The lateral amygdala (LA) acquires differential coding of predictive and non-predictive fear stimuli that is critical for proper fear memory assignment. The neurotransmitter dopamine is an important modulator of LA activity and facilitates fear memory formation, but whether dopamine neurons aid in the establishment of discriminative fear coding by the LA is unknown. NMDA-type glutamate receptors in dopamine neurons are critical for the prevention of generalized fear following an aversive experience, suggesting a potential link between a cell autonomous function of NMDAR in dopamine neurons and fear coding by the LA. Here, we utilized mice with a selective genetic inactivation functional NMDARs in dopamine neurons (DAT-NR1 KO mice) combined with behavior, in vivo electrophysiology, and ex vivo electrophysiology in LA neurons to demonstrate that plasticity underlying differential fear coding in the LA is regulated by NMDAR signaling in dopamine neurons and alterations in this plasticity is associated non-discriminative cued-fear responses.
Animal experimentation: All experimental procedures were performed in accordance with the recommendations in the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals of the National Institutes of Health and approved by the University of Washington Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee protocol (#4249-01). All surgical procedures were performed under isolflurane anesthesia with analagesic pretreatment.All efforts were made to minimize suffering.
- Eunjoon Kim, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Republic of Korea
© 2015, Jones et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
Protein S-palmitoylation is a reversible post-translational lipid modification that plays a critical role in neuronal development and plasticity, while dysregulated S-palmitoylation underlies a number of severe neurological disorders. Dynamic S-palmitoylation is regulated by a large family of ZDHHC palmitoylating enzymes, their accessory proteins, and a small number of known de-palmitoylating enzymes. Here, we curated and analyzed expression data for the proteins that regulate S-palmitoylation from publicly available RNAseq datasets, providing a comprehensive overview of their distribution in the mouse nervous system. We developed a web-tool that enables interactive visualization of the expression patterns for these proteins in the nervous system (http://brainpalmseq.med.ubc.ca/), and explored this resource to find region and cell-type specific expression patterns that give insight into the function of palmitoylating and de-palmitoylating enzymes in the brain and neurological disorders. We found coordinated expression of ZDHHC enzymes with their accessory proteins, de-palmitoylating enzymes and other brain-expressed genes that included an enrichment of S-palmitoylation substrates. Finally, we utilized ZDHHC expression patterns to predict and validate palmitoylating enzyme-substrate interactions.
The circadian clock orchestrates daily changes in physiology and behavior to ensure internal temporal order and optimal timing across the day. In animals, a central brain clock coordinates circadian rhythms throughout the body and is characterized by a remarkable robustness that depends on synaptic connections between constituent neurons. The clock neuron network of Drosophila, which shares network motifs with clock networks in the mammalian brain yet is built of many fewer neurons, offers a powerful model for understanding the network properties of circadian timekeeping. Here, we report an assessment of synaptic connectivity within a clock network, focusing on the critical lateral neuron (LN) clock neuron classes within the Janelia hemibrain dataset. Our results reveal that previously identified anatomical and functional subclasses of LNs represent distinct connectomic types. Moreover, we identify a small number of non-clock cell subtypes representing highly synaptically coupled nodes within the clock neuron network. This suggests that neurons lacking molecular timekeeping likely play integral roles within the circadian timekeeping network. To our knowledge, this represents the first comprehensive connectomic analysis of a circadian neuronal network.