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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.
Adrenal chromaffin cells comprise the neuroendocrine arm of the sympathetic nervous system and secrete catecholamines to coordinate the appropriate stress response. Deletion of the serotonin (5-HT) transporter (SERT) gene in mice (SERT mice) or pharmacological block of SERT function in rodents and humans augments this sympathoadrenal stress response (epinephrine secretion). The prevailing assumption is that loss of CNS SERT alters central drive to the peripheral sympathetic nervous system. Adrenal chromaffin cells also prominently express SERT where it might coordinate accumulation of 5-HT for reuse in the autocrine control of stress-evoked catecholamine secretion. To help test this hypothesis, we have generated a novel mouse model with selective excision of SERT in the peripheral sympathetic nervous system (SERT), generated by crossing floxed SERT mice with tyrosine hydroxylase Cre driver mice. SERT expression, assessed by western blot, was abolished in the adrenal gland but not perturbed in the CNS of SERT mice. SERT-mediated [H] 5-HT uptake was unaltered in midbrain, hindbrain, and spinal cord synaptosomes, confirming transporter function was intact in the CNS. Endogenous midbrain and whole blood 5-HT homeostasis was unperturbed in SERT mice, contrasting with the depleted 5-HT content in SERT mice. Selective SERT excision reduced adrenal gland 5-HT content by ≈ 50% in SERT mice but had no effect on adrenal catecholamine content. This novel model confirms that SERT expressed in adrenal chromaffin cells is essential for maintaining wild-type levels of 5-HT and provides a powerful tool to help dissect the role of SERT in the sympathetic stress response.
Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Background - The serotonin (5-HT) system has long been implicated in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) as indicated by elevated whole blood and platelet 5-HT, altered platelet and brain receptor and transporter binding, and genetic linkage and association findings. Based upon work in genetically modified mice, 5-HT is known to influence several aspects of brain development, but systematic neuroimaging studies have not previously been reported. In particular, the 5-HT transporter (serotonin transporter, SERT; 5-HTT) gene, , has been extensively studied.
Methods - Using a 7-T MRI and deformation-based morphometry, we assessed neuroanatomical differences in an knockout mouse on a C57BL/6 genetic background, along with an Ala56 knockin mouse on two different genetic backgrounds (129S and C57BL/6).
Results - Individually (same sex, same background, same genotype), the only differences found were in the female knockout mouse; all the others had no significant differences. However, an analysis of variance across the whole study sample revealed a significant effect of on the amygdala, thalamus, dorsal raphe nucleus, and lateral and frontal cortices.
Conclusions - This work shows that an increase or decrease in SERT function has a significant effect on the neuroanatomy in 5-HT relevant regions, particularly the raphe nuclei. Notably, the Ala56 knockin alone appears to have an insignificant, but suggestive, effect compared to the KO, which is consistent with function. Despite the small number of 5-HT neurons and their localization to the brainstem, it is clear that 5-HT plays an important role in neuroanatomical organization.
BACKGROUND - Dopamine (DA) is a critical neuromodulator in the retina. Disruption of retinal DA synthesis and signaling significantly attenuates light-adapted, electroretinogram (ERG) responses, as well as contrast sensitivity and acuity. As these measures can be detected noninvasively, they may provide opportunities to detect disease processes linked to perturbed DA signaling. Recently, we identified a rare, functional DA transporter (DAT, SLC6A3) coding substitution, Ala559Val, in subjects with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), demonstrating that DAT Val559 imparts anomalous DA efflux (ADE) with attendant physiological, pharmacological, and behavioral phenotypes. To understand the broader impact of ADE on ADHD, noninvasive measures sensitive to DAT reversal are needed.
METHODS - Here, we explored this question through ERG-based analysis of retinal light responses, as well as HPLC measurements of retinal DA in DAT Val559 mice.
RESULTS - Male mice homozygous (HOM) for the DAT Val559 variant demonstrated increased, light-adapted ERG b-wave amplitudes compared to wild type (WT) and heterozygous (HET) mice, whereas dark-adapted responses were indistinguishable across genotypes. The elevated amplitude of the photopic light responses in HOM mice could be mimicked in WT mice by applying D and D DA receptor agonists and suppressed in HOM mice by introducing D antagonist, supporting elevated retinal DA signaling arising from ADE. Following the challenge with amphetamine, WT exhibited an increase in light-adapted response amplitudes, while HOM did not. Total retinal DA content was similar across genotypes. Interestingly, female DAT Val559 HOM animals revealed no significant difference in photopic ERG responses when compared with WT and HET littermates.
CONCLUSIONS - These data reveal that noninvasive, in vivo evaluation of retinal responses to light can reveal physiological signatures of ADE, suggesting a possible approach to the segregation of neurobehavioral disorders based on the DAT-dependent control of DA signaling.
This study reviews previous studies that employ positron emission tomography (PET) imaging assessments in Parkinson's disease (PD) patients with and without Impulsive Compulsive Behaviours (ICB). This begins with a summary of the potential benefits and limitations of commonly utilized ligands, specifically D receptor and dopamine transporter ligands. Since previous findings emphasize the role of the ventral striatum in the manifestation of ICBs, this study attempts to relate these imaging findings to changes in behaviour, especially emphasizing work performed in substance abuse and addiction. Next, it reviews how increasing disease duration in PD can influence dopamine receptor expression, with an emphasis on differential striatal and extra-striatal changes that occur along the course of PD. Finally, it focuses on how extra-striatal changes, particularly in the orbitofrontal cortex, amygdala, and anterior cingulate, may influence the proficiency of behavioural regulation in PD. The discussion emphasizes the interaction of disease and medication effects on network-wide changes that occur in PD, and how these changes may result in behavioural dysregulation.
Engagement of integrins by the extracellular matrix initiates signaling cascades that drive a variety of cellular functions, including neuronal migration and axonal pathfinding in the brain. Multiple lines of evidence link the gene encoding the integrin β3 subunit with the serotonin (5-HT) system, likely via its modulation of the 5-HT transporter (SERT). The coding polymorphism Leu33Pro (rs5918, Pl) produces hyperactive αvβ3 receptors that influence whole-blood 5-HT levels and may influence the risk for autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Using a phenome-wide scan of psychiatric diagnoses, we found significant, male-specific associations between the Pro33 allele and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and ASDs. Here, we used knock-in (KI) mice expressing an variant that phenocopies the human Pro33 variant to elucidate the consequences of constitutively enhanced αvβ3 signaling to the 5-HT system in the brain. KI mice displayed deficits in multiple behaviors, including anxiety, repetitive, and social behaviors. Anatomical studies revealed a significant decrease in 5-HT synapses in the midbrain, accompanied by decreases in SERT activity and reduced localization of SERTs to integrin adhesion complexes in synapses of KI mice. Inhibition of focal adhesion kinase (FAK) rescued SERT function in synapses of KI mice, demonstrating that constitutive active FAK signaling downstream of the Pro32Pro33 integrin αvβ3 suppresses SERT activity. Our studies identify a complex regulation of 5-HT homeostasis and behaviors by integrin αvβ3, revealing an important role for integrins in modulating risk for neuropsychiatric disorders. The integrin β3 Leu33Pro coding polymorphism has been associated with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) within a subgroup of patients with elevated blood 5-HT levels, linking integrin β3, 5-HT, and ASD risk. We capitalized on these interactions to demonstrate that the Pro33 coding variation in the murine integrin β3 recapitulates the sex-dependent neurochemical and behavioral attributes of ASD. Using state-of-the-art techniques, we show that presynaptic 5-HT function is altered in these mice, and that the localization of 5-HT transporters to specific compartments within the synapse, disrupted by the integrin β3 Pro33 mutation, is critical for appropriate reuptake of 5-HT. Our studies provide fundamental insight into the genetic network regulating 5-HT neurotransmission in the CNS that is also associated with ASD risk.
Copyright © 2017 the authors 0270-6474/17/3711272-14$15.00/0.
The cellular mechanism(s) linking macrophages to norepinephrine (NE)-mediated regulation of thermogenesis have been a topic of debate. Here we identify sympathetic neuron-associated macrophages (SAMs) as a population of cells that mediate clearance of NE via expression of solute carrier family 6 member 2 (SLC6A2), an NE transporter, and monoamine oxidase A (MAOA), a degradation enzyme. Optogenetic activation of the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) upregulates NE uptake by SAMs and shifts the SAM profile to a more proinflammatory state. NE uptake by SAMs is prevented by genetic deletion of Slc6a2 or inhibition of the encoded transporter. We also observed an increased proportion of SAMs in the SNS of two mouse models of obesity. Genetic ablation of Slc6a2 in SAMs increases brown adipose tissue (BAT) content, causes browning of white fat, increases thermogenesis, and leads to substantial and sustained weight loss in obese mice. We further show that this pathway is conserved, as human sympathetic ganglia also contain SAMs expressing the analogous molecular machinery for NE clearance, which thus constitutes a potential target for obesity treatment.
Recent genetic analyses have provided evidence that clinical commonalities associated with different psychiatric diagnoses often have shared mechanistic underpinnings. The development of animal models expressing functional genetic variation attributed to multiple disorders offers a salient opportunity to capture molecular, circuit and behavioral alterations underlying this hypothesis. In keeping with studies suggesting dopaminergic contributions to attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), bipolar disorder (BPD) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD), subjects with these diagnoses have been found to express a rare, functional coding substitution in the dopamine (DA) transporter (DAT), Ala559Val. We developed DAT Val559 knock-in mice as a construct valid model of dopaminergic alterations that drive multiple clinical phenotypes, and here evaluate the impact of lifelong expression of the variant on impulsivity and motivation utilizing the 5- choice serial reaction time task (5-CSRTT) and Go/NoGo as well as tests of time estimation (peak interval analysis), reward salience (sucrose preference), and motivation (progressive ratio test). Our findings indicate that the DAT Val559 variant induces impulsivity behaviors that are dependent upon the reward context, with increased impulsive action observed when mice are required to delay responding for a reward, whereas mice are able to withhold responding if there is a probability of reward for a correct rejection. Utilizing peak interval and progressive ratio tests, we provide evidence that impulsivity is likely driven by an enhanced motivational phenotype that also may drive faster task acquisition in operant tasks. These data provide critical validation that DAT, and more generally, DA signaling perturbations can drive impulsivity that can manifest in specific contexts and not others, and may rely on motivational alterations, which may also drive increased maladaptive reward seeking.
Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
The neurotransmitter dopamine (DA) regulates multiple behaviors across phylogeny, with disrupted DA signaling in humans associated with addiction, attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder, schizophrenia, and Parkinson's disease. The DA transporter (DAT) imposes spatial and temporal limits on DA action, and provides for presynaptic DA recycling to replenish neurotransmitter pools. Molecular mechanisms that regulate DAT expression, trafficking, and function, particularly , remain poorly understood, though recent studies have implicated rho-linked pathways in psychostimulant action. To identify genes that dictate the ability of DAT to sustain normal levels of DA clearance, we pursued a forward genetic screen in based on the phenotype swimming-induced paralysis (Swip), a paralytic behavior observed in hermaphrodite worms with loss-of-function mutations. Here, we report the identity of , which encodes a highly conserved ortholog of the human atypical MAP kinase ERK8. We present evidence that SWIP-13 acts presynaptically to insure adequate levels of surface DAT expression and DA clearance. Moreover, we provide and evidence supporting a conserved pathway involving SWIP-13/ERK8 activation of Rho GTPases that dictates DAT surface expression and function. Signaling by the neurotransmitter dopamine (DA) is tightly regulated by the DA transporter (DAT), insuring efficient DA clearance after release. Molecular networks that regulate DAT are poorly understood, particularly Using a forward genetic screen in the nematode , we implicate the atypical mitogen activated protein kinase, SWIP-13, in DAT regulation. Moreover, we provide and evidence that SWIP-13, as well as its human counterpart ERK8, regulate DAT surface availability via the activation of Rho proteins. Our findings implicate a novel pathway that regulates DA synaptic availability and that may contribute to risk for disorders linked to perturbed DA signaling. Targeting this pathway may be of value in the development of therapeutics in such disorders.
Copyright © 2017 the authors 0270-6474/17/379288-17$15.00/0.
Serotonin (5-HT) is an important neurotransmitter in the central nervous system where it modulates circuits involved in mood, cognition, movement, arousal, and autonomic function. The 5-HT transporter (SERT; SLC6A4) is a key regulator of 5-HT signaling, and genetic variations in SERT are associated with various disorders including depression, anxiety, and autism. This review focuses on the role of SERT in the sympathetic nervous system. Autonomic/sympathetic dysfunction is evident in patients with depression, anxiety, and other diseases linked to serotonergic signaling. Experimentally, loss of SERT function (SERT knockout mice or chronic pharmacological block) has been reported to augment the sympathetic stress response. Alterations to serotonergic signaling in the CNS and thus central drive to the peripheral sympathetic nervous system are presumed to underlie this augmentation. Although less widely recognized, SERT is robustly expressed in chromaffin cells of the adrenal medulla, the neuroendocrine arm of the sympathetic nervous system. Adrenal chromaffin cells do not synthesize 5-HT but accumulate small amounts by SERT-mediated uptake. Recent evidence demonstrated that 5-HT receptors inhibit catecholamine secretion from adrenal chromaffin cells via an atypical mechanism that does not involve modulation of cellular excitability or voltage-gated Ca channels. This raises the possibility that the adrenal medulla is a previously unrecognized peripheral hub for serotonergic control of the sympathetic stress response. As a framework for future investigation, a model is proposed in which stress-evoked adrenal catecholamine secretion is fine-tuned by SERT-modulated autocrine 5-HT signaling.