Synaptic connections in many brain circuits fluctuate, exhibiting substantial turnover and remodelling over hours to days. Surprisingly, experiments show that most of this flux in connectivity persists in the absence of learning or known plasticity signals. How can neural circuits retain learned information despite a large proportion of ongoing and potentially disruptive synaptic changes? We address this question from first principles by analysing how much compensatory plasticity would be required to optimally counteract ongoing fluctuations, regardless of whether fluctuations are random or systematic. Remarkably, we find that the answer is largely independent of plasticity mechanisms and circuit architectures: compensatory plasticity should be at most equal in magnitude to fluctuations, and often less, in direct agreement with previously unexplained experimental observations. Moreover, our analysis shows that a high proportion of learning-independent synaptic change is consistent with plasticity mechanisms that accurately compute error gradients.
All code is publicly available on github at this URL:https://github.com/Dhruva2/OptimalPlasticityRatios
- Dhruva Raman
- Timothy O'Leary
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Srdjan Ostojic, Ecole Normale Superieure Paris, France
© 2021, Raman & O'Leary
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.
Mouse models have been used extensively to study human coronary artery disease (CAD) or atherosclerosis and to test therapeutic targets. However, whether mouse and human share similar genetic factors and pathogenic mechanisms of atherosclerosis has not been thoroughly investigated in a data-driven manner. We conducted a cross-species comparison study to better understand atherosclerosis pathogenesis between species by leveraging multiomics data. Specifically, we compared genetically driven and thus CAD-causal gene networks and pathways, by using human GWAS of CAD from the CARDIoGRAMplusC4D consortium and mouse GWAS of atherosclerosis from the Hybrid Mouse Diversity Panel (HMDP) followed by integration with functional multiomics human (STARNET and GTEx) and mouse (HMDP) databases. We found that mouse and human shared >75% of CAD causal pathways. Based on network topology, we then predicted key regulatory genes for both the shared pathways and species-specific pathways, which were further validated through the use of single cell data and the latest CAD GWAS. In sum, our results should serve as a much-needed guidance for which human CAD-causal pathways can or cannot be further evaluated for novel CAD therapies using mouse models.
Candida albicans, an opportunistic human pathogen, poses a significant threat to human health and is associated with significant socio-economic burden. Current antifungal treatments fail, at least in part, because C. albicans can initiate a strong drug tolerance response that allows some cells to grow at drug concentrations above their minimal inhibitory concentration. To better characterize this cytoprotective tolerance program at the molecular single-cell level, we used a nanoliter droplet-based transcriptomics platform to profile thousands of individual fungal cells and establish their subpopulation characteristics in the absence and presence of antifungal drugs. Profiles of untreated cells exhibit heterogeneous expression that correlates with cell cycle stage with distinct metabolic and stress responses. At 2 days post-fluconazole exposure (a time when tolerance is measurable), surviving cells bifurcate into two major subpopulations: one characterized by the upregulation of genes encoding ribosomal proteins, rRNA processing machinery, and mitochondrial cellular respiration capacity, termed the Ribo-dominant (Rd) state; and the other enriched for genes encoding stress responses and related processes, termed the Stress-dominant (Sd) state. This bifurcation persists at 3 and 6 days post-treatment. We provide evidence that the ribosome assembly stress response (RASTR) is activated in these subpopulations and may facilitate cell survival.