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See detailSEASONAL AND INDIVIDUAL VARIATION IN SINGING BEHAVIOR CORRELATES WITH ALPHA 2-NORADRENERGIC RECEPTOR DENSITY IN BRAIN REGIONS IMPLICATED IN SONG, SEXUAL, AND SOCIAL BEHAVIOR
Heimovics, Sarah A.; Cornil, Charlotte ULg; Hellis, J. M. S. et al

in Neuroscience (2011), 182

In seasonally breeding male songbirds, both the function of song and the stimuli that elicit singing behavior change seasonally. The catecholamine norepinephrine (NE) modulates attention and arousal ... [more ▼]

In seasonally breeding male songbirds, both the function of song and the stimuli that elicit singing behavior change seasonally. The catecholamine norepinephrine (NE) modulates attention and arousal across behavioral states, yet the role of NE in seasonally-appropriate vocal communication has not been well-studied. The present study explored the possibility that seasonal changes in alpha 2-noradrenergic receptors (alpha2-R) within song control regions and brain regions implicated in sexual arousal and social behavior contribute to seasonal changes in song behavior in male European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris). We quantified singing behavior in aviary housed males under spring breeding season conditions and fall conditions. alpha2-R were identified with the selective ligand [3H]RX821002 using autoradiographic methods. The densities of alpha2-R in song control regions (HVC and the robust nucleus of the arcopallium [RA]) and the lateral septum (LS) were lower in Spring Condition males. alpha2-R densities in the caudal portion of the medial preoptic nucleus (POM) related negatively to singing behavior. Testosterone concentrations were highest in Spring Condition males and correlated with alpha2-R in LS and POM. Results link persistent seasonal alterations in the structure or function of male song to seasonal changes in NE alpha2-Rs in HVC, RA, and LS. Individual differences in alpha2-R in the POM may in part explain individual differences in song production irrespective of the context in which a male is singing, perhaps through NE modification of male sexual arousal. [less ▲]

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See detailD1-like dopamine receptor density in nuclei involved in social behavior correlates with song in a context-dependent fashion in male European starlings.
Heimovics, Sarah A.; Cornil, Charlotte ULg; Ball, Gregory F. et al

in Neuroscience (2009), 159(3), 962-73

Research in songbirds shows that singing behavior is regulated by both brain areas involved in vocal behavior as well as those involved in social behavior. Interestingly, the precise role of these regions ... [more ▼]

Research in songbirds shows that singing behavior is regulated by both brain areas involved in vocal behavior as well as those involved in social behavior. Interestingly, the precise role of these regions in song can vary as a function of the social, environmental and breeding context. To date, little is known about the neurotransmitters underlying such context-dependent regulation of song. Dopamine (DA) modulates highly motivated, goal-directed behaviors (including sexually motivated song) and emerging data implicate DA in the context-dependent regulation of singing behavior. This study was performed to begin to examine whether differences in DA receptors may underlie, in part, context-dependent differences in song production. We used autoradiographic procedures to label D1-like and D2-like DA receptors to examine the relationship between DA receptor density and singing behavior in multiple contexts in male European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris). Within a breeding context (when testosterone (T) was high), D1-like receptor density in the medial preoptic nucleus (POM) and midbrain central gray (GCt) negatively correlated with song used to attract a female. Additionally in this context, D1-like receptor density in POM, GCt, medial bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BSTm), and lateral septum (LS) negatively correlated with song likely used to defend a nest box. In contrast, in a non-breeding context (when T was low), D1-like receptor density in POM and LS positively correlated with song used to maintain social flocks. No relationships were identified between song in any context and D2-like receptor densities. Differences in the brain regions and directional relationships between D1-like receptor binding and song suggest that dopaminergic systems play a region and context-specific role in song. These data also suggest that individual variation in singing behavior may, in part, be explained by individual differences in D1-like receptor density in brain regions implicated in social behavior. [less ▲]

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See detailExpression of reelin, its receptors and its intracellular signaling protein, Disabled1 in the canary brain: relationships with the song control system.
Balthazart, Jacques ULg; Voigt, C.; Boseret, Géraldine ULg et al

in Neuroscience (2008), 153(4), 944-62

Songbirds produce learned vocalizations that are controlled by a specialized network of neural structures, the song control system. Several nuclei in this song control system demonstrate a marked degree ... [more ▼]

Songbirds produce learned vocalizations that are controlled by a specialized network of neural structures, the song control system. Several nuclei in this song control system demonstrate a marked degree of adult seasonal plasticity. Nucleus volume varies seasonally based on changes in cell size or spacing, and in the case of nucleus HVC and area X on the incorporation of new neurons. Reelin, a large glycoprotein defective in reeler mice, is assumed to determine the final location of migrating neurons in the developing brain. In mammals, reelin is also expressed in the adult brain but its functions are less well characterized. We investigated the relationships between the expression of reelin and/or its receptors and the dramatic seasonal plasticity in the canary (Serinus canaria) brain. We detected a broad distribution of the reelin protein, its mRNA and the mRNAs encoding for the reelin receptors (VLDLR and ApoER2) as well as for its intracellular signaling protein, Disabled1. These different mRNAs and proteins did not display the same neuroanatomical distribution and were not clearly associated, in an exclusive manner, with telencephalic brain areas that incorporate new neurons in adulthood. Song control nuclei were associated with a particular specialized expression of reelin and its mRNA, with the reelin signal being either denser or lighter in the song nucleus than in the surrounding tissue. The density of reelin-immunoreactive structures did not seem to be affected by 4 weeks of treatment with exogenous testosterone. These observations do not provide conclusive evidence that reelin plays a prominent role in the positioning of new neurons in the adult canary brain but call for additional work on this protein analyzing its expression comparatively during development and in adulthood with a better temporal resolution at critical points in the reproductive cycle when brain plasticity is known to occur. [less ▲]

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See detailEnhanced neural activation in brain regions mediating sexual responses following exposure to a conditioned stimulus that predicts copulation.
Taziaux, Mélanie ULg; Kahn, A.; Moore, J. et al

in Neuroscience (2008), 151(3), 644-58

Stimuli associated with sexual behavior increase reproductive success if presented prior to copulation. In Japanese quail, inseminations that take place in a context that predicts the arrival of a female ... [more ▼]

Stimuli associated with sexual behavior increase reproductive success if presented prior to copulation. In Japanese quail, inseminations that take place in a context that predicts the arrival of a female are more likely to result in fertilized eggs. We demonstrate here that in male Japanese quail a sexual conditioned stimulus (CS) also enhances activity in two brain regions that mediate sexual behavior, the medial preoptic area and the medial part of the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis. C-fos expression, a marker of neural activation, was higher in these areas in subjects exposed sequentially to a sexual CS and copulation than in subjects exposed to copulation or the CS alone or in subjects exposed to no sexual stimulus, either an identical, untrained CS or an empty arena. These results suggest a link between a proximate result of sexual CS presentation, male brain activation, and a known ultimate outcome, increased fertilizations. [less ▲]

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See detailNew insights into peripherin expression in cochlear neurons
Lallemend, François; Vandenbosch, Renaud ULg; Hadjab, S. et al

in Neuroscience (2007), 150(1), 212-222

Peripherin is an intermediate filament protein that is expressed in peripheral and enteric neurons. In the cochlear nervous system, peripherin expression has been extensively used as a differentiation ... [more ▼]

Peripherin is an intermediate filament protein that is expressed in peripheral and enteric neurons. In the cochlear nervous system, peripherin expression has been extensively used as a differentiation marker by preferentially labeling the type II neuronal population at adulthood, but yet without knowing its function. Since the expression of peripherin has been associated in time with the process of axonal extension and during regeneration of nerve fibers in other systems, it was of interest to determine whether peripherin expression in cochlear neurons was a static phenotypic trait or rather prone to modifications following nerve injury. In the present study, we first compared the expression pattern of peripherin and beta III-tubulin from late embryonic stages to the adult in rat cochlea. The staining for both proteins was seen before birth within all cochlear neurons. By birth, and for 2 or 3 days, peripherin expression was gradually restricted to the type II neuronal population and their projections. In contrast, from postnatal day (P) 10 onwards, while the expression of beta III-tubulin was still found in projections of all cochlear neurons, only the type I population had beta III-tubulin immunoreactivity in their cell bodies. We next investigated the expression of peripherin in axotomized cochlear neurons using an organotypic explant model. Peripherin expression was surprisingly re-expressed in a vast majority of neurons after axotomy. In parallel, the expression and localization of beta III-tubulin and peripherin in dissociated cultures of cochlear neurons were studied. Both proteins were distributed along the entire neuronal length but exhibited complementary distribution, especially within the projections. Moreover, peripherin immunoreactivity was still abundant in the growth cone, whereas that of beta III-tubulin was decreasing at this compartment. Our findings are consistent with a model in which peripherin plays an important structural role in cochlear neurons and their projections during both development and regenerative processes and which is compatible with the assumption that frequently developmentally regulated factors are reactivated during neuronal regeneration. [less ▲]

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See detailExploration of the neural substrates of executive functioning by functional neuroimaging
Collette, Fabienne ULg; Hogge, Michaël; Salmon, Eric ULg et al

in Neuroscience (2006), 139(1), 209-221

This review presents neuroimaging studies that have explored the cerebral substrates of executive functioning. These studies have demonstrated that different executive functions not only recruit various ... [more ▼]

This review presents neuroimaging studies that have explored the cerebral substrates of executive functioning. These studies have demonstrated that different executive functions not only recruit various frontal areas but also depend upon posterior (mainly parietal) regions. These results are in accordance with the hypothesis that executive functioning relies on a distributed cerebral network that is not restricted to anterior cerebral areas. However, there exists an important heterogeneity in the cerebral areas associated with these different processes, and also between different tasks assessing the same process. Since these discrepant results could be due to the paradigms used (subtraction designs), recent results obtained with conjunction and interaction analyses are presented, which confirm the role of parietal areas in executive functioning and also demonstrate the existence of some specificity in the neural substrates of the executive processes of updating, shifting and inhibition. Finally, functional magnetic resonance imaging studies show that the activity in cerebral areas involved in executive tasks can be transient or sustained. Consequently, to better characterize the functional role of areas associated with executive functioning, it is important to take into account not only the localization of cerebral activity but also the temporal pattern of this activity. [less ▲]

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See detailRapid changes in production and behavioral action of estrogens.
Balthazart, Jacques ULg; Cornil, Charlotte ULg; Taziaux, Mélanie ULg et al

in Neuroscience (2006), 138(3), 783-91

It is well established that sex steroid hormones bind to nuclear receptors, which then act as transcription factors to control brain sexual differentiation and the activation of sexual behaviors ... [more ▼]

It is well established that sex steroid hormones bind to nuclear receptors, which then act as transcription factors to control brain sexual differentiation and the activation of sexual behaviors. Estrogens locally produced in the brain exert their behavioral effects in this way but mounting evidence indicates that estrogens also can influence brain functioning more rapidly via non-genomic mechanisms. We recently reported that, in Japanese quail, the activity of preoptic estrogen synthase (aromatase) can be modulated quite rapidly (within minutes) by non-genomic mechanisms, including calcium-dependent phosphorylations. Behavioral studies further demonstrated that rapid changes in estrogen bioavailability, resulting either from a single injection of a high dose of estradiol or from the acute inhibition of aromatase activity, significantly affect the expression of both appetitive and consummatory aspects of male sexual behavior with latencies ranging between 15 and 30 min. Together these data indicate that the bioavailability of estrogens in the brain can change on different time-scales (long- and short-term) that match well with the genomic and non-genomic actions of this steroid and underlie two complementary mechanisms through which estrogens modulate behavior. Estrogens produced locally in the brain should therefore be considered not only as neuroactive steroids but they also display many (if not all) functional characteristics of neuromodulators and perhaps neurotransmitters. [less ▲]

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See detailPlasticity in the expression of the steroid receptor coactivator 1 in the Japanese quail brain: effect of sex, testosterone, stress and time of the day.
Charlier, Thierry ULg; Ball, G. F.; Balthazart, Jacques ULg

in Neuroscience (2006), 140(4), 1381-94

Analysis of nuclear receptor action on the eukaryotic genome highlights the importance of coactivators on gene transcription. The steroid receptor coactivator-1 in particular is the focus of an intense ... [more ▼]

Analysis of nuclear receptor action on the eukaryotic genome highlights the importance of coactivators on gene transcription. The steroid receptor coactivator-1 in particular is the focus of an intense research and physiological or behavioral studies have confirmed that it plays a major role in the modulation of steroid and thyroid receptors activity. However, little is known about the regulation of steroid receptor coactivator-1 expression the brain. The goal of this study was to determine the potential factors modulating steroid receptor coactivator-1 synthesis in Japanese quail by quantification of its mRNA with real time quantitative polymerase chain reaction and of the corresponding protein via Western blotting. Contrary to previously published results from our laboratory [Charlier TD, Lakaye B, Ball GF, Balthazart J (2002) The steroid receptor coactivator SRC-1 exhibits high expression in steroid-sensitive brain areas regulating reproductive behaviors in the quail brain. Neuroendocrinology 76:297-315], we found here that sexually mature females had a higher concentration of steroid receptor coactivator-1 in the preoptic area/hypothalamus compared with males. Steroid receptor coactivator-1 expression in the male preoptic area/hypothalamus was up-regulated by testosterone and tended to be decreased by stress. We also identified a significant correlation between the time of the day and the expression of the coactivator in the optic lobes, hippocampus, telencephalon and hindbrain but the pattern of changes in expression as a function of the time of the day varied from one brain area to another. Together, these data support the idea that steroid receptor coactivator-1 is not constitutively expressed but rather is finely regulated by steroids, stress and possibly other unidentified factors. [less ▲]

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See detailSexual behavior activates the expression of the immediate early genes c-fos and Zenk (egr-1) in catecholaminergic neurons of male Japanese quail.
Charlier, Thierry ULg; Ball, G. F.; Balthazart, Jacques ULg

in Neuroscience (2005), 131(1), 13-30

We analyzed the expression of the immediate early genes c-fos and Zenk (egr-1) in the brain of male quail that were gonadally intact (I) or castrated and treated (CX+T) or not (CX) with testosterone and ... [more ▼]

We analyzed the expression of the immediate early genes c-fos and Zenk (egr-1) in the brain of male quail that were gonadally intact (I) or castrated and treated (CX+T) or not (CX) with testosterone and had been exposed for 60 min either to a sexually mature female (F), or to an empty arena (EA) or were left in their home cage (HC). Alternate sections in the brains collected 90 min after the start of behavioral interactions were stained by immunocytochemistry for the proteins FOS or ZENK alone or in association with tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), a marker of catecholaminergic neurons. C-fos and Zenk expression was statistically increased in six brain areas of sexually active birds (I+F, CX+T+F) compared with controls (CX+F, CX+T+EA, CX+T+HC), i.e. the preoptic area, bed nucleus striae terminalis, arcopallium, nucleus intercollicularis, periaqueductal gray and the ventral tegmental area. Interestingly, c-fos and Zenk expression was high in the nucleus intercollicularis, a midbrain vocal control nucleus, of I+F and CX+T+F birds that displayed copulatory behavior but emitted few crows but not in the nucleus intercollicularis of CX+T+EA birds that crowed frequently. Increases in c-fos expression were observed in TH-immunoreactive cells in the periaqueductal gray and ventral tegmental area, but not in the substantia nigra, of I+F and CX+T+F birds indicating the activation of dopaminergic neurons during sexual behavior. Together, these data confirm the implication of the steroid-sensitive preoptic area and bed nucleus striae terminalis in the control of copulation and support the notion that dopamine is involved in its control. [less ▲]

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See detailNeuronal localization of the 25-kDa specific thiamine triphosphatase in rodent brain
Czerniecki, Jan ULg; Chanas, Grazyna; Verlaet, Myriam ULg et al

in Neuroscience (2004), 125(4), 833-840

Thiamine triphosphate (ThTP) is found in small amounts in most organisms from bacteria to mammals, but little is known about its physiological role. In vertebrate tissues, ThTP may act as a phosphate ... [more ▼]

Thiamine triphosphate (ThTP) is found in small amounts in most organisms from bacteria to mammals, but little is known about its physiological role. In vertebrate tissues, ThTP may act as a phosphate donor for the phosphorylation of certain proteins; this may be part of a new signal transduction pathway. We have recently characterized a highly specific 25-kDa thiamine triphosphatase (ThTPase) that is expressed in most mammalian tissues. The role of this enzyme may be the control of intracellular concentrations of ThTP. As the latter has been considered to be a neuroactive form of thiamine, we have studied the distribution of ThTPase mRNA and protein in rodent brain using in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry. With both methods, we found the strongest staining in hippocampal pyramidal neurons, as well as cerebellar granule cells and Purkinje cells. Some interneurons were also labeled and many ThTPase mRNA-positive and immunoreactive cells were distributed throughout cerebral cortical gray matter and the thalamus. White matter was not significantly labeled. ThTPase immunoreactivity seems to be located mainly in the cytoplasm of neuronal perikarya. Immunocytochemical data using dissociated cultured cells from hippocampal and cerebellum showed that the staining was more intense in neurons than in astrocytes. The protein was rather uniformly located in the perikarya and dendrites, suggesting that ThTP and ThTPase may play a general role in neuronal metabolism rather than a specific role in excitability. There was no apparent correlation between ThTPase expression and selective vulnerability of certain brain regions to thiamine deficiency. (C) 2004 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. [less ▲]

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See detailDifferential effects of testosterone on protein synthesis activity in male and female quail brain
Dermon, C. R.; Stamatakis, A.; Giakoumaki, S. et al

in Neuroscience (2004), 123(3), 647-666

In Japanese quail, testosterone (T) increases the Nissl staining density in the medial preoptic nucleus (POM) in relation to the differential activation by T of copulatory behavior. The effect of T on ... [more ▼]

In Japanese quail, testosterone (T) increases the Nissl staining density in the medial preoptic nucleus (POM) in relation to the differential activation by T of copulatory behavior. The effect of T on protein synthesis was quantified here in 97 discrete brain regions by the in vivo autoradio-graphic C-14-leucine (Leu) incorporation method in adult gonadectomized male and female quail that had been treated for 4 weeks with T or left without hormone. T activated male sexual behaviors in males but not females. Overall Leu incorporation was increased by T in five brain regions, many of which contain sex steroid receptors such as the POM, archistriatum and lateral hypothalamus. T decreased Leu incorporation in the medial septum. Leu incorporation was higher in males than females in two nuclei but higher in females in three nuclei including the hypothalamic ventromedial nucleus. Significant interactions between effects of T and sex were seen in 13 nuclei: in most nuclei (n=12), T increased Leu incorporation in males but decreased it in females. The POM boundaries were defined by a denser Leu incorporation than the surrounding area and incorporation was increased by T more in males (25%) than in females (15%). These results confirm that protein synthesis in brain areas relevant to the control of sexual behavior can be affected by the sex of the subjects or their endocrine condition and that T can have differential effects in the two sexes. These anabolic changes should reflect the sexually differentiated neurochemical mechanisms mediating behavioral activation. (C) 2003 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. [less ▲]

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See detailAlignment of glial cells stimulates directional neurite growth of cns neurons in vitro
Deumens, R.; Koopmans, G. C.; Den Bakker, C. G. J. et al

in Neuroscience (2004), 125(3), 591-604

Olfactory ensheathing cells (OECs) together with olfactory nerve fibroblasts (ONFs) and neonatal astrocytes are potent stimulators of neurite growth in adulthood and during development, respectively ... [more ▼]

Olfactory ensheathing cells (OECs) together with olfactory nerve fibroblasts (ONFs) and neonatal astrocytes are potent stimulators of neurite growth in adulthood and during development, respectively. Since it is known that alignment of glial cells is important for the correct outgrowth of axon tracts, it was hypothesized that the alignment of glial cells stimulates directional and enhanced neurite outgrowth. Adult OEC/ONF and neonatal astrocytes were cultured either on biodegradable poly(D,L)-lactide matrices or in Petri dishes for 4 days. Thereafter neonatal cerebral cortical neurons were added. After a 2-days coculture period the cultures were fixed and processed for a combined MAP-2 and phosphorylated neurofilament (RT97) staining. The neurite growth (neurite elongation and neurite formation) and the neurite direction were assessed. We show that (1) OEC/ONF cultures are more potent in stimulating the length of the longest neurite of cocultured neurons, (2) alignment of glial is achieved in vitro on our biomatrices, (3) aligned glial/biomatrix complexes do not enhance neurite growth, and (4) aligned glial/biomatrix complexes direct neurite outgrowth. These data have significant implications for in vivo experiments focusing on glial transplantation. Transplanting glial/biomatrix complexes may stimulate the directional regrowth of severed axons across a lesion site. (C) 2004 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. [less ▲]

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See detailSong activation by testosterone is associated with an increased catecholaminergic innervation of the song control system in female canaries
Appeltants, D.; Ball, G. F.; Balthazart, Jacques ULg

in Neuroscience (2003), 121(3), 801-814

In canaries, singing and a large number of morphological features of the neural system that mediates the learning, perception and production of song exhibit marked sex differences. Although these ... [more ▼]

In canaries, singing and a large number of morphological features of the neural system that mediates the learning, perception and production of song exhibit marked sex differences. Although these differences have been mainly attributed to sex-specific patterns of the action of testosterone and its metabolites, the mechanisms by which sex steroids regulate brain and behavior are far from being completely understood. Given that the density of immunoreactive catecholaminergic fibers that innervate telencephalic song nuclei in canaries is higher in males, which sing, than in females, which usually do not sing, we hypothesized that some of the effects induced by testosterone on song behavior are mediated through the action of the steroid on the catecholaminergic neurons which innervate the song control nuclei. Therefore, we investigated in female canaries the effects of a treatment with exogenous testosterone on song production, on the volume of song control nuclei, and on the catecholaminergic innervation of these nuclei as assessed by immunocytochemical visualization of tyrosine hydroxylase. Testosterone induced male-like singing in all females and increased by about 80% the volume of two telencephalic song control nuclei, the high vocal center (HVC) and the nucleus robustus archistriatalis (RA). Testosterone also significantly increased the fractional area covered by tyrosine hydroxylase-immunoreactive structures (fibers and varicosities) in most telencephalic song control nuclei (HVC, the lateral and medial parts of the magnocellular nucleus of the anterior neostriatum, the nucleus interfacialis, and to a lesser extent RA). By contrast, testosterone did not affect the catecholaminergic innervation of the telencephalic areas adjacent to HVC and RA. Together these data demonstrate that, in parallel to its effects on song behavior and on the morphology of the song control system, testosterone also regulates the catecholaminergic innervation of most telencephalic song control nuclei in canaries. The endocrine regulation of singing may thus involve the neuromodulatory action of specialized dopaminergic and/or noradrenergic projections onto several key parts of the song control system. (C) 2003 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. [less ▲]

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See detailIn vivo manganese-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging reveals connections and functional properties of the songbird vocal control system
Van der Linden, A.; Verhoye, M.; Van Meir, V. et al

in Neuroscience (2002), 112(2), 467-474

Injection of manganese (Mn2+), a paramagnetic tract tracing agent and calcium analogue, into the high vocal center of starlings labeled within a few hours the nucleus robustus archistriatalis and area X ... [more ▼]

Injection of manganese (Mn2+), a paramagnetic tract tracing agent and calcium analogue, into the high vocal center of starlings labeled within a few hours the nucleus robustus archistriatalis and area X as observed by in vivo magnetic resonance imaging. Structures highlighted by Mn2+ accumulation assumed the expected tri-dimensional shape of the nucleus robustus archistriatalis and area X as identified by classical histological or neurochemical methods. The volume of these nuclei could be accurately calculated by segmentation of the areas highlighted by Mn2+. Besides confirming previously established volumetric sex differences, Mn2+ uptake into these nuclei revealed new functional sex differences affecting Mn2+ transport. A faster transport was observed in males than in females and different relative amounts of Mn2+ were transported to nucleus robustus archistriatalis and area X in males as compared to females. This new in vivo approach, allowing repeated measures, opens new vistas to study the remarkable seasonal plasticity in size and activity of song-control nuclei and correlate neuronal activity with behavior. It also provides new insights on in vivo axonal transport and neuronal activity in song-control nuclei of oscines. (C) 2002 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved. [less ▲]

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See detailThe SH2 domain containing 5-phosphatase SHIP2 is expressed in the germinal layers of embryo and adult mouse brain : increased expression in N_CAM deficient mice.
Muraille, Eric; Dassesse, Donald; Vanderwinden, Jean-Marie et al

in Neuroscience (2001), 105

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See detailEffects of lesions of the medial preoptic nucleus on the testosterone-induced metabolic changes in specific brain areas in male quail
Balthazart, Jacques ULg; Stamatakis, A.; Bacola, S. et al

in Neuroscience (2001), 108(3), 447-466

The effects of bilateral lesions of the medial preoptic nucleus in association with testosterone on the metabolic activity in discrete brain regions was studied quantitatively by the in vivo ... [more ▼]

The effects of bilateral lesions of the medial preoptic nucleus in association with testosterone on the metabolic activity in discrete brain regions was studied quantitatively by the in vivo autoradiographic 2-deoxyglucose method. Adult male quail were castrated and then left without hormone replacement therapy or treated with testosterone or treated with testosterone and submitted to a bilateral lesion of the medial preoptic nucleus, a brain region that plays a key role in the activation of male copulatory behavior by testosterone. Treatment for about 10 days with testosterone activated the expression of the full range of male sexual behaviors and these behaviors were completely suppressed by the medial preoptic nucleus lesions. Mapping of 2-deoxyglucose uptake revealed both increases and decreases of metabolic activity in discrete brain regions associated with the systemic treatment with testosterone as well as with the lesion of the medial preoptic nucleus. Testosterone affected the oxidative metabolism in brain areas that are known to contain sex steroid receptors (such as the nucleus taeniae and the paraventricular and ventromedial nuclei of the hypothalamus) but also in nuclei that are believed to be devoid of such receptors. Effects of testosterone in these nuclei may be indirect or reflect changes in terminals of axons originating in steroid-sensitive areas. Bilateral medial preoptic nucleus lesions affected 2-deoxyglucose uptake in a variety of brain regions. Some of these regions are known to be mono-synaptically connected to the medial preoptic nucleus. Metabolic depression in these areas may reflect retrograde changes in the neurons projecting to the damaged field. The metabolic changes identified in the present study confirm the prominent role of the preoptic area in the control of sexual behavior, show that changes in the physiology of the visual system represent one of the ways through which testosterone influences the occurrence of this behavior and demonstrate that the medial preoptic nucleus has marked effects on the metabolic activity in a variety of limbic and telencephalic structures. This study also indicates that the medial preoptic nucleus affects the activity of the area ventralis of Tsai, a dopaminergic area known to send projections to a variety of hypothalamic, thalamic and mesencephalic nuclei that are implicated in the control of male sexual behavior. These data therefore support the notion that the control of the dopaminergic activity in the area ventralis of Tsai by the medial preoptic nucleus represents one of the ways through which the medial preoptic area regulates male reproductive behavior. (C) 2001 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved. [less ▲]

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See detailExperience-dependent changes in cerebral functional connectivity during human rapid eye movement sleep
Laureys, Steven ULg; Peigneux, Philippe ULg; Phillips, Christophe ULg et al

in Neuroscience (2001), 105(3), 521-525

One function of sleep is hypothesized to be the reprocessing and consolidation of memory traces (Smith, 1995; Gais et al., 2000; McGaugh, 2000; Stickgold et al., 2000). At the cellular level, neuronal ... [more ▼]

One function of sleep is hypothesized to be the reprocessing and consolidation of memory traces (Smith, 1995; Gais et al., 2000; McGaugh, 2000; Stickgold et al., 2000). At the cellular level, neuronal reactivations during post-training sleep in animals have been observed in hippocampal (Wilson and McNaughton, 1994) and cortical (Amzica et al., 1997) neuronal populations. At the systems level, using positron emission tomography, we have recently shown that some brain areas reactivated during rapid-eye-movement sleep in human subjects previously trained on an implicit learning task (a serial reaction time task) (Maquet et al., 2000). These cortical reactivations, located in the left premotor area and bilateral cuneus, were thought to reflect the reprocessing - possibly the consolidation - of memory traces during post-training rapid-eye-movement sleep. Here, the experience-dependent functional connectivity of these brain regions is examined. It is shown that the left premotor cortex is functionally more correlated with the left posterior parietal cortex and bilateral pre-supplementary motor area during rapid-eye-movement sleep of subjects previously trained to the reaction time task compared to rapid-eye-movement sleep of untrained subjects. The increase in functional connectivity during post-training rapid-eye-movement sleep suggests that the brain areas reactivated during post-training rapid-eye-movement sleep participate in the optimization of the network that subtends subject's visuo-motor response. The optimization of this visuo-motor network during sleep could explain the gain in performance observed during the following day. [less ▲]

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See detailNeurodegenerative and morphogenic changes in a mouse model of temporal lobe epilepsy do not depend on the expression of the calcium-binding proteins parvalbumin, calbindin, or calretinin.
Bouilleret, V.; Schwaller, B.; Schurmans, Stéphane ULg et al

in Neuroscience (2000), 97(1), 47-58

The functional role of the calcium-binding proteins parvalbumin, calretinin, and calbindin D-28k for epileptogenesis and long-term seizure-related alterations of the hippocampal formation was assessed in ... [more ▼]

The functional role of the calcium-binding proteins parvalbumin, calretinin, and calbindin D-28k for epileptogenesis and long-term seizure-related alterations of the hippocampal formation was assessed in single- and double-knockout mice, using a kainate model of mesial temporal lobe epilepsy. The effects of a unilateral intrahippocampal injection of kainic acid were assessed at one day, 30 days, and four months post-injection, using various markers of GABAergic interneurons (GABA-transporter type 1, GABA(A)-receptor alpha1 subunit, calretinin, calbindin D-28k, somatostatin, and neuropeptide Y). Parvalbumin-deficient, parvalbumin/calbindin-deficient, and parvalbumin/calretinin-deficient mice exhibited no difference in cytoarchitecture of the hippocampal formation and in the number, distribution, or morphology of interneurons compared to wild-type mice. Likewise, mutant mice were not more vulnerable to acute kainate-induced excitotoxicity or to long-term effects of recurrent focal seizures, and exhibited the same pattern of neurochemical alterations (e.g., bilateral induction of neuropeptide Y in granule cells) and morphogenic changes (enlargement and dispersion of dentate gyrus granule cells) as wild-type animals. Quantification of interneurons revealed no significant difference in neuronal vulnerability among the genotypes.These results indicate that the calcium-binding proteins investigated here are not essential for determining the neurochemical phenotype of interneurons. Furthermore, they are not protective against kainate-induced excitotoxicity in this model, and do not appear to modulate the overall level of excitability of the hippocampus. Finally, seizure-induced changes in gene expression in granule cells, which normally express high levels of calcium-binding proteins, apparently were not affected by the gene deletions analysed [less ▲]

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