SAGE Journal Articles

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Journal Article 1: Ghosh, A., Sherman, D. L., & Brophy, P. J. (in press). The axonal cytoskeleton and the assembly of Nodes of Ranvier. Neuroscientist.
doi: 10.1177/1073858417710897.

Abstract: Vertebrate nervous systems rely on rapid nerve impulse transmission to support their complex functions. Fast conduction depends on ensheathment of nerve axons by myelin-forming glia and the clustering of high concentrations of voltage-gated sodium channels (Nav) in the axonal gaps between myelinated segments. These gaps are the nodes of Ranvier. Depolarization of the axonal membrane initiates the action potential responsible for impulse transmission, and the Nav help ensure that this is restricted to nodes. In the central nervous system, the formation of nodes and the clustering of Nav in nodal complexes is achieved when oligodendrocytes extend their processes and ultimately ensheath axons with myelin. However, the mechanistic relationship between myelination and the formation of nodal complexes is unclear. Here we review recent work in the central nervous system that shows that axons, by assembling distinct cytoskeletal interfaces, are not only active participants in oligodendrocyte process migration but are also significant contributors to the mechanisms by which myelination causes Nav clustering. We also discuss how the segregation of membrane protein complexes through their interaction with distinct cytoskeletal complexes may play a wider role in establishing surface domains in axons.

Journal Article 2: Skaper, S. D., Facci, L., Zusso, M., & Giusti, P. (in press). Neuroinflammation, mast cells, and glia: Dangerous liaisons.Neuroscientist.
doi: 10.1177/1073858416687249.

Abstract: The perspective of neuroinflammation as an epiphenomenon following neuron damage is being replaced by the awareness of glia and their importance in neural functions and disorders. Systemic inflammation generates signals that communicate with the brain and leads to changes in metabolism and behavior, with microglia assuming a proinflammatory phenotype. Identification of potential peripheral-to-central cellular links is thus a critical step in designing effective therapeutics. Mast cells may fulfill such a role. These resident immune cells are found close to and within peripheral nerves and in brain parenchyma/meninges, where they exercise a key role in orchestrating the inflammatory process from initiation through chronic activation. Mast cells and glia engage in crosstalk that contributes to accelerate disease progression; such interactions become exaggerated with aging and increased cell sensitivity to stress. Emerging evidence for oligodendrocytes, independent of myelin and support of axonal integrity, points to their having strong immune functions, innate immune receptor expression, and production/response to chemokines and cytokines that modulate immune responses in the central nervous system while engaging in crosstalk with microglia and astrocytes. In this review, we summarize the findings related to our understanding of the biology and cellular signaling mechanisms of neuroinflammation, with emphasis on mast cell-glia interactions.

Journal Article 3: Maldonado, P. P.,& Angulo, M. C. (2015). Multiple modes of communication between neurons and oigodendrocyte precursor cells.Neuroscientist, 21(3), 266-276.
doi: 10.1177/1073858414530784.

Abstract: The surprising discovery of bona fide synapses between neurons and oligodendrocytes precursor cells (OPCs) 15 years ago placed these progenitors as real partners of neurons in the CNS. The role of these synapses has not been established yet, but a main hypothesis is that neuron–OPC synaptic activity is a signaling pathway controlling OPC proliferation/differentiation, influencing the myelination process. However, new evidences describing nonsynaptic mechanisms of communication between neurons and OPCs have revealed that neuron–OPC interactions are more complex than expected. The activation of extrasynaptic receptors by ambient neurotransmitter or local spillover and the ability of OPCs to sense neuronal activity through a potassium channel suggest that distinct modes of communication mediate different functions of OPCs in the CNS. This review discusses different mechanisms used by OPCs to interact with neurons and their potential roles during postnatal development and in brain disorders.

Journal Article 4: Jiang, L.,& Zuo, X.-N. (2015). Regional homogeneity: A multimodal, multiscale neuroimaging marker of the human connectome. Neuroscientist, 22(5), 486-505.
doi: 10.1177/1073858415595004.

Abstract: Much effort has been made to understand the organizational principles of human brain function using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) methods, among which resting-state fMRI (rfMRI) is an increasingly recognized technique for measuring the intrinsic dynamics of the human brain. Functional connectivity (FC) with rfMRI is the most widely used method to describe remote or long-distance relationships in studies of cerebral cortex parcellation, interindividual variability, and brain disorders. In contrast, local or short-distance functional interactions, especially at a scale of millimeters, have rarely been investigated or systematically reviewed like remote FC, although some local FC algorithms have been developed and applied to the discovery of brain-based changes under neuropsychiatric conditions. To fill this gap between remote and local FC studies, this review will (1) briefly survey the history of studies on organizational principles of human brain function; (2) propose local functional homogeneity as a network centrality to characterize multimodal local features of the brain connectome; (3) render a neurobiological perspective on local functional homogeneity by linking its temporal, spatial, and individual variability to information processing, anatomical morphology, and brain development; and (4) discuss its role in performing connectome-wide association studies and identify relevant challenges, and recommend its use in future brain connectomics studies.