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The purpose of this method is to obtain high-integrity RNA samples from enteric ganglia collected from unfixed, freshly-resected human intestinal tissue using laser capture microdissection (LCM). We have identified five steps in the workflow that are crucial for obtaining RNA isolates from enteric ganglia with sufficiently high quality and quantity for RNA-seq. First, when preparing intestinal tissue, each sample must have all excess liquid removed by blotting prior to flattening the serosa as much as possible across the bottom of large base molds. Samples are then quickly frozen atop a slurry of dry ice and 2-methylbutane. Second, when sectioning the tissue, it is important to position cryomolds so that intestinal sections parallel the full plane of the myenteric plexus, thereby yielding the greatest surface area of enteric ganglia per slide. Third, during LCM, polyethylene napthalate (PEN)-membrane slides offer the greatest speed and flexibility in outlining the non-uniform shapes of enteric ganglia when collecting enteric ganglia. Fourth, for distinct visualization of enteric ganglia within sections, ethanol-compatible dyes, like Cresyl Violet, offer excellent preservation of RNA integrity relative to aqueous dyes. Finally, for the extraction of RNA from captured ganglia, we observed differences between commercial RNA extraction kits that yielded superior RNA quantity and quality, while eliminating DNA contamination. Optimization of these factors in the current protocol greatly accelerates the workflow and yields enteric ganglia samples with exceptional RNA quality and quantity.
Cholinergic regulation of dopaminergic inputs into the striatum is critical for normal basal ganglia (BG) function. This regulation of BG function is thought to be primarily mediated by acetylcholine released from cholinergic interneurons (ChIs) acting locally in the striatum. We now report a combination of pharmacological, electrophysiological, optogenetic, chemogenetic, and functional magnetic resonance imaging studies suggesting extra-striatal cholinergic projections from the pedunculopontine nucleus to the substantia nigra pars reticulata (SNr) act on muscarinic acetylcholine receptor subtype 4 (M) to oppose cAMP-dependent dopamine receptor subtype 1 (D) signaling in presynaptic terminals of direct pathway striatal spiny projections neurons. This induces a tonic inhibition of transmission at direct pathway synapses and D-mediated activation of motor activity. These studies provide important new insights into the unique role of M in regulating BG function and challenge the prevailing hypothesis of the centrality of striatal ChIs in opposing dopamine regulation of BG output.
Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
The two-pore-domain potassium (K2P) channel TREK-2 serves to modulate plasma membrane potential in dorsal root ganglia c-fiber nociceptors, which tunes electrical excitability and nociception. Thus, TREK-2 channels are considered a potential therapeutic target for treating pain; however, there are currently no selective pharmacological tools for TREK-2 channels. Here we report the identification of the first TREK-2 selective activators using a high-throughput fluorescence-based thallium (Tl) flux screen (HTS). An initial pilot screen with a bioactive lipid library identified 11-deoxy prostaglandin F2α as a potent activator of TREK-2 channels (EC ≈ 0.294 μM), which was utilized to optimize the TREK-2 Tl flux assay (Z' = 0.752). A HTS was then performed with 76 575 structurally diverse small molecules. Many small molecules that selectively activate TREK-2 were discovered. As these molecules were able to activate single TREK-2 channels in excised membrane patches, they are likely direct TREK-2 activators. Furthermore, TREK-2 activators reduced primary dorsal root ganglion (DRG) c-fiber Ca influx. Interestingly, some of the selective TREK-2 activators such as 11-deoxy prostaglandin F2α were found to inhibit the K2P channel TREK-1. Utilizing chimeric channels containing portions of TREK-1 and TREK-2, the region of the TREK channels that allows for either small molecule activation or inhibition was identified. This region lies within the second pore domain containing extracellular loop and is predicted to play an important role in modulating TREK channel activity. Moreover, the selective TREK-2 activators identified in this HTS provide important tools for assessing human TREK-2 channel function and investigating their therapeutic potential for treating chronic pain.
Actions of the neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain are mediated by dopamine receptors that belong to the superfamily of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). Mammals have five dopamine receptor subtypes, D1 through D5. D1 and D5 couple to Gs/olf and activate adenylyl cyclase, whereas D2, D3, and D4 couple to Gi/o and inhibit it. Most GPCRs upon activation by an agonist are phosphorylated by GPCR kinases (GRKs). The GRK phosphorylation makes receptors high-affinity binding partners for arrestin proteins. Arrestin binding to active phosphorylated receptors stops further G protein activation and promotes receptor internalization, recycling or degradation, thereby regulating their signaling and trafficking. Four non- visual GRKs are expressed in striatal neurons. Here we describe known effects of individual GRKs on dopamine receptors in cell culture and in the two in vivo models of dopamine-mediated signaling: behavioral response to psychostimulants and L-DOPA- induced dyskinesia. Dyskinesia, associated with dopamine super-sensitivity of striatal neurons, is a debilitating side effect of L-DOPA therapy in Parkinson's disease. In vivo, GRK subtypes show greater receptor specificity than in vitro or in cultured cells. Overexpression, knockdown, and knockout of individual GRKs, particularly GRK2 and GRK6, have differential effects on signaling of dopamine receptor subtypes in the brain. Furthermore, deletion of GRK isoforms in select striatal neuronal types differentially affects psychostimulant-induced behaviors. In addition, anti-dyskinetic effect of GRK3 does not require its kinase activity: it is mediated by the binding of its RGS-like domain to Gαq/11, which suppresses Gq/11 signaling. The data demonstrate that the dopamine signaling in defined neuronal types in vivo is regulated by specific and finely orchestrated actions of GRK isoforms.
Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
The claustrum is a telencephalic gray matter structure with various proposed functions, including sensory integration and attentional allocation. Underlying these concepts is the reciprocal connectivity of the claustrum with most, if not all, areas of the cortex. What remains to be elucidated to inform functional hypotheses further is whether a pattern exists in the strength of connectivity between a given cortical area and the claustrum. To this end, we performed a series of retrograde neuronal tract tracer injections into rat cortical areas along the cortical processing hierarchy, from primary sensory and motor to frontal cortices. We observed that the number of claustrocortical projections increased as a function of processing hierarchy; claustrum neurons projecting to primary sensory cortices were scant and restricted in distribution across the claustrum, whereas neurons projecting to the cingulate cortex were densely packed and more evenly distributed throughout the claustrum. This connectivity pattern suggests that the claustrum may preferentially subserve executive functions orchestrated by the cingulate cortex. J. Comp. Neurol. 525:1347-1362, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
© 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Neuroblastoma is a pediatric malignancy of the sympathetic ganglia and adrenal glands, hypothesized to originate from progenitors of the developing sympathetic nervous system. Amplification of the MYCN oncogene is a genetic marker of risk in this disease. Understanding the impact of oncogene expression on sympathoadrenal progenitor development may improve our knowledge of neuroblastoma initiation and progression. We isolated sympathoadrenal progenitor cells from the postnatal murine adrenal gland by sphere culture and found them to be multipotent, generating differentiated colonies of neurons, Schwann cells, and myofibroblasts. MYCN overexpression in spheres promoted commitment to the neural lineage, evidenced by an increased frequency of neuron-containing colonies. MYCN promoted proliferation of both sympathoadrenal progenitor spheres and differentiated neurons derived from these spheres, but there was also an increase in apoptosis. The proliferation, apoptosis, and neural lineage commitment induced by MYCN are tumor-like characteristics and thereby support the hypothesis that multipotent adrenal medullary progenitor cells are cells of origin for neuroblastoma. We find, however, that MYCN overexpression is not sufficient for these cells to form tumors in nude mice, suggesting that additional transforming mutations are necessary for tumorigenesis.
BACKGROUND - There are no cross-sectional or longitudinal epidemiological studies present on MRI-defined vascular depression in community populations. The purpose of this study was to estimate the prevalence rates of both vascular and non-vascular late life depression (LLD) at baseline, to examine the natural course of LLD, and to investigate the influence of White matter hyperintensities (WMHs) on depression after three years.
METHOD - The baseline study employed a two-stage design, Phase I population survey (n=783) and Phase II diagnostic evaluation (n=122). In the 3-year follow-up study, baseline participants completing the second phase were reassessed with the same methodology. WMHs severity was rated visually by the modified Fazekas scale and WMHs volume was calculated using an automated method.
RESULTS - The prevalence rates of vascular major depressive disorder (MDD) and vascular non-major depressive disorder (nMDD) were 2.39% (56.2% of MDD) and 4.24% (34.0% of nMDD). Subjects with a score of 2 or more on the modified Fazekas scale in either deep white matter hyperintensities or subcortical gray matter ratings had an 8.1 times greater risk of developing a depressive disorder in the 3-year follow-up study. Greater Log WMHs volume (odds ratio=5.78, 95% CI, 1.04-31.72) at baseline was an independent predictor for depressive disorder in the 3-year assessment.
LIMITATIONS - Response rate and follow-up rate were relatively low.
CONCLUSIONS - Vascular depression is common and makes up about a half of MDD in elders. Greater WMHs severity is a crucial factor predicting future depression risk, which supports the previous vascular depression hypothesis.
Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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.
Uchl1 encodes the protein gene product 9.5 antigen (PGP9.5) that is a widely used to identify migrating neural progenitors in the PNS, mature neurons of the central and peripheral nervous systems, as well as neuroendocrine cells. To facilitate analysis of developing peripheral neurons, we linked regulatory regions of Uchl1 carried within a 160kb bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) to the dual fluorescent reporter H2BmCherry:GFP-gpi. The Uchl1-H2BmCherry:GFP-gpi transgene exhibits robust expression and allows clear discrimination of individual cells and cellular processes in cranial ganglia, sympathetic chain, the enteric nervous system (ENS), and autonomic ganglia of the urogenital system. The transgene also labels subsets of cells in endocrine tissues where earlier in situ hybridization (ISH) studies have previously identified expression of this deubiquinating enzyme. The Uchl1-H2BmCherry:GFP-gpi transgene will be a powerful tool for static and live imaging, as well as isolation of viable neural progenitors to investigate processes of autonomic neurogenesis.
Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.