Dendrites: Extensions of the nerve cell body. They are short and branched and receive stimuli from other NEURONS.Neurons: The basic cellular units of nervous tissue. Each neuron consists of a body, an axon, and dendrites. Their purpose is to receive, conduct, and transmit impulses in the NERVOUS SYSTEM.Pyramidal Cells: Projection neurons in the CEREBRAL CORTEX and the HIPPOCAMPUS. Pyramidal cells have a pyramid-shaped soma with the apex and an apical dendrite pointed toward the pial surface and other dendrites and an axon emerging from the base. The axons may have local collaterals but also project outside their cortical region.Synapses: Specialized junctions at which a neuron communicates with a target cell. At classical synapses, a neuron's presynaptic terminal releases a chemical transmitter stored in synaptic vesicles which diffuses across a narrow synaptic cleft and activates receptors on the postsynaptic membrane of the target cell. The target may be a dendrite, cell body, or axon of another neuron, or a specialized region of a muscle or secretory cell. Neurons may also communicate via direct electrical coupling with ELECTRICAL SYNAPSES. Several other non-synaptic chemical or electric signal transmitting processes occur via extracellular mediated interactions.Axons: Nerve fibers that are capable of rapidly conducting impulses away from the neuron cell body.Hippocampus: A curved elevation of GRAY MATTER extending the entire length of the floor of the TEMPORAL HORN of the LATERAL VENTRICLE (see also TEMPORAL LOBE). The hippocampus proper, subiculum, and DENTATE GYRUS constitute the hippocampal formation. Sometimes authors include the ENTORHINAL CORTEX in the hippocampal formation.Dendritic Spines: Spiny processes on DENDRITES, each of which receives excitatory input from one nerve ending (NERVE ENDINGS). They are commonly found on PURKINJE CELLS and PYRAMIDAL CELLS.Purkinje Cells: The output neurons of the cerebellar cortex.Action Potentials: Abrupt changes in the membrane potential that sweep along the CELL MEMBRANE of excitable cells in response to excitation stimuli.Rats, Sprague-Dawley: A strain of albino rat used widely for experimental purposes because of its calmness and ease of handling. It was developed by the Sprague-Dawley Animal Company.Synaptic Transmission: The communication from a NEURON to a target (neuron, muscle, or secretory cell) across a SYNAPSE. In chemical synaptic transmission, the presynaptic neuron releases a NEUROTRANSMITTER that diffuses across the synaptic cleft and binds to specific synaptic receptors, activating them. The activated receptors modulate specific ion channels and/or second-messenger systems in the postsynaptic cell. In electrical synaptic transmission, electrical signals are communicated as an ionic current flow across ELECTRICAL SYNAPSES.Excitatory Postsynaptic Potentials: Depolarization of membrane potentials at the SYNAPTIC MEMBRANES of target neurons during neurotransmission. Excitatory postsynaptic potentials can singly or in summation reach the trigger threshold for ACTION POTENTIALS.Interneurons: Most generally any NEURONS which are not motor or sensory. Interneurons may also refer to neurons whose AXONS remain within a particular brain region in contrast to projection neurons, which have axons projecting to other brain regions.Neocortex: The largest portion of the CEREBRAL CORTEX in which the NEURONS are arranged in six layers in the mammalian brain: molecular, external granular, external pyramidal, internal granular, internal pyramidal and multiform layers.Neuronal Plasticity: The capacity of the NERVOUS SYSTEM to change its reactivity as the result of successive activations.Patch-Clamp Techniques: An electrophysiologic technique for studying cells, cell membranes, and occasionally isolated organelles. All patch-clamp methods rely on a very high-resistance seal between a micropipette and a membrane; the seal is usually attained by gentle suction. The four most common variants include on-cell patch, inside-out patch, outside-out patch, and whole-cell clamp. Patch-clamp methods are commonly used to voltage clamp, that is control the voltage across the membrane and measure current flow, but current-clamp methods, in which the current is controlled and the voltage is measured, are also used.Guanine Deaminase: An enzyme that catalyzes the deamination of guanine to form xanthine. EC Tissue ProteinsElectric Stimulation: Use of electric potential or currents to elicit biological responses.Cerebral Cortex: The thin layer of GRAY MATTER on the surface of the CEREBRAL HEMISPHERES that develops from the TELENCEPHALON and folds into gyri and sulchi. It reaches its highest development in humans and is responsible for intellectual faculties and higher mental functions.Presynaptic Terminals: The distal terminations of axons which are specialized for the release of neurotransmitters. Also included are varicosities along the course of axons which have similar specializations and also release transmitters. Presynaptic terminals in both the central and peripheral nervous systems are included.Olfactory Bulb: Ovoid body resting on the CRIBRIFORM PLATE of the ethmoid bone where the OLFACTORY NERVE terminates. The olfactory bulb contains several types of nerve cells including the mitral cells, on whose DENDRITES the olfactory nerve synapses, forming the olfactory glomeruli. The accessory olfactory bulb, which receives the projection from the VOMERONASAL ORGAN via the vomeronasal nerve, is also included here.Cerebellar Cortex: The superficial GRAY MATTER of the CEREBELLUM. It consists of two main layers, the stratum moleculare and the stratum granulosum.Green Fluorescent Proteins: Protein analogs and derivatives of the Aequorea victoria green fluorescent protein that emit light (FLUORESCENCE) when excited with ULTRAVIOLET RAYS. They are used in REPORTER GENES in doing GENETIC TECHNIQUES. Numerous mutants have been made to emit other colors or be sensitive to pH.Immunohistochemistry: Histochemical localization of immunoreactive substances using labeled antibodies as reagents.Cerebellum: The part of brain that lies behind the BRAIN STEM in the posterior base of skull (CRANIAL FOSSA, POSTERIOR). It is also known as the "little brain" with convolutions similar to those of CEREBRAL CORTEX, inner white matter, and deep cerebellar nuclei. Its function is to coordinate voluntary movements, maintain balance, and learn motor skills.gamma-Aminobutyric Acid: The most common inhibitory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system.Cells, Cultured: Cells propagated in vitro in special media conducive to their growth. Cultured cells are used to study developmental, morphologic, metabolic, physiologic, and genetic processes, among others.Amacrine Cells: INTERNEURONS of the vertebrate RETINA. They integrate, modulate, and interpose a temporal domain in the visual message presented to the RETINAL GANGLION CELLS, with which they synapse in the inner plexiform layer.Sensory Receptor Cells: Specialized afferent neurons capable of transducing sensory stimuli into NERVE IMPULSES to be transmitted to the CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM. Sometimes sensory receptors for external stimuli are called exteroceptors; for internal stimuli are called interoceptors and proprioceptors.Microscopy, Confocal: A light microscopic technique in which only a small spot is illuminated and observed at a time. An image is constructed through point-by-point scanning of the field in this manner. Light sources may be conventional or laser, and fluorescence or transmitted observations are possible.Animals, Newborn: Refers to animals in the period of time just after birth.Neuropil: A dense intricate feltwork of interwoven fine glial processes, fibrils, synaptic terminals, axons, and dendrites interspersed among the nerve cells in the gray matter of the central nervous system.Electrophysiology: The study of the generation and behavior of electrical charges in living organisms particularly the nervous system and the effects of electricity on living organisms.Microscopy, Electron: Microscopy using an electron beam, instead of light, to visualize the sample, thereby allowing much greater magnification. The interactions of ELECTRONS with specimens are used to provide information about the fine structure of that specimen. In TRANSMISSION ELECTRON MICROSCOPY the reactions of the electrons that are transmitted through the specimen are imaged. In SCANNING ELECTRON MICROSCOPY an electron beam falls at a non-normal angle on the specimen and the image is derived from the reactions occurring above the plane of the specimen.Motor Neurons: Neurons which activate MUSCLE CELLS.Horseradish Peroxidase: An enzyme isolated from horseradish which is able to act as an antigen. It is frequently used as a histochemical tracer for light and electron microscopy. Its antigenicity has permitted its use as a combined antigen and marker in experimental immunology.Neural Inhibition: The function of opposing or restraining the excitation of neurons or their target excitable cells.Tetrodotoxin: An aminoperhydroquinazoline poison found mainly in the liver and ovaries of fishes in the order TETRAODONTIFORMES, which are eaten. The toxin causes paresthesia and paralysis through interference with neuromuscular conduction.Microtubule-Associated Proteins: High molecular weight proteins found in the MICROTUBULES of the cytoskeletal system. Under certain conditions they are required for TUBULIN assembly into the microtubules and stabilize the assembled microtubules.Neurons, Afferent: Neurons which conduct NERVE IMPULSES to the CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM.Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate: A class of ionotropic glutamate receptors characterized by affinity for N-methyl-D-aspartate. NMDA receptors have an allosteric binding site for glycine which must be occupied for the channel to open efficiently and a site within the channel itself to which magnesium ions bind in a voltage-dependent manner. The positive voltage dependence of channel conductance and the high permeability of the conducting channel to calcium ions (as well as to monovalent cations) are important in excitotoxicity and neuronal plasticity.Neural Pathways: Neural tracts connecting one part of the nervous system with another.Rats, Wistar: A strain of albino rat developed at the Wistar Institute that has spread widely at other institutions. This has markedly diluted the original strain.Retinal Bipolar Cells: INTERNEURONS of the vertebrate RETINA containing two processes. They receive inputs from the RETINAL PHOTORECEPTOR CELLS and send outputs to the RETINAL GANGLION CELLS. The bipolar cells also make lateral connections in the retina with the RETINAL HORIZONTAL CELLS and with the AMACRINE CELLS.Calcium: A basic element found in nearly all organized tissues. It is a member of the alkaline earth family of metals with the atomic symbol Ca, atomic number 20, and atomic weight 40. Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body and combines with phosphorus to form calcium phosphate in the bones and teeth. It is essential for the normal functioning of nerves and muscles and plays a role in blood coagulation (as factor IV) and in many enzymatic processes.Membrane Potentials: The voltage differences across a membrane. For cellular membranes they are computed by subtracting the voltage measured outside the membrane from the voltage measured inside the membrane. They result from differences of inside versus outside concentration of potassium, sodium, chloride, and other ions across cells' or ORGANELLES membranes. For excitable cells, the resting membrane potentials range between -30 and -100 millivolts. Physical, chemical, or electrical stimuli can make a membrane potential more negative (hyperpolarization), or less negative (depolarization).Afferent Pathways: Nerve structures through which impulses are conducted from a peripheral part toward a nerve center.Microscopy, Immunoelectron: Microscopy in which the samples are first stained immunocytochemically and then examined using an electron microscope. Immunoelectron microscopy is used extensively in diagnostic virology as part of very sensitive immunoassays.CA1 Region, Hippocampal: One of four subsections of the hippocampus described by Lorente de No, located furthest from the DENTATE GYRUS.Dentate Gyrus: GRAY MATTER situated above the GYRUS HIPPOCAMPI. It is composed of three layers. The molecular layer is continuous with the HIPPOCAMPUS in the hippocampal fissure. The granular layer consists of closely arranged spherical or oval neurons, called GRANULE CELLS, whose AXONS pass through the polymorphic layer ending on the DENDRITES of PYRAMIDAL CELLS in the hippocampus.Receptors, AMPA: A class of ionotropic glutamate receptors characterized by their affinity for the agonist AMPA (alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid).S100 Calcium Binding Protein G: A calbindin protein found in many mammalian tissues, including the UTERUS, PLACENTA, BONE, PITUITARY GLAND, and KIDNEYS. In intestinal ENTEROCYTES it mediates intracellular calcium transport from apical to basolateral membranes via calcium binding at two EF-HAND MOTIFS. Expression is regulated in some tissues by VITAMIN D.Parvalbumins: Low molecular weight, calcium binding muscle proteins. Their physiological function is possibly related to the contractile process.Silver Staining: The use of silver, usually silver nitrate, as a reagent for producing contrast or coloration in tissue specimens.Glutamic Acid: A non-essential amino acid naturally occurring in the L-form. Glutamic acid is the most common excitatory neurotransmitter in the CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM.Olfactory Pathways: Set of nerve fibers conducting impulses from olfactory receptors to the cerebral cortex. It includes the OLFACTORY NERVE; OLFACTORY BULB; OLFACTORY TRACT; OLFACTORY TUBERCLE; ANTERIOR PERFORATED SUBSTANCE; and OLFACTORY CORTEX.Retinal Ganglion Cells: Neurons of the innermost layer of the retina, the internal plexiform layer. They are of variable sizes and shapes, and their axons project via the OPTIC NERVE to the brain. A small subset of these cells act as photoreceptors with projections to the SUPRACHIASMATIC NUCLEUS, the center for regulating CIRCADIAN RHYTHM.Calcium Signaling: Signal transduction mechanisms whereby calcium mobilization (from outside the cell or from intracellular storage pools) to the cytoplasm is triggered by external stimuli. Calcium signals are often seen to propagate as waves, oscillations, spikes, sparks, or puffs. The calcium acts as an intracellular messenger by activating calcium-responsive proteins.Evoked Potentials: Electrical responses recorded from nerve, muscle, SENSORY RECEPTOR, or area of the CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM following stimulation. They range from less than a microvolt to several microvolts. The evoked potential can be auditory (EVOKED POTENTIALS, AUDITORY), somatosensory (EVOKED POTENTIALS, SOMATOSENSORY), visual (EVOKED POTENTIALS, VISUAL), or motor (EVOKED POTENTIALS, MOTOR), or other modalities that have been reported.Calbindins: Calcium-binding proteins that are found in DISTAL KIDNEY TUBULES, INTESTINES, BRAIN, and other tissues where they bind, buffer and transport cytoplasmic calcium. Calbindins possess a variable number of EF-HAND MOTIFS which contain calcium-binding sites. Some isoforms are regulated by VITAMIN D.Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor: A member of the nerve growth factor family of trophic factors. In the brain BDNF has a trophic action on retinal, cholinergic, and dopaminergic neurons, and in the peripheral nervous system it acts on both motor and sensory neurons. (From Kendrew, The Encyclopedia of Molecular Biology, 1994)Cats: The domestic cat, Felis catus, of the carnivore family FELIDAE, comprising over 30 different breeds. The domestic cat is descended primarily from the wild cat of Africa and extreme southwestern Asia. Though probably present in towns in Palestine as long ago as 7000 years, actual domestication occurred in Egypt about 4000 years ago. (From Walker's Mammals of the World, 6th ed, p801)Neurites: In tissue culture, hairlike projections of neurons stimulated by growth factors and other molecules. These projections may go on to form a branched tree of dendrites or a single axon or they may be reabsorbed at a later stage of development. "Neurite" may refer to any filamentous or pointed outgrowth of an embryonal or tissue-culture neural cell.Animals, Genetically Modified: ANIMALS whose GENOME has been altered by GENETIC ENGINEERING, or their offspring.Spinal Cord: A cylindrical column of tissue that lies within the vertebral canal. It is composed of WHITE MATTER and GRAY MATTER.Cell Polarity: Orientation of intracellular structures especially with respect to the apical and basolateral domains of the plasma membrane. Polarized cells must direct proteins from the Golgi apparatus to the appropriate domain since tight junctions prevent proteins from diffusing between the two domains.Drosophila Proteins: Proteins that originate from insect species belonging to the genus DROSOPHILA. The proteins from the most intensely studied species of Drosophila, DROSOPHILA MELANOGASTER, are the subject of much interest in the area of MORPHOGENESIS and development.Larva: Wormlike or grublike stage, following the egg in the life cycle of insects, worms, and other metamorphosing animals.Drosophila: A genus of small, two-winged flies containing approximately 900 described species. These organisms are the most extensively studied of all genera from the standpoint of genetics and cytology.Retina: The ten-layered nervous tissue membrane of the eye. It is continuous with the OPTIC NERVE and receives images of external objects and transmits visual impulses to the brain. Its outer surface is in contact with the CHOROID and the inner surface with the VITREOUS BODY. The outer-most layer is pigmented, whereas the inner nine layers are transparent.Organ Culture Techniques: A technique for maintenance or growth of animal organs in vitro. It refers to three-dimensional cultures of undisaggregated tissue retaining some or all of the histological features of the tissue in vivo. (Freshney, Culture of Animal Cells, 3d ed, p1)SOXB2 Transcription Factors: A subclass of SOX transcription factors that are expressed in neuronal tissue where they may play a role in the regulation of CELL DIFFERENTIATION. Members of this subclass are generally considered to be transcriptional repressors.Pyramidal Tracts: Fibers that arise from cells within the cerebral cortex, pass through the medullary pyramid, and descend in the spinal cord. Many authorities say the pyramidal tracts include both the corticospinal and corticobulbar tracts.N-Methylaspartate: An amino acid that, as the D-isomer, is the defining agonist for the NMDA receptor subtype of glutamate receptors (RECEPTORS, NMDA).Neurogenesis: Formation of NEURONS which involves the differentiation and division of STEM CELLS in which one or both of the daughter cells become neurons.Excitatory Amino Acid Antagonists: Drugs that bind to but do not activate excitatory amino acid receptors, thereby blocking the actions of agonists.Mice, Inbred C57BLReceptors, Glutamate: Cell-surface proteins that bind glutamate and trigger changes which influence the behavior of cells. Glutamate receptors include ionotropic receptors (AMPA, kainate, and N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors), which directly control ion channels, and metabotropic receptors which act through second messenger systems. Glutamate receptors are the most common mediators of fast excitatory synaptic transmission in the central nervous system. They have also been implicated in the mechanisms of memory and of many diseases.Nerve Net: A meshlike structure composed of interconnecting nerve cells that are separated at the synaptic junction or joined to one another by cytoplasmic processes. In invertebrates, for example, the nerve net allows nerve impulses to spread over a wide area of the net because synapses can pass information in any direction.Axonal Transport: The directed transport of ORGANELLES and molecules along nerve cell AXONS. Transport can be anterograde (from the cell body) or retrograde (toward the cell body). (Alberts et al., Molecular Biology of the Cell, 3d ed, pG3)Cell Shape: The quality of surface form or outline of CELLS.