Neural Plasticity The latest articles from Hindawi © 2017 , Hindawi Limited . All rights reserved. Pathological Role of Peptidyl-Prolyl Isomerase Pin1 in the Disruption of Synaptic Plasticity in Alzheimer’s Disease Sun, 26 Mar 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Synaptic loss is the structural basis for memory impairment in Alzheimer’s disease (AD). While the underlying pathological mechanism remains elusive, it is known that misfolded proteins accumulate as β-amyloid (Aβ) plaques and hyperphosphorylated Tau tangles decades before the onset of clinical disease. The loss of Pin1 facilitates the formation of these misfolded proteins in AD. Pin1 protein controls cell-cycle progression and determines the fate of proteins by the ubiquitin proteasome system. The activity of the ubiquitin proteasome system directly affects the functional and structural plasticity of the synapse. We localized Pin1 to dendritic rafts and postsynaptic density (PSD) and found the pathological loss of Pin1 within the synapses of AD brain cortical tissues. The loss of Pin1 activity may alter the ubiquitin-regulated modification of PSD proteins and decrease levels of Shank protein, resulting in aberrant synaptic structure. The loss of Pin1 activity, induced by oxidative stress, may also render neurons more susceptible to the toxicity of oligomers of Aβ and to excitation, thereby inhibiting NMDA receptor-mediated synaptic plasticity and exacerbating NMDA receptor-mediated synaptic degeneration. These results suggest that loss of Pin1 activity could lead to the loss of synaptic plasticity in the development of AD. Lingyan Xu, Zhiyun Ren, Frances E. Chow, Richard Tsai, Tongzheng Liu, Flavio Rizzolio, Silvia Boffo, Yungen Xu, Shaohui Huang, Carol F. Lippa, and Yuesong Gong Copyright © 2017 Lingyan Xu et al. All rights reserved. Electrophysiological, Morphological, and Ultrastructural Features of the Injured Spinal Cord Tissue after Transplantation of Human Umbilical Cord Blood Mononuclear Cells Genetically Modified with the VEGF and GDNF Genes Tue, 21 Mar 2017 00:00:00 +0000 In this study, we examined the efficacy of human umbilical cord blood mononuclear cells (hUCB-MCs), genetically modified with the VEGF and GDNF genes using adenoviral vectors, on posttraumatic regeneration after transplantation into the site of spinal cord injury (SCI) in rats. Thirty days after SCI, followed by transplantation of nontransduced hUCB-MCs, we observed an improvement in (latency period, LP) and waves, compared to the group without therapy after SCI. For genetically modified hUCB-MCs, there was improvement in of wave and LP of both the and waves. The ratio between of the and waves () demonstrated that transplantation into the area of SCI of genetically modified hUCB-MCs was more effective than nontransduced hUCB-MCs. Spared tissue and myelinated fibers were increased at day 30 after SCI and transplantation of hUCB-MCs in the lateral and ventral funiculi 2.5 mm from the lesion epicenter. Transplantation of hUCB-MCs genetically modified with the VEGF and GNDF genes significantly increased the number of spared myelinated fibers (22-fold, ) in the main corticospinal tract compared to the nontransduced ones. HNA+ cells with the morphology of phagocytes and microglia-like cells were found as compact clusters or cell bridges within the traumatic cavities that were lined by GFAP+ host astrocytes. Our results show that hUCB-MCs transplanted into the site of SCI improved regeneration and that hUCB-MCs genetically modified with the VEGF and GNDF genes were more effective than nontransduced hUCB-MCs. Y. O. Mukhamedshina, Z. E. Gilazieva, S. S. Arkhipova, L. R. Galieva, E. E. Garanina, A. A. Shulman, G. G. Yafarova, Y. A. Chelyshev, N. V. Shamsutdinova, and A. A. Rizvanov Copyright © 2017 Y. O. Mukhamedshina et al. All rights reserved. Distinct Pattern of Microgliosis in the Olfactory Bulb of Neurodegenerative Proteinopathies Sun, 19 Mar 2017 09:07:19 +0000 The olfactory bulb (OB) shows early neuropathological hallmarks in numerous neurodegenerative diseases, for example, in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and Parkinson’s disease (PD). The glomerular and granular cell layer of the OB is characterized by preserved cellular plasticity in the adult brain. In turn, alterations of this cellular plasticity are related to neuroinflammation such as microglia activation, implicated in the pathogenesis of AD and PD, as well as frontotemporal lobe degeneration (FTLD). To determine microglia proliferation and activation we analyzed ionized calcium binding adaptor molecule 1 (Iba1) expressing microglia in the glomerular and granular cell layer, and the olfactory tract of the OB from patients with AD, PD dementia/dementia with Lewy bodies (PDD/DLB), and FTLD compared to age-matched controls. The number of Iba1 and CD68 positive microglia associated with enlarged amoeboid microglia was increased particularly in AD, to a lesser extent in FTLD and PDD/DLB as well, while the proportion of proliferating microglia was not altered. In addition, cells expressing the immature neuronal marker polysialylated neural cell adhesion molecule (PSA-NCAM) were increased in the glomerular layer of PDD/DLB and FTLD cases only. These findings provide novel and detailed insights into differential levels of microglia activation in the OB of neurodegenerative diseases. Zacharias Kohl, Johannes C. M. Schlachetzki, Judith Feldewerth, Philipp Hornauer, Martina Münch, Anthony Adame, Markus J. Riemenschneider, Jürgen Winkler, and Eliezer Masliah Copyright © 2017 Zacharias Kohl et al. All rights reserved. Thalamocortical Connectivity and Microstructural Changes in Congenital and Late Blindness Mon, 13 Mar 2017 08:19:45 +0000 There is ample evidence that the occipital cortex of congenitally blind individuals processes nonvisual information. It remains a debate whether the cross-modal activation of the occipital cortex is mediated through the modulation of preexisting corticocortical projections or the reorganisation of thalamocortical connectivity. Current knowledge on this topic largely stems from anatomical studies in animal models. The aim of this study was to test whether purported changes in thalamocortical connectivity in blindness can be revealed by tractography based on diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging. To assess the thalamocortical network, we used a clustering method based on the thalamic white matter projections towards predefined cortical regions. Five thalamic clusters were obtained in each group representing their cortical projections. Although we did not find differences in the thalamocortical network between congenitally blind individuals, late blind individuals, and normal sighted controls, diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) indices revealed significant microstructural changes within thalamic clusters of both blind groups. Furthermore, we find a significant decrease in fractional anisotropy (FA) in occipital and temporal thalamocortical projections in both blind groups that were not captured at the network level. This suggests that plastic microstructural changes have taken place, but not in a degree to be reflected in the tractography-based thalamocortical network. N. H. Reislev, T. B. Dyrby, H. R. Siebner, H. Lundell, M. Ptito, and R. Kupers Copyright © 2017 N. H. Reislev et al. All rights reserved. Assessed and Emerging Biomarkers in Stroke and Training-Mediated Stroke Recovery: State of the Art Wed, 08 Mar 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Since the increasing update of the biomolecular scientific literature, biomarkers in stroke have reached an outstanding and remarkable revision in the very recent years. Besides the diagnostic and prognostic role of some inflammatory markers, many further molecules and biological factors have been added to the list, including tissue derived cytokines, growth factor-like molecules, hormones, and microRNAs. The literatures on brain derived growth factor and other neuroimmune mediators, bone-skeletal muscle biomarkers, cellular and immunity biomarkers, and the role of microRNAs in stroke recovery were reviewed. To date, biomarkers represent a possible challenge in the diagnostic and prognostic evaluation of stroke onset, pathogenesis, and recovery. Many molecules are still under investigation and may become promising and encouraging biomarkers. Experimental and clinical research should increase this list and promote new discoveries in this field, to improve stroke diagnosis and treatment. Marialuisa Gandolfi, Nicola Smania, Antonio Vella, Alessandro Picelli, and Salvatore Chirumbolo Copyright © 2017 Marialuisa Gandolfi et al. All rights reserved. Evidence of Presynaptic Localization and Function of the c-Jun N-Terminal Kinase Tue, 07 Mar 2017 00:00:00 +0000 The c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) is part of a stress signalling pathway strongly activated by NMDA-stimulation and involved in synaptic plasticity. Many studies have been focused on the post-synaptic mechanism of JNK action, and less is known about JNK presynaptic localization and its physiological role at this site. Here we examined whether JNK is present at the presynaptic site and its activity after presynaptic NMDA receptors stimulation. By using N-SIM Structured Super Resolution Microscopy as well as biochemical approaches, we demonstrated that presynaptic fractions contained significant amount of JNK protein and its activated form. By means of modelling design, we found that JNK, via the JBD domain, acts as a physiological effector on T-SNARE proteins; then using biochemical approaches we demonstrated the interaction between Syntaxin-1-JNK, Syntaxin-2-JNK, and Snap25-JNK. In addition, taking advance of the specific JNK inhibitor peptide, D-JNKI1, we defined JNK action on the SNARE complex formation. Finally, electrophysiological recordings confirmed the role of JNK in the presynaptic modulation of vesicle release. These data suggest that JNK-dependent phosphorylation of T-SNARE proteins may have an important functional role in synaptic plasticity. Silvia Biggi, Lucia Buccarello, Alessandra Sclip, Pellegrino Lippiello, Noemi Tonna, Cristiano Rumio, Daniele Di Marino, Maria Concetta Miniaci, and Tiziana Borsello Copyright © 2017 Silvia Biggi et al. All rights reserved. Circadian Plasticity of Mammalian Inhibitory Interneurons Mon, 06 Mar 2017 09:46:19 +0000 Inhibitory interneurons participate in all neuronal circuits in the mammalian brain, including the circadian clock system, and are indispensable for their effective function. Although the clock neurons have different molecular and electrical properties, their main function is the generation of circadian oscillations. Here we review the circadian plasticity of GABAergic interneurons in several areas of the mammalian brain, suprachiasmatic nucleus, neocortex, hippocampus, olfactory bulb, cerebellum, striatum, and in the retina. Malgorzata Jasinska and Elzbieta Pyza Copyright © 2017 Malgorzata Jasinska and Elzbieta Pyza. All rights reserved. Changes in Cortical Activation Patterns in Language Areas following an Aerobic Exercise Intervention in Older Adults Mon, 06 Mar 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Previous work has shown that older adults who evidence increased right inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) activity during language tasks show decreased sematic verbal fluency performance. The current study sought to evaluate if an aerobic exercise intervention can alter patterns of brain activity during a semantic verbal fluency task assessed by functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Thirty-two community-dwelling, sedentary older adults were enrolled to a 12-week aerobic “Spin” exercise group or a 12-week nonaerobic exercise control condition (Balance). Thirty participants completed their assigned intervention (16 Spin; 14 Balance) with pre- and postintervention assessments of a semantic verbal fluency task during fMRI and estimated VO2max testing. There was a significant increase in the change scores for estimated VO2max of the Spin group when compared to the Balance group. Semantic verbal fluency output within the scanner was also improved in the Spin group as compared to controls at postassessment. Group fMRI comparisons of IFG activity showed lower activity in the right IFG following the intervention in the aerobic Spin group when compared to the Balance group. Regression analysis of imaging data with change in both estimated VO2max and semantic verbal fluency was negatively correlated with activity in right IFG. The current work is registered as clinical trial with NCT01787292 and NCT02787655. Joe Nocera, Bruce Crosson, Kevin Mammino, and Keith M. McGregor Copyright © 2017 Joe Nocera et al. All rights reserved. Aerobic Exercise Effects on Ocular Dominance Plasticity with a Phase Combination Task in Human Adults Sun, 05 Mar 2017 08:14:14 +0000 Several studies have shown that short-term monocular patching can induce ocular dominance plasticity in normal adults, in which the patched eye becomes stronger in binocular viewing. There is a recent study showing that exercise enhances this plasticity effect when assessed with binocular rivalry. We address one question, is this enhancement from exercise a general effect such that it is seen for measures of binocular processing other than that revealed using binocular rivalry? Using a binocular phase combination task in which we directly measure each eye’s contribution to the binocularly fused percept, we show no additional effect of exercise after short-term monocular occlusion and argue that the enhancement of ocular dominance plasticity from exercise could not be demonstrated with our approach. Jiawei Zhou, Alexandre Reynaud, and Robert F. Hess Copyright © 2017 Jiawei Zhou et al. All rights reserved. Intrahemispheric Perfusion in Chronic Stroke-Induced Aphasia Sun, 05 Mar 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Stroke-induced alterations in cerebral blood flow (perfusion) may contribute to functional language impairments and recovery in chronic aphasia. Using MRI, we examined perfusion in the right and left hemispheres of 35 aphasic and 16 healthy control participants. Across 76 regions (38 per hemisphere), no significant between-subjects differences were found in the left, whereas blood flow in the right was increased in the aphasic compared to the control participants. Region-of-interest (ROI) analyses showed a varied pattern of hypo- and hyperperfused regions across hemispheres in the aphasic participants; however, there were no significant correlations between perfusion values and language abilities in these regions. These patterns may reflect autoregulatory changes in blood flow following stroke and/or increases in general cognitive effort, rather than maladaptive language processing. We also examined blood flow in perilesional tissue, finding the greatest hypoperfusion close to the lesion (within 0–6 mm), with greater hypoperfusion in this region compared to more distal regions. In addition, hypoperfusion in this region was significantly correlated with language impairment. These findings underscore the need to consider cerebral perfusion as a factor contributing to language deficits in chronic aphasia as well as recovery of language function. Cynthia K. Thompson, Matthew Walenski, YuFen Chen, David Caplan, Swathi Kiran, Brenda Rapp, Kristin Grunewald, Mia Nunez, Richard Zinbarg, and Todd B. Parrish Copyright © 2017 Cynthia K. Thompson et al. All rights reserved. Understanding Neuromuscular System Plasticity to Improve Motor Function in Health, Disease, and Injury Thu, 02 Mar 2017 08:57:55 +0000 Guang H. Yue, Brian C. Clark, Sheng Li, and David E. Vaillancourt Copyright © 2017 Guang H. Yue et al. All rights reserved. Corrigendum to “Dopaminergic Modulation of Striatal Inhibitory Transmission and Long-Term Plasticity” Thu, 02 Mar 2017 06:37:41 +0000 Elizabeth Nieto-Mendoza and Elizabeth Hernández-Echeagaray Copyright © 2017 Elizabeth Nieto-Mendoza and Elizabeth Hernández-Echeagaray. All rights reserved. Effects of Traumatic Stress Induced in the Juvenile Period on the Expression of Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid Receptor Type A Subunits in Adult Rat Brain Thu, 02 Mar 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Studies have found that early traumatic experience significantly increases the risk of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) deficits were proposed to be implicated in development of PTSD, but the alterations of GABA receptor A (GABAAR) subunits induced by early traumatic stress have not been fully elucidated. Furthermore, previous studies suggested that exercise could be more effective than medications in reducing severity of anxiety and depression but the mechanism is unclear. This study used inescapable foot-shock to induce PTSD in juvenile rats and examined their emotional changes using open-field test and elevated plus maze, memory changes using Morris water maze, and the expression of GABAAR subunits (γ2, α2, and α5) in subregions of the brain in the adulthood using western blotting and immunohistochemistry. We aimed to observe the role of GABAAR subunits changes induced by juvenile trauma in the pathogenesis of subsequent PTSD in adulthood. In addition, we investigated the protective effects of exercise for 6 weeks and benzodiazepine (clonazepam) for 2 weeks. This study found that juvenile traumatic stress induced chronic anxiety and spatial memory loss and reduced expression of GABAAR subunits in the adult rat brains. Furthermore, exercise led to significant improvement as compared to short-term BZ treatment. Cui Yan Lu, De Xiang Liu, Hong Jiang, Fang Pan, Cyrus S. H. Ho, and Roger C. M. Ho Copyright © 2017 Cui Yan Lu et al. All rights reserved. Imaging Neural Plasticity following Brain Injury Tue, 28 Feb 2017 15:57:04 +0000 Lijun Bai, Lin Ai, and Kevin K. W. Wang Copyright © 2017 Lijun Bai et al. All rights reserved. Effect of Illumination on Ocular Status Modifications Induced by Short-Term 3D TV Viewing Mon, 27 Feb 2017 11:43:39 +0000 Objectives. This study aimed to compare changes in ocular status after 3D TV viewing under three modes of illumination and thereby identify optimal illumination for 3D TV viewing. Methods. The following measures of ocular status were assessed: the accommodative response, accommodative microfluctuation, accommodative facility, relative accommodation, gradient accommodative convergence/accommodation (AC/A) ratio, phoria, and fusional vergence. The observers watched 3D television for 90 minutes through 3D shutter glasses under three illumination modes: A, complete darkness; B, back illumination (50 lx); and C, front illumination (130 lx). The ocular status of the observers was assessed both before and after the viewing. Results. After 3D TV viewing, the accommodative response and accommodative microfluctuation were significantly changed under illumination Modes A and B. The near positive fusional vergence decreased significantly after the 90-minute 3D viewing session under each illumination mode, and this effect was not significantly different among the three modes. Conclusions. Short-term 3D viewing modified the ocular status of adults. The least amount of such change occurred with front illumination, suggesting that this type of illumination is an appropriate mode for 3D shutter TV viewing. Yuanyuan Chen, Yuwen Wang, Xinping Yu, Aiqin Xu, Jian Jiang, and Hao Chen Copyright © 2017 Yuanyuan Chen et al. All rights reserved. Emerging Synaptic Molecules as Candidates in the Etiology of Neurological Disorders Sun, 26 Feb 2017 08:14:19 +0000 Synapses are complex structures that allow communication between neurons in the central nervous system. Studies conducted in vertebrate and invertebrate models have contributed to the knowledge of the function of synaptic proteins. The functional synapse requires numerous protein complexes with specialized functions that are regulated in space and time to allow synaptic plasticity. However, their interplay during neuronal development, learning, and memory is poorly understood. Accumulating evidence links synapse proteins to neurodevelopmental, neuropsychiatric, and neurodegenerative diseases. In this review, we describe the way in which several proteins that participate in cell adhesion, scaffolding, exocytosis, and neurotransmitter reception from presynaptic and postsynaptic compartments, mainly from excitatory synapses, have been associated with several synaptopathies, and we relate their functions to the disease phenotype. Viviana I. Torres, Daniela Vallejo, and Nibaldo C. Inestrosa Copyright © 2017 Viviana I. Torres et al. All rights reserved. Could Perinatal Asphyxia Induce a Synaptopathy? New Highlights from an Experimental Model Thu, 23 Feb 2017 11:20:27 +0000 Birth asphyxia also termed perinatal asphyxia is an obstetric complication that strongly affects brain structure and function. Central nervous system is highly susceptible to oxidative damage caused by perinatal asphyxia while activation and maturity of the proper pathways are relevant to avoiding abnormal neural development. Perinatal asphyxia is associated with high morbimortality in term and preterm neonates. Although several studies have demonstrated a variety of biochemical and molecular pathways involved in perinatal asphyxia physiopathology, little is known about the synaptic alterations induced by perinatal asphyxia. Nearly 25% of the newborns who survive perinatal asphyxia develop neurological disorders such as cerebral palsy and certain neurodevelopmental and learning disabilities where synaptic connectivity disturbances may be involved. Accordingly, here we review and discuss the association of possible synaptic dysfunction with perinatal asphyxia on the basis of updated evidence from an experimental model. María Inés Herrera, Matilde Otero-Losada, Lucas Daniel Udovin, Carlos Kusnier, Rodolfo Kölliker-Frers, Wanderley de Souza, and Francisco Capani Copyright © 2017 María Inés Herrera et al. All rights reserved. Predictors of Recovery from Traumatic Brain Injury-Induced Prolonged Consciousness Disorder Thu, 23 Feb 2017 11:13:20 +0000 We investigated the clinical predictors of the degree of recovery in patients with prolonged disorders of consciousness (PDC) caused by traumatic brain injury. Fourteen patients with PDC underwent two diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) studies; the first and second scans were performed at and days after the injury, respectively. In addition to the temporal changes in each of these diffusion parameters, fractional anisotropy (FA), mean diffusivity, axial diffusivity (AD), and radial diffusivity were assessed over a 1-year period. Relationship of clinical and DTI parameters with recovery from PDC (RPDC) was evaluated using Spearman’s rank-correlation and stepwise multiple linear regression analysis. The mean FA and number of voxels with FA values > 0.4 (VsFA0.4) were significantly decreased at the second scan. A significant positive correlation was observed between the degree of RPDC and mean FA () and VsFA0.4 () as well as between the difference in VsFA0.4 () and AD () between the first and second scans. On multiple linear regression analysis, initial severity of PDC and the difference in AD remained significantly associated with the degree of RPDC. The microstructural white matter changes observed in this study indicate their potential relation with the degree of RPDC over the longer term. Hiroaki Abe, Keigo Shimoji, Yoshihide Nagamine, Satoru Fujiwara, and Shin-Ichi Izumi Copyright © 2017 Hiroaki Abe et al. All rights reserved. Fatigue and Muscle Strength Involving Walking Speed in Parkinson’s Disease: Insights for Developing Rehabilitation Strategy for PD Wed, 22 Feb 2017 13:20:20 +0000 Background. Problems with gait in Parkinson’s disease (PD) are a challenge in neurorehabilitation, partly because the mechanisms causing the walking disability are unclear. Weakness and fatigue, which may significantly influence gait, are commonly reported by patients with PD. Hence, the aim of this study was to investigate the association between weakness and fatigue and walking ability in patients with PD. Methods. We recruited 25 patients with idiopathic PD and 25 age-matched healthy adults. The maximum voluntary contraction (MVC), twitch force, and voluntary activation levels were measured before and after a knee fatigue exercise. General fatigue, central fatigue, and peripheral fatigue were quantified by exercise-induced changes in MVC, twitch force, and activation level. In addition, subjective fatigue was measured using the Multidimensional Fatigue Inventory (MFI) and Fatigue Severity Scale (FSS). Results. The patients with PD had lower activation levels, more central fatigue, and more subjective fatigue than the healthy controls. There were no significant differences in twitch force or peripheral fatigue index between the two groups. The reduction in walking speed was related to the loss of peripheral strength and PD itself. Conclusion. Fatigue and weakness of central origin were related to PD, while peripheral strength was important for walking ability. The results suggest that rehabilitation programs for PD should focus on improving both central and peripheral components of force. Ying-Zu Huang, Fang-Yu Chang, Wei-Chia Liu, Yu-Fen Chuang, Li-Ling Chuang, and Ya-Ju Chang Copyright © 2017 Ying-Zu Huang et al. All rights reserved. The Impact of Feedback on the Different Time Courses of Multisensory Temporal Recalibration Tue, 21 Feb 2017 07:06:30 +0000 The capacity to rapidly adjust perceptual representations confers a fundamental advantage when confronted with a constantly changing world. Unexplored is how feedback regarding sensory judgments (top-down factors) interacts with sensory statistics (bottom-up factors) to drive long- and short-term recalibration of multisensory perceptual representations. Here, we examined the time course of both cumulative and rapid temporal perceptual recalibration for individuals completing an audiovisual simultaneity judgment task in which they were provided with varying degrees of feedback. We find that in the presence of feedback (as opposed to simple sensory exposure) temporal recalibration is more robust. Additionally, differential time courses are seen for cumulative and rapid recalibration dependent upon the nature of the feedback provided. Whereas cumulative recalibration effects relied more heavily on feedback that informs (i.e., negative feedback) rather than confirms (i.e., positive feedback) the judgment, rapid recalibration shows the opposite tendency. Furthermore, differential effects on rapid and cumulative recalibration were seen when the reliability of feedback was altered. Collectively, our findings illustrate that feedback signals promote and sustain audiovisual recalibration over the course of cumulative learning and enhance rapid trial-to-trial learning. Furthermore, given the differential effects seen for cumulative and rapid recalibration, these processes may function via distinct mechanisms. Matthew A. De Niear, Jean-Paul Noel, and Mark T. Wallace Copyright © 2017 Matthew A. De Niear et al. All rights reserved. Hearing Loss: Reestablish the Neural Plasticity in Regenerated Spiral Ganglion Neurons and Sensory Hair Cells Mon, 20 Feb 2017 06:32:27 +0000 Renjie Chai, Geng-Lin Li, Jian Wang, and Jing Zou Copyright © 2017 Renjie Chai et al. All rights reserved. Zinc in the Monoaminergic Theory of Depression: Its Relationship to Neural Plasticity Sun, 19 Feb 2017 06:19:21 +0000 Preclinical and clinical studies have demonstrated that zinc possesses antidepressant properties and that it may augment the therapy with conventional, that is, monoamine-based, antidepressants. In this review we aim to discuss the role of zinc in the pathophysiology and treatment of depression with regard to the monoamine hypothesis of the disease. Particular attention will be paid to the recently described zinc-sensing GPR39 receptor as well as aspects of zinc deficiency. Furthermore, an attempt will be made to give a possible explanation of the mechanisms by which zinc interacts with the monoamine system in the context of depression and neural plasticity. Urszula Doboszewska, Piotr Wlaź, Gabriel Nowak, Maria Radziwoń-Zaleska, Ranji Cui, and Katarzyna Młyniec Copyright © 2017 Urszula Doboszewska et al. All rights reserved. Sensorimotor Cortical Neuroplasticity in the Early Stage of Bell’s Palsy Sun, 19 Feb 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Neuroplasticity is a common phenomenon in the human brain following nerve injury. It is defined as the brain’s ability to reorganize by creating new neural pathways in order to adapt to change. Here, we use task-related and resting-state fMRI to investigate neuroplasticity in the primary sensory (S1) and motor cortex (M1) in patients with acute Bell’s palsy (BP). We found that the period directly following the onset of BP (less than 14 days) is associated with significant decreases in regional homogeneity (ReHo), fractional amplitude of low frequency fluctuations (fALFF), and intrinsic connectivity contrast (ICC) values in the contralateral S1/M1 and in ReHo and ICC values in the ipsilateral S1/M1, compared to healthy controls. The regions with decreased ReHo, fALFF, and ICC values were in both the face and hand region of S1/M1 as indicated by resting-state fMRI but not task-related fMRI. Our results suggest that the early stages of BP are associated with functional neuroplasticity in both the face and hand regions of S1/M1 and that resting-state functional fMRI may be a sensitive tool to detect these early stages of plasticity in patient populations. Wenwen Song, Minhui Dai, Lihua Xuan, Zhijian Cao, Sisi Zhou, Courtney Lang, Kun Lv, Maosheng Xu, and Jian Kong Copyright © 2017 Wenwen Song et al. All rights reserved. Neural Energy Supply-Consumption Properties Based on Hodgkin-Huxley Model Thu, 16 Feb 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Electrical activity is the foundation of the neural system. Coding theories that describe neural electrical activity by the roles of action potential timing or frequency have been thoroughly studied. However, an alternative method to study coding questions is the energy method, which is more global and economical. In this study, we clearly defined and calculated neural energy supply and consumption based on the Hodgkin-Huxley model, during firing action potentials and subthreshold activities using ion-counting and power-integral model. Furthermore, we analyzed energy properties of each ion channel and found that, under the two circumstances, power synchronization of ion channels and energy utilization ratio have significant differences. This is particularly true of the energy utilization ratio, which can rise to above 100% during subthreshold activity, revealing an overdraft property of energy use. These findings demonstrate the distinct status of the energy properties during neuronal firings and subthreshold activities. Meanwhile, after introducing a synapse energy model, this research can be generalized to energy calculation of a neural network. This is potentially important for understanding the relationship between dynamical network activities and cognitive behaviors. Yihong Wang, Rubin Wang, and Xuying Xu Copyright © 2017 Yihong Wang et al. All rights reserved. Nonpharmacological Interventions in Targeting Pain-Related Brain Plasticity Thu, 16 Feb 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Chronic pain is a highly prevalent and debilitating condition that is frequently associated with multiple comorbid psychiatric conditions and functional, biochemical, and anatomical alterations in various brain centers. Due to its widespread and diverse manifestations, chronic pain is often resistant to classical pharmacological treatment paradigms, prompting the search for alternative treatment approaches that are safe and efficacious. The current review will focus on the following themes: attentional and cognitive interventions, the role of global environmental factors, and the effects of exercise and physical rehabilitation in both chronic pain patients and preclinical pain models. The manuscript will discuss not only the analgesic efficacy of these therapies, but also their ability to reverse pain-related brain neuroplasticity. Finally, we will discuss the potential mechanisms of action for each of the interventions. Maral Tajerian and J. David Clark Copyright © 2017 Maral Tajerian and J. David Clark. All rights reserved. Short Latency Gray Matter Changes in Voxel-Based Morphometry following High Frequent Visual Stimulation Wed, 15 Feb 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Magnetic resonance imaging studies using voxel-based morphometry (VBM) detected structural changes in the human brain within periods of months or weeks. The underlying molecular mechanisms of VBM findings remain unresolved. We showed that simple visual stimulation by an alternating checkerboard leads to instant, short-lasting alterations of the primary and secondary visual cortex detected by VBM. The rapidness of occurrence (i.e., within 10 minutes) rather excludes most of the proposed physiological mechanism such as neural or glial cell genesis/degeneration or synapse turnover. We therefore favour cerebral fluid shifts to be the underlying correlate of the here observed VBM gray matter changes. Fast onset gray matter changes might be one important explanation for the inconsistency of VBM study results that often raise concern in regard to the validity of presented data. This study shows that changes detectable by VBM may occur within a few minutes after physiological stimulation and must be considered in future VBM experiments to avoid misinterpretation of results. Steffen Naegel, Tim Hagenacker, Nina Theysohn, Hans-Christoph Diener, Zaza Katsarava, Mark Obermann, and Dagny Holle Copyright © 2017 Steffen Naegel et al. All rights reserved. Neuroplasticity Changes on Human Motor Cortex Induced by Acupuncture Therapy: A Preliminary Study Wed, 15 Feb 2017 00:00:00 +0000 While neuroplasticity changes measured by transcranial magnetic stimulation have been proved to be highly correlated to motor recovery and have been tested in various forms of interventions, it has not been applied to investigate the neurophysiologic mechanism of acupuncture therapy. The aim of this study is to investigate neuroplasticity changes induced by a single session of acupuncture therapy in healthy adults, regarding the excitability change on bilateral primary motor cortex and interhemispheric inhibition. Ten subjects took a 30-minute acupuncture therapy and the same length relaxing phase in separate days. Transcranial magnetic stimulation measures, including resting motor threshold, amplitudes of motor-evoked potential, and interhemispheric inhibition, were assessed before and 10 minutes after intervention. Acupuncture treatment showed significant changes on potential amplitude from both ipsilateral and contralateral hemispheres to acupuncture compared to baseline. Also, interhemispheric inhibition from the contralateral motor cortex to the opposite showed a significant decline. The results indicated that corticomotoneuronal excitability and interhemispheric competition could be modulated by acupuncture therapy on healthy subjects. The following question about whether these changes will be observed in the same way on stroke patients and whether they correlate with the therapeutic effect on movement need to be answered by following studies. This trial is registered with ISRCTN13074245. Yi Yang, Ines Eisner, Siqi Chen, Shaosong Wang, Fan Zhang, and Linpeng Wang Copyright © 2017 Yi Yang et al. All rights reserved. Proteomic Analysis of HDAC3 Selective Inhibitor in the Regulation of Inflammatory Response of Primary Microglia Wed, 15 Feb 2017 00:00:00 +0000 HDAC3 has been shown to regulate inflammation. However, the role of HDAC3 in primary microglia is largely unknown. RGFP966 is a newly discovered selective HDAC3 inhibitor. In this study, we used protein mass spectrometry to analyze protein alterations in LPS-treated primary microglia with the application of RGFP966. Generally, about 2000 proteins were studied. 168 of 444 (37.8%) LPS-induced proteins were significantly reduced with the treatment of RGFP966, which mainly concentrated on Toll-like receptor signaling pathway. In this regard, we selected Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2), TLR3, TLR6, MAPK p38, CD36, and spleen tyrosine kinase (SYK) for further validation and found that they were all significantly upregulated after LPS stimulation and downregulated in the presence of RGFP966. Additionally, RGFP966 inhibited supernatant tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α and Interleukin 6 (IL-6) concentrations. Activation of STAT3 and STAT5 was partially blocked by RGFP966 at 2 h after LPS-stimulation. The fluorescence intensity of CD16/32 was significantly decreased in LPS + RGFP966-treated group. In conclusion, our data provided a hint that RGFP966 may be a potential therapeutic medication combating microglia activation and inflammatory response in central nervous system, which was probably related to its repressive impacts on TLR signaling pathways and STAT3/STAT5 pathways. Mingxu Xia, Qiuchen Zhao, He Zhang, Yanting Chen, Zengqiang Yuan, Yun Xu, and Meijuan Zhang Copyright © 2017 Mingxu Xia et al. All rights reserved. Motor Recovery of the Affected Hand in Subacute Stroke Correlates with Changes of Contralesional Cortical Hand Motor Representation Tue, 14 Feb 2017 10:24:06 +0000 Objective. To investigate the relationship between changes of cortical hand motor representation and motor recovery of the affected hand in subacute stroke. Methods. 17 patients with motor impairment of the affected hand were enrolled in an in-patient neurological rehabilitation program. Hand motor function tests (Wolf Motor Function Test, Action Research Arm Test) and neurophysiological evaluations (resting motor threshold, motor evoked potentials, motor map area size, motor map area volume, and motor map area location) were obtained from both hands and hemispheres at baseline and two, four, and six weeks of in-patient rehabilitation. Results. There was a wide spectrum of hand motor impairment at baseline and hand motor recovery over time. Hand motor function and recovery correlated significantly with (i) reduction of cortical excitability, (ii) reduction in size and volume of cortical hand motor representation, and (iii) a medial and anterior shift of the center of gravity of cortical hand motor representation within the contralesional hemisphere. Conclusion. Recovery of motor function of the affected hand after stroke is accompanied by definite changes in excitability, size, volume, and location of hand motor representation over the contralesional primary motor cortex. These measures may serve as surrogate markers for the outcome of hand motor rehabilitation after stroke. Jitka Veldema, Kathrin Bösl, and Dennis Alexander Nowak Copyright © 2017 Jitka Veldema et al. All rights reserved. Cerebellar Cathodal Transcranial Direct Stimulation and Performance on a Verb Generation Task: A Replication Study Tue, 14 Feb 2017 00:00:00 +0000 The role of the cerebellum in cognitive processing is increasingly recognized but still poorly understood. A recent study in this field applied cerebellar Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (c-tDCS) to the right cerebellum to investigate the role of prefrontal-cerebellar loops in language aspects of cognition. Results showed that the improvement in participants’ verbal response times on a verb generation task was facilitated immediately after cathodal c-tDCS, compared to anodal or sham c-tDCS. The primary aim of the present study is to replicate these findings and additionally to investigate possible longer term effects. A crossover within-subject design was used, comparing cathodal and sham c-tDCS. The experiment consisted of two visits with an interval of one week. Our results show no direct contribution of cathodal c-tDCS over the cerebellum to language task performance. However, one week later, the group receiving cathodal c-tDCS in the first visit show less improvement and increased variability in their verbal response times during the second visit, compared to the group receiving sham c-tDCS in the first visit. These findings suggest a potential negative effect of c-tDCS and warrant further investigation into long term effects of c-tDCS before undertaking clinical studies with poststroke patients with aphasia. K. Spielmann, R. van der Vliet, W. M. E. van de Sandt-Koenderman, M. A. Frens, G. M. Ribbers, R. W. Selles, S. van Vugt, J. N. van der Geest, and P. Holland Copyright © 2017 K. Spielmann et al. All rights reserved.