Voltage-gated sodium channels cluster in macromolecular complexes at nodes of Ranvier to promote rapid nerve impulse conduction in vertebrate nerves. Node assembly in peripheral nerves is thought to be initiated at heminodes at the extremities of myelinating Schwann cells and fusion of heminodes results in the establishment of nodes. Here we show that assembly of 'early clusters' of nodal proteins in the murine axonal membrane precedes heminode formation. The Neurofascin (Nfasc) proteins are essential for node assembly, and the formation of early clusters also requires neuronal Nfasc. Early clusters are mobile and their proteins are dynamically recruited by lateral diffusion. They can undergo fusion not only with each other but also with heminodes thus contributing to the development of nodes in peripheral axons. The formation of early clusters constitutes the earliest stage in peripheral node assembly and expands the repertoire of strategies that have evolved to establish these essential structures.
All source data files have been provided
- Peter J Brophy
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Animal experimentation: All animal work conformed to UK legislation (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 and to the University of Edinburgh Ethical Review policy and was performed under Project Licence No. P0F4A25E9 from the Animals in Science Regulation Unit of the UK Home Office.
- Moses V Chao, New York University Langone Medical Center, United States
© 2021, Malavasi 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.
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.
The strength of a fear memory significantly influences whether it drives adaptive or maladaptive behavior in the future. Yet, how mild and strong fear memories differ in underlying biology is not well understood. We hypothesized that this distinction may not be exclusively the result of changes within specific brain regions, but rather the outcome of collective changes in connectivity across multiple regions within the neural network. To test this, rats were fear conditioned in protocols of varying intensities to generate mild or strong memories. Neuronal activation driven by recall was measured using c-fos immunohistochemistry in 12 brain regions implicated in fear learning and memory. The interregional coordinated brain activity was computed and graph-based functional networks were generated to compare how mild and strong fear memories differ at the systems level. Our results show that mild fear recall is supported by a well-connected brain network with small-world properties in which the amygdala is well-positioned to be modulated by other regions. In contrast, this connectivity is disrupted in strong fear memories and the amygdala is isolated from other regions. These findings indicate that the neural systems underlying mild and strong fear memories differ, with implications for understanding and treating disorders of fear dysregulation.