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  1. Abstract Recent advances in brain clearing and imaging have made it possible to image entire mammalian brains at sub-micron resolution. These images offer the potential to assemble brain-wide atlases of neuron morphology, but manual neuron reconstruction remains a bottleneck. Several automatic reconstruction algorithms exist, but most focus on single neuron images. In this paper, we present a probabilistic reconstruction method, ViterBrain, which combines a hidden Markov state process that encodes neuron geometry with a random field appearance model of neuron fluorescence. ViterBrain utilizes dynamic programming to compute the global maximizer of what we call the most probable neuron path. Wemore »applied our algorithm to imperfect image segmentations, and showed that it can follow axons in the presence of noise or nearby neurons. We also provide an interactive framework where users can trace neurons by fixing start and endpoints. ViterBrain is available in our open-source Python package .« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2023
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  6. The pathogenic aggregation of misfolded prion protein (PrP) in axons underlies prion disease pathologies. The molecular mechanisms driving axonal misfolded PrP aggregate formation leading to neurotoxicity are unknown. We found that the small endolysosomal guanosine triphosphatase (GTPase) Arl8b recruits kinesin-1 and Vps41 (HOPS) onto endosomes carrying misfolded mutant PrP to promote their axonal entry and homotypic fusion toward aggregation inside enlarged endomembranes that we call endoggresomes. This axonal rapid endosomal sorting and transport-dependent aggregation (ARESTA) mechanism forms pathologic PrP endoggresomes that impair calcium dynamics and reduce neuronal viability. Inhibiting ARESTA diminishes endoggresome formation, rescues calcium influx, and prevents neuronal death.more »Our results identify ARESTA as a key pathway for the regulation of endoggresome formation and a new actionable antiaggregation target to ameliorate neuronal dysfunction in the prionopathies.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 24, 2022
  7. Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 15, 2022
  8. 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
  9. 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
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2022
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