skip to main content

Title: Rapid exchange of synaptic and extrasynaptic NMDA receptors in hippocampal CA1 neurons
N-methyl-d-aspartate receptors (NMDARs) are fundamental coincidence detectors of synaptic activity necessary for the induction of synaptic plasticity and synapse stability. Adjusting NMDAR synaptic content, whether by receptor insertion or lateral diffusion between extrasynaptic and synaptic compartments, could play a substantial role defining the characteristics of the NMDAR-mediated excitatory postsynaptic current (EPSC), which in turn would mediate the ability of the synapse to undergo plasticity. Lateral NMDAR movement has been observed in dissociated neurons; however, it is currently unclear whether NMDARs are capable of lateral surface diffusion in hippocampal slices, a more physiologically relevant environment. To test for lateral mobility in rat hippocampal slices, we rapidly blocked synaptic NMDARs using MK-801, a use-dependent and irreversible NMDAR blocker. Following a 5-min washout period, we observed a strong recovery of NMDAR-mediated responses. The degree of the observed recovery was proportional to the amount of induced blockade, independent of levels of intracellular calcium, and mediated primarily by GluN2B-containing NMDA receptors. These results indicate that lateral diffusion of NMDARs could be a mechanism by which synapses rapidly adjust parameters to fine-tune synaptic plasticity. NEW & NOTEWORTHY N-methyl-d-aspartate-type glutamate receptors (NMDARs) have always been considered stable components of synapses. We show that in rat hippocampal slices more » synaptic NMDARs are in constant exchange with extrasynaptic receptors. This exchange of receptors is mediated primarily by NMDA receptors containing GluN2B, a subunit necessary to undergo synaptic plasticity. Thus this lateral movement of synaptic receptors allows synapses to rapidly regulate the total number of synaptic NMDARs with potential consequences for synaptic plasticity. « less
Authors:
;
Award ID(s):
1755004
Publication Date:
NSF-PAR ID:
10171763
Journal Name:
Journal of Neurophysiology
Volume:
123
Issue:
3
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
1004 to 1014
ISSN:
0022-3077
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Abstract Long-term depression (LTD) of synaptic strength can take multiple forms and contribute to circuit remodeling, memory encoding or erasure. The generic term LTD encompasses various induction pathways, including activation of NMDA, mGlu or P2X receptors. However, the associated specific molecular mechanisms and effects on synaptic physiology are still unclear. We here compare how NMDAR- or P2XR-dependent LTD affect synaptic nanoscale organization and function in rodents. While both LTDs are associated with a loss and reorganization of synaptic AMPARs, only NMDAR-dependent LTD induction triggers a profound reorganization of PSD-95. This modification, which requires the autophagy machinery to remove the T19-phosphorylatedmore »form of PSD-95 from synapses, leads to an increase in AMPAR surface mobility. We demonstrate that these post-synaptic changes that occur specifically during NMDAR-dependent LTD result in an increased short-term plasticity improving neuronal responsiveness of depressed synapses. Our results establish that P2XR- and NMDAR-mediated LTD are associated to functionally distinct forms of LTD.« less
  2. The nanoscale organization of neurotransmitter receptors regarding pre-synaptic release sites is a fundamental determinant of the synaptic transmission amplitude and reliability. How modifications in the pre- and post-synaptic machinery alignments affects synaptic currents, has only been addressed with computer modelling. Using single molecule super-resolution microscopy, we found a strong spatial correlation between AMPA receptor (AMPAR) nanodomains and the post-synaptic adhesion protein neuroligin-1 (NLG1). Expression of a truncated form of NLG1 disrupted this correlation without affecting the intrinsic AMPAR organization, shifting the pre-synaptic release machinery away from AMPAR nanodomains. Electrophysiology in dissociated and organotypic hippocampal rodent cultures shows these treatments significantlymore »decrease AMPAR-mediated miniature and EPSC amplitudes. Computer modelling predicts that ~100 nm lateral shift between AMPAR nanoclusters and glutamate release sites induces a significant reduction in AMPAR-mediated currents. Thus, our results suggest the synapses necessity to release glutamate precisely in front of AMPAR nanodomains, to maintain a high synaptic responses efficiency.« less
  3. Neuronal synapses transmit electrochemical signals between cells through the coordinated action of presynaptic vesicles, ion channels, scaffolding and adapter proteins, and membrane receptors. In situ structural characterization of numerous synaptic proteins simultaneously through multiplexed imaging facilitates a bottom-up approach to synapse classification and phenotypic description. Objective automation of efficient and reliable synapse detection within these datasets is essential for the high-throughput investigation of synaptic features. Convolutional neural networks can solve this generalized problem of synapse detection, however, these architectures require large numbers of training examples to optimize their thousands of parameters. We propose DoGNet, a neural network architecture that closesmore »the gap between classical computer vision blob detectors, such as Difference of Gaussians (DoG) filters, and modern convolutional networks. DoGNet is optimized to analyze highly multiplexed microscopy data. Its small number of training parameters allows DoGNet to be trained with few examples, which facilitates its application to new datasets without overfitting. We evaluate the method on multiplexed fluorescence imaging data from both primary mouse neuronal cultures and mouse cortex tissue slices. We show that DoGNet outperforms convolutional networks with a low-to-moderate number of training examples, and DoGNet is efficiently transferred between datasets collected from separate research groups. DoGNet synapse localizations can then be used to guide the segmentation of individual synaptic protein locations and spatial extents, revealing their spatial organization and relative abundances within individual synapses. The source code is publicly available: https://github.com/kulikovv/dognet.« less
  4. Tau pathology in Alzheimer's disease (AD) preferentially afflicts the limbic and recently enlarged association cortices, causing a progression of mnemonic and cognitive deficits. Although genetic mouse models have helped reveal mechanisms underlying the rare, autosomal-dominant forms of AD, the etiology of the more common, sporadic form of AD remains unknown, and is challenging to study in mice due to their limited association cortex and lifespan. It is also difficult to study in human brains, as early-stage tau phosphorylation can degrade postmortem. In contrast, rhesus monkeys have extensive association cortices, are long-lived, and can undergo perfusion fixation to capture early-stage taumore »phosphorylation in situ. Most importantly, rhesus monkeys naturally develop amyloid plaques, neurofibrillary tangles comprised of hyperphosphorylated tau, synaptic loss, and cognitive deficits with advancing age, and thus can be used to identify the early molecular events that initiate and propel neuropathology in the aging association cortices. Studies to date suggest that the particular molecular signaling events needed for higher cognition—for example, high levels of calcium to maintain persistent neuronal firing- lead to tau phosphorylation and inflammation when dysregulated with advancing age. The expression of NMDAR-NR2B (GluN2B)—the subunit that fluxes high levels of calcium—increases over the cortical hierarchy and with the expansion of association cortex in primate evolution, consistent with patterns of tau pathology. In the rhesus monkey dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, spines contain NMDAR-NR2B and the molecular machinery to magnify internal calcium release near the synapse, as well as phosphodiesterases, mGluR3, and calbindin to regulate calcium signaling. Loss of regulation with inflammation and/or aging appears to be a key factor in initiating tau pathology. The vast expansion in the numbers of these synapses over primate evolution is consistent with the degree of tau pathology seen across species: marmoset < rhesus monkey < chimpanzee < human, culminating in the vast neurodegeneration seen in humans with AD.« less
  5. Abstract Short-term plasticity preserves a brief history of synaptic activity that is communicated to the postsynaptic neuron. This is primarily regulated by a calcium signal initiated by voltage dependent calcium channels in the presynaptic terminal. Imaging studies of CA3-CA1 synapses reveal the presence of another source of calcium, the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) in all presynaptic terminals. However, the precise role of the ER in modifying STP remains unexplored. We performed in-silico experiments in synaptic geometries based on reconstructions of the rat CA3-CA1 synapses to investigate the contribution of ER. Our model predicts that presynaptic ER is critical in generating themore »observed short-term plasticity profile of CA3-CA1 synapses and allows synapses with low release probability to operate more reliably. Blocking the ER lowers facilitation in a manner similar to what has been previously characterized in animal models of Alzheimer’s disease and underscores the important role played by presynaptic stores in normal function.« less