[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The structural organization of neural circuits is strongly influenced by experience, but the underlying mechanisms are incompletely understood. We found that, in the developing dentate gyrus (DG), excitatory drive promotes the somatic innervation of principal granule cells (GCs) by parvalbumin (PV)-positive bas-ket cells. In contrast, presynaptic differentiation of GCs and interneuron subtypes that inhibit GC den-drites is largely resistant to loss of glutamatergic neurotransmission. The networks of PV basket cells in the DG are regulated by vesicular release from pro-jection entorhinal cortical neurons and, at least in part, by NMDA receptors in interneurons. Finally, we present evidence that glutamatergic inputs and NMDA receptors regulate these networks through a presynaptic mechanism that appears to control the branching of interneuron axons. Our results provide insights into how cortical activity tunes the inhibition in a subcortical circuit and reveal new principles of interneuron plasticity. INTRODUCTION
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The precise outgrowth and arborization of dendrites is crucial for their function as integrators of signals relayed from axons and, hence, the functioning of the brain. Proper dendritic differentiation is particularly resonant for Purkinje cells as the intrinsic activity of this cell-type is governed by functionally distinct regions of its dendritic tree. Activity-dependent mechanisms, driven by electrical signaling and trophic factors, account for the most active period of dendritogenesis. An as yet unexplored trophic modulator of Purkinje cell dendritic development is corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) and family member, urocortin, both of which are localized in climbing fibers. Here, we use rat organotypic cerebellar slice cultures to investigate the roles of CRF and urocortin on Purkinje cell dendritic development. Intermittent exposure (12 h per day for 10 days in vitro) of CRF and urocortin induced significantly more dendritic outgrowth (45% and 70%, respectively) and elongation (25% and 15%, respectively) compared with untreated cells. Conversely, constant exposure to CRF and urocortin significantly inhibited dendritic outgrowth. The trophic effects of CRF and urocortin are mediated by the protein kinase A and mitogen-activating protein kinase pathways. The study shows unequivocally that CRF and urocortin are potent regulators of dendritic development. However, their stimulatory or inhibitory effects are dependent upon the degree of expression of these peptides. Furthermore, the effects of CRF and urocortin on neuronal differentiation and re-modeling may provide a cellular basis for pathologies such as major depression, which show perturbations in the expression of these stress peptides.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Impaired wound healing is a major source of morbidity in diabetic patients. Poor outcome has, in part, been related to increased inflammation, poor angiogenesis, and deficiencies in extracellular matrix components. Despite the enormous impact of these chronic wounds, effective therapies are lacking. Here we showed that the topical application of recombinant matricellular protein ANGPTL4 accelerated wound re-epithelialisation in diabetic mice, in part, by improving angiogenesis. ANGPTL4 expression is markedly elevated upon normal wound injury. In contrast, ANGPTL4 expression remains low throughout the healing period in diabetic wounds. Exogenous ANGPTL4 modulated several regulatory networks involved in cell migration, angiogenesis and inflammation, as evidenced by an altered gene expression signature. ANGPTL4 influenced the expression profile of endothelial-specific CD31 in diabetic wounds, returning its profile to that observed in wild-type wounds. We showed ANGPTL4 induced nitric oxide production through an integrin/JAK/STAT3-mediated upregulation of iNOS expression in wound epithelia, thus revealing a hitherto unknown mechanism by which ANGPTL4 regulated angiogenesis via keratinocyte-to-endothelial-cell communication. These data show that the replacement of ANGPTL4 may be an effective adjunctive or new therapeutic avenue for treating poor healing wounds. The present finding also confirms that therapeutic angiogenesis remains an attractive treatment modality for diabetic wound healing.
Full-text · Article · Jun 2014 · Molecular Therapy
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Neuronal activity influences genes involved in circuit development and information processing. However, the molecular basis of this process remains poorly understood. We found that HDAC4, a histone deacetylase that shuttles between the nucleus and cytoplasm, controls a transcriptional program essential for synaptic plasticity and memory. The nuclear import of HDAC4 and its association with chromatin is negatively regulated by NMDA receptors. In the nucleus, HDAC4 represses genes encoding constituents of central synapses, thereby affecting synaptic architecture and strength. Furthermore, we show that a truncated form of HDAC4 encoded by an allele associated with mental retardation is a gain-of-function nuclear repressor that abolishes transcription and synaptic transmission despite the loss of the deacetylase domain. Accordingly, mice carrying a mutant that mimics this allele exhibit deficits in neurotransmission, spatial learning, and memory. These studies elucidate a mechanism of experience-dependent plasticity and define the biological role of HDAC4 in the brain.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Glutamatergic synapses are located mostly on dendritic spines in the adult nervous system. The spines serve as postsynaptic compartments, containing components that mediate and control the synaptic signal. Early in development, when glutamatergic synapses are initially forming, waves of excitatory activity pass through many parts of the nervous system and are driven in part by a class of heteropentameric β2-containing nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (β2*-nAChRs). These β2*-nAChRs are widely distributed and, when activated, can depolarize the membrane and elevate intracellular calcium levels in neurons. We show here that β2*-nAChRs are essential for acquisition of normal numbers of dendritic spines during development. Mice constitutively lacking the β2-nAChR gene have fewer dendritic spines than do age-matched wild-type mice at all times examined. Activation of β2*-nAChRs by nicotine either in vivo or in organotypic slice culture quickly elevates the number of spines. RNA interference studies both in vivo and in organotypic culture demonstrate that the β2*-nAChRs act in a cell-autonomous manner to increase the number of spines. The increase depends on intracellular calcium and activation of calcium, calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II. Absence of β2*-nAChRs in vivo causes a disproportionate number of glutamatergic synapses to be localized on dendritic shafts, rather than on spines as occurs in wild type. This shift in synapse location is found both in the hippocampus and cortex, indicating the breadth of the effect. Because spine synapses differ from shaft synapses in their signaling capabilities, the shift observed is likely to have significant consequences for network function.
Full-text · Article · Jun 2012 · The Journal of Neuroscience : The Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience