Neural Plasticity The latest articles from Hindawi © 2017 , Hindawi Limited . All rights reserved. Tail Nerve Electrical Stimulation and Electro-Acupuncture Can Protect Spinal Motor Neurons and Alleviate Muscle Atrophy after Spinal Cord Transection in Rats Wed, 28 Jun 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Spinal cord injury (SCI) often results in death of spinal neurons and atrophy of muscles which they govern. Thus, following SCI, reorganizing the lumbar spinal sensorimotor pathways is crucial to alleviate muscle atrophy. Tail nerve electrical stimulation (TANES) has been shown to activate the central pattern generator (CPG) and improve the locomotion recovery of spinal contused rats. Electroacupuncture (EA) is a traditional Chinese medical practice which has been proven to have a neural protective effect. Here, we examined the effects of TANES and EA on lumbar motor neurons and hindlimb muscle in spinal transected rats, respectively. From the third day postsurgery, rats in the TANES group were treated 5 times a week and those in the EA group were treated once every other day. Four weeks later, both TANES and EA showed a significant impact in promoting survival of lumbar motor neurons and expression of choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) and ameliorating atrophy of hindlimb muscle after SCI. Meanwhile, the expression of neurotrophin-3 (NT-3) in the same spinal cord segment was significantly increased. These findings suggest that TANES and EA can augment the expression of NT-3 in the lumbar spinal cord that appears to protect the motor neurons as well as alleviate muscle atrophy. Yu-Ting Zhang, Hui Jin, Jun-Hua Wang, Lan-Yu Wen, Yang Yang, Jing-Wen Ruan, Shu-Xin Zhang, Eng-Ang Ling, Ying Ding, and Yuan-Shan Zeng Copyright © 2017 Yu-Ting Zhang et al. All rights reserved. A Combined Water Extract of Frankincense and Myrrh Alleviates Neuropathic Pain in Mice via Modulation of TRPV1 Tue, 27 Jun 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Frankincense and myrrh are widely used in clinics as a pair of herbs to obtain a synergistic effect for relieving pain. To illuminate the analgesia mechanism of frankincense and myrrh, we assessed its effect in a neuropathic pain mouse model. Transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) plays a crucial role in neuropathic pain and influences the plasticity of neuronal connectivity. We hypothesized that the water extraction of frankincense and myrrh (WFM) exerted its analgesia effect by modulating the neuronal function of TRPV1. In our study, WFM was verified by UHPLC-TQ/MS assay. In vivo study showed that nociceptive response in mouse by heat and capsaicin induced were relieved by WFM treatment. Furthermore, thermal hypersensitivity and mechanical allodynia were also alleviated by WFM treatment in a chronic constriction injury (CCI) mouse model. CCI resulted in increased TRPV1 expression at both the mRNA and protein levels in predominantly small-to-medium neurons. However, after WFM treatment, TRPV1 expression was reverted in real-time PCR, Western blot, and immunofluorescence experiments. Calcium response to capsaicin was also decreased in cultured DRG neurons from CCI model mouse after WFM treatment. In conclusion, WFM alleviated CCI-induced mechanical allodynia and thermal hypersensitivity via modulating TRPV1. Danyou Hu, Changming Wang, Fengxian Li, Shulan Su, Niuniu Yang, Yan Yang, Chan Zhu, Hao Shi, Lei Yu, Xiao Geng, Leying Gu, Xiaolin Yuan, Zhongli Wang, Guang Yu, and Zongxiang Tang Copyright © 2017 Danyou Hu et al. All rights reserved. Effect of Hypoxic Injury in Mood Disorder Thu, 22 Jun 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Hypoxemia is a common complication of the diseases associated with the central nervous system, and neurons are highly sensitive to the availability of oxygen. Neuroplasticity is an important property of the neural system controlling breathing, memory, and cognitive ability. However, the underlying mechanism has not yet been clearly elucidated. In recent years, several pieces of evidence have highlighted the effect of hypoxic injury on neuronal plasticity in the pathogenesis and treatment of mood disorder. Therefore, the present study reviewed the relevant articles regarding hypoxic injury and neuronal plasticity and discussed the pathological changes and physiological functions of neurons in hypoxemia in order to provide a translational perspective to the relevance of hypoxic injury and mood disorder. Fenglian Zhao, Junling Yang, and Ranji Cui Copyright © 2017 Fenglian Zhao et al. All rights reserved. Improving and Predicting Outcomes of Traumatic Brain Injury: Neuroplasticity, Imaging Modalities, and Perspective Therapy Thu, 22 Jun 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Chih-Lung Lin, Aaron S. Dumont, John H. Zhang, Mario Zuccarello, and Cheng-Sheng Chen Copyright © 2017 Chih-Lung Lin et al. All rights reserved. Assessment of Emotional Expressions after Full-Face Transplantation Wed, 21 Jun 2017 00:00:00 +0000 We assessed clinical features as well as sensory and motor recoveries in 3 full-face transplantation patients. A frequency analysis was performed on facial surface electromyography data collected during 6 basic emotional expressions and 4 primary facial movements. Motor progress was assessed using the wavelet packet method by comparison against the mean results obtained from 10 healthy subjects. Analyses were conducted on 1 patient at approximately 1 year after face transplantation and at 2 years after transplantation in the remaining 2 patients. Motor recovery was observed following sensory recovery in all 3 patients; however, the 3 cases had different backgrounds and exhibited different degrees and rates of sensory and motor improvements after transplant. Wavelet packet energy was detected in all patients during emotional expressions and primary movements; however, there were fewer active channels during expressions in transplant patients compared to healthy individuals, and patterns of wavelet packet energy were different for each patient. Finally, high-frequency components were typically detected in patients during emotional expressions, but fewer channels demonstrated these high-frequency components in patients compared to healthy individuals. Our data suggest that the posttransplantation recovery of emotional facial expression requires neural plasticity. Çağdaş Topçu, Hilmi Uysal, Ömer Özkan, Özlenen Özkan, Övünç Polat, Merve Bedeloğlu, Arzu Akgül, Ela Naz Döğer, Refik Sever, Nur Ebru Barçın, Kadriye Tombak, and Ömer Halil Çolak Copyright © 2017 Çağdaş Topçu et al. All rights reserved. The Link between Depression and Chronic Pain: Neural Mechanisms in the Brain Mon, 19 Jun 2017 07:46:07 +0000 Chronic pain, as a stress state, is one of the critical factors for determining depression, and their coexistence tends to further aggravate the severity of both disorders. Unfortunately, their association remains unclear, which creates a bottleneck problem for managing chronic pain-induced depression. In recent years, studies have found considerable overlaps between pain- and depression-induced neuroplasticity changes and neurobiological mechanism changes. Such overlaps are vital to facilitating the occurrence and development of chronic pain and chronic pain-induced depression. In this review, we summarized the role of neuroplasticity in the occurrence and development of the two disorders in question and explored individualized application strategies of analgesic drugs and antidepressants that have different pharmacological effects in the treatment of chronic pain-induced depression. Therefore, this review may provide new insights into the understanding of association between chronic pain and depression. Jiyao Sheng, Shui Liu, Yicun Wang, Ranji Cui, and Xuewen Zhang Copyright © 2017 Jiyao Sheng et al. All rights reserved. Emulation with Organic Memristive Devices of Impairment of LTP Mechanism in Neurodegenerative Disease Pathology Mon, 19 Jun 2017 06:45:24 +0000 We explore and demonstrate the extension of the synapse-mimicking properties of memristive devices to a dysfunctional synapse as it occurs in the Alzheimer’s disease (AD) pathology. The ability of memristive devices to reproduce synapse properties such as LTP, LTD, and STDP has been already widely demonstrated, and moreover, they were used for developing artificial neuron networks (perceptrons) able to simulate the information transmission in a cell network. However, a major progress would be to extend the common sense of neuromorphic device even to the case of dysfunction of natural synapses. Can memristors efficiently simulate them? We provide here evidences of the ability of emulating the dysfunctional synaptic behavior typical of the AD pathology with organic memristive devices considering the effect of the disease not only on a single synapse but also in the case of a neural network, composed by numerous synapses. Silvia Battistoni, Victor Erokhin, and Salvatore Iannotta Copyright © 2017 Silvia Battistoni et al. All rights reserved. Circadian Rhythms in Fear Conditioning: An Overview of Behavioral, Brain System, and Molecular Interactions Sun, 18 Jun 2017 00:00:00 +0000 The formation of fear memories is a powerful and highly evolutionary conserved mechanism that serves the behavioral adaptation to environmental threats. Accordingly, classical fear conditioning paradigms have been employed to investigate fundamental molecular processes of memory formation. Evidence suggests that a circadian regulation mechanism allows for a timestamping of such fear memories and controlling memory salience during both their acquisition and their modification after retrieval. These mechanisms include an expression of molecular clocks in neurons of the amygdala, hippocampus, and medial prefrontal cortex and their tight interaction with the intracellular signaling pathways that mediate neural plasticity and information storage. The cellular activities are coordinated across different brain regions and neural circuits through the release of glucocorticoids and neuromodulators such as acetylcholine, which integrate circadian and memory-related activation. Disturbance of this interplay by circadian phase shifts or traumatic experience appears to be an important factor in the development of stress-related psychopathology, considering these circadian components are of critical importance for optimizing therapeutic approaches to these disorders. Anne Albrecht and Oliver Stork Copyright © 2017 Anne Albrecht and Oliver Stork. All rights reserved. Erratum to “A Novel Nonsense Mutation of POU4F3 Gene Causes Autosomal Dominant Hearing Loss” Sun, 18 Jun 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Chi Zhang, Mingming Wang, Yun Xiao, Fengguo Zhang, Yicui Zhou, Jianfeng Li, Qingyin Zheng, Xiaohui Bai, and Haibo Wang Copyright © 2017 Chi Zhang et al. All rights reserved. Action Video Game Experience Related to Altered Large-Scale White Matter Networks Thu, 15 Jun 2017 00:00:00 +0000 With action video games (AVGs) becoming increasingly popular worldwide, the cognitive benefits of AVG experience have attracted continuous research attention over the past two decades. Research has repeatedly shown that AVG experience can causally enhance cognitive ability and is related to neural plasticity in gray matter and functional networks in the brain. However, the relation between AVG experience and the plasticity of white matter (WM) network still remains unclear. WM network modulates the distribution of action potentials, coordinating the communication between brain regions and acting as the framework of neural networks. And various types of cognitive deficits are usually accompanied by impairments of WM networks. Thus, understanding this relation is essential in assessing the influence of AVG experience on neural plasticity and using AVG experience as an interventional tool for impairments of WM networks. Using graph theory, this study analyzed WM networks in AVG experts and amateurs. Results showed that AVG experience is related to altered WM networks in prefrontal networks, limbic system, and sensorimotor networks, which are related to cognitive control and sensorimotor functions. These results shed new light on the influence of AVG experience on the plasticity of WM networks and suggested the clinical applicability of AVG experience. Diankun Gong, Weiyi Ma, Jinnan Gong, Hui He, Li Dong, Dan Zhang, Jianfu Li, Cheng Luo, and Dezhong Yao Copyright © 2017 Diankun Gong et al. All rights reserved. Impaired Hippocampal Glutamate and Glutamine Metabolism in the db/db Mouse Model of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus Wed, 14 Jun 2017 05:28:02 +0000 Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is a risk factor for the development of Alzheimer’s disease, and changes in brain energy metabolism have been suggested as a causative mechanism. The aim of this study was to investigate the cerebral metabolism of the important amino acids glutamate and glutamine in the db/db mouse model of T2DM. Glutamate and glutamine are both substrates for mitochondrial oxidation, and oxygen consumption was assessed in isolated brain mitochondria by Seahorse XFe96 analysis. In addition, acutely isolated cerebral cortical and hippocampal slices were incubated with [U-13C]glutamate and [U-13C]glutamine, and tissue extracts were analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. The oxygen consumption rate using glutamate and glutamine as substrates was not different in isolated cerebral mitochondria of db/db mice compared to controls. Hippocampal slices of db/db mice exhibited significantly reduced 13C labeling in glutamate, glutamine, GABA, citrate, and aspartate from metabolism of [U-13C]glutamate. Additionally, reduced 13C labeling were observed in GABA, citrate, and aspartate from [U-13C]glutamine metabolism in hippocampal slices of db/db mice when compared to controls. None of these changes were observed in cerebral cortical slices. The results suggest specific hippocampal impairments in glutamate and glutamine metabolism, without affecting mitochondrial oxidation of these substrates, in the db/db mouse. Jens Velde Andersen, Jakob Dahl Nissen, Sofie Kjellerup Christensen, Kia Hjulmand Markussen, and Helle Sønderby Waagepetersen Copyright © 2017 Jens Velde Andersen et al. All rights reserved. Environmental Factors Promoting Neural Plasticity: Insights from Animal and Human Studies Wed, 14 Jun 2017 03:17:00 +0000 We do not all grow older in the same way. Some individuals have a cognitive decline earlier and faster than others who are older in years but cerebrally younger. This is particularly easy to verify in people who have maintained regular physical activity and healthy and cognitively stimulating lifestyle and even in the clinical field. There are patients with advanced neurodegeneration, such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD), that, despite this, have mild cognitive impairment. What determines this interindividual difference? Certainly, it cannot be the result of only genetic factors. We are made in a certain manner and what we do acts on our brain. In fact, our genetic basis can be modulated, modified, and changed by our experiences such as education and life events; daily, by sleep schedules and habits; or also by dietary elements. And this can be seen as true even if our experiences are indirectly driven by our genetic basis. In this paper, we will review some current scientific research on how our experiences are able to modulate the structural organization of the brain and how a healthy lifestyle (regular physical activity, correct sleep hygiene, and healthy diet) appears to positively affect cognitive reserve. Laura Mandolesi, Francesca Gelfo, Laura Serra, Simone Montuori, Arianna Polverino, Giuseppe Curcio, and Giuseppe Sorrentino Copyright © 2017 Laura Mandolesi et al. All rights reserved. Identification of TMPRSS3 as a Significant Contributor to Autosomal Recessive Hearing Loss in the Chinese Population Tue, 13 Jun 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Hereditary hearing loss is characterized by a high degree of genetic heterogeneity. Mutations in the TMPRSS3 (transmembrane protease, serine 3) gene cause prelingual (DFNB10) or postlingual (DFNB8) deafness. In our previous study, three pathogenic mutations in TMPRSS3 were identified in one Chinese family. To evaluate the importance of TMPRSS3 mutations in recessive deafness among the Chinese, we screened 150 autosomal recessive nonsyndromic hearing loss (ARNSHL) families and identified 6 that carried seven causative TMPRSS3 mutations, including five novel mutations (c.809T>A, c.1151T>G, c.1204G>A, c.1244T>C, and c.1250G>A) and two previously reported mutations (c.323-6G>A and c.916G>A). Each of the five novel mutations was classified as severe, by both age of onset and severity of hearing loss. Together with our previous study, six families were found to share one pathogenic mutation (c.916G>A, p.Ala306Thr). To determine whether this mutation arose from a common ancestor, we analyzed six short tandem repeat (STR) markers spanning the TMPRSS3 gene. In four families, we observed linkage disequilibrium between p.Ala306Thr and STR markers. Our results indicate that mutations in TMPRSS3 account for about 4.6% (7/151) of Chinese ARNSHL cases lacking mutations in SLC26A4 or GJB2 and that the recurrent TMPRSS3 mutation p.Ala306Thr is likely to be a founder mutation. Xue Gao, Sha-Sha Huang, Yong-Yi Yuan, Jin-Cao Xu, Ping Gu, Dan Bai, Dong-Yang Kang, Ming-Yu Han, Guo-Jian Wang, Mei-Guang Zhang, Jia Li, and Pu Dai Copyright © 2017 Xue Gao et al. All rights reserved. Lifestyle Modulators of Neuroplasticity: How Physical Activity, Mental Engagement, and Diet Promote Cognitive Health during Aging Mon, 12 Jun 2017 03:42:13 +0000 The number of the elderly across the globe will approximate 2.1 billion by 2050. Juxtaposed against this burgeoning segment of the population is evidence that nonpathological aging is associated with an increased risk for cognitive decline in a variety of domains, changes that can cause mild disability even before the onset of dementia. Given that pharmacological treatments that mitigate dementia are still outstanding, alternative therapeutic options are being investigated increasingly. The results from translational studies have shown that modifiable lifestyle factors—including physical activity, cognitive engagement, and diet—are a key strategy for maintaining brain health during aging. Indeed, a multiplicity of studies has demonstrated relationships between lifestyle factors, brain structure and function, and cognitive function in aging adults. For example, physical activity and diet modulate common neuroplasticity substrates (neurotrophic signaling, neurogenesis, inflammation, stress response, and antioxidant defense) in the brain whereas cognitive engagement enhances brain and cognitive reserve. The aims of this review are to evaluate the relationship between modifiable lifestyle factors, neuroplasticity, and optimal brain health during aging; to identify putative mechanisms that contribute positive brain aging; and to highlight future directions for scientists and clinicians. Undoubtedly, the translation of cutting-edge knowledge derived from the field of cognitive neuroscience will advance our understanding and enhance clinical treatment interventions as we endeavor to promote brain health during aging. Cristy Phillips Copyright © 2017 Cristy Phillips. All rights reserved. The Longevity of Hippocampus-Dependent Memory Is Orchestrated by the Locus Coeruleus-Noradrenergic System Sun, 11 Jun 2017 00:00:00 +0000 The locus coeruleus is connected to the dorsal hippocampus via strong fiber projections. It becomes activated after arousal and novelty, whereupon noradrenaline is released in the hippocampus. Noradrenaline from the locus coeruleus is involved in modulating the encoding, consolidation, retrieval, and reversal of hippocampus-based memory. Memory storage can be modified by the activation of the locus coeruleus and subsequent facilitation of hippocampal long-term plasticity in the forms of long-term depression and long-term potentiation. Recent evidence indicates that noradrenaline and dopamine are coreleased in the hippocampus from locus coeruleus terminals, thus fostering neuromodulation of long-term synaptic plasticity and memory. Noradrenaline is an inductor of epigenetic modifications regulating transcriptional control of synaptic long-term plasticity to gate the endurance of memory storage. In conclusion, locus coeruleus activation primes the persistence of hippocampus-based long-term memory. Niels Hansen Copyright © 2017 Niels Hansen. All rights reserved. Autism-Like Behaviours and Memory Deficits Result from a Western Diet in Mice Thu, 08 Jun 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, induced by a Western diet (WD), evokes central and peripheral inflammation that is accompanied by altered emotionality. These changes can be associated with abnormalities in social behaviour, hippocampus-dependent cognitive functions, and metabolism. Female C57BL/6J mice were fed with a regular chow or with a WD containing 0.2% of cholesterol and 21% of saturated fat for three weeks. WD-treated mice exhibited increased social avoidance, crawl-over and digging behaviours, decreased body-body contacts, and hyperlocomotion. The WD-fed group also displayed deficits in hippocampal-dependent performance such as contextual memory in a fear conditioning and pellet displacement paradigms. A reduction in glucose tolerance and elevated levels of serum cholesterol and leptin were also associated with the WD. The peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator 1-alpha (PPARGC1a) mRNA, a marker of mitochondrial activity, was decreased in the prefrontal cortex, hippocampus, hypothalamus, and dorsal raphe, suggesting suppressed brain mitochondrial functions, but not in the liver. This is the first report to show that a WD can profoundly suppress social interactions and induce dominant-like behaviours in naïve adult mice. The spectrum of behaviours that were found to be induced are reminiscent of symptoms associated with autism, and, if paralleled in humans, suggest that a WD might exacerbate autism spectrum disorder. Ekaterina Veniaminova, Raymond Cespuglio, Chi Wai Cheung, Alexei Umriukhin, Nataliia Markova, Elena Shevtsova, Klaus-Peter Lesch, Daniel C. Anthony, and Tatyana Strekalova Copyright © 2017 Ekaterina Veniaminova et al. All rights reserved. Abnormal Functional Connectivity of Ventral Anterior Insula in Asthmatic Patients with Depression Wed, 07 Jun 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Objective. To explore the underlying mechanism of depression in asthmatic patients, the ReHo in the insula and its FC was used to probe the differences between depressed asthmatic (DA) and nondepressed asthmatic (NDA) patients. Methods. 18 DA patients, 24 NDA patients, and 60 healthy controls (HCs) received resting-state fMRI scan, severity of depression, and asthma control assessment. Results. DA patients showed increased FC between the left ventral anterior insula (vAI) and the left middle temporal gyrus compared with both NDA and HC groups. In addition, compared with HCs, the DA and NDA patients both exhibited increased FC between the left vAI and the right anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), decreased FC between the left vAI and the bilateral parietal lobe, and increased FC between the right vAI and the left putamen and the right caudate, respectively. Furthermore, the increased FC between the left vAI and the right ACC could differentiate HCs from both DA and NDA patients, and the increased FC between the right vAI and both the left putamen and the right caudate could separate NDA patients from HCs. Conclusions. This study confirmed that abnormal vAI FC may be involved in the neuropathology of depression in asthma. The increased FC between the left vAI and the left MTG could distinguish DA from the NDA and HC groups. Yuqun Zhang, Yuan Yang, Rongrong Bian, Yingying Yin, Zhenghua Hou, Yingying Yue, Zhi Xu, and Yonggui Yuan Copyright © 2017 Yuqun Zhang et al. All rights reserved. Visual Plasticity in Adults Sun, 04 Jun 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Jiawei Zhou, Zili Liu, Simon Clavagnier, Alexandre Reynaud, and Fang Hou Copyright © 2017 Jiawei Zhou et al. All rights reserved. Nicotinamide Administration Improves Remyelination after Stroke Thu, 01 Jun 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Aims. Stroke is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality. This study aimed to determine whether nicotinamide administration could improve remyelination after stroke and reveal the underlying mechanism. Methods. Adult male C57BL/6J mice were intraperitoneally (i.p.) administered with nicotinamide (200 mg/kg, daily) or saline after stroke induced by photothrombotic occlusion of the middle cerebral artery. FK866 (3 mg/kg, daily, bis in die), an inhibitor of NAMPT, and ANA-12 (0.5 mg/kg, daily), an antagonist of tropomyosin-related kinase B (TrkB), were administered intraperitoneally 1 h before nicotinamide administration. Functional recovery, MRI, and histological assessment were performed after stroke at different time points. Results. The nicotinamide-treated mice showed significantly lower infarct area 7 d after stroke induction and significantly higher fractional anisotropy (FA) in the ipsilesional internal capsule (IC) 14 d after stroke induction than the other groups. Higher levels of NAD+, BDNF, and remyelination markers were observed in the nicotinamide-treated group. FK866 administration reduced NAD+ and BDNF levels in the nicotinamide-treated group. ANA-12 administration impaired the recovery from stroke with no effect on NAD+ and BDNF levels. Furthermore, lesser functional deficits were observed in the nicotinamide-treated group than in the control group. Conclusions. Nicotinamide administration improves remyelination after stroke via the NAD+/BDNF/TrkB pathway. Congxiao Wang, Yi Zhang, Jie Ding, Zhen Zhao, Cheng Qian, Ying Luan, and Gao-Jun Teng Copyright © 2017 Congxiao Wang et al. All rights reserved. Inherited Paediatric Motor Neuron Disorders: Beyond Spinal Muscular Atrophy Sun, 28 May 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Paediatric motor neuron diseases encompass a group of neurodegenerative diseases characterised by the onset of muscle weakness and atrophy before the age of 18 years, attributable to motor neuron loss across various neuronal networks in the brain and spinal cord. While the genetic underpinnings are diverse, advances in next generation sequencing have transformed diagnostic paradigms. This has reinforced the clinical phenotyping and molecular genetic expertise required to navigate the complexities of such diagnoses. In turn, improved genetic technology and subsequent gene identification have enabled further insights into the mechanisms of motor neuron degeneration and how these diseases form part of a neurodegenerative disorder spectrum. Common pathophysiologies include abnormalities in axonal architecture and function, RNA processing, and protein quality control. This review incorporates an overview of the clinical manifestations, genetics, and pathophysiology of inherited paediatric motor neuron disorders beyond classic SMN1-related spinal muscular atrophy and describes recent advances in next generation sequencing and its clinical application. Specific disease-modifying treatment is becoming a clinical reality in some disorders of the motor neuron highlighting the importance of a timely and specific diagnosis. Hooi Ling Teoh, Kate Carey, Hugo Sampaio, David Mowat, Tony Roscioli, and Michelle Farrar Copyright © 2017 Hooi Ling Teoh et al. All rights reserved. Sortilin-Related Receptor Expression in Human Neural Stem Cells Derived from Alzheimer’s Disease Patients Carrying the APOE Epsilon 4 Allele Sun, 28 May 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia in the elderly; important risk factors are old age and inheritance of the apolipoprotein E4 (APOE4) allele. Changes in amyloid precursor protein (APP) binding, trafficking, and sorting may be important AD causative factors. Secretase-mediated APP cleavage produces neurotoxic amyloid-beta (Aβ) peptides, which form lethal deposits in the brain. In vivo and in vitro studies have implicated sortilin-related receptor (SORL1) as an important factor in APP trafficking and processing. Recent in vitro evidence has associated the APOE4 allele and alterations in the SORL1 pathway with AD development and progression. Here, we analyzed SORL1 expression in neural stem cells (NSCs) from AD patients carrying null, one, or two copies of the APOE4 allele. We show reduced SORL1 expression only in NSCs of a patient carrying two copies of APOE4 allele with increased Aβ/SORL1 localization along the degenerated neurites. Interestingly, SORL1 binding to APP was largely compromised; this could be almost completely reversed by γ-secretase (but not β-secretase) inhibitor treatment. These findings may yield new insights into the complex interplay of SORL1 and AD pathology and point to NSCs as a valuable tool to address unsolved AD-related questions in vitro. Alen Zollo, Zoe Allen, Helle F. Rasmussen, Filomena Iannuzzi, Yichen Shi, Agnete Larsen, Thorsten J. Maier, and Carmela Matrone Copyright © 2017 Alen Zollo et al. All rights reserved. Mechanisms and Consequences of Dopamine Depletion-Induced Attenuation of the Spinophilin/Neurofilament Medium Interaction Sun, 28 May 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Signaling changes that occur in the striatum following the loss of dopamine neurons in the Parkinson disease (PD) are poorly understood. While increases in the activity of kinases and decreases in the activity of phosphatases have been observed, the specific consequences of these changes are less well understood. Phosphatases, such as protein phosphatase 1 (PP1), are highly promiscuous and obtain substrate selectivity via targeting proteins. Spinophilin is the major PP1-targeting protein enriched in the postsynaptic density of striatal dendritic spines. Spinophilin association with PP1 is increased concurrent with decreases in PP1 activity in an animal model of PD. Using proteomic-based approaches, we observed dopamine depletion-induced decreases in spinophilin binding to multiple protein classes in the striatum. Specifically, there was a decrease in the association of spinophilin with neurofilament medium (NF-M) in dopamine-depleted striatum. Using a heterologous cell line, we determined that spinophilin binding to NF-M required overexpression of the catalytic subunit of protein kinase A and was decreased by cyclin-dependent protein kinase 5. Functionally, we demonstrate that spinophilin can decrease NF-M phosphorylation. Our data determine mechanisms that regulate, and putative consequences of, pathological changes in the association of spinophilin with NF-M that are observed in animal models of PD. Andrew C. Hiday, Michael C. Edler, Asma B. Salek, Cameron W. Morris, Morrent Thang, Tyler J. Rentz, Kristie L. Rose, Lisa M. Jones, and Anthony J. Baucum II Copyright © 2017 Andrew C. Hiday et al. All rights reserved. Could LC-NE-Dependent Adjustment of Neural Gain Drive Functional Brain Network Reorganization? Sun, 21 May 2017 00:00:00 +0000 The locus coeruleus-norepinephrine (LC-NE) system is thought to act at synaptic, cellular, microcircuit, and network levels to facilitate cognitive functions through at least two different processes, not mutually exclusive. Accordingly, as a reset signal, the LC-NE system could trigger brain network reorganizations in response to salient information in the environment and/or adjust the neural gain within its target regions to optimize behavioral responses. Here, we provide evidence of the co-occurrence of these two mechanisms at the whole-brain level, in resting-state conditions following a pharmacological stimulation of the LC-NE system. We propose that these two mechanisms are interdependent such that the LC-NE-dependent adjustment of the neural gain inferred from the clustering coefficient could drive functional brain network reorganizations through coherence in the gamma rhythm. Via the temporal dynamic of gamma-range band-limited power, the release of NE could adjust the neural gain, promoting interactions only within the neuronal populations whose amplitude envelopes are correlated, thus making it possible to reorganize neuronal ensembles, functional networks, and ultimately, behavioral responses. Thus, our proposal offers a unified framework integrating the putative influence of the LC-NE system on both local- and long-range adjustments of brain dynamics underlying behavioral flexibility. Carole Guedj, David Meunier, Martine Meunier, and Fadila Hadj-Bouziane Copyright © 2017 Carole Guedj et al. All rights reserved. Noradrenergic Modulation of Cognition in Health and Disease Wed, 17 May 2017 08:06:12 +0000 Norepinephrine released by the locus coeruleus modulates cellular processes and synaptic transmission in the central nervous system through its actions at a number of pre- and postsynaptic receptors. This transmitter system facilitates sensory signal detection and promotes waking and arousal, processes which are necessary for navigating a complex and dynamic sensory environment. In addition to its effects on sensory processing and waking behavior, norepinephrine is now recognized as a contributor to various aspects of cognition, including attention, behavioral flexibility, working memory, and long-term mnemonic processes. Two areas of dense noradrenergic innervation, the prefrontal cortex and the hippocampus, are particularly important with regard to these functions. Due to its role in mediating normal cognitive function, it is reasonable to expect that noradrenergic transmission becomes dysfunctional in a number of neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative diseases characterized by cognitive deficits. In this review, we summarize the unique role that norepinephrine plays in prefrontal cortical and hippocampal function and how its interaction with its various receptors contributes to cognitive behaviors. We further assess the changes that occur in the noradrenergic system in Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and schizophrenia and how these changes contribute to cognitive decline in these pathologies. Olga Borodovitsyna, Matthew Flamini, and Daniel Chandler Copyright © 2017 Olga Borodovitsyna et al. All rights reserved. Attenuated Late-Phase Arc Transcription in the Dentate Gyrus of Mice Lacking Egr3 Mon, 15 May 2017 00:00:00 +0000 The dentate gyrus (DG) engages in sustained Arc transcription for at least 8 hours following behavioral induction, and this time course may be functionally coupled to the unique role of the DG in hippocampus-dependent learning and memory. The factors that regulate long-term DG Arc expression, however, remain poorly understood. Animals lacking Egr3 show less Arc expression following convulsive stimulation, but the effect of Egr3 ablation on behaviorally induced Arc remains unknown. To address this, Egr3−/− and wild-type (WT) mice explored novel spatial environments and were sacrificed either immediately or after 5, 60, 240, or 480 minutes, and Arc expression was quantified by fluorescence in situ hybridization. Although short-term (i.e., within 60 min) Arc expression was equivalent across genotypes, DG Arc expression was selectively reduced at 240 and 480 minutes in mice lacking Egr3. These data demonstrate the involvement of Egr3 in regulating the late protein-dependent phase of Arc expression in the DG. Amanda Maple, Rachel E. Lackie, Diana I. Elizalde, Stephanie L. Grella, Chelsey C. Damphousse, Collin Xa, Amelia L. Gallitano, and Diano F. Marrone Copyright © 2017 Amanda Maple et al. All rights reserved. Long-Term Impairment of Sound Processing in the Auditory Midbrain by Daily Short-Term Exposure to Moderate Noise Sun, 14 May 2017 10:58:05 +0000 Most citizen people are exposed daily to environmental noise at moderate levels with a short duration. The aim of the present study was to determine the effects of daily short-term exposure to moderate noise on sound level processing in the auditory midbrain. Sound processing properties of auditory midbrain neurons were recorded in anesthetized mice exposed to moderate noise (80 dB SPL, 2 h/d for 6 weeks) and were compared with those from age-matched controls. Neurons in exposed mice had a higher minimum threshold and maximum response intensity, a longer first spike latency, and a higher slope and narrower dynamic range for rate level function. However, these observed changes were greater in neurons with the best frequency within the noise exposure frequency range compared with those outside the frequency range. These sound processing properties also remained abnormal after a 12-week period of recovery in a quiet laboratory environment after completion of noise exposure. In conclusion, even daily short-term exposure to moderate noise can cause long-term impairment of sound level processing in a frequency-specific manner in auditory midbrain neurons. Liang Cheng, Shao-Hui Wang, Kang Peng, and Xiao-Mei Liao Copyright © 2017 Liang Cheng et al. All rights reserved. Biphalin, a Dimeric Enkephalin, Alleviates LPS-Induced Activation in Rat Primary Microglial Cultures in Opioid Receptor-Dependent and Receptor-Independent Manners Wed, 10 May 2017 07:39:54 +0000 Neuropathic pain is relatively less responsive to opioids than other types of pain, which is possibly due to a disrupted opioid system partially caused by the profound microglial cell activation that underlines neuroinflammation. We demonstrated that intrathecally injected biphalin, a dimeric enkephalin analog, diminished symptoms of neuropathy in a preclinical model of neuropathic pain in rats (CCI, chronic constriction injury of the sciatic nerve) at day 12 postinjury. Using primary microglial cell cultures, we revealed that biphalin did not influence cell viability but diminished NO production and expression of Iba1 in LPS-stimulated cells. Biphalin also diminished MOP receptor level, as well as pronociceptive mediators (iNOS, IL-1β, and IL-18) in an opioid receptor-dependent manner, and it was correlated with diminished p-NF-κB, p-IκB, p-p38MAPK, and TRIF levels. Biphalin reduced IL-6, IL-10, TNFα, p-STAT3, and p-ERK1/2 and upregulated SOCS3, TLR4, and MyD88; however, this effect was not reversed by naloxone pretreatment. Our study provides evidence that biphalin diminishes neuropathy symptoms, which might be partially related to reduced pronociceptive mediators released by activated microglia. Biphalin may be a putative drug for future pain therapy, especially for the treatment of neuropathic pain, when the lower analgesic effects of morphine are correlated with profound microglial cell activation. Katarzyna Popiolek-Barczyk, Anna Piotrowska, Wioletta Makuch, and Joanna Mika Copyright © 2017 Katarzyna Popiolek-Barczyk et al. All rights reserved. Sensory Eye Dominance in Treated Anisometropic Amblyopia Wed, 10 May 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Amblyopia results from inadequate visual experience during the critical period of visual development. Abnormal binocular interactions are believed to play a critical role in amblyopia. These binocular deficits can often be resolved, owing to the residual visual plasticity in amblyopes. In this study, we quantitatively measured the sensory eye dominance in treated anisometropic amblyopes to determine whether they had fully recovered. Fourteen treated anisometropic amblyopes with normal or corrected to normal visual acuity participated, and their sensory eye dominance was assessed by using a binocular phase combination paradigm. We found that the two eyes were unequal in binocular combination in most (11 out of 14) of our treated anisometropic amblyopes, but none of the controls. We concluded that the treated anisometropic amblyopes, even those with a normal range of visual acuity, exhibited abnormal binocular processing. Our results thus suggest that there is potential for improvement in treated anisometropic amblyopes that may further enhance their binocular visual functioning. Yao Chen, Jiafeng Wang, Hongmei Shi, Xiaoxiao Wang, and Lixia Feng Copyright © 2017 Yao Chen et al. All rights reserved. Right Hemisphere Grey Matter Volume and Language Functions in Stroke Aphasia Tue, 09 May 2017 09:30:29 +0000 The role of the right hemisphere (RH) in recovery from aphasia is incompletely understood. The present study quantified RH grey matter (GM) volume in individuals with chronic stroke-induced aphasia and cognitively healthy people using voxel-based morphometry. We compared group differences in GM volume in the entire RH and in RH regions-of-interest. Given that lesion site is a critical source of heterogeneity associated with poststroke language ability, we used voxel-based lesion symptom mapping (VLSM) to examine the relation between lesion site and language performance in the aphasic participants. Finally, using results derived from the VLSM as a covariate, we evaluated the relation between GM volume in the RH and language ability across domains, including comprehension and production processes both at the word and sentence levels and across spoken and written modalities. Between-subject comparisons showed that GM volume in the RH SMA was reduced in the aphasic group compared to the healthy controls. We also found that, for the aphasic group, increased RH volume in the MTG and the SMA was associated with better language comprehension and production scores, respectively. These data suggest that the RH may support functions previously performed by LH regions and have important implications for understanding poststroke reorganization. Sladjana Lukic, Elena Barbieri, Xue Wang, David Caplan, Swathi Kiran, Brenda Rapp, Todd B. Parrish, and Cynthia K. Thompson Copyright © 2017 Sladjana Lukic et al. All rights reserved. Molecular and Cellular Mechanisms of Synaptopathies Sun, 30 Apr 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Alvaro O. Ardiles, Andreas M. Grabrucker, Francisco G. Scholl, Gabby Rudenko, and Tiziana Borsello Copyright © 2017 Alvaro O. Ardiles et al. All rights reserved.