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Alcoholism initiates with episodes of excessive alcohol drinking, known as binge drinking, which is one form of excessive drinking (NIAAA Newsletter, 2004) that is related to impulsivity and anxiety (Ducci et al., 2007; Edenberg et al., 2004) and is also predictive of smoking status. The predisposition of non-alcohol exposed subjects to initiate binge drinking is controlled by neuroimmune signaling that includes an innately activated neuronal Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) signal. This signal also regulates cognitive impulsivity, a heritable trait that defines drug abuse initiation. However, the mechanism of signal activation, its function in dopaminergic (TH+) neurons within the reward circuitry implicated in drug-seeking behavior [viz. the ventral tegmental area (VTA)], and its contribution to nicotine co-abuse are still poorly understood. We report that the γ-aminobutyric acidA receptor (GABAAR) α2 subunit activates the TLR4 signal in neurons, culminating in the activation (phosphorylation/nuclear translocation) of cyclic AMP response element binding (CREB) but not NF-kB transcription factors and the upregulation of corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) and tyrosine hydroxylase (TH). The signal is activated through α2/TLR4 interaction, as evidenced by co-immunoprecipitation, and it is present in the VTA from drug-untreated alcohol-preferring P rats. VTA infusion of neurotropic herpes simplex virus (HSV) vectors for α2 (pHSVsiLA2) or TLR4 (pHSVsiTLR4) but not scrambled (pHSVsiNC) siRNA inhibits signal activation and both binge alcohol drinking and nicotine sensitization, suggesting that the α2-activated TLR4 signal contributes to the regulation of both alcohol and nicotine abuse.
Literature context: 197; Cat. # 4781, RRID:AB_2300165), and rabbit phospho-p44/42 MAP
Cognitive impulsivity is a heritable trait believed to represent the behavior that defines the volition to initiate alcohol drinking. We have previously shown that a neuronal Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) signal located in the central amygdala (CeA) and ventral tegmental area (VTA) controls the initiation of binge drinking in alcohol-preferring P rats, and TLR4 expression is upregulated by alcohol-induced corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) at these sites. However, the function of the TLR4 signal in the nucleus accumbens shell (NAc-shell), a site implicated in the control of reward, drug-seeking behavior and impulsivity and the contribution of other signal-associated genes, are still poorly understood. Here we report that P rats have an innately activated TLR4 signal in NAc-shell neurons that co-express the α2 GABAA receptor subunit and CRF prior to alcohol exposure. This signal is not present in non-alcohol drinking NP rats. The TLR4 signal is sustained by a CRF amplification loop, which includes TLR4-mediated CRF upregulation through PKA/CREB activation and CRF-mediated TLR4 upregulation through the CRF type 1 receptor (CRFR1) and the MAPK/ERK pathway. NAc-shell Infusion of a neurotropic, non-replicating herpes simplex virus vector for TLR4-specific small interfering RNA (pHSVsiTLR4) inhibits TLR4 expression and cognitive impulsivity, implicating the CRF-amplified TLR4 signal in impulsivity regulation.
Hyperproinsulinemia has gained increasing attention in the development of type 2 diabetes. Clinical studies have demonstrated that glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1)-based therapies significantly decrease plasma proinsulin/insulin ratio in patients with type 2 diabetes. However, the underlying mechanism remains unclear. Prohormone convertase (PC)-1/3 and PC2 are primarily responsible for processing proinsulin to insulin in pancreatic β-cells. We have recently reported that Pax6 mutation down-regulated PC1/3 and PC2 expression, resulting in defective proinsulin processing in Pax6 heterozygous mutant (Pax6(m/+)) mice. In this study, we investigated whether and how liraglutide, a novel GLP-1 analog, modulated proinsulin processing. Our results showed that liraglutide significantly up-regulated PC1/3 expression and decreased the proinsulin to insulin ratio in both Pax6(m/+) and db/db diabetic mice. In the cultured mouse pancreatic β-cell line, Min6, liraglutide stimulated PC1/3 and PC2 expression and lowered the proinsulin to insulin ratio in a dose- and time-dependent manner. Moreover, the beneficial effects of liraglutide on PC1/3 and PC2 expression and proinsulin processing were dependent on the GLP-1 receptor-mediated cAMP/protein kinase A signaling pathway. The same mechanism was recapitulated in isolated mouse islets. In conclusion, liraglutide enhanced PC1/3- and PC2-dependent proinsulin processing in pancreatic β-cells through the activation of the GLP-1 receptor/cAMP/protein kinase A signaling pathway. Our study provides a new mechanism for improvement of pancreatic β-cell function by the GLP-1-based therapy.
The ability of the central nervous system to synthesize steroid hormones has wide-ranging implications for physiology and pathology. Among the proposed roles of neurosteroids is the regulation of the LH surge. This involvement in the estrogen-positive feedback demonstrates the integration of peripheral steroids with neurosteroids. Within the female hypothalamus, estradiol from developing follicles stimulates progesterone synthesis in astrocytes, which activate neural circuits regulating gonadotropin (GnRH) neurons. Estradiol acts at membrane estrogen receptor-α to activate cellular signaling that results in the release of inositol trisphosphate-sensitive calcium stores that are sufficient to induce neuroprogesterone synthesis. The purpose of the present studies was to characterize the estradiol-induced signaling leading to activation of steroid acute regulatory protein (StAR) and transporter protein (TSPO), which mediate the rate-limiting step in steroidogenesis, ie, the transport of cholesterol into the mitochondrion. Treatment of primary cultures of adult female rat hypothalamic astrocytes with estradiol induced a cascade of phosphorylation that resulted in the activation of a calcium-dependent adenylyl cyclase, AC1, elevation of cAMP, and activation of both StAR and TSPO. Blocking protein kinase A activation with H-89 abrogated the estradiol-induced neuroprogesterone synthesis. Thus, together with previous results, these experiments completed the characterization of how estradiol action at the membrane leads to the augmentation of neuroprogesterone synthesis through increasing cAMP, activation of protein kinase A, and the phosphorylation of TSPO and StAR in hypothalamic astrocytes.