Research Highlights

  • Research Highlight |

    A new study indicates that adult oligodendrogenesis is important for memory consolidation in mice.

    • Darran Yates
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    Transcriptomic analysis of susceptible and resilient subtypes of retinal ganglion cells following injury reveal resilience-associated genes, which when overexpressed in susceptible types increase survival.

    • Sian Lewis
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    Gut-innervating sensory neurons drive host defensive responses against Salmonella infection in mice.

    • Katherine Whalley
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    Functional deficits in a cortical–brainstem circuit predict which rats are likely to develop compulsive drinking behaviour.

    • Natasha Bray
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    Specific subpopulations of vagal mechanoreceptors that sense intestinal stretch are identified by transcriptomic approaches and are shown to induce satiety.

    • Sian Lewis
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    RHOA drives the formation of actin arcs in neuronal growth cones in mice, limiting microtubule protrusion and restricting axon growth.

    • Katherine Whalley
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    Two studies show that, compared with microglia in anaesthetized mice, microglia in awake mice show reduced surveillance owing to an increase in noradrenaline signalling.

    • Natasha Bray
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    Dendritic activation and action potentials lead to the expression of distinct heterodimers of the inducible transcription factor NPAS4, which show distinct DNA binding patterns; these patterns were recapitulated on exposure of mice to a novel environment.

    • Sian Lewis
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    A population of hypothalamic neurons that are active during REM sleep are involved in forgetting.

    • Katherine Whalley
  • Research Highlight |

    Three studies show that synaptic interactions between neurons and glioma cells or cells of breast-cancer-to-brain metastases may promote tumour growth.

    • Natasha Bray
  • Research Highlight |

    An innovative technique shows that mitochondria of different cell types in the CNS show differences in protein expression.

    • Natasha Bray
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    Detailed transcriptomic analysis of cells within the cortical layers of the human medium temporal gyrus revealed surprising homology with existing mouse transcriptomic data — but also some important differences.

    • Sian Lewis
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    In mice, CREB–Zfp189 interactions in the prefrontal cortex drive a transcriptional network that increases resilience to chronic social defeat stress.

    • Katharine H. Wrighton
  • Research Highlight |

    Two studies demonstrate the power of combining induced pluripotent stem cell technology with CRISPR-mediated gene editing to investigate neurobiological mechanisms.

    • Katherine Whalley
  • Research Highlight |

    The 15q11.2 copy number deletion, which is associated with an increased risk of psychiatric disorders, is found in rodents to result in reduced myelin thickness, lower functional connectivity and motor deficits.

    • Sian Lewis
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    In zebrafish, pioneer axons of the dorsal root ganglia require the release of synaptic-like vesicles to enter the spinal cord, suggesting that synaptic vesicles have a role in circuit formation ahead of synaptogenesis.

    • Katharine H. Wrighton
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    A new study reports that a nociceptin circuit limits motivation during reward-seeking behaviour in mice.

    • Grant Otto
  • Research Highlight |

    A new study reports that Lewy pathology in brain tissue from individuals with Parkinson disease largely comprises membranes and organelles.

    • Darran Yates
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    GABAergic neurons of the dorsal raphe nucleus play a role in energy balance regulation via indirect projections to brown adipose tissue where they regulate thermogenesis.

    • Sian Lewis
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    In a mouse model of stroke, induction of TREM1 expression on peripheral myeloid cells magnifies inflammatory responses and neurological dysfunction.

    • Katherine Whalley
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    A new study finds that, in optogenetic approaches, light delivery itself may affect neural activity via tissue heating.

    • Isobel Leake
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    The encoding of salient events as memory traces involves the selective activation of specific neurons in the hippocampus and the inhibition of others, a process shown here to be regulated by GABAergic input from the nucleus incertus in the brainstem.

    • Sian Lewis
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    Ptgds-expressing neurons in the preoptic area of anterior hypothalamus detect increases in brain temperature and reduce core body temperature via increased production of prostaglandin D2.

    • Isobel Leake
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    Astrocytes internalize and metabolize toxic neuronal lipids in an activity-dependent manner to maintain brain homeostasis.

    • Katherine Whalley
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    Blood-borne pro-ageing signals are transmitted to the brain via VCAM1 and blocking its signalling can prevent cognitive decline in aged mice.

    • Katherine Whalley
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    Certain cellular functions in artificially reperfused pig brains can be restored and maintained several hours after initial loss of cerebral blood flow.

    • Natasha Bray
  • Research Highlight |

    In monkeys, some neurons in the amygdala may simulate a social partner’s decision-making process in a reward-based decision-making task.

    • Darran Yates
  • Research Highlight |

    Certain lasting antidepressant effects of ketamine in a mouse model of depression depend on the restoration of dendritic spines in the prefrontal cortex.

    • Natasha Bray
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    Grid cells in the rat medial entorhinal cortex distort their firing patterns local to a reward in the environment.

    • Natasha Bray
  • Research Highlight |

    Sensory stimulus-induced gamma oscillations reduce pathology and cognitive dysfunction in mouse models of Alzheimer disease.

    • Darran Yates
  • Research Highlight |

    An intracellular molecule acts in a context-dependent manner to suppress responses to irrelevant guidance cues during axon development.

    • Katherine Whalley
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    Neurons expressing corticotropin-releasing factor in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus of mice show increases and decreases in activity in response to aversive and appetitive stimuli.

    • Natasha Bray
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    In ‘singing’ mice, the motor cortex controls the timing of rapid vocal exchanges to enable turn-taking during social interaction.

    • Katherine Whalley
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    Targeted ultrasound stimulation can specifically modulate the functional connectivity profiles of targeted structures — including deep structures — in the macaque brain, with effects lasting for up to 2 hours following stimulation.

    • Natasha Bray
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    The sexually dimorphic responses of male and female mice to their young are regulated by the activity of a specific population of neurons in the medial amygdala.

    • Katherine Whalley
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    The neural ensembles within the prelimbic cortex representing remote (long-term) memories undergo time-dependent reorganization.

    • Sian Lewis
  • Research Highlight |

    During nervous system development, secretion of netrin 1 from both the floorplate and the ventricular zone is shown to be important for guidance of commissural axons towards the ventral midline of the spinal cord.

    • Sian Lewis
  • Research Highlight |

    The secreted fragment of the amyloid precursor protein binds to a subunit of GABAB receptors to modulate neurotransmission.

    • Darran Yates
  • Research Highlight |

    In a mouse model of multiple sclerosis, calcium enters neurons via ‘nanoruptures’ in the cell membrane and accumulates in the cytoplasm of axons, driving axonal degeneration.

    • Natasha Bray
  • Research Highlight |

    Sophisticated optical techniques reveal subpopulations of orbitofrontal cortex neurons that mediate interactions between social feedback and feeding.

    • Katherine Whalley
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    Neurons in the mouse postrhinal cortex receive visual inputs from the superior colliculus and respond to visual motion independently of the primary visual cortex.

    • Natasha Bray
  • Research Highlight |

    A mouse model reveals a central role for microglial activation and altered glial cell dynamics in the lasting neurological and cognitive dysfunction following methotrexate chemotherapy.

    • Katherine Whalley
  • Research Highlight |

    Repetitive sensory input induces long-term potentiation of pyramidal cell synapses in mouse somatosensory cortex by activation of higher-order thalamic projections and disinhibition of local interneurons.

    • Sian Lewis
  • Research Highlight |

    In mice, long-term potentiation of hippocampal–nucleus accumbens synapses is required for the formation of reward-related memories.

    • Natasha Bray
  • Research Highlight |

    Meal-associated thermogenesis in brown fat is triggered by the gut hormone secretin and signals to the brain to promote satiation in mice.

    • Katherine Whalley
  • Research Highlight |

    A study shows that application of spatiotemporally patterned epidural electrical stimulation alongside rehabilitation allowed individuals with spinal cord injury and severe locomotor deficits to walk with limited assistance.

    • Darran Yates
  • Research Highlight |

    Two studies show that tau pathology drives the expression of complement molecules that in turn promote the phagocytosis of synapses and neuroinflammation.

    • Natasha Bray
  • Research Highlight |

    Dopamine released in the rodent prefrontal cortex increases the signal-to-noise ratio of responses to aversive stimuli that are transmitted to the periaqueductal grey.

    • Natasha Bray
  • Research Highlight |

    A study shows that during brain development in mice, CD47 prevents excessive synaptic pruning by microglia.

    • Darran Yates