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Darbin O.,University of South Alabama | Darbin O.,National Institute for Physiological science
Parkinsonism and Related Disorders | Year: 2012

Movement disorders are prevalent in the elderly and may have both central and peripheral origins. Age-related parkinsonism often results in movement disorders identical to some of the cardinal symptoms of typical Parkinson's disease (TPD). Nevertheless, there may be limited similarity in the underlying dysfunction of the sensory-motor circuitry since these two conditions exhibit different changes in the nigro-striatal pathway. In this short review, we highlight some of the key distinctions between aging and TPD regarding striatal dopaminergic activity and discuss them in the context of therapeutic strategies to alleviate motor decline in the elderly. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Nambu A.,National Institute for Physiological science
Frontiers in Neuroanatomy | Year: 2011

Somatotopic organization is a fundamental and key concept to understand how the corticobasal ganglia loop works. It is also indispensable knowledge to perform stereotaxic surgery for movement disorders. Here I would like to describe the somatotopic organization of the basal ganglia, which consist of the striatum, subthalamic nucleus, globus pallidus, and substantia nigra. Projections from motor cortical regions representing different body parts terminate in different regions of these nuclei. Basal ganglia neurons respond not only to the stimulation of the corresponding regions of the motor cortices, but also to active and passive movements of the corresponding body parts. On the basis of these anatomical and physiological findings, somatotopic organization can be identified in the motor territories of these nuclei in the basal ganglia. In addition, projections from functionally interrelated cortical areas partially converge through the cortico-basal ganglia loop, but nevertheless the somatotopy is still preserved. Disorganized somatotopy may explain, at least in part, the pathophysiology of movement disorders, such as Parkinson's disease and dystonia. © 2011 Nambu.

Takebayashi H.,Niigata University | Ikenaka K.,National Institute for Physiological science
GLIA | Year: 2015

Oligodendrocytes (OLs) are glial cells, which generate myelin in the central nervous system. Their interesting developmental features attract many neurobiologists eager to study cell differentiation, gene expression regulation, or dynamic morphogenesis. Their primary role in protecting the axons has major impacts in the medical research field: in multiple sclerosis, a demyelinating disease in which remyelination is blocked. Oligodendrogenesis is involved in higher brain function including motor skill learning and cognitive function. Here, we review advances in the research on OL development and highlight areas where questions remain to be answered in both developmental biology and neurobiology related aspects. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Kubota Y.,National Institute for Physiological science | Kubota Y.,Graduate University for Advanced Studies | Kubota Y.,Japan Science and Technology Agency
Current Opinion in Neurobiology | Year: 2014

The cerebral cortical microcircuit is composed of pyramidal and non-pyramidal cells and subcortical and cortico-cortical afferents. These constitute a complex wiring structure that remains poorly understood. At least ten non-pyramidal cell subtypes are known. These innervate different target neuronal domains, and have a key role in regulating cortical neuronal activity. Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is a major inhibitory neurotransmitter in the cerebral cortex, and most cortical inhibitory synapses originate from non-pyramidal cells. Therefore, investigating the morphological and functional wiring properties of GABAergic non-pyramidal cells is critical to understanding the functional architecture of the cortical microcircuitry. This review focuses on current understanding of the different roles of inhibitory GABAergic non-pyramidal cell subtypes in cortical functions. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Sanada T.M.,National Institute for Physiological science | DeAngelis G.C.,University of Rochester
Journal of Neuroscience | Year: 2014

Neural processing of 2D visual motion has been studied extensively, but relatively little is known about how visual cortical neurons represent visual motion trajectories that include a component toward or away from the observer (motion in depth). Psychophysical studies have demonstrated that humans perceive motion in depth based on both changes in binocular disparity over time (CD cue) and interocular velocity differences (IOVD cue). However, evidence for neurons that represent motion in depth has been limited, especially in primates, and it is unknown whether such neurons make use of CD or IOVD cues. We show that approximately one-half of neurons in macaque area MT are selective for the direction of motion in depth, and that this selectivity is driven primarily by IOVD cues, with a small contribution from the CD cue. Our results establish that area MT, a central hub of the primate visual motion processing system, contains a 3D representation of visual motion. © 2014 the authors.

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