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Anti-Mouse IgG (H+L), made in goat antibody


Lateral line placodes of aquatic vertebrates are evolutionarily conserved in mammals.

  • Washausen S
  • Biol Open
  • 2018 Jun 19

Literature context: D: RRID:AB_2336171), and horse anti-goat (BA-9500,


Placodes are focal thickenings of the surface ectoderm which, together with neural crest, generate the peripheral nervous system of the vertebrate head. Here we examine how, in embryonic mice, apoptosis contributes to the remodelling of the primordial posterior placodal area (PPA) into physically separated otic and epibranchial placodes. Using pharmacological inhibition of apoptosis-associated caspases, we find evidence that apoptosis eliminates hitherto undiscovered rudiments of the lateral line sensory system which, in fish and aquatic amphibia, serves to detect movements, pressure changes or electric fields in the surrounding water. Our results refute the evolutionary theory, valid for more than a century that the whole lateral line was completely lost in amniotes. Instead, those parts of the PPA which, under experimental conditions, escape apoptosis have retained the developmental potential to produce lateral line placodes and the primordia of neuromasts that represent the major functional units of the mechanosensory lateral line system.

Funding information:
  • NIAID NIH HHS - U19 AI091036(United States)

Synaptic localization of the SUMOylation-regulating protease SENP5 in the adult mouse brain.

  • Akiyama H
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2018 Apr 15

Literature context: ctor Laboratories, Cat#BA-9200, RRID:AB_2336171) for 2 hr. After washes in PBS,


Covalent conjugation of small ubiquitin-like modifiers (SUMOs) or SUMOylation is a reversible post-translational modification that regulates the stability and function of target proteins. SUMOs are removed from substrate proteins by sentrin/SUMO-specific proteases (SENPs). Numerous studies have implicated SUMOylation in various physiological and pathological processes in neurons. To understand the functional roles of SUMOylation, it is necessary to determine the distribution of enzymes regulating SUMO conjugation and deconjugation; yet, the localization of SENPs has not been described in detail in intact brain tissue. Here, we report the distribution and subcellular localization of SENP3 and 5 in the adult murine brain. Immunohistochemical analyses revealed the ubiquitous distribution of both SENPs across different brain regions. Within individual cells, SENP3 was confined to the nucleus, consistent with the conventional view that SENPs regulate nuclear events. In contrast, SENP5 was detected in the neuropil but not in cell bodies. Moreover, strong SENP5 immunoreactivity was observed in regions with high numbers of synapses such as the cerebellar glomeruli, suggesting that SENP5 localizes to pre- and/or postsynaptic structures. We performed double immunolabeling in cultured neurons and found that SENP5 co-localized with pre- and post-synaptic markers, as well as a mitochondrial marker. Immunoelectron microscopy confirmed this finding and revealed that SENP5 was localized to presynaptic terminals, postsynaptic spines, and mitochondria in axon terminals. These findings advance the current understanding of the functional roles of SUMOylation in neurons, especially in synaptic regulation, and have implications for future therapeutic strategies in neurodegenerative disorders mediated by mitochondrial dysfunction.

Funding information:
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - GM077326(United States)

Cortical hemorrhage-associated neurological deficits and tissue damage in mice are ameliorated by therapeutic treatment with nicotine.

  • Anan J
  • J. Neurosci. Res.
  • 2018 Apr 17

Literature context: BA-9200, RRID:AB_2336171, Vector La


Intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) is associated with diverse sets of neurological symptoms and prognosis, depending on the site of bleeding. Relative rate of hemorrhage occurring in the cerebral cortex (lobar hemorrhage) has been increasing, but there is no report on effective pharmacotherapeutic approaches for cortical hemorrhage either in preclinical or clinical studies. The present study aimed to establish an experimental model of cortical hemorrhage in mice for evaluation of effects of therapeutic drug candidates. Type VII collagenase at 0.015 U, injected into the parietal cortex, induced hemorrhage expanding into the whole layer of the posterior parts of the sensorimotor cortex in male C57BL/6 mice. Mice with ICH under these conditions exhibited significant motor deficits as revealed by beam-walking test. Daily administration of nicotine (1 and 2 mg/kg), with the first injection given at 3 hr after induction of ICH, improved motor performance of mice in a dose-dependent manner, although nicotine did not alter the volume of hematoma. Immunohistochemical examinations revealed that the number of neurons was drastically decreased within the hematoma region. Nicotine at 2 mg/kg partially but significantly increased the number of remaining neurons within the hematoma at 3 days after induction of ICH. ICH also resulted in inflammatory activation of microglia/macrophages in the perihematoma region, and nicotine (1 and 2 mg/kg) significantly attenuated the increase of microglia. These results suggest that nicotine can provide a therapeutic effect on cortical hemorrhage, possibly via its neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory actions. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Selenium Utilization by GPX4 Is Required to Prevent Hydroperoxide-Induced Ferroptosis.

  • Ingold I
  • Cell
  • 2018 Jan 25

Literature context: ector Laboratories Cat#BA-9200, RRID:AB_2336171 Goat anti-rabbit IgG-HRP, polyc


Selenoproteins are rare proteins among all kingdoms of life containing the 21st amino acid, selenocysteine. Selenocysteine resembles cysteine, differing only by the substitution of selenium for sulfur. Yet the actual advantage of selenolate- versus thiolate-based catalysis has remained enigmatic, as most of the known selenoproteins also exist as cysteine-containing homologs. Here, we demonstrate that selenolate-based catalysis of the essential mammalian selenoprotein GPX4 is unexpectedly dispensable for normal embryogenesis. Yet the survival of a specific type of interneurons emerges to exclusively depend on selenocysteine-containing GPX4, thereby preventing fatal epileptic seizures. Mechanistically, selenocysteine utilization by GPX4 confers exquisite resistance to irreversible overoxidation as cells expressing a cysteine variant are highly sensitive toward peroxide-induced ferroptosis. Remarkably, concomitant deletion of all selenoproteins in Gpx4cys/cys cells revealed that selenoproteins are dispensable for cell viability provided partial GPX4 activity is retained. Conclusively, 200 years after its discovery, a specific and indispensable role for selenium is provided.

Funding information:
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - R01 GM058888(United States)

Chemical hypoxia-induced integrated stress response activation in oligodendrocytes is mediated by the transcription factor nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2)-like 2 (NRF2).

  • Teske N
  • J. Neurochem.
  • 2017 Dec 7

Literature context: 0; Vector, order numb. BA-9200, RRID:AB_2336171) with Alexa Fluor 488-coupled S


The extent of remyelination in multiple sclerosis lesions is often incomplete. Injury to oligodendrocyte progenitor cells can be a contributing factor for such incomplete remyelination. The precise mechanisms underlying insufficient repair remain to be defined, but oxidative stress appears to be involved. Here, we used immortalized oligodendrocyte cell lines as model systems to investigate a causal relation of oxidative stress and endoplasmic reticulum stress signaling cascades. OLN93 and OliNeu cells were subjected to chemical hypoxia by blocking the respiratory chain at various levels. Mitochondrial membrane potential and oxidative stress levels were quantified by flow cytometry. Endoplasmic reticulum stress was monitored by the expression induction of activating transcription factor 3 and 4 (Atf3, Atf4), DNA damage-inducible transcript 3 protein (Ddit3), and glucose-regulated protein 94. Lentiviral silencing of nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2)-like 2 or kelch-like ECH-associated protein 1 was applied to study the relevance of NRF2 for endoplasmic reticulum stress responses. We demonstrate that inhibition of the respiratory chain induces oxidative stress in cultured oligodendrocytes which is paralleled by the expression induction of distinct mediators of the endoplasmic reticulum stress response, namely Atf3, Atf4, and Ddit3. Atf3 and Ddit3 expression induction is potentiated in kelch-like ECH-associated protein 1-deficient cells and absent in cells lacking the oxidative stress-related transcription factor NRF2. This study provides strong evidence that oxidative stress in oligodendrocytes activates endoplasmic reticulum stress response in a NRF2-dependent manner and, in consequence, might regulate oligodendrocyte degeneration in multiple sclerosis and other neurological disorders.

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - R21 CA139246(United States)

Comparative investigation of neuronal nitric oxide synthase immunoreactivity in rat and human claustrum.

  • Landzhov B
  • J. Chem. Neuroanat.
  • 2017 Dec 19

Literature context: BA-9200, RRID:AB_2336171) in a dilu


We compared the distribution, density and morphological characteristics of nitric oxide synthase-immunoreactive (NOS-ir) neurons in the rat and human claustrum. These neurons were categorized by diameter into three main types: large, medium and small. In the human claustrum, large neurons ranged from 26 to 40μm in diameter, medium neurons from 20 to 25μm and small neurons from 13 to 19μm. In the rat claustrum, large neurons ranged from 19 to 23μm in diameter, medium neurons from 15 to 18μm and small neurons from 10 to 14μm. The cell bodies of large and medium neurons varied broadly in shape - multipolar, elliptical, bipolar and irregular, consistent with a projection neuron phenotype. The small neurons were most seen as being oval or elliptical in shape, resembling an interneuron phenotype. Based on a quantitative comparison of their dendritic characteristics, the NOS-ir neurons of humans and rats displayed a statistically significant difference.

A p53 Super-tumor Suppressor Reveals a Tumor Suppressive p53-Ptpn14-Yap Axis in Pancreatic Cancer.

  • Mello SS
  • Cancer Cell
  • 2017 Oct 9

Literature context: ouseVector LaboratoriesBA-9200; RRID: AB_2336171Biotinylated goat anti-rabbitVec


The p53 transcription factor is a critical barrier to pancreatic cancer progression. To unravel mechanisms of p53-mediated tumor suppression, which have remained elusive, we analyzed pancreatic cancer development in mice expressing p53 transcriptional activation domain (TAD) mutants. Surprisingly, the p5353,54 TAD2 mutant behaves as a "super-tumor suppressor," with an enhanced capacity to both suppress pancreatic cancer and transactivate select p53 target genes, including Ptpn14. Ptpn14 encodes a negative regulator of the Yap oncoprotein and is necessary and sufficient for pancreatic cancer suppression, like p53. We show that p53 deficiency promotes Yap signaling and that PTPN14 and TP53 mutations are mutually exclusive in human cancers. These studies uncover a p53-Ptpn14-Yap pathway that is integral to p53-mediated tumor suppression.

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - R01 CA140875()

The Role of Sirt1 in Epileptogenesis.

  • Hall AM
  • eNeuro
  • 2017 Oct 30

Literature context: ratories; RRID:AB_2336171) for 1 h.


The mechanisms by which brain insults lead to subsequent epilepsy remain unclear. Insults, including trauma, stroke, tumors, infections, and long seizures [status epilepticus (SE)], create a neuronal state of increased metabolic demand or decreased energy supply. Neurons express molecules that monitor their metabolic state, including sirtuins (Sirts). Sirtuins deacetylate cytoplasmic proteins and nuclear histones, and their epigenetic modulation of the chromatin governs the expression of many genes, influencing neuronal properties. Thus, sirtuins are poised to enduringly modulate neuronal properties following SE, potentially contributing to epileptogenesis, a hypothesis supported by the epilepsy-attenuating effects of blocking a downstream target of Sirt1, Neuron-Restrictive Silencer Factor (NRSF) also know as REST (RE1-Silencing Transcription factor). Here we used an adult male rat model of epileptogenesis provoked by kainic acid-induced SE (KA-SE). We assessed KA-SE-provoked Sirt1 activity, infused a Sirt1 inhibitor (EX-527) after KA-SE, and examined for epileptogenesis using continuous digital video-EEG. Sirt1 activity, measured using chromatin immunoprecipitation for Sirt1 binding at a target gene, increased rapidly after SE. Post hoc infusion of the Sirt1 inhibitor prevented Sirt1-mediated repression of a target gene. Blocking Sirt1 activity transiently after KA-SE did not significantly influence the time- course and all of the parameters of epilepsy development. Specifically, latency to first seizure and seizure number, duration, and severity (using the Racine scale and EEG measures) as well as the frequency and duration of interictal spike series, were all unchanged. KA-SE provoked a robust inflammatory response and modest cell loss, yet neither was altered by blocking Sirt1. In conclusion, blocking Sirt1 activity after KA-SE does not abrogate epilepsy development, suggesting that the mechanisms of such acquired epileptogenesis are independent of Sirt1 function.

Funding information:
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS035439()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS078279()

The Anterior Insular Cortex→Central Amygdala Glutamatergic Pathway Is Critical to Relapse after Contingency Management.

  • Venniro M
  • Neuron
  • 2017 Oct 11

Literature context: dy Vector Laboratories BA-9200; RRID:AB_2336171 Bacterial and Virus Strains


Despite decades of research on neurobiological mechanisms of psychostimulant addiction, the only effective treatment for many addicts is contingency management, a behavioral treatment that uses alternative non-drug reward to maintain abstinence. However, when contingency management is discontinued, most addicts relapse to drug use. The brain mechanisms underlying relapse after cessation of contingency management are largely unknown, and, until recently, an animal model of this human condition did not exist. Here we used a novel rat model, in which the availability of a mutually exclusive palatable food maintains prolonged voluntary abstinence from intravenous methamphetamine self-administration, to demonstrate that the activation of monosynaptic glutamatergic projections from anterior insular cortex to central amygdala is critical to relapse after the cessation of contingency management. We identified the anterior insular cortex-to-central amygdala projection as a new addiction- and motivation-related projection and a potential target for relapse prevention.

Funding information:
  • Intramural NIH HHS - ZIA DA000434-17()

Cellular mechanisms of cyclophosphamide-induced taste loss in mice.

  • Mukherjee N
  • PLoS ONE
  • 2017 Sep 26

Literature context: s, Burlingame, California, USA; RRID:AB_2336171) in 1:1000 dilution and the sig


Many commonly prescribed chemotherapy drugs such as cyclophosphamide (CYP) have adverse side effects including disruptions in taste which can result in loss of appetite, malnutrition, poorer recovery and reduced quality of life. Previous studies in mice found evidence that CYP has a two-phase disturbance in taste behavior: a disturbance immediately following drug administration and a second which emerges several days later. In this study, we examined the processes by which CYP disturbs the taste system by examining the effects of the drug on taste buds and cells responsible for taste cell renewal using immunohistochemical assays. Data reported here suggest CYP has direct cytotoxic effects on lingual epithelium immediately following administration, causing an early loss of taste sensory cells. Types II and III cells in fungiform taste buds appear to be more susceptible to this effect than circumvallate cells. In addition, CYP disrupts the population of rapidly dividing cells in the basal layer of taste epithelium responsible for taste cell renewal, manifesting a disturbance days later. The loss of these cells temporarily retards the system's capacity to replace Type II and Type III taste sensory cells that survived the cytotoxic effects of CYP and died at the end of their natural lifespan. The timing of an immediate, direct loss of taste cells and a delayed, indirect loss without replacement of taste sensory cells are broadly congruent with previously published behavioral data reporting two periods of elevated detection thresholds for umami and sucrose stimuli. These findings suggest that chemotherapeutic disturbances in the peripheral mechanisms of the taste system may cause dietary challenges at a time when the cancer patient has significant need for well balanced, high energy nutritional intake.

An FAK-YAP-mTOR Signaling Axis Regulates Stem Cell-Based Tissue Renewal in Mice.

  • Hu JK
  • Cell Stem Cell
  • 2017 Jul 6

Literature context: BA-9200, RRID:AB_2336171 Goat polyc


Tissue homeostasis requires the production of newly differentiated cells from resident adult stem cells. Central to this process is the expansion of undifferentiated intermediates known as transit-amplifying (TA) cells, but how stem cells are triggered to enter this proliferative TA state remains an important open question. Using the continuously growing mouse incisor as a model of stem cell-based tissue renewal, we found that the transcriptional cofactors YAP and TAZ are required both to maintain TA cell proliferation and to inhibit differentiation. Specifically, we identified a pathway involving activation of integrin α3 in TA cells that signals through an LATS-independent FAK/CDC42/PP1A cascade to control YAP-S397 phosphorylation and nuclear localization. This leads to Rheb expression and potentiates mTOR signaling to drive the proliferation of TA cells. These findings thus reveal a YAP/TAZ signaling mechanism that coordinates stem cell expansion and differentiation during organ renewal.

Funding information:
  • NIDCR NIH HHS - F32 DE023705()
  • NIDCR NIH HHS - K99 DE025874()
  • NIDCR NIH HHS - R01 DE024988()
  • NIDCR NIH HHS - R35 DE026602()

Different Forms of AMPA Receptor Mediated LTP and Their Correlation to the Spatial Working Memory Formation.

  • Shimshek DR
  • Front Mol Neurosci
  • 2017 Jul 20

Literature context: h-peroxidase (1:15,000, Vector; RRID:AB_2336171). Data are presented as mean ±


Spatial working memory (SWM) and the classical, tetanus-induced long-term potentiation (LTP) at hippocampal CA3/CA1 synapses are dependent on L-α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methylisoxazole-4-propionate receptors (AMPARs) containing GluA1 subunits as demonstrated by knockout mice lacking GluA1. In GluA1 knockout mice LTP and SWM deficits could be partially recovered by transgenic re-installation of full-length GluA1 in principle forebrain neurons. Here we partially restored hippocampal LTP in GluA1-deficient mice by forebrain-specific depletion of the GluA2 gene, by the activation of a hypomorphic GluA2(Q) allele and by transgenic expression of PDZ-site truncated GFP-GluA1(TG). In none of these three mouse lines, the partial LTP recovery improved the SWM performance of GluA1-deficient mice suggesting a specific function of intact GluA1/2 receptors and the GluA1 intracellular carboxyl-terminus in SWM and its associated behavior.

BK Channels Mediate Synaptic Plasticity Underlying Habituation in Rats.

  • Zaman T
  • J. Neurosci.
  • 2017 Apr 26

Literature context: #AI-9200, RRID:AB_2336171).


Habituation is a basic form of implicit learning and represents a sensory filter that is disrupted in autism, schizophrenia, and several other mental disorders. Despite extensive research in the past decades on habituation of startle and other escape responses, the underlying neural mechanisms are still not fully understood. There is evidence from previous studies indicating that BK channels might play a critical role in habituation. We here used a wide array of approaches to test this hypothesis. We show that BK channel activation and subsequent phosphorylation of these channels are essential for synaptic depression presumably underlying startle habituation in rats, using patch-clamp recordings and voltage-sensitive dye imaging in slices. Furthermore, positive modulation of BK channels in vivo can enhance short-term habituation. Although results using different approaches do not always perfectly align, together they provide convincing evidence for a crucial role of BK channel phosphorylation in synaptic depression underlying short-term habituation of startle. We also show that this mechanism can be targeted to enhance short-term habituation and therefore to potentially ameliorate sensory filtering deficits associated with psychiatric disorders.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Short-term habituation is the most fundamental form of implicit learning. Habituation also represents a filter for inundating sensory information, which is disrupted in autism, schizophrenia, and other psychiatric disorders. Habituation has been studied in different organisms and behavioral models and is thought to be caused by synaptic depression in respective pathways. The underlying molecular mechanisms, however, are poorly understood. We here identify, for the first time, a BK channel-dependent molecular synaptic mechanism leading to synaptic depression that is crucial for habituation, and we discuss the significance of our findings for potential treatments enhancing habituation.

Hallmarks of Alzheimer's Disease in Stem-Cell-Derived Human Neurons Transplanted into Mouse Brain.

  • Espuny-Camacho I
  • Neuron
  • 2017 Mar 8

Literature context: # BA-9200 RRID:AB_2336171 Anti-mouse


Human pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) provide a unique entry to study species-specific aspects of human disorders such as Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, in vitro culture of neurons deprives them of their natural environment. Here we transplanted human PSC-derived cortical neuronal precursors into the brain of a murine AD model. Human neurons differentiate and integrate into the brain, express 3R/4R Tau splice forms, show abnormal phosphorylation and conformational Tau changes, and undergo neurodegeneration. Remarkably, cell death was dissociated from tangle formation in this natural 3D model of AD. Using genome-wide expression analysis, we observed upregulation of genes involved in myelination and downregulation of genes related to memory and cognition, synaptic transmission, and neuron projection. This novel chimeric model for AD displays human-specific pathological features and allows the analysis of different genetic backgrounds and mutations during the course of the disease.

Rapid Integration of Artificial Sensory Feedback during Operant Conditioning of Motor Cortex Neurons.

  • Prsa M
  • Neuron
  • 2017 Feb 22

Literature context: BA-9200; RRID:AB_2336171 Bacterial


Neuronal motor commands, whether generating real or neuroprosthetic movements, are shaped by ongoing sensory feedback from the displacement being produced. Here we asked if cortical stimulation could provide artificial feedback during operant conditioning of cortical neurons. Simultaneous two-photon imaging and real-time optogenetic stimulation were used to train mice to activate a single neuron in motor cortex (M1), while continuous feedback of its activity level was provided by proportionally stimulating somatosensory cortex. This artificial signal was necessary to rapidly learn to increase the conditioned activity, detect correct performance, and maintain the learned behavior. Population imaging in M1 revealed that learning-related activity changes are observed in the conditioned cell only, which highlights the functional potential of individual neurons in the neocortex. Our findings demonstrate the capacity of animals to use an artificially induced cortical channel in a behaviorally relevant way and reveal the remarkable speed and specificity at which this can occur.

Subcellular organization of UBE3A in neurons.

  • Burette AC
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2017 Feb 1

Literature context: es, Burlingame, CA; catalog No. BA-9200), followed by 1.4-nm gold parti


Ubiquitination regulates a broad array of cellular processes, and defective ubiquitination is implicated in several neurological disorders. Loss of the E3 ubiquitin-protein ligase UBE3A causes Angelman syndrome. Despite its clinical importance, the normal role of UBE3A in neurons is still unclear. As a step toward deciphering its possible functions, we performed high-resolution light and electron microscopic immunocytochemistry. We report a broad distribution of UBE3A in neurons, highlighted by concentrations in axon terminals and euchromatin-rich nuclear domains. Our findings suggest that UBE3A may act locally to regulate individual synapses while also mediating global, neuronwide influences through the regulation of gene transcription. J. Comp. Neurol. 525:233-251, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Protein synthetic machinery and mRNA in regenerating tips of spinal cord axons in lamprey.

  • Jin LQ
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2016 Dec 1

Literature context: , Vector Laboratories1:200 (IHC)AB_2336171IRDye@800Goat anti-mouse IgG610-


Polyribosomes, mRNA, and other elements of translational machinery have been reported in peripheral nerves and in elongating injured axons of sensory neurons in vitro, primarily in growth cones. Evidence for involvement of local protein synthesis in regenerating central nervous system (CNS) axons is less extensive. We monitored regeneration of back-labeled lamprey spinal axons after spinal cord transection and detected mRNA in axon tips by in situ hybridization and microaspiration of their axoplasm. Poly(A)+mRNA was present in the axon tips, and was more abundant in actively regenerating tips than in static or retracting ones. Target-specific polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and in situ hybridization revealed plentiful mRNA for the low molecular neurofilament subunit and β-tubulin, but very little for β-actin, consistent with the morphology of their tips, which lack filopodia and lamellipodia. Electron microscopy showed ribosomes/polyribosomes in the distal parts of axon tips and in association with vesicle-like membranes, primarily in the tip. In one instance, there were structures with the appearance of rough endoplasmic reticulum. Immunohistochemistry showed patches of ribosomal protein S6 positivity in a similar distribution. The results suggest that local protein synthesis might be involved in the mechanism of axon regeneration in the lamprey spinal cord. J. Comp. Neurol. 524:3614-3640, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Ventral Tegmental Area Dopamine Cell Activation during Male Rat Sexual Behavior Regulates Neuroplasticity and d-Amphetamine Cross-Sensitization following Sex Abstinence.

  • Beloate LN
  • J. Neurosci.
  • 2016 Sep 21

Literature context: log #MAB5280; 1:800,000; 17 h), biotinylated goat anti-mouse (Vector Laboratories, catalog #BA-9200; RRID:AB_2336171;


Experience with sexual behavior causes cross-sensitization of amphetamine reward, an effect dependent on a period of sexual reward abstinence. We previously showed that ΔFosB in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) is a key mediator of this cross-sensitization, potentially via dopamine receptor activation. However, the role of mesolimbic dopamine for sexual behavior or cross-sensitization between natural and drug reward is unknown. This was tested using inhibitory designer receptors exclusively activated by designer drugs in ventral tegmental area (VTA) dopamine cells. rAAV5/hSvn-DIO-hm4D-mCherry was injected into the VTA of TH::Cre adult male rats. Males received clozapine N-oxide (CNO) or vehicle injections before each of 5 consecutive days of mating or handling. Following an abstinence period of 7 d, males were tested for amphetamine conditioned place preference (CPP). Next, males were injected with CNO or vehicle before mating or handling for analysis of mating-induced cFos, sex experience-induced ΔFosB, and reduction of VTA dopamine soma size. Results showed that CNO did not affect mating behavior. Instead, CNO prevented sexual experience-induced cross-sensitization of amphetamine CPP, ΔFosB in the NAc and medial prefrontal cortex, and decreases in VTA dopamine soma size. Expression of hm4D-mCherry was specific to VTA dopamine cells and CNO blocked excitation and mating-induced cFos expression in VTA dopamine cells. These findings provide direct evidence that VTA dopamine activation is not required for initiation or performance of sexual behavior. Instead, VTA dopamine directly contributes to increased vulnerability for drug use following loss of natural reward by causing neuroplasticity in the mesolimbic pathway during the natural reward experience. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT: Drugs of abuse act on the neural pathways that mediate natural reward learning and memory. Exposure to natural reward behaviors can alter subsequent drug-related reward. Specifically, experience with sexual behavior, followed by a period of abstinence from sexual behavior, causes increased reward for amphetamine in male rats. This study demonstrates that activation of ventral tegmental area dopamine neurons during sexual experience regulates cross-sensitization of amphetamine reward. Finally, ventral tegmental area dopamine cell activation is essential for experience-induced neural adaptations in the nucleus accumbens, prefrontal cortex, and ventral tegmental area. These findings demonstrate a role of mesolimbic dopamine in the interaction between natural and drug rewards, and identify mesolimbic dopamine as a key mediator of changes in vulnerability for drug use after loss of natural reward.

Funding information:
  • NIMH NIH HHS - R01 MH101130(United States)

Diversity of Reporter Expression Patterns in Transgenic Mouse Lines Targeting Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone-Expressing Neurons.

  • Chen Y
  • Endocrinology
  • 2015 Dec 21

Literature context:


Transgenic mice, including lines targeting corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF or CRH), have been extensively employed to study stress neurobiology. These powerful tools are poised to revolutionize our understanding of the localization and connectivity of CRH-expressing neurons, and the crucial roles of CRH in normal and pathological conditions. Accurate interpretation of studies using cell type-specific transgenic mice vitally depends on congruence between expression of the endogenous peptide and reporter. If reporter expression does not faithfully reproduce native gene expression, then effects of manipulating unintentionally targeted cells may be misattributed. Here, we studied CRH and reporter expression patterns in 3 adult transgenic mice: Crh-IRES-Cre;Ai14 (tdTomato mouse), Crfp3.0CreGFP, and Crh-GFP BAC. We employed the CRH antiserum generated by Vale after validating its specificity using CRH-null mice. We focused the analyses on stress-salient regions, including hypothalamus, amygdala, bed nucleus of the stria terminalis, and hippocampus. Expression patterns of endogenous CRH were consistent among wild-type and transgenic mice. In tdTomato mice, most CRH-expressing neurons coexpressed the reporter, yet the reporter identified a few non-CRH-expressing pyramidal-like cells in hippocampal CA1 and CA3. In Crfp3.0CreGFP mice, coexpression of CRH and the reporter was found in central amygdala and, less commonly, in other evaluated regions. In Crh-GFP BAC mice, the large majority of neurons expressed either CRH or reporter, with little overlap. These data highlight significant diversity in concordant expression of reporter and endogenous CRH among 3 available transgenic mice. These findings should be instrumental in interpreting important scientific findings emerging from the use of these potent neurobiological tools.

Funding information:
  • NINDS NIH HHS - NS041218(United States)

Morphology and connectivity of parabrachial and cortical inputs to gustatory thalamus in rats.

  • Holtz SL
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2015 Jan 1

Literature context: # BA-9200 RRID:AB_2336171; 1:100 dil


The ventroposterior medialis parvocellularis (VPMpc) nucleus of the thalamus, the thalamic relay nucleus for gustatory sensation, receives primary input from the parabrachial nucleus, and projects to the insular cortex. To reveal the unique properties of the gustatory thalamus in comparison with archetypical sensory relay nuclei, this study examines the morphology of synaptic circuitry in the VPMpc, focusing on parabrachiothalamic driver input and corticothalamic feedback. Anterogradely visualized parabrachiothalamic fibers in the VPMpc bear large swellings. At electron microscope resolution, parabrachiothalamic axons are myelinated and make large boutons, forming multiple asymmetric, adherent, and perforated synapses onto large-caliber dendrites and dendrite initial segments. Labeled boutons contain dense-core vesicles, and they resemble a population of terminals within the VPMpc containing calcitonin gene-related peptide. As is typical of primary inputs to other thalamic nuclei, parabrachiothalamic terminals are over five times larger than other inputs, while constituting only 2% of all synapses. Glomeruli and triadic arrangements, characteristic features of other sensory thalamic nuclei, are not encountered. As revealed by anterograde tracer injections into the insular cortex, corticothalamic projections in the VPMpc form a dense network of fine fibers bearing small boutons. Corticothalamic terminals within the VPMpc were also observed to synapse on cells that were retrogradely filled from the same injections. The results constitute an initial survey describing unique anatomical properties of the rodent gustatory thalamus.

Funding information:
  • European Research Council - 260602(International)

β-cell induction in vivo in severely diabetic male mice by changing the circulating levels and pattern of the ratios of estradiol to androgens.

  • Inada A
  • Endocrinology
  • 2014 Oct 20

Literature context:


Previously we have generated transgenic (Tg) mice developing severe diabetes early in life with a profound depletion of β-cells with β-cell-directed expression of inducible cAMP early repressor-Iγ. Only male mice continue to demonstrate hyperglycemia throughout life. To investigate this sexual dimorphism, we treated severely diabetic male Tg mice with orchiectomy (ORX) or 17β-estradiol (E2) pellet implantation alone or in combination with ORX and E2-implantation to change the circulating levels and patterns of the ratio of estradiol to androgens. In the Tg-ORX group, the blood-glucose levels decreased to a certain level within several weeks but never reached the female Tg-control level. In contrast, the Tg-ORX+E2 or Tg-E2 group showed a more rapid drop in blood glucose to the basal level with a substantial increase in β-cells, thus preventing the occurrence of severe diabetes in the male mice. The β-cells, not only within islet but also in and adjacent to ducts and scattered β-cell clusters, were strongly induced by 1 week after treatment, and the islet morphology dramatically changed. Enhanced β-cell induction in the ducts occurred concomitantly with markedly increased levels of pancreatic duodenal homeobox-1 and related transcription factors. The glucose-lowering and β-cell-increasing effects were independent of the age at which the treatment is started. These data provide evidence that the circulating level of E2 and the ratio of E2 to T greatly affect the blood glucose levels, the β-cell induction, and the islet morphology in diabetic male Tg mice. This novel mechanism offers great potential for developing strategies to increase the number of β-cells in vivo.

Funding information:
  • European Research Council - 249845(International)

Exogenous glucocorticoids and a high-fat diet cause severe hyperglycemia and hyperinsulinemia and limit islet glucose responsiveness in young male Sprague-Dawley rats.

  • Beaudry JL
  • Endocrinology
  • 2013 Sep 26

Literature context:


Corticosterone (CORT) and other glucocorticoids cause peripheral insulin resistance and compensatory increases in β-cell mass. A prolonged high-fat diet (HFD) induces insulin resistance and impairs β-cell insulin secretion. This study examined islet adaptive capacity in rats treated with CORT and a HFD. Male Sprague-Dawley rats (age ∼6 weeks) were given exogenous CORT (400 mg/rat) or wax (placebo) implants and placed on a HFD (60% calories from fat) or standard diet (SD) for 2 weeks (N = 10 per group). CORT-HFD rats developed fasting hyperglycemia (>11 mM) and hyperinsulinemia (∼5-fold higher than controls) and were 15-fold more insulin resistant than placebo-SD rats by the end of ∼2 weeks (Homeostatic Model Assessment for Insulin Resistance [HOMA-IR] levels, 15.08 ± 1.64 vs 1.0 ± 0.12, P < .05). Pancreatic β-cell function, as measured by HOMA-β, was lower in the CORT-HFD group as compared to the CORT-SD group (1.64 ± 0.22 vs 3.72 ± 0.64, P < .001) as well as acute insulin response (0.25 ± 0.22 vs 1.68 ± 0.41, P < .05). Moreover, β- and α-cell mass were 2.6- and 1.6-fold higher, respectively, in CORT-HFD animals compared to controls (both P < .05). CORT treatment increased p-protein kinase C-α content in SD but not HFD-fed rats, suggesting that a HFD may lower insulin secretory capacity via impaired glucose sensing. Isolated islets from CORT-HFD animals secreted more insulin in both low and high glucose conditions; however, total insulin content was relatively depleted after glucose challenge. Thus, CORT and HFD, synergistically not independently, act to promote severe insulin resistance, which overwhelms islet adaptive capacity, thereby resulting in overt hyperglycemia.

Funding information:
  • Howard Hughes Medical Institute - (United States)
  • NIAID NIH HHS - R01 AI074847(United States)