The optically determined size of exo/endo cycling vesicle pool correlates with the quantal content at the neuromuscular junction of Drosophila larvae.
According to the current theory of synaptic transmission, the amplitude of evoked synaptic potentials correlates with the number of synaptic vesicles released at the presynaptic terminals. Synaptic vesicles in presynaptic boutons constitute two distinct pools, namely, exo/endo cycling and reserve pools (). We defined the vesicles that were endocytosed and exocytosed during high K+ stimulation as the exo/endo cycling vesicle pool. To determine the role of exo/endo cycling vesicle pool in synaptic transmission, we estimated the quantal content electrophysiologically, whereas the pool size was determined optically using fluorescent dye FM1-43. We then manipulated the size of the pool with following treatments. First, to change the state of boutons of nerve terminals, motoneuronal axons were severed. With this treatment, the size of exo/endo cycling vesicle pool decreased together with the quantal content. Second, we promoted the FM1-43 uptake using cyclosporin A, which inhibits calcineurin activities and enhances endocytosis. Cyclosporin A increased the total uptake of FM1-43, but neither the size of exo/endo cycling vesicle pool nor the quantal content changed. Third, we increased the size of exo/endo cycling vesicle pool by forskolin, which enhances synaptic transmission. The forskolin treatment increased both the size of exo/endo cycling vesicle pool and the quantal content. Thus, we found that the quantal content was closely correlated with the size of exo/endo cycling vesicle pool but not necessarily with the total uptake of FM1-43 fluorescence by boutons. The results suggest that vesicles in the exo/endo cycling pool primarily participate in evoked exocytosis of vesicles. (+info)
Single cell studies of enzymatic hydrolysis of a tetramethylrhodamine labeled triglucoside in yeast.
Several hundred molecules of enzyme reaction products were detected in a single spheroplast from yeast cells incubated with a tetramethylrhodamine (TMR) labeled triglucoside, alpha-d-Glc(1-->2)alpha-d-Glc(1-->3)alpha-d-Glc-O(CH2)8CONHCH2- CH2NH- COTMR. Product detection was accomplished using capillary electrophoresis and laser induced fluorescence following the introduction of a single spheroplast into the separation capillary. The in vivo enzymatic hydrolysis of the TMR-trisaccharide involves at least two enzymes, limited by processing alpha-glucosidase I, producing TMR-disaccharide, TMR-monosaccharide, and the free TMR-linking arm. Hydrolysis was reduced by preincubation of the cells with the processing enzyme inhibitor castanospermine. Confocal laser scanning microscopy studies confirmed the uptake and internalization of fluorescent substrate. This single cell analysis methodology can be applied for the in vivo assay of any enzyme with a fluorescent substrate. (+info)
Maintenance of motility in mouse sperm permeabilized with streptolysin O.
One approach to studying the mechanisms governing sperm motility is to permeabilize sperm and examine the regulation of motility by manipulating the intracellular milieu of the cell. The most common method of sperm permeabilization, detergent treatment, has the disadvantage that the membranes and many proteins are extracted from the cell. To avoid this problem, we have developed a method that uses streptolysin O to create stable pores within the plasma membrane while leaving internal membranes intact. Sperm were permeabilized, preincubated, and then treated with 0.6 U/ml of streptolysin O. Permeabilization was assessed by fluorescent dye technologies and endogenous protein phosphorylation using exogenously added [gamma-32P]ATP. Streptolysin O-induced permeabilization rendered the sperm immotile, and the effect was Ca2+-dependent. When the cells were treated simultaneously with a medium containing ATP, streptolysin O-treated sperm maintained flagellar movement. These results demonstrate that the streptolysin O permeabilization model system is a useful experimental method for studying the mechanisms that regulate sperm motility since it allows the flagellar apparatus to be exposed to various exogenously added molecules. (+info)
Quantification of tumour vasculature and hypoxia by immunohistochemical staining and HbO2 saturation measurements.
Despite the possibility that tumour hypoxia may limit radiotherapeutic response, the underlying mechanisms remain poorly understood. A new methodology has been developed in which information from several sophisticated techniques is combined and analysed at a microregional level. First, tumour oxygen availability is spatially defined by measuring intravascular blood oxygen saturations (HbO2) cryospectrophotometrically in frozen tumour blocks. Second, hypoxic development is quantified in adjacent sections using immunohistochemical detection of a fluorescently conjugated monoclonal antibody (ELK3-51) to a nitroheterocyclic hypoxia marker (EF5), thereby providing information relating to both the oxygen consumption rates and the effective oxygen diffusion distances. Third, a combination of fluorescent (Hoechst 33342 or DiOC7(3)) and immunohistological (PECAM-1/CD31) stains is used to define the anatomical vascular densities and the fraction of blood vessels containing flow. Using a computer-interfaced microscope stage, image analysis software and a 3-CCD colour video camera, multiple images are digitized, combined to form a photo-montage and revisited after each of the three staining protocols. By applying image registration techniques, the spatial distribution of HbO2 saturations is matched to corresponding hypoxic marker intensities in adjacent sections. This permits vascular configuration to be related to oxygen availability and allows the hypoxic marker intensities to be quantitated in situ. (+info)
Organ-selective homing defines engraftment kinetics of murine hematopoietic stem cells and is compromised by Ex vivo expansion.
Hematopoietic reconstitution of ablated recipients requires that intravenously (IV) transplanted stem and progenitor cells "home" to organs that support their proliferation and differentiation. To examine the possible relationship between homing properties and subsequent engraftment potential, murine bone marrow (BM) cells were labeled with fluorescent PKH26 dye and injected into lethally irradiated hosts. PKH26(+) cells homing to marrow or spleen were then isolated by fluorescence-activated cell sorting and assayed for in vitro colony-forming cells (CFCs). Progenitors accumulated rapidly in the spleen, but declined to only 6% of input numbers after 24 hours. Although egress from this organ was accompanied by a simultaneous accumulation of CFCs in the BM (plateauing at 6% to 8% of input after 3 hours), spleen cells remained enriched in donor CFCs compared with marrow during this time. To determine whether this differential homing of clonogenic cells to the marrow and spleen influenced their contribution to short-term or long-term hematopoiesis in vivo, PKH26(+) cells were sorted from each organ 3 hours after transplantation and injected into lethally irradiated Ly-5 congenic mice. Cells that had homed initially to the spleen regenerated circulating leukocytes (20% of normal counts) approximately 2 weeks faster than cells that had homed to the marrow, or PKH26-labeled cells that had not been selected by a prior homing step. Both primary (17 weeks) and secondary (10 weeks) recipients of "spleen-homed" cells also contained approximately 50% higher numbers of CFCs per femur than recipients of "BM-homed" cells. To examine whether progenitor homing was altered upon ex vivo expansion, highly enriched Sca-1(+)c-kit+Lin- cells were cultured for 9 days in serum-free medium containing interleukin (IL)-6, IL-11, granulocyte colony-stimulating factor, stem cell factor, flk-2/flt3 ligand, and thrombopoietin. Expanded cells were then stained with PKH26 and assayed as above. Strikingly, CFCs generated in vitro exhibited a 10-fold reduction in homing capacity compared with fresh progenitors. These studies demonstrate that clonogenic cells with differential homing properties contribute variably to early and late hematopoiesis in vivo. The dramatic decline in the homing capacity of progenitors generated in vitro underscores critical qualitative changes that may compromise their biologic function and potential clinical utility, despite their efficient numerical expansion. (+info)
Role of mitochondrial dysfunction in the Ca2+-induced decline of transmitter release at K+-depolarized motor neuron terminals.
The present study tested whether a Ca2+-induced disruption of mitochondrial function was responsible for the decline in miniature endplate current (MEPC) frequency that occurs with nerve-muscle preparations maintained in a 35 mM potassium propionate (35 mM KP) solution containing elevated calcium. When the 35 mM KP contained control Ca2+ (1 mM), the MEPC frequency increased and remained elevated for many hours, and the mitochondria within twitch motor neuron terminals were similar in appearance to those in unstimulated terminals. All nerve terminals accumulated FM1-43 when the dye was present for the final 6 min of a 300-min exposure to 35 mM KP with control Ca2+. In contrast, when Ca2+ was increased to 3.6 mM in the 35 mM KP solution, the MEPC frequency initially reached frequencies >350 s-1 but then gradually fell approaching frequencies <50 s-1. A progressive swelling and eventual distortion of mitochondria within the twitch motor neuron terminals occurred during prolonged exposure to 35 mM KP with elevated Ca2+. After approximately 300 min in 35 mM KP with elevated Ca2+, only 58% of the twitch terminals accumulated FM1-43. The decline in MEPC frequency in 35 mM KP with elevated Ca2+ was less when 15 mM glucose was present or when preparations were pretreated with 10 microM oligomycin and then bathed in the 35 mM KP with glucose. When glucose was present, with or without oligomycin pretreatment, a greater percentage of twitch terminals accumulated FM1-43. However, the mitochondria in these preparations were still greatly swollen and distorted. We propose that prolonged depolarization of twitch motor neuron terminals by 35 mM KP with elevated Ca2+ produced a Ca2+-induced decrease in mitochondrial ATP production. Under these conditions, the cytosolic ATP/ADP ratio was decreased thereby compromising both transmitter release and refilling of recycled synaptic vesicles. The addition of glucose stimulated glycolysis which contributed to the maintenance of required ATP levels. (+info)
Simultaneous measurement of evoked release and [Ca2+]i in a crayfish release bouton reveals high affinity of release to Ca2+.
The opener neuromuscular junction of crayfish was used to determine the affinity of the putative Ca2+ receptor(s) responsible for evoked release. Evoked, asynchronous release, and steady-state intracellular Ca2+ concentration, [Ca2+]ss, were measured concomitantly in single release boutons. It was found that, as expected, asynchronous release is highly correlated with [Ca2+]ss. Surprisingly, evoked release was also found to be highly correlated with [Ca2+]ss. The quantal content (m) and the rate of asynchronous release (S) showed sigmoidal dependence on [Ca2+]ss. The slope log m/log [Ca2+]ss varied between 1.6 and 3.3; the higher slope observed at the lower [Ca2+]o. The slope log S/log [Ca2+]ss varied between 3 and 4 and was independent of [Ca2+]o. These results are consistent with the assumption that evoked release is controlled by the sum of [Ca2+]ss and the local elevation of Ca2+ concentration near the release sites resulting from Ca2+ influx through voltage-gated Ca2+ channels (Y). On the basis of the above, we were able to estimate Y. We found Y to be significantly <10 microM even for [Ca2+]o = 13.5 mM. The dissociation constant (Kd) of the Ca2+ receptor(s) associated with evoked release was calculated to be in the range of 4-5 microM. This value of Kd is similar to that found previously for asynchronous release. (+info)
Light-induced calcium influx into retinal axons is regulated by presynaptic nicotinic acetylcholine receptor activity in vivo.
Visual activity is thought to be a critical factor in controlling the development of central retinal projections. Neuronal activity increases cytosolic calcium, which was hypothesized to regulate process outgrowth in neurons. We performed an in vivo imaging study in the retinotectal system of albino Xenopus laevis tadpoles with the fluorescent calcium indicator calcium green 1 dextran (CaGD) to test the role of calcium in regulating axon arbor development. We find that visual stimulus to the retina increased CaGD fluorescence intensity in retinal ganglion cell (RGC) axon arbors within the optic tectum and that branch additions to retinotectal axon arbors correlated with a local rise in calcium in the parent branch. We find three types of responses to visual stimulus, which roughly correlate with the ON, OFF, and SUSTAINED response types of RGC reported by physiological criteria. Imaging in bandscan mode indicated that patterns of calcium transients were nonuniform throughout the axons. We tested whether the increase in calcium in the retinotectal axons required synaptic activity in the retina; intraocular application of tetrodotoxin (10 microM) or nifedipine (1 and 10 microM) blocked the stimulus-induced increase in RGC axonal fluorescence. A second series of pharmacological investigations was designed to determine the mechanism of the calcium elevation in the axon terminals within the optic tectum. Injection of bis-(o-aminophenoxy)-N,N,N',N'-tetraacetic acid-AM (BAPTA-AM) (20 mM) into the tectal ventricle reduced axonal calcium levels, supporting the idea that visual stimulation increases axonal calcium. Injection of BAPTA (20 mM) into the tectal ventricle to chelate extracellular calcium also attenuated the calcium response to visual stimulation, indicating that calcium enters the axon from the extracellular medium. Caffeine (10 mM) caused a large increase in axonal calcium, indicating that intracellular stores contribute to the calcium signal. Presynaptic nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) may play a role in axon arbor development and the formation of the topographic retinotectal projection. Injection of nicotine (10 microM) into the tectal ventricle significantly elevated RGC axonal calcium levels, whereas application of the nAChR antagonist alphaBTX (100 nM) reduced the stimulus-evoked rise in RGC calcium fluorescence. These data suggest that light stimulus to the retina increases calcium in the axon terminal arbors through a mechanism that includes influx through nAChRs and amplification by calcium-induced calcium release from intracellular calcium stores. Such a mechanism may contribute to developmental plasticity of the retinotectal system by influencing both axon arbor elaboration and the strength of synaptic transmission. (+info)