In the cerebrovascular endothelium, monocarboxylic acid transporter 1 (Mct1) controls blood-brain transport of short chain monocarboxylic and keto acids, including pyruvate and lactate, to support brain energy metabolism. Mct1 function is acutely decreased in rat brain cerebrovascular endothelial cells by β-adrenergic signaling through cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP); however, the mechanism for this acute reduction in transport capacity is unknown. In this report, we demonstrate that cAMP induces the dephosphorylation and internalization of Mct1 from the plasma membrane into caveolae and early endosomes in the RBE4 rat brain cerebrovascular endothelial cell line. Additionally, we provide evidence that Mct1 constitutively cycles through clathrin vesicles and recycling endosomes in a pathway that is not dependent upon cAMP signaling in these cells. Our results are important because they show for the first time the regulated and unregulated vesicular trafficking of Mct1 in cerebrovascular endothelial cells; processes which have significance for better understanding normal brain energy metabolism, and the etiology and potential therapeutic approaches to treating brain diseases, such as stroke, in which lactic acidosis is a key component
monocarboxylic acid transporter; cerebrovascular endothelium; blood-brain barrier; caveolae; endocytosis; regulation
The overall goal of this study was to determine the role of Rac1 in POSH/MLK/JNK signaling and delayed neuronal cell death following cerebral ischemia. Temporal studies revealed that Rac1 GTPase activation was significantly elevated in hippocampus CA1 at 10 min to 72h after cerebral ischemia reperfusion, with peak levels 30 min to 6h after reperfusion. Total Rac1 protein levels were not significantly changed following cerebral ischemia. Rac1 has been shown to interact with POSH (plenty of SH3s), a scaffold protein that binds to and regulates MLK3 and JNK activation. Co-immunoprecipitation (Co-IP) studies revealed that POSH-Rac1-MLK3 complex formation displayed a significant and prolonged elevation after reperfusion, with a correlative increase in phosphorylation/activation of MLK3 as compared to sham controls. Intracerebroventricular administration of Rac1 antisense oligonucleotides (AS-ODNs) significantly attenuated Rac1 levels and Rac1 activation at 30min after reperfusion, with a correlated significant attenuation of POSH-MLK3-Rac1 complex formation and MLK3 activation in hippocampus CA1. Infusion of Rac1 AS-ODNs also significantly attenuated post-ischemic activation of JNK, downstream of MLK3, and strongly protected the hippocampus CA1 from ischemic damage. Missense oligos had no effect on any of the parameters measured. The Rac1 AS-ODNs results were further confirmed by administration of a Rac1 inhibitor (NSC23766), which markedly attenuated activation of Rac1 and JNK, and significantly attenuated delayed neuronal cell death following cerebral ischemia. As a whole, these studies demonstrate an important role for Rac1 in activation of the prodeath MLK3-JNK kinase signaling pathway and delayed neuronal cell death following cerebral ischemia.
Global cerebral ischemia; hippocampus; cell signaling
Cocaine and amphetamine regulated transcript (CART) mRNA and peptides are highly expressed in the paraventricular (PVN), dorsomedial (DMH) and arcuate (ARC) nuclei of the hypothalamus. It has been suggested that these nuclei regulate the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, autonomic nervous system activity, and feeding behavior. Our previous studies showed that forced swim stress augmented CART peptide expression significantly in whole hypothalamus of male rats. In another study, forced swim stress increased the number of CART-immunoreactive cells in female PVN, whereas no effect was observed in male PVN or in the ARC nucleus of either sex. In the present study, we evaluated the effect of forced swim stress on CART mRNA expression in PVN, DMH and ARC nuclei in both male and female rats. Twelve male (stressed and controls, n=6 each) and 12 female (stressed and controls, n=6 each) Sprague-Dawley rats were used. Control animals were only handled, whereas forced swim stress procedure was applied to the stressed groups. Brains were dissected and brain sections containing PVN, DMH and ARC nuclei were prepared. CART mRNA levels were determined by in situ hybridization. In male rats, forced swim stress upregulated CART mRNA expression in DMH and downregulated it in the ARC. In female rats, forced swim stress increased CART mRNA expression in PVN and DMH, whereas a decrease was observed in the ARC nucleus. Our results show that forced swim stress elicits region and sex-specific changes in CART mRNA expression in rat hypothalamus that may help explain some of the effects of stress.
CART; stress; hypothalamus
Abnormalities in structural and functional connectivity have been reported in autism spectrum disorders (ASD) across a wide age range. However, developmental changes in white matter microstructure are poorly understood. We used a cross-sectional design to determine whether white matter abnormalities measured using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) were present in adolescents and adults with ASD and whether age-related changes in white matter microstructure differed between ASD and typically developing (TD) individuals. Participants included 28 individuals with ASD and 33 TD controls matched on age and IQ and assessed at one time point. Widespread decreased fractional anisotropy (FA), and increased radial diffusivity (RaD) and mean diffusivity (MD) were observed in the ASD group compared to the TD group. In addition, significant group-by-age interactions were also observed in FA, RaD, and MD in all major tracts except the brain stem, indicating that age-related changes in white matter microstructure differed between the groups. We propose that white matter microstructural changes in ASD may reflect myelination and/or other structural differences including differences in axonal density/arborization. In addition, we suggest that white matter microstuctural impairments may be normalizing during young adulthood in ASD. Future longitudinal studies that include a wider range of ages and more extensive clinical characterization will be critical for further uncovering the neurodevelopmental processes unfolding during this dynamic time in development.
autism; white matter; DTI; age; interaction
Emblems are meaningful, culturally-specific hand gestures that are analogous to words. In this fMRI study, we contrasted the processing of emblematic gestures with meaningless gestures by pre-lingually Deaf and hearing participants. Deaf participants, who used American Sign Language, activated bilateral auditory processing and associative areas in the temporal cortex to a greater extent than the hearing participants while processing both types of gestures relative to rest. The hearing non-signers activated a diverse set of regions, including those implicated in the mirror neuron system, such as premotor cortex (BA 6) and inferior parietal lobule (BA 40) for the same contrast. Further, when contrasting the processing of meaningful to meaningless gestures (both relative to rest), the Deaf participants, but not the hearing, showed greater response in the left angular and supramarginal gyri, regions that play important roles in linguistic processing. These results suggest that whereas the signers interpreted emblems to be comparable to words, the non-signers treated emblems as similar to pictorial descriptions of the world and engaged the mirror neuron system.
ASL; Deaf; gestures; emblems; fMRI; meaningful; meaning; normal hearing; non-signer
Adolescence is a complex transitional period in human development, composing physical maturation, cognitive and social behavioral changes. The objective of this study is to investigate sex differences in white matter development and the associations between intelligence and white matter microstructure in the adolescent brain using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and tract-based spatial statistics (TBSS). In a cohort of 16 typically-developing adolescents aged 13 to 17 years, longitudinal DTI data were recorded from each subject at two time points that were one year apart. We used TBSS to analyze the diffusion indices including fractional anisotropy (FA), mean diffusivity (MD), axial diffusivity (AD), and radial diffusivity (RD). Our results suggest that boys (13–18 years) continued to demonstrate white matter maturation, whereas girls appeared to reach mature levels earlier. In addition, we identified significant positive correlations between FA and full-scale intelligence quotient (IQ) in the right inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus when both sexes were looked at together. Only girls showed significant positive correlations between FA and verbal IQ in the left cortico-spinal tract and superior longitudinal fasciculus. The preliminary evidence presented in this study supports that boys and girls have different developmental trajectories in white matter microstructure.
Adolescence; Diffusion tensor imaging; Sex differences; Tract based spatial statistics; White matter development
The purpose of this review is to provide strategies and their rationale which can facilitate scientifically productive investigations into genetic, neuronal, brain functional and clinical aspects of bipolar disorder. The presentation addresses both factors that have impeded and those that have facilitated landmark advances on the pathophysiology and treatment of bipolar disorders. Application of the strategies can provide a scientific platform that may be useful to basic and clinical scientists for the purposes of achieving seminal advances in understanding pathophysiology, including inherited and experience based contributors to disease expression. Current diagnostic criteria omit certain key symptoms, do not include illness course or family history and lack specification of the importance of fundamental symptomatology. Consideration of such factors in inclusion and exclusion criteria, and in assessment instruments in basic and clinical studies, serves to strengthen the capability of a research plan to test key hypotheses regarding moderating and mediating factors of this complex illness. For example, most studies of brain structure and function and of new interventions have selected subjects on the basis of traditional full syndromal criteria. Evidence indicates that additional consideration of principal behavioral domains of bipolar symptomatology, e.g., anxiety, psychosis, impulsivity, elevated psychomotor and cognitive processing speed, rather than strictly depressive or manic syndromes can provide more homogeneous samples for study, and increase the focus of experimental hypotheses.
bipolar; mood disorders; drug treatment; genetics; endophenotypes; diagnosis
Arterial hypertension is a major risk factor for ischemic stroke. However, the management of preexisting hypertension is still controversial in the treatment of acute stroke in hypertensive patients. The present study evaluates the influence of preserving hypertension during focal cerebral ischemia on stroke outcome in a rat model of chronic hypertension, the spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR). Focal cerebral ischemia was induced by transient (1-hour) occlusion of the middle cerebral artery, during which mean arterial blood pressure was maintained at normotension (110-120 mmHg, group 1, n=6) or hypertension (160-170 mmHg, group 2, n=6) using phenylephrine. T2-, diffusion- and perfusion-weighted MRI were performed serially at five different time points: before and during ischemia, and at 1, 4 and 7 days after ischemia. Lesion volume and brain edema were estimated from apparent diffusion coefficient maps and T2-weighted images. Regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) was measured within and outside the perfusion deficient lesion and in the corresponding regions of the contralesional hemisphere. Neurological deficits were evaluated after reperfusion. Infarct volume, edema, and neurological deficits were significantly reduced in group 2 versus group 1. In addition, higher values and rapid restoration of rCBF were observed in group 2, while rCBF in both hemispheres was significantly decreased in group 1. Maintaining preexisting hypertension alleviates ischemic brain injury in SHR by increasing collateral circulation to the ischemic region and allowing rapid restoration of rCBF. The data suggest that maintaining preexisting hypertension is a valuable approach to managing hypertensive patients suffering from acute ischemic stroke.
arterial spin labeling; cerebral blood flow; hypertension; ischemic stroke; magnetic resonance imaging; spontaneously hypertensive rats
The neuropeptide thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) is recognized to play an important role in controlling energy balance through direct effects on the CNS, although mechanisms explaining the phenomenon are poorly understood. To begin to understand the effects of TRH on CNS control of energy balance, we first mapped neurons expressing the TRH precursor peptide, prepro-TRH (ppTRH) in the paraventricular nucleus of the rat hypothalamus and the surrounding regions. We identified a population of ppTRH-expressing neurons in the juxtaparaventricular region of the lateral hypothalamus (LHAjp) which were stimulated by the satiety signal leptin (2.5 μg/kg, IP). Using a model of fetal glucocorticoid (GC) exposure in which pregnant rats were treated with the synthetic GC dexamethasone (DEX) during gestational days 18–21, it was observed that such exposure resulted in reduced numbers of ppTRH-ir neurons in the LHAjp in adult male and female rats, and was accompanied by increased food intake. Our data provide further insight into the biological role of the LHAjp, as well as the potential involvement of TRH neurons within this region in metabolic disease associated with fetal glucocorticoid exposure.
Dexamethasone; Hyperphagia; Thyrotropin Releasing Hormone; Juxtaparaventricular Region of the Lateral Hypothalamus; Energy Balance
Inflammation has long been implicated in secondary tissue damage after spinal cord injury (SCI). Our previous studies of inflammatory gene expression in rats after SCI revealed two temporally correlated clusters: the first was expressed early after injury and the second was up-regulated later, with peak expression at 1–2 weeks and persistent up-regulation through 6 months. To further address the role of inflammation after SCI, we examined inflammatory genes in a second species, mice, through 28 days after SCI. Using anchor gene clustering analysis, we found similar expression patterns for both the acute and chronic gene clusters previously identified after rat SCI. The acute group returned to normal expression levels by 7 days post-injury. The chronic group, which included C1qB, p22phox and galectin-3, showed peak expression at 7 days and remained up-regulated through 28 days. Immunohistochemistry and western blot analysis showed that the protein expression of these genes was consistent with the mRNA expression. Further exploration of the role of one of these genes, galectin-3, suggests that galectin-3 may contribute to secondary injury. In summary, our findings extend our prior gene profiling data by demonstrating the chronic expression of a cluster of microglial associated inflammatory genes after SCI in mice. Moreover, by demonstrating that inhibition of one such factor improves recovery, the findings suggest that such chronic up-regulation of inflammatory processes may contribute to secondary tissue damage after SCI, and that there may be a broader therapeutic window for neuroprotection than generally accepted.
inflammation; microarray; microglia; motor function; NADPH oxidase; spinal cord contusion
We examined how adjective ordering is used in language comprehension by crossing order preference and concreteness in phrases consisting of two adjectives and a noun. We used both more typical phrases in which the preferred order has a concrete second adjective (“exhaustive hardback encyclopedia”) and those with a concrete first adjective in the preferred order (“heavy informative encyclopedia“). We found that concreteness-related modulations of the ERP waveform were likely responsible for prior reports of increased positivity to dispreferred orders (interpreted as a syntactic P600-like effect). When concreteness is controlled, instead, we found that dispreferred orders are associated with larger N400s to the second adjective and following noun. This suggests that dispreferred adjective orders impact lexico-semantic predictability and the ability to generate mental images of the referent but do not result in syntactic processing difficulties.
Acupuncture modulates brain activity at the limbic–paralimbic–neocortical network (LPNN) and the default mode network (DMN). Since these brain networks show gender differences when mediating emotional and cognitive tasks, we thus hypothesize that women and men may also respond differently to acupuncture procedure at these brain regions. In order to test this hypothesis, we retrieved the data of 38 subjects, 19 females and 19 males, who had brain fMRI during acupuncture from previous studies and reanalyzed them based on sex status. Deactivation at the LPNN/DMN during needle manipulation of acupuncture was more extensive in females than in males, particularly in the posterior cingulate (BA31), precuneus (BA7m) and angular gyrus (BA39). The functional correlations between the right BA31 and pregenual cingulate (BA32), hippocampus or contralateral BA31 were significantly stronger in females than in males. The angular gyrus (BA39) was functionally correlated with BA31 in females; in contrast, it was anticorrelated with BA31 in males. Soreness, a major component of the psychophysical responses to needle manipulation, deqi, was correlated in intensity with deactivation of the angular gyrus in females; no such relationships were observed in males. In contrast to lesser deactivation at the LPNN/DMN networks, needle manipulation during acupuncture induced greater activation at the secondary somatosensory cortex and stronger functional connectivity with the anterior-middle cingulate (BA32/24) in males than in females. Our study suggests that brains with sex dimorphism may process the acupuncture stimulation differently between women and men.
Acupuncture; Brain activity; Sex; Gender
Parkinson's disease (PD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder which leads to the selective loss of dopaminergic neurons. This causes a decrease in the important neurotransmitter dopamine (DA), which is essential for coordinated movement. Previous studies have implicated the monoamine oxidase metabolite of DA, 3,4-dihydroxphenylacetaldehyde (DOPAL), in the pathogenesis of PD and have shown it to be a reactive intermediate capable of protein modification. DOPAL also has demonstrated the ability to cause mitochondrial dysfunction and lead to significant inhibition of the rate-limiting enzyme in DA synthesis, tyrosine hydroxylase (TH). The current study was undertaken to investigate four analogs of DOPAL, including a novel nitrile analog, to determine how the structure of DOPAL is related to its toxicity and inhibition of TH. Both mitochondrial function and inhibition of TH in cell lysate were investigated. Furthermore, a novel whole cell assay was designed to determine the consequence to enzyme action when DOPAL levels were elevated. The results presented here demonstrate that changes to DOPAL structure lead to a decrease in toxicity and inhibition of enzyme activity as compared to the parent compound. Furthermore, the production of superoxide anion but not hydrogen peroxide increased in the presence of elevated DOPAL. These results reveal the toxicity of DOPAL and demonstrate that both the catechol and aldehyde are required to potently inhibit TH activity.
Structure-activity relationship; tyrosine hydroxylase; Parkinson's disease; enzyme inhibition; mitochondrial dysfunction
Mammals do not regenerate axons in their central nervous system (CNS) spontaneously. This phenomenon is the cause of numerous medical conditions after damage to nerve fibers in the CNS of humans. The study of the mechanisms of nerve regeneration in other vertebrate animals able to spontaneously regenerate axons in their CNS is essential for understanding nerve regeneration from a scientific point of view, and for developing therapeutic approaches to enhance nerve regeneration in the CNS of humans. RICH proteins are a novel group of proteins implicated in nerve regeneration in the CNS of teleost fish, yet their mechanisms of action are not well understood. A number of mutant versions of the zebrafish RICH protein (zRICH) were generated and characterized at biochemical and cellular levels in our laboratory. With the aim of understanding the effects of RICH proteins in neuronal axon outgrowth, stable transfectants derived from the neuronal model PC12 cell line expressing zRICH Wild-Type or mutant versions of zRICH were studied. Results from differentiation experiments suggest that RICH proteins enhance neuronal plasticity by facilitating neurite branching. Biochemical co-purification results have demonstrated that zRICH binds to the cytoskeletal protein tubulin. The central domain of the protein is sufficient for tubulin binding, but a mutant version of the protein lacking the terminal domains, which cannot bind to the plasma membrane, was not able to enhance neurite branching. RICH proteins may facilitate axon regeneration by regulating the axonal cytoskeleton and facilitating the formation of new neurite branches.
Axon Regeneration; Teleost; Cytoskeleton; Neuron Differentiation; 2′,3′-Cyclic Nucleotide 3′-Phosphodiesterase
The affective priming paradigm has been studied extensively and applied in many fields during the past two decades. Most research thus far has focused on the valence dimension. Whether emotional arousal influences affective priming remains poorly understood. The present study demonstrates how arousal impacts evaluation of affective words using reaction time and event-related potential (ERP) measures. Eighteen younger subjects evaluated pleasantness of target words after seeing affective pictures as primes. The participants’ responses were faster and/or more accurate for valence-congruent trials than for incongruent trials, particularly with high-arousal stimuli. An ERP affective priming effect (N400) also occurred mainly in high-arousing stimulus pairs. In addition, whereas valence congruency influenced both the N400 and the LPP, arousal congruency influenced only the LPP, suggesting that arousal congruency mainly modulates post-semantic processes, but valence congruency effects begin with semantic processes. Overall, our current findings indicate that the arousal level of visual images impacts both behavioral and ERP effects of affective priming.
Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience
Affective priming; Valence; Arousal; Evaluation decision task
We previously demonstrated that intracerebroventricular (i.c.v.) administration of protein kinase C (PKC) or protein kinase A (PKA) inhibitors reversed morphine antinociceptive tolerance in 3-day morphine-pelleted mice. The present study aimed at evaluating whether pre-treating mice with a PKC or PKA inhibitor prior to pellet implantation would prevent the development of morphine tolerance and physical dependence. Antinociception was assessed using the warm-water tail immersion test and physical dependence was evaluated by quantifying/scoring naloxone-precipitated withdrawal signs. While drug-naïve mice pelleted with a 75 mg morphine pellet for 3 days developed a 5.8-fold tolerance to morphine antinociception, mice pre-treated i.c.v. with the PKC inhibitors bisindolylmaleimide I, Go-7874 or Go-6976, or with the myristoylated PKA inhibitor, PKI-(14–22)-amide failed to develop any tolerance to morphine antinociception. Experiments were also conducted to determine whether morphine-pelleted mice were physically dependent when pre-treated with PKC or PKA inhibitors. The same inhibitor doses that prevented morphine tolerance were evaluated in other mice injected s.c. with naloxone and tested for precipitated withdrawal. The pre-treatment with PKC or PKA inhibitors failed to attenuate or block the signs of morphine withdrawal including jumping, wet-dog shakes, rearing, forepaw tremor, increased locomotion, grooming, diarrhea, tachypnea and ptosis. These data suggest that elevations in the activity of PKC and PKA in the brain are critical to the development of morphine tolerance. However, it appears that tolerance can be dissociated from physical dependence, indicating a role for PKC and PKA to affect antinociception but not those signs mediated through the complex physiological processes of withdrawal.
Morphine; Tolerance; Physical dependence; Antinociception; Protein kinase C; Protein kinase A
Nearly half of stroke patients have impaired sensory discrimination, however, the neural structures that support post-stroke sensory function have not been described.
1) To evaluate the role of the primary somatosensory (S1) cortex in post-stroke sensory discrimination and 2) To determine the relationship between post-stroke sensory discrimination and structural integrity of the sensory component of the superior thalamic radiation (sSTR).
10 healthy adults and 10 individuals with left hemisphere stroke participated. Stroke participants completed sensory discrimination testing. An fMRI was conducted during right, impaired hand sensory discrimination. Fractional anisotropy and volume of the sSTR were quantified using diffusion tensor tractography.
Sensory discrimination was impaired in 60% of participants with left stroke. Peak activation in the left (S1) did not correlate with sensory discrimination ability, rather a more distributed pattern of activation was evident in post-stroke subjects with a positive correlation between peak activation in the parietal cortex and discrimination ability (r=.70, p=.023). The only brain region in which stroke participants had significantly different cortical activation than control participants was the precuneus. Region of interest analysis of the precuneus across stroke participants revealed a positive correlation between peak activation and sensory discrimination ability (r=.77, p=.008). The L/R ratio of sSTR fractional anisotropy also correlated with right hand sensory discrimination (r=.69, p=.027).
Precuneus cortex, distributed parietal lobe activity, and microstructure of the sSTR support sensory discrimination after left hemisphere stroke.
Stroke; Sensory discrimination; fMRI; Diffusion tractography; Hand function
We have found that daily subcutaneous injection with a maximum tolerated dose (MTD) of the mGluR2/3 agonist LY379268 (20mg/kg) beginning at 4 weeks dramatically improves the phenotype in R6/2 mice. For example, we observed normalization of motor function in distance traveled, speed, the infrequency of pauses, and the ability to locomote in a straight line, and a rescue of a 15–20% striatal neuron loss at 10 weeks. As acute LY379268 treatment is known to increase cortical BDNF production, and BDNF is known to be beneficial for striatal neurons, we investigated if the benefit of daily LY379268 in R6/2 mice for striatal projection neurons was associated with increases in corticostriatal BDNF, with assessments done at 10 weeks of age after daily MTD treatment since the fourth week of life. We found that LY379268 increased BDNF expression in layer 5 neurons in motor cortex, which project to striatum, partly rescued a preferential loss of enkephalinergic striatal neurons, and enhanced substance P (SP) expression by SP striatal projection neurons. The enhanced survival of enkephalinergic striatal neurons was correlated with the cortical BDNF increase, but the enhanced SP expression by SP striatal neurons was not. Thus, LY379268 may protect the two main striatal projection neuron types by different mechanisms, enkephalinergic neurons by the trophic benefit of BDNF, and SP neurons by a mechanism not involving BDNF. The SP neuron benefit may perhaps instead involve the anti-excitotoxic action of mGluR2/3 receptor agonists.
Huntington's Disease; Therapy; mGluR2/3; Striatum; BDNF
The ability of adult injured postganglionic axons to reinnervate cerebrovascular targets is unknown, yet these axons can influence cerebral blood flow, particularly during REM sleep. The objective of the present study was to assess quantitatively the sympathetic reinnervation of vascular as well as non-vascular targets following bilateral axotomy of the superior cervical ganglion (SCG) at short term (1 day, 7 days) and long term (8 weeks, 12 weeks) survival time points. The sympathetic innervation of representative extracerebral blood vessels [internal carotid artery (ICA), basilar artery (BA), middle cerebral artery (MCA)], the submandibular gland (SMG), and pineal gland was quantified following injury using an antibody to tyrosine hydroxylase (TH). Changes in TH innervation were related to TH protein content in the SCG. At 7 days following bilateral SCG axotomy, all targets were significantly depleted of TH innervation, and the exact site on the BA where SCG input was lost could be discerned. Complete sympathetic reinnervation of the ICA was observed at long term survival times, yet TH innervation of other vascular targets showed significant decreases even at 12 weeks following axotomy. The SMG was fully reinnervated by 12 weeks, yet TH innervation of the pineal gland remained significantly decreased. TH protein in the SCG was significantly decreased at both short term and long term time points and showed little evidence of recovery. Our data demonstrate a slow reinnervation of most vascular targets following axotomy of the SCG with only minimal recovery of TH protein in the SCG at 12 weeks following injury.
extracerebral blood vessels; perivascular axons; tyrosine hydroxylase innervation density
Genetic approaches to analyzing neuronal circuits and learning would benefit from a technology to first deliver a specific gene into presynaptic neurons, and then deliver a different gene into an identified subset of their postsynaptic neurons, connected by a specific synapse type. Here, we describe targeted gene transfer across a neocortical glutamatergic synapse, using as the model the projection from rat postrhinal to perirhinal cortex. The first gene transfer, into the presynaptic neurons in postrhinal cortex, used a virus vector and standard gene transfer procedures. The vector expresses an artificial peptide neurotransmitter containing a dense core vesicle targeting domain, a NMDA NR1 subunit binding domain (from a monoclonal antibody), and the His tag. Upon release, this peptide neurotransmitter binds to NMDA receptors on the postsynaptic neurons. Antibody-mediated targeted gene transfer to these postsynaptic neurons in perirhinal cortex used a His tag antibody, as the peptide neurotransmitter contains the His tag. Confocal microscopy showed that with untargeted gene transfer, ~3 % of the transduced presynaptic axons were proximal to a transduced postsynaptic dendrite. In contrast, with targeted gene transfer, ≥20 % of the presynaptic axons were proximal to a transduced postsynaptic dendrite. Targeting across other types of synapses might be obtained by modifying the artificial peptide neurotransmitter to contain a binding domain for a different neurotransmitter receptor. This technology may benefit elucidating how specific neurons and subcircuits contribute to circuit physiology, behavior, and learning.
glutamatergic synapse; vesicular glutamate transporter 1 promoter; peptide neurotransmitter; antibody-mediated targeted gene transfer; herpes simplex virus vector
Mitoxantrone has been approved by the FDA for the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS). However, the mechanisms by which mitoxantrone modulates MS are largely unknown. Activated astrocytes produce nitric oxide (NO), TNF-α, and IL-1β, molecules which can be toxic to central nervous system (CNS) cells including oligodendrocytes, thus potentially contributing to the pathology associated with MS. MCP-1 is a chemokine believed to modulate the migration of monocytes to inflammatory lesions present in the CNS of MS patients. IL-12 and IL-23 have been demonstrated to play critical roles in the pathogenesis of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), an animal model of MS, by contributing to the development of CD4+ T cell lineages termed Th1 and Th17, respectively. The current study demonstrates that mitoxantrone inhibits lipopolysachharide (LPS) induction of NO, TNF-α, IL-1β, and MCP-1 production by primary astrocytes. Mitoxantrone also inhibited IL-12 and IL-23 production by these cells. Furthermore, mitoxantrone suppressed the expression of C-reactive protein (CRP). Finally, we demonstrate that mitoxantrone suppressed LPS induction of NF-κB DNA-binding activity, suggesting a novel mechanism by which mitoxantrone suppresses the expression of proinflammatory molecules. Collectively, these studies demonstrate that mitoxantrone represses astrocyte production of potentially cytotoxic molecules, as well as molecules capable of altering T-cell phenotype. These in vitro studies suggest mechanisms by which mitoxantrone may modulate inflammatory diseases including MS.
Mitoxantrone; Astrocyte; Nitric oxide; cytokine; chemokine; T cell
Neuronal loss in Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is seen in a number of brain regions in addition to the substantia nigra (SN). Among these is the thalamic parafascicular nucleus (PF), which sends glutamatergic projections to the striatum and receives GABAergic inputs from the SN. Recent data suggest that lesions of nigrostriatal dopamine axons cause a loss of PF neurons, which has been interpreted to suggest that the PF cell loss seen in PD is secondary to dopamine denervation. However, the extent of a PF dopamine innervation in the rat is unclear, and it is possible that PF cell loss in parkinsonism is independent of nigrostriatal dopamine degeneration. We characterized the dopamine innervation of the PF in the rat and determined if 6-hydroxydopamine SN lesions cause PF neuron degeneration. Dual-label immunohistochemistry revealed that almost all tyrosine hydroxylase-immunoreactive (TH-ir) axons in the PF also expressed dopamine-beta-hydroxylase and were therefore noradrenergic or adrenergic. Moreover, an antibody directed against dopamine revealed only very rare PF dopaminergic axons. Retrograde-tract tracing—immunohistochemistry did not uncover an innervation of the PF from midbrain dopamine neurons. Nigrostriatal dopamine neuron lesions did not elicit degeneration of PF cells, as reflected by a lack of FluoroJade C staining. Similarly, neither unilateral 6-OHDA lesions of nigrostriatal axons nor the dorsal noradrenergic bundle decreased the number of PF neurons or the number of PF neurons retrogradely-labeled from the striatum. These data suggest that the loss of thalamostriatal PF neurons in Parkinson’s Disease is a primary event rather than secondary to nigrostriatal dopamine degeneration.
Centromedian; Parkinson’s Disease; Substantia nigra; Thalamostriatal; Thalamus
Using real time qPCR, we examined the expression of mRNAs for the five somatostatin receptors (SSTRs) in the caudate putamen of male C57BL/6J and 129P3/J mice. Animals were exposed to multiple injections of heroin, or saline, in the setting of a conditioned place preference study. The relative expression levels of the five SSTR mRNAs differed between the two strains. In both strains, SSTR-1 mRNA was expressed at the highest levels and SSTR-5 at the lowest. Interestingly, in 129P3/J mice SSTR-3 mRNA was not detected in the caudate putamen. We confirmed this finding in the frontal cortex, hypothalamus, nucleus accumbens and a region containing the substantia nigra and ventral tegmental area. We also found strain differences in the mRNA levels of SSTR-2 and -4. Intermittent heroin administration had a dose-dependent effect on the levels of SSTR-1 and -3mRNAs. These results demonstrate strain differences in the expression of specific mRNAs and a heroin-induced dose-dependent elevation of SSTR-1 and -3 mRNAs in the mouse caudate putamen.
C57BL/6J; 129P3/J; Somatostatin receptor; mRNA
Opioid abuse and dependence remains prevalent despite having multiple FDA-approved medications to help maintain abstinence. Mirtazapine is an atypical antidepressant receiving attention for substance abuse pharmacotherapy, and its action includes alterations in monoaminergic transmission. As monoamines are indirectly altered by opioids, the current investigation assessed the ability of mirtazapine to ameliorate morphine-induced behaviors. Conditioned place preference (CPP) is a behavioral assay wherein a rewarding drug is paired with a distinct environmental context resulting in reward-related salience of cues through learning-related neuronal plasticity. A second behavioral assay involved motor sensitization (MSn), wherein repeated administration results in an enhanced motoric response to an acute challenge, also reflecting neuronal plasticity. Attenuation of CPP and/or MSn provides two behavioral measures to suggest therapeutic potential for addiction therapy, and the present study evaluated the effectiveness of mirtazapine to reduce both behaviors. To do so, morphine-induced CPP was established using an eight day conditioning paradigm, and expression of CPP was tested on day 10 following a 24hr or 30min mirtazapine pretreatment. To determine if mirtazapine altered the expression of MSn, on Day 11, rats received a pretreatment of mirtazapine, followed 30min later by a challenge injection of morphine. Pretreatment with mirtazapine 24hr prior to the CPP test had no effect on CPP expression. In contrast, a 30min pretreatment of mirtazapine attenuated the expression of both CPP and MSn. Collectively, these results indicate that mirtazapine may help to maintain abstinence in opioid dependent patients.
antidepressant; conditioned place preference; motor sensitization; morphine
The fragile X-associated tremor/ataxia syndrome (FXTAS) is an adult-onset neurodegenerative disorder caused by CGG trinucleotide repeat expansions in the fragile X mental retardation 1 (FMR1) gene. The neuropathological hallmark of FXTAS is the presence of ubiquitin-positive intranuclear inclusions in neurons and in astroglia. Intranuclear inclusions have also been reported in the neurons of male CGG KI mice carrying an expanded CGG trinucleotide repeat and used to model FXTAS, but no study has been carried out quantifying inclusions in female CGG KI mice heterozygous for the fragile X premutation. We used histologic and immunocytochemical methods to determine the pathological features of intranuclear inclusions in astroglia and neurons. In female CGG KI mice, ubiquitin-positive intranuclear inclusions were found in neurons and astroglia throughout the brain in cortical and subcortical regions. These inclusions increased in number and became larger with advanced age and increasing CGG repeat length, supporting hypotheses that these pathologic features are progressive across the lifespan. The number of inclusions in neurons was reduced by ~25% in female CGG KI mice compared to male CGG KI mice, but not so low as the 50% predicted. These data emphasize the need to evaluate the neurocognitive and pathological features in female carriers of the fragile X premutation with and without FXTAS symptomatology is warranted, as this population shows similar neuropathological features present in male FXTAS patients.
Fragile X premutation; CGG KI mouse; Trinucleotide repeat disorder; Intranuclear inclusions