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Neurons in the barrel cortex turn into processing whisker and odor signals: a cellular mechanism for the storage and retrieval of associative signals.

Wang D, Zhao J, Gao Z, Chen N, Wen B, Lu W, Lei Z, Chen C, Liu Y, Feng J, Wang JH - Front Cell Neurosci (2015)

Bottom Line: How the neurons are recruited as associative memory cells to encode multiple input signals for their associated storage and distinguishable retrieval remains unclear.After associative learning, the neurons and astrocytes in the sensory cortices are able to store the newly learnt signal (cross-modal memory) besides the innate signal (native-modal memory).Such associative memory cells distinguish the differences of these signals by programming different codes and signify the historical associations of these signals by similar codes in information retrievals.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: State Key Lab of Brain and Cognitive Science, Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences Beijing, China.

ABSTRACT
Associative learning and memory are essential to logical thinking and cognition. How the neurons are recruited as associative memory cells to encode multiple input signals for their associated storage and distinguishable retrieval remains unclear. We studied this issue in the barrel cortex by in vivo two-photon calcium imaging, electrophysiology, and neural tracing in our mouse model that the simultaneous whisker and olfaction stimulations led to odorant-induced whisker motion. After this cross-modal reflex arose, the barrel and piriform cortices connected. More than 40% of barrel cortical neurons became to encode odor signal alongside whisker signal. Some of these neurons expressed distinct activity patterns in response to acquired odor signal and innate whisker signal, and others encoded similar pattern in response to these signals. In the meantime, certain barrel cortical astrocytes encoded odorant and whisker signals. After associative learning, the neurons and astrocytes in the sensory cortices are able to store the newly learnt signal (cross-modal memory) besides the innate signal (native-modal memory). Such associative memory cells distinguish the differences of these signals by programming different codes and signify the historical associations of these signals by similar codes in information retrievals.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Neurons and astrocytes in the barrel cortex respond to the odor-test after pairing OS and WS. Cellular activities were detected by imaging Ca2+ signals under the two-photon microscope in the light anesthesia mice from NCG (n = 5), UPSG (n = 7), and CR-formation (n = 5), in which the astrocytes were labeled by SR101 (red). Panels (A–C) are from NCG mice, (D–F) are from UPSG, and (G–J) are from CR-formation. (A) Illustrates Ca2+ imaging (left panel, green for neurons, and red for astrocytes), neurons (middle) and astrocytes (right) in response to WS from a NCG mouse. (B) Illustrates Ca2+ signals from the neurons (left) and astrocytes (right) by giving OS and WS (red dash-line boxes) to a NCG mouse, in which they respond to WS only. (C) Shows the percentages of the neurons and astrocytes in response to WS from NCG mice (n = 5). (D) Illustrates Ca2+ imaging (left panel, green for neurons, and red for astrocytes), neurons (middle), and astrocytes (right) in response to WS from a UPSG mouse. (E) Illustrates Ca2+ signals from the neurons (left) and astrocytes (right) by giving OS and WS (red dash-line boxes) to a UPSG mouse, in which they respond to WS only. (F) Illustrates the percentages of the neurons and astrocytes in response to WS from UPSG mice (n = 7). (G) Shows Ca2+ imaging (left panel, green for neurons, and red for astrocytes), neurons (middle), and astrocytes (right) from a CR-formation mouse. The neurons and astrocytes responding to both OS and WS are labeled as yellow. Those responding to OS or WS only are labeled by blue or green. (H) Illustrate Ca2+ signals in the neurons (left) and astrocytes (right) responding to OS and WS from a CR-formation mouse. (I) Shows the portions of neurons (58.47 ± 7.8%) and astrocytes (62 ± 23.1%) in response to OS from CR-formation mice (dark-gray bars), compared with zero in NCG (white) and UPSG (light-gray). (J) The portions of the neurons and astrocytes in response to all stimuli from CR-formation mice (n = 5) are 79.3 ± 4.72 and 86.67 ± 9.72% of the OGB-detected cells, respectively.
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Figure 5: Neurons and astrocytes in the barrel cortex respond to the odor-test after pairing OS and WS. Cellular activities were detected by imaging Ca2+ signals under the two-photon microscope in the light anesthesia mice from NCG (n = 5), UPSG (n = 7), and CR-formation (n = 5), in which the astrocytes were labeled by SR101 (red). Panels (A–C) are from NCG mice, (D–F) are from UPSG, and (G–J) are from CR-formation. (A) Illustrates Ca2+ imaging (left panel, green for neurons, and red for astrocytes), neurons (middle) and astrocytes (right) in response to WS from a NCG mouse. (B) Illustrates Ca2+ signals from the neurons (left) and astrocytes (right) by giving OS and WS (red dash-line boxes) to a NCG mouse, in which they respond to WS only. (C) Shows the percentages of the neurons and astrocytes in response to WS from NCG mice (n = 5). (D) Illustrates Ca2+ imaging (left panel, green for neurons, and red for astrocytes), neurons (middle), and astrocytes (right) in response to WS from a UPSG mouse. (E) Illustrates Ca2+ signals from the neurons (left) and astrocytes (right) by giving OS and WS (red dash-line boxes) to a UPSG mouse, in which they respond to WS only. (F) Illustrates the percentages of the neurons and astrocytes in response to WS from UPSG mice (n = 7). (G) Shows Ca2+ imaging (left panel, green for neurons, and red for astrocytes), neurons (middle), and astrocytes (right) from a CR-formation mouse. The neurons and astrocytes responding to both OS and WS are labeled as yellow. Those responding to OS or WS only are labeled by blue or green. (H) Illustrate Ca2+ signals in the neurons (left) and astrocytes (right) responding to OS and WS from a CR-formation mouse. (I) Shows the portions of neurons (58.47 ± 7.8%) and astrocytes (62 ± 23.1%) in response to OS from CR-formation mice (dark-gray bars), compared with zero in NCG (white) and UPSG (light-gray). (J) The portions of the neurons and astrocytes in response to all stimuli from CR-formation mice (n = 5) are 79.3 ± 4.72 and 86.67 ± 9.72% of the OGB-detected cells, respectively.

Mentions: Figure 5 illustrates Ca2+ imaging from the barrel cortical neurons and astrocytes in response to OS and WS. In NCG mice (n = 5), the neurons (green-labeled cells in middle panel of Figure 5A and traces in Figure 5B) and the astrocytes (green-labeled cells in Figure 5A right panel and traces in Figure 5B) respond to WS, but not OS. In total OGB-labeled cells, the neurons and astrocytes in response to WS are 47.4 ± 3.8 and 50 ± 4.12%, respectively (Figure 5C). Similarly, the neurons and astrocytes in UPSG mice respond to WS, but not OS (Figures 5D,E; n = 7). In OGB-labeled cells, the neurons and astrocytes in response to WS are 50.43 ± 5.4 and 53.52 ± 3.96%, respectively (Figure 5F). Except for these WS-responsive cells, a part of barrel cortical cells do not encode whisker sensation, which may be used for other physiological events, such as sensory plasticity and associative memory.


Neurons in the barrel cortex turn into processing whisker and odor signals: a cellular mechanism for the storage and retrieval of associative signals.

Wang D, Zhao J, Gao Z, Chen N, Wen B, Lu W, Lei Z, Chen C, Liu Y, Feng J, Wang JH - Front Cell Neurosci (2015)

Neurons and astrocytes in the barrel cortex respond to the odor-test after pairing OS and WS. Cellular activities were detected by imaging Ca2+ signals under the two-photon microscope in the light anesthesia mice from NCG (n = 5), UPSG (n = 7), and CR-formation (n = 5), in which the astrocytes were labeled by SR101 (red). Panels (A–C) are from NCG mice, (D–F) are from UPSG, and (G–J) are from CR-formation. (A) Illustrates Ca2+ imaging (left panel, green for neurons, and red for astrocytes), neurons (middle) and astrocytes (right) in response to WS from a NCG mouse. (B) Illustrates Ca2+ signals from the neurons (left) and astrocytes (right) by giving OS and WS (red dash-line boxes) to a NCG mouse, in which they respond to WS only. (C) Shows the percentages of the neurons and astrocytes in response to WS from NCG mice (n = 5). (D) Illustrates Ca2+ imaging (left panel, green for neurons, and red for astrocytes), neurons (middle), and astrocytes (right) in response to WS from a UPSG mouse. (E) Illustrates Ca2+ signals from the neurons (left) and astrocytes (right) by giving OS and WS (red dash-line boxes) to a UPSG mouse, in which they respond to WS only. (F) Illustrates the percentages of the neurons and astrocytes in response to WS from UPSG mice (n = 7). (G) Shows Ca2+ imaging (left panel, green for neurons, and red for astrocytes), neurons (middle), and astrocytes (right) from a CR-formation mouse. The neurons and astrocytes responding to both OS and WS are labeled as yellow. Those responding to OS or WS only are labeled by blue or green. (H) Illustrate Ca2+ signals in the neurons (left) and astrocytes (right) responding to OS and WS from a CR-formation mouse. (I) Shows the portions of neurons (58.47 ± 7.8%) and astrocytes (62 ± 23.1%) in response to OS from CR-formation mice (dark-gray bars), compared with zero in NCG (white) and UPSG (light-gray). (J) The portions of the neurons and astrocytes in response to all stimuli from CR-formation mice (n = 5) are 79.3 ± 4.72 and 86.67 ± 9.72% of the OGB-detected cells, respectively.
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Figure 5: Neurons and astrocytes in the barrel cortex respond to the odor-test after pairing OS and WS. Cellular activities were detected by imaging Ca2+ signals under the two-photon microscope in the light anesthesia mice from NCG (n = 5), UPSG (n = 7), and CR-formation (n = 5), in which the astrocytes were labeled by SR101 (red). Panels (A–C) are from NCG mice, (D–F) are from UPSG, and (G–J) are from CR-formation. (A) Illustrates Ca2+ imaging (left panel, green for neurons, and red for astrocytes), neurons (middle) and astrocytes (right) in response to WS from a NCG mouse. (B) Illustrates Ca2+ signals from the neurons (left) and astrocytes (right) by giving OS and WS (red dash-line boxes) to a NCG mouse, in which they respond to WS only. (C) Shows the percentages of the neurons and astrocytes in response to WS from NCG mice (n = 5). (D) Illustrates Ca2+ imaging (left panel, green for neurons, and red for astrocytes), neurons (middle), and astrocytes (right) in response to WS from a UPSG mouse. (E) Illustrates Ca2+ signals from the neurons (left) and astrocytes (right) by giving OS and WS (red dash-line boxes) to a UPSG mouse, in which they respond to WS only. (F) Illustrates the percentages of the neurons and astrocytes in response to WS from UPSG mice (n = 7). (G) Shows Ca2+ imaging (left panel, green for neurons, and red for astrocytes), neurons (middle), and astrocytes (right) from a CR-formation mouse. The neurons and astrocytes responding to both OS and WS are labeled as yellow. Those responding to OS or WS only are labeled by blue or green. (H) Illustrate Ca2+ signals in the neurons (left) and astrocytes (right) responding to OS and WS from a CR-formation mouse. (I) Shows the portions of neurons (58.47 ± 7.8%) and astrocytes (62 ± 23.1%) in response to OS from CR-formation mice (dark-gray bars), compared with zero in NCG (white) and UPSG (light-gray). (J) The portions of the neurons and astrocytes in response to all stimuli from CR-formation mice (n = 5) are 79.3 ± 4.72 and 86.67 ± 9.72% of the OGB-detected cells, respectively.
Mentions: Figure 5 illustrates Ca2+ imaging from the barrel cortical neurons and astrocytes in response to OS and WS. In NCG mice (n = 5), the neurons (green-labeled cells in middle panel of Figure 5A and traces in Figure 5B) and the astrocytes (green-labeled cells in Figure 5A right panel and traces in Figure 5B) respond to WS, but not OS. In total OGB-labeled cells, the neurons and astrocytes in response to WS are 47.4 ± 3.8 and 50 ± 4.12%, respectively (Figure 5C). Similarly, the neurons and astrocytes in UPSG mice respond to WS, but not OS (Figures 5D,E; n = 7). In OGB-labeled cells, the neurons and astrocytes in response to WS are 50.43 ± 5.4 and 53.52 ± 3.96%, respectively (Figure 5F). Except for these WS-responsive cells, a part of barrel cortical cells do not encode whisker sensation, which may be used for other physiological events, such as sensory plasticity and associative memory.

Bottom Line: How the neurons are recruited as associative memory cells to encode multiple input signals for their associated storage and distinguishable retrieval remains unclear.After associative learning, the neurons and astrocytes in the sensory cortices are able to store the newly learnt signal (cross-modal memory) besides the innate signal (native-modal memory).Such associative memory cells distinguish the differences of these signals by programming different codes and signify the historical associations of these signals by similar codes in information retrievals.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: State Key Lab of Brain and Cognitive Science, Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences Beijing, China.

ABSTRACT
Associative learning and memory are essential to logical thinking and cognition. How the neurons are recruited as associative memory cells to encode multiple input signals for their associated storage and distinguishable retrieval remains unclear. We studied this issue in the barrel cortex by in vivo two-photon calcium imaging, electrophysiology, and neural tracing in our mouse model that the simultaneous whisker and olfaction stimulations led to odorant-induced whisker motion. After this cross-modal reflex arose, the barrel and piriform cortices connected. More than 40% of barrel cortical neurons became to encode odor signal alongside whisker signal. Some of these neurons expressed distinct activity patterns in response to acquired odor signal and innate whisker signal, and others encoded similar pattern in response to these signals. In the meantime, certain barrel cortical astrocytes encoded odorant and whisker signals. After associative learning, the neurons and astrocytes in the sensory cortices are able to store the newly learnt signal (cross-modal memory) besides the innate signal (native-modal memory). Such associative memory cells distinguish the differences of these signals by programming different codes and signify the historical associations of these signals by similar codes in information retrievals.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus