During aging, the decrease of cognitive ability is believed to be the cause of age related neuronal damage and reduced proliferation and differentiation of adult-born neural precursor cells. To modulate the synaptic plasticity and adult neurogenesis, it is of immense importance to enhance the potential of resident neural stem cells of hippocampus and sub ventricular zone (SVZ). The necessity to restore brain functions is enormous in the neurodegenerative disease like Alzheimer, Parkinson diseases, stress induced cognitive dysfunction, depression and age-associated and HIV-associated dementia. As a pioneer transmitter, Gamma Amino Butaric Acid (GABA) influences the activity dependent adult neurogenesis and excites immature neurons in adult hippocampus. GABA holds the key for making adult immature neuron to mature functional neuron hence plays critical role in adult neurogenesis.This review aims to discuss about the spatio-temporal expression of various subunit of GABA-A receptor and how these subunits intimately modulates the synaptic plasticity. During developmental period GABAergic neurons mature at early stages and regulate overall neural activity much before the activity of glutamate. Not only during development but also during adult neurogenesis GABA plays a significant role in neurite outgrowth and establishing well network.
The microtubule-associated protein tau pathologically accumulates and aggregates in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and other tauopathies, leading to cognitive dysfunction and neuronal loss. Molecular chaperones, like small heat-shock proteins (sHsps), can help deter the accumulation of misfolded proteins, such as tau. Here, we tested the hypothesis that the overexpression of wild-type Hsp22 (wtHsp22) and its phosphomimetic (S24,57D) Hsp22 mutant (mtHsp22) could slow tau accumulation and preserve memory in a murine model of tauopathy, rTg4510. Our results show that Hsp22 protected against deficits in synaptic plasticity and cognition in the tauopathic brain. However, we did not detect a significant change in tau phosphorylation or levels in these mice. This led us to hypothesize that the functional benefit was realized through the restoration of dysfunctional pathways in hippocampi of tau transgenic mice since no significant benefit was measured in non-transgenic mice expressing wtHsp22 or mtHsp22. To identify these pathways, we performed mass spectrometry of tissue lysates from the injection site. Overall, our data reveal that Hsp22 overexpression in neurons promotes synaptic plasticity by regulating canonical pathways and upstream regulators that have been characterized as potential AD markers and synaptogenesis regulators, like EIF4E and NFKBIA.
Group I metabotropic glutamate (mGlu) receptors (mGlu1/5 subtypes) are G protein-coupled receptors and are broadly expressed in the mammalian brain. These receptors play key roles in the modulation of normal glutamatergic transmission and synaptic plasticity, and abnormal mGlu1/5 signaling is linked to the pathogenesis and symptomatology of various mental and neurological disorders. Group I mGlu receptors are noticeably regulated via a mechanism involving dynamic protein–protein interactions. Several synaptic protein kinases were recently found to directly bind to the intracellular domains of mGlu1/5 receptors and phosphorylate the receptors at distinct amino acid residues. A variety of scaffolding and adaptor proteins also interact with mGlu1/5. Constitutive or activity-dependent interactions between mGlu1/5 and their interacting partners modulate trafficking, anchoring, and expression of the receptors. The mGlu1/5-associated proteins also finetune the efficacy of mGlu1/5 postreceptor signaling and mGlu1/5-mediated synaptic plasticity. This review analyzes the data from recent studies and provides an update on the biochemical and physiological properties of a set of proteins or molecules that interact with and thus regulate mGlu1/5 receptors.
Nicotine addiction develops predominantly during human adolescence through smoking. Self-administration experiments in rodents verify this biological preponderance to adolescence, suggesting evolutionary-conserved and age-defined mechanisms which influence the susceptibility to nicotine addiction. The hippocampus, a brain region linked to drug-related memory storage, undergoes major morpho-functional restructuring during adolescence and is strongly affected by nicotine stimulation. However, the signaling mechanisms shaping the effects of nicotine in young vs. adult brains remain unclear. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) emerged recently as modulators of brain neuroplasticity, learning and memory, and addiction. Nevertheless, the age-dependent interplay between miRNAs regulation and hippocampal nicotinergic signaling remains poorly explored. We here combined biophysical and pharmacological methods to examine the impact of miRNA-132/212 gene-deletion (miRNA-132/212−/−) and nicotine stimulation on synaptic functions in adolescent and mature adult mice at two hippocampal synaptic circuits: the medial perforant pathway (MPP) to dentate yrus (DG) synapses (MPP-DG) and CA3 Schaffer collaterals to CA1 synapses (CA3–CA1). Basal synaptic transmission and short-term (paired-pulse-induced) synaptic plasticity was unaltered in adolescent and adult miRNA-132/212−/− mice hippocampi, compared with wild-type controls. However, nicotine stimulation promoted CA3–CA1 synaptic potentiation in mature adult (not adolescent) wild-type and suppressed MPP-DG synaptic potentiation in miRNA-132/212−/− mice. Altered levels of CREB, Phospho-CREB, and acetylcholinesterase (AChE) expression were further detected in adult miRNA-132/212−/− mice hippocampi. These observations propose miRNAs as age-sensitive bimodal regulators of hippocampal nicotinergic signaling and, given the relevance of the hippocampus for drug-related memory storage, encourage further research on the influence of miRNAs 132 and 212 in nicotine addiction in the young and the adult brain.
Synaptic plasticity is required for learning and follows Hebb's Rule, the computational principle underpinning associative learning. In recent years, a complementary type of brain plasticity has been identified in myelinated axons, which make up the majority of brain's white matter. Like synaptic plasticity, myelin plasticity is required for learning, but it is unclear whether it is Hebbian or whether it follows different rules. Here, we provide evidence that white matter plasticity operates following Hebb's Rule in humans. Across two experiments, we find that co-stimulating cortical areas to induce Hebbian plasticity leads to relative increases in cortical excitability and associated increases in a myelin marker within the stimulated fiber bundle. We conclude that Hebbian plasticity extends beyond synaptic changes, and can be observed in human white matter fibers.
Intraoperative hypothermia is a common complication during operations and is associated with several adverse events. Postoperative cognitive dysfunction (POCD) and its adverse consequences have drawn increasing attention in recent years. There are currently no relevant studies investigating the correlation between intraoperative hypothermia and POCD. The aim of this study was to assess the effects of intraoperative hypothermia on postoperative cognitive function in rats undergoing exploratory laparotomies and to investigate the possible related mechanisms. We used the Y-maze and Morris Water Maze (MWM) tests to assess the rats’ postoperative spatial working memory, spatial learning, and memory. The morphological changes in hippocampal neurons were examined by haematoxylin-eosin (HE) staining and hippocampal synaptic plasticity-related protein expression. Activity-regulated cytoskeletal-associated protein (Arc), cyclic adenosine monophosphate-response element-binding protein (CREB), S133-phosphorylated CREB (p-CREB [S133]), α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole propionic acid receptor 1 (AMPAR1), and S831-phosphorylated AMPAR1 (p-AMPAR1 [S831]) were evaluated by Western blotting. Our results suggest a correlation between intraoperative hypothermia and POCD in rats and that intraoperative hypothermia may lead to POCD regarding impairments in spatial working memory, spatial learning, and memory. POCD induced by intraoperative hypothermia might be due to hippocampal neurons damage and decreased expression of synaptic plasticity-related proteins Arc, p-CREB (S133), and p-AMPAR1 (S831).
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is characterized by deficits in learning and memory. A pathological feature of AD is the alterations in the number and size of synapses, axon length, dendritic complexity, and dendritic spine numbers in the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex. Treadmill exercise can enhance synaptic plasticity in mouse or rat models of stroke, ischemia, and dementia. The aim of this study was to examine the effects of treadmill exercise on learning and memory, and structural synaptic plasticity in 3×Tg-AD mice, a mouse model of AD. Here, we show that 12 weeks treadmill exercise beginning in three-month-old mice improves spatial working memory in six-month-old 3×Tg-AD mice, while non-exercise six-month-old 3×Tg-AD mice exhibited impaired spatial working memory. To investigate potential mechanisms for the treadmill exercise-induced improvement of spatial learning and memory, we examined structural synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex of six-month-old 3×Tg-AD mice that had undergone 12 weeks of treadmill exercise. We found that treadmill exercise led to increases in synapse numbers, synaptic structural parameters, the expression of synaptophysin (Syn, a presynaptic marker), the axon length, dendritic complexity, and the number of dendritic spines in 3×Tg-AD mice and restored these parameters to similar levels of non-Tg control mice without treadmill exercise. In addition, treadmill exercise also improved these parameters in non-Tg control mice. Strengthening structural synaptic plasticity may represent a potential mechanism by which treadmill exercise prevents decline in spatial learning and memory and synapse loss in 3×Tg-AD mice.