The publication data currently available has been vetted by Vanderbilt faculty, staff, administrators and trainees. The data itself is retrieved directly from NCBI's PubMed and is automatically updated on a weekly basis to ensure accuracy and completeness.
If you have any questions or comments, please contact us.
BACKGROUND - Relapse is a critical barrier to effective long-term treatment of alcoholism, and stress is often cited as a key trigger to relapse. Numerous studies suggest that stress-induced reinstatement to drug-seeking behaviors is mediated by norepinephrine (NE) and corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) signaling interactions in the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST), a brain region critical to many behavioral and physiologic responses to stressors. Here, we sought to directly examine the effects of NE on BNST CRF neuron activity and determine whether these effects may be modulated by chronic intermittent EtOH (CIE) exposure or a single restraint stress.
METHODS - Adult male CRF-tomato reporter mice were treatment-naïve, or either exposed to CIE for 2 weeks or to a single 1-hour restraint stress. Effects of application of exogenous NE on BNST CRF neuron activity were assessed via whole-cell patch-clamp electrophysiological techniques.
RESULTS - We found that NE depolarized BNST CRF neurons in naïve mice in a β-adrenergic receptor (AR)-dependent mechanism. CRF neurons from CIE- or stress-exposed mice had significantly elevated basal resting membrane potential compared to naïve mice. Furthermore, CIE and stress individually disrupted the ability of NE to depolarize CRF neurons, suggesting that both stress and CIE utilize β-AR signaling to modulate BNST CRF neurons. Neither stress nor CIE altered the ability of exogenous NE to inhibit evoked glutamatergic transmission onto BNST CRF neurons as shown in naïve mice, a mechanism previously shown to be α-AR-dependent.
CONCLUSIONS - Altogether, these findings suggest that stress and CIE interact with β-AR signaling to modulate BNST CRF neuron activity, potentially disrupting the α/β-AR balance of BNST CRF neuronal excitability. Restoration of α/β-AR balance may lead to novel therapies for the alleviation of many stress-related disorders.
© 2019 by the Research Society on Alcoholism.
The inner ear vestibular system has numerous projections on central brain centers that regulate sympathetic outflow, and skeletal sympathetic projections affect bone remodeling by inhibiting bone formation by osteoblasts and promoting bone resorption by osteoclasts. In this study, we show that bilateral vestibular lesions in mice cause a low bone mass phenotype associated with decreased bone formation and increased bone resorption. This reduction in bone mass is most pronounced in lower limbs, is not associated with reduced locomotor activity or chronic inflammation, and could be prevented by the administration of the β-blocker propranolol and by genetic deletion of the β2-adrenergic receptor, globally or specifically in osteoblasts. These results provide novel experimental evidence supporting a functional autonomic link between central proprioceptive vestibular structures and the skeleton. Because vestibular dysfunction often affects the elderly, these results also suggest that age-related bone loss might have a vestibular component and that patients with inner ear pathologies might be at risk for fracture. Lastly, these data might have relevance to the bone loss observed in microgravity, as vestibular function is altered in this condition as well. © 2015 American Society for Bone and Mineral Research.
© 2015 American Society for Bone and Mineral Research.
Activation of kappa-opioid receptors (KORs) in monoamine circuits results in dysphoria-like behaviors and stress-induced reinstatement of drug seeking in both conditioned place preference (CPP) and self-administration models. Noradrenergic (NA) receptor systems have also been implicated in similar behaviors. Dynorphinergic projections terminate within the locus coeruleus (LC), a primary source of norepinephrine in the forebrain, suggesting a possible link between the NA and dynorphin/kappa opioid systems, yet the implications of these putative interactions have not been investigated. We isolated the necessity of KORs in the LC in kappa opioid agonist (U50,488)-induced reinstatement of cocaine CPP by blocking KORs in the LC with NorBNI (KOR antagonist). KOR-induced reinstatement was significantly attenuated in mice injected with NorBNI in the LC. To determine the sufficiency of KORs in the LC on U50,488-induced reinstatement of cocaine CPP, we virally re-expressed KORs in the LC of KOR knockout mice. We found that KORs expression in the LC alone was sufficient to partially rescue KOR-induced reinstatement. Next we assessed the role of NA signaling in KOR-induced reinstatement of cocaine CPP in the presence and absence of a α2-agonist (clonidine), β-adrenergic receptor antagonist (propranolol), and β(1)- and β(2)-antagonist (betaxolol and ICI-118,551 HCl). Both the blockade of postsynaptic β(1)-adrenergic receptors and the activation of presynaptic inhibitory adrenergic autoreceptors selectively potentiated the magnitude of KOR-induced reinstatement of cocaine CPP but not cocaine-primed CPP reinstatement. Finally, viral restoration of KORs in the LC together with β-adrenergic receptor blockade did not potentiate KOR-induced reinstatement to cocaine CPP, suggesting that adrenergic receptor interactions occur at KOR-expressing regions external to the LC. These results identify a previously unknown interaction between KORs and NA systems and suggest a NA regulation of KOR-dependent reinstatement of cocaine CPP.
OBJECTIVE - To determine the effect of low-dose propranolol on maximal exercise capacity in patients with postural tachycardia syndrome (POTS).
METHODS - We compared the effect of placebo vs a single low dose of propranolol (20 mg) on peak oxygen consumption (VO2max), an established measure of exercise capacity, in 11 patients with POTS and 7 healthy subjects in a randomized, double-blind study. Subjects exercised on a semirecumbent bicycle, with increasing intervals of resistance to maximal effort.
RESULTS - Maximal exercise capacity was similar between groups following placebo. Low-dose propranolol improved VO2max in patients with POTS (24.5 ± 0.7 placebo vs 27.6 ± 1.0 mL/min/kg propranolol; p = 0.024), but not healthy subjects. The increase in VO2max in POTS was associated with attenuated peak heart rate responses (142 ± 8 propranolol vs 165 ± 4 bpm placebo; p = 0.005) and improved stroke volume (81 ± 4 propranolol vs 67 ± 3 mL placebo; p = 0.013). In a separate cohort of POTS patients, neither high-dose propranolol (80 mg) nor metoprolol (100 mg) improved VO2max, despite similar lowering of heart rate.
CONCLUSIONS - These findings suggest that nonselective β-blockade with propranolol, when used at the low doses frequently used for treatment of POTS, may provide a modest beneficial effect to improve heart rate control and exercise capacity.
CLASSIFICATION OF EVIDENCE - This study provides Class II evidence that a single low dose of propranolol (20 mg) as compared with placebo is useful in increasing maximum exercise capacity measured 1 hour after medication.
Bone remodeling allows the conservation of normal bone mass despite constant changes in internal and external environments. The adaptation of the skeleton to these various stimuli leads credence to the notion that bone remodeling is a true homeostatic function, and as such is under the control of specific centers in the central nervous system (CNS). Hypothalamic and brainstem centers, as well as the sympathetic nervous system (SNS), have been identified as regulators of bone remodeling. However, the nature of the afferent CNS stimuli that may modulate CNS centers involved in the control of bone remodeling, with the exception of leptin, remains unclear. Based on the partial efficacy of exercise and mechanical stimulation regimens to prevent microgravity-induced bone loss and the known alterations in vestibular functions associated with space flights, we hypothesized that inner ear vestibular signals may contribute to the regulation of bone remodeling. Using an established model of bilateral vestibular lesions and microtomographic and histomorphometric bone analyses, we show here that induction of bilateral vestibular lesion in rats generates significant bone loss, which is restricted to weight-bearing bones and associated with a significant reduction in bone formation, as observed in rats under microgravity conditions. Importantly, this bone loss was not associated with reduced locomotor activity or metabolic abnormalities, was accompanied with molecular signs of increased sympathetic outflow, and could be prevented by the β-blocker propranolol. Collectively, these data suggest that the homeostatic process of bone remodeling has a vestibulosympathetic regulatory component and that vestibular system pathologies might be accompanied by bone fragility.
© 2013 American Society for Bone and Mineral Research.
BACKGROUND - Severe TBI, defined as a Glasgow Coma Scale ≤ 8, increases intracranial pressure and activates the sympathetic nervous system. Sympathetic hyperactivity after TBI manifests as catecholamine excess, hypertension, abnormal heart rate variability, and agitation, and is associated with poor neuropsychological outcome. Propranolol and clonidine are centrally acting drugs that may decrease sympathetic outflow, brain edema, and agitation. However, there is no prospective randomized evidence available demonstrating the feasibility, outcome benefits, and safety for adrenergic blockade after TBI.
METHODS/DESIGN - The DASH after TBI study is an actively accruing, single-center, randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled, two-arm trial, where one group receives centrally acting sympatholytic drugs, propranolol (1 mg intravenously every 6 h for 7 days) and clonidine (0.1 mg per tube every 12 h for 7 days), and the other group, double placebo, within 48 h of severe TBI. The study uses a weighted adaptive minimization randomization with categories of age and Marshall head CT classification. Feasibility will be assessed by ability to provide a neuroradiology read for randomization, by treatment contamination, and by treatment compliance. The primary endpoint is reduction in plasma norepinephrine level as measured on day 8. Secondary endpoints include comprehensive plasma and urine catecholamine levels, heart rate variability, arrhythmia occurrence, infections, agitation measures using the Richmond Agitation-Sedation Scale and Agitated Behavior scale, medication use (anti-hypertensive, sedative, analgesic, and antipsychotic), coma-free days, ventilator-free days, length of stay, and mortality. Neuropsychological outcomes will be measured at hospital discharge and at 3 and 12 months. The domains tested will include global executive function, memory, processing speed, visual-spatial, and behavior. Other assessments include the Extended Glasgow Outcome Scale and Quality of Life after Brain Injury scale. Safety parameters evaluated will include cardiac complications.
DISCUSSION - The DASH After TBI Study is the first randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial powered to determine feasibility and investigate safety and outcomes associated with adrenergic blockade in patients with severe TBI. If the study results in positive trends, this could provide pilot evidence for a larger multicenter randomized clinical trial. If there is no effect of therapy, this trial would still provide a robust prospective description of sympathetic hyperactivity after TBI.
TRIAL REGISTRATION - ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01322048.
Bone and lung metastases are responsible for the majority of deaths in patients with breast cancer. Following treatment of the primary cancer, emotional and psychosocial factors within this population precipitate time to recurrence and death, however the underlying mechanism(s) remain unclear. Using a mouse model of bone metastasis, we provide experimental evidence that activation of the sympathetic nervous system, which is one of many pathophysiological consequences of severe stress and depression, promotes MDA-231 breast cancer cell colonization of bone via a neurohormonal effect on the host bone marrow stroma. We demonstrate that induction of RANKL expression in bone marrow osteoblasts, following β2AR stimulation, increases the migration of metastatic MDA-231 cells in vitro, independently of SDF1-CXCR4 signaling. We also show that the stimulatory effect of endogenous (chronic stress) or pharmacologic sympathetic activation on breast cancer bone metastasis in vivo can be blocked with the β-blocker propranolol, and by knockdown of RANK expression in MDA-231 cells. These findings indicate that RANKL promotes breast cancer cell metastasis to bone via its pro-migratory effect on breast cancer cells, independently of its effect on bone turnover. The emerging clinical implication, supported by recent epidemiological studies, is that βAR-blockers and drugs interfering with RANKL signaling, such as Denosumab, could increase patient survival if used as adjuvant therapy to inhibit both the early colonization of bone by metastatic breast cancer cells and the initiation of the "vicious cycle" of bone destruction induced by these cells.
Direct liquid extraction based surface sampling, a technique previously demonstrated with continuous flow and autonomous pipette liquid microjunction surface sampling probes, has recently been implemented as a liquid extraction surface analysis (LESA) mode on a commercially available chip-based infusion nanoelectrospray ionization (nanoESI) system. In the present paper, the LESA mode was applied to the analysis of 96-well format custom-made solid-phase extraction (SPE) cards, with each well consisting of either a 1 or a 2 mm diameter monolithic hydrophobic stationary phase. These substrate wells were conditioned, loaded with either single or multi-component aqueous mixtures, and read out using the commercial nanoESI system coupled to a hybrid triple quadrupole/linear ion trap mass spectrometer or a linear ion trap mass spectrometer. The extraction conditions, including extraction/nanoESI solvent composition, volume, and dwell times, were optimized in the analysis of targeted compounds. Limit of detection and quantitation as well as analysis reproducibility figures of merit were measured. Calibration data was obtained for propranolol using a deuterated internal standard which demonstrated linearity and reproducibility. A 10× increase in signal and cleanup of micromolar angiotensin II from a concentrated salt solution was demonstrated. In addition, a multicomponent herbicide mixture at ppb concentration levels was analyzed using MS(3) spectra for compound identification in the presence of isobaric interferences.
Published in 2011 by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
OBJECTIVE - The rate-limiting step in the biosynthesis of thromboxane A(2) (TxA(2)) and 12-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid (12-HETE) by platelets is activation of cytosolic phospholipase A(2α) (cPLA(2α)), which releases arachidonic acid, which is the substrate for cyclooxygenase-1 (COX-1) and 12-lipoxygenase. We evaluated signaling via the human platelet thrombin receptors, protease-activated receptor (PAR) 1 and PAR4, to the activation of cPLA(2α), which provides a substrate for the biosynthesis of TxA(2) and 12-HETE.
METHODS AND RESULTS - Stimulating washed human platelets resulted in delayed biosynthesis of 12-HETE, which continues after maximal formation of TxA(2) is completed, suggesting that 12-HETE is not formed by the same pool of arachidonic acid that provides a substrate to COX-1. PAR1-induced formation of TxA(2) was inhibited by the phosphatidylinositol kinase inhibitor LY294002, whereas this inhibitor did not block 12-HETE biosynthesis. Both 1-butanol and propranolol also blocked TxA(2) biosynthesis but did not inhibit 12-HETE formation.
CONCLUSIONS - The concerted evidence indicates that the platelet thrombin receptors signal activation of cPLA(2α) coupled to COX-1 by a pathway different from that signaling activation of the cPLA(2α) coupled to 12-lipoxygenase.
BACKGROUND - Postural tachycardia syndrome (POTS) induces disabling chronic orthostatic intolerance with an excessive increase in heart rate on standing. beta-Blockade is an appealing treatment approach, but conflicting preliminary reports are conflicting. We tested the hypothesis that propranolol will attenuate the tachycardia and improve symptom burden in patients with POTS. In protocol 1, a low dose (20 mg) was compared with placebo, and the dose response was assessed in protocol 2.
METHODS AND RESULTS - In protocol 1, patients with POTS (n=54) underwent acute drug trials of propranolol 20 mg orally and placebo, on separate mornings, in a randomized crossover design. Blood pressure, heart rate, and symptoms were assessed while the patients were seated and after standing for up to 10 minutes before and hourly after the study drug. Supine (P<0.001) and standing (P<0.001) heart rates were significantly lower after propranolol compared with placebo. The symptom burden improvement from baseline to 2 hours was greater with propranolol than placebo (median, -4.5 versus 0 arbitrary units; P=0.044). In protocol 2, 18 patients with POTS underwent similar trials of high-dose (80 mg) versus low-dose (20 mg) propranolol. Although the high dose elicited a greater decrease than the low dose in standing heart rate (P<0.001) and orthostatic tachycardia (P<0.001), the improvement in symptoms at 2 hours was greater with low-dose propranolol (-6 versus -2 arbitrary units; P=0.041).
CONCLUSIONS - Low-dose oral propranolol significantly attenuated tachycardia and improved symptoms in POTS. Higher-dose propranolol did not further improve, and may worsen, symptoms.