Pathologists have long served as custodians of human biospecimens collected for diagnostic purposes. Rapid advancements in diagnostic technologies require that pathologists change their practices to optimize patient care. The proper handling of biospecimens creates opportunities for pathologists to improve their diagnoses while assessing prognosis and treatment. In addition, the growing need for high-quality biorepositories represents an opportunity for community pathologists to strengthen their role within the health care team, ensuring that clinical care is not compromised while facilitating research. This article provides a resource to community pathologists learning how to create high-quality biorepositories and participating in emerging opportunities in the biorepository field. While a variety of topics are covered to provide breadth of information, the intent is to facilitate a level of understanding that permits community pathologists to make more informed choices in identifying how best their skills and practice may be augmented to address developments in this field.
Exposure to glucocorticoids (GCs) in early development can lead to long-term changes in brain function and behavior although little is known about the underlying neural mechanisms. Perinatal exposure to GCs alters adult anxiety and neuroendocrine responses to stress. Therefore, we investigated the effects of either late gestational or neonatal exposure to the GC receptor agonist dexamethasone (DEX), on apoptosis within the amygdala, a region critical for emotional regulation. DEX was administered to timed-pregnant rat dams from gestational day 18 until parturition, or postnatal day 4-6. Offspring were sacrificed the day following the last DEX treatment and tissue was processed for immunohistochemical detection of cleaved caspase-3, a marker for apoptotic cells. Prenatal DEX treatment significantly increased the number of cleaved caspase-3 positive cells in the amygdala of both sexes, largely due to increases within the medial and basomedial sub-regions. Postnatal DEX treatment also increased cleaved caspase-3 immunoreactivity within the amygdala, although effects reached significance only in the central nucleus of females. Overall, DEX induction of cleaved caspase-3 in the amygdala was greater following prenatal compared to postnatal treatment, yet in both instances elevations in cleaved caspase-3 correlated with an increase in pro-apoptotic Bax mRNA expression. Dual-label immunohistochemistry of cleaved caspase-3 and the neuronal marker NeuN confirmed that virtually all cleaved caspase-3 positive cells in the amygdala were neurons and a subset of these cells (primarily following postnatal treatment) expressed a GABAergic calcium binding protein phenotype (calbindin or calretinin). Together these results indicate that early developmental GC exposure induces neuronal apoptosis within the amygdala in an age, sex, and region dependent manner.
dexamethasone; glucocorticoid; apoptosis; prenatal; neonatal; sex difference
Cells with osteogenic potential can be found in a variety of tissues. Here we show that circulating osteogenic precursor (COP) cells, a bone marrow-derived type I collagen+/CD45+ subpopulation of mononuclear adherent cells, are present in early pre-osseous fibroproliferative lesions in patients with fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva (FOP) and nucleate heterotopic ossification (HO) in a murine in vivo implantation assay. Blood samples from FOP patients with active episodes of HO contain significantly higher numbers of clonally-derived COP cell colonies than patients with stable disease or unaffected individuals. The highest level of COP cells was found in a patient just prior to the clinical onset of an HO exacerbation. Our studies show that even COP cells derived from an unaffected individual can contribute to HO in genetically susceptible host tissue. The possibility that circulating, hematopoietic-derived cells with osteogenic potential can seed inflammatory sites has tremendous implications and, to our knowledge, represents the first example of their involvement in clinical HO. Thus, bone formation is not limited to cells of the mesenchymal lineage, and circulating cells of hematopoietic origin can also serve as osteogenic precursors at remote sites of tissue inflammation.
Heterotopic ossification; mesenchymal progenitor cells; fibrodysplasia ossificans progressive; bone-marrow transplantation
We conducted a study designed to evaluate the efficacy and feasibility of a multilevel self-management intervention to improve nutritional intake in a group of older adults receiving Medicare home health services who were at especially high risk for experiencing undernutrition. The Behavioral Nutrition Intervention for Community Elders (B-NICE) trial used a prospective randomized controlled design to determine whether individually tailored counseling focused on social and behavioral aspects of eating resulted in increased caloric intake and improved nutrition-related health outcomes in a high-risk population of older adults. The study was guided by the theoretical approaches of the Ecological Model and Social Cognitive Theory. The development and implementation of the B-NICE protocol, including the theoretical framework, methodology, specific elements of the behavioral intervention, and assurances of the treatment fidelity, as well as the health policy implications of the trial results, are presented in this article.
aging; care transitions; community health; home health care; nutrition; randomized controlled trial; self management
We describe the synthesis and development of new reactive DOTA-metal complexes for covalently targeting engineered receptors in vivo, which have superior tumor uptake and clearance properties for biomedical applications. These probes are found to clear efficiently through the kidneys and minimally through other routes, but bind persistently in the tumor target. We also explore the new technique of Cerenkov luminescence imaging to optically monitor radiolabeled probe distribution and kinetics in vivo. Cerenkov luminescence imaging uniquely enables sensitive noninvasive in vivo imaging of a β− emitter such as 90Y with an optical imager.
The purpose of this column is to provide an overview of social cognition in schizophrenia. The column begins with a short introduction to social cognition. Then, we describe the application of social cognition to the study of schizophrenia, with an emphasis on key domains (i.e., emotion perception, Theory of Mind, and attributional style). We conclude the column by discussing the relationship of social cognition to neurocognition, negative symptoms, and functioning, with an eye toward strategies for improving social cognition in schizophrenia.
social cognition; attributions; emotion perception; theory of mind; functional outcome
Deficits in a wide array of functional outcome areas (eg, social functioning, social skills, independent living skills, etc) are marked in schizophrenia. Consequently, much recent research has attempted to identify factors that may contribute to functional outcome; social cognition is one such domain. The purpose of this article is to review research examining the relationship between social cognition and functional outcome. Comprehensive searches of PsycINFO and MEDLINE/PUBMED were conducted to identify relevant published manuscripts to include in the current review. It is concluded that the relationship between social cognition and functional outcome depends on the specific domains of each construct examined; however, it can generally be concluded that there are clear and consistent relationships between aspects of functional outcome and social cognition. These findings are discussed in light of treatment implications for schizophrenia.
social functioning; emotion perception; social perception; theory of mind
In addition to maintaining the GenBank(R) nucleic acid sequence database, the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) provides analysis and retrieval resources for the data in GenBank and other biological data made available through NCBI's Web site. NCBI resources include Entrez, the Entrez Programming Utilities, MyNCBI, PubMed, PubMed Central, Entrez Gene, the NCBI Taxonomy Browser, BLAST, BLAST Link (BLink), Electronic PCR, OrfFinder, Spidey, Splign, RefSeq, UniGene, HomoloGene, ProtEST, dbMHC, dbSNP, Cancer Chromosomes, Entrez Genomes and related tools, the Map Viewer, Model Maker, Evidence Viewer, Clusters of Orthologous Groups, Retroviral Genotyping Tools, HIV-1, Human Protein Interaction Database, SAGEmap, Gene Expression Omnibus, Entrez Probe, GENSAT, Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man, Online Mendelian Inheritance in Animals, the Molecular Modeling Database, the Conserved Domain Database, the Conserved Domain Architecture Retrieval Tool and the PubChem suite of small molecule databases. Augmenting many of the Web applications are custom implementations of the BLAST program optimized to search specialized datasets. All of the resources can be accessed through the NCBI home page at: .
The binding of HDL to scavenger receptor–BI (SR-BI) mediates cholesterol movement. HDL also induces multiple cellular signals, which in endothelium occur through SR-BI and converge to activate eNOS. To determine the molecular basis of a signaling event induced by HDL, we examined the proximal mechanisms in HDL activation of eNOS. In endothelial cells, HDL and methyl-β-cyclodextrin caused comparable eNOS activation, whereas cholesterol-loaded methyl-β-cyclodextrin had no effect. Phosphatidylcholine-loaded HDL caused greater stimulation than native HDL, and blocking antibody against SR-BI, which prevents cholesterol efflux, prevented eNOS activation. In a reconstitution model in COS-M6 cells, wild-type SR-BI mediated eNOS activation by both HDL and small unilamellar vesicles (SUVs), whereas the SR-BI mutant AVI, which is incapable of efflux to SUV, transmitted signal by only HDL. In addition, eNOS activation by methyl-β-cyclodextrin was SR-BI dependent. Studies of mutant and chimeric class B scavenger receptors revealed that the C-terminal cytoplasmic PDZ-interacting domain and the C-terminal transmembrane domains of SR-BI are both necessary for HDL signaling. Furthermore, we demonstrated direct binding of cholesterol to the C-terminal transmembrane domain using a photoactivated derivative of cholesterol. Thus, HDL signaling requires cholesterol binding and efflux and C-terminal domains of SR-BI, and SR-BI serves as a cholesterol sensor on the plasma membrane.
On November 19, 2001, a case of inhalational anthrax was identified in a 94-year-old Connecticut woman, who later died. We conducted intensive surveillance for additional anthrax cases, which included collecting data from hospitals, emergency departments, private practitioners, death certificates, postal facilities, veterinarians, and the state medical examiner. No additional cases of anthrax were identified. The absence of additional anthrax cases argued against an intentional environmental release of Bacillus anthracis in Connecticut and suggested that, if the source of anthrax had been cross-contaminated mail, the risk for anthrax in this setting was very low. This surveillance system provides a model that can be adapted for use in similar emergency settings.
Our laboratory specializes in directed protein evolution, i.e. evolution of proteins under defined selective pressures in the laboratory. Our target genes are encoded in ColE1 plasmids to facilitate the generation of libraries in vivo. We have observed that when random mutations are not restricted to the coding sequence of the target genes, directed evolution results in a strong positive selection of plasmid origin of replication (ori) mutations. Surprisingly, this is true even during evolution of new biochemical activities, when the activity that is being selected was not originally present. The selected plasmid ori mutations are diverse and produce a range of plasmid copy numbers, suggesting a complex interplay between ori and coding mutations rather than a simple enhancement of level of expression of the target gene. Thus, plasmid dosage may contribute significantly to evolution by fine-tuning levels of activity. Here we present examples illustrating these observations as well as our methods for efficient quantification of plasmid copy number.
recombinant gene expression; ColE1 plasmid; plasmid copy number; GFP; ALKBH2; transformation; mutagenesis; R-loop; RNA I; RNA II; directed evolution; MMS; MNNG
We characterized HCV treatment knowledge, experience and barriers in a cohort of community-based injection drug users (IDUs) in Baltimore, MD. In 2005, a questionnaire on HCV treatment knowledge, experience and barriers was administered to HCV-infected IDUs. Self-reported treatment was confirmed from medical records. Of 597 participants, 71% were male, 95% African-American, 31% HIV co-infected and 94% were infected with HCV genotype 1; 70% were aware that treatment was available, but only 22% understood that HCV could be cured. Of 418 who had heard of treatment, 86 (21%) reported an evaluation by a provider that included a discussion of treatment of whom 30 refused treatment, 20 deferred and 36 reported initiating treatment (6% overall). The most common reasons for refusal were related to treatment-related perceptions and a low perceived need of treatment. Compared to those who had discussed treatment with their provider, those who had not were more likely to be injecting drugs, less likely to have health insurance, and less knowledgeable about treatment. Low HCV treatment effectiveness was observed in this IDU population. Comprehensive integrated care strategies that incorporate education, case-management and peer support are needed to improve care and treatment of HCV-infected IDUs.
Hepatitis C virus; Injection drug use; Antiviral therapy; Health care access
To evaluate the relationship between regional body composition and liver disease (fibrosis or steatosis) in HIV/HCV co-infected individuals.
Whole body dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) was performed in 173 HIV/HCV co-infected persons within 12 months of a liver biopsy. Significant fibrosis was defined as a METAVIR stage greater than 1. Steatosis was graded as: 0, none; 1, steatosis involving less than 5% of hepatocytes; 2, 5–29%; 3, 30–60%; 4 greater than 60%, and was defined as more than 0. Poisson regression with robust variance was used to estimate prevalence ratios of the outcome measures.
The population was 62% male and 84% black with a median body mass index of 25.2 kg/m2 (interquartile range 22.5, 29.3 kg/m2). No differences in regional body fat or fat distribution were observed in 42 patients with significant fibrosis compared to others with less fibrosis. However, the 77 individuals (45%) with steatosis had greater central fat than those without steatosis [prevalence ratio 1.04 per kg trunk fat; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.04, 1.11], after adjusting for hepatic fibrosis (prevalence ratio 1.77; 95% CI 1.29, 2.42), uncontrolled HIV replication (viral load >400 copies/ml) (prevalence ratio 1.57; 95% CI 1.12, 2.22), age, sex, race and diabetes mellitus.
In HIV/HCV co-infected individuals, measures of regional body fat or fat distribution were not associated with hepatic fibrosis. In contrast, increased central adiposity by DXA, as well as concomitant fibrosis and uncontrolled HIV, were associated with hepatic steatosis. The extent to which weight loss and effective antiretroviral therapy can reduce the risk of steatosis deserves further investigation.
body composition; hepatic fibrosis; hepatitis C; HIV; steatosis
Whispering gallery mode biosensors allow selective unlabelled detection of single proteins and, combined with quantum limited sensitivity, the possibility for noninvasive real-time observation of motor molecule motion. However, to date technical noise sources, most particularly low frequency laser noise, have constrained such applications. Here we introduce a new technique for whispering gallery mode sensing based on direct detection of back-scattered light. This experimentally straightforward technique is immune to frequency noise in principle, and further, acts to suppress thermorefractive noise. We demonstrate 27 dB of frequency noise suppression, eliminating frequency noise as a source of sensitivity degradation and allowing an absolute frequency shift sensitivity of 76 kHz. Our results open a new pathway towards single molecule biophysics experiments and ultrasensitive biosensors.
We examined how two distinct stimulus features, orientation and color, interact as contributions to global stimulus dissimilarity. Five subjects rated dissimilarity between pairs of bars (N = 30) varying in color (four cardinal hues, plus white) and orientation (six angles at 30° intervals). An exploratory analysis with individual-differences multidimensional scaling (MDS) resulted in a 5D solution, with two dimensions required to accommodate the circular sequence of the angular attribute, and red-green, blue-yellow and achromatic axes for the color attribute. Weights of the orientation subspace relative to the color subspace varied among the subjects, from a 0.32:0.61 ratio to 0.53:0.44, emphasis shifting between color and orientation. In addition to Euclidean metric, we modeled the interaction of color and orientation using Minkowski power metrics across a range of Minkowski exponents p, including the city-block (p = 1), Euclidean (p = 2) and Dominance metric (p → ∞) as special cases. For averaged data, p ~ 1.3 provided the best fit, i.e., intermediate between separable and integral features. For individual subjects, however, the metric exponent varied significantly from p = 0.7 to p = 3.1, indicating a subject-specific rule for combining color and orientation, as in Tversky and Gati's variable-weights model. No relationship was apparent between dimensional weights and individual p exponents. Factors affecting dimensional integrality are discussed, including possible underlying neural mechanisms where the interaction of the low-level vision attributes orientation and color might shift between uncorrelated (p = 1) or correlated (p ≥ 2) forms.
color; orientation; bimodal stimuli; feature integration; multidimensional scaling; Minkowski metric; integral dimensions; separable dimensions
2-Amino-1-methyl-6-phenylimidazo[4,5-b]pyridine (PhIP) is a heterocyclic aromatic amine that is formed during the cooking of meats. PhIP is a potential human carcinogen: it undergoes metabolic activation to form electrophilic metabolites that bind to DNA and proteins, including serum albumin (SA). The structures of PhIP-SA adducts formed in vivo are unknown and require elucidation before PhIP protein adducts can be implemented as biomarkers in human studies. We previously examined the reaction of genotoxic N-oxidized metabolites of PhIP with human SA in vitro and identified covalent adducts formed at cysteine34 (Cys34); however, other adduction products were thought to occur. We have now identified adducts of PhIP formed at multiple sites of SA reacted with isotopic mixtures of electrophilic metabolites of PhIP and 2-amino-1-methyl-6-[2H5]-phenylimidazo[4,5-b]pyridine ([2H5]-PhIP). The metabolites used for study were: 2-nitro-1-methyl-6-phenylimidazo[4,5-b]pyridine (NO2-PhIP), 2-hydroxyamino-1-methyl-6-phenylimidazo[4,5-b]pyridine (HONH-PhIP), or N-acetyloxy-2-amino-1-methyl-6-phenylimidazo[4,5-b]pyridine (N-acetoxy-PhIP). Following proteolytic digestion, PhIP-adducted peptides were separated by ultra performance liquid chromatography and characterized by ion trap mass spectrometry, employing isotopic data-dependent scanning. Analysis of the tryptic or tryptic/chymotryptic digests of SA modified with NO2-PhIP revealed that adduction occurred at Cys34, Lys195, Lys199, Lys351, Lys541, Tyr138, Tyr150, Tyr401, and Tyr411, whereas the only site of HONH-PhIP adduction was detected at Cys34. N-Acetoxy-PhIP, a penultimate metabolite of PhIP that reacts with DNA to form covalent adducts, did not appear to form stable adducts with SA; instead, PhIP and 2-amino-1-methyl-6-(5-hydroxy)-phenylimidazo[4,5-b]pyridine, an aqueous reaction product of the proposed nitrenium ion of PhIP, were recovered during the proteolysis of N-acetoxy-PhIP-modified SA. Some of these SA adduction products of PhIP may be implemented in molecular epidemiology studies to assess the role of well-done cooked meat, PhIP, and the risk of cancer.
This Review provides abstracts from a meeting held at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, on April 11–12, 2013, to celebrate the legacy of John Snow. They describe conventional and unconventional applications of epidemiological methods to problems ranging from diarrhoeal disease, mental health, cancer, and accident care, to education, poverty, financial networks, crime, and violence. Common themes appear throughout, including recognition of the importance of Snow’s example, the philosophical and practical implications of assessment of causality, and an emphasis on the evaluation of preventive, ameliorative, and curative interventions, in a wide variety of medical and societal examples. Almost all self-described epidemiologists nowadays work within the health arena, and this is the focus of most of the societies, journals, and courses that carry the name epidemiology. The range of applications evident in these contributions might encourage some of these institutions to consider broadening their remits. In so doing, they may contribute more directly to, and learn from, non-health-related areas that use the language and methods of epidemiology to address many important problems now facing the world.
Human movements contribute to the transmission of malaria on spatial scales that exceed the limits of mosquito dispersal. Identifying the sources and sinks of imported infections due to human travel and locating high-risk sites of parasite importation could greatly improve malaria control programs. Here we use spatially explicit mobile phone data and malaria prevalence information from Kenya to identify the dynamics of human carriers that drive parasite importation between regions. Our analysis identifies specific importation routes that contribute to malaria epidemiology on regional spatial scales.
Liver disease continues to represent a critical mediator of morbidity and mortality in those with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. The frequent presence and overlap of concomitant injurious processes, including hepatitis C virus and hepatitis B virus infections, hepatoxicity associated with antiretroviral therapeutic agents, alcohol, and other toxins, in the setting of immunosuppression lead to rapid fibrotic progression and early development of end-stage liver disease. This conference summary describes the proceedings of a state-of-the-art gathering of international experts designed to highlight the status of current research in epidemiology, natural history, pathogenesis, and treatment of HIV and liver disease.
The biological actions of steroid hormones are mediated primarily by their cognate nuclear receptors, which serve as steroid-dependent transcription factors. However, steroids can also execute their functions by modulating intracellular signaling cascades rapidly and independently of transcriptional regulation. Despite the potential significance of such “non-genomic” steroid actions, their biological roles and the underlying molecular mechanisms are not well understood, particularly with regard to their effects on behavioral regulation. The major steroid hormone in the fruit fly Drosophila is 20-hydroxy-ecdysone (20E), which plays a variety of pivotal roles during development via the nuclear ecdysone receptors. Here we report that DopEcR, a G-protein coupled receptor for ecdysteroids, is involved in activity- and experience-dependent plasticity of the adult central nervous system. Remarkably, a courtship memory defect in rutabaga (Ca2+/calmodulin-responsive adenylate cyclase) mutants was rescued by DopEcR overexpression or acute 20E feeding, whereas a memory defect in dunce (cAMP-specific phosphodiestrase) mutants was counteracted when a loss-of-function DopEcR mutation was introduced. A memory defect caused by suppressing dopamine synthesis was also restored through enhanced DopEcR-mediated ecdysone signaling, and rescue and phenocopy experiments revealed that the mushroom body (MB)—a brain region central to learning and memory in Drosophila—is critical for the DopEcR-dependent processing of courtship memory. Consistent with this finding, acute 20E feeding induced a rapid, DopEcR-dependent increase in cAMP levels in the MB. Our multidisciplinary approach demonstrates that DopEcR mediates the non-canonical actions of 20E and rapidly modulates adult conditioned behavior through cAMP signaling, which is universally important for neural plasticity. This study provides novel insights into non-genomic actions of steroids, and opens a new avenue for genetic investigation into an underappreciated mechanism critical to behavioral control by steroids.
The brain is a prominent target of steroid hormones, which control a variety of neurobiological processes and are critical to the regulation of behavior. Some effects of these hormones involve changes in gene expression and thus emerge slowly, over the course of hours or even days. Other responses to steroids occur rapidly and are independent of transcriptional regulation. Their functions and mechanisms of action are poorly understood, particularly in the context of steroid-mediated control of behavior. Here we show, using the genetic model organism Drosophila melanogaster (the fruit fly), that an unconventional, membrane-bound receptor for the molting hormone ecdysone transmits a novel form of steroid signaling in the adult brain. Our study shows that this novel form of steroid signaling has a robust interface with the classical “memory genes” that encode central components of the so-called cAMP signaling pathway, which is universally important for neuronal and behavioral plasticity. These findings underscore the significance of steroid signaling in memory processing, and provide a foundation for the genetic analysis of rapid, unconventional steroid signaling in behavioral regulation.
Chronic infection with hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a common cause of liver cirrhosis and cancer. We performed RNA-sequencing in primary human hepatocytes activated with synthetic dsRNA to mimic HCV infection. Upstream of IFNL3 (IL28B) on chromosome 19q13.13, we discovered a novel, transiently induced region that harbors dinucleotide variant ss469415590 (TT/ΔG), which is in high linkage disequilibrium with rs12979860, a genetic marker strongly associated with HCV clearance. ss469415590-ΔG is a frame-shift variant that creates a novel primate-specific gene, designated interferon lambda 4 (IFNL4), which encodes a protein of moderate similarity with IFNL3. Compared to rs12979860, ss469415590 is more strongly associated with HCV clearance in individuals of African ancestry, whereas it provides comparable information in Europeans and Asians. Transient over-expression of IFNL4 in a hepatoma cell line induced STAT1/STAT2 phosphorylation and expression of interferon-stimulated genes. Our findings provide new insights into the genetic regulation of HCV clearance and its clinical management.
Endocannabinoids and some phytocannabinoids bind to CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors, transient receptor potential vanilloid one (TRPV1) receptor and the orphan G protein receptor fifty-five (GPR55). Studies using C57BL/10 and C57BL/6 (Cnr2tm1Zim) CB2 cannabinoid receptor knockout mice have demonstrated an immune-augmenting effect in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) models of multiple sclerosis. However, other EAE studies in Biozzi ABH mice often failed to show any treatment effect of either CB2 receptor agonism or antagonism on inhibition of T cell autoimmunity. The influence of genetic background on the induction of EAE in endocannabinoid system-related gene knockout mice was examined. It was found that C57BL/6.GPR55 knockout mice developed less severe disease, notably in female mice, following active induction with myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein 35-55 peptide. In contrast C57BL/6.CB2 (Cnr2Dgen) receptor knockout mice developed augmented severity of disease consistent with the genetically and pharmacologically-distinct, Cnr2tm1Zim mice. However, when the knockout gene was bred into the ABH mouse background and EAE induced with spinal cord autoantigens the immune-enhancing effect of CB2 receptor deletion was lost. Likewise CB1 receptor and transient receptor potential vanilloid one knockout mice on the ABH background demonstrated no alteration in immune-susceptibility, in terms of disease incidence and severity of EAE, in contrast to that reported in some C57BL/6 mouse studies. Furthermore the immune-modulating influence of GPR55 was marginal on the ABH mouse background. Whilst sedative doses of tetrahydrocannabinol could induce immunosuppression, this was associated with a CB1 receptor rather than a CB2 receptor-mediated effect. These data support the fact that non-psychoactive doses of medicinal cannabis have a marginal influence on the immune response in MS. Importantly, it adds a note of caution for the translational value of some transgenic/gene knockout and other studies on low-EAE susceptibility backgrounds with inconsistent disease course and susceptibility.
The neural pathways through which substance P (SP) influences fear and anxiety are poorly understood. However, the amygdala, a brain area repeatedly implicated in fear and anxiety processes, is known to contain large numbers of SP containing neurons and SP receptors. Several studies have implicated SP neurotransmission within the amygdala in anxiety processes. In the present study, we evaluated the effects of site-specific infusions of a SP receptor antagonist, GR 82334, on conditioned fear responses using the fear-potentiated startle paradigm. GR 82334 infusion into the basolateral (BLA) or the medial (MeA) nuclei of the amygdala, but not into the central nucleus (CeA) of the amygdala, dose-dependently reduced fear-potentiated startle. Similar effects were obtained with GR 82334 infusion into the ventromedial nucleus of the hypothalamus (VMH), to which the MeA projects, and into the rostral dorsolateral periaqueductal gray (PAG), to which the VMH projects, but not into the deep layers of the superior colliculus/deep mesencephalic nucleus (dSC/DpMe), an output of the CeA previously shown to be important for fear-potentiated startle. Consistent with previous findings, infusion of the AMPA receptor antagonist, NBQX, into the dSC/DpMe, but not into the PAG, did disrupt fear-potentiated startle. These findings suggest that multiple outputs from the amygdala play a critical role in fear-potentiated startle and that SP plays a critical, probably modulatory role, in the MeA to VMH to PAG to the startle pathway based on these and data from others.
Amygdala; Hypothalamus; Periaqueductal Gray; Superior Colliculus; Midbrain; GR 82334; Morphine; Anxiety; CRH; Tachykinin