BDNF mediates the effects of testosterone on the survival of new neurons in an adult brain. (1/1823)

New neurons are incorporated into the high vocal center (HVC), a nucleus of the adult canary (Serinus canaria) brain that plays a critical role in the acquisition and production of learned song. Recruitment of new neurons in the HVC is seasonally regulated and depends upon testosterone levels. We show here that brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is present in the HVC of adult males but is not detectable in that of females, though the HVC of both sexes has BDNF receptors (TrkB). Testosterone treatment increases the levels of BDNF protein in the female HVC, and BDNF infused into the HVC of adult females triples the number of new neurons. Infusion of a neutralizing antibody to BDNF blocks the testosterone-induced increase in new neurons. Our results demonstrate that BDNF is involved in the regulation of neuronal replacement in the adult canary brain and suggest that the effects of testosterone are mediated through BDNF.  (+info)

S-16924 [(R)-2-[1-[2-(2,3-dihydro-benzo[1,4]dioxin-5-yloxy)-ethyl]- pyrrolidin-3yl]-1-(4-fluorophenyl)-ethanone], a novel, potential antipsychotic with marked serotonin1A agonist properties: III. Anxiolytic actions in comparison with clozapine and haloperidol. (2/1823)

S-16924 is a potential antipsychotic that displays agonist and antagonist properties at serotonin (5-HT)1A and 5-HT2A/2C receptors, respectively. In a pigeon conflict procedure, the benzodiazepine clorazepate (CLZ) increased punished responses, an action mimicked by S-16924, whereas the atypical antipsychotic clozapine and the neuroleptic haloperidol were inactive. Similarly, in a Vogel conflict paradigm in rats, CLZ increased punished responses, an action shared by S-16924 but not by clozapine or haloperidol. This action of S-16924 was abolished by the 5-HT1A antagonist WAY-100,635. Ultrasonic vocalizations in rats were inhibited by CLZ, S-16924, clozapine, and haloperidol. However, although WAY-100,635 abolished the action of S-16924, it did not affect clozapine and haloperidol. In a rat elevated plus-maze, CLZ, but not S-16924, clozapine, and haloperidol, increased open-arm entries. Like CLZ, S-16924 increased social interaction in rats, whereas clozapine and haloperidol were inactive. WAY-100,635 abolished this action of S-16924. CLZ, S-16924, clozapine, and haloperidol decreased aggressive interactions in isolated mice, but this effect of S-16924 was not blocked by WAY-100, 635. All drugs inhibited motor behavior, but the separation to anxiolytic doses was more pronounced for S-16924 than for CLZ. Finally, in freely moving rats, CLZ and S-16924, but not clozapine and haloperidol, decreased dialysis levels of 5-HT in the nucleus accumbens: this action of S-16924 was blocked by WAY-100,165. In conclusion, in contrast to haloperidol and clozapine, S-16924 possessed a broad-based profile of anxiolytic activity at doses lower than those provoking motor disruption. Its principal mechanism of action was activation of 5-HT1A (auto)receptors.  (+info)

The sexually dimorphic expression of androgen receptors in the song nucleus hyperstriatalis ventrale pars caudale of the zebra finch develops independently of gonadal steroids. (3/1823)

The development of sex differences in brain structure and brain chemistry ("brain sex") of vertebrates is frequently thought to depend entirely on gonadal steroids such as androgens and estrogens, which act on the brain at the genomic level by binding to intracellular transcription factors, the androgen receptors (ARs) and estrogen receptors (ERs). These hormone actions are thought to shift the brain from a monomorphic to a dimorphic phenotype. One prominent such example is the nucleus hyperstriatalis ventrale pars caudale (HVc) of the zebra finch (Poephila guttata), a set of cells in the caudal forebrain involved in the control of singing. In contrast with previous studies using nonspecific cell staining techniques, the size and neuron number of the HVc measured by the distribution of AR mRNA is already sexually dimorphic on posthatching day (P)9. No ARs or ERs are expressed in the HVc before day 9. Slice cultures of the caudal forebrain of P5 animals show that the sexually dimorphic expression of AR mRNA in HVc is independent of the direct action of steroids on this nucleus or any of its immediate presynaptic or postsynaptic partners. Therefore, gonadal steroids do not appear to be directly involved in the initial sex difference in the expression pattern of AR mRNA, size, and neuron number of the HVc. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the initial steroid-independent size and its subsequent steroid-independent growth by extension linearly with the extension of the forebrain explains 60-70% of the masculine development of the HVc. Thus, we suggest that epigenetic factors such as the gonadal steroids modify but cannot overwrite the sex difference in HVc volume determined autonomously in the brain.  (+info)

Multifunctional laryngeal motoneurons: an intracellular study in the cat. (4/1823)

We studied the patterns of membrane potential changes in laryngeal motoneurons (LMs) during vocalization, coughing, swallowing, sneezing, and the aspiration reflex in decerebrate paralyzed cats. LMs, identified by antidromic activation from the recurrent laryngeal nerve, were expiratory (ELMs) or inspiratory (ILMs) cells that depolarized during their respective phases in eupnea. During vocalization, most ELMs depolarized and most ILMs hyperpolarized. Some ILMs depolarized slightly during vocalization. During coughing, ELMs depolarized abruptly at the transition from the inspiratory to the expiratory phase. In one-third of ELMs, this depolarization persisted throughout the abdominal burst. In the remainder ("type A"), it was interrupted by a transient repolarization. ILMs exhibited a membrane potential trajectory opposite to that of type A ELMs during coughing. During swallowing, the membrane potential of ELMs decreased transiently at the onset of the hypoglossal burst and then depolarized strongly during the burst. ILMs hyperpolarized sharply at the onset of the burst and depolarized as hypoglossal activity ceased. During sneezing, ELMs and ILMs exhibited membrane potential changes similar to those of type A ELMs and ILMs during coughing. During the aspiration reflex, ELMs and ILMs exhibited bell-shaped hyperpolarization and depolarization trajectories, respectively. We conclude that central drives to LMs, consisting of complex combinations of excitation and inhibition, vary during vocalization and upper airway defensive reflexes. This study provides data for analysis of the neuronal networks that produce these various behaviors and analysis of network reorganization caused by changes in dynamic connections between the respiratory and nonrespiratory neuronal networks.  (+info)

Seasonal neuroplasticity in the songbird telencephalon: a role for melatonin. (5/1823)

Neuroplasticity in the vocal control system of songbirds is strongly influenced by seasonal fluctuations in circulating testosterone. These seasonally plastic telencephalic structures are implicated in the learning and production of song in songbirds. The role of the indoleamine melatonin in seasonal adaptations in birds has remained unclear. In this experiment, European starlings were castrated to remove the neuromodulating activity of gonadal steroids and were exposed to different photoperiods to induce reproductive states characteristic of different seasonal conditions. Long days increased the volume of the song-control nucleus high vocal center compared with its volume on short days. Exogenous melatonin attenuated the long-day-induced volumetric increase in high vocal center and also decreased the volume of another song-control nucleus, area X. This effect was observed regardless of reproductive state. To our knowledge, this is the first direct evidence of a role for melatonin in functional plasticity within the central nervous system of vertebrates.  (+info)

Ultrasonic vocalizations elicit orienting and associative reactions in preweanling mice. (6/1823)

On postnatal days (PND) 12 and 13, 90 male Swiss CD-1 mice were tested for orientation to 3 intensities of recorded ultrasounds while climbing an inclined wire grid surface. Motor responses and vocalization to replayed ultrasounds (55-75 kHz) of 20-, 40-, and 60-dB SPL indicated an intensity dependence. In Experiment 2, 138 pups were exposed to either contingent or noncontingent pairings of recorded ultrasounds of 55-75 kHz, averaging 40 dB, and mild inescapable footshocks, or taped vocalizations or footshocks only on PND 12, 14, or 16. At PND 18, subjects were tested for passive avoidance following exposure to the taped ultrasounds only upon entry into the dark side of a black-white compartment. Results suggested only overall, nonspecific effects of pretreatment to elicit responses antagonistic to motor activity. In Experiment 3, 36 pups at PND 15 were tested for passive avoidance with the ultrasound recordings of 40- or 80-dB onset upon entry to the dark compartment; a third group had no ultrasound exposure. A significant intensity effect confirmed that the ultrasounds had prepotent properties.  (+info)

Song-induced phosphorylation of cAMP response element-binding protein in the songbird brain. (7/1823)

We have investigated the participation of cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB) in the response of the songbird brain to a natural auditory stimulus, a conspecific song. The cells in the two song control nuclei, the higher vocal center (HVC) and area X of zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata), were intensely stained with an anti-CREB monoclonal antibody. Double-labeling studies showed that CREB immunoreactivity was detected only in area X-projecting neurons in the HVC. The cloned CREB cDNA from zebra finches (zCREB) is highly homologous to mammalian delta CREB. Phosphorylation of zCREB at Ser119 in area X-projecting HVC neurons was induced by hearing tape-recorded conspecific songs of zebra finches, but not by birdsongs of another species or white noise. These results raise the possibility that zCREB plays a crucial role in the sensory process of song learning.  (+info)

Gradual emergence of song selectivity in sensorimotor structures of the male zebra finch song system. (8/1823)

Birdsong is a model system for understanding how motor and sensory information interact to coordinate behavior. Neurons in one potential site of sensorimotor integration, the forebrain nucleus HVc, have premotor activity during singing and auditory activity during playback of the bird's own song. It is not known whether the high degree of selectivity for learned features of song observed during playback arises in HVc or also in structures afferent to HVc. We recorded in anesthetized adult zebra finches from two structures afferent to HVc: either the nucleus interfacialis (NIf) or the L1 subdivision of the field L complex, and simultaneously from a second electrode in HVc. Correlations in the bursting pattern of ongoing activity of HVc and NIf recordings were observed; these helped to localize the first electrode to NIf recording sites. Most NIf neurons exhibited song-selective responses, but as a population, they were less selective than were HVc neurons. Most L1 neurons were not song-selective. NIf neurons have also been reported to have premotor activity during singing; thus, NIf is another potential site of auditory-motor interactions in the song system. Evidence gathered to date suggests that those brain areas in the passerine forebrain that are recruited during song production also display the most selective learned auditory responses.  (+info)