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(1/19295) Modulation of long-term synaptic depression in visual cortex by acetylcholine and norepinephrine.

In a slice preparation of rat visual cortex, we discovered that paired-pulse stimulation (PPS) elicits a form of homosynaptic long-term depression (LTD) in the superficial layers when carbachol (CCh) or norepinephrine (NE) is applied concurrently. PPS by itself, or CCh and NE in the absence of synaptic stimulation, produced no lasting change. The LTD induced by PPS in the presence of NE or CCh is of comparable magnitude with that obtained with prolonged low-frequency stimulation (LFS) but requires far fewer stimulation pulses (40 vs 900). The cholinergic facilitation of LTD was blocked by atropine and pirenzepine, suggesting involvement of M1 receptors. The noradrenergic facilitation of LTD was blocked by urapidil and was mimicked by methoxamine, suggesting involvement of alpha1 receptors. beta receptor agonists and antagonists were without effect. Induction of LTD by PPS was inhibited by NMDA receptor blockers (completely in the case of NE; partially in the case of CCh), suggesting that one action of the modulators is to control the gain of NMDA receptor-dependent homosynaptic LTD in visual cortex. We propose that this is a mechanism by which cholinergic and noradrenergic inputs to the neocortex modulate naturally occurring receptive field plasticity.  (+info)

(2/19295) Identification of the Kv2.1 K+ channel as a major component of the delayed rectifier K+ current in rat hippocampal neurons.

Molecular cloning studies have revealed the existence of a large family of voltage-gated K+ channel genes expressed in mammalian brain. This molecular diversity underlies the vast repertoire of neuronal K+ channels that regulate action potential conduction and neurotransmitter release and that are essential to the control of neuronal excitability. However, the specific contribution of individual K+ channel gene products to these neuronal K+ currents is poorly understood. We have shown previously, using an antibody, "KC, " specific for the Kv2.1 K+ channel alpha-subunit, the high-level expression of Kv2.1 protein in hippocampal neurons in situ and in culture. Here we show that KC is a potent blocker of K+ currents expressed in cells transfected with the Kv2.1 cDNA, but not of currents expressed in cells transfected with other highly related K+ channel alpha-subunit cDNAs. KC also blocks the majority of the slowly inactivating outward current in cultured hippocampal neurons, although antibodies to two other K+ channel alpha-subunits known to be expressed in these cells did not exhibit blocking effects. In all cases the blocking effects of KC were eliminated by previous incubation with a recombinant fusion protein containing the KC antigenic sequence. Together these studies show that Kv2.1, which is expressed at high levels in most mammalian central neurons, is a major contributor to the delayed rectifier K+ current in hippocampal neurons and that the KC antibody is a powerful tool for the elucidation of the role of the Kv2.1 K+ channel in regulating neuronal excitability.  (+info)

(3/19295) Metrifonate increases neuronal excitability in CA1 pyramidal neurons from both young and aging rabbit hippocampus.

The effects of metrifonate, a second generation cholinesterase inhibitor, were examined on CA1 pyramidal neurons from hippocampal slices of young and aging rabbits using current-clamp, intracellular recording techniques. Bath perfusion of metrifonate (10-200 microM) dose-dependently decreased both postburst afterhyperpolarization (AHP) and spike frequency adaptation (accommodation) in neurons from young and aging rabbits (AHP: p < 0.002, young; p < 0.050, aging; accommodation: p < 0.024, young; p < 0.001, aging). These reductions were mediated by muscarinic cholinergic transmission, because they were blocked by addition of atropine (1 microM) to the perfusate. The effects of chronic metrifonate treatment (12 mg/kg for 3 weeks) on CA1 neurons of aging rabbits were also examined ex vivo. Neurons from aging rabbits chronically treated with metrifonate had significantly reduced spike frequency accommodation, compared with vehicle-treated rabbits. Chronic metrifonate treatment did not result in a desensitization to metrifonate ex vivo, because bath perfusion of metrifonate (50 microM) significantly decreased the AHP and accommodation in neurons from both chronically metrifonate- and vehicle-treated aging rabbits. We propose that the facilitating effect of chronic metrifonate treatment on acquisition of hippocampus-dependent tasks such as trace eyeblink conditioning by aging subjects may be caused by this increased excitability of CA1 pyramidal neurons.  (+info)

(4/19295) Interaction of NE-dlg/SAP102, a neuronal and endocrine tissue-specific membrane-associated guanylate kinase protein, with calmodulin and PSD-95/SAP90. A possible regulatory role in molecular clustering at synaptic sites.

NE-dlg/SAP102, a neuronal and endocrine tissue-specific membrane-associated guanylate kinase family protein, is known to bind to C-terminal ends of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor 2B (NR2B) through its PDZ (PSD-95/Dlg/ZO-1) domains. NE-dlg/SAP102 and NR2B colocalize at synaptic sites in cultured rat hippocampal neurons, and their expressions increase in parallel with the onset of synaptogenesis. We have identified that NE-dlg/SAP102 interacts with calmodulin in a Ca2+-dependent manner. The binding site for calmodulin has been determined to lie at the putative basic alpha-helix region located around the src homology 3 (SH3) domain of NE-dlg/SAP102. Using a surface plasmon resonance measurement system, we detected specific binding of recombinant NE-dlg/SAP102 to the immobilized calmodulin with a Kd value of 44 nM. However, the binding of Ca2+/calmodulin to NE-dlg/SAP102 did not modulate the interaction between PDZ domains of NE-dlg/SAP102 and the C-terminal end of rat NR2B. We have also identified that the region near the calmodulin binding site of NE-dlg/SAP102 interacts with the GUK-like domain of PSD-95/SAP90 by two-hybrid screening. Pull down assay revealed that NE-dlg/SAP102 can interact with PSD-95/SAP90 in the presence of both Ca2+ and calmodulin. These findings suggest that the Ca2+/calmodulin modulates interaction of neuronal membrane-associated guanylate kinase proteins and regulates clustering of neurotransmitter receptors at central synapses.  (+info)

(5/19295) Single synaptic events evoke NMDA receptor-mediated release of calcium from internal stores in hippocampal dendritic spines.

We have used confocal microscopy to monitor synaptically evoked Ca2+ transients in the dendritic spines of hippocampal pyramidal cells. Individual spines respond to single afferent stimuli (<0.1 Hz) with Ca2+ transients or failures, reflecting the probability of transmitter release at the activated synapse. Both AMPA and NMDA glutamate receptor antagonists block the synaptically evoked Ca2+ transients; the block by AMPA antagonists is relieved by low Mg2+. The Ca2+ transients are mainly due to the release of calcium from internal stores, since they are abolished by antagonists of calcium-induced calcium release (CICR); CICR antagonists, however, do not depress spine Ca2+ transients generated by backpropagating action potentials. These results have implications for synaptic plasticity, since they show that synaptic stimulation can activate NMDA receptors, evoking substantial Ca2+ release from the internal stores in spines without inducing long-term potentiation (LTP) or depression (LTD).  (+info)

(6/19295) Characterization of elementary Ca2+ release signals in NGF-differentiated PC12 cells and hippocampal neurons.

Elementary Ca2+ release signals in nerve growth factor- (NGF-) differentiated PC12 cells and hippocampal neurons, functionally analogous to the "Ca2+ sparks" and "Ca2+ puffs" identified in other cell types, were characterized by confocal microscopy. They either occurred spontaneously or could be activated by caffeine and metabotropic agonists. The release events were dissimilar to the sparks and puffs described so far, as many arose from clusters of both ryanodine receptors (RyRs) and inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptors (InsP3Rs). Increasing either the stimulus strength or loading of the intracellular stores enhanced the frequency of and coupling between elementary release sites and evoked global Ca2+ signals. In the PC12 cells, the elementary Ca2+ release preferentially occurred around the branch points. Spatio-temporal recruitment of such elementary release events may regulate neuronal activities.  (+info)

(7/19295) Response of hippocampal synapses to natural stimulation patterns.

We have studied the synaptic responses in hippocampal slices to stimulus patterns derived from in vivo recordings of place cell firing in a behaving rodent. We find that synaptic strength is strongly modulated during the presentation of these natural stimulus trains, varying 2-fold or more because of short-term plasticity. This modulation of synaptic strength is precise and deterministic, because the pattern of synaptic response amplitudes is nearly identical from one presentation of the train to the next. The mechanism of synaptic modulation is primarily a change in release probability rather than a change in the size of the elementary postsynaptic response. In addition, natural stimulus trains are effective in inducing long-term potentiation (LTP). We conclude that short-term synaptic plasticity--facilitation, augmentation, and depression--plays a prominent role in normal synaptic function.  (+info)

(8/19295) NMDA-dependent currents in granule cells of the dentate gyrus contribute to induction but not permanence of kindling.

Single-electrode voltage-clamp techniques and bath application of the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist 2-amino-5-phosphonovaleric acid (APV) were used to study the time course of seizure-induced alterations in NMDA-dependent synaptic currents in granule cells of the dentate gyrus in hippocampal slices from kindled and normal rats. In agreement with previous studies, granule cells from kindled rats examined within 1 wk after the last of 3 or 30-35 generalized tonic-clonic (class V) seizures demonstrated an increase in the NMDA receptor-dependent component of the perforant path-evoked synaptic current. Within 1 wk of the last kindled seizure, NMDA-dependent charge transfer underlying the perforant path-evoked current was increased by 63-111% at a holding potential of -30 mV. In contrast, the NMDA-dependent component of the perforant-evoked current in granule cells examined at 2.5-3 mo after the last of 3 or 90-120 class V seizures did not differ from age-matched controls. Because the seizure-induced increases in NMDA-dependent synaptic currents declined toward control values during a time course of 2.5-3 mo, increases in NMDA-dependent synaptic transmission cannot account for the permanent susceptibility to evoked and spontaneous seizures induced by kindling. The increase in NMDA receptor-dependent transmission was associated with the induction of kindling but was not responsible for the maintenance of the kindled state. The time course of alterations in NMDA-dependent synaptic current and the dependence of the progression of kindling and kindling-induced mossy fiber sprouting on repeated NMDA receptor activation are consistent with the possibility that the NMDA receptor is part of a transmembrane signaling pathway that induces long-term cellular alterations and circuit remodeling in response to repeated seizures, but is not required for permanent seizure susceptibility in circuitry altered by kindling.  (+info)