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Neuronal and glial structural plasticity induced by drugs of abuse

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889195985 Year: Pages: 90 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-598-5 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Science (General) --- Therapeutics
Added to DOAB on : 2016-03-10 08:14:32
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Abstract

Drugs of abuse induce a host of alterations in brain structure and function, ranging from changes in gene expression and epigenetic processes to aberrant synaptic plasticity to volumetric changes in discrete brain regions. These alterations can be drug class-specific, and are not confined to neurons, as drugs of abuse also induce molecular and cellular alterations in various glial cell types such as astrocytes and microglia. The phenomenon of drug-induced plasticity includes changes in dendritic branching and architecture, dendritic spine density and morphology, astrocyte-neuronal interactions, dysregulation of glutamatergic and GABAergic signaling, and alterations in myelination or microglial phenotype. This drug-induced "rewiring" of the brain at numerous levels can contribute to the development, maintenance, and persistence of the addicted state, as well as associated deficits in normal cognitive functioning. The aim of this Research Topic is to collect recent and important findings related to the structural alterations produced by drug of abuse in neurons, glial, and other cell types of the central nervous system.

Keywords

plasticity --- Dendrite --- Spine --- Glutamate --- Dopamine --- GABA --- Neuron --- glia --- astrocyte --- Addiction

Mechanisms of Neural Circuit Formation

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889194032 Year: Pages: 179 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-403-2 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Neurology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2015-12-10 11:59:06
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The formation of the proper pattern of neuronal circuits during development is critical for the normal function of the vertebrate brain and for the survival of the organism. Circuit tracing studies spanning the past 100 years have revealed the beauty and exquisite intricacy of this pattern, which represents the most complex biological system known. In humans, aberrant circuit formation is a likely underlying cause of a wide variety of birth defects and neurological disorders, including autism, intellectual disability, and schizophrenia. Furthermore, future therapeutic approaches to restoring the function of damaged neural circuits will require a better understanding of the developmental constraints under which those circuits were originally assembled. For these reasons, elucidating the molecular mechanisms of neural circuit formation is a major goal of neurobiology today.

Wiring Principles of Cerebral Cortex

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889196920 Year: Pages: 171 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-692-0 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Science (General) --- Neurology
Added to DOAB on : 2016-08-16 10:34:25
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Cerebral cortex is probably the most complex biological network. Here many millions of individual neurons, the functional units of cortex, are interconnected through a massive yet highly organized pattern of axonal and dendritic wiring. This wiring enables both near and distant cells to coordinate their responses and generate a rich variety of cognitions and behaviours. When the wiring is damaged through disease or trauma it may reorganize but this may lead to characteristic pathological behaviours. While there have been significant advances in mapping cortical connectivity, the organizing principles and function of this connectivity are not well understood. On the one hand, there appears to be general design constraints governing cortical wiring, as first recognised by Rámon y Cajal's in his laws of conduction, material, and volume conservation. Yet on the other hand, particular patterns of cortical wiring exist to serve specific functions. There is a wide gap in understanding how the response and connectivity properties of a single neuron contribute to emergent network functions such as in detecting perceptually relevant features. Unravelling this intimate causal relationship represents one of the major challenges in neuroscience. This Research Topic will examine progress in understanding cortical wiring principles. This Research Topic aims to draw together recent advances in methods and understanding as well as recent challenges to existing ideas about how cerebral cortex is wired. This is particularly timely because new automated techniques may soon yield huge datasets in need of explanation. Recent studies have, for instance, empirically evaluated Rámon y Cajal's conservation laws for cerebral cortex, while others have shown some unexpected connectivity features that may refine the traditional view of how corticocortical connections are organised with regard to functional representations of auditory, somatosensory and visual cortices. Understanding these data will help improve the fidelity of neural models of cerebral cortical function and take into account the diversity of connections at both micro- and mesoscopic scales not seen at such a depth before.

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