Jack R Mellor

University of Bristol, Bristol, England, United Kingdom

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Publications (34)335.17 Total impact

  • Encyclopedia of Computational Neuroscience, Edited by Dieter Jaeger, Ranu Jung, 01/2014: chapter 359-1: pages 1-5; Springer New York.
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    ABSTRACT: Inhibition of Arp2/3-mediated actin polymerization by PICK1 is a central mechanism to AMPA receptor (AMPAR) internalization and long-term depression (LTD), although the signaling pathways that modulate this process in response to NMDA receptor (NMDAR) activation are unknown. Here, we define a function for the GTPase Arf1 in this process. We show that Arf1-GTP binds PICK1 to limit PICK1-mediated inhibition of Arp2/3 activity. Expression of mutant Arf1 that does not bind PICK1 leads to reduced surface levels of GluA2-containing AMPARs and smaller spines in hippocampal neurons, which occludes subsequent NMDA-induced AMPAR internalization and spine shrinkage. In organotypic slices, NMDAR-dependent LTD of AMPAR excitatory postsynaptic currents is abolished in neurons expressing mutant Arf1. Furthermore, NMDAR stimulation downregulates Arf1 activation and binding to PICK1 via the Arf-GAP GIT1. This study defines Arf1 as a critical regulator of actin dynamics and synaptic function via modulation of PICK1.
    Neuron 07/2013; 79(2):293-307. · 15.77 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Kainate receptors (KARs) are ionotropic glutamate receptors that also activate noncanonical G-protein-coupled signaling pathways to depress the slow afterhyperpolarization (sAHP). Here we show that long-term depression of KAR-mediated synaptic transmission (KAR LTD) at rat hippocampal mossy fiber synapses relieves inhibition of the sAHP by synaptic transmission. KAR LTD is induced by high-frequency mossy fiber stimulation and natural spike patterns and requires activation of adenosine A2A receptors. Natural spike patterns also cause long-term potentiation of NMDA receptor-mediated synaptic transmission that overrides the effects of KAR LTD on the cellular response to low-frequency synaptic input. However, KAR LTD is dominant at higher frequency synaptic stimulation where it decreases the cellular response by relieving inhibition of the sAHP. Thus we describe a form of glutamate receptor plasticity induced by natural spike patterns whose primary physiological function is to regulate cellular excitability.
    Journal of Neuroscience 05/2013; 33(22):9536-9545. · 6.91 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Postsynaptic Ca2+ transients triggered by neurotransmission at excitatory synapses are a key signaling step for the induction of synaptic plasticity and are typically recorded in tissue slices using two-photon fluorescence imaging with Ca2+-sensitive dyes. The signals generated are small with very low peak signal/noise ratios (pSNRs) that make detailed analysis problematic. Here, we implement a wavelet-based de-noising algorithm (PURE-LET) to enhance signal/noise ratio for Ca2+ fluorescence transients evoked by single synaptic events under physiological conditions. Using simulated Ca2+ transients with defined noise levels, we analyzed the ability of the PURE-LET algorithm to retrieve the underlying signal. Fitting single Ca2+ transients with an exponential rise and decay model revealed a distortion of trise but improved accuracy and reliability of tdecay and peak amplitude after PURE-LET de-noising compared to raw signals. The PURE-LET de-noising algorithm also provided a ~30-dB gain in pSNR compared to ~16-dB pSNR gain after an optimized binomial filter. The higher pSNR provided by PURE-LET de-noising increased discrimination accuracy between successes and failures of synaptic transmission as measured by the occurrence of synaptic Ca2+ transients by ~20% relative to an optimized binomial filter. Furthermore, in comparison to binomial filter, no optimization of PURE-LET de-noising was required for reducing arbitrary bias. In conclusion, the de-noising of fluorescent Ca2+ transients using PURE-LET enhances detection and characterization of Ca2+ responses at central excitatory synapses.
    Biophysical Journal 03/2013; 104(5):1006. · 3.67 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cholinergic septohippocampal projections from the medial septal area to the hippocampus are proposed to have important roles in cognition by modulating properties of the hippocampal network. However, the precise spatial and temporal profile of acetylcholine release in the hippocampus remains unclear making it difficult to define specific roles for cholinergic transmission in hippocampal dependent behaviors. This is partly due to a lack of tools enabling specific intervention in, and recording of, cholinergic transmission. Here, we review the organization of septohippocampal cholinergic projections and hippocampal acetylcholine receptors as well as the role of cholinergic transmission in modulating cellular excitability, synaptic plasticity, and rhythmic network oscillations. We point to a number of open questions that remain unanswered and discuss the potential for recently developed techniques to provide a radical reappraisal of the function of cholinergic inputs to the hippocampus.
    Frontiers in Synaptic Neuroscience 01/2013; 5:2.
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    ABSTRACT: Homeostatic scaling allows neurons to alter synaptic transmission to compensate for changes in network activity. Here, we show that suppression of network activity with tetrodotoxin, which increases surface expression of AMPA receptors (AMPARs), dramatically reduces levels of the deSUMOylating (where SUMO is small ubiquitin-like modifier) enzyme SENP1, leading to a consequent increase in protein SUMOylation. Overexpression of the catalytic domain of SENP1 prevents this scaling effect, and we identify Arc as a SUMO substrate involved in the tetrodotoxin-induced increase in AMPAR surface expression. Thus, protein SUMOylation plays an important and previously unsuspected role in synaptic trafficking of AMPARs that underlies homeostatic scaling.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 05/2012; 287(27):22781-8. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Phosphorylation or SUMOylation of the kainate receptor (KAR) subunit GluK2 have both individually been shown to regulate KAR surface expression. However, it is unknown whether phosphorylation and SUMOylation of GluK2 are important for activity-dependent KAR synaptic plasticity. We found that protein kinase C–mediated phosphorylation of GluK2 at serine 868 promotes GluK2 SUMOylation at lysine 886 and that both of these events are necessary for the internalization of GluK2-containing KARs that occurs during long-term depression of KAR-mediated synaptic transmission at rat hippocampal mossy fiber synapses. Conversely, phosphorylation of GluK2 at serine 868 in the absence of SUMOylation led to an increase in KAR surface expression by facilitating receptor recycling between endosomal compartments and the plasma membrane. Our results suggest a role for the dynamic control of synaptic SUMOylation in the regulation of KAR synaptic transmission and plasticity.
    Nature Neuroscience 04/2012; 15(6):845-52. · 15.25 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Activation of muscarinic acetylcholine receptors (mAChR) facilitates the induction of synaptic plasticity and enhances cognitive function. In the hippocampus, M(1) mAChR on CA1 pyramidal cells inhibit both small conductance Ca(2+)-activated KCa2 potassium channels and voltage-activated Kv7 potassium channels. Inhibition of KCa2 channels facilitates long-term potentiation (LTP) by enhancing Ca(2+)calcium influx through postsynaptic NMDA receptors (NMDAR). Inhibition of Kv7 channels is also reported to facilitate LTP but the mechanism of action is unclear. Here, we show that inhibition of Kv7 channels with XE-991 facilitated LTP induced by theta burst pairing at Schaffer collateral commissural synapses in rat hippocampal slices. Similarly, negating Kv7 channel conductance using dynamic clamp methodologies also facilitated LTP. Negation of Kv7 channels by XE-991 or dynamic clamp did not enhance synaptic NMDAR activation in response to theta burst synaptic stimulation. Instead, Kv7 channel inhibition increased the amplitude and duration of the after-depolarisation following a burst of action potentials. Furthermore, the effects of XE-991 were reversed by re-introducing a Kv7-like conductance with dynamic clamp. These data reveal that Kv7 channel inhibition promotes NMDAR opening during LTP induction by enhancing depolarisation during and after bursts of postsynaptic action potentials. Thus, during the induction of LTP M(1) mAChRs enhance NMDAR opening by two distinct mechanisms namely inhibition of KCa2 and Kv7 channels.
    PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(2):e30402. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    Josef H L P Sadowski, Jack R Mellor
    Frontiers in Neuroscience 01/2012; 6:110.
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    ABSTRACT: The surface expression and regulated endocytosis of kainate (KA) receptors (KARs) plays a critical role in neuronal function. PKC can modulate KAR trafficking, but the sites of action and molecular consequences have not been fully characterized. Small ubiquitin-like modifier (SUMO) modification of the KAR subunit GluK2 mediates agonist-evoked internalization, but how KAR activation leads to GluK2 SUMOylation is unclear. Here we show that KA stimulation causes rapid phosphorylation of GluK2 by PKC, and that PKC activation increases GluK2 SUMOylation both in vitro and in neurons. The intracellular C-terminal domain of GluK2 contains two predicted PKC phosphorylation sites, S846 and S868, both of which are phosphorylated in response to KA. Phosphomimetic mutagenesis of S868 increased GluK2 SUMOylation, and mutation of S868 to a nonphosphorylatable alanine prevented KA-induced SUMOylation and endocytosis in neurons. Infusion of SUMO-1 dramatically reduced KAR-mediated currents in HEK293 cells expressing WT GluK2 or nonphosphorylatable S846A mutant, but had no effect on currents mediated by the S868A mutant. These data demonstrate that agonist activation of GluK2 promotes PKC-dependent phosphorylation of S846 and S868, but that only S868 phosphorylation is required to enhance GluK2 SUMOylation and promote endocytosis. Thus, direct phosphorylation by PKC and GluK2 SUMOylation are intimately linked in regulating the surface expression and function of GluK2-containing KARs.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 11/2011; 108(49):19772-7. · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Hippocampal granule cells transmit information about behaviorally-relevant stimuli to CA3 pyramidal cells via mossy fiber synapses. These synapses express a form of long-term potentiation (mfLTP) that is non-Hebbian and does not require NMDA receptors. mfLTP is thought to be induced and expressed presynaptically, hence, the major determinant of whether mfLTP occurs is activity in the granule cells. However, it remains unclear whether mfLTP can be induced by activity patterns that granule cells exhibit in vivo, and-if so-what context generates these patterns. To address these issues, we examined granule cell activity from in vivo recordings from rats during performance of a delayed nonmatch-to-sample (DNMS) task and found that granule cells exhibit a wide range of spike patterns. In vitro slice experiments in mice demonstrated that some, but not all, of these patterns of activity could induce mfLTP. By further defining the activity thresholds for mfLTP in hippocampal slices, we found that mfLTP can only be induced by spike patterns that fire in high frequency bursts with a low average firing frequency. Using this information, we then screened for suprathreshold bursts of activity during the DNMS task. In a subset of cells, suprathreshold bursts occurred preferentially during the sampling phase of the task. If suprathreshold bursting took place later, during the delay phase, task performance was disrupted. We conclude that mfLTP can be induced by granule cell spike patterns during a memory task, and that the timing of mfLTP induction can predict task performance.
    Hippocampus 11/2011; 21(11):1157-68. · 5.49 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons are highly sensitive to ischemic damage, whereas neighboring CA3 pyramidal neurons are less susceptible. It is proposed that switching of AMPA receptor (AMPAR) subunits on CA1 neurons during an in vitro model of ischemia, oxygen/glucose deprivation (OGD), leads to an enhanced permeability of AMPARs to Ca(2+), resulting in delayed cell death. However, it is unclear whether the same mechanisms exist in CA3 neurons and whether this underlies the differential sensitivity to ischemia. Here, we investigated the consequences of OGD for AMPAR function in CA3 neurons using electrophysiological recordings in rat hippocampal slices. Following a 15 min OGD protocol, a substantial depression of AMPAR-mediated synaptic transmission was observed at CA3 associational/commissural and mossy fiber synapses but not CA1 Schaffer collateral synapses. The depression of synaptic transmission following OGD was prevented by metabotropic glutamate receptor 1 (mGluR1) or A(3) receptor antagonists, indicating a role for both glutamate and adenosine release. Inhibition of PLC, PKC, or chelation of intracellular Ca(2+) also prevented the depression of synaptic transmission. Inclusion of peptides to interrupt the interaction between GluA2 and PICK1 or dynamin and amphiphysin prevented the depression of transmission, suggesting a dynamin and PICK1-dependent internalization of AMPARs after OGD. We also show that a reduction in surface and total AMPAR protein levels after OGD was prevented by mGluR1 or A(3) receptor antagonists, indicating that AMPARs are degraded following internalization. Thus, we describe a novel mechanism for the removal of AMPARs in CA3 pyramidal neurons following OGD that has the potential to reduce excitotoxicity and promote neuroprotection.
    Journal of Neuroscience 08/2011; 31(33):11941-52. · 6.91 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Activity-dependent remodelling of dendritic spines is essential for neural circuit development and synaptic plasticity, but the precise molecular mechanisms that regulate this process are unclear. Activators of Arp2/3-mediated actin polymerisation are required for spine enlargement; however, during long-term depression (LTD), spines shrink via actin depolymerisation and Arp2/3 inhibitors in this process have not yet been identified. Here, we show that PICK1 regulates spine size in hippocampal neurons via inhibition of the Arp2/3 complex. PICK1 knockdown increases spine size, whereas PICK1 overexpression reduces spine size. NMDA receptor activation results in spine shrinkage, which is blocked by PICK1 knockdown or overexpression of a PICK1 mutant that cannot bind Arp2/3. Furthermore, we show that PICK1-Arp2/3 interactions are required for functional hippocampal LTD. This work demonstrates that PICK1 is a novel regulator of spine dynamics. Via Arp2/3 inhibition, PICK1 has complementary yet distinct roles during LTD to regulate AMPA receptor trafficking and spine size, and therefore functions as a crucial factor in both structural and functional plasticity.
    The EMBO Journal 02/2011; 30(4):719-30. · 9.82 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Establishing novel episodic memories and stable spatial representations depends on an exquisitely choreographed, multistage process involving the online encoding and offline consolidation of sensory information, a process that is largely dependent on the hippocampus. Each step is influenced by distinct neural network states that influence the pattern of activation across cellular assemblies. In recent years, the occurrence of hippocampal sharp wave ripple (SWR) oscillations has emerged as a potentially vital network phenomenon mediating the steps between encoding and consolidation, both at a cellular and network level by promoting the rapid replay and reactivation of recent activity patterns. Such events facilitate memory formation by optimising the conditions for synaptic plasticity to occur between contingent neural elements. In this paper, we explore the ways in which SWRs and other network events can bridge the gap between spatiomnemonic processing at cellular/synaptic and network levels in the hippocampus.
    Neural Plasticity 01/2011; 2011:960389. · 2.86 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Muscarinic receptor activation facilitates the induction of synaptic plasticity and enhances cognitive function. However, the specific muscarinic receptor subtype involved and the critical intracellular signaling pathways engaged have remained controversial. Here, we show that the recently discovered highly selective allosteric M(1) receptor agonist 77-LH-28-1 facilitates long-term potentiation (LTP) induced by theta burst stimulation at Schaffer collateral synapses in the hippocampus. Similarly, release of acetylcholine by stimulation of cholinergic fibers facilitates LTP via activation of M(1) receptors. N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) opening during theta burst stimulation was enhanced by M(1) receptor activation, indicating this is the mechanism for LTP facilitation. M(1) receptors were found to enhance NMDAR activation by inhibiting SK channels that otherwise act to hyperpolarize postsynaptic spines and inhibit NMDAR opening. Thus, we describe a mechanism where M(1) receptor activation inhibits SK channels, allowing enhanced NMDAR activity and leading to a facilitation of LTP induction in the hippocampus.
    Neuron 12/2010; 68(5):948-63. · 15.77 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Associative synaptic plasticity is synapse specific and requires coincident activity in pre-synaptic and post-synaptic neurons to activate NMDA receptors (NMDARs). The resultant Ca(2+) influx is the critical trigger for the induction of synaptic plasticity. Given its centrality for the induction of synaptic plasticity, a model for NMDAR activation incorporating the timing of pre-synaptic glutamate release and post-synaptic depolarization by back-propagating action potentials could potentially predict the pre- and post-synaptic spike patterns required to induce synaptic plasticity. We have developed such a model by incorporating currently available data on the timecourse and amplitude of the post-synaptic membrane potential within individual spines. We couple this with data on the kinetics of synaptic NMDARs and then use the model to predict the continuous spine [Ca(2+)] in response to regular or irregular pre- and post-synaptic spike patterns. We then incorporate experimental data from synaptic plasticity induction protocols by regular activity patterns to couple the predicted local peak [Ca(2+)] to changes in synaptic strength. We find that our model accurately describes [Ca(2+)] in dendritic spines resulting from NMDAR activation during pre-synaptic and post-synaptic activity when compared to previous experimental observations. The model also replicates the experimentally determined plasticity outcome of regular and irregular spike patterns when applied to a single synapse. This model could therefore be used to predict the induction of synaptic plasticity under a variety of experimental conditions and spike patterns.
    Frontiers in Synaptic Neuroscience 01/2010; 2:31.
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    Katherine A Buchanan, Jack R Mellor
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    ABSTRACT: Synaptic plasticity has historically been investigated most intensely in the hippocampus and therefore it is somewhat surprising that the majority of studies on spike timing-dependent plasticity (STDP) have focused not in the hippocampus but on synapses in the cortex. One of the major reasons for this bias is the relative ease in obtaining paired electrophysiological recordings from synaptically coupled neurons in cortical slices, in comparison to hippocampal slices. Another less obvious reason has been the difficulty in achieving reliable STDP in the hippocampal slice preparation and confusion surrounding the conditions required. The original descriptions of STDP in the hippocampus was performed on paired recordings from neurons in dissociated or slice cultures utilizing single pairs of presynaptic and postsynaptic spikes and were subsequently replicated in acute hippocampal slices. Further work in several laboratories using conditions that more closely replicate the situation in vivo revealed a requirement for multiple postsynaptic spikes that necessarily complicate the absolute timing rules for STDP. Here we review the hippocampal STDP literature focusing on data from acute hippocampal slice preparations and highlighting apparently contradictory results and the variations in experimental conditions that might account for the discrepancies. We conclude by relating the majority of the available experimental data to a model for STDP induction in the hippocampus based on a critical role for postsynaptic Ca(2+) dynamics.
    Frontiers in Synaptic Neuroscience 01/2010; 2:11.
  • Jack Mellor
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    ABSTRACT: This chapter will discuss what is currently known about synaptic plasticity at glutamatergic synapses in the hippocampus. Hippocampal synaptic plasticity is potentially a vast topic with many thousands of research papers published in the field. However, this chapter will not discuss the detailed molecular mechanisms underlying synaptic plasticity and instead will concentrate on the precise activity patterns required to induce synaptic plasticity. This includes the contribution of presynaptic and postsynaptic spiking and the importance of subthreshold postsynaptic depolarisation. Also, this chapter will attempt to relate various induction protocols to known in vivo patterns of neuronal activity.
    12/2009: pages 163-186;
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    ABSTRACT: In the hippocampus, synaptic strength between pyramidal cells is modifiable by NMDA receptor (NMDAR)-dependent long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD), both of which require coincident presynaptic and postsynaptic activity. In vivo, many pyramidal cells exhibit location-specific activity patterns and are known as "place cells." The combination of these factors suggests that synaptic plasticity will be induced at synapses connecting place cells with overlapping firing fields, because such cells fire coincidentally when the rat is in a specific part of the environment. However, this prediction, which is important for models of how long-term synaptic plasticity can be used to encode space in the hippocampal network, has not been tested. To investigate this, action potential time series recorded simultaneously from place cells in freely moving rats were replayed concurrently into postsynaptic CA1 pyramidal cells and presynaptic inputs during perforated patch-clamp recordings from adult hippocampal slices. Place cell firing patterns induced large, pathway-specific, NMDAR-dependent LTP that was rapidly expressed within a few minutes. However, place-cell LTP was induced only if the two place cells had overlapping firing fields and if the cholinergic tone present in the hippocampus during exploration was restored by bath application of the cholinergic agonist carbachol. LTD was never observed in response to place cell firing patterns. Our findings demonstrate that spike patterns from hippocampal place cells can robustly induce NMDAR-dependent LTP, providing important evidence in support of a model in which spatial distance is encoded as the strength of synaptic connections between place cells.
    Journal of Neuroscience 06/2009; 29(21):6840-50. · 6.91 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Oxygen and glucose deprivation (OGD) induces delayed cell death in hippocampal CA1 neurons via Ca(2+)/Zn(2+)-permeable, GluR2-lacking AMPA receptors (AMPARs). Following OGD, synaptic AMPAR currents in hippocampal neurons show marked inward rectification and increased sensitivity to channel blockers selective for GluR2-lacking AMPARs. This occurs via two mechanisms: a delayed down-regulation of GluR2 mRNA expression and a rapid internalization of GluR2-containing AMPARs during the OGD insult, which are replaced by GluR2-lacking receptors. The mechanisms that underlie this rapid change in subunit composition are unknown. Here, we demonstrate that this trafficking event shares features in common with events that mediate long term depression and long term potentiation and is initiated by the activation of N-methyl-d-aspartic acid receptors. Using biochemical and electrophysiological approaches, we show that peptides that interfere with PICK1 PDZ domain interactions block the OGD-induced switch in subunit composition, implicating PICK1 in restricting GluR2 from synapses during OGD. Furthermore, we show that GluR2-lacking AMPARs that arise at synapses during OGD as a result of PICK1 PDZ interactions are involved in OGD-induced delayed cell death. This work demonstrates that PICK1 plays a crucial role in the response to OGD that results in altered synaptic transmission and neuronal death and has implications for our understanding of the molecular mechanisms that underlie cell death during stroke.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 04/2009; 284(21):14230-5. · 4.65 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

1k Citations
335.17 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2007–2013
    • University of Bristol
      • • Department of Engineering Mathematics
      • • School of Physiology and Pharmacology
      • • Centre for Synaptic Plasticity
      Bristol, England, United Kingdom
  • 2010
    • University College London
      • Department of Neuroscience, Physiology, and Pharmacology
      London, ENG, United Kingdom
  • 2001–2002
    • University of California, San Francisco
      • Department of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology
      San Francisco, CA, United States