Neuronal Plasticity: The capacity of the NERVOUS SYSTEM to change its reactivity as the result of successive activations.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.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.Long-Term Potentiation: A persistent increase in synaptic efficacy, usually induced by appropriate activation of the same synapses. The phenomenological properties of long-term potentiation suggest that it may be a cellular mechanism of learning and memory.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.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)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.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.Nerve Tissue ProteinsReceptors, 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.Learning: Relatively permanent change in behavior that is the result of past experience or practice. The concept includes the acquisition of knowledge.Memory: Complex mental function having four distinct phases: (1) memorizing or learning, (2) retention, (3) recall, and (4) recognition. Clinically, it is usually subdivided into immediate, recent, and remote memory.Behavior, Animal: The observable response an animal makes to any situation.GAP-43 Protein: A nervous tissue specific protein which is highly expressed in NEURONS during development and NERVE REGENERATION. It has been implicated in neurite outgrowth, long-term potentiation, SIGNAL TRANSDUCTION, and NEUROTRANSMITTER release. (From Neurotoxicology 1994;15(1):41-7) It is also a substrate of PROTEIN KINASE C.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.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.Dendrites: Extensions of the nerve cell body. They are short and branched and receive stimuli from other NEURONS.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.Electric Stimulation: Use of electric potential or currents to elicit biological responses.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.Time Factors: Elements of limited time intervals, contributing to particular results or situations.Amygdala: Almond-shaped group of basal nuclei anterior to the INFERIOR HORN OF THE LATERAL VENTRICLE of the TEMPORAL LOBE. The amygdala is part of the limbic system.Neurogenesis: Formation of NEURONS which involves the differentiation and division of STEM CELLS in which one or both of the daughter cells become neurons.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.Animals, Newborn: Refers to animals in the period of time just after birth.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.Action Potentials: Abrupt changes in the membrane potential that sweep along the CELL MEMBRANE of excitable cells in response to excitation stimuli.Neural Pathways: Neural tracts connecting one part of the nervous system with another.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.Conditioning, Classical: Learning that takes place when a conditioned stimulus is paired with an unconditioned stimulus.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).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.Neuropeptides: Peptides released by NEURONS as intercellular messengers. Many neuropeptides are also hormones released by non-neuronal cells.Mice, Inbred C57BLCyclic 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.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.PC12 Cells: A CELL LINE derived from a PHEOCHROMOCYTOMA of the rat ADRENAL MEDULLA. PC12 cells stop dividing and undergo terminal differentiation when treated with NERVE GROWTH FACTOR, making the line a useful model system for NERVE CELL differentiation.Axons: Nerve fibers that are capable of rapidly conducting impulses away from the neuron cell body.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.Immunohistochemistry: Histochemical localization of immunoreactive substances using labeled antibodies as reagents.Nerve Growth Factors: Factors which enhance the growth potentialities of sensory and sympathetic nerve cells.Maze Learning: Learning the correct route through a maze to obtain reinforcement. It is used for human or animal populations. (Thesaurus of Psychological Index Terms, 6th ed)Excitatory Amino Acid Antagonists: Drugs that bind to but do not activate excitatory amino acid receptors, thereby blocking the actions of agonists.Calcium-Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinase Type 2: A multifunctional calcium-calmodulin-dependent protein kinase subtype that occurs as an oligomeric protein comprised of twelve subunits. It differs from other enzyme subtypes in that it lacks a phosphorylatable activation domain that can respond to CALCIUM-CALMODULIN-DEPENDENT PROTEIN KINASE KINASE.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.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.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.Receptor, trkB: A protein-tyrosine kinase receptor that is specific for BRAIN-DERIVED NEUROTROPHIC FACTOR; NEUROTROPHIN 3; neurotrophin 4 and neurotrophin 5. It is widely expressed in nervous tissue and plays a role in mediating the effects of neurotrophins on growth and differentiation of neuronal cells.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.Mice, Transgenic: Laboratory mice that have been produced from a genetically manipulated EGG or EMBRYO, MAMMALIAN.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.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.Neural Inhibition: The function of opposing or restraining the excitation of neurons or their target excitable cells.Spinal Cord: A cylindrical column of tissue that lies within the vertebral canal. It is composed of WHITE MATTER and GRAY MATTER.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.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.Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-fos: Cellular DNA-binding proteins encoded by the c-fos genes (GENES, FOS). They are involved in growth-related transcriptional control. c-fos combines with c-jun (PROTO-ONCOGENE PROTEINS C-JUN) to form a c-fos/c-jun heterodimer (TRANSCRIPTION FACTOR AP-1) that binds to the TRE (TPA-responsive element) in promoters of certain genes.Fear: The affective response to an actual current external danger which subsides with the elimination of the threatening condition.Conditioning (Psychology): A general term referring to the learning of some particular response.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.N-Methylaspartate: An amino acid that, as the D-isomer, is the defining agonist for the NMDA receptor subtype of glutamate receptors (RECEPTORS, NMDA).Visual Cortex: Area of the OCCIPITAL LOBE concerned with the processing of visual information relayed via VISUAL PATHWAYS.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.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.Motor Activity: The physical activity of a human or an animal as a behavioral phenomenon.Receptors, 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.Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein: An intermediate filament protein found only in glial cells or cells of glial origin. MW 51,000.Kainic Acid: (2S-(2 alpha,3 beta,4 beta))-2-Carboxy-4-(1-methylethenyl)-3-pyrrolidineacetic acid. Ascaricide obtained from the red alga Digenea simplex. It is a potent excitatory amino acid agonist at some types of excitatory amino acid receptors and has been used to discriminate among receptor types. Like many excitatory amino acid agonists it can cause neurotoxicity and has been used experimentally for that purpose.Sensory Deprivation: The absence or restriction of the usual external sensory stimuli to which the individual responds.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.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.Phosphorylation: The introduction of a phosphoryl group into a compound through the formation of an ester bond between the compound and a phosphorus moiety.Seizures: Clinical or subclinical disturbances of cortical function due to a sudden, abnormal, excessive, and disorganized discharge of brain cells. Clinical manifestations include abnormal motor, sensory and psychic phenomena. Recurrent seizures are usually referred to as EPILEPSY or "seizure disorder."Long-Term Synaptic Depression: A persistent activity-dependent decrease in synaptic efficacy between NEURONS. It typically occurs following repeated low-frequency afferent stimulation, but it can be induced by other methods. Long-term depression appears to play a role in MEMORY.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.Aging: The gradual irreversible changes in structure and function of an organism that occur as a result of the passage of time.Prefrontal Cortex: The rostral part of the frontal lobe, bounded by the inferior precentral fissure in humans, which receives projection fibers from the MEDIODORSAL NUCLEUS OF THE THALAMUS. The prefrontal cortex receives afferent fibers from numerous structures of the DIENCEPHALON; MESENCEPHALON; and LIMBIC SYSTEM as well as cortical afferents of visual, auditory, and somatic origin.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.Dominance, Ocular: The functional superiority and preferential use of one eye over the other. The term is usually applied to superiority in sighting (VISUAL PERCEPTION) or motor task but not difference in VISUAL ACUITY or dysfunction of one of the eyes. Ocular dominance can be modified by visual input and NEUROTROPHIC FACTORS.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.Ethanol: A clear, colorless liquid rapidly absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract and distributed throughout the body. It has bactericidal activity and is used often as a topical disinfectant. It is widely used as a solvent and preservative in pharmaceutical preparations as well as serving as the primary ingredient in ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES.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.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.Dose-Response Relationship, Drug: The relationship between the dose of an administered drug and the response of the organism to the drug.Nitric Oxide Synthase Type I: A CALCIUM-dependent, constitutively-expressed form of nitric oxide synthase found primarily in NERVE TISSUE.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).Alzheimer Disease: A degenerative disease of the BRAIN characterized by the insidious onset of DEMENTIA. Impairment of MEMORY, judgment, attention span, and problem solving skills are followed by severe APRAXIAS and a global loss of cognitive abilities. The condition primarily occurs after age 60, and is marked pathologically by severe cortical atrophy and the triad of SENILE PLAQUES; NEUROFIBRILLARY TANGLES; and NEUROPIL THREADS. (From Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, pp1049-57)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.Recovery of Function: A partial or complete return to the normal or proper physiologic activity of an organ or part following disease or trauma.Cocaine: An alkaloid ester extracted from the leaves of plants including coca. It is a local anesthetic and vasoconstrictor and is clinically used for that purpose, particularly in the eye, ear, nose, and throat. It also has powerful central nervous system effects similar to the amphetamines and is a drug of abuse. Cocaine, like amphetamines, acts by multiple mechanisms on brain catecholaminergic neurons; the mechanism of its reinforcing effects is thought to involve inhibition of dopamine uptake.Enzyme Inhibitors: Compounds or agents that combine with an enzyme in such a manner as to prevent the normal substrate-enzyme combination and the catalytic reaction.Cell Differentiation: Progressive restriction of the developmental potential and increasing specialization of function that leads to the formation of specialized cells, tissues, and organs.Blotting, Western: Identification of proteins or peptides that have been electrophoretically separated by blot transferring from the electrophoresis gel to strips of nitrocellulose paper, followed by labeling with antibody probes.Critical Period (Psychology): A specific stage in animal and human development during which certain types of behavior normally are shaped and molded for life.Membrane Proteins: Proteins which are found in membranes including cellular and intracellular membranes. They consist of two types, peripheral and integral proteins. They include most membrane-associated enzymes, antigenic proteins, transport proteins, and drug, hormone, and lectin receptors.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.Enzyme Activation: Conversion of an inactive form of an enzyme to one possessing metabolic activity. It includes 1, activation by ions (activators); 2, activation by cofactors (coenzymes); and 3, conversion of an enzyme precursor (proenzyme or zymogen) to an active enzyme.Neuronal Ceroid-Lipofuscinoses: A group of severe neurodegenerative diseases characterized by intracellular accumulation of autofluorescent wax-like lipid materials (CEROID; LIPOFUSCIN) in neurons. There are several subtypes based on mutations of the various genes, time of disease onset, and severity of the neurological defects such as progressive DEMENTIA; SEIZURES; and visual failure.Cell Death: The termination of the cell's ability to carry out vital functions such as metabolism, growth, reproduction, responsiveness, and adaptability.Up-Regulation: A positive regulatory effect on physiological processes at the molecular, cellular, or systemic level. At the molecular level, the major regulatory sites include membrane receptors, genes (GENE EXPRESSION REGULATION), mRNAs (RNA, MESSENGER), and proteins.Somatosensory Cortex: Area of the parietal lobe concerned with receiving sensations such as movement, pain, pressure, position, temperature, touch, and vibration. It lies posterior to the central sulcus.Adaptation, Physiological: The non-genetic biological changes of an organism in response to challenges in its ENVIRONMENT.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.CA1 Region, Hippocampal: One of four subsections of the hippocampus described by Lorente de No, located furthest from the DENTATE GYRUS.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.Transcription, Genetic: The biosynthesis of RNA carried out on a template of DNA. The biosynthesis of DNA from an RNA template is called REVERSE TRANSCRIPTION.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.Rats, Long-Evans: An outbred strain of rats developed in 1915 by crossing several Wistar Institute white females with a wild gray male. Inbred strains have been derived from this original outbred strain, including Long-Evans cinnamon rats (RATS, INBRED LEC) and Otsuka-Long-Evans-Tokushima Fatty rats (RATS, INBRED OLETF), which are models for Wilson's disease and non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus, respectively.Phenotype: The outward appearance of the individual. It is the product of interactions between genes, and between the GENOTYPE and the environment.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.Vibrissae: Stiff hairs projecting from the face around the nose of most mammals, acting as touch receptors.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)Gene Expression: The phenotypic manifestation of a gene or genes by the processes of GENETIC TRANSCRIPTION and GENETIC TRANSLATION.gamma-Aminobutyric Acid: The most common inhibitory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system.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.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.Motor Neurons: Neurons which activate MUSCLE CELLS.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)Auditory Cortex: The region of the cerebral cortex that receives the auditory radiation from the MEDIAL GENICULATE BODY.Thalamus: Paired bodies containing mostly GRAY MATTER and forming part of the lateral wall of the THIRD VENTRICLE of the brain.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.Synaptic Potentials: The voltages across pre- or post-SYNAPTIC MEMBRANES.Excitatory Amino Acid Agonists: Drugs that bind to and activate excitatory amino acid receptors.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.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.Synaptophysin: A MARVEL domain-containing protein found in the presynaptic vesicles of NEURONS and NEUROENDOCRINE CELLS. It is commonly used as an immunocytochemical marker for neuroendocrine differentiation.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)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.Purkinje Cells: The output neurons of the cerebellar cortex.Brain Mapping: Imaging techniques used to colocalize sites of brain functions or physiological activity with brain structures.Receptors, Metabotropic Glutamate: Cell surface proteins that bind glutamate and act through G-proteins to influence second messenger systems. Several types of metabotropic glutamate receptors have been cloned. They differ in pharmacology, distribution, and mechanisms of action.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.Neurons, Afferent: Neurons which conduct NERVE IMPULSES to the CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM.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.Neural Stem Cells: Self-renewing cells that generate the main phenotypes of the nervous system in both the embryo and adult. Neural stem cells are precursors to both NEURONS and NEUROGLIA.Cell Count: The number of CELLS of a specific kind, usually measured per unit volume or area of sample.Visual Pathways: Set of cell bodies and nerve fibers conducting impulses from the eyes to the cerebral cortex. It includes the RETINA; OPTIC NERVE; optic tract; and geniculocalcarine tract.Afferent Pathways: Nerve structures through which impulses are conducted from a peripheral part toward a nerve center.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.Receptors, Nicotinic: One of the two major classes of cholinergic receptors. Nicotinic receptors were originally distinguished by their preference for NICOTINE over MUSCARINE. They are generally divided into muscle-type and neuronal-type (previously ganglionic) based on pharmacology, and subunit composition of the receptors.Acoustic Stimulation: Use of sound to elicit a response in the nervous system.Neurodegenerative Diseases: Hereditary and sporadic conditions which are characterized by progressive nervous system dysfunction. These disorders are often associated with atrophy of the affected central or peripheral nervous system structures.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.Reaction Time: The time from the onset of a stimulus until a response is observed.Nerve Growth Factor: NERVE GROWTH FACTOR is the first of a series of neurotrophic factors that were found to influence the growth and differentiation of sympathetic and sensory neurons. It is comprised of alpha, beta, and gamma subunits. The beta subunit is responsible for its growth stimulating activity.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.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.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.Synapsins: A family of synaptic vesicle-associated proteins involved in the short-term regulation of NEUROTRANSMITTER release. Synapsin I, the predominant member of this family, links SYNAPTIC VESICLES to ACTIN FILAMENTS in the presynaptic nerve terminal. These interactions are modulated by the reversible PHOSPHORYLATION of synapsin I through various signal transduction pathways. The protein is also a substrate for cAMP- and CALCIUM-CALMODULIN-DEPENDENT PROTEIN KINASES. It is believed that these functional properties are also shared by synapsin II.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.2-Amino-5-phosphonovalerate: The D-enantiomer is a potent and specific antagonist of NMDA glutamate receptors (RECEPTORS, N-METHYL-D-ASPARTATE). The L form is inactive at NMDA receptors but may affect the AP4 (2-amino-4-phosphonobutyrate; APB) excitatory amino acid receptors.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.Environment: The external elements and conditions which surround, influence, and affect the life and development of an organism or population.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.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.Animals, Genetically Modified: ANIMALS whose GENOME has been altered by GENETIC ENGINEERING, or their offspring.Amyloid beta-Peptides: Peptides generated from AMYLOID BETA-PEPTIDES PRECURSOR. An amyloid fibrillar form of these peptides is the major component of amyloid plaques found in individuals with Alzheimer's disease and in aged individuals with trisomy 21 (DOWN SYNDROME). The peptide is found predominantly in the nervous system, but there have been reports of its presence in non-neural tissue.GABAergic Neurons: Neurons whose primary neurotransmitter is GAMMA-AMINOBUTYRIC ACID.Cell Line: Established cell cultures that have the potential to propagate indefinitely.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.Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation: A technique that involves the use of electrical coils on the head to generate a brief magnetic field which reaches the CEREBRAL CORTEX. It is coupled with ELECTROMYOGRAPHY response detection to assess cortical excitability by the threshold required to induce MOTOR EVOKED POTENTIALS. This method is also used for BRAIN MAPPING, to study NEUROPHYSIOLOGY, and as a substitute for ELECTROCONVULSIVE THERAPY for treating DEPRESSION. Induction of SEIZURES limits its clinical usage.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.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)Apoptosis: One of the mechanisms by which CELL DEATH occurs (compare with NECROSIS and AUTOPHAGOCYTOSIS). Apoptosis is the mechanism responsible for the physiological deletion of cells and appears to be intrinsically programmed. It is characterized by distinctive morphologic changes in the nucleus and cytoplasm, chromatin cleavage at regularly spaced sites, and the endonucleolytic cleavage of genomic DNA; (DNA FRAGMENTATION); at internucleosomal sites. This mode of cell death serves as a balance to mitosis in regulating the size of animal tissues and in mediating pathologic processes associated with tumor growth.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.Protein Transport: The process of moving proteins from one cellular compartment (including extracellular) to another by various sorting and transport mechanisms such as gated transport, protein translocation, and vesicular transport.Brain Chemistry: Changes in the amounts of various chemicals (neurotransmitters, receptors, enzymes, and other metabolites) specific to the area of the central nervous system contained within the head. These are monitored over time, during sensory stimulation, or under different disease states.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.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)Cerebellar Cortex: The superficial GRAY MATTER of the CEREBELLUM. It consists of two main layers, the stratum moleculare and the stratum granulosum.Protein Binding: The process in which substances, either endogenous or exogenous, bind to proteins, peptides, enzymes, protein precursors, or allied compounds. Specific protein-binding measures are often used as assays in diagnostic assessments.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.Physical Stimulation: Act of eliciting a response from a person or organism through physical contact.Transfection: The uptake of naked or purified DNA by CELLS, usually meaning the process as it occurs in eukaryotic cells. It is analogous to bacterial transformation (TRANSFORMATION, BACTERIAL) and both are routinely employed in GENE TRANSFER TECHNIQUES.Transcription Factors: Endogenous substances, usually proteins, which are effective in the initiation, stimulation, or termination of the genetic transcription process.Homeostasis: The processes whereby the internal environment of an organism tends to remain balanced and stable.Perforant Pathway: A pathway of fibers that originates in the lateral part of the ENTORHINAL CORTEX, perforates the SUBICULUM of the HIPPOCAMPUS, and runs into the stratum moleculare of the hippocampus, where these fibers synapse with others that go to the DENTATE GYRUS where the pathway terminates. It is also known as the perforating fasciculus.Larva: Wormlike or grublike stage, following the egg in the life cycle of insects, worms, and other metamorphosing animals.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.