ATP from synaptic terminals and astrocytes regulates NMDA receptors and synaptic plasticity through PSD-95 multi-protein complex.
ABSTRACT: Recent studies highlighted the importance of astrocyte-secreted molecules, such as ATP, for the slow modulation of synaptic transmission in central neurones. Biophysical mechanisms underlying the impact of gliotransmitters on the strength of individual synapse remain, however, unclear. Here we show that purinergic P2X receptors can bring significant contribution to the signalling in the individual synaptic boutons. ATP released from astrocytes facilitates a recruitment of P2X receptors into excitatory synapses by Ca(2+)-dependent mechanism. P2X receptors, co-localized with NMDA receptors in the excitatory synapses, can be activated by ATP co-released with glutamate from pre-synaptic terminals and by glia-derived ATP. An activation of P2X receptors in turn leads to down-regulation of postsynaptic NMDA receptors via Ca(2+)-dependent de-phosphorylation and interaction with PSD-95 multi-protein complex. Genetic deletion of the PSD-95 or P2X4 receptors obliterated ATP-mediated down-regulation of NMDA receptors. Impairment of purinergic modulation of NMDA receptors in the PSD-95 mutants dramatically decreased the threshold of LTP induction and increased the net magnitude of LTP. Our findings show that synergistic action of glia- and neurone-derived ATP can pre-modulate efficacy of excitatory synapses and thereby can have an important role in the glia-neuron communications and brain meta-plasticity.
Project description:Activity-dependent release of ATP from synapses, axons and glia activates purinergic membrane receptors that modulate intracellular calcium and cyclic AMP. This enables glia to detect neural activity and communicate among other glial cells by releasing ATP through membrane channels and vesicles. Through purinergic signalling, impulse activity regulates glial proliferation, motility, survival, differentiation and myelination, and facilitates interactions between neurons, and vascular and immune system cells. Interactions among purinergic, growth factor and cytokine signalling regulate synaptic strength, development and responses to injury. We review the involvement of ATP and adenosine receptors in neuron-glia signalling, including the release and hydrolysis of ATP, how the receptors signal, the pharmacological tools used to study them, and their functional significance.
Project description:Synaptic loss underlies the memory deficit of Alzheimer's disease (AD). The molecular mechanism is elusive; however, excitatory synapses organized by the postsynaptic density (PSD) have been used as targets for AD treatment. To identify pathological entities at the synapse in AD, synaptic proteins were screened by quantitative proteomic profiling. The critical proteins were then selected for immunoblot analysis. The glutamate receptors N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptor 1 and alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) receptor 2 (GluR2) were substantially lost; specifically, the loss of GluR2 was up to 40% at PSD in AD. Shank proteins, the organizers of these glutamate receptors at excitatory synapses, were dramatically altered in AD. The level of Shank2 was increased, whereas the protein level of Shank3 was decreased. Further, the Shank3 protein was modified by ubiquitin, indicating that abnormal activity of the ubiquitin-proteasome system may lead to Shank3 degradation in AD. Our findings suggest that disruption of glutamate receptors at the Shank-postsynaptic platform could contribute to destruction of the PSD which underlies the synaptic dysfunction and loss in AD.
Project description:Communication between neuronal and glial cells is important for many brain functions. Astrocytes can modulate synaptic strength via Ca(2+)-stimulated release of various gliotransmitters, including glutamate and ATP. A physiological role of ATP release from astrocytes was suggested by its contribution to glial Ca(2+)-waves and purinergic modulation of neuronal activity and sleep homeostasis. The mechanisms underlying release of gliotransmitters remain uncertain, and exocytosis is the most intriguing and debated pathway. We investigated release of ATP from acutely dissociated cortical astrocytes using "sniff-cell" approach and demonstrated that release is vesicular in nature and can be triggered by elevation of intracellular Ca(2+) via metabotropic and ionotropic receptors or direct UV-uncaging. The exocytosis of ATP from neocortical astrocytes occurred in the millisecond time scale contrasting with much slower nonvesicular release of gliotransmitters via Best1 and TREK-1 channels, reported recently in hippocampus. Furthermore, we discovered that elevation of cytosolic Ca(2+) in cortical astrocytes triggered the release of ATP that directly activated quantal purinergic currents in the pyramidal neurons. The glia-driven burst of purinergic currents in neurons was followed by significant attenuation of both synaptic and tonic inhibition. The Ca(2+)-entry through the neuronal P2X purinoreceptors led to phosphorylation-dependent down-regulation of GABAA receptors. The negative purinergic modulation of postsynaptic GABA receptors was accompanied by small presynaptic enhancement of GABA release. Glia-driven purinergic modulation of inhibitory transmission was not observed in neurons when astrocytes expressed dn-SNARE to impair exocytosis. The astrocyte-driven purinergic currents and glia-driven modulation of GABA receptors were significantly reduced in the P2X4 KO mice. Our data provide a key evidence to support the physiological importance of exocytosis of ATP from astrocytes in the neocortex.
Project description:The development of glutamatergic synapses involves changes in the number and type of receptors present at the postsynaptic density. To elucidate molecular mechanisms underlying these changes, we combine in utero electroporation of constructs that alter the molecular composition of developing synapses with dual whole-cell electrophysiology to examine synaptic transmission during two distinct developmental stages. We find that SAP102 mediates synaptic trafficking of AMPA and NMDA receptors during synaptogenesis. Surprisingly, after synaptogenesis, PSD-95 assumes the functions of SAP102 and is necessary for two aspects of synapse maturation: the developmental increase in AMPA receptor transmission and replacement of NR2B-NMDARs with NR2A-NMDARs. In PSD-95/PSD-93 double-KO mice, the maturational replacement of NR2B- with NR2A-NMDARs fails to occur, and PSD-95 expression fully rescues this deficit. This study demonstrates that SAP102 and PSD-95 regulate the synaptic trafficking of distinct glutamate receptor subtypes at different developmental stages, thereby playing necessary roles in excitatory synapse development.
Project description:For many years, ATP and adenosine have been implicated in movement regulation of the gastrointestinal tract. They act through three major receptor subtypes: adenosine or P1 receptors, P2X receptors and P2Y receptors. Each of these major receptor types can be subdivided into several different classes and is widely distributed amongst various neurons, muscle types, glia and interstitial cells that regulate intestinal functions. Several key roles for the different receptors and their endogenous ligands have been identified in physiological and pharmacological studies. For example, adenosine acting at A(1) receptors appears to inhibit intestinal motility in various pathological conditions. Similarly, ATP acting at P2Y receptors is an important component of inhibitory neuromuscular transmission, acting as a cotransmitter with nitric oxide. ATP acting at P2X and P2Y(1) receptors is important for synaptic transmission in simple descending excitatory and inhibitory reflex pathways. Some P2Y receptor subtypes prefer uridine nucleotides over purine nucleotides. Thus, roles for UTP and UDP as enteric transmitters in place of ATP cannot be excluded. ATP also appears to be important for sensory transduction, especially in chemosensitive pathways that initiate local inhibitory reflexes. Despite this evidence, data are lacking about the roles of either adenosine or ATP in more complex motility patterns such as segmentation or the interdigestive migrating motor complex. Clarification of roles for purinergic transmission in these common, but understudied, motility patterns will depend on the use of subtype-specific antagonists that in some cases have not yet been developed.
Project description:Postsynatptic density protein (PSD-95) is a 95 kDa scaffolding protein that assembles signaling complexes at synapses. Over-expression of PSD-95 in primary hippocampal neurons selectively increases synaptic localization of AMPA receptors; however, mice lacking PSD-95 display grossly normal glutamatergic transmission in hippocampus. To further study the scaffolding role of PSD-95 at excitatory synapses, we generated a recombinant PSD-95-4c containing a tetracysteine motif, which specifically binds a fluorescein derivative and allows for acute and permanent inactivation of PSD-95. Interestingly, acute inactivation of PSD-95 in rat hippocampal cultures rapidly reduced surface AMPA receptor immunostaining, but did not affected NMDA or transferrin receptor localization. Acute photoinactivation of PSD-95 in dissociated neurons causes ?80% decrease in GluR2 surface staining observed by live-cell microscopy within 15 minutes of PSD-95-4c ablation. These results confirm that PSD-95 stabilizes AMPA receptors at postsynaptic sites and provides insight into the dynamic interplay between PSD-95 and AMPA receptors in live neurons.
Project description:Neurons use neurotransmitters to communicate across synapses, constructing neural circuits in the brain. AMPA-type glutamate receptors are the predominant excitatory neurotransmitter receptors mediating fast synaptic transmission. AMPA receptors localize at synapses by forming protein complexes with transmembrane AMPA receptor regulatory proteins (TARPs) and PSD-95-like membrane-associated guanylate kinases. Among the three classes of ionotropic glutamate receptors (AMPA, NMDA, and kainate type), AMPA receptor activity is most regulatable by neuronal activity to adjust synaptic strength. Here, we mutated the prototypical TARP, stargazin, and found that TARP phosphorylation regulates synaptic AMPA receptor activity in vivo. We also found that stargazin interacts with negatively charged lipid bilayers in a phosphorylation-dependent manner and that the lipid interaction inhibited stargazin binding to PSD-95. Cationic lipids dissociated stargazin from lipid bilayers and enhanced synaptic AMPA receptor activity in a stargazin phosphorylation-dependent manner. Thus, TARP phosphorylation plays a critical role in regulating AMPA receptor-mediated synaptic transmission via a lipid bilayer interaction.
Project description:PSD-95 is a major protein found in virtually all mature excitatory glutamatergic synapses in the brain. Here, we have addressed the role of PSD-95 in controlling glutamatergic synapse function by generating and characterizing a PSD-95 KO mouse. We found that the alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methylisoxazole-4-propionic acid (AMPA)subtype of glutamate receptor (AMPAR)-mediated synaptic transmission was reduced in these mice. Two-photon (2P) uncaging of MNI-glutamate onto individual spines suggested that the decrease in AMPAR function in the PSD-95 KO mouse stems from an increase in the proportion of "silent" synapses i.e., synapses containing N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptors (NMDARs) but no AMPARs. Unexpectedly, the silent synapses in the KO mouse were located onto morphologically mature spines. We also observed that a significant population of synapses appeared unaffected by PSD-95 gene deletion, suggesting that the functional role of PSD-95 displays synapse-specificity. In addition, we report that the decay of NMDAR-mediated current was slower in KO mice: The contribution of NR2B subunit containing receptors to the NMDAR-mediated synaptic current was greater in KO mice. The greater occurrence of silent synapses might be related to the greater magnitude of potentiation after long-term potentiation induction observed in these mice. Together, these results suggest a synapse-specific role for PSD-95 in controlling synaptic function that is independent of spine morphology.
Project description:The molecular composition of the postsynaptic membrane is sculpted by synaptic activity. During synaptic plasticity at excitatory synapses, numerous structural, signaling, and receptor molecules concentrate at the postsynaptic density (PSD) to regulate synaptic strength. We developed an approach that uses light to tune the abundance of specific molecules in the PSD. We used this approach to investigate the relationship between the number of AMPA-type glutamate receptors in the PSD and synaptic strength. Surprisingly, adding more AMPA receptors to excitatory contacts had little effect on synaptic strength. Instead, we observed increased excitatory input through the apparent addition of new functional sites. Our data support a model where adding AMPA receptors is sufficient to activate synapses that had few receptors to begin with, but that additional remodeling events are required to strengthen established synapses. More broadly, this approach introduces the precise spatiotemporal control of optogenetics to the molecular control of synaptic function.
Project description:Presynaptic and postsynaptic differentiation occurs at axodendritic contacts between CNS neurons. Synaptic adhesion mediated by synaptic cell adhesion molecule (SynCAM) and beta-neurexins/neuroligins triggers presynaptic differentiation. The signals that trigger postsynaptic differentiation are, however, unknown. Here we report that beta-neurexin expressed in nonneuronal cells induced postsynaptic density (PSD)-95 clustering in contacting dendrites of hippocampal neurons. The effect is specific to beta-neurexin and was not observed with other synaptic cell adhesion molecules such as N-cadherin or SynCAM. NMDA receptors, but not alpha-amino-3-hydroxyl-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionate receptors (AMPARs), were recruited to this beta-neurexin-induced PSD-95 scaffold. Remarkably, AMPARs were inserted into this scaffold upon glutamate application or expression of a constitutively active form of calmodulin kinase II in neurons. Expression of a dominant-negative neuroligin-1 in cultured neurons markedly reduced the sizes and densities of PSD-95 puncta and AMPAR clusters. In addition, excitatory, but not inhibitory, synaptic functions were impaired in these neurons, confirming that PSD-95/neuroligin-1 interaction is involved in postsynaptic assembly at glutamatergic synapses. These results demonstrate that postsynaptic assembly of the glutamatergic synapse may be initiated by presynaptic beta-neurexin and that glutamate release also is required for maturation of synapses.