Anatomy and Neuroscience - Research Publications
Now showing items 1-12 of 359
Led into Temptation? Rewarding Brand Logos Bias the Neural Encoding of Incidental Economic Decisions
(PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2012-03-30)
Human decision-making is driven by subjective values assigned to alternative choice options. These valuations are based on reward cues. It is unknown, however, whether complex reward cues, such as brand logos, may bias the neural encoding of subjective value in unrelated decisions. In this functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study, we subliminally presented brand logos preceding intertemporal choices. We demonstrated that priming biased participants' preferences towards more immediate rewards in the subsequent temporal discounting task. This was associated with modulations of the neural encoding of subjective values of choice options in a network of brain regions, including but not restricted to medial prefrontal cortex. Our findings demonstrate the general susceptibility of the human decision making system to apparently incidental contextual information. We conclude that the brain incorporates seemingly unrelated value information that modifies decision making outside the decision-maker's awareness.
Targeted RNA sequencing enhances gene expression profiling of ultra-low input samples
(TAYLOR & FRANCIS INC, 2020-06-29)
RNA-seq is the standard method for profiling gene expression in many biological systems. Due to the wide dynamic range and complex nature of the transcriptome, RNA-seq provides an incomplete characterization, especially of lowly expressed genes and transcripts. Targeted RNA sequencing (RNA CaptureSeq) focuses sequencing on genes of interest, providing exquisite sensitivity for transcript detection and quantification. However, uses of CaptureSeq have focused on bulk samples and its performance on very small populations of cells is unknown. Here we show CaptureSeq greatly enhances transcriptomic profiling of target genes in ultra-low-input samples and provides equivalent performance to that on bulk samples. We validate the performance of CaptureSeq using multiple probe sets on samples of iPSC-derived cortical neurons. We demonstrate up to 275-fold enrichment for target genes, the detection of 10% additional genes and a greater than 5-fold increase in identified gene isoforms. Analysis of spike-in controls demonstrated CaptureSeq improved both detection sensitivity and expression quantification. Comparison to the CORTECON database of cerebral cortex development revealed CaptureSeq enhanced the identification of sample differentiation stage. CaptureSeq provides sensitive, reliable and quantitative expression measurements on hundreds-to-thousands of target genes from ultra-low-input samples and has the potential to greatly enhance transcriptomic profiling when samples are limiting.
Neurovasculature of high and low tie ligation of the inferior mesenteric artery
(SPRINGER FRANCE, 2018-12-01)
PURPOSE: Controversy exists as to whether a high or low tie ligation of the inferior mesenteric artery (IMA) is the preferred technique in surgeries of the left colon and rectum. This study aims to contribute to the discussion as to which is the more beneficial technique by investigating the neurovasculature at each site. METHODS: Ten embalmed cadaveric donors underwent division of the inferior mesenteric artery at the level of the low tie. The artery was subsequently ligated at the root to render a section of tissue for histological analysis of the proximal (high tie), mid and distal (low tie) segments. RESULTS: Ganglia observed in the proximal end of seven specimens in the sample imply that there would be disruption to the innervation in a high tie procedure. CONCLUSION: This study suggests that a high tie should be avoided if the low tie is oncologically viable.
Molecular Mechanisms That Contribute to Bone Marrow Pain
(FRONTIERS MEDIA SA, 2017-09-11)
Pain associated a bony pathology puts a significant burden on individuals, society, and the health-care systems worldwide. Pathology that involves the bone marrow activates sensory nerve terminal endings of peripheral bone marrow nociceptors, and is the likely trigger for pain. This review presents our current understanding of how bone marrow nociceptors are influenced by noxious stimuli presented in pathology associated with bone marrow. A number of ion channels and receptors are emerging as important modulators of the activity of peripheral bone marrow nociceptors. Nerve growth factor (NGF) sequestration has been trialed for the management of inflammatory bone pain (osteoarthritis), and there is significant evidence for interaction of NGF with bone marrow nociceptors. Activation of transient receptor potential cation channel subfamily V member 1 sensitizes bone marrow nociceptors and could contribute to increased sensitivity of patients to noxious stimuli in various bony pathologies. Acid-sensing ion channels sense changes to tissue pH in the bone marrow microenvironment and could be targeted to treat pathology that involves acidosis of the bone marrow. Piezo2 is a mechanically gated ion channel that has recently been reported to be expressed by most myelinated bone marrow nociceptors and might be a target for treatments directed against mechanically induced bone pain. These ion channels and receptors could be useful targets for the development of peripherally acting drugs to treat pain of bony origin.
The effects of polarizing current on nerve terminal impulses recorded from polymodal and cold receptors in the guinea-pig cornea
(ROCKEFELLER UNIV PRESS, 2002-09-01)
It was reported recently that action potentials actively invade the sensory nerve terminals of corneal polymodal receptors, whereas corneal cold receptor nerve terminals are passively invaded (Brock, J.A., S. Pianova, and C. Belmonte. 2001. J. Physiol. 533:493-501). The present study investigated whether this functional difference between these two types of receptor was due to an absence of voltage-activated Na(+) conductances in cold receptor nerve terminals. To address this question, the study examined the effects of polarizing current on the configuration of nerve terminal impulses recorded extracellularly from single polymodal and cold receptors in guinea-pig cornea isolated in vitro. Polarizing currents were applied through the recording electrode. In both receptor types, hyperpolarizing current (+ve) increased the negative amplitude of nerve terminal impulses. In contrast, depolarizing current (-ve) was without effect on polymodal receptor nerve terminal impulses but increased the positive amplitude of cold receptor nerve terminal impulses. The hyperpolarization-induced increase in the negative amplitude of nerve terminal impulses represents a net increase in inward current. In both types of receptor, this increase in inward current was reduced by local application of low Na(+) solution and blocked by lidocaine (10 mM). In addition, tetrodotoxin (1 microM) slowed but did not reduce the hyperpolarization-induced increase in the negative amplitude of polymodal and cold nerve terminal impulses. The depolarization-induced increase in the positive amplitude of cold receptor nerve terminal impulses represents a net increase in outward current. This change was reduced both by lidocaine (10 mM) and the combined application of tetraethylammomium (20 mM) and 4-aminopyridine (1 mM). The interpretation is that both polymodal and cold receptor nerve terminals possess high densities of tetrodotoxin-resistant Na(+) channels. This finding suggests that in cold receptors, under normal conditions, the Na(+) conductances are rendered inactive because the nerve terminal region is relatively depolarized.
Effects of heating and cooling on nerve terminal impulses recorded from cold-sensitive receptors in the guinea-pig cornea
(ROCKEFELLER UNIV PRESS, 2003-05-01)
An in vitro preparation of the guinea-pig cornea was used to study the effects of changing temperature on nerve terminal impulses recorded extracellularly from cold-sensitive receptors. At a stable holding temperature (31-32.5 degrees C), cold receptors had an ongoing periodic discharge of nerve terminal impulses. This activity decreased or ceased with heating and increased with cooling. Reducing the rate of temperature change reduced the respective effects of heating and cooling on nerve terminal impulse frequency. In addition to changes in the frequency of activity, nerve terminal impulse shape also changed with heating and cooling. At the same ambient temperature, nerve terminal impulses were larger in amplitude and faster in time course during heating than those recorded during cooling. The magnitude of these effects of heating and cooling on nerve terminal impulse shape was reduced if the rate of temperature change was slowed. At 29, 31.5, and 35 degrees C, a train of 50 electrical stimuli delivered to the ciliary nerves at 10-40 Hz produced a progressive increase in the amplitude of successive nerve terminal impulses evoked during the train. Therefore, it is unlikely that the reduction in nerve terminal impulse amplitude observed during cooling is due to the activity-dependent changes in the nerve terminal produced by the concomitant increase in impulse frequency. Instead, the differences in nerve terminal impulse shape observed at the same ambient temperature during heating and cooling may reflect changes in the membrane potential of the nerve terminal associated with thermal transduction.
Spinal cord thermosensitivity: An afferent phenomenon?
(Informa UK Limited, 2016-04)
We review the evidence for thermoregulatory temperature sensors in the mammalian spinal cord and reach the following conclusions. 1) Spinal cord temperature contributes physiologically to temperature regulation. 2) Parallel anterolateral ascending pathways transmit signals from spinal cooling and spinal warming: they overlap with the respective axon pathways of the dorsal horn neurons that are driven by peripheral cold- and warm-sensitive afferents. 3) We hypothesize that these 'cold' and 'warm' ascending pathways transmit all extracranial thermosensory information to the brain. 4) Cutaneous cold afferents can be activated not only by cooling the skin but also by cooling sites along their axons: we consider that this is functionally insignificant in vivo. 5) By a presynaptic action on their central terminals, local spinal cooling enhances neurotransmission from incoming 'cold' afferent action potentials to second order neurons in the dorsal horn; this effect disappears when the spinal cord is warm. 6) Spinal warm sensitivity is due to warm-sensitive miniature vesicular transmitter release from afferent terminals in the dorsal horn: this effect is powerful enough to excite second order neurons in the 'warm' pathway independently of any incoming sensory traffic. 7) Distinct but related presynaptic mechanisms at cold- and warm-sensitive afferent terminals can thus account for the thermoregulatory actions of spinal cord temperature.
Unique properties of a subset of human pluripotent stem cells with high capacity for self-renewal
(NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP, 2020-05-15)
Archetypal human pluripotent stem cells (hPSC) are widely considered to be equivalent in developmental status to mouse epiblast stem cells, which correspond to pluripotent cells at a late post-implantation stage of embryogenesis. Heterogeneity within hPSC cultures complicates this interspecies comparison. Here we show that a subpopulation of archetypal hPSC enriched for high self-renewal capacity (ESR) has distinct properties relative to the bulk of the population, including a cell cycle with a very low G1 fraction and a metabolomic profile that reflects a combination of oxidative phosphorylation and glycolysis. ESR cells are pluripotent and capable of differentiation into primordial germ cell-like cells. Global DNA methylation levels in the ESR subpopulation are lower than those in mouse epiblast stem cells. Chromatin accessibility analysis revealed a unique set of open chromatin sites in ESR cells. RNA-seq at the subpopulation and single cell levels shows that, unlike mouse epiblast stem cells, the ESR subset of hPSC displays no lineage priming, and that it can be clearly distinguished from gastrulating and extraembryonic cell populations in the primate embryo. ESR hPSC correspond to an earlier stage of post-implantation development than mouse epiblast stem cells.
path Var: a new method for pathway-based interpretation of gene expression variability
(PEERJ INC, 2017-05-23)
Identifying the pathways that control a cellular phenotype is the first step to building a mechanistic model. Recent examples in developmental biology, cancer genomics, and neurological disease have demonstrated how changes in the variability of gene expression can highlight important genes that are under different degrees of regulatory control. Simple statistical tests exist to identify differentially-variable genes; however, methods for investigating how changes in gene expression variability in the context of pathways and gene sets are under-explored. Here we present pathVar, a new method that provides functional interpretation of gene expression variability changes at the level of pathways and gene sets. pathVar is based on a multinomial exact test, or an asymptotic Chi-squared test as a more computationally-efficient alternative. The method can be used for gene expression studies from any technology platform in all biological settings either with a single phenotypic group, or two-group comparisons. To demonstrate its utility, we applied the method to a diverse set of diseases, species and samples. Results from pathVar are benchmarked against analyses based on average expression and two methods of GSEA, and demonstrate that analyses using both statistics are useful for understanding transcriptional regulation. We also provide recommendations for the choice of variability statistic that have been informed through analyses on simulations and real data. Based on the datasets selected, we show how pathVar can be used to gain insight into expression variability of single cell versus bulk samples, different stem cell populations, and cancer versus normal tissue comparisons.
Cholinergic basal forebrain neurons regulate fear extinction consolidation through p75 neurotrophin receptor signaling
(NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP, 2018-09-21)
Cholinergic basal forebrain (cBF)-derived neurotransmission plays a crucial role in regulating neuronal function throughout the cortex, yet the mechanisms controlling cholinergic innervation to downstream targets have not been elucidated. Here we report that removing the p75 neurotrophin receptor (p75NTR) from cBF neurons induces a significant impairment in fear extinction consolidation. We demonstrate that this is achieved through alterations in synaptic connectivity and functional activity within the medial prefrontal cortex. These deficits revert back to wild-type levels upon re-expression of the active domain of p75NTR in adult animals. These findings demonstrate a novel role for cholinergic neurons in fear extinction consolidation and suggest that neurotrophic signaling is a key regulator of cholinergic-cortical innervation and function.
Immunohistochemical characterization of nodose cough receptor neurons projecting to the trachea of guinea pigs
(BioMed Central, 2008-10-19)
BACKGROUND: Cough in guinea pigs is mediated in part by capsaicin-insensitive low threshold mechanoreceptors (cough receptors). Functional studies suggest that cough receptors represent a homogeneous population of nodose ganglia-derived sensory neurons. In the present study we set out to characterize the neurochemical profile of cough receptor neurons in the nodose ganglia. METHODS: Nodose neurons projecting to the guinea pig trachea were retrogradely labeled with fluorogold and processed immunohistochemically for the expression of a variety of transporters (Na+/K+/2C1- co-transporter (NKCC1), alpha1 and alpha3 Na+/K+ ATPase, vesicular glutamate transporters (vGlut)1 and vGlut2), neurotransmitters (substance P, calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), somatostatin, neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS)) and cytosolic proteins (neurofilament, calretinin, calbindin, parvalbumin). RESULTS: Fluorogold labeled ~3 per cent of neurons in the nodose ganglia with an average somal perimeter of 137 +/- 6.2 mum (range 90-200 microm). All traced neurons (and seemingly all nodose neurons) were immunoreactive for NKCC1. Many (> 90 per cent) were also immunoreactive for vGlut2 and neurofilament and between 50 and 85 per cent expressed alpha1 ATPase, alpha3 ATPase or vGlut1. Cough receptor neurons that did not express the above markers could not be differentiated based on somal size, with the exception of neurofilament negative neurons which were significantly smaller (P < 0.05). Less than 10 per cent of fluorogold labeled neurons expressed substance P or CGRP (and these had somal perimeters less than 110 microm) and none expressed somatostatin, calretinin, calbindin or parvalbumin. Two distinct patterns of nNOS labeling was observed in the general population of nodose neurons: most neurons contained cytosolic clusters of moderately intense immunoreactivity whereas less than 10 per cent of neurons displayed uniform intensely fluorescent somal labeling. Less than 3 per cent of the retrogradely traced neurons were intensely fluorescent for nNOS (most showed clusters of nNOS immunoreactivity) and nNOS immunoreactivity was not expressed by cough receptor nerve terminals in the tracheal wall. CONCLUSION: These data provide further insights into the neurochemistry of nodose cough receptors and suggest that despite their high degree of functional homogeneity, nodose cough receptors subtypes may eventually be distinguished based on neurochemical profile.
Characterization of the vagal motor neurons projecting to the Guinea pig airways and esophagus
(Frontiers Media, 2010-12-17)
Distinct parasympathetic postganglionic neurons mediate contractions and relaxations of the guinea pig airways. We set out to characterize the vagal inputs that regulate contractile and relaxant airway parasympathetic postganglionic neurons. Single and dual retrograde neuronal tracing from the airways and esophagus revealed that distinct, but intermingled, subsets of neurons in the compact formation of the nucleus ambiguus (nAmb) innervate these two tissues. Tracheal and esophageal neurons identified in the nAmb were cholinergic. Esophageal projecting neurons also preferentially (greater than 70%) expressed the neuropeptide CGRP, but could not otherwise be distinguished immunohistochemically from tracheal projecting preganglionic neurons. Few tracheal or esophageal neurons were located in the dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus. Electrical stimulation of the vagi in vitro elicited stimulus dependent tracheal and esophageal contractions and tracheal relaxations. The voltage required to evoke tracheal smooth muscle relaxation was significantly higher than that required for evoking either tracheal contractions or esophageal longitudinal striated muscle contractions. Together our data support the hypothesis that distinct vagal preganglionic pathways regulate airway contractile and relaxant postganglionic neurons. The relaxant preganglionic neurons can also be differentiated from the vagal motor neurons that innervate the esophageal striated muscle.