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J Neurosci [journal]
- Mechanisms of sharp wave initiation and ripple generation. [Journal Article]
- J Neurosci 2014 Aug 20; 34(34):11385-98.
Replay of neuronal activity during hippocampal sharp wave-ripples (SWRs) is essential in memory formation. To understand the mechanisms underlying the initiation of irregularly occurring SWRs and the generation of periodic ripples, we selectively manipulated different components of the CA3 network in mouse hippocampal slices. We recorded EPSCs and IPSCs to examine the buildup of neuronal activity preceding SWRs and analyzed the distribution of time intervals between subsequent SWR events. Our results suggest that SWRs are initiated through a combined refractory and stochastic mechanism. SWRs initiate when firing in a set of spontaneously active pyramidal cells triggers a gradual, exponential buildup of activity in the recurrent CA3 network. We showed that this tonic excitatory envelope drives reciprocally connected parvalbumin-positive basket cells, which start ripple-frequency spiking that is phase-locked through reciprocal inhibition. The synchronized GABAA receptor-mediated currents give rise to a major component of the ripple-frequency oscillation in the local field potential and organize the phase-locked spiking of pyramidal cells. Optogenetic stimulation of parvalbumin-positive cells evoked full SWRs and EPSC sequences in pyramidal cells. Even with excitation blocked, tonic driving of parvalbumin-positive cells evoked ripple oscillations. Conversely, optogenetic silencing of parvalbumin-positive cells interrupted the SWRs or inhibited their occurrence. Local drug applications and modeling experiments confirmed that the activity of parvalbumin-positive perisomatic inhibitory neurons is both necessary and sufficient for ripple-frequency current and rhythm generation. These interneurons are thus essential in organizing pyramidal cell activity not only during gamma oscillation, but, in a different configuration, during SWRs.
- Role of the dorsal medial habenula in the regulation of voluntary activity, motor function, hedonic state, and primary reinforcement. [Journal Article]
- J Neurosci 2014 Aug 20; 34(34):11366-84.
The habenular complex in the epithalamus consists of distinct regions with diverse neuronal populations. Past studies have suggested a role for the habenula in voluntary exercise motivation and reinforcement of intracranial self-stimulation but have not assigned these effects to specific habenula subnuclei. Here, we have developed a genetic model in which neurons of the dorsal medial habenula (dMHb) are developmentally eliminated, via tissue-specific deletion of the transcription factor Pou4f1 (Brn3a). Mice with dMHb lesions perform poorly in motivation-based locomotor behaviors, such as voluntary wheel running and the accelerating rotarod, but show only minor abnormalities in gait and balance and exhibit normal levels of basal locomotion. These mice also show deficits in sucrose preference, but not in the forced swim test, two measures of depression-related phenotypes in rodents. We have also used Cre recombinase-mediated expression of channelrhodopsin-2 and halorhodopsin to activate dMHb neurons or silence their output in freely moving mice, respectively. Optical activation of the dMHb in vivo supports intracranial self-stimulation, showing that dMHb activity is intrinsically reinforcing, whereas optical silencing of dMHb outputs is aversive. Together, our findings demonstrate that the dMHb is involved in exercise motivation and the regulation of hedonic state, and is part of an intrinsic reinforcement circuit.
- Theta and high-frequency activity mark spontaneous recall of episodic memories. [Journal Article]
- J Neurosci 2014 Aug 20; 34(34):11355-65.
Humans possess the remarkable ability to search their memory, allowing specific past episodes to be re-experienced spontaneously. Here, we administered a free recall test to 114 neurosurgical patients and used intracranial theta and high-frequency activity (HFA) to identify the spatiotemporal pattern of neural activity underlying spontaneous episodic retrieval. We found that retrieval evolved in three electrophysiological stages composed of: (1) early theta oscillations in the right temporal cortex, (2) increased HFA in the left hemisphere including the medial temporal lobe (MTL), left inferior frontal gyrus, as well as the ventrolateral temporal cortex, and (3) motor/language activation during vocalization of the retrieved item. Of these responses, increased HFA in the left MTL predicted recall performance. These results suggest that spontaneous recall of verbal episodic memories involves a spatiotemporal pattern of spectral changes across the brain; however, high-frequency activity in the left MTL represents a final common pathway of episodic retrieval.
- Spatial Irregularities of Sensitivity along the Organ of Corti of the Cochlea. [Journal Article]
- J Neurosci 2014 Aug 20; 34(34):11349-54.
Fine structures of spatial profiles were computed from existing records of cat and chinchilla auditory-nerve fibers on the basis of their characteristic frequencies and cochlear maps. The spatial fine structures of characteristic-frequency thresholds and of "spontaneous" and driven firing rates were mutually correlated, implying the presence of sensitivity fluctuations due to spatial irregularities of presynaptic structures or processes of the inner hair cells and their input. These findings suggest that activity that appears spontaneous is not actually spontaneous and may indicate irregularities of tonotopic mapping in cochlear mechanics.
- Anterior insula activity reflects the effects of intentionality on the anticipation of aversive stimulation. [Journal Article]
- J Neurosci 2014 Aug 20; 34(34):11339-48.
If someone causes you harm, your affective reaction to that person might be profoundly influenced by your inferences about the intentionality of their actions. In the present study, we aimed to understand how affective responses to a biologically salient aversive outcome administered by others are modulated by the extent to which a given individual is judged to have deliberately or inadvertently delivered the outcome. Using fMRI, we examined how neural responses to anticipation and receipt of an aversive stimulus are modulated by this fundamental social judgment. We found that affective evaluations about an individual whose actions led to either noxious or neutral consequences for the subject did indeed depend on the perceived intentions of that individual. At the neural level, activity in the anterior insula correlated with the interaction between perceived intentionality and anticipated outcome valence, suggesting that this region reflects the influence of mental state attribution on aversive expectations.
- NMDA Receptors Are Upregulated and Trafficked to the Plasma Membrane after Sigma-1 Receptor Activation in the Rat Hippocampus. [Journal Article]
- J Neurosci 2014 Aug 20; 34(34):11325-38.
Sigma-1 receptors (σ-1Rs) are endoplasmic reticulum resident chaperone proteins implicated in many physiological and pathological processes in the CNS. A striking feature of σ-1Rs is their ability to interact and modulate a large number of voltage- and ligand-gated ion channels at the plasma membrane. We have reported previously that agonists for σ-1Rs potentiate NMDA receptor (NMDAR) currents, although the mechanism by which this occurs is still unclear. In this study, we show that in vivo administration of the selective σ-1R agonists (+)-SKF 10,047 [2S-(2α,6α,11R*]-1,2,3,4,5,6-hexahydro-6,11-dimethyl-3-(2-propenyl)-2,6-methano-3-benzazocin-8-ol hydrochloride (N-allylnormetazocine) hydrochloride], PRE-084 (2-morpholin-4-ylethyl 1-phenylcyclohexane-1-carboxylate hydrochloride), and (+)-pentazocine increases the expression of GluN2A and GluN2B subunits, as well as postsynaptic density protein 95 in the rat hippocampus. We also demonstrate that σ-1R activation leads to an increased interaction between GluN2 subunits and σ-1Rs and mediates trafficking of NMDARs to the cell surface. These results suggest that σ-1R may play an important role in NMDAR-mediated functions, such as learning and memory. It also opens new avenues for additional studies into a multitude of pathological conditions in which NMDARs are involved, including schizophrenia, dementia, and stroke.
- Role of bed nucleus of the stria terminalis corticotrophin-releasing factor receptors in frustration stress-induced binge-like palatable food consumption in female rats with a history of food restriction. [Journal Article]
- J Neurosci 2014 Aug 20; 34(34):11316-24.
We developed recently a binge-eating model in which female rats with a history of intermittent food restriction show binge-like palatable food consumption after 15 min exposure to the sight of the palatable food. This "frustration stress" manipulation also activates the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal stress axis. Here, we determined the role of the stress neurohormone corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) in stress-induced binge eating in our model. We also assessed the role of CRF receptors in the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST), a brain region implicated in stress responses and stress-induced drug seeking, in stress-induced binge eating. We used four groups that were first exposed or not exposed to repeated intermittent cycles of regular chow food restriction during which they were also given intermittent access to high-caloric palatable food. On the test day, we either exposed or did not expose the rats to the sight of the palatable food for 15 min (frustration stress) before assessing food consumption for 2 h. We found that systemic injections of the CRF1 receptor antagonist R121919 (2,5-dimethyl-3-(6-dimethyl-4-methylpyridin-3-yl)-7 dipropylamino pyrazolo[1,5-a]pyrimidine) (10-20 mg/kg) and BNST (25-50 ng/side) or ventricular (1000 ng) injections of the nonselective CRF receptor antagonist d-Phe-CRF(12-41) decreased frustration stress-induced binge eating in rats with a history of food restriction. Frustration stress also increased Fos (a neuronal activity marker) expression in ventral and dorsal BNST. Results demonstrate a critical role of CRF receptors in BNST in stress-induced binge eating in our rat model. CRF1 receptor antagonists may represent a novel pharmacological treatment for bingeing-related eating disorders.
- Neuronal Somata and Extrasomal Compartments Play Distinct Roles during Synapse Formation between Lymnaea Neurons. [Journal Article]
- J Neurosci 2014 Aug 20; 34(34):11304-15.
Proper synapse formation is pivotal for all nervous system functions. However, the precise mechanisms remain elusive. Moreover, compared with the neuromuscular junction, steps regulating the synaptogenic program at central cholinergic synapses remain poorly defined. In this study, we identified different roles of neuronal compartments (somal vs extrasomal) in chemical and electrical synaptogenesis. Specifically, the electrically synapsed Lymnaea pedal dorsal A cluster neurons were used to study electrical synapses, whereas chemical synaptic partners, visceral dorsal 4 (presynaptic, cholinergic), and left pedal dorsal 1 (LPeD1; postsynaptic) were explored for chemical synapse formation. Neurons were cultured in a soma-soma or soma-axon configuration and synapses explored electrophysiologically. We provide the first direct evidence that electrical synapses develop in a soma-soma, but not soma-axon (removal of soma) configuration, indicating the requirement of gene transcription regulation in the somata of both synaptic partners. In addition, the soma-soma electrical coupling was contingent upon trophic factors present in Lymnaea brain-conditioned medium. Further, we demonstrate that chemical (cholinergic) synapses between soma-soma and soma-axon pairs were indistinguishable, with both exhibiting a high degree of contact site and target cell type specificity. We also provide direct evidence that presynaptic cell contact-mediated, clustering of postsynaptic cholinergic receptors at the synaptic site requires transmitter-receptor interaction, receptor internalization, and a protein kinase C-dependent lateral migration toward the contact site. This study provides novel insights into synaptogenesis between central neurons revealing both distinct and synergistic roles of cell-cell signaling and extrinsic trophic factors in executing the synaptogenic program.
- Transfer of Learning Relates to Intrinsic Connectivity between Hippocampus, Ventromedial Prefrontal Cortex, and Large-Scale Networks. [Journal Article]
- J Neurosci 2014 Aug 20; 34(34):11297-303.
An important aspect of adaptive learning is the ability to flexibly use past experiences to guide new decisions. When facing a new decision, some people automatically leverage previously learned associations, while others do not. This variability in transfer of learning across individuals has been demonstrated repeatedly and has important implications for understanding adaptive behavior, yet the source of these individual differences remains poorly understood. In particular, it is unknown why such variability in transfer emerges even among homogeneous groups of young healthy participants who do not vary on other learning-related measures. Here we hypothesized that individual differences in the transfer of learning could be related to relatively stable differences in intrinsic brain connectivity, which could constrain how individuals learn. To test this, we obtained a behavioral measure of memory-based transfer outside of the scanner and on a separate day acquired resting-state functional MRI images in 42 participants. We then analyzed connectivity across independent component analysis-derived brain networks during rest, and tested whether intrinsic connectivity in learning-related networks was associated with transfer. We found that individual differences in transfer were related to intrinsic connectivity between the hippocampus and the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, and between these regions and large-scale functional brain networks. Together, the findings demonstrate a novel role for intrinsic brain dynamics in flexible learning-guided behavior, both within a set of functionally specific regions known to be important for learning, as well as between these regions and the default and frontoparietal networks, which are thought to serve more general cognitive functions.
- Intersubject Variability of and Genetic Effects on the Brain's Functional Connectivity during Infancy. [Journal Article]
- J Neurosci 2014 Aug 20; 34(34):11288-96.
Infancy is a period featuring a high level of intersubject variability but the brain basis for such variability and the potential genetic/environmental contributions remain largely unexplored. The assessment of the brain's functional connectivity during infancy by the resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rsfMRI) technique (Biswal et al., 1995) provides a unique means to probe the brain basis of intersubject variability during infancy. In this study, an unusually large typically developing human infant sample including 58 singletons, 132 dizygotic twins, and 98 monozygotic twins with rsfMRI scans during the first 2 years of life was recruited to delineate the spatial and temporal developmental patterns of both the intersubject variability of and genetic effects on the brain's functional connectivity. Through systematic voxelwise functional connectivity analyses, our results revealed that the intersubject variability at birth features lower variability in primary functional areas but higher values in association areas. Although the relative pattern remains largely consistent, the magnitude of intersubject variability undergoes an interesting U-shaped growth during the first 2 years of life. Overall, the intersubject variability patterns during infancy show both adult-like and infant-specific characteristics (Mueller et al., 2013). On the other hand, age-dependent genetic effects were observed showing significant but bidirectional relationships with intersubject variability. The temporal and spatial patterns of the intersubject variability of and genetic contributions to the brain's functional connectivity documented in this study shed light on the largely uncharted functional development of the brain during infancy.