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Asano Y.,Kyushu University | Hiramoto T.,Kyushu University | Nishino R.,Tokai University | Aiba Y.,Tokai University | And 5 more authors.
American Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology | Year: 2012

There is increasing interest in the bidirectional communication between the mammalian host and prokaryotic cells. Catecholamines (CA), candidate molecules for such communication, are presumed to play an important role in the gut lumen; however, available evidence is limited because of the lack of actual data about luminal CA. This study evaluated luminal CA levels in the gastrointestinal tract and elucidated the involvement of gut microbiota in the generation of luminal CA by comparing the findings among specific pathogen-free mice (SPF-M), germ-free mice (GF-M), and gnotobiotic mice. Substantial levels of free dopamine and norepinephrine were identified in the gut lumen of SPF-M. The free CA levels in the gut lumen were lower in GF-M than in SPF-M. The majority of CA was a biologically active, free form in SPF-M, whereas it was a biologically inactive, conjugated form in GF-M. The association of GF-M with either Clostridium species or SPF fecal flora, both of which have abundant β-glucuronidase activity, resulted in the drastic elevation of free CA. The inoculation of E. coli strain into GF-M induced a substantial amount of free CA, but the inoculation of its mutant strain deficient in the β-glucuronidase gene did not. The intraluminal administration of DA increased colonic water absorption in an in vivo ligated loop model of SPF-M, thus suggesting that luminal DA plays a role as a proabsorptive modulator of water transport in the colon. These results indicate that gut microbiota play a critical role in the generation of free CA in the gut lumen. © 2012 the American Physiological Society.

Etherton M.R.,Stanford University | Tabuchi K.,Stanford University | Tabuchi K.,Okazaki National Research Institute | Sharma M.,Stanford University | And 3 more authors.
EMBO Journal | Year: 2011

Neuroligins are evolutionarily conserved postsynaptic cell-adhesion molecules that function, at least in part, by forming trans-synaptic complexes with presynaptic neurexins. Different neuroligin isoforms perform diverse functions and exhibit distinct intracellular localizations, but contain similar cytoplasmic sequences whose role remains largely unknown. Here, we analysed the effect of a single amino-acid substitution (R704C) that targets a conserved arginine residue in the cytoplasmic sequence of all neuroligins, and that was associated with autism in neuroligin-4. We introduced the R704C mutation into mouse neuroligin-3 by homologous recombination, and examined its effect on synapses in vitro and in vivo. Electrophysiological and morphological studies revealed that the neuroligin-3 R704C mutation did not significantly alter synapse formation, but dramatically impaired synapse function. Specifically, the R704C mutation caused a major and selective decrease in AMPA receptor-mediated synaptic transmission in pyramidal neurons of the hippocampus, without similarly changing NMDA or GABA receptor-mediated synaptic transmission, and without detectably altering presynaptic neurotransmitter release. Our results suggest that the cytoplasmic tail of neuroligin-3 has a central role in synaptic transmission by modulating the recruitment of AMPA receptors to postsynaptic sites at excitatory synapses. © 2011 European Molecular Biology Organization | All Rights Reserved.

Furuya K.,Nagoya University | Shigemoto R.,Okazaki National Research Institute | Sokabe M.,Nagoya University
Cell and Tissue Research | Year: 2010

Subepithelial fibroblasts of the intestinal villi, which form a contractile cellular network beneath the epithelium, are in close contact with epithelial cells, nerve varicosities, capillaries, smooth muscles and immune cells, and secrete extracellular matrix molecules, growth factors and cytokines, etc. Cultured subepithelial fibroblasts of the rat duodenal villi display various receptors such as endothelins, ATP, substance-P and bradykinin, and release ATP in response to mechanical stimulation. In this study, the presence of functional NK1 receptors (NK1R) was pharmacologically confirmed in primary culture by Ca2+ measurement, and the effects of substance-P were measured in an acute preparation of epithelium-free duodenal villi from 2- to 3-week-old rats using a two-photon laser microscope. Substance-P elicited an increase in the intracellular Ca2+ concentration and contraction of the subepithelial fibroblasts in culture and the isolated villi. The localization of NK1R and substance-P in the villi was examined by light and electron microscopic immunohistochemistry. NK1R-like immunoreactivity was intensely localized on the plasma membrane of villous subepithelial fibroblasts in 10-day- to 4-week-old rats and mice and was decreased or absent in adulthood. The pericryptal fibroblasts of the small and large intestine were NK1R immuno-negative. These villous subepithelial fibroblasts form synapse-like structures with both substance-P-immunopositive and -immunonegative nerve varicosities. Here, we propose that the mutual interaction between villous subepithelial fibroblasts and afferent neurons via substance-P and ATP plays important roles in the maturation of the structure and function of the small intestine. © 2010 Springer-Verlag.

Sakamoto H.,Okayama University | Sakamoto H.,Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine | Arii T.,Okazaki National Research Institute | Kawata M.,Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine
Endocrinology | Year: 2010

The spinal nucleus of bulbocavernosus (SNB) is a sexually dimorphic motor nucleus located in the anterior horn of the fifth and sixth lumbar segments of the spinal cord that plays a significant role in male sexual function. We recently found that a sexually dimorphic expression of gastrin-releasing peptide (GRP) in the lumbar spinal cord regulates male copulatory reflexes. Although it is reported that these systems are both profoundly regulated by circulating androgen levels in male rats, no direct evidence has been reported regarding GRP synaptic inputs onto SNB motoneurons. The aim of the current study was to determine the axodendritic synaptic inputs of spinal GRP neurons to SNB motoneurons. Immunoelectron microscopy, combined with a retrograde tracing technique using high-voltage electron microscopy (HVEM), provided a three-dimensional visualization of synaptic contacts from the GRP system in the lumbar spinal cord onto SNB motoneurons. HVEM analysis clearly demonstrated that GRP-immunoreactive axon terminals directly contact dendrites that extend into the dorsal gray commissure from the SNB. These HVEM findings provide an ultrastructural basis for understanding how the spinal GRP system regulates male sexual behavior. Copyright © 2010 by The Endocrine Society.

Izuma K.,Tamagawa University | Izuma K.,California Institute of Technology | Matsumoto M.,Tamagawa University | Murayama K.,Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich | And 3 more authors.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America | Year: 2010

According to many modern economic theories, actions simply reflect an individual's preferences, whereas a psychological phenomenon called "cognitive dissonance" claims that actions can also create preference. Cognitive dissonance theory states that after making a difficult choice between two equally preferred items, the act of rejecting a favorite item induces an uncomfortable feeling (cognitive dissonance), which in turn motivates individuals to change their preferences to match their prior decision (i.e., reducing preference for rejected items). Recently, however, Chen and Risen [Chen K, Risen J (2010) J Pers Soc Psychol 99:573-594] pointed out a serious methodological problem, which casts a doubt on the very existence of this choice-induced preference change as studied over the past 50 y. Here, using a proper control condition and two measures of preferences (self-report and brain activity), we found that the mere act of making a choice can change self-report preference as well as its neural representation (i.e., striatum activity), thus providing strong evidence for choice-induced preference change. Furthermore, our data indicate that the anterior cingulate cortex and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex tracked the degree of cognitive dissonance on a trial-by-trial basis. Our findings provide important insights into the neural basis of how actions can alter an individual's preferences.

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