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1.
Neuroscience Bulletin ; (6): 1840-1858, 2023.
Article in English | WPRIM | ID: wpr-1010665

ABSTRACT

The mammalian brain is a highly complex network that consists of millions to billions of densely-interconnected neurons. Precise dissection of neural circuits at the mesoscopic level can provide important structural information for understanding the brain. Optical approaches can achieve submicron lateral resolution and achieve "optical sectioning" by a variety of means, which has the natural advantage of allowing the observation of neural circuits at the mesoscopic level. Automated whole-brain optical imaging methods based on tissue clearing or histological sectioning surpass the limitation of optical imaging depth in biological tissues and can provide delicate structural information in a large volume of tissues. Combined with various fluorescent labeling techniques, whole-brain optical imaging methods have shown great potential in the brain-wide quantitative profiling of cells, circuits, and blood vessels. In this review, we summarize the principles and implementations of various whole-brain optical imaging methods and provide some concepts regarding their future development.


Subject(s)
Animals , Brain/physiology , Brain Mapping/methods , Neurons/physiology , Optical Imaging/methods , Mammals
2.
Neuroscience Bulletin ; (6): 1544-1560, 2023.
Article in English | WPRIM | ID: wpr-1010633

ABSTRACT

The secondary motor cortex (M2) encodes choice-related information and plays an important role in cue-guided actions. M2 neurons innervate the dorsal striatum (DS), which also contributes to decision-making behavior, yet how M2 modulates signals in the DS to influence perceptual decision-making is unclear. Using mice performing a visual Go/No-Go task, we showed that inactivating M2 projections to the DS impaired performance by increasing the false alarm (FA) rate to the reward-irrelevant No-Go stimulus. The choice signal of M2 neurons correlated with behavioral performance, and the inactivation of M2 neurons projecting to the DS reduced the choice signal in the DS. By measuring and manipulating the responses of direct or indirect pathway striatal neurons defined by M2 inputs, we found that the indirect pathway neurons exhibited a shorter response latency to the No-Go stimulus, and inactivating their early responses increased the FA rate. These results demonstrate that the M2-to-DS pathway is crucial for suppressing inappropriate responses in perceptual decision behavior.


Subject(s)
Mice , Animals , Motor Cortex , Corpus Striatum/physiology , Neostriatum , Neurons/physiology , Reaction Time
3.
Neuroscience Bulletin ; (6): 409-424, 2023.
Article in English | WPRIM | ID: wpr-971584

ABSTRACT

For decades, memory research has centered on the role of neurons, which do not function in isolation. However, astrocytes play important roles in regulating neuronal recruitment and function at the local and network levels, forming the basis for information processing as well as memory formation and storage. In this review, we discuss the role of astrocytes in memory functions and their cellular underpinnings at multiple time points. We summarize important breakthroughs and controversies in the field as well as potential avenues to further illuminate the role of astrocytes in memory processes.


Subject(s)
Astrocytes , Neuronal Plasticity/physiology , Memory/physiology , Neurons/physiology , Cognition/physiology
4.
Neuroscience Bulletin ; (6): 531-540, 2023.
Article in English | WPRIM | ID: wpr-971577

ABSTRACT

Glial cells, consisting of astrocytes, oligodendrocyte lineage cells, and microglia, account for >50% of the total number of cells in the mammalian brain. They play key roles in the modulation of various brain activities under physiological and pathological conditions. Although the typical morphological features and characteristic functions of these cells are well described, the organization of interconnections of the different glial cell populations and their impact on the healthy and diseased brain is not completely understood. Understanding these processes remains a profound challenge. Accumulating evidence suggests that glial cells can form highly complex interconnections with each other. The astroglial network has been well described. Oligodendrocytes and microglia may also contribute to the formation of glial networks under various circumstances. In this review, we discuss the structure and function of glial networks and their pathological relevance to central nervous system diseases. We also highlight opportunities for future research on the glial connectome.


Subject(s)
Animals , Neuroglia/physiology , Neurons/physiology , Astrocytes , Microglia/physiology , Oligodendroglia , Mammals
5.
Neuroscience Bulletin ; (6): 425-439, 2023.
Article in English | WPRIM | ID: wpr-971574

ABSTRACT

Chronic pain is challenging to treat due to the limited therapeutic options and adverse side-effects of therapies. Astrocytes are the most abundant glial cells in the central nervous system and play important roles in different pathological conditions, including chronic pain. Astrocytes regulate nociceptive synaptic transmission and network function via neuron-glia and glia-glia interactions to exaggerate pain signals under chronic pain conditions. It is also becoming clear that astrocytes play active roles in brain regions important for the emotional and memory-related aspects of chronic pain. Therefore, this review presents our current understanding of the roles of astrocytes in chronic pain, how they regulate nociceptive responses, and their cellular and molecular mechanisms of action.


Subject(s)
Humans , Astrocytes/pathology , Chronic Pain/pathology , Neuroglia/physiology , Neurons/physiology , Synaptic Transmission , Chronic Disease
6.
Neuroscience Bulletin ; (6): 315-327, 2023.
Article in English | WPRIM | ID: wpr-971569

ABSTRACT

The hippocampus has been extensively implicated in spatial navigation in rodents and more recently in bats. Numerous studies have revealed that various kinds of spatial information are encoded across hippocampal regions. In contrast, investigations of spatial behavioral correlates in the primate hippocampus are scarce and have been mostly limited to head-restrained subjects during virtual navigation. However, recent advances made in freely-moving primates suggest marked differences in spatial representations from rodents, albeit some similarities. Here, we review empirical studies examining the neural correlates of spatial navigation in the primate (including human) hippocampus at the levels of local field potentials and single units. The lower frequency theta oscillations are often intermittent. Single neuron responses are highly mixed and task-dependent. We also discuss neuronal selectivity in the eye and head coordinates. Finally, we propose that future studies should focus on investigating both intrinsic and extrinsic population activity and examining spatial coding properties in large-scale hippocampal-neocortical networks across tasks.


Subject(s)
Animals , Humans , Spatial Navigation/physiology , Hippocampus/physiology , Primates , Neurons/physiology , Theta Rhythm/physiology
7.
Neuroscience Bulletin ; (6): 14-28, 2023.
Article in English | WPRIM | ID: wpr-971562

ABSTRACT

Recent work in decision neuroscience suggests that visual saliency can interact with reward-based choice, and the lateral intraparietal cortex (LIP) is implicated in this process. In this study, we recorded from LIP neurons while monkeys performed a two alternative choice task in which the reward and luminance associated with each offer were varied independently. We discovered that the animal's choice was dictated by the reward amount while the luminance had a marginal effect. In the LIP, neuronal activity corresponded well with the animal's choice pattern, in that a majority of reward-modulated neurons encoded the reward amount in the neuron's preferred hemifield with a positive slope. In contrast, compared to their responses to low luminance, an approximately equal proportion of luminance-sensitive neurons responded to high luminance with increased or decreased activity, leading to a much weaker population-level response. Meanwhile, in the non-preferred hemifield, the strength of encoding for reward amount and luminance was positively correlated, suggesting the integration of these two factors in the LIP. Moreover, neurons encoding reward and luminance were homogeneously distributed along the anterior-posterior axis of the LIP. Overall, our study provides further evidence supporting the neural instantiation of a priority map in the LIP in reward-based decisions.


Subject(s)
Animals , Macaca mulatta/physiology , Parietal Lobe , Neurons/physiology , Saccades , Reward , Photic Stimulation
8.
Neuroscience Bulletin ; (6): 368-378, 2023.
Article in English | WPRIM | ID: wpr-971552

ABSTRACT

Chronic pain relief remains an unmet medical need. Current research points to a substantial contribution of glia-neuron interaction in its pathogenesis. Particularly, microglia play a crucial role in the development of chronic pain. To better understand the microglial contribution to chronic pain, specific regional and temporal manipulations of microglia are necessary. Recently, two new approaches have emerged that meet these demands. Chemogenetic tools allow the expression of designer receptors exclusively activated by designer drugs (DREADDs) specifically in microglia. Similarly, optogenetic tools allow for microglial manipulation via the activation of artificially expressed, light-sensitive proteins. Chemo- and optogenetic manipulations of microglia in vivo are powerful in interrogating microglial function in chronic pain. This review summarizes these emerging tools in studying the role of microglia in chronic pain and highlights their potential applications in microglia-related neurological disorders.


Subject(s)
Humans , Optogenetics , Brain/physiology , Microglia , Chronic Pain/therapy , Neurons/physiology
9.
Acta Physiologica Sinica ; (6): 671-681, 2023.
Article in Chinese | WPRIM | ID: wpr-1007782

ABSTRACT

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a typical cognitive disorder with an increasing incidence in recent years. AD is also one of the main causes of disability and death of the elderly in current aging society. One of the most common symptoms of AD is spatial memory impairment, which occurs in more than 60% of patients. This memory loss is closely related to the impairment of cognitive maps in the brain. The entorhinal grid cells and the hippocampal place cells are important cellular basis for spatial memory and navigation functions in the brain. Understanding the abnormal firing pattern of these neurons and their impaired coordination to neural oscillations in transgenic rodents is crucial for identifying the therapeutic targets for AD. In this article, we review recent studies on neural activity based on transgenic rodent models of AD, with a focus on the changes in the firing characteristics of neurons and the abnormal electroencephalogram (EEG) rhythm in the entorhinal cortex and hippocampus. We also discuss potential cell-network mechanism of spatial memory disorders caused by AD, so as to provide a scientific basis for the diagnosis and treatment of AD in the future.


Subject(s)
Animals , Mice , Alzheimer Disease/genetics , Animals, Genetically Modified , Cognition , Cognitive Dysfunction , Hippocampus/physiology , Memory Disorders , Mice, Transgenic , Neurons/physiology
10.
Acta Physiologica Sinica ; (6): 487-496, 2023.
Article in English | WPRIM | ID: wpr-1007763

ABSTRACT

It is well established that increased excitability of the presympathetic neurons in the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus (PVN) during hypertension leads to heightened sympathetic outflow and hypertension. However, the mechanism underlying the overactivation of PVN presympathetic neurons remains unclear. This study aimed to investigate the role of endogenous corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) on the excitability of presympathetic neurons in PVN using Western blot, arterial blood pressure (ABP) and renal sympathetic nerve activity (RSNA) recording, CRISPR/Cas9 technique and patch-clamp technique. The results showed that CRF protein expression in PVN was significantly upregulated in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRs) compared with normotensive Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) rats. Besides, PVN administration of exogenous CRF significantly increased RSNA, heart rate and ABP in WKY rats. In contrast, knockdown of upregulated CRF in PVN of SHRs inhibited CRF expression, led to membrane potential hyperpolarization, and decreased the frequency of current-evoked firings of PVN presympathetic neurons, which were reversed by incubation of exogenous CRF. Perfusion of rat brain slices with artificial cerebrospinal fluid containing CRF receptor 1 (CRFR1) blocker, NBI-35965, or CRF receptor 2 (CRFR2) blocker, Antisauvagine-30, showed that blocking CRFR1, but not CRFR2, hyperpolarized the membrane potential and inhibited the current-evoked firing of PVN presympathetic neurons in SHRs. However, blocking CRFR1 or CRFR2 did not affect the membrane potential and current-evoked firing of presympathetic neurons in WKY rats. Overall, these findings indicate that increased endogenous CRF release from PVN CRF neurons enhances the excitability of presympathetic neurons via activation of CRFR1 in SHRs.


Subject(s)
Rats , Animals , Rats, Inbred SHR , Paraventricular Hypothalamic Nucleus/physiology , Receptors, Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone/metabolism , Rats, Inbred WKY , Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone/metabolism , Neurons/physiology , Hypertension , Sympathetic Nervous System
11.
Neuroscience Bulletin ; (6): 817-831, 2023.
Article in English | WPRIM | ID: wpr-982451

ABSTRACT

Predatory hunting is an important type of innate behavior evolutionarily conserved across the animal kingdom. It is typically composed of a set of sequential actions, including prey search, pursuit, attack, and consumption. This behavior is subject to control by the nervous system. Early studies used toads as a model to probe the neuroethology of hunting, which led to the proposal of a sensory-triggered release mechanism for hunting actions. More recent studies have used genetically-trackable zebrafish and rodents and have made breakthrough discoveries in the neuroethology and neurocircuits underlying this behavior. Here, we review the sophisticated neurocircuitry involved in hunting and summarize the detailed mechanism for the circuitry to encode various aspects of hunting neuroethology, including sensory processing, sensorimotor transformation, motivation, and sequential encoding of hunting actions. We also discuss the overlapping brain circuits for hunting and feeding and point out the limitations of current studies. We propose that hunting is an ideal behavioral paradigm in which to study the neuroethology of motivated behaviors, which may shed new light on epidemic disorders, including binge-eating, obesity, and obsessive-compulsive disorders.


Subject(s)
Animals , Zebrafish , Hunting , Predatory Behavior/physiology , Neurons/physiology , Motivation
12.
Neuroscience Bulletin ; (6): 994-1008, 2023.
Article in English | WPRIM | ID: wpr-982450

ABSTRACT

Evading or escaping from predators is one of the most crucial issues for survival across the animal kingdom. The timely detection of predators and the initiation of appropriate fight-or-flight responses are innate capabilities of the nervous system. Here we review recent progress in our understanding of innate visually-triggered defensive behaviors and the underlying neural circuit mechanisms, and a comparison among vinegar flies, zebrafish, and mice is included. This overview covers the anatomical and functional aspects of the neural circuits involved in this process, including visual threat processing and identification, the selection of appropriate behavioral responses, and the initiation of these innate defensive behaviors. The emphasis of this review is on the early stages of this pathway, namely, threat identification from complex visual inputs and how behavioral choices are influenced by differences in visual threats. We also briefly cover how the innate defensive response is processed centrally. Based on these summaries, we discuss coding strategies for visual threats and propose a common prototypical pathway for rapid innate defensive responses.


Subject(s)
Mice , Animals , Zebrafish , Neurons/physiology , Visual Perception/physiology
13.
Neuroscience Bulletin ; (6): 962-972, 2023.
Article in English | WPRIM | ID: wpr-982443

ABSTRACT

The anterior auditory field (AAF) is a core region of the auditory cortex and plays a vital role in discrimination tasks. However, the role of the AAF corticostriatal neurons in frequency discrimination remains unclear. Here, we used c-Fos staining, fiber photometry recording, and pharmacogenetic manipulation to investigate the function of the AAF corticostriatal neurons in a frequency discrimination task. c-Fos staining and fiber photometry recording revealed that the activity of AAF pyramidal neurons was significantly elevated during the frequency discrimination task. Pharmacogenetic inhibition of AAF pyramidal neurons significantly impaired frequency discrimination. In addition, histological results revealed that AAF pyramidal neurons send strong projections to the striatum. Moreover, pharmacogenetic suppression of the striatal projections from pyramidal neurons in the AAF significantly disrupted the frequency discrimination. Collectively, our findings show that AAF pyramidal neurons, particularly the AAF-striatum projections, play a crucial role in frequency discrimination behavior.


Subject(s)
Acoustic Stimulation/methods , Neurons/physiology , Auditory Cortex/physiology , Auditory Perception , Pyramidal Cells
14.
Neuroscience Bulletin ; (6): 589-601, 2023.
Article in English | WPRIM | ID: wpr-982432

ABSTRACT

The parabrachial nucleus (PBN) integrates interoceptive and exteroceptive information to control various behavioral and physiological processes including breathing, emotion, and sleep/wake regulation through the neural circuits that connect to the forebrain and the brainstem. However, the precise identity and function of distinct PBN subpopulations are still largely unknown. Here, we leveraged molecular characterization, retrograde tracing, optogenetics, chemogenetics, and electrocortical recording approaches to identify a small subpopulation of neurotensin-expressing neurons in the PBN that largely project to the emotional control regions in the forebrain, rather than the medulla. Their activation induces freezing and anxiety-like behaviors, which in turn result in tachypnea. In addition, optogenetic and chemogenetic manipulations of these neurons revealed their function in promoting wakefulness and maintaining sleep architecture. We propose that these neurons comprise a PBN subpopulation with specific gene expression, connectivity, and function, which play essential roles in behavioral and physiological regulation.


Subject(s)
Parabrachial Nucleus/physiology , Wakefulness/physiology , Neurons/physiology , Emotions , Sleep
15.
Neuroscience Bulletin ; (6): 645-658, 2023.
Article in English | WPRIM | ID: wpr-982413

ABSTRACT

To understand how the nervous system develops from a small pool of progenitors during early embryonic development, it is fundamentally important to identify the diversity of neuronal subtypes, decode the origin of neuronal diversity, and uncover the principles governing neuronal specification across different regions. Recent single-cell analyses have systematically identified neuronal diversity at unprecedented scale and speed, leaving the deconstruction of spatiotemporal mechanisms for generating neuronal diversity an imperative and paramount challenge. In this review, we highlight three distinct strategies deployed by neural progenitors to produce diverse neuronal subtypes, including predetermined, stochastic, and cascade diversifying models, and elaborate how these strategies are implemented in distinct regions such as the neocortex, spinal cord, retina, and hypothalamus. Importantly, the identity of neural progenitors is defined by their spatial position and temporal patterning factors, and each type of progenitor cell gives rise to distinguishable cohorts of neuronal subtypes. Microenvironmental cues, spontaneous activity, and connectional pattern further reshape and diversify the fate of unspecialized neurons in particular regions. The illumination of how neuronal diversity is generated will pave the way for producing specific brain organoids to model human disease and desired neuronal subtypes for cell therapy, as well as understanding the organization of functional neural circuits and the evolution of the nervous system.


Subject(s)
Humans , Neural Stem Cells/physiology , Neurons/physiology , Brain , Spinal Cord , Embryonic Development , Cell Differentiation/physiology
16.
Journal of Zhejiang University. Medical sciences ; (6): 662-672, 2023.
Article in Chinese | WPRIM | ID: wpr-1009926

ABSTRACT

A complex pathophysiological mechanism is involved in brain injury following cerebral infarction. The neurovascular unit (NVU) is a complex multi-cellular structure consisting of neurons, endothelial cells, pericyte, astrocyte, microglia and extracellular matrix, etc. The dyshomeostasis of NVU directly participates in the regulation of inflammatory immune process. The components of NVU promote inflammatory overreaction and synergize with the overactivation of autonomic nervous system to initiate stroke-induced immunodepression (SIID). SIID can alleviate the damage caused by inflammation, however, it also makes stroke patients more susceptible to infection, leading to systemic damage. This article reviews the mechanism of SIID and the roles of NVU in SIID, to provide a perspective for reperfusion, prognosis and immunomodulatory therapy of cerebral infarction.


Subject(s)
Humans , Endothelial Cells , Stroke , Neurons/physiology , Immunosuppression Therapy/adverse effects , Cerebral Infarction
17.
Journal of Biomedical Engineering ; (6): 859-866, 2023.
Article in Chinese | WPRIM | ID: wpr-1008910

ABSTRACT

Electromagnetic stimulation is an important neuromodulation technique that modulates the electrical activity of neurons and affects cortical excitability for the purpose of modulating the nervous system. The phenomenon of inverse stochastic resonance is a response mechanism of the biological nervous system to external signals and plays an important role in the signal processing of the nervous system. In this paper, a small-world neural network with electrical synaptic connections was constructed, and the inverse stochastic resonance of the small-world neural network under electromagnetic stimulation was investigated by analyzing the dynamics of the neural network. The results showed that: the Levy channel noise under electromagnetic stimulation could cause the occurrence of inverse stochastic resonance in small-world neural networks; the characteristic index and location parameter of the noise had significant effects on the intensity and duration of the inverse stochastic resonance in neural networks; the larger the probability of randomly adding edges and the number of nearest neighbor nodes in small-world networks, the more favorable the anti-stochastic resonance was; by adjusting the electromagnetic stimulation parameters, a dual regulation of the inverse stochastic resonance of the neural network can be achieved. The results of this study provide some theoretical support for exploring the regulation mechanism of electromagnetic nerve stimulation technology and the signal processing mechanism of nervous system.


Subject(s)
Action Potentials/physiology , Computer Simulation , Models, Neurological , Stochastic Processes , Neurons/physiology , Electromagnetic Phenomena
18.
Neuroscience Bulletin ; (6): 796-808, 2022.
Article in English | WPRIM | ID: wpr-939839

ABSTRACT

In contrast to traditional representational perspectives in which the motor cortex is involved in motor control via neuronal preference for kinetics and kinematics, a dynamical system perspective emerging in the last decade views the motor cortex as a dynamical machine that generates motor commands by autonomous temporal evolution. In this review, we first look back at the history of the representational and dynamical perspectives and discuss their explanatory power and controversy from both empirical and computational points of view. Here, we aim to reconcile the above perspectives, and evaluate their theoretical impact, future direction, and potential applications in brain-machine interfaces.


Subject(s)
Biomechanical Phenomena , Brain-Computer Interfaces , Motor Cortex/physiology , Neurons/physiology
19.
Neuroscience Bulletin ; (6): 741-752, 2022.
Article in English | WPRIM | ID: wpr-939833

ABSTRACT

Environmental threats often trigger innate defensive responses in mammals. However, the gradual development of functional properties of these responses during the postnatal development stage remains unclear. Here, we report that looming stimulation in mice evoked flight behavior commencing at P14-16 and had fully developed by P20-24. The visual-evoked innate defensive response was not significantly altered by sensory deprivation at an early postnatal stage. Furthermore, the percentages of wide-field and horizontal cells in the superior colliculus were notably elevated at P20-24. Our findings define a developmental time window for the formation of the visual innate defense response during the early postnatal period and provide important insight into the underlying mechanism.


Subject(s)
Animals , Mice , Evoked Potentials, Visual , Fear/physiology , Mammals , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Neurons/physiology , Superior Colliculi/physiology
20.
Neuroscience Bulletin ; (6): 459-473, 2022.
Article in English | WPRIM | ID: wpr-929103

ABSTRACT

The deep cerebellar nuclei (DCN) integrate various inputs to the cerebellum and form the final cerebellar outputs critical for associative sensorimotor learning. However, the functional relevance of distinct neuronal subpopulations within the DCN remains poorly understood. Here, we examined a subpopulation of mouse DCN neurons whose axons specifically project to the ventromedial (Vm) thalamus (DCNVm neurons), and found that these neurons represent a specific subset of DCN units whose activity varies with trace eyeblink conditioning (tEBC), a classical associative sensorimotor learning task. Upon conditioning, the activity of DCNVm neurons signaled the performance of conditioned eyeblink responses (CRs). Optogenetic activation and inhibition of the DCNVm neurons in well-trained mice amplified and diminished the CRs, respectively. Chemogenetic manipulation of the DCNVm neurons had no effects on non-associative motor coordination. Furthermore, optogenetic activation of the DCNVm neurons caused rapid elevated firing activity in the cingulate cortex, a brain area critical for bridging the time gap between sensory stimuli and motor execution during tEBC. Together, our data highlights DCNVm neurons' function and delineates their kinematic parameters that modulate the strength of associative sensorimotor responses.


Subject(s)
Animals , Mice , Blinking , Cerebellar Nuclei/physiology , Cerebellum , Neurons/physiology , Thalamus
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