Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience

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ISSN / EISSN : 1662-5102 / 1662-5102
Current Publisher: Frontiers Media SA (10.3389)
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Total articles ≅ 4,471
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Lijia Mai, Qing Liu, Fang Huang, Hongwen He, Wenguo Fan
Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience, Volume 15; doi:10.3389/fncel.2021.665066

Mast cells (MCs) are immune cells and are widely distributed throughout the body. MCs are not only classically viewed as effector cells of some allergic diseases but also participate in host defense, innate and acquired immunity, homeostatic responses, and immunoregulation. Mounting evidence indicates that activation of MCs releasing numerous vasoactive and inflammatory mediators has effects on the nervous system and has been involved in different pain conditions. Here, we review the latest advances made about the implication of MCs in pain. Possible cellular and molecular mechanisms regarding the crosstalk between MC and the nervous system in the initiation and maintenance of pain are also discussed.
Jing Zhang, Shu-Jing Li, Wanying Miao, Xiaodi Zhang, Jing-Jing Zheng, Chen Wang,
Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience, Volume 15; doi:10.3389/fncel.2021.673439

The development and stabilization of neuronal circuits are critical to proper brain function. Synapses are the building blocks of neural circuits. Here we examine the effects of the neuropeptide oxytocin on synaptic transmission in L2/3 pyramidal neurons of the barrel field of the primary somatosensory cortex (S1BF). We find that perfusion of oxytocin onto acute brain slices significantly increases the frequency of miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents (mEPSC) of S1BF L2/3 pyramidal neurons at P10 and P14, but reduces it at the later ages of P22 and P28; the transition occurs at around P18. Since oxytocin expression is itself regulated by sensory experience, we also examine whether the effects of oxytocin on excitatory synaptic transmission correlate with that of sensory experience. We find that, indeed, the effects of sensory experience and oxytocin on excitatory synaptic transmission of L2/3 pyramidal neurons both peak at around P14 and plateau around P18, suggesting that they regulate a specific form of synaptic plasticity in L2/3 pyramidal neurons, with a sensitive/critical period ending around P18. Consistently, oxytocin receptor (Oxtr) expression in glutamatergic neurons of the upper layers of the cerebral cortex peaks around P14. By P28, however, Oxtr expression becomes more prominent in GABAergic neurons, especially somatostatin (SST) neurons. At P28, oxytocin perfusion increases inhibitory synaptic transmission and reduces excitatory synaptic transmission, effects that result in a net reduction of neuronal excitation, in contrast to increased excitation at P14. Using oxytocin knockout mice and Oxtr conditional knockout mice, we show that loss-of-function of oxytocin affects baseline excitatory synaptic transmission, while Oxtr is required for oxytocin-induced changes in excitatory synaptic transmission, at both P14 and P28. Together, these results demonstrate that oxytocin has complex and dynamic functions in regulating synaptic transmission in cortical L2/3 pyramidal neurons. These findings add to existing knowledge of the function of oxytocin in regulating neural circuit development and plasticity.
Yuqi Ren, Yang Liu,
Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience, Volume 15; doi:10.3389/fncel.2021.674399

The striatum participates in numerous important behaviors. Its principal projection neurons use GABA and peptides as neurotransmitters and interact extensively with interneurons, including cholinergic interneurons (ChIs) that are tonically active. Dissecting the interactions between projection neurons and ChIs is important for uncovering the role and mechanisms of the striatal microcircuits. Here, by combining several optogenetic tools with cell type-specific electrophysiological recordings, we uncovered direct electrical coupling between D1-type projection neurons and ChIs, in addition to the chemical transmission between these two major cell types. Optogenetic stimulation or inhibition led to bilateral current exchanges between D1 neurons and ChIs, which can be abolished by gap junction blockers. We further confirmed the presence of gap junctions through paired electrophysiological recordings and dye microinjections. Finally, we found that activating D1 neurons promotes basal activity of ChIs via gap junctions. Collectively, these results reveal the coexistence of the chemical synapse and gap junctions between D1 neurons and ChIs, which contributes to maintaining the tonically active firing patterns of ChIs.
Naoki Iwasa, Takeshi K. Matsui, Naohiko Iguchi, Kaoru Kinugawa, Naritaka Morikawa, Yoshihiko M. Sakaguchi, Tomo Shiota, Shinko Kobashigawa, Mari Nakanishi, Masaya Matsubayashi, et al.
Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience, Volume 15; doi:10.3389/fncel.2021.605030

Ischemic stroke is one of the most common neurological diseases. However, the impact of ischemic stroke on human cerebral tissue remains largely unknown due to a lack of ischemic human brain samples. In this study, we applied cerebral organoids derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells to evaluate the effect of oxygen-glucose deprivation/reoxygenation (OGD/R). Pathway analysis showed the relationships between vitamin digestion and absorption, fat digestion and absorption, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) signaling pathway, and complement and coagulation cascades. Combinational verification with transcriptome and gene expression analysis of different cell types revealed fatty acids-related PPAR signaling pathway and pyruvate kinase isoform M2 (PKM2) as key markers of neuronal cells in response to OGD/R. These findings suggest that, although there remain some limitations to be improved, our ischemic stroke model using human cerebral organoids would be a potentially useful tool when combined with other conventional two-dimensional (2D) mono-culture systems.
Aviva Gars, Nicole M. Ronczkowski, Benoit Chassaing, Alexandra Castillo-Ruiz,
Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience, Volume 15; doi:10.3389/fncel.2021.682505

The microbiota plays important roles in host metabolism and immunity, and its disruption affects adult brain physiology and behavior. Although such findings have been attributed to altered neurodevelopment, few studies have actually examined microbiota effects on the developing brain. This review focuses on developmental effects of the earliest exposure to microbes. At birth, the mammalian fetus enters a world teeming with microbes which colonize all body sites in contact with the environment. Bacteria reach the gut within a few hours of birth and cause a measurable response in the intestinal epithelium. In adults, the gut microbiota signals to the brain via the vagus nerve, bacterial metabolites, hormones, and immune signaling, and work in perinatal rodents is beginning to elucidate which of these signaling pathways herald the very first encounter with gut microbes in the neonate. Neural effects of the microbiota during the first few days of life include changes in neuronal cell death, microglia, and brain cytokine levels. In addition to these effects of direct exposure of the newborn to microbes, accumulating evidence points to a role for the maternal microbiota in affecting brain development via bacterial molecules and metabolites while the offspring is still in utero. Hence, perturbations to microbial exposure perinatally, such as through C-section delivery or antibiotic treatment, alter microbiota colonization and may have long-term neural consequences. The perinatal period is critical for brain development and a close look at microbiota effects during this time promises to reveal the earliest, most primary effects of the microbiota on neurodevelopment.
Annamaria Lia, Vanessa Jorge Henriques, Micaela Zonta, Angela Chiavegato, Giorgio Carmignoto, ,
Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience, Volume 15; doi:10.3389/fncel.2021.673433

The glial cells astrocytes have long been recognized as important neuron-supporting elements in brain development, homeostasis, and metabolism. After the discovery that the reciprocal communication between astrocytes and neurons is a fundamental mechanism in the modulation of neuronal synaptic communication, over the last two decades astrocytes became a hot topic in neuroscience research. Crucial to their functional interactions with neurons are the cytosolic Ca2+ elevations that mediate gliotransmission. Large attention has been posed to the so-called Ca2+microdomains, dynamic Ca2+ changes spatially restricted to fine astrocytic processes including perisynaptic astrocytic processes (PAPs). With presynaptic terminals and postsynaptic neuronal membranes, PAPs compose the tripartite synapse. The distinct spatial-temporal features and functional roles of astrocyte microdomain Ca2+ activity remain poorly defined. However, thanks to the development of genetically encoded Ca2+ indicators (GECIs), advanced microscopy techniques, and innovative analytical approaches, Ca2+ transients in astrocyte microdomains were recently studied in unprecedented detail. These events have been observed to occur much more frequently (∼50–100-fold) and dynamically than somatic Ca2+ elevations with mechanisms that likely involve both IP3-dependent and -independent pathways. Further progress aimed to clarify the complex, dynamic machinery responsible for astrocytic Ca2+ activity at microdomains is a crucial step in our understanding of the astrocyte role in brain function and may also reveal astrocytes as novel therapeutic targets for different brain diseases. Here, we review the most recent studies that improve our mechanistic understanding of the essential features of astrocyte Ca2+ microdomains.
Eunice Y. Lim, Liang Ye,
Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience, Volume 15; doi:10.3389/fncel.2021.682888

Astroglia display a wide range of spontaneous and behavioral state-dependent Ca2+ dynamics. During heightened vigilance, noradrenergic signaling leads to quasi-synchronous Ca2+ elevations encompassing soma and processes across the brain-wide astroglia network. Distinct from this vigilance-associated global Ca2+ rise are apparently spontaneous fluctuations within spatially restricted microdomains. Over the years, several strategies have been pursued to shed light on the physiological impact of these signals including deletion of endogenous ion channels or receptors and reduction of intracellular Ca2+ through buffering, extrusion or inhibition of release. Some experiments that revealed the most compelling behavioral alterations employed chemogenetic and optogenetic manipulations to modify astroglia Ca2+ signaling. However, there is considerable contrast between these findings and the comparatively modest effects of inhibiting endogenous sources of Ca2+. In this review, we describe the underlying mechanisms of various forms of astroglia Ca2+ signaling as well as the functional consequences of their inhibition. We then discuss how the effects of exogenous astroglia Ca2+ modification combined with our knowledge of physiological mechanisms of astroglia Ca2+ activation could guide further refinement of behavioral paradigms that will help elucidate the natural Ca2+-dependent function of astroglia.
Daniel Minge, Cátia Domingos, Petr Unichenko, Charlotte Behringer, Alberto Pauletti, Stefanie Anders, Michel K. Herde, Andrea Delekate, Polina Gulakova, Susanne Schoch, et al.
Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience, Volume 15; doi:10.3389/fncel.2021.669280

The fine processes of single astrocytes can contact many thousands of synapses whose function they can modulate through bi-directional signaling. The spatial arrangement of astrocytic processes and neuronal structures is relevant for such interactions and for the support of neuronal signaling by astrocytes. At the same time, the geometry of perisynaptic astrocyte processes is variable and dynamically regulated. Studying these fine astrocyte processes represents a technical challenge, because many of them cannot be fully resolved by diffraction-limited microscopy. Therefore, we have established two indirect parameters of astrocyte morphology, which, while not fully resolving local geometry by design, provide statistical measures of astrocyte morphology: the fraction of tissue volume that astrocytes occupy and the density of resolvable astrocytic processes. Both are straightforward to obtain using widely available microscopy techniques. We here present the approach and demonstrate its robustness across various experimental conditions using mainly two-photon excitation fluorescence microscopy in acute slices and in vivo as well as modeling. Using these indirect measures allowed us to analyze the morphology of relatively large populations of astrocytes. Doing so we captured the heterogeneity of astrocytes within and between the layers of the hippocampal CA1 region and the developmental profile of astrocyte morphology. This demonstrates that volume fraction (VF) and segment density are useful parameters for describing the structure of astrocytes. They are also suitable for online monitoring of astrocyte morphology with widely available microscopy techniques.
Yongfa Zhang, Xiaoyang Lu, Bai Tai, Weijia Li, Tao Li
Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience, Volume 15; doi:10.3389/fncel.2021.615372

Ferroptosis is a unique regulated cell death defined by the intracellular iron overload and distinct biological features compared with other well-known programmed cell death. Ferroptosis can be triggered by many causes including decreased expression of glutathione (GSH), inhibition of the function of glutathione-dependent peroxidase 4 (GPX4), and system xc –, all of which finally lead to the over-accumulation of lipid peroxides in the cell. Ferroptosis has been reported to play an important role in the pathophysiological process of various cancers. In recent years, much evidence also proved that ferroptosis is involved in the progress of cerebral stroke. In this review, we summarized the characteristics of ferroptosis and the potential relationship between ferroptosis and ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke, to provide new targets and ideas for the therapy of stroke.
Han-Lin Wang, Jia-Wei Chen, , Yu-Chun Lo, Han-Chi Pan, Yao-Wen Liang, Ching-Fu Wang, Yi Yang, Yun-Ting Kuo, Yi-Chen Lin, et al.
Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience, Volume 15; doi:10.3389/fncel.2021.655305

Administration of 12-(3-adamantan-1-yl-ureido)-dodecanoic acid (AUDA) has been demonstrated to alleviate infarction following ischemic stroke. Reportedly, the main effect of AUDA is exerting anti-inflammation and neovascularization via the inhibition of soluble epoxide hydrolase. However, the major contribution of this anti-inflammation and neovascularization effect in the acute phase of stroke is not completely elucidated. To investigate the neuroprotective effects of AUDA in acute ischemic stroke, we combined laser speckle contrast imaging and optical intrinsic signal imaging techniques with the implantation of a lab-designed cranial window. Forepaw stimulation was applied to assess the functional changes via measuring cerebral metabolic rate of oxygen (CMRO2) that accompany neural activity. The rats that received AUDA in the acute phase of photothrombotic ischemia stroke showed a 30.5 ± 8.1% reduction in the ischemic core, 42.3 ± 15.1% reduction in the ischemic penumbra (p < 0.05), and 42.1 ± 4.6% increase of CMRO2 in response to forepaw stimulation at post-stroke day 1 (p < 0.05) compared with the control group (N = 10 for each group). Moreover, at post-stroke day 3, increased functional vascular density was observed in AUDA-treated rats (35.9 ± 1.9% higher than that in the control group, p < 0.05). At post-stroke day 7, a 105.4% ± 16.4% increase of astrocytes (p < 0.01), 30.0 ± 10.9% increase of neurons (p < 0.01), and 65.5 ± 15.0% decrease of microglia (p < 0.01) were observed in the penumbra region in AUDA-treated rats (N = 5 for each group). These results suggested that AUDA affects the anti-inflammation at the beginning of ischemic injury and restores neuronal metabolic rate of O2 and tissue viability. The neovascularization triggered by AUDA restored CBF and may contribute to ischemic infarction reduction at post-stroke day 3. Moreover, for long-term neuroprotection, astrocytes in the penumbra region may play an important role in protecting neurons from apoptotic injury.
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