[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Purkinje cells (PC) control spike timing of neighboring PC by their recurrent axon collaterals. These synapses underlie fast cerebellar oscillations and are characterized by a strong facilitation within a time window of <20 ms during paired-pulse protocols. PC express high levels of the fast Ca(2+) buffer protein calbindin D-28k (CB). As expected from the absence of a fast Ca(2+) buffer, presynaptic action potential-evoked [Ca(2+)]i transients were previously shown to be bigger in PC boutons of young (second postnatal week) CB-/- mice, yet IPSC mean amplitudes remained unaltered in connected CB-/- PC. Since PC spine morphology is altered in adult CB-/- mice (longer necks, larger spine head volume), we summoned that morphological compensation/adaptation mechanisms might also be induced in CB-/- PC axon collaterals including boutons. In these mice, biocytin-filled PC reconstructions revealed that the number of axonal varicosities per PC axon collateral was augmented, mostly confined to the granule cell layer. Additionally, the volume of individual boutons was increased, evidenced from z-stacks of confocal images. EM analysis of PC-PC synapses revealed an enhancement in active zone (AZ) length by approximately 23%, paralleled by a higher number of docked vesicles per AZ in CB-/- boutons. Moreover, synaptic cleft width was larger in CB-/- (23.8 ± 0.43 nm) compared to wild type (21.17 ± 0.39 nm) synapses. We propose that the morphological changes, i.e., the larger bouton volume, the enhanced AZ length and the higher number of docked vesicles, in combination with the increase in synaptic cleft width likely modifies the GABA release properties at this synapse in CB-/- mice. We view these changes as adaptation/homeostatic mechanisms to likely maintain characteristics of synaptic transmission in the absence of the fast Ca(2+) buffer CB. Our study provides further evidence on the functioning of the Ca(2+) homeostasome.
Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience 11/2014; 8:364. · 4.18 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The striatum is the main input structure to the basal ganglia and consists mainly out of medium spiny neurons. The numerous spines on their dendrites render them capable of integrating cortical glutamatergic inputs with a motivational dopaminergic signal that originates in the midbrain. This integrative function is thought to underly attribution of incentive salience, a process that is severely disrupted in schizophrenic patients. Phosphodiesterase 10A (PDE10A) is located mainly to the striatal medium spiny neurons and hydrolyses cAMP and cGMP, key determinants of MSN signaling. We show here that genetic depletion of PDE10A critically mediates attribution of salience to reward-predicting cues, evident in impaired performance in PDE10A knockout mice in an instrumentally conditioned reinforcement task. We furthermore report disrupted latent inhibition in PDE10A knockout mice, yet prepulse inhibition remained unaltered. We suggest that the lack of effect on PPI is due to the pre-attentional nature of this task. Finally, we performed whole-cell patch clamp recordings and confirm suggested changes in intrinsic membrane excitability. A decrease in spontaneous firing in striatal medium spiny neurons was found. These data show that PDE10A plays a pivotal role in striatal signaling and striatum-mediated salience attribution.
Behavioural brain research 03/2014; · 3.22 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The striatopallidal (STP) and striatonigral (STN) neurons constitute the main neuronal populations of the striatum. Despite the increasing knowledge concerning their involvement in multiple tasks associated with the striatum, it is still challenging to understand the precise differential functions of these two neuronal populations and to identify and study new genes involved in these functions. Here, we describe a reliable approach, applied on adult mouse brain, to generate specific STP and STN neuron gene profiles. STP and STN neurons were identified in the same animal using the transgenic Adora2A-Cre × Z/EG mouse model combined with retrograde labeling, respectively. Gene profiling was generated from FACS-purified neurons leading to the identification of new STP and STN neuron-specific genes. Knock-down models based on Cre-dependent lentiviral vector were developed to investigate their function either in striatal or in STP neurons. Thereby, we demonstrate that ecto-5'-nucleotidase (NT5e) is specifically expressed in STP neurons and is at the origin of most of the extracellular adenosine produced in the striatum. Behavioral analysis of striatal and STP neuron knock-down mouse models as well as NT5e knock-out mice demonstrates the implication of this STP neuron enzyme in motor learning.
Journal of Neuroscience 05/2013; 33(20):8794-809. · 6.75 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Striatal fast spiking interneurons (FSI) modulate the output of the striatum by synchronizing medium-sized spiny neurons (MSN). Recent studies have broadened our understanding of FSI, showing that they are implicated in severe motor disorders such as Parkinsonism, dystonia and Tourette syndrome. FSI are the only striatal neurons to express the calcium-binding protein parvalbumin (PV). This selective expression of PV raises questions about the functional role of this Ca(2+) buffer in controlling FSI Ca(2+) dynamics, and, consequently, the FSI spiking mode and neurotransmission. To study the functional involvement of FSI in striatal microcircuit activity and the role of PV in FSI function, we performed perforated patch recordings on EGFP-expressing FSI in brain slices from control and PV-/- mice. Our results revealed that PV-/- FSI fired more regularly and were more excitable than control FSI by a mechanism in which Ca(2+) buffering is linked to spiking activity as the result of the activation of small conductance (SK) Ca(2+) -dependent K+ channels. A modeling approach of striatal FSI supports our experimental results. Furthermore, PV deletion modified frequency-specific short-term plasticity at inhibitory FSI to MSN synapses. Our results therefore support the hypothesis that in FSI, PV is crucial for the fine-tuning of the temporal responses of the FSI network and for the orchestration of MSN populations. This, in turn, may play a direct role in the generation and pathology-related worsening of motor rhythms.
The Journal of Physiology 04/2013; · 4.38 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: SV2C is an isoform of the synaptic vesicle 2 protein family that exhibits a particular pattern of brain expression with enriched expression in several basal ganglia nuclei. In the present study, we have investigated SV2C implication in both normal and pathological basal ganglia functioning with a peculiar attention to dopamine neuron containing regions. In SV2C-/- mice, the expression of tyrosine hydroxylase mRNA in midbrain dopaminergic neurons was largely and significantly increased and enkephalin mRNA expression was significantly decreased in the caudate-putamen and accumbens nucleus. The expression of SV2C was studied in two models of dopaminergic denervation (6-OHDA- and MPTP-induced lesions). In dopamine-depleted animals, SV2C mRNA expression was significant increased in the striatum. In order to further understand the role of SV2C, we performed behavioral experiments on SV2C-/- mice and on knock-down mice receiving an injection of adeno-associated virus expressing SV2C miRNA specifically in the ventral midbrain. These modifications of SV2C expression had little or no impact on behavior in open field and elevated plus maze. However, even if complete loss of SV2C had no impact on conditioned place preference induced by cocaine, the specific knock-down of SV2C expression in the dopaminergic neurons completely abolished the development of a CPP while the reaction to an acute drug injection remains similar in these mice compared to control mice. These results showed that SV2C, a poorly functionally characterized protein is strongly involved in normal operation of the basal ganglia network and could be also involved in system adaptation in basal ganglia pathological conditions.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The study of human cortical development has major implications for brain evolution and diseases but has remained elusive due to paucity of experimental models. Here we found that human embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), cultured without added morphogens, recapitulate corticogenesis leading to the sequential generation of functional pyramidal neurons of all six layer identities. After transplantation into mouse neonatal brain, human ESC-derived cortical neurons integrated robustly and established specific axonal projections and dendritic patterns corresponding to native cortical neurons. The differentiation and connectivity of the transplanted human cortical neurons complexified progressively over several months in vivo, culminating in the establishment of functional synapses with the host circuitry. Our data demonstrate that human cortical neurons generated in vitro from ESC/iPSC can develop complex hodological properties characteristic of the cerebral cortex in vivo, thereby offering unprecedented opportunities for the modeling of human cortex diseases and brain repair. VIDEO ABSTRACT:
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Adenosine A2A receptors (A2ARs) in the nucleus accumbens (Acb) have been demonstrated to play an important role in the arousal effect of adenosine receptor antagonist caffeine, and may be involved in physiological sleep. To better understand the functions of these receptors in sleep, projections of A2AR neurons were mapped utilizing adeno-associated virus (AAV) encoding humanized Renilla green fluorescent protein (hrGFP) as a tracer for long axonal pathways. The Cre-dependent AAV was injected into the core (AcbC) and shell (AcbSh) of the Acb in A2AR-Cre mice. Immunohistochemistry was then used to visualize hrGFP, highlighting the perikarya of the A2AR neurons in the injection sites, and their axons in projection regions. The data revealed that A2AR neurons exhibit medium-sized and either round or elliptic perikarya with their processes within the Acb. Moreover, the projections from the Acb distributed to nuclei in the forebrain, diencephalon, and brainstem. In the forebrain, A2AR neurons from all Acb sub-regions jointly projected to the ventral pallidum, the nucleus of the diagonal band, and the substantia innominata. Heavy projections from the AcbC and the ventral AcbSh, and weaker projections from the medial AcbSh, were observed in the lateral hypothalamus and lateral preoptic area. In the brainstem, the Acb projections were found in the ventral tegmental area, while AcbC and ventral AcbSh also projected to the median raphe nucleus, the dorsal raphe nucleus, and the ventrolateral periaqueductal gray. The results supply a solid base for understanding the roles of the A2AR and A2AR neurons in the Acb, especially in the regulation of sleep.
Frontiers in Neuroanatomy 01/2013; 7:43. · 4.18 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Neuronal signal integration as well as synaptic transmission and plasticity highly depend on the morphology of dendrites and their spines. Nogo-A is a membrane protein enriched in the adult central nervous system (CNS) myelin, where it restricts the capacity of axons to grow and regenerate after injury. Nogo-A is also expressed by certain neurons, in particular during development, but its physiological function in this cell type is less well understood. We addressed this question in the cerebellum, where Nogo-A is transitorily highly expressed in the Purkinje cells (PCs) during early postnatal development. We used general genetic ablation (KO) as well as selective overexpression of Nogo-A in PCs to analyze its effect on dendritogenesis and on the formation of their main input synapses from parallel (PFs) and climbing fibers (CFs). PC dendritic trees were larger and more complex in Nogo-A KO mice and smaller than in wild-type in Nogo-A overexpressing PCs. Nogo-A KO resulted in premature soma-to-dendrite translocation of CFs and an enlargement of the CF territory in the molecular layer during development. Although spine density was not influenced by Nogo-A, the size of postsynaptic densities of PF-PC synapses was negatively correlated with the Nogo-A expression level. Electrophysiological studies revealed that Nogo-A negatively regulates the strength of synaptic transmission at the PF-PC synapse. Thus, Nogo-A appears as a negative regulator of PC input synapses, which orchestrates cerebellar connectivity through regulation of synapse morphology and the size of the PC dendritic tree.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 12/2012; · 9.81 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The coupling distance between presynaptic Ca(2+) influx and the sensor for vesicular transmitter release determines speed and reliability of synaptic transmission [1, 2]. Nanodomain coupling (<100 nm) favors fidelity [1, 2] and is employed by synapses specialized for escape reflexes  and by inhibitory synapses involved in synchronizing fast network oscillations . Cortical glutamatergic synapses seem to forgo the benefits of tight coupling [4-6], yet quantitative detail is lacking [2, 7]. The reduced transmission fidelity of loose coupling, however, raises the question whether it is indeed a general characteristic of cortical synapses. Here we analyzed excitatory parallel fiber to Purkinje cell synapses, major processing sites for sensory information  and well suited for analysis because they typically harbor only a single active zone . We quantified the coupling distance by combining multiprobability fluctuation analyses, presynaptic Ca(2+) imaging, and reaction-diffusion simulations in wild-type and calretinin-deficient mice. We found a coupling distance of <30 nm at these synapses, much shorter than at any other glutamatergic cortical synapse investigated to date. Our results suggest that nanodomain coupling is a general characteristic of conventional cortical synapses involved in high-frequency transmission, allowing for dense gray matter packing and cost-effective neurotransmission.
Current biology: CB 12/2012; · 10.99 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Friedreich's ataxia (FRDA) is a recessive neurodegenerative disorder commonly associated with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. FRDA is due to expanded GAA repeats within the first intron of the gene encoding frataxin, a conserved mitochondrial protein involved in iron-sulfur cluster biosynthesis. This mutation leads to partial gene silencing and substantial reduction of the frataxin level. To overcome limitations of current cellular models of FRDA, we derived induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) from two FRDA patients and successfully differentiated them into neurons and cardiomyocytes, two affected cell types in FRDA. All FRDA iPSC lines displayed expanded GAA alleles prone to high instability and decreased levels of frataxin, but no biochemical phenotype was observed. Interestingly, both FRDA iPSC-derived neurons and cardiomyocytes exhibited signs of mitochondrial function impairment, with decreased mitochondrial membrane potential and progressive mitochondrial degeneration, respectively. Our data show for the first time that FRDA iPSCs and their neuronal and cardiac derivatives represent promising models to study mitochondrial damages and GAA expansion instability in FRDA.
Disease Models and Mechanisms 11/2012; · 4.96 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The function of the phosphoinositide 5-phosphatase Ship2 was investigated in a new mouse model expressing a germline catalytically-inactive Ship2(∆/∆) mutant protein. Ship2(∆/∆) mice were viable with defects in somatic growth and in development of muscle, adipose tissue and female genital tract. Lipid metabolism and insulin secretion were also affected in these mice, but glucose tolerance, insulin sensitivity and insulin-induced PKB phosphorylation were not. We expected that the expression of the catalytically inactive Ship2 protein in PI 3'-kinase-defective p110α(D933A/+) mice would counterbalance the phenotypes of parental mice by restoring normal PKB signaling but, for most of the parameters tested, this was not the case. Indeed, often, the Ship2(∆/∆) phenotype had a dominant effect over the p110α(D933A/+) phenotype and, sometimes, there was a surprising additive effect of both mutations. p110α(D933A/+)Ship2(∆/∆) mice still displayed a reduced PKB phosphorylation in response to insulin, compared to wild type mice yet had a normal glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity, like the Ship2(∆/∆) mice. Together, our results suggest that the Ship2(∆/∆) phenotype is not dependent on an overstimulated class I PI 3-kinase-PKB signaling pathway and thus, indirectly, that it may be more dependent on the lack of Ship2-produced phosphatidylinositol 3,4-bisphosphate and derived phosphoinositides.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Calcium binding proteins, such as parvalbumin (PV), are abundantly expressed in distinctive patterns in the central nervous system but their physiological function remains poorly understood. Notably, at the level of the striatum, where PV is only expressed in the fast-spiking (FS) interneurons. FS interneurons form an inhibitory network modulating the output of the striatum by synchronizing medium-sized spiny neurons (MSN). So far the existing conductance-based computational models for FS neurons did not allow the study of the coupling between PV concentration and electrical activity. In the present paper, we propose a new mathematical model for the striatal FS interneurons that includes apamin-sensitive small conductance Ca(2+)-dependent K(+) channels (SK) and the presence of a calcium buffer. Our results show that a variation in the concentration of PV can modulate substantially the intrinsic excitability of the FS interneurons and therefore may be involved in the information processing at the striatal level.
Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience 01/2012; 5:78.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The dorsal striatum is critically involved in a variety of motor behaviours, including regulation of motor activity, motor skill learning and motor response to psychostimulant and neuroleptic drugs, but contribution of D(2)R-striatopallidal and D(1)R-striatonigral neurons in the dorsomedial (DMS, associative) and dorsolateral (DLS, sensorimotor) striatum to distinct functions remains elusive. To delineate cell type-specific motor functions of the DMS or the DLS, we selectively ablated D(2)R- and D(1)R-expressing striatal neurons with spatial resolution. We found that associative striatum exerts a population-selective control over locomotion and reactivity to novelty, striatopallidal and striatonigral neurons inhibiting and stimulating exploration, respectively. Further, DMS-striatopallidal neurons are involved only in early motor learning whereas gradual motor skill acquisition depends on striatonigral neurons in the sensorimotor striatum. Finally, associative striatum D(2)R neurons are required for the cataleptic effect of the typical neuroleptic drug haloperidol and for amphetamine motor response sensitization. Altogether, these data provide direct experimental evidence for cell-specific topographic functional organization of the dorsal striatum.
The EMBO Journal 11/2011; 31(3):640-53. · 10.75 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The contribution of neuronal dysfunction to neurodegeneration is studied in a mouse model of spinocerebellar ataxia type 1 (SCA1) displaying impaired motor performance ahead of loss or atrophy of cerebellar Purkinje cells. Presymptomatic SCA1 mice show a reduction in the firing rate of Purkinje cells (both in vivo and in slices) associated with a reduction in the efficiency of the main glutamatergic synapse onto Purkinje cells and with increased A-type potassium current. The A-type potassium channel Kv4.3 appears to be internalized in response to glutamatergic stimulation in Purkinje cells and accumulates in presymptomatic SCA1 mice. SCA1 mice are treated with aminopyridines, acting as potassium channel blockers to test whether the treatment could improve neuronal dysfunction, motor behavior, and neurodegeneration. In acutely treated young SCA1 mice, aminopyridines normalize the firing rate of Purkinje cells and the motor behavior of the animals. In chronically treated old SCA1 mice, 3,4-diaminopyridine improves the firing rate of Purkinje cells, the motor behavior of the animals, and partially protects against cell atrophy. Chronic treatment with 3,4-diaminopyridine is associated with increased cerebellar levels of BDNF, suggesting that partial protection against atrophy of Purkinje cells is possibly provided by an increased production of growth factors secondary to the reincrease in electrical activity. Our data suggest that aminopyridines might have symptomatic and/or neuroprotective beneficial effects in SCA1, that reduction in the firing rate of Purkinje cells can cause cerebellar ataxia, and that treatment of early neuronal dysfunction is relevant in neurodegenerative disorders such as SCA1.
Journal of Neuroscience 08/2011; 31(33):11795-807. · 6.75 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The potassium channel tetramerization domain-containing protein 7 (KCTD7) was named after the structural homology of its predicted N-terminal broad complex, tramtrack and bric à brac/poxvirus and zinc finger domain with the T1 domain of the Kv potassium channel, but its expression profile and cellular function are still largely unknown. We have recently reported a homozygous nonsense mutation of KCTD7 in patients with a novel form of autosomal recessive progressive myoclonic epilepsy. Here, we show that KCTD7 expression hyperpolarizes the cell membrane and reduces the excitability of transfected neurons in patch clamp experiments. We found the expression of KCTD7 in the hippocampal and Purkinje cells of the murine brain, an expression profile consistent with our patients' phenotype. The effect on the plasma membrane resting potential is possibly mediated by Cullin-3, as we demonstrated direct molecular interaction of KCTD7 with Cullin-3 in co-immunoprecipitation assays. Our data link progressive myoclonic epilepsy to an inherited defect of the neuron plasma membrane's resting potential in the brain.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Synaptic vesicle 2 proteins (SV2), SV2A, SV2B and SV2C, are integral proteins localized on the surface of synaptic vesicles in all neurons. SV2 proteins appear to play an important, but not yet fully understood role in synaptic vesicle exocytosis and neurotransmitter release. Moreover, SV2 seems to be the receptor of the botulinum neurotoxin A. In the present study, using single and double-labeling fluorescent immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization we have identified the brain pattern of SV2C mRNA and protein expression in mice. Our results indicated that SV2C protein was expressed in a small subset of brain regions including the olfactory bulb, olfactory tubercle, nucleus accumbens, caudate-putamen, ventral pallidum, globus pallidus, substantia nigra and the ventral tegmental area. These results were confirmed by means of in situ hybridization, except for the globus pallidus and the substantia nigra pars reticulata, in which no labeling was found, suggesting that SV2C-positive fibers in these areas are terminals of striatal projecting neurons. In the striatum, we found that, in addition to its presence in the projection neurons, SV2C was densely expressed in a fraction (around 45%) of cholinergic interneurons. In addition, our data also showed that SV2C was densely expressed in most dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta and the ventral tegmental area (more than 70% of the dopaminergic neurons analyzed were SV2C-positive). Altogether, our results suggest that SV2C may contribute to the regulation of neurotransmitter release and synaptic transmission in the basal ganglia including cholinergic striatal interneurons and nigro-striatal/mesolimbic dopamine neurons.
Brain research 01/2011; 1367:130-45. · 2.83 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The striatum is critically involved in motor and motivational functions. The dorsal striatum, caudate-putamen, is primarily implicated in motor control and the learning of habits and skills, whereas the ventral striatum, the nucleus accumbens, is essential for motivation and drug reinforcement. The GABA medium-sized spiny neurons (MSNs, about 95% of striatal neurons), which are targets of the cerebral cortex and the midbrain dopaminergic neurons, form two pathways. The dopamine D(1) receptor-positive (D(1)R) striatonigral MSNs project to the medial globus pallidus and substantia nigra pars reticulata (direct pathway) and co-express D(1)R and substance P, whereas dopamine D(2) receptor-positive (D(2)R) striatopallidal MSNs project to the lateral globus pallidus (indirect pathway) and co-express D(2)R, adenosine A(2A) receptor (A(2A)R) and enkephalin (Enk). The specific role of the two efferent pathways in motor and motivational control remained poorly understood until recently. Indeed, D(1)R striatonigral and D(2)R striatopallidal neurons, are intermingled and morphologically indistinguishable, and, hence, cannot be functionally dissociated with techniques such as chemical lesions or surgery. In view of the still debated respective functions of projection D(2)R striatopallidal and D(1)R striatonigral neurons and striatal interneurons, both in motor control and learning but also in more cognitive processes such as motivation, the present review sum up the development of new models and techniques (bacterial artificial chromosome transgenesis, optogenetic, viral transgenesis) allowing the selective targeting of these striatal neuronal populations in adult animal brain to understand their specific roles.
Frontiers in Neuroanatomy 01/2011; 5:40. · 4.18 Impact Factor