State Key Laboratory of Brain and Cognitive science

Kowloon, Hong Kong

State Key Laboratory of Brain and Cognitive science

Kowloon, Hong Kong
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Xiao L.,State Key Laboratory of Brain and Cognitive science | Xiao L.,CAS Institute of Biophysics | Xiao L.,University of Chinese Academy of Sciences | Chen D.,State Key Laboratory of Brain and Cognitive science | And 21 more authors.
Journal of Neuroscience | Year: 2011

Oxidative stress influences cell survival and homeostasis, but the mechanisms underlying the biological effects of oxidative stress remain to be elucidated. The protein kinase MST1 (mammalian Ste20-like kinase 1) plays a major role in oxidative stress-induced cell death in primary mammalian neurons. However, the mechanisms that regulate MST1 in oxidative stress responses remain largely unknown. In the present study, we demonstrate that the protein kinase c-Abl phosphorylates MST1 at Y433, which triggers the stabilization and activation of MST1. Inhibition of c-Abl promotes the degradation of MST1 through C terminus of Hsc70-interacting protein (CHIP)- mediated ubiquitination, and thereby attenuates cell death. Oxidative stress induces the c-Abl-dependent tyrosine phosphorylation of MST1and increases the interaction betweenMST1andFOXO3(Forkhead box O3), thereby activating the MST1-FOXO signaling pathway, leading to cell death in both primary culture neurons and rat hippocampal neurons. The identification of the c-Abl tyrosine kinase as a novel upstream activator of MST1 suggests that the c-Abl-MST1 signaling cascade plays an important role in cellular responses to oxidative stress. © 2011 the authors.


Bai J.,CAS Institute of Psychology | Dong X.,CAS Institute of Psychology | Dong X.,University of Chinese Academy of Sciences | He S.,State Key Laboratory of Brain and Cognitive science | And 3 more authors.
Neuroscience | Year: 2017

Ocular dominance has been extensively studied, often with the goal to understand neuroplasticity, which is a key characteristic within the critical period. Recent work on monocular deprivation, however, demonstrates residual neuroplasticity in the adult visual cortex. After deprivation of patterned inputs by monocular patching, the patched eye becomes more dominant. Since patching blocks both the Fourier amplitude and phase information of the input image, it remains unclear whether deprivation of the Fourier phase information alone is able to reshape eye dominance. Here, for the first time, we show that removing of the phase regularity without changing the amplitude spectra of the input image induced a shift of eye dominance toward the deprived eye, but only if the eye dominance was measured with a binocular rivalry task rather than an interocular phase combination task. These different results indicate that the two measurements are supported by different mechanisms. Phase integration requires the fusion of monocular images. The fused percept highly relies on the weights of the phase-sensitive monocular neurons that respond to the two monocular images. However, binocular rivalry reflects the result of direct interocular competition that strongly weights the contour information transmitted along each monocular pathway. Monocular phase deprivation may not change the weights in the integration (fusion) mechanism much, but alters the balance in the rivalry (competition) mechanism. Our work suggests that ocular dominance plasticity may occur at different stages of visual processing, and that homeostatic compensation also occurs for the lack of phase regularity in natural scenes. © 2017 IBRO


PubMed | Beijing Normal University, CAS Institute of Biophysics, Hainan Normal University and State Key Laboratory of Brain and Cognitive science
Type: | Journal: Cerebral cortex (New York, N.Y. : 1991) | Year: 2016

Deafening elicits a deterioration of learned vocalization, in both humans and songbirds. In songbirds, learned vocal plasticity has been shown to depend on the basal ganglia-cortical circuit, but the underlying cellular basis remains to be clarified. Using confocal imaging and electron microscopy, we examined the effect of deafening on dendritic spines in avian vocal motor cortex, the robust nucleus of the arcopallium (RA), and investigated the role of the basal ganglia circuit in motor cortex plasticity. We found rapid structural changes to RA dendritic spines in response to hearing loss, accompanied by learned song degradation. In particular, the morphological characters of RA spine synaptic contacts between 2 major pathways were altered differently. However, experimental disruption of the basal ganglia circuit, through lesions in song-specialized basal ganglia nucleus Area X, largely prevented both the observed changes to RA dendritic spines and the song deterioration after hearing loss. Our results provide cellular evidence to highlight a key role of the basal ganglia circuit in the motor cortical plasticity that underlies learned vocal plasticity.


PubMed | University of Victoria, University of Hong Kong, State Key Laboratory of Brain and Cognitive Science and Jinan University
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America | Year: 2014

Adiponectin (ADN) is an adipocyte-secreted protein with insulin-sensitizing, antidiabetic, antiinflammatory, and antiatherogenic properties. Evidence is also accumulating that ADN has neuroprotective activities, yet the underlying mechanism remains elusive. Here we show that ADN could pass through the blood-brain barrier, and elevating its levels in the brain increased cell proliferation and decreased depression-like behaviors. ADN deficiency did not reduce the basal hippocampal neurogenesis or neuronal differentiation but diminished the effectiveness of exercise in increasing hippocampal neurogenesis. Furthermore, exercise-induced reduction in depression-like behaviors was abrogated in ADN-deficient mice, and this impairment in ADN-deficient mice was accompanied by defective running-induced phosphorylation of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) in the hippocampal tissue. In vitro analyses indicated that ADN itself could increase cell proliferation of both hippocampal progenitor cells and Neuro2a neuroblastoma cells. The neurogenic effects of ADN were mediated by the ADN receptor 1 (ADNR1), because siRNA targeting ADNR1, but not ADNR2, inhibited the capacity of ADN to enhance cell proliferation. These data suggest that adiponectin may play a significant role in mediating the effects of exercise on hippocampal neurogenesis and depression, possibly by activation of the ADNR1/AMPK signaling pathways, and also raise the possibility that adiponectin and its agonists may represent a promising therapeutic treatment for depression.


Yuan T.-F.,Nanjing Normal University | Yuan T.-F.,State Key Laboratory of Brain and Cognitive science | Liang Y.-X.,State Key Laboratory of Brain and Cognitive science | Liang Y.-X.,University of Hong Kong | And 8 more authors.
Cell Transplantation | Year: 2015

Neurovascular niches serve as the hosts for adult neural stem cells in both the hippocampus and subventricular zone. The rostral migratory stream (RMS) vasculature has been found to be important for neuroblast migration, while its roles in hosting putative neural stem cells have not been investigated. Here we investigated the organization of RMS vasculature and its contribution to the production of new neurons. A single pulse of bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) administration revealed locally formed new neurons within RMS were located adjacent to blood vessels. In addition, BrdU label-retaining cells that are putative neural stem cells were also found close to the vasculature. Sodium fluorescein perfusion assay demonstrated that the blood–brain barrier (BBB) organization was especially “leaky” in the neurogenic niches. Immunohistochemical visualization of some BBB component molecules indicated a thinner BBB in the RMS region, compared to that in the frontal cortex of adult rats. Finally, the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor was strong and specialized in the RMS region, implying that the region was active in cell proliferation and migration. Here we show that the RMS vasculature associated with surrounding astrocytes provides a highly organized neurovascular niche for adult neural stem cell proliferation, in addition to the function of neuroblast migration support. This result points to a new vasculature supporting neurogenic region in the brain. © 2015 Cognizant Comm. Corp.


Zhou W.,CAS Institute of Psychology | Yang X.,CAS Institute of Psychology | Chen K.,CAS Institute of Psychology | Cai P.,CAS Institute of Psychology | And 4 more authors.
Current Biology | Year: 2014

Recent studies have suggested the existence of human sex pheromones, with particular interest in two human steroids: androstadienone (androsta-4,16,-dien- 3-one) and estratetraenol (estra-1,3,5(10),16-tetraen-3-ol). The current study takes a critical step to test the qualification of the two steroids as sex pheromones by examining whether they communicate gender information in a sex-specific manner. By using dynamic point-light displays that portray the gaits of walkers whose gender is digitally morphed from male to female [1, 2], we show that smelling androstadienone systematically biases heterosexual females, but not males, toward perceiving the walkers as more masculine. By contrast, smelling estratetraenol systematically biases heterosexual males, but not females, toward perceiving the walkers as more feminine. Homosexual males exhibit a response pattern akin to that of heterosexual females, whereas bisexual or homosexual females fall in between heterosexual males and females. These effects are obtained despite that the olfactory stimuli are not explicitly discriminable. The results provide the first direct evidence that the two human steroids communicate opposite gender information that is differentially effective to the two sex groups based on their sexual orientation. Moreover, they demonstrate that human visual gender perception draws on subconscious chemosensory biological cues, an effect that has been hitherto unsuspected. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.


Chen K.,CAS Institute of Psychology | Zhou B.,CAS Institute of Psychology | Chen S.,CAS Institute of Psychology | He S.,State Key Laboratory of Brain and Cognitive science | And 2 more authors.
Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences | Year: 2013

Attention is intrinsic to our perceptual representations of sensory inputs. Best characterized in the visual domain, it is typically depicted as a spotlight moving over a saliency map that topographically encodes strengths of visual features and feedback modulations over the visual scene. By introducing smells to two well-established attentional paradigms, the dot-probe and the visual-search paradigms, we find that a smell reflexively directs attention to the congruent visual image and facilitates visual search of that image without the mediation of visual imagery. Furthermore, such effect is independent of, and can override, top-down bias. We thus propose that smell quality acts as an object feature whose presence enhances the perceptual saliency of that object, thereby guiding the spotlight of visual attention. Our discoveries provide robust empirical evidence for a multimodal saliency map that weighs not only visual but also olfactory inputs. © 2013 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.


PubMed | State Key Laboratory of Brain and Cognitive Science, CAS Kunming Institute of Zoology and Kunming Medical University
Type: | Journal: Scientific reports | Year: 2016

A common pattern in dominance hierarchies is that some ranks result in higher levels of psychosocial stress than others. Such stress can lead to negative health outcomes, possibly through altered levels of stress hormones. The dominance rank-stress physiology relationship is known to vary between species; sometimes dominants show higher levels of glucocorticoid stress hormones, whereas in other cases subordinates show higher levels. It is less clear how this relationship varies between groups of different ages or cultures. In this study, we used long-term cortisol measurement methods to compare the effect of rank on cortisol levels in adult and adolescent male rhesus macaques. In the adult groups, subordinates had significantly higher cortisol levels. In the adolescents, no significant correlation between cortisol and status was found. Further analysis demonstrated that the adult hierarchy was stricter than that of the adolescents. Adult subordinates received extreme aggression more frequently than dominants, and this class of behavior was positively correlated with cortisol; by contrast, adolescents showed neither trend. Together, these findings provide evidence for a cortisol-rank relationship determined by social factors, namely, despotism of the group, and highlight the importance of group-specific social analysis when comparing or combining results obtained from different groups of animals.

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