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Depression and anxiety are the most common psychiatric disorders, representing a major public health concern. Dysregulation of oxidative and inflammatory systems may be associated with psychiatric disorders, such as depression and anxiety. Due to the need to find appropriate animal models to the understanding of such disorders, we queried whether 2 BXD recombinant inbred (RI) mice strains (BXD21/TyJ RI and BXD84/RwwJ RI mice) and C57BL/6 wild-type mice show differential performance in depression and anxiety related behaviors and biomarkers. Specifically, we assessed social preference, elevated plus maze, forced swim, and Von Frey tests at 3-4 months-of-age, as well as activation of cytokines and antioxidant mRNA levels in the cortex at 7 months-of-age. We report that (1) the BXD84/RwwJ RI strain exhibits anxiety disorder and social avoidance-like behavior (2) BXD21/TyJ RI strain shows a resistance to depression illness, and (3) sex-dependent cytokine profiles and allodynia with elevated inflammatory activity were inherent to male BXD21/TyJ RI mice. In conclusion, we provide novel data in favor of the use of BXD recombinant inbred mice to further understand anxiety and depression disorders.
Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Early-life inflammation has been shown to exert profound effects on brain development and behavior, including altered emotional behavior, stress responsivity and neurochemical/neuropeptide receptor expression and function. The current study extends this research by examining the impact of inflammation, triggered with the bacterial compound lipopolysaccharide (LPS) on postnatal day (P) 14, on social behavior during adolescence. We investigated the role that the endocannabinoid (eCB) system plays in sociability after early-life LPS. To test this, multiple cohorts of Sprague Dawley rats were injected with LPS on P14. In adolescence, rats were subjected to behavioral testing in a reciprocal social interaction paradigm as well as the open field. We quantified eCB levels in the amygdala of P14 and adolescent animals (anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol) as well as adolescent amygdaloid cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) binding site density and the hydrolytic activity of the enzyme fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), which metabolizes the eCB anandamide. Additionally, we examined the impact of FAAH inhibition on alterations in social behavior. Our results indicate that P14 LPS decreases adolescent social behavior (play and social non-play) in males and females at P40. This behavioral alteration is accompanied by decreased CB1 binding, increased anandamide levels and increased FAAH activity. Oral administration of the FAAH inhibitor PF-04457845 (1mg/kg) prior to the social interaction task normalizes LPS-induced alterations in social behavior, while not affecting social behavior in the control group. Infusion of 10ng PF-04457845 into the basolateral amygdala normalized social behavior in LPS injected females. These data suggest that alterations in eCB signaling following postnatal inflammation contribute to impairments in social behavior during adolescence and that inhibition of FAAH could be a novel target for disorders involving social deficits such as social anxiety disorders or autism.
Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Oxytocin is a neuropeptide important for social behaviors such as maternal care and parent-infant bonding. It is believed that oxytocin receptor signaling in the brain is critical for these behaviors, but it is unknown precisely when and where oxytocin receptors are expressed or which neural circuits are directly sensitive to oxytocin. To overcome this challenge, we generated specific antibodies to the mouse oxytocin receptor and examined receptor expression throughout the brain. We identified a distributed network of female mouse brain regions for maternal behaviors that are especially enriched for oxytocin receptors, including the piriform cortex, the left auditory cortex, and CA2 of the hippocampus. Electron microscopic analysis of the cerebral cortex revealed that oxytocin receptors were mainly expressed at synapses, as well as on axons and glial processes. Functionally, oxytocin transiently reduced synaptic inhibition in multiple brain regions and enabled long-term synaptic plasticity in the auditory cortex. Thus modulation of inhibition may be a general mechanism by which oxytocin can act throughout the brain to regulate parental behaviors and social cognition.
Copyright © 2016 the authors 0270-6474/16/362517-19$15.00/0.
Face recognition is fundamental to successful social interaction. Individuals with deficits in face recognition are likely to have social functioning impairments that may lead to heightened risk for social anxiety. A critical component of social interaction is how quickly a face is learned during initial exposure to a new individual. Here, we used a novel Repeated Faces task to assess how quickly memory for faces is established. Face recognition was measured over multiple exposures in 52 young adults ranging from low to high in social inhibition, a core dimension of social anxiety. High social inhibition was associated with a smaller slope of change in recognition memory over repeated face exposure, indicating participants with higher social inhibition showed smaller improvements in recognition memory after seeing faces multiple times. We propose that impaired face learning is an important mechanism underlying social inhibition and may contribute to, or maintain, social anxiety.
Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
Eusocial insects organize themselves into behavioral castes whose regulation has been proposed to involve epigenetic processes, including histone modification. In the carpenter ant Camponotus floridanus, morphologically distinct worker castes called minors and majors exhibit pronounced differences in foraging and scouting behaviors. We found that these behaviors are regulated by histone acetylation likely catalyzed by the conserved acetyltransferase CBP. Transcriptome and chromatin analysis in brains of scouting minors fed pharmacological inhibitors of CBP and histone deacetylases (HDACs) revealed hundreds of genes linked to hyperacetylated regions targeted by CBP. Majors rarely forage, but injection of a HDAC inhibitor or small interfering RNAs against the HDAC Rpd3 into young major brains induced and sustained foraging in a CBP-dependent manner. Our results suggest that behavioral plasticity in animals may be regulated in an epigenetic manner via histone modification.
Copyright © 2016, American Association for the Advancement of Science.
OBJECTIVE - Major lower extremity (MLE) amputation is a common procedure that results in a profound change in a patient's life. We sought to determine the association between social support and outcomes after amputation. We hypothesized that patients with greater social support will have better post amputation outcomes.
METHODS - From November 2011 to May 2013, we conducted a cross-sectional, observational, multicenter study. Social integration was measured by the social integration subset of the Short Form Craig Handicap Assessment and Reporting Technique. Systemic social support was assessed by comparing a United States and Tanzanian population. Walking function was measured using the 6-minute walk test and quality of life (QoL) was measured using the EuroQol-5D.
RESULTS - We recruited 102 MLE amputees. Sixty-three patients were enrolled in the United States with a mean age of 58.0. Forty-two (67%) were male. Patients with low social integration were more likely to be unable to ambulate (no walk 39% vs slow walk 23% vs fast walk 10%; P = .01) and those with high social integration were more likely to be fast walkers (no walk 10% vs slow walk 59% vs fast walk 74%; P = .01). This relationship persisted in a multivariable analysis. Increasing social integration scores were also positively associated with increasing QoL scores in a multivariable analysis (β, .002; standard error, 0.0008; P = .02). In comparing the United States population with the Tanzanian cohort (39 subjects), there were no differences between functional or QoL outcomes in the systemic social support analysis.
CONCLUSIONS - In the United States population, increased social integration is associated with both improved function and QoL outcomes among MLE amputees. Systemic social support, as measured by comparing the United States population with a Tanzanian population, was not associated with improved function or QoL outcomes. In the United States, steps should be taken to identify and aid amputees with poor social integration.
Copyright © 2016 Society for Vascular Surgery. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
The sophisticated organization of eusocial insect societies is largely based on the regulation of complex behaviors by hydrocarbon pheromones present on the cuticle. We used electrophysiology to investigate the detection of cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs) by female-specific olfactory sensilla basiconica on the antenna of Camponotus floridanus ants through the utilization of one of the largest family of odorant receptors characterized so far in insects. These sensilla, each of which contains multiple olfactory receptor neurons, are differentially sensitive to CHCs and allow them to be classified into three broad groups that collectively detect every hydrocarbon tested, including queen and worker-enriched CHCs. This broad-spectrum sensitivity is conserved in a related species, Camponotus laevigatus, allowing these ants to detect CHCs from both nestmates and non-nestmates. Behavioral assays demonstrate that these ants are excellent at discriminating CHCs detected by the antenna, including enantiomers of a candidate queen pheromone that regulates the reproductive division of labor.
Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Eusocial insects, mostly Hymenoptera, have evolved unique colonial lifestyles that rely on the perception of social context mainly through pheromones, and chemoreceptors are hypothesized to have played important adaptive roles in the evolution of sociality. However, because chemoreceptor repertoires have been characterized in few social insects and their solitary relatives, a comprehensive examination of this hypothesis has not been possible. Here, we annotate ∼3,000 odorant and gustatory receptors in recently sequenced Hymenoptera genomes and systematically compare >4,000 chemoreceptors from 13 hymenopterans, representing one solitary lineage (wasps) and three independently evolved eusocial lineages (ants and two bees). We observe a strong general tendency for chemoreceptors to expand in Hymenoptera, whereas the specifics of gene gains/losses are highly diverse between lineages. We also find more frequent positive selection on chemoreceptors in a facultative eusocial bee and in the common ancestor of ants compared with solitary wasps. Our results suggest that the frequent expansions of chemoreceptors have facilitated the transition to eusociality. Divergent expression patterns of odorant receptors between honeybee and ants further indicate differential roles of chemoreceptors in parallel trajectories of social evolution.
© The Author(s) 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.
Schizophrenia patients exhibit deficits in signaling of the M1 subtype of muscarinic acetylcholine receptor (mAChR) in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and also display impaired cortical long-term depression (LTD). We report that selective activation of the M1 mAChR subtype induces LTD in PFC and that this response is completely lost after repeated administration of phencyclidine (PCP), a mouse model of schizophrenia. Furthermore, discovery of a novel, systemically active M1 positive allosteric modulator (PAM), VU0453595, allowed us to evaluate the impact of selective potentiation of M1 on induction of LTD and behavioral deficits in PCP-treated mice. Interestingly, VU0453595 fully restored impaired LTD as well as deficits in cognitive function and social interaction in these mice. These results provide critical new insights into synaptic changes that may contribute to behavioral deficits in this mouse model and support a role for selective M1 PAMs as a novel approach for the treatment of schizophrenia.
BACKGROUND - Social impairments are a hallmark feature of schizophrenia and are a key predictor of functional disability. Deficits in social information processing likely underlie social impairment; however, this relationship is understudied. We previously demonstrated that patients with schizophrenia fail to habituate to neutral faces, providing evidence for an alteration in basic social information processing. It remains unknown whether patients with schizophrenia also show deficits in processing of more complex social information. Out-group bias provides an excellent opportunity to test complex social information processing because the bias requires basic face processing skills, the ability to discriminate between groups, as well as the ability to categorize oneself into a salient social group.
METHODS - Study participants were 23 patients with schizophrenia and 21 controls. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, habituation of response to 120 s of repeated presentations of faces was assessed in participants who viewed either same-gender faces or opposite-gender faces. The interaction between face gender (same/opposite) and group was examined in three key regions: amygdala, hippocampus, and visual cortex. Social impairment was measured using the PANSS and correlations between social impairment and out-group effect (main effect of face type) were performed in patients.
RESULTS - Patients with schizophrenia had aberrant neural responses to opposite-gender faces (interaction, p<.05 corrected). Healthy controls showed an immediate heightened response to opposite-gender faces relative to same-gender faces; but in patients this effect was substantially delayed (~70s). In patients with schizophrenia, the out-group bias was significantly correlated with social impairment. Patients with no social impairment showed a heightened neural response to opposite-gender faces after 30s, whereas patients with mild-moderate social impairment failed to ever show a heightened response.
CONCLUSION - Alterations in neural responses during out-group processing predicted degree of social impairment in patients with schizophrenia; thus, neural responses to opposite-gender faces may provide a novel measure for studies of treatment response and disease outcome.
Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.