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Biotinylated Goat Anti-Rabbit IgG antibody

RRID:AB_2313606

Antibody ID

AB_2313606

Target Antigen

IgG rabbit

Proper Citation

(Vector Laboratories Cat# BA-1000, RRID:AB_2313606)

Clonality

polyclonal antibody

Comments

Applications: Immunohistochemistry, Immunocytochemistry, Immunofluorescence, In situ hybridization, Blotting Applications, Elispot, ELISAs

Host Organism

goat

Vendor

Vector Laboratories

Cat Num

BA-1000

Publications that use this research resource

Morphological and functional changes in TRPM8-expressing corneal cold thermoreceptor neurons during aging and their impact on tearing in mice.

  • Alcalde I
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2018 Aug 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Morphological and functional alterations of peripheral somatosensory neurons during the aging process lead to a decline of somatosensory perception. Here, we analyze the changes occurring with aging in trigeminal ganglion (TG), TRPM8-expressing cold thermoreceptor neurons innervating the mouse cornea, which participate in the regulation of basal tearing and blinking and have been implicated in the pathogenesis of dry eye disease (DED). TG cell bodies and axonal branches were examined in a mouse line (TRPM8BAC -EYFP) expressing a fluorescent reporter. In 3 months old animals, about 50% of TG cold thermoreceptor neurons were intensely fluorescent, likely providing strongly fluorescent axons and complex corneal nerve terminals with ongoing activity at 34°C and low-threshold, robust responses to cooling. The remaining TRPM8+ corneal axons were weakly fluorescent with nonbeaded axons, sparsely ramified nerve terminals, and exhibited a low-firing rate at 34°C, responding moderately to cooling pulses as do weakly fluorescent TG neurons. In aged (24 months) mice, the number of weakly fluorescent TG neurons was strikingly high while the morphology of TRPM8+ corneal axons changed drastically; 89% were weakly fluorescent, unbranched, and often ending in the basal epithelium. Functionally, 72.5% of aged cold terminals responded as those of young animals, but 27.5% exhibited very low-background activity and abnormal responsiveness to cooling pulses. These morpho-functional changes develop in parallel with an enhancement of tear's basal flow and osmolarity, suggesting that the aberrant sensory inflow to the brain from impaired peripheral cold thermoreceptors contributes to age-induced abnormal tearing and to the high incidence of DED in elderly people.

Funding information:
  • NIH HHS - DP1 OD003958(United States)

Sensitivity and specificity of phospho-Ser129 α-synuclein monoclonal antibodies.

  • Delic V
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2018 Aug 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

α-Synuclein (α-syn) is an abundant presynaptic protein that is the primary constituent of inclusions that define Lewy body diseases (LBDs). In these inclusions, α-syn is phosphorylated at the serine-129 residue. Antibodies directed to this phosphorylation site are used to measure inclusion abundance and stage disease progression in preclinical models as well as in postmortem tissues in LBDs. While it is critical to reliably identify inclusions, phospho-specific antibodies often cross-react with nonspecific antigens. Four commercially available monoclonal antibodies, two from rabbits (clones EP1536Y and MJF-R13) and two from mice (81a and pSyn#64), have been the most widely used in detecting pS129-α-syn inclusions. Here, we systematically evaluated these antibodies in brain sections and protein lysates from rats and mice. All antibodies detected pS129-α-syn inclusions in the brain that were induced by preformed α-syn fibrils in wild-type rats and mice. Antibody titrations revealed that clones EP1536Y and 81a comparably labeled inclusions in both the perikarya and neuronal processes in contrast to clones MJF-R13 and pSyn#64 that incompletely labeled inclusions at various antibody concentrations. Except for EP1536Y, the clones produced nonspecific diffuse neuropil labeling in α-syn knockout mice as well as mice and rats injected with monomeric α-syn, with some nonspecific staining titrating with pS129-α-syn inclusions. By immunoblot, all the clones cross-reacted with proteins other than α-syn, warranting caution in interpretations of specificity. Clone EP1536Y uniquely and robustly detected endogenous pS129-α-syn in highly soluble protein fractions from the mouse brain. In summary, EP1536Y had the highest sensitivity and specificity for detecting pS129-α-syn.

Funding information:
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - GM08347(United States)
  • NINDS NIH HHS - P20 NS092530()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS064934()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R21 NS097643()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R33 NS097643()

The microbiota influences cell death and microglial colonization in the perinatal mouse brain.

  • Castillo-Ruiz A
  • Brain Behav. Immun.
  • 2018 Jul 11

Literature context:


Abstract:

The mammalian fetus develops in a largely sterile environment, and direct exposure to a complex microbiota does not occur until birth. We took advantage of this to examine the effect of the microbiota on brain development during the first few days of life. The expression of anti- and pro-inflammatory cytokines, developmental cell death, and microglial colonization in the brain were compared between newborn conventionally colonized mice and mice born in sterile, germ-free (GF) conditions. Expression of the pro-inflammatory cytokines interleukin 1β and tumor necrosis factor α was markedly suppressed in GF newborns. GF mice also had altered cell death, with some regions exhibiting higher rates (paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus and the CA1 oriens layer of the hippocampus) and other regions exhibiting no change or lower rates (arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus) of cell death. Microglial labeling was elevated in GF mice, due to an increase in both microglial cell size and number. The changes in cytokine expression, cell death and microglial labeling were evident on the day of birth, but were absent on embryonic day 18.5, approximately one-half day prior to expected delivery. Taken together, our results suggest that direct exposure to the microbiota at birth influences key neurodevelopmental events and does so within hours. These findings may help to explain some of the behavioral and neurochemical alterations previously seen in adult GF mice.

Funding information:
  • NIMH NIH HHS - R21 MH108345()

Expression of BDNF and trkB in the hippocampus of a rat genetic model of vulnerability (Roman low-avoidance) and resistance (Roman high-avoidance) to stress-induced depression.

  • Serra MP
  • Brain Behav
  • 2018 Jul 9

Literature context:


Abstract:

INTRODUCTION: The selective breeding of Roman High- (RHA) and Low-Avoidance (RLA) rats for, respectively, rapid versus poor acquisition of the active avoidance response has generated two distinct phenotypes differing in many behavioral traits, including coping strategies to aversive conditions. Thus, RLA rats are considered as a genetic model of vulnerability to stress-induced depression whereas RHA rats are a model of resilience to that trait. Besides the monoamine hypothesis of depression, there is evidence that alterations in neuronal plasticity in the hippocampus and other brain areas are critically involved in the pathophysiology of mood disorders. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Western blot (WB) and immunohistochemistry were used to investigate the basal immunochemical occurrence of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and its high-affinity tyrosine-kinase receptor trkB in the dorsal and ventral hippocampus of adult RHA and RLA rats. RESULTS: WB analysis indicated that the optical density of BDNF- and trkB-positive bands in the dorsal hippocampus is, respectively, 48% and 25% lower in RLA versus RHA rats. Densitometric analysis of BDNF- and trkB-like immunoreactivity (LI) in brain sections showed that BDNF-LI is 24% to 34% lower in the different sectors of the Ammon's horn of RLA versus RHA rats, whereas line-related differences are observed in the dentate gyrus (DG) only in the ventral hippocampus. As for trkB-LI, significant differences are observed only in the dorsal hippocampus, where density is 23% lower in the DG of RLA versus RHA rats, while no differences across lines occur in the Ammon's horn. CONCLUSION: These findings support the hypothesis that a reduced BDNF/trkB signaling in the hippocampus of RLA versus RHA rats may contribute to their more pronounced vulnerability to stress-induced depression.

Dominant Neuropeptide Cotransmission in Kisspeptin-GABA Regulation of GnRH Neuron Firing Driving Ovulation.

  • Piet R
  • J. Neurosci.
  • 2018 Jul 11

Literature context:


Abstract:

A population of kisspeptin-GABA coexpressing neurons located in the rostral periventricular area of the third ventricle (RP3V) is believed to activate gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) neurons to generate the luteinizing hormone (LH) surge triggering ovulation. Selective optogenetic activation of RP3V kisspeptin (RP3VKISS) neurons in female mice for >30 s and ≥10 Hz in either a continuous or bursting mode was found to reliably generate a delayed and long-lasting activation of GnRH neuron firing in brain slices. Optogenetic activation of RP3VKISS neurons in vivo at 10 Hz generated substantial increments in LH secretion of similar amplitude to the endogenous LH surge. Studies using GABAA receptor antagonists and optogenetic activation of RP3V GABA (RP3VGABA) neurons in vitro revealed that low-frequency (2 Hz) stimulation generated immediate and transient GABAA receptor-mediated increases in GnRH neuron firing, whereas higher frequencies (10 Hz) recruited the long-lasting activation observed following RP3VKISS neuron stimulation. In vivo, 2 Hz activation of RP3VGABA neurons did not alter LH secretion, whereas 10 Hz stimulation evoked a sustained large increase in LH identical to RP3VKISS neuron activation. Optogenetic activation of RP3VKISS neurons in which kisspeptin had been deleted did not alter LH secretion. These studies demonstrate the presence of parallel transmission streams from RP3V neurons to GnRH neurons that are frequency dependent and temporally distinct. This comprises a rapid and transient GABAA receptor-mediated activation and a slower onset kisspeptin-mediated stimulation of long duration. At the time of the LH surge, GABA release appears to be functionally redundant with the neuropeptide kisspeptin being the dominant cotransmitter influencing GnRH neuron output.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Miscommunication between the brain and ovaries is thought to represent a major cause of infertility in humans. Studies in rodents suggest that a population of neurons located in the rostral periventricular area of the third ventricle (RP3V) are critical for activating the gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) neurons that trigger ovulation. The present study provides evidence that an RP3V neuron population coexpressing kisspeptin and GABA provides a functionally important excitatory input to GnRH neurons at the time of ovulation. This neural input releases GABA and/or kisspeptin in the classical frequency dependent and temporally distinct nature of amino acid-neuropeptide cotransmission. Unusually, however, the neuropeptide stream is found to be functionally dominant in activating GnRH neurons at the time of ovulation.

Funding information:
  • NIMH NIH HHS - MH067842(United States)

VIP-immunoreactive interneurons within circuits of the mouse basolateral amygdala.

  • Rhomberg T
  • J. Neurosci.
  • 2018 Jun 28

Literature context:


Abstract:

In cortical structures, principal cell activity is tightly regulated by different GABAergic interneurons (INs). In particular, vasoactive intestinal polypeptide-expressing (VIP+) INs innervate preferentially other INs, providing a structural basis for temporal disinhibition of principal cells. However, relatively little is known about VIP+ INs in the amygdaloid basolateral complex (BLA). In this study, we report that VIP+ INs have a variable density in the distinct subdivisions of the mouse BLA. Based on different anatomical, neurochemical and electrophysiological criteria, VIP+ INs could be identified as interneuron-selective INs and basket cells expressing CB1 cannabinoid receptors. Whole-cell recordings of VIP+ interneuron-selective INs revealed 3 different spiking patterns, which did not associate with the expression of calretinin. Genetic targeting combined with optogenetics and in vitro recordings allowed us to identify several types of BLA INs innervated by VIP+ INs, including other interneuron-selective INs, basket and neurogliaform cells. Moreover, light stimulation of VIP+ basket cell axon terminals, characterized by CB1 sensitivity, evoked IPSPs in ∼20% of principal neurons. Finally, we show that VIP+ INs receive a dense innervation from both GABAergic, although only 10% from other VIP+ INs, and distinct glutamatergic inputs, identified by their expression of different vesicular glutamate transporters.In conclusion, our study provides a wide-range analysis of single-cell properties of VIP+ INs in the mouse BLA and of their intrinsic and extrinsic connectivity. Our results reinforce the knowledge that VIP+ INs are structurally and functionally heterogeneous and that this heterogeneity could mediate different roles in amygdala-dependent functions.Significance statement:We provide the first comprehensive analysis of the distribution of VIP+ interneurons across the entire mouse BLA, as well as of their morphological and physiological properties. VIP+ interneurons in the neocortex preferentially target other interneurons to form a disinhibitory network that facilitates principal cell firing. Our study is the first to demonstrate the presence of such a disinhibitory circuitry in the BLA. We observed structural and functional heterogeneity of these INs and characterized their input/output connectivity. We also identified several types of BLA interneurons postsynaptic to VIP+ INs, whose inhibition may provide a temporal window for principal cell firing and facilitate associative plasticity, e.g. in fear learning. Disinhibition, thus, is emerging as a general mechanism, not limited to the neocortex.

Funding information:
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - GM055962(United States)

The cellular prion protein promotes olfactory sensory neuron survival and axon targeting during adult neurogenesis.

  • Parrie LE
  • Dev. Biol.
  • 2018 Jun 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

The cellular prion protein (PrPC) has been associated with diverse biological processes including cell signaling, neurogenesis, and neuroprotection, but its physiological function(s) remain ambiguous. Here we determine the role of PrPC in adult neurogenesis using the olfactory system model in transgenic mice. Olfactory sensory neurons (OSNs) within the olfactory sensory epithelium (OSE) undergo neurogenesis, integration, and turnover even into adulthood. The neurogenic processes of proliferation, differentiation/maturation, and axon targeting were evaluated in wild type, PrP-overexpressing, and PrP-null transgenic mice. Our results indicate that PrPC plays a role in maintaining mature OSNs within the epithelium: overexpression of PrPC resulted in greater survival of mitotically active cells within the OSE, whereas absence of prion protein resulted in fewer cells being maintained over time. These results are supported by both quantitative PCR analysis of gene expression and protein analysis characteristic of OSN differentiation. Finally, evaluation of axon migration determined that OSN axon targeting in the olfactory bulb is PrPC dose-dependent. Together, these findings provide new mechanistic insight into the neuroprotective role for PrPC in adult OSE neurogenesis, whereby more mature neurons are stably maintained in animals expressing PrPC.

Funding information:
  • NIAID NIH HHS - AI81789(United States)
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R21 NS096662(United States)

Status epilepticus triggers long-lasting activation of complement C1q-C3 signaling in the hippocampus that correlates with seizure frequency in experimental epilepsy.

  • Schartz ND
  • Neurobiol. Dis.
  • 2018 Jun 25

Literature context:


Abstract:

Status epilepticus (SE) triggers a myriad of neurological alterations that include unprovoked seizures, temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE), and cognitive deficits. Although SE-induced loss of hippocampal dendritic structures and synaptic remodeling are often associated with this pathophysiology, the underlying mechanisms remain elusive. Recent evidence points to the classical complement pathway as a potential mechanism. Signaling through the complement protein C1q to C3, which is cleaved into smaller biologically active fragments including C3b and iC3b, contributes to the elimination of synaptic structures in the normal developing brain and in models of neurodegenerative disorders. We recently found increased protein levels of C1q and iC3b fragments in human drug-resistant epilepsy. Thus, to identify a potential role for C1q-C3 in SE-induced epilepsy, we performed a temporal analysis of C1q protein levels and C3 cleavage in the hippocampus along with their association to seizures and hippocampal-dependent cognitive functions in a rat model of SE and acquired TLE. We found significant increases in the levels of C1q, C3, and iC3b in the hippocampus at 2-, 3- and 5-weeks after SE relative to controls (p<0.05). In the SE group, greater iC3b levels were significantly correlated with higher seizure frequency (p<0.05). Together, these data support that hyperactivation of the classical complement pathway after SE parallels the progression of epilepsy. Future studies will determine whether C1q-C3 signaling contributes to epileptogenic synaptic remodeling in the hippocampus.

G-Protein-Coupled Receptor Gpr17 Expression in Two Multiple Sclerosis Remyelination Models.

  • Nyamoya S
  • Mol. Neurobiol.
  • 2018 Jun 5

Literature context:


Abstract:

In multiple sclerosis patients, demyelination is prominent in both the white and gray matter. Chronic clinical deficits are known to result from acute or chronic injury to the myelin sheath and inadequate remyelination. The underlying molecular mechanisms of remyelination and its failure remain currently unclear. Recent studies have recognized G protein-coupled receptor 17 (GPR17) as an important regulator of oligodendrocyte development and remyelination. So far, the relevance of GPR17 for myelin repair was mainly tested in remyelinating white matter lesions. The relevance of GPR17 for gray matter remyelination as well as remyelination of chronic white matter lesions was not addressed so far. Here, we provide a detailed characterization of GPR17 expression during experimental de- and remyelination. Experimental lesions with robust and limited endogenous remyelination capacity were established by either acute or chronic cuprizone-induced demyelination. Furthermore, remyelinating lesions were induced by the focal injection of lysophosphatidylcholine (LPC) into the corpus callosum. GPR17 expression was analyzed by complementary techniques including immunohistochemistry, in situ hybridization, and real-time PCR. In control animals, GPR17+ cells were evenly distributed in the corpus callosum and cortex and displayed a highly ramified morphology. Virtually all GPR17+ cells also expressed the oligodendrocyte-specific transcription factor OLIG2. After acute cuprizone-induced demyelination, robust endogenous remyelination was evident in the white matter corpus callosum but not in the gray matter cortex. Endogenous callosal remyelination was paralleled by a robust induction of GPR17 expression which was absent in the gray matter cortex. Higher numbers of GPR17+ cells were as well observed after LPC-induced focal white matter demyelination. In contrast, densities of GPR17+ cells were comparable to control animals after chronic cuprizone-induced demyelination indicating quiescence of this cell population. Our findings demonstrate that GPR17 expression induction correlates with acute demyelination and sufficient endogenous remyelination. This strengthens the view that manipulation of this receptor might be a therapeutic opportunity to support endogenous remyelination.

Funding information:
  • Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft - KI 1469/8-1()
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - R01 GM085490-03(United States)

Xenobiotic Nuclear Receptor Signaling Determines Molecular Pathogenesis of Progressive Familial Intrahepatic Cholestasis.

  • Kim KH
  • Endocrinology
  • 2018 Jun 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Progressive familial intrahepatic cholestasis (PFIC) is a genetically heterogeneous disorder of bile flow disruption due to abnormal canalicular transport or impaired bile acid (BA) metabolism, causing excess BA accumulation and liver failure. We previously reported an intrahepatic cholestasis mouse model based on loss of function of both farnesoid X receptor (FXR; NR1H4) and a small heterodimer partner (SHP; NR0B2) [double knockout (DKO)], which has strong similarities to human PFIC5. We compared the pathogenesis of DKO livers with that of another intrahepatic cholestasis model, Bsep-/-, which represents human PFIC2. Both models exhibit severe hepatomegaly and hepatic BA accumulation, but DKO showed greater circulating BA and liver injury, and Bsep-/- had milder phenotypes. Molecular profiling of BAs uncovered specific enrichment of cholic acid (CA)-derived BAs in DKO livers but chenodeoxycholate-derived BAs in Bsep-/- livers. Transcriptomic and proteomic analysis revealed specific activation of CA synthesis and alternative basolateral BA transport in DKO but increased chenodeoxycholic acid synthesis and canalicular transport in Bsep-/-. The constitutive androstane receptor (CAR)/pregnane X receptor (PXR)-CYP2B/CYP2C axis is activated in DKO livers but not in other cholestasis models. Loss of this axis in Fxr:Shp:Car:Pxr quadruple knockouts blocked Cyp2b/Cyp2c gene induction, impaired bilirubin conjugation/elimination, and increased liver injury. Differential CYP2B expression in DKO and Bsep-/- was recapitulated in human PFIC5 and PFIC2 livers. In conclusion, loss of FXR/SHP results in distinct molecular pathogenesis and CAR/PXR activation, which promotes Cyp2b/Cyp2c gene transcription and bilirubin clearance. CAR/PXR activation was not observed in Bsep-/- mice or PFIC2 patients. These findings provide a deeper understanding of the heterogeneity of intrahepatic cholestasis.

Funding information:
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - R01 HL064888(United States)

Hypoxia negatively affects senescence in osteoclasts and delays osteoclastogenesis.

  • Gorissen B
  • J. Cell. Physiol.
  • 2018 Jun 22

Literature context:


Abstract:

Cellular senescence, that is, the withdrawal from the cell cycle, combined with the acquirement of the senescence associated secretory phenotype has important roles during health and disease and is essential for tissue remodeling during embryonic development. Osteoclasts are multinucleated cells, responsible for bone resorption, and cell cycle arrest during osteoclastogenesis is well recognized. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate whether these cells should be considered senescent and to assess the influence of hypoxia on their potential senescence status. Osteoclastogenesis and bone resorption capacity of osteoclasts, cultured from CD14+ monocytes, were evaluated in two oxygen concentrations, normoxia (21% O2 ) and hypoxia (5% O2 ). Osteoclasts were profiled by using specific staining for proliferation and senescence markers, qPCR of a number of osteoclast and senescence-related genes and a bone resorption assay. Results show that during in vitro osteoclastogenesis, osteoclasts heterogeneously obtain a senescent phenotype. Furthermore, osteoclastogenesis was delayed at hypoxic compared to normoxic conditions, without negatively affecting the bone resorption capacity. It is concluded that osteoclasts can be considered senescent, although senescence is not uniformly present in the osteoclast population. Hypoxia negatively affects the expression of some senescence markers. Based on the direct relationship between senescence and osteoclastogenesis, it is tempting to hypothesize that contents of the so-called senescence associated secretory phenotype (SASP) not only play a functional role in matrix resorption, but also may regulate osteoclastogenesis.

Funding information:
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - R01 GM036373(United States)

Characterization of McDonald's intermediate part of the central nucleus of the amygdala in the rat.

  • Barbier M
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2018 Jun 12

Literature context:


Abstract:

The actual organization of the central nucleus of the amygdala (CEA) in the rat is mostly based on cytoarchitecture and the distribution of several cell types, as described by McDonald in 1982. Four divisions were identified by this author. However, since this original work, one of these divisions, the intermediate part, has not been consistently recognized based on Nissl-stained material. In the present study, we observed that a compact condensation of retrogradely labeled cells is found in the CEA after fluorogold injection in the anterior region of the tuberal lateral hypothalamic area in the rat. We then searched for neurochemical markers of this cell condensation and found that it is quite specifically labeled for calbindin (Cb), but also contains calretinin (Cr), tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) and methionine-enkephalin (Met-Enk) immunohistochemical signals. These neurochemical features are specific to this cell group which, therefore, is distinct from the other parts of the CEA. We then performed cholera toxin injections in the mouse LHA (lateral hypothalamic area) to identify this cell group in this species. We found that neurons exist in the medial and rostral CEAl that project into the LHA but they have a less tight organization than in the rat. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - CA116984(United States)

Regulation of Epithelial Plasticity Determines Metastatic Organotropism in Pancreatic Cancer.

  • Reichert M
  • Dev. Cell
  • 2018 Jun 18

Literature context:


Abstract:

The regulation of metastatic organotropism in pancreatic ductal a denocarcinoma (PDAC) remains poorly understood. We demonstrate, using multiple mouse models, that liver and lung metastatic organotropism is dependent upon p120catenin (p120ctn)-mediated epithelial identity. Mono-allelic p120ctn loss accelerates KrasG12D-driven pancreatic cancer formation and liver metastasis. Importantly, one p120ctn allele is sufficient for E-CADHERIN-mediated cell adhesion. By contrast, cells with bi-allelic p120ctn loss demonstrate marked lung organotropism; however, rescue with p120ctn isoform 1A restores liver metastasis. In a p120ctn-independent PDAC model, mosaic loss of E-CADHERIN expression reveals selective pressure for E-CADHERIN-positive liver metastasis and E-CADHERIN-negative lung metastasis. Furthermore, human PDAC and liver metastases support the premise that liver metastases exhibit predominantly epithelial characteristics. RNA-seq demonstrates differential induction of pathways associated with metastasis and epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition in p120ctn-deficient versus p120ctn-wild-type cells. Taken together, P120CTN and E-CADHERIN mediated epithelial plasticity is an addition to the conceptual framework underlying metastatic organotropism in pancreatic cancer.

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - F30 CA180601()
  • NCI NIH HHS - F32 CA221094()
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - P30 DK050306()
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - R01 DK060694()
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - R21DK090778(United States)

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

  • Washausen S
  • Biol Open
  • 2018 Jun 19

Literature context:


Abstract:

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)

Evolution of Cortical Neurogenesis in Amniotes Controlled by Robo Signaling Levels.

  • Cárdenas A
  • Cell
  • 2018 Jun 20

Literature context:


Abstract:

Cerebral cortex size differs dramatically between reptiles, birds, and mammals, owing to developmental differences in neuron production. In mammals, signaling pathways regulating neurogenesis have been identified, but genetic differences behind their evolution across amniotes remain unknown. We show that direct neurogenesis from radial glia cells, with limited neuron production, dominates the avian, reptilian, and mammalian paleocortex, whereas in the evolutionarily recent mammalian neocortex, most neurogenesis is indirect via basal progenitors. Gain- and loss-of-function experiments in mouse, chick, and snake embryos and in human cerebral organoids demonstrate that high Slit/Robo and low Dll1 signaling, via Jag1 and Jag2, are necessary and sufficient to drive direct neurogenesis. Attenuating Robo signaling and enhancing Dll1 in snakes and birds recapitulates the formation of basal progenitors and promotes indirect neurogenesis. Our study identifies modulation in activity levels of conserved signaling pathways as a primary mechanism driving the expansion and increased complexity of the mammalian neocortex during amniote evolution.

Funding information:
  • Wellcome Trust - (United Kingdom)

Genetic Modulation of HSPA1A Accelerates Kindling Progression and Exerts Pro-convulsant Effects.

  • von Rüden EL
  • Neuroscience
  • 2018 Jun 30

Literature context:


Abstract:

Strong evidence exists that Toll-like receptor (TLR)-mediated effects on microglia functional states can promote ictogenesis and epileptogenesis. So far, research has focused on the role of high-mobility group box protein 1 as an activator of TLRs. However, the development of targeting strategies might need to consider a role of additional receptor ligands. Considering the fact that heat shock protein A1 (hsp70) has been confirmed as a TLR 2 and 4 ligand, we have explored the consequences of its overexpression in a mouse kindling paradigm. The genetic modulation enhanced seizure susceptibility with lowered seizure thresholds prior to kindling. In contrast to wildtype (WT) mice, HSPA1A transgenic (TG) mice exhibited generalized seizures very early during the kindling paradigm. Along with an increased seizure severity, seizure duration proved to be prolonged in TG mice during this phase. Toward the end of the stimulation phase seizure parameters of WT mice reached comparable levels. However, a difference between genotypes was still evident when comparing seizure parameters during the post-kindling threshold determination. Surprisingly, HSPA1A overexpression did not affect microglia activation in the hippocampus. In conclusion, the findings demonstrate that hsp70 can exert pro-convulsant effects promoting ictogenesis in naïve animals. The pronounced impact on the response to subsequent stimulations gives first evidence that genetic HSPA1A upregulation may also contribute to epileptogenesis. Thus, strategies inhibiting hsp70 or its expression might be of interest for prevention of seizures and epilepsy. However, conclusions about a putative pro-epileptogenic effect of hsp70 require further investigations in models with development of spontaneous recurrent seizures.

Funding information:
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - R01 HL045638(United States)

Comprehensive analysis of area-specific and time-dependent changes in gene expression in the motor cortex of macaque monkeys during recovery from spinal cord injury.

  • Higo N
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2018 May 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

The present study aimed to assess the molecular bases of cortical compensatory mechanisms following spinal cord injury in primates. To accomplish this, comprehensive changes in gene expression were investigated in the bilateral primary motor cortex (M1), dorsal premotor cortex (PMd), and ventral premotor cortex (PMv) after a unilateral lesion of the lateral corticospinal tract (l-CST). At 2 weeks after the lesion, a large number of genes exhibited altered expression levels in the contralesional M1, which is directly linked to the lesioned l-CST. Gene ontology and network analyses indicated that these changes in gene expression are involved in the atrophy and plasticity changes observed in neurons. Orchestrated gene expression changes were present when behavioral recovery was attained 3 months after the lesion, particularly among the bilateral premotor areas, and a large number of these genes are involved in plasticity. Moreover, several genes abundantly expressed in M1 of intact monkeys were upregulated in both the PMd and PMv after the l-CST lesion. These area-specific and time-dependent changes in gene expression may underlie the molecular mechanisms of functional recovery following a lesion of the l-CST.

Polε Instability Drives Replication Stress, Abnormal Development, and Tumorigenesis.

  • Bellelli R
  • Mol. Cell
  • 2018 May 17

Literature context:


Abstract:

DNA polymerase ε (POLE) is a four-subunit complex and the major leading strand polymerase in eukaryotes. Budding yeast orthologs of POLE3 and POLE4 promote Polε processivity in vitro but are dispensable for viability in vivo. Here, we report that POLE4 deficiency in mice destabilizes the entire Polε complex, leading to embryonic lethality in inbred strains and extensive developmental abnormalities, leukopenia, and tumor predisposition in outbred strains. Comparable phenotypes of growth retardation and immunodeficiency are also observed in human patients harboring destabilizing mutations in POLE1. In both Pole4-/- mouse and POLE1 mutant human cells, Polε hypomorphy is associated with replication stress and p53 activation, which we attribute to inefficient replication origin firing. Strikingly, removing p53 is sufficient to rescue embryonic lethality and all developmental abnormalities in Pole4 null mice. However, Pole4-/-p53+/- mice exhibit accelerated tumorigenesis, revealing an important role for controlled CMG and origin activation in normal development and tumor prevention.

Funding information:
  • NIAID NIH HHS - U01 AI070499(United States)

Fetal Neuropathology in Zika Virus-Infected Pregnant Female Rhesus Monkeys.

  • Martinot AJ
  • Cell
  • 2018 May 17

Literature context:


Abstract:

The development of interventions to prevent congenital Zika syndrome (CZS) has been limited by the lack of an established nonhuman primate model. Here we show that infection of female rhesus monkeys early in pregnancy with Zika virus (ZIKV) recapitulates many features of CZS in humans. We infected 9 pregnant monkeys with ZIKV, 6 early in pregnancy (weeks 6-7 of gestation) and 3 later in pregnancy (weeks 12-14 of gestation), and compared findings with uninfected controls. 100% (6 of 6) of monkeys infected early in pregnancy exhibited prolonged maternal viremia and fetal neuropathology, including fetal loss, smaller brain size, and histopathologic brain lesions, including microcalcifications, hemorrhage, necrosis, vasculitis, gliosis, and apoptosis of neuroprogenitor cells. High-resolution MRI demonstrated concordant lesions indicative of deep gray matter injury. We also observed spinal, ocular, and neuromuscular pathology. Our data show that vascular compromise and neuroprogenitor cell dysfunction are hallmarks of CZS pathogenesis, suggesting novel strategies to prevent and to treat this disease.

Funding information:
  • NIAID NIH HHS - 2R01 AI056153(United States)
  • NIAID NIH HHS - U19 AI096040()
  • NIAID NIH HHS - U19 AI128751()
  • NIAID NIH HHS - UM1 AI124377()

Inhibition of Microsomal Prostaglandin E Synthase-1 in Cancer-Associated Fibroblasts Suppresses Neuroblastoma Tumor Growth.

  • Kock A
  • EBioMedicine
  • 2018 May 29

Literature context:


Abstract:

Despite recent progress in diagnosis and treatment, survival for children with high-risk metastatic neuroblastoma is still poor. Prostaglandin E2 (PGE2)-driven inflammation promotes tumor growth, immune suppression, angiogenesis and resistance to established cancer therapies. In neuroblastoma, cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) residing in the tumor microenvironment are the primary source of PGE2. However, clinical targeting of PGE2 with current non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or cyclooxygenase inhibitors has been limited due to risk of adverse side effects. By specifically targeting microsomal prostaglandin E synthase-1 (mPGES-1) activity with a small molecule inhibitor we could block CAF-derived PGE2 production leading to reduced tumor growth, impaired angiogenesis, inhibited CAF migration and infiltration, reduced tumor cell proliferation and a favorable shift in the M1/M2 macrophage ratio. In this study, we provide proof-of-principle of the benefits of targeting mPGES-1 in neuroblastoma, applicable to a wide variety of tumors. This non-toxic single drug treatment targeting infiltrating stromal cells opens up for combination treatment options with established cancer therapies.

Funding information:
  • Medical Research Council - (United Kingdom)

Serotonergic Signaling Controls Input-Specific Synaptic Plasticity at Striatal Circuits.

  • Cavaccini A
  • Neuron
  • 2018 May 16

Literature context:


Abstract:

Monoaminergic modulation of cortical and thalamic inputs to the dorsal striatum (DS) is crucial for reward-based learning and action control. While dopamine has been extensively investigated in this context, the synaptic effects of serotonin (5-HT) have been largely unexplored. Here, we investigated how serotonergic signaling affects associative plasticity at glutamatergic synapses on the striatal projection neurons of the direct pathway (dSPNs). Combining chemogenetic and optogenetic approaches reveals that impeding serotonergic signaling preferentially gates spike-timing-dependent long-term depression (t-LTD) at thalamostriatal synapses. This t-LTD requires dampened activity of the 5-HT4 receptor subtype, which we demonstrate controls dendritic Ca2+ signals by regulating BK channel activity, and which preferentially localizes at the dendritic shaft. The synaptic effects of 5-HT signaling at thalamostriatal inputs provide insights into how changes in serotonergic levels associated with behavioral states or pathology affect striatal-dependent processes.

Funding information:
  • Wellcome Trust - (United Kingdom)

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:


Abstract:

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.

Genetic detection of Sonic hedgehog (Shh) expression and cellular response in the progression of acute through chronic demyelination and remyelination.

  • Sanchez MA
  • Neurobiol. Dis.
  • 2018 Apr 9

Literature context:


Abstract:

Multiple sclerosis is a demyelinating disease in which neurological deficits result from damage to myelin, axons, and neuron cell bodies. Prolonged or repeated episodes of demyelination impair remyelination. We hypothesized that augmenting Sonic hedgehog (Shh) signaling in chronically demyelinated lesions could enhance oligodendrogenesis and remyelination. Shh regulates oligodendrocyte development during postnatal myelination, and maintains adult neural stem cells. We used genetic approaches to detect Shh expression and Shh responding cells in vivo. ShhCreERT2 or Gli1CreERT2 mice were crossed to reporter mice for genetic fate-labeling of cells actively transcribing Shh or Gli1, an effective readout of canonical Shh signaling. Tamoxifen induction enabled temporal control of recombination at distinct stages of acute and chronic cuprizone demyelination of the corpus callosum. Gli1 fate-labeled cells were rarely found in the corpus callosum with tamoxifen given during acute demyelination stages to examine activated microglia, reactive astrocytes, or remyelinating cells. Gli1 fate-labeled cells, mainly reactive astrocytes, were observed in the corpus callosum with tamoxifen given after chronic demyelination. However, Shh expressing cells were not detected in the corpus callosum during acute or chronic demyelination. Finally, SAG, an agonist of both canonical and type II non-canonical Hedgehog signaling pathways, was microinjected into the corpus callosum after chronic demyelination. Significantly, SAG delivery increased proliferation and enhanced remyelination. SAG did not increase Gli1 fate-labeled cells in the corpus callosum, which may indicate signaling through the non-canonical Hedgehog pathway. These studies demonstrate that Hedgehog pathway interventions may have therapeutic potential to modulate astrogliosis and to promote remyelination after chronic demyelination.

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - K24 CA139054(United States)

Hippo Signaling Plays an Essential Role in Cell State Transitions during Cardiac Fibroblast Development.

  • Xiao Y
  • Dev. Cell
  • 2018 Apr 23

Literature context:


Abstract:

During development, progenitors progress through transition states. The cardiac epicardium contains progenitors of essential non-cardiomyocytes. The Hippo pathway, a kinase cascade that inhibits the Yap transcriptional co-factor, controls organ size in developing hearts. Here, we investigated Hippo kinases Lats1 and Lats2 in epicardial diversification. Epicardial-specific deletion of Lats1/2 was embryonic lethal, and mutant embryos had defective coronary vasculature remodeling. Single-cell RNA sequencing revealed that Lats1/2 mutant cells failed to activate fibroblast differentiation but remained in an intermediate cell state with both epicardial and fibroblast characteristics. Lats1/2 mutant cells displayed an arrested developmental trajectory with persistence of epicardial markers and expanded expression of Yap targets Dhrs3, an inhibitor of retinoic acid synthesis, and Dpp4, a protease that modulates extracellular matrix (ECM) composition. Genetic and pharmacologic manipulation revealed that Yap inhibits fibroblast differentiation, prolonging a subepicardial-like cell state, and promotes expression of matricellular factors, such as Dpp4, that define ECM characteristics.

Funding information:
  • NIAAA NIH HHS - R01 AA020401(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:


Abstract:

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)

Regional distribution of cholinergic, catecholaminergic, serotonergic and orexinergic neurons in the brain of two carnivore species: The feliform banded mongoose (Mungos mungo) and the caniform domestic ferret (Mustela putorius furo).

  • Pillay S
  • J. Chem. Neuroanat.
  • 2018 Mar 19

Literature context:


Abstract:

The nuclear organization of the cholinergic, catecholaminergic, serotonergic and orexinergic neurons in the brains of two species of carnivore, the banded mongoose (Mungos mungo) and domestic ferret (Mustela putorius furo), is presented. The banded mongoose belongs to the feliform suborder and the domestic ferret to the caniform suborder, having last shared a common ancestor approximately 53 million years ago; however, they have a very similar overall morphology and life history, presenting an interesting opportunity to examine the extent of evolutionary plasticity in these systems. The brains of the two carnivore species were coronally sectioned and immunohistochemically stained with antibodies against choline acetyltransferase, tyrosine hydroxylase, serotonin and orexin-A. The overall organization and complement of the nuclei of these systems was identical between the two species, although minor differences were noted. Moreover, this overall organization is identical to other studies undertaken in the domestic cat and dog. While for the most part the nuclei forming these systems are similar to those observed in other mammals, two species differences, which appear to be carnivore-specific, were noted. First, cholinergic neurons were observed in the lateral septal nucleus of both species, an apparently carnivore specific feature not recorded previously in other mammals. Second, the serotonergic neurons of the peripheral division of the dorsal raphe complex exhibited a significant caudad expansion, intermingling with the cholinergic and catecholaminergic nuclei of the pons, a carnivore specific feature. These carnivore specific features likely have functional consequences related to coping with stress and the expression of sleep.

Cortical Connections Position Primate Area 25 as a Keystone for Interoception, Emotion, and Memory.

  • Joyce MKP
  • J. Neurosci.
  • 2018 Feb 14

Literature context:


Abstract:

The structural and functional integrity of subgenual cingulate area 25 (A25) is crucial for emotional expression and equilibrium. A25 has a key role in affective networks, and its disruption has been linked to mood disorders, but its cortical connections have yet to be systematically or fully studied. Using neural tracers in rhesus monkeys, we found that A25 was densely connected with other ventromedial and posterior orbitofrontal areas associated with emotions and homeostasis. A moderate pathway linked A25 with frontopolar area 10, an area associated with complex cognition, which may regulate emotions and dampen negative affect. Beyond the frontal lobe, A25 was connected with auditory association areas and memory-related medial temporal cortices, and with the interoceptive-related anterior insula. A25 mostly targeted the superficial cortical layers of other areas, where broadly dispersed terminations comingled with modulatory inhibitory or disinhibitory microsystems, suggesting a dominant excitatory effect. The architecture and connections suggest that A25 is the consummate feedback system in the PFC. Conversely, in the entorhinal cortex, A25 pathways terminated in the middle-deep layers amid a strong local inhibitory microenvironment, suggesting gating of hippocampal output to other cortices and memory storage. The graded cortical architecture and associated laminar patterns of connections suggest how areas, layers, and functionally distinct classes of inhibitory neurons can be recruited dynamically to meet task demands. The complement of cortical connections of A25 with areas associated with memory, emotion, and somatic homeostasis provide the circuit basis to understand its vulnerability in psychiatric and neurologic disorders.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Integrity of the prefrontal subgenual cingulate cortex is crucial for healthy emotional function. Subgenual area 25 (A25) is mostly linked with other prefrontal areas associated with emotion in a dense network positioned to recruit large fields of cortex. In healthy states, A25 is associated with internal states, autonomic function, and transient negative affect. Constant hyperactivity in A25 is a biomarker for depression in humans and may trigger extensive activation in its dominant connections with areas associated with emotions and internal balance. A pathway between A25 and frontopolar area 10 may provide a critical link to regulate emotions and dampen persistent negative affect, which may be explored for therapeutic intervention in depression.

Funding information:
  • NIA NIH HHS - AG-15393(United States)

Alterations of in vivo CA1 network activity in Dp(16)1Yey Down syndrome model mice.

  • Raveau M
  • Elife
  • 2018 Feb 27

Literature context:


Abstract:

Down syndrome, the leading genetic cause of intellectual disability, results from an extra-copy of chromosome 21. Mice engineered to model this aneuploidy exhibit Down syndrome-like memory deficits in spatial and contextual tasks. While abnormal neuronal function has been identified in these models, most studies have relied on in vitro measures. Here, using in vivo recording in the Dp(16)1Yey model, we find alterations in the organization of spiking of hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons, including deficits in the generation of complex spikes. These changes lead to poorer spatial coding during exploration and less coordinated activity during sharp-wave ripples, events involved in memory consolidation. Further, the density of CA1 inhibitory neurons expressing neuropeptide Y, a population key for the generation of pyramidal cell bursts, were significantly increased in Dp(16)1Yey mice. Our data refine the 'over-suppression' theory of Down syndrome pathophysiology and suggest specific neuronal subtypes involved in hippocampal dysfunction in these model mice.

Funding information:
  • NIAID NIH HHS - R01AI043578(United States)

Localization of the cannabinoid type-1 receptor in subcellular astrocyte compartments of mutant mouse hippocampus.

  • Gutiérrez-Rodríguez A
  • Glia
  • 2018 Feb 27

Literature context:


Abstract:

Astroglial type-1 cannabinoid (CB1 ) receptors are involved in synaptic transmission, plasticity and behavior by interfering with the so-called tripartite synapse formed by pre- and post-synaptic neuronal elements and surrounding astrocyte processes. However, little is known concerning the subcellular distribution of astroglial CB1 receptors. In particular, brain CB1 receptors are mostly localized at cells' plasmalemma, but recent evidence indicates their functional presence in mitochondrial membranes. Whether CB1 receptors are present in astroglial mitochondria has remained unknown. To investigate this issue, we included conditional knock-out mice lacking astroglial CB1 receptor expression specifically in glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP)-containing astrocytes (GFAP-CB1 -KO mice) and also generated genetic rescue mice to re-express CB1 receptors exclusively in astrocytes (GFAP-CB1 -RS). To better identify astroglial structures by immunoelectron microscopy, global CB1 knock-out (CB1 -KO) mice and wild-type (CB1 -WT) littermates were intra-hippocampally injected with an adeno-associated virus expressing humanized renilla green fluorescent protein (hrGFP) under the control of human GFAP promoter to generate GFAPhrGFP-CB1 -KO and -WT mice, respectively. Furthermore, double immunogold (for CB1 ) and immunoperoxidase (for GFAP or hrGFP) revealed that CB1 receptors are present in astroglial mitochondria from different hippocampal regions of CB1 -WT, GFAP-CB1 -RS and GFAPhrGFP-CB1 -WT mice. Only non-specific gold particles were detected in mouse hippocampi lacking CB1 receptors. Altogether, we demonstrated the existence of a precise molecular architecture of the CB1 receptor in astrocytes that will have to be taken into account in evaluating the functional activity of cannabinergic signaling at the tripartite synapse.

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - R01 CA105304-06A1(United States)

Identification of a conserved gene signature associated with an exacerbated inflammatory environment in the hippocampus of aging rats.

  • Pardo J
  • Hippocampus
  • 2018 Jan 10

Literature context:


Abstract:

There have been a few descriptive studies in aged rodents about transcriptome changes in the hippocampus, most of them in males. Here, we assessed the age changes in spatial memory performance and hippocampal morphology in female rats and compared those changes with changes in the hippocampal transcriptome. Old rats displayed significant deficits in spatial memory. In both age groups, hole exploration frequency showed a clear peak at hole 0 (escape hole), but the amplitude of the peak was significantly higher in the young than in the old animals. In the hippocampus, there was a dramatic reduction in neurogenesis, whereas reactive microglial infiltrates revealed an inflammatory hippocampal state in the senile rats. Hippocampal RNA-sequencing showed that 210 genes are differentially expressed in the senile rats, most of them being downregulated. Our RNA-Seq data showed that various genes involved in the immune response, including TYROBP, CD11b, C3, CD18, CD4, and CD74, are overexpressed in the hippocampus of aged female rats. Enrichment analysis showed that the pathways overrepresented in the senile rats matched those of an exacerbated inflammatory environment, reinforcing our morphologic findings. After correlating our results with public data of human and mouse hippocampal gene expression, we found an 11-gene signature of overexpressed genes related to inflammatory processes that was conserved across species. We conclude that age-related hippocampal deficits in female rats share commonalities between human and rodents. Interestingly, the 11-gene signature that we identified may represent a cluster of immune and regulatory genes that are deregulated in the hippocampus and possibly other brain regions during aging as well as in some neurodegenerative diseases and low-grade brain tumors. Our study further supports neuroinflammation as a promising target to treat cognitive dysfunction in old individuals and some brain tumors. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

β2 Adrenergic-Neurotrophin Feedforward Loop Promotes Pancreatic Cancer.

  • Renz BW
  • Cancer Cell
  • 2018 Jan 8

Literature context:


Abstract:

Catecholamines stimulate epithelial proliferation, but the role of sympathetic nerve signaling in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is poorly understood. Catecholamines promoted ADRB2-dependent PDAC development, nerve growth factor (NGF) secretion, and pancreatic nerve density. Pancreatic Ngf overexpression accelerated tumor development in LSL-Kras+/G12D;Pdx1-Cre (KC) mice. ADRB2 blockade together with gemcitabine reduced NGF expression and nerve density, and increased survival of LSL-Kras+/G12D;LSL-Trp53+/R172H;Pdx1-Cre (KPC) mice. Therapy with a Trk inhibitor together with gemcitabine also increased survival of KPC mice. Analysis of PDAC patient cohorts revealed a correlation between brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) expression, nerve density, and increased survival of patients on nonselective β-blockers. These findings suggest that catecholamines drive a feedforward loop, whereby upregulation of neurotrophins increases sympathetic innervation and local norepinephrine accumulation.

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - P30 CA013696()
  • NCI NIH HHS - R35 CA210088()
  • NCRR NIH HHS - S10 RR025686()
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - DK053904(United States)

Faim2 contributes to neuroprotection by erythropoietin in transient brain ischemia.

  • Komnig D
  • J. Neurochem.
  • 2018 Jan 10

Literature context:


Abstract:

Delayed cell death in the penumbra region of acute ischemic stroke occurs through apoptotic mechanisms, making it amenable to therapeutic interventions. Fas/CD95 mediates apoptotic cell death in response to external stimuli. In mature neurons, Fas/CD95 signaling is modulated by Fas-apoptotic inhibitory molecule 2 (Faim2), which reduces cell death in animal models of stroke, meningitis, and Parkinson disease. Erythropoietin (EPO) has been studied as a therapeutic strategy in ischemic stroke. Erythropoietin stimulates the phosphatidylinositol-3 kinase/Akt (PI3K/Akt) pathway, which regulates Faim2 expression. Therefore, up-regulation of Faim2 may contribute to neuroprotection by EPO. Male Faim2-deficient mice (Faim2-/- ) and wild-type littermates (WT) were subjected to 30 min of middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAo) followed by 72 h of reperfusion. EPO was applied before (30 min) and after (24 and 48 h) MCAo. In WT mice application of EPO at a low dose (5000 U/kg) significantly reduced stroke volume, whereas treatment with high dose (90 000 U/kg) did not. In Faim2-/- animals administration of low-dose EPO did not result in a significant reduction in stroke volume. Faim2 expression as measured by quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) increased after low-dose EPO but not with high dose. An extensive phenotyping including analysis of cerebral vessel architecture did not reveal confounding differences between the genotypes. In human post-mortem brain Faim2 displayed a differential expression in areas of penumbral ischemia. Faim2 up-regulation may contribute to the neuroprotective effects of low-dose erythropoietin in transient brain ischemia. The dose-dependency may explain mixed effects of erythropoietin observed in clinical stroke trials.

Funding information:
  • NINDS NIH HHS - 5R01NS050256(United States)

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

  • Ingold I
  • Cell
  • 2018 Jan 25

Literature context:


Abstract:

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)

Neuronal PTEN deletion in adult cortical neurons triggers progressive growth of cell bodies, dendrites, and axons.

  • Gallent EA
  • Exp. Neurol.
  • 2018 Jan 18

Literature context:


Abstract:

Deletion of the phosphatase and tensin (PTEN) gene in neonatal mice leads to enlargement of the cell bodies of cortical motoneurons (CMNs) in adulthood (Gutilla et al., 2016). Here, we assessed whether PTEN deletion in adult mice would trigger growth of mature neurons. PTEN was deleted by injecting AAV-Cre into the sensorimotor cortex of adult transgenic mice with a lox-P flanked exon 5 of the PTEN gene and Cre-dependent reporter gene tdTomato. PTEN-deleted CMN's identified by tdT expression and retrograde labeling with fluorogold (FG) were significantly enlarged four months following PTEN deletion, and continued to increase in size through the latest time intervals examined (12-15 months post-deletion). Sholl analyses of tdT-positive pyramidal neurons revealed increases in dendritic branches at 6 months following adult PTEN deletion, and greater increases at 12 months. 12 months after adult PTEN deletion, axons in the medullary pyramids were significantly larger and G-ratios were higher. Mice with PTEN deletion exhibited no overt neurological symptoms and no seizures. Assessment of motor function on the rotarod and cylinder test revealed slight impairment of coordination with unilateral deletion; however, mice with bilateral PTEN deletion in the motor cortex performed better than controls on the rotarod at 8 and 10 months post-deletion. Our findings demonstrate that robust neuronal growth can be induced in fully mature cortical neurons long after the developmental period has ended and that this continuous growth occurs without obvious functional impairments.

Funding information:
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - R01 GM049650(United States)

Sphingosine 1-phosphate receptors regulate TLR4-induced CXCL5 release from astrocytes and microglia.

  • O'Sullivan SA
  • J. Neurochem.
  • 2018 Jan 30

Literature context:


Abstract:

Sphingosine 1-phosphate receptors (S1PR) are G protein-coupled and compose a family with five subtypes, S1P1R-S1P5R. The drug Gilenya® (Novartis, Basel, Switzerland) (Fingolimod; FTY720) targets S1PRs and was the first oral therapy for patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (MS). The phosphorylated form of FTY720 (pFTY720) binds S1PRs causing initial agonism, then subsequent receptor internalization and functional antagonism. Internalization of S1P1R attenuates sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P)-mediated egress of lymphocytes from lymph nodes, limiting aberrant immune function in MS. pFTY720 also exerts direct actions on neurons and glial cells which express S1PRs. In this study, we investigated the regulation of pro-inflammatory chemokine release by S1PRs in enriched astrocytes and microglial cultures. Astrocytes and microglia were stimulated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and increases in C-X-C motif chemokine 5 (CXCL5), also known as LIX (lipopolysaccharide-induced CXC chemokine) expression were quantified. Results showed that pFTY720 attenuated LPS-induced CXCL5 (LIX) protein release from astrocytes, as did the S1P1R selective agonist, SEW2871. In addition, pFTY720 blocked messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) transcription of the chemokines, (i) CXCL5/LIX, (ii) C-X-C motif chemokine 10 (CXCL10) also known as interferon gamma-induced protein 10 (IP10) and (iii) chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 2 (CCL2) also known as monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 (MCP1). Interestingly, inhibition of sphingosine kinase attenuated LPS-induced increases in mRNA levels of all three chemokines, suggesting that LPS-TLR4 (Toll-like receptor 4) signalling may enhance chemokine expression via S1P-S1PR transactivation. Lastly, these observations were not limited to astrocytes since we also found that pFTY720 attenuated LPS-induced release of CXCL5 from microglia. These data highlight a role for S1PR signalling in regulating the levels of chemokines in glial cells and support the notion that pFTY720 efficacy in multiple sclerosis may involve the direct modulation of astrocytes and microglia.

Funding information:
  • CVON - Netherlands Heart Foundation - CVON-CONCORgenes(United States)
  • NIDCD NIH HHS - R21 DC013358(United States)

Status Epilepticus Triggers Time-Dependent Alterations in Microglia Abundance and Morphological Phenotypes in the Hippocampus.

  • Wyatt-Johnson SK
  • Front Neurol
  • 2018 Jan 13

Literature context:


Abstract:

Status epilepticus (SE) is defined by the occurrence of prolonged "non-stop" seizures that last for at least 5 min. SE provokes inflammatory responses including the activation of microglial cells, the brain's resident immune cells, which are thought to contribute to the neuropathology and pathophysiology of epilepsy. Microglia are professional phagocytes that resemble peripheral macrophages. Upon sensing immune disturbances, including SE, microglia become reactive, produce inflammatory cytokines, and alter their actin cytoskeleton to transform from ramified to amoeboid shapes. It is widely known that SE triggers time-dependent microglial expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines that include TNFα and IL-1β. However, less is known in regards to the spatiotemporal progression of the morphological changes, which may help define the extent of microglia reactivity after SE and potential function (surveillance, inflammatory, phagocytic). Therefore, in this study, we used the microglia/macrophage IBA1 marker to identify and count these cells in hippocampi from control rats and at 4 h, 3 days, and 2 weeks after a single episode of pilocarpine-induced SE. We identified, categorized, and counted the IBA1-positive cells with the different morphologies observed after SE in the hippocampal areas CA1, CA3, and dentate gyrus. These included ramified, hypertrophic, bushy, amoeboid, and rod. We found that the ramified phenotype was the most abundant in control hippocampi. In contrast, SE provoked time-dependent changes in the microglial morphology that was characterized by significant increases in the abundance of bushy-shaped cells at 4 h and amoeboid-shaped cells at 3 days and 2 weeks. Interestingly, a significant increase in the number of rod-shaped cells was only evident in the CA1 region at 2 weeks after SE. Taken together, these data suggest that SE triggers time-dependent alterations in the morphology of microglial cells. This detailed description of the spatiotemporal profile of SE-induced microglial morphological changes may help provide insight into their contribution to epileptogenesis.

Funding information:
  • NCATS NIH HHS - UL1 TR001108()
  • NCI NIH HHS - P30 CA023168()
  • NCI NIH HHS - P50 CA86306(United States)

Postnatal Sonic hedgehog (Shh) responsive cells give rise to oligodendrocyte lineage cells during myelination and in adulthood contribute to remyelination.

  • Sanchez MA
  • Exp. Neurol.
  • 2017 Dec 20

Literature context:


Abstract:

Sonic hedgehog (Shh) regulates a wave of oligodendrocyte production for extensive myelination during postnatal development. During this postnatal period of oligodendrogenesis, we fate-labeled cells exhibiting active Shh signaling to examine their contribution to the regenerative response during remyelination. Bitransgenic mouse lines were generated for induced genetic fate-labeling of cells actively transcribing Shh or Gli1. Gli1 transcription is an effective readout for canonical Shh signaling. ShhCreERT2 mice and Gli1CreERT2 mice were crossed to either R26tdTomato mice to label cells with red fluorescence, or, R26IAP mice to label membranes with alkaline phosphatase. When tamoxifen (TMX) was given on postnatal days 6-9 (P6-9), Shh ligand synthesis was prevalent in neurons of ShhCreERT2; R26tdTomato mice and ShhCreERT2;R26IAP mice. In Gli1CreERT2 crosses, TMX from P6-9 detected Gli1 transcription in cells that populated the corpus callosum (CC) during postnatal myelination. Delaying TMX to P14-17, after the peak of oligodendrogenesis, significantly reduced labeling of Shh synthesizing neurons and Gli1 expressing cells in the CC. Importantly, Gli1CreERT2;R26tdTomato mice given TMX from P6-9 showed Gli1 fate-labeled cells in the adult (P56) CC, including cycling progenitor cells identified by EdU incorporation and NG2 immunolabeling. Furthermore, after cuprizone demyelination of the adult CC, Gli1 fate-labeled cells incorporated EdU and were immunolabeled by NG2 early during remyelination while forming myelin-like membranes after longer periods for remyelination to progress. These studies reveal a postnatal cell population with transient Shh signaling that contributes to oligodendrogenesis during CC myelination, and gives rise to cells that continue to proliferate in adulthood and contribute to CC remyelination.

MST4 Phosphorylation of ATG4B Regulates Autophagic Activity, Tumorigenicity, and Radioresistance in Glioblastoma.

  • Huang T
  • Cancer Cell
  • 2017 Dec 11

Literature context:


Abstract:

ATG4B stimulates autophagy by promoting autophagosome formation through reversible modification of ATG8. We identify ATG4B as a substrate of mammalian sterile20-like kinase (STK) 26/MST4. MST4 phosphorylates ATG4B at serine residue 383, which stimulates ATG4B activity and increases autophagic flux. Inhibition of MST4 or ATG4B activities using genetic approaches or an inhibitor of ATG4B suppresses autophagy and the tumorigenicity of glioblastoma (GBM) cells. Furthermore, radiation induces MST4 expression, ATG4B phosphorylation, and autophagy. Inhibiting ATG4B in combination with radiotherapy in treating mice with intracranial GBM xenograft markedly slows tumor growth and provides a significant survival benefit. Our work describes an MST4-ATG4B signaling axis that influences GBM autophagy and malignancy, and whose therapeutic targeting enhances the anti-tumor effects of radiotherapy.

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - P01 CA163205()
  • NCI NIH HHS - R01 CA159467()
  • NCI NIH HHS - R21 CA175875()
  • NCI NIH HHS - T32 CA070085()
  • NIAAA NIH HHS - R01 AA021751()
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - R01 GM038660(United States)
  • NIMHD NIH HHS - L32 MD010147()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - P30 NS081774()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS080619()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS083767()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS093843()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS095634()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS102669()
  • NLM NIH HHS - K99 LM011673()
  • NLM NIH HHS - R00 LM011673()
  • NLM NIH HHS - R01 LM012011()

Distribution and chemical composition of estrogen receptor β neurons in the paraventricular nucleus of the female and male mouse hypothalamus.

  • Oyola MG
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2017 Dec 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Activation of estrogen receptor beta (ERβ)-expressing neurons regulates the mammalian stress response via the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. These neurons densely populate the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus (PVN). Recent research has revealed striking differences between rat and mouse PVN cytochemistry, but careful exploration of PVN ERβ neurons in mice has been hindered by a lack of specific ERβ antisera. Therefore, we used male and female transgenic mice expressing EGFP under the control of the mouse ERβ promoter (ERβ-EGFP) to examine the chemical architecture of PVN ERβ cells. Using immunohistochemistry, we found that 90% of ERβ-immunoreactivity (-ir) colocalized with EGFP. Cellular colocalization of EGFP with neuropeptides, transcription modulators, and neuronal tracers was examined throughout the PVN. ERβ-EGFP cells expressed oxytocin more abundantly in the rostral (71 ± 3%) than caudal (33 ± 8%) PVN. Arginine vasopressin colocalized with EGFP more often in females (18 ± 3%) than males (4 ± 1%). Moreover, estrogen receptor α-ir colocalized with ERβ-EGFP at low levels (15 ± 3%). Using a corticotropin releasing hormone-cre driver X tdTomato reporter mouse, we found a moderate colocalization with ERβ-ir (48 ± 16%) in the middle PVN. Peripheral injection of fluorogold revealed that the rostral PVN ERβ-EGFP cells are neuroendocrine neurons whereas non-neuroendocrine (presumably pre-autonomic) ERβ-EGFP neurons predominated in the posterior PVN. These data demonstrate chemoarchitectural differences in ERβ neurons of the mouse PVN that are different from that previously described for the rat, thus, elucidating potential neuronal pathways involved in the regulation of the HPA axis in mice.

Lateral Preoptic Control of the Lateral Habenula through Convergent Glutamate and GABA Transmission.

  • Barker DJ
  • Cell Rep
  • 2017 Nov 14

Literature context:


Abstract:

The lateral habenula (LHb) is a brain structure that participates in cognitive and emotional processing and has been implicated in several mental disorders. Although one of the largest inputs to the LHb originates in the lateral preoptic area (LPO), little is known about how the LPO participates in the regulation of LHb function. Here, we provide evidence that the LPO exerts bivalent control over the LHb through the convergent transmission of LPO glutamate and γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) onto single LHb neurons. In vivo, both LPO-glutamatergic and LPO-GABAergic inputs to the LHb are activated by aversive stimuli, and their predictive cues yet produce opposing behaviors when stimulated independently. These results support a model wherein the balanced response of converging LPO-glutamate and LPO-GABA are necessary for a normal response to noxious stimuli, and an imbalance in LPO→LHb glutamate or GABA results in the type of aberrant processing that may underlie mental disorders.

Melanocyte Stem Cell Activation and Translocation Initiate Cutaneous Melanoma in Response to UV Exposure.

  • Moon H
  • Cell Stem Cell
  • 2017 Nov 2

Literature context:


Abstract:

Melanoma is one of the deadliest cancers, yet the cells of origin and mechanisms of tumor initiation remain unclear. The majority of melanomas emerge from clear skin without a precursor lesion, but it is unknown whether these melanomas can arise from melanocyte stem cells (MCSCs). Here we employ mouse models to define the role of MCSCs as melanoma cells of origin, demonstrate that MCSC quiescence acts as a tumor suppressor, and identify the extrinsic environmental and molecular factors required for the critical early steps of melanoma initiation. Specifically, melanomas originate from melanoma-competent MCSCs upon stimulation by UVB, which induces MCSC activation and translocation via an inflammation-dependent process. Moreover, the chromatin-remodeling factor Hmga2 in the skin plays a critical role in UVB-mediated melanomagenesis. These findings delineate melanoma formation from melanoma-competent MCSCs following extrinsic stimuli, and they suggest that abrogation of Hmga2 function in the microenvironment can suppress MCSC-originating cutaneous melanomas.

HMGB1 down-regulation mediates terameprocol vascular anti-proliferative effect in experimental pulmonary hypertension.

  • Nogueira-Ferreira R
  • J. Cell. Physiol.
  • 2017 Nov 30

Literature context:


Abstract:

Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is a progressive disease with a poor prognosis. Pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells (PASMCs) play a crucial role in PAH pathophysiology, displaying a hyperproliferative, and apoptotic-resistant phenotype. In the present study, we evaluated the potential therapeutic role of terameprocol (TMP), an inhibitor of cellular proliferation and promoter of apoptosis, in a well-established pre-clinical model of PAH induced by monocrotaline (MCT) and studied the biological pathways modulated by TMP in PASMCs. Wistar rats injected with MCT or saline (SHAM group) were treated with TMP or vehicle. On day 21 after injection, we assessed bi-ventricular hemodynamics and cardiac and pulmonary morphometry. The effects of TMP on PASMCs were studied in a primary culture isolated from SHAM and MCT-treated rats, using an iTRAQ-based proteomic approach to investigate the molecular pathways modulated by this drug. In vivo, TMP significantly reduced pulmonary and cardiac remodeling and improved cardiac function in PAH. In vitro, TMP inhibited proliferation and induced apoptosis of PASMCs. A total of 65 proteins were differentially expressed in PASMCs from MCT rats treated with TMP, some of which involved in the modulation of transforming growth factor beta pathway and DNA transcription. Anti-proliferative effect of TMP seems to be explained, at least in part, by the down-regulation of the transcription factor HMGB1. Our findings support the beneficial role of TMP in PAH and suggest that it may be an effective therapeutic option to be considered in the clinical management of PAH.

Spatial rearrangement of Purkinje cell subsets forms the transverse and longitudinal compartmentalization in the mouse embryonic cerebellum.

  • Vibulyaseck S
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2017 Oct 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Transversely oriented lobules and longitudinally arrayed stripes of Purkinje cell subsets subdivide the cerebellar cortex into multiple compartments that are involved in diverse functions. In the mammalian cerebellum, anterior, and posterior lobules, which are involved in somatosensorimotor function, show an alternation of aldolase C (zebrin II) -positive and -negative stripes, whereas the central lobules (lobules VIb-VII and crus I), which are implicated in nonmotor functions, show a laterally expanded arrangement solely of aldolase C-positive stripes. To understand the developmental process of this compartmental pattern, we identified groups of Purkinje cell subsets in the entire mouse cerebellum at embryonic day (E) 14.5 by staining Purkinje cell subset markers. We then tracked four major domains of Protocadherin 10 (Pcdh10)-positive Purkinje cell subsets (medial, dorsal, central, and mid-lateral subsets), which were clearly demarcated during E14.5-17.5. These domains of Purkinje cell subsets shifted predominantly in the longitudinal direction to be positioned in the anterior and posterior lobules. However, a particular portion of the medial and mid-lateral domains, and the whole of the central domain shift in the lateral direction to be positioned in the central lobules. The results indicate that while the longitudinal shift of domains of Purkinje cell subsets forms the longitudinally striped compartments in the anterior and posterior cerebellum, the lateral shift of particular domains of Purkinje cell subsets underlies the laterally expanded arrangement of stripes in central lobules. Thus, the rearrangement of Purkinje cell subsets in the embryonic cerebellum is critically related to the compartmental organization in the mammalian cerebellum.

A Predictive Model for Selective Targeting of the Warburg Effect through GAPDH Inhibition with a Natural Product.

  • Liberti MV
  • Cell Metab.
  • 2017 Oct 3

Literature context:


Abstract:

Targeted cancer therapies that use genetics are successful, but principles for selectively targeting tumor metabolism that is also dependent on the environment remain unknown. We now show that differences in rate-controlling enzymes during the Warburg effect (WE), the most prominent hallmark of cancer cell metabolism, can be used to predict a response to targeting glucose metabolism. We establish a natural product, koningic acid (KA), to be a selective inhibitor of GAPDH, an enzyme we characterize to have differential control properties over metabolism during the WE. With machine learning and integrated pharmacogenomics and metabolomics, we demonstrate that KA efficacy is not determined by the status of individual genes, but by the quantitative extent of the WE, leading to a therapeutic window in vivo. Thus, the basis of targeting the WE can be encoded by molecular principles that extend beyond the status of individual genes.

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - R00 CA168997()
  • NCI NIH HHS - R01 CA174643()
  • NCI NIH HHS - R01 CA193256()
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - R01 DK105550()
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - T32 GM007273()
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - T32 GM008500()

Effects of Environmental Enrichment on Doublecortin and BDNF Expression along the Dorso-Ventral Axis of the Dentate Gyrus.

  • Gualtieri F
  • Front Neurosci
  • 2017 Oct 2

Literature context:


Abstract:

Adult hippocampal neurogenesis (AHN) in the dentate gyrus is known to respond to environmental enrichment, chronic stress, and many other factors. The function of AHN may vary across the septo-temporal axis of the hippocampus, as different subdivisions are responsible for different functions. The dorsal pole regulates cognitive-related behaviors, while the ventral pole mediates mood-related responses through the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. In this study, we investigate different methods of quantifying the effect of environmental enrichment on AHN in the dorsal and ventral parts of the dentate gyrus (dDG and vDG). To this purpose, 11-week-old female CD-1 mice were assigned for 8 days to one of two conditions: the Environmental Enrichment (E) group received (i) running wheels, (ii) larger cages, (iii) plastic tunnels, and (iv) bedding with male urine, while the Control (C) group received standard housing. Dorsal CA (Cornu Ammonis) and DG regions were larger in the E than the C animals. Distance run linearly predicted the volume of the dorsal hippocampus, as well as of the intermediate and ventral CA regions. In the dDG, the amount of Doublecortin (DCX) immunoreactivity was significantly higher in E than in C mice. Surprisingly, this pattern was the opposite in the vDG (C > E). Real-time PCR measurement of Dcx mRNA and DCX protein analysis using ELISA showed the same pattern. Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) immunoreactivity and mRNA displayed no difference between E and C, suggesting that upregulation of DCX was not caused by changes in BDNF levels. BDNF levels were higher in vDG than in dDG, as measured by both methods. Bdnf expression in vDG correlated positively with the distance run by individual E mice. The similarity in the patterns of immunoreactivity, mRNA and protein for differential DCX expression and for BDNF distribution suggests that the latter two methods might be effective tools for more rapid quantification of AHN.

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:


Abstract:

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()

Temporary Depletion of Microglia during the Early Postnatal Period Induces Lasting Sex-Dependent and Sex-Independent Effects on Behavior in Rats.

  • VanRyzin JW
  • eNeuro
  • 2017 Oct 24

Literature context:


Abstract:

Microglia are the primary immune cells of the brain and function in multiple ways to facilitate proper brain development. However, our current understanding of how these cells influence the later expression of normal behaviors is lacking. Using the laboratory rat, we administered liposomal clodronate centrally to selectively deplete microglia in the developing postnatal brain. We then assessed a range of developmental, juvenile, and adult behaviors. Liposomal clodronate treatment on postnatal days 0, 2, and 4 depleted microglia with recovery by about 10 days of age and induced a hyperlocomotive phenotype, observable in the second postnatal week. Temporary microglia depletion also increased juvenile locomotion in the open field test and decreased anxiety-like behaviors in the open field and elevated plus maze. These same rats displayed reductions in predator odor-induced avoidance behavior, but increased their risk assessment behaviors compared with vehicle-treated controls. In adulthood, postnatal microglia depletion resulted in significant deficits in male-specific sex behaviors. Using factor analysis, we identified two underlying traits-behavioral disinhibition and locomotion-as being significantly altered by postnatal microglia depletion. These findings further implicate microglia as being critically important to the development of juvenile and adult behavior.

Distribution and female reproductive state differences in orexigenic and anorexigenic neurons in the brain of the mouth brooding African cichlid fish, Astatotilapia burtoni.

  • Porter DT
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2017 Oct 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Integration of reproduction and metabolism is necessary for species survival. While the neural circuits controlling energy homeostasis are well-characterized, the signals controlling the relay of nutritional information to the reproductive axis are less understood. The cichlid fish Astatotilapia burtoni is ideal for studying the neural regulation of feeding and reproduction because females cycle between a feeding gravid state and a period of forced starvation while they brood developing young inside their mouths. To test the hypothesis that candidate neuropeptide-containing neurons known to be involved in feeding and energy homeostasis in mammals show conserved distribution patterns, we performed immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization to localize appetite-stimulating (neuropeptide Y, NPY; agouti-related protein, AGRP) and appetite-inhibiting (cocaine and amphetamine-regulated transcript, CART; pro-opiomelanocortin, pomc1a) neurons in the brain. NPY, AGRP, CART, and pomc1a somata showed distribution patterns similar to other teleosts, which included localization to the lateral tuberal nucleus (NLT), the putative homolog of the mammalian arcuate nucleus. Gravid females also had larger NPY and AGRP neurons in the NLT compared to brooding females, but brooding females had larger pomc1a neurons compared to gravid females. Hypothalamic agrp mRNA levels were also higher in gravid compared to brooding females. Thus, larger appetite-stimulating neurons (NPY, AGRP) likely promote feeding while females are gravid, while larger pomc1a neurons may act as a signal to inhibit food intake during mouth brooding. Collectively, our data suggest a potential role for NPY, AGRP, POMC, and CART in regulating energetic status in A. burtoni females during varying metabolic and reproductive demands.

Molecular Integration of Incretin and Glucocorticoid Action Reverses Immunometabolic Dysfunction and Obesity.

  • Quarta C
  • Cell Metab.
  • 2017 Oct 3

Literature context:


Abstract:

Chronic inflammation has been proposed to contribute to the pathogenesis of diet-induced obesity. However, scarce therapeutic options are available to treat obesity and the associated immunometabolic complications. Glucocorticoids are routinely employed for the management of inflammatory diseases, but their pleiotropic nature leads to detrimental metabolic side effects. We developed a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1)-dexamethasone co-agonist in which GLP-1 selectively delivers dexamethasone to GLP-1 receptor-expressing cells. GLP-1-dexamethasone lowers body weight up to 25% in obese mice by targeting the hypothalamic control of feeding and by increasing energy expenditure. This strategy reverses hypothalamic and systemic inflammation while improving glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity. The selective preference for GLP-1 receptor bypasses deleterious effects of dexamethasone on glucose handling, bone integrity, and hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis activity. Thus, GLP-1-directed glucocorticoid pharmacology represents a safe and efficacious therapy option for diet-induced immunometabolic derangements and the resulting obesity.

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

  • Venniro M
  • Neuron
  • 2017 Oct 11

Literature context:


Abstract:

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()

Prolonged sleep deprivation decreases cell proliferation and immature newborn neurons in both dorsal and ventral hippocampus of male rats.

  • Murata Y
  • Neurosci. Res.
  • 2017 Sep 4

Literature context:


Abstract:

Previous studies have indicated that sleep deprivation negatively affects hippocampal neurogenesis, which may explain the reason for the relation between sleep loss and depression. Increasing evidence indicates that the hippocampus is anatomically and functionally segregated along a dorsolateral (cognitive function)/ventromedial (control for mood and stress response) axis. Thus, the present study was conducted to elucidate regional differences in the adverse effects of sleep deprivation on hippocampal neurogenesis. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were subjected to sleep deprivation using the "platform on the water" method for 24- or 72-h. Quantification of hippocampal cell proliferation and immature newborn neurons was stereologically estimated using immunostaining with Ki-67 and doublecortin (DCX), respectively, by optical fractionator method. A consecutive three days of sleep deprivation significantly reduced the density of Ki-67- and DCX-immunopositive cells both in the dorsal and ventral hippocampal subgranular zone and the decrease in DCX-labeled cells was more pronounced in the ventral hippocampus than in dorsal region. Our results indicate that prolonged sleep deprivation decreases hippocampal cell proliferation and neurogenesis in both the dorsal and ventral dentate gyrus. Future studies will be needed to clarify the impact of sleep deprivation-induced decreases in hippocampal neurogenesis on the development of depression.

Loss of Tuberous Sclerosis Complex1 in Adult Oligodendrocyte Progenitor Cells Enhances Axon Remyelination and Increases Myelin Thickness after a Focal Demyelination.

  • McLane LE
  • J. Neurosci.
  • 2017 Aug 2

Literature context:


Abstract:

Although the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) is an essential regulator of developmental oligodendrocyte differentiation and myelination, oligodendrocyte-specific deletion of tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC), a major upstream inhibitor of mTOR, surprisingly also leads to hypomyelination during CNS development. However, the function of TSC has not been studied in the context of remyelination. Here, we used the inducible Cre-lox system to study the function of TSC in the remyelination of a focal, lysolecithin-demyelinated lesion in adult male mice. Using two different mouse models in which Tsc1 is deleted by Cre expression in oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPCs) or in premyelinating oligodendrocytes, we reveal that deletion of Tsc1 affects oligodendroglia differently depending on the stage of the oligodendrocyte lineage. Tsc1 deletion from NG2+ OPCs accelerated remyelination. Conversely, Tsc1 deletion from proteolipid protein (PLP)-positive oligodendrocytes slowed remyelination. Contrary to developmental myelination, there were no changes in OPC or oligodendrocyte numbers in either model. Our findings reveal a complex role for TSC in oligodendrocytes during remyelination in which the timing of Tsc1 deletion is a critical determinant of its effect on remyelination. Moreover, our findings suggest that TSC has different functions in developmental myelination and remyelination.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Myelin loss in demyelinating disorders such as multiple sclerosis results in disability due to loss of axon conductance and axon damage. Encouragingly, the nervous system is capable of spontaneous remyelination, but this regenerative process often fails. Many chronically demyelinated lesions have oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPCs) within their borders. It is thus of great interest to elucidate mechanisms by which we might enhance endogenous remyelination. Here, we provide evidence that deletion of Tsc1 from OPCs, but not differentiating oligodendrocytes, is beneficial to remyelination. This finding contrasts with the loss of oligodendroglia and hypomyelination seen with Tsc1 or Tsc2 deletion in the oligodendrocyte lineage during CNS development and points to important differences in the regulation of developmental myelination and remyelination.

Funding information:
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS082203()

Neurosecretory protein GL stimulates food intake, de novo lipogenesis, and onset of obesity.

  • Iwakoshi-Ukena E
  • Elife
  • 2017 Aug 11

Literature context:


Abstract:

Mechanisms underlying the central regulation of food intake and fat accumulation are not fully understood. We found that neurosecretory protein GL (NPGL), a newly-identified neuropeptide, increased food intake and white adipose tissue (WAT) in rats. NPGL-precursor gene overexpression in the hypothalamus caused increases in food intake, WAT, body mass, and circulating insulin when fed a high calorie diet. Intracerebroventricular administration of NPGL induced de novo lipogenesis in WAT, increased insulin, and it selectively induced carbohydrate intake. Neutralizing antibody administration decreased the size of lipid droplets in WAT. Npgl mRNA expression was upregulated by fasting and low insulin levels. Additionally, NPGL-producing cells were responsive to insulin. These results point to NPGL as a novel neuronal regulator that drives food intake and fat deposition through de novo lipogenesis and acts to maintain steady-state fat level in concert with insulin. Dysregulation of NPGL may be a root cause of obesity.

The Kinase Fyn As a Novel Intermediate in L-DOPA-Induced Dyskinesia in Parkinson's Disease.

  • Sanz-Blasco S
  • Mol. Neurobiol.
  • 2017 Aug 26

Literature context:


Abstract:

Dopamine replacement therapy with L-DOPA is the treatment of choice for Parkinson's disease; however, its long-term use is frequently associated with L-DOPA-induced dyskinesia (LID). Many molecules have been implicated in the development of LID, and several of these have been proposed as potential therapeutic targets. However, to date, none of these molecules have demonstrated full clinical efficacy, either because they lie downstream of dopaminergic signaling, or due to adverse side effects. Therefore, discovering new strategies to reduce LID in Parkinson's disease remains a major challenge. Here, we have explored the tyrosine kinase Fyn, as a novel intermediate molecule in the development of LID. Fyn, a member of the Src kinase family, is located in the postsynaptic density, where it regulates phosphorylation of the NR2B subunit of the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor in response to dopamine D1 receptor stimulation. We have used Fyn knockout and wild-type mice, lesioned with 6-hydroxydopamine and chronically treated with L-DOPA, to investigate the role of Fyn in the induction of LID. We found that mice lacking Fyn displayed reduced LID, ΔFosB accumulation and NR2B phosphorylation compared to wild-type control mice. Pre-administration of saracatinib (AZD0530), an inhibitor of Fyn activity, also significantly reduced LID in dyskinetic wild-type mice. These results support that Fyn has a critical role in the molecular pathways affected during the development of LID and identify Fyn as a novel potential therapeutic target for the management of dyskinesia in Parkinson's disease.

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

  • Hu JK
  • Cell Stem Cell
  • 2017 Jul 6

Literature context:


Abstract:

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()

Epidermal growth factor signals attenuate phenotypic and functional development of neocortical GABA neurons.

  • Namba H
  • J. Neurochem.
  • 2017 Jun 13

Literature context:


Abstract:

Phenotypic development of neocortical GABA neurons is highly plastic and promoted by various neurotrophic factors such as neuregulin-1. A subpopulation of GABA neurons expresses not only neuregulin receptor (ErbB4) but also epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptor (ErbB1) during development, but the neurobiological action of EGF on this cell population is less understood than that of neuregulin-1. Here, we examined the effects of exogenous EGF on immature GABA neurons both in culture and in vivo and also explored physiological consequences in adults. We prepared low density cultures from the neocortex of rat embryos and treated neocortical neurons with EGF. EGF decreased protein levels of glutamic acid decarboxylases (GAD65 and GAD67), and EGF influences on neuronal survival and glial proliferation were negligible or limited. The EGF treatment also diminished the frequency of miniature inhibitory postsynaptic currents (mIPSCs). In vivo administration of EGF to mouse pups reproduced the above GABAergic phenomena in neocortical culture. In EGF-injected postnatal mice, GAD- and parvalbumin-immunoreactivities were reduced in the frontal cortex. In addition, postnatal EGF treatment decreased mIPSC frequency in, and the density of, GABAergic terminals on pyramidal cells. Although these phenotypic influences on GABA neurons became less marked during development, it later resulted in the reduced β- and γ-powers of sound-evoked electroencephalogram in adults, which is regulated by parvalbumin-positive GABA neurons and implicated in the schizophrenia pathophysiology. These findings suggest that, in contrast to the ErbB4 ligand of neuregulin-1, the ErbB1 ligand of EGF exerts unique maturation-attenuating influences on developing cortical GABAergic neurons.

Funding information:
  • Wellcome Trust - 090108/Z/09/Z(United Kingdom)

Mice deficient of Myc super-enhancer region reveal differential control mechanism between normal and pathological growth.

  • Dave K
  • Elife
  • 2017 Jun 6

Literature context:


Abstract:

The gene desert upstream of the MYC oncogene on chromosome 8q24 contains susceptibility loci for several major forms of human cancer. The region shows high conservation between human and mouse and contains multiple MYC enhancers that are activated in tumor cells. However, the role of this region in normal development has not been addressed. Here we show that a 538 kb deletion of the entire MYC upstream super-enhancer region in mice results in 50% to 80% decrease in Myc expression in multiple tissues. The mice are viable and show no overt phenotype. However, they are resistant to tumorigenesis, and most normal cells isolated from them grow slowly in culture. These results reveal that only cells whose MYC activity is increased by serum or oncogenic driver mutations depend on the 8q24 super-enhancer region, and indicate that targeting the activity of this element is a promising strategy of cancer chemoprevention and therapy.

Optic nerve, superior colliculus, visual thalamus, and primary visual cortex of the northern elephant seal (Mirounga angustirostris) and California sea lion (Zalophus californianus).

  • Turner EC
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2017 Jun 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

The northern elephant seal (Mirounga angustirostris) and California sea lion (Zalophus californianus) are members of a diverse clade of carnivorous mammals known as pinnipeds. Pinnipeds are notable for their large, ape-sized brains, yet little is known about their central nervous system. Both the northern elephant seal and California sea lion spend most of their lives at sea, but each also spends time on land to breed and give birth. These unique coastal niches may be reflected in specific evolutionary adaptations to their sensory systems. Here, we report on components of the visual pathway in these two species. We found evidence for two classes of myelinated fibers within the pinniped optic nerve, those with thick myelin sheaths (elephant seal: 9%, sea lion: 7%) and thin myelin sheaths (elephant seal: 91%, sea lion: 93%). In order to investigate the architecture of the lateral geniculate nucleus, superior colliculus, and primary visual cortex, we processed brain sections from seal and sea lion pups for Nissl substance, cytochrome oxidase, and vesicular glutamate transporters. As in other carnivores, the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus consisted of three main layers, A, A1, and C, while each superior colliculus similarly consisted of seven distinct layers. The sea lion visual cortex is located at the posterior side of cortex between the upper and lower banks of the postlateral sulcus, while the elephant seal visual cortex extends far more anteriorly along the dorsal surface and medial wall. These results are relevant to comparative studies related to the evolution of large brains.

Leptin Signaling Is Not Required for Anorexigenic Estradiol Effects in Female Mice.

  • Kim JS
  • Endocrinology
  • 2017 Jun 5

Literature context:


Abstract:

Estradiol and leptin are critical hormones in the regulation of body weight. The aim of this study was to determine whether this cross talk between leptin receptor (LepRb) and estrogen receptor-α (ERα) signaling is critical for estradiol's anorexigenic effects. Leprb-Cre mice were crossed with Cre-dependent Tau-green fluorescent protein (GFP) reporter, Stat3-flox or Erα-flox mice to generate female mice with GFP expression, signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) knockout (KO), or ERα KO, specifically in LepRb-expressing cells. The proportion of Leprb-GFP cells colocalizing ERα was high (∼80%) in the preoptic area but low (∼10%) in the mediobasal hypothalamus, suggesting that intracellular cross talk between these receptors is minimal for metabolic regulation. To test whether estradiol enhanced arcuate leptin sensitivity, ovarectomized mice received varying levels of estradiol replacement. Increasing estrogenic states did not increase the degree of leptin-induced STAT3 phosphorylation. LepRb-specific STAT3 KO mice and controls were ovarectomized and given either chronic estradiol or vehicle treatment to test whether STAT3 is required for estrogen-induced body weight suppression. Both groups of estradiol-treated mice showed an equivalent reduction in body weight and fat content compared with vehicle controls. Finally, mice lacking ERα specifically in LepRb-expressing neurons also showed no increase in body weight or impairments in metabolic function compared with controls, indicating that estradiol acts independently of leptin-responsive cells to regulate body weight. However, fecundity was impaired in in Leprb-ERα KO females. Contrary to the current dogma, we report that estradiol has minimal direct actions on LepRb cells in the mediodasal hypothalamus and that its anorexigenic effects can occur entirely independently of LepRb-STAT3 signaling in female mice.

Funding information:
  • Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council - BB/J015415/1(United Kingdom)
  • NCRR NIH HHS - C06 RR015455(United States)

3-Iodothyronamine Induces Tail Vasodilation Through Central Action in Male Mice.

  • Gachkar S
  • Endocrinology
  • 2017 Jun 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

3-Iodothyronamine (3-T1AM) is an endogenous thyroid hormone (TH)-derived metabolite that induces severe hypothermia in mice after systemic administration; however, the underlying mechanisms have remained enigmatic. We show here that the rapid 3-T1AM-induced loss in body temperature is a consequence of peripheral vasodilation and subsequent heat loss (e.g., over the tail surface). The condition is subsequently intensified by hypomotility and a lack of brown adipose tissue activation. Although the possible 3-T1AM targets trace amine-associated receptor 1 or α2a-adrenergic receptor were detected in tail artery and aorta respectively, myograph studies did not show any direct effect of 3-T1AM on vasodilation, suggesting that its actions are likely indirect. Intracerebroventricular application of 3-T1AM, however, replicated the phenotype of tail vasodilation and body temperature decline and led to neuronal activation in the hypothalamus, suggesting that the metabolite causes tail vasodilation through a hypothalamic signaling pathway. Consequently, the 3-T1AM response constitutes anapyrexia rather than hypothermia and closely resembles the heat-stress response mediated by hypothalamic temperature-sensitive neurons. Our results thus underline the well-known role of the hypothalamus as the body's thermostat and suggest an additional molecular link between TH signaling and the central control of body temperature.

Expression of Kv3.1b potassium channel is widespread in macaque motor cortex pyramidal cells: A histological comparison between rat and macaque.

  • Soares D
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2017 Jun 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

There are substantial differences across species in the organization and function of the motor pathways. These differences extend to basic electrophysiological properties. Thus, in rat motor cortex, pyramidal cells have long duration action potentials, while in the macaque, some pyramidal neurons exhibit short duration "thin" spikes. These differences may be related to the expression of the fast potassium channel Kv3.1b, which in rat interneurons is associated with generation of thin spikes. Rat pyramidal cells typically lack these channels, while there are reports that they are present in macaque pyramids. Here we made a systematic, quantitative comparison of the Kv3.1b expression in sections from macaque and rat motor cortex, using two different antibodies (NeuroMab, Millipore). As our standard reference, we examined, in the same sections, Kv3.1b staining in parvalbumin-positive interneurons, which show strong Kv3.1b immunoreactivity. In macaque motor cortex, a large sample of pyramidal neurons were nearly all found to express Kv3.1b in their soma membranes. These labeled neurons were identified as pyramidal based either by expression of SMI32 (a pyramidal marker), or by their shape and size, and lack of expression of parvalbumin (a marker for some classes of interneuron). Large (Betz cells), medium, and small pyramidal neurons all expressed Kv3.1b. In rat motor cortex, SMI32-postive pyramidal neurons expressing Kv3.1b were very rare and weakly stained. Thus, there is a marked species difference in the immunoreactivity of Kv3.1b in pyramidal neurons, and this may be one of the factors explaining the pronounced electrophysiological differences between rat and macaque pyramidal neurons.

mTORC1 Signaling Contributes to Drinking But Not Blood Pressure Responses to Brain Angiotensin II.

  • Muta K
  • Endocrinology
  • 2017 May 31

Literature context:


Abstract:

Mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) is a molecular node that couples extracellular cues to a wide range of cellular events controlling various physiological processes. Here, we identified mTORC1 signaling as a critical mediator of angiotensin II (Ang II) action in the brain. In neuronal GT1-7 cells, we show that Ang II stimulates neuronal mTORC1 signaling in an Ang II type 1 receptor-dependent manner. In mice, a single intracerebroventricular (ICV) injection or chronic sc infusion of Ang II activated mTORC1 signaling in the subfornical organ, a critical brain region in cardiovascular control and fluid balance. Moreover, transgenic sRA mice with brain-specific overproduction of Ang II displayed increased mTORC1 signaling in the subfornical organ. To test the functional role of brain mTORC1 in mediating the action of Ang II, we examined the consequence of mTORC1 inhibition with rapamycin on Ang II-induced increase in water intake and arterial pressure. ICV pretreatment with rapamycin blocked ICV Ang II-mediated increases in the frequency, duration, and amount of water intake but did not interfere with the pressor response evoked by Ang II. In addition, ICV delivery of rapamycin significantly reduced polydipsia, but not hypertension, of sRA mice. These results demonstrate that mTORC1 is a novel downstream pathway of Ang II type 1 receptor signaling in the brain and selectively mediates the effect of Ang II on drinking behavior.

Funding information:
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - R01 GM043154(United States)

Mutant Huntingtin Disrupts the Nuclear Pore Complex.

  • Grima JC
  • Neuron
  • 2017 Apr 5

Literature context:


Abstract:

Huntington's disease (HD) is caused by an expanded CAG repeat in the Huntingtin (HTT) gene. The mechanism(s) by which mutant HTT (mHTT) causes disease is unclear. Nucleocytoplasmic transport, the trafficking of macromolecules between the nucleus and cytoplasm, is tightly regulated by nuclear pore complexes (NPCs) made up of nucleoporins (NUPs). Previous studies offered clues that mHTT may disrupt nucleocytoplasmic transport and a mutation of an NUP can cause HD-like pathology. Therefore, we evaluated the NPC and nucleocytoplasmic transport in multiple models of HD, including mouse and fly models, neurons transfected with mHTT, HD iPSC-derived neurons, and human HD brain regions. These studies revealed severe mislocalization and aggregation of NUPs and defective nucleocytoplasmic transport. HD repeat-associated non-ATG (RAN) translation proteins also disrupted nucleocytoplasmic transport. Additionally, overexpression of NUPs and treatment with drugs that prevent aberrant NUP biology also mitigated this transport defect and neurotoxicity, providing future novel therapy targets.

Funding information:
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS082338()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS085207()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS090390()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS094239()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - U54 NS091046()

BK Channels Mediate Synaptic Plasticity Underlying Habituation in Rats.

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

Literature context:


Abstract:

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.

Melanin-concentrating hormone axons, but not orexin or tyrosine hydroxylase axons, innervate the claustrum in the rat: An immunohistochemical study.

  • Barbier M
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2017 Apr 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

The claustrum is a small, elongated nucleus close to the external capsule and deep in the insular cortex. In rodents, this nucleus is characterized by a dense cluster of parvalbumin labeling. The claustrum is connected with the cerebral cortex. It does not project to the brainstem, but brainstem structures can influence this nucleus. To identify some specific projections from the lateral hypothalamus and midbrain, we analyzed the distribution of projections labeled with antibodies against tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH), and hypocretin (Hcrt) in the region of the claustrum. The claustrum contains a significant projection by MCH axons, whereas it is devoid of TH projections. Unlike TH and MCH axons, Hcrt axons are scattered throughout the region. This observation is discussed mainly with regard to the role of the claustrum in cognitive functions and that of MCH in REM sleep. J. Comp. Neurol. 525:1489-1498, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Funding information:
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - R01HL095690(United States)
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS083898(United States)

Macrophages Facilitate Electrical Conduction in the Heart.

  • Hulsmans M
  • Cell
  • 2017 Apr 20

Literature context:


Abstract:

Organ-specific functions of tissue-resident macrophages in the steady-state heart are unknown. Here, we show that cardiac macrophages facilitate electrical conduction through the distal atrioventricular node, where conducting cells densely intersperse with elongated macrophages expressing connexin 43. When coupled to spontaneously beating cardiomyocytes via connexin-43-containing gap junctions, cardiac macrophages have a negative resting membrane potential and depolarize in synchrony with cardiomyocytes. Conversely, macrophages render the resting membrane potential of cardiomyocytes more positive and, according to computational modeling, accelerate their repolarization. Photostimulation of channelrhodopsin-2-expressing macrophages improves atrioventricular conduction, whereas conditional deletion of connexin 43 in macrophages and congenital lack of macrophages delay atrioventricular conduction. In the Cd11bDTR mouse, macrophage ablation induces progressive atrioventricular block. These observations implicate macrophages in normal and aberrant cardiac conduction.

Funding information:
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - K24 HL105780()
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - R01 HL092577()
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - R01 HL096576()
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - R01 HL114477()
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - R01 HL117829()
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - R01 HL125428()
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - R01 HL128264()
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - R01 HL131495()
  • NICHD NIH HHS - R01 HD069623()
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - P30 DK043351()
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - P30 DK057521()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS084863()

An immunohistochemical study on the distribution of vasotocin neurons in the brain of two weakly electric fish, Gymnotus omarorum and Brachyhypopomus gauderio.

  • Pouso P
  • Tissue Cell
  • 2017 Apr 28

Literature context:


Abstract:

Hypothalamic nonapeptides (arginin vasotocin-vasopressin, oxytocin-isotocin) are known to modulate social behaviors across vertebrates. The neuroanatomical conservation of nonapeptide systems enables the use of novel vertebrate model species to identify general strategies of their functional mechanisms. We present a detailed immunohistochemical description of vasotocin (AVT) cell populations and their projections in two species of weakly electric fish with different social structure, Gymnotus omarorum and Brachyhypopomus gauderio. Strong behavioral, pharmacological, and electrophysiological evidence support that AVT modulation of electric behavior differs between the gregarious B. gauderio and the solitary G. omarorum. This functional diversity does not necessarily depend on anatomical differences of AVT neurons. To test this, we focus on interspecific comparisons of the AVT system in basal non-breeding males along the brain. G. omarorum and B. gauderio showed similar AVT somata sizes and comparable distributions of AVT somata and fibers. Interestingly, AVT fibers project to areas related to the control of social behavior and electromotor displays in both species. We found that no gross anatomical differences in the organization of the AVT system account for functional differences between species, which rather shall depend on the pattern of activation of neurons embedded in the same basic anatomical organization of the AVT system.

Endogenous opioids regulate moment-to-moment neuronal communication and excitability.

  • Winters BL
  • Nat Commun
  • 2017 Mar 22

Literature context:


Abstract:

Fear and emotional learning are modulated by endogenous opioids but the cellular basis for this is unknown. The intercalated cells (ITCs) gate amygdala output and thus regulate the fear response. Here we find endogenous opioids are released by synaptic stimulation to act via two distinct mechanisms within the main ITC cluster. Endogenously released opioids inhibit glutamate release through the δ-opioid receptor (DOR), an effect potentiated by a DOR-positive allosteric modulator. Postsynaptically, the opioids activate a potassium conductance through the μ-opioid receptor (MOR), suggesting for the first time that endogenously released opioids directly regulate neuronal excitability. Ultrastructural localization of endogenous ligands support these functional findings. This study demonstrates a new role for endogenously released opioids as neuromodulators engaged by synaptic activity to regulate moment-to-moment neuronal communication and excitability. These distinct actions through MOR and DOR may underlie the opposing effect of these receptor systems on anxiety and fear.

Funding information:
  • NIDCR NIH HHS - R01 DE012640()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - P30 NS061800()

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

  • Espuny-Camacho I
  • Neuron
  • 2017 Mar 8

Literature context:


Abstract:

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.

Regulation of Thalamic and Cortical Network Synchrony by Scn8a.

  • Makinson CD
  • Neuron
  • 2017 Mar 8

Literature context:


Abstract:

Voltage-gated sodium channel (VGSC) mutations cause severe epilepsies marked by intermittent, pathological hypersynchronous brain states. Here we present two mechanisms that help to explain how mutations in one VGSC gene, Scn8a, contribute to two distinct seizure phenotypes: (1) hypoexcitation of cortical circuits leading to convulsive seizure resistance, and (2) hyperexcitation of thalamocortical circuits leading to non-convulsive absence epilepsy. We found that loss of Scn8a leads to altered RT cell intrinsic excitability and a failure in recurrent RT synaptic inhibition. We propose that these deficits cooperate to enhance thalamocortical network synchrony and generate pathological oscillations. To our knowledge, this finding is the first clear demonstration of a pathological state tied to disruption of the RT-RT synapse. Our observation that loss of a single gene in the thalamus of an adult wild-type animal is sufficient to cause spike-wave discharges is striking and represents an example of absence epilepsy of thalamic origin.

Funding information:
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS034774()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS048336()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS065187()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS072221()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS090911()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - T32 NS007280()

Sex-Dependent Regulation of Aromatase-Mediated Synaptic Plasticity in the Basolateral Amygdala.

  • Bender RA
  • J. Neurosci.
  • 2017 Feb 8

Literature context:


Abstract:

The basolateral amygdala (BLA) integrates sensory input from cortical and subcortical regions, a function that requires marked synaptic plasticity. Here we provide evidence that cytochrome P450 aromatase (AROM), the enzyme converting testosterone to 17β-estradiol (E2), contributes to the regulation of this plasticity in a sex-specific manner. We show that AROM is expressed in the BLA, particularly in the basolateral nucleus (BL), in male and female rodents. Systemic administration of the AROM inhibitor letrozole reduced spine synapse density in the BL of adult female mice but not in the BL of male mice. Similarly, in organotypic corticoamygdalar slice cultures from immature rats, treatment with letrozole significantly reduced spine synapses in the BL only in cultures derived from females. In addition, letrozole sex-specifically altered synaptic properties in the BL: in acute slices from juvenile (prepubertal) female rats, wash-in of letrozole virtually abolished long-term potentiation (LTP), whereas it did not prevent the generation of LTP in the slices from males. Together, these data indicate that neuron-derived E2 modulates synaptic plasticity in rodent BLA sex-dependently. As protein expression levels of AROM, estrogen and androgen receptors did not differ between males and females and were not sex-specifically altered by letrozole, the findings suggest sex-specific mechanisms of E2 signaling.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT The basolateral amygdala (BLA) is a key structure of the fear circuit. This research reveals a sexually dimorphic regulation of synaptic plasticity in the BLA involving neuronal aromatase, which produces the neurosteroid 17β-estradiol (E2). As male and female neurons in rodent BLA responded differently to aromatase inhibition both in vivo and in vitro, our findings suggest that E2 signaling in BLA neurons is regulated sex-dependently, presumably via mechanisms that have been established during sexual determination. These findings could be relevant for the understanding of sex differences in mood disorders and of the side effects of cytochrome P450 aromatase inhibitors, which are frequently used for breast cancer therapy.

Developmental time course and effects of immunostressors that alter hormone-responsive behavior on microglia in the peripubertal and adult female mouse brain.

  • Holder MK
  • PLoS ONE
  • 2017 Feb 3

Literature context:


Abstract:

In female mice, the experience of being shipped from the breeder facility or a single injection of the bacterial endotoxin, lipopolysaccharide (LPS), during pubertal development alters the behavioral response to estradiol in adulthood as demonstrated by perturbations of estradiol's effects on sexual behavior, cognitive function, as well as its anxiolytic and anti-depressive properties. Microglia, the primary type of immunocompetent cell within the brain, contribute to brain development and respond to stressors with marked and long-lasting morphological and functional changes. Here, we describe the morphology of microglia and their response to shipping and LPS in peripubertal and adult female mice. Peripubertal mice have more microglia with long, thick processes in the hippocampus, amygdala and hypothalamus as compared with adult mice in the absence of an immune challenge. An immune challenge also increases immunoreactivity (IR) of ionized calcium binding adaptor molecule 1 (Iba1), which is constitutively expressed in microglia. In the hippocampus, the age of animal was without effect on the increase in Iba1- IR following shipping from the breeder facility or LPS exposure. In the amygdala, we observed more Iba1-IR following shipping or LPS treatment in peripubertal mice, compared to adult mice. In the hypothalamus, there was a disassociation of the effects of shipping and LPS treatment as LPS treatment, but not shipping, induced an increase in Iba1-IR. Taken together these data indicate that microglial morphologies differ between pubertal and adult mice; moreover, the microglial response to complex stressors is greater in pubertal mice as compared to adult mice.

Estradiol shifts interactions between the infralimbic cortex and central amygdala to enhance fear extinction memory in female rats.

  • Maeng LY
  • J. Neurosci. Res.
  • 2017 Jan 2

Literature context:


Abstract:

There is growing evidence that estradiol (E2) enhances fear extinction memory consolidation. However, it is unclear how E2 influences the nodes of the fear extinction network to enhance extinction memory. This study begins to delineate the neural circuits underlying the influence of E2 on fear extinction acquisition and consolidation in female rats. After fear conditioning (day 1), naturally cycling female rats underwent extinction learning (day 2) in a low-E2 state, receiving a systemic administration of either E2 or vehicle prior to extinction training. Extinction memory recall was then tested 24 hr later (day 3). We measured immediate early gene c-fos expression within the extinction network during fear extinction learning and extinction recall. During extinction learning, E2 treatment increased centrolateral amygdala c-fos activity and reduced lateral amygdala activity relative to vehicle. During extinction recall, E2-treated rats exhibited reduced c-fos expression in the centromedial amygdala. There were no group differences in c-fos expression within the medial prefrontal cortex or dorsal hippocampus. Examining c-fos ratios with the infralimbic cortex (IL) revealed that, despite the lack of group differences within the IL, E2 treatment induced greater IL activity relative to both prelimbic cortex and central amygdala (CeA) activity during extinction memory recall. Only the relationship between IL and CeA activity positively correlated with extinction retention. In conclusion, E2 appears to modify interactions between the IL and the CeA in females, shifting from stronger amygdalar modulation of fear during extinction learning to stronger IL control during extinction recall. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Funding information:
  • NIDCD NIH HHS - R01DC012931(United States)
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS065053(United States)

Cdk5 Regulation of the GRAB-Mediated Rab8-Rab11 Cascade in Axon Outgrowth.

  • Furusawa K
  • J. Neurosci.
  • 2017 Jan 25

Literature context:


Abstract:

Neurons communicate with each other through their axons and dendrites. However, a full characterization of the molecular mechanisms involved in axon and dendrite formation is still incomplete. Neurite outgrowth requires the supply of membrane components for surface expansion. Two membrane sources for axon outgrowth are suggested: Golgi secretary vesicles and endocytic recycling endosomes. In non-neuronal cells, trafficking of secretary vesicles from Golgi is regulated by Rab8, a member of Rab small GTPases, and that of recycling endosomes is by Rab11, another member of Rabs. However, whether these vesicles are coordinately or independently transported in growing axons is unknown. Herein, we find that GRAB, a guanine nucleotide exchange factor for Rab8, is a novel regulator of axon outgrowth. Knockdown of GRAB suppressed axon outgrowth of cultured mouse brain cortical neurons. GRAB mediates the interaction between Rab11A and Rab8A, and this activity is regulated by phosphorylation at Ser169 and Ser180 by Cdk5-p35. The nonphosphorylatable GRAB mutant S169/180A promoted axonal outgrowth to a greater extent than did the phosphomimetic GRAB mutant S169/180D. Phosphorylation of GRAB suppressed its guanine nucleotide exchange factor activity and its ability to recruit Rab8A- to Rab11A-positive endosomes. In vivo function of GRAB and its Cdk5-phophorylation were shown in migration and process formation of developing neurons in embryonic mouse brains. These results indicate that GRAB regulates axonal outgrowth via activation and recruitment of Rab8A- to Rab11A-positive endosomes in a Cdk5-dependent manner. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT: While axon outgrowth requires membrane supply for surface expansion, the molecular mechanisms regulating the membrane transport in growing axons remain unclear. Here, we demonstrate that GRAB, a guanine nucleotide exchange factor for Rab8, is a novel regulator of axon outgrowth. GRAB promotes the axonal membrane transport by mediating the interaction between Rab11 and Rab8 in neurons. The activity of GRAB is regulated by phosphorylation with Cdk5. We describe an in vivo role for GRAB and its Cdk5 phosphorylation during neuronal migration and process formation in embryonic brains. Thus, the membrane supply for axonal outgrowth is regulated by Cdk5 through the Rab11-GRAB-Rab8 cascade.

Serotonin-containing neurons in basal insects: In search of ground patterns among tetraconata.

  • Stemme T
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2017 Jan 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

The ventral nerve cord of Tetraconata contains a comparably low number of serotonin-immunoreactive neurons, facilitating individual identification of cells and their characteristic neurite morphology. This offers the rather unique possibility of establishing homologies at the single cell level. Because phylogenetic relationships within Tetraconata are still discussed controversially, comparisons of individually identifiable neurons can help to unravel these issues. Serotonin immunoreactivity has been investigated in numerous tetraconate taxa, leading to reconstructions of hypothetical ground patterns for major lineages. However, detailed descriptions of basal insects are still missing, but are crucial for meaningful evolutionary considerations. We investigated the morphology of individually identifiable serotonin-immunoreactive neurons in the ventral nerve cord of Zygentoma (Thermobia domestica, Lepisma saccharina, Atelura formicaria) and Archaeognatha (Machilis germanica, Dilta hibernica). To improve immunocytochemical resolution, we also performed preincubation experiments with 5-hydroxy-L-tryptophan and serotonin. Additionally, we checked for immunolabeling of tryptophan hydroxylase, an enzyme associated with the synthesis of serotonin. Besides the generally identified groups of anterolateral, medial, and posterolateral neurons within each ganglion of the ventral nerve cord, we identified several other immunoreactive cells, which seem to have no correspondence in other tetraconates. Furthermore, we show that not all immunoreactive neurons produce serotonin, but have the capability for serotonin uptake. Comparisons with the patterns of serotonin-containing neurons in major tetraconate taxa suggest a close phylogenetic relationship of Remipedia, Cephalocarida, and Hexapoda, supporting the Miracrustacea hypothesis. J. Comp. Neurol., 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Comp. Neurol. 525:79-115, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Funding information:
  • NIDA NIH HHS - K02 DA026990(United States)

Integrated Control of Predatory Hunting by the Central Nucleus of the Amygdala.

  • Han W
  • Cell
  • 2017 Jan 12

Literature context:


Abstract:

Superior predatory skills led to the evolutionary triumph of jawed vertebrates. However, the mechanisms by which the vertebrate brain controls predation remain largely unknown. Here, we reveal a critical role for the central nucleus of the amygdala in predatory hunting. Both optogenetic and chemogenetic stimulation of central amygdala of mice elicited predatory-like attacks upon both insect and artificial prey. Coordinated control of cervical and mandibular musculatures, which is necessary for accurately positioning lethal bites on prey, was mediated by a central amygdala projection to the reticular formation in the brainstem. In contrast, prey pursuit was mediated by projections to the midbrain periaqueductal gray matter. Targeted lesions to these two pathways separately disrupted biting attacks upon prey versus the initiation of prey pursuit. Our findings delineate a neural network that integrates distinct behavioral modules and suggest that central amygdala neurons instruct predatory hunting across jawed vertebrates.

Funding information:
  • NCATS NIH HHS - UL1 TR001863()
  • NCI NIH HHS - R01 CA180030()
  • NIDCD NIH HHS - R01 DC014859()
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - R01 DK084052()
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - R01 DK103176()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS048476()

Pattern of distribution of serotonergic fibers to the amygdala and extended amygdala in the rat.

  • Linley SB
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2017 Jan 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

As is well recognized, serotonergic (5-HT) fibers distribute widely throughout the forebrain, including the amygdala. Although a few reports have examined the 5-HT innervation of select nuclei of the amygdala in the rat, no previous report has described overall 5-HT projections to the amygdala in the rat. Using immunostaining for the serotonin transporter, SERT, we describe the complete pattern of distribution of 5-HT fibers to the amygdala (proper) and to the extended amygdala in the rat. Based on its ontogenetic origins, the amygdala was subdivided into two major parts, pallial and subpallial components, with the pallial component further divided into superficial and deep nuclei (Olucha-Bordonau et al. 2015). SERT+ fibers were shown to distributed moderately to densely to the deep and cortical pallial nuclei, but, by contrast, lightly to the subpallial nuclei. Specifically, 1) of the deep pallial nuclei, the lateral, basolateral, and basomedial nuclei contained a very dense concentration of 5-HT fibers; 2) of the cortical pallial nuclei, the anterior cortical and amygdala-cortical transition zone rostrally and the posteromedial and posterolateral nuclei caudally contained a moderate concentration of 5-HT fibers; and 3) of the subpallial nuclei, the anterior nuclei and the rostral part of the medial (Me) nuclei contained a moderate concentration of 5-HT fibers, whereas caudal regions of Me as well as the central nuclei and the intercalated nuclei contained a sparse/light concentration of 5-HT fibers. With regard to the extended amygdala (primarily the bed nucleus of stria terminalis; BST), on the whole, the BST contained moderate numbers of 5-HT fibers, spread fairly uniformly throughout BST. The findings are discussed with respect to a critical serotonergic influence on the amygdala, particularly on the basal complex, and on the extended amygdala in the control of states of fear and anxiety. J. Comp. Neurol. 525:116-139, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Peripherally administered orexin improves survival of mice with endotoxin shock.

  • Ogawa Y
  • Elife
  • 2016 Dec 30

Literature context:


Abstract:

Sepsis is a systemic inflammatory response to infection, accounting for the most common cause of death in intensive care units. Here, we report that peripheral administration of the hypothalamic neuropeptide orexin improves the survival of mice with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) induced endotoxin shock, a well-studied septic shock model. The effect is accompanied by a suppression of excessive cytokine production and an increase of catecholamines and corticosterone. We found that peripherally administered orexin penetrates the blood-brain barrier under endotoxin shock, and that central administration of orexin also suppresses the cytokine production and improves the survival, indicating orexin's direct action in the central nervous system (CNS). Orexin helps restore body temperature and potentiates cardiovascular function in LPS-injected mice. Pleiotropic modulation of inflammatory response by orexin through the CNS may constitute a novel therapeutic approach for septic shock.

Inhibition of Prolyl Oligopeptidase Restores Spontaneous Motor Behavior in the α-Synuclein Virus Vector-Based Parkinson's Disease Mouse Model by Decreasing α-Synuclein Oligomeric Species in Mouse Brain.

  • Svarcbahs R
  • J. Neurosci.
  • 2016 Dec 7

Literature context:


Abstract:

Decreased clearance of α-synuclein (aSyn) and aSyn protein misfolding and aggregation are seen as major factors in the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease (PD) and other synucleinopathies that leads to disruption in neuronal function and eventually to cell death. Prolyl oligopeptidase (PREP) can accelerate the aSyn aggregation process, while inhibition of PREP by a small molecule inhibitor decreases aSyn oligomer formation and enhances its clearance via autophagy in different aSyn overexpressing cell types and in transgenic PD animal models. In this study, we investigated the impact of chronic PREP inhibition by a small molecule inhibitor, 4-phenylbutanoyl-l-prolyl-2(S)-cyanopyrrolidine (KYP-2047), on aSyn oligomerization, clearance, and underlying spontaneous motor behavior in a virus vector-based aSyn overexpression mouse model 4 weeks after aSyn microinjections and after the onset of symptomatic forepaw bias. Following 4 weeks of PREP inhibition, we saw an improved spontaneous forelimb use in mice that correlated with a decreased immunoreactivity against oligomer-specific forms of aSyn. Additionally, KYP-2047 had a trend to enhance dopaminergic systems activity. Our results suggest that PREP inhibition exhibits a beneficial effect on the aSyn clearance and aggregation in a virus mediated aSyn overexpression PD mouse model and that PREP inhibitors could be a novel therapeutic strategy for synucleinopathies. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT: Alpha-synuclein (aSyn) has been implicated in Parkinson's disease, with aSyn aggregates believed to exert toxic effects on neurons, while prolyl oligopeptidase (PREP) has been shown to interact with aSyn both in cells and cell free conditions, thus enhancing its aggregation. We demonstrate the possibility to abolish motor imbalance caused by aSyn viral vector injection with chronic 4 week PREP inhibition by a potent small-molecule PREP inhibitor, 4-phenylbutanoyl-l-prolyl-2(S)-cyanopyrrolidine (KYP-2047). Treatment was initiated postsymptomatically, 4 weeks after aSyn injection. KYP-2047-treated animals had a significantly decreased amount of oligomeric aSyn particles and improved dopamine system activity compared to control animals. To our knowledge, this is the first time viral overexpression of aSyn has been countered and movement impairments abolished after their onset.

Choice Behavior Guided by Learned, But Not Innate, Taste Aversion Recruits the Orbitofrontal Cortex.

  • Ramírez-Lugo L
  • J. Neurosci.
  • 2016 Oct 12

Literature context:


Abstract:

The ability to select an appropriate behavioral response guided by previous emotional experiences is critical for survival. Although much is known about brain mechanisms underlying emotional associations, little is known about how these associations guide behavior when several choices are available. To address this, we performed local pharmacological inactivations of several cortical regions before retrieval of an aversive memory in choice-based versus no-choice-based conditioned taste aversion (CTA) tasks in rats. Interestingly, we found that inactivation of the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), but not the dorsal or ventral medial prefrontal cortices, blocked retrieval of choice CTA. However, OFC inactivation left retrieval of no-choice CTA intact, suggesting its role in guiding choice, but not in retrieval of CTA memory. Consistently, OFC activity increased in the choice condition compared with no-choice, as measured with c-Fos immunolabeling. Notably, OFC inactivation did not affect choice behavior when it was guided by innate taste aversion. Consistent with an anterior insular cortex (AIC) involvement in storing taste memories, we found that AIC inactivation impaired retrieval of both choice and no-choice CTA. Therefore, this study provides evidence for OFC's role in guiding choice behavior and shows that this is dissociable from AIC-dependent taste aversion memory. Together, our results suggest that OFC is required and recruited to guide choice selection between options of taste associations relayed from AIC. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT: Survival and mental health depend on being able to choose stimuli not associated with danger. This is particularly important when danger is associated with stimuli that we ingest. Although much is known about the brain mechanisms that underlie associations with dangerous taste stimuli, very little is known about how these stored emotional associations guide behavior when it involves choice. By combining pharmacological and immunohistochemistry tools with taste-guided tasks, our study provides evidence for the key role of orbitofrontal cortex activity in choice behavior and shows that this is dissociable from the adjacent insular cortex-dependent taste aversion memory. Understanding the brain mechanisms that underlie the impact that emotional associations have on survival choice behaviors may lead to better treatments for mental disorders characterized by emotional decision-making deficits.

A2 noradrenergic neurons regulate forced swim test immobility.

  • Nam H
  • Physiol. Behav.
  • 2016 Oct 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

The Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) rat is a widely used animal model of depression, which is characterized by dysregulation of noradrenergic signaling. We previously demonstrated that WKY rats show a unique behavioral profile on the forced swim test (FST), characterized by high levels of immobility upon initial exposure and a greater learning-like response by further increasing immobility upon re-exposure than the genetically related Wistar rats. In the current study we aimed to determine whether altered activation of brainstem noradrenergic cell groups contributes to this behavioral profile. We exposed WKY and Wistar rats, to either 5min of forced swim or to the standard two-day FST (i.e. 15min forced swim on Day 1, followed by 5min on Day 2). We then stained their brains for FOS/tyrosine hydroxylase double-immunocytochemistry to determine potential differences in the activation of the brainstem noradrenergic cell groups. We detected a relative hyperactivation in the locus coeruleus of WKY rats when compared to Wistars in response to both one- and two-day forced swim. In contrast, within the A2 noradrenergic cell group, WKY rats exhibited diminished levels of FOS across both days of the FST, suggesting their lesser activation. We followed up these observations by selectively lesioning the A2 neurons, using anti-dopamine-β-hydroxylase-conjugated saporin, in Wistar rats, which resulted in increased FST immobility on both days of the test. Together these data indicate that the A2 noradrenergic cell group regulates FST behavior, and that its hypoactivation may contribute to the unique behavioral phenotype of WKY rats.

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:


Abstract:

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)

Impairment of cocaine-mediated behaviours in mice by clinically relevant Ras-ERK inhibitors.

  • Papale A
  • Elife
  • 2016 Aug 24

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Abstract:

Ras-ERK signalling in the brain plays a central role in drug addiction. However, to date, no clinically relevant inhibitor of this cascade has been tested in experimental models of addiction, a necessary step toward clinical trials. We designed two new cell-penetrating peptides - RB1 and RB3 - that penetrate the brain and, in the micromolar range, inhibit phosphorylation of ERK, histone H3 and S6 ribosomal protein in striatal slices. Furthermore, a screening of small therapeutics currently in clinical trials for cancer therapy revealed PD325901 as a brain-penetrating drug that blocks ERK signalling in the nanomolar range. All three compounds have an inhibitory effect on cocaine-induced ERK activation and reward in mice. In particular, PD325901 persistently blocks cocaine-induced place preference and accelerates extinction following cocaine self-administration. Thus, clinically relevant, systemically administered drugs that attenuate Ras-ERK signalling in the brain may be valuable tools for the treatment of cocaine addiction.

Somatosensory brainstem, thalamus, and cortex of the California sea lion (Zalophus californianus).

  • Sawyer EK
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2016 Jun 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

Pinnipeds (sea lions, seals, and walruses) are notable for many reasons, including their ape-sized brains, their adaptation to a coastal niche that combines mastery of the sea with strong ties to land, and the remarkable abilities of their trigeminal whisker system. However, little is known about the central nervous system of pinnipeds. Here we report on the somatosensory areas of the nervous system of the California sea lion (Zalophus californianus). Using stains for Nissl, cytochrome oxidase, and vesicular glutamate transporters, we investigated the primary somatosensory areas in the brainstem, thalamus, and cortex in one sea lion pup and the external anatomy of the brain in a second pup. We find that the sea lion's impressive array of whiskers is matched by a large trigeminal representation in the brainstem with well-defined parcellation that resembles the barrelettes found in rodents but scaled upward in size. The dorsal column nuclei are large and distinct. The ventral posterior nucleus of the thalamus has divisions, with a large area for the presumptive head representation. Primary somatosensory cortex is located in the neocortex just anterior to the main vertical fissure, and precisely locating it as we do here is useful for comparing the highly gyrified pinniped cortex with that of other carnivores. To our knowledge this work is the first comprehensive report on the central nervous system areas for any sensory system in a pinniped. The results may be useful both in the veterinary setting and for comparative studies related to brain evolution.

Rapid Eye Movement Sleep Deprivation Produces Long-Term Detrimental Effects in Spatial Memory and Modifies the Cellular Composition of the Subgranular Zone.

  • Soto-Rodriguez S
  • Front Cell Neurosci
  • 2016 Jun 15

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Abstract:

Sleep deprivation (SD) affects spatial memory and proliferation in the dentate gyrus. It is unknown whether these deleterious effects persist in the long run. The aim of this study was to evaluate the proliferation, differentiation and maturation of neural progenitors as well as spatial memory 21 days after suffering SD. Sixty-day old male Balb/C mice were exposed to 72-h REM-SD. Spatial memory, cell fate, apoptosis and expression levels of insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor (IGF-1R) were evaluated in the hippocampus at 0, 14, and 21 days after SD or control conditions. After 21-days recovery period, memory performance was assessed with the Barnes maze, we found a significant memory impairment in SD mice vs. control (94.0 ± 10.2 s vs. 25.2 ± 4.5 s; p < 0.001). The number of BrdU+ cells was significantly decreased in the SD groups at day 14 (controls = 1.6 ± 0.1 vs. SD mice = 1.2 ± 0.1 cells/field; p = 0.001) and at day 21 (controls = 0.2 ± 0.03 vs. SD mice = 0.1 ± 0.02 cells/field; p < 0.001). A statistically significant decrease was observed in neuronal differentiation (1.4 ± 0.1 cells/field vs. 0.9 ± 0.1 cells/field, p = 0.003). Apoptosis was significantly increased at day 14 after SD (0.53 ± 0.06 TUNEL+ cells/field) compared to controls (0.19 ± 0.03 TUNEL+ cells/field p < 0.001) and at 21-days after SD (SD mice 0.53 ± 0.15 TUNEL+ cells/field; p = 0.035). At day 0, IGF-1R expression showed a statistically significant reduction in SD animals (64.6 ± 12.2 units) when compared to the control group (102.0 ± 9.8 units; p = 0.043). However, no statistically significant differences were found at days 14 and 21 after SD. In conclusion, a single exposition to SD for 72-h can induce deleterious effects that persist for at least 3 weeks. These changes are characterized by spatial memory impairment, reduction in the number of hippocampal BrdU+ cells and persistent apoptosis rate. In contrast, changes IGF-1R expression appears to be a transient event. Highlight Sleep deprivation affects spatial memory and proliferation in the dentate gyrus. To date it is unknown whether these deleterious effects are persistent over a long period of time. We analyzed the effects of sleep deprivation in the hippocampus after 21 days of recovery sleep. Our findings indicate that after sleep recovery, the detrimental effects of SD can be observed for at least 2 weeks, as shown by a reduction in memory performance, changes in the hippocampal cellular composition and higher apoptotic rate over a long period of time.

Funding information:
  • NIMH NIH HHS - R01 MH100217(United States)

Inhibitory Synapses Are Repeatedly Assembled and Removed at Persistent Sites In Vivo.

  • Villa KL
  • Neuron
  • 2016 Feb 17

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Abstract:

Older concepts of a hard-wired adult brain have been overturned in recent years by in vivo imaging studies revealing synaptic remodeling, now thought to mediate rearrangements in microcircuit connectivity. Using three-color labeling and spectrally resolved two-photon microscopy, we monitor in parallel the daily structural dynamics (assembly or removal) of excitatory and inhibitory postsynaptic sites on the same neurons in mouse visual cortex in vivo. We find that dynamic inhibitory synapses often disappear and reappear again in the same location. The starkest contrast between excitatory and inhibitory synapse dynamics is on dually innervated spines, where inhibitory synapses frequently recur while excitatory synapses are stable. Monocular deprivation, a model of sensory input-dependent plasticity, shortens inhibitory synapse lifetimes and lengthens intervals to recurrence, resulting in a new dynamic state with reduced inhibitory synaptic presence. Reversible structural dynamics indicate a fundamentally new role for inhibitory synaptic remodeling--flexible, input-specific modulation of stable excitatory connections.

Mapping of brain lipid binding protein (Blbp) in the brain of adult zebrafish, co-expression with aromatase B and links with proliferation.

  • Diotel N
  • Gene Expr. Patterns
  • 2016 Jan 29

Literature context:


Abstract:

Adult fish exhibit a strong neurogenic capacity due to the persistence of radial glial cells. In zebrafish, radial glial cells display well-established markers such as the estrogen-synthesizing enzyme (AroB) and the brain lipid binding protein (Blbp), which is known to strongly bind omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids such as docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). While Blpb is mainly described in the telencephalon of adult zebrafish, its expression in the remaining regions of the brain is poorly documented. The present study was designed to further investigate Blbp expression in the brain, its co-expression with AroB, and its link with radial glial cells proliferation in zebrafish. We generated a complete and detailed mapping of Blbp expression in the whole brain and show its complete co-expression with AroB, except in some tectal and hypothalamic regions. By performing PCNA and Blbp immunohistochemistry on cyp19a1b-GFP (AroB-GFP) fish, we also demonstrated preferential Blbp expression in proliferative radial glial cells in almost all regions studied. To our knowledge, this is the first complete and detailed mapping of Blbp-expressing cells showing strong association between Blbp and radial glial cell proliferation in the adult brain of fish. Given that zebrafish is now recognized models for studying neurogenesis and brain repair, our data provide detailed characterization of Blbp in the entire brain and open up a broad field of research investigating the role of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in neural stem cell activity in fish.

Neurotensin Is Coexpressed, Coreleased, and Acts Together With GLP-1 and PYY in Enteroendocrine Control of Metabolism.

  • Grunddal KV
  • Endocrinology
  • 2016 Jan 31

Literature context:


Abstract:

The 2 gut hormones glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) and peptide YY (PYY) are well known to be coexpressed, costored, and released together to coact in the control of key metabolic target organs. However, recently, it became clear that several other gut hormones can be coexpressed in the intestinal-specific lineage of enteroendocrine cells. Here, we focus on the anatomical and functional consequences of the coexpression of neurotensin with GLP-1 and PYY in the distal small intestine. Fluorescence-activated cell sorting analysis, laser capture, and triple staining demonstrated that GLP-1 cells in the crypts become increasingly multihormonal, ie, coexpressing PYY and neurotensin as they move up the villus. Proglucagon promoter and pertussis toxin receptor-driven cell ablation and reappearance studies indicated that although all the cells die, the GLP-1 cells reappear more quickly than PYY- and neurotensin-positive cells. High-resolution confocal fluorescence microscopy demonstrated that neurotensin is stored in secretory granules distinct from GLP-1 and PYY storing granules. Nevertheless, the 3 peptides were cosecreted from both perfused small intestines and colonic crypt cultures in response to a series of metabolite, neuropeptide, and hormonal stimuli. Importantly, neurotensin acts synergistically, ie, more than additively together with GLP-1 and PYY to decrease palatable food intake and inhibit gastric emptying, but affects glucose homeostasis in a more complex manner. Thus, neurotensin is a major gut hormone deeply integrated with GLP-1 and PYY, which should be taken into account when exploiting the enteroendocrine regulation of metabolism pharmacologically.

Funding information:
  • NIMH NIH HHS - P50 MH106934(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:


Abstract:

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)

KNDy Neurons Modulate the Magnitude of the Steroid-Induced Luteinizing Hormone Surges in Ovariectomized Rats.

  • Helena CV
  • Endocrinology
  • 2015 Nov 17

Literature context:


Abstract:

Kisspeptin is the most potent stimulator of LH release. There are two kisspeptin neuronal populations in the rodent brain: in the anteroventral periventricular nucleus (AVPV) and in the arcuate nucleus. The arcuate neurons coexpress kisspeptin, neurokinin B, and dynorphin and are called KNDy neurons. Because estradiol increases kisspeptin expression in the AVPV whereas it inhibits KNDy neurons, AVPV and KNDy neurons have been postulated to mediate the positive and negative feedback effects of estradiol on LH secretion, respectively. Yet the role of KNDy neurons during the positive feedback is not clear. In this study, ovariectomized rats were microinjected bilaterally into the arcuate nucleus with a saporin-conjugated neurokinin B receptor agonist for targeted ablation of approximately 70% of KNDy neurons. In oil-treated animals, ablation of KNDy neurons impaired the rise in LH after ovariectomy and kisspeptin content in both populations. In estradiol-treated animals, KNDy ablation did not influence the negative feedback of steroids during the morning. Surprisingly, KNDy ablation increased the steroid-induced LH surges, accompanied by an increase of kisspeptin content in the AVPV. This increase seems to be due to lack of dynorphin input from KNDy neurons to the AVPV as the following: 1) microinjections of a dynorphin antagonist into the AVPV significantly increased the LH surge in estradiol-treated rats, similar to KNDy ablation, and 2) intra-AVPV microinjections of dynorphin in KNDy-ablated rats restored LH surge levels. Our results suggest that KNDy neurons provide inhibition to AVPV kisspeptin neurons through dynorphin and thus regulate the amplitude of the steroid-induced LH surges.

Funding information:
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS014841(United States)

Cortico-Cortical Connectivity Within Ferret Auditory Cortex.

  • Bizley JK
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2015 Oct 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

Despite numerous studies of auditory cortical processing in the ferret (Mustela putorius), very little is known about the connections between the different regions of the auditory cortex that have been characterized cytoarchitectonically and physiologically. We examined the distribution of retrograde and anterograde labeling after injecting tracers into one or more regions of ferret auditory cortex. Injections of different tracers at frequency-matched locations in the core areas, the primary auditory cortex (A1) and anterior auditory field (AAF), of the same animal revealed the presence of reciprocal connections with overlapping projections to and from discrete regions within the posterior pseudosylvian and suprasylvian fields (PPF and PSF), suggesting that these connections are frequency specific. In contrast, projections from the primary areas to the anterior dorsal field (ADF) on the anterior ectosylvian gyrus were scattered and non-overlapping, consistent with the non-tonotopic organization of this field. The relative strength of the projections originating in each of the primary fields differed, with A1 predominantly targeting the posterior bank fields PPF and PSF, which in turn project to the ventral posterior field, whereas AAF projects more heavily to the ADF, which then projects to the anteroventral field and the pseudosylvian sulcal cortex. These findings suggest that parallel anterior and posterior processing networks may exist, although the connections between different areas often overlap and interactions were present at all levels.

Distributions of vesicular glutamate transporters 1 and 2 in the visual system of tree shrews (Tupaia belangeri).

  • Balaram P
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2015 Aug 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

Vesicular glutamate transporter (VGLUT) proteins regulate the storage and release of glutamate from synapses of excitatory neurons. Two isoforms, VGLUT1 and VGLUT2, are found in most glutamatergic projections across the mammalian visual system, and appear to differentially identify subsets of excitatory projections between visual structures. To expand current knowledge on the distribution of VGLUT isoforms in highly visual mammals, we examined the mRNA and protein expression patterns of VGLUT1 and VGLUT2 in the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN), superior colliculus, pulvinar complex, and primary visual cortex (V1) in tree shrews (Tupaia belangeri), which are closely related to primates but classified as a separate order (Scandentia). We found that VGLUT1 was distributed in intrinsic and corticothalamic connections, whereas VGLUT2 was predominantly distributed in subcortical and thalamocortical connections. VGLUT1 and VGLUT2 were coexpressed in the LGN and in the pulvinar complex, as well as in restricted layers of V1, suggesting a greater heterogeneity in the range of efferent glutamatergic projections from these structures. These findings provide further evidence that VGLUT1 and VGLUT2 identify distinct populations of excitatory neurons in visual brain structures across mammals. Observed variations in individual projections may highlight the evolution of these connections through the mammalian lineage.

Funding information:
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - R01 DK046367(United States)

Circadian Control of the Female Reproductive Axis Through Gated Responsiveness of the RFRP-3 System to VIP Signaling.

  • Russo KA
  • Endocrinology
  • 2015 Jul 20

Literature context:


Abstract:

Throughout most of the ovulatory cycle, estrogen negative feedback restrains the GnRH neuronal system. Just before ovulation, however, estrogen negative feedback is removed to permit stimulation of the preovulatory GnRH/LH surge (positive feedback) by the circadian clock in the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN). The mammalian ortholog of avian gonadotropin-inhibitory hormone, RFamide-related peptide 3 (RFRP-3), participates in the circadian-timed removal of estrogen negative feedback to permit the LH surge. The present study examined the specific neurochemical means by which the SCN controls RFRP-3 activity and explored whether the RFRP-3 system exhibits time-dependent responsiveness to SCN signaling to precisely time the LH surge. We found that RFRP-3 cells in female Syrian hamsters (Mesocricetus auratus) receive close appositions from SCN-derived vasopressin-ergic and vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP)-ergic terminal fibers. Central VIP administration markedly suppressed RFRP-3 cellular activity in the evening, but not the morning, relative to saline controls, whereas vasopressin was without effect at either time point. Double-label in situ hybridization for Rfrp-3 and the VIP receptors VPAC1 and VPAC2 revealed that the majority of RFRP-3 cells do not coexpress either receptor in Syrian hamsters or mice, suggesting that SCN VIP-ergic signaling inhibits RFRP-3 cells indirectly. The timing of this VIP-mediated disinhibition is further coordinated via temporally gated responsiveness of RFRP-3 cells to circadian signaling. Together, these findings reveal a novel circadian hierarchy of control coordinating the preovulatory LH surge and ovulation.

Funding information:
  • NIH HHS - P51 OD011133(United States)

Pharmacological and Morphological Evidence of AMPK-Mediated Energy Sensing in the Lower Brain Stem Ependymocytes to Control Reproduction in Female Rodents.

  • Minabe S
  • Endocrinology
  • 2015 Jun 18

Literature context:


Abstract:

Ependymocytes are one of the energy-sensing cells that regulate animal reproduction through their responsiveness to changes in extracellular glucose levels and the expression of pancreatic-type glucokinase and glucose transporter 2, which play a critical role in sensing blood glucose levels in pancreatic β-cells. Molecular mechanisms underlying glucose sensing in the ependymocytes remain poorly understood. The AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), a serine/threonine kinase highly conserved in all eukaryotic cells, has been suggested to be an intracellular fuel gauge that detects cellular energy status. The present study aims to clarify the role AMPK of the lower brainstem ependymocytes has in sensing glucose levels to regulate reproductive functions. First, we will show that administration of 5-aminoimidazole-4-carboxamide-1-β-D-ribofuranoside, an AMPK activator, into the 4th ventricle suppressed pulsatile LH release in female rats. Second, we will demonstrate the presence of AMPK catalytic subunit immunoreactivities in the rat lower brainstem ependymocytes. Third, transgenic mice were generated to visualize the ependymocytes with Venus, a green fluorescent protein, expressed under the control of the mouse vimentin promoter for further in vitro study. The Venus-labeled ependymocytes taken from the lower brainstem of transgenic mice revealed that AMPK activation by 5-aminoimidazole-4-carboxamide-1-β-D-ribofuranoside, an AMPK activator, increased in vitro intracellular calcium concentrations. Taken together, malnutrition-induced AMPK activation of ependymocytes of the lower brainstem might be involved in suppression of GnRH/LH release and then gonadal activities.

Funding information:
  • Medical Research Council - (United Kingdom)
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - DK-37021(United States)

Localization of α-synuclein in teleost central nervous system: immunohistochemical and Western blot evidence by 3D5 monoclonal antibody in the common carp, Cyprinus carpio.

  • Vaccaro R
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2015 May 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Alpha synuclein (α-syn) is a 140 amino acid vertebrate-specific protein, highly expressed in the human nervous system and abnormally accumulated in Parkinson's disease and other neurodegenerative disorders, known as synucleinopathies. The common occurrence of α-syn aggregates suggested a role for α-syn in these disorders, although its biological activity remains poorly understood. Given the high degree of sequence similarity between vertebrate α-syns, we investigated this proteins in the central nervous system (CNS) of the common carp, Cyprinus carpio, with the aim of comparing its anatomical and cellular distribution with that of mammalian α-syn. The distribution of α-syn was analyzed by semiquantitative western blot, immunohistochemistry, and immunofluorescence by a novel monoclonal antibody (3D5) against a fully conserved epitope between carp and human α-syn. The distribution of 3D5 immunoreactivity was also compared with that of choline acetyltransferase (ChAT), tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), and serotonin (5HT) by double immunolabelings. The results showed that a α-syn-like protein of about 17 kDa is expressed to different levels in several brain regions and in the spinal cord. Immunoreactive materials were localized in neuronal perikarya and varicose fibers but not in the nucleus. The present findings indicate that α-syn-like proteins may be expressed in a few subpopulations of catecholaminergic and serotoninergic neurons in the carp brain. However, evidence of cellular colocalization 3D5/TH or 3D5/5HT was rare. Differently, the same proteins appear to be coexpressed with ChAT by cholinergic neurons in several motor and reticular nuclei. These results sustain the functional conservation of the α-syn expression in cholinergic systems and suggest that α-syn modulates similar molecular pathways in phylogenetically distant vertebrates.

Differential contributions of microglial and neuronal IKKβ to synaptic plasticity and associative learning in alert behaving mice.

  • Kyrargyri V
  • Glia
  • 2015 Apr 16

Literature context:


Abstract:

Microglia are CNS resident immune cells and a rich source of neuroactive mediators, but their contribution to physiological brain processes such as synaptic plasticity, learning, and memory is not fully understood. In this study, we used mice with partial depletion of IκB kinase β, the main activating kinase in the inducible NF-κB pathway, selectively in myeloid lineage cells (mIKKβKO) or excitatory neurons (nIKKβKO) to measure synaptic strength at hippocampal Schaffer collaterals during long-term potentiation (LTP) and instrumental conditioning in alert behaving individuals. Resting microglial cells in mIKKβKO mice showed less Iba1-immunoreactivity, and brain IL-1β mRNA levels were selectively reduced compared with controls. Measurement of field excitatory postsynaptic potentials (fEPSPs) evoked by stimulation of the CA3-CA1 synapse in mIKKβKO mice showed higher facilitation in response to paired pulses and enhanced LTP following high frequency stimulation. In contrast, nIKKβKO mice showed normal basic synaptic transmission and LTP induction but impairments in late LTP. To understand the consequences of such impairments in synaptic plasticity for learning and memory, we measured CA1 fEPSPs in behaving mice during instrumental conditioning. IKKβ was not necessary in either microglia or neurons for mice to learn lever-pressing (appetitive behavior) to obtain food (consummatory behavior) but was required in both for modification of their hippocampus-dependent appetitive, not consummatory behavior. Our results show that microglia, through IKKβ and therefore NF-κB activity, regulate hippocampal synaptic plasticity and that both microglia and neurons, through IKKβ, are necessary for animals to modify hippocampus-driven behavior during associative learning.

The role of hypothalamic mTORC1 signaling in insulin regulation of food intake, body weight, and sympathetic nerve activity in male mice.

  • Muta K
  • Endocrinology
  • 2015 Apr 21

Literature context:


Abstract:

Insulin action in the brain particularly the hypothalamus is critically involved in the regulation of several physiological processes, including energy homeostasis and sympathetic nerve activity, but the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. The mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) is implicated in the control of diverse cellular functions, including sensing nutrients and energy status. Here, we examined the role of hypothalamic mTORC1 in mediating the anorectic, weight-reducing, and sympathetic effects of central insulin action. In a mouse hypothalamic cell line (GT1-7), insulin treatment increased mTORC1 activity in a time-dependent manner. In addition, intracerebroventricular (ICV) administration of insulin to mice activated mTORC1 pathway in the hypothalamic arcuate nucleus, a key site of central action of insulin. Interestingly, inhibition of hypothalamic mTORC1 with rapamycin reversed the food intake- and body weight-lowering effects of ICV insulin. Rapamycin also abolished the ability of ICV insulin to cause lumbar sympathetic nerve activation. In GT1-7 cells, we found that insulin activation of mTORC1 pathway requires phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K). Consistent with this, genetic disruption of PI3K in mice abolished insulin stimulation of hypothalamic mTORC1 signaling as well as the lumbar sympathetic nerve activation evoked by insulin. These results demonstrate the importance of mTORC1 pathway in the hypothalamus in mediating the action of insulin to regulate energy homeostasis and sympathetic nerve traffic. Our data also highlight the key role of PI3K as a link between insulin receptor and mTORC1 signaling in the hypothalamus.

Funding information:
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - R01 HL122494(United States)

Dynamin-related protein 1 is required for normal mitochondrial bioenergetic and synaptic function in CA1 hippocampal neurons.

  • Shields LY
  • Cell Death Dis
  • 2015 Apr 16

Literature context:


Abstract:

Disrupting particular mitochondrial fission and fusion proteins leads to the death of specific neuronal populations; however, the normal functions of mitochondrial fission in neurons are poorly understood, especially in vivo, which limits the understanding of mitochondrial changes in disease. Altered activity of the central mitochondrial fission protein dynamin-related protein 1 (Drp1) may contribute to the pathophysiology of several neurologic diseases. To study Drp1 in a neuronal population affected by Alzheimer's disease (AD), stroke, and seizure disorders, we postnatally deleted Drp1 from CA1 and other forebrain neurons in mice (CamKII-Cre, Drp1lox/lox (Drp1cKO)). Although most CA1 neurons survived for more than 1 year, their synaptic transmission was impaired, and Drp1cKO mice had impaired memory. In Drp1cKO cell bodies, we observed marked mitochondrial swelling but no change in the number of mitochondria in individual synaptic terminals. Using ATP FRET sensors, we found that cultured neurons lacking Drp1 (Drp1KO) could not maintain normal levels of mitochondrial-derived ATP when energy consumption was increased by neural activity. These deficits occurred specifically at the nerve terminal, but not the cell body, and were sufficient to impair synaptic vesicle cycling. Although Drp1KO increased the distance between axonal mitochondria, mitochondrial-derived ATP still decreased similarly in Drp1KO boutons with and without mitochondria. This indicates that mitochondrial-derived ATP is rapidly dispersed in Drp1KO axons, and that the deficits in axonal bioenergetics and function are not caused by regional energy gradients. Instead, loss of Drp1 compromises the intrinsic bioenergetic function of axonal mitochondria, thus revealing a mechanism by which disrupting mitochondrial dynamics can cause dysfunction of axons.

IGF binding protein-4 is required for the growth effects of glucagon-like peptide-2 in murine intestine.

  • Austin K
  • Endocrinology
  • 2015 Feb 22

Literature context:


Abstract:

Glucagon-like peptide-2 (GLP-2) is an enteroendocrine hormone that stimulates the growth of the intestinal epithelium. We have previously demonstrated that GLP-2 exerts its intestinotropic effect through an indirect mechanism that requires both IGF-1 and the intestinal epithelial IGF-1 receptor. However, the biological activity of IGF-1 is modulated by IGF binding proteins (IGFBPs), including IGFBP-4, which is highly expressed in the intestine. To determine the role of IGFBP-4 in the tropic effects of GLP-2, IGFBP-4 knockout (KO) and control mice were treated with degradation-resistant GLP-2 or vehicle for 10 days. Comparable levels of IGFBP-1-3/5-7 mRNAs were observed in the intestinal mucosa of all animals. IGFBP-4 KO mice had greater small intestinal weight and length, and deeper crypts (P < .05) as compared with controls, suggesting that IGFBP-4 has an inhibitory role in basal intestinal growth. However, small intestinal weight, crypt-villus height and crypt cell proliferation increased in response to GLP-2 in control mice (P < .05), and these changes were abrogated with IGFBP-4 KO. In contrast, pregnancy-associated plasma protein-A KO mice, which have increased levels of circulating IGFBP-4, demonstrated a normal intestinotropic response to GLP-2. Finally, GLP-2 treatment of control mice significantly increased IGFBP-4 mRNA expression in the jejunal mucosa (P < .05), a finding that was recapitulated by GLP-2 treatment of fetal rat intestinal cells in culture (10(-8)M for 2 h; P < .05). Collectively, these results indicate that the IGF-I-modulating protein, IGFBP-4, exerts a negative effect on basal intestinal growth but plays a positive regulatory role in the intestinotropic actions of GLP-2.

Funding information:
  • NEI NIH HHS - EY002520(United States)

Distribution and innervation of putative arterial chemoreceptors in the bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana).

  • Reyes C
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2014 Nov 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Peripheral arterial chemoreceptors have been located previously in the carotid labyrinth, the aortic arch, and the pulmocutaneous artery of frogs. In the present study we used cholera toxin B neuronal tract tracing and immunohistochemical markers for cholinergic cells (vesicular acetylcholine transporter [VAChT]), tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), and serotonin (5HT) to identify putative O2-sensing cells in Rana catesbeiana. We found potential O2-sensing cells in all three vascular areas innervated by branches of the vagus nerve, whereas only cells in the carotid labyrinth were innervated by the glossopharyngeal nerve. Cells containing either 5HT or TH were found in all three sites, whereas cells containing both neurotransmitters were found only in the carotid labyrinth. Cell bodies containing VAChT were not found at any site. The morphology and innervation of putative O2-sensing cells were similar to those of glomus cells found in other vertebrates. The presence of 5HT- and TH-immunoreactive cells in the aorta, pulmocutaneous artery, and carotid labyrinth appears to reflect a phylogenetic transition between the major neurotransmitter seen in the putative O2-sensing cells of fish (5HT) and those found in the glomus cells of mammals (acetylcholine, adenosine, and catecholamines).

Loss of mitochondrial fission depletes axonal mitochondria in midbrain dopamine neurons.

  • Berthet A
  • J. Neurosci.
  • 2014 Oct 22

Literature context:


Abstract:

Disruptions in mitochondrial dynamics may contribute to the selective degeneration of dopamine (DA) neurons in Parkinson's disease (PD). However, little is known about the normal functions of mitochondrial dynamics in these neurons, especially in axons where degeneration begins, and this makes it difficult to understand the disease process. To study one aspect of mitochondrial dynamics-mitochondrial fission-in mouse DA neurons, we deleted the central fission protein dynamin-related protein 1 (Drp1). Drp1 loss rapidly eliminates the DA terminals in the caudate-putamen and causes cell bodies in the midbrain to degenerate and lose α-synuclein. Without Drp1, mitochondrial mass dramatically decreases, especially in axons, where the mitochondrial movement becomes uncoordinated. However, in the ventral tegmental area (VTA), a subset of midbrain DA neurons characterized by small hyperpolarization-activated cation currents (Ih) is spared, despite near complete loss of their axonal mitochondria. Drp1 is thus critical for targeting mitochondria to the nerve terminal, and a disruption in mitochondrial fission can contribute to the preferential death of nigrostriatal DA neurons.

Inducible neuronal inactivation of Sim1 in adult mice causes hyperphagic obesity.

  • Tolson KP
  • Endocrinology
  • 2014 Jul 21

Literature context:


Abstract:

Germline haploinsufficiency of human or mouse Sim1 is associated with hyperphagic obesity. Sim1 encodes a transcription factor required for proper formation of the paraventricular (PVN), supraoptic, and anterior periventricular hypothalamic nuclei. Sim1 expression persists in these neurons in adult mice, raising the question of whether it plays a physiologic role in regulation of energy balance. We previously showed that Sim1 heterozygous mice had normal numbers of PVN neurons that were hyporesponsive to melanocortin 4 receptor agonism and showed reduced oxytocin expression. Furthermore, conditional postnatal neuronal inactivation of Sim1 also caused hyperphagic obesity and decreased hypothalamic oxytocin expression. PVN projections to the hindbrain, where oxytocin is thought to act to modulate satiety, were anatomically intact in both Sim1 heterozygous and conditional knockout mice. These experiments provided evidence that Sim1 functions in energy balance apart from its role in hypothalamic development but did not rule out effects of Sim1 deficiency on postnatal hypothalamic maturation. To address this possibility, we used a tamoxifen-inducible, neural-specific Cre transgene to conditionally inactivate Sim1 in adult mice with mature hypothalamic circuitry. Induced Sim1 inactivation caused increased food and water intake and decreased expression of PVN neuropeptides, especially oxytocin and vasopressin, with no change in energy expenditure. Sim1 expression was not required for survival of PVN neurons. The results corroborate previous evidence that Sim1 acts physiologically as well as developmentally to regulate body weight. Inducible knockout mice provide a system for studying Sim1's physiologic function in energy balance and identifying its relevant transcriptional targets in the hypothalamus.

Funding information:
  • NICHD NIH HHS - R21 HD080684(United States)

Specialized pathways from the primate amygdala to posterior orbitofrontal cortex.

  • Timbie C
  • J. Neurosci.
  • 2014 Jun 11

Literature context:


Abstract:

The primate amygdala sends dense projections to posterior orbitofrontal cortex (pOFC) in pathways that are critical for processing emotional content, but the synaptic mechanisms are not understood. We addressed this issue by investigating pathways in rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) from the amygdala to pOFC at the level of the system and synapse. Terminations from the amygdala were denser and larger in pOFC compared with the anterior cingulate cortex, which is also strongly connected with the amygdala. Axons from the amygdala terminated most densely in the upper layers of pOFC through large terminals. Most of these terminals innervated spines of presumed excitatory neurons and many were frequently multisynaptic and perforated, suggesting high synaptic efficacy. These amygdalar synapses in pOFC exceeded in size and specialization even thalamocortical terminals from the prefrontal-related thalamic mediodorsal nucleus to the middle cortical layers, which are thought to be highly efficient drivers of cortical neurons. Pathway terminals in the upper layers impinge on the apical dendrites of neurons in other layers, suggesting that the robust amygdalar projections may also activate neurons in layer 5 that project back to the amygdala and beyond to autonomic structures. Among inhibitory neurons, the amygdalar pathway innervated preferentially the neurochemical classes of calbindin and calretinin neurons in the upper layers of pOFC, which are synaptically suited to suppress noise and enhance signals. These features provide a circuit mechanism for flexibly shifting focus and adjusting emotional drive in processes disrupted in psychiatric disorders, such as phobias and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Funding information:
  • NIDCD NIH HHS - R01DC011582(United States)

Intraperitoneal CCK and fourth-intraventricular Apo AIV require both peripheral and NTS CCK1R to reduce food intake in male rats.

  • Lo CC
  • Endocrinology
  • 2014 May 21

Literature context:


Abstract:

Apolipoprotein AIV (Apo AIV) and cholecystokinin (CCK) are secreted in response to fat consumption, and both cause satiation via CCK 1 receptor (CCK-1R)-containing vagal afferent nerves to the nucleus of the solitary tract (NTS), where Apo AIV is also synthesized. Fasted male Long-Evans rats received ip CCK-8 or fourth-ventricular (i4vt) Apo AIV alone or in combination. Food intake and c-Fos proteins (a product of the c-Fos immediate-early gene) were assessed. i4vt Apo AIV and/or ip CCK at effective doses reduced food intake and activated c-Fos proteins in the NTS and hypothalamic arcuate nucleus and paraventricular nucleus. Blockade of the CCK-1R by i4vt lorglumide adjacent to the NTS attenuated the satiating and c-Fos-stimulating effects of CCK and Apo AIV, alone or in combination. Maintenance on a high-fat diet (HFD) for 10 weeks resulted in weight gain and attenuation of both the behavioral and c-Fos responses to a greater extent than occurred in low-fat diet-fed and pair-fed HFD animals. These observations suggest that NTS Apo AIV or/and peripheral CCK requires vagal CCK-1R signaling to elicit satiation and that maintenance on a HFD reduces the satiating capacity of these 2 signals.

Funding information:
  • Intramural NIH HHS - P30 8P30-GM-103507(United States)

Prolactin regulates kisspeptin neurons in the arcuate nucleus to suppress LH secretion in female rats.

  • Araujo-Lopes R
  • Endocrinology
  • 2014 Mar 25

Literature context:


Abstract:

Prolactin (PRL) is known to suppress LH secretion. Kisspeptin neurons regulate LH secretion and express PRL receptors. We investigated whether PRL acts on kisspeptin neurons to suppress LH secretion in lactating (Lac) and virgin rats. Lac rats displayed high PRL secretion and reduced plasma LH and kisspeptin immunoreactivity in the arcuate nucleus (ARC). Bromocriptine-induced PRL blockade significantly increased ARC kisspeptin and plasma LH levels in Lac rats but did not restore them to the levels of non-Lac rats. Bromocriptine effects were prevented by the coadministration of ovine PRL (oPRL). Virgin ovariectomized (OVX) rats treated with either systemic or intracerebroventricular oPRL displayed reduction of kisspeptin expression in the ARC and plasma LH levels, and these effects were comparable with those of estradiol treatment in OVX rats. Conversely, estradiol-treated OVX rats displayed increased kisspeptin immunoreactivity in the anteroventral periventricular nucleus, whereas oPRL had no effect in this brain area. The expression of phosphorylated signal transducer and activator of transcription 5 was used to determine whether kisspeptin neurons in the ARC were responsive to PRL. Accordingly, intracerebroventricular oPRL induced expression of phosphorylated signal transducer and activator of transcription 5 in the great majority of ARC kisspeptin neurons in virgin and Lac rats. We provide here evidence that PRL acts on ARC neurons to inhibit kisspeptin expression in female rats. During lactation, PRL contributes to the inhibition of ARC kisspeptin. In OVX rats, high PRL levels suppress kisspeptin expression and reduce LH release. These findings suggest a pathway through which hyperprolactinemia may inhibit LH secretion and thereby cause infertility.

Funding information:
  • HHMI - (United States)
  • NIDCR NIH HHS - UL1DE019584(United States)

Loss of vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGFA) isoforms in the testes of male mice causes subfertility, reduces sperm numbers, and alters expression of genes that regulate undifferentiated spermatogonia.

  • Lu N
  • Endocrinology
  • 2013 Dec 25

Literature context:


Abstract:

Vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGFA) isoform treatment has been demonstrated to alter spermatogonial stem cell homeostasis. Therefore, we generated pDmrt1-Cre;Vegfa(-/-) (knockout, KO) mice by crossing pDmrt1-Cre mice to floxed Vegfa mice to test whether loss of all VEGFA isoforms in Sertoli and germ cells would impair spermatogenesis. When first mated, KO males took 14 days longer to get control females pregnant (P < .02) and tended to take longer for all subsequent parturition intervals (9 days; P < .07). Heterozygous males sired fewer pups per litter (P < .03) and after the first litter took 10 days longer (P < .05) to impregnate females, suggesting a more progressive loss of fertility. Reproductive organs were collected from 6-month-old male mice. There were fewer sperm per tubule in the corpus epididymides (P < .001) and fewer ZBTB16-stained undifferentiated spermatogonia (P < .003) in the testes of KO males. Testicular mRNA abundance for Bcl2 (P < .02), Bcl2:Bax (P < .02), Neurog3 (P < .007), and Ret was greater (P = .0005), tended to be greater for Sin3a and tended to be reduced for total Foxo1 (P < .07) in KO males. Immunofluorescence for CD31 and VE-Cadherin showed no differences in testis vasculature; however, CD31-positive staining was evident in undifferentiated spermatogonia only in KO testes. Therefore, loss of VEGFA isoforms in Sertoli and germ cells alters genes necessary for long-term maintenance of undifferentiated spermatogonia, ultimately reducing sperm numbers and resulting in subfertility.

Funding information:
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - U24 DK093000(United States)

Dim light at night exaggerates weight gain and inflammation associated with a high-fat diet in male mice.

  • Fonken LK
  • Endocrinology
  • 2013 Oct 23

Literature context:


Abstract:

Elevated nighttime light exposure is associated with symptoms of metabolic syndrome. In industrialized societies, high-fat diet (HFD) and exposure to light at night (LAN) often cooccur and may contribute to the increasing obesity epidemic. Thus, we hypothesized that dim LAN (dLAN) would provoke additional and sustained body mass gain in mice on a HFD. Male mice were housed in either a standard light/dark cycle or dLAN and fed either chow or HFD. Exposure to dLAN and HFD increase weight gain, reduce glucose tolerance, and alter insulin secretion as compared with light/dark cycle and chow, respectively. The effects of dLAN and HFD appear additive, because mice exposed to dLAN that were fed HFD display the greatest increases in body mass. Exposure to both dLAN and HFD also change the timing of food intake and increase TNFα and MAC1 gene expression in white adipose tissue after 4 experimental weeks. Changes in MAC1 gene expression occur more rapidly due to HFD as compared with dLAN; after 5 days of experimental conditions, mice fed HFD already increase MAC1 gene expression in white adipose tissue. HFD also elevates microglia activation in the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus and hypothalamic TNFα, IL-6, and Ikbkb gene expression. Microglia activation is increased by dLAN, but only among chow-fed mice and dLAN does not affect inflammatory gene expression. These results suggest that dLAN exaggerates weight gain and peripheral inflammation associated with HFD.

Funding information:
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - R01 GM049831(United States)

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:


Abstract:

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)

Involvement of R-type Ca2+ channels in neurotransmitter release from spinal dorsolateral funiculus terminals synapsing motoneurons.

  • Castro A
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2009 Mar 10

Literature context:


Abstract:

Molecular studies have revealed the presence of R-type voltage-gated Ca(2+) channels at pre- and postsynaptic regions; however, no evidence for the participation of these channels in transmitter release has been presented for the spinal cord. Here we characterize the effects of SNX-482, a selective R channel blocker, on the monosynaptic excitatory postsynaptic potentials (EPSPs) evoked in motoneurons by stimulation of dorsolateral funiculus (DLF) terminals in a slice preparation from the adult turtle spinal cord. SNX-482 inhibited neurotransmission in a dose-dependent manner, with an IC(50) of approximately 9 +/- 1 nM. The EPSP time course and membrane time constant of the motoneurons were not altered, suggesting a presynaptic mechanism. The toxin inhibited the residual component of the EPSPs recorded in the presence of N- and P/Q-type Ca(2+) channel blockers, strongly suggesting a role for the R channels in neurotransmission at the spinal cord DLF terminals. Consistently with this, RT-PCR analysis of turtle spinal cord segments revealed the expression of the Ca(V)2.3 pore-forming (alpha(1E)) subunit of R channels, whereas the use of anti-alpha(1E)-specific antibodies resulted in its localization in the DLF fibers as demonstrated by immunohistochemistry coupled with laser confocal microscopy.