The brain as a "hyper-network": the key role of neural networks as main producers of the integrated brain actions especially via the "broadcasted" neuroconnectomics.

Author: Agnati LF1,2, Marcoli M3,4, Maura G5, Woods A6, Guidolin D7
1Department of Diagnostic, Clinical Medicine and Public Health, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Modena, Italy.
2Department of Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
3Section of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Department of Pharmacy, University of Genova, Viale Cembrano 4, 16148, Genoa, Italy.
4Centre of Excellence for Biomedical Research CEBR, University of Genova, Genoa, Italy.
5Section of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Department of Pharmacy, University of Genova, Viale Cembrano 4, 16148, Genoa, Italy.
6Structural Biology Unit, National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Drug Abuse-Intramural Research Program, Baltimore, MD, 21224, USA.
7Department of Molecular Medicine, University of Padova, Padua, Italy.
Conference/Journal: J Neural Transm (Vienna).
Date published: 2018 Feb 9
Other: Special Notes: doi: 10.1007/s00702-018-1855-7. [Epub ahead of print] , Word Count: 272

Investigations of brain complex integrative actions should consider beside neural networks, glial, extracellular molecular, and fluid channels networks. The present paper proposes that all these networks are assembled into the brain hyper-network that has as fundamental components, the tetra-partite synapses, formed by neural, glial, and extracellular molecular networks. Furthermore, peri-synaptic astrocytic processes by modulating the perviousness of extracellular fluid channels control the signals impinging on the tetra-partite synapses. It has also been surmised that global signalling via astrocytes networks and highly pervasive signals, such as electromagnetic fields (EMFs), allow the appropriate integration of the various networks especially at crucial nodes level, the tetra-partite synapses. As a matter of fact, it has been shown that astrocytes can form gap-junction-coupled syncytia allowing intercellular communication characterised by a rapid and possibly long-distance transfer of signals. As far as the EMFs are concerned, the concept of broadcasted neuroconnectomics (BNC) has been introduced to describe highly pervasive signals involved in resetting the information handling of brain networks at various miniaturisation levels. In other words, BNC creates, thanks to the EMFs, generated especially by neurons, different assemblages among the various networks forming the brain hyper-network. Thus, it is surmised that neuronal networks are the "core components" of the brain hyper-network that has as special "nodes" the multi-facet tetra-partite synapses. Furthermore, it is suggested that investigations on the functional plasticity of multi-partite synapses in response to BNC can be the background for a new understanding and perhaps a new modelling of brain morpho-functional organisation and integrative actions.

KEYWORDS: Brain circuits’ miniaturisation levels; Broadcasted neuroconnectomics; Electromagnetic fields; Global integrative actions; Network science; Tetra-partite synapses

PMID: 29427068 DOI: 10.1007/s00702-018-1855-7