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  • Adolescent Cannabis Exposure Increases Heroin Reinforcement In Rats Genetically Vulnerable To Addiction
    Neuropharmacology (IF 4.367) Pub Date : 2020-01-22
    Daniele Lecca; Andrea Scifo; Augusta Pisanu; Valentina Valentini; Giovanna Piras; Annesha Sil; Cristina Cadoni; Gaetano Di Chiara

    On the basis of epidemiological studies it has been proposed that cannabis use plays a causal role in the abuse of highly addictive drugs (Gateway Hypothesis). However, epidemiological studies are intrinsically unable to provide evidence of causality. Experimental studies can provide this evidence but they are feasible only in animal models and to date such evidence is lacking. In view of the importance of genetic factors in drug abuse, we investigated the influence of adolescent cannabis exposure on adult heroin reinforcement in two inbred rat strains differentially vulnerable to drugs of abuse, addiction prone Lewis (LEW) and addiction resistant Fischer 344 (F344) strains. Male LEW and F344 rats aged six weeks were exposed to increasing Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) doses, twice a day for 3 days (2, 4, 8 mg/kg, i.p.). At adulthood they were allowed to self-administer heroin (0.025 mg/kg) under both Fixed- (FR) and Progressive- (PR) ratio schedules of responding. Following extinction, responding was reinstated by drug-cues and/or by heroin priming. THC pre-exposure increased responding for heroin and heroin intake under FR-3 and FR-5 as well as PR protocols and increased breaking point in PR schedules in LEW but not F344 rats. Drug cues and heroin priming reinstated responding in LEW and F344, but THC pre-exposure increased reinstatement by priming in LEW rats and by cues in F344 rats. These observations show that in genetically predisposed individuals, adolescent cannabis exposure increases heroin reinforcing properties, thus providing a mechanism for a causal role of adolescent cannabis use in heroin abuse.

  • Anxiogenesis induced by social defeat in male mice: Role of nitric oxide, NMDA, and CRF1 receptors in the medial prefrontal cortex and BNST
    Neuropharmacology (IF 4.367) Pub Date : 2020-01-21
    M.P. Faria; C.F. Laverde; R.L. Nunes-de-Souza

    Nitric oxide (NO) release in the right medial prefrontal cortex (RmPFC) produces anxiogenesis. In the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST), a region that receives neuronal projections from the mPFC, NO provokes anxiety, an effect that is blocked by local injections of corticotrophin-releasing factor type 1 receptor (CRF1) or n-methyl-d-aspartate receptor (NMDAr) antagonist. Anxiety is also enhanced by social defeat stress, and chronic stress impairs and facilitates, respectively, PFC and BNST roles in modulating behavioral responses to aversive situations. This study investigated whether the (i) chronic social defeat stress (CSDS) increases NO signaling in the mPFC; and/or (ii) anxiogenic effects provoked by the intra-RmPFC injection of NOC-9 (an NO donor) or by CSDS are prevented by intra-BNST injections of AP-7 (0.05 nmol) or CP 376395 (3.0 nmol), respectively, NMDAr and CRF1 antagonists, in male Swiss-Webster mice exposed to the elevated plus-maze (EPM). Results showed that (a) CSDS increased anxiety (i.e., reduced open-arm exploration) and repeatedly activated nNOS-containing neurons, as measured by ΔFosB (a stable nonspecific marker of neural activity) + nNOS double-labeling, in the right (but not left) mPFC, (b) NOC-9 in the RmPFC also increased anxiety, and (c) both CSDS and NOC-9 effects were reversed by injections of AP-7 or CP 376395 into the BNST. These results suggest that NMDA and CRF1 receptors located in BNST play an important role in the modulation of anxiety provoked by NO in the RmPFC, as well as by chronic social defeat in mice.

  • Personalized medicine in genetic epilepsies – possibilities, challenges, and new frontiers
    Neuropharmacology (IF 4.367) Pub Date : 2020-01-20
    Ingo Helbig; Colin A. Ellis

    Identifying the optimal treatment based on specific characteristics of each patient is the main promise of precision medicine. In the field of epilepsy, the identification of more than 100 causative genes provides the enticing possibility of treatments targeted to specific disease etiologies. These conditions include classical examples, such as the use of vitamin B6 in antiquitin deficiency or the ketogenic diet in GLUT1 deficiency, where the disease mechanism can be directly addressed by the selection of a specific therapeutic compound. For epilepsies caused by channelopathies there have been advances in understanding how the selection of existing medications can be targeted to the functional consequences of genetic alterations. We discuss the examples of the use of sodium channel blockers such as phenytoin and oxcarbazepine in the sodium channelopathies, quinidine in KCNT1-related epilepsies, and strategies in GRIN-related epilepsies as examples of epilepsy precision medicine. Assessing the clinical response to targeted treatments of these conditions has been complicated by genetic and phenotypic heterogeneity, as well as by various neurological and non-neurological comorbidities. Moving forward, the development of standardized outcome measures will be critical to successful precision medicine trials in complex and heterogeneous disorders like the epilepsies. Finally, we address new frontiers in epilepsy precision medicine, including the need to match the growing volume of genetic data with high-throughput functional assays to assess the functional consequences of genetic variants and the ability to extract clinical data at large scale from electronic medical records and apply quantitative methods based on standardized phenotyping language.

  • Therapeutic potential of serotonin 4 receptor for chronic depression and its associated comorbidity in the gut
    Neuropharmacology (IF 4.367) Pub Date : 2020-01-20
    Lokesh Agrawal; Mustafa Korkutata; Sunil Kumar Vimal; Manoj Kumar Yadav; Sanjib Bhattacharyya; Takashi Shiga

    The latest estimates from world health organization suggest that more than 450 million people are suffering from depression and other psychiatric conditions. Of these, 50-60% have been reported to have progression of gut diseases. In the last two decades, researchers introduced incipient physiological roles for serotonin (5-HT) receptors (5-HTRs), suggesting their importance as a potential pharmacological target in various psychiatric and gut diseases. A growing body of evidence suggests that 5-HT systems affect the brain-gut axis in depressive patients, which leads to gut comorbidity. Recently, preclinical trials of 5-HT4R agonists and antagonists were promising as antipsychotic and prokinetic agents. In the current review, we address the possible pharmacological role and contribution of 5-HT4R in the pathophysiology of chronic depression and associated gut abnormalities. Physiologically, during depression episodes, centers of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system couple together with neuroendocrine systems to alter the function of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and enteric nervous system (ENS), which in turn leads to onset of gastrointestinal tract (GIT) disorders. Consecutively, the ENS governs a broad spectrum of physiological activities of gut, such as visceral pain and motility. During the stages of emotional stress, hyperactivity of the HPA axis alters the ENS response to physiological and noxious stimuli. Consecutively, stress-induced flare, swelling, hyperalgesia and altered reflexes in gut eventually lead to GIT disorders. In summary, the current review provides prospective information about the role and mechanism of 5-HT4R-based therapeutics for the treatment of depressive disorder and possible consequences for the gut via brain-gut axis interactions.

  • Confronting the opioid crisis with basic research in neuropharmacology
    Neuropharmacology (IF 4.367) Pub Date : 2020-01-17
    M.H. Baumann; G.W. Pasternak; S.S. Negus

    Opioid medications are widely prescribed to alleviate pain and suffering for millions of patients, but the utility of these drugs is limited by serious adverse effects including abuse liability, dependence, and overdose. At present, the non-medical (i.e., recreational) abuse of opioids is a worldwide public health threat. In the United States alone, more than 47,000 opioid-related overdose deaths occurred during 2017 (Scholl et al., 2018), and most of these fatalities were associated with synthetic opioids, especially fentanyl and its various analogs. Fentanyl is a mu-opioid receptor (MOP) agonist that is 50-100 times more potent than morphine as an analgesic agent. The origins of the current opioid crisis are complex, and effective solutions will require multidisciplinary cooperation among law enforcement personnel, first responders, treatment providers, policymakers, and scientists (Madras, 2018). To this end, basic research in pharmacology can provide critical information for addressing the opioid crisis (Baumann et al., 2018). In this Special Issue of Neuropharmacology, entitled “New Vistas in Opioid Pharmacology”, we bring together an international panel of experts who report research findings related to three topics: 1] neuropharmacology of heroin, fentanyl and its analogs; 2] development of safer pain medications; and 3] novel pharmacotherapies for substance use disorders.

  • Constitutive activity of 5-HT receptors: Factual analysis
    Neuropharmacology (IF 4.367) Pub Date : 2020-01-17
    Philippe De Deurwaerdère; Rahul Bharatiya; Abdeslam Chagraoui; Giuseppe Di Giovanni

    The constitutive activity of different serotonin receptors (5-HTRs) toward intracellular signaling pathways has been proposed to have physiological and pathological importance. Inverse agonists block the constitutive activity and can be used to probe and silence such a spontaneous activity. The constitutive activity of 5-HTRs can be observed in various heterologous systems of expression in vitro (very high for 5-HT2CR; very low for 5-HT2AR). The demonstration of the existence of this activity in native tissues and ultimately in integrative neurobiology and behavior is a real pharmacological challenge. Irrespective of the existence of mutants or polymorphisms that could alter the constitutive activity of 5-HTRs, evidence suggests that spontaneous activity of 5-HT2CR could impact the activity of neurobiological networks and that of 5-HT6R and 5-HT7R the developmental morphogenesis. Some findings exist for 5-HT2BR and 5-HT2AR in diverse though rare conditions. The existence of a constitutive activity for 5-HT1AR, 5-HT1B/1DR, and 5-HT4R is still poorly supported. When identified, the constitutive activity may differ according to brain location, state of activity (phasic in nature), and intracellular signaling pathways. A very few studies have reported aberrant constitutive activity of 5-HTRs in animal models of human diseases and patients. The purpose of this review is a critical examination of the available neuropharmacological data on the constitutive activity of 5-HTRs to determine whether this activity is an essential component of the serotonergic system transmission and it may be a possible target for CNS drug development.

  • Monoacylglycerol lipase alpha inhibition alters prefrontal cortex excitability and blunts the consequences of traumatic stress in rat
    Neuropharmacology (IF 4.367) Pub Date : 2020-01-16
    N.B. Worley; J.A. Varela; G.P. Gaillardetz; M.N. Hill; J.P. Christianson

    Neural activity within the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) is a critical determinant of stressor-induced anxiety. Pharmacological activation of the vmPFC during stress protects against stress-induced social anxiety suggesting that altering the excitatory/inhibitory (E/I) tone in the vmPFC may promote stress resilience. E/I balance is maintained, in part, by endogenous cannabinoid (eCB) signaling with the calcium dependent retrograde release of 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) suppressing presynaptic neurotransmitter release. We hypothesized that raising 2-AG levels, via inhibition of its degradation enzyme monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL) with KML29, would shift vmPFC E/I balance and promote resilience. In acute slice experiments, bath application of KML29 (100 nM) augmented evoked excitatory neurotransmission as evidenced by a left-shift in fEPSP I/O curve, and decreased sIPSC amplitude. In whole-cell recordings, KML29 increased resting membrane potential but reduced the after depolarization, bursting rate, membrane time constant and slow after hyperpolarization. Intra-vmPFC administration of KML29 (200ng/0.5μL/hemisphere) prior to inescapable stress (IS) exposure (25, 5s tail shocks) prevented stress induced anxiety as measured by juvenile social exploration 24 h after stressor exposure. Conversely, systemic administration of KML29 (40 mg/kg, i.p.) 2 h before IS exacerbated stress induced anxiety. MAGL inhibition in the vmPFC may promote resilience by augmenting the output of neurons that project to brainstem and limbic structures that mediate stress responses.

  • Mechanisms of Action of Currently Used Antiseizure Drugs
    Neuropharmacology (IF 4.367) Pub Date : 2020-01-14
    Graeme J. Sills; Michael A. Rogawski

    Antiseizure drugs (ASDs) prevent the occurrence of seizures; there is no evidence that they have disease-modifying properties. In the more than 160 years that orally administered ASDs have been available for epilepsy therapy, most agents entering clinical practice were either discovered serendipitously or with the use of animal seizure models. The ASDs originating from these approaches act on brain excitability mechanisms to interfere with the generation and spread of epileptic hyperexcitability, but they do not address the specific defects that are pathogenic in the epilepsies for which they are prescribed, which in most cases are not well understood. There are four broad classes of such ASD mechanisms: (1) modulation of voltage-gated sodium channels (e.g. phenytoin, carbamazepine, lamotrigine), voltage-gated calcium channels (e.g. ethosuximide), and voltage-gated potassium channels [e.g. retigabine (ezogabine)]; (2) enhancement of GABA-mediated inhibitory neurotransmission (e.g. benzodiazepines, tiagabine, vigabatrin); (3) attenuation of glutamate-mediated excitatory neurotransmission (e.g. perampanel); and (4) modulation of neurotransmitter release via a presynaptic action (e.g. levetiracetam, brivaracetam, gabapentin, pregabalin). In the past two decades there has been great progress in identifying the pathophysiological mechanisms of many genetic epilepsies. Given this new understanding, attempts are being made to engineer specific small molecule, antisense and gene therapies that functionally reverse or structurally correct pathogenic defects in epilepsy syndromes. In the near future, these new therapies will begin a paradigm shift in the treatment of some rare genetic epilepsy syndromes, but targeted therapies will remain elusive for the vast majority of epilepsies until their causes are identified.

  • Cholinergic modulation inhibits cortical spreading depression in mouse neocortex through activation of muscarinic receptors and decreased excitatory/inhibitory drive
    Neuropharmacology (IF 4.367) Pub Date : 2020-01-13
    Sarah Zerimech; Oana Chever; Paolo Scalmani; Lara Pizzamiglio; Fabrice Duprat; Massimo Mantegazza

    Cortical spreading depression (CSD) is a wave of transient network hyperexcitability leading to long lasting depolarization and block of firing, which initiates focally and slowly propagates in the cerebral cortex. It causes migraine aura and it has been implicated in the generation of migraine headache. Cortical excitability can be modulated by cholinergic actions, leading in neocortical slices to the generation of rhythmic synchronous activities (UP/DOWN states). We investigated the effect of cholinergic activation with the cholinomimetic agonist carbachol on CSD triggered with 130 mM KCl pulse injections in acute mouse neocortical brain slices, hypothesizing that the cholinergic-induced increase of cortical network excitability during UP states could facilitate CSD. We observed instead an inhibitory effect of cholinergic activation on both initiation and propagation of CSD, through the action of muscarinic receptors. In fact, carbachol-induced CSD inhibition was blocked by atropine or by the preferential M1 muscarinic antagonist telenzepine; the preferential M1 muscarinic agonist McN-A-343 inhibited CSD similarly to carbachol, and its effect was blocked by telenzepine. Recordings of spontaneous excitatory and inhibitory post-synaptic currents in pyramidal neurons showed that McN-A-343 induced overall a decrease of the excitatory/inhibitory ratio. This inhibitory action may be targeted for novel pharmacological approaches in the treatment of migraine with muscarinic agonists.

  • Endocannabinoid modulating drugs improve anxiety but not the expression of conditioned fear in a rodent model of post-traumatic stress disorder
    Neuropharmacology (IF 4.367) Pub Date : 2020-01-13
    Akshayan Vimalanathan; Darryl C. Gidyk; Mustansir Diwan; Flavia V. Gouveia; Nir Lipsman; Peter Giacobbe; José N. Nobrega; Clement Hamani

    The endocannabinoid (eCB) system is a potential target for the treatment of symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Similar to clinical PTSD, approximately 25-30% of rats that undergo cued fear conditioning exhibit impaired extinction learning. In addition to extinction-resistant fear, these “weak extinction” (WE) rats show persistent anxiety-like behaviors. The goal of the present study was to test the hypothesis that behavioural differences between WE animals and those presenting normal extinction patterns (strong extinction; SE) could be mediated by the eCB system. Rats undergoing fear conditioning/extinction and fear recall sessions were initially segregated in weak and strong-extinction groups. Two weeks later, animals underwent a fear recall session followed by a novelty-suppressed feeding (NSF) test. In acute experiments, WE rats were injected with either the fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) inhibitor URB597 or the CB1 agonist WIN55,212-2 one hour prior to long-term recall and NSF testing. SE animals were injected with the inverse CB1 receptor agonist AM251. In chronic experiments, WE and SE rats were given daily injections of URB597 or AM251 between short and long-term recall sessions. We found that acute administration of WIN55,212-2 but not URB597 reduced anxiety-like behaviour in WE rats. In contrast, AM251 was anxiogenic in SE animals. Neither treatment was effective in altering freezing expression during fear recall. The chronic administration of AM251 to SE or URB597 to WE did not alter fear or anxiety-like behaviour or changed the expression of FAAH and CB1. Together, these results suggest that systemic manipulations of the eCB system may alter anxiety-like behaviour but not the behavioural expression of an extinction-resistant associative fear memory.

  • The omega-3 lipid 17,18-EEQ sensitizes TRPV1 and TRPA1 in sensory neurons through the prostacyclin receptor (IP)
    Neuropharmacology (IF 4.367) Pub Date : 2020-01-11
    Stephan M.G. Schäfer; Maksim Sendetski; Carlo Angioni; Rolf Nüsing; Gerd Geisslinger; Klaus Scholich; Marco Sisignano

    Oxidized lipids play an important role in pain processing by modulation of the activity of sensory neurons. However, the role of many signalling lipids that do not belong to the classical group of eicosanoids, especially of oxidized omega-3 lipids in pain processing is unclear. Here we investigated the role of the endogenously produced omega-3 lipids 17,18-EEQ and 19,20-EDP in modulating the activity of sensory neurons. We found that 17,18-EEQ but not 19,20-EDP can sensitize the transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 and ankyrin 1 ion channels (TRPV1 and TRPA1) in sensory neurons, which depends on activation of a Gs-coupled receptor and PKA activation. Screening of different Gs-coupled lipid receptor-deficient mice, identified the prostacyclin receptor IP as putative receptor for 17,18-EEQ. Since 17,18-EEQ is synthesized by the Cytochrome-P450-Epoxygenase CYP2J2, we established a cellular mass spectrometry-based screening assay to identify substances that can suppress 17,18-EEQ concentrations. Using this assay, we identifiy the antidepressant venlafaxine and the antihypertensive drug telmisartan as potent inhibitors of CYP2J2-dependent 17,18-EEQ synthesis. These findings identify 17,18-EEQ as first omega-3-derived lipid mediator that acts via the IP receptor and sensitizes the TRPV1 channel in sensory neurons. Moreover, the results give a mechanistic explanation for the antinociceptive effects of venlafaxine, which are still not well understood. Like telmisartan, venlafaxine may reduce neuronal activity by blocking CYP2J2 and 17,18-EEQ synthesis and by inhibiting the IP receptor-PKA-TRPV1 axis in sensory neurons.

  • Effect of sertraline on central serotonin and hippocampal plasticity in pregnant and non-pregnant rats
    Neuropharmacology (IF 4.367) Pub Date : 2020-01-11
    Jodi L. Pawluski; Rafaella Paravatou; Alan Even; Gael Cobraiville; Marianne Fillet; Nikolaos Kokras; Christina Dalla; Thierry D. Charlier

    One of the most frequently prescribed selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor medications (SSRIs) for peripartum mood and anxiety disorders is sertraline (Zoloft®). Sertraline can help alleviate mood and anxiety symptoms in many women but it is not known how sertraline, or SSRIs in general, affect the neurobiology of the brain particularly when pregnant. The aim of this study was to investigate how sertraline affects plasticity in the hippocampus, a brain area integral in depression and SSRI efficacy (particularly in males), during late pregnancy and whether these effects differ from the effects of sertraline in non-pregnant females. To do this pregnant and age-matched non-pregnant female Sprague-Dawley rats were used. For the last half of pregnancy (10 days), and at matched points in non-pregnant females, rats were given sertraline (2.5 mg/kg/day or 10 mg/kg/day) or vehicle (0 mg/kg/day). Brains were used to investigate effects on the serotonergic system in the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex, and measures of neuroplasticity in the hippocampus. Results show that pregnant females have significantly higher serum levels of sertraline compared to non-pregnant females but that rates of serotonin turnover in the hippocampus and PFC are similar between pregnant and non-pregnant females. Sertraline increased synaptophysin density in the dentate gyrus and CA3 and was associated with a decrease in cell proliferation in dentate gyrus of non-pregnant, but not pregnant, females. During late pregnancy the hippocampus showed significant reductions in neurogenesis and increases in synaptophysin density. This research highlights the need to consider the unique effect of reproductive state on neuropharmacological effects of SSRIs.

  • Ketamine increases vmPFC activity: Effects of (R)- and (S)-stereoisomers and (2R,6R)-hydroxynorketamine metabolite
    Neuropharmacology (IF 4.367) Pub Date : 2020-01-09
    Brendan D. Hare; Santosh Pothula; Ralph J. DiLeone; Ronald S. Duman

    Ketamine, an NMDA receptor antagonist and fast acting antidepressant, produces a rapid burst of glutamate in the ventral medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). Preclinical studies have demonstrated that pyramidal cell activity in the vmPFC is necessary for the rapid antidepressant response to ketamine in rodents. We sought to characterize the effects of ketamine and its stereoisomers (R and S), as well as a metabolite, (2R,6R)-hydroxynorketamine (HNK), on vmPFC activity using a genetically encoded calcium indicator (GCaMP6f). Ratiometric fiber photometry was utilized to monitor GCaMP6f fluorescence in pyramidal cells of mouse vmPFC prior to and immediately following administration of compounds. GCaMP6f signal was assessed to determine correspondance of activity between compounds. We observed dose dependent effects with (R,S)-ketamine (3–100 mg/kg), with the greatest effects on GCaMP6f activity at 30 mg/kg and lasting up to 20 min. (S)-ketamine (15 mg/kg), which has high affinity for the NMDA receptor channel produced similar effects to (R,S)-ketamine, but compounds with low NMDA receptor affinity, including (R)-ketamine (15 mg/kg) and (2R,6R)-HNK (30 mg/kg) had little or no effect on GCaMP6f activity. The initial response to administration of (R,S)-ketamine as well as (S)-ketamine is characterized by a brief period of robust GCaMP6f activation, consistent with increased activity of vmPFC pyramidal neurons. Because (2R,6R)-HNK and (R)-ketamine are reported to have antidepressant activity in rodent models the current results indicate that different initiating mechanisms could to lead to similar brain adaptive consequences that underlie the rapid antidepressant responses.

  • Activation of EphB2 in the basolateral amygdala promotes stress vulnerability of mice by increasing NMDA-dependent synaptic function
    Neuropharmacology (IF 4.367) Pub Date : 2020-01-09
    Jie-Ting Zhang; Yang Liu; Liang-Xia Li; Kuan Li; Jian-Guo Chen; Fang Wang
  • Approaches to develop therapeutics to treat Frontotemporal Dementia
    Neuropharmacology (IF 4.367) Pub Date : 2020-01-08
    Lisa P. Elia; Terry Reisine; Amela Alijagic; Steven Finkbeiner

    Frontotemporal degeneration (FTD) is a complex disease presenting as a spectrum of clinical disorders with progressive degeneration of frontal and temporal brain cortices and extensive neuroinflammation that result in personality and behavior changes, and eventually, death. There are currently no effective therapies for FTD. While 60-70% of FTD patients are sporadic cases, the other 30-40% are heritable (familial) cases linked to mutations in several known genes. We focus here on FTD caused by mutations in the GRN gene, which encodes a secreted protein, progranulin (PGRN), that has diverse roles in regulating cell survival, immune responses, and autophagy and lysosome function in the brain. FTD-linked mutations in GRN reduce brain PGRN levels that lead to autophagy and lysosome dysfunction, TDP43 accumulation, excessive microglial activation, astrogliosis, and neuron death through still poorly understood mechanisms. PGRN insufficiency has also been linked to Alzheimer’s disease (AD), and so the development of therapeutics for GRN-linked FTD that restore PGRN levels and function may have broader application for other neurodegenerative diseases. This review focuses on a strategy to increase PGRN to functional, healthy levels in the brain by identifying novel genetic and chemical modulators of neuronal PGRN levels.

  • Attenuated dopamine receptor signaling in nucleus accumbens core in a rat model of chemically-induced neuropathy
    Neuropharmacology (IF 4.367) Pub Date : 2020-01-07
    Dana E. Selley; Matthew F. Lazenka; Laura J. Sim-Selley; Julie R. Secor McVoy; David N. Potter; Elena H. Chartoff; William A. Carlezon; S. Stevens Negus

    Neuropathy is major source of chronic pain that can be caused by mechanically or chemically induced nerve injury. Intraplantar formalin injection produces local necrosis over a two-week period and has been used to model neuropathy in rats. To determine whether neuropathy alters dopamine (DA) receptor responsiveness in mesolimbic brain regions, we examined dopamine D1-like and D2-like receptor (D1/2R) signaling and expression in male rats 14 days after bilateral intraplantar formalin injections into both rear paws. D2R-mediated G-protein activation and expression of the D2R long, but not short, isoform were reduced in nucleus accumbens (NAc) core, but not in NAc shell, caudate-putamen or ventral tegmental area of formalin-compared to saline-treated rats. In addition, D1R-stimulated adenylyl cyclase activity was also reduced in NAc core, but not in NAc shell or prefrontal cortex, of formalin-treated rats, whereas D1R expression was unaffected. Other proteins involved in dopamine neurotransmission, including dopamine uptake transporter and tyrosine hydroxylase, were unaffected by formalin treatment. In behavioral tests, the potency of a D2R agonist to suppress intracranial self-stimulation (ICSS) was decreased in formalin-treated rats, whereas D1R agonist effects were not altered. The combination of reduced D2R expression and signaling in NAc core with reduced suppression of ICSS responding by a D2R agonist suggest a reduction in D2 autoreceptor function. Altogether, these results indicate that intraplantar formalin produces attenuation of highly specific DA receptor signaling processes in NAc core of male rats and suggest the development of a neuropathy-induced allostatic state in both pre- and post-synaptic DA receptor function.

  • Correlation between the potency of hallucinogens in the mouse head-twitch response assay and their behavioral and subjective effects in other species
    Neuropharmacology (IF 4.367) Pub Date : 2020-01-07
    Adam L. Halberstadt; Muhammad Chatha; Adam K. Klein; Jason Wallach; Simon D. Brandt

    Serotonergic hallucinogens such as lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) induce head twitches in rodents via 5-HT2A receptor activation. The goal of the present investigation was to determine whether a correlation exists between the potency of hallucinogens in the mouse head-twitch response (HTR) paradigm and their reported potencies in other species, specifically rats and humans. Dose-response experiments were conducted with phenylalkylamine and tryptamine hallucinogens in C57BL/6J mice, enlarging the available pool of HTR potency data to 40 total compounds. For agents where human data are available (n = 36), a strong positive correlation (r = 0.9448) was found between HTR potencies in mice and reported hallucinogenic potencies in humans. HTR potencies were also found to be correlated with published drug discrimination ED50 values for substitution in rats trained with either LSD (r = 0.9484, n = 16) or 2,5-dimethoxy-4-methylamphetamine (r = 0.9564, n = 21). All three of these behavioral effects (HTR in mice, hallucinogen discriminative stimulus effects in rats, and psychedelic effects in humans) have been linked to 5-HT2A receptor activation. We present evidence that hallucinogens induce these three effects with remarkably consistent potencies. In addition to having high construct validity, the HTR assay also appears to show significant predictive validity, confirming its translational relevance for predicting subjective potency of hallucinogens in humans. These findings support the use of the HTR paradigm as a preclinical model of hallucinogen psychopharmacology and in structure-activity relationship studies of hallucinogens. Future investigations with a larger number of test agents will evaluate whether the HTR assay can be used to predict the hallucinogenic potency of 5-HT2A agonists in humans.

  • Ketamine inhibits synaptic transmission and nicotinic acetylcholine receptor-mediated responses in rat intracardiac ganglia in situ
    Neuropharmacology (IF 4.367) Pub Date : 2020-01-03
    Alexander A. Harper; Katrina Rimmer; Jhansi Dyavanapalli; Jeffrey R. McArthur; David J. Adams

    The intravenous anaesthetic ketamine, has been demonstrated to inhibit nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR)-mediated currents in dissociated rat intracardiac ganglion (ICG) neurons (Weber et al., 2005). This effect would be predicted to depress synaptic transmission in the ICG and would account for the inhibitory action of ketamine on vagal transmission to the heart (Inoue and König, 1984). This investigation was designed to examine the activity of ketamine on (i) postsynaptic responses to vagal nerve stimulation, (ii) the membrane potential, and (iii) membrane current responses evoked by exogenous application of ACh and nicotine in ICG neurons in situ. Intracellular recordings were made using sharp intracellular microelectrodes in a whole mount ICG preparation. Preganglionic nerve stimulation and recordings in current- and voltage-clamp modes were used to assess the action of ketamine on ganglionic transmission and nAChR-mediated responses. Ketamine attenuated the postsynaptic responses evoked by nerve stimulation. This reduction was significant at clinically relevant concentrations at high frequencies. The excitatory membrane potential and current responses to focal application of ACh and nicotine were inhibited in a concentration-dependent manner by ketamine. In contrast, ketamine had no effect on the directly-evoked action potential or excitatory responses evoked by focal application of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA). Taken together, ketamine inhibits synaptic transmission and nicotine- and ACh-evoked currents in adult rat ICG. Ketamine inhibition of synaptic transmission and nAChR-mediated responses in the ICG contributes significantly to its attenuation of the bradycardia observed in response to vagal stimulation in the mammalian heart.

  • Effects of single-dose antipurinergic therapy on behavioral and molecular alterations in the valproic acid-induced animal model of autism
    Neuropharmacology (IF 4.367) Pub Date : 2020-01-02
    Mauro Mozael Hirsch; Iohanna Deckmann; Júlio Santos-Terra; Gabriela Zanotto Staevie; Mellanie Fontes-Dutra; Giovanna Carello-Collar; Marília Körbes-Rockenbach; Gustavo Brum Schwingel; Guilherme Bauer-Negrini; Bruna Rabelo; Maria C.B. Gonçalves; Juliana Corrêa-Velloso; Yahaira Naaldijk; Ana R. Castillo; Tomasz Schneider; Victorio Bambini-Junior; Henning Ulrich; Carmem Gottfried

    Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is characterized by deficits in communication and social interaction, restricted interests, and stereotyped behavior. Environmental factors, such as prenatal exposure to valproic acid (VPA), may contribute to the increased risk of ASD. Since disturbed functioning of the purinergic system has been associated with the onset of ASD and used as a potential therapeutic target for ASD in both clinical and preclinical studies, we analyzed the effects of suramin, a non-selective purinergic antagonist, on behavioral, molecular and immunological in an animal model of autism induced by prenatal exposure to VPA. Treatment with suramin (20 mg/kg, intraperitoneal) restored sociability in the three-chamber apparatus and decreased anxiety measured by elevated plus maze apparatus, but had no impact on decreased reciprocal social interactions or higher nociceptive threshold in VPA rats. Suramin treatment had no impact on VPA-induced upregulation of P2X4 and P2Y2 in hippocampus, and P2X4 in medial prefrontal cortex, but normalized an increased level of interleukin 6 (IL-6). Our results suggest an important role of purinergic modulation in behavioral, molecular, and immunological aberrations described in VPA model, and suggest that purinergic system might be a potential target for pharmacotherapy in preclinical studies of ASD.

  • Change in serotonergic modulation contributes to the synaptic imbalance of neuronal circuit at the prefrontal cortex in the 15q11-13 duplication mouse model of autism
    Neuropharmacology (IF 4.367) Pub Date : 2019-12-31
    Fumihito Saitow; Toru Takumi; Hidenori Suzuki

    The prefrontal cortex (PFC) has been extensively studied in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in an attempt to understand the deficits in executive and other higher brain functions related to sociability and emotion. Disruption of the excitatory/inhibitory (E/I) balance of cortical circuits is thought to underlie the pathophysiology of ASD. Recently, we showed that 15q dup mice (a model for ASD with human chromosome 15q11-13 paternal duplication) exhibit disruption of the E/I balance in layer 2/3 pyramidal neurons of the somatosensory cortex due to a decrease in the number of inhibitory synapses. However, whether there is a pathological abnormality in E/I balance in the PFC of 15q dup mice remains unknown. In this study, we found that 15q dup facilitates the activity-induced LTP of glutamate synapses onto layer 5 pyramidal neurons by shifting the E/I balance to an excitatory state, which this was associated with differences in synaptic glutamatergic and GABAergic inputs onto GABAergic fast-spiking interneurons (FSINs). Furthermore, we found that FSIN excitability was well-modulated and regulated by the constitutive activation of 5-HT2 receptors in PFC microcircuits. These results provide new insights into the cellular mechanisms underlying maintenance of optimal E/I balance in the PFC.

  • 2-(5-(4-Chlorophenyl)-1-(2,4-dichlorophenyl)-4-methyl-1H-pyrazol-3-yl)-N-(2-hydroxyethyl)-2-oxoacetamide (CDMPO) has anti-inflammatory properties in microglial cells and prevents neuronal and behavioral deficits in MPTP mouse model of Parkinson's disease
    Neuropharmacology (IF 4.367) Pub Date : 2019-12-27
    Byungwook Kim; Ju-Young Park; Duk-Yeon Cho; Hyun Myung Ko; Sung-Hwa Yoon; Dong-Kug Choi

    Parkinson's disease (PD) is characterized by the selective loss of nigrostriatal dopamine neurons associated with microglial activation. Inhibition of the inflammatory response elicited by activated microglia could be an effective strategy to alleviate the progression of PD. Here, we synthesized 2-(5-(4-chlorophenyl)-1-(2,4-dichlorophenyl)-4-methyl-1H-pyrazol-3-yl)-N-(2-hydroxyethyl)-2-oxoacetamide (CDMPO) and studied its protective anti-inflammatory mechanisms following lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced neuroinflammation in vitro and 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP)-induced neurotoxicity in vivo. CDMPO and its parent compound, rimonabant, significantly attenuated nitric oxide (NO) production in LPS-stimulated primary microglia and BV2 cells. Furthermore, CDMPO significantly inhibited the release of proinflammatory cytokines and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) by activated BV2 cells, also suppressed expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2). Mechanistically, CDMPO attenuated LPS-induced activation of nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB), inhibitor of kappa B alpha (IκBα), and p38 phosphorylation in BV2 cells. MPTP intoxication of mice results in glial activation, tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) depletion, and significant behavioral deficits. Prophylactic treatment with CDMPO decreased proinflammatory molecules via NF-κB and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling, resulting in protection of dopaminergic neurons and improved behavioral impairments. These results suggest that CDMPO is a promising neuroprotective agent for the prevention and treatment of microglia-mediated neuroinflammatory conditions and may be useful for behavioral improvement in PD phenotype.

  • Valproate reverses stress-induced somatic hyperalgesia and visceral hypersensitivity by up-regulating spinal 5-HT2C receptor expression in female rats
    Neuropharmacology (IF 4.367) Pub Date : 2019-12-26
    Gang-Zhu Xu; Yang Xue; Si-Qi Wei; Jia-Heng Li; Richard J. Traub; Mao-De Wang; Dong-Yuan Cao

    Sodium valproate (VPA) has analgesic effects in clinical and experimental studies, but the mechanisms are still unclear. The present study examined the effects of VPA on stress-induced somatic hyperalgesia and visceral hypersensitivity and the role of 5-HT2C receptors in the spinal cord. Repeated 3 day forced swim (FS) significantly reduced the thermal withdrawal latency and mechanical withdrawal threshold, and increased the magnitude of the visceromotor response to colorectal distention compared to the baseline values in rats. The somatic hyperalgesia and visceral hypersensitivity were accompanied by significant down-regulation of 5-HT2C receptor expression in the L4-L5 and L6-S1 dorsal spinal cord. Intraperitoneal administration of VPA (300 mg/kg) before each FS and 1 day post FS prevented the development of somatic hyperalgesia and visceral hypersensitivity induced by FS stress, as well as down-regulation of 5-HT2C receptors in the spinal cord. The reversal of somatic hyperalgesia and visceral hypersensitivity by VPA in FS rats was blocked by intrathecal administration of the selective 5-HT2C receptor antagonist RS-102221 (30 μg/10 μL) 30 min after each VPA injection. The results suggest that VPA attenuates FS-induced somatic hyperalgesia and visceral hypersensitivity by restoring down-regulated function of 5-HT2C receptors in the spinal cord.

  • Regulation of aggressive behaviors by nicotinic acetylcholine receptors: animal models, human genetics, and clinical studies
    Neuropharmacology (IF 4.367) Pub Date : 2019-12-26
    Alan S. Lewis; Marina R. Picciotto

    Neuropsychiatric disorders are frequently complicated by aggressive behaviors. For some individuals, existing behavioral and psychopharmacological treatments are ineffective or confer significant side effects, necessitating development of new ways to treat patients with severe aggression. Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are a large and diverse family of ligand-gated ion channels expressed throughout the brain that influence behaviors highly relevant for neuropsychiatric disorders, including attention, mood, and impulsivity. Nicotine and other drugs targeting nAChRs can reduce aggression in animal models of offensive, defensive, and predatory aggression, as well as in human laboratory studies. Human genetic studies have suggested a relationship between the CHRNA7 gene encoding the alpha-7 nAChR and aggressive behavior, although these effects are heterogeneous and strongly influenced by genetic background and environment. Here we review animal, human genetic, and clinical studies supporting a consistent role of nicotine and nAChR signaling in modulation of aggressive behaviors. We integrate findings from recent studies of aggression neuroscience, discuss the circuitry that may be involved in these effects of nAChRs, and identify multiple key questions that must be answered prior to safe and effective translation for human patients.

  • Corticosterone in the ventral hippocampus differentially alters accumbal dopamine output in drug-naïve and amphetamine-withdrawn rats
    Neuropharmacology (IF 4.367) Pub Date : 2019-12-24
    Brenna Bray; Kaci A. Clement; Dana Bachmeier; Matthew A. Weber; Gina L. Forster

    Dysregulation in glucocorticoid stress and accumbal dopamine reward systems can alter reward salience to increase motivational drive in control conditions while contributing to relapse during drug withdrawal. Amphetamine withdrawal is associated with dysphoria and stress hypersensitivity that may be mediated, in part, by enhanced stress-induced corticosterone observed in the ventral hippocampus. Electrical stimulation of the ventral hippocampus enhances accumbal shell dopamine release, establishing a functional connection between these two regions. However, the effects of ventral hippocampal corticosterone on this system are unknown. To address this, a stress-relevant concentration of corticosterone (0.24ng/0.5 μL) or vehicle were infused into the ventral hippocampus of urethane-anesthetized adult male rats in control and amphetamine withdrawn conditions. Accumbal dopamine output was assessed with in vivo chronoamperometry. Corticosterone infused into the ventral hippocampus rapidly enhanced accumbal dopamine output in control conditions, but produced a biphasic reduction of accumbal dopamine output in amphetamine withdrawal. Selectively blocking glucocorticoid-, mineralocorticoid-, or cytosolic receptors prevented the effects of corticosterone. Overall, these results suggest that the ability of corticosterone to alter accumbal dopamine output requires cooperative activation of mineralocorticoid and glucocorticoid receptors in the cytosol, which is dysregulated during amphetamine withdrawal. These findings implicate ventral hippocampal corticosterone in playing an important role in driving neural systems involved in positive stress coping mechanisms in healthy conditions, whereas dysregulation of this system may contribute to relapse during withdrawal.

  • α4β2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors intrinsically influence body weight in mice
    Neuropharmacology (IF 4.367) Pub Date : 2019-12-24
    Ghazaul Dezfuli; Thao T. Olson; Lukas M. Martin; Youngshin Keum; Byron A. Siegars; Anushka Desai; Mia Uitz; Niaz Sahibzada; Richard A. Gillis; Kenneth J. Kellar

    Desensitization of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) containing the β2 subunit is a potentially critical mechanism underlying the body weight (BW) reducing effects of nicotine. The purpose of this study was a) to determine the α subunit(s) that partners with the β2 subunit to form the nAChR subtype that endogenously regulates energy balance and b) to probe the extent to which nAChR desensitization is involved in the regulation of BW. We demonstrate that deletion of either the α4 or the β2, but not the α5, subunit of the nAChR suppresses weight gain in a sex-dependent manner. Furthermore, chronic treatment with the β2-selective nAChR competitive antagonist dihydro-β-erythroidine (DHβE) in mice fed a high-fat diet suppresses weight gain. These results indicate that heteromeric α4β2 nAChRs play a role as intrinsic regulators of energy balance and that desensitizing or inhibiting this nAChR is likely a relevant mechanism and thus could be a strategy for weight loss.

  • A novel biscoumarin compound ameliorates cerebral ischemia reperfusion-induced mitochondrial oxidative injury via Nrf2/Keap-1/ARE signaling
    Neuropharmacology (IF 4.367) Pub Date : 2019-12-23
    Jun Wang; Wentong Zhang; Chao Lv; Yangang Wang; Bo Ma; Haomeng Zhang; Zhaoyang Fan; Mingkai Li; Xia Li

    Some phytochemical-derived synthetic compounds have been shown to improve neurological disorders, especially in ischemic stroke. In this study, we identified a novel biscoumarin compound, known as COM 3, which had substantial antioxidant effects in neurons. Next, we found that COM 3 occupies a critical binding site between the Nrf2 and Keap1 dipolymer, impairing the inhibitory effects of Keap1 on Nrf2, both of which play central roles in increasing endogenous antioxidant activity. We verified that COM 3 could increase the survival of neurons experiencing oxygen and glucose deprivation (OGD) from 51.1% to 77.2% when exposure to 2.5 and 10 μg/mL of COM 3, respectively. In addition, the same concentrations of COM 3 could reduce brain infarct volumes by 33.8%–13.7%, respectively, while also reducing the neurobehavioral score from 3.3 to 1.4 on average in mice with a middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO). COM 3 reduced neuronal death from 36.5% to 13.9% and apoptosis from 35.1% to 18.2%. In addition, COM 3 could improve the neuronal mitochondrial energy metabolism after experiencing oxidative stress caused by OGD or MCAO. The present study suggests that COM 3 protects against OGD in neurons and MCAO in mice by interfering with the structure of Keap1 to activate the nuclear transcription of Nrf2, which balances endogenous redox activity and restores mitochondrial function. Hence, COM 3 might be a potential therapeutic agent for ischemic stroke in the clinic.

  • Anti-neuroinflammatory, protective effects of the synthetic microneurotrophin BNN-20 in the advanced dopaminergic neurodegeneration of “weaver” mice
    Neuropharmacology (IF 4.367) Pub Date : 2019-12-23
    Vasiliki Panagiotakopoulou; Konstantinos Botsakis; Foteini Delis; Theodora Mourtzi; Manolis N. Tzatzarakis; Aggeliki Dimopoulou; Nafsika Poulia; Katerina Antoniou; Georgios T. Stathopoulos; Nikolaos Matsokis; Ioannis Charalampopoulos; Achilleas Gravanis; Fevronia Angelatou
  • Differential effects of HDAC inhibitors on PPN oscillatory activity in vivo
    Neuropharmacology (IF 4.367) Pub Date : 2019-12-23
    Veronica Bisagno; Maria Alejandra Bernardi; Sara Sanz Blanco; Francisco J. Urbano; Edgar Garcia-Rill
  • Role of AMPK/SIRT1-SIRT3 signaling pathway in affective disorders in unpredictable chronic mild stress mice
    Neuropharmacology (IF 4.367) Pub Date : 2019-12-23
    Xuefeng Yu; Ying Hu; Wenkai Huang; Nuo Ye; Qizhi Yan; Wenjuan Ni; Xi Jiang

    Objectives To explore the role of 5′ adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase/sirtuin1-sirtuin3 (AMPK/SIRT1-SIRT3) signaling pathway in behavioral and neuroinflammation/oxidative stress alterations in unpredictable chronic mild stress (UCMS) model mice. Methods Male ICR mice weighing 20–22 g were used in this study. Behavior performance was evaluated from the 14th day of drug treatment. Expression levels of AMPK, SIRT1, SIRT3, and NF-κBp65 were tested by immuno-blot analysis. Contents of tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α), interleukin 1β (IL-1β) and interleukin 6 (IL-6) were detected by enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Reactive oxygen species (ROS), superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione (GSH) expressions were tested by neurochemical and biochemical assays. Results Behavioral disorders and decreases of AMPK, SIRT1 and SIRT3 induced by UCMS were all reversed by AICA Riboside (AICAR) treatment. These effects were correlated with alterations of oxidative stress (ROS, GSH, SOD) and inflammation (pNF-κBp65, TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6) status. Co-treatment with SIRT3 inhibitor (3-TYP) in addition to AICAR abolished AICAR's effects on behavior and expression level of inflammation/oxidative stress-related factors of mice, without affecting the content of SIRT1. Contrarily, combining use of AICAR and SIRT1 inhibitor (Sirtinol or EX-527) increased SIRT3 level, which led to better alleviation of behavioral disorders, compared with single AICAR treatment. Interestingly, in normal or UCMS mice, up or down regulation of SIRT1 did not affect SIRT3 level. Conclusion Provided that AMPK is activated, SIRT1 inhibition could induce the increase of SIRT3, and SIRT3 exerts more beneficial function in alleviation of consequences of chronic stress than SIRT1.

  • Hyperactive Akt-mTOR pathway as a therapeutic target for pain hypersensitivity in Cntnap2-deficient mice
    Neuropharmacology (IF 4.367) Pub Date : 2019-12-23
    Xiaoliang Xing; Kunyang Wu; Yufan Dong; Yimei Zhou; Jing Zhang; Fang Jiang; Wang-Ping Hu; Jia-Da Li

    Contactin-associated protein-like 2 (CNTNAP2 or CASPR2) is a neuronal transmembrane protein of the neurexin superfamily that is involved in many neurological diseases, such as autism and pain hypersensitivity. We recently found that Cntnap2−/− mice showed elevated Akt-mTOR activity in the brain, and suppression of the Akt-mTOR pathway rescued the social deficit in Cntnap2−/− mice. In this study, we found that the dorsal root ganglion (DRG) from Cntnap2−/− mice also showed hyperactive Akt-mTOR signaling. Treatment with the Akt inhibitor LY94002 or the mTOR inhibitor rapamycin attenuated pain-related hypersensitivity to noxious mechanical stimuli, heat, and inflammatory substances. Further, suppression of mTOR signaling by rapamycin decreased DRG neuronal hyperexcitability. We further indicated that treatment with the FDA-approved drug metformin normalized the hyperactive Akt-mTOR signaling, and attenuated pain-related hypersensitivity in Cntnap2−/− mice. Our results thus identified hyperactive Akt-mTOR signaling pathway as a promising therapeutic target for pain-related hypersensitivity in patients with dysfunction of CNTNAP2.

  • Activation of adenosine A2A receptors in the olfactory tubercle promotes sleep in rodents
    Neuropharmacology (IF 4.367) Pub Date : 2019-12-23
    Rui Li; Yi-Qun Wang; Wen-Ying Liu; Meng-Qi Zhang; Lei Li; Yoan Cherasse; Serge N. Schiffmann; Alban de Kerchove d’Exaerde; Michael Lazarus; Wei-Min Qu; Zhi-Li Huang

    The olfactory tubercle (OT), an important nucleus in processing sensory information, has been reported to change cortical activity under odor. However, little is known about the physiological role and mechanism of the OT in sleep-wake regulation. The OT expresses abundant adenosine A2A receptors (A2ARs), which are important in sleep regulation. Therefore, we hypothesized that the OT regulates sleep via A2ARs. This study examined sleep-wake profiles through electroencephalography and electromyography recordings with pharmacological and chemogenetic manipulations in freely moving rodents. Compared with their controls, activation of OT A2ARs pharmacologically and OT A2AR neurons via chemogenetics increased non-rapid eye movement sleep for 3 and 5 h, respectively, while blockade of A2ARs decreased non-rapid eye movement sleep. Tracing and electrophysiological studies showed OT A2AR neurons projected to the ventral pallidum and lateral hypothalamus, forming inhibitory innervations. Together, these findings indicate that A2ARs in the OT play an important role in sleep regulation.

  • Blockade of the dopaminergic neurotransmission with AMPT and reserpine induces a differential expression of genes of the dopaminergic phenotype in substantia nigra
    Neuropharmacology (IF 4.367) Pub Date : 2019-12-21
    Sergio Ortiz-Padilla; Elier Soto-Orduño; Marisa Escobar Barrios; Abril Armenta Manjarrez; Yadira Bastián; J. Alfredo Mendez

    Dopaminergic neurons have the ability to release Dopamine from their axons as well as from their soma and dendrites. This somatodendritically-released Dopamine induces an autoinhibition of Dopaminergic neurons mediated by D2 autoreceptors, and the stimulation of neighbor GABAergic neurons mediated by D1 receptors (D1r). Here, our results suggest that the somatodendritic release of Dopamine in the substantia nigra (SN) may stimulate GABAergic neurons that project their axons into the hippocampus. Using semiquantitative multiplex RT-PCR we show that chronic blockade of the Dopaminergic neurotransmission with both AMPT and reserpine specifically decreases the expression levels of D1r, remarkably this may be the result of an antagonistic effect between AMPT and reserpine, as they induced the expression of a different set of genes when treated by separate. Furthermore, using anterograde and retrograde tracing techniques, we found that the GABAergic neurons that express D1r also project their axons in to the CA1 region of the hippocampus. Finally, we also found that the same treatment that decreases the expression levels of D1r in SN, also induces an impairment in the performance in an appetitive learning task that requires the coding of reward as well as navigational skills. Overall, our findings show the presence of a GABAergic interconnection between the SNr and the hippocampus mediated by D1r.

  • The kappa opioid receptor modulates GABA neuron excitability and synaptic transmission in midbrain-projections from the insular cortex
    Neuropharmacology (IF 4.367) Pub Date : 2019-12-21
    Melanie M. Pina; Dipanwita Pati; Lara S. Hwa; Sarah Y. Wu; Alexandra A. Mahoney; Chiazam G. Omenyi; Montserrat Navarro; Thomas L. Kash

    As an integrative hub, the insular cortex (IC) translates external cues into interoceptive states that generate complex physiological, affective, and behavioral responses. However, the precise circuit and signaling mechanisms in the IC that modulate these processes are unknown. Here, we describe a midbrain-projecting microcircuit in the medial aspect of the agranular IC that signals through the Gαi/o-coupled kappa opioid receptor (KOR) and its endogenous ligand dynorphin (Dyn). Within this microcircuit, Dyn is robustly expressed in layer 2/3, while KOR is localized to deep layer 5, which sends a long-range projection to the substantia nigra (SN). Using ex vivo electrophysiology, we evaluated the functional impact of KOR signaling in layer 5 of the IC. We found that bath application of dynorphin decreased GABA release and increased glutamate release by IC-SN neurons, but did not alter their excitability. Conversely, dynorphin decreased the excitability of GABA neurons without altering synaptic transmission. Pretreatment with the KOR antagonist nor-BNI blocked the effects of dynorphin on IC-SN neurons and GABA neurons, indicating that the changes in synaptic transmission and excitability were selectively mediated through KOR. Selective inhibition of IC GABA neurons using a KOR-derived DREADD recapitulated these effects. This work provides insight into IC microcircuitry and indicates that Dyn/KOR signaling may act to directly reduce activity of layer 5 GABA neurons. In turn, KOR-driven inhibition of GABA promotes disinhibition of IC-SN neurons, which can modulate downstream circuits. Our findings present a potential mechanism whereby chronic upregulation of IC Dyn/KOR signaling can lead to altered subcortical function and downstream activity.

    Neuropharmacology (IF 4.367) Pub Date : 2019-12-19
    Aranza Wille-Bille; Fabio Bellia; Ana María Jiménez García; Roberto Sebastián Miranda-Morales; Claudio D’Addario; Ricardo Marcos Pautassi

    Prenatal ethanol exposure (PEE) promotes ethanol consumption in the adolescent offspring accompanied by the transcriptional regulation of kappa opioid receptor (KOR) system genes. This study analyzed if environmental enrichment (EE, from gestational day 20 to postnatal day 26) exerts protective effects upon PEE-modulation of gene expression, ethanol intake and anxiety responses. Pregnant rats were exposed to PEE (0.0 or 2.0 g/kg ethanol, gestational days 17-20) and subsequently the dam and offspring were reared under EE or standard conditions. PEE upregulated KOR mRNA levels in amygdala (AMY) and prodynorphin (PDYN) mRNA levels in ventral tegmental area (VTA) with the latter effect associated with lower DNA methylation at the gene promoter. These effects were normalized by exposure to EE. PEE modulated BDNF mRNA levels in VTA and Nucleus accumbens (AcbN), and EE mitigated the changes in AcbN. EE induced a protective effect on ethanol intake and preference, an effect more noticeable in males than in females, and in prenatal vehicle-treated (PV) than in PEE rats. The male offspring drank significantly less ethanol than the female offspring. The latter result suggests that the protective effect of EE on ethanol drinking may only emerge at lower levels of drinking. In the dams, PEE induced an upregulation of PDYN and KOR in AcbN. PDYN gene expression was normalized by exposure to EE. These results suggest that EE is a promising treatment to inhibit the effects of PEE. The results confirm that PEE effects are mediated by alterations in the transcriptional regulation of KOR system genes.

  • Lorcaserin bidirectionally regulates dopaminergic function site-dependently and disrupts dopamine brain area correlations in rats
    Neuropharmacology (IF 4.367) Pub Date : 2019-12-17
    Philippe De Deurwaerdère; Marta Ramos; Rahul Bharatiya; Emilie Puginier; Abdeslam Chagraoui; Julien Manem; Eleonora Cuboni; Massimo Pierucci; Gabriele Deidda; Maurizio Casarrubea; Giuseppe Di Giovanni
  • Treatment with gut bifidobacteria improves hippocampal plasticity and cognitive behavior in adult healthy rats
    Neuropharmacology (IF 4.367) Pub Date : 2019-12-16
    G. Talani; F. Biggio; M.C. Mostallino; V. Locci; C. Porcedda; L. Boi; E. Saolini; R. Piras; E. Sanna; G. Biggio

    At the present time, gut microbiota inspires great interest in the field of neuroscience as a function of its role in normal physiology and involvement in brain function. This aspect suggests a specific gut-brain pathway, mainly modulated by gut microbiota activity. Among the multiple actions controlled by microbiota at the brain level, neuronal plasticity and cognitive function represent two of the most interesting aspects of this cross-talk communication. We address the possible action of two-months implementation of gut Bifidobacteria using a mixture of three different strains (B-MIX) on hippocampal plasticity and related cognitive behavior in adult healthy Sprague Dawley rats. B-MIX treatment increases the hippocampal BDNF with a parallel gain in dendritic spines’ density of hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons. Electrophysiological experiments revealed a significant increment of HFS-induced LTP formation on the CA1 hippocampal region in B-MIX treated rats. All these effects are accompanied by a better cognitive performance observed in B-MIX treated animals with no impairments in locomotion activity. Therefore, in adult rats, the treatment with different strains of bifidobacteria is able to markedly enhance neuronal plasticity and the CNS function influencing cognitive behavior, an effect that may suggest a potential therapeutic treatment in brain diseases associated with cognitive functions.

  • Dose-dependent alcohol effects on electroencephalogram: Sedation/anesthesia is qualitatively distinct from sleep
    Neuropharmacology (IF 4.367) Pub Date : 2019-12-14
    Karina P. Abrahao; Matthew J. Pava; David M. Lovinger
  • Astrocyte control of glutamatergic activity: Downstream effects on serotonergic function and emotional behavior
    Neuropharmacology (IF 4.367) Pub Date : 2019-12-14
    Neus Fullana; Júlia Gasull-Camós; Mireia Tarrés-Gatius; Anna Castañé; Analía Bortolozzi; Francesc Artigas

    Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a leading cause of disability worldwide, with a poorly known pathophysiology and sub-optimal treatment, based on serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) reuptake inhibitors. We review existing theories on MDD, paying special attention to the role played by the ventral anterior cingulate cortex (vACC) or its rodent equivalent, infralimbic cortex (IL), which tightly control the activity of brainstem monoamine neurons (including raphe 5-HT neurons) via descending afferents. Further, astrocytes regulate excitatory synapse activity via glutamate reuptake through astrocytic transporters EAAT1 and EAAT2 (GLAST and GLT-1 in rodents), and alterations of astrocyte number/function have been reported in MDD patients and suicide victims. We recently assessed the impact of reducing GLAST/GLT-1 function in IL on emotional behavior and serotonergic function in rodents. The acute pharmacological blockade of GLT-1 with dihydrokainate (DHK) in rat IL evoked an antidepressant-like effect mediated by local AMPA-R activation and a subsequent enhancement of serotonergic function. No effects were produced by DHK microinfusion in prelimbic cortex (PrL). In the second model, a moderate small interfering RNAs (siRNA)-induced reduction of GLAST and GLT-1 expression in mouse IL markedly increased local glutamatergic neurotransmission and evoked a depressive-like phenotype (reversed by citalopram and ketamine), and reduced serotonergic function and BDNF expression in cortical/hippocampal areas. As for DHK, siRNA microinfusion in PrL did not evoke behavioral/neurochemical effects. Overall, both studies support a critical role of the astrocyte-neuron communication in the control of excitatory neurotransmission in IL, and subsequently, on emotional behavior, via the downstream associated changes on serotonergic function.

  • The serotonergic and alpha-1 adrenergic receptor modulator ACH-000029 ameliorates anxiety-like behavior in a post-traumatic stress disorder model
    Neuropharmacology (IF 4.367) Pub Date : 2019-12-13
    Hatylas Azevedo; Marcos Ferreira; Alessandra Mascarello; Pavel Osten; Cristiano Ruch Werneck Guimarães

    Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a severe chronic mental illness that develops in individuals exposed to life-threatening trauma and is characterized by hyperarousal, flashbacks and nightmares. The serotonergic (5-HT) and noradrenergic (NE) systems are deeply involved in the pathogenesis of PTSD. We have previously reported a novel anxiolytic compound, ACH-000029, that modulates 5-HT and α1-adrenergic receptors and induces acute anxiolytic-like effects in rodents. Here, we investigated the potential of ACH-000029 to prevent anxiety-like behavior in the single prolonged stress (SPS) PTSD model. Mice were subjected to the SPS procedure, followed by a 7-day treatment with ACH-000029 and, for comparison, with the α1-adrenergic antagonist prazosin. Animals were behaviorally assessed using social interaction, elevated plus maze and open field tests. Interestingly, treatment with ACH-000029 but not with prazosin ameliorated the SPS-induced sociability impairment and anxiety-like behavior. The brain-wide c-fos mapping, used as a surrogate for brain activity, indicated the brain structures that were altered by SPS and putatively involved in the anxiolytic-like effect of ACH-000029. The SPS protocol produced long-lasting impairment of regions involved in stress-anxiety response, such as the amygdala, prefrontal cortex, globus pallidus and superior colliculus. ACH-000029 treatment reversed the SPS-induced c-fos changes in the globus pallidus, lateral septum and entorhinal cortex and exclusively modulated c-fos levels in subregions from the retrosplenial cortex, cerebellum, superior colliculus and ventromedial hypothalamus. These results support the hypothesis that the dual regulation of 5-HT and α1-adrenergic receptors is required to alleviate PTSD symptoms and suggest a possible role of ACH-000029 as a PTSD treatment.

  • 更新日期:2019-12-13
  • KCC2 membrane diffusion tunes neuronal chloride homeostasis
    Neuropharmacology (IF 4.367) Pub Date : 2019-03-11
    Etienne Côme; Xavier Marques; Jean Christophe Poncer; Sabine Lévi
  • The role of prolactin in co-ordinating fertility and metabolic adaptations during reproduction
    Neuropharmacology (IF 4.367) Pub Date : 2019-12-10
    Sharon R. Ladyman, Eleni C.R. Hackwell, Rosemary S.E. Brown

    Mammalian pregnancy and lactation is accompanied by a period of infertility that takes place in the midst of a sustained increase in food intake. Indeed, successful reproduction in females is dependent on co-ordination of the distinct systems that regulate reproduction and metabolism. Rather than arising from different mechanisms during pregnancy and lactation, we propose that elevations in lactogenic hormones (predominant among these being prolactin and the placental lactogens), are ideally placed to influence both of these systems at the appropriate time. We review the literature examining the impacts of lactogens on fertility and energy homeostasis in the virgin state, during pregnancy and lactation and potential long-term impacts of reproductive experience. Taken together, the literature indicates that duration and pattern of lactogen exposure is a vital factor in the ability of these hormones to alter reproduction and food intake. Transient increases in prolactin, as typically seen in healthy virgin females and males, are unable to exert lasting impacts. Importantly, both suppression of fertility and increased food intake are only observed following exposure to chronically-elevated levels of lactogens. Physiologically, the only time this pattern of lactogenic secretion is maintained in the healthy female is during pregnancy and lactation, when co-ordination between these regulatory systems emerges.

  • Modulating neuroinflammation and oxidative stress to prevent epilepsy and improve outcomes after traumatic brain injury
    Neuropharmacology (IF 4.367) Pub Date : 2019-12-06
    Cliff Eastman, Raimondo D’Ambrosio, Thota Ganesh

    Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a leading cause of death and disability in young adults worldwide. TBI survival is associated with persistent neuropsychiatric and neurological impairments, including posttraumatic epilepsy (PTE). To date, no pharmaceutical treatment has been found to prevent PTE or ameliorate neurological/neuropsychiatric deficits after TBI. Brain trauma results in immediate mechanical damage to brain cells and blood vessels that may never be fully restored given the limited regenerative capacity of brain tissue. This primary insult unleashes cascades of events, prominently including neuroinflammation and massive oxidative stress that evolve over time, expanding the brain injury, but also clearing cellular debris and establishing homeostasis in the region of damage. Accumulating evidence suggests that oxidative stress and neuroinflammatory sequelae of TBI contribute to posttraumatic epileptogenesis. This review will focus on possible roles of reactive oxygen species (ROS), their interactions with neuroinflammation in posttraumatic epileptogenesis, and emerging therapeutic strategies after TBI. We propose that inhibitors of the professional ROS-generating enzymes, the NADPH oxygenases and myeloperoxidase alone, or combined with selective inhibition of cyclooxygenase mediated signaling may have promise for the treatment or prevention of PTE and other sequelae of TBI.

  • Modifying genetic epilepsies – results from studies on tuberous sclerosis complex.
    Neuropharmacology (IF 4.367) Pub Date : 2019-12-06
    Sergiusz Jozwiak, Katarzyna Kotulska, Michael Wong, Martina Bebin

    Tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) is an autosomal dominant neurocutaneous disorder affecting approximately 1 in 6,000 in general population and represents one of the most common genetic causes of epilepsy. Epilepsy affects 90% of the patients and appears in the first 2 years of life in the majority of them. Early onset of epilepsy in the first year of life is associated with high risk of cognitive decline and neuropsychiatric problems including autism. Recently TSC has been recognized as a model of genetic epilepsies. TSC is a genetic condition with known dysregulated mTOR pathway and is increasingly viewed as a model for human epileptogenesis. Moreover, TSC is characterized by a hyperactivation of mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin) pathway, and mTOR activation was showed to be implicated in epileptogenesis in many animal models and human epilepsies. Recently published studies documented positive effect of preventive or disease modifying treatment of epilepsy in infants with high risk of epilepsy with significantly lower incidence of epilepsy and better cognitive outcome. Further studies on preventive treatment of epilepsy in other genetic epilepsies of early childhood are considered.

  • 更新日期:2019-12-05
  • Seizure prediction and intervention
    Neuropharmacology (IF 4.367) Pub Date : 2019-12-05
    Christian Meisel, Tobias Loddenkemper

    Epilepsy treatment is challenging due to a lack of essential diagnostic tools, including methods for reliable seizure detection in the ambulatory setting, to assess seizure risk over time and to monitor treatment efficacy. This lack of objective diagnostics constitutes a significant barrier to better treatments, raises methodological concerns about the antiseizure medication evaluation process and, to patients, is a main issue contributing to the disease burden. Recent years have seen rapid progress towards better diagnostics that meet these needs of epilepsy patients and clinicians. Availability of comprehensive data and the rise of more powerful computational analysis methods have driven progress in this area. Here, we provide an overview on data- and theory-driven approaches aimed at identifying methods to reliably detect and forecast seizures as well as to monitor brain excitability and treatment efficacy in epilepsy. We provide a particular account on neural criticality, the hypothesis that cortical networks may be poised in a critical state at the boundary between different types of dynamics, and discuss its role in informing diagnostics to track cortex excitability and seizure risk in recent experiments. With the further expansion of digitalization in medicine, tele-medicine and long-term, ambulatory monitoring, these computationally based methods may to gain more relevance in epilepsy.

  • Role of A1 receptor-activated GIRK channels in the suppression of hippocampal seizure activity
    Neuropharmacology (IF 4.367) Pub Date : 2019-12-05
    Emily Hill, Charlotte Hickman, Rebecca Diez, Mark Wall

    The neuromodulator adenosine is released during seizure activity to provide negative feedback suppression of on-going activity and to delay the occurrence of the next burst of activity. Adenosine acts via multiple G protein coupled receptors including the A1 receptor (A1R) which inhibits neurotransmitter release and hyperpolarises neuronal membrane potential. The hyperpolarisation is produced, at least in part, by the activation of G protein-activated inwardly rectifying K+ (GIRK) channels. We have used tertiapin-Q (TQ), a potent and selective inhibitor of GIRK channels, to assess the role of GIRK channels in controlling seizure activity in areas CA1 and CA2 of mouse hippocampal slices. TQ (100–300 nM) blocked ∼50% of the adenosine-mediated membrane potential hyperpolarisation of hippocampal CA1 and CA2 neurons. TQ (100 nM) had no significant effect on synaptic transmission in area CA1 of the hippocampus but enhanced transmission in CA2, an effect prevented by blocking A1Rs. TQ (100 nM) increased the frequency of spontaneous activity (induced by removing Mg2+ and increasing K+) and blunted the effects of exogenous adenosine on the suppression of activity. TQ had a significantly greater effect on electrically-stimulated seizure activity induced in CA2 versus that in CA1, producing a greater increase in both the duration and amplitude of the stimulated bursts. This is consistent with the greater A1R density and A1R activation tone in CA2. Thus GIRK channels play a role in the supressing effects of adenosine on seizure activity.

  • Targeting the orexin system for prescription opioid use disorder: orexin-1 receptor blockade prevents oxycodone taking and seeking in rats
    Neuropharmacology (IF 4.367) Pub Date : 2019-12-04
    Alessandra Matzeu, Rémi Martin-Fardon

    Prescription opioids, such as oxycodone, are potent analgesics that are used to treat and manage pain. However, oxycodone is one of the most commonly abused prescription drugs. Finding an effective strategy to prevent prescription opioid use disorder is urgent. Orexin receptors (OrxR1 and OrxR2) have been implicated in the regulation of motivation, arousal, and stress, making them possible targets for the treatment of substance use disorder. To study the significance of environmental stimuli in maintaining the vulnerability to relapse to oxycodone use, resistance to the extinction of oxycodone-seeking behavior that was elicited by an oxycodone-related stimulus was examined. Rats were trained to self-administer oxycodone in the presence of a contextual/discriminative stimulus (SD). Using this procedure, the rats readily acquired oxycodone self-administration and exhibited increases in physical signs of opioid withdrawal. Following extinction, response-reinstating effects of re-exposure to the SD perseverated. We then tested whether OrxR blockade prevents oxycodone intake and relapse. The effects of the OrxR1 antagonist SB334867 and OrxR2 antagonist TCSOX229 on oxycodone self-administration were tested. SB334867 significantly decreased oxycodone self-administration, whereas TCSOX229 did not produce any effect. To investigate whether OrxR1 and OrxR2 blockade prevents oxycodone seeking, the rats were tested for the ability of SB334867 and TCSOX229 to prevent the SD-induced conditioned reinstatement of oxycodone-seeking behavior. SB334867 decreased oxycodone-seeking behavior, whereas TCSOX229 was ineffective. These results suggest that OrxR1 antagonism prevents excessive prescription opioid use and relapse and might be beneficial for the treatment of prescription opioid use disorder.

  • Topiramate prevents oxaliplatin-related axonal hyperexcitability and oxaliplatin induced peripheral neurotoxicity.
    Neuropharmacology (IF 4.367) Pub Date : 2019-12-04
    Paola Alberti, Annalisa Canta, Alessia Chiorazzi, Giulia Fumagalli, Cristina Meregalli, Laura Monza, Eleonora Pozzi, Elisa Ballarini, Virginia Rodriguez-Menendez, Norberto Oggioni, Giulio Sancini, Paola Marmiroli, Guido Cavaletti

    Oxaliplatin (OHP) Induced Peripheral Neurotoxicity (OIPN) is one of the dose-limiting toxicities of the drug and these adverse effects limit cancer therapy with L-OHP, used for colorectal cancer treatment. Acute neurotoxicity consists of symptoms that are the hallmarks of a transient axonal hyperexcitability; chronic neurotoxicity has a clinical picture compatible with a length-dependent sensory neuropathy. Acute OIPN pathogenesis has been linked to sodium voltage-operated channels (Na + VOC) dysfunction and it has been advocated as a possible predisposing factor to chronic neurotoxicity. We tested if topiramate (TPM), a well-known Na + VOC modulator, was able to modify acute as well as chronic OIPN. The project was divided into two parts. In Experiment 1 we tested by means of Nerve Excitability Testing (NET) a cohort of female Wistar rats to assess TPM effects after a single OHP administration (5 mg/kg, iv). In Experiment 2 we assessed TPM effects after chronic OHP treatment (5 mg/kg, 2qw4ws, iv) using NET, nerve conduction studies (NCS), behavioral tests and neuropathology (caudal nerve morphometry and morphology and Intraepidermal Nerve Fiber [IENF] density). In Experiment 1 TPM was able to prevent OHP effects on Na + VOC: OHP treatment induced a highly significant reduction of the sensory nerve's threshold, during the superexcitability period (p-value = 0.008), whereas TPM co-administration prevented this effect. In Experiment 2 we verified that TPM was able to prevent not only acute phenomena, but also to completely prevent chronic OIPN. This latter observation was supported by a multimodal approach: in fact, only OHP group showed altered findings compared to CTRL group at a neurophysiological (proximal caudal nerve sensory nerve action potential [SNAP] amplitude, p-value = 0.001; distal caudal nerve SNAP amplitude, p-value<0.001, distal caudal nerve sensory conduction velocity, p-value = 0.04), behavioral (mechanical threshold, p-value 0.003) and neuropathological levels (caudal nerve fibers density, p-value 0.001; IENF density, p-value <0.001). Our data show that TPM is a promising drug to prevent both acute and chronic OIPN. These findings have a high translational potential, since they were obtained using outcome measures that match clinical practice and TPM is already approved for clinical use being free from detrimental interaction with OHP anticancer properties.

  • LSP5-2157 a new inhibitor of vesicular glutamate transporters
    Neuropharmacology (IF 4.367) Pub Date : 2019-12-04
    Odile Poirel, Lauren E. Mamer, Melissa A. Herman, Marie Arnulf-Kempcke, Myriam Kervern, Brigitte Potier, Stephanie Miot, Jing Wang, Franck-Cyril Favre-Besse, Isabelle Brabet, Younès Laras, Hugues-Olivier Bertrand, Francine Acher, Jean-Philippe Pin, Jean-Luc Puel, Bruno Giros, Jacques Epelbaum, Christian Rosenmund, Nicolas Pietrancosta

    Vesicular glutamate transporters (VGLUT1-3) mediate the uptake of glutamate into synaptic vesicles. VGLUTs are pivotal actors of excitatory transmission and of almost all brain functions. Their implication in various pathologies has been clearly documented. Despite their functional importance, the pharmacology of VGLUTs is limited to a few dyes such as Trypan Blue, Rose Bengal or Brilliant Yellow type. Here, we report the design and evaluation of new potent analogs based on Trypan Blue scaffold. Our best compound, named LSP5-2157, has an EC50 of 50 nM on glutamate vesicular uptake. Using a 3D homology model of VGLUT1 and docking experiments, we determined its putative binding subdomains within vesicular glutamate transporters and validated the structural requirement for VGLUT inhibition. To better estimate the specificity and potency of LSP5-2157, we also investigated its ability to block glutamatergic transmission in autaptic hippocampal cells. Neither glutamate receptors nor GABAergic transmission or transmission machinery were affected by LSP5-2157. Low doses of compound reversibly reduce glutamatergic neurotransmission in hippocampal autpases. LSP5-2157 had a low and depressing effect on synaptic efficacy in hippocampal slice. Furthermore, LSP5-2157 had no effect on NMDA-R- mediated fEPSP but reduce synaptic plasticity induced by 3 trains of 100 Hz. Finally, LSP5-2157 had the capacity to inhibit VGLUT3-dependent auditory synaptic transmission in the guinea pig cochlea. In this model, it abolished the compound action potential of auditory nerve at high concentration showing the limited permeation of LSP5-2157 in an in-vivo model. In summary, the new ligand LSP5-2157, has a high affinity and specificity for VGLUTs and shows some permeability in isolated neuron, tissue preparations or in vivo in the auditory system. These findings broaden the field of VGLUTs inhibitors and open the way to their use to assess glutamatergic functions in vitro and in vivo.

  • LPA1 receptor and chronic stress: Effects on behaviour and the genes involved in the hippocampal excitatory/inhibitory balance.
    Neuropharmacology (IF 4.367) Pub Date : 2019-12-04
    R. Moreno-Fernández, C. Rosell-Valle, A. Bacq, O. Zanoletti, M. Cifuentes, M. Pérez-Martín, A.L. Gavito, M.I. García-Fernández, G. Estivill-Torrús, F. Rodríguez de Fonseca, L.J. Santín, C. Sandi, C. Pedraza

    The LPA1 receptor, one of the six characterized G protein-coupled receptors (LPA1–6) through which lysophosphatidic acid acts, is likely involved in promoting normal emotional behaviours. Current data suggest that the LPA-LPA1-receptor pathway may be involved in mediating the negative consequences of stress on hippocampal function. However, to date, there is no available information regarding the mechanisms whereby the LPA1 receptor mediates this adaptation. To gain further insight into how the LPA-LPA1 pathway may prevent the negative consequences of chronic stress, we assessed the effects of the continuous delivery of LPA on depressive-like behaviours induced by a chronic restraint stress protocol. Because a proper excitatory/inhibitory-inhibition balance seems to be key for controlling the stress response system, the gene expression of molecular markers of excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmission was also determined. In addition, the hippocampal expression of mineralocorticoid receptor genes and glucocorticoid receptor genes and proteins as well as plasma corticosterone levels were determined. Contrary to our expectations, the continuous delivery of LPA in chronically stressed animals potentiated rather than inhibited some (e.g., anhedonia, reduced latency to the first immobility period), though not all, behavioural effects of stress. Furthermore, this treatment led to an alteration in the genes coding for proteins involved in the excitatory/inhibitory balance in the ventral hippocampus and to changes in corticosterone levels. In conclusion, the results of this study reinforce the assumption that LPA is involved in emotional regulation, mainly through the LPA1 receptor, and regulates the effects of stress on hippocampal gene expression and hippocampus-dependent behaviour.

  • GW9508 ameliorates cognitive impairment via the cAMP-CREB and JNK pathways in APPswe/PS1dE9 mouse model of Alzheimer's disease
    Neuropharmacology (IF 4.367) Pub Date : 2019-12-03
    Yuhang Gong, Jingjing Chen, Yongzeng Jin, Chen Wang, Menglin Zheng, Ling He

    GPR40 was utilized as the drug target to the treatment of diabetes, but the function and mechanisms ameliorating the Alzheimer's disease (AD) remain unknown. In present study, the typical APP/PS1 mouse model was applied to explore the function and mechanism of GPR40 in AD. GPR40 agonist GW9508 and antagonist GW1100 were respectively given by i.c.v. injection to activate/inhibit the GPR40 in the brain of APP/PS1 mice which illustrated the function and mechanism of GPR40 in ameliorating AD symptoms. Morris water maze test, step-through test, Y-maze spontaneous alternation test, open field test and new object recognition test were used to test the cognitive function and memory ability of mice, while molecular biology experiments such as Western blot, immunofluorescence, JC-1 were used to detect the corresponding changes of signal pathways. The results revealed that treatment with GW9508 could significantly ameliorate cognitive deficits of APP/PS1 mice, upregulate the expression levels of cAMP, pp-CREB and neurotrophic factors in vivo, while GW9508 also ameliorate Aβ1-42-induced neuron damage and downregulate the expression levels of pathological protein such as pp-JNK, JNK and apoptosis-related proteins such as IL-6, IL-1β, TNF-α and caspase-3 in vitro. Meanwhile, high-content screening also showed that GW9508 promoted the cellular differentiation of SH-SY5Y cells, while GW1100 reversed the effects of GW9508. These results suggested that GPR40 was an underlying therapeutic target for the treatment of AD and GPR40 agonist could be explored as the emerging AD therapeutic drug.

  • The C loop at the orthosteric binding site is critically involved in GABAA receptor gating
    Neuropharmacology (IF 4.367) Pub Date : 2019-12-03
    Katarzyna Terejko, Przemysław T. Kaczor, Michał A. Michałowski, Agnieszka Dąbrowska, Jerzy W. Mozrzymas
  • Administration of a novel high affinity PICK1 PDZ domain inhibitor attenuates cocaine seeking in rats
    Neuropharmacology (IF 4.367) Pub Date : 2019-12-02
    Christopher Turner, Marta De Luca, Jordan Wolfheimer, Nicole Hernandez, Kenneth Lindegaard Madsen, Heath D. Schmidt

    Protein interacting with C kinase-1 (PICK1) regulates intra-cellular trafficking of GluA2-containing AMPA receptors, a process known to play a critical role in cocaine-seeking behavior. This suggests that PICK1 may represent a molecular target for developing novel pharmacotherapies to treat cocaine craving-induced relapse. Emerging evidence indicates that inhibition of PICK1 attenuates the reinstatement of cocaine-seeking behavior, an animal model of relapse. Here, we show that systemic administration of TAT-P4-(DATC5)2, a novel high-affinity peptide inhibitor of the PICK1 PDZ domain, dose-dependently attenuated the reinstatement of cocaine seeking in rats at doses that did not produce operant learning deficits or suppress locomotor activity. We also show that systemic TAT-P4-(DATC5)2 penetrated the brain where it was visualized in the nucleus accumbens shell. Consistent with these effects, infusions of TAT-P4-(DATC5)2 directly into the accumbens shell reduced cocaine, but not sucrose, seeking. The effects of TAT-P4-(DATC5)2 on cocaine seeking are likely due, in part, to inhibition of PICK1 in medium spiny neurons (MSNs) of the accumbens shell as TAT-P4-(DATC5)2 was shown to accumulate in striatal neurons and bind PICK1. Taken together, these findings highlight a novel role for PICK1 in the reinstatement of cocaine seeking and support further studies examining the efficacy of peptide inhibitors of PICK1 in animal and human models of cocaine relapse.

  • Pregnenolone and pregnenolone-methyl-ether rescue neuronal defects caused by dysfunctional CLIP170 in a neuronal model of CDKL5 Deficiency Disorder.
    Neuropharmacology (IF 4.367) Pub Date : 2019-11-30
    I. Barbiero, D. Peroni, P. Siniscalchi, L. Rusconi, T. Tramarin, R. De Rosa, P. Motta, M. Bianchi, C. Kilstrup-Nielsen

    Mutations in the X-linked cyclin-dependent kinase-like 5 (CDKL5) gene are responsible for the onset of CDKL5 Deficiency Disorder (CDD), a neurological pathology characterised by severe infantile seizures, intellectual disability, impairment of gross motor skills, sleep and gastrointestinal disturbances. CDKL5 is a serine/threonine kinase the molecular network of which is not yet fully understood. Loss of CDKL5 both in vitro and in vivo leads to altered neuronal morphology including axon specification and outgrowth, dendritic arborisation and spine morphology suggesting a link between CDKL5 and the regulation of proper cytoskeleton functioning. Recently, we found that CDKL5 regulates the binding of CLIP170 to microtubules (MT). CLIP170 is a MT-plus end tracking protein (+TIP) that associates with MTs when present in its open, active conformation. Here we present evidence suggesting CLIP170 contributes to neuronal CDKL5-dependent defects and that it represents an important novel druggable target for CDD; indeed, CLIP170 is directly targeted by the neuroactive steroid pregnenolone (PREG), which induces the active conformation of the protein thus promoting MT-dynamics. We here show that PREG and a synthetic derivative pregnenolone-methyl-ether (PME) can restore the MT association of CLIP170 and revert morphological and molecular defects in Cdkl5-KO neurons at different stages of maturation. All together, these findings identify CLIP170 as possible novel druggable target for CDKL5 related disorders providing an intriguing prospective for future disease-modifying drug-based therapies.

  • The Current Approach of the Epilepsy Therapy Screening Program Contract Site for Identifying Improved Therapies for the Treatment of Pharmacoresistant Seizures in Epilepsy.
    Neuropharmacology (IF 4.367) Pub Date : 2019-11-30
    Karen S. Wilcox, Peter J. West, Cameron S. Metcalf

    The Epilepsy Therapy Screening Program (ETSP), formerly known as the Anticonvulsant Screening Program (ASP), has played an important role in the preclinical evaluation of many of the antiseizure drugs (ASDs) that have been approved by the FDA and thus made available for the treatment of seizures. Recent changes to the animal models used at the contract site of the ETSP at the University of Utah have been implemented in an attempt to better model the unmet clinical needs of people with pharmacoresistant epilepsy and thus identify improved therapies. In this review, we describe the changes that have occurred over the last several years in the screening approach used at the contract site and, in particular, detail the pharmacology associated with several of the animal models and assays that are either new to the program or have been recently characterized in more depth. There is optimism that the refined approach used by the ETSP contract site, wherein etiologically relevant models that include those with spontaneous seizures are used, will identify novel, potentially disease modifying therapies for people with pharmacoresistant epilepsy and those at risk for developing epilepsy.

  • A systems-level framework for anti-epilepsy drug discovery
    Neuropharmacology (IF 4.367) Pub Date : 2019-11-28
    Michael R. Johnson, Rafal M. Kaminski

    Modern anti-seizure drug development yielded benefits in terms of improved pharmacokinetics, safety and tolerability profiles, but offered no advances in efficacy compared to previous older generations of anti-seizure drugs. Despite significant advances in our understanding of the genetic bases to epilepsy, and a welcome renewed interest on the severe monogenic epilepsies, modern genetics has yet to directly inform more effective or disease-modifying anti-seizure drugs. Here, we describe a new approach to the identification of novel disease modifying anti-epilepsy drugs. The systems genetics approach aims to first identify pathophysiological mechanisms by integrating polygenic risk with cellular gene expression profiles and then to relate these molecular mechanisms to druggable targets using a gene regulatory (regulome) framework. The approach offers an exciting and flexible framework for future drug discovery in epilepsy, and is applicable to any disease for which appropriate cell-type and disease-context specific data exist.

  • Wnt1/β-catenin signaling upregulates spinal VGLUT2 expression to control neuropathic pain in mice
    Neuropharmacology (IF 4.367) Pub Date : 2019-11-27
    Zhi-Ling Zhang, Gang Yu, Jing Peng, Huan-Bai Wang, Yu-Lei Li, Xiao-Nan Liang, Rui-Bin Su, Ze-Hui Gong

    Vesicular glutamate transporter 2 (VGLUT2)—which uptakes glutamate into presynaptic vesicles—is a fundamental component of the glutamate neurotransmitter system. Although several lines of evidence from genetically modified mice suggest a possible association of VGLUT2 with neuropathic pain, the specific role of VGLUT2 in the spinal cord during neuropathic pain, and its regulatory mechanism remain elusive. In this study, we report that spared nerve injury induced an upregulation of VGLUT2 in the spinal cord, and intrathecal administration of small hairpin RNAs (shRNA) against VGLUT2 before or after surgery attenuated mechanical allodynia, and pathologically-enhanced glutamate release. Meanwhile, nerve injury activated the Wnt1/β-catenin signaling pathway in a quick-onset and sustained manner, and blocking the Wnt1 signaling with a Wnt1 targeting antibody attenuated neuropathic pain. In naïve mice, administration of a Wnt agonist or Wnt1 increased spinal VGLUT2 protein levels. Moreover, intrathecal administration of the Wnt/β-catenin inhibitor, XAV939 attenuated mechanical allodynia, and this effect was concurrent with that of VGLUT2 downregulation. Pretreatment with VGLUT2 shRNAs abolished the allodynia induced by the Wnt agonist or Wnt1. These findings reveal a novel mechanism wherein there is Wnt1/β-catenin-dependent VGLUT2 upregulation in neuropathic pain, thus potentiating the development of new therapeutic strategies in pain management.

  • microRNA-331-3p maintains the contractile type of vascular smooth muscle cells by regulating TNF-α and CD14 in intracranial aneurysm
    Neuropharmacology (IF 4.367) Pub Date : 2019-11-27
    Weijian Fan, Yizhi Liu, Chuanyong Li, Xiaofeng Qu, Guangfeng Zheng, Qiang Zhang, Zhichang Pan, Yalan Wang, Jianjie Rong

    Dysfunction of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) may be linked to intracranial aneurysm (IA) formation. VSMCs possess a phenotypic plasticity, capable of changing from a mature, contractile to a less differentiated, synthetic phenotype. In this study, we identify a microRNA candidate miR-331-3p that participates in regulating differentiation properties of VSMCs. The expression of TNF-α and CD14 was quantified in IA wall tissues obtained from 96 IA patients and their associations with clinicopathological features of IA were assessed. Then the interactions between miR-331-3p, TNF-α and CD14 were evaluated by determination of luciferase activity. Differentiated properties of VSMCs were assessed from phenotypic markers of contractile VSMCs, a-SMA and E-cadherin, and of synthetic VSMCs, ICAM-1, MCP-1, IL-6, MMP-2 and MMP-9. Rat IA models by ligation of left carotid artery and left renal artery and histological analysis of induced IAs were performed. The TNF-α and CD14 was highly expressed in IA wall tissues and associated with the type and diameter of aneurysm. Depletion of TNF-α or CD14 retarded VSMC apoptosis and transformation to the synthetic type but facilitated cell proliferation. Elevations in miR-331-3p, a direct negative regulator of both TNF-α and CD14, also reduced VSMC apoptosis and prevented VSMCs from synthetic type and increase their proliferation. Furthermore, miR-331-3p was demonstrated to inhibit the formation of IA by down-regulating TNF-α and CD14 in vivo. In conclusion, miR-331-3p maintains the contractile type of VSMCs, thus possibly inhibiting the progression of IA. These findings provide potential new strategies for the clinical treatment of IA.

  • Simultaneous activation of mGlu2 and muscarinic receptors reverses MK-801-induced cognitive decline in rodents
    Neuropharmacology (IF 4.367) Pub Date : 2019-11-27
    Paulina Cieślik, Helena Domin, Agnieszka Chocyk, Piotr Gruca, Ewa Litwa, Agata Płoska, Adrianna Radulska, Iwona Pelikant-Małecka, Piotr Brański, Leszek Kalinowski, Joanna M. Wierońska

    The activity of an allosteric agonist of muscarinic M1 receptor, VU0357017, and a positive allosteric modulator (PAM) of M5 receptor, VU0238429, were investigated alone or in combination with the mGlu2 receptor PAM, LY487379 using the following behavioural tests: prepulse inhibition (PPI), novel object recognition (NOR), and spatial delayed alternation (SDA). VU0357017 (10 and 20 mg/kg) and VU0238429 (5 and 10 mg/kg) reversed deficits in PPI while VU0238429 (2.5 and 5 mg/kg) was effective in SDA. The simultaneous administration of subeffective doses of M1 or M5 activators (5, 1, or 0.25 mg/kg) with LY487379 (0.5 mg/kg) induced the same effect as that observed for the active dose of each compound. Selective M1 or M5 receptor blockers antagonized the effect exerted by these combinations, and pharmacokinetic studies confirmed independent transport through the blood-brain barrier. The expression of both receptors (M1 and M5) was established in brain structures involved in cognition (neocortex, hippocampus, and entorhinal cortex) in both the rat and the mouse brains by immunofluorescence staining. Specifically, double neuronal staining of mGlu2-M1 and mGlu2-M5 receptors was observed in many areas of the rat brain, while the number of double-stained mGlu2-M1 receptors was moderate in the mouse brain with no mGlu2-M5 colocalization. Finally, the combined administration of subeffective doses of the compounds did not alter prolactin levels or motor coordination, in contrast to the compounds given alone at the highest dose or in combination with standard neuroleptics.

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上海纽约大学William Glover