Neurons rely on translation of synaptic mRNAs in order to generate activity-dependent changes in plasticity. Here we develop a strategy combining compartment-specific CLIP and TRAP in conditionally tagged mice to precisely define the ribosome-bound dendritic transcriptome of CA1 pyramidal neurons. We identify CA1 dendritic transcripts with differentially localized mRNA isoforms generated by alternative polyadenylation and alternative splicing, including many which have altered protein-coding capacity. Among dendritic mRNAs, FMRP targets were found to be overrepresented. Cell-type specific FMRP-CLIP and TRAP in microdissected CA1 neuropil revealed 383 dendritic FMRP targets and suggests that FMRP differentially regulates functionally distinct modules in CA1 dendrites and cell bodies. FMRP regulates ~15-20% of mRNAs encoding synaptic functions and 10% of chromatin modulators, in the dendrite and cell body, respectively. In the absence of FMRP, dendritic FMRP targets had increased ribosome association, consistent with a function for FMRP in synaptic translational repression. Conversely, downregulation of FMRP targets involved in chromatin regulation in cell bodies and suggest a role for FMRP in stabilizing mRNAs containing stalled ribosomes in this compartment. Together, the data support a model in which FMRP regulates the translation and expression of synaptic and nuclear proteins within different compartments of a single neuronal cell type.
Optoelectronic synapses have attracted considerable attention because of their promising potential in artificial visual perception systems for neuromorphic computing. Despite remarkable progress in mimicking synaptic functions, reduction of energy consumption of artificial synapses is still a substantial obstacle that is required to be overcome to promote advanced emerging applications. Herein, we propose a zero-power artificial optoelectrical synapses using ultrathin organic crystalline semiconductors, which can be self-driven by exploiting the photovoltaic effect induced by asymmetric electrode geometry contacts. The photogenerated charge carrier collection at the two electrodes is unbalanced due to the asymmetric contacts, leading to the in-plane current without bias voltage. Our devices successfully mimic a range of important synaptic functions, such as paired-pulse facilitation (PPF) and spike rate-dependent plasticity (SRDP). Furthermore, we demonstrate that our devices can realize the simulation of image sharpening under self-driven optical-sensing synaptic operations, offering prospects for the development of retinomorphic visual systems.
This paper reports the fabrication of an artificial synapse (AS) based on two-dimensional molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) film. The AS emulates important synaptic functions such as paired-pulse facilitation, spike-rate dependent plasticity, spike-duration dependent plasticity and spike-number dependent plasticity. The spike voltage can mediate ion migration in the ion gel to regulate the MoS2 conductive channel, thereby realizing the emulation of synaptic plasticity. More importantly, benefiting from the atomically-flat surface of MoS2 film, the device has a high sensitivity to external stimuli. It can effectively respond to presynaptic spikes that have an amplitude of 100 mV. The development of this device provides a new idea for constructing a highly-sensitive and multifunctional neuromorphic system.
AbstractAutophagy is a cell self-digestion pathway through lysosome and plays a critical role in maintaining cellular homeostasis and cytoprotection. Characterization of autophagy related genes in cell and animal models reveals diverse physiological functions of autophagy in various cell types and tissues. In central nervous system, by recycling injured organelles and misfolded protein complexes or aggregates, autophagy is integrated into synaptic functions of neurons and subjected to distinct regulation in presynaptic and postsynaptic neuronal compartments. A plethora of studies have shown the neuroprotective function of autophagy in major neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Parkinson’s disease (PD), Huntington’s disease (HD) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Recent human genetic and genomic evidence has demonstrated an emerging, significant role of autophagy in human brain development and prevention of spectrum of neurodevelopmental disorders. Here we will review the evidence demonstrating the causal link of autophagy deficiency to congenital brain diseases, the mechanism whereby autophagy functions in neurodevelopment, and therapeutic potential of autophagy.
AbstractCdk5 is a proline-directed serine/threonine protein kinase that governs a variety of cellular processes in neurons, the dysregulation of which compromises normal brain function. The mechanisms underlying the modulation of Cdk5, its modes of action, and its effects on the nervous system have been a great focus in the field for nearly three decades. In this review, we provide an overview of the discovery and regulation of Cdk5, highlighting recent findings revealing its role in neuronal/synaptic functions, circadian clocks, DNA damage, cell cycle reentry, mitochondrial dysfunction, as well as its non-neuronal functions under physiological and pathological conditions. Moreover, we discuss evidence underscoring aberrant Cdk5 activity as a common theme observed in many neurodegenerative diseases.
AbstractA number of potentially important mechanisms have been identified as key players to generate epileptiform activity, such as genetic mutations, activity-dependent alteration of synaptic functions, and functional network reorganization at the macroscopic level. Here we study how network connectivity at cellular level can affect the onset of epileptiform activity, using computational model networks with different wiring properties. The model suggests that networks connected as in real brain circuits are more resistant to generate seizure-like activity. The results suggest new experimentally testable predictions on the cellular network connectivity in epileptic individuals, and highlight the importance of using the appropriate network connectivity to investigate epileptiform activity with computational models.
Schizophrenia is a mental illness that involves both genetic and environmental factors. Clozapine, an atypical antipsychotic, is a well-established therapy for treatment-resistant schizophrenia. In this study, we focused on a set of monozygotic twins with treatment-resistant schizophrenia in which one twin effectively responded to clozapine treatment and the other did not. Our previous study generated neurons from induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells derived from these patients and compared the transcriptome profiles between mock- and clozapine-treated neurons. In this study, we performed genome-wide DNA methylation profiling to investigate the mechanisms underlying gene expression changes. First, we extracted the differentially methylated sites from each twin based on statistical analysis. Then, we combined the DNA methylation profiling with transcriptome profiling from our previous RNA-seq data. Among the genes with altered methylation and expression, we found the different proportions of the genes related to neuronal and synaptic functions between the clozapine responder and non-responder (35.7 and 6.7%, respectively). This trend was observed even when the basal differences between the responder and non-responder was excluded. These results suggest that effective clozapine action may correct the abnormalities of neuronal and synapse functions in schizophrenia via changes in methylation.
Since the initial identification of alpha-synuclein (α-syn) at the synapse, numerous studies demonstrated that α-syn is a key player in the etiology of Parkinson’s disease (PD) and other synucleinopathies. Recent advances underline interactions between α-syn and lipids that also participate in α-syn misfolding and aggregation. In addition, increasing evidence demonstrates that α-syn plays a major role in different steps of synaptic exocytosis. Thus, we reviewed literature showing (1) the interplay among α-syn, lipids, and lipid membranes; (2) advances of α-syn synaptic functions in exocytosis. These data underscore a fundamental role of α-syn/lipid interplay that also contributes to synaptic defects in PD. The importance of lipids in PD is further highlighted by data showing the impact of α-syn on lipid metabolism, modulation of α-syn levels by lipids, as well as the identification of genetic determinants involved in lipid homeostasis associated with α-syn pathologies. While questions still remain, these recent developments open the way to new therapeutic strategies for PD and related disorders including some based on modulating synaptic functions.
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a progressive and fatal neurodegenerative disorder. Impaired neuronal bioenergetics and neuroinflammation are thought to play key roles in the progression of AD, but their interplay is not clear. Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) is an important metabolite in all human cells in which it is pivotal for multiple processes including DNA repair and mitophagy, both of which are impaired in AD neurons. Here, we report that levels of NAD+ are reduced and markers of inflammation increased in the brains of APP/PS1 mutant transgenic mice with beta-amyloid pathology. Treatment of APP/PS1 mutant mice with the NAD+ precursor nicotinamide riboside (NR) for 5 mo increased brain NAD+ levels, reduced expression of proinflammatory cytokines, and decreased activation of microglia and astrocytes. NR treatment also reduced NLRP3 inflammasome expression, DNA damage, apoptosis, and cellular senescence in the AD mouse brains. Activation of cyclic GMP-AMP synthase (cGAS) and stimulator of interferon genes (STING) are associated with DNA damage and senescence. cGAS–STING elevation was observed in the AD mice and normalized by NR treatment. Cell culture experiments using microglia suggested that the beneficial effects of NR are, in part, through a cGAS–STING-dependent pathway. Levels of ectopic (cytoplasmic) DNA were increased in APP/PS1 mutant mice and human AD fibroblasts and down-regulated by NR. NR treatment induced mitophagy and improved cognitive and synaptic functions in APP/PS1 mutant mice. Our findings suggest a role for NAD+ depletion-mediated activation of cGAS–STING in neuroinflammation and cellular senescence in AD.