Nature Mar 2021Neuropil is a fundamental form of tissue organization within the brain, in which densely packed neurons synaptically interconnect into precise circuit architecture....
Neuropil is a fundamental form of tissue organization within the brain, in which densely packed neurons synaptically interconnect into precise circuit architecture. However, the structural and developmental principles that govern this nanoscale precision remain largely unknown. Here we use an iterative data coarse-graining algorithm termed 'diffusion condensation' to identify nested circuit structures within the Caenorhabditis elegans neuropil, which is known as the nerve ring. We show that the nerve ring neuropil is largely organized into four strata that are composed of related behavioural circuits. The stratified architecture of the neuropil is a geometrical representation of the functional segregation of sensory information and motor outputs, with specific sensory organs and muscle quadrants mapping onto particular neuropil strata. We identify groups of neurons with unique morphologies that integrate information across strata and that create neural structures that cage the strata within the nerve ring. We use high resolution light-sheet microscopy coupled with lineage-tracing and cell-tracking algorithms to resolve the developmental sequence and reveal principles of cell position, migration and outgrowth that guide stratified neuropil organization. Our results uncover conserved structural design principles that underlie the architecture and function of the nerve ring neuropil, and reveal a temporal progression of outgrowth-based on pioneer neurons-that guides the hierarchical development of the layered neuropil. Our findings provide a systematic blueprint for using structural and developmental approaches to understand neuropil organization within the brain.
Topics: Algorithms; Animals; Brain; Caenorhabditis elegans; Cell Movement; Diffusion; Interneurons; Motor Neurons; Neurites; Neuropil; Sensory Receptor Cells
Anatomical Record (Hoboken, N.J. : 2007) Nov 2018Relatively little neuroscience research has been focused on artiodactyls. Recent observations of complex social interactions in domestic and wild species suggest that...
Relatively little neuroscience research has been focused on artiodactyls. Recent observations of complex social interactions in domestic and wild species suggest that analyses of artiodactyl brain anatomy would be of comparative value. In this study, we examined how the distribution of cortical neuropil space (a proxy for connectivity) varies across representative members of this diverse clade. Using image analysis techniques, we quantified the neuropil space in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and the occipital (putative primary visual) cortex (OC) of 12 artiodactyl species from adult specimens. Additionally, we conducted a preliminary investigation of variation in ACC neuropil space in a developmental series of five white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus). Results indicate a consistent pattern of greater neuropil space in the ACC in comparison to the OC among all species, and a gradual increase in ACC neuropil space toward maturity in the white-tailed deer. Given the taxa that have the greatest cortical neuropil space, we hypothesize that such enhanced connectivity might be needed to support behaviors such as group foraging and attentiveness to conspecifics. These results help advance a broader understanding of diversity in neural circuitry in artiodactyls and point to the need for more in-depth comparisons of cortical neuron morphology and organization in this relatively understudied taxonomic group. Anat Rec, 301:1871-1881, 2018. © 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Topics: Animals; Artiodactyla; Gyrus Cinguli; Neuropil; Occipital Lobe; Phylogeny
Structure of the pecten neuropil pathway and its innervation by bimodal peg afferents in two scorpion species.PloS One 2020The pectines of scorpions are comb-like structures, located ventrally behind the fourth walking legs and consisting of variable numbers of teeth, or pegs, which contain...
The pectines of scorpions are comb-like structures, located ventrally behind the fourth walking legs and consisting of variable numbers of teeth, or pegs, which contain thousands of bimodal peg sensillae. The associated neuropils are situated ventrally in the synganglion, extending between the second and fourth walking leg neuromeres. While the general morphology is consistent among scorpions, taxon-specific differences in pecten and neuropil structure remain elusive but are crucial for a better understanding of chemosensory processing. We analysed two scorpion species (Mesobuthus eupeus and Heterometrus petersii) regarding their pecten neuropil anatomy and the respective peg afferent innervation with anterograde and lipophilic tracing experiments, combined with immunohistochemistry and confocal laser-scanning microscopy. The pecten neuropils consisted of three subcompartments: a posterior pecten neuropil, an anterior pecten neuropil and a hitherto unknown accessory pecten neuropil. These subregions exhibited taxon-specific variations with regard to compartmentalisation and structure. Most notable were structural differences in the anterior pecten neuropils that ranged from ovoid shape and strong fragmentation in Heterometrus petersii to elongated shape with little compartmentalisation in Mesobuthus eupeus. Labelling the afferents of distinct pegs revealed a topographic organisation of the bimodal projections along a medio-lateral axis. At the same time, all subregions along the posterior-anterior axis were innervated by a single peg's afferents. The somatotopic projection pattern of bimodal sensillae appears to be common among arachnids, including scorpions. This includes the structure and organisation of the respective neuropils and the somatotopic projection patterns of chemosensory afferents. Nonetheless, the scorpion pecten pathway exhibits unique features, e.g. glomerular compartmentalisation superimposed on somatotopy, that are assumed to allow high resolution of substrate-borne chemical gradients.
Topics: Animals; Chemoreceptor Cells; Neuropil; Scorpions
Drosophila ß-Spectrin is required in polarized ensheathing glia that form a diffusion-barrier around the neuropil.Nature Communications Nov 2021In the central nervous system (CNS), functional tasks are often allocated to distinct compartments. This is also evident in the Drosophila CNS where synapses and...
In the central nervous system (CNS), functional tasks are often allocated to distinct compartments. This is also evident in the Drosophila CNS where synapses and dendrites are clustered in distinct neuropil regions. The neuropil is separated from neuronal cell bodies by ensheathing glia, which as we show using dye injection experiments, contribute to the formation of an internal diffusion barrier. We find that ensheathing glia are polarized with a basolateral plasma membrane rich in phosphatidylinositol-(3,4,5)-triphosphate (PIP) and the Na/K-ATPase Nervana2 (Nrv2) that abuts an extracellular matrix formed at neuropil-cortex interface. The apical plasma membrane is facing the neuropil and is rich in phosphatidylinositol-(4,5)-bisphosphate (PIP) that is supported by a sub-membranous ß-Spectrin cytoskeleton. ß-spectrin mutant larvae affect ensheathing glial cell polarity with delocalized PIP and Nrv2 and exhibit an abnormal locomotion which is similarly shown by ensheathing glia ablated larvae. Thus, polarized glia compartmentalizes the brain and is essential for proper nervous system function.
Topics: Animals; Brain; Cell Lineage; Drosophila; Drosophila Proteins; Glycoproteins; Larva; Nerve Tissue Proteins; Neuroglia; Neurons; Neuropil; Phosphatidylinositol Phosphates; Spectrin
Neuropil contraction in relation to Complement C4 gene copy numbers in independent cohorts of adolescent-onset and young adult-onset schizophrenia patients-a pilot study.Translational Psychiatry Jul 2018A recent report suggested Complement 4 (C4A) gene copy numbers (GCN) as risk factors for schizophrenia. Rodent model showed association of C4 with synaptic pruning...
A recent report suggested Complement 4 (C4A) gene copy numbers (GCN) as risk factors for schizophrenia. Rodent model showed association of C4 with synaptic pruning suggesting its pathophysiological significance (Sekar, A. et al. (2016)). We, therefore, predicted that C4A GCN would be positively correlated with neuropil contraction in the human brain among schizophrenia patients showing more prominent correlations in ventral regions among young adults and dorsal regions among adolescents since neuromaturation progresses dorsoventrally. Whole-brain, multi-voxel, in vivo phosphorus magnetic resonance spectroscopy (P MRS) assessed neuropil changes by estimating levels of membrane phospholipid (MPL) precursors and catabolites. Increased MPL catabolites and/or decreased MPL precursors indexed neuropil contraction. Digital droplet PCR-based assay was used to estimate C4A and C4B GCN. We evaluated two independent cohorts (young adult-onset early-course schizophrenia (YASZ = 15) and adolescent-onset schizophrenia (AOSZ = 12) patients), and controls matched for each group, n = 22 and 15, respectively. Separate forward stepwise linear regression models with Akaike information Criterion were built for MPL catabolites and precursors. YASZ cohort: Consistent with the rodent model (Sekar, A. et al. 2016)), C4A GCN positively correlated with neuropil contraction (increased pruning/decreased formation) in the inferior frontal cortex and inferior parietal lobule. AOSZ cohort: C4A GCN positively correlated with neuropil contraction in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and thalamus. Exploratory analysis of C4B GCN showed positive correlation with neuropil contraction in the cerebellum and superior temporal gyrus among YASZ while AOSZ showed neuropil contraction in the prefrontal and subcortical structures. Thus, C4A and C4B GCN are associated with neuropil contraction in regions often associated with schizophrenia, and may be neuromaturationally dependent.
Topics: Adolescent; Adult; Age of Onset; Case-Control Studies; Complement C4a; Complement C4b; Female; Gene Dosage; Humans; Linear Models; Male; Neuropil; Pilot Projects; Risk Factors; Schizophrenia; Whites; Young Adult
Frontiers in Neural Circuits 2017Cortical neuropil modulations recorded by calcium imaging reflect the activity of large aggregates of axo-dendritic processes and synaptic compartments from a large...
Cortical neuropil modulations recorded by calcium imaging reflect the activity of large aggregates of axo-dendritic processes and synaptic compartments from a large number of neurons. The organization of this activity impacts neuronal firing but is not well understood. Here we used 2-photon imaging with Oregon Green Bapta (OGB) and GCaMP6s to study neuropil visual responses to moving gratings in layer 2/3 of mouse area V1. We found neuropil responses to be strongly modulated and more reliable than neighboring somatic activity. Furthermore, stimulus independent modulations in neuropil activity, i.e., noise correlations, were highly coherent across the cortical surface, up to distances of at least 200 μm. Pairwise neuropil-to-neuropil-patch noise correlation strength was much higher than cell-to-cell noise correlation strength and depended strongly on brain state, decreasing in quiet wakefulness relative to light anesthesia. The profile of neuropil noise correlation strength decreased gently with distance, dropping by ~11% at a distance of 200 μm. This was comparatively slower than the profile of cell-to-cell noise correlations, which dropped by ~23% at 200 μm. Interestingly, in spite of the "salt & pepper" organization of orientation and direction encoding across mouse V1 neurons, populations of neuropil patches, even of moderately large size (radius ~100 μm), showed high accuracy for discriminating perpendicularly moving gratings. This was commensurate to the accuracy of corresponding cell populations. The dynamic, stimulus dependent, nature of neuropil activity further underscores the need to carefully separate neuropil from cell soma activity in contemporary imaging studies.
Topics: Algorithms; Animals; Calcium; Mice, Inbred C57BL; Mice, Transgenic; Neuropil; Patch-Clamp Techniques; Photic Stimulation; Signal Processing, Computer-Assisted; Synaptic Transmission; Visual Cortex; Visual Perception; Voltage-Sensitive Dye Imaging; Wakefulness
Differing Strategies Despite Shared Lineages of Motor Neurons and Glia to Achieve Robust Development of an Adult Neuropil in Drosophila.Neuron Feb 2018In vertebrates and invertebrates, neurons and glia are generated in a stereotyped manner from neural stem cells, but the purpose of invariant lineages is not...
In vertebrates and invertebrates, neurons and glia are generated in a stereotyped manner from neural stem cells, but the purpose of invariant lineages is not understood. We show that two stem cells that produce leg motor neurons in Drosophila also generate neuropil glia, which wrap and send processes into the neuropil where motor neuron dendrites arborize. The development of the neuropil glia and leg motor neurons is highly coordinated. However, although motor neurons have a stereotyped birth order and transcription factor code, the number and individual morphologies of the glia born from these lineages are highly plastic, yet the final structure they contribute to is highly stereotyped. We suggest that the shared lineages of these two cell types facilitate the assembly of complex neural circuits and that the two birth order strategies-hardwired for motor neurons and flexible for glia-are important for robust nervous system development, homeostasis, and evolution.
Topics: Animals; Animals, Genetically Modified; Astrocytes; Cell Lineage; Drosophila melanogaster; Extremities; Motor Neurons; Neuropil
The effects of aging on neuropil structure in mouse somatosensory cortex-A 3D electron microscopy analysis of layer 1.PloS One 2018This study has used dense reconstructions from serial EM images to compare the neuropil ultrastructure and connectivity of aged and adult mice. The analysis used models...
This study has used dense reconstructions from serial EM images to compare the neuropil ultrastructure and connectivity of aged and adult mice. The analysis used models of axons, dendrites, and their synaptic connections, reconstructed from volumes of neuropil imaged in layer 1 of the somatosensory cortex. This shows the changes to neuropil structure that accompany a general loss of synapses in a well-defined brain region. The loss of excitatory synapses was balanced by an increase in their size such that the total amount of synaptic surface, per unit length of axon, and per unit volume of neuropil, stayed the same. There was also a greater reduction of inhibitory synapses than excitatory, particularly those found on dendritic spines, resulting in an increase in the excitatory/inhibitory balance. The close correlations, that exist in young and adult neurons, between spine volume, bouton volume, synaptic size, and docked vesicle numbers are all preserved during aging. These comparisons display features that indicate a reduced plasticity of cortical circuits, with fewer, more transient, connections, but nevertheless an enhancement of the remaining connectivity that compensates for a generalized synapse loss.
Topics: Aging; Animals; Axons; Humans; Imaging, Three-Dimensional; Mice; Microscopy, Electron; Neurons; Neuropil; Somatosensory Cortex; Synapses
Spatial patterning of excitatory and inhibitory neuropil territories during spinal circuit development.The Journal of Comparative Neurology May 2017To generate rhythmic motor behaviors, both single neurons and neural circuits require a balance between excitatory inputs that trigger action potentials and inhibitory...
To generate rhythmic motor behaviors, both single neurons and neural circuits require a balance between excitatory inputs that trigger action potentials and inhibitory inputs that promote a stable resting potential (E/I balance). Previous studies have focused on individual neurons and have shown that, over a short spatial scale, excitatory and inhibitory (E/I) synapses tend to form structured territories with inhibitory inputs enriched on cell bodies and proximal dendrites and excitatory inputs on distal dendrites. However, systems-level E/I patterns, at spatial scales larger than single neurons, are largely uncharted. We used immunostaining for PSD-95 and gephyrin postsynaptic scaffolding proteins as proxies for excitatory and inhibitory synapses, respectively, to quantify the numbers and map the distributions of E/I synapses in zebrafish spinal cord at both an embryonic stage and a larval stage. At the embryonic stage, we found that PSD-95 puncta outnumber gephyrin puncta, with the number of gephyrin puncta increasing to match that of PSD-95 puncta at the larval stage. At both stages, PSD-95 puncta are enriched in the most lateral neuropil corresponding to distal dendrites while gephyrin puncta are enriched on neuronal somata and in the medial neuropil. Significantly, similar to synaptic puncta, neuronal processes also exhibit medial-lateral territories at both developmental stages with enrichment of glutamatergic (excitatory) processes laterally and glycinergic (inhibitory) processes medially. This establishment of neuropil excitatory-inhibitory structure largely precedes dendritic arborization of primary motor neurons, suggesting that the structured neuropil could provide a framework for the development of E/I balance at the cellular level. J. Comp. Neurol. 525:1649-1667, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Topics: Animals; Body Patterning; Immunohistochemistry; Microscopy, Confocal; Neurogenesis; Neuropil; Spinal Cord; Zebrafish
Activity Patterns in the Neuropil of Striatal Cholinergic Interneurons in Freely Moving Mice Represent Their Collective Spiking Dynamics.ENeuroCholinergic interneurons (CINs) are believed to form synchronous cell assemblies that modulate the striatal microcircuitry and possibly orchestrate local dopamine...
Cholinergic interneurons (CINs) are believed to form synchronous cell assemblies that modulate the striatal microcircuitry and possibly orchestrate local dopamine release. We expressed GCaMP6s, a genetically encoded calcium indicator (GECIs), selectively in CINs, and used microendoscopes to visualize the putative CIN assemblies in the dorsal striatum of freely moving mice. The GECI fluorescence signal from the dorsal striatum was composed of signals from individual CIN somata that were engulfed by a widespread fluorescent neuropil. Bouts of synchronous activation of the cholinergic neuropil revealed patterns of activity that preceded the signal from individual somata. To investigate the nature of the neuropil signal and why it precedes the somatic signal, we target-patched GECI-expressing CINs in acute striatal slices in conjunction with multiphoton imaging or wide-field imaging that emulates the microendoscopes' specifications. The ability to detect fluorescent transients associated with individual action potential was constrained by the long decay constant of GECIs (relative to common inorganic dyes) to slowly firing (<2 spikes>neuropil patterns are a physiological measure of the collective recurrent CIN network spiking activity.
Topics: Action Potentials; Animals; Calcium; Calcium Signaling; Corpus Striatum; Female; Interneurons; Male; Mice, Transgenic; Microscopy, Confocal; Motor Activity; Neuropil; Spatio-Temporal Analysis; Tissue Culture Techniques