IF du Neurocentre

985 publications

* equal contribution
The indicated IF have been collected by the Web of Sciences in June 2021

The internal state of the organism is an important modulator of perception and behavior. The link between hunger, olfaction and feeding behavior is one of the clearest examples of these connections. At the neurobiological level, olfactory circuits are the targets of several signals (i.e. hormones and nutrients) involved in energy balance. Indicating that olfactory areas are potential sensors of the internal state of the organism. Thus, the aim of this manuscript is to review the literature showing the interplay between metabolic signals in olfactory circuits and its impact on food intake.

17/09/2014 | J Neurosci   IF 6.7
Enhanced endocannabinoid-mediated modulation of rostromedial tegmental nucleus drive onto dopamine neurons in Sardinian alcohol-preferring rats.
Melis M, Sagheddu C, De Felice M, Casti A, Madeddu C, Spiga S, Muntoni AL, Mackie K, Marsicano G, Colombo G, Castelli MP, Pistis M
doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1844-14.2014

The progressive predominance of rewarding effects of addictive drugs over their aversive properties likely contributes to the transition from drug use to drug dependence. By inhibiting the activity of DA neurons in the VTA, GABA projections from the rostromedial tegmental nucleus (RMTg) are well suited to shift the balance between drug-induced reward and aversion. Since cannabinoids suppress RMTg inputs to DA cells and CB1 receptors affect alcohol intake in rodents, we hypothesized that the endocannabinoid system, by modulating this pathway, might contribute to alcohol preference. Here we found that RMTg afferents onto VTA DA neurons express CB1 receptors and display a 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG)-dependent form of short-term plasticity, that is, depolarization-induced suppression of inhibition (DSI). Next, we compared rodents with innate opposite alcohol preference, the Sardinian alcohol-preferring (sP) and alcohol-nonpreferring (sNP) rats. We found that DA cells from alcohol-naive sP rats displayed a decreased probability of GABA release and a larger DSI. This difference was due to the rate of 2-AG degradation. In vivo, we found a reduced RMTg-induced inhibition of putative DA neurons in sP rats that negatively correlated with an increased firing. Finally, alcohol failed to enhance RMTg spontaneous activity and to prolong RMTg-induced silencing of putative DA neurons in sP rats. Our results indicate functional modifications of RMTg projections to DA neurons that might impact the reward/aversion balance of alcohol attributes, which may contribute to the innate preference observed in sP rats and to their elevated alcohol intake.

15/09/2014 | Int J Obes (Lond)   IF 5.4
The corticotrophin-releasing factor/urocortin system regulates white fat browning in mice through paracrine mechanisms.
Lu B, Diz-Chaves Y, Markovic D, Contarino A, Penicaud L, Fanelli F, Clark S, Lehnert H, Cota D, Grammatopoulos DK, Tabarin A
doi: 10.1038/ijo.2014.164

Objectives:The corticotrophin-releasing factor (CRF)/urocortin system is expressed in the adipose tissue of mammals, but its functional role in this tissue remains unknown.Methods:Pharmacological manipulation of the activity of CRF receptors, CRF1 and CRF2, was performed in 3T3L1 white pre-adipocytes and T37i brown pre-adipocytes during in vitro differentiation. The expression of genes of the CRF/urocortin system and of markers of white and brown adipocytes was evaluated along with mitochondrial biogenesis and cellular oxygen consumption. Metabolic evaluation of corticosterone-deficient or supplemented Crhr1-null (Crhr1-/-) mice and their wild-type controls was performed along with gene expression analysis carried out in white (WAT) and brown (BAT) adipose tissues.Results:Peptides of the CRF/urocortin system and their cognate receptors were expressed in both pre-adipocyte cell lines. In vitro pharmacological studies showed an inhibition of the expression of the CRF2 pathway by the constitutive activity of the CRF1 pathway. Pharmacological activation of CRF2 and, to a lesser extent, inhibition of CRF1 signaling induced molecular and functional changes indicating transdifferentiation of white pre-adipocytes and differentiation of brown pre-adipocytes. Crhr1-/- mice showed increased expression of CRF2 and its agonist Urocortin 2 in adipocytes that was associated to brown conversion of WAT and activation of BAT. Crhr1-/- mice were resistant to diet-induced obesity and glucose intolerance. Restoring physiological circulating corticosterone levels abrogated molecular changes in adipocytes and the favorable phenotype of Crhr1-/- mice.Conclusions:Our findings suggest the importance of the CRF2 pathway in the control of adipocyte plasticity. Increased CRF2 activity in adipocytes induces browning of WAT, differentiation of BAT and is associated with a favorable metabolic phenotype in mice lacking CRF1. Circulating corticosterone represses CRF2 activity in adipocytes and may thus regulate adipocyte physiology through the modulation of the local CRF/urocortin system. Targeting CRF receptor signaling specifically in the adipose tissue may represent a novel approach to tackle obesity.International Journal of Obesity advance online publication, 14 October 2014; doi:10.1038/ijo.2014.164.

09/2014 | Mol Psychiatry   IF 15.1
BDNF-TrkB signaling through Erk1/2 MAPK phosphorylation mediates the enhancement of fear memory induced by glucocorticoids.
Revest JM, Le Roux A, Roullot-Lacarriere V, Kaouane N, Vallee M, Kasanetz F, Rouge-Pont F, Tronche F, Desmedt A, Piazza PV
doi: 10.1038/mp.2013.134

Activation of glucocorticoid receptors (GR) by glucocorticoid hormones (GC) enhances contextual fear memories through the activation of the Erk1/2(MAPK) signaling pathway. However, the molecular mechanism mediating this effect of GC remains unknown. Here we used complementary molecular and behavioral approaches in mice and rats and in genetically modified mice in which the GR was conditionally deleted (GR(NesCre)). We identified the tPA-BDNF-TrkB signaling pathway as the upstream molecular effectors of GR-mediated phosphorylation of Erk1/2(MAPK) responsible for the enhancement of contextual fear memory. These findings complete our knowledge of the molecular cascade through which GC enhance contextual fear memory and highlight the role of tPA-BDNF-TrkB-Erk1/2(MAPK) signaling pathways as one of the core effectors of stress-related effects of GC.

20/08/2014 | Neuron   IF 16
A Computational Model of Motor Neuron Degeneration
Le masson G, przedborski, Serge, Abbott, LF

To explore the link between bioenergetics and mo- tor neuron degeneration, we used a computational model in which detailed morphology and ion conductance are paired with intracellular ATP pro- duction and consumption. We found that reduced ATP availability increases the metabolic cost of a single action potential and disrupts K+/Na+ homeo- stasis, resulting in a chronic depolarization. The magnitude of the ATP shortage at which this ionic instability occurs depends on the morphology and intrinsic conductance characteristic of the neuron. If ATP shortage is confined to the distal part of the axon, the ensuing local ionic instability eventually spreads to the whole neuron and involves fascicula- tion-like spiking events. A shortage of ATP also causes a rise in intracellular calcium. Our modeling work supports the notion that mitochondrial dysfunction can account for salient features of the paralytic disorder amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, including motor neuron hyperexcitability, fascicula- tion, and differential vulnerability of motor neuron subpopulations.

05/08/2014 | j exp clin cancer res   IF 3.3
Promoter methylation of tumor suppressor genes in pre-neoplastic lesions; potential marker of disease recurrence.
Rengucci C, De Maio G, Casadei Gardini A, Zucca M, Scarpi E, Zingaretti C, Foschi G, Tumedei MM, Molinari C, Saragoni L, Puccetti M, Amadori D, Zoli W, Calistri D
doi: 10.1186/s13046-014-0065-x

BACKGROUND: Epigenetic alterations of specific genes have been reported to be related to colorectal cancer (CRC) transformation and would also appear to be involved in the early stages of colorectal carcinogenesis. Little data are available on the role of these alterations in determining a different risk of colorectal lesion recurrence. The aim of the present study was to verify whether epigenetic alterations present in pre-neoplastic colorectal lesions detected by colonoscopy can predict disease recurrence. METHODS: A retrospective series of 78 adenomas were collected and classified as low (35) or high-risk (43) for recurrence according to National Comprehensive Cancer Network guidelines. Methylation alterations were analyzed by the methylation-specific multiplex ligation probe assay (MS-MLPA) which is capable of quantifying methylation levels simultaneously in 24 different gene promoters. MS-MLPA results were confirmed by pyrosequencing and immunohistochemistry. RESULTS: Higher levels of methylation were associated with disease recurrence. In particular, MLH1, ATM and FHIT gene promoters were found to be significantly hypermethylated in recurring adenomas. Unconditional logistic regression analysis used to evaluate the relative risk (RR) of recurrence showed that FHIT and MLH1 were independent variables with an RR of 35.30 (95% CI 4.15-300.06, P = 0.001) and 17.68 (95% CI 1.91-163.54, P = 0.011), respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Histopathological classification does not permit an accurate evaluation of the risk of recurrence of colorectal lesions. Conversely, results from our methylation analysis suggest that a classification based on molecular parameters could help to define the mechanisms involved in carcinogenesis and prove an effective method for identifying patients at high risk of recurrence.

29/07/2014 | Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A
A dual role for planar cell polarity genes in ciliated cells.
Boutin C, Labedan P, Dimidschstein J, Richard F, Cremer H, Andre P, Yang Y, Montcouquiol M, Goffinet AM, Tissir F
doi: 10.1073/pnas.1404988111

In the nervous system, cilia dysfunction perturbs the circulation of the cerebrospinal fluid, thus affecting neurogenesis and brain homeostasis. A role for planar cell polarity (PCP) signaling in the orientation of cilia (rotational polarity) and ciliogenesis is established. However, whether and how PCP regulates cilia positioning in the apical domain (translational polarity) in radial progenitors and ependymal cells remain unclear. By analysis of a large panel of mutant mice, we show that two PCP signals are operating in ciliated cells. The first signal, controlled by cadherin, EGF-like, laminin G-like, seven-pass, G-type receptor (Celsr) 2, Celsr3, Frizzled3 (Fzd3) and Van Gogh like2 (Vangl2) organizes multicilia in individual cells (single-cell polarity), whereas the second signal, governed by Celsr1, Fzd3, and Vangl2, coordinates polarity between cells in both radial progenitors and ependymal cells (tissue polarity). Loss of either of these signals is associated with specific defects in the cytoskeleton. Our data reveal unreported functions of PCP and provide an integrated view of planar polarization of the brain ciliated cells.

07/2014 | Mol Metab
Cannabinoid control of brain bioenergetics: Exploring the subcellular localization of the CB1 receptor.
Hebert-Chatelain E, Reguero L, Puente N, Lutz B, Chaouloff F, Rossignol R, Piazza PV, Benard G, Grandes P, Marsicano G
doi: 10.1016/j.molmet.2014.03.007

Brain mitochondrial activity is centrally involved in the central control of energy balance. When studying mitochondrial functions in the brain, however, discrepant results might be obtained, depending on the experimental approaches. For instance, immunostaining experiments and biochemical isolation of organelles expose investigators to risks of false positive and/or false negative results. As an example, the functional presence of cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) receptors on brain mitochondrial membranes (mtCB1) was recently reported and rapidly challenged, claiming that the original observation was likely due to artifact results. Here, we addressed this issue by directly comparing the procedures used in the two studies. Our results show that the use of appropriate controls and quantifications allows detecting mtCB1 receptor with CB1 receptor antibodies, and that, if mitochondrial fractions are enriched and purified, CB1 receptor agonists reliably decrease respiration in brain mitochondria. These data further underline the importance of adapted experimental procedures to study brain mitochondrial functions.

07/2014 | Mol Metab
Studying mitochondrial CB1 receptors: Yes we can.
Hebert-Chatelain E, Reguero L, Puente N, Lutz B, Chaouloff F, Rossignol R, Piazza PV, Benard G, Grandes P, Marsicano G
doi: 10.1016/j.molmet.2014.03.008

22/05/2014 | Nature   IF 42.4
Amygdala interneuron subtypes control fear learning through disinhibition.
Wolff SB, Grundemann J, Tovote P, Krabbe S, Jacobson GA, Muller C, Herry C, Ehrlich I, Friedrich RW, Letzkus JJ, Luthi A
doi: 10.1038/nature13258

Learning is mediated by experience-dependent plasticity in neuronal circuits. Activity in neuronal circuits is tightly regulated by different subtypes of inhibitory interneurons, yet their role in learning is poorly understood. Using a combination of in vivo single-unit recordings and optogenetic manipulations, we show that in the mouse basolateral amygdala, interneurons expressing parvalbumin (PV) and somatostatin (SOM) bidirectionally control the acquisition of fear conditioning--a simple form of associative learning--through two distinct disinhibitory mechanisms. During an auditory cue, PV(+) interneurons are excited and indirectly disinhibit the dendrites of basolateral amygdala principal neurons via SOM(+) interneurons, thereby enhancing auditory responses and promoting cue-shock associations. During an aversive footshock, however, both PV(+) and SOM(+) interneurons are inhibited, which boosts postsynaptic footshock responses and gates learning. These results demonstrate that associative learning is dynamically regulated by the stimulus-specific activation of distinct disinhibitory microcircuits through precise interactions between different subtypes of local interneurons.

Dendritic spines are basic units of neuronal information processing and their structure is closely reflected in their function. Defects in synaptic development are common in neurodevelopmental disorders, making detailed knowledge of age-dependent changes in spine morphology essential for understanding disease mechanisms. However, little is known about the functionally important fine-morphological structures, such as spine necks, due to the limited spatial resolution of conventional light microscopy. Using stimulated emission depletion microscopy (STED), we examined spine morphology at the nanoscale during normal development in mice, and tested the hypothesis that it is impaired in a mouse model of fragile X syndrome (FXS). In contrast to common belief, we find that, in normal development, spine heads become smaller, while their necks become wider and shorter, indicating that synapse compartmentalization decreases substantially with age. In the mouse model of FXS, this developmental trajectory is largely intact, with only subtle differences that are dependent on age and brain region. Together, our findings challenge current dogmas of both normal spine development as well as spine dysgenesis in FXS, highlighting the importance of super-resolution imaging approaches for elucidating structure-function relationships of dendritic spines.

11/04/2014 | Brain Struct Funct   IF 4.6
An anterograde rabies virus vector for high-resolution large-scale reconstruction of 3D neuron morphology.
Haberl MG*, Viana da Silva S*, Guest JM, Ginger M, Ghanem A, Mulle C, Oberlaender M, Conzelmann KK, Frick A
doi: 10.1007/s00429-014-0730-z

Glycoprotein-deleted rabies virus (RABV G) is a powerful tool for the analysis of neural circuits. Here, we demonstrate the utility of an anterograde RABV G variant for novel neuroanatomical approaches involving either bulk or sparse neuronal populations. This technology exploits the unique features of RABV G vectors, namely autonomous, rapid high-level expression of transgenes, and limited cytotoxicity. Our vector permits the unambiguous long-range and fine-scale tracing of the entire axonal arbor of individual neurons throughout the brain. Notably, this level of labeling can be achieved following infection with a single viral particle. The vector is effective over a range of ages (>14 months) aiding the studies of neurodegenerative disorders or aging, and infects numerous cell types in all brain regions tested. Lastly, it can also be readily combined with retrograde RABV G variants. Together with other modern technologies, this tool provides new possibilities for the investigation of the anatomy and physiology of neural circuits.

28/03/2014 | Neuroscience   IF 3.3
Cannabinoid type-1 receptors in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus inhibit stimulated food intake.
Soria-Gomez E, Massa F, Bellocchio L, Rueda-Orozco PE, Ciofi P, Cota D, Oliet SH, Prospero-Garcia O, Marsicano G
doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2014.01.005

Cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1)-dependent signaling in the brain is known to modulate food intake. Recent evidence has actually shown that CB1 can both inhibit and stimulate food intake in fasting/refeeding conditions, depending on the specific neuronal circuits involved. However, the exact brain sites where this bimodal control is exerted and the underlying neurobiological mechanisms are not fully understood yet. Using pharmacological and electrophysiological approaches, we show that local CB1 blockade in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus (PVN) increases fasting-induced hyperphagia in rats. Furthermore, local CB1 blockade in the PVN also increases the orexigenic effect of the gut hormone ghrelin in animals fed ad libitum. At the electrophysiological level, CB1 blockade in slices containing the PVN potentiates the decrease of the activity of PVN neurons induced by long-term application of ghrelin. Hence, the PVN is (one of) the site(s) where signals associated with the body's energy status determine the direction of the effects of endocannabinoid signaling on food intake.

In keeping with its ability to control the mesoaccumbens dopamine (DA) pathway, the serotonin2C receptor (5-HT2C R) plays a key role in mediating the behavioral and neurochemical effects of drugs of abuse. Studies assessing the influence of 5-HT2C R agonists on cocaine-induced responses have suggested that 5-HT2C Rs can modulate mesoaccumbens DA pathway activity independently of accumbal DA release, thereby controlling DA transmission in the nucleus accumbens (NAc). In the present study, we assessed this hypothesis by studying the influence of the 5-HT2C R agonist Ro 60-0175 on cocaine-induced behavioral, neurochemical and molecular responses. The i.p. administration of 1 mg/kg Ro 60-0175 inhibited hyperlocomotion induced by cocaine (15 mg/kg, i.p.), had no effect on cocaine-induced DA outflow in the shell, and increased it in the core subregion of the NAc. Furthermore, Ro 60-0175 inhibited the late-onset locomotion induced by the subcutaneous administration of the DA-D2 R agonist quinpirole (0.5 mg/kg), as well as cocaine-induced increase in c-Fos immunoreactivity in NAc subregions. Finally, Ro 60-0175 inhibited cocaine-induced phosphorylation of the DA and c-AMP regulated phosphoprotein of Mr 32 kDa (DARPP-32) at threonine residues in the NAc core, this effect being reversed by the selective 5-HT2C R antagonist SB 242084 (0.5 mg/kg, i.p.). Altogether, these findings demonstrate that 5-HT2C Rs are capable of modulating mesoaccumbens DA pathway activity at post-synaptic level by specifically controlling DA signaling in the NAc core subregion. In keeping with the tight relationship between locomotor activity and NAc DA function, this interaction could participate in the inhibitory control of cocaine-induced locomotor activity.

17/03/2014 | Neuropsychopharmacology   IF 7.8
Frequency of Cocaine Self-Administration Influences Drug Seeking in the Rat: Optogenetic Evidence for a Role of the Prelimbic Cortex.
Martin-Garcia E, Courtin J, Renault P, Fiancette JF, Wurtz H, Simonnet A, Levet F, Herry C, Deroche-Gamonet V
doi: 10.1038/npp.2014.66

High-frequency intake and high drug-induced seeking are associated with cocaine addiction in both human and animals. However, their relationships and neurobiological underpinnings remain hypothetical. The medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), basolateral amygdala (BLA), and nucleus accumbens (NAc) have been shown to have a role in cocaine seeking. However, their involvement in regulating high-frequency intake and high cocaine-induced seeking is unclear. We manipulated frequency of cocaine self-administration and investigated whether it influenced cocaine seeking. The contribution of the aforementioned structures was evaluated using changes in expression of the immediate early gene c-Fos and targeted optogenetic manipulations. Rats that self-administered at High frequency (short inter-infusion intervals allowed by short time-out) showed higher cocaine-induced seeking than low frequency rats (long inter-infusions intervals imposed by long time-out), as measured with cocaine-induced reinstatement. c-Fos was enhanced in High frequency rats in the prelimbic (PL) and infralimbic (IL) areas of the mPFC, the BLA, and the NAc core and shell. Correlational analysis of c-Fos revealed that the PL was a critical node strongly correlated with both the IL and NAc core in High frequency rats. Targeted optogenetic inactivation of the PL decreased cocaine-induced reinstatement, but increased cocaine self-administration, in High frequency rats. In contrast, optogenetic activation of the PL had no effect on Low frequency rats. Thus, high-frequency intake promotes a PL-dependent control of cocaine seeking, with the PL exerting a facilitatory or inhibitory effect, depending on operant contingencies. Individual differences in cocaine-induced PL activation might be a source of vulnerability for poorly controlled cocaine-induced seeking and/or cocaine intake.Neuropsychopharmacology advance online publication, 16 April 2014; doi:10.1038/npp.2014.66.

03/2014 | Nat Neurosci   IF 15
The endocannabinoid system controls food intake via olfactory processes.
Soria-Gomez E, Bellocchio L, Reguero L, Lepousez G, Martin C, Bendahmane M, Ruehle S, Remmers F, Desprez T, Matias I, Wiesner T, Cannich A, Nissant A, Wadleigh A, Pape HC, Chiarlone AP, Quarta C, Verrier D, Vincent P, Massa F, Lutz B, Guzman M, Gurden H, Ferreira G, Lledo PM, Grandes P, Marsicano G
doi: 10.1038/nn.3647

Hunger arouses sensory perception, eventually leading to an increase in food intake, but the underlying mechanisms remain poorly understood. We found that cannabinoid type-1 (CB1) receptors promote food intake in fasted mice by increasing odor detection. CB1 receptors were abundantly expressed on axon terminals of centrifugal cortical glutamatergic neurons that project to inhibitory granule cells of the main olfactory bulb (MOB). Local pharmacological and genetic manipulations revealed that endocannabinoids and exogenous cannabinoids increased odor detection and food intake in fasted mice by decreasing excitatory drive from olfactory cortex areas to the MOB. Consistently, cannabinoid agonists dampened in vivo optogenetically stimulated excitatory transmission in the same circuit. Our data indicate that cortical feedback projections to the MOB crucially regulate food intake via CB1 receptor signaling, linking the feeling of hunger to stronger odor processing. Thus, CB1 receptor-dependent control of cortical feedback projections in olfactory circuits couples internal states to perception and behavior.

19/02/2014 | Neuron   IF 16
Gliotransmitters travel in time and space.
Araque A, Carmignoto G, Haydon PG, Oliet SH, Robitaille R, Volterra A
doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2014.02.007

The identification of the presence of active signaling between astrocytes and neurons in a process termed gliotransmission has caused a paradigm shift in our thinking about brain function. However, we are still in the early days of the conceptualization of how astrocytes influence synapses, neurons, networks, and ultimately behavior. In this Perspective, our goal is to identify emerging principles governing gliotransmission and consider the specific properties of this process that endow the astrocyte with unique functions in brain signal integration. We develop and present hypotheses aimed at reconciling confounding reports and define open questions to provide a conceptual framework for future studies. We propose that astrocytes mainly signal through high-affinity slowly desensitizing receptors to modulate neurons and perform integration in spatiotemporal domains complementary to those of neurons.

11/02/2014 | Nat Commun   IF 10.7
Neonatal testosterone suppresses a neuroendocrine pulse generator required for reproduction.
Israel JM, Cabelguen JM, Le Masson G, Oliet SH, Ciofi P
doi: 10.1038/ncomms4285

The pituitary gland releases hormones in a pulsatile fashion guaranteeing signalling efficiency. The determinants of pulsatility are poorly circumscribed. Here we show in magnocellular hypothalamo-neurohypophyseal oxytocin (OT) neurons that the bursting activity underlying the neurohormonal pulses necessary for parturition and the milk-ejection reflex is entirely driven by a female-specific central pattern generator (CPG). Surprisingly, this CPG is active in both male and female neonates, but is inactivated in males after the first week of life. CPG activity can be restored in males by orchidectomy or silenced in females by exogenous testosterone. This steroid effect is aromatase and caspase dependent, and is mediated via oestrogen receptor-alpha. This indicates the apoptosis of the CPG network during hypothalamic sexual differentiation, explaining why OT neurons do not burst in adult males. This supports the view that stereotypic neuroendocrine pulsatility is governed by CPGs, some of which are subjected to gender-specific perinatal programming.

09/02/2014 | Brain Struct Funct   IF 4.6
Influence of ontogenetic age on the role of dentate granule neurons.
Tronel S, Lemaire V, Charrier V, Montaron MF, Abrous DN
doi: 10.1007/s00429-014-0715-y

New neurons are continuously produced in the adult dentate gyrus of the hippocampus, a key structure in learning and memory. It has been shown that adult neurogenesis is crucial for normal memory processing. However, it is not known whether neurons born during the developmental period and during adulthood support the same functions. Here, we demonstrate that neurons born in neonates (first postnatal week) are activated in different memory processes when they are mature compared to neurons born in adults. By imaging the activation of these two different neuron generations in the same rat and using the IEG Zif268 and Fos, we show that these neurons are involved in discriminating dissimilar contexts and spatial problem solving, respectively. These findings demonstrate that the ontogenetic stage during which neurons are generated is crucial for their function within the memory network.

02/2014 | Mol Neurobiol   IF 5.3
Glycogen synthase kinase-3beta is involved in electroacupuncture pretreatment via the cannabinoid CB1 receptor in ischemic stroke.
Wei H, Yao X, Yang L, Wang S, Guo F, Zhou H, Marsicano G, Wang Q, Xiong L
doi: 10.1007/s12035-013-8524-5

We have previously shown that electroacupuncture (EA) pretreatment produces neuroprotective effects, which were mediated through an endocannabinoid signal transduction mechanism. Herein, we have studied the possible contribution of the phosphorylated form of glycogen synthase kinase-3beta (GSK-3beta) in EA pretreatment-induced neuroprotection via the cannabinoid CB1 receptor (CB1R). Focal transient cerebral ischemia was induced by middle cerebral artery occlusion in rats. Phosphorylation of GSK-3beta at Ser-9 [p-GSK-3beta (Ser-9)] was evaluated in the penumbra tissue following reperfusion. Infarct size and neurological score were assessed in the presence of either PI3K inhibitors or a GSK-3beta inhibitor 72 h after reperfusion. Cellular apoptosis was evidenced by TUNEL staining and determination of the Bax/Bcl-2 ratio 24 h after reperfusion. The present study showed that EA pretreatment increased p-GSK-3beta(Ser-9) 2 h after reperfusion in the ipsilateral penumbra. Augmented phosphorylation of GSK-3beta induced similar neuroprotective effects as did EA pretreatment. By contrast, inhibition of PI3K dampened the levels of p-GSK-3beta(Ser-9), and reversed not only the neuroprotective effect but also the anti-apoptotic effect following EA pretreatment. Regulation of GSK-3beta by EA pretreatment was abolished following treatment with a CB1R antagonist and CB1R knockdown, whereas two CB1R agonists enhanced the phosphorylation of GSK-3beta. Therefore we conclude that EA pretreatment protects against cerebral ischemia/reperfusion injury through CB1R-mediated phosphorylation of GSK-3beta.

28/01/2014 | world j gastroenterol   IF 2.4
Circulating and stool nucleic acid analysis for colorectal cancer diagnosis.
De Maio G, Rengucci C, Zoli W, Calistri D
doi: 10.3748/wjg.v20.i4.957

In recent years, the need to identify molecular markers characterized by high sensitivity and specificity in detecting and monitoring early and colorectal cancer lesions has increased. Up to now, none of the markers or panels of markers analyzed have met the rigorous standards required of a screening program. The important discovery of circulating nucleic acids in biological fluids has aroused intense scientific interest because of their usefulness in malignant and non malignant diseases. Over time, their yield and stability have been identified and compared with other 'standard' biomarkers. The analysis of circulating DNA from blood and stool is a relatively simple and non-invasive procedure, representing a very attractive marker to detect genetic and epigenetic mutations and to monitor disease progression. A correlation between blood and stool biomarkers could also help to enhance currently available diagnostic approaches. However, various processing and analytic problems need to be resolved before such an approach can be applied in clinical practice.

22/01/2014 | Neuron   IF 16
Long-range connectivity defines behavioral specificity of amygdala neurons.
Senn V, Wolff SB, Herry C, Grenier F, Ehrlich I, Grundemann J, Fadok JP, Muller C, Letzkus JJ, Luthi A
doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2013.11.006

Memories are acquired and encoded within large-scale neuronal networks spanning different brain areas. The anatomical and functional specificity of such long-range interactions and their role in learning is poorly understood. The amygdala and the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) are interconnected brain structures involved in the extinction of conditioned fear. Here, we show that a defined subpopulation of basal amygdala (BA) projection neurons targeting the prelimbic (PL) subdivision of mPFC is active during states of high fear, whereas BA neurons targeting the infralimbic (IL) subdivision are recruited, and exhibit cell-type-specific plasticity, during fear extinction. Pathway-specific optogenetic manipulations demonstrate that the activity balance between pathways is causally involved in fear extinction. Together, our findings demonstrate that, although intermingled locally, long-range connectivity defines distinct subpopulations of amygdala projection neurons and indicate that the formation of long-term extinction memories depends on the balance of activity between two defined amygdala-prefrontal pathways.

03/01/2014 | Science   IF 31.5
Pregnenolone can protect the brain from cannabis intoxication.
Vallee M, Vitiello S, Bellocchio L, Hebert-Chatelain E, Monlezun S, Martin-Garcia E, Kasanetz F, Baillie GL, Panin F, Cathala A, Roullot-Lacarriere V, Fabre S, Hurst DP, Lynch DL, Shore DM, Deroche-Gamonet V, Spampinato U, Revest JM, Maldonado R, Reggio PH, Ross RA, Marsicano G, Piazza PV
doi: 10.1126/science.1243985

Pregnenolone is considered the inactive precursor of all steroid hormones, and its potential functional effects have been largely uninvestigated. The administration of the main active principle of Cannabis sativa (marijuana), Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), substantially increases the synthesis of pregnenolone in the brain via activation of the type-1 cannabinoid (CB1) receptor. Pregnenolone then, acting as a signaling-specific inhibitor of the CB1 receptor, reduces several effects of THC. This negative feedback mediated by pregnenolone reveals a previously unknown paracrine/autocrine loop protecting the brain from CB1 receptor overactivation that could open an unforeseen approach for the treatment of cannabis intoxication and addiction.

02/01/2014 | Nature   IF 42.4
Prefrontal parvalbumin interneurons shape neuronal activity to drive fear expression.
Courtin J, Chaudun F, Rozeske RR, Karalis N, Gonzalez-Campo C, Wurtz H, Abdi A, Baufreton J, Bienvenu TC, Herry C
doi: 10.1038/nature12755

Synchronization of spiking activity in neuronal networks is a fundamental process that enables the precise transmission of information to drive behavioural responses. In cortical areas, synchronization of principal-neuron spiking activity is an effective mechanism for information coding that is regulated by GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid)-ergic interneurons through the generation of neuronal oscillations. Although neuronal synchrony has been demonstrated to be crucial for sensory, motor and cognitive processing, it has not been investigated at the level of defined circuits involved in the control of emotional behaviour. Converging evidence indicates that fear behaviour is regulated by the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (dmPFC). This control over fear behaviour relies on the activation of specific prefrontal projections to the basolateral complex of the amygdala (BLA), a structure that encodes associative fear memories. However, it remains to be established how the precise temporal control of fear behaviour is achieved at the level of prefrontal circuits. Here we use single-unit recordings and optogenetic manipulations in behaving mice to show that fear expression is causally related to the phasic inhibition of prefrontal parvalbumin interneurons (PVINs). Inhibition of PVIN activity disinhibits prefrontal projection neurons and synchronizes their firing by resetting local theta oscillations, leading to fear expression. Our results identify two complementary neuronal mechanisms mediated by PVINs that precisely coordinate and enhance the neuronal activity of prefrontal projection neurons to drive fear expression.

Transition to addiction is the shift from controlled to uncontrolled drug use that occurs after prolonged drug intake in a limited number of drug users. A major challenge of addiction research in recent years has been to develop models for studying this pathological transition. Toward this goal, a DSM-IV/5-based multi-symptomatic model of cocaine addiction has been developed in the rat. It is based on an operational translation of the main features of the disease. 1. Addiction is not just taking drug; it is a non-adaptive drug use: The procedure models addiction in relation to its clinical definition. 2. All drug users do not face the same individual risk of developing addiction: The model includes an individual-based approach. 3. Addiction develops after protracted periods of controlled drug use: This procedure allows for the study of the long-term shift from controlled drug use to addiction. We describe this model in detail and show how it can contribute to our understanding of the pathophysiology of cocaine addiction. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled 'NIDA 40th Anniversary Issue'.

01/2014 | Faseb J   IF 5.5
Control of spasticity in a multiple sclerosis model using central nervous system-excluded CB1 cannabinoid receptor agonists.
Pryce G, Visintin C, Ramagopalan SV, Al-Izki S, De Faveri LE, Nuamah RA, Mein CA, Montpetit A, Hardcastle AJ, Kooij G, de Vries HE, Amor S, Thomas SA, Ledent C, Marsicano G, Lutz B, Thompson AJ, Selwood DL, Giovannoni G, Baker D
doi: 10.1096/fj.13-239442

The purpose of this study was the generation of central nervous system (CNS)-excluded cannabinoid receptor agonists to test the hypothesis that inhibition of spasticity, due to CNS autoimmunity, could be controlled by affecting neurotransmission within the periphery. Procedures included identification of chemicals and modeling to predict the mode of exclusion; induction and control of spasticity in the ABH mouse model of multiple sclerosis; conditional deletion of CB1 receptor in peripheral nerves; side-effect profiling to demonstrate the mechanism of CNS-exclusion via drug pumps; genome-wide association study in N2(129xABH) backcross to map polymorphic cannabinoid drug pump; and sequencing and detection of cannabinoid drug-pump activity in human brain endothelial cell lines. Three drugs (CT3, SAB378 and SAD448) were identified that control spasticity via action on the peripheral nerve CB1 receptor. These were peripherally restricted via drug pumps that limit the CNS side effects (hypothermia) of cannabinoids to increase the therapeutic window. A cannabinoid drug pump is polymorphic and functionally lacking in many laboratory (C57BL/6, 129, CD-1) mice used for transgenesis, pharmacology, and toxicology studies. This phenotype was mapped and controlled by 1-3 genetic loci. ABCC1 within a cluster showing linkage is a cannabinoid CNS-drug pump. Global and conditional CB1 receptor-knockout mice were used as controls. In summary, CNS-excluded CB1 receptor agonists are a novel class of therapeutic agent for spasticity.

2014 | Pain   IF 5.8
Cancer pain is not necessarily correlated with spinal overexpression of reactive
glia markers

Ducourneau V*, Dolique T*, Hachem-Delaunay S, Miraucourt L, Amadio A, Blaszczyk L, Jacquot F, Ly J, Devoize L, Oliet SH, Dallel R, Mothet JP, Nagy F, Fenelon V*, Voisin D*
doi: 10.1016/j.pain.2013.10.008

Bone cancer pain is a common and disruptive symptom in cancer patients. In cancer pain animal models, massive reactive astrogliosis in the dorsal horn of the spinal cord has been reported. Because astrocytes may behave as driving partners for pathological pain, we investigated the temporal development of pain behavior and reactive astrogliosis in a rat bone cancer pain model induced by injecting MRMT-1 rat mammary gland carcinoma cells into the tibia. Along with the development of bone lesions, a gradual mechanical and thermal allodynia and hyperalgesia as well as a reduced use of the affected limb developed in bone cancer-bearing animals, but not in sham-treated animals. Dorsal horn Fos expression after nonpainful palpation of the injected limb was also increased in bone cancer-bearing animals. However, at any time during the evolution of tumor, there was no increase in glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) immunoreactivity in the dorsal horn. Further analysis at 21days after injection of the tumor showed no increase in GFAP and interleukin (IL) 1beta transcripts, number of superficial dorsal horn S100beta protein immunoreactive astrocytes, or immunoreactivity for microglial markers (OX-42 and Iba-1). In contrast, all these parameters were increased in the dorsal horn of rats 2weeks after sciatic nerve ligation. This suggests that in some cases, bone cancer pain may not be correlated with spinal overexpression of reactive glia markers, whereas neuropathic pain is. Glia may thus play different roles in the development and maintenance of chronic pain in these 2 situations.

2014 | J Physiol   IF 4.5
Extracellular signal-regulated kinase phosphorylation in forebrain neurones
contributes to osmoregulatory mechanisms

Dine J, Ducourneau V, Fenelon V, Fossat P, Amadio A, Eder M, Israel JM, Oliet SH, Voisin D
doi: 10.1113/jphysiol.2013.261008

Dendritic spines are basic units of neuronal information processing and their structure is closely reflected in their function. Defects in synaptic development are common in neurodevelopmental disorders, making detailed knowledge of age-dependent changes in spine morphology essential for understanding disease mechanisms. However, little is known about the functionally important fine- morphological structures, such as spine necks, due to the limited spatial resolution of conventional light microscopy. Using stimulated emission depletion microscopy (STED), we examined spine morphology at the nanoscale during normal development in mice, and tested the hypothesis that it is impaired in a mouse model of fragile X syndrome (FXS). In contrast to common belief, we find that, in normal development, spine heads become smaller, while their necks become wider and shorter, indicating that synapse compartmentalization decreases substantially with age. In the mouse model of FXS, this developmental trajectory is largely intact, with only subtle differences that are dependent on age and brain region. Together, our findings challenge current dogmas of both normal spine development as well as spine dysgenesis in FXS, highlighting the importance of super-resolution imaging approaches for elucidating structure–function relationships of dendritic spines.

2014 | Front Cell Neurosci   IF 4.2
Novel cell separation method for molecular analysis of neuron-astrocyte co-cultures.
Goudriaan A, Camargo N, Carney KE, Oliet SH, Smit AB, Verheijen MH
doi: 10.3389/fncel.2014.00012

Over the last decade, the importance of astrocyte-neuron communication in neuronal development and synaptic plasticity has become increasingly clear. Since neuron-astrocyte interactions represent highly dynamic and reciprocal processes, we hypothesized that many astrocyte genes may be regulated as a consequence of their interactions with maturing neurons. In order to identify such neuron-responsive astrocyte genes in vitro, we sought to establish an expedited technique for separation of neurons from co-cultured astrocytes. Our newly established method makes use of cold jet, which exploits different adhesion characteristics of subpopulations of cells (Jirsova etal., 1997), and is rapid, performed under ice-cold conditions and avoids protease-mediated isolation of astrocytes or time-consuming centrifugation, yielding intact astrocyte mRNA with approximately 90% of neuronal RNA removed. Using this purification method, we executed genome-wide profiling in which RNA derived from astrocyte-only cultures was compared with astrocyte RNA derived from differentiating neuron-astrocyte co-cultures. Data analysis determined that many astrocytic mRNAs and biological processes are regulated by neuronal interaction. Our results validate the cold jet as an efficient method to separate astrocytes from neurons in co-culture, and reveals that neurons induce robust gene-expression changes in co-cultured astrocytes.

2014 | Front Cell Neurosci   IF 4.2
ER to synapse trafficking of NMDA receptors.
Horak M, Petralia RS, Kaniakova M, Sans N
doi: 10.3389/fncel.2014.00394

Glutamate is the major excitatory neurotransmitter in the mammalian central nervous system. There are three distinct subtypes of ionotropic glutamate receptors (GluRs) that have been identified including 2-amino-3-(5-methyl-3-oxo-1,2-oxazol-4-yl)propanoic acid receptors (AMPARs), N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors (NMDARs) and kainate receptors. The most common GluRs in mature synapses are AMPARs that mediate the fast excitatory neurotransmission and NMDARs that mediate the slow excitatory neurotransmission. There have been large numbers of recent reports studying how a single neuron regulates synaptic numbers and types of AMPARs and NMDARs. Our current research is centered primarily on NMDARs and, therefore, we will focus in this review on recent knowledge of molecular mechanisms occurring (1) early in the biosynthetic pathway of NMDARs, (2) in the transport of NMDARs after their release from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER); and (3) at the plasma membrane including excitatory synapses. Because a growing body of evidence also indicates that abnormalities in NMDAR functioning are associated with a number of human psychiatric and neurological diseases, this review together with other chapters in this issue may help to enhance research and to gain further knowledge of normal synaptic physiology as well as of the etiology of many human brain diseases.

2014 | Front Behav Neurosci   IF 4.2
Glucocorticoid receptor gene inactivation in dopamine-innervated areas selectively decreases behavioral responses to amphetamine.
Parnaudeau S, Dongelmans ML, Turiault M, Ambroggi F, Delbes AS, Cansell C, Luquet S, Piazza PV, Tronche F, Barik J
doi: 10.3389/fnbeh.2014.00035

The meso-cortico-limbic system, via dopamine release, encodes the rewarding and reinforcing properties of natural rewards. It is also activated in response to abused substances and is believed to support drug-related behaviors. Dysfunctions of this system lead to several psychiatric conditions including feeding disorders and drug addiction. These disorders are also largely influenced by environmental factors and in particular stress exposure. Stressors activate the corticotrope axis ultimately leading to glucocorticoid hormone (GCs) release. GCs bind the glucocorticoid receptor (GR) a transcription factor ubiquitously expressed including within the meso-cortico-limbic tract. While GR within dopamine-innervated areas drives cocaine's behavioral responses, its implication in responses to other psychostimulants such as amphetamine has never been clearly established. Moreover, while extensive work has been made to uncover the role of this receptor in addicted behaviors, its contribution to the rewarding and reinforcing properties of food has yet to be investigated. Using mouse models carrying GR gene inactivation in either dopamine neurons or in dopamine-innervated areas, we found that GR in dopamine responsive neurons is essential to properly build amphetamine-induced conditioned place preference and locomotor sensitization. c-Fos quantification in the nucleus accumbens further confirmed defective neuronal activation following amphetamine injection. These diminished neuronal and behavioral responses to amphetamine may involve alterations in glutamate transmission as suggested by the decreased MK801-elicited hyperlocomotion and by the hyporeactivity to glutamate of a subpopulation of medium spiny neurons. In contrast, GR inactivation did not affect rewarding and reinforcing properties of food suggesting that responding for natural reward under basal conditions is preserved in these mice.

2014 | Transl Psychiatry   IF 4.4
Nutritional omega-3 modulates neuronal morphology in the prefrontal cortex along with depression-related behaviour through corticosterone secretion.
Larrieu T, Hilal ML, Fourrier C, De Smedt-Peyrusse V, Sans N, Capuron L, Laye S
doi: 10.1038/tp.2014.77

Understanding how malnutrition contributes to depression is building momentum. In the present study we unravel molecular and cellular mechanisms by which nutritional disturbances lead to impaired emotional behaviour in mice. Here we report that nutritional n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) deficiency induces a chronic stress state reflected by disrupted glucocorticoid receptor (GR)-mediated signalling pathway along with hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis hyperactivity. This hyperactivity in turn resulted in neuronal atrophy in the dorsolateral (dl)- and dorsomedial (dm)- prefrontal cortex (PFC) and subsequent mood-related behaviour alterations, similarly to chronic social defeat stress. Supplementation of n-3 PUFA prevented detrimental chronic social defeat stress-induced emotional and neuronal impairments by impeding HPA axis hyperactivity. These results indicate a role for dietary n-3 PUFA in the prevention of HPA axis dysfunction associated with the development of some neuropsychiatric disorders including depression.

2014 | Front Aging Neurosci   IF 2.8
Astrocytosis in parkinsonism: considering tripartite striatal synapses in physiopathology?
Charron G, Doudnikoff E, Canron MH, Li Q, Vega C, Marais S, Baufreton J, Vital A, Oliet SH, Bezard E
doi: 10.3389/fnagi.2014.00258

The current concept of basal ganglia organization and function in physiological and pathophysiological conditions excludes the most numerous cells in the brain, i.e., the astrocytes, present with a ratio of 10:1 neuron. Their role in neurodegenerative condition such as Parkinson's disease (PD) remains to be elucidated. Before embarking into physiological investigations of the yet-to-be-identified 'tripartite' synapses in the basal ganglia in general and the striatum in particular, we therefore characterized anatomically the PD-related modifications in astrocytic morphology, the changes in astrocytic network connections and the consequences on the spatial relationship between astrocytic processes and asymmetric synapses in normal and PD-like conditions in experimental and human PD. Our results unravel a dramatic regulation of striatal astrocytosis supporting the hypothesis of a key role in (dys) regulating corticostriatal transmission. Astrocytes and their various properties might thus represent a therapeutic target in PD.

2014 | prog mol biol transl sci
Deciphering memory function with optogenetics.
Beyeler A, Eckhardt CA, Tye KM
doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-420170-5.00012-X

Optogenetics has accelerated the field of neuroscience by overcoming many of the spatial, genetic, and temporal limitations of previous techniques to control neural activity. The study of learning and memory has profoundly benefited from these tools mainly from their use in rodents. New insights have been made regarding the involvement of specific cell types or populations of synapses in the acquisition, consolidation, and retrieval of memories. The cellular specificity and temporal precision of optogenetic manipulations have also shown to be useful to study synaptic mechanisms supporting learning and memory including long-term synaptic plasticity. Recently, new light-sensitive molecules have been developed to control intracellular pathways or gene expression, which promise to enhance our understanding of the molecular mechanism of memory function.

The bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST) exerts a coordinated modulation of the psychoneuroendocrine responses to stress. However, how acute stress impacts on BNST in vivo plasticity is a crucial question that still remains unanswered. Here, neurons from the anterior portion of the BNST (aBNST) were recorded in vivo during and after stimulation of their medial prefrontal cortical (mPFC) afferents. In C57BL/6N mice, a 1 h restraint stress induced a switch from long-term depression (LTD) to long-term potentiation (LTP) in the aBNST after a 10 Hz mPFC stimulation. This switch was independent from glucocorticoid receptor stimulation. Because the endocannabinoid system regulates aBNST activity, we next examined the role of cannabinoid type-1 receptors (CB1-Rs) in these changes. Mutant mice lacking CB1-Rs (CB1(-/-) mice) displayed a marked deficit in the ability to develop plasticity under control and stress conditions, compared with their wild-type littermates (CB1(+/+) mice). This difference was not accounted for by genetic differences in stress sensitivity, as revealed by Fos immunohistochemistry analyses. Local blockade of CB1-Rs in the aBNST and the use of mutant mice bearing a selective deletion of CB1-Rs in cortical glutamatergic neurons indicated that stress-elicited LTP involved CB1-Rs located on aBNST excitatory terminals. These results show that acute stress reverts LTD into LTP in the aBNST and that the endocannabinoid system plays a key role therein.

The neuroimaging literature has shown consistent decreases in functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) activity in the hippocampus of healthy older adults engaged in a navigation task. However, navigation in a virtual maze relies on spatial or response strategies known to depend on the hippocampus and caudate nucleus, respectively. Therefore, since the proportion of people using spatial strategies decreases with normal aging, we hypothesized that it was responsible for the observed decreases in fMRI activity in the hippocampus reported in the literature. The aim of this study was to examine the effects of aging on the hippocampus and caudate nucleus during navigation while taking into account individual navigational strategies. Young (N = 23) and older adults (N = 29) were tested using fMRI on the Concurrent Spatial Discrimination Learning Task, a radial task that dissociates between spatial and response strategies (in Stage 2) after participants reached criteria (in Stage 1). Success on Stage 2 requires that participants have encoded the spatial relationship between the target object and environmental landmarks, that is, the spatial strategy. While older adults required more trials, all participants reached criterion. fMRI results showed that, as a group, young adults had significant activity in the hippocampus as opposed to older adults who instead had significant activity in the caudate nucleus. Importantly, individual differences showed that the older participants who used a spatial strategy to solve the task had significant activity in the hippocampus. These findings suggest that the aging process involves a shift from using the hippocampus toward the caudate nucleus during navigation but that activity in the hippocampus is sustained in a subset of healthy older adults engaged in spatial strategies.

11/10/2013 | Pain   IF 5.6
Cancer pain is not necessarily correlated with spinal overexpression of reactive glia markers.
Ducourneau VR, Dolique T, Hachem-Delaunay S, Miraucourt LS, Amadio A, Blaszczyk L, Jacquot F, Ly J, Devoize L, Oliet SH, Dallel R, Mothet JP, Nagy F, Fenelon VS, Voisin DL
doi: 10.1016/j.pain.2013.10.008

Bone cancer pain is a common and disruptive symptom in cancer patients. In cancer pain animal models, massive reactive astrogliosis in the dorsal horn of the spinal cord has been reported. Because astrocytes may behave as driving partners for pathological pain, we investigated the temporal development of pain behavior and reactive astrogliosis in a rat bone cancer pain model induced by injecting MRMT-1 rat mammary gland carcinoma cells into the tibia. Along with the development of bone lesions, a gradual mechanical and thermal allodynia and hyperalgesia as well as a reduced use of the affected limb developed in bone cancer-bearing animals, but not in sham-treated animals. Dorsal horn Fos expression after nonpainful palpation of the injected limb was also increased in bone cancer-bearing animals. However, at any time during the evolution of tumor, there was no increase in glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) immunoreactivity in the dorsal horn. Further analysis at 21days after injection of the tumor showed no increase in GFAP and interleukin (IL) 1beta transcripts, number of superficial dorsal horn S100beta protein immunoreactive astrocytes, or immunoreactivity for microglial markers (OX-42 and Iba-1). In contrast, all these parameters were increased in the dorsal horn of rats 2weeks after sciatic nerve ligation. This suggests that in some cases, bone cancer pain may not be correlated with spinal overexpression of reactive glia markers, whereas neuropathic pain is. Glia may thus play different roles in the development and maintenance of chronic pain in these 2 situations.

10/2013 | Psychopharmacology (Berl)
A multistep general theory of transition to addiction.
Piazza PV, Deroche-Gamonet V
doi: 10.1007/s00213-013-3224-4

BACKGROUND: Several theories propose alternative explanations for drug addiction. OBJECTIVES: We propose a general theory of transition to addiction that synthesizes knowledge generated in the field of addiction into a unitary explanatory frame. MAJOR PRINCIPLES OF THE THEORY: Transition to addiction results from a sequential three-step interaction between: (1) individual vulnerability; (2) degree/amount of drug exposure. The first step, sporadic recreational drug use is a learning process mediated by overactivation of neurobiological substrates of natural rewards that allows most individuals to perceive drugs as highly rewarding stimuli. The second, intensified, sustained, escalated drug use occurs in some vulnerable individuals who have a hyperactive dopaminergic system and impaired prefrontal cortex function. Sustained and prolonged drug use induces incentive sensitization and an allostatic state that makes drugs strongly wanted and needed. Habit formation can also contribute to stabilizing sustained drug use. The last step, loss of control of drug intake and full addiction, is due to a second vulnerable phenotype. This loss-of-control-prone phenotype is triggered by long-term drug exposure and characterized by long-lasting loss of synaptic plasticity in reward areas in the brain that induce a form of behavioral crystallization resulting in loss of control of drug intake. Because of behavioral crystallization, drugs are now not only wanted and needed but also pathologically mourned when absent. CONCLUSIONS: This general theory demonstrates that drug addiction is a true psychiatric disease caused by a three-step interaction between vulnerable individuals and amount/duration of drug exposure.

30/09/2013 | Neurobiol Learn Mem   IF 3.3
Persistence of amygdala gamma oscillations during extinction learning predicts spontaneous fear recovery.
Courtin J, Karalis N, Gonzalez-Campo C, Wurtz H, Herry C
doi: 10.1016/j.nlm.2013.09.015

Extinction of auditory fear conditioning induces a temporary inhibition of conditioned fear responses that can spontaneously reappear with the passage of time. Several lines of evidence indicate that extinction learning relies on the recruitment of specific neuronal populations within the basolateral amygdala. In contrast, post-extinction spontaneous fear recovery is thought to result from deficits in the consolidation of extinction memory within prefrontal neuronal circuits. Interestingly, recent data indicates that the strength of gamma oscillations in the basolateral amygdala during auditory fear conditioning correlates with retrieval of conditioned fear responses. In the present manuscript we evaluated the hypothesis that post-extinction spontaneous fear recovery might depend on the maintenance of gamma oscillations within the basolateral amygdala by using single unit and local field potential recordings in behaving mice. Our results indicate that gamma oscillations in the basolateral amygdala were enhanced following fear conditioning, whereas during extinction learning gamma profiles were more heterogeneous despite similar extinction learning rates. Remarkably, variations in the strength of gamma power within the basolateral amygdala between early and late stages of extinction linearly predicted the level of post-extinction spontaneous fear recovery. These data suggest that maintenance of gamma oscillations in the basolateral amygdala during extinction learning is a strong predictive factor of long term spontaneous fear recovery.

05/09/2013 | Brain Res   IF 2.9
Activation of STAT3 is involved in neuroprotection by electroacupuncture pretreatment via cannabinoid CB1 receptors in rats.
Zhou H, Zhang Z, Wei H, Wang F, Guo F, Gao Z, Marsicano G, Wang Q, Xiong L
doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2013.07.006

Pretreatment with electroacupuncture (EA) attenuates cerebral ischemic injury through the endocannabinoid system, although the molecular mechanisms mediate this neuroprotection are unknown. It is well-known that signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) plays an essential role in cell survival and proliferation. Therefore, we investigated whether STAT3 is involved in EA pretreatment-induced neuroprotection via cannabinoid CB1 receptors (CB1R) after transient focal cerebral ischemia in rats. Two hours after EA pretreatment, focal cerebral ischemia was induced by middle cerebral artery occlusion (MACO) for 120 min. The expression of pSTAT3(Ser727), which is necessary for STAT3 activation, was examined in the ipsilateral ischemic penumbra. Infarct volumes and neurological scores were evaluated at 72 h after MACO in the presence or absence of the STAT3 inhibitor peptide (PpYLKTK). Neuronal apoptosis and the Bax/Bcl-2 ratio were also evaluated 24h after reperfusion. Our results showed that EA pretreatment significantly enhanced neuronal expression of pSTAT3(Ser727) in the ischemic penumbra 6h after reperfusion. Moreover, EA pretreatment reduced infarct volume, improved neurological outcome, inhibited neuronal apoptosis and decreased the Bax/Bcl-2 ratio following reperfusion. The beneficial effects of EA were attenuated by PpYLKTK administered 30 min before MACO, and PpYLKTK effectively reversed the increase in pSTAT3(Ser727) expression. Furthermore, CB1R antagonist or CB1R knockdown with siRNA blocked the elevation of pSTAT3(Ser727) expression by EA pretreatment, whereas the two CB1R agonists increased STAT3 activation. In conclusion, EA pretreatment enhances STAT3 activation via CB1R to protect against cerebral ischemia, suggesting that STAT3 activation may be a novel target for stroke intervention.

09/2013 | Nat Cell Biol   IF 20.8
Primary cilium migration depends on G-protein signalling control of subapical cytoskeleton.
Ezan J , Lasvaux L , Gezer A , Novakovic A , May-Simera H , Belotti E , Lhoumeau AC , Birnbaumer L , Beer-Hammer S , Borg JP , Le Bivic A , Nurnberg B , Sans N , Montcouquiol M
doi: 10.1038/ncb2819

In ciliated mammalian cells, the precise migration of the primary cilium at the apical surface of the cells, also referred to as translational polarity, defines planar cell polarity (PCP) in very early stages. Recent research has revealed a co-dependence between planar polarization of some cell types and cilium positioning at the surface of cells. This important role of the primary cilium in mammalian cells is in contrast with its absence from Drosophila melanogaster PCP establishment. Here, we show that deletion of GTP-binding protein alpha-i subunit 3 (Galphai3) and mammalian Partner of inscuteable (mPins) disrupts the migration of the kinocilium at the surface of cochlear hair cells and affects hair bundle orientation and shape. Inhibition of G-protein function in vitro leads to kinocilium migration defects, PCP phenotype and abnormal hair bundle morphology. We show that Galphai3/mPins are expressed in an apical and distal asymmetrical domain, which is opposite and complementary to an aPKC/Par-3/Par-6b expression domain, and non-overlapping with the core PCP protein Vangl2. Thus G-protein-dependent signalling controls the migration of the cilium cell autonomously, whereas core PCP signalling controls long-range tissue PCP.

09/2013 | Mol Cell Proteomics   IF 7.3
The Human PDZome: A Gateway to PSD95-Disc Large-Zonula Occludens (PDZ)-mediated Functions.
Belotti E, Polanowska J , Daulat AM , Audebert S , Thome V , Lissitzky JC , Lembo F , Blibek K , Omi S , Lenfant N , Gangar A , Montcouquiol M , Santoni MJ , Sebbagh M , Aurrand-Lions M , Angers S , Kodjabachian L , Reboul J , Borg JP
doi: 10.1074/mcp.O112.021022

Protein-protein interactions organize the localization, clustering, signal transduction, and degradation of cellular proteins and are therefore implicated in numerous biological functions. These interactions are mediated by specialized domains able to bind to modified or unmodified peptides present in binding partners. Among the most broadly distributed protein interaction domains, PSD95-disc large-zonula occludens (PDZ) domains are usually able to bind carboxy-terminal sequences of their partners. In an effort to accelerate the discovery of PDZ domain interactions, we have constructed an array displaying 96% of the human PDZ domains that is amenable to rapid two-hybrid screens in yeast. We have demonstrated that this array can efficiently identify interactions using carboxy-terminal sequences of PDZ domain binders such as the E6 oncoviral protein and protein kinases (PDGFRbeta, BRSK2, PCTK1, ACVR2B, and HER4); this has been validated via mass spectrometry analysis. Taking advantage of this array, we show that PDZ domains of Scrib and SNX27 bind to the carboxy-terminal region of the planar cell polarity receptor Vangl2. We also have demonstrated the requirement of Scrib for the promigratory function of Vangl2 and described the morphogenetic function of SNX27 in the early Xenopus embryo. The resource presented here is thus adapted for the screen of PDZ interactors and, furthermore, should facilitate the understanding of PDZ-mediated functions.

09/2013 | Neuropsychopharmacology
The mGluR2/3 agonist LY379268 induced anti-reinstatement effects in rats exhibiting addiction-like behavior.
Cannella N, Halbout B, Uhrig S, Evrard L, Corsi M, Corti C, Deroche-Gamonet V, Hansson AC, Spanagel R
doi: 10.1038/npp.2013.106

Medication development for cocaine-addicted patients is difficult, and many promising preclinical candidates have failed in clinical trials. One reason for the difficulty in translating preclinical findings to the human condition is that drug testing is typically conducted in behavioral procedures in which animals do not show addiction-like traits. Recently, a DSM-IV-based animal model has been developed that allows studying the transition to an addiction-like behavior. Changes in synaptic plasticity are involved in the transition to cocaine addiction. In particular, it has been shown that metabotropic glutamate receptor 2/3 (mGluR2/3)-mediated long-term depression is suppressed in the prelimbic cortex in addict-like rats. We therefore hypothesized that cocaine-seeking in addict-like rats could be treated with an mGluR2/3 agonist. Indeed, addict-like rats that were treated systemically with the mGluR2/3 agonist LY379268 (0, 0.3, and 3 mg/kg) showed a pronounced reduction in cue-induced reinstatement of cocaine-seeking. In an attempt to dissect the role played by mGluR2 and mGluR3 in cue-induced reinstatement, we analyzed the mRNA expression patterns in several relevant brain areas but did not find any significant differences between cocaine addict-like and non-addict-like rats, suggesting that the behavioral differences observed are due to translational rather than transcriptional regulation. Another possibility to study the contributions of mGluR2 and mGluR3 in mediating addictive-like behavior is the use of knockout models. Because mGluR2 knockouts cannot be used in operant procedures due to motoric impairment, we only tested mGluR3 knockouts. These mice did not differ from controls in reinstatement, suggesting that mGluR2 receptors are critical in mediating addictive-like behavior.

27/08/2013 | Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A
WNK1-related Familial Hyperkalemic Hypertension results from an increased expression of L-WNK1 specifically in the distal nephron.
Vidal-Petiot E, Elvira-Matelot E, Mutig K, Soukaseum C, Baudrie V, Wu S, Cheval L, Huc E, Cambillau M, Bachmann S, Doucet A, Jeunemaitre X, Hadchouel J
doi: 10.1073/pnas.1304230110

Large deletions in the first intron of the With No lysine (K) 1 (WNK1) gene are responsible for Familial Hyperkalemic Hypertension (FHHt), a rare form of human hypertension associated with hyperkalemia and hyperchloremic metabolic acidosis. We generated a mouse model of WNK1-associated FHHt to explore the consequences of this intronic deletion. WNK1(+/FHHt) mice display all clinical and biological signs of FHHt. This phenotype results from increased expression of long WNK1 (L-WNK1), the ubiquitous kinase isoform of WNK1, in the distal convoluted tubule, which in turn, stimulates the activity of the Na-Cl cotransporter. We also show that the activity of the epithelial sodium channel is not altered in FHHt mice, suggesting that other mechanisms are responsible for the hyperkalemia and acidosis in this model. Finally, we observe a decreased expression of the renal outer medullary potassium channel in the late distal convoluted tubule of WNK1(+/FHHt) mice, which could contribute to the hyperkalemia. In summary, our study provides insights into the in vivo mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of WNK1-mediated FHHt and further corroborates the importance of WNK1 in ion homeostasis and blood pressure.

21/08/2013 | Neuron   IF 15.8
BLA to vHPC inputs modulate anxiety-related behaviors.
Felix-Ortiz AC*, Beyeler A*, Seo C, Leppla CA, Wildes CP, Tye KM
doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2013.06.016

The basolateral amygdala (BLA) and ventral hippocampus (vHPC) have both been implicated in mediating anxiety-related behaviors, but the functional contribution of BLA inputs to the vHPC has never been directly investigated. Here we show that activation of BLA-vHPC synapses acutely and robustly increased anxiety-related behaviors, while inhibition of BLA-vHPC synapses decreased anxiety-related behaviors. We combined optogenetic approaches with in vivo pharmacological manipulations and ex vivo whole-cell patch-clamp recordings to dissect the local circuit mechanisms, demonstrating that activation of BLA terminals in the vHPC provided monosynaptic, glutamatergic inputs to vHPC pyramidal neurons. Furthermore, BLA inputs exerted polysynaptic, inhibitory effects mediated by local interneurons in the vHPC that may serve to balance the circuit locally. These data establish a role for BLA-vHPC synapses in bidirectionally controlling anxiety-related behaviors in an immediate, yet reversible, manner and a model for the local circuit mechanism of BLA inputs in the vHPC.

25/07/2013 | Obesity (Silver Spring)
Leucine supplementation modulates fuel substrates utilization and glucose metabolism in previously obese mice.
Binder E, Bermudez-Silva FJ, Elie M, Leste-Lasserre T, Belluomo I, Clark S, Duchampt A, Mithieux G, Cota D
doi: 10.1002/oby.20578

OBJECTIVE: High-protein diets favor weight loss and its maintenance. Whether these effects might be recapitulated by certain amino acids is unknown. Therefore, the impact of leucine supplementation on energy balance and associated metabolic changes in diet-induced obese (DIO) mice during and after weight loss was investigated. DESIGN AND METHODS: DIO C57BL/6J mice were fed a normocaloric diet to induce weight loss while receiving or not the amino acid leucine in drinking water. Body weight, food intake, body composition, energy expenditure, glucose tolerance, insulin, and leptin sensitivity were evaluated. Q-PCR analysis was performed on muscle, brown and white adipose tissues. RESULTS: DIO mice decreased body weight and fat mass in response to chow, but supplementation with leucine did not affect these parameters. During weight maintenance, mice supplemented with leucine had improved glucose tolerance, increased leptin sensitivity, and lower respiratory quotient. The latter was associated with changes in the expression of several genes modulating fatty acid metabolism and mitochondrial activity in the epididymal white and the brown adipose tissues, but not muscle. CONCLUSIONS: Leucine supplementation might represent an adjuvant beneficial nutritional therapy during weight loss and maintenance, because it improves lipid and glucose metabolism and restores leptin sensitivity in previously obese animals.

19/06/2013 | J Neurosci   IF 6.9
Cannabinoid CB1 Receptor in Dorsal Telencephalic Glutamatergic Neurons: Distinctive Sufficiency for Hippocampus-Dependent and Amygdala-Dependent Synaptic and Behavioral Functions.
Ruehle S, Remmers F, Romo-Parra H, Massa F, Wickert M, Wortge S, Haring M, Kaiser N, Marsicano G, Pape HC, Lutz B
doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4171-12.2013

A major goal in current neuroscience is to understand the causal links connecting protein functions, neural activity, and behavior. The cannabinoid CB1 receptor is expressed in different neuronal subpopulations, and is engaged in fine-tuning excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmission. Studies using conditional knock-out mice revealed necessary roles of CB1 receptor expressed in dorsal telencephalic glutamatergic neurons in synaptic plasticity and behavior, but whether this expression is also sufficient for brain functions is still to be determined. We applied a genetic strategy to reconstitute full wild-type CB1 receptor functions exclusively in dorsal telencephalic glutamatergic neurons and investigated endocannabinoid-dependent synaptic processes and behavior. Using this approach, we partly restored the phenotype of global CB1 receptor deletion in anxiety-like behaviors and fully restored hippocampus-dependent neuroprotection from chemically induced epileptiform seizures. These features coincided with a rescued hippocampal depolarization-induced suppression of excitation (DSE), a CB1 receptor-dependent form of synaptic plasticity at glutamatergic neurons. By comparison, the rescue of the CB1 receptor on dorsal telencephalic glutamatergic neurons prolonged the time course of DSE in the amygdala, and impaired fear extinction in auditory fear conditioning. These data reveal that CB1 receptor in dorsal telencephalic glutamatergic neurons plays a sufficient role to control neuronal functions that are in large part hippocampus-dependent, while it is insufficient for proper amygdala functions, suggesting an unexpectedly complex circuit regulation by endocannabinoid signaling in the amygdala. Our data pave the way to a better understanding of neuronal networks in the context of behavior, by fine-tuned interference with synaptic transmission processes.