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Impulsivity is a transdiagnostic feature of a range of externalizing psychiatric disorders. Preclinical work links reduced ventral striatal dopamine transporter (DAT) availability with heightened impulsivity and novelty seeking. However, there is a lack of human data investigating the relationship between DAT availability, particularly in subregions of the striatum, and the personality traits of impulsivity and novelty seeking. Here we collected PET measures of DAT availability (BP) using the tracer F-FE-PE2I in 47 healthy adult subjects and examined relations between BP in striatum, including its subregions: caudate, putamen, and ventral striatum (VS), and trait impulsivity (Barratt Impulsiveness Scale: BIS-11) and novelty seeking (Tridimensional Personality Questionnaire: TPQ-NS), controlling for age and sex. DAT BP in each striatal subregion showed nominal negative associations with total BIS-11 but not TPQ-NS. At the subscale level, VS DAT BP was significantly associated with BIS-11 motor impulsivity (e.g., taking actions without thinking) after correction for multiple comparisons. VS DAT BP explained 13.2% of the variance in motor impulsivity. Our data demonstrate that DAT availability in VS is negatively related to impulsivity and suggest a particular influence of DAT regulation of dopamine signaling in VS on acting without deliberation (BIS motor impulsivity). While needing replication, these data converge with models of ventral striatal functions that emphasize its role as a key interface linking motivation to action.
Active coping is an adaptive stress response that improves outcomes in medical and neuropsychiatric diseases. To date, most research into coping style has focused on neurotransmitter activity and little is known about the intrinsic excitability of neurons in the associated brain regions that facilitate coping. Previous studies have shown that HCN channels regulate neuronal excitability in pyramidal cells and that HCN channel current (I ) in the CA1 area increases with chronic mild stress. Reduction of I in the CA1 area leads to antidepressant-like behavior, and this region has been implicated in the regulation of coping style. We hypothesized that the antidepressant-like behavior achieved with CA1 knockdown of I is accompanied by increases in active coping. In this report, we found that global loss of TRIP8b, a necessary subunit for proper HCN channel localization in pyramidal cells, led to active coping behavior in numerous assays specific to coping style. We next employed a viral strategy using a dominant negative TRIP8b isoform to alter coping behavior by reducing HCN channel expression. This approach led to a robust reduction in I in CA1 pyramidal neurons and an increase in active coping. Together, these results establish that changes in HCN channel function in CA1 influences coping style.
© 2018 International Society for Neurochemistry.
Characterizing the functional impact of novel mutations linked to autism spectrum disorder (ASD) provides a deeper mechanistic understanding of the underlying pathophysiological mechanisms. Here we show that a Glu183 to Val (E183V) mutation in the CaMKIIα catalytic domain, identified in a proband diagnosed with ASD, decreases both CaMKIIα substrate phosphorylation and regulatory autophosphorylation, and that the mutated kinase acts in a dominant-negative manner to reduce CaMKIIα-WT autophosphorylation. The E183V mutation also reduces CaMKIIα binding to established ASD-linked proteins, such as Shank3 and subunits of l-type calcium channels and NMDA receptors, and increases CaMKIIα turnover in intact cells. In cultured neurons, the E183V mutation reduces CaMKIIα targeting to dendritic spines. Moreover, neuronal expression of CaMKIIα-E183V increases dendritic arborization and decreases both dendritic spine density and excitatory synaptic transmission. Mice with a knock-in CaMKIIα-E183V mutation have lower total forebrain CaMKIIα levels, with reduced targeting to synaptic subcellular fractions. The CaMKIIα-E183V mice also display aberrant behavioral phenotypes, including hyperactivity, social interaction deficits, and increased repetitive behaviors. Together, these data suggest that CaMKIIα plays a previously unappreciated role in ASD-related synaptic and behavioral phenotypes. Many autism spectrum disorder (ASD)-linked mutations disrupt the function of synaptic proteins, but no single gene accounts for >1% of total ASD cases. The molecular networks and mechanisms that couple the primary deficits caused by these individual mutations to core behavioral symptoms of ASD remain poorly understood. Here, we provide the first characterization of a mutation in the gene encoding CaMKIIα linked to a specific neuropsychiatric disorder. Our findings demonstrate that this ASD-linked mutation disrupts multiple CaMKII functions, induces synaptic deficits, and causes ASD-related behavioral alterations, providing novel insights into the synaptic mechanisms contributing to ASD.
Copyright © 2017 the authors 0270-6474/17/372217-18$15.00/0.
UNLABELLED - Selenium (Se) is essential for both brain development and male fertility. Male mice lacking two key genes involved in Se metabolism (Scly(-/-)Sepp1(-/-) mice), selenoprotein P (Sepp1) and Sec lyase (Scly), develop severe neurological dysfunction, neurodegeneration, and audiogenic seizures that manifest beginning in early adulthood. We demonstrate that prepubescent castration of Scly(-/-)Sepp1(-/-) mice prevents behavioral deficits, attenuates neurodegeneration, rescues maturation of GABAergic inhibition, and increases brain selenoprotein levels. Moreover, castration also yields similar neuroprotective benefits to Sepp1(-/-) and wild-type mice challenged with Se-deficient diets. Our data show that, under Se-compromised conditions, the brain and testes compete for Se utilization, with concomitant effects on neurodevelopment and neurodegeneration.
SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT - Selenium is an essential trace element that promotes male fertility and brain function. Herein, we report that prepubescent castration provides neuroprotection by increasing selenium-dependent antioxidant activity in the brain, revealing a competition between the brain and testes for selenium utilization. These findings provide novel insight into the interaction of sex and oxidative stress upon the developing brain and have potentially significant implications for the prevention of neurodevelopmental disorders characterized by aberrant excitatory/inhibitory balance, such as schizophrenia and epilepsy.
Copyright © 2015 the authors 0270-6474/15/3515326-13$15.00/0.
Reduced expression of the Gad1 gene-encoded 67-kDa protein isoform of glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD67) is a hallmark of schizophrenia. GAD67 downregulation occurs in multiple interneuronal sub-populations, including the parvalbumin-positive (PVALB+) cells. To investigate the role of the PV-positive GABAergic interneurons in behavioral and molecular processes, we knocked down the Gad1 transcript using a microRNA engineered to target specifically Gad1 mRNA under the control of Pvalb bacterial artificial chromosome. Verification of construct expression was performed by immunohistochemistry. Follow-up electrophysiological studies revealed a significant reduction in γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) release probability without alterations in postsynaptic membrane properties or changes in glutamatergic release probability in the prefrontal cortex pyramidal neurons. Behavioral characterization of our transgenic (Tg) mice uncovered that the Pvalb/Gad1 Tg mice have pronounced sensorimotor gating deficits, increased novelty-seeking and reduced fear extinction. Furthermore, NMDA (N-methyl-d-aspartate) receptor antagonism by ketamine had an opposing dose-dependent effect, suggesting that the differential dosage of ketamine might have divergent effects on behavioral processes. All behavioral studies were validated using a second cohort of animals. Our results suggest that reduction of GABAergic transmission from PVALB+ interneurons primarily impacts behavioral domains related to fear and novelty seeking and that these alterations might be related to the behavioral phenotype observed in schizophrenia.
Hereditary motor and sensory neuropathy associated with agenesis of the corpus callosum (HMSN/ACC or ACCPN) is an autosomal recessive disease caused by the disruption of the SLC12A6 gene, which encodes the K-Cl cotransporter-3 (KCC3). A ubiquitous deletion of KCC3 in mice leads to severe locomotor deficits similar to ACCPN patients. However, the underlying pathological mechanism leading to the disease remains unclear. Even though a recent study suggests that the neuropathic features of ACCPN are mostly due to neuronal loss of KCC3, the specific cell type responsible for the disease is still unknown. Here we established four tissue specific KCC3 knockout mouse lines to explore the cell population origin of ACCPN. Our results showed that the loss of KCC3 in parvalbumin-positive neurons led to significant locomotor deficit, suggesting a crucial role of these neurons in the development of the locomotor deficit. Interestingly, mice in which KCC3 deletion was driven by the neuron-specific enolase (NSE) did not develop any phenotype. Furthermore, we demonstrated that nociceptive neurons targeted with Nav1.8-driven CRE and Schwann cells targeted with a desert hedgehog-driven CRE were not involved in the development of ACCPN. Together, these results establish that the parvalbumin-positive neuronal population is an important player in the pathogenic development of ACCPN.
Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
OBJECTIVE - To investigate the relationship of novelty seeking traits (NS) with midbrain dopamine (DA) receptors and acyl ghrelin levels (AG) in normal weight (NW) and obese females.NS predict addictive behaviors and are hypothesized to contribute to eating behaviors. In healthy, NS are negatively associated with DA receptors in the substantia nigra (SN). The influence of obesity on the regulation of NS by DA signaling and AG was hypothesized.
METHODS - PET scanning to measure DA type 2/type 3 receptor (D2/D3R) binding potential (BPND ) in the SN was used. Participants completed Tridimensional Personality Questionnaire-Novelty-Seeking Scale (TPQ-NS) and AG were measured.
RESULTS - In eight NW and 19 obese (BMI 22 vs 38 kg/m(2) ), TPQ-NS (16 vs 15) and SN D2/D3R BPND (2.48 vs 2.66) were similar, while AG higher (256 vs 60, P < 0.01), respectively. D2/D3R BPND and TPQ-NS had a negative relationship in NW (r = -0.7) but not in obese (P > 0.10). AG and TPQ-NS were positively correlated in NW (r = 0.9) but not in obese (P > 0.10). D2R BPND and AG were negatively correlated in NW (r = -0.8) but positively in obese (r = 0.6).
CONCLUSION - Obese do not maintain posited regulatory relationships for NS to either midbrain D2/D3R availability or AG present in NW. Also opposite relationships exist for NW and obese between SN D2/D3R availability and AG. The altered regulation of NS in obesity needs to be further explored.
Copyright © 2014 The Obesity Society.
Schizophrenia is a devastating neurodevelopmental disorder that affects approximately 1% of the population. Reduced expression of the 67-kDa protein isoform of glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD67) is a hallmark of the disease and is encoded by the GAD1 gene. In schizophrenia, GAD67 downregulation occurs in multiple interneuronal subpopulations, including the cannabinoid receptor type 1 positive (CNR1+) cells, but the functional consequences of these disturbances are not well understood. To investigate the role of the CNR1-positive GABA-ergic interneurons in behavioral and molecular processes, we employed a novel, miRNA-mediated transgenic mouse approach. We silenced the Gad1 transcript using a miRNA engineered to specifically target Gad1 mRNA under the control of Cnr1 bacterial artificial chromosome. Behavioral characterization of our transgenic mice showed elevated and persistent conditioned fear associated with an auditory cue and a significantly altered response to an amphetamine challenge. These deficits could not be attributed to sensory deficits or changes in baseline learning and memory. Furthermore, HPLC analyses revealed that Cnr1/Gad1 mice have enhanced serotonin levels, but not dopamine levels in response to amphetamine. Our findings demonstrate that dysfunction of a small subset of interneurons can have a profound effect on behavior and that the GABA-ergic, monoamine, and cannabinoid systems are functionally interconnected. The results also suggest that understanding the function of various interneuronal subclasses might be essential to develop knowledge-based treatment strategies for various mental disorders including schizophrenia and substance abuse.
Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Augmentation of endogenous cannabinoid (eCB) signaling represents an emerging approach to the treatment of affective disorders. Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) oxygenates arachidonic acid to form prostaglandins, but also inactivates eCBs in vitro. However, the viability of COX-2 as a therapeutic target for in vivo eCB augmentation has not been explored. Using medicinal chemistry and in vivo analytical and behavioral pharmacological approaches, we found that COX-2 is important for the regulation of eCB levels in vivo. We used a pharmacological strategy involving substrate-selective inhibition of COX-2 to augment eCB signaling without affecting related non-eCB lipids or prostaglandin synthesis. Behaviorally, substrate-selective inhibition of COX-2 reduced anxiety-like behaviors in mice via increased eCB signaling. Our data suggest a key role for COX-2 in the regulation of eCB signaling and indicate that substrate-selective pharmacology represents a viable approach for eCB augmentation with broad therapeutic potential.