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Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is emerging as a key mediator of activity-dependent modifications of synaptic strength in the CNS. We investigated the hypothesis that BDNF enhances quantal neurotransmitter release by modulating the distribution of synaptic vesicles within presynaptic terminals using organotypic slice cultures of postnatal rat(More)
Electromagnetic-based methods of stimulating brain activity require invasive procedures or have other limitations. Deep-brain stimulation requires surgically implanted electrodes. Transcranial magnetic stimulation does not require surgery, but suffers from low spatial resolution. Optogenetic-based approaches have unrivaled spatial precision, but require(More)
Synaptic vesicles are recycled locally within presynaptic specializations. We examined how vesicles are reused after endocytosis, using transgenic mice expressing the genetically encoded fluorescent indicator synaptopHluorin in subsets of neurons. At both excitatory and inhibitory synapses in cultured hippocampal neurons, newly endocytosed vesicles did not(More)
Possessing the ability to noninvasively elicit brain circuit activity yields immense experimental and therapeutic power. Most currently employed neurostimulation methods rely on the somewhat invasive use of stimulating electrodes or photon-emitting devices. Due to its ability to noninvasively propagate through bone and other tissues in a focused manner, the(More)
Brain stimulation methods are indispensable to the study of brain function. They have also proven effective for treating some neurological disorders. Historically used for medical imaging, ultrasound (US) has recently been shown to be capable of noninvasively stimulating brain activity. Here we provide a general protocol for the stimulation of intact mouse(More)
One of the most rigorously investigated problems in modern neuroscience is to decipher the mechanisms by which experience-induced changes in the central nervous system are translated into behavioral acquisition, consolidation, retention, and subsequent recall of information. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) has recently emerged as one of the most(More)
Exerting its actions pre-, post- and peri-synaptically, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is one of the most potent modulators of hippocampal synaptic function. Here, we examined the effects of BDNF on a rapidly recycling pool (RRP) of vesicles within excitatory synapses. First, we estimated vesicular release in hippocampal cultures by performing(More)
Using targeted mouse mutants and pharmacologic inhibition of alphaCaMKII, we demonstrate that the alphaCaMKII protein, but not its activation, autophosphorylation or its ability to phosphorylate synapsin I, is required for normal short-term presynaptic plasticity. Furthermore, alphaCaMKII regulates the number of docked vesicles independent of its ability to(More)
The refinement and plasticity of neuronal connections require synaptic activity and neurotrophin signalling; their specific contributions and interplay are, however, poorly understood. We show here that brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) increased spine density in apical dendrites of CA1 pyramidal neurones in organotypic slice cultures prepared from(More)
A fundamental difference between short-term and long-term forms of synaptic plasticity is the dependence on transcription and translation of new genes. Using organotypic cultures of hippocampal slices, we have investigated whether the modulation of synapses by brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) also requires protein synthesis. Long-term treatment of(More)