Transsynaptic activity-dependent regulation of axon branching and neurotrophin expression in vivo.
ABSTRACT The two major classes of activity-dependent neuroplasticity predict different consequences of activity alteration on circuit response. Hebbian plasticity (positive feedback) posits that alteration of neuronal activity causes a parallel response within a circuit. In contrast, homeostatic plasticity (negative feedback) predicts that altering neuronal activity results in compensatory responses within a circuit. The relative roles of these modes of plasticity in vivo are unclear, since neuronal circuits are difficult to manipulate in the intact organism. In this study, we tested the in vivo effects of activity deprivation in the superior cervical ganglion-pineal circuit of adult rats, which can be noninvasively silenced by exposing animals to constant light. We demonstrated that total deprivation of sympathetic activity markedly decreased the presence of axonal proteins in the pineal and reduced the density and thickness of sympathetic axonal arbors. In addition, we demonstrated that sympathetic inactivity eliminated pineal function and markedly decreased pineal expression of neurotrophins. Administration of β-adrenergic agonist restored the expression of presynaptic and postsynaptic proteins. Furthermore, compensatory axonal growth through collateral sprouting, normally seen following unilateral denervation of the pineal, was profoundly impaired in the absence of neural activity. Thus, these data suggest that sympathetic axonal terminals are maintained by neural activity that induces neurotrophins, which may act through a retrograde mechanism to preserve the integrity of axonal arbors via a positive feedback loop. Conversely, by using Hebbian-like neuroplasticity, silent yet intact circuits enter a hibernation mode marked by reduction of presynaptic axonal structures and dramatically reduced postsynaptic expression of neurotrophins.
Article: Temporal patterning of song production: participation of nucleus uvaeformis of the thalamus.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Birdsong is a learned vocal behavior used in intraspecific communication. The motor pathway serving learned vocalizations includes the forebrain nuclei NIf, HVC, and RA; RA projects to midbrain and brain stem areas that control the temporal and acoustic features of song. Nucleus Uvaeformis of the thalamus (Uva) sends input to two of these forebrain nuclei (NIf and HVC) but has not been thought to be important for song production. We used three experimental approaches to reexamine Uva's function in adult male zebra finches. (1) Electrical stimulation applied to Uva activated HVC and the vocal motor pathway, including tracheosyringeal motor neurons that innervate the bird's vocal organ. (2) Bilateral lesions of Uva including the dorso-medial portion of the nucleus affected the normal temporal organization of song. (3) Chronic multiunit recordings from Uva during normal song and calls show bursts of premotor activity that lead the onset of some song components, and also larger bursts that mark the end of complete song motifs. These results implicate Uva in the production of learned vocalizations, and further suggest that Uva contributes more to the temporal structure than to the acoustic characteristics of song.Journal of Neurobiology 08/1993; 24(7):903-12. · 3.05 Impact Factor
Article: An enzyme-linked immunoassay for nerve growth factor (NGF): a tool for studying regulatory mechanisms involved in NGF production in brain and in peripheral tissues.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: A sensitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for nerve growth factor (NGF) has been developed. The sensitivity of this assay (0.1 pg/well) permits the quantification of endogenous immunoreactive NGF in the peripheral nervous system and the CNS. Studies on the regulatory mechanisms involved in NGF production indicate that, in addition to neurally mediated mechanisms, other stimuli, e.g., inflammation, significantly contribute to NGF production.Journal of Neurochemistry 07/1987; 48(6):1779-86. · 4.06 Impact Factor