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CHIP (carboxyl terminus of heat shock 70-interacting protein) has long been recognized as an active member of the cellular protein quality control system given the ability of CHIP to function as both a co-chaperone and ubiquitin ligase. We discovered a genetic disease, now known as spinocerebellar autosomal recessive 16 (SCAR16), resulting from a coding mutation that caused a loss of CHIP ubiquitin ligase function. The initial mutation describing SCAR16 was a missense mutation in the ubiquitin ligase domain of CHIP (p.T246M). Using multiple biophysical and cellular approaches, we demonstrated that T246M mutation results in structural disorganization and misfolding of the CHIP U-box domain, promoting oligomerization, and increased proteasome-dependent turnover. CHIP-T246M has no ligase activity, but maintains interactions with chaperones and chaperone-related functions. To establish preclinical models of SCAR16, we engineered T246M at the endogenous locus in both mice and rats. Animals homozygous for T246M had both cognitive and motor cerebellar dysfunction distinct from those observed in the CHIP null animal model, as well as deficits in learning and memory, reflective of the cognitive deficits reported in SCAR16 patients. We conclude that the T246M mutation is not equivalent to the total loss of CHIP, supporting the concept that disease-causing CHIP mutations have different biophysical and functional repercussions on CHIP function that may directly correlate to the spectrum of clinical phenotypes observed in SCAR16 patients. Our findings both further expand our basic understanding of CHIP biology and provide meaningful mechanistic insight underlying the molecular drivers of SCAR16 disease pathology, which may be used to inform the development of novel therapeutics for this devastating disease.
RATIONALE - Metabotropic glutamate receptors and muscarinic M receptors have been proposed as novel targets for various brain disorders, including schizophrenia. Both receptors are coupled to G proteins and are expressed in brain circuits that are important in schizophrenia. Therefore, their mutual activation may be an effective treatment and allow minimizing the doses of ligands required for optimal activity.
OBJECTIVES - In the present studies, subactive doses of mGlu and M activators (LSP4-2022 and VU152100, respectively) were administered to investigate the mutual interaction between mGlu and M receptors in animal models of schizophrenia.
METHODS - The behavioral tests used were MK-801-induced hyperactivity, (±)-2.5-dimethoxy-4-iodoamphetamine hydrochloride (DOI)-induced head twitches, the modified forced swim test, and MK-801-induced disruptions of social interactions and novel object recognition. DOI-induced spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents (sEPSCs) in brain slices and positron emission tomography (PET) in were used to establish the ability of these compounds to modulate the glutamatergic and dopaminergic systems. Rotarod was used to assess putative adverse effects.
RESULTS - The mutual administration of subactive doses of LSP4-2022 and VU152100 exerted similar antipsychotic-like efficacy in animals as observed for active doses of both compounds, indicating their additive actions. VU152100 inhibited the DOI-induced frequency (but not amplitude) of sEPSCs in the frontal cortex, confirming presynaptic regulation of glutamate release. Both compounds reversed amphetamine-induced decrease in D receptor levels in the striatum, as measured with [F]fallypride. The compounds did not induce any motor impartments when measured in rotarod test.
CONCLUSIONS - Based on our results, the simultaneous activation of M and mGlu receptors is beneficial in reversing MK-801- and amphetamine-induced schizophrenia-related changes in animals.
The gut-to-brain axis exhibits significant control over motivated behavior. However, mechanisms supporting this communication are poorly understood. We reveal that a gut-based bariatric surgery chronically elevates systemic bile acids and attenuates cocaine-induced elevations in accumbal dopamine. Notably, this surgery reduces reward-related behavior and psychomotor sensitization to cocaine. Utilizing a knockout mouse model, we have determined that a main mediator of these post-operative effects is the Takeda G protein-coupled bile acid receptor (TGR5). Viral restoration of TGR5 in the nucleus accumbens of TGR5 knockout animals is sufficient to restore cocaine reward, centrally localizing this TGR5-mediated modulation. These findings define TGR5 and bile acid signaling as pharmacological targets for the treatment of cocaine abuse and reveal a novel mechanism of gut-to-brain communication.
Exercise alone is often ineffective for treating obesity despite the associated increase in metabolic requirements. Decreased nonexercise physical activity has been implicated in this resistance to weight loss, but the mechanisms responsible are unclear. We quantified the metabolic cost of nonexercise activity, or "off-wheel" activity (OWA), and voluntary wheel running (VWR) and examined whether changes in OWA during VWR altered energy balance in chow-fed C57BL/6J mice ( = 12). Energy expenditure (EE), energy intake, and behavior (VWR and OWA) were continuously monitored for 4 days with locked running wheels followed by 9 days with unlocked running wheels. Unlocking the running wheels increased EE as a function of VWR distance. The metabolic cost of exercise (kcal/m traveled) decreased with increasing VWR speed. Unlocking the wheel led to a negative energy balance but also decreased OWA, which was predicted to mitigate the expected change in energy balance by ∼45%. A novel behavioral circuit involved repeated bouts of VWR, and roaming was discovered and represented novel predictors of VWR behavior. The integrated analysis described here reveals that the weight loss effects of voluntary exercise can be countered by a reduction in nonexercise activity.
© 2018 by the American Diabetes Association.
Dopaminergic signaling differences in the nucleus accumbens (NAcc) seemingly predispose rats to adopt different physical activity behaviors. Physical activity behavior also may be regulated through peripheral mechanisms (i.e., muscle and fat derived as well as hormonal signals). We hypothesize that physical activity behavior is regulated by the convergence of central and peripheral mechanisms onto the NAcc.
The dorsolateral striatum is critically involved in movement control and motor learning. Striatal function is regulated by a variety of neuromodulators including acetylcholine. Previous studies have shown that cholinergic activation excites striatal principal projection neurons, medium spiny neurons (MSNs), and this action is mediated by muscarinic acetylcholine subtype 1 receptors (M) through modulating multiple potassium channels. In the present study, we used electrophysiology techniques in conjunction with optogenetic and pharmacological tools to determine the long-term effects of striatal cholinergic activation on MSN intrinsic excitability. A transient increase in acetylcholine release in the striatum by optogenetic stimulation resulted in a long-lasting increase in excitability of MSNs, which was associated with hyperpolarizing shift of action potential threshold and decrease in afterhyperpolarization (AHP) amplitude, leading to an increase in probability of EPSP-action potential coupling. The M selective antagonist VU0255035 prevented, while the M selective positive allosteric modulator (PAM) VU0453595 potentiated the cholinergic activation-induced persistent increase in MSN intrinsic excitability, suggesting that M receptors are critically involved in the induction of this long-lasting response. This M receptor-dependent long-lasting change in MSN intrinsic excitability could have significant impact on striatal processing and might provide a novel mechanism underlying cholinergic regulation of the striatum-dependent motor learning and cognitive function. Consistent with this, behavioral studies indicate that potentiation of M receptor signaling by VU0453595 enhanced performance of mice in cue-dependent water-based T-maze, a dorsolateral striatum-dependent learning task.
Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Frontal-basal ganglia circuitry dysfunction caused by Parkinson's disease impairs important executive cognitive processes, such as the ability to inhibit impulsive action tendencies. Subthalamic Nucleus Deep Brain Stimulation in Parkinson's disease improves the reactive inhibition of impulsive actions that interfere with goal-directed behavior. An unresolved question is whether this effect depends on stimulation of a particular Subthalamic Nucleus subregion. The current study aimed to 1) replicate previous findings and additionally investigate the effect of chronic versus acute Subthalamic Nucleus stimulation on inhibitory control in Parkinson's disease patients off dopaminergic medication 2) test whether stimulating Subthalamic Nucleus subregions differentially modulate proactive response control and the proficiency of reactive inhibitory control. In the first experiment, twelve Parkinson's disease patients completed three sessions of the Simon task, Off Deep brain stimulation and medication, on acute Deep Brain Stimulation and on chronic Deep Brain Stimulation. Experiment 2 consisted of 11 Parkinson's disease patients with Subthalamic Nucleus Deep Brain Stimulation (off medication) who completed two testing sessions involving of a Simon task either with stimulation of the dorsal or the ventral contact in the Subthalamic Nucleus. Our findings show that Deep Brain Stimulation improves reactive inhibitory control, regardless of medication and regardless of whether it concerns chronic or acute Subthalamic Nucleus stimulation. More importantly, selective stimulation of dorsal and ventral subregions of the Subthalamic Nucleus indicates that especially the dorsal Subthalamic Nucleus circuitries are crucial for modulating the reactive inhibitory control of motor actions.
Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
The mesolimbic dopamine and opioid systems are postulated to influence the central control of physical activity motivation. We utilized selectively bred rats for high (HVR) or low (LVR) voluntary running behavior to examine (1) inherent differences in mu-opioid receptor (Oprm1) expression and function in the nucleus accumbens (NAc), (2) if dopamine-related mRNAs, wheel-running, and food intake are differently influenced by intraperitoneal (i.p.) naltrexone injection in HVR and LVR rats, and (3) if dopamine is required for naltrexone-induced changes in running and feeding behavior in HVR rats. Oprm1 mRNA and protein expression were greater in the NAc of HVR rats, and application of the Oprm1 agonist [D-Ala2, N-MePhe4, Gly-ol]-enkephalin (DAMGO) to dissociated NAc neurons produced greater depolarizing responses in neurons from HVR versus LVR rats. Naltrexone injection dose-dependently decreased wheel running and food intake in HVR, but not LVR, rats. Naltrexone (20mg/kg) decreased tyrosine hydroxylase mRNA in the ventral tegmental area and Fos and Drd5 mRNA in NAc shell of HVR, but not LVR, rats. Additionally, lesion of dopaminergic neurons in the NAc with 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) ablated the decrease in running, but not food intake, in HVR rats following i.p. naltrexone administration. Collectively, these data suggest the higher levels of running observed in HVR rats, compared to LVR rats, are mediated, in part, by increased mesolimbic opioidergic signaling that requires downstream dopaminergic activity to influence voluntary running, but not food intake.
Copyright © 2016 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Abnormalities in the signaling of the N-methyl-d-aspartate subtype of the glutamate receptor (NMDAR) within cortical and limbic brain regions are thought to underlie many of the complex cognitive and affective symptoms observed in individuals with schizophrenia. The M muscarinic acetylcholine receptor (mAChR) subtype is a closely coupled signaling partner of the NMDAR. Accumulating evidence suggests that development of selective positive allosteric modulators (PAMs) of the M receptor represent an important treatment strategy for the potential normalization of disruptions in NMDAR signaling in patients with schizophrenia. In the present studies, we evaluated the effects of the novel and highly potent M PAM, VU6004256, in ameliorating selective prefrontal cortical (PFC)-mediated physiologic and cognitive abnormalities in a genetic mouse model of global reduction in the NR1 subunit of the NMDAR (NR1 knockdown [KD]). Using slice-based extracellular field potential recordings, deficits in muscarinic agonist-induced long-term depression (LTD) in layer V of the PFC in the NR1 KD mice were normalized with bath application of VU6004256. Systemic administration of VU6004256 also reduced excessive pyramidal neuron firing in layer V PFC neurons in awake, freely moving NR1 KD mice. Moreover, selective potentiation of M by VU6004256 reversed the performance impairments of NR1 KD mice observed in two preclinical models of PFC-mediated learning, specifically the novel object recognition and cue-mediated fear conditioning tasks. VU6004256 also produced a robust, dose-dependent reduction in the hyperlocomotor activity of NR1 KD mice. Taken together, the current findings provide further support for M PAMs as a novel therapeutic approach for the PFC-mediated impairments in schizophrenia.
Epidemiological evidence is accumulating that indicates greater time spent in sedentary behavior is associated with all-cause and cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in adults such that some countries have disseminated broad guidelines that recommend minimizing sedentary behaviors. Research examining the possible deleterious consequences of excess sedentary behavior is rapidly evolving, with the epidemiology-based literature ahead of potential biological mechanisms that might explain the observed associations. This American Heart Association science advisory reviews the current evidence on sedentary behavior in terms of assessment methods, population prevalence, determinants, associations with cardiovascular disease incidence and mortality, potential underlying mechanisms, and interventions. Recommendations for future research on this emerging cardiovascular health topic are included. Further evidence is required to better inform public health interventions and future quantitative guidelines on sedentary behavior and cardiovascular health outcomes.
© 2016 American Heart Association, Inc.