughout development. Combined immunohistochemical and in situ hybridization techniques were used for the identification of subdivisions and their boundaries. The alar hypothalamus was located rostral to the diencephalon in the secondary prosencephalon and represents the rostral continuation of the alar territories of the diencephalon and brainstem, according to the prosomeric model. It is composed of the supraoptoparaventricular (dorsal) and the suprachiasmatic (ventral) regions, and limits dorsally with the preoptic region, caudally with the prethalamic eminence and the prethalamus, and ventrally with the basal hypothalamus. The supraoptoparaventricular area is defined by the orthopedia (Otp) expression and is subdivided into rostral and caudal portions, on the basis of the Nkx2.2 expression only in the rostral portion. This region is the source of many neuroendocrine cells, primarily located in the rostral subdivision. The suprachiasmatic region is characterized by Dll4/Isl1 expression, and was also subdivided into rostral and caudal portions, based on the expression of Nkx2.1/Nkx2.2 and Lhx1/7 exclusively in the rostral portion. Both alar regions are mainly connected with subpallial areas strongly implicated in the limbic system and show robust intrahypothalamic connections. Caudally, both regions project to brainstem centers and spinal cord. All these data support that in terms of topology, molecular specification, and connectivity the subdivisions of the anuran alar hypothalamus possess many features shared with their counterparts in amniotes, likely controlling similar reflexes, responses, and behaviors.

Funding information:
  • NLM NIH HHS - LM009382(United States)

Characterization of small-field bistratified amacrine cells in macaque retina labeled by antibodies against synaptotagmin-2.

  • Neumann S
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2013 Feb 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

Macaque retinae were immunostained with monoclonal antibodies directed against the protein synaptotagmin-2 (Syt2). Syt2 was localized in a population of small-field amacrine cells, whose cell bodies formed a regular mosaic within the inner nuclear layer, indicating they represent a single amacrine cell type. The labeled amacrine cells had a bistratified appearance with a dense dendritic plexus in the OFF-layer and only a few lobular processes extending into the ON-layer of the inner plexiform layer, similar to A8 amacrine cells described in cat and human retina. Syt2-labeled cells were immunoreactive for glycine but lacked immunoreactivity for γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA), suggesting they use glycine as their neurotransmitter. The density of these cells increases from ∼200/mm(2) in peripheral retina to ∼1,400/mm(2) in central retina. Their bipolar cell input was studied by immunolabeling experiments using various bipolar cell markers combined with CtBP2, a marker of presynaptic ribbons. Our data show that Syt2-labeled amacrine cells receive input from both OFF and ON cone bipolar cells, as well as from rod bipolar cells. The OFF input is dominated by the diffuse bipolar cell DB1 (44%) and the OFF midget bipolar cell (38%). Here we describe a population of bistratified small-field amacrine cells closely resembling A8 amacrine cells and their cone-dominated bipolar cell input. J. Comp. Neurol. 521:709-724, 2013. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Funding information:
  • NIAID NIH HHS - K25AI068151(United States)
  • NIDCR NIH HHS - T32DE014678(United States)

Lesion-induced generation of interneuron cell types in specific dorsoventral domains in the spinal cord of adult zebrafish.

  • Kuscha V
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2012 Nov 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

In contrast to mammals, adult zebrafish regenerate neurons in the lesioned spinal cord. For example, motor neurons are generated from an olig2-expressing population of pMN-like ependymoradial glial cells in a ventrolateral position at the central canal. However, the extent of neuronal regeneration is unclear. Here we show, using a transgenic fish in which V2 interneurons are labeled by green fluorescent protein (GFP) under the control of the vsx1 promoter, that after a complete spinal cord transection, large numbers of V2 interneurons are generated in the vicinity of the lesion site. Tg(vsx1:GFP)⁺ cells are not present in the unlesioned spinal cord and label with the proliferation marker bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) after a lesion. Some mediolaterally elongated Tg(vsx1:GFP)⁺ cells contact the central canal in a medial position. These cells likely arise from a p2-like domain of ependymoradial glial progenitor cells, indicated by coexpression of Pax6 and Nkx6.1, but not DsRed driven by the olig2 promoter in these cells. We also present evidence that Pax2⁺ interneurons are newly generated after a spinal lesion, whereas the generation rate for a dorsal population of parvalbuminergic interneurons is comparatively low. Our results identify the regenerative potential of different interneuron types for the first time and support a model in which different progenitor cell domains in distinct dorsoventral positions around the central canal are activated by a lesion to give rise to diverse neuronal cell types in the adult zebrafish spinal cord.

Funding information:
  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research - (Canada)
  • NIDCD NIH HHS - R21 DC013358(United States)

The central complex of the flesh fly, Neobellieria bullata: recordings and morphologies of protocerebral inputs and small-field neurons.

  • Phillips-Portillo J
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2012 Oct 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

The central complex in the brains of insects is a series of midline neuropils involved in motor control, sensory integration, and associative learning. To understand better the role of this center and its supply of sensory information, intracellular recordings and dye fills were made of central complex neurons in the fly, Neobellieria bullata. Recordings were obtained from 24 neurons associated with the ellipsoid body, fan-shaped body, and protocerebral bridge, all of which receive both visual and mechanosensory information from protocerebral centers. One neuron with dendrites in an area of the lateral protocerebrum associated with motion-sensitive outputs from the optic lobes invades the entire protocerebral bridge and was driven by visual motion. Inputs to the fan-shaped body and ellipsoid body responded both to visual stimuli and to air puffs directed at the head and abdomen. Intrinsic neurons in both of these structures respond to changes in illumination. A putative output neuron connecting the protocerebral bridge, the fan-shaped body, and one of the lateral accessory lobes showed opponent responses to moving visual stimuli. These recordings identify neurons with response properties previously known only from extracellular recordings in other species. Dye injections into neurons connecting the central complex with areas of the protocerebrum suggest that some classes of inputs into the central complex are electrically coupled.

Funding information:
  • NCATS NIH HHS - UL1 TR001082(United States)

Anatomical basis of sun compass navigation I: the general layout of the monarch butterfly brain.

  • Heinze S
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2012 Jun 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Each fall, eastern North American monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) use a time-compensated sun compass to migrate to their overwintering grounds in central Mexico. The sun compass mechanism involves the neural integration of skylight cues with timing information from circadian clocks to maintain a constant heading. The neuronal substrates for the necessary interactions between compass neurons in the central complex, a prominent structure of the central brain, and circadian clocks are largely unknown. To begin to unravel these neural substrates, we performed 3D reconstructions of all neuropils of the monarch brain based on anti-synapsin labeling. Our work characterizes 21 well-defined neuropils (19 paired, 2 unpaired), as well as all synaptic regions between the more classically defined neuropils. We also studied the internal organization of all major neuropils on brain sections, using immunocytochemical stainings against synapsin, serotonin, and γ-aminobutyric acid. Special emphasis was placed on describing the neuroarchitecture of sun-compass-related brain regions and outlining their homologies to other migratory species. In addition to finding many general anatomical similarities to other insects, interspecies comparison also revealed several features that appear unique to the monarch brain. These distinctive features were especially apparent in the visual system and the mushroom body. Overall, we provide a comprehensive analysis of the brain anatomy of the monarch butterfly that will ultimately aid our understanding of the neuronal processes governing animal migration.

Funding information:
  • NEI NIH HHS - T32 EY013933(United States)

Localization of endogenous morphine-like compounds in the mouse spinal cord.

  • Laux A
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2012 May 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Morphine, codeine, morphine-6-glucuronide, and morphine-3-glucuronide are synthesized de novo in mammalian cells and in the central nervous system. Knowledge on endogenous morphine-like compound distribution in the adult mouse brain has been recently improved, and new hypotheses have been suggested about the potential implications in brain physiology. Endogenous morphine-like compounds have been shown to be synthesized in the spinal cord, but their localization is unknown. Here we describe the distribution of endogenous morphine-like compounds (morphine and/or its glucuronides and/or codeine) in the adult mouse spinal cord using a well-validated antibody. By using different microscopy approaches, we found the presence of morphine, codeine, or morphine glucuronides in γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA)-ergic neurons and astrocytes of the spinal cord. Whereas GABAergic neurons containing endogenous morphine-like compounds were located primarily in the ventral horn, astrocytes that were labeled for morphine-like compounds were found throughout the gray matter and the white matter. Our study demonstrates the possibility that endogenous morphine-like compounds in the central nervous system have other functions beyond their analgesic functions.

Funding information:
  • Intramural NIH HHS - ZIA ES102805(United States)

Characterization of the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis in the forebrain of anuran amphibians.

  • Moreno N
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2012 Feb 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Major common features have been reported for the organization of the basal telencephalon in amniotes, and most characteristics were thought to be acquired in the transition from anamniotes to amniotes. However, gene expression, neurochemical, and hodological data obtained for the basal ganglia and septal and amygdaloid complexes in amphibians (anamniotic tetrapods) have strengthened the idea of a conserved organization in tetrapods. A poorly characterized region in the forebrain of amniotes has been the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BST), but numerous recent investigations have characterized it as a member of the extended amygdala. Our study analyzes the main features of the BST in anuran amphibians to establish putative homologies with amniotes. Gene expression patterns during development identified the anuran BST as a subpallial, nonstriatal territory. The BST shows Nkx2.1 and Lhx7 expression and contains an Islet1-positive cell subpopulation derived from the lateral ganglionic eminence. Immunohistochemistry for diverse peptides and neurotransmitters revealed that the distinct chemoarchitecture of the BST is strongly conserved among tetrapods. In vitro tracing techniques with dextran amines revealed important connections between the BST and the central and medial amygdala, septal territories, medial pallium, preoptic area, lateral hypothalamus, thalamus, and prethalamus. The BST receives dopaminergic projections from the ventral tegmental area and is connected with the laterodorsal tegmental nucleus and the rostral raphe in the brainstem. All these data suggest that the anuran BST shares many features with its counterpart in amniotes and belongs to a basal continuum, likely controlling similar reflexes, reponses, and behaviors in tetrapods.

Funding information:
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - P20 GM64361(United States)

Investigation of cytoskeleton proteins in neurons of the cat lateral geniculate nucleus.

  • Duffy KR
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2012 Jan 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

The gross structure of neurons is supported by proteins that compose the cytoskeleton. Neurofilaments are intermediate cytoskeletal proteins that contribute to neuron structure and function, and three neurofilament subunits different in their molecular mass assemble to form heteropolymers that produce a structure-providing intracellular scaffold. The light neurofilament subunit is obligatory and can assemble with either the medium or heavy subunit, indicating some degree of independence between subunits. The presence of the heavy subunit has been shown to be associated with mature cells and is linked to large neurons in the cerebral cortex and thalamus. Spectrin is a membrane-associated actin-binding protein that, like neurofilament, has been linked to neuron shape. In this study of the cat dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus (dLGN) we examined whether labeling for neurofilament subunits and spectrin is linked to neuron size. We found that about one-third of neurons contained a visible amount of labeling for each neurofilament subunit, and the bulk of these labeled cells were large in comparison to the general population of neurons. The distribution of neuron sizes was not different between neurofilament subunits, indicating that neurofilament subunit content is not determined by neuron size. Spectrin labeling was evident in most dLGN neurons, and was not related to the size of neurons. That reactivity for neurofilament was predominant in large cells led us to directly examine the relationship between neurofilament and interneurons. The large majority of neurofilament-positive neurons did not contain GABA, indicating that neurofilament is predominant in projection cells and not in interneurons.

Funding information:
  • NIDCD NIH HHS - DC02961(United States)
  • NINDS NIH HHS - 4R00NS057944-03(United States)

Diversity, variability, and suboesophageal connectivity of antennal lobe neurons in D. melanogaster larvae.

  • Thum AS
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2011 Dec 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Whereas the "vertical" elements of the insect olfactory pathway, the olfactory receptor neurons and the projection neurons, have been studied in great detail, local interneurons providing "horizontal" connections in the antennal lobe were ignored for a long time. Recent studies in adult Drosophila demonstrate diverse roles for these neurons in the integration of odor information, consistent with the identification of a large variety of anatomical and neurochemical subtypes. Here we focus on the larval olfactory circuit of Drosophila, which is much reduced in terms of cell numbers. We show that the horizontal connectivity in the larval antennal lobe differs largely from its adult counterpart. Only one of the five anatomical types of neurons we describe is restricted to the antennal lobe and therefore fits the definition of a local interneuron. Interestingly, the four remaining subtypes innervate both the antennal lobe and the suboesophageal ganglion. In the latter, they may overlap with primary gustatory terminals and with arborizations of hugin cells, which are involved in feeding control. This circuitry suggests special links between smell and taste, which may reflect the chemosensory constraints of a crawling and burrowing lifestyle. We also demonstrate that many of the neurons we describe exhibit highly variable trajectories and arborizations, especially in the suboesophageal ganglion. Together with reports from adult Drosophila, these data suggest that wiring variability may be another principle of insect brain organization, in parallel with stereotypy.

Funding information:
  • NICHD NIH HHS - HD027305(United States)
  • PHS HHS - HHSN266200400037C(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)

Characterization of NPY Y2 receptor protein expression in the mouse brain. II. Coexistence with NPY, the Y1 receptor, and other neurotransmitter-related molecules.

  • Stanić D
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2011 May 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Neuropeptide Y (NPY) is widely expressed in the brain and its biological effects are mediated through a variety of receptors. We examined, using immunohistochemistry, expression of the Y2 receptor (R) protein in the adult mouse brain and its association with NPY and the Y1R, as well as a range of additional neurotransmitters and signaling-related molecules, which previously have not been defined. Our main focus was on the hippocampal formation (HiFo), amygdaloid complex, and hypothalamus, considering the known functions of NPY and the wide expression of NPY, Y1R, and Y2R in these regions. Y2R-like immunoreactivity (-LI) was distributed in nerve fibers/terminal endings throughout the brain axis, without apparent colocalization with NPY or the Y1R. Occasional coexistence between NPY- and Y1R-LI was found in the HiFo. Following colchicine treatment, Y2R-LI accumulated in cell bodies that coexpressed γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in a population of cells in the amygdaloid complex and lateral septal nucleus, but not in the HiFo. Instead, Y2R-positive nerve terminals appeared to surround GABA-immunoreactive (ir) cells in the HiFo and other neuronal populations, e.g., NPY-ir cells in HiFo and tyrosine hydroxylase-ir cells in the hypothalamus. In the HiFo, Y2R-ir mossy fibers coexpressed GABA, glutamic acid decarboxylase 67 and calbindin, and Y2R-LI was found in the same fibers that contained the presynaptic metabotropic glutamate receptor 2, but not together with any of the three vesicular glutamate transporters. Our findings provide further support that Y2R is mostly presynaptic, and that Y2Rs thus have a modulatory role in mediating presynaptic neurotransmitter release.

Funding information:
  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research - MOP-177796(Canada)
  • NHGRI NIH HHS - RC1-HG005334(United States)

Low-threshold calcium channel subunit Ca(v) 3.3 is specifically localized in GABAergic neurons of rodent thalamus and cerebral cortex.

  • Liu XB
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2011 Apr 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

Relatively little is known about the subcellular localization of low threshold Ca²+ channels (T-channels) in the brain. Using immunocytochemical labeling and preembedding immunoperoxidase and silver-enhanced immunogold electron microscopy, we localized T-channel subunit Ca(v) 3.3 in rodent cerebral cortex and thalamus. Double immunofluorescent staining demonstrated that Ca(v) 3.3-labeled neurons in cerebral cortex are a subgroup of GABAergic interneurons that coexpress calbindin and in half of the cases parvalbumin. In the thalamus, virtually all reticular nucleus (RTN) neurons were immunopositive for Ca(v) 3.3, while neurons in dorsal thalamic nuclei were nonimmunoreactive. At the electron microscopic (EM) level, in cortical layers IV-V and RTN neurons, Ca(v) 3.3 immunoreactivity was mainly associated with membranes of dendrites but with some localization in cytoplasm. None was found in axon terminals. In cortex, ≈73% of immunogold particles were present in close proximity to synaptic contacts (<0.5 μm from the postsynaptic density), while 27% were distributed along membranes at extrasynaptic sites (>0.5 μm from the postsynaptic density). In RTN, ≈57% particles were evenly distributed along perisynaptic membranes and the remaining 43% of particles were diffusely localized at extrasynaptic membranes. The density of particles along the dendritic membranes of cortical neurons was 40% higher than in RTN neurons. These results suggest that Ca(v) 3.3 plays a role in regulating GABAergic neurons whose actions underlie thalamocortical rhythmicity.

Funding information:
  • NIAID NIH HHS - U01AI068635-01(United States)

The inhibitory influence of the lateral habenula on midbrain dopamine cells: ultrastructural evidence for indirect mediation via the rostromedial mesopontine tegmental nucleus.

  • Balcita-Pedicino JJ
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2011 Apr 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

The lateral habenula (LHb) provides an important source of negative reinforcement signals to midbrain dopamine (DA) cells in the substantia nigra and ventral tegmental area (VTA). This profound and consistent inhibitory influence involves a disynaptic connection from glutamate neurons in the LHb to some population of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) cells that, in turn, innervates DA neurons. Previous studies demonstrated that the GABA cells intrinsic to the VTA receive insufficient synaptic input from the LHb to serve as the primary source of this intermediate connection. In this investigation, we sought ultrastructural evidence supporting the hypothesis that a newly identified region of the brainstem, the rostromedial mesopontine tegmental nucleus (RMTg), is a more likely candidate for inhibiting midbrain DA cells in response to LHb activation. Electron microscopic examination of rat brain sections containing dual immunoreactivity for an anterograde tracing agent and a phenotypic marker revealed that: 1) more than 55% of the synapses formed by LHb axons in the RMTg were onto GABA-labeled dendrites; 2) more than 80% of the synapses formed by RMTg axons in the VTA contacted dendrites immunoreactive for the DA synthetic enzyme tyrosine hydroxylase; and 3) nearly all RMTg axons formed symmetric synapses and contained postembedding immunoreactivity for GABA. These findings indicate that the newly identified RMTg region is an intermediate structure in a disynaptic pathway that connects the LHb to VTA DA neurons. The results have important implications for understanding mental disorders characterized by a dysregulation of reward circuitry involving LHb and DA cell populations.

Funding information:
  • PHS HHS - 84620(United States)

Embryonic genoarchitecture of the pretectum in Xenopus laevis: a conserved pattern in tetrapods.

  • Morona R
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2011 Apr 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

Networked gene activities control the evolutionarily conserved histogenetic organization of the central nervous system of vertebrates. Genoarchitectonic studies contribute to the analysis of each morphogenetic field by identifying distinct progenitor domains and corresponding derivatives whose pattern of gene expression shows a unique combinatory code. Previous studies in the pretectal region (caudal diencephalon) have defined three anteroposterior genoarchitectonic domains that are conserved in birds and mammals. Here, we have studied the embryonic pretectal genoarchitecture in the amphibian Xenopus laevis, in order to determine whether it is possible to define a comparable anteroposterior tripartition of the amphibian pretectal area. The expression patterns of 14 genes mapped from early embryonic stages to metamorphic climax allowed us to define the boundaries of the pretectum, the expected precommissural, juxtacommissural, and commissural anteroposterior domains, and some dorsoventral subdivisions. Taken together, our data provide evidence for a conserved pattern of pretectal domains and subdomains, shared by amniotes and amphibian anamniotes (tetrapods), understandable as part of a general Bauplan in vertebrates.

Funding information:
  • Wellcome Trust - MR/L008661/1(United Kingdom)

GABAergic complex basket formations in the human neocortex.

  • Blazquez-Llorca L
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2010 Dec 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

Certain GABAergic interneurons in the cerebral cortex, basket cells, establish multiple connections with cell bodies that typically outline the somata and proximal dendrites of pyramidal cells. During studies into the distribution of the vesicular GABA transporter (VGAT) in the human cerebral cortex, we were struck by the presence of a very dense, pericellular arrangement of multiple VGAT-immunoreactive (-ir) terminals in certain cortical areas. We called these terminals "Complex basket formations" (Cbk-formations) to distinguish them from the simpler and more typical pericellular GABAergic innervations of most cortical neurons. Here we examined the distribution of these VGAT-ir Cbk-formations in various cortical areas, including the somatosensory (area 3b), visual (areas 17 and 18), motor (area 4), associative frontal (dorsolateral areas 9, 10, 45, 46, and orbital areas 11, 12, 13, 14, 47), associative temporal (areas 20, 21, 22, and 38), and limbic cingulate areas (areas 24, 32). Furthermore, we used dual or triple staining techniques to study the chemical nature of the innervated cells. We found that VGAT-ir Cbk-formations were most frequently found in area 4 followed by areas 3b, 13, and 18. In addition, they were mostly observed in layer III, except in area 17, where they were most dense in layer IV. We also found that 70% of the innervated neurons were pyramidal cells, while the remaining 30% were multipolar cells. Most of these multipolar cells expressed the calcium-binding protein parvalbumin and the lectin Vicia villosa agglutinin.

Funding information:
  • NCRR NIH HHS - R01RR025342(United States)
  • NEI NIH HHS - EY1765(United States)

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)

Tracer coupling of intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells to amacrine cells in the mouse retina.

  • Müller LP
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2010 Dec 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGCs) are a subtype of ganglion cell in the mammalian retina that expresses the photopigment melanopsin and drives non-image-forming visual functions. Three morphological subtypes of ipRGCs (M1, M2, and M3) have been described based on their dendritic stratifications in the inner plexiform layer (IPL), but the question of their potential interactions via electrical coupling remains unsettled. In this study, we have addressed this question in the mouse retina by, injecting the tracer Neurobiotin into ipRGCs that had been genetically labelled with the fluorescent protein, tdTomato. We confirmed the presence of the M1-M3 subtypes of ipRGCs based on their distinct dendritic stratifications. All three subtypes were tracer coupled to putative amacrine cells situated within the ganglion cell layer (GCL) but not the inner nuclear layer (INL). The cells tracer coupled to the M1 and M2 cells were shown to be widefield GABA-immunoreactive amacrine cells. We found no evidence of homologous tracer coupling of ipRGCs or heterologous coupling to other types of ganglion cells.

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

Evaluation of inputs to rat primary auditory cortex from the suprageniculate nucleus and extrastriate visual cortex.

  • Smith PH
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2010 Sep 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

Evidence indicates that visual stimuli influence cells in the primary auditory cortex. To evaluate potential sources of this visual input and how they enter into the circuitry of the auditory cortex, we examined axonal terminations in the primary auditory cortex from nonprimary extrastriate visual cortex (V2M, V2L) and from the multimodal thalamic suprageniculate nucleus (SG). Gross biocytin/biotinylated dextran amine (BDA) injections into the SG or extrastriate cortex labeled inputs terminating primarily in superficial and deep layers. SG projects primarily to layers I, V, and VI while V2M and V2L project primarily to layers I and VI, with V2L also targeting layers II/III. Layer I inputs differ in that SG terminals are concentrated superficially, V2L are deeper, and V2M are equally distributed throughout. Individual axonal reconstructions document that single axons can 1) innervate multiple layers; 2) run considerable distances in layer I; and 3) run preferentially in the dorsoventral direction similar to isofrequency axes. At the electron microscopic level, SG and V2M terminals 1) are the same size regardless of layer; 2) are non-gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)ergic; 3) are smaller than ventral medial geniculate terminals synapsing in layer IV; 4) make asymmetric synapses onto dendrites/spines that 5) are non-GABAergic and 6) are slightly larger in layer I. Thus, both areas provide a substantial feedback-like input with differences that may indicate potentially different roles.

Funding information:
  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research - R01-EB008400(Canada)

Visual deprivation increases accumulation of dense core vesicles in developing optic tectal synapses in Xenopus laevis.

  • Li J
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2010 Jun 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

Despite considerable progress in understanding the molecular components of synapses in the central nervous system, the ultrastructural rearrangements underlying synaptic development remain unclear. We used serial section transmission electron microscopy and three-dimensional reconstructions of the optic tectal neuropil of Xenopus laevis tadpoles to detect and quantify changes in synaptic ultrastructure over a 1-week period from stages 39 and 47, during which time the visual system of Xenopus tadpoles becomes functional. Synapse density, presynaptic maturation index, and number of synapses per axon bouton increase, whereas the number of DCVs per bouton decreases, between stages 39 and 47. The width of the synaptic cleft decreased and the diameter of postsynaptic profiles increased between stages 39 and 47 and then remained relatively unchanged after stage 47. We found no significant difference in synapse maturation between GABAergic and non-GABAergic synapses. To test the effect of visual experience on synaptogenesis, animals were deprived of visual experience for 3 days from stage 42 to 47. Visual deprivation decreased synapse maturation and the number of connections per bouton. Furthermore, visual deprivation increased the number of DCVs per bouton by more than twofold. The visual-deprivation-induced decrease in synaptic connections is specific to asymmetric non-GABAergic synapses; however, both symmetric GABAergic and asymmetric synapses show comparable increases in the number DCVs with visual deprivation. In both the control and the visually deprived animals, the number of DCVs per bouton is highly variable and does not correlate with either synapse maturation or the number of connected partners per bouton. These data suggest that synaptogenesis and DCV accumulation are regulated by visual experience and further suggest a complex spatial and temporal relation between DCV accumulation and synapse formation.

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - U24 CA126546(United States)

Inhibitory neurons in the anterior piriform cortex of the mouse: classification using molecular markers.

  • Suzuki N
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2010 May 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

The primary olfactory cortex (or piriform cortex, PC) is attracting increasing attention as a model system for the study of cortical sensory processing, yet little is known about inhibitory neurons in the PC. Here we provide the first systematic classification of GABA-releasing interneurons in the anterior PC of mice, based on the expression of molecular markers. Our experiments used GAD67-GFP transgenic mice, in which gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)-containing cells are labeled with green fluorescent protein (GFP). We first confirmed, using paired whole-cell recordings, that GFP(+) neurons in the anterior PC of GAD67-GFP mice are functionally GABAergic. Next, we performed immunolabeling of GFP(+) cells to quantify their expression of every possible pairwise combination of seven molecular markers: calbindin, calretinin, parvalbumin, cholecystokinin, neuropeptide Y, somatostatin, and vasoactive intestinal peptide. We found that six main categories of interneurons could be clearly distinguished in the anterior PC, based on the size and laminar location of their somata, intensity of GFP fluorescence, patterns of axonal projections, and expression of one or more of the seven markers. A number of rarer categories of interneurons could also be identified. These data provide a road map for further work that examines the functional properties of the six main classes of interneurons. Together, this information elucidates the cellular architecture of the PC and provides clues about the roles of GABAergic interneurons in olfactory processing.

Initial loss but later excess of GABAergic synapses with dentate granule cells in a rat model of temporal lobe epilepsy.

  • Thind KK
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2010 Mar 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Many patients with temporal lobe epilepsy display neuron loss in the dentate gyrus. One potential epileptogenic mechanism is loss of GABAergic interneurons and inhibitory synapses with granule cells. Stereological techniques were used to estimate numbers of gephyrin-positive punctae in the dentate gyrus, which were reduced short-term (5 days after pilocarpine-induced status epilepticus) but later rebounded beyond controls in epileptic rats. Stereological techniques were used to estimate numbers of synapses in electron micrographs of serial sections processed for postembedding GABA-immunoreactivity. Adjacent sections were used to estimate numbers of granule cells and glutamic acid decarboxylase-positive neurons per dentate gyrus. GABAergic neurons were reduced to 70% of control levels short-term, where they remained in epileptic rats. Integrating synapse and cell counts yielded average numbers of GABAergic synapses per granule cell, which decreased short-term and rebounded in epileptic animals beyond control levels. Axo-shaft and axo-spinous GABAergic synapse numbers in the outer molecular layer changed most. These findings suggest interneuron loss initially reduces numbers of GABAergic synapses with granule cells, but later, synaptogenesis by surviving interneurons overshoots control levels. In contrast, the average number of excitatory synapses per granule cell decreased short-term but recovered only toward control levels, although in epileptic rats excitatory synapses in the inner molecular layer were larger than in controls. These findings reveal a relative excess of GABAergic synapses and suggest that reports of reduced functional inhibitory synaptic input to granule cells in epilepsy might be attributable not to fewer but instead to abundant but dysfunctional GABAergic synapses.

Immunochemical characterization of inhibitory mouse cortical neurons: three chemically distinct classes of inhibitory cells.

  • Xu X
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2010 Feb 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

The cerebral cortex has diverse types of inhibitory neurons. In rat cortex, past research has shown that parvalbumin (PV), somatostatin (SOM), calretinin (CR), and cholecystokinin (CCK) label four distinct chemical classes of GABAergic interneurons. However, in contrast to rat cortex, previous studies indicate that there is significant colocalization of SOM and CR in mouse cortical inhibitory neurons. In the present study we further characterized immunochemical distinctions among mouse inhibitory cortical neurons by double immunochemical labeling with chemical markers. We found that, PV, SOM, and vasointenstinal peptide (VIP) reliably identify three nonoverlapping distinct subpopulations, as there was no overlap of immunoreactivity between PV and all the other chemical markers tested, and SOM and VIP did not show any overlap in labeled neurons in all the cortical areas. In comparison, there was significant overlap in combinations of other chemical markers. With some laminar and regional variations, the average overlap of SOM/CR (percentage of SOM+ cells expressing CR) and SOM/neuropeptide tyrosine (NPY) across all examined layers and cortical regions was 21.6% and 7.1%, respectively. The average overlap of VIP/CR, VIP/NPY, and CR/NPY was 34.2%, 9.5%, and 10%, respectively. We quantified and assessed the percentages of marker-positive GABAergic cells, and showed that the nonoverlapping subpopulations (i.e., PV+, SOM+ and VIP+ cells) accounted for about 60% of the GABAergic cell population. Taken together, our data reveal important chemical distinctions between mouse inhibitory cortical neurons and indicate that PV, SOM, and VIP can differentially label a majority of mouse inhibitory cortical neurons.

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.

Effects of developmental age, brain region, and time in culture on long-term proliferation and multipotency of neural stem cell populations.

  • Gritti A
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2009 Nov 20

Literature context:


Abstract:

Neural stem cells (NSCs) in the murine subventricular zone (SVZ) niche allow life-long neurogenesis. During the first postnatal month and throughout aging, the decrease of neuroblasts and the rise of astrocytes results in diminished neurogenesis and increased astrocyte:neuron ratio. Also, a different neurogenic activity characterizes the SVZ periventricular region (LV, lateral ventricle) as compared to its rostral extension (RE). In order to investigate whether and to what extent these physiological modifications may be ascribed to intrinsic changes of the endogenous NSC/progenitor features, we performed a functional analysis on NSCs isolated and cultured from LV and RE tissues at distinct postnatal stages that are marked by striking modifications to the SVZ niche in vivo. We evaluated the effect of age and brain region on long-term proliferation and multipotency, and characterized the cell type composition of NSC-derived progeny, comparing this make-up to that of region- and age-matched primary neural cultures. Furthermore, we analyzed the effect of prolonged in vitro expansion on NSC functional properties. We documented age- and region-dependent differences on the clonogenic efficiency and on the long-term proliferative capacity of NSCs. Also, we found age- and region-dependent quantitative changes in the cell composition of NSC progeny (decreased quantity of neurons and oligodendrocytes; increased amount of astroglial cells) and these differences were maintained in long-term cultured NSC populations. Overall, these data strengthen the hypothesis that age- and region-dependent differences in neurogenesis (observed in vivo) may be ascribed to the changes in the intrinsic developmental program of the NSC populations.

Increased proximal bifurcation of CA1 pyramidal apical dendrites in sema3A mutant mice.

  • Nakamura F
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2009 Oct 10

Literature context:


Abstract:

Semaphorin-3A (Sema3A) is an attractive guidance molecule for cortical apical dendrites. To elucidate the role of Sema3A in hippocampal dendritic formation, we examined the Sema3A expression pattern in the perinatal hippocampal formation and analyzed hippocampal dendrites of the brains from young adult sema3A mutant mice. Sema3A protein was predominantly expressed in the hippocampal plate and the inner marginal zone at the initial period of apical dendritic growth. Neuropilin-1 and plexin-A, the receptor components for Sema3A, were also localized in the same regions. The Golgi impregnation method revealed that in wildtype mice more than 90% of hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons extended a single trunk or apical trunks bifurcated in stratum radiatum. Seven percent of the pyramidal neurons showed proximal bifurcation of apical trunks in stratum pyramidale or at the border of the stratum pyramidale and stratum radiatum. In sema3A mutant mice, proximally bifurcated apical dendrites were increased to 32%, while the single apical dendritic pyramidal neurons were decreased. We designate this phenotype in sema3A mutant mice as "proximal bifurcation." In the dissociated culture system, approximately half of the hippocampal neurons from wildtype mice resembled pyramidal neurons, which possess a long, thick, and tapered dendrite. In contrast, only 30% of the neurons from sema3A mutants exhibited pyramidal-like morphology. Proximal bifurcation of CA1 pyramidal neurons was also increased in the mutant mice of p35, an activator of cyclin-dependent kinase 5 (Cdk5). Thus, Sema3A may facilitate the initial growth of CA1 apical dendrites via the activation of p35/Cdk5, which may in turn signal hippocampal development.

Synaptic organization of the tectorecipient zone of the rat lateral posterior nucleus.

  • Masterson SP
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2009 Aug 20

Literature context:


Abstract:

Dorsal thalamic nuclei have been categorized as either "first-order" nuclei that gate the transfer of relatively unaltered signals from the periphery to the cortex or "higher order" nuclei that transfer signals from one cortical area to another. To classify the tectorecipient lateral posterior (LPN), we examined the synaptic organization of tracer-labeled cortical and tectal terminals and terminals labeled with antibodies against the type 1 and type 2 vesicular glutamate transporters (vGLUT1 and vGLUT2) within the caudal/lateral LPN of the rat. For this zone, we found that all tracer-labeled cortical terminals, as well as vGLUT1 antibody-labeled terminals, are small profiles with round vesicles (RS profiles) that innervate small-caliber dendrites. Tracer-labeled tecto-LPN terminals, as well as vGLUT2 antibody-labeled terminals, were medium-sized profiles with round vesicles (RM profiles). Tecto-LPN terminals were significantly larger than cortico-LPN terminals and contacted significantly larger dendrites. These results indicate that, within the tectorecipient zone of the rat LPN, cortical terminals are located distal to tectal terminals and that vGLUT1 and vGLUT2 antibodies may be used as markers for cortical and tectal terminals, respectively. Finally, comparisons of the synaptic patterns formed by tracer-labeled terminals with those of vGLUT antibody-labeled terminals suggest that individual LPN neurons receive input from multiple cortical and tectal axons. We suggest that the tectorecipient LPN constitutes a third category of thalamic nucleus ("second-order") that integrates convergent tectal and cortical inputs. This organization may function to signal the movement of novel or threatening objects moving across the visual field.

3D electron microscopic reconstruction of segments of rat cerebellar Purkinje cell dendrites receiving ascending and parallel fiber granule cell synaptic inputs.

  • Lu H
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2009 Jun 20

Literature context:


Abstract:

Growing physiological evidence suggests that there are functional differences between synapses made by the ascending and parallel fiber segments of the granule axon on cerebellar Purkinje cells. Supporting this view, our previous electron microscopic studies suggested that these synapses also contacted different regions of the Purkinje cell dendrite, and in particular that ascending segment synapses are made exclusively on the smallest diameter Purkinje cell dendrites. In the current study we used serial electron microscopic techniques to reconstruct Purkinje cell dendritic segments up to almost 10 mum in length. Using a combination of anatomical and immunological labeling techniques we identified the ascending or parallel fiber origins of the excitatory synaptic inputs onto dendritic spines, as well as the location of inhibitory synapses made directly on the dendritic shaft. The results confirmed that there are regions of the Purkinje cell dendrite receiving exclusively ascending or parallel fiber synapses and that ascending segment synapses are only found on small-diameter dendrites. In addition, we describe for the first time small-diameter dendritic regions contacted by both types of excitatory synapses. While our data suggest that the majority of inhibitory inputs to the Purkinje cell tree are associated with parallel fiber synaptic inputs, we also found inhibitory inputs on dendritic regions with mixed ascending and parallel fiber inputs, or exclusively parallel fiber inputs. The finding that ascending and parallel fiber inputs can be segregated on the Purkinje cell dendritic tree provides further evidence that these excitatory granule cell synaptic inputs may be functionally distinct.

Funding information:
  • NINDS NIH HHS - P01 NS019632(United States)

Developmentally regulated and evolutionarily conserved expression of SLITRK1 in brain circuits implicated in Tourette syndrome.

  • Stillman AA
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2009 Mar 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Tourette syndrome (TS) is an inherited developmental neuropsychiatric disorder characterized by vocal and motor tics. Multiple lines of neurophysiological evidence implicate dysfunction in the corticostriatal-thalamocortical circuits in the etiology of TS. We recently identified rare sequence variants in the Slit and Trk-like family member 1 (SLITRK1) gene associated with TS. SLITRK1, a single-pass transmembrane protein, displays similarities to the SLIT family of secreted ligands, which have roles in axonal repulsion and dendritic patterning, but its function and developmental expression remain largely unknown. Here we provide evidence that SLITRK1 has a developmentally regulated expression pattern in projection neurons of the corticostriatal-thalamocortical circuits. SLITRK1 is further enriched in the somatodendritic compartment and cytoplasmic vesicles of cortical pyramidal neurons in mouse, monkey, and human brain, observations suggestive of an evolutionarily conserved function in mammals. SLITRK1 is transiently expressed in the striosomal/patch compartment of the mammalian striatum and moreover is associated with the direct output pathway; adult striatal expression is confined to cholinergic interneurons. These analyses demonstrate that the expression of SLITRK1 is dynamic and specifically associated with the circuits most commonly implicated in TS and related disorders, suggesting that SLITRK1 contributes to the development of corticostriatal-thalamocortical circuits.

"Fast" plasma membrane calcium pump PMCA2a concentrates in GABAergic terminals in the adult rat brain.

  • Burette AC
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2009 Feb 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

The plasma membrane Ca(2+)-ATPases (PMCA) represent the major high-affinity Ca(2+) extrusion system in the brain. PMCAs comprise four isoforms and over 20 splice variants. Their different functional properties may permit different PMCA splice variants to accommodate different kinds of local [Ca(2+)] transients, but for a specific PMCA to play a unique role in local Ca(2+) handling it must be targeted to the appropriate subcellular compartment. We used immunohistochemistry to study the spatial distribution of PMCA2a-one of the two major carboxyl-terminal splice variants of PMCA2-in the adult rat brain, testing whether this isoform, with especially high basal activity, is targeted to specific subcellular compartments. In striking contrast to the widespread distribution of PMCA2 as a whole, we found that PMCA2a is largely restricted to parvalbumin-positive inhibitory presynaptic terminals throughout the brain. The only major exception to this targeting pattern was in the cerebellar cortex, where PMCA2a also concentrates postsynaptically, in the spines of Purkinje cells. We propose that the fast Ca(2+) activation kinetics and high V(max) of PMCA2a make this pump especially suited for rapid clearance of presynaptic Ca(2+) in fast-spiking inhibitory nerve terminals, which face severe transient calcium loads.

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)

Ultrastructural examination of diffuse and specific tectopulvinar projections in the tree shrew.

  • Chomsung RD
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2008 Sep 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Two pathways from the superior colliculus (SC) to the tree shrew pulvinar nucleus have been described, one in which the axons terminate in dense (or specific) patches and one in which the axon arbors are more diffusely organized (Luppino et al. [1988] J. Comp. Neurol. 273:67-86). As predicted by Lyon et al. ([2003] J. Comp. Neurol. 467:593-606), we found that anterograde labeling of the diffuse tectopulvinar pathway terminated in the acetylcholinesterase (AChE)-rich dorsal pulvinar (Pd), whereas the specific pathway terminated in the AChE-poor central pulvinar (Pc). Injections of retrograde tracers in Pd labeled non-gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)-ergic wide-field vertical cells located in the lower stratum griseum superficiale and stratum opticum of the medial SC, whereas injections in Pc labeled similar cells in more lateral regions. At the ultrastructural level, we found that tectopulvinar terminals in both Pd and Pc contact primarily non-GABAergic dendrites. When present, however, synaptic contacts on GABAergic profiles were observed more frequently in Pc (31% of all contacts) compared with Pd (16%). Terminals stained for the type 2 vesicular glutamate transporter, a potential marker of tectopulvinar terminals, also contacted more GABAergic profiles in Pc (19%) compared with Pd (4%). These results provide strong evidence for the division of the tree shrew pulvinar into two distinct tectorecipient zones. The potential functions of these pathways are discussed.

Plasticity of lumbosacral propriospinal neurons is associated with the development of autonomic dysreflexia after thoracic spinal cord transection.

  • Hou S
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2008 Aug 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Complete thoracic (T) spinal cord injury (SCI) above the T6 level typically results in autonomic dysreflexia, an abnormal hypertensive condition commonly triggered by nociceptive stimuli below the level of SCI. Overexpression of nerve growth factor in the lumbosacral spinal cord induces profuse sprouting of nociceptive pelvic visceral afferent fibers that correlates with increased hypertension in response to noxious colorectal distension. After complete T4 SCI, we evaluated the plasticity of propriospinal neurons conveying visceral input rostrally to thoracic sympathetic preganglionic neurons. The anterograde tracer biotinylated dextran amine (BDA) was injected into the lumbosacral dorsal gray commissure (DGC) of injured/nontransected rats immediately after injury (acute) or 2 weeks later (delayed). At 1 or 2 weeks after delayed or acute injections, respectively, a higher density (P < 0.05) of BDA(+) fibers was found in thoracic dorsal gray matter of injured vs. nontransected spinal cords. For corroboration, fast blue (FB) or cholera toxin subunit beta (CTb) was injected into the T9 dorsal horns 2 weeks postinjury/nontransection. After 1 week transport, more retrogradely labeled (P < 0.05) DGC propriospinal neurons (T13-S1) were quantified in injured vs. nontransected cords. We also monitored immediate early gene c-fos expression following colorectal distension and found increased (P < 0.01) c-Fos(+) cell numbers throughout the DGC after injury. Collectively, these results imply that, in conjunction with local primary afferent fiber plasticity, injury-induced sprouting of DGC neurons may be a key constituent in relaying visceral sensory input to sympathetic preganglionic neurons that elicit autonomic dysreflexia after high thoracic SCI.

Bone morphogenetic protein regulation of enteric neuronal phenotypic diversity: relationship to timing of cell cycle exit.

  • Chalazonitis A
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2008 Aug 10

Literature context:


Abstract:

The effects of bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling on enteric neuron development were examined in transgenic mice overexpressing either the BMP inhibitor, noggin, or BMP4 under control of the neuron specific enolase (NSE) promoter. Noggin antagonism of BMP signaling increased total numbers of enteric neurons and those of subpopulations derived from precursors that exit the cell cycle early in neurogenesis (serotonin, calretinin, calbindin). In contrast, noggin overexpression decreased numbers of neurons derived from precursors that exit the cell cycle late (gamma-aminobutyric acid, tyrosine hydroxylase [TH], dopamine transporter, calcitonin gene-related peptide, TrkC). The numbers of TH- and TrkC-expressing neurons were increased by overexpression of BMP4. These observations are consistent with the idea that phenotypic expression in the enteric nervous system (ENS) is determined, in part, by the number of proliferative divisions neuronal precursors undergo before their terminal mitosis. BMP signaling may thus regulate enteric neuronal phenotypic diversity by promoting the exit of precursors from the cell cycle. BMP2 increased the numbers of TH- and TrkC-expressing neurons developing in vitro from immunoselected enteric crest-derived precursors; BMP signaling may thus also specify or promote the development of dopaminergic TrkC/NT-3-dependent neurons. The developmental defects in the ENS of noggin-overexpressing mice caused a relatively mild disturbance of motility (irregular rapid transit and increased stool frequency, weight, and water content). Although the function of the gut thus displays a remarkable tolerance for ENS defects, subtle functional abnormalities in motility or secretion may arise when ENS defects short of aganglionosis occur during development.

Synaptic input to dentate granule cell basal dendrites in a rat model of temporal lobe epilepsy.

  • Thind KK
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2008 Jul 10

Literature context:


Abstract:

In patients with temporal lobe epilepsy some dentate granule cells develop basal dendrites. The extent of excitatory synaptic input to basal dendrites is unclear, nor is it known whether basal dendrites receive inhibitory synapses. We used biocytin to intracellularly label individual granule cells with basal dendrites in epileptic pilocarpine-treated rats. An average basal dendrite had 3.9 branches, was 612 microm long, and accounted for 16% of a cell's total dendritic length. In vivo intracellular labeling and postembedding GABA-immunocytochemistry were used to evaluate synapses with basal dendrites reconstructed from serial electron micrographs. An average of 7% of 1,802 putative synapses were formed by GABA-positive axon terminals, indicating synaptogenesis by interneurons. Ninety-three percent of the identified synapses were GABA-negative. Most GABA-negative synapses were with spines, but at least 10% were with dendritic shafts. Multiplying basal dendrite length/cell and synapse density yielded an estimate of 180 inhibitory and 2,140 excitatory synapses per granule cell basal dendrite. Based on previous estimates of synaptic input to granule cells in control rats, these findings suggest an average basal dendrite receives approximately 14% of the total inhibitory and 19% of excitatory synapses of a cell. These findings reveal that basal dendrites are a novel source of inhibitory input, but they primarily receive excitatory synapses.

Expression and localization of the prion protein PrP(C) in the olfactory system of the mouse.

  • Le Pichon CE
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2008 May 20

Literature context:


Abstract:

The normal physiological function of the prion protein PrP(C) remains elusive despite its widespread expression, particularly throughout the nervous system. A critical step toward identifying its function is to precisely localize its pattern of expression. Historically, the immunolocalization of PrP(C) has proved to be notoriously difficult and nonconsensual. We have thus undertaken a detailed expression analysis by means of a combination of in situ hybridization, knockout mice, and immunohistochemistry, using recently generated highly specific antibodies. We have attempted to accurately localize PrP(C) expression in a tissue that is highly structured and of crucial behavioral importance to mice, the olfactory system. We found that PrP(C) was expressed in both peripheral and central neurons of the olfactory system and that its distribution was axonal-specific in both olfactory sensory neurons of the olfactory epithelium and mitral cells of the olfactory bulb. Our detailed expression analysis and the axonal localization we observed may provide important hints toward potential functions of PrP(C).

Funding information:
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - R01DK076233-01(United States)

Synaptic organization of thalamocortical axon collaterals in the perigeniculate nucleus and dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus.

  • Bickford ME
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2008 May 10

Literature context:


Abstract:

We examined the synaptic targets of large non-gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)-ergic profiles that contain round vesicles and dark mitochondria (RLD profiles) in the perigeniculate nucleus (PGN) and the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus (dLGN). RLD profiles can provisionally be identified as the collaterals of thalamocortical axons, because their ultrastrucure is distinct from all other previously described dLGN inputs. We also found that RLD profiles are larger than cholinergic terminals and contain the type 2 vesicular glutamate transporter. RLD profiles are distributed throughout the PGN and are concentrated within the interlaminar zones (IZs) of the dLGN, regions distinguished by dense binding of Wisteria floribunda agglutinin (WFA). To determine the synaptic targets of thalamocortical axon collaterals, we examined RLD profiles in the PGN and dLGN in tissue stained for GABA. For the PGN, we found that all RLD profiles make synaptic contacts with GABAergic PGN somata, dendrites, and spines. In the dLGN, RLD profiles primarily synapse with GABAergic dendrites that contain vesicles (F2 profiles) and non-GABAergic dendrites in glomerular arrangements that include triads. Occasional synapses on GABAergic somata and proximal dendrites were also observed in the dLGN. These results suggest that correlated dLGN activity may be enhanced via direct synaptic contacts between thalamocortical cells, whereas noncorrelated activity (such as that occurring during binocular rivalry) could be suppressed via thalamocortical collateral input to PGN cells and dLGN interneurons.

Funding information:
  • NIH HHS - R24 OD010435(United States)

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)

Heterogeneous expression of SNAP-25 in rat and human brain.

  • Garbelli R
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2008 Jan 20

Literature context:


Abstract:

Synaptosomal associated protein of 25 kDa (SNAP-25) is a SNARE component of the exocytotic apparatus involved in the release of neurotransmitter. We used multiple-labeling immunofluorescence, confocal microscopy, and ultrastructural immunocytochemistry to examine the expression of SNAP-25 in excitatory and inhibitory terminals from different rat and human brain areas. Glutamatergic and GABAergic terminals were identified by staining for the vesicular glutamate transporter (vGLUT1), glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD67), or the vesicular GABA transporter (vGAT). In all examined areas GABAergic terminals did not display detectable levels of SNAP-25, whereas glutamatergic terminals expressed the protein to a variable extent. Codistribution analysis revealed a high colocalization between pixels detecting SNAP-25 labeling and pixels detecting vGLUT1 immunoreactivity. On the contrary, a low degree of pixel colocalization, comparable to that between two unrelated antigens, was detected between SNAP-25 and vGAT, thus suggesting a random overlap of immunofluorescence signals. Our immunofluorescence evidence was supported by ultrastructural data, which clearly confirmed that SNAP-25 was undetectable in GABAergic terminals identified by both their typical morphology and specific staining for GABA. Interestingly, our ultrastructural results confirmed that a subset of glutamatergic synapses do not contain detectable levels of SNAP-25. The present study extends our previous findings obtained in rodent hippocampus and provides evidence that SNAP-25 expression is highly variable between different axon terminals both in rat and human brain. The heterogeneous distribution of SNAP-25 may have important implications not only in relation to the function of the protein as a SNARE but also in the control of network excitability.

Funding information:
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS072197(United States)

Comprehensive morphological identification and GABA immunocytochemistry of antennal lobe local interneurons in Bombyx mori.

  • Seki Y
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2008 Jan 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

The insect antennal lobe (AL) is the structural and functional analog of the olfactory bulb of mammals, in which odor information is spatially and/or temporally represented by functional glomerular units. Local interneurons (LNs) play critical roles through intra- and interglomerular communication to shape the output from the AL to higher brain centers; however, the function and even the components of LNs are unclear. We have used morphological and immunocytochemical approaches to examine LNs in the silkworm moth, Bombyx mori. First, we comprehensively analyzed the morphological variation of LNs. One hundred fifty-three AL LNs were intracellularly stained, analyzed in three dimensions with a confocal microscope, and subdivided into five morphological types based on differences in the arborization region in the AL and dendritic profiles within the glomeruli. Two global multiglomerular types arborized in the macroglomerular complex (MGC) and in most ordinary glomeruli, and the other three oligoglomerular types innervated some ordinary glomeruli with or without the MGC. Second, we performed double-labeling of Lucifer Yellow staining of a single LN combined with gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) immunocytochemistry. The two global multiglomerular types and two of the oligoglomerular types were GABA-immunoreactive, but the third oligoglomerular type, which innervates the MGC and some ordinary glomeruli, included some GABA-immunonegative neurons, suggesting the existence of a non-GABAergic subtype. These results suggest that the complex neural circuits of the AL are composed of several morphologically different types of LNs, most of which are inhibitory.

Funding information:
  • NIMH NIH HHS - R01 MH110404(United States)

GABAergic phenotype of periglomerular cells in the rodent olfactory bulb.

  • Panzanelli P
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2007 Jun 20

Literature context:


Abstract:

Periglomerular (PG) cells in the rodent olfactory bulb are heterogeneous anatomically and neurochemically. Here we investigated whether major classes of PG cells use gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) as a neurotransmitter. In addition to three known subtypes of PG cells expressing tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), calbindin D-28k (CB), and calretinin (CR), we identified a novel PG cell population containing the GABAA receptor alpha5 subunit. Consistent with previous studies in the rat, we found that TH-positive cells were also labeled with antibodies against GABA, whereas PG cells expressing CB or the alpha5 subunit were GABA-negative. Using GAD67-GFP knockin mice, we found that all PG cell subtypes expressed GAD67-GFP. Calretinin labeled the major fraction (44%) of green fluorescent protein (GFP)-positive cells, followed by TH (16%), CB (14%), and the alpha5 subunit (13%). There was no overlap between these neuronal populations, which accounted for approximately 85% of GAD67-GFP-positive cells. We then demonstrated that PG cells labeled for TH, CB, or CR established dendrodendritic synapses expressing glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD) or the vesicular inhibitory amino acid transporter, VGAT, irrespective of their immunoreactivity for GABA. In addition, CB-, CR-, and TH-positive dendrites were apposed to GABAA receptor clusters containing the alpha1 or alpha3 subunits, which are found in mitral and tufted cells, and the alpha2 subunit, which is expressed by PG cells. Together, these findings indicate that all major subtypes of PG cells are GABAergic. In addition, they show that PG cells provide GABAergic input to the dendrites of principal neurons and are interconnected with other GABAergic interneurons, which most likely are other PG cells.

Funding information:
  • NINDS NIH HHS - NS065960(United States)
  • NINDS NIH HHS - NS07437(United States)

Identification of the neurotransmitters involved in modulation of transmitter release from the central terminals of the locust wing hinge stretch receptor.

  • Richardson CA
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2007 Jun 10

Literature context:


Abstract:

The flight motor system of the locust represents a model preparation for the investigation of neuromodulation. At the wing hinges are stretch receptors important in generating and controlling the flight motor pattern. The forewing stretch receptor (fSR) makes direct cholinergic synapses with depressor motor neurons (MN) controlling that wing, including the first basalar MN (BA1). The fSR/BA1 synapse is modulated by muscarinic cholinergic receptors located on gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)-ergic interneurons (Judge and Leitch [1999a] J. Comp. Neurol. 407:103-114; Judge and Leitch [1999b] J. Neurobiol. 40:420-431). However, electrophysiology has shown that fSR/BA is also modulated by biogenic amines (Leitch et al. [2003] J. Comp. Neurol. 462:55-70). We have used electron microscopic immunocytochemistry (ICC) to identify the neurotransmitters in neurons presynaptic to the fSR and to determine the relative proportion of these different classes of modulatory inputs. Approximately 55% of all inputs to the fSR are glutamate-IR, indicating that glutamatergic neurons may also play an important role in presynaptically modulating the fSR terminals. Anti-GABA ICC confirmed that over 40% of inputs to the fSR are GABA-IR (Judge and Leitch [1999a] J. Comp. Neurol. 407:103-114). Labelling sections with an antioctopamine antibody revealed neurons containing distinctive large, electron-dense granules, which could reliably be used to identify them. Aminergic neurons that modulate the synapse may have very few morphologically recognizable synaptic outputs. Although putative octopaminergic processes were found in close contact to horseradish peroxidase-filled fSR profiles, no morphologically recognizable synaptic inputs to the fSR were evident. Collectively, these data suggest that most inputs to the fSR are from either glutamatergic or GABAergic neurons.

Funding information:
  • NEI NIH HHS - R01 EY010542(United States)

Developmental origin and identity of song system neurons born during vocal learning in songbirds.

  • Scott BB
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2007 May 10

Literature context:


Abstract:

New neurons are added to the forebrain song control regions high vocal center (HVC) and Area X of juvenile songbirds but the identity and site of origin of these cells have not been fully characterized. We used oncoretroviral vectors to genetically label neuronal progenitors in different regions of the zebra finch lateral ventricle. A region corresponding to the mammalian medial and lateral ganglionic eminences generated medium spiny neurons found in Area X and in the striatum surrounding Area X, and at least two classes of interneurons found in HVC. In addition, our experiments indicate that the HVC projection neurons that project into nucleus robust nucleus of the arcopallium (RA) are born locally from the ventricular region immediately dorsal to HVC. The ability to genetically target neuron subpopulations that give rise to different song system cell types provides a tool for specific genetic manipulations of these cell types. In addition, our results suggest striking similarities between neurogenesis in the embryonic mammalian brain and in the brain of the juvenile songbird and provide further evidence for the existence of conserved cell types in the forebrain for birds and mammals.

Funding information:
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01NS038752(United States)

Gamma-aminobutyric acid-containing sympathetic preganglionic neurons in rat thoracic spinal cord send their axons to the superior cervical ganglion.

  • Ito T
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2007 May 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)-containing fibers have been observed in the rat superior cervical ganglion (SCG) and, to a lesser extent, in the stellate ganglion (STG). The aim of present study is to clarify the source of these fibers. No cell body showed mRNAs for glutamic acid decarboxylases (GADs) or immunoreactivity for GAD of 67 kDa (GAD67) in the cervical sympathetic chain. Thus, GABA-containing fibers in the ganglia are suggested to be of extraganglionic origin. GAD67-immunoreactive fibers were found not in the dorsal roots or ganglia, but in the ventral roots, so GABA-containing fibers in the sympathetic ganglia were considered to originate from the spinal cord. Furthermore, almost all GAD67-immunoreactive fibers in the sympathetic ganglia showed immunoreactivity for vesicular acetylcholine transporter, suggesting that GABA was utilized by some cholinergic preganglionic neurons. This was confirmed by the following results. 1) After injection of Sindbis/palGFP virus into the intermediolateral nucleus, some anterogradely labeled fibers in the SCG were immunopositive for GAD67. 2) After injection of fluorogold into the SCG, some retrogradely labeled neurons in the thoracic spinal cord were positive for GAD67 mRNA. 3) When the ventral roots of the eighth cervical to the fourth thoracic segments were cut, almost all GAD67- and GABA-immunoreactive fibers disappeared from the ipsilateral SCG and STG, suggesting that the vast majority of GABA-containing fibers in those ganglia were of spinal origin. Thus, the present findings strongly indicate that some sympathetic preganglionic neurons are not only cholinergic but also GABAegic.

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

Immunohistochemical characterization of substance P receptor (NK(1)R)-expressing interneurons in the entorhinal cortex.

  • Wolansky T
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2007 May 20

Literature context:


Abstract:

It has been reported that application of substance P (SP) to the medial portion of the entorhinal cortex (EC) induces a powerful antiepileptic effect (Maubach et al. [1998] Neuroscience 83:1047-1062). This effect is presumably mediated via inhibitory interneurons expressing the neurokinin-1 receptor (NK(1)R), but the existence of NK(1)R-expressing inhibitory interneurons in the EC has not yet been reported. The present immunohistochemical study was performed in the rat to examine the existence and distribution of NK(1)R-expressing neurons in the EC as well as any co-expression of other neurotransmitters/neuromodulators known to be associated with inhibitory interneurons: gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), parvalbumin (PARV), calretinin (CT), calbindin (CB), somatostatin (SST), and neuropeptide Y (NPY). Our results indicated that NK(1)R-positive neurons were distributed rather sparsely (especially in the medial EC), primarily in layers II, V, and VI. The results of our double-immunohistochemical staining indicated that the vast majority of NK(1)R-expressing neurons also expressed GABA, SST, and NPY. In addition, CT was co-expressed in a weakly stained subgroup of NK(1)R-expressing neurons, and CB was co-expressed very rarely in the lateral EC, but not in the medial EC. In contrast, SP-immunopositive axons with fine varicosities were distributed diffusely throughout all layers of the EC, appearing to radiate from the angular bundle. SP may be released in a paracrine manner to activate a group of NK(1)R-expressing entorhinal neurons that co-express GABA, SST, and NPY, exerting a profound inhibitory influence on synchronized network activity in the EC.

Funding information:
  • NINDS NIH HHS - NS074256(United States)

Descending GABAergic projections to the mesencephalic locomotor region in the lamprey Petromyzon marinus.

  • Ménard A
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2007 Mar 10

Literature context:


Abstract:

The mesencephalic locomotor region (MLR) plays a significant role in the control of locomotion in all vertebrate species investigated. Forebrain neurons are likely to modulate MLR activity, but little is known about their inputs. Descending GABAergic projections to the MLR were identified by double-labeling neurons using Neurobiotin injected into the MLR combined with immunofluorescence against GABA. Several GABAergic projections to the MLR were identified in the telencephalon and diencephalon. The most abundant GABAergic projection to the MLR came from the caudal portion of the medial pallium, a region that may have similarities with the amygdala of higher vertebrates. A small population of GABAergic cells projecting to the MLR was found in the striatum and the ventral portion of the lateral pallium, which could respectively correspond to the input and output components of the basal ganglia thought to be involved in the selection of motor programs. Other GABAergic projections were found to come from the thalamus and the hypothalamus, which could take part in the motivational aspect of motor behavior in lampreys. Electrophysiological experiments were also carried out to examine the effects of GABA agonists and antagonists injected into the MLR in a semi-intact lamprey preparation. The GABA agonist inhibited locomotion, whereas the GABA antagonist initiated it. These results suggest that the GABAergic projections to the MLR modulate the activity of MLR neurons, which would be inhibited by GABA at rest.

Funding information:
  • NICHD NIH HHS - K12HD049091(United States)
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - U24 DK093000(United States)

Long-range interneurons within the medial pulvinar nucleus of macaque monkeys.

  • Imura K
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2006 Oct 10

Literature context:


Abstract:

Like other thalamic nuclei, the primate pulvinar is considered not to have long-range intrinsic connections, either excitatory or inhibitory. Injections of biotinylated dextran amine (BDA) in the medial pulvinar, however, reveal retrogradely filled neurons up to 2.0 mm from the injection edge. Serial section reconstruction (n = 18) confirmed that retrogradely filled neurons projected to the injection site and showed that they had additional long-range collaterals within the posterior pulvinar. Arrays of small, beaded terminations occurred in multiple foci along the collaterals. Terminal arrays were up to 1.0 mm in length; foci were separated by about 0.7 mm. Somata were large (average area = 220 microm2), and dendritic arbors were radiate and also large (about 1.0 mm in diameter), but without either the appendages of classical interneurons or the hairlike spines characteristic of radiate pulvinocortical projection neurons. Double labeling for BDA and parvalbumin (PV) or BDA and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) indicated that these large neurons were positive for both PV and GABA. Double labeling for PV and GABA, or PV and glutamic acid decarboxylase 67 (GAD67) revealed a small number of similarly large neurons in the posterior pulvinar that were positive for both substances. Thus, we propose that these neurons are a novel class of inhibitory interneuron, longer range than the classic thalamic local circuit interneurons. Future questions include how these neurons relate to other inhibitory systems and specific postsynaptic populations and whether they are located preferentially within the posterior pulvinar, possibly related to the multimodal character of this thalamic region.

Funding information:
  • NIDCD NIH HHS - 5P01DC004732(United States)
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS51454(United States)

Calcium-binding proteins, neuronal nitric oxide synthase, and GABA help to distinguish different pallial areas in the developing and adult chicken. I. Hippocampal formation and hyperpallium.

  • Suárez J
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2006 Aug 10

Literature context:


Abstract:

To better understand the formation and adult organization of the avian pallium, we studied the expression patterns of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), calbindin (CB), calretinin (CR), and neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) in the hippocampal formation and hyperpallium of developing and adult chicks. Each marker showed a specific spatiotemporal expression pattern and was expressed in a region (area)-specific but dynamic manner during development. The combinatorial expression of these markers was very useful for identifying and following the development of subdivisions of the chicken hippocampal formation and hyperpallium. In the hyperpallium, three separate radially arranged subdivisions were present since early development showing distinct expression patterns: the apical hyperpallium (CB-rich); the intercalated hyperpallium (nNOS-rich, CB-poor); the dorsal hyperpallium (nNOS-poor, CB-moderate). Furthermore, a novel division was identified (CB-rich, CR-rich), interposed between hyper- and mesopallium and related to the lamina separating both, termed laminar pallial nucleus. This gave rise at its surface to part of the lateral hyperpallium. Later in development, the interstitial nucleus of the apical hyperpallium became visible as a partition of the apical hyperpallium. In the hippocampal formation, at least five radial divisions were observed, and these were compared with the divisions proposed recently in adult pigeons. Of note, the corticoid dorsolateral area (sometimes referred as caudolateral part of the parahippocampal area) contained CB immunoreactivity patches coinciding with Nissl-stained cell aggregates, partially resembling the patches described in the mammalian entorhinal cortex. Each neurochemical marker was present in specific neuronal subpopulations and axonal networks, providing insights into the functional maturation of the chicken pallium.

Funding information:
  • NIDCD NIH HHS - R01DC000191(United States)
  • Wellcome Trust - (United Kingdom)

Survival of interneurons and parallel fiber synapses in a cerebellar cortex deprived of Purkinje cells: studies in the double mutant mouse Grid2Lc/+;Bax(-/-).

  • Zanjani SH
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2006 Aug 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

The Lurcher mutation in the Grid2 gene causes the cell autonomous death of virtually all cerebellar Purkinje cells and the target-related death of 90% of the granule cells and 60-75% of the olivary neurons. Inactivation of Bax, a pro-apoptotic gene of the Bcl-2 family, in heterozygous Lurcher mutants (Grid2Lc/+) rescues approximately 60% of the granule cells, but does not rescue Purkinje or olivary neurons. Given the larger size of the cerebellar molecular layer in Grid2Lc/+;Bax(-/-) double mutants compared to Grid2Lc/+ mutants, we analyzed the survival of the stellate and basket interneurons as well as the synaptic connectivity of parallel fibers originating from the surviving granule cells in the absence of their Purkinje cell targets in the Grid2Lc/+;Bax(-/-) cerebellum. Quantification showed a significantly higher density of interneurons ( approximately 60%) in the molecular layer of the Grid2Lc/+;Bax(-/-) mice compared to Grid2Lc/+, suggesting that interneurons are subject to a BAX-dependent target-related death in the Lurcher mutants. Furthermore, electron microscopy showed the normal ultrastructural aspect of a number of parallel fibers in the molecular layer of the Grid2Lc/+; Bax(-/-) double mutant mice and preserved their numerous synaptic contacts on interneurons, suggesting that interneurons could play a trophic role for axon terminals of surviving granule cells. Finally, parallel fibers varicosities in the double mutant established "pseudo-synapses" on glia as well as displayed autophagic profiles, suggesting that the connections established by the parallel fibers in the absence of their Purkinje cell targets were subject to a high turnover involving autophagy.

Funding information:
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - R01 GM078222(United States)

Developmental regulation of alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole-propionic acid receptor subunit expression in forebrain and relationship to regional susceptibility to hypoxic/ischemic injury. I. Rodent cerebral white matter and cortex.

  • Talos DM
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2006 Jul 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

This is the first part of a two-part study to investigate the cellular distribution and temporal regulation of alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole-propionic acid receptor (AMPAR) subunits in the developing white matter and cortex in rat (part I) and human (part II). Western blot and immunocytochemistry were used to evaluate the differential expression of AMPAR subunits on glial and neuronal subtypes during the first 3 postnatal weeks in the Long Evans and Sprague Dawley rat strains. In Long Evans rats during the first postnatal week, GluR2-lacking AMPARs were expressed predominantly on white matter cells, including radial glia, premyelinating oligodendrocytes, and subplate neurons, whereas, during the second postnatal week, these AMPARs were highly expressed on cortical neurons, coincident with decreased expression on white matter cells. Immunocytochemical analysis revealed that cell-specific developmental changes in AMPAR expression occurred 2-3 days earlier by chronological age in Sprague Dawley rats compared with Long Evans rats, despite overall similar temporal sequencing. In both white and gray matter, the periods of high GluR2 deficiency correspond to those of regional susceptibility to hypoxic/ischemic injury in each of the two rat strains, supporting prior studies suggesting a critical role for Ca2+-permeable AMPARs in excitotoxic cellular injury and epileptogenesis. The developmental regulation of these receptor subunits strongly suggests that Ca2+ influx through GluR2-lacking AMPARs may play an important role in neuronal and glial development and injury in the immature brain. Moreover, as demonstrated in part II, there are striking similarities between rat and human in the regional and temporal maturational regulation of neuronal and glial AMPAR expression.

Funding information:
  • NIMH NIH HHS - MH074118(United States)