Distribution by Scientific Domains
Distribution within Medical Sciences

Kinds of Neurones

  • afferent neurone
  • cholinergic neurone
  • cortical neurone
  • different neurone
  • dopamine neurone
  • dopaminergic neurone
  • gabaergic neurone
  • ganglion neurone
  • hippocampal neurone
  • hypothalamic neurone
  • immunoreactive neurone
  • inhibitory neurone
  • motor neurone
  • myenteric neurone
  • noradrenergic neurone
  • nucleus neurone
  • pyramidal neurone
  • sensory neurone
  • serotonergic neurone
  • submucosal neurone
  • supraoptic nucleus neurone
  • sympathetic neurone

  • Terms modified by Neurones

  • neurone disease

  • Selected Abstracts

    Postnatal glutamate-induced central nervous system lesions alter periodontal disease susceptibility in adult Wistar rats

    Torbjørn Breivik
    Abstract Background: Inability to mount a suitable brain-neuroendocrine response to bacterial or other antigenic challenges has been found to play an important rôle in infectious and inflammatory disease susceptibility and progression, including periodontal disease. Objective: The present study was designed to determine the effects of glutamate administration to new-born Wistar rats on the development and progression of naturally occurring and ligature-induced periodontal disease in the rats as adults. Postnatal glutamate administration is known to permanently damage neurones in the hypothalamic arcuate nucleus. Method: New-born rats were treated 1× daily subcutaniously with 2 mg/g of monosodium-L-glutamate (MSG) for 5 days from day 3 to 6. Control animals were injected with similar amounts of saline. Experimental ligature-induced periodontal disease was induced in the rats at the age of 12 weeks at maxillary right 2nd molar teeth. The contralateral maxillary left 2nd molars served as control teeth, and for assessment of naturally occurring periodontal disease. Disease progression was evaluated histometrically. Results: The results revealed that the glutamate-lesioned rats developed significantly more periodontal tissue destruction compared to sham-lesioned control rats in both the ligated and non-ligated teeth. Conclusions: This study supports our resent findings indicating that inappropriate brain-neuroendocrine-immune regulation may play a rôle in periodontal disease susceptibility and progression. Zusammenfassung Hintergrund: Es hatte gezeigt werden können, dass die Unfähigkeit des Gehirns auf einen bakteriellen oder antigenen Reiz mit einer angemessenen neuroendokrinen Antwort zu reagieren, eine wichtige Rolle für die Empfänglichkeit für infektiöse und entzündliche Erkrankungen einschliesslich Parodontitis spielt. Die Gabe von Glutamat nach der Geburt führt zu irreversiblen Schäden der Neurone des Nucleus arcuatus des Hypothalamus. Zielzetzung: Untersuchung der Auswirkungen von Glutamatgaben bei neugeborenen Wistar-Ratten auf die Entstehung und das Fortschreiten natürlich vorkommender und ligaturinduzierter Parodontitis im Erwachsenenalter. Material und Methoden: Bei 24 neugeborenen Wistar-Ratten wurden einmal täglich 2 mg/g L-Mononatriumglutamat und bei 20 Kontrolltieren statt dessen Kochsaltzlösung vom 4. Lebenstag an 4 Tage lang subkutan injiziert. Am rechten zweiten Oberkiefermolaren wurden bei den 12 Wochen alten Ratten eine experimentelle ligaturinduzierte Parodontitis ausgelöst. Der kontralaterale 2. Molar des Oberkiefers diente als Kontrolle und um natürlich vorkommende Parodontitis zu untersuchen. Das Fortschreiten der parodontalen Zerstörung wurde histometrisch erfasst. Ergebnisse: Die Ergebnisse zeigten, dass die Ratten mit den glutamatinduzierten Läsionen statistisch signifikant stärkere parodontale Zerstörungen sowohl an den Zähnen mit wie auch an denen ohne Ligaturen im Vergleich zur Kontrollgruppe aufwiesen. Schlussfolgerungen: Eine unangemessene neuroendokrinoimmunologische Regulation des Gehirns scheint eine Rolle bei der Empfänglichkeit für und das Fortschreiten von Parodontitis zu haben. Résumé Origine: L'incapacitéàétablir une réponse neuroendocrinienne cervicale efficace pour des défis bactériens ou antigèniques joue un rôle important dans la susceptibilité et la progression des maladies infectieuses et inflammatoires, dont les parodontites. But: Cette étude a été imaginée pour déterminer les effets de l'administration de glutamate à des rats Wistar nouveau-nés sur le développement et la progression de maladies parodontales naturelles et induites par des ligatures chez le rat adulte. On sait que l'administration de glutamate en postnatal endommage de façon permanente les neurones du noyau d'arc hypothalamique. Méthodes: Les rats nouveaus-nés furent traités une fois par jour par administration sous cutanée de 2 mg/g de monosodium-L-glutamate (MSG) pendant 5 jours. Les animaux contrôles recevaient une dose similaire de sérum physiologique. La parodontite expérimentale par ligature était réalisée à l'âge de 12 semaines, sur la deuxième molaire supérieure droite. La dent controlatérale servait de contrôle et à la mise en évidence de maladie parodontale naturelle. La progression de la maladie fut évaluée par histométrie. Résultats: Les résultats montrent que les rats atteints de lésions dues au glutamate développent plus de destructions parodontales (par ligatures ou sans ligatures) par rapport aux rats contrôles atteints de lésions simulées. Conclusion: Cette étude supporte nos récentes découvertes qui indiquent qu'une régulation immunitaire neuroendocrinienne cervicale inappropriée peut jouer un rôle dans la susceptibilité et la progression des maladies parodontales. [source]

    Electrophysiological Identification of the Functional Presynaptic Nerve Terminals on an Isolated Single Vasopressin Neurone of the Rat Supraoptic Nucleus

    T. Ohbuchi
    Release of arginine vasopressin (AVP) and oxytocin from magnocellular neurosecretory cells (MNCs) of the supraoptic nucleus (SON) is under the control of glutamate-dependent excitation and GABA-dependent inhibition. The possible role of the synaptic terminals attached to SON neurones has been investigated using whole-cell patch-clamp recording in in vitro rat brain slice preparations. Recent evidence has provided new insights into the repercussions of glial environment modifications on the physiology of MNCs at the synaptic level in the SON. In the present study, excitatory glutamatergic and inhibitory GABAergic synaptic inputs were recorded from an isolated single SON neurone cultured for 12 h, using the whole-cell patch clamp technique. Neurones expressed an AVP-enhanced green fluorescent protein (eGFP) fusion gene in MNCs. In addition, native synaptic terminals attached to a dissociated AVP-eGFP neurone were visualised with synaptic vesicle markers. These results suggest that the function of presynaptic nerve terminals may be evaluated directly in a single AVP-eGFP neurone. These preparations would be helpful in future studies aiming to electrophysiologically distinguish between the functions of synaptic terminals and glial modifications in the SON neurones. [source]

    Anterior neural centres in echinoderm bipinnaria and auricularia larvae: cell types and organization

    ACTA ZOOLOGICA, Issue 2 2002
    Thurston C. Lacalli
    Abstract Serial and interval electron micrograph series were used to examine the anterior part of the ciliary band system in the bipinnaria larva of Pisaster ochraceus and the auricularia larva of Stichopus californicus for evidence of ganglion-like organization. The bipinnaria has paired concentrations of Multipolar with Apical Processes (MAP) cells in this region that correspond in position with previously identified clusters of serotonergic and peptidergic neurones. MAP cells located in the centre of the band have well-developed apical processes, but no cilium. Those at the sides of the band have fewer processes, but some have recumbent cilia that extend under the glycocalyx, suggesting a sensory function. Comparable cell types are not found elsewhere in the band, a clear indication that the apical parts of the ciliary band system are organized in a distinctive fashion. Two neuronal cell types were identified in the apical region of the auricularia larva, a conventional bipolar neurone that corresponds with previously described serotonergic apical cells, and more numerous MAP cells for which there is no previous record and hence, no known transmitter. Previous immunocytochemical studies are summarized and re-examined in the light of these results. Relevant evolutionary issues are also discussed, but the data fail to provide strong evidence either for or against Garstang's hypothesis that the chordate brain and spinal cord derive from larval ciliary bands resembling those of modern echinoderms. [source]

    The pathophysiology of spasticity

    G. Sheean
    Spasticity is only one of several components of the upper motor neurone (UMN) syndrome, known collectively as the `positive' phenomena, that are characterized by muscle overactivity. Other components include tendon hyper-reflexia, clonus, the clasp-knife phenomenon, flexor and extensor spasms, a Babinski sign, and spastic dystonia. Spasticity is a form of hypertonia due to hyperexcitable tonic stretch reflexes. It is distinguished from rigidity by its dependence upon the speed of the muscle stretch and by the presence of other positive UMN signs. Hyperactive spinal reflexes mediate most of these positive phenomena, while others are due to disordered control of voluntary movement or abnormal efferent drive. An UMN lesion disturbs the balance of supraspinal inhibitory and excitatory inputs, producing a state of net disinhibition of the spinal reflexes. These include proprioceptive (stretch) and nociceptive (flexor withdrawal and extensor) reflexes. The clinical syndrome resulting from an UMN lesion depends more upon its location and extent, and the time since it occurred, than on the pathology of the lesion. However, the change in spinal reflex excitability cannot simply be due to an imbalance in supraspinal control. The delayed onset after the lesion and the frequent reduction in reflex excitability over time, suggests plasticity in the central nervous system. Knowledge of the electrophysiology and neurochemistry of spinal reflexes, together with the action of antispasticity drugs, helps us to understand the pathophysiology of spasticity. [source]

    The action of high K+ and aglycaemia on the electrical properties and synaptic transmission in rat intracardiac ganglion neurones in vitro

    Jhansi Dyavanapalli
    We have investigated the action of two elements of acute ischaemia, high potassium and aglycaemia, on the electrophysiological properties and ganglionic transmission of adult rat intracardiac ganglion (ICG) neurones. We used a whole-mount ganglion preparation of the right atrial ganglion plexus and sharp microelectrode recording techniques. Increasing extracellular K+ from its normal value of 4.7 mm to 10 mm decreased membrane potential and action potential after-hyperpolarization amplitude but otherwise had no effect on postganglionic membrane properties. It did, however, reduce the ability of synaptically evoked action potentials to follow high-frequency (100 Hz) repetitive stimulation. A further increase in K+ changed both the passive and the active membrane properties of the postganglionic neurone: time constant, membrane resistance and action potential overshoot were all decreased in high K+ (20 mm). The ICG neurones display a predominantly phasic discharge in response to prolonged depolarizing current pulses. High K+ had no impact on this behaviour but reduced the time-dependent rectification response to hyperpolarizing currents. At 20 mm, K+ practically blocked ganglionic transmission in most neurones at all frequencies tested. Aglycaemia, nominally glucose-free physiological saline solution (PSS), increased the time constant and membrane resistance of ICG neurones but otherwise had no action on their passive or active properties or ganglionic transmission. However, the combination of aglycaemia and 20 mm K+ displayed an improvement in passive properties and ganglionic transmission when compared with 20 mm K+ PSS. These data indicate that the presynaptic terminal is the primary target of high extracellular potassium and that aglycaemia may have protective actions against this challenge. [source]

    Comparison of the firing patterns of human postganglionic sympathetic neurones and spinal , motoneurones during brief bursts

    Vaughan G. Macefield
    Focal recordings from individual postganglionic sympathetic neurones in awake human subjects have revealed common firing properties. One of the most striking features is that they tend to fire only once per sympathetic burst. Why this should be so is not known, but we propose that the short duration of the burst may limit the number of times a sympathetic neurone can fire. Indeed, while the normal variation in cardiac interval and burst duration is too narrow to reveal a correlation between burst duration and the number of spikes generated, we know that spike generation is doubled when burst duration is doubled following ectopic heart beats. To test the hypothesis that the burst duration constrains the firing of individual sympathetic neurones to one per burst, we used the human skeletomotor system as a model for the sympathetic nervous system, which allowed us to vary burst duration and amplitude experimentally. Intramuscular recordings were made from 27 single motor units (, motoneurones) in the tibialis anterior or soleus muscles of seven subjects; multiunit EMG activity was recorded via surface electrodes and blood pressure was recorded continuously. Subjects were instructed to generate EMG bursts of varying amplitude in the intervals between heart beats. By constraining the firing of , motoneurones to brief (,400 ms) bursts we could emulate real sympathetic bursts. Individual motoneurones generated 0,7 spikes during the emulated sympathetic bursts, with firing patterns similar to those exhibited by real sympathetic neurones. Eleven motor units showed significant positive linear correlations between the number of spikes they generated within a burst and its amplitude, whereas for 17 motor units there were significant positive correlations between the number of spikes and burst duration. This indicates that burst duration is a major determinant of the number of times an , motoneurone will fire during a brief burst, and we suggest that the same principle may explain the firing pattern typical of human sympathetic neurones. [source]

    Noxious Somatic Inputs to Hypothalamic-Midbrain Projection Neurones: a Comparison of the Columnar Organisation of Somatic and Visceral Inputs to the Periaqueductal Grey in the Rat

    D. M. Parry
    The induction of Fos protein was used to localise hypothalamic neurones activated by noxious somatic stimulation. This was combined with retrograde transport of fluorescent latex microspheres from identified ,pressor' and ,depressor' sites in the dorsolateral/lateral or ventrolateral columns of the periaqueductal grey (PAG). Fos-positive neurones were found throughout the rostral hypothalamus. Of those neurones activated by noxious somatic stimuli that projected to the PAG all but one was retrogradely labelled from sites that included the lateral column. Only one neurone was double labelled following injection of tracer at a depressor site in the ventrolateral PAG. This is in marked contrast to visceroresponsive hypothalamic neurones, a larger proportion of which project to the PAG and which, as reported previously, preferentially target depressor sites in the ventrolateral sector. These results are discussed in relation to the roles of the anterior hypothalamus and the different functional columns of the PAG in co-ordinating autonomic and sensory functions in response to nociceptive inputs originating in different peripheral domains. [source]

    Phenotype and Function of Somatic Primary Afferent Nociceptive Neurones with C-, A,- or A,/,-Fibres

    S. N. Lawson
    Nociceptive dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurones have fibres that conduct in the C, A, and A,/, conduction velocity range. The properties of nociceptive compared with non-nociceptive somatic afferent dorsal root ganglion neurones appear to fall into two patterns, A and B. Pattern A properties of nociceptive neurones, the more common type, include longer action potential duration and slower maximum rate of fibre firing, as well as a greater expression of substance P and calcitonin gene-related peptide immunoreactivity. The values of pattern A properties appear to be graded according to the conduction velocity group (C, A, or A,/,) of the fibres. The most pronounced forms of A-type properties are expressed by nociceptive neurones with C-fibres, and these become less pronounced in nociceptive neurones with A,-fibres and least pronounced in those with A,/, fibres (C > A, > A,/,). Some of these properties are also expressed in a less extreme but similarly graded manner through C, A, and A,/, groups of non-nociceptive low threshold mechanoreceptive (LTM) neurone. The less common pattern B properties of nociceptive neurones have similar values in C-, A,- and A,/,-fibre nociceptive neurones but these clearly differ from LTM units with C-, A,- and A,/,-fibre conduction velocities. These features of nociceptive neurones include consistently larger action potential overshoots and longer after-hyperpolarisation durations in nociceptive than in LTM neurones. [source]

    Anatomy of Primary Afferents and Projection Neurones in the Rat Spinal Dorsal Horn with Particular Emphasis on Substance P and the Neurokinin 1 Receptor

    A. J. Todd
    The dorsal horn of the spinal cord plays an important role in transmitting information from nociceptive primary afferent neurones to the brain; however, our knowledge of its neuronal and synaptic organisation is still limited. Nociceptive afferents terminate mainly in laminae I and II and some of these contain substance P. Many projection neurones are located in lamina I and these send axons to various parts of the brain, including the caudal ventrolateral medulla (CVLM), parabrachial area, periaqueductal grey matter and thalamus. The neurokinin 1 (NK1) receptor on which substance P acts is expressed by certain neurones in the dorsal horn, including approximately 80% of lamina I projection neurones. There is also a population of large NK1 receptor-immunoreactive neurones with cell bodies in laminae III and IV which project to the CVLM and parabrachial area. It has been shown that the lamina III/IV NK1 receptor-immunoreactive projection neurones are densely and selectively innervated by substance P-containing primary afferent neurones, and there is evidence that these afferents also target lamina I projection neurones with the receptor. Both types of neurone are innervated by descending serotoninergic axons from the medullary raphe nuclei. The lamina III/IV neurones also receive numerous synapses from axons of local inhibitory interneurones which contain GABA and neuropeptide Y, and again this input shows some specificity since post-synaptic dorsal column neurones which also have cell bodies in laminae III and IV receive few contacts from neuropeptide Y-containing axons. These observations indicate that there are specific patterns of synaptic connectivity within the spinal dorsal horn. [source]

    3-Nitropropionic acid: a mitochondrial toxin to uncover physiopathological mechanisms underlying striatal degeneration in Huntington's disease

    Emmanuel Brouillet
    Abstract Huntington's disease (HD) is a neurodegenerative disorder caused by a mutation in the gene encoding Huntingtin. The mechanisms underlying the preferential degeneration of the striatum, the most striking neuropathological change in HD, are unknown. Of those probably involved, mitochondrial defects might play an important role. The behavioural and anatomical similarities found between HD and models using the mitochondrial toxin 3-nitropropionic acid (3NP) in rats and primates support this hypothesis. Here, we discuss the recently identified mechanisms of 3NP-induced striatal degeneration. Two types of important factor have been identified. The first are the ,executioner' components that have direct roles in cell death, such as c-Jun N-terminal kinase and Ca2+ -activated protease calpains. The second are ,environmental' factors, such as glutamate, dopamine and adenosine, which modulate the striatal degeneration induced by 3NP. Interestingly, these recent studies support the hypothesis that 3NP and mutated Huntingtin have certain mechanisms of toxicity in common, suggesting that the use of 3NP might give new insights into the pathogenesis of HD. Research on 3NP provides additional proof that the neurochemical environment of a given neurone can determine its preferential vulnerability in neurodegenerative diseases. [source]

    Decreased expression of glutamate transporters in genetic absence epilepsy rats before seizure occurrence

    Magali Dutuit
    Abstract In absence epilepsy, epileptogenic processes are suspected of involving an imbalance between GABAergic inhibition and glutamatergic excitation. Here, we describe alteration of the expression of glutamate transporters in rats with genetic absence (the Genetic Absence Epilepsy Rats from Strasbourg: GAERS). In these rats, epileptic discharges, recorded in the thalamo-cortical network, appear around 40 days after birth. In adult rats no alteration of the protein expression of the glutamate transporters was observed. In 30-day-old GAERS protein levels (quantified by western blot) were lower in the cortex by 21% and 35% for the glial transporters GLT1 and GLAST, respectively, and by 32% for the neuronal transporter EAAC1 in the thalamus compared to control rats. In addition, the expression and activity of GLAST were decreased by 50% in newborn GAERS cortical astrocytes grown in primary culture. The lack of modification of the protein levels of glutamatergic transporters in adult epileptic GAERS, in spite of mRNA variations (quantified by RT-PCR), suggests that they are not involved in the pathogeny of spike-and-wave discharges. In contrast, the alteration of glutamate transporter expression, observed before the establishment of epileptic discharges, could reflect an abnormal maturation of the glutamatergic neurone,glia circuitry. [source]

    Electrophysiological Identification of the Functional Presynaptic Nerve Terminals on an Isolated Single Vasopressin Neurone of the Rat Supraoptic Nucleus

    T. Ohbuchi
    Release of arginine vasopressin (AVP) and oxytocin from magnocellular neurosecretory cells (MNCs) of the supraoptic nucleus (SON) is under the control of glutamate-dependent excitation and GABA-dependent inhibition. The possible role of the synaptic terminals attached to SON neurones has been investigated using whole-cell patch-clamp recording in in vitro rat brain slice preparations. Recent evidence has provided new insights into the repercussions of glial environment modifications on the physiology of MNCs at the synaptic level in the SON. In the present study, excitatory glutamatergic and inhibitory GABAergic synaptic inputs were recorded from an isolated single SON neurone cultured for 12 h, using the whole-cell patch clamp technique. Neurones expressed an AVP-enhanced green fluorescent protein (eGFP) fusion gene in MNCs. In addition, native synaptic terminals attached to a dissociated AVP-eGFP neurone were visualised with synaptic vesicle markers. These results suggest that the function of presynaptic nerve terminals may be evaluated directly in a single AVP-eGFP neurone. These preparations would be helpful in future studies aiming to electrophysiologically distinguish between the functions of synaptic terminals and glial modifications in the SON neurones. [source]

    Hypothalamic Control of Anterior Pituitary Function: A History

    H. Charlton
    The concept of neurohumoral control of anterior pituitary function championed by Geoffrey Harris was based upon clinical and biological observation backed by rigorous experimental testing. The areas of the brain involved in the control of gonadotrophic hormone synthesis and release were identified by electrical stimulation, lesioning and fibre tract cutting. The medial preoptic area (MPOA) proved to be a major integrating centre, with axon terminals from this region terminating at the median eminence releasing factors into the portal vessels to give a direct route from brain to pituitary. It took over a decade before the gonadotrophic hormone-releasing hormone (GnRH) was isolated, sequenced and synthesised. With antibodies raised against this peptide, the MPOA was identified as a site rich in GnRH neurones and the hormone was detected at high levels in portal blood extracts. A natural knockout of the GnRH gene was discovered in a hypogonadal (hpg) mouse. Hormone injections, gene replacement methods and neural grafting in these mutants all confirmed the central role of GnRH in reproduction. The modern techniques of molecular biology have allowed us to extend our knowledge base. In the last few years the role of kisspeptin and its receptor (GPR54) in the control of the GnRH neurone has added a further level of hypothalamic involvement in the modulation of reproduction. [source]

    Expression of Three Gene Families Encoding Cell,Cell Communication Molecules in the Prepubertal Nonhuman Primate Hypothalamus

    A. E. Mungenast
    Abstract Transsynaptic and glial,neuronal communication are important components of the mechanism underlying the pubertal activation of luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH) secretion. The molecules required for the architectural organization of these cell,cell interactions have not been identified. We now show that the hypothalamus of the prepubertal female rhesus monkey expresses a multiplicity of genes encoding three families of adhesion/signalling proteins involved in the structural definition of both neurone-to-neurone and bi-directional neurone,glia communication. These include the neurexin/neuroligin (NRX/NRL) and protocadherin-, (PCDH,) families of synaptic specifiers/adhesion molecules, and key components of the contactin-dependent neuronal,glial adhesiveness complex, including contactin/F3 itself, the contactin-associated protein-1 (CASPR1), and the glial receptor protein tyrosine phosphatase ,. Prominently expressed among members of the NRX family is the neurexin isoform involved in the specification of glutamatergic synapses. Although NRXs, PCDH,s and CASPR1 transcripts are mostly detected in neurones, the topography of expression appears different. NRX1 mRNA-containing neurones are scattered throughout the hypothalamus, PCDH, mRNA transcripts appear more abundant in neurones of the arcuate nucleus and periventricular region, and neurones positive for CASPR1 mRNA exhibit a particularly striking distribution pattern that delineates the hypothalamus. Examination of LHRH neurones, using the LHRH-secreting cell line GT1-7, showed that these cells contain transcripts encoding NRXs and one of their ligands (NRL1), at least one PCDH, (CNR-8/PCDH,10), and the CASPR1/contactin complex. The results indicate that the prepubertal female monkey hypothalamus contains a plethora of adhesion/signalling molecules with different but complementary functions, and that an LHRH neuronal cell line expresses key components of this structural complex. The presence of such cell,cell communication machinery in the neuroendocrine brain suggests an integrated participation of their individual components in the central control of female sexual development. [source]

    Synaptic structure, distribution, and circuitry in the central nervous system of the locust and related insects

    Alan Hugh David Watson
    Abstract The Orthopteran central nervous system has proved a fertile substrate for combined morphological and physiological studies of identified neurons. Electron microscopy reveals two major types of synaptic contacts between nerve fibres: chemical synapses (which predominate) and electrotonic (gap) junctions. The chemical synapses are characterized by a structural asymmetry between the pre- and postsynaptic electron dense paramembranous structures. The postsynaptic paramembranous density defines the extent of a synaptic contact that varies according to synaptic type and location in single identified neurons. Synaptic bars are the most prominent presynaptic element at both monadic and dyadic (divergent) synapses. These are associated with small electron lucent synaptic vesicles in neurons that are cholinergic or glutamatergic (round vesicles) or GABAergic (pleomorphic vesicles). Dense core vesicles of different sizes are indicative of the presence of peptide or amine transmitters. Synapses are mostly found on small-diameter neuropilar branches and the number of synaptic contacts constituting a single physiological synapse ranges from a few tens to several thousand depending on the neurones involved. Some principles of synaptic circuitry can be deduced from the analysis of highly ordered brain neuropiles. With the light microscope, synaptic location can be inferred from the distribution of the presynaptic protein synapsin I. In the ventral nerve cord, identified neurons that are components of circuits subserving known behaviours, have been studied using electrophysiology in combination with light and electron microscopy and immunocytochemistry of neuroactive compounds. This has allowed the synaptic distribution of the major classes of neurone in the ventral nerve cord to be analysed within a functional context. Microsc. Res. Tech. 56:210,226, 2002. © 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

    Dopamine transporter: Basic aspects and neuroimaging

    Paola P. Piccini MD
    Abstract The plasma membrane dopamine transporter (DAT) is found exclusively in dopamine neurones and seems to be the defining molecule of the dopamine neurone. It provides effective control over the intensity of dopamine-mediated signalling by recapturing the neurotransmitter released by presynaptic neurones. Positron emission tomography (PET) and single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) represent unique techniques for assessing in vivo DAT distribution in humans and offer reliable methods for studying nigrostriatal dopaminergic function in health and disease. The characteristics of different DAT radiotracers, the modifying influences of factors such as age, gender, smoking habit, and dopaminergic drugs on DAT transporters as well as their implication in evaluation of neuroimaging studies are discussed. © 2003 Movement Disorder Society [source]

    Retrograde tracing of enteric neuronal pathways

    S. J. H. Brookes
    Neuroanatomical tracing techniques, and retrograde labelling in particular, are widely used tools for the analysis of neuronal pathways in the central and peripheral nervous system. Over the last 10 years, these techniques have been used extensively to identify enteric neuronal pathways. In combination with multiple-labelling immunohistochemistry, quantitative data about the projections and neurochemical profile of many functional classes of cells have been acquired. These data have revealed a high degree of organization of the neuronal plexuses, even though the different classes of nerve cell bodies appear to be randomly assorted in ganglia. Each class of neurone has a predictable target, length and polarity of axonal projection, a particular combination of neurochemicals in its cell body and distinctive morphological characteristics. The combination of retrograde labelling with targeted intracellular recording has made it possible to target small populations of cells that would rarely be sampled during random impalements. These neuroanatomical techniques have also been applied successfully to human tissue and are gradually unravelling the complexity of the human enteric nervous system. [source]

    Review: Autophagy in neurodegeneration: firefighter and/or incendiarist?

    A. Rami
    Autophagy is an intracellular bulk degradation system that is found ubiquitously in eukaryotes. Autophagy is responsible for the degradation of most long-lived proteins and some organelles. Cytoplasmic constituents, including organelles, are sequestered into double-membrane autophagosomes, which subsequently fuse with lysosomes where their contents are degraded. This system has been implicated in various physiological processes including protein and organelle turnover, stress response, cellular differentiation, programmed cell death and pathological conditions. Defects in the autophagy machinery might have several consequences, as they have been associated with neurodegenerative disease and different forms of cancer. Thus, autophagy occupies a crucial position within the cell's metabolism, and its modulation may represent an alternative therapeutic strategy in several pathological settings including stroke, Alzheimer's, Huntington's, Parkinson's diseases and cancer. Recently, research has begun to identify some characteristics of neuronal autophagy. The results suggest that autophagy may provide a neuroprotective mechanism. However, there is evidence showing that dysfunction of autophagy in certain pathological situations can trigger and mediate programmed cell death. Autophagy has also been defined as prime suspect cause of non-apoptotic cellular demise. However, there is now mounting evidence that autophagy and apoptosis share several common regulatory elements that are crucial in any attempt to understand the dual role of autophagy in cell death and cell survival. It will be of fundamental importance to dissect whether autophagy is primarily a strategy for survival or whether autophagy can also be a part of a cell death programme and thus contribute to cell death. Many questions are open. Is autophagy a direct death execution pathway? Is autophagy an innocent bystander? Is autophagy a defence mechanism or just a scavenger or self-clearance tool in the cell? A profound understanding of the biological effects and the mechanisms underlying autophagy in neurones might be helpful in seeking effective new treatments for neurodegenerative diseases. Here, we review the defining characteristics of autophagy with special attention to its role in neurodegenerative disorders, and recent efforts to delineate the pathway of autophagic protein degradation in neurone. [source]

    OLIG-1 and 2 gene expression and oligodendroglial tumours

    K. Hoang-Xuan
    OLIG 1/2 genes encode basic helix-loop-helix transcription factors that play a critical role in motor neurone and oligodendrocyte fate specification during development. Two recent studies in which OLIG transcripts were detected by in situ hybridization have reported a high expression of the OLIG genes in oligodendrogliomas. This suggests that the detection of these lineage markers could become an adjunct to the classic morphological diagnosis of these tumours. There are problems in the diagnosis of oligodendroglioma. To date, all other known oligodendrocyte lineage markers have failed to label specifically neoplastic oligodendrocytes. Deletions on chromosome 1p and 19q are much more frequent in oligodendrogliomas than in astrocytomas but these molecular alterations are not constant. For the future, when routinely available, immunohistochemical techniques using anti-OLIG antibodies on paraffin embedded tissues will allow a systematic study of a large series of tumours so that we will know the specificity and sensitivity of this investigation in diagnosis. At another level, it is possible that expression of OLIG in neoplastic oligodendrocyte might participate in the oncogenesis of oligodendrogliomas. Initial work suggests that this is probably not the case. However further in vitro and in vivo studies analysing the functional consequence of OLIG overexpression in terms of proliferation and tumour progression are needed. [source]

    Oviposition by Lobesia botrana is stimulated by sugars detected by contact chemoreceptors

    Nevile Maher
    Abstract., The influence of glucose, fructose and sucrose on oviposition site selection by Lobesia botrana is studied by combining behavioural and electrophysiological experiments. Oviposition choice assays, using surrogate grapes treated with grape berry surface extracts of Vitis vinifera cv. Merlot at different development stages, show that L. botrana females are most stimulated by extracts of mature berries containing the highest concentrations of glucose and fructose. Choice assays reveal that the oviposition response to these sugars is dose-dependant (with a threshold of the applied solution = 10 mm and a maximum stimulation at 1 m) and that females are more sensitive to fructose than to glucose. Tarsal contact-chemoreceptor sensilla are unresponsive to stimulation with sugars but the ovipositor sensilla contain at least one neurone most sensitive to fructose and sucrose with a threshold of approximately 0.5 mm. Corresponding to the behavioural data, glucose is significantly less stimulatory to sensilla than fructose or sucrose. It is argued that fructose may be of special importance for herbivorous insects exploiting fruit as an oviposition site. [source]

    Synchronization of enteric neuronal firing during the murine colonic MMC

    Nick J. Spencer
    DiI (1,1,didodecyl-3,3,3,,3,-tetramethylindocarbecyanine perchlorate) retrograde labelling and intracellular electrophysiological techniques were used to investigate the mechanisms underlying the generation of spontaneously occurring colonic migrating myoelectric complexes (colonic MMCs) in mice. In isolated, intact, whole colonic preparations, simultaneous intracellular electrical recordings were made from pairs of circular muscle (CM) cells during colonic MMC activity in the presence of nifedipine (1,2 ,m). During the intervals between colonic MMCs, spontaneous inhibitory junction potentials (IJPs) were always present. The amplitudes of spontaneous IJPs were highly variable (range 1,20 mV) and occurred asynchronously in the two CM cells, when separated by 1 mm in the longitudinal axis. Colonic MMCs occurred every 151 ± 7 s in the CM and consisted of a repetitive discharge of cholinergic rapid oscillations in membrane potential (range: 1,20 mV) that were superimposed on a slow membrane depolarization (mean amplitude: 9.6 ± 0.5 mV; half-duration: 25.9 ± 0.7 s). During the rising (depolarizing) phase of each colonic MMC, cholinergic rapid oscillations occurred simultaneously in both CM cells, even when the two electrodes were separated by up to 15 mm along the longitudinal axis of the colon. Smaller amplitude oscillations (< 5 mV) showed poor temporal correlation between two CM cells, even at short electrode separation distances (i.e. < 1 mm in the longitudinal axis). When the two electrodes were separated by 20 mm, all cholinergic rapid oscillations and IJPs in the CM (regardless of amplitude) were rarely, if ever, coordinated in time during the colonic MMC. Cholinergic rapid oscillations were blocked by atropine (1 ,m) or tetrodotoxin (1 ,m). Slow waves were never recorded from any CM cells. DiI labelling showed that the maximum projection length of CM motor neurones and interneurones along the bowel was 2.8 mm and 13 mm, respectively. When recordings were made adjacent to either oral or anal cut ends of the colon, the inhibitory or excitatory phases of the colonic MMC were absent, respectively. In summary, during the colonic MMC, cholinergic rapid oscillations of similar amplitudes occur simultaneously in two CM cells separated by large distances (up to 15 mm). As this distance was found to be far greater than the projection length of any single CM motor neurone, we suggest that the generation of each discrete cholinergic rapid oscillation represents a discreet cholinergic excitatory junction potential (EJP) that involves the synaptic activation of many cholinergic motor neurones simultaneously, by synchronous firing in many myenteric interneurones. Our data also suggest that ascending excitatory and descending inhibitory nerve pathways interact and reinforce each other. [source]

    Contributions of the input signal and prior activation history to the discharge behaviour of rat motoneurones

    R. K. Powers
    The principal computational operation of neurones is the transformation of synaptic inputs into spike train outputs. The probability of spike occurrence in neurones is determined by the time course and magnitude of the total current reaching the spike initiation zone. The features of this current that are most effective in evoking spikes can be determined by injecting a Gaussian current waveform into a neurone and using spike-triggered reverse correlation to calculate the average current trajectory (ACT) preceding spikes. The time course of this ACT (and the related first-order Wiener kernel) provides a general description of a neurone's response to dynamic stimuli. In many different neurones, the ACT is characterized by a shallow hyperpolarizing trough followed by a more rapid depolarizing peak immediately preceding the spike. The hyperpolarizing phase is thought to reflect an enhancement of excitability by partial removal of sodium inactivation. Alternatively, this feature could simply reflect the fact that interspike intervals that are longer than average can only occur when the current is lower than average toward the end of the interspike interval. Thus, the ACT calculated for the entire spike train displays an attenuated version of the hyperpolarizing trough associated with the long interspike intervals. This alternative explanation for the characteristic shape of the ACT implies that it depends upon the time since the previous spike, i.e. the ACT reflects both previous stimulus history and previous discharge history. The present study presents results based on recordings of noise-driven discharge in rat hypoglossal motoneurones that support this alternative explanation. First, we show that the hyperpolarizing trough is larger in ACTs calculated from spikes preceded by long interspike intervals, and minimal or absent in those based on short interspike intervals. Second, we show that the trough is present for ACTs calculated from the discharge of a threshold-crossing neurone model with a postspike afterhyperpolarization (AHP), but absent from those calculated from the discharge of a model without an AHP. We show that it is possible to represent noise-driven discharge using a two-component linear model that predicts discharge probability based on the sum of a feedback kernel and a stimulus kernel. The feedback kernel reflects the influence of prior discharge mediated by the AHP, and it increases in amplitude when AHP amplitude is increased by pharmacological manipulations. Finally, we show that the predictions of this model are virtually identical to those based on the first-order Wiener kernel. This suggests that the Wiener kernels derived from standard white-noise analysis of noise-driven discharge in neurones actually reflect the effects of both stimulus and discharge history. [source]

    Prostaglandin I2 sensory input into the enteric nervous system during distension-induced colonic chloride secretion in rat colon

    ACTA PHYSIOLOGICA, Issue 3 2010
    J. D. Schulzke
    Abstract Aim:, Intestinal pressure differences or experimental distension induce ion secretion via the enteric nervous system, the sensorial origin of which is only poorly understood. This study aimed to investigate sensorial inputs and the role of afferent and interneurones in mechanically activated submucosal secretory reflex circuits. Methods:, Distension-induced rheogenic chloride secretion was measured as increase in short-circuit current 10 min after distension (,ISC10; distension parameters ± 100 ,L, 2 Hz, 20 s) in partially stripped rat distal colon in the Ussing-chamber in vitro. PGE2 and PGI2 were measured by radioimmunoassay. Results:, ,ISC10 was 2.0 ± 0.2 ,mol h,1 cm,2 and could be attenuated by lobeline, mecamylamine and dimethylphenylpiperazine, indicating an influence of nicotinergic interneurones. Additionally, a contribution of afferent neurones was indicated from the short-term potentiation of ,ISC10 by capsaicin (1 ,m). As evidence for its initial event, indomethacin (1 ,m) inhibited distension-induced secretion and the release of PGI2 was directly detected after distension. Furthermore, serotoninergic mediation was confirmed by granisetron (100 ,m) which was functionally localized distally to PGI2 in this reflex circuit, as granisetron inhibited an iloprost-induced ISC, while indomethacin did not affect serotonin-activated ion secretion. Conclusions:, Distension-induced active electrogenic chloride secretion in rat colon is mediated by a neuronal reflex circuit which includes afferent neurones and nicotinergic interneurones. It is initiated by distension-induced PGI2 release from subepithelial cells triggering this reflex via serotoninergic 5-HT3 receptor transmission. Functionally, this mechanism may help to protect against intestinal stasis but could also contribute to luminal fluid loss, e.g. during intestinal obstruction. [source]

    Changes in presumed motor cortical activity during fatiguing muscle contraction in humans

    ACTA PHYSIOLOGICA, Issue 3 2010
    T. Seifert
    Abstract Aim:, Changes in sensory information from active muscles accompany fatiguing exercise and the force-generating capacity deteriorates. The central motor commands therefore must adjust depending on the task performed. Muscle potentials evoked by transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) change during the course of fatiguing muscle activity, which demonstrates activity changes in cortical or spinal networks during fatiguing exercise. Here, we investigate cortical mechanisms that are actively involved in driving the contracting muscles. Methods:, During a sustained submaximal contraction (30% of maximal voluntary contraction) of the elbow flexor muscles we applied TMS over the motor cortex. At an intensity below motor threshold, TMS reduced the ongoing muscle activity in biceps brachii. This reduction appears as a suppression at short latency of the stimulus-triggered average of rectified electromyographic (EMG) activity. The magnitude of the suppression was evaluated relative to the mean EMG activity during the 50 ms prior to the cortical stimulus. Results:, During the first 2 min of the fatiguing muscle contraction the suppression was 10 ± 0.9% of the ongoing EMG activity. At 2 min prior to task failure the suppression had reached 16 ± 2.1%. In control experiments without fatigue we did not find a similar increase in suppression with increasing levels of ongoing EMG activity. Conclusion:, Using a form of TMS which reduces cortical output to motor neurones (and disfacilitates them), this study suggests that neuromuscular fatigue increases this disfacilitatory effect. This finding is consistent with an increase in the excitability of inhibitory circuits controlling corticospinal output. [source]

    Modulation and metamodulation of synapses by adenosine

    ACTA PHYSIOLOGICA, Issue 2 2010
    J. A. Ribeiro
    Abstract The presence of adenosine in all nervous system cells (neurones and glia) together with its intensive release following insults makes adenosine as a sort of ,regulator' of synaptic communication, leading to the homeostatic coordination of brain function. Besides the direct actions of adenosine on the neurosecretory mechanisms, to tune neurotransmitter release, adenosine receptors interact with other receptors as well as with transporters as part of its attempt to fine-tune synaptic transmission. This review will focus on examples of the different ways adenosine can use to modulate or metamodulate synapses, in other words, to trigger or brake the action of some neurotransmitters and neuromodulators, to cross-talk with other G protein-coupled receptors, with ionotropic receptors and with receptor kinases as well as with transporters. Most of these interactions occur through A2A receptors, which in spite of their low density in some brain areas, such as the hippocampus, may function as amplifiers of the signalling of other mediators at synapses. [source]

    Extracellular cAMP inhibits P2X3 receptors in rat sensory neurones through G protein-mediated mechanism

    ACTA PHYSIOLOGICA, Issue 2 2010
    M. V. Mamenko
    Abstract Aim:, To identify the mechanisms of P2X3 receptor inhibition by extracellular cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) in rat dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurones. Methods:, Whole-cell currents were measured in cultured DRG neurones using the combination of voltage and concentration clamp. Results:, We have found that extracellular cAMP inhibits P2X3 -mediated currents in a concentration- and use-dependent manner. The P2X3 currents, activated by ATP applied every 4 min, were inhibited by 55% in the presence of 10 ,m cAMP and by 81% in the presence of 30 ,m cAMP. At 8 min interval between ATP applications the same concentration of cAMP did not alter the currents. Addition of 0.5 mm of guanosine 5,- O -(2-thiodiphosphate) to intracellular solution blocked the inhibitory action of cAMP. The inhibitory effects of cAMP were not mimicked by extracellular application of 30 ,m adenosine. Conclusions:, In this paper, we demonstrate, for the first time, that extracellular application of cAMP to rat sensory neurones inhibits P2X3 receptors via a G protein-coupled mechanism in a use-dependent manner, thus indicating the neuronal expression of specific plasmalemmal cAMP receptor. [source]

    Diadenosine tetraphosphate protects sympathetic terminals from 6-hydroxydopamine-induced degeneration in the eye

    ACTA PHYSIOLOGICA, Issue 2 2010
    C. H. V. Hoyle
    Abstract Aims:, To examine diadenosine tetraphosphate (Ap4A) for its ability to protect the eye from neurodegeneration induced by subconjunctival application of 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA). Methods:, Intraocular neurodegeneration of anterior structures was induced by subconjunctival injections of 6-OHDA. Animals were pre-treated with topical corneal applications of Ap4A or saline. Results:, 6-OHDA caused miosis, abnormal pupillary light reflexes, a precipitous drop in intraocular pressure and loss of VMAT2-labelled (vesicle monoamine transporter-2, a marker for sympathetic neurones) intraocular neurones. Pre-treatment with Ap4A prevented all of these changes from being induced by 6-OHDA, demonstrably preserving the sympathetic innervation of the ciliary processes. This neuroprotective action of Ap4A was not shared with the related compounds adenosine, ATP or diadenosine pentaphosphate. P2-receptor antagonists showed that the effects of Ap4A were mediated via a P2-receptor. Conclusion:, Ap4A is a natural component of tears and aqueous humour, and its neuroprotective effect indicates that one of its physiological roles is to maintain neurones within the eye. Ap4A can prevent the degeneration of intraocular nerves, and it is suggested that this compound may provide the basis for a therapeutic intervention aimed at preventing or ameliorating the development of glaucoma associated with neurodegenerative diseases. Furthermore, subconjunctival application of 6-OHDA provides a useful model for studying diseases that cause ocular sympathetic dysautonomia. [source]

    A decade of hypocretins: past, present and future of the neurobiology of arousal

    ACTA PHYSIOLOGICA, Issue 3 2010
    L. De Lecea
    Abstract In 1998, two groups independently identified the hypocretins, also known as orexins, as two hypothalamic peptides derived from the same precursor expressed in a few thousand neurones restricted to the perifornical area. A decade later, an amazing set of discoveries has demonstrated a key role for this neurotransmitter system in arousal and beyond. Here I review some of the experiments that led to these discoveries and the implications in the neurobiology of the hypothalamus and our understanding of brain arousal. [source]

    Hypocretin/orexin and narcolepsy: new basic and clinical insights

    ACTA PHYSIOLOGICA, Issue 3 2010
    S. Nishino
    Abstract Narcolepsy is a chronic sleep disorder, characterized by excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS), cataplexy, sleep paralysis and hypnagogic hallucinations. Both sporadic (95%) and familial (5%) forms of narcolepsy exist in humans. The major pathophysiology of human narcolepsy has been recently discovered based on the discovery of narcolepsy genes in animals; the genes involved in the pathology of the hypocretin/orexin ligand and its receptor. Mutations in hypocretin-related genes are rare in humans, but hypocretin ligand deficiency is found in a large majority of narcolepsy with cataplexy. Hypocretin ligand deficiency in human narcolepsy is probably due to the post-natal cell death of hypocretin neurones. Although a close association between human leucocyte antigen (HLA) and human narcolepsy with cataplexy suggests an involvement of autoimmune mechanisms, this has not yet been proved. Hypocretin deficiency is also found in symptomatic cases of narcolepsy and EDS with various neurological conditions, including immune-mediated neurological disorders, such as Guillain,Barre syndrome, MA2-positive paraneoplastic syndrome and neuromyelitis optica (NMO)-related disorder. The findings in symptomatic narcoleptic cases may have significant clinical relevance to the understanding of the mechanisms of hypocretin cell death and choice of treatment option. The discoveries in human cases lead to the establishment of the new diagnostic test of narcolepsy (i.e. low cerebrospinal fluid hypocretin-1 levels for ,narcolepsy with cataplexy' and ,narcolepsy due to medical condition'). As a large majority of human narcolepsy patients are ligand deficient, hypocretin replacement therapy may be a promising new therapeutic option, and animal experiments using gene therapy and cell transplantations are in progress. [source]

    Activation of the basal forebrain by the orexin/hypocretin neurones

    ACTA PHYSIOLOGICA, Issue 3 2010
    E. Arrigoni
    Abstract The orexin neurones play an essential role in driving arousal and in maintaining normal wakefulness. Lack of orexin neurotransmission produces a chronic state of hypoarousal characterized by excessive sleepiness, frequent transitions between wake and sleep, and episodes of cataplexy. A growing body of research now suggests that the basal forebrain (BF) may be a key site through which the orexin-producing neurones promote arousal. Here we review anatomical, pharmacological and electrophysiological studies on how the orexin neurones may promote arousal by exciting cortically projecting neurones of the BF. Orexin fibres synapse on BF cholinergic neurones and orexin-A is released in the BF during waking. Local application of orexins excites BF cholinergic neurones, induces cortical release of acetylcholine and promotes wakefulness. The orexin neurones also contain and probably co-release the inhibitory neuropeptide dynorphin. We found that orexin-A and dynorphin have specific effects on different classes of BF neurones that project to the cortex. Cholinergic neurones were directly excited by orexin-A, but did not respond to dynorphin. Non-cholinergic BF neurones that project to the cortex seem to comprise at least two populations with some directly excited by orexin-A that may represent wake-active, GABAergic neurones, whereas others did not respond to orexin-A but were inhibited by dynorphin and may be sleep-active, GABAergic neurones. This evidence suggests that the BF is a key site through which orexins activate the cortex and promote behavioural arousal. In addition, orexins and dynorphin may act synergistically in the BF to promote arousal and improve cognitive performance. [source]