synapse formation
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2022 ◽  
Vol 15 ◽  
Krissy A. Lyon ◽  
Nicola J. Allen

Astrocytes are non-neuronal cells that regulate synapses, neuronal circuits, and behavior. Astrocytes ensheath neuronal synapses to form the tripartite synapse where astrocytes influence synapse formation, function, and plasticity. Beyond the synapse, recent research has revealed that astrocyte influences on the nervous system extend to the modulation of neuronal circuitry and behavior. Here we review recent findings on the active role of astrocytes in behavioral modulation with a focus on in vivo studies, primarily in mice. Using tools to acutely manipulate astrocytes, such as optogenetics or chemogenetics, studies reviewed here have demonstrated a causal role for astrocytes in sleep, memory, sensorimotor behaviors, feeding, fear, anxiety, and cognitive processes like attention and behavioral flexibility. Current tools and future directions for astrocyte-specific manipulation, including methods for probing astrocyte heterogeneity, are discussed. Understanding the contribution of astrocytes to neuronal circuit activity and organismal behavior will be critical toward understanding how nervous system function gives rise to behavior.

Yongyang Liu ◽  
Yaxin Lu ◽  
Zhiyong Tang ◽  
Yuheng Cao ◽  
Dehua Huang ◽  

Axonal transport plays a significant role in the establishment of neuronal polarity, axon growth, and synapse formation during neuronal development. The axon of a naturally growing neuron is a highly complex and multifurcated structure with a large number of bends and branches. Nowadays, the study of dynamic axonal transport in morphologically complex neurons is greatly limited by the technological barrier. Here, a sparse gene transfection strategy was developed to locate fluorescent mCherry in the lysosome of primary neurons, thus enabling us to track the lysosome-based axonal transport with a single-particle resolution. Thereby, several axonal transport models were observed, including forward or backward transport model, stop-and-go model, repeated back-and-forth transport model, and cross-branch transport model. Then, the accurate single-particle velocity quantification by TrackMate revealed a highly heterogeneous and discontinuous transportation process of lysosome-based axonal transport in freely orientated axons. And, multiple physical factors, such as the axonal structure and the size of particles, were disclosed to affect the velocity of particle transporting in freely orientated axons. The combined single-particle fluorescence tracking and TrackMate assay can be served as a facile tool for evaluating axonal transport in neuronal development and axonal transport-related diseases.

2022 ◽  
Gee Euhn Choi ◽  
Chang Woo Chae ◽  
Mo Ran Park ◽  
Jee Hyeon Yoon ◽  
Young Hyun Jung ◽  

Abstract Exposure to maternal stress irreversibly impairs neurogenesis of offspring through inducing life-long effects on interaction between neurons and glia under raging differentiation process, culminating in cognitive and neuropsychiatric abnormalities in adulthood. We identified how prenatal exposure to the stress-hormone glucocorticoid impairs synapse formation and subsequent neurogenesis using human induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived neural stem cell (NSC) and ICR mice. Following prenatal glucocorticoid exposure, NSC-derived astrocytes were found to be A1-like neurotoxic astrocytes. Moreover, cortisol-treated astrocyte conditioned media (ACM) then specifically downregulated AMPA receptor-mediated glutamatergic synaptic formation and transmission in differentiating neurons, by inhibiting localization of ionotropic glutamate receptor (GluR) 1/2 into synapses. We revealed that downregulated astrocytic fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF2) and nuclear fibroblast growth factor receptor 1 (FGFR1) of neurons are key pathogenic factors for reducing glutamatergic synapse formation, according to data from RNA sequencing and antibody array. We further confirmed that cortisol-treated ACM specifically decreased the binding of neuronal FGFR1 to the synaptogenic NLGN1 promoter, but this was reversed by FGFR1 restoration. Upregulation of neuroligin 1, which is important in scaffolding GluR1/2 into the postsynaptic compartment, eventually normalized glutamatergic synaptogenesis and subsequent neurogenesis. Moreover, FGF2 pretreatment of a prenatal corticosterone-exposed mouse elevated neuroligin 1 expression and trafficking of GluR1/2 into the postsynaptic compartment, improving spatial memory and depression/anxiety-like behaviors. In conclusion, we demonstrated that neuroligin 1 restoration by astrocytic FGF2 and its downstream neuronal nuclear FGFR1 as a critical target of prenatal stress-induced glutamatergic synaptogenesis and demonstrated its function in controlling both neurogenesis and hippocampal-related behaviors.

2022 ◽  
Vol 45 (1) ◽  
Max Koppers ◽  
Christine E. Holt

Axons receive extracellular signals that help to guide growth and synapse formation during development and to maintain neuronal function and survival during maturity. These signals relay information via cell surface receptors that can initiate local intracellular signaling at the site of binding, including local messenger RNA (mRNA) translation. Direct coupling of translational machinery to receptors provides an attractive way to activate this local mRNA translation and change the local proteome with high spatiotemporal resolution. Here, we first discuss the increasing evidence that different external stimuli trigger translation of specific subsets of mRNAs in axons via receptors and thus play a prominent role in various processes in both developing and mature neurons. We then discuss the receptor-mediated molecular mechanisms that regulate local mRNA translational with a focus on direct receptor-ribosome coupling. We advance the idea that receptor-ribosome coupling provides several advantages over other translational regulation mechanisms and is a common mechanism in cell communication. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Neuroscience, Volume 45 is July 2022. Please see for revised estimates.

2022 ◽  
Vol 12 ◽  
Yonghui Zou ◽  
Yi Xu ◽  
Xiaofeng Chen ◽  
Yaoqi Wu ◽  
Longsheng Fu ◽  

Leucine-rich alpha⁃2 glycoprotein 1 (LRG1) is an important member of the leucine-rich repetitive sequence protein family. LRG1 was mainly involved in normal physiological activities of the nervous system, such as synapse formation, synapse growth, the development of nerve processes, neurotransmitter transfer and release, and cell adhesion molecules or ligand-binding proteins. Also, LRG1 affected the development of respiratory diseases, hematological diseases, endocrine diseases, tumor diseases, eye diseases, cardiovascular diseases, rheumatic immune diseases, infectious diseases, etc. LRG1 was a newly discovered important upstream signaling molecule of transforming growth factor⁃β (TGF⁃β) that affected various pathological processes through the TGF⁃β signaling pathway. However, research on LRG1 and its involvement in the occurrence and development of diseases was still in its infancy and the current studies were mainly focused on proteomic detection and basic animal experimental reports. We could reasonably predict that LRG1 might act as a new direction and strategy for the treatment of many diseases.

Nobuyuki Takei ◽  
Daisaku Yokomaku ◽  
Takaho Yamada ◽  
Tadasato Nagano ◽  
Akiyoshi Kakita ◽  

2022 ◽  
Judith Pineau ◽  
Léa Pinon ◽  
Olivier Mesdjian ◽  
Jacques Fattaccioli ◽  
Ana-Maria Lennon Duménil ◽  

Immune synapse formation is a key step for lymphocyte activation. In B lymphocytes, the immune synapse controls the production of high-affinity antibodies, thereby defining the efficiency of humoral immune responses. While the key roles played by both the actin and microtubule cytoskeletons in the formation and function of the immune synapse have become increasingly clear, how the different events involved in synapse formation are coordinated in space and time by actin-microtubule interactions is not understood. Using a microfluidic pairing device, we studied with unprecedented resolution the dynamics of the various events leading to immune synapse formation and maintenance. Our results identify two groups of events, local and global dominated, respectively, by actin and microtubules dynamics. They further highlight an unexpected role for microtubules and the GEF-H1-RhoA axis in restricting F-actin polymerization at the immune synapse to define the cell polarity axis, allowing the formation and maintenance of a unique competent immune synapse.

2021 ◽  
Stanislav M Cherepanov ◽  
Ryo Sakaga ◽  
Jureepon Roboon ◽  
Dinh Thi Nguyen ◽  

Social behavior is essential for the health, survival and reproduction of animals, yet the role of astrocytes in social behavior is largely unknown. CD38 is critical for social behaviors by regulating oxytocin release from hypothalamic neurons. On the other hand, CD38 is most abundantly expressed in astrocytes especially in the postnatal cortex, and is important for astroglial development. Here, we demonstrate that astroglial CD38 plays a pivotal role in the social behavior. Selective deletion of CD38 in postnatal astrocytes, but not in adult astrocytes, specifically impaired social memory without any other behavioral abnormalities. Morphological analysis revealed reductions in spine numbers, mature spines and excitatory synapse numbers in the pyramidal neurons of the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) due to deletion of astroglial CD38 in the postnatal brain. Astrocyte-conditioned medium (ACM) of CD38 KO astrocytes reduced synaptogenesis of cortical neurons by reducing extracellular SPARCL1, a synaptogenic protein. Finally, the release of SPARCL1 from astrocytes is regulated by CD38/cADPR/calcium signaling. Our data indicate that astroglial CD38 developmentally regulates social memory and neural circuit formation in the developing brain by promoting synaptogenesis through SPARCL1.

2021 ◽  
Mark St. Pierre ◽  
Neetika Rastogi ◽  
Ashley Brown ◽  
Pritika Parmar ◽  
Charles Lechner ◽  

Introduction: Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) from hypertensive disease of pregnancy complicates up to 10% of all pregnancies. Significant hippocampal-dependent cognitive and memory impairments as well as neuropsychiatric disorders have been linked to IUGR. Because disturbance of hippocampal critical period (CPd) of synaptic plasticity leads to impairments similar to those described in IUGR human offspring, we hypothesized that IUGR would perturb the CPd of synaptic plasticity in the mouse hippocampus in our model. Methods: IUGR was produced by a micro-osmotic pump infusion of the potent vasoconstrictor U-46619, a thromboxane A2-agonist (TXA2), at embryonic day (E) 12.5 in C57BL/6J mouse dams to precipitate hypertensive disease of pregnancy and IUGR. Sham-operated mice acted as controls. At P10, P18, and P40, we assessed astrogliosis using GFAP-IHC. In dorsal CA1 and CA3 subfields, we assessed the immunoreactivities (IR) (IF-IHC) to: i) parvalbumin (PV) and glutamate decarboxylase (GAD) 65/67, involved in CPd onset; ii) PSA-NCAM, that antagonizes CPd onset; iii) NPTX2, necessary for excitatory synapse formation and engagement of CPd; and iv) MBP and WFA, staining perineural nets (PNNs), marking CPd closure. ImageJ/Fiji and IMARIS were used for image processing and SPSS v24 for statistical analysis. Results: Although PV+ interneuron (IN) numbers and IR intensity were unchanged, development of GAD65/67+ synaptic boutons was accelerated at P18 IUGR mice, and inversely correlated with decreased expression of PSA-NCAM in the CA of P18 IUGR mice at P18. NPTX2 + puncta and total volume were persistently decreased in the CA3 pyramidal and radiatum layers of IUGR mice from P18 to P40. At P40, axonal myelination (MBP+) in CA3 of IUGR mice was decreased and correlated with NPTX2 deficits. Lastly, the volume and integrity of the PNNs in the dorsal CA was disrupted in IUGR mice at P40. Discussion/Conclusion: IUGR disrupts the molecular and structural initiation, consolidation and closure of the CPd of synaptic plasticity in the mouse hippocampus in our model, which may explain the learning and memory deficits observed in juvenile IUGR mice and the cognitive disorders seen in human IUGR offspring. The mechanistic links warrant further investigation, to identify therapeutic targets to prevent neurodevelopmental deficits in patients affected by IUGR.

2021 ◽  
János Vörös ◽  
Sean Weaver ◽  
Jose C. Mateus ◽  
Paulo Aguiar ◽  
Dirk van Swaay ◽  

Methods for patterning neurons in vitro have gradually improved and are used to investigate questions difficult to address in or ex vivo. Though these techniques guide axons between groups of neurons, multiscale control of neuronal connectivity, from circuits to synapses, is yet to be achieved in vitro. As studying neuronal circuits with synaptic resolution in vivo poses significant challenges, an in vitro alternative could serve as a testbed for in vivo experiments or as a platform for validating biophysical and computational models. In this work we use a combination of electron beam and photolithography to create polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) structures with features ranging from 150 nanometers to a few millimeters. Leveraging the difference between average axon and dendritic spine diameters, we restrict axon growth while allowing spines to pass through nanochannels to guide synapse formation between small groups of neurons (i.e. nodes). We show this technique can be used to generate large numbers of isolated feed-forward circuits where connections between nodes are restricted to regions connected by nanochannels. Using a genetically encoded calcium indicator in combination with fluorescently tagged post synaptic protein, PSD-95, we demonstrate functional synapses can form in this region. Although more work needs to be done to control connectivity in vitro, we believe this is a significant step in that direction.

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