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Glutamatergic neurotransmission in the central nucleus of the amygdala (CeA) plays an important role in many behaviors including anxiety, memory consolidation and cardiovascular responses. While these behaviors can be modulated by corticotropin releasing factor (CRF) and catecholamine signaling, the mechanism(s) by which these signals modify CeA glutamatergic neurotransmission remains unclear. Utilizing whole-cell patch-clamp electrophysiology recordings from neurons in the lateral subdivision of the CeA (CeAL), we show that CRF, dopamine (DA) and the β-adrenergic receptor agonist isoproterenol (ISO) all enhance the frequency of spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents (sEPSC) without altering sEPSC kinetics, suggesting they increase presynaptic glutamate release. The effect of CRF on sEPSCs was mediated by a combination of CRFR1 and CRFR2 receptors. While previous work from our lab suggests that CRFRs mediate the effect of catecholamines on excitatory transmission in other subregions of the extended amygdala, blockade of CRFRs in the CeAL failed to significantly alter effects of DA and ISO on glutamatergic transmission. These findings suggest that catecholamine and CRF enhancement of glutamatergic transmission onto CeAL neurons occurs via distinct mechanisms. While CRF increased spontaneous glutamate release in the CeAL, CRF caused no significant changes to optogenetically evoked glutamate release in this region. The dissociable effects of CRF on different types of glutamatergic neurotransmission suggest that CRF may specifically regulate spontaneous excitatory transmission.
Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
A growing literature suggests that catecholamines and corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) interact in a serial manner to activate the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST) to drive stress- or cue-induced drug- and alcohol-seeking behaviors. Data suggest that these behaviors are driven in part by BNST projections to the ventral tegmental area (VTA). Together, these findings suggest the existence of a CRF-signaling pathway within the BNST that is engaged by catecholamines and regulates the activity of BNST neurons projecting to the VTA. Here we test three aspects of this model to determine: (1) whether catecholamines modify CRF neuron activity in the BNST; (2) whether CRF regulates excitatory drive onto VTA-projecting BNST neurons; and (3) whether this system is altered by ethanol exposure and withdrawal. A CRF neuron fluorescent reporter strategy was used to identify BNST CRF neurons for whole-cell patch-clamp analysis in acutely prepared slices. Using this approach, we found that both dopamine and isoproterenol significantly depolarized BNST CRF neurons. Furthermore, using a fluorescent microsphere-based identification strategy we found that CRF enhances the frequency of spontaneous EPSCs onto VTA-projecting BNST neurons in naive mice. This action of CRF was occluded during acute withdrawal from chronic intermittent ethanol exposure. These findings suggest that dopamine and isoproterenol may enhance CRF release from local BNST sources, leading to enhancement of excitatory neurotransmission on VTA-projecting neurons, and that this pathway is engaged by patterns of alcohol exposure and withdrawal known to drive excessive alcohol intake.
It is recognized that the endocannabinoid system (ECS) plays a crucial role in the modulation of food intake and other aspects of energy metabolism. In this study, we aimed to investigate the effects of Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) on adipocyte biology. 3T3-L1 cells were used to evaluate proliferation by sulforhodamine B (SRB) staining and methyl-(3)H-thymidine incorporation after 48 or 72 h of treatment with THC (1-500 nmol/l). Cells were differentiated in the presence or absence of the cannabinoid, and adipogenesis was determined by measuring lipid accumulation and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ) transcription through reverse transcriptase-PCR (RT-PCR). Lipolysis was quantified under basal conditions or after isoproterenol (IP, 100 nmol/l) or insulin (INS, 100 nmol/l) treatment. Transforming growth factor β (TGFβ), diacylglycerol lipase α, and N-acylphosphatidylethanolamine-specific phospholipase D (NAPE-PLD) transcriptions were determined by RT-PCR in preadipocytes and adipocytes and adiponectin only in adipocytes. THC treatment increased culture protein content and reduced methyl-(3)H-thymidine incorporation. Cells treated with THC underwent adipogenesis shown by the expression of PPARγ and had increased lipid accumulation. Basal and IP-stimulated lipolyses were inhibited by THC and there was no effect on lipolysis of INS-treated adipocytes. The effects on methyl-(3)H-thymidine incorporation and lipolysis seem to be mediated through CB1- and CB2-dependent pathways. THC decreased NAPE-PLD in preadipocytes and increased adiponectin and TGFβ transcription in adipocytes. These results show that the ECS interferes with adipocyte biology and may contribute to adipose tissue (AT) remodeling. Although these observations point toward increased AT deposition, the stimulation of adiponectin production and inhibition of lipolysis may be in favor of improved INS sensitivity under cannabinoid influence.
The cardiac ryanodine receptor (RyR) controls Ca2+ release from the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) during excitation-contraction coupling. Three phosphorylation sites have been identified: Serine-(S)2808, S2814 and recently S2030. We measured phosphorylation with at least two different antibodies per site and demonstrate that for S2808 results were highly antibody-dependent and two out of three S2808 antibodies did not accurately report phosphorylation level. The RyR was substantially phosphorylated in quiescent rat cardiomyocytes at S2808 and less so at S2814, but appeared to be unphosphorylated at S2030. Basal phosphorylation at S2808/S2814 was maintained by a Ca2+ dependent kinase other than Ca2+/Calmodulin-dependent kinase (CaMKII). During stimulation with Isoproterenol S2808 was phosphorylated by protein kinase A (PKA) and S2814 was phosphorylated by CaMKII. Phosphatase 1 appears to be the main phosphatase dephosphorylating S2808/S2814, but phosphatase 2a may also dephosphorylate S2814. RyR phosphorylation is complex, but important in understanding RyR functional modulation.
Chronic ethanol consumption dysregulates glucose and lipid homeostasis, is associated with insulin resistance, and alters serum levels of adipokines including adiponectin and tumor necrosis factor-alpha. However, the mechanisms involved in these chronic ethanol-induced pathologies are not fully understood. Adipose tissue has been implicated as an important contributor to chronic ethanol-induced disease states and, therefore, the effects of chronic ethanol feeding in rats on adipocytes has been investigated. Three major functions of the adipocyte include glucose transport, adipokine secretion, and triglyceride breakdown via lipolysis. Included in this chapter are protocols for studying the effect of chronic ethanol feeding on these adipocyte functions.
Activation of the cAMP/cAMP-dependent PKA pathway leads to relaxation of airway smooth muscle (ASM). The purpose of this study was to examine the role of the small heat shock-related protein HSP20 in mediating PKA-dependent ASM relaxation. Human ASM cells were engineered to constitutively express a green fluorescent protein-PKA inhibitory fusion protein (PKI-GFP) or GFP alone. Activation of the cAMP-dependent signaling pathways by isoproterenol (ISO) or forskolin led to increases in the phosphorylation of HSP20 in GFP but not PKI-GFP cells. Forskolin treatment in GFP but not PKI-GFP cells led to a loss of central actin stress fibers and decreases in the number of focal adhesion complexes. This loss of stress fibers was associated with dephosphorylation of the actin-depolymerizing protein cofilin in GFP but not PKI-GFP cells. To confirm that phosphorylated HSP20 plays a role in PKA-induced ASM relaxation, intact strips of bovine ASM were precontracted with serotonin followed by ISO. Activation of the PKA pathway led to relaxation of bovine ASM, which was associated with phosphorylation of HSP20 and dephosphorylation of cofilin. Finally, treatment with phosphopeptide mimetics of HSP20 possessing a protein transduction domain partially relaxed precontracted bovine ASM strips. In summary, ISO-induced phosphorylation of HSP20 or synthetic phosphopeptide analogs of HSP20 decreases phosphorylation of cofilin and disrupts actin in ASM, suggesting that one possible mechanism by which HSP20 mediates ASM relaxation is via regulation of actin filament dynamics.
BACKGROUND - Activation of cellular Ca2+ signaling molecules appears to be a fundamental step in the progression of cardiomyopathy and arrhythmias. Myocardial overexpression of the constitutively active Ca2+-dependent phosphatase calcineurin (CAN) causes severe cardiomyopathy marked by left ventricular (LV) dysfunction, arrhythmias, and increased mortality rate, but CAN antagonist drugs primarily reduce hypertrophy without improving LV function or risk of death.
METHODS AND RESULTS - We found that activity and expression of a second Ca2+-activated signaling molecule, calmodulin kinase II (CaMKII), were increased in hearts from CAN transgenic mice and that CaMKII-inhibitory drugs improved LV function and suppressed arrhythmias. We devised a genetic approach to "clamp" CaMKII activity in CAN mice to control levels by interbreeding CAN transgenic mice with mice expressing a specific CaMKII inhibitor in cardiomyocytes. We developed transgenic control mice by interbreeding CAN transgenic mice with mice expressing an inactive version of the CaMKII-inhibitory peptide. CAN mice with CaMKII inhibition had reduced risk of death and increased LV and ventricular myocyte function and were less susceptible to arrhythmias. CaMKII inhibition did not reduce transgenic overexpression of CAN or expression of endogenous CaMKII protein or significantly reduce most measures of cardiac hypertrophy.
CONCLUSIONS - CaMKII is a downstream signal in CAN cardiomyopathy, and increased CaMKII activity contributes to cardiac dysfunction, arrhythmia susceptibility, and longevity during CAN overexpression.
By crossing mice with expression of Cre recombinase under control of the endogenous renin promoter (Sequeira Lopez ML, Pentz ES, Nomasa T, Smithies O, Gomez RA. Dev Cell 6: 719-728, 2004) with mice in which exon 1 of the Gnas gene was flanked by loxP sites (Chen M, Gavrilova O, Liu J, Xie T, Deng C, Nguyen AT, Nackers LM, Lorenzo J, Shen L, Weinstein LS. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA), we generated animals with preferential and nearly complete excision of Gsalpha in juxtaglomerular granular (JG) cells. Compared with wild-type animals, mice with conditional Gsalpha deficiency had markedly reduced basal levels of renin expression and very low plasma renin concentrations. Furthermore, the acute release responses to furosemide, hydralazine, and isoproterenol were virtually abolished. Consistent with a state of primary renin depletion, Gsalpha-deficient mice had reduced arterial blood pressure, reduced levels of aldosterone, and a low glomerular filtration rate. Renin content and renin secretion of JG cells in primary culture were drastically reduced, and the stimulatory response to the addition of PGE(2) or isoproterenol was eliminated. Unexpectedly, Gsalpha recombination was also observed in the renal medulla, and this was associated with a vasopressin-resistant concentrating defect. Our study shows that Cre recombinase under control of the renin promoter can be used for the excision of floxed targets from JG cells. We conclude that Gsalpha-mediated signal transduction is essential and nonredundant in the control of renin synthesis and release.
Chronic ethanol consumption disrupts G protein-dependent signaling pathways in rat adipocytes. Because lipolysis in adipocytes is regulated by G protein-mediated cAMP signal transduction, we hypothesized that cAMP-regulated lipolysis may be vulnerable to long-term ethanol exposure. Male Wistar rats were fed a liquid diet containing ethanol as 35% of total calories or pair-fed a control diet that isocalorically substituted maltose dextrins for ethanol for 4 wk. Lipolysis was measured by glycerol release over 1 h with or without agonists in adipocytes isolated from epididymal fat. Chronic ethanol feeding decreased beta-adrenergic receptor-stimulated lipolysis, but had no effect on basal lipolysis. In response to beta-adrenergic activation, the early peak of cAMP accumulation was suppressed after ethanol feeding, although the basal cAMP concentration in adipocytes did not differ between pair- and ethanol-fed rats. The suppression in cAMP accumulation caused by ethanol feeding was associated with increased activity of phosphodiesterase 4. Chronic ethanol feeding also decreased beta-adrenergic receptor-stimulated protein kinase A activation and phosphorylation of its downstream proteins, perilipin A and hormone-sensitive lipase, the primary lipase-mediating lipolysis. In conclusion, these data suggest that chronic ethanol feeding increased phosphodiesterase 4 activity in adipocytes, resulting in decreased accumulation of cAMP in response to beta-adrenergic activation and a suppression of beta-adrenergic stimulation of lipolysis.