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Cytochrome P450 46A1 (CYP46A1, cholesterol 24-hydroxylase) is the enzyme responsible for the majority of cholesterol elimination from the brain. Previously, we found that the anti-HIV drug efavirenz (EFV) can pharmacologically activate CYP46A1 in mice. Herein, we investigated whether CYP46A1 could also be activated by endogenous compounds, including major neurotransmitters. experiments with purified recombinant CYP46A1 indicated that CYP46A1 is activated by l-glutamate (l-Glu), l-aspartate, γ-aminobutyric acid, and acetylcholine, with l-Glu eliciting the highest increase (3-fold) in CYP46A1-mediated cholesterol 24-hydroxylation. We also found that l-Glu and other activating neurotransmitters bind to the same site on the CYP46A1 surface, which differs from the EFV-binding site. The other principal differences between EFV and l-Glu in CYP46A1 activation include an apparent lack of l-Glu binding to the P450 active site and different pathways of signal transduction from the allosteric site to the active site. EFV and l-Glu similarly increased the CYP46A1 , the rate of the "fast" phase of the enzyme reduction by the redox partner NADPH-cytochrome P450 oxidoreductase, and the amount of P450 reduced. Spectral titrations with cholesterol, in the presence of EFV or l-Glu, suggest that water displacement from the heme iron can be affected in activator-bound CYP46A1. Moreover, EFV and l-Glu synergistically activated CYP46A1. Collectively, our data, along with those from previous cell culture and studies by others, suggest that l-Glu-induced CYP46A1 activation is of physiological relevance.
© 2017 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.
Current efforts to repair damaged or diseased mammalian retinas are inefficient and largely incapable of fully restoring vision. Conversely, the zebrafish retina is capable of spontaneous regeneration upon damage using Müller glia (MG)-derived progenitors. Understanding how zebrafish MG initiate regeneration may help develop new treatments that prompt mammalian retinas to regenerate. We show that inhibition of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) signaling facilitates initiation of MG proliferation. GABA levels decrease following damage, and MG are positioned to detect decreased ambient levels and undergo dedifferentiation. Using pharmacological and genetic approaches, we demonstrate that GABA receptor inhibition stimulates regeneration in undamaged retinas while activation inhibits regeneration in damaged retinas.
Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Numerous compounds stimulate rodent β-cell proliferation; however, translating these findings to human β-cells remains a challenge. To examine human β-cell proliferation in response to such compounds, we developed a medium-throughput in vitro method of quantifying adult human β-cell proliferation markers. This method is based on high-content imaging of dispersed islet cells seeded in 384-well plates and automated cell counting that identifies fluorescently labeled β-cells with high specificity using both nuclear and cytoplasmic markers. β-Cells from each donor were assessed for their function and ability to enter the cell cycle by cotransduction with adenoviruses encoding cell cycle regulators cdk6 and cyclin D3. Using this approach, we tested 12 previously identified mitogens, including neurotransmitters, hormones, growth factors, and molecules, involved in adenosine and Tgf-1β signaling. Each compound was tested in a wide concentration range either in the presence of basal (5 mM) or high (11 mM) glucose. Treatment with the control compound harmine, a Dyrk1a inhibitor, led to a significant increase in Ki-67 β-cells, whereas treatment with other compounds had limited to no effect on human β-cell proliferation. This new scalable approach reduces the time and effort required for sensitive and specific evaluation of human β-cell proliferation, thus allowing for increased testing of candidate human β-cell mitogens.
During development GABA and glycine synapses are initially excitatory before they gradually become inhibitory. This transition is due to a developmental increase in the activity of neuronal potassium-chloride cotransporter 2 (KCC2), which shifts the chloride equilibrium potential (ECl) to values more negative than the resting membrane potential. While the role of early GABA and glycine depolarizations in neuronal development has become increasingly clear, the role of the transition to hyperpolarization in synapse maturation and circuit refinement has remained an open question. Here we investigated this question by examining the maturation and developmental refinement of GABA/glycinergic and glutamatergic synapses in the lateral superior olive (LSO), a binaural auditory brain stem nucleus, in KCC2-knockdown mice, in which GABA and glycine remain depolarizing. We found that many key events in the development of synaptic inputs to the LSO, such as changes in neurotransmitter phenotype, strengthening and elimination of GABA/glycinergic connection, and maturation of glutamatergic synapses, occur undisturbed in KCC2-knockdown mice compared with wild-type mice. These results indicate that maturation of inhibitory and excitatory synapses in the LSO is independent of the GABA and glycine depolarization-to-hyperpolarization transition.
Copyright © 2016 the American Physiological Society.
Transgenic mouse lines are essential tools for understanding the connectivity, physiology and function of neuronal circuits, including those in the retina. This report compares transgene expression in the retina of a tyrosine hydroxylase (TH)-red fluorescent protein (RFP) mouse line with three catecholamine-related Cre recombinase mouse lines [TH-bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC)-, TH-, and dopamine transporter (DAT)-Cre] that were crossed with a ROSA26-tdTomato reporter line. Retinas were evaluated and immunostained with commonly used antibodies including those directed to TH, GABA and glycine to characterize the RFP or tdTomato fluorescent-labeled amacrine cells, and an antibody directed to RNA-binding protein with multiple splicing to identify ganglion cells. In TH-RFP retinas, types 1 and 2 dopamine (DA) amacrine cells were identified by their characteristic cellular morphology and type 1 DA cells by their expression of TH immunoreactivity. In the TH-BAC-, TH-, and DAT-tdTomato retinas, less than 1%, ∼ 6%, and 0%, respectively, of the fluorescent cells were the expected type 1 DA amacrine cells. Instead, in the TH-BAC-tdTomato retinas, fluorescently labeled AII amacrine cells were predominant, with some medium diameter ganglion cells. In TH-tdTomato retinas, fluorescence was in multiple neurochemical amacrine cell types, including four types of polyaxonal amacrine cells. In DAT-tdTomato retinas, fluorescence was in GABA immunoreactive amacrine cells, including two types of bistratified and two types of monostratified amacrine cells. Although each of the Cre lines was generated with the intent to specifically label DA cells, our findings show a cellular diversity in Cre expression in the adult retina and indicate the importance of careful characterization of transgene labeling patterns. These mouse lines with their distinctive cellular labeling patterns will be useful tools for future studies of retinal function and visual processing.
Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Manganese (Mn) is an essential trace element necessary for physiological processes that support development, growth and neuronal function. Secondary to elevated exposure or decreased excretion, Mn accumulates in the basal ganglia region of the brain and may cause a parkinsonian-like syndrome, referred to as manganism. The present review discusses the advances made in understanding the essentiality and neurotoxicity of Mn. We review occupational Mn-induced parkinsonism and the dynamic modes of Mn transport in biological systems, as well as the detection and pharmacokinetic modeling of Mn trafficking. In addition, we review some of the shared similarities, pathologic and clinical distinctions between Mn-induced parkinsonism and Parkinson's disease. Where possible, we review the influence of Mn toxicity on dopamine, gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA), and glutamate neurotransmitter levels and function. We conclude with a survey of the preventive and treatment strategies for manganism and idiopathic Parkinson's disease (PD).
The nucleus accumbens is highly heterogeneous, integrating regionally distinct afferent projections and accumbal interneurons, resulting in diverse local microenvironments. Dopamine (DA) neuron terminals similarly express a heterogeneous collection of terminal receptors that modulate DA signaling. Cyclic voltammetry is often used to probe DA terminal dynamics in brain slice preparations; however, this method traditionally requires electrical stimulation to induce DA release. Electrical stimulation excites all of the neuronal processes in the stimulation field, potentially introducing simultaneous, multi-synaptic modulation of DA terminal release. We used optogenetics to selectively stimulate DA terminals and used voltammetry to compare DA responses from electrical and optical stimulation of the same area of tissue around a recording electrode. We found that with multiple pulse stimulation trains, optically stimulated DA release increasingly exceeded that of electrical stimulation. Furthermore, electrical stimulation produced inhibition of DA release across longer duration stimulations. The GABAB antagonist, CGP 55845, increased electrically stimulated DA release significantly more than light stimulated release. The nicotinic acetylcholine receptor antagonist, dihydro-β-erythroidine hydrobromide, inhibited single pulse electrically stimulated DA release while having no effect on optically stimulated DA release. Our results demonstrate that electrical stimulation introduces local multi-synaptic modulation of DA release that is absent with optogenetically targeted stimulation.
© 2015 International Society for Neurochemistry.
The central amygdala is a critical brain region for many aspects of alcohol dependence. Much of the work examining the mechanisms by which the central amygdala mediates the development of alcohol dependence has focused on the interaction of acute and chronic ethanol with central amygdala corticotropin releasing factor signaling. This work has led to a great deal of success in furthering the general understanding of central amygdala neurocircuitry and its role in alcohol dependence. Much of this work has primarily focused on the hypothesis that ethanol utilizes endogenous corticotropin releasing factor signaling to upregulate inhibitory GABAergic transmission in the central amygdala. Work that is more recent suggests that corticotropin releasing factor also plays an important role in mediating anxiety-like behaviors via the enhancement of central amygdala glutamatergic transmission, implying that ethanol/corticotropin releasing factor interactions may modulate excitatory neurotransmission in this brain region. In addition, a number of studies utilizing optogenetic strategies or transgenic mouse lines have begun to examine specific central amygdala neurocircuit dynamics and neuronal subpopulations to better understand overall central amygdala neurocircuitry and the role of neuronal subtypes in mediating anxiety-like behaviors. This review will provide a brief update on this literature and describe some potential future directions that may be important for the development of better treatments for alcohol addiction.
Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Schizophrenia is associated with abnormalities of hippocampal structure and function. Neuroimaging studies have shown that the hippocampus is hyperactive in schizophrenia. Here we explore GABAergic mechanisms of this hippocampal hyperactivity. The initial evidence for GABAergic abnormalities of the hippocampus in schizophrenia came from post-mortem studies of interneuron number, protein expression, and gene expression. These studies revealed marked decreases in gene and protein expression of somatostatin-positive and parvalbumin-positive interneurons, and indicated reduced interneuron numbers. Animal studies of decreased parvalbumin and NMDA-receptor function have shown that selective abnormalities of hippocampal interneurons mimic some of the cognitive deficits and clinical features of schizophrenia. The post-mortem and animal studies are consistent with the neuroimaging finding of increased hippocampal activity in schizophrenia, which can explain some of the psychotic symptoms and cognitive deficits. Taken together, these findings may guide the development of biomarkers and the development of new treatments for psychosis.
Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
PPARγ is one of the three isoforms identified for the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) and is the receptor for the thiazolidinedione class of anti-diabetic medications including pioglitazone. PPARγ has been long studied for its role in adipogenesis and glucose metabolism, but the discovery of the localization in ventral tegmental area (VTA) neurons opens new vistas for a potential role in the regulation of reward processing and motivated behavior in drug addiction. Here, we demonstrate that activation of PPARγ by pioglitazone reduces the motivation for heroin and attenuates its rewarding properties. These effects are associated with a marked reduction of heroin-induced increase in phosphorylation of DARPP-32 protein in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) and with a marked and selective reduction of acute heroin-induced elevation of extracellular dopamine (DA) levels in the NAc shell, as measured by in vivo microdialysis. Through ex vivo electrophysiology in acute midbrain slices, we also show that stimulation of PPARγ attenuates opioid-induced excitation of VTA DA neurons via reduction of presynaptic GABA release from the rostromedial tegmental nucleus (RMTg). Consistent with this finding, site-specific microinjection of pioglitazone into the RMTg but not into the VTA reduced heroin taking. Our data illustrate that activation of PPARγ may represent a new pharmacotherapeutic option for the treatment of opioid addiction.