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BACKGROUND - Extracellular recordings are used to define gastric slow wave propagation. Signal filtering is a key step in the analysis and interpretation of extracellular slow wave data; however, there is controversy and uncertainty regarding the appropriate filtering settings. This study investigated the effect of various standard filters on the morphology and measurement of extracellular gastric slow waves.
METHODS - Experimental extracellular gastric slow waves were recorded from the serosal surface of the stomach from pigs and humans. Four digital filters: finite impulse response filter (0.05-1 Hz); Savitzky-Golay filter (0-1.98 Hz); Bessel filter (2-100 Hz); and Butterworth filter (5-100 Hz); were applied on extracellular gastric slow wave signals to compare the changes temporally (morphology of the signal) and spectrally (signals in the frequency domain).
KEY RESULTS - The extracellular slow wave activity is represented in the frequency domain by a dominant frequency and its associated harmonics in diminishing power. Optimal filters apply cutoff frequencies consistent with the dominant slow wave frequency (3-5 cpm) and main harmonics (up to ≈ 2 Hz). Applying filters with cutoff frequencies above or below the dominant and harmonic frequencies was found to distort or eliminate slow wave signal content.
CONCLUSIONS & INFERENCES - Investigators must be cognizant of these optimal filtering practices when detecting, analyzing, and interpreting extracellular slow wave recordings. The use of frequency domain analysis is important for identifying the dominant and harmonics of the signal of interest. Capturing the dominant frequency and major harmonics of slow wave is crucial for accurate representation of slow wave activity in the time domain. Standardized filter settings should be determined.
© 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
In Drosophila, the secreted signaling molecule Jelly Belly (Jeb) activates anaplastic lymphoma kinase (Alk), a receptor tyrosine kinase, in multiple developmental and adult contexts. We have shown previously that Jeb and Alk are highly enriched at Drosophila synapses within the CNS neuropil and neuromuscular junction (NMJ) and postulated a conserved intercellular signaling function. At the embryonic and larval NMJ, Jeb is localized in the motor neuron presynaptic terminal whereas Alk is concentrated in the muscle postsynaptic domain surrounding boutons, consistent with anterograde trans-synaptic signaling. Here, we show that neurotransmission is regulated by Jeb secretion by functional inhibition of Jeb-Alk signaling. Jeb is a novel negative regulator of neuromuscular transmission. Reduction or inhibition of Alk function results in enhanced synaptic transmission. Activation of Alk conversely inhibits synaptic transmission. Restoration of wild-type postsynaptic Alk expression in Alk partial loss-of-function mutants rescues NMJ transmission phenotypes and confirms that postsynaptic Alk regulates NMJ transmission. The effects of impaired Alk signaling on neurotransmission are observed in the absence of associated changes in NMJ structure. Complete removal of Jeb in motor neurons, however, disrupts both presynaptic bouton architecture and postsynaptic differentiation. Nonphysiologic activation of Alk signaling also negatively regulates NMJ growth. Activation of Jeb-Alk signaling triggers the Ras-MAP kinase cascade in both pre- and postsynaptic compartments. These novel roles for Jeb-Alk signaling in the modulation of synaptic function and structure have potential implications for recently reported Alk functions in human addiction, retention of spatial memory, cognitive dysfunction in neurofibromatosis, and pathogenesis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
BACKGROUND - Gastric slow waves propagate aborally as rings of excitation. Circumferential propagation does not normally occur, except at the pacemaker region. We hypothesized that (i) the unexplained high-velocity, high-amplitude activity associated with the pacemaker region is a consequence of circumferential propagation; (ii) rapid, high-amplitude circumferential propagation emerges during gastric dysrhythmias; (iii) the driving network conductance might switch between interstitial cells of Cajal myenteric plexus (ICC-MP) and circular interstitial cells of Cajal intramuscular (ICC-IM) during circumferential propagation; and (iv) extracellular amplitudes and velocities are correlated.
METHODS - An experimental-theoretical study was performed. High-resolution gastric mapping was performed in pigs during normal activation, pacing, and dysrhythmia. Activation profiles, velocities, and amplitudes were quantified. ICC pathways were theoretically evaluated in a bidomain model. Extracellular potentials were modeled as a function of membrane potentials.
KEY RESULTS - High-velocity, high-amplitude activation was only recorded in the pacemaker region when circumferential conduction occurred. Circumferential propagation accompanied dysrhythmia in 8/8 experiments was faster than longitudinal propagation (8.9 vs 6.9 mm s(-1) ; P = 0.004) and of higher amplitude (739 vs 528 μV; P = 0.007). Simulations predicted that ICC-MP could be the driving network during longitudinal propagation, whereas during ectopic pacemaking, ICC-IM could outpace and activate ICC-MP in the circumferential axis. Experimental and modeling data demonstrated a linear relationship between velocities and amplitudes (P < 0.001).
CONCLUSIONS & INFERENCES - The high-velocity and high-amplitude profile of the normal pacemaker region is due to localized circumferential propagation. Rapid circumferential propagation also emerges during a range of gastric dysrhythmias, elevating extracellular amplitudes and organizing transverse wavefronts. One possible explanation for these findings is bidirectional coupling between ICC-MP and circular ICC-IM networks.
© 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
The isolated retrograde-perfused Langendorff heart and the isolated ejecting heart have, over many decades, resulted in fundamental discoveries that form the underpinnings of our current understanding of the biology and physiology of the heart. These two experimental methodologies have proven invaluable in studying pharmacological effects on myocardial function, metabolism, and vascular reactivity and in the investigation of clinically relevant disease states such as ischemia-reperfusion injury, diabetes, obesity, and heart failure. With the advent of the genomics era, the isolated mouse heart preparation has gained prominence as an ex vivo research tool for investigators studying the impact of gene modification in the intact heart. This review summarizes the historical development of the isolated heart and provides a practical guide for the establishment of the Langendorff and ejecting heart preparations with a particular emphasis on the murine heart. In addition, current applications and novel methods of recording cardiovascular parameters in the isolated heart preparation will be discussed. With continued advances in methodological recordings, the isolated mouse heart preparation will remain physiologically relevant for the foreseeable future, serving as an integral bridge between in vitro assays and in vivo approaches.
The primary visual cortex (V1) receives its driving input from the eyes via the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN) of the thalamus. The lateral pulvinar nucleus of the thalamus also projects to V1, but this input is not well understood. We manipulated lateral pulvinar neural activity in prosimian primates and assessed the effect on supra-granular layers of V1 that project to higher visual cortex. Reversibly inactivating lateral pulvinar prevented supra-granular V1 neurons from responding to visual stimulation. Reversible, focal excitation of lateral pulvinar receptive fields increased the visual responses in coincident V1 receptive fields fourfold and shifted partially overlapping V1 receptive fields toward the center of excitation. V1 responses to regions surrounding the excited lateral pulvinar receptive fields were suppressed. LGN responses were unaffected by these lateral pulvinar manipulations. Excitation of lateral pulvinar after LGN lesion activated supra-granular layer V1 neurons. Thus, lateral pulvinar is able to powerfully control and gate information outflow from V1.
The spinal cord contains a diverse array of physiologically distinct interneuron cell types that subserve specialized roles in somatosensory perception and motor control. The mechanisms that generate these specialized interneuronal cell types from multipotential spinal progenitors are not known. In this study, we describe a temporally regulated transcriptional program that controls the differentiation of Renshaw cells (RCs), an anatomically and functionally discrete spinal interneuron subtype. We show that the selective activation of the Onecut transcription factors Oc1 and Oc2 during the first wave of V1 interneuron neurogenesis is a key step in the RC differentiation program. The development of RCs is additionally dependent on the forkhead transcription factor Foxd3, which is more broadly expressed in postmitotic V1 interneurons. Our demonstration that RCs are born, and activate Oc1 and Oc2 expression, in a narrow temporal window leads us to posit that neuronal diversity in the developing spinal cord is established by the composite actions of early spatial and temporal determinants.
In the developing brain, nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are involved in cell survival, targeting, formation of neural and sensory circuits, and development and maturation of other neurotransmitter systems. This regulatory role is disrupted when the developing brain is exposed to nicotine, which occurs with tobacco use during pregnancy. Prenatal nicotine exposure has been shown to be a strong risk factor for memory deficits and other behavioral aberrations in the offspring. The molecular mechanisms underlying these neurobehavioral outcomes are not clearly elucidated. We used a rodent model to assess behavioral, neurophysiological, and neurochemical consequences of prenatal nicotine exposure in rat offspring with specific emphasis on the hippocampal glutamatergic system. Pregnant dams were infused with nicotine (6 mg/kg/day) subcutaneously from the third day of pregnancy until birth. Results indicate that prenatal nicotine exposure leads to increased anxiety and depressive-like effects and impaired spatial memory. Synaptic plasticity in the form of long-term potentiation (LTP), basal synaptic transmission, and AMPA receptor-mediated synaptic currents were reduced. The deficit in synaptic plasticity was paralleled by declines in protein levels of vesicular glutamate transporter 1 (VGLUT1), synaptophysin, AMPA receptor subunit GluR1, phospho(Ser845) GluR1, and postsynaptic density 95 (PSD-95). These results suggest that prenatal nicotine exposure by maternal smoking could result in alterations in the glutamatergic system in the hippocampus contributing to the abnormal neurobehavioral outcomes.
© Springer Basel AG 2011
Each normal heart beat is triggered by an electrical impulse emitted from a group of specialized cardiomyocytes that together form the sinoatrial node (SAN). In this issue of the JCI, Swaminathan and colleagues demonstrate a new molecular mechanism that can disrupt the normal beating of the heart: angiotensin II - typically found in increased levels in heart failure and hypertension - oxidizes and activates Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent kinase II via NADPH oxidase activation, causing SAN cell death. The loss of SAN cells produces an electrical imbalance termed the "source-sink mismatch," which may contribute to the SAN dysfunction that affects millions of people later in life and complicates a number of heart diseases.
Na(+)- and Cl(-)-dependent uptake of neurotransmitters via transporters of the SLC6 family, including the human serotonin transporter (SLC6A4), is critical for efficient synaptic transmission. Although residues in the human serotonin transporter involved in direct Cl(-) coordination of human serotonin transport have been identified, the role of Cl(-) in the transport mechanism remains unclear. Through a combination of mutagenesis, chemical modification, substrate and charge flux measurements, and molecular modeling studies, we reveal an unexpected role for the highly conserved transmembrane segment 1 residue Asn-101 in coupling Cl(-) binding to concentrative neurotransmitter uptake.
BACKGROUND - The significance of gastric dysrhythmias remains uncertain. Progress requires a better understanding of dysrhythmic behaviors, including the slow wave patterns that accompany or promote them. The aim of this study was to use high-resolution spatiotemporal mapping to characterize and quantify the initiation and conduction of porcine gastric dysrhythmias.
METHODS - High-resolution mapping was performed on healthy fasted weaner pigs under general anesthesia. Recordings were made from the gastric serosa using flexible arrays (160-192 electrodes; 7.6mm spacing). Dysrhythmias were observed to occur in 14 of 97 individual recordings (from 8 of 16 pigs), and these events were characterized, quantified and classified using isochronal mapping and animation.
KEY RESULTS - All observed dysrhythmias originated in the corpus and fundus. The range of dysrhythmias included incomplete conduction block (n=3 pigs; 3.9±0.5cpm; normal range: 3.2±0.2cpm) complete conduction block (n=3; 3.7±0.4cpm), escape rhythm (n=5; 2.0±0.3cpm), competing ectopic pacemakers (n=5, 3.7±0.1cpm) and functional re-entry (n=3, 4.1±0.4cpm). Incomplete conduction block was observed to self-perpetuate due to retrograde propagation of wave fragments. Functional re-entry occurred in the corpus around a line of unidirectional block. 'Double potentials' were observed in electrograms at sites of re-entry and at wave collisions.
CONCLUSIONS & INFERENCES - Intraoperative multi-electrode mapping of fasted weaner healthy pigs detected dysrhythmias in 15% of recordings (from 50% of animals), including patterns not previously reported. The techniques and findings described here offer new opportunities to understand the nature of human gastric dysrhythmias.
© 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.