European Journal of Neuroscience

Cover image for Vol. 36 Issue 12

December 2012

Volume 36, Issue 12

Pages 3602–3757


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    1. GABA and glutamate receptors have different effects on excitability and are differentially regulated by calcium in spider mechanosensory neurons (pages 3602–3614)

      Päivi H. Torkkeli, Shannon Meisner, Keram Pfeiffer and Andrew S. French

      Version of Record online: 29 AUG 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1460-9568.2012.08275.x

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      GABA and glutamate receptors belonging to the ligand-gated chloride-channel family are primary targets of insecticides and antiparasitics, so their molecular structure, pharmacology and biophysical properties have attracted significant attention. However, little is known about the physiological roles of these channels or how they regulate neuronal excitability and animal behavior.

    2. New rules governing synaptic plasticity in core nucleus accumbens medium spiny neurons (pages 3615–3627)

      Xincai Ji and Gilles E. Martin

      Version of Record online: 26 SEP 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/ejn.12002

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      We examined synaptic plasticity using spike-timing-dependent plasticity, a stimulation paradigm that reflects more closely in vivo firing patterns of core NAcc medium spiny neurons and their afferents. In contrast to other brain regions, the same stimulation paradigm evoked bidirectional long-term plasticity. Long-term potentiation (tLTP) magnitude changed with delay between action potentials (APs) and excitatory post-synaptic potentials (EPSPs), and frequency, while that of long-term depression (tLTD) remained unchanged. We showed that tLTP depended on NMDA receptors, whereas tLTD relied on action potentials. Importantly, intracellular calcium signaling pathways mobilised during tLTP and tLTD were different. Thus, calcium-induced calcium release underlies tLTD but not tLTP.

    3. Differential effects of blockade of ERG channels on gamma oscillations and excitability in rat hippocampal slices (pages 3628–3635)

      Silvia Fano, Gürsel Çalışkan and Uwe Heinemann

      Version of Record online: 10 OCT 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/ejn.12015

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      ERG K+ channels modulate excitability and transmitter release in the hippocampus while they have no major effects on gamma oscillations in vitro. Augmenting effects of antihistaminic astemizole and antipsychotic sertindole on gamma oscillations is probably due to their actions on H1 receptors and dopaminergic/serotonergic receptors, respectively.

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      μ-Opioid receptor desensitization: homologous or heterologous? (pages 3636–3642)

      Javier Llorente, Janet D. Lowe, Helen S. Sanderson, Elena Tsisanova, Eamonn Kelly, Graeme Henderson and Chris P. Bailey

      Version of Record online: 24 SEP 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/ejn.12003

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      There is considerable controversy over whether rapid mu-opioid receptor (MOPr) desensitization is homologous or heterologous. Here we report that MOPr desensitization is largely homologous in brainstem locus coeruleus (LC) neurons prepared from relatively mature rats (6–8 weeks old) but is heterolgous to α2-adrenoceptors in slices from immature animals (P < 20 days). Homologous desensitization with age was correlated with a decrease in the expression levels of GRK2 in the LC and other brain regions. The observation that the mechanisms underlying MOPr desensitization change with neuronal development is important when extrapolating to the mature brain results obtained from experiments on expression systems, cell lines and immature neuronal preparations.


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    1. Experimental epilepsy affects Notch1 signalling and the stem cell pool in the dentate gyrus (pages 3643–3652)

      Mirjam Sibbe, Ute Häussler, Sandra Dieni, Daniel Althof, Carola A. Haas and Michael Frotscher

      Version of Record online: 17 SEP 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1460-9568.2012.08279.x

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      The effect of status epilepticus on the adult hippocampal stem cell niche was studied in a mouse model. Notch signaling, assayed by hes5 reporter gene activity, was diminished in the subgranular zone (SGZ) of the dentate gyrus. Sox2+ cells as well as stem cell proliferation were altered, pointing to a disruption of the stem cell niche in epilepsy. *P < 0.05, **P < 0.01.

    2. Astrocyte activation and wound healing in intact-skull mouse after focal brain injury (pages 3653–3664)

      Takayuki Suzuki, Honami Sakata, Chiaki Kato, John A. Connor and Mitsuhiro Morita

      Version of Record online: 27 SEP 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1460-9568.2012.08280.x

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      A novel rodent closed-head injury model using intense light exposure through thinned-skull cranial window manifested reproducible cortical tissue recovery. The recovery process was characterised by two distinct reactive astrocyte populations. Nestin-expressing and proliferating astrocytes extended processes radially over perilesional recoverying region, whereas distal region was populated by non-proliferating hypertrophic astrocytes.

    3. Chondroitinase ABC promotes compensatory sprouting of the intact corticospinal tract and recovery of forelimb function following unilateral pyramidotomy in adult mice (pages 3665–3678)

      Michelle L. Starkey, Katalin Bartus, Andrew W. Barritt and Elizabeth J. Bradbury

      Version of Record online: 14 OCT 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/ejn.12017

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      Unilateral injury of the corticospinal tract leads to impaired function in the denervated forelimb. The enzyme chondroitinase ABC (ChABC) reduces inhibitory extracellular matrix molecules. Treatment with this enzyme leads to restored function in the denervated forepaw and is associated with compensatory sprouting of intact corticospinal tract axons, which cross the midline into the denervated spinal cord. ChABC treatment is a potential therapy for disorders such as spinal cord injury and stroke.

    4. Chronic electrical stimulation of transected peripheral nerves preserves anatomy and function in the primary somatosensory cortex (pages 3679–3690)

      Celia Herrera-Rincon, Carlos Torets, Abel Sanchez-Jimenez, Carlos Avendaño and Fivos Panetsos

      Version of Record online: 24 SEP 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/ejn.12000

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      Rat barrel cortex. Intact animals show similar activity, cortical volume and number of GABA-ergic neurons in the two somatosensory cortices (top). Complete transection of the infraorbital nerve reduces activity, volume and number of neurons in the deafferented cortex (middle). Chronic electrical stimulation of the stump after irreversible transection of the nerve has neuroprotective effects to the deafferented cortex: the two cortices are similar resembling the control ones (bottom).

    5. Influence of constraint-induced movement therapy upon evoked potentials in rats with cerebral infarction (pages 3691–3697)

      Hyung W. Joo, Jung K. Hyun, Tae U. Kim, Sang H. Chae, Young I. Lee and Seong J. Lee

      Version of Record online: 8 OCT 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/ejn.12014

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      Constraint-induced movement therapy (CIMT) hastened motor recovery in rats with focal cerebral infarction induced by endothelin-1. CIMT also affected the waveforms of the somatosensory evoked potentials (SEPs). Reversal and delay of P1 peak was evident in the infarct group, but not in the CIMT group. The results demonstrate that the CIMT may facilitate reorganization of the cerebral neuronal network related to the somatosensory pathway.

    6. Resonance in neocortical neurons and networks (pages 3698–3708)

      Jennifer Dwyer, Hyong Lee, Amber Martell and Wim van Drongelen

      Version of Record online: 26 SEP 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/ejn.12001

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      We examined resonance properties in mouse layer V neocortical pyramidal neurons. Our findings suggested that current through hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated channels (HCN channels, Ih current) acts as the primary driver of resonance with other potassium currents contributing auxiliary roles. Although cellular resonance effects are small, their properties embedded in large networks may significantly affect network behavior and may have implications for pathological processes.

    7. Temporal features of human tendon vibration illusions (pages 3709–3717)

      Christina T. Fuentes, Hiroaki Gomi and Patrick Haggard

      Version of Record online: 26 SEP 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/ejn.12004

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      Muscle spindles provide information about the position and movement of our bodies. One method for investigating spindle signals is tendon vibration, but the temporal properties of signals during vibration illusions are not well understood. We estimate the temporal resolution and persistence of these illusions.


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    1. Perceptual experience modulates cortical circuits involved in visual awareness (pages 3718–3731)

      Maartje C. de Jong, Zoe Kourtzi and Raymond van Ee

      Version of Record online: 3 OCT 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/ejn.12005

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      The mere repetition of the stimulus evoked an attenuated response, whereas the repetition of a particular perceptual interpretation of the stimulus was associated with an enhanced response in stimulus-specific visual brain regions.

    2. Task-dependent uncertainty modulation of perceptual decisions in the human brain (pages 3732–3739)

      Sheng Li and Feitong Yang

      Version of Record online: 3 OCT 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/ejn.12006

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      The study demonstrates that the human brain areas associated with different stages of perceptual decisions are modulated by uncertainty in a task-dependent manner. The findings support the theory that the human brain implements adaptive strategies to optimally represent task-relevant perceptual information.

    3. Alpha activity marking word boundaries mediates speech segmentation (pages 3740–3748)

      Antoine J. Shahin and Mark A. Pitt

      Version of Record online: 30 SEP 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/ejn.12008

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      To segment a continuous speech stream into words, the brain must mark when one word ends and the next one begins. The brain elucidates word boundaries by inhibiting neural processes associated with forming word representations. These inhibitory mechanisms are reflected in the enhancement of alpha band activity (8–14 Hz) of the electroencephalogram upon word recognition. The current findings should be taken into account in future theoretical models of spoken language processing.

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      Practice-related reduction of electromyographic mirroring activity depends on basal levels of interhemispheric inhibition (pages 3749–3757)

      Matteo Bologna, Antonio Caronni, Alfredo Berardelli and John C. Rothwell

      Version of Record online: 3 OCT 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/ejn.12009

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      Motor training of one hand reduces the level of mirror activity in the opposite hand depending on the pre-training level of excitability in interhemispheric pathways connecting the two M1 cortices. The study provides novel information on the complex relationships between motor performance and IHI. The present study also provides additional data on the factors influencing the practice-related plastic changes of the interhemispheric pathways.