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BACKGROUND - The striatum is abnormal in schizophrenia and possibly represents a common neurobiological mechanism underlying psychotic disorders. Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging studies have not reached a consensus regarding striatal dysconnectivity in schizophrenia, although these studies generally find impaired frontoparietal and salience network connectivity. The goal of the current study was to clarify the pattern of corticostriatal connectivity, including whether corticostriatal dysconnectivity is transdiagnostic and extends into psychotic bipolar disorder.
METHODS - We examined corticostriatal functional connectivity in 60 healthy subjects and 117 individuals with psychosis, including 77 with a schizophrenia spectrum illness and 40 with psychotic bipolar disorder. We conducted a cortical seed-based region-of-interest analysis with follow-up voxelwise analysis for any significant results. Further, a striatum seed-based analysis was conducted to examine group differences in connectivity between the striatum and the whole cortex.
RESULTS - Cortical region-of-interest analysis indicated that overall connectivity of the salience network with the striatum was reduced in psychotic disorders, which follow-up voxelwise analysis localized to the left putamen. Striatum seed-based analyses showed reduced ventral rostral putamen connectivity with the salience network portion of the medial prefrontal cortex in both schizophrenia and psychotic bipolar disorder.
CONCLUSIONS - The current study found evidence of transdiagnostic corticostriatal dysconnectivity in both schizophrenia and psychotic bipolar disorder, including reduced salience network connectivity, as well as reduced connectivity between the putamen and the medial prefrontal cortex. Overall, the current study points to the relative importance of salience network hypoconnectivity in psychotic disorders.
Copyright © 2019 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
In rodent and human brains, the small GTP-binding protein Rhes is highly expressed in virtually all dopaminoceptive striatal GABAergic medium spiny neurons, as well as in large aspiny cholinergic interneurons, where it is thought to modulate dopamine-dependent signaling. Consistent with this knowledge, and considering that dopaminergic neurotransmission is altered in neurological and psychiatric disorders, here we sought to investigate whether Rhes mRNA expression is altered in brain regions of patients with Parkinson's disease (PD), Schizophrenia (SCZ), and Bipolar Disorder (BD), when compared to healthy controls (about 200 post-mortem samples). Moreover, we performed the same analysis in the putamen of non-human primate Macaca Mulatta, lesioned with the neurotoxin 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP). Overall, our data indicated comparable Rhes mRNA levels in the brain of patients with SCZ and BD, and their respective healthy controls. In sharp contrast, the putamen of patients suffering from PD showed a significant 35% reduction of this transcript, compared to healthy subjects. Interestingly, in line with observations obtained in humans, we found 27% decrease in Rhes mRNA levels in the putamen of MPTP-treated primates. Based on the established inhibitory influence of Rhes on dopamine-related responses, we hypothesize that its striatal downregulation in PD patients and animal models of PD might represent an adaptive event of the dopaminergic system to functionally counteract the reduced nigrostriatal innervation.
Dopamine function is broadly implicated in multiple neuropsychiatric conditions believed to have a genetic basis. Although a few positron emission tomography (PET) studies have investigated the impact of single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the dopamine D2 receptor gene (DRD2) on D2/3 receptor availability (binding potential, BP), these studies have often been limited by small sample size. Furthermore, the most commonly studied SNP in D2/3 BP (Taq1A) is not located in the DRD2 gene itself, suggesting that its linkage with other DRD2 SNPs may explain previous PET findings. Here, in the largest PET genetic study to date (n=84), we tested for effects of the C957T and -141C Ins/Del SNPs (located within DRD2) as well as Taq1A on BP of the high-affinity D2 receptor tracer F-Fallypride. In a whole-brain voxelwise analysis, we found a positive linear effect of C957T T allele status on striatal BP bilaterally. The multilocus genetic scores containing C957T and one or both of the other SNPs produced qualitatively similar striatal results to C957T alone. The number of C957T T alleles predicted BP in anatomically defined putamen and ventral striatum (but not caudate) regions of interest, suggesting some regional specificity of effects in the striatum. By contrast, no significant effects arose in cortical regions. Taken together, our data support the critical role of C957T in striatal D2/3 receptor availability. This work has implications for a number of psychiatric conditions in which dopamine signaling and variation in C957T status have been implicated, including schizophrenia and substance use disorders.
Converging evidence links individual differences in mesolimbic and mesocortical dopamine (DA) to variation in the tendency to choose immediate rewards ("Now") over larger, delayed rewards ("Later"), or "Now bias." However, to date, no study of healthy young adults has evaluated the relationship between Now bias and DA with positron emission tomography (PET). Sixteen healthy adults (ages 24-34 yr; 50% women) completed a delay-discounting task that quantified aspects of intertemporal reward choice, including Now bias and reward magnitude sensitivity. Participants also underwent PET scanning with 6-[(18)F]fluoro-l-m-tyrosine (FMT), a radiotracer that measures DA synthesis capacity. Lower putamen FMT signal predicted elevated Now bias, a more rapidly declining discount rate with increasing delay time, and reduced willingness to accept low-interest-rate delayed rewards. In contrast, lower FMT signal in the midbrain predicted greater sensitivity to increasing magnitude of the Later reward. These data demonstrate that intertemporal reward choice in healthy humans varies with region-specific measures of DA processing, with regionally distinct associations with sensitivity to delay and to reward magnitude.
Prolonged treatment of Parkinson's disease (PD) with levodopa leads to disabling side effects collectively referred to as 'dyskinesias'. We hypothesized that bioenergetic function in the putamen might play a crucial role in the development of dyskinesias. To test this hypothesis, we used post mortem samples of the human putamen and applied real time-PCR approaches and gene expression microarrays. We found that mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) levels are decreased in patients who have developed dyskinesias, and mtDNA damage is concomitantly increased. These pathologies were not observed in PD subjects without signs of dyskinesias. The group of nuclear mRNA transcripts coding for the proteins of the mitochondrial electron transfer chain was decreased in patients with dyskinesias to a larger extent than in patients who had not developed dyskinesias. To examine whether dopamine fluctuations affect mtDNA levels in dopaminoceptive neurons, rat striatal neurons in culture were repeatedly exposed to levodopa, dopamine or their metabolites. MtDNA levels were reduced after treatment with dopamine, but not after treatment with dopamine metabolites. Levodopa led to an increase in mtDNA levels. We conclude that mitochondrial susceptibility in the putamen plays a role in the development of dyskinesias.
Research on dopamine (DA) transmission has emphasized the importance of increased phasic DA cell firing in the presence of unpredictable rewards. Using [(11)C]raclopride PET, we previously reported that DA transmission was both suppressed and enhanced in different regions of the striatum during an unpredictable reward task [Zald, D.H., Boileau, I., El Dearedy, W., Gunn, R., McGlone, F., Dichter, G.S. et al. (2004). Dopamine transmission in the human striatum during monetary reward tasks. J. Neurosci. 24, 4105-4112]. However, it was unclear if reductions in DA release during this task reflected a response to the high proportion of nonrewarding trials, and whether the behavioral demands of the task influenced the observed response. To test these issues, we presented 10 healthy subjects with an automated (passive) roulette wheel game in which the amount of reward and its timing were unpredictable and the rewarding trials greatly outnumbered the nonrewarding ones. As in the previous study, DA transmission in the putamen was significantly suppressed relative to a predictable control condition. A similar suppression occurred when subjects were presented with temporally unpredictable novel pictures and sounds. At present, models of DA functioning during reward do not account for this suppression, but given that it has been observed in two different studies using different reward paradigms, this phenomenon warrants attention. Neither the unpredictable reward nor the novelty conditions produced consistent increases in striatal DA transmission. These data suggest that active behavioral engagement may be necessary to observe robust statewise increases in DA release in the striatum.
The integrated T(1)-T(2) characteristics of rat brain and trigeminal nerve water were studied in vivo using a rapid method for acquiring a series of images that depend on T(1) and T(2) relaxation times. Gray matter regions showed only one signal component in both the T(1) and T(2) domains. Trigeminal nerve, however, which has been shown previously to exhibit three T(2) components, was found to also exhibit three T(1) components. The correlations between these T(1) and T(2) components were demonstrated by uniquely filtering out each of the three T(2) components using an inversion-recovery preparation, as determined by the component T(1) values. Based on previous works, it is postulated that each of these three signal components is derived from a unique microanatomical region of the nerve. Knowledge of these T(1) components may thus prove valuable in devising novel methods of identifying the presence and quantifying the volume of tissue subtypes such as myelin.
Copyright 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
BACKGROUND - Previous studies have provided preliminary serological evidence supporting the theory that symptoms of tic disorders or obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) may be sequelae of prior streptococcal infection. It is unclear, however, whether previously reported associations with streptococcal infection were obscured by the presence of diagnostic comorbidities. It is also unknown whether streptococcal infection is associated in vivo with anatomical alterations of the brain structures that have been implicated in the pathophysiology of these disorders.
METHODS - Antistreptococcal antibody titers were measured in 105 people diagnosed as having CTD, OCD, or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and in 37 community controls without a disorder. Subjects were unselected with regard to their history of streptococcal exposure. Basal ganglia volumes were measured in 113 of these subjects (79 patients and 34 controls).
RESULTS - A DSM-IV diagnosis of ADHD was associated significantly with titers of 2 distinct antistreptococcal antibodies, antistreptolysin O and anti-deoxyribonuclease B. These associations remained significant after controlling for the effects of CTD and OCD comorbidity. No significant association was seen between antibody titers and a diagnosis of either CTD or OCD. When basal ganglia volumes were included in these analyses, the relationships between antibody titers and basal ganglia volumes were significantly different in OCD and ADHD subjects compared with other diagnostic groups. Higher antibody titers in these subjects were associated with larger volumes of the putamen and globus pallidus nuclei.
CONCLUSIONS - These findings suggest that the prior reports of an association between antistreptococcal antibodies and either CTD or OCD may have been confounded by the presence of ADHD. They also support the hypothesis that in susceptible persons who have ADHD or OCD, chronic or recurrent streptococcal infections are associated with structural alterations in basal ganglia nuclei.
Recent studies have reported that acute administration of dopamine D2 receptor antagonists increases expression of the immediate early gene c-fos in the rat striatal complex. There have been no corresponding studies of the effects of D2 antagonists in primate species. Since all clinically effective antipsychotic drugs share D2 receptor antagonism, it is important to define the extent to which these drugs may alter expression of c-fos or its protein product, Fos, in primates. We therefore examined the effects of administration of two D2 receptor antagonists, haloperidol and metoclopramide, on Fos expression in the striatum and temporal cortices of the vervet monkey. Metoclopramide does not appear to possess significant antipsychotic efficacy but potently produces extra-pyramidal side effects, while haloperidol is an effective antipsychotic drug that produces extrapyramidal side effects. Both drugs increased the number of Fos-like immunoreactive (Fos-li) neurons in the caudate nucleus and putamen; the numbers of Fos-li neurons in these regions were increased in both the patch and matrix compartments. Haloperidol but not metoclopramide increased the number of Fos-li neurons in the nucleus accumbens shell. Similarly, haloperidol but not metoclopramide increased the number of Fos-li neurons in the entorhinal cortex. Neither drug altered Fos expression in the inferior temporal cortex. These data suggest that the dorsolateral caudate nucleus and putamen may be sites at which D2 receptor antagonists elicit extrapyramidal side effects, and the nucleus accumbens shell and entorhinal cortex may be loci at which the therapeutic actions of antipsychotic drugs are manifested.
Recent imaging studies in Tourette's syndrome (TS) have reported a loss of normal asymmetry in basal ganglia volumes. Our recent report of reduced midline sagittal cross-sectional area in TS suggests that altered lateralization may be widespread throughout the TS cerebrum. We report here our analyses of cerebral asymmetries of T2 (transverse or spin-spin) relaxation times derived from multi-echo/multi-planar/spin-echo magnetic resonance images in 14 adult TS subjects and 14 matched normal control subjects. T2 relaxation times were found to be asymmetric throughout the cerebrum of normal control subjects, with differences seen between T2 times of corresponding regions of both cerebral hemispheres that were small in magnitude (2-5%) but of a high degree of statistical significance in all regions examined. Our hypothesis of altered T2 relaxation time asymmetries in TS was confirmed in a multivariate analysis of variance, with post hoc analyses suggesting that group differences were attributable to specific asymmetry differences in the TS insular cortex and frontal white matter. Exploratory analyses revealed group differences in T2 times of the amygdala and red nucleus, as well as significantly lower ferritin levels in the TS group. These findings are discussed in relation to the previous TS volumetric studies, and the tissue characteristics that might produce normal and abnormal relaxation time asymmetries are considered.