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1.  CHOLINERGIC MODULATION OF OLFACTORY PATTERN SEPARATION 
Neuroscience letters  2013;545:50-53.
Pattern separation plays an important role in perception and memory. In olfaction, pattern separation is critical component of piriform cortical odor processing contributing to behavioral perception of overlapping odor mixtures. Previous work has demonstrated that odor discrimination ability is modulated by acetylcholine. Here, we extended this previous work by using a distinct, well characterized complex odor stimulus set that has been shown to differentially involve pattern separation processes within piriform cortex. We find that the cholinergic muscarinic receptor agonist oxotremorine facilitates the acquisition of odor discrimination. Furthermore, the muscarinic receptor antagonist scopolamine impairs acquisition of odor discrimination even if the antagonist is limited to the piriform cortex. Finally, acetylcholine effects are most robust during discrimination acquisition, with minimal effects during expression.
doi:10.1016/j.neulet.2013.04.015
PMCID: PMC3682214  PMID: 23624024
Odor discrimination; pattern separation; acetylcholine; piriform cortex; odor memory; perceptual learning
2.  Lateral Entorhinal Modulation of Piriform Cortical Activity and Fine Odor Discrimination 
The Journal of Neuroscience  2013;33(33):13449-13459.
The lateral entorhinal cortex (LEC) receives direct input from olfactory bulb mitral cells and piriform cortical pyramidal cells and is the gateway for olfactory input to the hippocampus. However, the LEC also projects back to the piriform cortex and olfactory bulb. Activity in the LEC is shaped by input from the perirhinal cortices, hippocampus, and amygdala, and thus could provide a rich contextual modulation of cortical odor processing. The present study further explored LEC feedback to anterior piriform cortex by examining how LEC top-down input modulates anterior piriform cortex odor evoked activity in rats. Retrograde viral tracing confirmed rich LEC projections to both the olfactory bulb and piriform cortices. In anesthetized rats, reversible lesions of the ipsilateral LEC increased anterior piriform cortical single-unit spontaneous activity. In awake animals performing an odor discrimination task, unilateral LEC reversible lesions enhanced ipsilateral piriform cortical local field potential oscillations during odor sampling, with minimal impact on contralateral activity. Bilateral LEC reversible lesions impaired discrimination performance on a well learned, difficult odor discrimination task, but had no impact on a well learned simple odor discrimination task. The simple discrimination task was impaired by bilateral reversible lesions of the anterior piriform cortex. Given the known function of LEC in working memory and multisensory integration, these results suggest it may serve as a powerful top-down modulator of olfactory cortical function and odor perception. Furthermore, the results provide potential insight into how neuropathology in the entorhinal cortex could contribute to early olfactory deficits seen in Alzheimer's disease.
doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1387-13.2013
PMCID: PMC3742931  PMID: 23946403
3.  Chronic anti-murine Aβ immunization preserves odor guided behaviors in an Alzheimer's β-amyloidosis model 
Behavioural brain research  2012;237:96-102.
Olfaction is often impaired in Alzheimer‟s disease (AD) and is also dysfunctional in mouse models of the disease. We recently demonstrated that short-term passive anti-murine-Aβ immunization can rescue olfactory behavior in the Tg2576 mouse model overexpressing a human mutation of the amyloid precursor protein (APP) after β-amyloid deposition. Here we tested the ability to preserve normal olfactory behaviors by means of long-term passive anti-murine-Aβ immunization. Seven-month-old Tg2576 and non-transgenic littermate (NTg) mice were IP-injected biweekly with the m3.2 murine-Aβ-specific antibody until 16 months of age when mice were tested in the odor habituation test. While Tg2576 mice treated with a control antibody showed elevations in odor investigation times and impaired odor habituation compared to NTg, olfactory behavior was preserved to NTg levels in m3.2-immunized Tg2576 mice. Immunized Tg2576 mice had significantly less β-amyloid immunolabeling in the olfactory bulb and entorhinal cortex, yet showed elevations in Thioflavin-S labeled plaques in the piriform cortex. No detectable changes in APP metabolite levels other than Aβ were found following m3.2 immunization. These results demonstrate efficacy of chronic, long-term anti-murine-Aβ m3.2 immunization in preserving normal odor-guided behaviors in a human APP Tg model. Further, these results provide mechanistic insights into olfactory dysfunction as a biomarker for AD by yielding evidence that focal reductions of Aβ may be sufficient to preserve olfaction.
doi:10.1016/j.bbr.2012.09.019
PMCID: PMC3500395  PMID: 23000537
Olfaction; Neurodegeneration; Alzheimer's disease; amyloid-beta; APP; immunization
4.  Immunization targeting a minor plaque constituent clears β-amyloid and rescues behavioral deficits in an Alzheimer's disease mouse model 
Neurobiology of aging  2012;34(1):137-145.
While anti-human-Aβ immunotherapy clears brain β-amyloid plaques in Alzheimer's disease (AD), targeting additional brain plaque constituents to promote clearance has not been attempted. Endogenous murine Aβ is a minor β-amyloid plaque component in amyloid precursor protein transgenic AD models, which we show is ~2–8% of the total accumulated Aβ in various human APP transgenic mice. Murine Aβ co-deposits and co-localizes with human Aβ in amyloid plaques and the two Aβ species co-immunoprecipitate together from brain extracts. In the human APP transgenic mice Tg2576, passive immunization for eight weeks with a murine-Aβ-specific antibody reduced β-plaque pathology, robustly decreasing both murine and human Aβ levels. The immunized mice additionally showed improvements in two behavioral assays, odor habituation and nesting behavior. We conclude that passive anti-murine-Aβ immunization clears β-amyloid plaque pathology – including the major human Aβ component – and decreases behavioral deficits, arguing that targeting minor, endogenous brain plaque constituents can be beneficial, broadening the range of plaque-associated targets for AD therapeutics.
doi:10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2012.04.007
PMCID: PMC3426627  PMID: 22608241
Alzheimer's disease; Aβ; co-deposition; immunization; immunotherapy
5.  Sleep and olfactory cortical plasticity 
In many systems, sleep plays a vital role in memory consolidation and synaptic homeostasis. These processes together help store information of biological significance and reset synaptic circuits to facilitate acquisition of information in the future. In this review, we describe recent evidence of sleep-dependent changes in olfactory system structure and function which contribute to odor memory and perception. During slow-wave sleep, the piriform cortex becomes hypo-responsive to odor stimulation and instead displays sharp-wave activity similar to that observed within the hippocampal formation. Furthermore, the functional connectivity between the piriform cortex and other cortical and limbic regions is enhanced during slow-wave sleep compared to waking. This combination of conditions may allow odor memory consolidation to occur during a state of reduced external interference and facilitate association of odor memories with stored hedonic and contextual cues. Evidence consistent with sleep-dependent odor replay within olfactory cortical circuits is presented. These data suggest that both the strength and precision of odor memories is sleep-dependent. The work further emphasizes the critical role of synaptic plasticity and memory in not only odor memory but also basic odor perception. The work also suggests a possible link between sleep disturbances that are frequently co-morbid with a wide range of pathologies including Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia and depression and the known olfactory impairments associated with those disorders.
doi:10.3389/fnbeh.2014.00134
PMCID: PMC4001050  PMID: 24795585
olfaction; piriform cortex; slow-wave sleep; odor memory; odor perception; memory consolidation
6.  Differential memory persistence of odor mixture and components in newborn rabbits: competition between the whole and its parts 
Interacting with the mother during the daily nursing, newborn rabbits experience her body odor cues. In particular, the mammary pheromone (MP) contained in rabbit milk triggers the typical behavior which helps to localize and seize the nipples. It also promotes the very rapid appetitive learning of simple or complex stimuli (odorants or mixtures) through associative conditioning. We previously showed that 24 h after MP-induced conditioning to odorants A (ethyl isobutyrate) or B (ethyl maltol), newborn rabbits perceive the AB mixture in a weak configural way, i.e., they perceive the odor of the AB configuration in addition to the odors of the elements. Moreover, after conditioning to the mixture, elimination of the memories of A and B does not affect the memory of AB, suggesting independent elemental and configural memories of the mixture. Here, we evaluated whether configural memory persistence differs from elemental one. First, whereas 1 or 3-day-old pups conditioned to A or B maintained their responsiveness to the conditioned odorant for 4 days, those conditioned to AB did not respond to the mixture after the same retention period. Second, the pups conditioned to AB still responded to A and B 4 days after conditioning, which indicates stronger retention of the elements than of the configuration when all information are learned together. Third, we determined whether the memory of the elements competes with the memory of the configuration: after conditioning to AB, when the memories of A and B were erased using pharmacological treatment, the memory of the mixture was extended to day 5. Thus, newborn rabbits have access to both elemental and configural information in certain odor mixtures, and competition between these distinct representations of the mixture influences the persistence of their memories. Such effects certainly occur in the natural context of mother-pup interactions and may contribute to early acquisition of knowledge about the surroundings.
doi:10.3389/fnbeh.2014.00211
PMCID: PMC4059275  PMID: 24982622
Oryctolagus cuniculus; newborn; odor mixture; configural perception; stimulus representation; retention; memory persistence
7.  Hazardous Metal Pollution in the Republic of Fiji and the Need to Elicit Human Exposure 
The fact that hazardous metals do not bio-degrade or bio-deteriorate translates to long-lasting environmental effects. In the context of evidently rapid global industrialization, this ought to warrant serious caution, particularly in developing countries. In the Republic of Fiji, a developing country in the South Pacific, several different environmental studies over the past 20 years have shown levels of lead, copper, zinc and iron in sediments of the Suva Harbor to be 6.2, 3.9, 3.3 and 2.1 times more than the accepted background reference levels, respectively. High levels of mercury have also been reported in lagoon shellfish. These data inevitably warrant thorough assessment of the waste practices of industries located upstream from the estuaries, but in addition, an exposure and health impact assessment has never been conducted. Relevant government departments are duty-bound, at least to the general public that reside in and consume seafood from the vicinities of the Suva Harbor, to investigate possible human effects of the elevated hazardous metal concentrations found consistently in 20 years of surface sediment analysis. Furthermore, pollution of the intermediate food web with hazardous metals should be investigated, regardless of whether human effects are eventually confirmed present or not.
doi:10.5620/eht.2013.28.e2013017
PMCID: PMC3909747  PMID: 24498594
Developing countries; Fiji; Hazardous metals; Hazardous metal poisoning; Hazardous metal pollution; Industrialization
8.  Odor-evoked activity in the mouse lateral entorhinal cortex 
Neuroscience  2012;223:12-20.
The entorhinal cortex is a brain area with multiple reciprocal connections to the hippocampus, amygdala, perirhinal cortex, olfactory bulb and piriform cortex. As such, it is thought to play a large role in the olfactory memory process. The present study is the first to compare lateral entorhinal and anterior piriform cortex odor-evoked single-unit and local field potential activity in mouse. Recordings were made in urethane-anesthetized mice that were administered a range of 3 pure odors and 3 overlapping odor mixtures. Results show that spontaneous as well as odor-evoked unit activity was lower in lateral entorhinal versus piriform cortex. In addition, units in lateral entorhinal cortex were responsive to a more restricted set of odors compared to piriform. Conversely, odor-evoked power change in local field potential activity was greater in the lateral entorhinal cortex in the theta band than in piriform. The highly odor-specific and restricted firing in lateral entorhinal cortex suggests that it may play a role in modulating odor-specific, experience- and state-dependent olfactory coding.
doi:10.1016/j.neuroscience.2012.07.067
PMCID: PMC3455128  PMID: 22871522
Olfaction; Piriform cortex; Lateral entorhinal cortex; Single-Unit; Mouse
9.  Long-Lasting Neural Circuit Dysfunction Following Developmental Ethanol Exposure 
Brain sciences  2013;3(2):704-727.
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is a general diagnosis for those exhibiting long-lasting neurobehavioral and cognitive deficiencies as a result of fetal alcohol exposure. It is among the most common causes of mental deficits today. Those impacted are left to rely on advances in our understanding of the nature of early alcohol-induced disorders toward human therapies. Research findings over the last decade have developed a model where ethanol-induced neurodegeneration impacts early neural circuit development, thereby perpetuating subsequent integration and plasticity in vulnerable brain regions. Here we review our current knowledge of FASD neuropathology based on discoveries of long-lasting neurophysiological effects of acute developmental ethanol exposure in animal models. We discuss the important balance between synaptic excitation and inhibition in normal neural network function, and relate the significance of that balance to human FASD as well as related disease states. Finally, we postulate that excitation/inhibition imbalance caused by early ethanol-induced neurodegeneration results in perturbed local and regional network signaling and therefore neurobehavioral pathology.
doi:10.3390/brainsci3020704
PMCID: PMC3767176  PMID: 24027632
alcohol; FASD; neural circuit; brain development; excitation/inhibition balance; neurodegeneration
10.  Response to Comments on “ApoE-Directed Therapeutics Rapidly Clear β-Amyloid and Reverse Deficits in AD Mouse Models” 
Science (New York, N.Y.)  2013;340(6135):924-92g.
The data reported in the Technical Comments by Fitz et al., Price et al., Tesseur et al., and Veeraraghavalu et al. replicate and validate our central conclusion that bexarotene stimulates the clearance of soluble β-amyloid peptides and results in the reversal of behavioral deficits in mouse models of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The basis of the inability to reproduce the drug-stimulated microglial-mediated reduction in plaque burden is unexplained. However, we concluded that plaque burden is functionally unrelated to improved cognition and memory elicited by bexarotene.
doi:10.1126/science.1234114
PMCID: PMC3714602  PMID: 23704556
11.  Binding of titanium dioxide nanoparticles to lactate dehydrogenase 
Objective
Measurement of released lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) activity, a commonly used marker of lethal cell injury in both in vitro and in vivo screenings, has been used to assess the cytotoxicity of nanoparticles (NPs), chemical compounds, and environmental factors. We have recently demonstrated that titanium dioxide (TiO2) particles bind to several serum proteins. In the present study we investigated the binding of TiO2 NPs to LDH.
Methods
Purified LDH was incubated with TiO2 NPs at 37°C for 1 h. The particles were then sedimented by centrifugation, and the activity and quantity of LDH in the supernatant and precipitated fraction were analyzed.
Results
Incubation with TiO2 reduced the LDH activity in the supernatant in a dose-dependent manner, while LDH activity in the precipitated fraction increased in a dose-dependent manner. Moreover, sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis analysis revealed a TiO2 dose-dependent reduction in the quantity of LDH protein in the supernatant and an increase of LDH in particulate re-suspensions.
Conclusions
These findings, although based on a purified form of LDH, suggest that TiO2 NPs bind to LDH, and consequently, TiO2 NP-induced toxicity could be underestimated by the LDH activity assay.
doi:10.1007/s12199-011-0245-7
PMCID: PMC3390560  PMID: 21993949
Titanium dioxide; Nanoparticle; Lactate dehydrogenase; Cytotoxicity; Protein binding
12.  Long-Lasting Neural Circuit Dysfunction Following Developmental Ethanol Exposure 
Brain Sciences  2013;3(2):704-727.
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is a general diagnosis for those exhibiting long-lasting neurobehavioral and cognitive deficiencies as a result of fetal alcohol exposure. It is among the most common causes of mental deficits today. Those impacted are left to rely on advances in our understanding of the nature of early alcohol-induced disorders toward human therapies. Research findings over the last decade have developed a model where ethanol-induced neurodegeneration impacts early neural circuit development, thereby perpetuating subsequent integration and plasticity in vulnerable brain regions. Here we review our current knowledge of FASD neuropathology based on discoveries of long-lasting neurophysiological effects of acute developmental ethanol exposure in animal models. We discuss the important balance between synaptic excitation and inhibition in normal neural network function, and relate the significance of that balance to human FASD as well as related disease states. Finally, we postulate that excitation/inhibition imbalance caused by early ethanol-induced neurodegeneration results in perturbed local and regional network signaling and therefore neurobehavioral pathology.
doi:10.3390/brainsci3020704
PMCID: PMC3767176  PMID: 24027632
alcohol; FASD; neural circuit; brain development; excitation/inhibition balance; neurodegeneration
13.  Daily Rhythms in Olfactory Discrimination Depend on Clock Genes but Not the Suprachiasmatic Nucleus 
Journal of biological rhythms  2011;26(6):552-560.
The suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) regulates a wide range of daily behaviors and has been described as the master circadian pacemaker. The role of daily rhythmicity in other tissues, however, is unknown. We hypothesized that circadian changes in olfactory discrimination depend on a genetic circadian oscillator outside the SCN. We developed an automated assay to monitor olfactory discrimination in individual mice throughout the day. We found olfactory sensitivity increased approximately 6-fold from a minimum during the day to a peak in the early night. This circadian rhythm was maintained in SCN-lesioned mice and mice deficient for the Npas2 gene but was lost in mice lacking Bmal1 or both Per1 and Per2 genes. We conclude that daily rhythms in olfactory sensitivity depend on the expression of canonical clock genes. Olfaction is, thus, the first circadian behavior that is not based on locomotor activity and does not require the SCN.
doi:10.1177/0748730411420247
PMCID: PMC3658462  PMID: 22215613
olfaction; circadian rhythms; Bmal1 gene; oscillator; Period2 gene
14.  ApoE-Directed Therapeutics Rapidly Clear β-Amyloid and Reverse Deficits in AD Mouse Models 
Science (New York, N.Y.)  2012;335(6075):1503-1506.
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is associated with impaired clearance of β-amyloid (Aβ) from the brain, a process normally facilitated by apolipoprotein E (apoE). ApoE expression is transcriptionally induced through the action of the nuclear receptors peroxisome proliferator–activated receptor gamma and liver X receptors in coordination with retinoid X receptors (RXRs). Oral administration of the RXR agonist bexarotene to a mouse model of AD resulted in enhanced clearance of soluble Aβ within hours in an apoE-dependent manner. Aβ plaque area was reduced more than 50% within just 72 hours. Furthermore, bexarotene stimulated the rapid reversal of cognitive, social, and olfactory deficits and improved neural circuit function. Thus, RXR activation stimulates physiological Aβ clearance mechanisms, resulting in the rapid reversal of a broad range of Aβ-induced deficits.
doi:10.1126/science.1217697
PMCID: PMC3651582  PMID: 22323736
16.  Awareness of Asbestos and Action Plans for Its Exposure can Help Lives Exposed to Asbestos 
Safety and Health at Work  2013;4(2):84-86.
Despite the fact that asbestos is a known carcinogen to humans, it is still used in industrialized countries, especially Asian countries. The global incidence of asbestos-related diseases (ARDs) due to the past use of asbestos, continues to increase, although many countries have adopted a total ban on asbestos use. The implementation of effective strategies to eliminate ARDs is therefore an important challenge in Asia, where asbestos is still mined and consumed. Collaborative efforts and strategies at the local and international levels are vital, in the pursuit toward the elimination of ARDs in this region.
doi:10.1016/j.shaw.2013.04.005
PMCID: PMC3732141  PMID: 23961330
asbestos; asbestos-related diseases; elimination; international collaboration; pleural plaques
17.  Lithium prevents long-term neural and behavioral pathology induced by early alcohol exposure 
Neuroscience  2012;206:122-135.
Fetal alcohol exposure can cause developmental defects in offspring known as fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD). FASD symptoms range from obvious facial deformities to changes in neuroanatomy and neurophysiology that disrupt normal brain function and behavior. Ethanol exposure at postnatal day 7 in C57BL/6 mice induces neuronal cell death and long-lasting neurobehavioral dysfunction. Previous work has demonstrated that early ethanol exposure impairs spatial memory task performance into adulthood, and perturbs local and interregional brain circuit integrity in the olfacto-hippocampal pathway. Here we pursue these findings to examine whether lithium prevents anatomical, neurophysiological and behavioral pathologies that result from early ethanol exposure. Lithium has neuroprotective properties that have been shown to prevent ethanol-induced apoptosis. Here we show that mice co-treated with lithium on the same day as ethanol exposure, exhibit dramatically reduced acute neurodegeneration in the hippocampus and retain hippocampal-dependent spatial memory as adults. Lithium co-treatment also blocked ethanol-induced disruption in synaptic plasticity in slice recordings of hippocampal CA1 in the adult mouse brain. Moreover, long-lasting dysfunctions caused by ethanol in olfacto-hippocampal networks, including sensory-evoked oscillations and resting state coherence, were prevented in mice co-treated with lithium. Together, these results provide behavioral and physiological evidence that lithium is capable of preventing or reducing immediate and long-term deleterious consequences of early ethanol exposure on brain function.
doi:10.1016/j.neuroscience.2011.12.059
PMCID: PMC3294020  PMID: 22266347
FASD; behavior; olfactory; lithium; neuroprotection
18.  CORTICAL PROCESSING OF ODOR OBJECTS 
Neuron  2011;72(4):506-519.
Natural odors, generally composed of many monomolecular components, are analyzed by peripheral receptors into component features and translated into spatiotemporal patterns of neural activity in the olfactory bulb. Here we will discuss the role of the olfactory cortex in the recognition, separation and completion of those odor-evoked patterns, and how these processes contribute to odor perception. Recent findings regarding the neural architecture, physiology and plasticity of the olfactory cortex, principally the piriform cortex, will be described in the context of how this paleocortical structure creates odor objects.
doi:10.1016/j.neuron.2011.10.027
PMCID: PMC3223720  PMID: 22099455
19.  LOCAL AND REGIONAL NETWORK FUNCTION IN BEHAVIORALLY RELEVANT CORTICAL CIRCUITS OF ADULT MICE FOLLOWING POSTNATAL ALCOHOL EXPOSURE 
Background
Ethanol consumption during pregnancy can lead to FetalAlcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), which consists of the complete spectrum of developmental deficits including neurological dysfunction. FASD is associated with a variety of neurobehavioral disturbances dependent on the age and duration of exposure. Ethanol exposure in neonatal rodents can alsoinduce widespread apoptotic neurodegeneration and long-lasting behavioral abnormalities similar to FASD. The developmental stage of neonatal rodent brains that are at the peak of synaptogenesis is equivalent to the third trimester of human gestation.
Methods
Male and female C57BL/6By mice were injected with ethanol (20%, 2.5g/kg, two s.c. injections) or an equal volume of saline (controls) on postnatal day 7 (P7). Animals were allowed to mature and at 3 months were tested on an olfactory habituation task known to be dependent on piriform cortex function, a hippocampal-dependent object place memory task, and used for electrophysiological testing of spontaneous and odor-evoked local field potential (LFP) activity in the olfactory bulb, piriform cortex and dorsal hippocampus.
Results
P7 ethanol induced widespread cell death within 1 day of exposure, with highest levels in the neocortex, intermediate levels in the dorsal hippocampus and relatively low levels in the primary olfactory system.No impairment of odor investigation or odor habituation was detected in P7 ethanol exposed 3 months old mice compared to saline controls. However, hippocampal-dependent object place memory was significantly impaired in the P7 ethanol treated adult mice. Odor-evoked LFP activity was enhanced throughout the olfacto-hippocampal pathway, primarily within the theta frequency band, although the hippocampus also showed elevated evoked delta frequency activity. In addition, functional coherence between the piriform cortex and olfactory bulb and between the piriform cortex and dorsal hippocampus was enhanced in the beta frequency range in P7 ethanol treated adult mice compared to controls.
Conclusions
P7 ethanol induces an immediate wave of regionally selective cell death followed by long-lasting, changes in local circuit and regional network function that are accompanied by changes in neurobehavioral performance. The results suggest that both the activity of local neural circuits within a brain region and the flow of information between brain regions can be modified by early alcohol exposure which may contribute to long-lasting behavioral abnormalities known to rely on those circuits.
doi:10.1111/j.1530-0277.2011.01549.x
PMCID: PMC3170685  PMID: 21649667
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders; Olfactory bulb; Piriform cortex; Hippocampus; Local field potentials; Memory; Alcohol
20.  Respiratory and sniffing behaviors throughout adulthood and aging in mice 
Behavioural brain research  2011;223(1):99-106.
Orienting responses are physiological and active behavioral reactions evoked by novel stimulus perception and are critical for survival. We explored whether odor orienting responses are impacted throughout both adulthood and normal and pathological aging in mice. Novel odor investigation (including duration and bout numbers) and its subsequent habituation as assayed in the odor habituation task were preserved in adult C57BL/6J mice up to 12mo of age with <6% variability between age groups in investigation time. Separately, using whole-body plethysmography we found that both spontaneous respiration and odor-evoked sniffing behaviors were strikingly preserved in wildtype (WT) mice up to 26mo of age. In contrast, mice accumulating amyloid-β protein in the brain by means of overexpressing mutations in the human amyloid precursor protein gene (APP) showed preserved spontaneous respiration up to 12mo, but starting at 14mo showed significant differences from WT. Similar to WTs, odor-evoked sniffing was not impacted in APP mice up to 26mo. These results show that odor-orienting responses are minimally impacted throughout aging in mice, and suggest that the olfactomotor network is mostly spared of insults due to aging.
doi:10.1016/j.bbr.2011.04.016
PMCID: PMC3128824  PMID: 21524667
Olfaction; Neurodegeneration; Alzheimer’s disease; amyloid-beta; APP; orienting; respiration
21.  Sensory network dysfunction, behavioral impairments, and their reversibility in an Alzheimer’s β-amyloidosis mouse model 
The unique vulnerability of the olfactory system to Alzheimer’s disease (AD) provides a quintessential translational tool for understanding mechanisms of synaptic dysfunction and pathological progression in the disease. Using the Tg2576 mouse model of β-amyloidosis, we show aberrant, hyperactive olfactory network activity begins early in life, prior to detectable behavioral impairments or comparable hippocampal dysfunction and at a time when Aβ deposition is restricted to the olfactory bulb (OB). Hyperactive odor-evoked activity in the piriform cortex (PCX) and increased OB-PCX functional connectivity emerged at a time coinciding with olfactory behavior impairments. This hyperactive activity persisted until later-life when the network converted to a hyporesponsive state. This conversion was Aβ-dependent, as liver-x-receptor agonist treatment to promote Aβ degradation, rescued the hyporesponsive state and olfactory behavior. These data lend evidence to a novel working model of olfactory dysfunction in AD and, complimentary to other recent works, suggest that disease-relevant network dysfunction is highly dynamic and region specific, yet with lasting effects on cognition and behavior.
doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2085-11.2011
PMCID: PMC3417321  PMID: 22049439
Neural network; olfactory bulb; olfactory cortex; Amyloid-β; APP
22.  Correction: Parallel Odor Processing by Two Anatomically Distinct Olfactory Bulb Target Structures 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(8):10.1371/annotation/eb15723f-2df7-4cd6-8113-c565652d0628.
doi:10.1371/annotation/eb15723f-2df7-4cd6-8113-c565652d0628
PMCID: PMC3414541
23.  Bidirectional plasticity of cortical pattern recognition and behavioral sensory acuity 
Nature Neuroscience  2011;15(1):155-161.
Learning to adapt to a complex and fluctuating environment requires the ability to adjust neural representations of sensory stimuli. Through pattern completion processes, cortical networks can reconstruct familiar patterns from degraded input patterns, while pattern separation processes allow discrimination of even highly overlapping inputs. Here we show that the balance between pattern separation and completion is experience-dependent. Rats given extensive training with overlapping complex odorant mixtures show improved behavioral discrimination ability and enhanced cortical ensemble pattern separation. In contrast, behavioral training to disregard normally detectable differences between overlapping mixtures results in impaired cortical ensemble pattern separation (enhanced pattern completion) and impaired discrimination. This bidirectional effect was not found in the olfactory bulb, and may be due to plasticity within olfactory cortex itself. Thus pattern recognition, and the balance between pattern separation and completion, is highly malleable based on task demands and occurs in concert with changes in perceptual performance.
doi:10.1038/nn.2966
PMCID: PMC3245808  PMID: 22101640
24.  Therapeutic effects of remediating autophagy failure in a mouse model of Alzheimer disease by enhancing lysosomal proteolysis 
Autophagy  2011;7(7):788-789.
The extensive autophagic-lysosomal pathology in Alzheimer disease (AD) brain has revealed a major defect in the proteolytic clearance of autophagy substrates. Autophagy failure contributes on several levels to AD pathogenesis and has become an important therapeutic target for AD and other neurodegenerative diseases. We recently observed broad therapeutic effects of stimulating autophagic-lysosomal proteolysis in the TgCRND8 mouse model of AD that exhibits defective proteolytic clearance of autophagic substrates, robust intralysosomal amyloid-β peptide (Aβ) accumulation, extracellular β-amyloid deposition and cognitive deficits. By genetically deleting the lysosomal cysteine protease inhibitor, cystatin B (CstB), to selectively restore depressed cathepsin activities, we substantially cleared Aβ, ubiquitinated proteins and other autophagic substrates from autolysosomes/lysosomes and rescued autophagic-lysosomal pathology, as well as reduced total Aβ40/42 levels and extracellular amyloid deposition, highlighting the underappreciated importance of the lysosomal system for Aβ clearance. Most importantly, lysosomal remediation prevented the marked learning and memory deficits in TgCRND8 mice. Our findings underscore the pathogenic significance of autophagic-lysosomal dysfunction in AD and demonstrate the value of reversing this dysfunction as an innovative therapeutic strategy for AD.
doi:10.4161/auto.7.7.15596
PMCID: PMC3359468  PMID: 21464620
autophagy; lysosome; cathepsin; cystatin B; proteolysis; Alzheimer disease; transgenic
25.  INTERACTION BETWEEN DELTA OPIOID RECEPTORS AND BENZODIAZEPINES IN CO2- INDUCED RESPIRATORY RESPONSES IN MICE 
Brain research  2011;1396C:54-59.
The false-suffocation hypothesis of panic disorder (Klein, 1993) suggested δ-opioid receptors as a possible source of the respiratory dysfunction manifested in panic attacks occurring in panic disorder (Preter and Klein, 2008). This study sought to determine if a lack of δ-opioid receptors in a mouse model affects respiratory response to elevated CO2, and whether the response is modulated by benzodiazepines, which are widely used to treat panic disorder. In a whole-body plethysmograph, respiratory responses to 5% CO2 were compared between δ-opioid receptor knockout mice and wild-type mice after saline, diazepam (1 mg/kg), and alprazolam (0.3 mg/kg) injection. The results show that lack of δ-opioid receptors does not affect normal response to elevated CO2, but does prevent benzodiazepines from modulating that response. Thus, in the presence of benzodiazepine agonists, respiratory responses to elevated CO2 were enhanced in δ-opioid receptor knockout mice compared to wild-type mice. This suggests an interplay between benzodiazepine receptors and δ-opioid receptors in regulating the respiratory effects of elevated CO2, which might be related to CO2 induced panic.
doi:10.1016/j.brainres.2011.04.042
PMCID: PMC3104108  PMID: 21561601

Results 1-25 (98)