Motor Neurons: Neurons which activate MUSCLE CELLS.Motor Neuron Disease: Diseases characterized by a selective degeneration of the motor neurons of the spinal cord, brainstem, or motor cortex. Clinical subtypes are distinguished by the major site of degeneration. In AMYOTROPHIC LATERAL SCLEROSIS there is involvement of upper, lower, and brainstem motor neurons. In progressive muscular atrophy and related syndromes (see MUSCULAR ATROPHY, SPINAL) the motor neurons in the spinal cord are primarily affected. With progressive bulbar palsy (BULBAR PALSY, PROGRESSIVE), the initial degeneration occurs in the brainstem. In primary lateral sclerosis, the cortical neurons are affected in isolation. (Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, p1089)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.Survival of Motor Neuron 1 Protein: A SMN complex protein that is essential for the function of the SMN protein complex. In humans the protein is encoded by a single gene found near the inversion telomere of a large inverted region of CHROMOSOME 5. Mutations in the gene coding for survival of motor neuron 1 protein may result in SPINAL MUSCULAR ATROPHIES OF CHILDHOOD.Neurons, Afferent: Neurons which conduct NERVE IMPULSES to the CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM.Motor Cortex: Area of the FRONTAL LOBE concerned with primary motor control located in the dorsal PRECENTRAL GYRUS immediately anterior to the central sulcus. It is comprised of three areas: the primary motor cortex located on the anterior paracentral lobule on the medial surface of the brain; the premotor cortex located anterior to the primary motor cortex; and the supplementary motor area located on the midline surface of the hemisphere anterior to the primary motor cortex.Survival of Motor Neuron 2 Protein: A SMN complex protein that is closely-related to SURVIVAL OF MOTOR NEURON 1 PROTEIN. In humans, the protein is encoded by an often duplicated gene found near the inversion centromere of a large inverted region of CHROMOSOME 5.Evoked Potentials, Motor: The electrical response evoked in a muscle or motor nerve by electrical or magnetic stimulation. Common methods of stimulation are by transcranial electrical and TRANSCRANIAL MAGNETIC STIMULATION. It is often used for monitoring during neurosurgery.Spinal Cord: A cylindrical column of tissue that lies within the vertebral canal. It is composed of WHITE MATTER and GRAY MATTER.Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: A degenerative disorder affecting upper MOTOR NEURONS in the brain and lower motor neurons in the brain stem and SPINAL CORD. Disease onset is usually after the age of 50 and the process is usually fatal within 3 to 6 years. Clinical manifestations include progressive weakness, atrophy, FASCICULATION, hyperreflexia, DYSARTHRIA, dysphagia, and eventual paralysis of respiratory function. Pathologic features include the replacement of motor neurons with fibrous ASTROCYTES and atrophy of anterior SPINAL NERVE ROOTS and corticospinal tracts. (From Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, pp1089-94)Muscular Atrophy, Spinal: A group of disorders marked by progressive degeneration of motor neurons in the spinal cord resulting in weakness and muscular atrophy, usually without evidence of injury to the corticospinal tracts. Diseases in this category include Werdnig-Hoffmann disease and later onset SPINAL MUSCULAR ATROPHIES OF CHILDHOOD, most of which are hereditary. (Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, p1089)Motor Activity: The physical activity of a human or an animal as a behavioral phenomenon.Axons: Nerve fibers that are capable of rapidly conducting impulses away from the neuron cell body.SMN Complex Proteins: A complex of proteins that assemble the SNRNP CORE PROTEINS into a core structure that surrounds a highly conserved RNA sequence found in SMALL NUCLEAR RNA. They are found localized in the GEMINI OF COILED BODIES and in the CYTOPLASM. The SMN complex is named after the Survival of Motor Neuron Complex Protein 1, which is a critical component of the complex.Action Potentials: Abrupt changes in the membrane potential that sweep along the CELL MEMBRANE of excitable cells in response to excitation stimuli.Nerve Tissue ProteinsMolecular Motor Proteins: Proteins that are involved in or cause CELL MOVEMENT such as the rotary structures (flagellar motor) or the structures whose movement is directed along cytoskeletal filaments (MYOSIN; KINESIN; and DYNEIN motor families).Electric Stimulation: Use of electric potential or currents to elicit biological responses.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.Nerve Degeneration: Loss of functional activity and trophic degeneration of nerve axons and their terminal arborizations following the destruction of their cells of origin or interruption of their continuity with these cells. The pathology is characteristic of neurodegenerative diseases. Often the process of nerve degeneration is studied in research on neuroanatomical localization and correlation of the neurophysiology of neural pathways.Neuromuscular Diseases: A general term encompassing lower MOTOR NEURON DISEASE; PERIPHERAL NERVOUS SYSTEM DISEASES; and certain MUSCULAR DISEASES. Manifestations include MUSCLE WEAKNESS; FASCICULATION; muscle ATROPHY; SPASM; MYOKYMIA; MUSCLE HYPERTONIA, myalgias, and MUSCLE HYPOTONIA.Ganglia, Invertebrate: Clusters of neuronal cell bodies in invertebrates. Invertebrate ganglia may also contain neuronal processes and non-neuronal supporting cells. Many invertebrate ganglia are favorable subjects for research because they have small numbers of functional neuronal types which can be identified from one animal to another.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.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.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.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.Mice, Transgenic: Laboratory mice that have been produced from a genetically manipulated EGG or EMBRYO, MAMMALIAN.Movement: The act, process, or result of passing from one place or position to another. It differs from LOCOMOTION in that locomotion is restricted to the passing of the whole body from one place to another, while movement encompasses both locomotion but also a change of the position of the whole body or any of its parts. Movement may be used with reference to humans, vertebrate and invertebrate animals, and microorganisms. Differentiate also from MOTOR ACTIVITY, movement associated with behavior.Cholinergic Neurons: Neurons whose primary neurotransmitter is ACETYLCHOLINE.Aplysia: An opisthobranch mollusk of the order Anaspidea. It is used frequently in studies of nervous system development because of its large identifiable neurons. Aplysiatoxin and its derivatives are not biosynthesized by Aplysia, but acquired by ingestion of Lyngbya (seaweed) species.Dopaminergic Neurons: Neurons whose primary neurotransmitter is DOPAMINE.Superoxide Dismutase: An oxidoreductase that catalyzes the reaction between superoxide anions and hydrogen to yield molecular oxygen and hydrogen peroxide. The enzyme protects the cell against dangerous levels of superoxide. EC 1.15.1.1.Electromyography: Recording of the changes in electric potential of muscle by means of surface or needle electrodes.Neuromuscular Junction: The synapse between a neuron and a muscle.Anterior Horn Cells: MOTOR NEURONS in the anterior (ventral) horn of the SPINAL CORD which project to SKELETAL MUSCLES.Immunohistochemistry: Histochemical localization of immunoreactive substances using labeled antibodies as reagents.Dendrites: Extensions of the nerve cell body. They are short and branched and receive stimuli from other NEURONS.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.Brain: The part of CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM that is contained within the skull (CRANIUM). Arising from the NEURAL TUBE, the embryonic brain is comprised of three major parts including PROSENCEPHALON (the forebrain); MESENCEPHALON (the midbrain); and RHOMBENCEPHALON (the hindbrain). The developed brain consists of CEREBRUM; CEREBELLUM; and other structures in the BRAIN STEM.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.Neural Inhibition: The function of opposing or restraining the excitation of neurons or their target excitable cells.GABAergic Neurons: Neurons whose primary neurotransmitter is GAMMA-AMINOBUTYRIC ACID.Ganglia, Spinal: Sensory ganglia located on the dorsal spinal roots within the vertebral column. The spinal ganglion cells are pseudounipolar. The single primary branch bifurcates sending a peripheral process to carry sensory information from the periphery and a central branch which relays that information to the spinal cord or brain.Bulbar Palsy, Progressive: A motor neuron disease marked by progressive weakness of the muscles innervated by cranial nerves of the lower brain stem. Clinical manifestations include dysarthria, dysphagia, facial weakness, tongue weakness, and fasciculations of the tongue and facial muscles. The adult form of the disease is marked initially by bulbar weakness which progresses to involve motor neurons throughout the neuroaxis. Eventually this condition may become indistinguishable from AMYOTROPHIC LATERAL SCLEROSIS. Fazio-Londe syndrome is an inherited form of this illness which occurs in children and young adults. (Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, p1091; Brain 1992 Dec;115(Pt 6):1889-1900)Models, Neurological: Theoretical representations that simulate the behavior or activity of the neurological system, processes or phenomena; includes the use of mathematical equations, computers, and other electronic equipment.Time Factors: Elements of limited time intervals, contributing to particular results or situations.Disease Models, Animal: Naturally occurring or experimentally induced animal diseases with pathological processes sufficiently similar to those of human diseases. They are used as study models for human diseases.Animals, Newborn: Refers to animals in the period of time just after birth.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.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).gamma-Aminobutyric Acid: The most common inhibitory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system.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.Mutation: Any detectable and heritable change in the genetic material that causes a change in the GENOTYPE and which is transmitted to daughter cells and to succeeding generations.Mice, Inbred C57BLFacial Nerve: The 7th cranial nerve. The facial nerve has two parts, the larger motor root which may be called the facial nerve proper, and the smaller intermediate or sensory root. Together they provide efferent innervation to the muscles of facial expression and to the lacrimal and SALIVARY GLANDS, and convey afferent information for TASTE from the anterior two-thirds of the TONGUE and for TOUCH from the EXTERNAL EAR.Motor Skills Disorders: Marked impairments in the development of motor coordination such that the impairment interferes with activities of daily living. (From DSM-V)Animals, Genetically Modified: ANIMALS whose GENOME has been altered by GENETIC ENGINEERING, or their offspring.Brain Stem: The part of the brain that connects the CEREBRAL HEMISPHERES with the SPINAL CORD. It consists of the MESENCEPHALON; PONS; and MEDULLA OBLONGATA.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)Neuropeptides: Peptides released by NEURONS as intercellular messengers. Many neuropeptides are also hormones released by non-neuronal cells.Neural Conduction: The propagation of the NERVE IMPULSE along the nerve away from the site of an excitation stimulus.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.Molecular Sequence Data: Descriptions of specific amino acid, carbohydrate, or nucleotide sequences which have appeared in the published literature and/or are deposited in and maintained by databanks such as GENBANK, European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), National Biomedical Research Foundation (NBRF), or other sequence repositories.Choline O-Acetyltransferase: An enzyme that catalyzes the formation of acetylcholine from acetyl-CoA and choline. EC 2.3.1.6.Ganglia: Clusters of multipolar neurons surrounded by a capsule of loosely organized CONNECTIVE TISSUE located outside the CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM.Neurons, Efferent: Neurons which send impulses peripherally to activate muscles or secretory cells.Reaction Time: The time from the onset of a stimulus until a response is observed.Grasshoppers: Plant-eating orthopterans having hindlegs adapted for jumping. There are two main families: Acrididae and Romaleidae. Some of the more common genera are: Melanoplus, the most common grasshopper; Conocephalus, the eastern meadow grasshopper; and Pterophylla, the true katydid.Central Nervous System: The main information-processing organs of the nervous system, consisting of the brain, spinal cord, and meninges.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.Locomotion: Movement or the ability to move from one place or another. It can refer to humans, vertebrate or invertebrate animals, and microorganisms.Neurofilament Proteins: Type III intermediate filament proteins that assemble into neurofilaments, the major cytoskeletal element in nerve axons and dendrites. They consist of three distinct polypeptides, the neurofilament triplet. Types I, II, and IV intermediate filament proteins form other cytoskeletal elements such as keratins and lamins. It appears that the metabolism of neurofilaments is disturbed in Alzheimer's disease, as indicated by the presence of neurofilament epitopes in the neurofibrillary tangles, as well as by the severe reduction of the expression of the gene for the light neurofilament subunit of the neurofilament triplet in brains of Alzheimer's patients. (Can J Neurol Sci 1990 Aug;17(3):302)Behavior, Animal: The observable response an animal makes to any situation.Muscle, Skeletal: A subtype of striated muscle, attached by TENDONS to the SKELETON. Skeletal muscles are innervated and their movement can be consciously controlled. They are also called voluntary muscles.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.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.Gamma Rays: Penetrating, high-energy electromagnetic radiation emitted from atomic nuclei during NUCLEAR DECAY. The range of wavelengths of emitted radiation is between 0.1 - 100 pm which overlaps the shorter, more energetic hard X-RAYS wavelengths. The distinction between gamma rays and X-rays is based on their radiation source.Mice, Knockout: Strains of mice in which certain GENES of their GENOMES have been disrupted, or "knocked-out". To produce knockouts, using RECOMBINANT DNA technology, the normal DNA sequence of the gene being studied is altered to prevent synthesis of a normal gene product. Cloned cells in which this DNA alteration is successful are then injected into mouse EMBRYOS to produce chimeric mice. The chimeric mice are then bred to yield a strain in which all the cells of the mouse contain the disrupted gene. Knockout mice are used as EXPERIMENTAL ANIMAL MODELS for diseases (DISEASE MODELS, ANIMAL) and to clarify the functions of the genes.Neuronal Plasticity: The capacity of the NERVOUS SYSTEM to change its reactivity as the result of successive activations.Cell Count: The number of CELLS of a specific kind, usually measured per unit volume or area of sample.Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental: Any of the processes by which nuclear, cytoplasmic, or intercellular factors influence the differential control of gene action during the developmental stages of an organism.Medulla Oblongata: The lower portion of the BRAIN STEM. It is inferior to the PONS and anterior to the CEREBELLUM. Medulla oblongata serves as a relay station between the brain and the spinal cord, and contains centers for regulating respiratory, vasomotor, cardiac, and reflex activities.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)Cell Differentiation: Progressive restriction of the developmental potential and increasing specialization of function that leads to the formation of specialized cells, tissues, and organs.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.Psychomotor Performance: The coordination of a sensory or ideational (cognitive) process and a motor activity.Olfactory Receptor Neurons: Neurons in the OLFACTORY EPITHELIUM with proteins (RECEPTORS, ODORANT) that bind, and thus detect, odorants. These neurons send their DENDRITES to the surface of the epithelium with the odorant receptors residing in the apical non-motile cilia. Their unmyelinated AXONS synapse in the OLFACTORY BULB of the BRAIN.Signal Transduction: The intracellular transfer of information (biological activation/inhibition) through a signal pathway. In each signal transduction system, an activation/inhibition signal from a biologically active molecule (hormone, neurotransmitter) is mediated via the coupling of a receptor/enzyme to a second messenger system or to an ion channel. Signal transduction plays an important role in activating cellular functions, cell differentiation, and cell proliferation. Examples of signal transduction systems are the GAMMA-AMINOBUTYRIC ACID-postsynaptic receptor-calcium ion channel system, the receptor-mediated T-cell activation pathway, and the receptor-mediated activation of phospholipases. Those coupled to membrane depolarization or intracellular release of calcium include the receptor-mediated activation of cytotoxic functions in granulocytes and the synaptic potentiation of protein kinase activation. Some signal transduction pathways may be part of larger signal transduction pathways; for example, protein kinase activation is part of the platelet activation signal pathway.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.Muscles: Contractile tissue that produces movement in animals.Dopamine: One of the catecholamine NEUROTRANSMITTERS in the brain. It is derived from TYROSINE and is the precursor to NOREPINEPHRINE and EPINEPHRINE. Dopamine is a major transmitter in the extrapyramidal system of the brain, and important in regulating movement. A family of receptors (RECEPTORS, DOPAMINE) mediate its action.Afferent Pathways: Nerve structures through which impulses are conducted from a peripheral part toward a nerve center.Chick Embryo: The developmental entity of a fertilized chicken egg (ZYGOTE). The developmental process begins about 24 h before the egg is laid at the BLASTODISC, a small whitish spot on the surface of the EGG YOLK. After 21 days of incubation, the embryo is fully developed before hatching.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.Cyclic AMP Response Element-Binding Protein: A protein that has been shown to function as a calcium-regulated transcription factor as well as a substrate for depolarization-activated CALCIUM-CALMODULIN-DEPENDENT PROTEIN KINASES. This protein functions to integrate both calcium and cAMP signals.Neuroglia: The non-neuronal cells of the nervous system. They not only provide physical support, but also respond to injury, regulate the ionic and chemical composition of the extracellular milieu, participate in the BLOOD-BRAIN BARRIER and BLOOD-RETINAL BARRIER, form the myelin insulation of nervous pathways, guide neuronal migration during development, and exchange metabolites with neurons. Neuroglia have high-affinity transmitter uptake systems, voltage-dependent and transmitter-gated ion channels, and can release transmitters, but their role in signaling (as in many other functions) is unclear.Leeches: Annelids of the class Hirudinea. Some species, the bloodsuckers, may become temporarily parasitic upon animals, including man. Medicinal leeches (HIRUDO MEDICINALIS) have been used therapeutically for drawing blood since ancient times.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.Periodicity: The tendency of a phenomenon to recur at regular intervals; in biological systems, the recurrence of certain activities (including hormonal, cellular, neural) may be annual, seasonal, monthly, daily, or more frequently (ultradian).Analysis of Variance: A statistical technique that isolates and assesses the contributions of categorical independent variables to variation in the mean of a continuous dependent variable.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.Rhombencephalon: The posterior of the three primitive cerebral vesicles of an embryonic brain. It consists of myelencephalon, metencephalon, and isthmus rhombencephali from which develop the major BRAIN STEM components, such as MEDULLA OBLONGATA from the myelencephalon, CEREBELLUM and PONS from the metencephalon, with the expanded cavity forming the FOURTH VENTRICLE.Astrocytes: A class of large neuroglial (macroglial) cells in the central nervous system - the largest and most numerous neuroglial cells in the brain and spinal cord. Astrocytes (from "star" cells) are irregularly shaped with many long processes, including those with "end feet" which form the glial (limiting) membrane and directly and indirectly contribute to the BLOOD-BRAIN BARRIER. They regulate the extracellular ionic and chemical environment, and "reactive astrocytes" (along with MICROGLIA) respond to injury.RNA, Messenger: RNA sequences that serve as templates for protein synthesis. Bacterial mRNAs are generally primary transcripts in that they do not require post-transcriptional processing. Eukaryotic mRNA is synthesized in the nucleus and must be exported to the cytoplasm for translation. Most eukaryotic mRNAs have a sequence of polyadenylic acid at the 3' end, referred to as the poly(A) tail. The function of this tail is not known for certain, but it may play a role in the export of mature mRNA from the nucleus as well as in helping stabilize some mRNA molecules by retarding their degradation in the cytoplasm.Paralysis: A general term most often used to describe severe or complete loss of muscle strength due to motor system disease from the level of the cerebral cortex to the muscle fiber. This term may also occasionally refer to a loss of sensory function. (From Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, p45)Spinal Muscular Atrophies of Childhood: A group of recessively inherited diseases that feature progressive muscular atrophy and hypotonia. They are classified as type I (Werdnig-Hoffman disease), type II (intermediate form), and type III (Kugelberg-Welander disease). Type I is fatal in infancy, type II has a late infantile onset and is associated with survival into the second or third decade. Type III has its onset in childhood, and is slowly progressive. (J Med Genet 1996 Apr:33(4):281-3)Nerve Growth Factors: Factors which enhance the growth potentialities of sensory and sympathetic nerve cells.Neurogenesis: Formation of NEURONS which involves the differentiation and division of STEM CELLS in which one or both of the daughter cells become neurons.Physical Stimulation: Act of eliciting a response from a person or organism through physical contact.Mesencephalon: The middle of the three primitive cerebral vesicles of the embryonic brain. Without further subdivision, midbrain develops into a short, constricted portion connecting the PONS and the DIENCEPHALON. Midbrain contains two major parts, the dorsal TECTUM MESENCEPHALI and the ventral TEGMENTUM MESENCEPHALI, housing components of auditory, visual, and other sensorimoter systems.Cell Survival: The span of viability of a cell characterized by the capacity to perform certain functions such as metabolism, growth, reproduction, some form of responsiveness, and adaptability.Peripheral Nerves: The nerves outside of the brain and spinal cord, including the autonomic, cranial, and spinal nerves. Peripheral nerves contain non-neuronal cells and connective tissue as well as axons. The connective tissue layers include, from the outside to the inside, the epineurium, the perineurium, and the endoneurium.Amino Acid Sequence: The order of amino acids as they occur in a polypeptide chain. This is referred to as the primary structure of proteins. It is of fundamental importance in determining PROTEIN CONFORMATION.Cell Death: The termination of the cell's ability to carry out vital functions such as metabolism, growth, reproduction, responsiveness, and adaptability.Serotonin: A biochemical messenger and regulator, synthesized from the essential amino acid L-TRYPTOPHAN. In humans it is found primarily in the central nervous system, gastrointestinal tract, and blood platelets. Serotonin mediates several important physiological functions including neurotransmission, gastrointestinal motility, hemostasis, and cardiovascular integrity. Multiple receptor families (RECEPTORS, SEROTONIN) explain the broad physiological actions and distribution of this biochemical mediator.FMRFamide: A molluscan neuroactive peptide which induces a fast excitatory depolarizing response due to direct activation of amiloride-sensitive SODIUM CHANNELS. (From Nature 1995; 378(6558): 730-3)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.Nerve Regeneration: Renewal or physiological repair of damaged nerve tissue.Kinesin: A microtubule-associated mechanical adenosine triphosphatase, that uses the energy of ATP hydrolysis to move organelles along microtubules toward the plus end of the microtubule. The protein is found in squid axoplasm, optic lobes, and in bovine brain. Bovine kinesin is a heterotetramer composed of two heavy (120 kDa) and two light (62 kDa) chains. EC 3.6.1.-.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.Axotomy: Transection or severing of an axon. This type of denervation is used often in experimental studies on neuronal physiology and neuronal death or survival, toward an understanding of nervous system disease.Functional Laterality: Behavioral manifestations of cerebral dominance in which there is preferential use and superior functioning of either the left or the right side, as in the preferred use of the right hand or right foot.In Situ Hybridization: A technique that localizes specific nucleic acid sequences within intact chromosomes, eukaryotic cells, or bacterial cells through the use of specific nucleic acid-labeled probes.Gene Expression Regulation: Any of the processes by which nuclear, cytoplasmic, or intercellular factors influence the differential control (induction or repression) of gene action at the level of transcription or translation.Nervous System: The entire nerve apparatus, composed of a central part, the brain and spinal cord, and a peripheral part, the cranial and spinal nerves, autonomic ganglia, and plexuses. (Stedman, 26th ed)Transcription Factors: Endogenous substances, usually proteins, which are effective in the initiation, stimulation, or termination of the genetic transcription process.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.Recruitment, Neurophysiological: The spread of response if stimulation is prolonged. (Campbell's Psychiatric Dictionary, 8th ed.)Caenorhabditis elegans: A species of nematode that is widely used in biological, biochemical, and genetic studies.Homeodomain Proteins: Proteins encoded by homeobox genes (GENES, HOMEOBOX) that exhibit structural similarity to certain prokaryotic and eukaryotic DNA-binding proteins. Homeodomain proteins are involved in the control of gene expression during morphogenesis and development (GENE EXPRESSION REGULATION, DEVELOPMENTAL).Cranial Nerves: Twelve pairs of nerves that carry general afferent, visceral afferent, special afferent, somatic efferent, and autonomic efferent fibers.Zebrafish: An exotic species of the family CYPRINIDAE, originally from Asia, that has been introduced in North America. They are used in embryological studies and to study the effects of certain chemicals on development.Motor Neurons, Gamma: Motor neurons which activate the contractile regions of intrafusal SKELETAL MUSCLE FIBERS, thus adjusting the sensitivity of the MUSCLE SPINDLES to stretch. Gamma motor neurons may be "static" or "dynamic" according to which aspect of responsiveness (or which fiber types) they regulate. The alpha and gamma motor neurons are often activated together (alpha gamma coactivation) which allows the spindles to contribute to the control of movement trajectories despite changes in muscle length.RNA-Binding Proteins: Proteins that bind to RNA molecules. Included here are RIBONUCLEOPROTEINS and other proteins whose function is to bind specifically to RNA.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.Sciatic Nerve: A nerve which originates in the lumbar and sacral spinal cord (L4 to S3) and supplies motor and sensory innervation to the lower extremity. The sciatic nerve, which is the main continuation of the sacral plexus, is the largest nerve in the body. It has two major branches, the TIBIAL NERVE and the PERONEAL NERVE.Muscle Contraction: A process leading to shortening and/or development of tension in muscle tissue. Muscle contraction occurs by a sliding filament mechanism whereby actin filaments slide inward among the myosin filaments.Macaca mulatta: A species of the genus MACACA inhabiting India, China, and other parts of Asia. The species is used extensively in biomedical research and adapts very well to living with humans.Serotonergic Neurons: Neurons whose primary neurotransmitter is SEROTONIN.Astacoidea: A superfamily of various freshwater CRUSTACEA, in the infraorder Astacidea, comprising the crayfish. Common genera include Astacus and Procambarus. Crayfish resemble lobsters, but are usually much smaller.Tyrosine 3-Monooxygenase: An enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of L-tyrosine, tetrahydrobiopterin, and oxygen to 3,4-dihydroxy-L-phenylalanine, dihydrobiopterin, and water. EC 1.14.16.2.Reflex: An involuntary movement or exercise of function in a part, excited in response to a stimulus applied to the periphery and transmitted to the brain or spinal cord.Embryo, Mammalian: The entity of a developing mammal (MAMMALS), generally from the cleavage of a ZYGOTE to the end of embryonic differentiation of basic structures. For the human embryo, this represents the first two months of intrauterine development preceding the stages of the FETUS.Efferent Pathways: Nerve structures through which impulses are conducted from a nerve center toward a peripheral site. Such impulses are conducted via efferent neurons (NEURONS, EFFERENT), such as MOTOR NEURONS, autonomic neurons, and hypophyseal neurons.Neural Pathways: Neural tracts connecting one part of the nervous system with another.Extremities: The farthest or outermost projections of the body, such as the HAND and FOOT.Phenotype: The outward appearance of the individual. It is the product of interactions between genes, and between the GENOTYPE and the environment.Base Sequence: The sequence of PURINES and PYRIMIDINES in nucleic acids and polynucleotides. It is also called nucleotide sequence.Neurotransmitter Agents: Substances used for their pharmacological actions on any aspect of neurotransmitter systems. Neurotransmitter agents include agonists, antagonists, degradation inhibitors, uptake inhibitors, depleters, precursors, and modulators of receptor function.Brain Mapping: Imaging techniques used to colocalize sites of brain functions or physiological activity with brain structures.Dose-Response Relationship, Drug: The relationship between the dose of an administered drug and the response of the organism to the drug.Cell Line: Established cell cultures that have the potential to propagate indefinitely.Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins: Proteins from the nematode species CAENORHABDITIS ELEGANS. The proteins from this species are the subject of scientific interest in the area of multicellular organism MORPHOGENESIS.LIM-Homeodomain Proteins: A subclass of LIM domain proteins that include an additional centrally-located homeodomain region that binds AT-rich sites on DNA. Many LIM-homeodomain proteins play a role as transcriptional regulators that direct cell fate.Receptors, GABA-A: Cell surface proteins which bind GAMMA-AMINOBUTYRIC ACID and contain an integral membrane chloride channel. Each receptor is assembled as a pentamer from a pool of at least 19 different possible subunits. The receptors belong to a superfamily that share a common CYSTEINE loop.Thalamus: Paired bodies containing mostly GRAY MATTER and forming part of the lateral wall of the THIRD VENTRICLE of the brain.Photic Stimulation: Investigative technique commonly used during ELECTROENCEPHALOGRAPHY in which a series of bright light flashes or visual patterns are used to elicit brain activity.Movement Disorders: Syndromes which feature DYSKINESIAS as a cardinal manifestation of the disease process. Included in this category are degenerative, hereditary, post-infectious, medication-induced, post-inflammatory, and post-traumatic conditions.Models, Biological: Theoretical representations that simulate the behavior or activity of biological processes or diseases. For disease models in living animals, DISEASE MODELS, ANIMAL is available. Biological models include the use of mathematical equations, computers, and other electronic equipment.Myenteric Plexus: One of two ganglionated neural networks which together form the ENTERIC NERVOUS SYSTEM. The myenteric (Auerbach's) plexus is located between the longitudinal and circular muscle layers of the gut. Its neurons project to the circular muscle, to other myenteric ganglia, to submucosal ganglia, or directly to the epithelium, and play an important role in regulating and patterning gut motility. (From FASEB J 1989;3:127-38)Hand: The distal part of the arm beyond the wrist in humans and primates, that includes the palm, fingers, and thumb.Pons: The front part of the hindbrain (RHOMBENCEPHALON) that lies between the MEDULLA and the midbrain (MESENCEPHALON) ventral to the cerebellum. It is composed of two parts, the dorsal and the ventral. The pons serves as a relay station for neural pathways between the CEREBELLUM to the CEREBRUM.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.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)Spinal Nerve Roots: Paired bundles of NERVE FIBERS entering and leaving the SPINAL CORD at each segment. The dorsal and ventral nerve roots join to form the mixed segmental spinal nerves. The dorsal roots are generally afferent, formed by the central projections of the spinal (dorsal root) ganglia sensory cells, and the ventral roots are efferent, comprising the axons of spinal motor and PREGANGLIONIC AUTONOMIC FIBERS.Growth Cones: Bulbous enlargement of the growing tip of nerve axons and dendrites. They are crucial to neuronal development because of their pathfinding ability and their role in synaptogenesis.RNA-Binding Protein FUS: A multifunctional heterogeneous-nuclear ribonucleoprotein that may play a role in homologous DNA pairing and recombination. The N-terminal portion of protein is a potent transcriptional activator, while the C terminus is required for RNA binding. The name FUS refers to the fact that genetic recombination events result in fusion oncogene proteins (ONCOGENE PROTEINS, FUSION) that contain the N-terminal region of this protein. These fusion proteins have been found in myxoid liposarcoma (LIPOSARCOMA, MYXOID) and acute myeloid leukemia.Substantia Nigra: The black substance in the ventral midbrain or the nucleus of cells containing the black substance. These cells produce DOPAMINE, an important neurotransmitter in regulation of the sensorimotor system and mood. The dark colored MELANIN is a by-product of dopamine synthesis.Proprioception: Sensory functions that transduce stimuli received by proprioceptive receptors in joints, tendons, muscles, and the INNER EAR into neural impulses to be transmitted to the CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM. Proprioception provides sense of stationary positions and movements of one's body parts, and is important in maintaining KINESTHESIA and POSTURAL BALANCE.Corpus Striatum: Striped GRAY MATTER and WHITE MATTER consisting of the NEOSTRIATUM and paleostriatum (GLOBUS PALLIDUS). It is located in front of and lateral to the THALAMUS in each cerebral hemisphere. The gray substance is made up of the CAUDATE NUCLEUS and the lentiform nucleus (the latter consisting of the GLOBUS PALLIDUS and PUTAMEN). The WHITE MATTER is the INTERNAL CAPSULE.Prosencephalon: The anterior of the three primitive cerebral vesicles of the embryonic brain arising from the NEURAL TUBE. It subdivides to form DIENCEPHALON and TELENCEPHALON. (Stedmans Medical Dictionary, 27th ed)Mice, Neurologic Mutants: Mice which carry mutant genes for neurologic defects or abnormalities.Microelectrodes: Electrodes with an extremely small tip, used in a voltage clamp or other apparatus to stimulate or record bioelectric potentials of single cells intracellularly or extracellularly. (Dorland, 28th ed)Excitatory Amino Acid Antagonists: Drugs that bind to but do not activate excitatory amino acid receptors, thereby blocking the actions of agonists.Neuroprotective Agents: Drugs intended to prevent damage to the brain or spinal cord from ischemia, stroke, convulsions, or trauma. Some must be administered before the event, but others may be effective for some time after. They act by a variety of mechanisms, but often directly or indirectly minimize the damage produced by endogenous excitatory amino acids.Mechanoreceptors: Cells specialized to transduce mechanical stimuli and relay that information centrally in the nervous system. Mechanoreceptor cells include the INNER EAR hair cells, which mediate hearing and balance, and the various somatosensory receptors, often with non-neural accessory structures.Rotarod Performance Test: A performance test based on forced MOTOR ACTIVITY on a rotating rod, usually by a rodent. Parameters include the riding time (seconds) or endurance. Test is used to evaluate balance and coordination of the subjects, particular in experimental animal models for neurological disorders and drug effects.Learning: Relatively permanent change in behavior that is the result of past experience or practice. The concept includes the acquisition of knowledge.Neurotoxins: Toxic substances from microorganisms, plants or animals that interfere with the functions of the nervous system. Most venoms contain neurotoxic substances. Myotoxins are included in this concept.Gene Expression: The phenotypic manifestation of a gene or genes by the processes of GENETIC TRANSCRIPTION and GENETIC TRANSLATION.Forelimb: A front limb of a quadruped. (The Random House College Dictionary, 1980)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).GABA Antagonists: Drugs that bind to but do not activate GABA RECEPTORS, thereby blocking the actions of endogenous GAMMA-AMINOBUTYRIC ACID and GABA RECEPTOR AGONISTS.Peripheral Nervous System: The nervous system outside of the brain and spinal cord. The peripheral nervous system has autonomic and somatic divisions. The autonomic nervous system includes the enteric, parasympathetic, and sympathetic subdivisions. The somatic nervous system includes the cranial and spinal nerves and their ganglia and the peripheral sensory receptors.Parkinson Disease: A progressive, degenerative neurologic disease characterized by a TREMOR that is maximal at rest, retropulsion (i.e. a tendency to fall backwards), rigidity, stooped posture, slowness of voluntary movements, and a masklike facial expression. Pathologic features include loss of melanin containing neurons in the substantia nigra and other pigmented nuclei of the brainstem. LEWY BODIES are present in the substantia nigra and locus coeruleus but may also be found in a related condition (LEWY BODY DISEASE, DIFFUSE) characterized by dementia in combination with varying degrees of parkinsonism. (Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, p1059, pp1067-75)Nitrergic Neurons: Nerve cells where transmission is mediated by NITRIC OXIDE.Nephropidae: Family of large marine CRUSTACEA, in the order DECAPODA. These are called clawed lobsters because they bear pincers on the first three pairs of legs. The American lobster and Cape lobster in the genus Homarus are commonly used for food.Electrophysiological Phenomena: The electrical properties, characteristics of living organisms, and the processes of organisms or their parts that are involved in generating and responding to electrical charges.Stilbamidines: STILBENES with AMIDINES attached.Spinal Cord Injuries: Penetrating and non-penetrating injuries to the spinal cord resulting from traumatic external forces (e.g., WOUNDS, GUNSHOT; WHIPLASH INJURIES; etc.).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).Adrenergic Neurons: Neurons whose primary neurotransmitter is EPINEPHRINE.Rats, Transgenic: Laboratory rats that have been produced from a genetically manipulated rat EGG or rat EMBRYO, MAMMALIAN. They contain genes from another species.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.Inclusion Bodies: A generic term for any circumscribed mass of foreign (e.g., lead or viruses) or metabolically inactive materials (e.g., ceroid or MALLORY BODIES), within the cytoplasm or nucleus of a cell. Inclusion bodies are in cells infected with certain filtrable viruses, observed especially in nerve, epithelial, or endothelial cells. (Stedman, 25th ed)Vagus Nerve: The 10th cranial nerve. The vagus is a mixed nerve which contains somatic afferents (from skin in back of the ear and the external auditory meatus), visceral afferents (from the pharynx, larynx, thorax, and abdomen), parasympathetic efferents (to the thorax and abdomen), and efferents to striated muscle (of the larynx and pharynx).DEAD Box Protein 20: A multifunctional protein that is both a DEAD-box RNA helicase and a component of the SMN protein complex.Inhibitory Postsynaptic Potentials: Hyperpolarization of membrane potentials at the SYNAPTIC MEMBRANES of target neurons during NEUROTRANSMISSION. They are local changes which diminish responsiveness to excitatory signals.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.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.