Imperial College London

Vincenzo De Paola

Faculty of MedicineInstitute of Clinical Sciences

Senior Lecturer
 
 
 
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Contact

 

+44 (0)20 3313 5840vincenzo.depaola Website CV

 
 
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Assistant

 

Miss Lydia Lawson +44 (0)20 3313 8265

 
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Location

 

3005CRB (Clinical Research Building)Hammersmith Campus

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Summary

 

Publications

Publication Type
Year
to

68 results found

Calderon L, Weiss FD, Carroll T, Irvine EE, Dharmalingam G, Tossell K, De Paola V, Whilding C, Ungless MA, Withers DJ, Fisher AG, Merkenschlager Met al., 2019, Cohesin is continuously required to sustain neuronal gene expression, 29th Mammalian Genetics and Development Workshop of the Genetics-Society, Publisher: CAMBRIDGE UNIV PRESS, ISSN: 0016-6723

Conference paper

Real R, Peter M, Trabalza A, Khan S, Smith MA, Dopp J, Barnes SJ, Momoh A, Strano A, Volpi E, Knott G, Livesey FJ, De Paola Vet al., 2018, In vivo modeling of human neuron dynamics and Down syndrome., Science, Vol: 362

Harnessing the potential of human stem cells for modeling the physiology and diseases of cortical circuitry requires monitoring cellular dynamics in vivo. We show that human induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived cortical neurons transplanted into the adult mouse cortex consistently organized into large (up to ~100 mm3) vascularized neuron-glia territories with complex cytoarchitecture. Longitudinal imaging of >4000 grafted developing human neurons revealed that neuronal arbors refined via branch-specific retraction; human synaptic networks substantially restructured over 4 months, with balanced rates of synapse formation and elimination; and oscillatory population activity mirrored the patterns of fetal neural networks. Lastly, we found increased synaptic stability and reduced oscillations in transplants from two individuals with Down syndrome, demonstrating the potential of in vivo imaging in human tissue grafts for patient-specific modeling of cortical development, physiology, and pathogenesis.

Journal article

Bloomfield PS, Bonsall D, Wells L, Dormann D, Howes O, De Paola Vet al., 2018, The effects of haloperidol on microglial morphology and translocator protein levels: An in vivo study in rats using an automated cell evaluation pipeline, Journal of Psychopharmacology, Vol: 32, Pages: 1264-1272, ISSN: 1461-7285

BACKGROUND: Altered microglial markers and morphology have been demonstrated in patients with schizophrenia in post-mortem and in vivo studies. However, it is unclear if changes are due to antipsychotic treatment. AIMS: Here we aimed to determine whether antipsychotic medication affects microglia in vivo. METHODS: To investigate this we administered two clinically relevant doses (0.05 mg n=12 and 2.5 mg n=7 slow-release pellets, placebo n=20) of haloperidol, over 2 weeks, to male Sprague Dawley rats to determine the effect on microglial cell density and morphology (area occupied by processes and microglial cell area). We developed an analysis pipeline for the automated assessment of microglial cells and used lipopolysaccharide (LPS) treatment ( n=13) as a positive control for analysis. We also investigated the effects of haloperidol ( n=9) or placebo ( n=10) on the expression of the translocator protein 18 kDa (TSPO) using autoradiography with [3H]PBR28, a TSPO ligand used in human positron emission tomography (PET) studies. RESULTS: Here we demonstrated that haloperidol at either dose does not alter microglial measures compared with placebo control animals ( p > 0.05). Similarly there was no difference in [3H]PBR28 binding between placebo and haloperidol tissue ( p > 0.05). In contrast, LPS was associated with greater cell density ( p = 0.04) and larger cell size ( p = 0.01). CONCLUSION: These findings suggest that haloperidol does not affect microglial cell density, morphology or TSPO expression, indicating that clinical study alterations are likely not the consequence of antipsychotic treatment. The automated cell evaluation pipeline was able to detect changes in microglial morphology induced by LPS and is made freely available for future use.

Journal article

Canty A, Jackson J, Huang L, Trabalza A, Bass C, Little G, De Paola Vet al., 2018, Single-axon-resolution intravital imaging reveals a rapid onset form of Wallerian degeneration in the adult neocortex, Publisher: bioRxiv

Despite the widespread occurrence of axon degeneration in the injured and diseased nervous system, the mechanisms of the degenerative process remain incompletely understood. In particular, the factors that regulate how individual axons degenerate within their native environment in the mammalian brain are unknown. Longitudinal imaging of >120 individually injured cortical axons revealed a threshold length below which injured axons undergo a rapid-onset form of Wallerian degeneration (ROWD). ROWD consistently starts 10 times earlier and is executed 4 times slower than classic Wallerian degeneration (WD). ROWD is dependent on synaptic density, unlike WD, but is independent of axon complexity. Finally, we provide both pharmacological and genetic evidence that a Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide (NAD + )-dependent pathway controls cortical axon ROWD independent of transcription in the damaged neurons. Thus, our data redefine the therapeutic window for intervention to maintain neurological function in injured cortical neurons, and support the use of in vivo optical imaging to gain unique insights into the mechanisms of axon degeneration in the brain.

Working paper

Calì C, Wawrzyniak M, Becker C, Maco B, Cantoni M, Jorstad A, Nigro B, Grillo F, De Paola V, Fua P, Knott GWet al., 2018, The effects of aging on neuropil structure in mouse somatosensory cortex-A 3D electron microscopy analysis of layer 1, PLoS ONE, Vol: 13, ISSN: 1932-6203

This study has used dense reconstructions from serial EM images to compare the neuropil ultrastructure and connectivity of aged and adult mice. The analysis used models of axons, dendrites, and their synaptic connections, reconstructed from volumes of neuropil imaged in layer 1 of the somatosensory cortex. This shows the changes to neuropil structure that accompany a general loss of synapses in a well-defined brain region. The loss of excitatory synapses was balanced by an increase in their size such that the total amount of synaptic surface, per unit length of axon, and per unit volume of neuropil, stayed the same. There was also a greater reduction of inhibitory synapses than excitatory, particularly those found on dendritic spines, resulting in an increase in the excitatory/inhibitory balance. The close correlations, that exist in young and adult neurons, between spine volume, bouton volume, synaptic size, and docked vesicle numbers are all preserved during aging. These comparisons display features that indicate a reduced plasticity of cortical circuits, with fewer, more transient, connections, but nevertheless an enhancement of the remaining connectivity that compensates for a generalized synapse loss.

Journal article

Akassoglou K, Merlini M, Rafalski VA, Real R, Liang L, Jin Y, Dougherty SE, De Paola V, Linden DJ, Misgeld T, Zheng Bet al., 2017, In Vivo Imaging of CNS Injury and Disease, Journal of Neuroscience, Vol: 37, Pages: 10808-10816, ISSN: 0270-6474

In vivo optical imaging has emerged as a powerful tool with which to study cellular responses to injury and disease in the mammalian CNS. Important new insights have emerged regarding axonal degeneration and regeneration, glial responses and neuroinflammation, changes in the neurovascular unit, and, more recently, neural transplantations. Accompanying a 2017 SfN Mini-Symposium, here, we discuss selected recent advances in understanding the neuronal, glial, and other cellular responses to CNS injury and disease with in vivo imaging of the rodent brain or spinal cord. We anticipate that in vivo optical imaging will continue to be at the forefront of breakthrough discoveries of fundamental mechanisms and therapies for CNS injury and disease.

Journal article

Bass C, Helkkula P, De Paola V, Clopath C, Bharath AAet al., 2017, Detection of axonal synapses in 3D two-photon images., PLoS ONE, Vol: 12, ISSN: 1932-6203

Studies of structural plasticity in the brain often require the detection and analysis of axonal synapses (boutons). To date, bouton detection has been largely manual or semi-automated, relying on a step that traces the axons before detection the boutons. If tracing the axon fails, the accuracy of bouton detection is compromised. In this paper, we propose a new algorithm that does not require tracing the axon to detect axonal boutons in 3D two-photon images taken from the mouse cortex. To find the most appropriate techniques for this task, we compared several well-known algorithms for interest point detection and feature descriptor generation. The final algorithm proposed has the following main steps: (1) a Laplacian of Gaussian (LoG) based feature enhancement module to accentuate the appearance of boutons; (2) a Speeded Up Robust Features (SURF) interest point detector to find candidate locations for feature extraction; (3) non-maximum suppression to eliminate candidates that were detected more than once in the same local region; (4) generation of feature descriptors based on Gabor filters; (5) a Support Vector Machine (SVM) classifier, trained on features from labelled data, and was used to distinguish between bouton and non-bouton candidates. We found that our method achieved a Recall of 95%, Precision of 76%, and F1 score of 84% within a new dataset that we make available for accessing bouton detection. On average, Recall and F1 score were significantly better than the current state-of-the-art method, while Precision was not significantly different. In conclusion, in this article we demonstrate that our approach, which is independent of axon tracing, can detect boutons to a high level of accuracy, and improves on the detection performance of existing approaches. The data and code (with an easy to use GUI) used in this article are available from open source repositories.

Journal article

French PMW, Görlitz F, Kelly D, Warren S, Alibhai D, West L, Kumar S, Alexandrov Y, Munro I, McGinty J, Talbot C, Serwa R, Thinon E, Da Paola V, Murray EJ, Stuhmeier F, Neil M, Tate E, Dunsby Cet al., 2017, Open source high content analysis utilizing automated fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy, Jove-Journal of Visualized Experiments, Vol: 119, ISSN: 1940-087X

We present an open source high content analysis instrument utilizing automated fluorescence lifetime imaging (FLIM) for assaying protein interactions using Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) based readouts of fixed or live cells in multiwell plates. This provides a means to screen for cell signaling processes read out using intramolecular FRET biosensors or intermolecular FRET of protein interactions such as oligomerization or heterodimerization, which can be used to identify binding partners. We describe herethe functionality of this automated multiwell plate FLIM instrumentation and present exemplar data from our studies of HIV Gag protein oligomerization and a time course of a FRET biosensor in live cells. A detailed description of the practical implementation is then provided with reference to a list of hardware components and a description of the open source data acquisition software written in μ Manager. The application of FLIMfit, an open source MATLAB-based client for the OMERO platform, to analyze arrays of multiwell plate FLIM data is also presented. The protocols for imaging fixed and live cells are outlined and a demonstration of an automated multiwell plate FLIM experiment using cells expressing fluorescent protein-based FRET constructs is presented. This is complemented by a walk-through of the data analysis for this specific FLIM FRET data set.

Journal article

Krusche B, Ottone C, Clements MP, Johnstone E, Goetsch K, Huang L, Mota SG, Singh P, Khadayate S, Ashraf T, Davies T, Pollard SM, De Paola V, Roncaroli F, Torrecuadrada JM, Bertone P, Parrinello Set al., 2016, EphrinB2 drives perivascular invasion and proliferation of glioblastoma stem-like cells, eLife, Vol: 5, ISSN: 2050-084X

Glioblastomas (GBM) are aggressive and therapy-resistant brain tumours, which contain a subpopulation of tumour-propagating glioblastoma stem-like cells (GSC) thought to drive progression and recurrence. Diffuse invasion of the brain parenchyma, including along preexisting blood vessels, is a leading cause of therapeutic resistance, but the mechanisms remain unclear. Here, we show that ephrin-B2 mediates GSC perivascular invasion. Intravital imaging, coupled with mechanistic studies in murine GBM models and patient-derived GSC, revealed that endothelial ephrin-B2 compartmentalises non-tumourigenic cells. In contrast, upregulation of the same ephrin-B2 ligand in GSC enabled perivascular migration through homotypic forward signalling. Surprisingly, ephrin-B2 reverse signalling also promoted tumourigenesis cell-autonomously, by mediating anchorage-independent cytokinesis via RhoA. In human GSC-derived orthotopic xenografts, EFNB2 knock-down blocked tumour initiation and treatment of established tumours with ephrin-B2-blocking antibodies suppressed progression. Thus, our results indicate that targeting ephrin-B2 may be an effective strategy for the simultaneous inhibition of invasion and proliferation in GBM.

Journal article

Bloomfield P, Sudhakar S, Veronese V, Rizzo G, Bertoldo A, Owen D, Bloomfield M, Bonoldi I, Kalk N, Turkheimer F, McGuire P, De Paola V, Howes Oet al., 2016, Microglial activity in people at ultra high risk of psychosis and in schizophrenia; an [11C]PBR28 PET brain imaging study, American Journal of Psychiatry, Vol: 173, Pages: 44-52, ISSN: 1535-7228

Objective:The purpose of this study was to determine whether microglial activity, measured using translocator-protein positron emission tomography (PET) imaging, is increased in unmedicated persons presenting with subclinical symptoms indicating that they are at ultra high risk of psychosis and to determine whether microglial activity is elevated in schizophrenia after controlling for a translocator-specific genetic polymorphism.Method:The authors used the second-generation radioligand [11C]PBR28 and PET to image microglial activity in the brains of participants at ultra high risk for psychosis. Participants were recruited from early intervention centers. The authors also imaged a cohort of patients with schizophrenia and matched healthy subjects for comparison. In total, 56 individuals completed the study. At screening, participants were genotyped to account for the rs6971 polymorphism in the gene encoding the 18Kd translocator protein. The main outcome measure was total gray matter [11C]PBR28 binding ratio, representing microglial activity.Results:[11C]PBR28 binding ratio in gray matter was elevated in ultra-high-risk participants compared with matched comparison subjects (Cohen’s d >1.2) and was positively correlated with symptom severity (r=0.730). Patients with schizophrenia also demonstrated elevated microglial activity relative to matched comparison subjects (Cohen’s d >1.7).Conclusions:Microglial activity is elevated in patients with schizophrenia and in persons with subclinical symptoms who are at ultra high risk of psychosis and is related to at-risk symptom severity. These findings suggest that neuroinflammation is linked to the risk of psychosis and related disorders, as well as the expression of subclinical symptoms.

Journal article

Grillo F, Canty AJ, Bloomfield P, De Paola Vet al., 2015, 2015, In vivo visualization of single axons and synaptic remodeling in normal and pathological conditions, Publisher: Axons and Brain Architecture, Elsevier 2015, ISBN: 9780128013939

Book

Selvaraj S, Bloomfield P, Veronese M, Rizzo G, Bertoldo A, Owen D, Bloomfield M, Bonoldi I, Kalk N, Turkheimer F, Mcguire P, de Paola V, Howes Oet al., 2015, Imaging Translocator Protein (TSPO) in subjects at high risk of psychosis and in schizophrenia: An [11C] PBR28 pet brain imaging study, 54th Annual Meeting of the American-College-of-Neuropsychopharmacology (ACNP), Publisher: Nature Publishing Group, Pages: S559-S560, ISSN: 0893-133X

Conference paper

Jackson J, Canty AJ, Huang L, De Paola Vet al., 2015, Laser-Mediated Microlesions in Mouse Neocortex to Investigate Neuronal Degeneration and Regeneration., Curr Protoc Neurosci, Vol: 73, Pages: 2.24.1-2.24.17

In vivo two-photon (2P) imaging enables neural circuitry to be repeatedly visualized in both normal conditions and following trauma. This protocol describes how laser-mediated neuronal microlesions can be created in the cerebral cortex using an ultrafast laser without causing a significant inflammatory reaction or compromising the blood-brain barrier. Furthermore, directives are provided for the acute and chronic in vivo imaging of the lesion site, as well as for post-hoc analysis of the lesion site in fixed tissue, which can be correlated with the live imaging phase.

Journal article

Ilse S Pienaar, Sarah E Gartside, Puneet Sharma, De Paola V, Sabine Gretenkord, Dominic Withers, Joanna L Elson, David T Dexteret al., 2015, Pharmacogenetic stimulation of cholinergic pedunculopontine neurons reverses motor deficits in a rat model of Parkinson’s disease, Molecular Neurodegeneration, Vol: 10, ISSN: 1750-1326

Background: Patients with advanced Parkinson's disease (PD) often present with axial symptoms, includingpostural- and gait difficulties that respond poorly to dopaminergic agents. Although deep brain stimulation (DBS) ofa highly heterogeneous brain structure, the pedunculopontine nucleus (PPN), improves such symptoms, theunderlying neuronal substrate responsible for the clinical benefits remains largely unknown, thus hamperingoptimization of DBS interventions. Choline acetyltransferase (ChAT)::Cre+ transgenic rats were sham-lesioned orrendered parkinsonian through intranigral, unihemispheric stereotaxic administration of the ubiquitin-proteasomalsystem inhibitor, lactacystin, combined with designer receptors exclusively activated by designer drugs (DREADD),to activate the cholinergic neurons of the nucleus tegmenti pedunculopontine (PPTg), the rat equivalent of thehuman PPN. We have previously shown that the lactacystin rat model accurately reflects aspects of PD, including apartial loss of PPTg cholinergic neurons, similar to what is seen in the post-mortem brains of advanced PD patients.Results: In this manuscript, we show that transient activation of the remaining PPTg cholinergic neurons in thelactacystin rat model of PD, via peripheral administration of the cognate DREADD ligand, clozapine-N-oxide (CNO),dramatically improved motor symptoms, as was assessed by behavioral tests that measured postural instability, gait,sensorimotor integration, forelimb akinesia and general motor activity. In vivo electrophysiological recordingsrevealed increased spiking activity of PPTg putative cholinergic neurons during CNO-induced activation. c-Fosexpression in DREADD overexpressed ChAT-immunopositive (ChAT+) neurons of the PPTg was also increased byCNO administration, consistent with upregulated neuronal activation in this defined neuronal population.Conclusions: Overall, these findings provide evidence that functional modulation of PPN cholinergic neuronsalleviates parkinson

Journal article

Bloomfield P, Selvaraj S, Bonoldi I, Veronese M, Owen D, Kalk N, Bloomfield M, Turkheimer F, McGuire P, de Paola V, Howes Oet al., 2015, Translational investigation of microglia and antipsychotic medication, GLIA, Vol: 63, Pages: E315-E315, ISSN: 0894-1491

Journal article

Grillo FW, West L, De Paola V, 2015, Removing synaptic breaks on learning, Nature Neuroscience, Vol: 18, Pages: 1062-1064, ISSN: 1546-1726

Journal article

Song S, Grillo F, Wang Q, Gao G, Li X, Ferretti V, De Paola Vet al., 2015, EPBscore: a novel method for computer-assisted analysis of axonal structure and dynamics, Neuroinformatics, Vol: 14, Pages: 121-127, ISSN: 1539-2791

Journal article

Jackson J, Canty AJ, Huang L, De Paola Vet al., 2015, 2015, Laser mediated microlesions in the mouse neocortex to investigate neuronal degeneration and regeneration, Current Protocols in Neuroscience, ISSN: 1934-8584

Journal article

Selvaraj S, Bloomfield P, Veronese M, Rizzo G, Bertoldo A, Owen DR, Bloomfield M, Bonoldi I, Kalk N, Federico T, McGuire P, De Paola V, Howes Oet al., 2015, Microglial Activity in People at Ultra High Risk of Psychosis and in Schizophrenia: An [11C]PBR28 PET Brain Imaging Study, BIOLOGICAL PSYCHIATRY, Vol: 77, ISSN: 0006-3223

Journal article

Selvaraj S, Bonoldi I, Veronese M, Rizzo G, Owen D, Kalk N, Bloomfield MAP, Turkheimer F, McGuire P, De Paola V, Howes ODet al., 2015, Microglia, psychosis and medication; a translational investigation. (De Paola and Howes, Co-Senior authors), BAP 2015 Summer Meeting (Selected for oral presentation)

Conference paper

Bloomfield P, Howes OD, De Paola V, 2015, THE EFFECTS OF ANTIPSYCHOTIC TREATMENT ON BRAIN VOLUME, INFLAMMATION AND GLUTAMATE SIGNALING GENES., SCHIZOPHRENIA BULLETIN, Vol: 41, Pages: S1-S1, ISSN: 0586-7614

Journal article

Johnson MR, Behmoaras J, Bottolo L, Krishnan ML, Pernhorst K, Santoscoy PL, Rossetti T, Speed D, Srivastava PK, Chadeau-Hyam M, Hajji N, Dabrowska A, Rotival M, Razzaghi B, Kovac S, Wanisch K, Grillo FW, Slaviero A, Langley SR, Shkura K, Roncon P, De T, Mattheisen M, Niehusmann P, O'Brien TJ, Petrovski S, von Lehe M, Hoffmann P, Eriksson J, Coffey AJ, Cichon S, Walker M, Simonato M, Danis B, Mazzuferi M, Foerch P, Schoch S, De Paola V, Kaminski RM, Cunliffe VT, Becker AJ, Petretto Eet al., 2015, Systems genetics identifies Sestrin 3 as a regulator of a proconvulsant gene network in human epileptic hippocampus., Nat Commun, Vol: 6

Gene-regulatory network analysis is a powerful approach to elucidate the molecular processes and pathways underlying complex disease. Here we employ systems genetics approaches to characterize the genetic regulation of pathophysiological pathways in human temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE). Using surgically acquired hippocampi from 129 TLE patients, we identify a gene-regulatory network genetically associated with epilepsy that contains a specialized, highly expressed transcriptional module encoding proconvulsive cytokines and Toll-like receptor signalling genes. RNA sequencing analysis in a mouse model of TLE using 100 epileptic and 100 control hippocampi shows the proconvulsive module is preserved across-species, specific to the epileptic hippocampus and upregulated in chronic epilepsy. In the TLE patients, we map the trans-acting genetic control of this proconvulsive module to Sestrin 3 (SESN3), and demonstrate that SESN3 positively regulates the module in macrophages, microglia and neurons. Morpholino-mediated Sesn3 knockdown in zebrafish confirms the regulation of the transcriptional module, and attenuates chemically induced behavioural seizures in vivo.

Journal article

Pienaar I, Sharma P, Elson JL, De Paola V, Dexter Det al., 2014, A DREADD approach for acute stimulation of cholinergic neurons of the pedunculopontine nucleus reverses Parkinsonism in the lactacystin model of Parkinson's disease (2014), Movement Disorders, Vol: 2014;29 Suppl 1 :381, ISSN: 1531-8257

Journal article

Bloomfield PS, West L, Howes OD, De Paola Vet al., 2014, The effects of antipsychotic medication on cortical and peripheral inflammation. (*joint senior authors and corresponding authors), European Neuropsychopharmacology, Vol: 24, Pages: s516-s516, ISSN: 1873-7862

Journal article

Zhilun Y, Qian W, Ge G, Xuesong L, Federico G, Valentina F, Vincenzo De P, Sen Set al., 2012, A Semi-automated Program for Axonal Reconstructions from Time-lapse 2-Photon Images, Publisher: Frontiers Media SA

Conference paper

Allegra Mascaro AL, Cesare P, Sacconi L, Grasselli G, Mandolesi G, Maco B, Knott GW, De Paola V, Strata P, Pavone FSet al., 2013, In vivo two-photon imaging of climbing fibers plasticity after laser axotomy, Neurophotonics, Microscopy of the Brain, ISSN: 1605-7422

In the adult nervous system, different neuronal classes show different regenerative behavior. Although previous studies demonstrated that olivocerebellar fibers are capable of axonal regeneration in a suitable environment as a response to injury, we have hitherto no details about the real dynamics of fiber regeneration. We set up a model of singularly axotomized climbing fibers (CF) to investigate their reparative properties in the adult central nervous system (CNS) in vivo. Here we describe the approach followed to characterize the reactive plasticity after injury. © 2013 OSA-SPIE.

Conference paper

Canty AJ, Teles-Grilo Ruivo LM, Nesarajah C, Song S, Jackson JS, Little GE, De Paola Vet al., 2013, Synaptic elimination and protection after minimal injury depend on cell type and their prelesion structural dynamics in the adult cerebral cortex., J Neurosci, Vol: 33, Pages: 10374-10383

The axonal and synaptic mechanisms underlying dysfunction and repair of the injured CNS are poorly understood. Unresolved issues include to what degree, when, and how the surviving neurons degenerate and the extent of synaptic remodeling both along the severed axon and in the nearby area. One of the main reasons is the lack of tools to study the complex asynchronous and dynamic features of individual lesioned axon responses in the intact brain. To address these issues, we combined two-photon microscopy and laser microsurgery to image the real-time reorganization of cortical circuitry at synaptic resolution for periods of up to 1 year in the brain of living mice. Injured cortical axons were eliminated proximally through a two-phase retraction process, which continued for at least 3 months postlesion and was independent of the presence of scar tissue. Remarkably, axons which later attempt to regenerate in both the mature and juvenile brain retracted less, raising the possibility that targeting retraction may improve the chances of axon regrowth after axotomy. Comparing prelesion and postlesion dynamics on the same axons over several days and weeks revealed that, although synapse formation rates were unaffected, boutons on injured axons were either rapidly and persistently lost, or extremely resistant, depending on cell-type and their prelesion structural dynamics. Our data suggest a lasting deficiency in synaptic output on surviving injured cortical axons and a surprising difference in the vulnerability of synaptic boutons after axotomy, which depend on cell-type and their recent history.

Journal article

Allegra Mascaro, Cesare, Sacconi, Grasselli, Mandolesi, Maco, Knott, Huang, De Paola, Strata, Pavoneet al., 2013, In vivo single branch axotomy induces GAP-43 dependent sprouting and synaptic remodeling in cerebellar cortex, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

Journal article

Canty AJ, Huang L, Jackson JS, Little GE, Knott G, Maco B, De Paola Vet al., 2013, In-vivo single neuron axotomy triggers axon regeneration to restore synaptic density in specific cortical circuits, NATURE COMMUNICATIONS, Vol: 4, ISSN: 2041-1723

Journal article

Grillo FW, Song S, Teles-Grilo Ruivo LM, Huang L, Gao G, Knott GW, Maco B, Ferretti V, Thompson D, Little GE, De Paola Vet al., 2013, Increased axonal bouton dynamics in the aging mouse cortex., Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, Vol: 110, Pages: E1514-E1523

Aging is a major risk factor for many neurological diseases and is associated with mild cognitive decline. Previous studies suggest that aging is accompanied by reduced synapse number and synaptic plasticity in specific brain regions. However, most studies, to date, used either postmortem or ex vivo preparations and lacked key in vivo evidence. Thus, whether neuronal arbors and synaptic structures remain dynamic in the intact aged brain and whether specific synaptic deficits arise during aging remains unknown. Here we used in vivo two-photon imaging and a unique analysis method to rigorously measure and track the size and location of axonal boutons in aged mice. Unexpectedly, the aged cortex shows circuit-specific increased rates of axonal bouton formation, elimination, and destabilization. Compared with the young adult brain, large (i.e., strong) boutons show 10-fold higher rates of destabilization and 20-fold higher turnover in the aged cortex. Size fluctuations of persistent boutons, believed to encode long-term memories, also are larger in the aged brain, whereas bouton size and density are not affected. Our data uncover a striking and unexpected increase in axonal bouton dynamics in the aged cortex. The increased turnover and destabilization rates of large boutons indicate that learning and memory deficits in the aged brain arise not through an inability to form new synapses but rather through decreased synaptic tenacity. Overall our study suggests that increased synaptic structural dynamics in specific cortical circuits may be a mechanism for age-related cognitive decline.

Journal article

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