Source of inappropriate receptive fields in cortical somatotopic maps from rats that sustained neonatal forelimb removal.
Previously this laboratory demonstrated that forelimb removal at birth in rats results in the invasion of the cuneate nucleus by sciatic nerve axons and the development of cuneothalamic cells with receptive fields that include both the forelimb-stump and the hindlimb. However, unit-cluster recordings from primary somatosensory cortex (SI) of these animals revealed few sites in the forelimb-stump representation where responses to hindlimb stimulation also could be recorded. Recently we reported that hindlimb inputs to the SI forelimb-stump representation are suppressed functionally in neonatally amputated rats and that GABAergic inhibition is involved in this process. The present study was undertaken to assess the role that intracortical projections from the SI hindlimb representation may play in the functional reorganization of the SI forelimb-stump field in these animals. The SI forelimb-stump representation was mapped during gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)-receptor blockade, both before and after electrolytic destruction of the SI hindlimb representation. Analysis of eight amputated rats showed that 75.8% of 264 stump recording sites possessed hindlimb receptive fields before destruction of the SI hindlimb. After the lesions, significantly fewer sites (13.2% of 197) were responsive to hindlimb stimulation (P < 0.0001). Electrolytic destruction of the SI lower-jaw representation in four additional control rats with neonatal forelimb amputation did not significantly reduce the percentage of hindlimb-responsive sites in the SI stump field during GABA-receptor blockade (P = 0.98). Similar results were obtained from three manipulated rats in which the SI hindlimb representation was silenced temporarily with a local cobalt chloride injection. Analysis of response latencies to sciatic nerve stimulation in the hindlimb and forelimb-stump representations suggested that the intracortical pathway(s) mediating the hindlimb responses in the forelimb-stump field may be polysynaptic. The mean latency to sciatic nerve stimulation at responsive sites in the GABA-receptor blocked SI stump representation of neonatally amputated rats was significantly longer than that for recording sites in the hindlimb representation [26.3 +/- 8.1 (SD) ms vs. 10.8 +/- 2.4 ms, respectively, P < 0.0001]. These results suggest that hindlimb input to the SI forelimb-stump representation detected in GABA-blocked cortices of neonatally forelimb amputated rats originates primarily from the SI hindlimb representation. (+info)
Corticofugal amplification of facilitative auditory responses of subcortical combination-sensitive neurons in the mustached bat.
Recent studies on the bat's auditory system indicate that the corticofugal system mediates a highly focused positive feedback to physiologically "matched" subcortical neurons, and widespread lateral inhibition to physiologically "unmatched" subcortical neurons, to adjust and improve information processing. These findings have solved the controversy in physiological data, accumulated since 1962, of corticofugal effects on subcortical auditory neurons: inhibitory, excitatory, or both (an inhibitory effect is much more frequent than an excitatory effect). In the mustached bat, Pteronotus parnellii parnellii, the inferior colliculus, medial geniculate body, and auditory cortex each have "FM-FM" neurons, which are "combination-sensitive" and are tuned to specific time delays (echo delays) of echo FM components from the FM components of an emitted biosonar pulse. FM-FM neurons are more complex in response properties than cortical neurons which primarily respond to single tones. In the present study, we found that inactivation of the entire FM-FM area in the cortex, including neurons both physiologically matched and unmatched with subcortical FM-FM neurons, on the average reduced the facilitative responses to paired FM sounds by 82% for thalamic FM-FM neurons and by 66% for collicular FM-FM neurons. The corticofugal influence on the facilitative responses of subcortical combination-sensitive neurons is much larger than that on the excitatory responses of subcortical neurons primarily responding to single tones. Therefore we propose the hypothesis that, in general, the processing of complex sounds by combination-sensitive neurons more heavily depends on the corticofugal system than that by single-tone sensitive neurons. (+info)
Distinct populations of NMDA receptors at subcortical and cortical inputs to principal cells of the lateral amygdala.
Fear conditioning involves the transmission of sensory stimuli to the amygdala from the thalamus and cortex. These input synapses are prime candidates for sites of plasticity critical to the learning in fear conditioning. Because N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA)-dependent mechanisms have been implicated in fear learning, we investigated the contribution of NMDA receptors to synaptic transmission at putative cortical and thalamic inputs using visualized whole cell recording in amygdala brain slices. Whereas NMDA receptors are present at both of these pathways, differences were observed. First, the alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid-receptor-mediated component of the synaptic response, relative to the NMDA component, is smaller at thalamic than cortical input synapses. Second, thalamic NMDA responses are more sensitive to Mg2+. These findings suggest that there are distinct populations of NMDA receptors at cortical and thalamic inputs to the lateral amygdala. Differences such as these might underlie unique contributions of the two pathways to fear conditioning. (+info)
N-Methyl-D-aspartate antagonists and apoptotic cell death triggered by head trauma in developing rat brain.
Morbidity and mortality from head trauma is highest among children. No animal model mimicking traumatic brain injury in children has yet been established, and the mechanisms of neuronal degeneration after traumatic injury to the developing brain are not understood. In infant rats subjected to percussion head trauma, two types of brain damage could be characterized. The first type or primary damage evolved within 4 hr and occurred by an excitotoxic mechanism. The second type or secondary damage evolved within 6-24 hr and occurred by an apoptotic mechanism. Primary damage remained localized to the parietal cortex at the site of impact. Secondary damage affected distant sites such as the cingulate/retrosplenial cortex, subiculum, frontal cortex, thalamus and striatum. Secondary apoptotic damage was more severe than primary excitotoxic damage. Morphometric analysis demonstrated that the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor antagonists 3-(2-carboxypiperazin-4-yl)-propyl-1-phosphonate and dizocilpine protected against primary excitotoxic damage but increased severity of secondary apoptotic damage. 2-Sulfo-alpha-phenyl-N-tert-butyl-nitrone, a free radical scavenger, did not affect primary excitotoxic damage but mitigated apoptotic damage. These observations demonstrate that apoptosis and not excitotoxicity determine neuropathologic outcome after traumatic injury to the developing brain. Whereas free radical scavengers may prove useful in therapy of head trauma in children, N-methyl-D-aspartate antagonists should be avoided because of their propensity to increase severity of apoptotic damage. (+info)
Secondary glioblastoma remarkably reduced by steroid administration after anaplastic transformation from gliomatosis cerebri--case report.
A 45-year-old female presented with gliomatosis cerebri manifesting as hemiballismus-like involuntary movement in the arm, motor weakness in the leg, and hypesthesia in her left side. Computed tomography showed only diffuse swelling of the right cerebral hemisphere, but T2-weighted magnetic resonance imaging revealed a diffuse lesion spreading from the right thalamus to the temporal, parietal, and occipital lobes on the same side. No abnormal enhancement was recognized. Cerebral angiography showed no specific finding. A right occipital lobectomy was performed to confirm the diagnosis of gliomatosis cerebri. Anaplastic transformation was recognized 5 months later. The disease did not resolve with radiation or interferon administration, but steroid therapy achieved remarkably effective tumor regression. The patient died due to pneumonia. Autopsy showed the features of diffuse glioblastoma. Steroid therapy may be an effective treatment for gliomatosis cerebri before the terminal stage. (+info)
Blind smell: brain activation induced by an undetected air-borne chemical.
EEG and behavioural evidence suggests that air-borne chemicals can affect the nervous system without being consciously detected. EEG and behaviour, however, do not specify which brain structures are involved in chemical sensing that occurs below a threshold of conscious detection. Here we used functional MRI to localize brain activation induced by high and low concentrations of the air-borne compound oestra-1,3,5(10),16-tetraen-3yl acetate. Following presentations of both concentrations, eight of eight subjects reported verbally that they could not detect any odour (P = 0.004). Forced choice detection performed during the presentations revealed above-chance detection of the high concentration, but no better than chance detection of the low concentration compound. Both concentrations induced significant brain activation, primarily in the anterior medial thalamus and inferior frontal gyrus. Activation in the inferior frontal gyrus during the high concentration condition was significantly greater in the right than in the left hemisphere (P = 0.03). A trend towards greater thalamic activation was observed for the high concentration than the low concentration compound (P = 0.08). These findings localize human brain activation that was induced by an undetectable air-borne chemical (the low concentration compound). (+info)
Functional neuropsychophysiological asymmetry in schizophrenia: a review and reorientation.
In reviewing the neuropsychophysiological evidence of functional asymmetry it is proposed that schizophrenia is characterized by a greater dispersion of leftward and rightward asymmetries. The two extremes are represented by active (left greater than right) and withdrawn (right greater than left) syndromes, as is the case with psychometric schizotypy. Syndrome-asymmetry relations extended beyond fronto-temporal systems to include posterior activity, infracortical motoneuron excitability, and individual differences in interhemispheric connectivity and directional biases. Central to these are lateral imbalances in thalamo-cortical and callosal arousal systems, while centrality to schizophrenia follows evidence of reversals in asymmetry with changes in symptom profile, clinical recovery, and neuroleptic treatment. Affinities are found in intact animals from challenge-induced turning tendencies representing coordinated activity of attentional, motor, and reinforcement systems. In both patients and animals, neuroleptics have reciprocal interhemispheric effects, with a bidirectionality that depends on syndrome or endogenous turning preference. Bidirectionality implicates nonspecific thalamic system (NSTS) and not limbic projections. It is proposed that the asymmetries arise from endogenous influences of genes, hormones, and early experience including stressors on NSTS asymmetry, and these underpin approach/withdrawal behavior that is manifested in temperament, personality, and clinical syndrome, and which precedes language development. (+info)
Defects in thalamocortical axon pathfinding correlate with altered cell domains in Mash-1-deficient mice.
We have analyzed the pathfinding of thalamocortical axons (TCAs) from dorsal thalamus to neocortex in relation to specific cell domains in the forebrain of wild-type and Mash-1-deficient mice. In wild-type mice, we identified four cell domains that constitute the proximal part of the TCA pathway. These domains are distinguished by patterns of gene expression and by the presence of neurons retrogradely labeled from dorsal thalamus. Since the cells that form these domains are generated in forebrain proliferative zones that express high levels of Mash-1, we studied Mash-1 mutant mice to assess the potential roles of these domains in TCA pathfinding. In null mutants, each of the domains is altered: the two Pax-6 domains, one in ventral thalamus and one in hypothalamus, are expanded in size; a complementary RPTP(delta) domain in ventral thalamus is correspondingly reduced and the normally graded expression of RPTP(delta) in that domain is no longer apparent. In ventral telencephalon, a domain characterized in the wild type by Netrin-1 and Nkx-2.1 expression and by retrogradely labeled neurons is absent in the mutant. Defects in TCA pathfinding are localized to the borders of each of these altered domains. Many TCAs fail to enter the expanded, ventral thalamic Pax-6 domain that constitutes the most proximal part of the TCA pathway, and form a dense whorl at the border between dorsal and ventral thalamus. A proportion of TCAs do extend further distally into ventral thalamus, but many of these stall at an aberrant, abrupt border of high RPTP(delta) expression. A small proportion of TCAs extend around the RPTP(delta) domain and reach the ventral thalamic-hypothalamic border, but few of these axons turn at that border to extend into the ventral telencephalon. These findings demonstrate that Mash-1 is required for the normal development of cell domains that in turn are required for normal TCA pathfinding. In addition, these findings support the hypothesis that ventral telencephalic neurons and their axons guide TCAs through ventral thalamus and into ventral telencephalon. (+info)