IF du Neurocentre

985 publications

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

14/06/2013 | Neuroscience   IF 3.1
Medial prefrontal cortex neuronal circuits in fear behavior
Courtin J, Bienvenu T, Einarsson EO, Herry C
doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2013.03.001

he medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) has emerged as a key structure involved in the modulation of fear behavior over the past few decades. Anatomical, functional and electrophysiological studies have begun to shed light on the precise mechanisms by which different prefrontal regions regulate the expression and inhibition of fear behavior. These studies have established a canonical view of mPFC functions during fear behavior with dorsal regions selectively involved in the expression of fear behavior and ventral regions linked to the inhibition of fear behavior. Although numerous reports support this view, recent data have refined this model and suggested that dorsal prefrontal regions might also play an important role in the encoding of fear behavior itself. The recent development of sophisticated approaches such as large scale neuronal recordings, simultaneous multisite recordings of spiking activity and local field potentials (LFPs) along with optogenetic approaches will facilitate the testing of these new hypotheses in the near future. Here we provide an extensive review of the literature on the role of mPFC in fear behavior and propose further directions to dissect the contribution of specific prefrontal neuronal elements and circuits in the regulation of fear behavior.

06/2013 | Neuropsychopharmacology
Dissociation of the pharmacological effects of THC by mTOR blockade.
Puighermanal E, Busquets-Garcia A, Gomis-Gonzalez M, Marsicano G, Maldonado R, Ozaita A
doi: 10.1038/npp.2013.31

The potential therapeutic benefits of cannabinoid compounds have raised interest in understanding the molecular mechanisms that underlie cannabinoid-mediated effects. We previously showed that the acute amnesic-like effects of delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) were prevented by the subchronic inhibition of the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway. In the present study, we assess the relevance of the mTOR pathway in other acute and chronic pharmacological effects of THC. The rapamycin derivative temsirolimus, an inhibitor of the mTOR pathway approved by the Food and Drug Administration, prevents both the anxiogenic- and the amnesic-like effects produced by acute THC. In contrast, THC-induced anxiolysis, hypothermia, hypolocomotion, and antinociception are not sensitive to the mTOR inhibition. In addition, a clear tolerance to THC-induced anxiolysis, hypothermia, hypolocomotion, and antinociception was observed after chronic treatment, but not to its anxiogenic- and amnesic-like effects. Temsirolimus pre-treatment prevented the amnesic-like effects of chronic THC without affecting the downregulation of CB1 receptors (CB1R) induced by this chronic treatment. Instead, temsirolimus blockade after chronic THC cessation did not prevent the residual cognitive deficit produced by chronic THC. Using conditional knockout mice lacking CB1R in GABAergic or glutamatergic neurons, we found that GABAergic CB1Rs are mainly downregulated under chronic THC treatment conditions, and CB1-GABA-KO mice did not develop cognitive deficits after chronic THC exposure. Therefore, mTOR inhibition by temsirolimus allows the segregation of the potentially beneficial effects of cannabinoid agonists, such as the anxiolytic and antinociceptive effects, from the negative effects, such as anxiogenic- and amnesic-like responses. Altogether, these results provide new insights for targeting the endocannabinoid system in order to prevent possible side effects.

06/2013 | Neurobiol Dis   IF 5.6
Partial loss in septo-hippocampal cholinergic neurons alters memory-dependent measures of brain connectivity without overt memory deficits.
Brayda-Bruno L, Mons N, Yee BK, Micheau J, Abrous DN, Nogues X, Marighetto A
doi: 10.1016/j.nbd.2013.01.010

The functional relevance of septo-hippocampal cholinergic (SHC) degeneration to the degradation of hippocampus-dependent declarative memory (DM) in aging and Alzheimer's disease (AD) remains ill-defined. Specifically, selective SHC lesions often fail to induce overt memory impairments in animal models. In spite of apparent normal performance, however, neuronal activity within relevant brain structures might be altered by SHC disruption. We hypothesized that partial SHC degeneration may contribute to functional alterations within memory circuits occurring in aging before DM decline. In young adult mice, we studied the effects of behaviorally ineffective (saporin-induced) SHC lesions - similar in extent to that seen in aged animals - on activity patterns and functional connectivity between three main neural memory systems: the septo-hippocampal system, the striatum and the amygdala that sustain declarative, procedural and emotional memory, respectively. Animals were trained in a radial maze procedure dissociating the human equivalents of relational/DM and non-R/DM expressions in animals. Test-induced Fos activation pattern revealed that the partial SHC lesion significantly altered the brain's functional activities and connectivity (co-activation pattern) despite the absence of overt behavioral deficit. Specifically, hippocampal CA3 hyperactivity and abnormal septo-hippocampo-amygdalar inter-connectivity resemble those observed in aging and prodromal AD. Hence, SHC neurons critically coordinate hippocampal function in concert with extra-hippocampal structures in accordance with specific mnemonic demand. Although partial SHC degeneration is not sufficient to impact DM performance by itself, the connectivity change might predispose the emergence of subsequent DM loss when, due to additional age-related insults, the brain can no longer compensate the holistic imbalance caused by cholinergic loss.

01/05/2013 | Biol Psychiatry
Ventral tegmental area cannabinoid type-1 receptors control voluntary exercise performance.
Dubreucq S, Durand A, Matias I, Benard G, Richard E, Soria-Gomez E, Glangetas C, Groc L, Wadleigh A, Massa F, Bartsch D, Marsicano G, Georges F, Chaouloff F
doi: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2012.10.025

BACKGROUND: We have shown that the endogenous stimulation of cannabinoid type-1 (CB(1)) receptors is a prerequisite for voluntary running in mice, but the precise mechanisms through which the endocannabinoid system exerts a tonic control on running performance remain unknown. METHODS: We analyzed the respective impacts of constitutive/conditional CB(1) receptor mutations and of CB(1) receptor blockade on wheel-running performance. We then assessed the consequences of ventral tegmental area (VTA) CB(1) receptor blockade on the wheel-running performances of wildtype (gamma-aminobutyric acid [GABA]-CB(1)(+)/(+)) and mutant (GABA-CB(1)(-)/(-)) mice for CB(1) receptors in brain GABA neurons. Using in vivo electrophysiology, the consequences of wheel running on VTA dopamine (DA) neuronal activity were examined in GABA-CB(1)(+)/(+) and GABA-CB(1)(-)/(-) mice. RESULTS: Conditional deletion of CB(1) receptors from brain GABA neurons, but not from several other neuronal populations or from astrocytes, decreased wheel-running performance in mice. The inhibitory consequences of either the systemic or the intra-VTA administration of CB1 receptor antagonists on running behavior were abolished in GABA-CB(1)(-)/(-) mice. The absence of CB1 receptors from GABAergic neurons led to a depression of VTA DA neuronal activity after acute/repeated wheel running. CONCLUSIONS: This study provides evidence that CB(1) receptors on VTA GABAergic terminals exert a permissive control on rodent voluntary running performance. Furthermore, it is shown that CB(1) receptors located on GABAergic neurons impede negative consequences of voluntary exercise on VTA DA neuronal activity. These results position the endocannabinoid control of inhibitory transmission as a prerequisite for wheel-running performance in mice.

05/2013 | Semin Cell Dev Biol   IF 6.2
Revisiting planar cell polarity in the inner ear.
Ezan J, Montcouquiol M
doi: 10.1016/j.semcdb.2013.03.012

Since the first implication of the core planar cell polarity (PCP) pathway in stereocilia orientation of sensory hair cells in the mammalian cochlea, much has been written about this subject, in terms of understanding how this pathway can shape the mammalian hair cells and using the inner ear as a model system to understand mammalian PCP signaling. However, many conflicting results have arisen, leading to puzzling questions regarding the actual mechanism and roles of core PCP signaling in mammals and invertebrates. In this review, we summarize our current knowledge on the establishment of PCP during inner ear development and revisit the contrast between wing epithelial cells in Drosophila melanogaster and sensory epithelia in the mammalian cochlea. Notably, we focus on similarities and differences in the asymmetric distribution of core PCP proteins in the context of cell autonomous versus non-autonomous role of PCP signaling in the two systems. Additionally, we address the relationship between the kinocilium position and PCP in cochlear hair cells and increasing results suggest an alternate cell autonomous pathway in regulating PCP in sensory hair cells.

19/03/2013 | Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A
Activation of the sympathetic nervous system mediates hypophagic and anxiety-like effects of CB(1) receptor blockade.
Bellocchio L, Soria-Gomez E, Quarta C, Metna-Laurent M, Cardinal P, Binder E, Cannich A, Delamarre A, Haring M, Martin-Fontecha M, Vega D, Leste-Lasserre T, Bartsch D, Monory K, Lutz B, Chaouloff F, Pagotto U, Guzman M, Cota D, Marsicano G
doi: 10.1073/pnas.1218573110

Complex interactions between periphery and the brain regulate food intake in mammals. Cannabinoid type-1 (CB1) receptor antagonists are potent hypophagic agents, but the sites where this acute action is exerted and the underlying mechanisms are not fully elucidated. To dissect the mechanisms underlying the hypophagic effect of CB1 receptor blockade, we combined the acute injection of the CB1 receptor antagonist rimonabant with the use of conditional CB1-knockout mice, as well as with pharmacological modulation of different central and peripheral circuits. Fasting/refeeding experiments revealed that CB1 receptor signaling in many specific brain neurons is dispensable for the acute hypophagic effects of rimonabant. CB1 receptor antagonist-induced hypophagia was fully abolished by peripheral blockade of beta-adrenergic transmission, suggesting that this effect is mediated by increased activity of the sympathetic nervous system. Consistently, we found that rimonabant increases gastrointestinal metabolism via increased peripheral beta-adrenergic receptor signaling in peripheral organs, including the gastrointestinal tract. Blockade of both visceral afferents and glutamatergic transmission in the nucleus tractus solitarii abolished rimonabant-induced hypophagia. Importantly, these mechanisms were specifically triggered by lipid-deprivation, revealing a nutrient-specific component acutely regulated by CB1 receptor blockade. Finally, peripheral blockade of sympathetic neurotransmission also blunted central effects of CB1 receptor blockade, such as fear responses and anxiety-like behaviors. These data demonstrate that, independently of their site of origin, important effects of CB1 receptor blockade are expressed via activation of peripheral sympathetic activity. Thus, CB1 receptors modulate bidirectional circuits between the periphery and the brain to regulate feeding and other behaviors.

03/2013 | J Neurochem   IF 4
Neuron-type specific cannabinoid-mediated G protein signalling in mouse hippocampus.
Steindel F, Lerner R, Haring M, Ruehle S, Marsicano G, Lutz B, Monory K
doi: 10.1111/jnc.12137

Type 1 cannabinoid receptor (CB1) is expressed in different neuronal populations in the mammalian brain. In particular, CB1 on GABAergic or glutamatergic neurons exerts different functions and display different pharmacological properties in vivo. This suggests the existence of neuron-type specific signalling pathways activated by different subpopulations of CB1. In this study, we analysed CB1 expression, binding and signalling in the hippocampus of conditional mutant mice, bearing CB1 deletion in GABAergic (GABA-CB1-KO mice) or cortical glutamatergic neurons (Glu-CB1-KO mice). Compared to their wild-type littermates, Glu-CB1-KO displayed a small decrease of CB1 mRNA amount, immunoreactivity and [(3)H]CP55,940 binding. Conversely, GABA-CB1-KO mice showed a drastic reduction of these parameters, confirming that CB1 is present at much higher density on hippocampal GABAergic interneurons than glutamatergic neurons. Surprisingly, however, saturation analysis of HU210-stimulated [(35) S]GTPgammaS binding demonstrated that 'glutamatergic' CB1 is more efficiently coupled to G protein signalling than 'GABAergic' CB1. Thus, the minority of CB1 on glutamatergic neurons is paradoxically several fold more strongly coupled to G protein signalling than 'GABAergic' CB1. This selective signalling mechanism raises the possibility of designing novel cannabinoid ligands that differentially activate only a subset of physiological effects of CB1 stimulation, thereby optimizing therapeutic action.

19/02/2013 | Biophys J   IF 3.7
Two-photon excitation STED microscopy in two colors in acute brain slices.
Bethge P, Chereau R, Avignone E, Marsicano G, Nagerl UV
doi: 10.1016/j.bpj.2012.12.054

Many cellular structures and organelles are too small to be properly resolved by conventional light microscopy. This is particularly true for dendritic spines and glial processes, which are very small, dynamic, and embedded in dense tissue, making it difficult to image them under realistic experimental conditions. Two-photon microscopy is currently the method of choice for imaging in thick living tissue preparations, both in acute brain slices and in vivo. However, the spatial resolution of a two-photon microscope, which is limited to ~350 nm by the diffraction of light, is not sufficient for resolving many important details of neural morphology, such as the width of spine necks or thin glial processes. Recently developed superresolution approaches, such as stimulated emission depletion microscopy, have set new standards of optical resolution in imaging living tissue. However, the important goal of superresolution imaging with significant subdiffraction resolution has not yet been accomplished in acute brain slices. To overcome this limitation, we have developed a new microscope based on two-photon excitation and pulsed stimulated emission depletion microscopy, which provides unprecedented spatial resolution and excellent experimental access in acute brain slices using a long-working distance objective. The new microscope improves on the spatial resolution of a regular two-photon microscope by a factor of four to six, and it is compatible with time-lapse and simultaneous two-color superresolution imaging in living cells. We demonstrate the potential of this nanoscopy approach for brain slice physiology by imaging the morphology of dendritic spines and microglial cells well below the surface of acute brain slices.

31/01/2013 | Neurobiol Dis   IF 5.6
Partial loss in septo-hippocampal cholinergic neurons alters memory-dependent measures of brain connectivity without overt memory deficits.
Brayda-Bruno L, Mons N, Yee B K, Micheau J, Abrous DN, Nogues X, Marighetto A

The functional relevance of septo-hippocampal cholinergic (SHC) degeneration to the degradation of hippocampus-dependent declarative memory (DM) in aging and Alzheimer's disease (AD) remains ill-defined. Specifically, selective SHC lesions often fail to induce overt memory impairments in animal models. In spite of apparent normal performance, however, neuronal activity within relevant brain structures might be altered by SHC disruption. We hypothesized that partial SHC degeneration may contribute to functional alterations within memory circuits occurring in aging before DM decline. In young adult mice, we studied the effects of behaviorally ineffective (saporin-induced) SHC lesions - similar in extent to that seen in aged animals - on activity patterns and functional connectivity between three main neural memory systems: the septo-hippocampal system, the striatum and the amygdala that sustain declarative, procedural and emotional memory, respectively. Animals were trained in a radial maze procedure dissociating the human equivalents of relational/DM and non-R/DM expressions in animals. Test-induced Fos activation pattern revealed that the partial SHC lesion significantly altered the brain's functional activities and connectivity (co-activation pattern) despite the absence of overt behavioral deficit. Specifically, hippocampal CA3 hyperactivity and abnormal septo-hippocampo-amygdalar inter-connectivity resemble those observed in aging and prodromal AD. Hence, SHC neurons critically coordinate hippocampal function in concert with extra-hippocampal structures in accordance with specific mnemonic demand. Although partial SHC degeneration is not sufficient to impact DM performance by itself, the connectivity change might predispose the emergence of subsequent DM loss when, due to additional age-related insults, the brain can no longer compensate the holistic imbalance caused by cholinergic loss.

08/01/2013 | Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A
Striatal GABAergic and cortical glutamatergic neurons mediate contrasting effects of cannabinoids on cortical network synchrony.
Sales-Carbonell C, Rueda-Orozco PE, Soria-Gomez E, Buzsaki G, Marsicano G, Robbe D
doi: 10.1073/pnas.1217144110

Activation of type 1 cannabinoid receptors (CB1R) decreases GABA and glutamate release in cortical and subcortical regions, with complex outcomes on cortical network activity. To date there have been few attempts to disentangle the region- and cell-specific mechanisms underlying the effects of cannabinoids on cortical network activity in vivo. Here we addressed this issue by combining in vivo electrophysiological recordings with local and systemic pharmacological manipulations in conditional mutant mice lacking CB1R expression in different neuronal populations. First we report that cannabinoids induce hypersynchronous thalamocortical oscillations while decreasing the amplitude of faster cortical oscillations. Then we demonstrate that CB1R at striatonigral synapses (basal ganglia direct pathway) mediate the thalamocortical hypersynchrony, whereas activation of CB1R expressed in cortical glutamatergic neurons decreases cortical synchrony. Finally we show that activation of CB1 expressed in cortical glutamatergic neurons limits the cannabinoid-induced thalamocortical hypersynchrony. By reporting that CB1R activations in cortical and subcortical regions have contrasting effects on cortical synchrony, our study bridges the gap between cellular and in vivo network effects of cannabinoids. Incidentally, the thalamocortical hypersynchrony we report suggests a potential mechanism to explain the sensory 'high' experienced during recreational consumption of marijuana.

2013 | Front Neural Circuits
Revealing the secrets of neuronal circuits with recombinant rabies virus technology.
Ginger M*, Haberl M*, Conzelmann KK, Schwarz MK, Frick A
doi: 10.3389/fncir.2013.00002

An understanding of how the brain processes information requires knowledge of the architecture of its underlying neuronal circuits, as well as insights into the relationship between architecture and physiological function. A range of sophisticated tools is needed to acquire this knowledge, and recombinant rabies virus (RABV) is becoming an increasingly important part of this essential toolbox. RABV has been recognized for years for its properties as a synapse-specific trans-neuronal tracer. A novel genetically modified variant now enables the investigation of specific monosynaptic connections. This technology, in combination with other genetic, physiological, optical, and computational tools, has enormous potential for the visualization of neuronal circuits, and for monitoring and manipulating their activity. Here we will summarize the latest developments in this fast moving field and provide a perspective for the use of this technology for the dissection of neuronal circuit structure and function in the normal and diseased brain.

2013 | J Med Chem   IF 5.6
Structural, Kinetic, and Pharmacodynamic Mechanisms of d-Amino Acid Oxidase Inhibition by Small Molecules
Hopkins SC, Heffernan MLR, Saraswat LD, Bowen CA, Melnick L, Hardy LW, Orsini MA, Allen MS, Koch P, Spear KL, Foglesong RJ , Soukri M, Chytil M, Fang QK, Jones SW, Varney MA, Panatier A, Oliet SHR, Pollegioni L, Piubelli L, Molla G, Nardini M, Large TH
doi: 10.1021/jm4002583

We characterized the mechanism and pharmacodynamics of five structurally distinct inhibitors of d-amino acid oxidase. All inhibitors bound the oxidized form of human enzyme with affinity slightly higher than that of benzoate (Kd &#8776; 2-4 &#956;M). Stopped-flow experiments showed that pyrrole-based inhibitors possessed high affinity (Kd &#8776; 100-200 nM) and slow release kinetics (k < 0.01 s(-1)) in the presence of substrate, while inhibitors with pendent aromatic groups altered conformations of the active site lid, as evidenced by X-ray crystallography, and showed slower kinetics of association. Rigid bioisosteres of benzoic acid induced a closed-lid conformation, had slower release in the presence of substrate, and were more potent than benzoate. Steady-state d-serine concentrations were described in a PK/PD model, and competition for d-serine sites on NMDA receptors was demonstrated in vivo. DAAO inhibition increased the spatiotemporal influence of glial-derived d-serine, suggesting localized effects on neuronal circuits where DAAO can exert a neuromodulatory role

2013 | PLoS ONE   IF 3.7
Leucine supplementation protects from insulin resistance by regulating adiposity levels.
Binder E, Bermudez-Silva FJ, Andre C, Elie M, Romero-Zerbo SY, Leste-Lasserre T, Belluomo L, Duchampt A, Clark S, Aubert A, Mezzullo M, Fanelli F, Pagotto U, Laye S, Mithieux G, Cota D
doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0074705

BACKGROUND: Leucine supplementation might have therapeutic potential in preventing diet-induced obesity and improving insulin sensitivity. However, the underlying mechanisms are at present unclear. Additionally, it is unclear whether leucine supplementation might be equally efficacious once obesity has developed. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Male C57BL/6J mice were fed chow or a high-fat diet (HFD), supplemented or not with leucine for 17 weeks. Another group of HFD-fed mice (HFD-pairfat group) was food restricted in order to reach an adiposity level comparable to that of HFD-Leu mice. Finally, a third group of mice was exposed to HFD for 12 weeks before being chronically supplemented with leucine. Leucine supplementation in HFD-fed mice decreased body weight and fat mass by increasing energy expenditure, fatty acid oxidation and locomotor activity in vivo. The decreased adiposity in HFD-Leu mice was associated with increased expression of uncoupling protein 3 (UCP-3) in the brown adipose tissue, better insulin sensitivity, increased intestinal gluconeogenesis and preservation of islets of Langerhans histomorphology and function. HFD-pairfat mice had a comparable improvement in insulin sensitivity, without changes in islets physiology or intestinal gluconeogenesis. Remarkably, both HFD-Leu and HFD-pairfat mice had decreased hepatic lipid content, which likely helped improve insulin sensitivity. In contrast, when leucine was supplemented to already obese animals, no changes in body weight, body composition or glucose metabolism were observed. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: These findings suggest that leucine improves insulin sensitivity in HFD-fed mice by primarily decreasing adiposity, rather than directly acting on peripheral target organs. However, beneficial effects of leucine on intestinal gluconeogenesis and islets of Langerhans's physiology might help prevent type 2 diabetes development. Differently, metabolic benefit of leucine supplementation is lacking in already obese animals, a phenomenon possibly related to the extent of the obesity before starting the supplementation.

Most neuron types possess elaborate dendritic arbors that receive and integrate excitatory and inhibitory inputs from numerous other neurons to give rise to cell-type specific firing patterns. The computational properties of these dendrites are therefore crucial for neuronal information processing, and are strongly determined by the expression of many types of voltage-gated ion channels in their membrane. The dendritic distribution patterns of these ion channels are characteristic for each ion channel type, are dependent on the neuronal identity, and can be modified in a plastic or pathophysiological manner. We present a method that enables us to semi-automatically map and quantify in 3D the expression levels of specific ion channel types across the entire dendritic arbor. To achieve this, standard immunohistochemistry was combined with reconstruction and quantification procedures for the localization and relative distribution of ion channels with respect to dendritic morphology. This method can, in principle, be applied to any fluorescent signal, including fluorescently tagged membrane proteins, RNAs, or intracellular signaling molecules.

2013 | PLoS ONE   IF 3.7
Prenatal stress inhibits hippocampal neurogenesis but spares olfactory bulb neurogenesis.
Belnoue L, Grosjean N, Ladeveze E, Abrous DN, Koehl M
doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0072972

The dentate gyrus (DG) and the olfactory bulb (OB) are two regions of the adult brain in which new neurons are integrated daily in the existing networks. It is clearly established that these newborn neurons are implicated in specific functions sustained by these regions and that different factors can influence neurogenesis in both structures. Among these, life events, particularly occurring during early life, were shown to profoundly affect adult hippocampal neurogenesis and its associated functions like spatial learning, but data regarding their impact on adult bulbar neurogenesis are lacking. We hypothesized that prenatal stress could interfere with the development of the olfactory system, which takes place during the prenatal period, leading to alterations in adult bulbar neurogenesis and in olfactory capacities. To test this hypothesis we exposed pregnant C57Bl/6J mice to gestational restraint stress and evaluated behavioral and anatomic consequences in adult male offspring. We report that prenatal stress has no impact on adult bulbar neurogenesis, and does not alter olfactory functions in adult male mice. However, it decreases cell proliferation and neurogenesis in the DG of the hippocampus, thus confirming previous reports on rats. Altogether our data support a selective and cross-species long-term impact of prenatal stress on neurogenesis.

2013 | Mol Metab
Astroglial CB1 cannabinoid receptors regulate leptin signaling in mouse brain astrocytes.
Bosier B, Bellocchio L, Metna-Laurent M, Soria-Gomez E, Matias I, Hebert-Chatelain E, Cannich A, Maitre M, Leste-Lasserre T, Cardinal P, Mendizabal-Zubiaga J, Canduela MJ, Reguero L, Hermans E, Grandes P, Cota D, Marsicano G
doi: 10.1016/j.molmet.2013.08.001

Type-1 cannabinoid (CB1) and leptin (ObR) receptors regulate metabolic and astroglial functions, but the potential links between the two systems in astrocytes were not investigated so far. Genetic and pharmacological manipulations of CB1 receptor expression and activity in cultured cortical and hypothalamic astrocytes demonstrated that cannabinoid signaling controls the levels of ObR expression. Lack of CB1 receptors also markedly impaired leptin-mediated activation of signal transducers and activators of transcription 3 and 5 (STAT3 and STAT5) in astrocytes. In particular, CB1 deletion determined a basal overactivation of STAT5, thereby leading to the downregulation of ObR expression, and leptin failed to regulate STAT5-dependent glycogen storage in the absence of CB1 receptors. These results show that CB1 receptors directly interfere with leptin signaling and its ability to regulate glycogen storage, thereby representing a novel mechanism linking endocannabinoid and leptin signaling in the regulation of brain energy storage and neuronal functions.

2013 | bmc cancer   IF 3.3
High epiregulin expression in human U87 glioma cells relies on IRE1alpha and promotes autocrine growth through EGF receptor.
Auf G, Jabouille A, Delugin M, Guerit S, Pineau R, North S, Platonova N, Maitre M, Favereaux A, Vajkoczy P, Seno M, Bikfalvi A, Minchenko D, Minchenko O, Moenner M
doi: 10.1186/1471-2407-13-597

BACKGROUND: Epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptors contribute to the development of malignant glioma. Here we considered the possible implication of the EGFR ligand epiregulin (EREG) in glioma development in relation to the activity of the unfolded protein response (UPR) sensor IRE1alpha. We also examined EREG status in several glioblastoma cell lines and in malignant glioma. METHODS: Expression and biological properties of EREG were analyzed in human glioma cells in vitro and in human tumor xenografts with regard to the presence of ErbB proteins and to the blockade of IRE1alpha. Inactivation of IRE1alpha was achieved by using either the dominant-negative strategy or siRNA-mediated knockdown. RESULTS: EREG was secreted in high amounts by U87 cells, which also expressed its cognate EGF receptor (ErbB1). A stimulatory autocrine loop mediated by EREG was evidenced by the decrease in cell proliferation using specific blocking antibodies directed against either ErbB1 (cetuximab) or EREG itself. In comparison, anti-ErbB2 antibodies (trastuzumab) had no significant effect. Inhibition of IRE1alpha dramatically reduced EREG expression both in cell culture and in human xenograft tumor models. The high-expression rate of EREG in U87 cells was therefore linked to IRE1alpha, although being modestly affected by chemical inducers of the endoplasmic reticulum stress. In addition, IRE1-mediated production of EREG did not depend on IRE1 RNase domain, as neither the selective dominant-negative invalidation of the RNase activity (IRE1 kinase active) nor the siRNA-mediated knockdown of XBP1 had significant effect on EREG expression. Finally, chemical inhibition of c-Jun N-terminal kinases (JNK) using the SP600125 compound reduced the ability of cells to express EREG, demonstrating a link between the growth factor production and JNK activation under the dependence of IRE1alpha. CONCLUSION: EREG may contribute to glioma progression under the control of IRE1alpha, as exemplified here by the autocrine proliferation loop mediated in U87 cells by the growth factor through ErbB1.

2013 | PLoS ONE   IF 3.7
Recruitment of Perisomatic Inhibition during Spontaneous Hippocampal Activity
Beyeler A, Retailleau A, Molter C, Mehidi A, Szabadics J, Leinekugel X
doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0066509

It was recently shown that perisomatic GABAergic inhibitory postsynaptic potentials (IPSPs) originating from basket and chandelier cells can be recorded as population IPSPs from the hippocampal pyramidal layer using extracellular electrodes (eIPSPs). Taking advantage of this approach, we have investigated the recruitment of perisomatic inhibition during spontaneous hippocampal activity in vitro. Combining intracellular and extracellular recordings from pyramidal cells and interneurons, we confirm that inhibitory signals generated by basket cells can be recorded extracellularly, but our results suggest that, during spontaneous activity, eIPSPs are mostly confined to the CA3 rather than CA1 region. CA3 eIPSPs produced the powerful time-locked inhibition of multi-unit activity expected from perisomatic inhibition. Analysis of the temporal dynamics of spike discharges relative to eIPSPs suggests significant but moderate recruitment of excitatory and inhibitory neurons within the CA3 network on a 10 ms time scale, within which neurons recruit each other through recurrent collaterals and trigger powerful feedback inhibition. Such quantified parameters of neuronal interactions in the hippocampal network may serve as a basis for future characterisation of pathological conditions potentially affecting the interactions between excitation and inhibition in this circuit.

During frog metamorphosis, the vestibular sensory system remains unchanged, while spinal motor networks undergo a massive restructuring associated with the transition from the larval to adult biomechanical system. We investigated in Xenopus laevis the impact of a pre- (tadpole stage) or post-metamorphosis (juvenile stage) unilateral labyrinthectomy (UL) on young adult swimming performance and underlying spinal locomotor circuitry. The acute disruptive effects on locomotion were similar in both tadpoles and juvenile frogs. However, animals that had metamorphosed with a preceding UL expressed restored swimming behavior at the juvenile stage, whereas animals lesioned after metamorphosis never recovered. Whilst kinematic and electrophysiological analyses of the propulsive system showed no significant differences in either juvenile group, a 3D biomechanical simulation suggested that an asymmetry in the dynamic control of posture during swimming could account for the behavioral restoration observed in animals that had been labyrinthectomized before metamorphosis. This hypothesis was subsequently supported by in vivo electromyography during free swimming and in vitro recordings from isolated brainstem/spinal cord preparations. Specifically, animals lesioned prior to metamorphosis at the larval stage exhibited an asymmetrical propulsion/posture coupling as a post-metamorphic young adult. This developmental alteration was accompanied by an ipsilesional decrease in propriospinal coordination that is normally established in strict left-right symmetry during metamorphosis in order to synchronize dorsal trunk muscle contractions with bilateral hindlimb extensions in the swimming adult. Our data thus suggest that a disequilibrium in descending vestibulospinal information during Xenopus metamorphosis leads to an altered assembly of adult spinal locomotor circuitry. This in turn enables an adaptive compensation for the dynamic postural asymmetry induced by the vestibular imbalance and the restoration of functionally-effective behavior.

18/12/2012 | Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A
Anti-inflammatory lipoxin A4 is an endogenous allosteric enhancer of CB1 cannabinoid receptor.
Pamplona FA, Ferreira J, Menezes de Lima O Jr, Duarte FS, Bento AF, Forner S, Villarinho JG, Bellocchio L, Wotjak CT, Lerner R, Monory K, Lutz B, Canetti C, Matias I, Calixto JB, Marsicano G, Guimaraes MZ, Takahashi RN
doi: 10.1073/pnas.1202906109

Allosteric modulation of G-protein-coupled receptors represents a key goal of current pharmacology. In particular, endogenous allosteric modulators might represent important targets of interventions aimed at maximizing therapeutic efficacy and reducing side effects of drugs. Here we show that the anti-inflammatory lipid lipoxin A(4) is an endogenous allosteric enhancer of the CB(1) cannabinoid receptor. Lipoxin A(4) was detected in brain tissues, did not compete for the orthosteric binding site of the CB(1) receptor (vs. (3)H-SR141716A), and did not alter endocannabinoid metabolism (as opposed to URB597 and MAFP), but it enhanced affinity of anandamide at the CB1 receptor, thereby potentiating the effects of this endocannabinoid both in vitro and in vivo. In addition, lipoxin A(4) displayed a CB(1) receptor-dependent protective effect against beta-amyloid (1-40)-induced spatial memory impairment in mice. The discovery of lipoxins as a class of endogenous allosteric modulators of CB(1) receptors may foster the therapeutic exploitation of the endocannabinoid system, in particular for the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders.

Epidemiological studies have revealed striking associations between several distinct behavioral/personality traits and drug addiction, with a large emphasis on the sensation-seeking trait and the associated impulsive dimension of personality. However, in human studies, it is difficult to identify whether personality/behavioral traits actually contribute to increased vulnerability to drug addiction or reflect psychobiological adaptations to chronic drug exposure. Here we show how animal models, including the first multi-symptomatic model of addiction in the rat, have contributed to a better understanding of the relationships between different subdimensions of the sensation-seeking trait and different stages of the development of cocaine addiction, from vulnerability to initiation of cocaine self-administration to the transition to compulsive drug intake. We argue that sensation seeking predicts vulnerability to use cocaine, whereas novelty seeking, akin to high impulsivity, predicts instead vulnerability to shift from controlled to compulsive cocaine use, that is, addiction.

The mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) pathway is known to couple different environmental cues to the regulation of several energy-demanding functions within the cell, spanning from protein translation to mitochondrial activity. As a result, at the organism level, mTORC1 activity affects energy balance and general metabolic homoeostasis by modulating both the activity of neuronal populations that play key roles in the control of food intake and body weight, as well as by determining storage and use of fuel substrates in peripheral tissues. This review focuses on recent advances made in understanding the role of the mTORC1 pathway in the regulation of energy balance. More particularly, it aims at providing an overview of the status of knowledge regarding the mechanisms underlying the ability of certain amino acids, glucose and fatty acids, to affect mTORC1 activity and in turn illustrates how the mTORC1 pathway couples nutrient sensing to the hypothalamic regulation of the organisms' energy homoeostasis and to the control of intracellular metabolic processes, such as glucose uptake, protein and lipid biosynthesis. The evidence reviewed pinpoints the mTORC1 pathway as an integrator of the actions of nutrients on metabolic health and provides insight into the relevance of this intracellular pathway as a potential target for the therapy of metabolic diseases such as obesity and type-2 diabetes.

10/2012 | Development   IF 6.2
Gipc1 has a dual role in Vangl2 trafficking and hair bundle integrity in the inner ear.
Giese AP*, Ezan J*, Wang L, Lasvaux L, Lembo F, Mazzocco C, Richard E, Reboul J, Borg JP, Kelley MW, Sans N, Brigande J, Montcouquiol M

Vangl2 is one of the central proteins controlling the establishment of planar cell polarity in multiple tissues of different species. Previous studies suggest that the localization of the Vangl2 protein to specific intracellular microdomains is crucial for its function. However, the molecular mechanisms that control Vangl2 trafficking within a cell are largely unknown. Here, we identify Gipc1 (GAIP C-terminus interacting protein 1) as a new interactor for Vangl2, and we show that a myosin VI-Gipc1 protein complex can regulate Vangl2 traffic in heterologous cells. Furthermore, we show that in the cochlea of MyoVI mutant mice, Vangl2 presence at the membrane is increased, and that a disruption of Gipc1 function in hair cells leads to maturation defects, including defects in hair bundle orientation and integrity. Finally, stimulated emission depletion microscopy and overexpression of GFP-Vangl2 show an enrichment of Vangl2 on the supporting cell side, adjacent to the proximal membrane of hair cells. Altogether, these results indicate a broad role for Gipc1 in the development of both stereociliary bundles and cell polarization, and suggest that the strong asymmetry of Vangl2 observed in early postnatal cochlear epithelium is mostly a 'tissue' polarity readout.

03/09/2012 | J Cell Biol   IF 10.8
Dishevelled stabilization by the ciliopathy protein Rpgrip1l is essential for planar cell polarity.
Mahuzier A , Gaude HM , Grampa V , Anselme I , Silbermann F , Leroux-Berger M , Delacour D , Ezan J , Montcouquiol M , Saunier S , Schneider-Maunoury S , Vesque C
doi: 10.1083/jcb.201111009

Cilia are at the core of planar polarity cellular events in many systems. However, the molecular mechanisms by which they influence the polarization process are unclear. Here, we identify the function of the ciliopathy protein Rpgrip1l in planar polarity. In the mouse cochlea and in the zebrafish floor plate, Rpgrip1l was required for positioning the basal body along the planar polarity axis. Rpgrip1l was also essential for stabilizing dishevelled at the cilium base in the zebrafish floor plate and in mammalian renal cells. In rescue experiments, we showed that in the zebrafish floor plate the function of Rpgrip1l in planar polarity was mediated by dishevelled stabilization. In cultured cells, Rpgrip1l participated in a complex with inversin and nephrocystin-4, two ciliopathy proteins known to target dishevelled to the proteasome, and, in this complex, Rpgrip1l prevented dishevelled degradation. We thus uncover a ciliopathy protein complex that finely tunes dishevelled levels, thereby modulating planar cell polarity processes.

09/2012 | Endocrinology   IF 4.7
Hypothalamic CB1 Cannabinoid Receptors Regulate Energy Balance in Mice.
Cardinal P , Bellocchio L , Clark S , Cannich A , Klugmann M , Lutz B , Marsicano G , Cota D
doi: 10.1210/en.2012-1405

Cannabinoid type 1 (CB(1)) receptor activation is generally considered a powerful orexigenic signal and inhibition of the endocannabinoid system is beneficial for the treatment of obesity and related metabolic diseases. The hypothalamus plays a critical role in regulating energy balance by modulating both food intake and energy expenditure. Although CB(1) receptor signaling has been implicated in the modulation of both these mechanisms, a complete understanding of its role in the hypothalamus is still lacking. Here we combined a genetic approach with the use of adeno-associated viral vectors to delete the CB(1) receptor gene in the adult mouse hypothalamus and assessed the impact of such manipulation on the regulation of energy balance. Viral-mediated deletion of the CB(1) receptor gene in the hypothalamus led to the generation of Hyp-CB(1)-KO mice, which displayed an approximately 60% decrease in hypothalamic CB(1) receptor mRNA levels. Hyp-CB(1)-KO mice maintained on a normocaloric, standard diet showed decreased body weight gain over time, which was associated with increased energy expenditure and elevated beta(3)-adrenergic receptor and uncoupling protein-1 mRNA levels in the brown adipose tissue but, surprisingly, not to changes in food intake. Additionally, Hyp-CB(1)-KO mice were insensitive to the anorectic action of the hormone leptin (5 mg/kg) and displayed a time-dependent hypophagic response to the CB(1) inverse agonist rimonabant (3 mg/kg). Altogether these findings suggest that hypothalamic CB(1) receptor signaling is a key determinant of energy expenditure under basal conditions and reveal its specific role in conveying the effects of leptin and pharmacological CB1 receptor antagonism on food intake.

15/08/2012 | Biol Psychiatry
Interplay of maternal care and genetic influences in programming adult hippocampal neurogenesis.
Koehl M, van der Veen R, Gonzales D, Piazza PV, Abrous DN
doi: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2012.03.001

BACKGROUND: Adult hippocampal neurogenesis, which is involved in the physiopathology of hippocampal functions, is genetically determined and influenced by early life events. However, studies on the interaction of these determining forces are lacking. This prompted us to investigate whether adult hippocampal neurogenesis can be modulated by maternal care and whether this influence depends upon the genetic background of the individual. METHODS: We used a model of fostering that allows singling out the influence of the genetic make-up of the pups on the outcome of maternal behavior. Mice from two different inbred strains (C57BL/6J and DBA/2J) known to differ in their baseline neurogenesis as well as in their sensitivity to the influence of environmental experiences were raised by nonrelated mothers from the AKR/Ola (AKR) and C3H/He (C3H) strains exhibiting low- and high-pup-oriented behavior, respectively. Neurogenesis was then assessed in the dentate gyrus of the adult adopted C57BL/6J and DBA/2J mice. RESULTS: We show that both the number and the morphological features of newborn granule cells in the dentate gyrus are determined by the maternal environment to which mice were exposed as pups and that this sensitivity to maternal environment is observed only in genetically vulnerable subjects. CONCLUSIONS: Altogether, our data indicate interplay between early environment and the genetic envelop of an individual in determining adult hippocampal neurogenesis. Our experimental approach could thus contribute to the identification of factors determining the neurogenic potential of the adult hippocampus.

03/08/2012 | Cell   IF 32
Synaptic and Extrasynaptic NMDA Receptors Are Gated by Different Endogenous Coagonists.
Papouin T, Ladepeche L, Ruel J, Sacchi S, Labasque M, Hanini M, Groc L, Pollegioni L, Mothet JP, Oliet SH
doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2012.06.029

N-methyl-d-aspartate receptors (NMDARs) are located in neuronal cell membranes at synaptic and extrasynaptic locations, where they are believed to mediate distinct physiological and pathological processes. Activation of NMDARs requires glutamate and a coagonist whose nature and impact on NMDAR physiology remain elusive. We report that synaptic and extrasynaptic NMDARs are gated by different endogenous coagonists, d-serine and glycine, respectively. The regionalized availability of the coagonists matches the preferential affinity of synaptic NMDARs for d-serine and extrasynaptic NMDARs for glycine. Furthermore, glycine and d-serine inhibit NMDAR surface trafficking in a subunit-dependent manner, which is likely to influence NMDARs subcellular location. Taking advantage of this coagonist segregation, we demonstrate that long-term potentiation and NMDA-induced neurotoxicity rely on synaptic NMDARs only. Conversely, long-term depression requires both synaptic and extrasynaptic receptors. Our observations provide key insights into the operating mode of NMDARs, emphasizing functional distinctions between synaptic and extrasynaptic NMDARs in brain physiology.

07/2012 | Neuropsychopharmacology
Genetic dissection of the role of cannabinoid type-1 receptors in the emotional consequences of repeated social stress in mice.
Dubreucq S, Matias I, Cardinal P, Haring M, Lutz B, Marsicano G, Chaouloff F
doi: 10.1038/npp.2012.36

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) tightly controls emotional responses to acute aversive stimuli. Repeated stress alters ECS activity but the role played by the ECS in the emotional consequences of repeated stress has not been investigated in detail. This study used social defeat stress, together with pharmacology and genetics to examine the role of cannabinoid type-1 (CB(1)) receptors on repeated stress-induced emotional alterations. Seven daily social defeat sessions increased water (but not food) intake, sucrose preference, anxiety, cued fear expression, and adrenal weight in C57BL/6N mice. The first and the last social stress sessions triggered immediate brain region-dependent changes in the concentrations of the principal endocannabinoids anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol. Pretreatment before each of the seven stress sessions with the CB(1) receptor antagonist rimonabant prolonged freezing responses of stressed mice during cued fear recall tests. Repeated social stress abolished the increased fear expression displayed by constitutive CB(1) receptor-deficient mice. The use of mutant mice lacking CB(1) receptors from cortical glutamatergic neurons or from GABAergic neurons indicated that it is the absence of the former CB(1) receptor population that is responsible for the fear responses in socially stressed CB(1) mutant mice. In addition, stress-induced hypolocomotor reactivity was amplified by the absence of CB(1) receptors from GABAergic neurons. Mutant mice lacking CB(1) receptors from serotonergic neurons displayed a higher anxiety but decreased cued fear expression than their wild-type controls. These mutant mice failed to show social stress-elicited increased sucrose preference. This study shows that (i) release of endocannabinoids during stress exposure impedes stress-elicited amplification of cued fear behavior, (ii) social stress opposes the increased fear expression and delayed between-session extinction because of the absence of CB(1) receptors from cortical glutamatergic neurons, and (iii) CB(1) receptors on central serotonergic neurons are involved in the sweet consumption response to repeated stress.

The cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1) is abundantly expressed in the central nervous system where it negatively controls the release of several neurotransmitters. CB1 activity plays a crucial role in learning and memory and in synaptic plasticity. In the present study, the role of CB1 was investigated in three different hippocampus-dependent memory tasks and in in vivo hippocampal synaptic plasticity in knockout (CB1-ko) and wildtype mice. There was no difference in short-term and long-term social and object recognition memory between CB1-ko and wildtype mice. In contrast, in background contextual fear conditioning CB1-ko mice showed enhanced freezing levels in the conditioning context and increased generalised contextual fear after a high-intensity conditioning foot shock of 1.5 mA, but not after 0.7 mA. In in vivo field potential recordings in the dentate gyrus, CB1-ko mice displayed a decreased paired-pulse facilitation of the populations spikes, suggesting an altered inhibitory synaptic drive onto hippocampal granule cells. Furthermore, CB1-ko mice displayed significantly higher levels of in vivo long-term potentiation (LTP) in the dentate gyrus. In conclusion, CB1 deficiency leads to enhanced contextual fear memory and altered synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus, supporting the key role of endocannabinoid signalling in learning and memory, in particular following highly aversive encounters.

06/2012 | Int J Obes (Lond)
Simultaneous postprandial deregulation of the orexigenic endocannabinoid anandamide and the anorexigenic peptide YY in obesity.
Cherifi-Gatta B, Matias I, Vallee M, Tabarin A, Marsicano G, Piazza PV, Cota D
doi: 10.1038/ijo.2011.165

BACKGROUND: The endocannabinoid system is a potential pharmacotherapy target for obesity. However, the role of this system in human food intake regulation is currently unknown. METHODS: To test whether circulating endocannabinoids might functionally respond to food intake and verify whether these orexigenic signals are deregulated in obesity alongside with anorexigenic ones, we measured plasma anandamide (AEA), 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) and peptide YY (PYY) changes in response to a meal in 12 normal-weight and 12 non-diabetic, insulin-resistant obese individuals. RESULTS: Both normal-weight and obese subjects had a significant preprandial AEA peak. Postprandially, AEA levels significantly decreased in normal-weight, whereas no significant changes were observed in obese subjects. Similarly, PYY levels significantly increased in normal-weight subjects only. No meal-related changes were found for 2-AG. Postprandial AEA and PYY changes inversely correlated with waist circumference, and independently explained 20.7 and 21.3% of waist variance. Multiple regression analysis showed that postprandial AEA and PYY changes explained 34% of waist variance, with 8.2% of the variance commonly explained. CONCLUSION: These findings suggest that AEA might be a physiological meal initiator in humans and furthermore show that postprandially AEA and PYY are concomitantly deregulated in obesity.

23/05/2012 | J Neurosci   IF 6.9
Bimodal control of fear-coping strategies by CB(1) cannabinoid receptors.
Metna-Laurent M, Soria-Gomez E, Verrier D, Conforzi M, Jego P, Lafenetre P, Marsicano G
doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1054-12.2012

To maximize their chances of survival, animals need to rapidly and efficiently respond to aversive situations. These responses can be classified as active or passive and depend on the specific nature of threats, but also on individual fear coping styles. In this study, we show that the control of excitatory and inhibitory brain neurons by type-1 cannabinoid (CB(1)) receptors is a key determinant of fear coping strategies in mice. In classical fear conditioning, a switch between initially predominant passive fear responses (freezing) and active behaviors (escape attempts and risk assessment) develops over time. Constitutive genetic deletion of CB(1) receptors in CB(1)(-)/(-) mice disrupted this pattern by favoring passive responses. This phenotype can be ascribed to endocannabinoid control of excitatory neurons, because it was reproduced in conditional mutant mice lacking CB(1) receptors from cortical glutamatergic neurons. CB(1) receptor deletion from GABAergic brain neurons led to the opposite phenotype, characterized by the predominance of active coping. The CB(1) receptor agonist Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol exerted a biphasic control of fear coping strategies, with lower and higher doses favoring active and passive responses, respectively. Finally, viral re-expression of CB(1) receptors in the amygdala of CB(1)(-)/(-) mice restored the normal switch between the two coping strategies. These data strongly suggest that CB(1) receptor signaling bimodally controls the spontaneous adoption of active or passive coping strategies in individuals. This primary function of the endocannabinoid system in shaping individual behavioral traits should be considered when studying the mechanisms of physiological and pathological fear.

17/05/2012 | Hippocampus   IF 5.5
Juvenile, but not adult exposure to high-fat diet impairs relational memory and hippocampal neurogenesis in mice.
Boitard C, Etchamendy N, Sauvant J, Aubert A, Tronel S, Marighetto A, Laye S, Ferreira G
doi: 10.1002/hipo.22032

Increased consumption of high-fat diet (HFD) leads to obesity and adverse neurocognitive outcomes. Childhood and adolescence are important periods of brain maturation shaping cognitive function. These periods could consequently be particularly sensitive to the detrimental effects of HFD intake. In mice, juvenile and adulthood consumption of HFD induce similar morphometric and metabolic changes. However, only juvenile exposure to HFD abolishes relational memory flexibility, assessed after initial radial-maze concurrent spatial discrimination learning, and decreases neurogenesis. Our results identify a critical period of development covering adolescence with higher sensitivity to HFD-induced hippocampal dysfunction at both behavioral and cellular levels. (c) 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

15/05/2012 | Mol Psychiatry   IF 14.9
Prefrontal synaptic markers of cocaine addiction-like behavior in rats.
Kasanetz F*, Lafourcade M*, Deroche-Gamonet V*, Revest JM, Berson N, Balado E, Fiancette JF, Renault P, Piazza PV*, Manzoni OJ*
doi: 10.1038/mp.2012.59

Defining the drug-induced neuroadaptations specifically associated with the behavioral manifestation of addiction is a daunting task. To address this issue, we used a behavioral model that differentiates rats controlling their drug use (Non-Addict-like) from rats undergoing transition to addiction (Addict-like). Dysfunctions in prefrontal cortex (PFC) synaptic circuits are thought to be responsible for the loss of control over drug taking that characterizes addicted individuals. Here, we studied the synaptic alterations in prelimbic PFC (pPFC) circuits associated with transition to addiction. We discovered that some of the changes induced by cocaine self-administration (SA), such as the impairment of the endocannabinoid-mediated long-term synaptic depression (eCB-LTD) was similarly abolished in Non-Addict- and Addict-like rats and thus unrelated to transition to addiction. In contrast, metabotropic glutamate receptor 2/3-mediated LTD (mGluR2/3-LTD) was specifically suppressed in Addict-like rats, which also show a concomitant postsynaptic plasticity expressed as a change in the relative contribution of AMPAR and NMDAR to basal glutamate-mediated synaptic transmission. Addiction-associated synaptic alterations in the pPFC were not fully developed at early stages of cocaine SA, when addiction-like behaviors are still absent, suggesting that pathological behaviors appear once the pPFC is compromised. These data identify specific synaptic impairments in the pPFC associated with addiction and support the idea that alterations of synaptic plasticity are core markers of drug dependence.Molecular Psychiatry advance online publication, 15 May 2012; doi:10.1038/mp.2012.59.

01/05/2012 | Mol Psychiatry   IF 14.9
Stressing new neurons into depression?
Lucassen PJ, Fitzsimons CP, Korosi A, Joels M, Belzung C, Abrous DN
doi: 10.1038/mp.2012.39

05/2012 | J Physiol Paris
Neural circuits underlying the generation of theta oscillations.
Pignatelli M, Beyeler A, Leinekugel X
doi: 10.1016/j.jphysparis.2011.09.007

Theta oscillations represent the neural network configuration underlying active awake behavior and paradoxical sleep. This major EEG pattern has been extensively studied, from physiological to anatomical levels, for more than half a century. Nevertheless the cellular and network mechanisms accountable for the theta generation are still not fully understood. This review synthesizes the current knowledge on the circuitry involved in the generation of theta oscillations, from the hippocampus to extra hippocampal structures such as septal complex, entorhinal cortex and pedunculopontine tegmentum, a main trigger of theta state through direct and indirect projections to the septal complex. We conclude with a short overview of the perspectives offered by technical advances for deciphering more precisely the different neural components underlying the emergence of theta oscillations.

04/2012 | J Neurochem   IF 4
Glial cells in (patho)physiology.
Parpura V, Heneka MT, Montana V, Oliet SH, Schousboe A, Haydon PG, Stout RF Jr, Spray DC, Reichenbach A, Pannicke T, Pekny M, Pekna M, Zorec R, Verkhratsky A
doi: 10.1111/j.1471-4159.2012.07664.x

J. Neurochem. (2012) 121, 4-27. ABSTRACT: Neuroglial cells define brain homeostasis and mount defense against pathological insults. Astroglia regulate neurogenesis and development of brain circuits. In the adult brain, astrocytes enter into intimate dynamic relationship with neurons, especially at synaptic sites where they functionally form the tripartite synapse. At these sites, astrocytes regulate ion and neurotransmitter homeostasis, metabolically support neurons and monitor synaptic activity; one of the readouts of the latter manifests in astrocytic intracellular Ca(2+) signals. This form of astrocytic excitability can lead to release of chemical transmitters via Ca(2+) -dependent exocytosis. Once in the extracellular space, gliotransmitters can modulate synaptic plasticity and cause changes in behavior. Besides these physiological tasks, astrocytes are fundamental for progression and outcome of neurological diseases. In Alzheimer's disease, for example, astrocytes may contribute to the etiology of this disorder. Highly lethal glial-derived tumors use signaling trickery to coerce normal brain cells to assist tumor invasiveness. This review not only sheds new light on the brain operation in health and disease, but also points to many unknowns.

04/2012 | Hippocampus   IF 5.5
Evidence for a virtual human analog of a rodent relational memory task: a study of aging and fMRI in young adults.
Etchamendy N, Konishi K, Pike GB, Marighetto A, Bohbot VD
doi: 10.1002/hipo.20948

A radial maze concurrent spatial discrimination learning paradigm consisting of two stages was previously designed to assess the flexibility property of relational memory in mice, as a model of human declarative memory. Aged mice and young adult mice with damage to the hippocampus, learned accurately Stage 1 of the task which required them to learn a constant reward location in a specific set of arms (i.e., learning phase). In contrast, they were impaired relative to healthy young adult mice in a second stage when faced with rearrangements of the same arms (i.e., flexibility probes). This mnemonic inflexibility in Stage 2 is thought to derive from insufficient relational processing by the hippocampus during initial learning (Stage 1) which favors stimulus-response learning, a form of procedural learning. This was proposed as a model of the selective declarative and relational memory decline classically described in elderly people. As a first step to examine the validity of this model, we adapted this protocol to humans using a virtual radial-maze. (1) We showed that performance in the flexibility probes in young and older adults positively correlated with performance in a wayfinding task, suggesting that our paradigm assesses relational memory. (2) We demonstrated that older healthy participants displayed a deficit in the performance of the flexibility probes (Stage 2), similar to the one previously seen in aged mice. This was associated with a decline in the wayfinding task. (3) Our fMRI data in young adults confirmed that hippocampal activation during early discrimination learning in Stage 1 correlated with memory flexibility in Stage 2, whereas caudate nucleus activation in Stage 1 negatively correlated with subsequent flexibility. By enabling relational memory assessment in mice and humans, our radial-maze paradigm provides a valuable tool for translational research.

04/2012 | Nat Neurosci   IF 15.3
Mitochondrial CB(1) receptors regulate neuronal energy metabolism.
Benard G, Massa F, Puente N, Lourenco J, Bellocchio L, Soria-Gomez E, Matias I, Delamarre A, Metna-Laurent M, Cannich A, Hebert-Chatelain E, Mulle C, Ortega-Gutierrez S, Martin-Fontecha M, Klugmann M, Guggenhuber S, Lutz B, Gertsch J, Chaouloff F, Lopez-Rodriguez ML, Grandes P, Rossignol R, Marsicano G
doi: 10.1038/nn.3053

The mammalian brain is one of the organs with the highest energy demands, and mitochondria are key determinants of its functions. Here we show that the type-1 cannabinoid receptor (CB(1)) is present at the membranes of mouse neuronal mitochondria (mtCB(1)), where it directly controls cellular respiration and energy production. Through activation of mtCB(1) receptors, exogenous cannabinoids and in situ endocannabinoids decreased cyclic AMP concentration, protein kinase A activity, complex I enzymatic activity and respiration in neuronal mitochondria. In addition, intracellular CB(1) receptors and mitochondrial mechanisms contributed to endocannabinoid-dependent depolarization-induced suppression of inhibition in the hippocampus. Thus, mtCB(1) receptors directly modulate neuronal energy metabolism, revealing a new mechanism of action of G protein-coupled receptor signaling in the brain.

02/03/2012 | Cell   IF 32
Acute cannabinoids impair working memory through astroglial CB1 receptor modulation of hippocampal LTD.
Han J, Kesner P, Metna-Laurent M, Duan T, Xu L, Georges F, Koehl M, Abrous DN, Mendizabal-Zubiaga J, Grandes P, Liu Q, Bai G, Wang W, Xiong L, Ren W, Marsicano G, Zhang X
doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2012.01.037

Impairment of working memory is one of the most important deleterious effects of marijuana intoxication in humans, but its underlying mechanisms are presently unknown. Here, we demonstrate that the impairment of spatial working memory (SWM) and in vivo long-term depression (LTD) of synaptic strength at hippocampal CA3-CA1 synapses, induced by an acute exposure of exogenous cannabinoids, is fully abolished in conditional mutant mice lacking type-1 cannabinoid receptors (CB(1)R) in brain astroglial cells but is conserved in mice lacking CB(1)R in glutamatergic or GABAergic neurons. Blockade of neuronal glutamate N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors (NMDAR) and of synaptic trafficking of glutamate alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-isoxazole propionic acid receptors (AMPAR) also abolishes cannabinoid effects on SWM and LTD induction and expression. We conclude that the impairment of working memory by marijuana and cannabinoids is due to the activation of astroglial CB(1)R and is associated with astroglia-dependent hippocampal LTD in vivo.

01/03/2012 | Neuroscience   IF 3.1
Cannabinoid type 1 receptors located on single-minded 1-expressing neurons control emotional behaviors.
Dubreucq S, Kambire S, Conforzi M, Metna-Laurent M, Cannich A, Soria-Gomez E, Richard E, Marsicano G, Chaouloff F
doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2011.08.049

This study has investigated the role of hypothalamic and amygdalar type-1 cannabinoid (CB1) receptors in the emotional and neuroendocrine responses to stress. To do so, we used the Cre/loxP system to generate conditional mutant mice lacking the CB1 gene in neurons expressing the transcription factor single-minded 1 (Sim1). This choice was dictated by former evidence for Sim1-Cre transgenic mice bearing Cre activity in all areas expressing Sim1, which chiefly includes the hypothalamus (especially the paraventricular nucleus, the supraoptic nucleus, and the posterior hypothalamus) and the mediobasal amygdala. Genomic DNA analyses in Sim1-CB1(-/-) mice indicated that the CB1 allele was excised from the hypothalamus and the amygdala, but not from the cortex, the striatum, the thalamus, the nucleus accumbens, the brainstem, the hippocampus, the pituitary gland, and the spinal cord. Double-fluorescent in situ hybridization experiments further indicated that Sim1-CB1(-/-) mice displayed a weaker CB1 receptor mRNA expression in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus and the mediobasal part of the amygdala, compared to wild-type animals. Individually housed Sim1-CB1(-/-) mice and their Sim1-CB1(+/+) littermates were exposed to anxiety and fear memory tests under basal conditions as well as after acute/repeated social stress. A principal component analysis of the behaviors of Sim1-CB1(-/-) and Sim1-CB1(+/+) mice in anxiety tests (open field, elevated plus-maze, and light/dark box) revealed that CB1 receptors from Sim1-expressing neurons exert tonic, albeit opposite, controls of locomotor and anxiety reactivity to novel environments. No difference between genotypes was observed during the recall of contextual fear conditioning or during active avoidance learning. Sim1-CB1(-/-), but not Sim1-CB1(+/+), mice proved sensitive to an acute social stress as this procedure reverted the increased ambulation in the center of the open field. The stimulatory influence of repeated social stress on body and adrenal weights, water intake, and sucrose preference was similar in the two genotypes. On the other hand, repeated social stress abolished the decrease in cued-fear conditioned expression that was observed in Sim1-CB1(-/-) mice, compared to Sim1-CB1(+/+) mice. This study suggests that CB1 receptors located on Sim1-expressing neurons exert a tonic control on locomotor reactivity, unconditioned anxiety, and cued-fear expression under basal conditions as well as after acute or repeated stress.

03/2012 | Cereb Cortex   IF 6.8
Glial D-serine gates NMDA receptors at excitatory synapses in prefrontal cortex.
Fossat P, Turpin FR, Sacchi S, Dulong J, Shi T, Rivet JM, Sweedler JV, Pollegioni L, Millan MJ, Oliet SH, Mothet JP
doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhr130

N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors (NMDARs) subserve numerous neurophysiological and neuropathological processes in the cerebral cortex. Their activation requires the binding of glutamate and also of a coagonist. Whereas glycine and D-serine (D-ser) are candidates for such a role at central synapses, the nature of the coagonist in cerebral cortex remains unknown. We first show that the glycine-binding site of NMDARs is not saturated in acute slices preparations of medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). Using enzymes that selectively degrade either D-ser or glycine, we demonstrate that under the present conditions, D-ser is the principle endogenous coagonist of synaptic NMDARs at mature excitatory synapses in layers V/VI of mPFC where it is essential for long-term potentiation (LTP) induction. Furthermore, blocking the activity of glia with the metabolic inhibitor, fluoroacetate, impairs NMDAR-mediated synaptic transmission and prevents LTP induction by reducing the extracellular levels of D-serine. Such deficits can be restored by exogenous D-ser, indicating that the D-amino acid mainly originates from glia in the mPFC, as further confirmed by double-immunostaining studies for D-ser and anti-glial fibrillary acidic protein. Our findings suggest that D-ser modulates neuronal networks in the cerebral cortex by gating the activity of NMDARs and that altering its levels is relevant to the induction and potentially treatment of psychiatric and neurological disorders.

INTRODUCTION: The central dopaminergic system is involved in the pathophysiology of several neuropsychiatric disorders. Intracerebral microdialysis and electrophysiology provide two powerful techniques to investigate dopamine (DA) function and the mechanism of action of psychotropic drugs in vivo. METHODS: Here, we developed a protocol allowing the combined measurement of neurochemical and electrical activities of the nigrostriatal and mesoaccumbens DA pathways, by coupling in vivo microdialysis and electrophysiology in the same isoflurane-anesthetized animal. DA neuron firing rate and burst firing were measured in the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNc) and the ventral tegmental area (VTA), whereas extracellular levels of DA and its main metabolite 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC) were monitored in the striatum and the nucleus accumbens (NAc). The validity of the protocol was assessed using various drugs known to modify DA neuron activity in vivo. RESULTS: The peripheral administration of the DA-D2 agonist quinpirole decreased SNc DA neuron firing rate and burst firing, as well as DA and DOPAC outflow in the rat striatum. Opposite effects were observed after the peripheral administration of the DA-D2 antagonist haloperidol. In rats and mice, the peripheral administration of cocaine elicited a decrease in VTA DA neuron firing rate and burst firing, and an increase in accumbal DA outflow, paralleled by a reduction in DOPAC outflow. DISCUSSION: The obtained results, confirming previous electrophysiological and microdialysis studies, demonstrate that this protocol provides a suitable method for the study of DA neuron function and the mechanism of action of psychotropic drugs in the living brain of both rats and mice.

29/02/2012 | J Neurosci   IF 6.9
Long-lasting plasticity of hippocampal adult-born neurons.
Lemaire V, Tronel S, Montaron MF, Fabre A, Dugast E, Abrous DN
doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4731-11.2012

Adult neurogenesis occurs in the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus, which is a key structure in learning and memory. It is believed that adult-born neurons exert their unique role in information processing due to their high plasticity during immature stage that renders them malleable in response to environmental demands. Here, we demonstrate that, in rats, there is no critical time window for experience-induced dendritic plasticity of adult-born neurons as spatial learning in the water maze sculpts the dendritic arbor of adult-born neurons even when they are several months of age. By ablating neurogenesis within a specific period of time, we found that learning was disrupted when the delay between ablation and learning was extended to several months. Together, these results show that mature adult-born neurons are still plastic when they are functionally integrated into dentate network. Our results suggest a new perspective with regard to the role of neo-neurons by highlighting that even mature ones can provide an additional source of plasticity to the brain to process memory information.

23/02/2012 | Science   IF 31
Glucocorticoids Can Induce PTSD-Like Memory Impairments in Mice.
Kaouane N, Porte Y, Vallee M, Brayda-Bruno L, Mons N, Calandreau L, Marighetto A, Piazza PV, Desmedt A
doi: 10.1126/science.1207615

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is characterized by a hypermnesia of the trauma and by a memory impairment that decreases the ability to restrict fear to the appropriate context. Infusion of glucocorticoids in the hippocampus after fear conditioning induces PTSD-like memory impairments and an altered pattern of neural activation in the hippocampal-amygdalar circuit. Mice become unable to identify the context as the right predictor of the threat and show fear responses for a discrete cue non-predicting the threat in normal conditions. These data demonstrate PTSD-like memory impairments in rodents and identify a potential pathophysiological mechanism of this condition.

Until recently, it was believed that the introduction of new neurons in neuronal networks was incompatible with memory function. Since the rediscovery of adult hippocampal neurogenesis, behavioral data demonstrate that adult neurogenesis is required for memory processing. We examine neurocomputational studies to identify which basic mechanisms involved in memory might be mediated by adult neurogenesis. Mainly, adult neurogenesis might be involved in the reduction of catastrophic interference and in a time-related pattern separation function. Artificial neuronal networks suggest that the selective recruitment of new-born or old neurons is not stochastic, but depends on environmental requirements. This leads us to propose the novel concept of 'soft-supervision'. Soft-supervision would be a biologically plausible process, by which the environment is able to influence activation and learning rules of neurons differentially.

02/2012 | Hippocampus   IF 5.5
Adult-born neurons are necessary for extended contextual discrimination.
Tronel S, Belnoue L, Grosjean N, Revest JM, Piazza PV, Koehl M, Abrous DN
doi: 10.1002/hipo.20895

New neurons are continuously produced in the adult dentate gyrus of the hippocampus. It has been shown that one of the functions of adult neurogenesis is to support spatial pattern separation, a process that transforms similar memories into nonoverlapping representations. This prompted us to investigate whether adult-born neurons are required for discriminating two contexts, i.e., for identifying a familiar environment and detect any changes introduced in it. We show that depleting adult-born neurons impairs the animal's ability to disambiguate two contexts after extensive training. These data suggest that the continuous production of new dentate neurons plays a crucial role in extracting and separating efficiently contextual representation in order to discriminate features within events.

Presynaptic kainate receptors (KARs) exert a modulatory action on transmitter release. We here report that applications of agonists of GluK1-containing KARs in the rat supraoptic nucleus has an opposite action on glutamatergic transmission according to the phenotype of the postsynaptic neuron. Whereas glutamate release was facilitated in oxytocin (OT) neurons, it was inhibited in vasopressin (VP) cells. Interestingly, an antagonist of GluK1-containing KARs caused an inhibition of glutamate release in both OT and VP neurons, revealing the existence of tonically activated presynaptic KARs that are positively coupled to transmitter release. We thus postulated that the inhibition of glutamate release observed with exogenous applications of GluK1 agonists on VP neurons could be indirect. In agreement with this hypothesis, we first showed that functional GluK1-containing KARs were present postsynaptically on VP neurons but not on OT cells. We next showed that the inhibitory effect induced by exogenous GluK1 receptor agonist was compromised when BAPTA was added in the recording pipette to buffer intracellular Ca2+ and block the release of a putative retrograde messenger. Under these conditions, GluK1-containing KAR agonist facilitates glutamatergic transmission in VP neurons in a manner similar to that observed for OT neurons and that resulted from the activation of presynaptic GluK1 receptors. GluK1-mediated inhibition of glutamate release in VP neurons was also blocked by a kappa-opioid receptor antagonist. These findings suggest that activation of postsynaptic GluK1-containing KARs on VP neurons leads to the release of dynorphin, which in turn acts on presynaptic kappa-opioid receptors to inhibit glutamate release.

09/01/2012 | Int J Neuropsychopharmacol
The antidepressant hyperforin increases the phosphorylation of CREB and the expression of TrkB in a tissue-specific manner.
Gibon J, Deloulme JC, Chevallier T, Ladeveze E, Abrous DN, Bouron A
doi: 10.1017/S146114571100188X

Hyperforin is one of the main bioactive compounds that underlie the antidepressant actions of the medicinal plant Hypericum perforatum (St. John's wort). However, the effects of a chronic hyperforin treatment on brain cells remains to be fully addressed. The following study was undertaken to further advance our understanding of the biological effects of this plant extract on neurons. Special attention was given to its impact on the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) receptor TrkB and on adult hippocampal neurogenesis since they appear central to the mechanisms of action of antidepressants. The consequences of a chronic hyperforin treatment were investigated on cortical neurons in culture and on the brain of adult mice treated for 4 wk with a daily injection (i.p.) of hyperforin (4 mg/kg). Its effects on the expression of the cyclic adenosine monophosphate response element-binding protein (CREB), phospho-CREB (p-CREB), TrkB and phospho-TrkB (p-TrkB) were analysed by Western blot experiments and its impact on adult hippocampal neurogenesis was also investigated. Hyperforin stimulated the expression of TRPC6 channels and TrkB via SKF-96365-sensitive channels controlling a downstream signalling cascade involving Ca2+, protein kinase A, CREB and p-CREB. In vivo, hyperforin augmented the expression of TrkB in the cortex but not in the hippocampus where hippocampal neurogenesis remained unchanged. In conclusion, this plant extract acts on the cortical BDNF/TrkB pathway leaving adult hippocampal neurogenesis unaffected. This study provides new insights on the neuronal responses controlled by hyperforin. We propose that the cortex is an important brain structure targeted by hyperforin.

01/2012 | Nat Neurosci   IF 15.3
Moving bliss: a new anandamide transporter.
Marsicano G, Chaouloff F
doi: 10.1038/nn.3011