Gulcan Akgul

Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, New York, United States

Are you Gulcan Akgul?

Claim your profile

Publications (6)26.71 Total impact

  • Gulcan Akgul, Lonnie P Wollmuth
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Fast-spiking parvalbumin (PV)-positive interneurons in layers 2/3 of the visual cortex regulate gain control and tuning of visual processing. Synapse-associated protein 97 (SAP97) belongs to a family of proteins that have been implicated in regulating glutamatergic synaptic transmission at pyramidal-to-pyramidal connections in the nervous system. For PV interneurons in mouse visual cortex, the expression of SAP97 is developmentally regulated, being expressed in almost all juvenile but only a fraction, ∼40%, of adult PV interneurons. Using whole-cell patch-clamping, single-cell RT-PCR to assay endogenous expression of SAP97 and exogenous expression of SAP97, we investigated the functional significance of SAP97 in PV interneurons in layers 2/3 of the visual cortex. PV interneurons expressing SAP97, either endogenously or via exogenous expression, showed distinct membrane properties from those not expressing SAP97. This included an overall decrease in membrane excitability, as indexed by a decrease in membrane resistance and an increase in the stimulus threshold for the first action potential firing. Additionally, SAP97-expressing PV interneurons fired action potentials more frequently and, at moderate stimulus intensities, showed irregular or stuttering firing patterns. Furthermore, SAP97-expressing PV interneurons showed increased glutamatergic input and more extensive dendritic branching when compared with non-expressing PV interneurons. These differences in membrane and synaptic properties would significantly alter how PV interneurons expressing SAP97 compared with those not expressing SAP97 would function in local networks. Thus, our results indicate that the scaffolding protein SAP97 is a critical molecular factor regulating the input-output relationships of cortical PV interneurons.
    Journal of Neuroscience 07/2013; 33(31):12739-50. · 6.91 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Microglia are the immunocompetent cells of the central nervous system. In the physiological setting, their highly motile processes continually survey the local brain parenchyma and transiently contact synaptic elements. Although recent work has shown that the interaction of microglia with synapses contributes to synaptic remodeling during development, the role of microglia in synaptic physiology is just starting to get explored. To assess this question, we employed an electrophysiological approach using two methods to manipulate microglia in culture: organotypic hippocampal brain slices in which microglia were depleted using clodronate liposomes, and cultured hippocampal neurons to which microglia were added. We show here that the frequency of excitatory postsynaptic current increases in microglia-depleted brain slices, consistent with a higher synaptic density, and that this enhancement ensures from the loss of microglia since it is reversed when the microglia are replenished. Conversely, the addition of microglia to neuronal cultures decreases synaptic activity and reduces the density of synapses, spine numbers, surface expression of AMPA receptor (GluA1), and levels of synaptic adhesion molecules. Taken together, our findings demonstrate that non-activated microglia acutely modulate synaptic activity by regulating the number of functional synapses in the central nervous system.
    PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(2):e56293. · 3.53 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The input, processing, and output characteristics of inhibitory interneurons help shape information flow through layers 2/3 of the visual cortex. Parvalbumin (PV) positive interneurons are a major type of interneuron that modulate and synchronize the gain and dynamic responsiveness of pyramidal neurons. To define the diversity of PV interneurons in layers 2/3 of the developing visual cortex, we characterized their passive and active membrane properties. Using Ward's and k-means multidimensional clustering, we identified four PV interneuron subgroups. The most notable difference between the subgroups was their firing patterns in response to moderate stimuli just above rheobase. Two subgroups showed regular and continuous firing at all stimulus intensities above rheobase. The difference between these two continuously firing subgroups was that one fired at much higher frequencies and transitioned into this high frequency firing rate at or near rheobase. The two other subgroups showed irregular, stuttering firing patterns just above rheobase. Both of these subgroups typically transitioned to regular and continuous firing at intense stimulations, but one of these subgroups, the strongly stuttering subgroup, showed irregular firing across a wider range of stimulus intensities and firing frequencies. The four subgroups also differed in excitatory synaptic input, providing independent support for the classification of subgroups. The subgroups of PV interneurons identified here would respond differently to inputs of varying intensity and frequency, generating diverse patterns of PV inhibition in the developing neural circuit.
    Journal of Neurophysiology 12/2012; · 3.30 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Ionotropic glutamate receptors (GluRs) are ligand-gated ion channels with a modular structure. The ion channel itself shares structural similarity, albeit an inverted membrane topology, with P-loop channels. Like P-loop channels, prokaryotic GluR subunits (e.g. GluR0) have two transmembrane segments. In contrast, eukaryotic GluRs have an additional transmembrane segment (M4), located C-terminal to the ion channel core. However, the structural/functional significance of this additional transmembrane segment is poorly defined. Although topologically similar to GluR0, mammalian AMPA receptor (GluA1) subunits lacking the M4 segment do not display surface expression. This lack of expression is not due to the M4 segment serving as an anchor to the ligand-binding domain because insertion of an artificial polyleucine transmembrane segment does not rescue surface expression. Specific interactions between M4 and the ligand-binding domain are also unlikely because insertion of polyglycines into the linker connecting them has no deleterious effects on function or surface expression. However, tryptophan and cysteine scanning mutagenesis of the M4 segment, as well as recovery of function in the polyleucine background, defined a unique face of the M4 helix that is required for GluR surface expression. In the AMPA receptor structure, this face forms intersubunit contacts with the transmembrane helices of the ion channel core (M1 and M3) from another subunit within the homotetramer. Thus, our experiments show that a highly specific interaction of the M4 segment with an adjacent subunit is required for surface expression of AMPA receptors. This interaction may represent a mechanism for regulating AMPA receptor biogenesis.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 09/2011; 286(46):40205-18. · 4.65 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Ionotropic glutamate receptors (GluRs) are ligand-gated ion channels with a modular structure. The ion channel itself shares structural similarity, albeit an inverted membrane topology, with P-loop channels. Like P-loop channels, prokaryotic GluR subunits (e.g., GluR0) have two transmembrane segments. In contrast, eukaryotic GluRs have an additional transmembrane segment (M4), located C-terminal to the ion channel core. However, the structural/functional significance of this additional transmembrane segment is poorly defined. Although topologically similar to GluR0, mammalian AMPA receptor (GluA1) subunits lacking the M4 segment do not display surface expression. This lack of expression is not due to the M4 segment serving as an anchor to the ligand-binding domain since insertion of an artificial polyleucine transmembrane segment does not rescue surface expression. Specific interactions between M4 and the ligand-binding domain are also unlikely since insertion of polyglycines into the linker connecting them has no deleterious effects on function or surface expression. On the other hand, tryptophan and cysteine scanning mutagenesis of the M4 segment, as well as recovery of function in the polyleucine background, defined a unique face of the M4 helix that is required for GluR surface expression. In the AMPA receptor structure, this face forms intersubunit contacts with the transmembrane helices of the ion channel core (M1 and M3) from another subunit within the homotetramer. Thus, our experiments show that a highly specific interaction of the M4 segment with an adjacent subunit is required for surface expression of AMPA receptors. This interaction may represent a mechanism for regulating AMPA receptor biogenesis.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 09/2011; · 4.65 Impact Factor
  • Source
    Gulcan Akgul, Lonnie P Wollmuth
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: GABAergic interneurons are key elements regulating the activity of local circuits, and abnormal inhibitory circuits are implicated in certain psychiatric and neurodevelopmental diseases. The glutamatergic input that interneurons receive is a key determinant of their activity, yet its molecular structure and development, which are often distinct from those of glutamatergic input to pyramidal cells, are poorly defined. The membrane-associated guanylate kinase (MAGUK) homologs PSD-95/SAP90, PSD-93/chapsyn110, SAP97, and SAP102 are central organizers of the postsynaptic density at excitatory synapses on pyramidal neurons. We therefore studied the cell-type-specific and developmental expression of MAGUKs in the nonoverlapping parvalbumin (PV)- and somatostatin (SOM)-positive interneurons in the visual cortex. These interneuron subtypes account for the vast majority of interneurons in the cortex and have different functional properties and postsynaptic structures, being either axodendritic (PV(+)) or axospinous (SOM(+)). To study cell-type-specific MAGUK expression, we used DIG-labeled riboprobes against each MAGUK along with antibodies against either PV or SOM and examined tissue from juvenile (P15) and adult mice. Both PV(+) and SOM(+) interneurons express mRNA for PSD-95, PSD-93, and SAP102 in P15 and adult tissue. In contrast, these interneuron subtypes express SAP97 at P15, but for adult visual cortex we found that most PV(+) and SOM(+) interneurons show low or no expression of SAP97. Given the importance of SAP97 in regulating AMPA receptor GluA1 subunit and NMDA receptor subunits at glutamatergic synapses, these results suggest a developmental shift in glutamate receptor subunit composition and regulation of glutamatergic synapses on PV(+) and SOM(+) interneurons.
    The Journal of Comparative Neurology 12/2010; 518(24):4842-54. · 3.66 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

31 Citations
26.71 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2010–2012
    • Stony Brook University
      Stony Brook, New York, United States
    • Molecular and Cellular Biology Program
      Seattle, Washington, United States