Hypothalamic oxytocinergic magnocellular neurons have a fascinating ability to release peptide from both their axon terminals and from their dendrites. Existing data indicates that the relationship between somatic activity and dendritic release is not constant, but the mechanisms through which this relationship can be modulated are not completely understood. Here we use a combination of electrical and optical recording techniques to quantify activity-induced calcium influx in proximal vs. distal dendrites of oxytocinergic magnocellular neurons located in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus (OT-MCNs). Results reveal that the dendrites of OT-MCNs are weak conductors of somatic voltage changes, however activity-induced dendritic calcium influx can be robustly regulated by both osmosensitive and non-osmosensitive ion channels located along the dendritic membrane. Overall, this study reveals that dendritic conductivity is a dynamic and endogenously regulated feature of OT-MCNs that is likely to have substantial functional impact on central oxytocin release.
All data generated or analysed during this study are included in the manuscript and supporting files. Source data files have been provided for all figures.
- Charles J Frazier
- Eric G Krause
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Animal experimentation: This study was performed in strict accordance with the recommendations in the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals of the National Institutes of Health. All animal procedures were reviewed and approved by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) at the University of Florida (under protocol # 201701866).
- Ryohei Yasuda, Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience, United States
© 2021, Sheng 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.
The joint storage and reciprocal retrieval of learnt associated signals are presumably encoded by associative memory cells. In the accumulation and enrichment of memory contents in lifespan, a signal often becomes a core signal associatively shared for other signals. One specific group of associative memory neurons that encode this core signal likely interconnects multiple groups of associative memory neurons that encode these other signals for their joint storage and reciprocal retrieval. We have examined this hypothesis in a mouse model of associative learning by pairing the whisker tactile signal sequentially with the olfactory signal, the gustatory signal, and the tail-heating signal. Mice experienced this associative learning show the whisker fluctuation induced by olfactory, gustatory, and tail-heating signals, or the other way around, that is, memories to multi-modal associated signals featured by their reciprocal retrievals. Barrel cortical neurons in these mice become able to encode olfactory, gustatory, and tail-heating signals alongside the whisker signal. Barrel cortical neurons interconnect piriform, S1-Tr, and gustatory cortical neurons. With the barrel cortex as the hub, the indirect activation occurs among piriform, gustatory, and S1-Tr cortices for the second-order associative memory. These associative memory neurons recruited to encode multi-modal signals in the barrel cortex for associative memory are downregulated by neuroligin-3 knockdown. Thus, associative memory neurons can be recruited as the core cellular substrate to memorize multiple associated signals for the first-order and the second-order of associative memories by neuroligin-3-mediated synapse formation, which constitutes neuronal substrates of cognitive activities in the field of memoriology.
Mathys et al. conducted the first single-nucleus RNA-seq (snRNA-seq) study of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) (Mathys et al., 2019). With bulk RNA-seq, changes in gene expression across cell types can be lost, potentially masking the differentially expressed genes (DEGs) across different cell types. Through the use of single-cell techniques, the authors benefitted from increased resolution with the potential to uncover cell type-specific DEGs in AD for the first time. However, there were limitations in both their data processing and quality control and their differential expression analysis. Here, we correct these issues and use best-practice approaches to snRNA-seq differential expression, resulting in 549 times fewer DEGs at a false discovery rate of 0.05. Thus, this study highlights the impact of quality control and differential analysis methods on the discovery of disease-associated genes and aims to refocus the AD research field away from spuriously identified genes.