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Ramiro-Cortes Y.,Champalimaud Neuroscience Programme At Instituto Gulbenkian Of Ciencia | Ramiro-Cortes Y.,Champalimaud Center for the Unknown | Israely I.,Champalimaud Neuroscience Programme At Instituto Gulbenkian Of Ciencia | Israely I.,Champalimaud Center for the Unknown
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

Neuronal circuits modify their response to synaptic inputs in an experience-dependent fashion. Increases in synaptic weights are accompanied by structural modifications, and activity dependent, long lasting growth of dendritic spines requires new protein synthesis. When multiple spines are potentiated within a dendritic domain, they show dynamic structural plasticity changes, indicating that spines can undergo bidirectional physical modifications. However, it is unclear whether protein synthesis dependent synaptic depression leads to long lasting structural changes. Here, we investigate the structural correlates of protein synthesis dependent long-term depression (LTD) mediated by metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs) through two-photon imaging of dendritic spines on hippocampal pyramidal neurons. We find that induction of mGluR-LTD leads to robust and long lasting spine shrinkage and elimination that lasts for up to 24 hours. These effects depend on signaling through group I mGluRs, require protein synthesis, and activity. These data reveal a mechanism for long lasting remodeling of synaptic inputs, and offer potential insights into mental retardation. © 2013 Ramiro-Cortés, Israely.

Vilas-Boas F.,University of Lisbon | Vilas-Boas F.,Champalimaud Neuroscience Programme At Instituto Gulbenkian Of Ciencia | Fior R.,University of Lisbon | Swedlow J.R.,University of Dundee | And 3 more authors.
BMC Biology | Year: 2011

Background: Building the complex vertebrate nervous system involves the regulated production of neurons and glia while maintaining a progenitor cell population. Neurogenesis starts asynchronously in different regions of the embryo and occurs over a long period of time, allowing progenitor cells to be exposed to multiple extrinsic signals that regulate the production of different cell types. Notch-mediated cell-cell signalling is one of the mechanisms that maintain the progenitor pool, however, little is known about how the timing of Notch activation is related to the cell cycle and the distinct modes of cell division that generate neurons. An essential tool with which to investigate the role of Notch signalling on cell by cell basis is the development a faithful reporter of Notch activity.Results: Here we present a novel reporter for Notch activity based on the promoter of the well characterised Notch target chick Hes5-1, coupled with multiple elements that confer instability, including a destabilized nuclear Venus fluorescent protein and the 3' untranslated region (UTR) of Hes5-1. We demonstrate that this reporter faithfully recapitulates the endogenous expression of Hes5-1 and that it robustly responds to Notch activation in the chick neural tube. Analysis of the patterns of Notch activity revealed by this reporter indicates that although Notch is most frequently activated prior to mitosis it can be activated at any time within the cell cycle. Notch active progenitors undergoing mitosis generate two daughters that both continue to experience Notch signalling. However, cells lacking Notch activity before and during mitosis generate daughters with dissimilar Notch activity profiles.Conclusions: A novel Notch reporter with multiple destabilisation elements provides a faithful read-out of endogenous Notch activity on a cell-by-cell basis, as neural progenitors progress through the cell cycle in the chick neural tube. Notch activity patterns in this cell population provide evidence for distinct Notch signalling dynamics underlying different cell division modes and for the involvement of random initiation of Notch signalling within the neuroepithelium. These findings highlight the importance of single-cell analysis in the study of the complexity of Notch activity and provide new insights into the mechanisms underlying cell fate decisions in neural progenitors. © 2011 Vilas-Boas et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

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