(1/4009) Activity-dependent metaplasticity of inhibitory and excitatory synaptic transmission in the lamprey spinal cord locomotor network.

Paired intracellular recordings have been used to examine the activity-dependent plasticity and neuromodulator-induced metaplasticity of synaptic inputs from identified inhibitory and excitatory interneurons in the lamprey spinal cord. Trains of spikes at 5-20 Hz were used to mimic the frequency of spiking that occurs in network interneurons during NMDA or brainstem-evoked locomotor activity. Inputs from inhibitory and excitatory interneurons exhibited similar activity-dependent changes, with synaptic depression developing during the spike train. The level of depression reached was greater with lower stimulation frequencies. Significant activity-dependent depression of inputs from excitatory interneurons and inhibitory crossed caudal interneurons, which are central elements in the patterning of network activity, usually developed between the fifth and tenth spikes in the train. Because these interneurons typically fire bursts of up to five spikes during locomotor activity, this activity-dependent plasticity will presumably not contribute to the patterning of network activity. However, in the presence of the neuromodulators substance P and 5-HT, significant activity-dependent metaplasticity of these inputs developed over the first five spikes in the train. Substance P induced significant activity-dependent depression of inhibitory but potentiation of excitatory interneuron inputs, whereas 5-HT induced significant activity-dependent potentiation of both inhibitory and excitatory interneuron inputs. Because these metaplastic effects are consistent with the substance P and 5-HT-induced modulation of the network output, activity-dependent metaplasticity could be a potential mechanism underlying the coordination and modulation of rhythmic network activity.  (+info)

(2/4009) Reproducibility studies with 11C-DTBZ, a monoamine vesicular transporter inhibitor in healthy human subjects.

The reproducibility of (+/-)-alpha-[11C] dihydrotetrabenazine (DTBZ) measures in PET was studied in 10 healthy human subjects, aged 22-76 y. METHODS: The scan-to-scan variation of several measures used in PET data analysis was determined, including the radioactivity ratio (target-to-reference), plasma-input Logan total distribution volume (DV), plasma-input Logan Bmax/Kd and tissue-input Logan Bmax/Kd values. RESULTS: The radioactivity ratios, plasma-input Bmax/Kd and tissue-input Bmax/Kd all have higher reliability than plasma-input total DV values. In addition, measures using the occipital cortex as the reference region have higher reliability than the same measures using the cerebellum as the reference region. CONCLUSION: Our results show that DTBZ is a reliable PET tracer that provides reproducible in vivo measurement of striatal vesicular monoamine transporter density. In the selection of reference regions for DTBZ PET data analysis, caution must be exercised in circumstances when DTBZ binding in the occipital cortex or the cerebellum may be altered.  (+info)

(3/4009) Augmentation is a potentiation of the exocytotic process.

Short-term synaptic enhancement is caused by an increase in the probability with which synaptic terminals release transmitter in response to presynaptic action potentials. Since exocytosed vesicles are drawn from a readily releasable pool of packaged transmitter, enhancement must result either from an increase in the size of the pool or an elevation in the fraction of releasable vesicles that undergoes exocytosis with each action potential. We show here that at least one major component of enhancement, augmentation, is not caused by an increase in the size of the readily releasable pool but is instead associated with an increase in the efficiency with which action potentials induce the exocytosis of readily releasable vesicles.  (+info)

(4/4009) 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)

(5/4009) 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)

(6/4009) D-Aspartate stimulation of testosterone synthesis in rat Leydig cells.

D-Aspartate increases human chorionic gonadotropin-induced testosterone production in purified rat Leydig cells. L-Aspartate, D-,L-glutamate or D-,L-asparagine could not substitute for D-aspartate and this effect was independent of glutamate receptor activation. Testosterone production was enhanced only in cells cultured with D-aspartate for more than 3 h. The increased production of testosterone was well correlated with the amounts of D-aspartate incorporated into the Leydig cells, and L-cysteine sulfinic acid, an inhibitor of D-aspartate uptake, suppressed both testosterone production and intracellular D-aspartate levels. D-Aspartate therefore is presumably taken up into cells to increase steroidogenesis. Intracellular D-aspartate probably acts on cholesterol translocation into the inner mitochondrial membrane, the rate-limiting process in steroidogenesis.  (+info)

(7/4009) Neuroregulation by vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) of mucus secretion in ferret trachea: activation of BK(Ca) channels and inhibition of neurotransmitter release.

1. The aims of this study were to determine: (1) whether vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) regulates cholinergic and 'sensory-efferent' (tachykininergic) 35SO4 labelled mucus output in ferret trachea in vitro, using a VIP antibody, (2) the class of potassium (K+) channel involved in VIP-regulation of cholinergic neural secretion using glibenclamide (an ATP-sensitive K+ (K(ATP)) channel inhibitor), iberiotoxin (a large conductance calcium activated K+ (BK(ca)) channel blocker), and apamin (a small conductance K(ca) (SK(ca)) channel blocker), and (3) the effect of VIP on cholinergic neurotransmission using [3H]-choline overflow as a marker for acetylcholine (ACh) release. 2. Exogenous VIP (1 and 10 microM) alone increased 35SO4 output by up to 53% above baseline, but suppressed (by up to 80% at 1 microM) cholinergic and tachykininergic neural secretion without altering secretion induced by ACh or substance P (1 microM each). Endogenous VIP accounted for the minor increase in non-adrenergic, non-cholinergic (NANC), non-tachykininergic neural secretion, which was compatible with the secretory response of exogenous VIP. 3. Iberiotoxin (3 microM), but not apamin (1 microM) or glibenclamide (0.1 microM), reversed the inhibition by VIP (10 nM) of cholinergic neural secretion. 4. Both endogenous VIP (by use of the VIP antibody; 1:500 dilution) and exogenous VIP (0.1 microM), the latter by 34%, inhibited ACh release from cholinergic nerve terminals and this suppression was completely reversed by iberiotoxin (0.1 microM). 5. We conclude that, in ferret trachea in vitro, endogenous VIP has dual activity whereby its small direct stimulatory action on mucus secretion is secondary to its marked regulation of cholinergic and tachykininergic neurogenic mucus secretion. Regulation is via inhibition of neurotransmitter release, consequent upon opening of BK(Ca) channels. In the context of neurogenic mucus secretion, we propose that VIP joins NO as a neurotransmitter of i-NANC nerves in ferret trachea.  (+info)

(8/4009) Profile of neurohumoral agents on mesenteric and intestinal blood flow in health and disease.

The mesenteric and intestinal blood flow is organized and regulated to support normal intestinal function, and the regulation of blood flow is, in part, determined by intestinal function itself. In the process of the development and adaptation of the intestinal mucosa for the support of the digestive processes and host defense mechanisms, and the muscle layers for propulsion of foodstuffs, a specialized microvascular architecture has evolved in each tissue layer. Compromised mesenteric and intestinal blood flow, which can be common in the elderly, may lead to devastating clinical consequences. This problem, which can be caused by vasospasm at the microvascular level, can cause intestinal ischaemia to any of the layers of the intestinal wall, and can initiate pathological events which promote significant clinical consequences such as diarrhea, abdominal angina and intestinal infarction. The objective of this review is to provide the reader with some general concepts of the mechanisms by which neurohumoral vasoactive substances influence mesenteric and intestinal arterial blood flow in health and disease with focus on transmural transport processes (absorption and secretion). The complex regulatory mechanisms of extrinsic (sympathetic-parasympathetic and endocrine) and intrinsic (enteric nervous system and humoral endocrine) components are presented. More extensive reviews of platelet function, atherosclerosis, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, the carcinoid syndrome, 5-hydroxytryptamine and nitric oxide regulation of vascular tone are presented in this context. The possible options of pharmacological intervention (e.g. vasodilator agonists and vasoconstrictor antagonists) used for the treatment of abnormal mesenteric and intestinal vascular states are also discussed.  (+info)