Although it is known that Protein Kinase A (PKA) in the nucleus regulates gene expression, the specificities of nuclear PKA signaling remain poorly understood. Here, we combined computational modeling and live-cell imaging of PKA-dependent phosphorylation in mouse brain slices to investigate how transient dopamine signals are translated into nuclear PKA activity in cortical pyramidal neurons and striatal medium spiny neurons. We observed that the nuclear PKA signal in striatal neurons featured an ultrasensitive responsiveness, associated with fast, all or none responses, which is not consistent with the commonly accepted theory of a slow and passive diffusion of catalytic PKA in the nucleus. Our numerical model suggests that a positive feed-forward mechanism inhibiting nuclear phosphatase activity - possibly mediated by DARPP-32 - could be responsible for this non-linear pattern of nuclear PKA response, allowing for a better detection of the transient dopamine signals that are often associated with reward-mediated learning.

%B J Cell Sci %8 2018 Jul 02 %G eng %R 10.1242/jcs.216556 %0 Journal Article %J J Physiol %D 2017 %T Detection of phasic dopamine by D1 and D2 striatal medium spiny neurons. %A Yapo, Cedric %A Nair, Anu G %A Clement, Lorna %A Castro, Liliana R %A Hellgren Kotaleski, Jeanette %A Vincent, Pierre %XThe phasic release of dopamine in the striatum determines various aspects of reward and action selection, but the dynamics of dopamine effect on intracellular signalling remains poorly understood. We used genetically-encoded FRET biosensors in striatal brain slices to quantify the effect of transient dopamine on cAMP or PKA-dependent phosphorylation level, and computational modelling to further explore the dynamics of this signalling pathway. Medium-sized spiny neurons (MSNs), which express either D1 or D2 dopamine receptors, responded to dopamine by an increase or a decrease in cAMP, respectively. Transient dopamine showed similar sub-micromolar efficacies on cAMP in both D1 and D2 MSNs, thus challenging the commonly accepted notion that dopamine efficacy is much higher on D2 than on D1 receptors. However, in D2 MSNs, the large decrease in cAMP level triggered by transient dopamine did not translate in a decrease in PKA-dependent phosphorylation level, owing to the efficient inhibition of Protein Phosphatase 1 by DARPP-32. Simulations further suggested that D2 MSNs can also operate in a "tone-sensing" mode, allowing them to detect transient dips in basal dopamine. Overall, our results show that D2 MSNs may sense much more complex patterns of dopamine than previously thought. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

%B J Physiol %8 2017 Aug 07 %G eng %R 10.1113/JP274475 %0 Journal Article %J Front Comput Neurosci %D 2016 %T Efficient Integration of Coupled Electrical-Chemical Systems in Multiscale Neuronal Simulations. %A Brocke, Ekaterina %A Bhalla, Upinder S %A Djurfeldt, Mikael %A Hellgren Kotaleski, Jeanette %A Hanke, Michael %XMultiscale modeling and simulations in neuroscience is gaining scientific attention due to its growing importance and unexplored capabilities. For instance, it can help to acquire better understanding of biological phenomena that have important features at multiple scales of time and space. This includes synaptic plasticity, memory formation and modulation, homeostasis. There are several ways to organize multiscale simulations depending on the scientific problem and the system to be modeled. One of the possibilities is to simulate different components of a multiscale system simultaneously and exchange data when required. The latter may become a challenging task for several reasons. First, the components of a multiscale system usually span different spatial and temporal scales, such that rigorous analysis of possible coupling solutions is required. Then, the components can be defined by different mathematical formalisms. For certain classes of problems a number of coupling mechanisms have been proposed and successfully used. However, a strict mathematical theory is missing in many cases. Recent work in the field has not so far investigated artifacts that may arise during coupled integration of different approximation methods. Moreover, in neuroscience, the coupling of widely used numerical fixed step size solvers may lead to unexpected inefficiency. In this paper we address the question of possible numerical artifacts that can arise during the integration of a coupled system. We develop an efficient strategy to couple the components comprising a multiscale test problem in neuroscience. We introduce an efficient coupling method based on the second-order backward differentiation formula (BDF2) numerical approximation. The method uses an adaptive step size integration with an error estimation proposed by Skelboe (2000). The method shows a significant advantage over conventional fixed step size solvers used in neuroscience for similar problems. We explore different coupling strategies that define the organization of computations between system components. We study the importance of an appropriate approximation of exchanged variables during the simulation. The analysis shows a substantial impact of these aspects on the solution accuracy in the application to our multiscale neuroscientific test problem. We believe that the ideas presented in the paper may essentially contribute to the development of a robust and efficient framework for multiscale brain modeling and simulations in neuroscience.

%B Front Comput Neurosci %V 10 %P 97 %8 2016 %G eng %R 10.3389/fncom.2016.00097 %0 Journal Article %J PLoS Comput Biol %D 2016 %T Role of DARPP-32 and ARPP-21 in the Emergence of Temporal Constraints on Striatal Calcium and Dopamine Integration. %A Nair, Anu G %A Bhalla, Upinder S %A Hellgren Kotaleski, Jeanette %XIn reward learning, the integration of NMDA-dependent calcium and dopamine by striatal projection neurons leads to potentiation of corticostriatal synapses through CaMKII/PP1 signaling. In order to elicit the CaMKII/PP1-dependent response, the calcium and dopamine inputs should arrive in temporal proximity and must follow a specific (dopamine after calcium) order. However, little is known about the cellular mechanism which enforces these temporal constraints on the signal integration. In this computational study, we propose that these temporal requirements emerge as a result of the coordinated signaling via two striatal phosphoproteins, DARPP-32 and ARPP-21. Specifically, DARPP-32-mediated signaling could implement an input-interval dependent gating function, via transient PP1 inhibition, thus enforcing the requirement for temporal proximity. Furthermore, ARPP-21 signaling could impose the additional input-order requirement of calcium and dopamine, due to its Ca2+/calmodulin sequestering property when dopamine arrives first. This highlights the possible role of phosphoproteins in the temporal aspects of striatal signal transduction.

%B PLoS Comput Biol %V 12 %P e1005080 %8 2016 Sep %G eng %N 9 %R 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1005080