Pancreatitis-associated proteins (PAPs) display multiple functions in visceral diseases. Previous studies showed that the expression level of PAP-I was low in the DRG of naive rats but was de novo expressed after peripheral nerve injury. However, its role in neuropathic pain remains unknown. We found that PAP-I expression was continuously upregulated in the DRG neurons from rat spared nerve injury models, and transported toward the spinal dorsal horn to act as a proinflammatory factor. Intrathecal delivery of PAP-I enhanced sensory hyperalgesia, whereas PAP-I deficiency by either gene knockout or antibody application alleviated tactile allodynia at the maintenance phase after spared nerve injury. Furthermore, PAP-I functioned by activating the spinal microglia via C-C chemokine receptor Type 2 that participated in neuropathic pain. Inhibition of either microglial activation or C-C chemokine receptor Type 2 abolished the PAP-I-induced hyperalgesia. Thus, PAP-I mediates the neuron-microglial crosstalk after peripheral nerve injury and contributes to the maintenance of neuropathic pain.
When moving around in the world, the human visual system uses both motion and form information to estimate the direction of self-motion (i.e., heading). However, little is known about cortical areas in charge of this task. This brain-imaging study addressed this question by using visual stimuli consisting of randomly distributed dot pairs oriented toward a locus on a screen (the form-defined focus of expansion [FoE]) but moved away from a different locus (the motion-defined FoE) to simulate observer translation. We first fixed the motion-defined FoE location and shifted the form-defined FoE location. We then made the locations of the motion- and the form-defined FoEs either congruent (at the same location in the display) or incongruent (on the opposite sides of the display). The motion- or the form-defined FoE shift was the same in the two types of stimuli, but the perceived heading direction shifted for the congruent, but not for the incongruent stimuli. Participants (both sexes) made a task-irrelevant (contrast discrimination) judgment during scanning. Searchlight and ROI-based multivoxel pattern analysis revealed that early visual areas V1, V2, and V3 responded to either the motion- or the form-defined FoE shift. After V3, only the dorsal areas V3a and V3B/KO responded to such shifts. Furthermore, area V3B/KO shows a significantly higher decoding accuracy for the congruent than the incongruent stimuli. Our results provide direct evidence showing that area V3B/KO does not simply respond to motion and form cues but integrates these two cues for the perception of heading.
How temporal and contextual information interactively impact on behavior and brain activity during the retrieval of temporal order about naturalistic episodes remains incompletely understood. Here, we used fMRI to examine the effects of contextual signals derived from the content of the movie on the neural correlates underlying memory retrieval of temporal-order in human subjects of both sexes. By contrasting SAME versus DIFF storyline conditions during the retrieval of the temporal order of cinematic events, we found that the activation in the precuneus, as well as behavior, are significantly modulated according to storyline condition, supporting our prediction of contextual information contributing to temporal retrieval. We suggest that the precuneus engages in memory retrieval via reconstructive mechanisms, entailing search within a movie-specific, situational knowledge-structure. Furthermore, information-based analyses of multivoxel activity revealed that the precuneus also contains a context-independent linear representation of temporal distances, consistent with a chronological organization of memory traces. We thus put forward that the retrieval of the temporal-order of naturalistic events encoded in rich and dynamic contexts relies on the joint contribution of chronological and reconstructive mechanisms, both of which rely on the medioposterior parietal cortex in humans.
Plastic change in neuronal connectivity is the foundation of memory encoding. It is not clear whether the changes during anesthesia can alter subsequent behavior. Here, we demonstrated that in male rodents under anesthesia, a visual stimulus (VS) was associated with electrical stimulation of the auditory cortex or natural auditory stimulus in the presence of cholecystokinin (CCK), which guided the animals' behavior in a two-choice auditory task. Auditory neurons became responsive to the VS after the pairings. Moreover, high-frequency stimulation of axon terminals of entorhinal CCK neurons in the auditory cortex enabled LTP of the visual response in the auditory cortex. Such pairing during anesthesia also generated VS-induced freezing in an auditory fear conditioning task. Finally, we verified that direct inputs from the entorhinal CCK neurons and the visual cortex enabled the above neural plasticity in the auditory cortex. Our findings suggest that CCK-enabled visuoauditory association during anesthesia can be translated to the subsequent behavior action.
Yes-associated protein (YAP) transcriptional coactivator is negatively regulated by the Hippo pathway and functions in controlling the size of multiple organs, such as liver during development. However, it is not clear whether YAP signaling participates in the process of the formation of glia scars after spinal cord injury (SCI). In this study, we found that YAP was upregulated and activated in astrocytes of C57BL/6 male mice after SCI in a Hippo pathway-dependent manner. Conditional knockout (KO) of yap in astrocytes significantly inhibited astrocytic proliferation, impaired the formation of glial scars, inhibited the axonal regeneration, and impaired the behavioral recovery of C57BL/6 male mice after SCI. Mechanistically, the bFGF was upregulated after SCI and induced the activation of YAP through RhoA pathways, thereby promoting the formation of glial scars. Additionally, YAP promoted bFGF-induced proliferation by negatively controlling nuclear distribution of p27(Kip1) mediated by CRM I. Finally, bFGF or XMU-MP-1 (an inhibitor of Hippo kinase MST1/2 to activate YAP) injection indeed activated YAP signaling and promoted the formation of glial scars and the functional recovery of mice after SCI. These findings suggest that YAP promotes the formation of glial scars and neural regeneration of mice after SCI, and that the bFGF-RhoA-YAP-p27(Kip1)pathway positively regulates astrocytic proliferation after SCI.
Perturbations to postsynaptic glutamate receptors (GluRs) trigger retrograde signaling to precisely increase presynaptic neurotransmitter release, maintaining stable levels of synaptic strength, a process referred to as homeostatic regulation. However, the structural change of homeostatic regulation remains poorly defined. At wild-type Drosophila neuromuscular junction synapse, there is one Bruchpilot (Brp) ring detected by superresolution microscopy at active zones (AZs). In the present study, we report multiple Brp rings (i.e., multiple T-bars seen by electron microscopy) at AZs of both male and female larvae when GluRs are reduced. At GluRIIC-deficient neuromuscular junctions, quantal size was reduced but quantal content was increased, indicative of homeostatic presynaptic potentiation. Consistently, multiple Brp rings at AZs were observed in the two classic synaptic homeostasis models (i.e., GluRIIA mutant and pharmacological blockade of GluRIIA activity). Furthermore, postsynaptic overexpression of the cell adhesion protein Neuroligin 1 partially rescued multiple Brp rings phenotype. Our study thus supports that the formation of multiple Brp rings at AZs might be a structural basis for synaptic homeostasis.
Gamma-band oscillations (GBOs) elicited by transient nociceptive stimuli are one of the most promising biomarkers of pain across species. Still, whether these GBOs reflect stimulus encoding in the primary somatosensory cortex (Si) or nocifensive behavior in the primary motor cortex (Ml) is debated. Here we recorded neural activity simultaneously from the brain surface as well as at different depths of the bilateral Sl/MI in freely-moving male rats receiving nociceptive stimulation. GBOs measured from superficial layers of Si contralateral to the stimulated paw not only had the largest magnitude, but also showed the strongest temporal and phase coupling with epidural GBOs. Also, spiking of superficial SI interneurons had the strongest phase coherence with epidural GBOs. These results provide the first direct demonstration that scalp GBOs, one of the most promising pain biomarkers, reflect neural activity strongly coupled with the fast spiking of interneurons in the superficial layers of the Si contralateral to the stimulated side.
Priming refers to the influence that a previously encountered object exerts on future responses to similar objects. For many years, visual priming has been known as a facilitation and sometimes an inhibition effect that lasts for an extended period of time. It contrasts with the recent finding of an oscillated priming effect where facilitation and inhibition alternate over time periodically. Here we developed a computational model of visual priming that combines rhythmic sampling of the environment (attentional oscillation) with active preparation for future events (temporal expectation). Counterintuitively, it shows that both the sustained and oscillated priming effects can emerge from an interaction between attentional oscillation and temporal expectation. The interaction also leads to novel predictions, such as the change of visual priming effects with temporal expectation and attentional oscillation. Reanalysis of two published datasets and the results of two new experiments of visual priming tasks with male and female human participants provide support for the model's relevance to human behavior. More generally, our model offers a new perspective that may unify the increasing findings of behavioral and neural oscillations with the classic findings in visual perception and attention.
As an important cognitive bias, the framing effect shows that our decision preferences are sensitive to the verbal description (i.e., frame) of options. This study focuses on the neural underpinnings of the social framing effect, which is based on decision-making regarding other people. A novel paradigm was used in which participants made a trade-off between economic benefits and the feelings of others. This decision was described as either a "harm" to, or "not helping," other persons in two conditions (Harm frame vs Help frame). Both human males and females were recruited. Participants behaved more prosocially for Harm frame compared with Help frame, resulting in a significant social framing effect. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, Experiment 1 showed that the social framing effect was associated with stronger activation in the temporoparietal junction (TPJ), especially its right part. The functional connectivity between the right TPJ (rTPJ) and medial prefrontal cortex predicted the social framing effect on the group level. In Experiment 2, we used transcranial direct current stimulation to modulate the activity of the rTPJ and found that the soda! framing effect became more prominent under anodal (excitatory) stimulation, while the nonsocial framing effect elicited by the economic gain/loss gambling frame remained unaffected. The rTPJ results might be associated with moral conflicts modulated by the social consequences of an action or different levels of mentalizing with others under different frame conditions, but alternative interpretations are also worth noting. These findings could help elucidate the psychological mechanisms of the social framing effect.
The septo-hippocampal cholinergic system is critical for hippocampal learning and memory. However, a quantitative description of the in vivo firing patterns and physiological function of medial septal (MS) cholinergic neurons is still missing. In this study, we combined optogenetics with multichannel in vivo recording and recorded MS Cholinergic neuron firings in freely behaving male mice for 5.5-72 h. We found that their firing activities were highly correlated with hippocampal theta states. MS cholinergic neurons were highly active during theta-dominant epochs, such as active exploration and rapid eye movement sleep, but almost silent during nontheta epochs, such as slow-wave sleep (SWS). Interestingly, optogenetic activation of these MS cholinergic neurons during SWS suppressed CA1 ripple oscillations. This suppression could be rescued by muscarinic M-2 or M-4 receptor antagonists. These results suggest the following important physiological function of MS cholinergic neurons: maintaining high hippocampal acetylcholine level by persistent firing during theta epochs, consequently suppressing ripples and allowing theta oscillations to dominate.
MEPC2 gain of function and loss of function in genetically engineered monkeys recapitulates typical phenotypes in patients with autism, yet where MECP2 mutation affects the monkey brain and whether/how it relates to autism pathology remain unknown. Here we report a combination of gene-circuit-behavior analyses including MECP2 coexpression network, locomotive and cognitive behaviors, and EEG and fMRI findings in 5 MECP2 overexpressed monkeys (Macaca fascicularis; 3 females) and 20 wild-type monkeys (Macaca fascicularis; 11 females). Whole-genome expression analysis revealed MECP2 coexpressed genes significantly enriched in GABA-related signaling pathways, whereby reduced /3-synchronization within fronto-parieto-occipital networks was associated with abnormal locomotive behaviors. Meanwhile, MECP2-induced hyperconnectivity in prefrontal and cingulate networks accounted for regressive deficits in reversal learning tasks. Furthermore, we stratified a cohort of 49 patients with autism and 72 healthy controls of 1112 subjects using functional connectivity patterns, and identified dysconnectivity profiles similar to those in monkeys. By establishing a circuit-based construct link between genetically defined models and stratified patients, these results pave new avenues to deconstruct clinical heterogeneity and advance accurate diagnosis in psychiatric disorders.
Myosin X (Myo X) transports cargos to the tips of filopodia for cell adhesion, migration, and neuronal axon guidance. Deleted in Colorectal Cancer (DCC) is one of the Myo X cargos that is essential for Netrin-1-regulated axon pathfinding. The function of Myo X in axon development in vivo and the underlying mechanisms remain elusive. Here, we provide evidence for the role of Myo X in Netrin-1-DCC-regulated axon development in developing mouse neocortex. The knockout (KO) or knockdown (KD) of Myo X in cortical neurons of embryonic mouse brain impairs axon initiation and contralateral branching/targeting. Similar axon deficits are detected in Netrin-1-KO or DCC-KD cortical neurons. Further proteomic analysis of Myo X binding proteins identifies KIF13B (a kinesin family motor protein). The Myo X interaction with KIF13B is induced by Netrin-1. Netrin-1 promotes anterograde transportation of Myo X into axons in a KIF13B-dependent manner. KIF13B-KD cortical neurons exhibit similar axon deficits. Together, these results reveal Myo X-KIF13B as a critical pathway for Netrin-1promoted axon initiation and branching/targeting.