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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.
Electrical deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the subthalamic nucleus (STN) is effective for ameliorating the motor symptoms of Parkinson's disease (PD) including bradykinesia. The STN receives its main excitatory input from cortex; however, the contribution of cortico-subthalamic projection neurons to the effects of DBS remains unclear. To isolate the consequences of stimulating layer 5 primary motor cortex (M1) projections to the STN, we used a dual virus transfection technique to selectively express opsins in these neurons in mice made parkinsonian by unilateral nigrostriatal 6-OHDA lesioning. AAVs containing WGA-Cre constructs were injected in the STN to retrogradely place Cre in STN afferents, while AAVs containing Cre-dependent ultrafast hChR2(E123T/T159C)-EYFP opsin constructs were injected in M1 layer 5, producing specific opsin expression in M1-STN projections. Under unstimulated conditions, lesioned mice showed bradykinesia and hypokinesia (decreased movement), along with electrophysiological changes similar to those observed in PD patients. Specifically, low frequency power (theta, alpha, low beta) was increased and gamma power was decreased, while M1/STN coherence and STN phase-amplitude-coupling (PAC) were increased. Optogenetic stimulation (100-130Hz) of STN afferents in these mice ameliorated bradykinesia and hypokinesia and brought the neural dynamics closer to the non-parkinsonian state by reducing theta and alpha and increasing gamma power in M1, decreasing STN PAC, and reducing theta band coherence. Histological examination of the EYFP expression revealed that, in addition to orthodromic and antidromic effects, stimulation of cortico-subthalamic neurons may cause wide-spread increased glutamatergic activity due to collaterals that project to areas of the thalamus and other brain regions.
Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Metabotropic glutamate receptor 4 (mGlu4) negatively modulates GABA and glutamate release in the 'indirect pathway' of the basal ganglia, and has thus been proposed as a potential target to treat motor symptoms in Parkinson's disease. Here, we present an extensive comparison of the behavioural effects produced by the mGlu4 positive allosteric modulator (PAM), VU0364770, and the mGlu4 orthosteric agonist, LSP1-2111, in rats with unilateral 6-OHDA lesions. The compounds' activity was initially assessed in a test of haloperidol-induced catalepsy in intact rats, and effective doses were then evaluated in the hemiparkinsonian animal model. Neither of the two compounds modified the development of dyskinetic behaviours elicited by chronic treatment with full doses of l-DOPA. When given together with l-DOPA to rats with already established dyskinesias, neither VU0364770 nor LSP1-2111 modified the abnormal involuntary movement scores. VU0364770 potentiated, however, the motor stimulant effect of a subthreshold l-DOPA dose in certain behavioural tests, whereas LSP1-2111 lacked this ability. Taken together, these results indicate that a pharmacological stimulation of mGlu4 lacks intrinsic antidyskinetic activity, but may have DOPA-sparing activity in Parkinson's disease. For the latter indication, mGlu4 PAMs appear to provide a better option than orthosteric agonists.
Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Various kinds of stress are thought to precipitate psychiatric disorders, such as major depression. Whereas studies in rodents have suggested a critical role of medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) in stress susceptibility, the mechanism of how stress susceptibility is determined through mPFC remains unknown. Here we show a critical role of prostaglandin E(2) (PGE(2)), a bioactive lipid derived from arachidonic acid, in repeated social defeat stress in mice. Repeated social defeat increased the PGE(2) level in the subcortical region of the brain, and mice lacking either COX-1, a prostaglandin synthase, or EP1, a PGE receptor, were impaired in induction of social avoidance by repeated social defeat. Given the reported action of EP1 that augments GABAergic inputs to midbrain dopamine neurons, we analyzed dopaminergic response upon social defeat. Analyses of c-Fos expression of VTA dopamine neurons and dopamine turnover in mPFC showed that mesocortical dopaminergic pathway is activated upon social defeat and attenuated with repetition of social defeat in wild-type mice. EP1 deficiency abolished such repeated stress-induced attenuation of mesocortical dopaminergic pathway. Blockade of dopamine D1-like receptor during social defeat restored social avoidance in EP1-deficient mice, suggesting that disinhibited dopaminergic response during social defeat blocks induction of social avoidance. Furthermore, mPFC dopaminergic lesion by local injection of 6-hydroxydopamine, which mimicked the action of EP1 during repeated stress, facilitated induction of social avoidance upon social defeat. Taken together, our data suggest that PGE(2)-EP1 signaling is critical for susceptibility to repeated social defeat stress in mice through attenuation of mesocortical dopaminergic pathway.
Neuronal loss in Parkinson's disease (PD) is seen in a number of brain regions in addition to the substantia nigra (SN). Among these is the thalamic parafascicular nucleus (PF), which sends glutamatergic projections to the striatum and receives GABAergic inputs from the SN. Recent data suggest that lesions of nigrostriatal dopamine axons cause a loss of PF neurons, which has been interpreted to suggest that the PF cell loss seen in PD is secondary to dopamine denervation. However, the extent of a PF dopamine innervation in the rat is unclear, and it is possible that PF cell loss in parkinsonism is independent of nigrostriatal dopamine degeneration. We characterized the dopamine innervation of the PF in the rat and determined if 6-hydroxydopamine SN lesions cause PF neuron degeneration. Dual-label immunohistochemistry revealed that almost all tyrosine hydroxylase-immunoreactive (TH-ir) axons in the PF also expressed dopamine-beta-hydroxylase and were therefore noradrenergic or adrenergic. Moreover, an antibody directed against dopamine revealed only very rare PF dopaminergic axons. Retrograde-tract tracing-immunohistochemistry did not uncover an innervation of the PF from midbrain dopamine neurons. Nigrostriatal dopamine neuron lesions did not elicit degeneration of PF cells, as reflected by a lack of FluoroJade C staining. Similarly, neither unilateral 6-OHDA lesions of nigrostriatal axons nor the dorsal noradrenergic bundle decreased the number of PF neurons or the number of PF neurons retrogradely-labeled from the striatum. These data suggest that the loss of thalamostriatal PF neurons in Parkinson's Disease is a primary event rather than secondary to nigrostriatal dopamine degeneration.
Copyright Â© 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Parkinson's disease (PD) is a debilitating neurodegenerative disorder associated with severe motor impairments caused by the loss of dopaminergic innervation of the striatum. Previous studies have demonstrated that positive allosteric modulators (PAMs) of metabotropic glutamate receptor 4 (mGlu₄), including N-phenyl-7-(hydroxyimino) cyclopropa[b]chromen-1a-carboxamide, can produce antiparkinsonian-like effects in preclinical models of PD. However, these early mGlu₄ PAMsexhibited unsuitable physiochemical properties for systemic dosing, requiring intracerebroventricular administration and limiting their broader utility as in vivo tools to further understand the role of mGlu₄ in the modulation of basal ganglia function relevant to PD. In the present study, we describe the pharmacologic characterization of a systemically active mGlu₄ PAM, N-(3-chlorophenyl)picolinamide (VU0364770), in several rodent PD models. VU0364770 showed efficacy alone or when administered in combination with L-DOPA or an adenosine 2A (A2A) receptor antagonist currently in clinical development (preladenant). When administered alone, VU0364770 exhibited efficacy in reversing haloperidol-induced catalepsy, forelimb asymmetry-induced by unilateral 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) lesions of the median forebrain bundle, and attentional deficits induced by bilateral 6-OHDA nigrostriatal lesions in rats. In addition, VU0364770 enhanced the efficacy of preladenant to reverse haloperidol-induced catalepsy when given in combination. The effects of VU0364770 to reverse forelimb asymmetry were also potentiated when the compound was coadministered with an inactive dose of L-DOPA, suggesting that mGlu₄ PAMs may provide L-DOPA-sparing activity. The present findings provide exciting support for the potential role of selective mGlu₄ PAMs as a novel approach for the symptomatic treatment of PD and a possible augmentation strategy with either L-DOPA or A2A antagonists.
Parkinson's disease is caused primarily by degeneration of brain dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra and the consequent deficit of dopamine in the striatum. Dopamine replacement therapy with the dopamine precursor l-dopa is the mainstay of current treatment. After several years, however, the patients develop l-dopa-induced dyskinesia, or abnormal involuntary movements, thought to be due to excessive signaling via dopamine receptors. G protein-coupled receptor kinases (GRKs) control desensitization of dopamine receptors. We found that dyskinesia is attenuated by lentivirus-mediated overexpression of GRK6 in the striatum in rodent and primate models of Parkinson's disease. Conversely, reduction of GRK6 concentration by microRNA delivered with lentiviral vector exacerbated dyskinesia in parkinsonian rats. GRK6 suppressed dyskinesia in monkeys without compromising the antiparkinsonian effects of l-dopa and even prolonged the antiparkinsonian effect of a lower dose of l-dopa. Our finding that increased availability of GRK6 ameliorates dyskinesia and increases duration of the antiparkinsonian action of l-dopa suggests a promising approach for controlling both dyskinesia and motor fluctuations in Parkinson's disease.
Free radical-mediated lipid peroxidation has been implicated in the pathogenesis of various diseases. Lipid peroxidation products are cytotoxic and they modify proteins and DNA bases, leading eventually to degenerative disorders. Various synthetic antioxidants have been developed and assessed for their capacity to inhibit lipid peroxidation and oxidative stress induced by free radicals. In this study, the capacity of novel 6-amino-2,4,5-trimethyl-3-pyridinols for scavenging peroxyl radicals, inhibiting plasma lipid peroxidation in vitro, and preventing cytotoxicity induced by glutamate, 6-hydroxydopamine, 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridium (MPP(+) ), and hydroperoxyoctadecadienoic acid was assessed. It was found that they exerted higher reactivity toward peroxyl radicals and more potent activity for inhibiting the above oxidative stress than alpha-tocopherol, the most potent natural antioxidant, except against the cytotoxicity induced by MPP(+). These results suggest that the novel 6-amino-3-pyridinols may be potent antioxidants against oxidative stress.
Copyright 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Striatal medium spiny neurons (MSNs) receive glutamatergic afferents from the cerebral cortex and dopaminergic inputs from the substantia nigra (SN). Striatal dopamine loss decreases the number of MSN dendritic spines. This loss of spines has been suggested to reflect the removal of tonic dopamine inhibitory control over corticostriatal glutamatergic drive, with increased glutamate release culminating in MSN spine loss. We tested this hypothesis in two ways. We first determined in vivo if decortication reverses or prevents dopamine depletion-induced spine loss by placing motor cortex lesions 4 weeks after, or at the time of, 6-hydroxydopamine lesions of the SN. Animals were sacrificed 4 weeks after cortical lesions. Motor cortex lesions significantly reversed the loss of MSN spines elicited by dopamine denervation; a similar effect was observed in the prevention experiment. We then determined if modulating glutamate release in organotypic cocultures prevented spine loss. Treatment of the cultures with the mGluR2/3 agonist LY379268 to suppress corticostriatal glutamate release completely blocked spine loss in dopamine-denervated cultures. These studies provide the first evidence to show that MSN spine loss associated with parkinsonism can be reversed and point to suppression of corticostriatal glutamate release as a means of slowing progression in Parkinson's disease.
We are testing the hypothesis that exercise is neuroprotective in animal models of the dopamine (DA) deficiency in Parkinson's disease. Our studies include mice or rats provided access to a running wheel and subsequently treated with MPTP (mice) or 6-hydroxydopamine (rats) and monkeys provided access to a treadmill and subsequently treated with MPTP. Typically, the exercise occurs for 3 months prior to the toxin treatment and often for 1-2 months thereafter. Our findings indicate that exercise reduces the behavioral impairments elicited by the dopaminergic neurotoxins as well as the loss of DA neurons as assessed by PET imaging and biochemical or histochemical assessment of tissue samples. Our studies are focused on one of several possible explanations for the beneficial effects of exercise: an exercise-induced increase in the expression of neurotrophic factors, particularly GDNF. Our observations indicate that GDNF can reduce the vulnerability of DA neurons, in part due to the activation of key intracellular cascades. We also find that mild cellular stress itself can provide protection against more intensive stress, a form of preconditioning. We conclude that dopamine neurons have the capacity to respond to intracellular and extracellular signals by triggering endogenous neuroprotective mechanisms. This raises the possibility that some individuals with Parkinson's disease suffer from a reduction of these neuroprotective mechanisms, and that treatments that boost these mechanisms - including exercise - may provide therapeutic benefit.