摘要：Previous studies have shown that the Hippo pathway effector yes-associated protein (YAP) plays an important role in maintaining stem cell proliferation. However, the precise molecular mechanism of YAP in regulating murine embryonic neural stem cells (NSCs) remains largely unknown. Here, we show that bone morphogenetic protein-2 (BMP2) treatment inhibited the proliferation of mouse embryonic NSCs, that YAP was critical for mouse NSC proliferation, and that BMP2 treatment-induced inhibition of mouse NSC proliferation was abrogated by YAP knockdown, indicating that the YAP protein mediates the inhibitory effect of BMP2 signaling. Additionally, we found that BMP2 treatment reduced YAP nuclear translocation, YAP-TEAD interaction, and YAP-mediated transactivation. BMP2 treatment inhibited YAP/TEAD-mediated Cyclin D1 (ccnd1) expression, and knockdown of ccnd1 abrogated the BMP2-mediated inhibition of mouse NSC proliferation. Mechanistically, we found that Smad1/4, effectors of BMP2 signaling, competed with YAP for the interaction with TAED1 and inhibited YAP's cotranscriptional activity. Our data reveal mechanistic cross talk between BMP2 signaling and the Hippo-YAP pathway in murine NSC proliferation, which may be exploited as a therapeutic target in neurodegenerative diseases and aging.
摘要：Crowding, the identification difficulty for a target in the presence of nearby flankers, is ubiquitous in spatial vision and is considered a bottleneck of object recognition and visual awareness. Despite its significance, the neural mechanisms of crowding are still unclear. Here, we performed event-related potential and fMRI experiments to measure the cortical interaction between the target and flankers in human subjects. We found that the magnitude of the crowding effect was closely associated with an early suppressive cortical interaction. The cortical suppression was reflected in the earliest event-related potential component (C1), which originated in V1, and in the BOLD signal in V1, but not other higher cortical areas. Intriguingly, spatial attention played a critical role in the manifestation of the suppression. These findings provide direct and converging evidence that attention-dependent V1 suppression contributes to crowding at a very early stage of visual processing.
摘要：The prefrontal cortex is implicated in cognitive functioning and schizophrenia. Prefrontal dysfunction is closely associated with the symptoms of schizophrenia. In addition to the features typical of schizophrenia, patients also present with aspects of cognitive disorders. Based on these relationships, a monkey model mimicking the cognitive symptoms of schizophrenia has been made using treatment with the non-specific competitive N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor antagonist, phencyclidine. The symptoms are ameliorated by atypical antipsychotic drugs such as clozapine. The beneficial effects of clozapine on behavioral impairment might be a specific indicator of schizophrenia-related cognitive impairment.
摘要：The human LGN and SC consist of distinct layers, but their layer-specific response properties remain poorly understood. In this fMRI study, we characterized visual response properties of the magnocellular (M) and parvocellular (P) layers of the human LGN, as well as at different depths in the SC. Results show that fMRI is capable of resolving layer-specific signals from the LGN and SC. Compared to the P layers of the LGN, the M layers preferred higher temporal frequency, lower spatial frequency stimuli, and their responses saturated at lower contrast. Furthermore, the M layers are colorblind while the P layers showed robust response to both chromatic and achromatic stimuli. Visual responses in the SC were strongest in the superficial voxels, which showed similar spatiotemporal and contrast response properties as the M layers of the LGN, but were sensitive to color and responded strongly to isoluminant color stimulus. Thus, the non-invasive fMRI measures show that the M and P layers of human LGN have similar response properties as that observed in non-human primates and the superficial layers of the human SC prefer transient inputs but are not colorblind. (C) 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
摘要：The brain constantly creates perceptual predictions about forthcoming stimuli to guide perception efficiently. Abundant studies have demonstrated that perceptual predictions modulate sensory activities depending on whether the actual inputs are consistent with one particular prediction. In real-life contexts, however, multiple and even conflicting predictions might concurrently exist to be tested, requiring a multiprediction coordination process. It remains largely unknown how multiple hypotheses are conveyed and harmonized to guide moment-by-moment perception. Based on recent findings revealing that multiple locations are sampled alternatively in various phase of attentional rhythms, we hypothesize that this oscillation-based temporal organization mechanism may also underlie the multiprediction coordination process. To address the issue, we used well established priming paradigms in combination with a time-resolved behavioral approach to investigate the fine temporal dynamics of the multiprediction harmonization course in human subjects. We first replicate classical priming effects in slowly developing trends of priming time courses. Second, after removing the typical priming patterns, we reveal a new theta-band (similar to 4 Hz) oscillatory component in the priming behavioral data regardless of whether the prime was masked. Third, we show that these theta-band priming oscillations triggered by congruent and incongruent primes are in an out-of-phase relationship. These findings suggest that perceptual predictions return to low-sensory areas not continuously but recurrently in a theta-band rhythm (every 200-300 ms) and that multiple predictions are dynamically coordinated in time by being conveyed in different phases of the theta-band oscillations to achieve dissociated but temporally organized neural representations.
摘要：Orientation, the spatial organization of animal behavior, is an essential faculty of animals. Bacteria and lower animals such as insects exhibit taxis, innate orientation behavior, directly toward or away from a directional cue. Organisms can also orient themselves at a specific angle relative to the cues. In this study, using Drosophila as a model system, we established a visual orientation conditioning paradigm based on a flight simulator in which a stationary flying fly could control the rotation of a visual object. By coupling aversive heat shocks to a fly's orientation toward one side of the visual object, we found that the fly could be conditioned to orientate toward the left or right side of the frontal visual object and retain this conditioned visual orientation. The lower and upper visual fields have different roles in conditioned visual orientation. Transfer experiments showed that conditioned visual orientation could generalize between visual targets of different sizes, compactness, or vertical positions, but not of contour orientation. Rut-Type I adenylyl cyclase and Dnc-phosphodiesterase were dispensable for visual orientation conditioning. Normal activity and scb signaling in R3/R4d neurons of the ellipsoid body were required for visual orientation conditioning. Our studies established a visual orientation conditioning paradigm and examined the behavioral properties and neural circuitry of visual orientation, an important component of the insect's spatial navigation.
摘要：Much has been debated about whether the neural plasticity mediating perceptual learning takes place at the sensory or decision-making stage in the brain. To investigate this, we trained human subjects in a visual motion direction discrimination task. Behavioral performance and BOLD signals were measured before, immediately after, and two weeks after training. Parallel to subjects' long-lasting behavioral improvement, the neural selectivity in V3A and the effective connectivity from V3A to IPS (intraparietal sulcus, a motion decisionmaking area) exhibited a persistent increase for the trained direction. Moreover, the improvement was well explained by a linear combination of the selectivity and connectivity increases. These findings suggest that the long-term neural mechanisms of motion perceptual learning are implemented by sharpening cortical tuning to trained stimuli at the sensory processing stage, as well as by optimizing the connections between sensory and decision-making areas in the brain. (C) 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
摘要：Main ProblemEpilepsy is one of the more common neurological disorders. The medication is often ineffective to the patients suffering from intractable temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE). As their seizures are usually self-terminated, the elucidation of the mechanism underlying endogenous seizure termination will help to find a new strategy for epilepsy treatment. We aim to examine the role of inhibitory interneurons in endogenous seizure termination in TLE patients. MethodsWhole-cell recordings were conducted on inhibitory interneurons in seizure-onset cortices of intractable TLE patients and the temporal lobe cortices of nonseizure individuals. The intrinsic property of the inhibitory interneurons and the strength of their GABAergic synaptic outputs were measured. The quantitative data were introduced into the computer-simulated neuronal networks to figure out a role of these inhibitory units in the seizure termination. ResultsIn addition to functional downregulation, a portion of inhibitory interneurons in seizure-onset cortices were upregulated in encoding the spikes and controlling their postsynaptic neurons. A patch-like upregulation of inhibitory neurons in the local network facilitated seizure termination. The upregulations of both inhibitory neurons and their output synapses synergistically shortened seizure duration, attenuated seizure strength, and terminated seizure propagation. ConclusionAutomatic seizure termination is likely due to the fact that a portion of the inhibitory neurons and synapses are upregulated in the seizure-onset cortices. This mechanism may create novel therapeutic strategies to treat intractable epilepsy, such as the simultaneous upregulation of cortical inhibitory neurons and their output synapses.
摘要：It is well known that voltage-gated calcium channels (VGCCs)-mediated Ca2+ influx triggers evoked synaptic vesicle release. However, the mechanisms of Ca2+ regulation of spontaneous miniature vesicle release (mini) remain poorly understood. Here we show that blocking VGCCs at the juvenile mice (C57BL/6) calyx of Held synapse failed to cause an immediate change in minis. Instead, it resulted in a significant reduction (similar to 40%) of mini frequency several minutes after the blockage. By recording VGCC activity and single vesicle fusion events directly at the presynaptic terminal, we found that minis did not couple to VGCC-mediated Ca2+ entry, arguing for a lack of direct correlation between mini and transient Ca2+ influx. Moreover, mini frequencies displayed a lower apparent Ca2+ cooperativity than those of evoked release. In agreement with this observation, abrogation of the Ca2+ sensor synaptotagmin-2 had no effect on apparent Ca2+ cooperativity of minis. Together, our study provides the first direct evidence that spontaneous minis are not mediated by transient Ca2+ signals through VGCCs and are triggered by a Ca2+-sensing mechanism that is different from the evoked release at these microdomain VGCC-vesicle coupled synapses.
摘要：Information processing can be biased toward behaviorally relevant and salient stimuli by top-down (goal-directed) and bottom-up (stimulus-driven) attentional control processes respectively. However, the neural basis underlying the integration of these processes is not well understood. We employed functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and transcranial direct-current stimulation (tDCS) in humans to examine the brain mechanisms underlying the interaction between these two processes. We manipulated the cognitive load involved in top-down processing and stimulus surprise involved in bottom-up processing in a factorial design by combining a majority function task and an oddball paradigm. We found that high cognitive load and high surprise level were associated with prolonged reaction time compared to low cognitive load and low surprise level, with a synergistic interaction effect, which was accompanied by a greater deactivation of bilateral temporoparietal junction (TPJ). In addition, the TPJ displayed negative functional connectivity with right middle occipital gyrus, which is involved in bottom-up processing (modulated by the interaction effect), and the right frontal eye field (FEF), which is involved in top-down control. The enhanced negative functional connectivity between the TPJ and right FEF was accompanied by a larger behavioral interaction effect across subjects. Application of cathodal tDCS over the right TPJ eliminated the interaction effect. These results suggest that the TPJ plays a critical role in processing bottom-up information for top-down control of attention. Hum Brain Mapp 36:4317-4333, 2015. (c) 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
摘要：Hypoxic preconditioning (HPC) elicits resistance to more drastic subsequent insults, which potentially provide neuroprotective therapeutic strategy, but the underlying mechanisms remain to be fully elucidated. Here, we examined the effects of HPC on synaptic ultrastructure in olfactory bulb of mice. Mice underwent up to five cycles of repeated HPC treatments, and hypoxic tolerance was assessed with a standard gasp reflex assay. As expected, HPC induced an increase in tolerance time. To assess synaptic responses, Western blots were used to quantify protein levels of representative markers for glia, neuron, and synapse, and transmission electron microscopy was used to examine synaptic ultrastructure and mitochondrial density. HPC did not significantly alter the protein levels of astroglial marker (GFAP), neuron-specific markers (GAP43, Tuj-1, and OMP), synaptic number markers (synaptophysin and SNAP25) or the percentage of excitatory synapses versus inhibitory synapses. However, HPC significantly affected synaptic curvature and the percentage of synapses with presynaptic mitochondria, which showed concomitant change pattern. These findings demonstrate that HPC is associated with changes in synaptic ultrastructure. (C) 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
摘要：Early brain development is a complex and rapid process, the disturbance of which may cause the onset of brain disorders. Based on longitudinal imaging data acquired from 6 to 16 months postnatal, we describe a systematic trajectory of monkey brain development during late infancy, and demonstrate the influence of phencyclidine (PCP) on this trajectory. Although the general developmental trajectory of the monkey brain was close to that of the human brain, the development in monkeys was faster and regionally specific. Gray matter volume began to decrease during late infancy in monkeys, much earlier than in humans in whom it occurs in adolescence. Additionally, the decrease of gray matter volume in higher-order association regions (the frontal, parietal and temporal lobes) occurred later than in regions for primary functions (the occipital lobe and cerebellum). White matter volume displayed an increasing trend in most brain regions, but not in the occipital lobe, which had a stable volume. In addition, based on diffusion tensor imaging, we found an increase in fractional anisotropy and a decrease in diffusivity, which may be associated with myelination and axonal changes in white matter tracts. Meanwhile, we tested the influence of 14-day PCP treatment on the developmental trajectories. Such treatment tended to accelerated brain maturation during late infancy, although not statistically significant. These findings provide comparative information for the understanding of primate brain maturation and neurodevelopmental disorders. (C) 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
摘要：Blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) and arterial spin labeling (ASL) are two predominant resting-state fMRI techniques in mapping spontaneous brain activities. At single voxel level, cerebral blood flow (CBF) measured by ASL and amplitude of low frequency fluctuations (ALFF) of BOLD have been recognized as useful indices to characterize brain function in health and disease. However, no study has directly compared the test-retest reliability between BOLD and CBF contrasts on the same group of subjects at single voxel level. Moreover, both eyes-open and eyes-closed conditions have been employed as resting states, but it is still not clear which state is more reliable. Here we collected BOLD and ASL data during eyes-open and eyes-closed states across three scanning visits on twenty-two healthy young subjects. CBF-mean, BOLD-and CBF-ALFF were computed to characterize corresponding brain activities at single voxel level. Seed-based functional connectivity (FC) with the posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) was further calculated for both BOLD and CBF data. Intra-class correlation was used as the index of long-term reliability between visits 1 and 2 (two months apart) and short-term reliability between visits 2 and 3 (on the same day). Both short-and long-term reliabilities for CBF-mean and BOLD-ALFF were high, but were lower for CBF-ALFF, BOLD-and CBF-FC in both eyes-open and eyes-closed states. Direct comparisons showed that brain regions with the highest reliability of CBF-mean were mainly in the gray matter. The reliability of CBF-ALFF and BOLD-FC was lower than that of BOLD-ALFF, and the reliability of CBF-FC was lower than those of both CBF-ALFF and BOLD-FC. Furthermore, we observed that reliabilities of the eyes-open state were higher than those of the eyes-closed state for both imaging contrasts, though the effect size was small. Voxel-wise comparisons demonstrated that the long-term reliability of BOLD-ALFF was significantly higher with eyes open in the visual system, and both the short-and long-term reliability of BOLD-FC was slightly higher with eyes open in the default mode network. Moreover, we showed that denoising decreased the reliability of both ALFF and FC of both BOLD and ASL contrasts. In conclusion, our results indicated that CBF-mean and BOLD-ALFF could both be used as reliable indices for characterizing resting-state brain activities at single voxel level and recommended the eyes-open state for resting-state studies, especially for those targeting the visual system and default mode network. (C) 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
摘要：All neurodegenerative diseases are associated with oxidative stress-induced neuronal death. Forkhead box O3a (FOXO3a) is a key transcription factor involved in neuronal apoptosis. However, how FOXO3a forms complexes and functions in oxidative stress processing remains largely unknown. In the present study, we show that histone deacetylase 2 (HDAC2) forms a physical complex with FOXO3a, which plays an important role in FOXO3a-dependent gene transcription and oxidative stress-induced mouse cerebellar granule neuron (CGN) apoptosis. Interestingly, we also found that HDAC2 became selectively enriched in the promoter region of the p21 gene, but not those of other target genes, and inhibited FOXO3a-mediated p21 transcription. Furthermore, we found that oxidative stress reduced the interaction between FOXO3a and HDAC2, leading to an increased histone H4K16 acetylation level in the p21 promoter region and upregulated p21 expression in a manner independent of p53 or E2F1. Phosphorylation of HDAC2 at Ser 394 is important for the HDAC2-FOXO3a interaction, and we found that cerebral ischemia/reperfusion reduced phosphorylation of HDAC2 at Ser 394 and mitigated the HDAC2-FOXO3a interaction in mouse brain tissue. Our study reveals the novel regulation of FOXO3a-mediated selective gene transcription via epigenetic modification in the process of oxidative stress-induced cell death, which could be exploited therapeutically.
摘要：Postoperative cognitive dysfunction (POCD) is an important complication following major surgery and general anesthesia in older patients. However, the etiology of POCD remains largely to be determined. It is unknown how surgical stress and psychological stress affect the postoperative learning and memory function in geriatric patients. We therefore established a pre-clinical model in aged C57BL/6 mice and aimed to investigate the effects of surgical stress and psychological stress on learning and memory function and the possible roles of the protein kinase B/mammalian target of rapamycin (AKT/mTOR) pathway. The surgical stress was induced by abdominal surgery under local anesthesia, and the psychological stress was induced by a communication box. Cognitive functions and markers of the AKT/mTOR pathway were assessed at 1, 3 and 7 days following the stress. The impairments of learning and memory function existed for up to 7 days following surgical stress and surgical stress plus psychological stress, whereas the psychological stress did not affect the cognitive function alone or combined with surgical stress. Analysis of brain tissue revealed a significant involvement of the AKT/mTOR pathway in the impairment of cognition. These data suggested that surgical stress could induce cognitive impairment in aged mice and perioperative psychological stress is not a constitutive factor of POCD. The AKT/mTOR pathway is likely involved as one of the underlying mechanisms of the development of POCD. (C) 2016 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
摘要：Background: Mutations in the fused in sarcoma (FUS) gene have been linked to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). ALS patients with FUS mutations exhibit neuronal cytoplasmic mislocalization of the mutant FUS protein. ALS patients' fibroblasts or induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived neurons have been developed as models for understanding ALS-associated FUS (ALS-FUS) pathology; however, pathological neuronal signatures are not sufficiently present in the fibroblasts of patients, whereas the generation of iPSC-derived neurons from ALS patients requires relatively intricate procedures. Results: Here, we report the generation of disease-specific induced neurons (iNeurons) from the fibroblasts of patients who carry three different FUS mutations that were recently identified by direct sequencing and multi-gene panel analysis. The mutations are located at the C-terminal nuclear localization signal (NLS) region of the protein (p.G504Wfs*12, p.R495*, p.Q519E): two de novo mutations in sporadic ALS and one in familial ALS case. Aberrant cytoplasmic mislocalization with nuclear clearance was detected in all patient-derived iNeurons, and oxidative stress further induced the accumulation of cytoplasmic FUS in cytoplasmic granules, thereby recapitulating neuronal pathological features identified in mutant FUS (p.G504Wfs*12)-autopsied ALS patient. Importantly, such FUS pathological hallmarks of the patient with the p.Q519E mutation were only detected in patient-derived iNeurons, which contrasts to predominant FUS (p.Q519E) in the nucleus of both the transfected cells and patient-derived fibroblasts. Conclusions: Thus, iNeurons may provide a more reliable model for investigating FUS mutations with disrupted NLS for understanding FUS-associated proteinopathies in ALS.