Updated energy budgets for neural computation in the neocortex and cerebellum.
ABSTRACT: The brain's energy supply determines its information processing power, and generates functional imaging signals. The energy use on the different subcellular processes underlying neural information processing has been estimated previously for the grey matter of the cerebral and cerebellar cortex. However, these estimates need reevaluating following recent work demonstrating that action potentials in mammalian neurons are much more energy efficient than was previously thought. Using this new knowledge, this paper provides revised estimates for the energy expenditure on neural computation in a simple model for the cerebral cortex and a detailed model of the cerebellar cortex. In cerebral cortex, most signaling energy (50%) is used on postsynaptic glutamate receptors, 21% is used on action potentials, 20% on resting potentials, 5% on presynaptic transmitter release, and 4% on transmitter recycling. In the cerebellar cortex, excitatory neurons use 75% and inhibitory neurons 25% of the signaling energy, and most energy is used on information processing by non-principal neurons: Purkinje cells use only 15% of the signaling energy. The majority of cerebellar signaling energy use is on the maintenance of resting potentials (54%) and postsynaptic receptors (22%), while action potentials account for only 17% of the signaling energy use.
Project description:An unusual feature of the cerebellar cortex is that its output neurons, Purkinje cells, release GABA (?-aminobutyric acid). Their high intrinsic firing rates (50?Hz) and extensive convergence predict that their target neurons in the cerebellar nuclei would be largely inhibited unless Purkinje cells pause their spiking, yet Purkinje and nuclear neuron firing rates do not always vary inversely. One indication of how these synapses transmit information is that populations of Purkinje neurons synchronize their spikes during cerebellar behaviours. If nuclear neurons respond to Purkinje synchrony, they may encode signals from subsets of inhibitory inputs. Here we show in weanling and adult mice that nuclear neurons transmit the timing of synchronous Purkinje afferent spikes, owing to modest Purkinje-to-nuclear convergence ratios (?40:1), fast inhibitory postsynaptic current kinetics (?(decay) = 2.5?ms) and high intrinsic firing rates (?90?Hz). In vitro, dynamically clamped asynchronous inhibitory postsynaptic potentials mimicking Purkinje afferents suppress nuclear cell spiking, whereas synchronous inhibitory postsynaptic potentials entrain nuclear cell spiking. With partial synchrony, nuclear neurons time-lock their spikes to the synchronous subpopulation of inputs, even when only 2 out of 40 afferents synchronize. In vivo, nuclear neurons reliably phase-lock to regular trains of molecular layer stimulation. Thus, cerebellar nuclear neurons can preferentially relay the spike timing of synchronized Purkinje cells to downstream premotor areas.
Project description:Synaptic interactions between neurons of the human cerebral cortex were not directly studied to date. We recorded the first dataset, to our knowledge, on the synaptic effect of identified human pyramidal cells on various types of postsynaptic neurons and reveal complex events triggered by individual action potentials in the human neocortical network. Brain slices were prepared from nonpathological samples of cortex that had to be removed for the surgical treatment of brain areas beneath association cortices of 58 patients aged 18 to 73 y. Simultaneous triple and quadruple whole-cell patch clamp recordings were performed testing mono- and polysynaptic potentials in target neurons following a single action potential fired by layer 2/3 pyramidal cells, and the temporal structure of events and underlying mechanisms were analyzed. In addition to monosynaptic postsynaptic potentials, individual action potentials in presynaptic pyramidal cells initiated long-lasting (37 +/- 17 ms) sequences of events in the network lasting an order of magnitude longer than detected previously in other species. These event series were composed of specifically alternating glutamatergic and GABAergic postsynaptic potentials and required selective spike-to-spike coupling from pyramidal cells to GABAergic interneurons producing concomitant inhibitory as well as excitatory feed-forward action of GABA. Single action potentials of human neurons are sufficient to recruit Hebbian-like neuronal assemblies that are proposed to participate in cognitive processes.
Project description:Motor commands computed by the cerebellum are hypothesized to use corollary discharge, or copies of outgoing commands, to accelerate motor corrections. Identifying sources of corollary discharge, therefore, is critical for testing this hypothesis. Here we verified that the pathway from the cerebellar nuclei to the cerebellar cortex in mice includes collaterals of cerebellar premotor output neurons, mapped this collateral pathway, and identified its postsynaptic targets. Following bidirectional tracer injections into a distal target of the cerebellar nuclei, the ventrolateral thalamus, we observed retrogradely labeled somata in the cerebellar nuclei and mossy fiber terminals in the cerebellar granule layer, consistent with collateral branching. Corroborating these observations, bidirectional tracer injections into the cerebellar cortex retrogradely labeled somata in the cerebellar nuclei and boutons in the ventrolateral thalamus. To test whether nuclear output neurons projecting to the red nucleus also collateralize to the cerebellar cortex, we used a Cre-dependent viral approach, avoiding potential confounds of direct red nucleus-to-cerebellum projections. Injections of a Cre-dependent GFP-expressing virus into Ntsr1-Cre mice, which express Cre selectively in the cerebellar nuclei, retrogradely labeled somata in the interposed nucleus, and putative collateral branches terminating as mossy fibers in the cerebellar cortex. Postsynaptic targets of all labeled mossy fiber terminals were identified using immunohistochemical Golgi cell markers and electron microscopic profiles of granule cells, indicating that the collaterals of nuclear output neurons contact both Golgi and granule cells. These results clarify the organization of a subset of nucleocortical projections that constitute an experimentally accessible corollary discharge pathway within the cerebellum.
Project description:Calcium signaling is critical for synaptic transmission and plasticity. N-methyl-D-aspartic acid (NMDA) receptors play a key role in synaptic potentiation in the anterior cingulate cortex. Most previous studies of calcium signaling focus on hippocampal neurons, little is known about the activity-induced calcium signals in the anterior cingulate cortex. In the present study, we show that NMDA receptor-mediated postsynaptic calcium signals induced by different synaptic stimulation in anterior cingulate cortex pyramidal neurons. Single and multi-action potentials evoked significant suprathreshold Ca2+ increases in somas and spines. Both NMDA receptors and voltage-gated calcium channels contributed to this increase. Postsynaptic Ca2+signals were induced by puff-application of glutamate, and a NMDA receptor antagonist AP5 blocked these signals in both somas and spines. Finally, long-term potentiation inducing protocols triggered postsynaptic Ca2+ influx, and these influx were NMDA receptor dependent. Our results provide the first study of calcium signals in the anterior cingulate cortex and demonstrate that NMDA receptors play important roles in postsynaptic calcium signals in anterior cingulate cortex pyramidal neurons.
Project description:Neuroenergetic models of synaptic transmission predicted that energy demand is highest for action potentials (APs) and postsynaptic ion fluxes, whereas the presynaptic contribution is rather small. Here, we addressed the question of energy consumption at Schaffer-collateral synapses. We monitored stimulus-induced changes in extracellular potassium, sodium, and calcium concentration while recording partial oxygen pressure (pO(2)) and NAD(P)H fluorescence. Blockade of postsynaptic receptors reduced ion fluxes as well as pO(2) and NAD(P)H transients by ∼50%. Additional blockade of transmitter release further reduced Na(+), K(+), and pO(2) transients by ∼30% without altering presynaptic APs, indicating considerable contribution of Ca(2+)-removal, transmitter and vesicle turnover to energy consumption.
Project description:Cerebral cortical slow-wave activity (SWA) is prominent during sleep and also during ketamine-induced anesthesia. SWA in electroencephalogram (EEG) recordings is closely linked to prominent fluctuations between up- and down-states in the membrane potential of pyramidal neurons. However, little is known about how the cerebellum is linked into SWA and whether slow cortical oscillations influence sensory cerebellar responses. To examine these issues, we simultaneously recorded EEG activity from the cerebral cortex (SI, MI, and supplementary motor area (SMA)), local field potentials at the input stage of cerebellar processing in the cerebellar granule cell layer (GCL) and inferior olive (IO), and single unit activity at the output stage of the cerebellum in the deep cerebellar nuclei (DCN). We found that in ketamine-anesthetized rats, SWA was synchronized between all recorded cortical areas and was phase locked with local field potentials of the GCL, IO and single unit activity in the DCN. We also found that cortical up-states are linked to activation of GCL neurons but to inhibition of cerebellar output from the DCN, with the latter an effect likely mediated by Purkinje cells. A partial coherence analysis showed further that a large portion of SWA shared between GCL and DCN was transmitted from the cortex, since the coherence shared between GCL and DCN was diminished when the effect of cortical activity was subtracted. To determine the causal flow of information between structures, a directed transfer function was calculated between the simultaneous activities of SI, MI, SMA, GCL and DCN. This analysis demonstrated that the primary direction of information flow was from cortex to the cerebellum and that SI had a stronger influence than other cortical areas on DCN activity. The strong functional connectivity with SI in particular is in agreement with previous findings of a strong cortical component in cerebellar sensory responses.
Project description:Cortical spreading depression (CSD) is associated with migraine, stroke, and traumatic brain injury, but its mechanisms remain poorly understood. One of the major features of CSD is an hour-long silencing of neuronal activity. Though this silencing has clear ramifications for CSD-associated disease, it has not been fully explained. We used in vivo whole-cell recordings to examine the effects of CSD on layer 2/3 pyramidal neurons in mouse somatosensory cortex and used in vitro recordings to examine their mechanism. We found that CSD caused a reduction in spontaneous synaptic activity and action potential (AP) firing that lasted over an hour. Both pre- and postsynaptic mechanisms contributed to this silencing. Reductions in frequency of postsynaptic potentials were due to a reduction in presynaptic transmitter release probability as well as reduced AP activity. Decreases in postsynaptic potential amplitude were due to an inhibitory shift in the ratio of excitatory and inhibitory postsynaptic currents. This inhibitory shift in turn contributed to the reduced frequency of APs. Thus, distinct but complementary mechanisms generate the long neuronal silence that follows CSD. These cellular changes could contribute to wider network dysfunction in CSD-associated disease, while the pre- and postsynaptic mechanisms offer separate targets for therapy.
Project description:In the cerebellar cortex, molecular layer interneurons use chemical and electrical synapses to form subnetworks that fine-tune the spiking output of the cerebellum. Although electrical synapses can entrain activity within neuronal assemblies, their role in feed-forward circuits is less well explored. By combining whole-cell patch-clamp and 2-photon laser scanning microscopy of basket cells (BCs), we found that classical excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs) are followed by GABAA receptor-independent outward currents, reflecting the hyperpolarization component of spikelets (a synapse-evoked action potential passively propagating from electrically coupled neighbors). FF recruitment of the spikelet-mediated inhibition curtails the integration time window of concomitant excitatory postsynaptic potentials (EPSPs) and dampens their temporal integration. In contrast with GABAergic-mediated feed-forward inhibition, the depolarizing component of spikelets transiently increases the peak amplitude of EPSPs, and thus postsynaptic spiking probability. Therefore, spikelet transmission can propagate within the BC network to generate synchronous inhibition of Purkinje cells, which can entrain cerebellar output for driving temporally precise behaviors.
Project description:In Parkinson's disease, the degeneration of the midbrain dopaminergic neurons is consistently associated with modified metabolic activity in the cerebellum. Here we examined the functional reorganization taking place in the cerebello-cerebral circuit in a murine model of Parkinson's disease with 6-OHDA lesion of midbrain dopaminergic neurons. Cerebellar optogenetic stimulations evoked similar movements in control and lesioned mice, suggesting a normal coupling of cerebellum to the motor effectors after the lesion. In freely moving animals, the firing rate in the primary motor cortex was decreased after the lesion, while cerebellar nuclei neurons showed an increased firing rate. This increase may result from reduced inhibitory Purkinje cells inputs, since a population of slow and irregular Purkinje cells was observed in the cerebellar hemispheres of lesioned animals. Moreover, cerebellar stimulations generated smaller electrocortical responses in the motor cortex of lesioned animals suggesting a weaker cerebello-cerebral coupling. Overall these results indicate the presence of functional changes in the cerebello-cerebral circuit, but their ability to correct cortical dysfunction may be limited due to functional uncoupling between the cerebellum and cerebral cortex.
Project description:Competition among different axons to reach the somatodendritic region of the target neuron is an important event during development to achieve the final architecture typical of the mature brain. Trasmitter-receptor matching is a critical step for the signaling between neurons. In the cerebellar cortex, there is a persistent competition between the two glutamatergic inputs, the parallel fibers and the climbing fibers, for the innervation of the Purkinje cells. The activity of the latter input is necessary to maintain its own synaptic contacts on the proximal dendritic domain and to confine the parallel fibers in the distal one. Here, we show that climbing fiber activity also limits the distribution of the GABAergic input in the proximal domain. In addition, blocking the activity by tetrodotoxin infusion in Wistar rat cerebellum, a synapse made by GABAergic terminals onto the recently formed Purkinje cell spines appear in the proximal dendrites. The density of GABAergic terminals is increased, and unexpected double symmetric/asymmetric postsynaptic densities add to the typical symmetric phenotype of the GABAergic shaft synapses. Moreover, glutamate receptors appear in these ectopic synapses even in the absence of glutamate transmitter inside the presynaptic terminal and close to GABA receptors. These results suggest that the Purkinje cell has an intrinsic tendency to develop postsynaptic assemblies of excitatory types, including glutamate receptors, over the entire dendritic territory. GABA receptors are induced in these assemblies when contacted by GABAergic terminals, thus leading to the formation of hybrid synapses.