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Portmann T.,Stanford University | Yang M.,National Institute of Mental Health | Yang M.,University of California at Davis | Mao R.,Stanford University | And 26 more authors.
Cell Reports | Year: 2014

A deletion on human chromosome 16p11.2 is associated with autism spectrum disorders. We deleted the syntenic region on mouse chromosome 7F3. MRI and high-throughput single-cell transcriptomics revealed anatomical and cellular abnormalities, particularly in cortex and striatum of juvenile mutant mice (16p11+/-). We found elevated numbers of striatal medium spiny neurons (MSNs) expressing the dopamine D2 receptor (Drd2+) and fewer dopamine-sensitive (Drd1+) neurons in deep layers of cortex. Electrophysiological recordings of Drd2+ MSN revealed synaptic defects, suggesting abnormal basal ganglia circuitry function in 16p11+/- mice. This is further supported by behavioral experiments showing hyperactivity, circling, and deficits in movement control. Strikingly, 16p11+/- mice showed a complete lack of habituation reminiscent of what is observed in some autistic individuals. Our findings unveil a fundamental role of genes affected by the 16p11.2 deletion in establishing the basal ganglia circuitry and provide insights in the pathophysiology of autism. © 2014 The Authors. Source


Alabi A.A.,Stanford Institute for Neuro Innovation and Translational Neurosciences
Cold Spring Harbor perspectives in biology | Year: 2012

Synaptic vesicles release neurotransmitter at chemical synapses, thus initiating the flow of information in neural networks. To achieve this, vesicles undergo a dynamic cycle of fusion and retrieval to maintain the structural and functional integrity of the presynaptic terminals in which they reside. Moreover, compelling evidence indicates these vesicles differ in their availability for release and mobilization in response to stimuli, prompting classification into at least three different functional pools. Ongoing studies of the molecular and cellular bases for this heterogeneity attempt to link structure to physiology and clarify how regulation of vesicle pools influences synaptic strength and presynaptic plasticity. We discuss prevailing perspectives on vesicle pools, the role they play in shaping synaptic transmission, and the open questions that challenge current understanding. Source


Alabi A.A.,Stanford Institute for Neuro Innovation and Translational Neurosciences | Tsien R.W.,New York University
Annual Review of Physiology | Year: 2013

Regulated exocytosis and endocytosis are critical to the function of many intercellular networks, particularly the complex neural circuits underlying mammalian behavior. Kiss-and-run (KR) is an unconventional fusion between secretory vesicles and a target membrane that releases intravesicular content through a transient, nanometer-sized fusion pore. The fusing vesicle retains its gross shape, precluding full integration into the planar membrane, and enough molecular components for rapid retrieval, reacidification, and reuse. KR makes judicious use of finite presynaptic resources, and mounting evidence suggests that it influences synaptic information transfer. Here we detail emerging perspectives on KR and its role in neurotransmission. We additionally formulate a restraining force hypothesis as a plausible mechanistic basis for KR and its physiological modulation in small nerve terminals. Clarification of the mechanism and function of KR has bearing on understanding the kinetic transitions underlying SNARE-mediated fusion, interactions between vesicles and their local environment, and the influence of release dynamics on neural information processing. Copyright © 2013 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved. Source


Alabi A.R.A.,Stanford Institute for Neuro Innovation and Translational Neurosciences | Tsien R.W.,Stanford Institute for Neuro Innovation and Translational Neurosciences | Tsien R.W.,New York University
Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Biology | Year: 2012

Synaptic vesicles release neurotransmitter at chemical synapses, thus initiating the flow of information in neural networks. To achieve this, vesicles undergo a dynamic cycle of fusion and retrieval to maintain the structural and functional integrity of the presynaptic terminals in which they reside. Moreover, compelling evidence indicates these vesicles differ in their availability for release and mobilization in response to stimuli, prompting classification into at least three different functional pools. Ongoing studies of the molecular and cellular bases for this heterogeneity attempt to link structure to physiology and clarify how regulation of vesicle pools influences synaptic strength and presynaptic plasticity. We discuss prevailing perspectives on vesicle pools, the role they play in shaping synaptic transmission, and the open questions that challenge current understanding. © 2012 Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press; all rights reserved. Source


Liang D.-Y.,Anesthesiology Service | Liang D.-Y.,Stanford University | Zheng M.,Stanford University | Sun Y.,Anesthesiology Service | And 11 more authors.
BMC Genomics | Year: 2014

Background: Opioids are the cornerstone of treatment for moderate to severe pain, but chronic use leads to maladaptations that include: tolerance, dependence and opioid-induced hyperalgesia (OIH). These responses limit the utility of opioids, as well as our ability to control chronic pain. Despite decades of research, we have no therapies or proven strategies to overcome this problem. However, murine haplotype based computational genetic mapping and a SNP data base generated from analysis of whole-genome sequence data (whole-genome HBCGM), provides a hypothesis-free method for discovering novel genes affecting opioid maladaptive responses. Results: Whole genome-HBCGM was used to analyze phenotypic data on morphine-induced tolerance, dependence and hyperalgesia obtained from 23 inbred strains. The robustness of the genetic mapping results was analyzed using strain subsets. In addition, the results of analyzing all of the opioid-related traits together were examined. To characterize the functional role of the leading candidate gene, we analyzed transgenic animals, mRNA and protein expression in behaviorally divergent mouse strains, and immunohistochemistry in spinal cord tissue. Our mapping procedure identified the allelic pattern within the netrin-1 receptor gene (Dcc) as most robustly associated with OIH, and it was also strongly associated with the combination of the other maladaptive opioid traits analyzed. Adult mice heterozygous for the Dcc gene had significantly less tendency to develop OIH, become tolerant or show evidence of dependence after chronic exposure to morphine. The difference in opiate responses was shown not to be due to basal or morphine-stimulated differences in the level of Dcc expression in spinal cord tissue, and was not associated with nociceptive neurochemical or anatomical alterations in the spinal cord or dorsal root ganglia in adult animals.Conclusions: Whole-genome HBCGM is a powerful tool for identifying genes affecting biomedical traits such as opioid maladaptations. We demonstrate that Dcc affects tolerance, dependence and OIH after chronic opioid exposure, though not through simple differences in expression in the adult spinal cord. © 2014 Liang et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source

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