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  1. Jędrzejewska-Szmek, Joanna (Ed.)
    Chemical synapses exhibit a diverse array of internal mechanisms that affect the dynamics of transmission efficacy. Many of these processes, such as release of neurotransmitter and vesicle recycling, depend strongly on activity-dependent influx and accumulation of Ca 2+ . To model how each of these processes may affect the processing of information in neural circuits, and how their dysfunction may lead to disease states, requires a computationally efficient modelling framework, capable of generating accurate phenomenology without incurring a heavy computational cost per synapse. Constructing a phenomenologically realistic model requires the precise characterization of the timing and probability of neurotransmitter release.more »Difficulties arise in that functional forms of instantaneous release rate can be difficult to extract from noisy data without running many thousands of trials, and in biophysical synapses, facilitation of per-vesicle release probability is confounded by depletion. To overcome this, we obtained traces of free Ca 2+ concentration in response to various action potential stimulus trains from a molecular MCell model of a hippocampal Schaffer collateral axon. Ca 2+ sensors were placed at varying distance from a voltage-dependent calcium channel (VDCC) cluster, and Ca 2+ was buffered by calbindin. Then, using the calcium traces to drive deterministic state vector models of synaptotagmin 1 and 7 (Syt-1/7), which respectively mediate synchronous and asynchronous release in excitatory hippocampal synapses, we obtained high-resolution profiles of instantaneous release rate, to which we applied functional fits. Synchronous vesicle release occurred predominantly within half a micron of the source of spike-evoked Ca 2+ influx, while asynchronous release occurred more consistently at all distances. Both fast and slow mechanisms exhibited multi-exponential release rate curves, whose magnitudes decayed exponentially with distance from the Ca 2+ source. Profile parameters facilitate on different time scales according to a single, general facilitation function. These functional descriptions lay the groundwork for efficient mesoscale modelling of vesicular release dynamics.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 9, 2023
  2. Progress in computational neuroscience toward understanding brain function is challenged both by the complexity of molecular-scale electrochemical interactions at the level of individual neurons and synapses and the dimensionality of network dynamics across the brain covering a vast range of spatial and temporal scales. Our work abstracts an existing highly detailed, biophysically realistic 3D reaction-diffusion model of a chemical synapse to a compact internal state space representation that maps onto parallel neuromorphic hardware for efficient emulation at a very large scale and offers near-equivalence in input-output dynamics while preserving biologically interpretable tunable parameters.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available November 29, 2022
  3. Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 1, 2023
  4. 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
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2022
  5. In the highly dynamic metabolic landscape of a neuron, mitochondrial membrane architectures can provide critical insight into the unique energy balance of the cell. Current theoretical calculations of functional outputs like ATP and heat often represent mitochondria as idealized geometries and therefore can miscalculate the metabolic fluxes. To analyze mitochondrial morphology in neurons of mouse cerebellum neuropil, 3D tracings of complete synaptic and axonal mitochondria were constructed using a database of serial TEM tomographyimages and converted to watertight meshes with minimal distortion of the original microscopy volumes with agranularity of 1.6 nanometer isotropic voxels. The resulting in silico representations weremore »subsequently quantified by differential geometry methods in terms of the mean and Gaussian curvatures, surface areas, volumes, and membrane motifs, all of which can alter the metabolic output of the organelle. Finally, we identify structural motifs that are present across this population of mitochondria; observations which may contribute to future modeling studies of mitochondrial physiology and metabolism in neurons.« less