[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Negatively charged sialic acid residues located close to pores of voltage-gated sodium channels substantially influence their gating properties. The in vitro low Mg²⁺ seizure model is used to emulate difficult-to-treat status epilepticus. Using this model on cultured hippocampal slices, we examined the effectiveness of desialylation in reducing persistent seizure-like activity. We show that desialylation in cultured hippocampal slices effectively suppresses seizure-like activity induced by low Mg²⁺. These findings suggest that targeting negatively charged sialic acids may be an effective strategy to treat status epilepticus.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Synaptic activity, such as long-term potentiation (LTP), has been shown to induce morphological plasticity of excitatory synapses on dendritic spines through the spine head and postsynaptic density (PSD) enlargement and reorganization. Much less, however, is known about activity-induced morphological modifications of inhibitory synapses. Using an in vitro model of rat organotypic hippocampal slice cultures and electron microscopy, we studied activity-related morphological changes of somatic inhibitory inputs triggered by a brief oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD) episode, a condition associated with a synaptic enhancement referred to as anoxic LTP and a structural remodeling of excitatory synapses. Three-dimensional reconstruction of inhibitory axo-somatic synapses at different times before and after brief OGD revealed important morphological changes. The PSD area significantly and markedly increased at synapses with large and complex PSDs, but not at synapses with simple, macular PSDs. Activity-related changes of PSD size and presynaptic bouton volume developed in a strongly correlated manner. Analyses of single and serial sections further showed that the density of inhibitory synaptic contacts on the cell soma did not change within 1 h after OGD. In contrast, the proportion of the cell surface covered with inhibitory PSDs, as well as the complexity of these PSDs significantly increased, with less macular PSDs and more complex, segmented shapes. Together, these data reveal a rapid activity-related restructuring of somatic inhibitory synapses characterized by an enlargement and increased complexity of inhibitory PSDs, providing a new mechanism for a quick adjustment of the excitatory-inhibitory balance. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled 'Synaptic Plasticity & Interneurons'.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Polysialic acids are widely distributed in neuronal tissue. Due to their position on glycoproteins and gangliosides on the outer cell membranes and anionic nature, polysialic acids are involved in multiple cell signaling events. The level of sialylation of the cellular surface is regulated by endogenous neuraminidase (NEU), which catalyses the hydrolysis of terminal sialic acid residues. Using the specific blocker of endogenous NEU, N-acetyl-2,3-dehydro-2-deoxyneuraminic acid (NADNA), we show that downregulation of the endogenous NEU activity causes a significant increase in the level of hippocampal tissue sialylation. Acute application of NADNA increased the firing frequency and amplitude of spontaneous synchronous oscillations, and frequency of multiple unit activity in cultured hippocampal slices. The tonic phase of seizure-like activity in the low-magnesium model of ictogenesis was significantly increased in slices pretreated with NADNA. These data indicate that the degree of synchronization is influenced by the amount of active NEU in cultured hippocampal slices. Pretreatment with NADNA led to an increase of the density of simple and perforated synapses in the hippocampal CA1 stratum radiatum region. Co-incubation of slices with NADNA and high concentrations of calcium eliminated the effect of the NEU blocker on synaptic density, suggesting that synaptogenesis observed following downregulation of the endogenous NEU activity is an activity-dependent process.
European Journal of Neuroscience 10/2010; 32(11):1889-96. · 3.75 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Patterns of activity that induce synaptic plasticity at excitatory synapses, such as long-term potentiation, result in structural remodeling of the postsynaptic spine, comprising an enlargement of the spine head and reorganization of the postsynaptic density (PSD). Furthermore, spine synapses represent complex functional units in which interaction between the presynaptic varicosity and the postsynaptic spine is also modulated by surrounding astroglial processes. To investigate how activity patterns could affect the morphological interplay between these three partners, we used an electron microscopic (EM) approach and 3D reconstructions of excitatory synapses to study the activity-related morphological changes underlying induction of synaptic potentiation by theta burst stimulation or brief oxygen/glucose deprivation episodes in hippocampal organotypic slice cultures. EM analyses demonstrated that the typical glia-synapse organization described in in vivo rat hippocampus is perfectly preserved and comparable in organotypic slice cultures. Three-dimensional reconstructions of synapses, classified as simple or complex depending upon PSD organization, showed significant changes following induction of synaptic potentiation using both protocols. The spine head volume and the area of the PSD significantly enlarged 30 min and 1 h after stimulation, particularly in large synapses with complex PSD, an effect that was associated with a concomitant enlargement of presynaptic terminals. Furthermore, synaptic activity induced a pronounced increase of the glial coverage of both pre- and postsynaptic structures, these changes being prevented by application of the NMDA receptor antagonist D-2-amino-5-phosphonopentanoic acid. These data reveal dynamic, activity-dependent interactions between glial processes and pre- and postsynaptic partners and suggest that glia can participate in activity-induced structural synapse remodeling.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Relatively mild ischemic episode can initiate a chain of events resulting in delayed cell death and significant lesions in the affected brain regions. We studied early synaptic modifications after brief ischemia modeled in rats by transient vessels' occlusion in vivo or oxygen-glucose deprivation in vitro and resulting in delayed death of hippocampal CA1 pyramidal cells. Electron microscopic analysis of excitatory spine synapses in CA1 stratum radiatum revealed a rapid increase of the postsynaptic density (PSD) thickness and length, as well as formation of concave synapses with perforated PSD during the first 24 h after ischemic episode, followed at the long term by degeneration of 80% of synaptic contacts. In presynaptic terminals, ischemia induced a depletion of synaptic vesicles and changes in their spatial arrangement: they became more distant from active zones and had larger intervesicle spacing compared to controls. These rapid structural synaptic changes could be implicated in the mechanisms of cell death or adaptive plasticity. Comparison of the in vivo and in vitro model systems used in the study demonstrated a general similarity of these early morphological changes, confirming the validity of the in vitro model for studying synaptic structural plasticity.