Download the Free Unbound MEDLINE PubMed App to your smartphone or tablet.
Available for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Android.
J Neurosci [journal]
- Amygdala inputs to the prefrontal cortex elicit heterosynaptic suppression of hippocampal inputs. [Journal Article]
- J Neurosci 2014 Oct 22; 34(43):14365-74.
Whereas cooperative communication between the hippocampus (HP) and prefrontal cortex (PFC) is critical for cognitive functions, an antagonistic relationship may exist between the basolateral amygdala (BLA) and PFC during emotional processing. As PFC neurons integrate information from converging excitatory BLA and HP inputs, we explored whether the ability of BLA inputs to evoke feedforward inhibition in the PFC affects converging HP synaptic inputs using in vivo intracellular recordings in anesthetized rats. BLA train stimulation decreased HP synaptic responses in the PFC in vivo. This effect was dependent on the timing of HP-evoked responses and the strength of BLA activation. BLA train stimulation also produced heterosynaptic suppression of responses from the amygdalo-piriform cortex, an associative temporal cortical structure. Heterosynaptic suppression was unidirectional as HP trains failed to modify BLA synaptic responses. These findings provide a mechanism by which BLA activation could decrease PFC neural activity and transiently attenuate the HP influence on PFC function.
- Dopamine invigorates reward seeking by promoting cue-evoked excitation in the nucleus accumbens. [Journal Article]
- J Neurosci 2014 Oct 22; 34(43):14349-64.
Approach to reward is a fundamental adaptive behavior, disruption of which is a core symptom of addiction and depression. Nucleus accumbens (NAc) dopamine is required for reward-predictive cues to activate vigorous reward seeking, but the underlying neural mechanism is unknown. Reward-predictive cues elicit both dopamine release in the NAc and excitations and inhibitions in NAc neurons. However, a direct link has not been established between dopamine receptor activation, NAc cue-evoked neuronal activity, and reward-seeking behavior. Here, we use a novel microelectrode array that enables simultaneous recording of neuronal firing and local dopamine receptor antagonist injection. We demonstrate that, in the NAc of rats performing a discriminative stimulus task for sucrose reward, blockade of either D1 or D2 receptors selectively attenuates excitation, but not inhibition, evoked by reward-predictive cues. Furthermore, we establish that this dopamine-dependent signal is necessary for reward-seeking behavior. These results demonstrate a neural mechanism by which NAc dopamine invigorates environmentally cued reward-seeking behavior.
- The importance of premotor cortex for supporting speech production after left capsular-putaminal damage. [Journal Article]
- J Neurosci 2014 Oct 22; 34(43):14338-48.
The left putamen is known to be important for speech production, but some patients with left putamen damage can produce speech remarkably well. We investigated the neural mechanisms that support this recovery by using a combination of techniques to identify the neural regions and pathways that compensate for loss of the left putamen during speech production. First, we used fMRI to identify the brain regions that were activated during reading aloud and picture naming in a patient with left putamen damage. This revealed that the patient had abnormally high activity in the left premotor cortex. Second, we used dynamic causal modeling of the patient's fMRI data to understand how this premotor activity influenced other speech production regions and whether the same neural pathway was used by our 24 neurologically normal control subjects. Third, we validated the compensatory relationship between putamen and premotor cortex by showing, in the control subjects, that lower connectivity through the putamen increased connectivity through premotor cortex. Finally, in a lesion-deficit analysis, we demonstrate the explanatory power of our fMRI results in new patients who had damage to the left putamen, left premotor cortex, or both. Those with damage to both had worse reading and naming scores. The results of our four-pronged approach therefore have clinical implications for predicting which patients are more or less likely to recover their speech after left putaminal damage.
- Hydroxamic Acid-Based Histone Deacetylase (HDAC) Inhibitors Can Mediate Neuroprotection Independent of HDAC Inhibition. [Journal Article]
- J Neurosci 2014 Oct 22; 34(43):14328-37.
Histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibition improves function and extends survival in rodent models of a host of neurological conditions, including stroke, and neurodegenerative diseases. Our understanding, however, of the contribution of individual HDAC isoforms to neuronal death is limited. In this study, we used selective chemical probes to assess the individual roles of the Class I HDAC isoforms in protecting Mus musculus primary cortical neurons from oxidative death. We demonstrated that the selective HDAC8 inhibitor PCI-34051 is a potent neuroprotective agent; and by taking advantage of both pharmacological and genetic tools, we established that HDAC8 is not critically involved in PCI-34051's mechanism of action. We used BRD3811, an inactive ortholog of PCI-34051, and showed that, despite its inability to inhibit HDAC8, it exhibits robust neuroprotective properties. Furthermore, molecular deletion of HDAC8 proved insufficient to protect neurons from oxidative death, whereas both PCI-34051 and BRD3811 were able to protect neurons derived from HDAC8 knock-out mice. Finally, we designed and synthesized two new, orthogonal negative control compounds, BRD9715 and BRD8461, which lack the hydroxamic acid motif and showed that they stably penetrate cell membranes but are not neuroprotective. These results indicate that the protective effects of these hydroxamic acid-containing small molecules are likely unrelated to direct epigenetic regulation via HDAC inhibition, but rather due to their ability to bind metals. Our results suggest that hydroxamic acid-based HDAC inhibitors may mediate neuroprotection via HDAC-independent mechanisms and affirm the need for careful structure-activity relationship studies when using pharmacological approaches.
- Magnetoencephalography of epilepsy with a microfabricated atomic magnetrode. [Journal Article]
- J Neurosci 2014 Oct 22; 34(43):14324-7.
Magnetoencephalography has long held the promise of providing a noninvasive tool for localizing epileptic seizures in humans because of its high spatial resolution compared with the scalp EEG. Yet, this promise has been elusive, not because of a lack of sensitivity or spatial resolution but because the large size and immobility of present cryogenic (superconducting) technology prevent long-term telemetry required to capture these very infrequent epileptiform events. To circumvent this limitation, we used Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems technology to construct a noncryogenic (room temperature) microfabricated atomic magnetometer ("magnetrode") based on laser spectroscopy of rubidium vapor and similar in size and flexibility to scalp EEG electrodes. We tested the magnetrode by measuring the magnetic signature of epileptiform discharges in a rat model of epilepsy. We were able to measure neuronal currents of single epileptic discharges and more subtle spontaneous brain activity with a high signal-to-noise ratio approaching that of present superconducting sensors. These measurements are a promising step toward the goal of high-resolution noninvasive telemetry of epileptic events in humans with seizure disorders.
- Oscillatory Neuronal Activity Reflects Lexical-Semantic Feature Integration within and across Sensory Modalities in Distributed Cortical Networks. [Journal Article]
- J Neurosci 2014 Oct 22; 34(43):14318-23.
Research from the previous decade suggests that word meaning is partially stored in distributed modality-specific cortical networks. However, little is known about the mechanisms by which semantic content from multiple modalities is integrated into a coherent multisensory representation. Therefore we aimed to characterize differences between integration of lexical-semantic information from a single modality compared with two sensory modalities. We used magnetoencephalography in humans to investigate changes in oscillatory neuronal activity while participants verified two features for a given target word (e.g., "bus"). Feature pairs consisted of either two features from the same modality (visual: "red," "big") or different modalities (auditory and visual: "red," "loud"). The results suggest that integrating modality-specific features of the target word is associated with enhanced high-frequency power (80-120 Hz), while integrating features from different modalities is associated with a sustained increase in low-frequency power (2-8 Hz). Source reconstruction revealed a peak in the anterior temporal lobe for low-frequency and high-frequency effects. These results suggest that integrating lexical-semantic knowledge at different cortical scales is reflected in frequency-specific oscillatory neuronal activity in unisensory and multisensory association networks.
- Loss of mitochondrial fission depletes axonal mitochondria in midbrain dopamine neurons. [Journal Article]
- J Neurosci 2014 Oct 22; 34(43):14304-17.
Disruptions in mitochondrial dynamics may contribute to the selective degeneration of dopamine (DA) neurons in Parkinson's disease (PD). However, little is known about the normal functions of mitochondrial dynamics in these neurons, especially in axons where degeneration begins, and this makes it difficult to understand the disease process. To study one aspect of mitochondrial dynamics-mitochondrial fission-in mouse DA neurons, we deleted the central fission protein dynamin-related protein 1 (Drp1). Drp1 loss rapidly eliminates the DA terminals in the caudate-putamen and causes cell bodies in the midbrain to degenerate and lose α-synuclein. Without Drp1, mitochondrial mass dramatically decreases, especially in axons, where the mitochondrial movement becomes uncoordinated. However, in the ventral tegmental area (VTA), a subset of midbrain DA neurons characterized by small hyperpolarization-activated cation currents (Ih) is spared, despite near complete loss of their axonal mitochondria. Drp1 is thus critical for targeting mitochondria to the nerve terminal, and a disruption in mitochondrial fission can contribute to the preferential death of nigrostriatal DA neurons.
- Detecting pairwise correlations in spike trains: an objective comparison of methods and application to the study of retinal waves. [Journal Article]
- J Neurosci 2014 Oct 22; 34(43):14288-303.
Correlations in neuronal spike times are thought to be key to processing in many neural systems. Many measures have been proposed to summarize these correlations and of these the correlation index is widely used and is the standard in studies of spontaneous retinal activity. We show that this measure has two undesirable properties: it is unbounded above and confounded by firing rate. We list properties needed for a measure to fairly quantify and compare correlations and we propose a novel measure of correlation-the spike time tiling coefficient. This coefficient, the correlation index, and 33 other measures of correlation of spike times are blindly tested for the required properties on synthetic and experimental data. Based on this, we propose a measure (the spike time tiling coefficient) to replace the correlation index. To demonstrate the benefits of this measure, we reanalyze data from seven key studies, which previously used the correlation index to investigate the nature of spontaneous activity. We reanalyze data from β2(KO) and β2(TG) mutants, mutants lacking connexin isoforms, and also the age-dependent changes in wild-type and β2(KO) correlations. Reanalysis of the data using the proposed measure can significantly change the conclusions. It leads to better quantification of correlations and therefore better inference from the data. We hope that the proposed measure will have wide applications, and will help clarify the role of activity in retinotopic map formation.
- Short-term depression, temporal summation, and onset inhibition shape interval tuning in midbrain neurons. [Journal Article]
- J Neurosci 2014 Oct 22; 34(43):14272-87.
A variety of synaptic mechanisms can contribute to single-neuron selectivity for temporal intervals in sensory stimuli. However, it remains unknown how these mechanisms interact to establish single-neuron sensitivity to temporal patterns of sensory stimulation in vivo. Here we address this question in a circuit that allows us to control the precise temporal patterns of synaptic input to interval-tuned neurons in behaviorally relevant ways. We obtained in vivo intracellular recordings under multiple levels of current clamp from midbrain neurons in the mormyrid weakly electric fish Brienomyrus brachyistius during stimulation with electrosensory pulse trains. To reveal the excitatory and inhibitory inputs onto interval-tuned neurons, we then estimated the synaptic conductances underlying responses. We found short-term depression in excitatory and inhibitory pathways onto all interval-tuned neurons. Short-interval selectivity was associated with excitation that depressed less than inhibition at short intervals, as well as temporally summating excitation. Long-interval selectivity was associated with long-lasting onset inhibition. We investigated tuning after separately nullifying the contributions of temporal summation and depression, and found the greatest diversity of interval selectivity among neurons when both mechanisms were at play. Furthermore, eliminating the effects of depression decreased sensitivity to directional changes in interval. These findings demonstrate that variation in depression and summation of excitation and inhibition helps to establish tuning to behaviorally relevant intervals in communication signals, and that depression contributes to neural coding of interval sequences. This work reveals for the first time how the interplay between short-term plasticity and temporal summation mediates the decoding of temporal sequences in awake, behaving animals.
- Cognitive Deterioration and Functional Compensation in ALS Measured with fMRI Using an Inhibitory Task. [Journal Article]
- J Neurosci 2014 Oct 22; 34(43):14260-71.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is characterized by degeneration of upper and lower motor neurons, resulting in progressive weakness and muscle atrophy. Recent studies suggest that nondemented ALS patients can show selective cognitive impairments, predominantly executive dysfunction, but little is known about the neural basis of these impairments. Oculomotor studies in ALS have described deficits in antisaccade execution, which requires the implementation of a task set that includes inhibition of automatic responses followed by generation of a voluntary action. It has been suggested that the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) contributes in this process. Thus, we investigated whether deterioration of executive functions in ALS patients, such as the ability to implement flexible behavior during the antisaccade task, is related to DLPFC dysfunction. While undergoing an fMRI scan, 12 ALS patients and 12 age-matched controls performed an antisaccade task with concurrent eye tracking. We hypothesized that DLPFC deficits would appear during the antisaccade preparation stage, when the task set is being established. ALS patients made more antisaccade direction errors and showed significant reductions in DLPFC activation. In contrast, regions, such as supplementary eye fields and frontal eye fields, showed increased activation that was anticorrelated with the number of errors. The ALS group also showed reduced saccadic latencies that correlated with increased activation across the oculomotor saccade system. These findings suggest that ALS results in deficits in the inhibition of automatic responses that are related to impaired DLPFC activation. However, they also suggest that ALS patients undergo functional changes that partially compensate the neurological impairment.